Showing posts with label family fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family fun. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

An Ordinary Half Term Day


It is half term which means a week off of school and nursery and we have a week full of little plans rather than big ones.  The weather is set to get wetter as it gets on, so we made sure we got outside whilst we could.  It was one of those rare winter days where the sun blinded us as we drove over to a seafront park and it warmer our faces as we explored the ruins of an old castle built right on the cliff top.

The playground next door had a castle theme and the children loved it.  Some of our local ones are a bit of a struggle for Cora's little legs but this one was perfectly designed for children of all ages and I could sit back and relax as they ran around.  The cafe served fresh cake and hot coffee and it felt like half term got off to a great start.

Of course there were tantrums as we had to leave, a child who refused to eat any of his lunch and the day certainly wasn't perfect - it very rarely is, but we had fun and I took a few photos that I wanted to share to look back on.  I know that one day they won't all be so content with a seesaw and roundabout but for now, this is their perfect start to half term.










There they are, my baby girl with a fringe that just won't stay out of her eyes, my toddler boy who goes one way whilst we all go the other, my four year old whose tongue can't help but poke out his mouth when he is concentrating and my big boy who looks so grown up with his two front teeth missing.


It was just an ordinary half term moment, but it was just as worthy of recording as the big moments.

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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Let Them Be Bored // Petits Filous

We have been working with Petits Filous on their Free Play campaign and for the last week we have been on a mission to push past the 'I'm bored' stage and encourage the children to play rather than turning to technology.  The biggest challenge has been after school as the boys are often tired and I am guilty of thinking an hour in front of the TV is what they needed after an intense day.  What I have discovered this week is that actually after a day of structure and stretching their minds, what they really seem to need after school is a chance to exercise their imaginations instead and some playing with no structure, no learning goals or adult input is so much better for them.

The first thing I noticed was how school is influencing their play.  Archie's topic for the term is Space and Dylan's is explorers, the overlap being astronauts.  They had a visit from Helen Sharman (the first British Astronaut to visit the MIR space station) at school the week before and as soon as I sent them out in the garden with no instructions, they declared it to now be the moon.  They chatted as they played about all things space, getting lost in their conversations until they needed an answer.

free play, playing free, petits filous

They turned to me and asked how people walk on space and I gave them my best man on the moon impression.  I was expecting to be invited into the game here, but they turned away and carried on with their new information. They were space rockets, astronauts and explorers, finding moon rocks and aliens (apparently younger siblings make ideal aliens!)

free play, playing free, petits filous

The easiest way to start this new habit of letting them play free with no structure or input seemed to be sending them out in the garden but the British weather doesn't make that possible everyday and when we are stuck inside, I observed their new favourite game 'pets' that involves every cuddly toy in the house.  

The boys started playing this game weeks ago, but given the time with no distractions I found them going back to it time and time again.  I spoke to leading play expert Anita Cleare and she said that children often return to the same game, evolving it slightly each time they play to get something different out of it.  On the second wet day when they wrote a list of names and ages of all their 'pets' and on the third wet day when they celebrated one of their pet's birthday parties I could really see what she meant.  Many aspects of the game stayed the same, but it adapted and grew, the imaginative world that they were immersing themselves in became more detailed and intricate and each time they played they seemed less aware of me even being in the house.

free play, playing free, petits filous

After school playing is apparently much more hunger inducing than sitting infront of the TV and we had Petits Filous yoghurts on hand for a snack (the pouches are perfect for eating in the garden or at the park as they can be kept out the fridge for up to 5 hours).  Each pot (or pouch) is fortified with Vitamin D for healthy bones and these pouches have less than 100 kcal per portion too.

free play, playing free, petits filous

I remember playing free as a child, shops, schools and overturned coffee tables becoming rabbit hutches.  I grew up before technology was everywhere and I love watching the boys having those carefree experiences too.  Technology plays an important part in our lives, but playing free is even more important for them and something we need to make time for everyday.

