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July 25th 2014
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KIDS CORNER: FUN THINGS FOR THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS

We round up the best things to do during the school holidays…

School’s out! With the holidays underway, our thoughts turn to how to keep the kids entertained now that school has finished for summer. This week we’ve had a kids take over on the blog, and we saw how four mummy bloggers used our chalkboard paint in a creative way. But what about when you fancy taking the little ones out for the day? We round up our top things to see and do during the school break…

 

London Zoo

 

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(c) timeout.com

 

Immerse yourself in the world of wildlife with over 720 different species of animals at London Zoo! A great day out for the kids, there’s plenty to see and do that will keep all the family entertained for the day. The zoo is divided into many different sections so is easy to navigate. Visit the Gorillas in Gorilla Kingdom, or watch the Penguins get fed at the Penguin Beach! Even babies are welcome at the zoo, making it a worthwhile trip no matter the age. The nearest station is Camden Town, with London Zoo being a leisurely 15 minute walk away.  If you’re planning a trip, we recommend the Little Creature Family Festival between 29 – 31 August, with a weekend dedicated to Winnie the bear. Guests will enjoy a day out with a difference, with events and activities inspired by the famous children’s books.

 

Sensational Butterflies

 

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(c) nhm.ac.uk

 

An activity fit for a prince, Prince George visited Sensational Butterflies for his first birthday so why not follow suit? Definitely one to visit, the butterfly house returns for a sixth year this summer. Guests can come face-to-face with beautiful tropical butterflies originating from Africa, Southeast Asia and North and South America. An ideal day out for the little ones; visitors can take part in games and activities that teach you all about the wonderful world of butterflies. Located in the Natural History Museum, it’s a short walk from South Kensington station and is open until 14th September.

 

West End Theatre

 

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One for the rainy days, various west end productions for children return from the 1st August – 31st which aims to encourage kids to get involved and interested in theatre from a early age. As a special offer, part of the month sees participating shows offer one child per adult go free, and up to two extra children can go half price. The shows you can see  include ‘The tiger who came to Tea’, ‘The Elephantom’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. ‘Billy Elliot’, ‘War Horse’ and our favourite, ‘Matilda’. As well as just the play, there are loads of great activities the kids can get involved in. The event is taking part in many different theatres around London, visit the website for more info.

 

UK Beaches 

 

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(c) bournemouth.co.uk

 

If the weather continues as it has been, why not visit some of the best beaches in the UK? Our pick of the bunch is Bournemouth Beach – a huge sandy beach that has a ‘Kidzone’ scheme, which introduces coloured wristbands co-ordinated with the coloured beach zones. Ideal for identifying the children for when they inevitably wander off! If more scenic beaches are your thing, try Durdle Door (pictured), which makes a great day out for kids and parents alike. Lets not forget Brighton, a quick 30 minute ride from London with plenty of shops, restaurants, as well as the famous harbour to keep you entertained!

 

Mysteries of the Unseen World 

 

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(c) sciencemuseum.org.uk

 

The Science Museum’s IMAX 3D cinema opens its doors to kids this summer with a showing of Mysteries of the Unseen World. The film will take you on a amazing journey into the unseen world that exists beyond the capabilities of the human eye. Children will have the opportunity to see things too fast, too slow, or too small for everyday life, and will learn about how what we see is only a fraction of what exsists on Earth. Making this amazing cinema experience possible is the use of High-speed photography, electorn microscopy and nanotechnology. The visually sunning film premiers in London at the Science Museum on the 5th August and will then be available to see throughout the country.

 

Laura Ashley kids 

 

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Fairy Lights / Pirate Celling Shade / Kids Paint / Lobster Toy / Storage Box / Cottage Sprig Wallpaper / Riley Check Cotton Rug / Patchwork Cotton Quilt

 

A little bit of free time with the children is a perfect excuse to redecorate. Brighten up the room with these string lights, or have a complete overhaul with our range of kids paints. Our personal favourite is the addition of Larry the Lobster – a great treat for the well behaved kids over the holidays!

