I’ve always thought they were an amazing idea, but I have a whole new appreciation for my local city farms now that I have a child. Even the smallest, most chaotic of them is still a lovely half-day out for a toddler enchanted by animals (or ride-on tractors) – and Mudchute almost feels like getting out into the countryside for the adults, too. Continue reading “City Farms”
This is a skill I admire in other people and am determined to master, because it makes it possible to actually get things done during the days I spend with my toddler.
So far, we’ve had success with putting things in the washing machine and helping mummy to hang out the clothes. It’s an opportunity for her to 1. Press buttons. 2. Hand things to mummy. 3. Identify everyone’s clothes.
Last week, I cleared the leaves from the backyard while she watched – delighted by the sight of mummy at work – from a window with daddy. This time, daddy was out. And I was determined to get her to help me – or at least not stop me – clearing all the leaves that had fallen in the meantime (we get loads from a line of plane trees in the nearby park). Continue reading “Turning a chore into fun”
No one warned me. No one.
No one warned me that having a toddler means producing a succession of fancy dress outfits with little or no warning.
I’m not a last minute person, so Halloween worked out fine. I knew it was coming. And I knew we had not one, not two, but three occasions when Halloween fancy dress was called for. I’d thought maybe I’d buy something because I like the idea of building up a dressing up box and so far we have, er, nothing. But then I floated the idea of dressing my toddler as the incey wincey spider and it seemed like fun to assemble our own costume.
It turns out playdough really is easy to make. People have been saying this to me for years (well, whenever playdough came up in conversation, which is more frequent since becoming a parent, really). But I hadn’t tried to make it until we went to a holiday play session at the Ragged School Museum (fantastic play room for toddlers with lots of activities set up but hardly anyone around when we visited) and a lovely volunteer gave us some perfect playdough to take home with us.
He also gave us his secret recipe, which is that you don’t need a secret recipe, just flour and water and some paint for colour.
- plain or self-raising flour*
- ready mixed coloured paints (whatever “washable” water-based ones you have)
1. Put as much flour in a mixing bowl as you want
2. Squirt in lots of your chosen colour paint and combine it as much as you can with a spoon. I find for a strong coloured dough you need to make this ‘dry’ mix a good strong pastel colour. You can mix with your hands at this stage if you or your toddler wants brightly coloured hands as an added bonus.
A few months ago, my toddler stopped sleeping in the day. I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I’d read somewhere that they continue napping until they’re three or older.
On her days with me, she’d previously had a lunchtime nap of 45 minutes or an hour in her pushchair. But then it stopped working.
At nursery, she was still having a sleep. Bedtimes on those days though became a right old pain. She was climbing out of her cot, taking her pyjamas off, claiming she’d done or needed a poo, calling for milk – anything to stay entertained until she was ready to go off to sleep around 9pm.
We’ve been to Toddlers’ World at Mile End Leisure Centre three times. The equipment has varied slightly but you can expect:
- Trampolines (My toddler now loves the trampoline, but I find it a little hair-raising and tend to watch her very, very closely on it. She’s one of the youngest and the smallest and I fear for clashes of heads)
- Bouncy castle
- Ball pit
- Goalposts and football
- Giant Connect Four
- Mats, springboard and bench to jump off
- Selection of other soft play equipment