Monday, 12 November 2018

Dinosnores Sleepover at the Natural History Museum

I don't remember exactly when I first heard about Dinosnores, the sleepover at the Natural History Museum in London, but I thought it would be the perfect way to spend some time with my then six year old and I booked in to go in November once he was seven.  Dinosnores is a sleepover experience for children aged 7-11 years that takes part after the museum has shut for the night and involves sleeping under the great blue whale skeleton in the extraordinary Hintze Hall.

We arrived at the Natural History Museum at 6:45pm in the rain and were assigned our team (blue raptors) and shown an area of the main hall covered in sleeping mats so we could choose our beds.  There was an excited atmosphere as the children laid out their sleeping bags and browsed the animals and skeletons that line the main hall.  There was plenty of time to go and change into comfy clothes (most children were in either warm pyjamas or a onsie for the evening) and have a drink.

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

There were three evening activities and different groups did them in a different order.  I was worried that Dylan wasn't 'into' dinosaurs enough for Dinosnores but I loved the way the activities meant you didn't need to be (although a light interest is quite useful) as you could focus on the other aspects of the activity instead.  Our first one was a torchlight trail around the dinosaur area finding the clues to find out our Dino.  The children were all given torches and sheets and Dylan loved looking for the green dinosaurs to complete his sheet and learning some facts about the answer.

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

After this we could go to the Natural History Museum cafe for a snack. You need to bring in your own food which has to be kept in the cafe at all times and there was tea and coffee on hand too.  We had eaten dinner before we arrived so had some light snacks to get us through the rest of the evening.  After snack time was our second activity.

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

The event says children must be between 7 and 11 to participate and it was the science show that we watched next that really showed me why.  It started at 9.30 and was incredibly interesting and interactive but it was pushing the limits of Dylan's concentration to engage in a show at that time of night.  It was run by Scientists from the museum and was fantastic.  

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

Our final activity for the evening was creative and the children were taught how to become dinosaur artists, interpreting the fossils to discover how the dinosaurs would have actually looked and it ended in them creating their own t-shirts to take home.  I was so impressed with how this activity was run as there was plenty of space and materials and all the children looked really involved.  Dylan loves art so I think this was his favourite t-shirt and my job this evening is to iron the t-shirt to secure his art on it!.

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

We went back to the main hall afterwards to prepare for lights out at midnight and got cosy in our sleeping bags.  Thankfully it wasn't cold despite the pouring rain outside and once the lights went out it was very dark.  Sleeping on the floor isn't the comfiest though and whilst Dylan got a full seven hours I certainly didn't (and I hadn't expected to).  He is a child that needs a lot of sleep so the next day was quite challenging by the end of it despite his hour long nap on the way home! 

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

Lights came up at 7am ready for breakfast and there were small packs for each of us with a small muffin, a yoghurt and juice.  I would definitely recommend packing something more substantial like croissants/pain au chocolate of breakfast bars as we were still hungry and unprepared.

After breakfast there was a live animal show featuring a skunk and a meerkat amongst other things.  It was really well done with humour for the adults alongside interaction for the children.  Once the sleepover officially finished, we were left to either leave the museum or stay in it and some exhibits were open (and of course empty) so we could enjoy them in peace before the crowds arrived!

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

The event was organised amazingly and there were so many staff on hand at the Natural History Museum who could help return lost families to their group, guide the activities and chat to the children.  If I had a question there was always someone close by to ask it too and all the staff were enthusiastic and knowledgable.  I was really impressed with how well run it was.

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

We had an absolutely fantastic experience at the Dinosnores sleepover event and I would really recommend it to anyone with a curious junior school aged child.  Dylan was so happy and it was a great way for us to enjoy some one on one time together without his siblings.  It would be a brilliant birthday party idea for a small group and there were beaver/scout groups there as well when we visited.  I hope that in the future I can repeat the experience with the other children although I will definitely be waiting until they are at least seven as it was exhausting and I want them to get the most out of it.

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

You can find out more here about Dinosnores sleepovers at the Natural History Museum

Dinosnores at the Natural History Museum, sleepover in the history museum, Dinosnores,

Read more ⇨

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Me and Mine in October

October has been a strange month weather wise.  There were days when we brought out the shorts and t-shirts and spent the afternoon at the beach and then there were days where we wondered where the thermals were as we bundled up with coats, hats and scarfs. We had a family photoshoot and in my head it would be beautifully autumnal, not as bright and sunny as it turned out! It does mean that we are organised with our Me and Mine photos for once though and I love them!

