How to entertain a 10 year old, 7 year old and 17 month old

I was in Brighton visiting my sister and her family over half term week. I have done this for several years now and love looking after my two nephews and spending time with them. This year is more challenging as I have my 17 month old daughter in tow too. Plus my oldest nephew is now 10, almost 11. Entertaining three such wide age groups isn’t easy but not impossible. 


1.Homework- The first amazing thing that happened during this week was that my oldest nephew asked to do homework. Who would have thought this would ever happen.

2. 500 Words – We wrote stories for BBC Radio 2 500 words competition. This was done whilst my daughter played with a toy cooker and kept our appetites at bay whilst writing.

3. Board Games – It turns out that the game Pop Up Pirate, despite being for age 4 plus, was a hit for all 3 of them to play. At 17 months old, she needed assistance from me but all three were excited to see when the pirate would pop up.

4.Playing Together – My Nephews were happy to play with my daughter some of the time. It is lovely to watch them all playing together, reading books together and watching tv together. It was amazing to see my older nephew be so aware of her and stop her getting in to danger and realise he needed to turn the tv off from his computer games when she is around.

5. Parks – The park is always a winner. Something for every one in the playground. Swings for my daughter, climbing frame for the 8 year old, zip wire for the 10 year old and a merry go round for all of them.

6. A half Term Film – The cinema and the Lego Movie were a winner for the older boys when my husband was still there at the begining of the week to look after our daughter. Luckily, I can still find films to suit a 7 year old and 10 year old.

7. Lego Shop – Surprisingly, the Lego shop was a hit. My older nephew was looking for what he wanted for his birthday, whilst my daughter got to play with duplo.

8. Museums – The Brighton Toy Museum, despite being small, was a surprising hit with all of them. It would be best visited with a grandparent who remembers the toys from their child hood but we still were able to enjoy the museum, especially watching the trains go round.

9. Brighton Beach – Despite being cold this was a trip that we all enjoyed, except that my daughter was asleep by the time we got there. We threw stones in to the sea and played at the beach side playground.

10. A restaurant treat – Wagamamas was a hit with all three children.

If I go back for the Feb half term break next year, I may drive instead of go by train. Being able to leave Brighton and visit say a farm would have also been fun for everyone but despite being this I surprised myself in finding enough things to do that kept everyone happy.

I suppose the moral of the story should be nothing is impossible, just a challenge worth achieving.


Cloth Nappies and Toddlers

I’ve used cloth nappies since my daughter came out of hospital, after all I’d been given my sisters Tot Bots collection, so it was worth a try. I’ve only resorted to disposables when we have gone on holiday or she is looked after by some family members who find disposables easier. Not that cloth nappies are difficult to use, people have been conditioned to using disposables from all of the advertising we receive from the big players.

The best thing is how pretty they look, you can get them in any colour you wish and umpteen patterns. The second best thing is she has had virtually no nappy rash with them. Occasionally she is slightly redder. Put on some Weleda Calendula cream and it goes.

We have had success with our nappies, albeit with having to tweak what we do occasionally.
Most people would probably say night time nappies are a challenge, I’d say a tall toddler is a harder one.

We sussed out night time ages ago. My sisters Tot Bots Originals, which are bamboo with bamboo boosters. After some research and trial and error, Motherease Airflow wraps have be one our night time wrap of choice. Never get a leak with these and my daughter sleeps 11 & 12 hours.

We added to the cloth nappy collection some Tot Bots EasyFits. A one size all in one nappy. Easy for daytime, easy for daddy, and slim. I then picked up a couple of Bambino Mio Solo nappies in Boots and recently in a pre Xmas sale a couple of Close Pop-Ins were added. Working has meant that having a few extra is helpful, especially when some clean ones get left with the child minder over the 4 days she is not there!

Well I have been raving about the EasyFits to people and I still stand by how good they are. The only problem is that my 17 month old daughter who is on 98th percentile for height is getting too tall for them. I have been asking lots of cloth nappy experts for advice.

I have discovered that the Bambino Mio Solo is one of the taller Nappies on the market, so we will keep using these but with boosters too. The Closer Parent Pop Ins seem tall too. I have now added two cheap junior Nappies from Tiny Nippers, as recommended by The Leeds Cloth Nappy Library I am trialling them today. I have ordered some Blueberry Onesize Deluxe Nappies that the Nappy Lady recommended. Additionally, I am thinking about adding more Close Parent Pop Ins as they are bamboo, which is great for heavy wetters, which my daughter appears to be. The holy grail for the perfect toddler nappy maybe worked out very shortly.

The major difficulty, is that there are so many different Nappies on the market that deciding which one to buy is difficult. Getting recommendations is very helpful and helps you to work out where to buy from too, as some people never replied to my question – I politely won’t reveal who.
I will post my reviews of my new Nappies in the next few weeks.

PS if you want to try them in expensively, don’t forget to check out what your local council offers. We got some money back. You can also buy preloved Nappies.

The Only Downside to being a Mummy to a Toddler – Continually Getting Ill

I write this while tucked up in bed poorly. Now, I love my daughter. I wouldn’t swap her for the world. Watching her learn different things week by week is amazing and you can’t help but feel happy after receiving a smile or hug from her. Unfortunately, she reserves kisses for people other than mummy and daddy just at the moment.

What I would swap though is being ill. Particularly since she has been at the child minders she has bought cold after cold back home as a lovely present for mummy. Vitamin C and Zinc tablets and Manuka honey have helped to take the edge off the cold but hasn’t kept them away.

To top off two colds since Xmas, I have now picked up a bug that was being shared around at work. Can’t blame my daughter this time but one day being well between a cold and this is so annoying.

I know that her immune system will improve and she will gradually bring less and less of these unwanted gifts home to us. I just want it to improve soon!