Stomp Dinosaur Stomp

We have stomped dinosaur stomped our way through week four of our Summer of Fun!

Here’s a quick reminder of what we’ve been up to this week:
reminder of what we’ve been up to this week:

Making Mondays Trip out Tuesdays Wacky Wednesdays Thinking Thursdays Foodie

Fridays

Make your own dinosaur bones out of salt dough. Take a trip to a natural history museum Do you remember the bones you made on Monday?  Dig for them today in your own dinosaur excavation! Make some frozen dinosaur eggs.  How do we get the dinosaurs out? Make dinosaur footprint biscuits.

This week required a little bit of planning, as some of our activities were done over a couple of days.

 Making Monday,

We began the week making a basic salt dough recipe (equal volumes of plain flour and salt, mixed with approximately half the volume of cold water until they form a soft, but not sticky dough). Miss N was tasked with using her salt dough to make dinosaur bones. I then baked these at 100C (fan oven) for 3 hours.

I used up the leftover salt dough in the evening to make some footprint tiles. After baking and cooling, I painted the footprints and left them out with the matching dinosaurs for the children to explore.

Trip Out Tuesday

We are becoming dinosaur experts after our trip to the National History Museum in London – an amazing trip out Tuesday! Meemoo Pook and I took the opportunity on Tuesday to visit to refurbished Natural History Museum in Luxembourg. While small in comparison to London we still had a great time.

 Wacky Wednesday

I buried Miss N’s salt dough skeleton in the sandpit, and set out scraping tools and brushes for the children to excavate the skeleton. Add an explorer’s hat, and Miss N looked every bit the expert archaeologist!

Gemma had less space, but still was able to do this brilliantly on a smaller scale too.

Throw in a little dinosaur movement (flap like a pterodactyl, stomp like a stegosaurus or run like a velociraptor) and you have a truly Wacky Wednesday!

Thinking Thursday 

We had so much fun playing and exploring with our Dinosaur Swamp with frozen eggs.

 Foodie Friday

We put Mr Z’s excellent mark-making skills to good use by making a basic shortbread biscuit, and pressing the toy dinosaurs into the dough before baking. We added a little icing to the imprints when the biscuits were cool, to make them pop! Yummy! I think Foodie Friday is a perfect end to the week!

 

Please share your dinosaur adventures on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram.

Next week we are exploring fairy tales and imaginary worlds – where will you travel to? Come and join us for our summer of fun, just sign up in the pop box on the right to receive your exclusive and free play ideas for next week straight to your email inbox.

Hidden Gems of Luxembourg

The best hidden gem we have discovered  has to be the play parks. They are just so much more than a swing, and a couple of bouncy things and something to climb if you are lucky. We have discovered some amazing parks in Luxembourg, there seems to be a park around every corner. In fact, there are 172 parks within the city some of these are playgrounds within a school that the public can use in the holidays. We have our own little park around the corner from our flat, complete with swings, slides, climbing frame, roundabouts and sand to play with.

In this new Hidden Gems series, I am going to begin by reviewing the parks while the sun is shining and we seem to spend lots of our time in them.

Luxembourg’s Castle Park

The Castle Park is exactly that, a playground all based around the theme of a castle. The first thing you see as you enter the park is two knights standing guard outside the entrance.

The entrance is an archway which running above are the battlements. As you walk further into the park it there are many bridges and towers for children to climb up and then slide back down, catering for children of many different ages. Pook at almost 5 can happily and easily negotiate the majority of the park, Meemoo is not far behind her practising her climbing skills.

However, it is the sheer attention to detail that still after many visits you find  for the children to incorporate into their play. There is a kitchen area complete with a caged rabbit and chicken already for the pot. Around the other side where the knights are on guard there are a couple of wine bottles resting.

The castle theme has been used to create a hammock style swing between 2 horses and a rocking carriage. The detailing continues in the design with flag and its own fox emblem repeated across the castle. The park also offers a set of baby swings, larger swings, a see – saw. There are small bouncers which are rats, continuing the medieval theme of the park.  The only downside to this park is that is only one pay per use public toilet right on the edge of the park and no café.

 

Practical Info

  • Park is on Rue de Charlemenge
  • There is lots of on street paid parking.
  • It is easily reached by the number 5 and 6 bus getting off at the Orval stop and a short walk up Rue d’Orval.

 

The park is a dream place to have imaginative adventures in play for all, a hidden gem of Luxembourg city.

We’re off and away!

 

Off and away, indeed we are. Our great adventure has truly begun now that we have been in Luxembourg for a whole month. A few weeks ago we were reunited all 228 boxes and packages, which made our house more than just walls.

So apart from unpacking and sorting out we have taken full advantage of being here by becoming weekend tourists, enjoying the ‘Summer in the City’ events.

 

Our first event was Kanner in the City, where parts of the city centre where turned into playgrounds with hundreds of different free activities for children to take part in. Meemoo and Pook had a wonderful time, exploring how to make different sounds with all of the interesting and different musical instruments.

However, the oddest thing I have seen in a long while was troughs of water for children to stand in and copy an adult in front of them doing various dance/aerobic moves. The children, Pook included loved it.

 

Last weekend we enjoyed the Street A(rt)inmation festival. It consisted of lots of art performers on the streets of the city. We saw lots of performers singing, acting and dancing.

20160813_182516

This weekend in Luxembourg saw the start of the Schberfouer in its 676th year. It began in 1340 as a sheep market and has continued to this day with a lot less sheep and lots more fun fair attractions. The first games appeared in the 18th century with a Ferris wheel and roller coaster appearing in the early 20th century. I have never seen a fun fair on this scale before, with restaurants on site and huge scary rides whizzing around overhead.

