All Posts By:


  • InSeasonal events

    World Book Day: Easy to find dress up ideas

    It’s almost that time of year again.

    The time of year when parents across the globe dread those 3 little words:

    “World Book Day” – 5th March 2020

    Of course, it’s really nothing to dread. In fact, it’s something to celebrate and fully get behind for our children.

    World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

    World Book Day costume

    The thing to dread is the inevitable fancy dress costume that your child will ask for.

    Even worse, parents often face the last minute panic of scrapping together an outfit for World Book Day because either the school forgot to send the memo, the kids forgot to give you the letter, or you simply forgot to check your notifications on the app.

    Whichever one it is, and no matter how awesome it is, World Book Day is another thing that parents have to try to fit in.

    So we thought you might need some help organising a World Book Day fancy dress costume that’s not too expensive and is easy to find.

    Even better, you might even be able to pick it up whilst you do your weekly shop.

    World Book Day dress up that’s easy to find

    Asda George. The bigger Asda stores might have a selection of costumes in, but otherwise, you can do click and collect within a couple of days, or select next day delivery directly to your door.

    George at Asda

    Sainsbury’s. With lots of costumes on offer this is one to plan ahead as they currently have 25% off but only until 17th February 2020.

    Sainsbury’s dress up

    Matalan. The costumes here also have 25% off, so order soon to make sure that the one you want isn’t out of stock.

    ALDI. These Specialbuys are always a “once they are gone, they’re gone” deal, but there is a selection of outfits available to order online or pick up in store. You might just have to chance your luck to get the right sizing.

    ALDI dress up

    TK Maxx (& Homesense). These can be a bit hit and miss in terms of what is in stock, but if you can find something, you’ll definitely bag yourself a bargain.

    TXMaxx dress up

    B&M. This shop can also be tricky to guarantee what you might find on the day, but they have an app to help.

    B&M fancy dress

    Then there is eBay or Amazon.

    Or if you’re more adventurous and well-organised, look at Pinterest for some homemade costume inspiration.

    Find out more about World Book Day.

    And read this handy guide to see how you can be involved.

    World Book Day

  • InCrafty Kids, Family friendly days out, Seasonal events

    FREE half term activities at IKEA Coventry

    Are you looking for some half term activities to keep the kids busy?

    You might remember just before Christmas that IKEA announced some pretty epic free breakfast with Santa events. Well, they’ve gone and done it again.

    IKEA is putting on free half term activities that the kids will love.

    Free half term events at IKEA Coventry

    We all know how horrific a shopping trip with kids can be. Whether it’s the supermarket or post office, children get bored, fiddle with things they shouldn’t or you end up carrying them out after a meltdown over nothing.

    A trip to IKEA can be better as it’s almost like an adventure playground already and they really cater for the kids, but there’s still a chance it can all go a bit Pete Tong. Even with the offer of meatballs and hot dogs.

    Over February half term however, IKEA is going that step further again. The stores are offering children the chance to take part in some free activities to make the shopping experience a whole lot better!

    Kids can pick up a treasure hunt sheet for the chance to win 1 of 5 hampers. There are spray bottle craft sessions where they can make their own piece of art using washi tapes, arts and crafts supplies. And of course, don’t forget, there’s also the free SMÅLAND crèche for children over 3 years old.

    IKEA treasure hunt

    Pick up a copy of the treasure hunt and enter for the chance to win 1 of 5 IKEA hampers,

    IKEA Children’s Craft: Spray bottle art

    Using spray bottles, washi tapes, arts and crafts supplies and a pinch of your creativity, you’ll be able to make your own piece of art.

    What you need to know:

    Treasure hunt:

    • Pick up a copy of the treasure hunt from Meet and Greet on level 6
    • Once completed put your sheet in the post box at the back of Checkouts on level 3 for a chance to win one of our five hampers
    • Running from 15th February 2020 – 1st March 2020
    •

    Children’s Craft: Spray bottle art:

    • Using IKEA spray bottles, washi tapes, arts and crafts supplies and a pinch of your creativity, you’ll be able to make your own piece of art. Once completed, you can take your creation home for free.
    • The workshop is suitable for children aged 4+
    • Places are FREE but you can only book one workshop per IKEA Family member
    • Your places will only be held for 10 minutes after your booked time slot to allow for enough time to run the workshop
    • Last day of registration is Sunday, 16 Feb
    • Running from 15th February 2020 – 1st March 2020
    • Book at

    SMÅLAND crèche:

    In addition, remember that IKEA also offers plenty of child-friendly places to grab food, lots of toilets and baby changing facilities, and toys around the stores too.

    Find out what’s happening at IKEA Coventry or find your nearest IKEA store holding these half term events.

  • InKids workshops, Libraries

    Free activities for under 5s -Warwickshire Libraries

    Find free activities for kids

    It may have been a few years since you’ve visited, but if you have kids then libraries are an absolute must!

    Warwickshire is full of amazing libraries with weekly events especially for the kids. Whether it’s stories, nursery rhymes, coding or Lego that they are into, there’s something for all ages.

    So if you are looking for what’s on for children in Warwickshire, your nearest library is definitely a good place to look.

    Freebies from Warwickshire Libraries

    Apart from tonnes of books for all ages and interests, events for children are typically free, or at least very cheap. We all know how keeping the kids busy can start to add up! Even better, weekly classes tend to run during term-time, but some groups and special events also run throughout school holidays.

    Above all, you don’t need to be a member of a library to take part either. If you do want to join a library for your children up however, that’s also free too.

    Once they are members, there are a whole load of resources for children. Children can borrow up to ten books at one time, CDs, audio books, games and DVDs for instance. They can also request and reserve books for free, and keep them for out longer than adults.

    Free weekly activities for under 5s

    As big fans of the weekly activities at our local library, we therefore wanted to help you find your nearest.

    Here’s our handy guide for you to find your nearest libraries, events for under 5s, and how to join up.

    • BABY RHYME TIME – Songs and rhymes for newborn and young babies with their parents and carers. Therefore, ideal for babies not yet moving around.
    • RHYME TIME – Songs and rhymes for 0 to 2-year-olds and parents and carers. In other words, toddlers.
    • STORY STOMP – Fun for 2 to 4-year-olds and their parents and carers, following on from Rhyme Time.


    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Lillington Library 10.30-11am

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Warwick Library 9.30-10am
    Rugby Library 11-11.30am


    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Atherstone Library 10-10.30am, 11-11.30am
    Shipston Library 10.45- 11.15am
    Bedworth Library 11-11.30am
    Coleshill Library 11-11.30am
    Polesworth Library 11-11.30am
    Southam Library 11-11.30am
    Stratford-upon-Avon Library 11-11.30am

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Bedworth Library 10-10.30am
    Kenilworth Library 10-10.30am
    Leamington Spa Library 10-11am


    Baby Rhyme Time (non-walkers)
    Stratford-upon-Avon 11-11.30am

    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Rugby Library 9.30-10am, 11am-11.30am
    Stockingford Library 10-11am
    Alcester Library 10.30-11am
    Kenilworth Library 11-11.30am
    Wolston Library 2.30-3pm

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Atherstone Library 10-10.30am
    Wellesbourne Library 11-11.30am


    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Warwick Library 9-10am, 11-11.30am
    Nuneaton Library 11- 11.30am

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Nuneaton Library 9.45-10.15am
    Polesworth Library 10-10.30am
    Lillington Library 10.30-11am
    Shipston Library 11.30am-12 noon


    Baby Rhyme Time (non-walkers)
    Atherstone Library 10-10.30am

    Rhyme Time 0-2 years
    Wellesbourne Library 10-10.30am
    Leamington Spa Library 10.30-11am
    Whitnash Library 11.15-11.45am

    Story Stomp 2-4 years
    Alcester Library 10.30-11am
    Coleshill Library 11-11.30am
    Southam Library 11-11.30am
    Stratford upon Avon Library 11-11.30am

    There are also events for older children including Chatterbooks (8-11yr), Lego Club, Code Club (9-11yr) and Book Magic.

