Soft Play in and around Peterborough

With 2 children under 5 I have frequented most of the soft play places around our local area on more than one occasion. Love them or loathe them there’s no denying that kids like them and they can be a lifesaver on rainy days. So I thought I would share a little bit of info about the soft play in our local area to help other mums finding their way in the world of soft play.

The Play Barn at Sacrewell Farm

We love sacrewell farm and the play barn is brilliant. It is cleaner than many a soft play I’ve seen and the kids adore it. There are different areas for different ages and it really is great. The entry cost is high because you get entrance to the farm too. We were given membership as a Christmas present last year and have definitely made the most of it in th play barn alone, let alone visiting the rest of the farm, so it is worth considering if you have little ones.
Food:
There is a kiosk in the soft play that is open at weekends or holidays and a café in the main farm entrance building. Food is reasonably priced but you can also bring your own food. There are a lot of picnic tables in the play barn and no problem whatsoever having a picnic inside or out.
Parking:
Loads of free parking outside the farm.sacrewell

Big Sky, Orton Longueville

A classic soft play this, a huge building with all sorts inside, big guns that shoot soft balls, a race track, tunnel slides, ball pits and a bouncy castle. They have recently redone the younger kids area which is now fantastic. The rest of the centre could do with some attention though as some of the aforementioned guns don’t work and the carpets are pretty filthy. Fairly expensive and I’m not a fan of having to pay for adults to come in when obviously adults are only there to accompany and supervise children. It’s not like a theme park after all.
Food:
There is a canteen serving some pretty basic but acceptable food and I’ve also never had any problem taking my own food for the kids.
Parking:
A fair bit of parking round the back however I would imagine it would be completely full at half terms and weekends (I’ve only been during term time). It is on the number 1 bus route though.big-sky

Activity World, Fengate

Similar to Big Sky in that is a purpose built soft play. Could definitely do with some attention though as some areas really are filthy. It is fairly pricy and also charges for adults like Big Sky does. They do however give you a discounted reentry if you return after 7 days with your receipt. It is also huge and the kids love it.
Food:
There is a canteen which serves a limited amount of food. You cannot take your own food in and I have a friend who was even charged for tap water for her child.
Parking:
There is a good amount of parking, I’ve never had trouble getting space even during half term though it does get extremely busy.activity-world

The Yard, Stamford

Much smaller than the likes of the above but still a decent sized soft play with a smaller area for babies. Only charges for children which is a plus and is in better condition than Big Sky or Activity World.
Food:
You aren’t allowed to take your own for food in. The food they serve is yummy though and not too expensive.
Parking:
The parking here is limited unfortunately and I have had to park on adjacent streets a few times as there are only a few spaces in the adjacent car park.the-yard

Selina’s tea room at Calmababy, Woodston

20160313_094729Much smaller than any of the above and not soft play in terms of slides or ball pits but this is a very lovely cafe with a large indoor play area attached to Calmababy. There is also an outdoor play area for in the summer but quite a lot to entertain little ones in the playarea indoors while you have some cake and a natter. No entry charge.
Food:
Lovely food and reasonably priced. It’s primarily a café so you can’t take your own food in.
Parking:
Quite a lot of parking in the car park, it can get busy at peak times as it is for Calmababy swimming pool too.

Kiddicare

As with the above, a bit of a lose link to soft play. It is a play area in the cafe of Kiddicare. It has a soft floor and loads of toys for little ones to play with while you have a cuppa. Some weekday mornings childminders pay a visit so it can get a bit full. Free to use and not bad when your kids are little but not much good for older kids. Sort of a pre-soft play play area I guess!
Food:
Being free to use and attached to the cafe it is frowned upon to bring your own food and the food there isn’t too bad.
Parking:
Plenty of free parking

Brewers Fayre, Hampton

Slightly odd one but there is a soft play attached to the Brewers Fayre in Hampton. There is a fee to use but it is not very much. It’s a bit dingy and tired but the kids enjoy it and there is an area for little ones as well as older ones. The opening times are linked with the restaurant so are a bit unusual but I believe it opens earlier one morning a week for a coffee morning. Call them for more information.
Food:
It is attached to the restaurant so I think that generally the assumption is that you will have eaten there first or will be eating there. But I have fed the kids snacks at the tables near the soft play without a problem.
Parking:
Shared with the restaurant and Premier Inn so it can get quite full. Don’t park in the McDonald’s opposite as you could be fined if you haven’t bought anything in McDonald’s.brewers-fayre

