Thursday, 23 February 2012

Planning Ahead - School Holidays

As everyone knows, money isnt excatly freely flowing in our household at the moment with it tied up here there and everywhere between the buisness, kids and paying the rent! This means we're not planning on taking a properly holiday this summer, and so me and the kids are in for a long old 6 weeks!

I remember how last holidays I started out with such good intentions to keep busy and active with the kids, but 3 weeks in and I was already struggling to work out quite we were going to do with our days!

So this year I am hoping to learn from experience, and with this in mind I have made use of Travelodge's excellent advance booking offers!
For a bargainous £15 me and the kids, (and the other half too if he's got any spare time!) will be spending a night in Chelmsford visiting the mother in law over easter and a further 2 nights, one in Arundle and one in Brighton spread out over the holidays visiting family.

This way for £10 - £15 plus the cost of some petrol me and the kids will have something fun to look forward to and plan for over the holidays, and avoid the huge expense of planning these trips spur of the moment.

Ive picked places where I can take the children myself if the other half is too busy with work and know that we'll still have a fab time seeing friends and family.
There also places where I know theres a wealth of free and fun places and activities for the kids to get stuck into for a couple of days.

Now the only question left is do I take a risk on booking a night in London to catch up with friends or do I trust to past learnt knowledge that I really cant stand the place!?!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Subtle Hints

Thomas has started Preschool in the last couple of weeks and he only goes on Monday and Friday mornings at the moment, I thought he might like easing into the idea.
However on every Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday morning since when I get ready to head downstairs with Alice its how to a wail of screams cries, attempts at getting picked up and the occasional shoe thrown behind me down the stairs from Thomas.

Clearly Thomas is ready to move on up in the world sooner that Id thought! and so while his name has been added to the Wednesday mornings waiting list, Im having to try and keep up with ways to keep my ever more troublesome two year old entertained.

When me and Alice got back from this mornings preschool pick up after Thomas's extremely charming hints that he'd like to go out (attempting to put his own coat on, picking up unmatching shoes and pointing down the stairs!) I thought why not drag them over to the local museum.

St Johns house museum is only a 5 minute walk from our house and I can remember going there when I was in school! Not much has changed to be honest. Its got some nice toy displays and quite alot that the children are allowed to use, a mocked up victorian classroom and kitchen whish the kids enjoyed a run around but probabaly need to be a little older to really get a feel for.

We also went upstairs to the fusiliers museum which the kids had a ball in trying on different soldiers hats and coats and making mischief with the special night vision camera and box that they have.

The staff were lovely and friendly and the kids had a great time. For a raining day this was the perfect change of scene from just being stuck at home without breaking the bank!

I think we spend all of 60p on two postcards.

So next time your bored why not check out your councils website and see what free museums are around your area. Even if you think your kids might be a bit young for the actual content these museums are often relatively quiet and make an ideal change of scene for kids without breaking the bank.

Particular recommendations include:

Roman Alcester

Museum of London Docklands: Mudlarks Play Area

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Bug

What with the unseasonably good weather at the moment and those general January feelings that it's time to get more active in mind we've been thinking about getting a cycle trailer for the kids and getting about more cycle than car bound!
I know that the best brand is Burleys but I thought I'd have a look on eBay and see what was about as these sell new from between £300-£500!

I saw a few unbranded trailers sell second hand for around £70 and decided for that amount of money it wasn't worth buying as I just didn't feel happy about the safety features these unbranded cheapos might lack!!

I then struck gild finding a brand new burley ladybug trailer being sold locally for £275 as it had been slightly shop soiled. Some haggling later and we met in the middle at £225
While this is still alot of money for a bike accessory I now fully intend to get my money's worth with some family days out a few less trips in the car and using it on holidays.
As my kids are only 2 & 3 I feel confident i'l get my money's worth over the next few years and now I can cycle and take the kids!

Can't wait till I'm off work tomorrow day to hook it up to the bike and get started!
Specially with a name like Burley on the back of our bug!