The Enchantment of Chester Zoo 

The Enchantment of Chester Zoo 

In the run up to Halloween Chester Zoo staged a special event ‘The Enchantment of Chester Zoo’ as members we were able to attend this event for free. 

The Zoo had been cast under the spell of an evil sorcerer and it was our job to help save it. The event started with an introduction by various characters to explain what had happened and how we could save the zoo. This was brilliant and so interactive. 

We had to visit 3 animals the tarantulas, aardvarks and the bats learning a fact at each animal in order to receive some potion. At the end all the potion was added to a big cauldron and we received a certificate to thank us for saving the zoo. 

Finn really enjoyed the day, even though he didn’t fully understand the tasks he loved all the characters and it was an opportunity for us to visit animals we wouldn’t normally go to. 

The Autumn & early winter (as well as spring) are definitely my favourite times to visit the zoo as it is quieter and looks beautiful with the changing seasons. I’d definitely recommend a visit at this time of year if you can. 

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The Irish Fairy Door Company 

The Irish Fairy Door Company 

I was recently sent The Irish Fairy Door to review and for me and Finn to try out. I love this idea and can imagine as well as being fun it is an amazing way to keep your child’s imagination alive and explore the magic of childhood. 


We started by decorating the Fairy Door. I gave Finn total free reign of this ( despite having a design in my head ha). He loved it, he painted and coloured in the door with the provided paints & felt tips. He then stuck on all the decorations. 

The next step was to name & register our Fairy. We named him Bing (you are able to choose the sex). I registered him online and then downloaded the app. This way we can receive Fairy updates and inspiration for fun activities to do.

We then set up our door with the provided stepping stones & magic key, we left Bing a note welcoming him to our home. During the night Bing took the note & magic key so he is now able to enter when he likes. 

The suggestions given range from leaving your tooth for the Tooth fairy or leaving your fairy pictures or gifts. You can even leave your fairy your worries, a useful way for older children to learn to express their emotions. 


Whilst Finn is a little young to fully understand the concept it is definitely something we will continue to use over time. He still loved decorating and setting up the fairy door. It will make a lovely gift for any children in your life. 

Finn’s 16 Month Update 

Finn’s 16 Month Update 

Finn is now definitely  a toddler, his little personality is developing more and more and he knows what he wants. He’s starting  to show the first signs of tantrums. To balance this out he has a brilliant sense of humour which is just developing more and more. 


 Finn’s  bedtime routine has gone completely out of the window. I’m not sure if it’s a regression or the warmer weather & lighter nights. He used to be asleep by around 7pm but now its more like 9/10pm. He naps for about 2 hours a day but without this in the day he would be grumpy. 



 He is now eating bigger size portions but will occasionally just graze throughout the day. His favourite food at the moment is pasta. He loves pesto pasta or pasta with tuna and sweet corn or peas. He still drinks quite a bit of milk in a sippy cup, water and the occasional juice. 



Finn is saying quite a few words now including; Hiya, Night Night, All Gone, Goal, Baby, Plane, Dogga (for Dog) and Got. 



His favourite toys are a wooden plane, footballs and his garden toys especially the slide. 

He weighs 28lbs, is in 18-24 month clothes with the odd 12-18 months still fitting and is in a size 5 shoe. 


He has 8 teeth, 4 at the bottom and 4 at the top. He also seems to be getting both sets of molars as well. 


Finn loves songs including the grand old duke of York and will try to do the actions and dance. 

He is a lot more confident walking and can walk for about 5-10 minutes at a time and is now starting to run. 


This month he has been to the sea life centre, the Zoo, a farm, the beach, gardening club and messy play. 

Picking the Right Nursery 

Picking the Right Nursery 

I’m not sure about anyone else but I found picking the right Nursery for Finn quite stressful. It’s scary the thought of leaving your baby with someone else. I couldn’t be any happier though with the choice we finally made for Finn. He has been at his current Nursery since he was 10 months old. I visited lots of different nursery’s and fell in love with this one. I just knew it was the right one. These are the tips I picked up from our experience or speaking to friends. Sorry this is quite a long one but hopefully you will find it useful. 

Show up unannounced  – always show up unannounced. That way you know they aren’t putting on an act. Any nursery will be happy to see you. I liked the fact they shown us round all the rooms and we’re happy to answer any questions. 

Menu’s & Food – This was really important to us. We are keen for Finn to try a wide variety of foods so I wanted the menu to be varied. I asked to see a sample menu when we visited. I loved that they served healthy snacks and encourage the children to be adventurous with food. 

Free Flow Play- Unless the weather is really bad the children are allowed to choose if they want to be out or inside. I love this as Finn loves playing outside and I think it is so important. 

Quality of toys- Learning through play is so crucial in the early years. I checked there was a wide variety of clean, safe and exciting toys. 

