Win Spirit of Christmas Tickets

We’re giving you the chance to win Spirit of Christmas tickets



To celebrate its 20 year anniversary and its return following a year of shopping online, we are offering you the chance to win Spirit of Christmas tickets! And no ordinary tickets – unlimited passes mean you can go on any day and return as many times as you like within the seven days of the show.

This year you’ll find 650 independent boutiques offering items not found on the high street, shining a spotlight on British, sustainable and ethically produced products. Enabling customers to find something for even the trickiest of individuals to buy for, discerning shoppers will find endless never-before-seen items. From gifts and treats to entertaining ideas, the expertly curated fashion, decorations, jewellery, homeware, baby and children, toys and games, food and drinks brands have all been hand-picked for their quality and originality.

Every serious shopper needs refreshments, and you’ll find the Louis Roederer Champagne Bars or Mosimann’s.


1-7 November 2021
Olympia, London


Click here to enter


Terms & Conditions
This competition will run from 22-29 October 2021.
The tickets are offered are two unlimited passes.
The winner will be notified by email.
Tickets are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged.
Travel is not included.
Only one entry per person, per day will be counted.
The decision of City Kids Magazine is final.


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Chris Packham at ACS Egham

Climate Change and sustainability will lead event when Chris Packham speaks at ACS International School, Egham



ACS International School Egham will next month welcome naturalist, TV presenter and campaigner, Chris Packham, to headline its new sustainability event, ‘The world needs…Climate change challengers’. Taking place in-person and live-streamed globally on Tuesday 9 November, 7.00-8.20pm (GMT), ‘The world needs…Climate change challengers’ will highlight how people can contribute to climate change solutions and, ultimately, help build a more sustainable future.

Chris Packham will be addressing the audience at ACS Egham via live-stream about his experience in conservation and campaigning, providing inspiration to all people who are passionate about conversation issues and injustices.

Chris will be followed by Sophie Locke, Research and Projects Manager, Blue Marine Foundation, whose day-to-day work is to develop solutions to an area of climate change. They will discuss their pathway to their career today, and will highlight the steps young people can take now to become a climate change challenger in their future.

Jeremy Lewis, Head of School, ACS Egham, comments: “Every single day climate change poses a new threat to our planet. If we do nothing, it is going to catch up with us much sooner than we think. Today’s students are preparing for their lives and careers in this unpredictable future, but what tools do they need to, firstly, be happy and successful and, secondly, contribute to a sustainable future world?

“During ‘The world needs… Climate change challengers’ students, parents and members of the community interested in climate action will hear how science gives us a greater insight into the impact of climate change and also presents opportunities for solutions, while discovering how students can apply what they are learning in school today to making a positive impact in their futures.”



ACS Egham has received the Eco-Schools silver award due to its curriculum links to environmental issues, as well as the wide range of sustainability initiatives in place across the campus – from enhanced systems to reduce water consumption, to organised waste management.  Home to 600 students, aged 4 to 18, the school also runs a ‘Jaguars in Action’ initiative which sees students aged 11-18 coming together to discuss key environmental issues and arrange activities like nature walks, litter collections and wild bee hive making.

‘The world needs… Climate change challengers’ is the first in ACS International Schools’ new series of ‘What the World Needs’ events, which this year focuses on building a sustainable future. Throughout the series of four compelling hybrid events – each hosted by one of ACS’s schools in Egham, Cobham, Hillingdon and Doha, Qatar – attendees will discover the skills and attributes young people need to successfully contribute to SDGs: Climate Action; Responsible Consumption; and Good Health and Wellbeing.

The new ‘What the World Needs’ series follows a successful launch series in 2020, with speakers including Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder, A Plastic Planet, and Michael Sheldrick of Global Citizen.

‘The world needs… Climate change challengers’ will be hosted at ACS Egham’s campus and will be live streamed globally. Limited places are available for the in-person event, where attendees will have the opportunity to experience the historic ACS Egham campus.

In person tickets to see Chris Packham

Secure your free tickets to the event now via the following link:


Annabel Karmel and Rachel Riley

Two legendary family brands, Annabel Karmel and Rachel Riley team up


There aren’t many names bigger than Annabel Karmel and Rachel Riley when it comes to feeding and clothing children. And now they’ve joined forces to launch a capsule baby and toddler clothing collection. The collaboration sees exclusive prints from Rachel Riley inspired by the illustrations in Annabel Karmel’s bestselling book, Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner, brought to life on a range of baby and toddler clothing and accessories.



The colourful range includes an adorable red jelly print, oranges & lemons and a patriotic Beefeater & Big Ben print. Products include babygros £28 (0-3m, 3-6m, 6- 12m) – which can be personalised for an extra £10, pyjamas £35 (3-6m to 2-3yr), blankets £25, muslins £12 two bibs £9 each. The collection also includes matching ‘mini me’ aprons for children and adults which come in a choice of two prints: soldier print (£19 for kids, £29 for adults) and jelly print (£24 for kids, £34 for adults).



The range is available individually or can be bought in gift sets, which includes a copy of one of Annabel’s books, to suit all budgets, making them the ideal gift for a new baby, birthday or even Christmas! Gift sets range from £35 – £99 and come in a luxurious co-branded box.

The Rachel Riley x Annabel Karmel Collection can be found online at:

Pre-Loved Toys Pop Up At Selfridges

Selfridges celebrates Christmas with pre-loved toys pop-up



This Christmas, Selfridges will become the first department store to offer a pre-loved toys pop-up in collaboration with London-based charity The TOY Project as part of its Project Earth RESELLFRIDGES resale platform.

Opening from 18th October until 23rd December, the pop-up will take residence in the Selfridges Toy Department on four, Selfridges London, and will feature a curation of pre-loved and unique toys, from collectable figures, to antique teddies, to classic family-favourite games.



As part of Selfridges’ Project Earth commitment to exploring circular retail models, The TOY Project pop-up will be the latest initiative to join its permanent resale platform RESELLFRIDGES. Customers will be able to shop pre-loved Christmas gifts for the family, as well as help the charity to provide toys to the children and families that need them most.

Customers will be invited to donate toys at the pop-up in the run up to Christmas, to prevent waste over the festive period. Donations can be made every weekend from 23rd October to 18th December. These toys will either be sold back through the Selfridges pop up or the TOY Project’s north London store or given a second life and donated to children through the charity. Profits raised from The TOY Project are used to fund workshops and projects such as toy and book libraries and community events.


The TOY Project is the latest RESELLFRIDGES offer for children; customers can already shop pre-loved designer fashion for newborns up to 14-year-olds through Selfridges partnership with Kidswear Collective.

Curated in partnership with Selfridges, the edit of toys includes recycled puzzles, games, toy figures and mixed bags of smaller pre-loved toys which can be used for children’s parties alongside a collection of vintage toys and collectables.

For further information about Selfridges Project Earth, please visit:

Half term Forest School In Putney

Join Wild About Play, a forest school in Putney, for half-term camps




Wild about Play, a forest school in Putney, is open for outdoor play this half-term. With birds-eye views of Putney Common and woods from their rooftop base camp at Oasis Academy, staff run their Ofsted-approved outdoor nursery all year round, after-school sessions during the school term, outdoor learning camps during school holiday breaks, and wild families’ sessions on select weekends. The mission is to spark, inspire and extend children’s imagination and learning at nursery and primary school age.



Highly-qualified practitioners curate sessions that incorporate the natural world and the EYFS curriculum into children’s education ensuring they unleash their full potential. Children are also encouraged to explore their surroundings and spearhead their learning through a mix of fun physical, musical, artistic and also construction challenges. The calming and rich effects of nature coupled with skilled adult support provides the framework to support meaningful play, enriching learning and developing key skills such as enquiry, expression, experimentation and also team work.

There are lots of reasons to follow a forest school pathway

Aside from physical fitness:

    • Social skills and empathy: ‘Learning by doing’ in the outdoors stimulates our brain activity and helps contribute to collaborative learning skills (2017 Loughborough study ).
    • Enhanced creativity, concentration and motivation for leaning (Feb 2018 Psychology today).
    • Connection to each other and nature: gives an important sense of belonging to each other and their natural environment (April 2018 Woodland Trust).
    • Stress management: Repeated interaction and connection with nature reduces cortisol levels especially in young people ( 09 Feb 2018 Psychology today ).
    • Confidence and independence: Time, space and freedom to think and develop with the help of specialised practitioners working with tools and learning to negotiate risk ( June 2018 – Salmon talk to leaders of the Forest School Movement ).

What’s on offer at the camps:

Children will have fun enjoying the brand-new facilities on the rooftop of @oasisacademyputney with views of the Common, as well as heading out on adventures nearby. Activities include pumpkin carving, autumnal foraging, tribal fun, bird feeders, clay spider making and broomstick adventures.


Testimonials from Wild about Play families:

“Guilia like most of the children loves being outdoors so when I heard about Wild about Play I signed her up immediately. She has really enjoyed the sessions and even though she can be a bit shy, at Wild about Play she takes part in all the activities, has made new friends and always comes out happy, full of stories of her new adventures and ready for a good night’s sleep. The WaP team has been great”.

“Arthur loved his Wild about Play sessions. He particularly loved the camp fire and obstacle course and seemed to relish making bird feeders and learning about all the different trees on the Common and in the Church grounds. He is so full of enthusiasm for life when he comes back home”.

“Zac has thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and comes back tired and happy. Forest school is teaching him to understand and appreciate the world around him as well as working on his social skills”.

“Archie loves his after school sessions at WAP! The nurturing environment led by inspiring staff really engages him in a wide range of outdoor projects and activities. His favourite activity is making craft with natural materials – he’s been creating really imaginative models which have pride of place at home! He has also loved getting mucky with mud and roasting marshmallows on an open fire – every child’s dream!”

To book October half-term camps:

Oasis Academy Roof Top Garden
184 Lower Richmond Road
SW15 1LY

0207 101 3255



Chocolate Orange Balls

Halloween treats ahoy with this recipe for chocolate orange balls



Little Cooks Co is on a mission to get children cooking and what better excuse than Halloween!  Keep this recipe card safe…you will want to make it again and again!

Prep: 15 minutes

Tasty Tip: These heavenly truffles are perfect for both kids and grown-ups. Perfect for trick or treaters – or save them for yourself!


1 cup of dates (100g)

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

Rind of one medium orange (finely grated)

Coconut oil (or some other kind of oil) for your hands



Food processor

Cooking instructions

1. Soften the dates in boiling water for a few mins if they are a little hard.

2. Pop the dates, cacao powder and orange zest in a food processor and blitz for 1-2 mins.

3. If the mixture is too stiff add a few drops of juice from the orange and blitz again

4. Now for little cooks to have some fun! sprinkle some cacao powder on a plate, rub coconut oil into your little cook’s hands and start rolling!

5. Take about a heaped teaspoon amount and roll into a ball – then roll in the cacao powder on the plate and repeat until all of the mixture has been used up

6. Store in a fridge for up to 5 days, though we can guarantee they will not last that long!

Little Cooks Co a delicious, healthy and fun recipe kit, for kids, delivered straight to your door from £8.33 a month.



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Halloween Treats

City Kids guide to the most disgustingly tasty halloween treats


Double double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble….Ok, so we’re more about the treats than the tricks most Halloweens, so our top ten includes some witches brew, snot and a magic wand. And for those that don’t have a sweet tooth (who even are they?) we have a burger from Byron in our round-up of the best Halloween treats. And if you’re looking for some fun decorations and bits and bobs to get you in the mood for a spooktacular party, then follow the link at the bottom of this page which will take you to a wizardly fantastic decorations and tableware edit.



Witches Brew White Hot Chocolate




Simsante Halloween Box

From £9.95



Natalie Marshmallow Skull Lolly




Craft & Crumb Creepy Coffins Bake and Craft Kit



Want to a fun recipe to wow the kids on Halloween night, but you’re short on time. We hear you. We have a fab recipe for Mummy Sausage and Pumpkin Pies which will set the tone for a spooktacular Halloween party.


Harry Potter Chocolate Wand




Byron The Hat Trick Burger




Chococco Gold Chocolate Shimmer Pumpkin with Spiders




Thickest Human Snot




Haunted House




Mixed Set of Cake Pops




Throwing a Halloween party? Head here>>>

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Guide to State Schools


School sign


There are some fantastic state schools in the capital, and there can be fine margins between the schools near your home. Melanie Sanderson, Managing Editor at The Good Schools Guide, offers some pointers to consider before sending in your application in her guide to state schools.


State schools exist not only in a variety of forms, but with nuances between those.  Some areas continue to have a selective system at 11; others do not. Most secondary schools – and quite a few primary schools – are now academies. Plenty of these are part of large academy chains such as Harris Federation, E-Act or ARK. Other schools are free schools, set up by local groups, often with a faith designation. These are all state schools, funded by the government, but academies and free schools are not overseen by local authorities. Controversially, they are permitted to employ unqualified teachers, set their own admission criteria and ignore the national curriculum.

However, worry less about the type of school – there are good and bad within all – but look instead at the individual school and how well it will suit your child.

Over the last 100 years, successive governments have struggled to improve education by reforming its structure, over and over again. What hasn’t changed is that in the UK all state schools are entirely free to parents as they are funded through taxation – though many are now asking parents for voluntary contributions to help fill in shortfalls.

On this site you will find a wealth of information to help you choose the right school for your child. We have an extensive search facility – simply enter your criteria to locate potential schools.

School admissions and catchment areas can be tricky. We explain the former and have produced catchment maps showing where children who attend (or have attended) a school come from. See how far they travel and, importantly, find out which schools you may be in catchment for, via our Interactive Catchment Area Search and easy to use catchment area maps. Be aware, though, that catchments vary each year.

Choosing a state school – points to consider

The environment
Is there an air of care? Are floors polished, bins emptied, displays fresh, thoughtful, inspiring? A school may not have the best of everything, but it should feel welcoming and looked after.

What is the head like?
What strengths do they have? What do other parents, staff and students think of the school? A head can singularly make or destroy a school. Look for good, strong leadership with clear guidelines and boundaries. Do the children have a healthy respect for the head? Do they know much about the head? This can be quite telling.

Additional needs
What is the school’s attitude to those who need extra help and support, whether social, emotional or academic? Are there programmes to stretch the gifted, talented and able? What and when? What about those with special educational needs and disabilities? Are they helped, supported and included? How? How supportive is the school? Does the praise/discipline system flex to meet individual needs? Does it fit with your expectations?

Results and value added
How well do children do? Don’t just look at the headline figures, delve beyond the headlines (see below). If a school has been under-performing, ask what measures have been put in place to improve results – and for whom. Use the data analysis provided on this website to get under the skin of schools.

Inspection reports

Read the latest inspection report. What are the headline grades, Outstanding, Inadequate or somewhere in between? What actions does the report suggest the school should take? Ask what they have done. Some schools share their school improvement plan with parents – you may even find it on their website. This is a good indication of where the focus will be in the coming year(s) and an indication of what they need to do better. Subscribers can use our quick Ofsted facility. But don’t judge a school entirely by its Ofsted report: it may have got its Outstanding rating by ticking the right boxes, or a Requires Improvement rating because it didn’t tick a few boxes you don’t care about anyway. We review some 300 state schools, giving our personal, independent views, written after visiting the school, talking to the head, staff, pupils and parents. The reviews are available to online subscribers and included in The Good Schools Guide print book.

PE, games and sport 
How much of the curriculum is devoted to keeping children fit, active, healthy? Do they run teams for all or just the lucky few? Is there sport for all – including those who find traditional team games tricky? Do they play against other schools? When? Which sports and teams?

What really happens after school and at break times? 
Browse the school website and school noticeboards – what are the children doing? Are there plenty of extracurricular activities? What about trips and tours – for all or just the lucky few? Is the library well-stocked and well-used? Is there a refuge for children requiring a space for quiet reflection?

