Check this page for our latest blog including news, seasonal tips and useful articles for families in Cheshire, Manchester, Liverpool, Wirral, Wrexham & Flintshire.
Kids love growing their own veg! If you are lucky enough to have some outside space, a balcony or even a window box, now would be the perfect time to let your children have a go at growing their own veg. After all you’ve got plenty of time and what better way to give your child something productive to do. And you may really appreciate some lovely fresh veg in a few weeks time.
Almost all kids enjoy getting dirty and growing veggies themselves. And once they have grown their own vegetables they are more likely to eat them and they’ll have learned a bit about where food comes from.
So, what do you need for your kids to grow vegetables? More
Children may be off school now because of the coronavirus but it’s not holiday time. While you probably want to cut them some slack in these stressful times, it’s important to keep them engaged with their education. It will stop them getting bored and make it easier when they eventually go back to school.
If you’re not a trained teacher how can you find the online resources to help your children keep learning? Luckily there are some great education websites available online which you an access today. All these education apps are free to use during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Probably the best known of all the educational resources available online, BBC Bitesize is as professional and easy to use as you’d expect. It’s based on the UK national curriculum and organised by age group and subject matter. You can access it on a pc or on apple or android so handy if your child want to dip in and out on their phone.
The Maths Factor
Created by Carol Vorderman there is usually a small monthly charge but it’s free to use while schools are closed for the coronavirus crisis. It’s aimed at children aged 4 – 12 years and follows the UK national curriculum. It uses daily sessions, fun games and achievable targets to motivate kids to learn maths.
The Khan Academy
Although it’s US-based, much of the science and maths material applies to the UK national curriculum. It’s a non-profit organisation which aims to give a top education free of charge to anyone in the world. The quality of videos and content is high and it’s best suited to older children.
Duolingo is a fun to use free website (though there are some ads) which offers courses in a number of languages including Spanish, French, German and Italian. It uses games and rewards to help you move through levels in a way which will appeal to gaming youngsters.
Quizlet is a very widely used revision tool which allows you to learn in an appealingly simple to way using virtual flashcards. You can create your own online flashcards or use some of the many already created sets on a huge range of topics. Your kids will be still be using Quizlet when this crisis is over and they are back at tests and exams.
So, the kids are at home and you’re all locked down. What are you going to do?
We can’t suggest events and places to go like we usually do, so instead we’ve pulled together these ideas for things to do at home to keep your kids entertained during the Coronavirus shutdown.
Stay at home Save lives
So why are the listings still online? Because:
- You may need to contact companies re. cancellations, transfers and refunds
- Some organisations are offering online services e.g. virtual Easter egg hunts or live streamed children’s classes
- One day things will return to normal and you may like to do research now for things your kids can look forward to doing in the future
For the latest advice on the coronavirus (COVID-19), please refer to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus and https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
Now that schools have been closed as a result of the coronavirus, children are going to be spending a lot more time at home wondering what to do. There is only so much time a child can spend reading books, watching videos and playing computer games. It’s not going to be very long at all before they come running to you complaining that they are bored.
Here are some ideas for activities to entertain the kids which cost nothing (or very little), need little advance preparation & don’t make too much mess. More
Mother’s Day this year is on Sunday 22nd March
Nothing says “I love you Mum” as much as a home made gift. Children will love making a Mother’s Day present as much as Mum (or Grandma) will enjoy receiving it.
So here are some simple Mother’s Day gift ideas for children to make at home. They are all cheap or free to make and mainly use things you already have around the house. Not only that but all these gift ideas can be adjusted to be made by toddlers or older kids.
6th – 15th March 2020
British Science Week is a country-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths with plenty of activities to inspire children and young people.
Download activities packs
Download activities packs designed to make it easy for parents and teachers to do fun experiments at home or in the classroom. There are activities specifically tailored for three different stages: early years, primary, and secondary.
Be a citizen scientist and look for spider monkeys!
To help save endangered animals it’s necessary to monitor and understand ecosystems across large areas. You can take part in a valuable experiment from your home or school looking at drone footage taken by Liverpool John Moores University to classify and tag images of spider monkeys in Central America.
Take part in the poster competition
This year’s theme is “Our diverse planet” and is supported this year by Guinness World Records. Why not design a poster based on a world record that celebrates “Our diverse planet”? Entries close on April 3rd.
Attend an event
There are a number of family-friendly science themed events taking place across the region including Rochdale Science Extravaganza, British Science Week at Chester Zoo and Mad Science at Portland Basin.
World Book Day this year is on Thursday 5th March
World Book Day is a charity dedicated to giving every child and young person a book of their own. On the first Thursday of March each year there is an international celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading.
In many schools, children are encouraged to go to school dressed as their favourite book character. If you’re panicking about providing an outfit, take a look at these ideas for easy world book day outfits. But World Book Day isn’t really about dressing up, it’s about encouraging children to read. Here are a few simple tips to get children reading and some reasons why you definitely need to take your child to the library.
There will also be special events held in libraries and other venues across the region to celebrate World Book Day including The Puffling Children’s trail at Biddulph Grange and World Book Day Weekends at Rufford Old Hall and Chirk Castle.
It can be a bit tricky to find family-friendly activities at February half term. The weather is usually not great and kids can get bored easily. But don’t worry there’s a lot more happening than you think. To help you get started, here are 15 events for children happening this February half term week.
Pancake Day 2020 is 25th February!
For Pancake Day this year, try these super easy, fluffy US-style pancakes for a change. The advantage of these American pancakes is that they are smaller than the usual, equally delicious European pancakes, so easier for small hands and tummies. Serve with maple syrup and blueberries, raspberries and icing sugar or any of your favourite toppings.
This recipe is so simple and quick that even fairly young children will be able to make these pancakes. Children love picking out their own toppings.
Wrap up warm and show your little ones the first sign of spring.
When the weather is cold you need something special to motivate you to get out for a family walk. There can be few sights as uplifting as a carpet of snowdrops in the middle of winter. They’re so pretty and remind you that spring is just round the corner. Best of all small children seem to love snowdrops! Maybe it’s because they can get down close to them and see their funny little green and white faces. So grab your hats and gloves, it’s time for a winter family walk in the fresh air! Maybe invite the grandparents too for a multi-generational day out!
Here in the North West of England and North Wales there are some beautiful places to see snowdrops. Look out for those offering special snowdrop walks.
So here are our suggestions for a family-friendly snowdrop walk near you.
If you have a young baby you’ll be amazed how many classes are available for you and your little one. Many new parents assume that classes are only for toddlers & upwards and wait till their baby is a year old or more before enquiring about classes. But there are a surprising range of classes available even for very young babies with many starting at about six weeks. Specially designed classes can help with a baby’s physical development, their communication skills and help with parent baby bonding. Plus it’s a great way for you to add some structure to your week and get out and meet other new parents. So don’t miss out on the opportunities and benefits that baby classes can bring. Take a look at these ideas for classes for babies from birth to one year.
Here is your family friendly guide to where and when you can enjoy the Chinese New Year Celebrations with children including parades, dragon dances, Chinese street food and children’s Chinese craft workshops this January 2020 in Manchester, Liverpool, Wirral and Chester.
“I’m bored! What can we do?”
When the weather is bad and you don’t have the money for expensive days out, what can you do to keep kids busy indoors?
Sometimes you need easy ideas for fun things for children to do without any cost, preparation or mess.
Here are some free activities kids can do at home on a rainy day which don’t take hours of planning or clearing up.
25th – 27th January 2020
Join thousands of others and pick an hour over the weekend to discover the wildlife in your garden. It only takes an hour and is suitable for children and adults of all abilities. This is a great way to spend some quiet quality time with your children on what can otherwise be a dull January weekend. If your kids like animals, this is an ideal way to nurture their connection with the natural world on their doorstep.
So how can you get your children to participate in the Big Garden Birdwatch at home, at school or at an organised event near you? More
Did you know that if you use Royal Mail to write to Santa, he’ll try to write back?
Get your Letter to Santa in the post with Royal Mail’s new Christmas stamps by 6th December 2019 and he’ll do his best to reply to you:
Send your letters to:
If you’d like your reply in Welsh, send it to:
Ogof Sion Corn,
Gwlad Y Ceirw,
Make sure you attach a stamp and don’t forget to include your name and address!
If you liked this article, take a look at our other blog posts
If you’re looking for the perfect pre-Christmas treat then a family concert with a live orchestra is just the thing. It’s the perfect antidote to all the rushing around and commercialism of December. What better way to get you in the festive mood than an orchestra playing live to The Snowman or a singalong of carols and family favourites. Here’s our round up of Christmas concerts for families in Manchester, Liverpool and Cheshire.