Wyevale Garden Centre, Crowland

Quite a nice sized soft play that both my kids have always enjoyed. An area for younger ones with big soft bricks to stack, a ball pool and a decent slide. There’s also an outdoor play area and entry to the soft play is not at all expensive
Food:
You can’t take your own food as it is part of the cafe. Some of the food is a bit pricy in my opinion, though if you order early (before 11.30) and can get breakfast beans on toast is quite reasonable.
Parking:
Ample parking at the garden centre.crowland

Van Hage Garden Centre

There is a fairly small soft play area in the garden centre cafe, in a families area that has its own counter. It is small and quite dark but the kids had fun in there. Ok for while you are waiting for food but not great for a long visit I wouldn’t say.
Food:
You can’t take your own food as it is part of the cafe. They serve a few things from the counter in the family area or you can get things from the main cafe too.
Parking:
Loads

So there you have it, a bit of a run down of I think most of the soft play and stay and play cafes in the area. Please let me know if  you know of any I have missed, there is one in Whittlesey but I was unable to go in the one time I tried as it was busy and I haven’t gotten round to returning but it is supposed to be pretty good.

All of the above information is correct to the best of my knowledge and based on my most recent visit. I haven’t included entry prices as these are obviously subject to change. This is all based on my own personal experiences and I haven’t received any payment for sharing this post.

We're going on an adventureTATRun Jump Scrap!

Little Miss at 23 mths

It’s hard to believe but our little lady is almost a 2 year old. She is growing up so fast lately and while I normally just do an update every 2 months, she has already changed so much in the last month that I want to record it all, as I can see her being very different again by the time she turns 2 next month.20160923_155849

The most important thing I want to record is her speech. As with last month she is chattering away constantly and she obviously means what she says (even if we haven’t a clue) but there are more and more recogniseable words and they are so adorable. She says ball, shoe, chick, chair, share, book, hat and “it’s too hot”  in addition to “I wan dat”  and “It’s all wet.” She also makes some amazing animal sounds, for a long time she has done a great lions roar (and a fab pirate’s arrrr, thanks to her pirate loving big brother) but she now makes fab noises for sheep, cows and pigs too. She even mooed at a van that had a picture of a cow on the other day haha. She also loves numbers, and though the only recognisable one is 2 she loves to imitate counting, pointing at things and saying ah, two, bar, jee, da. She’s also very cute with hide and seek and she loves joining in with that. She doesn’t really even cover her eyes properly but loves counting then looking for people haha.

LM playing hide and seek, counting then looking for Daddy & Monkey

LM playing hide and seek, counting then looking for Daddy & Monkey

Much as I haven’t been in a rush for her to start talking (as I know she won’t stop when she’s started) I will be glad to say goodbye to the grunts and whines to indicate what she does or doesn’t want!

She has shot up recently too and I think I was in denial about how much until I put her in a pair of leggings that only reached her mid calf haha. Definitely growing up. We’ve had some interesting time with clothes in the last month though. Largely due to the heatwave we had she spent a lot of time running round in the back garden naked and enjoying the paddling pool… Which has led to a slight aversion to clothes. She just doesn’t want to get dressed at all some days, and spends ages trying to pull them off. Thankfully she hasn’t mastered that skill yet as it definitely isn’t warm enough for nudity anymore!photogrid_1474655653893

She also has a serious aversion to shoes at the moment. I’ve had her feet measured about 3 times in the last month and keep checking her toenails to see if there’s a problem as she just keeps moaning about them and wanting them off! With her boots and wellies she can get them off herself and no matter how many times I’ve put them back on they have come off again so she has spent a lot of time running around our local area in socks I’m afraid. With her actual shoes she is less good at getting them off herself so thankfully I can get her to keep them on.

