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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Gardening: A Pond For Your Children

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Sponsored Posts | Posted on 03-04-2013

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The Easter holidays are upon us and its FINALLY looking a bit more Spring like outside. This break is a perfect opportunity to get the children outside and give them a project, or at least something to help you with. As a child I was lucky enough to have a pond in my back garden. We had two at one house – a large one for fish and a smaller nature pond which we had frogs in. I spent hours out there in the garden watching the frogs and you could often find me sat there with one in my hand. They were fascinating creatures and it was great fun to have them in my own garden. The larger pond was brilliant too – it house several large fish and lots of plants. During the summer I was hardly ever indoors, instead choosing to spend my time running about the garden spotting fish and frogs in our ponds.

Building your own pond might seem a daunting task, but there are some great supplies out there to help make it easier. Its also a great garden task to get the children involved with. If you’re making a nature pond you just need a large hole, a liner and some plants and weeds. If you’re planning a pond for fish you’ll need more equipment, the most expensive of which is probably going to be the pump. The pump will make the water flow, often with a fountain or water fall, and that keeps it clear. Whilst it is the priciest part of your pond, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you know where to shop. One of the best places to get your pump would be Swallow Aquatics, who stock a range of high quality and good value pumps for your garden pond. Swallow Aquatics are leading pond and aquatic specialists in the UK with stores in Essex, Norfolk and Kent, as well as a easy to navigate online store. They sell everything you need to create your own garden pond, from liners, pumps and plants, to lighting, fish food, and books.

Visiting your local Swallow Aquatics is a great fun family day out. They have a huge selection of fish and underwater creatures on display so your children can choose which ones they want in their pond. There’s also supplies for the family cats, dogs and other small animals, as well as a well stocked reptile centre for any snakes, lizards or chelonian you might have. I only wish I’d known about Swallow Aquatics when I was getting my tortoise recently! Some stores also share their sites with garden centres and coffee shops – check for your local store here – where you can look around the plants and grab a cup of tea and a cake before you head home to get to work on your new garden feature.

Building your own pond not only brings a great focal point to your garden and provides your children with something to do this Easter holidays, but it also provides long term educational opportunities as the year and the seasons progress. Its a great chance for your children to spend time outdoors learning about all the creatures that inhabit the pond, from fish and frogs to all the little mini beasts and insects. I’m sure Little Man would get lots of enjoyment from a pond. Maybe next year.

 

Family Fun At Drusillas Park, East Sussex

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 16-04-2012

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If you’re looking to take your little ones on a fun day out you can’t go wrong with a trip to Drusillas Park. Located just of the A27 approximately 12 miles East of Brighton the park provides fantastic family entertainment for children of all ages.

Your trip to Drusilla’s will begin inside – one of the few indoor areas for the animals – with tanks of snakes and tortoises. As you round the final corner small monkey enclosures will appear with the animals scurrying above your head in clear tubes, which makes seeing them so much more interesting. Soon you are outside and meeting farm animals – pigs, cows, goats, and ponies are all here. You are welcome to touch any of the animals you wish and there are plenty of alcohol gel hand-washing areas dotted around for afterwards. As your journey continues you can meet meerkats – my personal highlight – before more huge enclosures featuring macaws, mongooses and porcupines. Every enclosure is perfectly sized to allow great viewing opportunities, as well as plenty of space for the animals to move around in.

Penguins (which have regular feeding shows), flamingos and some very chatty otters were very popular with my Little Man before we went into ‘Lemur Land’. Here you can walk through an enclosure with lemurs walking and playing freely around you. You can’t touch or pet them – apparently they tend to bite you, despite their cute appearance – but its amazing being this close to what I think were Little Man’s favourite animals from the day.

The ‘Amazon Adventure’ is a huge indoor play area for children of all ages – they have a smaller soft play area for the little ones – that includes slides, aerial walkways,  a cannon canyon, and a huge snake slide. Outside you’ll find ‘Go Wild’ which has a vast array of climbing and sliding activities for children aged 7 to 12, and the smaller ‘Go Bananas’ for those 6 and under.

When you get hungry food is easy to come by. There are a selection of indoor and outdoor dining options ranging from meals to snacks. There is an abundance of picnic seating as well if you’ve brought your own food, with plenty high chairs available both inside and out. I can highly recommend the freshly made doughnuts which are available from the ‘Station Buffet’. Shops are also dotted about selling a great range of souvenirs with very reasonable prices.

Once you’re little ones have seen all the animals, had something to eat, and run around the play areas they are bound to want to take a little rest on the train. Thomas, Annie and Clarabel run services 362 days a year from Tidmouth Hault and run a gently paced route around the park. Along the way you’ll see several more familiar characters from Thomas The Tank Engine as well as getting a closer look as you travel through the Llama Paddock. On your way towards the exit you’ll also find time for a trip through the ‘Eden’s Eye’ maze and (during seasonal opening) a splash about in the ‘Explorers Lagoon’.

We took Little Man to Drusilla’s for his 1st birthday back in October, and were lucky enough to go again a couple of weeks ago. Both times were brilliant fun and Little Man was suitably exhausted at the end to ensure a nice long snooze on the journey home. Unfortunately during our last outing there Little Man was a little bit poorly – the beginning of our gastro-infection adventure – but the staff were fantastic when called upon and made the experience much nicer than it could have been!!

I HUGELY recommend Drusilla’s Park for an amazing, educational and fun day out. It really does appeal to children of all ages.

Ticket details, Opening Times and more can be found on the Drusilla’s website.