Toddle About Blog

Simply Fang-Tastic: Halloween, Tuesday 31st October.

Party Pieces HalloweenThrow a devilishly fun Halloween party for your little ones this year with some of these fantastic ideas from Carole Middleton and our friends at partypieces.co.uk.

FREAKY FANCY DRESS

Your little one may not be ready to trick-or-treat on their own, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be part of the Halloween fun. Costumes come in all shapes and sizes and there are even ones for the smallest of babies. Spidery temporary tattoos are also hugely popular.

If you have a few children to entertain try setting up some trick or treat ‘scary stations’ around the house and garden for them to enjoy. Simply hide an assortment of toys and treats along the way. Our particular favourite is to fill buckets with squidgy jelly eyes, slippery sweet snakes plus a good handful of plastic spiders and creepy crawlies – eek!

You will no doubt get some bogeymen visitors to your house too, and kids love the opportunity to scare these unsuspecting ghouls. Decorate your front door to let your neighbourhood know you welcome trick or treaters. Little ones will love answering the door to all sorts of crazy creatures and handing out the treats. Continue reading

Family Car Review – The New Crossland X SUV from Vauxhall

Crossland X Promo Pics

We were recently given the chance to test drive the Crossland X, the latest SUV to the Vauxhall fleet, for a whole week. Vauxhall are pitching it as a family car and they wanted to see how it would hold up to a proper road test, with a real family.

As our normal family car is now 12 years old, we were very happy to oblige!

We took the car on a 3-hour trip down to South London for the weekend (should’ve been 2 hours – not the car’s fault) and drove it around town on day trips with the kids during the week. We definitely put it through its paces and tested in most normal family situations.

Me and the boy in the driver's seat

Me and the boy in the driver’s seat

But before we get into the review, you need to know a few things about us to put it into context… Continue reading

Disney On Ice presents ‘Passport To Adventure’ is coming to the UK

Disney-on-IceJOIN A GLOBETROTTING TOUR OF DISNEY DESTINATIONS WHEN DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS PASSPORT TO ADVENTURE COMES TO THE UK

Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they take audiences on a fun-filled tour in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure. Journey to the most memorable Disney destinations with all of your favorite characters and get swept away by classic tales that have captivated the world. The show will be in the UK from 22nd September to 30th December and tickets are available from www.disneyonice.co.uk.

You and your family will explore the African Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa, voyage deep under the sea to Ariel’s mystical underwater kingdom and tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy, before flying to Neverland to meet up with Tinker Bell. You’ll also be whisked away to the wintery wonderland of the number-one-animated feature film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, for an extraordinary adventure with sisters Anna and Elsa, rugged mountain man Kristoff and everyone’s favorite huggable snowman Olaf, as they journey to discover that true love is the most magical power of all. If that wasn’t enough, don’t miss the pre-show party! Enjoy every second of this sensational show – starting with the chance to warm up at the fun Fit to Dance pre-show featuring Zootropolis! Continue reading

Tips on how to take the best family photos with your newborn baby

Baby flying

To get the best pictures, you need to be spontaneous and capture the best moments as they take place naturally.

Taking baby photos is an everyday occurrence for most parents – knowing how quickly they grow up, we want to immortalise the time they were crawling around or even sooner, when swaddled in their blankets. As the children get older and our memories fade, our photos will always be there to remind us of how things used to be.

However, we also want to take original images of our little ones, and it’s becoming harder to achieve that as techniques and technology changes. But that’s not even the biggest problem. The main problem is that today’s parent generations don’t seem to know what exactly makes a good baby photo, or family photo session. Here we discuss what makes a good family photo and what are the best ways in which you can immortalise your baby starting their life journey. Continue reading

Top tips on helping your child learn a new lingo

You don't need to know a second language yourself for your child to learn one!

You don’t need to know a second language yourself for your child to learn one!

Have you ever been in awe of children who can speak fluently in more than one language? Well, the truth is that most youngsters have an innate advantage when it comes to learning a second tongue, and can pick up a new lingo far more quickly than we can.

With the European Day of Languages approaching on the 26th September, we started wondering about the best ways to teach your little ones a new language.

To find out how it’s done, we caught up with Anna Neville, the brains behind Kidslingo – a children’s franchise business that teaches French and Spanish to over 6,000 babies, toddlers and primary school kids throughout the UK.

‘Learning a foreign language as a youngster has bags of benefits, from developing problem-solving skills[1] and improving brain structure[2], to increasing cultural awareness and academic performance[3]. Not only that, it can be a fun activity that helps children and parents make new friends.

