So you have survived the madness of Christmas, the decorations are down, your older children are back at school (phew!), now time for some peace and quiet right? Not if you’re also a parent/carer of one or more pre-school children! What is there in Norton to keep the very young ones entertained and to get you out of the house?
Well i reckon the first place to start is the Central Ryedale Childrens Centre, in the grounds of Norton Primary School . If you haven’t already registered for a programme of events to be sent to you each term then why not! There’s a variety of things going on every term at different locations as well as at the Chidrens Centre itself; activities aimed at babies or at toddlers or at both, even activities and courses for parents (often with creche facilities if required). Lots of it’s free but if it isn’t there’s only a small charge. Its a great place for your children and parents to play and learn, and for parents to get to know other parents, then you can take it from there! Why not drop in to the ‘Stay and Play’ session on a Thursday morning to check it out.
Now you’ve met some other families at the Childrens centre, find out what other groups they attend; Stepping Stones at Hope Central and St Peters toddler group both on a Tuesday and Story Time at the Library is also on a Tuesday afternoon. Swimming at Derwent pool on Monday specifically for baby & toddlers or toddler lessons there on a Friday. Ask the Childrens Centre for more information on all of these and more, they keep all the information to keep you informed!
Perhaps if the sun shows it’s face (who know when that will be!) you could take a stroll to the park. Norton has a park at the bottom of Eastfield/Dean Road, refurbished some 2 or 3 years ago, or Malton park (behind the surgery) has a great selection of equipment too. Small villages around the area often provide excellent facilities and open space if you wanted to make more of a trip, perhaps take a picnic when the sun really does show it’s head! Westow is popular, i also enjoyed Hovingham park this summer with my 2, and regularly visit Settrington and Scagglethorpe too. Theres a couple of small parks that have been added to the Redrow Housing estate off Scarborough Road, small being the key word there, but it’s a stroll out all the same!
Farms are great for when the weather is warmer. Bettom Farm is on the Pickering-Scarborough A170, near to East Ayton or there’s Playdale Farm near Cayton. There’s other farms our towards York like The Farmers Cart at Strensall and for animals and much much more Flamingo Land Zoo and Theme Park or York Maze at Elvington is a fantastic day out. A lot of it is slightly too old for pre-schoolers but they’ll have fun in the sand and water area or on the bouncy castles. Of course if you have older ones this is a great place to take them, whatever the age.
On a dull day you might wish to go to a soft play centre. Malton has Captain Barneys, small and sweet, but i prefer to head further afield to Little Hoppers at Scarborough (off Eastifield roundabout where Morrisons is) or to Creepy Crawlies in York. Its a shame there isn’t something more local, maybe someone wants to start a new business venture…?