A Play Date With A Difference

- Advertorial brought to you in association with Aptamil Growing Up milks.

Aptamil Growing Up milks are currently supporting a campaign called 'The Science of Play' and have created a series of observational videos. This is all about exploring the ways in which toddlers play and communicate with one another. This is an exciting and interesting age to take note of because so many big changes come through with their learning and personality. The main area this campaign focuses on is understanding the relationship between playtime and how it goes hand in hand with learning. 

To spread the word about the campaign I was asked if I'd like to create a series of blog posts in collaboration with Aptamil Growing Up milks. We were invited to explore certain aspects of play and report back our findings.

- Advertorial video from Aptamil Follow On and Growing Up milks.

For my first post I decided to host a play date with a difference. Most of the play dates I've hosted or attended in the past have all been indoors. This is great but can get a little tiresome so I decided to mix it up a bit and get the kids outdoors.

Where we live we are lucky to be surrounded by lots of wooded areas which is not only perfect for exploring but is also a safe environment for the children to play as there are no cars or roads. With this in mind I decided to host our play date outside as all children love to explore out in the fresh air and enjoy letting off a little bit of steam.

Once the children arrived the parents made sure that they were all wrapped up warm with their hats, gloves and coats on as the weather had been very temperamental lately. We made sure we had everything we needed then literally walked two minutes down the road until we got to the location where I'd planned to host our outdoor play date.

The toddlers were so excited to be outside and didn't know what to do first. The girls were looking after Noah, keeping hold of his hand and directing him where to go. He didn't mind this because he's so laid back that he's happy to go along with it. One of the little girls on our play date is the total opposite of this and is very independent and strong willed. She will often shout "No!" out the blue which is just her way of releasing her frustration and asserting her independence. When she would do it Noah would look a little concerned but then start to giggle, he found it very amusing! It's really fascinating watching how they interact with one another and how their personalities affect the choices they make and how they express themselves.

We also found it really interesting to listen to what they were saying to one another. Although none of them are comprehensive speakers just yet you can really see a break through in their speech as each of them really put effort into linking their words. All three toddlers got a lot of satisfaction from being able to point out and vocalise the different things we could see on our walk.

On our play date the children were asked to collect items they had seen a long the way. I'd brought a basket with us to carry the items in and they each took turns in holding it which I thought was great as they all understood that they had to share.

After watching the Science of Play videos it's really made me more aware of what to look out for when it comes to observing the way children play. I hadn't realised how much Noah learns through watching others. For example one of the children found a stick which she used to dig up a few stones and Noah quickly followed suit. It's amazing how they learn new skills through play and by watching their peers play too.

By the end of our walk we had a basket full of different items such as acorns, conkers, twigs and leaves. I can't tell you how much the children enjoyed this simple activity and it's something that they can do all year round. We then headed home with our finds to begin the next part of our play date.

If you'd like to find more information about toddler hood and learning through play head over to the 'Discover Toddlers' section at The Huffington Post to view all of the Science of Play videos. 


  1. what a lovely playdate. It looks a beautiful place to visit.

  2. Its great to be out and about
    Better than playdares indoors

  3. Lovely photos! Ones to cherish and show him in the future!

  4. How lovely! And he looks so cute! Some really lovely photos there!