Another wet weekend, another soft play…

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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…”

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‘Ahoy’. Or not.

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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”

What to do with a grumpy, tired day

2016-02-03 23.47.21Some days start badly, or go from bad to worse. Someone (or everyone) is sleep deprived, or poorly, or stressed, or sad…

In preparation for a new level of sleep deprivation when Little Baby is born, I thought I’d round up my ideas for those days when at least part of the family wishes they were still in bed with nobody else bothering them. Here are my top 10: Continue reading “What to do with a grumpy, tired day”

‘Can I do making?’

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We made these!

My granny was a proper granny. She had the finest collection of hats known to humanity and a startling number of shoes accrued over seven decades or so.

By night, she wore plastic curlers in her hair and slept with a stick under her bed, ready to fight off assailants. By day, she sat in her rocking chair, knitting and watching black and white war films – that’s if she wasn’t gardening, decorating, cooking, baking, sewing, pressing flowers, making cards or entertaining her grandchildren with infinite patience.

I spent many happy Sunday afternoons perched on a stool by her side in the kitchen baking. We made butterfly cakes, coconut madeleines, melting moments, oat crunchies, eve puddings, apple tarts, jam tarts, toffee, jellies, doughnuts… I could go on, but my mouth’s watering already. My granny used heart-stopping quantities of golden syrup, treacle, sugar and Stork margarine, assuring me they were all good ingredients.

With such sunny memories, you’d have thought I’d have been delighted when my toddler started pulling up a stool of her own, standing alongside me in the kitchen and demanding to ‘do making’. But I’m ashamed to admit the opposite was true. Continue reading “‘Can I do making?’”