Earlier this year we had the holiday of a lifetime in America. We spent 10 days in Florida and visited Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. This was my first trip to Disney World and as much as I was looking forward to it (since I was about 5), I wasn’t sure how it would be with a toddler in tow. He loves Disney films, but I was worried the heat, the crowds and the sensory overload might be a bit too much for him. We did a lot of research before we went and learned a few things along the way.
This weekend we ticked another thing off our Summer Family Bucket List – go to a family festival together. We visited Geronimo Festival at Knebworth House and had an amazing time. We were lucky enough to have been gifted tickets in return for an honest review, so all opinions are definitely our own.
This is the first year Geronimo Festival has been held at Knebworth House, so they now do one in the North at Arley House and one in the South. I’d heard really good things and seen loads of photos on Instagram from Arley so I couldn’t wait to give this one a go.
I’m loving this heatwave and it feels like summer is offfically here now! This year seems to have flown by already and I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of June already. Given that we live in England, we’re never sure how long summer is actually going to last so we’ve decided to try and make the most of it this year.
Most of the time we’re so busy with work, sorting our finances, keeping the kids alive etc that the weeks just pass us by without us really noticing.
So this year we’ve decided to be a bit more proactive and write a Summer Family Bucket List. This is basically a list of all the things we want to do together as a family this summer. I loved writing it because we all sat down together and got input and ideas from everyone. I loved hearing what the kids really wanted to do – although as Ollie is only 2 1/2 he didn’t fully get the concept and suggested things that weren’t really in season like ‘Go on the Father Christmas train again’ and ‘splash in puddles’. To be fair, with an English summer, the second one is probably pretty doable so we added it to the list!
Most parents will have experienced a fussy eating phase at least once with their kids. Ollie has been through a fair few in his 2 1/2 years already. My stepson is a little less fussy, but still isn’t the biggest veg fan.
So I’ve had to be inventive and come up with a few ways to get the kids to eat more vegetables:
Everyone in our house loves smoothies, and as I make my own, I know exactly what is going into them. They are a great way to get the kids to eat more vegetables (or drink them) without even realising it! Most of the smoothies I make have at least 2 vegetables in them. I have a Nutribullet which I LOVE and use most days and it blends it all up so smoothly that no-one can tell what’s inside!
We just got back from our first family holiday abroad. I’d been looking forward to this holiday for a year but the closer it got, the more I started to worry about spending 10 hours on a plane with a very active (and very vocal) toddler. It was the first time Ollie had ever been on a plane, and I was actually surprised by how quiet and well behaved he was! There were however, a few things we learnt along the way which made the return flight a lot smoother!
So, here are my tips for flying with toddlers:
Prepare them as much as you can
Spending hours on a plane can be boring for anyone. Imagine being a toddler, being confined to a small space and being asked not to make too much noise. Ollie is pretty noisy and energetic at the best of times, so I was really worried how this would go down!
Ollie and I have been housebound most of the week due to snow. It was fun at first but we’ve both started to get a bit of cabin fever, and there’s only so much CBeebies a person can watch. So I’ve come up with a few ways to keep us entertained today as my stepson has a snowday too.
Totally Free Ways To Spend Your Family Snow Day:
Get Creative With The Snow
Have a snowman building competition, make snow angels or even paint the snow! Earlier this week we got creative will some calpol syringes, old shampoo bottles and food colouring. We made colourful patterns in the snow and Ollie practised recognising some letters.
Last week I had to do one of my least favourite parenting tasks – taking Ollie to get his hair cut. It’s a traumatic experience for everyone involved. Him, me, the hairdresser, people waiting….even random people passing by on the street. That’s right, last week he screamed so loudly that not one but 2 separate people actually stopped on the street outside to look in and see what was happening.
This wasn’t his first haircut and it wasn’t the first time it’s happened. In fact, the last time he went it was so bad the hairdresser had to stop half way through, so he’s been wandering round with half a mullet for the past 3 months. We decided to just let him run wild for a bit but as he stopped being able to see without having his hair pinned back, I thought it was time to brave the hairdressers again.
Last week we went on a very special trip to see Santa. We took a trip to Wansford in Cambridgeshire to ride the Nene Valley Railway Santa Special train. It was a great day out and it really got us in the festive spirit. I went with Ollie, my Mum, sister and 1 year old nephew. We all had a lovely time and it’s a perfect way to spend a day together as a family this Christmas.
You need to book online in advance, and get a time to board the train. They recommend you arrive at the station about an hour before so you can have a look around and see Santa before you board.
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Books are a huge part of our home life. I’ve been obsessed with reading and books since I was a kid and Ollie seems to be the same. I love cuddling up on the sofa and reading a book together before bedtime. It’s the perfect way for us to get some quality time together while he winds down for the day.
I also love how cheap you can find books these days. I find the best places to buy are Amazon, The Works, supermarkets and charity shops.
At 2 years old Ollie’s already got a pretty impressive book collection but there are certain books he’ll choose time and time again. So today I’m sharing our favourites:
Recently we went on a family holiday to North Yorkshire. While we were there we visited Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary and had a great family day out. There’s loads to see and do and it can be very cheap!
We’ve been to this sanctuary with Ollie’s big bro before and really enjoyed it, but it’s the first time Ollie had been anywhere like it. He absolutely loved it from start to finish – there’s so much to see, and for a toddler it must be fascinating discovering all the new creatures he’s never seen before!