2

10 things my 3 year old said

My 3 year old son is always coming out with funny things – what a lovely age this is. I often write them in my diary, so that I don’t forget them, but I thought I would share them, because who doesn’t love listening to a chattering 3 year old!

3 year old boy in a robe shouting

1. It’s not a tower mummy, it’s the North hole, where Santa lives.

2. When I was a grown up I used to drive too, but then I growed down.

3. Me and Daddy saw woodlife in the garden (woodlice).

4. When I grow older and you grow younger I’m going to marry you and daddy.

5. Nate ran in and hugged me and I said “what’s that for?” he said “It’s for I love you” (awwwwww).

6. My home sounds like yellow.

7. Mummy, a long time ago I am going to be a minja turtle.

8. I’m just finishing this last airplane almost then my hard work will be done.

9. I want a boy brother and a girl brother.

10. Did you know that below my below button is my peanuts! (LOL)

The last one seriously made me cry with laughter, 3 year old’s are amazing!

What funny things has your child said recently?

2

BritMums Live – a newbie’s perspective

Okay, I am going to lay it all bare right now, I was absolutely terrified to go to BritMums Live, and had made the decision not to go. Even my hubby tried to convince me to go, but I just couldn’t face walking into a room filled with 700 bloggers that I didn’t really know and be standing in a corner pretending to be talking on the phone, or frantically texting ‘I’m a blogger, quick get me outta here’ to the hubby.

Luckily I was invited to lunch by the lovely and generous Aby at Youbabymemummy. I mentioned in a comment that I was too scared to go and she very kindly offered to meet me in advance and let me lunch with her blogging pals. Boy am I glad she did, because I met some truly amazing ladies over lunch. Hannah and Aby are like blogging royalty to me, I read their blogs every day and I felt totally intimidated and felt like a total geek saying ‘I’ve read everything you’ve ever written, and I really loved this post and that’ – I was like a blogging groupie – how embarassing!

hannah mums days and aby youbabymemummy

But I relaxed, eventually, and totally hit it off with the gorgeous Em at Snowing Indoors. I already knew she was an awesome photographer and was in awe of her super-powers but she was so down-to-earth and we found we had plenty in common, not the least our 3 year old boys. Next I met the cartoon-character in real life, that is Katy from Carry on Katy – yes peeps she is an actual real life person. Again, we clicked, we chatted about our boys and clung on to each other like two fluttering leaves in the wind.

what katy said and snowing indoors bloggers

Arriving at the venue there were so many females clutching each other and screaming ‘oh my god it’s you!’ It was quite disconcerting at first but on the second BML day I was doing the same thing to the lovely ladies I had met the day before, so maybe I am a female after all.

Before the event kicked off I met the lovely and fabulously-bumped Clare at Maybush Studio, and we all chatted for so long we may have inadvertantly missed the first couple of sessions – ooops! So throughout the first day I gave all three girls every opportunity to run off and join the ‘real’ bloggers, but surprisingly they stuck around and not only that, we had so much fun and even learned a blogging tip or two in the sessions BritMums laid on for us, met with a whole bunch of brands, ate some yummy food and there was plenty of wine, wasn’t there Katy?!

three mummy bloggerstwo bloggers talking to a bear

So my advice for those considering BritMums Live, or any blogging conference is as follows:
1. Go! Be brave and just put yourself out there, 95% of the people there were super friendly.
2. Wear what makes you feel confident and happy (I wish I would have felt confident enough to wear jeans on the first day like Em did, she was my hero!)
3. Arrange to meet up with a few bloggers before the event, it gives you a chance to talk and find someone that is like-minded and will ensure you feel more confident when you arrive at the event.

Keep reading next week as I will soon be posting my top tips from the BritMums workshops and sessions.

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10

Honouring our husbands on Father’s Day

happy dad and his son smiling

It’s nice to take a moment out, and appreciate the men in our lives who can be the silent heroes, but more often, not always so silent. Every father is different, and in the beautiful time that we are living right now the men in our lives are no longer just the one’s to work the long hours, fix things around the house and carry the heavy shopping. They are doing school drop-offs, they are staying home with the children when they are sick, they are helping with or doing the cooking and cleaning, and many fathers are the full-time care-takers of their children due to the wonderful world of blogging/internet and this era of being able to work for ourselves. So in honour of all fathers, whether they are at home with the children, are working long hours out of the house or anything in between, I want to say thank you.

In particular I would like to thank my husband who is such a wonderful father to my son, as well as the best husband, so I thought I would share some of my favourite things about him, so that he knows how much he is appreciated.

1. He loves being a dad, more than any man I have ever seen, and puts his all into it.

father and son doing a jigsaw and reading

2. He takes equal share of driving, nursery pick ups, cooking, bed-time routines, early mornings and even staying at home with a sick child.

3. He has this boundless energy that I am so jealous of, he can walk and run and jump and play with our son for hours on end.

4. He is firm when he needs to be, and will play bad-cop when I struggle to….

5. But he is also loving and free with kisses and cuddles.

father hugging his son

6. He doesn’t make me feel stupid for worrying about what Nate is eating, or what school he might get into.

7. He loves to show Nate the simpler things in life such as playing with a stick, building an airplane out of lego or paper, going exploring and looking at bugs and animals, playing catch or tag etc.

8. Not only is he great with our son, but the children at Nursery LOVE him, and always come running to play tag or climb on his back.

9. He loves me.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the wonderful fathers in the world.

snowingindoors
15

I’ll be there for you…(review and BakerDays #giveaway)

What’s your favourite episode of Friends? (Scroll down to see mine).
It was my bestie’s birthday recently and I was reminiscing a little on our friendship. We met during our last year of high school on a school trip but became best friends during our A-levels so that means we have been best friends for 15 years!

In light of that, when I was asked by BakerDays to review one of their Letterbox cakes, who better to try it with me, my bestie! BakerDays said they could put absolutely any image on a cake, so I had to think, and being in a reflective mood I thought about what summed up our friendship. So thinking back, one of our big passions back then was “Friends”! We used to watch it together every Thursday night, at her house, it was THE event. So check out this very cool Friends inspired cake from BakerDays:

bakerdays letterbox personalised cake

It tastes as amazing as it looks, I was surprised by how moist it was, considering the journey it had through royal mail plus it fit right through my letter box. Isn’t that cool? No having to traipse to the Royal Mail depot, which, being a full-time worker, I almost never find the time to do, I am always happier when the items I order fit through the letter box – genius. I loved how many different flavours they had on offer from victoria sponge to chocolate and even gluten free options.

It comes in a gorgeous blue tin with embossed writing, a keep sake for sure, and includes candles and some balloons and a little card which is a really cute touch. Candles and balloons are not the kind of thing I have lying around, so it meant when I showed up at my friends’ house, I was fully prepared. It also included instructions to ensure the cake did not suffer from my clumsy hands.
personalised baker days cake

The size is perfect to share with approximately four people I would say, though two greedy bestie’s drinking wine and binge watching episodes of “Friends” will work nicely too. Though since we are watching Friends, I felt like I should order the Joey special – two pizza’s or at least a meatball sub. I can’t give away two cake’s I’m afraid (alas!) however if you would like to win one of these beauties scroll down and look for the rafflecopter.

I was very happy with the cake and how special they made it, as was my best friend. At first, I thought the price of £14.99 for this 5 inch cake was probably a bit high then I thought of how completely personalised you can make it, from the ingredients to the design and then the fact that they will deliver it the next day, actually that is pretty darn great! Baker Days do have cakes for every occasion (for example Father’s Day, Graduations, Birthdays etc.) and amazing looking cupcakes everything from Frozen-themed cupcakes to “Keep Calm Carry on” which are so cute!

If you would like a cake for free, scroll down and enter through Rafflecopter.