Lines of communication 
How does the school report to parents? What, when? Is there an active PTA? Are parents invited to be involved with the school? How? What about newsletters? Are these friendly, welcoming and informative or dull and instructional?

What happens when things go wrong? 
Ask about their anti-bullying policy and for anecdotes of how incidents have been managed. What happens when children err?  Who would be the key liaison person for your child? What is their role?

How much, how often, how are you expected to help? Are their clinics available for children who are struggling? Do they have any parent forums or meetings to help parents understand what children are doing?

Starting school

In England, children born between 1 September and 31 August will generally be in the same year group. Those with September birthdays are the oldest in the year. Most children start school in the September after they are four, although it is often possible for younger children to defer starting for a term or two.

Scotland and Northern Ireland do things a little differently.

Applying to a state school

  • If you are applying in England at the normal time for joining a state school – 4+ or 11+ – then apply through your local authority. You apply during the autumn term of the previous year, with the deadline for senior school admissions of 31 October and for junior school of 15 January. Selective schools must organise their entrance exams in order to give parents initial results before the application deadline – so for most of these you must register during June or July, with exams taking place in September.
  • You can list up to six schools on your application form, depending on your local authority. If you qualify for a place at more than one, then you will only be offered a place at the one highest on your list – so do list the schools in order of preference. The schools don’t know which others you have applied to, nor where they come on your list – only the local authority knows that. Some schools set banding tests, offering places to an equal number of children from each ability band. Faith schools generally require you to fill in an additional form relating to your church-going record. If possible, include on your list a school where you have a very good chance of a place, otherwise you risk being offered only Unpopular Academy three bus rides away in the next county.
  • If you want to join a school outside the normal admissions time – perhaps because you are moving house – then in most cases you apply direct to the school, though local authorities can have helpful information of which local schools have spaces. Bear in mind that if you are arriving from abroad, you cannot apply for a school until you have a local address, and if a place is offered, you have to take it up within a short time. These rules don’t apply to those in the Forces and diplomatic

For more education advice head to



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How to achieve a calm bedtime routine

The authors of a new bedtime story book share tips on how to achieve a calm bedtime routine



Christy Kirkpatrick, co-author of The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories: Calming Tales to Read at Bedtime, talks to sleep expert Professor Alice Gregory about the importance of sleep and a calm bedtime routine.

I have always loved my sleep, but until I had children, I didn’t realise quite how much. With uninterrupted nights a distant memory, I began to long for early nights and long stretches of blissful, deep sleep.

I know that I’m not alone in this; the amount of sleep we get is discussed by parents and carers across the city. Alice Gregory Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, explains why. She tells me, ‘we spend around a third of our lives asleep, so evolutionarily this only makes sense if it’s incredibly important. Scientific research over the years has confirmed that this is the case. Sleep plays a big role in so many aspects of our lives, supporting our learning, memory, immune system and emotional regulation, to name just a few. It is also the case that pretty much every psychiatric disorder has been linked to the way we sleep.’ This might help to explain why parents and carers can find it hard when they don’t get enough sleep.

What I hadn’t realised, until Professor Gregory explained it to me, was how important sleep was, not only for adults, but for children, too. ‘If you look at recommendations for the amount of sleep that we should get at different stages of life, you will see a trend for this decreasing across the life course. Recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine state that children aged 1-2 years of old should get 11-14 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, which decreases to 8-10 hours during the teenage years (aged 13-18 years). ( Children need a lot of sleep because it is so important for their growth and development.’

So sleep appears to be important for children’s daytime functioning, but getting our children to sleep at a decent time in the evening can be easier said than done. Often, even though children are tired in the evening, they can find it hard to nod off. Some children find it hard to sleep because as soon as they close their eyes, they start to worry about school or other things that are on their minds. Other children find it hard to wind down after a playdate or activity they have been to. They may be excited by a movie they have watched, or game they have played. Their minds are racing, and it’s hard for them to become sleepy.



I ask Professor Gregory if there is anything that we can do to help children relax and unwind at bedtime. She tells me that there are a number of things ways we can help. According to Professor Gregory, one key thing we can do is to keep our children’s bedtime – and wake time – consistent. Our physiological processes are controlled by ‘clocks’ inside our bodies, so the timing of bedtime is important. However, she adds, we should only go to bed when we are tired, so it’s important not to make our children’s bedtime too early – in case they lie in bed awake for a long time (which should be avoided). We should adjust bedtime as our children grow older.

In addition, Professor Gregory advises keeping bedrooms cool and dark. She encourages us to ensure that our children’s bedrooms are calm, tranquil places to be – and electronics in the bedroom should be avoided. Professor Gregory explains that electronic devices can emit ‘blue light’ which is particularly disruptive to our bodies’ ability to secrete the hormone melatonin. Even when that is not the case, devices can emit noise or lead to excitement which can disrupt sleep.

Professor Gregory tells me that it is a good idea to think about our children’s diet too – and to avoid caffeine. Children are unlikely to be drinking coffee, but caffeine can be found in other food and drink such as cola and chocolate.

A bedtime routine is also important and bedtime stories can also play a part in helping children to relax at bedtime. It was for this reason that Professor Gregory, who is the author of Nodding Off: The Science of Sleep from Cradle to Grave (Bloomsbury, 2018), approached me with the idea of co-writing a book to help children relax at bedtime. I signed up straight away. I’m a children’s book writer with a background in publishing and loved the idea of co-writing a book that would make bedtime a little smoother for many families, including my own.

Professor Gregory explained that there had been emerging research to suggest that children could benefit from the same relaxation techniques as adults. Her idea was to embed some of those scientifically grounded techniques into a calming, beautifully illustrated book. She and I wrote a story called ‘The Sleepy Pebble’ and embedded three scientifically grounded sleep techniques in the story – imagery, muscle relaxation and mindfulness.

We then trialled the story with one hundred families with children aged between three and eleven years old. The results and feedback from the families were encouraging, and we wrote four more stories, all featuring characters from the natural world and all embedding those same relaxation techniques. We then published the book as The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories: Calming Tales to Read at Bedtime (Flying Eye Books, 2019). The stories in the book all feature characters from the natural world along with calming illustrations, advice about how to use the book, tips about how to make bedtime more relaxing, and a question-and-answer section. We’ve been bowled over by the positive feedback since we published the book.

Now I know how important sleep is for children, I do my best to get my children to get a good night’s sleep. It’s not always straightforward, though, and The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories has become my go-to book when I feel that our family needs a bit of a helping hand at bedtime.

The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories: Calming Tales to Read at Bedtime (Flying Eye Books, 2019) can be bought from the publisher’s website and other retailers. To find out more, visit


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Halloween Things to Do

Halloween fun is back on in 2021! Away from the trick or treating, here’s our guide to some horrific Halloween things to do for all your little monsters.


As well as our round up of things to wear, how to decorate and what to eat, there are loads of Halloween things to do in and around London for kids of all ages.


Halloween in the City



Dress up and run 5k in aid of Maggie’s. Places are £26.50 and everyone who signs up gets a Halloween outfit, running number and limited-edition medal. Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by Maggie Keswick Jencks. 28th October, Paternoster Square.


Petrifying Paulton’s



There’s fangtastic fun for all ages at Paulton’s this October. The bravest can try new rides such as Stormchaser and The Cyclonator at Tornado Springs, which will also have a spooky makeover. Peppa Pig World will be transformed and you’ll see Grandpa Pig’s ‘World’s Biggest Pumpkin’ on display. And don’t forget Mr Skinny Legs, the spider!


Pick Your Own Pumpkin



Instead of a trip to the supermarket, head to Surrey to pick your own pumpkin. Every autumn, Crockford Bridge Farm opens its Pumpkin Market. Covid saw bookable tickets, which may help with the crowds that can gather.


Spooktacular Steam Trains



All aboard the Halloween express at Audley End Railway in Saffron Waldon. Chug deep into the woodland to meet the witches and their monsters. They’ll entertain, cast spells and even perform some dances. On your return, visit Belinda, the Fortune Telling Witch, and then onto the Wizards. The trip is suitable for even the tiniest of monsters.


Hair-raising Hike



Choose your distance, gather your bravest guys and ghouls to make up a team or go it alone if you dare to walk along London’s spooky streets. Dress to distress and the creepy dungeon keepers at The Oval start and finish will meet, greet, and shock. Once you escape there’s ghostly looped routes with zombie rest stops, and if you manage to get back in one piece there’s a macabre medal, a glass of the Devil’s fizz, some horrific hot food and drink –and a souvenir bobble hat to ward off the spirits as you head off. Choose from 10k, half marathon or full marathon distances all in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Entrance fees apply with discounts for 12 to 16-year-olds.




Mental Health Resources

Mental health resources for children, teens and parents



This year’s World Mental Health Day falls on 10th October and it’s theme is Mental Health in an Unequal World. Amongst the groups who statistically suffer more greatly with mental health issues are Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, refugees, asylum seekers, and as LGBT people. Add to this a global pandemic which has brought about new challenges, stresses and knock on effects and you’ll see many people affected by mental health problems. We may not know for a long time, the true impact of various lockdowns, changes to routines, general uncertainty and loss of education. Children have had to deal with huge change, lack of face-to-face socialisation and stimulation and some children are feeling lost, sad, low. It’s not always easy to spot so we’ve pulled together some mental health resources for children, teens and parents to access. 

The list below is for anyone that’s concerned about their child’s wellbeing, or indeed, those seeking to be proactive and learn about good mental health and creating good habits for life. We hope that this small variety of resources, available in a number of formats, are a good starting point. 



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Mummy Sausage & Pumpkin Pies Recipe

Mummy Sausage & Pumpkin Pies



How about a really easy recipe which has a bit of a wow factor when you put it on the table. Halloween calls for Mummy Sausage & Pumpkin Pies!

Makes 9 portions


  • 350g plain flour
  • 175g salted butter, cubed
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 350g sausage meat
  • 150g pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 18 edible eyes


  • Mixing bowl
  • Lined baking tray
  • Rolling pin
  • Spoon
  • Fork
  • Knife


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan).
  2. In the large mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter by rubbing it together between your fingertips, until a crumb consistency is achieved. Add the water and bring together with your hands to form a pastry dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop in the freezer to rest while you make the filling.
  3. Wash up the mixing bowl then use it to combine the sausage meat, pumpkin purée, sage and salt. Set to one side.
  4. Take the dough out of the freezer and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a large rectangle (2-3mm thickness) then portion into 12 smaller rectangles.
  5. Place 9 of the pastry rectangles onto the tray and spoon the sausage filling into the centre of each one leaving an index finger width border around every edge.
  6. Beat the egg, then use your finger to egg wash the edges of each pie.
  7. Cut the remaining 3 rectangles into 1 cm strips and lay them over the filling of each pie, using the egg washed edges to stick them. Trim if necessary.
  8. Use your finger to egg wash the strips then bake the pies for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before placing two edible eyes on each one and serving. They can also be enjoyed cold.

Recipe from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers, making baking simple. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the Fab Flour website: or on social: @fab_flour on Instagram or @fabflour on Facebook and Twitter.


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Back to School with Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill 

Back to school 2021: serene and joyful at Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill 



Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill is an independent school located on a leafy two-hectare campus in North London. It welcomes 850 students aged 3 to 18 where bilingual immersion begins from pre-reception until Y13. 

Bilingual immersion from 3 years old

Bilingual immersion begins at age 3 when young students are guided by two early childhood specialised teachers, permanently present in the classroom, each giving lessons in their mother tongue, French or English. This organic approach to bilingualism allows children to learn in small groups, through play and discovery, and experience in a stimulating while reassuring environment.

“We are convinced that each child constructs their learning in a unique way from their own environment and the interactions that result from it. It is through play scenarios that our children’s curiosity and engagement develops,” explains Laure Berr, Head of the Primary school.

Large open green spaces



Our beautiful campus offers various outdoor spaces for children to explore. Outdoor activities in all seasons nurture creativity and respect for nature. We have designed gardening activities where the children are able to plant their vegetables, harvest them and eat them in the canteen. Children are learning about the importance of protecting bees by sowing honey flowers and adding water points in our gardens. Nursery students also take advantage of the leafy areas of the campus and surrounding nature, climbing, jumping, exploring, discovering and learning whilst having fun!  

16 children per class maximum



With a maximum of 16 children per class in pre-reception and reception, every child is a valued contributor, both to their own learning and their surroundings. Each child’s inquisitive mind is developed through play scenarios (Brain Architecture, Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, 2008), and differentiated learning opportunities, pursuant to the British Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Students grow up in a caring international community where they are taught the fundamental values ​​of respect and a genuine desire to be open to the world and other cultures.

“Children have the opportunity to talk about their country of origin with photos, music, visits from parents who may come to share a traditional dish,” comments Laure enthusiastically. “Beyond the cultures present in the classroom, it is inclusion that we learn and verbalise in the classroom so that each child feels valued, appreciated and fully integrated.”

Student-centered approach



In primary, instruction is in English 50% of the time from Year 1 to Year 6. Each class year meets daily with one French-speaking and one English-speaking teacher, with speciality teachers in subjects such as PE, language, and music.

The Lycée Churchill offers a perfect balance between academic rigour and innovation, and places the needs of each student at the heart of its philosophy. Each teacher uses proven but also innovative teaching methods designed to develop their critical thinking, collaboration, and risk-taking.


100% success in exams and 100% of students admitted to the most competitive universities in the world



In Secondary, families can choose a French curriculum certified by France’s education ministry, which leads to the baccalauréat diploma, or an English-language track feeding into the globally recognised International Baccalaureate (IB diploma). 

The only constant is that education remains bilingual until the age of 18, in the benevolent atmosphere that is unique to Lycée Churchill.

The school’s highly successful graduates are welcomed at leading universities in the UK, Canada, US, France, and elsewhere in Europe. Our experience with online education also lets us offer a range of short- and long-term remote learning opportunities.

For more information, visit our website:

Or join us for our next virtual open day. Please register here.


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Moroccan Veggie Stew by Jo Pratt

This Moroccan Veggie Stew recipe is perfect for vegetarians, vegans, kids who are back at school and more than perfect for parents who are not enjoying being back in a routine post the summer holidays. Arghhh!


A Moroccan Veggie Stew for family food


This Moroccan veggie stew is easy to prepare, oozes with flavour and goodness, and goes really well with couscous a dollop of hummus, and some veggie sticks on the side.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 500g peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g chickpeas, drained
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon

To serve:

  • Couscous
  • Hummus (why not make your own…see the easy recipe below…)
  • Raw veggie sticks

Heat the oil in a large casserole pan or saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the garlic and all the dried spices (cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, paprika, ginger and cayenne pepper), then cook for a further 1 minute.

Stir in the carrots and squash then add the tinned tomatoes. Half fill the tin with water and swirl it around to pick up all of the tomato juices. Add this to the pan along with the chickpeas and apricots.

Bring to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring a couple of times throughout. Finish off by squeezing in the lemon juice and season with a pinch of salt.

Serve straight way or set to one side and reheat gently when needed.

Simple Hummus

  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 100g tahini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt

Drain the chickpeas and keep all the water from the tin.

Put the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, 125ml of the chickpea water and a good pinch of salt into a food processor. Blend for a few minutes until lovely and smooth. Check the seasoning and add a pinch of salt to taste. If it looks too thick, add more of the chickpea water.

To serve, swirl the hummus onto a serving dish. Drizzle over the olive oil and garnish with the paprika.


