View Full Version : Where Do You Take Your Mindees?

23-09-2010, 08:37 AM
was wondering this as mindee (and DD) are 3 1/2 and to be honest a bit old for toddler groups (they don't like it - too many young ones lol), so where do you take mindees (and do you re-charge parents)?

I was thinking of taking them to a soft play area (cost £4) but not sure if this is a good idea?:blush:


23-09-2010, 08:54 AM
I go soft play (ask parents for money, it's not an every week occurrence but it is £4 per child)

I go to the park for long periods, along with walking & feeding the ducks

I take them to the library

I also take them to make & play where older kiddies & younger kiddies go, I pay that as its only £1.50 + 50p any other children & they get cookies fruit & a drink of juice & adults get a coffee all within the price.

I don't take them every day, but usually about twice a week 1 of these above come into our week


23-09-2010, 08:54 AM
why are you unsure hun?
am sure it will be fine as long as you do all your risk assessments etc etc


23-09-2010, 09:32 AM
Both my mindees are one year old and so is my son. We go to the park lots, and for walks or to feed the ducks. I only take them to softplay when my mum can come along to help, its a big place and it would be hard to keep 2 or 3 toddlers safe on my own. It is also quite expensive so we dont go often. There are toddler groups but most of them seem to be at inconvenient times for us eg naps times. During the summer we went to places like butterfly world and the farm park but I couldnt do that all the time.

23-09-2010, 09:52 AM
i find that the 3/4 year olds do get past the toddler group stage and get a bit bored but it depends on what toys and activities are out at the group, maybe you could take an activity along with you that everyone can do. When my mindees get to that age i go more to soft play areas as they tend to do a toddler sessions in the mornings where its cheaper to get in, my local one is £2 for the 1st child and £1 for any extra children and that includes coffee,juice and biscuits. i just pay it myself. I also have a yearly pass for our local zoo which we visit at least once a fortnight, then there are parks and ducks etc.

The Juggler
23-09-2010, 10:18 AM
library, free city farms, big parks (we're lucky we have some with deer), duck ponds, bigger parks.

softplay and playbarns are rare treats for my lot - too expensive:laughing: :laughing:

or maybe get an annual pass for a local bigger farm or other type of attraction so you can go once a month?

23-09-2010, 10:21 AM
we go to soft play, farm park, library,country walks, blackberry picking .......

parents pay on top of fees if needed - give them notice (also hopefully they will be wearing appropriate clothing too then!)

23-09-2010, 11:29 AM
I find the Surestart Childrens and Families Centres very good (and they're free!!). We have just had two open up in the past six months attached to existing infant schools and the facilities are first rate. They are both open for just two sessions a week but always have excellent age-differentiated activities and once a fortnight a Health Visitor is in attendance too.

Walks in the park or a couple of local National Trust locations are always popular - I don't tend to go to ballponds/soft play places due to the cost and the parents are not keen to pay as they have made it clear that they themselves would not take their children to those sort of places.

The local library is also good with weekly story time with linked activities. Our library also has a bank of PCs that have "kiddie" software on them - the 3 and 4 year oldS love the interactive games and puzzles they can play on them and again, the library is free.

All this makes me sound a bit of a meanie but I work on the principal of not having to pay for something if you can find a good alternative that is free!

23-09-2010, 11:32 AM
My own dd and one of my mindees are 3.5y aswell, until the summer hols we did still go to our toddler group (also have another dd who's just turned 2y) which they both enjoyed but it was a very good group with a set craft activity every week. Now dd is at preschool in the morning and mindee in the afternoon so it's not very practical, we tend to go to the park, soft play sometimes although it gets expensive, if my mums about to help with mine we could go swimming but not done that yet, woodland walks, but tbh mainly they just want to play in the garden when it's dry, dreading amusing them in winter lol

23-09-2010, 12:22 PM
I go to 2 different soft play area's in Liverpool they are supposed to be £ 4 each but if you ask they give 50% discount for childminders, it is not widely advertised so it may be worth asking your local one, also I get mum to pay when I take her son there

23-09-2010, 12:30 PM
We go to toddlers, local farm, walk around the lake, the woods, parks, pet shop and lunch out. I have never taken any of my mindees to a soft play cos they are just too far away from me and they cost an arm and a leg to get into!

I'm planning on getting a national trust membership as that would give us free entry into a lot of places, and mean that we wouldnt pay parking at some of the woods we go to!

23-09-2010, 05:41 PM
most of lour local soft play places do deals for childminders. i don't go all the time, but we do go every few weeks!

we go to the library, park, duck feeding, canal, woods, local shops/coffee shops, garden centres, pet shops, train trips, bus trips as well as toddler groups/childminder groups.

i've also been to a few places that once you have paid entry once, you have free entry for a year :D

we have a few museums with free entry too, i keep forgetting about them!

i don't charge my parents extra for any activity.

23-09-2010, 06:46 PM
we go to the parks, woods, meet ups with other childminders either in the park or at their homes,,we also have a yearly ticket to the zoo so go there once a week, its huge so we do a different bit each week so they dont get bored then have a picnic and a play in the soft play area before they come
we only go the the childrens center once a week for the childminder drop in as they stopped us attending the other groups and we go to one other toddler group .

23-09-2010, 08:42 PM
I don't have any little ones at the moment, but when I do, we go to rhythm and rhyme group, music group, sing and sign, tumble tots, soft play, woods, park, butterfly house (annual pass, so go quite regularly), library, toddler group, water park to feed the ducks, etc. :thumbsup:

24-09-2010, 11:58 AM
We go to toddler groups, the park, farm, childrens centre, library, Ikea (whoops, did I say that out loud??:laughing: ), garden centre, etc.

We also go to the local soft play 1-2 times a week. We get in cheap on both days as I negotiated it with the manageress!!!:clapping:

Heaven Scent
24-09-2010, 12:28 PM
In term time I go out every morning to either Childrens Centre, Library, our own Childminding group (nothing to do with Childrens Centre or council etc.) Toddler groups and soft plary. I also may fit in a short visit to the park on the way home - I also take them out to lunch once a week in a cafe and to another minders house another day and she comes here once in the week.

In the holidays we still have a trip to the library, but on a differnet day and the session is slightly different then we go further afield to other soft play centres and we go out to visit farms and country parks which are further afield as we are not restricted by school pick ups etc. PLUS we tend to have older school aged children in tow so what we do needs to meet their needs as well as those of the little ones.