 

We’d love to know what you’ve got planned for the holidays! Are you making the most of the UK or heading abroad? Do let us know if you visit any of our recommendations…

 

July 23rd 2014
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KIDS CORNER: CHALKBOARD CHALLENGE PT. 2

Part 2: Bloggers Michelle and Lucy get creative with our chalkboard paint…

School’s out for the summer! Hasn’t it come around fast? Now that it’s here our thoughts turn to how to keep the little ones entertained during the holidays, and what better way to have fun with them than by getting creative? Yesterday, we saw how bloggers and busy mums Kathryn and Kelle used our chalkboard paint with their kids by creating a doodle door and a surface scribble. Today, we hand over to Michelle from Eden Found and Lucy from Capture By Lucy to show us how they would use theirs…

 

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Chalkboard Paint

 

Building Blocks

 

Crafty lifestyle mummy blogger Michelle is no stranger to getting creative, often posting about her DIY constructions and thrifty finds over on Eden Found. It was no surprise then that she came up with this inspirational way to use our chalkboard paint. Let us introduce you to chalky building blocks…

 

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Michelle tells us…

 

“Every mother dreads those two little words, ‘I’m bored’ and when faced with that nugget of information you have two choices. You can choose to throw money at the problem or you can get creative. I chose to get creative and make some chalkboard building blocks.

We were given these wooden blocks when my children were small. Although they used to get played with quite often, recently my girls had fallen out of love with them, so I thought I would give them a little revamp using some Laura Ashley chalkboard paint.

 

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Painting the blocks couldn’t have been simpler. For a nice even finish I gave each block a couple coats of paint and left them to dry for a couple hours between each layer of paint. I didn’t wear gloves, so my hands were covered in paint, but as the paint washes off really easily that wasn’t a problem.

My girls loved the results. They made their own little town, complete with houses, a shopping centre, a zoo and a train station! For the price of a tin of paint, my children were well and truly entertained!

 

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At the end of the day the blocks were wiped clean and put away, ready for the next adventure. Who knows what they’ll make next?”

 

Vegetable Patch

 

Photographer, blogger and mum of two boys, Lucy is the creative force behind Capture by Lucy. Packed full of amazing photography and imaginative ideas, Capture by Lucy is your one stop for creative inspiration. For our chalkboard challenge, her two boys used our chalkboard paint to create their own unique vegetable patch…

 

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Lucy tells us…

 

“The boys are getting so excited about moving to our new house and giddy about growing our own vegetables in the vegetable patch through the gate from the “secret garden”. I love that they have already commandeered this affectionate name for the part of the garden that meanders behind the tool shed.

It’s a magical childhood memory in the making, that made us fall in love with the house the moment we viewed it…

 

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The boys understand where vegetables come from, they appreciate you need to eat healthy food to keep you big and strong and I know come rain or shine, we will be donning our wellingtons and heading to our little garden allotment to see what we can eat for dinner that week. To keep their excitement alive whilst we painfully wait for the contracts to complete in September,  thought of an easy craft idea that requires imagination and fun using the new Laura Ashley Chalk Paint. A play tray!

 

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We painted a plastic tomato plant tray with a layer of chalk paint and left it to dry. The paint is easy to apply, “not too drippy” in Sammy’s words and gives an even coverage of a rich black colour and smooth texture. We then added chalk drawn trees for the knitted apples, leaves to add to the lettuce ‘ready to pick’ and labelled our pickings with some spoon garden tags made from wooden spoons painted with a layer of chalk paint! An easy and simple idea for little ones to join in with.

 

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We love that we can just wipe it clean and start all over again, with brown chalk mud! That was Ollie’s favourite bit. As soon as we move in we are going to add our labels to all the lovely real fruits and vegetables just waiting for my mini gardeners to tend to and enjoy. You could also turn your play tray into an easy DIY car or train track too!”

 

Thanks to Kathryn, Kelle, Michelle and Lucy for taking part in our chalky challenge! Incase you missed it here’s the first instalment. Which do you find the most inspiring? We’d love to know how you would use our chalkboard paint, tell us your ideas…

July 22nd 2014
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KID’S CORNER: CHALKBOARD CHALLENGE

Part 1: We enlist four busy mums to share with us their inspiring ideas using our chalkboard paint…

It’s official – school’s out for summer! Keeping little ones entertained during the holidays however can be tricky business, so with this in mind we wanted to create a fun and exciting activity that will provide endless hours of imaginative play-time, without being too stressful for us adults. Introducing our chalky challenge, we set four busy mums the task to get creative with our new chalkboard paint, to get the little ones on board and show how they would use it!

 

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Chalkboard Paint 

 

Coming up with a number of inspiring ideas, from transforming everyday objects to making over a kids corner in their home, we were so impressed with their creative thinking we simply couldn’t wait to show you their adventurous play-time ideas…

 

Doodle Door 

 

Freelance writer Kathryn lives in her hometown of Harrogate, in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, where she pens her daily lifestyle blog Kat got the cream. Looking for a new way to update her son Charlie’s room, Kathryn reveals unique idea for the chalky challenge…

 

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Kathryn tells us…

 

‘We’re currently in the process of making over my 8 year old son’s room and I’ve been looking for a few ways to personalise it for him (as well as make it fun). Charlie loves drawing and doodling so I thought we’d create a chalkboard area on the back of his bedroom door, which he can regularly update himself. It’s really quick and easy to do, plus it blends in quite nicely with the rest of his room, which features monochrome as well as bright orange and blue. He loved the finished result!’

 

Tabletop Scribble 

 

Mother of two Kelle is a stylist and full-time blogger on her online corner Dinky and Dandy. Dedicated to sharing all things cool for little ones, both her children Hattie and Fraser got stuck into decorating her chalky table top…

 

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Kelle tells us… 

 

‘I’ve wanted to paint a chalkboard wall for the kids for ages now but because our house is now up for sale I decided to use our paint to turn an old table into a fun chalkboard instead. The kids love their new table and so far we’ve turned it into a train track, a farm, a zoo and a busy town so it’s perfect for imaginative play. I love how it’s so much easier to put away and clean than the mess painting creates and when the sun shines we can take it out in the garden. The chalkboard paint went on really easy, it took two coats to cover the table and I love the finished result. It didn’t use much of the tin either so when we buy a new house I’ll be using it to paint that chalkboard wall!’

 

Now how is that for a dose of daily interior inspiration? Transforming a kid’s corner with a lick of paint with endless fun involved? We’re in! Stay tuned for the next installment of our chalky challenge tomorrow on the blog…

 

Browse the Laura Ashley kid’s furniture and accessories here.

March 3rd 2014
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ON OUR RADAR: MARCH

Celebrate the arrival of spring with our fun-filled family dates for the diary…

It’s official, winter is finally behind us! Let us welcome spring with open arms and fill the month of March with fun-filled activities for all the family. Gather up the children and start to plan your weekends around these jam-packed adventures. Whether you fancy yourself as a keen explorer or even a pirate, let’s jump on in and see what’s on our radar this month…

 

There be pirates! Merseyside Maritime Museum

Liverpool

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Take a trip back in time at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and discover the stories and treasures that are at the heart of this waterside port. Uncover the long lost artifacts salvaged from the Titanic, learn about what life at sea was like in the 19th century and learn the intelligent ways that ships used to communicate before the invention of telegraphs. Don’t forget to steer the family over to the Pirates crafting bay, where kids can create their very own fearsome pirate mask or treasure chest to hide their precious gold!

For more information on the Merseyside Maritime Museum click here. The ‘There be Pirates!‘ crafting session will take place on the 29th March.

 

Extreme Exploring  Exhibition at the Horniman Museum and Garden

15th February – 2nd November 

London

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Calling all budding explorers! Step out of your comfort zone and embark on an expedition to explore the world’s most extreme climates. Embrace this rare opportunity to discover the five harshest climates, from the dark dreary depths of the earth to the freezing cold, discover how animals and plants adapt and survive in these hostile environments. Experience these tough conditions for yourself with a range of activities, from stepping over hot sand to leaving a hand print on a freezing ice wall. Do you dare to enter  the Extreme?

For more information on the Extreme Exploring Exhibition click here.

 

Chalking Around

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With a little help from the kids, create a chalkboard masterpiece with our specially formulated Chalkboard Paint. With a lick of this innovative paint in the playroom or bedroom, let their imagination run wild as the transformed area is a blank canvas for drawings, messages and doodles. Let the artwork begin!

Browse our Laura Ashley kid’s paints here.

 

Alice in Wonderland Trail at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens 

Sunday 2nd March 

South Yorkshire

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Step into the magical and mysterious world of author Lewis Carroll as you discover your very own wonderland. Follow the enchanting trail through the beautiful gardens at Brodsworth Hall and get lost in the imaginative world of Alice in Wonderland. Meeting some familiar characters as you go, complete the trail to collect your prize!

For more information on the Alice in Wonderland Trail click here.

 

BKD Little Monster Baking Class

8th March 2014

London

Classes Ad

Make your way into the world of little monsters and cupcakes at the BKD baking classes. Encourage the little ones to get stuck in as they decorate their very own ghoulish cupcakes. With sprinkles, icing, and glitter provided, let your little monster get as messy as they please, without the worry of  having to wash up after – perfect!

For more information on the BDK Little Monster Baking Class click here.

 

The Decorcafe Decorfest 

23rd March 

London 

decor fest

For big kids and little kids alike, the Decorfest homes and gardens festival is a all round crowd pleaser. While mum and dad take inspiring tips and talks from leading interiors and gardening experts, with masterclasses on how to paint your furniture to getting the down low on growing your own vegetables; drop little ones off at the kids crafting corner where they can try their hand at making their own bird houses and owl cushions. Don’t miss house historian Ellen Lewis who will be on hand, sharing her secrets of how to uncover the history of your home.

For more information on the Decorfest Festival click here.

 

What action packed activities will your family be adding to the calendar this March?


February 6th 2014
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THANK YOU – WE’VE REACHED 100,000 FANS ON FB!

A thank you to our facebook fans: £10 OFF WHEN YOU SPEND £75* ONLINE

We couldn’t quite believe our eyes when we reached 100,000 fans on Facebook. Wiping a huge smile across our social media team’s face goes without saying but first and foremost we’re just ecstatic that you are feeling the Laura Ashley facebook love! As a thank you we decided to spell it out in flowers, carefully selected fresh from Covent Garden Flower Market our visual team set about creating a giant 100k made up of blooms. To mark this mutual affection we’d also like to offer you £10 off when you spend £75* online with the code N575 until Friday 14th February…

*TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY: £10 off when you spend £75 until 14th February 2014. Available online at www.lauraashley.com only with the code N575. £10 off when you spend £75 cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount. This offer is not redeemable instore. Not open to Laura Ashley employees. Excludes Guardsman, Design Service Fee, Delivery charges, Giftcards and licensing products.

January 31st 2014
KIDS HERO

SPLAT! OUR KIDS PAINT HAS LANDED

Bright and vibrant, our extra special range of durable Kid’s Paint has arrived…

Transforming your kid’s bedroom into a fun and exciting space couldn’t be any easier with our brand new range of child-friendly Kids Paint. Coming in a range of vibrant shades with playful names to tickle your child’s fancy, they will suit a whole host of themes you might have in mind. Not just appealing to kids, the durable and wipe-clean finish will have most parents breathing a sigh of relief, especially where wandering hands and crayons are concerned (we’ve all been there). We sussed out our top-tips for painting the little-ones’ bedrooms…

Be Bold

Denim

Denim Kid’s Paint / Harry Blue and Red Union Jack  Duvet Set / My Room Hook 

Let the kids get involved in choosing the colour scheme; it will help them to adjust to the new look and encourage them to keep it clutter-free. Go all out with a bold colour such as the Denim paint (used above). Avoid this bold blue looking too overpowering by breaking it up with contrasting painted sideboards and vibrant white ceilings for a more streamlined look.

 

Mix It Up

Peppermint

Peppermint Kid’s Paint / Esme WallpaperEsme Duvet Set / Emily Ivory Bed & Mattress

If you have a theme in mind like this whimsical garden look, why not mix up both wallpaper and paint? We love the combination of the calming Peppermint paint and complimenting Esme wallpaper. Whether your child loves pirates or fairies, wallpapering one focus wall against a painted background allows the print to breathe.

 

Get Creative

Bubblegum

Bubblegum Kid’s Paint / Rosalind Dove Grey Dressing Table / Summer Cotton Rug

Fancy yourself as a budding artist? why not hand-paint a mural of your own? Whether it’s pretty motif like the butterflies above or even enlisting your young ones to get in on the action with hand-prints (supervised of course), it’s all about creating that one-of-a-kind bedroom they’ll never forget.

 

Paint A Chalkboard 

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Chalkboard Paint / William Bedset / Riley Check Cotton Rug

Let your child’s imagination run wild with our innovative Chalkboard Paint, transforming any surface into an area for drawings, doodles and messages… without them getting into trouble! Let the creativity commence by dedicating an entire wall, the end of the bed (like above) or even framing a chosen area – the opportunities are endless.