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RBC Race for the Kids

Get involved with RBC Race for the Kids to support Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity



Keep fit, have fun, RBC Race for the Kids is for everyone! Sign up for free and join Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity’s virtual fun run to raise vital funds for seriously ill children cared for at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Taking place over a weekend of celebration on 16 and 17 October, the virtual event will see people of all ages and abilities take to their local park or pavement by foot, wheelchair or scooter to complete their own ‘race’.



For the 12th year, GOSH Charity will host the UK’s race as part of RBC Global Race for the Kids, a global series of 17 running events in support of 35 children and youth charities in 19 countries.

And for the first time, racers can track their progress via a brand-new app, which will connect participants from all over the world. The app will feature a news feed, leaderboards and team pages, alongside fun photo filters, audio cues to help cheer on racers and good luck messages from famous faces.

The money raised will go towards funding the hospital’s most urgent needs, including research into pioneering new treatments, cutting-edge medical equipment, support services for children and their families, such as parent accommodation and the hospital’s Play team, and the essential rebuilding and refurbishment of the hospital.

Joe’s story
Age 9, Epsom, Surrey



When he was around two years old, Joe was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after he didn’t meet any of his development milestones. After regular check-ups at his local hospital, Joe was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital when he was six to have pioneering Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery. Joe had an intense recovery period, having to learn how to walk again. He is now doing really well – he can walk and run and only needs to use his wheelchair when he’s tired.

Joe’s mum, Gina, remembers, “At one of our appointments at our local hospital, the doctor told us about this new pioneering surgery that they were doing at GOSH. We had heard a little bit about it already (at the time, the procedure was mainly being done in the States) but luckily Joe got approved to have the surgery so we got transferred to GOSH.

“When we first arrived at GOSH, it was like arriving in another world. Everyone genuinely cared about us, people really wanted to get to know Joe.”

Around six months after first getting transferred to GOSH, Joe had the pioneering SDR surgery. SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy) surgery is the only procedure to permanently remove spasticity in the legs of children with cerebral palsy.

Gina reflects on the care received from the charity-funded Play team at GOSH, “When Joe woke up from his surgery, he had to lie flat for four days – imagine that for a six-year-old! But the door to his room was just opening every ten minutes with someone coming in, whether it was the Play team or a volunteer to distract him and make the time pass quicker. They made us feel like their sole job was to make Joe happy. He was made to feel like a little superhero the whole way through.

“There really is something magical about that place. We just really want to give something back to GOSH now, as Joe has come so far.”

Joe will be running 1k at this year’s RBC Race for the Kids with his classmates to raise money for GOSH Charity.


Olympian, Beth Shriever and Paralympian Ollie Hynd MBE surprise GOSH patient Joe ahead of GOSH Charity’s RBC Race for the Kids.

To find out how to get involved this year head to



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School Open Days List

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



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







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





Prep School:

Saturday 2 October



In person open days planned


Saturday 16 October

Nursery, Pre-Prep & Prep School:

Saturday 9 October



Online appointments with Headmaster Jeremy Banks booked via



Make an enquiry via the website above.



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



Bilingual International school from Nursery to Year 10

Enquiries to or via our website link above

Virtual tour here





Saturday 2 October



Thursday 14 October, 4 & 18 November, 2 December





Virtual tour



Thursday 4 & Friday 5 November, pupil-led tour, Saturday 6 November Open Day where parents can meet the Headmaster and staff from all parts of the school.



Thursday 14 October

Read more about Eaton Square Schools here. 



Tour – Contact Admissions Registrar, Mrs Christine Davis, at or call us on 01252 792495



Private in-person tours on weekdays.



Wednesday 29 September





Mini tours to be held in autumn term.

Pre-recorded tour available in the link above.



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



Wednesday 6 October





Book an appointment via the website above.



Saturday 16th October

To book:



Saturday 25 September

Friday 19 November



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



Follow the link above for recordings.



Open days in June and September.



Junior School:

Wednesday 29 September

Senior School:

Saturday 9 October

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



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



Private tours via the web address above plus:

Wednesday 20 October, Tuesday 2 November



Book above for virtual open days.





Saturday 2 October



Nursery & Pre-Prep West Hampstead

Saturday 2 October



Junior School:

Wednesday 29 September & Tuesday 12 October

Senior School:

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

Sixth Form:

Thursday 7 October



Saturday 9 October



Saturday 25 September



Virtual tours available year round.





Whole School Open Day:

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



Book a tour via the address above.



Saturday 25 September



Whole School Open Morning:

Saturday 9 October



Senior School:

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

Prep School:

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

To Register contact Registrar Sally Manhire on 01483 899757 or click to book here.



Termly Open Mornings



7 October at 8.45am – school in action aimed at families looking to join in Reception 2022.

Tuesday 23 November – whole school open morning.



Book a tour via the website above.



Recorded Virtual Tour



Recording available by emailing


TASIS (The American School in England)

Whole School Open Morning:

Friday 1 October

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



Recorded Tour





Arrange tours by contacting via the website above.



Wednesday 12 October





School tour available at here.


If you would like your school to be added to the list, please email

Feature image: St Benedict’s Junior School

For the latest news from schools, head to our Education page >>>



City Kids Autumn Book Review

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

By @sharonfjones

Pre school



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



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





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



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




Wildlord by Philip Womack (Little Island Books) £7.99

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



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


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Read our new Autumn issue!

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




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


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Back to School Essentials

Back to School Essentials

You must remember the lead up to school and the absolutely essential need to have a new pencil case and pens each September. It’s time to pack up that peg bag, refresh all pencil cases and slide crisp exercise books into rucksacks, ready to fill with notes of genius or weird cartoons and old sweet wrappers. Here are our favourite back to school essentials and a few non-essentials too…


For globetrotters everywhere this school year…



Globetrotter satchel, £40



The cutest pencil case we’ve seen…

Emile et Ida Puppy Pencil Case Ochre, £23


Give them a back pack that you can spot from fifty paces.

Sticky Lemon Sprinkles Backpack, £44

Notebooks to be proud of whatever your score in spelling.

Sticky Lemon Hardback notebook, £8.90

The rainbow at their fingertips.

PrintWorks Box of 24 Colour Pencils, £17


Something to keep PE kit safe and spare pants on hand…

Rockets Kids Drawstring Bag, £16.00


Lunch will be roarsome no matter what you’ve packed.

Dinosaurs Kids Lunch Bag, £23

This is definitely the king of the rulers.


Wooden Ruler, £3.95

Give that writing grip a head start with an ergonomic pen (available for left and right handed writers)

Stabilo Handwriting Pen, £3.99



Safe sturdy and very cute, this water bottle comes in small and large sizes.


Mustard Water bottle 300ml by Blafre, £14.00


Geometry but make it pink!

Helix Oxford Limited Edition Pink Tin Maths Set, £5.49


A greengrocer store for all those healthy lunch treats.

Bee Happy Lunch Bag, £14.00



Classic Mary Janes for the smartest kids in town.

Delphine Black leather girls riptape traditional school shoes, £58.99


PE will always be sunny in these…

Veja V-10 Vegan Leather Trainers Yellow, £77


Never underestimate the frequency and the power of the showers in this country!

Fisherman Yellow Waterproof Raincoat, £79


It will be cold before you know it!

Rib Beanie Hat (1-16yrs) £4-£8


Early mittens = smug and snug.

Monsoon Blue Danny 3D Dinosaur Mittens, £10


Some sturdy boots for stylish playground kicks



Sidney Brogue Boot, £82

The cat’s meow of highlighters.

Cat Shaped Highlighters £4




What’s on this weekend? We’re singing along to Singin’ in the rain, enjoying the Festival of Fun and learning about going green at the London Transport Museum Depot. PLUS there’s more. Read on to see what we’ve got lined up for the coolest families in town. 



Chickenshed theatre is holding a family Festival of Fun with nine days of performances as well as activities for children ages 0 to 11.

Find out more here



Mini bookworms will love Summer at Discover Children’s Story Centre, who have a whole summer of stories in store. 

Find out more here


singin' in the rain 

A treat for classic movie fans as the stage production of Singin’ in the Rain returns to London this summer. 

Showing at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the show features high-energy choreography, an iconic musical score and over 14,000 litres of water on stage every night as part of a lavish set design. 

Find out more here



Join Pinocchio, Geppetto and a talking cricket for a new stage adaptation of the classic tale at Greenwich Theatre.

Find out more here


go green at transport depot 

Imagine what a greener London would look like at the London Transport Museum’s Depot, which is opening its doors for the Go Green summer event.

Find out more here

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



What’s on this weekend? 

How’s this for a well-rounded Friday Five Roundup. We’ve squeezed in Dinosaurs, theatre shows and circus into our top five things to do this weekend in London. Enjoy!


Zoorassic park

Life-size animatronic dinosaurs are taking over Whipsnade Zoo with Zoorassic Park. You can even book an overnight Snorassic Sleepover if you dare.

Dino-loving kids can explore the immersive exhibition at the safari park, learn how the giant beasts moved and behaved and find out why they went extinct.

Find out more




Delight children with a history show that keeps in all the nasty bits with Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain – Part 5!

Meet some rude rulers and terrifying leaders from Britain’s barmy past. From the time of William the Conqueror to the Second World War and lots more, learn all about Britain’s grizzly history.

Find out more


The Wing Scuffle Spectacular

Journey into an immersive circus universe before watching daring acrobatics in The Wing Scuffle Spectacular.

The show is a celebration of fear by the Revel Puck Circus, who are on a mission to redefine the modern circus. Instead of hiding the fear that comes with daring moves and acrobatics, the show confronts, embraces and even laughs in the face of fear.

Find out more



Experience the UK’s first zero waste theatre with The Greenhouse Theatre Family Events at Canary Wharf.

Find out more



kids week

What better incentive to get the kids to the theatre this summer than with Kids Week, where one child goes free with each paying adult.

Find out more

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



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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

London swim spots

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

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

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

Hampstead Ponds (

Docklands (

Hillingdon Lido (

Brockwell Lido (

Park Road Lido, Crouch End (

Shepperton –specific days only (

Hampton outdoor pool (


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

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

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

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

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

Hammam towel – lightweight, pretty, and wearable, too, they also make an excellent rug or changing mat and dry superfast in the sun. Try Dar Leone ( or Bohemia (

Body glide – excellent for preventing wetsuit chafing.

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

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

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

Louise Mischa on (bet you get distracted…)


Sports Direct

Books and films

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

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

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













For more features and interesting stuff, head here>>>


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What’s on this weekend? 

Looking to entertain a budding engineer, driver or splish-splash money maker? This week’s Friday FIVE is just for you! Read on to see the coolest  family activities that London has to offer. 


IET Engineering open house day

Inspire your young scientists at the virtual Engineering Open House Day from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Find out more




Cool off in the paddling pool, enjoy storytelling, crafts and bubble shows then get soaked in the splash zone with Splash at the London Museum of Water and Steam.

Find out more




Go Green at the London Transport Museum Depot, Acton Town

The London Transport Museum Depot in Acton Town, west London, will also be throwing open its doors for families to explore on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 August and between Wednesday 11 to Sunday 15 August.

Find out more



Get rich quick when you make your own currency at the Money Machine Family Day in the Serpentine Pavilion.

Working with artists, families can design and print their own personal currency. Children will also learn how to use a risograph printing press to duplicate their design. They can then trade their money with other children in the Money Exchange Centre.

Find out more



Step inside a painting at Van Gogh Alive, an immersive multi-sensory art exhibition in Kensington Gardens. 

This summer, the acclaimed exhibition comes to London having already toured 65 cities worldwide, with a  four month run in a purpose-built park venue opposite the Royal Albert Hall.

Find out more


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



What’s On this Weekend? 

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



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

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

Find out more here



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

Find out more here


dodge at somerset house

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

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

Find out more here



feeding black exhibition 

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

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

Find out more here



london wonderground

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

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

Find out more here

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



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


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

Find out more here















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

Find out more here



oldilocks and the 3 bears

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

Find out more here




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

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

Find out more here



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

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


Find out more here


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


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

Football Clubs & Classes


Image: Jakayla Toney

The City Kids guide to Football Clubs and Classes in London


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




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



From 18m

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



From 18m




From 18m





Lammas Park, Ealing



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


Dulwich & Bromley




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



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

Various locations



Weekly classes and holiday clubs.

18m to 6yrs

Clissold Park



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

Colliers Wood, Tooting



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

Primrose Hill



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



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



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

Shepherds Bush, Hayes



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

Bishops Park, Kingston, Epsom



4-12yrs mixed ability

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




What’s On this Weekend? 

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

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


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

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

Find out more here

2. Kew the movies outdoor cinema

kew the movies

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

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

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

Find out more here

3. Hotel Paradiso Circus Tour

hotel paradiso tour

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

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

Find out more here

4. Paddington: the story of a bear

Paddington The Story of a bear

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

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

Find out more here

5. Coderdojo at the Science Museum


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

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

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

Find out more here

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


Summer Holiday Clubs


Rock 'n' Roll Recruits


It has certainly been a challenging year for kids – well 16 long months to be exact – least of all with activities, hobbies and socialising being repeatedly put on hold. But, school is nearly out for the summer, and with it a chance for children to let loose, catch up with the activities they love or even try something new. Here are some of our favourite summer holiday clubs and camps to keep them entertained (and give you a well-deserved break).




From courses in musical theatre and West End choreography to drama and filmmaking, ArtsEd Drama School has over 30 courses on offer for young creatives.


4-17+ yrs



Make a movie at this action-packed filmmaking camp. Children will learn new skills behind and on camera as they produce, direct and star in their own film.

Balham, Chiswick, Dulwich, Hampstead, Highgate, Islington, Kensington, Walthamstow, Wandsworth, Wimbledon

5-18 yrs 



Children take centre stage at this iconic theatre school. Week-long musical theatre courses, where children dance, act and sing in preparation for a weekend performance.

Marble Arch

10-18 yrs



With weekly themes ranging from rock & roll to Disney movies, dance classes combine ballet, tap and street dance with singing, drama and crafts.

Ealing, Finchley

6-12 yrs



Why not let them join a band this summer? Catering to all musical abilities and instruments, the boot camp’s grand finale will be a public show to showcase the children’s efforts.








Experiment with the latest technology with classes in artificial intelligence, game design, coding and virtual reality.

Get £25 off using code: CK25.

Chelsea, South Hampstead

8-17 yrs



How about a summer full of creative coding and hands-on robotics? There are also game and app design classes for budding digital designers.

Notting Hill

5-14 yrs



Packed full of hands-on activities, camps are a mix of education, fun and lots of science experiments – both inside and outdoors – designed to unleash your child’s inner scientist.

Various locations across London.

5-12 yrs



For tech-savvy kids, there are courses in robotics, coding, STEM and maths as well as chess classes.





Hands-on science club where future scientists can learn and experiment to their heart’s content.

South Kensington

4-12 yrs





Get them in the pool this summer, where they will learn the techniques and habits of the best swimmers in the world, with each session focussing on a different stroke.


7 yrs +



Let them burn off all that holiday energy at this multi-activity sports camp, with 11 London venues to choose from. Some locations even offer specialist courses such as Chelsea FC football camps, cooking school and LEGO Play.

Blackheath, Streatham, Kensington, Hampstead, Ealing, Pimlico, Knightsbridge, Putney, Catford, Hammersmith, Chelsea

4-12 yrs



 Children will learn the basics of skateboarding and pick up some gnarly ramp tricks sure to impress their friends, all in a fun and safe environment.

Acton, Notting Hill

6-16 yrs (for Acton) (for Notting Hill)



High-energy multi-sports camp, with an emphasis on having fun, building confidence and teamwork.

4-12 yrs

Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Earlsfield



Open to non-members for holiday camps, adventure-themed sessions combine games and creative play with gymnastics.

