The Sun Is Out And So Are The Smokers!


As we all know this spell of beautiful weather is probably going to be short lived so we all want to make the most of it.

I love nothing more than heading to the park with the children to play in the sun.  Or even better a park with a lovely cafe adjacent so we can all relax and grab something to eat whilst we are there.

This is exactly what we did the other weekend only to have been completely put off by the plumes of smoke that engulfed us from the next table.

Since the smoking ban in enclosed public spaces in 2007 to reduce the affect of passive smoking there has been a drop in the number of people that smoke.  This is a great achievement and the move has been of monumental change for the better for so many reasons.  I now think this should be extended to smoking in outdoor children’s areas.

We as a family don’t smoke and I don’t see why I should take my children to play somewhere that they have to share someone else’s secondhand smoke.  

I completely understand that smoking is a personal choice and that the effect on others outside is greatly reduced, but in areas that are set up for children it is unessesary and as well as the health implications it it not good role modelling in front of children.

We all try really hard to give our children the best starts in life, teaching them to eat well and exercise and normalising smoking which is one of the most damaging habits they can pick up is something we should all try to keep them away from.

What are your thought on this?

Pink Pear Bear
The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

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.

Toddler Christmas Lunch At Hobbledown

For the first time last year we took a visit to Hobbledown in Epsom, Surrey for their wonderful Toddler Lunch With Santa.

After a terrible journey due to horrendous traffic I arrived with two very miserable toddlers!  I booked in through the screaming and made our way to the play barn, found a table and thankfully peace was restored.


  
After a good run around in the brilliant soft play area that also has a cafe to serve a much needed coffee a friendly elf came to lead us into the cosy hut where we would be meeting Santa.

The children all sat at the table while cute gingerbread men were handed out for the children to decorate.



Following this a yummy packed lunch was served whist Santa made his grand appearance to sit with us whist we ate.


  
The children were then called up one at a time to have a chat and collect a present from Santa.


  
Nice and full we waved goodbye and went to have a look at Santa’s reindeer and a couple of very cute donkeys, and then finally had a run about in the huge sandpit before heading home.



This is such a wonderful day out for toddlers with a real mix of things to do.  You also have the option of paying for entry to the rest of Hobbledown which is a really good day out with plenty to explore.

The only issue I had is that it is listed as simply a craft activity on the internet so number five couldn’t actually take part due to his allergies.  If I had known in advance this is something I could have provided my self so that he didn’t feel left out.

Sunny Sunday At Godstone Farm

  
With such a hit and miss Summer weather wise this year we took the opportunity to visit Godstone Farm in Surrey on this wonderfully sunny day. 

We are lucky enough to have this fabulous farm only twenty minutes drive from home; but it is well worth a drive out to as you can have a full day here as there is so much on offer.

Our first port of call is always the petting area as mine love nothing more than getting hands on and getting to know the animals.  They had a great time holding the chicks and stroking the rabbits.  It took a good while to prize number five away from the chickens.

   
 

From here we moved onto the bigger animals and the boys loved shooting the feed down the tubes to feed the sheep and goats.

   
 

In between visiting the animals there are several small play areas that the children can hop on and ride toy tractors, wizz down slides and clamber into big wooden cars. 

  

 

Soft play is always a big hit with all mine and they are never disappointed with the large area that Godstone has to offer.  They had a great time climbing and sliding whist we grabbed a coffee.

A relatively new attraction to the farm is the Dino Trail.  Number five is a massive dinosaur fan so this is a very welcome addition for us.  We walked through the trail where the huge dinosaurs are nestled amongst the undergrowth for you to spot, there are lots of fun facts to read on the way round and some big bones to excavate. 


  

We only had the youngest two with us today but the huge playground area is always the biggest draw for my brood. There is a massive sandpit that we build sandcastle and burried number four in, a brilliant climbing wall that leads to a super steep slide and so much more than I can mention.

   
     

We only had a limited amount of time here today as we had the others to collect but we could have happy stayed and eaten at the lovely cafe which serves a good selection of hot and cold food and yummy cakes and taken a ride on the tractor to take in the sights on four wheels.

We will be visiting again very soon and hope to get along in the half term holiday to join in with their spooky Halloween events.