My top 5 baby, younger and older toddler books

I am so glad that my children love books. And since they have a mother (me) who is also a book lover, and both sides of the family also love books, they always have lots of books to read! There are so many great children’s books out there. And some not so great ones. So if you’re looking for some inspiration for some great books for your own young children, I give you my top 5 books for babies, younger and older toddlers!

I specifically limited this list to five (well, six actually) books in each category for good reason. I have come across many posts on Pinterest which have huge lists of book recommendations, such as 50 books for two year olds and 50+ of the best child picture books, which seem great but 50 is a large number and I don’t even know where to start when I look at them. So for that reason, this list is small and you can pick one or two books off the list knowing that they are high on my own list! Each list is in no particular order, I love all the books equally :)

Another thing to note is that my husband and I love the funny books that rhyme the most, so a lot of these fall into this category. If you like that sort of book too, then you’ll love this list!

 

Baby books

My children started showing an interest in looking at books at around 9 months but this varies widely between children. I would suggest that children around 9-18 months would like these books, but again this is just a rough age range for guidance and my children still regularly read many of these at 30 months.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

This is a cute, rhyming book with charming pictures of lots of little children just like yours. And there is even a little action bit at the end to join in with. (This book has been so well-loved that you can see the scotch tape sticking it together!)

Where is the Green Sheep

Where Is The Green Sheep? by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek

Another rhyming book with bright, funny pictures of lots of different sheep in different situations. But not the green sheep. Where is he?

That's Not My Panda

That’s not my… by Fiona Watt, illustrated by Rachel Wells

We have That’s Not My Panda and That’s Not My Kitten, but there are loads and loads of these books. They are great for very young children with lots of textures to feel and bright illustrations.

Where's Spot

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

A classic. Search for Spot in all kinds of places around the home and come across many different animals along your way! This is a lift the flap book so probably not ideal for young babies as they will pull the flaps off but after they are over a year old you might be able to persuade them to leave them in place! We also have Spot Visits His Grandparents and Spot At The Farm, but there are many other Spot books too.

Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Another classic, and another lift the flap book. The zoo keep sending animals as pets but they are all unsuitable! We also have It’s Mine! and Buster’s Birthday by the same author, which I would also recommend.

Special mention: Hide and Seek Pig by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

This is a nice rhyming lift-the-flap book, but unfortunately our copy didn’t survive the baby years – every single flap was ripped off! There are other books in the series which I have heard are also great (Fox’s Socks, Postman Bear, Rabbit’s Nap).

 

Young toddler books

These books are very appealing to little ones but there is a bit more text so it might take a while before they will actually sit and listen to you read them (or at least that’s what I have found!). Suitable for 1-3 years.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

 

The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr

An oldie but a goodie, with very retro looking pictures. But who can resist a friendly tiger who eats you out of house and home?!

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd

Another oldie. This took a little bit for me and my husband to get into as it is very old fashioned and a little bit random but our children love it and now, so do we! The story is really just identifying things in the room and then saying goodnight to them. Great for bedtime.

Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram

So cute! Little Nutbrown Hare tries to outdo Big Nutbrown Hare with how much he loves him, but Big Nutbrown Hare always manages to win.

The Bear Snores On

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

A lovely rhyming tale of forest animals who meet up in the bear’s cave while Bear is asleep. Gorgeous illustrations. (And I only just saw from that list of picture books I linked to above that there is a whole series of Bear books – excuse me while I get onto Amazon to order them…)

I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Very funny story about a bear who has lost his hat. My children got this book for their second birthday and it was an immediate hit!

Special mention: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Classic rhythmic tale of a family going on a bear hunt through lots of different types of landscapes, and what happens when they actually find a bear!

 

Older toddler books

These books are significantly longer and require real interest from your child, as well as being able to follow a more complicated storyline. Age 2+

Peace At Last

Peace At Last by Jill Murphy

Repetition is used to great effect in this funny story of Mr Bear who just cannot sleep, no matter where he goes to try and find rest.

Hairy Maclary

Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd

As you can see from the picture we have a set of six Hairy Maclary books. They’re all great but my personal favourites are Hairy Maclary’s Bone and Scattercat. Great illustrations and language throughout (especially the names of all the animals!), and lovely rhyming stories.

Kipper the Dog

Kipper by Mike Inkpen

There are many Kipper books and the kids love them all but particular favourites are Kipper’s Snowy Day and Kipper and Roly (confusingly recently re-released as Kipper’s New Pet). Lovely stories about Kipper the Dog and his friends. I particularly like these because they are very non-formulaic and natural.

What the Ladybird Heard

What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks

Julia Donaldson can do no wrong in my eyes. We also have What the Ladybird Heard Next, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Stick Man, Monkey Puzzle and The Smartest Giant in Town. All full of wit, great stories and wonderful rhymes, but in my eyes What the Ladybird Heard pips them all (although it might just be because it’s the first one I read). All have great illustrations too, with so many sharp details.

Little Beaver and the Echo

Little Beaver and The Echo by Amy MacDonald, illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies

Neither rhyming nor funny, but a very sweet tale of a beaver who sets out to find a friend. Beautifully illustrated.

Special mention: I Really Want To Eat A Child by Sylviane Donnio, illustrated by Dorotheé de Monfreid

Originally published in French, this off-beat, humerous story follows Achilles the baby crocodile as he decides that his normal diet of bananas will no longer suffice and he wants to eat a child instead.

 

So those are my top books, but I’m sure that if you have children (or even, if not) you have your own favourites. Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear more recommendations!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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Toy Street – bargain toys in Sham Shui Po

I first heard about Toy Street (aka Fuk Wing Street in Sham Shui Po) a while ago from a couple of friends who recommended it to me. But then I was round a friend’s house recently, and she had bought a little toy tool bench complete with plastic tools and an electric screwdriver that screwed the screws into the holes on the bench – all for HK$100 (£8)! I knew I had to get myself over there!

I do love Sham Shui Po anyway. It’s a traditional style Hong Kong neighbourhood with relatively low rise buildings (mostly less than 10 stories), great eateries and fantastic shopping. I go there frequently to buy craft, and particularly jewellery, supplies (as I mentioned in my ‘buying craft supplies in Hong Kong‘ post). I also really enjoyed getting to know the area a bit more on the Foodie Tour that I did with my husband last year.

To get to Toy Street, all you do is leave Sham Shui Po MTR station by exit B2. You immediately cross a pedestrian street, then continue straight. At the end of the next block, turn right and the toy shops are right there (you can’t miss them!). If that’s really not clear enough, this website has a nice map showing you where to go.

This is what I mean when I say that you can’t miss the toy shops!

Toy Street Sham Shui Po

Those shops are seriously loaded with toys!

Toy street Hong Kong

Now, you should be aware that you are not getting top quality toys if you come here. There are a lot of cheap plastic toys imported directly from the factories in China. Having said that, Toys R Us is also full of plastic toys at a significantly higher price (I’m talking about Toys R Us in Hong Kong here, I’m not sure about other countries), so if you’re just looking for some cheap and cheerful toys to entertain your little ones then why pay more than you have to?!

In general I would say that this is the place to go if you’re looking for items for stocking fillers or party bags, small everyday toys such as balls, cars and stationery, or larger plastic toys that you’re expecting to take a bashing.

There are lots of shops on Toy Street which are quite similar but the two that stood out most to me were Laugh Laugh (which had a large selection of bigger toys in the back of the shop)…

Laugh Laugh toy shop Sham Shui Po

…and Toystar, which had some branded toys, such as V-tech and wooden toys (although I’d not heard of the brand of wooden toys, it might have been German?).

Toystar toy shop Sham Shui Po

I was looking for larger toys and found quite a few to pick from – including a fold-up kitchen, drum kit (including an electric one!), easels galore and a full supermarket shop! (Alas, I didn’t see a tool bench like the one my friend had) In the end I plumped for a tent which came with 50 ball-pit type balls – it cost HK$100 (£8). The twins seem to quite like it!

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Do let me know if you go to Toy Street and tell me what treasures you find there! If you’ve got kids it’s a great place to shop.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Easy activities for toddlers that you can do at home

A while ago I posted about some easy home-made baby toys that I made for the twins when they were little. Things have moved on a bit since then (the twins are now 22 months old), and they require much more than a pompom or two to keep them occupied! Once again, Pinterest has been my friend and a great source of inspiration and I’ve tried a few things out that I’ve found on there. So I thought I’d share with you some easy activities that the twins enjoy doing.

1. Edible paint

My twins still put things in their mouths, especially if it looks like it might be edible so I’ve been making this edible paint recipe from The Imagination Tree whenever we do painting. The paint itself is quite thick so it lends itself well to finger painting but when it dries it does crack a bit and tends to make the paper shrivel and warp a bit (instead of staying flat). Having said that, it’s quite easy and quick to prepare and I think it’s quite nice that it doesn’t have chemicals (bar the food colouring) in! My only tip is that sometimes it doesn’t thicken for whatever reason so I find that gently heating it makes it thicken up to the right consistency (which is apparently custard-like). Also, they will keep for a short while in the fridge, but I wouldn’t leave them too long (and they dry up a little so you need to add a bit of water to bring them back to the right consistency).

toddler activities - edible paint

The twins aren’t overly into painting and drawing yet, but they will have a good go whenever I get these paints out – even if the enthusiasm often doesn’t last very long!

toddler activities - finger painting

2. Beads

This is currently one of the twins’ favourite activities and it comes out pretty much every day. Basically, I bought a number of large holed plastic beads from a bead shop in Sham Shui Po (Hong Kong’s craft district) and some shoelaces from a nearby market stall and gave them to the twins! They love playing with the beads – and not just threading them on the shoelaces (which they still need help with). For a start, they find it much easier to put the beads on chopsticks, so they can stack them up and let them fall off again! The beads also get rolled around, put in pots and generally investigated and played with.

toddler activities - threading beads on shoelaces

3. Foam shapes on the window

I got this idea, again, from The Imagination Tree. It’s so simple – cut shapes out of sheets of foam, make your window wet with a cloth (or they use a sponge in the link above) and let your toddlers stick the shapes on the window. It’s taken quite a while for the twins to get the idea that you stick the shapes on the window and don’t just pull off what mummy put there, but they are finally getting it.

toddler activities - foam shapes on window

The window needs to be pretty wet (and in the heat of a Hong Kong summer it dries pretty quickly so we have to keep re-wetting it!) but the twins also like to make the window wet again so that’s another plus point for this activity.

toddler activities - wetting the window

4. Cotton wool balls

Another simple (and low mess) activity is to get a bag of cotton wool balls out. Add in some pots to put them in and out of and some scoops or spoons to help transfer the balls around and you’ve got a great activity. This one doesn’t keep my twins entertained for too long at a time but they do like it!

toddler activities - cotton wool balls

I found this idea here.

5. Pipe cleaners and a colander

Sticking pipe cleaners into the holes of a colander is surprisingly entertaining when you’re almost 2. When I first tried this activity with the twins a few months ago, they found it quite frustrating as it was just that little bit too difficult for them to get the pipe cleaners in the holes but now their fine motor control has improved to the point where this is a great activity for them.

toddler activities - pipe cleaners in colander

And you don’t have to limit it to the colander either! Pipe cleaners make great bracelets, hats, necklaces and glasses!

toddler activities - playing with pipe cleaners

This idea came from here.

6. Songs with musical instruments

This is my backup if the twins are starting to get a bit antsy! I just pull out everything we have that could pass as a musical instrument (shakers, bells, tambourines, clappers etc) and we each pick one and sing nursery rhymes. Usually the twins change instruments about every 10 seconds, but that’s part of the fun! The twins are only just learning to talk so it’s really just me doing the singing, although Isobel does like to join in a bit, which is incredibly cute :)

toddler activities - playing musical instruments

So those are just a few ideas of activities that you can do with a toddler. There are lots and lots more that I have pinned to my Activities for Toddlers board on Pinterest so check it out if you’re looking for more inspiration!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

 

Jack & Isobel at 16 months

I can’t believe how much Jack and Isobel have changed since they turned 1! I guess the biggest thing is that Jack is now walking – finally. He actually took his first steps around Christmas, so he was 14 months then but it took him well over a month to get good at it. He is so cautious compared to Isobel who threw herself into walking and was wandering around with the greatest of ease only a week or so after she took her first steps!

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A friend said to me that the first year is mostly physical development but the second year is mostly emotional development, and so far I totally agree with that. About a month or so ago, the twins suddenly started communicating what they want which is really interesting! For example, arms held up if they want to be picked up, or handing me a toy that they want me to turn on or operate for them. I was so surprised the day that I was daydreaming away and suddenly Jack said ‘mama’ and handed me a toy he wanted me to turn on! ‘Mama’ and ‘dada’ are the only words they have so far, but they’re managing to communicate so much to us in other ways.

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Another surprise came after Jack brought Tom one of his slippers, because when Tom said ‘can I have the other one please Jack’, Jack looked around, located the other slipper and brought it to him! Before that we had no idea that they understood what we were saying to them, but it quickly became apparent that the twins are increasingly understanding the vocabulary around them. Just yesterday Jack was playing with a hat so I said ‘can you put it on your head?’ and he did! (unfortunately not in a way that you would wear it, but just sitting on top of his head)

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The physical developments are still ongoing though, and I’m really noticing an improvement in co-ordination, or to use a fancy term, fine motor control. They love to put things in things, e.g. bricks in cardboard tubes or containers, and take them out again. They’re also starting to construct rather than just destroy everything – they can now stack beakers into a tower and put the odd duplo brick together. I’m looking forward to the time when they start building things properly!

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Trips to the park are pretty difficult now and I generally only attempt them when I’ve got the energy. The main issue is that Isobel just wants to run off the whole time. If I had two Jacks I think it would be a lot easier! He’s still slower than her at moving around but also generally more interested in the playground equipment whereas she just wants to run around. I’ve had to stop going to the playground in the park nearest to us because Isobel keeps running out of it down the path. We went to a playground on our estate yesterday which was better but the twins both shunned the playground equipment and just wanted to climb up and down the steps – with Mummy’s help of course…

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They are at such a cute age at the moment though, with their baby talk and the way they interact with each other. Sometimes they play a game where they run at each other, laugh and run away again, and then repeat this many times! So sweet! It’s lovely that they always have each other around to play with. Oh, and Isobel’s dancing is the cutest thing ever!

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I can’t wait to see what new things they get up to next :)

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

Easy home-made baby toys

There are so many baby toys in the shops, but as any mum will realise, babies are often more interested in the packaging or random kitchen implement that you’ve left lying around! You can channel this by making some of your own baby toys from things you might have lying around your house, or if not, easy and cheap to find in the shops (if I can find it in Hong Kong, then it can’t be that hard to come by!). There are so many ideas for making baby toys online – you can scour Pinterest or google to find them. I can’t remember where most of my ideas came from, but I’ve included references where I do know.

Here are some things that I’ve made for my own children. I hope you find inspiration to find some things to entertain your own babies with! (or you could make some for other babies that you know…)

Hanging toys

These were the first things that I made, and they comprised woolly pompoms and balls of tin foil.

I made some pompoms before the twins were born and blogged about how to do so here, and I hung these from their activity centre for them to bat at (note: these come apart pretty easily so keep them out of grabbing distance – mine are now almost completely demolished!).

The tin foil balls were the ones that caught their eye the most though, they took quite a bashing! I just scrunched up a large piece of foil into a ball and wrapped some string around it to hang it with. The foil balls did fall out of the string sometimes so you might want to try other ways of attaching the string – perhaps you could glue it inside somehow?

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You can see the pompoms and foil in the middle of this photo, although they’re a little blurred. I forget how small the twins were once upon a time!

Discovery bottles

These are so easy to make and my twins still play with them at 15 months. All you need to do is find some plastic bottles and put interesting things inside them. Here are some of the things that I have put inside our discovery bottles:

  • Beads of different sizes and colours (note: my twins didn’t like this when they were really little because it’s actually very noisy when shaken, but they love it now!)
  • Pipe cleaners, some curled into twirls
  • Little pompoms (bought from a stationary store)
  • Coloured rice

Discovery bottles baby toys

The easiest way that I found to make the coloured rice was to squirt a small amount of hand sanitiser into an old margarine tube, mix with a fairly generous amount of food colouring, and add enough rice so that it was all covered and there was no hand sanitiser left at the bottom. You really don’t need much hand sanitiser for this at all.

I got the idea for the discovery bottles here and they have lots of ideas for other things to put in the bottles too! I can’t find the website I used before for the rice colouring, but this one does the same thing.

Glitter bottle

These are everywhere online, they are sometimes called calm bottles or time out bottles. I ended up looking at a few different websites before I made mine so I can’t give a reference, but they’re really easy to make. A little side note: many people make them with mason jars or other glass jars but obviously that wouldn’t work for babies, so I just used a plastic bottle with relatively smooth sides so you can see the glitter easily.

To make mine, I filled the bottle most of the way up with fairly hot tap water. (Note: I tried using hot boiled water from the kettle but it melted the bottle! Do not try this!) Then I squeezed in two small tubes of glitter glue and poured in some additional loose glitter. I also added some CLEAR glue (again, I know by trial and error that white glue does not miraculously go clear in warm water and you end up with a foggy mess!) which slows the movement of the glitter in the bottle – the more glue you add, the slower the glitter settles. And finally, I added some food colouring.

The reason the water needs to be hot(ish) is to break up the glitter glue. I found that it clumped a bit to start with but after a couple of hours there were no more clumps even though my water wasn’t that hot to start with. If you’re not using glitter glue, you can just use clear glue and loose glitter, and you then don’t need to use hot water, it can be cold.

Here is my green glitter beauty!

Green glitter bottle

And here it is when the glitter has settled…

Glitter settled glitter bottle

I made mine in a fairly large 750ml bottle, which makes it quite heavy for the twins to lift and carry (although they still do) – I’d recommend using a smaller bottle, less than 500ml if possible, if you’re giving this to babies to play with.

Buttons

These were a big hit! I just bought large buttons (as big as I could find) in different colours from a button shop in Sham Shui Po (THE place to buy all things haberdashery in Hong Kong). The twins loved to play with them, bang them together and against anything else, drop them so they made a spinning noise on the floor (like a coin does), or watch while I spun them. It was fun trying to make as many spin at the same time as possible! Sadly, these had to go away when the twins got bigger because their mouths grew enough that they could fit the whole button in their mouths and would walk around like that! I hope they’ll come out again soon when they stop putting everything in their mouths.

Big buttons as toys

I got the idea for the buttons from one of the Babycentre emails, which features activities to do with your babies every week.

Ribbons

This was a bit of free thinking on my part, but partly based on some props used at a music class I go to with the twins. I had some hair bands lying around and bought some cheap brightly coloured ribbon (again, in Sham Shui Po) and just tied long lengths of ribbon to the hair bands. I tied simple knots in the ends of the ribbons to help stop fraying, but I’ve since bought a lighter which I now use to seal the ends of ribbons. I assumed that I would put the hair bands on their wrists, but they just like waving them around in their hands instead!

Ribbon pom poms

I also tied long lengths of doubled-up ribbons into a plait. I just did it for a fun thing to do, but Isobel quite likes playing with it.

Ribbon plait

Something else that I’ve seen at the same music class is that they sellotaped long lengths of ribbon to the end of a chopstick to make a streamer. I fancy doing this myself!

I’m sure there are many other toys you can make with ribbons, just let your imagination go wild!

Water play tray

I got this idea from this website. They used plastic milk bottle tops but I didn’t have any (for some reason the milk here comes in tetrapaks instead) so I used large jam jar lids instead. Also, I used a large oven tray on the floor rather than the high chair tray. My twins didn’t really get the idea of bashing the lids around the water so they float, but they did enjoy taking them out and trying to eat them. And also splashing the water all over the floor. This activity is best to do on a hard floor rather than carpet! As I said, my twins didn’t really get what was going on, but it did entertain them for 10-20 minutes so that gets a thumbs up in my book :)

Some other things that I’ve wanted to make but haven’t got round to yet…

Baby treasure baskets – basically find a basket or container and put things in that your baby will find interesting. Lots of ideas of what to put in on this website

Sensory bag for baby – looks like fun!

Rainbow spaghetti – colourful sensory play

Post the blocks – my twins are at an age now (15 months) where they just love to put things in things and take them out so I think they would love this. It probably isn’t very suitable for babies under 1 year as they won’t have the co-ordination, but you will know what your baby is and isn’t willing to try

Block painting – I’ve not tried much in the way of ‘art’ yet with my twins but this is something I’d love to try soon! I saw somewhere the idea of using plain yoghurt with food colouring in instead of paint if your baby likes to put everything in their mouths, which I think is a great idea!

Update: I have pinned many more things you can make or do with babies on my Activities for Babies Pinterest board – take a look if you’re looking for more inspiration!

Let me know if you have any other great ideas for easy to make baby toys. I’m sure the ideas must be endless!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

The twins turn one!

So, it was the twins’ first birthday last week. Wow, how did a whole year pass already?! It’s gone so fast. Since I last wrote about them here, they’ve really gone from being babies to toddlers. Isobel is now walking/running around everywhere and loves it. Jack has yet to take a step but gets around either by normal crawling or by crawling on his tummy (like a commando) – he manages to go pretty fast! He’s also learned to walk holding onto our lion toy, as demonstrated below. It’s not quite as good as walking (he keeps bumping into things) but it’ll do for now.

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Jack loves anything that makes a noise, and also he really loves wheels, or anything he can spin. He’ll spend a good 10 minutes in deep concentration making something go round!

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Their birthday was a nice occasion because all four of their grandparents made the journey from the UK to see them. It was a really fun time and lovely to see them spending time together. I think one of the hardest things about being here is that they miss the twins growing up.

It was actually really good timing for their visit because the twins are getting so much more interactive now. You can roll a ball around with them, make them laugh by tickling them or playing peek-a-boo, or build towers for them to knock down. Isobel in particular has a wicked sense of humour at the moment!

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On the day itself everyone gathered in our apartment, and when my husband got home from work we opened presents and had a birthday cake. The twins didn’t have a clue what was going on but I think they like their new toys!

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Here’s a close up of the cake. I just made and frosted a chocolate cake and made a ‘stencil’ from baking paper and sprinkled lots of sprinkles on top!

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The babies enjoyed their first taste of chocolate cake :)

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We managed to get out and about a bit while the grandparents were visiting. A particular highlight was a trip to the beach at Shek O. It was such a lovely day (the humidity has dropped away here now so it’s much more pleasant to be outside than the last few months have been) and the babies spent a good couple of hours playing in the sand and sea! They had a great time and so did everyone else.

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I can’t even imagine what the next year will bring, but I’m looking forward to it!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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A weekend in Kuala Lumpur

We recently spent a lovely weekend in Kuala Lumpur. We’ve been before but that was before we had the twins. I have to admit that our desire to travel has been quite curtailed by having the twins, especially after visiting the UK earlier this year! However, one of Tom’s friends invited us to their wedding in Kuala Lumpur, so of course we couldn’t miss it.

I think the flights were what we were most apprehensive about. While they were nowhere near as long as if we were going to the UK, they were still about 4 hours each, and we knew that our plane would be smaller and wouldn’t have bassinets this time. In an attempt to create a little bit of room for the twins to roam around we booked seats on the front row, but when we got to the airport we were told that we couldn’t sit on the same row because there weren’t enough oxygen masks per row for the babies, so one of us would have to sit on the row behind. We were pretty dismayed by this, but then they said that they would block out a seat next to each of us. I wasn’t sure if this would actually help, but it was great. I sat on the second row with Isobel and she had a whole seat to herself to sit and play with toys on. I put the table down and she seemed in no risk of falling out the chair. It also helped that the lady sat next to us loved her and had 2 beautiful girls sat nearby who also enjoyed playing with her! I think Tom had a similar experience with Jack. Neither of the babies slept much on the flights but we were expecting that.

On the way back, they didn’t book extra seats for us but there were loads of spare seats around us so we had plenty of room to let the twins roam :)

We had booked rooms in the hotel that the wedding was being held in, the Renaissance Hotel. It’s a pretty nice hotel! (although, between you and me, I think the Traders is a little bit better!) We booked two adjoining rooms so that the twins could sleep in one room in the dark and we could have the other one. I don’t know how you’d cope if you were all in the one room. You’d have to sit quietly in the dark every evening! I guess some people take their babies out in the evening and the babies sleep in the stroller, but ours wouldn’t sleep so I don’t think that would work for us. As it was, we ended up having a lot of room service as we couldn’t go out for dinner once the babies were asleep. The hotel offered a babysitting service, so we thought we might go to one of the hotel restaurants one evening, but when we called up they were fully booked :(

Anyway, there were two things I particularly liked about this hotel: (1) the lovely landscaped outdoor pool (we went twice and the babies loved it!), and (2) the amazing buffet breakfast – yum. I do love hotel breakfasts! It was also a great opportunity to try new breakfast things for the babies – they enjoyed eating omelette and trying a few new fruits!

Here are the babies all ready to go to the pool…

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Because we had been to KL before, we didn’t feel the need to go out too much. I think this made the holiday quite laid back because we could easily work round the babies’ naps and just go out when it suited us. We visited the Petronus Towers and the KLCC park (which was very close to the hotel), Chinatown and Central Market.

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One highlight (other than the wedding itself, which was lovely and included a 9 course Chinese banquet) was the lunch we had in Hutong food court in Lot 10 shopping centre next to the Bukit Bintang monorail station. It’s really stylishly decorated and has great food vendors. We went with a large group and just got loads of yummy food to share! Tom bought the biggest BBQ pork bun I’ve ever seen!

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So all in all, it was a great weekend. I think the babies enjoyed themselves too! As I said last time, KL is a fun place to visit but you don’t need to spend too long there to see the highlights.

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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