Features

School Open Days List

New term, new schools, new prospective schools. Time to do your research? Here’s our school open days list to help you on your way.

 

 

Whether you’re starting out on the schools hunt, or long in the tooth, the best way to find out about a school is to go and see it in action. Autumn is usually the busiest time for school open days but spring and summer following entrance examinations is also likely to see a flurry of dates set. Read our Autumn issue to gather tips on things to ask and look out for when you visit, put together by our education partner, The Good Schools Guide. Otherwise, scroll on through our open day list and add the dates to your diary!

 

ACS SCHOOLS

acs-schools.com

COBHAM

acs-schools.com/cobham

HILLINGDON

acs-schools.com/hillingdon

 

ARTSED

artsed.onlineopendays.com

Sixth Form:

Wednesday 22 September

Day School:

Thursday 23 September

Recordings of Q&A and other resources via the link above.

 

BEDALES PREP SCHOOL, DUNHURST

bedales.org.uk

 

BEDE’S

bedes.org

Senior School:

Saturday 18 September

Prep School:

Saturday 2 October

 

BRIGHTON COLLEGE

brightoncollege.org.uk

In person open days planned

College:

Saturday 2 October

Nursery, Pre-Prep & Prep School:

Saturday 9 October

 

CALDICOTT PREPARATORY SCHOOL

caldicott.com

Online appointments with Headmaster Jeremy Banks booked via admissions@caldicott.com.

 

CHEPSTOW HOUSE

chepstowhouseschool.co.uk

Make an enquiry via the website above.

 

CLIFTON LODGE SCHOOL

cliftonlodgeschool.co.uk

Saturday 9 October, Saturday 5 February 2022, Saturday 7 May 2022

 

COLLÈGE FRANÇAIS BILINGUE LONDRES

cfbl.org.uk

Bilingual International school from Nursery to Year 10

Enquiries to admissions@cfbl.org.uk or via our website link above

Virtual tour here

 

COTTESMORE SCHOOL

cottesmoreschool.com

 

CRANLEIGH PREPARATORY SCHOOL

cranprep.org

Saturday 2 October

 

DEVONSHIRE HOUSE PRE-PREP & PREP SCHOOL

devonshirehouseschool.co.uk

Thursday 14 October, 4 & 18 November, 2 December

 

DITCHAM PARK SCHOOL

ditchampark.com

 

DOWNSEND SCHOOL

downsend.co.uk

Virtual tour

 

DURSTON HOUSE

durstonhouse.org

Thursday 4 & Friday 4 November, pupil-led tour, Saturday 5 November Open Day

 

EATON SQUARE SCHOOLS

eatonsquareschools.com

Thursday 14 October

Read more about Eaton Square Schools here. 

 

EDGEBOROUGH SCHOOL

Tour – Contact Admissions Registrar, Mrs Christine Davis, at admissions@edgeborough.co.uk. or call us on 01252 792495

 

FALCONS GIRLS & PEREGRINES NURSERY

falconsgirls.co.uk

Private in-person tours on weekdays.

 

FALCONS PRE-PREPARATORY

falconsboys.co.uk

Wednesday 29 September

 

FALCONS PREP

falconsprep.co.uk

Friday 17 September

 

FRENSHAM HEIGHTS

frensham.org

Mini tours to be held in autumn term.

Pre-recorded tour available in the link above.

 

FULHAM SCHOOL

fulham.school

Complete a booking form via the form in the link above.

 

GAYHURST SCHOOL

gayhurstschool.co.uk

Wednesday 6 October

 

HALL SCHOOL WIMBLEDON

hsw.co.uk

 

HAWKESDOWN HOUSE

hawkesdown.co.uk

Book an appointment via the website above.

 

HEATHFIELD SCHOOL ASCOT

heathfieldschool.net

Saturday 16th October

To book: admissions@heathfieldschool.net

 

HIGHFIELD & BROOKHAM

highfieldschool.org.uk

Saturday 25 September

Friday 19 November

 

HIGHFIELD PREP

highfieldprep.org

To book a private virtual tour contact Registrar, Laura Chell, on 01628 624918.

 

IBSTOCK PLACE SCHOOL

ibstockplaceschool.co.uk

Follow the link above for recordings.

 

KEW COLLEGE

kewcollege.com

Open days in June and September.

 

LEH SCHOOL

lehs.org.uk

Junior School:

Wednesday 29 September

Senior School:

Saturday 9 October

Full details of events and how to register can be found under the Admissions section of the website.

 

LYCEÉ INTERNATIONAL DE LONDRES WINSTON CHURCHILL

lyceeinternational.london

Co-ed Independent Bilingual International School from nursery to Y13.

 

LYNDHURST HOUSE PREPARATORY SCHOOL

lyndhursthouse.co.uk

Private tours via the web address above plus:

Wednesday 20 October, Tuesday 2 November

 

MARLBOROUGH HOUSE SCHOOL

marlboroughhouseschool.co.uk

Book above for virtual open days.

 

MOULSFORD

moulsford.com

 

NEWTON PREP

newtonprepschool.co.uk

Saturday 2 October

 

NORTH BRIDGE HOUSE

northbridgehouse.com/open

Nursery & Pre-Prep West Hampstead

Saturday 11 September & Saturday 2 October

Prep School, Regent’s Park

Saturday 25 September

Senior Hampstead

Saturday 25 September

Senior Canonbury

Saturday 18 September

 

NOTTING HILL & EALING HIGH SCHOOL

nhehs.gdst.net

Junior School:

Tuesday 21, Wednesday 29 September & Tuesday 12 October

Senior School:

Friday 17 September, Thursday 30 September, Tuesday 5 October, Wednesday 13 October (evening), Tuesday 9 November

Sixth Form:

Thursday 7 October

 

ORLEY FARM SCHOOL

orleyfarm.harrow.sch.uk

Saturday 9 October

 

PARSONS GREEN PREP SCHOOL

parsonsgreenprep.co.uk

Saturday 25 September

 

PORT REGIS

portregis.com

Virtual tours available year round.

 

QUEENSWOOD

queenswood.org

 

RADNOR HOUSE

radnor-twickenham.org

Sixth Form Open Evening:

Wednesday 22 September

Whole School Open Day:

Saturday 2 October 2021, 13 November 2021 & 14 May 2022

 

REDCLIFFE GARDENS SCHOOL

redcliffeschool.com

Book a tour via the address above.

 

ST AUGUSTINE’S PRIORY

sapriory.com

Saturday 25 September

 

ST BENEDICT’S

stbenedicts.org.uk

Whole School Open Morning:

Saturday 9 October

 

ST CATHERINE’S, BRAMLEY

www.stcatherines.info

Senior School:

Tuesday 28 September, Thursday 21 October, Tuesday 23 November, Wednesday 26 January, Friday 11 March, Thursday 5 May and Wednesday 15 June.

Prep School:

Tuesday 21 September, Wednesday 13 October, Friday 12 November, Friday 4 February, Thursday 10 March, Wednesday 4 May 2022 and Friday 10 June ( geared to Reception entry 4+)

To Register contact prepadmissions@stcatherines.info Registrar Sally Manhire on 01483 899757 or click to book here.

 

ST GEORGE’S ASCOT

stgeorges-ascot.org.uk

Termly Open Mornings

 

ST JAMES PREPARATORY SCHOOL

stjamesschools.co.uk

 

SANDROYD

sandroyd.org

Book a tour via the website above.

 

SHIPLAKE COLLEGE

shiplake.org.uk

Recorded Virtual Tour

 

SOUTH HAMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL

Recording available by emailing senioradmissions@shhs.gdst.net

 

TASIS (The American School in England)

tasisengland.org

Whole School Open Morning:

Friday 1 October

Follow link above to book a place, a private appointment or to see tour recordings.

 

THE MANOR HOUSE BOOKHAM

manorhouseschool.org

Recorded Tour

 

THE ROCHE SCHOOL

therocheschool.com

 

THE VILLA SCHOOL & NURSERY

thevillaschoolandnursery.co.uk

Arrange tours by contacting via the website above.

 

THE VILLAGE PREP SCHOOL

thevillageschool.org.uk

Wednesday 22 September, Wednesday 12 October

 

TORMEAD SCHOOL

tormeadschool.org.uk

 

WETHERBY PREP

wetherbyprep.co.uk

School tour available at here.

 

If you would like your school to be added to the list, please email editor@citykidsmagazine.co.uk.

Feature image: St Benedict’s Junior School

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READ OUR AUTUMN ISSUE HERE

City Kids Autumn Book Review

As the effects of the pandemic continue, books can provide solace during an unsettling and challenging time. Here’s the City Kids autumn book review to keep children interested in the world at large, whether they are home or in school.

By @sharonfjones

Pre school

 

 

Book Hospital by Leigh Hodgkinson (Simon & Schuster) £6.99
In this cute story about loving books, we hear all about the adventures that books can take you on. But what happens when books are scribbled on, spilt on, chewed up and accidently ripped? They go to the Book Hospital, silly! There they are lovingly restored and returned to their owner ready to be enjoyed again. Leigh Hodginkison humorous illustrations guides us through the perils of being a book especially when the last page is missing…

 

 

When I See Red by Britta Teckentrup £10.99
Britta Teckentrup beautifully depicts anger, in this tale of a girl whose rage sweeps her away like a storm in a forest. Understanding this emotion can be difficult for children and this book shows the different sides to anger which can seem frightening or overwhelming, but also powerful if used in a positive way. Teckentrup’s bold illustrative style captures our heroine’s emotional journey in a way that is accessible to young readers who may recognise themselves when anger takes hold.

 

Primary

 

 

The Book of Labyrinths and Mazes by Silke Vry and Finn Dean – (Prestel) £14.99
An absolutely stunning book, packed full of stories and puzzles all about labyrinths and mazes from the past to the present. Full of historical facts, philosophy and stories from across the globe – it explains how labyrinths have been embedded in culture for centuries and why humans have been obsessed with creating them. Fascinating and visually engaging, this book will have you hot-footing it to Hampton Court to test out why we are scared yet excited by the idea of getting lost.

 

 

Interview with a Shark & Other Ocean Giants Too by Andy See and Nick East (Welbeck Children’s) £9.99
This funny and informative book goes on the premise of a scuba diver who invents a machine which allows him to talk to animals, even ones that live underwater. He interviews the great and the good of the sea world, finding out fascinating facts about their lives, including a manta ray (who is six metres wide), blue whale (who is as heavy as 25 elephants), octopus (favourite book – Diary of a Wimpy Squid) but also enlightens readers that all his guests are endangered and with some simple steps they too can help look after the planet. Perfect for young animal lovers who love humour.

 

Secondary

 


Wildlord by Philip Womack (Little Island Books) £7.99

If you’re looking for a gripping adventure with a supernatural edge, this is just the ticket. When orphan Tom Swinton receives a mysterious letter from an uncle he didn’t know he had asking him to visit his Suffolk farm because ‘It is time for you to see, time for you to understand’ he cannot help but be intrigued. When he arrives Tom soon senses a feeling of foreboding and quickly realises he is far from alone – dangerous beings occupy the surrounding woods and the farm has secrets which hold the key to his parents death. A page turner from start to finish.

 

 

Allies by Shakirah Bourne & Dana Alison Levy (DK) £12.99
Everyone needs an ally and this is a fitting book for the times we currently live in. 17 bestselling YA authors talk about what allyship means and how to show up for underrepresented groups, be that friends or strangers. These powerful accounts of racism and disability may make for an uncomfortable read, but they also give the opportunity for self-reflection, as well as ideas for action. Some of the proceeds of this book will go to The Black Curriculum.

 

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READ OUR NEW AUTUMN ISSUE!

The wait is over. Our new Autumn issue with Schools Supplement in association with The Good Schools Guide is out now!

 

 

 

And what an issue it is. Click the image to read cover to cover for the ultimate guide for the Autumn. As ever, our What’s On guide is packed with family events to add to your diary. Jo Pratt has written a warming Autumn recipe to see us through the cooler days plus we’ve Halloween decor for the tricksiest parties at the end of October. Didn’t get away this year? We’ve got some trips of a lifetime outlined in our travel pages, plus the podcasts to listen to while you’re on the flight. And Contrary to popular belief, Sophie Clowes uncovers the revelation that children and parents are happier when they spend time together outdoors…it’s a must read. We’ve autumn fashion and woodland themed interiors, plus Beverley Turner’s take on parental judgement. The best news is saved until last though as we celebrate our new partnership with The Good Schools Guide inside our Schools Supplement. Experts share their wisdom on state schools, getting back to routine and the all-through school model, as well providing key information on primary, secondary, boarding and day schools within our directory. What are you waiting for? Click the cover to read our new autumn issue now!

 

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CHOOSE LYCÉE WINSTON CHURCHILL

Sponsored post

Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill: the first choice school for international families in London

 

 

With 100% success on all exams and graduates admitted to the most prestigious and sought after universities in the world, Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill offers a perfect balance between academic rigour and innovation. Its guiding philosophy places the needs of each child at the heart of the educational experience, welcoming every student into a dynamic and caring international community. It’s no wonder it’s the first choice school of international families.

A remarkable 100% of our graduating class in 2021 passed with excellent marks. Our IB Diploma school’s average grade is 35.8/45 which is well above the world average of 33.02/45, and 88% of our French Baccalaureat students passed with honours including 43% with highest honours.

Below are a few messages the school received:

“We were thrilled by our daughter’s excellent results at the IB!! She has met her conditions for her first choice and we are so happy for her.Thank you again for all your support!” (LIL parent)

Thank you so much for your help throughout those two years for both my education and well-being!” (LIL student)

“Excellent results for our first cohort! They have set the bar high!” Our students can be proud of what they have accomplished!  (LIL teacher)

Unlike local schools taught in a single language that can tie students to a national curriculum and restrict their future options elsewhere, Lycée Churchill offers programs that open educational avenues. The school has also been classified as “outstanding” by Ofsted, Britain’s educational standards office, for secondary education and student wellbeing.

Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill is a co-ed independent non-selective bilingual school located on a leafy two-hectare campus in North London.  The school accommodates 850 students aged 3 to 18 and offers two bilingual programs, both aiming to develop every child into a forward-thinking, principled, and joyful world citizen.

Language immersion begins at 3 years old. Classes are taught jointly by native speakers of French and English, both present at all times — like two parents in a multilingual household. This more natural and organic approach to bilingualism is carried out by highly trained early learning specialists in a nurturing and family-like environment.

In the Primary section, instruction is half in English, half in French from Year 1/GSM to Year 6/CM2. Each class meets every day with French-speaking and English-speaking teachers, who coordinate as well with specialty teachers in subjects such as PE, language, and music.

In Secondary, families choose between the French bilingual program accredited by the Ministry of National Education, leading to the Baccalauréat, or an English-oriented track leading to the IB Diploma. The only constant is that education remains bilingual until the age of 18, steeped in the supportive atmosphere for which the Lycée is known.

With students from 45 countries and teachers of 29 different nationalities, the Lycée offers an international environment where the diversity of families from cultures around the world encourages dialogue. Its modern teaching ethos combines traditional disciplines with initiative, exploration, critical thinking, teamwork, and personal development.

Lycee Churchill takes full advantage of the latest educational technologies, which are thoughtfully and securely integrated into education and everyday school life. This solid digital foundation proved to be a major asset during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the Lycée pivoted seamlessly to online learning. The school now offers distance education programs and virtual classes for students joining our French programme leading to the Baccalauréat, a boon for families who are moving between assignments or looking for quality education from a remote setting.

To book a private visit, write to admissions@lyceeinternational.london or alternatively, visit the school’s website at www.lyceeinternational.london and register to attend  one of our next virtual  open day.

 

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WILD SWIMMING

Sophie Clowes steps into the wild to give us a taste of swimming outdoors, whatever the weather, wherever you are

 

 

Everybody seems to be doing it. Finding spots outside in rivers, lakes, lidos and the sea to take part in a bit of wild swimming. Sophie Clowes tells us how she got the bug, and shares some incredibly useful advice on kit, books and Instagram accounts to follow before you dip your toe in the water.

 

It is a rainy lunchtime on a school day. It is also May 2020, and the country is in tight lockdown. Our children are trying their best with school at home, as are we. We are all tired and fractious and it’s difficult to know quite how to arrange our thoughts, how to focus, how to be. So, we say to hell with it and go for a family swim in a downpour. In the Thames. We laugh and splash and shiver with unalloyed delight, retuning our senses and resetting our focus so we are ready for another afternoon of lonely grind.

A year later, no more than a week has gone by without one or more of us easing ourselves into the swirling water of a high tide and being taken downstream by the swooshing current, braving the cold in just our swimmers. A punctuation mark in the sentence of lockdown, we’ve swum against the flow, we’ve squealed at the cold, had a quick dip, gone miles, swum at dawn and dusk and all the daylight hours between, double dipped, made friends both human and feathered, watched the seasons change and felt the water temperature dip to 2.2*C from the 20+*C of the hot summer months. We have delighted in this pulsing watery artery that helps keep the heart of our wondrous capital beating fast.

Swimming is many things to many people but more than anything else it is redemptive. There is a time and a place for every type of swim, from a squad session in a chlorinated indoor pool to a floaty holiday dip in a warm, salty ocean. I have tried them all, indeed searched for swims wherever I have been in the world. And yet, all this time one of the best pools has been right on my doorstep and I didn’t know I could go in, outside an official swim.

Getting in the river is a simple pleasure that is different every single time. The tide and current generously swoosh us along, faster than I could go at full-stroke crawl. It’s a clearing of the mind, it’s physiological experimenting, it’s discovering my body can adapt to withstand an ice swim (any water below 5*C, apparently), it’s soul food, it’s literally immersing ourselves in nature. It’s family time – we usually swim breaststroke and have had wonderful chats and laughs as we float along. It’s the slow familiarity of the tide times and the lunar cycle. It’s the unexpected and welcome increase in constant core warmth out of the water. It’s the temporary stinging cold, the visceral feel of the after-drop when it is as if icy water is slipping down your body’s core – a not unpleasant feeling and one that is as surprising as it is fascinating, in a geeky way. Swimming in the river is also contradictory: cleansing yet dirty-ish, cold-making yet glow-giving, exhausting yet energising. It reflects all the whirling variants of life. It is joy.

Is it allowed? Isn’t it too dangerous? Isn’t it too dirty? I have thought long and hard about all of this and tend to keep quiet about our swimming unless specifically asked. However, in this wonky year, when our health, emotions and finances have been buffeted like never before, I have come to the conclusion that the wonders and restorative powers of this beautiful stretch of water should be shared, leaving people to draw their own conclusions.

Who owns the Thames? The Crown Estate owns the river bed and leases most of it to the Port of London Authority (PLA) which is responsible for the foreshore right up to the high water mark. And yes, just as rowing boats, kayaks and SUPs can use it, so can swimmers, provided you do so at your own risk, taking every precaution to keep safe.

 

 

Of course swimming in the river is dangerous but, with a bit of knowledge, many of those dangers can be mitigated. We have come up with our own set of family swim rules, alongside those of the RNLI… We always walk into the water from a set of steps or slipway and we never go in without a swimming hat on and wearing a tow float. These both have personal practical benefits but, above all, they show you are in the water deliberately and are visible to other river users. We have discovered that the best time to swim is either side of high tide, in the direction of the tide. You must know your exact exit point before you get in, plus a second one in case you miss the first (we haven’t yet). Keep close to the bank, never attempt to swim across the river and remember it is your responsibility to ensure other river users know you are there. You should also know the significance of the red and green buoys, and, therefore, which side of the river boats will be on. Rowers go backwards and, however silly you think you sound shouting, “Look ahead, eight, swimmer!”, it’s going to be less awkward than being hit by an oar. I do swim alone but I always have someone on the bank for reassurance.

Tide times shift by about an hour each day and I find elemental comfort in following the waxing and waning of the moon and a slow accrual of tidal knowledge. Swimming in the river is a choice and with it you must choose to politely sidestep the naysayers and, in my case, the mansplainers. For that’s another joy of river swimming – it is there for everyone and is wonderfully equalizing. Which fits very neatly with a quote I found about equality itself, most notably used by JFK, “Equality is a rising tide that lifts all boats.” Oh, how I like that.

‘Ugh, it’s filthy!’ This is the one element that I waver on. Only once have I got in and thought that it wasn’t as clean as it should be. In reality, the water mostly feels cold and velvety and there is very little rubbish – it is fallen leaves or fishy tickles that make me jump.

What’s the worst that has happened? Well, I got out one day and felt a wriggling in my cleavage. I pulled my cossie away from my chest and found that I had actually caught a teeny tiny fish! Did I squeal? Of course I did! Did my children exit the river faster than ever? Yup! I flipped it out and it swam away…

We try not to put our heads under but on a hot sunny day we do. At a time of fear and uncertainty the ebb and flow of the river is a comforting salve, for nature continues on her merry way, changing her clothing with the seasons and the certainty that the blossom and green shoots will come again and that the ducklings and goslings will hatch is of great comfort.

Every swim is a little adventure that is full of beauty. Some days it’s choppy and feels like a sea swim, other days it’s like glass and you swim into the reflection. Often it feels like we slough off the day’s woes and come out of the river reborn in some way. There is something spiritual about being held by the water and there is thinking time on a swim. It is a physical and meditative practice with therapeutic qualities; less so with our children, of course, with whom it is a noisier, funnier affair. No two swims are ever the same, which in times of drudgery and monotony is an opportunistic pleasure that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. You never regret a swim, especially a lunchtime one in the pouring rain.

London swim spots

Please respect and protect your swim environment and know that you enter at your own risk. Please also be aware that lidos, lakes and pools might have number and time restrictions due to Covid.

The Thames. We have never swum further east than Dove Pier or further west than Strand-on-the-Green. Please be aware that there are sewage dumps in the Thames. Information is available online and rivers users are advised to wait at least three tides for the pollution to clear.

The Serpentine – membership to swim year round in the early morning, including the famous Christmas Day swim; pay as you go in the summer months. This is the oldest outdoor swimming club in Britain (royalparks.org.uk).

Hampstead Ponds (cityoflondon.gov.uk)

Docklands (loveopenwater.co.uk)

Hillingdon Lido (better.org.co.uk)

Brockwell Lido (brockwelllido.com)

Park Road Lido, Crouch End (fusion-lifestyle.com)

Shepperton –specific days only (sheppertonopenwaterswim.co.uk)

Hampton outdoor pool (hamptonpool.co.uk)

Kit

Tow float – a 20lt one is perfect for your own kit, 28lt if you’ve got to take your children’s stuff, too, or if your mission involves snacks! Swim Secure is a great brand.

Phone cover – Swim Secure again. I’ve never tested it outside of my tow float.

Shoes – for river swimming I can’t recommend Hot Tuna shoes from Sports Direct highly enough. You can’t feel you’re wearing them but you can put your feet down without suffering a case of the scaries and you can walk quite far in them too. All for a tenner. They won’t keep your feet warm – for that you need neoprene booties.

Gloves – 3ml neoprene gloves will save you from frostnip in the colder months and help you stay in longer.

Swim hat – for visibility above all else. Silicone ones will keep you warmer and are less hairpullingly sticky. Zogs, Arena or Speedo are the regular makes. Or, for some floral frippery, try a retro one such as FineSaratoga on Etsy.

Hammam towel – lightweight, pretty, and wearable, too, they also make an excellent rug or changing mat and dry superfast in the sun. Try Dar Leone (dar-leone.com) or Bohemia (bohemiadesign.co.uk).

Body glide – excellent for preventing wetsuit chafing.

Wetsuit – Fit is everything with a wetsuit. Go to a real-life specialist shop: try Sigma Sports in Hampton Wick or Ocean Leisure at the bottom of Northumberland Avenue. Good brands are Zone 3, Huub or Orca. (They are not cheap. They are cheap next to the price of a road bike.) It will feel like it is sucking the life out of you but once in the water your fears of having bought a too-small one will evaporate. Wetsuit technology is hugely advanced but these are for crawl only – you will damage your knees if you try to swim breaststroke in a hi-tech tri wetsuit.

For growing kids, ask friends for hand-me-downs. Otherwise, C-skins is an excellent make and will keep little bodies warm and buoyant.

Costumes – My 14-year-old utilitarian Speedo costume is still going strong! It goes in the river, the sea, a chlorinated pool and in the washing machine, it dries in the sun or on the radiator, hasn’t bagged, shrunk or thinned. It doesn’t give me a hungry bottom, is long enough in the torso, high enough on the legs and fits under a wetsuit with ease. But, frankly, I’d love something a little more whimsy without forfeiting the performance element. The hunt is on. You can spend anything from £20 to £220, neither guaranteeing a suit that will last more than a summer but here’s where to look…

Louise Mischa on en.smallable.com (bet you get distracted…)

Batoko.com

Deakinandblue.com

Davyj.org

Speedo.com

Supermarkets

Sports Direct

Books and films

Leap in by Alexandra Heminsley. Her description of learning to breathe correctly in the water by watching her young nephew blowing raspberries with his food is technically spot on!

I am an island by Tamsin Calidas. This is extremely raw but beautiful writing.

My Octopus Teacher – this Oscar-winning documentary touches yet again on the redemptive power of cold water. And has an underwater chase scene to rival Bond.

Instagram

@theoutdoorswimmingsociety

@caldamac

@lewis.pugh

@gillymcarthur

@ellachloeswims

@hemmograms

@lorrainecandy

@winniepoaty

@vivgroskop

@kate_rew

 

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FRIDAY FIVE 16TH JULY

What’s On this Weekend? 

From circus acts, festivals, bumper cars and exhibitions – this weeks’ Friday Five is fun fun fun! There’s something to suit kids (and grown-ups) of all ages. Be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment!

UNDERBELLY FESTIVAL IN CAVENDISH SQUARE

UNDERBELLY FESTIVAL

From circus acts and theatre to comedy shows and dance parties, the pop-up festival has something for everyone from its new home in Cavendish Square.

See high-flying aerial stunts at circus show Hotel Paradiso, join a family dance party at Baby Loves Disco or laugh along with Comedy Club 4 kids. There are also shows from CBBC’s Sam & Mark and Basil Brush, improvised music acts and much more.

Find out more here

THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA MUSICAL AT THEATRE ROYAL HAYMARKET

THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA

Based on the much-loved book by Judith Kerr, the smash hit interactive musical is suitable for ages 3 and up.

Find out more here

DODGE AT SOMERSET HOUSE

dodge at somerset house

Somerset House, well known for their grand courtyard events, are doing things a little differently, by bringing us dodgems for summer event Dodge. 

The iconic art centre will transform its magnificent grounds into an open-air fairground extravaganza. And the star of the show will be funfair favourites, bumper cars. 

Find out more here

 

FEEDING BLACK EXHIBITION AT MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS

feeding black exhibition 

Visit new museum exhibition Feeding Black: Community, Power & Place, which explores the role that food plays in Black enterprise and identity in South East London.

The display in the the Museum of London Docklands will spotlight four African and Caribbean food businesses. Their stories will be explored through objects, recipes and photography to show the importance of food in a community. And these thriving food businesses are not just about sales, but are important spaces in an ever-changing city.

Find out more here

 

UNDERBELLY FESTIVAL’S LONDON WONDERGROUND

london wonderground

Enjoy a summer festival right in the city centre at London Wonderground in Earls Court, with plenty of family entertainment on the agenda.

The jam-packed children’s programme includes interactive show Dinosaur World Live, with life-like dinosaurs. For magic lovers, Tom Brace: Embrace The Impossible is a show which mixes comedy and magic. And for budding scientists, circus-science mashup Strong Women Science has plenty of messy experiments and astounding tricks.

Find out more here

For more things to do this weekend and beyond check out City Kids’ What’s On here

MINI GUIDE TO EDUCATION IN SURREY

The City Kids Mini Guide to Education in Surrey

 

Image: Frensham Heights School

In our second look at life outside London, we head to Surrey. For the purposes of our mini guide to education in Surrey, we’ll be looking beyond London outskirts, into the heart of the county, so you won’t find Richmond, Kingston or nearby within this guide. But with some pretty market towns, great transport connections and wonderful schools you’ll be hard pressed to make a decision on where to visit first.

Where to Live

Surrey is an easy move out of town if you already live in South and South West London. The Sunday Times named Surrey Hills as the best place to live in the SE in early 2021 with property editor Helen Davies commenting,”With miles of ancient woodlands, panoramic views and timeless, picture-perfect villages such as Tilford, Shere and Abinger Hammer, life in the Surrey Hills is a gloriously romantic rural idyll – and it’s all within commuting distance of London.” Commuting is easy with trains from Surrey almost all under one hour to Waterloo, London Victoria and London Bridge.  There’s also the Thames Link to Blackfriars, Farringdon and St Pancras from Redhill. Some lines (Dorking) aren’t as quick as the others, and be mindful of Heathrow and Gatwick flight paths. Schools, both state private are plentiful.

Guildford

With its own cathedral, this city has history in abundance including a castle whose Great Tower offers great views across the county. The train takes 40 minutes to Waterloo and Victoria and you’ll happily get to London in half an hour by car. The historic High Street boasts a mix of independent and national stores, plus a regular farmers’ market on Tuesdays. On the outskirts of town you’ll find Surrey Sports Park with facilities for netball, football, swimming, squash and a climbing wall. Schools of note include the Royal Grammar School for boys, Tormead and St Catherine’s for girls. The state school offering is also good, with Pewley Down  and Stoughton being of note (OFSTED outstanding).

Dorking

A range of property type and price, good schools and pretty countryside make Dorking ever popular. Denbies wine estate is round the corner for tasting, buying and soaking up the views. There’s also the South Street Caves, a series of tunnels under the town, dug in the 17th century. If you’re after a good pub, try The Running Horses in nearby Mickleham. Train times to London are slightly longer (one hour). One of town’s most famous residents is the Dorking Cock.

Leatherhead

There are schools-a-plenty in Leatherhead, many of which are outstanding. It’s well connected by road and rail to Victoria and Waterloo in under an hour. Chessington World of Adventures is down the road but if you’re more of the arty type you’re in luck with several galleries and arts festivals in the town. And don’t miss Beaverbrook. Former home to Lord Beaverbrook is now a boutique hotel with a Japanese restaurant to die for.

Godalming

Home to world-famous Charterhouse, Godalming is also a very pretty, historic town with records going back to Roman times. It’s surrounded by beautiful countryside and boasts some great pubs like The Inn on the Lake. The Yard Market is a great shopping spot for unique finds and for supporting small local businesses. Fastest trains to Waterloo in 39 minutes.

Woking

With fast trains to London, this is a commuter’s dream. But there’s more to Woking than you think. Local markets, a bustling town centre, a relaxing canal and Horsell Common ensure there’s enough for busy bees and those who want a slower pace. One of the greenest buildings in the UK houses WWF Living Planet Centre sharing knowledge on  forests, fresh water, wildlife and oceans.

Weybridge

This town mixes river life with cafe culture, pubs and history. The birthplace of British motorsport in Brooklands, National Trust walks, humungous houses on St George’s Hill, and quality restaurants and cafes mean this is a popular spot for London leavers. For family days out try Crockford Bridge Farm.

Farnham

Dating back to the Middle Ages, Farnham also has remains of Stone Age, Roman and Saxon dwellings. There is a range of indie boutiques as well as recognisable high street names alongside pubs, cafes and restaurant chains. Trains take under an hour to Waterloo.

 

Things to do in Surrey

Cycling – Box Hill was firmly put on the map after London 2021 –  and golf are very popular with plenty of routes and courses across the county. And there are beautiful parks to spend some time outdoors including Polesden Lacey, Loseley Park, RHS Wisley, Clandon Park, Virginia Water.

Frensham Ponds is also a popular destination, particularly on hot days for a dip. Check the water quality before you go.

Horse racing at Sandown, Kempton Park and Epsom through the summer months is fun, and keep an eye out for family race days which provide lots of entertainment for the little ones.

Chessington and Thorpe Park both fall within Surrey’s boundaries

Bockett’s Farm has been a firm CK favourite for years, and you can happily spend the day there, rain or shine.

 

Education in Surrey

State*

Primary

South Farnham School, South Farnham
New Haw Community Junior School, Addlestone
St Dunstan’s Catholic Primary School, Woking
St Alban’s Catholic Primary School, East Molesey
The Raleigh School, West Horsley
Wonersh and Shamley Green CofE Aided Primary School, Guildford
Wallace Fields Junior School, Ewell
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Dorking
Town Farm Primary School & Nursery, Stanwell
St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, Frimley

Secondary

St John the Baptist Catholic Comprehensive School, Kingfield
St Peter’s Catholic School, Guildford
Salesian School, Chertsey
Rosebery School, Epsom
All Hallows Catholic School, Farnham
Gordon’s School, West End
Weydon School, Farnham
St Andrew’s Catholic School, Leatherhead
Heathside School, Weybridge
St Bede’s School, Redhill

Independent Schools

Surrey is blessed with some outstanding private schools. We’ve picked some for our mini guide that have caught our eye recently. For in-depth reviews and information The Good Schools Guide has the inside track.

