The Spring term has whizzed by in a blur of World Book Day costumes and the Easter holidays are just around the corner. We don’t know about you, but the school break has rather snuck up on us. In case you’re casting around for ideas to fill the holidays and keep your little bookworms busy, here’s a round-up of our favourite things to do. Fingers crossed for two weeks of sunshine!
Head to the box office
- Tom Gates Live on Stage!
The bestselling series by Liz Pichon has been adapted for the stage by the same team that brought us Horrible Histories and Gangsta Granny. If the reviews are to be believed, it’ll be a fun, hilarious and cleverly presented musical extravaganza – perfect for Tom Gates fans of all ages. The show will be on tour in Preston, Liverpool and Cardiff during April and elsewhere around the country until December. