Unleashing our Wild at Wildhood

Wildhood oh Wildhood.

How we fell in love with your laid back ethos and nature loving vibes. We explored, we got lost, we found ourselves, we laughed, we reconnected – we did everything you said we would on the posters and more. You were our first family festival and you gave us the bug.

Wildhood was billed as a ‘weekend of escapism, excitement and adventure’ where you were encouraged to step away from technology and enjoy quality family time in fairytale surroundings and the team rose to the challenge.

My Fife for Kids partner in crime Jess (aka That Crafty Mother) and I were just a lil over-excited to be invited along with our families to experience the magic for ourselves, and oh how magical it was.

The sun shone, the castle moat sparkled and the smiles said it all.

Jess: ‘I’ll be honest, it did take us an hour or so to find our rhythm and work out our day plan. We really wanted the dudes to lead the way and being social introverts this wasn’t an easy task! However animals masks made, a forest trail hiked, a maze lost in, a free banana, a good nosey about plus a picnic later and they were ready.

Fuelled with excitement, cake and an itinerary of adventure, we set foot into the real world of Wildhood serenaded by the Ukulele Orchestra of Sunny Leith.

The dudes discovered sticklebacks and tadpoles in the pond, crafted hedgehogs and built micro stick rafts. Carved stones, played hide and seek, attempted slacklining, ran through long grass fields, graffitied in the woods and made up stories of a magical rainbow kitty. They even had a poem composed especially for them, a perfect souvenir.

Sun kissed, giggling and exhausted we fell back in to the car and headed home to reality. Magic was had that day and it won’t be forgotten in a long time.’

Claire: ‘We arrived on site just as Circus Alba were setting up some equipment for the kids to try out and that was it, the kids were hooked! We spent the rest of the morning learning how to hula-hoop and spin plates and it took A LOT of persuasion to move from the tent to see what else was on offer.

Our exploration took us as far as the beautiful storytelling tree where we found ourselves with two entranced littles who again had to be coaxed on to another area. After a picnic lunch we did manage to have some fun pond-dipping, slacklining, playing drums in the woods, exploring the maze and trying out Rugby Tots (which little L adored) before it was back to Circus Alba for one last go at learning new skills before enjoying a hot dog in the last of the sunshine as the day came to an end.

The kids had an absolute blast and though we missed so much of what was programmed, it was perfect to have a day out led (mainly) by what they wanted to do and not once were they bored. We could certainly see that camping and coming for the entire weekend was the ideal way to be able to experience all of what Wildhood had to offer. Here’s hoping that the weekend was such a success that the team are already busy planning year 2.’

*This review was a collaboration between myself and Jess of That Crafty Mother/Fife for Kids. We were gifted free tickets in return for a fair and honest review of our experience. You can follow Fife for Kids on Facebook here.
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Seaside fish and chips with Anstruther Fish Bar

Nothing beats fish, chips and ice-cream on a sunny day am I right?

Well actually one thing does…fish, chips and ice-cream in Scotland’s most famous award-winning chippie (AND *whispers* getting to skip the infamous queue)!

As one half of the Fife for Kids team, I was invited, along with the family, to Anstruther Fish Bar to see what they’re all about on a unseasonably hot Scottish afternoon and we were not disappointed.

We decided to pop up to Anstruther early as it’s a fair drive for us and it would be silly to go all that way and not have a play at Anster beach. The East Neuk of Fife is so beautiful,  seaside houses and independent shops so a little wander was in order too.

Being by the seaside just makes you smile doesn’t it.

 

Now if you haven’t heard of Anstruther Fish Bar, let me tell you if it’s good enough for the Duchess of Cornwall AND Wills and Kate, it’s good enough for me. Yes, that is how well thought of this place is. So it should come as no surprise that you can expect to queue to get a seat or to take out. But it’s very very worth it and the nautical decor will keep you entertained while you wait. Better yet, leave the other half queueing while you and the kids pop to the beach.

