The Way Back Home: brilliant inspiration for imaginative play

The Way Back Home
The Way Back Home (pic from Foyles)

This has been one of Finn’s favourites ever since he was given it for a Christmas present. But I particularly wanted to write about The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers, because of the amount of imaginative play it has inspired.

Maybe it’s the simple but compelling story, or the simple but compelling illustrations, or the fact that it features a plane, a spaceship, the moon AND monsters… but something about it has really stuck in Finn’s head just at the age when he’s starting to make up stories as part of his play, and he is constantly recreating (or asking us to recreate) parts of The Way Back Home. Continue reading “The Way Back Home: brilliant inspiration for imaginative play”


Toddler Time on the Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark (Cutty Sark museum pic)

Wednesdays at 10 – 11.30 am during term time is ‘Toddler Time’ on board the Cutty Sark. Finn (2) and I visited recently with a friend and her 1-year-old and enjoyed a lovely, child-centred story and play session led by two facilitators, followed by as long as we liked to explore the ship – all for £5 for the adult, free for the toddlers. Continue reading “Toddler Time on the Cutty Sark”

Sugar-free ‘Owl Ice Cream’

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My toddler is convinced this is proper ice cream (and yes, he has had the real thing!). He likes it so much he’s named it in tribute to The Gruffalo…

It’s super simple to make, basically a frozen smoothie made with a pre-frozen banana or some ice cubes so that you don’t have to wait around while it freezes. Continue reading “Sugar-free ‘Owl Ice Cream’”

Another wet weekend, another soft play…

You’ll find this great slide at Owl Play Centre

A few weeks ago, we paid our first visit to Owls Play Centre at Fairlop Waters. It was a Saturday, it was wet and we’d fatally gone past the point when WE MUST LEAVE THE HOUSE (or one or all of us loses our sanity).

So instead of leaving in a leisurely manner sometime around 9.30am as planned, it was mid-morning by the time we left the house – and we were in a frenzy of stress. Or I was anyway.

Continue reading “Another wet weekend, another soft play…”

‘Ahoy’. Or not.

Inside Ahoy (photo from the National Maritime Museum)

I was planning to write a post about ‘Ahoy’ – the children’s gallery for 0-7 year olds at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. And if I’d taken the same approach as my toddler, I would have no problem at all in giving you all the information you need to plan a visit.

Continue reading “‘Ahoy’. Or not.”

Books to help prepare a toddler for a new baby

Waiting for Baby

The best books we’ve had to talk to Finn about what it will be like to have a baby brother are a series of four by Rachel Fuller, given us by a friend who read them with the eldest two of her three children. They are robust board books (hooray!) with colourful illustrations and minimal text.

Finn regularly asks to read them and also makes comments that show they’ve helped him understand about the pregnancy and having a new brother. When we went for scans, he recognised the ultrasound from the picture in Waiting for Baby and really seemed to know what was going on. He’s decided he wants to help bath Little Baby like the older child in My New Baby and knows that LB will only eat milk at first (from mum’s boobs), ‘Like in the new baby story.’ Continue reading “Books to help prepare a toddler for a new baby”

‘Enormous’ art and fun with mark-making

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Okay, not really enormous, but bigger than usual. In the last couple of days we’ve had fun making a big painting on the side of a cardboard box, and onto tall paper taped to the freezer, using a variety of things as brushes and printmakers. Continue reading “‘Enormous’ art and fun with mark-making”