I have spent less time blogging than normal, but more time with friends, reading and as a family and I enjoyed slowing down for a bit.  November is looking pretty quiet which is nice and I am hoping to spend some quality one on one time with each of the children over the coming weeks.

This month I have loved seeing Les Miserable in London with my mum and sister, family days out over half term, a night out with my friends eating delicious sushi and hearing how happy the boys are at school during parent's evening.

Ed has loved seeing Dave Gorman on stage, taking Archie rock climbing, watching tv for the first time in years and halloumi fries.

Dylan has loved going to the theatre with his Uncle Oli, sleeping over at his best friend's house, crafting with Grandma and writing his Christmas list.

Archie has loved a bowling party with all his friends, going to see Smallfoot at the cinema, school trips to the beach and playing Reading Eggs on the computer.

Finn has loved going swimming with Aunty NatNat, a soft play party with his friends, late afternoon trips to the beach for dinner and going back to playgroup whilst nursery were having a teacher trainer day.

Cora has loved having her brothers home for half term to boss around, scooting everywhere and anywhere,  reading as many books as she can fit in before bed every night and a halloween party with her friends.

Read more ⇨

Monday, 22 October 2018

Little Loves October

You are probably used to reading and seeing pictures of the children on here, but I want to share a bit more of myself as well so I have decided to start doing a Little Loves post, inspired by the lovely Morgana.  Every month I will share things that I have been watching, reading, listening to and wearing along with anything else I have loved.  I would love any recommendations each month too


One of my friends has started a Feminist book group locally so my first book to read was actually more of an essay, called 'We should all be feminists' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  It was a great introduction and I can't wait to see what we will be reading next month.  I have a feeling the book group may involve more wine than book chat but it is great to read something a bit different to my usual fiction.  Unfortunately I passed it on to another friend before taking a picture so here is a glimpse at the next book on my list that I am hoping to read over the next couple of weeks.


Along with everyone else on my Facebook timeline, I have been watching Killing Eve. It took me the first episode to stop picturing Eve as Christina (big Grey's Anatomy fan) but once I got past the accent change as well I loved it! The complexity of the characters and the pace of the story were a great combination and I hope there is another series soon! I also watched The Cry which finished last night and was very emotional!


Well it wasn't exactly me, but we (ok Ed) has built our new bed which I love! We had a cheap freecycle bedframe before with the intention of buying a new one and we finally got round to buying one last week.  Trying to find the time and space to build it with four small children was challenging but we (he) pulled it off and mornings have only got harder since!


I have to admit I have spent more of this month than I probably should in my Lucy and Yak dungarees.  I seem to spend most of my day doing school runs and they are the comfiest things ever to wear! I need to invest in another colour to mix it up a bit! The random weather has meant sleeveless tops underneath some days and chunky jumpers on others! I also bought myself a pumpkin top from one of my favourite brands for the kids - Duns, which now does a Mama range too so I am feeling very seasonal!


This month I have been listening mostly to the Les Miserable Soundtrack.  My mum bought be tickets to see it at the theatre for my birthday and I went last week and it lived up to all my expectations.  It was the most spectacular show and I have continued listening to the soundtrack at every opportunity ever since!

I would love any recommendations for new books, series and music to listen to!
Read more ⇨

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Technology in their Lives

These children of mine are growing up in a very different world to the one I did.  I was only 23 when I had Dylan but those 23 years have seen the rise of technology in every aspect of our life and a change to the childhood I remember and loved.

It isn't their fault that they want to play on the ipad as soon as they wake up, watch their favourite tv programs on demand, ask Alexa every time they get curious about something and spend more time staring at a screen than they do looking at someone's face.  These things just weren't an option for us as children and I am sure if they were then we would have been the same.

I remember having children's TV only for a few hours each day and we got our first family computer when I was at secondary school, but the internet had to be unplugged every time someone needed to use the home phone (and my mum did a job that meant she was often on the phone in the evenings).   Nowadays it is hard to avoid and I can see my children falling into this world before I am ready for them to.

As the parent, I am tying to navigate this stage of parenting and find balance for them where they can't always find it themselves.  Technology is going to be such a big and unavoidable part of their lives, more so than it is for us now I imagine and they need to know how to use it responsibly and in moderation, but I think just as importantly, if not more so, they need to learn how to use their imaginations.