Chiswick, Hampton & Teddington, Wandsworth & Fulham, Westfield White City

3-12 yrs






Help them escape the city to the wilderness. From lighting fires and sleeping under the stars, to following animal tracks and learning water purification techniques, children can unlock their inner explorer and go wild in nature.

Oxfordshire, Kent, Hertfordshire

8-14 yrs



If you fancy a camp with a bit of history, try this one at the school where Camp Beaumont hosted its first ever multi-activity camp 40 years ago – St John’s Beaumont.  Expect heaps of outdoor activities, swimming, climbing, craft, wellbeing and much more.

3-16 yrs



How about spending the whole day in a secret woodland hideout? Build dens, hunt for mini beasts and climb trees. Sounds like a kid’s dream!

Muswell Hill, Wimbledon, Highgate

5-11 yrs



Mini explorers can run, climb, build and let their imagination run wild. All locations are in forest settings with a focus on nature and play.

Fulham, Chiswick, Putney, Wandsworth, Twickenham, Wimbledon

3-7 yrs



If your child would like to have a go at some outdoor water sports, Camp Phoenix offers kayaking, canoeing and sailing courses.

Welsh Harp Reservoir, Hendon

9 -16 yrs






Life skills that promote social & emotional wellbeing and dynamic thinking, helping young people to thrive in life; both at home and in their future workplace.

In-person at Chelsea Academy or online.

From 5-13yrs in different, age appropriate classes.



Children learn Mandarin through fun activities, music, art and theatre, while also introducing them to Chinese culture.

Kensington, Kingston, Islington, Greenwich

3-10 yrs



For something a little different, help your child get an early insight into different careers while learning IT and public speaking skills. A wide variety of careers, such as architect, barrister, sports coach and even YouTuber, will be covered.


5-12 yrs



Fast track your child’s language skills at this immersive French course, with lots of continental fun and activities to enjoy.


4-15 yrs



Hone their creative writing skills at these workshops led by children’s authors. Teachers will mentor your child and help them explore new ideas, all while improving their writing through creative activities.

Notting Hill

6-12 yrs


For more things to do this summer why not browse our extensive What’s On guide>>>>



What’s On this Weekend? 

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

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

bar w12 and film club

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

Find out more here

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


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

Find out more here


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


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

Find out more here


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


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

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

Find out more here

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

Hever in bloom

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

Find out more here


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


Your weekly fix of the City Kids Friday Five Edit is here. Bringing you the best of art instalments and more for all the family to enjoy this weekend.

1. See a huge floating model of Earth as art installation Gaia is back by popular demand at the Royal Naval College.

gaia at the royal naval college

Following a sold-out exhibition in 2020, the spectacular art installation returns for a month in the College’s Painted Hall.

Find out more here 

2. Step inside a painting at Van Gogh Alive, an immersive multi-sensory art exhibition in Kensington Gardens. 


This summer, the acclaimed exhibition comes to London having already toured 65 cities worldwide, with a  four month run in a purpose-built park venue opposite the Royal Albert Hall.

Find out more here

3. Giant Lego Trail at WWT London

Running for the whole summer, until 4 September, head to Barnes and be amazed by the creatures that can be created with little bricks. The giant lego trail at WWT London includes 14 characters made from 253,728 LEGO bricks. 

Find out more here

4. Get a sneak peak into London Transport Museum’s Depot and explore the huge collection of transport vehicles at their Open Week.


The transport treasure trove in Acton, which is usually closed to the public, is opening for seven days of fun for all the family.

Find out more here

5. A lovely treat for green-fingered tots as theatrical show The Little Gardener comes to Kew Gardens this May half term.


The family-friendly play is based on the enchanting picture book by Emily Hughes about a very tiny but hardworking gardener. Each performance takes place inside a greenhouse at Kew Gardens.

Find out more here

To get more ideas and family activity inspo see More City Kids What’s On here>>>>


To mark the start of a mega bank holiday weekend and Half term, we’ve doubled up on our usual Friday Five. Whether you’re planning to revisit your favourite spots in the City or leave town for a day trip, we’ve got you covered. 

1. Connect with nature and enjoy a calm but fun-packed wellbeing day with Roam Free at Kew Garden’s wild botanic garden in West Sussex.


Find out more here

2. Cheer on valiant knights and head on a medieval adventure in Knight School: The Show, running at the Tower of London this May half term.


Find out more here

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


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

Get your skates on here

4. All aboard for Trains Trains Trains at the London Museum of Water and Steam.

trains trains trains

At your next stop is lots of train-themed fun at the museum in Brentford, West London. There will be daily activities such as storytelling, crafts and model railways.

To the trains 

5. Enjoy an activity-packed weekend with the Summer Family Festival in Canary Wharf.

Explore Canary Wharf’s green spaces and enjoy the festival’s theatre shows, music, film and family workshops.

Find out more

6. Set sail across the world with a tiny but adventurous sea snail in theatre production The Snail and The Whale. The show will be running at the arts depot theatre over the half term.

the snail and the whale

Inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s classic picture book, a young girl and her dad reimagine the story of the seafaring snail.

Find out more

7. Immerse yourself in the world of the Terrible Tudors with Horrible Histories Live on Stage at Hampton Court Palace this May half term.

horrible histories live on stage

The stage show, taking place at the Palace’s East Front Gardens, will bring to life well-known historical characters, some of whom even lived at Hampton Court. Find out all about the more grizzly historic accounts of Tudor life, with no nasty bits left out!

Find out more

8. The Smartest Giant in Town is brought to life in a musical adventure at the Little Angel Theatre.

the smartest giant in town

George dreams of changing his scruffy appearance. So, when he finds a shop selling giant-sized clothes he decides to treat himself to a smart new outfit. Finally, he is the smartest giant in town until he meets some friends who need his help…and his new clothes.

Find out more

9. Wriggle through a caterpillar’s miniature world at London Zoo’s summer event The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


Experience the caterpillar’s story through action-packed activities celebrating the iconic Eric Carle book and its wriggly hungry hero.

Wriggle your way to London Zoo

10. Wave goodbye to the city and take a trip to Windsor Castle for half term event Handsome Hats and Helmets.

handsome hats and helmets

Create a hat fit for a queen at the arts and crafts drop in event, drawing inspiration from pictures of the Queen’s magnificent hat collection. Or create your own medieval knight’s helmet, like the ones on display at the Castle.

Find out more


To get more ideas and family activity inspo see More City Kids What’s On here>>>>

Friday Five

Your weekly Friday Five edit is here – Friday 21st May

Whatever the weather, we’re here to bring you some magic to your weekend. This week, we’re continuing on the nature theme, so this one’s perfect for animal lovers. TOP TIP: Whatever you do, be sure to pack some waterproofs

1. Discover magical beasts and find out how nature inspires mythical creatures at the Natural History Museum’s exhibition Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature.


Find out more here

2. Swing into the fascinating world of primates with immersive exhibition Monkey Business at the Horniman Museum.

monkey business

Find out more here

3. Celebrate spring and explore nature at Cannizaro Park’s Nature Weekend in Wimbledon.

Located on the edge of Wimbledon Common, the Grade II listed park will host the two-day celebration on Saturday May 22nd and Sunday May 23rd.

nature weekend

Find out more here

4. Search for hidden fairies while introducing kids to Shakespeare with interactive theatrical event Titania’s Dream, outdoors at Fulham Palace.

Inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the open-air experience celebrates nature and weaves in many of the botanicals that Shakespeare mentions in his play.


Find out more here 

5. Join the brave Knights of Royal England for an epic display of Medieval Jousting at Stonor Park in Oxfordshire.

The annual tournament features jousting knights in full armour. Also see horseback stunts, falconry and weapon displays, theatre shows, and many more medieval activities to keep you busy all day.

medieval jousting

Find out more here 

To get more ideas and family activity inspo see More City Kids What’s On here>>>>


Your weekly Friday Five edit is here – Friday 14th May

Five super things for the coolest families in town to pop onto the weekend agenda. We’ve loads in store including colour, castles, cool animals and CHEESE. Yes please!

Warwick Castle (Virtual)


Help Zog in his quest to become a fully fledged dragon at Warwick Castle’s new 3D interactive activity trail.

The trail is based on the classic children’s picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler about an accident-prone but brave dragon who tries his very best to get a golden star at school.

Find out more

Marsh Farm


Escape the city and enjoy a weekend country day out at the Marsh Farm Spectacular.

The farm and adventure park promises to be fun for all the family with lots of outdoor activities to keep you busy all day.

Find out more

Willow Activity Farm


Have some fleecy fun at Willow Activity Farm’s Sheep Shearing weekends this summer.

Enjoy some shearing demonstrations before exploring the rest of the farm.

Find out more

Chiswick Cheese Market

chiswick cheese market

A tasty treat for cheese lovers, Chiswick High Road is hosting the brand new monthly Chiswick Cheese Market.

Chiswick was originally known as Cheesewick, Old English for cheese farm, and now the cooks behind The Cookbook Kitchen are bringing cheese back to the area.

Find out more

Kew Gardens
naturally brilliant colour

Celebrate the stunning hues of plants with the Naturally Brilliant Colour exhibition at Kew Gardens, where these bright and bold colours have been artificially replicated for the first time.

Find out about ‘Pure Structural Colour’ – the boldest and brightest colours in nature. Now, for the first time, you can see these jewel-like natural colours in works of art. Using cutting-edge technology, the colours have been recreated by English artist Coral G Guest.

Find out more

To get more ideas and family activity inspo see More City Kids What’s On here>>>>

Reconnect with nature this Mental Health Awareness Week 

Reconnect with nature this Mental Health Awareness Week

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

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

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

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


Your weekly Friday Five edit is here – Friday 7th May

Bringing you a fresh batch of super duper fun things for the coolest families in London on a sunny Friday afternoon. If you do venture out this weekend, do be sure to pack a brolly! 

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


Find out more

2.Introduce children to the magical world of dance with My First Ballet: Swan Lake, streaming online with the English National Ballet.


Find out more

3.Dust off your musical instruments and join Music Maze with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, now running online.

music maze

Find out more

4. Meet the extraordinary wives of Henry VIII as they stroll the grounds of Penshurst Place in Kent, with outdoor event Tudor Legacies.

tudor legacies

Find out more

5.Delight in the natural world with the immersive event Secret World of Plants at Kew Gardens this summer.


Find out more


To get more ideas and family activity inspo see More City Kids What’s On here>>>>


Your weekly Friday Five edit is here!

From miniature gardens to crafting your own castle on St George’s Day (oh yes, that’s today), we’ve thrown together five fun things for the coolest families in town to get involved in. 


How to Make a Cardboard Tube Castle. With this cardboard tube castle, little ones can build their own turrets – perfect for celebrating St George’s Day! You can even add a flag.

Find out more here


weekend make miniature garden

Celebrate National Garden Week by making your own garden at home at the Derby Museum’s Weekend Make: Miniature Garden event. 

Find out more here


Celebrate inspirational women and introduce young music lovers to the world of orchestra with the virtual Philharmonia Sessions: Family Concert.

Find out more here


the nonsense museum

 Get very silly with interactive workshop The Nonsense Museum, running online at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Find out more here


kayleigh's crafts

Get creative and brush up your crafting skills with Kayleigh’s crafts workshop, online at Norden Farm arts centre.

Find out more here

To get more ideas and family activity inspo see More City Kids What’s On here>>>>


Your weekly Friday Five edit is here!

With storytime as our theme for this week’s Friday Five, we’re doing our bit to feed your imaginations meanwhile supporting the arts!

Spring story makers online workshop from the Story Museum

story makers

Explore The Story Museum’s exhibitions with online workshop Spring Story Makers.

Find out more here

Stone soup online theatre show from Little Angel Theatre 

stone soup

Watch a virtual retelling of classic European folktale Stone Soup, a story all about community, generosity and resilience.

Find out more here

I believe in unicorns online with Oxford Playhouse


An enchanting tale perfect for mini bookworms, I Believe in Unicorns is an online interactive show streaming with Oxford Playhouse.

Find out more here

Out and about online family workshop from the British Library


Explore the great outdoors without leaving home at sensory online workshop Out and About from the British Library.

Find out more here

Dust online show from Half Moon Theatre


Combining puppetry and poetry, Half Moon’s online show Dust gently explores love and loss and reminds us all that friendship makes the world go round. 

Find out more here

To get more ideas and family activity inspo see More City Kids What’s On here>>>>


Your weekly Friday Five edit is here!

From audio guided walks, virtual theatre performances and doing our bit to share and support a worthy cause. We’ve a Friday Five roundup for the coolest families in town. One last request from us, remember to pause for a moment and enjoy the little things this weekend. Have a super weekend from all at City Kids HQ.




Take your tots on a journey to a world full of wonder with the interactive sensory show We Cover the Universe, online at the Southbank Centre.

Find out more here




Take an audio Family StoryWalk around the East End and experience an alternative London full of giants, dragons and wizards.

The two self-guided walks from Rich Mix arts centre will take place on Saturday April 10th and Sunday April 11th. On Saturday, the walk is based on The Ring of Joy by Vanessa Woolf, which leads you around Shoreditch and transports you to China to find a magic ring.

Find out more here



chickenshed's rapunzel

Get ready for Rapunzel as you’ve never seen her before, with Chickenshed’s dramatic retelling of the classic story.

Rapunzel doesn’t remember much about her life before she was locked in the tower. All she knows is that she longs to be free. As she meets the fantastical creatures in the woods that surround her prison, she learns that her true strength comes from within, not from her long hair.

Find our more here




Take a walk along a technicolour walkway with the Hundreds and Thousands art installation in Greenwich.

Experience a kaleidoscope of colour at the Tide, the elevated riverside trail on Greenwich Peninsula. The walkway has been transformed by British artist Liz West. She used a series of coloured panels to wrap 700m of glass balustrades along the trail.

Find out more here



We’d like to take this opportunity to use our platform to support the gofundme set up for Richard Okorogheye. If you’d like to help his family, whether it’s sharing among your circles or sparing a donation of any size, follow our link here.


More City Kids What’s On here>>>>

Mother’s Day Gift Guide


Mother's Day Edit

The Ultimate Mother’s Day Edit 

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

The ‘Boujee’ Mum

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


The Dad that doubles up as a Mum, Mum 

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

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

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

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

The ‘don’t give me anything’ Mum

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

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

Compile a meaningful collage photo print, Papier

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

The Small Biz Lover 

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

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

Afternoon tea at home (genius), Cutter and Squidge

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

The Green Mum 

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

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

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


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


Things for parents

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


Start the day right

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

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

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

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

Daytime pick-me-ups

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

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

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

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

Late night comforts

9. Onaie Slippers, from £29.99, Onaie

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

11. Malfy Italian Rosa Gin, £28, Waitrose

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


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

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


Friday Five: things to do with the kids this weekend

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

You can download a copy of the book here.

The Kindle version is available here.

And a readable online book version is here.

Publishers, Nosy Crow suggest that families might make like to make a donation to help our health service if they find the book useful:

Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, said:

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

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

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


What’s On this Weekend? 

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




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

Find out more here



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

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

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

Find out more here




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

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

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

Find out more here



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

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

Find out more here



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

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

Find out more here

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



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Discover Frensham Heights



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

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




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



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

To find out more, look at or email to arrange a visit.





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Ripple Learning powers positive social change through its private tuition programme



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

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

Ripple Learning was created with this in mind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

To book contact:

07723 214148




A slice of citrus to brighten your day!



