iPads and toddlers

iPAD and toddler use is a bit of a controversial topic in our house.

We are very lucky  because both Mr NHM and I both have an iPAD. Yes, I know these are a huge extravagance and I know I am a little bit addicted to mine, but so much of my organisation is now done via my iPAD. (See HERE for the apps that I use).

I was very lucky at Christmas and was given a new iPAD as mine was one of the original versions and was a lot of functionality was failing on it. We decided that we would “give” my old iPAD to Miss NHM.

Now, she absolutely LOVES the iPAD and it’s the one thing that I physically have to wrestle off her when I think she’s been on it too long.

On her iPAD she now has lots of storybooks and lots of “educational” apps. I’ve made a very concerted effort to ensure that no “games” outside of the storybooks, are downloaded to her iPAD (I am an evil Mummy! lol).

We have downloaded a lot of storybooks when they were free or very cheap (App shopper is a god send for this!) and there are several storybooks where she just jumps to the songs.

She will listen to them repeatedly and I have no idea if this is a good thing or a bad thing. (I do know that if I hear “bibidybobidyboo” from Cinderella one more time, I may throw the iPAD out the window :-D).

I’ve seen her progress on things like Jigsaw’s, because several of the apps have different levels of Jigsaw’s.

I have seen her skills improve radically on matching up trains in the Thomas the Tank Engine Misty Island app and I’m fairly sure that the reason she can sing her ABC’s is because of one of the apps she uses.

However, I do worry about how much time she should be using the iPAD.

I do my very best to ensure that she has at least 4 days a week screen free. Although on the days when Mr NHM is on Night shift and he needs to sleep in the morning, the only way I can keep Miss NHM quiet enough is with the iPAD.

I know that this is a very first world problem and I sound very spoiled worrying about this, but our generation is the first set of parents that have had to deal with this level of technology for our children.

I saw something recently on another blog about a Mum who is letting her three year old self-regulate when it comes to iPAD’s and TV. After only a week, the three year old was already starting to limit her time in front of the TV and iPAD.

Miss NHM isn’t three yet, so I’m not ready to start the self regulation yet. 

I’m just a bit perplexed about how much iPAD time a toddler should have. No time would be preferable, but if she loves it, isn’t it a bit cruel of me to try to take that away from her? 

What are your thoughts on iPAD and toddler use?

Review 2013: Basingstoke Aquadrome

Basingstoke Aquadrome

I’ve been to the Aquapark many times but when we went it was my husband and daughters first time. I’m so old, that I actually remember when the swimming pool was Westfield Lido, and they used to open the glass doors so you could run down the hill, where the Bowling Alley now stands. It was always a pleasure going in the water that was full of grass! lol.

We went on a Friday evening, at 4pm. It wasn’t too busy, about 20 people in the whole aquapark section.

Play/Swimming Area

My little one loved the tiny toddler pool. She must have spent about half an hour going on the tiny elephant slide. I did think this pool was a bit cold. The baby beach was great. My little one loved the plastic puzzles on the wall. But beware of the water shoot. We nearly got drenched under this!

The lazy river was fab. We went into each of the different sections and our favourite was the one with the seating. My little one could stand up here and she enjoyed walking up and down the seating and being carried through the water jets. The lazy river wasn’t too fast but you do need to be very careful to avoid the fierce jets!

My husband thoroughly enjoyed the slides although he didn’t really rate the yellow slide.  We spent a couple of hours in the pool. It was a great bonding experience.


We didn’t try this so I cannot comment.

Baby Facilities

The family changing rooms were excellent. Very large and they each had a plastic baby changing stand and a nappy changing bin.


Were in good condition. One thing I don’t like is that the showers aren’t enclosed. You have to shower with your swimming costume on (unless you have no shame!), so you can’t shower properly. The toilets were in a good condition but I hate public swimming pool toilets. They are always wet. Yuk.


There is lots of parking (although not as much as there used to be because of the Spruce Goose hotel extension and the Parachute place), but none that is particularly well placed if you have small children with you. It is free parking though.


As it was Off Peak, my husband and I both paid £5.45 each. My little one was free and from what I can see on the website, all children under 4 are free. You need to double check this though, as I wasn’t quite sure about this.

Other Information

I wouldn’t recommend attempting to take more than one child on your own. If you have more than one small child, you really need a one adult to one child ratio. For safety, I wouldn’t suggest using the lazy river with more than one child at a time. The website states that:

“Children under the age of 4 must wear approved flotation devices and be accompanied by a responsible adult in the ratio of 1:1.”

Our little one didn’t have a flotation device, but that was our decision and we were happy with this as there were two of us to look after her.

The parent and baby beach is open every day from 10.30am and is £3.50.


4.5 out of 5. We had a lovely couple of hours in the water, but I took half a point off because the water was colder than I would have liked and the showers were open so you can’t really shower properly.

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Games to play with your baby or toddler

Are you looking for ideas for games to play with your baby or toddler?

The following link, from cow and gate, shows a play time planner which allows you to input the time you have available, whether you want to play indoors or outdoors and the age of your child. You hit return and at the bottom of the screen are a list of relevant games to play with your child:


BabyCentre also have some great ideas for games to play with your little one. If you have signed up for the weekly email from BabyCentre it will include the games that are relevant for your toddler or baby’s age. If you haven’t signed up, you can find the list of games at the links below:

Baby: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/development/letsplay/?intcmp=tnav_baby_play

Toddler: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/toddler/development/stimulating/letsplay/

Do you know of any other websites that have a great list of games to play with your little one? Please add to the comments section or on the Facebook page. Thanks!

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