Working hard? #TakeABreak

swordandtrowelYou don’t need to sell the idea of taking a break to the parents of mini ones – they just often can’t.

So why any worker would willingly skip their lunch breaks if they don’t need to seems questionable.

But a recent study by Bupa found that only 1 in 3 workers take their allocated lunch break and 45 per cent of these workers took their break at their desks.

And, of course, pre-minis, I often used to be one of those tied-to-my-desk type people too.  What was I thinking?!

The benefit of having two little people no longer entitling you to lunch breaks, needing entertaining and being a one-car household so often walking to and from children’s activities, is that we all get lots of fresh air and parks are often on our itineraries.

swordandtrowel2And exploring outdoor spaces could be boosting our creativity according to a campaign by bookkeeping company Sword & Trowel.  (And my minis are definitely creative so they can certainly attest to that).

Director of operations at Sword and Trowel Dimitrios Alafouzos asks: “Do you always take your hour lunch break? We want to encourage local business owners to support their staff to take a break and get outdoors. We are lucky to have many open spaces on our doorstep and it has been proven that by getting out in the fresh air, creativity increases and employees’ overall mood improves.”

And they further encourage people to #TakeABreak by quoting Kimberly Elsbach from the University of California – “We know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment” – and The American Psychological Association that found that walking increases participant’s creativity by 81 per cent.

So, even if you are a hardened workaholic or feel pressure from managers or colleagues to put your workplace before your own health and wellbeing, it’s clear there’s plenty of work-related reasons to #TakeABreak too.

Find out more here: #TakeABreak – and don’t forget to share a photo of your midday stroll with @SandTbookkeep and @TheMiniMalpi!

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Will #bookshopday be a Blustery Day?

bambpoohAhead of Books Are My Bag’s Bookshop Day on Saturday 8th October, Gill Hart from Lindum Books in Bailgate, Lincoln, is ready to celebrate along with a new nonagenarian…

Winnie the Pooh, celebrates an important anniversary this year, it being 90 years since A. A. Milne wrote the very first Pooh story.

In all that time Pooh has made a special place for himself in the hearts of many generations of readers of all ages.

His apparently simple sayings and words of wisdom remain in our minds long after we have grown up!

Whether we first met Pooh through the original books or the Disney movie, at this time of year who doesn’t at some time remember A Rather Blustery Day?

A Rather Blustery Day
Hum, dum, dum, dee, dee, dum
Hum, dum, dum
Oh the wind is lashing lusterly
And the trees are thrashing thrusterly
And the leaves are rustling gusterly
So it’s rather safe to say
That it seems that it may turn out to be
It feels that it will undoubteadly
Looks like a rather blustery day today
It seems that it may turn out to be
Feels that it will undoubteadly
Looks like a rather blustery day today

bamblogoThis year to celebrate Bookshop Day on Saturday 8th October, Books Are My Bag, a nationwide campaign to celebrate bookshops, has chosen Winnie the Pooh to feature on their special limited edition children’s tote bag. We will have the bags in Lindum Books on Saturday as long as stocks last, free with purchases of £15 or more on children’s books.

(There will also be bags for grownups! These will be; the Books Are My Bag Tote – free with a purchase of £15 or more or to buy at £2.99, and the limited edition Coralie Bickford-Smith Tote – free with a purchase of £25 or more or to buy at £10.99).

Visit Books Are My Bag and Lindum Books for further information.

Soaking up the joy of Sponge

What does a sponge inspire you to do?

Something as exciting as the washing-up?  To take a bath?  Clean down your cupboards?

When Turned On Its Head looked at a sponge, they saw the inspiration for their latest participatory dance show for mini ones.

The company’s purpose is “to engage audiences and their families in a journey of discovery and imagination” and yellow, blue and pink sponges, along with a few plastic flexi buckets, provided the squashy launch pads into dream-like worlds where flying, dancing, raining sponges, tall bendy legs, alien creatures and squishy, spinning haute couture were essential elements to the young audience’s experience at the Lincoln Drill Hall today.

