There are still tix available for the two sessions of this family rave. There’s enough fun for parents and kids DJs, disco ball games, live stage performances, confetti, neon craft, chill room and UV tattoo station.
See the Apocalypseburg film set from The LEGO® MOVIE™ 2!Meet Emmet, Wyldstyle & Sweet Mayhem, explore MINILAND to help Emmet find his friendsand help build our mystery The LEGO® MOVIE™ LEGO mosaic build.
How great is it when you can buy kids clothes that look amazing but don’t cost the earth? We always love H&M children’s wear but we’re particularly impressed by their latest collaboration with Paris-based artist Nathalie Lété.
The capsule collection features several of Lété’s colourful and poetic artworks as prints on a wide range of children’s clothing and accessories and is now available in selected stores worldwide, as well as online at www.hm.com.
The H&M collaboration is a childrenswear collection for babies and kids, with a wide range of vibrant t-shirts, jackets, jeans, dresses, jumpsuits, shorts and swimsuits. The colourful animal and oral prints created by Nathalie Lété are key.
All her designs start with paintings in acrylics by hand, which are then artfully arranged together to create an imaginative and fun story.
For this H&M collaboration, Lété brought to life a tropical jungle with chameleons and tigers, along with her iconic representation of owers with cats, birds and rabbits. So pretty and perfect for summer.
Head into store or get online soon as we predict it this gorgeous collection will sell out quickly!
City Kids speaks to Christine Armstrong, author of The Mother of All Jobs, to get her take on whether the workplace is changing for the better.
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BalanceForBetter, celebrating the work of women, while calling for a more gender-balanced world. The gender pay gap is now a common talking point as stories reveal how men and women have been treated differently over the years.
Only recently, Google’s former UK head revealed she once had to hire a male executive on double her salary. The right to ask for flexible working, which is, incidentally, relevant to men and women, came into force almost two decades ago, but only a small proportion of the UK workforce actually takes the plunge. And still, women are made redundant while on maternity leave, or they return to work to find to find their role isn’t the same as it was.
How did we get to this stage, where many women feel overwhelmed while striving to have it all?
We took the 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. male breadwinner model – think The Tiger Who Came to Tea – that assumed Mummy was at home to care for Sophie and zoo visitors, and do the shopping, washing and cleaning. And then we added lots of things. We added costs, as house prices quadrupled in twenty years, to all the adults, who normally work to pay the bills. We also added ‘always on’ as a lot of people are connected to work from when they wake until when they sleep. Then we added more out-of-home time as we moved a bit further away from our families and lengthened our commutes. We left in the fact that women are still more responsible for childcare, generally, and the house, than men. The structures that care for our kids was left unchanged. Nursery care is extortionate, and schools still finish mid-afternoon, with kids getting three months of holiday a year.
Piss, I’ve just depressed myself.
What’s your message to the Sheryl Sandberg’s [Facebook COO & founder of Leanin.org] of the world?
It is great to be positive and encouraging, and to support other women. It is well-intentioned and designed to ensure more women get to the top so we can change things. But the unintended consequence is that families all over the world are feeling like failures. They tried leaning in, getting the best childcare they could afford and being better organised, but they still can’t make it work. I worry that, if we only hear from women at the very top of their professions, in terms of seniority and income, we miss out on hearing from millions of other families who can’t afford professional support (nannies, cleaners, housekeepers), can’t take control their own time and are finding it unbelievably tough going.
I want to say to those women and their partners: it’s not you and your family that can’t do this. The system wasn’t designed to work this way and if we keep saying everything is peachy, then we’ll never get around to changing it.
What is the biggest barrier to improving the work environment for women and parents?
There isn’t one barrier: you have to look at childcare hours, availability and costs, the lack of flexible options in most work, the mismatch between work and school days and our cultural expectations around what demonstrates ‘commitment’ at work. Too often that is judged on the total number of hours worked. And in a world which is always on, you’ll burn out if you work every hour of the day and try to care for a family. If I had to focus on just one area, I would look at the total number of hours people work. Not their contractual hours – which often look perfectly reasonable on paper – but the actual numbers of hours they are connected to work – and figure out how to manage that.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to talk to their boss about flexible working?
I cite Karen Mattison of Timewise here: describe the benefits that you bring before the hours that you work. For example, I will deliver X and Y and Z on time and on budget. I will be in the office for three days a week and work from home, being fully contactable, on Monday and Friday.
What more can be done to bridge the gender pay gap?
We need to change the way we work for both men and women so that everyone can work in a focused and highly productive way, but also turn off and do other things when they are not working. Too often we celebrate people who are seen to work many, many hours, even if many of those hours are not productive and their tired, stressful reactions to things may not deliver the best answers.
One thing I want to see more work on is how we use technology. Too often people say they cannot switch off their electronic devices because they may ‘block’ progress on a sale or a project. We need to use technology better so that things can move forward within a team without everyone always having to be engaged all the damned time.
Friends just moved to work in Denmark and are astonished to find everyone starts at 8 a.m. and leaves work at 3 or 4 p.m. to collect kids and have dinner with them. Yet the OECD says that Nordic countries are 10-20% better off in terms of GDP becausethey enable more mums to work. We see letting people leave work early as an indulgence when the irony is that we could work fewer hours and actually do better as a country, and within our own businesses and households.
