Toddle About Blog

Timber: The International Family Friendly Forest Festival

Timber is a not-for-profit festival with sustainability at its heart.

Timber is a not-for-profit festival with sustainability at its heart.

Timber Festival takes place in the hear of the National Forest from the  6th – 8th July 2018.

Timber is an extraordinary, family friendly festival where music, art, theatre, storytelling, science and play will weave together into an exhilarating weekend in the heart of the National Forest, one of Britain’s boldest environmental projects.

Taking place over three days from 6-8 July 2018, it will be the only international forest festival in the UK. Experience the transformative impact of forests with artists, musicians, storytellers, theatrical performers and scientists from across the world. Explore what woodlands can mean to us and how we can re-imagine our relationship with our environment. Play and create in an arboreal wonderland, where the tonic of wildness rules supreme.

Created by the National Forest Company and Wild Rumpus, award-winning producers of the Just So Festival, the experiences that Timber will offer, alongside early-bird tickets and boutique camping, have been announced ahead of a full programme release in early 2018.

Family friendly programme highlights include: Continue reading

Early Signs of Autism Every Parent Should Know

You can start noticing signs of autism in your child as early as 6 months old.

You can start noticing signs of autism in your child as early as 6 months old.

Guest post by writer, Annabelle Short.

Worrying that your child is developing differently to their peers can be very frightening, however it’s important to take action early to ensure your child maximises their potential and gets help with anything they find challenging.

Learning your child may have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may sound like bad news, yet many people on the Autistic Spectrum live full and happy lives, with successful jobs, hobbies, partners and families of their own. ASD is a developmental disorder that comes in varying degrees and manifests itself in early brain development. Outcomes can be very different when parents take the initiative to get a diagnosis and apply strategies to assist their child, removing invisible barriers and obstacles that neurotypical children don’t encounter. Continue reading

Review: Rainy Days Kids Adventure Book, £9.99

Rainy Days Kids Adventure BookReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Dave Walker.

My first impressions of this book were very good.  The size is convenient for putting into a small day bag, and the printing and binding are excellent.  The photos are bright and sharp, and the text is very clear.

The book itself is divided into five sections: Introduction, Rain, Wind, Snow and Skills and the coloured corners to the pages allow you to flick to the appropriate section with ease. Continue reading

Review: VW Beetle Walker from Hape, £48.53

Hape VW Beetle Walker

Review written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Rebecca Champion.

The walker arrived in a very eye catching box which did get my 21 month old, Jessica excited to open the package and see what was inside. My husband unpacked and commented on the careful packaging and very simple and easy to follow assembly instructions. He also liked the fact it had only 2 pieces so was built in minutes. Continue reading

Review: Disney On Ice 2018 – Worlds of Enchantment

A family day out to Disney on Ice 2018

A family day out to Disney on Ice 2018

Written by Eloise from Toddle About HQ.

Lorraine and I were delighted to be invited to watch Disney On Ice World’s of Enchantment with our families at the Genting Area in Birmingham.

Neither of us had been to a Disney On Ice show before and we were both unsure of what to expect from it, however, both our 3 year olds were super excited to see some of their favourite Disney characters perform right in front of their eyes.

There was a huge buzz of excitement as we entered the Genting arena, with lots of excited children (and adults) dressed as their favourite characters from the films.

The show is guided by Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, of whom had our little ones belly laughing out loud with his clumsiness.

We were taken on an a magical adventure to four different locations, including Radiator Springs from Cars, Andy’s bedroom from Toy Story 3, the Underwater Kingdom of Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Arendelle from Frozen. Continue reading

How I Created the Perfect Children’s Birthday Party on a Budget

Party on a BudgetBy Thomas Charles

Sometimes it can be something of a struggle when trying to plan, arrange, and successfully produce the perfect birthday party for the little ones in our lives. The additional burden of trying to find the money to fund it, however, can be overwhelming at times.

We all want the best for our kids. That applies to birthday parties. As any parent will tell you, extravagance and emptying a bank account in order to win your child’s affection – and the envy of other kids and parents – does not always guarantee success. Rather than thinking of interesting ways to throw the right celebration, like hiring out a Wacky Warehouse or throwing an extravagant themed children’s fancy dress party – we tend to think how much we spend is key.

This could not be further from the truth. Having been tasked with handling my own son’s birthday bashes over the past six years, I have learned a few lessons: Continue reading

Unique and Fun Products to for Little Ones: Shop About Spring 2018

There are great products coming out all the time for bumps, babies and toddlers. Here’s our run down of some of the best things available on the market today:

Bubba Counting BookBubba Counting Bath Book – £5.99

1-2-3 Bubba in the Sea is a great little bath book from Water Babies that will entertain and educate 0 – 2 year olds at bath time as they help Bubba count his friends and make different animal noises. It’s a lovely and simple book to help babies and toddlers at the beginning of their reading and counting journey with simple counting and early phonics.

Call 01295 709221 and quote ‘Toddle About’ for free postage. www.waterbabies.co.uk/shop/

Continue reading

Rock A Bye Baby

Rock a Bye BabyGuest post by Bea Waterfield, Director of Baby College UK.

An introduction to understand your baby’s sleep patterns.

The issue of sleep when there’s a new baby in the house can be such a pressing need that any advice offering a glimmer of hope seems to be worth a try.

It is the “magic diet pill” or “elixir of youth” subject for many parents that leaves us vulnerable to spending money on books and seeking advice that may or may not be helpful and actually may just make us feel guilty and inadequate.

There is no guarantee that what “worked” for someone else’s baby is going to work for your unique (and very special) baby.

If you are looking for a magic solution here to get back to sleeping like you did before you had a baby

then look away now. But, if you would like to start to understand why babies sleep like they do and a little about normal sleep development then read on…

Why do babies sleep like they do?

There are many factors that affect how well and how long a baby will sleep. One fact that is inescapable is the size of their little tummies of course but there are other factors to consider… Continue reading

The Multi Award-Winning Family Arts Festival Returns

Just So FestivalJust So Festival Returns with New Experiences for 2018 at Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire: 17th – 19th August 2018.

The multi award-winning family arts festival, produced by Wild Rumpus, has revealed its programme of artists, performers and new areas for families to adventure through in 2018.

Now in its 9th year, Just So is dedicated solely to children and their families, offering astonishing arts and unique experiences. An annual, intimate weekend-long festival, Just So is an imaginative outdoor adventure like no other. Continue reading

Giving the Gift of Parenthood

Surrogacy is fast becoming an accepted pathway to parenthood for many people in the UK

Surrogacy is fast becoming an accepted pathway to parenthood for many people in the UK

By Sarah Jones, Chair of Surrogacy UK.

There has been a lot of talk about surrogacy in the news in recent weeks. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West announced the arrival of their third child who was born thanks to a surrogate. More recently, Tom Daley and his husband Dustin Lance Black announced that they are expecting a child through surrogacy.

These high-profile cases bring surrogacy into the spotlight, but they often bring up more questions than  they answer. So what is surrogacy really all about? How does it work, who uses a surrogate and why would a woman carry a baby for another couple?

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a way for a childless person to become a parent, with a surrogate carrying their child. People who want to have a child in this way are referred to as intended parents, or IPs. It is an amazing gift from a surrogate and her family to a person who, for many reasons, is not able to conceive a child themselves. It can be a wonderfully rewarding experience for everyone involved.  For surrogates, it is a chance to do something truly extraordinary and create a family for someone else. For those who are unable to have children by any other means, surrogacy can be a light at the end of a very long tunnel. Continue reading