Tag Archives: Animals

A Day at Drusillas Park

31 Jul

So it’s week two of the school holidays, things haven’t been too bad considering the whole lack of routine and the fact I feel like I’ve been ran over by a stream roller… We’re hanging on in there.

The weather has thankfully been excellent, there has been garden picnics and days spent in the paddling pool. Money hasn’t been great but we did manage a visit to Drusillas Park on Saturday.

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I won the tickets to Drusillas park back in July 2011 from a competition I entered in our local paper, with the tickets valid for only a year there were just three days before they ran out. With this we loaded the kids into the car and headed of to the park that boast a zoo and large adventure playground.

I did some research to find out how autism friendly the zoo was. Harley wanted to see and of course take a ride on Thomas the tank engine but the prospect of queuing was something I worried about, the last thing I needed was meltdowns from the little man. From what I could see there was no special wristband programme designed for those with disabilities. However, this didn’t prove to be a problem in the end as the park wasn’t at its busiest when we visited!

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Arriving at the park we discovered that their was a ‘Sensory Trail’ around the Park which incorporates a number of multi-sensory exhibits. You could obtain a sensory booklet and map containing information on the trail when first entering the park. Disappointingly we asked at the entrance gate and was told that this was only for children with a disability! I quickly explained that one of the children had just that and it was Little man we required the book for. The young man looked shocked and said something along the lines of “Oh Really” while eyeing the little man up and down as to spot his disability. The guy was obviously looking for some physical sign and was baffled when he couldn’t find it! He gave us the booklet nonetheless.

I don’t think he was trying to be rude, his ignorance was just caused by the fact he was uneducated on those disabilities that don’t have obvious physical aspects!

On a brighter note the attraction itself was fabulous. The sensory trail was fantastic, and Little man enjoyed the tactile aspects of the trail.

Another great feature to the zoo is the education that surrounds it. Everywhere you go there is something interesting to learn. There are many interactive learning activities to be found which means your given the opportunity to learn about the animals your seeing which makes it all the more interesting.

Myself and the children loved exploring the zoo, there was lots to see including a farm yard where children can pet the animals and learn where milk comes from by milking a mechanical cow.

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But it’s not just the zoo that makes Drusillas park great, as well as some great play areas, inflatable slides and a children’s outdoor pool, it’s also the place to find Thomas the tank engine. Harley was extremely excited when he discovered his favourite blue engine, and even more so when Thomas took us for a short ride around the park.

There are some great areas to explore at Drusillas Zoo and they are right in stating that this is no ordinary zoo.

Little man and sister Alice-Sara Couldn’t wait to slide down the giant inflatable penguin slide. This however did come at an extra price of £3 for 6 slides. Ok, for us this was fine, after all we had won our family pass which would normally cost £68.00 for a family of 4. However if I had paid for the tickets I may not have been a little unimpressed at having to pay extras especially when there is more than one child involved! This wasn’t the only payable extra, others included crazy golf and panning for gold. On the whole, the majority of activities were included in the price.

The park hosts some pretty awesome adventure playgrounds such as
Go Bananas! A jungle themed attraction designed for children aged 6 years and under. This is located directly opposite “Go Wild” an adventure playground for older children from 7-12 years. This is perfect as it meant I could easily keep the toddler entertained at “Go Bananas” while the older two ran wild in “Go wild” both were visually inviting and fully equipped with some pretty spectacular play equipment such as banana boat swings and funky slides and climbing frames. All three children loved the area and the fact none were overly busy meant little man was able to play with little anxiety.

There is also a pretty cool indoor soft play area called Amazon Adventure
It includes jumbo slides, a large aerial runway, the cannon canyon, netted walkways, spinning poles, the anaconda run and a variety of jumping, climbing and sliding fun.

As the sun was shining we also took a deep in the pool to Harley’s delight before grabbing some treats for the children from the gift shops. I loved how they catered for all budgets and had soft animal toys starting at just a pound.

All in all we had a great day! We went on a Saturday and didn’t arrive till after midnight. The park wasn’t all that busy which was perfect for little man. Had the zoo been busier I’m unsure how autism friendly this would have been, especially if long queues came into it!

The park is however truly fab for the toddler and throughout August there will be a number of Special appearances taking place. These include Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam and the fabulous Mike the Knight. Note… This does mean it’s bound to be busier so some may want to go visit the park on quieter months (Harley not included)!

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#Silent Sunday

29 Jul

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Discover the extreme world

26 Oct

Discover the extreme world

Wow, Little man is completely taken with this book and in all honesty so am I. Many children no longer add books to their Christmas list, but it’s great when they do!

It’s been well documented that children on the autism spectrum enjoy reading reference books and prefer doing so over a story book.

Many children with Aspergers syndrome are reasonably good with facts and process and store such information better than if it was fiction. Many gain a greater enjoyment when learning and discovering new and exciting facts or scientific theories. Little man is no exception, that’s why I jumped at the chance of reviewing this delightful hardback, ‘The extreme world’ in association with the discovery channel. All though this book isn’t centred around his all time “special interest” in buses, trains and other forms of public transport, I knew it would still provide him hours of entertainment (well, not in one go, lets remember his concentration level differs from most).

Little man is a child that like many others on the autism spectrum, he processes information on a much better level when text is combined with visual stimulation in the way of images or illustrations. This book wasn’t short on images, the type that gets ones brain working overtime.

There were a total of six sections within this book, all covering specific areas, all extreme as one another!

Section (1) ‘Active earth’ This section offers a host of fascinating information, such as, the ends of the earth; the mightiest mountains; ultimate volcano’s and more.

Section (2) ‘Awesome animals’ which surprisingly turnout to be one of the Little man’s favourites, talked about; the gross factor; deadly defence; strange babies; wicked assassins and loads more besides.

Section (3) ‘Incredible science’ was Little man’s preferred section overall. Issues here covered, Strange brains; black holes; the birth of the universe (which I loved) and lots more.

Section (4) ‘Ultimate machines’ Here you could read about dramatic dragsters; rocketing away; jet power; the force of water and more.

Section (5) ‘Super humans’ One section I myself very much enjoyed. Topics such as the amazing human body and the things we can do as human; ultimate jobs; brilliant brain waves and more could be found within this section.

Section (6) and the last sections of the book, ‘History Revealed’ A really informative section in the book that shared content on the living dead (mummification) which rose a lot of questions from Little man, hero’s & villains; war and peace; rat-atouille (the black plague) and even crawl killing (documenting the death penalty and the belief and punishment for witch crimes).

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The cover of this book is very appealing and really catches your eye with a 3D effect and metallic colours. From the front to back cover this book offers some pretty amazing content.

What’s great is the fact the text within the book is kept short and sweet, yet extremely interesting and right to the point, just opening the first page makes you want to go on to explore more!

Each and every page is packed with cool images surrounded by interesting and readable text.

When I asked Little man if he liked it (Once he had finally taken his head out the book so to speak) he stated,

“Mum, I really like this book, I’m defiantly taking it to show and tell at school on Friday”

‘Discover the extreme world’ is a look into our awesome planet as you’ve never seen it before! This fantastic hard back is brought to us in association with the ‘Discovery Channel’ and ‘Miles Kelly’ publishing Ltd and has a RRP of £17.99 and can be brought from all good bookstores.

Would I buy it! Defiantly, I wouldn’t have to think twice either!

If myself and Little man could give it more than the top marks of ***** 5 stars then we would.

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