We were met by Alison, who co-owns the Fish Bar with her husband Robert. Alison talked us through the menu….all locally sourced, sustainable produce, with the Scottish seafood coming from boats that adopt sustainable fishing practices through the Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme, and everything from the rolls, eggs, milk and even wine, yes WINE, coming from Scottish companies.

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We don’t eat out for dinner very often as we worry about how the kids will behave and if they will wait patiently for their food. I had my bag packed with various little toys to keep them amused but I needn’t have worried. The kids were provided with their own little activity packs which they loved and that kept them entertained the entire time.

Anyway, down to the food. As we were reviewing we opted to sit in and experience the table service, which was super friendly and fast (major plus when you have kids in tow!).

The grown-ups opted for the Pittenweem prawns in breadcrumbs (Scampi to us commoners) and the classic fish and chips, alongside some mushy peas whilst T had a kids fish and chips and little L of course ate a bit of everyone’s. If you opt to sit in the restaurant your meal includes some bread and butter and a hot drink, and the kids’ includes water, milk or a soft drink so it all works out at great value for money.

 

There wasn’t a whole lot of talking during dinner and it’s fair to say that we ate every last scrap. It really is tip-top fish and chips, cooked perfectly and served quickly.

To wash it down I tried the Scottish wine. I had to….I mean it’s wine…from SCOTLAND! It’s odd. Except it’s not really, it was a really light, fruity and tasty red wine believe it or not. But if I’m being really honest, as much as I love wine, and I really, really do, for me fish and chips has to be consumed with a can of Irn Bru and I missed my wee bru on this occasion.

After our mains the kids of course wanted ice-cream (which is almost as famous as the fish and again made using Scottish ingredients) and this came served in little plastic boats which they could take home afterwards. We stuck to coffee, though it transpired that Alan only decided not to have ice-cream because he didn’t want to seem greedy after I had opted not to have any (insert eye-roll emoji here!) Thankfully little L gave up halfway through hers so he got a wee try.

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For me Anstruther Fish Bar richly deserves its reputation as the best chippy in Scotland..nae Britain. A family business dedicated to sustainability offering great value for money and tasty, locally caught fish, in a fast and friendly manner. What more could you want?

PS – It’s fair to say that everyone’s top button was out for the drive home. Success!

You can read more about Anstruther Fish Bar on their Fife for Kids listing, which includes contact details and links to their website and social media accounts.

Cx

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*The Fife for Kids team were paid for this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely honest.

 

 

 

Review: One Man Shoe at OnFife Theatres

Today we went on a wee trip down memory lane and had the privilege of being some of the first in Fife to see, One Man Shoe at The Rothes Halls with OnFife Theatres, a wonderfully traditional, old-fashioned slapstick comedy show.

If your kids love ‘You’ve Been Framed’ then they won’t fail to laugh throughout this act and if you fancy a nostalgic step back in time to the days of seaside variety shows and Charlie Chaplin, you’ll love it too. Mixed with circus tricks and magic it’s a great way to introduce mime and showmanship to little ones. You can’t help becoming engrossed in this funny tale of mishaps.

Jess

Charlie and I weren’t sure what to expect today, our first experience of Rothes Halls and a show with just one actor. 5 minutes in we’d had a stinky sock plus a banana skin thrown at us, seen at least one how-did-he-do-that magic trick and were totally hooked on what Jango Starr would do next.

What Charlie (age 5) had to say:  

Did you enjoy the One Man Shoe?

Yeah!!!

What was your favourite part?

When the entertainer pretended to be asleep and the magician costume came to life! It was really magical and clever, how did it move?!

What was the funniest bit?

I laughed lots and lot when he whacked himself in the face!! 

Would you see it again?

YESS!!

Who would you tell to go and see it?

My Nana and brother, they love a good giggle! 

Describe the One man Shoe in three words:

Fantastic, brilliant and very very silly! 

