Dear Mummy, we had a wonderful time visiting our local Entertainer Toy store this week. We visited the Basingstoke branch in Festival Place, which is the nearest shopping centre to where we live. We’re very fortunate that our Entertainer has … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, we’ve been super busy over Easter and have crammed a lot in, with days out, a wedding, shopping, events and training. It’s been crazy hectic and we’re gonna need a holiday to recover from the holidays!! My mummy … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, we love making pom-poms animals, this week for Easter we have made an Easter chick. It’s actually easier than it looks and great fun to do. This is what we did. Making pom-poms . . . with a pom-pom … Continue reading
Dear mummy, this time last year we visited Exbury Gardens. We had such a great time we decided to visit again and see all the beautiful flowers. Easter has come around early this year by a couple of weeks, so … Continue reading
Top Ten Places in Hampshire this Easter!
Dear mummy, here’s a little list I compiled of places to go and things to do in Hampshire this Easter! Easter is a lovely time in this neck of the woods and we love visiting gardens and farms in Spring. Here’s our top ten attractions.
- Exbury Gardens, Southampton – Explore the Rhododendrons and jump on the steam train to see the Easter Bunny. We visited last year and had a great time!
- Visit Marwell Wildlife, Southampton – To join in with the Easter Park Trail in the Zoo!
- Build Lego at Bricks in Motion at Milestones Museum, Basingstoke – Watch the master builders create stunning displays out of Lego. We went last year to Lego Lost World and had a fab time.
- See the spring lambs at Manydown Farm, Basingstoke – It’s lambing season along with Easter crafts and activities. We went last year and I made an Easter Egg card for my mummy!
- Visit The National Trust at Mottisfont, Romsey and go to the Easter Bunny Ball and join in with the Easter Egg hunt.
- Visit Wellington Country Park, on the Hampshire border of Basingstoke/Reading and join in with one if their themed days over the Easter break! We’re looking forward to visiting the Circus!
- See the pretty flowers at Sir Harold Hilliers Garden, Romsey.
- Visit The Vyne and join in with their Cadbury Easter Egg trail.
- Finkley Down Farm, Andover – Pop down to the farm come rain or shine and see the little chicks and lambs!
- Pop into Basingstoke Town and enjoy the events Festival Place have put on – Eat Street will be bringing live cooking demonstrations, entertainment and prizes. Also at the Top of Town in Basingstoke there will be Easter activities and entertainment too!
We hope you like our little list on activities over the Easter Break in Hampshire. Hopefully you can join in the fun! Let us know where you visit if you are local 🙂
Love Bella x
A quick Easter craft from TIGER!
Dear mummy, on a recent trip into town you stumbled upon a shop called TIGER. It’s like a smaller version of IKEA and has quirky items that you would expect from a Denmark brand. It’s been open since 2005 and the first store opened in the UK in our town, Basingstoke. We feel very privileged mummy! 😉
They have a constantly changing seasonable stock. Which is great for picking up Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter and Halloween inspired gifts. It’s very cheap too. Last year we picked up a teepee tent for £10! They have a great range of outdoor toys and activities on offer at the moment. Everything is priced in whole pounds which makes it easier to shop with a toddler without having to wait for loads of loose change at the tills. TIGER have really pulled their socks up and are stocking their shelves with some really great stuff. My mummy could buy the whole store!
Here’s our top picks from TIGER this Easter.
Today my mummy has been drawn in by the Easter inspired gifts and home-wear. She loves all the spring pastel colours, chicks and rabbits. As she enters the store, she picks up a basket and already is cooing over strange and usual items. Do you really need that brown bunny rabbit mummy?!?
My mummy picked up a cute cheap activity for us to do together as a family.
It’s a mini Easter Egg DIY decorating kit. They are hard polystyrene eggs with a smooth egg-shell type finish. They do look and feel like real eggs! Eggmazing!
You bought a pack of 4 for £2 and they come with 4 different coloured felt tips and some little ribbon to hang them with.
We colour in the pre-printed designs of little birds and plants. A nice clean craft, however I did manage to get pen all over my hands and tried to eat them, so adult supervision at all times is a necessity.
Love Bella x
Down on the (Manydown) farm.
Saturday, April 12, 2014.
Dear mummy, it’s been murky all week and we’ve had more April showers to fill a whole year in just a week! It’s a big risk going to the farm today. We peer out of the window and the sun is shining and the clouds are thin and wispy.
Our bags are packed and we are on another adventure into the unknown. It’s the first time I’ve been to a real working farm!
We head just around the corner to Manydown Farm for their Easter Family Fun day. As it’s lambing season the farm is open with lots of activities for children to do. From crafts to sandcastle building, petting the animals to go cart racing, the whole family is excited to visit today. We even bring Grandma along to see the lambs and chicks, as she grew up on a farm, we knew she would like to see all the animals.
Manydown Farm is based just outside Basingstoke in Hampshire. It has a lovely farm shop which sells yummy fresh food, locally sourced and is also is home to a great little gift shop. The staff are friendly and welcoming. It feels like a family run business! There is ample parking and a big white marquee directs us to the entrance of the farm. It’s a bit windy today and we feel it, being on top of a hill which overlooks Basingstoke.
Our first stop is the food tent where mummy and daddy pick up a burger and chips and I sit on mummy’s lap and enjoy some ham and a jacket potato. There are no high chairs which is a shame and I can see a lot of other babies in their push chairs eating. I’m happy to be sat like a big girl at one of the picnic tables. It’s too breezy to be sat outside even though the weather is nice.
After lunch we head to the massive haystack, it’s built like a pyramid and I can’t resist the challenge to climb it. However, I am too small for this task, so mummy and daddy have to help lift me up onto it. I walk precariously on the edge while mummy holds me. Eventually I flop down to sit on the warm hay.
