Latest from CK

Friday Five Bank Holiday Weekend 25-27 May


It’s time to check out our latest Friday Five – a handpicked selection of the best things to do with kids this bank holiday weekend in London.

 


BEASTS OF LONDON FAMILY FESTIVAL
Museum of London
To coincide with their Beasts of London experience the Museum of London are running a ‘Beasts of London’ family festival.  Create your own animated animal puppet show, discover the secrets of the Tower of London menagerie or get crafty with an animal mask.
Saturday & Sunday
www.museumoflondon.org.uk

 

DALSTON CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
Dalston
Get yourselves down to Dalston for a free day of kiddies activities including puppet making, a hula hoop workshop, live caricatures and a pop-up playground.
Saturday
www.dalstonchildren.org.uk

 


DOOR TO DESIGN: FAMILY FESTIVAL 2019
V&A Museum
The V&A are running free family drop-in workshops inspired by the Museum’s design and architecture.
Saturday
www.vam.ac.uk

 


TUDOR MAY DAY
Fulham Palace House & Garden
Head to Fulham Palace for their first family fun day following the restoration of the Tudor Palace.  Meet the May King and Queen and get involved in craft activities, including making a May wreath.
Sunday
www.fulhampalace.org

FERIA DE LONDRES FAMILY FESTIVAL
Southbank
Join in all the celebrations, from tastings and tapas to rumba and sevillianas, at this free family friendly Spanish festival. Children can enjoy activities such as face painting, fan making and flamenco rhythm workshops.
All weekend
www.feriadelondres.com

 

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

Half Term event guide

As Half Term approaches we have put together a guide to all the family friendly events going on in London…it’s looking good!

 


FERIA DE LONDRES FAMILY FESTIVAL
Southbank
Head to the Southbank for this free family friendly Spanish festival where you can join in all the celebrations, from tastings and tapas to rumba and sevillianas.  Children can enjoy activities such as face painting, fan making and flamenco rhythm workshops.
24-26 May
feriadelondres.com


HORRIBLE HISTORIES WALKING TOUR
Monument
Get yourselves booked on to this gory interactive adventure of London.  Expect horrible sites, funny pranks and plenty of gruesome stories on this tour which starts at London’s Monument statue.
From 25 May
airbnb.co.uk


BEASTS OF LONDON FAMILY FESTIVAL
Museum of London
Create your own animated animal puppet show, discover the secrets of the Tower of London menagerie or get crafty with an animal mask in this family festival inspired by their new ‘Beasts of London’ exhibition.
25-26 May
museumoflondon.org.uk


ZSL LONDON ZOO ‘MINI KEEPERS’
Regent’s Park
London Zoo are giving children a chance to get stuck in and experience what life as a zoo keeper is like in their role play experience Mini Keepers.  Get on your uniform and receive your daily check list which includes activities such as preparing lunch for the monkeys, creating activities for the meerkats and getting stuck in to mucking out.
25 May – 2 June
zsl.org

QUEEN VICTORIA’S 200th BIRTHDAY
The Postal Museum
The Postal Museum will be celebrating the 200th birthday of Queen Victoria.  Activities include a hands-on arts and crafts printing activity, make your own Victorian top hat or tiara fit for a Queen, dress up with Victorian props, practice Victorian calligraphy and design your ‘Penny Black’ Greetings card. If your name is Victoria, you will also get in free throughout the month of May.
25 May – 1 June 
postalmuseum.org

GRUFFALO POP UP SHOP
Covent Garden A special Pop up shop will be opening its doors to mark 20 years of one of literatures best loved children’s characters.  There will be arts and crafts, screenings of the Gruffalo, storytelling and special appearances from the big cuddly monster himself.
25 May – 1 June
gruffaloevent.com

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SHIP SHAPE
HMS Belfast
The HMS Belfast needs to be kept in ship shape and they are inviting families to come and help. Search for pests, learn to use equipment and help prevent damage to this iconic warship.
25 May and 1 June
iwm.org.uk

TRAVELLING WITH THAMESLINK
London Transport Museum
Inspired by their new exhibition ‘Untangling the Tracks’ get creative with your family and make a train out of crafty materials that speeds past your favourite London views and hear about some of the incredible landmarks you can see along the Thameslink route.
25 May- -2June 
ltmuseum.co.uk


MEET THE NEW QUEEN VICTORIA
Kensington Palace
Meet the new Queen and find out what her life has been like growing up in Kensington Palace, visit new rooms where Victoria grew up, see the puppet theatre and dress up like one of the characters on stage, then create your own story in your own puppet theatre to take home.
25 May – 2 June
hrp.org.uk


THE DAY THE CIRCUS CAME TO TOWN
Tower Bridge
Begin your day with a Master Storyteller who will guide you through the day the circus came to town. Watch as acrobats, aerialists and jugglers move and tumble across the Glass floor, steel girders and towers of the Bridge.
27-28 May
towerbridge.org.uk

LOVE YOUR ZOO WEEK
Battersea Park Zoo
There will be plenty of animal arts and crafts and storytelling, each day will feature a different animal as Battersea Park Zoo take part in the BIAZA Love your Zoo week celebrations.
27-31 May
batterseaparkzoo.co.uk


GO APE!
Alexandra Palace
Aim high at Go Ape! and check out their Tree Top Adventure where you can watch, or join your little ones reach new heights, conquer wobbly crossings and fly down the zip wire.  They are also running Tree Top Adventure+, a new experience that introduces a more challenging series of obstacles, higher platforms and longer zips.
27-31 May
goape.co.uk


ZINE MAKING
Discover Story
Make mini magazines with zine publisher and comic artist Kristyna Baczynski.  Kristyna will guide children through speed drawing, portrait making, collage and more as they discover the wonderful world of zines.
29 May
discover.org.uk

TRASH TEST DUMMIES 
Underbelly Festival Southbank
Watch this comedy threesome take to the stage with their wheely bins for a very trashy circus comedy show which is hilarious fun for all the family.
29 May – 2 June
underbellyfestival.com


FAMILY ART FUN
Horniman MuseumThe Horniman Museum will be buzzing with family friendly bee activities.
Find out about the Great British Bee Count and create a fantastic bee mask to buzz around the Gardens in.
28, 30 & 31 May
horniman.ac.uk


DEEP OCEAN TALES
SEA LIFE London
Head to SEA LIFE London for an after-hours storytelling experience in partnership with Walker Books. You will get to listen to Malamander being read by its author Thomas Taylor and get involved in some interactive activities with the ocean tank and its amazing creatures looming in the background.
30 May
visitsealife.com


SOUNDPIT
Southbank Centre
Fancy a bit of creative play in a giant sandpit? Head on down to the Royal Festival Hall where you can run your hands and even walk on the gritty stuff.  Created by artist Di Mainstone, children and adults can explore their individual sense of sound, touch and vision through play. A multisensory, fun interactive experience.
All week
southbankcentre.co.uk

MATHS CELEBRATION
KidZania London
Teach children to earn, spend and save their money.  Kids will be issued with bank cards which they can use to deposit more KidZos or withdraw KidZos straight from the ATMs in the city at KidZania London’s math celebration ‘Bring Learning to Life’.Throughout May
kidzania.co.uk

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

CHELSEA IN BLOOM WITH BODEN

Boden win gold in ‘The People’s Champion Award’ for Chelsea in Bloom

The Kings Road shop front, designed by florist Willow Crossley, has been transformed into a beautiful coral reef for Chelsea in Bloom, a floral art show which sees participants transform the streets of Chelsea.  The theme this year is Under the Sea. Floral sea urchins, barnacles and corals are growing out of Boden’s shop windows spreading on to the pavement below.

To coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show there will also be a series of events taking place at Boden the same week.  There will be complimentary coffee, floral workshops, live singing and pianist, styling appointments and personalised plates to take away.

For further details on the competition and to vote, please see below:

www.chelseainbloom.co.uk

 

Boden has also launched a competition for kids to design a slogan tee to support Mental Awareness Week in October. To find out more head here.

Cool Things for Kids

Our weekly guide rounding up some of  the best cool things for your little ones.

The Cutest Clips

How amazing are these hair clips from Mille Deux? This gorgeous Danish brand was born in 2014 when the founder decided she wanted to create beautiful hair accessories for her little girl.

They make everything from classic grosgrain bows in every colour under the sun to novelty clips – think ballerinas, pencils and even lobsters for summer. We love the Liberty print ones too. Boys aren’t left out either – they get satin and velvet bow ties. In fact, Mille Deux make such pretty things that we want them for ourselves. Hair clips are bang on trend after all!

 

 

 

Pyjamarama with the Book Trust

Every child should have a bedtime story. Reading with children at any time of day is so important for their development, but there is something particularly special about that last story of the day before they fall asleep and hopefully dream about all the adventures they’ve just listened to.

That’s why we love the work that the Book Trust do. They are the UK’s largest children’s reading charity and each year reach 3.4 million children across the UK with books, resources and support.

Friday 7th June is their annual ‘Pyjamarama’, when children of all ages go to school or nursery in their PJs and donate a £1 to the Trust. Kids are encouraged to makes extra time for reading that day too. It’s great fun for a great cause.

You can download a fundraising pack from their website booktrust.org.uk or approach your school and ask if they fancy joining in.

The day is being supported by the likes of  Cyberjammies who will donate £1 for every pair of their lovely PJs sold online. The offer runs from 13th May to 17th June so if you are looking for some really nice new sleepwear for you kiddies then take a look and you’ll also be supporting a great charity.

 

 

 

Polo Fun Time

A day at the polo is always super. The sport and the atmosphere are both great. So why not take your little ones along too?  London’s top kids’ entertainers Sharky and George are back for their 10th year at Chesterton’s Polo in the Park at the Hurlingham Club in Putney ensuring your kids have a ton of fun.

Taking place on each of the three days, their “Little Hooves Club” will feature every child’s favourite activities such as a bouncy castle, fantastic face painting, a soft play zone, a giant inflatable assault course, a brilliant arts and craft area for children to get more creative and the return of ‘the pink panther slide’.

On Finals Day (Sunday 9 June) is where family is firmly put first with a kiddie pitch invasion in the morning before the action kicks off. It’s set to be a grand finale of fun for children of all ages with activities including a space hopper steeplechase and a tug of war.

 

Summer Style For Less

We like to keep you posted on any fab bargains we come across. Right now Polarn O Pyret are running a great summer discount event with 25% off all their summer clothes until Sunday 19th May. Think T-shirts, shorts, dresses and swimwear in lovely summery colours and cool prints. Plus sun hats and sandals.

The Swedish brand’s huge range goes from 0 to 12 and is great for both girls and boys. If you need a new raincoat or want to be super organised and pick up some cosy kit for autumn, then there is 30% of selected outerwear too. Our kids wear Polarn O Pyret’s clothes, so we can personally recommend them. Great quality as well as being super stylish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Museum Week: Best family friendly museums in London

With it being Museum Week and all, we wanted to share with you our top family friendly museums to visit in London.  The best bit…they are all FREE!

 

National Army Museum

This museum, located in Chelsea, had a major refurb in 2017 and wow did they do an incredible job in upping their family appeal.  The museum explores British Military history from the English Civil War up to modern day and with the continuous interactives throughout, there is really, never a dull moment for the little ones.  The subject matter is a little raw but they do a great job at addressing it well to children.  From marching in a drill, climbing under tanks, dressing up, playing the drums, to sorting your rations, the galleries do a wonderful job of engaging the kiddies. They provide activity backpacks for different age ranges that are an excellent addition when exploring the galleries and there is also the super Play Base area, an immersive experience for ages 8 and under, which includes a soft play assault course, climbing aboard an army truck and preparing food in the cookhouse.
Top Tip
If you want to make it a totally free day, take a picnic.  Battersea Park is just a 12 minute walk away.

National Maritime Museum

Ah Greenwich, what a wonderful place to visit and it is home to this brilliant free museum to boot.  Be sure to get in full on sailor mode as you explore fascinating stories of explorations at sea.  The museum is full to the brim with family friendly exhibits and information, from the Great Map with boats the kids can sit on, a boat simulator and a chance to come face to face with the greats, Cook, Nelson and Columbus.  There is literally something for everyone.  The AHOY Children’s Gallery for 0-7’s is a little haven for the smalls (just be aware it is only free weekdays, there is a very small fee on weekends and bank holidays) and the All Hands Children Gallery aimed at ages 6 – 12 is great fun too even for slightly younger children.
Top Tip
They are always running really good family friendly events so totally recommend checking online before you go so you don’t miss out on any.

Horniman Museum

The Horniman Museum can be found in Forest Hill and includes displays of anthropology, natural history, musical. It houses the private collection of Frederick Horniman, a Victorian tea trader who filled up his whole house with fascinating objects such as stuffed animals, Egyptian mummies and musical instruments.  The totally eclectic mix of exhibits is its major appeal and with a wide range of galleries there is always something new to explore.  We love the hands-on space in the Music Gallery where the children can make as much noise as they like with various instruments and the World Gallery, that celebrates life all over the world. Then there are the gardens which are just beautiful on a sunny day.  There is a little Animal Walk for the kids and plenty of space for picnics.  On top of that there are regular activities on weekends, such as Hands on Base, where children can touch and explore objects and Art Makers, where you can explore art techniques as a family.
Top Tip
Don’t miss the Walrus!  It’s also worth noting there is an aquarium and they always have family friendly exhibits running. The current exhibition is Brick Wonders, which is perfect for any little Lego lovers out there, unfortunately both this and the aquarium require a small fee.

Museum of Childhood

Ahhh so much nostalgia in one place, this East London museum does a fantastic job in appealing to not only children, but adults too.  From My Little Pony, to Care Bears you will be in reminiscing heaven in this museum that houses the largest collection of childhood objects in the UK ranging from the 1600’s to the present day.  With plenty for the little ones to get their hands on, you can happily run around for a couple of hours lapping it all in alongside your child.  It is the perfect balance of not being too big that it is over powering or too small that you get bored quickly.  Interactives include a sensory area, building blocks, rocking horses and a sandpit. They run daily activities such as storytelling and arts and crafts and family friendly events in the holidays. They are also in the process of having a major redevelopment with an aim to becoming a world-leading museum of design and creativity for children and families.  Watch this space!
Top Tip
Make sure you grab one of their free family backpacks and trails from the helpdesk.

