Toddle About Blog

4 tips for busy mums who want to get an Education

Image credit: georgerudy / Adobe Stock

Image credit: georgerudy / Adobe Stock

You can have it all – romance, children, an education, a fantastic career and world travel. The catch? You can’t necessarily have it all at once – so you have to prioritise what’s most important in your life at any given time. There is no wrong answer to which of these wonderful things should come first and which can wait until later. If you’ve already made the choice to put your children ahead of a career and education, be aware that you’ve made a choice that works out well for many women.

But perhaps there’s a nagging little voice in your head telling you that you made a mistake – that you should have completed your education before you had children. Perhaps you’ve dreamed of returning to university to complete your education. Maybe you’re yearning for a career that will better provide for your children’s needs than your current situation allows.

Here’s the good news: You can make it happen! It will not be easy, but it’s rare for anything worthwhile to ever be easy. Countless other mums have returned to school to earn their degrees – and you can, too. Consider these 4 tips for busy mums who want to return to university: Continue reading

Win a Bundle of Children’s Books worth over £45!

World Book Day 2019To celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 7th March 2019, we are giving away 3 bundles of brand new, newly released children’s books!

To enter, simply comment WIN on the Facebook post below, then follow our instructions on FB Messenger :-).

 Last Entry Date: Midnight on 7th March 2019 Continue reading

Competition: Win a Family Ticket to Twirlywoos Live! and a bundle of goodies worth £100!

Twirlywoos - 2019 UK TourWin a Twirlywoos Live! prize bundle worth £100, including a family ticket to see Twirlywoos Live! on tour and a goody bag including a Great BigHoo giant plush toy and a book.

Twirlywoos – as seen on CBeebies – will be brought to life on stage for the first time this year. Toodloo, Great BigHoo, Chickedy, Chick and Peekaboo will set sail around the UK in a brand-new theatrical adventure, touring across the UK from February. Featuring all the favourite characters from the hit TV show, expect mischief, music and plenty of surprises as the Twirlywoos embark on a new adventure onboard their Big Red Boat. With beautifully inventive puppetry, Twirlywoos Live! promises to be a laugh-out-loud treat for little ones. Twirlywoos Live! is recommended for ages 1+, with babes in arms welcome.

For a full list of venues and dates, visit www.twirlywoosliveonstage.com. Continue reading

How to prepare your child for preschool

Wandsworth PreschoolGuest Post by Wandsworth Preschool.

It’s hard to think about your baby spreading their wings at such a young age and experiencing a world outside of the home, and it can be hard for a child to adjust to the change. There are a few steps you can take as a parent/carer that can make the transition less traumatic.

It’s important to make the preparation of preschool as fun as possible! Children shouldn’t feel that going to preschool is a chore, learning is enjoyable and its essential your child doesn’t feel that every trip is going to be educational.

Set some expectations of what your child can expect

The majority of children will feel anxious at the thought of starting preschool. You may feel tempted to address this by telling your child “school is always going to be fun, and you will enjoy every moment you are there” or “you don’t need to be scared everything will be fine,” try not to undermine your child’s anxiety and fears, instead give them information to of what they can expect, what they may be doing in class and who they might meet. Continue reading

Celebrate Stories, Love Reading: World Book Day 7th March 2019

World Book Day 2019To celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 7th March 2019, we asked some Toddle About readers to review new releases of children’s books to find some amazing, and less well known gems that you might want to discover for yourself. You can read all the book reviews below.

Would you like to write reviews for Toddle About? Become a VIP Club Member for just £1.00 every 3 months and this is just one of the several perks you will enjoy! Find out more at www.toddleabout.co.uk/vip/

Who's Hiding?Who’s Hiding? by Ana Seixas

Reviewer: Rachel Manders

Buy This Book

This book is colourful, a good size for toddlers to hold, and has interacting sliding panels to reveal hidden animals. These are a lot more robust than cardboard flaps or doors, and my 18-month-old son has enjoyed engaging with them. I was disappointed that there was no story as such. It would have been nice if, alongside this use of repetition to reinforce language, there was a bit more of a story to tie it all together. Overall, though, it’s a nice book that my son has enjoyed.

