Families Magazine July/August 2024 Digital

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Not to mention all the film, TV, comedy and drama.

We’re a dab hand at bringing out the best in children. Through our creative projects, performance opportunities and our diverse lessons in musical theatre, film and tv, comedy and drama, we give your child the confidence to be themselves.




What are you planning for the long school holidays? Let Families help you out.

We have loads of activity ideas to keep the kids busy, including FREE printables for all age groups, family walk ideas, top castles and beaches for toddlers throughout the UK. You can also browse our selection of new audiobooks for kids – perfect for travel or some quiet time!

Get ahead of the back to school rush and check out our sustainable stationery ideas – much kinder to the planet if you have kids that burn through their stationery like wildfire!

Finally, in this issue, we have FOUR great giveaways for our readers. Apply inside. By doing so, you’ll also ensure you receive our digital magazine straight to your inbox.

Make KitKat ice cream downloadable Education Water safety

Parental control options

Printable activities for preschoolers

Printable activities for primary age

‘Must visit’ UK castles

Best UK beaches for toddlers

Family walks featuring water Family breakfasts and brunches

Competition winners from our March/April issue

Congratulations to all our winners. You can find a list HERE All singing,

Make crispy KitKat Ice Cream Cake

Crispy, creamy, chocolatey and decadent - words can’t describe this perfectly dreamy KitKat Ice Cream Cake recipe contributed by multi-award-winning food, parenting and lifestyle writer, Emily Leary at A Mummy Too.

Fun learning activities for the summer break

School summer holidays offer families a chance to enjoy some much-deserved respite together. However, no one wants learning to seep away or become stagnant.

Try some of these techniques to help with learning continuity and your child will hit the ground running in September.

Expanding children’s vocabulary is incredibly important to their writing and reading comprehension. When on holiday or just going on day trips, think about the new words you are exposing them to. Equally, playing games at home such as Scrabble and Heads Up can be educational.

Make sure books are a part of every day. Whenever you read to your child or let them listen to an audio book they form the sense of a beginning, middle and end of a story. Sign up for the free Summer Reading Challenge at your local library which rewards children for their efforts. Make time to chat about what your children are reading; it will raise their engagement and comprehension levels.

Utilise educational apps to help children practise skills and enhance their learning.

Practise literacy skills by writing a post card on holiday, emails or even letters to friends and family,

journalling, blogging and entering writing competitions.


Drench Giveaway

Exciting soda can game for



Shake the can –but don’t get drenched!

Audiobooks for summer

There are lots of hours to fill during the long summer break and audiobooks are the perfect educational way of providing an alternative to books – as well as being fun for the whole family!

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

Heart-warming, magical story of a boy and a polar bear. Ages 8+.

Jack and the Giant Tantrum Helps manage tricky toddler behaviours. Ages 2-3.

I love my… Collection by Giles Andreae

12 warm and touching tales narrated by Dawn French. Ages 1-3.

The Cosmic Diary of Our Incredible Universe by Tim Peake

Learn about space and the universe. Ages 9+.

Rise Up by Amanda Li

Shares the stories of normal kids & their achievements. Ages 9+.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The classic story of Mole, Ratty and Badger. Ages 6+.

Blue Planet II by Leisa Stewart-Sharpe

Based on TV series. Examines the world’s oceans. Ages 7+.

Magic Tree House Collection Books by Mary Pope Osborne

Best-selling series now an audiobook. Ages 6+.

The Time Travelling Caveman by Terry Pratchett

Brand-new collection of short stories from Terry Pratchett. Ages 6+.

Cultural capital: what it is and why it matters

Broadly speaking, the term ‘cultural capital’ refers to the knowledge, skills and experiences that are valued by a society. The concept was first introduced in Pierre Bourdieu’s book Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste in 1979. So why is cultural capital important?


My child is left-handed, should I be worried?

Recently at a new student screening appointment, a mother disclosed that her child writes with her left hand and uses the computer mouse and scissors with her right. These were the only anomalies for her lefthanded daughter. Perplexed about navigating this world of mixed dominance?


Preparing to start or change school

Starting or changing school can be both an exciting and nervewracking business, not only for parents but also for children who pick up on the vibe at home. With planning, you can feel more confident in the way you support and celebrate your child’s milestones and transitions as they occur.


Paint Pops

Marbling Sets

Create amazing swirls and patterns on paper and fabric in 12 vibrant colours

Sustainable stationery supplies

Does your child get through endless amounts of stationery products? If so, you might be interested in our selection of more sustainable options.

Paper Ballpoint Pens

24 pens made from strong paper. 58% extra ink! £14.99.

Wirebound Notebook

3 ruled notebooks of 110 pages. Made with FSC recycled paper. £7.49.

Pure Glue Sticks

5 glue sticks made from 93% natural ingredients, washable, child-friendly. £4.92.

Recycled Newspaper

Colouring Pencils

12 colouring pencils made from recycled newspaper, printed with soy inks. £6.50.

RPET Panda Pencil Case

Stylish pencil case made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles. £3.99.

Dust & PVC Free Eraser

Unique dust free formula does not contain any harmful chemicals. £0.95.

Recycled Newspaper Pencils

Set of 5 x 2mm HB pencils handmade from recycled newspaper. £5.95.

Green BOSS


4 colours made from 83% recycled plastic. Can be refilled. £4.21.

Bamboo Ruler

Made from sustainable bamboo, this ruler is strong but lightweight. £1.50.

Stay safe around water this summer

Water safety on holiday

Take time to review and understand safety notices and flags. Never use inflatables in the sea. Keep children under constant supervision. Look out for potential hazards and deep and shallow water. Stay back from cliff edges, never jump from cliffs or bridges. Make sure the whole family knows basic water safety.

Water safety in public swimming pools

Take time to learn the depth, water flow and layout of the pool. Always follow the rules set out by the venue e.g. no running. Listen and adhere to instructions given by the lifeguards on duty. Always keep children under constant supervision. Weak swimmers - stay where they can touch the bottom.

Get to know your Water Safety Code

Fun RLSS cartoon to help kids understand the fundamentals of being safe near water.

Water safety at home

In the last 5 years, 50% of kids under 7 who drowned did so at home.

Securely cover or empty water hazards after use eg. baths, paddling pools, ponds etc. Stop water hazards from refilling by turning them over, turn off hosepipes.

Install safety fencing around ponds and pools.

Learn the water safety code

Look for dangers and research local signs and advice. Always stay together as a family or group, swim near lifeguards. Float – teach your child how to float properly if they fall in unexpectedly.

Call 999 - ask for Fire & Rescue when inland and the Coastguard if at beach.

Teach your child how to float

If your child finds themselves in water accidentally, this essential skill could save their life.

Top parental controls for monitoring screen time

Screen time is a fact of summer holidays – and of modern life! As your child heads for their screen this summer, make sure you have the right parental control products in place.

Norton Family

Monitor all child activity from web or mobile app. £14.99 yearly.

Bark Premium

AI scans emails/social media profiles/texts/ media for harmful content. From £14 monthly.

Family Locator Locategy

Free basic version – geofencing, app blocking, activity reports & easy setup.


Comprehensive range of features across multiple devices. From £39.95 yearly.

Family Time Premium

Great for mobile users, full suite of monitoring features. From $2.41 monthly.

Net Nanny

Robust screen time management tools, location tracking, social media monitoring. $54.99 yearly.


Scheduling, monitoring location, social media, screen time. From $2.99 monthly.


Monitors android device web browsing, device usage & location. From $15.99 yearly.

Kapersky Safe Kids

Great value & monitors unlimited devices, regardless of platform. £23.99 per year.

FREE activity printables for pre-schoolers

Perfect for whipping out to deal with those ‘I need something to occupy the little one’ moments!

Learn About Numbers activity book

Unicorn rainbow colouring

Counting to 5 activity sheet

Big Bird Number 6 colouring page

Dino Diggers activity pack

Bing’s Big Surprise activities

Alphablocks A to Z colouring chart

Round & round snail maze

Dino Dot-to-Dot activity sheet

FREE printables for primary-school aged kids

For the ‘I’ve got nothing to do!’ moments that are sure to arise this summer – worth printing and stashing somewhere close by!


Great game to develop strategy, logical thinking and concentration.

Country word search

Find twenty countries hidden amongst the letters.

Harry Potter word scramble

Figure out what Harry is saying.

The Mystery of the Missing Pirate Treasure

Practise maths and problem solving.

Car travel games

Keep them entertained with car bingo, alphabet game, car search & more.

How to draw a cat

Simple chart from which your child can learn to draw a cat.


Set of 9 puzzles, easy to hard. Develop logic & problem solving.

Food crossword puzzles

5 food themed puzzles. improve spelling, reading and writing.

Magic square worksheets

Easy, intermediate and advanced sheets that practise addition.

Newborn Coney and My First Bath


‘Must visit’ UK castles to explore

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

A sprawling complex dating to 1096. Broomstick training, medieval crafts & more.

Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire

Lavishly decorated, costumed storytellers, jousting tournaments & castle-themed play area.

The Tower of London

See the Crown Jewels guarded by Beefeaters and overseen by ravens.

Conwy Castle/ Castell Conwy, North Wales

A 13th-century marvel. Archery, medieval craft and Welsh folklore tales.

Framlingham Castle, Suffolk

Climb its walls, discover rich history & enjoy soft play sword battles.

