I'm always on the look out for new places to take Little Miss C - especially ones that don't cost much. I worry that there's a lot of pressure on parents to pay to take their children to loads of expensive attractions but that need not be the case.
On Friday morning we went along to one of our favourite free attractions - the local garden centre's pet department! We're lucky enough to have a short drive away a garden centre that sells chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, budgies and reptiles, as well as a selection of fish. It obviously costs nothing to visit the garden centre and as soon as we get to the car park LMC knows exactly where to go and we have an order in which we always visit things.
Firstly we walk through all the outdoor plants (a great opportunity to reinforce the learning of different colours) to see the chickens. Via a trip to see what vegetables that have growing we then venture inside to see the rabbits and guinea pigs - time to practice counting as we see how many they have that week - and then LMC always excitedly remembers the fish section. We play more games here where I ask her to find fish of certain colours, or the tank with the smallest or largest fish in.
We then usually go backwards and forwards between all the small mammals, the birds, the reptiles and the fish and it's rare that we visit each less than three times! One thing that strangely seems to excite her more than anything else is saying hello to the large robin RSPB collecting box that they have there. Every time we visit the robin is greeted with a big hug as if he were a long lost friend. When we come to leave we always have to make sure we go and say goodbye to him too.
Who says children have to be taken to expensive attractions to have a good time, or that you need to pay for classes to teach pre-schoolers things? Have a look around at what you can do for free and make the most of that!