As we head into March, there’s a lighter feeling in the air. Spring is around the corner, the lockdown will be lifted soon and homeschooling will come to an end. I’m a little anxious about the ‘big bang’ return of all schools at once, with no priority given for teachers’ vaccinations. There are lots of questions but we continue to make our way forwards, taking things day by day. While we’re still at home, here’s what’s on this weekend for kids and families in London and beyond. Enjoy!
What’s on this Weekend for Kids and Families in Lockdown and Beyond
Zdeněk Miler: Little Mole (online)
It’s the 100th anniversary of Czech animator Zdeněk Miler’s birthday, so the Czech Centre London have created a fun programme about his beloved character, Little Mole. Hear all about the big-eyed, red-nosed little creature who has delighted kids and adults alike in more than 80 countries. Little Mole even flew to space with US astronaut Andrew Feustel on board the Endeavour. You can watch 6 short films online: Little Mole and the Car (1963); Little Mole and the Rocket (1965); Little Mole and the Green Star (1969); Little Mole in the ZOO (1969); Little Mole and the Umbrella (1971); and Little Mole as a Painter (1972). Register for FREE and watch on demand (Feb 21-28)
London Makers Market (online)
Searching for unusual gifts, crafts and trinkets? The London Markers Market is entirely virtual this weekend, offering a bevy of goodies like art, ceramic, jewellery, candles, stationery, kids items, foodie treats and more. You’ll be supporting small and local businesses too, so have a browse across the website and Instagram. Live from 11am (Sat-Sun); FREE (Feb 27-28)
Black History School (online)
I love the sound of this. Black History School is a new space for teaching children and families of all races about Black history through creative play. Launching this weekend, their online curriculum includes lessons like Food from the Diaspora (interactive cooking guides and histories); Black in My Day (history with some humour); Storytime with Griots (music, poetry and tales from Black authors) and Mindful (a playful intro to mindfulness and expression emotions). Founded by Humblebee Creative in partnership with Rich Mix and a number of other organisations, Black History School is inclusive, educational and transformational and I can’t wait to see it flourish. Follow @BlackHistorySchoolUK on Instagram, sign up to individual lessons or a monthly subscription, get involved. (ongoing/online classes live from Feb 27)
Disco Loco MEGAzine (magazine pre-orders)
Our East End raver faves have launched a limited edition magazine just for your mini groovers. It’s illustrated by some of Hackney’s most banging artists, Chris Bianchi, Dan Malone, Snooze, Will Sweeney, Steph Von Reiswitz and Camille Walala. The magazine contains a mix of games, puzzles, cut out activities and a QR code that will link you to Disco Loco DJ mixes. Hurry and pre-order your copy asap, and you’ll receive it in the week of Mar 1. Don’t sleep, once they’re gone… they’re gone! For ages 5-11. Limited run of 500 with priority for N and E London postcodes; FREE (launching Mar 1-7)
WOW: Women of the World (online festival)
International Women’s Month kicks off with a bang as the WOW Foundation’s flagship UK festival heads online. WOW UK 2021 takes a frank and riveting look at the gains and obstacles for women, girls and non-binary people in our world today, with a range of talks, workshops, WOW’s Virtual Big Sing and WOW Sounds virtual music performances. Highlights: intersectionality pioneer Kimberlé Crenshaw on Black Lives Matter and her #SayHerName campaign; writers Arundhati Roy and V (formerly Eve Ensler) on freedom and creativity; Ruby Wax on mental health; founder of the Women’s Equality Party, Catherine Mayer and her mother Anne Mayer Bird on personal and communal grief; genre defining author of Motherhood, Sheila Heti and Avni Doshi, author of Burnt Sugar on complexity, trauma and joy in an ambivalence towards motherhood. For more info and the full programme, visit thewowfoundation.com or book on https://wow.ticketco.events/uk/en (Mar 1-21)
Unicorn Theatre: Anansi the Spider Re-Spun (Digital Theatre)
Catch the Unicorn Theatre’s first entirely digitally created theatre experience, Anansi the Spider Re-spun for ages 3 – 8. Inspired by their 5-star hit 2019 show, Anansi the Spider, about the legendary mischief-maker and spinner of yarns, these popular West African and Caribbean tales were specially adapted for Unicorn Online. Best for ages 3-8. Watch on demand, FREE (until Mar 31)
Rolling Down the Road by David Gibb at Half Moon Theatre (online)
Climb aboard the world’s first bus that’s powered by song. Family singer songwriter David Gibb is in the driving seat, navigating through a variety of song choices from his passengers. This colourful show blends folk, jazz, reggae and rock & roll for an irresistible ride to get the whole family singing and dancing along. Best for ages 3-11. Streaming on demand, tickets required: £7 small household/£14 large household/£25 supporters — additional donations welcome (until Mar 5)
Barbican Centre: Family Activities
Missing the Barbican Centre? Visit their website for a mix of family friendly activities to do at home. Their website suggests articles, videos and crafting instructions for kids under 5 and kids over 5. Make paper puppets inspired by the film My Neighbour Totoro; explore themes from the Masculinities exhibition; check out Curator’s Picks watch lists for kids over 8; try out the Wizard of Oz Family Film Club board game; or create a Where the Wild Things Are costume — perfect for World Book Day on Mar 4. Available online, FREE (ongoing)
The Wig Show Workouts with Tract + Touch (online)
Looking for a fun and creative kids workout? Try the latest participatory activity from Tract + Touch, The Wig Show. This series of quick, 2-3 minute videos offers a way to express your creativity without any extras — just dance it out, voice it out, work it out! The videos have been adapted from Tract + Touch’s interactive shows exploring identity and fluidity. In its original form the Wig Show got audiences juggling, making rhythms and dancing with no fewer than 56 wigs in action. (ongoing)
Rat Race: Future Explorers
Explore the world from your home in a series of online challenges created by adventure sports company Rat Race. They’ve launched Future Explorers — 10 thrilling projects to entertain kids and teach them about the world. Each project focuses on incredible locations in places the Rat Race team have competed at events in Namibia, Patagonia and Mongolia. Children can learn about what animals live there, what kind of equipment they’d need for a visit and other fun facts. Suggested activities range from creating a LEGO volcano, drawing maps, making papier maché glaciers and whatever comes to your imagination. projects are free to access, with a new workbook released every week. (ongoing)
Minecraft Escape Room via Gamewagon (online)
The popular mobile gaming party Gamewagon have been running online gaming and coding workshops for families since the pandemic. If you’re after a different challenge, have a go at the Minecraft Escape Room. Up to 6 players get 60 minutes to solve the puzzles and try to escape! You can connect cross-platform with family and friends with a copy of Microsoft Minecraft (Bedrock). Compatible with Win 10 PC, PlayStation 4/5, XBOX One / Series X, Nintendo Switch, iOS/Android Devices & Fire/Fire TV*. Console players will require an active online subscriptions* relevant to their device. NB: Use an additional laptop/phone/tablet if possible to join the Zoom video chat! Available on multiple dates and times: book your date and time slot then wait for your confirmation email with invitation/£75 for group session (ongoing)
What Do Vets Do?
Do your kids have future career plans yet? My boys are still veering between ‘footballer’ and ‘I have no idea’. According to a BBC report, many kids wind up choosing what they want to be based on their immediate influences. To broaden this scope, children’s author Emma Juhasz has launched a series of books about career options. The first books are What Do Vets Do?, exploring different types of vets and the animals they work with and verified by practicing vets. Also What Do Construction Workers Do? – a look at various jobs for people in this industry, from architects and civil engineers to plumbers. The book was produced with the Wates Group, one of the UK’s largest construction companies. Each book contains facts, games and illustrations and is suitable for young primary school kids. Grab your copy at www.emmajuhasz.com or at www.amazon.co.uk for £5.99.
Some great open spaces to have a wander, get a chance of scene and breathe in some fresh air: London’s largest nature reserve at Walthamstow Wetlands ; go deer spotting in Richmond Park; map a cycling route across the city with London Cycle Streets; London is the world’s first National Park City, so you can find more ideas and places to go on the official website.
Family Weekend at Sadler’s Wells: balletLORENT – The Lost Happy Endings (Apr 2 & 3)
The Gruffalo’s Child at Arts Depot (Apr 6-11)
Aliens, Zombies and Monsters exhibition at Arts Depot (Apr 6-17)
Oh What A Glorious Morning with Disco Loco (back in April)
Futureheads Adventure Club for ages 8-11 in Hackney (from May 22)
Anything Goes musical by Cole Porter at Barbican Centre (Jun 5-Aug 22)
Keep up with the latest government guidelines about social distancing, lockdown restrictions and when things will start opening up. Stay well and safe!
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