Tag: fun

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove Travelling to Japan With a Toddler

Arashiyama – A Day in Paradise

When you are travelling with a toddler who still has a regular midday nap, you have to weigh up whether your time is better spent travelling on trains, or whether you are better off sticking to the local attractions. We faced this dilemma a couple of times during our stay in Kyoto – Nara (we didn’t go because it was too far), and Arashiyama.

We debated for a while, but in the end, the lure of the attractions on offer in Arashiyama was too strong. After all, it is the place for the much-photographed Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, and (more importantly) the best place in Kyoto to see wild monkeys!


Train Friends

There are several different ways to travel to Arashiyama from the heart of Kyoto. That makes it somewhat confusing for tourists, but we eventually settled on our preferred route – a direct train from Kyoto Station to Saga Arashiyama. This involved a little walk at the end to reach the main part of Arashiyama, but the walk was pleasant and it made for less overall train travel.

We weren’t the only ones who travelled to Arashiyama that way. The train was packed with tourists (there were quite a few Australians). Even though Kyoto was at the start of the line, we still were only able to find standing space. That didn’t bother Hannah. She was comfortable tucked into her stroller. As is her way, she quickly set about making friends with the people around her.

One of those people was an older Japanese woman. They quickly formed a bond with each other and played all kinds of games together as we travelled towards our destination. From our perspective, that was fantastic! Hannah was fully entertained and not at all worried about being strapped into her stroller for an extended period of time.


Stroller on train
Train travel is fine when you have a comfortable stroller to sit in and a new friend to play with


By the end of the journey, Hannah and the Japanese lady were giggling together as if they were old friends. We arrived at Saga Arashiyama and all alighted. Hannah enthusiastically waved goodbye to her new friend.


Taxi and tourists in Bamboo Grove

We found a quiet place to have a snack, then we set about finding the path to our first place of interest – the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

I have to admit that I was a little sceptical at first. Bamboo is bamboo. Could it really be that interesting to walk down a small pathway that is surrounded by the stuff? And at first, I felt that I had good reason to be sceptical.


Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Yup, it’s bamboo…


The start of the bamboo grove is underwhelming. It is, essentially, a narrow path with bamboo growing on both sides. It is also packed full of tourists (like me), who are hell-bent on getting the perfect photo of themselves in the famous location.

However, as we walked on through the crowds, the attraction of the Bamboo Grove became apparent. There is something magical about being surrounded by tall, thin bamboo shoots. It’s hard to describe, but soon I was glad that we had made the effort.


Arashiyama Bambbo Grove
The further in you go, the more magical it becomes


Of course, there was still the challenge of negotiating the other tourists, and trying to find ways to photograph the bamboo that didn’t come out looking like crowds of people standing between a few sticks. Some tourists found their own novel ways of enjoying the forest. The rickshaws were a favourite for some and they rolled past at regular intervals. They are so common that they even have their own special path through part of the bamboo grove.


Arashiyama Rikshaw
So many rickshaws that they have their own special path


The less orthodox way of seeing the bamboo grove is to convince a taxi driver to drive down the “road”. By “road”, I actually mean “small path barely wide enough to fit a car, and definitely not wide enough to accommodate a car and large numbers of tourists”.


Taxi in bamboo grove
…why not take a taxi?


Yet there it was, a taxi crawling its way through the throng, down a footpath that I’m pretty sure wasn’t ever meant to accommodate vehicular traffic (…any slower and it could have passed for a Sydney taxi).

I was actually pleased about the unexpected presence of the taxi. It temporarily cleared the path and it gave me an interesting photo to capture!


“I’m sure they shouldn’t be doing that”

Tourists are funny creatures (I should know, I am one). If we are lucky, we manage to visit a foreign country, quietly and respectfully observe its culture and different practises, generally try not make a fool or nuisance of ourselves and then head home with a memory card (or three) of 4000 photos, most of which we will never look at again.

However, every now and then you come across one who hasn’t quite figured that out. These are the people who struggle (and fail) to reconcile their lived experience with the different cultural practices that they are observing. They cannot comprehend differences and instead of trying to do so, they usually offer loud, unsolicited commentary with an air of authority and superiority that they believe demonstrates to those around them their higher level of intelligence, but in reality exposes them as an ignorant buffoon.

We met one of those people in the Bamboo Grove.

He was American (I’m not saying they all are…) and he happened to be near me as we approached an interesting scene. A group of young teenagers were very enthusiastically (and noisily) climbing up ladders on the fence. Others were hurrying along the path, carrying bundles of sticks. They looked like they were having a great time, but even a casual glance told me that they were also hard at work repairing the fence. The ones at the top of the ladder were enthusiastically shoving the new sticks into the fence.


bamboo fence
The fence that was under repair


It was at that point that the American leaned towards us and said (loudly enough for all around to hear) “I’m sure they shouldn’t be doing that.”

He then proceeded to take out his camera and snap away at the kids as they went about their business, as if he was recording some great act of mischievousness. The concept of teenagers voluntarily giving up part of their weekend to participate in an activity that was beneficial to the greater community seemed so far removed from this bloke’s world that he couldn’t actually comprehend what he was seeing. From his perspective, they were naughty kids who were mucking up, and he would be damned if he missed the opportunity to snap a few pictures to show his mates when he got home. I know whose behaviour made me feel more embarrassed…


Green Tea Ice Cream

Green Tea ice cream is delicious. I can’t explain the flavour (other than to say that it’s Matcha, in ice cream form), all I can suggest is that if you ever get the opportunity, eat it. The one regret I have about our time in Japan is that I didn’t eat enough green tea ice cream (… and I ate a lot of green tea ice cream).

The most delicious form of green tea ice cream is the soft serve. It can be found at any good tourist spot. As Arashiyama is a good tourist spot, green tea ice cream is plentiful! Sometimes it is served with other fancy crap (we saw one with gold leaf on top). Forget about it, just get the pure goodness. Beware, prices are directly correlated to the popularity of the tourist destination. If you have a hankering for some, try to find a place slightly off the most beaten of paths.

I have no more to say about green tea ice cream, just enjoy the picture below.


Green Tea Ice Cream


If you have never tasted it, you probably think it looks a little… green. If you have tasted it, go get a towel and wipe the saliva off your keyboard.


Mountain Views

Arashiyama gains its reputation (and vast numbers of tourists) from the spectacular and well known Bamboo Grove and Monkey Park. Rightly so too, they are amazing and well worth the visit. I wouldn’t recommend going to Arashiyama and not seeing those things.

However, as with all tourist destinations, there are other things to see as well. All you need is a little willingness to wander and explore such a place, and you’ll find a gem or two.

That was exactly what took us to the brilliant lookout over the mountains and river. It was at the end of a path that we happened to walk up (maybe in part due to a sign that warned about wild monkeys… I wanted to see a monkey…). I was blown away by the view that we found. There were other people up there, but there wasn’t the manic crush of time-poor tourists madly pushing to get a glimpse.


The river and mountains of Arashiyama
The river and mountains of Arashiyama


We stayed up at the lookout for a while and soaked in the peaceful scene. It was energising after having just battled the crowds of the Bamboo Forest.


Down By the river

Our vantage point at the lookout made us realise that we were in a special spot. We wanted to explore and we had spied just the place – a small path alongside the river. We decided that after a quick lunch of Udon, we would go for a wander.



It’s not as if the path was hidden or secret, it’s just that not many people bothered to walk along it. Their loss, our gain! The path offered a beautiful walk alongside a pretty (and remarkably pristine) river. At the end of the path was a set of steps leading up to a temple. We were curious, but we didn’t go any further as Hannah was attempting to drift off to sleep in her stroller. I say attempting, because she was also simultaneously over-stimulated by the stunning location.

Eventually she drifted off, and Emma and I sat for a while and enjoyed a few minutes in heaven.

Every now and then, small boats would potter up and down the river. They were interesting to watch, but what was really fascinating was the ingenious catering industry that had developed to feed the hungry tourists on board. As the tourist boats returned down the river, they were met by a second boat, loaded with tasty cooked treats. What a fantastic idea! Talk about a captive audience!


