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).
Watch out! There’s a toddler take over at the Museum of London, Docklands this weekend (20 & 21 May, 2016). There are loads of great activities to entertain restless little ones, which will be especially welcome if the weekend is as rainy as it is right now.
I love the sound of Rise & Shine yoga for toddlers. There are two sessions at 10.45am and 11.20am on both Saturday and Sunday, although by that time most toddlers will have risen and been shining for a number of hours…
But that’s just one of a whole two days of activities aimed at under fives – from balloon modelling and baby jazz performances, to activity trails and the chance to try ballet.
The blog I read the most (apart from this one, of course) is Spitalfields Life. I love the way the Gentle Author finds inspiration in his/her home patch of London, uncovering story after story – which, in turn, inspires me to try and do the same. Because I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you keep exploring – wherever you are – you’re never bored.
And to let you in on a secret, I spent much of my childhood feeling very bored indeed. As a result, if there’s any one thing I want to equip my children with, it’s an enquiring mind, so they aren’t needlessly bored, and find interest and inspiration around them.
So when my three-year-old looked out from the bus and spotted a small park with a play area and said, “Mummy, one day can we go to that playground”, I was only too pleased to oblige. Not the same day, mind, I was in need of a sit-down and cuppa, but the next morning when we had an hour or two to fill, and needed a jaunt outdoors.
I’m like someone with a new crush. I can’t stop talking about the relatively recently re-opened Poplar Baths. Here’s ANOTHER post about the excellent activities on offer there. Eventually, you’re going to succumb and actually give them a try. I know it.
So when we went to the Free Open Day (Have I mentioned that already? Oops, yes), the nice people there gave me a flyer for two weekly toddler-friendly sessions.
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)
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