YOUR ULTIMATE GUI DE TO PARE NTING IN STYLE
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Kids come too
Ultimate family-friendly destinations
HOW TO HELP YOUR CHILD’S ROUTINE
Unicorn hype THE MOST MAGICAL BIRTHDAY PARTIES with Carole Middleton
MARINA FOGLE on
WHY THE OUTDOORS IS THE WORLD’S GREATEST PLAYGROUND
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HOO GUID LS insid E e …
London’s hit list FAMILY EVENTS THIS SPRING
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+ SMART SOLUTIONS TO MAKE YOUR CHILD’S BEDROOM A HOMEWORK HAVEN + OUR FAVOURITE BRAIN-BUSTING BOOKS
otor is the Mediterranean town in Montenegro that keeps reminiscences of events and people of medieval ages. Visi�ng the a�rac�ons of Kotor will make you feel like you have come few centuries back. The town is recognizable by numerous tradi�onal events, such as the Carnival in Kotor, from the 15th century. Also one tradi�onal event is Boka Night, on the ﬁrst Saturday in the second half of August, which keeps the long ritual of decora�ng boats that become true pieces of art, and the celebra�on of that night is accompanied by ﬁreworks and music performances on every square in the Old Town. The long tradi�on of great performance is something that Kotor Fes�val of Theatre for Children is known for, as it oﬀers special programs for the youngest, from theater shows, concerts, games, performances and other a�rac�ons that are meant for children of all ages. No ma�er how old you are, you will enjoy everything that the city of the child provides. A city that is young for centuries. Tourism Organisation of Kotor Stari grad 315 85330 Kotor, Montenegro website: www.kotor.travel e-mail: email@example.com tel/fax: +382 32 322 886 Instagram: @kotor.travel
City Child O F
T H E
KOTOR - Montenegro
photo: Krsto Vulovic Ranko Maras
The perfect introduction to the magic of ballet for children aged 3+ The Peacock, London 16 – 27 April
New Theatre, Oxford 31 May – 2 June
The Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe 4 – 5 May Richmond Theatre 18 – 19 May
Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells 8 – 9 June
Book now ballet.org.uk/myfirstballet
Illustration: Mark Ruffle
FROM A SELECTION AT NIDI DESIGN NUBIE.CO.UK
WELCOME Ahh spring! ’Tis the season for new clothes in the wardrobe, new animals frolicking in the fields, and new dates to circle in the diary, but with half-term and Easter on the way, you don’t want to be short of inspiration to fill your days. Martha Alexander covers the best events in and around the capital on page 92. If the change of season has got you pining for the great outdoors then you’re not the only one. This year, Marina Fogle is encouraging her children to make the most out of the fun that can be outside of the four walls. Her Childs Play feature on page 52 will have you all heading out for an adventure in no time. One of my resolutions was to be more active, and I have to say I’m fully embracing my morning swim – it really sets me up for the day ahead. Recently, I was shocked to hear that more than one in 10 young children have shown a fear of water. My Troubled Waters feature (page 90) looks at childhood swimming phobias and why so many kids are scared to take the plunge. So if your brood are suffering from the water wobbles it’s an essential read. Of course all of these extracurricular activities can build up an appetite. TV Chef and dad of two-year-old Acey, Tom Kerridge shares one of his favourite family recipes: easy homemade pizzas. They’re just as fun to make as they are to eat (p.68)! Love it or hate it, the unicorn trend shows no signs of waning. If there’s a spring birthday on the cards, and you have a unicorn fanatic on your hands, don’t miss our resident party expert Carole Middleton’s top tips on how to throw the most magical occasion for your little one (p.50). And if the slight glimmer of sunshine has given you the holiday blues, then this issue’s competition is one for you. Win a family stay worth £5,000 at Sugar Beach on the Caribbean island of St Lucia. Find all the details on page 16. Happy spring to one and all!
RE BECCA MOORE , ACTING E DITOR A n d a fe w of my favour ite th ing s at the mom e nt…
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SWIMMING TOWEL £15 JOHNLEWIS.COM
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C O N T E N TSprSing 2 019 FE ATU R ES
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16 WIN ! A HOLIDAY TO ST LUCIA
71 TRAVEL NEWS
Enjoy a five-night family trip courtesy of
What’s new in the world of family travel?
Viceroy Hotels and Resorts
30 MY LITTLE LONDON
74 POSTCARD FROM SRI LANKA Chloë Collyer visits Shangri-La Hambantota
Childrenswear designer Princess MarieChantal talks boutique interiors and moving to the capital
76 JOIN THE CLUB We reveal the world’s best kids’ clubs
Emma O’Donovan rounds up the best
educational reads for different ages
84 EDUCATION NEWS
32 BRAIN TRAINERS
What’s new in and out of the classroom
42 FIFTY SHADES OF FATHERHOOD Actor Jamie Dornan opens up about fatherhood and life after Christian Grey
86 STRIKE THE RIGHT CHORD Is quitting music lessons ever okay?
88 GROWING -UP PAINS
52 CHILD’S PLAY Marina Fogle encourages parents to help
Becky Dickinson explores the issue of
their kids embrace the great outdoors
puberty and how to handle what’s in store
56 BEAT BEDTIME BATTLES Louise Pyne shares her troubleshooting
90 TROUBLED WATERS We explore childhood swimming phobias
guide to resetting your child’s sleep routine
58 YAWN BUSTERS Struggling to get started in 2019? Here’s a few quick fixes for time-short mums
64 TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL Stylish finds for your child’s bedroom
68 EASY HOMEMADE PIZZAS Tom Kerridge shares his recipe for a family
R EGUL A R S 13 LITTLE NEWS The latest on all things big in kid world
18 DIARY What’s going on over the next few months
40 INSTA INSPO We meet Bohannah at @thesimplefolk_
favourite that’s as fun to make as it is to eat
SHO PPIN G & ST YLE
50 PARTY TIME WITH CAROLE MIDDLETON How to plan a unicorn-themed celebration
21 LITTLE LOVES These fresh kicks from Cath Kidston and New Balance are sure to put a spring in
61 INTERIOR NEWS Inspiring finds from brands big and small
your little one’s step
23 CATCHING RAYS
62 GET CRAFTY Seasonal activities to keep kids busy
Encourage a thirst for adventure with these globetrotting wardrobe essentials
67 FOOD NEWS The latest foodie finds for your mini diners
34 RUSTIQUE CHIC PHOTOGRAPHY: OLGA FILENKO MODEL: MALONE COTTON-MIX BOMBER, RASPBERRY REPUBLIC. COTTON-MIX LEGGINGS, RASPBERRY REPUBLIC. COTTON RIBBED SHIRT, MAINIO CLOTHING.
Dress your darlings in countrified elegance inspired by Baby Dior’s SS19 collection
46 THE CARTOON NETWORK
92 AGENDA The best events for families this spring
98 THE BUSINESS
Playful prints and geometric shapes steal
Behind the scenes with Stella Bataille,
the show in our new-season fashion edit
founder of French school, Club Petit Pierrot
THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS BEENA NADEEM
interiors guru Where do you live?
Where do you live?
I live in Barnet in leafy North London.
I live in Crystal Palace in South London.
Favourite thing about spring?
The warming of the earth into a life force... and a spring in everyone’s step again.
Favourite thing about spring?
It has to be that special kind of hazy sunshine you only ever get on spring mornings.
First school memory?
First school memory?
My first school memory was someone snatching the hat my mum knitted me and tearing it. A sad day.
My first memory of my school days was diving straight into the dressing-up box after maths.
Beena asks if it’s ever OK to quit music lessons on p.86
Read Ali’s tips for making your kids’ bedroom homework-ready on p.64
JOIN US ONLINE Dip in and get your daily digital fix
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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS LEONORA BAMFORD, MARISSA HERMER, CAROLE MIDDLETON, EMMA FREUD
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S E L B B U B G I B ! S E L B U O R T O N ou r ha ir an d bo dy wash is ed packed with natu rally de riv love ly ingr ed ients an d, th an ks to eo us to o. esse ntial oi ls, sm ells go rg s ev en Itâ€™ s so mi ld an d ge nt le , itâ€™ an d SAFE FOR su itable fo r se ns iti ve SKIN TO ecze ma. PEOP LE W HO MAY BE PRON E ch ilds farm .com
PHOTOGRAPHED BY AIDA LLANOS PHOTOGRAPHY
This is four-year-old Evie; she lives in South London with mum, dad and two-yearold little sister Elsie. When Evie’s playing at home she loves nothing more than dressing up as her favourite princesses – adorable! 10
D L O C ’ S T I Y BAB OUTSIDE! fu ll of natu rally ou r mo ist ur ise r is packed pe rf ect fo r de riv ed ingr ed ients, an d is IN. mo ist ur isi ng little on es SK s ev en su itable It’ s so mi ld an d ge nt le , it’ fo r people fo r se ns iti ve skin AN D safe ma. wh o may be pr on e to ecze
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little NEWS Updating you on all things big in kid world
Exclusive to Matches, the pieces are available in sizes four to 12 years
Matches Fashion has teamed up with Israeli designer Dodo Bar Or to launch a capsule collection for kids based on the popular womenswear line. Infused with the designer’s unique blend of boho chic, the styles are inspired by the rich art and architecture of the Middle East, with relaxed shapes, intricate embroidery and striking colour combinations, as well as a healthy helping of tassels! From £100, matchesfashion.com
Anki, the brand behind bestselling robot toy Cozmo, has found that the average family’s unused toys are worth more than £100. Toys with the most longevity include Lego and gadgets like tablets and game consoles. anki.com LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
Show your kids how to get to Sesame Street with Tikiboo’s new collab. The activewear brand has teamed up with the children’s show to create printed sportswear, featuring Elmo and the gang. Sizes range from age four up to 12, with matching versions in adult sizes too. £19.99, tikiboo.co.uk
Chinti and Parker has downsized its most iconic styles for an exclusive kidswear collection with Net-A-Porter. The seven-piece line features two snuggly star-print cashmere tracksuits, as well as Breton sweaters and tees with heart motifs on the chest. Available in four sizes from extra-small to large. From £50, net-a-porter.com
Finding that kids and spinning don’t mix? Pop-up children’s club The Kids’ Table now offers fun sessions at Battersea and Hammersmith Boom Cycles. While you pedal, kids aged three to 10 can enjoy crafting classes. thekidstable.co.uk
C ROCO D I LE ROCK
Lacoste’s SS19 footwear will take little ones from city to beach with ease. New styles include sliders, sandals, slip-ons and deck shoes in summery shades. We particularly love the Straightset velcro trainers, which pay homage to the crocodile logo with green ridges running along the heel. lacoste.com
If we can teach our kids anything, kindness and eco-awareness is a great place to start. The latest books in the Mindful Kids series, Be Green! and Be Kind!, encourage readers to colour and doodle their way to a more caring, sustainable world. On sale from 7 March. £8.99, Studio Press
CO SY TO E S
Get twinning this Mother’s Day with slippers from Scandinavian brand A.Andreassen. The six styles are inspired by the women’s line, with the Italian wool felt and soft leather styles all featuring an interlocking heart design. Sizing starts from a children’s UK nine. From £39, aandreassen.com
The latest Givenchy children’s range is sure to give kids serious street cred. The sport and rock lines are cast in monochrome with pops of red, while hoodies, bomber jackets and playsuits feature bold branding, racing stripes and lightning bolt prints. Launched in 2017, the kids’ clothing is based on key styles from the adult collection, allowing you to take twinning to the next level. Kids’ sizing from four years.harrods.com
O UT O F TH E BOX
New kid-friendly audio system, Toniebox is perfect for story time. Place a Tonie figurine on the cubed speaker and the reading will begin; tales include favourites like The Gruffalo and The Little Prince. Want to create your own story? The Creative Tonies allow users to record and listen back at any time. £79.95 (excluding figurines), tonies.com
Good hair day
Broadcaster Rochelle Humes was inspired to write The Mega Magic Hair Swap, after her daughter complained about her curly hair. It tells the tale of two friends who long for each other’s locks, but after having their wish granted realise it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. A great story for teaching girls to love themselves. £6.99, Studio Press
ere are si ifferen s a es o oniebo s ea ers or our li le one o c oose ro
The Working Dads site will help fathers find part-time, home-based and flexible full-time jobs, while keeping them informed on relevant issues. Its research found that 95% of dads think that flexible hours are very important. workingdads.co.uk LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
H T R WO
K 5 £
estled on a hillside between the two famous Piton mountains in the south western part of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, has a truly spectacular position. Surrounded by more than 100 acres of natural rainforest and the only white sand beaches in the area, guests are in for an unforgettable stay. Better yet, Little London has teamed up with Sugar Beach to offer one lucky family of four a five-night stay in one of its Superior
Luxury Villas, on a B&B basis. Built in small clusters, the villas are decorated with custom-made furnishings for a stylish stay, while the terrace with your own oversized plunge pool makes an idyllic spot to unwind as a family. Lounging by the resort pool or on the soft sands of Sugar Beach may be enough activity for some, while others may choose to explore the hidden treasures St. Lucia has to offer. For active families, the resort has a host of activities, including beach volleyball, tennis and fitness classes, as well as a selection of water sports. Younger guests are well catered for with Sugar Beach’s fantastic complimentary supervised activities. Kids between four and 12 years old can embrace fun yet educational activities while learning fascinating facts about the rainforest and the ocean through storytelling, dance classes and crafting. If parents are in need of some
With white sands, water sports and a host of fun supervised activities for kids, it’s impossible to be bored at Sugar Beach grownup relaxation, where better to go than the resort’s Rainforest Spa? Blending traditional St Lucian culture with a strong Caribbean feel, you’re bound to come out feeling rejuvenated. Plus, with four restaurants serving varied Caribbean-influenced menus, guests will easily fill their days. L viceroyhotelsandresorts.com
To enter, visit littlelondonmagazine.co.uk/competitions SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. COMPETITION CLOSES 11:59PM ON 9 MAY 2019
T&C’S: COMPETITION CLOSES AT 11:59PM ON 9 MAY 2019. THE VACATION DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY FOOD AND BEVERAGES (UNLESS STATED), FLIGHTS, AIRPORT TRANSFERS, INSURANCE, SPENDING MONEY, OR LOCALLY PAID DEPARTURE TAXES.
WIN A LUXURY FIVE-NIGHT FAMILY STAY IN ST. LUCIA
Holidays in Cornwall for the whole family.
Esplanade Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1PS
Head south to Clapham Picturehouse to be enchanted by Northern Ballet’s performance
Back for its 11th year, The Underbelly Festival kicks off from today until 29 September, bringing together the very best comedy, cabaret circus and family entertainment acts on London’s Southbank. Better yet, you and the kids can enter the festival site free of charge.
