Toddler take over…

Watch out! There’s a toddler take over at the Museum of London, Docklands this weekend (20 & 21 May, 2016). There are loads of great activities to entertain restless little ones, which will be especially welcome if the weekend is as rainy as it is right now.

I love the sound of Rise & Shine yoga for toddlers. There are two sessions at 10.45am and 11.20am on both Saturday and Sunday, although by that time most toddlers will have risen and been shining for a number of hours…

But that’s just one of a whole two days of activities aimed at under fives – from balloon modelling and baby jazz performances, to activity trails and the chance to try ballet.

Take a look at what’s happening here.

20 and 21 May, 10.30-4pm. All events are free and tickets are available on arrival.

Rounton Park, E3

The blog I read the most (apart from this one, of course) is Spitalfields Life. I love the way the Gentle Author finds inspiration in his/her home patch of London, uncovering story after story – which, in turn, inspires me to try and do the same. Because I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you keep exploring – wherever you are – you’re never bored.

And to let you in on a secret, I spent much of my childhood feeling very bored indeed. As a result, if there’s any one thing I want to equip my children with, it’s an enquiring mind, so they aren’t needlessly bored, and find interest and inspiration around them.

So when my three-year-old looked out from the bus and spotted a small park with a play area and said, “Mummy, one day can we go to that playground”, I was only too pleased to oblige. Not the same day, mind, I was in need of a sit-down and cuppa, but the next morning when we had an hour or two to fill, and needed a jaunt outdoors.

Continue reading “Rounton Park, E3”

Seeing dragons

“Where are we going today?” asks the three-year-old on Easter Monday.

“On an adventure,” I say. This is my stock answer when we are going somewhere I haven’t been before and I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep. That way leads to horrible shouting.

Thankfully, the promise of an adventure was enough to get her out of the house.

I’m glad I didn’t say, “We’re going on an Easter Egg trail,” which was the intention, because I’d have been wrong.

And I never even thought of saying, “We’re going to see dragons”, because that would have been insane. But it is what we ended up doing. That’s the good thing about adventures. You don’t know what’s going to happen – even when you’re just going to Rainham in Essex.

Continue reading “Seeing dragons”

Hands-on Museum Fun

Some of the ‘On the move’ pack from the Museum of Childhood

Perhaps you *always* do this, but in case like me you hadn’t ever thought to ask for one of those kids’ interactive packs  at a museum…here’s why you should!

The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is our go-to bad weather option, but I’ve only just got around to trying their explorer packs.

You know how other people’s toys are way more appealing to toddlers than their own? And how they want to touch ALL the things, all the time?  Here’s where explorer packs come in. Continue reading “Hands-on Museum Fun”

London RAF Museum

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View through the hangars with a Lancaster bomber looming in the background

The RAF London Museum is a series of huge aircraft hangers stuffed with real planes. If you’ve a small person who’s into planes or helicopters, this would be a great outing. It’s about 10 minutes’ walk from Colindale on the Northern Line, and it’s free.

The whole place is on a huge scale, so there is lots of room for toddlers to run around. There are wide carpeted walkways between and sometimes under the planes, so it’s very buggy-friendly too. It’s made up of several hangars, and although part of the site is currently closed for development we didn’t even get round everything that was open. Continue reading “London RAF Museum”

Spring on Stage

London is incredible for the amount of children’s theatre that is available, even for the very youngest audiences. There are some lovely things coming up this Spring.

Of course some shows that are aimed at older children are still great for toddlers, but this is a round-up of things that are specifically for under-5s (usually age ranges are a recommendation only and it’s fine to take siblings of different ages along too).

See websites for prices, which vary, but tickets for toddler theatre mostly seem to be between £7 and £10 per child over 1, or the same for an adult-and-baby combined ticket. Not cheap, but still live theatre that’s cheaper than some cinema tickets.

The Little Angel Theatre in Islington has loads on for the under-5s:

The Explorer, 1st – 2nd April, ages 3 – 7 looks beautiful: the adventures of a traditional wooden marionette.

I’m glad to see the explorer is a she, too, having recently become hyper-aware of how the main characters in most young children’s books are male by default. Even if they’re animals, for goodness’ sake! Nearly every last tiger/mouse/elephant/caterpillar of them.Why? Continue reading “Spring on Stage”