An incredible star studded line-up of famous faces have joined forces to support the Get Together campaign including Rylan Clark-Neal, Tess Daly, Fleur East, Marvin Humes, Rochelle Humes, Danny Jones, Ashley Roberts and Laura Whitmore. The celebrities are asking the nation to Get Together and fundraise to help make a positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged children and young people throughout the UK. From rambles to three-legged races, knit-a-thons to quizzes and once in a lifetime challenges to bake sales, everyone can Get Together to raise money for BBC Children in Need’s 2019 Appeal. More
Bonfire night is over again for another year.
Check back here next November for public bonfires and firework displays in Manchester, Cheshire, Liverpool, Wirral, Flintshire & Wrexham. Your complete guide to where to see fireworks displays in North West England and North East Wales including toddler-friendly fireworks, free fireworks displays, fireworks over the River Mersey, fireworks with funfairs, kids’ discos and children’s entertainment as well as charity displays and bonfires.
Do you need a pumpkin ready for Halloween? Then why not pick your own? There are a few farms in the region that offer PYO pumpkins. It’s much more fun than going to the supermarket and will make a great family memory. Your child will love picking their own pumpkin! Plus it gets everyone outdoors for a bit of fresh air.
Here’s where you can pick up a pumpkin this Autumn half term …
So it’s October and that means Autumn and one of the best ways to celebrate the harvest season is at an organised apple day. There are quite a few apple events these days and you can go along and enjoy apple tasting, maybe see an apple press being used and take home some lovely crisp fresh apple juice.
But if you’re taking the kids along, it’s even better if there are some children’s activities happening too. So we’ve picked out some of the best apple days for families which feature children’s entertainment and crafts. What a great way to encourage your child to eat one of their five a day!
Visiting your local library can be one of the best things you ever do for your child. Inspiring a love of reading library books gives children a free source of entertainment and stimulation for their minds which will last a lifetime. Using the local library also adds to a sense of community and helps them to feel part of the world around them. Kids who read regularly are said to do better at school and have a wider vocabulary than those who don’t. So why not make a regular habit of taking your child to the library?
Look at all these benefits children get from visiting the local library …
13th – 22nd September 2019
What are Heritage Open Days and are they good for families?
Heritage Open Days is a scheme to celebrate England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. From castles to city halls, tunnels to tower tops, police cells to private homes, workshops to woodland walks, the variety of places and ways to discover them are endless. Many are holding children’s activities so these are a great way to get a family day out completely free!
There are dozens of Heritage Open Days offering free entry and activities across Manchester, Cheshire, Liverpool and Wirral. Here are some of the highlights … More
It’s the beginning of a whole new school year and a chance for your child to try out a new activity. Maybe they’d like to learn how to be part of a team? Do they need a confidence boost? Would they relish being stretched with a new challenge? Would they like to make new friends? There are lots of reasons why clubs and classes can be good for your child but are you struggling to find the right thing?
Here are fifty ideas to get you inspired …
Are your kids delighted to be back at school? Hopefully they’re enjoying seeing their friends again and getting back into the school routine. To get them in the mood for the new term, we’ve put together a list of back to school jokes.
Get ready for a chuckle, or a groan, with these silly jokes about school.
Heading off to school for the first time is a huge milestone for your child and for you as a parent. You’ll both be feeling excited and apprehensive and there are a lot of practical things to deal with as well. So it’s important to put in a bit of preparation for the first day of term. This will help make your child’s first day at “big school” as enjoyable as possible.
Here are a few tips for the big day to give your child the confidence and skills they need before starting school.
Make the most of what’s left of summer with a family day out this long August Bank Holiday weekend
The summer holidays are drawing to a close so make the most of the last few summer days by taking the children for a day out. Luckily there are some great family friendly events lined up and the theme this long weekend seems to be traditional family fun.
For a weekend of traditional games and family entertainment, take your children to Tatton Park’s Traditional Country Weekend and let them have a go at egg & spoon races, tug-of-war and much more. Travel even further back in time to the medieval atmosphere of Warrior Weekend at a real castle in Cheshire. And if that gives you the taste for castles check out our guide to the 7 best castles within easy reach for a family visit.
There’s more traditional family fun in Wales at the Cilcain Show including Punch & Judy and a fancy dress parade. If you’re in Manchester, head down to the Flixton Festival for a range of family friendly activities, stalls and live music. Finally, for the chance to raise money for a great cause, take the kids to Wirral for the Hoylake Lifeboat Day – it’s free!
