Inspiration for 8-11 year olds. Make the most of time after school and at the weekends by getting stuck into some of the incredible things London has to offer, along with some awesome apps, brilliant books and amazing activities.
By Marieke Audsley
For young Masterchefs, inspired by the Great British Bake Off….
Tea time treats are so much more enjoyable if you have made them yourself and Kate Doran’s wonderful book Homemade Memories is packed with famous childhood favourites, but given a fun twist. Anyone for a banana pecan éclair? Or a triple chocolate caterpillar cake?
Those who prefer ice cream to cake, should pop over to Sydney Street in Chelsea, where you can whip up some real Italian gelato at DriDri’s.
Really adventurous chefs (and their hungry parents!) shouldn’t miss La Cucina Caldesi’s Italian Mama’s Cookery Club, where kids can learn how to make a three course feast. The next workshop will be Halloween themed so get your pumpkins at the ready!
For those who prefer getting creative with paintbrushes and pencils…
London has so many amazing galleries to visit for inspiration and perennial favourites are The National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, The Design Museum and The Dulwich Picture Gallery.
After soaking up images and ideas, kids can make their own masterpieces at classes run by Young Artist, create comics at the Cartoon Museum and design dresses at the fashion illustration classes at Artsdepot.
Also worth a visit is Blade Stamps on Bury Place in Bloomsbury, which has the most incredible collection of stamps and ink.
Strictly fans who are keen to ‘keep dancing’ might like to try some slightly more unusual routines and check out the Kathak (Indian classical dance) classes or Russian ballet classes at Artsdepot. Of course there are more traditional classes on offer by the Chelsea Ballet School and Pineapple Studios.
Something a bit more unusual…
Love animals? Want to be a zookeeper for a weekend? ZSL offer a two day ‘zoo academy’. Designed for 8-10 year olds, the days are jam packed with games, talks, challenges and ‘keeper experiences’
If you are a natural born entertainer and are constantly making your family and friends laugh, then learn how to be a Stand Up Comedian at the Comedy Club for Kids, based at the Soho Theatre in London. To get started, you may want to take a peek at Roald Dhal’s Marvellous Joke Book.
Always wanted to time travel? Well, now’s your chance as The Ragged School Museum offers free Victorian lessons, so you can see what school was like under Queen Vic.
Sit back, relax and be entertained…
There’s loads of great children’s theatre in the capital, and the best place to go for stunning shows are the Little Angel Theatre in Islington, which specializes in puppetry, the Unicorn Theatre in London Bridge, and the Half Moon Theatre in Limehouse.
When it’s dark and rainy, and you don’t want to venture outside… Educational apps can be a smashing way to have fun and learn at the same time.
Dulolingo is a fantastic language learning app, which is extremely effective and an awful lot of fun. You can use it to help with French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Danish, Polish and many more…
Like Maths? And skiing? Want to do both at the same time? Then Mr. N’s Math Downhill Slalom is the game for you!
Words With Friends is for any Scrabble addicts out there. Go for gold and a triple word score!
There are some superb recent and forthcoming releases. Highlights include…
- Old School Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
- Little Stars by Jaqueline Wilson
- Geek Girl, All that Glitters by Holly Smale
- Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
- The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
- The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell