Pre-school bucket list

September is lumbering towards us like a slow-moving weather system. It has us in its sights. In September Noo starts school and everything changes and like the weather there is no escaping, macs for the rain, picnics in sunshine, you fit accordingly.
Where school dictates and you can only follow, over the next few years our lives will be formed by the hours of school and the dates of the school holidays.

School will be a wonderfully positive experience, Noo is ready and despite my massive reservations about the system we unexpectedly scored our first choice school. The highest intake of children in a decade and asking for an over subscribed school out of our catchment area. I still can’t quite believe it.

I am very aware that now is the time to do things while we have the opportunity outside of the decree of school. We visited the Natural History Museum and it was busy but nothing like the school holidays, I’m told the queues can be 45 minutes. So now is the time to make visits and take the opportunity to stroll in, queues of no concern.

With this in mind we recently re-visited Eureka, the Museum of Childhood in Halifax. It is a great resource and we visited just under a year ago on a wet Sunday afternoon. I’ve been meaning to re-use the tickets. Entrance is £9.95 per adult and the same for a child over 3 for the initial visit, you can then visit again the in the next year for free. This time we visited mid-week and what a difference less crowds made. Being aimed entirely at children the exhibits are very interactive on this visit we were able to try everything. Displays that held less interest a year ago now piqued the interest of a blossoming Noo, particularly the body space, how we grow, taste, listen.

Some favourites were touch screen butterfly generator. Choose colours, ‘paint’ the butterfly and watch it come to life on a big screen.

The robot that converses with children, completely passed us by at the last visit, this time Noo had a long conversation, jokes and giggles exchanged, as a parent it was wonderful to watch him innocently interact with what he thought to be a real robot and I, bemused, knew was a member of staff sat in a little room watching via a screen. Mr Noo went back and had his own chat and discovered that various staff take a turn at being the robot.

We had a really enjoyable day out and throughly recommend a visit.

Parents of pre-school aged children what would be on your list? Parents of school aged children any tips for a pre-school bucket list? Things to do before school starts – advice welcome.

41 Comments

  1. Emma (@mummymummymum)

    I remember going to Eureka when I was a kid. I must take my children when we are next up north!:-)

    Yay to getting your first choice school! Thats fab. xx

  2. Kate

    A day at the seaside is a good thing to do on a nice day in early Summer, before it fills with older families.

    Also, I’d suggest he big theme parks although later in the summer term, you do get end of year trips. Alton Towers, Chessington, Legoland, Thomasland (Drayton Manor) will all be better for having shorter queues.

    Ooh, just thought – Chester Zoo! Missy Woo has been with school and LOVED it. We’ve been to Blackpool which isn’t as big but still good but that’s further from you, I think.

  3. Jo (@2starsandaswirl)

    I have been thinking of the more practical things like getting dressed and undressed for P.E. and the not so delightful *whispers* wiping the bottom issue. But I should also be looking at the fun stuff.

    Wondering how far Halifax is from us as that looks fab, We also haven’t been to the science museum. I struggle with time working Mon-Wed, then Woodchips on a Thurs and he is in nursery on a Friday a.m. But that is just a big excuse as I we could go on an adventure one Friday. right I need to look at my calendar!

    1. helloitsgemma

      oh gosh – you are far more practical than me! Bottom – does that at nursery, might be a bit hit and miss but hey that’s life! Getting dressed seems fine, remembering to wear pants – must organise!
      Have an adventure!

      1. Jo (@2starsandaswirl)

        I am really struggling with teaching how to take a t shirt off! And now I have over thought the whole thing and made it into a huge thing in my head. Trousers and pants no problem (him not me, well yes I can manage mine too) Made a date for Science Museum in June in the diary, just have to make sure I stick to it!

  4. circus mum

    oh so glad Noo got into your first choice! We got our second choice and are also thrilled as it was out of catchment and a long shot!

    I’d say keep doing what you’re doing – trips to museums are fab as children remember them for years and what’s more they will build on what they saw in class!

