Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Turtle feeding - mina a Salam, madinat jumeirah

What a beautiful setting for our little outing this morning...

We took a drive down to madinat souk jumeirah today, here in Dubai. It is one of my favourite places to go in Dubai. It is so gorgeous and there are some lovely shops and restaurants to go to! 

The main reason for our visit today though was to see the turtle feeding at the turtle rehabilitation centre at Mina a Salam. Every Wednesday at 11am and Friday at 1pm, you can head down and join in with feeding the turtles.

The turtle rehabilitation centre are doing a fab job of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing the turtles back into the wild. It would be great to go along to see them release some into the sea one day, so I'll keep an eye out for that. If you would like more info then check out their website; there is a link to their Facebook page there too.

William enjoyed throwing the bits of food in for them, lettuce, carrots and other veg. It was a great free activity to do with William and I enjoyed talking to him about why the turtles were there and that they were being looked after. And to keep mummy happy we had a cheeky milkshake and a browse round the shops! ;) 

Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project
Mina a Salam, madinat jumeirah, Dubai
Phone 043017198

Turtle feeding Wednesday 11am, Friday 1pm.
Lasts approx 20-30 mins, free.
Go to the al muna restaurant and head outside.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Desert Palm Polo Club - Pony Riding

We had a special treat this week and paid a visit to the Desert Palm Polo Club! It's a beautiful location, not too far off the 311 old emirates road here in Dubai. A little oasis of green and nature in the middle of a bustling desert city! 

There's quite a lot going on at Desert Palm, with competitions and riding lessons, so definitely check it out if you love horses. I took William along with a couple of his friends to have a pony ride. He had an awesome time! I was a little worried that as he is pretty young and hasn't done this sort of thing before, that he may freak out and not want to do it. But I had no reason to worry! He was a little star! As soon as he selected his helmet, he was whisked onto a horse and immediately became an experienced cowboy! 

He grinned the whole time! The horses were fab, really well behaved and the stable hands leading them around were nice and slow and cautious with the kids. I snapped away like the proud mummy that I am! The grounds of the club were beautiful and it was so nice to have a wonder around while other riding lessons were going on. It made me think back to my childhood, when I lived on a farm and rode horses every week. I wanted to dump my stuff and find a horse for myself! Maybe next time! 

It was so nice that Williams friends could come along too. Liam, pictured above, is going to turn two next month, and he thoroughly enjoyed it as well!

The ride lasted about 10 minutes or so, and afterwards we were allowed to take a stroll through the stables and visit some of the other horses. I must say, some of them were huge! So who knows what the little ones were thinking when they were gawping up at them! 

We had a brief coffee in the little coffee shop and a walk around the grounds, checking everything out. We will definitely go again sometime soon, and maybe take a picnic next time. If you have been to Desert Palm, how did you enjoy it? I would love to hear your experiences too! 

For those of you who are thinking of going, here's the details....

Tel: +971 4 3238010 

Pony rides 4-6pm, Saturday - Thursday 
Cost: 20 aed for approx. 10 mins
Ages: under 5

For riding lessons for over 5 year olds, just contact the polo club at the number above. Info above relevant as of November 2014. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

'F' week - back to school

We kicked off our 'F' Week with some fish activities. 

Painted Foil Fish

This was a really simple but fun activity for William. I gave him a large piece of kitchen foil and some paints and just let him go mad! It gives a great effect and William really enjoyed doing it. Once it was dried, i cut it into a body, and three fin shapes. I let William glue them down onto the paper and used a sharpie to draw on the details of the fish.


Now if i was at all prepared and thought ahead, i could have done some firework painting with William for bonfire night. But i wasnt. Ah well. 

But we did come across this little way of painting that William thought was absolutely awesome! I had an old spray bottle  and filled it with water and some food colouring. As we were doing the fish art work we chose blue. William loved spraying the water all over the paper, and table... and parts of the floor. I would say that food colouring is possibly not the best to use as its really hard to clean up! Some water colour or just watery poster paint would possibly be better. 

I think this would be a great way to do paintings of fireworks. If you have a nice outside space, maybe try doing it on a HUGE piece of paper. I might try this soon!

Continuing on with the fish theme, we had a little walk around the Dubai Mall and watched the fish in the big Aquarium. Kids love aquariums (and so do i), so a trip to an aquarium for F week would be great fun. If you cant manage that, maybe try a local garden centre as they often have fish for sale that you can go and look at too! 

Here in Dubai there are a few Aquariums, Dubai Mall Aquarium is great as you can walk through an under water tunnel. Atlantis on the Palm is also an amazing one, a bit pricey but definitely worth it! The coloured jelly fish were our favourite.

