Getting creative with Nutty Putty – review and giveaway

I first came across Nutty Putty on the run up to Toy Fair earlier this year.  I was then able to see the product in action whist I was at the exhibition in January. I loved the idea of making bright and colourful things with Monkey that he could keep.  We’ve been getting creative with Nutty Putty recently, and had lots of fun in the process.

Getting creative with Nutty Putty

So what is Nutty Putty?  It’s a range of coloured non-toxic silicone that can be moulded into all sorts of creations, and then baked in the oven to provide a keepsake with a rubber texture.

We received the 8 colour Nutty Putty set, which is aimed at children aged 4 years and over.

Getting creative with Nutty Putty

Along with the 8 different silicone colours (which all come in zip lock bags), the set contains 6 shape cutters, 2 tools, rolling-pin, baking sheet and an instruction leaflet/playmat.

Getting creative with Nutty Putty is lots of fun.  The sky’s the limit really.  You do need to either use the instruction leaflet as a playmat to roll out and mould the Nutty Putty, or use a glass workspace like we did to ensure the silicone doesn’t stick to surfaces.

Getting creative with Nutty Putty

It’s also worth noting that the product can stain if rubbed into clothing, so I just made sure Monkey wasn’t wearing his school uniform when he’s been getting creative with Nutty Putty recently.

The instruction leaflet has lots of ideas to help get children started on their Nutty Putty adventures, the cutters are also great that too. But Monkey is more of a free spirit and tends to do everything his own way.  He left me to follow instructions whilst he just got straight down to the fun.

It’s very easy to place different colours on top of each other and they stick well.  Tools can be used to cut and shape objects and the cutters are great, just make sure they are pressed down firmly into the material and slightly twisted to get the shape you desire.  Once you’ve made your design, pop it onto the baking sheet provided on top of a normal baking tray and put it in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for 10 minutes.  Remove after this time to cool and then your creation is ready to be admired.  It really is that easy.

Getting creative with Nutty Putty

The Nutty Putty helps children work on their fine motor skills and Monkey’s really had to think about what’s he’s trying to achieve with his designs, moulding and sculpting as he goes along.

I was surprised by how many creations we could actually fit on the special baking sheet.  I did have to ask Monkey what the Red and Glow in the Dark ensemble was, it’s a football Mummy! Obviously …..

We’ve both enjoyed getting creative with Nutty Putty, and trying something new.  I’m not sure why the Black is provided as a ‘bonus’ rather than standard sized pack, to my mind it would make sense for the same quantity, if not more of this to be provided.  But that’s a minor quibble, from a Mum of a son who wants to make diggers and tractors next!

I can see lots of birthday presents being made with Nutty Putty, and maybe he’ll even make his teacher something for the end of term.  It’s a great craft style set in my opinion and we’ve still got lots of material left for future projects.

You can see the different set options available on the Nutty Putty website, and refill packs of the different colours are also available.  I’ve included my Amazon affiliate link below for your information in case you fancy trying Nutty Putty for yourselves!

disclosure:  we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review

I’ve teamed up with Nutty Putty to offer one lucky ready the chance to win the Nutty Putty 8 colour set worth £19.99.  Complete the Gleam form below, good luck!

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

Only the first step of this form is mandatory, all other steps are optional. Only one entry per person is allowed.

This giveaway is for UK residents only.

Once a winner is randomly picked, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within one week, the prize will be allocated to another person.

The giveaway will close on 24th July 2016 at midnight.

Nutty Putty 8 colour set worth £19.99

Posted in Arts and Craft, Children general, Giveaways, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Letts Wild About range – review and giveaway

We love wildlife here as you’ve probably realised by now.  You’ve also probably gathered that Monkey isn’t the biggest fan of schoolwork.  Whilst I don’t want him doing hours of homework, I am keen to explore anything which whilst helping him learn, he will perceive as fun!  The Letts Wild About range which have been launched today, fits the bill perfectly. They offer a range of activity workbooks suitable for children from pre-school, through to Key Stages 1 and 2.

