Two more soft plays

I’m sure we should be basking in the sunshine, but it hasn’t really worked out that way. Rachel’s posted about some lovely things to do and places to visit on rainy days. And  I thought I’d mention a couple of soft play centres that we’ve visited recently that might make a rainy day with a toddler bearable.

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Why I’m looking forward to yet more rain

June has been a bit of a washout so far, and the rain looks set to continue next week. Much as I love the ease of looking after kids in sunny weather, when just going to the park with a picnic can keep everyone happy, I’m actually looking forward to some of the activities I’ve been saving for a rainy day. So here are four of them:

Space-themed playdough
Image from


A while ago I read about this brilliant space-themed playdough idea at the learning-through-play blog The Imagination Tree. Continue reading “Why I’m looking forward to yet more rain”

Tower Hamlets Breastfeeding Support Service under threat

I should have already written a post to let you know how good this service is. If you live in Tower Hamlets, you currently have access to one of the best breastfeeding support services in the country, provided by Tower Hamlets Babies are Born to Breastfeed. Drop-in support groups are available all week at different Children’s Centres; you can get one-to-one support from a breastfeeding expert in hospital and at home; and there is a specialist tongue-tie clinic and tongue-tie breastfeeding support group at the Royal London. See below for how you can keep it this way… Continue reading “Tower Hamlets Breastfeeding Support Service under threat”

What to do with two?

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This was the biggest question in my head before Little B was born, and now I’ve had 3 months of being outnumbered by small people, I’ve built a bit of a list.

But first of all: if you’re expecting baby number 2 and terrified at the idea of your first outnumbered day, be reassured. Getting out of the house with a newborn and a toddler is surprisingly okay if you pick the right place to go, and I found it a lot easier than staying home in the early days.

The basic principles for a trip out with two are always the same. You want somewhere your toddler can have (energetic) fun safely, even if you have to stop to breastfeed or change baby. This means, ideally, an enclosed space with lots of toddler entertainment.

Ideally you also want something to fascinate baby, especially as he gets older and wants to do more than stare into your eyes in between all the feeds, naps and nappies…

So, here are my top 5 things to do out and about when you’ve a baby and toddler to entertain solo. (More soon on stay-at-home play for two.)

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Nine reasons to visit Hackney City Farm

Birdie, a substantial Gloucester Old Spot pig, has recently given birth to nine piglets. Count them – nine. When I saw her milk-filled teats trailing along the ground, I thought, ‘Now there’s an animal I can empathise with…’ We’re not frequent visitors to Hackney City Farm, but the new arrivals have given my toddler and I a new reason to call in. Maybe you want to say hello to this amazing family too?

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Free dance and drama sessions for under 5s

Just a quick one – today, I received an email I thought I’d share. It’s definitely for you if you live near Stepney Green, east London, and are looking for something to do with your toddler on a Thursday morning. For the next few weeks, until 14 July 2016, there are free dance and drama sessions, but you do need to book!

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The Astronomy Centre, Greenwich (or: the sun exploded)

This was not one of my better-planned days out, but now I’ve done it all wrong I can tell you what you *should* do if you want to visit the Planetarium and Astronomy Centre with a small person. I went with my two littleys (2 years 3 months & 3 months) and a friend with two of similar ages, without so much as checking their website in advance.
So here are my tips:
1. The Astronomy Centre is for babies, not toddlers.
It turns out The Astronomy Centre isn’t designed with toddlers in mind at all, which is fine (but a little surprising, as the other Greenwich Museums go out of their way to cater for families).
The exhibits are mainly visual, with a lot of detailed text, and much of the ‘interaction’ consists of pressing buttons to get a head to appear on a screen and talk (inaudibly, because the toddlers are talking at the same time). The rooms are dark, because stuff to look at is on lit up screens, so my toddler was a bit scared and wanted to go home…

Continue reading “The Astronomy Centre, Greenwich (or: the sun exploded)”