Monthly Archives: February 2009

Taking a Gamble

– Superb soft play in SW6

 

metm121When it comes to soft play areas, the odds are usually stacked against you. No matter what the marketing blurb says, your money’s on the place being more than a little tired, and certainly in need of a disinfectant wipe (or two).

 

Your little gamer on the other hand, wants to play the slots. Soft play is his game and he’s feeling lucky …

 

Everyone’s a winner at Gambado, the best – and certainly cleanest – soft play area in London. Situated in Chelsea Harbour, the climbing structure is more than impressive, but it will be the added-extras that take your breath away (and not just the height of the slide).

 

All rides are included in the entry price so the house doesn’t always win. And you won’t lose when junior wants yet another round on the carousel, or the little boy racer (or girl racer for that matter) gets his kicks on the dodgems.

 

This is a safe bet.

 

What Mini says:

Don’t lose your shirt!

 

Gambado is at 7 Station Court, Townmead Road, Chelsea, London, SW6 2PY See the website for further details including any special offers.

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Good for a laugh

– Best stacking toy

 

Sure, you’ve made all the commitments that a mum of the moment makes – no plastic, no annoying noises, no garish colours. All junior’s toys will be ethically sourced, eco-friendly and blend with the decor.

 

metm141Get serious! It’s time you stopped clowning about. Rules, as they say ….

 

If you’re going to break your strict toy code, let it be on the stack and roll cups from Fisher Price. Bright coloured cups – all with different textures – stack together to create a friendly clown. Or lock in place to create a rattling ball. With infinite variations and lots of ways to play, this is a cleverly designed toy that makes breaking your own rules very worthwhile. As do the other features which will give your child pleasure as she gets older – like being able to make his own clown, or counting the cups (each is numbered).

 metm_23feb2

So lighten up a little – remember, you used to be good for a laugh.

 

What Mini says:

Ha! Ha! Stack ‘em high!

 

Fisher Price’s stack and roll cups (SSP £10) are available online, at your local toyshop and even on the shelf at Tesco’s (not the Tesco Metro, of course).

 

Calling London mums!  Are you feeling pressure to nurture the next child prodigy – be it a baby Beethoven, baby Beckham or baby Bill (Gates)? Will he grow into Toddler Thiery (Henry)? Toddler Ted Turner? Or will you Trump them all with Toddler Donald? We’re here to help. Sign up for Mini-et-Moi – the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers.

 

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Academia

metm_20febAmusing Alphabet Video

 

You’ve got educational ambitions for the up-and-coming academic in your arms. And he’s not even crawling yet. He’ll read Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Flaubert; all the greats. Before he starts school. You’re sure of it.

 

Send him on his way with Maisy’s animated ABC. Featuring both capital and lower case letters, each is introduced by name and phonetically, priming the little tot for his early year’s curriculum (or simply reinforcing what he already knows).

 

Academic ambitions aside, this DVD is geared for even the youngest TV-watching tot and is engaging and entertaining for all. Each letter is followed by a short story which will appeal to young babies even if the A to Z is off the map.

 

The stories have different and creative options in the choice of words we’re not talking ‘a is apple’ here. Or ‘x is for xylophone’ for that matter. And each letter features a noun, adjective and verb. (Remember? Those are doing words.) The bite-sized clips will have the eyeballs of even the smallest pupil, and their short nature means you can stop and start wherever you choose.

 

Giving you time to get on with a little reading of your own.

 

What Mini says:

Now I know my ABCs …

 

Maisy’s ABC DVD (SSP £6) is suitable for babies to 4 years and is currently available on Amazon for less than £4.

 

 

Maisy Mania?

If you’re all Maisy-ed out, try a fantastic book by Maisy’s creator, Lucy Cousins for a little fishy fun. With a great DVD too. Click here to read more.

 

Mini-et-Moi.com is the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers. Click here to read more about our reviews of classes, activities and great things for Mum and baby or toddler.

 

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Moonlighting

metm17– Independent children’s bookshops

 

Moonlighting.

 

No not the 80s programme.

 

Or working two jobs to make a little extra cash. (Although in this economy, a little extra cash wouldn’t go amiss. As long as it’s deposited with the right bank, that is.)

 

Rather, the extra bedtime stories you’ll be reading when you discover an independent children’s bookshop where the staff are knowledgeable and, more importantly, willing to help. And there’s a collection fit for a baby bibliophile, with a small line in unusual toys and gifts.

 

It’s not like you’re asking for the moon – it’s just that you’re always reaching for the stars.

 

And with branches in Primrose Hill and Herne Hill, you’ll be able to find whatever your little bookworm needs at Tales on Moon Lane without crossing the river. Now that’s something to be over the moon about.

 

What Mini says:

Babyhood – it’s not all moonlight and roses, I’ll have you know.

 

Tales on Moon Lane has a branch at 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London, SE24 9JU (Tel.   020 7274 5759  ) and 9 Princess Road Primrose Hill, London, NW1 8JN (Tel.   0207 722 1800  ). Both shops are open seven days a week but check the website for details.

 

Looking for a book recommendation? Why not check out what’s on our bookshelf. Read all our reviews and decide what story you’d like to be reading tonight.

 

Calling London mums!  Are you feeling pressure to nurture the next child prodigy – be it a baby Beethoven, baby Beckham or baby Bill (Gates)? Will he grow into Toddler Thiery (Henry)? Toddler Ted Turner? Or will you Trump them all with Toddler Donald? We’re here to help. Sign up for Mini-et-Moi – the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers.

 

 

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Half Term Suggestions

Looking for a little inspiration this half term? Fun with babies, toddlers and children – or perhaps a little fun for babies, toddlers and children while you catch your breath? Then check out our special Half Term listing by clicking here.

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In the Air

– Half-Term Happiness

 

Let's celebrate!

There’s a lot in the air at the moment – love (possibly), Spring (not yet), nasty viruses (probably) and half term (definitely).

 

 

 

 

Which means over-crowding in the parks and playgrounds, older siblings at your usually quiet class and general mayhem at home when you and your little one try to avoid the park, playground, playgroups and hoi polloi.

 

Instead of putting your head in the sand(pit) and hoping it will all go away, why not embrace all that London has to offer. Think theatre for tots. Cooking classes for kids. Poetry readings for a princess – or prince.  Check out Mini-et-Moi’s Directory for Half Term and take a deep breath … (remember to exhale).

 

Now that’s happiness.

 

What Mini says:

Ha-choo! 

Mini-et-Moi.com is the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers. Click here to read more about our reviews of classes, activities and great things for Mum and baby or toddler.

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Voucher Culture

– 2 for 1 meal voucher for London mums and babies

 

metm25Plum Baby and Pizza Express have partnered to offer Mums and tots an organic baby meal from the Plum Baby selection. Pizza Express is also a great place for older tots – read our review here.

 

Plus! To celebrate the launch, they’re offering 2 for 1 on a main meal and a Plum Baby meal when you and a friend order one. Click here to download the voucher.

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