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We are Curious.

Recently we visited ‘We are curious’ in Bristol. On Bristol’s harbourside (BS1 SLL), ‘We are curious’ is an indoor educational charity where you can interact with exhibits and take part in experiments. Suitable for any age group and anyone who is into science, art, creative thinking and ideas. Perfect for my two. It aims to let children learn whilst playing, asking why? how? and what if?

We parked at the carpark close by in millennium square which really was not cheap (we ended up paying £15 for the day- not a option we would normally do), however only a five minute walk in the rain and wind on this occasion made it the most suitable option. Bristol park and ride would have been roughly the same price for the four of us so not much in it.

We chose to explore and play with all the exhibits in the venue. Attending some of the talks and extra activities put on. There is really something for everyone. My youngest loved the water area and bubble section. Whilst the eldest loved creating his own animations, in the animate exhibition.

We explored the small space gallery, made mug cakes in the hands on kitchen (it was really nice to see we could join in despite food allergies), 3d printing, constructed a 3D houses, explored the tinkering space where we made flying objects. The only section the boys showed little interest in was the human body exhibits, just not there thing (maybe more suitable for older children).

There is a café, however we did not visit instead choosing to eat our picnic in the indoor picnic area (very busy and not the cleanest). There is also the usual standard gift shop offering some interesting items relevant to the exhibits. Plus there is a planetarium, however on this occasion we chose not to visit as the boys were keener to just explore, touch and play all the very hands on displays.

emmas xxx

Teddy bear picnic.

With the future looking uncertain in this country at the moment, many of us may choose to self-isolate or focus on more activities at home. So here’s another idea that may past a few hours simply and cheaply.
Last half-term my eldest surprise me by decided he wanted a teddy bear picnic ( so due to it being wet and cold outside we had it inside). We chose and prepared the food in advance which made the setting up quick and easy – Making fairy cakes etc.
Our teddy bear picnic party food ideas were – pom bears, sandwiches, cakes, Billy the bear ham, fruit and other nibbles.
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We placed a large blanket on the floor, The boys set up the chosen teddies and created there own teddy bears ears so they could dress up for the picnic (the boys also insisted it was a pj affair).
Home made bunting  was added to set the scene. We served food on paper plates, not only did this help set the scene of a picnic the boys were able to just dig in and help themselves, whilst making cleaning up for me a breeze!
They had great fun and it was very cute to watch!
emmas xxx

Diamond painting.

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    So I finally have a new extra sparkle craft project idea for you. As my children are growing older we have been looking for new creative ideas to keep us busy and challenged. A few months ago we discovered Diamond paintings, whilst I was trying to find a version of paint by numbers for older children. My children love paint by numbers however many versions were too simple with immature topics for there age and ability. Whilst others were to advanced. So when I found 5D Diamond paintings I thought we would give them ago, completely unsure how successful they would be.

   Claiming to be a easy and enjoyable activity for crafters young and old, based on the same concept as paint-by-number, mosaics and cross-stitch. They vary in price and can be found very cheap on certain well known selling sites. We chose the cheaper end and paid £5.00 for 3 including postage. So for us  a multipacks was a bargain making this a fairly cheap and a very good value activity. They are definitely an activity for older children due to a potential choking hazard. Some parents will love them, some won’t it will depend on your ability to cope with diamonds everywhere.

    Each kit includes lots of diamonds, a canvas with a printed picture on, an applicator tool, a plastic tray, gum and a guide. They can be created just for fun, to decorate a room in your house or for a home made special gift.

     Essentially Diamond painting is when you use tiny sparkling “diamond” like beads that you place on a backing canvas to create colourful designs and patterns for finished designs that sparkle. You simply peel back the protective cover, pick up the diamonds with the special designed sticky tool and place the diamonds on the self-adhesive canvas. Matching the diamonds to areas following the provided codes to produce a beautiful shimmering picture.

    I would suggest these are suitable for children aged seven and over, though this would be really based on the individual child and ability. Especially idea for sequin Fans (they do appear everywhere despite trying to control them).  We bought several in the end, starting with one each for the boys. Then because we enjoyed them so much we ordered 3 more One for  each to do, and one for me to have a go.  We all enjoyed doing them sat quietly together, concentrating. They kept us all occupied for several hours/days. They are definitely a little bit at a time unique type of project – enjoy doing slowly. Masters the ability to concentrate.

    They were easy to do, very additive and were very relaxing. Making them good for those who struggle with anxiety and relieving stress taking thoughts away. Whilst being good for dexterity There are simple paintings for children and more challenging paintings for adults. The pictures look beautiful once done and offer a great shimmer. Something you are proud to display on your walls. If you prefer to start with something simple and smaller, they have keyrings that follow the same idea which are prefect for gifting.

   The only negative with Diamond paintings is the instructions need to be more detailed and bigger. People with poor eye sight may struggle. My eldest who does have poor eyesight struggled with some sections where the colours were similar. Also expect diamonds everywhere, surprising how many there are in a pack and how far they spread. The finished shimmering pictures make it  worth it though. Let me know if you give them ago and how they go!!

Enjoy!

emmas xxx

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Hi I’m back after a long break.

Hi Wow, the last time I wrote on here was last summer- oh my I do apology!

However I know it goes against the grain – or the unspoken words of the blogger world but I always said I would only post when I have relevant, interesting and new blogs/ projects (not repeated unless relevant) that I really want to write. I personally cant stand blogs that just repeat the same old thing daily just to get visitors to their site and the blog just becomes a checklist task similar to others to gain numbers.

   We have been busy with life, most of it I haven’t wanted to bore you with (a new kitchen done on a budget installed by my husband and me – became larger than planned with redecorating two other rooms and a new toilet installation). Obviously this took longer than planned and zapped any spare energy we had after looking after our boys. However we are still standing and its nearly finish. Like I said really exciting stuff!

   We have visited a few places to escape and keep the boys on our side, hopefully I can write a review or two shortly in time for the Easter holidays. We haven’t done to many Arts and crafts activities that are novel and have been worth sharing. We discovered Diamond paintings (more about that to come), keeping the boys busy for several weeks, definitely a activity with a difference for older children. We have also done several craft sets that the boys were given for Christmas. From sewing to candle making. So never a dull moment in our house.

More to come, hopefully in time for Easter Hols ideas for you all!

Hopefully some science, some art and some day out reviews.

Love emmas xxx

The summer hols are on there way!

With the holidays fast looming, you might be looking for inspiration-

Indoor/ outdoor Activities, Arts and crafts, science ideas, days outs, cooking etc. Please explore my site for inspirations on simple and affordable ideas.

Also definitely worth a mention hobby craft are running there summer holiday activities again for free, follow the link for last years review.

Hobby craft free mini maker sessions and the British motor museum.

Hobby craft free mini maker sessions and the British motor museum.

Plus another free activity that might be worth considering is Pets at home free workshops, great for killing an hour for free for anyone who loves animals.

 

Love emmas xxx

 

Finally some new activities ideas on the way.

Hope life is treating you all well on this lovely summer day. Summer hols are looming and the last few weeks of term are dragging – both the boys are so ready for a summer of fun! So in preparation I have finally have some new activities to add to the project section for anyone looking for some simple and affordable ideas.

 Over the last few weeks we have been busy with building a school for our playmobil out of a recycle shoe box.Playmobil shoebox school.

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Shrinking crisp packets (I did this as a kid and thought we’d give it a go- the boys thought it was cool!).Shrinkable crisp packets.

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Plus a little bit of science creating Rain in a cup – A great 10 minute science experiment explain ‘why does it rains?’Rain clouds.

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Please follow the links and take a look or just head straight over to the project section for holiday inspiration. Don’t forget to like, share and comment on the website.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

Strafford on Avon and the MAD museum.

