Settling into Nursery

Oliver is now 3 years old and just over a month ago he started in the school nursery, where he attends every afternoon from 12:20-3:20.

We talked about him starting all over the summer and when September arrived and his older brothers were going to school every day he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t going, after 5 weeks he had his first day. We had bought all of his school uniform at the end of the summer at the same time as when i bought his siblings, he had it all folded and stored on the bottom shelf of his wardrobe just waiting for him to wear it.

Oliver is quite small for his age and is still wearing age 18-24 months clothes, so we had to search around for navy bottoms and jumper to fit him, also we ordered his white polo shirt online in his size. They fit him perfectly and he is so proud to be wearing a uniform. He even has a school wooly hat that once belonged to his older brother, that he runs round the house in the morning looking for before we head off to the childminders house.

He was excited on his first day, I met him and his childminder at the school gates during my lunch time so that i would be able to help settle him in. He was jumping around and full of beans at the gates but as soon as we started to walk along with the other parents and children towards the nursery door he began to hide behind my legs and be a bit clingy. As we entered through the Nursery doors we walked along the corridor looking for his coat peg, he quickly found it as it had a picture fo him above it. He found this funny as he could not remember his teachers taking the photograph on the home visit back in September. He seamed to be eager at this point to get through thr main doors into the Nursery but as we got among the other parents and children he became a little overwhelmed by all the other people around, maybe he thought that he would be the only child starting as he kept looking at all the other children. I walked him into the Nursery room and the first thing he said was that he wanted to go to the toilet, we was pointed into the right direction and off he went. I quickly noted that Oliver was smaller than the other children, which isn’t a surprise as so are his older brother with their class mates. I showed him where to was his hands and he no trouble reaching forward to turn on the taps at the sink.

I told him that Mummy would have to go and that he should go and find some friends to play with, we walked over to the other children. Some were playing on the floor with some building bricks. Oliver seemed a bit anxious and was getting a bit upset, I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he wanted to go on the bikes outside. His teacher told him that the outside area only opened up once all the adults had gone and the main front door was closed, he seemed to chear up a bit at this. I bent down to give him a big hug and explained that all the adults had to and leave the children with their teachers and go, he gave me a big hug and a squeeze. He told me he would be a good boy.

His first day was good but for the rest of the week he was a bit upset about going, I think it all got a bit too much for him. He is still quite young, only turning three at the end of July. He is struggling with not having a nap every day, as before he started nursery he had about an hours sleep at aroung midday. I have tried to introduce bedtime a little earlier now, which he is happy to go to his bed and puts himself a sleep.

Oliver has been going to School Nursery for 6 weeks now and has settled in really well, abit too much probably as I have been told he needs to slow down inside and stop running around. Oh dear! He likes to go to every area and try and fit all of the activiities in, He is over his shyness and had made lots of friends. He comes hime every day telling me about what songs he has sung, what toys he played with and who his friends are.

It is so cute seeing him run along the road to see his friends, shouting out their names. He has a favourite teacher and always talks about her.

He knows all of his numbers up to 20 by sight, knows his alphabet and sounds, can write his name, draw people and knows his shapes and colours.

I am so pleased he has settled in well and that he loves to learn.

 

Are you going through a similar experience? How has your toddler coped?

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Chicken Peanut Satay Recipe

These are quick and simple to make but taste so good. Perfect starter for a chinese meal or even served up with plain rice as a main meal.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breast
  • wooden skewers
  • vegetable oil
  • 2/3 tbsp Peanut butter – smooth or chunky (i use both)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic and chilli flakes- optional

Method:

  • Thinly slice the chicken breast length ways, so that you have long strips. If they are too wide slice them again.
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Combine the soy sauce, ginger, lemon juice, sugar and the chilli flakes in the pan and mix well.
  • Add in the peanut butter and honey and simmer. Mix well.
  • Take off of the hob once all combined and cooled, toss in the chicken pieces, coat well and leave to one side so that the chicken can soak up some of the flavours.

