Sunday, 20 April 2014
Yesterday we went along to the Pop Up Festival of Stories at Enginuity and the Museum of Iron in Coalbrookdale. We had seen it advertised and it looked like it could be fun and it was free, so win win! The weather wasn't quite as balmy as promised but it stayed fine so all was well. We went along close to the start of the festival thinking we would be there a couple of hours tops, we ended up there for about 4 hours in the end, so that in itself shows how much fun we had! The festival was set up inside and outside of the museums and the different areas were set up to reflect the book that was being read/advertised. There were quite a few authors there with their books all set to inspire and engage the young and slightly older people of Shropshire! We all had fun playing the different instruments in Ken Wilson-Max's pop up jungle area and having a go with some that we had never seen before. TADLOP theatre group. We moved on from our craft activity to have a look outside but stopped via a giant piece of art on the floor that everyone could join in with. It was set up by an author and illustrator called James Mayhew. Magee and Magoo loved adding to it and I was admiring the illustration of the character called Katie. Kite Spirit and there were lots of beautiful paper kites hung up with poems on them. Magee and Magoo loved the cosy material tent and looking at the props on display. Over at the Museum of Iron there were food outlets and the obligatory ice cream van! We settled for pizza from The Really Good Pizza Co we had to wait a while but it was yummy, so worth it! The last part we went to was Julia Golding's Young Knights and Dangerous Dragons where Magee and Magoo got to decorate a shield, they loved this and enjoyed playing Knights with them afterwards. Essex and Camden too so do go along if you can as it was great fun and very inspiring, follow them on facebook to keep updated. I have certainly been looking up the authors since and I am sure I will be reading quite a few of their books at some point.
Friday, 18 April 2014
Having a small house and being mindful of the environment, we try not to go overboard with toys. We love wooden toys as they last a long time and can withstand knocks and bumps, they are tactile and look great too. We also love the fact they can be reused/recycled and that another family can enjoy them once we are finished with them. It is great to know that they come from an ethically sound source in the first place. I will talk in a separate post about the different ones we have maybe but I just wanted to do a quick one today about the firm favourite in our house, that is the wooden railway. Mr Magoo loves trains and we kicked off his train set with a basic Ikea figure of eight to see whether he would like it. He did, so there started his collection! We have various wooden Thomas the Tank trains with Gordon being the flavour of the month at the moment. We are lucky enough to have a great second hand toy stall at our local market and we got a big bag of track and accessories for £20 which went down well as a 3rd birthday present. Bigjigs we love them as they are such great quality are bright and colourful too. I also love the environmental and ethical responsibilities that they take seriously. It is great to buy from a company that cares about where their products are sourced. It is nice to see Mrs Magee actually playing with the trains now as well rather than just bashing them around or pushing her brother's ones off the track! So it looks set to be popular with her too and it will be lovely to see them continue to make up stories and adventures together as they get older. Definitely a set we will continue adding to and will be enjoyed for years to come.
Monday, 14 April 2014
When choosing a first bike for Mr Magoo we were set on getting a balance bike as we loved the idea of getting used to no stabilisers from the start. Then it was just the matter of deciding on exactly which one, what a minefield! There are so many makes out there. At first we thought a wooden one would be great due to our love of wooden toys but once we had investigated lots of makes and read a lot of reviews we settled on a Strider bike from learning early.
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Having a good imagination is so great and really opens the door to whole new worlds. I go through fits and starts about worrying about the amount of TV the littles watch. It isn't on all day but neither is it limited to an hour a day. You feel bad when you hear about people that have banned the TV altogether but then not so bad when others have it on all day. Like most things in life I think you should do stuff in moderation and not feel guilty! For me the TV is great to keep them occupied whilst I need to start dinner or do something where they can't join in or help as there just isn't the room. I also put my hands up to using it sometimes to give me some peace for ten minutes so I can do something I want to do or just need some time out! We will sit and watch things together too and we'll talk about what's going on or join in with the counting/letters etc if it is something like Numtums or Alphablocks etc. Magoo is at the age now where he likes certain films and it has been really nice to sit and watch Toy Story or Cars with him and see how much he gets in to them. It certainly doesn't curtail his imagination afterwards either as he doesn't just reenact parts of the film he plays his own games with the different characters. Magee has an active imagination too and loves 'cooking' you things or playing cafes/shops with Magoo.