Educational days articles
Best literacy home schooling resources
Whether your child is just learning to read and print letters or looking for ways to put their creative writing skills to the test, we've rounded up some fantastic home learning resources to help them practise phonics, grammar, story-writing and comic-creating. Plus there are loads of different ways to connect with authors and listen to stories – the perfect end to a day of home schooling, we reckon.
50 of the best virtual trips and educational experiences for families
You and your family may be spending more time indoors, but thanks to your laptop you can let the world come to you instead – take a trip round Frida Kahlo’s kitchen, share some chocolate cake with Michael Rosen and journey to the International Space Station with our pick of 50 of the best virtual trips and educational experiences. By Hetty Walton
Museums reviewed by parents: British Museum
World-renowned, big columns, ancient artefacts, absolutely enormous – what else comes to mind when thinking about a visit to the British Museum? Our family testers found the wealth of resources on hand for children, and share their top tips for a grand day out.
Cheap and easy ideas for last-minute World Book Day costumes
World Book Day: the time of year that can send all parents into a last-minute, no-costume panic. Don't stress: with a bit of thrifty creativity your child can still join in with the literary dressing-up fun, even if the shops are closed and it's the night before the school costume parade.
Museums reviewed by parents: Museum of London
Discover the extensive history of the British capital at the Museum of London, which is also the largest urban history collection in the world!
Museums reviewed by parents: Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books
Bring your child's favourite stories to life with a trip to Seven Stories in Newcastle upon Tyne, a haven for book- and story-lovers of all ages. Jo Dunbar visited with her sons William, age 5, and James, 3.
Museums reviewed by parents: The Life Science Centre
An award-winning visitor attraction and educational facility, Newcastle’s Life Science Centre is packed with hands-on science opportunities for everyone from toddlers to teens (and parents too!). Jo Dunbar got stuck into experiments and exploration with her children William, age 5, and James, age 3.
Museums reviewed by parents: The Great North Museum: Hancock
The Great North Museum: Hancock is a popular family destination in Newcastle upon Tyne and offers exhibitions and activities for children of all ages. Jo Dunbar explore the national history collections with her son William, 5.
Museums reviewed by parents: We The Curious, Bristol
Discover the wonders of the human body, the solar system and the Earth’s ecosystem through the lens of technology and science at Bristol’s activity-packed, wonderful museum. In a city known for its character and colour, We the Curious blends right in as the ultimate learning experience with a quirky twist.
Museums reviewed by parents: Museum of Cardiff
Get to know the city of Cardiff inside and out during a visit to this charming museum. Interactive exhibitions and fun family games reveal a rich history and a place buzzing with multicultural communities. Often overlooked, the Museum of Cardiff, formally known as the Cardiff Story museum, is a must-see for locals and tourists alike.
Museums reviewed by parents: Techniquest
Explore the world of science, technology, engineering and maths in Cardiff’s innovative museum, Techniquest. If your child hasn’t shown an interest in these topics before, they soon will after being surrounded by these exciting and futuristic exhibits. Touching the machines, gadgets, and gizmos are actively encouraged!
Museums reviewed by parents: National Museum Cardiff
The National Museum in Cardiff combines fascinating exhibitions with year-round displays of the natural world and child-friendly activities. Expect a sensory overload and a jam-packed day out with the family when you visit!
Museums reviewed by parents: Tate St Ives
Winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 (the world's largest museum prize), Tate St Ives has been drawing crowds back to its spectacular beach location after a two-year renovation project. There's always something to catch your eye, thanks to a varied exhibition programme, and plenty on offer for children too. With a rooftop cafe and beautiful beach on tap, families are sure to find something to suit everyone.
Museums reviewed by parents: Wheal Martyn, Cornwall
Set within 26 acres of woodland, this family-friendly country park is home to the world's only china clay mining museum. Find out more about Cornwall's largest mining industry, which is still alive today – how it changed the lives of local people, and its wider impact on the world. With nature trails, an adventure play area, and mining in action, there's plenty to keep you entertained.
Museums reviewed by parents: HMS Belfast
Walk the same decks as British sailors supporting troops during D-Day with a visit to the HMS Belfast, a hands-on piece of naval history floating in the centre of London. Our family testers climbed aboard, and up, and down, and all over the huge ship and still have more to see on the next visit.
Best children's literary festivals in the UK
Bring books to life for book lovers of all ages, from pre-school to teenagers, at one of the world's best literary festivals. Meet authors, learn writing and illustrating skills at a workshop or take part in a debate – there are a wealth of bookish activities on offer for families throughout the year, and many of them are accessible online from anywhere in the world.
Museums reviewed by parents: Paradise Wildlife Park, Hertfordshire
On the Herts/Essex border, Paradise is far more than just a zoo and offers a fun-packed (and fact-packed!) day out for children of all ages.
Museums reviewed by parents: The Postal Museum, London
How did people communicate in the days before Facebook and WhatsApp? London’s new Postal Museum takes an in-depth look at the history of the postal service, with plenty to engage young hands and minds.
Museums reviewed by parents: National Maritime Museum Cornwall
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall's light and airy building, with its wheel-friendly design, is a haven for young families, but enjoyed by all generations. With 15 galleries over five floors, and a host of interactive exhibits, there's plenty to see and do – from wrecks and rescues and fishing and frigates to smuggling and seafaring skills.
