The love of a parent is a strong thing, so strong that you're prepared to shell out 22 odd pounds for a ticket to LolliBop billed as 'The big bash for little people'. Set in Regent's Park, catering for toddlers, those under 3ft and the 'tweenies' age group, TV favourites such as Dick and Dom, Mister Maker and the ZingZillas were among those billed.
I spent just over four hours there with my two year old and I'm sure I was more exhausted than her as we made the trek back to the station..! She was more than happy to be surrounded by fire-breathing mechanical dragons, storytelling by Poppy Cat, a six foot tall Dora the Explorer and Stavros Flatley - oh wait a minute, think that was me who enjoyed their hilarious double act which saw them joined by some randoms to perform the Blues Brothers' Everybody Needs Somebody to Love!
Activities to take part in during the day included hula hoop workshops, cookery sessions, baby ballet, Moshi Monsters and a science lab - to name but a few. My only complaint, as the mother of a HUGE Dora the Explorer fan, was that her appearance on the main stage was billed as a 'singalong' but was nothing more than advertising for the forthcoming Dora the Explorer live show. That and the £6 helium balloons that were being sold on the grounds.
So all in all not a cheap day out unless you manage to bag some deal or free tickets! But for the amount of activities on offer, a fun family day out and brilliant for children slightly older than two years old, as I think my daughter was slightly too young to appreciate all that was on offer, or in other words, her attention span not long enough to stay interested!
Keep an eye out for early bird tickets for next year!
Trying to remain just as cool, calm and collected as the man himself, I recently had a one to one with Hollywood superstar Samuel L Jackson (silent scream).
Fresh from celebrating Django Unchained’s win at the BAFTAs, presenting an award on the night and hosting another charity event two days before that – phew! – this was a man on total form, friendly and animatedly talking about his latest fundraiser.
Launching the Affinity Real Estate Shooting Stars Benefit 2013 at the Moet and Chandon offices in London, over a glass of bubbly (what else?), Jackson spoke enthusiastically about the golfing event in June where those prepared to part with a certain amount of cash can putt holes alongside celebrity players.
Pushing Jackson to say which A-list players he’d like to get on board – Luke Wilson and Alice Cooper have taken part in the past – he replied: “People like golf and people tend to open their pockets to play with, I guess, famous people… and they have a good time and it’s a great way to engage with people in the community and to help raise awareness among certain charities.
“We’re talking to a lot of people – so we’ll see what happens. We don’t really bring people onboard because they’re good golfers, we bring them because they’re good people. You have to be social, people come to have a laugh, make friends and take photographs, so we try to chose people who are personable and wanna come and have a good time.”
Jackson’s mother passed away last year after battling with Alzheimer’s, so funds raised from this year’s event will go towards the Samuel L Jackson Foundation and fund research into Dementia and Alzheimer’s, as Jackson added ‘that could be me one day’.
The Affinity Real Estate Shooting Stars Benefit takes place June 14-15. www.shootingstarsbenefit.com
I’m going to try and to be a bit more prepared for the next school holiday and think about things to do with the kids in advance, and not just leave it to the night before!
I’m lucky to have discovered 5 Minute Fun who come up with simple – and enjoyable! – ideas to keep little fingers busy and most importantly allowing you to grab five minutes to yourself.
It was great to see both my toddler and nine year working together to make a fabulous owl from the goody bag they kindly gifted us!
I’ve spoken before about how difficult it is to get them to enjoy the same activity, so this was a Godsend.
And the activity cards (only £1.99 atm!) could keep the whole family occupied for ages doing little fun tasks, in the house or outside, which don’t involve any extra cash being spent.
Check them out ahead of the forthcoming Easter holidays!
It’s back to reality for me after a few weeks holidaying in the motherland, but despite having spent such a ‘concentrated’ amount of time with my parents, I’m here in London tapping my fingers and waiting in anticipation for the return of my mother.
Obviously in general I love my mum and all that, but I, like so many working parents out there, rely on the help of my own mother when it comes to extra childcare and all round support.
It got me thinking about some parenting advice I was given by none other than TV presenter Jeff Brazier – Jade Goody’s ex and father to their two sons, Bobby, nine, and Freddie, eight.
Chatting to Jeff at last month’s Gala Bingo launch party at London’s Delfina, where Peter Andre’s latest ad for the company was celebrated, I asked how he managed to combine his work schedule with looking about two young boys.
He was quick to respond, ‘My number one tip is not to take your mum for granted. My mum helps me out a lot, so I have a deal with her where I pay half her rent for which she gives me a certain amount of her time each week.
‘It sounds quite formal and regimented, but it’s not! It just means we each know where we stand and she doesn’t feel that I’m taking her for granted. But it doesn’t count if the boys just fancy spending Saturday night with their Nan – that’s separate from the deal! Each week I let her know my schedule and when I’ll need her, so she can also make her own plans’.
Sounds like good advice all round to me…
PS – Hurry home Mummy! x