Museum of London Docklands

Canary Wharf is not only home to some of the tallest buildings in London but also to this fantastic little gem of a museum, which explores the history of London’s River Thames.  For some reason this museum always seems a little quieter than most and that alone makes it more enjoyable as a family.  The Mudlark’s Gallery, an interactive space for children up to 8 is fantastic.  In this gallery children can load a tea clipper, tie nautical knots and weigh cargo whilst learning museum facts in a fun and engaging environment.  Babies and toddlers are also well catered for with their soft play area and with recent interactives added to the galleries such as fancy dress, drawing and building a bridge, it has become an even bigger family friendly attraction.  To top it all off their regular family events are amazing from family raves, pirate takeovers and a beautiful Santa’s Grotto at Christmas.
Top Tip
Don’t miss Sailor Town, a recreation of the old docks from the 19thcentury.  You are instantly transported back in time as you wander through the atmospheric streets.

Tate Britain

And last but by no means least, we are huge fans of Tate Britain, well both Tate’s actually but this one for us is more accessible.  This art museum is the home of British art from 1500 to the present day and is a great space for those little legs to run around in.  We love the easels in the 1840 display, where anyone can pick up a pencil and paper and draw to their hearts content.  They also do a brilliant ‘Explore the Gallery’ session for under 5’s on the first Saturday of every month, such a fun and creative way for children to explore the gallery.
Top Tip
The ‘Explore the Gallery’ sessions get booked up super quick so be ready to book as soon as the tickets go up or alternatively do what we do and sneak in on the day, they generally let you in…at your own risk though of course.

 

Sally Webb blogs at milkatthemuseum.com and can be found on Instagram @milkatthemuseum

City Kids Edit: What we love this week

Here’s this week’s City Kids Edit, a round-up of things to do, see, wear, buy and enjoy.

 

Morag’s edit

Visiting: Alex and Alexa

Last week I popped into the Alex and Alexa A/W press day. If you don’t know Alexa and Alexa yet, it’s a one-stop-shop for amazing kids’ fashion, home wear and toys. One of our favourite places to shop of little ones.

I loved seeing all their super cool brands – I’m drawn to kids’ ski wear like a month to a flame even though it’s spring – the children’s Perfect Moment Sports range is so colourful and fun. Definitely one to keep in mind for winter. I also spotted some fab tops and shorts from the likes of Stella McCartney and Veja trainers that are ideal for summer.

Later this month Alex and Alexa will exclusively launch the new kids’ collection from celebrity mum Kimberly Walsh. Great casual kit for both boys and girls. We predict it will fly off the shelves.

 

 

 

Giving: A Nobel Macmillan Baby Book

So we all have Royal baby fever don’t we?! There is just something so lovely about a new baby isn’t there? My darling little nephew was born four months ago so I’m very lucky to be able to get cuddles on a regular basis. Such a treat now my boys are that bit older.

One of the gifts I bought my sister was a beautiful personalised leather baby book from Noble Macmillan, so she can record all the milestones from first smiles to first steps. It’s such a joy watching this little chap grow and change every day and I know she will love looking back on a record of it all when he is older.

If you know someone having a baby then this is a great gift.

 

 

Exploring: London’s museums with a great little book

On Sunday I took my boys to visit the Tower of London. It was fantastic day out. They loved exploring the grounds and listening to the amazing the Beefeater telling tales of all the gruesome goings on and beheadings at the Tower. It was such an adventure for them.

All kids love a good day out a museum or gallery if it’s kept exciting and fun – not stuffy and dull. That’s why I love the idea of the new ‘Take Me To The Museum’ book from Agnes and Aubrey, £8.95 It’s a beautifully illustrated book that acts as a guide and journal as every time you take your little one to visit a new museum you start a new chapter where they are encouraged to explore, ask questions and record their thoughts by writing or drawing what they have seen and learnt. From the exhibits to the building and even the café, the book really helps children to open their eyes to their surroundings. And it’s the perfect size to pop in a backpack.

I have lots of exciting trips and adventures around London planned for my boys over the summer holidays and will be sure to take this clever little book with us each time we visit somewhere new.

Shopping: Wiggy Kit

If you are looking for a beautiful, elegant summer dress, then check out this brand. The new collection has just arrived and it features all the lovely prints, flowing linen and stylish silk that Wiggy Kit is known for.

When we were in the Bahamas at Easter they were shooting the new collection on the beach next to our hotel and I spotted a few pieces I plan to add to my summer wardrobe.

Have a look at their website and you’re bound to fall in love with the brand too. Now we just need some sunshine so we can actually wear some nice summery clothes!

City Kids’ advice to Meghan and all new mums

Baby Sussex has arrived! Huge congratulations to Meghan and Harry on the birth of their baby boy. Right now they will be in the lovely new parent bubble, gazing at their little son, completely amazed that they have created a perfect little person. It’s a blissful, even if slightly surreal time, and one to be treasured.

So far, no pics of the new prince. Good for them, for opting to keep the birth and those special early days private and personal for as long as possible. This precious time should be afforded to all new parents, even if they are one of the most famous couples in the world.

Because even though she’s a princess, Meghan’s experience of birth and new motherhood won’t be that different from any other woman’s – she will undoubtedly get cracked nipples and the baby blues just like the rest of us.

The early days spent adjusting to enormity of becoming a mum can be both wonderful and difficult in equal measure. Here are some of the ways we think new mothers – even royal ones – can make it easier for themselves.

 

Make sure you have mates who are on (exactly) the same page

Mum mates, with babies pretty much the same age, will keep you sane in the early days and beyond. This is why you do antenatal classes, be they NHS, NCT, The Happy Birth club or some other private group. It’s not so you can chat hypothetically about the birth beforehand, it’s so you can talk about what really happened afterwards. As well as everything else that new motherhood brings with it – the good and the bad.

You need women around you who can sympathise when you cry about being up all night feeding a screaming baby or that your stiches haven’t healed and you can’t sit down properly. Discussing your birth and life in the immediate aftermath with other women who are in the same boat creates the strongest bonds of friendship you can imagine. You are there for each other in a way that no one else is. Even your oldest, dearest friends who possibly have their own kids already won’t quite get it if they aren’t living through it.

Mention how many mls of formula your baby took at 3.26am and most people will glaze over pretty quickly – other new mums will understand the importance. Bring up piles/cracked nipples/night sweats and they won’t wince and head for the nearest exit.

Take a social media break

We know the Sussex’s are fans of Instagram – their new account has six million followers already. But for her own sanity we would urge Meghan and all new mums to take a complete break from social media.

It’s quite hard to scroll through pics of other women looking super slim and fabulous when your tummy feels like jelly and your boobs are leaking. Yes, you will get back to feeling and looking (pretty much) like your old self at some point in the future but with your hormones raging and feeling exhausted and sore, it can be hard to remember that. Seeing carefully curated images of others looking gorgeous is just not a great idea – even if you are a stunning princess/actress.

But almost more importantly, social media is just a total waste of time when you have a beautiful new baby to gaze at. Post pics of your newborn if you want to but certainly don’t feel any pressure to do so. We live in a crazy time where everyone is expected to announce life events online, but the world won’t stop turning if you step off for a while and just focus on being with your little one and taking care of yourself. You have nothing to prove so you don’t need to get dressed, put make up on and take ‘hashtag newmummy’ pics unless you actually want to.

Good on Meghan for not partaking in any of that so far. She is keeping her baby away from the media until she feels ready to introduce him to the world and we think it would be a good idea for all new mums to follow her lead and give themselves a break from the pressures of social media.

Let people take care of you too

Meghan is bound to have plenty of people to take care of her after the birth of her baby. There will be Harry and her mum Gloria as well as a team of staff to cook and clean, leaving her to focus on looking after her little son and, importantly, recover from the birth.

Very few new mums have a live-in cook or housekeeper, but it’s still vital to take it as easy as possible in the early days. Midwives recommend that ideally you spend the first two weeks in bed but for lots of women, especially those with other children, that’s not always an option.

All, however, should rest as much as possible and accept help from anyone who wants to give it. If a friend offers to drop off a meal or a walk the dog then accept the gesture. If no one offers then ask for help – most people will be all too willing. The phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is so true but is often forgotten as we try to juggle everything ourselves.

Ignore the pressure to ‘get back to normal’

While Meghan is unlikely to be loading the dishwasher or nipping to the shops, the pressure will be on to ‘get back to normal’ in other ways. People will comment on when she will resume Royal duties and on her figure – on how quickly she ‘springs back into shape’.

All of this presumes that she will somehow ‘get back’ to what she was before. She won’t and neither should she want to. Becoming a mum changes you physically and mentally in so many ways. Of course, you are still you, but an altered version who may well look, feel and think differently, if not forever then at least in the short term.

We really hope that Meghan is kind to herself as she adjusts to these changes in the way that all women should be. The whole world will be watching her, and while (thankfully) most women don’t face that level of scrutiny, there seems to be a constant pressure these days to bounce back to your old self. Get back to work; to the gym; to your social life.

Our advice to Meghan and to all new mums would be to ignore all this external pressure as much as you can. Take things at your own pace: listen to your body and your baby while you adjust to the most life changing event you’re ever likely to experience.

 

If you know someone who has just had a baby or a mum-to-be here are some truly useful (and lovely) gift ideas.

A gift box

Don’t Buy Her Flowers helps you put together boxes of goodies that mums actually want. For example, The Growing a Baby Package (from £21.40) with herbal teas, cooling foot cream and midwife Clemmie Hooper’s best-selling book How to Grow a Baby. Or the Recovery Package (from £48.50) with lots of lovely soothing products for tired bodies. You can select the items you want to make a bespoke box. We love the fact that you can add vouchers from ready meals company Cook, a godsend for any new mum who needs to eat healthy nutritious meals but doesn’t have time to make them.

Muslin squares

This is one of the most useful things any new mum can have. We love the ones from Aden and Anais.  These lovely soft material squares are multipurpose. You can use them to swaddle a newborn or tuck it under your baby’s chin when bottle feeding to catch any spills then pop it over your shoulder when winding to protect your clothes from any little dribbles.

In the summer, you can drape a muslin over the front of the pram to keep the sun out of your little one’s eyes or use it as a light weight blanket if the weather turns chilly.

And when you’re done bung it in the wash at 50 degrees and the straight in the tumble dryer afterwards. Easy to use and easy to look after. This is a gift that keeps on giving.

A breast feeding pillow

Supporting your back is a must when breast feeding so this Bbhugme Nursing Pillow is a godsend. It ties easily around the waist to give optimum support for your neck and shoulders whilst providing additional comfort for your baby. And with adjustable firmness this pillow adapts to your needs as your baby grows and is available in eight different colours. £63.95 from Scandiborn.

 

First baby image: Gustavo Cultivo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOURISH APP TO HELP MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH


During Maternal Mental Health Week, Rhiane Kirkby speaks to two mothers who are offering wellbeing support 

 

As a journalist, I’ve always hated the fact that in the world of public relations every week of the year has something attributed to it. Bug busting week, National Toast Week and even National Lost Sock Week are just some of the ‘stories’ to have graced my inbox of late. ‘Stories’ that I’m expected to cover, but don’t!

Before you shout me down – I know there are many worthy causes who gain much needed publicity this way and Maternal Mental Health Week, in my mind, is one of them. Until recently, talking about mental health issues in motherhood was taboo and admitting you were having problems – something to be ashamed of.  But not anymore. Things are beginning to change and the stigma is slowly being broken down. “We’re getting better at asking for help and showing support and solidarity, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” explains Happiness Coach, Olivia Horne.

Nourish

Thankfully, two London mums are ready to get stuck right in. They’re both on a mission to help others who may, like them, suffer mental health challenges in parenthood. “I struggled with my emotional wellbeing through the early years of motherhood,” says Sara Campin “and again when juggling the dual burdens of work and home. I was far from the mum I wanted to be. I was constantly shouty and stressed out.” Sara learnt the art of self-care which, she says, has changed her life and made a huge difference to her children.

Sara wanted to give other mums instant access to the wellbeing tools she worked so hard to find and in March launched a not-for-profit app, Nourish. In her words it’s “a place where mums can access help, advice and lots of tlc. A growing library of practical wellbeing tools from leading experts in the field – including positive psychology, yoga, mantras, mindfulness, nutrition and much, much more.”

Motherdom

Anna Ceesay also wants to turn her negative experiences in parenthood into something positive.  She recently launched Motherdom, a magazine which “showcases all the amazing work in the maternal mental health and wellbeing world and starts to build a village around women who might struggle to ask for help.” Anna continues, “I suffered from low mood and anxiety during my second pregnancy but I was terrified to tell anyone because I felt like a failure as a mum. It took me a few months, but I did eventually reach out. I was lucky to get professional help, but that’s not the case for everyone.”

Both Sara and Anna hope that by speaking openly about their experiences they can break down this stigma surrounding maternal mental health and help mums see that the picture perfect parenthood depicted on social media is as far from reality as you can get.   They want to give all mums easy access to knowledge, self-care tools and support so they can get the help they need when they need it.

The Nourish app is currently available for iPhone (download here), with Android launching later this summer.  thenourishapp.com
@thenourishapp

Motherdom is available here (both in print and online): motherdom.co.uk as well as in selected WHSmith stores.

City Kids Edit: What we love this week

Here’s the first City Kids Edit, a weekly round-up of things to do, see, wear, buy and enjoy, brought to you by editors Victoria and Morag.

As we are mums who live in and around London, we thought you might like to know what we get up to in the capital with our own kids. From the restaurants where we hang out with them and the exhibitions and events we all visit, to the clothes, toys and books we buy. There will also be some mum stuff too – where we like to shop, holiday ideas and what we are planning for the weekend. We hope to give you some fun parenting tips and inspiration.

 

Morag’s edit

Reading:

Raising kids isn’t easy even when you have a supportive partner to share parenthood with, so choosing to go it alone is a huge decision for any woman to take. In her new book Going Solo Genevieve Roberts tells the story of how aged 37 she chose to use a sperm donor to have her daughter Astrid after being told her fertility levels were dwindling. Now pregnant with her second child from a donor, Genevieve describes in moving detail what embarking on motherhood alone is really like – from the pregnancy and birth to raising her daughter and the way others react to her family set up. It’s a really powerful, uplifting read about one woman’s journey to become a mum and I would recommend it.

 

Wearing:

I had hoped the heatwave would last and I’d be in my sandals from now until September, but since the temperature has dropped I’m back in my trusty Veja trainers. I’ve been a fan for about three years and am on to my fourth pair. The brand is all about sustainability and all of their shoes are made from materials ethically sourced from producers in Brazil. I could lie and say this is the sole reason I buy them, but in truth it’s because I love the simple, chic design and the iconic V on the side. Plus they are super comfy. Perfect for wearing with jeans on the school run or my leather skinnies to a meeting.

Buying:

Still on the subject of footwear, great children’s shoes (and clothes for that matter) shouldn’t cost the earth in my opinion. So I really like the brand new kids’ range from highstreet favourite Aldo for ages 4 to 14. From boots to sneakers and sandals, their designs are pretty cool. I particularly like the tan leather high tops for boys that I plan to buy now and put away for autumn.