It’s got to that point in the holidays when we’re all running out of inspiration and money. Everything the kids want to do seems designed to empty your bank account and while the occasional treat or big day out is fun, you also need some free ways to keep the children entertained too. But it’s not always easy to think of what to do in the school holidays which doesn’t cost a fortune. So to help we’ve pulled together a few ideas for things to do on sunny days and wet days too.
Here are ten suggestions for free things to do this summer … More
Kids really need to burn off energy if they’re not going to get bored. But it’s a struggle to get kids physically active when all they want to do is stare at their screens. Especially if it’s wet outside.
While there are lots of sports clubs holding short holiday courses, what if you just want an afternoon out doing something lively and different? Here are some ideas for places to get your children active, try something new but stay indoors! More
Kids Love Castles!
Where better to take the family than to one of our impressive local castles in and around Cheshire, North Wales, Manchester & Liverpool?
Pretend to be a knight or a princess or an invading army! Dress up as a guard, defend the castle from a dragon, or just explore castle ruins.
Castles are a feast for the imagination. And if the kids learn a bit of history on the way, it’s even better! More
The summer holidays are all about getting outdoors and having fun.
So here are eight fun games children can play in the the park or garden to get them running around. All these games are suitable for a range of ages and fun enough to keep your kids active and away from their screens. More
It can feel as though the school summer holidays last forever! So it’s worth taking half an hour to do some research so you can make the most of the summer break with your children. But it can be hard to know where to begin. We’ve got lots of information about childcare, children’s holiday courses, places to go and family friendly events here on Kidsguide. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together this school holiday planner page containing links to all the info you’ll find most useful.
Here’s your shortcut to planning for the summer holiday … More
School holidays can be an expensive time for parents especially if you’re keen on getting your children outdoors and doing something active. Why is it that everywhere your children want to go costs money?
There are lots of family-friendly places to go in Cheshire, Manchester, Liverpool & Wirral, and Wrexham & Flintshire and many of them are free or low cost. But sometimes you just want to do something simple, outdoors, without having to go too far or spend too much money.
So here are fifteen suggestions for simple outdoor fun activities your kids can do today which require no expense, no particular preparation and no special equipment … More
Who’s looking forward to having bored kids this summer holiday?
No, me neither.
There are literally 1000s of things to do and places to go across the region. So why does it feel so hard to think of something every single morning of the holidays?
The trick is to plan ahead. More
One of the best things about the school holidays is the freedom from the usual hectic routine. Deliciously slow starts in the morning and not having to rush off to swimming lessons or sports matches straight from school. But the idea of finding fun stuff to do for six or seven weeks can be a bit daunting. If you have to go out to work it’s even more of a challenge.
This is where school holiday clubs and summer camps really come into their own. Here are seven good reasons why booking a club is a good idea. More
It doesn’t have to be expensive to hold a kids’ party. We’ve got some top tips for holding a great child’s party without spending a fortune.
Children’s parties can quickly turn into a game of parental one-upmanship. It’s easy to get carried away with the idea that you have to hold a big, expensive party just because other families at school are doing it. Kids want to fit in and you don’t want to let them down, but there are lots of ways to give your child an enjoyable and memorable party without blowing your budget. Remember, most other parents feel the same way, and will really appreciate you setting the example by holding a children’s party at a reasonable cost.
The trick is to keep it simple, restrict numbers and follow these practical tips.
Have you decided where to take Dad for his special day on 16th June?
If you Google Father’s day events, you’ll find they are nearly all for meals out or sporting events which might not be suitable for the kids. So here are some great ideas for special events taking place this Father’s Day which are suitable for all the family.
If Dad is the active type, he can have a go at archery, learn some bushcraft skills or try his hand at fencing. If he is interested in history, he can celebrate 100 years since the first ever non-stop transatlantic flight or watch the re-enactment of a medieval battle. And if he loves a great view, why not let him climb a lighthouse in Wirral or enjoy some beer tasting while enjoying spectacular views across Cheshire? More
On Friday 7th June, BookTrust are teaming up with some of the nation’s most loved children’s characters – Matilda, Horrid Henry, Ben and Holly, and Tracy Beaker – to get you wearing pyjamas for a day and raise money to give every child a bedtime story.
Whether you’re a family at home, a childminder, a school class, nursery or office, there’s a downloadable pack containing all you need for a “fun”draising day in PJs. More
There’s something for all ages and interests this May half term
Wondering what to do with the kids this May half term? We’ve picked some of the best family friendly events and there’s something to please everyone.
Celebrate Liverpool’s nautical heritage at the River Festival which has a weekend of family friendly fun on offer. The Amazed by Science festival is holding events all across Cheshire, including at the world-famous Jodrell Bank, perfect for budding scientists. Get your kids active outdoors with the Forest Holiday Playscheme in South Manchester. Take your little Knights and Princesses for medieval themed fun at Chirk Castle. Or go even further back in time at Chester Racecourse’s Roman Day.
The best family friendly events this end of May Bank Holiday weekend.
Another long bank holiday weekend! We’ve really been spoiled for long weekends lately – we’re not complaining!
Have you run out of ideas for things to do with the kids? Maybe you’re looking for a day out the whole family will enjoy including the grandparents?
Luckily, there are some great family friendly events taking place this late May bank holiday weekend. Here’s our pick:
Are you bored of making cheese sandwiches but know in your heart that you’re never going to be the sort of parent who gets up at 5am to make teddy bear shaped felafel?
If you’re bored of the packed lunches you’re making then your child probably is too. Does the lunch box always come back with the same sad-looking apple and a few crusts? It’s time you mixed things up a bit, life will be more interesting for everyone and your child might even get a more balanced diet too.
But don’t worry, this needn’t take tons of time and effort. Here are a few useful tips to make packed lunches a bit more varied without taking any more time to prepare.
6 of the best family friendly events this early May Bank Holiday weekend.
Hooray for the early May long bank holiday weekend, and there’s lots happening for families across the North West!
From traditional May Day events in Knutsford and Holywell to Tudor fun in Speke, steam engines in Bolton, climbing a giant tree in Cheshire and daft fun on stage in Crewe, there’s something for everyone.
If you’ve been wondering what’s on this bank holiday weekend in the North West, here are six of the best family-friendly events to enjoy with your children.
Easter is a time when families get together to enjoy the long weekend and probably eat far too much chocolate!
But you can’t eat chocolate all weekend (really!) so here are some lovely family activities you can do to make some special Easter memories with your children. You never know, you might all enjoy them so much that they turn into family traditions you’ll want to repeat year after year.
Sadly, the Easter trails and egg hunts are finished now for this year, but you can still find plenty of ways to entertain your children just click on your area …
Mother’s Day this year is on 31st March 2019
Looking for a Mother’s Day treat you can enjoy with younger children? If you google Mothers’ Day treats you get lots of choices for spa days and high tea but very little you can do with a young family. Luckily, we’ve found some great family friendly places offering free entry for mothers this Mother’s Day.
Mums deserve a treat this Mother’s Day. But free Mother’s Day treats are even better! So, if you are looking for a cheap family day out in the North West this Mother’s Day, take a look at our suggestions … More
Spring is here so it’s the perfect time to let your child get their hands dirty and start growing their own food.
Basic pancake recipe
110g (4 oz) plain flour sifted
2 medium eggs
280 mls (1/2 pint) milk
splash of vegetable oil
Whisk together ingredients till smooth. Pour one ladle-ful into a hot non-stick frying pan. Cook till golden both sides.
7 best quick pancake toppings kids will love:
So it’s World Book Day this week and the chances are that your child will be dressing up as their favourite book character. How can you build on their excitement and keep your child enthusiastic to carry on reading after their World Book Day costume has been packed away?
Here are a few simple tips to encourage children to read at home … More
These pancakes are really tasty but just happen to also be healthy plus gluten and dairy free! Perfect if you have a child who can’t have wheat or lactose but doesn’t want to miss out on pancake day! These simple pancakes are suitable for vegans as well. And they’re so yummy that everyone else in the family will love them too.
The recipe is very easy and takes about 10 mins. They keep very well in the fridge so you could make these pancakes the day before for a quick & healthy breakfast.
World Book Day this year is on 5th March 2020
We all know that World Book Day is a wonderful thing. It encourages children to read by firing up their imaginations, they have fun dressing up as their favourite fictional character and they even get a World Book Day token to spend on a book.
So it’s sad that World Book Day strikes fear into the hearts of many parents because they feel have to make the best costume!
