We are a book loving family and all take turns to read. As Christmas approaches we like to bring out the seasonal books and here are our top five children’s books this year.
1.The Jolly Christmas Postman (The Jolly Postman) The Jolly Postman has been a favourite in our house for many years and now we love this Christmas version where we can find out what well loved characters from fairy tales are sending to each other at Christmas time.
2. The Nativity Story (Candle Bible for Kids) Even if you are not Christian it is still a story that every one can relate to a Christmas time. I like this version because it’s well illustrated and the story is simplified so even the Little Man can understand.
4. Peppa Pig: Peppa’s Christmas This one is for the Little Man, a huge Peppa Pig fan.
5.Santas Coming to Birmingham (Santa Is Coming) This is a new one for us this year. I couldn’t resist it and the littlies have loved reading about Santa arriving in their own town. They recognised many of the pictures and places mentioned. There are many other towns available in the series too.
My kids love Peppa Pig and in one episode the family go to visit Windy Castle, which is a fort like castle on a hill. Well, we have a Windy Castle just a bus ride away and today we treated the kids to a visit. Unlike Peppa Pig our Windy Castle does not have a telescope on the top, although it would be really good if it did as you can see for miles. Also, unlike Peppa Pig and her family, we do not have a car so we had to walk up to the top of the hill. This turned out to be real fun, even though it was tiring, we saw lots of things along the way. Thinking alongside The Gruffalo theme, we found a home for fox, a home for mouse and a home for a snake. We also had to walk through the deep dark woods. The girls looked for footprint trails along the way, it was all very exciting.
|The Gruffalo said ‘No Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood!|
|Star said this could be a home for fox|
|A Rabbit hole, or maybe a home for a big bad mouse?|
It is a lovely walk up the hill, although it’s very steep in parts. When I used to visit as a child we used to find the steepest parts to climb up, often scrambling to find tree roots to pull ourselves up on. At the top of one very steep hill there was a frog pond but sadly it’s not there any longer and the steepest hills are fenced off because they are dangerous.
|up up up the hill!|
|Stop, and pose! Are we nearly there yet?|
|Up up up some more!|
At the top of the hill, after all our walking we are greeted with lots of green, an amazing view and, of course, Windy Castle.
This is Beacon Hill, one of the hills at the Lickey Hills Nature Park. The fort (windy castle) was built to house a Toposcope which shows the distance of notable places that can be viewed from the area. You really can see for miles up here.
|At last, the top of the hill and windy castle|
|Can you see me mummy, I’m the Queen of the castle|
|This place was built to hold the toposcope which can be just seen in bottom right photo|
|Lots of fun|
|Hello Birmingham, some views from the toposcope|
After all our hard work climbing up the hill we just had to have a picnic while watching people flying their kites.
|Perfect time for a picnic|
In 1904 JRR Tolkein moved to Birmingham and the Lickey Hills became a favourite haunt of his. They are believed to be the inspiration for his shires where the hobbits lived. Maybe it’s time to introduce my children to The Hobbit and next time we visit we can go looking for Bilbo Baggins.
Joining in with #Countrykids at Coombe Mill