If you cross the bridge to other side of the river you can stroll underneath the 'Sounding Arch' of Brunel's Bridge. I'm a bit young to say anything yet so I haven't really practiced making echoes. Perhaps I'll add this to the next list! Family Friendly / Maidenhead

I often hear people complaining that there is nothing to do in Maidenhead, or that they have run out of ideas for what they can do at the weekend with the kids. Yet if you know where to look, there are actually lots of children and baby-friendly activities and groups. At the end of July my littlest celebrated his first birthday so in honour of his special day I thought I would let him take control of the blog and share his favourite baby activities in Maidenhead that he’s done over his first 12 months.

Introducing the Little Man

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Things to do in Maidenhead before you're 1

I celebrated my first birthday with a cake smash…which led to a lovely bath outside!

I'm a happy chappy and love exploring and having fun. I'm spoilt for choice of things to do in Maidenhead.

I’m a happy chappy and love exploring and having fun. I’m spoilt for choice of things to do in Maidenhead.

“Hi. I’m the youngest of the family but I’ve been very busy exploring Maidenhead over the last 12 months. I’ve made a list of 12 fun things to do before your first birthday…How many can you tick off?!”

12 things to do in Maidenhead before you’re 1:

1. Play on the book train in the library

You might think that libraries are quiet, studious places. But they’re also amongst the most colourful and imaginative places that you’ll find around town. Each has its own character and different things for children to do. Whether it’s a ‘book train’ to sit on, a house to peep through or giant lego bricks to build with, there’s always something to keep me busy – and that’s before I get started on the books. You can find out more about special events at the library here.

Baby activities Maidenhead Library

The library in town is perfect when you’re crawling. Lots of room to explore, towers to build and a lovely cafe for Mummy when she fancies some coffee and cake.

Baby activities maidenhead library

Standing on tippy toes. Not quite big enough to climb aboard the train like the big kids, but that’s just something to look forward to.

Baby activities maidenhead library

Plenty of bright shapes to enjoy, whatever the weather.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities in maidenhead: library

I might be too little to read… but I love looking at the colours and shapes of the books. And opening and closing the cupboards. Definitely get a kick out of that.

2. Explore Ray Mill Island (even if you sleep through it)

One of the most beautiful places in town is the weir on the Thames which you can see at Ray Mill Island, next to Boulter’s Lock. It’s a lovely walk in all seasons and it’s very exciting to hear the great big roar of the water as you approach. Or, you can always just sleep through it, the grown-ups won’t mind. And don’t forget there’s an ice cream shop in the middle of the island – not that your big sister will ever let Mummy and Daddy walk by without paying a visit!

Baby activities maidenhead. Walking around Ray Mill Island

Enjoying being pushed around by my Nanny. Zzzzzzzz.

3. Feed the ducks in Guard’s Park

Maidenhead is famous for its bridges and in Guard’s Park you can see three of them. As an added bonus you get to see the trains crossing Brunel’s railway bridge every few minutes. The ducks and geese are very friendly – don’t be scared! If you can’t make it to Guard’s Park then you can find more ducks by the road bridge, too. If Mummy is organised she will have remembered to bring a bag of bird feed from the ice cream shop!

Baby activities maidenhead Guards Park

The foot bridge over to Guard’s Island. Only for grown-ups and big kids as the gaps are pretty big and it’s too narrow to get a pushchair over there!

Baby activities Maidenhead: Guards park

I was quite excited to see the ducks and geese!

Maidenhead Mum Blog Maidenhead activities for babies , Guards Park footbridge

The footbridge has lots of pretty patterns on it.

Maidenhead mum blog: Baby activities maidenhead, feeding the ducks in Guards Park

Hmm. Not sure what I think about them now I’m up close!

Maidenhead mum blog: Baby activities maidenhead. feeding the ducks

When feeding the ducks, I can snack too! (Mummy had bought some peas and sweetcorn and I was keen to have some too!)

Brunels Bridge Maidenhead

If you cross the river to other side of the river you can stroll underneath the ‘Sounding Arch’ of Brunel’s Bridge. I’m a bit young to say anything yet so I haven’t really practiced making echoes. Perhaps I’ll add this to the next list!

4. Have a hair raising adventure in the park

When you’re not quite on two legs, the park can be a little frustrating as you watch the bigger kids run, jump and climb around. The best thing to do is watch the world go by from the comfort of your swing and style it out while you wait for your little legs to work. We’re lucky to have Boyn Grove Play Area (AKA Punt Hill Park) just over the road, but other favourites include Riverside Gardens, Ockwells Park and Oaken Grove.