Arashiyama Monkey Park

Time was getting on and Hannah was still asleep. We had come to see monkeys, but the shadows were growing long and dinner and a bath beckoned. Monkeys are great, but we didn’t want to wake Hannah now that she had finally found sleep.

We set a time. If Hannah was still asleep, we would head back to the train without even so much as a glimpse of a bright-red monkey arse. If, however, she was awake… monkeys!

Thankfully Hannah had read the script, so she woke up at the perfect time. We made a beeline for the monkey park! The monkeys are half-way up the side of a mountain (plenty of steps), so the stroller had to go. There was a handy spot to leave the wheels, just inside the entrance. The rest of the journey up the mountain was done on foot. Hannah climbed a few steps, then decided a ride in dad’s arms was the better option.

We emerged at the top of the path to find a pretty great scene. Monkeys! Monkeys everywhere! There were large adult males sauntering about, females keeping a watchful eye on things, and my favourite of all – the baby monkeys. They were an absolute delight to watch.



The monkeys of Arashiyama are technically wild. They do not belong to the monkey park, they just happen to like visiting (probably something to do with an easy meal). Because of this, there is a small army of people employed to make sure that the monkeys don’t get too close to the tourists, and that the tourists don’t get too close to the monkeys. The rules are clearly signposted, and anyone who disobeys them is met with a stern talking to.

We spent quite a while up the monkey mountain. Hannah enjoyed every moment with the monkeys. She was fascinated by the funny creatures. So was I. I contemplated smuggling a baby one home with us, but thought better of it. I think Border Force would be pretty good at sniffing out a smuggled monkey.


The Kindness of Strangers

Finally it was time for us to head home. We walked back down the steps to the bottom of the mountain and searched for the nearest tap to clean Hannah’s hands. She hadn’t touched a monkey, but she had gotten plenty close enough to monkey poo.

The tap that we found had a man crouched down beside it. A quick glance revealed that he was in the midst of painting a rather impressive scene. Strangely, it wasn’t anything to do with the amazing landscape before him, it was more like something from Venice.

The man looked up from his work as we turned on the tap to wash Hannah’s hands. He was a young guy with a kind and gentle face. He saw Hannah and smiled. The man turned away briefly and rummaged through his belongings. Moments later he turned back to Hannah with a blue balloon, fashioned into a sword.


Balloon sword
The balloon sword


Hannah’s face lit up. Balloons have long been a great source of joy for the child. The man gestured to Hannah that the balloon was for her. She was in heaven!

If that wasn’t enough, the kind young man then produced a bag of plastic finger puppets. He held it out for Hannah to choose one. Naturally, Hannah made the wise choice of attempting to choose the entire bag. The young man was momentarily embarrassed as a tiny toddler tried to wrestle his entire collection from his grasp, but I quickly stepped in and explained to Hannah that she had to reach in and just choose one.

We thanked the young artist profusely for his kindness and generosity to our daughter. He seemed genuinely happy with the whole interaction. This is something that I have noticed on more than one occasion in Japan – people seem to find great satisfaction from being kind to perfect strangers, especially young children.


The Untimely Demise of The New Favourite Toy

Hannah held and admired her new toys as we walked back to the train. She held them tightly on the train. She examined them carefully and felt their textures. Any attempt to remove the toys from Hannah’s grasp was met with a cry, the meaning of which was obvious.

And so it was that Hannah still had her precious balloon in her grasp as we wheeled her down the road in her stroller, back in the centre of Kyoto. Hannah held her balloon sword tightly and she refused to let go.

That was, until she let go.

At an intersection.

While cars were driving through.

And busses.


The scream from Hannah was blood-curdling. In the blink of an eye, her precious toy had escaped her grasp and flown straight out onto the busy intersection. Emma’s first reaction was to try and grab it, but fortunately common sense quickly kicked in and she remained on the footpath. The balloon was precious, but not worth getting run over for.

The three of us watched. As did half of Kyoto’s native population, who also happened to be crossing at that moment. Hannah’s scream had drawn everyone’s attention to the situation and it seemed as if a collective breath was drawn and held as every set of eyes lasered in on the toy.

I could feel the crowd willing the balloon to survive. As it somehow reached halfway across the busy intersection, a tiny spark of hope entered my mind. Maybe the balloon would miraculously survive…

The balloon disappeared behind a bus. Hannah let out another desperate cry, but a loud BANG told the awful story. The new favourite toy was gone.

The lights changed and we began to cross the road. Hannah desperately looked around for her lost balloon – she didn’t understand what had happened. Meanwhile, I held a quick debate in my head about whether I should try and retrieve the pieces of the shattered balloon. I decided against it. I didn’t want to cause the already confused toddler any more distress, and they were now well beyond the safety of the pedestrian crossing. The last thing I wanted to do was try to explain to a Japanese police officer why I was in the middle of a busy intersection.

Hannah was sad, but her finger puppet quickly helped her to move on from the balloon. For the rest of the trip, we made sure that we didn’t lose it.

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Dad and Daughter Day at the park Blog

My Sunday Photo – Dad and Daughter Day

My Sunday Photo for this week is titled Dad and Daughter Day

Earlier this week Hannah and I had a rare day of completely unstructured activities. It was the first time in weeks that we hadn’t had a doctor’s appointment or playgroup or a visit to a childcare centre. We had a whole day just to ourselves, to do whatever we wanted.

I let Hannah take the lead. In the morning I asked her what she wanted to do. Her response was a blank look followed by a big smile. She is 18 months old after all and despite her astounding levels of comprehension, she is still unable to answer open-ended questions in a meaningful way.

I rephrased my question to “D0 you want to go to the park?”

A smile and a single, distinct nod informed me that it was indeed what she wanted to do.

“Do you want to scoot?”

Again, a large nod.

We had a great time in the park. Hannah rode her scooter for three kilometres as I pushed, which I appreciated because I had been lazy that morning and not gotten out of bed for my usual run.

Then we stopped for a banana break before Hannah had her first ever attempt at scooting in the standing position. She did a fantastic job, although she used the assistance of a strong wind to push her along like a sailboat. She still doesn’t quite comprehend the whole use your foot to push thing.

We had a wonderful, unstructured dad and daughter day. It reminded me that sometimes it is important to take things as they come and to leave enough room in a busy schedule to just play!

Dad and Daughter Day on scooter 


Today is Father’s Day in Australia, so a huge Happy Father’s Day to all of the wonderful dads out there!

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Memories Made Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 Scooter Blog

Memories Made

There’s something truly thrilling about seeing your child doing something for the first time. Especially when it’s something that you have felt they wanted to do for quite a while. It’s on those days when memories are made.

On Sunday we made some memories that will sit fondly in my mind for many years to come – Hannah had her first scooter ride!

We were thrilled when Globber offered to send Hannah a MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter for review, following my post about her attempts to commandeer other children’s rides at the local park. That scooter arrived on Friday and we had been eagerly awaiting the chance to give it a proper test run since. Saturday’s wild winds ruled out a cruise, but we did get a chance to head up to the shops and buy a helmet. That meant that by Sunday morning, we were well and truly ready to hit the track.


Arriving At The Park

Hannah was full of energy when we arrived at the park. She was obviously ready to get stuck in, because she didn’t want to even know about her snack. As soon as her feet hit the ground, she was off!… Straight past her shiny new scooter and to the swings.

Not the best start, I’ll have to concede. After all the coveting of scooters over the past few weeks, Hannah all of a sudden didn’t even want to know about hers. Kids, hey! Who can predict them?


Oh Yeah, The Scooter!

After a solid ten minutes of swings, Hannah was ready to get off and explore the rest of the park. It was then that she finally noticed the scooter, as if it had magically appeared before her very eyes. Quickly enough she was on board, but we still had to overcome the first hurdle – the helmet.

We had tried to introduce Hannah to her helmet over the past day, but without much success. I had tried placing it on her head (no thanks dad), placing in on my head (hilarious!) and handing it to her to examine. The plan at the park was to get her on the scooter, jam the helmet on her head and then take off at full speed before she figured out what I had done.