Why aren’t men judged in the same way as women?
Many people are struggling to come to terms with the fact that the male breadwinner model many of us grew up with – when, if mums did work, they tended to work in lower paid/more local roles – doesn’t really work anymore if you want to live in the kind of place your parents could live in on one income. We don’t have the social support to enable parents to both work and care for their kids: for example, early years care is extortionate in this country and pushes many women out of work, then making them ineligible for the 30 free hours during term time when they could get it.
Our current leaders in business and politics have tended to live and thrive in the old model and don’t fully appreciate the pressures of the way we work now. Even women I interview in their 50s and 60s who have had good careers say that they had the advantage of being able to leave the office at 5 p.m. and then not be interrupted at home. They report how much more difficult it got after email, computer/laptops at home and BlackBerries came in.
I always say though that, having interviewed a lot of men, they are not the winners in this either. Many younger men know the way their dads worked won’t work for them and want to be more involved at home but find their work places unsupportive of them. Older men often resent having to be ‘the breadwinner’. If both genders are to work, both must also be able to care.
Do you think you’ve found the balance of work and parenting?
This stuff is like dieting. One day you eat cod and salad and feel like you’re on it and the next you accidentally wolf down a cheeseburger and chips, followed by a box of Lindt truffles. The truth is that we have three young kids and run two businesses… When my parents took our kids before Christmas for a week it was mind-blowing. We couldn’t believe how much time and energy we had.
Every day, our children rightly demand our time and attention, and giving it to them is always a compromise between their needs and everything else we want and need to do. That said, I feel very lucky to spend so much time around home and the girls’ school. I do drop-offs and pick-ups most days, I am fully embedded in the week’s schedule of clubs, playdates and homework – and that is very different to when I held a full-time corporate role. Aside a student babysitter who helps cover pick-ups and swimming classes once or twice a week, my husband and I share the childcare between us.
Do you think anything significant will change for women in the work place in the next 10 years?
If – big if – we keep talking loudly about the challenges of the current system (for men and women) and the research that shows we can be more productive in less time, then I am optimistic we can move to fewer working hours, but more productive ways of working. If we spout the same old rubbish about just working harder and women ‘choosing to have babies’ as part of their ‘lifestyle’, nothing will change.
Play & Go is a Belgian-based company offering clever, colourful and inspiring products for your kids and home. We think their Storage Bags are a great idea.
Made from 100% cotton these hard-wearing bags allow you to literally scoop up toys and neatly tidy them away. Plus, they also double up as a playmat and come in a range of lovely prints and designs. The perfect addition to any little one’s bedroom or playroom. Find them at Kidly.co.uk
BabyBjörn has just launched a new collection specially developed for those very first days with a newborn baby. The Soft Selection features a new super-soft fabric specially created by BabyBjörn called 3D Jersey that gently hugs the newborn baby whilst at the same time providing the proper support.
For years the Swedish brand has been a firm favourite with parents who rave about their practical, stylish designs. These new additions have been created from the feedback from their customers who like the concept of really soft, snuggly fabric.
Consisting of the Baby Carrier Mini (from £79.99) and Bouncer Bliss (from £145), the Soft Selection comes in muted, warm colours and cuddly jersey and a soft, lightweight breathable mesh.
Perfect for those precious early months when little ones are really tiny.
For nine years Mint Velvet has been a go-to brand for great casual separates. Now it has turned its hand to childrens wear creating their first collection for girls aged three to ten, ‘Minty’.
Think pink jumpsuits, star print sweatshirts, denim and some super-cool prints. Underpinned with that same easy aesthetic as its main women’s wear collection, the fabrics are easy to care for and the pieces coordinate perfectly.
We love this super-stylish collection so much that we kind of wish some of it came in grow-up sizes too!
Aspace has been creating inspirational children’s rooms for over 20 years. Their furniture range is great – bright and fun but also practical and sturdy. We love the clever storage solutions they offer with cupboards and shelving built into beds. They have a few ranges to choose from so whether you want the modern Scandi style or prefer a more traditional look, there is something to suit everyone. The new catalogue is out now and if you sign up to their online newsletter Aspace are offering £20 off any orders over £150.
If you’re thinking of kitting out your kids’ bedroom, then definitely check out the website.
It’s Shrove Tuesday – the day when it’s officially acceptable to eat pancakes for at least one meal! So if you’re looking for some super healthy, but totally delicious pancake recipes to make with your little ones then here are three from our favourite foodie gurus.
LEMON CARDAMOM PANCAKES WITH A ZESTY HONEY DRIZZLE
2 tablespoons chia seeds, 4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (100g)
1/2 cup brown rice milk (or any other plant-based milk) (150ml)
5 cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon coconut oil (for frying)
FOR THE DRIZZLE:
1 teaspoon coconut oil
3 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup
zest of 1/2 lemon
Combine 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 4 tablespoons of water and leave to sit in the fridge for about of 30 minutes.
Firmly press down on each cardamom pod with the flat side of a sturdy knife. Open the pod and pick out the seeds, discarding the outer shell. Either carefully roughly chop the seeds with a knife or grind them using a mortar and pestle.
Zest an entire lemon and set aside half for the drizzle.
Mash the banana in a bowl and then add all the pancake ingredients to your blender. Blitz well until everything is combined. The consistency should be nice and thick!
