Tag

Rainy Days

I’ve always had a love of reading ever since I was a young child and I still have my nose in a book a lot of the time now too. I’m always keen to encourage my Daughter Amelia to love books too. This Easter I have teamed up with Waterstones, at Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre to give you a run down on my top five books to get the kids reading this Easter. To hopefully spend less time on electronic devices! Plus, I have a competition over on my Instagram for you to enter. You could win a £10 Waterstones voucher, plus four top kids titles get you going, the prize is worth £38! Head over to my Instagram now to enter!

My First recommendation has been a firm favourite with my Daughter and the stories always keep her coming back for more. Aimed at children of the between the ages of 4-6 years old. There are a variety of Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam Stories. This one is entitled The Cat Burglar, by Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton.

“Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam have swapped a life of crime for baking cakes in their cafe. But now there’s a new robber in town – the infamous Kitty-le-Claw! When there’s a midnight robbery at the bank, can the two baker dogs save the day?”

My next suggestion is The winner of Watermans Children’s Book Prize 2019. The Boy at the Back of the Class, by Onjali Q. Rauf. I would say it is suitable for children aged 7 years and up. It might be a book that you could also read to your children, but it could be suitable for them to read to themselves depending on their reading ability.

“A story of friendship, hope and the importance of kindness, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a story full of heart and humour, told from a unique perspective. Featuring illustrations from Pippa Curnick, this is an exceptional book by an emerging voice in children’s writing.”

You can’t go wrong with Charlie Changes Into a Chicken, by Sam Copeland.

“Charlie McGuffin tries to be an optimist, but in reality he’s a bit of a worrier.

Some of the things Charlie is worried about:

  • His brother (who is in hospital)
  • Their very panicked parents
  • Unwanted attention from the school bully
  • The fact that he’s started turning into animals!

Even though every kid wants a superhero power, Charlie isn’t keen on turning into a pigeon in the middle of the school play.

But what happens if he does? Will he get sent away for Science to deal with? Will his parents crack under the extra stress?

With the help of his three best friends, Charlie needs to find a way of dealing with his crazy new power – and fast!”

 

We also love Lightning Girl by Alesha Dixon. It’s great to see a superhero that is a girl for a change!

My inspiration to create a superhero called Lightning Girl began with wanting my young daughter to feel empowered. It’s been a dream to create a strong role model that any child can look up to – I want my readers to see themselves in Aurora.” – Alesha Dixon

The winner of the Waterstones Children Book Prize for older children. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adyemi, is suitable for Teens.

“Magnificent from the off, Adeyemi’s richly drawn world is a breath of fresh air in Teen and Young Adult fantasy. Written with seemingly endless reserves of imagination, our booksellers were captivated by this distinctive and exhilarating novel, which is all at once fearless, immersive, emotional and cinematic beyond its pages. This poignant debut has more than enough to keep you on the edge of your seat and reading late into the night.” – Florentyna Martin, Waterstones Children’s Buyer

Don’t forget your local Ealing Waterstones has something for all ages and abilities of reading. They have an excellent section for younger children and a wide range of picture books.

Also, if you are going away over Easter and need some activities to keep the kids entertained on a long journey, you can’t go wrong with a sticker book and Waterstones currently have a buy one get one half price offer.

They also have a great range of toys and gifts too! If you have a birthday party coming up.

I hope you have a very Happy Easter and enjoying encouraging your child to read or read with them!

Don’t forget your Ealing Waterstones has it’s very own social media accounts, so follow them if you want to find out what’s going on locally.

Twitter: @WstonesEaling

Facebook: @WaterstonesEalingBroadway

Disclaimer – (AD) This post is a paid collaboration with Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and I was gifted the above products from Waterstones in return for a review.

Please follow and like us:

Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery – A Family Afternoon Out In Ealing

March 17, 2019
Comments Off on Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery – A Family Afternoon Out In Ealing

Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery finally re-opened it’s doors this weekend in Ealing, after being closed for three years while the Grade-1 listed building underwent refurbishment. Once the country home of British architect Sir John Soanes. Built between 1800 and 1804 it is a stunning example of architecture of this time. The opening has been eagerly awaited by the people of Ealing, West London. For many months the building has been shrouded by hoardings and I have often walked past to try to get an glimpse of what has been going on. So I was thrilled to be some of the first members of the public to venture into this stunning building this weekend!

I am over the moon that here in Ealing we have somewhere to view amazing pieces of art on our doorsteps. The exhibition area intends to have three different artists presenting their work over the next twelve months. Currently, Anish Kapoor is showing his work until the 18th August 2019.

Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery – Ealing

I am also so glad that Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery will be providing space for local families to engage in creative activities and other workshops suitable for adults too. This addition to Ealing will make our area even more well known as place for families and help our community to grow.

The house is really interesting to walk around and there is plenty to learn about it’s history and of course how the refurbishment was completed. Amelia particularly enjoyed dressing up in some costumes that were available!

In the Upper Drawing Room the beautiful wallpaper really is spectacular! Within this room there is an opportunity for children to play with wooden blocks and other interactive hands on toys. While parents can sit and marvel at this stunning room!

Heading downstairs to the Gallery area, which was once Ealing Lending Library and dates from 1939. You can enjoy Anish Kapoor’s exhibition in this amazing light space.

Anish Kapoor’s Exhibition at Pitzhanger Manor & Art Gallery – Ealing

These pieces of art are really breathtaking and transport you into another world of mirrors and light. It’s hard to really get a full appreciation of Anish Kapoor’s work without actually seeing them, so I highly recommend that you go and see them for yourself. My Daughter Amelia found them fascinating, as I’m sure most children would!

Finally on your way out don’t forget to visit the shop. Selling lots of lovely gifts and some locally produced products too. Including Pitzhanger honey and cards by local artist Charlotte Berridge.

Information to help plan your visit

Address: Mattock Lane, Ealing, W5 5EQ

Admissions and bookings

Go to the website

Opening Hours see below

Ticket prices

Adult tickets start at £7.70, with a reduction in price for Ealing residents priced at £4.95. The ticket price includes entry to the house and gallery.

Children from 0-17 years are free of charge, there are various other concessions, so please see the website for full details.

You can also join as a member which will give you free unlimited entry, plus many other benefits.

Ealing residents can also visit for free on Tuesday and Sunday mornings.

Accessibility 

The whole building is accessible to wheelchairs and buggies.

What’s on

There are so many events planned at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery coming up over the next few months. I’m especially looking forward to some of the family activities they have planned. Including: Upcycled Easter Baskets & Disco Eggs, Chocolate Easter Egg Workshop, Little Builders: The Great Materials Hunt, May Half-Term: Mystical Mirrors and stories and Open House Families to name a few.

You can pick up a copy of the What’s On Guide at the Manor or find out more details over on their website.

If you enjoyed this blog post then, why not have a read of one of my other posts? Ealing 135 Group – Local Parenting Support & Events

Please follow and like us:

Watermans – Local Theatre & Cinema for the holidays

December 28, 2018
Comments Off on Watermans – Local Theatre & Cinema for the holidays

At a loss for things to do with the family after Christmas in Ealing? How about visiting your local Arts Centre Watermans? They have some wonderful family theatre and cinema for the Christmas holidays. Watermans is just down the road from Ealing in Brentford. Easily accessible from Ealing, a short bus ride on the number 65 or if you want to drive they have a car park too. We went to see their festive show, The Heart of Winter by Lyngo Theatre and my six year old sat for the full sixty minutes totally engrossed in this original story. She absolutely loved the special effects from the smoke machine, lighting and even the clever use of talcum powder!

Image credit: Anna Forlati

“Christmas is coming and Sally can’t sleep – it’s far too hot! The weather has gone topsy-turvy. No-one can remember the last time it snowed, or even rained, and her father can’t sell any of his umbrellas. To help her sleep Dad reads her a story about the last snowflake.

That night Sally has a dream that changes everything – a mysterious silver spark transforms her bedroom into a glistening, white field where she meets the glowing heart of Winter.

Watermans welcomes back Lyngo Theatre, who brought you the playfully comic Snow Play in 2016. Heart of Winter is their magical new musical show which warmly celebrates family, friendship and the good fortune of finding the winter we really need and want…with the precious festive offering of lots of fluffy snow!”

We really enjoyed this show, it had a magical quality. The story was simple enough for young children to grasp, but at the same time it had a message that adults could get something from it too. You still have time to catch a performance as it ends on the 30th December. Shows run both in the morning and the afternoon. Tickets can be booked online and to give you an idea of the price a family of four could see the show for £36.00, which I think is very reasonable.

Watermans also have plenty of family cinema showing in the coming weeks, including Mary Poppins Returns. Running from the 4th January until the 17th January. They also offer parent and baby screening, which means you get to enjoy a film without the worry that your baby might disturb others.

The Grinch is on now until the 3rd January and with all tickets priced at £5.00. It makes it a more affordable option than going to some of the more mainstream cinemas.

Plus don’t forget The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, which on now until the 3rd January.

Watermans Spring programme is out now, with lots of children’s shows suitable for different age ranges. Some of the highlights include: Three Sat Under The Bayan Tree, Mischief and Mystery in Moomen Valley and Snow White, Red Rose and Brown Bear. Have a look at the Watermans Website for all the details.

Watermans – Brentford, London

Disclaimer: we were gifted free tickets in return for a review. As always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of our visit.

