Opera, shiny pots and ping pong balls…

A few months ago, a lovely mum friend sent me a text with a couple of things she’d booked to go to at Stratford Circus with her toddler. Being a bit of a sheep, I got some tickets for me and mine, without really reading what either event was all about – until the night before…

On Saturday morning, when we made our way to the venue, I couldn’t help feeling a bit worried. I wasn’t at all sure of what my toddler was going to make of Spitalfields music’s Musical Rumpus on Tour: Run, Rindle Rill.

Continue reading “Opera, shiny pots and ping pong balls…”

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Not so messy play

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The paint’s mainly on the paper… so far.

My little girl, like most toddlers, likes painting, but there are days when I can’t quite face removing it from the inside of her ears and rooms we haven’t even been in. So we’ve built up a collection of not-so-messy alternatives.

There’s tons of things to try: play dough (Rachel explains how to make your own here), glitter pens, sticking little bits of coloured paper, feathers etc. And here’s a few maybe you haven’t tried yet… Continue reading “Not so messy play”

Meeting the Gruffalo…

A few weeks ago, I blogged about a few trips we were hoping to make now Spring is here (although it’s apparently set to disappear again this weekend). Anyway, since then, we’ve met the Gruffalo in the woods and played in the Stickman playground, so it’s time to report back…

Continue reading “Meeting the Gruffalo…”

Real Nappy Week!

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Cute nappies on display

Yes, there really is a Real Nappy Week. And it’s this week, 18th-24th April. I’ll be at Idea Store Bow on Saturday 23rd with information for anyone interested – details below.

Like nearly everything in parenting, the kind of nappies you use are something everyone seems to have an opinion on… so I’m going to start by saying that SHOCK! HORROR! I’m a big fan of ‘real’ (cloth) nappies who still uses disposables some of the time.

But I volunteer to help other parents find out about real nappies, because I found it hard to get any actual information on real nappies when I had my first baby.  Once we tried them, we found that they worked really well for us as a family – and not just because they’re better for the environment (way less waste, less or no plastics used, no chemicals next to baby’s skin and a reduced carbon footprint*).

So, I find that disposables are smaller to pack for a weekend away (where there may not be a washing machine on hand), and they do require a bit less thought (so I used them both times for the first few weeks of life a newborn, when frankly there is enough else to think about).

But, having just done a few weeks of disposables after the birth of my second child, I’m desperate to get back to the cloth kind, because: Continue reading “Real Nappy Week!”

Mudlarks children’s gallery

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Mudlarks is the Museum in Dockland’s permanent ‘gallery’ for children. I’m not sure why this is called a gallery (key exhibits are soft play and giant lego) but it definitely entertains a toddler on a rainy day.

It’s also a fun, contained and not-too-big space, for children and their carers only, so is high up my new list of good places to go with one marauding toddler and one breastfeeding baby.

Plus: it’s free, getting there is easy and fun on the DLR, and if you plan ahead you can take in one of the regular events for under-5s on the same trip. There are also under-5s events during school holidays and regular family activities in the main museum, check here for the latest… Continue reading “Mudlarks children’s gallery”

Parks! Parks! Parks!

London has some wonderful parks. We’re lucky enough to have Victoria Park, the Olympic Park and Mile End park just a short walk away. I’m not going to write about them here but, as you probably already know, you can spend the whole day in each of these, especially the first two when it’s hot and the water parks are open.

These three local parks are fantastic, but that doesn’t stop me getting a bit bored of them and wanting a change of scene, every now and again. So here are a few other suggestions if you ever feel the same. After all, we need to prepare ourselves for a gorgeous Spring and wonderful Summer when we’re outdoors all day, every day… don’t we? Continue reading “Parks! Parks! Parks!”

Not one but two ride on miniature railways

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The miniature railway at Bekonscot model village

Bust my buffers! The original Thomas the Tank Engine books are a less than a riveting read, aren’t they? I have a feeling they’ll nevertheless continue to be demanded nightly after not one, but two visits to ride on miniature railways recently, which only seem to fuel the Thomas obsession.

These two trips take you a little further afield if, like me, you live in East London. But perhaps you live closer or, again like me, can fit in these toddler-pleasing pit-stops en route to or from somewhere else. Alternatively, to find a miniature railway near you, click here. Continue reading “Not one but two ride on miniature railways”