Monthly Archives: July 2009

Travels with Your Tot

– Our Guide to Travelling with Your Tot

metm9With Mini in tow, the days of a starting a holiday with a leisurely shop in duty free and a G&T (or two) on the flight are well and truly over but, with just a little bit of preparation, holidays with your little travel companion can still be enjoyable and relaxing!

Have Bag, Will Travel!

Be the leader of the pack with a super-organized travel bag.  Make things easier to find by packing these 4 smaller bags to put into your main bag:

  • A ‘Goodie Bag’ with a selection of toys, books and a favourite teddy.
  • A ‘Nappy Bag’ with nappies, wipes, cream, tissues and a change mat.  Always pack at least 2 more nappies than you think you’ll need.
  • A ‘Snack Bag’ with water, milk and meals for your tot, along with healthy treats packed in small sandwich bags, perfect for tot-sized hands.
  • A ‘Clothes Bag’ with a change of clothes and spare bibs for Mini and a spare top for you.  Pack a favourite blanket so Mini can snuggle up if cold or stretch out in the airport lounge. 

Don’t forget a few sealable plastic bags to tie up used nappies and wet clothes. 

Super Suitcase

To ensure Mini’s holiday luggage packs a punch, factor on two outfits per day. Here are some top tips:

  • Layering clothes is the best way to manage changing temperatures. 
  • Swimsuits with SPF protection are a must for hot holidays, and sunscreen and hats are necessary regardless of the destination.
  • Stock up on washable bibs and pack a portable high chair.  
  • To stop the new time zone getting the better of Mini’s bedtime routine, take small bottles of her favourite baby wash and lotion before tucking her up in a travel cot (which will double up as a safe play area in the daytime). (Also, stock up on your favourite jet lag remedy.) 
  • Most hotel rooms or villas will need childproofing.  The usual culprits of plug sockets, long curtains and electrical cords will need attention.  Masking tape and pipe cleaners offer a quick fix for most danger zones.
  • Finally, don’t forget a first aid kit in case of bumps, scrapes and pesky mosquito bites.

Flying High with Mini

A happy Mini means a happy Moi (and fellow passengers!).  Take a team trip to the loo just before you board the plane then, with your super organized travel bag, you can both look forward to a top flight.   If Mini is traveling on your lap, a baby carrier or sling is a great way for you both to relax and sleep safely. 

Smart Mums board the plane last to minimize the time your bundle of energy is cooped up on the plane.  On boarding, put a pack of baby wipes in the seat pocket, grab a bottle and/or dummy to relieve ear pressure at take off and landing, then sit back with Mini and her favourite toy and relax.

And Finally……

Don’t forget your camera to capture the magical moments holidaying with your tot (see our Mini Manual on how to take fabulous photos!)  

What Mini says:

Sounds like our holiday will be ‘plane’ sailing! 

If you enjoyed this article, see’s Mini Manuals for Practical Tips of Life with a Baby:

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Busy Bee

metm17– Top Tale for Entertaining a Travelling Tot

There may well be some truth that she who travels alone, travels furthest. But as you’re unlikely to be flying solo this Summer (or travelling light, for that matter), your focus will be getting there in one piece.

MetM_Busy AirportSo, whatever your plans – Freightliners City Farm, fashionably further afield or off the beaten track – prepare yourself with Busy Airports.

With its focus on action and activities, this tale of what happens at an airport will appeal to your intrepid little voyager. (And may even stop him from running up and down the aisles at a mile a minute – well for 60 seconds at least.)

This delightful little travelogue is made of sturdy board so that – unlike you – it’s resistant to travel wear and tear. And with its cut-outs and pop-ups, it also doubles as a toy.

After all, travel, they say, broadens the mind.


MetM_Busy RailwayWhat Mini says:

I’m ready for take-off!


Busy Airports (SSP) is available online. There is also an option for Busy Railways, if that’s your preferred mode of transport.

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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt performed by Michael Rosen

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We’re (all) going on a …

MetM_We're Going on a Bear Hunt– Summer Theatre for Small Thespians

Summer Holidays are here!  Celebrate by taking your tot to … the theatre.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt – the fabulous tale of familial adventure, rhyming and repetition written by the Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen – has been brought to the stage for the Summer season.

