Category Archives: Days Out & Activities ♥

Mini Adventures | We Are Mini at Rainbow Factory, Leeds

We are huge fans of Rainbow Factory here in Leeds and, in fact, Ted is a Rainbow Factory baby given that they are the same age and he has been visiting since birth!

 

But whilst we are huge fans we hadn’t got round to checking out their ‘We Are Mini’ venture. So we were very excited to be invited down to try out a couple of the sessions. Elsa opted for ‘Mini Princesses‘ and we chose ‘Mini Make Believers’ for Ted.

 

In all honesty, Mini Princesses is not something that would have jumped out at me for Elsa to attend. Elsa and I are not ‘princessy’ girls (well, she might be given the chance but I’ve not given her the chance!) so the idea of a ‘princessy’ session wasn’t that appealing. How wrong I was.

 

Mini Princesses is aimed at both girls and boys (although Ted was the only boy there when we joined in) and is focused on a new skill or trait each week. It is about empowerment and social awareness. The theme for us was ‘Honesty’.

Fairy Godmother Emma runs the Mini Princesses session (and all We Are Mini sessions) and she is actually magic. The children fall under her spell, Ted is particularly enamoured with her! Within seconds of us arriving she had all the children singing, dancing and joining in with all the activities.

The Mini Princesses session compromised signing, dancing, storytelling, imaginative play, team work, a little bit of crafting and so much more. The session was perfectly pitched at the girls, all aged 3-4 years but it was also perfect for just turned 2 year old Ted to join in.

Mini Princess sessions runs on Friday at 1pm and Saturday at 11.30am. You can drop in to the sessions, although booking is advisable.

 

Following on from the success of Mini Princesses, Ted and I went along to Mini Make Believers this week. Things didn’t bode well when Ted was laid on our drive screaming before I put him in the car, unfortunately he arrived at Rainbow Factory in a pretty foul mood.

 

Mini Make Believers is an hour long session of active story telling, the story on this occasion being ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’. It is aimed at children aged 2-5 years and involves crafts, imaginative play, creativity, songs and the encouragement of team work.

 

Ted’s mood did not put off Fairy Godmother Emma (I’m not sure that she is a Fairy Godmother at Mini Make Believers but I like to call her that anyway!) as she persevered with encouraging Ted to get involved in the session. He certainly wasn’t the easiest child to entertain on that day but Emma continued to involve him and eventually brought him out of the mood. This is testament to the child friendly skills and dedication of the team at Rainbow Factory. Ted is notoriously moody and we have been to many other venues and classes where the leader has not tried to engage with Ted if they could see he was grumpy.

 Although the Mini Make Believers wasn’t huge success for Ted on this occasion I loved the session and we will definitely be back to try it out again on a day when Ted is in a better mood!

 

Mini Make Believers sessions run on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The full timetable is available to view here.

We Are Mini sessions are £5 per child and booking in advance is advised although drop ins are welcome. Full details of all sessions can be found on the We Are Mini website.

Check out the Rainbow Factory website for full details of the May Half Term Activities. The theme is Awesome Authors and entry is free, just pay for the activities (£3 each) you would like too participate in. We are looking forward to the Dr Seuss Character Creator & Puppet Workshop and making our own Gruffalo model!

 

CLAIRE

 

*We enjoyed complimentary Mini Princess and Mini Make Believers sessions for the purpose of this post. All words and opinions are my own*

Review | Toddler Jump at Jump Inc Leeds

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Elsa attends Nursery (pre-school) for 15 hours a week, Monday to Wednesday. Having Thursday and Friday together I am often looking for new and exciting activities to do with her so when I heard that Jump Inc ran Toddler Jump sessions this seemed like an ideal morning out.

Jump Inc Leeds is a new addition to the popular Leeds trampoline scene, opening recently near to Elland Road football ground. The huge arena features over 200 trampolines, a dodge ball area, Walk The Wall and lots of other exciting trampoline stuff that looked way beyond my bouncing ability!

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Toddler Jump is a specific session run every weekday morning for children aged under 5. Elsa has a crazy amount of energy and burning it off with some wild jumping and charging round is ideal. During the toddler sessions the usual super cool tunes are replaced with the toddler friendly sounds of Disney songs, cartoon themes and all the other noise that small children love!

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We spent an hour bouncing, jumping, balancing and face planting and I was absolutely exhausted. What a work out for this Mama! Elsa and her friend declared that they loved it and couldn’t wait to visit again for another bouncing session.

