Saturday, 11 March 2017

World Book Day Celebration At Home!

Hi All

As an English teacher, World Book Day is super important to me. It's a time where the importance of books is really celebrated and in a world that is dominated by the internet and technology, the pleasure of picking up an actual book and losing ourselves in imaginary worlds seems even more important to encourage.

My work situation this year is a little different and so I was lucky enough to have the day off work with my little girl. I decided we would stay in and enjoy some 'book related' activities! I thought I'd share a bit of what we got up to. I'd love to see what you did to celebrate!

Our morning started with some dressing up time. We've suddenly accumulated a number of Princess dresses since Christmas and this was an ideal time for a bit of dress up time followed by the reading of the traditional fairytale stories. It was lovely to spend some time watching her become each different character and then she was glued to the original stories. We had some precious moments as we cuddled together reading. I love it when she questions the story or gets excited about what is happening. She is definitely going to be a bookworm like me I think!

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We then decided to do some painting....yes, I was a brave Mummy and got the paint out! After a bit of general painting and stamping, we decided to make a hungry caterpillar model. This is one of her favourite stories and mine. She did really well painting the colours in the right place of the egg box! I was very impressed....her skills have definitely come on since we last had the paints out. However, it took a crazy amount of time to dry!! (We had to finish it the day after and I still need to take a picture of the final caterpillar!) We then had fun with a bit of bubble wrap painting. I attempted some Gruffalo shapes but they didn't quite work but we had fun having a go anyway!

Finally, we spent most of the afternoon reading a huge pile of books that she had chosen in the morning! It was so lovely to sit and read together. She obviously isn't able to read just yet but she has been 'reading' to us using the pictures, and her memory, for quite a while now. So we took it in turns to read to each other, do silly voices and just get lost in the joy of books before it was time for tea, bath and bed!

Hope you have enjoyed seeing what we got up to. Did your little ones dress up for pre-school, school? Did you go to any special events? Would also love to know some of your favourite books for children!

Thanks for popping by!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A Visit to Lyme Park (aka Pemberley!) and National Trust Membership

Hi All

Apologies for not posting for a couple of weeks, life took over and I haven't been really feeling like writing. Back at it now though!

One of my favourite things to do at the weekend is to find a little place in the country to enjoy a nice walk and soak up a bit of history. I have always liked visiting National Trust properties, since an early age I've visited properties with my family and enjoyed drives out in the country. Since having our daughter we enjoy getting out as a family and now she is walking around it's nice to go out for walks or find places to have a run around and blow away the cobwebs. We have often thought about joining the National Trust but we've never been able to budget for it. However, we were kindly gifted an annual membership from my in-laws at Christmas and we are loving it so far!

Image result for national trust 2017 guidebook

Last weekend we visited Lyme Park in Stockport, Cheshire. As an Austen fan, Lyme Park will always be 'Pemberley' to me. I love walking up to the hall and around the gardens imagining that I'm part of a Jane Austen novel. I was definitely born in the wrong era! I never grow old of walking around the grounds and being reminded of the scenes from the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. I also often quote the book which my husband doesn't appreciate so much! But even if you aren't a fan of Austen, Lyme Park is truly stunning and well worth a visit.

On our most recent visit we went on a mission to find the adventure playground. Our little one is now 3 and so needs to be occupied a little more when we go to properties such as this one. I have been going to this property since I was a teenager but had never visited the playground. I'm not even sure how long it has been there but we found it! It was quite a drizzly day and so quite muddy as it was in part of the forest but we were armed with wellies and our coats and soldiered on! When we arrived, we didn't think she would be able to really play on it as it seemed aimed at older children, apart from some baby swings and  a couple of small tunnels. However, I underestimate the bravery of my 3 year old! She wanted to go on everything! Luckily, Daddy was at hand to carry her around on most things! But she had a great time, she had no fear, got very muddy and was very much ready for her 'car picnic' and to enjoy a walk around in her buggy in the afternoon. She is at the point now where she wants to walk most of the time but the grounds are very big and so we left our main walk until after she had exhausted herself on the playground, in the hope it would be tantrum free! On the whole it was, just a few little grumbles here and there!

After our car picnic we headed on up to the house to watch a bit of regency dancing! It was brilliant and really brought the house to life and made you feel like you had gone back in time. You can dress up in Regency clothing to experience the period even more whilst you are at Lyme hubby would never agree to it...but it looks like a lot of fun! After a little wander around the house, we went and had a walk around the grounds. I never get bored of walking around and we haven't even touched on the rest of the grounds outside of the main hall and gardens as of yet. Not very buggy friendly so maybe we will explore more when little one is a bit older.

A little trip to the gift shop and then we were on our way home. It isn't the closest property to us but it is only about an hour away. We always have a great day out and highly recommend it. The annual membership meant that we could explore both the house and the gardens for free and also park for free, an added bonus as it has quite a pricey car parking charge of £7. I think that is due to how large the property is outside of the main hall and gardens as it would be a fun day out even without entering the property itself!

We have also been to a few NT places that are nearer to us and are planning a few more visits to those that are a little further away but doable in a day. We really enjoy it. It's great to get some fresh air, learn a little about the history of these beautiful properties and spend the day as a family. There is always something for our little one to do, even if it is just a run about on the grounds. We are currently debating which property to do the annual Easter Egg hunt at....we've done this for the last two years with her and it is great fun. I am definitely becoming a National Trust addict and the membership has just allowed us to do this when we are on a bit more of a budget this year! Definitely worth looking into. If you would like me to do a post with more details of the National Trust membership then let me know and I will happily do one over the coming weeks.

Thanks for popping by.