All Points East

The hoardings are up in Victoria Park – it’s festival season again. But this year, it’s all change.

No Lovebox or Field Day or the other regulars. Instead there’s All Points East, which takes place for ten days from Friday 25th May and promises to cater a little better for local residents – including offering free activities for children during half-term.

You can take a look at the programme yourself (if you haven’t already), but here are a few things that stood out to me.

Bank holiday Monday (29th May) is a celebration of 100 years since some, but not all women finally gained the right to vote – thanks (in no small part) to the activities of women living in this area. I’m not quite sure how a free screening of Moana fits with the theme, but I’m not going to moana about it.

It’s on at 12 noon if you fancy it. Stay on until 3.15pm and you can take part in a suffragette rally. It’s billed as having a historical flavour with speeches from the time, but  I suspect there will be a relevance to much of the messaging today…

There’s also music, crafts, food stalls and that kind of stuff. All we need is some Bank Holiday sunshine.

Also:

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wedding celebrations

If your invitation to Meghan Markle’s wedding to some bloke called Harry hasn’t arrived in the post yet, it might be time to make alternative plans for Saturday 19th May 2018.

It turns out the real party is happening in Mile End park from 12 noon until 4pm, and it’s free.

With a coconut shy, arts and crafts activities, face paints and sports for kids, it sounds like a lot more fun that whatever’s going on in Windsor at the same time. So all you need to do is pack a right royal picnic, hope for clement weather, and get yourself and your little one(s) to Mile End park.

Events take place in the area of the park near Haverfield road (opposite the Victoria pub and behind the yummy fish and chip shop).

Check out the details here

Sing-along at the British Library…

The British Library isn’t a place I’d rush into with two noisy pre-schoolers, but it turns out that in three weeks time, on Saturday 2nd June 2018, they’ll be welcome.

There’s a Moana Family Sing-along.

I wonder how far you’ll go for that?

It takes place in the Knowledge Centre Theatre at 2pm. It’s not cheap. Tickets are a shiny £8 for adults and £5 for children and you need to book.

All the details are here.

If you have older children, you might be interested to know there are also free activities every month at the British Library for children age 5-11.

Find out more here.

I think you’ll agree, this blog really does give you all you need.

Like the sound of this event? You’re welcome.

Craft activity

Cutting and sticking is very popular in this house.

Here’s a simple activity that we do together.

  1. Take a clothing catalogue that comes through the door with more regularity that our purchases warrant.

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2. Get out some paper dolls (or make your own)

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3. Decorate them with the clothes you like (this one was so lovely it went straight on the wall)

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You can adapt this activity to whatever you receive.

  • We’ve done an ‘Arts and crafts’ mood board (that’s all the things that the four-year-old sees in a kids’ crafts catalogue that she likes).
  • A treasure map with a museum newsletter that was full of gold coins and other shiny things.
  • A magic room (general homeware-type catalogue)

Little Swifts

The RAF museum in Colindale is a vast indoor space that’s full of flying machines. They come in all shapes and sizes – from the terrifyingly fragile to the scarily powerful. Some are made of wood. Others of beautiful shiny silver panels. There are carefully camouflaged planes, bright yellow ones and one that’s decorated like a shark. The idea of taking to the skies in these amazing aeroplanes and helicopters is likely to spark the imaginations of most toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Continue reading “Little Swifts”

Green fingers

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Photo from: https://www.natgeokids.com/au/discover/animals/insects/ladybird-facts/

You don’t need to have a garden to get your toddler interested in the great outdoors. There are loads of beautiful parks and green opens spaces in east London – some of them have nature clubs and activities for pre-schoolers.

Here are a few you might like to try:

  1. Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

Bow Beasties – free monthly wildlife club for children aged 3-12 (usually the third Saturday of the month).

The next Bow Beasties is Saturday 19th May 2018 and sounds like a cracker. The activities are whittling and worm charming. This is definitely on my to do list

All the details are here

2. Epping Forest Field Centre

Look out for Seedlings – one and a half hour sessions enjoying the forest for toddlers aged 18 months to four years old. Free for adults, £5 for children.

Coming up soon is A Toddle in the Woods (Wednesday 30 May 2018, 10am-11.30am), which sounds lovely. Take a walk in woodland with your little ones.

If you can’t make it, there’s a whole programme of events including a 4-week course taking place on Tuesdays 26 June-17 July 2018, 10am-11.30am with a chance for your little one to get messy and muddy.

And on Thursday 2 August 2018, 10am-11.30am there’s a chance to search for butterflies.

 

Find more events here and book

3. Victoria Park

Closer to home, there’s a Junior Wildlife Club in Victoria Park. The next event that I’ve spotted is:

Saturday 2 June 2018, 10.30am–12.30pm Junior Wildlife Club: Make and throw seed bombs.

Info on this PDF leaflet

4. Walthamstow Wetlands

There are regular free events for under 5s and families at Walthamstow Wetlands and some fantastic sessions are coming up soon…

Sunday 29th April, 10am-3pm Wild Weekend: Super Spiders: Spot webs and do some spider-themed art.
Monday 7th May, 10am-3pm Birdsong: storytelling, a walk listening to birds and bird-inspired arts and crafts.

 

Find out more and register for event here

5. East Ham Nature Reserve

Until I started researching this post, I didn’t know there was an East Ham Nature Reserve, but there is. There’s also an Urban Wilds Explorer Club with monthly activities including a bluebell walk coming up soon.

Details here

6. Plashet Park

Plashet Park is new to me too, but it’s very close to East Ham tube station. They have a Little Grubs gardening club every Tuesday 25th July-15th August, 10am-12noon.

Details here

Feed the birds

Now that Spring is here, birds are busy. They’re building nests, laying eggs and soon they’ll face the constant demands of squawking babies that are constantly demanding food.

I think I understand how they feel…

Last year, we put up a feeder for the first time and I was amazed at how captivated everyone in the household became by our small, feathered visitors. The (at the time) three-year-old was always the first to spot new birds and soon learned their names.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or a balcony, it’s easy enough to put up a feeder. Or you can stick one to your window (this was what we started with).

Not sure what kind of feeder to buy?

Here’s what I’ve learned.

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Coconut shell (photo from RSPB)

These half coconuts are full of fat, nuts and grains. You can hang them on a branch, hook or washing line (just make sure it’s not anywhere the local cats can reach).

If you’d like to turn this into an activity you can find out how to make one with your child here.

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Windows feeder (photo from RSPB)

This kind sticks to your window. You don’t need a garden or a balcony, but you do need to be able to reach it regularly to refill it and wash it. You can put suet balls and sunflower hearts in it (just make sure squirrels can’t reach it).

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Nyjer seed feeder (photo from RSPB)

This kind is especially for goldfinches. Fill with Nyjer seeds to attract these colourful creatures.

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Seed feeder (photo from RSPB)

Fill this one with sunflower seeds which a wide variety of birds like.

And here are some of the beautiful little garden birds you and your toddler might possibly see in Tower Hamlets (especially if you’re near some open green space).

Photos from rspb.org.uk