Last year before school

This time next year LO will be starting school. She moved up to preschool at the beginning of September and absolutely loves it. It isn’t a huge change for her as she was already at nursery, and preschool is simply the next room along to move into. She still does three long days a week, on the days I’m at work, so it isn’t very different.

I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to do with her this year, whilst we still have some time together on weekdays before she starts school. I know many people say these years fly past, but I’ve found they’ve gone pretty slowly, especially the first year when I was on maternity leave. Which means we have already done a lot of the things I’d like to do as there’s been plenty of time to do them!

We are going to continue doing some of our existing activities. We go swimming maybe once or twice a month. We go to two excellent church-based toddler groups near to where we live where we’ve made friends and found support. I try and go to those about twice a month each as any less than that means we lose touch with people. Plus it makes for a nice, easy and cheap morning! I was also doing some volunteering, although I’ve cut back on that recently as I’ve moved churches and haven’t taken on any volunteering roles at my new church (yet…). It feels like there is plenty of time for volunteering in the future, and this year is about spending time with LO.

LO still naps some of the days she’s at home. She hasn’t napped at nursery since she was about 2.5, as nursery naptime (12.30) was different to home naptime (2pm). If we’re at home I offer her the opportunity to have some ‘quiet’ time in her bedroom at 2pm these days, and she’s allowed to take a quiet toy up there with her. Then I put her gro-clock on until 4pm and she can nap or play quietly or look at a book until then. Which I need to factor in when planning days out as too many missed naps in a row isn’t great!

Otherwise there are one-off fun things I’d like to do, such as:

  • Day out in London as LO wants to ride on the red buses. This is her main aim, but I also think she’d enjoy doing some of the things from the Topsy and Tim visit London book. She’s been on the tube many times when we’re travelling across London en route to elsewhere, but still thinks it’s fun. I also think she’d enjoy visiting the Olympic Park ( which I’d like to see too as I used to live in the East End and I’d love to see how much it’s changed), ride on the Docklands Light Railway (especially sitting at the front to ‘drive’ the train), visit the Museum of Childhood and the London Transport Museum and go on the Emirates Air Line.
  • Legoland (might as well make the most of being able to go during termtime whilst we can)
  • Boat trip on the Thames, although I’m not sure which part of it yet! There are several options, including the boat trips aimed at tourists or Thames Clippers which run the river bus service.
  • Look Out Discovery Centre visit
  • Seven Stories – the National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle. I’ve visited as part of my job but I’d love to take LO!
  • Sundown Adventure Land
  • Trip to the theatre to see one of the performances aimed at preschoolers. We took her to see Moonbrella when she was two, which is aimed at 18 months+ but there seems to be more available for the 3+ age group.
  • More cooking activities as we’ve had lots of fun with the ones we’ve tried so far, and now that nap times don’t get in the way as much there will be more opportunity.

We also have some annual memberships that I want to make the most of this year, as some of them won’t be renewed once LO gets to five.

I think it’s going to be a busy year! Any recommendations for other places to visit?


  1. I wouldn’t bother with Lego land until she’s older. Very expensive for a day they don’t remember!
    The stories thing in Newcastle sounds interesting.
    What about a steam train ride? There used to be a miniature one not far from you.


  2. Oh that sounds fun – thank you for those ideas. LO would love the Cake Box and also the day out travelling around London. Sadly her granny is four hours away and has only seen her twice this year!


  3. Recently Our grandson stayed with us as a pre school treat, I blogged about the two main activities here,

    Thoroughly recommend The Cake Box at Hampton, have known Jo for nearly 30 years, at one time her husband was choir master at the church we attended until about 5 years ago. I attended one of her classes for Christmas cake decorating, think my talents are more with knitting and crochet than sugar paste, also I prefer royal icing.

    Just a tip if you sign up for class suggest using 216 bus to Hampton, parking can be a bit iffy, think it is restricted something like 11 till 2.

    As our grandchildren live 2 hours away anything we do with them is special, even helping to water the garden or GS collecting newspaper with his grandfather and having a babycchino.

    As Friends of Kew we can take children there, haven’t done so very often, that’s just 2 buses for us, we have booked for the whole family to see Kew lights this year as DS, DiL, DD and SiL’s Christmas present, had to pay for 4 year old GS but not his younger sister.


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