Routine- We mainly follow a baby led routine when it comes to naps and weaning. I visited some nurserys that insisted  on set nap times. I wasn’t keen on this as I prefer to just pick up on Finn’s signals that he is tired. Our Nursery were prepared to follow this. They were also happy to support us in Baby Led Weaning. 

Settling in Sessions- these should ideally be free while you see if the nursery is a good fit for you all. We had 2 settling in sessions which made me feel really happy about leaving Finn there for the first time. 

Feedback to home- I love that nursery give us a journal at the end of the day with what Finn has ate, his naps, what he’s drunk, nappy changes & what he has been up to. It’s lovely to know what they have been doing while they have been at nursery.  

Ofsted- I read the latest reports of all the nurserys I planned on visiting. I know a lot of it is just a snapshot of that day but I felt it was important for the nursery we picked to have a good rating. 

Ask Friends & Family- I asked around for any recommendations. A few people recommend the nursery Finn currently attends. It makes you feel more reassured knowing other people are happy. 

What would be your top tips for picking the right nursery? 

Messy Play 

Messy Play 

One of the Toddler  Groups we love is Messy Play , Finn absolutely loves it and has developed so much since we started going. When we first started he just used to put his hands in the paints but now he will hold the brush and crayons more confidently. We have been going for about 7 months now and he is so excited when we walk in the room and he can’t wait to get involved. 

First Class
Finn’s first class

The company is called Splat Messy play and I definitely recommend these if there is a group near you. Here’s the link if you want to take a look Splat Messy Play

Finn’s first class
Finn’s first Class

Sarah who runs the group we attend is brilliant, she always helps out with all the baby’s and is really imaginative with the different stations. Each week is a different theme ranging from circus, teddy bears picnic, Mother’s Day etc.. There’s usually about 6 stations with a craft to take home. 

Loves getting messy
Planting Carrots

We love it and one massive plus is we can make all the mess we want else where. 

Playdough
Play Dough

Does anyone else  go to messy play classes? How do you find it? You can read all about other groups we attend here Baby Groups.

Food Play
Water Play
Gloop
Sensory Play
Painting
Craft Activity
Colouring
Painting
Planting
Mother’s Day Activity
Food Play

50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 and 3/4 

50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 and 3/4 

I recently came across an article all about the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11 and 3/4 and fell in love with the idea. 

I think with the increase of technology  some children never experience the really fun childhood milestones. I’m not saying I’m anti tv, iPads etc as Finn does watch some cartoons, and the iPad was a lifesaver on the plane. But  I’m really conscious of making sure Finn doesn’t use them too much as he grows up. I also think this list is a really fun way to have quality family time together. 

Here’s the list 


And here’s a link to the site 50 Things so you can have a look for yourself. 

Obviously Finn is still really little so there aren’t many we can complete at the moment but I’ll definitely be referring back to this list as time goes on. I know Stu will really enjoy doing these activities with Finn as well. 

Here’s some pictures from some  we’ve already ticked off,

3.  Camp out in the wild.

And – 23. Visit a farm 


41. Plant it , Grow it , Eat it 


Is anyone else following this list? I’d love to hear X 

Baby Groups 

Baby Groups 

I have a confession to make … I am a Baby group addict. I know some people I have spoke to say some groups are a waste of time and money for young babies but I loved getting out and about in the early days and chatting to other new Mum’s.

Finn enjoying the sensory room at our local childrens’s centre

You name it from baby massage, messy play, baby matters, Mummy  coffee mornings, rhyme time, Baby sensory, gardening club, swim a song, playgroup,  baby sign  we’ve done it.

Music Class

I like a routine (as much as possible with a young baby) and to be out and about,

so I think when Finn was first born I liked to know there was a group we could go to each day. We didn’t necessarily go to one every single day every week as I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but I liked knowing there was the option. I live in Chester,  where I moved for Uni so found it good to meet new people with baby’s the same age. 

Baby Sensory

I know a lot of people don’t like attending because they feel shy about meeting other people, but I’ve always found everyone to be really friendly after all everyone is in the same boat. It really helps to have people going through the same experiences  to talk to. Plus there’s usually coffee ,always a bonus. 

Gardening Club

I found my local children’s centre, libraries, Facebook groups and Mum’s in the know (a Facebook page) best for finding groups. A lot of them were free or minimal charge as well. Now Finn is getting older and I’m back at work we do 2 classes a week (messy play & gardening club) which I will do a blog on soon. I found going to these groups has helped Finn to be confident around other babies and enjoy new experiences. 

Messy Play

If you’re feeling nervous about attending a group with your baby or toddler just give it a go us mums love talking about our baby’s so there’s always an ice breaker. 


Let me know what groups you love to attend as we are always on the look out for new ones to try. 

Messy Play
Baby Sensory