Heat the coconut oil over a medium heat in a non-stick pan. Once the oil has melted, use about a ¼ cup of the mix and pour into the pan. Heat until bubbles form about three quarters of the way cooked through and then flip to cook for another minute or two. Repeat with the rest of the mixture adding more coconut oil when the pan dries out. The mix should make 5-6 small pancakes.
Then simply combine all of the ingredients for the drizzle together and stir well.
Stack your pancakes and pour the zesty honey drizzle on top!
In a large bowl mix the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt and coconut sugar. Add the eggs, oil and milk and mix well.
Heat a frying pan to a medium-high temperature and melt the coconut oil. Fry off a few tbsp. of the pancake mix, cook for a minute or two on one side until the pancakes start to bubble then flip over and cook on the other side.
Serve with fresh fruit, maple syrup and nuts.
If you are vegan you can swap the eggs for chia eggs.
160g of rice flour or buckwheat flour
75g of ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon coconut sugar
3 tbsp of melted coconut oil plus extra for cooking
1 cup milk (almond, rice, coconut…whatever you want)
to serve – maple syrup, fresh fruit and almond flakes.
Melt the coconut oil or butter, on a low heat, in a PTFE-free non-stick pan (we use Greenpan or Colourworks ceramic frying pan) and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Sift in the coconut flour and bicarbonate of soda and blend with the melted coconut oil to make a batter.
Add water a tablespoon at a time to get the right consistency.
Use a spatula to redistribute any leftover coconut oil in the frying pan and on a medium heat add 2 tablespoons of the batter. Push 5 blueberries into the centre of the pancake and the blueberries will spread slowly as it cooks.
After a couple of minutes check if you can loosen the pancake easily and carefully turn it over – it may need a little longer.
After another minute or so the pancake is cooked and ready to serve.
For the cashew mango cream, add the mango and the water it has been soaking in to a blender with the rinsed and drained cashews then blend until smooth. Add more water if desired.
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil or butter, melted
2-4 tablespoons of warm water
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
1.5 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tiny sprinkle of salt
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon or more of vanilla extract
Cashew mango cream
1/2 cup of whole cashews (soaked for 6-7 hours in filtered warm water with sea salt, rinsed and drained)
Every issue we highlight brands and products from businesses that WE LOVE. Our Spring issue is no exception. And as it’s our birthday, this time you can win them all! Scroll down to find out how.
Dandy Dill Way
Dandydill Way founder, Tania Rodney, has done it again! Her new Cleansing Mousse is soap-free, mild, yet effective at cleaning grubby faces. Check out the new Face Moisturiser too, containing hyaluronic acid and leaving no greasy residue. It may be for the kids, but we’ll bet some parents will be swiping these goodies!
From £22.50 www.dandydillway.com
History Heroes’ LONDON quiz card game is packed with facts and illustrations outlining forty of the greatest characters in the capital’s history. Win the game by collecting the most cards.
Busy Not Board
The price tag is hefty, but the different play options are huge. Devised by a father for his son, these boards encourage open play with a range of toys that fit into the wall board. Designed to last from baby to pre-schoolers.
From £129 www.mymuro.com
Hibou Home have released a new bed linen collection for kids which is made from 100% organic cotton as well as being OEKO Tex certified – that’s safe for children’s skin and kind to the planet too. These Flora bed sets are available in Junior and Adult sizes.
From £55 www.hibouhome.com
Already a Gift of the Year nominee, The Book of Youis a stylish memory book for children and their grown-ups. Record moments over the year via a series of fun questions to build a lasting memento for years to come.
Top of the Plops!
(Couldn’t resist!) Who Did This Poois a hilarious way for children to learn about different animals. Did you know that Wombats poo in cubes or that there’s an animal which has sparkly poo? Enough said.
There are some fantastic books being released this Spring. Here’s six of the best books for kids of all ages. And we’re giving all of them away to celebrate our 5th birthday issue!
THE WALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK
by John Agee (Scallywag Press) £12.99
This is the story of a little knight who is very happy that his wall protects him from the dangers that are sure to lurk on the other side. However, he is too busy mending a hole in his wall to notice the mounting dangers on his own side.
This is funny and has plenty to keep readers occupied when they read the book over and again. And I wonder how many books for children are endorsed by Amnesty International?
ALL THE WAYS TO BE SMART
by Davina Bell illustrated by Allison Colpoys (Scribe) £11.99
A picture book for children who worry about tests or school performance. “Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes, Printing patterns, wheeling wagons, being mermaids, riding dragons”. This is the third book from Bell and Colpoys, celebrating what makes children who they are.
THE LEGEND OF KEVIN: A ROLY-POLY FLYING PONY ADVENTURE
by Philip Reeve illustrated by Sarah McIntyre (OUP) £6.99
Plenty of humorous illustrations and a story that had our not-so-keen reader engrossed until he’d finished. Characters Kevin, a rotund pony, and Max, share a love of biscuits and embark on an adventure to save Max’s home town, soon to be submerged by water. Funny and high-spirited.
THE MEGA MAGIC HAIR SWAP
by Rochelle Humes illustrated by Rachel Suzanne (Studio Press) £6.99
The first book from The Saturdays star Rochelle Humes celebrates differences and how to love yourself just the way you are. Inspired by her daughter who asked why all princesses had straight hair, Rochelle has written a story about two friends (one with curly hair, and the other with straight) who think the other has perfect hair.
FERDINAND MAGELLAN: LITTLE GUIDES TO GREAT LIVES
by Isabel Thomas illustrated by Dàlia Adillon (Laurence King) £8.99 (April 2019)
Ferdinand Magellan led the first expedition to sail all the way around the world, encountering lands and creatures that he could never have imagined. This, and Anne Frank, are the latest in the Little Guides to Great Lives series, accessible guides introducing children to inspirational figures from history.
THE CLOSEST THING TO FLYING
by Gill Lewis (OUP) £6.99
Award-winning author, Gill Lewis, tells the story of two young women, one in the present day and one from the nineteenth century. Semira is an Eritrean refugee, and Hen is a repressed Victorian girl, but they both find courage to fight for what they believe in. The Closest Thing to Flying covers discrimination, friendship and empowerment set against a backdrop of women’s rights.
To win all of these books, simply use our clever widget below:
City Kids editor Morag Turner on London’s latest club for families and why these places are great for both kids and parents.
For over a decade private members clubs for families have been popping up all over London. The concept being that you can relax in a home-from-home environment with your little ones, enjoying classes, events and a sense of community with like-minded parents. Think Soho House for the under-fives and with a soft play area.
These are truly nice places to be. Yes, there will be plenty of toddlers running around screaming (this is not the world you inhabited pre-kids after all) but the décor will be stylish and you can have a decent coffee while your children have a ball.
Something I realised a long time ago is that it’s perfectly acceptable for mums to want to have just as nice a time as their kids. Yet all too often it seems to keep our little ones entertained we have to compromise – sitting in cold church halls, shaking a tambourine and getting a custard cream at the end of it. Not exactly what we’d imagined hanging out with our little darlings would be like.
This is where the world of private members clubs for families comes in, offering a nice balance between kiddie fun and happy mums. Something increasing numbers of parents are very happy to pay for.
So when I got an email asking me if I’d like to visit London’s newest one, I couldn’t wait to take a look. Cloud Twelve is located just off Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. It differs from the similar clubs as, while it has fantastic facilities for little members, there is also a real focus on their parents too with a spa, salon, wellness centre and adults only restaurant.
Our visit to Cloud Twelve
It was a cold, wet February day when my four-year-old son and I visited, but as we walked through the door it felt like we stepped into summer. The amazing Family Zone on the ground floor is home to a beautifully designed and well laid out play area with a nature theme. A tree house to climb in with a slide down to a pirate ship ball pool and a giant ladybird to crawl inside for a sensory light experience. The stuff of pre-school dreams.
Off the main play area are smaller rooms filled with immaculate toys and books that are used for classes and a creche, as well as a craft room that most A-level arts students would be enthralled by. My little Picasso couldn’t wait to start painting and sticking.
We had lunch at the café in the Family Zone which offers varied and delicious vegan menu. I’m not vegan but try to cut out meat two or three days a week – if I was coming here regularly I’d mange it with ease. Fresh, healthy dishes that were also genuinely tasty. My little boy wolfed down his vegan mac and cheese.
Next it was time for me to pop upstairs for a treatment in the spa. I felt perfectly happy leaving my son with two of the ‘play buddies’ – fully qualified child carers who not only look after, but also seem to really engage the children. Of course he didn’t even notice I was gone, such was the excitement of hanging out with his new grown up buddy and such the selection of toys available.
The amazing spa
Even though Cloud Twelve inhabits an old building there is absolutely no sign of that whatsoever from within. The spa resembles one you would expect to find in a five-star resort in the Maldives albeit without the outside space. The treatment rooms are huge and luxuriously fitted out, complete with Dolomites quartz beds ‘to help promote a deeper state of relaxation’. The thermal area with its sauna, steam and salt room is positively dreamy.
They offer an extensive range of treatments and I opted for a full body massage, which was every bit as wonderful as the setting. Afterwards popped into the upstairs brassiere (which is adults only) for a cup of herbal tea. Next to this area is the salon for blow dries, manicures and pedicures.
What’s great about this entire adults’ area is that it’s open to anyone. While the Family Zone is members only, anyone can use the spa and salon. It struck me that this would the perfect place to pop into before a night out in central London – arrive harassed mum, leave feeling (and looking) a million dollars.
There is also a wellness clinic offering holistic treatments and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, osteopathy and colonic hydrotherapy. It too is open to the public. I didn’t sample any of these, but they club manager told me they have some London’s best practitioners available to book.
Cloud Twelve is a lovely family-friendly oasis in the heart of the Notting Hill. The price tag is steep with memberships starting from £2000 per year, but that’s no more than many other adults-only private members clubs all over the city.
We both loved our day there. Needless to say, my son didn’t want to leave (neither did I to be honest) and I would definitely pop back in again to use the spa.
Why Family Clubs are so good
My visit reminded me of the days when I was a member at Cupcake in Putney, a mum and baby club that I joined when my first son was a little baby nearly 11 years ago.
It offered a selection of baby classes (yoga, music, massage etc) along with fitness classes for mums and a creche where you could leave your little one while you worked off the baby weight. There was also a café to chill out in. An interior designer had clearly been involved, there were comfy chairs and great food on offer – like the places I chose to spend time in before I had a baby but with a family-friendly twist.
