Browsing Category


Activities Days Out Family Life

9 Festive Family Activities

Christmas lights were switched on on Marylebone High Street last night which has given me the red light to go into full Christmas mode. What better way to start the Festive season on The London Mummy, with a ‘What’s On’. The lovely Melissa Gauge from Spare My Time is sharing her top 3 places to visit this Christmas with your family to get you in the festive mood.

Take it away…

1) Santa and his huskies at London’s Wetland Centre

Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London, SW13 9WT

2 & 3 December


Christmas is coming early thanks to a magical Santa’s Grotto with free husky and donkey rides for little visitors at the WWT Wetland Centre, Barnes Father Christmas tickets are selling out fast but there are plenty of other festive activities on that weekend – husky and donkey rides are free with admission (children 8 or younger, with weight restrictions) or you can lend a hand at the Elves workshop, making festive decorations or small Christmas gifts to take home.

(If you’ve not been to the Wetland Centre before it’s a must even without the Christmas activities – over 100 acres of managed wetland reserve, nature at its best.)

Top Tip: Apart from Father Christmas, there is no advance booking so make sure you get there early to avoid disappointment.

2. South Bank Centre

Belvedere Rd, London, SE18XX

10 November – 4th January (10am-11pm)


From Christmas Markets to roof top saunas, from Skandi rooftop bars to giant snow globes, from ABBA sing alongs to Nordic folk tales there really is something everyone at the Southbank Centre.

Top tip: try visiting the cosy Rekorderlig Cider Lodge for a glass or two of mulled wine

3. Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park, London, W2

Friday 17th – 1st January


A Christmas Bonanza – your only problem will be where to start!

Here is a pick of what’s on:

 Skate on the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink

 Take a journey in the deep sea at The Magical Ice Kingdom

 See the enchanting fairy-tale Cinderella on Ice

 Watch jaw-dropping acts in the Circus Megadome

 Experience spectacular views from the Giant Wheel

 Join the family fun in The Sooty Christmas Show!

 Drink festive cocktails at Bar Ice

Tickets get booked up fast however there is still plenty to see and do even if you do miss out on the big events.

Top tips : Keep your children close – this is a very busy event! We write our telephone numbers on our children’s arm just in case they decide to go for a wander.

Outdoor Ice Skating

With so many options of outdoor ice skating on offer we’ve narrowed it down to our top 5:

Hampton court palace: Open from November 24th – January 7th 2018.

This has to be one of the most picturesque ice rinks, overlooking Henry VIII spectacular home beside the Thames.

Tower of London:

Open from 17th November – January 2nd 2018.

Tip: visit in the morning if you are taking children, it does get busy later in the

Somerset House:

Open from 15th November – January 14th 2018.

In our view, one of the most romantic ice rinks – perfect for that elusive date night. For an extra special touch try one of the Fortnum’s Skate Extras

Skate Extras Festive

Natural History Museum:

Open from 26th October -7th January 2018. The Natural History Museum is our die-hard Christmas visit. Be sure to book a penguin for the kids – they do run out quickly

Top tip: Outdoor ice skating does get VERY wet and cold! Bring plenty of layers, gloves and hats (possibly waterproofs for children!).

Covent Garden Christmas Pudding Race

2 December.

Great Pudding Race

Did you know that for the past 36 years there has been a Christmas Pudding race to raise money for cancer research? This fancy dress fun run is full of entertainment and amusements.

Children are not able to enter but not to worry, there will be a lot to see!

Operation Christmas Child

Be a part of changing a child’s life this Christmas and donate a shoe box with a few small gifts and necessities inside. This wonderful tradition started in 1990 and has helped over 146 million children in 150 countries.

Spend the morning compiling your gifts with your children and drop them into your local centre.

Operation Christmas Child Festive

Here is a link giving you do’s and don’ts to put inside your box.

Top tip: Remember to wrap the box and the lid separately so they aren’t stuck together when checks are done.

Shoeboxes need to be in by 18 November.

Melissa’s blog is well worth signing up for if you want to be kept informed of new businesses and what’s on in and around London and sign up to Spare My Time if you need any jobs done in your house or garden with a trusted tradesmen recommended by Melissa.

Read her Spotlight interview here!