Pre-prep & Prep

Frensham Heights

frensham.org – 3-18 yrs, day and boarding

Frensham Heights Road, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4EA

+44 (0) 1252 792 561 hello@frensham.org

Find out more about the ethos and facilities at Frensham Heights School here.

 

Aldro School – Boys 7-13yrs day & boarding (girls will be admitted from September 2021)
aldro.org
Shackleford, Godalming, GU8 6AS
01483 810266

Claremont Fan Court School – co-ed 2-18yrs, day
claremontfancourt.co.uk
Esher, KT10 9LY
01372 473780

Cranleigh Preparatory School – co-ed 7-13yrs day & boarding
cranprep.org
Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh, GU6 8QH
01483 542 058

Danes Hill School – co-ed 3-13yrs, day
Daneshillprepschool.com
Leatherhead Road, Oxshott, KT22 0JG
01372 842509

Downsend School – co-ed, 3-13yrs, day
downsend.co.uk
1 Leatherhead Road, Leatherhead KT22 8TJ
01372 372197

Edgeborough – co-ed 2-13yrs, day & boarding
edgeborough.co.uk
Frensham, Farnham, GU10 3AH
01252 792495

Feltonfleet School – co-ed 7-13 yrs (plus nursery and pre-prep) day & boarding
feltonfleet.co.uk
Byfleet Road, Cobham, KT11 1DR
01932 862264

Parkside School – boys 7-13yrs, day
parkside-school.co.uk
The Manor, Stoke d’Abernon, KT11 3PX
01932 862749

Notre Dame Prep School – girls 4-11yrs, day
notredame.co.uk
Burwood House , Convent Lane, KT11 1HA
01932 869990

St Catherine’s, Bramley – girls 4-11yrs, day & boarding
stcatherines.info
Station Road, Bramley, GU5 0DF
01483 893363

St George’s Junior School – co-ed 4-11yrs, day
stgeorgesweybridge.com
Thames Street , Weybridge, KT13 8NL
01932 839400

Woodcote House School – boys 7-13yrs, day & boarding
woodcotehouseschool.co.uk
Windlesham, GU20 6PF
01276 472 115

Senior

ACS International, Cobham – co-ed day 2-18yrs, day & boarding
acs-schools.com
Portsmouth Road, KT11 1BL
01923 867 251

Charterhouse – co-ed 13-18yrs, boarding
charterhouse.org.uk
Hurtmore Road, Godalming, GU7 2DX
01483 291500

Cranleigh School – co-ed 13-18yrs day & boarding
cranleigh.org
Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh, GU6 8QH
01483 542 058

Notre Dame Senior School – girls 11-18yrs, day
notredame.co.uk
Burwood House , Convent Lane, KT11 1HA
01932 869990

Reed’s School – boys 11-18yrs, co-ed 6th form, day & boarding
reeds.surrey.sch.uk
Sandy Lane, Cobham, KT11 2ES
01932 869044

Royal Grammar School – boys 11-18yrs, day
rgsg.co.uk
High Street, GU1 3BB
01483 880600

St Catherine’s, Bramley – girls 11-18yrs, day & boarding
stcatherines.info
Station Road, Bramley, GU5 0DF
01483 893363

St John’s School – co-ed 11-18yrs, day & boarding
stjohnsleatherhead.co.uk
Epsom Road, Leatherhead, KT22 8SP
01372 373000

Sutton High School GDST – girls 11-18yrs, day
suttonhigh.gdst.net
55 Cheam Road, SM1 2AX
020 8642 0594

TASIS, The American School in England – co-ed 3-18yrs
Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, TW20 8TE
tasisengland.org
01932 565 252

Tormead School – girls 11-18yrs, day
tormeadschool.org.uk
Cranley Road, Guildford, GU1 2JD
01483 575101

Useful resources:

goodschoolsguide.co.uk

surreycc.gov.uk

 

*Top 10 rated state schools by The Real Schools Guide in 2020.

Click here for our Mini Guide to Berkshire

 

This article contains some sponsored content

CITY KIDS SWIMWEAR EDIT

 

There’s nothing like a new swimming costume to lift your spirits and signal summer!

 

Here are our favourite sunshine infused swimsuits, sunsuits and bikinis for the City Kids swimwear edit.

 

Dinosea Yellow Cub Lion Swimsuit, £40.00, alexandalexa (above)

The cutest all in one made from recycled polyester with inbuilt UV protection.

alexandalexa.com

 

Liewood Anti-UV Max Swimming Jumpsuit, £50, Smallable

An all-in-one for great UV protection and the cutest design.

smallable.com

 

Pacific Rainbow Victor swim shorts, £57, Smallable

A classic pair of trunks for fun in the sun!

smallable.com

 

Liewood Duke Swimming Briefs, £31.95, Scandiborn

On trend stripes will definitely cut the mustard this Summer!

scandiborn.co.uk

 

Sundek Swimming Shorts, £68, Smallable

Rainbow stripes on zingy yellow will definitely bring the Summer vibes.

smallable.com

 

 

Scotch & Soda Colour-blocked recycled polyester board shorts, £59.95

Super stylish, colour-block shorts that will stand out on the board walk!

scotch-soda.com

 

Stella McCartney Recycled Polymade Palm Trees Swimsuit, £66

We’re getting all the tropical feels from this gorgeous ruffle-trimmed suit.

stellamccartney.com

 

H&M Yellow Apples Swimsuit, £8.99

Designer looks for a high street price. Gorgeous!

hm.com

 

 

H&M Pastel swim shorts, £8.99

Gorgeous Club Tropicana, milkshakes are free vibes.

hm.com

 

H&M Heart print swimsuit, £14.99

Ditsy hearts that will look gorgeous at the beach side café!

hm.com

 

Next Skirted Swimsuit, £12-£14

Scallops, frills and stripes? We want this in adult size!

next.co.uk

 

Next Floral Swimsuit (3mths-7yrs), £12 – £14

Get this season’s on trend flower power look with this gorgeous one piece.

next.co.uk

 

Boden Swim Shorts, £17 – £19

Fun, bright shorts that will be passed down through siblings with no complaints.

boden.co.uk

 

Little Bird Unisex Sunsafe Swimsuit £16-£18

These rainbow fishies will keep kids protected in style.

next.co.uk

 

Kuling Lemonade/Optical White Cannes Frill Bikini, £19, alexandalexa

For anyone who can’t resist sunshine yellow trimmed with frills.

alexandalexa.com

 

Rylee + Cru Amber Flower Power Bikini, £47, alexandalexa

 

A cute, understated bikini for the very coolest beach bunnies.

alexandalexa.com

 

IKKS Orange Palm Tree Swim Shorts, £38.00, Melijoe

Made for tropical waters but would look just as good in the local pool!

melijoe.com

 

Myleene Klass Kids Sunsafe Swimsuit and Hat Set, £22-£24, Next

 

A 50+ UV protective swimsuit with the added benefit of tigers and a matching sun hat!

next.co.uk

 

Need sandals to match? Head to our sandals round up here>>>

FRIDAY FIVE

EASTER WEEKEND FRIDAY FIVE 

We’ve rounded up five of the best things to do on and around Easter Weekend – other than eat chocolate (of course). Parents, ditch the devices and get stuck in too, this one’s a true family affair. 

LONDON CITY ISLAND’S OUTDOOR EASTER CHOCOLATE TREASURE HUNT

Enjoy some sweet treats while keeping the kids active this Easter with London City Island’s outdoor chocolate treasure hunt.

Find out more here

 

CHELSEA PHYSIC GARDEN EASTER TRAIL

CHELSEA PHYSIC GARDEN EASTER TRAIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get back to nature and connect with loved ones with a self-led Easter trail in Chelsea Physic Garden. The trail, which celebrates gardens and nature, will lead you around the 4-acre grounds. And you will discover all about the amazing world of plants at London’s oldest botanic garden. 

Find out more here

 

OLDILOCKS AND THE 3 BEARS ONLINE SHOW AT NORDEN FARM

oldilocks and the 3 bears

Set off on a virtual adventure to the woods and watch a funny take on a classic tale with Oldilocks and the 3 bears, streaming live with Norden Farm arts centre.

Find out more here

 

VIRTUAL DISCOVERY WEEKS: EGG-CITING EASTER

EGG-CITING EASTER

Enjoy the spring air and some interactive Easter activities with Virtual Discovery Weeks: Egg-citing Easter. 

The free Royal Parks event runs over two weeks and is jam packed with activities – both online and outdoors.  

Find out more here

EASTER LINDT GOLD BUNNY HUNT AT HAMPTON COURT PALACE

 

Easter Lindt GOLD BUNNY HuntCelebrate the arrival of spring with the Easter Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt at Hampton Court Palace.

Discover famous historical characters when you join in the hunt around the palace gardens. Using a trail map, solve the clues to find the Lindt gold bunny statues. Explorers who find all the bunnies will win a chocolate reward and bunny ears.

 

Find out more here

 

For more great ideas for the rest of April (and beyond) do head over to our What’s On page. It’s filled to the brim with genius ideas to keep babies, toddlers and kids of all ages entertained. 

 

Looking for extra curricular classes and camps – there may be some places left, check out our Easter camps roundup here

FOOTBALL CLUBS & CLASSES

 

Image: Jakayla Toney

The City Kids guide to Football Clubs and Classes in London

 

Football fever will hit new heights in England as even those usually not interested will be glued to the box on Sunday night. As with all feel-good sporting occasions, there’s usually an upsurge in interest from parents and kids after the event, so we’ve put together a guide to football clubs and classes for kids in London. Some start for little ones as young as 18 months, while others offer those who already have silky skills the knowledge and expertise to take their game to the next level.

 

KIDDIKICKS

kiddikicks.co.uk

18m+

Twickenham, Teddington, Richmond, Brentford, Kensington, Kilburn, Stratford, Hackney, Stoke Newington, Leyton

 

PRO ELITE 

From 18m

Enfield, Winchmore Hill, Southgate, Cockfosters, Barnet and Whetstone

efacademy.co.uk

 

LITTLE KICKERS

littlekickers.co.uk

From 18m

London-wide

 

LITTLE FOXES CLUB

thelittlefoxesclub.com

From 18m

London-wide

 

WILL TO WIN

willtowin.co.uk

6-14yrs

Lammas Park, Ealing

 

FOOTBALL MAGIC

footballmagiccoaching.co.uk

Regular training, girls only, fitness, goalkeeping skills and holiday camps

3-14yrs

Dulwich & Bromley

 

SAMBA SOCCER SCHOOLS

sambasoccerschools.com

4-12yrs

Battersea, Chelsea, Fulham, Haggerston, Kings Cross, Hammersmith, London Bridge, Marylebone, Roehampton, Southfields, Wandsworth, Waterloo, Peckham, Shepherds Bush, Acton.

 

PDA FOOTBALL

pdafootball.co.uk

1 to 1 training for beginners or those wanting to improve their game.

Various locations

 

LITTLE STRIKERS

littlestrikers9.com

Weekly classes and holiday clubs.

18m to 6yrs

Clissold Park

 

SPORTY MINIS

sportyminis.com

Girls football from 4-8yrs, boys football 5-11yrs.

Colliers Wood, Tooting

 

PRIMROSE HILL SOCCER ACADEMY

primrosehillsocceracademy.co.uk

Boys and girls 3-14yrs, holiday camps and 1 to 1 training.

Primrose Hill

 

JACK WILSHERE’S NCF ELITES

ncfelites.com

Pathway to professional football. Ex-Premier League players part of the set up. Trial required.

 

CHELSEA SOCCER SCHOOLS

chelseasoccerschools.co.uk

Holiday clubs/soccer schools and weekly clinics for all abilities, plus player pathway to academy level.

 

QPR SOCCER SCHOOLS

qprsoccerschools.co.uk

Holiday soccer schools for 3-14yrs, weekly schools for girls and boys aged 5-11yrs, girls only 7-11yrs and mini superstars 3-4yrs.

Shepherds Bush, Hayes

 

FULHAM SOCCER SCHOOLS

fulhamfc.com

Holiday camps 3-14yrs, weekly clubs for boys and girls.

Bishops Park, Kingston, Epsom

 

WE MAKE FOOTBALLERS

wemakefootballers.com

4-12yrs mixed ability

Twickenham, Richmond, Chiswick, Isleworth, Heston, Hounslow, Kingston, Sunbury, Hayes, Southall, Osterley

 

 

FRIDAY FIVE 9TH JULY

What’s On this Weekend? 

Football finals aside, we’ve five fun things to get involved in this weekend. 

1. Candlelight special edition: magical movie soundtracks at Syon Park

MAGICAL MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS

Enjoy a Disney-inspired candlelight concert inside the spectacular Great Conservatory at Syon Park with Magical Movie Soundtracks.

Bathed in candlelight, a string quartet will perform classic songs from Disney favourites like Frozen, Harry Potter and Shrek.

Find out more here

2. Kew the movies outdoor cinema

kew the movies

Grab the popcorn and your mini film lovers for Kew Garden’s outdoor cinema event Kew the Movies.

Children’s favourites like Toy Story, Moana and Paddington will be showing at daytime screenings.

The event runs from Wednesday July 7th to Sunday July 11th on the Great Lawn opposite Kew Palace. Adult member tickets are £14.39 and non-member £15.99. Child member tickets are £8.99 and non-member £9.99. For some films, the ticket price will include day time entry to the Gardens, otherwise you can enter Kew up to one hour before the film starts.

Find out more here

3. Hotel Paradiso Circus Tour

hotel paradiso tour

See high-flying aerial stunts and daring acrobatic skills as circus show Hotel Paradiso goes on tour across London this summer.

From Friday July 9th to Sunday July 11th, the show will run at the Rose Theatre in Kingston as part of the International Arts Youth Festival. It will then run at the Underbelly Festival from Saturday July 17th to Thursday August 5th in Cavendish Square. The family-friendly circus caper will feature stunts, acrobatics, juggling and clowns. The 60 minute show is suitable for all ages.

Find out more here

4. Paddington: the story of a bear

Paddington The Story of a bear

Watch out for toppling paint pots and marmalade splats as you explore Paddington: The Story of a Bear at the British Library.

Discover tales of Paddington’s muddles and mishaps at the exhibition, which celebrates the world’s favourite bear and his creator Micheal Bond.

Find out more here

5. Coderdojo at the Science Museum

coderdojo

For tech-savvy kids, the Science Museum are running free coding sessions CoderDojo on the second Saturday of each month.

From beginners to tech-experts, anyone interested in programming is welcome. You’ll find out all about programming and how useful it is to everyday life.

Throughout the workshop, there will be mentors to help you as you create your own app, website or game. At the end of the session, you will get the chance to showcase your work to the rest of the group.

Find out more here

For more things to do this weekend and beyond check out City Kids’ What’s On here

FRIDAY FIVE 25 JUNE

What’s On this Weekend? 

This week’s Friday Five travels from East to West and even takes a step outside of London to bring you the best family friendly things to do this weekend. 

  1. Book a boat pod or bean bag and enjoy an outdoor film with all the family at Westfield’s Bar W12 and Film Club.

bar w12 and film club

Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush will be screening some family favourites as well as Wimbledon tennis matches and the Olympics. And you can book a boat pod with table service or a giant bean bag. There will also be a hot dog truck and ice cream van for movie snacks.

Find out more here

2. Treat your mini bookworms to a literary day out to meet some of their favourite authors at Barnes Children’s Literature Festival.

BARNES CHILDREN’S LITERATURE FESTIVAL

The outdoor festival has over 60 events and runs on Saturday June 26th and Sunday June 27th around Barnes Green. 

Find out more here

 

3. Watch an open-air show in a hidden London gem with David Walliams’ best-seller Mr Stink, showing at the East End’s Royal Foundation St Katherine’s.

MR STINK OPEN-AIR SHOW

The family friendly book has been adapted for open air theatre by Heartbreak Productions. The interactive musical is full of song, humour and poetry.

Find out more here

 

4. Celebrate Pride Month with Clip Theatre’s Big Drag Storytime, which is next on the agenda at Canary Wharf’s Summer Family Festival.

CLIP THEATRE'S BIG DRAG STORYTIME SUMMER FESTIVAL

Go on an adventure with Diggory the Dodo and help him make some new friends. The show, which is suitable for ages 0 to 5,  features drag acts, live music, interactive sensory fun and bubbles.

The free show runs on Saturday June 26th at 11am at Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf.

Find out more here

5. Visit Hever Castle at its loveliest time of the year when the ground’s roses are at their peak, and then create your own floral masterpiece at the annual Hever in Bloom festival.

Hever in bloom

Families can amble around the Rose Garden, which has around 4,000 roses, spot the Anne Boleyn rose near Half Moon pond and see the climbing roses on the Pergola Walk.

Find out more here

 

For more things to do this weekend and beyond check out City Kids’ What’s On here

Reconnect with nature this Mental Health Awareness Week 

Reconnect with nature this Mental Health Awareness Week

5 mindful outdoorsy things that you can do with your family to reconnect with nature this Mental health awareness week (and beyond). Read on to find small things that you can build into your daily routine, to fun activities that you can do over the weekend that encourages mindfulness.

  1. Ditch the school drive for an actual school run/ walk/ scoot. Why not turn it into a scavenger hunt. 
  2. Surround yourself with all things GREEN! Visit London’s greatest parks – we’ve a list of the best picnic spots here
  3. Plant some seeds and watch them grow. Herboo’s kits are fab. 
  4. Odds Farm or Bocketts farm are great for fluffy family fun.
  5. Create your own nature hideaway, we LOVE the Den Kit Co Nature Hideaway Kits and wish they’d make this for grown ups too!

You can find out more about Mental Health Awareness Day here. 

For more green space inspo, see our easy day trips from London edit here. PLUS more great suggestions in our Green issue which you can read online here.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

MOTHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE

Mother's Day Edit

The Ultimate Mother’s Day Edit 

From bog roll subscriptions, green gifts that won’t cost the earth and Vintage Chanel and all the greatness in between, here’s the only Mother’s Day gift guide you need. PLUS, for Mums that prefer something handmade, we’ve put together a sweet printable for you…

The ‘Boujee’ Mum

Vintage Chanel Handbag. Do act fast, Luxury Promise’s selection of goodness gets snapped up by designer magpies in no time. Note to partners + children, act fast and all chip in for extra brownie points!

The Duchess Necklace, we love that this piece can be personalised. Available in three tones. Mum won’t want to take it off.  Merci Maman

Find the perfect bunch of flowers to suit Mum’s personality. Letterbox Flowers, Bloom and Wild

Raw Instinct Rock Diffuser Set – for Mums that need to incorporate a bit of chill into their daily routines (don’t we all), Crabtree and Evelyn

 

The Mothership Gift Set, filled with three hero products for your all time hero of a Mum, Bloom & Blossom. Exclusive limited time offer – £10 with code: MOTHER10, now £19.

 

Bubbles with benefits! The Wild Life Botanicals® Gift Box: Treat Mum to an Ultra Low Sparkling Wine Infused with an Uplifting Elixir, Wild Life Botanicals.

Say “Cheers, Mum” with these Art Deco inspired cocktail and champagne coupe glasses, John Lewis & Partners.

 

The Dad that doubles up as a Mum, Mum 

Louis Vuitton X NBA Cloakroom Dopp Kit Bag, speaks for itself, this piece oozes all sorts of cool! Luxury Promise Man

Gin Lovers Bundle – there’s no better combo than Paulsmith x Sipsmith + Prestat, Selfridges

Dad Strong Arm Print, Eleanor Bowmer does it again with her collection of empowering graphics.

Ooni Pizza Provisions for the budding Pizzaiolo. Check out the Spring Edition, Ooni.

The ‘don’t give me anything’ Mum

Me Time Scarf, task Mum with a project. PLUS they’ve handy tutorials on their website should you encounter any knitting blunders! Wool and the Gang

Gintastic Giftbox – packed with mixers and snacks too. GIN for the WIN! Didsbury Gin

Compile a meaningful collage photo print, Papier

A jar filled with love, see our FREE template here. Little-to-no wild creative skills required. All you need: scissors, printer, pens and pencils and a whole load of love.

The Small Biz Lover 

Adults hoodie blush with navy leopard and neon coral lightning bolt, *WARNING* It’s so cool, she’ll want to live in it. For Mums that like to twin with their mini’s, kids versions are also available. Scamp and Dude

A firm fave here at CKHQ! Daisy Emerson Prints, we’ll take them all! Daisy Emerson

Afternoon tea at home (genius), Cutter and Squidge

‘This House is built on Chaos & Love’ wall art print for a spot of monochrome vibes! All by Mama Network

The Green Mum 

Lela 3-way hammered brass earrings. Simply stunning. Yala

Chai Latte Soy Candle, a great bedside prop – smells divine + rose gold goals!  Vegan Bunny

For something a little bit quirky and outside the box, how about a fancy Toilet Roll Subscription?! Who Gives a Crap

 

As ever, follow us over on our Instagram for the latest City Kids scoop. And for those that are SO over the usual rota of meals, get a hold of our FREE Family Meal Planner here

THE PARENT’S CORNER

Things for parents

As parents we spend much of our time weathering the storm, diffusing arguments between siblings and juggling homeschool with work. From morning til evening, it’s all go. So, it’s only fair that we take a little moment to reset. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite things that help us to remain zen, anytime of day.

 

Start the day right

1. Iittala Nappula Plant Pot, Dark Green, from £53, John Lewis & Partners.

2. Squiggly Vegan Soy Candle, Black, £19.99, Ajouter Store on NotOnTheHighStreet

3. Bistro Tiled Margot Monogram Mug, £10, Anthropologie

4. Bang & Olufsen  Beosound Gen 2 Waterproof Speaker, £200, Selfridges

Daytime pick-me-ups

5. Biscuits of the Gods, Chocolate Pillow Biscuits, from £12.95 Hotel Chocolat

6. Paper Gang Stationary Subscription Box, from £14, Oh Deer

7. Calathea Rattlesnake Plant, £15, Urban Tropicana **Exclusive** 15% discount with code: CityKids15 

8.  From Every Angle Notebook in Sea Green, £44, Smythson

Late night comforts

9. Onaie Slippers, from £29.99, Onaie

10. Essential Oil Wellness Diffuser set, £150, Neom

11. Malfy Italian Rosa Gin, £28, Waitrose

12. Leopard and lightning Print Hoodie in Pale Grey, £55, Scamp and Dude

 

Looking for more ideas? Check our roundup of the best Water bottles here and follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration.

Please note, prices correct as of time of publishing. Prices may go up or down.

FRIDAY FIVE

Friday Five: things to do with the kids this weekend

Hurrah fellow parents, we’ve made it through the first week back to business; school, work, piles on piles of laundry plus everything else we’d put on hold over the Christmas break. Here’s your usual mix of things to do over the weekend. With temperatures plummeting and tightened lockdown restrictions, we’re keeping it cosy. Think virtual panto and kids’ food subscription boxes. 

1. Kipper’s Snowy Day, Watermans Online. On demand through to 31st Jan. Friday Five

2. Call it science, home economics, nutrition or life class, get the kids cooking with a fab Cook School Subscription. Boxes from £20. 

3. GirlGuiding x Join the Dots’ Sisterhood in the wood. Virtual panto. 

 

4. Cinderella online brought to you digitally by the Fairy Godmother that is Nottingham Playhouse. Final call, available until 16th Jan. 

5. Chickenshed Theatre presents Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Available to download online. 

Sailed through all of the above already? We’ve compiled your go-to list of homeschooling resources for lockdown 3.0. 

Do check back every Friday for our up-to-date round up of family activities, what’s on and more. Follow us on our Instagram for the latest updates.

 

FREE SCHOOL MEALS: HOW YOU CAN HELP

Petition to extend free school meals over the holidays until Easter 2021 rejected by a 322 – 261 vote majority.Child Poverty

According to the Child Poverty Action Group, “In every school class of 30 children, on average, nine will be living in poverty”. Beyond the numbers and figures, the decision not to extend free school meals beyond easter will impact thousands of vulnerable children in the UK. To you and I, that could be our children’s classmates, a neighbour, a relative or friend. 

So, here’s how we can work together to take action NOW and stand in solidarity with the families that rely on free school meals for their kids. In Rashford’s own words, “This is not politics, this is humanity” and we couldn’t agree more. 

  1. Write to your MP asking for free school meals and child poverty to be a priority in his or her plans. Regardless of how your MP voted, they represent you, so you are entitled to have your say.
  2. Contact your local council. Some London councils have promised to provide free school meals during the Christmas holidays. Check in with yours and see if it can do the same.
  3. Sign a petition like this one by 16 year old Christina.
  4. Volunteer at the Food bank nearest to you
  5. Check on those that you know who may be struggling at this time. 
  6. Make a financial donation to any of the organisations listed on this page. No matter how big or small, it will make a difference. Seek out those close to home like The Childhood Trust in London or Alice Charity which serves the Newcastle and Stoke area.  
  7. Educate yourself. Educate your kids too. Did you know that 67% of children in poverty have at least one parent who works. There’s so many stories, facts and figures that you can find via the following sources: 
  8.  Don’t Judge

Here at City Kids HQ, we’re always on the lookout for new initiatives to shout out and support. Do get in touch if there are any useful resources that you think we should highlight.

FREE DOWNLOADABLE CORONAVIRUS BOOK ILLUSTRATED BY ALEX SCHEFFLER

Alex Scheffler, well known for his work in The Gruffalo, has illustrated a free information book for children about the coronavirus. Alongside expert advice from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the aim of the publication is to reach every child around the world.

 

The book answers key questions about the pandemic in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:

  • What is the coronavirus?
  • How do you catch the coronavirus?
  • What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
  • Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
  • Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
  • Why are some places we normally go to closed?
  • What can I do to help?
  • What’s going to happen next?

You can download a copy of the book here.

The Kindle version is available here.

And a readable online book version is here.

Publishers, Nosy Crow suggest that families might make like to make a donation to help our health service if they find the book useful: https://www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/.

Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, said:

“I asked myself what I could do as an children’s illustrator to inform, as well as entertain, my readers here and abroad.  So I was glad when my publisher, Nosy Crow, asked me to illustrate this question-and-answer book about the coronavirus. I think it is extremely important for children and families to have access to good and reliable information in this unprecedented crisis, and I hope that the popularity of the books I’ve done with Julia Donaldson will ensure that this digital book will reach many children who are now slightly older, but might still remember our picture books.”

Professor Graham Medley, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:

“This pandemic is changing children’s lives across the globe and will have a lasting impact on us all. Helping children understand what is going on is an important step in helping them cope and making them part of the story – this is something that we are all going through, not something being done to them. This book puts children IN the picture rather just watching it happen, and in a way that makes the scary parts easier to cope with.”

COOL THINGS FOR KIDS

Here’s our pick of our favourite cool things for kids this week

The Magic of Marvel

Marvel Universe Live tour 2019 will arrive at the O2 from 26th September until 6thOctober. This all new show unites Spider-Man, the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange in a race against time to recover the Wand of Watoomb. A must for all Marvel fans who want to see their favourite characters performing some amazing stunts in true action hero style. Visit marveluniverselive.com to book.

 

Ethical Footwear

Footwear brand  GEOX have developed a new capsule collection as part of their partnership with one of the world’s leading conservation organisations WWF.

This unique collection of footwear for both babies and children, which includes graphics inspired by endangered animal spices, such as the giant panda and the polar bear. For every pair of shoes purchased, 2€ or equivalent in local currency will be donated to the WWF to support their efforts in safeguarding the natural world.

Geox is one of our go-to brands for kid’s shoes – especially their super cosy leather high-tops in winter – so we are thrilled to see that the company has substance as well as style.

 

Well Read

The benefits of reading at every stage of a child’s development are well documented and of course there is the simple joy of getting lost in a good story. In their new book How to Raise a Reader Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, editors of The New York Times Book Reviewhave created an indispensable guide to welcoming children—from babies to teens—to a lifelong love of reading. It will undoubtedly help all parents to encourage their kids to pick up a book.

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

Best Brekkie

All parents are constantly on the lookout for healthy eating options that their kids will actually enjoy. We suggest you check out the Great British Porridge Company for a great breakfast choice. All 100% natural, with no added sugar, their instant porridges are made with wholegrain oats and with no artificial colours or preservatives, making them full of protein, calcium for growing bones. Also, worth noting they are vegan, dairy and gluten-free

Ideally for filling kids up and give them the energy to get through the morning at school without the need to reach for unhealthy snacks. There are three flavours to choose from: Red Berry & Pumpkin Seed, Blueberry & Banana and Strawberry & Peanut Butter. Add some more fruit or a spoonful of honey to make them a little sweeter.
Find them in Sainsbury’s, Wholefoods Market, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and selected retailers nationwide, RRP £3.99 for 385g bag. For more info visit www.thegreatbritishporridgeco.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

FRIDAY FIVE 2 JULY

What’s On this Weekend? 

Theatre shows, art and mindfulness, yes it’s another Friday Five roundup for the coolest families in town. Which activity will you be adding to the top of your weekend to-do list? 

 

1.  ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S CINDERELLA

cinderella

You shall (finally) go to the ball as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-anticipated Cinderella begins its West End run at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

Find out more here

2. MUSIC AND MINDFULNESS WITH SPITALFIELDS MUSIC

MUSIC AND MINDFULNESS

Immerse yourself in a creative Music and Mindfulness workshop and find your family’s inner calm.

Led by a percussionist and a mindfulness practitioner from Spitalfields Music, the workshops will take you and your little ones on a relaxing musical journey.

The sessions run on Saturday July 3rd at Westferry Circus. There are three workshops running throughout the day to suit different ages.

Find out more here

 

3. ROLLER NATION FAMILY JAM

ROLLER NATION FAMILY JAM

Get your skates on and head down to the Roller Nation Family Jam, taking place every Saturday.

With a live DJ and a Roller Bar serving drinks and snacks to your own booth, enjoy an alternative family day out rollerskating. Or why not even mark a birthday or special event with a skating session?

The sessions are for ages 5 to 14 and all groups must be accompanied by an adult. Under 5s will not be permitted entry.

Find out more here

4. FAMILY SATURDAYS ONLINE WITH STUDIO 3 ARTS

FAMILY SATURDAYS

Get arty at Family Saturdays, free online workshops for all ages from Studio 3 Arts.

Running over the summer, the virtual creative classes will cover a different theme each week. Artist Connor Bowmott will lead the live family workshops.

Find out more here

5. NATURE ELLY AT THE LITTLE ANGEL THEATRE

NATURE ELLY

Theatre-loving preschoolers can meet puppet animals and join in the slapstick fun at the Little Angel Theatre’s latest show Nature Elly.

Elly, who owns the best farm in Lincolnshire, is having a bit of trouble. The apples have disappeared, the corn has been trampled and there is hay everywhere. Now, help Elly and Bob the Pheasant find out what is going on and try to save the harvest in time.

Find out more here

For more fantastic ideas for this weekend head over to our What’s On pages here.

 

FRENSHAM HEIGHTS

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Discover Frensham Heights

 

 

Frensham Heights is a highly distinctive school in a world of educational conformity. We welcome students from the age of 3 to 18 (boarders from age 11) and we give them the tools and importantly, the confidence and self-belief to succeed in their education and in life, helping them to extend their abilities and exceed their own expectations.


Founded in 1925, we are today one of the most successful progressive schools in the UK, with 42% A*/A grades (15% A* alone) achieved at A Level and 43% Grades 9-7 at GCSE in 2020. Our Junior School is equally successful, giving children a secure and happy learning environment as well as access to extensive facilities and stunning grounds rarely seen in a prep school.

 

 

 

But a Frensham education is much, much more than just following the curriculum and sitting tests or exams. We will stretch your children, but we will also support them simply to be the very best version of themselves that they can be. We will feed their imaginations, expect them to ask questions, listen to them, encourage them to pursue their own answers and help them to grow into confident, generous, and happy young adults.

 

 

The magic that is Frensham is hard to put into words. We allow children simply to be children and allow them to stay that way for as long as they want. We accept that sometimes they get it wrong and work with them to help them make better choices next time. We value and encourage individuality – it is what makes Frensham so special.

To find out more, look at  www.frensham.org or email hello@frensham.org to arrange a visit.

 

 

 

RIPPLE LEARNING

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Ripple Learning powers positive social change through its private tuition programme

 

 

The upheaval of the last year has had a profound effect on children’s learning. Whilst we are all relieved to return to some semblance of normality, we know that getting their child’s education back on track is a priority for most parents.

But how can we ensure that we’re supporting students to achieve their true potential whilst also maintaining compassion and empathy for what they have been through – aiming to cultivate their curiosity, rather than stifle it in the bid to getting them back on track?

Ripple Learning was created with this in mind.