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After all that  bouncing around we were definitely ready for a spot of lunch. The Jump Inc Kitchen offers a selection of sandwiches, wraps, pizzas, salads and more. All very reasonably priced with jacket potatoes from £3.25 and grilled ciabatta’s from £4.25. We tried out between us a selection of sandwiches, a mozzarella, pesto and tomato ciabatta, a pizza, onion rings and my absolute favourite, sweet potato chip. It all got a resounding thumbs up from children and adults alike.

 

We absolutely loved the Toddler Jump at Jump Inc Leeds and this will be a regular haunt for us now. The Toddler Jump sessions run every week day 11am to 12 noon. The sessions are £3.50 per child (under 5) with one accompanying adult free. Jump Inc socks are required at a cost of £1.50 but these can be kept and used again and again.

 

For more information and to make a booking visit Jump Inc here.

CLAIRE

 

*Jump Inc Leeds kindly invited us down to experience the Toddler Jump and have lunch. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own*

 

Review | Sledging Snow Fun At Snozone

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So it’s August, it’s forecast to be the hottest day for 13 years, you wake up to a clear sky and bright sunshine. So what would you do? Well, we spent the day sledging of course!

In temperatures of 26C we donned our wellies and winter coats, gloves and scarves and headed off to Snozone Castleford for a chilly experience.

 

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Snozone Castleford is a purpose built indoor snow slope using real snow to give an authentic slope experience. They provide first-class indoor snow facilities for skiing and snowboarding, as well as providing snow experiences such as tubing, sledging, and family snow play sessions.

The sledging sessions are for children 3+ right through to the Grandparents. You are given an aerodynamic sledge and sent on your way down the slopes! I was a bit concerned that Elsa might be a bit daunted by this but after need an initial nudge to get going, her screams as she set off turned to hysterical laughter as she slowed at the bottom and not so gracefully fell off.

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We also spent time riding in the large rubber ring things and Elsa even made a whole family of snow angels. At 45 minutes the sledging session was timed just right. Long enough to have plenty of snow fun but we were just feeling the cold as the session came to an end.

My top tip would be to invest in some ski gloves. Elsa was just wearing bog standard woolly gloves and they got very wet and cold, which she was not happy about.

Sledging sessions at Snozone Castleford can be booked here. There is 25% off all bookings until 30th September with code SLEDGE25.

Snozone Castleford also offer Sno-play sessions for toddlers and children who are not so confident with the sledging. They can have fun in the snow, throw snow balls, make snow angels and a drink for the children afterwards is included in the deal. There is a free soft play area so it is ideal for something different to do with the little ones.

We had a lovely time in the snow and can’t wait to go again. Although we might try to choose a cooler day next time!

 

CLAIRE

 

Review | Blast Off With The Rainbow Factory Space Theme

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We are massive fans of reading and books in the What Elsa Wears household so The Rainbow Factory, down the road from us in Leeds, is one of our favourite places to visit. And last week we had an extra special visit for the launch* of their latest theme – Space.

*Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun.

This tied in brilliantly as Elsa is learning all about space and the solar system at nursery this month. So as we trudged through the very soggy snow, signing the solar system song we were very excited about what we might learn at the The Rainbow Factory.

As usual we were greeted by Boggles, The Rainbow Factory mascot who introduced us to the story of the day; There’s No Place Like Space starring The Cat In The Hat.

We followed the yellow brick road into the ‘rocket’ and went on a journey with The Cat In The Hat through various other story scenes, collecting letters at each one to eventually spell out a Space themed word (I won’t spoil it for you and tell you what it is!).

The staff were once again excellent as they try to involve all the children. Elsa is very shy and it can take her quite a while to warm up in front of people she doesn’t know. It is hard work trying to involve her when you are met with silence and a sullen stare but none of the staff let this put them off and kept trying with her.

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After the tour we headed to the craft area, Goldilock’s Kitchen, where there were plenty of activities on offer. Elsa coloured in her own rocket, made a spaceman’s helmet and created a spaceship complete with it’s own alien. Massive points at Nursery when we took those in for homework!

 

coll2All the kids also got the opportunity to create a Nebulous using squishy gel stuff and food colouring. This went down a treat and it is the kind of messy stuff I would love to do at home but never actually get round to.

While we were at The Rainbow Factory the staff also put on two shows in which they encourage the children to get involved. Elsa eventually came out of her shell and was up on the stage hunting for aliens!

So once again we had a lovely afternoon and pretty much had to be kicked out at closing time. For full detail for The Rainbow Factory and their Space theme see the website here. We can’t wait to go back!

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*We were invited to the launch of the Space theme by The Rainbow Factory. All words and opinions are my own.*