Activities Reviews Travel

How To Do Euro Disney Successfully

If I didn’t bore you on Instastories over half term with our last minute family trip to Eurodisney over October half term and you are thinking about a trip yourselves, this post is for you!

Alex and I have collated some top tips about the journey, the hotel, the experience and the Disney attractions. You will notice from the detail that he has had a profound input! I know if you are considering it – you need hard facts and not just Lucinda’s spiel (oh dear, I am talking in the 3rd person, I must move on)


If you would rather watch than read – have a sneak at this 3 minute video.



So, we left home straight after a large breakfast and drove to Folkestone which is around 2 hours by car. The quickest travel crossing to France is Le Shuttle and it’s also much easier to get to as you don’t have to drive through Dover to the port. The crossings are regular (3 or 4 per hour) and only around 30 minutes journey time until you reach sunny Calais the other side.

The ferry may be more fun if you can spare the time. Shopping, duty free, arcade machines, restaurants, coffee, children’s play area etc…  but be prepared for the longer journey and a little bit more sweat.

After your arrival in Calais it is just under 3 hours to the parks and with the GPS it takes you straight to your hotel front door. No navigating French roadsigns and the French motorway system. Just remember to drive on the right hand side of the road! There are lots of yummy French welcome breaks to enjoy a croque monsieur on route and on the tollroads are always clear of traffic.

We left home at 8am and even with the hour time difference we arrived at our hotel by 3pm. Just in time for check in, a cheeky beer and an explore of the hotel.


On top of the Eurodisney Hotel they are loads of themed hotels which are much cheaper and just a shuttle bus ride to the park entrance.

We stayed at the Explorers Hotel which was 5 minutes by shuttle bus. Explorers was very reasonable (depending on which tripadvisor deal you can get) and we had a lovely themed family room which slept up to 6 people.

The highlight was the water park which for my two boys was just as big a treat as Disney itself!



The bus from the hotel drops you right out the front of Disney Village so you only have a couple minutes to walk before you hit the action. The two parks  open at 9.30am and the first ride or show start at 10am.

The earlier you get there the less queues so we would always do the most popular immediately.


There used to be more characters wandering around (4 years ago when we last went) but now they follow a timetable so you can see when and where they will be.

Here they are with Mary Poppins.


Try and do 4 days rather than 2 or 3.

It means you’re not in a panic sweat to complete everything. You can really enjoy the magic and take it all Disneyland has to offer.

It’s also cheaper the more days you go. 4 day passes were not available through our hotel so best to book these on the official site or on the door when you arrive. The sterling price was also cheaper than in Euros.


Into the afternoon the queues can sometimes be up to 45 minutes long so fast track passes are a must. Go to the ride and put your fast track ticket in the machine and you will be given an allocated time to come back. Don’t do it too late in the day (after 2pm) unless you want to be given a time slot that may be too late in the day (and you will be in bed!)

There is also an option of baby switch so one of your stands at the side with the baby whilst you go on and then you swap (take the baby) and go on -taking your other kid for another go without having to queue.

The best thing we discovered was Single Rider. If you are prepared to sit on your own, the queue time is really quick, often only 5 minutes.

The parades were a massive highlight and run all the way through the day. The Grand parade which includes all the characters is at 5.30pm and well worth staying for. The Princess parade was on at 1215 which we also loved.


Fireworks are at 10pm during french holidays. 8pm during off peak days. So check this before you go as they were too late for the kids (us) when we went.

For an extra special treat and to meet the characters over dinner the Eurodisney Hotel buffet is brilliant. It is called Inventions.

It is the only place you can meet the characters other than Auberge De Cendrillon (Cinderella) in Fantasyland at the Park. Be prepared quite expensive but so worth it to spend time with the characters without the rush and pushing from other people in the park or the studios.

You have to book in advance (sometimes up to 8 weeks) as it gets booked so quickly. It is difficult to get a good slot and at a sociable time of the day so be savvy and book way before you get there!


Buzz, Small World, Pinochio, Peter Pan

Avoid Snow White (3 year old was petrified!)


Animagique, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Stich

The shows are are over in the studios and they are not to be missed. It’s easy to ignore them on the map as they are in French and you have no idea what they actually are but they were my total highlight – especially Animagique.