Claire

You might not know this, but my background is in theatre management so I love to take T to see a wee show and hope to impart my love of theatre onto him. So far he has loved everything I’ve taken him to and today was no different. One Man Shoe is a fabulously traditional slapstick comedy and magic show and I enjoyed telling T all about Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy afterwards. We both thoroughly enjoyed Jango Starr’s performance and T was disappointed to learn that he doesn’t have an accompanying tv show.

What T (age 6) had to say:

What did you think of One Man Shoe?

It was amazing?

What was so amazing about it?

When he threw his stinky sock and banana at us.

He was a bit clumsy wasn’t he?

I liked all his clumsiness.

Who else do you think would like a show like that?

My school friends and my gran would love it.

What three words would you use to describe it?

Good, funny and clumsy!

Jango Starr’s One Man Shoe was a hit for every single person who attended today, evidenced by the loud laughter from the kids and adults alike and once again OnFife are ensuring that their ticket pricing really accessible, with tickets priced at just £5 for all.

You can catch Jango Starr at the following venues before he leaves:

Sat 9th June @ Adam Smith Theatre

Sunday 10th June @ Carnegie Hall

To read more about OnFife check out their Fife for Kids listing here.

Follow Fife for Kids on Facebook to be in the know about everything that’s going on in Fife for your family!

Cx

 

Becoming Robin Hood for the day with East Neuk Outdoors

I’m delighted to share with you the review that my Fife for Kids business partner, Jess (aka That Crafty Mother) has written about her family’s experience of East Neuk Outdoors. I’m not going to lie, there was much jealousy that she was the one to embark upon this adventure and not me. And what a day they had too… Cx

Archery, a sport I’d last tried at a country fair aged approximately 12. When it transpired that I was off to visit East Neuk Outdoors for an archery experience I must admit I had some pretty mixed reactions:

  1. The dudes would probably love this experience
  2. I would probably hate this experience.
  3. That-not-so-crafty-Father would be competitive.

I was out of my comfort zone. I am not at all sporty, have zero self confidence in sports and actively avoid participating in these types of activities 98% of the time! I always feel ridiculously self-conscious and can guarantee I’ll be the one making silly mistakes. So, whilst the dudes were busy debating whether Robin Hood or Merida was the better archer, I sat silently on the journey there pondering if it was too late to opt out and whether they would be ‘on form’ or opting for their gremlin personas today. (Please kids not today, just listen and keep the tantrums at bay!).

Having never been to an outdoor activity class I was, however, intrigued to find out what East Neuk Outdoors would be like since they don’t do regular classes and we were all total novices. Also, a family lesson? Adults and children together? This was a whole new, somewhat daunting, concept to me.

I’m pleased to report that, all my petty hang-ups vanished the moment we arrived. The sun was beaming down and Cellardyke was looking particularly stunning as the sea glistened. We were a little early so took a stroll along the sea front, enjoying the view. There was also a great wee park right across from the activity centre. Soon it was time for our lesson and the dudes, often social introverts, (terrified of strangers and prone to not-speaking to anyone), ran straight up to the welcome desk and chatted away confidently to our tutor, Hugo, as if they’d known him for years! He was fun, friendly and welcoming from the offset and before I knew it we were all being taken to get kitted out.

Wrist guards on, arrows selected and bows handed out and we were set to start. Hugo patiently set out the ground rules for the archery range, showing were to stand and how to carry the arrows for safety. Then we got to the nitty gritty bit and he showed us step by step how to shoot an arrow, giving loads of hints and tips along the way, treating adults and kids equally.

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Taking turns to fire sets of arrows it was adults versus children. We all became ridiculously competitive, not just That-not-so-crafty-Father! Hugo is clearly really experienced with children, stepping in to help, guiding them and watching every shot they took making you feel safe whilst learning under his supervision too. He explained scoring, (and kept score too) and constantly gave helpful pointers to improve our aim; we all went from hitting the worms to hitting the target just 15 minutes in!