One thing she doesn’t have an aversion too is a good hat though. For my little lady shoes may be optional but oh a hat is essential haha. She rarely leaves the house without a hat on or a hood up, regardless of how weather appropriate her choice is hehe. She does look cute in a hat though so she gets away with it!photogrid_1474656426951

Another repercussion from all the nudity was that she started weeing a lot in the paddling pool. As our girl has never liked being in a wet nappy and now walls around holding her crotch and moaning if she has done a wee, we thought we would try and introduce the potty. She basically sat on it for a bit then got up and wandered into the paddling pool to do a wee. She does the same in the bath now. We have a special seat for the loo and she likes to sit on it before bathtime at night. But she just sits on it then gets off and does a wee in the bath haha. So we are trying to pick her up when she starts weeing and put her on the seat as at the moment she clearly has more association with weeing while standing in water than she does with sitting on a potty or a loo. She’s still so little though so I am not in a huge rush. I know many girls are potty trained by around 2 but Monkey wasn’t until he was about 3 1/2 so while we will encourage her I’m not going to push her if she isn’t ready.

Food has been interesting lately. With some absolutely mahoosive meltdowns at the table and the complete refusal of some foods. After eating a cheaper brand of beans at my aunts which were apparently not to her liking, madam now refuses all beans and any meal with them in. Which is such a shame as I used them to encourage her to eat other meals too (not always very successfully mind you but at least she would eat the beans) but not any more. Sometimes it was totally unspecific, she would barely look at the food and the screaming would start. So even food she actually really likes was being refused just for the sake of it almost. Oh and the screaming and the writhing to get down from the table. Such hard work. Other times so will dissect the food that again I know she likes. Pulling it apart or mashing it all up. I try and ignore as long as she is eating something but it is so hard. This last week has been a bit better so I’m hoping the upward trend will continue. I am also comforted by the fact that Monkey was very similar at her age but as at least grown out of it now and with the right encouragement he eats pretty well. So I am hanging on to the hope that this is just a phase that LM will grow out of!photogrid_1474660602873

The good news related to food is that she has been doing really well with the move to cutlery. She still eats with her fingers most of the time but when she does use cutlery she is doing so well with it. She’s really got the knack of scooping her brother’s her brother’s leftover porridge out of his bowl and eating our poached egg and toast from Mummy and Daddy’s fork! :)

Another big change recently was that we moved her from a cot to a big girl bed. It was something I was really nervous about, but with her brother moving from his toddler bed to a big bed it made sense to do it now. So we made the change and prepared for the worst. Which basically meant hubs was to deal with it while I sat down with a wine glass. We read her story and put her to bed and waited for the inevitable patter of tiny feet getting out of bed again. But they never came. She kicked the wall a bit and wriggled about and went to sleep. For the whole night! I couldn’t believe it! She was still in her bed the next morning and waited for us to come get her before she got out.photogrid_1474722327679

I’ve been waiting for the bubble to burst ever since, but it hasn’t. She’s been such a good girl and she just loves that bed and was clearly ready for the move. She fell out a couple of times the next day bless her but even got herself back in the last time. The other issue was that she has discovered the socket next to her bed where the monitor is plugged in so she has turned that off a couple of times. We’ve covered it over though and so far no more problems thankfully. She loves her bed, yay!

Now that her brother has started school it is nice I can concentrate on this little lady a bit more and do things just for her rather than trying to accommodate them both at the same time. I’ve started taking her to a gymnastics group which so far she loves and it’s just lovely seeing her play. Her fine motor skills are really growing and this week she has mastered hanging monkeys from the tree on the monkey games she loves. She was so proud of herself with that!

She’s such a girly girl and given that I’m not I have no idea where she gets it. She loves dolls and playing with people and houses and things. She also massively loves pink and if you sit her down with crayons she will get all the pink ones out and lines them up or just holds on to them which is lovely. She is getting into actually drawing though and is doing really well with holding pens and pencils. She also loves bracelets and bangles and anything sparkly too which is very cute. On the flip side though she absolutely loves climbing and is obsessed with balls, particularly kicking balls at the moment. She’s incredibly active and is constantly wanting to get outside to run, scoot (albeit a bit slowly still) , climb, and she has even wanted to sit on her brother’s bike a lot lately,cheeky madam! She loves books and constantly wants a story to be read to her and as she likes people toys she also loves all her brother’s lego and the little people in particular. photogrid_1474723590773

She’s also a massive show off and loves attention. Whenever any family comes round she gets hugely excited and goes into serious show off mode, being ultra cute and running around like a loon. She’s already learning to love the school run too for the attention she gets from other mums in the playground while we wait to pick her up. She adores all Monkey’s friends too and desperately wants their attention to… Which they usually give her haha. Her extremely loud greeting hasn’t changed either and she does it to anyone she is happy too see or wants attention from now. Loud girl! (See this post to hear for yourself!)20160924_145213

On the whole I think she is doing so so well and while she drives me potty at times with the toddler tantrums and whinyness I do generally adore her and I can’t quite believe my baby girl is going to be 2 soon!

Little Miss at 20 months

So our little lady is 20 months old. How do I describe her? She is feisty, demanding, bossy, caring, fun, loving, cheeky, and seriously cute as well as infuriating haha. She is also learning so so much all of the time and it is wonderful to watch her growing from a baby into a little girl.20160619_105035

She really has made a sudden leap in the last couple of months, and though we still don’t have many words, her communication has really stepped up. She pays so much attention when we talk to her and understands so much of what we say, often following directions. Her babbling is almost constant and she makes some seriously lovely noises.

She also does have more noises approximating words, sentences and phrases. “i wan dat” is one, though it often comes out as i-on-da with arms thrust at whatever it is she wants haha. I’m also sure that one day when I asked where her ball was she said something resembling “oer dare” and then “igetit” but it is difficult to be sure. We aren’t worried by the lack of actual words. Her brother didn’t speak at all beyond babbling until he was 2, and now he never shuts up haha. And like I say she understands so much and communicates her needs very well. In fact she is so so bossy. And because she is pretty darn adorable she gets her own way from people a lot… Hmm.

The downside to the lack of words is the frustration that we don’t understand her. And frustration when we don’t do what she wants. Ooh she does get frustrated and very much makes her feelings known. Screaming her head off and holding her breath til she is blue in the face. Lying on the floor screaming, sitting on the floor screaming. Oh the tantrums are really really starting, especially when I don’t give in to her bossyness, and we never had it as bad with Monkey. It is so embarrassing at times but I also try not to worry too much.

She can also be the loveliest loveliest girl. She always wants to be helpful and always brings us all our shoes when we want to go out (and when we don’t want to…), she loves washing her big brother in the bath and is so proud of herself when we ask her to give someone something and she does it. She loves feeding her dolls and toys and us haha and is always trying to give people food and drink! She strokes pictures of animals and says aaah and adores her teddies and cuddly things. She loved seeing our friends’ Guinea pig recently and gave them some carrot to eat! She also hates when people are upset and if we can hear a child crying she will get really concerned and say “oh no!” she really hates when her brother is upset too. She loves a good cuddle too and there’s nothing I like more than having her snuggle on my lap.PhotoGrid_1467045986712

She runs just about everywhere and has the cutest bouncy run. As much energy must go into bouncing up and down as moving forward but she looks so adorable when she runs off. She is seriously fast when she wants to be though!

She is intrigued by everything in the world and routinely stops to explore a blade of grass, leaves and was so excited to watch and follow a bumble bee a few days ago, giggling away everytime it flew from one flower to another. In general she just loves being outdoors and if you follow my instagram feed you will know how much she loves puddles and bubbles and climbing. PhotoGrid_1467050215991

She adores being in the bath and is such a water baby. She loves playing and splashing about with her brother but also adores lying down and having a swim. Sometimes in a bubbly bath we can only see her head which is a bit bizarre but she seriously adores it and it’s just lovely seeing her happy in there.PhotoGrid_1467046353251

She is learning so much all the time and getting more dextrous. We have been working on fine motor controls and generally having a lot more involved play she loves sorting things and just exploring in general. Her latest loves are painting, and play doh! She would play playdoh all day long if she had her way. Thank goodness she also enjoys watching peppa pig and paw patrol as that usually distracts her when I am at the end of my play doh tether haha.PhotoGrid_1467053235157

She is desperate to be a big girl and loves drinking from an open cup and using her fork and spoon which is lovely to see. Though she still uses her hands most of the time!PhotoGrid_1467045614881

She still loves her food and though she can be fussy at times with new things on the whole she is great. Favourites include curries, especially with chickpeas in, baked beans, tortelloni in tomato sauce, my homemade soups and strawberries!