What to do and where to go in the capital over the next few months
high for this year’s event. Get involved by purchasing one of the charity’s kids’ T-shirts, designed in collaboration with Disney. Available for two to 12 years, £2.50 from each sale goes to the cause. comicrelief.com
Horniman Museum & Gardens
DISNEY T-SHIRT £6.99 COMICRELIEF.COM
Learn all sorts of fascinating facts when you play Who Did This Poo?, a wonderful matching and memory game that features some beautiful drawings by illustrator Claudia Boldt. On sale from today, simply pair 27 different animals to their droppings to win the game.
Got a bit of a bookworm on your hands? This year’s World Book Day will see over 100 countries come together to celebrate the joy of reading. Check out a whole host of literary workshops at KidZania until 10 March, including character building and story writing sessions. kidzania.co.uk
£12.99, Laurence King
Happy Easter from the team at Little London HQ! If you’ve decided to spend the long weekend in the capital this year, take a trip to the Horniman Museum & Gardens for its annual Easter Fair, where you’ll find crafts workshops, face painting, and of course, a hunt for some delicious chocolate eggs. horniman.ac.uk
At last, a day of rest for mums everywhere! It may be wishful thinking, but a nice breakfast and a few snuggles in bed wouldn’t go a miss this Mothering Sunday.
The last Red Nose Day raised a record-breaking £82m, so expectations are
BEST KIDS’ AFTERNOON TEAS ST ERMIN’S HOTEL
Sandwich fillings include tuna mayonnaise and Nutella, with carrot cake, macarons and a bee lolly also included. Each child receives a herb-garden growing pack. Available at weekends or during school holidays. £15 per child, sterminshotel.co.uk
THE RUBENS AT THE PALACE
Go for grandeur with this hotel opposite the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace. The Little Prince and Princess Tea features sandwiches, scones, indulgent pastries, plus the choice of a milkshake, hot chocolate, tea or a
soft drink. £19 per child, rubenshotel.com
THE ROYAL HORSEGUARDS HOTEL St Ermin’s Hotel
Described as a ‘tea party for little ladies and gents’ prepare to enjoy an array of fun-shaped sandwiches, themed pastries, fruit and cinnamon scones, as well as a choice of a Baby Chai latte, Babyccino or fruit juice. Guests are also given a colouring book. £12 per child, guoman.com
KidZania World Book Day literary workshops
An afternoon tea with a twist, the El Dolce Nino menu is full of Italian classics: bruschetta, pizza, Sicilian lemon scones and a flourless chocolate and orange cake. Polish it off with a Rococo hot chocolate. £16 per child, monmouthkitchen.co.uk
PHOTOGRAPHY: BRIAN SLATER
Frying pans at the ready, folks; Shrove Tuesday means pancakes for all! Whether you head into town for some traditional pancake races, or perfect your flipping skills at home with the kids, today’s set to be truly delicious.
Head to Clapham Picturehouse at 11am for Northern Ballet’s bite-sized production of Elves & the Shoemaker. Narrated by BBC presenter Anita Rani, this wonderful performance features charming animations, colourful designs and captivating musical renditions. From £5,
Royal Albert Hall presents
MY GREAT ORCHESTRAL
EW ALL N URE! ENT ADV
CALLING ALL TIME TRAVELLERS! Take your whole family on a journey through Jurassic periods and Classical eras. Will you join us in this symphonic race against time?
TUESDAY 28 MAY, 2PM
Call: 020 7589 8212 royalalberthall.com
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little loves… Launching on 18 February, children’s sizes range from 7-2, with an identical women’s laced shoe available too
Cath Kidston’s latest kicks have arrived just in time for spring. The label has joined forces with American athletic brand New Balance for a second time, creating a line of trainers for women, girls and even baby too. The heritage 415 style has been refreshed with Cath Kidston’s Dulwich Sprig print, and features cushion technology so little feet can keep going all day long. New Balance x Cath Kidston trainers £40, cathkidston.com
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Encourage a thirst for adventure with travel-inspired details and a globetrotting wardrobe to match
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OLLI ELLA TRAVEL PACK £24.95 LITTLEGREENHOME.CO.UK
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We create outstanding small group & tailor-made family adventure and activity holidays worldwide Small group travel with family-friendly guides Adventures for the whole family Varied and exciting itineraries “Our consultant Sally was just excellent. She helped us choose the right kind of holiday for our family, and was very knowledgeable throughout”. Mark – Jan 2019
Morocco: Atlas Mule Train Enjoy walking in the lower Atlas Mountains alongside your children as they ride mules. Suitable for children aged 2+. Stop for picnics, and spend time in Marrakech and the seaside town of Essaouira. 6 & 13 Apr, 25 May, 27 Jul & 26 Oct 2019 10 days from £429, child from £399
Sri Lanka: Ceylon Discovery Delve deep into the heart of Sri Lanka’s culture visiting the country’s top sites including Sigiriya, Temple of the Tooth and Dambulla Caves. Visit a tea plantation and enjoy plenty of beach time too! 7 Apr, 7 & 28 Jul & 11 Aug 2019 14 days from £1,299, child from £1,249
Jordan: Adventure to Petra
Thailand: Hill Tribes & Elephants
Jordan’s ancient ruins and impressive desert and rock landscapes appeal to adults and parents alike. Ride camels, discover the ancient monuments of Petra and relax on the beaches at Aqaba.
Search for wild elephants on safari in Kui Buri National Park. Stay in comfort on a floating jungle lodge and hill tribe lodge. Visit a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary and help feed the elephants.
13 Apr, 25 May, 3 Aug & 19 Oct 2019 8 days from £1,199, child from £1,149
13 Apr & 10 Aug 2019 16 days from £1,849, child from £1,799
(All holiday prices include accommodation, some meals, activities, excursions and expert guides. Flight prices on request.)
01962 302 062 firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERVIEW Notting Hill is a favourite London shopping spot
Princess Marie-Chantal has raised a tight-knit family
COTTON SHIRT £79 MARIECHANTAL.CO.UK
She’s enjoying the crazy pace of life in New York
The new Marie-Chantal boutique is on Motcomb Street in Belgravia
The Princess always goes to Pierre Herme for delicious Parisian macarons
She has been happily married to Crown Prince Pavlos for 23 years
My Little London P R I N C E S S M A R I E - C H A N TAL THE GREEK ROYAL AND CHILDRENSWEAR DESIGNER TALKS BOUTIQUE INTERIORS, DESIGNING FOR A NEW GENERATION AND HER MOVE TO NEW YORK FROM LONDON
INTERVIEW: ANNIE QUINTON. PHOTOGRAPHY: ANTONIO PAGANO; ISTOCK; SHUTTERSTOCK; INSTAGRAM.COM/MARIECHANTAL
Princess Marie-Chantal set up her luxury childrenswear label 18 years ago and still loves the nostalgia of designing for little ones
You’ve opened a new boutique on Motcomb Street. Tell us more about it.
You’re a mother of five – what’s the best thing for you about motherhood?
At 18 years old, the brand feels like a grownup child, and with my friend’s children – who wore my brand when they were young – now dressing their own kids in our clothes, I knew it needed a refresh for this new generation. Motcomb Street is now our only boutique, so I wanted to look at the brand with fresh eyes. We worked with interior designer Fran Hickman to create something beautiful, clean and that tells a story. We’ve got white fittings with gold hardware, Steiff animal toys and a light fitting inspired by The Little Prince.
It’s so special – I’ve loved every single second of being a mother. I’ve tried to raise a tightknit family, teach them how to be a good citizen of the world, given them advice and set them out into this world with healthy morals. I told them they can be anyone they want and I’ll always encourage them, they just need back to humanity in some shape or form.
Run us through your design process.
Inspiration can come from anything, from a movie I’ve seen to something I spot in a museum. I’ve been reading The Chronicles of Narnia with my 10-year-old son, which has inspired our AW19 design – from little lion embroideries to earthy mushroom colours. I try not to follow too many trends. Designing for children takes you back to your own childhood; from a traditional school coat with a Liberty print trim to the check in my Hong Kong school uniform. I’ll even get ideas from what my children wore when they were little. When you dress children, people love to know what they can come back for, so I’ve stripped it back to who we really are as a brand, and focusing on those details. Do you reckon any of your children have a future in fashion design?
Olympia’s [Marie-Chantal’s eldest child, 22] at school in New York studying fashion – the business side rather than design, so maybe she can come in and help me. We’ll see! LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
What do you miss most about London?
I miss my friends and the cosiness. I come back a couple of times a year but when my kids moved [to New York] for university, I wanted to be closer to them. How does New York compare?
New York has so much crazy energy – it’s the city that never sleeps. I turned 50 this year, so it’s been nice to have this change, especially as I needed to focus on the brand. It’s not for forever, but it’s great right now. If you had a friend who was coming to London for the first time, what would you recommend they do?
Go to Notting Hill – there are so many great shops and restaurants – and the museums. And of course, visit the cute cafés and shops on Motcomb Street – it’s been pedestrianised; it’s so nice to see people walking around. What places would we find in your Little Black Book of London?
I love Ziani, an Italian just off the King’s Road – we lived in Chelsea so it’s our local. Pierre Herme for Parisian macarons, Rococo Chocolate for the best chocolate and Ottolenghi for takeaway lunches. Soho’s great for Chinese food and Bo Lang in South Kensington has the best dim sum. 31
How has your role as a mother changed as they’ve got older?
I’m in a new phase where I have these young adults with hopes and dreams, and it’s so great to be able to watch them go off to university. It’s a different relationship when they’re babies, but as they grow and are exposed to all sorts, they change and form opinions. I embrace social media, but they’re the first generation to navigate the pressure of it. We just do our best to guide them by being a united family ready to deal with any situation. What advice would you give to other mothers starting their own business?
You’ve got to do what you love and stay happy. Retail can be very stressful. I’ve had my ups and downs, but it’s something that’s made me feel so proud. It’s something that I’ve created and having that ownership is so important. What else is in the pipeline for you?
I’m writing a book on children’s manners that’s due out in September, and I’ll be keeping up my blog – mariechantalblog.com – sharing tips on parenting and more. As for the brand, I just hope the next generation embraces it, because it’s so special to me. L
Architecture for Babies
BY JONATHAN LITTON
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BY CHRIS WORMELL AND RAMAN PRINJA
A stylishly simplified look at construction, from historic structures to modern buildings. Perfect for babies who gravitate towards building blocks.
Packed to bursting with mind-boggling animal facts, readers of all ages will find reasons to love the natural world in this beautifully curated page-turner.
Wistfully wishing you could explore the outer reaches of our solar system, this is the sophisticated and informative read you’re looking for.
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A poetic look at the evolution of dinosaurs. Its accessible timeline helps contextualise this fascinating period.
Readers will be captivated by seafaring mischief makers. Weapons, diseases, food, and ships: no stone is left unturned in this fun fact-packed series.
Inquisitive minds will be inspired by this celebration of 40 of the world’s greatest scientific pioneers, from Ada Lovelace to Stephen Hawking.
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William Bee’s Wonderful World of Trucks
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Budding mechanics will be absorbed by the illustrations of trucks of all shapes and sizes in this bold picture book.
An accessible and thought-provoking story for curious young minds, this book is inspired by current events, exploring political themes such as immigration.
Buckle up and get ready to learn about every imaginable type of transport. This crowd-pleasing book combines mindboggling facts and rich illustration.
£6.99 • Pavilion Books
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BY WILLIAM BEE
Little Mouse’s Alphabet Flash Cards BY ANNA KOVECSES
With difficulty ratings and fun suggestions, pre-schoolers will love learning with these beautiful flash cards. £10.99 • Wide Eyed Editions
Wilfred and Olbert’s Epic Prehistoric Adventure BY LOMP
Engage the grey cells with Wilfred and Olbert. Packed with puzzles, this book can be enjoyed over and over again.
ILLUSTRATION: THOMAS ELLIOTT
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Little People Big Dreams Matching Game Youngsters will be encouraged to achieve amazing things with this pairs game, featuring inspirational women from all walks of life throughout history. £12.99 • Lincoln Children’s Books
Brain trainers EMMA O’DONOVAN ROUNDS UP THE BEST EDUCATIONAL BOOKS FOR DIFFERENT AGES
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I N S TA I N S P O
@thesimplefolk_ Mother-of-three BOHANNAH talks inspiration, kids’ fashion and hotspots to visit in her Australian homeland
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y sharing snapshots of her charming family life, Bohannah has amassed an impressive 146,000 followers. What do you love about Instagram?
It’s a place to create, inspire, be inspired and connect. Who do you like to follow?
I love being inspired, whether it’s home design, fashion, lifestyle or travel. Accounts that give me daily inspiration are @olliella, @yoli_and_otis, @elisecook and @earthyandy You and your family are always beautifully dressed – which clothing labels are your favourites?
It’s easy when my feed’s filled with such beautiful labels creating timeless pieces! My kids wear @summerandstorm, @millkco, and @louisemisha and some of my favourites are @ chasing_unicorns, @littletienda and @abrandjeans. You live near Perth, but which Australian areas
would you recommend?
Of what we’ve seen so far, Kununurra in Western Australia is one of the best. You’ll find tropical hot springs in the most isolated places. The south west of Western Australia will always be our special place as it’s where we got married and have made countless memories. You’ll find the most amazing turquoise coastline there. What are your kids’ travel essentials?
For Archer, as long as he has his favourite digger and truck toys he’s happy. Indiana loves drawing, so she has books and pencils to hand wherever we go. Prepped food like chopped fruit, veggies and lentils are a necessity on the road, and a movie on the iPad is a go-to. What’s next for you?
