You know what big fans we are of weekend adventures, but recently they’ve been taking a bit of a back seat. A combination of bad weather, business and tiredness has meant that we haven’t really spent a whole day out exploring for ages. By yesterday, we were absolutely itching to go and do something new, so we headed to Moors Valley country park near Ringwood, to do their new Gruffalo Spotters trail. *If you like video, I filmed the day so make sure you scroll down to the bottom to watch our vlog! The Gruffalo spotters trail has only been open since the 20th February and ever since we saw the preview video of the trail on Facebook a few weeks ago, we knew we would be making a trip to try it out as soon as we could! There are 26 forests around the country with a Gruffalo spotters trail so if you aren’t local to Moors Valley then I’m sure there will be one near you. Before you go, you download the Gruffalo spotters app (avaliable on Apple, Android and Kindle), which uses clever augmented reality technology to bring the characters from the much loved story to life right in front…

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If you have encountered Mabel at any point during the last six months, it would have been difficult to miss that she has her fifth birthday coming up and is ever so slightly excited about it. We’re still a month away and the question of how many days it is until her birthday is now being asked at a frequency I’m pretty sure any sane person would find difficult to handle. So I had the idea of making her a birthday countdown calendar. It’s a nice way of adding a bit of extra excitement to the build up, get her practising her double digit numbers, and hopefully alleviate some of the ‘how long is it until my birthday?’ questions – triple win! Here’s how we made Mabel’s birthday countdown calendar… I made a template on the computer and printed it out twice. If you want to use my template just pop your email in the box bellow and I’ll get it sent straight out to you (don’t forget to check your spam folder in case it gets a bit lost on its way). Each sheet has 18 boxes on it but you can chop the boxes up so you can…

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I saw the idea of a Princess bath a while ago on one of my favourite Instagram feeds @me_and_orla. I tucked it away in the back of my mind, and yesterday morning it jumped back out at me and provided exactly the inspiration I needed when faced with two heads of tangly, matted hair, and two little girls reluctant to go anywhere near the water. They usually love bath time, any playing with water is one of their favourite things to do. But mention the words ‘hair wash’ to them and it becomes a whole different story. I don’t blame them to be honest. I hated it as a child and I hate doing it for them now. Mabel especially has very thick wavy hair, so it needs to be brushed through with conditioner and it takes ages and it has to done regularly, or so much tangled hair gets pulled out with the brushing, that I worry she’s going to be the first ever under five year old to need a hair transplant! Luckily for me, I remembered the princess bath at just the right moment and I also had a bunch of tulips downstairs just about to turn.…

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*This post includes our Tiny Trolls of Norway review. All products featured we were kindly sent in return for this post but all words and opinions are as always, my own. Getting children outdoors was always something that I knew was really important, long before I even had any of my own. I worked as a nursery nurse before I had Mabel and I saw time and time again how not only was the fresh air and exercise really good for all the children from babies to school age, and it improved both their sleep and their appetite, but also they often seemed so much more engaged when they were outside and huge amounts of learning and development seemed to happen completely naturally. Children can learn so much from being outdoors and observing nature – the symmetry, the seasonal changes, the different textures, sounds and colours… it all calls out to children’s natural curiosity and they can’t help but investigate and explore. I’ve never seen a child who faced with the sea or a river or pond, hasn’t grabbed a stone or a stick to throw in. It’s such an instinctual thing to do, and just a bit of fun right?…

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We had such a great time with our bear hunt activities last week, I’m really excited to get started again this week with a whole new book: Whatever Next! by Jill Murphy. Mabel was quite excited too yesterday when I told her about our new ‘book of the week’. It’s so nice to see her enjoying our new self made curriculum. One of my main aims is to foster a love of books in my children. I really think that it can take you so far in life. Reading a book you can be transported to any place and any time. It’s a way to relax, an empathy tool, a way of accessing information, and so many other things. It’s really important to me that my children enjoy books. This week there’s some imaginative role play, another writing/storytelling exercise, an opportunity to get creative, a chance to do some research and investigation, and a counting game. It’s a simple homeschool curriculum for approximately 3-6 year olds that shouldn’t take longer than half an hour each day, 5 days a week. Obviously you can spend more time on it if your children are really engaged and keen and you can swap the days around or…

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I thought twice about writing this post. Well after last week’s one about our new bed, I didn’t want my Ordinary Moments posts to become really materialistic! What next, ‘The New Chopping Board’? ‘Six New Pairs of Tights’? We aren’t making any more big furniture purchases anytime soon I can assure you! But the sofa is such a focal point of a home isn’t it? It’s where we cuddle up to read story after story on a rainy afternoon. It’s where we sit for the children’s favourite treat of a ‘movie night’ (watching a film in your pjs with a bowl of popcorn). And it’s where I find Carl asleep in the mornings with Teletubbies on in the background when he’s taken Ernie down super early. When we first moved into this house I was heavily pregnant and then thrust straight into life as a mum of three under four… decorating and traipsing around furniture stores wasn’t really a high priority. We made do with what we brought with us from our old much smaller house, and before long you get used to it and you don’t really notice that it’s not working (or you’re just too tired to look properly!). At the end of last year we realised that we really needed…

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One of the questions that I get asked every now and again is do we stop home educating when the schools have their holidays? It always seems like a bit of a strange question to me but a lot of people think that home educating is more similar to conventional schooling than it really is. It’s not sitting at the kitchen table doing work books! The answer is no, we don’t. And in fact, we never stop. Our homeschool is open for business 365 days a year. For us, learning is part of life, one can’t be separated from the other, there is no ‘fun time’ and ‘school time’, there is just life. A full and varied life which means that we can’t help but make new discoveries, find things that spike our curiosity and catch our imagination, and of course learn along the way. So yep, even when we go on holiday, we’re in ‘learning mode’, because learning never ever stops. Not that the kids would even know they were ‘doing school’ while we are away, to them it’s just a part of life. And I’m sure even if you don’t home educate, you’re probably the same! If your child comes…

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I’m so excited to share with you our week of we’re going on a bear hunt activities. It was a brilliant theme for a week of activities in our homeschool and if you scroll right to the bottom you can find out how to download them all so you can do them too! I’m a huge fan of brilliant children’s books, we have a bookcase that is bulging with them and I love curling up on the sofa with my gang for a mega reading session as they bring me book after book. We’ve been pretty relaxed recently with our home education, not really having much of a theme or a plan, just going with the flow. And although that has been working ok, I felt like we would all benefit (ok mainly me), from having a bit more of an idea of what we might be doing on any given day. So I decided to plan some activities for the week, and being the book lovers that we are, it made sense to base those activities around a ‘book of the week’. I strongly believe that good quality books are the cornerstone of a child’s education and that children should learn to read with…

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