Ezra’s imagination is really blossoming lately. He loves engaging in imaginative play, whether that making toy ‘guns’ with lego and going ‘bang’, making his Paw Patrol toys go on a rescue to cars he has crashed or cooking in his toy kitchen. He loves to play with adults, such and me and Matt, but lately we’ve observed him go off and play by himself.
It’s pretty cool, watching him and seeing what little narratives he comes up with. It is easy to see how much he has been influenced by us, activities we do and the media he has been exposed to. For example, he will say ‘let’s go’ only pronounced it like Mario – ‘letsa go’ or he acts out rescues like he’s seen on Paw Patrol with the one needing to be rescued shouting “help. HELP!” Until now, I’ve not seen first hand how what we have shown him has sunk in. He’s a little sponge right now and I’m really loving seeing his development. I can also see where some of his favourite stories have influenced him (we read 2 stories at bedtime) and how he has enmeshed everything he has learned to create his own little narratives. He was playing in his room earlier when me and Matt heard him enacting a conversation between two characters “There you go!” And in response “thank you!” So cute.
He really loves to play. I really enjoy watching him as he learns and explores playing in different ways. He has always loved your typical boy toys – cars, trains, dinosaurs etc. He loves driving his cars around, he really enjoys building with his Lego or his Megablocks. He loves setting up his vtech toot toot tracks and getting the track pieces to fit together.
Play is important for toddlers, it’s how they learn. Sometimes, I think I learn a lot from watching him. A child’s mind is so pure and innocent and it’s amazing to observe it. I’m looking forward to watching Ezra as his imaginative ability expands and grows and I’m excited to nurture it.
This is a review of our day at Staunton Country Park, in Havant, Hampshire. This is a fairly photo heavy post, as I really want to show all the things we saw and did today. All information included in this post is correct to the best of my knowledge at time of posting.
Today, Matt and I took Ezra to Staunton Country Park. It’s only a short drive from where we live, and relatively cheap, with Ezra being free due to being under 3, we only had to pay for us two (£8.50 each plus £2.50 all day parking, but they do take that off of the price you pay for the ticket in). We also bought a bag of animal feed to take round with us, which was 75p. As a side note, the place is as disabled friendly as a country park can be, walkways are wide, doors are push button to open and there is plenty of disabled parking.
We headed up there just after it opened (it’s open 10am – 5pm) and took a picnic and drinks with us. We parked up and were greeted by this really nice older gent who was letting all the visitors know there are two sides to see, but you had to cross the road to get to the other part, but we were not able to do that today as Ezra got too tired out. He was such a lovely man, and really represented all the staff we dealt with, as there were all lovely.
We went round to see all the animals. Ezra took great delight in feeding the animals, particularly the goats and sheep, although he did keep trying to put the little food pellets in their noses! The animals were really gentle and friendly and definitely knew that humans coming round means food! Some animals cannot be fed, but there are signs up telling you that, but other than that you can feed the animals freely.
There are plenty of handwash stations, well stocked with soap and hand towels and a fair handful of toddler step stools at each one so even the little ones can reach to wash their hands after feeding and/or handling the animals.
Ezra loved seeing the ‘quack-quacks’, mostly because there were three ducks playing together and quacking loudly. He also liked petting the Shetland pony, looking at the cows, pigs and donkeys and the fish in the glasshouse.
As we made our way around the animal area, Ezra was excitedly running from animal to animal. In his excitement, he tripped on the gravel and grazed his arm a bit. We came up to the play park and of course, he wanted to go in and play. So Matt took him to play while I went to the little cafe to see if they had any plasters, just to cover the cut to keep foreign matter out. Luckily they did, and the staff were really nice about it, didn’t even charge me, it seemed to come straight out of their box behind the counter too.
The play park itself was great. It really catered for kids of all ages. Ezra loved it. There was a tractor, a pirate boat, many slides and swings and bouncy see saws and bucket spinners. There was so much to do. Ezra was so upset when we made him leave for lunch.
Just outside the play park is a courtyard full of picnic benches (and the cafe I mentioned is just off here). We picked a table and sat down for lunch. After lunch we went back past the animals and headed for the greenhouses through the walled garden. Not many flowers were in bloom at this time of year, but when they are, it’s beautiful.
We went into the greenhouse. Tropical sounds are played, animal and insect noises. It is so hot and humid in there. We looked at the little fish and walked around and looked at the plants.
After leaving the greenhouse, we headed over to the little sensory garden. It’s so cute. Ezra really loved the wooden xylophone and the drums and kept flitting between them! It’s in a nice secluded area away from the animals and play areas and there’s a little picnic bench there too.
We then went on to explore the hedge maze. Ezra loved running ahead and picking which way to go. It wasn’t overly complex, it was enjoyable and easy to solve but enough of a challenge for younger children. Ezra wanted Matt to carry him out once we’d got to the centre of the maze.
Ezra was getting very tired by this point so we decided to head home after having a little look in the shop on the way out. The park actually have people with learning difficulties work there, growing plants and helping out. It’s something they are very proud of and I like how inclusive they are.
There was still the soft play barn to explore, donkey rides to have, the other side of the park to see and much more. It was well worth the money. If you are ever in the Havant area, it’s definitely worth stopping in. The variety of things to do and see means that this is somewhere we will be returning to time and time again.
My name is Jazz and I’m in my mid twenties. I live in Portsmouth, UK and I work for a bank as a consultant. I’ve been in a relationship with Matt since 2008 after we met through mutual friends at college. Together we have a beautiful son, Ezra, who was born on 6th December 2014.
Here on my blog I will document my life as a mum, my experiences, reviews of products and places and voice my opinions. To start with, post uploads are going to be pretty irregular until I work out a posting schedule. I will post at least once a week. This blog is primarily going to be mum/family life oriented. You can expect to see posts about days out, toddler groups, craft activities which may be with or for a child, items and products I’ve bought that I want to share good or bad experiences of and topical posts. I will also post some hints and tips on how to save money and how to manage your finances, bargain buys and brilliant deals I’ve found.
I enjoy crafty activities, and feeling the satisfaction of making something. I have recently started to crochet and I like to make canvas art. I regularly paint my nails and like many people, I am attempting to lose weight and get healthy. These topics may feature in future blog posts!
I enjoy documenting my life as I think it’s fun to share experiences and even to reflect back on things. This year I am completing the #365positivethoughts challenge, where you post a positive thought every day for a year, which I am currently doing on my instagram @jazzsalmon.
So, that’s a brief introduction to me. I hope you enjoy my blog.