Getting bowled over at Num Noms Series 4 Launch Party

Just over a week ago the boys were invited along to celebrate the launch of series 4 Num Noms at All Stars Lanes in Shoreditch.

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Although Num Noms are predominantly branded towards girls, my son loves to play with them. He sees beyond the female orientated branding and really enjoys playing with the Little collectible characters. He doesn’t see it as being just for girls. So, when we received the party invite, I had a very happy little boy who could not wait to meet the new Num Noms in series 4.

Nums are little squishy characters that smell like their namesake and Noms are lip balms and stamps.

Series 4 bring a new menu of cute characters and delicious smells. Not only are there a new mix of sweet scented adorable characters but there are also scented nail polish and flavoured, glitter lip gloss

We arrived at All Star Lanes and was given a time slot for our game of bowling. We was taken up stairs to a sectioned off area where there was lots of different activities for everyone to try.

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As soon as we entered the room, the boys quickly noticed the sweet cart, the aroma was already wafting through the door (just like the sweet smell of Num Noms).

© Licensed to simonjacobs.com. 17.09.17 London, UK. Num Noms event at All Star Lanes, Shoreditch, London. FREE PRESS, EDITORIAL AND PR USAGE. Photo credit: Simon Jacobs
© Licensed to simonjacobs.com. 17.09.17 London, UK.
Num Noms event at All Star Lanes, Shoreditch, London.
FREE PRESS, EDITORIAL AND PR USAGE.
Photo credit: Simon Jacobs

The room was kitted out with helium balloons and Num Noms channel being played on the big screen. As we walked around we found that there was a little play area full of num noms, a nail art area where you could make up your own nail varnish, a craft area, face painting and biscuit decorating. Once the boys had filled up a bag of a mixture of yummy sweets they sat down at the craft area where they got to designing their own little character by colouring in the sheets and adding stickers.

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We had about an hour until it was their time to bowl so they sat down on the cushioned mat and played with the Num Noms on the floor. They had fun piling them up on top of each other and seeing how many of them they got to until the tower of Nums fell to the floor

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They even placed them all in a line. Series 4 Nums are totally yummy! They are all inspired from baked goods: Cookies, Creme filled, fancy cakes and milk shakes

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There was a few tables set up for nail varnish making. Series 4 bring the new Nail Polish Maker, which includes everything you need to make your own scented polish. Along with the Cafe playset, there are polish base, colours and glitter. My boys didn’t show much interest in playing with this set but they did pinch a ready-made polish nom and gave me my very own little manicure20170917_120534

The varnish goes on very well but it does come off just as easy too.

The biscuit decorating table was very popular, so as soon as there was a space the boys made themselves comfortable at the table and waited patiently to be shown by the expert on how to decorate their Num shaped biscuit.

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Following the instruction and taking on what he had been taught by the biscuiteer, the youngest produced a very impressive iced biscuit. He was firstly shown how to pipe the icing into lines and dots, learning how to control the piping bag. Once he was confident in trying himself, he chose the colours that he wanted and got started.

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The biscuit was then put to one side to set and ready to collect later on.

After all the playing, it was time for the food. I must say, that it was very tasty. We was served up a selection of mini burgers, rice balls, mini hot-dogs, fresh fruit and chocolate brownies

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The boys were actually a little shocked when they bit into what they thought was a chicken burger, to find that it was in fact grilled cheese! The food really did play a little game with the taste buds. My favourite had to be the little rice balls, they were so creamy and flavoursome.

It was soon the boys turn to hit the alley and knock down the pins, in a game of bowling. They really enjoyed getting a little competitive against each other. Each attempting to get a strike every time they rolled the ball down the alley.

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We finished the day off with some face painting/tattoos.

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How good are they? We did notice that some of the other attendees had gone for some glitter tattoos, my boys chose little Nums with a little glitter added on for that extra sparkle.

After 2 and a half hours of fun-filled activities and filling their faces with some delicious food it was time to leave.

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Thank you Num Noms for a lovely day, we really enjoyed ourselves.

