Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad, when he is not relaxing in one of our best recliners, or our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Adventures

  1. Is Lapland Your Ideal Family Holiday?

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    If the lack of sunshine this summer has left you trying to figure out where to go on your next family holiday, have you ever thought of somewhere completely different? Maybe the thought of going to Lapland has never even entered your head. We went on a (very) long day trip a few years ago but there are some incredibly cool places to stay, and some seriously fun stuff to see and do. It’s one of the most memorable places to visit right now! 

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    Take Your Kids To Meet Santa And Co

    It’s got to be the dream of every little person to meet Santa Claus. You might be able to take them to visit at your local garden centre, but it’s hardly going to be the same experience as taking them to meet him in Lapland - the perfect setting! There is nothing more magical than seeing Santa and his reindeers in the snow.

    See Some Incredible, Unforgettable Sights

    The Aurora Borealis can be seen from a few places around the world, including Lapland. This explosion of incredible colours in the sky is one of the most gorgeous things you’ll ever see, and not something anyone of your family members will forget in a hurry. This is called nature’s greatest light show for a reason, and although you can find many pictures online, they barely do the real thing justice.

    Stay Somewhere Super Cool

    Staying in a regular hotel can be a little boring, right? It’s a good thing there are a few alternative options in Lapland. You could potentially sleep underneath the Aurora Borealis in a little bubble, or even in the famous Ice Hotel. You should look at some of the best resorts in Lapland for families to find the ideal place for you, but rest assured, none of them are boring. Even if you stay in a cosy little log cabin, you’re going to have a magical time.  

    Try Plenty Of New Things

    You can try an abundance of new things in Lapland, and the great thing is they can be enjoyed by your whole family. How about dog sledding, or even snowmobiling? They can all make wonderful experiences and you’re guaranteed to have so much fun. Visiting Lapland can be a once in a lifetime experience, and those who have done it will tell you everybody should do it at least once. 

    How do you feel about Lapland now - would you consider it as a viable option for your next family holiday? If you're going to be traveling close to Christmas, it’s something worth considering. Kids of all ages will love meeting Santa, reindeer, and the elves.

    Have you been?

     

  2. Hatton Adventure World : Enchanted Christmas Kingdom Review

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    Enchanted Christmas Kingdom

    There is no escaping the fact that Christmas is looming and with a Santa experience available everywhere from the supermarket, school fetes or local garden centre, how do you choose the best place to go? We were invited along to Hatton Adventure World to experience their Enchanted Christmas Kingdom this year, so we gathered all the family up for a crisp November morning and set off in search of Santa and his reindeer.

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    Christmas Shopping Markets

    Before you even step inside Hattion Adventure World, you get to walk through some fabulous Christmas market stalls that are just there for the festive season. The stalls change week on week and you don't need to pay entrance to the park to enjoy the shopping experience either. There was so many fabulous Christmas themed gifts from handmade plaques and personalised pictures through to our particular favourites of gorgeous scented soy candles from Wicks of Water Orton. There wasn't a cash machine working on site during our visit, so it is definitely worth making sure you have some cash available if you want to shop in the market area. 

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    Zoobee's Christmas Cracker Show

    Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas at Hatton without Zoobee and his marvellous magic show. We have seen Zoobee a few times and every time is different and the Christmas Cracker Show doesn't disappoint. We won't tell you what happens as we don't want to ruin it but the jokes are as funny for the grown ups as much as the children!

    Farmyard Favourites

    No visit to Hatton Adventure World is complete without popping in to see (and feed) the farmyard animals and they have been given the festive treatment with tinsel and decorations around the farmyard too. The children love to feed the animals (but you need to double check as there are signs saying that not all the animals should be fed).

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    Writing A Letter To Santa

    All children love to write their letters to Santa and if your little ones haven't done so already, they can sit on a toadstool and write their list in the Arts and Crafts tent area before taking a trip to see the big man!

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    Christmas Decorations Making

    Hatton are all about children making memories and the Arts and Crafts area gives them a chance to make their own decoration to hang on your Christmas tree or personalise your own Christmas card or wreath. My girls loved this area and we actually went back again after we saw Santa as they wanted to make more things, after walking around for a few hours it was nice for us to sit down in the warm for half an hour or so too!

