Having a Pant-tastic Summer with Spongebob Squarepants!

In my last post I wrote about the challenge of keeping kids entertained at home during the Summer holidays, but what if you want to take a trip out? Not all activities have to cost the earth. For example our local shopping centre Westfield Derby runs kids events throughout the summer, all of which are free! For some of the events, such as craft activities you just turn up on the day. For others (like character meet and greets) you need to obtain a timed wristband from the concierge desk on the morning of the event. Westfield operate shopping centres throughout the country so it’s always worth checking out the website of your local mall to see what’s on.

We toddled along to Westfield Derby yesterday to meet SpongeBob Squarepants in the flesh/sponge. As you might imagine all my children were very excited at the prospect of meeting SpongeBob in ‘person’, so they prepared a short selection of jokes to share with him. Jokes such as:

Why did the hamburger cross the road? To Ketch-up with the fries!

Why did the Octopus cross the road? To get to the other tide!

Knock Knock! Who’s there? Fish! Fish who? Bless you!

That’s some comedy gold right there!

SpongeBob wobbled about in appreciation (his nose spun in circles!) before pausing to take a photo with the kids.

They all received a sheet of small SpongeBob stickers from NickToons, where SpongeBob is having a ‘Pant-tastic Summer’ on the channel everyday from 9am. See Nicktoons.co.uk for details.

As we left SpongeBob gave them all a larger sticker so they could proudly display their visit to the world!

For More information

For more wonderful events ranging from indoor shows through to craft activities visit Westfield Derby online.

Or you can contact the Westfield team on Twitter, or through Facebook.

Summer Fun in Derbyshire!

We’ve been fortunate enough to have some lovely weather recently, good for the Olympics, great for the garden and even better if you like to venture out and about into the countryside!

Today I’m just sharing a few summer photos taken over the last few days.

First I’ll introduce you to this little chap (or chapette, I’m not sure how you tell the difference??). I first heard a few stones moving, instantly fearing some nefarious plot was afoot I ventured to find out the source. When I saw two green legs I was somewhat alarmed, although further investigation proved it was infact quite a sizeable frog. At this point my husband stepped in and scooped froggy up to show the kids. Froggy was then placed back in the garden where he (or she) spent a few minutes sitting by the dogs ball before leaping off to pastures new.

These next few photos were taken at Middleton Top, where the Spotty Crocodile watched over the children as they searched rocks for signs of fossils. We also encountered many bees, moths and bugs, who for the most part were happy to stay still while their portrait was taken.

The spotty crocodile also discovered an extreme fondness for long grass!

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer and managing to get out and about when the sunshine allows.


Half Term Fun With The Ministry of Food

Parents all over the country are either breathing a sigh of relief (no school runs for awhile) or mildly panicking on entertainment choices as half term begins. Happily I can point you in the direction of an exciting free event which is also educational (just don’t tell the kids!)

The Ministry of Food is staging a whole week of activities at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester. Learn about rationing and growing your own food during the Second World War. Ask why carrots were once eaten on sticks or parsnips used as a substitute for pineapple. Why were people encouraged to ‘Dig For Victory’ or what on earth is Woolton Pie?

The kids wont have time to get bored with creative sessions, hands-on art activities, storytelling and music. They’ll even be able to handle real artifacts!

Depending on which day you choose to visit, you could make your own gardener’s apron, colourful fruit basket or allotment tote bag. Under 5s are also catered for, Jo Jingles will be providing sing along sessions all based around food and growing your own. My children received some Jo Jingles sampler CDs and I’m sure your kids will love her.

There’s also a 360 degree cinema style experience to see the ‘War At Home Big Picture Show’.

The Museum Cafe is getting in on the act as well, selling ‘Ration Bags’ to hungry visitors.


Open Studio Family Drop-in Session 22-30 October – daily 1-4pm.

Creative Activities:

  • Gardeners Apron, 22, 23 October.
  • Bountiful Baskets, 24, 25, 29, 30 October.
  • Allotment Totes, 26, 27 & 28 October.

Jo Jingles Session (under 5s) 22, 25, 27 & 29 October.

Timestacks Object Handling, daily at 12.30pm and 3.30pm.

Visit the Imperial War Museum North website for more details