Steam and water museum

Having been a Nanny in Kew for two years, I absolutely loved hopping over the bridge to Brentford to this fantastic little museum. I am still a South West Nanny so drive over for visits sometimes.

I shall use this museum to guide the topics of this blog and share all you can learn from there, and things you can do in your home to learn about this topic. The “More to Books” section will appear under each topic to make it clearer.

This museum is great for if it’s a little wet or cold outside as there are plenty of things to do inside, although, at the weekends, when they have enough brilliant volunteers, they also have a working mini steam train!

Steam Trains

Small world train sets are fun. For younger children there is Happyland sets or for older learner, brio.

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The London Transport Museum is an awesome museum and deserves a blog all on its own! But here’s the link if you want to plan a trip:

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For my “up north” readers, the National Transport Museum is also great. I studied My Undergraduate Degree at York so spent many a day in this museum with my Uni mates.

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And again, totally needs a blog all to itself but The Beamish Museum is one of my great loves. I did my PGCE and Masters in Durham University and the yearly membership only cost slightly more than the day ticket so I spent so many weekends here, I took my little cousin A LOT! But for the purposes of this blog, the reason you should visit is the working steam train (and so much more)

Max Chadwick, Haslingden (aged 22 months) taking a train

More to books…

For our younger readers:

That’s not my train by Usborne

For older readers:

The three railway engines by The Rev W Awdry
Troublesome Engines by The Rev W Awdry

For even older readers (but not too old)

The Little Fire Engine by Graham Greene, illustrated by Edward Ardizzone

Magazines are also a great way to encourage reading.

Max Chadwick, Haslingden (aged 22 months) looking at a Thomas the Tank Engine Magazine


Yes, you read that right!

So the museum, being about water, talks about the River Thames and the Victorian sewer systems.

You can even paint a pottery poo. This is at Potter Potter in Putney, we frequent this place often.

What kid doesn’t love a story with poo in it? This is a lovely lift the flap non-fiction book that we bought at the museum. G3 that I look after keeps telling us facts.

What is poo? By Usborne

For our older learners (above 8) there is a fun selection all all sorts of topics called “You wouldn’t want to live without…”

You wouldn’t want to live without poop! By Alex Woolf, illustrated by David Antram (Photo credit:Amazon

I love Tom Fletcher, I also love watching him and Giovana Fletcher on my FB. Lovely couple with lovely children. Plus, all children have a giggle at his books.

The dinosaur that pooped…series by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by. Gary Parsons(Photo credit:

The poo topic obviously lends itself to potty training antics but again, that is big enough for a blog all by itself!


There’s two parts to this section, water play and saving water. We will start with water play.

When I looked after “the little man in my life” who features greatly in my book (which you can by at was doing the mountain of ironing everyday, his favourite thing to do was the washing up. I used to fill the sink with luke warm water and lots of bubbles and put in the children’s plastic plates and bowls with spoons and cups. He would play for hours if I’d let him. He had a little apron or on hot days, I just let him stand on a stool in his nappy.

Another anecdote that is in my book is when I was a very young, new, naive nanny on a cruise ship for a private family, we bought the children a toy boat in Germany. Having only a shower in my cabin, I decided to “plug” the hole to fill up the bottom of the shower with some water so the boys could play. But the plug hole wouldn’t unblock and I spent a lot of time draining it, worrying that I’d have to confess. Luckily, I got it unblocked and the boys had an awesome time.

Bathtime water play and learning

You can buy letters and number toys that stick to the side of the bath. We used to make words from the letters or pick out a number and match the ducks. It always reminded me of the soup in that children’s tv show that was on.

Also, you can get bath friendly pens or paint. I only do this when I have plenty of time to clean the bath after, however; I also “train” my older children to clean the bath themselves while they still sat in it- or they can’t have the paints/pens in the bath again.

Wilf, Manchester (aged 1) and his Daddy in the paddling pool.

Swimming is great exercise and totally counts as water play. Sometimes, public swimming pools have family times where they have inflatables to play on. Check out your local one.

In Richmond (London), they have a public outdoor swimming pool.

But water play doesn’t have to be clean! And with the weather like it is in our wonderful British summer, get your wellies on and go for a jump in those muddy puddles! Why not collect sticks and stones and build bridges or stepping stones for fairies or little creatures?

Saving water

The museum has awesome freebies that you can use, the child-friendly ones are water eco action cards which are a little like top- trumps cards and a timer for your shower (which can also be used to time how long your little ones brush their teeth)

The museum has a little tv in the first section where the children can press coloured buttons. The last two buttons show child-friendly cartoons on how to save water in the kitchen and in the bathroom. See below for books on saving water and a website to help get clean water for children across the world.

More to books…

You can get books for in the water. Sometimes, if we have ran out of time in the day to due to a ballet class or play date, I will sit outside the bath and hold g5’s reading book as she reads.

Peter Rabbit Bath time fun by Beatrix Potter (Photo credit:

Linking to last weeks blog, for our very young learners, introduce them to the Beatrix Potter characters.

The Rainbow Fish Bath Book by Marcus Pfister (Photo credit:

Do you remember the hose pipe bans in summer across England? I’ve been as a travel nanny to Cape Town, Africa during the water shortage where water is so limited that in the public bathrooms and some restaurants the taps were cut off and the toilets were flushed with grey water.

This next book is about a models childhood called Georgie Badiel and she is making efforts to make sure all children across Africa and the world to have access to clean safe water.

The Water Princess written by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H Reynolds (Photo credit:
You wouldn’t want to live without clean water by Roger Canavan, illustrated by David Antram (Photo credit:

There are other books in my blog on Recycling that touch upon how you can save the Planet by conserving water.

Please send me pictures of your children with toy train sets, on a train or engaging in water play or jumping in muddy puddles!

Love Kat x

Published by moretobooks

Award- winning author of the book: “There’s more to books than reading- how to help your child bring stories to life” With a Masters in Education, I have taught as a School teacher across Northern England and have worked as a Nanny/Governess in London and across the world. I support parents and nannies to bring learning into the home in an exciting and purposeful way. Also a speaker at events such as NannyPalooza and the International Nanny Day 2017 and featured in the Nanny Magazine (USA) and Childcare Magazine (UK)

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