Continue reading

Mums Making It: Following Your Passion to the Perfect Career

diddi dance Anne-Marie Martin, founder of diddi dance, explains how she discovered her ‘why’ and used it to create the ideal job for herself – and many others.

I did my degree in dance a long time ago (no need to mention dates here!) and went on to perform all over the world. It was an amazing experience, but eventually the time came to think of a more stable and secure way of life. Having always been self-employed, I was used to hustling for contracts and work, and I had studied teaching in my final year of university, so I decided to search for dance teaching jobs. I travelled all over London from one class to another. Teaching dance to all ages was fun, but most of the work was in the evenings and at weekends.

It was then that I found a daytime play leader role from Monday to Friday, working with under 5s. And I loved it. During my time at this job, parents and childminders would often ask me about preschool dance classes. They knew I’d been a dancer and told me I should start up a class for little ones. I was unsure what I could teach to toddlers, but they took matters into their own hands and booked me a venue! I planned a rough 45-minute structure and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was completely different to any other dance classes I’d taught. Continue reading

More Than Just Fussy Eating

More than just fussy eatingWritten by Stephanie Elliot, the author of the young adults novel, Sad Perfect.

As a parent, you’ve most likely experienced some sort of picky eating in your child or children. Toddlers are known for – and prone to – refusing foods that don’t taste good, or look funny, or touch another food on their plate. Some kids are just naturally picky, refusing green vegetables or things that look weird to them. But when does it become more than just picky eating? When do you need to worry that maybe your child isn’t getting all the nutrients he needs?

My daughter was an extremely picky eater as a baby and toddler, and we were not initially concerned. We chalked it up to just that – picky eating. But, sandwiched in between two brothers who never refused any foods and excitedly ate lima beans and broccoli, we began to notice that our daughter’s aversion to many foods was becoming problematic. She would cry and scream, sitting at the dinner table, shaking her head back and forth, adamant that she would not be eating what the rest of the family ate. Her main diet as a young child consisted of very basic, plain and white foods, heavy on the carbs, very low on the protein and vegetables. She ate plain bagels and bread, Goldfish, French fries, pizza with the cheese and sauce scraped off, cereal, and waffles (but refused butter and syrup). She ate all sorts of sweets, and on occasion, I could coax her to have a peeled apple slice or a few raw carrots. Her only protein source was peanut butter and Carnation Instant milk. Does this diet sound familiar to you? Continue reading

Valentines Day Recipe: Shortbread Sweathearts

 

Shortbread SweatheartsHave some fun in the kitchen with your little ones by making these cute and delicious biscuits.

Ingredients: 
* 55g butter, softened
* 30g caster sugar
* ¼ tsp vanilla extract
* 85g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
* Pinch of salt
* 6cm heart-shaped cookie cutter, and another that’s a little smaller
* 40g white chocolate, chopped
* Icing sugar, for dusting
* 1tbsp seedless raspberry jam

Method:
1. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
2. Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt, then mix in the flour with a wooden spoon. Form into a ball with your hands. (If the dough is very soft, wrap it in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes). Continue reading

Review: playHOORAY Mini Pack playPROMPTS, worth £17.25

playHOORAY Mini Pack playPROMPTSReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Kimberley Bick.

My little boy (just turned 2) have had great fun using the card prompts.  We’ve turned the music up and drawn to the music which was very funny as he kept having to stop to show me his dancing and then carry on but it’s amazing to see how much rhythm he has!

We’ve had a music day and filled empty bottles up with rice, sugar, pasta and water and added some elastic bands to a container and created a musical band for Mummy, Daddy, Seb and his big sister! We swapped them around and had a competition of who could be the loudest! Continue reading

Review: Johnson’s Shiny Drops Bundle, worth £10.47

Johnson's Shiny DropsReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Kerry Clayton.

We have loved using the Johnson Shiny Drops shampoo and spray in conditioner. My toddler isn’t keen on having her hair washed but she is intrigued by the shiny pink bottle. When we get it out at bath time she is much more receptive to having her hair washed given its eye catching colour. The shampoo smells lovely and lathers into a mass of bubbles. We have also used in on her baby sister even though it isn’t marketed as a baby shampoo, however none of it has ended up on her face yet so I don’t know if it is ‘tear free’ but it has been good on her scalp and hair, even with her cradle cap. Continue reading