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  • Take your skewers and place the chicken onto them in a snake fashion-s
  • Organise into a baking dish, making sure that the skewers fit in. Add any of the peanut mixture that is left in the pan.

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  • Bake in the oven at 180 for about 15-20 minutes. Check that the chicken has cooked all the way through.
  • Plate them up adding some of the sauce that has dripped into the dish over the top of the cooked chicken

The chicken is succelent and the peanut sauce is smooth, Perfect with a glass of presecco :-)

 

Explora Snack N Go Review

Do you have children that eat on the go?

The Tommee Tippee Explora Snack N Go allows your child to dip into their snacks whenever they want but also stops the food from spilling out all over the place. The design of the pot makes it a classic travel pot, excellent for children that are on the go, picnics, buggy’s and car journeys (no more mess)

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The snack pot is perfect for little hands with an easy access soft lid, which is especially designed for little hands to slip through yet stopping the snack from falling out. The pot has a little angled handle which is ideal for children to hold onto whilst snacking.

Key features:

  • Clever snack pot with easy-access soft lid
  • Mess free snacking
  • Ideal for travel
  • Available in two colours
  • Suitable for babies 12 months +
  • BPA-free

My son is 3 years old and I have found this snack pot perfect for him, we filled it up with strawberries and grapes and it managed to hold quite a lot. It fits perfectly into his pack lunch box, with the added bonus of knowing, because of the lid, that the contents will not be found squashed all over the rest of his lunch after it has been swung around a few times on the short walking journey that we make every day to the childminders house.

He had no problem finding room inside the pot to move his hand around to search for the biggest grape nor did he say that it felt too tight or uncomfortable for him to remove his hand from the lid.

The Snack N Go is available in two colours: blue and yellow or orange and purple.

Available to but in shops now.

We was provided with a snack pot for the purpose of this review, no payment has been received.

Chocolate Munchies Brownie Recipe

Everybody loves a bit of chocolate right!!! Even more so when it’s a chocolate fudge brownie that melts in your mouth with its smooth taste and texture, adding munchies gives them a little crunch from the biscuit. This recipe is easy and tastes divine.

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Ingredients:

  • 125g Plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g Munchies, chop each munchie into quarters (or any type of chocolate if preferred)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 115g melted butter

Method:

  • Preheat oven 170*, gas mark 4. Grease a square tin/silicone
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl combine the eggs, vanilla extract and milk.
  • Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well, add in the melted butter
  • Pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

The brownie are rich in taste but very moreish and after one little bite your mouth will be watering for more of the luscious chocolatey taste (if there is such a word).

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If you try the recipe why not leave a comment below and let me know what you think :-)

Our visit to Popeye Village, Malta

Pass me my spinach Olive……..

Last week we flew to the beautiful Island of Malta, home to gorgeous scenic coves, tasty mediterranean food and of course the Popeye Movie set. Popeye village is a popular tourist attraction in Malta and you can understand why, as soon as you look down at the bay below you, you are hit with such beauty and breathtaking scenes. It was built-in the 1980’s for the purpose of the Walt Disney production; live action, Musical feature film Popeye, starring the late Robin Williams.

Popeye village is in the most beautiful location of Anchor Bay, North west of the Island. It is easily reached by car or bus.

As soon as you feast your eyes on the village below, you will be captivated by its beauty. Popeye Village also known as Sweethaven Village is made up of wooden, rustic buildings.

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Cove below

Cove below

There is so much to do at Popeye village; not only do you get to walk around the old movie set but you can explore the houses, go swimming in the sea, swim in the lido, take a boat ride around the bay, watch the film in an old movie theatre, watch a documentary about how the film was filmed and even take part in live scenes with the actors out in the street.

Screenshot (34)As soon as we walked down the steep hill approaching Popeye’s house, we was greeted by Popeye himself along with Bluto and Olive Oyl.

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The actors were friendly and very funny, they were a big hit with the children and really brought the whole experience alive. We watched Popeye and Bluto fight over Olive Oyl. Poor Oliver couldn’t believe his eyes when Bluto was knocked out and fell to the floor, he wasn’t moving and believed that he was dead.