Join the happy family as they wade through swishy, swashy grass, swim through splashy, sploshy water and paddle through squelchy, squerchy mud on the hunt for a big bear. They’re not scared! … Or are they?

Joyfully performed with a lively score, this is an uproarious celebration of a theatrical experience, and well-loved literature that is sure to have your little one enthralled. What a beautiful day!

Uh uh! The season is strictly limited so book soon. (Before Winter comes and we’re all going … into hibernation.)

What Mini says:

Drama comes naturally to me.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt runs until 16 August at the Duchess Theatre, Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5LA. Recommended for children aged 3-7 years old, younger children are also welcome – babes in arms (babies unable to sit without support up to 12 months) go free. The show runs for approximately 55 minutes and tickets costs £14.50. Call the box office on  0844 579 1973  or book online.  

MetM_Bear Hunt_Michael RosenThere is a buggy park and changing facilities available at the theatre.

The show will also be part of Kids’ Week in the West End (14 – 28 August 2009). To learn more about Kids’ Week, see the official website.

Buy your copy of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen with illustrations by Helen Oxenbury. We highly recommend the version with DVD for when you need a 5-minute diversion.

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The (Wind in the) Willows

metm9– A Fun, Farmyard Family Day Out  


That’s the best way to describe junior’s mood on days when he hasn’t had enough fresh air or open space.

Don’t bury yourself in the depth of the ground like a Mole.  Hop into your car and head up the highway to Willows Farm in St Albans. It’s a great day out – for you and for junior. 

The royal palace of children’s farmyard experiences (short of grandpapa owning a manor house, that is), this is something of a Toad Hall. Acres of land, happy and healthy animals, and lots of added extras make this the ultimate destination for zoology zealots.

Once you’re down with the pigs wallowing, and the wind willowing, the tyke can tread off all that extra energy on the outdoor tractor trek (making for a slightly more relaxed car-ride home). Turn his hand to a little construction on-site (in the sandpit), or head for the cool indoors to enjoy the Wooly Jumpers soft play and coffee shop. 

This is one children’s centre that will have even you saying – you guessed it – ‘oh my, oh my!’

What Mini says:

Oh, mine! Oh, mine!

For more information including entry times, ticket prices and annual membership, see the website.

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The Big Bang

metm18– Movement classes for babies and toddlers

Since the moment of creation, you’ve been focused on providing a nurturing and creative environment for the apple of your eye. A place where she can express herself freely and imaginatively.

You’re even willing to categorise those screaming sessions as ‘finding her voice.’ (And the temper tantrums? Put it down to artistic temperament.) Her moods, it would seem, are creative*.

But how about her moves? Make those creative too with these energetic, imaginative movement classes. 

From the age of 6 months, join a Creative Movements class where expert teachers will use your little darling’s natural movement as a foundation and introduce dance techniques, rhythm, stories and drama to inspire her imagination.

Choose a class to suit you – from baby moves, mums and toddlers, or storytelling classes and movement for older toddlers. Go on – see your little creation’s confidence cause a stir!


*or just creatively categorised by you! 

What Mini says:

Now that will be a big bang!


See the Creative Movements website for details of your nearest class and call to book your free trial. For older tots, there are also Summer workshops.

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Summer Lovin’

MetM_3July_1– Make Plans for a Sensational Summer

For a summer that’s fun-filled – fêtes and fairs, fabulous classes, days filled with family fun (think food, music, art and a little bit of culture too), there is only one destination : the Summer Diary.

MetM_3JulyEnrol in Maggie & Rose’s Mini Matisse Art Class (for a little snip and stick collage-making fun); meet Lauren Child (of Charlie and Lola fame) at the Design Museum’s Family Day; or enjoy Bloomin’ Marvelous – the Lyric Theatre’s suitably theatrical Summer Fete.

Even better – book for grannies, aunts, and friends in advance, and send them off with junior in tow. Baby-sitting is often less daunting with a pre-determined destination or activity – leaving you to enjoy those Summer days, drifting away.

Click here to work out what you should be doing in July. With our help, you’re sure to love your Summer!

Have you a blast!

What Mini says:

Tell me more, tell me more …

Something to add to the Diary? Drop us a line at info[AT]

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