 

Kid’s Paint Colour Range

Paint Image

Icicle / Marshmallow / Candy Floss / Peppermint / Denim 

Lemon Sherbert / Bubblegum / Fondant / Jelly Bean / Chalkboard

 

We hope we inspired a few ideas of how to decorate your child’s bedroom using our new Kid’s paint, we love the idea of getting creative and getting kids involved too. Keep your eyes peeled for more blog posts on the Chalkboard Paint, we can’t wait to show you how it works in action. Stay tuned!

 

Browse the Laura Ashley Kid’s Paint range here.

December 23rd 2013
GINGER LILY TEA HERO

COUNTING DOWN TO CHRISTMAS WITH GINGER LILY TEA

Blogger Keri-Anne sets the festive scene with daughters Elle and Mia…

Doesn’t time just fly? It was earlier in the summer when we last touched base with lifestyle blogger Keri-Anne, where she showcased snaps of her vintage Laura Ashley girlswear dresses. Mother to the beautiful Elle and Mia, Keri-Anne documents their daily life on her blog Ginger Lily Tea through her enchanting photography. We invited Kerri-Anne to share her festive snaps and tell us how her, Elle and Mia are celebrating the countdown to Christmas…

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White Shimmer Bauble Lights

‘Christmas is oh so close and we are so excited in our household! We have been doing daily advent activities including making shadow puppet shows and decorating lonely trees in the meadow with tinsel and baubles. I love making these memories and traditions with my two daughters and I know that we will be doing these activities again and again over the next many years.

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Dot Print Cotton Dress

Something else that we love doing is picking out the girls Christmas dresses. They always want to look special and both of them were over the moon when they received these beautiful Laura Ashley dresses. It has been very hard to try and keep them clean and nice for Christmas day as they want to wear them every day! Laura Ashley have the sweetest little dresses this season for girls.

 

They keep with the classic and nostalgic look that Laura Ashley are well known for but yet have that modern twist that would make any little girl feel like a princess. As well as the beautiful clothes, their Christmas decorations are just perfect to add that traditional, enchanting feel to any space.’

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Pink Tulle Skirt Dress

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White Winter White Garland

 

Thank you to Keri-Anne for sharing these merry photos, we certainly feel festive and the girls look adorable in their frocks! To see more of Keri-Anne’s adventures with her daughters bookmark her blog Ginger Lily Tea here.

August 23rd 2013
Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

GINGER LILY TEA SNAPS : VINTAGE LAURA ASHLEY GIRLSWEAR

Ginger Lily Tea blogger Keri-Anne snaps adorable daughter Elle in vintage Laura Ashley…

When keen photographer Keri-Anne told us the charming story of how her daughter Elle came about a beautiful red vintage Laura Ashley dress, we had to find out more. To our delight, Keri-Anne kindly shared these beautiful snaps that she took during a country walk with Elle…

 

Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

 

We caught up with Keri-Anne to hear more about Elle and her vintage Laura Ashley dress…

 

‘Laura Ashley has always been dear to my heart, I remember visiting the store when I was younger with my grandma. Even now I still love to go and look at the wonderful children’s items and beautiful kitchenware.

Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

 

When my neighbour brought a bag of clothes over that her daughter had grown out of for my little Elle, there was a beautiful vintage Laura Ashley dress inside that I fell completely in love with. The colour and style is so beautiful and it complements Elle’s red hair perfectly. Even though it is a vintage piece, it is completely timeless.

 

Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

 

I would love to find more vintage Laura Ashley dresses for the girls as the styles will never grow old. Elle forever gets complimented in her Laura Ashley dress!’

 

Ginger Lily Tea / Vintage Laura Ashley Girls Wear

 

We can certainly see why… Elle is adorable! Thank you to Keri-Anne for sharing these delightful photos, to see more of Keri-Anne’s adventures with her daughter and her fabulous photography read more on her blog Ginger Lily Tea here.

 

To see our exciting new A/W Girlswear collections Pretty Neutrals and Winter Garden, see here.

August 14th 2013
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THE KIDS ONLY COOKBOOK: CHOCOLATE CROISSANTS

Easy one for the kids! Chocolate Croissant recipe from new book The Kids Only Cookbook

New fun things to do with the kids during summer holidays can often be challenging! That’s why we love new book The Kids Only Cookbook, written by food writer Sue Quinn with the help of her two children Ruby (11) and Ben (8) and friends. To capture kids’ culinary imagination, expect some great step by step photos and 50 super simple recipes aimed at children aged 8-12 years old, but those younger and older can also get involved too. Adult help alerts are clearly shown in each recipe so you’ll know when to step in.

Just to give you a little teaser, here is a chocolate croissant recipe to have a go with now…

Just look at how easy these are to make! Just a bit of cutting and rolling. You can use either dark or milk chocolate or just roll up the pastry without a filling and spread with butter and jam when cooked.

Ingredients

About 100g dark or milk chocolate

1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry

1 egg

Berries or fruit to serve

MAKES 8

Method…

1. Set the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

2. Line a baking sheet with a piece of baking paper…

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3. Break the chocolate into small pieces. Try to make them long and thin…

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4. Unroll the pastry onto a chopping board. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the pastry into quarters…

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5. Cut each quarter diagonally into 2 triangles…

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6. Put some chocolate along one of the short edges of the triangle. Roll up the pastry, aiming towards the opposite pointy end. Gently press the point so that it stays in place…

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7. Lightly pinch the pastry together at the ends and bend them inwards to make a half-moon shape. Place them on the baking sheet as you go…

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8. Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork…

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9. Lightly brush the croissants with the egg.

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10. Wearing oven gloves, carefully slide the baking sheet into the oven. Set the timer for 15 minutes.

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11. They should be crisp and golden. Sometimes they end up in funny shapes because they unwrap slightly – don’t worry, they still taste brilliant!  Eat warm with some fruit on the side.

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Eat warm with some fruit on the side!

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You can purchase The Kids Only Cookbook is £12.99 from Quadrille Publishing.

July 30th 2013
school holiday hero

WHAT’S ON? KIDS SUMMER HOLIDAYS 2013

Discover the exciting school holiday adventures to be had across the country…

It’s official – school is out for the summer! Six long weeks of freedom and utter mayhem for the adults… But no fear! We have rounded up our guide of fun-filled activities, full of wild and wonderful events happening around the country. Say goodbye to the dreaded moans of boredom and follow our hand-picked guide of things to do. Be sure to plan a jam-packed summer of adventures, keeping all ages entertained and out of mischief…

 

Brighton & Weston-Super-Mare Sand Sculpture Festival

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With over two thousand tones of sand and twenty world-class artists flying in to transform two of the UK’s popular beaches into magical works of art, the Sand Sculpture Festival is not to be missed! Marvel at your favourite artists and musical eras turned into giant sand sculptures in Brighton, or spot movie a-listers and Hollywood-themed masterpieces on Weston-Super-Mare beachfront. Why not take part in a sand sculpture workshop, learning the behind-the-scenes secrets that keep these impressive sandy artworks intact for months at a time.

Open daily till the end of September 2013, westonsandsculpture.co.uk / brightonsandsculpture.co.uk

 

South Bank Festival of Neighbourhood with Mastercard, London 

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SOUTH BANK FESTIVAL

© Belinda Lawley 

This summer step into the South Bank Festival of Neighbourhood, London’s friendliest neighbourhood. Stroll along the popular urban beach designed by James Bowthorpe, watch Cirque Alfonse perform their impressive circus show ‘Timber!’ with juggling axes, daring acrobats and stunts, with little ones enjoying ‘The Queen’s Knickers’ comedy production.

Hop, skip and jump along to the pop-up Beano Town in the Festival Hall to celebrate the 75th birthday of The Beano, visit the impressive archive with never seen before stories dating back to wartime Britain. Join in with the fun and games taking place in The Beano Social Club, then get creative at the many workshops taking place with comic book drawing sessions to unleash your inner prankster at the Ultimate Prank Academy!

Open daily until September 8th 2013, London, southbankcentre.co.uk

 

Bats, Moths, Fire and Food at Hyde Park, London 

BATS MOTHS FIRE AND FOOD HYDE PARK

Common pipistrelle, pipistrellus pipistrellus

© Hugh Clark, Bat Conservation Trust

Calling all nature fanatics! Do you dare to go along to the park after dark? Head on down to Hyde Park and join the Royal Park’s Education team to explore and uncover the wildlife that inhabits the park. Identify the different types of bats that reside in the trees, listening to the secret calls of the Common Pipistrelles flying above with your very own bat detector. Then head on back to camp to settle around the fire for a light-night snack, learning about all the moths who flutter by.