Ripple’s founder, Jamie Sayer, was Head of Client Services at a West London private tuition agency when the pandemic began last year.

“It was unsurprisingly a turbulent time. Not only did we have to move tutors and students to online learning as seamlessly as possible, but exams were in flux across the board – so we made sure to be on hand to help parents navigate the changing situation.

While challenging, it was really rewarding to see it pay off – the kids were brilliant in the resilience they showed, and the parents were very grateful for how it all turned out.”

Unfortunately not everyone fared quite as well, and it has been well-documented that the pandemic has disproportionately affected the attainment of low-income students. Jamie wanted to use his experience in the sector to deliver high-quality, inspiring private tuition which could also make a positive social impact.

Ripple Learning is therefore a private tuition company with a bold and unique difference: we donate 40% of profit to charities working with low-income students in the UK. In doing so, we hope that our reach – a reach that all of our parents, students, and tutors contribute to – can extend far beyond the students directly in front of us.

Our mission has attracted applications from an array of highly qualified tutors and teachers who want to contribute to the cause. We have therefore had the freedom to be very selective about our tutors and to pass on that quality and choice to our clients.

“I wanted Ripple’s approach to be one of compassion, understanding and empathy – as a tutor myself, I know that by understanding a child’s personality and learning style we can match them to the tutor who will bring out the best in them”.

We work closely with parent and tutor from the outset, so that we can create a bespoke learning plan for each child. We emphasise the importance of curiosity and critical thinking, while also working in unison towards the next milestone – whether that’s GCSEs, A Levels or selective school entrance exams like the 11+.

Ripple is booking now for 1-to-1 tuition over Summer, with tutors also booking up quickly for the new academic year in September. Feel free to give us a call to discuss your child’s needs and see how we can help!

 

And to ensure that you are entirely happy with the tutor we match you with – the first session is free.

To book contact:

07723 214148

info@ripplelearning.co.uk

ripplelearning.co.uk

 

 

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS

A slice of citrus to brighten your day!

 

 

When life gives you lemons

 

When life gives you lemons, so the saying goes….but there’s also nothing quite as summery as this sunshine yellow fruit. Trending this summer we’ve have lemon lights, lemon inspired wallpaper and some cute plush toys for the kids.

Top:

Lemon Umbrella, £16, by Bobby Rabbit, bobbyrabbit.co.uk

Mini Rodini Leggings cherry lemonade, €35, by Villa Smalland, villasmalland.com

RiceLemon Soft Toy, £14.5, by Bobby Rabbit, bobbyrabbit.co.uk

Middle:

Trinkflasche Gerry Lemon, by Wayfair, Wayfair.co.uk

Lemon and Leaf LED String Light, 3m, £18.00, £18, by The Contemporary Home, tch.net

Jellycat Large Amuseable Lemon, $39.99, by Yellow Octopus, YellowOctopus.com.au

Bottom:

Summer Meadow wallpaper in Lemon, £69, by Fiona Howard Ltd, fionahoward.com

When Life Gives You Lemons Limited Edition Print – Charlotte Posner, £65, by Lime Lace, www.limelace.co.uk

 

 

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FAMILY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Travel Essentials for Babies and Kids

 

 

Family travel essentials for kids are exactly that: essential! Forget those key items that help keep the peace, mop up spills and allow for on-the-go toilet breaks and your trip could turn from a relatively (disclaimer alert!) relaxing success story to a blood pressure soaring fail. Apart from Calpol and Sudocrem (don’t forget those!) these are our favourite travel companions for a streamlined A to B.

 

You’ll never regret packing a large muslin! Great as a blanket, a sun shade, an impromptu towel or for making camps with.

 

 

Cotton muslin blanket, £19.99, H&M

hm.com

 

If you’re on the road or camping, this disposable potty will be a lifesaver. Great for number ones and twos, on-the-go and no need to add to land fill with a plastic version.

 

Hippychick Tron Disposable Potty, £8 (for a pack of 3), Hippychick

hippychick.com

 

Wipes on a journey with kids are definitely an essential! These biodegradable ones packed with soothing Aloe Vera are great.

Beaming Baby Baby Wipes 72 wipes

£5.95

planetorganic.com

 

Keep them busy with their own themed activity pouches. You can buy them individually or as bundles for more family members and friends.

 

 

My Busy Bots Activity Pouches (3 packs), £26.99, My Busy Bots

mybusybots.com

 

This soft, flexible baby carrier takes up less room and is great for keeping your hands free on long walks. Suitable from birth and comes in a larger toddler size too.

Tula Linen Explore Baby Carrier Mesa,  £154.90, Tula

babytula.co.uk

 

When you get to your destination a large roll of reusable bamboo fabric wipes is great idea. Soak with water or your favourite cleanser or cleansing water for a brilliant eco friendly wipe option.

The Cheeky Panda Multi Purpose Reusable Bamboo Dry Wipes Rolls, £3.99

cheekypanda.com

 

Stickers are a great way of keeping kids calm and quiet in the back. We love this travel themed set from Usborne.

 

 

Travel Sticker Book, Usborne, £6.09

worldofbooks.com

 

A cute metal tin containing magnetic figures and their suitcases who can be arranged on the friezes inside the box.

PETIT COLLAGE Little Travellers Magnetic Play Set, £12.00, A Little Find

alittlefind.com

Oil pastels are a fantastic, less mess high pigment way for kids to scribble and draw on a trip! Perfect for drawing on stones too. We’ve tried!

 

Oil Pastels Set of 48, £17.95, Liberty

libertylondon.com

Never underestimate how much room you’ll need for shampoos, sun cream and  calpol etc! This set of 4 wash bags in a handy carry case that can also be filled up are great!

Sunny Life Bloom Travel Bags – Set of 4, £35, Amara

amara.com

 

Transform new rooms and tents into fun and friendly spaces with this cool projecting storybook torch!

 

Moulin Roty Storybook Torch, £13, Kidly

kidly.co.uk

 

Give them their own suitcase for sense of independence and to create their own play zone wherever they go.

 

 

Olli Ella See-Ya Suitcase, £79.90, The Modern Nursery

themodernnursery.com

 

A lovely set of baby travel toiletries that won’t take up too much room. The cleansing water is great for freshening up and using on dry wipes.

 

 

Shea Baby Travel Essentials, £18.50,  L’Occitane

loccitane.com

 

A handy organiser to hang over the back of your car seat and keep everything the little ones need in easy reach. Brilliant!

Travel Car Organiser, £29.99, Zara

zara.com

Need suncream? Click here for our edit>>>>

 

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BENEFITS OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

Nine Benefits of International Education for Students

 

 

We’ve often wondered about international schools as we know it’s not just international students who attend. We asked Christina Adamopoulou from The American School in England (TASIS) to give us her thoughts on the benefits of an international education.

 

In today’s global and interconnected world, schools and universities play a vital role in equipping students for their future as global citizens. Many families are not only looking for the best learning opportunities for their children in their local area; they are also looking for a school that will enhance their children’s learning experience and provides them with an international-mindedness that will stay with them throughout their lives.

You might be an internationally mobile expatriate family that is relocating to another country. Perhaps you are looking for a different option than the local school offering the national curriculum. Or you might be a student looking to broaden your horizons, improve your language skills, enhance your learning experience by studying abroad. In all of these cases, international education has a lot to offer.

What is international education?

The criteria for an international education offered by the International Baccalaureate® (IB) might be summarized as a “…comprehensive approach to education that intentionally prepares students to be active and engaged participants in an interconnected world.” This approach to teaching and learning incorporates a global perspective by providing several different views of the same topic or learning experience.

1. Learn or master a language

Studying abroad or in an international school accelerates fluency in speaking, reading, and writing a foreign language by providing students with the opportunity to hone their language skills in the classroom and through interaction with their multilingual peers. International schools may offer a bilingual program or a wide variety of languages taught through their curriculum. Students can not only become fluent in more than one language but will also be academically prepared for future study in another language.

2. Experience different styles of education

Most international schools offer curricula that are recognized around the world, however, each country has its own education system. Moved out of their “comfort zone,” students are helped to adapt within a new but supportive learning environment. This early experience will serve them well in the future by making them more versatile in the workplace, with the confidence to meet new challenges and the ability to adjust to different management styles.

3. Learn about other cultures and perspectives

An international experience allows students to expand their worldview and develop cross-cultural awareness and international-mindedness by enhancing their understanding of different cultures, perspectives, and views.

By interacting with peers and teachers with different backgrounds and upbringing, students will begin to value each one’s unique story and develop a more holistic approach to life’s experiences, both at school and in the future. Understanding and appreciating the diversity of cultures and perspectives worldwide helps students become compassionate, open-minded, global citizens who can lead change in the world.

International education promotes a healthy questioning of personal beliefs, and the influence of their own culture and upbringing. It helps students create and maintain bonds with others who may be from a different culture. Students learn to value the diverse contributions of others as they hone their problem-solving and communication skills. The development of self-confidence, self-awareness and an enhanced ability to adapt to diverse environments and perspectives will provide them with long-term benefits.

4. Develop a global network of life-long friends and connections

Both in and out of the classroom, an international education experience enables students to develop friendships and build lasting relationships with the entire school community and beyond.

Developing and maintaining a network of friendships or professional relationships with people from all over the world is undoubtedly a life-enriching experience that will stay with students forever. The wider the network, the greater the likelihood that students will be exposed to exciting career and social opportunities.

5. Discover the world

International education offers a wide range of exciting experiences to see and understand the world through travel, engagement with schools from other countries, and connections with people from around the world.

International schools often develop academic travel programs as an integral part of their curriculum, enabling students to experience a new country and culture. International schools may be connected to and engage with other schools globally, offering opportunities to interact with their linked communities. Organized events celebrating different customs, cuisines, holidays, and more are part of daily school life. Exposure to these activities is intrinsic to an international student’s development.

6. Impress universities and future employers

Universities and employers highly value experience in international environments as they search for candidates with transferable learning skills and the ability to collaborate.

According to figures from a study by the Institute of International Education (IIE-Abroad Survey) and the University of California, between 90% and 95% of students with an international education found work in their sector within the six months following their graduation.

Students can use their international school experience to demonstrate to future employers that they have the open mind, adaptability, resourcefulness, and drive needed in an ever-changing work environment. These attributes improve employability and give a competitive edge in the workforce.

7. Identify opportunities for leadership development and community service

Through co-curricular activities, academic travel programs, and community service initiatives, international schools offer a vast array of opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and contribute to society, locally and globally. Students are encouraged to use their knowledge and talents to make an impact and lead change.

8. Interact with faculty and staff with a global perspective

International schools are usually rich with teachers and staff from all over the world. At TASIS England, for example, over 30 languages are spoken on campus. Students’ learning is enhanced by the different perspectives that each member of the faculty and staff brings.

9. Be part of a truly diverse community

The lives of students and their families are enhanced through engagement with an international community that nurtures global understanding, compassion, and a curiosity to learn about different cultures. While nearly 60 countries are represented at TASIS England, the community comes together to welcome newcomers and help them make the transition to a school that provides students and families with an experience that is as inclusive as it is diverse.

Why is international education important?

Recent data gathered by ISC Research revealed a growing global trend for international education. As of January 2019, there were 10,282 international schools with 5.36 million students, and 503,000 staff members around the world. A demand for a “Western-style” education and the increasing prominence of the International Baccalaureate and Cambridge Assessment system means the education landscape globally is undergoing a progressive transformation.

More and more, families are embracing international education to enrich their children’s lives by exposing them to a multicultural learning environment that fosters understanding, promotes an appreciation for different cultures and perspectives, and supports positive change in the world.

The TASIS England mission is to nurture intellectual curiosity and embolden each learner to flourish as a principled, open-minded, and compassionate member of a global community.

We shape the academic journey for each learner, supporting and challenging them to reach their full potential. As an international school, we offer our students a choice between Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and work with them to forge their individual learning experience. TASIS prepares students for the future, whatever path they choose to pursue – on average, 96% of our graduates receive offers from their 1st or 2nd choice university.

For more details about a TASIS education click here>>>

 

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ORGANISE POCKET MONEY WITH ROOSTERMONEY

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RoosterMoney: Great summer offer with The Pocket Money App and Kids Debit Card

 

 

 

Do you need to get pocket money sorted? Want to teach your children that money doesn’t grow on trees? Need some help to get organised? Introducing RoosterMoney, the pocket money app and debit card designed to teach your kids the value of money in a digital age. Read on to see how you can earn your kids an extra £5 pocket money!

Simple and effective, RoosterMoney brings to life all the sound traditional financial principles we were brought up with (or wish we were!) and makes managing money relevant and smart.

You can either use the RoosterMoney app as a virtual pocket money tracker for free, or you can upgrade and let your children spend their pocket money in the real world with The Rooster Card.

 

The Rooster Card is the next step towards independent money management for your kids. A prepaid Visa debit card designed 100% with children in mind. So parents can hand over independence, whilst maintaining peace of mind with unique parental controls over where and what they spend. And with no overdraft, there’s no overspending, just building good habits.

 

 

The Rooster Card costs £24.99, but using our referral code CITY5 you’ll also get a £5 pocket money bonus after your free trial. Sign up here.

Key features include:

● Parent Account with sort code & account number – so you can set aside your kids’ pocket money, and family & friends can pay into the account

● Prepaid Visa debit card – so your kids can make considered spending choices in the real world

● No overdraft – so no risk of overspending

● You decide where it can be used – in shops, online or at ATMs

● Instant spending notifications – for you and your children

● One-time CVV – making it a more secure card for online transactions

● Freeze & unfreeze card instantly – for those ‘where’s my card?’ moments

 

Remember to use referral code CITY5 to get a £5 pocket money bonus after your free trial, sign up here.

 

 

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OUR SUMMER ISSUE IS HERE!

We’re so delighted to share our summer issue with you

 

Click below to read cover to cover!!

 

 

Our summer issue is here celebrating all we can now do in the city. Our What’s On guide returns, packed with visits to make, things to see and do and museums and galleries to enjoy. Talking of trips, we have some top tips from @mrandmrssmith’s co-founder, James Lohan, on getting away, at home or abroad.. ⁠

We’ve all spent more time outside (sometimes through gritted teeth and thermals) and we’re likely to continue this good habit – check out HOME, and the things to make it fun.⁠
If you like flamingos, you’ll love our STYLE this issue and as the temperature finally climbs, Jo Pratt shares her Tropical Ice Pop recipes. Our food theme continues with Ciara Attwell, creator of @myfussyeater and @pickplates. Bev Turner explores change and boiling frogs – you’ll have to go to page 11 to find out why.⁠

Plus, Sophie Clowes shares her experiences of wild swimming, fishing minnows out of costumes, and going with the ebb and flow. ⁠

Of course we have education news and some great advice from The Good Schools Guide; top tips for heading to the beach, picnic essentials and fashion from Nadadelazos who also grace our cover. ⁠
Wishing you a wonderfully free-spirited summer!⁠

 

 

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SUN HATS FOR KIDS

Sun hats for kids are a non-negotiable Summer essential!

 

Whether you love flouncy Liberty prints, cute ears or soft towelling we have the best sun hats to keep little heads protected and dressed up in style…

 

A hat that stands out from the crowd with handy tie on ribbons  – you can try!

Bobo Choses Hat Natural, £47, Smallable

smallable.com

 

A super soft, towelling hat that will keep the sun off and mop up that sweaty brow. Comes in green too!

Terry Bucket Hat, £10.99, Zara

zara.com

 

Who doesn’t love strawberries in the Summer?

Mini Rodini Strawberry denim sun hat, £36.00, Scout & Co Kids

scoutandcokids.com

 

The soft cotton hat with gentle dove pattern will keep snoozing babies cool and protected.

Sun hat, £7.99, H&M

hm.com

 

A super cool hat for anyone who loves a more contemporary vibe.

The Animals Observatory Hat, £41, Smallable

smallable.com

 

Definitely a hat for having fun in the sun!

Nadadelazos Sun Yellow Minidots Sun Hat, £17.00, alexandalexa

alexandalexa.com

 

The cutest Liberty print sun hat with gorgeous scalloped edging.

Agatha Hat, Betsy Honey, £36, Olivier Baby

olivierbaby.com

 

Aww! We love the sunshine motif on this super cute baby sun hat.

Organic Cotton Paradise Baby Sun Hat, £19, The Bonnie Mob

thebonniemob.com

 

A classic straw hat with a sunny yellow trim  – perfect for tweens and teens.

Teen Beige Straw Hat, £26, Childrensalon

childrensalon.com

 

Great for keeping the sun off little necks and it’s reversible too!

Sonny Reversible hat with neck cover, £12.95, Joules

joules.com

 

Stylish cute and super protective and it has ears!

Sparkle Sun Hat by Dinosea, £16.00

joules.com

 

Classic ticking stripes that will go with anything and we love the clever elasticated panel to help keep that hat on.

Liewood Sander Bucket Hat, £23, The Modern Nursery

themodernnursery.com

 

Want sunscreen to go with that? Click here for our guide, including reef safe brands>>>

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SUMMER AT LONDON WETLAND CENTRE

There is plenty for children TO DO & SEE this summer at London Wetland Centre.

 

 

Kicking off with the GIANT LEGO® Brick Animal Trail, LEGO brick fans will enjoy exploring the grounds to find all of the 14 characters. This is the UK’s only collection of wetland animals made from the world’s most popular toy. In total, 253,728 LEGO bricks were used to make them. A brand new creature has joined the flamingo, otter, mallard and other favourites. What is it? You’ll have to go along to find out!

 

 

For the super curious, from 24 July, summer at London Wetland Centre is an opportunity to become a Wetland Explorer! There are loads of exciting wetland activities waiting for you, from pond dipping to an intrepid scavenger hunt. There is plenty of outdoor exploration and wildlife just waiting to be discovered. You never know what’s around the next corner of the reed bed, and there’s always the chance of a close encounter with warblers, dragonflies, damselflies, kingfishers, water voles and lots more.

 

 

Feeling adventurous? Test your balance and bravery at the centre Wild Walk. Take a journey beyond the usual paths and into the wildest parts of this incredible nature reserve. Meander through different wetland habitats, ramble along reed beds and hop across stepping logs. Make a splash and try your balance on wobbly bridges – It is a great fun for big kids too!

 

 

The Wetlands of the World is a relaxing and fun way of getting deep into the heart of WWT conservation work. Discover some of the animals WWT works to protect, such as the world’s rarest goose – the Nene. And don’t forget to take a photo with the lovely Otters.

For more information on all events, prices or how to book: wwt.org.uk

To find out more about this incredible nature reserve and the conservation work of WWT:  wwt.org.uk

Call 020 8409 4400 or email info.london@wwt.org.uk.

 

This is a sponsored post

SANDALS FOR KIDS

It’s finally here! Sandal time! We’ve rounded up our favourite fun, sporty and sensible summer sandals for kids for every occasion. We can’t wait to see those toes wriggling!

 

Petal power! How adorable are these pretty sandals with extra padded soles?

 

Leather Padded Sandals – White Flower, from, £32.00, Boden

boden.co.uk

 

Pretty and comfortable. Perfect for trips to the beach!

 

Floral Beach Sandals, £9 -£11, Next

next.co.uk

 

We love these bold colours and that comfy, flexible sole.

 

Lightweight Trekker Sandals £16 -£18, Next

next.co.uk

 

Over the rainbow cuteness all wrapped up in a cool trekker sandal.

 

Little Bird Trekker Sandals, £18, Next

next.co.uk

 

These are the ones we wish they’d made in adult size!

 

Silver Metallic Rainbow Sandals, £40-£45, Boden

boden.co.uk

 

Versatile, comfortable sandals that can cross over to smart casual.

 

Two-tone Milano Sandals Blue, from £40, Birkenstock

birkenstock.com

 

Beautiful, high quality leather sandals that will everyone will notice!

 

Young Soles Pearl Sandals Pink, £72, Smallable

en.smallable.com

 

The classic waterproof leather sandal that looks great with any outfit.

 

Salt-Water Children’s Surfer Leather Sandals, Tan, £35.00 – £38.50, John Lewis

johnlewis.com

Stand out from the crowd with zingy neon.

 

Pom d’Api Strap Plagette Sandals Fluorescent pink, £86, Smallable

en.smallable.com

 

Shoes to have rainbow leaping fun in – with handy Velcro straps.

 

Kids’ Riptape Rainbow Sandals, £15.00, Marks & Spencer

marksandspencer.com

 

Super comfortable, easy to fasten and unfasten and we love that orange/blue combo.

 

Roam Surf Toddler Mid Blue Leather, £36.00, Clarks

clarks.co.uk

 

Super robust, super cute and great for protecting little toes…

 

Toddlers’ Newport H2 Sandals, £34.99, Keen

keenfootwear.com

 

Perfect for hiking and splashing through water. Great grip and flexibility too.

 

Younger Kids’ Seacamp II Cnx Sandals, £49.99, Keen

keenfootwear.com

 

Gorgeous shooting stars perfect for parties and anyone who likes a touch of sparkle.

 

Finch Summer Toddler White Leather. Current price £34.00, Clarks

clarks.co.uk

 

As seen on Instagram:

1. Liewood Bre Sandals / Jelly Shoes in Apple Red

 

Buy now

 

2. Birkenstock Milano Kids EVA Sandals

 

Buy now

3. Mini Melissa Yellow Fruit Sandals

Buy now

 

4. Billieblush Multicolor Glitter Sandals

Buy now

 

Need some sun protection. Click here for reef friendly and kind to kids sunscreen>>>

SUMMER BBQ RECIPES

Suns out, brioche buns are out and we’re firing up the barbecue.

Is it your turn to host? Look no further, dust off the grill and whip up a spread in no time thanks to Jo Pratt’s super scrumptious selection of summer BBQ recipes. If you haven’t got a BBQ (who even are you), don’t worry as all of these summer recipes can be made stove top or in the oven. And some need no cooking at all!

1. VEGGIE BURGERS WITH ONION MARMALADE AND HARISSA & FENNEL AND RADISH COLESLAW

Get the recipe here

2. MAPLE AND MUSTARD PULLED PORK

Get the recipe here

3. BARBECUED APPLES

Get the recipe here

4. FIG, SERRANO AND CURD CHEESE SALAD WITH HONEY DRESSING

Get the recipe here

5. PADRÓN PEPPERS (PIMIENTOS DE PADRÓN)

Padron peppers

Get the recipe here

6. STRAWBERRIES WITH VANILLA CASHEW CREAM

Strawberries with vanilla cashew cream

Get the recipe here

 

Jo’s books can be found at all good booksellers including Waterstones

Click here for more recipes>>>>>

ROAST TOMATO AND LENTIL SOUP

Jo Pratt’s Roast Tomato and Lentil Soup with Halloumi Croutons

 

 

Celebrating tomatoes with Jo Pratt’s Roast Tomato and Lentil Soup with Halloumi Croutons is a fine way to mark British Tomato Fortnight. It’s one of our favourites from the City Kids Family Food Planner too.

For the soup

850g ripe tomatoes, quartered and green core removed

1 red  pepper, quartered and deseeded

3 carrots, quartered

2 sticks celery, halved

1 long red chilli, halved (optional)

4 cloves garlic, peeled

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp paprika

100g red split lentils

1 litre hot vegetable stock

flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

basil leaves, to garnish

For the croutons

olive oil

200g halloumi, diced into small cubes

 

Time taken 1 hour 10 minutes / Serves 6

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/400°F/gas 6.

Put the tomatoes, pepper, carrots, celery, chilli, if using, and garlic in a large roasting tray, one that is suitable to be put on the hob as well as the oven. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle over the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the veggies in the oil and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning once or twice, until the vegetables are all softened and beginning to char nicely around the edges.

Remove the tray from the oven and stir in the lentils and stock. Place the roasting tray on the hob and set over a high heat. Bring to a simmer. Cover with foil or a baking sheet, reduce to a low-medium heat and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are tender.

Blend the soup with a hand blender or liquidiser until smooth. If using a liquidiser, it may need to be done in two batches, depending on the size of your machine. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

To make the croutons, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the halloumi and fry for 2–3 minutes, turning throughout, until golden on most sides. Serve hot scattered on top of the soup along with the basil leaves.

Flexible

Vegan –  the soup itself won’t need any alterations to be vegan friendly, but as an alternative to the halloumi croutons, lightly fry a mixture of cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds in a drizzle of oil until golden. Sprinkle over a pinch of smoked paprika and salt. Toss to coat and serve scattered on top of the soup.

Dairy-free –  for dairy-free meat eaters, replace the halloumi by frying some sliced chorizo in a drizzle of oil until golden. Sprinkle over the soup with a drizzle of the rich red chorizo oil from the frying pan.

 

Click here for more recipes>>>>>

SUN CARE FOR KIDS

City Kids Sun Care for Kids

 

 

Sunshine is incoming and holiday or no holiday, it’s time to stock up on that outdoor essential, sunscreen. Our guide includes some familiar faces as well as brands not always found on the high street, plus there’s plenty of choice for those wanting reef friendly ingredients. Here’s our round-up of sun care for kids: the best creams, sprays and roll-on products to keep children’s skin protected and happy…

Lancaster Sun Sensitive Face and Body Sun Protection Cream For Kids SPF50 150ml, £24.00, Look Fantastic

Great for: Water babies

This clever pump dispenses a fine mist of fast absorbing milky spray that gives high protection for sensitive skin and can even be applied to wet skin! It is also fragrance free, tear free and has inbuilt anti-sand performance. Oh, and it’s reef friendly too!

lookfantastic.com

 

Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract ( 71ml ), £20

Great for: Teens

A gel-textured lotion that sinks in like a dream and smells absolutely gorgeous. Great for sharing with older kids who will love the delicious smell, the cool packaging and the reassurance that this is a coral reef-safe product.

cultbeauty.co.uk

 

Avène Very High Protection Lotion for Children SPF50+ Sun Cream for Sensitive Skin 100ml, £16, Boots

Great for: Sensitive and very fair skins

Avène’s products are fantastic quality and their kid’s suncream is no exception. It sinks in easily, leaving no white smears and gives great coverage. Developed for very fair and sensitive skins it contains their famous Avène Thermal Spring Water, which heals and soothes and is very water resistant while being ocean friendly.

boots.com

 

Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen Tropical Fruit Clear Spray SPF50, £12.79, Big Green Smile

Great for: Fidgety Kids and eco-conscious families

 This yummy smelling, eco-friendly air-powered spray is super easy to apply at any angle and is especially great when you have a gaggle of fidgety kids waiting for a coat of sun cream! It contains no synthetic fragrances, artificial colours, harsh sulfates, parabens or phthalates and is ocean friendly.

biggreensmile.com

 

Soltan Kids Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30 200ml, £4.00, Boots

 

Great for: Excellent Value

If you know you’re going to be slapping on sun cream, all day long, week after week, then this fail-safe formula that gives great protection, smells lovely and is incredibly well priced is a great option. Extra retro points awarded for the smell that instantly transports us to a Spanish beach in the 90’s! 

boots.com

 

Nivea Sun Kids Sun Cream Green Coloured Roll-on SPF50+ 50ml, £8.50, Boots

 

Great for: Keeping track and getting kids excited about suncare

Keeping track of where you have and haven’t applied sun cream is never an issue with this tinted formula that leaves a distinctive green coating that gradually fades away. Kids seem to love coating themselves in this coloured goo, so bribery and chasing are not part of the process. The handy roll-on dispenser means that they can’t pour out too much cream. It comes in pink too!

boots.com

 

Jason Kid’s Natural Sunscreen SPF45 £12.99, Jason Natural Care

 

Great for: Adventurous kids and eco-conscious families

This tear-free, water-resistant and hypoallergenic formula was developed for children’s sensitive skin and provides long-lasting protection for kids who love to go on adventures. This product contains no oxybenzone, octinoxate, gluten or parabens, is biodegradable and is reef safe.

jasonnaturalcare.co.uk

 

BabyGanics Mineral Based Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ 2 Oz (59 Ml). £11.90, Vitamins UK

 

Great for: Wriggly babies

If you’re worried about accidentally smearing cream in your little one’s eyes then you’ll be reassured to know that this is a tear free formula! A robust, mineral-based, water resistant sunscreen that rubs in easily and provides great high factor protection. Free from PABA, Phthalates, Parabens, Fragrances or Nano-Particles this is people and reef friendly.

vitaminsuk.com

Attitude Little Ones 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance Free, 64ml, £16.99, Ocado

Great for: Anyone who prefers gentle, fragrance free products that are kinder to the planet

This fragrance free, mineral sunscreen is made with 100% non-nano zinc oxide which is considered one of the safest sunscreen options available. We love the fact that it’s non-greasy, clear and sinks in easily as well as being sustainable, biodegradable and reef safe. 

ocado.com

  

Childs Farm SPF 50+ Roll on Sun Lotion 70ml, £7.99, Boots

 

Great for: Babies and kids who like to apply their own sun cream

This water resistant roll-on sun lotion is super easy to use and is great for kids with an independent streak who want to apply their own cream. A lovely fragrance free hydrating formula that contains no artificial colours, parabens, SLSs or mineral oils. Suitable for babies and children from 6 months upwards.

boots.com

 

Saltee Sea & Sun Formula SPF50 Saltee Sea & Sun Formula, 50ml, £29, Saltee

Great for: Families who like to multitask

This gorgeous smelling sun cream with naturally derived UVA and UVB protection is light in texture and absorbs into the skin super quickly so that kids can run off and play ASAP. Brilliantly, the cream doubles up as an after-sun too and the cooling cucumber extract is great for hydrating the skin.

Reef friendly.

saltee.co.uk

 

Naïf Natural Skincare Baby Sunscreen SPF 50 – 100ml, £23, Smallable

Great for: Biodegradable packaging fans

This fab Dutch skincare brand for babies has created a gorgeous eco-friendly sunscreen that is super gentle on delicate skin and contains no harsh chemicals or ocean polluting ingredients. The packaging is made from Cane sugar so it’s biodegradable!

en.smallable.com

 

Green People Sunscreen Organic Children Scent Free Sun Cream SPF30, 150ml, £21

Great for: Families who love organic and eco-friendly products

Families who want the reassurance of a brand that is committed to using organic ingredients and preserving the planet will love this super effective, non greasy, reef friendly cream which is suitable for sensitive skin and prickly heat. It comes in fully recyclable plant-based packaging and for every sale, 20p will be donated to the Marine Conservation Society. Bravo!

greenpeople.co.uk

 

Need some sunnies? Click here for our sunglasses edit>>>

Header image: Leo Rivas

Smile edit for National Smile Month

National Smile Month Edit

Looking to make your kids’ tooth brush time fun again? How about grabbing a brand new toothbrush for National Smile Month? Here’s our edit of 10 brushes for babies and kids, from buzzy to bamboo brushes, there’s guaranteed smiles all around.

1.Foreo Issa Baby Gentle Sonic Toothbrush for Ages 0 to 4 (Various Colours)

Buy it here

2.Baby Bamboo Toothbrush – 4 Pack – Extra Soft Bristles

Buy it here

3. Brush-baby babysonic toothbrush

 Buy it here

4.Jack N’ Jill Buzzy Brush

Buy it here

5.KidzSonic Electric Toothbrush (3-6 Years) – Pink

Buy it here

6.Colgate Magik Toothbrush for Kids, Children’s Manual Toothbrush to use with Interactive Free Smartphone App, Contains Toothbrush with Brush Holder and Phone Holder, Age 5+

 Buy it here

7. Evie Elephant Rechargeable Sonic Toothbrush (0-10 year olds),

Buy it here

8. Sonicare for Kids Connected Electric Toothbrush HX6352/42,

Buy it here

9. MAM Learn to Brush Set, Two Baby Toothbrushes With Safety Shields, Ideal for Teaching Dental Hygiene to Infants, Baby Training Toothbrush Suitable From Birth, Pink

Buy it here

10. Grabease Double Sided Toothbrush

Buy it here 

There’s a few other great things you can do to bring the magic back to tooth brushing, we quite like the free reward chart from the Dental Health website here

 

Look no further for Father’s Day gifts. CLICK HERE>>>

FATHER’S DAY GIFTS

Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is approaching so it’s time to show the best joke-teller in the house how much you love him. Here’s our Father’s Day gifts guide to make dads, stepdads and granddads smile…

 

 

Because dads love dinosaur socks too…

 

 

Paul Smith Socks, £19, Liberty
libertylondon.com

 

The perfect mug to accompany breakfast in bed.

 

 

Wonderful Dad Mug, £19.95, Emma Bridgewater
emmabridgewater.co.uk

 

The label says it all!

Mister Marvelous Eau De Parfum (100ml), £178, Byredo
byredo.com

 

A classic gift that will be appreciated every day.

 

 

British Belt, £40, Boden
boden.co.uk

 

Papa was a rolling stone? Humour his rock ‘n roll delusions with this fab bottle.

 

 

The Rolling Stones x Goldy Gin, £49.99, Selfridges

selfridges.com

 

Delicious chocolates washed down with chocolate infused beer.

 

 

The Beer and Chocolate Hamper £27, Hotel Chocolat

hotelchocolat.com

 

Smarten him up for the day with this gorgeous linen shirt.

 

Linen Cotton Check Slim Fit Shirt, £45, John Lewis & Partners
johnlewis.com

 

This chocolate has his name on it.

 

 

Dad Cadbury Milk Chocolate Bar, £5, Selfridges
selfridges.com

 

A framed print that will always be treasured.

 

 

Framed Andy Warhol I Love You So print, £65, King & McGaw
kingandmcgaw.com

 

The king of the kitchen needs his very own, understated apron.

 

 

Dad Slogan Apron, £20, Eleanor Bowmer
eleanorbowmer.co.uk

 

Dads love a little bit of pampering too and this is the perfect skincare starter set.

Horace Face Kit, £29, Horace
horace.co/en

 

A super speedy, outdoor charcoal grill that means no waiting before your sausages start sizzling!

Lotus Grill BBQ, £149, Cuckooland
cuckooland.com/

 

For dads who dream of treehouses…

 

 

Tree Houses. Fairy Castles in the Air by Philip Jodidio, €16, TASCHEN
taschen.com

 

This could be his coolest ever outfit!

 

 

Desmond & Dempsey Leopard Pyjamas, £150, Mr Porter
mrporter.com

 

A distinctive, eco-friendly razor that nobody can steal.

 

 

Handle Recycled Plastic Razor with Gilette Fusion, £60, Selfridges
selfridges.com

 

A fantastic selection of vegan curries for dads who like dhal and more.

 

 

Spicebox by Grace Regan, 100 Fresh Vegan Curry House Favourites, £17.99, Waterstones
waterstones.com

 

The crème de la crème of BBQ tools.

 

 

Barbeque Tools, £38.50, Annabel James
annabeljames.co.uk

 

Perfect for new dads, old dads, Sunday afternoon dads.

Tired T-Shirt, £30, Dreamon Playwear
dreamonplaywear.com

 

Top Image: John Lewis

See more of our latest edits here>>>>>

 

TOP TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR CHILD’S HAY FEVER

TOP TIPS for managing your child’s Hay Fever

We’ve collaborated with HayMax to bring you 5 simple and effective ways to manage your child’s hay fever from airborne allergens expert, Max Wiseberg.

1) Make HayMax Kids part of your child’s daytime/bedtime routine. Apply this organic drug-free allergen barrier balm immediately after washing first thing and before bedtime. Pop a pot in your daytime bag and leave a pot by the bed to re-apply as needed. In independent studies [1], HayMax has been shown to trap over a third of the pollen before it gets into the body: less pollen, less reaction. And as it’s drug-free, it’s suitable for pregnant and breast-feeding women too.

2) Take your child to the GP, for a proper diagnosis. If symptoms occur only in high summer on hot, sunny days, it’s likely to be hay fever. But it could be any of a number of other allergies and treatment might differ in each case

3) Change your child’s clothes daily and after they’ve been playing outside and wash your toddler’s face and hair after being outdoors. Pollen sticks to clothing, skin and hair so symptoms can continue even indoors.

4) Encourage your child to wear wraparound sunglasses. This creates a protective layer between eyes and the pollen-laden atmosphere and relaxes their eyes, which in turn relaxes them. And it’s cool! Check out our sunglasses edit here.

5) Washing bedding frequently, covering the bed with a sheet carefully folded and stored away from the bed during the night, before they get into bed, and turning pillows just before they get in, can all help.

As with many other things, prevention is better than cure! Find out more about HayMax here. 

Reference
[1] Chief Investigator: Professor Roy Kennedy, Principal Investigator: Louise Robertson, Researcher: Dr Mary Lewis, National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, 1st February 2012.

Looking for well balanced and immune boosting meals to feed your whole family? Look no further, our Family Meal Planner is THE MOTHER of all meal planners. Access it when you subscribe to our Newsletter here.

MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES OPENING

Museums and Galleries Opening Timetable

 

Museums reopen

Image: National History Museum

Calling all mini museum lovers and your grown ups – museums and art galleries in England are opening next week, as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.

Venues will have to stick to Covid-19 safety rules in order to be allowed to reopen, such as limiting visitors and offering pre-booked time slots. So double check museum websites below before you visit (all opening on May 17th unless stated otherwise):

The British Museum Entry to the Museum will be ticketed, both for the free collection and paid exhibitions. Book a timed slot in advance.

Natural History Museum All visitors must book a free ticket in advance online for guaranteed entry. There are a limited number of walk-up tickets available.

Victoria and Albert Museum Reopens on Wednesday May 19th. Museum entry is still free but you’ll need to pre-book a timed ticket online.

Science Museum Reopens on Wednesday May 19th. Book free tickets online.

Royal Museums Greenwich National Maritime Museum (free entry), Cutty Sark, Queen’s House and Royal Observatory will all reopen. Book timed slots. You can also buy a Royal Museums Greenwich Day Pass for entry to all sites.

Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands Reopens on Wednesday May 19th. Book free tickets online.

The National Gallery Check websites for updates on how to book visit.

Horniman Museum and Gardens The Museum and Butterfly House are expected to open while the Gardens have remained open. Check website for booking updates.

The Tate Book tickets for Tate Britain and Tate Modern online.

Design Museum Reopens on Tuesday 18 May. Online booking needed for both free and paid exhibitions.

London Transport Museum Book a timed entry slot before you visit. Kids go free, with adults receiving unlimited daytime return entry for a year. Families can also go behind-the-scenes at the Museum Depot in Acton for May half-term.

Imperial War Museums IWM London and Churchill War Rooms reopening on Wednesday May 19th. Tickets are available to prebook. HMS Belfast closed for refurbishment with plans to reopen in summer 2021.

Dulwich Picture Gallery Reopening on Wednesday May 19th. Opening times will be Wednesday to Sunday, 10am–5pm. Book tickets in advance.

The Postal Museum Reopening on Thursday May 20th. Book tickets in advance.

The Charles Dickens Museum Reopening Wednesday May 19th.  Open Wednesday to Sundays 10am – 5pm. Book in advance, walk ups will be accommodated subject to availability.

Saatchi Gallery Reopening on Wednesday May 19th. Pre-booking advised.

Museum of Brands Reopening on Friday May 21st. Flexi-tickets on sale so you can pencil in your visit.

Brunel Museum Reopening on Saturday May 22nd.  Weekends and school holidays 12-4pm.

Pollock’s Toy Museum Book tickets in advance online and some walk up tickets will also be available.

Royal Air Force MuseumBook free time slot online.

The Clink Prison Museum Book tickets online in advance.

London Canal Museum Reopening on Friday May 21st with reduced hours.

London Museum of Water and Steam Reopening on Saturday May 29th. Open every day for half term until Sunday June 6th. Then open on Saturdays and Sundays during term time. Book time slot online.

Museum of the Home Reopening on Saturday June 12th. Entry is free but for now all visitors need to book a timed ticket in advance. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am–5pm.

National Army Museum Reopening on Wednesday May 19th. Book a free time slot online before visiting.

The Cartoon Museum Reopening on Tuesday May 18th, Booking is not necessary to visit the museum. Closed on Mondays.

 

Some museums to look forward to visiting in the future. For now check their websites for online resources, online events and updates on opening:

The Wallace Collection No opening date yet.

V&A Museum of Childhood Currently closed for refurbishment.

Bank of England Museum Planning to open early 2022.

The National Portrait Gallery Gallery closed until 2023. During this time, hundreds of their portraits will travel across the UK.

For more things to do head to our What’s On page

Follow us on Instagram

 

 

STATEMENT SUNGLASSES EDIT

Exceptional Spectacles

We’ve worked out a way of saying that we love summer without saying we love summer. We present to you, the statement sunglasses edit. From effortlessly cool, super sporty and mega fashionista vibes, you’re bound to find a pair (or three) that’ll suit your kids this summer.

1.RJ9062S transparent in grey and yellow, Ray-Ban

Buy now

2.Stella McCartney Kids, Black Snake Sunglasses from Children Salon 

Buy Now 

3.Mona Lisa White Printed Gemstones Sunglasses, Alex and Alexa

Buy now

 

4.Babiators Keyhole Sunglasses, Kidly

Buy now

5.Sunnylife, Mini Summer Sunnies, Kidly

Buy now

6.Monnalisa Red Strawberry Sunglasses, Children Salon

Buy now

7.BONPOINT x IZIPIZI in Bouton d’Or Yellow, Izipizi

Buy now

8.Stella McCartney Kids, Round rainbow sunglasses with mirror lenses, Alex and Alexa

Buy now

9.Ki ET LA Ours’on Sunglasse, Kidly 

Buy now

10.FLAK® XS (YOUTH FIT), Oakley

Buy now

11.Babiators Original Flowers Sunglasses – Daisy

Buy now

12.Beau Loves, White Mother of Pearl Cat-Eye Sunglasses, Alex and Alexa

Buy now

Do look out for more summer fashion. Prefer it in print? You can also read the our latest issue here, it’s filled to the brim with style ideas for the trendiest kids in town. 

 

INTRODUCING ORLEY FARM SCHOOL

Orley Farm School

City Kids hears from Head of Orley Farm School, Tim Calvey, about the Orley Farm family and the likely journey of an Orley Farm pupil.

 

 

 

Tim Calvey took over the Headship of Orley Farm School in 2013 having previously been, amongst other teaching positions, Head of Boarding in two previous schools.  He believes that at the heart of the Orley Farm experience is the passion in teachers to light fires in the minds of young people that burn for a lifetime!

“Whilst we are academically selective, we are also looking for that edge, a spark, the unique in every pupil to foster and celebrate, because the last time we looked, academic credentials guarantee very little.  It is a brave new world out there and emotional intelligence is gold dust!”

 

 

Orley Farm School was founded in 1850 and is set in 39 glorious acres of playing fields, woodland and meadow situated at the bottom of Harrow on the Hill. We have exceptional classroom facilities including a recently refurbished Library, Science laboratories and a Drama Studio. We are home to 500 girls and boys aged 4 to 13 who are receiving an extraordinary educational experience that develops the whole child preparing them for future success.

Fulfilment and happiness start with a deep love of learning and over their time with us, through our unique ‘Thinking Skills Programme’, children will develop their resilience, curiosity, empathy, risk-taking, good judgement, creativity, initiative, focus, flexibility of mind and ambition.

We are privileged to be working with young learners at a point where we can ‘hardwire’ key traits and values that we believe are essential to happiness and success in an ever-changing world.  Our 10 Thinking Skills are the bedrock of ‘The Orley Farm Way’ and we have no doubt that we are giving voice to the ambitious, the creative, the curious, the focused, the resilient and the risk takers as they will possess empathy, flexibility of mind, initiative and good judgement in all that they do!

 

 

 

We pride ourselves on preparing our young learners for life and therefore, we go well beyond assessment preparation and this is reflected in an Alumni who know the power and value of an outstanding start in life but more importantly, how to find fulfilment, purpose, joy and wonder in making a difference to others. We are blessed and privileged to work with pupils, colleagues and parents who know the power of these years and who recognise this wonderful African proverb:

‘It takes a village to bring up a child’

The Orley Farm Family is a special place and we would encourage anyone and everyone who might be searching for something a little more than the superficial to come and visit but be warned, there is no room for passengers, we are all committed to doing something with this privileged start…!

We are very proud that we are able to find the right senior school for each individual and over the past six years, pupils have been offered over 248 Scholarships and taken up places at 59 different schools.  Just before lockdown last year we were awarded outstanding in all areas by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.  During the school closures Orley Farm has managed to continue to teach remotely and keep students together in virtual classrooms.

We have a remote live Open Morning on Friday 21st May 2021 at 9.30am – 10.30am. To register, please go to www.orleyfarm.harrow.sch.uk  We are also offering Zoom calls with the Headmaster on some Wednesday mornings. Please contact our Registrar on registrar@orleyfarm.harrow.sch.uk for further details.

Fore more information on schools head to our education page>>>

 

This is a sponsored post.

Lunchbox Edit

Rejected lunches, be gone! While we’d love to be that everyday gourmet kind of parent, it’s just not feasible. Challenged with a fussy eater that often sends their packed lunches back to the kitchen? TOP TIP: Change things up from time to time. Whether it’s the menu or the box you pack, here’s eight exciting lunchboxes that might just do the trick! ⁠

1. Lunch Box in Cherry by Konges Sløjd

Available from Junior Edition, Buy it now

2. School set: Backpack – Ocean 

Available from A Little Lovely Company. Buy it now

3. Liewood Joni Lunchbox Set in Dino Faune Green

Available from Scandiborn. But it now**  

4. Skip Hop Zoo Food Jar Unicorn, Multi

Available from John Lewis & Partners, Buy it now

5. Sparkle Medium Happy Bento Lunchbox

Available from Smiggle, Buy it now

6. Fabelab Lunch Bag – Unicorn

Available from Scandiborn, Buy it now**

7. Tresor Kids Bento Box

Available from Kidly, Buy it now

8. Nobodinoz Sunshine Eco Lunch Bag in Daisies

Available from Scandiborn, Buy it now**

For fantastic family mealtime ideas, subscribe to our newsletter here and you’ll receive our expert family meal planner PDF for FREE! Yipee! Here’s to making mealtimes fun again! 

 

**The marked links are affiliate links.

 

GREEN STATIONERY EDIT

CityKids Green Stationery and crafts edit

Earlier this week we celebrated #earthday. And here at City Kids HQ, we’re BIG on all things to do with stationery . So to round-off #stationeryweek it’s only right that we bring you…the green stationery edit. Expect everything from biodegradable glitter to diverse crayons that give back to the less fortunate. 

 

 

COLOUR ME CRAYONS BY COLOUR ME KIDS

Colour Me crayons are designed to celebrate the diversity of our rainbow nation. PLUS they’re vegan, and non-toxic. 5% profits go to disadvantaged children in South Africa

Find out more

 

SAVE OUR OCEANS CRAFT KIT

This Save our Oceans activity box is a perfect craft activity to raise awareness on the impact our actions are having on the environment, more specifically micro plastics & the oceans.

Find out more

 

STAY WEIRD DRAWING BOOK

A fun notebook for kids and grown-ups, decorated with a cat design and text “stay weird” on the front cover. An A5 format, it features 48 blank pages for all kinds of creative expressions, drawings, notes, journalling, and doodles. Made of paper from responsible sources.

 

Find out more 

 

CHILDREN’S GARDENING SET, HERBOO

An exciting monthly delivery over 12 months from our children’s gardening set that makes a great eco gift. Each month they will grow two plants, two nature crafts and a bundle of extra games, recipes, nature discoveries and things to do. 

Find out more

 

HEMWAY ECO FRIENDLY BIODEGRADABLE GLITTER

Great for arts and crafts projects, new Hemway Eco Friendly Biodegradable Glitter is CERTIFIED biodegradable by the Biodegradable Products Institute. They are child safe and non-toxic – safe for you as they are for the environment!

FInd out more

 

OKONORM 12 WATERCOLOUR PAINTS IN A TIN

This set of 12 watercolour paints come in a tin – ideal for creating art on the go and taking to school or college. Children and adults will enjoy getting creative with

Find out more

 

Find our green books for kids edit here. PLUS loads of fantastic ideas and inspo in our Green Issue here.

CONFIDENCE & COMMUNICATION AT EATON SQUARE SCHOOLS

With its own TedX talks, debating activities and performing arts excellence, Eaton Square prioritises pupils’ confidence and communication.

 

This is a sponsored post

 

With 2021 marking the Royal Albert Hall’s 150th Anniversary, there is no better time to celebrate the profound benefits that performance has on London’s young people. Perhaps above all are the sought-after life skills of confidence and communication.

Eaton Square Schools lead the way in nurturing both. Impressively located across central London, pupils from ages 2-16 truly benefit from its vibrant, nurturing extra-curricular programme.

 

Public Speaking

 

Synonymous with ‘world-class speech’ are the renowned TED Talks. Amazingly for a UK prep school, Eaton Square has its very own Tedx licence – enabling pupils to write, practice, perform and film their very own Tedx Talks for Tedx’s global YouTube channel. Last year’s Eaton Square Tedx Talks gained over 4.8 million views – a testament to the pupils’ professionalism, self-expression and communication skills.

 

Debating

Eaton Square Prep School runs a popular debating programme – further strengthening the School’s commitment to developing pupils’ spoken communication and critical thinking skills, as well as fostering confidence and empathy as part of their ongoing character development.

The Debating Club runs weekly meetings and participates in annual inter-school competitions such as The Sir Winston Churchill Public Speaking Competition at Blenheim Palace. They even visit UK Parliament for a guided tour and workshop.

 

Drama

 

With a brand new professional Performance Studio (rigged out with staging, lighting, green screen and surround sound), LAMDA tuition and regular opportunities to perform, it is unsurprising that pupils thrive in this aspect of School life – later winning places at the likes of Tring, Elmhurst Ballet School and Sylvia Young Theatre School.

The School plays a key role in the nationwide Poetry Together campaign – even hosting HRH The Duchess of Cornwall for a recital and tea party!

 

 

Sign up to Eaton Square Schools’ upcoming Virtual Open Morning NOW!

WHEN: 09:30-10:30am (GMT) on Thursday 6th May 2021

WHERE: Online – livestreamed from the School’s historic building

HOW: Book HERE

WHAT TO EXPECT:

·       Virtual Tour

·       Welcome from Senior team

·       Introduction from Year 6 pupils

·       Live Q&A

For specific enquiries, please contact registrar@eatonsquareschool.com |0207 225 3131

eatonsquareschool.com/belgravia/open-mornings/

Social handle: @Eaton_Square_School

 

 

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post.

For more education news head here>>>

THE GOOD SCHOOLS GUIDE: LONDON

The ‘Educational equivalent to Michelin’ launches latest edition of The Good Schools Guides for London

 

 

The Good Schools Guide, long favoured by parents to help them see the wood for the trees when choosing schools, launches its latest publications today. The Good Schools Guide: London North and London South cover the best state and independent schools north and south of the river. The Good Schools Guides: London offer in-depth and straight-talking reviews to give parents an invaluable insight into the competitive world of London schooling. The new editions include the latest exam results and articles on many aspects of the London education scene. The aim is to help parents choose the best school for their child.

At this point it’s worth noting that The Good Schools Guide is the only impartial guide to London schools. Each school included in a guide has been visited by a writer who has interviewed the head, spoken to pupils and parents and analysed results and marketing hype. Schools can’t buy their way in, there are no mates rates, advertisers don’t get a free pass. A school is only included in the pages if the writers think it worthy. It’s why schools are desperate to be included, and why The Good Schools Guide has been established and respected by parents for over 30 years. Apart from asking around, posting in Facebook groups, where else can parents get unbiased information about a school, its values, ethos and contribution to a community?

London North is a hefty tome of 220 schools, with London South feeling slimmer but still offering hundreds of reviews. Expect to see comment on junior and senior, independent and state settings as well as information and advice on fees, entry requirements, school atmosphere, academics, SEN and more.

In addition to the London guides, The Good Schools Guide also offers a consultation service, and The Good Schools Guide 22nd edition is available with a free month’s subscription to the website. The guide includes 1200 in-depth reviews of leading state and private schools for children aged 3 to 18 in the UK.

Find out more about The Good Schools Guide here

 

You may be interested in our Mini Guide to Berkshire

 

BOOKS FOR KIDS – THE GREEN EDIT

GREEN BOOKS FOR KIDS

It’s never too early to help children to understand the world around them and the impact they can have on its future. Sharon Jones reviews three super books that make a great starting point. Her full edit can be found in our Spring issue here

1. WHEN WE WENT WILD by Isabella Tree, illustrated by Allira Tee 

Printed in the UK and made with 100% recycled paper this wonderful story tells the tale of Nancy and Jake, two farmers who use harsh chemicals to raise their cows and pigs. Upon noticing the animal’s sadness, they decide to make a drastic change, much to the disapproval of the neighbouring community. Loosely based on the experiences of the author who is also a farmer and has real-life rewilding experience, this book will definitely get young minds thinking about their surroundings. 

 

2. FORESTS by Jess French, illustrated by Alexander Mostov (Ivy Kids)

Why do forests matter? Because without them the world would struggle to function. This coffee table book explores the power of trees, their importance to two-thirds of the world’s animals who need them and how their destruction is having a devastating impact on the planet. Including great tips on what you can do to change your habits in order to help the forest, this book is simple for young children to understand and empowers them to take action. 

3. CLIMATE CHANGE by Tom Jackson and Cristina Guitian (QED)

For teenagers with an interest in the environment, this book aims to answer the broad questions around the topic of climate change. Not only that, it helps with critical thinking using history, science and social considerations to explore the subject from a range of angles. Engaging graphics by Cristina Guitian bring arguments to life like: Who is responsible? How do we move to a circular economy and discussions to help young people form their own opinions. Informative, engaging and tackling big theories in a way that makes you want to find out more. 

 

Head to page 37 of our SPRING issue to find even more great green books for kids. 

 

TOMMY HILFIGER X HATTIE STEWART

Tommy Hilfiger x Hattie Stewart brings fun and colour to SS21

 

 

 

Tommy Hilfiger’s Kids SS21 collection, has been brought to life by contemporary illustrator, Hattie Stewart.  She’s graced various covers of Vogue, worked with celebs including Rihanna, Kylie and Arianna Grande, and now  TOMMY HILFIGER X HATTIE STEWART.

 

 

 

 

 

Expect skate park style and graphics that run through boys’ T-shirts and jersey sweaters. For girls, soft cotton, terry coordinating sets and branded tape dresses are made for warm days spent roller skating. Essential hoodies ranging from preppy to sporty to modern, add an edgy twist to casual-cool looks. Drawing from Miami’s iconic neon and pastel landmarks, pops of colour elevate the season’s graphics, patterns and fabrics, complimenting the brand’s signature red, white and navy colour palette.

 

 

Since launching his namesake brand in 1985, Tommy Hilfiger has become globally renowned as the pioneer of classic American cool style. Inspired by iconic pop culture and Americana heritage, the designer and his brand are driven by an ever-optimistic vision to break conventions and celebrate individuality. Today, under Hilfiger’s guidance, vision and leadership as Principal Designer, TOMMY HILFIGER is one of the world’s most recognized lifestyle brands that shares its inclusive and youthful spirit with consumers worldwide.

Since graduating from Kingston University in 2010 and moving to London in 2011, Hattie has created a varied portfolio spanning partnerships with creatives such as Roman Coppola and artists like SZA, Ariana Grande and Kylie Minogue. With a vibrant, tongue-in-cheek visual identity, she is a self-proclaimed ‘professional doodler’ with a unique and playful illustration style that extends through the worlds of advertising, art and fashion.

Check out Hattie’s instagram feed for some joyful colour explosions! @hattiestewart

uk.tommy.com/kids

Click here For more kids fashion >>>>

 

TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT EQUALITY

5 fun activities to teach your kids about equality

 

 

When I look back at lockdown I think I will remember a time where more of us became activists and minority voices, which had previously gone unheard, were loud and proud and gaining traction. At City Kids we’re advocates of equality and we promote equality from every corner of the brand.  Diversity and inclusion expert, Esther Marshall, has compiled five fun activities to teach your kids about equality.

 

Equality as a concept is one that you wouldn’t necessarily think a child would understand. However, in today’s society it is critical children grow up understanding what equality means and how it can affect them and others around them. Behavioural studies show us that by the time children are as young as 1 they can understand the world around them and by 3 they know the difference between genders. Small actions such as showing children non-stereotypical and non-limiting characters found in books, films and any other media, or ensuring that the cooking and cleaning of the house is divided up equally and calling out discrimination when you see it can redefine behaviour patterns for this and the next generation creating a more equal society and economy.

So how can we make this concept of equality something fun to learn for children? Here are 5 ways which will make the conversation about equality fun, authentic and exciting to talk about with your children.

Activity 1

You will need a globe, either one you have at home or a world map on a screen or you can print it off. Ask children to close their eyes and spin them round and then point to a country. Each time they pick a country you can talk about topics such as access to school, access to food and water, access to toys like them and access to opportunities like them. It’s a great way to show children that not everything is equal in the world and also a great way to teach children about other cultures. Each time they point at a country it’s good to look up the culture of the country and learn something about the children in that country. It can therefore be a game where both parents and children are learning about the world, in turn making them more worldly and culturally aware which will in turn seriously help them in understanding equality.

Activity 2

Get two sheets of paper. Label one Girls and one Boys. Then proceed to ask them to put the following words listed below into either the girls or boys side or both. Of course, add in any others you can think of.

  • Different jobs e.g Police, firefighter, hairdresser, lawyer, doctor, nurse, pilot, zoo keeper, teacher, scientist, Dentist, Cleaner, Builder, Bus Driver etc
  • Different sports e.g Football, ballet, tennis, swimming, basketball, netball, cricket, darts, hockey, rugby, rowing,
  • Different emotions e.g sad, happy, anxious, crying, strong, smart, brave, afraid, nervous, confident
  • Different objects e.g Bikes, Dolls, Scooters, trains, balloons, butterflies, cars, dogs, cats, comic books, reading books, cuddly toys, drums, fairies
  • Different house work jobs e.g washing up, laundry, cooking, baking, cleaning, food shopping

Ask them why they put certain words on each list and let it lead naturally into a conversation as to why both genders can do the same things.

Activity 3

Go outside and get children to pick up as many different colour objects as they can find e.g. leaves, flower petals, sticks etc. Then get them to stick them down on a piece of paper creating their own garden. Explain that everything they picked came from the same soil and garden but grew in different ways and needed different elements e.g. sun/water to grow but if we didn’t have all of that in the garden or park then nature wouldn’t be as amazing as it is. It’s the same in society. Many people may come from different places and grow up with different cultures and customs but we all need to live together to make up the best society we can be – an equal one.

Activity 4

Get white card/paper and makes stripes of the rainbow. Then colour it in and stick it together. Take away one colour and then two colours.  Explain that without all the colours we don’t have a lovely rainbow and that that is the same in society. We need all races, ethnicities and genders to be part of society in an equal way in order to get the desired outcome of a beautiful rainbow.

Activity 5

Diversify your book shelf. Only 7% of the children’s books published in the last 3 years have featured characters from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic Groups. Ensure that you take time out in your day to read to your children which show non stereotypical characters and characters that don’t look the same as your child. It will help to bring up the conversation and start to build up positive stereotypes to ensure your child grows up wanting to be part of an equal society. Some examples of books to get are Sophie Says I Can I Will, The Proudest Blue, Look Up, The Mega Magic Hair Swap, Ruby’s Worry, Ravi’s Roar, Pink is for Boys and All are welcome.

 

 


Esther Marshall
 is a Diversity and Inclusion expert, mental health activist and the author of the The Sophie Says children’s books series – which make life’s most important lessons fun to learn. For more educational content follow Sophie Says on Instagram @sophiesaysofficial

 

For more articles on equality and inclusion head here>>>

Cool Things For Kids

Our regular round-up of cool things for kids that have caught our eye in the City Kids office this week.

Experimental Fun

Isn’t it nice when a fun activity can be vaguely educational too? For that reason, we really like these science kits from Thames and Cosmos. Yes, there probably will be mess: either cover the kitchen table in newspaper, or even better convince your kids to embrace their inner scientist in the garden. Wherever they try out these experiments, you’ll be sure to see excited little faces.

From crystal growing to pre-historic discoveries and even a molecule bead making (which has a lot to do with the ever-popular slime we are told) these kits make our cool things list as they’re a great way of introducing kids to the fun side of science.

Suitable for ages 8+, each fun kit is priced £8.99 and are available from 25th March at thamesandkosmos.co.uk and Amazon.

 

 

 

 

Shoes we love

Clarks have teamed up with National Geographic for an exclusive collection of kids’ shoes inspired by some of the most amazing species of animals on the planet. The range captures the cool colours and patterns of some spectacular animals which have been photographed for the National Geographic Photo Ark.

These great shoes are printed canvas and made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and sold in boxes made from 90% recycled paper.

The collaboration is helping to highlight the #SaveTogether initiative which raises awareness of threatened species around the world, inspiring young minds to take notice of the value these animals add to our eco system and to help species at risk before it is too late.

Scooter time

Summer is coming which means lots of time out and about with kids in tow. It’s definitely a time when a scooter – aka a means to get them from A to B when they point blank refuse to walk another step – can come in extremely handy.

Carousel, Tesco’s own exclusive toy brand, has officially launched its new Tilt ‘n’ Turn Scooter aimed at children aged roughly three to five.

At just £30 it’s a bit of a bargain – half the price of the market leading alternative according to the peeps at Tesco – and is available in blue and purple.

Scooting can be a risky business but this one has an anti-slip deck a ‘Tilt ‘n’ Turn’ steering function to develop balance and coordination as well as three wheels for stability.

A handy thing to chuck in the boot of the car we say.

 

Top Hats

Without wanting to get too over excited about the prospect summer sunshine on its way, we love these new kids’ hats from headwear company Buff for keeping little ones safe from harsh rays.

Lots of colours and designs to choose from plus styles that offer supreme 50+ UV protection by ensuring their eyes, hair, skin and neck are all fully shielded from the sun. Ideal for those long sunny days on the beach that we are all dreaming of.

 

 

 

 

 

EASTER CAMPS AND COURSES

Easter holidays are here (already!) But so are London’s Easter camps and courses

We may not have been let loose by Boris completely, but Easter camps and courses are ready to take your nearest and dearest. Whether you need a break or they need to get out,  socialise, and learn some new skills, London’s activity sector has been chomping at the bit to share their expertise once again. Here’s our 2021 guide.

 

Role Models

Like many businesses, Role Models pivoted to online last year, and what a success they’ve made of their superb life skills classes! While in-person camps are returning, there is an Easter offer which should grab your attention, but you’ll have to move fast!
Get your hands on an Easter bundle of online Life Skills sessions for children aged 5-7 & 8-11. When booking 3 x 60 minute sessions for £49, children will also be able to bring a friend for FREE (Usual price for 6 ‘Plus’ online sessions is £143.75).
Life Skills sessions focus on confidence, collaboration, creativity, resilience and leadership which Role Models firmly believes are fundamental for good mental health, future job prospects and academic attainment. There are 80 sessions to choose from, each one fun and interactive and designed to fit around family life during both the holidays and term-time.
Use coupon code rm3for49 to purchase 3 x ‘Plus’ online Sessions for £49. Once you have purchased your 3 sessions you will be provided with a coupon code to share with a friend so their little bunny can also join 3 x ‘Plus’ online sessions for Free. Coupon expires on 10th April 2021

For more information on Role Models: call +44 (0)20 3637 7107 | email info@rolemodels.me | rolemodels.me

 

Will to Win Tennis Camps

Tennis is back! Whether you’re in Chiswick, Ealing (Lammas Park, Pitshanger Park), Hyde Park and Greenwich, children from 4 years can take part.
JUNIOR age 7 – 16; 4 or 5 days;
Camp 1: 10am – 12pm
Camp 2: 1pm – 3pm
Taught in age and ability groups. Camp continues in all-weather with creative indoor learning as necessary. Each Friday is a tournament day, where players will play matches against players in their age group.

MINI age 4 – 7; 4 or 5 days; 12pm – 1pm
All abilities are taught using varied teaching styles to retain interest and enjoyment of sports. Bring a drink and snack.

Select your venue here willtowin.co.uk

 

Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill Spring Study Week

Need to improve some grades? If French is a bit too franglais in your household, why not get the experts in.

lyceeinternational.london

Fire Tech

One of the few camps to offer courses for older kids, Fire Tech run STEM based camps which include coding, VR, digital design and video game design. Students learn from the ground up, and there’s even a girls only camp for teens.
City, Dulwich, Notting Hill, Camden, South Kensington | 9 yrs+
firetechcamp.com

 

The Little Gym

Another activity provider that went online last year, The Little Gym, is opening its doors once more. Bringing their expertise in movement, child development and gymnastics, children will have the chance to run wild, socialise, learn and have a tonne of fun within their purpose-built gyms. There are now five The Little Gyms in London: Chiswick, Hampstead, Hampton, Wandsworth and Westfield London, each running camps for various ages up to 12 years. Mornings, afternoons or full days available with Covid-19 measures in place.