Maidenhead mum blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Boyn Grove park

Wheeeeee! Swings are fun, no matter how diddy you are. Stop laughing at my hair. No, seriously.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Boyn Hill Park

Checking out what my Big Sister is up to. She does all her own stunts. Look, my hair is having a phase, OK?

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities in maidenhead: oaken grove

When you’re able to stand up and ‘cruise’ around then Oaken Grove is definitely the place to hang out. This climbing frame is an awesome place to meet little people your own size and you can giggle as the grown ups try and dart around making sure you don’t fall off. #fearless.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities in maidenhead: library

Got my hair under control this time!

5. Hit the beach

It’s a (minimum) two hour drive to the nearest beach from Maidenhead. Unless you can make up a convincing story about how you won’t eat sand when you get there, odds are your folks will want to wait until you’re a bit older. But there are still opportunities for me to feel the sand between my toes without even leaving town! In July, there’s a beach at the Maidenhead Festival and also outside the cafe at Norden Farm. And they’re both free!

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities maidenhead, Maidenhead festival

It’s totally OK to knock down sand castles that Daddy has built. (Daddy: No it’s not!!) Probably best to go easy around other kids though as they might not appreciate you demolishing their handiwork.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities maidenhead, Maidenhead Festival

Daddy is holding my hands so I can’t escape and eat sand! Doh.

6. Be a Festival Babe

Every year in July you’ll find a magical, colourful and ever so noisy world appear in the centre of town. It’s worth asking the grown-ups to take you to Maidenhead Festival in Kidwell’s Park. There’s so much to see… and if you’re good, the folks might let you come back next year too. You can read all about our adventures here.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Maidenhead festival

Can I go on this yet? Nope? Ah well, I tried.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Maidenhead festival.

Having a look around with my Daddy. So many bright colours and cool shapes. I need one of those balloons.

7. Hang out in a ball pit

One day, when I’m very much older, I’ll probably be hanging out in a Mosh Pit watching a cool band play music that my parents don’t understand. In the mean time, I’ll make do with a ball pit at Soft Play. Our favourite Soft Play venues are ‘Cheeky Charlie’s’ at the Magnet Leisure Centre and ‘Andrea’s Cafe’ at Ockwell’s Park.

Maidenhead Mum blog: Baby activities maidenhead, Soft Play at Cheeky Charlies

I, like many before me, will try my best to put one of these in my mouth. One of Mummy’s friends says that it’s good for building up my immunity. Whatever that is.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities in maidenhead: Ockwells park

Exploring at Andrea’s Soft Play in Ockwell’s Park. Don’t forget that you need to bring socks! We had to borrow some off Andrea and they kept falling off my feet!

8. Go to a gig

So the Mosh Pit might be a way off, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t experience live music first hand. Going to a gig is no longer an exclusive activity for the grown-ups. Babies and children can go in the day or even at the weekend. My Mummy wrote a blog post all about the Concertini concerts which you can read here. As a extra bonus, you might even find yourself chatting to a nice new ‘friend’.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Concertini concert for babies

Found myself sat next to a nice girl but I wanted to play with what she was playing with. Why does this always happen to me?

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Concertini concert for babies

You’ll see I got that toy off the nice girl (yay!). Although now she doesn’t seem that interested in me.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Concertini concert for babies

I love the fact that I’m allowed to make as much noise as I like during the concerts!

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Concertini concert for babies

It’s that girl again. Now she wants what I’m playing with!

9. Search for bluebells in the woods

This one is pretty cool as it’s something the grown-ups will enjoy too, especially if they’re a photography nut like Mummy. We found these woods by The Golden Ball pub. Bluebells can be tricky to find, and only appear around May so keep your ears to the ground for tip-offs about where to find them. While your folks stroll around and admire nature, you might just like to take the opportunity to take a little nap in the peace and quiet of the woods.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Walk in the bluebells woods

Mummy was thrilled to see the bluebells up close in Bisham Wood.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Walk in the bluebells woods

See? Bluebells + Camera + Sunshine = Happy Mummy.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Walk in the bluebells woods

Okaayyy. You got me. Yes, I fell asleep. again!

10.Do some dressing up.

OK, so it’s hard to figure out whether this is mostly for Mummy’s enjoyment or mine, but as the saying goes, if the parents are happy, the children are happy. You just need to tolerate this one as best you can. There are lots of music and dance classes around Maidenhead but one of the brightest and funkiest is Hartbeeps. Not only will you get to watch all the grown-ups go a little bit bonkers, but you get to join in yourself and every week is different. The tunes are so catchy that you’ll find Mummy often sings them outside of the classes which is great for a bit of bonus singing, dancing and wriggling at home.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Hartbeeps

What has she put on my head?!