Trying out:

My kids eat pretty healthily overall (despite the chocolate over load at Easter) but I do like to give them vitamins to supplement their diet.

I’ve been sent some Super Hero Omega 3 fish oil from Bare Biology and my boys are trying it out – so far so good. It’s for children and the daily dose of one 1ml drop contains 500mg DHA and 130mg EPA – great for everything from their brains to their bones.

Booking:

Something for the kids and something for me. Firstly, this May half term (which is actually only a few weeks away!) I plan to take my boys to Beasts of London at the Museum of London which takes visitors though the history of the Capital through the eyes of animals who have played a role in shaping it – including foxes, pigeons and even elephants and lions. From Roman times to present day, the immersive digital installation tells some amazing stories that are narrated by the likes of Kate Moss, Brian Blessed and Stephen Mangan. My kids will be fascinated I’m sure.

 

Secondly, I really want to see the new adaptation of the classic play All About Eve at the Noel Coward theatre starring Gillian Anderson and Lily James. It has had rave reviews and I can’t wait to see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best London parks for picnics

A sunny bank holiday weekend? Must be time for a picnic. Here’s our guide to the best London parks for picnics

Primrose Hill
One of our favourite London views is from the top of Primrose Hill, a whopping 63 metres above sea level. A special spot to watch the sun go down.

Victoria Park
Over 86 hectares, this is one of London’s larges parks, as well as one of its oldest. Sadly the splash park isn’t open until May but you should be able to find a little piece of green for your rug.

London Fields
Close to Broadway Market, if you can’t be bothered to pac the picnic, you can buy supplies here. The Olympic-sized lido might be worth a look in this weather too!

Holland Park
There’s plenty to do here if you need to keep the kids entertained with football, golf and netball. Plus the Kyoto garden may just be a hint of how Japan is looking during blossom season.

Richmond Park
Ignoring the roads that criss-cross this huge expanse of land, you really could be miles from the city here. Don’t talk to the deer though, they can do serious harm.

Wandsworth Park
A nice spot by the river, with a couple of pubs close by if the mood takes. Plus Putt in the Park which is fun for all ages and abilities.

Brockwell Park
If you get here early you’ll have time for a swim at Brockwell Lido and then a wonderful picnic in the park. Explorers will discover the 19th-century clock tower, a walled garden and some formal planting.

Thames Barrier Park
Who knew there was an accompanying park to this feat of engineering. It’s a whole day out too, including fountains, flower gardens, manicured lawns and a café.

St James’s Park
Give a nod to the new arrival, if she or he arrives this weekend, with a trip to one of London’s most royal of parks. Surrounded by royal residences and Horse Guards Parade, there’s also a fountain, lake and pelicans to amuse.

Kew Gardens
Always a popular choice when the sun shines, it’s still possible to find a quiet spot for a sarnie. Plus there’s the chance to see the Chihuly at Kew showcase.

Images courtesy:
Primrose Hill: Royal Parks
Holland Park: travellingdaveuk
Brockwell Park Lido: Brockwell Park Lido

Cool Things For Kids

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

Experimental Fun

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Shoes we love

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

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

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

Scooter time

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

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

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

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

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

 

Top Hats

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

ADVICE ON PRIMARY SCHOOL PLACES DAY

On the day that primary school places are announced, City Kids gets advice from one Headteacher about how to tackle disappointment.

Today sees the announcement of the primary school places for September 2019.  Many of us go to drastic measures to ensure that our little ones get into our preferred choice of school, but there are no guarantees.  Though there are many fantastic primary schools in your local area, competition is high.  Hopefully, you will be thrilled at your offer.

But what do you do if that is not the case? We caught up with Sophie Baber, Headteacher of Brookham School, in Liphook to see what advice she had to offer parents.

Don’t panic!

“First and foremost, don’t panic and don’t let your child see that you are upset. The last thing you want is to transfer any stress or anxiety on to your child.

Once you have processed the offer and collected your thoughts, it is time to accept the school place you have been offered.  While this may seem counter intuitive, it is important that your child has a school to go to in September.  If you don’t, the chances are that you could lose your place and be offered an even less desirable option. Don’t worry, this will not affect your right to appeal.

Get on the phone

After you have done this, I would advise phoning your preferred choice of school.  If you think it’s brilliant, the chances are so will lots of other parents.  As a result, the phones are likely to be busy and the waiting list may be long. However, there is always movement, places come up all the time and it’s not uncommon to be offered a place on the first day of the new school year.

Consider appealing

Now your child’s name is securely on the waiting list; it is time to consider appealing. If you are to be successful, you need to have a solid case.  Your reason could relate to a mistake in the admissions arrangements or the suitability of a school to meet your child’s needs.  It is important to note that each local authority will have a slightly different process, so it is imperative to check out your local authority’s website.  Most will have an online form to complete and you will have to complete a new form for each school you wish to apply to.  Don’t forget to have all your supporting evidence in a digital format, so that it can be uploaded and submitted all at the same time.  You may want to consider employing a solicitor or a member of a schools appeals organisation to help.

Going to appeal can be extremely stressful and the chances of success are limited, but there is another option to consider. There are some truly outstanding independent schools in our local area.  With nurturing smaller class sizes and an enviable breadth of curriculum, delivered by specialist teachers, this a brilliant back up plan.  If you are in the fortunate position of being able to afford this option, you will find that many independent schools will be open for admissions all year round.  If financially this seems an impossibility, it is worth picking up the phone and asking about the bursaries on offer.

With all of these options there is no magic wand, but if you don’t ask…”

Sophie Baber is Headteacher at Brookham School in Liphook, Hampshire.
highfieldandbrookham.co.uk 
01428 722 005

If you’d like to visit, you can join one of the open days held throughout the year, or organised a personalised visit with Sophie.

REDROOFS WORKSHOP IN MAY HALF-TERM

Redroofs School for the Performing Arts shares expertise during two-day workshop in May half-term

 

Redroofs School for the Performing Arts, which has helped to secure life changing careers for hundreds of children in West End shows, are coming to London to share their expertise to your children.

During a two-day musical theatre workshop, girls and boys aged 8-13 will work with industry professionals from West End shows such as Wicked, Matilda, School of Rock and Mary Poppins to create an informal presentation of show-stopping songs and routines.

The workshops also give the children an opportunity to ask lots of questions about how to land a part in a West End show, life as a young performer and how to achieve your ambitions.

This is very definitely suitable for all levels of experience from a keen novice to experienced young performers, with or without a dance background. This workshop promises to enhance your theatre skills and to increase your contacts and introduce you to like-minded stars of the future.

About Redroofs

The School was founded in 1947 in North London, and moved to the home of the late Ivor Novello in leafy Berkshire in 1964. One of the earliest pupils was Rula Lenska and alumni now include Kate Winslet CBE, Lucy Benjamin, Joanne Froggatt and Kris Marshall.

The school has trained and also launched the young careers of Oscar, Bafta, and Golden Globe nominees and winners, musical theatre performers, film stars and familiar faces. Children from a variety of backgrounds and abilities are welcomed. Its Gold Teams currently work with some of the UK’s finest talent, in workshops and children’s masterclasses.

Supporting Young People

The building of confidence, teamwork, transferable presentation skills, and of course friendships through secure and assured Performing Arts training and expectations are evident in the Redroofs story and have supported young people into wide ranging careers, as actors, dancers and singers, directors, writers, producers, lawyers, teachers and more.

