Little Pickles Markets Buyers Tips

Our mission is to save parents as much money as they can kitting out their growing families from bump to early school years at our Little Pickles Markets and on through their primary years at our BIGGER Pickles Markets.

With this in mind, we have a few tips to help you to be a savvy nearly new shopper.

  1. Raid the change jar – If you have your £1 entry ready for entry to the market. It helps the queue go down quicker, so you can get shopping quicker. The stall holders also appreciate it if you have change instead of handing over a note.
  2. Time your shop – Our popular markets do attract a long queue of money-savvy parents eager to scoop the bargains. So if you want first dibs make sure you arrive early to get to the front of the queue. If you like a quieter shop, you can arrive later. Don’t worry there will still be tons of great quality bargains left.
  3. Make a list and set a budget – if you are expecting a new baby you might have a long list of needs and wants. Keeping a note of what you need already have. This will help you to ensure you don’t buy duplicates. Make a little note of how much you are willing to spend on certain things. It’s only a bargain if it is something you need/want and are going to use.
  4. Take a second look – You will be amazed what you can miss on your first circuit around the market venue. After all there will be tons of bargains for you buyers to see. So take a second or even third walk around the venue and see what pops out.
  5. Lastly be safe – if you are buying battery operated/electric items make sure you see these working before purchasing. If you would like to use a plug socket please ask the market organiser and she will be happy to help on the market day. Also if you are buying a pushchair or highchair or anything else that may have a knack for using it, make sure that you get a full demonstration from the sellers. There is a great range of toys at our events but please make sure these are complete with all parts/pieces before buying.

We hope these tips help and please share any tips or advice you could offer Little Pickles Markets newbie buyers.

buyers tips

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Giraffe Restaurant Review

If you live near Bournemouth you can’t have missed the zillion and 2 billboards advertising the new Girafferestaurant that’s opening at Tesco Castle Lane East (very near our beloved Littledown Centre, home of the Little Pickles Bournemouth Market) and if you shop at Tesco you certainly can’t have missed the HUGE orange sign poking out the Tesco roof!
I must say the refit of the dodgy old supermarket café has had me intrigued for a while, it has certainly looked more glamorous than any super market café I’ve ever seen and the little giraffe heads etched in the glass make me smile as I go in to do the worlds biggest chore – supermarket shopping!
We were lucky enough to go along to a preview of the new restaurant last week, have a good old fashioned nose around and try the food before the big opening on November 10th.  The preview wasn’t just to satisfy the nosiness of people just like us, it was also being used as a training exercise for the waiting and chef staff.  What a refreshingly great idea that they’re practising everything and taking feedback good and bad to get everything perfect before the big open day!  We’ve got to say they’re doing a great job, from the second we were checking out the menu outside we were brought straight into the warm, found a table and checked on numerous times to make sure we were ok.
I must confess I let my Mum come along and even when she was highly embarrassing the waiter didn’t even flinch and carried on as a true professional would.  The food was AMAZING, absolutely delicious, steak and chips has never tasted so good, it’s actually annoying that as I’m writing this on Saturday evening I know the restaurant hasn’t opened yet and I can’t go back to eat it again!  Fresh lemonade and mint served in a quirky little jar was my other favourite, seriously the simple things in life keep me happy!
Price wise, it isn’t cheap, I wouldn’t say given the quality of food and service that it’s expensive.  If you were to compare it to another supermarket café it does cost more but it wouldn’t be a fair comparison as it is a nice restaurant that just so happens to be located at a supermarket.  If my husband decided to take me out for dinner (cough, cough, wink, wink) I’m not sure how impressed I’d be at the romantic location but considering my tummy’s still rumbling thinking about steak I’m sure we’ll be going back and probably sampling a cocktail or two as well.
Written By Chelle – Bournemouth Little Pickles Market  Organiser, Next event Christmas Special, 7th December 10am-12noon, Littledown Centre

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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!


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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Potty Time!

Potty, potty, potty!!!  That word has been driving ‘potty’ me for nearly a year.  Some parents can’t wait to get their little pickles out of nappies and then there are others, like me who are quite happy leaving things how they are.  It sounds lazy but I’d much rather leave Little O (nearly 3 yrs) in a nappy because although it still means changing smell bums, carrying around a nappy bag and of course the expense of buying them, there isn’t the worry of ‘where are the toilets’ and nagging him to ‘go’ all the time.

We started ‘Potty Practice’ with Little O last summer where we let him have nappy off time every day and allowed him to use the potty in his own time.  This worked really and by Christmas we thought it’s time to do the brave thing and just ‘GO FOR IT’.  We picked a week where we had no plans and when Daddy was at home for moral support but by the end of Day 1 we had practically given up and it was the ‘number 2’s’ which were causing the problem.  He would be running round the house desperate to go, making an awful noise and he was obviously really distressed, so on went a nappy and that was the end of that.

