Five Of The Best Baby-Led Weaning Sites

baby-led weaning

I have never written about food before, as this isn’t really my specialist subject. But, however much of an amateur chef I am, I cannot deny that food has become one of *the* most important things in my life.  When it gets right down to it, feeding is basically our primary goal as mums.  Of course, we have to be and do sooooo many other things in this job, but our most important responsibility is to make sure our children are healthy and growing well, and the only way to do this is to FEED them!

I was always going to try weaning the baby-led way, because – let’s face it – BLW is the playful approach to weaning. After all, food is just like any other toy or object to a baby – a sensory delight, to be played with and explored with all of the senses.  Although I have to say I draw the line at yoghurt…

But it’s easier said than done coming up with simple, healthy baby-led meals when you are in the midst of life with two under-3s.  When I was weaning the first time around, I remember I came across some brilliant weaning blogs, and made a note of them. Now that I am weaning for the second time around, I am so happy to have found my notes!

And, since I have already done the research, I thought I would save you the trouble and share them here! I hope you find them as useful as I have :-).

1. Baby Lead The Way

This is an honest, realistic mum’s blog, charting her baby-led journey (with its ups and downs) with quick and easy ideas. I like the honesty of this blog, because it makes me feel less guilty about occasionally giving T and H the odd bit of adult cereal or convenience food! Come oooooon, we all do it, right?

2. Baby Led Weaning Ideas

This is another mum’s blog which makes for incredibly easy reading. She literally just has a running list of different food combos and recipes she’s tried that work. What I love about this blog is that she isn’t fussy. She is not a die-hard home-made food fanatic. Sometimes she includes things that are ready made, such as tortellini, but there is nothing wrong with that in my book. If I’ve learned anything from this BLW process, it’s that you can’t always make everything from scratch – and that’s OK! All her recipes are easy to understand and quick to make. I love this no-nonsense approach to recipe-writing.

3. BLW Recipes

This is a lovely, simple running list of recipes. It is nicely presented and easy to read. These recipes include a selection of interesting flavours and ingredients and they are all healthy and home-made, with no added sugar or salt.

4. Diary Of A First Child

Are you just starting out on your BLW journey? This site has a great list of first foods to try. I totally agree with this list and it is similar to one I wrote for a friend a while ago. She also has other recipes on there and tips on how to be organised with BLW. I also love her top ten reasons to do BLW. Brilliant!

5. My Lovely Little Lunchbox

This site has a clear explanation of BLW with some simple but interesting recipes underneath. A beautifully presented site, written by a mum. There is nothing I don’t like about this site!

There, those are my favourites. Have you found any others you like? Or do you have any BLW tips or simple recipes that have worked for you? Feel free to share below :-).

Bon Appetit!

Marianne x


Build A Toy Rainbow


This simple, active game helps your child to learn their colours, and the order of the rainbow colours, ZERO preparation required!

This is the first activity we have tried in my ‘Week of Rainbows’. We are using a wonderful new planner from the ebook “Play: Activities for two year olds”.

Get yours now by clicking here.  I do not know what I did before I had this e-book.  It has enabled to me to do so many more activities with T than I was doing, because it has saved me the time and effort of searching for and typing up all the activities I want to try.  This activity was in the ‘Go To List’ – a highly useful, time-saving bank of FUN, HANDS ON activity ideas that comes as part of the bundle.  ALL of the activities listed in the bank are very low prep, and use resources that are easily found in your house or at a local store.

Now, without further ado, here is how we did it:

I suggested to T that we “build a giant rainbow”. He got rather excited about this and did a few laps of the living room (as you do).  After he had calmed down, I fetched a basket and asked him “what colour comes first in the rainbow?”. He told me “red”. I then told him our mission was to find lots of red toys for our giant rainbow. And off he went.  Then I sent him on more missions to collect toys of orange, yellow and all the other rainbow colours.  He LOVED this, because he LOVES running! In fact, I think he would play any game, whatever the focus, as long as running  was involved!

