Spring 2015 Newsletter including recommendations for Easter Holiday activities

Dear London Mums,

Time does fly when children go to school… It feels yesterday that my boy started nursery and now he’s in year 4 and in no time he will start secondary school. These thoughts make me want to treasure every single moment I spend with him.

Despite the snow-less but cold Winter, Spring is now in the air and preparations for Easter are on their way – Judging from the Easter eggs on shop windows. In this newsletter your will find London Mums’ recommendations for Easter Holiday activities as well as new film releases.

My gift to you all is our latest Spring issue of the London Mums Magazine where you can read exclusive interviews with glam model and Mumpreneur CapriceAliens Love Underpants bestselling and award-winning duo Claire Freedman and Ben Cort,  Cbeebies star Justin Fletcher, Dr Pierre Dukan and Dr Miriam Stoppard.

London Mums Magazine Spring 2015 issue 14 collage

The magazine is free and there are various ways to read it: 1) You can download it on your computer as a pdf and read later; 2) Open it on your mobile device (smartphones or tablets would re-size it for your convenience);  3) pick up a paper copy from a local supermarkets; 4) Click on any magazine image or collage to download or read it online; 5) Check all previous issues from our magazine archive (since 2009).

Calling all lifestyle or parenting bloggers!

blogger recruitment

If you are either a lifestyle or parenting blogger and you love watching movies, please email me at monica@londonmums.org.uk as London Mums need you for a fantastic new blogging project. I cannot reveal more than that but rest assured fun and fame are guaranteed.

New kid in town

mandarin english childcare

We have talked about learning Chinese in schools in our article Should we introduce Chinese as a second language in school? Well,  in the coming months there will be the UK’s first bilingual Mandarin-English early years provision, Hatching Dragons which is opening up in the Barbican (Central London). Think it would be amazing if your child could be fluent in Chinese? We do too. And with Hatching Dragons they will. For more information, click on the pic!


Mother’s Day – It’s all about the Mummy!

mother´s day color LowResThe highlights for this Spring include the following features:

Message Board: DUE IN EARLY MARCH? Great opportunity and prizes for a London mum-to-be


Agony Aunt Aneliese on DIY Easter


Children’s picture books – Spring 2015 Overview


A day in Rome with Audrey Hepburn

Audrey & Hubert De Givenchy: Haute Couture Fashion is born out of a beautiful friendship


A mum’s story (part 3): Tuffel and the joys of motherhood


Is your baby coming up to weaning age? What you need to know!


Baby Names

Why Our Expectations of Child Sleep are Wrong












Spring Movies

New Disney Cinderella film and Frozen Fever short

Disney live-action Cinderella

Shaun the Sheep The Movie

Robot Overloards – How to support and encourage budding screenwriters

Future films heads up: HOT PURSUIT

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: The next biggest sitcom after Friends is now on Netflix

Film Review: X + Y



Ideas for Family Travel

Shaun the Sheep goes to France collage

Roadtrip to France

Consider Roma for a family trip – be inspired by this feature: A day in Rome with Audrey Hepburn

1953, audrey&gregory mouth of truth 4


Easter Holiday activities

A recent report by children research specialists Childwise (the Childwise’s 2015 Monitor Report) on children’s media use has revealed a surge in the number of tablet computers being used by youngsters and suggests that parents use time on technology devices as a way of rewarding or punishing their children. Quite rightly Dr Katerina Kantartzis, Lecturer in Psychology at Birmingham City University, advices parents to incorporate technology into the play options available to children rather than into an item placed on a pedestal. Using a tablet as a reward or threat will make it more desirable to children, which is loosely based on the principle of scarcity, proposed by Cialdini in 1984. The more scarce something is, the more we want it. Parents need to ensure that they have enough activities available for their children and that they are planning regular days out to stop their young ones from wanting to use technology constantly. If enough activities are being planned, we would surely find that the last thing children want to do is sit on a tablet for hours.

With this in mind, here are London Mums recommendations for Easter Holiday activities – a lot of them FREE of charge and outdoor – to do in and around London this Spring.

Spring Lamb

Go on, be ExpeRimental and get stuck into science! (Royal Institution)

ExpeRimental is a series of free on-line videos presented by real families, mine included, that provide parents of children aged 4-9 with a huge range of simple, fun and cheap science activities to do with their children in the kitchen, the bathroom, the garden or the park down the road. Check out the tips from a mum-scientist from the Royal Institution here: ExpeRimental and get stuck into science!

