3 Weeks of holidays for Easter, just few weeks after a 1 week ‘half-term’ break and just a few weeks before our next 1 week ‘half-term’ break. You’ve got to love the UK for all the holidays and breaks – lends to a great balanced family life… BUT also leads to huge breaks in routines for my boys who LOVE nursery and their nursery friends.
So, to minimise boredom, destruction, and madness on the double, these are the things we did to keep ourselves either out of trouble, and in some cases, ‘in trouble’! I also tried to follow the one-day-out, one-day-in rule so as not to exhaust them (and me!).
1. Cheti Chand. The break started off with our (Sindhi) ‘new-year’ festival, cheti chand, at our local temple. The boys enjoyed trying some our traditional food, watching a religious procession, bherano, that marks this particular occasion, getting their faces painted and listening to 2 slightly older boys with their teacher play the flute while messing around with one of their little girl friends. Y still asks to go back to the temple to get his ‘face painted’!.
2. Play dates with bum chums. We then had a series of play dates with their baby group & Sunday school friends either at a home, park or an indoor soft play area.
3. Body Painting. Y was slightly under the weather one day in the first week, so the boys decided to practice ‘body art’ with their felt pens all over their hands, legs, feet & nails. Rather proud of themselves saying, ‘mama, look, I’m an artist’. ‘Mama, can you draw me a tattoo like the one you have’. Great! I’m such a positive influence on the boys. I’m afraid of what they will ask for next!
4. Books & Puzzles. I opened a new box set of books and they have been enjoying being read to in the mornings, or doing puzzles with me. Since they recently had a birthday and I have hidden all the gifts, it was an opportunity for me to have them open a couple of them every few days.
5. Baking. A wanted to make a ‘banana cake’. So I hid a couple of bananas till they were really ripe and ready, and we set baking one morning making a wholemeal banana nut bread. The experience was fun as they enjoyed mashing, mixing and blending, and then singing ‘pat a cake, pat a cake……put it in the oven for baby and me’ while I put the tin loaf in the oven to bake!
6. Easter Egg Hunt. All this leading up to the ‘big’ day… Easter Sunday – for an Easter Egg Hunt. We planned this with another family whose son is the same age as Y & A. We went to the very well advertised EEH at the Kensington Roof Gardens. As this was free, you can imagine the queues and the number of families that showed up. As soon as the doors to the gardens opened, you could see the ‘chocolate eggs’ disappearing fast before our little ones could get to them. It was quite fun though and then came the Easter Bunny dancing and posing for photos with the children. The KRG is a must visit this summer for a drink or two. We were pleasantly surprised to see beautiful flamingos floating around.
7. Family Time. Some family time with my uncles, aunts and cousins who throughly indulge in Y & A with tons of attention and affection.
8. Paradise Wildlife Park. My aunt whom they refer to as ‘nani’ (maternal grandmother) treated us to a lovely day at Paradise Wildlife Park. It was a stunning day out and I have to admit feeling more like a child than the boys that day. I was so thrilled to see a white tiger, the zebras, the variety of tiny tamarins and species of the ape and monkey families, a snow leoopard, cheetah, red panda…. etc. The boys were distracted by the rides which I thought was a shame to have situated outside the wild life area but they too were quite impressed with the animals.
9. Four Seasons Hampshire. The 4 of us then went to the Four Seasons in Hampshire for a 4-day weekend. This was much desired by hubby and me as it was the perfect blend of retreat and entertaining the boys. Okay – so this is a real treat – a fair bit of indulgence but it had to be done, at least once. This particular property of the Four Seasons is very, very child friendly. The perks in short:
Kids Club: bright, spacious, has a variety of activities for toddlers up to ages 7/8 with 2 lovely playgrounds just outside. Ages 3+ can be dropped off in the hands of lovely Sitters. (who can also baby sit in your room at night). The kids club is included in the price.
Baby-Sitters: Qualified, experienced, and warm.
Kids Menu: Amazing variety of fresh food. Free for age 5 and under.
Kids Breakfast & Lunch Buffet: Also free for the above age group.
Pony riding: Ages 4+ (we did not do this for obvious reasons).
Chicken Shed: Just on the lawns. Children can also take the freshly laid eggs to be cooked by the chef for breakfast.
Indoor Swimming: You even get toddler sized robes and slippers to use!
And while you leave your children in the safety of the Kids Club… you can do just absolutely ANYTHING – like use the Spa, the Pool and Vitality Pool and the ‘Hot’ Rooms. The grounds are large and beautiful and great for a good hike which we did one morning.
10. Fun Fairs. We had one just around the corner so we took the boys on the bus and now A can’t stop saying, ‘mama, let’s go to the fun fair on the bus’.
11. Parks. We have been blessed with lots of sunny days and now even warmer ones. We are also blessed with a variety of well-equipped parks around us. It’s nice to go to a different one each time if you can.
As fun and beautiful as the 3 weeks have been… and now back to reality…
Do share your holiday experiences with us and any cool and fun activities you did with the kids this Easter.