During school holidays when N’s nursery school is off, I try and put him in his day nursery for a few extra days. Avoids taking too many random days of work rather than a good chunk longer holidays. But last week I’d take off an extra day so we could have one fun day out together. Our initial vague plans to meet friends fell through, so we wangled an invite with a couple of N’s nursery school friends to Stratford for an afternoon.
I’m also friends with one of the mums, so they came over for a ‘picnic’ lunch first. N was really excited about having a picnic, but the weather hadn’t been looking promising enough to have it when we got to Stratford. So they had an impromptu indoor picnic instead.
I think this friend is the only one that N hasn’t told me beforehand ‘They can’t play with my toys’. Usually he lets them anyway, but it makes me laugh how he often says that even though he loves having people to play. For some reason N always gets excited about showing friends his room. No idea why as a) it’s usually a mess and b) it’s not got
cool any decoration in.
The boys loved being in the car together, and on arrival it was lovely to see them holding hands and walking nicely along. Sometimes as a parent you wonder about one sided relationships between children, but N and his friend L seem to like each other the same amount which is a relief.
I hadn’t realised there was a great playground along by the river, so we met the other boy from nursery school and his mum and younger sister, and the boys had a great time checking out all the different play equipment and what there was to see.
Usually N’s a sand obsessive…at nursery at least, as he comes home having played with it, driving vehicles in it most of the day. I find sand deposits in the car days later. But here, although there was a huge sandpit with water runs, then further play equipment, he wasn’t interested. Well, apart from the digger machine (more on that another time as we had a little episode regarding that).
As the weather was perfect for being outside, not too hot, but dry and not too windy, it was busy. But not so busy that they couldn’t go on the equipment they wanted. It turned out there was also a paddling pool area there, so next time if it’s warm, we’ll definitely have to take a towel and swim shorts/top although as Stratford gets manic when the weather is beautiful, I would expect the park would get ridiculously busy at weekends when we’d be likely to go.
The boys also ventured towards the zipwire. N’s never had a go before, mainly because I’ve never thought he’d hold on, plus it’s hard if you’re on your own to get a child lifted on and launched at one end, and then get down to the end to help them off. So with 3 adults, there wasn’t really an excuse to let them have a go.
All three loved it, and had a couple of goes each, standing in line. I’m thinking in future, I need to get better at moving around to take photos, as they always seemed to twist around the wrong way
We managed to drag them past the ice cream van (no Mr Whippy there, but a locally made more vintage style ice cream van!) with the lure of the Butterfly Farm. We’d never been before but the others were keen on seeing the spiders and bugs.
Considering it’s just a few butterflies, bugs, lizards, spiders and snakes, it’s quite a pricy visit (none of the boys made the free under 3s entry), although we did link up to get a family ticket.
The butterflies were gorgeous, and several other children managed to pick them up and walk round with them. N had one attached to his shoe; once other children had pointed out, and we’d got it off, he wasn’t sure about the butterflies after that for a while.
The huge koi carp were a draw, plus of course quite a few bridges which N does love The boys loved pointing out the animals they spotted. N wasn’t that excited by the spiders, beetles and bugs, as by that stage he was still getting over his butterfly on shoe angst.
It was a lovely afternoon out with friends, and hopefully we’ll have a few more similar afternoons over the summer months.