Win a Family Day Out at LEGOLAND Windsor with Toddler Today from SMA

NEd park-1You may remember that I was challenged by SMA® Nutrition as part of their Toddler Today campaign to spend a week reporting on the activities that I get up to with little Ned to prove how active todays toddlers are and why it’s a good idea to make sure that they get the appropriate nutrition to ensure they stay really healthy.

The week that we ended up doing the challenge turned out to be end of term holidays, which meant we were actually busier than ever, as I had the older kids to entertain. However, they were also about entertaining little Ned (think- attempt to wear him out). Followers on Twitter will have some idea of our activities but for those of you who can’t recall, this is what really happened. Although I love the holidays with my children and do look forward to them, I must admit I did feel a little frazzled after the half term break, mainly through exhaustion, we seem to pack in such a lot of things to do that its difficult finding a moment to sit down! This is my diary:

Monday: Family Day at home

For Ned this involves playing with his brothers and sisters, both indoors with toys and also rushing around the garden. He is currently getting quite good on his scooter so he spent a long time trying to get faster! After a lunch of jacket potatoes with cheese and beans his brother and sister decided  to play with their Kano which meant that it was time for him to have a little rest so I let him play on my iPad. His favourite games are on the Cbeebies Playtime app. I’m always in two minds about letting him use the iPad because he is rather good at technology and can do a lot more than his siblings did at this age which means I have to keep a very close eye. All in all, this was a lovely easy day around the house.

Tuesday: A trip to Knebworth House and Gardens

Ned2-1This was a family day out with cousins. We had a picnic and generally ran around the gardens, enjoying the amazing dinosaur trail and the adventure playground. I’m always astonished how Ned can keep up with his 8 year old brother and how daring he is. Just have a look at the pictures:

One of the things which can really add to the cost of a day out is the food so I made sure that we took a healthy picnic along with us: sandwiches and plenty of fruit and vegetables, we’ve also recently discovered lentil crisps which Ned really liked. I also make sure that I scour the internet for any money off deals and fortunately I found some two for one vouchers which helped with the cost!

Wednesday: Market Day

Wednesday is market day in St Albans and the children enjoy walking into town and taking in the sights and sounds. This is always coupled with a little trip to the library and Waterstones (the St Albans branch is superb). On the way back we played some games in the park including Frisbee. It was a lovely summer’s day so as a parent I really appreciated the older children playing with little Ned so I could sit and watch.

Thursday: The British Museum

Ned British Museum-1Ned’s older brother is very keen on comic super heroes and so we visited London in order for him to spend his money in the Forbidden Planet which is his favourite shop. Ned loves this trip if we go on the train (unlike his mummy). We took the opportunity to go along to the British Museum to see their temporary exhibition on Ancient Greece. The children enjoyed looking at the statues on display, however they were a little bit loud for the rest of the visitors and as a parent I found it a little stressful. I treated the children to McDonalds for dinner, this always consists of a fish-finger happy meal as I figure that the fish-fingers are probably a reasonably healthy option. Lets face it, sometimes as a parent you’re exhausted by the day and can’t face cooking.

Friday: At home with the grandparents

Vey occasionally I go to work, teaching archaeology to groups of children and this was one such occasion which meant that Ned got to spend the day with his grandparents. Since he is the most adorable little fella (especially when he wants to be) they seem happy to help out and spoil him. I gather this was another actioned packed day where they went shopping for new shoes; what is it with children’s feet? They always seem to need new shoes!

Friday night is movie night in our household, this means that we pick a family film and watch it together with a takeaway. This week we watched The Goonies which I must admit I think I enjoyed as much as the children! I ordered a Chinese takeaway and let the children select things which they haven’t had previously. I’m proud that they are quite adventurous in their eating and all of them will try things, I suspect this is because they were baby led weaned. Little Ned tried stir fried mushrooms and bamboo shoots, I don’t think he was keen on it, but he gave it a try which was great.

Saturday: To the park!