  5. Beadzoid (@Beadzoid)

    Looks like a fab day out – one on our list for ‘when oop norf’ also, I think. Round here I want to take little un to the National Space Centre in Leicester again. Took her as a baby, but ould be fab when she’s more aware. Again you can reuse the ticket for a year.

    Also Twycross Zoo and any opportunity to get to the sea side.

    Congrats on the school – you must be so relieved x

  6. geekmummyuk

    We’re in the same boat as you, as my daughter starts school in Seotember too (thankfully we also got our first choice school and are very relieved about that). I have a slight feeling that everything is slipping away from me, and I really want to make the most of the next few months. I don’t have any plans yet, other than definitely Chester Zoo is on the list, as we got a family admission here for Christmas which I want to put to good use.

  7. Asturian Diary

    That’s absolutely brilliant about getting the right school – what a massive relief for you. I know what a big deal that is. ENORMOUS.
    God, a bucket-list – I hadn’t even thought of that. I’d been thinking more along the lines of maximum snuggly lie-ins on a daily basis (my dynamism shines through here) Great idea tho – I think I might have to do one. Trips to visit family and friends in uk and ireland should be on it for us. You should put a trip to Spain on yours! x

  8. bavariansojourn

    Congrats on the school place! Eureka sounds like a brilliant place! That robot is brilliant 😀 Enjoy your summer together, I am sure you will come up with lots of lovely ideas of things to do! I agree with the shoe part though totally! 😀

  9. Emily O

    My second son starts school this Sept. I have mixed feelings about it. I remember trying to do learning at home with my first but he wasn’t interested and I despaired. He wouldn’t write his name before he went but within weeks of starting he could and now he has lovely handwriting. I’ve decided to leave that side of learning to the teachers. My second son copies his brother so is quite prepared with his numbers and letters. But I’m not pushing it with him, like you I’ve realised days out and experiences are the best thing we can do. We went to a living history museum at the weekend and the children loved it because it was a history lesson they could get their hands on. I think just getting outdoors for a walk helps too and they collect sticks and leaves and flowers to play with. Variety is important for them I think. Good luck with school!

    1. helloitsgemma

      thanks so much – I read your comment earlier and have been out for a walk this afternoon and enjoyed the fact we had the area to ourselves.
      I’ve decided not to make any effort re. letters/numbers and I just encourage if he shows an interest.

  10. emsorgz

    My second son starts school this Sept. I have mixed feelings about it. I remember trying to do learning at home with my first but he wasn’t interested and I despaired. He wouldn’t write his name before he went but within weeks of starting he could and now he has lovely handwriting. I’ve decided to leave that side of learning to the teachers. My second son copies his brother so is quite prepared with his numbers and letters. But I’m not pushing it with him, like you I’ve realised days out and experiences are the best thing we can do. We went to a living history museum at the weekend and the children loved it because it was a history lesson they could get their hands on. I think just getting outdoors for a walk helps too and they collect sticks and leaves and flowers to play with. Variety is important for them I think. Good luck with school!

  11. Midlife Singlemum

    Congratulations on getting the school you wanted. Does that mean you don’t have to move house now? My first choice for school is about 2,500 miles away – what are the chances?

  12. plummymummy

    Great post that encapsulates my exact feelings. We got first choice which is great as it’s a well regarded school. But as the date approaches I’m getting more and more apprehensive for the last few days of freedom for both my little one and me. Up here the kids start school at the end of August. I hate queues. I hate places overcrowded with kids esp as they tend to run right into our short one. I love going out to places when there are hardly any other kids (and parents) about. Now if the rain would just stop long enough for us to visit some lovely country parks, I’d be really happy.
    I hope that mine will continue to do the craft stuff once she starts school…I noticed a dramatic drop in painting at home when she started nursery. So on rainy days we’ll cram in cutting, glueing, painting, and general mess making.
    Luckily we are a short ride to Edinburgh and she loves the National Museum of Scotland so going to make a few trips there too.
    And as for prep well we will do what we can. But sadly the biggest prep is for me…looking for work while she’s in school having fun!

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