London RAF Museum

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”

 Big Spring Skies 

Greenwich Park with moody March sky

The new March mildness and teasing bursts of sunshine have been enough to get me and the kids much more adventurous about being outdoors.

Even the less summery side of the weather (gale force winds, dramatic cloudscapes, the odd hailstorm) has *mostly* added to the fun.
So we’ve been venturing further afield in search of outdoor play whenever we can.

Here are some of the places we’ve enjoyed Spring Skies, if not sunshine… some in London, some a short trip away.

What are your favourite places to get out in the fresh air at this time of year?

1. Greenwich Park

Fantastic children’s playground, loads of beautiful parkland to explore, wonderful view from the top of the hill… Continue reading ” Big Spring Skies “

Tahini and honey flapjacks

Tahini and honey flapjacks

These were an unexpected delight. Finn and I wanted to bake together while Little B napped. I wanted to make Welsh Cakes, he wanted to make flapjacks, and he won. Because he is 3, and was not going to change his mind just because I showed him enticing pictures of Welsh Cakes on the internet.

BUT, although they are sweet, these flapjacks are refined-sugar-free, packed with protein and calcium, and even Little B likes them. They also taste great with coffee. So I won too, and everyone was happy.

Seriously though, I am always slightly desperately looking for ways to get calories and nutrients into a 1-year-old whose main interest in food is dropping it from a height. So these are a welcome discovery for baby snack or breakfast on-the-crawl.

Flapjacks are a great baking recipe to cook with a toddler because, apart from melting the butter on the stove, they can do almost all of it – helping to weigh, mixing dry ingredients, stirring them into the butter mix and pressing the stuff into a baking tray. Flapjacks are forgiving of very rough quantities (if your toddler tends to eat ingredients as fast as you measure them) and don’t mind being squashed and patted during preparation, in the way a fluffy cake might. Continue reading “Tahini and honey flapjacks”

Christmassy cooking #2: cinnamon blueberry breakfast pancakes

Blueberry and cinnamon pancakes

Here’s another easy recipe that’s fun to make with kids, especially ones who get up ridiculously early and need entertaining before breakfast.

This is our saturday morning favourite, which I have recently christmassed-up by serving with spiced apple and cranberry compote.

The pancakes are refined-sugar-free, and make great finger food for babies while also making everyone else happy.

Um as usual I failed to measure anything ever when I did this, so these measures are guesses – but it doesn’t really matter as you decide on the batter consistency as you gradually add milk. Here’s the rough recipe: Continue reading “Christmassy cooking #2: cinnamon blueberry breakfast pancakes”

More midwinter sensory play: lightboxes

Lightbox with felt stars

Here’s an easy way to let young children play with fairy lights safely and an interesting platform for collage art too.

Put a set of battery powered fairy lights inside a clear plastic box with a strong lid closure that baby can’t open. Or you could tape the lid shut. You’ll still need to supervise of course , especially if like me you have a baby and an older child who immediately opens the box and starts taking the battery pack apart…

… in which case, a light box for each child worked well for us. Little B enjoyed looking at his, bashing it and rolling it around. I taped the battery pack to the underside of the lid before sealing the box. Continue reading “More midwinter sensory play: lightboxes”

Midwinter sensory play: cornflour snowscape

Cornflour snowscape

Since the shortest day is drawing near with the usual grey damp dark (and certainly no snow fun), I’ve been experimenting with sparkly wintery sensory play indoors.

I’m mainly looking for ideas that work for both my 9 month and 2-year-9-month old together. Here is the first – more to follow!
Cornflour snowscape

This is so easy to do but creates a really startling substance that can be anything from gloop to solid… plus it sets over time, but can be re-liquified with more water. Lots of fun to touch and experiment with. It even washes off easily. Continue reading “Midwinter sensory play: cornflour snowscape”

Christmassy cooking with small elves

Gingerbread stars

I wish I could record the spicy scent of baking gingerbread and post it – a picture doesn’t really do it justice.

As it’s got colder, damper and darker and generally more Dickensian out there, I’ve been looking for more ways to bake with the kids. And ways to eat more sweet, spicy warming things.

My boys are really a bit young to be doing any very involved cooking but here are a couple of Christmassy (how do you spell that?) recipes that they could join in with and enjoy. Continue reading “Christmassy cooking with small elves”