Yesterday morning, we tried out a group called Tea & Tots. It looked perfect; a place for babies and toddlers to play in a secure environment with tea for me too!
After arriving a little early and having a sing song in the car (always frozen) we decided to venture in at 9.30. The convenient free parking was a god send as I decided not to bring the buggy this time, I always seem to just push it in, leave it on the side and end up wheeling it back out again so I thought not this time. For those walking there was lots of space to leave your buggy parked inside, although not within sight when you’re in the group.
We entered and were greeted by a friendly lady who outlined the different areas to use– one for tea, coffee and snacks along with a crafts table and another room for play. We were shown the terms and conditions, asked to sign in and paid the £2 entry. The profits of this volunteer run session are going towards The Oast Refurbishment fund, so it was nice to know that the money for entry would also help with a community project.
We decided to go straight for the toys, once Holly is aware there are toys we need to get going straight away. We entered the toy area through a baby gate, and found a room with boxes of toys spread out, some books, a wooden kitchen and chairs along the side for the grown-ups who needed them.
It’s a completely parent led group so you do need to keep on top of your children’s play and interaction, but it was friendly enough that when one child might be a little pushy we all knew it was part of the toddler stage and spoke to our various littles one whenever needed to calm any disagreement over the fake tomato sauce or the crawling ‘baby’.
Whilst Holly was busy playing with the buggy and dolls, Liam was rolling around one of three large mats and exploring the toys I had laid in front of him.
All was going well until Holly had a little accident, so I needed to find the toilet. Luckily I had a friend with me who’s little one isn’t rolling too quickly yet so she looked after Liam for me whilst I made a dash to the toilets with Holly.
After calm had resumed we decided to claim our cups of tea allowing Holly to use the craft area. She was very happy with all the stickers and crayons and even made a little friend so this was a perfect way to end our session.
And the true test of whether this was good or not…Holly asked to come again. Thumbs up from the toddler!
Name: Tea and Tots at the Oast, Rainham
Address: The Oast Community Centre, Granary Close, Rainham, Kent, ME8 7SG