With Monkey being in Key Stage One and needing some help with his spelling and maths I knew which books would be the most helpful for us.  We received the Letts Wild About Maths for children aged 5-6 years and the Letts Wild About English – Phonics and Spelling, aimed at children aged 5-7 years.

Letts Wild About range

The Letts Wild About range provide curriculum based activities alongside fun facts about wild animals in a bid to make learning a little more fun.  As well as the various activities and animal fact files, each 32 page book contains a quick test based on the various topics covered and an Explorers Logbook so children can track their progress.

Letts Wild About range

In the Letts Wild About Maths book we received the topics covered vary from ordering numbers and writing them down, to multiplication, division, fractions and it even looks at money.

Monkey has been struggling a bit with his maths at school, and I think this book is going to really help him over the next couple of months as he prepares for Year Two.  The expectations for his year group is going to be so much higher with the changes to the curriculum that have recently come into force.  Anything that we can use at home to work alongside his school work has to be a good thing.

The questions are clearly written and there are lots of examples to help children as they learn.

Monkey was so keen to get started with the Letts Wild About English – Phonics and Spelling book, that he couldn’t even take his coat off when he first looked at it!

Letts Wild About range

He loves his phonics and tests me regularly, but with Monkey, getting him to write anything is a challenge.  But he’s really taken to this activity book and doesn’t see it as ‘work’ at all.

This particular book covers topics such as vowels and consonants, decodable word, double vowel digraphs and silent letters, to name a few.

We visited the Zoo when we were in Portugal recently and have looked through these books to find the various animals we saw, and then read up on each of them. Monkey sees them as fun activities and we’ve spent time looking at them whilst waiting for meals in restaurants and I’ll be taking them with me when Monkey and I fly to Spain in a couple of weeks.

The quick test at the back of each book gives children a chance to see exactly how well they’ve understood each exercise and they can tick off each topic in their explorer’s logbook as they work through the activities.

Each book in the Letts Wild About range is priced at £3.99 and there are up to 9 books available in each age range.  We can certainly recommend them and you can find out more about the range on the Letts website.

disclosure: we were sent the items mentioned and received compensation in exchange for our honest thoughts on this range.

I’ve teamed up with Letts to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a set of 5 Letts Wild About workbooks tailored to the age of winners child – preschool/KS1 or KS2. (examples shown below)  Complete the Gleam form below for your chance to win – good luck!
Letts Wild About range

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

Only the first step of this form is mandatory, all other steps are optional. Only one entry per person is allowed.

This giveaway is for UK residents only. The prize is a set of 5 Letts Wild About workbooks tailored to the age of winners child – preschool/KS1 or KS2.

Once a winner is randomly picked, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within one week, the prize will be allocated to another person.

The giveaway will close on 31st July 2016 at midnight.

Set of 5 Letts Wild About workbooks for either Pre-school, KS1 or KS2

Posted in Book Reviews, Giveaways, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Joining in with Sports Day

You might have read my post yesterday, it’s fair to say that Sports Day is not a date on the calendar that’s looked forward to with any great fondness.  Monkey doesn’t like it, in fact that’s quite an understatement.  Joining in with Sports Day just doesn’t happen here. We woke up yesterday, it wasn’t raining, Sports Day wouldn’t be postponed again.  There were tears and tantrums, Monkey did not want to go to school.  He’d been poorly the day before and I’m not sure whether part of it was anxiety about this day.

I’d pre warned his teacher of his feelings a couple of weeks ago, and she was straight on the case yesterday when we got to school.  Don’t worry, I’ve got a plan, but if he really doesn’t want to be joining in with Sports Day are you ok with that?  Hell yes, of course I’d love him to join in with his friends, but I’m not a pushy Mum, if he doesn’t take part I’d only be disappointed for him.

So 10.30am approached and I headed to school with our picnic lunch and my camping chair.  I had no expectations, I was just looking forward to having lunch with him and seeing his friends race.  He’d been adamant that he wasn’t going to join in.  I set up my pitch, chatted with friends and looked on as Monkey and the rest of Year One, joined Year Two and Reception in their relevant house groups.

