Easter Activities for the Whole Family

 

Growing up my father always looked forward to the Easter egg hunt. His method was rather haphazard and required no more effort than depositing chocolate eggs around the garden to be collected. Mostly silver with only a couple of, more expertly hidden, gold. He then let us free to search and sat back in the sunshine with a glass of wine and watched us hunt. The silvers were free to be eaten and the gold traded in for an Easter basket, complete with chocolate bunny, jelly beans and the like.

An Easter egg hunt can be as easy hiding a few chocolate eggs in the house or garden or as elaborate as decorating your own eggs and making your own baskets and then arranging a hunt. If you choose the latter, you could have 2 full days of activities taken care of. Here is your step by step guide:

Plan your Easter Egg Hunt!

Eggs

You have several options for Easter eggs.

1. Chocolate eggs: A general crowd pleaser and easy and cheap to buy in bulk

2. Real eggs to decorate: Remember you will need white ones!

a. Hard boiled: This is one option if you are planning on decorating the eggs and eating them afterwards. They are robust and are easier to handle with breaking for the littler ones.

b. Blown out eggs: This option means you can keep your expertly decorated eggs for posterity but also means you will have to blow the egg out of the eggshell. To do this poke a hole in both the top and bottom of the egg, then, while holding the egg over a bowl or cup, place a straw or even just your mouth over the top hole and blow. It’ll be hard going but eventually the egg will find its way into the bowl. With a long needle you can then thread a ribbon through to hang them after they are decorated. Remember to save the eggs for omelets or scrambled eggs!

Decoration

1. Dipping: To create coloured eggs you can use food-coloured water and dip the eggs. Keep the egg cartons for drying. A white crayon can be used to draw designs and therefore will show a nice negative pattern. Rubber bands also make nice strips

2. Painting: Acrylic paints can be used to paint any design on white, dip dyed or even brown or blue eggs.

3. Stickers: A great option for the little ones

Baskets

1. Store bought baskets are always an option. Places like Poundland and Tiger are likely to have relatively inexpensive options.

2. Brown paper sandwich bags can be decorated by the kids to use as baskets.

3. For the truly ambitious with older children, origami baskets are both utilitarian and a fun activity. For a step by step guide click here.

The Hunt

Easter egg hunts can be either indoors or out or a combination of the two depending on your circumstances and, of course, the weather! Here are a couple of tips to make sure it all goes smoothly.

1. Make sure you note where you have hidden your Easter eggs. While unfound hard-boiled egg under the sofa will soon alert to its presence, melted chocolate in the bookshelf will not!

2. Establish rules so that the older kids do not “find” all the eggs intended for the younger ones. E.g. Anything below your knees is off limits or The pink eggs are for the babies. Etc

3. Have one egg per child (could be the egg they decorated) be a special egg that gets traded for an Easter bunny or other treat. This keeps them looking rather than just eating the chocolate.

Remember adults can join the hunt too!

Have fun!

KIDsorted Raises Bridge Financing

On the back of exciting Q2 results, KIDsorted raised a Bridge Round of financing which exceeded expectations.  With the results speaking for themselves, there were no fancy decks with hours of prep work involved for the co-founders – leaving more time for focus on continued growth.  This new investment will help the team increase the runway to Seed Round while scaling up operations.  Most of it will be spent on developers and to test new marketing tactics.

Data Geeks

Even our developers think we’re too geeky when the most fun activity of last evening was watching Real Time activity on Google Analytics.

Good validation for our focus on mobile first designs; something everyone in company knows but hard to execute on given we spend our days on the desktop.

 

KIDsorted devices

Homepage: Before and After

In our efforts to be lean and focus on developing only high priority use cases, we hadn’t spent much resources on our home page till recently.  It was a surprising decision for many however none of our user journeys started with the home page – whether that be a supplier using our system to take online bookings or us sending a holiday workshop newsletter.  That decision didn’t help when we went looking for investment as potential investors always started with the home page.

Now a year into KIDsorted we finally have a home page we’re proud of — it showcases our content, our proposition and is fully responsive… well to extent any first version product can be perfect!

Here are our before and after screenshots of the home page; pretty sure there will be many more to come as we keep learning and iterating.

KIDsorted home page - betaKIDsorted home page launched in March 2015

 

Behind the Scenes: Amanda’s Action Club

Amanda 2

In the second instalment of our Behind the Scenes series, we caught up with Amanda Frolich. Amanda is the founder of the the very popular Amanda’s Action Club. Her classes are loved by parents and children alike, and she runs weekly sessions at Chiswick Town Hall. The Action Club is so much more than music and movement – it is an educational mini work-out, and the programme promotes the importance of healthy eating and exercise in a positive way.

 

1.Tell us a bit about you:
My name is Action Amanda and I’m a full time working mum to a 10 year old girl called Bibi. I run Amanda’s Action Club which teaches pre-school children how to be physically active through fun, fitness and music classes. We also do parties and visit private nurseries and children’s centres.

2. How did you get started?
I have been teaching for twenty years and my concept was born when I attended a music and movement course and decided that I had a natural affinity working with children. Using versatile props and modern music, I educate children in a fun environment.

3. What can parents expect from Amanda’s Action Club?
Our classes are dynamic, interactive, participative, educational and inclusive! We dance, we sing, we learn through the music, and most important of all, we have fun!

4. What’s the best thing about teaching?
I enjoy watching children learn and develop through the concept I have created. If I can encourage pre-school children to be active and healthy from a young age, they may then turn into our sports stars of the future.

5. What advice do you have for mums and dads to help increase their children’s confidence?
I strongly believe that confident parents produce confident children. Don’t be afraid to be silly and have fun with your child. Encourage them to laugh, explore life and be happy.

6. What are your tips for organising the time of children under 4 years old, fitting in classes etc?
I went back to work 6 weeks after having my daughter. My mother looked after my little girl full time, so I made sure she had an activity schedule planned. She attended ballet and active play groups where she could run around. From my experience, I would advise parents to schedule your child’s activities to their needs. Think about what they enjoy and then book the relevant classes and activities, and request that your childcare provider incorporates them into the week’s plans.

7. How can parents continue the good work they learn in your classes when they get home?
For this very reason I am developing an idea to package props with an instructional DVD or download so that carers and parents can interact with me at home. A well known children’s store is now interested in the idea, so watch this space! I’d also suggest parents keep children active at home by encouraging them to move about and play, interact and engage; pre-planning activities can help and of course visits to the park.

8. What does the future hold for Amanda’s Action Club? 
This year is going to be about extending the reach of the classes through franchisees as well as training staff in nurseries, schools and kids clubs within hotels. We are also creating Action Amanda into a digital platform for apps, books and games!

Ready to sign up? Find out where and when you and your children can join Amanda’s Action Club

 

 

Behind the Scenes: Going Swimmingly

Going Swimmingly

This is the first in our series of posts giving you an insight into the people behind the fantastic classes and activities we have curated for you. We are kicking off in style with Adam from Going Swimmingly. At Going Swimmingly Adam teaches all levels of children how to swim and to develop an affinity to water.

How did you get started?
I have had a passion for swimming since I was a child. My swimming tutor journey began when I was working as a manny (male nanny), a job I did in the UK for 3 years. I enjoyed doing different sports activities such as swimming, football and tennis with the kids. After this I knew it was something I wanted to do all the time and turn into a business.

Describe your classes?
My philosophy is to keep sessions fun and engaging whilst of course always ensuring a safe environment. I believe that swimming is an essential life skill and with the right guidance any one can learn to love, respect and be at ease in the water.

What is the best thing about teaching?
I find teaching to be extremely rewarding. Interacting and supporting the learning of young children gives me a real sense of purpose and fulfilment. It’s enjoyable and varied…what more could I ask for?

