Toddle About Blog

Rainbow Town Craft for Children

If you prefer to use print-ready doors and windows, you can download the free printable from www.boxofideas.uk/town

If you prefer to use print-ready doors and windows, you can download the free printable from www.boxofideas.uk/town

Spread joy and help the planet by making a rainbow town full of colourful buildings, shops and homes. A fun DIY kids craft made out of household recycling.

You will need:
* Recycled boxes and cardboard tubes.
* Coloured paper
* Glue or tape
* Scissors
* Anything to add colour (paint, crayons, markers etc)
* A black marker to draw the doors and windows.

Instructions:
1. Wrap the boxed and cardboard tubes with paper.
2. Colour-in and cut-out your windows and doors, then paste then to the boxes or cardboard tubes.
3. For the roofs, tape a piece of paper to the top of your boxes and tubes.
4. Place your buildings on the floor if you want to be able to move them around or glue them to a big piece of cardboard if you want to make them stay in one place. Old pizza boxes are great for this!
5. Use your creativity and whatever recycling bits you have to add any extra details to make your town unique. For example, use milk bottle lids to make decorative plant pots!


Box of IdeasRodrigo Macias is the Early Years Teacher behind Box of Ideas, a website full of fresh activities and inspiration for outstanding Early Childhood education. Check out all the ideas and free resources at boxofideas.uk

Getting your Toddler to Listen and Cooperate

Getting your Toddler to Listen and CooperateEncouraging your toddler to listen and cooperate can sometimes be a challenge. So many parents tell me that their little ones have suddenly started saying “no” to everything, have difficulty sharing, have become picky eaters and throw tantrums when they don’t get their own way. It can be a tough time for parents, but these behaviours are developmentally normal and healthy. Toddlers begin to independently explore their own identities, separate from their parents. Pushing boundaries is their way of exploring how the world works.

It’s also worth remembering that children of this age are going through a critical period of brain development, with 90 per cent of the brain developing in the first three years of life and more than a million neural connections being produced each second. Additionally, toddlers won’t have developed attention skills yet, so they have difficulty maintaining focus for very long. Their language skills are generally limited and their thinking is very literal, making it hard for them to understand and process everything you say to them. Continue reading

Review: Peter Pan – 2018’s Christmas Panto at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Royal & Derngate's 2018 Christmas Panto is Peter Pan - and it's quite possibly the best panto I've ever seen

Royal & Derngate’s 2018 Christmas Panto is Peter Pan – and it’s quite possibly the best panto I’ve ever seen

If you enjoy a good panto, then this Christmas’ offering from Royal & Derngate – Peter Pan – is well worth a visit. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s quite possibly the best panto I’ve ever seen.

We attended with our children and it has been pitched perfectly for a family audience, so the kids loved it too. There’s nothing too scary, nothing too rude – though still plenty of jokes for the grown ups. And good jokes too. Too often I find pantos churn out the same gags, and they get a bit tired – but not this version of Peter Pan. Continue reading

Children’s Screen Time – How Much is Too Much?

49% of parents under 35 let their children use a tablet before they’re 4 years old.

49% of parents under 35 let their children use a tablet before they’re 4 years old.

Hands up – who has sat down in a restaurant with some friends, toddler in tow, and given them your iPad or iPhone to help keep them quiet? I bet most of you reading this, if you’re being honest, should have your hand in the air.

Now, keep your hand up if you’ve actually bought your child a phone or tablet of their own. A new survey from insurance provider Legal & General has revealed that a surprising percentage of us should still keep our hand in the air.

L&G discovered that 32% of children own their own phone before they’re 9, whilst 65% of children own their own tablet. A staggering 58% of us feel pressured to buy our children their own device, whilst that number skyrockets to 75% for parents who live in London. Continue reading

Why Yoga is Beneficial for the Whole Family

Why Yoga is Beneficial for the Whole FamilyGuest post by Meera Watts, founder of Siddhi Yoga International.

There is no question, yoga comes with many incredible benefits for everyone. There are special breathing techniques that come along with yoga that can quickly diminish anxiety. Mothers are encouraged to do gentle yoga while they are pregnant. It helps to keep the body calm for the baby and raises awareness within the body. Once you’ve begun a family, the benefits are even more prevalent. Studies have shown the benefits for kids, mums, and dads alike. Here are some of the benefits that will positively affect your whole family.

