Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: toddler activities

Billy goats not so gruff

We have our very own Gerald Durrell in this house, I wouldn’t be surprised if Matilda ends up being a zoo keeper or a conservationist when she’s older. She has zero fear when it comes to animals and will happily stroll up to any of them, big or small, and say hello. This also applies to snakes, lizards and spiders much to the lady of the manor’s displeasure. When we visit Pets at Home she shows no interest in the cute rabbits and heads straight for the lizards!

A few weeks ago we went for a day out at Roves Farm which is just a few minutes from us; this is probably the children’s number one choice of place to visit at the moment. There are lots of these farm parks opening up but Roves Farm has to be one of the better ones, I like the simple, honest fun of visiting a place which is clearly catering for smaller children and wants them to get up close to all sorts of different farm animals. There are no cheesy cartoon characters or real commercialism to the place, instead they have simple tractor rides and a den building area. Perfect!

It of course all fulfils Matilda’s love of animals, she gets to stroke the noses of horses, cows, goats and sheep. She can sit and have a guinea pig on her lap in pets corner and stroke one of the free roaming chickens. Plus with this being spring time there is lots of baby animals around, many of whom need feeding.

So it was that we found ourselves rushing to the barn just in time to see little baby goats being handed to small children who were clutching bottles of milk. Flanked by parents who’d actually read when feeding time was and positioned their child in the right place to take part. Normally in these circumstances the child will then stand there until the whole bottle of milk is gone but, in a little farmyard miracle, the parents started asking their children to let someone else have a turn.

We shuffled our way forward and Matilda was handed a bottle which was closely followed by a small white goat desperate to keep having it’s lunch! Wow is all I can say, simply amazing to see the look on her and Henry’s faces as they held that bottle. A real live animal being fed by their little hands. I also loved the fact that the farm just let you get on with it, they of course keep an eye on what’s happening but you aren’t watched over and you’re left to get properly hands on.

The one downside of visiting a farm like this is Matilda has now uttered the words ‘Daddy…. I’d like a horse’.

Watching the cows

Matilda holding a guinea pig

Henry feeding the goat

Matilda feeding the goat

P.S. This isn’t a sponsored post, we just like it at Roves Farm.


Toddler heaven – homemade Easter eggs

When you get an email offering to send you a load of chocolate and assorted sugary treats you have to be pretty silly to say no right? Especially when the idea is for you to have a go at homemade Easter eggs with your children. So it was that last week we received a box full of awesome chocolate from those lovely people at Waitrose which we quickly had to hide from the resident post opener. coincidentally last week also saw the opening of a shiny new Waitrose just down the road from us, both me and the lady of the manor have been down for a look like little kids going to the candy store, I particularly like the ‘grazing’ area near the wine where you can sit for a glass of wine and a cheese platter.

We didn’t get the children to help with actually making the eggs as I’m sure you well know the attention span of a toddler is about 30 seconds and certainly won’t last for the time needed to build up the layers of the egg. So we had fun making them one evening and then leaving them in the moulds in the fridge overnight, this also had the added bonus that we could lick the bowl clean of what was left. You can find full instructions on how to make your own egg, plus lots of other Easter recipes and children’s activities on the Waitrose Easter pages here. (Plus I’ve included some simple instructions at the end of this post)

Making easter eggs with 2 crazy toddlers

Once you’ve made your egg that’s when the fun really begins, we did a half egg each for Matilda and Henry because it meant the egg wouldn’t move while they were decorating it and quite honestly we didn’t have the patience to make 2 more halves. We had a whole bunch of different treats they could use to decorate their eggs; chocolate buttons, marshmallows, jelly tots, sprinkles, popping candy and some honeycomb.

In true messy play style we let the children have free reign to decorate the eggs, I was going to just post a bunch of photos here but I think this short video better captures the chaos of doing this with 2 toddlers. It was also probably one of the funniest family activities we have ever done; keep your eye on Henry during this, his policy was most definitely 4 for me, 1 for the egg!

Surprisingly we didn’t let them eat the eggs after decorating, I think they’d just about had their sugar allowance for the day from just making them. However I will leave you with one final photo of the finished eggs. While it’s very easy to go and buy an egg from the shops homemade Easter eggs are really quite simple to make and actually a whole lot of fun.

Matildas homemade easter egg

Henrys homemade easter egg














Making your own easter egg


250g of good quality dark or milk chocolate – remember to save a little extra for decorating

What you’ll need

2 chocolate egg moulds

Flat pastry brush or small paintbrush

Heat proof bowl




Step 1  – Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water in a pan.

Step 2 – Paint a thin layer of chocolate inside the egg moulds, making sure it meets the edges of the mould. Depending on the size of the moulds you may need more chocolate, have plenty on standby!

Step 3 – Chill for 5 minutes or until the chocolate is firm.

Step 4 – Spread another even layer of chocolate over the first layer and let cool for another 5 minutes or until firm.

Step 5 – Gently ease the mould away from the chocolate. Join the chocolate halves together with a little melted chocolate, using a flat pastry brush or small paint brush – That’s it! Well done, you have made your very own Easter egg!