Latest from CK

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>>>>

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 – 15TH JAN

Friday Five: things to do with the kids this weekend

Yes folks. It’s that time of the week already. Raise your cuppas in the air to the weekend! This week we’re bringing a wide range of activities including entertainment from Camp Bestival, theatre and a trek through history. 

1. Sunday Club

Join the brand new Sunday Club. The Weekly online club for families hosted over on their facebook. Camp Bestival

2. Insect Hands

INSECT HANDS

The Southbank Theatre’s Insect Hands.

Southbank Theatre

3. Myths and Adventures from Ancient Greece

MYTHS FROM ANCIENT GREECE

Myths and Adventures from Ancient Greece and Beyond Online.

Watermans Theatre

4. Spin Your Play Downloadable

Download the Spin Your Play printable to guide your playtime. Play Hooray

5. Martin Luther King Day

Learn about Martin Luther King ahead of MLK day on Monday. Nat Geo Kids

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.

 

DOWNSEND OFFERS SITE FOR VACCINATIONS

Downsend School joins national campaign to get teachers vaccinated and children back in school

 

 

Downsend School in Leatherhead, has joined forces with other schools to offer their facilities for vaccinations. In a letter to the Prime Minister, the school’s parent company has outlined plans to bring forward the vaccination of school and nursery staff across the country and in turn, allow children to return to a normal and full education.

As increasing pressure mounts on the UK government to prioritise school staff in order to get children back in school, Downsend’s senior leadership team has been working with parent company Cognita to come up with a feasible implementation plan to get schools fully operational and physically open to students as quickly as possible.

 

In an open letter to Boris Johnson, together with other leading independent school bodies, Cognita CEO Chris Jansen wrote, “Our plan is to establish local “hub” schools dedicated to administering the vaccine to teachers, childcare workers and school support staff, starting with workers in nurseries and special schools so that these establishments can remain open over the coming weeks.”

Headmaster at Downsend, Ian Thorpe commented, ““Her Majesty’s Government has reiterated the importance of keeping schools open throughout this period of national crisis. The current scenario represents a race against time to ensure that schools are safe places, where the viral transmission rates are reduced, not increased. Vaccinating teachers is an obvious solution to help with this aim. Our larger schools represent perfect vaccination hubs – they have extensive parking, refrigeration facilities in which to store vaccines and close links with healthcare professionals. Downsend is happy to play its part in this national effort and it is inspiring to see Cognita, HMC and MATs collaborating to take the lead in support of this concept.”

downsend.co.uk

 

For more education stories click here>>>>

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

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.

SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER

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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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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.

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.⁠

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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.

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.

VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS FOR KIDS

The vitamins and supplements for kids that could help boost immunity this winter.

It’s autumn, feels like winter, and if you’ve escaped a sniffle, a cough or the annual colds you’ve done well. But, winter is coming and with the cloud of Covid hanging over us, popping some vitamins or supplements feels like the right thing to do. We’ve found some suitable for kids at different stages.

 

Lizzie Loves

The brainchild of Lizzie King, aka @lizzieloveshealthy, Lizzie Loves remedies reflect her passion for natural goodness and draw on her experiences as a nutritional health coach. As well as powders to aid sleep and unsettled tummies, Be Well is the one we’re after here. The key ingredient of elderberry, which is rich in antioxidants to help protect our bodies. Targeted vitamins C and D also give the immune system a boost.  Be Well comes in powdered form with a berry flavour which can be added to water, milk and smoothies. It gets an added thumbs up from us for being supplied in eco packaging. Suitable for children 1-12 years.

lizzie-loves.com

 

Kenda Kids

Kendakids is a new kid on the block, made by Kendamil, the natural baby formula used by the Royal Family. It’s suitable for 3-10 year olds and available in chocolate, strawberry and banana and promises 100% natural fats from full cream whole milk.

kendamil.com

 

Immune Defence Gummies

 

Another blend of elderberry and vitamins here. It’s the elderberry which neutralises the harmful effects of free radicals and increases the production of cytokines – proteins that help regulate your child’s immune system and fight infections. As well as the powerhouse benefits of elderberry, the gummies also include other key health ingredients Vitamin C and Zinc. Suitable from 4 years.

immunedefence.com

 

Probio7 Kidskalm

Probio7 Kidskalm is a dietary supplement especially formulated for children 12 months and onwards. With 70% of immune cells in the stomach, maintaining a healthy and balanced gut flora can be considered vital for digestive and immune health. Each sachet of Probio7 Kidskalm contains 6 billion of the live bacteria strain L. rhamnosus GG*, a clinically proven strain.

probio7.com

To go with the supplements and vitamins, why not try some of our healthy recipes here. 

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WATERPROOF CLOTHES FOR KIDS

There’s no getting away from it – it’s wet weather season 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 this Autumn and Winter, 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

 

Boden Cosy Waterproof Parka from £72

boden.co.uk

 

Mini Rodini K2 Tiger Parka £80

minirodini.com

 

Toastie Kids Olive Waterproof Raincoat £79

toastiekids.com

 

Regatta Puddlesuit Oxford Blue £35

regatta.com

 

Celavi Elm Green Basic rain set £35

alexandalexa.com

 

Lindex Rain Jacket and Rain Trousers £24.99 each

lindex.com

 

Liewood Jared Rainwear in Panda Faune Green £58.95

scandiborn.co.uk

 

Celavi Rain boots £34.50

alexandalexa.com

 

Polarn O. Pyret Waterproof Padded Trousers £80


polarnopyret.co.uk

Moncler Blue Kruth jacket £180

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.