Don’t worry though – you don’t have to know a second language yourself for your child to learn one. There’s plenty you can do to help them without you even knowing a word.

So, if you’re ready to start your youngster on a language learning journey – On y va! (Let’s go !). Continue reading

REVIEW: Quinny Yezz Stroller, £175

Quinny YezzWritten by Eloise from the Toddle About Team.

After my daughter learnt to walk, she never wanted to go back into her travel-system pushchair. She was rather insistent on walking whenever we went out, just like her big brother, talk about Miss Independent! This sounds great, but after a short walk, her little legs would get tired and she’d stop in her tracks and demand to be carried, this wasn’t an option!

Because of this, I started looking around for a stroller pushchair that was compact and light that we could take with us every time we went out. I was impressed with the Quinny Yezz after reading about it whilst running a competition for Quinny in our Toddle About magazine, it ticked all the boxes and more so I decided to purchase a Yezz for myself and I have never looked back.

Having a 9 year old son, I’ve had various pushchairs and strollers over the years, but the Quinny Yezz has blown the socks off them all. I was really impressed with how lightweight the stroller is. The scooter style wheels make it easy to manoeuvre around – it can be controlled with just one finger! and it collapses down with just the push of a button and foot control. Continue reading

REVIEW: The Irish Fairy Door Company – Interactive Worry Plaque, £19.95

The Worry PlaqueReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Kellie-Jayne Clare.

My 4-year-old daughter, Lilyana, is a sweet, funny and very clever little girl.  As such, she is prone to over thinking.  She tends to worry about things and, like most children her age, she has trouble dealing with her feelings.  So, when I was asked to review the worry plaque I thought, ‘This is perfect!’.

The Worry Plaque is an interactive battery-operated disc that is made from moulded plastic and is shaped like a section of log.  It has built in brackets on the back so that it can be mounted on the wall of your child’s bedroom, (with the screws provided).

To activate the plaque, your child must place their hand into the hand print shaped indentation on the front.  When it glows red, your child can tell their worry to the fairies.  After a short period of time, the hand print turns green indicating that the fairies have heard the worry and have taken it away.  The Irish Fairy door company’s website explains that the worry is then turned into fairy dust and used by the fairies to grant wishes. Continue reading

REVIEW: Lift-the-Flap and Colour Books: Forest & African Animals, £5.99 each

Lift-the-Flap Colouring BooksReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Caroline Temple.

We were excited to get two lift the flap and colour books, as it’s a concept I’ve not come across before. I’ve got an 18 month old (Jacob) and a 4 year old (Ben), these books are aimed at 2 years plus, so it was a challenge to keep Jacob away from them as we were colouring, as he loves lift the flap books!

As these books are story books that we were potentially going to be reading in the future, I wanted to make sure that they looked half decent, so I helped Ben more than I usually would! The upside of this was that I enjoyed the colouring too. We are big natural history fans in this house, so I had high hopes as these books are published in association with the Natural History Museum. Continue reading

MK Parents Unaware of 30 hours Childcare Grant

30 Hours Childcare GrantA new eBook has been created by Kids Play Childcare following a recent Kids Play survey revealing huge confusion concerning the new 30 hour education grant for Pre-School children, starting on 1st September 2017.

Addressing the knowledge shortfall from the survey, the childcare group’s eBook outlines the eligibility criteria for 30 hours, accessing the 30 hours and the deadlines in place to register.

The feedback from nearly 200 parents with children 4 or under in the Milton Keynes and Bury St Edmunds area (where Kids Play Day Nurseries & Pre-Schools are located) and whilst 90% of their survey were aware of the grant, a staggering 51% didn’t know the eligibility criteria, 71% didn’t know there was a deadline for the September grant and 64% were unaware they needed to apply for it and how. Continue reading

Music for All The Family… Some of the best music out there for children and grown ups alike

Guest Post by David Gibb

Teddy at the Disco by David Gibb

Teddy at the Disco by David Gibb

It’s quite likely that at some point you will have found yourself despairing at the music available for children and families. However, before you hurl your CD of ‘children’s favourites’ out of the car window, you might be interested to know that there’s a quiet revolution taking place in the world of family music. 

Particularly in the USA, but also in the UK, there is a burgeoning scene of songwriters and musicians turning their talents to making brilliant and engaging music for children. As someone lucky enough to be part of this trend, I’ve spent the last five years or so discovering what’s out there for families hungry for music that everyone can enjoy together. Here are a few of my favourites to get you started! Continue reading