Tag Archives: Tots 100

Exciting news!

28 Oct

CenterParcs Family Blog Club

Eeek…. I am very excited! I have been chosen to be a Center Parcs Family Blogger! The Family Blogger Club was set up by Center Parcs to bring the excitement of Center Parcs into Bloggers homes. Following a video competition, I was chosen, alongside 11 other bloggers to experience the wonder of Center Parcs during  a FREE short break at their Longleat park. As you can imagine, I am thrilled! We had to come up with a short video, describing our favourite family activity. You can watch our video here. You can find out about all the other chosen bloggers on the Center Parcs blog

I have not been able to tell the children yet as we may not take the break until next spring. They would probably self-combust in all the excitement waiting to go! We will tell them nearer the time and I can’t wait to see their little faces.

Being a Center Parcs Family blogger also involves taking part in regular monthly challenges. Anyone can enter these which means that you too could be in with a chance of also winning a short break at Center Parcs. Just keep an eye on their blog for more details.

We have had two visits to Center Parcs in the past. Both visits have been during their Winter Wonderland in December. This is a truly magical experience, especially if you have young children that are still ‘firm believers!’ Here is our review of our Winter Wonderland visit.

I look forward to bringing you news on our family ‘challenges’ and of course reviewing our visit to Center Parcs!

Cycling is our favourite family activity. This is why!

30 Sep

 

This is our entry for the Center Parcs Family Blogger Competition!

Read our other posts about Center Parcs here

Boat Building! A Center Parcs challenge

30 Aug

I was quite excited to see the latest competition from Center Parcs, in association with Tots 100. The idea is to make your own boat and be as creative as you like.  This was perfect timing for us as our four year old son is CRAZY about boats at the moment.  On a recent camping trip to Cornwall, we hired a little motor boat and whizzed around St Ives harbour. It was the most fun we have had in ages and the children loved taking a turn at steering the boat.

Sailing in St Ives

Sailing in St Ives

So, why a boat competition for Center Parcs? Well, at Center Parcs ‘water’ is a big part of the holiday experience.  There are a variety of watersports available including scuba diving and sailing. Exactly which ones are available will depend on the site that you visit.  Of course, there is also the fantastic subtropical swimming park which is what we love best!

When challenged to build our own boat we came up with lots of ideas as a family. This actually led us to build quite a few boats! Some were more successful than others….

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Our prototype was easy to make. Just paint a little pot, stick a lollipop stick through a slit in the top and attach a flag with glue.  However in water it was about as much use as a chocolate teapot.  It was top-heavy so kept tipping over and for some reason I used poster paint instead of acrylics (doh) so it all came off in the water.

Our next attempt was at building a little raft using simple bits and pieces like some corks, some string, a cocktail stick and some paper. This was pretty effective and the children had fun floating it in the sink but it wasn’t quite exciting enough to hold their attention for long.

Our little raft reminds me of Robinson Crusoe!

Our little raft reminds me of Robinson Crusoe!

Next up was a home-made house boat fashioned from milk cartons! I love these and the children do too. Initially we just cut them out and painted them with some acrylic paint to see if the idea would work.

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Once painted, we took the boats out to a little river and road tested them (or rather, water tested them) to check that they floated and that the paint stayed on. It was a success! The little ones loved floating them around and storing them in the harbour whilst we had our lunch.

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boat-collage

I love the idea of these little boats. I’ve always fancied owning a houseboat so in some small way I am living my dream! Thomas calls his, “The Rosie and Jim Boat”  for obvious reasons.  We couldn’t just stop here, we had to decorate them and add a few little improvements!

We gave them another coat of paint and also painted the top of the boat a different colour. The piece which we cut out of the boat was inverted into the inside of the boat and attached with my hot glue gun. This made a handy little seat and every piece of the carton was used.. ooh I do hate to waste anything! We then added some curtains and we planted up some cress seeds in little yoghurt pots which could sit proudly on our rooftop garden. Unfortunately these needed a few more days of growing before I took the photo but you get the idea! Next we hunted through our Playmobil toys to find some little bits and bobs we could add. We found pot plants, deck chairs and of course some little people to holiday in the houseboat! The results kept my little people amused for well over an hour, which after 6 weeks of summer holidays is a big thumbs as far as I’m concerned!

Chugging along on the old rag doll.....

Chugging along on the old rag doll…..

Boat-one

Both boats

Lily says this is '"Mummy and Daddy having a nap". Chance would be a fine thing!

Lily says this is ‘”The Mummy and Daddy having a nap”. I think we need to get ourselves a houseboat!

Aside

Center Parcs Competition. I give you… Treefall!

24 Nov

I am sooooooo excited about the latest Center Parcs competition over on Tots100.  Anyone who read my review of our holiday there last year will know that I am a huge fan and would love to go back again.

Center Parcs have recently launched a fantastic new water slide at Elveden Forest and to celebrate ‘Tropical Cyclone‘ and also their 25 year anniversary, they are asking us to put on our thinking caps and come up with what we think would be our perfect water slide.

We put our heads together as a family and came up with what we think would be a pretty cool water feature.  I give you…… ‘Treefall!’

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We wanted this water feature to represent everything that we love about Center Parcs. You start your ride in the entry pool where you board your family dinghy which is actually designed to look just like a bird’s nest. The pool currents take you around the pool and into a lift area where your dingy is transported skywards using a technique similar to that you would see in a canal boat lock system. You are transported higher and higher up into the giant redwood tree passing some treetop creatures along the way!

When you arrive at your destination (an amazing treetop house), you choose which of the three slides you wish to go down by grabbing the ropes at the entrance to the slide and pulling yourself over the edge and into a super cool exhilarating ride. The slides each look like a tree branch from the outside so for anyone that has read ‘The Faraway Tree’ this will be just like the ‘slippery slip’!

When your ride is almost finished you will fly through some reed beds and finally, enter an underground cave where you can either depart the ride OR if you’re feeling brave, get right back on again!