When it came time for the Year One’s to do their bean bag race, I suddenly realised that Monkey wasn’t sitting down with his house. Where was he? Blimey, he’s at the starting line.  He’s got a bean bag! He’s going to join in!!!!  One of the TA’s walked along by the side of the track, for reassurance, but there he was.  Monkey was joining in with Sports Day and his mother was crying behind her sunglasses.  I was blown away, literally, blown away. It’s so horrible to send your child into school in tears, seeing his little face at the mere mention of this annual school event.  But there he was, joining in, and smiling too!

He didn’t worry about where he was in the race, it didn’t matter, and I think I’m proudest of all about that.  He dropped his bean bag, he picked it up and carried on.  He finished the race, he got a sticker and his teacher ran over to congratulate him when he crossed the finish line.  A nice touch, that meant a lot to him I’m sure, it certainly did to me.

Wow, Monkey was joining in with Sports Day.  To be frank, if he did nothing else for the whole event, I could not have cared less.  I waved over to him, well done Monkey, I am so proud of you.  He beamed back at me and waved.

As the races progressed, I saw various teachers and TA’s talking to him, I saw his little head shaking.  Oh well, he’s saying no to any more joining in.  That’s ok.  But no!  There he was lining up for a running race.  I was clearly going to be in need of more Kleenex. He ran, he flipping well ran, and he kept running.  I cannot tell you how I was feeling.

His little face when I met him for lunch, he was beaming and I hugged him so hard.  What a little super star.

Joining in with Sports Day may be no big deal for most children, but for Monkey it was his idea of torture.  Something to be avoided at all costs.  But yesterday he had some wonderful support from his teachers and TA’s and he believed in himself, and tried.  I’ll never ask for anything more.

Joining in with Sports Day

I was so proud of him, his involvement was a wonderful surprise, I think that might be the case for both of us actually.  The occasion certainly called for a little chocolate treat after school and pizza and dough balls for tea!

Mama Owl


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Oh god it’s Sports Day again

It’s coming to the end of June, which means oh god it’s Sports Day again.  Please tell me that’s I’m not alone in thinking this! You see I have a son who doesn’t like sports, well he likes watching motor sports, but that’s not very helpful in this instance.  I can’t remember ever not enjoying Sports Day myself.  Although shy, I still had a competitive spirit and always loved running.

Monkey doesn’t seem to share that spirit and certainly doesn’t enjoy this annual event at school.  He managed to get through it at pre-school and in Nursery as he was guided around various assault courses.  But last year, Reception year, the agony of Sports Day reared its head.  Full on.  Monkey didn’t want to go to school, he certainly didn’t want to take part in anything, nothing was going to persuade him that the event could be fun.

I’d forewarned his teacher and she’d picked a special job for him to help her with. It didn’t help, he didn’t want to go, there were tears.  I had to sit across the field from him as he refused to join in with one race after another.  I could see his frustration, he took it out on his best friend, it wasn’t nice to watch.   My heart broke for him.  As much as I’d love him to join in, why are children put through this if they really don’t enjoy it.  What is he learning?

So here we are, a year on, Monkey has grown and changed in so many way. But his dislike of sport remains.  For the last couple of weeks he’s told me he isn’t going to school on Sports Day.  He isn’t going to wear his house colour t-shirt, even if it is his favourite giraffe top. He’s not going, he won’t take part, he wants to stay at home.  With a heavy heart, I tell him that it will be ok, he might enjoy himself (neither of us actually believe this).  I tell him about the fun Sports Days of my own childhood.  It’s all to no avail.  He’s set.

Maybe one day he won’t see this annual school event as an ordeal.  Maybe one day he’ll enjoy trying, just joining in.  Maybe.

Oh god it's Sports Day again

Oh god it’s Sports Day again, it’s today, it’s this morning.  He’ll be waking up shortly and the battle of wills will begin. Getting him to school will be one thing.  Getting him to join in ……Willing him to enjoy the experience …….. He’s 6, I don’t want him to feel so unhappy about one morning at school.  A few hours out of an entire school year. Wish me luck.