We start homeschooling Indiana this year. It means we have more time to travel, with overseas adventures later in the year! We can’t wait. L
Let your child learn the magic of sewing their own clothes in fun, structured classes at our purpose-built fabric shop and sewing studio in Chelsea. With over 35 years of experience, we teach hand and machine sewing, fashion, fabrics and the big wonderful picture for the future. • We enable young innovatives to design and sew using sustainable fabrics • A caring environment encouraging a love of our planet • Age specific classes from tinies at 6+ to teens • A beautiful shop selling quality British mill / supplier fabrics. Organic or traceable. Patterns and high-end haberdashery • Nationally recognised GCSE level Arts Award centre for over 11s • Duke of Edinburgh skills and volunteering The Summer Fashion School London : Based in Chelsea : July / August 2019 • This is the ideal international fashion holiday camp for children from 10+ • Residential and non-residential in SW3 • Design - Create - Sew in a fully equipped fashion department in an art college • Trips and Exhibitions for the young fashionista • Make friends from all around the world www.summerfashionschool.com 224a King’s Rd, SW3 5UB : 020 7352 4256 : email@example.com
Jamie’s main focus in life is raising a family with his wife, actress and musician, Amelia Warner
FIFTY SHADES OF
A WORLD AWAY FROM THE INFAMOUS CHRISTIAN GREY, VIOLET WILDER FINDS OUT THAT FOR IRISH ACTOR JAMIE DORNAN FATHERHOOD REALLY IS THE GREATEST LEVELLER
ontrary to his screen persona, Irishman Jamie Dornan is soft, kind, loyal, and a happily married father of two daughters: Dulcie, four, and Elva, two… with another to follow. But the way that Jamie Dornan leapt into the public’s consciousness in the role he did is unfortunate, in the sense that he and Christian Grey could probably not be any more different. “It’s an interesting thing to come to terms with,” Dornan begins, “because, obviously, as an actor and a person, I can separate off Second daughter Elva those two people very easily – Christian arrived two weeks before filming on Fifty Shades is Christian, and I am myself. But I Darker began know it’s sometimes difficult for others to do that. I’ll still get called Christian in the street; I might still get a funny look… you never really know what people are thinking!” It’s ironic that just as one of the central characters of 50 Shades of Grey was becoming globally renowned as a brooding, carnal, controlling aphrodisiac, the real Jamie Dornan was settling into the gentle, emotional, faithful accomplishments of fatherhood. LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
“The timing couldn’t really have been any stranger,” says Belfast-born Dornan, who is married to British actress and musician Amelia Warner. “It was a lot to take on as I had two very different worlds colliding… twice! Dulcie was born three days before we started filming Fifty Shades of Grey and Elva arrived two weeks before Fifty Shades Darker. So these major life events have come around major work events… it’s like there’s a link between the two that I can’t shake, even though the emotions couldn’t be more different.” That link was extended in 2018, the year that saw the completion of the film franchise – a third and final stab at sexual gratification with Fifty Shades Freed – matched with the announcement, in October, that the couple were pregnant again and ready to welcome into the world their third baby in the spring. Coincidences aside, however, it’s notable, for Dornan, that despite that final movie taking the project’s total global earnings to over £1.3bn, professional achievements will always be secondary to the thrill of fatherhood. “Through all the madness that has come with this franchise, I’ve become a family man – that’s always my first thought. I’ve truly enjoyed the beauty of raising two young children,” he says. “I think that kind of balance in my life has helped me deal with the pressures of success, and I must confess that
Jamie and Amelia are looking forward to becoming parents for the third time this spring
The popular Fifty Shades franchise made global earnings of £1.3bn
Through all the madness that has come with this franchise, I’ve become a family man freedom that a new variety of roles is affording him. In the past 18 months he has portrayed freelance photographer and filmmaker Paul Conroy in biopic A Private War, taken on the Robin Hood remake, returned to TV with BBC series Death and Nightingales. as well as recreated some of the steam and sizzle in emotional romp Untogether. And in 2019, an as yet untitled Drake Doremus project accompanies
Daughter Dulcie can be quite critical of her dad’s new film-role looks
Synchronic – in which he stars opposite Shailene Woodley. These diverse projects reflect the continued evolution of an actor concluding a frantic first decade in front of the camera. “Like any actor, I’m just delighted to get the opportunities,” he says, with effortless humility. “Personally it feels good to be looking forward and taking on roles that are versatile, and with children and a family I have people in my mind who I always want to do my best for… that’s a very different feeling to when you’re just doing it for yourself. “If I had to say what it was that inspired me to keep working, it’s unequivocally my amazing children, and that feeling of always doing my best for them. I’m looking forward to the future and I want to keep working hard, never taking what I have for granted, because in life it’s not the big gestures, the showbiz or the money – it’s a kiss from your daughter in the morning or seeing a child drift off to sleep.” L LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
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fatherhood has been a magical experience.” The truth is, when it comes to fame, Dornan doesn’t rate it too highly. By his own admission, he leads a very normal life, and while professional fulfilment is still something to be aimed at, the Irishman is already at the point where he can pick and choose roles based on personal preference, not because there are bills to be paid. “My family life makes me very grounded and happy – my children are beautiful and I’m married to the most outstanding woman in the world. Together we’re focused on raising our family, and that’s all we really need.” While, given the subject matter, the actor may want to keep his daughters away from the Fifty Shades franchise for as long as possible, he admits he’s enchanted by their responses to other roles he takes on. “Their reactions are very funny,” he admits, “and the feedback can be brutally honest! “They’re beginning to understand more and more how the whole thing works, but we have had some strange moments, usually when I’m sporting a new look for a film role, be it full beard or shaved head. Dulcie’s always quick to let me know what she thinks of changes to my face but I try to explain to her that I’m doing it for work. But I think both girls are getting used to the shock.” Dornan has certainly seized upon the
Wish you were here? Halkidiki’s stunning family hot-spot Sani Resort, is a one-of-a-kind destination in the Mediterranean
HOME TO ONE OF THE MOST VITAL BIRD SANCTUARIES IN GREECE, SANI Resort’s wetlands, gently rolling pine forests and hills give way to five miles of white sandy beach and lush gardens. Boasting an exquisite array of five-star hotels, 2019 will see the launch of impressive updates, including the Sani Suite Collection, which will bring a superior level of personalised service to guests’ journey, stay and departure. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes being able to pre-book tables in restaurants, spa treatments, crèche sessions, and activities for all ages. In addition to this, you can tailor your in-room amenities to meet your exact needs. Action is the order of the day here, with some thrill-seeking additions. First stop is Sani’s new adventure park, where you can conquer an exciting treetop experience, with exhilarating zip lines and challenge bridges. Bungalows boast private gardens or pools
Or perhaps you prefer your adrenalin rushes on the court? The Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre is sure to please players of all ages. Developed by the Grand Slam-winning legend, this ace portfolio addition means that whether you’re a beginner or pro, you’ll return home fitter, healthier and an all-round better player. If you’re all about water-based fun, the exciting new Family & Splash wading pool, next to Sani Beach’s playground is the place to head for some refreshing splash action. All of this energy-burning fun means guests big and small deserve a treat and Sani’s brilliant new pop-up ice-cream van will hit the spot! Be sure to grab a scoop as it travels the resort. Lastly, holidays are all about switching off and having fun. That’s why it’s introduced Sani Digi-detox, encouraging guests to simply unwind. From mountain biking through the lush pine forests to developing soccer skills with the Sani Football Academy in association with Chelsea FC Foundation and learning to sail at the Marina Sailing Academy to Lego robotic lessons, there’s something for everyone. And once the kids are offline, you’ll be amazed at how quickly they connect with the real world. L 45
2019 EXCLUSIVE OFFERS At Sani Beach, Sani Club and Porto Sani two children under 12 can stay free. Guests are eligible for a free full-board upgrade if they stay at Sani Beach during 5-24 April or between 15 October to 2 November and at Sani Club during 15-27 October. At Porto Sani you are eligible for a free full-board upgrade for specific dates, plus there is also up to 20% off for an ‘Early Booking’ discount before 28 February. Local airport transfers are also complimentary for direct online bookings. saniresort.com Cool off in Sani Club’s private pools
MALONE WEARS COTTON-MIX BOMBER, RASPBERRY REPUBLIC. COTTON-MIX LEGGINGS, RASPBERRY REPUBLIC. COTTON RIBBED SHIRT, MAINIO CLOTHING.
THE CA R TO O N
N E T WO R K PHOTOGRAPHY: OLGA FILENKO STYLING: SYLVIE CHRÃ‰TIEN
BOBBY WEARS COTTON BOMBER, MAINIO CLOTHING. COTTON-MIX T-SHIRT, RASPBERRY REPUBLIC. COTTON-MIX SWEATPANTS, MAINIO CLOTHING.
ANNABELLE WEARS COTTON -MIX DRESS, MAINIO CLOTHING. COLLAR, HALO LUXE. LIBERTY HAIR BAND, LUCIOLE ET PETIT POIS.
With thanks to: Models: Annabelle, Bobby and Malone
These vibrant fruity treats not only taste great, they’re healthy and look just like unicorn horns
2 3 Mixed Berry Yogurt Lollies 15 mins (plus 8 hours freezing time) • Serves 8 • 2 pan • Vegetarian • Gluten Free
Children will adore these mouthtingling, creamy pink lollies. Made with fresh strawberries and mixed berries, they’re a great source of vitamin C and will count towards your child’s five a day.
INGREDIENTS • 350g/12oz Yeo Valley Strawberry yogurt • 200g/7oz strawberries • 3tbsp icing sugar • 350g/12oz Yeo Valley Blueberry yogurt • 200g/7oz mixed berries • 3 tbsp icing sugar METHOD Place the strawberry yogurt, strawberries and icing sugar in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour into lolly moulds, filling ½ way to the top and freeze for at least 4 hours until firm Place the blueberry yogurt, mixed berries and icing sugar into a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the mixture over the frozen strawberry yogurt section to the top of the ice-cream mould and freeze for a further 4 hours or until firm
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Alternatives: • For a more stripey appearance, add and freeze an extra layer of the mix • Freeze at an angle to create different stripes METALLIC BALLOON (PACK OF EIGHT) £1.49 PARTYPIECES.CO.UK
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This Magical Unicorn Cakes will be the talk of the party – available in both chocolate and vanilla flavour. From £75, mybaker.co
MERI MERI COOKIE CUTTERS Get the kids involved in baking some of the goods themselves – they'll love these mystical shapes. £9, johnlewis.com
CAKE DÉCOR UNICORN FROSTING Decorate biscuits and cupcakes with this easy-to-use pink and blue striped icing! £2.69, morrisons.co.uk
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PA R T Y T I M E W I T H
It’s the magical trend that’s not going away any time soon, so be sure to host a party they’ll never forget! THEY’RE FUN, COLOURFUL AND QUITE SIMPLY ENCHANTING, SO IT’S little wonder unicorns are still a popular choice when it comes to kids’ celebrations. And there are so many fun ways you can incorporate them into your theme – from décor and baking to party games galore. Keep the décor bright and light with a frosted pink and gold palette or a wash of rainbow hues. Look out for everything from confetti-filled balloons to unicorn-printed paper napkins and plates, and adorn the space with fairylights, glitter and sparkly garlands to add to the whimsical feel.
Of course, nothing says ‘unicorn party’ quite like a table filled with brightly-coloured bakes. Unicorn and star-shaped cookies, cupcakes topped with sprinkles, glittery toppers and rainbow frosting will look too good to refuse. Serve up drinks in milk bottles with colourful paper straws. Keep the children entertained with glitterthemed crafts (and be prepared, it could get messy!) with the chance to make and decorate their own unicorn horns. A DIY pin-thetail-on-the-unicorn or shop-bought piñata will go down well, as will temporary tattoos and stickers. L
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MARINA FOGLE ENCOURAGES PARENTS TO HELP THEIR KIDS EMBRACE THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Marina encourages her children to make the most out of the fun that can be had outdoors, just as she did
hen I look back on my childhood, without a doubt the most fun I had was outdoors â€“ building furnaces to roast windfall apples on, making dens from which to play complicated imaginary games involving ponies, pet snakes and wicked stepmothers, cycling through as many puddles as we could to see who could get the wettest. Outside was the ultimate playground. And so when I became a mother myself, this is what I thought my children would
enjoy. The reality is though that children today are spending more time indoors than any previous generation. This is partly due to screens, and the addictive and stimulating games that have crept into our childrenâ€™s lives like a cancerous growth, but also partly due to the fact that the outdoors seems a less safe environment than what it once was. Urban sprawl is robbing us of green space, inner-city traffic makes crossing roads more dangerous and then there are all the horror stories screamed at us from the pages of the tabloids 52
HOW TO ENCOURAGE FREEDOM Our children are growing up in a society that’s more risk averse than ever before. But risk and failure are the greatest lessons that life can offer, so how can we encourage our children to pursue the kind of independence and freedom that will be so beneficial to them while also keeping them safe from harm? • Tell them that you have confidence that they will make the right decisions, that you trust them to cross a road, to build a fire, to use a knife. Encourage them to play with children of different ages. If your children are younger, you can ask an older child to look out for yours – the older children will be flattered that you’ve put them in a position of trust. • Parenting in the 21st century makes keeping in touch with our kids easier. I have a proper set of walkie talkies that I give my children. The children’s ones tend to be useless, but if you spend a bit more money and buy a decent set, they’re a great way of being able to keep in contact with your children as they play further afield. Alternatively you can buy mobile phones that are simply just phones rather than smartphones on to which you can preprogramme numbers. • And while we all hate the dramas, the knocks, the falls, the odd broken bone, these are all part of the rich tapestry of childhood. Failure and making mistakes are important learning tools that, as inconvenient, painful and annoying as they can be, will teach lessons that ultimately your children will be grateful for.
Simple independent play, doctors agree, is by far the best exercise for children. of unthinkable things happening to children. The trouble is that keeping our children inside is not good for them; being outside, in nature is a crucial part of growing up. Plenty of fresh air will make them healthier; it’ll make them sleep better and sunshine promotes the production of vitamin D, encouraging good bone development and boosts their immune systems. Simple independent play, doctors agree, is by far the best exercise for children. We know that building strength in a child will have LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
a hugely positive impact on their physical wellbeing throughout the rest of their lives, but encouraging them to play their own games will give them better social skills than anything structured can. They learn to work together, problem solve; skills that I think we can all agree are as – if not more important – than learning the eight-times table. Studies have continually shown that children who play outside more do better at school, are happier, more attentive and less anxious, stressed and tired. L
championships with chocolate coins for prizes. When we’re done, the kids undress outside, leaving piles of sopping wet clothes on the doorstep and race upstairs for a warm bath while I get the washing machine on. • Remember you can’t get a cold from being cold. A cold is a virus caught
from other people; it has nothing to do with exposure to the cold. And dirt’s great for boosting immunity. We know that kids who grow up in slightly dirtier environments with animals or on farms, develop fewer allergies and a stronger immune system.
• Children aren’t born knowing what fun being outside is, so we’ve got to show
Make playing outside seem like an adventure: it’ll spark young imaginations and foster a love of the outdoors
them that it’s the world’s greatest playground. My kids would moan about going for a short walk so I started doing adventure walks. As we walk through woods, we pretend we’re being stalked by aliens (birds). We’d creep past grazing dinosaurs (cows), arming ourselves with state-of-the-art weapons (sticks), hiding in bushes and making fallen trees our space ship. It’s amazing how the most rubbish stories enliven a five year old’s imagination. We’ll often find ‘treasure’ along the way – a pocketful of chocolate coins is always useful. One summer I took a pouch of old costume jewellery and some replica viking coins. My children delighted in finding ‘pirate’ treasure which had been buried for centuries, right where we were playing. • Teach them how to play games.
SIX TOP TIPS FOR GETTING OUTDOORS
he times when my children have played outside as the rain hammers down or there’s a chill in the air, are few and far between, so we need to encourage them. Here’s what we can do: • Model positivity about going outdoors; the more I learn about kids the
more I realise that how they think and behave is based on their parents’ behaviour. They’re programmed to learn from us; so if you’re reticent about going out, you’re telling them that being outdoors isn’t a good thing. But nature isn’t just good for them, being outside is good for us adults too. So think about
spending more time outside as a family, doing positive things that you all enjoy. • Teach your children that it’s okay to get wet, messy and dirty. I remember
my grandmother telling me that since I wasn’t made of sugar, that I wouldn’t melt if I went out in the rain and it made complete sense; our bodies are waterproof so it’s fine to get wet, in fact it’s quite fun. On those days when rain pours relentlessly, I’ll take the kids out and we’ll see how wet we can actually get. Puddle jumping is a cherished activity in the Fogle household. One rainy February, we even held the international puddle jumping 54
• Be prepared. Invest in some good outdoor wear and wellies. Waterproof trousers are great, especially for the younger ones who are always falling over. Children go from freezing cold to boiling hot in a matter of seconds so when you’re buying a coat, go for a good waterproof shell which you can layer up. And make sure they’ve all gone to the loo before you leave; a wild wee isn’t a big deal but number twos are less manageable. L For more parenting advice, check out Marina and her sister Dr Chiara Hunt’s podcast The Parent Hood, it’s free to download on Itunes and Acast.
PHOTOGRAPHY: HELENE SANDBERG
MAKE LIKE MARINA
Children love their parents taking part, so get involved in hide and seek, den building and scavenger hunts. We often play follow the leader with everyone having to hop, walk backwards and recite rude limericks. Bring a jar to catch insects, collect stones to paint, bring some chalk and decorate as you go. Enthusiasm is infection, so be enthusiastic.
I remember my grandmother telling me that since I wasn’t made of sugar, that I wouldn’t melt if I went out in the rain
BEAT BEDTIME BATTLES RESET YOUR CHILD’S SLEEP ROUTINE WITH OUR TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE, SAYS LOUISE PYNE
s the clocks go forward on 31 March, we can look forward to brighter mornings and lighter evenings. On the downside, however, the start of spring may temporarily jolt your child’s natural sleep rhythms. “Her internal body clock controls when she releases the hormones that keep her active and alert and the hormones that help her to wind down into sleep. This biological clock is regulated by signals in her daily routines. Unfortunately, when the clocks move forward or backward, this has no effect on your child’s internal body clock,” explains paediatrician Dr Tamara Bugembe. This means that it may take a few days for her body to sync with the one-hour time change. And if your little one is generally supersensitive when it comes to sleepy time, you
may be struggling with a whole host of bedtime battles. Here we share our essential tips for getting her slumber back on track.
to sleep when she wakes in the middle of the night,” shares Tamara.
If you’re finding it difficult to get your child to go to bed at the same time each night, it might be due to her daytime structure. “Her brain relies on signals from the daytime routine to know when to release certain hormones. This is why she gets hungry at certain times of the day, and craves movement and activity at others,” says Tamara. Children thrive on routine, so aim to give a predictable pattern to her day. “Try to ensure that meals always happen at around the same time and
Up to half of all children under five go through periods of waking in the night, and if your child has fallen into this habit, it may be because she is relying on certain sleep rituals. “This could be the presence of a parent or a backrub, and when she wakes in the middle of the night she is likely to need the same sleep ritual to fall back to sleep. She will then cry out or come looking for the parent or backrub in order to fall back to sleep,” explains Tamara. You’ll need to try to break any habits and establish a sleep routine that works for your child. “Gradually pulling back your involvement and showing her ways she can achieve the same comfort independently, such as hugging a teddy instead of mummy, will make it easier for her to soothe herself back
AN INCONSISTENT ROUTINE
Relying too much on certain sleep rituals can lead to nighttime waking
that exposure to fresh air and exciting play time happen in predictable and consistent ways to help your child’s body clock release the sleep hormone at the same time most evenings,” continues Tamara.
OVERDOING NAP TIME Daytime napping is an important part of a baby’s schedule. By the time she’s reached toddlerhood, however, it’s likely that your child will have dropped down to one nap and will be sleeping for longer at night. Snoozing during the day will help set up her mood and energy levels, but if napping is interfering with her evening bedtime routine, it may be because she is sleeping for too long during the day. “Children’s sleep patterns are very individual and not all children take to daytime naps. If she has long periods of nighttime sleep, she may not feel the need to nap in the day. The quality of sleep is more important than the time spent asleep. Get a sense of your child’s individual sleep requirements using her mood and irritability as an indicator of how much sleep she needs and when,” suggests Tamara.
TAKING A LONG TIME TO SETTLE
CO-SLEEPING Co-sleeping can sometimes seem like the most practical solution to bedtime battles when your child is a baby, but it can be difficult to break an older child’s dependence on sleeping with mum and dad. “There’s a chance that your child may have a fear of being alone, or she may be anxious about missing out on fun while she is asleep and find the idea of everyone being asleep at the same time more comforting,” believes Tamara. Try taking her into her own room and lie with her while she dozes so that she feels safe and comforted, but make sure you leave before she is fully asleep so that she gets used to sleeping alone. “Use drawings and stories and act out scenarios to explore what could be making it hard for her to sleep alone, and do not brush off any of her fears, however unrealistic they are,” shares Tamara. L
When your child resists bedtime, it can turn the evening hours into a battle of wills, and in order for your little one to settle at night, she needs to feel comfortable. “There are many things that might be making her
uncomfortable. It may be the fabric of her pyjamas, the heaviness of her bedding or the temperature of her room, or she may be hungry or thirsty.” It’s also important to make sure she feels safe. “If she is afraid of sudden strange noises, use background noise like an audiobook or music to muffle it out. If it is the dark that frightens her, use a night light to help put her mind at ease,” advises Tamara.
RUNNING HEAD Beat mum tiredness in 2019 with the best exercise, beauty and dietary boosts
STRUGGLING TO GET GOING IN 2019? GEORGINA BLASKEY PROVIDES SOME QUICK AND EASY FIXES FOR TIME-SHORT MUMS If your circulation isn’t working efficiently (and it won’t be if you’re tired), any nutrients you put into your body aren’t going to be absorbed as effectively. Stress impacts our circulation, diverting blood to the muscles and away from the digestion and skin. So, what’s the answer? Try the Hayo’u Method’s Reset Ritual (hayoumethod.com) to help restore your circulation and get the most from your supplements. This one-minute exercise is based on the ancient Chinese art of Qi gong. Best of all you can do it anywhere – preschool run, when you arrive at work, before bathtime, anytime you need a boost: Shake all over from top to bottom to wake up the muscles and clear stagnation. Drum with a loose fist up and down your legs and
arms, around the abdomen, lower back, head and thymus (between your breasts). This invigorates the whole body’s energetic circulation and immune system. Twist at the waist and swing your arms so your hands pat your lower abdomen and lower back. This stimulates the kidneys, soothes the adrenals and supports your digestion.
you can’t beat Skyn Iceland’s Solutions for Stressed Skin range. The Arctic Hydration Rubberizing Mask (£30, cultbeauty.co.uk) demands a mere 20 minutes of your time (pop it on while you do the tea) and by the time you sit down to eat, your face will glow with radiance, thanks to supercharged vitamin C.
A full night’s sleep in 20 minutes
Small changes can make a big difference, such as swapping your morning coffee-anddoughnut habit to two cups of green tea (I recommend Clipper Organic Green Tea) per day with a couple of squares of good quality, dark chocolate (try Seed and Bean). “You’ll feel more sustainably energised, both could help with weight management and will support and protect you in your longterm health and wellbeing,” says nutritional therapist Libby Limon (libbylimon.com). L
Sometimes you’ve just got to cheat. If you look exhausted from round-the-clock chef/ taxi driver/cook/homework-tutor duties, the chances are your skin’s suffering too. Face masks are having a comeback. Sheet masks have been popular for a while (thank you, South Korea for revolutionising skincare; we love Masque Bar’s Eye Puffiness Minimizing Patches, £9.99 for five treatments from Boots) but for full luxury and guaranteed results, 58
Green tea and dark chocolate
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COOKING GOOD Whether they’re helping with dinner or engaging in role play in their own pretend kitchen, these gorgeous Cam Cam Copenhagen creations will make your little chefs feel like true professionals. Made from organic cotton, this adorable set comprises of an apron, pot holder and oven gloves, each adorned in the brand’s classic prints, including fleur, pressed leaves rose and grey wave. With the right kit, they’ll be cooking up a storm in no time at all. camcamcopenhagen.com
Stylish updates and inspiring finds to make your house a home PAPER TRAIL
TOTALLY ROARSOME It’s always nice to see a friendly face, so this lion rug from Danish brand OYOY is sure to draw a smile. Made from a blend of wool and cotton, this furry friend is perfect for your little one’s bedroom or nursery, and pairs perfectly with the label’s cute animal cushions, snug blankets and beautiful bedding. £67.95, scandiborn.co.uk
Decorating your child’s bedroom should start with the wallpaper, and these designs from Katie Bourne Interiors are simply too charming to resist. Inspired by storytelling, each pattern combines playful themes with delicately handdrawn illustrations, from circus prints to starry skies. katiebourneinteriors.com
Made from soft cotton, the cushions are available in pretty shades of gold, mint and pale rose
LITTLE KINGDOM If you’re feeling inspired by the new royal baby that’s on the way, check out Hibou Home’s new regal-themed range. We love these enchanting swan and crown cushions, perfect for any little prince or princess. From £22.50, hibouhome.com
LEONORA BAMFORD AND NANNY ANITA SHARE THEIR FAVOURITE SPRING ACTIVITIES AND DAYS OUT
love this time of year, when you see the first signs of spring and you can almost feel it in the air. It’s even more special for me this year because it’s our first since moving to the Cotswolds, and I’m going to turn my hand to greenfingered pursuits. Last year we sussed out how to grow cherry tomatoes, so this year I’m dedicating a small plot outside the kitchen to each of the children. We’re planning to sow peas, which they love eating fresh from the vine, and maybe even some little alpine strawberries. If you’re short of space, why not try planting a strawberry tower in late spring? Just remember no to overwater them! And to truly get into the spirit of the season, check out what Anita’s been up to with these gorgeous bird cages and kite sun catchers. So pretty and bright! L
These little bunnies are so super-cute. They’re made in the UK and can be personalised in time for Easter. PERSONALISED SOFT TOY RABBITS £58, CDBDI.CO.UK
BIRD CAGE You’ll need: coloured card • scissors • tape • thread • tooth pick • ruler • pencil • colouring pencils • Turn your piece of card landscape. Measure and cut out one strip that 4cm wide and four strips that are 1cm wide. • Loop the 4cm strip into a circle and tape the ends together. This creates
the cage’s base. • With your four remaining strips, tape one end to the inside of the base, bend them over and tape the other side to the base as well. • Cut out a little bird shape and colour it in. • Tape the bird to a tooth pick. • Finally using some thread, hang the bird swing from the centre of the bird cage.
CRYSTAL PALACE PARK At half term I’m going to take my kids to Crystal Park Dinosaurs. It’s free to get in and is full of wooden carved dinosaurs, as well as a maze and lakes, ensuring that all age groups are catered for. It’s so cool! crystalpalacepark.org.uk
KITE SUN CATCHER You’ll need: Sticky-back plastic • black card • scissors • string • tissue paper
SPRING BREAKFAST POPS These are incredibly easy to make at any time of year and feel like a bit of a treat. They’re a good breakfast if you’re a bit bored of toast and cereal, and they always go down well as pudding when friends are over. You’ll need: • 500g yoghurt (I use coconut) • handful granola • handful of berries • egg-shaped silicone mould • lollipop or cake-pop sticks
PHOTOGRAPHY: HELENE SANDBER; SHUTTERSTOCK
Method: • Place a small dollop of yoghurt into each of your silicone moulds, filling each to about a third. Push chunks of granola into the yoghurt, then add a few berries to each. • Place a lollipop stick into each mould compartment, laying it as flat as possible. • Fill each to the top with yoghurt, making sure it covers all of the fruit and the lollipop stick. • Freeze and eat!
Method • Start off by cutting out the shape of your kite. • Next, cut the sticky-back plastic to fit the kite, then stick the kite on top of it. • Cover the sticky-back plastic with pieces of tissue paper. • Finally, attach the string tail.
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL WANT TO GET THEIR BEDROOM HOMEWORK-TIME READY? CHECK OUT INTERIORS GURU ALI HOWARD’S BEST FINDS
here’s nothing like a smart new desk to encourage little ones to crack on with their homework. Create an environment that’s perfect for home learning, with design-led pieces you’d want for your own office space, mixing primary brights with natural wood to keep the look fun and funky. From modular high sleepers with ample book storage to colourful stationery for jotting down great ideas, there’s so much to fire the imagination.
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Add a touch of old-school charm with this classroom classic and watch them grow through Reception up to Year 6
OEUF NYC BOOKCASE IN WHITE & BIRCH, £555, CUCKOOLAND.COM
KIDS’ DESK AND CHAIR SET, £299, BOBBYRABBIT.CO.UK
EO PEACOCK PENCIL HOLDER, £57, SKANDIUM.COM
MINI TOGO, FROM £533 LIGNE-ROSET.COM
JANOD HEIGHT-ADJUSTABLE EASEL, £65, KIDLY.CO.UK
A cosy armchair is a must for any reading nook. Little ones with an eye for design will love this miniature version of the all-foam Ligne Roset bestseller. It’s just made for sinking into with a captivating chapter book
STUDIO PICCO CONSTELLATION WALL DECALS, £32.05, ETSY.COM
Rewarding your little learner with these easy-to-apply stickers will encourage them to reach for the stars
BATTISTELLA BUNK BED WITH DESK, £2,220, GOMODERN.CO.UK
LONDON CLOCK COMPANY TELL THE TIME CHILDREN’S WALL CLOCK, £25, JOHNLEWIS.COM
RAFA KIDS DESK IN NATURAL WOOD, £575, CUCKOOLAND.COM
ABC PRINT BY JOSH HURLEY, £40, PRINTCLUBLONDON.COM
GREY BAT PENCIL CASE, £8, NHMSHOP.CO.UK
DRAGON LAMP, £99.99, MAGMA-SHOP.COM
MOON PICNIC MY WEATHER STATION, £48, LIBERTYLONDON.COM
LINUS HIGH BED, £499, MADE.COM
Future meteorologists will be all over this interactive weather station with its enchanting graphics and movable dials
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Sustainability meets style with this bamboo tableware
SET THE TABLE
There’s lots to love about Rex London’s new range of children’s tableware: the vibrant colours and animal characters; the mix of patterns; and the fact that they’re made from bamboo, so they teach kids the value of cutting out plastic. The range includes plates, cups, bowls, utensils, beakers and reusable water bottles. We love the magical unicorn design. rexlondon.com
SPECIAL DELIVERY Mavericks is a new brand bringing delicious, healthy snacks straight to your door, with a mission to encourage children to eat well. There are baked popcorn bites, cookies, bite-size breadsticks and fruit purée cubes, available by either weekly or monthly delivery. Each comes with a special surprise, from robot heads to racing tracks. From £7.49, including delivery,
The latest and greatest foodie finds for your mini diners TIME FOR LUNCH Munchachos puts a global spin on finding tasty treats for the lunchbox. Each of its 12 snacks is inspired by the flavours of a different country, like pesto from Italy. £4.99 per week, plus delivery, munchachos.com
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS If your little one loves helping you in the kitchen, whip something up from the new edition of Baking with Mrs Bun the Baker. Written by Mrs Bun herself, Angela Johnson, its 34 recipes cover breakfast bites, pizza, curry in a hurry, bakewell cakes and lots more. £12.99, mrsbunthebaker.net
The average 10-year-old has already consumed as much sugar in their lifetime as is recommended for an 18-year-old, a study from Public Health England revealed. It also found that one third of UK children are classed as overweight or obese by the age of 10. LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
EASY HOMEMADE PIZ ZAS TOM KERRIDGE shares a family favourite that is just as much fun to make as it is to eat
his is a fun way to get the whole family involved in mealtimes. Everyone can roll out their own pizza dough base and then pile on their favourite toppings. Just lay out a range of topping ingredients to choose from. Everyone’s happy! Just don’t add too many toppings or the base won’t get nice and crispy.
• Serves 4 • 710 calories per serving (plus chosen toppings)
FOR THE PIZZA DOUGH
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
• 400g strong white bread flour (or ‘00’ flour) • 100g semolina flour, plus extra for dusting • ½ tsp fine sea salt • 325ml tepid water • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast • 1 tsp caster sugar • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 680ml jar passata • garlic cloves, grated • 2 tsp dried oregano • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE CHEESE LAYER • 320g reduced-fat mozzarella (80g per pizza), grated
PHOTOGRAPHY: CRISTIAN BARNETT
Get the kids involved in mealtimes by letting them choose their own o in s an avours
Choose a selection from: • New potatoes, thinly sliced • Courgette, thinly sliced • Red onion, finely sliced • Mushrooms, thinly sliced • Pitted green or black olives • Chargrilled artichokes, quartered • Red or green chilli, sliced • Roasted peppers, cut into strips • Parmesan, finely grated
1. To make the pizza dough, sift the flours into a large bowl, mix in the salt and make a well in the centre. Measure the warm (but not hot) water into a jug. Stir in the yeast, sugar and extra-virgin olive oil and leave to activate for 5 minutes. 2. Pour the yeast liquid into the flour well and mix until the dough starts to come together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead to a smooth dough:
use the heel of one hand to stretch the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself and turn the dough 90°; repeat and continue until you have a nice smooth ball of dough; this will take around 10 minutes. 3. Place the dough in a large bowl dusted lightly with semolina flour, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes – 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. 4. Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, pour the passata into a saucepan and then add the garlic, oregano and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool down. 5. Preheat the oven to 250°C/ Fan 240°C/Gas 10. Place two baking trays (preferably without a lip) inside to heat up. 6. Turn out the pizza dough onto a clean surface, knock back (or knead again to knock out the air) and divide into 4 equal portions. Shape each into a ball. Roll out one ball of dough on a lightly floured surface to a thin round. 7. Sprinkle a baking sheet (not preheated) with a little semolina flour and lift the pizza base onto it. Spoon 3-4 tbsp tomato sauce into the middle and spread it out over the dough, leaving a 1–2cm clear margin around the edge. Scatter 80g grated mozzarella over evenly, then add your choice of pizza toppings, distributing them evenly over the sauce. 8. When you’re ready to cook, gently shake the pizza tray to loosen the base. Open the oven door, pull a heated tray out halfway and slide the pizza onto the hot tray, closing the oven door as soon as possible to keep the heat in. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the dough is golden brown. 9. Repeat to shape, assemble and bake the remaining pizzas. Either serve each pizza straight away, as it comes out of the oven, or keep warm in a second low oven until they are all ready. To freeze leftover tomato sauce: Allow to cool, then freeze in a sealed container. Defrost fully in the fridge before using. L Fresh Start by Tom Kerridge (Bloomsbury Absolute, £26) is out now.
The Little London Music School Introducing your child to the joy of music
LUXURIOUS GLAMPING & NEW ADVENTURES AT PENHEIN
Music classes for babies, toddlers and children under 5
Escape to nature, run wild and sleep in luxury under the stars at our award-winning glampsite. Discover a rural playground on our 450 acre family-run farm in Monmouthshire, south Wales. 01633 400581 firstname.lastname@example.org
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A structured and stimulating, classically based curriculum tailored to each stage of your childâ€™s development. Taught by professional singers, accompanied by live orchestral instruments
BELLISSIMO! Looking for more privacy on your next holiday? Le Pratola’s collection of rental properties are perfectly tailored to families. Villa Le Pratola Tuscany is nestled in two hectares of secluded gardens, laden with olives and local herbs. Enjoy cookery classes and in-villa spa treatments, too. lepratola.com
WINTER WONDERLAND The four-star Sonnwies hotel in the Italian Dolomites now boasts 10 new rooms and an infinity swimming pool. Activities on offer include skiing, hiking and mountain biking. And with plenty of childcare available, parents can enjoy some romance too. sonnwies.com
Keeping big and little globetrotters on the map and in the know
ECO WARRIORS Joseph & Alexander have brought out a collection of beachwear for kids made from recycled materials derived from plastic found floating in the world’s oceans. In modern prints and vibrant colours, these look the part and help the planet. David Attenborough would be proud. josephandalexander.com
IN THE SWIM OF THINGS Families seeking a staycation this spring will love the offering at the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, set in a stunning estate just an hour from London. Brand-new, Sharkie’s Reef is a family adventure pool with a four-metre slide, bubble jets and a rotating umbrella fountain. fourseasons.com
Sani Resort in Halkidiki has introduced a new children’s menu designed in close conjunction with leading nutritionists and specialist chefs. The menu offers a selection of delicious healthy dishes with gluten-free and sugar-free options, too. sani-resort.com LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
With Simpson Travel’s unique childcare offering, family holidays really can have the perfect balance
lanning the perfect family holiday can be challenging enough at the best of times, from finding a destination that suits everyone, to considering costs, flight times and distance to the best beaches, shops and restaurants. Throw childcare into the mix, and you’re undoubtedly faced with an even bigger conundrum. Whether it’s selecting a funpacked kids’ club for your under-10, a cool hang-out spot for your teen or a cosy crèche for your tiny tot, childcare offerings can come in all shapes and sizes, and finding a programme that’s not only up to scratch, but also fulfils your varying age requirements, is usually easier said than done. Traditionally, holiday childcare options fall into two camps. The first tends to be overly rigid, with an inflexible timetable that often makes a child feel like they’re back at school. The second, on the other hand, can be overly laidback, where kids can come and go as they please, and the staff are only there to supervise rather than interact. This often means activities are
restricted and unimaginative, too. Most parents will understand the natural frustration that comes with having to compromise on a holiday, but childcare really shouldn’t be something you have to let slide. After all, it’s your getaway, too, and arranging for your little one to spend time with kids their own age, making friends and experiencing new things, is a fair deal while you get at a bit of peace and quiet. What’s unique about Simpson Travel’s childcare options across its portfolio, is that you really don’t have to settle – on anything. Take popular holiday hotspot Greece for example; located across three destinations – Lefkada, Zakynthos and Corfu – you’ll find programmes for guests as young as six months, trips and activities for teens, and everything in between, all run by experienced English-speaking childcare staff, fully qualified to British standards. All offerings also feature at least one 72
evening session, should you wish to pencil in that romantic date night.
Six months to three years Think it’s impossible to have a relaxing, carefree break with your toddler in tow? Think again. Situated at both Periyali in Zakynthos and Mousses in Lefkada, the Hatchlings Crèche is ideal for families in need of a fuss-free getaway. Filled with soft play, cosy cushions and Periyali villas in Zakynthos offers a stunning location and first class childcare
e ol in ro ra e offers a ul i u e o ac ivi ies ro scaven er un s o rou sailin
Let creativity lead the way at Turtles Club Bella Mare Hotel is a family friendly haven in northeast Corfu
READER OFFER: APPLICABLE TO MOUSSES AND PERIYALI ON THE FOLLOWING DATES ONLY – 5,12, 19 MAY 2019, 22 & 29 SEPTEMBER 2019, 6 &13 OCTOBER 2019. THESE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.
13 and over, the Tribe programme will see them go even further afield, with trips to a water park and evenings out in the teenfriendly village of Kassiopi.
sensory toys, the crèche is where little ones can engage in creative play, music and movement, while older tots have a go at finger painting, sticking and drawing. The friendly, close-knit team go out of their way to ensure your child feels at home, and there’s a separate room for snoozing when naptime calls!
Four to 10 years Under-10s in Turtles Club can look forward to days filled with face painting, arts and crafts, music and movement, mask making and fancy dress. All activities take place inside an expansive clubhouse, and providing the weather isn’t too hot or humid in the shaded clubhouse garden, kids can try their hand at outdoor relays and team games. What’s more, parents are encouraged to inform staff of their child’s likes and dislikes before they arrive, so they feel settled almost immediately. And when your little ones aren’t having LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
fun with their newly-found friends? Both Mousses and Periyali boast private villas with central facilities, including a main pool, children’s pool and garden area, not to mention both with fantastic access to beautiful nearby beaches; leaving you with plenty of opportunities to enjoy these paradise-like destinations as a family.
Eight to 12 years Excessive screen time is a worry for most parents of tweens, but there’s little chance of your kids having any interest in social media or video games when there are scavenger hunts, rocket building and water-based activities to keep them entertained. Located at Bella Mare Hotel in Corfu, the Dolphins programme encourages youngsters to put down their digital devices and revel in the joy of the great outdoors. Whether it’s beach or water games, table tennis or paddleboarding, no two days are the same with Dolphins, and your children will love the freedom that comes with enjoying a few adventures of their own. And for those aged 73
Parents, quite rightly so, might see their holiday as a chance to relax and get away from it all, for children, it means so much more than that. Whether you plan on spending lots of time together as a family, or allowing your youngsters to seek out their own mini adventures, your trip should be about making memories, too; seeing more, doing more, and experiencing something new with each day that comes. And with Simpson Travel’s wonderful personalised service, handpicked accommodation and vast range of idyllic destinations, this golden opportunity is well within reach. So, what are you waiting for? L
READER OFFER Simpson Travel offers luxury villas and boutique hotels across the Mediterranean and beyond. Family holidays at Mousses start from £571 pp, for seven nights’ accommodation, flights and car hire, based on two adults and two children under 12. Enjoy complimentary childcare in certain off-peak weeks at Mousses and Periyali. Quote ‘Little London’ when booking. 020 3773 5314, simpsontravel.com
The young – and young at heart– can whizz down the kids’ pool slides
Shangri-La Hambantota boasts heavenly waterside views
POS TCAR D from
SRI LANKA CHLOË COLLYER experiences luxury, adventure and the local wildlife at Shangri-La Hambantota ELEPHANTS AND SUNSHINE. That’s how I justified jetting off to Sri Lanka for a mere five nights. Even 15 hours in the air and a four-hour drive (the new almost-complete road will half the journey time) to the island’s southern tip couldn’t dampen my excitement. I set off with my friend, Laura, who’s now a mum of two, for a well-earned break. Set against a lush green backdrop and surrounded by water – a lake on one side, the sea on the other – Shangri-La Hambantota is the epitome of luxury, especially compared to uni-era trips we’d taken together. Although the sea’s too rough for swimming, the hotel’s three pools more than make up for it. While the little ones are at kids’ club, head to the adult-only pool, where the sunloungers face the sea for a beachside feel – and with towels, pillows and drinks fetched upon request, it was a real oasis, allowing us to rest our grazed elbows after trying out the the kids’ pool’s water slides. Spanning 145 acres, the resort has more than enough on site to keep families entertained, with aerial sports, soft play, a games rooms, an 18-hole golf course and even an artisan village where you can watch
local craftsmen at work, but the excursions organised for us really set the resort apart. Slaloming down a river between a crocodile and bathing water buffalo, monkeys leaping above us, all while our guide nonchalantly pointed out birds our untrained eyes were missing, we felt like Jurassic Park extras. Main restaurant Bojunhala is all set for families, with an array of buffet selections and kids’ area seating. But don’t dismiss the other dining options; we sampled Sera’s Asian streetfood-inspired menu and enjoyed a private dining experience at Ulpatha. The next day, we rose before dawn for the elephant safari: the highlight of the trip. At nearby national park, Udawalawe, we watched majestic elephants stroll past our open-sided truck – and even play with a wild dog. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As Laura finished her final FaceTime home, we chatted about how lovely it’d be to bring her family here in a few years’ time. But ’til then, it was back to the Chi Ayurveda Spa for us. Another full-body massage and lemongrass tea, please... L
Relaxing post-spa Having a go at the trapeze
Enjoying a fresh coconut after dodging crocodiles and water buffalo on a river cruise The supervised indoor kids’ club is perfect for rainy moments, or taking a little adult time
From £227 per night, based on double occupancy. shangri-la.com
Simple pleasures and grand adventures. Award-winning villas, boutique hotels and flexible childcare. CORSICA | FRANCE | GREECE | ITALY | MALLORCA | TURKEY
Avlaki Bay, Corfu
020 3773 5314 | simpsontravel.com
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JOIN THE CLUB… FROM SAILING IN SEARCH OF TREASURE TO HONING GLADIATOR SKILLS IN ROME, HOLLY TUPPEN FINDS THE WORLD’S TOP KIDS’ CLUBS
s much as we all adore our sprogs, sometimes quality time apart is as important as time together. Without childcare, a holiday can quickly become a battle of bargaining, as parents frantically vie for a few moments of peace or attempt to read more than half a page of a book uninterrupted. Throw a crèche and kids’ club into the mix, and everyone wins. Better still, with the days of brightly-lit and plastic-filled germincubators long behind us, there’s no need to feel even a twinge of guilt. Here are ten of the world’s most sought-after kids’ clubs:
ROME CAVALIERI, ITALY This luxury hotel in Rome packs a punch when it comes to family fun. Before braving the crowds at the nearby Coliseum, kids in the hotel’s IT Club can swot up on swordwielding, Latin and fighting etiquette during private gladiator lessons. Other destinationappropriate fun includes pasta and pizzamaking, riding mini Vespas, and treasurehunting around Villa Borghese. The Sunday brunch is legendary, and there’s a separate room in which kids can run amok. Rooms from £209 per night. romecavalieri.com 76
Kids have the real ROman experience at the Cavalieri’s authentic IT Club
&BEYOND KICHWA TEMBO, KENYA A safari might not spring to mind when pondering a relaxing family break, but &Beyond has it covered; its ‘WILDChild’ programme offers mind-enhancing activities from fishing to animal tracking, to picking fruit and veg in the kitchen garden, learning the principles of conservation and even making bows and arrows with Masai warriors. &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp starts from £1,150 per night for a family of four. andBeyond.com
Young guests can discover Masai life and witness the annual great migration at the Kichwa Tembo camp
ICKWORTH HOUSE, ENGLAND
Ickworth’s majestic exterior
Ickworth House is set in 1,800-acres of National Trust parkland in Suffolk. Run by the Luxury Family Holiday group, it caters to kids from dawn ‘til dusk. Little ones get two free hours each day in the Four Bears Den, where they’re entertained with activities like face-painting and biscuit-decorating, while older kids can enjoy murder mysteries and geocaching. A two-night break, with dinner, costs from £369. luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk Grootbos has been one of South Africa's favourite family destinations for more than 20 years
GROOTBOS PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE, SOUTH AFRICA Grootbos has perfected responsible luxury travel in South Africa’s stunning Overberg region, a few hours from Cape Town. Lodges look over the wild sands and caves of Walker Bay. Young guests can garden and horse-ride, while older kids can explore on bikes or dunebuggies. One night, with meals, soft drinks and most land-based activities, costs from £1,380 for a family of four. grootbos.com
A fairytale French setting
CHATEAU ST PIERRE DE SERJAC, FRANCE Surrounded by Languedoc’s rolling vineyards, St Pierre de Serjac is a fairytale setting for a family holiday, with free-range fun in the bilingual kids’ club. There’s den-building and archaeological digs, and artist Annie Meharg inspires four to 12-year-olds to create sculptures, pressed flower collages and xylophones from recycled wine bottles. Busy days justify movie nights, leaving parents to dine in peace. Seven nights in a two-bed residence costs from £2,483. serjac.com LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
A Grootbos garden lodge
MARTINHAL SAGRES, PORTUGAL High above the dunes on one of the Algarve’s most undeveloped stretches of coast, the Martinhal beach resort in Sagres caters to all ages. The 37,000-square-foot kids’ area has a crèche for tiny ones; activities including cookery, dolphin-watching and T-shirt painting; and a Sports Academy, where older kids can hone their windsurfing, tennis and football skills. One night costs from £171.
