This year is officially the first real summer holidays we have had. OK, we have had them whilst J attended nursery but school is official, you cant just pull them out for a day out with no worries. We also get into a routine of not having them around 5 days a week for 8 hours a day, so when they are suddenly thrown back into the mix with the attitudes they have learnt from school, and the new found boredom of having nothing structured to do we are left pulling our hair out.
Thankfully one of the mums from the school gates created a "play dates" chat on Facebook. This has made it so much easier to invite everyone at the same time along to do something fun with the children without any "I didn't get invited" being mentioned. So far this holidays this has been my saviour and we are not even a week into it. With the rain for most of the week we braved soft play on Monday afternoon, and two other mums came along too. We were either brave or stupid, I still haven't worked that out, but it was chaos.
Thursday the sun shone and the great outdoors called to us all. The children are at that age where it is time to learn to ride bikes without stabilisers. Some have already learnt, some need that extra little encouragement, like our J. We thought bringing the bikes out for a picnic would be great practise for those already on just two wheels, and a gentle push to those still on four.
After a little mad dash to Halfords en-route for a bike pump we were soon on our way to Rudyard lake, I have blogged previously about this great little walk here. We set off as a group of 6 children, 4 mums and a dog. The older four were racing off ahead...
...soon into the distance... every so often the girls on four wheels would get stuck in the muddy puddles. The hero of the day little M came to the rescue getting off his bike and rescuing the damsels in distress. Super cute and unprompted, he will go far in life if he continues to treat little ladies like this!
Little S was running ahead with them trying to keep up. We decided as she is only just grown big enough to peddle her bike, an outing with much bigger children would be too fast paced for her first outing. However it has now sparked an interest for her to actually get on her bike, instead of run away in the opposite direction screaming. Yeay!
We had a few falls along the one and a half mile track due to thick sticky mud griping tyres and suddenly stopping them, as well as little races. At the end of the track sat the station for the stream train which made a perfect picnic spot. (We wont mention the wasps attacking the mummies!)
Proud of their first bike ride as friends they punched the air with glee! They did so well!
As we finished our picnic the steam train arrived.
We decided with little legs, and the slips and slides we would make sure the fun continued with a ride on the steam train.
We amazingly fitted five very muddy bikes into the back of the train...
...before piling into the train itself....
The kids were loud, hyper and happy. They were enjoying themselves. Singing Christmas songs loud for everyone to hear (even though we are in July). It has been a great day out. Memories made, friendships sealed, confidence gained. Long may the play dates continue throughout the summer holidays, I may keep my sanity after all!