Hi sorry I haven’t written for a while, In all honesty I haven’t had much to write. With summer on its way I thought some of you might be already looking for ideas to put on the summer plan – so here is one of my suggestions. If your children like Marbles then you may want to hear about this little Museum in Strafford. In short both boys are marble obsessed, so when I saw a leaflet for here and you could use Tesco vouchers at the MAD Museum I thought we would check it out combine with a visit to Strafford for the day.

It was worth a visit as in the boys opinion the MAD museum in Strafford on Avon was the best museum Ever!

We parked in the Park and ride, taking the bus into Strafford to avoid struggling with parking this was easy and good value.

The MAD museum is a small museum, however we did manage to wasted a couple of hours inside. Advertised as a mechanical Art and Design museum, with over 90 pieces of kinetic Art. In short our version of the museum there are several very interesting and large marble runs, with lots of buttons to push. Plus a area where you can build a marble run of your own which the boys enjoyed the challenge. It wasn’t quite what I expected from the advertising, I personally expected a bit more variety of what was on offer. However the boys were happy so I was happy, even if it was not quite what I believed it would be.

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Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

The boys would of stay longer, however Mummy and daddy were marbled out! There is only so long you can look at and play with Marbles!

We combined our visit with a lovely walk along the river, a coffee and a trip across the river on the oldest chain ferry. The day worked out as a fairly cheap day out, Free tickets for the museum via Tesco, park and ride, coffee/ Ice cream and a free walk.IMG_1220IMG_1223.JPG

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

Gloucestershire Warwickshire steam railway.

IMG_1240.JPG     Hi, so sorry I have been out of the Loop as usual life has just got in the way. We haven’t been up to much in the form of Arts and Crafts (so sorry no updated projects for the time being) as when the weather has played the game we have grabbed the chance to get out and about with both hands. Isn’t this years weather rubbish, what has happened to the summer – Is it ever going to improve?

So I am finally finding some time to write up our reviews on a few days out. Hopefully providing ideas for  you for the upcoming big summer hols.

    We recently took a ride on The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam railway. Spending a whole day riding several of the trains, we manage to ride on both the steam and diesel on the 14 mile long track. Stopping to visit the attractions along the way. Both boys over their younger years have been into trains obsessively. So we thought they might enjoy the visit as we haven’t done anything to do with  trains for a while.

     We did enjoyed our day out as a family and had a giggle, However apart from a lovely train journey though the Cotswold’s and the very relaxing views, we found their was not much to do at each location. The small museums and displays were small.  If you are looking for a relaxing day out with young children then this is worth considering. However if your Children are older they may find it boring, unless they really love Trains! Our youngest at 6 years old definitely enjoyed it however our 8 year old was very close to being on the edge of bored.

I advise you study the timetable in advance and do some planning if you wish to ride both steam and diesel. Plus definitely consider going on a day where they have a special event as this will give you a bit more to do for your money.

Basic info (check out their website for more details) :  

The railway is (Approx) 1 hour drive from South oxford.

The Car parking is free at Cheltenham race course station. Enter via the race course entrance. Signage is quite clear and easy to follow. 

Depending on the timetable, you can take a ride on a steam or a diesel train.

To save money buy discount tickets on line before hand. Plus Under 5 goes free.

Dogs can travel – £3 for a dog ticket.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

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Royal Windsor racecourse family fun days.

Hi Just thought I would let you all know about a very different family day out we had recently at Royal Windsor racecourse. We attended one of their family Fun day on the IMG_1334.JPGlast may bank holiday.

