Sheffield Life Festival – 23/4/2016

The sign of a good day out is when you can’t stop talking about it afterwards and that was certainly the case with the Life Festival in Sheffield we went to!

With Heidi being completely obsessed with all things medical and a particular focus on radiology (can 2 year olds specialise?!) it felt like going to a medical research event was a must do, even though it was in Sheffield and it certainly was!

Although it was in the slightly strange location on an indoor market, it helped create a good atmosphere and I dare say people who didn’t know about the event were drawn in and hopefully increased the impact of the event. As a dad of a toddler, it helped as it was inside (read: dry and warm!)

So the event was 9 or so stands dotted around the market all showing different aspects of medicine and medical research. While a few of the stands weren’t really appropriate for toddlers (and that is completely understandable) there were some which were absolutely brilliant.

The dentistry stand run by the dentist students was brilliant as Heidi is into brushing her teeth (thanks to a Minions toothbrush!) and hearing her talk about how she brushes them was an absolute joy. The students were absolutely fabulous with Heidi too, showing her and teaching her about fillings and being interactive with a drill.

Learning about teeth

We moved on to the stand run by the medical students and given Heidi’s obsession with all things medical, I knew that this would be a success! We used a mock MRI machine and then we looked at real life x-rays before playing a game trying to put internal organs in the right place (not real!) While this final bit was a bit advanced for both of us, it has given me ideas how to teach/stretch Heidi’s learning going forward.

Scientist Heidi breaking bones!

The other stands were not quite as toddler friendly, although we did enjoy the chicken bone experiment  (it would take me an age to describe it!) but just getting Heidi used to science, experiments and safety goggles is all good. Oh, and Heidi kindly got an ice lolly to help with her calcium, obviously!

"Healthy" option

There were some really cool things for slightly older children, which we tried to have a go at, including using microscopes πŸ”¬ which was on the “to do” list after going to the Be Curious event in Leeds previously (link here) and so that was really good to do. We also saw some futuristic companion pets, although I think that was somewhat lost on Heidi!

Companion pet

All in all, we spent an hour and a half there which was really good and we would have spent longer if we weren’t getting a bit hungry and had to head back home. Even after seeing everything, Heidi wanted to go back to see the x-rays and the dentists again!!!

After a quick bite to eat, we continued with the toilet training (last update here – and we are making progress!) with Debenhams toilets being the place to go! As the snooker championships are on at the moment, there were a few activities on the go, with one being a mini-football court set up, which Heidi had a little go on…


I said at the start that the sign of a good day was went you can’t stop talking about it and Heidi was mentioning it all day yesterday and even wanted it as her bedtime story. Another sign that it was a good day was when Heidi fell asleep straight away for the journey up the M1, absolutely exhausted  (after a mild, rare tired related strop!).

I’m sure we will be back in future years and take in more activities from the festival as this was just one part of it, albeit the most toddler friendly!


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