Even after dusk there are plenty of activities to keep young guests busy at the Martinhal resort
A Martinhal Garden House
Round Hill’s private bay
ROUND HILL HOTEL & VILLAS, JAMAICA Jamaica’s most iconic hotel and perhaps its most child-friendly, Round Hill is set in a private bay and 30 acres of lush grounds. The Pineapple and ‘7-Up’ kids’ clubs keep children of all ages busy with locally-inspired activities from reggae lessons to basket weaving, nature walks, talent shows and watersports. An Oceanfront View Room costs from £354 per night, based on a family of three sharing. i-escape.com/round-hill-hotel-villas
THE ST REGIS, MAURITIUS Mauritius is a dream for families, teeming with all-singing, all-dancing resorts. The St Regis is one of the best. Forget plastic playgrounds and stuffy playrooms, at The Kite Flyers club, children run wild on treasure hunts, toast marshmallows and learn to cook, with butlers on tap to ensure their every need is met. Seven nights on a half board basis from £4,198 per family of four in an Ocean Junior Suite. sallyandalice.com
Island life at the St Regis
SONEVA KIRI, THAILAND
The Den kids’ club at Soneva Kiri is actionpacked and eco-chic
Round Hill villas exude laidback Caribbean charm, making the resort popular with celebrities
With chocolate rooms, ice-cream parlours, open-air cinemas and a no-shoes policy, there’s a lot for young guests to like at Soneva Kiri. The Den is a firm favourite with kids’ club connoisseurs. Its sustainability-minded bamboo playground weaves like a manta ray through this palm-filled idyll. Musical jamming sessions, rainforest walks and conservation lessons are a few of the things on offer. A Bayview Pool Villa Suite costs from £700 per night. soneva.com/soneva-kiri/
BELLA MARE, GREECE Making full use of its stunning beachfront location, the adventure-focused Dolphins club at the Bella Mare Hotel in Corfu is all about encouraging freedom for children, and leaving the adults to enjoy some relaxation. Immersive and hands-on activities include sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Tribe is a separate programme aimed at teens, offering workouts, chillouts and even mocktail-making classes! Seven nights costs from £780 per person, including flights and transfers. simpsontravel.com
Bella Mare makes the most of its beachfront location with watersports for all
You and your family can make the most of Ikos Aria’s expansive beachfront location during your stay
INFINITE LUXURY Ikos Resorts offers families a new era of stylish hospitality
Kids of all ages are well looked after at Ikos Aria
reaming about a five-star getaway, where kids are just as important as the adults? Good news is on the horizon. Following the successful opening of Ikos Dassia in Corfu last year, Ikos Resorts is adding a fourth property to its collection of luxury all-inclusive resorts, with the launch of Ikos Aria in Kos this May. The Infinite Lifestyle offering of Ikos Resorts has revolutionised the world of all-inclusive holidays in Europe and beyond. Handpicked locations set in spectacular beachfronts offer an extraordinary experience with Michelin starred à la carte menus, premium branded spirits, 300 local and international wines, waiter service and even a Dine Out service that supports the local community. This level of detail has seen Ikos Oceania and Ikos Olivia scoop the number one and number two slot for best all-inclusive hotels in the worlds at the Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2019. 80
With a short flight time, and 20 minute transfer, families can expect easy access to one of the finest locations on the island of Kos. Ikos Aria is set on an idyllic beachfront, covering an impressive 47-acre site, families can choose from stylish rooms and one- and two-bedroom suites, all with elegantly designed bedrooms and chic modern interiors. Prepare to be spoilt with private balconies, gardens and private pools, all with panoramic views across the Aegean Sea. Guests can also enjoy 24-hour room service and complimentary mini bars replenished daily. The unique location presents a private 850m golden sandy beach with luxurious sun loungers. Kick back and enjoy the beach waiter service, delivering food and refreshing beverages directly to your spot. And why not enjoy some guilt-free adult-only time with 30-minutes of free beach childcare for kids aged four and over? If you’re still pining after some deeper LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
Kick back and enjoy the beach waiter service, delivering food and refreshing beverages to your sun lounger
Guests are offered a variety of fun-filled activities
relaxation, then a trip to the spa should do the trick. With multiple private treatment rooms – including a couple’s suite, heated pool with Jacuzzi, the rejuvenating thermal suite with steam room and a sauna – you’ll be drifting off in no time at all. While parents embrace some much-needed down time, kids are well looked after in the complimentary kids’ clubs for children and teens ages four to 17. Putting your little one’s care at the forefront, operated according to British OFSTED standards, the imaginative kids’ club offers activities including arts, crafts, sports and more. For younger guests, LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
there’ll also be a Hero Crèche for children up to the age of four (additional costs apply). Plus, to ensure a hassle-free holiday monitors, baby bath tubs, children’s menus, small tables and chairs and much more are readily available to help parents travel light. For those looking for a more active stay, guests can make use of the extensive facilities including floodlit tennis courts, canoeing, pedalos, mountain biking and muh more.. There’s also an array of motorised water sports available at an extra cost. Of course all of this fun can build up quite the appetite, and guests are in for a real feast at Ikos Aria. With a total of eight restaurants to choose from, you’ll find signature à la carte menus curated by Michelin-starred chefs across the board, plus a delicious Mediterranean buffet if you fancy a more relaxed meal. Dishes are, of course, complemented with an extensive choice of local and international wines, selected by the Ikos Sommelier. Perhaps you fancy heading out to the local area? No problem. Adding to the versatility, their innovative Dine Out service offering allows guests to head out to carefully selected, local restaurants across Kos Island and dine there for free as part of their all-inclusive stay. If that gives you a taste to explore more of the spectacular local 81
area, then get behind the wheels of one of the resort’s MINIs. The complimentary MINI Drive gives guests more freedom than ever. Ikos Aria is destined to bring an elevated and luxurious dimension to all-inclusive offerings on the popular Dodecanese Island. From the private pools, fantastic beach waiter service and complimentary kids’ clubs, this resort has all the ingredients and more for a truly unforgettable family holiday. L
EXCLUSIVE OFFER Book before 28 February 2019 and enjoy up to 20% off and complimentary local airport transfers. ikosresorts.com
Open Mornings Tuesday 5th March 2019 Wednesday 1st May 2019 (geared to Reception Entry)
Friday 7th June 2019
St Catherine’s Prep, Bramley GSA Day & Boarding School since 1885 | 4 - 18 years Guildford GU5 0DF | 01483 899665 | www.stcatherines.info littlelondon01 January 2019.indd 1
New ly Week on Lond Bus
Co-educational boarding and day 3–13 Years
Cheam School, Headley, Newbury, Berkshire, RG19 8LD email@example.com | +44 (0)1635 268242 www.cheamschool.com | @cheamschool.com 82
EDUCATION Did you know? Your child could win £500’s worth of books for their school in this year’s Explore Learning Writer’s Awards. To be in with a chance, pupils must simply submit a 500-word story on a topic of their choice; entries open 11 March.
T H G I R B YO U N G T HIN GS An essential guide to your child’s education
T H I S T E R M ’ S M U S T - H AV E S …
HAIR SET £12 ROCKAHULAKIDS.COM
TOMMY HILFIGER DRESS £55 CHILDRENSALON.COM
COTTON-MIX TROUSERS £84 CARAMEL-SHOP. CO.UK
GALLUCCI SHOES £133 SMALLABLE.COM
COTTON COAT £89 LACOQUETAKIDS.COM
BACKPACK £28 CATHKIDSTON.COM
EDUCATION TWICE AS NICE
PREPARING FOR THE NEXT STEP Researching schools
If you’d like to know more about schooling and want to plan for the future, check out our sister title, The Guide to Independent Schools. Published twice a year, it’s essential reading for parents looking to continue their child’s educational journey within the independent school sector. The guide covers each stage of the school career, from nursery to sixth form and includes a comprehensive directory of independent schools across the United Kingdom, as well as expert advice to help you make the right educational decisions for your child’s future.
ORDER THE LATEST ISSUE NOW! Visit chelseamagazines. com/independentschool-parent or call 020 7349 3700. The Guide to Independent Schools is also available for just £5.95 in selected supermarkets and all good newsagents.
Leading London prep school The Lyceum will move to a new multi-million-pound site later this year, which is expected to be double the size of the current site. The new Worship Street space, just five minutes away from the Paul Street site, will boast beautiful classrooms, an art studio, drama room, canteen and large outdoor play area. lyceumschool.co.uk
Everything you need to know about what’s going on in and out of the classroom
Cranmore School in Surrey’s Book Week kicked off with pupils baking cakes inspired by their favourite tales. The marvellous bakes were donated to charity, Cherry Trees, which offers disabled children fun days out and home-from-home holidays.
COOL FOR SCHOOL Load your little one’s pencil case with Rex London’s colourful new stationery range. Choose from a bold selection of pencils, crayons, tape dispensers and erasers for craft time. Our favourite is the wooden Giraffe Ruler, which even comes with a few fun animal facts. rexlondon.com
BRAIN BOX Fans of the iconic Rubik’s Cube will love Smart Games’ new Cube Puzzler Go, which challenges kids to build a 3D cube. Great for playing on the go, it comes with a booklet of 80 solutions to try and a portable storage cube. £14.99, smarttoysandgames.co.uk
The Finnish pre-school model, HEI Schools, is going international. The complete school package – curriculum, teacher training and learning materials – is available for children up to the age of six. heischools.com
Hawkesdown House School
For Boys & Girls aged 3 to 11 years
Open Morning dates: Wednesday 8th February Wednesday 24th May
OPEN MORNING DATES 2019: openand 9.30) Thursday 14th (Doors February Wednesday 22 May (9:30am – 11:00 am Doors Open at 9:20am)
27 Edge Street, Kensington, London W8 7PN Telephone: 0207 727 9090 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hawkesdown.co.uk
Preparatory and Pre-Preparatory School 24 Lyndhurst Gardens, Hampstead, London NW3 5NW Telephone: 0207 435 4936 Email: email@example.com www.lyndhursthouse.co.uk
STRIKE THE RIGHT CHORD
BEENA NADEEM asks: is quitting music lessons is ever okay?
fter dabbling on and off for years, my nine year old finally sat her first piano exam – all within three frantic months. Despite doing well, she vowed on that day to never do another grade again. And sadly, true to word, she’s not glanced at the piano since. It’s left me ruminating whether to nudge, cajole or even force her into continuing in the hope that she doesn’t become one of the UK’s 6.7M children who start learning an instrument (between the ages of eight to 10), only to become one of the 85 per cent who have given up by their 17th birthday. Of course, you’ll always get the ones you
never need to push. The ones who imbibe music through every pore and enter the world playing Chopin nocturnes, but they tend to be the ones who end up as professional musicians as the drive becomes an obsession. Take Andrew Garrido, who at the age of 11 asked his newly unemployed mother for piano lessons. Unable to afford them, Andrew instead drew 88 keys on a piece of paper and
taped them to his desk. Without a piano to practice on at home, he used Youtube videos to get himself through grades 1-8; all at distinction, within five years. By the age of 14, he was giving recitals to pay for lessons and now at 20, he is attending one of the country’s leading conservatoires studying to be a concert pianist. In reality most of us don’t have those
children. Most of us go between shouting ultimatums and being on the receiving end of sullen sulks from disillusioned children who don’t want to practise. So what’s the best approach? Child psychologist Dr Sharie Coombes advises against an overbearing parental approach. “Lessons will begin to symbolise the usual push/pull tension and fall by the wayside as soon as the child can make that happen.” Instead she recommends that parents help children push through their reluctance by ‘listening and negotiating’. “If they’re still fighting, let them move on knowing they can always come back to it in the future.”