She loves books and stories and is constantly bringing books for me to read her, or sitting flicking through pages and lifting flaps on her own. She is getting interested in some more grown up books too and currently loves “What the ladybird heard” and enjoyed her brother’s current favourite “the pirate who lived next door. ”

She is a complete and utter loon at times. She loves spinning around and throwing herself on the floor. It baffles me but is another sign of how full of fun she is. She so loves to laugh and to make others laugh too. We adore our girl so much and it is a privilege to be her mummy, even if she does drive me crazy at times. She is cute as a button and I love, love, love watching her grow and learn.PhotoGrid_1467056019675

 

MummascribblesEthans Escapades

Bubble Painting – 3yrs 10mths

This is an activity I have wanted to do with Monkey for a long time but have wanted to make sure he was ready for it. I remember doing it as a kid and thinking it was brilliant, and we’ll let’s face it what kid doesn’t like blowing bubbles in their drink when using a straw?

I wanted to make sure Monkey fully understood the difference between sucking and blowing though so that he didn’t swallow a shed load of paint… As I’m sure that would not be good for him! After a bit of practice blowing into a cup of water it was clear he was ready and we set to it.

You don’t need much in the cup, just a couple of squirts of paint, a squirt of washing up liquid and a splash of water and you’re off. Bubble blowing time!PhotoGrid_1459933958055

I had the feeling this activity was going to get a bit messy so we moved onto a waterproof mat. Normally this would be a tuff spot activity but ahem I may have been a lazy mummy and the tuff spot may be in the garden full of sand and um rain water. Ahem. So thank goodness for a waterproof mat. It is safe to say that Monkey absolutely loved this activity. He thought the bubble blowing was brilliant.PhotoGrid_1459934009852

I love the effect you get when you print the bubbles onto the paper.PhotoGrid_1460122103905

In truth though it was mainly me which liked actually making pictures with the bubbles… Monkey was content just blowing bubbles and then rubbing his hands in the bubbles haha. He looks so happy though don’t you think?PhotoGrid_1460376305705

We did have one sucking incident which was my fault, I was trying to explain that he should take a deep breath and then do a big blow, but didn’t quite understand and ended up with a bit of a yellow mouth! Bless him we got it out straight away but he said it didn’t taste very nice!

Other than that though it was very successful and the most fun Monkey and I have had the two of us in ages. Lovely to see him so happy.

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

5 Surefire ways to fail at Messy Play

Messy play. For many of us parents it’s a love/hate thing. Either you enjoy doing it with your kids or you point blank refuse to deal with the mess. I do like doing messy play but it doesn’t always (or even very often) go the way I hope. I have in fact had some disastrous messy play experiences over the last week or so, so I feel suitably qualified to share with you a guide to ensuring that messy play goes very badly indeed and stresses you out enormously.fail at messy play

1. Do zero preparation.

Tell your kids about a fantastic idea before you have even thought about how possible it is, whether you even have the right ingredients or considered how long it takes to prepare. Cue kids whining and clinging while you try and gather ingredients and get it all ready. This does not get messy play off to a good start and you are stressed before you even begin. Brilliant.

2. Don’t think about your child and whether it is right for them.

Even if you know your child doesn’t like getting sticky or wet, set then up with some jelly messy play and see how it goes. Why not eh? Of course there’s no chance they will act true to form and refuse to participate because “I don’t like it” or will try their best before yelling “my hands are all yucky” while screaming and throwing themselves at you with said yucky hands.

3. Believe what you see on pinterest and social media.

Of course there is no chance that those smily faces you see are merely a snapshot and the one happy moment of messy play before the whining started. As for those picture perfect results and amazing creations as a result… Yup zip chance a parent has contributed at all and of course your children will also create similar masterpieces. No doubt about that whatsoever…a picture tells a thousand words? Or a thousand LIES!?