That didn’t go quite to plan, and we ended up settling on a compromise of gently balancing the helmet on Hannah’s head without the chin straps done up, while we slowly pushed her along. Baby steps were well-and-truly required, but we were off.

Hannah looked quite pleased with her new ride, and soon enough we were into the swing of things. We stopped a couple of times to begin adjusting the sizing on the helmet and to introduce Hannah to the idea of chin straps. She hopped on and hopped off the scooter a few times.


Scooter memories, helmet


Definitely Not a Shrinking Violet

It was while we were stopped one of these times that a father approached us with his two young girls.

“What’s that?” he asked, his gaze drawn to the spectacular hot-pink and black, and the unique design.

I told him a bit about it and showed him how it converts. He was pretty impressed and complained about his little girl (slightly older than Hannah) having too many accidents with her stand-up ride. He seemed particularly impressed by the seat and the ability to convert into a proper stand-up scooter. His two little girls seemed enthusiastic too – the littlest one nodding eagerly when he asked her if she wanted one, and the older sister enthusiastically declaring that she too needed a Globber (despite being well past the seated stage).

I took that interaction as pretty good endorsement and made a mental note to joke with my Globber contact that I’d already made him a sale. Perhaps I could earn a commission by handing out business cards at the local parks…

After the dad and his two daughters had moved on, I took a moment to look at the scooter in all its glory. It certainly stands out in a crowd!


The Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 stands out in a crowd

Faster Daddy

Soon we had the hang of things and we were ready to really test the scooter. We headed off on the path out of the park and across the railway bridge. Hannah had definitely grown comfortable on the scooter. She was now confident enough to experiment with her feet by dragging them along the ground or placing them on the wheel. I think she quite liked the feel of the wheel rubbing against her ankle, because she kept her foot there for some time (we have the filthy sock to prove it).



The ground had been a rough asphalt and Hannah had handled that quite well, even though it was a fairly bumpy ride. At some point in the walk we hit a long stretch of smooth tarmac and that gave us the chance to gain some speed.

Hannah’s reaction was terrifying – she gave a hearty laugh of appreciation and leaned forward, as if egging me on to go faster. My mind skipped forward 16 years. I had visions of Hannah’s full speed ahead approach being applied to the piloting of an automobile, and I gave a little silent prayer to whatever deity may have been listening that self-driving cars would very much be a thing by then.

Hannah clearly had a need for speed and her new favourite toy was a means of achieving that. The smile that spread across her face from ear to ear was really all that I needed to egg me on. Every time I pushed that little bit faster, Hannah let her delight be known with a gleeful sound.


Making memories on the Globber scooter - faster daddy

Enough of the Helmet

After the glorious patch of smooth tarmac, we once again found ourselves bumping along some rougher terrain. Again, this didn’t bother Hannah and the scooter coped just fine. Much to my surprise, it even glided over the small sticks and other debris that had been blown over the path by the wild winds of the past few days. I put that down to the large front wheels, and probably the way that the scooter is pushed from behind in the sitting configuration.

Then, all of a sudden, we stopped.

Hannah took her hands off the handlebars and reached up to her head. She began to wrestle with the helmet and make some frustrated sounds. I stopped immediately. Hannah continued to wrestle with her helmet, so I took it off.

Then came the battle of the wills.

Hannah was determined to keep scooting, now that she was free of the helmet. I, on the other hand, insisted that she wear it if she wanted to ride.

1 1/2 year old children are not renowned for logical thought processes or the ability to mount counter arguments. Hannah is no exception to that, so she opted for expressing her extreme displeasure with the situation at the top of her voice.


Explaining the Situation

I carried Hannah for a while as we walked the return journey to the car. All the while she squirmed and wriggled, desperate to get back on her hot-pink steed. Even through her loud wails I did my best to explain the situation to her. I told her that she had to wear the helmet if she wanted to ride her scooter.

