Travelling with children can be daunting for parents, especially for those embarking on a flight with kids for the first time. The average flight time if you’re flying with  Flybe is just 53 minutes. But these minutes still need filling!

Little hands and heads get bored very quickly!

To keep little ones occupied during the flight, Flybe have created a list of 53 activities, ranging from some timeless classics like ‘I Spy’ and the alphabet game, to drawing games such as hangman and colouring in, to downloading their favourite programmes on electronic devices – don’t forget to pack headphones as this will avoid the whole cabin having to listen to Peppa Pig.

Snacks are also a great way to fill the time, pre-prepare a fun picnic with a selection of healthy snacks and don’t forget to pick up a bottle of water in the departure lounge or order one during the flight

Being organised in advance will help any journey run smoothly, so for little ones don’t forget to pack their favourite teddy in the cabin bag as they may even have a nap.

53 Activites

Here’s how to keep your little adventurers happy from take-off to landing.

  1. Noughts and crosses
  2. Stickers
  3. Paper and pencils – try drawing the plane
  4. Music
  5. Travel board games
  6. Memory games – “I went on a holiday and took……”
  7. Fun picnic
  8. Origami
  9. Guess who?
  10. Would you rather?
  11. Puzzle books
  12. Card games
  13. Naptime – with travel pillow
  14. Consequences game
  15. Word search
  16. Etch-a-sketch
  17. Finger puppets
  18. Finger knitting (don’t forget your wool)
  19. Telling stories
  20. Travel puzzles
  21. Practise pulling funny faces
  22. Learn a phrase in another language
  23. Use an old CD case as a mini white board
  24. Tin foil sculptures
  25. Spelling games
  26. Draw the pilot!
  27. Cloud spotting
  28. Pack a surprise goodie bag for them to unpack (£1 shop toys are the key!).
  29. Make jewellery with beads
  30. Snack necklace with dental floss and cereal hoops
  31. Make paper planes
  32. Fuzzy felt
  33. Close-up magic
  34. Lego
  35. How many? (“How many animals can you name that hatch from eggs?” etc).
  36. Rhyming tennis
  37. Two truths and one lie
  38. Hangman
  39. Stickmen comics
  40. Draw and guess
  41. Charades
  42. Makeover game (bring wipes)
  43. Play with their favourite app (make sure your phone’s charged)
  44. Bingo
  45. Playing hairdresser
  46. Drawing funny faces on magazine pictures
  47. The alphabet game (e.g. Apple, Banana, Carrot)
  48. If all else fails: “Let’s see who can stay quiet the longest!”
  49. Snacks
  50. Electronic devices (when permitted by cabin crew)
  51. I Spy
  52. Colouring in
  53. Story books

For child-friendly destination inspiration from airports throughout the UK why not visit Flybe.com.

This week I’ve written a post about breastfeeding number 3 and how different it is.

Well here’s part of the reason….this chin! It’s super cute to look at all puckered in (no he’s not sucking it in, it rests like this!)

But it’s causing his latch to be pretty horrible. I will preserve on though. We’ve made it to 7 weeks exclusive feeding and I’m not stopping now!

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Christmas Films

This time of year is my favourite time of year!

Christmas…I love it…I love everything about it.

The sights, the sounds, the smells, the traditions.

I love snuggling indoors with the heating on under a blanket to watch a Christmas film with the family.

I’ve made a list of my top 10 Christmas films so that the boys will always remember. If you haven’t seen any on the list them please do go find and watch them.

10. It’s a Wonderful Life – A classic from 1946, if you haven’t seen it you absolutely should!

9. Home Alone – The snow, the jokes, the slapstick, need I say more?

8. Love Actually – Make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Because Love actually…is all around!

7. Nativity – This was a film I only discovered in the last year or so. I don’t know why I’ve never really seen it before. It’s a trilogy of films but as usual the first one in probably the best one. Theres even a musical version now.

6. The Holiday – Another feel good film, plus it has snow. So whats not to love about it?

5. Polar Express – I remember going with my mum to the cinema to watch this one when it first came out. It’s grown on me since as I wasn’t super keen the first time. I do love it now though. I love the bell.

4. Arthur Christmas – I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen this one. I probably know every line and every joke but I still love watching it. We usually have it on from November time onwards. A great film with a lovely story.

3. The Santa Claus – This film is just so clever. I love how they include lots of classic Christmas references. My favourite is on the ladder when Santa falls. One I love to watch every year a few times. Again it has sequels but I think the first one is the best one.

2. Elf – This was a close call for number 1. I love Elf so much but it has been pipped to the post for a very special reason. It’s not Christmas without the Elf film.

1.Muppets Christmas Carol – This film for me holds special memories. Growing up we always watched it last thing Christmas eve together with my mum and brother. To this day we also always watch it on Christmas Eve only. I adore the songs in it. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. To me this film IS CHRISTMAS and all it represents to our family.

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight x

Any Niggles?

Still pregnant? If you’ve ever had a baby then you’ll know this famous phrase! I know people are just being nice but I find it odd the things people ask you…

Here are some other things you get asked all the time near the end of pregnancy:

Anything happening?

No – and even if it was I probably wouldn’t want to mention it until we knew baby was safely here.

Are you sure it’s not twins?

Commenting on the size of a bump….yes I’m pretty sure since most pregnant women do opt for a scan at 20 weeks so can be fairly certain theres only one child in there. Unless of course you are having twins or more and can answer yes!

Oh you look ready to pop!

What? I’m not a balloon! If by pop you mean go into labour then what exactly is meant by that? Do I look tired and uncomfortable because I feel it?

Don’t go into labour here!

Well I’m sorry I can’t actually control when I go into labour but I’ll try my best to leave if I get any ‘niggles’!

Best get the hot water and towels!

Where did this come from? Towels I sort of understand but whats the hot water for? You wouldn’t wash a baby in it, you wouldn’t drink it? I’m genuinely confused if anyone has the answer I really would like to know what the hot water used to be used for. I’ve had two home births and hot water (apart from the water in the birth pool) was not on the requisite list! Read about my last home birth here.

My all time favourite comment………

Have you had the baby yet?

Where to start with this…… surely people can see that you’re still pregnant if they are asking in real life. If they are asking on social media or by text message then you know you probably would have mentioned such a thing? And if you haven’t theres generally a reason why you haven’t mentioned it yet. Maybe you have family to tell first.

 

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A letter to the stranger at Walt Disney World

Dear stranger,

Thank you.

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Thank you for such a kind gesture. I wish I knew who you were so I could return your money. I know you wouldn’t give me your number or email so I could send it back to you but I just want to say thank you again.

We were at Walt Disney World. It was 22nd August this year and we’d just found some seats (well the end of a bench) to watch Fantasmic on (its a night time show with fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) it was super busy, the theatre seats up to 6900 guests and they’d just announced that it was now standing room only. It was a hot sticky night and the boys were getting cranky yet there was still half an hour until the show started. I decided to take the boy to get some snacks to keep us occupied and hopefully less cranky whilst daddy stayed with youngest on our bench. We walked all the way up to one of only a couple of snack carts, I didn’t take my money as I was just going to charge it to the room on the magic band as I had done so many times before. The queue was quite long so whilst we waited I gave the boy his choices. He really wanted an ice cream, I’d already said no several times but he looked into my eyes and really pleaded. We were on holiday after all, of course I couldn’t say no.

By the time we got to the front we knew the show was nearly starting. The boy was getting worried ( he does worry quite a lot about lots of different things) but he was worried we’d miss it. So I quickly ordered and scanned the magic band. It didn’t work. I tried again, again it didn’t work. I could see the boy getting upset. I had no other way to pay. I told him he had to give his ice cream back, he was already holding it, it wasn’t unwrapped but it was in his hand. His face turned down.

It was just then you stepped in and offered to pay. Our total was around $12 which isn’t cheap. It was only 3 items but this was disney and I know how much things are there. I said it was ok, I could come back later but you insisted. I didn’t know what to do. I said thank you and asked if you’d give me your number so I could send you the money, but you wouldn’t allow it.

