Family activities with your toddler

We recently hit a bit of a lull in inspiration of thigs to do as a family on a weekend that both Jake, now 2 and Jamie and I all enjoy. So I took to google, and I wrote a list! Now whenever the weather is fairly nice we have a look at my list of ideas and can easil pick somthing fun for us to do, it’s also nice to tick off things as we go and keep track of all the fun thigs we do as a family.

The list is based primarily in Derbyshire as this is where we live, but hopefully it will spark some ideas for others if you are in need of a bit of inspiration.

  1. Rosliston forestry center
  2. Visit Dovedale
  3. Markeaton Park in Derby
  4. Thomas land
  5. Alton towers
  6. Alton towers splash landings
  7. Twin lakes
  8. Burton adventure farm
  9. Sinibson museum 
  10. Barton Marina
  11. Go swimming
  12. Local park
  13. Visit family / friends
  14. Canal walk
  15. Sea life center
  16. Trentham gardens
  17. Twycross zoo
  18. Conkers
  19. Soft play
  20. Snow dome
  21. Guilders kingdom

If anyone else in the local area can think of any I’ve missed please let me know, we love discovering new places! 

The potty training saga: Part 1

The potty training saga: Part 1

Recently Jake has been showing an interest in all things toilet related, wanting to watch people go to the toilet, wanting to flush the toilet etc, we took this as a sign that he is getting ready to be potty trained. 

As if by magic an opportunity came up from the lovely people at  when they offered me the chance to receive and review one of their amazing personalised potty training books. I took this as a sign. We are ready to potty train! 

The next day I went out with Jake and bought him a potty, some big boy pants and some chocolate buttons for reward purposes. Things were looking good. A couple of days later our Pirate Jake’s Potty book arrived, Jake loves it and I was very impressed! 

The book is beautifully written and illustrated and explains everything a budding potty user would need to know to feel at ease using the potty. The language used is clear and easy to understand. Add on top of this that the book is personalised with Jakes name, and his hair colour and style it really makes Jake realise that the book is for him which he absolutely loves. We read through the book a number of times with Jake and it has really helped explain to him what to expect from potty training. 

Day one of potty training went really well, Jake will sit on the potty and read his special book with me and did a number of wee’s in return for a chocolate button. Both Jake and I were feeling very proud!

As the days went on however we hit a bit of a wall. Jake can wee on demand if I put him on the potty. But we can’t seem to get to the stage where he can recognise in advance that he needs a wee himself, so when he is in his pants we had a lot of accidents, again and again and again. So for now we have given up with the potty training as I just don’t think he is completely ready. We are however still getting Jake to use the potty a couple of times a day before we go out and before bed. Hopefully as Jake gets older he will start to ask to use the potty and maybe the rest will come by way of natural progression. 

When we do finally get potty trained I will do another post to let you know how it actually went!

Note: I was sent our Penwizard book free of change for review purposes, but all opinions expressed are my own.

If you would like to get your own Penwizard book go to where you can choose from a variety of different designs to personalise, at a cost of £14.99 

5 Party ideas for toddlers

Last week we celebrated our little mans 2nd Birthday, I have no idea where those two years went! We had two parties one for family and one for his toddler friends and their parents, mainly due to space restrictions at our house. Before hand I spent a lot of time researching party ideas and tips for toddlers so thought instead of sharing loads of birthday pictures, I would share my favourite ideas for hosting a toddler birthday party.

1. Pack away the majority of your child’s toys and just keep out some select larger items that don’t have lots of loose parts. Everything is more stressful when there are Lego and jigsaw pieces strewen around the house! 

2. If you are decorating with balloons make sure you have a good amount of balloons left loose on the floor for the kids to play with, otherwise you will end up having to take down your decorations so the kids can play.

3. To save time, money and effort don’t do a huge variety of party food, pick one or two really tasty but simple dishes. For one party we did pulled pork and stuffing in rolls and for the other we did chicken fajitas.

4. For toddlers you don’t need a whole load of party games as the kids will lose interest, instead just have different types of play that you can introduce through out the party. We had free play indoors as people arrived, playing with balloons, playing with bubbles and then playing in the garden.

5. Time your party around your toddlers nap, we had an early afternoon party as Jake naps in the morning. We then had a good hour to get everything ready while he was asleep and a happy, rested toddler come party time.

Things to do over Christmas with a toddler

There are loads of post out there about things to do with kids over Christmas, all of which I can’t wait to do when Jake is older, but at 18 months he is still a little young to do or fully appreciate a lot of the activities. So I’ve come up with a list of things to do with a toddler over Christmas, things that are a bit shorter or simpler to hopefully hold a toddlers attention but still add a bit of Christmas joy in the build up to Christmas.

1) Make a hand or foot print Christmas cards
2) Make a sensory tub with tinsel and hidden toys
3) Go and look at garden centre Christmas lights
4) Dance to Christmas songs
5) Do finger painting, then cut into strips and use to make a garland decoration
6) Colour in some Christmas pictures
7) Go for a walk collecting leaves, pine cones, holly etc
8) Do messy play with shaving foam “snow”
9) Sing nursery rhymes but change the words to be Christmassy
10) Play what’s in the box with Christmas items

I’m aiming to do all of these things with Jake this year, he may not realise or appreciate the Christmas connection with each activity, but I will and I know it will be something special I will remember doing with him.