I love travelling. I always did, even though I do not have much chance of doing it often (in terms of time, money and practicality with young children etc). Travelling and journeys take you to places you have not been, introduce you to people you have not met and each time on a journey one gets a chance to experience something totally new. And if kids behave well and do not complain, how nice, mashaAllah….
We have been able to get out and about this summer with children to few places within England. We take children out somewhere most weekends as a treat- a walk in countryside, a trip to a museum, visiting friends in a different town or visiting castles. Mostly I look out for places that offer free entry for children (and adults too lol)
We took them to Eurika recently- a children’s museum not far from us. Alhamdulillah, I think our children are at perfect age for all to see and offered at the museum. They have different galleries to explore for children with plenty of hands-on things to do: exploring senses like to touch, to see, to smell, and a lot of practical things to experiment re science and teaching everyday life-skills. When we went there last winter Ibrahim was still a baby, around 6 months old. But our recent trip was so much more attractive and engaging for him. They had two under 5’s playing area- one is full of things to explore their senses (touch, see, smell, feel). He played with all the things so nicely and precisely to the purpose. He knows exactly what to do, he smelt all the flowers, touched the right buttons of the clocks, matched the baby animals to their parents etc. The next playground was learning about deserts and its habitat. It was so cool, mashaAllah.
Earlier in the summer we arranged a day out in Bolton Abbey with 2 other Uzbek families. We had picnic by riverside followed by a walk up the hillock with kids. After returning from a walk, dads cooked dinner in open fire whereas we enjoyed playing various games with the children.
A couple of days after Eid we went to the seaside, one of the beaches in Scarborough. Alhamdulillah, we all enjoyed it so much even though I was fasting on the day and we got stuck in traffic both ways due to roads being busy for Leeds festival that day. I realized that our girls appreciate day outs in open-air, somewhere near the water and where it is really spacious for them to run. Well, which child would not? It is true, children do not need holidays in expensive hotels or trips to expensive theme parks to be happy. Simple things give them so much pleasure. That day they were so happy building sand castles, looking for seashells and paddling in the water. I think Ibrahim enjoyed it most lol, he was chasing after the seagulls and playing all sorts of his own games.
Last weekend we went to Ripley Castle and gardens. This was like an introductory trip to history for Sumayya. As we toured around the castle rooms- which have changed very little since 1880’s, Sumayya was asking me why they put the horns of reindeer up on the walls. The library of castle was full of old books, some books are as old as 400 years. It was actually an amazing to see them. The guide explained us how things worked in kitchen, dining room and living room as he was taking us through the rooms introducing the members of the Ingliby family who lived there by 26 generations. I find it so interesting but I thought the children were a bit too young for it. Especially Ibrahim, he was tired and could not wait until we put him down. Everything was so old and fragile inside the castle and had “Please do not touch” sign. And of course someone had to carry poor Ibrahim all the time because the minute we put him down he will be up to some sort of “mission”. This boy is at the stage where he can not stay/stand/walk still. So, he was bored and tired in daddy’s arms and wanted to come down and walk/explore things. He was so happy when we got out.
We all loved it outside. We went for a walk in walled gardens and in the woods by lakeside. There was so much to see. Most of it was just walking and enjoying the scenery. We walked so long and alhamdulillah both the girls walked with us. Safiyya was little tired towards the end but they were collecting different kinds of leaves, acorns, talking about how tall trees are etc. We saw waterfall and a family of rabbits disappearing in their burrow.
I loved the trip to castle, but like I said the children were much too small for it. I felt they did not appreciate it as much and Sumayya was constantly asking if she could swim in the lake. I think she really wanted to go to the seaside that day as it was nice and hot.
We often go to our local Media Museum on rainy days. Sometimes we go to Lister Park for walks, feeding the ducks and play in the playground. We were discussing it with my husband that maybe we shall take them less on trips so they appreciate it more? They are always asking where we are taking them next and I feel that they take it granted sometimes…They keep asking for more and more. Well, maybe that is just my perception. But, is it true that the more you do for a child, it becomes like a regular thing for them and they appreciate it less? How often do you go on home-school trips and do you as a parent feel appreciated? How can you tell when a child being grateful or not grateful?
Well, we definitely be spending more weekends at home as winter approaching. But, I so want to see so much of England for myself (if not for kids lol) and just getting on my explorer’s mood… Is it bad to be going on short trips a couple of times a months?