We went in the early evening, when the music is turned down for the children, before it got too busy.  Meemoo and Pook loved looking at all of the rides and enjoyed a few of the child friendly ones.

So we have had a busy first month full of polar opposites. There has been lots of unpacking, finding your way around a new city, registering Pook for school, trying to find some new friends, and then on the flip side being a tourist, making the most of exciting opportunities, seeing new sights, exploring and having new  wondrous adventures.

Maybe this is what it means to be an ex pat, somewhere in between a tourist and a true local who has seen all this many times before.

We’ve landed.

So we have finally landed in Luxembourg, to begin the adventure of our life as expats.

It all began last week with the arrival of the packing and removal company, who began the enormous task of boxing up our house. They were so quick just wrapping, filling and stacking boxes before writing in all down on an inventory, our life all packed up in 228 boxes.

I just spent time panicking that things I wanted would be packed so decided I was best off out of the way and had my hair cut. You gotta look glamourous arriving in a new country right?!  Meemoo and Pook were out of the way at pre school for thier last day.

The next day we travelled to Heathrow. Meemoo and Pook had never flown before so were amazed at all the people, the shops and restuarants. The pair of them squealed with delight as the airplane took off. The weather was particularly stormy in Luxembourg that evening so 30 mintues before the end of the flight all tables were away and seat belts back on as we flew through and around thunderstorms.  Meemoo and Pook however just thought it was an extended rollercoaster ride, with their arms in the air shouting again after each turbulence encounter and laughing as the airplane was buffeted by the wind and dropping through clouds. Finally we landed in Luxembourg and were reunited with Speedy.

We have spent the last few days exploring Luxembourg city. It is a beautiful place, with a new park for Meemoo and Pook to discover daily.

20160723_113735

We have been on so many buses, hopping on and off accross the city as we find our way around,

20160727_211900

but as I found out yesterday you need to be really quick at getting off as the buses dont wait, so we went on to the next stop and found a new way back to our temporary flat. Getting I am sure will be a common experience in the coming weeks.

Next we we move again to our new flat for the next two years and can be reunited with all 228 boxes and items.  How I am going to fit all of it into our new home I dont know. I do know that want to have spaces for play and spaces for grown up relaxation without stepping on hard bits of plastic. I do know I have to make a balcony, three floors up a safe place, and sort out how Meemoo and Pook are going to share a room.

So off to obssesivly scroll through pintrest for neat ideas!

Will keep you all posted soon.

Thanks for reading!

Adventure begins

So our adventure is underway. We have sorted and I have made many many more trips to the tip and listed so much of my junk for sale on various internet selling websites! But now comes the really fun part, redesigning how we will live, as we move from a townhouse to a open plan apartment.

I have been thinking about how the space will work for Meemoo and Pook. They are going to be sharing a room for the first time and I am keen to ensure that they get to keep their own identities in a shared space, while making sure there is plenty of room to play and a snug place to sleep. I have been exploring lots of the ideas on a new, well to me, online home design platform. It is a space for designers and business to post photos, plus an online magazine. The great thing is that you can use the images to create an ideabooks working like an online mood board. You can also search through professionals ideabooks, a sneaky peek at their creative ideas. I used it to search for children’s bedroom ideas.  There are lots of wonderful and inspiring ideas.

As we will be renting the bed is going to be the main piece of furniture I can use to add colour and style to the bedroom. I like the idea of bunk beds. Here are my top 5 favourite ideas featured on Homify.

A very traditional style bunk bed. I like the mix of white and wood but for me it is lacking in storage.
IO Bunk Pod Bunk Bed : Beds & cribs by E-Side
I love the curved lines and its pod shape with built in shelves for books and teddies.
KIDS TREEHOUSE BEDROOM BUNKBED in White : Beds & cribs by Cuckooland

 

It is so cute but lacking in storage. With this in mind and being mindful that we will need some decent storage I am favouring a twist on a more traditional bunk bed.

Train bed at bobo kids : Beds & cribs by bobo kids

I like how one is not completely above the other. It is shared space while at the same time giving both Meemoo and Pook the opportunity to add their own personalities within their separate bed spaces.

’Pink’ Contemporary girls bedroom furniture set by Clever : Beds & cribs by My Italian Living

 

This has to be the ultimate version of a bunk bed. It even has its own set of stairs. Sorry Meemoo and Pook , Mummy wants this for herself!

Stay in touch for more news and my thoughts about our adventure!

This was a featured post written in collaboration with Homify.

 

 

We’re off on an adventure

We are as a family about to embark on a life changing adventure.

We are relocating, emigrating, becoming ex-pats in the county of Luxembourg.

Where you ask? Well before I knew about this I too knew only very little about the tiny county slap bang in the middle of Europe, with Belgium to the north and west, France to the south and Germany to the east.

luxe-MMAP-md

Being so central to Europe there is not one but three…yes three official languages, Luxembourgish (it really exists), French and German. So not much of a challenge then.

Why? Well way back in February Speedy had an offer of an interview little did we know it would mean relocating at the first stage. Then it just snowballed and after many phone interviews and interviews in person he was offered a job. A really amazing job, with an amazing opportunity for us all. The wanderlust part of me has often thought about living in another country, never really considered where or how.  So when opportunity like this comes your way you have to say yes despite all the doubts and concerns.

How? I really don’t have this figured out yet. I just have my trusty notepad with copious lists and random thoughts, how will I ever pack and move this house, how many more trips to the tip will I make before we leave, how will it effect Pook and Meemoo? Will I ever be able to speak enough of one of the languages?

So keep reading to find out about the highs and lows of our adventure.