    In addition, you can enjoy one-off events at Warwickshire Libraries.

    Find your nearest library.

    Free library activities in Warwickshire

    Find out more about Warwickshire Libraries.

  • InHealth & Wellbeing, Resources

    Miscarriage support in Warwickshire

    Find miscarriage support near you

    Did you see the miscarriage research that has just come from Imperial College London?

    The findings from the recent study showed that miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy can lead to ‘long-term post-traumatic stress’. In fact, they went on to state that one in six women experience these effects.

    650 women who had experienced an early pregnancy loss took part in the study. Consequently, it’s the largest ever study into the psychological impact.

    The results from this miscarriage research revealed that one month following pregnancy loss, 29% suffered post-traumatic stress, 24% experienced moderate to severe anxiety, and 11% had moderate to severe depression.

    Nine months later, 18% of women had post-traumatic stress, 17% anxiety, and 6% had depression. 

    It therefore highlights that we need more miscarriage support and aftercare.

    Experiencing miscarriage

    Sadly, here at Warwickshire Kids, we’ve been through miscarriage ourselves so we know just how devastating it is.

    No matter how many weeks pregnant you are, you lose your baby and all of the dreams you’ve already made.

    After that, the woman then has to ensure invasive medical procedures, the horrible physical process, and the longer-lasting after effects. Partners are often expected to ‘get on with it’, but they too are, of course, affected by the loss.

    One of the main reasons that it is so hard to understand is that there are no answers or reasons why. In fact, a lot of parents feel that they can’t talk about what has happened. It might even be that they don’t know who they can reach out to. In addition, other people don’t always know what to say or say the wrong thing to a grieving parent.

    This can make you feel very alone, so it is no wonder that it can cause mental health issues.

    Support for miscarriage

    If you have experienced an early pregnancy loss, your recovery and how you try to come to terms with it will be completely personal.

    Perhaps you’re a talker and could benefit from counselling? Maybe you prefer to read other’s stories? Whatever it is, for your own wellbeing, we recommend finding out what miscarriage support is available to you.

    There are 250,000 miscarriages and 10,000 ectopic pregnancies every year. In other words, you are not alone and not to blame in any way.

    Here is a list of organisations that you can contact for support to help with your miscarriage recovery.

    Miscarriage support will vary depend on your location, but we hope that you can find something.


    Miscarriage Association – helpline 01924 200799 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm)

    Tommy’s – helpline 0800 014 7800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or email at

    Child Bereavement UK – helpline 0800 02 888 40

    Sands – helpline 0808 164 3332 or email

    Cruse Bereavement Care – helpline 0808 808 1677 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm) and a network of local branches where you can find support.

    Samaritans – helpline 116 123



    There is an amazing resource under Professor Quenby who holds clinics in recurrent miscarriage in Coventry. You will need to speak to your GP to be referred.

    Support groups and counselling

    Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support – (Nuneaton, Bedworth, North Warwickshire) email at Support group on the first Tuesday of each month at Combe House, George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

    North Warwickshire Counselling Service – (Nuneaton) 024 7632 0095

    The Acorn Centre – (Nuneaton) 02476 381878

    Hope Group – (UHCW Coventry) – pregnancy after loss

    Life Charity – (Leamington Spa) 01926 312272

    Online support groups

    Tommy’s Facebook support group – a safe destination for the baby loss community

    Public group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support

    Closed group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support

    Closed group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support – DADS

    Read more about the miscarriage study at

  • InUncategorized

    New year fitness tips for 2020 – Guest post

    As we wave off 2019 and welcome 2020, a lot of us will make plans for the year ahead.

    Often, even with the best of intentions however, we’ve given up on them by mid-January. This is especially true when it’s new year fitness goals.

    It’s not our fault though. When you have children, jobs, pets and a life, there can be lots of distractions. In fact, our goals may never have been achievable in the first place.

    So would you like some realistic new year fitness tips for busy lifestyles?

    Well, it’s your lucky day.

    We asked Sinéad O’Connor from Back To It Personal Training to give us her expert advice on how to set realistic fitness goals that we can stick to.

    Back to It Personal Training

    Here’s what she says.

    New Year, new you…

    Or rather, New Year, same you, only a much better version.

    There is so much focus on the whole ‘New Year, New You’ idea, and I think that it’s nonsense!

    With 52 weeks of the year, although we do like to over-indulge in December, the damage isn’t done in a few weeks of festive feasts. Yes, we all like to treat ourselves, but 1lb of fat is made up of 3,500 calories, so it’s a little more than the odd mince pie! 

    When it comes to setting new year fitness goals, just remember that you need to have balance to succeed. If you don’t eat, drink and do the things you love, then you will be miserable, and so will those around you.

    Try to consistently eat moderately and train often for both physical and psychological wellbeing. 

    I know it’s easier said than done however. Even when you are a personal trainer.

    Balancing exercise with parenting

    I am a mum of 3 boys under 3 with no family support locally. As a result, like most other families, I struggle to get everything done. I have to be everything to everyone who needs me, and still find time for myself.

    Something always gives, and it is usually my health and wellness.

    In 2015, I ran the London marathon. I was the fittest I had ever been, and whilst training I fell pregnant with my first son Harry. After he was born, I went back to work after a few months and hardly saw him. I didn’t exercise as much because of my 50-60 hour weeks, so I got bigger. I then fell pregnant again when he was only 4 months old.

    During my second pregnancy, I put on 4 stone and suffered from SPD. I decided to start studying to make a career change because I wanted to do something which I was really passionate about. I also wanted to help others in the same position as me. 

    After my second son was born, I took a major risk and left my job running a successful health and racquets club to start up my own business, specialising in pre- and postnatal fitness.

    And that’s where Back To It Personal Training was born.

    Fast forward 2.5 years, and my third son is now 11 weeks old. During this pregnancy however, I stayed active and carried on working.

    I set myself little goals each week, and even managed to grow the business despite the obvious challenges.

    Goal setting

    To help me to manage the business, I took on a lovely lady called Laura to deliver my classes whilst I concentrated on baby and ran the business from behind the scenes. She is now running her own classes for BTIPT and we have doubled the amount of classes we offer. As it turns out, Laura was one of my clients and a mum who also decided to re-train and do something she loved.

    I suppose the message is to never feel trapped. No matter what your fitness goal is, set small steps to achieve them in the longer term. By making time to be active and working hard, it will happen!

    Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash

    New year fitness tips for making a healthy start to 2020

    There are plenty of excuses not to exercise.

    We all do it, and worse still, we then crave quick fixes because our body isn’t getting enough protein and healthy fats. Did you know that if you don’t consume enough of these 2 macronutrients your blood sugar can rise and fall at an abnormal rate? This causes those darn sugar cravings!

    Here are some really simple new year fitness tips for you to make some positive changes in 2020.

    1. Get to bed early. Ok so I know that this isn’t always possible with youngsters around, but try and do it. Just 1 extra hour a night could be an extra nights sleep over the week. Sleep, or lack of is definitely the solution and cause to everything in my opinion!
    2. Find out what your BMR is. Without this, you are pushing water up hill. Create a deficit (if required) in line with you goal. Track your calories, allow for treats, and don’t make yourself miserable!
    3. Drink at least 2 litres of water per day. Buy a big enough bottle, fill it at the beginning of the day and make sure you drink it all.
    4. Get support. Tell people around you that you are trying to change so that they can support you.
    5. Find a training buddy. Or perhaps a group because they will push you to train, even when you don’t feel like it.
    6. Be consistent. It’s the only way to get long term sustainable results.

    Home workouts

    It’s not all about going to the gym either. Make exercise work around your family.

    Here are two quick workouts you can do from home, even with the kids around. You don’t need any special equipment and they are guaranteed to make you sweat! Do these at least 5 times a week for 6 weeks and track your calories. You will get results!

    AMRAP 15 (As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 min)

    Write down how many rounds you did and set challenges to beat your record each week to track your fitness progress.