A couple of times we stopped walking and I gave Hannah the opportunity to scoot, but each time she resisted the attempt to reattach the helmet. It occurred to me that the helmet strap may have agitated the eczema under her chin, but there wasn’t a whole lot that I could do about it.

Eventually Hannah wriggled her way down from my arms and she walked along behind Emma, who pushed the scooter in front of her. Every now and then, Hannah pointed at the scooter and loudly protested our helmet rule.

We stopped again. The decent distance that Hannah had covered by walking had helped her to calm down a bit. I got down to her level, looked her straight in the eyes and asked again, “will you wear the helmet?”

A single, large nod was Hannah’s response. I placed the helmet on her head and she clambered aboard. Hannah had understood – if she wants to ride, she must wear a helmet.


Just Like Mum

We carried on our journey to the car and all seemed well… Until Hannah decided she wanted to get off… While the scooter was moving. Emma brought the scooter to a halt before Hannah had the chance to do herself any serious damage.

Hannah came round behind her scooter and reached up on to her tippy-toes. She could just reach the handle. It took us a moment to realise what she wanted – to use the handlebars to push the scooter herself.

Sure enough, once I lowered the handlebars to their shortest position, Hannah happily pushed the scooter all the way back to the car.


Globber scooter in the park pushed by toddler


The Verdict?

An excellent first time on the scooter, memories made! Even with the helmet issues, it was obvious that Hannah was made for scooting, and that the Globber scooter was made for Hannah. I’m very confident that it was the first of many, many rides and I love the way that the Globber scooter will grow and adapt to Hannah’s needs as her ability-level changes.


Disclosure – Globber provided Blog Of Dad with this scooter free of charge, for the purpose of review. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views. They are based on my experiences with the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.


DIY Daddy
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Hannah on Globber Scooter in the park Blog

My Sunday Photo – Scooter in the Park

My Sunday Photo for this week is of Hannah’s first ride of her scooter in the park

On Friday, Hannah’s new Globber scooter arrived (you can read my first impressions post here). naturally, that meant that we were destined to spend a large portion of our weekend on the local bike tracks.

It was a slow start to Hannah’s scooting career, mainly due to a reluctance to don a helmet, but once we got going, there was no stopping her (at least until she’d had enough of the helmet again)!


Hannah with Globber scooter ride in park helmet


Hannah covered a solid distance for her first ever go! I would estimate it at about a kilometre in total of riding. She also then walked a further half a kilometre when she decided that she wanted to be like mum and push the scooter by the handlebars. No wonder she was tired by the time we left the park.


Globber scooter in the park pushed by toddler


Hannah was happy to push herself along for a little while, but the squeals of joy really came out when I started pushing with a bit of speed! She loved experimenting with her feet by dragging them along the ground, or placing her foot on the wheel to feel the movement (see the picture below). I don’t think that pair of socks will ever be the same. As for the shoes, they may not be long for this world…


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Globber Evo 5-in-1 Blog

Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 Scooter – First Impressions

A few weeks ago I wrote about Hannah’s frustrations at the playground with other children’s scooters. Every time she saw an unattended one, she was drawn to it like a magnet. It was obvious to Emma and I that it was time for Hannah to learn to ride. Thankfully, we weren’t the only ones who felt that way. The awesome crew at Globber read that post and they felt that they had the perfect scooter for Hannah – the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter.

Today, that scooter arrived. Conveniently, the delivery came while Hannah was having her usual nap. That gave me a few moments to put the new ride together and to have a close look.


Quality – Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter

Regular readers of Blog of Dad know that quality is very important to me. Years of wasted money spent on cheap products that just don’t last have taught me that quality is half of the value equation (along with price). My first impression of the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter is that it is a well-constructed, quality piece of gear.

The first thing that I noticed when it was delivered was that the box had some weight to it. Not so much that it would be unwieldly for a small child to use, but enough to fill me with confidence that it wasn’t some kind of cheaply made plastic-fantastic.

Upon opening the box, I could see where that weight came from. The scooter came in five separate parts, each one made out of metal or sturdy-feeling moulded plastic.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter in box


I quickly built the scooter. The instructions in the provided booklet were fairly basic, but they weren’t really even needed. The Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 was intuitive and easy to put together.