When life gives you lemons


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


Lemon Umbrella, £16, by Bobby Rabbit,

Mini Rodini Leggings cherry lemonade, €35, by Villa Smalland,

RiceLemon Soft Toy, £14.5, by Bobby Rabbit,


Trinkflasche Gerry Lemon, by Wayfair,

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

Jellycat Large Amuseable Lemon, $39.99, by Yellow Octopus,


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

When Life Gives You Lemons Limited Edition Print – Charlotte Posner, £65, by Lime Lace,



Feeling summery? Click here for more sunshine>>>>


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Travel Essentials for Babies and Kids



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


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



Cotton muslin blanket, £19.99, H&M


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


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


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

Beaming Baby Baby Wipes 72 wipes



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



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


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

Tula Linen Explore Baby Carrier Mesa,  £154.90, Tula


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

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


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



Travel Sticker Book, Usborne, £6.09


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

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

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


Oil Pastels Set of 48, £17.95, Liberty

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

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


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


Moulin Roty Storybook Torch, £13, Kidly


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



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


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



Shea Baby Travel Essentials, £18.50,  L’Occitane


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

Travel Car Organiser, £29.99, Zara

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




What’s On this Weekend? 

Our Friday Five for 18 June has been curated with Dad’s in mind! Following a nautical theme – you can expect to learn the history of Semaphore flags, art exhibitions at the Wetlands and Father’s Day Film Club at Canada Square Park.

Moomintrail at Walthamstow Wetlands


The Moomins are coming to Europe’s largest nature reserve with giant exhibition Moomintrail at Walthamstow Wetlands.

The outdoor art trail, featuring the white hippo-like characters, celebrates the life of their Finnish creator Tove Jansson.

Find out more here


Semaphore at Tower Bridge


Find out how Tower Bridge staff used to communicate with river boats using semaphore flags. Then create your own flag and have a go yourself.

Before walkie talkies were invented, the Bridge Director would use semaphore to signal to boats on the Thames. Semaphore is a way of sending messages using your arms or flags to spell out words with each position representing a different letter.

Find out more here


Father’s Day Film Club at Canary Wharf

fathers days film club at summer festival

It’s Father’s Day this Sunday! Bring a picnic mat and cinema snacks and enjoy two free films on Canada Square Park’s big outdoor screen. Wall-E is showing at 10am and Monsters, Inc. at 11.45 am.

Find out more here


Discover Sundays at the National Maritime Museum

discover sundays

Explore the National Maritime Museum’s collection through hands-on creative activities with Discover Sundays.

One of the Museum’s artist facilitators will introduce you to the objects, people, histories and cultures represented in the collection.

Find out more here


500 Years of Mischief and Mayhem at the Old Royal Naval College

500 years of mischief and mayhem

Enjoy some cheeky art that is sure to delight all the family at 500 Years of Mischief and Mayhem.

The exhibition at Greenwich’s iconic Old Royal Naval College features artwork by renowned children’s illustrator Nick Ellwood.

Find out more here


Adventure essentials: a homemade card and a gift for dad.

Do follow us on Instagram and enter our super giveaway with Barnes Children’s Literacy Festival here. 

Organise Pocket Money with RoosterMoney

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




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

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

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


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



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

Key features include:

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

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

● No overdraft – so no risk of overspending

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

● Instant spending notifications – for you and your children

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

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


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



For more parenting tips and ideas click here>>>>


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COOL THINGS FOR KIDS – We all have our favourite Marks and Spencer’s food don’t we?

We all have our favourite Marks and Spencer’s food don’t we? Here at City Kids we are very partial to a Percy Pig or two. So we love that M&S have just launched the cutest little collection of their best loved items in the food hall.

‘Little Shop’ comprises 25 iconic M&S Food products, miniaturised into collectables for customers and their families to collect, play and swap over the summer holidays, building their very own M&S Little Shops.

Small but perfectly formed, the collectables  (they are toys and definitely not edible) include a range of exclusive M&S Food icons, from mini Percy Pigs to plant-based favourite, Plant Kitchen Cauliflower Popcorn, alongside birthday party legend, the Colin the Caterpillar cake, and there are even family faves such as Chicken Tikka Masala, marking M&S’ introduction of the first ever chilled ready meal in the UK back in the ‘80s.

Collecting is simple. From 10th July, every customer in M&S Food stores spending £20 or more on food will be offered a Little Shop collectable pack containing one of the 25 iconic minis (and additional collectables for every subsequent £20 spent).

Hours of Fun

Ensuring kids both big and small get a surprise every time they receive a Little Shop collectors pack, collectables are given out in concealed paper packets and must be opened to reveal the mini M&S Food icon inside.  Alongside the food collectable, the pack includes a fun collector’s card with facts about the product and a joke.

With playing and learning at the heart, Little Shop collectables encourage imaginative play as well as helping to teach kids a little bit more about where food comes from.  Brightly coloured collectors cards provide fun food facts with further details at where parents can find additional food and sustainability information as well as downloadable activities including quizzes and games- perfect for keeping the kids entertained this summer holiday.

Swap Shop

Kids (and grow-ups of course – we want to play too!) can also swap till they have they full set and there are even swapping events in 70 M&S Cafés across the UK where customers can trade their duplicates. Can’t wait for swap shops?  Use the #mylittleshop on social media to locate other collectors and create your own swapping communities.

To take their collection of collectables to the next level, customers can shop an exciting range of mini accessories available in stores. The range includes everything a Little Shopkeeper needs including a replica cardboard Little Shop front complete with till and shopkeeper sign (£10), mini metal shopping basket and mini trolley (£3 each), Little Shop apron (£3) and a must-have collectors’ album to keep collectables safe.

Such a fun idea for the summer holidays – we are sure these lovely little items will find their way in to every play kitchen and pretend shop all over the country.


What’s on this weekend?

From free open air entertainment fit for any football fan, PJ Masks and The Al Fresco Theatre Drive-in, our Friday Five for 11 June has something for everyone.


1. Enjoy free open-air entertainment at Wembley Park’s Summer of Play 2021.

Summer of play 2021

Take part in GameChangers – football activities with new, sometimes whacky, rules created by videogame designers.

Find out more here


2. Get outdoors and celebrate the charms of the English countryside at the South of England Show 2021.

South of England Show 2021

Organised by the South of England Agricultural Society, the three-day June event will be held in Ardingly in West Sussex.

Find out more here

3. Be a hero for the day and help the PJ Masks stop the marine mayhem at the Sea Life centre at Chessington World of Adventures.

PJ masks at sea life

Based on the hit cartoon for pre-schoolers, the aquarium adventure will include PJ Masks sea-themed trails, activities and pop-up games. And you will get the chance to meet and take photos with the masked heroes themselves.

Find out more here

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


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

Find out more here

5. Hop in your car and watch a film with The Alfresco Theatre Drive-in, coming to Syon Park in West London.


The drive-in runs until Sunday June 13th. There are several screenings on the schedule, from grown up movie nights to sing-a-longs with the whole family . On Saturday June 12th,  musical The Greatest Showman will be showing at 11am and Grease at 2pm. On Sunday June 13th, 80s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off will be showing at 5pm.

Find out more here 

Wanting to plan ahead for the summer – good idea – be sure to head to pages 8 – 10 in our *NEW* summer issue here. It’s packed with ideas that’ll make it a wonderfully free-spirited summer.

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


Click below to read cover to cover!!



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

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

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

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





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


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


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

Bobo Choses Hat Natural, £47, Smallable


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

Terry Bucket Hat, £10.99, Zara


Who doesn’t love strawberries in the Summer?

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


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

Sun hat, £7.99, H&M


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

The Animals Observatory Hat, £41, Smallable


Definitely a hat for having fun in the sun!

Nadadelazos Sun Yellow Minidots Sun Hat, £17.00, alexandalexa


The cutest Liberty print sun hat with gorgeous scalloped edging.

Agatha Hat, Betsy Honey, £36, Olivier Baby


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

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


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

Teen Beige Straw Hat, £26, Childrensalon


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

Sonny Reversible hat with neck cover, £12.95, Joules


Stylish cute and super protective and it has ears!

Sparkle Sun Hat by Dinosea, £16.00


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

Liewood Sander Bucket Hat, £23, The Modern Nursery


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



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



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



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



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



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

For more information on all events, prices or how to book:

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

Call 020 8409 4400 or email


This is a sponsored post


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


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


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


Pretty and comfortable. Perfect for trips to the beach!


Floral Beach Sandals, £9 -£11, Next


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


Lightweight Trekker Sandals £16 -£18, Next


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


Little Bird Trekker Sandals, £18, Next


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


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


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


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


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


Young Soles Pearl Sandals Pink, £72, Smallable


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


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

Stand out from the crowd with zingy neon.


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


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


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


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


Roam Surf Toddler Mid Blue Leather, £36.00, Clarks


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


Toddlers’ Newport H2 Sandals, £34.99, Keen


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


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


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


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


As seen on Instagram:

1. Liewood Bre Sandals / Jelly Shoes in Apple Red


Buy now


2. Birkenstock Milano Kids EVA Sandals


Buy now

3. Mini Melissa Yellow Fruit Sandals

Buy now


4. Billieblush Multicolor Glitter Sandals

Buy now


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


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

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


Get the recipe here


Get the recipe here


Get the recipe here


Get the recipe here


Padron peppers

Get the recipe here


Strawberries with vanilla cashew cream

Get the recipe here


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

Click here for more recipes>>>>>


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



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

For the soup

850g ripe tomatoes, quartered and green core removed

1 red  pepper, quartered and deseeded

3 carrots, quartered

2 sticks celery, halved

1 long red chilli, halved (optional)

4 cloves garlic, peeled

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp paprika

100g red split lentils

1 litre hot vegetable stock

flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

basil leaves, to garnish

For the croutons

olive oil

200g halloumi, diced into small cubes


Time taken 1 hour 10 minutes / Serves 6

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Click here for more recipes>>>>>

Smile edit for National Smile Month

National Smile Month Edit

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

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

Buy it here

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

Buy it here

3. Brush-baby babysonic toothbrush

 Buy it here

4.Jack N’ Jill Buzzy Brush

Buy it here

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

Buy it here

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

 Buy it here

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

Buy it here

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

Buy it here

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

Buy it here

10. Grabease Double Sided Toothbrush

Buy it here 

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


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


Father’s Day Gifts

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



Because dads love dinosaur socks too…



Paul Smith Socks, £19, Liberty


The perfect mug to accompany breakfast in bed.



Wonderful Dad Mug, £19.95, Emma Bridgewater


The label says it all!

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


A classic gift that will be appreciated every day.



British Belt, £40, Boden


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



The Rolling Stones x Goldy Gin, £49.99, Selfridges


Delicious chocolates washed down with chocolate infused beer.



The Beer and Chocolate Hamper £27, Hotel Chocolat


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


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


This chocolate has his name on it.



Dad Cadbury Milk Chocolate Bar, £5, Selfridges


A framed print that will always be treasured.



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


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



Dad Slogan Apron, £20, Eleanor Bowmer


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

Horace Face Kit, £29, Horace


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

Lotus Grill BBQ, £149, Cuckooland


For dads who dream of treehouses…



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


This could be his coolest ever outfit!



Desmond & Dempsey Leopard Pyjamas, £150, Mr Porter


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



Handle Recycled Plastic Razor with Gilette Fusion, £60, Selfridges


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



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


The crème de la crème of BBQ tools.



Barbeque Tools, £38.50, Annabel James


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

Tired T-Shirt, £30, Dreamon Playwear


Top Image: John Lewis

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



TOP TIPS for managing your child’s Hay Fever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Exceptional Spectacles

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

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

Buy now

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

Buy Now 

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

Buy now


4.Babiators Keyhole Sunglasses, Kidly

Buy now

5.Sunnylife, Mini Summer Sunnies, Kidly

Buy now

6.Monnalisa Red Strawberry Sunglasses, Children Salon

Buy now

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

Buy now

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

Buy now

9.Ki ET LA Ours’on Sunglasse, Kidly 

Buy now

10.FLAK® XS (YOUTH FIT), Oakley

Buy now

11.Babiators Original Flowers Sunglasses – Daisy

Buy now

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

Buy now

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


Lunchbox Edit

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

1. Lunch Box in Cherry by Konges Sløjd

Available from Junior Edition, Buy it now

2. School set: Backpack – Ocean 

Available from A Little Lovely Company. Buy it now

3. Liewood Joni Lunchbox Set in Dino Faune Green

Available from Scandiborn. But it now**  

4. Skip Hop Zoo Food Jar Unicorn, Multi

Available from John Lewis & Partners, Buy it now

5. Sparkle Medium Happy Bento Lunchbox

Available from Smiggle, Buy it now

6. Fabelab Lunch Bag – Unicorn

Available from Scandiborn, Buy it now**

7. Tresor Kids Bento Box

Available from Kidly, Buy it now

8. Nobodinoz Sunshine Eco Lunch Bag in Daisies

Available from Scandiborn, Buy it now**

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


**The marked links are affiliate links.



CityKids Green Stationery and crafts edit

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




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

Find out more



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

Find out more



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


Find out more 



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

Find out more



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

FInd out more



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

Find out more


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


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


This is a sponsored post


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

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


Public Speaking


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



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

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




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

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



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

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

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



·       Virtual Tour

·       Welcome from Senior team

·       Introduction from Year 6 pupils

·       Live Q&A

For specific enquiries, please contact |0207 225 3131

Social handle: @Eaton_Square_School






This is a sponsored post.

For more education news head here>>>


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



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

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

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

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

Find out more about The Good Schools Guide here


You may be interested in our Mini Guide to Berkshire



Your weekly Friday Five edit is here – BIGGER and better for the Early May Bank Holiday Weekend!

Not sure what to do this bank holiday weekend? No problemo, we’ve doubled-up on our usual Friday FIVE to bring you 10 super things to do for the coolest families in town. From music, parades and giant sculptures, there will be something for everyone!


1. Stomp like an elephant and join the colourful herd at Elmer’s Big Art Parade at Chessington World of Adventures.


Find out more here

2. Introduce young theatre lovers to Shakespeare’s London with the family friendly guided tour of the Globe Theatre.


Find out more here

3. Delight in the natural world with immersive event Secret World of Plants at Kew Gardens this summer.


Find out more here

4. There is something for the whole family at Fulham Palace’s climate change event Green Meet, which will feature a green market, cooking demos, children’s activities and much more.


Find out more here

5. Learn all about musical instruments with Explore the Orchestra, online from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.


Find out more here

6. Create a unique model of yourself from paper with Make a Portrait Sculpture, online with the Milton Keynes Art Centre.


Find out more here

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


Find out more here

8. Learn and play with your mini explorers in the magical outdoor setting of Fulham Palace gardens with Palace Explorers.


Find out more here 

9. Discover different textures and open up tiny universes with sensory show Space to Be, created for and with disabled young people to enjoy at home.


Find out more here

10. Take a walk along a technicolour walkway with the Hundreds and Thousands art installation in Greenwich.


Find out more here 

To get more ideas and family activity inspo see More City Kids What’s On here>>>>


Let’s take it outside

Our outdoor edit is for all little kids on big adventures. We’ve picked out eight exciting outdoor play toys and things from Scandiborn that’ll take the fun outside (whatever the weather). 


1. Liewood Dante Beach set – Sea Creature Sea Blue Multi Mix, £35.95


2. Bigjigs Crazy Golf Set, £39.95



3. Nobodinoz Nevada Play Tent in Sienna Brown, £159.95



4. Banwood Bikes Pedal – White, £294.95

5. Birdie Kids Scooter Rose (Non Electric), £99.95


6. Plum Play Discovery Create & Paint Easel, £219.99


7. Liewood Baloo Swim Ring in Rose Mix, £18.95

8. Sunny Life Underwater Camera – Jungle, £17.95


Please note that this edit consists of eight super products and brands that we’ve selected from Scandiborn. Contains affiliates links. Prices correct as of the date of purchase and may be subject to change.


