Toddle About Blog

Review of Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich

Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich

Clip ‘n Climb Ipswich

Review written by Pia Howe, Toddle About Suffolk

Recently my son and I have been invited to try out the new Clip ‘n Climb in Ipswich.

It only opened its doors to the public in July this year and promises to be great fun for children and adults alike.

Now let me tell you – it is much harder than it looks  and it’s certainly a good workout!  We have never been climbing before so we didn’t really know what to expect but we were really excited to give it a go.

On arrival, we had a short safety briefing and check that our safety harnesses are fitted correctly. The harness felt comfortable to wear and very secure, especially for the children who receive a special harness over their upper body for extra security and comfort. Continue reading

Hide and Seek as Therapy

Hiding BoyBy Jeff Thomas – Registrar, Play Therapy UK

Children of all ages love to play hide-and-seek and it can play a very powerful role in their emotional development.

When parents play Peekaboo, this facilitates attunement and attachment – showing her baby, with a loving gaze, that she understands and meets their needs. When the mother disappears in the game, the infant may experience both anxiety and the pleasurable anticipation of reunion with her. This, in turn, increases the infant’s capacity to tolerate separation.

Interestingly, when children are referred for therapy, they often initiate hide-and-seek games over and over again.

As Hide-and-seek games consist of separating and reuniting, it is likely that the child’s attachment schema is triggered. The repetition of this game allows the opportunity for the connection and comfort of face-to-face relationships that they may have missed out on. For children who have experienced attachment difficulties, trauma, anxiety and loss, hide-and-seek games are extremely important. The children initiate this game so they will be found and thereby begin to heal wounds of feeling ‘left’, ‘abandoned’, ‘bad’ or ‘unimportant’. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Death

Talking About DeathBy Stephanie Nimmo, author of Was this in the Plan?

Losing your spouse and your child within the space of 13 months would break most of us. Stephanie Nimmo shares how open conversations about death helped her family to cope and really live life to the full.

We really are not good at talking about death in this country, are we? It’s almost a taboo subject, to be whispered about in hushed tones. Yet the only guarantee we have in life is that one day we will die. As soon as we get our heads around that fact we can get on with living and enjoying our lives.

Sadly, I know all too well how precious and unpredictable life really is. In the course of 13 months I lost my husband to cancer and my 12-year-old daughter to the effects of a rare genetic syndrome. It’s unimaginable. What my experience has taught me however is that it’s really important to have open and honest conversations about death and dying with your close family.

I have three older children and they knew from day one that their little sister was not going to live to become an adult. They knew that the time we had with her was precious and that we had to enjoy every moment. 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

1 in 20 Children will have a Febrile Convulsion – would you know what to do?


As parents we all know it is likely that your child will develop a high temperature from time to time. It is really important that you seek medical advice early, follow your instincts and, if you suspect your child’s condition is getting worse, act quickly.

Most parents will already know this and have looked after their child when they have been unwell, but what some parents are unaware of is that 1 in 20 children under 5 have febrile convulsions when they have a fever.

Here is Marie from Daisy First Aid’s short guide to febrile convulsions: Continue reading

How you can have a calm and enjoyable birth experience with HypnoBirthing


For the uninitiated, HypnoBirthing often conjures up images of swinging watches and hypnotic trances, but nothing could be further from the truth.

By Helen Discombe, Born Smiling.

When Fearne Cotton gave birth to her daughter, Honey, in September last year, she described it as “the most intense and euphoric experience ever”. She went on to say, “My first birth was a different story so I’ve experienced varying sides of birth and glad for both. Although all we want is a healthy baby I think we should remember how amazing the female body is and the strength of a woman. Obviously there is no right or wrong birth and they can be magical in many ways I just feel blessed to have had this experience thanks to hypnobirthing”. Continue reading

5 Practical Ways To Nurture Your Toddler’s Independence (and avoid those exhausting power struggles)

By Lorraine Thomas, Parenting Expert

Encourage your toddler to step outside their comfort zone. If, for example, they are hesitant about getting onto a see-saw at the park, stand behind them and hold them so that they know they are safe.

