Club Petit Pierrot – Fun French For Children

My little one was given the opportunity to learn French for an entire term with Club Petit Pierrot – Fun French For Children

I’ve always been told that this is the best age for kids to learn a new language. She previously did a term of Mandarin but I felt that it was a little too hard for both of us 😀

I think learning a new language is so important especially if you like to travel like us! It also will bring amazing job opportunities for her in the future. I can’t tell you how many amazing teaching opportunities I’ve missed out on because I don’t speak a second language (I wish I paid more attention in Spanish and French in secondary school now lol)

My first thoughts about our first class

I was a intimidated by the fact the classes are completely in French. I can just about say “bonjour” 🤣 That quickly changed. With actions and the tone of voice, you can quickly start to understand what’s being said. Little miss on the other hand just threw herself into the classes! She took part in every activity and was completely confident!

What I liked about the classes

That fact that it was completely in French. I know I said at first I was intimidated by the fact I didn’t know any but I can see why it’s better than having the words translated for you. You get to hear and see the language being used in every day situations.

Parents are encouraged to join in. There’s a sign saying no mobiles which is great (I did of course use mine just for taking photos and videos for the purpose of this post) Kids learn more when we get involved too!

I also liked the structure of the class. There was a new topic every week but the structure was the same. Kids this age (she’s 3) need structure especially seeing as she is starting school soon. The classes seem very well planned too. As a parent you will be happy to know you’re getting value for your money as well as teachers that care about your child’s learning.

What little miss liked…

I asked her what she enjoyed about her lesson and she said she really liked her teacher which was super sweet to hear! It’s important to have great teachers when learning because then kids will of course enjoy the classes more!

What little miss learned…

She learned to say “hello” “thank you” and a few colours too! After a few sessions it was like she understood everything her teacher would say. “Sit down” “stand up” “listen” etc, she responded the correct way to all these commands.

Will we continue?

I would absolutely love for Naya to continue. She’s really enjoyed this term and I’ve seen great progress! There’s a possibility that she might be starting “big school” in September so we’re just waiting to hear about that before making any commitments.

I do highly recommend these classes and you can find out more information on their website here

Toniebox

Little miss was kindly gifted with a Toniebox so this post will be a review on what I think is a fabulous product!

What is it?

Toniebox and Tonies offer endless interactive listening and playing fun without bright screens, scratched CDs or complicated controls.

I really try to limit screen time. There’s nothing wrong with your child watching appropriate kids shows on YouTube every now and then but it’s not something you want them doing every day!

The Toniebox allows your child to use their listening skills and their mind to create images in their head!

How much?

The Starter Set comes in 6 colours with a Toniebox and exclusive Creative-Tonie! – £79.95

Tonies – Tonies with pre-loaded audio content – £14.99

Creative-Tonies – add your own content – start at £11.99

What we got?

We were kindly gifted with the Grey starter set along with 4 other Tonies, Zog, The Gruffalo, Animal songs and Rapunzel and other fairy tales!

How was it?

Im going to be very honest…setting up the was a little nightmare. The instructions were extremely easy to follow but for some reason, each time I got to the last step, it just wouldn’t work. When I was about to give up it finally started working and we were both super happy 🤣

It’s really simple for your little ones to use without your help. All you have to do is turn it on (you gently press one of the ears) and it turns on! Yourself or your child can simply pop a Tonie onto the box and a few seconds later the story will begin. My daughter loves pretty much ALL Julia Donaldson books so she was pleased to see she was gifted with the Zog and Gruffalo Tonies!

She has listened to a different story every night since we’ve received it in the post! I even let it play when she’s asleep!

What’s even more amazing is that you can you can record your own stories, messages or even sing to your child, upload it on to the Tonie cloud on their website and your child can hear your voice from the Toniebox. This is a brilliant idea if you’re a parent that has to travel for work, or maybe you’ve lost your voice and your child still wants story time!

Now I know you could easily play and audiobook from a CD or your phone but I really like the idea of the Toniebox. It’s different and it encourages your child to be a little more independent. They can pick and choose what story they want by removing and replacing the Tonie on the Toniebox. They can also play with the figures too (when they’re not on the box otherwise the story will stop playing) so it encourages creative play too.

Ooh and another great thing! It turns off by itself so you never have to worry about that!

We are happy with the Tonies we have for now but I’ll will definitely be purchasing some more for little miss’ birthday! I think it’s a fabulous product and I can’t wait to see what other Tonies they’ll have in the future!

Luna Kids

We were invited to Dulwich park recently by The Luna Cinema for a lovely outdoor screening of SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

They have a special cinema just for kids – #lunakidscinema

It was lovely being able to sit outside and enjoy a lovely family friendly movie! We go to the cinema quite often so it was great to be able to experience one of our favourite activities in the fresh air!

They show a number of family films across numerous venues! It was a really good experience! They have toilets, baby changing facilities, a buggy park, beanbags, food and drink.

Where?

