KEEP LITTLE ONES HAPPY AND ENTERTAINED WITH GAMES WHEN TRAVELLING.

The main thing to keep in mind with toddlers is to plan a stop every 2-3 hours to let them get out and stretch their legs.
Sometimes those car seats can be pretty hard to sit in for several hours in a row, so give them a little break as needed.
Here’s a list of ideas to keep them busy and happy on the road. With a little preparation, they can be a lot of fun and educational too.

Travel Tickets

Use some colored construction paper to cut out some “tickets” for your trip. Give your child a pre-counted bag full of tickets. Every half hour (or every 30 miles) they can turn in one ticket to you. When their tickets are gone, the trip has ended! This really helps young children get an idea of how much time is left on the journey.

Sing Along or Story Tapes
Having a selection of children’s songs or stories playing in the car is a good way of keeping your children quiet so you can concentrate on the driving

Felt Boards

These are fun, and you can even make your own. Use a large piece of felt for the back ground mounted on a sheet of cardboard, and cut out characters and shapes from different colored pieces of felt. Tell stories like the 3 pigs or Little Red Riding Hood using characters you’ve made. Let your child manipulate the pieces.

Pipe Cleaners

Pack a new bag of multi colored pipe cleaners and let their creativity run wild. They can make letters, flowers, animals, chains, jewelry, twist ties in their hair, practice braiding, and by the end, just balls of many colors.

Surprise packages
Prepare ahead with paper bags of items to be given out every 25, 50 or 75 miles — marked on a map with the location, it takes a little bit of preparation to do this but it REALLY helps young children. In each bag put a wrapped item — usually a small toy. Then in some of the surprise packages you can add juice or a snack, stickers and a piece of paper, or something pertaining to the trip that you can talk about.

Count the Cars
Each player chooses a colour and then must count the cars of that colour they see. The first person to see thirty cars win!

Bubbles

Keep some bubbles in the non-spill container in the car, and blow some bubbles for baby when someone else is doing the driving. This calms a baby right down, and the big kids think its pretty fun too.

(For Smaller Babies)Play Classical Music

Recent studies have indicated that classical music may help boost baby’s intelligence. That remains to be seen, but babies and grownups can both enjoy a little Beethoven or Mozart now and then. You can even find classical music like.

Peek-a-Boo

An all time classic baby game that’s perfect for the car. Hide behind a book or your head rest and pop out while squealing “Peek-a-boo!” and watch baby’s delight. Then cover baby’s eyes for a moment and let her pop out to see you!
Name the clouds
What do they look like? Find as many different shapes as you can.

The Rainbow Game
Call out a color and they have to find something that color. Make the older kids find five things while the 2 year old looks for one. Pink and Purple are the hardest!
TV – DVD for your car
When you’re all out of other ideas and they’re trapped in those car seat’s, let them watch some of their favorite videos. It’s a little expensive, but it might be worth it for your peace of mind if you can afford it. You can get TV or DVD combinations that will plug right into your car lighter.

Do you walk your dog when it’s raining?

I came into work this morning and what a great surprise. It was gloomy, grey and raining. The clouds looking like they were ready to let rip a massive quantity of rain drops, I suppose you could compare them to a pregnant lady waiting to drop. Oh joy!

The state of the weather then sparked my thoughts to the following topic, ‘How many people actually still take their dog for a walk even if it was raining?’

Now I’m not talking drizzle (that’s the name of my cat too),or light, misty rain, I mean absolutely tipping it down, soaking wet rain where you only have to step onto your doorstep and your hair look as though you have just jumped out of the shower. My dog, the gorgeous Jed only has to hear it raining and think, ‘Great, that’s my walk out of the window this morning!’

But when you think about it, your cat is the mostly likely domestic pet to hide inside out of the rain because they don’t like water.

Dogs, given half a chance bound out of the door, roll in the grass and shake as the tiptoe back into the kitchen pleased with themselves that you now have to chase them around in circles to wipe their paws so they don’t get mud on the cream carpets! You can tell I’m talking from experience can’t you?!

But Jed knows the drill. Out he trots for a wee and a breath of fresh air, door opens and in he treads and stands like a very good, well trained boy as I wipe him over with his doggie towel. Not likely! Jed gets as far as the door opening and rockets straight into the living room, where he knows that mum has just that second put the hoover away. Typical , but he does make me giggle. As he has got older his character just gets funnier and funnier. He is one wise fella!

I think he is teaching my little cat a few tricks too…

Enter Drizzle. A fairly small, slight pussycat with patterns of grey, brown and black all over, with a dove white belly and pricked ears. Drizzle, such a pretty, friendly fur ball, gracefully parading around her home ready to spot the next sucker munching on something tasty. Of course, Jed has beaten her to it and has already claimed the prime seat in the house awaiting any falling crumbs for him to lap up. Well, so he believes, until…

Drizzle. This little madam isn’t fazed by Jed’s presence as she has figured out that as she is so small she can afford to launch herself onto the chair and sit on the lap of her victim, getting closer than the spotty nosed pooch. But somehow Jed’s pitiful, sorry eyes always wins the choccie biscuit!

