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 or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. 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.
The majority of us could benefit from spending more time outdoors. However, knowing this and doing something about it are two totally different things. If you’re determined to make a change but you’re unsure where to start, here you’ll discover some great ways to get active outdoors.
Take up a new hobby
What better way to renew your love of the outdoors than by getting involved in a new hobby? There are plenty of outdoor hobbies you can partake in which will help to get you fitter. Tennis, football, archery and even golf are all great examples of outdoor active hobbies. Golf may not seem like the best type of physical activity, but the amount of walking you’ll do as you work your way around the course is surprising.
The point is to find an outdoor activity you actually enjoy. That way, you’re more likely to stick at it and you won’t need as much motivation to get outdoors.
Join a club
If you don’t trust yourself to stick to a new hobby and you need a little motivation (this might be me), why not join a club? This won’t just get you more active outdoors, it will also potentially boost your social life. There’s all kinds of clubs you can join too from running clubs to tennis clubs – whatever activity you’re into, you can bet there’s at least one club you can join.
You could even get the family involved and take up classes such as skating. Skateboarding is a popular activity for kids, but it can be surprisingly fun for adults too. You’ll just need a few bits of equipment to get started such as a high-quality skateboard, but if you shop at stores such as SkateHut, it won’t break the bank.
Of course, one of the best ways to get active outdoors is to go walking. This again has multiple benefits. You won’t just get more active, but you’ll experience all of the benefits of being out in nature. Did you know you can experience life-changing benefits simply from walking just 30 minutes a day?
As you can see, there’s a lot of ways you can get more active outdoors. Whatever your interests and fitness level, there’s always something enjoyable you can do to improve your health and fitness. Getting outdoors more will also boost your Vitamin D levels, which in turn will benefit your overall health.
You never know, you might see me walking the school run in the mornings yet .......
Just how quickly has this last term disappeared? Really. January seemed to last the length of a zillion months, and now here we are, waltzing into April, in the blink of an eye. So with the Easter holidays just around the corner, let’s take a look at five essential tips for nailing this seasonal holiday and not have to look into hair transplantation because the kids have made you pull your hair out this Easter.
1. Be ready to battle the beast
With more snow set to fall over Easter weekend, this year may be less daffodils and baby chicks, more snowmen and sledging. You're going to have to turn all those Easter best bits on their head, and give them an icy twist. Wrap up warm and head outside for your seasonal shenanigans, as we’re apparently in for the coldest Easter on record. Winter really isn’t letting things go this year, is it?! But, one thing’s for sure, should it snow, it’ll be a year to remember.
2. Pinterest is your friend
Whether snow pummels the UK or not, Pinterest is the-absolute-one at Easter. Get yourself on there, scour the app for craft ideas, makes and bakes. From egg decorating to chocolate nest cakes, you might even want to make bonnets, bunting or something a little more weird and wonderful. Come snow, rain, and shine, kids love crafts, and they’re a great way to spend time together and fill any school holiday lulls. You know, the ones when the kids are running riot and declaring war against one another? Then.
3. Ditch the dinner
Do you really need to put yourself through the stress of cooking Easter dinner for the entire family. Either keep it small and sweet, rustling up a storm (weather puns unintended) for your household, or ditch the idea altogether. If you’re getting together with friends or extended family over Easter, say no to the nonsense and book a table at a lovely country pub. Just imagine. How lovely, especially so if the surrounding grounds are covered with a dusting of snow. Beautiful. Why bother with anything else?
4. Execute the egg hunt
Don’t let a little bit of snow stop you! This is the time to really rev up your plans for the white Easter weekend. The egg hunt has to happen, but don’t forget to make the most of the snow. Perhaps hide plastic eggs in, under and around the snow, that your littlies can swap for chocolate. Extra sweet treats should certainly be available for building snowbunnies and snowchicks, of course!
5. Take time out
Cooking, crafts, carefully planned activities, Easter can be discreetly hectic, don’t you forget it. Plan time out to just stay at home, snuggled up with your youngsters, the dog, and a big blanket. Stick an Easter film on, crack the eggs open, and enjoy. Without the pent-up pressure of Christmas, the Easter hols and a time when you will be forgiven for forgoing get-togethers. Enjoy time at home, doing nothing, recuperate and recharge.
After all… summer term is ready and waiting, and we all know what havoc that wreaks.
As you may have seen, we have gone a little bit collectable crazy recently (although some may say we have always been more than a little crazy) but we were really excited to hear about the new and exciting collectable, Miximals.
Anything goes in the mixed-up, dreamed-up world of Miximals..……with possibilities as far as your imagination will stretch! In the world of Miximals, you can dream of any mixed-up animal – as wild as your imagination will take you! Maybe a bunny with an elephant trunk… a Bunnephant! Or perhaps a Cheetah that flies and sings like a Parakeet? Hello Cheetakeet!! How about a cute Panda with Octopus tentacles — meet Pandapus!
It might sound a little bonkers but the characters are a great idea and half of the fun is trying to work out what they are a mix of. Take a look at our unboxing video to see more .....
We got the chance to open up one of the Triple Surprise packs which contains the Miximal you can see in the centre and TWO surprise ones! I don't know a child who doesn't love a blind bag, so this adds to the excitment.