For more details on camps and where to find them thelittlegym.co.uk

 

Cypher Coders

Coding and tech-inspired camps which touch on themes such as music, robotics, nature, oceanography and art.
Various locations are now open for in-person camps but there are also virtual offerings.
5yrs+

cyphercoders.com

 

Little House of Science

Curious minds encouraged to explore, experiment and play via live online classes.
4-11yrs

littlehouseofscience.com

 

Fit for Sport

Activity camps which have been running for 25 years to give children the opportunity to try a variety of sports and activities.
4-12 yrs all over London.

fitforsport.co.uk

 

Shooting Starz

Choose from multi-sports, football, netball or mini skills and book half, full or extended days or weeks at camp.
Club Des Sports Acton.
3-13 yrs

shootingstarz.co.uk

 

The Strings Club

Every day is different with musical The Strings Club! Ofsted registered and available in Islington, Hackney, Greenwich, Tooting, Hampstead and Brockley. Mornings begin with  ‘Learn Together, Play Together’ sessions. Afternoons are interactive and creative workshop. Each Holiday Camp ends with a grand concert – so children and their new friends can proudly show what they’ve learnt! By the end of their time, children will have experienced musical adventures, made new friends, and developed skills for life.

thestringsclub.org

 

London Academy of Gymnastics and Dance

Active kids have lots of fun in store at this year’s Easter Activity Camp from London Academy of Gymnastics and Dance. As well as gymnastics, there’s also juggling, circus skills, obstacle course, aerial skills, dance, vault, hoops and games. The camp is running from 12th to 16th April 2021 for children from Reception to Year 6. It is supervised by qualified coaches, following the latest Covid safety guidelines. It is taking place in Chelsea SW3 and in Muswell Hill N10.
For more information, visit lagad.co.uk

SPARKS Movie Making

Fun movie making camps which aim to inspire young imaginations and build creative skills. Camps take place in school holidays and during the summer. Each camp offers children and teenagers the chance to unlock their creativity, gain new skills and discover the fun of filmmaking.

Easter Camps:

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire (Ages 5-7)

Codename Confidential (Ages 7-11)

Web of Lies (Ages 11-14)

We will be running our workshops in Balham, Dulwich, Highgate and Kensington.

April 12-16th 2021 from 9am-3pm.

sparksarts.co.uk

 

Upbeat Music Courses

Monday 12th – Friday 16th April. 10.00 – 4.00   for 5 – 12 yrs

Pop and Rock Easter Holiday Camp including singing, dance, guitars & drums, songwriting and recording.

Drum in the garden, dance on the lawns, make the most of our amazing outdoor and indoor spaces this Easter. Make friends, be creative, write and play.

 

Et Patati Patata

Immerse your kids in French between 6-16th April with Et Patati Patata’s award-winning classes. The online classes are small – restricted to six- meaning your child will get the attention they need. Split into three age groups 4 -6 years, 7-10 years and 11-15 years.

etpatatipatata.com

For more ideas head to our Directories or our What’s On pages.

Egg-citing Easter Treats

It’s beginning to look a lot like Easter

To help you to get your ducks (or chicks) in a row, we’ve a roundup of egg-citing (sorry) Easter treats, tableware and of course, egg hunt essentials. No wild goose chase needed!

All things chocolate… 

1. Rabbits Gift Set, Playin Choc 

2. Elizapeck Hollow with Tiddly Pot, Hotel Chocolat

3. Milk Chocolate Legbar Hen with Eggs, Daylesford

4. Funfetti Filled Easter Egg, Cutter and Squidge 

5. DIY Flat Pack Easter Egg, Love Cocoa 

6. Milk chocolate Mini Eggs, Cocoa Loco 

Other egg-citing Easter treats…

7. Biscuiteers Easter tree diy kit, Biscuiteers

8. Konditor – Happy Easter Cake, Konditor

9. Flora Swedish Style Påskägg Easter Egg Tin, Gava on NotOnTheHighstreet

10. Easter Bunny Mug, 360ml, Yellow/Multi, John Lewis & Partners

11. Meri Meri Bunny Easter Basket, Meri Meri 

12. Meri Meri Cupcake Kit, Meri Meri  

 

For more Easter Magic head over to page 26 of our Spring Issue. Available online and in most of London’s cool supermarkets! 

 

To read our Spring 2021 issue, click here>>>>

 

WHO IS…GEMMA WHATES?

In our regular magazine interview, we ask “Who is…Gemma Whates?”

 

Gemma Whates is founder of ALL BY MAMA, an online marketplace selling gifts made by mums (and dads!)

Three words to describe yourself.

Adventurous, caring and determined

What is happening in the world of Gemma Whates right now?

I’m counting down days until I no longer have to home school and wondering if I should have appreciated it more. I’m gradually decorating our new house and trying to understand Minecraft. I’m feeling hopeful for some hugs from my family and friends soon and some adventures later in the year. I’m feeling grateful for my health and the health of my family and I’m trying to find a way to run my businesses with the kids at home 24/7. I’m laser focused on what I want to achieve for ALL by MAMA in 2021.

How did you start All By Mama?

I went in to starting ALL by MAMA quite naively in 2014. I’ve learnt a lot. It wasn’t my first business idea, that was something I thought about doing during some volunteering that I took part in, in the townships of Cape Town, in 2010. I also previously ran an online review website. I started ALL by MAMA by working evenings and weekends alongside a marketing job. It took me about nine months from registering the company to launching. ALL by MAMA launched as a marketplace selling gifts made by mums and it’s grown from that original idea. One of the first things we did was to take a stall at The Handmade Fair and spend three days speaking to people about the idea and gathering email addresses for our launch. It was a lot of baby steps that led to the start of a business. I did write a business plan, it wasn’t detailed but it kept me on track with the launch.

Explain how ABM works.

It works as a supportive community for mothers in business. We help mothers in business grow in confidence and visibility, upskill and make connections. Members are generally in the first few years of business. It’s a membership community and a marketplace. It’s something I wish I had found in 2014. Mothers are underrepresented economically, and they need a place to connect, grow and share their experiences of running a business as a mother. Membership is £20 a month and members receive a route to market via our marketplace, expert trainings, networking, social media clinics, features and connections to others doing the same.

What are your top tips for running a business?

1) Spend time on the things that make money – sounds obvious but sometimes you can get so caught in the admin that you forget to tell everyone what they can buy from you and how to buy it

2) Have a vision – what are you trying to achieve, what does success look like to you

3) Make connections via networks – genuinely it will make all the difference to the opportunities that come your way

4) Be prepared for the highs and the lows – you’ll feel amazing during the high times and want to quit during the lows

5) Really understand your ideal customer – get fully immersed in exactly who that person is and the problem you are solving for them

Can women have it all?

I think that really depends on your definition of ‘having it all’ but assuming it refers to having a great career around family life then my belief is that in work and family life, sacrifices have to be made on both sides for the other one to flourish. We are making progress towards supporting working women (especially those that are mothers and are impacted by ‘the motherhood penalty’) but we are far from there yet, and the pandemic has set us back. If statistics show that 54,000 women a year lose their jobs to pregnancy or maternity leave in the UK, we can’t claim to be able to have it all yet. The term can also have a really negative impact on women who are struggling to ‘do it all’ when they see others claim that it’s easy to ‘have it all’. Let’s all talk realistically and authentically about what it’s like to seemingly ‘have it all’. Of course, not everyone wants it all!

 

 

 

Tell us one thing that people don’t know about you.

Well, I could choose something a bit more shocking here(!) but I’ll go with… being able to palm read. I did a course before I had kids, I’ve forgotten most of it to be honest but I’m going to pick it back up when I have some head space!

Where’s your favourite date night?

I can’t remember! Something that involves going somewhere new.

What’s your signature dish?

I have not prioritised cooking over the last few years! It would probably be a roast dinner!

What would you take to a desert island?

Someone who could help me survive

Where’s your favourite child-friendly place in London?

The Science Museum – I love it and the kids do too

Last book you read?

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

What’s your proudest moment?

The birth of my kids

What’s next for Gemma Whates?

Hopefully, a better work life balance! My focus is on having some fun with my family in the summer, growing the ALL by MAMA membership, raising another round of investment, mentoring incredible women that are starting businesses, making the most of my Blinksit subscription, getting better at exercise again and a holiday to the Algarve as soon as it’s safe! I’ve also joined Ada Ventures as a scout recently so I’m looking forward to getting more involved in that world.

gemmawhates.com

allbymama.com

 

To read our Spring 2021 issue, click here>>>>

KULING AND GARBO&FRIENDS

Kuling and Garbo&Friends come together to create a new kids collection

 

 

 

 

Think florals and Swedish function and you have a match made in heaven for April showers and summer sun. Swedish-founded brands, Kuling and Garbo&Friends have joined forces to present a kids’ collection of outerwear and swimwear for the SS21 season. Both brands are known to be experts in their niches; Kuling for creating durable, wearable, and above all functional clothes for kids to wear and tear in all kinds of weathers, and Garbo&Friends for presenting the most poetic and detailed floral patterns for their carefully produced range of products – whether it’s interior or clothes.

 

 

 

 

”We deeply admire the passion and dedication that the Garbo&Friends team put into everything they do – from the hand-drawn original patterns to the small but carefully thought after details in the end products.” says Erika Lindahl, brand responsible at Kuling. ”To be able to combine their artistic work with our experience and knowledge of functionality in kidswear has been very rewarding, and we’re thrilled about the result.”

”Working together with Kuling has been an inspiring learning process, I’d say for both teams.” says Susann Karlsson Nemirovsky, founder of Garbo&Friends. ”Using each other’s strengths and expertise, we’ve created a collection of highly wearable garments that we hope will stand the test of time both in terms of design and quality.”

 

 

 

The collection consists of 22 pieces split up in two drops, all created around two original patterns; Buttercup and Pear, drawn by Susann Karlsson Nemirovsky. Elements of the collection are made from recycled material, such as the lining fabric in all shell wear and polyester in all rainwear and swimwear. Key styles are the rainwear jacket and pants, baby shell coverall and teddy jacket.

The first drop is available now online on alexandalexa.com, babyshop.com, and melijoe.com, as well as Garbo&Friends. We can’t wait for the second drop!

 

For more children’s fashion ideas head here>>>>>>

 

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FRIDAY FIVE – 12 March

WHAT’S ON THIS WEEKEND

And just like that, as every parent readjusted to having the house to themselves again, the weekend happened! Add a touch of magic, music and heaps of creativity at the shake of wand (or click of a button).

1. FIRST PIANO ON THE MOON LIVE ONLINE WITH PERTH THEATRE

FIRST PIANO ON THE MOON

Join half-man half-piano Will Pickvance for First Piano on the Moon, a live online show about Mozart, music and the moon. Written and performed by pianist and storyteller Will, the show combines storytelling with music and is suitable for ages seven plus.

Find out more

2. CURSE OF THE CRACKLES ONLINE AT SHOREDITCH TOWN HALL

CURSE OF THE CRACKLES

 Go on an audio adventure with interactive show Curse of the Crackles, streaming online with Shoreditch Town Hall. Riff the puppy needs your help. The world is in chaos after all the sounds in the universe got mixed up. Now it’s up to you and Riff to put them back and save the day. The immersive sonic quest is suitable for ages 7 to 11 and features three-dimensional sound technology.

Find out more

3. WATERCOLOUR CLASS ONLINE WITH BEARS ICE CREAM COMPANY

BEARS ICE CREAM WATERCOLOUR CLASS

 Get arty and enjoy a relaxing watercolour session at the free online art class from Bears Ice Cream Company.

Join artist Michelle, the founder of design studio Roxwell Press, learn a new skill and enjoy the effects of watercolour.

Find out more

 

4. WHERE THE BUGABOO LIVES ONLINE WITH THE LITTLE ANGEL THEATRE

WHERE THE BUGABOO LIVES

Get ready for a spooky adventure with the interactive made-for-Zoom show Where The Bugaboo Lives from London’s Little Angel Theatre.

Find out more

5. MAGIC AND STORYTELLING WITH PATRICK ASHE ONLINE FROM NORDEN FARM

MAGIC AND STORYTELLING

Enjoy interactive stories with a special magic twist with this online storytelling session from Norden Farm Arts Centre. 

Alongside his stories, magician Patrick Ashe will teach the class a trick or two and reveal some magician’s secrets. But don’t tell anyone what you learn within the magic circle!

Find out more

For more great ideas and inspiration browse through our NEW Spring Issue which you can read online HERE and in print.

A LOVE OF BOOKS

Instilling a lifelong love of books is on the parenting tick list. St Benedict’s Librarian, Emma Wallace tells us how to get our children reading

 

What were your favourite books as a child?

The first series that I remember really loving was the Secret Seven by Enid Blyton.  This was about seven friends who formed a detective club and went on various adventures trying to solve mysteries.  I loved the sense that they could roam free in woods, hills and manor houses and investigate mysteries together, from train robbers, car thieves and mail heists.  And then when I got a bit older it was Judy Blume’s novels, when I read every one of her books, from Deenie to Tiger Eyes. These books were about real-life problems that we face growing up, at school, home and in relationships. I was such a massive fan that I wrote to Judy in America and she posted me a signed poster!

Your favourite children’s author?

My favourite children’s author is Neil Gaiman.  He has a wonderful imagination, writing both novels and graphic novels that evoke fantastical and intriguing scenarios, coupled with often terrifying and obscure characters, much like Roald Dahl.  I particularly love his book Coraline, which has been turned into a comic and film as well.

A new book that will stand the test of time?
The 2019 Kate Greenaway picture book award winner The Lost Words: A Spell Book by Jackie Morris.  This book of enchanting illustrations celebrates the natural world we share the planet with and can be enjoyed by any age.  It focuses on the loss of words on nature from children’s language (such as bramble, dandelion and acorn), and also their imaginations, while helping to remind us of the magic and importance of these wild things still today.

What is your all-time favourite book?
It’s got to be Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert! I read this over ten years ago and nothing has taken its place as my number one favourite novel since then.  While reading it, I couldn’t get over how modern, realistic and even contemporary it seemed, even though written in 1857!

If you could invite any author to St Benedict’s – living or dead – to meet you and your students, who would you choose, and why?
I think Mary Shelley, who died in 1851, would be a fascinating person for our pupils to meet! Her book Frankenstein, named the first ever science-fiction story, still captures the imagination of children today over two hundred years later and is such a brilliant read.  The Frankenstein monster has had a massive impact on popular culture, but there is so much more to this tragic character and I would love to know more about Mary’s thoughts behind this. I also think she would have provided many insights into what it was like to be female in the nineteenth century, going against many social conventions to publish a book.

Tell us why you think reading is a valuable thing for children to do:
Aside from the many academic benefits to reading, there are the huge social and emotional benefits, from better sleep, improved memory to lowered levels of stress. It is through reading fiction books that the unique, wonderful and transformative experiences can occur, helping children to feel happier and more connected in their lives.  A novel can transport us to an exotic island or magical land, allowing us to escape into our imagination, away from the day to day worries and stresses of our lives.  We may discover a character who is going through a similar experience to us, something that is life affirming and makes us feel a little less alone and isolated.

In recent online library lessons during lockdown, we have been talking about how reading is a brilliant way to help develop empathy skills, as we put ourselves in a character’s shoes and imagine what they’re thinking and feeling.  This immersion into a book character helps pupils’ build understanding and compassion towards others, something that is more important than ever in these difficult times.

What are your top tips for encouraging young teens to read?

  • Choose a book that you want to read.  Reading for pleasure is all about making our own choices and reading books that you think you will enjoy, by authors, genres and in formats that you love or want to try.
  • If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book” as JK Rowling says. It’s absolutely fine to stop reading a book you’re not enjoying and try something else. Reading a book is an investment and it’s important to keep trying different authors and genres until you find something that you really enjoy.
  • Make it a regular habit to read, setting aside a certain time each day or weekend to read – ensuring it becomes part of your weekly routine.
  • Put your phone down (or use a setting on your phone to turn off the Apps for a certain period every day!).  It’s important to have time away from the screen, without any distractions, so you can just relax and focus on the story.
  • Find a quiet space to read, away from other sounds or music, such as the TV or people having a conversation. It is really important your imagination is fully engaged whilst reading (see phone point above)

What makes a really good school library?
So many things! But I think the most important thing is the school librarian. Without a librarian, the school library is really just a room with books in. It is the librarian who brings the space to life, creating inspiring displays, collating contemporary print and online resource collections, recommending and discussing novels with pupils, running inspiring book events, competitions and craft activities, along with teaching library skills to ensure pupils are effective independent learners, both now and in the future.

Do you have a favourite library event in the school year?
At St Benedict’s, we have a rolling programme of library events throughout the year to mirror the school curriculum and to support the annual book celebrations and national awareness days. I try to make sure that we’ve got an exciting programme scheduled for different year groups and interests, to ensure everyone finds something to enjoy and get involved with. But I must admit that my favourite event is World Book Day in March! As a school librarian, this is always a big focus of the year and really allows me to experiment and be creative with the authors we invite in to talk to pupils and the events we run on the day. Past events include a murder mystery in the library, read dating, Drop Everything and Read, a ‘Short Story in a Day’ and redesign your favourite book cover.

Describe a typical day in the life of the St Benedict’s librarian:

No day is the same for a school librarian.  Whilst we follow the school day timetable we can perhaps be more flexible than teachers, ensuring that the whole school community is supported and engaged in the library. My day might start with brainstorming ideas and activities for the year 8 library lesson programme, checking the library catalogue for a certain topic area a teacher may have requested, locating these books on the shelves or perhaps placing an order for more books on this topic. I may look at the most recent pupil book suggestion forms and bestseller lists to update and buy for our own collection. At break and lunchtime, it is usually direct involvement with the students, checking out and returning books, discussing and helping pupils find books, answering information enquiries about research or homework topics, or sorting problems with a computer or printing. In the afternoon I might research the latest digital collection of resources to see if it is something that would support our pupils and curriculum and teach a lesson to a class to help with their understanding of how to use the library. There is also the need to create new displays, update book promotions and generally tidy up the library ready for the next day!

 

stbenedicts.org.uk

 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE EDUCATION NEWS

CITY KIDS NEW SPRING ISSUE

Our new Spring issue is here – and we’re celebrating everything green!

By clicking on the the beautiful front cover you’ll get to see our new Spring issue with a new look and new features.

Spring is a time for new beginnings, perhaps even more so in 2021 and we’re celebrating with our new Spring issue, out today! Children are back at school, there’s a plan taking us back to ‘normality’, the days are getting longer and lighter. So much to be positive about. With that in mind, Sophie Clowes reflects on the effect of the pandemic on women and rather than feeling beaten, sees the green shoots of hope for our girls.

Optimism for a greener future is explored in all areas of this Green Issue. From We Love (page 4) to Trips (page 44), to schools educating the climate warriors of the future, we celebrate sustainability. And one very knackered mum gives us her top tips for becoming more sustainable(ish) (page 22).

We have a new page featuring the podcasts that have taken us through lockdown and got us hooked, as well as much more editorial.

You may also notice a little redesign. New beginnings for us too. Let us know what you think.

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY BOOK EDIT

International Women’s Day Books for kids

International Women’s Day is round the corner, not that we need a dedicated day to rave about the bravery and strength of girls! We’ve curated a list of books that are a great starting point for teaching young girls and boys why we celebrate women, drawing in on great female figures as well as books which feature a strong female lead. Each book has a valuable story to tell.

Women in Sport: Fifty Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win 

By Rachel Ignotofsky (Author and Illustrator)

Wren & Rook

Women in Sport celebrates the success of the tough, bold and fearless women who paved the way for today’s athletes. The sportswomen featured include well-known figures like tennis player Serena Williams and broadcaster Clare Balding, as well as lesser-known pioneers like Gertrude Ederleand Keiko Fukuda.

£9.24, Amazon

 

Dreams for our Daughters – Songs and Dreams 

By Ruth Doyle (author), Ashling Lindsay (illustrator)

Andersen Press Ltd 

This lavishly foiled, inspiring picture book is the perfect gift for every key moment in a child’s life, from birth to graduation.

£12.99, Muthahood 

 

Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World 

By Rachel Ignotofsky  (Author and Illustrator)

Women in Art is an EMPOWERING and INSPIRATIONAL celebration of some of the most iconic and fearless women who paved the way for the next generation of artists. From well-known figures such as Frida Kahlo and Dame Vivienne Westwood to lesser-known artists including Harriet Powers and Yoyoi Kusama, this charmingly illustrated and inspiring book highlights the achievements of 50 notable women in the arts.

£9.25, Amazon

The Little Girl or Boy Who Dared to Dream

“You really are remarkable – more than you’ll ever know!” The Little Girl or Boy Who Dared to Dream is a dazzling personalised story based on the letters of your child’s name. Send a child on a magical journey to discover nothing’s impossible, if they dare to dream.

£21.99, Wonderbly 

Little People Big Dreams: Greta Thunberg

by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Author), Anke Weckmann (Illustrator)

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

From the empowering Little People, Big Dreams series, the Greta Thunberg edition is about the inspiring school girl from Sweden who started a global movement against climate change, and how she even made politicians listen. It’s a very child-friendly biography, with quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline, great for inspiring kids that they too can make a difference.

£8, Kidly

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World 

By Rachel Ignotofsky  (Author and Illustrator)

Wren & Rook

A gloriously illustrated celebration of trailblazing women. Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, from both the ancient and modern worlds. The book also contains fascinating infographics and an illustrated scientific glossary.

£8.71, Amazon

 

The Proudest Blue

By Ibtihaj Muhammad (author), Hatem Aly (illustrator), S. K. Ali (author)

Anderson Press

Asiya’s hijab is like the ocean and the sky, no line between them, saying hello with a loud wave. It’s Faizah’s first day of school, and her older sister Asiya’s first day of wearing hijab – made of a beautiful blue fabric. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful. In the face of hurtful, confusing words, will Faizah find new ways to be strong? This is an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond shared by siblings and of being proud of who you are, from Olympic medallist Ibtihaj Muhammad.

£6.49, Waterstones

Little People, Big Dreams: Malala Yousafzai

By Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Author), Manal Mirza (Illustrator)

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

When Malala was born in Mingora, Pakistan, her father was determined she would have every opportunity that a boy would have. She loved getting an education, but when a hateful regime came to power, girls were no longer allowed to go to school. Malala spoke out in public about this, which made her a target for violence. She was shot in the left side of her head and woke up in hospital in England. Finally after long months and many surgeries, Malala recovered, and resolved to become an activist for girls’ education. Now a recent Oxford graduate, Malala continues to fight for a world where all girls can learn and lead. This powerful book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist’s life.

£8.19, Amazon

HerStory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook the World 

By Katherine Halligan  (Author), Sarah Walsh  (Illustrator)

Nosy Crow

Instead of just studying history, let’s think about HerStory too! In this uplifting and inspiring book, children can learn about 50 intrepid women from around the world and throughout history. Telling the stories of their childhood, the challenges they faced and the changes they made, each gorgeously illustrated spread is a celebration of girl power in its many forms. 

£12.11, Amazon

Little People, Big Dreams: Emmeline Pankhurst

By Lisbeth Kaiser  (Author), Ana Sanfelippo (Illustrator)

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Meet an inspiring women’s rights activist who changed the world for future generations of women. As a child, Emmeline Pankhurst was shocked at the inequality of men and women that she saw all around her. When she grew up, she never stopped fighting for women to get the vote, inspiring other women to demonstrate, go on hunger strike and protest for the cause.

£7.99, Amazon

 

Have you read your child a book that you’d like us to share with our readers? Do get in touch via our Instagram page and we’ll add to this list! 

BACK TO SCHOOL EDIT

Back to school edit

With the school gates opening up once more, we couldn’t be MORE excited at CKHQ. So we’ve put together a top of the class back to school edit so that you and the kids can get back to schooling from school again!

Bigjigs Puzzles from Scandiborn

Covering everything from regional and world maps to fractions and times tables, their wooden puzzles may just be the missing piece in your child’s study set up… 

Do check out their World Map, Times tables and Fractions puzzles. 

Vegan School Shoes from Start Rite

A new pair of school shoes that won’t cost the earth. These stylist vegan school shoes not only look good, but are soft, lightweight and breathable – perfect whether you’re a vegan or simply want an alternative choice to leather. See the vegan collection here.

The City Kids Family Meal Planner PDF 

Family mealtimes sorted. Because we’re all really rather bored of our own cooking. And taxi-ing the kids to and from school and all the extra curriculars means we’ve little to no time to plan meals on the spot. We worked with CK friends Lizzie King and Jo Pratt to throw together a bunch of flexible, balanced and family friendly meals to enjoy from breakfast through to supper. For the mother of all mealtime planners, click here. 

 

Pachee Kids collectable reward patches 

We want them all to ourselves. There’s a badge for everyone, from Pequeno Picasso to Science Whizz, Skillz on Wheelz and more. Check out their super cool selection of badges and bags here. 

Micro Scooters 

Scoot to school and back while helping to keep the oceans clean- the deck of the Micro Scooters’ Eco Mini Micro Deluxe, is made from recycled fish nets! Plus eco accessories to match, of course! Scoot on over to their website for more info. 

Petit Ferdinand 

We have NOT missed the accidental swapping of gym kits and sweatshirts. We’re in need of labels for absolutely everything and we’re big fans of Petit Ferdinand’s easy to use stick on labels. Don’t get stuck without labels, shop Petit Ferdinand here. 

 

Bloom & Blossom’s The Enormous Crocodile’s Bedtime Gift Set

A good night’s sleep is as important as a ruddy good breakfast. We’re looking to Bloom and Blossom’s super bedtime giftset to help secure all the zzzzzs! Click here for a sound night’s sleep. 

 

 

Collins Preparation books and flashcards 

The new Collins series of 11+ books has everything you need, from clear and concise study notes to lots of realistic practice and test papers to help build confidence for the tests.

WIN a set worth £70 here

Water bottles

We take hydration seriously, we dedicated an entire edit to it. Read more here.

    Spacemasks

 

Interstellar relaxation for parents. Because you’re out of this world. Find your chill here. 

Don’t forget ample supplies of face coverings and hand sani. Looking for more ideas and inspo? Make sure you’re subscribed to our weekly newsletter, you can sign up here

FLASH GIVEAWAY WITH COLLINS

Enter our flash giveaway with Collins to win £70 worth of 11+ learning resources

 

 

As we brace ourselves with all the fun stuff that comes to prepare the kids for school once more, we’ve created a flash giveaway with Collins to offer one lucky City Kids reader a chance to WIN the new Collins series of 11+ books.
Whether it’s maths, English or reasoning, the new Collins series of 11+ books has everything you need, from clear and concise study notes, to lots of realistic practice and test papers to help build your child’s confidence for tests.

 

 

ENTER YOUR DETAILS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN £70 worth of Collins 11+ preparation books and flashcards.

+ We’ll give you an extra entry for every interaction on the social post here

 

Good luck. Giveaway ends at 11.59pm on Monday 15th March at midday. Winner to be chosen at random and contacted within 48 hours. No cash alternative available. UK only. Decision of City Kids is final.

 

Mother’s Day Craft template: a jar filled with love

Mother’s Day Craft: a jar filled with love

Looking for something extra special for Mum, Grandma or another Mother figure in yours and your kids’ life? Struggling to decide what to get them? Perhaps they’re the type that utters the usual “oh, I don’t need a gift”.

Problem solved, we’ve crafted a lovely Mother’s Day craft template that you and the kids can easily work on ahead of Mother’s Day. All you need is love, a pair of scissors, pens, pencils and an empty jam jar! We’d be extra grateful if you shared your finished product over on our Instagram here. Happy crafting.

**Download your FREE TEMPLATE HERE.


MOTHER'S DAY TEMPLATE

MOTHER'S DAY TEMPLATE

Need to leave the kids/ your partner with a not so subtle hint? We’ve also put together a rather nifty list of things to get for Mum, based on her ‘type’ – from green, small biz loving to ‘boujee’, we’ve got the gifts covered here.

PICTURE BOOKS WITH A MESSAGE

We’re lucky to be sent a lot of beautiful picture books each week. A few have caught our eye recently, so we thought we’d share them with you.

We’re suckers for good, old-fashioned stories and beautiful illustrations. Our picture book edit includes debut books, experience story-tellers and some timely messaging.

 

THE PARLIAMENT

 

This debut book kicks off a series created to tackle words that children find difficult. Parliament tells the story of Eddie, a cheeky, young owlet who is helped on his journey by a wise parliament of owls.

 

www.wildcollections.co.uk

 

SAIL

 

 

Illustrator Dorien Brouwers’ picture book explores the notion of finding lessons in challenging situations, touching on subjects like helping children with their mental health, building resilience and adopting a growth mentality. Available from April 15th.

hachette.co.uk

 

DOG GONE

 

 

If he wasn’t already, Rob Biddulph has become a household name during this pandemic (one of the positives!), and his 10th picture book will be another favourite. Teddy loses his human and worries about him being on his own.

Harpercollins.co.uk

 

CALMNESS – Big Words for Little People

 

 

The mental health of our children is top of our priorities right now, and this series from Oxford aims to give kids tools to navigate their emotions. Calmness explores words for children to use to describe how they are feeling as well as offering activities to invoke calm.

www.oup.com

 

THE DUCK WHO DIDN’T LIKE WATER

 

 

Steve Small’s illustrations in this funny fable celebrate friendship and acceptance. Duck isn’t like other ducks. He doesn’t like water, but strikes up a friendship with a water-loving frog.

Simonandschuster.co.uk

 

THE INVISIBLE

 

 

One for the heart strings and a social consicience, The Invisible is the story of a young girl called Isabel and her family who don’t have much, but they have what they need to get by. The key message is to care about everyone in society, especially those who are overlooked and made to feel invisible. We all belong.

Simonandschuster.co.uk

FREE FAMILY MEAL PLANNER

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE FAMILY MEAL PLANNER

When it seems like 2021 has already lasted 2556 days, and you feel like you’ve prepared 907975 meals, Jo Pratt and Lizzie King have responded to our SOS by working together on a free family meal planner to save our sanity. All you have to do is sign up below to receive it!

 

 

Jo regularly provides recipes and ideas for City Kids readers and she’s drawn on her fantastic wealth of knowledge and numerous cookbooks to help create our planner. Her most recent publications are all about flexibility (The Flexible Vegetarian, The Flexible Pescatarian, The Flexible Family Cookbook), as we try to cater for different dietary needs and tastes, never more apparent than in the family home.

Lizzie is another friend of City Kids whose most recent venture, Lizzie Loves, has brought all her nutritional expertise to the fore. She’s shared recipes from her recent Wellness Week campaign and from Healthy Family Food. There’s nothing like a pandemic to focus our minds on eating well and boosting immunity.

Lizzie and Jo’s recipes work together for daily, stress-free goodness.

Our family meal plan includes all meals and snacks plus the added benefit of some of Lizzie’s Be Well and Be Sleepy remedies sprinkled amongst the goodness. We’ve made it as nutritionally balanced as possible and easy, as we know time is like gold dust at the moment. Some can be made in advance so that all you have to do is reheat ahead of lunch or dinner.

Finally, don’t stress if your food delivery missed an item and it’s not available for the recipe. You’ll see these meals can be flexible!

You can follow @cookwithjopratt and @lizzielovesremedies & @lizzieloveshealthy over on Instagram for more great family food ideas.

Pop your details below for your FREE meal planner + more greatness from the team at City Kids Magazine

 

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For more food ideas head to our recipe pages>>>

MORI X THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

NOSTALGIC COLLECTION BY MORI

 

 

Sometimes a collaboration comes along that makes your heart sing and MORI X The Very Hungry Caterpillar is just that! A limited collection of pieces featuring the iconic illustrations by Eric Carle as well as some unseen designs has launched in the UK this week. The range includes daywear, sleepwear and a very cute hooded towel.

 

 

The range features eight designs, printed on sustainable, organic cotton and bamboo blend fabrics.

 

 

MORI X The Very Hungry Caterpillar arrives after a very successful partnership between MORI and The Gruffalo in 2019. Brand founder Akin Onal said:

“MORI is overjoyed to help bring the enchanting and timeless appeal of The Very Hungry Caterpillar to life for today’s generation of little fans, as well as continue the tradition for their parents and siblings. Joining the world of Eric Carle with the MORI and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Collection is one of our proudest milestones.”

 

Prices range from £20 for The Very Hungry Caterpillar T-shirt to £35 for the bodysuit two-pack.

We were also super interested to read that Eric Carle has written and illustrated over 70 books! Time for us to read some of the others.

Head to babymori.com for more.

For more parenting news head here>>>>

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Sign up to our newsletter:

Our newsletters are sent every two weeks and include exclusive content, early access to competitions and mood-boosting articles. You’ll also find the latest ideas for things to do (whatever tier you’re in) plus events and parenting tips.  In recent months, we’ve included shopping edits, competitions with Start-Rite, Piccolo Foods, Anorak Magazine, Micro Skates and even Father Christmas so there really is no excuse to not sign up to our newsletter!

We hope that you find our newsletters as much fun to read as we do to put together.

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WATERPROOF CLOTHES FOR KIDS

There’s no getting away from it – it’s wet wet wet and time to find some waterproof clothes for the kids.

 

 

It’s grey, it’s wet, it’s cold and there’s nothing worse than wet, cold and miserable children. But as many a grandparent has been heard to say: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” To prove it’s still possible to stomp in muddy puddles spring, we’ve put together and edit of some of the most stylish, yet practical, waterproof clothes for kids. From wellies, rain resistant coats and all-in-ones, we’ve got you covered.