    If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook there are always other exercises you an switch and change to keep things fresh:

    • Mountain climbers x 10
    • Jumping jacks x 10
    • Sit ups (ab crunches for ab separation) x 10
    • Press ups (knee adaption for ab separation) x 10
    • Sumo squats x 10


    4 minutes of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest and 1 minute break before moving to next exercise:

    • Sargent jumps
    • Rock press
    • Squat
    • Tuck up (ankle tap for ab separation)

    And finally

    Don’t follow the fad diets and quick fixes. They don’t work in the long term. The science is really simple; create a calorie deficit and burn more.

    If you’ve been inspired by Sinéad’s words, drop her an email at or send her a message on Facebook.

  • InFamily friendly days out, Resources

    Family planner: a year of family memories – FREE download

    The new year and new decade has arrived.

    Your social media feeds will be full of 10 Year Challenge posts. Some of which will make you feel really old.

    And if that’s not enough to remind you of your age, if you remember the turn of the century, you’ll be trying to work out where the last 20 years have gone.

    It’s a fact of life that as we get older, time seems to tick by faster and faster each year.

    Throw children into the mix, and you’ll feel as though it’s been five minutes since last New Year’s Day.

    Happy New Year 2020

    The reason? As modern parents, we feel pulled in every direction to keep everyone happy.

    Organising and caring for kids is a full time job in itself. Anything on top of that explains why the weeks just disappear. Not to mention parent guilt and trying to cram family time in too.

    Don’t worry though, we have the answer.

    Make memories that last a lifetime

    Family days out and adventures with the children are, for most parents, what weekends and holidays are about.

    Exploring new places or activities and making memories are what help to shape a child’s upbringing. It goes without saying therefore, that family times are what they that they will remember the most.

    They are often what we forget to do though, and can be expensive.

    Well, perhaps not.

    Planning made easy

    The key to winning at any kind of parenting task is to break it down.

    Things don’t seem quite so daunting if you’re taking baby steps and get a loose plan together.

    So how do you fancy some help in planning your year?

    This is something I came up with when expecting my second child. I was so worried that in the blur of newborn days, my eldest who was 3 at the time, would miss out on the fun times we’d always shared together. It’s also easy to forget your own name as a new parent, so planning to go to new places is often virtually impossible.

    12-month memory planner

    I created a 12-month planner of 3-4 manageable things to look forward to each month and ticked them off as we went.

    Each month might include visiting a new park or attraction, learning a new craft, an annual tradition, an experiment, or simply just coming up with a fun new idea. For example, go for a picnic, have a tea party, do a treasure hunt, or make a pom pom creature.

    The best part is that they were things to do with the kids that were easy and could be adapted to suit the budget.

    In planning your year you:

    • Alleviate your own worries about forgetting to focus on spending quality time together
    • Create a lovely plan of new activities that the kids will love to tick off
    • Won’t be having to think up ideas for family time last minute
    • Produce a lasting keepsake of the year you had together, so there will be no confusion in what you’ve been up to

    This will be our 3rd year of planning our family times, and I can honestly say that having my planner printed and hanging on the fridge door is a lifesaver.

    So here’s the thing… I’m sharing my planner with you this year.

    Simply sign up below to receive a 2020 planner that you can use to plan your family time.

    Year long family plan for 2020

    Warwickshire Kids logo


    Sign up to receive your free 2020 memory making planner download!

    By signing up, you are giving consent to receive emails from Warwickshire Kids.
    We promise not to spam you. You can opt out at any time.


    If you need some inspiration for what to add, here are a few ideas:

    • Go on a winter walk
    • Have a superhero tea party
    • Have a movie night
    • Make thank you cards
    • Collect leaves and make a nature picture
    • Find a new park
    • Go swimming outdoors
    • Camp in the garden
    • Make a movie with teddies
    • Put on fancy dress and take funny pictures
    • So painting and frame it
    • Go to a theme park
    • Go ice skating
    • Watch a live sports game
    • Make salt dough
    • Go to the cinema
    • Visit a relative
    • Have a day out at the seaside

    The world is quite literally your oyster. And remember, there’s nothing more demoralising than a not being able to tick anything off a list. Keep it achievable.

    We really hope that it helps you to make 2020 a year that everyone will remember.