If you were miraculously living under a rock in the late 90s and haven’t given this sitcom a try, here are my favourite episodes that I recommend. If these don’t getcha hooked, nothing will.

Numbered but in no particular order, here are my top 5 episodes to binge-watch with your best Friends:
1. The one with all the poker, series one
I have to admit that series one is not my favourite to watch, this series looks particularly dated, particularly with the bad hair cuts, but then I think this is true of most serials, Charmed, Sex and the City, Will and Grace etc…the first season curse!
The best line from this episode has to be from Joey: “I fold like a cheap hooker who got slapped in the face by a bald guy with sores on his face” (I remembered that from memory – yep a little sad, maybe I should have left the house more as a teen).
Oooh but I also love the line, Phoebe: “Joker, is poker with a J, coincidence?” Chandler “That’s Jo-incidence with a C”

2. The one when Rachel and Ross kiss, series two
How exciting was this episode? I was so excited that they finally got together, though it took a few tries before they finally worked it out! The best line from this episode, from Ross “You’re over me? When were you…under me?”

3. The one where Ross and Rachel break up, series three
How much did you cry when you first watched that episode? Yes I still well-up a little, it’s so sad because they were so meant for it other. But, I have to ask, who did you side with Ross or Rachel? Were they on a break or not? I’m with Rachel, he cheated, nuff said! Best line, from Joey: “Do you think I need a new walk?”

4. The one where they’re up all night – series nine
They are all on the roof looking for the “burger king comet” when they all find excuses to leave, except for Joey and Ross who get stuck on the rook and can’t get down “but don’t worry, we’re going to go down the fire escape”, but it gets stuck. I love all the different methods they try to get down.
Best line, from Ross: “It’s just like bungee-jumping, but instead of bouncin’ back up you, you won’t.”

5. The one where everyone finds out – series five
I love that Monica and Chandler have been dating in secret, it was a lot of fun, but everyone finding out and playing tricks on them was even better.Best line, from Phoebe: “They don’t know that we know they know we know” – I still say that to my hubby sometimes – he can’t say it without getting tongue-tied!

I have to admit that I am finding both work and home-life a little overwhelming at the moment, and I am struggling to remember, or plan what presents to buy, and often think “oh crap it’s <insert name> birthday/anniversary this week”. We are half-way into June and I already feel that “June” was sent from the universe to “test me”. I have my husband’s birthday, fathers day, BritMums, our family holiday (to plan/purchase and pack for) and insane work schedule, new members of staff and more…and yet there is always cake. It is good to know that there are small miracles out there just waiting to make my life easier, and a personalised, quickly delivered, fit-through your letter-box cake is one of them. What makes your life easier?

cake competition giveaway contest

Competition
Finally, if you would like to win a free personalised letter box cake, please enter my competition below. The more “tasks” you perform, the more entries into the competition you will receive. Just login with an email address (or facebook), no need to open an account or anything, it is very quick and easy, but if you are unsure, here are tips on how to enter rafflecopter competitions

The competition will run for 7 days and will end on 23rd June 2015. Rafflecopter will randomly pick the winning entry and I will contact you as soon as I can after the competition ends. Please comment below to let me know which letterbox cake you would like, and which flavour is your favourite.

Terms and Conditions of entry:
1. You must be a UK resident to enter.
2. You must enter using the rafflecopter widget below and perform the task(s) correctly (for example, if you enter your email address to subscribe, ensure when you receive the confirmation email that you accept the subscription too), for each task completed you will gain more entries into the competition.
3. You must enter a valid email address into rafflecopter so that you can be contacted if you are a winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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*The cake was sent to me for the purpose of this review, but the views are entirely my own.