For more outdoor inspo, head here>>>>


Mental health resources for children, teens and parents in a pandemic



The tragic death of Richard Okorogheye has sent shockwaves here at HQ. We cannot begin to imagine the immense pain and suffering that Richard’s mother, family and friends must be experiencing. The pandemic has brought about its challenges and had a knock on effect on all aspects of our lives. Whilst no one knows the details surrounding Richard’s death, one thing is for sure, the uncertainty, lack of face-to-face socialisation and stimulation during this pandemic has left many kids feeling lost, sad, low…We’ve pulled together some mental health resources for children, teens and parents to access. While our freedoms may be returning, this pandemic isn’t going anywhere and we’ll be reliant on support for many months ahead.

Here we have a list of resources for anyone that’s concerned about their child’s wellbeing. We hope that this small variety of resources, available in a number of formats, can give you the starting point you and your child may need:  


Please remember… there is no need to suffer in silence. If you notice any signs that a child may be struggling as a result of the pandemic, or in general, please do take the courage to get help in a way that is best suited to their needs and requirements. As always, we are here and available to talk, also, if you’ve come across any resources that you’d like to share with fellow parents, do get in touch via our Instagram: @citykidsmagazine


You may also be moved to contribute to the gofundme page for Richard. You can do that by clicking here.

Image: Jerome on Unsplash

More City Kids news here>>>>


The City Kids Mini Guide to Education in Berkshire


Image: St John’s Beaumont


Country residence to the queen, George Clooney and the Middletons, the Royal County of Berkshire has much more to offer than castles, celebs, Royal Ascot and the Reading Festival. In 2019, 12,610 Londoners relocated to Berkshire, according to the Office for National Statistics. Commutable from London, even quicker with Crossrail arriving in 2022, Berkshire provides space, rural communities, market towns, Michelin stars, racecourses and much history. There are also excellent schools in the state and independent sector. Here’s our City Kids Mini Guide to Education and living in Berkshire.

Where to Live

You will be spoilt for choice in Berkshire. The latest UK Quality of Life Index ranked the county number six in the UK’s best places to live.


Windsor is often popular, being only half an hour by train to the capital. Its abundant history, the river Thames and schools are also a huge draw. Don’t forget Windsor Castle, with changing of the guard when the Queen’s at home, The Savill Garden and Virginia Water on the periphery. Plus across Windsor Bridge you’ll find Eton, home to Eton College.


Horse racing fans know ascot for the Royal flavour in June, but it’s also close to great golf at Sunningdale.


The largest town in Berkshire lies on the River Kennet, with plenty of riverside restaurants and attractions. Not only does it have great shopping (John Lewis, The Oracle shopping centre, a Vue cinema, it’s also a huge commercial centre, with many international businesses putting down roots in its business parks. Reading also has an ancient abbey which, although now in ruins, has a museum displaying Norman carvings.


According to a Yopa’s Happy Family Home Guide, Bracknell is the 34th most attractive place to raise a family (out of 200). It has good schools, 25 parks and low crime rates.


At the far west of the county is Newbury, home to the famous racecourse and a short hop from Downton Abbey or as it’s otherwise known, Highclere Castle. The countryside around this bustling market town is part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A day’s walking will see you experience woodlands, streams and heritage sites.


On the edge of the county is historic market town, Hungerford with its antique shops and fairs as well as independent shops and boutiques. There’s an annual Food Festival as well as Tutti Day which takes place on every second Tuesday after Easter.

Riverside towns and villages

As the Thames meanders it’s way through the county, historic market towns and villages are hubs for those seeking a rural way of life. Wargrave, Bray with its Michelin stars and great pub grub and Sonning, Pangbourne and Maidenhead all offer something slightly different. They’re all connected via some beautiful walks, bike rides and rural views.

Berkshire outdoors

The River Thames bisects the county so inevitably there are plenty of water-based activities to get involved with. There’s also the Kennet and Avon canal if you prefer. Legoland Windsor, Windsor Castle, Cliveden and the site where the Magna Carta was signed are just a small number of places to visit within Berkshire’s borders. Here’s a few activities to whet your appetite on a house-hunting trip.

Go Ape, Bracknell

Cliveden House

Beale Wildlife Park

Pinewood Miniature Railway

The Nature Discovery Centre


Education in Berkshire


Top 10 rated State Schools by The Real Schools Guide in 2020.


Whiteknights Primary School, Reading
Khalsa Primary School, Slough
Willow Primary School, Slough
St Dominic Savio Catholic Primary School, Woodley
Castleview Primary School, Slough
Holy Trinity C of E Primary School, Cookham
Lowbrook Academy, Cox Green
The Godolphin Junior Academy, Slough
Woolhampton CE Primary School, Woolhampton
Iqra Slough Islamic Primary School, Slough


Kendrick School, Reading
Reading School, Reading
Upton Court Grammar School, Slough
Herschel Grammar School, Slough
St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School, Slough
The Holt School, Wokingham
Langley Grammar School, Slough
The Piggott School, Wokingham
Maiden Erlegh School, Wokingham
Newlands Girls’ School, Windsor & Maidenhead


Within Berkshire there are a number of grammar schools. The Slough consortium of schools work together with one paper for entry to four schools: Herschel, Upton Court, Langley and St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School. Registration for these schools is normally open for a six-week period between May and June the year ahead of entrance. In 2021 the 11+ registration for entry in September 2022 will open on 1stMay and close on 13th June.
Testing will take place in September with results expected mid-October 2021. For links to each school and their admissions criteria:
There are also three grammar schools in Reading: Kendrick, Reading and Reading Girls (a bi-lateral school which means it is only partially selective with approximately 25% of places offered following exams).

Independent Schools

Berkshire is blessed with some of the most famous, and most established independent schools in the land.

Pre-prep & Prep – boys 3-13yrs, day & boarding

Priest Hill, Old Windsor, Berkshire SL4 2JN 

01784 432428

St John’s Beaumont lies within a 70-acre country estate, a stone’s throw from historic Windsor. With space for play and learning, St John’s has extensive facilities to keep the boys busy. For London parents, it’s also a world away from the big smoke, without being a mission to get there.

To find out more, read our piece on Boarding ‘Hogwarts style’.


Cheam School – co-ed 3-13yrs, day & boarding
Headley, Newbury, RG19 8LD
01635 268 242

Eagle House – co-ed 3-13yrs, day & boarding
Sandhurst, GU47 8PH
01344 772 134 |

Elstree School – co-ed 3-13, day & boarding
Woolhampton, Reading, RG7 5TD
01189 713 302 |

Horris Hill – boys 4-13yrs, day & boarding
Newtown, Newbury, RG20 9DJ
01635 40594 |

Lambrook School – co-ed 3-13yrs, day & flexi boarding
Winkfield Row, Nr Ascot, RG42 6LU
01344 882717 |

Ludgrove School – boys 8-13yrs, fortnightly boarding
Ludgrove, Wokingham, RG40 3AB
0118 978 9881 |

Sunningdale School – boys 7-13yrs, boarding
Sunningdale, SL5 9PY
01344 620159 |

The Marist School – girls 3-18yrs, day
Kings Road, Sunninghill, Ascot  SL5 7PS
01344 624291


Bradfield College – co-ed 13-18yrs, day & boarding
Bradfield, Reading RG7 6AU
0118 964 4500

Downe House – girls 11-18yrs, day & boarding
downehouse .net
Cold Ash, Thatcham, RG18 9JJ
01635 200286

Eton College – boys 13-18yrs, boarding
Windsor SL4 6DW
01753 370 100 |

Leighton Park – co-ed 11-18yrs, day & boarding
Shinfield Road, Berkshire, RG2 7DE
0118 987 9600

LVS Ascot – co-ed 4-18yrs, day & boarding
London Rd, Berkshire, Winkfield Row, Ascot SL5 8DR
01344 882 770 |

The Marist School
(See Prep above for details)

Pangbourne College – co-ed 11-18yrs, day & boarding
Pangbourne, Reading, RG8 8LA
0118 984 2101 |

Queen Anne’s School – girls 11-18yrs, day & boarding 
6 Henley Rd, Reading RG4 6DX
01189 187 300 |

Reading Blue Coat School – boys 11-18yrs (girls 6th form), day
Holme Park, Sonning Ln, Sonning, Reading RG4 6SU
0118 944 1005 |

Shiplake College – boys 11-18yrs (girls 6th form), day & boarding
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 4BW
0118 940 2455 |

St George’s School – girls 11-18yrs, day & boarding
Wells Ln, Ascot SL5 7DZ
01344 629900

St Mary’s School Ascot – girls 11-18yrs, boarding
St Mary’s Road, Ascot SL5 9JF
01344 296614 |

The Oratory – co-ed 11-18, day & boarding
Woodcote, Reading, RG8 0PJ
01491 683522 |

Wellington College – co-ed 13-18yrs, day & boarding
Duke’s Ride, Berkshire, Crowthorne RG45 7PU
01344 444000 |


Useful resources:

For more education news click here>>>


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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



5 fun activities to teach your kids about equality



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


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

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

Activity 1

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

Activity 2

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

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

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

Activity 3

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

Activity 4

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

Activity 5

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



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


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


Boarding ‘Hogwarts style’ at St John’s Beaumont in Old Windsor



Sprawling grounds, extensive facilities and a period building all lend themselves to a bit of Harry Potter boarding magic at St John’s Beaumont.

Nestled in the historic countryside near Windsor and Eton, just off junction 13 on the M25, you will find St John’s Beaumont Preparatory Day & Boarding School for boys aged 3 to 13 years set on a 70-acre country estate.

The vast grounds provide endless space for exploration, sports and play; a place where boys can be boys. Since 1888, the school has developed the environment, pastoral support and learning tools that enable young men to flourish.

St John’s is a very special place for boys to learn and live. They are offered every possible opportunity to excel in a wide variety of areas, both academically, but importantly also in the wider curriculum as well.

Whether in art, sport, music or drama, the school’s aim is to open a boy’s mind to his innate potential. The results are prevalent in the large amount of scholarships St John’s boys achieve at some of the most prestigious schools in the country, including Eton, Harrow, Winchester, and Charterhouse, just to name a few.

St John’s Beaumont provides the perfect home away from home for those who chose to board through either a tailored, weekly, or full-boarding programme from Year 4 onwards. Boarding at St John’s has a little bit of Hogwarts magic; with nooks and crannies, secret stairways and woods to explore, the school is the perfect place for imaginative adventures.

Boarders enjoy the full use of the school’s extensive facilities as they go for an early morning swim, a jog with the Headmaster or beat their dormitory master at a game of tennis. In their spare time, the boys love activities like; den-building in the woods, cooking on the campfire, stargazing and glow-in-the-dark hide-and-seek.



Find out how your son could benefit from an education and boarding at St John’s by contacting or visit


For more education news head here>>>


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

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


Role Models

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

For more information on Role Models: call +44 (0)20 3637 7107 | email |


Will to Win Tennis Camps

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

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

Select your venue here


Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill Spring Study Week

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

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+


The Little Gym

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

For more details on camps and where to find them


Cypher Coders

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


Little House of Science

Curious minds encouraged to explore, experiment and play via live online classes.


Fit for Sport

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


Shooting Starz

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


The Strings Club

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


London Academy of Gymnastics and Dance

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

SPARKS Movie Making

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

Easter Camps:

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

Codename Confidential (Ages 7-11)

Web of Lies (Ages 11-14)

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

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


Upbeat Music Courses

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

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

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


Et Patati Patata

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

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

Egg-citing Easter Treats

It’s beginning to look a lot like Easter

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

All things chocolate… 

1. Rabbits Gift Set, Playin Choc 

2. Elizapeck Hollow with Tiddly Pot, Hotel Chocolat

3. Milk Chocolate Legbar Hen with Eggs, Daylesford

4. Funfetti Filled Easter Egg, Cutter and Squidge 

5. DIY Flat Pack Easter Egg, Love Cocoa 

6. Milk chocolate Mini Eggs, Cocoa Loco 

Other egg-citing Easter treats…

7. Biscuiteers Easter tree diy kit, Biscuiteers

8. Konditor – Happy Easter Cake, Konditor

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

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

11. Meri Meri Bunny Easter Basket, Meri Meri 

12. Meri Meri Cupcake Kit, Meri Meri  


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


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



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


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

Three words to describe yourself.

Adventurous, caring and determined

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

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

How did you start All By Mama?

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

Explain how ABM works.

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

What are your top tips for running a business?

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

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

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

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

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

Can women have it all?

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




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

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

Where’s your favourite date night?

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

What’s your signature dish?

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

What would you take to a desert island?

Someone who could help me survive

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

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

Last book you read?

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

What’s your proudest moment?

The birth of my kids

What’s next for Gemma Whates?

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


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


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





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





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

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




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

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


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




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


What were your favourite books as a child?

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

Your favourite children’s author?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Back to school edit

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

Bigjigs Puzzles from Scandiborn

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

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

Vegan School Shoes from Start Rite

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

The City Kids Family Meal Planner PDF 

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


Pachee Kids collectable reward patches 

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

Micro Scooters 

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

Petit Ferdinand 

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


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

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



Collins Preparation books and flashcards 

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

WIN a set worth £70 here

Water bottles

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



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

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

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

Mother’s Day Craft: a jar filled with love

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

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

**Download your FREE TEMPLATE HERE.



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


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

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




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





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





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


CALMNESS – Big Words for Little People



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





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





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



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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





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



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



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

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


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

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

Head to for more.

For more parenting news head here>>>>


Top 10 Ready-Made Picnics for Families

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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



Pop N Olly

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


Downloadable Pride Crossword

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


LGBT History Month Wallchart

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



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

By Juno Dawson

14+ Years

Love Makes a Family
By Sophie Beer

Kenny Lives with Erica and Martina
By Olly Pike

By Sarah Asuquo

Lumberjanes Series
By Noelle Stevenson

The Pants Project
By Cat Clarke

by Alex Gino

The Secrets of Billie Bright
Max Kowalski and Susie Day



The Trevor Project

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


Mermaids UK

Mermaids began as a group of concerned parents sharing experiences and trying to find ways to keep children safe and happy. It’s grown into one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities, empowering thousands of people with its secure online communities, local community groups, helpline services, web resources, events and residential weekends.


Stonewall is probably the most recognisable name on our list of charities working to provide a programme of services to organisations, including children’s education settings.

The Outside Project

While your kids may not be direct beneficiaries of this homelessness project, you may want to donate of help with the charity for your own self-development. The Outside Project of LGBTIQ+ colleagues, friends & activists work in the Homeless sector & have lived experience of homelessness & the unique, complex issues their community faces.

Mind Out

Despite Covid-19, Mind Out is still running mental health services and has useful information for those seeking help as well as those seeking education.


akt supports lgbtq+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment. It was originally formed in Manchester in 1989 by Cath Hall, an experienced foster carer, and founder member of Manchester Parents Group (MPG), who had become acutely aware of the rejection and ejection of young LGBT people from their family home and the homophobia they faced within school and society.


Cover image by Yoav Hornung


We have a bunch of Access all Areas passes for The Baby Show Live at Home this weekend


Expecting your first, second, third baby, or having twins; or need some nutrition advice, sleep training tips or some belly laughs with some special guests, The Baby Show Live at Home has it all. Starting on Friday, you hear from everyone’s favourite girl-next-door, Dani Dyer as well as mums-to-be Made in Chelsea star, Binky Felstead and  Dr Zoe Williams.

The Baby Show Live at Home, is the UK’s leading show for pregnant and new parents.  The event will run from the 26-28 Feb, and is a fully immersive virtual show with everything new and expectant parents could need, from product demonstrations to expert talks on key pregnancy and birth topics, and great brands such as BabyBjörn, Bugaboo and Stokke and more, making it the shopping destination for new and expectant parents.

