Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A Day at the Zoo

Twycross Zoo had a wonderful promotion on over half-term, so since the Podlings had filled their marble jar again we decided to take them to the zoo for their treat. The last time we went to the zoo, Alex was only a year old, so he wouldn't have remembered it. He absolutely loved it and loved the giraffes and the penguins the most. Emma adored the lorikeets and was thrilled to have three of them land on her arm at once in the lorikeet aviary. It made her day! Lily was slightly less keen on the one that landed on her head! 

We met up with Mark's parents and his brother Greg and his family in the morning and we had a lovely day out together. You can probably tell from the photos how cold it was, but we were just thankful it stayed dry as rain had been forecast. We were able to warm up with our picnic lunch as Twycross Zoo has a very civilised heated indoor picnic area.

We all had a really enjoyable day out and managed to listen to most of 'James and the Giant Peach' in the car on the way there and back. Audio books are wonderful for longer car journeys and we are particularly enjoying our Roald Dahl set at the moment. All in all, just a really lovely day that I am sure we all remember with fondness.

Lorikeets - Emma's favourite

That's a lorikeet's on Lily's head

Watching the elephants

I love owls!

Mark and I were rather enamoured of the bush dogs!

Everybody loves the penguins!

Alex really loved the penguins and spent ages watching them, running between the underwater viewing window and the wall where he could look over and see them walking and swimming about.

A treefull of cousins. I gave up trying to get a good shot1

Alex enjoying a ride with his cousins Taylor and Freddie

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Under rainbow skies

We've been feeling so cooped up lately. What with one thing and another, we haven't really been out anywhere since Christmas and we were starting to feel that if we didn't get out into the countryside soon we might burst! Saturday promised to be mostly dry, so in the afternoon we filled the Thermos, filled the biscuit tin and headed out to Greenway Bank Country Park. As we arrived the heavens opened and the most vibrant double rainbow appeared in the sky. Thankfully the shower was short-lived, so after some rainbow gazing we headed into the woods for a short walk. It felt so good to be outdoors again!

Pretty snowdrops telling us that Winter is coming to an end and Spring is around the corner

Playing in the woods

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's day. A chance to show all the lovely people in my family how much I love them and use pretty china, flowers and hearts as I do it. Win Win for me!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's treats for the Podlings greeted them in the morning. There may or may not also have been doughnuts for breakfast as a special treat.

I made these little Valentine's treat boxes for the Podlings. Ladybirds for the boys and roses and lace for the girls. They are filled with Love Hearts.

Presents for the dolls, the little heart shaped boxes I made were filled with Love Hearts and given to the dolls with a bouquet of paper roses.

Our Valentine's tea (the picture is very dark for some reason)

Heart-shaped fairy cakes with pink and white icing, pink glittery sugar and red and pink roses (I loved making the roses!). They couldn't be more perfect for a Valentine's day tea! 

Monday, 12 February 2018

Valentine's Fun

Valentine's day is always a good opportunity to have some themed fun and gives us something lovely to focus on as the winter drags on. Cold, wet and windy weather makes our usual outdoor adventures less appealing, but indoors we can be cosy and warm as we enjoy some Valentine's themed crafts and activities together. Here is a selection of what we have been getting up to this month, with plenty of other things that never got photographed. It has been so lovely!

A simple Valentine's pre-writing sensory set up for Alex. It is just table salt coloured pink with copious amounts of pink, purple and gold glitter to make it really sparkly. Spread in a tray with various bits and pieces to make marks with (not pictured are the straw, fork and spoon he also played with. 

Making heart shapes with a cookie cutter

He played with this for ages, first drawing and making marks with objects, then drawing in it  with his fingers and then completely burying his hands and pouring and playing with it like sand. It ended up with Playmobil figures in it too! So much fun from such a simple set up.

I bought some water beads in Valentine's colours and put them in a bowl with some pink foam heart shapes. I have never bought water beads before, so this was a first for the Podlings and it went down a treat. Alex and Emma in particular played with them for ages and, naturally, Alex had to add some cars in too!

The water beads were a huge hit with all four Podlings.

Emma loved the water beads

The Valentine's sensory box before I added in all the extras. The Podlings really enjoyed mixing the colours together!

I loved putting this Valentine's sensory box together. I coloured rice red and pink and added in shiny heart-shaped confetti, red glass pebbles and red ribbon roses. I finished it off with the little Valentine's peg people which I painted myself. It looked so pretty!

Fun in the Valentine's sensory box

Painting cardboard heart wreaths and little heart-shaped boxes

I really loved the wreath that Lily made. She is so creative.

A snowy Valentine's photoshoot with the dolls

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Emma (Bridgewater)

Emma's class are learning about local history for their project this term and today is their project launch day where they get to go to school dressed up and have lots of themed activities during the day. Emma wanted to go as the ceramics designer Emma Bridgewater as they share a first name and, of course, her factory is in The Potteries. She spent time last night happily drawing multi-coloured spots on a paper plate and the name badge we made and we teamed it with a spotty party dress. She looked so sweet!