What advice do you have for mums and dads on introducing their children to the water whether they are babies, toddlers or older children?
I would advise them to start in the bathtub. It’s an easy and convenient way to get your child accustomed to the water. Hop in there with them to create a safe and fun environment. To get your child used to the feeling of water on their head, fill a cup and gently pour it over their hair letting it cascade over their face. Don’t forget to make it fun! While you’re in the water, sing songs or play games such as motorboat to keep your child entertained. Make sure you smile and talk or sing in a soothing voice, especially if your child is reluctant to be in the water. Seeing your smiling face will assure them that this is a safe and fun environment.

Interested? Find out more about Adam’s classes.

Ice-skating around the Christmas tree

cute little girl in warm hat and gloves with figure skates on wh

 

 

 

Christmas ice-rinks are popping up all over London, here are our favourites.

 

 

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink – Put on your ear muffs, gloves and skates, grab a steadying hand (if needed!) and have some festive fun on the ice, in glorious Tudor surroundings.

Date: 21st November 2014 – 4th January 2015 | Price: start from £8.50 – £13.50

Skate at Somerset House – Celebrate Christmas in style at London’s most beautiful ice rink and a take the chance to enjoy a host of festive experiences on and off the ice.
Date: 11th November 2014 – 11th January 2015 | Price: start from £7.50

Natural History Museum Ice Rink – Experience a magical winter haven in the heart of the city. Now in its 10th year, the spectacular rink is nestled in front of the iconic South Kensington Museum, beneath 80,000 twinkling fairy lights and around a 40-foot-high tree.
Date: 30th October – 4th January | Price: start from £8.80 kids £12.65 adults

Richmond Ice Rink – Skating next to Strawberry Hill House will be a truly magical experience which would be very hard to beat. The rink will be visited by Star Wars White Knights (Storm Troopers), twinning the magnificent fairy castle and the White Knights will make a fabulous treat for adults and children alike.
Date: 6th December 2014 – 25th January 2015 | Price: £8 – £13.50

 

Pantomimes & Christmas Shows

MOSCOW - DEC 30: New Years performance The Nutcracker and the Mo

 

From musical theatre to the ballet, here is a selection of the best Christmas shows.

 

 

 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Rose Theatre – An army of young actors make up the cast alongside professional actors. Tumbling through an old dusty wardrobe, the Pevensie children discover a world like no other in this CS Lewis’s classic Narnia tale.
Date:  30th November 2014 – 4th January 2015 | Price: £10 – £27

Peter Pan, Polka Theatre – Magic soars to the sky this winter, as Peter Pan and Tinker Bell whisk Wendy and her brothers off to Neverland. Join them in a fantastical world of pirates, mermaids and tick-tocking crocodiles.
Date:  21st November – 14th February 2015 | Price: £11.50 – £17.50

The Nutcracker, London ColiseumIconic choreography from The English National Ballet makes this an unmissable Christmas treat for the whole family.  And even better if your kids are taking ballet classes, they will love seeing this Christmas performance.
Date:  11th December – 4th January 2015 | Price: £14 – £79

 

’She’s behind you!’ Older children will love the interactive nature of pantomimes along with the big colourful characters, it’s fun for parents too.

Dick Whittington and his cat, Lyric Hammersmith – The streets of Hammersmith will be paved with gold this Christmas as the Lyric’s traditional panto returns for a 6th spectacular year.
Date: 25th November 2014  – 3rd January 2015 | Price: £15 – £35

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Richmond Theatre – Richmond Theatre patron Jerry Hall will be bringing a touch of glamour to this year’s pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as she takes on the role of the Wicked Queen.
Date: 5th December 2014 – 11th January 2015 | Price: £10 – £32

The Santa Claus Science experiment, The Bloomsbury – When Santa experiences a series of mishaps, the elves and some genuine actual scientists need to save the day using science. Find out if Christmas can happen without magic.
Date: 15th December 2014 – 21st December 2014 | Price: £10 – £17.50