Numerous locations across the U.K. we are keen to try out Hampton Court next !

How much?

GENERAL ADMISSION

£13.50

CHILD ADMISSION (3-15 YRS)

£8.00

FAMILY ADMISSION

£8.75

(The family ticket can only be purchased in groups of four and includes entry for either two adults + two children or one adult + three children into the screening.)

Under 3s are FREE but will still need a ticket

More ticket options are available on the site

Torquay

I wasn’t going to write a blog about this seeing as it wasn’t a trip planned by me but after receiving so many DMs on instagram I decided a blog post would be easier to write rather than answering the same question over and over.

We came here because it was my nephews birthday and he wanted to go to Torquay to celebrate!

Travel

Torquay is miles way from London and as you all know, I don’t drive more than 2hrs on the motorway way with a child! That’s my idea of a nightmare 😆

A train from Paddington takes you there.

£20 each way was a decent price. National express was around the same price and was even longer so of course we opted for the slightly quicker train!

Where did we stay?

TLH Derwent Hotel

It’s around 15 mins from the train station.

Outside the hotel doesn’t look that great and neither do the rooms tbh but they were clean!

I was amazed at what the hotel had to offer.

  • 4 pools! 2 inside and 2 outside!
  • A kids club for kids 3+
  • Spa
  • Hairdressers
  • Playground
  • Arcade
  • Bowling
  • Softplay
  • Evening kids entertainment with staff that are actually enthusiastic 😆

I did not like the hotel food at all! The first night we spent there I had a look at the menu and half the food had nuts in so choices for me were limited! That actually really annoyed me. The food available for me wasn’t great at all. I would’ve been happier with McDonald’s

What’s there to do?

We didn’t do much exploring in Torquay but here’s a list of things I know that are nearby…

Living Coasts

Paignton Pier

Torquay Museum

Torquays Dinosaur World

Would we go again?

Yes it’s lovely here! I would like to explore a bit more next time and do a few activities. I would also stay at the same hotel! I just wouldn’t eat there!

Aladdin – Review

This is my FAVOURITE Disney movie of all time and I was so worried the live action version was going to be a flop.

When they first announced Will Smith as the genie I worried even more as he is one of my favourite actors and he had some big shoes to fill! The late Robin Williams was a fantastic genie!

Now after watching I can now saw this is my favourite movie I have watched so far this year. Everything was just magnificent! The music, the choreography, the visuals! I haven’t got a bad thing to say about the movie. Will Smith did a brilliant job as the genie and made it his own. I can truly say that both versions of Aladdin are now my favourite!

Little miss of course enjoyed the movie too! She loved the singing! “A whole New World” is a favourite of hers and Will Smith’s version of “Friend Like Me” is now a big hit in our house. It’s been on repeat for days! Her favourite Disney Princess has always been Belle but now she’s taken a great liking to Jasmine 💗

It was great how the movie stuck to the original story with a few new bits. I won’t spoil it but the introduction to the movie was FAB!

Running time

128 mins

Parents guide here

Watch the trailer here

I would give this movie 10/10 and we can’t wait to go watch it again and eventually own it on DVD!

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the borough of Richmond upon Thames. We have been meaning to take a trip here for the longest time and we finally did it yay😀

This is literally the perfect place to go to this half term! You get a fun educational day out! You’re able to immerse yourself into the home of Henry and his wives! The gardens are just out of this world and the maze is so COOL! It’s the most fun day out we’ve had this month!

My favourite part of the day was just the whole Palace. I would love to live like a Queen for the day 😀 (just not the wife of Henry 🤣) Little miss’ was of course the AMAZING Magic Garden! It feels like you’re in another world.

The Magic Garden is fantastic and included in the price which I’ll talk about a bit later! Make sure you check the weather before you plan a visit because it’s literally the perfect place to be on a hot summers day!

There’s water play, sand, and an overall fun atmosphere! Your kids will LOVE playing here for a few hours! There’s a rather pricey cafe so as always, I suggest you bring your own food!

The palace is AMAZING! The gardens are just spectacular! There’s so much history here and you even might even get to meet Henry and his wives!

Opening times

Monday-Sunday- 10:00-18:00

Last admission- 17:00

Last admission to Magic Garden and Maze- 17:15

Where?

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. 

Parking

On site: £1.60 per hour

Hampton Court Green: £1.50 per hour (500 metres from entrance)

Hampton Court station is a 5 minute walk away- Services run from London Waterloo every 30 minutes, calling at Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, Earlsfield, Wimbledon, Raynes Park, New Maldon, Berrylands, Surbiton and Thames Ditton.

How much?

Buying your tickets online is the cheapest and most convenient way to visit the palace.

Audley End Miniature Railway

We were invited to check out the Mermaid and Pirates festival at Audley End Miniature Railway and it was great!

What is there to do?

Included in your ticket price is a Train Ride, Fairy and Elf Walk, Meeting our Pirates and Mermaids, Story Telling, Craft Making, Face Painting, Games Area.