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    Reindeer Quest 

    Ooh we forgot to mention that upon arrival you are told that elves have (carelessly) lost the reindeers and you are tasked with trying to find them. They are hiding around Hatton find all [12] of them and you get to win a Christmas thank you prize! (which is chocolate so that works for us). While we were hunting the reindeer locations we actually came across a real one ....

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    One of the things I really liked about our day out at Hatton was that it wasn't overly crowded and as you are able to book a slot to see Santa, there are not huge queues (and bored children). The approach and entrance to the grotto is very twinkly and you could see the excitement building in the children's eyes. 

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    Children don't sit on Santa's knee anymore but Hatton had provided a wooden chair to sit on next to Santa. My youngest was a little shy so I got the chance to sit next to him too!! Santa must see A LOT of children but he was so welcoming and engaging with the children, making them laugh and even raising a smile from the 11 year old!

    The look on the children's faces when they were told their key meant they could pick any present they wanted was only surpassed by their expression when they saw the toy workshop and all of its offerings.

    So overall, what did we think?

    Hatton Adventure World has enough to do to fill a whole day out, so if you are used to paying a couple of pounds for a quick visit to see Santa in a local grotto it may seem a little expensive. However the earlier you go, the cheaper it is with prices increasing up to £19.95 in Christmas week. The prices here are on the gate prices, and the website says there are discounts if you book online in advance.

    So what are you waiting for? Go ho ho ho .....

  3. Keeping our children safe online

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    I have a preschooler and a preteen and they are both technology mad. They are admitedly more tech savvy than my parents and can often be found showing their grandparents how to work an app on the phone or streaming something on Youtube but being comfortable online can mean that defences are down. As a parent (and an extremely tech savvy one at that) I am acutely aware that children think that "everyone is their friend" but we hear all the time that those online are not always what they seem.

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    I have seen my daughters friends become obsessed with taking photos of themselves (and their food), not to mention the number of followers they have on Instagram, whereas my daughter thinks I am the popularity police by wanting to verify everyone that she connects with online. Instagram is seemingly the social media of choice for many teenagers now but it is worth noting some important points:

    • Profile photos, usernames and the bio screen will always be public.
    • Users are able to block and remove followers on Instagram. The person who is blocked won’t be informed about this.
    • Shared private Instagram posts sent to social networks (e.g. Twitter) can be seen by the public unless you have set up your privacy settings on those social networks too.
    • Be aware that anybody is able to send photos and videos directly to an account without being a follower.
    • Remember to look out for location-sharing which users can enable with the ‘Add to your Photo Map’ feature. It is set ‘off’ by default, and it is strongly recommend that young users do not change the setting to ‘on’. This is because when it is on, this feature publishes the location in which a photo or video was taken, which is risky information for a young person to share publically.

    My children having online presence, even in such a strongly monitored way seems a million miles from my own childhood but while the world changes, children don't and protecting their innocence has always been my priority. We are all grown up for a really long time!! It is worthwhile taking look at this short film to see how young people are not necessarily changing but the world around them is changing.

      

    So what can we do? There are parental controls that we can use which are are designed to help parents and carers manage their child’s online activities.  There are various types, some of which are free but others which can be bought.  However, nothing is totally fool proof so as parents we need to be conscious that they don’t replace the need for adults to support and advise children using the internet.

    With new applications and games launching all the time (I suppose I can't not write this post without mentioning the current obsession with Pokemon Go) it is our responsibility to make sure that we keep up to date with what our children are using and who they are talking to online. Utilising online resources like Think U Know provides parents with sensible and up to date information about staying one step ahead. 

    So right now, I am off to check how many PokeBalls I have and see if I can catch a Pokemon or two! 

  4. If you see a fairy ring in a field of grass.

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    There has been lots of talk of fairies recently, so when we were invited to a nature birthday party we went in search of fairies. It was such a beautiful day and the sun was streaming through the leaves as we went sneaking through the trees looking for signs of where fairies were sleeping.

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    We climbed over tree trunks seeking adventure.

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     If you see a fairy ring,

    In a field of grass,

    Very lightly step around,

    Tiptoe as you pass,

    Last night fairies frocklicked there,

    And they're sleeping somewhere near.

    If you see a tiny fay,

    Lying fast asleep,

    Shut your eyes and run away,

    Do not stray or peep,

    And be sure you never tell,

    Or you'll break a fairy spell.

    ~ William Shakespeare

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    Can you see them?

    Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall