Arundel Castle – A Wonderful Day Out with Kids!

Personally, I love the school holidays. I know that for many people, the holidays are not the easiest of times – especially when there are work commitments and many mid week ours to fill. Luckily, my work is flexible enough, that school holidays are an opportunity for us to DO STUFF. YAY! Especially the things were we can go a little bit further afield. Living near London, we have access to lots of fabulous activities IN LONDON, but sometimes it is nice to go further afield. Today, we were invited along to Arundel Castle – to experience the castle, the gardens and their Summer events – this Bank Holiday – the Castle Siege! The first of a fantastic range of events bringing HISTORY TO LIFE.

Arundel Castle 1

As we walked the encampments, we were entertained by the piper, we got learn about ferrets and potions, try on some replica armour and see first hand what the weapons of the 15th Century looked like. The children, got to see, touch and lift tools. They saw cooking over open fires, and people at their handicrafts.

Arundel Castle - a wonderful day out

The highlight and most memorable part the knights in action – “It is 1475 and Edward IV is King of England. Once again tensions have arisen between England and France. Seeing an opportunity a French force has crossed the channel, seized the Kings Ordinance (artillery) and surrounded the castle at Arundel.” Complete with cannons, archers and knights in full body armour.

It was exciting and spectacular and I know will stay with the kids for weeks to come.

Arundel Castle - the beautiful gardens

Personally, I was enchanted by the flower gardens. They were unexpected (we didn’t know too much about Arundel Castle before going) and opened in front of us like a secret garden. Beautiful blooms, quirky details and lots of space to run. Simply beautiful.

Afterwards, we spent some time exploring the castle (the library is stunning) and finally admitted defeat – after 3 hours at the castle, we were ready to go home (the kids are still young), but could EASILY have stayed twice as long.

Simply wonderful.

We thank Arundel Castle for inviting us along today and showing us what they have on offer.  There are so many more events on over the Summer months, that we really want to go back again (and again).

Disclaimer – we received a complimentary Family Gold Ticket to the castle.

She is a Tom Boy, He is a Sissy. Why is that ok?!

Sissy vs tom boy - why is it ok for a girl to like boy things, but not ok for a boy to like girl things

Boy Girl Twins via Deposit Photo

The Tom Boy

We have a little girl in our school that LOVES to climb trees, chase the boys and play pirates. Everyone says how fun she is, what a great little Tom Boy. They indulge in her love for Spiderman and her want of cars.

The Sissy

We also have a little boy at our school who LOVES to dress up as Elsa, adores his baby doll and loves playing with the girls. He doesn’t like fighting the boys much. The other boys call him a sissy. They tell him he can’t use the boys’ toilets as he is a GIRL.

I ask you, why is that social acceptable behavior? Why is it ok (if not grand) for a girl to act in (supposedly) boy ish ways – to love trucks, and mud and fights? To prefer pirates over princesses and mermaids? Why is it NOT ok for a boy, to act in a girl ish way?

Where did these 4yrs old boys get the notion that it is wrong for another 4yrs old boy to have other interests? How does a 4 year old boy even know that “other boys” don’t dress up or play with dolls or have tea parties? How does a 4 year old boy even notice this difference, and worse still act on it in a negative way?

It appears that we live in a society, though outwardly equal, in that it is ok for a GIRL TO ASPIRE TO BE A MAN, but it is NOT OK for a BOY TO ASPIRE TO BE A GIRL. Why is our society still implying that the male gender is something better? Why do boys have to stay boys? And why is a kind, caring and nurturing boy not something to aspire to?

Who says that “girl ish things” are for girls only? Don’t father’s change the baby’s nappies these days? Don’t fathers help their children get dressed? Don’t fathers also go and do the shopping and cook the family meals? In my house they do. And in many of my friends’ houses they do.

I am saddened and dismayed about this.. and it is something that I hope to teach my children differently. We can all do anything we want. We can all do supposedly boy ish things and we can all do supposedly girl ish things. There is no “one activity” for one gender and another for another. They both enjoy both equally.

Yes,  there is a gender division as a rule.. Boys GENERALLY prefer cars and girls GENERALLY prefer dolls. But the thing to remember, is that when on or the other wants to do something that is GENERALLY speaking different, we let them and support them and accept the fact that we are different.

We live in a modern, tolerant society. My children’s school is brilliant at supporting different cultures, skin tones and social backgrounds. They are great at teaching understanding of disabilities. I really hope that they are able to embrace this difference too.

This boy in our school –

He is a child.

A child who is kind.

A child who is curious.

A child that likes to play.

A child that likes to imagine.

A child that likes to have fun.

A child that likes to learn.

He is a well behaved child.

He is a gorgeous child.

A child that eats and sleeps like every other child.

He is a child growing up.

Don’t take his childhood away, by making him feel bad about being (just a little bit) different.

Different is good. Different should be supported. Different is what makes the world exciting, unique and a wonderful place.

How to Make Easy Jam Tarts with Kids

The kids are at it again – showing us how easy it is to get busy in the Kitchen! Today the boy makes some delicious Jam Tarts and they are SO SO EASY!!!!!!! Really.. take a look.yt2To make these Jam Tarts you will need:

  • Pastry (you can buy it or shortcrust pastry recipe)
  • Jam (use jam, not marmalade.. yuk.. who likes that! Ha)
  • A glass
  • A muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 180C and bake for approx 10-15min

And this is How To make these Jam Tarts:

Aren’t they just yummy?!

Special One on One Time at GoApe

Every so often we try and spend some quality one on one time with each of the kids. We select activities and things to do that we think THEY will enjoy the most and then we go off and have a Special Day.

This time, I picked “Go Ape” for my son.. check out what he thought!

 

This is at the Go Ape at Alice Holt Forrest – a beautiful venue. Afterwards we met with friends, had a picnic and explore what Alice Holt had on offer.

 

The Wombles of Wimbledon

We live close enough to Wimbledon Common, to go and visit it on occassion and have a good walk around it. When walking in woods with younger children however, it is good to often have some sort of purpose (having said that, they love running around, picking up sticks, climbing up trees and exploring regardless).. so.. recently we have been reading The Wombles of Wimbledon Common books. It talks about the Wimbledon Common Windmill, the Goluff (aka Golf) course and Queen’s Mere pond. It was exciting to visit the common with these locations in  mind and to see whether WE could spot a Womble…

Here is how we did – how many did you spot?!

If you are not familiar with The Wombles, do check out the stories, they are making for a great chapter book for us at bedtime at the moment (the kids are aged 5 and 7yrs). Really sweet!

Check out these affiliate links for book info US readers read about The Wombles here , UK readers here.