It’s muddy puddles day!


Just a quick post to make sure you don’t miss out on a truly important event of international – if not intergalactic – significance.

Tomorrow is International Mud Day or so the nice people at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park tell me. They’re hosting a muddy play day, so get your welly boots on!

Here’s what you need to know…

Thursday 29 June 2017 – Muddy Play in the Woods, 4.30-5.15pm.

It’s muddy. It’s free. It’s tomorrow.

You’ll find a few more details here

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park is the place to be this week. If you can’t make it tomorrow because you’ve already made arrangements for celebrating International Mud Day, make sure you’re there on Saturday (1st July) for the Summer Fair, 12 noon – 5pm.

What’s on offer? Face-painting, pond-dipping, food, music, walks – and more.


Visiting the Sea Life London Aquarium


I’ve been promising my three-year-old a trip to the Sea Life London Aquarium for ages, but then I never seemed to find the right time to go. A few things were putting me off:

  1. The cost.
  2. The thought of the crowds.
  3. Working out the logistics of taking the baby along too, when for longer than I care to remember sleep has been strictly limited to a maximum of two and a half hour blocks, leading to that feeling. You know the one – fuzzy, confused, where you can just about cope if you’re doing things you’ve done before, but there’s a danger you might burst into tears if you face any additional, unexpected challenge.

Enough of that. Last night, I booked some tickets for us to visit this morning, while the baby was otherwise occupied. And here are some things that it might be useful for you to know if you’re thinking of visiting yourself.

Continue reading “Visiting the Sea Life London Aquarium”


It’s ice lolly time!

Hot? Apparently, we will be this weekend. The sun is set to shine, and here is a recipe that might entertain your toddler in the kitchen for a few minutes, then keep them cool a few hours later.

  1. Get yourself some of these handy ice pop moulds (other types are available).
  2. You’ll need: a ripe mango or a pineapple, a banana (optional), a tin of coconut milk, a squeeze of lemon or lime and some maple syrup.
  3. With the help of your toddler, peel and prepare your fruit. Blend together your fruit, with a suitable amount of coconut milk (let’s say half a tin, but taste and see). You could add a squeeze of lemon or lime and a squirt of maple syrup to make it yummier still.
  4. Then with your toddler, fill your moulds with mixture and put them in the freezer.
  5. Make them in the morning, and they should be ready to eat in the afternoon.

Tip: when you get them out of the freezer, run them under a hot tap, so they’re not too icy and you can squeeze them out of the moulds.

We’ve had fun making and eating these. Hope you do too.

Find out more about local school admissions next Wednesday in Bow!

Poster for 14th June meeting

If there’s one thing in common about what local parents have said to me about planning for a school or preschool place in Bow East, it’s uncertainty.

Will there be enough places in nearby schools for local children next year or the year after? Which schools is my child likely to get into – and which only offer places if you live within a stone’s throw? Will the new Bow primary and preschool open in 2018, or 2019? Why can’t we have enough full time, state preschool places for all 3-year-olds, regardless of postcode? How do school admissions even work?
Friends of Bow Primary, the local group I help to run, has requested an open meeting with the pupil services team from TH Council and they have been hugely positive about the idea. (They’re even offering a second meeting at a weekend if you can’t make this one.)

Here’s your chance to not only ask those questions and more, but to have your say. The Council is about to decide when to open the new Bow primary and they want to hear from local parents to help them decide.

  • Pop over to  if you want to find out more and sign up for updates.

Edible dinosaurs…


The current edition of Friends magazine includes a nice way of encouraging toddlers to eat their greens. We tried it out tonight.

Normally, when we cook together, my little girl and I make sweet things and, more recently, she’s started to look through the recipe book herself. It’s almost uncanny the way she picks out the most sugar-filled, cream-packed, butter-stuffed recipes in it.

(Note to self: buy a more healthy recipe book).

In fact, as long as she knows it’s a treat, I’m happy to oblige and, as a result, we’ve somewhat surprised the rest of the household with some quite ambitious challenges, and resulting successes – for example, I’d never have tried to make a sandwich-type biscuit without her pushing me to do it.

I feel like I really should do more to interest her in ‘proper’ food, especially as she’s not a very adventurous eater and, although I avoid making them a battleground, mealtimes are not my favourite time of day, especially when evening time comes and mummy’s patience is in short supply.

Anyway, we enjoyed making this green dinosaur together, substituting halved blueberries for the eyes (I’ve found mixing a bit of fruit in with vegetables helps them go down better).

A ‘rainbow’ is quite often requested, and eaten, at lunchtime – and it works out to be another sneaky way of getting brightly-coloured vegetables and other more healthy foods to be eaten rather than refused.

Unexpectedly producing a dinner in the shape of a funny face can also get a smile out of a tired toddler who is contemplating throwing their dinner on the floor.

Finally, in my experience, describing the dinner in the worst possible terms also seems to get good results. For example, (this evening), “I’ve got this out of the bin for you. Would you like it?” <Surprised look> <Quick check to see if mummy has finally had a breakdown> <Giggle> “Yes, please”.

Toddlers – the most demanding people on earth.

Victory Park

Victory Park, Stratford, E20

This is the second in an occasional series celebrating the smaller parks and playgrounds in our corner of East London (last time, it was Rounton Park). If you live near them, they’re a godsend – enabling you to nip out with your toddler for a change of air and, sometimes, a change of mood. If you don’t, you might never think to make a special trip out to explore them, but some – like Victory Park – are easily combined with another task (like shopping at Westfield) or indeed with a trip to another park (we popped to Victory Park on our way back from the QEOP) .

Victory Park is a small patch of green that’s now surrounded by flats for people lucky enough to live on the edge of the Olympic park. There are sometimes events held there as a local community starts to develop in London’s newest postcode (E20).

Continue reading “Victory Park”


I normally post about activities for kids, but I’m pretty sure I’m won’t be the only parent who would like to improve their fitness. If you live locally and have only a limited amount of time to exercise, you might be interested in this…

There’s currently a bootcamp every Saturday morning 10-10.45am in Grove Hall Park on Saturday morning.

Click here for details.

All levels of fitness welcome. The first class is free so you’ve nothing to lose…

Adam, who runs the bootcamp, is based in Bow Business Centre and does a few other sessions too (some indoors, some outdoors).

Click here for details.