Family Fever
18

DinoSaur Swamp Soup

copyright mumforfun

I haven’t shared a recipe on my blog before, mostly because I don’t really enjoy cooking or consider myself a great cook. However, family and toddler friendly meal ideas are always needed in my house. I do feel confident in a few areas, eggs are my specialty and soup. I don’t care for sandwiches so soup is my lunch of choice, and although chicken and potatoe soup or pea soup are my absolute favourites, Brocolli and Stilton is the one I make over and over again, in big batches, for my lunch at work, and recently for my fussy toddler, there are several reasons:

  1. Broccolli is healthy
  2. Broccolli is cheap
  3. Brocolli tastes and looks appetising
  4. It thickens easily
  5. It freezes well

I have been cooking this soup for years, I started with a recipe originally, and then perfected it each time by experimentation, I’m sure that is what most cooks do. So here is my perfected recipe, which should have the added benefit of looking pleasingly green just like a Dinosaur swamp, unlike the grey soups I see on the shelf – who wants to eat grey broccolli soup? Not me!

cream of broccolli and stilton soupdinosaur soup               The grey shop bought one………. or this lush home-made green one!

Ingredients (Makes a big batch of soup for freezing):

  • 2-3 heads of broccolli
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large potato
  • 50ml Cream (single or double)
  • 500ml (minimum) stock (homemade is best)
  • 300-400ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 25g-50g Stilton cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Knob of butter

broccoli onions and potatoes

1. Grab the largest saucepan you have, the bigger the pan, the more soup you can make, and the more you make, the less often you have to make a batch – of course that only works if you have plenty of space in your freezer too.

2. Chop up the onion, smaller chopping means less whizzing later. Put a knob of butter in the pan on a low heat and sweat the onions for about 10 minutes. While that is cooking I chop up all the other ingredients. Chopping up the brocolli takes a while.

3. Add the stock and the potatoes and turn the heat up to medium. Let the potatoes cook for at least 5-10 minutes on their own then start adding in the broccoli (hold back a few florets of broccoli). I add bigger pieces first as they take longer to cook. If the broccoli goes over the water level, pour the milk in. The broccolli must be covered by liquid, so add in extra stock or milk if needed, but not too much, you only want it to just about cover it, otherwise there is too much liquid and it won’t be thick enough. Stir the mixture regularly.

cooking broccoli in a saucepan

4. Let the soup simmer, but not boil, for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the colour of the broccolli, it is very important that they are not overcooked, you don’t want them to be a mouldy green or grey. Then add the last handful of broccolli florets and cook for a further 3 minutes.

5. Whizz up the mixture when the broccolli is slightly softened, I use a hand blender directly in the saucepan, as it saves washing up and works really well. Now add in the cream and stilton and whizz up again, then taste. This is the basic flavour, from then on just keep adding salt and pepper until you get to the perfect taste. I find with a huge batch like this that I have to add a lot of salt and pepper, it always feels like a lot, but as you taste it eventually the flavour just pops, and that’s when you know you have the seasoning right. If you are making this for a young child, take a batch out before adding salt.

broccoli soup recipetoddler lunch ideas

By using the method above it should be both quick and should look pleasingly green. For my lunch I divide the mixture into containers and freeze them.

For dinner last week we had dinosaur swamp soup with turkey dinosaurs to dip in, Nate had fun playing with his Dinosaurs in the soup (I mean swamp!) I’m not sure how much he actually ate, as he doesn’t usually like soup, however I’m hoping he will try it in time, if I don’t pressure him. Hubby and I loved it, yummy! It was great to have fun with food for once and you can dip a multitude of things in the swamp, as well as dinosaurs, we also had potato smilers and I made cheese and tomato toasties to dip in, which Nate loved (but had never normally wanted to try).

dinner ideas for fussy child

Do you have any tips for making food fun?

You Baby Me Mummy
11

7 Things Women need to know about Airshows

spitfires flying duxford airfield

Last weekend I took my boys to the Duxford VE Day Anniversary Airshow because my husband is a huge plane enthusiast (to be clear he isn’t a huge guy enthusiastic about planes, neither is he particularly enthusiastic about huge planes, he just really really loves planes).

Reporter: How do you feel about having a huge gay fan base? Joey: Wow, I don’t even know any huge gay people! (Friends)

My husband had an absolute ball, my 3 year old was entralled, though we had to adjourn to the car for a little while, and I was happy because my boys were happy.

Things you need to know:

1. Bring ear defenders, even for older children

The Jet almost made MY ears bleed, poor little man was scared by the noise because I didn’t bring our good ear defenders (mummy fail!), I purchased a pair there, but they were cheap and didn’t really get the job done. The jet went from screaming at you to just shouting at you – still pretty scary. My air defenders sitting comfortably on the couch at home would have made the jet almost whisper.

toddler at an airshow display3 year old airshow display                                               Red ones – cheap. Blue ones – good.

2. There is a lot of standing around in awe at airshows, so bring something to sit on.

Most people brought picnic chairs (the fold-able, carry-in-a-bag-on-your-shoulder kind). Again we had three of those snoring away in the garage, doing none of us any good. If you have a good back (unlike me) a lot of people simply sat on a picnic blanket.

picnic deck chairs airshow image

3. Be prepared for a lot of numbers and letters to come flying at you:

Husband: Look that’s the 56038-x!!!

Me: erm… is that the pilot’s extension number?

Husband: Don’t be silly it’s clearly last year’s model because this one is the ‘Super-Juicer-Phantom-Crank’!

Me: Ok now you are just shouting appliances at me. (What a good idea though, maybe I should suggest this to the home and garden show organisers as their big finale, flying juicers and exploding toasters, now that would be cool).

AH64-A Apache Helicopter

4. Food is crazy expensive

Just like at airports and theme parks, they know you have no alternatives.

In the words of Jerry Seinfeld “Tuna is very rare here.”

That being said, some airshows actually have very good food vans, with a nice variety on offer that makes it worth a little splurge. At the Sywell airshow a couple of years ago they had some awesome food. Duxford had little choice in food vans, unless they were hidden somewhere, so we paid £20 for two hot dogs, chips and drinks – perfectly reasonable right?! Actually it tasted very nice, and I am not a big fan of picnic food so I was moderately happy. If you wish to save your pennies and/or you have more than one child who eats more than a mouthful of food, then you should bring your own picnic, most people did and there is a lot of green space.

5. Get there early

The actual air display was due to start at 2pm at Duxford, but we arrived around 12, which gave us plenty of time to walk the 7 miles from our car to the venue (yes I am exaggerating – slightly), case the joint, have some food, go aboard some actual Boeing airliners (Nate loved this), check out the souvenirs, go into the Imperial War Museum (IWM) etc. before the show actually started. If you arrive on time you will be walking with your head sky-ward, bumping into people, tripping over dogs for like 2 hours.

2015-05-23 13.06.26airliner boing toddler preschool flying3 year old airliner boing jetpilot cockpit airplane

6. Ticket prices

Yes it costs the same as going to Legoland or Alton Towers for the day. Okay, maybe not quite as much, but yes these shows are around the £30 mark, per person, which as a plane-not-so-much enthusiast I did a big gulp! I was so glad that under 5s were free, phew! If you want to see the planes fly but are not rolling in tenners then you could always park down a country lane outside of the venue and watch from your car – no joking there was a huge line of cars doing that very thing as we left!

7. Bring an in-flight pillow

To stop neck ache. Okay, so I didn’t really do that, but I did consider it, and then I realised, I don’t actually have to look up at the 57th black-phantom-menace-spit-flamer.

In all serious-ness we did have a great day, the hubby was on-air (yep pun) for days and the little man had a great time, he really does love any transport and particularly planes, so he was amazed by the quieter airplanes, the somersaults and the ones that blow spoke out of their a***. Hubby was particularly excited to go aboard the Concorde in the Imperial War Museum (free entry was included as part of the air-show ticket). If you have a plane-crazy husband like me, there are air-shows all over the country all through the year. I found this list of British Air-shows website particularly useful. It’s a good day out for all the family, they have lots of entertainment, bouncy castles, toilet facilities etc.

concorde inmperial war museum duxford

Have you been to an air-show? Please share some tips with me below.