I posted this picture on Instagram.. looks idylic huh? Nicely glosses over the fact that within seconds Monkey was demanding to get out kicking off an uber tantrum and LM wanted to get out shortly after...

I posted this picture on Instagram.. looks idylic huh? Nicely glosses over the fact that within seconds Monkey was demanding to get out kicking off an uber tantrum and LM wanted to get out shortly after… Don’t believe everything you see folks!

4. Expect it to last more than 5 minutes.

Because of course they will enjoy it so much that they will still be engrossed in half an hour or an hour allowing you to have a cup of tea or write a blog post. There’s no chance that they will prod it for a few mins then announce “I’ve had enough now. ” Or if they are too little to talk then of course they won’t suddenly make a break for freedom trailing spaghetti/jelly/paint throughout the house the second you have turned away because you think they are happily playing. If they have previously enjoyed an activity then you can guarantee that they will like it again…  Yup absolutely zero chance they will be a contrary little so and so and refuse to join in…. ahem.

5. Underestimate the clean up operation.

Can you say uh oh?

Can you say uh oh?

Got a pack of wipes. Yeah that’ll do. Until you see both you and child are up to your arms in black goo which is dripping all over the floor which you haven’t put any protective covering down on… Cue holding a child at arms length as you run through the house to the nearest sink, screaming “don’t touch anything” while you hope nothing drops anywhere that it can’t be removed by vanish or bleach!

 

See, failing at Messy Play is very very easy!

If for some reason you don’t want to fail at Messy Play, perhaps take care to avoid all of the above faux pas… And yes I have done all of them more than once…

 

Because it is worth it. Sometimes, just sometimes, you are rewarded with scenes like these and that makes it all worthwhile :) even if the smiles are very shortlived. Even when there is a ginormous clean up operation to come. As long as you don’t expect too much from them or yourself it will be fine.PhotoGrid_1456409504007

The Reading ResidenceMummascribbles#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

Tap Time – Water Play at 12 mths

A couple of weeks ago we were at a friend’s house when LM climb herself up their step stool and started splashing at the sink. My friend was happy for her to do so with us keeping a close eye and said she did ‘tap time’ play with her little girl. For so long LM has been content to potter and while we do little activities it made me realise she was ready for more. So this week we have been having a lot of wet fun at our kitchen sink.WP_20151112_08_17_29_Pro

And it has been so so lovely to see her having so much fun exploring the water, pouring and splashing. She gets water absolutely everywhere but she has so much fun doing it.taptime 1

Don’t get me wrong seeing her up the steps tool terrifies me slightly and unfortunately she has fidgeted and sidestepped off a couple of times. I felt awful but she wasn’t hurt as I was there to catch her and she was just desperate to get back up to the sink again. She now loves this and wants to do it all the time. The low point being when she slipped mid climb up and though I tried to catch her shecut her lip… but after a few years bless her she was right back up those steps determined to get to the sink and splash!

And who am I to resist when it makes her so happy?

tap time 2

Simple playtime ideas really are the best sometimes and it is lovely watching her concentrate and knowing she is learning while she is enjoing herself so much.

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

Fun with a cardboard box

It never fails to amaze me that with kids, most of the time, simple things are the best. Last week I got a new toy – a lovely big food processor. This meant Monkey als got a new toy – a lovely big cardboard box. He had so much fun in there and just made me laugh so many times throughout the day.

To start with it was a den – I love his cheeky face poking out

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Then I laughed out loud to see his feet poking out the top when it was a bed

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It was a bus for a while

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Then he had so much fun making it a den again this time with just a blanket over the top and playing peepo.20150819_175559

Especially when the box then fell over with him inside!20150819_175659

Then LM had to get in on the action – she wasn’t quite as sure about being covered with the blanket

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Then it became a climbing frame (it was getting a bit squished by this point)

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And finall a great hiding place (can you see his fingers on the top? The only clue I had to where he was lol!)

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Kids and cardboard boxes eh?