World Book Day isn’t a parenting, sewing or dressing up competition, it’s about inspiring kids to read. So wave goodbye to your guilt and competitive streak. Don’t spend money on outfits, spend it on books!
If you are brilliant at making costumes then that’s wonderful, but if you are a World Book Day cheat who can’t sew and doesn’t want to spend a fortune, here are some very easy ideas for children’s book character costumes you can put together at home (even last minute!) using clothes and items you already have.
Kids love pressing buttons, making lights flash and discovering something new. So we are very lucky that our region has some of the best interactive science centres open to families.
Whether your child already has a passion for science or just needs to go somewhere stimulating on a dull day, all of these child-friendly science exhibits provide a great family day out.
Here’s our guide to family friendly walks and places to go outdoors in the winter
Does the long school holiday seem to be getting more and more expensive? Don’t worry, we’ve got some great ideas for things your kids can do which won’t cost you money.
With this glorious weather where better to take the children than these nearby fabulous family-friendly beaches?
Summer is here so it’s time to dig out that bucket and spade, stock up on sunscreen and cool drinks and head to the beach. Beaches make the perfect family day out with opportunities for building sandcastles, swimming, playing beach games or simply sun bathing.
Here in the North West of England and North Wales we are blessed with some of the best beaches in the country. We have beaches with nature reserves and sand dunes, traditional seaside beaches with piers, amusement arcades and fish and chips shops, beaches with lighthouses and rockpools and even a beach with a world famous art installation. Whatever your taste there’s a beach to suit your family within easy reach.
So here are our suggestions for the best beaches for families with children near Liverpool, Manchester, Wirral, Cheshire, Wrexham and Flintshire.
Ideas for things to do with grandparents, parents and children of all ages
So you’re hoping to have a family day out which will keep grandparents happy and will be fun for children too! You need ideas for activities will work for all generations. Happily, we’ve pulled together some great suggestions for things to do that will keep all the family happy! Plus some tips for things to consider when planning a day out for family members of different ages.
Top tips for a successful multi-generational day out.
- Make sure there’s something to interest everyone.
Your child may love a theme park but will your elderly parents feel the same way? Why not look for an historical house and garden which has plenty of interest for adults but also has a play area and a schedule of family friendly activities.
- Focus on food.
Toddlers can’t go too long without eating, teenagers get grumpy when they are hungry and grandma loves a cup of tea. So check your destination has a cafe or remember to take food with you.
- Take your time.
One thing toddlers and their grandparents have in common is that they generally don’t like to be rushed. So don’t try to cram too much in. Just slow down and let everyone enjoy the moment.
- Avoid too much walking.
If you have very young children or anyone with mobility issues think about how much walking will be involved and plan accordingly.
- Keep an eye out for family friendly events.
Don’t just look at permanent attractions. Scour what’s on listings for family friendly events near you (see links at the bottom of this page). Events for families are usually geared up to have something to engage everyone.
Here are some great suggestions for family activities all generations will enjoy
Things Dad and the kids will enjoy doing this Father’s Day
It’s Father’s Day on Sunday 17th June. You may have started thinking about Father’s Day presents but have you decided what you’re going to do together as a family to celebrate? What would Dad enjoy doing which the kids will find fun too? Something that will create lovely memories and not a family argument! The trick is to come up with something centred on dad’s interests but which will keep children entertained too.
Here are some suggestions for family friendly activities to make Dad’s Day special.
How to plan a kids’ party which will appeal to both boys and girls
So you’ve got a children’s party to organise and there are going to be girls and boys coming. What kids’ party theme will work well for mixed genders? You could go down the dual theme route such as knights and princesses, but the chances are that one half of the theme won’t work as well as the other – it’s a lot harder to dress up as a knight than a princess! You need to find a kids’ party theme which is truly gender neutral and will appeal to everyone equally.
Gender neutral fancy dress ideas
If you’re planning a mixed gender fancy dress party, the theme should provide lots of options for both boys and girls to dress up as simply or as fancily as the children (or more probably their parents) wish. So it’s a good idea to pick a party theme which has a broad scope. That’s why World Book Day is so popular, it gives the opportunity for all sorts of different outfits to suit every child’s taste. Not all kids like dressing up so choose a theme which allows minimal dressing up for children who prefer normal clothes.
Budget friendly mixed gender parties
Unless you have a very healthy bank balance, you will probably want to keep costs down. (Take a look at our tips for holding a children’s party on a budget.) You can save money by making home made decorations and fancy dress outfits but then you’ll need to consider how practical your planned party theme really is. A Star Wars party would be cool and there is lots of themed party ware available online so that would be an easy option. But how much it will all cost? Making a homemade death star or stormtrooper outfit might be beyond your creative talents. And consider what you are asking of the other parents. A space-themed party could be great but no one is going to thank you if they have to fork out for a full astronaut outfit for their six year old!
Professional party entertainers offering parties for both girls and boys
There are lots of good quality professional party entertainers creating great parties to suit both genders. Most of the better general party entertainment companies will offer a wide range of bespoke themes and can use their expertise to advise what will work best for your age group and gender balance. Active parties are good. Play centres are popular and offer good value deals while some of the out-of-school sports clubs offer activity parties with age appropriate games and competitions. Older kids might enjoy going to a climbing wall, high ropes course, trampolining or sports venue. Most kids will love a dinosaur themed party or even a real animal encounter party where they’ll have fun and learn something too! Science parties for kids always go with a bang! A craft party can appeal to boys as well as girls especially if it involves something messy like clay or slime! If you’d prefer to provide your own entertainment you might still consider hiring a bouncy castle which will keep kids happily occupied for hours.
To find local contact details for a wide range of party entertainment and hire companies, see the links at the bottom of this page.
Here are our suggestions for the top six gender neutral party themes for a kids’ party at home
There’s something for all ages and interests this May half term
Wondering what to do with the kids this May half term? We’ve picked six of the best family friendly events and there’s something to please everyone.
The Amazed by Science festival has events all across Cheshire, including at the world-famous Jodrell Bank, perfect for scientists of all ages. Turn your little ones into nature lovers by taking them to see the ducklings at Martin Mere. For something a bit grander, check out the Tall Ships Festival in Liverpool which has lots of family friendly fun on offer. There’s a choice of medieval fun with “Joust, Tournament & Mellee” at Beeston Castle and the “Knights and Princesses Weekend” at Chirk Castle. And finally, families with very young children can take their teddies “down to the woods today” at Dunham Massey’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
Our suggestions for things to do with children this February half term include Chinese New Year Celebrations in Manchester, Liverpool & Chester, excuses to put on your wellyboots in Lancashire, Cheshire and Liverpool; family snowdrop walks in Wirral, Cheshire and North Wales, lovely warm indoor craft centres all across the region plus a few inspirational ideas for something completely different to do with the kids at half term.
So, if you’re wondering what to do this February holiday, take a look at our pick of some of the best ideas to get outdoors with the children or try a new family-friendly activity indoors if it’s cold and wet (as if it would be!) …
Cooking is an important life skill so it’s important to get children excited about trying cooking for themselves. Luckily most kids love food and adore getting sticky so you’re already off to a great start. Plus, kids’ cookery is something you can do with children at home without too much expense or preparation and can be a great way to use up a rainy afternoon.
Learning to cook is not only enjoyable but if your children develop the skills and enthusiasm to cook for themselves from scratch then they’ll be on track to a healthy and cheaper life as they grow up.
Here is Kidsguide’s top ten tips for making cooking fun for kids: More
Did you know that when you research “planning a children’s party” online one of the initial responses is a 37 point checklist? Follow that with hundreds of “tip” pages, themed Pinterest boards, ads, even apps!
Have you got time to plan a kids’ party in that detail? No? Thought not! Let’s stop fuelling the madness, take a deep breath and focus on a shinier, sharper top 5 ultimate party planner to do list:
The Pokemon Go craze is sweeping the world. If you children haven’t played it yet, they soon will.
This article tells you what exactly Pokemon Go is and gives useful advice on the risks to your children and how you can help them enjoy playing Pokemon Go safely.
Karen Gee from Cycle Sprog shares a few of the best places in the North West to get pedalling with the kids:
Local parks – even the smallest parks usually have space for cycling. Bigger ones, such as Everton Park, have dedicated cycle routes running through them.
Old railway lines – flat and straight, disused railways are a great place for young riders to gain confidence and pick up speed. Kids will love the Chester Greenway, Wirral Way or the Fallowfield loop.
Forests – great places for all year round cycling, forests such as Delamere in Cheshire provide welcome shade on hot days.
It’s exciting to have some special treats for a kids’ party but it’s even better if they are easy and fun to make so your child can be involved too.
