Under 1 Roof:The Name Says It All

With five children I have done my fair share of ferry kids around over the years, in fact at times I have literally had to split myself in half to get them all to the right place at the right time.

What I could have done with was a place that catered for all our needs in one area and this is just what the clever people at Under 1 Roof in Woolwich have bought to life with their outstanding new project.

 

We were invited along to the press day just before the grand opening to see just what they had to offer.

Upon arriving I thought I was going to be walking into a normal run of the mill soft play which if you are a reader of my blog you will know are never top of my list!

To my surprise thought we were lead through to a vast, colourful, engaging space that had been set up just like a mini town.  The builders were still busy getting things ready but the children were still in awe of the grandness of the place. 
Ann-Marie Martin, one of the founders and directors showed us around her baby and the passion for what she has created just oozed from her.  She had a real connection with children and adults alike and her excitement for what she had created was a key indicator to me of what a success this project will become.

The boys couldn’t wait to check everything out and there was so much to look at.  First stop was to try out the fantastic car shaped seats in the hairdressers which I had trouble prizing them away from!

   
   
Next stop was the soft play area.  I loved the puzzle wall which was something I had not seen before, they had the usual selection of soft bricks to build with, a double slide and a imagination play corner where the boys loved playing at being the King.

   
    
   
There is also a children’s theatre, a large cafe that overlooks the soft play, a spectacular sensory room, 84 place nursery, messy room, retail village, wellbeing and therapy room and a really well set up networking room.

   
 
Entry to Under 1 Roof is free and once inside you have the option to spend as much or as little as you like opening it up to the whole community.

There is a full seven day program that I challenge anyone to not find something of interest.  It is perfect for families such as mine with bigger age gaps as there is something for children from 0-11.

Under 1 Roof is now fully open and I can’t wait to go back to try everything they have to offer.

Bear Hunting At Discover Children’s Story Centre

We’re going on a bear hunt.  We’re going to catch a big one.  What a beautiful day.  We’re not scared!   Michael Rosen

I’m sure there are not many parents out there that have not shared these words from the much loved children’s book Were Going On A Bear Hunt.

At the Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford the story book has been bought to life in a fabulous exhibition which mixes the adventures the family all went through on their bear hunt with rooms to explore that inspired Michael Rosen to write his story.

   
   

We swished and swashed through the long grass, splashed and sploshed through the river and eventually found the big bear hiding in his cave!

   
    
    
 
Once we had completed our bear hunt we were then left to explore all the rooms that had been set up to give the children an insight into Michael Rosen’s thoughts.

They loved playing in the school room, preparing a spot of lunch in the kitchen and sitting down to watch some TV in the living room.

As well as the bear hunt exhibition we also took part in the story time session for under 3’s based around another fabulous story, Snore.

We all walked bare foot into a small room decorated with flowers and fairy lights and scattered with cosy cushions to settle down on.

The story teller caught the children’s attention from the minute he began the session that was filled with songs, and stories that the children can interact with.

At the end of the session blankets are handed around to cosy up with and my lot found this so relaxing they even dropped off to sleep!

  


Although this was aimed at under 3’s even number three was taken with the whole experience.

Aside from these set sessions the centre itself has so much to see and do.

The indoor trail allows them to climb and slide to their hearts content, they can create spoons at the craft area, dance on the light polka dots, dress up in wonderful costumes and much more.

   
    
    
    

 
Outside in the story garden they can make beautiful music on the wooden instruments, climb aboard the pirate ship or launch into space in a huge rocket.

   
    
    
  
In between all this fun we managed to grab a bite to eat in the cafe that served a small selection of very reasonably priced lunch items and hot drinks.

  

This is the ultimate place to ignite your child’s imagination whilst keeping them active too.  With a range in age from 2-9 I was a little sceptical it would be suitable from them all, but they have all come away truly happy with the whole experience.

It had been the perfect end to our half term and we will be back very soon to create some more memories.

We were given tickets for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.

 
  

I’m On A Diet Mummy

  

‘I’m on a diet Mummy’. These are the words that came out of my four year old sons young mouth tonight and my heart completely sank when I heard them.

He had been into the fridge and grabbed himself a handful of pepperoni and strolled back into the living room and sighed as he sat down exclaiming he was having this as he was on a diet.

I looked at his little face and the sullen look he was giving me and I just couldn’t believe what had already been planted in his young, impressionable mind.

When I asked him what a diet was he simply said it was because he was going boxing.  My husband is a martial artist and has to make weight for his fights several times a year.  This is always a big thing in the house as he loves his food and so mealtimes becomes a big issue that are spoken about a lot.  Seperate meals are prepared and there is a big emphasis on how, where and what he eats.

In my late teens I had big issues with food that lead to my periods stopping for over a year and I became quite ill.  This is something that I would never wish on anyone, especially my children and I have had a real wake up call tonight about the negative food issues we are displaying as a family.

I have always taught them the importance of a healthy diet, ensure they have a good, well balanced diet and try not to let them go overboard with sweet treats.

As of today there will be no more seperate meals, the scales will be banished from the bathroom and the word DIET will be banned for good!

Children’s minds are like sponges and I dont want my little one’s to be soaking up rubbish about diets and weight loss that could so easily lead to such damaging choices in later life.

  

The Gruffalo Review

  

A week before Christmas I was a little sceptical about taking the kids into town to fight through the Christmas shoppers but we had a surprising good journey and arrived at the Vaudeville Theatre relatively stress free.

We had a bit of a nightmare getting our massive buggy up the flight of stairs to the buggy park but once it was stored away we made our way to our seats to be greeted by the beautifully designed staging that had been made to look just like you have stepped into a page of the much loved story book of The Gruffalo.

Number five decided to have a melt down about the lack of satsumas in my bag but was promptly stopped when the lights went down and the performance started.

The cute character of the mouse was the first to take to the stage as she sets off on her journey through the woods cleverly outwitting the cheeky cockney fox, wise old owl and the super camp snake as she goes until her final encounter with the Gruffalo.

The audience are encouraged to join in with counting, singing and answering panto style questions which is perfect to keep the predominantly young audience engaged. At the end the big, bubbly character of the Gruffalo even comes down into the audience much to the delight of the children.

I had an age range of nine to a year with me and they all throughly enjoyed the whole show.  They even added a few adult friendly jokes in to keep the parents amused.

I loved that they had added a Christmas twist to the end with the mouse wishing everyone a merry Christmas under a shower of pretty snow.  For me this would make a wonderful Christmas treat for the whole family and something they will remember for years to come.
We were given tickets for the performance for the purpose of this review.  They are all my own honest opinions.

My Captured Moment:Autumn Begins

  

My ‘Captured Moment’ for Running In Lavender this week is taken from one of my favorite vantage points in Surrey – Box Hill.

I love everything about Autumn, the chance to cosy up with a big hot chocolate, the preparation for Halloween and bonfire night and the crisp leisurely walks you can enjoy with your loved ones.

Box Hill has the most incredible views of Surrey, although I do completly freak out that the children are going to lose their footing and stumble all the way down the hill!! 
  

Wicked Wednesday’s:Decorating With Mascara


Well it is just my luck, number four has turned a corner and has massively calmed down for number five who was my angelic baby to take his place!

Whist getting ready for the nursery run he desires to paint my bedroom door with mascara!!  I’m just grateful I’m more of a Rimmel girl than Channel.
  

Date Night Stress With Kids

  

A few months ago after a wonderful child free day I had shared with my husband I wrote a post about the importance of making time for your marriage.  

I had promised myself that I would set time aside for us both to have a date night once a month.  This hasn’t really taken off and it is all down to me and the effort and guilt it takes to leave the house when you have little ones.

Hubby had put his foot down this week and booked cinema tickets so I simply couldn’t wriggle out of it!

So the military operation to leave the house alone begins. They all need to be rounded up from the different schools, nurseries and clubs they are all at on a Friday afternoon.  Of course to make things awkward they are all late just to mess my limited time frame up a bit more.

Next up is feeding time at the zoo, a seemingly mess free oven dinner is prepared but they still manage to cover every surface of the entire kitchen which then takes hours to clean up before sticking them all in the bath to get cleaned up before the baby sitter arrives.  

Babies cleaned and in their PJs I now try to get myself looking vaigly presentable for the general public when I can hear a huge gush of water! Yes number three has managed to pull the basin from the wall in the bathroom causing a flood all over my just cleaned kitchen!

More time was spent cleaning up another disaster and I still had the youngest who is still breastfed fed and settled.  I finally sit down hair half done and jeans still drying on the radiator when my husband walks through the door all fresh and ready as he is able to get ready child free at work glaring at me for not being ready.

I eventually manage to get out the door with the guilt of leaving a crying baby, shouting at my husband if he won’t settle I’m coming straight home and we are being completly selfish for leaving a crying a baby just to satisfy our own needs.

A frosty drive into town was then eased by a video sent from the babysitter of some more than happy children snuggled on the sofa.

A couple of glasses of wine in, an uninterrupted conversation and the choice of something else rather than Cebebbies to watch then made the stress and the guilt of the last few hours all worth it.
  

  

My Captured Moment:Love Our City

  

This weeks captured moment with Heledd at Running In Lavender is number four taking in the sights at the wonderful Sky Garden in Fenchurch Street.

I always hope that taking them to experience as much as they can when they are younger will give them a thirst  to explore and take this into their adult life.
  

Image Of The Week:Colour

Over the summer I’ve not linked up with the lovely ladies at Truly Madly Kids and have really missed their great linky.

This weeks subject is colour which is perfect to bring some sunshine into this miserable weather we are having today.

    

This was taken one evening at the beginning of the summer and is one of my favourite photos.
  

Book Review:A Little Owl Called Hooty

We are a family of book lovers in this house and I love nothing more than tucking the little ones in at night to settle down with a story or two.

  
When Swankypants Books asked if we would like to try the first in a series of books about a cute little owl called Hooty I jumped at the chance.

Hooty the owl is affraid to fly, but with the help of his trusted friends he manages to over come his fear and take flight.

This easy to hold short story was perfect to keep the attention of my youngest two with its beautiful illustrations  in muted colours and anything with rythmicsl text is always great to keep younger children engaged.

  
The sturdiness of the board book means that it can easy withstand a toddlers heavy hands and will be a gift that will keep giving for many years to come.

You can purchase this wonderful book on Amazon and through Waterstones or it is available to order at any local bookshop.

We were sent this book to review by Swankypants Books and here are all my own honest opinions.