“Children are like sponges. They absorb all your strength and leave you limp, but give them a squeeze and you get everything back”

The Mini Malpi watched and joined in the afternoon performance of the show that’s set to a 1970s soundtrack and “is about all things spongy: a child’s ability to soak things up like a sponge, a nice piece of cake or the squashy, squishy texture that fascinates children and adults alike”.

The babies to four year olds, as well as their accompanying adults, were captivated by the show’s sensory wonderment, giggling from the outset and needing little encouragement to join in.  Particular highlights for my mini ones were to fill a bucket up with sponges and tip them over your head, going for a well-cushioned spinning flight in a bucket, building towers of sponge to knock down and generally being able to throw the springy absorbers around under disco lights with gleeful reckless abandon.

Big smiles and eager exploration confirmed a delightful time was had by all at the arts centre, and, of course, we have many sponges at home too which we may never look at quite the same again…

Other shows for little ones coming up at the Lincoln Drill Hall include:
Hubbub – a Musical Adventure, for age 5+, October 16th & 17th
Mavis Sparkle, for age 4+, November 6th

 

Lots of fun at the Fun Palace Weekend

funpalace2016“Part of a worldwide campaign and celebration of culture by, for and with the whole community,” Lincoln Fun Palace Weekend is taking place in and around the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) on Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd.

The “free, community event with arts and science activities” is “ideal for families, children and young people” and there’s certainly a wide range of activities on offer.

Today, the Mini Malpi enjoyed LEGO building, face painting, graffiti art, the Anti-Gravity Box, crazy golf (this was charged for), drumming, Zest Theatre’s Boy Meets Girl and much more!

And tomorrow visitors to the arts centre based on the University of Lincoln campus can enjoy it all again too!

Visit http://lpac.co.uk/event/fun-palace-weekend/ and http://funpalaces.co.uk/ for more details.

It’s Halloween season!

Hauntingly good events for 2016

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Passion2Dance have a whole week of Halloween fun planned!

The Malpi household is a little bit keen on Halloween.

With mummy and daddy’s wedding taking place on October 31st some years back, their zeal for the ghoulish date definitely seems to have been passed on to the next generation if the recent excited giggling in the supermarket’s seasonal aisle followed by the enthusiastic trying on of masks and insistence on trying out the novelty decorations was anything to go by.

Fortunately we’re not the only ones who like dressing up at this time of year and here are just some of the events you and your mini monsters can take part in this year.  Some need advance booking so be sure to click on the links to check the details.

Dates throughout October:

Happy Halloween, Darmons Funhouse, Sleaford

October 22nd, 23rd & 26th to 30th:

noon-4pm: Rats, Bats & Cats Trail, Southwell Workhouse

October 22 to October 30:

Halloween Maize Maze, Uncle Henry’s, Grayingham, Gainsborough
Pumpkin Festival, Pink Pig Farm, Holme Hall, near Scunthorpe

October 22 to October 31:

10am-3pm: Hallowe’en Half Term, Belton House
10am-3pm: PYO Pumpkins, Doddington Hall
10am-3pm: Schools Scarecrow Competition, Doddington Hall
noon-3pm: Halloween Trail, Hartsholme Country Park, Lincoln

Sunday, October 23:

11am: Sunday Storytime – Winnie the Witch, Waterstone’s, High Street, Lincoln

Monday, October 24:

9.45am and 11.15am: Pumpkin Party, Music with Mummy, Washingborough Methodist Church
1pm-2.30pm: Fangtastic! St Giles Children’s Centre, Lincoln

October 24 to October 29:

10am-4pm: Kitchen Garden Spooky Trail, Doddington Hall
11am-4pm: Hallowe’en Half Term, Tattershall Castle

October 24 to October 31:

Half Term Halloween Family Fun: Rand Farm Park, Rand, Market Rasen

Tuesday, October 25:

10am-11am: Play-Doh Spooky Family Fun, The Creation Station, The Venue, Navenby
1pm-2.30pm: Mask Making, Hartsholme Country Park, Lincoln

October 25 to October 31:

Halloween Fun Week, Passion2Dance, Farrier Road, Lincoln

Wednesday, October 26:

noon-4pm: Rats, Bats & Cats Craft Day, Southwell Workhouse

October 26 and October 28:

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October 26 to October 29:

5.30pm, 7pm and 8.30pm: Spooky Walks… Doddington Witch Trials, Doddington Hall

Thursday, October 27:

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9.45am and 11.15am: Pumpkin Party, Music with Mummy, St Andrew’s Centre, Saxilby
10am-4.30pm: Haunted House: A Halloween Spectacular, The Back Garden Drama Company, Waddington Village Hall.  Age 4-12.
1pm & 2.30pm: Halloween Story Walk, Easton Walled Gardens, near Grantham
1pm-2.30pm: Pumpkin Carving, Hartsholme Country Park, Lincoln
1.30pm-2.30pm: The Gruffalo Halloween Event, Welton Children’s Centre
2pm-3pm: Jack O Lantern Jar Workshop, South Hykeham Village Hall. Age 4+.
3pm-8pm: Halloween Fun, Boston Town Team, Boston Market Place

Friday, October 28:

9.30am-11.30am: Parent & Toddler’s Spooky Fun, St Giles Children’s Centre, Lincoln
10am-noon & 1pm-4pm: Friday Family Fun Club’s Homemade Halloween Make, Gainsborough Old Hall
10.30am-2.30pm: Halloween Colouring Competition, Bransby Horses, Bransby, Lincoln
1pm-2.30pm: Fangtastic! Lincoln North Children’s Centre, Ermine, Lincoln
5.30pm-7.30pm: Halloween Disco, SK8Z, Gainsborough

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Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29:

Halloween at Woodside, Woodside Wildlife Park, Newball, near Langworth, Lincoln
Sincil Street’s Day of the Dead, Cornhill Quarter, Lincoln
Spooky Halloween Weekend
: Tattershall Farm Park

October 28th to October 31st:

Spook-tacular, The Humber Bridge Country Hotel, Barton upon Humber

Saturday, October 29:

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Halloween Party, Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough
10am-3pm: Spooky Saturday, The Showroom, Tritton Road, Lincoln
noon-5pm: Spookymon, Boultham Park, Lincoln
5pm-7pm: Halloween Party, Wacky Warehouse, Lincoln
5pm-7pm: Fancy Dress Halloween Party, The Cherry Tree, Cherry Willingham
5pm-9pm: Halloween with Kiddyscastles, Pavilion Bar Saxilby
5.30pm-7.30pm: Halloween Party, Lincoln Dance Company, Branston Village Hall
5.30pm-7.30pm, Halloween Family Party, Pink Pig Farm, Holme Hall, near Scunthorpe
6.30pm-8pm: Mayhem Halloween Party, Ignite Elim Church, Moorland Community Centre, Lincoln.

Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30:

10am-4pm: Victorian Days of Fear, Lincoln Castle
Halloween Ghost Bus Tour, Lincoln

Sunday, October 30:

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10am: Hotel Transylvania, Kinema in the Woods, Woodhall Spa
10am-2pm: Halloween Photography Mini Sessions, A. Rowan Photo, Hartsholme Country Park, Skellingthorpe Road, Lincoln
10am-4pm: A Spooky, Ghostastic Halloween Craft & Gift Fair, Subeams Fairs and Events, Westgate Academy School, Lincoln
11am: Sunday Storytime – Room on the Broom, Waterstones, High Street, Lincoln
11am-4pm: Halloween at Terrifying Temple Bruer Tower, Temple Bruer, LN5 0DG
11am-4pm: Hallowe’en Spooktacular, Tattershall Castle
2pm-5pm: Children’s Halloween Party, Brant Road Social Club, Lincoln
2pm-6pm: Halloween Family Event, The Little Pottery Studio, Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln
4.30pm-6pm: Manor Ghost Tour, Healing Manor, Stallingborough Road, Grimsby

Monday, October 31:

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10am-2pm: Halloween Fun Day, Bransby Horses, Bransby, Lincoln
1.30pm-2.30pm: Halloween Sling Swing, Yarborough Leisure Centre, Lincoln
7.30pm: Barton Ghost Walk, Baysgarth Museum, Barton upon Humber

Have I missed your event?  Email me at hello@theminimalpi.co.uk  

Lincolnshire Day – October 1st, 2016

lincolnshireflagLincolnshire – the county of big skies, the eponymous sausage, home of the Red Arrows and a varied landscape that encompasses city, town, village and hamlet, coast and countryside and an Area of Outstanding Beauty – it’s no wonder it has its own annual celebratory day.

Lincolnshire Day (#LincolnshireDay) is celebrated every year on October 1st, the anniversary of the Lincolnshire Rising, a revolt by Catholics against the establishment of the Church of England by Henry VIII in 1536.

And tonight it was the subject of the weekly Twitter hashtag hour #LincsHour and there was no shortage of events planned for the day available for TheMiniMalpi to retweet.

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Several tweeters mentioned that Lincoln Cathedral will be marking the occasion by offering free entry to visitors, @LincsHour herself pointed us in the direction of Belton House’s Autumn Fair and Lincolnshire County Council’s webpage Celebrate culture on Lincolnshire Day! was also linked to, highlighting events at Lincoln Castle and its Heritage Skills Centre, Gainsborough Old Hall, Ellis Mill and the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.

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The Lincolnshire Echo’s list of 16 things to do this Lincolnshire Day includes a walk through the Wolds, a book signing at Lindum Books in Bailgate, Lincoln, a festival of food and music at Swallowbeck Methodist Church and the launch of a new display at Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre sharing RAF Cranwell’s history as a training school.

Healing Manor Hotel near Grimsby is holding an evening of Lincolnshire dishes in its Portman Restaurant and in Grantham celebrations will be equally delicious with the Teaspoon Tea Company offering free samples of its “Grantham tea” and the town’s market hosting a Sausage Saturday event.

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Visit Lincoln manager Emma Tatlow tweeted a link to Molly’s Guide’s Celebrate your inner Yellowbelly list which features a special Lincolnshire Day Artists’ Market, in Castle Square,  Lincoln, a Select Lincolnshire Food Festival in St Marks Shopping Centre, Lincoln and a Wolds Art Festival in Market Rasen.

And Visit Lincoln’s own website page Lincolnshire Day 2016 also includes the Lincoln Book Festival’s Local History Afternoon, the Lincoln Ghost Bus Tour, Age UK’s Lincolnshire Lunch celebration of both Older People’s Day and Lincolnshire Day in one go at their Park Street branch in Lincoln, New Theatre Royal Lincoln’s Lincolnshire Day ticket offer and (on Sunday 2nd) the first Lincoln Half Marathon.

Will you be wearing yellow on Saturday?

Start your Family Travel Show journey for free*

fts_logo_close_dmg_rgb_bwWhilst The Mini Malpi often restrict our travels to an under one-and-a-half hour car drive and our exotic holiday locations have so far included Woodhall Spa and Sherwood Forest, it doesn’t stop us dreaming of distant shores.

And we have friends and family who’ve proved such travels can be done taking their small children to and from places as far flung as Portugal, Thailand and New Zealand.

If you have similar itchy feet but aren’t sure where to start, then a visit to the Family Travel Show at Olympia in London on October 1st and 2nd could be the answer.

“Family holidays have evolved – a hunger for experience, a desire to educate, and the determination to share our passion for travel with the next generation is now more possible than ever,” says Katie Burgess from Escape Events.

“Here the Family Travel Show and their expert exhibitors open your eyes to what opportunities exist for exploring the world with kids in tow.

“The Family Travel Show is your chance to meet with the biggest collection of specialist family holiday providers and discover travel options that you never knew existed. Get insider information and ideas from the experts, plus save money with the amazing show offers and enjoy show features for all the family.”

Tickets to the event cost £8 in advance or £10 on the door, under 16s are free. For full details and to book tickets please visit http://www.familytravelshow.com or call 0844 209 7360. Calls cost 10p per minute.

Readers of The Mini Malpi, however, can get 2 free* tickets to The Family Travel Show 2016 when booking in advance!  Just quote MINIMALPI when booking tickets online at www.familytravelshow.com or when calling 0844 209 7360.

(*£2.50 booking fee for postage and package applies.  Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras.)