Redroofs pupils have most recently starred in West End Shows such as Matilda, Mary Poppins, Annie, School of Rock, Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Nativity!, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child while more pupils are notching up TV & Film credits including The Kid Who Would Be King, Tolkien, Almost Never (CBBC), Picasso, Music, War and Love and many more.

MAY HALF-TERM WORKSHOP

KIDS IN THE MUSICALS
Mayfair, London
Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th May 2019

Venue: Danceworks, 16 Balderton Street, Mayfair, London W1K 6TN
Ages: 8-13+ years

Time: 10-3pm daily

 

The Best Easter Chocolates

There are some traditions which will (hopefully) never die, such as chocolate at Easter. We’ve had the unenviable task of seeking out the best for you, and your family.

 

PLAYin CHOC

 

 

Vegan, refined sugar free, organic and let’s just say delicious! PLAYin CHOC kids cubes come with a fun fact card, a 3D rabbit puzzle and 2 x 10g chocolates.

Ladurée

Ladurée’s Easter treats are top notch. As well as these eggs they’ve collaborated with Morihide Yoshida who has created, amongst other things, a white chocolate and yuzu macaron and a pastry, all of which are available in Ladurée stores.

Prestat

From Ruby Chocolate and Popping Prosecco to London Gin and Sea Salt Caramel – Prestat, chocolatier to Her Majesty The Queen, has a delicious range of beautifully packaged eggs to treat your loved ones to this Easter.

Heston from Waitrose

 

“As useless as a chocolate teapot”. Sold out online but you may be lucky to find in-store at Waitrose. Heston’s milk-chocolate teapot is filled with cocoa nib ‘tea leaves’ accompanied by crunchy ‘sugar cube’ truffle chocolates flavoured with his favourite teas.

Hotel Chocolat


When an egg just isn’t enough, go for a hamper. This one by Hotel Chocolate is filled with chocolates including Salted Macadamia, Raspberry Supermilk and Champagne, solid white chocolate City Bunnies, dip into egg soldiers with truffle eggs and praline toast. Well posh!

ChoconChoc

The imagination from this company is amazing. We love their Christmas advent calendars, and now we’re besotted by eggs on toast! You must check them out for an alternative Easter surprise.

Montezuma’s


‘Not all dark chocolate is the same’ states Simon Pattinson, Co-founder of Montezuma’s. We love this chocolate library which offers a variety of flavours and tastes. And it’s vegan.

ROCKS LANE OPENS NEW VENUES

Rocks Lane launches Friday Night 5s at new venues

 

 

London’s longest running junior football league is launching at new venues after Easter, with further new sites lined up for the Autumn. Rocks Lane Friday Night 5s is already a much loved and established Friday fixture in Chiswick and Barnes, described by parents ‘as a great way to end the week!’

The junior league recently launched at Hurlingham Park in Fulham and following its success, Rocks Lane will now run Friday Night 5s at Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith from 27thApril and in Balham from September.

Create a team

Built on Friendship, Fair Play and Fun – Friday Night 5s junior 5-a-side leagues gives young players a unique opportunity to play competitive football with friends. Unlike school or club sports, Friday Night 5s is incredibly social and lets the children take charge: they create their own squad, pick a team name and can even design their own kit.

Fair Play

Fair play is at the heart of the league, with weekly awards given for effort, aiming to boost the confidence of players.  In addition, each league can provide a Match Day Management service where a coach can give support to individual teams. After the matches teams can track their progress online – just like a real Premiership team!

Friday Night 5s is open to boys and girls in Years 1 -13. Places are limited so now’s the time to get a team together and reserve a place in next term’s league.


 

For more information:

info@fridaynightfives.com
www.fridaynightfives
0208 994 1313
Instagram: @fridaynight5s
FB: @fridaynight5s

The Best Easter Goodies

Easter is nearly here and it’s another excuse to have some fun with festive decorating. So if you after Easter egg hunt goodies, cute table decorations for an Easter themed party or clever Spring craft ideas, here are five of the best places to pick them up.

Meri Meri

No one does party decorations like Meri Meri. We love their pretty, pastel bunny plates and napkins, flower cookie cutters and egg decorating kit. If you’re having an Easter get-together then this is your first port of call.

TK Maxx

Making Easter special shouldn’t cost the earth and TK Maxx have a great range or affordable but also really nice decorations like this sweet, simple garland. Check out their lovely floral basket for collecting those all important cholocate eggs and also the lovely egg cups – perfect for real eggs on Easter morning.

 

Biscuiteers

Fancy a break from chocolate? Opt for some beautifully iced cookies from Biscuiteers. Their Luxe Tin has biscuits in the shape of bunnies, eggs and chicks. Almost too pretty to eat.

 

John Lewis

Our favourite department store does Easter just as well as it does everything else. The card making set is great for kids that like crafts and the brilliant egg hunt kits make the search for chocolate goodies even more fun.

Paperchase

If you have some little bunnies or chicks who like dressing up then these adorable head dresses from Paperchase will do the trick nicely. They also have such a lovely selection of Easter cards and decorations so it’s well worth popping in.

 

 

 

Easter Holiday Camps

Easter may be a month away, but the holidays aren’t! We’ve picked our favourites amongst the many holiday camps now available in London

 

RICHER EDUCATION
One of London’s leaders in science and STEM learning, Richer Education provide camps for all levels of knowledge and ability. They have now also included debating and public speaking on their skills list.
Chelsea, Kensington | 4-14 years.
richereducation.co.uk

WILL TO WIN
At centres across London, Will to Win provide tennis, netball and multi sports camps for youngsters 4-7yrs and also full day camps for 7-16 yrs. All take place in beautiful London parks.
Chiswick, Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, Ealing, Regent’s Park
willtowin.co.uk

THE LITTLE GYM
Whilst you may think may only be open to members, The Little Gym opens its doors to everyone for their holiday camps. Some of The Little Gym centres also offer dance and karate camps. Register for full or half days. Gyms in Chiswick, Hampton & Teddington, Wandsworth & Fulham and Westfield White City | Ages 3-12 yrs
thelittlegym.eu

ROCKS LANE
With venues in Chiswick, Barnes, Bishop’s Park and Hurlingham Park, Rocks Lane offers football, multi-sport, tennis and netball camps for kids from the age of three (shorter hours).
rockslane.co.uk

SUPER CAMPS
Want to try something a bit different? Super Camps offer Lego Play, Bushcraft, Cookery, as well as football and multi-activity.
Various school-based locations |4-12 yrs
supercamps.co.uk

MOTHER NATURE SCIENCE
Book a day or a full week at these camps designed to have fun with science. Themed days include Rocket Launch, Powerful Air, Starry Light and Outer Space.
Kingston, Richmond, Sutton, Harrow, Southgate, St John’s Wood, Hampstead, Kensington, Herne Hill | 5-12 yrs
mnature.co.uk

THE STRINGS CLUB
Packed with fun-filled, unmissable musical experiences, our multi award-winning Ofsted registered Holiday Camps for children aged 4 – 11 bring together the very best of childcare and music education to engage and inspire your child – every holiday.
Islington and Hampstead | 4-11 yrs
thestringsclub.org

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

IOI
Bricks and Code, Robot Zoo and Game and Code are just three of the themed days which are part of Lab Liftoff this Easter. The Institute of Imagination’s mission is for kids to explore ideas, invent new products and build new skills.
Lambeth | 7-12 yrs
ioi.london