Honestly, in the mornings I am lucky if I get to munch half of my piece of toast because I am surrounded by the zoo! But our home would be lost without them, they carry such a respected presence.

Love is in the air…

Huge congratulations to Sarah W who has just become engaged!! We’re all thrilled to hear such exciting news! It has certainly beaten the January blues.

Love is in the air here in our office – Sarah W is starting to make wedding plans and my own wedding in May is drawing ever nearer! Time is flying so i’m busy with final preparations (such as the guest list – at this rate Pembrokeshire will have to close down for a day). With so many beautiful venues and such stunning scenery, Pembrokeshire is the perfect romantic setting. It would also be the perfect place for our respective hen weekends – but to save any embarrassment among local friends and family, it is perhaps wiser to leave the county.

Love it or hate it but Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us. Expectations are high amongst the ladies here, hoping to be overwhelmed with the usual accoutrements. The most perfect surprise would be to be whisked off for a romantic break away in a snug cottage by the sea (hint hint). So listen up chaps! If your lady love is deserving of a real treat, give us a ring and you are sure to be romantically inspired! Apologies if that sounds a bit nauseating – we are prone to getting carried away.

Finally, Tally has recently left us for nursing. Her cheerfulness and warmth will be much missed but we wish her well in all future escapades and we will all keep in touch!

Family Holidays

Why Pembrokeshire?

Family holidays in Pembrokeshire can be as relaxed or as busy as you like.
Choose from the peace of the many gardens or secluded beaches on offer, to the fun of more action packed days out with Oakwood, Folly Farm or the Dinosaur Park, there is something for everyone on a holiday in Pembrokeshire.
No matter where you are in West Wales, it’s usually no more than ½ an hours drive to the coast and one of the many large sandy beaches, harbours or coves readily Holiday time can be enjoyed at any time of year in Wales.
The Gulf Stream ensures that the beautiful beaches of Pembrokeshire have some of the warmest seas and climate in the UK making West Wales an ideal location for a beach holiday.
Holiday in a self catering cottage that overlooks the sea, where you may be fortunate to spot resident Dolphins and Porpoises swimming out in the bay. Safe boating, surfing, kayaking and windsurfing are available at many places along the coast.
Pembrokeshire is the smallest, National Park in Wales and the only Coastal National Park in Britain, with its protected coastline and wildlife islands it really is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Freshwater West Beach, Pembrokeshire

I always find that taking my pooch for a trip down the beach during the Winter months is so much more enjoyable than battling with the crowds during the height of the Summer season. Of course I have no objection whatsoever with the many people that visit Pembrokeshire in the Summer it’s just that you can find your dog will never get any peace.

My dog will always manage to find the man with the camera trying to take a ‘beach’ shot of his little children in the sea. In swoops Jed ball in mouth, tail wagging, ears pricked and a spring in his step as he bounds into the sea. Cue glare from Dad.

But that just wouldn’t happen in the Winter. I know it does sound like I may be stating the obvious here, but the only other people you will come across, are other lovely people wanting some peace and quiet to let their dogs run wild along the sand and splashing in the sea and the occasional surfer dude, but they just please themselves.

I recently took Jed down to his favourite beach, Freshwater West and it was as unspoilt and as refreshing as ever. Freshwater West is a fantastic beach to visit all year round for dogs, as it carries no horrible restrictions and has a long stretch of golden sand, plenty of sand dunes, rock pools and a clean sea for a doggie dip. If you are coming to Pembrokeshire with Coastal, then I would most certainly recommend this beach to visit. For me, having a water-loving dog at home allows me to venture to the beach everyday if I liked and knew that my dog would be absolutely delighted to accompany me.
There is nothing like wrapping up cosy warm as you feel the brisk air manage to catch only your face as you gently stroll across soft sand, splashing your wellies in the sea and watching your four legged friend have the time of his life.

Happy New Year!

2009 is here at last! We have all recovered from the festive season and celebrations (it took some of us longer than others) and now it’s time for making new resolutions and turning over new leaves for the new year. It’s also a time to make plans for the coming twelve months, booking holidays in particular! Here in the office we have been rushed off our feet with guests booking their Pembrokeshire holidays so do be sure to phone us as soon as you can.

Some good news (which makes a nice change) is that the long-range weather forecast for 2009 is very promising indeed and features such adjectives as “dry”, “warm” and “sunny.” Who needs the Riviera when one can visit sunny Pembrokeshire! So hopes are high for the spring and summer, although don’t hold me to it – i’m making no promises.

In the meantime, a very Happy New Year to you all!