Lemon ricotta pancakes

Lemon ricotta pancake with maple syrup and ricotta

Yet another pancake recipe, I know! But… pancakes are still the best way to get my 1-year-old to eat breakfast or elevenses – and are fun to mix, all in one bowl, for my toddler cook.

Also, ricotta is high in protein for a soft cheese, so this recipe is a way to sneak in some extra nutrients. I try to use a variety of flours too, including wholemeal.

But most importantly, these are delicious!

And did I mention that you can easily keep pancakes in the fridge for a picnic snack, or even freeze them? Same as fritters – see my post on those. Or try cinnamon blueberry pancakes if you prefer. Continue reading “Lemon ricotta pancakes”


Toddlers visiting Mudchute farm this week can look forward to a strange and wondrous sight. As we walk towards the sheep enclosure, it looks like someone has placed some miniature clouds on the grass. Or balls of cottonwool. Or candyfloss in unusual shades. And then they spring up onto too-long legs that are just beyond their control.

Lambs! LAMBS! Adorable, cute, new lambs.

A single brown one. Some white ones. And…

“Those ones are dalmatians”

Yes, I think I’d like to sneak these into my bag – white ones with black spots.


It’s definitely worth a trip to Mudchute to see them, as well as other Spring arrivals – loads fluffy of yellow ducklings, basking under warm lights. There are black pigs – a huge mummy pig and two smaller ones next door – that are new to us (my toddler LOVES pigs).


As always there’s the chance to buy appropriate food for the residents – the goats are happy to also eat the paper bag it’s served in, if offered. And, this week in the run-up to Easter, there are other activities to enjoy (some for a small fee).

  • Two courageous donkeys are offering rides to children aged 3+
  • A chance to hold some animals
  • Easter bonnet crafting £3
  • Easter bonnet parade
  • Easter egg hunt (Sunday) £1
  • A toddler-friendly merry-go-round. (I know for a fact this costs £1.50)

All the details, including the dates and times for activities are here.

Here are a few other things to consider:

  • The lower paddock (where there’s a duck/goose enclosure) has been developed. It now has a nature trail, some swing-type things and some great places for a picnic.
  • The cafe at Mudchute is always good value and does genuinely toddler-friendly food. Plus there’s loads of toys to play with.
  • You can combine a trip to the farm with a visit to neighbouring Millwall park and attempt to fulfill a toddler’s wish to go on the zipwire ‘a hundred times because I love it’.

My fellow blogger, Rachel, has already written up everything you need to know about Mudchute farm to plan a visit here.



This is going to be the shortest post ever, because I’m hungry, my dinner is very nearly ready and it would be rude to keep it waiting. And all I need to say is this…

… Looking for something to do with your toddler(s) in east London tomorrow, Monday 10th April – with a preference for indoors because the glorious sunshine is being taken away from us?

If the answer to this overly-long question is yes, click here. You’ll find all the details of an open day at Poplar Baths Leisure Centre. A whole range of activities to get kids running about is promised from 10am on wards, including Toddlers’ World (bouncy castles etc), penalty shootouts and trampolining (from 12 noon).

And did I say that activities are free?

Sounds brilliant. I won’t bother with the usual What? Where? etc. as the details are on this previous post about the lovely swimming pool there (currently my favourite, oh-so-stress-free choice for taking toddler and baby for a swim). And my dinner’s ready. Phew

Chicken pox: a survivor’s guide…

No posts from me for a bit, because we’ve had chicken pox. Twice. First the three-year-old and then the baby.

It’s been horrible.

I’ve never understood why chicken pox is viewed as a minor irritant when it’s actually a major ball-ache. First, you can have a really sick child (thankfully, many kids get off more lightly than we did). Second, anyone in the household who hasn’t had it is almost guaranteed to get it in short order. And then there’s the huge pressure it puts on working parents, who suddenly have no childcare for potentially a week per child.

Anyway, moan over (and suggestion to avoid it follows). If chicken pox is heading your way, here are a few things worth getting in, especially if it’s a bad case:


Industrial quantities of Calpol. Set an alarm every four hours – use it. NB No Ibuprofen for chicken pox.


Calamine lotion for spots. In my day it looked like this… but there are other options.
This calamine cream goes on easier if there are lots of spots.


Anti-histamine – tastes horrible according to my toddler. Tip: mix with juice then syringe into mouth. Not for babies – needs to be prescribed for them so see/call your doctor if you think it’s needed.
Genuinely took some discomfort away. Sprays on – good job.


Also provides relief from the itch/inflammation – this time a mousse, so also applies and dries quickly.
Epsom salts – can be used in the bath. Also, consider offering your child multiple baths per day .


Also required:

  • Magazines, books, colouring/crafts, tv/films to keep a sick kid entertained. Paw Patrol magazine kept us busy for a bit.
  • Friends who’ve had it before and can come round to play when your kid feels up to it.

Here’s the NHS information on chicken pox.

And here’s a Guardian article I found interesting discussing why the NHS doesn’t offer immunisation. Yes, there’s a vaccine. It’s too late for us, but, hopefully, we’ll have a post soon explaining how/where you can get it locally and how much it costs.

Hands-on Museum Fun

Some of the ‘On the move’ pack from the Museum of Childhood

Perhaps you *always* do this, but in case like me you hadn’t ever thought to ask for one of those kids’ interactive packs  at a museum…here’s why you should!

The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is our go-to bad weather option, but I’ve only just got around to trying their explorer packs.

You know how other people’s toys are way more appealing to toddlers than their own? And how they want to touch ALL the things, all the time?  Here’s where explorer packs come in. Continue reading “Hands-on Museum Fun”

London RAF Museum

View through the hangars with a Lancaster bomber looming in the background

The RAF London Museum is a series of huge aircraft hangers stuffed with real planes. If you’ve a small person who’s into planes or helicopters, this would be a great outing. It’s about 10 minutes’ walk from Colindale on the Northern Line, and it’s free.

The whole place is on a huge scale, so there is lots of room for toddlers to run around. There are wide carpeted walkways between and sometimes under the planes, so it’s very buggy-friendly too. It’s made up of several hangars, and although part of the site is currently closed for development we didn’t even get round everything that was open. Continue reading “London RAF Museum”

Spring on Stage

London is incredible for the amount of children’s theatre that is available, even for the very youngest audiences. There are some lovely things coming up this Spring.

Of course some shows that are aimed at older children are still great for toddlers, but this is a round-up of things that are specifically for under-5s (usually age ranges are a recommendation only and it’s fine to take siblings of different ages along too).

See websites for prices, which vary, but tickets for toddler theatre mostly seem to be between £7 and £10 per child over 1, or the same for an adult-and-baby combined ticket. Not cheap, but still live theatre that’s cheaper than some cinema tickets.

The Little Angel Theatre in Islington has loads on for the under-5s:

The Explorer, 1st – 2nd April, ages 3 – 7 looks beautiful: the adventures of a traditional wooden marionette.

I’m glad to see the explorer is a she, too, having recently become hyper-aware of how the main characters in most young children’s books are male by default. Even if they’re animals, for goodness’ sake! Nearly every last tiger/mouse/elephant/caterpillar of them.Why? Continue reading “Spring on Stage”