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”

Cock-a-doodle-do!

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Photo from the Museum of Childhood

I’m going to have to keep this one quick, because my evening has been taken away from me by a baby who won’t stop feeding.

If the cold weather keeps up, a good place to head tomorrow is the Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, where they’re celebrating Chinese New Year.

‘Wasn’t that a couple of weeks back?’ I hear you say. Continue reading “Cock-a-doodle-do!”

Meanwhile indoors…

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Other brands are available…

The Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival runs for only two more nights (Thursday 26 and Friday 27 January 2017). If, like me, coughs, runny noses and disturbed nights’ sleep have so far prevented you from braving the fantastically atmospheric (but blummin’ cold) freezing fog, you might be interested in a toddler-friendly event that takes place indoors this weekend.

Continue reading “Meanwhile indoors…”

Let there be light!

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Photo from last year’s festival

My toddler and I have loved looking at the twinkling Christmas lights in the local area and there was something a little sad when they all come down during the first week of January (“Why do the lights have to go, mum? I want it to be Christmas for nine years”). We miss them, so thank goodness for the Canary Wharf Winter Lights festival, which starts on Monday (16 January).

We went last year and it made for a nice evening adventure (although as it’s dark by 4pm you can visit late afternoon instead). This year, there are 30 art installations around Canary Wharf and, judging by the photos on the website and the leaflet, they look great!

I have a feeling that Angels of Freedom (which involves hunting for the five angels and becoming an angel yourself) is going to appeal to my little one. The Cathedral of Mirrors, which responds to people’s movements, also sounds like a crowd-pleaser.

The great thing about this event is that it appeals to people of all ages. We’ll be putting the baby in the sling so she can enjoy it too. And if we don’t manage all 30 exhibits on our first visit we’ll be back.

The festival runs from Monday 16-Friday 27 January 4-9pm. You can download a map here and plan your route. Oh and, best of all – after Christmas – it’s free.

The C word

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When I was growing up, my mum banned all mention of Christmas until December. It was no fun at all. My toddler has been singing jingle bells for weeks now. I love it… Really.

If you’re not yet in the festive mood, perhaps it’s worth planning some Christmas 2016 activities. There’s tons on – some free, some not. Most of them require booking, so get cracking.

Here are a few I’ve spotted:

Continue reading “The C word”

Babywearing in East London

Babywearing is becoming increasingly popular and many parents choose a sling over a buggy to carry their little ones. Not only is babywearing practical as it allows you to be hands -free and get to places you wouldn’t be able to with a buggy (no need to pull the look of desperation at the tube station!) but it has countless benefits for the baby and the parent from helping to bond with your newborn to raise socially confident children.

There are hundreds of different types of slings and brands and choosing the right one and learning how to wear it in a comfortable manner for you and your child can be difficult without support. Some slings such as buckle carriers are simple to put on but others like woven wraps take some learning. There is a wealth of online support and information but nothing beats hands on help from an experienced babywearer, whether it is a peer or a trained consultant.

You can get this type of help at social sling meetings, sling libraries, workshops or in private consultations. Sling Social East London is a facebook group created for babywearers based (mainly) in East London. It’s a welcoming space for all sorts of babywearing discussions, advice sharing and all around geekery! We meet once a month (usually at the museum of childhood) and give free advice, teach carries in different slings, educate parents about types of slings and safety, try each other’s slings and just chat about anything!

It’s a warm, friendly group and we all go out of our ways to help each other and make sure every parent has a positive babywearing experience, so join us!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/791426517598394/

Wrap a Hug is a professional babywearing education service specialising in woven wraps based in East London and Italy. At Wrap a Hug we are extremely passionate about wrapping and we recognise that it’s a skill that takes time to master and it can be overwhelming and frustrating at first. We offer private consultations, a woven wrap library and workshops.We build relationships with parents and help them become confident wrappers and accompany them in their learning journey and are always on hand from the first meeting.
https://www.facebook.com/Wrap-a-hug-346923262176345/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel