Edinburgh is a great place to visit with children. Full of parks and open spaces, historic buildings to explore, theatres and animal parks, children of all ages will love taking a holiday here. So book your family into a Travelodge hotel in Edinburgh and find out what this lively city has instore for you. Here are 3 of the most unmissable family friendly attractions that deserve a spot on any holiday itinerary:
For the past few weeks now, Isabelle has been insistent that she wears a watch. She received a little digital Minnie Mouse watch for Christmas and I think it makes her feel grown up. She gets rather excited telling me that it is morning, she also tells me its night time to, although I very much think that it is more to do with the light/dark rather than her actually being able to tell the time.
Her interest in telling the time is growing but being only three isn’t hard to explain to her. We’ve had some reasonable success though, she understands that there are 12 numbers on our clocks and she will happily count them on an analogue clock. I know that right now it’s not the most important thing for her to be able to tell the time but having her ask what time it is helps her understand the structure to her day. She knows that half 8 means we get ready to go to preschool, 1pm is lunch time, 6pm and daddy is home from work and that 7pm means that it is time to get ready for bed.
Now that she has a slight understanding she is becoming less frustrated, sometimes I take it for granted that she never had a concept of time and that she had to take our word for it if we mentioned it was too late to be painting or putting on our skates and that it is in fact too early to be phoning nana in the morning.
When she is a little older and more careful of her possessions then we will take her to pick out her first real watch from The Watch Hut just like my mum did with me and she can wear a watch just like Daddy does.
Written in collaboration with The Watch Hut
This week we had an almost disaster, as some of you already know, Isabelle is completely smitten with a stuffed toy that she affectionately refers to as Lamby. Lamby goes everywhere with us and even joins us at the dinner table, on his own chair of course. He has always been the toy of choice, the favourite, the security blanket.
He’s had quite the adventurous life and has been well loved so it was only expected that one day he would start to fall apart. On leaving her bed Isabelle discovered little seeds scattered over her pillows and blankets, these seeds were retraced to the owner, Lamby. It would seem that at some point during the night, Lamby had lost an arm from his sagging body and if that wasn’t enough, his right ear was hanging on by a thread. Isabelle was devastated
After a quick repair and a thorough check-up he was all ready to go and we had one very happy little lady
Before Isabelle came along I never really gave a second thought to gender related toys, I grew up around my male cousins and in the 80’s/early 90’s it wasn’t a big thing, we shared no matter what the toys were. Now it seems as though gender specific toys and clothes have rocketed.
Earlier this week I witnessed a mother stopping her child from playing, he was playing dress up with Isabelle and sporting a rather fetching cowboy hat…it was pink and adorned with sequins. To me I see nothing wrong with that but his mother proclaimed it was for girls and he mustn’t play with it. The only thing wrong that I saw was stopping a child from playing, at the age of three do you really want to be inflicting gender stereotypes onto your child? It’s not necessary. I see nothing wrong with little boys pushing dolls and bears in prams and if a girl wants to play with train sets and workbenches then let her.
My daughter doesn’t see things as being for boys or girls, she she’s them as toys, toys that she likes to play with. Not matter what colour they are, pink, blue, green, yellow, it really makes no difference. Why do shops have signs for girls toys and signs for boys toys?
What really frustrates me is how toys are now being marketed in boys and girls ranges, why oh why is this happening? Why does there need to be colour variations in pink and blue of the exact same toy? Do we need to have a doctors set in pink for girls and a set labelled for boys to? Without wanting to open a huge can of worms, it shouldn’t be pink, girly Barbie’s for girls and macho blues, browns and greens for boys.
On a recent shopping trip, Isabelle picked out a grey diplodocus, her favourite of the dinosaurs and also a teenage mutant ninja turtle surprise egg because, well, she loves turtles. We really have no issues about what Isabelle chooses to play with (as long as it is age appropriate). We want her to be free of insecurities, so yes I will let her play in the dirt, she will continue her collection of cars and she will wear that “boys” Dinosaur Train t-shirt, it doesn’t have to be all princesses, dolls and pink Lego. Gender neutral should be how it’s done and I congratulate those stores that are taking notice and following the gender neutral route. We should let toys be toys!
Not many things can leave me dumbfounded but after a day at preschool I was left speechless.
My darling daughter is quite the inquisitive little lady, some would say that she’s mischievous. We have a saying in our house, ‘if it’s quiet then Isabelle is up to no good’ and it seems that pre-school is no exception. Isabelle has always been quite the confident child so we let her have the space to be independent but still within seeing distance if she needs us. During her settling in sessions at pre school she was off without even a second glance or a goodbye. I’m happy that she feels confident enough to leave me but sometimes, deep down it kind of hurts, ya’know?
Anyway on this particular day I had left Isabelle to her own devices, she was happily playing nicely with her new friends so I kept myself out of the way. The session went smoothly…..until we were packing up to go. That’s when disaster struck, in the chaos of grabbing coats and wrestling children in to them, Isabelle had run off to play again in protest that she wasn’t ready to go home. I heard another parent gasp and at that moment my heart sunk, I knew that the panicked voice of the parent was brought on by Isabelle. I was completely powerless in what I saw next, a tub of red paint powder (the kind that you add water to mix) had been opened…..BRIGHT RED! Isabelle unknowingly shook the tub which dispersed the red contents everywhere. It was too late, she was caked head to toe in a thick layer of red paint powder. There was coughing and spluttering and shocked faces all round. I like to think I’m a fairly relaxed parent but in that moment it was very much an “Oh S*&t” what the hell do I do?