*This is NOT a sponsored post.

The List

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

13

My week at a glance

Work, work and more work. I worked late 4 times this week and it makes me feel like a terrible mother but an awesome and committed employee. Well actually I don’t feel awesome at work either, I feel over-loaded and am really struggling to keep it all together.

old fashioned clock

It doesn’t help that things keep going wrong at home too, guess I am just in an unlucky period – I really need to send some good karma out into the world somehow!

Nursery has been a frustration several times this week, the car had to be fixed, and took longer than planned, and still needs to be fixed again, Nate woke me up twice and the hubby (accidentally) woke me up twice more, so I feel tired, a close friend moved departments and I miss her, I could go on…

HOWEVER…
Instead of dwelling on the negatives and explaining in detail my worries, stresses and frustrations, which would probably be boring and moany, I am instead going to focus on the positive, and what I am grateful for instead.

1. Nate has been in a happier mood than I have seen in a while, which really boosts my energy.
2. I was asked to review a product on my blog.
3. A colleague read my blog and liked it (I am usually too self-conscious to share my blog with my friends/family, but am working on it).
4. I finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy (in 2 weeks), and apart from a really horrible thing that happens at the end in the last book, I absolutely loved them.
5. I connected with a fellow blogger and have decided to brave…Britmums Live!
6. We go on holiday in just over 1 month – to Weymouth, and I am really enjoying researching the fun things to do and the beautiful scenery.
7. My husband had the best time ever today at the air show in Duxford. That made me feel very warm to see him so excited.

So actually I do have many things to be happy about and I am cherishing them.

field of blue flowers image

What do you have to be happy about this week?

What Katy Said
0

What to do during your Maternity Leave

My maternity leave was a couple of years ago now, although I still have fond memories of most of it, though I believe I have blocked out the first few months for sanity’s sake.

close up of a calendar picture

Everyone will obviously choose to do different things, I remember how shocked I was when I was talking to another mum at a surestart centre, and she said that this was the first time she had left the house. Her baby was almost 6 months old! I shouldn’t have been shocked though, because if someone wants to stay at home the whole time, that’s fine, if it is your choice, however, I do worry about the people who stay at home because they have nowhere to go, no friends or family nearby, or any ideas of where to take their baby.

I was and still am one of those mums who likes to get out of the house. I don’t think I spent a single whole day at home during my maternity leave, but that’s because I like being around people, I would have felt very lonely at home.

Since I was always out and about, I was always on the look out for ideas of places that were baby friendly in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas, and particularly for activities that were aimed at babies or new/first time mums, and this is what I found.

Ideas for things to do/activities for your baby

Surestart Centres

I’m starting with surestart/children’s centres because these should be the easiest for you to get to, are free and varied. In Milton Keynes there are over 100 Surestart centres, they have one on most estates, meaning they should be walking distance for most, classes are usually free and you can go to any centre you want, you are not limited to just your local centre, although some popular classes only allow those in their catchment to attend.

When your baby is very young you will likely use your centre to get your baby weighed as most health visitors run a weekly weigh-in clinic, and are also available to answer your questions, of which I always had loads! Some centres will also run breastfeeding clinics, which is especially useful if you are struggling, as they can check that the baby is latching on properly or help with the positioning or technique.

Some of the classes they have include:

  • Baby massage (Nate loved this and we did it every week in the heated sensory room at Hedgerows)
  • Messy play
  • Stay and play
  • Toddler time (music and dancing)
  • Cooking classes

baby massage benefits

Cinebabies at Cineworld

I wrote a post about Cinebabies whilst I was on maternity leave, because I thought it was such a fantastic idea. If you have read my blog before you will probably have noticed that I love movies, and have continued to go to the cinema a few times a month ever since Nate was born. This was made easier by Cinebabies which is: one morning a week Cineworld show a movie that is a 12A Certificate or lower, aimed at adults, but won’t upset the babies, the sound is turned down, the lights turned up. You get to watch a movie, for you, while your baby sleeps in the car-seat next to you (well that’s what Nate did). Odeon appear to do the same thing, called Newbies.

baby in a car seat at the cinema movies

NCT classes

NCT run useful courses for parents throughout the year such as – early days with your baby, baby massage, baby yoga, introducing solid foods, baby first aid. Most of their courses will involve a cost, but I am sure some of them are well worth it. I did their ante-natal classes and would highly recommend them, if only so you can make friends with like-minded parents who will all have a baby the same age as yours. NCT Course finder.

