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Outdoor Days

Make the most of the nice weather because we all know winter days drive us crazy.
I love just getting in my car and discovering new places. If you’re lucky enough like me to live in South Wales then here are a few of my favourite places to go for a nice walk:

Penllergaer Forest
Right on my doorstep Penllergaer Forest is full of surprises. Originally the home of John Dillwyn, the forest was the grounds of a huge manor house. The gardens were landscaped to have lots of different features. In recent receipt of a grant there is work going on now to restore the gardens but you can still see so many beautiful sights. Walk across the top path and look down on the lake or walk on the lower path across the recently restored Llewellyn Bridge. See caterpillars, birds and beautiful water features. You can walk all around and end up in a lovely cafe. Nothing nicer than ending a nice walk with a coffee in the open air. Water for dogs available.

Forest Map

Cadle Mill

Part of Penllergaer Forest, the area of the forest in Cadle is a hidden gem. Lots of different paths to take which lead to a small waterfall and to the most beautiful lake I’ve seen. The paths are flat so ideal for little ones and it’s just quiet and beautiful.

Loughor Estuary

Another hidden gem just hidden behind the Reverend James Public House in Loughor is the beautiful Loughor Estuary. You can eat a picnic on the surrounding parkland or walk along near the water collecting sea shells. It’s such a peaceful spot where you can really appreciate nature.

Lliw Reservoir

When you drive in to Lliw Reservoir you are immediately struck by its tranquility. Great expanses of water covering two different reservoirs are bordered with different paths- some suitable for wheelchairs, prams and those who like a flat walk. Across the reservoir are more difficult walks which are ideal for rambling. There are hidden benches where you can enjoy a picnic, an old flour mill and a lovely cafe. It’s a favourite place of mine to walk.

Cwmdonkin Park

A favourite haunt of Dylan Thomas, Cwmdonkin Park is a great expanse of green with many hidden treasures- a giant slide, a pavilion cafe, sculptures, a play park and peace and tranquility. Simple but you’ll stay for hours

Margam Park

For about Ā£20 you can visit Margam Park as many times in a year as you like (Excludes Bank Holidays). You could not find better value. Margam Park is a magical place where you discover something new every time you visit. There is a land train, a farm, wooden sculptures, a cafe, a shop, a castle, a lake, a play park, a discovery centre, a fairy tale village, abbey ruins, a church, a greenhouse, an orangery and probably more than I’ve mentioned. It’s an amazingly beautiful place that changes with the seasons.

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All a Toys Are Rubbish

Real life is better.

How many times I have you heard a parent say that their child played with the cardboard boxes for longer than the toy?

Most toys don’t do enough to keep children occupied yet we fill our homes with them. Ok I know some toys are great šŸ™‚

As a working mum with traditional values I find you can’t go wrong with these ideas:

HOMEMADE PIZZAS

Making the dough and putting all the toppings on is great fun and keeps children occupied for ages. Let them help wash up too. Not only is cooking fun but it’s also educational.

SHOPPING

Keep lots of kitchen items to use for shopping games- empty cereal boxes, sweet tubes, jars and tubs. Nothing sharp. When finished everything can go in the recycling bins.

GARDENING

Give your little one a trowel and something to kneel on and they’ll play for hours. Let them help pull up weeds, sweep,play with empty plant pots and watering cans.

CRAFT

I love making things. We’ve just bought a big bag of loom bands and are happy creating things together. I love crafts using leftover household items like toilet roll binoculars, pen holders from Pringles pots and landscapes using all manner if leftover items.

COMPETITIONS

Egg and spoon races, dancing competitions, who can make the best potato face, hide and seek. Anything can be made in to a competition to create fun for hours.

COLOURING

My little one is a whizz on the ipad but she will spend longer with good old fashioned colouring lens and colouring book. I love those great big felt pictures you can colour in. Colouring books are great for dexterity, colour recognition, colour use and concentration. Tracing paper over a colouring book is also good. Pavement chalks for outdoors. Bath crayons for bath time and paint for old wallpaper. Simple fun costing very little.

I don’t think you have to spend a fortune to have fun.

Children who can a use themselves will be less demanding of attention. And will be less likely to get bored as quickly.

Sometimes movie time with a hot chocolate is a great way for the whole family to relax.

Remember your little one wants to be just like mum or dad so role play games or helping out games will be just up their street.

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21 Top Bedtime Stalling Tactics

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How many of these stalling tactics do you witness when putting your little one to bed?

  1. Mum I need a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  2. Owwwww one more story pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  3. But I need a cuddle
  4. Where’s (insert name of tiniestĀ most hidden toys here)?
  5. But it’s not dark
  6. I’m scared of the dark
  7. A monster is looking at me
  8. My teddy is keeping me awake
  9. I want to come in to your bed
  10. I’m cold
  11. I’m too hot
  12. I want the light on
  13. Can you sit with me?
  14. I need a drink
  15. I need medicine
  16. Look at me jumping Mum
  17. I need a poop
  18. Where are you going now Mum?
  19. Is it night time?
  20. Can you tell me a story?
  21. I want to sit up

Funny thing is you can tick most of these off the list in one night.

I’d love to hear your stories.

Clever little people

Have a good week

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23 Relics

Watching my little girl drawing on my ipad I chuckled as I thought of all the things I used to have when I was growing up that she will think are really strange.

(A word of advice-don’t complete this exercise if you want to feel young)

Here is my topĀ 23 itemsĀ that have disappeared with the dinosaurs:

walkman

  1. Personal Stereo
  2. CD Walkman
  3. Blackboards
  4. Video player
  5. VHS tapes
  6. Soda stream
  7. Analogue TV with 3 channels to choose from
  8. TV that stopped broadcasting at the end of the schedules
  9. TV cabinets that closed around it to hide it. Though no one ever closed it
  10. On/off buttons on the TV
  11. Top of the pops
  12. Commodore 64
  13. Atari Pong game
  14. Our Price
  15. Woolworths
  16. Ceefax
  17. Phone boxes
  18. Phone credit cards
  19. Hifi’s
  20. Ghetto blasters
  21. Kodak cameras with film
  22. Fax machines
  23. Polaroid cameras

This list has really made me laugh and Googling them has made me laugh even more.

My highlight was when I got my first Sony CD Walkman- the music used to jump if you knocked it when walking and there was never a comfortable way of carrying them-I think I once had a CD Walkman carrying bag-cringe. Let me see if I can find an image.

Here is my Walkman:

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Oh cringe-here is a bag just like the one I had.

bag

And this was the latest technology!

Have I missed anything off?

Let me know.

Can’t wait to explain these things to my daughter