Thursday 12 April 2018

Easter holidays, part 1: Keeping it local!

Well, we've had a really busy, fun-filled first week of the Easter holidays! As you may know, we welcomed Dottie the Dachshund puppy into our home a few weeks ago so we decided to stay local for our holidays this time. Hubby had a long awaited week off work so we looked forward to doing lots of things together. Here are some of the things we got up to over the long Easter weekend; maybe it will give you some ideas for what to look out for in your local area.

Good Friday 

I have been taking the kids to a local church playgroup on Tuesday mornings for a few years now, and although I don't follow a faith, they are such a welcoming group of people. So, we have started going along to their Messy Church events which are held once a month. This month was Easter themed, and full of great activities for the children to take part in. The whole event is free but we always make a donation, as so much effort and resources go into running it. 

Stanley constructed a cross made out of pegs and lollipop sticks then had fun knocking it over! Both kids made an Easter wreath out of paper plates and decorated a paper bag ready for the egg hunt later. Rosie was in her element when they were invited to make rocky road for everyone to share later. Hot cross buns, homemade shortbread, tea and juice were next! 

Everyone was invited to a short but very child-orientated Easter service in the church as the volunteers set up for the next activity. As I said, I'm not really religious but the stories are always full of morals and it's great for the children to learn about different faiths...and to practise sitting quietly! Afterwards, we all took part in the Easter egg hunt outside. 

The children had to find 3 laminated eggs numbered 1 to 3, in exchange for an Easter egg at the end of the hunt! They were well hidden, it took us ages to find two full sets! We were rewarded for our efforts with a soup and bread lunch (for a small donation) with more hot cross buns and the rocky road the children had helped to make earlier! We all had a great time! I'd fully recommend you search out your local Messy Church events, even if you are not religious. The events are such good value and all the people that go are so friendly and welcoming.

Easter Saturday 

Hubby surprised the children by booking tickets to see Peter Rabbit at the cinema in the morning. They were very excited, although I think Rosie was more excited about all the popcorn! A family ticket isn't really bad value, especially as a treat. We armed ourselves with the obligatory bucket of popcorn, a pick and mix (expensive from the cinema - you could keep costs down by stocking up on the 3 for a £1 bags of sweets from the supermarkets...we weren't that organised!) a drink for the kids and a coffee for me! Our cinema has booster seats which are great for the little ones, although I recommend you roll up a jacket or jumper and put it behind their backs, to fill in the gap between them and the back rest. We really enjoyed the film! It kept both the children engaged and I enjoyed it too! Rosie ate more than her own weight in popcorn I'm sure, and the sweets took a hammering too! 

Our local cinema is right next to the bowling alley, so we chanced there being a lane free... and surprisingly for a bank holiday, there was! We opted for just one game as Rosie had already sat through a whole film and I didn't think she had two games in her! At her age (2 1/2), one game is usually enough before she gets bored. We let the children use the little ball ramps; an unfair advantage for me I though as I came last! Good job the sides were up too as it could have been even more embarrassing... especially as Hubby seemed to have his A-Game on and scored about 8 strikes!! We finished off our afternoon with a sharing platter of burgers and wedges from the bowling alley, and a little play in the arcades. 

For a fun family day out, check out your local cinema and bowling alley. Lots of cinemas have the weekend saver sessions too, cheaper children's films for a fraction of the price. You can obviously save money by taking your own drinks and snacks. Our bowling alley offers half-price bowling on certain days, and great value eat-and-play deals too, so you can keep costs down if you do some research and forward planning. 

Easter Sunday 

We started Easter Sunday with a little Easter egg hunt in the living room. I just filled up some of those plastic eggs for the children to find, remembering to put them out of reach of the new puppy! Dogs must not eat chocolate as it can make them violently ill, so I'm having to learn important things like that now we have a puppy! After breakfast, the kids wanted to go outside to play with their Easter bubbles so we wrapped up and took Dottie into the back garden too. 

Stanley and Rosie had lots of fun chasing the puppy around the garden, and she loved chasing them back! One question though... How do you stop an inquisitive puppy from eating all the grass, mud and leaves? I'm not fully clued up on which plants in my garden are poisonous yet, so any advice would be appreciated! 