It was a great club though things have definitely moved on – I seem to remember us eating a lot of brownies that were definitely not vegan but that was well before the ‘clean eating’ revolution.
I made wonderful mum mates who became, and still are to this day, some of my closest friends. A decade and several kids later, and we still meet up regularly and holiday together.
With time we grew out of Cupcake as these places are great for a period in your life when you have very young children, but less so when they go to school and/or you return to work.
But I look back so fondly on the time I spent there, enjoying time with my baby and making friends. Never once did I feel bored or isolated as so many new mums do in the early days because I always had somewhere to pop into, even if it was just me and my son. A godsend when you are adjusting to life with a new baby.
More family clubs in London worth knowing about
The Putney club closed but another branch remains in Cupcake Parsons Green. Lots of mums sign up when still pregnant to enjoy the antenatal fitness classes. A full membership now costs from £139 per month with a one-off joining fee of £99 but they do offer different packages. I’ve never been to this branch, but if it’s anything like the original I’m sure it’s wonderful.
Others private members clubs for families have since opened all over London. As well as Cloud Twelve, there is Maggie and Rose who have branches in Kensington, Chiswick. You’ll find an amazing soft play area, fun kid’s classes and camps, as well as a great café.
Dreamt up by Maggie Bolger and Rose Astor, the idea was to provide a beautiful creative space for children in surroundings that appealed to grown-ups too. The principle clearly works as both London clubs have waiting lists and they are set to open a third in Islington this year. They have even ventured abroad with a club in Hong Kong and one opening in Singapore.
Purple Dragon who have two London clubs in Chelsea and Putney, cater for kids from six months old through to the tween years and are rumoured to have a number of celebrity offspring regulars. Young members have the options of beach club (indoor pool), massive soft play centre, music booth, kitchen (with cooking activities), music room, and art lab. And of course, there is a restaurant for the grow ups to chill out in while their kids are entertained. But these amazing activities and plush surroundings come a at a price. Membership fees are from £450 for 10 visits.
My days of mum and baby clubs are coming to an end now with all of my boys in school full time come September, but I really do think the concept is a good one. Yes, there are fees to pay but by becoming a member of one of these places you open up a world of fun activities to do with your little one all under one (very nicely decorated) roof. Whether you’d pop in every day or just use it on the weekends, these clubs provide a home-from-home environment where mums can connect with other like-minded women and form friendships, which I believe is an essential part of enjoying new motherhood. Joining Cupcake all those years ago was the best thing I have ever signed up to. For the fun, the friends and the wonderful memories of lovely times with my first little one that positively shaped my experience and view of motherhood.
We asked a parent and a child for their review of The Kid Who Would Be King
First, the adult view
Yes, another retelling of the well known Arthurian legend but with a twist. This time we see the legend transported to a school boy in contemporary UK. A UK shorn of the Hogwarts style nostalgia in an admirable attempt to be more representative of the reality of school in the UK. There are number of interesting subversions of the traditional tale and you can see Joe Cornish has made a genuine attempt to make this ancient legend a relevant and empowering story for today’s kids. Although, I would hazard that these attempts may have been reined in by the money people. I love Patrick Stewart but I never saw the point of his sporadic appearances. The young Merlin was excellently portrayed by Angus Imrie.
The film has a lot of heart, has some funny moments and the kids are likeable and relatable. However, it doesn’t quite achieve the level of adventure and excitement that could have made this a worthy contender to take the baton from Harry Potter and run with it. The CGI is extremely well done and Rebecca Ferguson is excellent if rather under-utilised as the big bad, Morgana. There is a surprising lack of variety in Morgana’s evil undead warriors who pursue the heroes throughout the adventure and the film doesn’t build satisfyingly to a crescendo.
On the whole, a decent family movie that just fails to get firing on all cylinders.
Now a view from the target audience!
It was a good movie. I liked the storyline. The graphics and CGI were very good. The best character was probably the main character, Alex. I thought the idea of a modern-day King Arthur story would not be that great, but it turns out I was completely and utterly wrong! I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but the bad guard guys looked pretty cool. My favourite part of the movie is when they are (spoiler alert incoming) preparing all the barricades and (another spoiler alert incoming) training all the other school girls and boys.
I would rate it 4/5 stars.
Report written by Lucas Evans.
Head to foxmovies.com to see the trailer, which is actually really good.
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Nira Park, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, with Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart
NEW! Every week we’re going to bring you a round-up of some of the super cool things we’ve come across for little ones. From toys and games to travel and fashion, we will be sharing the things that have caught our eye in the City Kids office.
If your kids love nothing more than a colouring book and a set of felt tips then this fab tablecloth would make the perfect present. From alphabet art and garden prints to intergalactic designs and critters to colour, Blue Jigsaw’s new range of Doodle Tablecloths feature five unique and original designs suitable for all ages. Each design comes with a set of wash out pens. Simply colour in, wash and start again. The ideal rainy day activity for little artists. Prices start from £19.
Getting kids to to brush there teeth properly and for long enough can be a struggle. But this great little gadget makes the process more fun and encourages them to be better brushers.
Playbrush is an interactive electric toothbrush that connects via Bluetooth to game apps so children can play fun games with their toothbrush. Once it syncs to the app children use their own toothbrushing movements to paint masterpieces, make music or defeat monsters. This incentivises movement and encourages children to brush all around their mouth, increasing surface coverage. It also records and assesses how well they are doing. Definitely a cool thing for kids!
The Playbrush Smart Sonic costs £29.99 and includes, 1 Playbrush Smart Sonic, 1 brush head, 1 charging dock and 4 free games.
We just love the beautifully curated edits from Kid Pix, a new subscription box service for gorgeous childrenswear brands such as Patachou, Baby Mori and Dotty Dungarees. The idea is simple. Parents fill in a little online style quiz and from there the clever stylists at Kid Pix will create a bespoke box of six to eight items for boys and girls aged one to five and babies aged 0 to 12 months.
Your beautifully wrapped box will be delivered to your door step. Then it’s up to you what you keep or send back. Either sign up for a one-off or a quarterly subscription. We think this would make a great present idea for a new baby or a special little person.
Founded by a father of two, Dutch brand Nuna is inspired by real parenting adventures for families on the go. Well designed and made from lovely materials, celebrity fans include Miranda Kerr and Gwen Stefani.
The latest addition to the range is their first baby carrier, the CUDL, launching this month. Both stylish and practical carrier makes it easy for you to keep your new born close. Then switches to a backpack as they get bigger. Genuis. £150
The government’s Chief Medical Officer has published new screen time advice for parents and carers
We’ve all known for long time that social media is not good for children. But for the first time ever the government’s Chief Medical Officer has published new social media and screen time advice for parents, carers children and young people.
These include leaving phones outside the bedroom when it’s bedtime, screen-free mealtimes and having family conversations about social media.
“Time spent online can be of great benefit to children and young people, providing opportunities for learning and skills development, as well as allowing young people to find support and information. But we need to take a precautionary approach and our advice will support children to reap these benefits and protect them from harm.” Professor Dame Sally Davies Chief Medical Officer for England.
86% of 7 to 11s are online
According to a recent study by Internet Matters 43% of those aged between 10 and 13 now use social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat and 86% of children aged 7 to 11 use some kind of online communication, often without their parents having any knowledge of them doing so.
And a recent survey by the BBC’s Newsround found that more than three-quarters of younger children at primary-leaving age were using at least one social media network. A terrifying statistic when you realise just how much children can be exposed to the minute they log on. 70 million photos are shared on Instagram every day, many of which will be entirely unsuitable for little eyes. Offensive and inappropriate material is only one click away.
Professor Dame Sally Davies’ view is that companies too have a responsibility to keep children safe online.
“Technology is an unavoidable aspect of modern life and technology companies have a duty of care. They must make more effort to keep their users safe from harm, particularly children and young people.”
So what is the advice?
Sleep matters. Getting enough, good quality sleep is very important. Leave phones outside the bedroom when it is bedtime.
Talking helps: Talk with your children about using devices and what they are watching. A change in behaviour can be a sign they are distressed – make sure they know they can always speak to you or another responsible adult if they feel uncomfortable with screen or social media use.
Safety when out and about. Advise children to put their screens away while crossing the road or doing an activity that needs their full attention!
Sharing sensibly. Parents and children should talk about sharing photos and information online and how photos and words are sometimes manipulated. Parents should never assume that their children are happy for their photos to be shared. For everyone – when in doubt, don’t upload!
Keep moving! Everyone should take a break after a couple of hours sitting or lying down using a screen #sitlessmovemore
Education matters. Make sure you and your children are aware of, and abide by their school’s policy on mobile phones/personal devices.
Use helpful phone features. Some devices and platforms have special features – try using these features to keep track of how much time you (and with their permission, your children) spend looking at a screen or on social media.
Family time together. Screen-free meal times are a good idea – you can enjoy face-to-face conversation, with adults giving their full attention to children.
The guidelines are not prescriptive. Just as every child is an individual, and every family is different, every family’s approach to technology must be equally unique. Instead, the Chief Medical Officer is encouraging every family to have a conversation about screen time and social media, and has developed a series of pointers for parents and carers based on research evidence on child and adolescent development.
The UK Safer Internet Centre has developed a platform where people can report harmful content online if they are not satisfied with the result of their report to social media providers. For illegal content, reports should be made to the police and online to the Internet Watch Foundation
We chat to the Saturday’s star about becoming an author, motherhood and her amazing career.
When anyone mentions Rochelle Humes most of us immediately think of the gorgeous pop star who rose to fame with girl group The Saturdays and who married fellow singer JLS star Marvin. Or maybe you think of Rochelle the TV presenter, who regularly hosts hit shows such as This Morning.
But ask Rochelle herself what her biggest role is and she will tell you that without question it is being a mum to her two little girls Alaia-Mai, five, and Valentia, nearly two.
And her latest project perfectly illustrates how important her children are to her. The Mega Magic Hair Swap, Rochelle’s new children’s’ book, is published this week and the inspiration behind it comes from her own daughters.
“One day Alaia-Mai told me that she didn’t like her curly hair because princesses always have straight hair. All the images she was seeing on TV or in books were of little girls with long, straight hair. She wanted to know why she didn’t look like Elsa or Rapunzel” explains Rochelle.
“I hated the thought that she wasn’t happy with the way she looked because to me she is beautiful, and I want her to love her amazing curly hair. I explained to her that people can have different hair or skin colour, or be a different shape or height, but that what makes us all beautiful is being ourselves,” says the 29 year-old.
The conversation got Rochelle thinking about how she could help her own children and others to feel confident and proud of their appearance. It was then that she came up with the idea for The Mega Magic Hair Swap.
Story of friendship
The main characters are Mai, who has curly hair, and her best friend Rose, who has very straight hair. Neither are happy and wish they could have hair like the other one. With a bit of magic, they switch and end up with the hair of their dreams. But before long they realise it isn’t all it is cracked up to be and that how their own hair is actually perfect for them.
While the book is aimed at little-ones, writing it also helped Rochelle to embrace her own curls. “Growing up I rarely saw anyone who looked like me on TV. I have really curly hair, but I always felt I had to straighten it to make it look nice. But recently I’ve learned to love my hair. I always want to be a good role model for my girls so it’s important for them to see me being happy with my looks and hopefully they will feel the same way about themselves,” she points out.
So determined was she to show other young women that they should love their natural waves that she has been promoting it to her 1.3 million Instagram followers with the hashtag #curlslikeus.
“The response has been amazing,” says Rochelle. “I think a lot of women feel exactly how I do. Whether it’s their hair or something else about their appreance, they just want to be themselves and not feel pressure to change.”
Once she had the idea for the book Rochelle says it all came together very quickly. “This is my first book and I have loved writing it and working with my publisher. At the moment I don’t have plans for any more, but never say never.”
It’s hard to imagine how Rochelle managed to add ‘author’ to her list of many achievements. After finding fame with The Saturdays and having 13 top-ten hits, she is now a familiar face on prime-time TV presenting shows such as ITV’s Sweat the Small Stuff, Ninja Warrior and the The Xtra Factor.
But while the world sees her glamourous career, Rochelle, just like every other mum, is constantly trying to get the right balance between work and family life.
“Marvin and I sit down every week and plan who is doing what for the next seven days. When one of us is really busy with work the other will try not to be. So, we are lucky that we can be somewhat flexible and one of us is always around to do school pick up, but it takes a lot of organisation,” she explains.
“My mum lives close by and helps us a lot which is amazing. But there are definitely some weeks when we are totally winging it because no two days are ever the same for us. But we get by and the kids are looked after and happy and that’s all that matters – even if we are totally exhausted by the end of the week!”
No matter what her schedule is, Rochelle fits it in around family life and her down to earth approach to motherhood is partly what has gained her so many loyal fans over the years. “I’m always there for my kids when they need me and that’s really important to me. Parenting is hard sometimes, especially as they get older and you realise you are really shaping a little human being. You just want to wrap them in cotton wool, but you can’t do that. All you can do is your best which what all mums are trying to do. We should try not to put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. No one ever is.”
Away from the spotlight
Despite living in the public eye, privacy is very important to Rochelle who loves her supportive social media following but prefers to keep her children away from the spotlight and never posts images of her their faces.
“Privacy is key to Marvin and I. Every parent is different and it’s totally up to them what they want to post, but I prefer not to. One day when they are much older the girls can decide if they want to post photos of themselves but right now they don’t even know what social media is.”
The launch of her new book today kicks off what looks to another great year for Rochelle. She is currently working with her high street favourite, New Look on The Rochelle Edit and continues to be an ambassador for John Frieda and HiGlow, her best-selling face and body line available in Superdrug. Plus, M&S recently announced Rochelle as one of their Food Ambassadors alongside Amanda Holden and Emma Willis.
One of the things she is most excited about is working with Marvin on their new music quiz show, Playlisters, due to air in 2019 on BBC1. “We love working together. It’s so nice because we don’t get to do it that often. The show is really fun and I can’t wait to get started on it.”
With such a positive, honest outlook and endless enthusiasm for both her work and her family, it’s clear to see that Rochelle is great role model for young women – regardless of whether her hair is curly or straight.
The Mega Magic Hair Swap, £6.99, is published on 7th February.
Favourite date night spot: Roca – such great food and atmosphere
Desert Island must have: Coconut oil – so useful
Must read book: The Secret – I’ve read it so many times
Night owl or earlier bird: Definitely an earlier bird
Best day out with kids: Regent’s Park Zoo – my girls love it there
Exciting news for mini fashionistas. Following on from the success of their recent Gucci and Dolce and Gabbana pop–ups, Net-a-Porter has launched a multi-brand kidswear collective of brands that will feature permanently.
The ‘collective’ is an edit of brands which have all created exclusive capsule collections for the online fashion retailer. It features comfy clothing from insider brands such as Yeah Right NYC Kids minimal white tees, alongside cosy cardigans from Alanui Kids. ATM Kids and knitwear label Chinti & Parker Kids provide some sportier pieces too.
Similar to their gorgeous grown up cashmere collection, Lingua Franca Kids’ playful designs, add a cute touch to sweaters with embroidered messages that read ‘Tree Hugger’ and ‘Cool Like That’.
For tiny toes Net-a-Porter have enlisted two of their best-selling brands with trainers from Golden Goose Deluxe and sustainable footwear brand Veja, who have a range of sneakers in vibrant colours with creative illustrations and their hallmark ‘V’ monogram.
“The new year felt like the perfect time to launch this collective,” Elizabeth von der Goltz, Net-a-porter.com’s global buying director, told Mini Vogue. “It’s January – kids are back to school but there’s this idea of cosiness and wanting to feel comfortable.”