The 45 minutes flew by and we had a truly amazing afternoon and left absolutely buzzing. The dudes grinned from ear to ear the whole time and the big dude can’t wait to return to try out something else, ‘This is the best day ever!’ he declared. Now if that’s not praise I’m not sure what is – he didn’t get a bullseye (That-not-so-crafty-Father did though in case you’re wondering), he didn’t ‘win’ and there was no ice cream bribery needed for this declaration either! He was, for the first time in a long time, full of confidence and glowing with it. We’ll be visiting again soon for sure, and encouraging lots more folk to discover East Neuk Outdoors too.

East Neuk Outdoors offer a variety of outdoor activity lessons from archery to sea kayaking. Do check out their Fife for Kids listing for more details on what’s available, costs and to contact the team.

Jess xox

*The Fife for Kids team were paid for this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely honest. Images taken by Jess Leech.
You can check out the Fife for Kids Facebook page and follow us here

Learning to Swim with Merbabies

I’m going to be honest, swimming is my least favourite activity to do with the kids. I know they love it, but I always find the pools cold and because I’m usually the one holding L while she bobs about, I’m even colder. So in general, I don’t love it.

But, it’s a life skill and I’ve been planning on looking at lessons for L for a while. T’s lessons are the traditional arm-bands ones so I was intrigued to find out what Merbabies would be like since they don’t do arm bands.

Firstly, I was delighted to find that the pool in Inverkeithing High was lovely and warm. Honestly, an actual warm pool. What a treat! First hurdle down.

L is a shy little one. She’s unsure of new people and clings to me like a Koala each time we go swimming (even though she says she likes it) so I was a little worried about how she would be.

I’d love to say that she loved every single second but that would be a lie. She cried as soon as Emma-Lou, the teacher looked at her, but thankfully this didn’t last. Emma-Lou is just so lovely and warm, she engages with the little ones, but not too much so they still feel safe with their parents. She is clearly really experienced with little ones and set out fun games throughout the lesson. She made it clear that if anyone did not want to do something this was ok. No pressure to just dunk your baby right under the water…phew! It would be hard not to like her.

About 8 minutes into the lesson L was holding on to the side of the pool unaided and grinning from ear to ear. She blew bubbles in the water AND she let me partially submerge her. This from a girl who cries if her brother splashes her in the bath, is MASSIVE. I was honestly shocked at her confidence in the lesson within just a few minutes.

We had a really fun 30 minutes and L then asked me for the rest of the day if she could go back. It’s fair to say the classes get a big thumbs up from us. So much so that I will keeping an eye out for the expansion into week day classes in our area.

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Merbabies offer accredited small group lessons for babies right up to pre-school with a complete emphasis on learning through play. Do check out their Fife for Kids listing for more details on the timetable, costs and to contact the team.

Cx

*The Fife for Kids team were paid for this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely honest. Images provided by Merbabies.

 

A weekend in Inverness-shire

The Highlands have been on my list of places in Scotland to visit for a while now. I always feel slightly ashamed when I speak to friends from other countries and am asked about the north of Scotland and I have to confess I haven’t seen a whole lot of it. So, I may have put on my persuasive voice when we were deciding on the annual weekend getaway with Alan’s side of the family. The last couple of years we have been to Perthshire, which is so beautiful that we were thinking about visiting again this year. However, it can be difficult to find accommodation for our huge family so we looked farther afield.

SLEEP

We opted for the Highland Holiday Home and weren’t disappointed. Located in Errogie, on the North East end of Loch Mhòr and just a couple of miles to the East of Loch Ness it’s perfectly rural (whilst being near enough to Inverness for a wee visit).

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Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

Let’s all be honest. New Year’s resolutions don’t work.

And here’s why.