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Back to school with Trutex in September

It’s hard to believe that Monkey has almost completed Year One at school.  I can’t comprehend that my little boy will be in Year Two come September and his last year in Key Stage One.  How is that even possible?  I don’t believe in leaving things to the last minute, I like to be prepared, whether we’re talking holidays or school uniform.  Monkey will be going back to school with Trutex in September.

I already know from experience how great Trutex trousers are, Monkey, like so many boys, was put on this earth to destroy trousers.  He’s won gold medals for his efforts, but Trutex have withstood his punishment to date, and will continue to do so as he moves into Year Two.

Monkey’s received 3 different style of trousers from the Trutex range – Junior Boys Slim Fit, Junior Boys Classic Fit and Junior Boys Sturdy.  The Junior Boys Sturdy trousers we received are age 8 (age 7 were out of stock), they look lovely but are just too big for Monkey right now.  All have elasticated waists, our first experience of non adjustable waistbands and they fit Monkey well. The fabric used in Trutex trousers and shorts is thicker than other trousers we’ve experienced, they wear really well, don’t bobble and are stain resistant.  We’ve received black trousers as this is my colour preference for school, grey is also available.

Oh for some decent weather so Monkey can wear his new Bermuda Pleated Shorts.  We’re lucky that Monkey can wear black or grey trousers and shorts to school.  These shorts are grey, there is also a navy option.

Back to school with Trutex in September

Monkey’s school asks the children to wear polo shirts rather than cotton shirts, to school. They are a much better idea for younger kids I think and Monkey loves wearing them. Trutex offer 16 different shades in their polo shirts and we went for the Maroon option in size 7/8 years.  It’s not too large for my 6 and half year old Monkey, but there is still plenty of room for growth.

For PE Monkey needs Jogging Bottoms, we went for the Navy colour option, there are 12 other options available.  The joggers have an internal pull cord at the waist, cuffed bottoms and pockets.

Back to school with Trutex in September We went for the age 7/8 option on these Jogging Pants and there’s some room for growth here too.

A number of children at school where fleece jackets to school in Autumn and Spring months when it isn’t raining.  Monkey has been asking to wear one too and I was pleased to discover that Trutex offer this as an option too.

The Polar Fleece is available in 6 colours, again we went for the Maroon option in age 7/8. With side pockets, Monkey loves his new jacket and I know it will be well-worn as he starts his Year Two journey in September.

He also wanted a hoody, so we went for the Wine option, one of 6 colour options available, again in age 7/8.

Back to school with Trutex in September

This comes up quite a lot larger than other items we selected but Monkey doesn’t mind. He feels snug and smart.

I’m completely confident that the items we’ve selected for when he goes back to school with Trutex in September, will see him through Year Two and will look just as good in the months ahead.

To purchase Trutex uniform visit your local uniform shop or buy online at To find your local stockist or learn more about Trutex visit

disclosure:  we were sent the items mentioned in exchange for an honest review as part of the Mumsnet Blogger Insight Panel.

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Are you looking at me? – Silent Sunday My Sunday Photo 260616

I’ve shared photos of Macaws before and talked of my love for these wonderful birds. There aren’t many people who can say they grew up with them at home!  When we were in Portugal we visited Zoo de Lagos and they have the largest collection of Macaws I’ve seen in one place.  I was mesmerised by these beautiful creatures, both the red and blue varieties.  Monkey is rather smitten with the Blue Macaw after watching Rio and Rio 2 a zillion times. Are you looking at me?  Yes I am, and you are rather wonderful.

Are you looking at me - Silent Sunday My Sunday Photo 260616 Blue Macaw


Do you have a favourite bird?


Posted in Family Life, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

We took Daddy P to the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire railway last Sunday for his Fathers Day treat.  It’s well worth a visit if you are ever near in the Cheltenham area, and I’m sure I’ll be writing about it soon.  The weather behaved itself and we decided to make a slight detour on our way home so we could spend a little time wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey. I was interested to see what Monkey would make of the site, it was going to be a first visit for all of us.

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

Hailes Abbey is run by English Heritage, and offers free parking next to the Abbey and Hailes Church.  This would be Monkey’s first total ruin visit.  We’ve been to lots of castles, including the ruins at Kenilworth Castle, but there was enough there for him to really understand what he was looking at.  Would it be the same as we were wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey?  We could have opted for the free Audio Guide, but I knew I probably had more chance of getting Monkey to listen to me rather than a guide.

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

The Cistercian Abbey was built in the 13th century and was in use for 200 years, until the time of Henry VIII when he dissolved so many of this sort of building. There are information points dotted all around the site and lots of opportunities to imagine the building as it once would have been.

I was so impressed with my 6 year old son as we were wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey. In fairness I’d expected him to zoom around and then ask when we were leaving. But he wasn’t like that at all.  We started walking around the perimeter of the site and he’d get really excited when he found another part of the ruins.

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

We talked, imagined and he really listened as I read out about points of interest.  He asked about what an Abbey was, who lived there and why it was in ruins.  Is there a hint that he may love history as much as I do?  I do hope so!

Daddy explained what the water culvert was for, how amazing that the drainage is still working today.  So much more than a little bit of water running across a field.

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

This way Mummy!

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

We imagined people eating and cooking in the various rooms.  We imagined what the doors would have looked like, and the handles which would have opened them.

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

In some areas concrete markers had been placed so we could envisage columns and the structures they would have made.

There were event moments for bug hunting too, although the caterpillar appeared to have been hunting me.

One made a great resting place to take in the views and let his imagination run wild.

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

Even though we were looking at ruins, Monkey really grasped what would have once been there.

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

He understood far more than I’d expected him to, and he really enjoyed discovering new areas of the Abbey.

It’s looks as if we weren’t the only ones who have appreciated wandering around Hailes Abbey over the years either.

Once we’d finished wandering around the ruins we visited the small museum behind the gift shop.  The tiles and ceiling bosses were quite wonderful.

It seemed a shame not to quickly visit Hailes Church as we were parked next to it.It dates back to the late 12th century, so is actually older than the abbey, and holds a few surprises inside.  The walls are covered in medieval paintings and the floor tiles are just as wonderful as those we saw in the Abbey Museum.

We were all so glad that we took our little detour last weekend.  It was certainly worth it to explore Hailes Abbey and the Church, before heading home after a busy day.

Why not pin it for later if you’re going to be in the area?

Wandering around the ruins of Hailes Abbey

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Posted in #CountryKids, Days Out | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Golden Boy Bailey – review and giveaway

I was recently contacted by Erin Frew, the US-based writer and illustrator and asked if Monkey and I would like to read her book, Golden Boy Bailey, which was published in February this year and has recently won a Mom’s Choice Award.

Golden Boy Bailey

The book is available in hardback and kindle versions both via Amazon in the US and here in the UK.  We received the hardback copy as I’m still very much a paper book girl. You all know us as a cat family, but I did grow up with dogs at home and as my brother and his family will be welcoming a puppy to their family this month, I thought it would be a good opportunity to bring the idea of dogs into my reading with Monkey.

Bailey is a Golden Retriever, and is based on the author/illustrators own family pet. In Golden Boy Bailey we meet Bailey and his friend Sable the Pit Bull and Logan the Yellow Labrador as they set out on an adventure.  Monkey was hooked as soon as he heard mention on a Logan (one of his friends from school).

Golden Boy Bailey

Poor Logan is a little like me, afraid of the water, so a trip to the Blue Pool has him all in a fluster.  I know that feeling well!! Could he overcome that fear and would they survive an encounter with Chewy the German Shepherd who guards the Covered Bridge?

