We are two mums, three kids, two dads and one elusive cat living in Ireland and every now and then we post about the nice things we find. 


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82 posts tagged edie's mum

Airfield Awakens

We’ve always been big fans of Airfield farm in Dundrum and were thrilled when it reopened late last year. It has been visibly developing over the last few months and had its official reopening this week. We headed along this weekend for “Airfield Awakens” and were astounded at how much was on, from the amazing “tree cosy”, tree sculptures, craft demos and projects for the kids, a knitting circle, windmill garden and puppet shows there was something for everyone - you could even get a guided tour of the farmyard by a talking sheep (or, as we called him sheep man). This was all in addition to the permanent attractions of the Overend family home, beautiful gardens, vintage cars, farmyard and woodland walks. It’s nice to see that a small cafe has been opened in addition to the delicious food in Overends for those who might want to grab a quick coffee with their picnic. There are so many places to sit and admire the view so even a busy weekend doesn’t feel crowded. We are members but for non-members tickets are €10 for an adult, €5 for children and free for children under 3. If you plan to go regularly the family passes are excellent value. They are running events for children all through the Easter holidays and have many other upcoming events including the ever popular Woolapalooza in May. These are all included in the ticket price, details on

Teddy Bear Story Exhibition - The Ark

With a bed covered in soft toys and boxes stuffed with spares it is most certain that we have a teddy bear addict in the house. When we heard that the Ark was putting on an exhibition of and about teddy bears in conjunction with the wonderful V&A Museum of Childhood we booked our tickets straight away. The main exhibition consists of a display of vintage and modern bears from the V&A collection, from wooden Russian bears and early incarnations of the teddy bear to my childhood favourites Paddington, Sooty and Sweep to modern day Toy Story dictator Lotso. You can read about the history of teddy bears and the various countries and companies who excelled in making them. There is also a lovely collection of teddy portraits by photographer Mark Nixon displayed alongside the subjects of the photographs and the personal stories of the owners. You can also find out how teddy bears are made and attend teddy bear making workshops and the teddy bear’s hospital on particular days. A lot of our time was spent colouring in, reading real bear facts and feeding our own two teddy attendees at the teddy bears picnic. Plenty of activities in all to keep your teddy addicts busy. A must see is the brilliant Globe Theatre of teddies in reception, originally displayed in Harrod’s. The Teddy Bear Story runs until 6th April at the Ark in Temple Bar, check online for details of different events being held over the duration.

Spookley at Scalp Wood Nurseries

We spent a lovely morning with Mina and her family up at Scalp Wood Nurseries in Kilternan celebrating Hallowe’en and all things pumpkin. Spookley is a square pumpkin who doesn’t quite fit in, but as with all the best stories he finds his place in the end and he has become a symbol for anti-bullying initiatives for young children in America. This is the first time Spookley has come to Ireland. There are loads of activities for kids - finding your own pumpkin in the pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving demonstrations, visiting the spooky haunted house, colouring in, chalk boards (with the biggest chalk ever) along with regular readings of the Spookley story and screenings of the Spookley movie! There is no charge to go in and you can buy your own great pumpkin from €4 along with copies of the Spookley storybook and DVD if you wish. Scalp Wood Nurseries is opposite the old sports hotel in Kilternan and will be running the Spookley festival this weekend and next weekend. Highly recommended.

Ballyroan Library - Box Architecture

I am a lifelong, hardcore library user (and librarian) so there was no chance Edie wasn’t going to be brought to the library as soon as she could hold a book. Luckily for us the newly rebuilt by Box Architecture, award winning Ballyroan library opened up in April this year and we have been regular visitors since (we would probably be living there half the time if it hadn’t been for the amazing summer weather). Edie spends hours perusing the enormous selection of children’s books, enjoying the many cubby holes, window seats and comfy reading areas provided and always brings a large selection home. There is also a huge children and adult DVD/blu-ray section with all the Disney movies and box sets you could hope for. Storytime for children aged 3-6 is held on Tuesdays at 3.30 and there is a CoderDojo in the pipeline for older kids. There are tons of activities for adults and children held throughout the year with everything from writers’ talks to puppet shows so far. There is a dedicated exhibition space which has hosted a number of eclectic exhibitions. Full details of all library goings on can be found at the Ballyroan library Facebook page.

The Paper Dolls - Julia Donaldson & Rebecca Cobb

This is a beautiful collaboration between one of our favourite writers Julia Donaldson and illustrator Rebecca Cobb. It is a story of mothers and daughters and of the importance of memory and imagination. It tells of a mother making a set of paper dolls for her daughter, the rhythmically named Ticky and Tacky and Jackie the Backie, Jim with two noses and Jo with the bow. The little girl brings them on lots of imaginative adventures where they survive tigers and crocodiles. Their final adventure doesn’t end so well but we learn how everything lives on in our memories. It is a wonderful story which works as a fun adventure tale while subtly telling us about imagination and loss. It is perfectly illustrated with Rebecca Cobb’s childlike drawings which Edie really related to. Our copy had a set of paper dolls at the back so we could interact with the story too. Highly recommended.

Lemony Snicket - Who Could That Be At This Hour?

There were actual celebrations in our house when we got our copy of Who Could That Be at This Hour? the first in Lemony Snicket’s new series All the Wrong Questions. I have been a huge fan of Snicket since the publication of A Series of Unfortunate Events and was thrilled when I heard that he was returning to tales of his mysterious childhood in a shady organisation. Where the Unfortunate Events series had a gothic Edward Gorey-esque feel to them, the new book is more like a noir, starting with the wonderful sentence “There was a town, and there was a girl, and there was a theft”. The change of illustrator from Brett Helquist to Canadian artist Seth supports this with shady figures and shadowy locations. The book follows twelve year old Lemony Snicket’s induction into a mysterious and unnamed organisation, mentored by the useless S. Theodora Markson. Along the way he travels to a town populated by more useless adults and clever children with classic Snicket names like Moxie Mallahan, Ellington Feint and Dashiell Qwerty. While there he attempts to solve the mysterious theft of the Bombinating Beast (a Maltese falcon for our time!). As with all of Snicket’s work there is lots of wordplay, literary references and hilarious asides. It is a brilliant start to the new series and I can’t wait to read the next volume in October.

Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex

When I read of the publication of Chu’s Day I was pretty sure we’d like it, after all it has a goggle wearing baby panda, sneezing (always hilarious in our house) and the wonderful Neil Gaiman. We went out and bought it on the day of release and we were not disappointed. As soon as it was out of the bag it was read three times in succession in a cafe to a snorting five year nephew and hysterical two a half year old daughter and we have read it every night since. As the book says, when Chu sneezes bad things happen, and it takes us through various nose tickling scenarios wondering which one will induce the dreaded giant sneeze. It is simply but perfectly worded and stunningly illustrated by Adam Rex whose work I had not encountered before but will definitely seek out again. We loved it and hope we might see some more of Chu and his weary parents in future!

Hallowe’en at the Museum of Childhood

A friend recently recommended Tara’s Palace & Museum of Childhood so following in Cal’s footsteps we decided to take the opportunity to head up for a visit on Hallowe’en. The museum was running a number of themed events including a fancy dress competition, a Hallowe’en quiz and face painting. Where better to spend Hallowe’en afternoon than scouring haunted dolls houses for hidden ghosts and spiders. The wonderful volunteer workers at the museum put on all sorts of activities and Edie spent her time colouring in spooky pictures and playing shopkeeper and came home with balloons and a homemade necklace. Aside from all the festivities, the collection is fantastic, dolls houses dating from the seventeenth century onwards containing stunning handcrafted furniture, teddy bears and dolls from all ages, a vintage toy car collection and the amazing Tara’s Palace, the dolls house to rival them all. The museum is located in the beautiful Powerscourt House with views over the grounds. Admission is €5 per adult and €3 for children over five (free for under fives), with family tickets available. The house is entirely run and staffed by volunteers so all proceeds go to a number of children’s charities.

Night & Day Studios - Peekaboo Trick or Treat

As the saying goes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas, Hallowe’en, and to celebrate Night & Day have released the newest in their line of Peekaboo apps, Peekaboo Trick or Treat. It is their third collaboration with fabulous illustrator and author Ed Emberley after Shake and Make and Go Away Big Green Monster, so as you would expect it is full of gorgeous Hallowe’en illustrations. The format is the same as the previous Peekaboo apps, you knock on the door of a spooky house and each time a different creature appears. There are fourteen different characters who appear in a different order each time you play varying from Hallowe’en favorites like bats, a witch and a big and quite creepy spider to more unexpected surprises such as a gorilla and some cute dressed up puppies (very popular with dog lover Edie!). You can as before choose looped play or a single play ending in bedtime for all, the latter being a good choice at the end of the day! You can also choose narration by a child or adult who in this case is Ed Emberley himself. I cannot fault this, as with previous Peekaboo apps it provides loads of entertainment, they really have hit a winner with toddlers with this format. And as you’ve probably guessed we love Hallowe’en in this house (well we’re Irish, we invented it!).
A must for fans of Peekaboo apps, Hallowe’en and dressed up puppies, Peekaboo Trick or Treat is now available to buy in the App Store.

Make Me Music musical app for kids

FeeFiFoFun, the company behind Flutterby Butterflies, which we reviewed last month, have just come out with their second app called Make Me Music. It is an interactive musical app where you can compose your own pieces, play one of a number of crazy looking instruments and record and send on your compositions to your friends. You have an option of three different background medleys, a guitar, a banjo and my favourite, a trumpet, choosing each one changes the background colour and beat. As with Flutterby Butterflies, it is fantastically illustrated by Alan Aldridge with conventional instruments like tambourines, maracas and didgeridoos playing alongside saucepans,
musical spiders, flowers, cowbell (and cow!), and much more. The instruments are both wildly creative and quite hilarious, the singing breadbox proving particularly popular with Edie. We had great fun with this, it’s aimed at three years old and over but Edie definitely enjoyed it and her Dad even more. We will be playing and recording our music for some time to come.

Make Me Music is available to buy here.

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