Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Surviving Train Journeys with Children

Train journeys with little ones can be a bit fraught to say the least!  You want your children to sit nicely for the sake of the other travellers who might not appreciate a child wondering around the train, having a nose at what they are doing or trying to start a conversation with them!

On one particularly awful journey my youngest sat under the table having a complete meltdown for well over an hour, as you can imagine people moved, eyebrows were raised, my parenting methods were obviously being brought under question in hushed whispers… I felt I was losing my sanity!  So since then if I have a train journey I do even more to prepare than usual, I stock up on snacks and craft materials and anything else I think might help us pass the time together.

Working alongside Hull Trains has brought back all those memories of train travel with children.  Of course it was not all bad, I do have some lovely pictures of the fun we had together, but I was always a teeny bit nervous about the next tantrum and how I would deal with it in such a public space.  I am always eager to see what else we can do to distract them.

Before we had our car we had a fair few long distance train journeys, with hours to fill.  I had to break the journey up into manageable slots, covering a range of activities so they did not get fed up.

We had playdoh for some modelling (here he is with his new worm playdoh friend!), children’s magazines for learning activities and colouring and plenty of snacks to keep their hands busy and mouth’s so full of food they could not shout or scream as loudly!

Although I have lots of my own ideas for keeping my boys occupied I am always keen to find more.  Hull Trains have a useful page of railway games to help you survive your next trip away!  One minute of words sounds ideal as its quite educational getting them to write words from a certain letter of the alphabet in the timeframe, it might help my eldest with his spelling in the process.

I like that their games require no extra items (aside from some paper and a pen or a few coins) as often my package of entertainment activities made our luggage get considerably heavier and that’s the last thing you need when your already juggling two lively boys, although how fab does he look in his crown!

If you keep your children busy, boredom will not set in and hopefully they will not look for mischief.  Then us parents can hopefully arrive at our destination calm instead of frazzled…

The Official Playmobil Annual 2015

When I was growing up I loved annuals, I always secretly hoped to have one for Christmas.  I would like to start that tradition with my boys, annuals are great as they have lots of entertainment within them, puzzles to complete, passages to read and pictures to colour, this annual is no exception.

Both my boys love Playmobil so having an annual filled with a mighty selection of knights, dragons, catapults and sorcerers is ideal, plenty to keep my boys interested.  This particular annual helps improve your child’s drawing ability with pictures that need finishing, build on their knowledge with crossword questions and brush up on their counting skills.

If your looking for something to keep your children out of mischief for a few hours on what feels like a wet winter’s day (its gone freezing lately!) then a Playmobil Annual might be just the thing your looking for.  At the back of the book you will find the solutions so after they have finished they can even check their own work (no peeking beforehand!). 

Seeing as 2014 is the 40th anniversary of Playmobil it’s the time to stock up on any branded items to build up the buzz and join the celebrations.  The hardback annual has an RRP of £7.99 which is reasonable seeing as its jam-packed with activities to do.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Wickey Sand Pit Competition

The summer holiday has been long and tiring, I love my children dearly but not having a break for so long can be exhausting.  I do not have a job outside of the house to enjoy a change of scenery, it’s just been the boys and me and long days spread out ahead of us on repeat for seven weeks.  Think Groundhog Day but with similar arguments all the time!

So next summer I think I need to be better prepared.  Having recently moved we do not have a huge amount of garden toys to match our bigger garden I think its time to think about filling it!  If the garden offered more in the way of interest for the boys, I am sure they would be keen to be outside for longer, benefiting from all the fresh air and the noise they make would be diffused a little so better for my poor head.

We have a trampoline already but having stumbled on Wickey I am tempted by the sheer choice of outdoor toys!  My boys are semi feral now; they need to be busy, climbing, jumping, and swinging.  I want them so tired they do not have the energy for anymore sibling squabbles.

I think I definitely need to research climbing frames I am guilty of always telling my boys to be careful, which is supposedly not very good parenting!

Children need the opportunity to make their own decisions so they cope better through life when they need to make difficult choices.  If we had a climbing frame I would have to learn not to say watch out, go slowly and be careful so much!  From choice I would wrap them up in cotton wool but I must not do that and let them develop as well rounded individuals who can manage as adults.

I was offered a Wickey Flip Sand pit 120x125cm (£69.66) to review but we already have a sand pit so I thought it would be nice to offer it up as a competition for my lovely followers.  This is the prize itself; all you will need to do is supply the sand and the children!  The flip lid is handy to keep the sand nice and fresh.

If you would like to win then simply complete the rafflecopter below by the 20th of September and then hopefully your next holiday with your children will be easier as you have more to keep them entertained!

a Rafflecopter giveaway