Some parents see learning an instrument as a way into the capital’s selective schools
No doubt, that can be a bitter pill to swallow. What about the expense? Shouldn’t children be encouraged to show the resilience and tenacity that comes with sticking with something? Couple that with the most common thing music teachers say they hear when encountering new adult learners: ‘I wish I didn’t stop music lessons as a child’— surely we’d be doing them a favour by forcefully nudging them past the musical pain barrier? As someone who hears the ‘I wish I didn’t quit music lessons’ line so often that he’s just released a book with that as its title (available now on Amazon), professional saxophonist Nathan Holder says parents should consider why they’re forcing their child to continue in the first place. “Unless your child desperately wants be in the top five per cent of people who actually want to become a professional musician, why are you forcing them? It comes down to honestly questioning who you’re doing it for?” Pianist and teacher Ian Flint says that some parents use music as a lever to get
GRADES ARE NOT THE SINGLE POINT OF MUSIC: THERE NEEDS TO BE SPACE FOR CREATIVITY into London’s increasingly competitive selective schools. And with schools typically demanding grade-five distinction and often a second instrument, it’s easy to see how pushing children to do grade after grade becomes commonplace. “While some achieve the desired outcome, this is clearly not a healthy or sustainable way for a youngster to relate to music,” he says. For writer Isobel de Lion, who was forced to play the piano as a child, despite repeatedly pleading with her mother to give up, says that even now, even, in her thirties, the experience has compromised her self confidence. “I got my grade five by the age of 14 but it never felt like joy or even creative.” What about the patience sticking with something teaches us? “Being told that if you to you have to work at what you want is invalid when it’s not something you care about. I really wish my mum had just had those lessons herself. ”
So when interest wanes, should we let our kids quit? Firstly, we shouldn’t expect our children to appreciate music if we ourselves live in a musical vacuum, says Nathan. “If we don’t listen, appreciate, talk or get exposed to music, then how are our children supposed to take an interest? Talk about what you like, even if you’re not musical yourself,” he says, adding: “Get your children to mix with musicians through school orchestras, friends who play, or take them to a local concert.” Nathan also advises reigniting interest in musically impassive kids by releasing children from the prescribed approach of dogmatic practise. “Let your child experiment: playing jams, rifts, chords and improvising. Allow them to make mistakes instead of disciplined practise all of the time. Kids need the space to experiment; it’s just as important as prescribed practise. Experiencing music that means something to you is important. Music doesn’t have to be played by a man in a tux. There’s a whole world of repertoire out there.” His other suggestions list allowing your
child to skip grades for a while. “Grades are not the single point of music: there needs to be space for creativity in lessons too. Enjoying music should be an objective in itself. If you push for grade after grade, it’s a sure way of killing something for someone.” As a parent, it’s left me thinking why we never ask our kids what they might actually want. The response might surprise you. So with some trepidation, I ask my daughter, if she feels parents should push their kids.“I think for the first few grades, your parents should push you. If they stop liking it, say by grade three, then parents should let them say they’ve done enough.” Would you like me to push you, I ask? “I would like you to push me,” she says. “Just not past my abilities,” she says, “that’s important”. What wise words, I think. However, the piano remains untouched and next week she’s trying out the oboe. L
G R OW I N G - U P PA I N S BECK Y DICKINSON explores the confusing issue of puberty and how and when to talk to children about the changes in store
nfamiliar lumps and bumps, an unmistakable whiff on a warm day and mood swings that should come with a severe weather warning. If this sounds like your once uncomplicated, happy-go-lucky son or daughter, chances are they are entering puberty. As most of us will recall, it can be a time of intense confusion and embarrassment. And while breast development, body odour and blackheads were once associated with secondary school and the teenage years, these days puberty often starts younger than that. According to the most recent Chief Medical Officer’s report into young people’s health, puberty for most British youngsters starts at 10 to 13 years of age, and is largely over by 14 to 16 years. However, it’s not unusual for changes to begin even earlier, especially for girls, with sanitary bins now commonly found in primary school toilets.
which might then make them feel too embarrassed to ask anything in future.” Many theories have been put forward to explain the increasingly early onset of puberty; it’s thought that rising levels of estrogen in drinking water, due to high levels of the contraceptive pill and HRT, may play a role. Pesticides and other chemicals, including phthalates (used in plastics), Bisphenol A (used in tin cans and plastic bottles) and parabens (preservatives used in shampoos and cosmetics), have also been blamed. Whatever is responsible for making children look like mini-adults, as parents it’s important to provide support and information, and to reassure our children that such changes are normal and natural. If you still recall that toe-curling talk from your own adolescence, Laura’s advice is to spare your own son or daughter the same embarrassment and keep it natural.
IT’S VITAL TO TALK ABOUT BODILY CHANGES FROM A YOUNG AGE If your child appears to be starting puberty before the age of eight, it may be worth a quick chat with your GP to rule out a hormonal imbalance. Laura Hannah, who is responsible for education at Brook, the leading young people’s sexual health and wellbeing charity, says it’s vital to talk to children about bodily changes from a young age. “The earlier we start talking to children about puberty, the easier the conversations will be in the future. Most children start by asking questions like, ‘Where do babies come from?’ It’s important to provide them with relevant information for their level of understanding, and then build on this as they get older. We should avoid shutting a child down if they ask a question,
“Rather than having ‘the talk’, we should provide enough age-appropriate information over time to normalise conversations and openness about puberty,” she says. “Talking about your own personal experience of puberty can be useful, as this helps to create an open and honest environment and encourages sharing.” The difficulty can be knowing how to begin; a good starting point is to talk about some of the physical and emotional changes, such as growth spurts and spots, or about taking responsibility for personal hygiene. “Using correct names for body parts is something we strongly recommend,” adds Laura. She also suggests creating a ‘growingup box’ filled with things you can talk about
together. “You could include supplies like sanitary products, deodorant and face wash and names of people or support services they can contact if they want to talk about something that is worrying them.” Although puberty is generally recognised as a time of significant emotional and physical turmoil, it’s worth remembering the positives. Along with all of the sweat, spots and tears, it’s also the time when the body reaches its maximum potential in terms of fitness, physical strength and reproductive capacity. Uniquely among humans, it’s also a period of major brain development. In recent years, neuroscientists have discovered that there is a surge of brain development that begins around the age of 10 or 12 and lasts into the twenties. During this phase, waves of ‘synaptic pruning’ travel across the brain, getting rid of unused connections between brain cells to increase cognitive capacity and speed. This enables us to grow, not just physically, but in areas like social relationships, emotions and risk-taking too. Ultimately, we need to go through puberty in order to become fully functioning adults. As parents who have already ‘been there, done that’, our role is to equip our children with knowledge, while helping them to feel as secure as possible. Inevitably, there will be a few collisions along the way; staying calm is important too. While it can be disconcerting to witness physical changes taking place in a child of 10, or younger, we must be careful not to treat them like adults, or even like teenagers, but give them freedom to enjoy their childhood in a way that corresponds to age, rather than physical appearance. Beneath the changing body and emotions, a 10-year-old is still just a child who needs to learn, make friends, play, feel loved and have fun, whatever they look like on the outside. L LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
EDUCATION TIPS ON TALKING TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT PUBERTY Start talking to your child about puberty from a young age – and well before they start developing. Avoid having a formal, daunting conversation, but create an environment where issues can be talked about freely, naturally and spontaneously. If you don’t know where to start, try a quick chat about what happens to your body as you get older. Or introduce a ‘growing-up box’. Let your child know they can always come to you with any questions or worries.
Let them know there are organisations like brook.org. uk that have information about puberty and other topics.
T R O U B L E D WAT E R S
REBECCA MOORE explores childhood swimming phobias and why so many kids are fearful to take the plunge
hen a thirty-something friend reminiscing on her holiday said: “well you know I can’t swim”, it may have been a passing comment that required no extra discussion but it didn’t sit well with me. I couldn’t fathom being a grownup and not being able to tread water. I’ve always loved swimming for many different reasons; growing up by the coast meant I could jump in the sea whenever the sun made an appearance; being tall destined me to reach the other side of the pool faster than the smaller kids in my class; and now as an adult, I love the calming qualities of the water. Not to mention the physical benefits and an acquired lifesaving skill. A recent study suggests more than one in 10 young children have shown a fear of water. The survey, carried out by children and baby swimwear specialist Splash About, uncovered that only 16 per cent of adults said their children felt confident in water, with almost half (49 per cent) being scared or cautious. Known as the nation’s favourite sport, it’s worrying to think of this generation starting their swimming career on the wrong foot. But why are so many infants fearful of the water? From the age of eight months old, children can suddenly develop a hatred for swimming and a fear of being in the water. This is widely known as the ‘water wobbles’ and can occur even if a child has previously enjoyed the activity. Although this usually fades over time, aquaphobia – the term used to describe a persistent and abnormal fear of water – can often prevent people from learning how to swim if it isn’t addressed.
Hindering a potentially lifesaving skill. A number of things can cause this terror, such as the fear of being separated from parents, the cold temperature of the water, or even the loud noises, which is often the case at busy pools. But aquaphobia can also develop for no reason at all, and when this happens it can be a lot more difficult to overcome. Bernadette Spofforth, managing director at Splash About says: “If it isn’t already known, parents might find it useful to discover the cause so they can better understand their child’s fear. Knowing the trigger isn’t enough to diminish the phobia, but it can help parents know what direction to go in to prevent the fear from being a lifelong issue.” Fortunately, the good news is that this developmental fear usually fades over time. Noël Janis-Norton, parenting author of the Calmer, Easier, Happier series says: “Children don’t want to be afraid of water; they see other children having a good time, and part of them knows there’s nothing to be frightened of, but they feel like there is. However, I’ve known children who used to scream in terror at the sight of water who are now confident swimmers. A phobia needn’t be a life sentence, but it does require careful handling.” If left unaddressed, a childhood fear of water can of course cause problems later in life. A YouGov study found that up to 27 per cent of people admitted that they can’t swim the length of most British swimming pools (25 metres) unaided. It’s important that parents support and understand this hurdle. Before gradually introducing the child to swimming pools, try getting them used to water in general in their home surroundings
with baths or paddling pools, this can help them to no longer associate water with fear. “Acknowledge and accept their fear and don’t push them into doing something they aren’t ready for. It’s important that they trust you in the water, so don’t trick them. Let them strike an interest in swimming on their own and move at their own pace.” recommends Bernadette. “Refrain from showing any judgement or overreacting as this can cause stress and fuel the phobia. Instead, validate how they’re feeling and remain calm.” A parent is their child’s first teacher, so if you have a fear of the water, don’t let on to your child; instead make efforts to relax them as much as possible. It’s imperative not to brush this under the carpet, even if you’re not a swimmer yourself. “I recommend parents use systematic desensitisation, which is gradually getting someone used to something that they want to avoid,” advises Noël. “The parents and the child together map out a lot of little steps between where the child is now, with the phobia, and where you want them to end up, which is with no fear whatsoever. At first, the steps will probably be very small.” The benefit of doing this process gradually is that the child is likely to become increasingly brave, confident and proud of themselves, explains Noël. “They become excited about completing steps, and possibly even keen to skip over a few to try something a bit harder. If parents try to rush it with steps that are too large, the child will likely rebel and it’ll take a lot longer to overcome the fear.” So your little one may not be taking to it like a duck to water, but give it time and bravery will prevail. L
S W I M M I N G S AV I O U R S
SUNNYLIFE PADDLING POOL £38 AMARA.COM
FLOAT SUIT FROM £24.99 SPLASHABOUT.COM
SWIM JACKET £24.99 KONFIDENCE.CO.UK
3-IN-1 SWIM £4 CHILDSFARM.COM
WONDER WOMAN GOGGLES £14 ZOGGS.COM
DIVING TOY SET £17 SPEEDO.COM
These water buddies will help kids overcome the water wobbles
FIGHT THE FEAR ALLOW THEM TO GET USED TO THE ENVIRONMENT BEFORE SWIMMING Let them sit at the side of the pool and observe, this will help relax and familiarise them.
CHOOSE A SUITABLE CLASS Many children can be overwhelmed by a noisy and busy pool. Going to quieter classes or visiting during off-peak times will make them feel more comfortable.
INVEST IN SUITABLE SWIMWEAR Float jackets and suits are a great way to make your child feel safe. Choosing a fun swimwear design that they like will also help them feel more enthusiastic about going swimming. LITTLELONDONMAGAZINE.CO.UK
AG E N DA
MARTHA ALEX ANDER reveals what’s going on in the capital
TOTEM BY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Saturday 12 January to Tuesday 26 February Featuring the signature tricks and treats we’ve come to expect from Cirque du Soleil, TOTEM tells the story of man’s evolution taking in the natural world, myths, folklore and cultures from all over the globe. With music, dance, costume and acrobatics all combining to create a show packed with suspense at one of London’s most prestigious venues, this is a show not to be missed. Admission: From £35
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP cirquedusoleil.com
RUG RHYMES Every Friday until 5 April, excluding Friday 22 February Under-fives will love these little sessions of storytelling and poetry, helped by the National Poetry Library puppets, Federico and Firebird. Kids are welcome to explore the children’s book collection and borrow books, too.
Vets in Action
Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX
VETS IN ACTION
Wednesday 13 to Sunday 24 February Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival returns for a 12-day run of creative fun for children and families. From theatre and music to drawing and literature.
Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 February This wonderfully immersive role-play activity at London Zoo puts little animal lovers right at the heart of the action. See what the zoo’s vets have to handle on a daily basis, assist the team with hands-on procedures with soft toy creatures, and learn about how they keep the zoo’s animals fit and healthy.
on activity, many are free
threes go free.
Southbank Centre, London, SE1 8XX
ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle,
Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY
IMAGINE CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
Admission: Prices vary depending
WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT
PHOTOGRAPHY: WWT: ZSL LONDON ZOO
Saturday 16 to Thursday 21 February The stage version of the eternally popular book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury is fresh from the West End and boasts a musical dog, familiar rhyme and unexpected surprises. A truly brilliant bear hunt. Admission: From £9.
Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 February Grab your wellies and make a splash at this thrilling half-term event at the London Wetland Centre. kids will be encouraged to participate in a puddle jumping obstacle course and a range of other fun activities, and there’ll even be daily prizes, too.
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS Until Sunday 17 February. Watch this classic tale of friendship and bravery come to life on stage, with this captivating adaptation of the famous Kenneth Grahame story. Expect music, songs, and lots of laughs, too!
Admission: From £7.11; under-fours go free.
Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway,
Finchley, London, N12 0GA
Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB
SOOT Y MAGIC SHOW
Saturday 6 to Monday 22 April Back for its fourth year, this interactive gaming event will be taking over the Science Museum throughout the Easter holidays, giving fans access to some of the coolest consoles on the market.
Monday 22 April, 11am and 2.30pm Join Sooty, Sweep, Soo and their TV pal Richard Cadell on stage for this new live show. Little ones are sure to be amazed by Sooty’s flying car, singing unicorn and Sweep’s levitating sausage.
LONDON PUDDLE JUMPING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Admission: From £20.45; under-
Arts Depot, 5 Nether Street, North
Admission: From £8; under-threes
London Puddle Jumping Championships
Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe
Elizabeth’s Walk, London SW13 9WT
Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT
THE POL AR BEARS GO GO GO 26 March to 28 April Get ready to laugh a lot with these two friendly polar bears as they depart on their holidays. Full of mischief and mayhem, audiences aged between two and five will be delighted by these pitch-perfect comic performances. Admission: From £8 Unicorn Theatre,
Science Museum, Exhibition Road,
Churchill Theatre, High Street,
147 Tooley Street,
London SW7 2DD
Bromley, Kent BR1 1HA
London, SE1 2HZ
Tuesday 19 to Saturday 23 February Introduce your little ones to the wonderful world of Shakespeare as part of this family-friendly workshop at the The Globe. The play, which follows a charismatic king as he attempts to reclaim his throne, will be retold for the eyes and minds of a younger audience, helping them to grasp the characters and themes.
London Wetland Centre, Queen
Admission: From £11.50.
HENRY V STORY TELLING
The Polar Bears Go Go Go
THE LONDON CL AS SIC CAR SHOW Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th February Ideal for budding petrolheads, this event will showcase rare motors from all over the world.