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As well as wandering around the old village the children had fun in the splash pool, although the water was a little cold, it didn’t stop them from jumping in and having a blast.

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I can just imagine it being a little sweet haven in the heat of the summer months, being able to relax and cool off around the lido and splash pool. Also in the summer there are water trampolines and slides set up in the sea down in the bay for visitors to use.

The boys loved walking through the old wooden buildings, exploring and reading all the information. We even sat and watched some of the old film in the Popeye comic museum, whilst taking cover from the rain outside (we visited during October half term) The museum was full of memorabilia and over 200 comics on display.

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Our day was nearly over but not before jumping on board the Boat for a trip around Anchor Bay, this is a must on a visit to the Village as you get to see some beautiful scenery of the village set among the cliffs and coves from the Sea.

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Waiting for the boat to depart

Just next to where the boat departs, on Captain Bluto’s Platform there is a small set up of miniature golf

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The very last thing that had to be done, and I can only imagine in the summer months that this would be a 100 % must, would be to swim in the bay. During the summer the bay comes alive with inflatable fun for all the family, but as it was October Jak had it all to himself.

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The water was shallow but deep enough for him to swim in.

We had a fabulous day out and even though it was out of season, there was still lots for us to do and see.

If you have a holiday booked to Malta, I would strongly recommend a visit to Popeye Village to meet the Big Man himself.

First flight abroard: family time

Are you experienced Family fliers?

Do you dread flying for the first time with your children?

Well we are the latter! Last week was our first time flying to another country as a family.

I had flown before with my eldest boy when he was 4 and last summer he flew out to Amsterdam with his agency to do some acting on stage but my two youngest have never flown before. I booked the holiday during the half term to Malta, a country that I have many contacts with and have visited a few times myself prior to having children. We were going to be travelling with Nanny and staying at my brothers apartment over there, we had an early morning flight all booked and the boys were very excited in travelling to another country via an Aeroplane.

The week prior to our departure I couldn’t sleep, I kept having nightmares and thinking if the worst outcomes that could happen to us whilst travelling

  • Being turned away because our passports had the wrong information on
  • Our names weren’t down on the roster for flying
  • Losing one of the children at the airport
  • The plane coming into bother whilst in transit
  • Not having a smooth flight and experiencing some turbulence

With hardly any sleep and over tired the day arrived for us to travel to Luton airport to depart for our first holiday abroad. I was so worried that an accident that may happen, I just had to keep telling myself that people fly all over the world every second of the day and the possibility of our plane come into some difficulties were very slim.

I had packed all the luggage with our clothes but I also had to think about what would keep the children entertained on the flight there

  • All phones and tablets fully charged with chargers in the suit case
  • Magazines and books to read
  • Colouring and drawing pencils
  • Favourite teddy bear or toy
  • Bottle of water
  • Any school homework that was given out
  • A pack of playing cards
Reading his magazine

Reading his magazine

I had also ensured that they was dressed in comfortable clothing like track suits, trainers and t-shirts. I didn’t want the children to be uncomfortable for the three hours that we was travelling, sitting down in a small tight space in clothing that would make them fidget and make them irritable.

We had all discussed prior to our flight about what to expect during flying and how they thought an aeroplane works. Joseph said that they he was a bit scared the aeroplane would drop from the sky as he doesn’t understand how it could fly with all the people in it. Oliver wanted the plane to do a loop de loop and Jak said he didn’t like it when his went pop.

As our flight was at 7:00 Am, we left our house at 4 aiming to arrive at the Airport for 5:00. I ridiculously thought that the boys would sleep in the car on the way to the airport but how wrong was I? They were overly excited and hyped up with adrenaline, looking forward to their little adventure they were about to embark on. By the time we had checked in and in the queue ready to board the plane the boys were going mental with excitement, I could just about control them from flying up in the air by themselves. They were winding other passengers up by being slightly too loud and running around their legs, I was really not looking forward to the flight. We found our seats and made our selves comfortable, as the seatbelt light went on and the plane began to move into position, the picture on my boys faces were priceless, they were ecstatic! Their eyes were lit up and alive with excitement, their facial expression with a constant smiled etched on and their little bodies shaking with anticipation.