I went through many emotions in the time it took me to rush her to the bathroom, I was apologetic, embarrassed and angry at myself for not being able to stop it in time. I made a rookie mistake, I attempted to wash some of it out but adding water to the paint mix was a bad idea, it made things worse. Admitting defeat we had to do the walk of shame home with my daughter red from head to toe.
It took 3 showers and a bath to remove the paint but she still had a red scalp for days afterwards. In my sheer panic, I was a terrible blogger and didn’t think to take any pictures but if anything like this happens again i’ll have my camera ready. Since that day I have been known as ‘the mum of the little girl that covered herself in paint’ and Isabelle has declared that she does not like being red, lessons learned…..hopefully
I’ve written a lot to you over the past three years, those letters are nestled safely in your keepsake box for you to read when you are older. These past few months we have reached many milestones; your third birthday and starting preschool being the main ones.
I often have to stop to try and take it all in, you are growing so fast and I wish I could pause right here, right now, just to enjoy this time a little big longer. I love that you are growing into such a beautiful, bright and curious little girl. You are so caring it makes my heart melt, you want to know what everything is, what it does and how it works, sometimes I forget just how young you are. Sometimes I expect too much of you, sometimes I get frustrated and for that I truly am sorry. You surprise me so much everyday with how quickly you are learning, even the little things.
It’s been a while since I had some me time, just time out to myself doing nothing. One thing that I do really miss is enjoying a good book, I used to read all the time and forever had a book with me waiting for the moment when I could read a chapter or two. There were times when I would read a whole book in one day but not any more.
I’m not one for making News Years Resolutions but this year I want to get back to making time for myself enjoying one of my favourite past times, reading. This year I have set myself a challenge.
It’s no secret that children love play dough, it’s fun and popular with all young children. My daughter for one goes crazy for it and will spend hours creating her play dough masterpieces. This week we had a go a making play dough ourselves.
There are many fabulous learning benefits of allowing children to play with play dough
Developing those fine motor skillsPlay dough has super malleable properties making playtime fun and interesting. Pinching rolling, chopping, cutting, squashing,shaping, moulding and squeezing all play a part in helping build strength in those little hands; readying them for skills and hand control later on. Each action aids fine motor development in different ways, not forgetting the increase in concentration levels and hand-eye coordination to!
CreativityPlay Dough can become the ideal medium for imaginative play, the possibilities are endless. We’ve been experimenting creating sweet shops and bakeries for imaginative role play, not only that we can create fun and exciting worlds for her toys and figurines. Anything is possible from creating beach scenes, to magical worlds and even animals to, the list of benefits and creative play possibilities continues to grow!
As a child gets older the play can become more focussed on learning, we have discovered that the dough can become a fantastic tool to practice letter and number work. Forming letters of the alphabet, creating shapes, counting and even learning colours.
Discovery of ScienceRecently we have created our own play dough and the process of making it allowed us to teach Isabelle a little science. For something that seemed simple to me, I underestimated how intriguing it would be for a child to see everything come together to create the substance that she loves and enjoys. By mixing the solids and liquids and adding heat she was able to understand the whole process. It also became another learning experience of allowing her to help measure out everything that we needed. My only criticism of play dough is the expense, there’s a well known brand that we all know and love but it can be a tad pricey especially when keeping up with Isabelle’s creations and her squashing of colours together. That’s why we decided to give creating our own batches of dough a whirl. If you fancy making play dough with your little ones, why not try the recipe below Ingredients 1 Cup all purpose flour 1/2 Salt 1/2 Cup water 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil 1Teaspoon cream of tartar or 3 teaspoons of lemon juice Food Colouring Essential oil or essence (we used almond essence) Glitter (if you want) Most recipes call for the dye and essence to be added after the cooking process but I prefer to add it during Step 1: Add flour and salt to saucepan followed by the water and oil Sept 2: Add cream of tartar or alternative and mix well Step 3: Keep stirring on a low heat Step 4: Add colour of choice and essence Step 5: Keep stirring for around 10 minutes and the mixture should come together to form your dough Step 6: Pinch to test if it as the required consistency, keep heating if not Step 7: Remove from pan and allow to cool Step 8: Kneed in glitter if required Step 9: You are ready to play! Step 10: Store in air tight containers to keep your dough soft and useable
I’m a mum of three and we’ve been spending our holidays at Haven for as long as I can remember – mainly because they’re so focused on making sure the kids have a great time.
And they do – from start to finish Emma, Jess and Archie are in their element, begging us to let them have five more minutes in the pool or to come back again as soon as possible.
But if being a seasoned Haven holidaymaker has taught us anything, it’s that holiday parks aren’t just for kids. Yes, they’re mainly centred on family holidays but as parents we’ve found plenty to keep us occupied too.