What you get:
What you need:
- string or wool
- masking tape
- a narrow space (the landing or the space down the side of your house are possibilities)
What to do:
Make a spiders web typ arrangement by taping the string onto the wall, wrapping around the banister, making use of pucture hooks…
Where I found this idea:
Having driven past Geneva on way to the ski resort for may years we decided this year to go and have a look at the city itself. Our 15 hours included a sleep. Here’s what we found:
We loosely followed this walking tour. The jet d’eau impressed and the walk around the English Garden to find the flower clock pleased us all. We wandered a little further, admired some old buildings and the start of the River Rhone, then plunged into the Parc des Bastions. It’s fair to say that by this point the children were in need of entertainment. And we found it! In the form of numerous over-sized chess boards and pieces. The next 45 minutes were our most enjoyable in Geneva, passed in pursuit of check mate (and then a review of play options to enable the other player to win.) The sun shone and we rather reluctantly tore ourselves from further games, had a quick look at the huge Mur des Reformateurs, wandered back into the old town, then went for a quick lunch before leaving for the ski resort.
We are glad we visited Geneva, but, my word, it’s expensive! We stayed in a simple hotel in the old town, where we were luckily upgraded to a wonderful two bed apartment. The location was fabulous and for our purposes it was perfect. We ate simply – pizzas and sandwiches. We’re still waiting for the credit card bill, but our estimates are for a total cost of about £450.
Last time we went to Battersea Park was for the Affordable Art Fair about 10 years ago. That’s now established in the cultural diary of the city (and is on again from 15-18 March 2012). The park too is probably established as a weekend jaunt for local families, and for good reason.
But what makes it worth the congested drive up the A3 (which actually wasn’t so bad today!)? In essence, there are a number of interesting focal points for the adults in the party and a fantastic adventure playground for the children.
But then, most of our afternoon was spent playing football, or with the kids playing hide and seek amongst bushes in the sub-tropical gardens. There is a little slope by the Tea Terrace Kiosk where the children played with the ball for ages and the parents had hot drinks and a biscuit.
For children aged 5+ the adventure playground is fabulous. The playground for younger children (right next door) is shiny and new. The adventure playground is in great condition, but avoids shiny in the quest for adventure. I’m too old to be sure, but I think it’s probably “cool”. It’s also safe – one entrance (very high surrounding fences) and a number of stewards dotted around keeping an eye. There’s another drinks kiosk just outside and picnic benches near the way in, to relax whilst the younger ones burn off what remains of their boundless energy.
Next time we will make it a day trip and visit the children’s zoo and the boating lake. Our local friends told us the zoo is quite small, but you can spend a long time there. It has animals like lemurs and meerkats and lots of play areas.
I expect for our day trip we will take a picnic (there are loads of benches in the park, and some are in shelters, should the weather let us down). If that fails I’m told the cafe near the boating lake serves reasonably-priced basic fodder.
And the focal points if the grown ups need a little culture? Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth scuptures, a Japanese pagoda and some interesting Festival of Britain architectural elements.
Moshi Monsters are at the National Media Museum in Bradford this half term. And it seems everyone knows.
We visited today. The museum looks like it would ordinarily by very interesting and would hold the children’s attention for a few hours.
The Moshi Monsters activities sounded (on the Internet) like they would be great fun.
In reality, today the museum was a victim of its own success. We arrived late morning. Some of the activities were already fully booked for the day; others had 40 minute queues. Normal exhibits were just too busy to enjoy (even compared to the Natural History Museum in London on a Sunday). We left at midday with the intention of returning to see some of the photography galleries. The queue to get in was then huge.
So we abandonned our plans and went bowling. Options for lunch near the museum seemed limited, though we found a Starbucks by a pleasant enough square full of fountains. I have a feeling (or at least an inexplicable hope) that Bradford has more to offer, but sadly we didn’t find it today.
I suspect the museum and the Moshi Monsters activities are very good. But you need to plan your day in detail in advance and get there at opening time – 10am.
Probably not, but the scientists at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire think there could well be life somewhere out there.
Given my daughter’s growing interest in stars and the solar system we thought we’d pop in to see the massive Lovell telescope up close. The grown-ups in the family had all seen it when taking off from Manchester Airport, but, astoundingly (it is only 6 miles from J18 or the M6!), none of us had ever been.
Never mind the big bang, my mind felt like it might explode within about 10 minutes of arriving. The magnitude of the stats provided is frequently mind-blowing – how many thousand light years? How can a teaspoon of anything weigh 1,000 billion tonnes? (That’s a teaspoon of a pulsar, apparently.)
But, back to the children. They loved the science show. Essentially about our solar system, each planet was introduced and, in most cases there was a successful experiment to illustrate a particular aspect:
- Mercury has no atmosphere – so we were shown the effect of a vacuum – which means falling objects hit Mercury with full force and it has lots of craters.
- Venus has extremely high pressure – so an experiment which involves heating a can and then plunging it into water shows the effect the Venus atmosphere would have on a human body (not pleasant).
- Some frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) was shown converting straight into a gas to help us remember that’s what the poles of Mars are covered with.
- A tornado in a bottle demonstrated the Earth-sized, 400+ year old storm on Jupiter.
- A tin foil ball demonstrated that Saturn would float (if you could find a bath that was big enough).
The show took place next to a small interactive gallery, which had two highlights for the children:
- A teepee shaped area where you can experience the sound of the big bang;
- A ball based display where you can learn how black holes are orbited.
The café provided some refreshing tea and cakes (very nice and a good choice, despite us arriving quite late and it being quite busy). There was a children’s menu and the other food looked good too. There is some outdoor seating and an outdoor picnic area, though I imagine the café could get rather crowded at a busy lunchtime. Despite the good food, the highlight of the cafe was a display of clocks illustrating time in different parts of the universe. I would say they’re worth a visit in the their own right!