The Baby Show’s first 3-day event of 2021 will be a fully immersive virtual shopping experience, eliminating the need for lockdown parents to trawl the internet by curating the perfect blend of must-have baby products under one convenient digital roof from the comfort and safety of their own home.

Visitors will be able to shop the latest products and watch expert speakers discuss all things parenting using The Baby Show’s purpose-built Swapcard website and app. Visitors can plan their schedule, enter competitions and access everything the show has to offer using the intuitive and easy-to-use digital platform.

Experts include:

Dr Zoe Williams – Pregnancy & Birth During the Pandemic
Annabel Karmel – Weaning Guru
Sandra Igwe – The Motherhood Group
Rachel Fitz-Desorgher – Sleep Myths Busted
Dr Pavan Minhas – Obstetric Doctor
Jenni Dunman from Daisy First Aid – Baby First Aid for Parents
Siobhan Miller – WTF is Hypnobirthing?
Lindsay Hookway – Supporting Stress Free Sleep for Families
Susie Boone – MadeForMums Buggy Buying Guide
Xaviera Plas-Plooij – The Wonder Weeks – The True Reason Every Baby Gets Fussy at Set Times

City Kids has teamed up with The Baby Show Live at Home to giveaway 20 Access All Areas passes to the show.

Your complimentary Access All Areas pass is FREE and unlocks a world of baby shopping heaven, amazing show dealscompetitions, informative buying guidesproduct demos and top product picks for those must-haves PLUS topical and supportive on-demand videos.  

It also gives you entry to Baby Show TV and unlocks all of the LIVE exclusive expert talkspanel discussionsQ&A and celebrity interviews with Dani Dyer and Binky Felstead too!

PLUS, you can also log in and watch all the on-demand videos and talks for up to one week after the event.

Fill out my online form.


Grab your eggs, flour, milk and whisks to make the perfect pancakes this week.

Whether you call it Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday, we’ve got some recipe ideas at the ready. We also have more pancake recipes in our Family Meal Planner which is FREE TO DOWNLOAD HERE!

Jo Pratt’s Foolproof Pancakes

Makes: 12-14 American style pancakes, or 8-10 crepes

Preparation Time:5 minutes

Cooking Time:4 minutes

125g/4½oz/1 cup self-raising flour (either plain or self-raising can be used for crêpes)
250ml/9fl oz/1 cup milk (just under for American-style, just over for crêpes)
1 egg
a pinch of salt
butter or sunflower oil, for frying

Suggestions to serve

try some of these options:
• clear honey, golden syrup, maple syrup or jam
• chocolate spread or caramel sauce
• fresh fruit, such as berries or bananas
• grated lemon or orange zest and sugar
• yogurt
• ice cream … for breakfast? Some of you will!

1. Put the flour, milk, egg and salt in a blender or food processor and mix together well. Alternatively, use a bowl and whisk until smooth. The consistency should be that of double cream for crêpes, so add a little extra milk if you need to. (Cook straight away or chill for up to 24 hours until needed – loosen with extra milk if necessary.)
2. Heat a pancake or frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a small piece of butter or a trickle of oil until it melts all over the base of the pan. Add a spoonful of the batter, rolling the pan to spread it over the base of the pan, and cook for a couple of minutes on each side until golden. Keep the pancakes warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
3. Serve with your chosen topping and enjoy.

Recipe from Madhouse Cookbook by Jo Pratt


For vegans amongst you, BBC Food has a great recipe by Anna Glover


300g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar (any kind)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
400ml plant-based milk (such as oat, almond or soya)
1 tbsp vegetable oil for cooking

1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt in a bowl using a balloon whisk until mixed. Slowly pour in the milk until you get a smooth, thick batter.
2. Heat a little of the oil in a over a medium-low heat, and add 2 tbsp batter into the pan at a time to make small, round pancakes. You will need to do this in batches of two-three at a time.
3. Cook for 3-4 mins until the edges are set, and bubbles are appearing on the surface. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another 2-3 mins until golden on both sides and cooked through. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.
4. Serve stacked with lots of toppings of your choice, or serve with bowls of toppings for everyone to help themselves.

No cook options

There are obviously a world of lazy easy options if you’re up against it. As well as pancake mix in a bottle, Marks & Spencer have created pink Percy Pig flavoured pancakes. Yes, they have. And as if that wasn’t enough, you can also make Percy Pig panapés…



Waitrose have stocked these packets of vegan joy from Squeaky Bean at £2.50 a packet.

For more recipe ideas download our FREE FAMILY MEAL PLANNER or go to our RECIPES PAGE>>>>



Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 

Roses are red, violets are blue, no messing around… we know you’re strapped for time so we’ve done our research. From babies to grown ups and fur babies too. DO HURRY and get ordering, Valentine’s Time Day is CLOSER than we thought! 

For kids 

  1. Konges Slojd – Cloud Lamp in Off White, Scandiborn
  2. LOVE OUR PLANET sweatshirt – Caramel, Miley and Moss
  3. Vans, Red Old Skool Trainers, Alex and Alexa
  4. Stella McCartney Kids, Pink Heart Patch Sweatpants, Alex and Alexa 
  5. Mini Albino Whale – Handmade plush toy, Big Stuffed

For grownups

  1. Scented Candle Graphic Collection Roses by Diptyque
  2. Choose from a great selection of glorious gift boxes, blithe brownies and charming cakes & cookies, Konditor
  3. DARLING – Screen Print, Daisy Emerson
  4. LIPS PENDANT CHARM, Rosie Fortescue Jewellery 
  5. Converse All Star Hi Trainers, Black Vintage White Egret Love, Office Shoes


For furry friends 

  1. Personalised pet accessories from Yappy. Pick from hundreds of breeds to match your pet. See their selection of Valentines gifts and cards here.
  2. A fresh take on dog food with Butternut Box. Build your box here
  3. Dog Harbour Top, Joules
  4. Catit Butterfly Chaise Patterned Cat Scratcher, Lords and Labradors
  5. Blush Pink Vegan Leather Dog Collar, Barc London

Check out our  Feb half term survival guide here. As ever, follow us over on our Instagram for the latest City Kids scoop. 


Feb Half Term Lockdown Survival Guide 

While we’re armed with toolkits to survive term time, we thought it’d be equally (if not more) useful to share 12 useful resources for families this feb half term. Consider it an early Valentine’s Day gift! As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve even thrown in a couple of freebies and exclusive discounts to the mix. 


  • Firetech Camp. All the greatest courses PLUS we’ve an exclusive 25% discount for you. Simply use code: CK25
  • The Little Gym has created a brilliant YouTube channel dedicated to providing kids with positive, fun and engaging classes on demand to keep them healthy and happy during this unprecedented period. Learn new skills, perfect handstands and even learn how gymnastics helps with classroom learning.
  • Role Models is hidden away in our little black book but everyone should have them on speed dial. Life skills courses and hourly sessions for kids aged 5-7 and 8-11 which are engaging and fun and will help them with confidence and resilience.
  • Banjo Robinson’s letter subscription is great screen-free lockdown activity which encourages reading, writing and creative play, all delivered straight to your door. If your little one loves Banjo’s backstory, you can sign up to receive any of his letter subscriptions with a 50% discount, applying the code: MAGIC50 at checkout on their website. Limited time offer. You can also purchase the hardback picture book here.
  • Improve your tennis skills any time, any place, with our LTA Youth Home Activities hub, it’s full of activities for the whole family.


  • Combat that endless snacking conundrum with our roundup of fave snacks here
  • Little Cooks Co. Feed the kids and make them cook! Doubles up as a home economics class. We call it… genius! Find out more.
  • Order your Pancake Day Ultimate Kit now for a flipping great Shrove Tuesday thanks to Joe and Sephs! Lockdown might be here for a while but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate pancake day in gourmet style! Order a kit here, quick! 
  • TOP secret TASTY PROJECT ALERT. We’ve been cooking up something really rather spesh! THE CITY KIDS FAMILY MEAL PLANNER! If you’re not already signed up to our newsletter, then you’ll have to wait around another day. Otherwise, sign up to our newsletter here.

What’s on 

  • Build a den and enjoy an exciting night at the museum with the Dino Nights at Home sleepover at the National Museum of Wales. Find out more here
  • With the guidance of a professional illustrator, create your own superhero at this online drawing workshop from Imperial College London. Find out more here.
  • Get on board the world’s first bus powered by song with online play Rolling Down the Road, live-recorded at the Half Moon Theatre. Find out more here
  • Mama G is back on tour (virtually this time) with live online show Telling Tales on Telly, sure to get the whole family laughing and singing along this February half term. Find out more here.

Find more Feb half-term events and things to take part in here. As ever, follow us over on our Instagram for the latest City Kids scoop. 


The Cosy Edit for kids

As temperatures continue to dip we strongly believe that a we should be allowed to at least one duvet day a week, who agrees? We’ve rustled up a cosy edit for kids. If only these were available in adult sizes. Bear with us as we squeeze into the largest possible sizes available. 

For comfort that is truly out of this world


Pink and green makes the stuff of dreams

  • Heart Print GOTS Organic Kid’s Pyjamas, Polarn O Pyret, £26
  • Miffy Corduroy Soft Toy – Large 33cm Pink, Soren’s House, £22.95
  • Bunny Hooded Bath Robe, Mori, £32.85
  • Snuggle pink suede bunny slip-on slippers, Start Rite, £24.95


Follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration.

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


Free Audiobook from Banjo Robinson



It’s been a long month already, and keeping the kids entertained and finding five minutes to yourself requires some very creative parenting. We consider this free audiobook from Banjo Robinson to be answering all the SOS calls, as well as putting smiles on your little ones faces.

It’s a lockdown January… What better time to start an enchanting round-the-world trip with a globetrotting CAT? Banjo Robinson sends personalised letters and creative activities to children ages 5+ twice monthly from a range of exciting destinations. Kids all over the world are already receiving his activity-filled letters – and writing back to him too!

Little explorers can start their adventure with a picture book that introduces Banjo and explains why he travels the world writing letters to his friends. Now Pandora Sykes, journalist and podcaster reads this story which explains explains where Banjo Robinson came from and why he’s the most fantastic explorer of all time. The accompanying video also shows the illustrations created by Ruki Chuki.



Banjo Robinson’s letter subscription is another screen-free lockdown activity which encourages reading, writing and creative play, all delivered straight to your door.

If your little one loves Banjo’s backstory, you can sign up to receive any of his letter subscriptions with a 50% discount, applying the code: MAGIC50 at checkout on their website. Limited time offer. You can also purchase the hardback picture book here.

Follow this link to listen to The Book That Writes Back.

For more ideas to keep them entertained follow this link>>>>


Friday Five: things to do with the kids this weekend

The shows must go on! We’re all at the end of our tethers, and there’d be nothing better than visiting the West End to experience a theatre show. TRUTH! So with aims of helping to keep the creative world going while we’re in lockdown, we’re sharing the magic of theatre to you.

Each ticket you buy, show that you watch and share keeps the spirit of the creative arts alive in these trying times.

1. The Unicorn Theatre’s Anansi the spider re-spun online.


The high-energy show about the antihero Anansi is inspired by classic West African and Caribbean tales and was filmed at the cast member’s homes. There are 3 episodes, each 10-15 minutes long and perfect for children aged 3-8.

The series is available to watch now until March 31 for free. Find out more here.

2. Charlotte Holmes: an adventure in a box


Solve puzzles by watching online videos and, at the same time, opening up the parcels inside the box. Along the way, there are lots of fun activities, games and puzzles to keep children entertained during the week’s game. The box is designed for children aged 7 to 12.

Find out more here

3. Balthazar Snapdragon in a world full of mystery and magic


With a box delivered right to your door, each day for a week you will open a package full of treats and access hidden online content.  Join Balthazar Snapdragon in a world full of mystery and magic as he tries to avert disaster before it is too late.

There are activities with video tutorials, props, games and puzzles and, over the course of the week, you will uncover all the clues you will need to help Balthazar on his whirlwind adventure. And along the way, you will learn some cool magic tricks to impress your friends.

The box is designed for children aged 7 to 12 and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Find out more here

4. Hey Diddle Diddle Online


The weekly play session uses music and dance to encourage imagination and creativity and is perfect for babies and children under 5. Traditional and modern songs are covered and a range of instruments are used to keep little ones engaged.

Find out more here

5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show


Reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar must be a rite of passage for all young children and their parents. Now you can stream the show online and enjoy the caterpillar’s foodie adventures all over again.

The hit show was filmed at the Hertford Theatre last December and that recording is now available to stream online until February 28th. The 50 minute show is recommended for ages 1 to 6. Tickets start from £14.50 for a 3 day pass.

Find out more here

Looking for more ideas to fill the family calendar? Check out our What’s On pages here and of course, we churn out daily bites of inspo over on our Instagram page.

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



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



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

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


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

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


For more education stories click here>>>>




The jungle look with Urban Tropicana


By now, it’s likely that you’ve packed up all the Christmas decor and things may be looking a little bare. Fear not, we’ve a great way for you to fill your space thanks to the lovely lot at Urban Tropicana. And right now, we couldn’t need houseplants more. Did you know that they have psychological benefits that could all go some way to helping us all through a grey and locked down January? Amongst them are improved mood, increased worker productivity, improved attention span, reduced stress levels and increased speed of reaction in a computer task. We asked the team to give us a rundown of houseplants for kids that can be looked after by your budding gardeners.
PLUS read on for our exclusive discount code. 




Houseplants for kids

  • Succulents are one of the easiest houseplants to look after – and they’re a pretty cool too.
  • Succulents do best in a sunny spot in very well-drained soil. Their chunky leaves are designed to store water, so they’re able to cope with periods of drought.
  • It is best to allow the soil to dry out between watering.
  • When you do decide to water, it is best to soak them, this will replicate a torrential down pour.
  • They need a lot less water over winter.
  • Urban Tropicana have put together a supercool box containing three baby succulents. Succulents will be selected at random – but we’ll make sure the trio is as varied as possible.

Shop Baby Box Succulents here
Pot Size: 5.5cm. Non-toxic


2. Christmas Cactus 



These cacti will bloom just in time for Christmas (hence their name), and they’re pretty stunning too. The hanging branches, which are made up of flat, glossy green segments, can grow to up to 3 feet long.

Flowers in red, white, yellow, pink, or purple appear at the tips of these branches and measure up to 3 inches long with several tiers of petals. This variety has white flowers.

In order to keep these plants looking beautiful, you need to follow all
the steps involved with proper Christmas cactus care.

Shop Christmas Cactus here
Pot size: 12cm. Non-toxic


3. Snake Plants



  • The Moonshine is an absolute stunner and one of our personal favourite snake plants. The foliage is the most delicious shade of silvery green. Easy to care for and looks amazing. What else could you ask for?
  • If you’re one of those people with a history of killing houseplants (we see you at the back) then the ‘Snake Plant aka Mother-in-laws tongue is for you. It doesn’t need much attention at all so if you forget you own it for a week or two – it will forgive you. They’re pretty indestructible – so totally safe for the ‘plant assassins’ amongst you.
  • They are also one of the best plants for removing harmful toxins from the air. Winner winner.
  • While it tolerates low light, snake plants will grow fastest in bright conditions.
  • Take care not to overwater. We water ours every 2 weeks or when the soil is totally dry.

Shop Snake Plants here 

Pot Size: 12cm. Mildly toxic if ingested.

4. The String of Hearts



  • The String of Hearts has gorgeous, mini, heart-shaped leaves. They grow pretty quick given the right conditions so you’ll have a stunning display in no time.
  • Keep your string of hearts in bright light, with some direct sun (but not all day) for the best colour and plenty of leaves.
  • If you notice large spaces between leaves, the chances are the plant is not getting enough light.
  • The string of hearts is a semi-succulent plant, which means it is more tolerant of dry soil than wet soil and is prone to rotting in wet soil – allow the soil to dry out completely between watering.