Well it turns out that Chewy is actually rather friendly, and not to be feared at all, and the four dogs soon become friends.  When the friends reach the water a little dragonfly decides to play with Sable.  Disaster strikes as Sable chases the dragonfly and jumps into the pool, Sable can’t swim! Will their new friend Chewy be able to save the day?

Golden Boy Bailey is a charming book, telling the story of friendship and bravery and we’ve enjoyed reading it.

There are a couple of points where Chewy is called a German Sheppard and I think we’d tend to use dived rather than dove to describe someone diving into water, but in general the writing works as well this side of the pond as it would in its homeland.  My 6 year old has certainly enjoyed the story.

I’ve included my Amazon affiliate link below if you’d like to purchase here in the UK.

disclosure: we were sent this item in exchange for an honest review.

Erin Frew has very kindly offered one lucky reader a chance to win this book for themselves.  Just complete the Gleam form below for your chance to win.

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

Only the first step of this form is mandatory, all other steps are optional. Only one entry per person is allowed.

This giveaway is open worldwide.

Once a winner is randomly picked, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within one week, the prize will be allocated to another person.

The giveaway will close on 24th July 2016 at midnight.

Golden Boy Bailey book

Posted in Book Reviews, Giveaways, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 25 Comments

Creating memories with Liberty Trading

We’re in the midst of the Formula One season at the moment, and of course Monkey and I are avid watchers.  Seeing a race taking place amongst the streets of Baku in Azerbaijan at the weekend was rather surreal, it has to be said.  I’ll be off to Silverstone again next month for the British Grand Prix, I still think Monkey is too young to enjoy the weekend properly so for now I’ve come up with a solution to keep him happy.  He’ll be creating memories with Liberty Trading and having his own Oxfordshire Grand Prix!

Creating memories with Liberty Trading

I’m always on the look out for gifts that are a little bit different, and the online retailer, Liberty Trading has a great selection of unusual gifts for all the family.  I quite liked their Instant Table Tennis set as we’ve haven’t had the opportunity to play since our visit to Coombe Mill last year. But then I spotted the Formula One Building Brick set for £31.99 and knew that was meant for us.

The set is aimed at children aged 6 years and over, so perfect for a 6 year old Monkey. The brand is Jubilux, which is compatible with other brick construction sets, but a brand we’ve not tried before.  It comes with 3 racing cars and drivers, a podium, breakdown truck, race control and pits sections.  It was love at first sight for Monkey.

We spent an evening putting the set together, creating memories with Liberty Trading, as we did so.  Monkey is getting so much better at following instructions and buildings things for himself.  We work well as a team, and I was rather impressed with the quality of the set.  The instructions were considerably better than other non Lego brick construction sets we’ve had, not perfect, but not bad to follow at all.  The stickers were easy to place and the set has been played with every day since we completed it.

We’ve had races and crashes and celebrations on the podium.  I know Monkey will be having lots of fun with this set in the months to come, and it’s a bargain in my opinion.

If you’ve got a football fan in the house, they have a whole range of gift ideas available over at Liberty Trading, and I know of a friend’s daughter who would love their LED Light Up Laces too.  The prices are reasonable, the range offers something a little different and I’ve found the service good.

disclosure:  we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Home goods, Reviews, Toy Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Travelling with a 6 year old – what a difference a year makes

We travelled to Portugal recently and I was well prepared for travelling with a 6 year old. The days of sitting, relaxing with a book are a distant memory. It’s all about keeping him amused. It was a very early morning start for us,which saw Monkey loaded in the car with a pot of Cheerios (he only eats them dry) as we headed up the motorway before even the birds had started their dawn chorus.

He still loves his Trunkisaurus case so he had that as his hand luggage.  It certainly keeps him amused when queueing and makes him feel grown up now he can carry it too.

Travelling with a 6 year old

Going through Security Control has always been a bit tricky with Monkey.  He always travels with a teddy or two, even now, and hates putting them in a tray to go through the scanner.  Then of course he has to walk through the scanner by himself.  It’s always ended in tears.  But this time, he coped well.  He let his teddies go without an issue and was far better at walking through the scanner than on previous trips.  Still room for improvement.