Play Centres

If you only have one child, you may want to wait until your baby can crawl before you take them to a play centre, that way, assuming there is a baby or toddler zone, they will gain some use from it, although it is vastly better when they can walk. If they are still young, bring your stamina too because those places are a major work out for the parent who runs around with their toddler. I’m surprised, actually, that no celebrity has yet to come out with the ‘play centre’ work-out! We took our son to one of our local play centres called 360 Play when he was 7 months for the first time, and he loved it. They have recently improved their outdoor area so they can be useful in the summer too. Recently he has been to Safari near me in MK, The Riverside Hub in Northampton and Snakes and Ladders in Dunstable. Our favourite is probably the Riverside, shame it is too far away to go there regularly. The best thing about that one is all of the play area is along one long back wall, so no matter where you sit, you can almost always see where your child is, which is perfect for older toddlers/children who are more independent. Play centres are also ideal as they have food and drink, so it is nice to sit and have a hot chocolate whilst watching your little one run around.

Gymnastics Centres

We have three gymnastics centres in Milton Keynes, they all run play sessions at different times of the day for babies and toddler to come along and play on the equipment. Again we took Nate when he could crawl, and since they also provide toys, and sometimes a music session this worked well, but again once they can walk, they are off. Our centre in Kingston is particularly huge so you could easily be running from one end of the room to the other every few minutes – another good work-out. The down side with these is that the sessions are time-limited, there is nowhere comfortable for parents to sit and no food or drinks there for adults.

baby gym sessions milton keynesplay sessions for baby

Library sing a long sessions

Most libraries that have a children’s section run rhyme time sessions with young children. In Milton Keynes we have 9 libraries and most of them run: baby song and rhymetime for under 2s and storytime for the under 5s. They run at different times between Tuesday and Saturday and they are free.

David Lloyd/Virgin Active – Creche

I joined David Lloyd for their 3 month membership when Nate was about 2 months old. They have a creche, so it meant I could try to lose a little baby weight in the gym, swimming pool or exercise classes whilst Nate was being taken care of for a short while. It was a real luxury to have a tiny bit of me time during my maternity leave, and when I was having a particularly bad day, like this one, I just sat in the sauna and hot tub, then had a hot chocolate and relaxed for a short while, trying to re-coup my energy from a particularly bad night. Virgin active, also had a creche and were much more affordable.

Waterbabies/Turtles classes

When Nate was 6 months old we started doing Water babies classes, and even though they were expensive, and quite hard at first with crying babies during the class and trying to get a baby and yourself changed afterwards, which is really tricky. It was worth it to see the change over the 12 week course. Nate became happier in the water, and even being submerged, and learned how to hold onto the side. Another bonus was that he always had a mammoth nap straight after the class. Waterbabies were the most expensive, though they used the best pools for their classes, with the warmest temperatures. Turtles classes were more cost-effective but in pools that were cooler and with less nice changing facilities, with an older baby or toddler I am sure that would be less of an issue.

baby swimming lessons

Buggy in the Park/Buggy Fit

Local parks trusts tend to run sessions for new mums and lots of family event through the year. The Parks Trust in Milton Keynes runs Buggy in the Park sessions and fun events through the year such as the Outdoor Cinema, Proms in the Park, World Picnic, Bark in the Park, MK Play Association fun days and more.

Classes run by private companies such as Baby Signing, Musical Monkeys, Rag Dolly Anna’s and more are also available.