Encourage your toddler to step outside their comfort zone. If, for example, they are hesitant about getting onto a see-saw at the park, stand behind them and hold them so that they know they are safe.

When “Me do it!” becomes your toddler’s favourite phrase and they begin to assert their independence, it’s an exciting and challenging time for you. It’s a vital learning milestone in their development as you see them beginning to do things for themselves and developing their own identity. But it is also tough, as they flex their muscles and push the boundaries to show you who is boss and that they are OK on their own. Nurturing that independence in a positive way is one of the most important jobs you’ll do as a parent.


Defiance is a Normal Sign of Toddler Independence

When your baby is born, they are totally dependent on you for everything. But, once they become toddlers, the rules change and they become desperate to do as much as they can for themselves. “Me” becomes their enthusiastic mantra. As a mum, it’s rewarding to see them wanting to be able to do things on their own. After all, independence is high up on our list of priority in terms of what we want to teach our children. But those toddler steps towards independence can also be stressful. They’re beginning to make their own decisions about what they want and don’t want to do. And their choices may not always be the same as yours! Expect your toddler to refuse to do what you want – it is absolutely normal in this stage of their development!


Give Directions Instead of Ultimatums

When your toddler is determined to demonstrate their own mind, Continue reading

How to Help Your Toddler Overcome Their Fears

By Lorraine Thomas

Child scared of dentist

If your child is scared of the dentist,you can prepare them by role playing or reading a book about a child’s visit to the dentist.

I was in the park at the weekend, walking Bonnie, my miniature schnauzer. As we got close to a mum and her little son, I could see that she was getting very upset.  She wanted to leave the park, but her toddler was clearly refusing to do so and in the process of going into meltdown.

In desperation, the mum pointed at Bonnie and said to her son, “If you don’t leave with me right now – that dog is going to bite you!” It took me a moment to realise that she was talking about us and I am sure that I saw look of amazement cross Bonnie’s cute, fluffy face. Bonnie, by the way, looks like a grey teddy bear, is very gentle and loves children.

I wanted to help this mum who was at the end of her tether (we’ve all been there) and also wanted to make sure that her son actually had a positive ‘dog’ experience rather than one that may frighten him of dogs for years to come. Continue reading

Starting School: 5 ways to help an anxious child

By Dr. Helen Andrews

Getting Ready for School

Whenever you feel your child is getting anxious, bring them in close, get down to their level, listen to what they have to say and reassure them.

Summer is well and truly here and it won’t be long till September is upon us. Across the country four year olds and their parents will be feeling excited and maybe a little worried about starting ‘big school’. Some children will take it in their stride, whilst others will find it harder. The same goes for mums and dads. What can we do to help this important milestone go as smoothly as possible?

1. Make school seem more familiar

We are all more likely to feel anxious when faced with something unfamiliar. Your child is likely to have had the opportunity to visit their school during the summer term, which should help build familiarity. You can build on this by walking past the school frequently and talking about what it is like. Continue reading

The Fearful Child: Where fears come from and how to help your child overcome them

Written by Dr. Helen Andrews.

Children's fears

It is common for the younger child to fear monsters in the dark and these fears usually pass without cause for concern.

The emotion of fear is valuable from an evolutionary perspective. It helps to keep us away from danger and increases our chances of survival. Of course, it is not a pleasant sensation – it wouldn’t be effective if it was.

It is part of normal development for most children to have fears at some point. It is common for the younger child to fear monsters in the dark, and for slightly older children to become preoccupied with death and dying. These fears usually pass without cause for concern, with sensitive parenting and time. Also, most of us are more relaxed when things are familiar and predictable. So changes to a child’s life can also trigger anxieties. Whether this is starting school, a parent returning to work or simply a change to their bedroom.

However, some children seem to fear a whole range of situations, or display quite extreme reactions to certain situations. Continue reading