 This has been an eye opening experiment and I have loved watching their imaginations and getting a new insight into how their brains work.  There is still a time and place for the TV but we are going to try and do more free play everyday too.

free play, playing free, petits filous

free play, playing free, petits filous

free play, playing free, petits filous


The importance of free play, unstructured play, themummyadventure.com
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I’m working with Petits Filous and BritMums promoting the #PetitsFilousPlayFree campaign 
about the importance of free  play.
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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

My Family in January

The first month of the year (and by far the longest) is coming to a close and despite the fact it has been cold and wet, we have had a great one, mostly down to the amazing week we spent in France on our family ski holiday.  I would like to say we have started the year as we mean to go on, but we have left the house late for the school run almost every single day (thank goodness for scooters!) and I have eaten far too many Easter eggs already!

This month I have loved eating cheese fondue in the French Alps, binge watching Grey's Anatomy, that creme eggs are back in the shops and being a bit more organised with my new planner.


Ed has loved challenging himself on more red slopes when we were skiing, having his first spa day with me, skiing with the children and seeing how good they are now and the way Cora says NO so seriously.

Dylan has loved his new school reading challenge, zooming down the blue slopes, learning about astronauts at school and his swimming lessons.

Archie has loved going skiing with Ed and I, playing in the park in the rain, practicing on his new two wheel scooter and practicing writing his letters.

Finn has loved scooting everywhere, playing with his friends at nursery, seeing Aunty Nat Nat in France and singing Happy Birthday

Cora has loved sweetcorn, shouting NO at people when she isn't happy, singing twinkle twinkle and saying Archie's name over and over and over and over . . .




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Friday, 26 January 2018

What About Us // Heart Radio

What about us? Ed and I were only together 3 months before I fell pregnant with Dylan and 7 years and 4 children later, our life revolves around those four small people that call us Mummy and Daddy. When we were challenged by Heart to take on a mood boosting activity inspired by a feel good song as part of the #HeartFeelGoodChallenge, Ed and I decided to make more time for us, specifically with a proper ‘date’ inspired by Pink’s ‘What About Us’.


I listen to Heart as I cook and Pink’s ‘What About Us’ is one of my favourite songs to dance around the kitchen to (and sing along to badly as well) and as the familiar song came on again, I started thinking of different ways to look after myself and different things that Ed and I could do together rather than our classic meal out date night.



And we ended up settling on a couples’ massage and spa day - something we would never have even thought of before, but in the middle of the sleep deprivation (thanks Cora), the school runs, the cooking and cleaning for a big family it seems exactly what we both need - some pampering for us and something to do together.


Getting childcare wasn’t easy (it never is when you have four small ones) but it was worth juggling things to get some time together. We were massaged, we lay on the heated seats in the relaxation room and we enjoyed these moments of calm and quiet together in the middle of a busy week. We talked without small voices interrupting us, without the distractions of technology and we reconnected as a couple. There was a swimming pool and a sauna, there was a cafe so we could enjoy a meal together without having to share with a toddler and it was exactly what we needed.



One day our children will grow up and move out and so it is really important to nurture our relationship now so we are still strong when that day comes.


We are hoping to come up with some different ideas to do something each month with no children and this feels like the best start. I love how music can make us feel so inspired, not just to get off the sofa and have a boogie around the house, but to try new things and have fun too. Heart plays the songs from the 90s and 00s that I grew up with and the biggest feel good hits that I can’t help but sing along to. The uplifting music always brightens my mood and inspires me and I am hoping to get some inspiration for next month’s date - maybe Lady Gaga can convince us to ‘Just Dance’ at a dance class or we could follow Pink’s advice again and ‘Raise a Glass’ at a cocktail bar?