CHELSEA YOUNG WRITERS
Whether you’re at your wits end with your child’s creative writing skills, or you have a David Walliams on your hands, Chelsea Young Writer could help this Easter. Writing workshops are designed by award-winning children’s authors and led by experienced practicing writers and educators.
Notting Hill | 6-12 yrs
chelseayoungwriters.co.uk

KITE STUDIOS
Head to this oasis of creativity in West London to enjoy arty workshops for kids of all abilities. The classes will cover printmaking, painting and drawing during themed days such as Hobby Horses and Fabric Puppets and Brush Work and Painting Fur.
Shepherds Bush | 4-10 yrs.
kitestudios.org

THE MUSIC HOUSE
This Easter you can immerse yourself in a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory week-long camp. There’s also The Lamb Who Lost Her Jump at Bush Hall and an Instrumental Extravaganza where children can try out any instrument they like!
Shepherds Bush | 5 yrs+
musichouseforchildren.com/whats-on

NET-IT CAMPS
Love netball? Junior netball camps aim to improve netball skills, maximise personal development and have fun!
Holland Park, Wandsworth, Fulham and sleepover camps at Woldingham School | Reception to Y8.
net-it.org

DUKES MEADOWS
A favourite with locals – wonder if it’s that hot lunches are also provided for those staying all day? Do tennis or golf, or both, multisports or even add skiing, yes skiing to the mix.
Chiswick | 5 yrs+
dukesmeadows.com

SPARKS
This Easter your kids could make a fantasy movie, exploring how to produce epic battle scenes, master stunts and fight choreography, not to mention full-on production design, cinematic camera skills, special effects and all the behind the scenes magic it takes to make a movie. Phew!
Balham, Highgate, Dulwich, Kensington, Hampstead | 7-11years
sparks-ignite.com

 

THE FLEXIBLE VEGETARIAN BY JO PRATT GIVEAWAY

Win a copy of The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt.

We have a signed copy of Jo Pratt’s latest book, The Flexible Vegetarian, to give away.

All the recipes are quick, versatile and simple with many suitable for all the family, even tiddlers. All you have to do is use our clever widget below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more of Jo’s recipes, including her Fishfingers and a Handful of Dips, head here.

Amazing last minute Easter holidays to book

If you fancy getting away from it all on a lovely family holiday this Easter but haven’t booked anything yet, it’s not too late. Whether you want an Alpine ski trip, a city break or a sunny beach escape, we have some ideas for amazing holidays that both grown ups and kids will love.

Hit the Slopes

French Fun

Esprit Ski always has some last minute availably for school holidays, along with great childcare.  They currently have rooms in their property in La Rosière, France. The ski area is great for families and offers everything from gentle nursery slopes to plentiful off-piste options.

Esprit are offering seven nights at the Chalet Begonia in La Rosiere  from £784 per person,  a saving of £50 per person departing on 14th April 2019 from Edinburgh, Manchester and London airports.Chalet Begonia is one of four chalet apartments in the Ferme d’Elisa building situated a convenient 150m from the nearest lift. Price includes flights, transfers, chalet catering accommodation with wine. Esprit’s Childcare is available from £349 for six full days for children aged between 17 weeks and 12-years-old. espritski.com

Swiss Snow

Top-end family ski operator Powder Byrne have some great deals in snow-sure high-altitude resorts. For example, Priva Alpine Lodge in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, is sophisticated but comfortable, with a traditional alpine-chic interior, a mountain dining hut, swimming pool and spa.

A family of four can stay in a 2-bedroom superior apartment with a welcome hamper for £7100 from 6th to 13th April. Price includes flights from Heathrow, transfers, Powder Byrne in resort services including complimentary ski guideing and access to their award-winning children’s programme. powderbyrne.com

Fly and Flop

European Family Favourite

The Almyra in Cyprus has long been known as one of the best luxury family hotels in Europe with amazing facilities and kids clubs in a fantastic beach location.This Easter guests can save just under £1,000 and receive complimentary upgrade to half board is they book a stay there with Sovereign Luxury Travel.

They are offering a seven night holiday in two Interconnecting Inland View Rooms, on a half board basis, from £3,795 per family of four – saving up to £927. The offer includes complimentary upgrade to half board private resort transfers and return international flights from London Gatwick with easyJet. Based on departures 07 April 2019. soverign.com

Caribbean Paradise

Carlisle Bay on the tranquil south coast of Antigua offers water sports, tennis, rainforest hikes as well as a full children’s programme at its dedicated kids club. Awarded ‘Best Long-Haul’ Hotel at the Family Traveller Awards 2018, the 87-suite resort offers a huge range of activities for all ages. While it’s a long-haul destination, flights are direct and less than eight hours. Plus with only four hours’ time difference, families can leave Gatwick at 10am and be enjoying the beach by mid-afternoon. Bliss!

Luxury Worldwide Collection offers a week over Easter at Carlisle Bay from £12,125 per family, saving up to £3,580. Cost includes return flights with BA from Gatwick to Antigua, 7-night accommodation in 2x inter-connecting Garden Suites on a bed and breakfast basis and private transfers. Valid for travel between 9-22 April 2019. based on a family of 4 (2 adults & 2 children under 12yrs). lwcholidays.com

Indian Ocean Escape

With beautiful beaches, directly flights and no jet lag to speak of, Mauritius is a firm favourite for families. The Residence Mauritius have introduced their new ‘Little Explorer’ packages, showcasing fun and inspirational family and child friendly experiences.

The Little Explorer Package starts from £50 per child and includes a guided tour of Marche de Flaq, a ticket to L’Aventure de Sucre museum, baking session, tasting session, apron and hat. Rooms at The Residence Mauritius start from £330 per room per night on a half board basis. cenizaro.com/theresidence

Far East Fun

The Six Senses Samui, Thailand offering a huge savings of 40% families this Easter as kids stay and dine for free. With 66 villas overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Siam, you can explore the amazing surroundings, island hop or even try out some juggle trekking on elephant back.

Seven nights in an Ocean Pool Villa Suite from £8,895 per family of four (based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing) That includes breakfast, return International flights with Malaysian Airlines and private airport transfers. Book by 31 March 2019 and travel until 21 April 2019. turquoiseholidays.co.uk

Closer to Home

Cornish Coast

You can’t beat Cornwall for a beach break in the UK. The newly renovated St Michaels Resort, opposite Falmouth’s Blue Flag Gyllyngvase beach, is a lovely base from which to explore the coastline. It has a great three-night family package that includes a stay in a classic or twin room, a full Cornish breakfast, one 3-course dinner, spa and health club access. They even give Easter eggs to everyone in the family and if you want to take your pooch just book one of the dog friendly rooms. A 3-night stay starts from £272 per person. Available from 8 to 27 April. stmichaelshotel.co.uk

Beautiful Bath

Congrove Barns are just a few miles from the centre of Bath. Both are newly renovated and are a great self-catering option for families, with large, open living space and brilliant games room, complete with table football and board games a-plenty keep everyone entertained. Outside there are also croquet and badminton sets for garden games a hot tub to relax in.

The Easter week (19 – 26th April) is still available in the barn that sleeps six. £1,495 for a 7-night stay over Easter.  Check out luxurycotswoldrentals.co.uk to see these properties and lots more lovely rural spots to rent. 

Weekend Away

Irish Gettaway

The luxury Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort in Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland are just about open a selection of gorgeous new cottages. There are 17 dotted around the stunning parkland estate, each is set within its own pretty garden location with beautiful rural views.  

