Little Feet at the British Museum

At the start of the year, I wrote about free activities for under fives at the British Museum in large part because I was determined to finally go and try them out (with a little help from the one-year-old and four-year-old).

A few weeks ago, we went to a Little Feet session for the first time and that means I can now whole-heartedly recommend them to you. And flag up that the next ones are coming up soon:

On Friday 20 April 2018, Little Feet go disco dancing at 10.30am. The music and movement session is free and takes place in the studio.

On Thursday 3 May 2018, the session is called Exhibition Explorer and takes place in room 30 at 10.30am. It relates to the Rodin and the art of Greece exhibition.

And on Saturday 26 May 2018, Little Feet is all about animal sounds. Sounds Grrrrr-eat. There are hourly sessions in room 1 between 11am and 3.30pm.

All the details are here.

The session we went to remains a high point of the last dreary weeks weather-wise. For a start, we were heading somewhere new. We went as a family and there was something for us all to enjoy.

For the one-year-old, there was a little ball pit to crawl in, as well as some interesting cuddly toys to play with.

For the four-year-old (who happened to be dressed as a unicorn) there was a lovely session that taught her the difference between ‘mythical animals’ and ones that exist on planet earth.

At the start, each of the children reached into a bag and pulled out a cuddly animal and they worked out if it was mythical or not. I don’t know what the chances were of this happening, but you guessed it, my DD pulled a unicorn out of the bag and she was utterly delighted although it didn’t entail admitting they aren’t actually real.

After that, armed with some photos of peculiar creatures (like half fish/half bear stone carvings) and a tablet, she got to search round the room until she found them all and photographed the evidence.

The organisers were really engaging and everyone aged between one and five seemed to enjoy themselves. The parents looked pretty pleased too.

We didn’t hang around for long afterwards because it was a Saturday and the museum was busy. But here are a few things to bear in mind.

  • It’s worth looking up which room you’re going to and where it is before you head to the museum – it’s not fun searching for the right place with kids in tow especially if you’re running late.
  • When we visited, there were bag searches outside, but you go in the members’ queue if you have a pushchair – nice touch.
  • The museum gets really crowded at weekends so it might be quite stressful to visit other rooms or galleries with toddlers.
  • There are cafes, toilets, baby changing rooms and all the facilities you need at the museum.
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Where to share pre-loved clothes, toys and more

Earth Day is coming up on 22nd April and this year’s theme is reducing plastic pollution. Bringing up children seems to involve a LOT of stuff, much of it only used for a few short months and often made of plastic.

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Daffodils in TH Cemetery Park

Happily, there are some simple solutions that can save money and the environment at the same time.

Are you looking to pass on what you don’t need any more to a good home, or to pick up things you do need at a more affordable price?

Beyond charity shops, here are some great places to get and/or give away baby clothes, furniture, toys and more in East London.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Continue reading “Where to share pre-loved clothes, toys and more”

Stepney City Farm

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I hear there are piglets at Stepney City Farm and that means a visit is essential. If you’re free this Thursday 12 April there are craft activities for children aged four months to eight years old.

It sounds like fun and it’s free. Visit between 11am-2.30pm

Details here

There are some other great reasons to make your way to the farm.

Crafts for kids Sunday 29 April 1-3.30pm: Free craft activities in the classroom – this happens every last Sunday of the month.

Yoga for families Saturday 5 May 11am-12noon: Yoga for parents and children – this happens every first Saturday of the month.

May Day festival Monday 7 May 10am-4pm Traditional music, dancing, crafts, food and drink all day. See the sheep take off their woolly coats ready for  Summer and help George and Dustan, the donkeys, turn 20.

And don’t forget the Frog Prince holds baby music sessions every Friday 10-11am, and 11am-12noon. £5 per adult.

 

A week at Poplar baths…

The last time I started writing this post I got three words in before the one-year-old woke up…

…Attempt 2

There are loads of toddler-friendly activities at Poplar baths. Here’s a week of drop-in activities, but it’s also a great place to book your little one onto a course in gymnastics, football, trampolining, swimming or other sports.

Tuesday

9.15-11.15am Toddler’s world – soft play

12noon-1.30pm Swimming for U5s (baby pool open)

Wednesday

12.30-1.15pm Tots waterworld

Thursday

10am-12 noon Toddler’s world – soft play

Friday

12.30-1.30pm Tots’ waterworld and it’s free swim Friday in Tower Hamlets.

Saturday

12.30-1.30pm Baby pool open and it’s free family swim day in Tower Hamlets.

1.30-2.30pm Aquasplash in the baby pool

Sunday

1.30-2.30pm Aquasplash in the baby pool

2.30-3.30pm Women and girls only in the baby pool

Information about free swimming is here.

There’s also an open evening this Wednesday 11th April (6.30-8.30pm) for women and girls (and boys under eight) to try various sports including tennis, badminton, football and table tennis for free. For more details, email or call.

Timetables change, so please contact Poplar baths to check the times if you fancy any of these activities.

 

The Singing Mermaid

 

TSM_wpbannerYou’ve got one more month to catch ‘The Singing Mermaid’ at the Little Angel Theatre – don’t miss it!

We went today and it brightened up a miserable, rainy day.

As you’ll probably know, ‘The Singing Mermaid’ is one of Julia Donaldson’s books. Without giving away the major plot twists, it’s about a mermaid who loves singing with her friends and swimming in the open sea. An unsavoury circus master chances upon her, and promises her fame and an appreciative audience if she joins his troupe.

Things don’t work out exactly as he promises, but an appreciative audience is what The Singing Mermaid (and the whole cast) finds at the Little Angel Theatre.

There are lovely songs as well as lots of laughs for toddlers and their older companions alike. A singing seagull, a circus master who struggles to count and the other circus acts including a fire-breathing boy – these are just parts of the show that caused lots of giggles with us.

The show is aimed at 3-8 years olds and lasts 55 minutes. We had a one-year-old (and four-year-old) in our group, who loved the lights, the puppets and the songs, but 55 minutes was a bit of a strain on her attention span.

Remember the Little Angel Theatre does a great offer. All tickets for the 5pm performance on a Friday are a fiver each.

All the details are here.

 

Spring

No need to wait any longer for Spring to arrive. You can go and find it at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. If you’ve never visited, there’s nowhere quite like it in Bow – it’s a little patch of nurtured wilderness that’s especially lovely at this time of year when there are daffodils and little woodland flowers everywhere.

It’s also a good place to play hide and seek.

And here are two other reasons to visit with young children.

  1. Bow Beasties

The wildlife group meets monthly for different activities. Next up is pond dipping and wild art on Saturday 21st April 2018.

More details here.

2. Spring Festival – Sunday 1st April

There’ll be an adventure trail, woodland walks and the chance to make a Spring crown.

More details here.

 

Real Nappies & East London Sling Meet

Want to find out more about using slings and baby carriers, or ‘real’ (reusable) nappies, or both?
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Friday 9th March, Real Nappies at the East London Sling Meet, 9.30-12.30, The Cafe at St Paul’s, St Paul’s Churchyard, EC4M 8 London.

You can find out more about real nappies and other upcoming events here.

Here’s more info about the Sling Meet: Continue reading “Real Nappies & East London Sling Meet”