Browsing Tag

Family Fun

The Royal Institution #CharityTuesday

Posted on 29th May 2012 in #charitytuesday

For #CharityTuesday today, let me hand you over to the good people at the Royal Institution! If you are in or near London why not go along to one of their family friendly fun days?

The theme of the first Family Fun Day will be Fabric and Knitting. The day will provide a hands-on, fun-filled exploration into the science, engineering and maths behind the clothes we wear. The following are just a couple of examples of the activities that families who come along could get involved in on the day:

•       SPRAY ON FABRICS – Do you ever get up in the morning and feel like you’ve got nothing to wear? Come and meet the team that has come up with a solution – clothes you can spray straight out of a can!

•       TRAID: DISCOVER THE DESIGNER IN YOU – We send 1.3 million tons of clothes to landfill each year – recycling charity TRAID will be on hand to show you how to stop wasting old clothes and instead easily upcycle them into cool designs.

•       GROW YOUR OWN ORGANS – Forget spinning fibres to make silk and other materials – discover how scientists are using the process of electrospinning to make human tissues and organs!

•       SILK VERSUS STEEL – What material would be best used for a bullet-proof vest – steel, or silk? Discover the amazing strength of unlikely materials and test out for yourselves which would win in a battle of resilience.

The Royal Institution Family Fun Day: Fabric and Knitting

Date: Saturday 9 June, 11am-4pm

What: Get hands on with the surprising science, engineering and maths behind the clothes you wear! Discover textiles up close, get tied in knots and measure the surprising strength of silk.

Where: The Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BS (Nearest tube Green Park)

For more details and events see

Or you can follow @ri_science on twitter.


Muncaster Castle

Posted on 14th May 2012 in days out/ Family Fun

Last year, during our holiday in the Lake District, we had a wonderful family day out at Muncaster Castle.

The castle itself is stunning, very well-preserved and is actually still inhabited by members of the Pennington family. We were incredibly fortunate as when we looked around the inside of the castle we actually met, the very congenial and charming, Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington who took the time to chat to us.

Muncaster boasts a beautiful collection of owls who you can see in the Owl Centre or watch during flying displays in the castle grounds; although on sunny days I would recommend that you take a hat and lots of sun screen as the grounds are a bit of a sun trap.

The view from the path around the castle is truly breath-taking, even more so because you can clearly see buzzards flying around as they waiting for the Herons to be fed! When you go, I urge you to wait and see the Heron Feed it is simply amazing. The herons start appearing and sit in the trees or in little clusters on the ground, then when the food is thrown down to them they perform the strangest mexican stand-off! They all pretend not to be interested in the food while slowly moving closer to it until finally one of them makes a break for it which then prompts one or two of the others to go for it too and then the all pretend not to be interested again! All the while the buzzards are flying around trying to pinch the food too. Amazing and funny to watch.

On the day we went, there was a jester performing on the lawn which the children thought was brilliant. He did juggling, fire eating, escapology with a running commentary of jokes. Further into the grounds is the Meadowvole Maze which is an interactive maze for all the family; especially good for little ones.

As well as having a gift shop with lovely mementos of Muncaster there is also a plant shop and a cafe which sells the most incredible cakes!

I would definitely recommend a trip to Muncaster Castle if you are staying nearby, it was a day of good old-fashioned family fun and the drive to it offers some incredible views of the area.

Papertoy Monsters!

Posted on 31st March 2011 in book review/ Family Fun/ Papertoy Monsters

I have to share with you a new book that my boys have been playing with.

When I say ‘have to’ I meant that I would like to, not that someone has a gun to my head. Just in case you wondered. I know you didn’t.


The book is called Papertoy Monsters and it’s flipping brilliant!


It is great to just hand over to the children, my 2 (aged 9 & 11) amused themselves for hours (oh yes, HOURS) making an army of monsters. The pages can be torn out and divided up – then the monsters are popped out of the page and assembled. Younger children would need help with tricky folds and gluing.


Soon enough your lounge will also look like it’s been taken over by a race from outaspace! Great book, good family fun, heartily recommend it.

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