Perfect for families, guests at the cottages can use all the hotel’s five-star facilities. They have different size properties so check out the website to find out more. If you’d like to opt for B&B instead of self catering then prices start from £170.00 per cottage per night which includes access to the award winning Thermal Spa Village. galgorm.com

City Sights

If you fancy taking the kids on a city break, then check out Novotel. Dotted all over the country, these simple, convenient hotels are often in great city centre locations. For example, a family room in the Edinburgh or York Novotel costs just £94 per night for a family room (two adults and two children). Kids under 16 eat free if the parents purchase breakfast with the room and kids get a free welcome gift too.

Ideal for a stopover or an weekend away that doesn’t cost the earth.

accorhotels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CK Reviews: Cloud Twelve Club

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.

The Kid Who Would Be King – A Review

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

Joe Cornish

PRODUCED BY

Nira Park, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner

CAST

Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, with Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart

Cool things for kids

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.

 

Doodle Tablecloth

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Playbrush toothbrush

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.

 

Kid Pix

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.

Nuna CUDL

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

 

New screen time advice for parents

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.

Conversation pointers:

Supported by the CMO and produced by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health these are ideas to help them make decisions about their screen use:

  • Is our family’s screen time under control?
  • Does screen use interfere with what our family want to do?
  • Does screen use interfere with sleep?
  • Are we able to control snacking during screen time?
Ongoing support
  • Charities such as the NSPCC are urging parents to make online awareness as high a priority as road safety. They have some fantastic resources for parents and schools.
  • The UK Council for Internet Safety has developed a framework to equip children and young people for digital life and guidance for parents on minimising their child’s risk of online harms.
  • 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
  • The UK Safer Internet Centre have partnered with Childnet International to create specific guidance on Keeping under 5s safe online.
  • Children’s Mental Health Week helps to tackle childhood anxiety and depression which can be brought on by social media, cyber bullying and other online behaviours.

Images courtesy: NSPCC and Department of Health and Social Care

 

Rochelle Humes publishes new children’s book

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.”

Multi-talented

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

 

NET-A- PORTER LAUNCH CHILDRENSWEAR COLLECTION

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’.

Mini Me

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.

 

 

Other outlets

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!

JOIN OUR TEAM

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.City Kiks Magazine Issue17

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
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.

INTERN
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 editor@citykidsmagazine.co.uk, enclosing a copy of your CV. We regret that we will only be able to contact those who we can meet for interview.

CITY KIDS SCHOOL FOOD AWARDS

 

STILL TIME TO ENTER!

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:

State Sector
  • School Dinner Hero (Primary/Secondary)
  • Best School Menu (Primary/Secondary)
  • Best Vegetarian Menu (Primary/Secondary)
Independent Sector
  • School Dinner Hero (Prep/Secondary)
  • Best School Menu (Prep/Secondary)
  • Best Vegetarian Menu (Prep/Secondary)
Why Enter?

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 editor@citykidsmagazine.co.uk. Good luck!

CityKidsSFA2019 rules and entry form



Entries close on Friday 31st January 2019. 

#CityKidsSFA2019

SUMMER HOLIDAY CLUBS & CAMPS

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.

www.fitforsport.co.uk

 

OXYGEN FREEJUMPING

As well as a summer pass for £25 (quickly book before 1 August)which allows you to jump every day during the holidays, use our code CITYKIDS15 to save 15% on freejumping.

www.oxygenfreejumping.co.uk

 

FIRETECH

Innovative and creative tech camps covering coding, electronics, games, robotics and more. 7-17yrs Imperial College & South Hampstead. £25 off with promo code CITYKIDS

www.firetechcamp.com

 

THE LITTLE GYM

Themed activity camps that not only teach gymnastics but also work on confidence, self-esteem and creativity. 3-12yrs Chiswick, Westfield, Wandsworth, Hampton Hill

www.thelittlegym.eu

 

WILL TO WIN

Tennis for a week is a great way to improve. Lots of drills, games and match play with an emphasis on fun! Rackets can be borrowed. 4yrs+ Chiswick, Ealing, Regents Park, Hyde Park.

www.willtowin.co.uk

 

MELLA MELLA

Kids Clay Club runs Tuesday and Thursday mornings and afternoons during the holidays. For £40 you will throw a pot, decorate tiles, glaze and fire. 6yrs+ Chiswick

www.mellamellas.co.uk

FIRST HAND EXPERIENCES

Sleep away camps at a family run farm in the Kent countryside where kids can connect to their natural environment to learn from and through nature. 7-14yrs Gather Green, Kent

www.firsthandexperiences.co.uk

 

WONDER OF WORDS – Watermans

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

www.watermans.org.uk

 

CYPHER CODERS

Coding and tech inspired camps which touch on themes such as music, robotics, nature, oceanography and art. Pick up points across West London to their bases in Notting Hill and St John’s Wood. 5yrs+

www.cyphercoders.com

 

ET PATATI PATATA

Learn French from native speakers in this 30 hour a week immersion school. Gold Award holiday camp. 4-16yrs in three age groups Hammersmith

www.etpatatipatata.com

 

FLIPOUT

Tramplining camps which include freejumping sessions, drama, art and back to school booster classes. Even a free t-shirt. 6-14yrs Brent Cross

www.flipout.co.uk

 

LITTLE HOUSE OF SCIENCE

Curious minds encouraged to explore, experiment and play at Imperial College. 4-11yrs Imperial College, Chelsea, St Johns Wood, Notting Hill & Kensington

www.littlehouseofscience.com

 

MY LITTLE BOARDERS

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

www.mylittleboarders.co.uk

 

KITE STUDIOS

All day workshops on Wednesdays including Plants inspired by Kew Gardens and Mixed Media with Ferdinand the Bull. Askew Road.

www.kitestudios.org

 

SHOOTING STARZ

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

www.shootingstarz.co.uk

 

ROCKS LANE

Multi-sports, netball and football on offer with lunchbox included. 3-12yrs Chiswick, Barnes, Bishops Park

www.rockslane.co.uk

 

SUMMER ART CAMP

Starting 30 July head to the V&A Museum of Childhood for a week of art influenced by the collection. 8-11yrs Bethnal Green

www.vam.ac.uk

 

WILD EDUCATION

For children aged 5 to 11 years.

Outdoor fun from 30 July where kids can learn life skills and make new friends in these three day courses. 5-11yrs Barnes and Twickenham

www.wildeducation.co.uk

 

KIDZANIA

Starting 30 July Kidzania’s camp includes fun-packed activities with Middlesex Cricket Club and WWE.

www.KidZania.co.uk

 

BRENTFORD FC COMMUNITY SPORTS TRUST

“Confidence, Fair Play, Leadership, Respect, Sportsmanship, Teamwork” Soccer schools which teach technique in a fun and safe environment. 5-12yrs Isleworth

www.brentfordfccst.com

TNT HAMPTON POOL

On Tuesdays and Thursdays take the kids for two hours of inflatable fun with bouncy castle, giant aqua run, walking on water and of course, swimming. Snack included. 4-14yrs Hampton

www.hamptonpool.co.uk

 

ENDLESS SUMMER

Inspired by the 1980s, the SS18 collection by piupiuchick is a nostalgia trip back to long summer days, spent with friends in the holidays.

www.piupiuchick.com

Also stocked at Scandi Mini, 69 Blythe Rd, W14 0HP
www.scandimini.com

ENDLESS SUMMER

ENDLESS SUMMER

ENDLESS SUMMER

ENDLESS SUMMER

ENDLESS SUMMER

ENDLESS SUMMER