Hyperspace mountain, Toy Story land, Star Tours, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Thunder Mountain


Food is expensive!

I am not particularly fussy and can show down a burger as quick as a hungry trucker but service is slow, queues are long and the food as meh.

I recommend eat a massive breakfast and taking some snack for the queues. If you do want to eat in a restaurant, eat in the Disney Village (where you can actually get a decent coffee – you can’t in the park!)


If you don’t have the luxury of 4 days and you are maybe thinking of a long weekend – divide and conquer!

Boys go and one way girls go the other. (don’t hold it against me – if your son wants to go to the Princesses and boys Star Wars – still divide and conquer!)

Height restrictions can be upsetting if you fall short after much excitement, so check on the rides and height restrictions ahead of the day.

Basically it is either 100cm (most rides other than family where all can go) or 120cm (height of a 6 plus year old)

We were pleased to have gone when we did (age 7, 5 and 3) and don’t feel that we need to go again so they can do more.. but time will tell eh. We are rather partial to a theme park.

Is it for you? Do you fancy it or do you think your kids won’t even notice if you don’t do Disney? xxx

Head over to my shop to get ahead of Christmas shopping (or just to treat yourself!) 

Activities Events Gift Guides TLM Monthly Edit

TLM Monthly Edit : September 2017

Slightly early monthly Edit as have quite a few events that need to be flagged! It should really be entitled ‘What’s On For Us This Autumn’ but I have so much scheduled for The London Mummy over the next couple of months, both on the blog and events – I have put it under my monthly Edit!


Firstly, the fabulous Good Web Guide – my go to on all web related businesses and recommendations – is hosting their annual awards and YOU can enter. It is perfect if you are a web based business, a new business or just want to raise your existing profile. They are well respected and a great way to get your name out there.  This will answer any questions you have!



I am so excited to be participating in my first ever fair selling my TLM Edit goodies. It is for a fabulous cause – the victims family and friends of the Grenfall Tower.


I will be selling hats, scarves, jumpers, belts, gifts and jewellery so please come and say hi (and no pressure to buy anything!) from TLM Edit including the below.

It is next Friday 29th Sept at St Mary’s Church, the Putney end of Putney Bridge. Would be so fab to see you there.

Follow the progress on Facebook Bring little ones as the Fire Brigade are visiting too!

I am alongside some other fab stalls including –

Ambersouk – Jewellery
Arbonne with Bronwen
Blabar – Nordic Interiors
Cece & Me – Children’s Shoe Fitting Service
City Paws Club
Florence and Frog
Harry Rocks – Unique Personalised Jewellery
Jewell Junkie Design
Marie & Lola – French Fashion
The Naked Olive
Pats Vintage Cartoons
Postive Sprit Massge
Rude Health
Serendipity Bakes
Tussie Mussie – Candles


My pal who runs Five Boys Clothing is hosting a pop up on the Kings Road 24th – 30th September so if you are cruising, do pop in and say hello.

Also in the shop –

Mobs – teenage and young men clothing
Five Boys Clothing – boys clothing and gifts
Pixie Dixie – children’s pyjamas w
Crafty Wrens – crafty kids for children
My Mia – girls clothing
Willow Cashmere – cashmere
Hermosa London – ladies handbags
Maimie London  – Luxury Silk Womenswear
Pom Lampson – silky shirts and underwear
Lucy Simmons – jewelry


Emma Van Zeller is having an exhibition of her wonderful jovial exhibition at The Corner House from 26th October. Do pop in and have a look.  The Corner House is a perfect place to visit with little ones and allow you to have your coffee (excellent btw) in peace whilst they play on the gorgeous play equipment or do a class.




The Daisy Trust is hosting their annual fair at Hurlingham on Monday 2nd October. With a full list of excellent stalls I urge you to come down!

Check out the sellers…

Anna & Louis – Spanish Baby Clothes
Little Leggies – Cashmere and Neon
Pepa & Co – Spanish Children’s Clothes
St Bert’s Clothing – Boys Clothes
KC Collection
Laurie and Jules
Law & Co
Marie & Lola – French Clothes
Milliemanu – Childrens Clothes
Octavia Hix – Resortwear
Pom Lampson Ltd – Underwear & Lingerie
Susie Pringle – Cashmere & Pearls
Tessa Maynard – Scarves & Jackets
Vishana Ltd
Wingfield Digby – Accessories
Wyse – Cashmere
Banana Boxer – Boxer Shorts
Illann Cashmere
Indigo Island – Mens Shirts
Reef Knots – Mens Swimwear
Beau Britches – Activewear
Harper Scout – Beachwear
Philippa London – Clothes
Sister Design Ltd – Resortwear
Snow Finel Ski Wear – Ski wear
Toosh Clothing – PJ’s
The Holiday Shop – Holiday Accessories
Happy Hats – Hats
Peachy Belt – Belts
Manyatta – Masai Belts
My Fashion Tribu – Shoes


Daylesford’s new after-school activity hours should become a regular feature in your back-to-school diaries. They provide the perfect opportunity for children to wind down after a busy day at school, giving their parents or a chance to relax over a cup of coffee.

Hosted in all of the London Farmshops (Marylebone, Notting Hill and Pimlico Road) every Wednesday from 3:30pm-4:30pm, the activity hours are free to attend.

Each week they will be doing a different, fun, and educational activity that children will love, such as colouring, making jam jar posies, flower pressing and herb planting.


Daylesford Marylebone, 6-8 Blandford St, Marylebone, London W1U 4AU
Daylesford Notting Hill, 208-212 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London W11 2RH
Daylesford Pimlico, 44B Pimlico Rd, Belgravia, London SW1W 8LP

It’s free to attend and no booking required. Result!

Have great week and hope to see you at one of the events!

Love Lucinda xx

Activities Events Fashion Little

Pop Up featuring Familiar

The British market is not an easy market to crack, especially when it comes to baby and children’s clothes. However, one that has the UK in its grasp is Familiar, a popular Japanese brand famed for it’s high quality clothes. Any mother with young children in Japan will have been gifted a Familiar item at some point as it lasts through all your children and looks is well designed.

Familiar was founded in 1950 by four Japanese women who were in a middle of raising their own children and their mission was to create clothes they themselves want to dress their children in.

Isn’t this a lovely photo?


Familiar is considered as a luxury brand and is known for its high quality clothing.

Due to this good quality, Familiar’s products are often used as newborn baby’s gifts.

Familiar creates their own fabrics and their number one selling product in Japan is a simple newborn baby underwear.


These are my favourites –

2 Way Playsuit 

How cute is this playsuit? Makes me slightly giddy looking at it and it feels even better.

Baby Grow

Pom Pom Cotton Socks 

As a Pom Pom fan, there is no escaping these cute baby socks.



Cotton Toweling Blanket 

I love the pop of primary colours on this 100% cotton towel.


Removable Pocket Feeding Bib

I wish I had had one of these when my children wear bibs (actually think they might be handy still!)





Not only can you buy all these gems online you can visit Familiar as they are doing a Pop Up in Hampstead this month!  This is the first time they have showcased their brand in Europe!


In this first effort to set up space in the European market, the focus has been on materials, handiwork, and children’s experiences, expressed as the Japanese concept of HITOTEMA, which refers to those extra small touches that enliven their clothes.
To further enable customers to realize the quality materials in use at Familiar, there will be a HITOTEMA Experience throughout the duration of the popups, where five types of adult ponchos will be available for try-on so that people can experience the feel and quality of Japanese fabrics.

There will also be exhibition spaces where children can interact and create their own designs, with patterns on thick paper stock, fabrics, and buttons. At this POP-UP STORE, Familiar’s delicate and detailed craftsmanship is expressed through the HITOTEMA theme. By affording clients not only with products but with an experience, we will transmit real value and inspiration that only Familiar can provide.


Exhibition of Familiar’s past products 1970s – 1990s

They will show the design changes through the year and show how the founders have created designs that they themselves would want to


“create clothes that they themselves want to dress their own children in”



Making Fami-chan’s Bow-tie

If you purchase our “Fami-chan” brand character cuddly teddy bear, you can choose which fabric to use for his bow-tie. This will be put on at the shop!


Adult’s Undershirts

They made adult-size undershirts made of their same fabric as Familiar’s baby underwear so you can feel the difference in the quality of Familiar’s baby’s and children’s clothes.