I often teach Young Archaeologist Club on a Saturday morning so this is a great chance for the children to spend time alone with their Daddy. As the weather was good he decided to take them to the park, Ned scooted whilst the older children cycled. By the time I came home they were all exhausted and playing computer games, I was surprised to see Ned joining in with the older children playing X-box Kinnect  but then he is good at technology, I suspect we might have a little computer games designer on our hands…

Sunday: Swimming and Wrest Park

The children enjoy going swimming on Sundays. Ned has been going since he was tiny and is quite good now; he can do basic doggy paddle and backstroke. However, most importantly he can climb out of the pool unaided (and jump in shouting ‘cannonball’). This is never enough to wear him out though and so we decided to take them along to our local English Heritage property Wrest Park for a run around and a play on the playground. As it was Sunday we came home and had a nice roast chicken dinner, with Yorkshire puddings and I put them to bed nice and early so I could watch Poldark…

Although this was a school holiday if I’m honest this was probably a little more relaxed than usual. Ned goes to playgroup every morning and so I get a bit of peace and quiet, however in the afternoons we often go out for trips to local attractions and sometimes meet the husband for lunch. It’s a rare occasion when we have very little to do. I think this is what happens when you have three children and when you are number three you end up doing far more than if you’re the first or even the second child. I’ve also noticed that his development in everything seems to be faster as he tries to keep up with the older children.

Being this busy it’s really important that I make sure that the gets the appropriate nutrition as he is burning up loads of calories just doing stuff.  He needs energy, but he also needs the appropriate vitamins and minerals to make sure that he grows and develops properly. I’ll be honest, I do find this a challenge and as you can see from this week there wasn’t a great deal of time for me to think about which meals I was cooking. I do try hard to do my best but on days like Thursday where we ended up at McDonalds I do worry that he is getting enough fruit and vegetables. That’s why I still give him some toddler milk at bedtime before we brush his teeth. Not only does this help him get to sleep as part of a good routine but it gives me a bit of peace of mind in that it contains extra vitamins and minerals which he might not have got through the course of the day otherwise.

Although I’m taking part in the challenge with SMA Nutrition I actually genuinely give Ned SMA Toddler Milk® purely because it’s the one which he prefers. SMA Toddler Milk contains Vitamin D and Calcium for normal growth and development of bones, Iron to contribute to normal cognitive development and Omega 3 and 6. SMA Toddler Milk is one easy and convenient way to help give Ned the nutrients he needs as part of a healthy balanced diet.

For your chance to win a family ticket to LEGOLAND Windsor (2 adult and 2 children tickets) courtesy of SMA Nutrition please enter below, just telling me what you’d do on a day out:

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28 Responses

  1. Chrissie Saunders 14th June 2015 / 8:55 pm

    My favourite thing of all time is to sit on a beach watching my husband and daughter playing. However, happily venture to Legoland instead. 🙂

    • Richard Gillin 16th June 2015 / 3:25 pm

      Chrissie – you missed the words “with a glass of wine in my hand”.

  2. Helen 14th June 2015 / 9:06 pm

    My favourite day out is somewhere outdoorsy that caters for the indoorsy type that I am. Usually this means somewhere with open space but close to a cafe! Historic houses usually tick the box so Knebworth and Hatfield are favourites. Desperate to see the new Heartlake City though! 🙂

  3. Amy Warner 14th June 2015 / 9:24 pm

    My favourite family days are any day when we don’t have to get out on time for the school run! With little ones, a sunny day and a picnic at the playground – and no sibling squabbles! – would be perfect to me, though I’m sure my Lego obsessed four year old would choose a trip to Legoland any day!

  4. Leanne Lunn 14th June 2015 / 9:33 pm

    We love to go to the woods and parks and have picnics and a kick around. Legoland would be a lovely day out.

  5. Kirsty Fox 14th June 2015 / 9:52 pm

    We have a caravan on the Kent coast so we love spending days at the beach.