It’s a bit of a ritual that we have breakfast at the airport.  We all like Giraffe, so we headed there are normal.  Last time we flew Monkey really wasn’t interested in eating anything, and just had some milk.  This time he enjoyed sausage and scrambled egg with a bit of toast with his morning drink.  He ate pretty much all of it too.  What a difference a year makes.  He’s also become far more interested in colouring in lately, it was lovely to watch him getting stuck in as we waited for our food.

Travelling with a 6 year old

Before we knew it, it was time to go to our boarding gate.  Excitement levels mounted as Monkey could spot one plane after another.  Which was ours?

Monkey’s always wanted to sit in the middle seat of the three on boarding, which works well as far as I’m concerned.  Daddy P can help to keep him amused.  I always have plenty of things for Monkey to chew on as we take off and land, along with a drink.   Anything to help his ears adjust to the changing air pressure.  Life is so much easier now he actually understands why I’m asking him to swallow constantly.  When he was smaller I used to carry sachets of Calpol with me, just in case he found it all a bit too painful.  This time around he had no problems at all, and a drink would probably have sufficed.

Once we’re up in the air and heading for the clouds the fun normally begins. I normally trawl the pound shops before we travel, collecting sticker and activity books, colouring books, small toy cars etc and then bring these out at regular intervals during the flight, mindful to have packed some in my case for the return flight. I also buy a few new books to keep him entertained for a while.

This holiday was different.  Whereas before Monkey’s attention would switch quickly from one thing to another, on this trip he was focussed.  He talked to Daddy P about how the plane was flying  and all sorts of aviation techy things.  Then he’d pick up an activity book and actually complete one activity after another.  When we flew home, we asked to sit by the window, and spent ages looking out at the world below.  Mummy, I’m not scared to look out any more.  I’d taken a big notepad with us, and he spent ages drawing pictures.  Flying with Monkey was a totally different experience on this occasion.  The journey literally whizzed by and he didn’t get bored at all.

In fact, the games and most of the activities I’d packed to keep him entertained weren’t used at all, all holiday.  There just wasn’t a time when I needed them.  We’re not a really techie family,I had packed my iPad just in case we’d run out of every other form of entertainment, but again, it didn’t get logged into once.

I was so proud of Monkey, landing at Faro was a new experience for all of us.  We played spot the cases on the carousel and Monkey always helps Daddy P retrieve them and load up the trolley.

We normally go through Carjet to organise our hire cars, using Gold Car at the destination.  They are cheap, but the downside is it always takes ages before you actually have your hands on the car keys and are ready to go.  We were all tired, it was hot (yes, no complaints there) and we were anxious to get going.  Granny and Gramps had driven over from Spain and were already at the hotel.  But Monkey coped better than I did to be honest.  He would walk between the two of us – Daddy P in the queue and me with the cases, keeping us both amused as we waited.

Once safely ensconced in the car, we found the right road to Silves and headed off.  I thought Monkey might fall asleep, not a chance.  He was having none of that. Adventures lay ahead and he wasn’t going to miss a moment.

Travelling with a 6 year old

When it was time to come home again, he was insistent that he helped Daddy P load the car up with the cases.  I want to help Mummy.  He’s growing up.  The flight home went as well as the flight out, and for the first time Monkey asked to sit by the window.  Mummy I’m not so scared of heights now, I’d like to look out and see what’s happening.  He chatted away, as looked at the views below us.

We talked about our adventures by the seaside and in the mountains.  We talked about sunshine and clouds.  When he wasn’t chatting away, he was drawing.  Drawing his memories of the trip.  As we started our decent into Birmingham, he began a running commentary, I think he’s angling for a job with Monarch myself.  He kept us amused and the passengers around us thought he was a star.  This from the shy little boy who rarely says boo to a goose!

Travelling with a 6 year old was so much easier than when he was younger.  So much so that I’ve decided we’d be ok as a double act and I’ve booked flights for the two of us to visit Spain next month.  Let’s hope he’s a good travelling companion then too!





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