Where’s Wally? Charity Fun run (22 March 2015)

where's wally walk london
There’s still time to sign up for the National Literacy Trust’s Where’s Wally? themed fun run! Taking place on Sunday 22 March, places are still available for runners, book-lovers and families to dress up like a Wally and walk, jog or run either 5K or 10K to support literacy. As World Book Day saw thousands celebrate books and reading this month, it’s the perfect time to get involved and help the National Literacy Trust to spread the joy of reading with children across the UK. Back for the third year running, a crowd of red and white Wally’s will descend on East London’s Victoria Park, where the Where’s Wally? fun run promises to bring enjoyment for the whole family. The run is suitable for runners and walkers of all abilities aged eight and over and there’ll also be a range of games and activities available for younger children. The event will raise funds to improve literacy in deprived communities across the UK, while promoting the link between books and fun. Preliminary findings from the National Literacy Trust’s latest research show that one child in three from Greater London doesn’t enjoy reading. What’s more, just 53% of disadvantaged pupils in London enjoy reading – 10% less than those from more advantaged backgrounds, which is the widest gap in the UK. Registration for the run costs £25 and includes the costume, with all proceeds going to the National Literacy Trust.  For further information visit www.literacytrust.org.uk.


FREE LONDON: Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race – Saturday, 1st April 2015 – Putney-Mortlake

london mums boat racing
Cinderella Mania Celebrations

Disney Store is celebrating all things Cinderella this Spring following the release of the new live-action feature film on 27th March 2015. If you head to your local Disney Store with your Prince or Princess from 8th March to 18th April and take part in the FREE Cinderella design a shoe activity, which will see your little one using stickers and colour to bring their very own shoe to life. Plus, you can enter a competition to win an amazing Cinderella Blue Ball Gown, as well as shoes and accessories by revealing a time when your Princess has been courageous and kind. Be prepared to spend some money though as the stores will be filled with Cinderella merchandising including dressing up costumes, Live Action dolls, accessories and more.


Be the first to see the Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth

Trafalgar square london Gift Horse by German artist Hans Haacke collage

It’s free to visit and centrally located in Trafalgar Square.  The latest art commission on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square has gone up for all to see – this is German artist Hans Haacke’s ‘Gift Horse’.

Gift Horse, a skeletal bronze sculpture which displays a live feed from the London Stock Exchange, has been unveiled in Trafalgar Square. It replaces a giant blue cockerel which was on display for 18 months.

The horse sculpture is equipped with an electronic ticker of share prices, displayed on a bow around one of its front legs.

Gift Horse is the tenth piece of art to be placed on the Fourth Plinth, and we would like to know which one has been your favourite and hear your views on public art in London to help improve future programmes. You can leave your comments under this post.



National Gardening Week (13 to 19 April 2015)

Gardening Lab for Kids

Gardens all over Britain that normally charge for entry or are closed to the public will be opening their doors for free on Friday 17 April in a unified effort to engage more people with the UK’s great gardens. The aim of National Open Gardens Day is to raise awareness of the diversity, richness and cultural value of the UK’s gardens and encourage new segments of the public to experience and value them. The four RHS Gardens are leading the campaign with many RHS Partner Gardens, some National Gardens Scheme gardens and many more joining the campaign and opening on the day. It’s a great opportunity to take the kids to gardens and educate them about biodiversity and food security, and plant collections. National Gardening Week and National Open Gardens Day are supported by a collaboration with upcoming gardening-themed period drama A Little Chaos, which is directed by Alan Rickman and stars Kate Winslet as a 17th-century landscape gardener. Visitors to selected gardens on National Open Gardens Day will get a chance to win tickets to the film, which premieres on 13 April and opens in UK cinemas on 17 April 2015.