The hay has soaked up all the suns heat and it feels toasty warm on my little bottom. I could sit here for ages and chill out.
Daddy wants to have a go on the go-carting so we trundle over to the far field, passing the racing sheep on the way! I know, strange, eh!? These sheep are VERY friendly…I think it’s because they want some of my grub.
Mummy makes a fool of herself on the go-carts (I thought they were only intended for children!?) however we see other adults on them. It’s hard work pedalling them around the go-carting track. My mummy is out of breath!
Next we visit the lambs in the working farm yard. There are so many of them and they are very small. Some of them have numbers on the side of them. Bright markers in their woolly fleeces. We meet a very friendly orphan lamb and his handler. The orphan lamb is only 9 days old! He’s so cute! I can get up and personal with the little lamb and stroke his fleece. We have a staring competition and he wins when I look away. Other children take turns stroking him and we watch him have his bottle.
In the next pen the larger sheep are very rude! Bumping into each other to get to the food pellets we received at the entrance. Carefully mummy, we don’t want to give them too much! Greedy sheep.
We go to the petting area of the farm, where farm handlers are surrounded by rabbit hutches and chirping chicks. We see children holding guinea pigs and bunnies. A farm worker hands me a small pot, inside it is a tiny yellow chick. It’s so soft and cute, I stroke it gently. Grandma and Daddy watch me like hawks to make sure I am gentle with this little bird. I’m fascinated by his small beak and fluffy wings. I can hear his friends and family chirping in their coop.
Our next stop is the woodland walk where I go for a little nap in my buggy and have quiet time. Mummy and Daddy admire the views and see more sheep and the Kune Kune Pigs. They read up about hedgerow life which surrounds the farm, by looking at the information signs that Manydown Farm have up around the walk.
Manydown Farm also has an Easter Egg Trail that you can follow when you go on the big tractor ride around the fields. This was great fun and Mummy had to spot and write down all the names of the eggs and hand her form into staff to be entered for the competition to win a free day out.
Her favourite named egg was Egbert. The man on the tractor was very friendly and funny.
As we are heading for the exit Mummy spots the crafting area in the white marquee. Picnic tables are set up and we see children getting their face painted and others colouring in white Easter Egg templates as part of a competition that Manydown Farm are running.
We decide to join in and mummy helps me with my design.
I’m sure we’ll win!! I manage to get colouring pen over my face, hands and even on my tongue, everywhere apart from the Easter Egg card which my Mummy keeps pointing to encourage me to colour in. Typical eh?!
A great day was had by all (including daddy in his digger!). All the other children we met had big smiles on their faces as well. The weather helped as it was dry and I bet this place is beautiful when it heats up a little, as it is a bit cold and windy up on the hill. This farm is so local to us I’m sure we’ll be back in the summer.
My First Easter Egg!
Dear mummy, at last a crafty challenge I can get involved with! You are making paper mâché Easter Eggs today to decorate the house. We already have a lot of the materials in the house. We have some pink balloons leftover from my first birthday bash, coloured tissue paper from present unwrapping, PVA glue (what mummy wouldn’t have this stocked up?) glitter and paint.
We start off with a blown-up pink balloon and sit it in daddy’s coffee mug so it doesn’t roll off the table. Mummy prepares the mâché mix by watering down PVA glue, making it into a thin paste. She also uses a paper plate to contain the mixture so she can dispose of it afterwards. I’m not involved with making it at this stage as mummy doesn’t really fancy peeling PVA glue off my little fingers. So I sit patiently on the sidelines sucking my thumb. She dips the pre-cut strips of multicoloured tissue paper into the mâché mixture and sticks it on the balloon. Mummy covers it completely using several layers of tissue paper to make the egg shell.
She leaves it to dry overnight until it is hard and we go outside and play. The following day the PVA glue has dried to a shiny finish. Mummy gets daddy to pop the balloon inside the tissue paper shell so all that is left remaining is the light (and fragile) undecorated egg shell.
Now for the fun part, and here’s where I can now get involved 🙂 we decorate the paper eggs with paint and glitter! And make them look super pretty! It’s very messy but great fun, glitter is everywhere up my nose and in my hair. Mummy thinks it looks pretty however it doesn’t taste very nice. We hang them around the front room and they sparkle!
Next year, if I’m lucky, I will get to eat a chocolate one.
Love Bella x
My Easter Bonnet Madness.
Dear mummy, as it’s nearly Easter I’ve decided I want to make an Easter Bonnet in true traditional fashion (well kinda)
I need your help! As I’m still so small I can’t really partake in today’s activity. I need adult hands to use scissors and glue. I, for the time being, shall just watch from my highchair as you work your magic on creating me a masterpiece. It is your first attempt at making an Easter Bonnet hat, so I’ll go easy on you if it looks a bit dodgy.
Firstly, you find a plain pink straw hat from Sainsbury’s. It’s a real steal at £1. Which leaves good pocket money to buy embellishments as well. Sainsbury’s have a pack of six fluffy yellow chicks for £2 and nests for £1.50. We scurry home with our bargains and eagerly crack open our PVA glue and mummy’s craft box.
Mummy has great craft bits and bobs that she’s accumulated over the years….ribbons, gems, bows and felt. It’s like a gold mine and I can’t wait until I’m old enough to dive into it on my own. Mummy starts off with stitching the ribbon band to the hat and gluing the gems to the brim. She then adds the fake flowers and little yellow chicks. I’m starting to get restless watching mummy make my hat, so she quickly finishes it and plonks it on my head.
It’s a bit big! Hopefully I will grow into it. It’s not over decorated like some of the versions I’ve seen but hopefully we will have many more years of creating bigger and better creations.
I hope you like it