The bubbles were a hit with all three of them, but they didn't last long (once they'd both knocked over their bubble tubes!) so it was on to football! We spent a good 40 minutes enjoying being outdoors, and Dottie was really becoming part of the family. Shame she pooed on the floor as soon as the set foot (paw) inside! Oh well, I suppose toilet training a puppy isn't much different to potty-training a toddler!  

Later on we popped out for lunch at The Brindley Farm, our local Farmhouse Inn in Stoke-on-Trent. The children like it there because it has a large indoor play area; Hubby and I like it because we can enjoy a bit of peace while they play. It's cheap and cheerful and the carvery is great. Just what you need for a meal out with two youngsters with small appetites and ants in their pants! 

We ended the day back at home, with our second German lesson which had an Easter theme. You can read all about it in our post, German for Kids: Fünf Osterküken - Five Easter Chicks. I'm really impressed with Stanley and how his confidence is growing! Make sure you check out the little video clip of him at the end of that post. 

And of course, no Easter Sunday would be complete without eating lots of chocolate in front of a film on the sofa! The children fell asleep and we carried on watching the film we'd put on for them! Does anyone else do that? I often find myself engrossed in the latest episode of Waffle the Wonder Dog or Peppa Pig only to realise later on that the kids have gone off to play! 

Easter Monday

Well, this is a bit of a boring one but not every day in life is exciting is it? Especially if you're the one who's off to do the weekly shop whilst your Hubby paints the kitchen with the kids and puppy at home! The thing is, he never gets much time off and when he does we drag him out with us, so eventually he has to get round to doing these DIY things and today was the day! The kids were happy to play at home anyway (Secretly, I was excited to be able to browse the supermarket aisles by myself!) I love how the kids are becoming great friends, not just siblings and the imaginative play is always heart-warming to listen to! 

Stan: "Rosie, pretend you are the mummy and I am the dog. Pretend you told me we are going for a walk. Woof woof!" 
Rosie: "OK, come on doggy, let's go for a walk. We go shopping to buy bread and milk." (No points for guessing what I'm always going to the shops for!)

So that was a round-up of our Easter weekend. We didn't venture far but we did have fun! I hope you all had a nice Easter weekend making memories with your family and friends. 

Finding joy in the little things: If you're new to my posts, I'll explain the reasoning behind this final thought. My blog tagline is, "Find joy in the little things, every day..." In a world where everything often feels so rushed and manic, sometimes we forget to take a second and really appreciate the little things that bring you joy during the day. So I put this little paragraph at the end of each post to ensure I just take a moment to do this. These little things are often the things that get you through the darker or more mundane parts of the day, they keep you going and remind you to be grateful for what you have. 

On to this weekend: There are so many things I could mention! But I suppose the things that made me smile the most this weekend were seeing Stanley and Rosie enjoy each other's company. Stan is usually at school during the week, so Rosie has really enjoyed having a playmate at her beck and call! Just little things, like seeing them hold hands on the egg hunt without me asking them too, or Rosie imitating the things during playtime that she's heard at home, these are the little things that make me stop for a second and smile. What are the little things that have given you joy today? I'd love to hear about them! 

I'm linking up this post with these fabulous blogs:

Mummascribbles        The PramshedConfessions of a New Mummy


  1. Oh my god - puppy love!!!!!!! So, frickin' cute. Really loving the pictures, the kids look like they had an amazing time.

  2. Your puppy is the cutest! Sounds like a fab weekend! Thanks for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG

  3. What a lovely bank holiday weekend. I especially love Easter Saturday antics - the children must have been absolutely delighted! Your puppy is so so cute :) Thanks so much for linking up with #ourweekendhappy

    1. They really did have a fab time, actually we all did! So nice to spend some quality family time together. Thank you for your kind comment!

  4. I'm totally in love with your photos of your puppy. He is too cute (even if he does poo on the floor). I love that photo of Rosie at the cinema. She looks so happy. It sounds like you had a wonderful Easter weekend. And I really like to sound of the Messy Church. I think my children would love that. I need to find our local Messy Church. Thanks for linking up to #ourweekendhappy. Sorry I'm late commenting. Hugs Lucy xxxx

    1. Haha, don't worry Lucy...look how late I am replying! Thank you for your kind comment, we did have a lovely time together. You should check out the Messy Church in your area, great fun and not a lot of cost either. x

  5. Wow you were busy - just reading this is making me feel tired! #twinklytuesday


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