Wednesday 20 February, 11am to 3pm Visit Hyde Park to learn more about birds. Kids can get to grips with binoculars and make feeders to attract birds to their gardens.
ExCeL Centre, Royal Victoria Dock, 1
The Look Out Discover Centre, Hyde
Western Gateway, London, E16 1XL
CL AS SICAL FOR KIDS
Saturday 27th April, 11am to 1.30pm No one needs to be quiet or stay still as musicians play pieces which showcase the tuba – and present classical pieces by the likes of Strauss in a new way.
Tuesday 5 February to Sunday 17 February, 9.45am, 11.45am and 1.45pm Now in its third year, this sensory show has played to over 4,000 babies, leaving them awestruck by its sights and sounds. As first theatre experiences go, Baby Show gets it bang on. Brilliant.
Admission: From £20
Admission: Adults £10.78, children
Orchid: Celebrate the colours of Columbia
FAMILY TAKEOVER AT BRITISH LIBRARY Saturday 2 February, 11am to 3pm; Sunday 24 March, 12pm to 4pm Inspired by the collections within the British Library, these family events offer children the chance to discover new and exciting ideas and worlds. The vibe is so relaxed that you won’t ever be asked to keep the noise down. Admission: Free
British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB bl.uk/events/family-events
£4.90 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore,
Admission: From £10 for one child
London, SW7 2AP
and one adult
ORCHID : CELEBRATE THE COLOURS OF COLUMBIA
147 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2HZ
Saturday 9 February to Sunday 10 March Let’s face it, February’s not the month you expect to see gardens in bloom. Which is why Kew’s annual orchid festival is a must-see, thanks to displays from Colombia, which boasts 4,270 species of orchids. The whole family will love the witty creations, such as a hanging sloth and a swimming turtle.
Thursday 21 March, 10am and 11.15am Baby Broadway’s back! Packed with classic showtunes of all time performed by some of the West End’s best, alongside dance and puppetry, audiences can join in – or not – as the mood takes them!
JUNIOR BUILDER WEEK AT LEGOL AND
Admission: From £48
Admission: £6; free to babies under
Admission: From £12.10
Friday 15 to Saturday 23 February LEGO’s a serious business, so the resort is inviting junior builders for an overnight stay to hone their craft! There’ll also be treasure hunts and workshops.
Chickenshed Theatre, 290 Chase
Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire,
Side, London N14 4PE
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew,
HALF -TERM AT BOCKET TS FARM Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 February It’s an exciting time on the farm this half-term with baby lambs galore, birds of prey demonstrations, fun shows from the Giggle Company plus a full programme of farm activities and acres of indoor and outdoor play. Don’t miss the pig racing and pony and tractor rides! Admission:Adults £11, children £11.50, under-twos free
Richmond, TW9 3AE kew.org
MINI MAESTRO FAMILY CONCERTS Saturday 16 February; Saturday 16 March This is the 12th annual season of these interactive concerts, which see kids enjoy their first taste of classical music. Using story and play as well as the opportunity to sing and conduct, children are fully immersed in the music. Admission: £10
Bocketts Farm, Young Street,
St Martin-in-the-Fields Church,
Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 9BS.
Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 4JJ
Junior Builder Week at LEGOland
COPPÉLIA CHILDREN’S REPERTOIRE WORKSHOP
SUPERHEROES RAVE Saturday 31 March, 2pm to 4:30pm To celebrate Mother’s Day, why not take the whole family out raving? An afternoon of dancing and silliness awaits – capes are optional. The Big Fish Little Fish raves are award-winning events that give parents and children the chance to let loose on the dancefloor together in a safe but exciting environment. Don’t forget your glow sticks!
Sunday 3 March, various classes from 10am to 5pm Taught by professional dancers, children aged between four and 11 will enjoy the story of Coppélia – learning all about the ballet’s characters before concentrating on one scene in detail. At the end of the workshop, kids will perform for an audience of families and guardians. Coppelia Children’s Repertoire Workshop
ELMER THE PATCHWORK ELEPHANT Saturday 6 to 10 April The story of this iconic elephant with a multi-coloured hide is one all about the value of laughter and individuality. Audiences watch on as Elmer tries to fit in but comes to realise that the most important thing anyone can do is value themselves and embrace their differences. This performance is a riot of colour, with a powerful message that is playfully delivered. Admission: From £9
Arts Depot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, London, N12 0GA artsdepot.co.uk
PHOTOGRAPHY: DEEN VAN MEER © DISNEY
MY FIRST BALLET: SLEEPING BEAUT Y Tuesday 16 to Saturday 27 April One of the most spellbinding fairytales of all time is retold on stage as a ballet fit for all the family, and the perfect introduction to dance for young audiences, thanks to help from a narrator. Dancing to a shortened version of Tchaikovsky’s famous score, you and your little ones will be hooked. Admission: From £10
Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 February, 11.30am to 3.30pm Heaven for any budding fashion designers, this three-day workshop will teach children aged between six and 13 how to make their own dress. From the designing and planning to the actual execution via sewing and stitch, this brings about a wonderful opportunity for learning and the benefit of being able to take away your own beautiful garment at the end.
Admission: From £22
pre-walking infants free
RAD Headquarters, 36 Battersea
Hangar, 2to18 Warburton Road,
Square, London, SW11 3RA
London, E8 3FN
224a King’s Road, London SW3 5UB
KNIGHT SCHOOL Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 February 2019, 10am to 4pm Anyone keen to train as a knight – now’s your chance to slip into your armour! And where better to start your studies than at the Tower of London? First you’ll train as a page, before graduating to the rank of squire. After that, you’ll become a knight and be fit to defend the tower. You’ll also design and create your own helmet or shield! R EVIEW: BY R EBECCA M OOR E , SAM , 11, AND SOPHIE , NINE
Admission: Tickets from £20
Sam and Sophie loved their trip to the West End
Admission: Adults £22.70; children £10.75, 4 and under free Tower of London, St Katharine’s &
Monday to Saturday, confirmed performances until 31 May West End musical Aladdin opened at the Prince Edward Theatre back in 2016, and has had rave reviews ever since, so having my niece and nephew stay for the weekend was the perfect excuse to tick it off the to-watch list. The show has all the necessary ingredients; timeless songs from the 1992 Disney animated, such as A Whole New World; a set dripping in gold (literally); great dance numbers, and did I mention the magic carpet? There’s no doubt about it, the Genie is the star of the show who is fabulously brought to life by Trevor Dion Nicholas. His largerthan-life persona, lends itself so well to the stage; from comical dance moves to slapstick jokes it’s family fun at its best. He had all the kids (and adults!) in fits of laughter throughout. Meanwhile, the show’s extravagant costumes, spectacular sets and special effects make magical theatre for the whole family.
The Peacock, Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT
Admission: Adults £10, Children £7,
MAKE A DRES S WORKSHOP
Wapping, London, EC3N 4AB hrp.org.uk
CAMELLIA SHOW Friday 1 March, 10am until 31 March, 3pm More than 33 different varieties of Camellia – some extremely rare – are part of the collection at Chiswick House’s conservatory. Visitors will be met with a riot of pink, red and white blooms, many of which can be traced back to the original planting in 1828. If you’re feeling inspired, you can buy your own and the whole family can chart its growth back at home! Admission: Free
Prince Edward Theatre, 28 Old
Chiswick House, Chiswick House,
Compton St, London W1D 4HS
Conservatory Yard, London, W4 2QN
THE SELFISH GIANT
EXPRES SIVE PAINTING
Saturday 9 March Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name, this performance – featuring puppetry, music and a little bit of magic – tells the story of Grinter, a reclusive giant who lives alone in a huge house surrounded by snow-covered gardens. When children trespass into her garden to play, an unusual friendship is forged and Spring finally returns.
IT’S HOT, IT’S NOT Saturday 2 February to Sunday 10 March Ideal for children aged between two and five, this playful show explores all aspects of weather – and how we experience it. From hot sun to wet rain, the elements are covered via art and dance making for a brilliant, rather surreal show. Admission: From £10
147 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2HZ unicorntheatre.com
Saturday 2 March, 7pm to Sunday 3 March 9am A night in the museum calls for all swashbucklers! Young pirates aged between six and 12 (accompanied by parent or carer) can sleep over in the museum, allowing them to explore on a torchlit tour and listen to tales of old before bunking up for bed. Admission: £40 per person
Admission: Adults £20, child £10
V&A Museum of Childhood,
Royal Academy, Burlington House,
Cambridge Heath Road, London,
Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square,
Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
King Street, London, W6 0QL
lyric.co.uk Expressive Painting
HUNGRY BIRD TRAIL Saturday 16 to 24 February, 10am to 4pm Kids and grown-ups alike can buff up on their ornithology on this trail through the grounds of Morden Hall. As well as the birds, look out for different plant and tree species. The perfect way to get fresh air and let off steam.
PHOTOGRAPHY: FRASER MARR; SHUTTERSTOCK
It’s Hot, It’s Not
21 February 10am to 12.30pm and 1pm to 3.15pm Suitable for children aged seven plus, as well as adults, this class is an opportunity to let your paintbrush do the talking. And where better to learn than at the Royal Academy? All materials are provided, so just bring your vivid imagination!
Admission: £2 per trail
Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, London, SM4 5JD
THE TIGON AND THE LIGER
Saturday 13 to Thursday 18 April, 9.15am, 11am & 1pm Based on the charming book by Keilly Swift, this is a tale all about self-acceptance, a true celebration of diversity. Follow the story of Tyler the tigon, whose father was a tiger and his mother a lion. Heart-warming and clever. Admission: £7, free to babies under 6mths 290 Chase Side, London, N14 4PE chickenshed.org.uk
CHINESE NEW YEAR PARADE 10 February Chinese New Year is always a spectacle, and nowhere more so than in London’s Chinatown. Expect to see plenty of pig motifs – it is the year of the be-trottered one, after all. Vibrant, loud and happy - a joy for all the family. Admission: Free
An iconic British brand, Monsoon has been a stalwart on the high street for more than four decades, giving us more than its fair share of affordable pieces for our homes and wardrobes. Its bright, bohemian vibe carries all the way through to childrenswear, with pieces for boys and girls of all ages; from Indian-inspired embroidery to retro prints and bold motifs. Also head to its sister brand, Accessorize, for great pieces kids will love.
Petit Bateau is renowned for its chic, laidback aesthetic, and uses only the finest quality cottons to create iconic, timeless staples for babies, adults and children, from soft knitwear to classic Breton-stripe tees. A Little London favourite, Petit Bateau remains the go-to destination for discerningly stylish parents in the capital who yearn for an injection of classic Gallic chic for their family’s wardrobe.
Boden has been paving the way for timeless womenswear, menswear and childrenswear since its launch in 1991. The kids’ collections, Mini Boden and Baby Boden, are inspired by the best parts of childhood, with storytelling prints and colourful appliqué. The brand’s flagship store on the King’s Road has a whole floor dedicated to its children's ranges, so pop in for a browse if you're in the area.
Stores across London monsoon.co.uk
Stores across London petit-bateau.co.uk
20-23 Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London SW3 4LY boden.co.uk
At the tender age of five, Little Cloud founder Claire learned to sew on her grandmother’s sewing machine, sparking a lifelong passion for crafting with fabrics. She now creates whimsical pieces for children, from wall hangings and name signs to musical cushions, with many of the designs featuring classic Liberty prints. The business has recently expanded to include collaborations with other modern children’s brands, including shoe retailer Amy & Ivor.
Designed in East London and made in Europe, luxury children’s footwear brand Young Soles creates gorgeous shoes for boys and girls of all ages. Blending retro cool with classic British styles, the designs follow the shape of little feet with wide toes and narrow heels, and come in a variety of colours and finishes from the softest suede to metallic rose gold. We particularly love the signature T-bar Rosie design, with its butterfly-punch detail and contrast sole.
Create a truly magical and bespoke bedroom for your child with Cuckooland’s range of quirky furniture and toys. From novelty beds designed to look like aeroplanes and camper vans, to supersized beanbags, printed teepees and indoor hammocks, this is the place to let their imaginations run wild. The online retailer has plenty of gift ideas and worldwide designer pieces for the rest of the home and garden, too, so parents don’t have to miss out on all the fun.
Soon after she arrived in London, Stella realised there were no French classes available for very young children
Children are never too young to learn a second language
THE BUSINESS Stella Bataille founder of
CLUB PETIT PIERROT The French-language teacher talks about educational programmes and nursery rhymes Why did you set up Club Petit Pierrot?
When I arrived in London I worked as a teacher in a French school where a lot of children had no knowledge of French at the start of the school year. So I researched how to help them. Finding that there were no such lessons in London, and seeing how well they were progressing, I devised a programme. But it was parents witnessing their children’s progress who encouraged me to set it up. How are you still so passionate, after being in business for over 25 years?
Working with children is extremely
The Club Petit Pierrot CD will help develop literacy skills
gratifying. Teaching’s my vocation, so that’s motivation enough. The difference we make and the amazing results makes me very happy. Moreover, the school’s constantly evolving which keeps it interesting. We’re always looking at ways to innovate our immersion programme, influenced by educational and linguistic research.
What advice would you give to others setting up their own business?
Describe a typical work day.
Start as early as possible – no matter how old your child is! Even if you don’t speak the language yourself, you can research online for games, books and activities. One of the most effective ways to give them a headstart is by listening to songs in that language from birth! Singing develops literacy skills, such as auditory discrimination and phonological awareness. Your child will absorb vocabulary effortlessly. and start singing in the right accent. Our CD comes with a booklet of tips for parents on further practise.
Not every day’s the same. Some days, I’ll work on the business side of things and stay in the office all day. Other days, I’ll visit classes, teach, or work on the educational programme, teachers’ training and new projects. What has been your proudest Club Petit Pierrot moment?
Oh là là ! There have been quite a few: being interviewed for magazines, radio and TV, writing our CD of songs and rhymes and being the first to introduce French language classes for babies in London are high up on the list. I’m most proud of creating a fun, original language class, and achieving excellent results over a long period. 98
You have to know why you’re doing it and be passionate about it. Not everything will go as planned, so try to see every problem as an opportunity to learn and improve. What would be your tips be for parents trying to teach languages at home?
What’s next for Club Petit Pierrot?
It’s been very busy recently as we’ve opened quite a few classes, including a third centre on Saturday mornings in Chelsea, and new weekly classes in Marylebone, Kensington and Wimbledon. Learning a foreign language is a life skill that enhances cognitive skills and nurtures a healthy cultural awareness. L clubpetitpierrot.co.uk
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We want you and your little ones to holiday just the way you want to: safe, stress free and in locations you love. It’s why we’ve developed our own exclusive resort experience alongside our range of beautiful, family friendly properties. We hand pick every destination to meet your young family’s needs—from pool safety to playtime—and they’re fully equipped with everything you need, so you can travel light and feel at home as soon as you arrive. Discover the Tots difference and let us help you find your perfect, fun-filled family holiday.
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