Get some inspiration and turn up the feel good by listening to Heart


This post is in collaboration with Heart Radio
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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

A day in the life on a family ski holiday

Ever since we first flew out to the French alps four years ago we have been hooked and we spend the year looking forward to our family ski holiday.  We find the perfect balance for us between family time, time as a couple and getting out in the snow and we take every day as it comes, deciding what to do with our afternoons depending on the weather and how we feel.  


This is an average day on a family ski holiday for us though . . . 


8am - We wake up.  The bedrooms are fitted with black out blinds which is brilliant as holidays should not mean early mornings! The children eat cereal and drink milk and then we start getting everyone dressed.  The snow means layers and the boys put on thermals and a fleece zip up and everyone wears outer layers.

9:30 - I take the little two to the creche, it takes about 5 minutes door to door and Finn wants to run the whole way as he is excited for the day.  The nannies greet them with huge smiles and ask what they want to play with.  I say goodbye and grab a couple of croissants from the bakery next door to the creche - I can't resist the smell!  At the same time, Ed is taking the big two boys down to the lounge which is on the ground floor of our apartment building.  The nannies help them get their ski boots on and they line up their skis outside.  They choose whether they want to play an indoor game or go outside where there is plenty of snow to play in and the perfect hill to slide down.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

9:45 - We have freshly baked breakfast, a view of the resort from the balcony and an hour until we have to start getting ready for our lesson.  Some days we head straight to the locker room to put on our boots and get an hour on the slopes before it starts but today we want to take it easy so I grab a book and sit in the sunshine enjoying the peace and quiet.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

10:45 - We head down to the locker room which is inside our building to get our boots on and skis ready

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

11:00 - We meet just outside the locker room and put our skis straight on ready to start our lesson.  Dylan and Archie are doing the same thing right next to us and we watch them ski off behind their instructors towards the first chair lift.  We all have a 2 hour lesson and we love spotting them as we ski.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

1:00 - Our lessons finish and we change back into our normal boots before heading down to the creche.  Finn and Cora are excited to see us and we dress them up with the help of the nannies.  Just outside the creche building are a selection of restaurants and we find a table outside the Brown Bear and order some lunch.  The children play in the snow next to the table whilst we wait.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

2:00 - We pop back into the creche to pick up some of the sledges and toys that are available all week, we borrow a stroller too as Cora is looking sleepy. There is a great sledging field just next to the nursery slope so we all walk over.  The children all love sledging and Cora giggles as she goes down on one of our laps.  When they want a change they can play in the little playground next door although with the amount of snow we had, the slide isn't much fun as the bottom of it is pretty buried! They love climbing and hiding and the views are spectacular!

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

4:00 - Everyone is getting a bit chilly and we know exactly what will warm us up so we cross back over and sit outside the Creperie with a hot chocolate.  No hot chocolate will ever taste as good as the one you drink after 2 hours of sledging in the snow.

5:00 - We cook some pasta for the tired children as it is the perfect energy food.  The kitchen in our apartment has everything we need and we all sit around the table to eat it.  We eat cakes that we bought from the bakery after we returned the sledges for pudding and the little two get into their pyjamas for some quiet time.

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

6:00 - The big two are off to kids club and tonight is a treasure hunt.  They are all dressed up in their warm winter gear as they will be outside a lot but they are really excited for the pirate games and the hunt.  This is always their favourite night and it changes every year.  I head back to the locker after dropping them off to get my boots back on.  I meet a new friend whose children are also at the kids club and we ski down to the first lift together as it is night ski today and the slopes are flood lit so we can stay out even later.  

Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

7:00 - I head back exhausted and put the little two to bed.  It is pretty easy to settle them as the busy days mean they are out like a light!