Dover Castle, Kent

Explore secret wartime tunnels, medieval interiors and the Great Tower.

Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire

Dramatic 16th century spectacle with soaring turrets. Kids can enjoy Go Ape.

Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

A 14th century gem with moat, drawbridge, murder holes, medieval bread oven.

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire

Explore dungeons, climb towers and witness jousting displays.

Best UK beaches for toddlers

Looking for a beach to visit that perfectly suits your very young children? Here is our selection.

Alum Chine, Dorset

Adventure playground, paddling pool & changing facilities.

Frinton on Sea, Essex

Clean, firm, plentiful sand, safe gently shelving beach, promenade with facilities.

Porthminster (St Ives), West Cornwall

Sandy sheltered beach, shallow water, for paddling, nearby facilities.

Old Hunstanton, Norfolk

Spacious golden sandy beach, shallow water, rock pools & toilets.

West Wittering, Sussex

Wide sloping beach, shallow tidal pools & clean, calm water.

Seacliff, East Lothian

Beautiful, sheltered beach of golden sands. Toilets.

Caswell Bay, South Wales

Golden sands, rock pools, café, beach shop, toilets & showers.

Sandsend, East Yorkshire

Hidden gem just north of Whitby. Lagoon, rockpools & nearby facilities.

St Annes Beach Lytham, Lancashire

Loads of sand, good for paddling, donkey rides and amenities.

Best walks featuring water

Looking for a walk with water involved? These are some of our favourite walks from The Outdoor Guide

Seaton Wetlands

On the south Devon coast you’ll find the RSPB Seaton Wetlands. With a path that’s suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, this walk offers the opportunity to observe the many feathered friends who call this place home.

River Ness & Ness Islands

From the heart of Inverness, this walk takes you along the banks of the River Ness and onto the magical Ness Islands.

These are natural islands in the middle of the river, connected by suspension foot bridges. Keep an eye out for the seals that can sometimes be found here.

Coombe AbbeyHeron’s Way

There are plenty of walks for all to enjoy at Coombe Abbey Country Park near Coventry. This one takes you around the lake that, at 1.5 miles long, is one of the largest ever designed be Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

Swanbourne Lake & Arundel Park

Just a short distance from the town of Arundel in Sussex is Swanbourne Lake, part of the Arundel Castle estate.

It’s a popular spot for families, offering gentle walks and boat hire so you can enjoy the views from the water. Don’t forget to grab an ice cream from the kiosk!

© Holly Brega
© Holly Barber
© The Outdoor Guide
© The Outdoor Guide

Best walks featuring water

Looking for a walk with water involved? These are some of our favourite walks from The Outdoor Guide

Blickling Hall - The Den Making One

This 2 mile walk takes you around Blickling Hall Estate lake and offers plenty of wildlife watching and den making. Don’t forget to visit the cafe for a wellearned treat at the end!

Setthorns, New Forest National Park

Walk in the shade of the trees as you explore the Setthorns

Enclosure in the New Forest National Park.

The walk takes you down to a stream where children and dogs can paddle and play - keep an eye out for the free roaming livestock who also paddle here too!

South Shore Rutland Water

Rutland Water is a reservoir that is teeming with wildlife. This is a great walk along the southern shore and takes in part of the nature reserve. After, why not take a boat trip to see it from another angle?

A walk along the shore of Ullswater

No trip to the Lake District is complete without a walk along the shore of a lake. This is just a short walk, around a mile, to the shores of Ullswater in the eastern lakes.

The nearby village of Pooley Bridge has some great cafés for after!

© Frank Locke © Andy North
© The Outdoor Guide © The Outdoor Guide

Family breakfasts and brunches

Take advantage of the more relaxed summer holiday routine and try some of these special family breakfast and brunch options!

Upside down apple pancakes

Cut into wedges. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream & cinnamon.

Easy sweetcorn fritters

A quick breakfast treat, top with poached egg or smashed avocado.

Easy griddled waffles

These are super simple to make. Top with bananas/maple syrup.

Peanut butterstuffed french toast

Inspired by deep-fried french toast, pan-fried for ease.

Eggy bread

A simple versatile breakfast recipe. Serve with strawberries, yoghurt, stewed fruit.

Courgette and Cheddar cheese muffin

Warm from the oven - a great breakfast treat.


breakfast tacos

Taco-inspired pancakes with bacon, cheese and scrambled eggs.

Norwegian custard buns

A great breakfast pastry, filled with custard.

Bacon and egg cups

Served in ramekins lined with bacon, these cups are a breakfast treat.

Pixel Hugs

react to their owner’s voice

Pet and feed them, tickle their bellies to make them happy and lay them down to sleep… Four moods and 50+

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