We’ve had so much fun this week, playing outdoors and enjoying the beautiful spring sunshine.
It started while we were away on Easter Monday, meeting friends for a lovely, relaxed catch up at the park. The kids ran around and played (even together a little bit!) while we chatted and basked in the warmth after a chilly weekend. I was so totally unprepared that I even got a little burnt!
Back home, Tuesday saw us at our local park with some of my antenatal friends. Little Miss A has known this group since she was born, seeing them so often that they all now play together really nicely. After running around the play park, they settled into a game of collecting grass cuttings and making ‘birds nests’ to sit in! It was lovely to watch their imaginative play and listen to their conversations with each other. I stayed on a bit longer with my two and the nesting kept Little Miss A occupied for another 20 minutes or so while her sister slept. It’s always useful when it works out like that!
Wednesday saw us venturing further afield for a proper day out… I’m slowly getting a bit braver, taking both girls out on my own to places other than the park and toddler groups and friends’ houses! It’s only taken six months or so to work up to it, haha.
We met a friend and her two children at a nearby animal and adventure park. I didn’t get any pictures as I was too busy watching Little Miss A like a hawk! She had so much fun running around, bouncing on trampolines, whizzing down giant slides, watching ducks racing (really – the ‘quacky races’ with comical looking Indian Runner ducks), feeding goats, spinning on roundabouts and more. It was exhausting but great to widen the scope of my days out with the girls.
On Thursday, we woke to yet more sunshine, hooray! We headed to our local park again to meet friends for a picnic. Their kiddies are a bit older so Little Miss A couldn’t quite keep up with their games – and had to stay closer to Mummy than they did! But she loved trying out their frisbees (I think we might need to get her one of her own) and she did some brilliant kicking and throwing of her little football, which she is starting to get really into now. Plus there was time for digging in the mud round the trees!
Back home, we spent the rest of the afternoon in our suntrap garden. Little Miss A made potions while Baby E cruised around our deck, peeping out at her sister every now and then. I’m looking forward to lot more chilled out afternoons like that over the coming months (well, as chilled as it gets with two littlies, anyway!).
Today is Friday and amazingly there has been yet more sunshine. I decided to take the girls to a local farm shop that has a great outdoor play area, along with a few animals and a couple of short trails.
We picnicked first on some goodies bought at the shop (including delicious olive, pepper and feta foccacia – so bad for my diet but so good to eat!). Then I let Little Miss A loose on the play area, which has a ‘castle’ slide with small house underneath, a wiggly snake rope swing, some wooden climbing and balancing bits and pieces, and a tractor. It’s a really lovely space for outdoor play, especially now Little Miss A is older. Today, she spent most of her time on the tractor as the “farm girl who fixes it”. This involved taking handfuls of bark chippings and rubbing them on the wheels or stuffing them in the ‘engine’, and it occupied her for ages.
Baby E was getting rather grumpy but it turned out she just wanted a go too, sitting happily on the wheels watching her sister playing.
After I got fed up standing in the same spot for half an hour, we set off to explore one of the trails, which led to the small fishing lakes and bird hide. We haven’t done this before and, apart from me being slightly nervous that Little Miss A would dart off and fall in the lake, it was a good wind down activity as the spot was lovely and peaceful (until we arrived, anyway!).
We peeped out of the bird hide and spotted some geese and a swan, with Little Miss A much more interested than I thought she would be. Next time, we’ll take some binoculars for a better look.
On our way back, we found some “alarmas” (or llamas…) and had just enough time for a few swings on the wiggly rope snake before heading home for teatime.
Our week of sunshine has been fab and just what we needed to survive the Easter holidays, with no preschool to help with entertainment.
Fingers crossed there are many more sunny weeks to come now we’re in April!
Something quite shocking happened to me yesterday evening. I headed to our local Tesco on a special Easter chocolate run and – gasp – discovered that they had SOLD OUT of mini eggs.
I’m still not sure how such a thing can happen. Do the people in our area eat a ridiculously large amount of mini eggs? Was there some kind of mass panic buying of mini eggs before Good Friday arrived? Either way, I was obviously not happy. It reminds me of the Great Easter Disaster of two years ago when the husband and I left our egg shopping until the holiday weekend and couldn’t find anything apart from Kinder eggs. I should have learnt my lesson…
Not that I have been completely deprived of mini eggs this spring. Or any chocolatey eggs…
In fact, with such a huge variety of Easter confectionery around these days, I’ve been conducting an unofficial taste test of several of the treats on offer. Purely for research purposes, you understand, to decide what is my Easter chocolate of choice. A sort of Treat-Off, if you will.
It’s been tough but I’ve come up with my top five…
1. Mini eggs
One little mini egg doesn’t feel too wicked. Except one egg leads to another and before you know it, the whole tube has gone…
2. Creme eggs
It’s always very egg-citing (sorry) when these appear on the shelves. If, like me, you’ve thought how amazing a giant creme egg would be, check out this one on Pimp That Snack.
3. Ferreo Roche mini eggs
For when you’re feeling a bit posh.
5. Lindt chocolate carrots
They look more like chocolate umbrellas than carrots but are so cute either way.
As you can imagine, it took a lot of painstaking research to come up with my top five. What would win your Easter treat off? Just don’t ask me to choose between mini eggs and creme eggs…
Happy Easter :)
#fiveforfriday is my weekly round up of all sorts of bits and bobs – from blog posts I’ve been reading to themed crafts and activities to favourite products to the random things I’ve been pondering!
These chocolate Easter nests are easy to make with young children and taste yummy too!
I would love to be a real Baking Mum and do lots of exciting cooking projects with Little Miss A – but I have to admit to being far from a domestic goddess in the kitchen (er, or anywhere else round the house, actually). Even I can manage to do Easter nests, though! In fact, the nests are so simple that I have been able to let Little Miss A loose doing them herself with my supervision.
The first time we made these she was around 18 months and she absolutely loved the whole process. The photos are from that time – she was so teeny! She needed a little more help at that age but was able to participate in the mixing of all the ingredients. I was impressed with how carefully she spooned the mixture into the paper cases and decorated with the mini eggs.
Of course, there was some sneaky tasting involved! It’s too tempting not to sample as you go along…
To make the Easter nests, I follow the recipe on Rainy Day Mum. All you need are some Shredded Wheats, chocolate for melting and mini eggs to decorate.
- In a bowl, break up the Shredded Wheat into strands
- Melt the chocolate and then pour over the broken Shredded Wheat
- Mix together thoroughly (Little Miss A always enjoys this part in particular!)
- Spoon into paper cases
- Add a mini egg or two on the top to decorate
- Leave to set
So, technically, this probably doesn’t count as ‘cooking with your toddler’ but it’s a great introduction the idea of baking. Now Little Miss A is older, I made a pictoral recipe card to follow, so we could talk about following the instructions and measuring ingredients. It’s also a lovely sensory activity, with the crunchy Shredded Wheats, smooth chocolate, gorgeous smells and tastes!