Family Activities

Motherhood: Getting Kids Outdoors Over the Holidays

  It’s the Easter holidays. Vast quantities of chocolate have been eaten. A lot of time has been spent on the sofa – a LOT! The children have seen more of their various screens than they have of their family, and it’s starting to show. That’s when – whatever the weather says – it’s time in my book to get outdoors. I know it really hasn’t been the best climate to frolic in the long grass – when is it ever in the UK?! – but there are ways, and with a puppy arriving here tomorrow (I KNOW!!!!) my kids …

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4 Rules to live by when cooking with your children

Cooking with your children is one of life’s simplest pleasures. While it may not actually be simple in practice, it can definitely be one of the most fun ways to spend time with your kids. It’s important to make it as fun as possible for both you and them. Follow these rules to make sure you’re making the right kind of memories every time you step in the kitchen. 1. Choose the right recipe Choose a basic recipe before you get started, or get together 3 or 4 and let your children decide. This gets them involved from the outset …

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Why Music is Important for Children’s Brain Development

Why music is important for kids Music was a lifesaver for me when my daughter was tiny. I remember reading whilst I was pregnant that my baby could already hear music. I think it was around that time I switched from Radio 1 to Classic FM in the car, having heard that Mozart was the best music for babies, and could make my child smarter before she was even born. When we brought her home from the hospital we sat drinking champagne with music videos on the TV until 2am, waiting for her to go to sleep, so we could …

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A Beach and Inflatable Play Park at Lee Valley

If you’re planning your diaries for the school summer holidays, you might want to include a visit to the Lee Valley White Water centre. Just 5 minutes from the M25 in Hertfordshire, this top notch white water sports centre was built for the Olympics, so it’s probably the best place in the UK for canoeing or rafting adventures. (You can see my white water experiences over on Space In Your Case). But the water isn’t the main reason you’ll want to go this summer. Unless you have older kids with a fancy for it. Lee Valley White Water have installed …

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Last-minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day gift inspiration

Have you sorted your Mother’s Day gift yet? If not, don’t panic; you’re not alone, and I have a suggestion for you. Apparently, more than half a million Brits leave it until an hour before midday on the Sunday to shop for Mother’s Day gifts! As someone who has been victim of a ‘whatever’s at the petrol station’ present, I’m urging you not to leave it that late, but even if you do, help is at hand. Mother’s Day gift inspiration Supermarket giant Tesco have some research that suggests that 22 per cent of us have no idea what to …

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How to Create a Stop Animation Film for Christmas

Don’t you love a good Christmas advert? As much as The Snowman, and Elf, waiting to watch the newest Christmas adverts has become a marker of Christmas – the start to the festive season, and our kids want them played again and again throughout December. But this week has been even more exciting, as they’ve had the chance to make their own, courtesy of a fab stop animation kit from Sainsbury’s. Sponsored post with Sainsbury’s. Inspired by the stop animation film of their own Christmas advert, and its message around spending more time with family and friends over the holiday, …

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Wicked: an Alternative to the Panto at Christmas

When my kids were young they loved a pantomime at Christmas. It’s the slapstick, the limerick nature of it all, the cheesy jokes, and the audience participation – it never fails with younger kids. But Maddie is now 12, and though she still wants a special trip to the theatre at Christmas time, she has outgrown the panto, seen the Snowman, and is not yet old enough to really appreciate a full ballet production of the Nutcracker. So we went to see Wicked. It has exactly the right amount of fairytale and costume excess to fit the bill of a …

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Kidzania London review

A review of Kidzania London, where the kids are in charge of learning about real life on the job.

If you have children, Kidzania must be on your radar. Mine had been begging to go for a while, so over the half term holidays we booked in, and I have to tell you, they were really excited, especially my eldest, who was looking forward to the independence of forging her way in a mock-up of the real world. Billed as a ‘real-life role play experience,’ Kidzania offers children the opportunity to get a feel for what it might be like to take on over 60 different workplace roles, earning money in return for tasks completed. Here’s what to expect …

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Meet Meerkats: Fall in Love (review of Paradise Wildlife Park)

The meet the meerkats experience at Paradise Wildlife park is a very special treat

Have you ever been this close to a meerkat? I snapped this picture over the half term holidays at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, and I wasn’t using my zoom lens. I was actually sitting on the stump right next to these two guys as they got up close and personal after their feed. Aren’t they adorable? The Bug has long been a fan of meerkats. My self-professed ‘next David Atteborough’ boy loves anything about animals and nature, and whilst he might struggle to remember what 7 x 6 is, the space in his brain reserved for creature trivia is …

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Skydiving without Fear

I swore I'd never go skydiving, but an indoor skydiving session with my kids almost saw me signing up for the real deal! Here's what we thought of iFly at Milton Keynes

Indoor Skydiving with iFly I swore I would never go skydiving. We’re pretty adventurous in our family, and between us we’re up for most things. But jumping out of a plane? No. Not for me. My daughter claims she would, and also thinks that bungee jumping is something everyone should try. (Also not happening in my lifetime). My son is the most sedate amongst us, and probably won’t be testing my parental panic meter with daredevil activities any time soon, but with a husband who’s planning to throw himself off a mountain for his 50th birthday, it’s fair to say …

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