Tomorrow!

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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

Being a Princess is boring…

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The cold doesn’t bother me anyway (it does)

Do you live with a princess? Or are you lucky enough, like me, to keep company with an actual queen?

Most days, I help my little girl into her Frozen dress, gloves, crown, royal necklace and cape. She loves being Elsa. And I’m okay with that because she also likes being a soldier, a pirate and, occasionally, a superhero-pirate-queen. Her favourite colour is blue, not pink. She likes to play with dolls, but also trains, cars, jigsaws and board games. She’s happiest racing on her scooter being chased by ‘lions’ and jumping in muddy puddles.

What I’m trying to say is that she’s into the whole princess thing, but also a whole load of other things too. So I can deal with it.

But I was still delighted when she picked out a book called Princess Pigsty (by Cornelia Funke and Kerstin Meyer) at the library. I have a feeling she thought it would be about a regular princess, doing the whole fairy tale thing. But I was totally delighted when we took it home and found it wasn’t. And my little princess turned out to be happy too.

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A good read for princesses everywhere

Here’s a quick summary. Continue reading “Being a Princess is boring…”

Let there be light!

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Photo from last year’s festival

My toddler and I have loved looking at the twinkling Christmas lights in the local area and there was something a little sad when they all come down during the first week of January (“Why do the lights have to go, mum? I want it to be Christmas for nine years”). We miss them, so thank goodness for the Canary Wharf Winter Lights festival, which starts on Monday (16 January).

We went last year and it made for a nice evening adventure (although as it’s dark by 4pm you can visit late afternoon instead). This year, there are 30 art installations around Canary Wharf and, judging by the photos on the website and the leaflet, they look great!

I have a feeling that Angels of Freedom (which involves hunting for the five angels and becoming an angel yourself) is going to appeal to my little one. The Cathedral of Mirrors, which responds to people’s movements, also sounds like a crowd-pleaser.

The great thing about this event is that it appeals to people of all ages. We’ll be putting the baby in the sling so she can enjoy it too. And if we don’t manage all 30 exhibits on our first visit we’ll be back.

The festival runs from Monday 16-Friday 27 January 4-9pm. You can download a map here and plan your route. Oh and, best of all – after Christmas – it’s free.

Why are pirates scary?

(Because they arrrrrrr)

Over the summer, there are some really lovely toddler-friendly events – many of them free – taking place at local museums, including a pirate themed show at the Museum of London, Docklands.

Here are five activities you might like to try with your toddler…

Continue reading “Why are pirates scary?”

Paddling and splashing!

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The paddling pool at West Ham Park.

At last… At long last… The chance to complain about being too hot, instead of it being too rainy or too cold or too something else. This weekend has been all about being outdoors in the park and the paddling pool (as well as doing battle with sun cream and hats and unwilling toddlers).

Here are two parks I’ve posted about before, but without previously having tried out their very fine paddling pools.

Continue reading “Paddling and splashing!”

Highbury Fields forever…

Phew – it was boiling this weekend and I think the hot sticky weather is set to stay for a little while longer.

If like me you spend a lot of time in Victoria Park, the Olympic Park and Mile End Park, you might find the post about parks I wrote a few weeks back useful. You’ll find six alternative suggestions of places to spend a sunny day – some even have paddling pools or other water-based play.

And here’s another option.

Continue reading “Highbury Fields forever…”

Valentines Park

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Valentines Mansion (photo: valentines mansion.com)

If you fancy a change of scene, I can recommend Valentines Park, which includes Valentines Mansion and Gardens. I admit I’d never heard of it myself until it was recommended to me and we’ve been a couple of times recently.

I feel like I should have known about it already though – not least because it was the third placed London park in the People’s Choice Awards 2015 (our very own Vicky park has been the winner for the last two years).

It’s actually a huge park and two visits haven’t been enough to see the whole thing, but here are some highlights.

Continue reading “Valentines Park”