  6. Penny Carr 14th June 2015 / 11:01 pm

    It would have to be a long walk along a windswept cliff top, followed by a picnic lunch on the beech and then lots of playing in the sea.

  7. kim plant 15th June 2015 / 11:18 am

    we don’t mind what we do aslong as we are together x

  8. olivia Kirby 15th June 2015 / 1:56 pm

    We like going to National Trust places with a picnic – the kids love the houses, play areas and woodland walks

  9. Chrissie Curtis 15th June 2015 / 5:12 pm

    We love going to the Zoo or on Picnics!

  10. Monica Gilbert 15th June 2015 / 7:39 pm

    We tend to go to local parks to play on the equipment. My toddler also likes going for rides in the car.

  11. Soozy 15th June 2015 / 7:42 pm

    Coincidentally we spent yesterday at LegoLand! There are still bits we didn’t have time for though so we definitely need to go back.
    My kids’ favourite day out is to do a ‘park crawl’. We pick three playgrounds that are near each other, pack a picnic, and then go to visit them all.

  12. Lizzie 15th June 2015 / 7:49 pm

    We love walks and visits to National Trust Houses. Generally to suit us all a spot of culture and a bit of nature in combo makes us collectively happy. X

  13. Karen Radford 15th June 2015 / 8:44 pm

    Fish & chips at the seaside with an ice cream for afters and a paddle in the sea.

  14. Natalie Crossan 15th June 2015 / 11:52 pm

    We had a day out at legoland and it was just amazing…
    we usually head to Brighton beach because we live in Brighton and in the summer it’s like being abroad 🙂

  15. clare 16th June 2015 / 1:39 pm

    I would go to an english heritage site or similar and have anice walk around the grounds and hopefully something fun for the kids to do!

  16. Richard Gillin 16th June 2015 / 3:26 pm

    As seeing Ben having fun is the best thing, anything with a train – steam train, toy train, train museum, lego train…

  17. catherine 16th June 2015 / 5:00 pm

    We love going to any of the seaside places nearby to where we live or just out for a wander round somewhere in the local countryside followed by the obligatory cup of tea and a cake!

  18. Amy Skinner 17th June 2015 / 2:29 pm

    We all love being down the beach but I’d love to be able to take my Lego mad son to Legoland

  19. Monika @familymadventures 18th June 2015 / 10:53 am

    The easiest days out are cycling into our beautiful city of Oxford. There is just so much to do!
    Or just wandering up to our local country park. The kids love that as much. We often take a picnic and they get all messy at the little stream playing with the mud.

  20. Emma T 18th June 2015 / 12:20 pm

    Usually National Trust, or to one of the local places where we’ve membership so we can get out, see something interesting and N gets to wander and explore…or just out on the farm.

  21. Steve Hearne 18th June 2015 / 12:37 pm

    In this weather. Picnics!

  22. frith smith 18th June 2015 / 2:19 pm

    a swim at our local outdoor pool

  23. Christine Hall 19th June 2015 / 7:07 pm

    Getting our bikes out and riding along the seafront.

  24. Meredith Laing 22nd June 2015 / 10:37 pm

    I have to caveat the description of an ideal day out with the kids, by making the unrealistic assumptions that the weather will be great, the children will behave, there will be no disastrously timed “mummy I need a poo, NOW” moments, and all the things we would like to do are within easy reach of each other! An ideal day out would be rockpooling on the beach looking for starfish and crabs and sea anemones and other exciting things, paddling, playing ball games in the sand. Followed by lunch in a child friendly café where the waiting staff have enough acumen to bring crayons and paper with, or even before, the food menus. Then a steam train ride for the locomotive-mad boy, and maybe a little museum trip for me, with afternoon tea and cake for us all in another child-friendly café.

  25. Carol Wilkinson 23rd June 2015 / 9:26 pm

    Go den making, camping and toast marshmallows round a fire. perfect!

  26. Angela wilson 28th June 2015 / 10:35 am

    Varies, sometimes play, sometimes educational, but seaside always most popular.

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