Museums reviewed by parents: the Eden Project
Hailed by some as the 'eighth wonder of the world', this disused china clay pit is now a thriving global garden. Eden's two 'Biomes' host a plethora of plants and the world's largest indoor rainforest, set amongst more than 20 acres of landscaped gardens. There's an undercover ice rink (seasonal), adrenaline activities for thrill-seekers, and even a youth hostel/campsite if you can't bear to leave!
Museums reviewed by parents: Edinburgh Zoo
Watch giant pandas having their lunch, catch penguins on parade and even dance alongside colour-changing disco chameleons (!) – there's a world of wildlife fun to discover at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland for primary-school children and their parents.
Museums reviewed by parents: Kew Gardens
The largest UNESCO World Heritage Site in London, Kew Gardens is a park with a difference, home to 30,000 plant species (including the world’s oldest pot plant). A natural paradise that offers the space and inspiration to play and appreciate the outdoors whatever the weather, we visited to find out what's on offer for children and families.
29 fantastic activities for the February 2022 half term holidays
Take part in a puddle jumping contest, play a tune with a giant trumpet flower, or even share some snacks with the Tiger Who Came to Tea – all thanks to our pick of 29 fun activities for you and the family to enjoy this half term! By Hetty Walton
Museums reviewed by parents: Museum of Science and Industry Manchester
Be awed by past and future science and technology in Manchester with a trip to one of the UK's most atmospheric museums, on the site of the oldest surviving passenger railway station and in the heart of the world’s first industrial city. We highlight what the Museum of Science and Industry has to offer parents, children and families.
101 fantastic activities for the Christmas 2021 school holidays
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and there are still plenty of online and outdoor activities for you to safely enjoy with the kids, from helping craft a gingerbread cityscape to meeting Santa’s special delivery owls. Here are our 101 of the very best! By Hetty Walton
Museums reviewed by parents: Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
Discover one of the earliest cameras (on a super-size scale) along with mind-bending optical illusions and tricks at one of Edinburgh’s top family attractions.
Museums reviewed by parents: Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks. We took a step back in time and discovered what’s on offer for families.
Museums reviewed by parents: Big Pit National Coal Museum
The sights, sounds and smells experienced by generations of coal miners, some as young as seven years old, are evoked by a visit to the Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenafon, Wales. Our family testers reported back on a fascinating, thought-provoking day out.
Museums reviewed by parents: Longleat
See lions and tigers and deer (no bears) in the English countryside on a safari in your own car, before exploring formal gardens, one of the world's largest hedge mazes, parkland and an Elizabethan stately home. Our family testers report back on an action-packed day at Longleat.
Museums reviewed by parents: River & Rowing Museum
Mess about on the river at the family-friendly River & Rowing Museum and explore the many faces and functions of the River Thames. Our family testers loved their day communing with Mole, Ratty, Toad and some friendly local ducks.
Museums reviewed by parents: the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Get a taste of how royalty has lived throughout the ages with a visit to the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh. We review what's on offer for children and families.
51 fantastic activities for the October 2021 half term holidays
Track down some Shakespearean witches, uncover a T-Rex in the undergrowth or even try your hand a spot of cabbage reading (yes, really!) – you’ll be taking a walk on the wild and wonderful side this October, with our top pick of 51 fun and educational activities for you and your family. By Hetty Walton
Museums reviewed by parents: Windsor Castle
Home to the Queen and over 900 years of Royal history, Windsor Castle is one of the most famous castles in the world. Family trails and activities make it a brilliant day out for all ages, as our parent-and-child testers found out.
Museums reviewed by parents: London Wetland Centre
Get a taste of the wild without leaving the capital (or getting your feet muddy!) at WWT London Wetland Centre, a 105-acre wetland visitor centre in Barnes, southwest London. Home to wildlife species including birds, water voles, bats and amphibians, the Centre offers a great family-friendly day out.
Museums reviewed by parents: Kensington Palace
At Kensington Palace in London you can look at a 300 year-old royal four-poster bed and marvel at how small people used to be, pretend to be Head of State by wafting down a grand staircase and see what games kings used to play. We explain what's on offer for a family visit.
Museums reviewed by parents: Avebury Manor and stone circles
Find out how people lived through the ages by visiting Avebury Manor and its stone circles on a family-friendly and fascinating learning day out.
Museums reviewed by parents: The Canterbury Tales
Take a trip back in time to the sights, sounds and smells of medieval Canterbury with a visit to the much-loved tourist attraction The Canterbury Tales.
101 fantastic activities for the summer 2021 school holidays
Join a band of marauding Vikings, step inside Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or come face-to-face with Darkest Peru’s most famous export – we've got a whole host of summer adventures for you to enjoy together with 101 amazing and educational activities from across the UK. By Hetty Walton
Museums reviewed by parents: Centre of the Cell London
If you love London’s fabulous Science Museum but feel your family has done it inside and out, Centre of the Cell, a cutting-edge tech centre in East London, is perfect for expanding your horizons. There’s hands-on fun to bring out the budding doctors, nurses, lab technicians and pathologists in all ages!
Museums reviewed by parents: National Museum of Scotland
Discover the secrets of Scottish history all the way from the Big Bang to Sir Chris Hoy, see a T-Rex up close and meet the world-famous Dolly the Sheep – all at Edinburgh's National Museum of Scotland.