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

Making Music together – 8mths and 3yrs old

I love it when my two siblings play together. Most of the time they don’t, the play alongside each other or Monkey plays while LM watches adoringly or let’s face it, gets in the way! Pulling up train tracks to chew, pulling her big brother’s hair, crashing into him in the walker. Babies and toddlers are rarely on the same page when it comes to playing. But, just occasionally, they are. Usually because Monkey decides he wants in on whatever it is that LM is up to!

That is what happened recently. LM was in a bit of a grump and to give us a moments peace (?? probably not the best word as you will see) I set her up with a good old fashioned activity. Making “music” with cake tins, wooden spoons and some jangly spoons. She loved it, and as soon as Monkey saw/her what she was up to he just had to join in!

makng musicSuch a simple easy activity, that took very little involvement from me, but kept them both happy for ages! Evn if it was seriously noisy!!

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday
My Bored Toddler

5 fun ways to play with Pom Poms

What small child doesn’t love playing with little fluffy pom pom balls eh? They are widely available, pretty cheap and, I have found, really quite versatile. Here are just a few of the simple fun activities we regularly get up to with the lovely fluffy things.

WP_20140625_08_46_01_ProSort them by colour

When we first started doing this colour sorting game, Monkey was a bit haphazard and certainly couldn’t name all of the colours. Now he knows all of the colours and will sit quite happily organising them into muffin tray holes without any involvement from me :).

 

The downside being that because he finds it quite easy it doesn’t keep him occupied for long… hence the creation of this list of activities!

Make a pom pom rainbow (sort of)

We don’t have all the colours of the rainbow but after sorting them into colours he likes lining them up, to make a ‘rainbow’

pom pom rainbow

Roll them down a tubepom pom tube

 

As a fun way of putting them away I used a kitchen towel tube, otherwise known as “Monkey’s telescope” to roll them back into their container – which of course became a fun game all in itself.

WP_20150407_10_22_17_Pro“Post” them in a tissue box

 

Monkey still wasn’t done with the pom poms though and found that an empty tissue box made a great receptacle for them to be posted through. I am sure he is not alone but this little lad loves to post things!

Play Pom Pom Football

Running out of ideas for things to do with them, I cut the tissue box in half, stuck each side on the tuff spot and created a mini game of pom pom football. I wasn’t sure how effective it would be but Monkey absolutely loved this. His aim was rubbish, poor thing, but he had great fun knocking it about all over the place and I am sure that he will improve over time! The downside of this particular activity is the high probability of pom poms ending up all over the living room… but it could be worse, they are only pom poms after all :)

pom pom football

So there we have it, 5 fun ways to play with pom poms. You can of course always get crafty with them. So far the only crafty things we have done with them is stick them to a piece of paper (and they usually fall off) but I have seen some quite clever crafts with them too. But the best thing about the activities above, is that you can do them over and over without having to buy more. We all know how kids love repetition!

Do you have any other fun ways to play with pom poms?

#ToddlerApprovedTuesdayMy Bored Toddler

Water Bead Play – 35 mths old

About a year ago I tried some water bead play with Monkey as I had seen so many great examples from other bloggers, but he just wasn’t that interested in it. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when we tried again, and he had a whale of a time playing with them. Just goes to show that just because they aren’t ready or don’t enjoy something once, it is always worth trying again. I set up the Tuff Spot with the water beads and a few other bits and bobs from the kitchen.

So, what did Monkey get up to with them?

He started by scooping them  and pouring them.

water bead play 1

At which point we discovered they bounce! They are funny and plasticky but also wet and slippery feeling which makes it great as sensory play. He had great fun picking them up and dropping them to watch them bounce!

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He then decided a car needed to drive through them (?)

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Before having more fun bouncing them again!

water bead play 2

Then Monkey decided it was great fun to squish them, first with his fingers, then using a rolling pin,

water bead play 3

Then with his fingers again. Check out the glee on his face?!

water bead play 4

I’m not sure how to describe what he did next, he poured the beads back into the muffin tray and started wiggling his fingers around to make the beads bounce around all over the place! Which he really enjoyed :)

water bead play 5

Whatever makes you happy Monkey!

As you can see, Monkey absolutely loved our free play session with water beads in the good old Tuff Spot :)

Do your kids like playing with water beads?

#ToddlerApprovedTuesdayplayathometuesdaysMy Bored Toddler