 

Scamp & Dude from £30


scampanddude.com

 

JoJo Mamanbebe Yellow Duck Waterproof All-in-One £36

jojomamanbebe.co.uk

 

Toastie Kids Olive Waterproof Raincoat £79

toastiekids.com

 

Kuling x Garbo and Friends Buttercup Cream Rain Boots £37

Alexandalexa.com

 

Polarn O. Pyret Vehicle Print Waterproof Kids Raincoat

Polarnopyret.co.uk

Regatta Puddlesuit Oxford Blue £35

regatta.com

Kenzo Navy Logo Raincoat £185

alexandalexa.com

Lindex Rain Jacket and Rain Trousers £24.99 each

lindex.com

 

Liewood Dakota Rainwear in Panda Faune Green £65

scandiborn.co.uk

Moncler Blue Kruth jacket £180

alexandalexa.com

 

Hunter Creek Orange First Glitter Rain £40

alexandalexa.com

Head here for more ideas and inspiration on kids’ fashion.

And keep up with our Instagram feed here, updated daily with fashion, food, parenting tips and news.

BEST FAMILY TAKEAWAY PICNICS

Top 10 Ready-Made Picnics for Families

Sun’s out, guns out, but more importantly, it’s time for the best family takeaway picnics! We’ve put together a fantastic list of ready-made picnics for families to enjoy.

 


LUXE LUNCHES: PIQUE
Born out of Battersea, Pique’s luxury handmade picnics are vast in choice and ideal for families looking to really roll out the red picnic blanket. Birthday Breakfast hampers come complete with brunch essentials: banana and dark chocolate loaf with birthday candles, party hats, flowers and bubbles (for the big kids!). The natty named Leonardo de Veggie box is packed with veggie delights and the full monty is called The Pique-Nique. Chorizo, apricot and thyme sausage rolls, Lemony hummus and crudités, charcuterie, brie, pickles & chutney, orzo pasta salad, baguettes, brownies and more. Order with 48 hours notice and their picnic boxes will arrive to your door with disposable, compostable and plastic-free packaging.
ORDER HERE

 

MIRABEAU ROSE MAGNUM PICNICS: MEGAN’S
Each comes in a Megan’s-blue picnic box, which folds out to double up as your picnic table, in blue gingham of course.
The picnics are for 2 people and include a sourdough toastie, flatbread wrap or healthy salad each from their fresh, daily-made deli bar, plus, harissa hummus with flatbread or falafel, a gluten free chocolate brownie or Nutella and sea salt cookie each and your choice of drink. Options include the Champagne picnic with plastic flutes for £65, Prosecco picnic with plastic flutes for £35, a homemade lemonade picnic for £25, or their new Mirabeau picnic comes with a magnum of rose and plastic glasses for £65.
Click & Collect or on Deliveroo.

 

THE DELI DELIGHT: MELROSE AND MORGAN
Melrose And Morgan are always our first stop for deli delights in Primrose Hill and Hampstead Village. From the Park to the Heath, their summer picnic hampers scale up from two to six, making them the perfect for family feasts in the sun. The Meadow is ideal for a family of four and packed with divine delights – salad, veggie or meat scotch eggs, cheddar cheese, hummus and spelt crackers, truffle crisps, broad beans, olives, feta stuffed peppers, cherry tomatoes, a punnet of strawberries and sinfully gooey chocolate brownies.
ORDER HERE


FULL ON FAMILY FEASTING: JIMMY’S POP UP
We waxed lyrical about their BBQ hampers and Jimmy’s Pop Up new picnic box is equally as impressive. Serving up to four, this hamper is just the ticket if you’re looking for a really special family alfresco feast. The best of British picnic fare, artisan cheese and meats sit nestled next to giant sausage rolls, handmade pork pies, homemade chutney, pickles, smoked salmon and for pud – strawberries and cream. Grown-ups can toast all their hard work during lockdown with a bottle of red, white or rose. Get ordering as Jimmy’s picnic box is set to be a popular one!
ORDER HERE

SUNDAY LUNCH: THE EMPRESS
East London gastropub The Empress is keeping to tradition despite recent events. Their takeaway Sunday roasts are pretty special and ideal for weekend picnicking. Their classic Empress Sunday Roast comes served with Yorkshire pudding, braised red cabbage, roast carrots & parsnips, spring greens & roast potatoes. So what will it be roast beef, pork belly or a vegan beetroot and nut roast? If you can squeeze room in for pudding there’s an unctuous sticky toffee pud and apricot Bakewell tart, both served with clotted cream. Order in advance to avoid disappointment!
ORDER HERE


PIES, PASTRIES & PICNICS: POPHAMS
We’re partial to their pastries, so when Pophams announced their picnic kits we jumped for joy…and in the nick of time for National Picnic Week. The ideal day-date treat for if you’ve snatched a few hours away from the kids whilst they’re at school, Pophams hamper is overflowing with deliciousness – root vegetables pithivier, olives, build your own porchetta focaccia sarnie, herby Isle of Wight Tomato salad, PB & J bread pudding sando, Pophams Eccles cakes with Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese and more. A lush lunch in the sunshine if we ever did see! Nip over to pophamsbakery.com to order your picnic
ORDER HERE

VEGAN PICNIC PICK: PETERSHAM NURSERIES
Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty only moments away
from the River Thames and on the doorstep of Richmond Park, Petersham Nurseries are serving up one heavenly park-ready vegan picnic. Priced at £40 for two (double for a family of four) the dishes are as mouthwatering as their restaurant fare. Vivid green pea hummus, farro and pesto salad, mushroom, chard and onion filo start, a moreish focaccia and English strawberries with mint sugar and Amalfi lemon. Orders for collection from Petersham Nurseries Richmond, Thursday – Sunday from 11.30am to 4.30pm. Order by 4pm for next day collection.
ORDER HERE

MUMS THAT BRUNCH: THE FARMER’S MISTRESS
If you’re bringing up your brood in South London, you’ll be familiar with The Farmer’s Mistress and their brilliant brunches. Their brand new Farmer’s Mistress Picnic box is not only environmentally friendly in a biodegradable box but is perfect for mums lunch dates on Clapham Common. With mini brioche aplenty tuck into non-Dairy cream cheese, balsamic onion, roasted pepper, wild garlic pesto, prawn, crème fraiche, avo, baby gem and chicken, smoked bacon. and sun-dried tomato. Caramelised apple & apricot sausage roll, date ketchup, scotch eggs and mustard mayo and wholewheat fusilli pesto pasta salad. Sweet endings? The salted caramel fudge brownie & millionaire shortbread bites are EPIC!
ORDER HERE

MEAT FEAST: FIELD & FLOWER
Award-winning online butcher Field & Flower have been keeping the country fed on the finest meat, poultry and fish during lockdown with their amazing array of delivery boxes. As part of their BBQ box range, their Summer Picnic BBQ box comes primed with thick-cut ham, artisan scotch eggs and British charcuterie alongside a hefty hunk of Barber’s Haystack Cheddar Cheese and pickles galore. With 32 whopping servings, this box will generously feed 3-4 people at least and comes in under £50. A top picnic pic for hungry families.
ORDER HERE

ICE CREAM DREAM: CHIN CHIN LABS
Kids picnics at home call for one thing – ice cream! Those clever chaps at Chin Chin Labs have gone all out this summer with their brand new Ice Cream in the Post! Using liquid nitrogen means their ice cream stays colder for longer so they can post freshly churned & hand-packed nitro ice cream straight from Chin Chin’s Soho kitchen to your front door! Each ice cream box includes one tub of Burnt Butter Caramel, one tub of Tonka Bean and one tub of Strawberry Milk ice cream. Please note that only grown-ups can handle the unpacking due to the dry ice in the box.
ORDER HERE

ALFRESCO AFTERNOON TEA: HAM YARD HOTEL
Firmdale Hotel’s Ham Yard Hotel may still be closed but they’ve kept their kitchen open to bring us one sweet treat – afternoon tea boxes. With delivery to most postcodes across London, Ham Yard Hotel have boxed up their favourite treats including delicious finger sandwiches, sumptuous savouries like tomato arancini and sausage rolls, scones with clotted cream and preserves and our mouth-watering cakes, including lemon drizzle and raspberry Bakewell tart. Place your order prior to midday on Thursday for a choice of Friday, Saturday or Sunday delivery.
ORDER HERE

Now you’ve got the best takeaway picnic, time to choose the park. Our best London Parks for Picnics guide should help!

 

You can find more fantastic family-friendly foodie recommendations from the Tiny Table website and over on Instagram.

 

CELEBRATING PRIDE MONTH

June is a month awash with rainbows celebrating Pride Month, a time to commemorate, learn and recognise the positivity of the LGBTQ community. It’s also a chance for LGBTQ families to share their experiences with the wider world.

Of course, Covid-19 has put a stop to large gatherings, but there are other ways to acknowledge the contribution of LGBTQ communities as well as educate those who are not up to speed. Here are some ideas and resources for family and child-friendly things to do.

LEARNING

 

Pop N Olly

A fantastic resource for families, carers and teachers, Pop N Olly provides videos, free downloads, educational resources and advice, all accessible by kids and their parents.

 

Downloadable Pride Crossword

Woo Jnr has created an LGBT Trailblazers curriculum as an educational resource which will help with completing crosswords, word searches and quizzes which are also available to download.

 

LGBT History Month Wallchart

This is another downloadable and fantastic visual to outline the history of the LGBT movement and its milestones and personalities to help everyone celebrating Pride Month.

 

BOOKS

What’s the T? The no-nonsense guide to all things trans and/or non-binary for teens

By Juno Dawson

14+ Years

Love Makes a Family
By Sophie Beer
0-5yrs

Kenny Lives with Erica and Martina
By Olly Pike
5yrs+

Shine
By Sarah Asuquo
5yrs+

Lumberjanes Series
By Noelle Stevenson
8yrs+

The Pants Project
By Cat Clarke
9-13yrs


George
by Alex Gino
10yrs+

The Secrets of Billie Bright
Max Kowalski and Susie Day
11years+

 

CHARITIES

The Trevor Project

Although based in the States, The Trevor Project has a fantastic range of resources and support for young people. It provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services and lots of materials for young people everywhere who are curious, confused and scared. It also is an incredibly useful place to use if you’re an educator, business owner or parent – in fact anyone!

 

Mermaids UK

Mermaids began as a group of concerned parents sharing experiences and trying to find ways to keep children safe and happy. It’s grown into one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities, empowering thousands of people with its secure online communities, local community groups, helpline services, web resources, events and residential weekends.

Stonewall

Stonewall is probably the most recognisable name on our list of charities working to provide a programme of services to organisations, including children’s education settings.

The Outside Project

While your kids may not be direct beneficiaries of this homelessness project, you may want to donate of help with the charity for your own self-development. The Outside Project of LGBTIQ+ colleagues, friends & activists work in the Homeless sector & have lived experience of homelessness & the unique, complex issues their community faces.

Mind Out

Despite Covid-19, Mind Out is still running mental health services and has useful information for those seeking help as well as those seeking education.

AKT

akt supports lgbtq+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment. It was originally formed in Manchester in 1989 by Cath Hall, an experienced foster carer, and founder member of Manchester Parents Group (MPG), who had become acutely aware of the rejection and ejection of young LGBT people from their family home and the homophobia they faced within school and society.

 

Cover image by Yoav Hornung

THE BABY SHOW LIVE AT HOME

We have a bunch of Access all Areas passes for The Baby Show Live at Home this weekend

 

Expecting your first, second, third baby, or having twins; or need some nutrition advice, sleep training tips or some belly laughs with some special guests, The Baby Show Live at Home has it all. Starting on Friday, you hear from everyone’s favourite girl-next-door, Dani Dyer as well as mums-to-be Made in Chelsea star, Binky Felstead and  Dr Zoe Williams.

The Baby Show Live at Home, is the UK’s leading show for pregnant and new parents.  The event will run from the 26-28 Feb, and is a fully immersive virtual show with everything new and expectant parents could need, from product demonstrations to expert talks on key pregnancy and birth topics, and great brands such as BabyBjörn, Bugaboo and Stokke and more, making it the shopping destination for new and expectant parents.


The Baby Show’s first 3-day event of 2021 will be a fully immersive virtual shopping experience, eliminating the need for lockdown parents to trawl the internet by curating the perfect blend of must-have baby products under one convenient digital roof from the comfort and safety of their own home.

Visitors will be able to shop the latest products and watch expert speakers discuss all things parenting using The Baby Show’s purpose-built Swapcard website and app. Visitors can plan their schedule, enter competitions and access everything the show has to offer using the intuitive and easy-to-use digital platform.

Experts include:

Dr Zoe Williams – Pregnancy & Birth During the Pandemic
Annabel Karmel – Weaning Guru
Sandra Igwe – The Motherhood Group
Rachel Fitz-Desorgher – Sleep Myths Busted
Dr Pavan Minhas – Obstetric Doctor
Jenni Dunman from Daisy First Aid – Baby First Aid for Parents
Siobhan Miller – WTF is Hypnobirthing?
Lindsay Hookway – Supporting Stress Free Sleep for Families
Susie Boone – MadeForMums Buggy Buying Guide
Xaviera Plas-Plooij – The Wonder Weeks – The True Reason Every Baby Gets Fussy at Set Times

City Kids has teamed up with The Baby Show Live at Home to giveaway 20 Access All Areas passes to the show.

Your complimentary Access All Areas pass is FREE and unlocks a world of baby shopping heaven, amazing show dealscompetitions, informative buying guidesproduct demos and top product picks for those must-haves PLUS topical and supportive on-demand videos.  

It also gives you entry to Baby Show TV and unlocks all of the LIVE exclusive expert talkspanel discussionsQ&A and celebrity interviews with Dani Dyer and Binky Felstead too!

PLUS, you can also log in and watch all the on-demand videos and talks for up to one week after the event.

Fill out my online form.

PANCAKE DAY OR SHROVE TUESDAY IDEAS

Grab your eggs, flour, milk and whisks to make the perfect pancakes this week.

Whether you call it Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday, we’ve got some recipe ideas at the ready. We also have more pancake recipes in our Family Meal Planner which is FREE TO DOWNLOAD HERE!

Jo Pratt’s Foolproof Pancakes

Makes: 12-14 American style pancakes, or 8-10 crepes

Preparation Time:5 minutes

Cooking Time:4 minutes

125g/4½oz/1 cup self-raising flour (either plain or self-raising can be used for crêpes)
250ml/9fl oz/1 cup milk (just under for American-style, just over for crêpes)
1 egg
a pinch of salt
butter or sunflower oil, for frying

Suggestions to serve

try some of these options:
• clear honey, golden syrup, maple syrup or jam
• chocolate spread or caramel sauce
• fresh fruit, such as berries or bananas
• grated lemon or orange zest and sugar
• yogurt
• ice cream … for breakfast? Some of you will!

1. Put the flour, milk, egg and salt in a blender or food processor and mix together well. Alternatively, use a bowl and whisk until smooth. The consistency should be that of double cream for crêpes, so add a little extra milk if you need to. (Cook straight away or chill for up to 24 hours until needed – loosen with extra milk if necessary.)
2. Heat a pancake or frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a small piece of butter or a trickle of oil until it melts all over the base of the pan. Add a spoonful of the batter, rolling the pan to spread it over the base of the pan, and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Keep the pancakes warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
3. Serve with your chosen topping and enjoy.

Recipe from Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt
nourishbooks.com

 

For vegans amongst you, BBC Food has a great recipe by Anna Glover

 

300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar (any kind)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
400ml plant-based milk (such as oat, almond or soya)
1 tbsp vegetable oil for cooking

1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a bowl using a balloon whisk until mixed. Slowly pour in the milk until you get a smooth, thick batter.
2. Heat a little of the oil in a over a medium-low heat, and add 2 tbsp batter into the pan at a time to make small, round pancakes. You will need to do this in batches of two-three at a time.
3. Cook for 3-4 mins until the edges are set, and bubbles are appearing on the surface. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another 2-3 mins until golden on both sides and cooked through. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.
4. Serve stacked with lots of toppings of your choice, or serve with bowls of toppings for everyone to help themselves.
bbcgoodfood.com

No cook options

There are obviously a world of lazy easy options if you’re up against it. As well as pancake mix in a bottle, Marks & Spencer have created pink Percy Pig flavoured pancakes. Yes, they have. And as if that wasn’t enough, you can also make Percy Pig panapés…

 

 

Waitrose have stocked these packets of vegan joy from Squeaky Bean at £2.50 a packet.

For more recipe ideas download our FREE FAMILY MEAL PLANNER or go to our RECIPES PAGE>>>>

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS FOR ALL THE FAMILY

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS FOR ALL THE FAMILY

Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 

Roses are red, violets are blue, no messing around… we know you’re strapped for time so we’ve done our research. From babies to grown ups and fur babies too. DO HURRY and get ordering, Valentine’s Time Day is CLOSER than we thought! 

For kids 

  1. Konges Slojd – Cloud Lamp in Off White, Scandiborn
  2. LOVE OUR PLANET sweatshirt – Caramel, Miley and Moss
  3. Vans, Red Old Skool Trainers, Alex and Alexa
  4. Stella McCartney Kids, Pink Heart Patch Sweatpants, Alex and Alexa 
  5. Mini Albino Whale – Handmade plush toy, Big Stuffed

For grownups

  1. Scented Candle Graphic Collection Roses by Diptyque
  2. Choose from a great selection of glorious gift boxes, blithe brownies and charming cakes & cookies, Konditor
  3. DARLING – Screen Print, Daisy Emerson
  4. LIPS PENDANT CHARM, Rosie Fortescue Jewellery 
  5. Converse All Star Hi Trainers, Black Vintage White Egret Love, Office Shoes

 

For furry friends 

  1. Personalised pet accessories from Yappy. Pick from hundreds of breeds to match your pet. See their selection of Valentines gifts and cards here.
  2. A fresh take on dog food with Butternut Box. Build your box here
  3. Dog Harbour Top, Joules
  4. Catit Butterfly Chaise Patterned Cat Scratcher, Lords and Labradors
  5. Blush Pink Vegan Leather Dog Collar, Barc London

Check out our  Feb half term survival guide here. As ever, follow us over on our Instagram for the latest City Kids scoop. 

FEB HALF TERM SURVIVAL GUIDE

Feb Half Term Lockdown Survival Guide 

While we’re armed with toolkits to survive term time, we thought it’d be equally (if not more) useful to share 12 useful resources for families this feb half term. Consider it an early Valentine’s Day gift! As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve even thrown in a couple of freebies and exclusive discounts to the mix. 

Activities

  • Firetech Camp. All the greatest courses PLUS we’ve an exclusive 25% discount for you. Simply use code: CK25
  • The Little Gym has created a brilliant YouTube channel dedicated to providing kids with positive, fun and engaging classes on demand to keep them healthy and happy during this unprecedented period. Learn new skills, perfect handstands and even learn how gymnastics helps with classroom learning.
  • Role Models is hidden away in our little black book but everyone should have them on speed dial. Life skills courses and hourly sessions for kids aged 5-7 and 8-11 which are engaging and fun and will help them with confidence and resilience.
  • Banjo Robinson’s letter subscription is great screen-free lockdown activity which encourages reading, writing and creative play, all delivered straight to your door. If your little one loves Banjo’s backstory, you can sign up to receive any of his letter subscriptions with a 50% discount, applying the code: MAGIC50 at checkout on their website. Limited time offer. You can also purchase the hardback picture book here.
  • Improve your tennis skills any time, any place, with our LTA Youth Home Activities hub, it’s full of activities for the whole family.

Food 

  • Combat that endless snacking conundrum with our roundup of fave snacks here
  • Little Cooks Co. Feed the kids and make them cook! Doubles up as a home economics class. We call it… genius! Find out more.
  • Order your Pancake Day Ultimate Kit now for a flipping great Shrove Tuesday thanks to Joe and Sephs! Lockdown might be here for a while but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate pancake day in gourmet style! Order a kit here, quick! 
  • TOP secret TASTY PROJECT ALERT. We’ve been cooking up something really rather spesh! THE CITY KIDS FAMILY MEAL PLANNER! If you’re not already signed up to our newsletter, then you’ll have to wait around another day. Otherwise, sign up to our newsletter here.

What’s on 

  • Build a den and enjoy an exciting night at the museum with the Dino Nights at Home sleepover at the National Museum of Wales. Find out more here
  • With the guidance of a professional illustrator, create your own superhero at this online drawing workshop from Imperial College London. Find out more here.
  • Get on board the world’s first bus powered by song with online play Rolling Down the Road, live-recorded at the Half Moon Theatre. Find out more here
  • Mama G is back on tour (virtually this time) with live online show Telling Tales on Telly, sure to get the whole family laughing and singing along this February half term. Find out more here.

Find more Feb half-term events and things to take part in here. As ever, follow us over on our Instagram for the latest City Kids scoop. 

THE COSY KIDS EDIT

The Cosy Edit for kids

As temperatures continue to dip we strongly believe that a we should be allowed to at least one duvet day a week, who agrees? We’ve rustled up a cosy edit for kids. If only these were available in adult sizes. Bear with us as we squeeze into the largest possible sizes available. 

For comfort that is truly out of this world

 

Pink and green makes the stuff of dreams

  • Heart Print GOTS Organic Kid’s Pyjamas, Polarn O Pyret, £26
  • Miffy Corduroy Soft Toy – Large 33cm Pink, Soren’s House, £22.95
  • Bunny Hooded Bath Robe, Mori, £32.85
  • Snuggle pink suede bunny slip-on slippers, Start Rite, £24.95

 

Follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration.

Please note, prices correct as of time of publishing. Prices may go up or down.

FREE AUDIOBOOK FROM BANJO ROBINSON

Free Audiobook from Banjo Robinson

 

 

It’s been a long month already, and keeping the kids entertained and finding five minutes to yourself requires some very creative parenting. We consider this free audiobook from Banjo Robinson to be answering all the SOS calls, as well as putting smiles on your little ones faces.

It’s a lockdown January… What better time to start an enchanting round-the-world trip with a globetrotting CAT? Banjo Robinson sends personalised letters and creative activities to children ages 5+ twice monthly from a range of exciting destinations. Kids all over the world are already receiving his activity-filled letters – and writing back to him too!

Little explorers can start their adventure with a picture book that introduces Banjo and explains why he travels the world writing letters to his friends. Now Pandora Sykes, journalist and podcaster reads this story which explains explains where Banjo Robinson came from and why he’s the most fantastic explorer of all time. The accompanying video also shows the illustrations created by Ruki Chuki.

 

 

Banjo Robinson’s letter subscription is another screen-free lockdown activity which encourages reading, writing and creative play, all delivered straight to your door.

If your little one loves Banjo’s backstory, you can sign up to receive any of his letter subscriptions with a 50% discount, applying the code: MAGIC50 at checkout on their website. Limited time offer. You can also purchase the hardback picture book here.

Follow this link to listen to The Book That Writes Back.

For more ideas to keep them entertained follow this link>>>>

FRIDAY FIVE – 22nd JAN

Friday Five: things to do with the kids this weekend

The shows must go on! We’re all at the end of our tethers, and there’d be nothing better than visiting the West End to experience a theatre show. TRUTH! So with aims of helping to keep the creative world going while we’re in lockdown, we’re sharing the magic of theatre to you.

Each ticket you buy, show that you watch and share keeps the spirit of the creative arts alive in these trying times.

1. The Unicorn Theatre’s Anansi the spider re-spun online.

ANANSI THE SPIDER RE-SPUN

The high-energy show about the antihero Anansi is inspired by classic West African and Caribbean tales and was filmed at the cast member’s homes. There are 3 episodes, each 10-15 minutes long and perfect for children aged 3-8.

The series is available to watch now until March 31 for free. Find out more here.

2. Charlotte Holmes: an adventure in a box

CHARLOTTE HOLMES ADVENTURE BOX

Solve puzzles by watching online videos and, at the same time, opening up the parcels inside the box. Along the way, there are lots of fun activities, games and puzzles to keep children entertained during the week’s game. The box is designed for children aged 7 to 12.

Find out more here

3. Balthazar Snapdragon in a world full of mystery and magic

BALTHAZAR SNAPDRAGON

With a box delivered right to your door, each day for a week you will open a package full of treats and access hidden online content.  Join Balthazar Snapdragon in a world full of mystery and magic as he tries to avert disaster before it is too late.

There are activities with video tutorials, props, games and puzzles and, over the course of the week, you will uncover all the clues you will need to help Balthazar on his whirlwind adventure. And along the way, you will learn some cool magic tricks to impress your friends.

The box is designed for children aged 7 to 12 and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Find out more here

4. Hey Diddle Diddle Online

HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE

The weekly play session uses music and dance to encourage imagination and creativity and is perfect for babies and children under 5. Traditional and modern songs are covered and a range of instruments are used to keep little ones engaged.

Find out more here

5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW

Reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar must be a rite of passage for all young children and their parents. Now you can stream the show online and enjoy the caterpillar’s foodie adventures all over again.

The hit show was filmed at the Hertford Theatre last December and that recording is now available to stream online until February 28th. The 50 minute show is recommended for ages 1 to 6. Tickets start from £14.50 for a 3 day pass.

Find out more here

Looking for more ideas to fill the family calendar? Check out our What’s On pages here and of course, we churn out daily bites of inspo over on our Instagram page.

Sailed through all of the above already? We’ve compiled your go-to list of homeschooling resources for lockdown 3.0. 

 

HOUSEPLANTS FOR KIDS

The jungle look with Urban Tropicana

 

By now, it’s likely that you’ve packed up all the Christmas decor and things may be looking a little bare. Fear not, we’ve a great way for you to fill your space thanks to the lovely lot at Urban Tropicana. And right now, we couldn’t need houseplants more. Did you know that they have psychological benefits that could all go some way to helping us all through a grey and locked down January? Amongst them are improved mood, increased worker productivity, improved attention span, reduced stress levels and increased speed of reaction in a computer task. We asked the team to give us a rundown of houseplants for kids that can be looked after by your budding gardeners.
PLUS read on for our exclusive discount code. 

 

1.Succulents

 

Houseplants for kids

  • Succulents are one of the easiest houseplants to look after – and they’re a pretty cool too.
  • Succulents do best in a sunny spot in very well-drained soil. Their chunky leaves are designed to store water, so they’re able to cope with periods of drought.
  • It is best to allow the soil to dry out between watering.
  • When you do decide to water, it is best to soak them, this will replicate a torrential down pour.
  • They need a lot less water over winter.
  • Urban Tropicana have put together a supercool box containing three baby succulents. Succulents will be selected at random – but we’ll make sure the trio is as varied as possible.

Shop Baby Box Succulents here
Pot Size: 5.5cm. Non-toxic

 

2. Christmas Cactus 

 

 

These cacti will bloom just in time for Christmas (hence their name), and they’re pretty stunning too. The hanging branches, which are made up of flat, glossy green segments, can grow to up to 3 feet long.

Flowers in red, white, yellow, pink, or purple appear at the tips of these branches and measure up to 3 inches long with several tiers of petals. This variety has white flowers.

In order to keep these plants looking beautiful, you need to follow all
the steps involved with proper Christmas cactus care.

Shop Christmas Cactus here
Pot size: 12cm. Non-toxic

 

3. Snake Plants

 

 

  • The Moonshine is an absolute stunner and one of our personal favourite snake plants. The foliage is the most delicious shade of silvery green. Easy to care for and looks amazing. What else could you ask for?
  • If you’re one of those people with a history of killing houseplants (we see you at the back) then the ‘Snake Plant aka Mother-in-laws tongue is for you. It doesn’t need much attention at all so if you forget you own it for a week or two – it will forgive you. They’re pretty indestructible – so totally safe for the ‘plant assassins’ amongst you.
  • They are also one of the best plants for removing harmful toxins from the air. Winner winner.
  • While it tolerates low light, snake plants will grow fastest in bright conditions.
  • Take care not to overwater. We water ours every 2 weeks or when the soil is totally dry.

Shop Snake Plants here 

Pot Size: 12cm. Mildly toxic if ingested.

4. The String of Hearts

 

 

  • The String of Hearts has gorgeous, mini, heart-shaped leaves. They grow pretty quick given the right conditions so you’ll have a stunning display in no time.
  • Keep your string of hearts in bright light, with some direct sun (but not all day) for the best colour and plenty of leaves.
  • If you notice large spaces between leaves, the chances are the plant is not getting enough light.
  • The string of hearts is a semi-succulent plant, which means it is more tolerant of dry soil than wet soil and is prone to rotting in wet soil – allow the soil to dry out completely between watering.

Shop String of Hearts here

Hanging Pot Size: 11cm. Non-toxic

 

5. Spanish Moss

 

 

  • This is one for those of you looking for a plant with maximun impact for not much effort. Spanish moss doesn’t need soil to survive, just keep it in a bright spot and mist or soak once a week. That’s it.
  • It’s native to Mexico, Central America, South America, the U.S., and the Caribbean. In the U.S. it grows from Texas to Virginia, staying in the moister areas of the South. Its preferred habitat is a healthy tree in tropical swampland.
  • Spanish moss grows on trees but it doesn’t put down roots in the tree it grows on, nor does it take nutrients from it. The plant thrives on rain and fog, sunlight, and airborne or waterborne dust and debris.

Shop Spanish Moss here

Approx length: 60cm. Non-toxic

Urban Tropicana launched in the midst of lockdown and their mission is to fill homes with plants, whatever your budget, do show them some love by following them on Instagram and by picking out a plant or three. They’ve kindly offered us an exclusive 15% discount. Simply use the code: CityKids15 at the checkout. You’re welcome! 

Looking for more interior inspo? Check out our Rainbow Edit here

 

 

THE BEST HOME LEARNING HELP

The City Kids guide to the best resources on and offline to help us all through lockdown

 

Is it Groundhog Day? April Fool’s Day? Friday 13th? Nope, just another Lockdown. We’ve been here before but will it be harder trying to work, run a house, educate, feed and entertain the kids in Lockdown 3.0?  We’ll let you know, but in the meantime, we’ll do our best to share what we think are the best resources to help with home learning. Good luck!

 

Online help

Depending on where you live, the age of your children or the type of school they’re at will make a big difference to how much time they’re expected to be online each day. But online doesn’t necessarily mean bad. There is plenty of great online help and tips for kids (and their parents) which you can take advantage of pronto.

The Little Gym

 

 

Move over Joe Wicks there’s a new PE teacher in town! With over 40 years experience coaching children in their purpose-built gyms, The Little Gym’s expert teachers are sharing some excellent, age-appropriate classes on their YouTube channel. Whether you have a baby or a bored 12-year-old, you’ll find sensory play, fundamental gymnastics skills, boot camps and more.  They’re big on child development and their classes are backed by teachers, doctors and occupational therapists. It’s all free and their latest How to…Guides might even persuade you to cartwheel through lockdown! 4 months+

Joe Wicks

Ok, he’s a living legend and some of you have bonded. Tune in Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0900 for PE with Joe on his YouTube channel. KS1+

The Study Bunny: Focus Timer

There’s no point flogging a dead horse, and there’s no point trying to make little ones study when they over it.  The Study Bunny app helps time studying. You can hit pause when focus has flown out of the window, earn coins and aim to be more productive. KS1+

Role Models

If you’re worrying about their emotional development minus play-dates, a social life and general life skills, it could be worth looking up these guys. They’ve got bags of experience and focus on promoting social & emotional wellbeing and dynamic thinking. Check out their online courses here. KS1+

Mathswatch

This one was new to us but it’s a revelation, no wonder schools and teachers are using it. Plenty of free video explanations for Primary, KS3 and up. Explanations were so good that we can now solve questions on probability using Venn diagrams. And for a small payment you can sign up to get feedback and even more quality teaching. KS1+

Brain Pop

Animated videos across the arts and sciences. KS1+

Dr Chips

Got a coder or engineer at home, or indeed someone who needs some inspiration, then guide them towards Dr Chips’ Daily Doses. Easy to follow and required tools are always outlined in advance. Lava lamps, slime and chocolate rocks are just a taster. KS1+

Memrise

Need to swat up on languages, this one has clips of real native speakers as well as fun and effective games to practice skills. KS2+

CBeebies

If Hey Duggee can’t focus minds then we should all give up! Starting on 11 January, pre-schoolers up to those studying for GCSEs will be catered for daily across their channels. Every morning, CBBC will host a three hour block for primary aged children, with two hours of daily content for secondary aged kids on BBC Two. Early Years+

Offline help

 

Got it Games

Got it games support and reinforce teaching in the classroom, while boosting their reading and spelling. In each pack of Got it cards, there are five, quick to learn 10-minute games: Word Race, Word Pairs, Word Switch, Word Sets and Word Match. In line with the National Curriculum and suitable for children aged five and over, the games cover important, frequently used words. Developed by an experienced teacher, the games are multi-sensory and dyslexia friendly.