 

Please follow and like us:

Children’s Crafts – Swedish Dala Horse Decorating

April 10, 2018
Comments Off on Children’s Crafts – Swedish Dala Horse Decorating

The perfect rainy day activity this week, has been a wonderful children’s craft project decorating wooden Swedish Dala Horses. The weather so far for April has been pretty awful, so unfortunately we have had a few days this school holiday at home. So when Clas Ohlson asked us if we would like to get involved with their project as part of their 100th year birthday celebrations? I was literally chomping on the bit, excuse the pun!

So what you may ask is a Swedish Dala Horse? Well, according to Clas Ohlson…..

“It was in the small log cabins, deep in the forests of the Swedish Dalarna region, the the Dala horse was born. Using simple tools, nestled around a log fire, woodcarvers made these Dala horse toys for their children.

Clas Ohlson also begun life in the Dalarna region, so it’s no surprise that the Dala horse is special to us. When we open a Clas Ohlson store, each member of staff is given a commemorative Dala horse to mark the occasion.

The most famous Dala horse pattern, with its red, white, green, yellow and blue design, is believed to be 150 years old.”

So, as you can see from the look of concentration on Amelia’s face the art of Dala horse decorating was taken very seriously! We had a set of three different sized horses to paint and I joined in too! The first stage was to cover each horse in acrylic paint.

Once the first layer was dry we painted on patterns and then added a layer of glitter, or two or maybe three! We did get slightly carried away with the glitter and on this session I forgot to make Amelia wear her art overall, so we both got covered in glitter! I think perhaps our horses look slightly more like unicorns!

We had so much fun decorating the horses! I would highly recommend it as the perfect rainy day craft project!

All of the craft products we used can be purchased either in store or online at Clas Ohlson.

If you and your children would like to paint and decorate your very own Swedish Dala horse, then you are in luck! To celebrate their 100th Birthday Clas Ohlson will be running a FREE Dala horse decorating workshop this Thursday 12th April 2018 11am-2pm in The Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre! Plus those who take part will receive 20% off in the store on that day.

 

Disclaimer – This is collaborative post, however all views and opinions are my own and an honest reflection of the products.

Please follow and like us:

Top 5 Soft Play Venues Near Ealing – Plus How to Survive Soft Play!

May 29, 2017
Comments Off on Top 5 Soft Play Venues Near Ealing – Plus How to Survive Soft Play!

What do you do on a rainy day? Go to a soft play venue of course! I’m sure many parents out there are all too familiar with hours spent watching their little ones climb, tumble and go up and down slides for hours on end! So here is my handy guide to all my favourite venues near to Ealing.

Topsy Turvy World – Brentcross

Topsy Turvy World, has been our go to favourite soft play venue for a while now. The reason being that it is not too big and over whelming like some venues can be. Also as it is within the Brentcross Shopping Centre you can park all day for free! So we often make a day of it. Maybe visit the soft play in the morning and then do some shopping in Brentcross and then it’s on to have lunch in one of the many restaurants.

Topsy Turvy World has different zones for a variety of age groups. Ranging from a specially designated area for babies/toddlers, to a play zone for pre-schoolers and then the big play frame for children up to 12 years.

 

Bramleys Big Adventure – Ladbroke Grove

Bramleys Big Adventure is located just under the Westway Flyover and is a short drive from Ealing. Parking is easy as you can use the pay and display car park at the Westway Sports Centre.

There is a separate babies and under 5’s play area, plus all the usual play frames, slides and ball pools.

Eddie Catz – Putney 

Eddie Catz on Putney High Street is another place we would recommend. It has a designated area for under 3’s and a larger play frame for children up to the age of 8 years.

It has a slightly different variation in the fact that they offer access to interactive games (which are included in the price) from air hockey to table football. They also have a dressing up and reading zone.

For parents there are free newspapers, magazine and Wifi available. Parking is not available on site, so you would need to park in the local shopping centre which is near by.

Heathrow Play Gym – Feltham

Heathrow Play Gym is not your usual soft play venue, as it is actually a fully functioning gymnastics club, which when not in use it runs as a play gym. It is suitable for toddlers up to the age of 7 years. Just bear in mind that each play session starts and ends on the hour, so if you turn up half way through a session you might be asked to wait. Also at busy times it is advisable to get there early as there is a limit to how many children they can have in the play gym at one time. There is also free parking on site.

We like it as it is somewhere a bit different and has many features that you won’t find in other venues such as trampolines, balance bars and a sensory area which is designed for interactive learning and relaxation. Plus our Daughter loves to watch the planes fly over in the car park, the aircraft are just landing and taking off so you won’t get a better view anywhere else!

Snakes and Ladders – Brentford

Snakes And Ladders is the nearest to Ealing, so is always on my back up list for a rainy day. It has plenty of free parking at the Wyevale Garden Centre and then it is about a 10 minute walk up to the venue.

We love the imaginary play zone, where you child can pretend to work in a shop, hospital or drive a bus. There is a designated under 5 play zone and also a recently opened outdoor area if the weather is good enough. My Daughter loves the wooden pirate ship and sand area.

 

Please follow and like us: