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‘Park Life’ – re-discovering our local park (A guest post!)

The first guest post on the blog…so I will hand you over to Sarah, from One Mummy and her double buggy – a mum to two kids almost identical in age to Harrison and Alex!

‘Park Life – rediscovering our local park

So half-term is upon us and when you are Mum to 2 under 3s this presents a challenge.  All of your usual hang-outs are rammed and the other kids are much bigger so unless you don’t mind your babies getting trampled you need to find a new activity.  Whilst I am a massive fan of our local park, I must confess, with the weather the way it has been I have been avoiding it over recent months and favouring more inside activities.  Still with The Terrorists climbing the walls and a play date due with a good friend and her own Terrorist we decided it was time to re-find our ‘park life’!

My local park is Wandsworth Common.  It is a 5 minute walk (or 20 minutes if The Bear is walking!) so we packed up our things, bundled on our warm waterproofs and wellies and off we went.

First port of call were the paths around the edge where the Toddler Terrorists spent a fabulous 30 minutes re-discovering their love for their scooters (which have been much neglected over recent months).  As Bollie is still bum-shuffling we kept her entertained with The Bears’ ‘bucketful of dinosaurs’ (which absolutely had to come with us as Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs is currently our top book)which she put in and out of the bucket and threw to passing dogs! 

 

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Next stop was the playground which was, oddly, quiet.  With a pair of waterproof trousers (the pair that Bollie is wearing are fleece lined and from Jo Jo Maman Bebe) Bollie gets to join in here and is thrilled with the swing and slide.  I have to say I sometimes forget how much young kids love the simple things (and how immune they are the cold and dirt)!

 

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We then take our buckets and spend the next 30 minutes collecting ‘treasures’ (i.e. any item on the floor which takes our fancy!).  This is an eclectic list including (a baby pine cone, some rotting leaves, a sticker which another child seems to have discarded and what looks like an eraser!  I have promised myself we will use these this weekend for an art project so they are now sat by my front door waiting for my moment of divine inspiration!

 We are starting to flag so we head to the ducks where we get rid of all of our stale pitta bread and ‘shoo shoo’ the mean goose who is big on stealing it all before the other ducks get a look in! 

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Final stop is the café for a baby chino and a brownie treat before we head home, playing hide and seek between the trees and jumping in every muddy puddle we can find (Peppa Pig has a lot to answer for!) on our way. 

 

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Suffice to say both Terrorists slept like the dead and I earned myself 2 quiet hours to do chores (mainly washing all of the muddy clothes we created!). 

 ‘Park’, I salute you, you’re free, you provide endless fun (or in our case about 3.5 hours) whatever the weather and I promise I won’t neglect to visit you for so long again!

 This blog was written by Sarah of onemummyandherdoublebuggy.com

 About Sarah

 

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Sarah is Mum to ‘The Bear’ (a hectic, and sometimes adorable, 2.5 year old boy) and ‘Bollie’ (a feisty, and sometimes gorgeous, 16 month old girl).

Living in South West London, and on the path to becoming a mumtrepreneur, Sarah is a typical Mum juggling work ( in her case the start up and running of 2 businesses Bouncy Jam (the sole UK distributor for Yumbox-UK.co.uk) and cheekyelephant.co.uk) with the demands of being “Mummy” to ‘The Terrorists’!

Sarah started blogging in Oct 2013 when she started out on her mumtrepreneur journey. It was her way of venting / sharing the ups and downs of her journey (and saving her husband ‘Long Suffering Husband’ (LSH) a few rants). If you wish to read this blog you will find it at entrepreneurmum.wordpress.com.
 
Finding the process of blogging oddly cathartic (and very addictive!) Sarah started OneMummyandherDoubleBuggy.com in response to several requests (via social media and good friends) for details of some of her favourite, kid friendly, places to go and things to do in and around London 

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Cooking with Kids

I’m not a natural cook. I’m definitely more of a ‘stick it in the slow cooker and hope it’s edible’ kind of girl. However, I do enjoy cooking and so does the other half so we take every opportunity to get the kids involved in cooking.
Cooking with kids, especially two toddlers can sound like a daunting task but it needn’t be. With a little bit of preparation and lots of patience it can be a brilliant and rewarding experience, and a fantastic way to bond with them and make them feel useful.
It’s also an amazing learning and development opportunity.

It teaches:

Numeracy skills – ordering, counting, weighing, measuring, timing
Literacy skills – reading recipes, new vocabulary
Fine motor skills – mixing, stirring, pouring, scooping, cutting
Bi-lateral coordination – understanding how to use both hands together to do a task
Multi-tasking
Sensory development
Learning about food, where it comes from & healthy diets

My youngest isn’t quite 13 months and my eldest is 2.5years so when they ‘help’ it does get rather messy but there’s so much they can do!

Basic skills

Mixing (mix was Alex’s first proper word at ten months!)
Stirring
Pouring
Putting mixtures into cake cases/tins
Spreading icing on cakes/biscuits
Mashing
Cutting (bananas are great to teach cutting skills with)
Sprinkling
Crumbling

You could do simple things like buy ready made fairy cakes or biscuits and use squirty or spreadable icing and all the fancy edible decorations you can but these days!

Smoothies are another great thing to do & a great way of getting fruit into their diet. You just need milk and fruit (bananas, strawberries, blackberries & raspberries are all lovely!) and a scoop of ice cream. The fruits are usually easy enough for kids to cut up or break up and plop in. We love making banana smoothie with chocolate ice cream. Harrison loves pressing the button on the blender and watching it all whiz round.

Building pizzas

Most kids love pizza, but instead of buying one, buy (or make if you’re very clever!) a pizza base and spread on some tomato ketchup or purée, sprinkle on some grated cheese and let them loose! Provide little lots of toppings – chopped meat, peppers, mushroom, pineapple chunks, sweet corn etc. You could even make face pizza!

You could do the same with wraps. My two aren’t massive sandwich fans but love wraps so I give them a wrap and then let them choose their own fillings from bowls of grated cheese, ham, salad etc, and put them together (maybe not so much Alex just yet!)

A couple of months ago my friend sent me a link to a great idea which we tried. Unfortunately I can’t remember the original link to credit them.
Basically we used mini Milky Way bars and stuck smarties on with icing to look
like wheels, then stuck a mini gingerbread man on top. Great fun to make and even more fun to eat!

It goes without saying that safety and hygiene is super important.
Encourage kids to wash their hands before they start and tie long hair back. Talk to them about the dangers of hot
cookers, sharp knives etc. If appropriate, teach them how to handle sharp kitchen equipment sensibly. And of course, never leave them unattended, not even for a second. That’s all it takes for an accident to happen!!!

I will leave you with links to some basic recipes that are great for kids!

Pizza

chocolate cornflake cakes

fairy cake

gingerbread men

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Baked Potato Mummy has also written a post about cooking with little ones – check it out here.