If your child is still learning their colours, you could use a rainbow toy or a simple pen drawing of a rainbow to point at to prompt them to give you the next colour.    Here is what we collected:


We kept collecting until we had all the colours of the rainbow. You may want to make the red arc, then collect the orange toys, then make the orange arc, etc. But T was enjoying the Colour Finding Mission so much, that I didn’t want to interrupt him, so we just carried on!

Once we had a full basket, with toys from all the colours of the rainbow, we set about making the arcs. T needed help creating the shape. A rainbow template (drawn on a large piece of paper and taped to a table or floor) would support your child to do this independently. I chose not to use one, because a)I just didn’t have time to do this and b) I was interested to observe how he would tackle the activity without one.  Children can often surprise us with their creativity.  Here is how we started:


On his own, he was able to sort the colours and got the first two in order, but then needed some guidance with ordering the colours and making the arc shape…

So I finished off the orange arc to give him a shape to guide him.    I laid out most of the orange toys while he started on the yellow to keep him focused (there were so many toys!). If I did this activity again, I would limit the number to 5 or 10 toys per colour.


Here is T adding the finishing touches to our rainbow:

Then we took a photo and I showed him. He loved this part too.

Why don’t you try this today? It’s active, creative, they are learning their colours, and – most importantly – it requires zero preparation!

What your child is learning:

Communication & Language – Listening & Attention – listening to and following instructions, responding to what they hear with relevant comments/questions

Physical Development – Moving & Handling handling toys effectively

Expressive Arts & Design – Exploring and Using Media and Materials – experimenting with colour, design, form and function

Is your child also interested in rainbows or colours?  Want some ideas for rainbow games and activities?  Then keep an eye out in your inbox or facebook feed for the rest of our rainbow-themed activities, which I am posting as fast as I can. (Admittedly, that is not that fast, but – hey – I know you understand as you are all busy like me!).

Also check out my last post on our Rainbow I Spy Game –  you can play it on the move in the pram or car – no prep and no resources required.

And here are a few of my favourite rainbow activities from other mum bloggers.  Take a peek:

Bubble-wrap Printed Rainbows

Hand-print Rainbow

Shaving Cream Colour Mixing

Rainbow Oats Sensory Bin (includes how to dye the oats)

Until next time…enjoy your Play Time, wherever you are!

Marianne x

Rainbow I Spy Game (and 4 other simple ways to explore rainbow colours)


Our “theme” this week is Rainbows.  Not because I want it to be, but because, thanks to an episode of Peppa Pig, T has discovered them.  He has always shown an interest in colours, and also in ordering and sorting things, so a rainbow (7 colours in a particular order) is a truly magical concept for him.  He just hasn’t stopped talking about them over the last few weeks. So, of course, I have jumped at the chance to explore them with him.  Here are the ways we have explored rainbows together:

1  Watercolour Painting

The first thing we did was to paint a rainbow. I drew the outline and then he used his watercolours to paint inside the lines. I love to see his free-flow drawings, but I thought it would be nice for him to get the idea of drawing an arc.  We did one arc at a time. I tried to get him to tell me which colour came next in the series.

I deliberately used a paint palette which didn’t have all the colours in.  Then, when we came across a colour we didn’t have in our palette, I showed him how to mix it. For T, THIS was the truly exciting part.  He couldn’t believe his eyes when blue and yellow turned into green, and red and blue into purple!  He started shouting out colours that he wanted to mix!   We put the rainbow up on our Arty Window. That day, whenever he passed it, he kept pointing to the painting and reciting the colours in order – it was lovely to watch!


When Daddy got back home, he couldn’t wait to tell him how he mixed the colours.  And whenever either of us asked him about his rainbow picture or about rainbows in general, he would get his fingers out, and say the colours in order!  I wish I could show you just how inspired he is about rainbows – it really is a delight to see!

2  Colour-mixing (Finger Painting)

So, the next day, we just got some paints out and mixed them with our fingers. This is T’s favourite sort of painting – Messy Finger Painting!