Fort Making

I have seen some awesome forts on Pinterest, tee-pees, tents and homemade ones. So this morning i quickly put this one together for William. Williams Grandma bought him two of these little tents for his birthday last year. We filled one with blankets, cushions and some special teddies, so that he could get comfy and read some books. I am hoping this will be a little cosey den for him to sneak off to entertain himself, we'll see how that goes!

You don't need your own tents for this, just make your own! Use some chairs as walls, and sheets or duvet covers to cover them, fill it with blankets, soft duvets and pillows and dive in!


We also made some Flapjacks for 'F' week. But in the excitement i forgot to take some pictures! Oops. Anyway, there are plenty of recipes online, we used this one... Chewy Peanut Butter Choc Chip bars. They are fairly healthy and you can beef them up with lots of dried fruits and nuts. 

How has your week been? If you have had a go at any of our activities please let us know! I would love to share them!

Friday, 7 November 2014

'G' week - back to school

G week was great fun! We took inspiration from 'a little pinch of perfect' and created this G for Giraffe picture to begin.

G is for giraffe 

 I was really pleased with how William started his painting for the G, he actually controlled his paint brush really well and kept to the shape. It was only when he got a bit over excited about it that it went a bit blobby! I am definitely seeing an improvement in his control and movement when colouring, painting and writing. I'm so pleased! I actually feel like I am doing a half decent job! 

We have joined a library here in Dubai and really enjoying attending. They do a story time on a Sunday morning which we have been to a few times now and William is really loving it. He has always had a love of books and reading, so he listens really nicely and participates in the singing too! We got some great books from the library for G week. 'Giraffes can't dance' developed into us dancing around the room, if I was prepared for that I would have printed off some giraffe masks for us to wear! 

Gingerbread men 

William loves using cookie cutters. More so if he is using them on biscuits he can actually eat. But never the less this activity was especially good as it meant we could make some bits for Christmas gifts. I used this recipe for cinnamon salt dough so they should smell nice on the tree. Personally I can only really smell the cinnamon when up close, so maybe I old put more cinnamon in next time. A bit of paint, sharpie for details and a bit of string to hang them up they were done! 

Glittery baubles 

Another Christmas related craft here, but the technique can be used for anything really. We revisited the foil painting that we did last week in order to make some baubles for cards. William painted onto foil and once it was dry, I cut them out for him to stick onto card. He then used a glue stick to make sploges on them and sprinkled Glitter on top. I actually think they are really cute! I finished them off with a thin black pen to add the string details. 

Get, Get, Going!

A few other ideas for Letter G crafts...

- Garden - William was let loose to do some free painting of a garden. Basically turned out with splashes of random bright colours, in no particular shape. When it was dry, we added some stickers of flowers and trees, leaves and butterflies. If you have slightly older children, simply doing some observational drawing of your garden would be awesome.

A treasure hunt or nature trail in the garden would be fun too! Draw or print some things you would find in the garden onto some paper, and let the kids go searching for them, ticking them off or colouring them in as they find them!

- Growing - growing plants or seeds would be a great activity for kids. It would give them a taste of responsibility for watering and looking after the plants, as well as the satisfaction of seeing it grow! We had a go at growing some cress seeds. These are soooo easy to do! And you don't need anything special to do it! We literally stuffed some tissue into an empty toilet roll tube, placed it in a small bowl and put some cress seeds inside the tissue. With regular watering they grew well, and quickly! 

- Grape prints - we ran out of time to try this one but we have done something similar before. Using an empty toilet roll tube (anyone would think I am obsessed with these at the moment!), dip the end in some purple or green paint and print onto some paper or card, creating a bunch of grapes. We have done this before but for hearts by squashing the tube into a heart shape. For more ideas like this try here... 

- Glasses - remember back in September when William and I made some gifts for my husbands birthday? Well he wears glasses a lot, and has developed a rather large collection of them. So we added to it by making some toilet roll (haha... Again... I'm seriously not doing this on purpose!) glasses. William painted a tube with some nice bright colours, the. I cut it into sections and cellotaped some pipe cleaners on to bring it all together. 

- Guitar - Try making one out of a shoe box and some string. Or if your little one already has one, get them to play the Guitar in the Garden while wearing Glasses and eating Grapes!

I hope you have enjoyed our round up of activities for G week. If you haven't already. Head over to A little pinch of perfect for more letter of the week ideas. And please share and send with me your photos and activities for letter week as we would love to see them!