Sea Dragon sea life london London Mums magazine
This Easter, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium invites guests to explore an enchanting new themed zone, Sea Dragon Kingdom, to see the amazing new collection of mystical sea creatures hidden within. Visitors can spot dazzling Weedy Sea Dragons, the curious Alligator pipefish and colourful Yellow seahorses. Mini explorers can venture into the lost temple and peer through the tangle of roots and vines to watch the magical inhabitants within. In between seeing the mesmerising Sea Dragons and their leaf-like camouflage, guests can learn interesting facts about these mystical creatures. There’s also a whole aquarium to discover with thousands of sea creatures from rays to rare Green Sea Turtles, seven species of stunning shark in the Shark Reef Encounter display and a playful colony of Gentoo penguins in the chilly Ice Adventure area. Top booking tip: Choose a SEA LIFE London Aquarium VIP Family Ticket (two adults, two children) and make a saving of over £30!


‘Eggs’ellent Easter Activities With The Royal Parks Foundation in Hyde Park



Discovery Day: Flower Power (8 & 9 April 2015): 11am – 3pm – FREE and Suitable for the whole family!

Booking not necessary. Drop in any time between 11am and 3pm to embark on our nature trail, unearthing hidden plant facts. Come into the Discovery Rooms where you can colour, paint, make a pot and plant a seed to take home with you. Free activities include: Crafting a flower on a stick; Making a daisy bookmark; Spring blossom finger painting; Discovery Trail, uncovering quirky plant facts; Making a paper pot and planting a seed (for a suggested £1 donation).

Nature Explorers: Spring Hatchings (14 April 2015): 10am – 3pm – £15. Suitable for 8 to 11 year olds

Drop your 8 – 11 year old off at the Isis Education Centre for a fun filled (and educational!) day of outdoor games and activities this Easter. Drop off at 10am and collect at 3.00pm. Activities include: Exploring the wilder parts of Hyde Park, looking for spring hatchings; Discovering how birds make their nests and making one of your own; Listening out for the sounds of baby birds in their nests and spotting some ducklings on the lake; Tadpole dipping in our private pond with a chance to see a host of young creatures; Discovering more about the park’s youngsters on our nature trail.

royal parks hyde park river listening

Discovery Day: Animal Magic (15 & 16 April 2015): 11am – 3pm – FREE & Suitable for the whole family! Booking not necessary.

Drop in any time between 11am and 3pm to embark on our nature trail, discovering quirky facts about nature’s new spring babies. Come into the Discovery Rooms to examine our collection of birds’ nests and make a birds nest collage to take home with you. Free activities include: Pond dipping to find a tadpole (or two!); Painting and colouring pictures of spring babies; Looking at real bird’s nests in the Discovery Room; Making a birds nest collage; Following our Discovery Trail and uncover facts about nature’s new arrivals.

Walks in the Park: Hyde Park and Kensington GardensAll priced at £5.

Escape the stress of the city for an hour and a half, get some fresh air and join the expert Isis Education team as they share their knowledge of our wonderful Parks.
Bat walks – Use bat detectors to see and hear our native bats during this wonderful chance to walk in the parks at night.
Peter Pan –  Join us on this family friendly and interactive walk to discover how Peter Pan made his perilous journey across the Serpentine.

Visit Kensington Palace with the Kids

kensington palace

Mackintosh architecture FREE exhibition inspire kids’ own Lego bricks houses

Mackintosh architecture exhibition collage

Spring Recipes

British Heart Foundation60384 chocolate lovers sugar

Have you given up chocolate and sugar until Easter? If you have, you have done the right thing.

Read these articles on why sugar is not good for you and how you can live without it:

10 negative ways sugar affects your health

Why Our Addiction To Sugar Is All In The Mind

Now that I have made you feel guilty about eating sugar, I present you with lovely recipes which don’t require too much sugar but still taste amazing.

German Apple Pancake – ApfelpfannkuchenApfelpfannkuchen 4

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake waitrose recipe

Scones with Maple Syrup Icing

Ice Cream Sconewich

Alfred Prasad ’s hot mixed vegetables on toasted baps

Adam Byatt ’s Butternut squash, pear and gorgonzola flatbread tart


Spring Competitions


This Spring we have amazing freebies to give away. Take advantage of our generous donations and enter to win here https://londonmumsmagazine.com/category/competitions/ Giveaways include: 5 full bundles of all 10 World Book Day £1 books; 5 copies of James Patterson’s bestselling Funny series, I Totally Funniest; 10 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DVDs & 10 action figures, a £50 Brantano voucher to buy your favourite fashion items this Spring  and much more. New competitions are added to the website on a weekly basis so please check online regularly to enter.

Enjoy the Spring!



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