A Toddler Sense Adventure

I was extremely excited to hear that Toddler Sense (the Baby Sensory next step) was coming to Southampton recently and jumped at the chance to go to a free taster session.
I took Little O to Baby Sensory in his first year and struggled to find class that matched in terms of just how fantastic it is, so I had high expectations when Toddler Sense came to town.
The session last for 50 minutes and starts by letting the tots explore the Adventure Play Area which quite frankly looks like toddler heaven.  Little O enjoyed playing in a huge ball pool, a mini bouncy castle, crawling through tunnels, climbing up steps and sliding down the other side to name just a few!
Charlene (the Class Leader) then gave the tots a 5 minute warning that we would soon be tidying up and moving on to some exciting activates.  And would you believe, that with a little team work from everyone, this huge play area was cleared within minutes.
We then moved on to the activities starting with a very sweet opening song called ‘How do you do’? where the tots and parents all join.  Charlene told the tots that she had taken a call from Bob the Builder who needed help with building and fixing things and out came colourful bowls of Duplo and a mini tool kit for them each.  Well we have Duplo at home but I’ve never seen Little O move so quickly to dig in and start using his imagination.
Next we moved on to taking a ride on the night train!  Chairs lined up in rows were laid out and we were all given maracas’ to shake, a flag to wave, a torch to see in the dark and of course, our own ticket.  This was no ordinary night train as we chugged through thousands of bubble and enjoyed laser lights on the celling.
We finished with a colourful finale which involved waving chiffon scarves and ribbons to the music, watching petals and balloons float to the floor from above and to a toddlers delight – MORE BUBBLES!
The upbeat ‘Say Goodbye’ action song was the perfect way to finish off a fantastic session, in fact all the music was very impressive with that all important feel good factor.
Needless to say we had a one well entertained and happy little boy at the end of it!
3 reasons why we will definitely be going back
  • ALL the equipment is brand new and clean.  Although there is a  lots of climbing equipment Toddler Sense have got the safety aspects covered with plenty of mats to soften any tumbles.
  • Each week brings a new exciting theme.  Toddler Sense has a 2 year programme meaning we won’t see the same thing twice.  Coming in the August Specials is a Hawaiian Beach Party and a Summer Extravaganza!
  • Charlene is a great with the tots.  Friendly with lots of encouragement and praise which is a big thumbs up from me!

As we know from running our Little Pickles Markets, starting up any new business is hard work and personal recommendations and word of mouth is a really huge part of getting going.  So Charlene, Little Pickles Market wish your new Toddler Sense Southampton franchise all the best of luck!  You’ve already won me over!

To find your local Toddler Sense class visit: www.babysensory.com/en/toddlersense

6945380Written by Selina Shrimpton – Hampshire and Dorset Market and Baby Show Organiser

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It’s time to party!

Organising your own little pickle’s birthday party should be stress free and lots of fun – I mean, let’s face it, it’s a PARTY!  But we all know it doesn’t always work out that way and they can end up becoming rather expensive.

For example, I’ve been to many first birthday parties which look a little like a wedding reception for a 1 year old!  Paid entertainment, bouncy castle, helium balloons everywhere and even a tiered birthday cake!  Don’t get me wrong they’ve looked lovely but must have cost hundreds!

For our son’s 1st and 2nd birthday parties we’ve hired a hall and paid for entertainment, given the little pickles lunch and sent them off again, all within the space of 2 hours (to keep the hall hire cost down)!  With Little O being a summer baby we wanted to take a chance and have a Garden Party for his 3rd birthday and although we don’t have a garden ourselves the in-laws have a BEAUTIFUL garden, with lots of space, a climbing frame, sand  pit, paddling pool and space for a bouncy castle!

With no hall hire to pay for our only expenses were the bouncy castle (£65 for the whole day from Bozo’s), lunch and some outdoor decorations which I got from ebay and will be using at some of our markets!

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We all know our summer weather can be a little unpredictable so I wanted some back-up parties games to use if we needed to stay inside and this is where I called upon help from other local mummys and they had some fab ideas I just wanted to share!

  • Old MacDonald had a Farm – asking the children to choose an animal each time
  • Musical Animals – like musical statues but hold up a picture of an animal when the music stops and the children must act/make noises like the animal
  • Treasure hunt looking for their party bags at the end
  • Sleeping Lions
  • Limbo!  Yes, the limbo! – just hold a broomstick or garden cane and ask them to wiggle underneath making a funny face, or holding their ears, wiggling their fingers out stretched, just get lower and lower!

As luck would have it the weather was beautiful and the only games played were pass the parcel and the good old Hokey Cokey!

It was a truly amazing party and we would love to hear your party suggestions so please comment below!

* With thanks to Helen Dicks from Baby Sensory and Caroline Payne from Jumping Jacks Parties & Maraca Jacks Music Workshops for some of the party ideas!

Written by Selina Shrimpton, Little Pickles Market and Baby Show Dorset Organiser

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