Look out for the new Num Noms series 4 in the shops.

© Licensed to simonjacobs.com. 17.09.17 London, UK. Num Noms event at All Star Lanes, Shoreditch, London. FREE PRESS, EDITORIAL AND PR USAGE. Photo credit: Simon Jacobs
© Licensed to simonjacobs.com. 17.09.17 London, UK.
Num Noms event at All Star Lanes, Shoreditch, London.
FREE PRESS, EDITORIAL AND PR USAGE.
Photo credit: Simon Jacobs

We was invited along to the event for the purpose of this post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Imaginative Play 35/365

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A child’s imagination can take them wherever they want to go; off in a rocket up into space, deep down in the ocean in a submarine, up high in the trees with the monkeys, across the sand dunes on a camel or travelling across the wide ocean in a pirates boat.

A child’s imagination is creative and fun.

A child’s imagination is wild and adventurous

I love how you can give a child a cardboard box and they can play with it for hours, nothing else, just a box, an empty box!

My youngest has been a pirate today, sailing across the choppy ocean in search of some treasure.

He made his boat from a pop open book, a model v8 engine. The sea was a blue furry blanket and his seat was a plastic tub.

 

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Exploring The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Two years ago the Olympics hit London and what a Summer it was! Living so close to the Olympic park meant that we felt that we were among all of the action and even got to watch a couple of the events. As I walked through the Olympic park back then I felt the electric vibe, the atmosphere was amazing and everyone was smiling and in such a happy mood So when i heard that The Olympic was opening up a play area I couldn’t wait to go back to Stratford an explore it with the boys.

Living just over 9 miles away from it means that it is easily accessible for us, just only 34 minutes away in the car or a 25 minutes train journey it’s not long before we reach the park.

Although the Olympic park has been open to the public to walk through and enjoy the surroundings for the past year, last month they opened up a play area in the North Park near the Copper Box called Tumbling bay. The playground features rock pools, sand pits, wobbly bridges, slides, swings, tall tree houses all made from twisting logs and timber. The boys and I decided to pay it a visit yesterday and i must say that we will definitely be back again especially with our bikes and a picnic.

When we first arrived at the Olympic park we walked in through the entrance that was just in front of the stadium and we came across a small play area with sand, a slide, a swing and a rope bridge, the children quickly ran off to explore. Oliver loved balancing across the rope bridge and the children had lots of fun running up and down some moulds on the ground.

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Just near to the play area we saw some ladders that went down to the river, we went over to explore and found out that there was a climbing wall down there.

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Although it is advised that no one under the age of 10 should be using the climbing wall, I think if your supervising your children and know there limits then it should be fine. Oliver really enjoyed climbing but i made sure that he didn’t go far up.

We decided to make a move on and explore more of the park, as we walked away from the stadium towards the copper box there was an outdoor gym to try and lots of little walkways to go off and explore, the pavements are very big and wide so perfect for a family bike ride.

We found the tumbling bay playground in the North park and at first we thought it was quite small, the boys played in the sand and walked over the wobbly bridge

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As we was walking around behind the wobbly bridge we saw the water pumps and thought that it would be best to keep the children away from them as i didn’t have any spare clothes incase they got soaked, I saw some wobbly logs to balance on and we followed around the back and found the real Tumbling bay playground, the boys couldn’t believe their eyes!

It was timber galore! Swings, slides, rope bridges, treehouses and rope ladders, the boys ran off to explore and have fun.

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Coming down the pole
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Climbing on the tumbling, twisting treetrunks

I didn’t see Joseph, my middle boy at all once we got in there, but I did catch a glimpse of him high up in the tree house walking along the rope bridge

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Jak is within there, I promise!

There is one thing that Oliver loves and that is a swing and there are plenty of them hanging from the bottom of the rope ladders

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There is only one way to come down a slide and that’s backwards

 

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There is lots to do at the Olympic park, all set within pretty landscaped gardens amongst the winding riverways of the river lea. We can’t wait to get back with our bikes and to spend the day cycling around the park enjoying the surroundings and resting up within in the pretty gardens.