We spend December living excessively. Eating and drinking pretty much constantly from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. Routine is thrown out the window and we just live moment to moment. And the media encourages this with non-stop food and drink adverts everywhere we look. So, by the time the month ends so have the adverts and they’ve been replaced with the diet and exercise ones. So we feel crap about what we’ve consumed and how we look. Then we start nit-picking about other aspects of our lives. ‘We don’t go out enough’, ‘I’m a bad parent because I hate pretending to be a ‘insert animal here’, ‘the kids watch too much tv’, ‘I look at my phone too much’ and so on.

And we resolve to be better people.  Eat less ‘bad stuff’, start an eating plan, stop looking at social media all the time, cut down on the Gin intake or whatever else you think is ‘bad’.

Then come the end of January we’ve failed miserably and feel crap about ourselves again!

Has anyone ended a year feeling positive about having achieved this type of resolution?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely in the mood for eating a bit better and moving a bit more. But only because I’m at risk of turning into a bit of cheese and quite fancy a bit of normality. Not because I’m getting sucked into this negative thinking and feeling disgusted by myself.

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5 Great Value Christmas Activities in Fife

Ooh, I love Christmas.

More so than ever since having my children. I want to make it completely magical for them and have lots of festive days.

Every year though I’m torn between wanting to do ALL the great Christmassy days out and not wanting to get lost in the abyss of spending enough money that it could pay off the mortgage. I genuinely believe we can have a blinking great month of December without it costing an arm and a leg. Let’s all remember it’s about being together and sharing some quality time with our loved ones.

So, with this in mind, I’ve been doing my research in order to bring you, the lovely people of Fife my list of Great Value Christmas Activities and hopefully provide a little inspiration if you’re starting to think about what you’d like to get up to.

1. Take A Trip To Carnegie Hall

We all love going to the Theatre at Christmas time for a fun-filled family trip. I doubt very much that we like how much it can cost for the whole family to see a Christmas show. It can be eye watering. For the last 3 years we’ve visited Carnegie Hall and seen some brilliant shows that guess what, have NOT cost an arm and a leg.

I was so happy to see that not only is this year no different, but they have actually have a whole family festival going on this Winter.

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Best Parks in Fife

Hey Fifers,

Anyone else sick to death of the sight of their local park? I am! But the kids love a park visit and it keeps them entertained for so long (unless your park is a little sad and tired like our current one!)

Days out with the kids can be an expensive business, by the time you’ve paid for wherever you’re going, travel, lunch and whatever crap treat you buy them while you’re there. This is where the park comes in. It’s expense free. And if you get a good one you can get a good part of the day out of it. So let’s get excited by the park again!

Say hello to

THE GREAT PARKS OF FIFE:

1. Culross

As you will have noticed from the Hidden Gems in Fife post, I LOVE Culross. I grew up here and never appreciated its beauty but really do now. The park here is new and has something for all ages. The slide is a lighthouse. It has a tunnel, it has sand, it has balance beams and it has picnic benches, a small beach right next to it and of course, the rest of the beautiful village if the kids do happen to get bored.

2. Pittencrief Public Park

Dunfermline’s public park, or ‘The Glen’ as we like to call it, is huge and has 3 playparks, lots of space to walk and explore, an old steam train, a cafe with small soft play, public toilets, squirrels galore and even the odd peacock. Definitely take a walk through the woodland areas and check out the glasshouse and Japanese gardens too.

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Check Out Our Autumn Plans

It’s the last day of the school term today here in Fife and seeing everyone’s lovely posts about Autumn recently have gotten me a bit excited myself about this season. Let’s face it, it’s usually overlooked as everyone is beginning to think about winter and the C word that I won’t mention!

So, I thought it would be nice to put together a little to-do list for our family for Autumn. It’s all pretty easy and mainly free to do so it shouldn’t be difficult. And it helps when thinking about what to do with the kids in the holidays to have a little plan.

I do have my own personal list which includes the obvious kind of stuff:

  1. Stop shaving legs
  2. Reduce hair washing to twice a week
  3. Buy a winter hat because of point 2
  4. Complain about how cold it is
  5. Buy a winter coat because of point 4

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