I think you were from Scotland but couldn’t be sure. I’m pretty sure you were form the UK somewhere though. I didn’t even get your name. I was just shocked and grateful that you’d paid out of the kindness of your heart for someone else items. So please your reading this and it was you I want to say thank you again. I explained to the boy how kind you’d been, I hope this has given him an example. We also talked about passing the good deed on. As soon as I have the opportunity to I will pay for someone else items.

Since we’ve got back I have posted on a few of the disney forums in the hope of finding you to properly thank you but nothing so far.

I know that going to Walt Disney World is a luxury and we are grateful that we could go, your kind gesture was one of our highlights that we won’t forget.

I just want to say that not only am I grateful but you set a wonderful example to my children. There are so many good people in the world and you are one of them.

I hope that one day you get to read this.

From a very grateful family.

 

It’s been a massively busy time for us over the past month, at the start of the summer holidays my cousin from the states came to stay with us for a while so we were busy showing her the sights including the big smoke (London). While she was here we celebrated my eldest 5th birthday but on the same day received some tragic news which I don’t want to discuss in such a public place. Then a few days later we were lucky enough to fly off on a three week holiday to Walt Disney World. Upon our return school started within a day and since then it’s bee a whirlwind of homework, school uniforms and getting back to work.

I hate that the blog has a huge gap in it but time just hasn’t allowed me to sit down and put fingers to keys. I have however promised myself I will try to blog more and continue with recording the boys growing up so they have something to look back on when they grow up.

For now though it’s teatime and the boys are hungry, off to do tea, bed, bath etc etc!

Wagamama – New items on the menu!

We were delighted last weekend to be invited to try out some of the new menu items at Wagamama in the Trafford Centre. Wagamama at the Intu Trafford Centre is the largest Wagamama site in the company and even has a mezzanine floor. This particular branch opened back in October 2015.

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We decided that after a busy day helping at the school summer fair we’d all built up a healthy appetite for some yummy tea.
My 4-year-old is a Wagamama pro, given the choice when we eat out he would hands down chose Wagamama every time. He’s been eating out at Wagamama since he was very young. We love it because it’s so family friendly. The staff are always very accommodating of children and the children’s menu at Wagamama gets my stamp of approval as lovely, tasty healthy foods for children. He loves that he gets his own special children’s chopsticks and he certainly know how to use them.


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We were sent the invitation to try the new menu items which included Duck Donburi, Steak Bulgogi, Tamari Chicken, two new juices and a new side of shredded duck wraps.

Hubby is a real foodie and so he didn’t need asking twice to get stuck in. If you haven’t been to Wagamama before they will always tell you that no matter what you order, the food will be brought out as its ready, this keeps it hot and fresh. Wagamama at the Intu Trafford Centre has a wonderfully long open kitchen that really shows off the chefs skills.

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The smell wafting across the restaurant definitely sets the scene of the food to come. Being a large restaurant it was quick and easy to get seated. Each time I’ve been I’ve been seated straight away, as every parent knows hungry children don’t like waiting! So settled in our booth we quickly set about choosing the food.

The boy loves having his own children’s menu to choose from and Flixster just enjoyed the crayons and paper!

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We quickly decided to try the Duck Donburi , shredded duck wraps and repair juice from the new menu. The boys chose  mini chicken ramen as its his favourite and for Flixster we chose mini chicken cha han as I figured he’d like it. The food came out as it was ready smelling delicious and looking amazing. The children’s meals were still very hot (as you’d expect) so they spent quite a while tucking into the steamed chicken gyoza and shredded duck wraps I should have ordered more!

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Hubby and I barely got any! What we did taste though was lovely.  We often order the steamed chicken gyoza in Wagamama and it was lovely as always. The shredded duck wrap is new on the menu, the boy lovely it but wasn’t sure about the sauce at first, I think he was expect ketchup so the fruitiness really surprised him. He did ask for more though so it was a hit!

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It was hubby who ordered the duck donburi it came in a bowl with the fried egg on top. You are supposed to break the yolk of the egg then fold in kimchee and stir up the rice with the donburi duck for the full experience.I tried some and it was delicious. I just couldn’t stray away from my absolute favourite thing on the menu (I’m pretty sure it’s a favourite with lots of people) number 42 the yaki udon!

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Once everybody dishes had arrived and the sides had been hoovered up we set about eating our own as well as sharing round. I love the children’s chopsticks in Wagamama, so easy even my 2 year old can use them!

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All the food was as always delicious! We loved the new Repair juice with Apple, Kale and Pear. Even the boys tried to share it with us. I was hesitant as I knew it had kale in it but all I could taste was the Apple and Pear, a really lovely drink.

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Luckily the children’s menu has milk on it which Flixster loves so he was easy to distract with that!

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We were so full after the yummy food we couldn’t fit in a dessert which was a shame as they all sounded so nice on the menu. The boys even had to have half of their meals in a takeaway box to eat later in the day. I love that Wagamama offer to pack it up so readily and always have the best boxes and containers on hand to safely keep the food from getting everywhere.

Many thanks to Wagamama for inviting us to try the new menu items. We love how family friendly it is and how the food is consistently yummy, delicious and fresh! We’ll be back soon I’m sure, especially considering the boy keeps asking to return!

Justine Fletcher Anyone? He’s at Geronimo!
Now I know amongst us mummies (from my experience of having two little ones who love cbeebies)that there’s a divide between those that are fans of the spotty bag of Mr Tumble and those of us who are partial to the well tended veggies in Mr Bloom garden. I’m a gardening kind of mummy myself but I do see the appeal of the kind and caring Justin Fletcher. So if you’re a Mr Tumble fan then you’ll want to know that Justin Fletcher has been announced as a headline act for Geronimo festival this year. He’ll be appearing for one day only at each venue so be sure to pick the right day for visiting if you or your little one don’t want to miss seeing him on the main stage. At Harewood house he’ll be there on 1st May and at Tatton Park he’ll be appearing on 29th May.

I admire that he’s obviously a very talented man to be able to turn his hand to so many different skills, on CBeebies he appears on Something Special, Justins House and Gigglebiz. I know Justin’s House is a favourite in our home and the laughter it creates can be infectious so I am looking forward seeing him at Geronimo this year. I have read other posts from bloggers who have met Justin in the past and everyone is unanimous in saying that even in real life he is a really lovely person which to me is important. If my children are a fan of someone then I want them to be a fan of someone who is kind and caring both on screen and off.

Justin Fletcher Geronimo

I don’t talk about my day job on my blog as I like to try to keep my work and personal life separate. However today I felt like I needed to write a little bit about where I have been.

I work for the NHS, I always have, ever since I left school, doing various roles, working my way up and learning new skills all the time. For the last few years I’ve been comfortable in my job, just plodded along and done my best. I’ve had gaps to have my beautiful babies but now I feel much more ready to step up a notch within work. I’m engaged, I want to help, I like getting involved with things that are going on.

Today I attended the NHS Expo in Manchester, which is on for two days at Manchester Central. I have come away feeling amazed, enthused and so fired up to be the best I can be at work. I want to help lead change at work, the NHS as an organisation is always changing, always evolving, always going forward. I want to be a part of that. I’ve attended lots of different sessions today covering a broad range of subjects. I was able to listen to talks about ‘devomanc’ the devolution of Manchester health and social care. I listened to other people who had built change platforms, on purpose and by accident. I was so inspired to get involved with the #matexp programme. If you haven’t heard about #matexp just look it up on twitter, the people driving it forward are an inspiration and today I was lucky enough to share the room with them and listen to them talk.

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I went to a talk about the language of motivation within a team which was also fascinating, and I’d love to learn more to take back to the team that I work within. There are so many incredible people out there, driving forward with so many incredible plans and I want to be onboard!

It was standing room only at Jeremy Hunt’s speech and even then you’d have to stand 5 or so people back from the viewing window or screen, interesting to hear him talk about the future of the NHS and particularly the technology and access to your own patient records.

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(My view of Jeremy Hunt from behind the viewing window!)

The expo itself has been so well organised, it’s a credit to the people behind the scenes who are making the experience seamless, there is almost too much choice! There are so many things I wanted to hear about but had to pick my priority areas. I’m looking forward to returning tomorrow to listen and join in with conversations going on throughout the NHS, after all it is the people’s NHS, lets drive it forward into the future together!