I stood back and admired my handy work. The Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter is a pretty spectacular piece of equipment, especially in the hot pink. Hannah will certainly be seen coming as she flies down the bike track at the park!


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter side view


I gave the scooter a little push around the living room. All three of the wheels glided smoothly over the tiled floor. It took a little while to get used to the steering. The two front wheels are attached to ball bearing-mounted directional pivots, but they don’t “turn” as such. In the configuration where the scooter is controlled by a parent pushing, I often found myself having to lift the handle up, which brought the rear wheel off the ground. Once I had figured that out, I was able to get the scooter to pivot on the spot. I imagine that this will be less noticeable out on the wide-open bike tracks of the local park.


Versatility – Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter

The Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter has three main configurations – parent-propelled sitting, self-propelled sitting, and standing. The name 5-in-1 appears to come from further variations to these configurations (handlebar hight adjustment). As this is all very new to Hannah, I set her new ride up in the parent-propelled, sitting position.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter handlebars


I really like the versatility of this design. It means that we should be able to get many years of use out of it. According to the advertised specifications, the scooter can hold 50kg in the standing position. Again, it comes back to the idea that this scooter is built to last. It will grow with Hannah and help transition her from passive rider to actively in control. Not that she plans to be passive for long…


Toddler Magnet – Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter

As I said at the start, Hannah was fast asleep when the package arrived. Imagine her surprise when she came downstairs after her nap and saw this glorious pink, grey and black contraption sitting right there on her play mat! The same type of contraption that she had been so highly coveting EVERY SINGLE TIME we went to the playground in the past few months.

She sat in her high chair and drank her milk (nothing gets in the way of her after-nap milk), but she was pretty quick to discard the accompanying biscuit. Hannah demanded to be released from her high chair, and it was no surprise where she went immediately following her release. The shiny new scooter had all of her attention and, unlike at the park, she was free to touch it.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter rear wheel


Hannah hesitated for a second. She had been told all too often over the past month that she was not allowed to touch these things. But the reality of the situation quickly dawned on her. This was one of her very own. She was allowed to touch it! Even better, she was allowed to sit on it!

Hannah began to clamber aboard. The set-up was pretty easy for an 18 month old to understand (although she did initially try to mount it backwards). She needed a little help to begin with – I had to hold the handlebars to stop the scooter from moving as she climbed on.

Within seconds she was on, and all-too-late I realised my mistake. Once Hannah was aboard, there was no getting her off. Not only that, but to compound my mistake I began pushing her around the living room. I figured that was the end of any independent play for the afternoon – so long pile of washing that I was supposed to fold, good luck dishwasher that needed emptying. None of that was getting done now. For the rest of the afternoon, my life had a single purpose, to push an ecstatic toddler around the living room on her new favourite object.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 seat


Every time that I stopped pushing, a loud protest was issued. How dare I ruin the fun?

That was until Hannah realised she had the power of self-propulsion. Never one to stay too passive, Hannah soon figured out that she could run her feet along the ground and in doing so, gain control of the beast. Just like that I was released from my pushing duties. I was free to return to folding washing while at the same time keeping an eagle eye on Hannah as she explored her new device. She wasn’t too hard to observe – she hadn’t yet figured out how to turn the thing, so she had a pretty limited range.


Safety First

If the wild Sydney winds don’t stop us, it’s pretty certain that we will spend a decent chuck of this weekend at parks with great bike tracks. My first task for tomorrow morning will be to head down to the shops and buy a helmet. It is important to remember that even on a well-designed unit like the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter, there is an inherent degree of risk. After all, that’s actually part of the fun.

Even with the stability of three wheels, the scooter has the potential to tip, or Hannah may simply just fall off. A helmet is an absolute must, as will be very close supervision. I think the ability for a parent to control the movement of the scooter via the attached handlebars goes a long way to mitigating some of that danger in the learning phase.


Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter


Stay tuned…

As soon as we manage to get the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 into the wild (the bike track), I’ll report back. I’m itching to get outside and give it a propper go, and judging by the amount of attention Hannah is giving the scooter, so is she! Hopefully the Sydney August winds ease up just a little bit so that we can get out and about.


Disclosure – Globber provided Blog Of Dad with this scooter free of charge, for the purpose of review. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views. They are based on my experiences with the Globber MyFREE 5-in-1 scooter. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.

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prams at Cronulla Beach, a little taste of Spring Blog

My Sunday Photo – A Little Taste of Spring

My Sunday Photo for this week is from another stunning Sydney Sunday. It’s hard to call it “Winter” when the temperature reaches 27 degrees Celsius, so I’m going with A Little Taste of Spring.

The forecast had promised this perfect day all week, and it really didn’t disappoint. We planned to make the most of it, so we got out fairly early and headed deep into the Sutherland Shire. Our destination, Cronulla Beach.

When we arrived, the Cronulla area was already teeming with people. However, we quickly found a parking space and set off for a walk. After a cheeky bacon and egg roll and coffee from a small café, we headed down to the beach. Hannah had a great time in the sand. She found some seaweed and studied it intently. She also took great pleasure in walking and falling down on the soft, uneven surface of the beach. Click on each photo to see it in all its glory!



It was a stunning day to be out and about. A little taste of Spring after some fairly cold (by Sydney standards) Winter’s days.

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scooter path at park Blog

Covet Thy Neighbour’s Scooter

It’s no secret that we love the park. I’ve written about it many times before. We regularly go to our local toddler playground, but we also enjoy exploring Sydney and finding great new places to play. Many of the playgrounds that we find have bike tracks. These are always well-used, and why wouldn’t they be? They offer the perfect, safe environment for kids to learn how to ride a bike or scooter.


You see me rolling


Recently, Hannah has begun to take notice. She likes to watch the older kids zoom past confidently on their scooters. She happily sits or stands, for long periods of time and she studies them.

Of course, the inevitable result of that activity is that Hannah desperately wants to have a go as well. The scooter, after all, fits her modus operandi perfectly – full speed and just a hint of danger.

It has now reached the point where Hannah sees any poorly-guarded scooter as fair game. She can spot one from across the other side of the playground. And once she has seen one, she’s off. Nothing gets in her way. Her previous favourite piece of playground equipment – the swings – don’t even get a look-in once Hannah has spotted a scooter. She walks with Terminator-like determination. Other kids have to slam on the brakes, or violently swerve, in order to avoid crashing in to the tiny little tot as she bee-lines straight across the bike track.


The eternal dilemma


However, once she reaches the discarded personal transport, she is faced with the eternal dilemma – Do I listen to dad, who is telling me not to touch it, or do I follow my burning impulse and give it a crack?

To give Hannah full credit, she is a better listener than many children. More often than not she follows the simple instructions that I give her. Pack-up time, for example is fairly consistently an easy affair in our house. But even for the most eager-to-please toddler, the lure of a shiny, unattended scooter can be too much.

Inevitably, Hannah will tentatively reach out, the freedom-machine tantalisingly close to her fingertips. She will pause, briefly, just centimetres away when she once again hears my voice gently remind her that the scooter is not hers. She will consider the information for a moment, but as soon as her eye is once-again drawn to the prize, she is left with little choice. Her impulse is now in charge. It tells her that if she can just wrap her tiny little fingers around the smooth, chrome handlebar, then it will indeed be hers!




Unfortunately for Hannah, it is at that exact same moment that I swoop in and scoop her up. Over the wail of her own voice, she doesn’t her me mumble an apology to the disapproving 6 year old who has just raced over to rescue his pride-and-joy from a devastating touching by a toddler GIRL! And she probably doesn’t care much for my apology anyway. The only thing that she’s sorry about at that point in time is that her long, golden locks are not fluttering in the breeze as she elegantly sails down the bike track on her shiny silver steed.


One day soon, my darling, I will get you a shiny scooter of your very own. But for now, you have to wait. Have patience, my dear. Know that I’m looking forward to the day that I teach you how to ride one, almost as much as you are.

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