The navigation isn't always easy, but technology is and I know they can be occupied for hours with an ipad or netflix.  I am trying to encourage more free play to balance it though and many of their toys have been packed away in favour of wooden ones which even the bigger boys are suddenly discovering again and enjoying.  A new bed arrived this week in several huge cardboard boxes and I set them out on the decking and encouraged them to just play and the ease with which they did reassured me.

They were ramps for cars, slides for people, car parks, colouring books and all sorts.  Their play changed and progressed, they communicated and imagined and reminded me that even when we feel stuck in an end of term rut where everyone is tired and sometimes technology can be the easiest option, their biggest talent is their mind at this age.

I hope I can continue to balance their lives and help them explore their imaginations, appreciate nature and climb trees.  I want their childhoods to be wild and free and full of sunshine and laughter and I know that at 7 I probably don't have many more years of Dylan still just playing but I am going to try as hard as I can to encourage him to.

How do you balance the lure of technology with a playful childhood? I would love any tips

balancing technology, technology and children,

Read more ⇨

Thursday, 4 October 2018

What the Kids Wore // Milly'o

For two years, these two little people have been inseperable.  They have an amazing bond and I still think of them as very close but with Finn being at nursery for three days a week now, I can see how things are changing between them.  

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

Cora is at an age where she is developing her own friendships and is forming relationships with others and Finn has a busy life away from her with his friends at nursery.  Their interests are changing as they grow and as we start preparing Finn for school next year I think the age gap may widen a little too.

But for now, they are so excited to see each other after a day apart and neither of them have any interest in me, only in each other.  They run for a cuddle as soon as they see each other and they still love to play together (as long as Cora isn't messing up Finn's games). We still have two days a week just the three of us and I hope they can continue to stay close as I love watching their interactions and their love.  

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

And of course I still love 'twinning' them when I can.  They both have their own styles so it is more about co-ordinating them and we were sent these trousers for Cora and the jumper for Finn from Milly'o.  Milly'o makes bespoke kids clothing in a range of unique prints and playful styles that allow children to move freely and are easy to care for.  

The woodland creatures have metallic masks and can be cuffed in a choice of colours.  Cora is wearing size 18-24 month trousers here which are a great fit (her usual size) and Finn's jumper is age 3-4 and a little smaller than he needs really so I would suggest sizing up in jumpers.  The trousers would be a great cut for cloth nappies with the harem style, although Cora is out of nappies now.  Milly'o also makes beautiful rompers and bibs and I am in love with the whales print. The trousers start at £14 and jumpers are around £20 which is what I expect to pay for hand made clothes and I love having something unique for my children.

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

milly'o, handmade children's clothes,

We were sent these clothes from Milly'o for the purpose of this review 
but all thoughts and opinions are my own

Read more ⇨

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

An Ordinary Autumn Day

At the start of every new season I think I declare it my favourite and I think it is seeing the world through a child's eyes that allows it.  Whilst summer meant long days out, dinner at the beach, bare foot and six weeks of having all four along, Autumn has so much colour and charm.  Cosy nights in, hot chocolate, not having to wash my hair so much because it is hat weather and Halloween. 

We have planned a few quiet weekends to relax as the transition back to school (and the multiple school runs) seems to be tiring for us all but we still need to get out and run off the energy so we visited our favourite park this weekend to hunt for conkers, play cops and robbers (the boys new favourite game) and watch the squirrels.  

It was nearly a year ago that I took some photos of them all in this same place with a blog post titled ' I think we are done' and looking back at it I can see firstly how much they have all grown, especially Finn and secondly how much I still believe what I wrote.  We no longer have cribs or cots, the nappies have gone other than a night nappy for Cora and she isn't in the pushchair often anymore.  This next stage is certainly no less exhausting than the newborn one but it is exciting and full of promise.

On our visit to the park this weekend the children all played so independently.  The boys ran around playing, Cora climbed and conquered, they hunted, they chatted and I know they appreciated our company, but they didn't need us in the same ways they did even a year ago.  

Four is our number and a year after I initially wrote it, I am still definitely done. 

I want to continue to photograph and document the ordinary days as a family of six and I love these photos as they are exactly that.  It was a simple day, we went to the park, ran around for a few hours and then went home. Perfectly normal, perfectly us. 

Taken by Dylan!

Read more ⇨
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...