Sunday, 28 February 2010

The Baby Show - an essential part of having a baby

I was pleasantly surprised by last week’s Baby Show at London ExCeL – it was well organised and had a very relaxed vibe, and felt more like it was about giving parents a chance to research and try out essential baby equipment and educating parents-to-be rather than pushing them to buy things they didn’t need. Aside from hearing from parenting experts and celebrity speakers, parents-to-be and new parents were trying out baby carriers, buggies, monitors, and, well, every bit of baby gear you can imagine. It was also a great opportunity to check out all the brand new products on the market – including some weird and wonderful contraptions like the Ritmo prenatal MP3 player (really), the self-warming Yoomi baby bottles, and My Carry Potty, and stylish but practical baby new baby gear like funky cowboy-style absorbent bibs by skibz and the PishPosh nappy clutch, and to pick up a copy of the brand new parenting glossy, Baby London.   

My two were at nursery (it was a business outing after all!) but I did take a peek at baby care facilities anyway… the crèche looked really cheery, and there were plenty of places to sit down and have a rest or feed the baby, but every time I walked up and down all the stairs to use the toilet, I did wonder how pregnant women and mums with buggies were faring.

Were you at the Baby Show? What did you think?

PS - Later this week we’ll tell you which child friendly restaurant Annabel Karmel loves and why, and share Clare Byam-Cook’s top tips about feeding the baby while you’re out and about… so watch this space!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Congratulations to our 4 Storytelling Week Prize Draw Winners!

Our prize draw celebrating the 10th Annual National Storytelling Week was a resounding success, with nearly 800 mums, dads and carers finding lovely little storytelling events near them, writing about their experiences, and keeping us positively chirpy amidst a flurry of tweets.

Our favourite storytelling-related review was of the stunning Cannock Chase in Staffordshire by @seriouslykooky :
This wooded area is a brilliant place for people of all ages and all abilities. There are walks with level paths suitable for wheelchair users, a park for young children, cafe, gift shop, toilets, classroom area, large area for ball games, brick BBQs for public use and of course, the wood itself, which is suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Our 6 and 4 year old love to walk, run and play here. Our favourite activity is our story walk where we play at being Hansel, Gretal, Daddy and the witch (guess who is the witch!). Little Man and Little Miss play at being Hansel and Gretal, running up and down the paths and in between trees, leaving stones and leaves (bread). We then play at killing mummy, sorry, the witch, and finally run back to Daddy's arms. Cannock Chase is a place of fairytales, all you need to take with you is your imagination.
To read more reviews like this one, visit

We drew 4 names at random, and are pleased to announce our winners here:
  • @SeriouslyKooky won a box of brand new children's books from Usborne for her local primary school
  • @Pippad won a box of brand new children's books from Waterstones for her local primary school
  • @a4ann won a beautiful illustrated hardcover collection of children's stories from Usborne
  • Lucy H won a signed, 10th anniversary limited edition of the wonderful touchy-feely book "That's Not My Puppy" from Usborne
Many thanks to everyone else who entered and to those of you who helped publicise the event. We couldn't have done it without you! An extra special thank you goes to Waterstones and Usborne, who very kindly donated all the prizes.

Usborne is a major, independent, award-winning UK publishing company. Books for early years are at the heart of their list with the popular Farmyard Tales series, classic story books and more traditional titles being published alongside cloth books, noisy books, bath books and touchy feely titles including the bestselling That's not my .... series.

Buy books, eBooks and DVDs online at - the UK's leading bookseller - with FREE UK delivery.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Does your family fit the shape of a standard family ticket?

What’s the shape of your family? Mum plus her four kids. Dad plus his only child, and the young cousin who lives with them. Grandparents and their grandchildren, for whom they care. Big sister and very little sister, whom she looks after. Mum, Dad, Auntie and her daughter.

What’s the shape of a typical family ticket to a museum or gallery? Two plus two.

So, Kids in Museums has launched the Flexible Family Ticket campaign supported by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to help families of all shapes and sizes to feel welcome in museums and galleries across Britain.

We're helping spread the word about the Kids in Museums Family Ticket Watch, and want families to tell us:
* What has been your experience of a family ticket?
* Did it fit your family?
* What would you like a family ticket to look like?

Families can get in touch in lots of ways:

Kids in Museums will publish the results of all your comments in March, recommending a Flexible Family Ticket format that can be adopted by all museums and galleries, to reflect the changing face of families in Britain today.

Mariella Frostrup, Patron of Kids in Museums, said:

“Visits to museums and galleries should be at the heart of family life, there are few better places to spend quality time with your kids and also give them an enriching and memorable experience. Most museums offer a family ticket but it’s increasingly rare for families to fit the two plus two standard that remains the norm. Why shouldn’t you bring along your Mum, Dad and Stepmother too, or perhaps Granny fancies a day out?”

Kids in Museums produces the Kids in Museums Manifesto, a 20-point document compiled entirely from visitors’ comments. And a top issue for family visitors – point number two on the Manifesto - is that their family can’t get a family ticket. Because their family isn’t two plus two.

Source: Kids in Museums