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Goodbye Olympic Park until next time :-)
Goodbye Olympic Park until next time 🙂

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

Our London Link Party

 

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Pools Playground Victoria Park

Last weekend we packed up the car with the bikes and travelled into London, 7.5 miles away, towards Stratford so that we could spend the morning in Victoria Park.

I grew up visiting the park, my mum used to take me and my siblings there all the time, we used to go for walks around the lake and play in the park, but apart from the odd trip there to watch a couple of children football matches I haven’t really gone back to explore the area. Paul had recently been in a running race that was held in the park and came back telling us that it had changed and that there was now a really good play area for the children to explore and play in.

We only took my bike which has the child seat attached to it and Joseph’s bike as Paul and Jak was going to have run around the park whilst we cycled. We decided to go and explore the play area first, we had parked on Cadogan Terrace which was near to the play area. Victoria Park is split into two, with a road going through it, the larger part of the park is called East park this is where the Pools playground is and the smaller part, West park has a boating lake.

The first part of the park that we came to was an outdoor water play area (not on because of the time of the year) The boys were running around over the shaped mounds on the floor pretending to play pirates, Oliver found a tunnel made from sticks to run through

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The boys were enjoying them self so much that we didn’t realise that there was more of the play area to explore, Daddy pointed over towards a mound of bolders, which looked like a mountain, he told the boys to go climb them and see what was on the over side. I could hear and see children on the top but had no idea what was beyond them.

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They were climbing and running over the mountain, chasing after each other and then they realised what was on the other side

 

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There was the longest, highest slides I have ever seen outdoors in a playground (apart from at funfairs), lots of sand to build castles in, different shaped rope climbing frames, wooden houses, roundabouts, balancing logs, rope swings, musical aparataus and much more. The first thing the boys did was try out the slides, these were Oliver’s favourite

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The dot at the top is Oliver

He went up and down so many times I lost count, that was until a few children ruined it for him by sending sand down with themselves, when it was Oliver’s turn he ended up getting lots of sand in his eyes and wouldn’t go on it again 🙁

He didn’t cry for long though as he realised there was lots more to be doing, he quickly made his way over to the spinning top but he wasn’t interested in sitting ontop of the spinning top, all he wanted to do was play with the stones

Joseph loves to climb so he spent his time climbing on the rope frames, trying to get the top so he could be King of the Park.

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Oliver loved running along the magic carpet, he said he was running away from the crocodiles and the carpet would take him to his house where Mummy would keep him safe.

The park is a fabulous place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of shopping in the city.

Next to the play area is a hub where you can buy refreshments, We bought ourselves a coffee and sat and drank it whilst watching the boys playing on the spinning top

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Jak found some square shaped rubber boxes that made a note when you jumped on them, he ran across them trying to make up a song

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After exploring the park and trying out pretty much every play apparatus there was we got onto our bikes and went for a cycle around the perimeter of the park. The canal runs along the edge, so we did have the option on cycling along it but I am not a very confident cyclist and as I had Oliver in the child seat on my bicycle I thought it would be best to stick to the cycling path in the park

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Joseph taking a break from cycling

We had a lovely morning in Victoria Park and will definitely be returning in the Summer when the water area will be open.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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A winter Feeding #countrykids

Winter is here! But that isn’t going to stop us from getting out and enjoying the facilities in the park. The sun was shining but it was bitterly cold so we wrapped up warm and headed off to the local park which has a lovely big lake and a small adventure play area. We made sure that we packed some bread to feed the ducks as this is a favourite outdoor activity for Oliver to do.

Oliver had fallen asleep in the buggy on the way there but i knew he would be happy for me to wake him as soon as he saw the ducks by the lake, he loves walking to the edge and throwing in his bread for the ducks to eat.

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As we was feeding the ducks a swan came swimming over to get in on the action too, Oliver got a bit too close and the swan waddled up to him to grab the bread from his hands, lucky for Oliver, Mummy was close at hand to pick him up and shoo away the greedy swan lol

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Joseph enjoyed feeding the ducks too, but he throws in a whole piece of bread at a time unike his little brother who picks the tiniest pieces of his slice to throw in.

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After all of our bread was gone, we said goodbye to the ducks and went for a walk through the park.

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As we followed the path we came across a wooden statue, which is of a local marathon runner, it was carved into a tree trunk by a chain saw artist

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The boys had fun on a part of the trim trail which is spotted around the park, these are made from wood and are a brilliant way of keeping fit in the outdoors and also a lot of fun for the little ones. Joseph practiced his balancing on the poles

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We finished off our trip with a visit to the play area where they have a zip wire, It was Oliver’s first go on it and he loved it!

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He came off giggling away and shouting for more 🙂

I’m linking up this post with Coombemill’s CountryKids

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

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Monkeying Around #Countrykids

Over the past few weeks the two eldest boys have been getting more and more interested in the Monkey Bars, you know those apparatus usually found in the park where you have to use your upper arm strength to swing from bar to bar using your hands.

Dad has built the boys there very own monkey bars in the garden for them to practice on, during the summer months they use to do the monkey bar challenge where they would see who could get from one end to the other over the top of the pool and if they dropped they would make a big splash into the swimming pool. I think most of the time they would deliberately drop just so they could fall into the water 🙂

Last weekend while visiting nanny we found a park that the boys had all to themselves and guess what? yes there was some monkey bars to play on

 

Just hanging around
Just hanging around

 

i can still pose even when im hanging
i can still pose even when im hanging

 

Joseph is really good at the monkey bars and manages to get from one end to the other effortlessly, he lets his legs hang and uses his arms to carry him. Jak swings his legs from side to side so he struggles by using up too much energy.

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Jak found another way to enjoy the monkey bars and that was to hang upside down on them by hooking his legs over the bars.

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It’s got to a point now that when we visit the park Joseph goes off in search of some monkey bars and if their isn’t any he gets upset.

Here is a short clip of Joseph on the bars  20130929-211822.mov

I’m linking up with Coombemill’s linky called Countrykids, which is all about getting outdoors and enjoying the open space. Go check out her lovely blog all about the fun on the farm and while your there read some other great blog posts 🙂

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Princess Diana Memorial Playground and Fountain

Situated in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park in London is somewhere very special for children and adults to visit, designed and built in memory Lady Diana.

Diana’s Memorial Playground is in Kensington Gardens, it was inspired by the fairy tale story of Peter Pan, in the middle of the park is a huge wooden pirate ship surrounded by sand and tress with plenty of things to do and see the children never get bored in here. It opens up there imagination and off they go to explore and pretend to be one of the lost boys in hiding from Captain Hook and his men.

This park is one of the boys favourite places to go when we are in London and i can totally understand why, it is such a magical place and very fun, it’s a place where imaginations run wild for the young and old. With a sensory trail, teepees, treasure chests, adventure playground among the trees, swings, slides, beach and tunnels there are many things to do. It is very scenic too with lots of trees and plants around and adults can sit down on the grass and relax whilst the children go off and play.

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Oliver loved filling up an empty cup with water from the tap and walking over the rocks to pour down a hole so that the water would roll down the rocks to the bottom to make a stream. There is nothing better than a bit of water play!

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Joseph’s favourite part of the park is the huge pirate ship which is central to everything else in the park, he enjoys climbing up the mast and hiding down below the deck

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ship collage

After exploring our imaginations, searching for treasure, fighting with the crocodile, burying ourselves in the sand, having a treetop adventure and sailing a huge ship we decided it was time to leave and make our way through Kensington Gardens to Hyde Park where Diana Memorial Fountain is, i have blogged before about this place. It is such a fabulous place to visit if it is a hot day in London and you want to cool down

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The boys love to walk round the fountain and feel the speed of the water gushing past their feet, i like to just sit on the edge and dangle my feet in.

