I'm a Mum of two boys living in Oxfordshire, enjoying lots of fun activities and writing about them when I get a chance.
Published February 13th 2013
A village full of fun
I moved to Kidlington five years ago and since then have had 2 boys. When my first son arrived, I was introduced to a whole new world in Kidlington and was surprised at how many things there are to do with babies and toddlers without having to get in the car and drive somewhere. I've made some really great friends through mother and baby groups and feel part of the community.
Here are the things to do in Kidlington with under 5's that I've discovered. If you have any other recommendations, why not share them through the comments box.
When the weather is good, there are several playparks in Kidlington that you can try. All the classics are on offer from swings to roundabouts and slides. There's also lots of grassy areas around them where you can enjoy a picnic. Click here for a full list and review.
The Gosford Leisure Centre has a couple of good options for indoor soft play when the weather is wet or turns too cold. There's a small soft play room called the Crazy Colosseum. While not huge, it will keep under 5's happy for a good hour. There are a couple of ball pits and a multi level area to climb with slides, hanging walkways and tunnels. On a Monday and Wednesday you can extend your stay and ensure you really tire out your toddler by going to Tots Bounce. With soft play shapes, scooters and a lovely big bouncy castle you can be sure they'll have fun.
Stay & Play There are a number of different mother (or father / carer) and baby/toddler groups on different days around the village. It's a great way to socialise your child, play with different toys, get creative and for me it was also making lots of new friends with kids of the same age.
Monday Edward Feild School 9am-11am for 0-4's. The first session is free but it's only £1.50 per family after that. The stay and play is located in the Magpies building and there are lots of toys to play with and a hot drink and biscuit for the grown ups.
Tuesday Bouncing Babies at the Kaleidoscope Children's Centre for 0-18 months runs from 12:30-2:30pm (including breast feeding support). This is the group where I went to with my first son and met all my lovely local friends. Free
This is a Christian playgroup for ages 0-3 running during term time from 10-11:30am. The first hour is free play in a lovely big room with lots of toys for all ages. The last half hour moves to a smaller room for a bible story and songs. Hot drinks for adults and squash and snacks are available for kids. It's free and everyone is welcome.
Play & Learn Together' at the Kaleidoscope Children's Centre for 0-5 years runs from 10am to 12pm. There's an area outside with ride on toys, a Wendy house and sandpit. Inside your kids can enjoy a variety of toys, craft activity and some singing. The staff and volunteers are
Thursday Bouncing Babies at the Kaleidoscope Children's Centre for 0-18 months. It runs from 12:3-2:30pm.
St Mary's Toddler group for 0-5's from 9:30-11am, toys, drinks and a few sing songs
Friday Singing with Nick Cope from 9:30 to 10am. This can be a busy session so it's recommended you arrive in advance. Free
'Play & Learn Together' at the Kaleidoscope Children's Centre for 0-5 years runs from 10am to 12pm. It's free too and runs straight after Nick's sing along.
Saturdads at the Kaleidoscope Children's Centre runs on the first and third Saturday of the month from 10-12. Nick Cope runs a music session on the third Saturday at 11am. The session is for dads and male carers with their children.
Monday's 9:30-10:15am, this is a travelling gym that sets up at the Kidlington Band Hall (next to St John's Ambulance building, opposite Tesco). There is a mixture of free play on the soft play equipment, mats and trampoline as well as an organised assault course, gym apparatus and singing. It costs £5 and you can click here for a full review.
Like many of the great activities for under 5's in Kidlington, rhyme time at our local library is free. This usually runs one Tuesday a month from 2:15 to 2:45pm. Check the next session on their website.
If it's wet outside and you can't face venturing out, then why not try some creative activities with your kids. If getting the paint out feels a bit daunting on your own then you could always invite a couple of friends and their kids too and help each other. Salt dough is a really fun activity which you can spread out over several days from the mixing, kneading, creating, baking and decorating. MyKidCraft is a good place to get inspiration and you could always earn a little spare cash by sharing your creations.