Here are five fun ideas for kids’ party snacks that are easy enough for small children to help prepare:
Chocolate sprinkle bread sticks
Half-dip mini breadsticks in melted chocolate then decorate with a selection of sprinkles. Tip – stand them in a mug to dry.
Mini pizza biscuits
Place round cheesy biscuits on a baking tray. Spread a very little tomato puree on each biscuit, then sprinkle with grated cheese and a little dried herbs. Heat in the oven till the cheese has started to melt – only takes a few minutes so watch carefully!
Marshmallow funny faces
Use a food colouring pen to draw silly faces on multi-coloured marshmallows. Keep the designs simple – use emoticons for inspiration!
April Fool’s Day tricks for children.
Hide a strip of bubblewrap between the toilet seat & the bowl so when your victim sits down it goes pop!
Carry an empty mug really carefully with both hands as if it’s over-full. When you get close to your victim pretend to trip so they think they are about to be soaked.
Dissolve some More
The Canal & River Trust have put together some useful tips on how to be duck-friendly!
You can find out about duck-friendly foods, find out six things you didn’t know you could feed ducks, discover how to make use of your leftover loaf and even download a free duck activity guide. More
19 practical tips to encourage young and older kids to love reading and to love books.
Even very young babies love playing with books, being cuddled and having stories read to them.
Keep it fun
Don’t be embarrassed to act out the story or use silly voices and actions. Stop before your child gets bored.
Engage your child with the story
Let them finish the lines, turn the pages, ask and answer questions.
Set an example
Make time to read yourself. Let your child see that you read whether it’s books, newspapers or magazines. More
The new term is starting so now is a great time to think about enrolling your child in a new club. But why bother, they already do lots at school don’t they? Or maybe your child is still very little and you don’t see the point. In fact, a well-run after school club or pre-school class can really enrich your child’s life in many ways.
For a start it’s not school or home. The atmosphere and culture will be different. Being introduced to another way of doing things will help them develop flexibility and cope with new situations later in life. More
A picnic can be a great way to entertain the children cheaply, and get some fresh air at the same time. It all sounds easy enough but if you don’t do a little basic planning, it can all go horribly wrong – no one wants burnt noses, insect bites or cold, wet toddlers. To make sure your family picnic is one for the scrapbook rather than the scrapheap, we’ve put together a quick checklist.
1. Check the weather forecast – don’t be put off if the weather isn’t perfect, just make sure you have the right clothes/umbrella/windbreak.
2. Choose somewhere with built-in entertainment – a sandy beach, a stream to throw pebbles in or a nearby playground would all do nicely.
3. Take sunscreen. Put some on before you go and take more with you for topping up. Don’t forget the sunhat!
Talking to your child about how to stay safe from sexual abuse can be difficult. More
Thinking of a present to give Dad on Father’s Day can be a challenge!
Here are 10 ideas for simple gifts children can make for Dad on Father’s Day. They hardly cost anything and Dad will appreciate them much more than something bought in a shop. More
We’ve all seen those magazine-perfect photos of tables laden with hand-piped cupcakes and vegetables carved into crocodiles. And it’s always presented on expensive themed party ware, of course. Well, don’t even think about it! What your child needs is a calm, relaxed parent who hasn’t worn themselves out before the party even starts.
So, here are a few tips for keeping it simple. Your child will thank you (not literally of course!). More
“Let’s get out of the house and go for a walk kids!”
“NO! We want to stay inside.”
Does this sound familiar? Well, there’s one surefire way to get unenthusiastic children out for a walk. Try geocaching with the family. More
What should the children get for Granny and Grandad this Christmas? Most grandparents don’t want any more possessions. And let’s face it, Christmas is expensive enough. The perfect answer is a home crafted present which Nanna and Grandpa will treasure for ever. More
Meet other parents and carers, develop your child’s social skills and 7 more reasons to give your local toddler group a go!
1. Getting out of the house
Being at home on your own with More
The long days of summer are a fantastic opportunity to get out and enjoy a bike ride with the kids. Whether you’ve been inspired by Le Tour de France, or fancy something a bit more leisurely, the whole family can enjoy cycling together.
You’re never too young to go on a family bike ride!
If your children are too young to pedal themselves they don’t need to be left out of a family bike ride. Trailers, bike seats and More
These party games always go down well with kids and take little preparation and almost no mess. As each game has an animal name they work equally well for boys’ parties or girls’ parties or parties with boys and girls! And, if it’s an animal themed party, it’s perfect! More