They have another day coming up next bank holiday – It might appeal to some?  If so take a look at their website as they have 5 Family fun days though out the year.IMG_1340.JPG

We are not normally horse racing types, however we fancied doing something completely different and out of our comfort zone as a family. Having seen an advert we thought we’d give it a go! Adult tickets are £14 each if pre-booked and Kids go free (so if your a large family or single parent this could be a fairly cheap day out), all entertainment is free on the day. Apart from watching the horse racing which started at 2pm, on this occasion this included a free funfair that opened at 12pm (the kids loved the fact there was no ‘No, its to expensive’) and they were free to go on what they wished. Not a huge funfair but large enough to feel like you have got something for your money. Plus there was a bouncy castle inflatable slide and assault course. Free face painting and pony rides which the boys loved. The pony rides were the highlight for the boys.IMG_1317

In all it was a good value day out as we all went on several rides and had fun as a family. We enjoyed watching the racing despite not taking part in the betting apart from one small bet which we loss (to complicated for us!). I don’t think we loved it that much that it would be something that we will take up but it did give us a different fun family day out and experience for the boys.

The race course has all the usual things, picnic area, food places, etc. Plus you don’t have to dress fancy on family days – normal wear is fine. The staff were not overly helpful or knowledgeable on the day so be prepared to figure out what is happening on your own and where things are. Funfair is to the left of entrance and there are more activities in the middle. Basic ticket allows you access to these and picnic area. You will need to upgrade (£2 per person) for other enclosures and access to pre/ after race horse viewing and more eating options. We personally took a picnic though their were plenty of places to get food/drink from vans at the more expensive end or posher stands/sit down options in the club enclosure. We also chose to park in the free car park as opposed to the chargeable one (£10 plus). In all honesty I would say save your money and park in the free car park it is not that much further to walk if your able, five minutes if that. It was more than fine for both our boys to walk.

For further info check out there website.

Enjoy Emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

Conkers.

So here goes another day out review/idea:

Conkers in the national forest.

Again we used Tesco clubcard vouchers to take a visit to Conkers. A bit of a drive as its approx two hours from Oxfordshire, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Derbyshire (DE12 6GA). A mix of indoor and outdoor experiences which kept us amused for 6 hours.

Having read mixed reviews, I was not sure what to expect but went with an open mind. For us personally as a family it was great and we had a fab day. It was great being outdoors exploring the attractions in the woodland and lake, the boys really enjoyed exploring somewhere different and asked if they could back another day. The bonus for us was it cost us nothing as on vouchers saving us £35 for a family ticket.

We started the day in the discovery centre where the boys found lots to do, which basically meant they pressed a lot of buttons in the interactive exhibits not sure how much they actually read and took in. They really enjoyed the tree top walk especially the slide at the end and loved the enchanted forest adventure play zone (I think there highlight of the day).

We then took a visit to the 4D cinema (tickets included in entrance but need to be booked when getting your entrance tickets, this is not heavily advertised). We had no idea what we were going to watch as this was not advertised. The film we watched was basically about a bug learning to fly. The film did not overly thrill the boys, however gave us a ten minute sit down complete with wind and rain. Probably more impressive for a younger audience. We have seen better 4D films in our opinion- others may think differently.IMG_1193

We also walked the trails and visited the new attraction the warrens (the boys loved this), lots of underground tunnels to explore.IMG_1190.JPG The fairy Labyrinth a maze with a fairy theme ending at a towerIMG_1187.JPG. The 450ft  barefoot walk – an interesting activity with a difference. Climbed the sky viewing tower,IMG_1202 walked the sensory trail and took the trainIMG_1198.JPG to the waterside centre where we explored the wobbly bridges based around the story billy-goat gruff.

IMG_1197.JPGThe boys had a play in billy bonkers play house why we enjoyed a coffee. The boys also enjoyed playing at the park area, which was impressive and well designed.IMG_1211.JPG Yes I agree with some reviews certain parts are rundown, may need some updating and sound better than the reality – but the boys didn’t care they were having fun! If they are having fun that makes happy parents! Other areas are well designed and have been well thought out with money spent on them. The only negative I really have to say is the staff were the most unenthusiastic and friendly I have seen anywhere ignoring that I think it is a good day out if you go with an open mind, enjoy being with your kids outdoor and creating your own adventures.IMG_1200.JPG

Please visit there website for up to date details and prices.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.