It is worth noting that getting the Miximals out of the plastic packaging isn't the easiest thing for a 6 year old, so despite her being intent on being a YouTuber it is always best to supervise the unboxing!
The Miximals themselves are solid little characters but they do come with cute little accessories that wouldn't be suitable for very young children and babies, so it makes sense that the products are targeted at the 4+ age range.
The Triple Packs retail around £12.99 and at that price point, make an ideal gift for school friends for the multiple parties they get invited to in Key Stage 1.
We were also thrilled to try out one of the vehicle sets that accompany the Miximals characters. They are actually really well made (not sure why I was surprised by that) but they are sturdy and would definitey stand the test of time.
So after all the excitement of yet another collectable on the market, we can definitely say that the Miximals are becoming firm favourites and we have already been to Smyths Toy Shop to buy another surprise set! You can also buy Miximals in single surprise packs and they retail at just £3.99 and I suspect we may be trying to get all 40 from the Series 1 collection.
What is even more exciting is that we are able to give you a chance to win your very own surprise set and Whalekeys Banana Submarine!
When it comes to travelling with children, it’s no secret that it’s not always easy to get things right. The problem is that children - younger children mainly - get bored easily and when they get bored they become more prone to tantrums, which is not something that you want to experience while in the car with them. The good news is, however, that technology has made travelling with children - whether via car, boat, train or plane - easier than ever before, and less stressful too. One of the gems of technology for travelling as a family are mobile phone apps - for parents, these have been a real game changer.
If you’re a parent that doesn’t utilise mobile phone apps when travelling with kids to make things easier, then you are most probably wondering how these apps can be used to make your family travel that little bit easier and less stressful. Want to know how these beneficial apps can really be? Then read on for everything that you need to know about how you can utilise smartphone apps to make travelling with kids easier and less stressful.
They keep kids occupied
One of the major benefits of smartphone apps for when you are travelling with kids is the fact that can be highly useful for keeping little ones occupied. Common to popular belief, smartphone apps don’t just offer games, which are, of course, a useful tool for keeping your little ones busy while you travel, they also offer a range of other activities, such as digital colouring and painting, audiobooks, film streaming, reading, and educational activities.
When it comes to keeping the kids occupied while travelling, apps can be a highly useful tool and one that most parents could not get by without. Apps act as a great tool for keeping kids busy while travelling, as they have so much potential. Today, there’s an app for almost everything, so whatever your child likes to do, there’s sure to be an app that they can use to do it. Whether they love word jumbles, are mad about cars, or love animals, there’s sure to be an app that’s a good fit for them and their interests.
Apps can make route mapping easier
Travelling with kids is always going to be stressful, there’s no getting away from that fact. However, with the use of the right apps, such as route mapping apps, you can make travelling with kids that little bit less stressful and more enjoyable. If you are travelling via road or rail, you can use route mapping apps to plan your journey, including where you will take travel stops for refuelling, getting food, and toilet breaks. While some phones include built-in route mapping capabilities, as you will see from the Your Phone Reviews page, not all integrated apps are on par with downloadable apps. That’s why so many people choose to use these apps rather than the ones that come pre-installed on their phones, as these offer a better user experience, making journeys easier for you and your children.
You can check in via apps
Flying with kids has to be one of the most stressful types of travelling with little ones in tow. However, the good news is that there are now various apps that can help to make your experience a better one. For instance, many airlines and airports now have their own apps that you can use to not only track your flight and view any details about it, but also to check-in for your flight. When you’ve got little ones to keep an eye on, being able to check-in via an app is much easier and less stressful than having to check-in in person.
Apps can be highly beneficial when it comes to planning
Every parent knows that when it comes to doing anything with kids, it’s all about the planning. If you are going to ensure that your next trip is as enjoyable and free of stress as possible, it’s vital that you ensure that you have every aspect carefully planned out. The truth is that if you want to make planning easier for yourself, taking advantage of planning apps is essential. By utilising planning apps, you can ensure that when it comes to planning your journeys, it’s easier than ever to do so because of the array of apps available to help you. From route mapping apps to apps that allow you to plan every aspect of your journey, from start to finish, there are a range of planning apps that you are able to take advantage of. You can use apps like Roadtrippers to check your route and plan your stops. You can use apps like Hotel Tonight to find available accommodation if you are travelling at the last minute. For planning what you will do once you arrive at your destination, apps like CityMaps2Go can be highly beneficial, as they clearly tell you what’s what.
Get a jump on jet lag
If you and your kids are travelling to somewhere in a different time zone, it can have a huge impact on your children’s mood. Tired kids and grumpy kids, that’s a fact, so if you are going to make your trip as enjoyable as possible, it’s a good idea to get a jump on jet lag. A great way to do this is to download an app called Jet Lag Rooster which helps you adapt your sleep patterns in the days leading up to your trip. So that by the time you actually travel, you and your little ones should have adapted to your new sleep cycle and it should be less likely that your little ones spend the entirety of the trip in a grumpy mood.
Technology has had a huge impact on how we travel with children, making it much easier and less stressful for parents in a range of ways. Gone are the days when a storybook and some colouring pencils were all there was to keep kids occupied while travelling, smartphone apps have changed all of that.