But more often than not, we end up going to yet another play centre, pay around £3.50 entry and then £10 or so on lunch. While we always have a fantastic time, going to a play centre three times a week is not only draining my bank balance, it also doesn't make for a very varied week for Little One.
This week, I wanted to keep things fairly slow paced and let him enjoy a bit more time at home as he has been recovering from a nasty chest infection, but often it can be hard to find enough to keep him interested for a whole morning in the house. I am often guilty of not allowing us to spend nearly enough time in the house and I am really trying not to just resort to play centres or the park all the time. Although I am supposedly quite a creative person, I am not the best at being a crafty mum. This week we had a go with oobleck (cornflour) and coloured bubble foam but he wasn't the slightest bit interested and I think I had more fun than he did. I'm hoping his interest will develop over time...
Then on Friday, we had a bit of a meltdown and I decided to do something completely crazy. Mid meltdown, I thought it would be a good idea to do some baking! Potentially one of my craziest ideas ever, and I was fully expecting a bag of flour to be scattered into the air, eggs to be thrown to the floor and blueberries to be squashed all over the kitchen floor. I could not have been more wrong. As soon as I asked Little One to start collecting the ingredients for me out of the cupboards, he calmed down and was happy as ever.
He was totally in his element, helping pour out and measure flour, oats and sugar and he loved stirring all the ingredients together with the giant wooden spoon. I grabbed my camera and managed to get a few photos, and my face was beaming with pride at how engrossed he was in his baking. Aside from a few tricky things like beating egg whites (probably a bit difficult for an 18 month old) and cracking the eggs, he did most of the baking himself. A day which I thought was going to be 'one of those days' turned out to be the most fun day. And what better way to end your day than eating a delicious banana, blueberry muffin baked by your 18 month old son?
It was a totally unordinary moment for us really, as we so often go out on our free days, but we are learning that we can have lots of fun and make memories at home too. We will definitely be doing baking again. Plus it's a great excuse to eat loads of tasty treats ;)