Thursday, 11 July 2013

Toddle in the City

Last weekend Wiss and I took part in a city 'treasure hunt', but it wasn't a hunt in the usual sense. Armed with a (kid-proof) digital camera Lewis and 5 other little people set off under the guidance of Yat (an urban designer) to find treasures amongst the streets of Shoreditch! They each had a favourite adult with them too, to help supervise.

I heard about Toddle in the City through Twitter and I thought it was a brilliant and original idea. Yat aims her walks at 3-6 year olds which was the first thing to catch my attention. There is so much on offer in London for 5 or 6 years plus and this younger age range is often over-looked but these treasure hunts are a really fun and empowering activity for them.

Taken from a tweet this sums up the aims behind Toddle in the City: "Urban designer Yat wanted to find a fun way to engage kids so they will grow up to love the city. And Toddle in the City was born!"
We all met up on a gloriously sunny Sunday near Boxpark and Yat handed out name stickers and the digital cameras. Lewis has seen cameras, iphones, video cameras etc all his life but he's never actually had one for him to use all by himself. He was really excited and actually very proud to be trusted with such a cool thing!
Self portrait taken by Lewis in a mirror
All the kids were able to start using them confidently straight away so off we set. Yat led the way and pointed out things of interest but the kids were encouraged to take pictures of anything and everything that caught their attention. And this was the really interesting bit for me... It was amazing to see what Lewis noticed. I look at buildings, shop windows, watch out for traffic, other people etc but he took a photo of a spider web by a bin and he even managed to spot a ladybird on a bollard! (Unfortunately, these photos were out-of-focus but he made a good attempt.) I guess the streets of London look pretty different when you're only a metre tall.

Lewis took 133 photos in total, and of course some are better than others, but there are some really great images too. Here's a selection of my favourites:

We were lucky enough to find a local street party run by the Friends of Arnold Circus so after our walk we enjoyed an afternoon of music, chasing bubbles and lounging in deckchairs. Days like that remind me just how wonderful London can be. I sometimes worry about bringing up a child in a city but we are so lucky to have all of this on our door step!

Toddle in the City is running Treasure Hunts throughout the summer in Shoreditch and along Regent Street on the car-free days in July. There's a different theme to each walk so there's always something new to discover.

As you can tell, we loved it! I'm now planning on building on Wiss's new-found photography skills by giving him a camera to document a wedding we're going to. I can't wait to see what the ceremony and reception look like to a 3 year old!

NB: This is not a sponsored post. These are purely my own thoughts and recommendations and I did not get paid for writing this post. Thank you


  1. Such a fab idea ... And his photos are beautiful! I want this in Cambridge!!

  2. Thank you Suki! It is such a wonderful idea, Yat is very clever, but there is no reason why you can't explore any city you live in this way. I'd love to see a whole gallery of images by mini-photographers!


I love to hear from you and really appreciate you taking time out to leave comments. I will always try to respond to any messages so please, let me know what you are thinking...