Collins

Best known for their dictionaries, Collins have a tonne of experience in workbooks for several key stages of learning. They’ve set aside free resources and have some helpful tips to help when home learning becomes overwhelming for the untrained teacher in all of us. KS1+

30 Day Lego Challenge

Great for problem solving and improving fine motor skills, That Brick Life has created a 30 day calendar with a different task to complete each day. Kids will need to channel their inner Emmet for this one and you’ll have to do your best not to become President Business. Early Years+

Mrs Wordsmith

We’ve always loved the illustrations that these guys provide and they’ve got some free downloadables on their site now. They’re US focussed but we’re told there’s a 100% UK English version coming very soon! KS1+

Story Starter

You’ll need a screen to get started, but you can write to your heart’s content after spinning the wheel which decides your task. Topics include adventure, fantasy and sci-fi. Early Years+

Story Cubes

If you’re dead set on time away from the screen, Rory’s Story Cubes give you prompts for all manner of exciting fables. Early Years+

Cook School

Subscribe to these boxes and you’ll not only have a lovely meal, but your child will have prepared it for you. This nationwide, not-for-profit organisation wants to help children to understand food by teaching them to cook it. Their new recipe boxes are suitable for children and young adults, making it the way to encourage kids into the kitchen, and start them on their cooking journey. KS2+

BBC Bitesize

They’re good. And they have lots of support for stressed out parents. KS1+

TTS

Supporting the national curriculum, TTS have provided free downloadables to help with Early Years, KS1 and KS2. They’re created by teachers so cover everything from grammar tools to guided reading and can also help with English as a second language. Early Years+

Fun Phonics

Janna White set up Fun Phonics in 2015 and teaches over 300 children per week. Her website has plenty of materials to help parents and pupils of pre-school and primary school. Early Years+

Twinkl

Last, but my no means least is Twinkl. They came into their own in March and they’ve got all topics covered. Download, print and off you go! Early Years+.

 

For more lockdown things to keep them busy head here

 

SWEET PEA SPOONS BABY FOOD DELIVERY

Fresh Baby Food Delivered to your door

Mother and daughter duo, Judy and Melissa Blake have not only created a business together, they’ve also seen it grow at one of the most difficult times. Sweet Pea Spoons delivers fresh baby food – with no nasties – nationwide, giving time-poor parents a break from the parenting treadmill. The subscription service allows you to select a variety of nutritionally balanced meals which are delivered weekly or fortnightly. We spoke to Judy and Melissa about their enterprise and what makes them tick.

 

 

Three words to describe yourselves.

Judy: Caring, cautious and I’m afraid to say a bit of a worrier sometimes!

Melissa: Driven, passionate and loyal

Tell us about how Sweet Pea Spoons came about.

The idea for Sweet Pea Spoons was born 23 years ago, when my mum had me. Being an advocate for high quality food with ‘no nasties’, she found it frustrating that there were no fresh, pre-prepared baby food options on the market for busy parents.

So, she was forced to take matters into her own hands by making all of my baby food from scratch. She soon realised how time consuming and tiring this was, and that parents would benefit from having fresh, nutritious and tasty baby meals delivered to their door. The only problem was, she just wasn’t sure how to turn her idea into a business.

 

Fast forward 23 years, I achieved a First-Class Honours in my Business degree and also developed a firm interest in nutrition. After finishing my degree, I started to think about life after university and what career I would choose, so I started looking at the baby food industry. Like Mum all those years ago, I began to realise that many parents want to feed their babies fresh, healthy meals, but the realities of a busy family life mean this can often be a struggle.

To my surprise, parents still only have two options when it comes to baby food; make it from scratch yourself which is time consuming or buy commercially produced jars/pouches which compromise on quality. So, using my new business knowledge and my passion for nutrition, I decided to join forces with my Mum and turn her 23-year-old dream in to a reality. Our aim? To create a fresh baby meal delivery service and ensure that busy parents no longer have to sacrifice tasty, homemade food for the ease of mass produced, shop bought pouches.

How do you divide roles in the business?

With my business knowledge, I take more of the ‘leader’ role in terms of running the day to day tasks of the business-like organising deliveries, ordering ingredients, managing social media accounts, conversing with customers etc, while Judy’s roles are more focused in the kitchen. She’s head of quality control and chief taster!

Mum is always the one who provides suggestions of potential new flavours to try after taking inspiration from magazines etc. I then go away to develop and test the recipes. Judy then gives feedback on the tests and suggests any improvements to the tests.

While I would say that I’m the driving force behind the business and bringing it to life, I certainly couldn’t do it without Judy.

What’s it like working with a relative?

Working with your Mum really is the best thing! I see her so much more often than I would have otherwise which is really lovely. I think you can be a lot more honest working with a family member and say exactly what you’re thinking without causing tension. Most of the time we always agree!

No one wants you to succeed more than your own mum, so I always know she will do everything she can to help make Sweet Pea Spoons work.

What’s been the biggest challenge so far?

The biggest challenge we’ve faced is getting our products to customers whilst keeping them frozen. It’s taken nearly a year of testing to figure out how to get our products to customers all across the UK whilst maintaining frozen temperatures. When we first launched in March we were only delivering to customers in Twickenham and Richmond. But now we can deliver to almost all corners of the UK!

Last book you read?

Is it awful that I can’t remember? Life is pretty hectic balancing a business, a part time job, family life and a sort of social life.  So if I’m being totally honest, I never really have time for books. I listen to a LOT of podcasts, always business ones as I enjoy listening to other successful founders’ stories and taking onboard their advice.

Tell us something that people don’t know about you.

I once jumped out of a plane. I have no idea how I did it, but when I was travelling in New Zealand I decided it would be a good idea to do a skydive. My mum stayed up until 2am UK time to check it went all ok. When I watch videos back all I can think is how the H*** did I do that! I get butterflies watching it!

What would you take to a desert island?

A photograph of my puppy Cavapoochon Blue, he’s my pride and joy.

Signature dish (not baby food!)

Judy: My either my Tomato and Pancetta Risotto, super simple but delicious, or my Thai roast chicken for something a bit different. Both are always crowd pleasers.

Melissa: My Chocolate and Orange Panettone pudding! A seasonal take on the classic bread and butter pudding. I used to make this for my girls at uni and it really is the most indulgent delicious pudding (I’m a dessert person always). In summer it’s my Strawberry and Rhubarb crumble, don’t get me started I could go on…

Your proudest moment?

Receiving a first class in my degree and the Deans Award for the most outstanding student. This really was a special moment after working so hard for three years.

In terms of the business, it was being contacted by a certain big brand who I’ve always looked up to. When I look back at where we first started when we were planning the idea, it makes me realise how far we’ve come and I’m incredibly proud (and a bit shocked) of that.

What’s next on the list of things to do?

We’re looking at developing a finger foods option as many parents are now going down the BLW route so we want to cover both basis. We’re also hoping to start getting our products into some local farm shops and other retailors in 2021 which will be super exciting!

www.sweetpeaspoons.com

>>>>>For more food inspiration, check out our Recipe pages>>>>>

HEALTHY SNACKS FOR FAMILIES IN LOCKDOWN

Healthy snacks for families in lockdown

So it’s official, schools won’t be open for the foreseeable here the UK. Which means that us busy parents must keep on top of the snack cupboard stock take. PLUS with very little time to even sip a warm cuppa between Teams calls, we know that busy parents like us will need a steady supply of healthy snacks to produce in front of the little snackers quicker than you can say “lockdown three”.

TOP TIP for those on a New Year health kick, we suggest substituting the usual snacks for something healthier. So we’ve picked out a bunch of  organic, gluten-free, vegan friendly alternatives. All tried and tested – your resident snack monsters are in for a treat (or 8).

Team sweet

healthy snacks for kids - Bear Paws
1. Bear Paws Strawberry and Apple Bear Nibbles, Farmdrop, £2.75 for a pack of 5. Vegan friendly.

Fruit bowl healthy snacks for kids

2. Fruit Bowl Unicorn Flakes, Tesco, £2 for a pack of 5. Gluten free. Veggie friendly.

3. Snackzilla Cookies, Snackzilla, from £3. Low Sugar.

4. Biona Pomegranate Hearts, Planet Organic, £1.99. Vegan friendly.

Team savoury


1. Proper Chips Sea Salt Lentil Chips, Waitrose & Partners, £2. Vegan friendly.

2. Eat Real Hummus Chips, Holland & Barrett, from 99p. Vegan friendly.

3. Abakus Salt and Vinegar Seaweed Crisps, Holland & Barrett, 99p. Vegan friendly.

4. Ape Really Cheesy Puffs, 99p. Vegan friendly.

 

Wash it down with a big gulp of water. Check our roundup of the best Water bottles here

Follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration.

Please note, prices correct as of time of publishing. Prices may go up or down.

THE HOMESCHOOL EDIT

The Homeschool Edit

It’s official. Most school kids won’t be going back to school just yet. But this doesn’t halt our ability to keep up with their studies. While we all brace ourselves for another bout of homeschool/remote learning/stress, we’ve an edit that may help to get you top parent points. And most importantly, make this round of homeschool that little bit better, easier, exciting and rewarding.

 

 

The homeschool edit

 

  1. Stickers. Loads of them. Meri Meri Reward Stickers from Kidly, £6.50 
  2. Personalised Kids Star Reward Jar by CRAFTLY LTD from NotOnTheHighstreet.com, £25
  3. Keep a record. Journal their progress and feedback regularly to their teachers. We LOVE the selection from Papier. Fruit Stickers Notebook by Bodil Jane on Papier, from £14.99
  4. Set timed tasks to test their learning. Use your handy home automation buddy, it’ll save you from having to yell for their attention later. Try out the small but mighty Apple HomePod Mini, £99

 

 

  1. Pocket money. Older kids may appreciate this one more. We’d rather not call it bribery, but instead, incentivising them for their hard work. Try out one of the cool Pocket Money apps such as Go Henry. They’ve recently launched an eco card too! 
  2. How about getting the whole family kitted out in matching shirts? No? We’ll you’ll have to create a rota so you don’t all clash wearing the Home S’Cool T Shirt, Annual Store, £18
  3. Anything with cute cats and or dogs, how about this totally smashing it notebook, Paperchase, £10

Get them involved in decorating their own learning space,  LEGO® DOTS 41907 Desk Organiser set, Selfridges, £18

 

 

  1. Break up small bursts of learning with a fun activity. How about a spot of colouring in? We love everything about these crayons and all they stand for. Colour Me Kids Crayons, from Acorn and Pip, £4
  2. Encourage them to explore their emotions. Abrams & Chronicle Books Mindful Kids Cards, from Kidly, £11
  3.  Be sure to order ample rewards for pupils and teachers too. A guilt free treat from Play in Choc, from £2.50
  4. The Happy Self Journal, £19.90

Looking to refresh their room with some inspirational tidbits, find the perfect pop of colour from our rainbow edit here.

How’s your New Year’s resolutions going? Check our roundup of the best Water bottles here

Follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration.

Please note, prices correct as of time of publishing. Prices may go up or down.

THE RAINBOW EDIT

The Rainbow Edit

We’ve gone in search for all things bright and beautiful for those hoping to give their kids’ room a new lease of life for 2021. With varying budgets in mind, read on for a showcase of wonderful products PLUS a TOP TIP on how you can share positive vibes outside of your own home.

When we came across this gorgeous image on Coral Atkinson’s Instagram feed, it ignited all the rainbow interior feels. The rainbow symbol has always been a fave here at City Kids HQ. The year 2020 has renewed our love for all things rainbow vibes. The rainbow symbolises hope, resilience and the togetherness we’ve displayed throughout the pandemic. 

 

The Rainbow EditPhoto Credit: Coral Atkinson on Instagram

 

  1. Rainbow print, Lorna Freytag, £13.99
  2. Droplet garland- Made to order, Velveteen Babies, £39,
  3. Loved pennant flag, House of Hooray, £24
  4. Mustard Storage Trunk, Beautify, £37.99

 

The Rainbow Edit - Save

 

  1. Leopard Print Gold Foil Rainbow Art Print by Susie Cutie Designs, NotOnTheHighStreet.com, £12.50
  2. Good Morning Sunshine linen flag, Etsy, £12.25
  3. Multicolour Star Garland, Meri Meri, £9
  4. Rainbow Bedding Set – Single,GLTC, £28
  5. Magnetic Space Rocket Construction Wooden Toy, Retro Kids, £18
  6. Short 1 Door 2 Shelf Locker – Mustard, Argos Home, £60
  7. Personalised Modern Rainbow Money Pot Piggy Bank by Funky Laser, Notonthehighstreet.com, £18.99
  8. Lines for All Seasons Vertical Poster, London Transport Museum, £10

 

Splurge - The Rainbow Edit

 

  1. Little Lights – Rainbow Lamp, Scandiborn, £104.95
  2. Royal Aero Hot Air Balloon Rainbow, Blue Almonds, £88
  3. Play Teepee, Space Explorer, GLTC, £63.75
  4. Mustard Made – Skinny Locker in Berry, Scandiborn, £228.95
  5. Personalised Peeping Bear Print, Buddy and Bear, from £18
  6. Reversible Gingham reversible Bed Linen Set, The White Co, from £35
  7. JOX Set of 2 Blue Metal Trunks, Alex and Alexa, £87.00
  8. Dipped Tassel Garland, Meri Meri £18.75

TOP TIP: Give back. While throwing together a rainbow edit inspired room for your kids, how about mixing and matching between the spend and splurge items and using some of your budget towards giving a small donation to a charity such as NHS Charities Together, Rainbow Trust or The Trussell Trust.

 

Looking for more New Year’s Resolution inspo, how about volunteering this Christmas break? Follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration.

Please note, prices correct as of time of publishing. Prices may go up or down.

STAYING HYDRATED IN THE NEW YEAR

Staying Hydrated this winter

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite water bottles for kids (and grown ups too) that are bound to help keep on top of staying hydrated and healthy this winter. Funny how by changing up your bottle motivates you to drink more water. From neon reds to frozen blues, antibacterial and to suit all budgets, we have got your family’s hydration goals covered! 

A splash of redWater Bottles

  1. Done by Deer First Meal Set – Sea Friends in Powder, £16.95
  2. Neon Red, Chillies bottle in Original, £15
  3. Tinc Mallo Pink Drinks Bottle, 500ml, £10
  4. Garage Station Print Kids Drinking Bottle, £5.50

A pop of yellow

  1. Liewood Neo Water Bottle – Mustard / Sandy Mix , £26.95
  2. Monbento, Positive 330ml Bottle, £12
  3. Wigiwama Water Bottle, £22
  4. VIIDA, Soufflé Antibacterial Stainless Steel Cup, £20

Four green bottles

  1. Frugi Splish Splash Steel Bottle – Whale
  2. Budz Slimline Stainless Steel Drink Bottle
  3. Hip Jade Green Water Bottle
  4. One green bottle curvy stainless steel bottle

A drop of blue

  1. S’ip by S’well Disney Frozen Elsa Vacuum Insulated Drinks Bottle in blue, £14.99
  2. Dopper Original Drinks Bottle in pacific blue, £12.50
  3. Sports Stainless Steel Drink Bottle, £10.50
  4. Transparent drinking bottle with a LEGO knob lid and removable silicone strap, £10

Follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration.

Looking for more New Year’s Resolution inspo, how about volunteering this Christmas break?

 

Please note, prices correct as of time of publishing. Prices may go up or down.

Saving Christmas with these last min gifts

Last minute gifts for all the family

 

Things took an unexpected turn this weekend, so for many – the closure of non-essential stores will have thrown a great big spanner in the works. Lucky for you, we’ve a roundup of super last minute things to get for all the family. You’re welcome.

last minute gifts for all the family

 

Last minute gifts for kids 

  1. Don’t worry if you missed the Noodoll delivery deadline. Hand them a Noodoll voucher and a whole load of choice. Anyone else got their eyes on the sprouts?!
  2. Cass Art vouchers for the budding Picasso.
  3. PlayStation vouchers for big and little kids lucky enough to get their mitts on a PS5.

Last minute gifts for her

  1. SPACENK vouchers. The more the merrier!
  2. 3 months of flowers deliveries from Bloom & Wild. A great way to brighten someones day while we ride out this lockdown.
  3. A bottle of Mirabeau Gin AND/OR Malfy. Does this even need an explanation. Get both for extra brownie points!

Last minute gifts for him

  1. Support a lockdown business such as Urban Tropicana while also gifting green this Christmas. We LOVE their selection of plants.
  2. The promise of a meal box. Have them drooling over the Lyle’s Menu Box.
  3. Another great one for the foodie. Doughnut Time vouchers. YUM!

Click here for ideas on how your family can give the gift of volunteering at Christmas.

STRAWBERRIES & CREAM LAUNCH

Injecting some much-needed positivity, we celebrate the launch of new baby and girls wear brand, Strawberries & Cream

 

 

With the rug being pulled at every turn in 2020, it’s time to find some joy and something to look forward to. New British children’s fashion brand Strawberries & Cream launch their capsule collection ahead of  Spring/Summer 21. It’s available online at strawberriesandcream.com and will be showcased in pop-ups throughout 2021, with some styles made to order.

The SS21 collection is about recreating the magic from the past, inspired by antique lace, trimmings and finishes which were commonplace in the sewing kits of our mothers and grandmothers.

These traditional techniques have been adapted and incorporated into a timeless collection in the Strawberries & Cream studio in North London. Expect vintage patterns, colours and antique shapes, combined with traditional fabrics including cotton organza, floral prints and cottons.

Strawberries & Cream’s honeycomb hand embroideries, exclusive lace and trimmings are featured throughout the collection. Combined within the fabrics they ensure that every design feels special. This includes the use of golden trimmings, which will become a signature feature for Strawberries & Cream.

Girls collection

 

 

The SS21 collection for girls comprises a selection of stunning dresses. The Popcorn dress makes a welcome return and will continue to be a signature style for Strawberries & Cream with the Queen Check Popcorn dress (above). This exquisite and special dress is handmade and embroidered in London, as are all designs.

Baby Collection

 

 

The SS21 collection for babies comprises a selection of pinafores, rompers, blouses and bloomers in a range of fabrics and finishes.

In addition to garments, Strawberries & Cream has added to its baby essentials range which now includes a maternity bag, bib, cushion and changing mat. The handmade maternity bag has been designed to be as soft and lightweight as possible.

 

It features Strawberries & Cream’s essential fabric with golden dots woven on the outside, with a luxurious jacquard cotton lining. The inner compartments make organisation easy and ensure that the contents are easily accessible, making it the perfect gift for a new mother.

The maternity bag is complemented by a bib, cushion and changing mat which are made using Strawberries & Cream’s signature white and gold fabric, with cotton jacquard at the back and an exquisite golden lace trim and embroidery.

strawberriesandcream.com

FRIDAY FIVE GOLDEN THINGS TO DO

Friday Five: things to do with the kids this weekend

 

Regardless of tiers or lockdown restrictions it is totally possible to make it a truly magical Christmas at home. Here’s our Friday Five things to do to keep ‘em busy.⁠

d

Christmas Markets at home

Create a pop-up Christmas Market at home, we love this imaginary Shopfront Banner by Little Doodle House from Holly and Co. 

DIY Baubles

Use the Noodoll’s super cute DIY Ricemonster Baubles activity template. We also made an attempt to create their wreath. Find more creative Christmas projects here.

Ping a message to the North Pole

Send Santa a letter with Meri Meri’s wonderful letter template. 

Bake some biccies!

Bake a Christmas Biscuit Wreath with Biscuiteers recipe

Show time

Miss going to the cinema? So do we. Create your own cinema at home with Twinkl’s role play cinema activity pack. 

Do check back every Friday for our up-to-date round up of family activities, what’s on and more. Follow us on our Instagram for the latest updates.

Click here for ideas on how your family can volunteer at Christmas.

KINGS TUTORS CLUB

London education provider Kings Tutors has launched Kings Tutors Club

 

Kings Tutors Club provides focused, flexible and fully interactive educational courses; all uniquely designed to enhance both academic education and twenty-first century skills for children and young adults. This new educational platform has been launched in response to identifying four modern-day realities:

1) The unprecedented success of online learning.

2) The need for consistent, reliable and entirely flexible education.

3) The ever-growing demand for vital life skills (from confidence to communication, resilience to critical thinking) in the modern workplace.

4) The unavoidable knowledge gaps generated by the pandemic.

By identifying and embracing all of these, Kings Tutors Club is aiming to enrich a child’s immediate academic requirements with wider life skills. Courses span from targeted workshops (including ‘Coding’ and ‘Creative Writing’) to broader programmes such as ‘Calm Clear & Confident’ and ‘GCSE Christmas Preparation’. A range of one-to-one and group formats are available, enabling parents to choose the teaching style best suited to their child. Each course is hosted by one of Kings Tutors’ expert mentors or tutors selected from a team of specialists recognised by the Good Schools Guide for always going “the extra mile” to ensure “children reach their full potential.”

All courses are held on Kings Tutors’ popular interactive learning platform. This is a free service, easy to use and named one of “the best online tutoring resources 2020″ by Mumsnet. It is likewise compatible with all devices (phone, tablet, laptop and desktop), enabling access wherever you are, whenever you need.

“True education is not – and never has been – confined to exam knowledge. Now more than ever, it is critical to recognise this from early years,” says Emily Jack, Founder of Kings Tutors, a qualified teacher and director of The Tutors’ Association.

This belief is enforced by robust global research, with reports from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and World Economic Forum identifying transferable skills such as creativity, communication, digital literacy and critical thinking as imperative for the future workplace.

The  Top 3 Courses for Christmas 2020:

• CALM. CLEAR. CONFIDENT – The ultimate 2021 exam preparation for both child & parent. Includes dedicated educational consultant, mentor and tutors. Available from 11+ to A-Level.

• GCSE CHRISTMAS COURSE – Set of 5 online group lessons in key subjects with specialist tutors. Available for Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Geography.

• CODING – Fun, focused workshops to instil the basics of this career-enhancing skill. Put into the context of building a text-adventure game, the course also boosts aptitude for critical thinking and problem-solving.

For more information on 2021 courses please head to: www.kingstutorsclub.com

 

For more education news head here.

 

FAMILY VOLUNTEERING AT CHRISTMAS

Ways for families to pay it back and volunteer this Christmas

 

 

Let’s face it. This year has been ugly and as we reach the end of it many people are struggling emotionally and financially. But there’s lots we can do to help. Got a couple of hours to spare thanks to last-minute changes to your Christmas plans? Wanting to do something a little different this year and give back to our community? Don’t we all?! Family volunteering at Christmas is possible, and we’ve researched some ways we can all help.

Keep Britain Tidy

Help to Keep Britain Tidy. We’ve all seen it. Disposable masks not quite making it to the bins and flying free across the pavements. Not acceptable. Bundle up with the kids, get equipped and host a local clean up. How about giving them an incentive to work towards. The family member to fill up their bin bag the quickest can earn rights to selecting the Christmas movie for the evening. Join Keep Britain Tidy’s #litterheroes

Search for missing pets

We’re pet lovers here at City Kids HQ. So hearing of the number of cats and dogs going missing just breaks our hearts. Help to search for a local family pet that may have gone missing with tools such as petsreunited.com Does what it says on the tin.

Feeding Families

Feeding Families – while they may not be accepting hampers anymore, there’s certainly ways that you can help out. Simply donating some money, finding out if they need a helping hand at their warehouses or spreading the word about the fantastic work that they do. Find out more about them here. There’s many more initiatives as we found out earlier this year with the Rashford campaign, see them here. 

Using your skills

Do.it.org to find more general local volunteering vacancies also includes work that you can do from home such as voluntary admin, finance, marketing, or even picking up the phone to the vulnerable. 

A friendly face and helping hand

Knock on an elderly or vulnerable neighbours’ door. Offer to do their weekly groceries, help tidy their garden or even just to bring over a tin of biscuits. It’s bound to make their day.

Donations and things for the less fortunate

Gather some old toys, books and various other things that you may not need and donate to a local charity. 

 

You could do these as a family, alone, or both if you so wish. Volunteering is a fantastic reminder of what Christmas is really about and to ground ourselves at this time of year.

DIY CHRISTMAS FOOD GIFTS

Christmas food gifts to show you care

We all know that a handmade card is better than a shop-bought one. So it follows that some Christmas crafting will earn plenty of brownie points and nothing says Christmas more than food and goodies. Our festive round-up has some ideas for DIY Christmas food gifts which are possible to create with the kids without too much bother!

It’s fairly easy to find pretty bags or boxes to use to present your gifts, finishing off with ribbons and pretty stickers will work wonders.

We kick off with three recipes from our very own Jo Pratt who has some fantastic Christmas food gift ideas.

 

Gingerbread Snowflake Biscuits by Jo Pratt

 

Ingredients

375g (13oz) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
2tbsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
1tbsp cocoa powder
125g (4 1/2oz) butter, softened
125g (4 1/2oz) light muscovado sugar
1tbsp black treacle
1tbsp golden syrup
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric hand whisk until it is slightly creamy. Add the treacle, golden syrup and egg. Beat until smooth.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, gradually add the flour mixture, a little at a time, and then finish off with your hands, to form a smooth dough, kneading lightly on the worktop. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to around the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a pastry cutter, cut out as many small or large biscuit shapes as you like, and place on greased baking sheets. There is no need to space them well apart as the dough won’t spread while cooking.
  3. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, until they are starting to firm up. If you want to hang them on your Christmas tree, make a hole with a skewer while they are still hot. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. Once cold, the biscuits can be decorated like snowflakes (or with whatever pattern you like). Use coloured writing icing tubes – mine were done with Barbie glitter ones.

Cocoa Granola by Jo Pratt

 

Time taken: 1 hour 15 minutes including cooking
Makes: 8-10 portions
(vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free)

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 50g/1 ¾ oz dates, stoned (ideally the plump sticky Medjool dates)
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder, sieved
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 250g/9oz porridge oats (gluten-free if required)
  • 100g/3 ½ oz pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 75g/2 ½ oz dried cherries, raisins, sultanas or cranberries
  • 50g/1 ¾ oz coconut flakes
  • 50g/1 ¾ oz sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp linseed/flaxseed

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 140C/120C fan/275F/gas 1. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Put the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, bananas and dates, into a food processor and blend to a smooth puree. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, making everything is coated in the banana puree mixture.
  4. Tip onto the baking tray and loosely spread into a single layer. Place into the oven and cook for 1 hour, mixing the granola around every 15 minutes, breaking up any particularly large chunks.
  5. After 1 hour the granola will still remain soft but will have a delicious toasted aroma and appear more golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. As it cools, it will become crisp and crunchy.
  6. Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks – though it’s highly unlikely you won’t have any left by then anyway!

If gifting, find some compostable ‘cellophane’ gift bags and pretty labels which you can use to divide amongst your friends and family.

Flexible…
Nut-Free: simply omit the pecan nuts and replace with some additional dried fruit such as banana chips, chopped figs, apricots or mango.
Extra chocolatey: stir 100g/3 ½ oz dark chocolate chips or chunks into the granola when it comes out of the oven.

Taken from The Flexible Pescatarian

Sticky Toffee Popcorn

 

Makes 4-8 portions
Preparation Time 5 minutes, plus 15 minutes cooling
Cooking Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp sunflower oil
50g / 1 3/4oz popping corn
40g / 1 1/2oz salted butter
40g / 1 1/2oz / 1/4 cup light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup

Method

1. Line a baking sheet with baking powder
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the corn and swirl the pan around to coat the corn in the oil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to low and leave the pan for a few minutes until the popping has stopped, then remove it from the heat.
3. Meanwhile, put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a separate pan over a low heat until the butter has melted. Increase the heat to medium and let the mixture bubble for 2 minutes. Pour over the popcorn and stir well to coat.
4. Spread the popcorn over the prepared baking sheet and leave to cool for about 15 minutes in a cool place (not the fridge).

Pop the popcorn in a bag, seal well and then put the bag inside a popcorn box for the best gift for movie fans.

Taken from Madhouse Cookbook

 

White Chocolate Truffles

These White Chocolate Truffles seen in Country Living were far too good to miss.

Ingredients

1/2 cup plus 9 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
310g plus 3 cups white chocolate chips, divided
50g cream cheese, at room temperature
32 Biscoff biscuits finely crushed. Aim for 2 1/2 cups crumbs
Holly sprinkles, for decorating.

Method

  • Heat 1/2 cup cream in a medium saucepan over low heat until bubbles form around edges, 1 to 2 minutes; remove from heat. Add 310g of chocolate chips and let sit 2 minutes; whisk until smooth. Whisk in cream cheese then fold in cookie crumbs until combined. Transfer to a bowl and chill until firm, 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll mixture into tablespoon-sized balls; transfer to baking sheet. Freeze until firm, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Microwave remaining 9 tablespoons cream and 3 cups chips in a microwave-safe bowl on high 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Dip truffles in melted chocolate, tapping off excess, and place on a prepared baking sheet. Immediately place a holly sprinkle on top; let set.

 

Stained Glass Window Cookies from Jamie Oliver

 

 

Ingredients

1 clementine
100 g unsalted butter , (cold)
180 g plain flour
50 g caster sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon milk
12 coloured fruity boiled sweets

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4, and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Finely grate the clementine zest. Cube up the butter and place in a mixing bowl with the flour, sugar, clementine zest and cinnamon. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the mix till it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the milk and bring together to make a soft dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place it in the fridge to firm up for about 30 minutes.
  4. Separate the sweets into colours and place in separate sandwich bags. Press the air out and seal the bags, then carefully crush into small pieces with a rolling pin.
  5. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and roll out to 1cm thick. Use a selection of large cutters to cut out shapes and place on the lined baking sheets, then use the smaller cutters to cut a ‘window’ in the centre of each biscuit.
  6. Sprinkle enough crushed sweets to fill the centre hole (don’t overfill or the sweets will melt over the biscuit), then use a cocktail stick to make a hole in the top of each biscuit, so you can thread a ribbon through them later. (You can re-roll any dough trimmings to make more biscuits, but you’ll need more sweets. You could also bake the cut-out centres and eat as a treat when decorating the tree.)
  7. Bake for 12 minutes, or till the biscuits are golden and the sweets melted. Leave to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack. Thread with ribbon and hang them on the tree or package up for gifting.

Recipe by Phillippa Spence at jamieoliver.com

 

Snowflake cookies and Popcorn image Gareth Morgans
Chocolate Granola image Susan Bell
White Chocolate Truffles image Brian Woodcock

CHRISTMAS SCAVENGER HUNT

The City Kids Christmas Scavenger Hunt

We’re challenging super cool City Kids families to take some time out from the usual daily routine to explore outdoors and hunt down these rather festive things.

Don’t worry, there’s no need to venture off into the deep, dark woods, although you’re so welcome to do so if you wish. Most of these things can be spotted walking around the block or on the school run. Woolly hats, gloves and scarves are a must – it’s getting cold out! 

 

On your street 

Christmas Scavenger Hunt

  • Count the number of chimneys on your street
  • Spot a house with an extravagant Christmas display 
  • Discover the coolest Christmas wreath
  • Find a good parking space for Santa’s sleigh

Out and about

  • Find a reindeer 
  • Dig around for a really large acorn
  • Can you see some holly and ivy?
  • Collect some cool twigs perfect for snowman arms. Keep them handy

 

At home

 

  • Gather ingredients for Santa’s favourite snack and drink
  • Vote on your favourite Christmas advert
  • Ask all members of your family to share the funniest Christmas joke 
  • Tell your family which is your favourite Christmas tree decoration

Do draw, snap or document your findings, we’d love to see them. Send us pictures over on our Instagram

For more Christmassy ideas:

Stocking Fillers

Green Gifts

Educational Toys

 

THE GOWER SCHOOL POETRY COMPETITION

 

The Gower School celebrates poetry with a competition

Children from The Gower School choose their entry for the ISA Poetry Competition with their own internal contest.

 

 

Children from Forms One to Six were invited to take part in the school’s competition using the title ‘Everything All at Once’. Each Form declared a deserved winner and the judging panel were seriously impressed by the children’s writing skills. The overall winner was Oscar Mellows-Facer, age 7, who will now represent the school in the national Independent Schools Association’s Poetry Competition 2020.

The Gower School judging panel chose Oscar’s poem as “It was the most memorable poem! We loved the clever repetition within each verse and the short, punchy verses which reflected the hectic, stirring and action-packed nature of the events leading up to the American election. It was also laced with humour!”

The Gower School Librarian, Scarlet Pykett, age 10, was on the judging panel and chose Oscar’s poem saying: “Oscar’s poem was an amusing way of discussing current events. My favourite line was ‘says the guy with crazy hair’, as I liked the rhyming.”