Ponchos made of five different fabrics

They make adult-size ponchos out of 5 different kinds of fabrics: Tompkin, Fraiche, Italian Mesh, Wool, and Silk.


Complimentary OBORO towel

This is a special opportunity only for this pop-up shop! If you come and feel the different fabrics, you will receive a complimentary OBORO towel that is made in Japan with 100 years of history.


Kids Workshop

Kids can attend a workshop to design a T-shirt from cardboard, using colourful tapes and buttons. Familiar’s designer will be there to help you!


Sunday 17th September to Wednesday 20th September.

Opening Hours:

17th 11:00 – 17:00
18th 10:00 – 18:00
19th 10:00 – 18:00
20th 10:00 – 16:00

Livingstone Studio
36 New End Square

Hope to see you there! x

You can also buy on Familiar on Farfetch and follow Familiar here –

Online Shop


Activities Interiors Spotlight

Bundle Beds : Banish Your Camping Woes

It is so exciting to introduce the founders of Bundle Beds. A friend recommended I visit their stand at Spirit of Summer, so off I went and was greeted by a very friendly James who told me the concept of Bundle Beds. The striking design and easy to store concept was what I was really impressed with, however I was eager to know more about these two young entrepreneurs…

What is a Bundle Bed? 

A Bundle Bed is a self-contained, fully-bundled bed, complete with a slim, but deceptively-comfortable self-inflating mattress, built in luxury duvet and pillow with ultra cosy sheets to provide comfort, warmth and a great night’s sleep.

This is my bed awaiting its debut use on Saturday night…


It was so easy to use (and even easier to wash after the kids played in after a wet night!)


Please introduce yourselves…

We are the founders of Bundle Beds, James Clark (32) and Lucy Bartlett (31), also known as the ‘Chief Bundlers’. We met at a dinner party in 2013 through Lucy’s husband, Ben (James and Ben were great friends at school), and shortly after decided to set up Bundle Beds. We now run the business together, and at the moment run it as a 24 hour business as James is based in London.


Lucy is based in Brunei (although heads back to the UK for events for the Summer and festive seasons).


Why did you start Bundle Beds?

We love travelling, love camping, love adventures and most of all love being surrounded by family and friends… We wanted to change the fact that the only solution for sleepovers, camping and adventures was to take a mass of bulky or uncomfortable sleeping equipment which never delivered a good night’s sleep.


Whether it’s sleeping over, camping out, ‘putting up’ guests, festival fun or overnight adventures, we created Bundle Beds to provide the ultimate sleeping alternative to a conventional bed – a roll out bed that is easy to carry, simple to use and provides a great night’s sleep.


Who are Bundle Beds idea for?

Bundle Beds are ideal for all ages. The Bundle Bed is the ultimate solution for anyone who intends on sleeping over, from kids going on sleepovers, to festival goers or someone who just needs an extra bed to house guests. Bundle Beds are the first choice option when no beds are available and in fact, some of our customers now prefer a Bundle Bed to their own bed!

Well, it has certainly revolutionised my camping life!



Lucy’s favourites :

Restaurant – The Shed, Notting Hill

Website – Sawday’s Canopy & Stars

Hotel – Mesa Stila in Central Java

Campsite – Middle Ninfa

Shop – West Elm

Holiday destination – I’ve been super lucky in the last few years to be able to travel to lots of amazing places in Asia from Brunei (where I live). I can’t choose, so top three are Sri Lanka, Nusa Lembongan and Pamilican Island, just off Bohol.

Parenting tip


Give yourself a break and don’t ever expect to get the perfect work, life balance. Unless you are superhuman, that’s not going to happen, so just work it out as you go along!


James’ favourites :

Restaurant – Le Relais De Venise

Website – AirBnB, what a great idea – the gateway to awesome travel worldwide

Hotel – The White Pearl, Ponta Mamoli, Mozambique

Campsite – Embers Bentley. Just awesome!

Shop – Selfridges

Holiday destination – The south of France in general, especially in the Var, near Cotignac and Entrecasteaux

Parenting tip –


Enjoy every precious minute!


Buy your Bundle Bed here and use thelondonmummy for a 10% discount!

Activities Family Life

12 Tips For a Smooth Transition into the School Holidays

Whether the holidays have started or about to commence, the transition is harder for us than the children. Whilst excitement may be running high before they break up, after a few lazy mornings and a bit of spontaneous fun, once the novelty wears off and the reality of it being like this for the next 6-8 weeks – we could all do with a bit of advice for a smooth transition.

Livvy Gormally is a Children’s Behaviour Expert and Parent Coach, mum of 3 and the founder of Let’s Ask Livvy.  She offers personalised and child specific advice, skills and support to enabling parents to cope with their everyday parenting challenges.  From tantrums to fussy eating, separation anxiety to anger management, Livvy has over 20 years experience as a behaviour specialist.


1. Going from term time to holiday time can be tricky- tired school weary kids are not as tolerant, may be quicker to get moody or squabble.  So bear this in mind when planning activities for the first few days.

2. Also be kind to yourselves-tired life weary parents are also not as tolerant, may be quicker to get moody or squabble. So bear this in mind too when planning activities for the first few days.

3. Be realistic with your expectations- if your kids find it hard to play together after school, then it is unrealistic to expect them to play harmoniously all day during the holidays. Different aged kids access toys, games and free time in different ways so try to plan activities which are appropriate to their ages, interests and abilities to keep things running smoothly.

4. During holiday times some parents say they feel a pressure to fill the days with adventure-but this is often not what their kids want or need- sometimes kids just need to chill- so enjoy the odd pyjama day, say no to some activities or play dates and make sure your kids have time to rest and regenerate- rested kids are happier kids.

5. Always be mindful of what makes your family tick- as a mum of 3, 2 of whom are like energiser bunnies, they find chilling very hard and actually relax more when they have had a burst of activity- finding the balance for your kids is key.


6. When the holidays start the kids don’t always realise that “holidays” don’t really exist for parents- the expectation to stop everything versus the pressure of mounting jobs can be huge on parents, we all try to be master jugglers but try to be realistic with your time, the jobs that can’t wait, what you can fit into the day and the expectations of the whole family.

7. For many of us, the holidays means freedom and lack of time pressures, but switching from term time routines to holiday routine can be a challenge. Knowing what makes your family tick is important, if your family works better with routine the holidays will work better with a bit more structure.  If your kids get “hangry” and need regular food to avoid mood swings, then your days will be easier if you keep to regular mealtimes.


8. Play to the strengths of your family- If your kids don’t function well when tired, accumulated late nights will have a negative effect on the whole family.  This is not to say you can’t enjoy cinema night, or some meals out on holiday, it just means you have to be prepared and know that a siesta or and early night might be needed the next day to get everyone back on track.

9. Holidays tend to be more relaxed but try to avoid shifting boundaries.  I recommend setting some clear holidays guidelines at the beginning of the holidays.  Guidelines are most effective when they reflect your core values- this way it shouldn’t matter where you are or what you are doing- the things that are important to you as a family travel with you.  For many of us extra treats, saying yes to things that would usually be a no, are what makes holidays fun- but they can also have a considerable impact on behaviour.  If your reason for saying no to ice-cream on a normal day is because too much ice-cream has a negative effect on behaviour- you are not being mean if you say no when on holiday.  Saying yes and veering too far from what makes your family tick may bring short term happiness, but remember the long game!

10. Whether it’s a trip abroad or a weekend with friends’ travel can be hugely stressful for parents and kids.  Again, keep an eye on your expectations.  If your kids argue on the school run it would be unrealistic to think that they can play happily in the car for hours on end or in the confined space of a plane.  Think about where they sit, if you have the room to space them out a little a few inches can make all the difference!  Try to be prepared, car games can be fun but often need adult involvement to keep them fun and fluid and often to mediate. If your kids are competitive remember that competitive games need more refereeing.  Think about the timings of travel and how this might impact the kids and remember that even the best laid travel plans can go wrong so be prepared with extra snacks and activities and use technology if that works for you.


11. If you want to limit screen time, limit it to the times when you need the kids to have it- such as the end of a journey when everyone is tired and bored, you’re a tiny bit lost, and you can’t face game number 200 of eye-spy.  Toddler Fun Learning has created a great app for younger kids, it has fun educational content and the bonus feature of a timer function that allows you to set how much screen time you want the kids to have.  The timer goes off, the app sings a goodbye song and screen time finishes- very handy for reducing the all too common “just one more minute” debates.


12. Rewards and praising the positives-don’t assume that holidays are fun for all kids.  Some children find it really challenging to occupy their time without direction or adult support.  Some kids need to learn how to play and occupy themselves.  So make sure to have realistic age appropriate expectations and to praise them when they are playing nicely or occupying their time positively.

13. Be careful of the “no/don’t” cycle.  Try to praise and give attention to the behaviours you want to see more of and think about how your praise is delivered.  For example – if rewarding nice playing- “well done for playing nicely” will encourage more positive behaviour change and delivers a more positive message than “well done for not fighting.”  Of “if you play nicely now you can watch a little TV later” delivers a more positive message and elicits more positive behaviour change than “if you don’t fight for 10 mins you can watch a little TV”.

Sounds simple enough – let’s see if we can remember this in the heat of the moment! Happy holidays all xx

To contact Livvy or to for more advice, check out her website Let’s Ask Livvy.

Activities Days Out Family Life

How To Have a Successful Family Picnic

This post is written in collaboration with John Lewis and contains affiliate links! 

Prepare to fail, fail to prepare. I have recited this motto since Common Entrance exams however as I get older and a bit more relaxed, it sometimes slips.  This was particularly true on Sunday when all the family went to watch Alex in a cricket match at Highclere Castle.  I was so focused on getting there on time, I completely failed to prepare anything substantial for the kids picnic. (Obviously I was alright as I knew the adults were catered for. Bad mum points!)



I was particularly shown up by the lovely Mopie who runs Spare My Time, who literally arrived with everything bar the kitchen sink. Sun cream, hand made sandwiches, snacks, fully charged iPad (ours doesn’t last longer than the car journey itself) to name a few. So I observed closely at her happy, hydrated, sated kids and made a few notes to what makes a successful family picnic.

  • Water. Lots of it. Sistema Twist n’ Sip bottles are great as they don’t leak. It is quite hard to find a proper non leaking water bottle, but these fit the bill and they come in three bright colours – blue, pink and green and two sizes. Why not put a bit of lemon and cucumber in the bottle, fill them with water and freeze them the night before!




  • Tupperware that holds the food together. In compartments. Nothing worse than sandwiches where the top half slides off! Sistema lunch tub is perfect. Wraps are always a winner with little ones, especially cream cheese and ham or chic spread and banana. Yummy. Anything chopped small works a treat too – mine are into dried apricots at the moment. I think they think they are sweets! If only they knew…

lunch tub


  • One thing that is imperative not to forget is your picnic rug. It has to be waterproof underneath and dark is always a good idea when kids are around. This simple navy one is a staple.


Picnic rug


  • One thing is a picnic blanket, the other thing is an outdoor rug if you really want to up the ante! I love this navy blue outdoor rug. Tres Chic.



  • This is brilliant. I haven’t seen it before but such a good idea as how do you eat if you have a glass in your fork hand! Party plates – on my hit list! Plastic wine glasses to go with them too… Try and make sticky food that doesn’t roll off the plate. Potato salad is much easier to eat than new potatoes and coronation chicken is easier than a chicken thigh as you can just use a fork. Chop your salad into bite size pieces too!


party plates



  • I am a huge fan of melamine. The kids use it at home. It looks good and doesn’t break if hurled across the kitchen. (Obv that never happens…)  Keeping with calming blue theme – I love this Eddingtons set of plates  and tumblers




  • I love something that can double up as something else and this is one of the best I have seen in a while. A Cooler Box that you can use as cricket stumps so all you need to remember is your bat and ball! Pack it with ice to keep everything cool and also great if someone gets a bump on the head. Don’t forget a tea towel!


cooler box


  • And how to transport it all? This Tote Cooler Bag is pretty stylish and will keep everything cool.

tote cooler bag


  • Obviously, the most frequently forgotten item is a bottle opener. You won’t forget this bright blue bird!