Better Diet Choices

It seems that in the West, yoga is more popular for women. Traditionally, a mum makes the food choices in the household. When you do yoga, you get more into your body which prompts you to feel any toxicity. The body manifests the food we eat so if you notice yourself feeling inflamed or exhausted, you are more likely to make changes in the diet. There is a diet that goes along with yoga to enforce a healthy lifestyle. You are going to be more inclined to eat healthy foods when you have a yoga practice and you will want your family to get on board with it. Continue reading

Review: Aidie London Baby Moccasins, worth £17.99

Aidie London Baby MoccasinsReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Julia Steptoe.

I was happy to hear that I had been chosen to do a review on this product as we were looking for a soft shoe suitable for our 18 month old daughter to walk around inside in and the nice thing about it was I got to choose which colour I wanted so I went for the metallic gold polka dot baby moccasins for her.

When they arrived they came very well packed, in a small white box that would be perfect to give as a gift, I was impressed by the care taken to package the shoes carefully.

As soon as I opened the pack I was very happy with my choice. The smell and feel of the genuine leather was wonderful, the shoes have clearly been put together with great care and attention and I could not fault them. The gold polka dots are small and work well with the grey fabric, there is a trim that runs around the top of the shoe of little tassles that just give the shoe that extra little special look. The sole of the shoes have small bumps to give some grip, perfect for use on our wooden floors. I have had a couple of dirt marks on there that have come off with no damage or visible effect on the fabric. Continue reading

Review: Stib Inspirational Colouring Pencils, worth £6.95

Stib Inspirational Colouring PencilsReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Katie Guest.

On receipt of these pencils, the first thing that struck me was the cure, natural looking tube packaging which would attract a variety of ages. On opening the tube, I was surprised to find now only a dinky set of chunky colouring pencils, but there was also a sharpener and a lovely activity sheet.

As stating on the packaging, each pencil is printed with an inspiring word. Each word matches with a ‘Stibler Animal Character’ all of which are printed on the activity sheet. Sadly most of the activities were a bit too advanced for my just-turned 2 year old, but for an older child (probably 3+) I think it would keep them entertained for a good while! Continue reading

Review: Johnson’s No More Tangles Bundle, worth £8.17

Johnson's No More TanglesReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Suzanne Cooper.

I have used Johnson’s Baby Shampoo since my little one was born but I usually use the orange/yellow looking shampoo and so this is the first time we have used this ‘no tangle’ shampoo and conditioner. We’ve used various shampoos on our little girl and find several of them do sting when a little bit gets in her eyes which she really dislikes! So I was keen to see if this ‘no tangle’ version was also tear free. The good news is that it is! It leaves her hair feeling beautifully soft without any stinging in my little ones eyes.

So does it really help set angle fine curly locks? It does do exactly what it says on the bottle and yes it is perfect on my little ones delicate hair which often gets tangled and sticky with yoghurt and all kinds of food being liberally applied to it! It left my little girls hair very soft, tangle free, easy to comb and manageable. Her hair looked lovely and clean and shiny too. Continue reading

Review: Organic Cotton SnuggleBoo Sleepsuit, worth £40

BabyBoo SleepsuitReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Vanessa Holmes.

My son Nathan has always been a fussy sleeper. He hates being covered over and I would find him waking up in the night due to him pushing the duvet off and then being cold. In the past we tried using a Grobag but due to Nathan feeling closed in he was not impressed and took an instant dislike to this, so we just put up with the constant checking and pulling the duvet back over him throughout the night.

I had never heard of a sleep suit before and due to past experiences I was very sceptical of Nathan being comfortable with it being on him. Due to the suit basically being exactly like a baby grow but with a tog rating he was fine and so far he has slept throughout the night without waking.

The sleep suit is organically made so that was a big bonus and it is very soft. I’m glad we got the opportunity to try out this product as it has made a big impact on our sons sleep pattern. The design we received wasn’t quite the style that I would choose personally but from looking at the website they offer all different designs depending on your child’s likes/dislikes.

Purchase from: www.babyboo.ie

Review: Brik Buster Tower Toppling Game, worth £26.99

Brik Buster Tower Toppling GameReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Lena Chen.

The aim of this game is to built up a tower and then take turns knocking out support columns without making the whole structure collapse. Essentially, it’s like Jenga with Duplo style bricks.

Packaging:

The game comes neatly and compactly packed in a much smaller box than I expected, which is great for saving space when your toy storage is already overflowing. However, the disadvantage is that you have to painstakingly construct all the columns and stack all the base plates in order to put them away again in the original box; try sweeping them all in higgledy piggledy and there’s no way all the pieces will fit. Continue reading