These two parks are definitely one of our favourite places to visit in the summer in London. If you were to visit the Park then i advice you to get there for 10.00 AM when it opens as the queue can become quite long, at certain points of the day you can be likely to queue for up to 45  minutes as this park is a free entry. The park employees stand on the gate not allowing the park to become overcrowd, it very safe and they do not allow any adult in with out children.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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A fun day out at Promenade Park

The boys love to play in a park and the moment I say to them that we are going out for a play they get really excited.

Last week we spent a few days at Nanny’s house which is near to Maldons promenade park, the park is set aside the River Blackwater and has many things to keep the children entertained, a wooden ship play area, boats, crabbing, splash park, play areas and sand pits.

We packed up a picnic and off we set ready for a day of fun!

As soon as we arrived at the park were our way to the splash park, we bought our wristbands which cost £2 per person for half hour, the boys stripped down to their swimming trunks and as soon as they opened the gates off they ran to get a soaking.

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Oliver normally loves to play in water but he had just woken up and just wanted to run along in the water that was at the side, he still enjoyed splashing around with his hands and feet but saint pluck up enough courage to run through the jet sprays of water or stand under the waterfall.

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After 30 minutes of wet play the whistle blew and it was time to dry off and make our way out of the splash area.

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Joseph wanted to go play on the big wooden ship, the boys hd so much fun chasing each other around pretending to be pirates, I on the other hand just chased Oliver around, he’s like Usain Bolt when it comes to play areas! He loved climbing up the stairs and running around the ship and going down the many slides that were there, his favourite was the curly slide.
We found a wheel on the ship that was a clock with all the numbers on it, Oliver pointed out the numbers to me and spent a while turning the wheel and doing his numbers.

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It was nearly time for some food so we went to a quieter area in the park where there is a little sand pit, a water wheel and some grass to sit on, it’s right next to a little cafe so we got to sit and relax while the boys played in the sand. Joseph spent his time gathering water from the tap and moving it the sand to make a moat.
Oliver found a little friend who he had running races with, they ran down a hill together, saying 1,2,3 GO! Off they went racing away

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We all had a really fun day, the splash park is an ideal place for the children to cool down on a hot summers day and the play areas are brilliant for the children to spend hours playing away and using their imaginations.

Before leaving for home we found a nice little spot to take a picture of Nanny with her boys

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I’m linking up with Coombemill head on over by clicking on the widget below to see what other families have been up to in the great outdoors
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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The V&A Museum of Childhood

I volunteer at my boys school and was asked to go along a trip with the reception class, that my son Joseph is in, to visit the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green in London.

Because it was a school trip I can not disclose any information on the children but I can talk about how I enjoyed the museum.

I have visited the museum a number of times before with my own children and as a child myself with my mum and it never stops amazing me.
The museum is as it name says is about childhood, it’s part of the Victoria and Albert and it has two floors of childhood related objects, which is basically ‘toys’. The toy collection includes dolls, teddy bears, trains and cars, dolls houses and furniture that range from the 1600’s to current time.
The Museum aims to develop an appreciation of creative design through their inspirational collections.
When I was a fashion student, back in the days lol, I used to visit the museum and draw certain toys that would inspire me to design outfits from. It’s funny how you can look at a ‘Buzz Lightyear’ and come up with a design for a dress.

The museum hosts four galleries;

Creativity Gallery:
This consists of 4 sections, Explore, Imagine, Be Inspired and Make it Happen. This is where you can use your imagination and be creative in the dressing up area. There is also a Sensory Pod where children can touch and feel different materials and explore the light section that change colours at the touch of a button.
In the creative category you will find toys such as Lego, dolls, puppets and toys based on tv programme’s ie; Thunderbirds.
There are educational objects on display like chemistry kits and musical instruments that are designed to develop mental and physical skills.

Moving Toys Gallery
This section also consists of 4 sections,
Look See, Circuits and Motors, Springs and Cogs and the last one Pushes and Pulls.
Here you can learn about science, design and technology from moving toys – the mechanisms include everything from cams and levers to the computer chips, how cogs work and magnetic force.
This section is quite hands on for the children, there are rocking horses for them to ride, robots to light up by connecting the cogs and winding it up by a handle and magnet faces to make by using a magnet to drag the metal shards that are inside a plastic box to the stencilled face.
This is great for their hand and eye coordination and the children and myself loved creating wacky faces.