School Principal Emma Gowers said: “It’s great to see children getting so enthused about poetry. They especially loved hearing the poems recited at assembly. Huge congratulations to all our winners for their incredible poems and best of luck to Oscar at the national finals!”

For more information about The Gower School in Islington:

thegowerschool.co.uk

CHRISTMAS DISPLAYS IN LONDON

Some of the best Christmas displays in London

2020 has been pretty dull. Agreed. So we’ve sent our team on a trail across the capital in search of some of the brightest lights and Christmas displays in London. Here’s what we found. This makes a fantastic early-evening Christmas activity for families needing a spot of fresh air and a welcome change of scenery too.

 

Bond Street

 

 

Not only the beautiful peacock-inspired lighting but a 5m tall Christmas tree will greet you at Bond Street. The towering tree offers shoppers a unique, virtual experience upon scanning a QR code, transporting visitors to a magical, fairy filled land. Offering a very special festive gift, shoppers can enjoy some seasonal sparkle, snow and fairy dust in the mesmerising, never-seen-before filter.

 

Pimlico

First stop is the Tate Britain which is a delight on a normal day, but this year it’s a must. It can’t really be missed as it sure does stand out. We spotted it all the way across the river from Vauxhall.

Knightsbridge

 

As expected, Harrods and Harvey Nichols are shimmering like never before. Knightsbridge is very much a crowd pleaser. The kids will soak the magic of the lights during which grown ups may well drool over the luxury boutiques and the out-of-this-world car dealership windows. [Photo credit: Harvey Nichols]

 

Walton Street

Inspiring store fronts from our favourites in fashion, food and interiors over at Walton St. Of course, Blue Almonds have aced it with their beautifully illustrated window display. Additionally, it’s an absolute joy to see small businesses finally up and running again after lockdown!

High Street Kensington

From the storefront at The Ivy Brasserie to the terrific arch that welcomes you back into an absolute children’s wear classic, Trotters. The entire street is completely lined with lights. Sure to lift your spirits. [Photo credit: Trotters]

Carnaby Street

Always quirky and of course home to Liberty. But the main event has got to be Carnaby St lights, they’ve partnered with charity Choose Love in support of refugees. Spreading hope, love and positivity. Meaningful and much needed.

Piccadilly

This year Fortnum & Mason have turned their front windows into an advent calendar. Following a peruse do take a stroll through Burlington Arcade and onto New Bond St where you can see the likes of Cartier et al really pull out all the stops! [Photo credit: Fortnum & Mason]

Sloane Square

Spot Tiffany’s signature blue and silver Christmas trees. They’re sterling! For a blast of pink, Peggy Porschen’s display is as sweet as a slice of cake (or three).

Oxford Street


A tribute to our key workers. This one truly speaks for itself. Do also head town towards Selfridges, word has it they’ll be running Christmas on the Mews, a market where you can grab everything from refreshments, gifts and even your Christmas tree! Find out more here. [Photo credit: Oxford St W1]

 

Have you recently come across a Christmas display in London worth shouting about? Give us a nudge on our Instagram.

>>>>For more Christmassy fun head to our Stocking Fillers Guide>>>>

 

 

CHRISTMAS CRAFT

Some of the best Christmas Craft activities to welcome the festive season

 

City Kids HQ is divided. Between those that do, and those that don’t do craft. Fear not! We’ve put together some basic Christmas ideas from Instagram’s finest which will be fun, even for those who normally do craft through gritted teeth. And for the pros, we’ve got some extended project briefs for you!

 

Dried Orange Slices

This project offers up multiple purposes. Use them to craft delightfully natural looking Christmas decorations, to fill the house with a wonderful aroma or parents you’ll like this one… you can pop them into your Christmas drinkies. PLUS if you’re anything like us, you may have a couple of neglected citruses lying around in the fruit bowl, grab them quick before they get waste!

How to dry your own orange slices at home: 

  1. Cut 1cm from top to bottom of an orange or clementine
  2. Lay out a baking tray with greaseproof paper
  3. Set the oven to a really low temperature. We had our fan oven on at around 60 degrees for around 3 hours.
  4. While the tray heats up, use a muslin or tea towel to pat each slice dry, then place them evenly onto the baking tray.
  5. Keep an eye on them, rotating them every so often.
  6. The slower the better. Once the edges start to harden, your dried oranges are ready to cool.

Optional: Turn your orange slices into Christmas tree decorations by threading through the centre of the slices with ribbon/ string or thread. Also optional – add a blob of glue around the edges and dab them in a plate of glitter for extra shine! 

 

 

Threaded Wreath from @inspiremyplay

 

 

 

Easy Cardboard Decorations from @hobbycrafthq

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hobbycraft (@hobbycrafthq)

Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments from @bestideasforkids

 

 

 

Dried Orange Slices from our very own @Jennygram_

 

 

>>>>For more Christmassy fun head to our Stocking Fillers Guide>>>>

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STOCKING FILLERS GUIDE

Gone are the days of filling stockings with lots of plastic tat: we’re going quality over quantity this year

This is the part of Christmas where we probably end up spending more than on the ‘main’ present. Does that resonate? With that in mind we’ve hunted a selection of stocking fillers and smaller gifts for all ages.

 

My Little Star Christmas Stocking £35

libertylondon.com

 

Personalised Santa Sacks From £18

thaoss.com

 

Janod Sound Camera Toy £12.99

jojomamanbebe.co.uk

 

Derwent Pro Colour Pencils £17.50

johnlewis.com

 

Rainbow Magic Wand

 

sparklechild.com

 

Jakki Doodles X Noble Macmillan Playing Cards

noblemacmillan.com

 

Africa Puzzle £11.95

ourkidstrove.com

 

Stych Super Girl Badge Set £8

stychaccessories.com

 

Milledeux Snowflake Hair Clip €13

milledeux.com

 

Brussels Sprouts Jigsaw Puzzle £8

johnlewis.com

 

Wonderbly Personalised Book £21.99

wonderbly.com

 

Take Me Outdoors £8.95

agnesandaubrey.com

 

Brown Is Beautiful Colouring Book £5.99

pigmentperfect.co.uk

Bunny Rabbit Rabbit Toy £8

newbiestore.com

Gold Template Alphabet Ruler £7

marthabrook.com

Wicked Plants £9.99

nhmshop.co.uk

 

Letter Keyring Gift Tin £5.95

cottontwist.co.uk

 

Gingerbread Man Sensory Dough Mini Kit £10

organisedchaoswithkids.com

 

Kids Supercharged Socks £8

scampanddude.com

 

Little People Big Dreams Sticker Activity Book £5.99

babymori.com

 

 

paperchase.com

 

Personalised Blue Bunny Puzzle Toy £12.80

my1styears.com

HappySelf Junior Journal £19.90

happyselfjournal.com

Colour in Pillow Case £14.95

eatsleepdoodle.co.uk

 

Melissa & Doug Rainbow Scratch Cards £6.99

amazon.co.uk

 

Grow Your Own Cucamelons £9

notonthehighstreet.com

 

Play in Choc Festive Chocolate £2.95

playinchoc.com

Sunuva Neon Orange Chill Out Wash Bag £30

alexandalexa.com

 

Le Toy Van Little London Vehicles £9.95

rachelriley.co.uk

 

merimeri.co.uk

Collins Knitwear First Baby Booties £35

bluealmonds.co.uk

 

Kitoko Soft Elephant Toy £13.99

muffinsisters.com

Brain Training Puzzle Book £6

marksandspencer.com

 

 

Holiday Tree Cookie £7.95

peggyporschen.com

 

Glowing Jelly Light £4.99

amazon.co.uk

 

Corgi Paddington Black Taxi £18

ltmuseumshop.co.uk

 

Neopolitan Ice Cream Astronaut Food £5

sciencemuseum.org.uk

Bobo Choses Marvellous Iron-on Patch £11.20

alexandalexa.com

Jar Melo Finger Paint Set £13

jojomamanbebe.co.uk

 

Lee Baby Doll

thimbleanddoll.co.uk

Djeco Leopard Face Sticker £6

 

>>>>For our Green Christmas guide click here>>>>>

 

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EDUCATIONAL CHRISTMAS TOYS GUIDE

Our Educational Christmas Toys Guide gets top marks for fun and entertainment.

The selection of play driven educational toys and puzzles we’ve curated for our guide will keep them occupied as well as growing their brains!

 

 

PlayPress

Fire up their imaginations with this interactive playset with 44 pop-out pieces. If you’re not Gruffalo fans (pardon?!) you can choose from farmyard, house, astronaut and many more worlds. £14.99
playpresstoys.co.uk

 

My Busy Bots

 

This bundle focuses on literacy, looking at letter sounds, CVC words and then compound words. Lots of fun, hands-on activities to enjoy for children who are in (or going in to) reception upwards. £26.99
www.mybusybots.com

 

Edx Education

 

Learn to sort, stack, make patterns, identify colours and create pictures. Also includes an activity guide for learning ideas.£22.99.
amazon.co.uk

 

Wee Gallery Large Floor Puzzle

 

This 24 piece puzzle teaches about nature and encourages problem solving. £30.
kidly.co.uk

 

Galt Marble Glow Run

An old favourite toy but great for motor skills, organisation, planning and STEM basics. £19.99
johnlewis.com

Turing Tumble

 

Take inspiration from Turing himself to build mechanical computers powered by marbles to solve logic puzzles. Use ramps, crossovers, bits, interceptors, gears, and gear bits to build marble-powered computers that can generate patterns, do logic, count, add, subtract, multiply, divide, and much, much more.
turingtumble.com

Lego Make Your Own Movie

 


Christmas isn’t Christmas without some Lego, but this gets them thinking beyond the prescriptive instructions. £14.99
brightminds.co.uk

FAO Schwarz Discovery Construction Fort

 

With 72 pieces to connect, this should keep them occupied and test their STEM learning.£22
selfridges.com

Earth and Constellations Globe

 


Earth by day and space by night. In daylight, the 22.8 cm world map shows geographical features and by night the illuminated star map shows 88 different constellations. A light sensor automatically turns the globe to the illuminated night view when it gets dark.£39.99
brightminds.co.uk

 

Leapfrog Number Lovin Oven

Some toys just make you smile. Yes, it’s plastic, but we reckon it can be enjoyed by several families over a few years. There are 30+ songs and phrases for counting, sharing and vocabulary skills. Little ones can move the number slider to learn about time and temperature, cut food into 2, 3 or 4 equal pieces to build maths skills, and press the chef’s hat to count and sing along to lively songs. £22.
next.co.uk

Who Do I See in the Mirror?

This colour-illustrated book contains a strong message that it’s what is on the inside that counts. A wonderful finishing touch is that it ends with a certificate that each child can hang up on their wall.
phillyandfriends.com

 

 

Kids Can Cook

Once they’ve got the hang of pretend cooking, introduce them to the real thing with this book of wondrous nostalgia by Esther Coombes. £11.99.
blackwells.co.uk

>>>>>>For our Green Gift guide, head here >>>>>>

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SUBSCRIPTION BOXES FOR KIDS

11 of the best subscription boxes which make great gifts this Christmas

The joy of receiving a package in post is a real novelty for our digitally-minded kids. With subscription boxes relating to food, reading, STEM and art there’s something for everyone.

Little Box of Books

 

 

Representative, diverse and inclusive children’s books, Little Box of Books exists so more kids see themselves in stories and learn about the world. £19.99
littleboxofbooks.co.uk

Tech Will Save Us

 

Every hero starts somewhere. Squishing sculptures. Sewing circuits. Playing with power. Crafting and coding. Explore our creative tech kits. Future is now. £39.99
techwillsaveus.com

Toucan Box

 

Themed monthly adventures, delivered to your door, for ages 3-8. £8.95
toucanbox.com

Not just Nibbles

 

 

Healthy cooking kits for kids. Delivered through your door for hours of healthy cooking fun
notjustnibbles.com

Mud + Bloom

 

 

The boxes are for 3-8 year olds and will be delivered through your letter box at the beginning of each month. Each box includes everything you need for four seasonal activities: gardening and nature crafts – along with instructions, nature news and a quiz aimed at teaching children about the seasons, plants, insects, birds, soil and rainfall. £9.95
mudandbloom.com

Little Cooks Co

 

 

The 100% recyclable box (and compostable packaging) is filled with all the natural and healthy dry ingredients of that month’s delicious recipe for kids to bake in the home. Every box bought pays for a vulnerable school child in the UK to receive a healthy breakfast through its partnership with the charity Magic Breakfast. £8.99
www.littlecooksco.co.uk

Toy Box Club


Differing from other subscriptions, Toy Box Club is a monthly toy rental service. We provide a box of the best toys and books in the country straight to your door. At the end of each month we will simply pick up the old ones and deliver a different set. Less waste, more space. £35
toyboxclub.co.uk

Mysteries in Time

 

 

Each month, a time machine package is delivered to your door bursting with fun activities. Follow Max and Katie as they travel back in history to solve a mystery in the illustrated adventure story and learn fun facts in the colourful history magazine. Bring the history to life with the hands-on activity and have fun solving the puzzles. From £6.95 a month.
mysteriesintime.co.uk

Teen Calm

 

Teen Calm subscription box is like a virtual hug…Founded by 14 yr old Freya and her mum, Teen Calm aims to help anxious teens by sending them a box of goodies every month to soothe them and bring them confidence, a sense of belonging and something fun. £25.
teencalm.com

 

Parrot Street Book Club

 

A monthly book subscription helping families discover brilliant chapter books. Curated activity packs add to the fun. Perfect for kids aged 5-11. From £39.95
parrotstreet.com

Lots of Lovely Art

LoLA creates art projects for children inspired by real artists sent monthly. And we’ve just found this neat code…Use coupon code CHRISTMAS20 at checkout to receive 20% off ANY subscription! 
lotsoflovelyart.org

>>>>>>Interested in Christmas Board games to enjoy with the family. Click here!>>>>>>

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CHRISTMAS BOARD GAMES

The Best Christmas Board Games

Whether Monopoly makes its annual appearance or if you make a point of getting a new game each year, we round up the best Christmas board games, starting with an intro from board game designer, Ellie Dix.

 

 

Board games have the power to bring families closer together, strengthen relationships and forge shared memories. Good board games evoke all sorts of emotions; happiness, delight, tension, intrigue, awe, trust, anticipation, surprise. Our emotional reactions connect us to the game, the experience and the people we’re playing with. Carving out moments for doing things together, like playing board games, gives families a natural focus for conversation. Tabletop chatter spills over into post-game analysis. Great experiences act as bookmarks in our mind, giving us memories to chat about time and time again.

Socialising with family

Many interactions parents have with their children are functional or transactional. It is all too easy for parents to get caught up with what needs to be done (homework, tidying, chores) and forget about stealing moments to have fun together. It’s so important for children to see their parents play. Board games develop many social and learning skills. They give children an opportunity to learn how to take turns, practise patience, work as part of a team, negotiate with others, compromise, communicate ideas, take risks, follow rules and directions and manage restrictions. Playing games improves memory formation and cognitive skills, increases processing speed, develops logic and reasoning skills, improves critical thinking, boosts spatial reasoning, improves verbal and communication skills, increases attention and concentration, teaches problem-solving, develops confidence and improves decision-making.

Game playing has proven health and mental health benefits as it induces laughter and reduces stress, boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure. Importantly, board games give us a screen-free escape from our daily worries and allow us to focus on something
else for a while.

Cracker Games

Six games in a giant cracker. One cracker on the table, no waste. Replayable, zero-waste and entirely plastic-free. The games are designed for multi-generational play. Each game has a complexity rating, so you can pick a game that suits your level of post-Christmas lunch food coma level. The beautiful twist-end box is packed with high-quality cards and wooden components.
2-6 players | 5-15 minutes | ages 8+ | £19.99 + vat
thedarkimp.com

Pop to the Shops

Orchard Toys have a huge variety of games for little ones which are simple to understand and easy to play. There’s always an educational element too. £10.99
orchardtoys.com

 

Five Second Rule

One for all the family (there is also a junior version), Try to name three types of cat. Easy. Then do it with the added five-second time limit. £11.99
amazon.co.uk

Horrible Histories

 

Move from the Awful Ancients to the Measly Middle Ages, through the Terrible Tudors and the Vile Victorians to the modern times by answering “Horrible” multiple-choice questions, acting out charades and trying to avoid Rattus and his tricky “Chance” cards! £16
johnlewis.com

 

Games Compendium

Backgammon, chess, dominoes, cribbage and even snap. Start them young with this mahogany compendium. £99
jaqueslondon.co.uk

Looking for Christmas Jumpers? Head to our round-up of stylish knits here.

Pass the Pugs

The aim of the game Pass the Pug is to be the first to get to 100 points and become top dog. The positions the pugs land in, determine how many points you get, but become a greedy dog and you could find yourself back to zero. £13.99
365games.co.uk

Trivial Pursuit Family Edition

A chance for parents to show off or for kids to beat the know-it-alls. £30
Wilko.co.uk

Monopoly Deal

Can’t face a three-day game of Monopoly? Don’t blame you. Try this 15-minute version instead. £4.99
ryman.co.uk

Pictionary Air

The Pictionary Air app follows players’ movements as their draw in the air, allowing their team to see sketches on their device. Customise the game with the app – it can save sketches, interact with drawings and allow teams to add more guessing time or rounds. You can even cast your game to your TV. £16
marksandspencer.com

 

 

 

Ellie Dix is a game designer and author of The Board Game Family: Reclaim your children from the screen(Crown House Publishing: 2019). She runs The Dark Imp, a board game publisher specialising in games for families. TheDarkImp.com

 

>>>>>Find more Christmas gifting inspiration here>>>>>>

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NEW APPLE TV+ SERIES: BECOMING YOU

A New series on Apple TV+ shows how parenting and child development across different global cultures is more similar than we may imagine

 

 

Becoming You takes a cross-cultural view of child development between birth and five-years of age. Each of the six episodes focuses on one aspect of development such as movement, thinking, communication and emotion. The series looks into the lives of 100 children from 10 different countries from Nepal to Japan and Borneo. This cross-cultural perspective shines a light on our shared developmental journey. Along the way, we also get to see how childhood and parenting differs from place to place. Advisor to the series, Dr. Nathalia Gjersoe, who is a Developmental Psychologist at the University of Bath, has put together some tips where parents will all find common ground.

5 tips for raising young kids

A quick look at the wide range of cultural differences in parenting styles shows there is no one “right” way of parenting and no quick and easy hacks. Parenting is a complex and involved process that changes from day to day. Culture influences who cares for children, how they are cared for and which behaviours are encouraged and rewarded or discouraged and punished. As parents, we are often blind to the influence of our culture on our parenting decisions. What seems obviously right to us may seem wrong to others. Looking at different parenting practices across the world can help identify some of the assumptions we make about what good parenting “should” look like and shows that there are lots of different ways to get it right.

1. Parenting is trendy: The history of parenting manuals in the West shows that ideas of ‘good parenting’ flips from one generation to the next. For instance, it was previously believed that responding to a crying baby would reward the behaviour and lead to more crying. However, research showed that responding to a crying baby actually reduces the amount and intensity of subsequent crying.

Tip: Many parenting books these days are better embedded in research but it’s worth remembering that this also changes. Parenting manuals are great to get ideas but if it doesn’t resonate with you or what you understand of your child, try a different one.

 

2. Motor development: This refers to when children meet specific physical milestones such as sitting, running and climbing. Research shows that toddlers in a nomadic society in a jungle environment were rarely allowed to roam more than a meter from their caregiver and were delayed in meeting their motor milestones. However, once they were a little older and had greater freedom they quickly outstripped their North American counterparts in physical dexterity.

Tip: There is a huge amount of natural variation in the time at which babies and children meet specific developmental milestones. Giving young children safe space to explore can help speed up their physical development, but milestones are normally reached one way or another.

3. Social development: Researchers distinguish between those cultures that prioritise independence as compared to those that prioritise interdependence. Independence is a focus on autonomy and self-reliance, interdependence is a focus on collaboration and social harmony. Of course there is a great deal of variety within cultures but these two groups do reflect some measurable differences in parenting style. Parents in more independence-focused societies, such as the USA, engage in more competitive games. Those in inter-dependent cultures focus more on collaborative games. Children in interdependent cultures score higher on tests of empathy, on average, than those in independent cultures.

Tip: Consider the games you play with your child and whether they are encouraging the characteristics you would most like to develop

4. Thinking development: Across the world we see children engaging in extraordinary feats of imagination. What is considered normal in some cultures has historically been a cause for concern in others. One example is imaginary friends. While some cultures consider it normal to talk and engage with invisible entities, in the UK and USA this behaviour in children was considered a sign of mental disorder and social dysfunction until well into the 1960s. Subsequently, it has been shown that children who have imaginary friends, or treat their toys as living entities, do not differ psychologically and actually perform better on some social tasks than those who don’t. Rather than being a sign of social inability, imaginary friends are often a sign of a socially precocious child.

Tip: Consider your child’s unusual or inconvenient behaviour carefully. Is it their behaviour that is the problem or the expectations of the culture they are in? Helping your child thrive in the culture they are in is an important task of parenthood, but reflecting on why certain behaviours are acceptable and others aren’t can help us deal with the situation more sensitively.

 

5. Independence versus protection: In Becoming You we see a 3-year-old in Tokyo traversing the city to buy breakfast and a 3-year-old in Borneo cracking open a coconut with a machete. The Western parent in me would quake at sending even my 6-year-old to do similar yet in different cultures we see very different expectations about what children can achieve at a young age.

Tip: Autonomy has been shown to be very valuable for children’s self-esteem and later physical and mental development. Where possible, let young children observe and participate in the day to day activities in your house and their care settings. I’m not suggesting you just give your child a machete! But try to give them opportunities to help and feel they have contributed in a valuable way, and support them to practise complex skills.

>>>>>For more parenting features head here>>>>>

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SUSTAINABLE TOYS: TURTLE & BADGER

It’s a busy time of year for us magazine editors as we curate our Christmas guides. But there’s enough time to meet the founder of Turtle & Badger, champion of sustainable toys.

 

 

Lucy Cuthbert, 28, lives in London with her fiancé Tom. At the beginning of February, she left behind her job as an Events Director to pursue her passion in sustainable and eco-conscious toys. Having launched Turtle & Badger earlier this month, Lucy talks about the benefits of investing in sustainably made toys.

If you, like many, are beginning to take a look at how small changes in your lifestyle could help the environment, it might be time to look at the toybox. As more businesses are pledging to become carbon neutral, a number of design-led toys brands are emerging who are putting sustainability first. It’s all a step in the right direction, says Lucy Cuthbert, Director of Turtle & Badger, an online store championing sustainable and eco-friendly toy brands.

The idea

With four nieces to buy birthday and Christmas gifts for, Lucy was struggling to find somewhere that stocked eco-friendly toys. “Even when I found a sustainably made toy, they would arrive in wasteful packaging and wrapped in single-use plastic,” she explains. That’s where the idea for Turtle & Badger was born. “I wanted to build a site that people can visit and feel confident that every part of their gift is considered and sustainable. But I also wanted the toys to be beautiful and most importantly, good fun for the kids.”

Passionate about reforming our use of toys, Lucy is keen to spread the word about the advantage of investing in timeless toys that will last for generations. “Nearly 1 in 3 parents say they have thrown away toys that are in perfect working order, and so many of these – especially the plastic ones – will end up in landfill. Wooden and organic toys are an investment that are more likely to be kept as keepsakes or be passed down to younger siblings or friends.”

The materials bring benefits too. “The natural textures of wooden and organic toys are much nicer for kids to touch and feel. They don’t contain the chemicals or sharp edges that

some plastic toys do. And the simple designs encourage kids to use their imagination, helping them build problem solving and fine motor skills.”

Making it happen

“I was at a point in my life where I was becoming very aware of my own impact on the environment,” says Lucy. “Working in events, I was travelling all over the world and saw first-hand, the amount of waste this industry produces and wanted to move away from that lifestyle.” The nationwide lockdown earlier this year posed a challenge for Lucy who was hoping to conduct a little more market research in person before launching. “Lockdown did mean I could dedicate myself to launching the business without distractions, though,” she says.

“It’s been lovely getting positive feedback from customers who are enjoying the toys – especially when they send pictures of their kids playing with them.” So what’s next for Turtle & Badger? “I’d love to begin developing some of my own toys.” But for now – with her spare-room-turned-stockroom and the kitchen table a (sustainable) wrapping station – Lucy is busy packing up orders ahead of the Christmas rush.

Enjoy 10% off eco-friendly children’s toys and gifts at Turtle & Badger using the discount code CITYKIDS.

 

Still looking for an advent calendar? Find over 20 here.

 

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CHRISTMAS JUMPERS GUIDE 2020

Our guide to 12 of the most stylish Christmas jumpers you’ll find this year

Wearing for charity, piling on the cheese or looking for stylish winter wear, our Christmas Jumpers Guide brings you some stylish knits. As with much of City Kids, we’ve tried to seek out some of the coolest togs to see you through the festive season.

 

Boden

From £38
boden.co.uk

 

M&S

£18
marksandspencer.com

 

Il Gufo

£143
ilgufo.com

 

The White Company

 

£32
thewhitecompany.com

 

Marloweville

 

Regular price £20.00
marloweville.com

 

READ MORE: GREEN CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

 

Batch1


£26
batch1.com

 

Stella McCartney

£62
alexandalexa.com

 

Joules


£27.95
joules.com

 

Monsoon

£28.00

JoJo Maman Bebe

White Stuff

£30

H&M

£8.99
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THE GREEN CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

Looking for a more sustainable Christmas?

We’ve edited a gift guide from brands with sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly credentials for a green Christmas gift guide of dreams. Say goodbye to single-use tatt.

 

Green Toys

Almost 71,000,000 milk jugs have been recycled to make Green Toys so far. Which means we can still enjoy some plastic toys in the house without the guilt.
greentoys.co.uk

Pebble Octopus Crochet Rattle

 

 

Fair Trade and made with 100% organic cotton, we defy anyone who doesn’t smile with an octopus in their life. £10.
kidly.co.uk

 

Cotton Twist

Cotton Twist has been a company on a mission to be 100% green with its craft and activity boxes. It’s nearly there. Quality, ethically sourced and almost zero plastic anywhere in the production. We love these brilliant water soluble pencils. £11.95
cottontwist.co.uk

The Den Kit Company

 

This collaboration with the National Trust supplies you with a hide, camouflage netting and waterproof tarpaulin to spot animal trails, learn bird calls and watch how the seasons alter the outdoor world around you. £60
thedenkitco.com

Crayon Box

 

Handmade at Bex’s kitchen table in North Yorkshire, there is a great variety of creative crayons to choose from. £12.
notonthehighstreet.com

Weaving Hope

A colourful set of 11 farm friends, along with a pen, zipped up in a fold-out field with pond. Made from beautiful handmade, eco-friendly, fair trade cotton.
goodthingsgifts.co.uk

 

Little Feminist Book Set by Mudpuppy

The Little Feminist Board Book set of Artists, Pioneers, Leaders and Activists features colourful illustrated portraits of real women who have made a historical impact on the world. The board contains 90% recycled materials and it is printed with non-toxic inks. £12.99
ethicalsuperstore.com

Oli & Carol Brucy the Broccoli Teether & Bath Toy

 

We love Oli & Carol’s ecological toys made from natural rubber. And we love the names they give them!
£14
kidly.co.uk

Someday Bambi Chair

 

Designed by Japanese artist Takeshi Sawada, the Bambi chair is handcrafted in Denmark and produced from fine solid European Oak and American Walnut  An iconic piece to pass through the generations! £230
somedaydesigns.co.uk

Kids Concept Guitar

 

 

Got to be easier than drums, right? And it looks good! £28
kidly.co.uk

 

Tender Leaf Toys 10 Sea Creature Animals & Shelf

This collection of gorgeous sea creature animals made from sustainable rubberwood comes with a wooden shelf perfect for tidying away fast! £49.95
turtleandbadger.co.uk

Enjoy 10% off eco-friendly children’s toys and gifts at Turtle & Badger using the discount code CITYKIDS.

 

>>>>>>Check out our feature with Lucy Cuthbert from Turtle & Badger here >>>>>>

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VEGAN CINNAMON ROLLS RECIPE

Whether you’ve already embraced Veganism, or you’re flirting with the idea, this Vegan cinnamon rolls recipe may help you make your decision this World Vegan month.

 

Made with just seven ingredients, this tasty vegan recipe is the ideal bake for impressing your family whilst embracing the second lockdown. With only 20 minutes of proving time and 5 pieces of common kitchen equipment needed, you’ll be enjoying your very own cinnamon rolls with the rest of the nation, in no time at all!

 

 

Vegan Cinnamon Tear & Share Loaf  

Serves 6

Ingredients

  1. 200ml water
  2. 60g vegan spread (I used Vitalite) + extra for greasing
  3. 1 tsp dried yeast
  4. 300g strong white bread flour
  5. 90g light brown sugar
  6. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 200g icing sugar

Baker’s Equipment

  1. Measuring jug
  2. Dessert spoon
  3. Large mixing bowl
  4. Rolling pin
  5. Loaf tin

Method

  1. Put 30g of the vegan spread in the jug and melt in the microwave. Top up with 165ml of warm water from the tap and stir in the yeast with the spoon.
  2. Combine the flour and 30g of light brown sugar in the large mixing bowl and pour in the yeast/water/butter mixture. Bring together to form a dough with your hands.
  3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, return to the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, preheat the oven to 185°C (fan) and grease the loaf tin with vegan spread.
  4. After the dough has proved for 20 minutes, tip it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a 30cm x 30cm square. Spread the remaining 30g of vegan spread evenly over the dough with the back of the spoon, then sprinkle with the cinnamon and remaining 60g light brown sugar. Roll the dough into a sausage shape.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces (5cm each) and place into the greased loaf tin, spirals facing up. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the tin in the oven after 10 minutes.
  6. Rinse the jug, measure 35ml cold tap water and mix in the icing sugar to make a glaze. Once the loaf has finished baking, allow it to cool slightly before removing from the tin and drizzling with the glaze. Tear apart and enjoy!

Recipe from the FAB Flour Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by nabim. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the FAB Flour website: https://fabflour.co.uk/easy-peasy-bakes/ or on social: @fab_flour on Instagram or @fabflour on Facebook and Twitter.

Find more fabulous recipes over on our Food page including Chicken Tinga Tacos from Jo Pratt, and Caribbean Curry from Joe Wicks.

HOW TO DISCUSS DIVERSITY WITH KIDS

Toys and books to use to discuss diversity with kids

Vese, the brains behind Philly & Friends took over our instagram to discuss her challenges with finding toys and books that represented her daughter and how it inspired her to build her own brand. She recommends four fab toys and books to use to discuss diversity with kids at home.

Super Sapiens – 3 in 1 card game

Vese, the brains behind Philly & Friends took over our instagram to discuss her challenges with finding toys and books that represented her daughter and how it inspired her to build her own brand. Here's four fab toys and books to use to discuss diversity with kids at home.

The Super Sapiens 3 in one is the perfect pocket-sized empowerment game. It can be played 3 ways: Snap, Memory, and Super Guess? It’s a fun way to encourage conversations on real-world issues.

Etsy.com

Rosa and Bo – Nesting Babies 

Vese, the brains behind Philly & Friends took over our instagram to discuss her challenges with finding toys and books that represented her daughter and how it inspired her to build her own brand. Here's four fab toys and books to use to discuss diversity with kids at home.

These Rosa & Bo Nesting Babies offer interactive play but also make a gorgeous decorative piece in any nursery. Babies and toddlers will be drawn to the bright colours as well as the friendly and diverse faces.

Rosaandbo.com

Eeboo – I Never Forget a Face Board Game

Vese, the brains behind Philly & Friends took over our instagram to discuss her challenges with finding toys and books that represented her daughter and how it inspired her to build her own brand. Here's four fab toys and books to use to discuss diversity with kids at home.This memory game is a smart way to teach kids about diversity, culture and traditions from around the globe. We also rather love that it’s made from 90% recycled cardboard!

johnlewis.com

Philly and Friends – Who do I see in the mirror?

Vese, the brains behind Philly & Friends took over our instagram to discuss her challenges with finding toys and books that represented her daughter and how it inspired her to build her own brand. Here's four fab toys and books to use to discuss diversity with kids at home.

Vese’s book ‘Who Do I See in the Mirror?’ is a simple yet powerful book about Philly, who goes through a journey of discovering what makes her truly special. This gorgeous, colour-illustrated book concludes with a strong message that it’s what is on the inside that counts. As well as this empowering message, the book ends with a lovely finishing touch – a certificate that each child can hang up on their wall.

Phillyandfriends.com

We’re big on amplifying voices as well as educating our kids about the struggles of the past and how much further we need to go. See our Anti-Racist Books edit here.

Watch Vese’s takeover over on our IGTV here.  Follow us on Instagram.