  • InShopping

    Shop local for last minute Christmas gifts

    We’re not sure about you, but even with the best intentions, Christmas becomes an opportunity to simply spend money without even realising it.

    As we head into the last few days before Christmas, you may be having to stop yourself from panic buying ‘stuff’ for the sake of it.

    If this happens however, the usual result is that you end up filling your child’s toy boxes with even more plastic junk that they get bored of within a couple of days.

    Meanwhile, the shops are sitting back and counting their money.

    Fancy an alternative this year?

    In running the Warwickshire Kids community, we have the delightful privilege of discovering lots of lovely small businesses.

    So if you are still looking for something a little different, and want to support a small business, here’s your shop local guide for last minute Christmas gifts.

    Shop local in Warwickshire and make it a Christmas to remember (for your family and the business owner).

    Toy shops

    Often, you can find more unique toys and boutique brands at local toy shops, as well as offers on well-known items too.

    Toy Mad, Hatton (Warwick)
    Toy Mad is technically the gift shop at Hatton Country World, but you can visit the shop without paying for entry into the park. They stock a range of traditional and contemporary toys.

    Dolls Domain, Leamington Spa
    You can find this shop just inside of the Royal Priors Shopping Centre in Leamington Spa. They stock a range of jigsaw puzzles, model kits, games, crafts and cuddly toys.

    Abacraft, Kenilworth
    This place is a little confusing online, but it is essentially half picture framing shop, half toy shop. Not the standard combination but it seems like a really sweet shop. They sell a selection of toys across a variety of price ranges and are said to be very helpful, so one to explore if you’re local.


    We once read a blog that reminded us that toys are disposable, but memories last for a lifetime. It gave us the idea that the really awesome presents are the ones that your kids will not only enjoy but that they will remember. So essentially, spending time together is more important on buying ‘things’.

    The Chocolate Shed, Wootton Wawen
    If you’ve got a chocoholic in the house, you could buy them gift vouchers to a chocolate making workshop where they can get messy and create some sweet treats that they will get to take home. They even run them for those ‘difficult to buy for’ teenagers. Explore the fun side of chocolate making.

    The Barn Kitchen, Coventry
    This cafe runs themed afternoon teas throughout the year, ranging from Disney characters right through to Harry Potter or Elf. With loads of events on offer and gift vouchers available to buy, you’re sure to find something that will suit.


    If you are looking for something a little bit different, look to independent clothing boutiques. You’ll find lots of hidden gems and maybe some things for yourself too.

    Sofya & I, Hatton (Warwick)
    This shop is all about real life girl power. Set up with the aim to allow Mums, Aunties, Nanas etc to all shop together, this is a very child-friendly shop located in Hatton Shopping Village. There is even a free craft station to keep kids busy if they get bored of looking around.

    Eliza Doolittle, Rugby
    This little clothing shop has been selling designer childrenswear brands and occasion wear for over 30 years. Definitely somewhere to shop if you want something special for a little person.

    Colourful Soles, Lutterworth
    Kids shoes can tend to be either boring and practical, or cool and ill-fitting. This shop crosses the border between the two, offering a welcome alternative to buying quality shoes that actually look bang on trend too.


    Got a hard-to-buy for recipient? Independent gift shops are jam packed full of things you’ve never even thought of. The perfect place to look for something unique.

    Sweet Retreat, Rugby
    If you’re looking for a gift for someone with a sweet tooth, then this is your place. With old fashioned pick’n’mix sweets, sweet cones, handmade fudge, hampers bouquets and more, this family-run business have something on offer for all ages.

    Timeless Tales, Stratford-Upon-Avon
    This shop is a Beatrix Potter specialist that brings the magic of her stories into your lives. They also stock other timeless children classics such as Paddington bear, the Hungry Caterpillar, Elmer, Gruffalo and many more.

    The Nest, Rugby
    Think Etsy on the high street. The Nest offers a marketplace for small, local, handmade and craft businesses to sell their items on the high street, so you can find some really unique gift ideas here.

    Where else would you recommend to shop local in Warwickshire?