My daughter was a BIG fan of the Fairy and Elf walk and so was I. It was amazing how much thought and detail was put into the whole experience. At the entrance you’re given a booklet with the fairies and their names so you can tick them off when you spot them around the woodland area! Check out some fab pictures below!

We also both really enjoyed the miniature railway! I thought it was going to be a quick ride but the timing was perfect! You get to see so many cool things along the way. Lifelike ducks and rabbits, bear mermaids and pirates and so much more!

It’s very safe and it doesn’t go super fast for those who were asking!

The outdoor games were a big hit. My daughter was a big fan of throwing a bean bag inside a sharks mouth 😀

The ring toss was great too!

Little miss even had the chance to make her own boat and watch it sail away! The whole Mermaids and pirate theme was fantastic! She’s really into magical creatures at the moment so she left feeling very happy!

How much?

Below you can see how much the festival costs. Remember to check out the site for up to date info x

Where?

Audley End Miniature Railway, Audley End Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JB.

They’re are located directly opposite the main entrance to the Audley End House!

The nearest mainline railway station is Audley End. Approximately 1.3 miles from the Miniature Railway.

Need to know

Toilets and FREE parking are available on site. They also sell warm food but I always advice you bring your own packed lunch when it comes to days out with kids. There are plenty of places to have a picnic!

We really did have a great time and would definitely visit again! I look forward to seeing their future special events!

Haven – The Orchards

We had our second staycation of the year and again we booked with The Sun £9.50 holidays

I booked a week here for just £40. Can’t complain! This was our first time at Haven and also our first time staying inside a caravan. I didn’t know what to expect it I was pleasantly surprised. Caravans don’t look aesthetically pleasing from the outside but inside they can be really nice!

We arrived around 1:30pm. Our holiday confirmation informed me that our caravan wouldn’t be ready until 4pm but I was pleasantly surprised when the lady at reception desk offered to give us a caravan that was already ready.

We had a chilled first day here. We just had a look around the park which is huge by the way! We spent a few hours in the playground and then enjoyed some evening entertainment.

We picked the perfect week to come because the weather was lovely which was totally needed as there are a lot of outdoor activities on the Haven activity timetable!

Swimming

The swimming pool was nice and clean. I was a little disappointed that the outdoor one was not open as that was one of the main reasons I booked this break!

Entertainment

I found myself constantly comparing the entertainment with the entertainment at Butlins and well Butlins wins lol. There’s so much more going on throughout the day and the evening. Now with that being said, my daughter really enjoyed herself. Maybe I’m just being a Mumzilla but I wasn’t impressed!

The outdoor activities were fun. Little miss did 4 they were all included in our package.

Mini archery & fencing

A treasure hunt (which was most definitely her favourite experience) and a beach exploring experience where she found some crabs!

Food

I made sure I bought food from home so we didn’t really eat out but there was Papa John’s and Chinese available as well as what I would call pub food. There’s a supermarket inside the village which sells pretty much everything you would find inside a Co-op so it was all reasonably priced!

Beach

The beach is a short walk from the village! It was nice to walk along but it was somewhere where I felt we could we relax so we decided to take a trip to Clacton-on-Sea instead.

Clacton-on-Sea

The beach here was so much better! We found some amazing shells and sea life!

The pier was fun but a little disappointing as nearly all the rides were shut so we ended up spending a fortune in the arcade 😀

Clacton-on-Sea is about a 25 minute drive from the holiday village. Parking was great too! We found a place where you can park for the whole day for just £4!

We both had a great time here! I like Haven and would definitely like to try out a different site in the near future! Ooh and I jus thought I would mention you can take your cash out for FREE at the ATMs here. There’s nothing I hate more than paying to take out my own money so they get 5 stars just for that 🤣🙌🏽

PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups

We headed over to Showcase Cinema de Lux Bluewater yesterday as we were kindly gifted with the opportunity to see the exciting preview of PAW Patrol: Mighty Pups

My daughter was thrilled to have an exclusive chance to see her favourite pups before anyone else! She got to meet the characters as well as take part in filling some fun activity sheets then of course the special preview of the movie!

The movie was great as it was an actual movie and not a few episodes bunched together! Mayor Humdinger’s nephew, Harold, some how manages to mess up a plan for Mayor Humdinger to visit space which ends up with a meteor heading straight for Adventure Bay!

The meteor ends up giving the pups super powers which turns them into the “Mighty Pups” If your little one loves Paw Patrol then they’re definitely going to love them even more with super powers!

Showcase Cinema has 21 cinemas across the UK. I was really impressed with the Xplus experience as the seats recline! It was so comfortable! I almost took a little nap 🤣

Ticket prices for Showcase Cinema de Lux Bluewater:

Adult – £9.35

Child – £8.60

Senior – £8.60

Student (Id required) – £9.25

We had such a great morning and we will definitely be going back to that cinema for those super comfortable seats😀

Don’t forget the Paw Patrol movie is out on May 17th!