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Hartbeeps

Ha! Mummy’s turn to look daft this time!

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Hartbeeps

I may look daft, but these disco lights are pretty awesome.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Hartbeeps

Another day, another outfit.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities in maidenhead: Hartbeeps

Last week I decided that I’d had enough and tried to make a run for it but couldn’t understand why the grown-ups wouldn’t take me seriously. Perhaps I needed a different hat.

11. Stay…and Play.

Sometimes it can feel like the older kids have all the fun. But whether you’re a babe-in-arms, sitting, crawling or toddling, there are plenty of activities that are just right for you. In Maidenhead there’s a heady mix of Stay & Play sessions, Yoga Babes, Zumbini, Rhyme Time, Messy Mondays and Outdoor Play. You’ll find that there’s something to go to most days of the week. Our current favourite is the ‘Inbetweeners’ group on a tuesday at The Riverside Children’s Centre. This is just for children aged 1-2, although we discovered it when I was 10 months old and I’ve been having fun with kids my size ever since. There’s plenty of space to crawl and explore without the fear of bigger kids trampling on you. There’s even some food, although until I can learn to sit at a table on a chair this bit isn’t quite for me just yet. Mummy particularly likes the fact that it’s £1.50 a session and she can even have a cup of tea while I play!

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Stay and Play

Lots of toys to play with in a big open space.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Stay and Play

Exploring!

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead, Stay and Play

Their play kitchen is amazing. My Big Sister would be very jealous if she knew I’d been here without her.

12. Be a gym baby

When I hit 9 months, got mobile and suddenly found that all my toys are utterly boring then there was only one place to go. It was time to hit The Gym. Instead of just sitting in a ball pit while your siblings have fun, Phoenix Gym has a huge soft play space that you can crawl around and explore and feel like an independent baby. The trampoline was still out of bounds for me at this age, but in the mean time I could throw myself at anything I fancied, even if its twice my size! And best of all it’s in the warm and dry so great whatever the weather. It’s £4 per child and just 50p extra for non-walkers like me if you go with your Big Sister or Big Brother. Best to check the Phoenix Gym website for Play Gym sessions as sometimes things change in the school holidays.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Phoenix Play Gym

Yessss! Finally a place I can explore in safety without Mummy panicking all the time!

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Phoenix Play Gym

There’s a baby area for younger babies at the front of the room and bigger kids play at the back.

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Phoenix Play Gym

Having a race with my sister on the soft bouncy floor. This is where the gymnasts do their floor routines so its really springy. Such fun!

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Phoenix Play Gym

My Big Sister LOVES bouncing on the trampoline. One day I will join her. #lifegoals

Maidenhead Mum Blog: Baby activities Maidenhead: Phoenix Play Gym

My Big Sister gets to climb around while I explore the floor. Phoenix Gym is one of the only places that my 4 year old sister and I can have equal fun.

So there you have it. 12 great ideas of things to keep you busy. But before I hand the blog back to mummy I thought I should mention a couple of things that you should try and avoid doing in Maidenhead…

Some things to avoid…

Forgetting about school holidays:

http://hartbeeps.com/classes/maidenhead_baby_classes.html

At some point your mummy will have been rushing around to get you dressed and ready for an activity, baby group or class. Except she will have forgotten that the schools are on holiday and that the activity is TERM TIME only! Silly Mummy. Happens to the best of us though apparently.

Getting stuck in the lift in Boots:

Apparently I slept through this, but if you can, avoid getting stuck in the lift in Boots. Unless you want to see lots of firemen come and set you and mummy free!

Apparently I slept through this, but if you can, avoid getting stuck in the lift in Boots. Unless you want to see lots of firemen come and set you and mummy free!

12 Things to do in Maidenhead before you're one. A handy list of ideas to keep the little ones busy, from strolls in the woods to playing in the gym.

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About this blog

I write this ‘Maidenhead Mum’ blog to share my experiences of life here in Berkshire and beyond. For up to date posts about life here in Maidenhead, you might like to follow my Maidenhead Mum page on Facebook. Or, if you subscribe using the box below you’ll get my blog posts delivered straight to your inbox along with some behind the scenes photography tips on each email.


 


Jodie Humphries

A firm believer that life doesn't stop when you have kids. You'll find me camera in hand, kids and hubby in tow...making the most of life in Berkshire and beyond. I live in Maidenhead with my husband, 5-year-old daughter and soon to be 2 years old son.

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