“Whether it’s for ourselves or for our kids, we are always thinking about wellness in January so this this an extension of that – it’s luxe athleisure for kids!”
The ‘mini me’ Kids Casuals launched on the Net-a-Porter site last week and will be available throughout the season. They’re supported by a dedicated campaign featuring influencer Sai De Silva’s 7-year-old daughter, London and 20-month-old son, Rio.
But Net-a-Porter is not the only online retailer where you will find high-end kit for kids. Alexandalexa.com stocks an impressive list of designers such as Chloe, Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney that range from newborn to teenage. Founded in London, 2007 by husband and wife duo, Alex Theophanous and Alexa Till, the site aims to bring “The World’s Best Kids Brands” and have over 200 luxury labels to choose from.
Or check out childrensalon.com, the world’s largest online store for designer childrenswear who ship brands such as Burberry, Fendi and Moschino to over 160 countries.
But if you’d rather try before you buy then head to Harrods. London’s most exclusive store extended their baby department last year and their childrenswear includes the likes of J Crew and Armani.
It’s never been easier to dress your little ones in designer gear, but, just as with the grown-up versions, the price tag can be eyewatering!
City Kids Magazine is recruiting and we’d love you to join our team
Thanks to the amazing support of our readers, our magazine is growing. We go into our 5th year of production looking for two wonderful people to join our team. City Kids Magazine is one of London’s most popular parenting resources, regularly chosen as the go-to guide for things to do, education, parenting, travel, food, features and lifestyle.
From research to writing, event planning to production, we’re looking for an enthusiastic people-person who can work efficiently as part of a team and on their own. You will need to be a quick thinker and adaptable as you will be required to manage several different tasks. If you have any experience in PR, publishing, marketing or journalism this would be an advantage, but not essential. However, a good knowledge of Microsoft Office, social media platforms and the parenting sector is.
Over time, you will have the opportunity to attend media events on behalf of City Kids which could include film screenings, fashion events or family workshops.
This is a paid, flexible role, largely working from home approximately five hours per week, though you will be required to travel to West London for occasional meetings.
We are looking for an enthusiastic intern to help our growing company. If you have plans to enter journalism, publishing, PR or marketing, an internship with City Kids Magazine will give you some great skills. As we are a small business, you will gain real experience from day one (not just taking coffee orders) and you will be a valued member of the team. You will need to be highly motivated, confident, and have a good command of English (written and spoken).
Reasonable expenses will be paid weekly. Based in Chiswick, West London.
To apply for either of these positions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, enclosing a copy of your CV. We regret that we will only be able to contact those who we can meet for interview.
We are delighted to announce that we have extended the deadline for our City Kids School Food Awards #CityKidsSFA19. The response from schools and parents has been so overwhelmingly positive that we want to include as many entrants as possible.
The School Food Awards are a unique opportunity to win an award that recognises the great work of schools and their kitchen teams. All schools are operating on budgets, and some are very tight budgets, yet many catering teams manage to provide nutritious, hot lunches for the kids. We think this should be celebrated! But we also need to continue the discussion surrounding around free school meals and healthy eating.
With these awards we aim to recognise those schools who are providing catering excellence and thinking beyond meat and potatoes. The awards will become a well-regarded accolade amongst parents and educators alike. Winners will be handpicked by the City Kids editorial team and a host of well-known and passionate foodies, to be announced shortly.
The award categories are as follows:
School Dinner Hero (Primary/Secondary)
Best School Menu (Primary/Secondary)
Best Vegetarian Menu (Primary/Secondary)
School Dinner Hero (Prep/Secondary)
Best School Menu (Prep/Secondary)
Best Vegetarian Menu (Prep/Secondary)
What’s the one question that kids ask when they visit a school? “What’s the food like?”
And what do parents ask on a daily basis when they collect their kids from school? “What did you have for lunch?”
School food is top of the agenda for kids and parents and what better way to show your school’s catering brilliance than with these awards.
Apart from the obvious positive PR, there are plenty of benefits to nominating your school for a City Kids School Food Award. All shortlisted schools will be mentioned in print and online and will be featured in our Spring Education issue. Winners will feature in our Summer issue. You will also receive a digital logo for use across your marketing assets to include: Vote for Us!, Shortlisted, Winner, Runner-up. This will contribute to the multi-media brand exposure across our platforms and yours.
How to enter
For more information about the entry process, categories and judging please click on the link below. Make your application by completing the online form on this page or by email. If you have any questions please email email@example.com. Good luck!
There are new camps starting all the time during the summer holidays so we’ve got a fresh look at what’s on offer. If you thought you had it all worked out, but realise you’ve dropped a ball, here’s our guide. Take note of some of the discounts we have available too!
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. Use our 10% discount code CMSummer18. 4-12yrs Chiswick, Barnes, Kew, Acton, East Sheen, Richmond, Notting Hill and many more.
For kids as young as four and as old as 16, the summer programme here features acrobatics, dance, craft and music to inspire stories, words and ideas. Rapper Karl Nova and the creator of Rastamouse Michael De Souza will be on hand to encourage the creative juices to flow. 4-16yrs Brentford
Two disciplines, Skate park Skateboarding (in the morning) and Street Skateboarding (in the afternoon) running and running catering for beginners, intermediate and advanced skaters. 6-14yrs Royal Oak & Camden