If there are two things I absolutely adore in this world – it’s writing (I could totally be JK Rowling if I just had a better attention span) and Pizza – the food of Gods. So imagine my delight when I learned three things:
Pizza Express are supporting World Book Day by holding a ‘How to Write a Novel in 60 Minutes’ kids’ workshops for World Book Day 2018
there will be pizza there – obviously.
They are doing this in Leeds! My new hometown.
So if you have some young budding writers in your brood and are looking for something fun to do this Sunday – why not come down to Pizza Express in Leeds.
You can go to Pizza Express this Sunday (Sunday the 25th of March) Address: The White Cloth Hall, Crown Street, Leeds, Yorkshire.
It starts at 11am, and the workshop lasts for one hour.
Lunch is then at 1pm for both children and adults.
You can get tickets for free from eventbrite and the ticket includes FREE PIZZA for kids.
This is not a drill – FREE PIZZA. I said – FREE PIZZA for kids.
The workshops are aimed at 7 to 12 year olds – plus confident 6 year olds.
Parents and their children are invited to join the wordsmiths from Scribbler HQ at PizzaExpress restaurants in Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Leeds throughout March.
Your child / children will create their very own novel.
They tell me there will be ‘lashings’ of pizza afterwards (they had me at lashings).
There will be a special edition of the Dough Ball Times activity pack, available in restaurants until the 25th of March, featuring a £1 National Book Token and a competition where children are invited to win a year’s supply of books by designing their own World Book Day Dough Ball Bookmark.
For more information and to see when they’ll be in your town just click here!
Hopefully I will see you there – I will be the one with my face in a Hawaiian.
I might have considered Easter fun for our family as solely involving chocolate eggs and desperately trying to fashion garish bonnets and then forcing my son’s to wear them … but that was before Matalan kindly sent our family a huge bumper box of fun; Easter style – no chocolate in sight (but I won’t hold that against them).
I have grouped the Matalan Easter Packageinto three categories that I’m excited to share with my three year old son over Easter.
Category 1: In the kitchen
The first two products that caught my eye were the Hoppy Easter cake accessories kit which includes cute cup cake bases and miniature flags to place on the top with carrots, bunnies and chicks on them.
As well as this there is a set of Hoppy Easter Cookie cutterswith bunny, chick and egg shapes. I have done barely any baking with my son since his birth (Alas – I’m not one of those pinterest mums with immaculate shots of flour covered children grinning behind a gluten free Victoria sponge) but this has inspired me to give it a go this Easter. How hard can it be to make biscuits? And cup cakes? I’m sure there must be ready made packets – and I am sure my three year old would love it – and we would all love eating them, that’s for sure!
Category 2: Arts and crafts, Easter style.
The Matalan Easterfun package also includes a set of ‘decorate your own’ easter eggs with paints and stickers and a handy leaflet of how you can decorate the eggs – A wonderful idea for messy play.
As well as this was a set of kids colouring pencils and a colour therapy colouring book. I have become hooked on colouring in to relieve stress over the last few weeks thanks to this book. So it’s not just the three year old having all the fun.
Category 3: In the garden (spring has sprung)
Perhaps the most eggciting (I apologise) part of this Matalan Easter fun package has been the possibilities for fun in the garden now that spring is on its way and the weather is picking up.
Firstly it contained a gorgeous picnic blanket and cooler bag. We are in the process of moving house and will have a garden for the first time in years. The package also included a frisbee and a bubble set conjuring images of my boys having lots of fun in our new garden. The baby (eight months) will love the bubbles – I can’t wait.
Even more exciting (and my favourite part of the set) was the garden magnifier and a bug keeper. Thanks to ‘what the ladybird heard’ and ‘superworm’ by Julia Donaldson, my three year old is quite taken with insects and tiny creatures. I can’t wait to explore our new garden with him and study the nature in it.
Finally the Matalan Easter package has a large Easter Egg Hunt kitthat includes bunnies with flags, four eggs, assorted flags and wooden sticks for setting up a super eggstravaganza of Easter egg hunt fun (apologies).
Our house has been in turmoil over the last couple of weeks with illness and our impending house move – this package has given me lots of ideas to spend quality time with both my boys over the weekend, do things we have not done, and really enjoy Easter as a family – something which I am pretty sure I would not have thought about doing before.
That’s my Easter weekend sorted – Now I just need to go and buy some chocolate eggs and some cake mix for dummies! Thanks Matalan.
Let me tell you a bit about me. I’m a few months away from turning three and I’m a rebel. I don’t like to follow the crowd. You can’t call me a sheep! I’m more like the wolf. I have a short attention span. I was also a latecomer to the English language.
Last week my mum took me out, and not to a soft play or to bound about the park like a labrador. She seemed a little anxious, I don’t know why she always looks so stressed on our outings. We took my little baby brother too.
The place was unlike anywhere I’ve been before. It was called ‘The Rainbow Factory’. I like rainbows. A kind woman read a story about Christmas – something I don’t understand yet but I liked watching the other children describe ‘Reindeers’ – one has a red nose apparently. I also sat on the floor listening very well for five minutes. My mum said this is a personal best.
We walked around this magical place with dragons and wizards and trolls. I don’t know what these are yet but I loved looking at them – they felt like magic. We got to collect these special jewels and things in a special cone. I presume these were for protection from the dragon.
Afterwards we sat down at a table and got to use our special jewels and string to make our very own christmas tree. It was fun and colourful.
But all of that was nothing compared to what I found next. I found the best things in the world. Mummy said they were called “bean bags”. I ran around and jumped up and down on every bean bag until I could barely breathe. I made friends who joined me … I’m so influential – because I’m so cool. Mummy looked stressed again and went off for a coffee. Really don’t know what she worries about.
I ran around and around and found a huge dressing up box. I dressed up like my favourite character in my favourite book – The Tiger who came to tea.
I found a load of books and had a good flick through them and ran around in a large room no one else had even bothered to go in!
I started to feel quite wet. I had some apple juice and a bit of cake to replenish my energy reserves.
Mummy seemed to relax and even dressed up too!
We stayed for ages and I didn’t want to leave. I slept all the way home in the car. I dreamt of the dragons and wizards and trolls… I’d like to know more about them.
The feel of the exhibition had all the magic of The Brother’s Grimm and John Hurts’ Storyteller. Though the characters and themes were new to my son – this didn’t negatively affect his experience. His attention was retained throughout.
But the best thing for a stressed out mum of a toddler rebel was that he was able to express himself in his own unique way – and we weren’t made to feel out of place or like we were the outsiders (which can sometimes happen).
I could see other children on our tour, who are not like mine, who have better language, or who are older, who connected with the place in a different way. But my son was able to be physical and explore and be himself with no judgement.
I think, in that way – any child can take something from The Rainbow Factory. Mine took a taste of magic, an interest in dragons and a top up to his self esteem.
I also got to have a lovely cup of coffee and a bit of time to myself (and baby [toddler rebel two in the making])