Hyde Park: Isis Education Centre

On a sunny Wednesday the mobile mama’s headed into central London for the Isis Education Centre’s Discovery Day.  Throughout the summer the Education Centre has open it’s doors and provided free entertainment for young families.

IMG_9514The Isis Education Centre is located in the heart of Hyde Park,  and provides a natural oasis in the centre of London. They have been running “Discovery Days” this summer, inviting families to come in for Arts and Crafts, mini-beast hunting and plant “identifying.

IMG_9515The building itself is a lovely example of environmentally responsible architecture and the staff and volunteers are wonderfully welcoming. We started by making bee puppets and painting ladybird and butterfly pictures, before heading out into the garden for some mini beast discovery. The staff had set up several plastic containers with various wee creatures in them, but the part both MiniMalik and Beans enjoyed most was the bug habitat. There were several logs to look under and magnifying glasses were provided. One lucky girl found a toad (less lucky for the toad). We all got a good look at it before it was whisked away by a staff member to keep it safe.

IMG_9522 IMG_9519 IMG_9518The gardens surrounding the centre are full of herbs, flowers and trees. MrsMalik and I had some fun identifying the plants for the kids. There is also a gorgeous pond filled with interesting wildlife: newts, sea snails and slugs were all spotted.

IMG_9526After exploring the centre we had a picnic on the grounds of Hyde Park and then walked to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. We let the big kids splash around while Sprout napped and MiniMalik people watched.

The Isis Education Centre has several different events throughout the year. Check out their website  for more information.

Princess Diana Memorial Playground & Fountain: A visit to Neverland

To celebrate the last day of half term, and the glorious sunshine, micro, mini and I headed off to Neverland … Or that’s what I told mini malik!

When we arrived at the gates and we were buzzed through to the playarea (The security is AMAZING!), the look on mini malik’s face was of pure delight as he realised he could be Captain hook on a real boat (He had pretended to be Captain Hook for the entire journey and several days before hand)!

Nature area, Princess Diana memorial playground

The princess Diana memorial playground must be the ultimate playgroud. With a play ship complete with climbable rigging, wheel and galley set in a giant sandpit, an area with tepees, musical sensory garden, raised walkway with slides, water play, toddlers section, forest areas and more that we didn’t explore!Princess Diana memorial playground

You WILL be on your feet chasing your children around, so wear some comfy shoes. A lot of parents were trying to follow older children whilst carrying younger ones and pushing a pram … that’s no fun. I wore Micro Malik and had our belongings in a granny trolley so I could easily follow Mini Malik around. If you must take a pram, then bring a rucksack for precious belongings and abandon your pram in a quiet corner (Not with children in it!), or use a bike lock to secure it.

The toilets are within the compound, but the refreshments aren’t. There is a kiosk just outside selling ice cream, food, drinks etc with a good number of picnic benches.

There is a fair amount of grass for picnicking, but nowhere near enough seating. So if you struggle with being on your feet for a long time, I’d bring a little camping stool.

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Princess Diana memorial playground

It’s a bit of a trek to the fountain, about 15/20 mins walk at the pace of a 3 year old. Mini Malik moaned all the way that the batteries had fallen out of his tummy … You just follow the ‘princess Diana trail’ markings in the pavement and it takes you straight there.
However it was worth dragging him there when he realised what he was allowed to play in! I had remembered to bring his swimming shorts, so got him changed and set him loose. Micro Malik and I set up under a shady tree and had some nappy free time whilst Mini did laps of the fountain.

If the teeny ones want to splash around too, then the pool at the bottom is ideal!

Its also right by the river where they do pedal boats and a ‘solar cruise’ and has its own car park.

There was a little kiosk selling drinks and food, I didn’t look for toilets but I have a feeling there were probably some close by!

Count of the day: 3 children in pirate costumes

Kit list

Picnic blanket & food

Drinks

Bucket and spade

Towel and swim gear

Money for tea/coffee and ice cream

A book/knitting

Comfy shoes

Waterproof suncream