Days Out With Kids – Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History Museum (London)


As we finally hit our stride this Summer holidays we are ready to go out on adventures and explore. There SO MANY things for the kids to do and see in London. And as “city dwellers”, I particularly enjoy seeking out activities for the kids that brings them closer to the wonders of Nature! One such Day Out, is a visit to the National History Musuem‘s Sensational Butterflies.

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You are invited to “Step through the tropical greenery as the exhibition takes you on the transformational journey of one of nature’s most incredible life cycles. Following the trail leads you past munching caterpillars, jewel-like chrysalises and interactive displays, while hundreds of striking butterflies and moths flutter above your head.”

We have had the pleasure and amazement of observing the Butterfly Life Cycle before (you can order “caterpillar kits” online!) – but we never cease to marvel at the sheer wonder of it. This year, we didn’t have the opportunity to “observe the Butterflies” at home, so it was nice for us to go to this butterfly exhibition. The kids were excited to see the different Life Cycle stages right before the eyes.. My daughter actually saw a butterfly hatching (the others missed it). In some ways the experience here of seeing – caterpillars, cocoons (and so many different ones) and final butterflies, was more exciting as they didn’t have to wait days between the stages! The magic was happening right in front of us in the short time we were there.

AT Scientist butterfly House -008-150413

The children were also delighted that the wonderful butterflies, would land on our rucksacks and on one occasion on one of the children’s heads – staying there for AGES! It was quite magical (and looked like a butterfly fascinator!).

This exhibition is truly beautiful, spectacular and memorable. I love that not only can you simply enjoy the beauty of butterflies, but that you also get to learn about butterflies and their life cycles – see and observe for yourself. Learn about “friends and foe” and what butterflies and caterpillars eat. Right up close to nature. As kids that grown up in a city, these connections are so important to them (and me as their parent).

If you are considering a visit to London this Summer, I totally recommend you come along to the Sensational Butterflies, it is too beautiful to be missed. Combine it with a visit to the Dinosaurs at the National History Museum.. and then if you have time, head over to Hyde Park and check out the gorgeous Serpentine Gallery and the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. The combination of these things makes for a FANTASTIC family day, creating treasured memories.

Disclaimer – we were invited along on a press trip to see the Sensational Butterflies.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation

The kids have finally  broken up for their Summer holidays (hooray) and though we have lots of “little things” planned, we also have a lot of time to spend at home (and so it should be, I think kids these days DESPERATELY need some down time and time to GET BORED!!!). Every so often we like to jazz things up a little.. last week, we had a go at Water Balloon Pinata.. this week, we are having fun with some ICE – the kids are doing their very own DINO ICE EXCAVATION.Cool down with some fun Dino Ice ExcavationThis is SUCH an easy activity to set up and the kids will get lots of fun out of it. All you need is a tupper ware, some plastic toys (we got some small plastic dinosaurs), popped them in some water and put it in the freezer overnight.Cool down with some fun Dino Ice Excavation - Summer Fun for KidsThe next day the kids attacked it with a stone and released the dinosaurs from their Ice Age prison.

This activity has SO MANY learning opportunities –

1) Learn all about different dinosaur names

2) Discuss the ice age and what happened all those years ago

3) Practice counting and adding, as you “release” the dinosaurs

4) Practce colour recognition

5) strengthen fine motor skills

So.. what are you waiting for? What is not to love……

What how much fun my daughter had with this activity!

Fun with Ice - discover the ice age with the kids with this simple activity full of learning opportunities - DINO Ice Exploration

Happy Birthday Play Dough Activity

Today is all about BIRTHDAYS! Have you got a little one with a Birthday coming up? Are you looking for something fun, but simple and BIRTHDAY RELATED To do? There are lots of Happy Birthday Activities out there.. but one that we love best is a simple Happy Birthday Play Dough activity – you can make your own play dough quickly and easily.. use your child’s birthday cake candles (or buy a special set to play with), add some “sprinkles” and you are off… lots of playdough birthday cake fun!Happy Birthday Play Dough Activity - is someone having a Birthday in your house Set up this easy peasy play dough activity in no time and let the kids have fun fun fun.

 

To make our playdough, we use:

  • plain flour
  • salt
  • vegetable oil
  • cream of tartar
  • boiling water
  • Food colouring of choice

Get full instructions for making your “No cook” playdough over at The Imagination Tree.

Check out our little video about Play Dough Birthday Cakes more here!

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.