8:00 - I collect two little pirates complete with treasure from the lounge and bring them back upstairs and get them ready for bed.  They had the best evening and have so many stories to tell me but they can barely keep their eyes open!
Family ski holiday, Snowbizz

10:00 - At home we are always up super late but out here with all the fresh air and exersize we are ready for bed pretty early! We have games in our apartment as well as a TV and there is free wifi too but mostly we want to get a good night's sleep as we are planning on doing a bit of skiing in the afternoon tomorrow as well.


family ski holiday, skiing with kids, Themummyadventure.com
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We received a discount on our holiday but all thoughts and opinions are my own
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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Our Family Ski Holiday with Snowbizz

It was our fourth year travelling to Puy St Vincent with Snowbizz and there is a reason we and so many others go back year after year.  A lot of people wouldn't even consider a family ski holiday, but once you have tried it, you may well find yourself hooked.  We battle through the early morning airport meltdowns and the hyperactive toddlers on the flight because when we arrive in the snow covered resort, everything is so easy, so relaxed and just so much fun.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

The fresh mountain air is cold and takes a while to adjust to, the snow is unfamiliar to little hands but soft enough to sink into and the views . . . I don't think I could ever not be in awe of the snowy mountains that dominate the horizon in every direction.  The first day is always put aside for adapting, for preparing, for collecting our hired boots and skis, for take away pizza and early nights.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

The next day however is a different story.  Dylan and Archie were skiing for the third year and Archie has in the yellow group at ski school with Jean-Paul whilst Dylan was in the orange class with Benjamin.  They were up and dressed in their thermals and salopettes and raring to go.  Dropping them at ski school was as easy as walking down one flight of stairs as we are directly above it (I didn't even put my shoes on some days), and they can sledge and play outside or chill out with games in the lounge before their lesson starts.   It is a little further to drop off Finn and Cora but I can probably do the walk with both of them on foot in two minutes still.  We leave our apartment block, cross in front of a shop and we are at the welcoming Snowbizz creche where the pink ladies greet them every morning with smiles and cuddles.  There are always toys laid out inviting them to play and a craft or painting set up on the tables.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

And then we can ski, or read a book, or go for a walk, or eat a fresh croissant bought from the bakery next to the creche.  The morning is ours and we love the freedom, the rest, the adult time.  

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Our week is always a mixture of family time, adult time, skiing and some one on one time with the little ones.  We follow their lead and take it day by day and it works so well for us.  We love sledging and the creche has plenty of sledges that you can borrow to take to the little sledging hill next to the playground.  The restaurants all have tables outside so we can play in the snow as we wait for our lunch, and hot chocolate will never taste quite as good as it does from the Creperie after an afternoon sledging. 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

We had snow, so much snow and we had sunshine. It snowed for about 24 hours straight with around 60cm laying just over night.  The next morning the sun shone, the freshly pisted slopes could not have been more inviting and we couldn't resist stomping in the fresh powder snow, watching it rise up our legs, rolling around in it and throwing it up in the air.  We could not have asked for better weather and I will always remember Finn's face as the snow fell, the excitement and awe, the desperation to be out in it and the sheer joy as he ran through it with his tongue out to catch the falling flakes. 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Dylan gained even more confidence skiing and on the last day we could barely keep up with him as he skiied down the blue slopes without fear.  For a child that has never been very physically confident, it is amazing to see how much he loves this sport, how well he is improving and the experiences it gives him.  Archie was the smallest in his class and needed extra help at the beginning of the week but we took him up on the lifts at the end of the week and were amazed at how well he could ski down, never falling over or struggling and smiling and laughing the whole way.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Ed and I tackled harder red slopes, improved our skills and took in the views from the very top of the mountain where we really did feel on top of the world.  We made friends as did the children and it felt like we had our own little community by the end of the week.  Being a smaller resort, the children really make great friendships as do the adults and we all found ourselves seated together on the plane on the way home too.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

The boys loved the kids clubs in the evenings and award night at the end saw Finn awarded the 'Shining Star' for 'brightening up our day' whilst Cora got the 'Haribo' award for 'being a sweetie'. 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

There are so many reasons that we love going on a family ski holiday and I have written in the past about 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

You can also check out our

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz


We received a discount on our stay but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own 
and we are already looking into booking for next year!

family ski holiday, Snowbizz
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