3  Balloon Painting

Then, while I was searching for some super-glue in our man-drawer, I came across some balloons, so we decided to try some colour-mixing with balloons. I taped some paper to his table, and blew up a balloon a little.  Then I put out a paper plate,T chose the colours of paint he wanted on it, and we dipped and splatted!


He had enormous fun splatting the balloons on the paper, and talking about the colours he could see. I have never tried this activity but I really recommend it – it’s easy to set up, so much fun, and the results look pretty cool too.

4  A Rainbow Picnic

The other day we decided to have a picnic with some friends in the park.  I asked T what fruits he would like to get from the greengrocers for our picnic.  He started to talk about the colours of fruits he would like.  So it seemed logical to suggest we get a “rainbow of fruit”.  Our friends already had tomatoes and cucumbers so we talked about how we needed orange, yellow, blue and violet/purple to make the rainbow compete.  When we went in, T was so excited and ran to all the different fruits.



After we had chosen them, he told me that we still needed to get something red and green to complete the rainbow.  I didn’t have the heart to stop him as he was enjoying the experience so much!  So I let him choose an avocado and some strawberries.  Here we are arranging our fruit rainbow on our paper plate.  (Note the orange is not there as it got used as a football – silly mummy forgot to bring the real one!).


5  Rainbow I Spy

Not long after the picnic, we were walking into town, playing our favourite game: “I spy” (with colours instead of sounds).   It suddenly occurred to me we could try playing with the rainbow colours in order.  When I suggested this, T shouted “yes!” so loudly that he startled an old lady walking by!

So off we went, happily spotting things that were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.  You can see the items he spotted in the photos at the top of this post.  What I like about this game is, not only is he reinforcing his knowledge of colours and learning the sequence of colours in the rainbow, but it is FREE and we can play it anywhere.  I’m going to try and keep this one up my sleeve for when we are standing in a queue or waiting in a traffic jam or doctor’s surgery :-).

What next?

After this, I wasn’t quite sure where to take the learning. It isn’t easy to come up with loads of ideas on the spot, when you spend your days rushing around completing chores and doing all the practical things you need to do as a mum. When I was teaching, I had HOURS to spend coming up with fun ideas to use with the kids. But now, I just don’t have this amount of time. We do come up with the odd fun idea that has been inspired by T or that I recall from my teaching days. But it is hard to keep things fresh, when you are juggling chores, weaning and toddler negotiations.

This is where the Hands On As We Grow Ebook ‘Play’ I have been using has proved invaluable.  It contains a bank of activities to dip into: fun ways to get two year olds moving, working on fine motor skills, doing arts and crafts projects and having fun as a family.  Each weekly plan includes a handy supply list and a “bank” of activities, written out clearly and simply so they are easy to follow.

How I used the Weekly Activity Planner to Plan Around A Rainbow Theme:

After our first week of exploring rainbows, T remained very excited about them and was still talking about them. So, after dinner last Sunday, I grabbed my Go To List from the e-book and wrote up my Rainbow Plan for the week, using the simple planner template inside.  After about TWELVE MINUTES of browsing (yes, I timed it!), I found five really fun ideas to use. Some I found I could just use as they were, others I decided to adapt very slightly to suit T and my Rainbow theme.

Jamie suggests using a different focus for the play on each day, for example, sensory play one day, fine motor play the next (although of course you don’t have to). I like this idea, as it helps me to narrow down the activities (which saves time) and it feels good to be providing a balanced range of activities.  So I just picked one activity from each section in the bank.  But you wouldn’t have to do it like me.

My T is constantly developing new interests and skills, so any planner I use *absolutely has to* allow for changes and adaptations. This is the brilliant thing about the Activity Bank and Planning Template – it is SIMPLE and FLEXIBLE.

I am looking forward to trying all of the simple, fun ideas we have planned in my Week Of Rainbows, and sharing them with you. Watch out for my posts on each activity which I will aim to post within the next two weeks.

I cannot emphasise enough how easy it was for me to write the plans up, using the Go To List.  If you think you are (like me):

a –  extremely busy with little ones so very short on time

b – keen to keep your bright sparks stimulated by following their interests and trying new things

c – want to make the most of the precious time you have with them

Then I heartily recommend getting your hands on one of these e-books, by clicking here.  You will not regret it.