Thursday 29th August 2013, Hyde Park, royalparks.org.uk

 

Jacobite Stream Train, Fort William -  Mallaig, Scotland

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Go back in time on a classic stream train ride to Mallaig on the West Coast Railways, chug along on the Jacobite Stream Train through the picturesque hills of the Highlands. Boarding the train at Fort William marveling at Ben Nevis, steam along the 84 mille round trip, passing the deepest fresh water beauty of Loch Morar and crossing the famous 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct as seen in the Harry Potter films! Whilst gliding along on in your very own Hogwarts Express, spot the small isles of Eigg, Rhum, Muck and Canna in the distance. With a whistling stop at busy fishing port Mallaig for a well-deserved fish and chip supper, dip your toes in the sea and soak up the sea air before returning home.

Running weekends till 22nd September 2013, running weekdays till the 25th October, westcoastrailways.co.uk 

 

IncrEdibles Festival at Kew Gardens, London

IncrEdibles festival,

IncrEdibles festival,

IncrEdibles festival, IncrEdibles festival,

Take a voyage through the weird and wonderful world of edible plants at the IncrEdibles Festival at Kew Gardens this summer. Imaginative and informative is the dish of the day, taking your seat at the Rose Garden Tea Party where you can sample the delicious plant delicacies and decipher the riddles to guess what ingredients are in your favourite tea-time treats. Discover the 60 edible plants housed in Kew’s Palm House Tropical Larder, uncovering the plant’s fascinating historical and cultural histories. Get hands on with a Curiosity Box where you can have of a whiff of the smelly Durian Fruit and get a feel for a yam.

Next door, things are hotting up at the Waterlilly house where you can gaze at the 30 different species of chilli, with plenty of recipes to try at home. Don’t forget to take a ride on the Tutti Frutti Boating experience to reach the Pineapple Island art installation or taste the delights of Kew’s homemade ice cream in an incrEdible array of flavours; fancy a scoop of curry leaf and white chocolate ice cream or perhaps honeyberry and coriander seed?

Open daily till the 1st September 2013, Kew Gardens, kew.org

 

Knights Camping at Leeds Castle, Kent

LEEDS CASTLE GLAMPING

LEEDS CASTLE GLAMPING

Set behind the majestic backdrop of Leeds Castle, come on in for a medieval sleepover in one of their luxury glamping tents in the castle vineyard, complete with four poster beds and a wood burning stove for cooking your supper, like knights preparing for battle. Come day, explore the castle once used by Henry VIII and journey through 900 years of captivating history. Punt gently along the castle moat, lose yourself in the spiraling maze and meet the castle falconer to get up close to the impressive birds of prey. Enroll young ones into the Knights and Princess classes where brave knights can dress in chain mail and armour learning combat skills. Whilst fair maidens can learn a medieval court dance and perfect their etiquette for meeting their prince charming.

Available till the 29th September 2012, leeds-castle.com

 

Blists Hill Victorian Town, Shropshire

BLISTS HILL VICTORIAN VILLAGE BLISTS HILL VICTORIAN VILLAGE BLISTS HILL VICTORIAN VILLAGE

Experience life as it was over 100 years ago at Blists Hill in Shropshire, the recreated Victorian village. First stop is the town bank where you can exchange your money into pounds, shillings and pence. Discover first hand what day to day life was like, seek out the curious remedies in the pharmacy, admire the items on sale for the drapers or old favourites in the sweet shop, take a look inside the Victorian cottages and witness traditional skills in action at the printers and candle factory. Dress up in Victorian costume for a snap in the photographers shop and don’t forget to take a journey around the town in horse and cart.

Open daily 10am-5pm, ironbridge.org.uk

 

National Cycling Centre, Manchester 

Dair_NCC_Mar2013_5551

Inside Velodrome

Whilst the Olympics may have come and gone, we are still on a high remembering all the inspiring sporting moments. Why not pop along to the National Cycling Centre, where the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Laura Trott trained to become world and Olympic champions? Register young ones in the Summer School Vendrome Sessions running daily, where you can spend an hour on the track with expert coaches learning the skills of what it takes to become a sporting medalist. Summer School Velodrome Sessions running daily till 6th September 2013, nationalcyclingcentre.com

 

So there you have it, our round-up of exciting adventures to be had – will you be visiting any of these attractions? Don’t forget to check out our range of girlswear, perfect for summertime fun!