Shop String of Hearts here

Hanging Pot Size: 11cm. Non-toxic


5. Spanish Moss



  • This is one for those of you looking for a plant with maximun impact for not much effort. Spanish moss doesn’t need soil to survive, just keep it in a bright spot and mist or soak once a week. That’s it.
  • It’s native to Mexico, Central America, South America, the U.S., and the Caribbean. In the U.S. it grows from Texas to Virginia, staying in the moister areas of the South. Its preferred habitat is a healthy tree in tropical swampland.
  • Spanish moss grows on trees but it doesn’t put down roots in the tree it grows on, nor does it take nutrients from it. The plant thrives on rain and fog, sunlight, and airborne or waterborne dust and debris.

Shop Spanish Moss here

Approx length: 60cm. Non-toxic

Urban Tropicana launched in the midst of lockdown and their mission is to fill homes with plants, whatever your budget, do show them some love by following them on Instagram and by picking out a plant or three. They’ve kindly offered us an exclusive 15% discount. Simply use the code: CityKids15 at the checkout. You’re welcome! 

Looking for more interior inspo? Check out our Rainbow Edit here




The City Kids guide to the best resources on and offline to help us all through lockdown


Is it Groundhog Day? April Fool’s Day? Friday 13th? Nope, just another Lockdown. We’ve been here before but will it be harder trying to work, run a house, educate, feed and entertain the kids in Lockdown 3.0?  We’ll let you know, but in the meantime, we’ll do our best to share what we think are the best resources to help with home learning. Good luck!


Online help

Depending on where you live, the age of your children or the type of school they’re at will make a big difference to how much time they’re expected to be online each day. But online doesn’t necessarily mean bad. There is plenty of great online help and tips for kids (and their parents) which you can take advantage of pronto.

The Little Gym



Move over Joe Wicks there’s a new PE teacher in town! With over 40 years experience coaching children in their purpose-built gyms, The Little Gym’s expert teachers are sharing some excellent, age-appropriate classes on their YouTube channel. Whether you have a baby or a bored 12-year-old, you’ll find sensory play, fundamental gymnastics skills, boot camps and more.  They’re big on child development and their classes are backed by teachers, doctors and occupational therapists. It’s all free and their latest How to…Guides might even persuade you to cartwheel through lockdown! 4 months+

Joe Wicks

Ok, he’s a living legend and some of you have bonded. Tune in Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0900 for PE with Joe on his YouTube channel. KS1+

The Study Bunny: Focus Timer

There’s no point flogging a dead horse, and there’s no point trying to make little ones study when they over it.  The Study Bunny app helps time studying. You can hit pause when focus has flown out of the window, earn coins and aim to be more productive. KS1+

Role Models

If you’re worrying about their emotional development minus play-dates, a social life and general life skills, it could be worth looking up these guys. They’ve got bags of experience and focus on promoting social & emotional wellbeing and dynamic thinking. Check out their online courses here. KS1+


This one was new to us but it’s a revelation, no wonder schools and teachers are using it. Plenty of free video explanations for Primary, KS3 and up. Explanations were so good that we can now solve questions on probability using Venn diagrams. And for a small payment you can sign up to get feedback and even more quality teaching. KS1+

Brain Pop

Animated videos across the arts and sciences. KS1+

Dr Chips

Got a coder or engineer at home, or indeed someone who needs some inspiration, then guide them towards Dr Chips’ Daily Doses. Easy to follow and required tools are always outlined in advance. Lava lamps, slime and chocolate rocks are just a taster. KS1+


Need to swat up on languages, this one has clips of real native speakers as well as fun and effective games to practice skills. KS2+


If Hey Duggee can’t focus minds then we should all give up! Starting on 11 January, pre-schoolers up to those studying for GCSEs will be catered for daily across their channels. Every morning, CBBC will host a three hour block for primary aged children, with two hours of daily content for secondary aged kids on BBC Two. Early Years+

Offline help


Got it Games

Got it games support and reinforce teaching in the classroom, while boosting their reading and spelling. In each pack of Got it cards, there are five, quick to learn 10-minute games: Word Race, Word Pairs, Word Switch, Word Sets and Word Match. In line with the National Curriculum and suitable for children aged five and over, the games cover important, frequently used words. Developed by an experienced teacher, the games are multi-sensory and dyslexia friendly.


Best known for their dictionaries, Collins have a tonne of experience in workbooks for several key stages of learning. They’ve set aside free resources and have some helpful tips to help when home learning becomes overwhelming for the untrained teacher in all of us. KS1+

30 Day Lego Challenge

Great for problem solving and improving fine motor skills, That Brick Life has created a 30 day calendar with a different task to complete each day. Kids will need to channel their inner Emmet for this one and you’ll have to do your best not to become President Business. Early Years+

Mrs Wordsmith

We’ve always loved the illustrations that these guys provide and they’ve got some free downloadables on their site now. They’re US focussed but we’re told there’s a 100% UK English version coming very soon! KS1+

Story Starter

You’ll need a screen to get started, but you can write to your heart’s content after spinning the wheel which decides your task. Topics include adventure, fantasy and sci-fi. Early Years+

Story Cubes

If you’re dead set on time away from the screen, Rory’s Story Cubes give you prompts for all manner of exciting fables. Early Years+

Cook School

Subscribe to these boxes and you’ll not only have a lovely meal, but your child will have prepared it for you. This nationwide, not-for-profit organisation wants to help children to understand food by teaching them to cook it. Their new recipe boxes are suitable for children and young adults, making it the way to encourage kids into the kitchen, and start them on their cooking journey. KS2+

BBC Bitesize

They’re good. And they have lots of support for stressed out parents. KS1+


Supporting the national curriculum, TTS have provided free downloadables to help with Early Years, KS1 and KS2. They’re created by teachers so cover everything from grammar tools to guided reading and can also help with English as a second language. Early Years+

Fun Phonics

Janna White set up Fun Phonics in 2015 and teaches over 300 children per week. Her website has plenty of materials to help parents and pupils of pre-school and primary school. Early Years+


Last, but my no means least is Twinkl. They came into their own in March and they’ve got all topics covered. Download, print and off you go! Early Years+.


For more lockdown things to keep them busy head here



Fresh Baby Food Delivered to your door

Mother and daughter duo, Judy and Melissa Blake have not only created a business together, they’ve also seen it grow at one of the most difficult times. Sweet Pea Spoons delivers fresh baby food – with no nasties – nationwide, giving time-poor parents a break from the parenting treadmill. The subscription service allows you to select a variety of nutritionally balanced meals which are delivered weekly or fortnightly. We spoke to Judy and Melissa about their enterprise and what makes them tick.



Three words to describe yourselves.

Judy: Caring, cautious and I’m afraid to say a bit of a worrier sometimes!

Melissa: Driven, passionate and loyal

Tell us about how Sweet Pea Spoons came about.

The idea for Sweet Pea Spoons was born 23 years ago, when my mum had me. Being an advocate for high quality food with ‘no nasties’, she found it frustrating that there were no fresh, pre-prepared baby food options on the market for busy parents.

So, she was forced to take matters into her own hands by making all of my baby food from scratch. She soon realised how time consuming and tiring this was, and that parents would benefit from having fresh, nutritious and tasty baby meals delivered to their door. The only problem was, she just wasn’t sure how to turn her idea into a business.


Fast forward 23 years, I achieved a First-Class Honours in my Business degree and also developed a firm interest in nutrition. After finishing my degree, I started to think about life after university and what career I would choose, so I started looking at the baby food industry. Like Mum all those years ago, I began to realise that many parents want to feed their babies fresh, healthy meals, but the realities of a busy family life mean this can often be a struggle.

To my surprise, parents still only have two options when it comes to baby food; make it from scratch yourself which is time consuming or buy commercially produced jars/pouches which compromise on quality. So, using my new business knowledge and my passion for nutrition, I decided to join forces with my Mum and turn her 23-year-old dream in to a reality. Our aim? To create a fresh baby meal delivery service and ensure that busy parents no longer have to sacrifice tasty, homemade food for the ease of mass produced, shop bought pouches.

How do you divide roles in the business?

With my business knowledge, I take more of the ‘leader’ role in terms of running the day to day tasks of the business-like organising deliveries, ordering ingredients, managing social media accounts, conversing with customers etc, while Judy’s roles are more focused in the kitchen. She’s head of quality control and chief taster!

Mum is always the one who provides suggestions of potential new flavours to try after taking inspiration from magazines etc. I then go away to develop and test the recipes. Judy then gives feedback on the tests and suggests any improvements to the tests.

While I would say that I’m the driving force behind the business and bringing it to life, I certainly couldn’t do it without Judy.

What’s it like working with a relative?

Working with your Mum really is the best thing! I see her so much more often than I would have otherwise which is really lovely. I think you can be a lot more honest working with a family member and say exactly what you’re thinking without causing tension. Most of the time we always agree!

No one wants you to succeed more than your own mum, so I always know she will do everything she can to help make Sweet Pea Spoons work.

What’s been the biggest challenge so far?

The biggest challenge we’ve faced is getting our products to customers whilst keeping them frozen. It’s taken nearly a year of testing to figure out how to get our products to customers all across the UK whilst maintaining frozen temperatures. When we first launched in March we were only delivering to customers in Twickenham and Richmond. But now we can deliver to almost all corners of the UK!

Last book you read?

Is it awful that I can’t remember? Life is pretty hectic balancing a business, a part time job, family life and a sort of social life.  So if I’m being totally honest, I never really have time for books. I listen to a LOT of podcasts, always business ones as I enjoy listening to other successful founders’ stories and taking onboard their advice.

Tell us something that people don’t know about you.

I once jumped out of a plane. I have no idea how I did it, but when I was travelling in New Zealand I decided it would be a good idea to do a skydive. My mum stayed up until 2am UK time to check it went all ok. When I watch videos back all I can think is how the H*** did I do that! I get butterflies watching it!

What would you take to a desert island?

A photograph of my puppy Cavapoochon Blue, he’s my pride and joy.

Signature dish (not baby food!)

Judy: My either my Tomato and Pancetta Risotto, super simple but delicious, or my Thai roast chicken for something a bit different. Both are always crowd pleasers.

Melissa: My Chocolate and Orange Panettone pudding! A seasonal take on the classic bread and butter pudding. I used to make this for my girls at uni and it really is the most indulgent delicious pudding (I’m a dessert person always). In summer it’s my Strawberry and Rhubarb crumble, don’t get me started I could go on…

Your proudest moment?

Receiving a first class in my degree and the Deans Award for the most outstanding student. This really was a special moment after working so hard for three years.

In terms of the business, it was being contacted by a certain big brand who I’ve always looked up to. When I look back at where we first started when we were planning the idea, it makes me realise how far we’ve come and I’m incredibly proud (and a bit shocked) of that.

What’s next on the list of things to do?

We’re looking at developing a finger foods option as many parents are now going down the BLW route so we want to cover both basis. We’re also hoping to start getting our products into some local farm shops and other retailors in 2021 which will be super exciting!

>>>>>For more food inspiration, check out our Recipe pages>>>>>


Healthy snacks for families in lockdown

So it’s official, schools won’t be open for the foreseeable here the UK. Which means that us busy parents must keep on top of the snack cupboard stock take. PLUS with very little time to even sip a warm cuppa between Teams calls, we know that busy parents like us will need a steady supply of healthy snacks to produce in front of the little snackers quicker than you can say “lockdown three”.

TOP TIP for those on a New Year health kick, we suggest substituting the usual snacks for something healthier. So we’ve picked out a bunch of  organic, gluten-free, vegan friendly alternatives. All tried and tested – your resident snack monsters are in for a treat (or 8).

Team sweet

healthy snacks for kids - Bear Paws
1. Bear Paws Strawberry and Apple Bear Nibbles, Farmdrop, £2.75 for a pack of 5. Vegan friendly.

Fruit bowl healthy snacks for kids

2. Fruit Bowl Unicorn Flakes, Tesco, £2 for a pack of 5. Gluten free. Veggie friendly.

3. Snackzilla Cookies, Snackzilla, from £3. Low Sugar.

4. Biona Pomegranate Hearts, Planet Organic, £1.99. Vegan friendly.

Team savoury

1. Proper Chips Sea Salt Lentil Chips, Waitrose & Partners, £2. Vegan friendly.

2. Eat Real Hummus Chips, Holland & Barrett, from 99p. Vegan friendly.

3. Abakus Salt and Vinegar Seaweed Crisps, Holland & Barrett, 99p. Vegan friendly.

4. Ape Really Cheesy Puffs, 99p. Vegan friendly.


Wash it down with a big gulp of water. Check our roundup of the best Water bottles here

Follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration.

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



Regardless of which tier you find yourself in, the show must really go on. We’ve found five fab theatre productions that’ll help bring the magic of a storytelling and the creative arts to your own home. ⁠


⁠ 1. National Theatre’s I want my hat back [online]⁠

2. Unicorn Theatre’s Christmas Huddle Show [online]⁠

3. Tall Story’s The Gruffalo [online]⁠

4. Peter Rabbit Activity Trail with National Trust [various locations]⁠

5. Creation Theatre’s Wonderful Wizard of Oz [online]⁠

Looking for more New Year’s Resolution inspo, how about volunteering this Christmas break? Follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration. We’ll be bringing you a weekly dose of inspo with our Friday five roundups.

PLUS to improve your inbox, we highly recommend subscribing to our fortnightly emails. Link for that is also in bio. ⁠ ⁠ Happy New Year and thanks again for your continued to support! CKHQ x ⁠



The Homeschool Edit

It’s official. Most school kids won’t be going back to school just yet. But this doesn’t halt our ability to keep up with their studies. While we all brace ourselves for another bout of homeschool/remote learning/stress, we’ve an edit that may help to get you top parent points. And most importantly, make this round of homeschool that little bit better, easier, exciting and rewarding.



The homeschool edit


  1. Stickers. Loads of them. Meri Meri Reward Stickers from Kidly, £6.50 
  2. Personalised Kids Star Reward Jar by CRAFTLY LTD from, £25
  3. Keep a record. Journal their progress and feedback regularly to their teachers. We LOVE the selection from Papier. Fruit Stickers Notebook by Bodil Jane on Papier, from £14.99
  4. Set timed tasks to test their learning. Use your handy home automation buddy, it’ll save you from having to yell for their attention later. Try out the small but mighty Apple HomePod Mini, £99



  1. Pocket money. Older kids may appreciate this one more. We’d rather not call it bribery, but instead, incentivising them for their hard work. Try out one of the cool Pocket Money apps such as Go Henry. They’ve recently launched an eco card too! 
  2. How about getting the whole family kitted out in matching shirts? No? We’ll you’ll have to create a rota so you don’t all clash wearing the Home S’Cool T Shirt, Annual Store, £18
  3. Anything with cute cats and or dogs, how about this totally smashing it notebook, Paperchase, £10

Get them involved in decorating their own learning space,  LEGO® DOTS 41907 Desk Organiser set, Selfridges, £18



  1. Break up small bursts of learning with a fun activity. How about a spot of colouring in? We love everything about these crayons and all they stand for. Colour Me Kids Crayons, from Acorn and Pip, £4
  2. Encourage them to explore their emotions. Abrams & Chronicle Books Mindful Kids Cards, from Kidly, £11
  3.  Be sure to order ample rewards for pupils and teachers too. A guilt free treat from Play in Choc, from £2.50
  4. The Happy Self Journal, £19.90

Looking to refresh their room with some inspirational tidbits, find the perfect pop of colour from our rainbow edit here.

How’s your New Year’s resolutions going? Check our roundup of the best Water bottles here

Follow our INSTAGRAM for more ideas and inspiration.

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