Well results day has been and gone and it is official, my first born bambino Jasper is starting school this September and I’m a mixed bag of emotions. I’m excited, proud, anxious, nervous and at the same moment quite overwhelmingly sad that our care-free days are numbered. I’m so used to us having a relaxed schedule, I work from home and he goes to preschool two days a week so we’re pretty free to do whatever we want and go wherever we want with no restraints.
The thought of him being at school 5 days a week, although amazing for him and amazing for me in terms of getting work done, has given me the realisation that any days out will now be limited to weekends and holidays – hello busy, hello pricey, hello let’s homeschool and travel the world instead!
So I’ve decided to put my positive pants on and make the most of the 19 weeks we have left with a ‘Mummy-Jasper Pre-School Bucket List’.
Jasper’s pre-school is part of a nursery so he’ll be going right through the Summer; I’ll probably have him finish a week before school starts so that he has time to relax and get ready but it means we’ve got 5 other days a week to complete our bucket list. I’m planning to do one thing a week so that’s it’s not too much, and rather than popping Jenson in nursery for an extra day each week I’m just going to get organised and try to arrange a bit of family day-care for the duration. Both my parents and Pete’s love having Jenson plus Petes work is really flexible and he often works at home so if it’s just a quick trip to the park/ for ice cream I can definitely count him in to cover Jens. This may sound mean that I’m not including Jens but we have one day a week just the two of us, they have 5 days a week together and at the moment he needs a lot of focus so trips like the zoo would be spent chasing him not learning and exploring with Jasper.
So, without further a due, here is our pre-school bucket list as created by me and Jasper (aged 4):
1 – Travel together – This one we’re actually doing next week and I cannot wait. I have a conference to attend at Martinhal Family Hotel in Lisbon and I’ve chosen Jasper to be my plus one! I can’t wait to fly with him (and no wriggly baby) and have 4 whole days of sun, sea and sand adventures with him.
2 – Peppa Pig World/ Dinosaur Kingdom – Jasper doesn’t watch Peppa anymore (thank God) but he still asks to go there EVERY DAY. They have the Dinosaur park there now too and he is crazy over dinosaurs! (Jenson is scare of them so he would not enjoy it!).
3 – Marwell Zoo – We haven’t been for months if not a couple of years and as Jasper is so inquisitive I just know he’ll be asking all sorts of questions about the animals. It’ll be amazing to be able to take my time with him to learn about them and do the fun little activity sheets they provide.
4 – Farm – We have a fab farm just around the corner from our house but there’s also a great one about 40 minutes away which has lots of fun activities like pony rides and tractor rides so I plan to take him to both and really help him learn about how the farms work.
5 – London trip – Jasper loves going on trains so I thought it would be fun to have a day trip to London. We could go to the National History Museum, Tate museum, Kew Gardens ( I think there will be a few day trips!)
6 – Beach – Jasper adores the beach, hearing his belly laugh as he chases the waves literally fills my soul but soaking that up whilst trying to stop Jenson from eating sand isn’t so wonderful!
7 – Cinema – We had our first cinema trip a couple of months ago and I was so impressed that he sat through it all and even went back with Pete the following week to watch the same movie! Peter Rabbit is out at the moment so we’ll book a date in to see that and have a lunch date of his choice afterwards.
8 – Rock climbing – Whiteley Shopping Village has a great rock climbing centre called Rock Up and they do toddler mornings three days a week. They also have a nice soft play area and cafe so we could spend a morning there! Jasper is a little gymnast at heart, he climbs on everything so I have a feeling he’s going to love it!
9 – Park – We go to the park a lot but never just the two of us. I’m always splitting my attention between the two of them (mainly Jenson as he has no fear yet no spatial awareness) so it’ll be great to spend a few hours at the park with all of my focus on Jasper.
10 – Swimming – Jasper’s done lessons since he was little but we stopped when Jenson was a baby as he completely lost interest. Our travels has brought his love for the water back though so I want to try and fit in a swimming session once a week if possible. The good thing with this is that I can book Jenson into the creche at the club so I’m less restricted to times.
11 – Aquarium – Jasper loves fish and we have two great aquariums near us in Portsmouth and Bournemouth – they’re both on the beach too so we could make a day of it!
12 – Crabbing – This is more Jasper and Pete’s thing but we used to live in a little riverside village called Hamble, it was our first home where we brought Jasper home from the hospital and it’s so precious to me. So I want to take Jasper there for a walk down the cobbled streets, along the river and for a spot of crabbing!
13 – Bowling – I think he may be more interested in the arcade games next to the bowling alley but it’ll be fun to play a game of blowing together alongside treat food and rave music!
14 – Ice Cream Shop – Hello gelato! What kid doesn’t love a tripe scoop ice-cream on waffles with all the toppings!
15 – Scooter date – Jasper loves his scooter but I’ve always just ran along behind. I’m going to get myself an adult scooter – yep you heard that right, and then we can go to a country park and really explore!
16 – Trampolining – We went to our local trampolining park the other day but I spent most of it stopping Jenson from diving underneath people as they jump, so it’ll be great to go just the two of us, or with some friends so I can really get stuck in!
17 – The New Forest – This is such a special place to me, I spent a lot of my childhood here and even got married in one of the hotels so I really want to to be somewhere that Jasper grows up with fond memories of. We can take his bike there, pack a picnic, see the horses and buy fudge and icrecream from the village shops!
18 – Legoland – We’ve been to the one in Windsor before as well as the one in Manchester and it’s another place he asks to go to almost daily. He’ll definitely be able to go on a few more rides now too!
19 – Winchester science museum – I haven’t been here since I was at school but they have loads of fun and interactive activities for little ones to do. I LOVED science growing up and I really want to be part of him learning all of the cool facts!
20 – Theatre – Over Christmas time we went to the pants and jasper loved it; again I was so impressed with his attention span so I’m going to see what our local theatre has on this Summer!
Well that’s my bucket list so far, I’m sure I’ll have lots more to add and I would love for you to add anything you’ll be doing with your little one before they start school as inspiration below! I’ll of course be doing lots of other things with Jasper while Jenson is napping or even when he’s awake, like sofa dens, crafts, baking, reading, watching movies and going on bug hunts (his new favourite thing to do!), these are just some extra special activities I’d love for us to do together.
I hope this has given you a bit of inspiration, especially if you’re feeling a little blue about your child starting school in September – where have our babies gone!?
Thanks for reading,