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London is probably the best city in the world in terms of activities for families and children including lots of free activities and events. We list here lots of initiatives that we believe London Mums and their children from babies to teenagers would enjoy especially at the most entertaining places such as the Science Museum, The V&A, Kew Gardens, Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Greenwich, West End shows, the London Eye, the London Aquarium, Kingston upon Thames, Chelsea, SouthBank and so much more.

Storytelling and music for 0-4s: explore and learn at the Royal Albert Hall

Being a mum in London, I’ve found I’m on a constant search for events, and spoilt for choice most days, with activities happening in local libraries, churches and children’s centres. But as a new mum with a rapidly growing son, I find we’re both up for something a bit different, and I love finding those regular events that take something interactive and leave us both feeling we’ve achieved something before our day has even started! That’s why I’m delighted to be involved in the Royal Albert Hall’s new Storytelling and Music sessions for 0-4 year olds.

Storytelling & Music Sessions for 0-4-year-olds at the Royal Albert Hall

Working with the Archives team and our storytellers to devise these sessions has been so exciting and inspiring! I knew I wanted to keep the costs down (particularly as the rising price of quality events for children means it’s hard to do them every week), so it is just £4 per child, with accompanying adults going free, and subsidised tickets available. After all the planning, I could hardly wait for the first one. And not wanting to recommend something without trying it for myself, I thought I’d go along with Maxwell, and report back for London Mums.

When we arrived at Door 12, we had a few minutes to check around the café, now enhanced with kids’ menus and highchairs. We were met along with a few other parents and buggies, and guided to the Door 9 Porch, passing the toilets and baby changing facilities. There was a space for parking our buggies, and the stewards welcomed us and wrote out a name sticker, so Maxwell was already wowed! In the outer sun-trapped porch, with huge grand windows built into the beautiful masonry, we said hello to storyteller Olivia, who was incredibly warm and enthusiastic and got everyone settled in as we relaxed onto scattered cushions around the floor. Starting promptly but encouraging latecomers to join in, we got under way hearing stories, playing instruments and singing songs, meeting wonderful puppets like Prince Albert, a blackbird, a spider and a horse as we explored the Hall’s diverse history.

Storytelling & Music Sessions for 0-4-year-olds at the Royal Albert Hall

We learnt about the transportation of the roof from Manchester to London, as Olivia brilliantly engaged the parents and carers with their children, through lovely interaction. The sessions will vary each week, which is great as we’ll meet some fabulous characters and learn some fascinating musical stories. Many will be based around shows taking place at the Hall at the same time, including marching music (the Mountbatten Festival of Music), the history of the blues (Eric Clapton) and surf and summer music (The Beach Boys). Others will be devoted to space, jazz and poetry, taking in everything from weightless dancing to tongue-twisters.

Speaking to another mum afterwards in the café, she was happy and surprised that both her children, aged one-and-a-half and three, were focused on and interacted with throughout the session. Maxwell and I left still singing the songs, he even learnt about spotting and pointing at roofs (of everything!) and has tackled the master-finger-movement of Incy Wincy Spider, which I still can’t do. In this 35 minute session I was really impressed with just how well co-ordination, self-confidence and awareness was easily developed in all the children (and adults!) through a very clever mix of history, music and stories. And being in this iconic building just topped it off!

 

Storytelling and Music Sessions for 0-4 year olds

Running until Wednesday 15 July 2015

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Tickets: £4 from here / 020 7589 8212

Every child requires a ticket and must be accompanied by a participating adult. Accompanying adults do not require a ticket. A limited number of subsidised £1 tickets are available (subject to availability) for hard to reach families including those eligible for free school meals, social housing, housing benefit, and looked-after children. These tickets can now be booked directly over the phone or in person to people who quote this offer.

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