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about to move

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At the window seat

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Getting bumpy

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about to board the plane

They took plenty of photos of their first experience, not of each other but of the view from the window seat

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Their excitement didn’t wear off until probably on the flight home, where none of the boys were too interested in sitting by the window and all they wanted to do was sleep.

 

Their first flight will always be a very special memory for all of us.

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Our first pose in Malta, still very excited!

Here’s to our next flight abroad, It wasn’t too bad after all! :-)

Three things to do in Autumn

We love Autumn! The crispness of the leaves under our feet, the Autumn sun beaming down on through the undraped trees. Nothing is better than a walk in a country park or a forest on a cool crisp afternoon.

We have teamed up with 9 other bloggers and Forest Holidays to bring you our top three things to do in Autumn, 30 Days of Autumn project. There are lots of fun things to do in Autumn, take a read of our 30 days of Autumn checklist  you may find something new and exciting to do yourselves.

Here are three of our top ideas on what to do in Autumn:

1. Leaf fun

Why not take a walk in a country park and search for the biggest pile of leaves for some leaf crunching fun.

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My boys love to jump in the leaves and listen to the crunching sound that they make, even better is to have an Autumn leaf fight

Just watching the boys run around, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying some outside fun is priceless, although be careful as to where you are picking up the leaves as some animals like to mark their territory!

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leaf fight

Why not collect some of the leaves and take them home to recreate an Autumn picture.

2. Leaf rubbing

This activity is ideal if the weather is slightly wet outside, my boys love to do leaf rubbing/etching.

All you will need is some leaves that you have collected, try and select a different range of sizes and shapes and some crayons/colouring pencils and of coarse some paper.

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Leaves with texture and features are best.
We like to pick a similar colour to the leaf to use for the rubbing. Place the leaf under the paper (veins upwards) and holing the crayon at an angle (close to the paper) using a little pressure rub the crayon over the paper. You will see the leaf print start to appear, just like a drawing.

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rubbingTry not to use a leaf that is crunchy/old as it will make it more difficult to do the leaf rubbing as you will need the leaf to lay flat under the paper.
Why not do a leaf rubbing with autumn colours, red orange and yellow.

3. Autumn Art – Pine Cone Frame

Children love to hunt and what better way to do it is to visit the park and search for some Autumn items.

After a lovely day playing in the park the boys went off in search of some sticks and some pine cones to take home with them so we could make some Autumn art. We had seen a picture somewhere on the internet of a frame made out of sticks. The boys thought that this would be a great Autumn craft to make.

You will need:

  • Some sticks of similar sizes
  • string
  • pine cones of different sizes
  • Strong glue
  • nylon clear invisible sewing thread
  • scissors

Instructions:

Gather the sticks together, cut down any to make similar sizes

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Tie the corners together with the string and reinforce  with some glue. Trim down any string that is hanging loose.

Tie corners with string

Tie corners with string

corner close up

corner close up

Leave to dry for about an hour.

Carefully tie some of the invisible string around the top of the pine cones, once secure measure how long you want the pine cone to hang and then tie the other end of the thread on to the top sticks

attaching the pine cones

attaching the pine cones

Once finished hang up on the wall for everyone to see

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finished frame

Why not try and do a frame with different artefacts found from your autumn walk, like leaves or helicopters from Maple trees. You could also spray your frame or paint it a different colour but we like it the natural way.

Take a look at Forest Holidays 30 Days of Autumn project web page, where you will find all of the fun ideas and suggestions that other bloggers have shared about what you can get up to in Autumn.

Thank you for reading. This post is our entry into the 30 days of autumn competition

N.B please excuse our photos of the leaf rubbing we have done this activity whilst abroad on holiday