We decided we would give it another go when he was well and truly ready and for me, that meant doing a number 2 on the potty and declaring that he didn’t want nappies on anymore and pulling them off.  Well, last week we had a break through!  Of his own accord he sat on the potty and was extremely pleased to show me (yuk!) his poo in the potty!!  Cue lots of cheering, cuddling, clapping..Oh and little chocolate button!  So that was the ‘I’m ready!’ sign I was waiting for waiting for, and although a little nervous about GOING FOR IT on round 2 I knew we just had to.

This time our approach was much more relaxed.  We haven’t introduced ‘big boy pants’ yet and he’s been going commando. Less to pull down means more time to get him on the potty before an accident happens.   I look for the cues that he needs a wee (like playing with his trousers’ and fidgeting) and then ask him if he needs a wee.  If he says no I put him on the potty anyway and ‘hey presto’ most of the time he goes!

He’s had the odd accidents, and accidents are he’s learnt, but most of the time I can safely say it’s been a piece of cake!  In fact I was beyond proud when he went to pre-school for the first time without a nappy to find out he had asked to go to the toilet and came home in the same pair of trousers I sent him in!

Although it feels that training Little O has been easy peasy it’s definitely been another parenting learning curve! We’ve learnt from our mistakes and taken our time and that would be my biggest piece of advice to pass on.  There really is no need to rush if it’s not working.

So if any parents are about to go through the same thing or have just gone through it then we’d love to hear from you.  Let’s share, I’m sure our little pickles won’t mind 😉

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

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Dorset business mums take national awards by storm.

Not even a week after Sky News announced that companies run by mothers contribute around £7bn a year to the economy we find not 1 but 5 Dorset Businesses run by mums are amongst the nominees for the prestigious WO4LO Awards in association with Konfidence. Now in its 7th year WO4LO celebrates the best activities, classes, volunteers and venues from throughout the UK as nominated and voted for by the experts – parents and parents-to-be.

Joanne Dewberry, Dorset Business Mum 2010 and author of Crafting a Successful Small Business is no stranger when it comes to the WO4LO Awards “Charlie Moo’s has been nominated 3 years running. I’m proud that we are held in such high esteem in the Party Suppliers industry – I really hope this year we can make it into the final 3!”

Award-winning ‘Musical Steps’ has also been nominated in Best National Baby & Toddler Development Activity (newborn to 2 years) & Best National Pre-schooler Development Activity (2 to 5 years) Bournemouth Teacher,Heather Smith said Parents tell me Musical Steps classes are the highlight of their child’s week, so it’s exciting to be recognised in this way. My priority is always to deliver an inspiring music class so I’d love for us to win the award and show we really are something special.

Lisa Hagg, mum of 2 & owner of the UK’s leading children’s activity franchise, The Creation Station in Bournemouth, has been nominated for no less than 3 awards! The Best National Baby & Toddler Development Activity, The Best National Preschooler Development Activity & The Best Children’s Party Entertainment Awards. Lisa said I am delighted that our Baby Discover and Little Explorer art classes have been recognised and nominated by parents. We are passionate about providing unique classes that gives parents and their children a shared, creative and educational experience. Our classes develop friendships, social confidence, problem solving skills & imagination in young children as well as providing ideas and activities for parents to help them develop their baby and toddler at home”

Most Outstanding Activity Leader for the Under 5s (South) sees Lisa Hagg, Caroline Kelly and Heather Smith up for this accolade. Joanne said “between my 3 children they have all been to Musical Steps, Turtle Tots and The Creation Station at some point and I think it shows the wealth of baby & pre-school activities available in Dorset and how highly recommended they are.”

Caroline Kelly, Turtle Tots Dorset, teaches aqua natal and baby swimming classes. “To be nominated for any award after less than 12 months in business is something I couldn’t have imagined. Each week parents tell me little things that their babies/toddlers have done at home related to our lessons which is fantastic. Turtle Tots teach babies to swim both above and below the surface teaching water confidence and life saving skills. Our classes also promote a special bonding experience between parent and baby in the water and many new friendships are formed. It would be great to win but to be nominated really is something special.Turtle Tots UK has been nominated inBest National Baby & Toddler Development Activity (newborn to 2 years) & Best National Pre-schooler Development Activity (2 to 5 years) as well.

Best Day Out in Dorset? Look know further than Little Pickles Market 2013 really has been an amazing year so far already collecting a couple of awards and it’s only March. I’m so humbled by the hard work and dedication of the team and all our buyers and sellers over the past 2 years.” owner Jessamine Hislop Newton beamed. The Dorset branch is currently putting the finishing touches to their Inaugural Little Pickles South Coast Baby & Toddler Show in May – with special guests including cbeebies favourite Chris Jarvis. Averaging 200+ people in a normal 2 hour market the baby show is set to be the place to be.

These business mums now need your help from now until the 28th May 2013, parents can log onto to vote for their favourite. The winners will be announced celebrity host Lucy Piper at Brighton Racecourse on Sunday 30th June. Everyone who votes or nominates will also be in with a chance to win 2 VIP tickets to the awards ceremony, meet the finalists, sponsors and VIP guests.

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