A few weeks ago my children and I did a sponsored Toddle Waddle and held a little party to raise money for Meningitis Now.
Meningitis Now is a charity which aims to save lives and rebuild futures by funding research, raising awareness and providing support. There are currently effective vaccines available through the NHS childhood Immunisation Programme in the UK to prevent some types of meningitis.
However, there are no vaccines to offer protection against all forms of meningitis and meningococcal disease.
Babies, toddlers and young children under 5 are the most at risk group for meningitis and over 50% of all cases occur in this age group.
Meningitis Now had contacted me earlier this year asking me to write an article on Bristol Mum (my other website) about the work Meningitis Now does and to encourage parents to organise “Toddle Waddles”.
A Toddle Waddle is a short sponsored stomps for children under 5 which include fun, educational activities, all of which meet Ofsted’s Early Years Foundation Stage and other educational frameworks.
Toddle Waddles can be held at any time of the year, indoors and outdoors and in any location, as long as it is safe. It is free to organise.
However, while doing my research for the article and looking at the Meningitis Now website, I came across some tragic stories from parents who had lost their children to Meningitis.
I decided then and there that I could do more than write about how to hold a Toddle Waddle – I could organise one myself!
I involved my kids from the start, explaining what we were going to do to and why. We decided to also hold a Toddle Waddle party following our walk to further raise funds for the charity to which we would invite friends and family.
I registered online with the date of my proposed Toddle Waddle on the Meningitis Now website and was sent a pack in the post which included sponsor forms, stickers and invitations to the toddle Waddle. We also received donation buckets, flyers, information, wrist bands, balloons and sashes.
My children and I decided to do our Toddle Waddle at the lovely Horfield Common, our nearest park. We sent out a few invites to my children’s friends for the party and I also set up a facebook event page. We then asked family members to sponsor each of my children for their Toddle Waddle.
The Meningitis Now website have lots of fun, educational Toddle Waddle activity sheets which we downloaded for our Toddle Waddle party, including colouring in pages, mask and hat making activities.
Every year there is a different Toddle Waddle theme. This year the theme is “Under the Sea” so all the activities that we downloaded had this theme. As you can imagine, all of these preparations for our Toddle Waddle made my kids very excited indeed!
The day of our Toddle Waddle dawned bright and sunny and that morning we completed our sponsored walk around Horfield Common. It was a great day for a Toddle Waddle.
When we arrived back home, we blew up balloons, got the cakes, snacks and activity sheets ready and prepared to greet our family and friends for our Toddle Waddle party.
We had a good turn out. We opened the house from 11am – 4pm and our friends very generously put money in the donations bucket and bought wrist bands. Some of our friends and family even made cakes for the party!
The kids really enjoyed the Toddle Waddle activity sheets.
Everyone had a great time at the Toddle Waddle party. It was a great way of catching up with friends and family and getting all of the children together as well as raising some money towards such an important cause. The children all played really well together; a house full of their friends and cake is a good combination!
My children and I raised just over £100 pounds for Meningitis Now; not a huge amount but every bit helps.
It is really easy to organise a Toddle Waddle. You can even organise a group Toddle Waddle at your local playgroup or pre-school! Simply register online, email Meningitis Now or call 0345 120 4530.
Please do let me know if you decide to plan a Toddle Waddle!