If you want to kit your family out for the summer and get organised so you arent running round like a headless chicken, head to John Lewis as it has all you need for picnics and barbecues. Jon’t forget the sun cream and the waterproof trousers. It is a British summer after all! xx

Activities Days Out

Things To Do With Kids in London This Half Term

With half term around the corner, its time to do a bit of planning with the kids. I don’t know about you but there is only so much park I can take, so some days out are much needed.  I know it can be exhausting taking kids across London, but if you plan well (download Citymapper – game changer), take an Uber back 🙂 and have a great destination – it can refresh everyone!  This list compiled by the team at Hoop should inspire you to  get out of your comfort zone and explore a new hood whilst also learning a thing or two.

1. The Amazing Bubble Man at Underbelly Festival Southbank

bubble man

The Amazing Bubble Man presents a combination of comedy, artistry and spellbinding
bubble tricks! Suitable for all ages and with shows daily from May 27th to June 4th, this is a perfect half term treat that parents will love as much as kids.

We also love the look of Ali Cook: Principles of Deception (May 27th), an offbeat comedy and magic show for ages 8+.

The Underbelly Festival will be running all summer with a great programme of family



2. Chocolate Truffle Making Workshop at The Chocolate Museum

Chocolate Making

One for mini-chocoaholics! Children will make their very own chocolate truffles to take home – from choosing, tempering and moulding the chocolate to painting and creating the packaging.

1st & 2nd June  for ages 4 to 16.


3. Hokusai: Making Waves at the British Museum

Making Waves

A perfect activity for arty kids, this free drop in workshop explores traditional Japanese crafts, colours and stories – add to a paper mural and make something to take home. Once you’ve finished, take a look around one of London’s favourite museums!

Suitable for ages 1+, running daily from May 29th to June 2nd.


4. Aliens Love Underpants – Tenth Anniversary Party at Greenwich Book Festival

Aliens Love Underpants
Celebrate ten years of popular children’s book Aliens Love Underpants with at an interactive event for ages 3+ with storyteller Liz Frost – and look out for monstrous guest appearances! .

Greenwich Book Festival on May 27th has lots of fab family-friendly events – we also love the idea of Making Awesome Comics with Neil Cameron, an imaginative workshop for ages 6-13.


5. Spin at the Polka Theatre

Polka Dot Theatre

Join word wizards at this interactive performance – there’ll be incredible rappers, poets and storytellers, each with their own distinct style to send you spiralling into a poetry revolution!

27th May, for ages 6+.


6. Dalston Flower Show for Kids at the Dalston Eastern Garden Curve

Dalton Flower Show

Perfect for budding gardeners! This is a flower show especially for children, packed full of plant-related activities and workshops. For ages 4+, from Saturday 27th May, at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden.


7. Zebra Skate Wheel Excitement Day at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington

Zebra Skate Wheel

Take your child from zero to roller hero with these rollerblading and skateboarding camps in Kensington Gardens. There’s something for all abilities with both beginners & advanced groups, and pads, helmets and skates are provided free of charge. Suitable for ages 5-13.


8. Little House of Science: Archimedes & Simple Machines, Imperial College also in
Shepherd’s Bush & St. John’s Wood

Little House of Science

A fun, hands-on science workshop for mini-scientists ages 4-10 who want to know more
about how the world works! This is a chance for curious kids to explore Archimedes’
inventions and the science behind them.


9. This Is Your Trial (PG) at the Bill Murray, N1

This Is Your Trial

An award-winning improvised comedy show in which top comedians play lawyers
prosecuting and defending charges set against audience members! Each show is shaped by
the audience. Kids also get to discover what a trial is & how law works, albeit by comedians and can put parents before the judge! Saturday 27th May at The Bill Murray in Islington,

Suitable for ages 6+.


10. Investigate for Families at the Natural History Museum

Investigate For Families

A chance to get an inside look at a favourite museum! Kids can have a go at being a
scientist in this hands-on exploration of real nature specimens that Museum scientists use in their work.

This free, drop-in activity is suitable for ages 3-11 and runs from 11am on
weekends and 3:40pm on weekdays.

If you’re looking for more half-term inspiration, find these and loads more fun family-friendly events and activities on Hoop. You can download it in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Have a happy half term! xx

If you stumbled across this post by chance or on social media, why not sign up to receive posts like these straight into your inbox!

TLM Edit