Up stairs you will find the Childhood Galleries, this area cover 6 sections, Who will I be?, What we wear, How we learn, Home, Families and Babies.
This was my favourite gallery and really made me smile looking at all the huge dolls houses, it’s what every little girls wants and it’s certainly what I dreamt of having when I was young.

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A baby’s life is a constant experience of developing and learning they can absorb and memorise many things, like the words to a song but play is one of the most important ways a baby will learn and explore.
There is an under 3’s play area where childen can role play with the dolls, cots and pull along animals.
I really enjoyed seeing the old fashion prams and seeing how they have changed from the years ago to now and also how teething aid was used for babies. Teethers were made of coral that was said to have ward away the evil. My little Oliver is teething at the moment and I’m not sure I would give him one of them as they look like they would cause more harm than good.

Temporary Exhibition Space
Now this one was the kids favourite, they had Punch and Judy puppet kiosk’s that the children could use to put on their own show, while the adults sit down and relax on the deckchairs and enjoy being entertained by the little ones.
You will also find a play pretend section with dressing up items, my little one particularly liked it in here as he could dress up as a wizard and stir the cauldron.

Play helps children to explore, experiment, it helps them to improve there emotional being. It’s an important part of a child’s life of where they learn.

Play helps with children’s curiosity which leads to discovery and creativity.
It helps them interact with other children and makes it fresh and exciting.

Children don’t need these new and expensive electronic devices that are out now, give a child a box and a cape and watch them create a whole new world of play for themselves.
My mum always said that she spent hours of fun playing marbles in the street.

We all need to play, it makes us happy and joyous maybe this is why I exited the museum like many others with a big smile on my face and head full of fond memories of my childhood and all the lovely toys I had and of the friends I played with when i was young and the games we played.

PLAY we all need it young and old!

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Survival of a rainy day (play-dough recipe)

I’m always trying to think of new ideas to keep my boys amused and away from the television as much as I can (especially in this horrible weather) and making play dough with them is the best, it’s quick, easy and fun for all of us (whatever age).
Not only do they get to make the play-dough and get really messy whilst doing it they get to play with the result.
It keeps for about 2 months as long as it is wrapped in a polystyrene bag or in a tight plastic container (I do both).
The boys love getting stuck in with their hands and they like to choose the colour they want it to turn out like, although we have arguments in our house so we do two batches (one colour for Jak and one for Joseph).
I let the boys do all the measurements and mix all of the ingredients together but I do the kneading while it is hot, once it’s cooled they take over.

Play-dough is good for creativity, imagination, exploring, expressing and fine motor skills.
It’s great for toddlers hand development by feeling the texture of it, pinching, squeezing, rolling and poking it.
By letting children help you measure, pour, mix and colour it teaches them concepts such as wet/dry, hot/cold and empty/full.
By adding a flavour/scent (such as vanilla, almond, peppermint, lemon, coffee) to your play dough it will create a new sensory experience for your child, you could encourage your child to describe the smells with words.

Although this recipe has lots of salt in it, it really won’t do the child much harm if swallowed apart from leaving a horrid taste in their mouths.
You could add glitter to your recipe too, makes it very sparkly.

Joseph choice was the colour red with lemon flavouring.

Play-dough recipe
1 cup of plain flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
Flavouring (optional but I recommend it)
1 tablespoon of oil
2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of food colouring

Equipment
Bowl
Cup
Wooden spoon
Microwave
Teaspoon and tablespoon

Mix all of the dry ingredients together then add in the colouring, flavouring and water in a microwaveable bowl

Microwave for 2 minutes

Stir (remove any dry bits from the side of the bowl)

Microwave for a further 2/3 minutes until cooked

Remove and knead until cooled (be careful as its hot!

ENJOY!

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