I must go now – I have some playing to do!

Until my next post, here is one more way T has chosen to explore rainbows on his own:


Children are full of surprises, aren’t they?

See you all soon,

Marianne x

Clay Dinosaur Fossils


As you all know, we have recently set up a little Dinosaur Project Table in the living room. Our house is slowly transforming into a giant classroom…much to my husband’s delight :-).  Since we have set the table up, T has been having lots of fun bashing dinosaurs heads together, sorting them into categories, and making up stories with them.

Not long after we set the table up, we tried this beautifully simple size ordering game from The Imagination Tree, which he loved so much he was asking for it the next day!


We did it last minute, so we had to use a paintbrush to brush off the soil – but I think a toothbrush would work best. I must also add a warning: do not leave these in your soil overnight – even if it is a tiny bit damp, the salt dough will soak it up and you end up with soft, floppy bones…which aren’t so easy to dig up.  Although, my oven is a bit perhaps they didn’t cook properly.

After the success of this first dinosaur game, I have been thinking about what to try next.  One of T’s favourite things to do with playdough is to push his small animals and dinosaurs in, looking at the marks they make underneath. He has also – for as long as I can remember – loved puzzles.  So I thought it would be nice to take this a bit further and make some real fossils together, which we can match to dinosaurs afterwards (like a puzzle). I finally have a spare moment (as daddy is on holiday helping out) to post the story of our little activity.  So here is how we did it:

Clay Dinosaur Fossils

We used:

Plastic dinosaurs
Rolling pin
Round pastry cutter

We started by reading our dinosaur information book and talked about what a fossil was. Then we looked at the dinosaurs and I tested T on their names (he loves a quick verbal quiz!).  Then T chose his favourite dinosaurs to press into the clay. He wanted to do the triceratops’ footprints, then the momasaurus, then the dimetrodon.  He then went running upstairs to fetch his tiny plastic Thomas trains, and lined them up neatly on the table.


These little beauties came with something called a ‘(Thomas) Busy Book’. They are mini plastic Thomas trains, and, for a good 6 months, they went everywhere with him.  Anyway, he decided, in his own unique way, that he wanted to make some Thomas train fossils. So we did!


While we were making them, it occurred to me that it would be pretty cool to make a fossil that we could “excavate”. So T chose his favourite – a “Euoplacephalus” – and placed it on top of a lump of clay.  Then he pressed more clay down on top.


A couple of days later, we pretended to be palaeontologists, and hammered and chiselled away until it broke open. Daddy helped out here.  I don’t know who had more fun doing this…chiselling is a great stress-reliever!



The next day, we decided to paint them. T chose the colours.  Watercolours worked really well for this – the clay absorbed the watery paint quickly so he was easily able to cover the fossil without too much fuss.  It was quite a satisfying experience for him I think, as he wanted to finish them all off in one sitting!   It was also an opportunity to talk about colours, as he wanted to match the colours to the trains – red for James, blue for Thomas, etc.


Here are our dinosaur fossils on our Project Table.


Once they were dry, we gathered all the fossils and dinosaurs we had used and we played a matching game!


T was really into the fossils and was talking about them all of that day and the next.  When he came down for breakfast he ran to get them and started matching them again.

So that evening, I made some “surprise fossils” for him, with some objects from around the house.  The next day, I hid them in some soil with the objects that matched.


He enjoyed digging and coming across the different fossils and objects.


Once he had found them all, he brushed the soil off with a paintbrush:


Then he arranged them in a line and matched the objects to their prints:


We enjoyed doing this activity with clay, but there are so many other fun materials you could choose. A good alternative (which I just couldn’t find in the shops) is white air-drying clay. And there are plenty of brilliant, resourceful mum bloggers who have done it with different types of salt-dough too. There is a simple online fossil dough recipe here.  There are loads of other “fossil dough” ideas on pinterest that are worth having a look at.

Thank you for stopping by to read this. I hope you and your little one are having fun today!

Marianne x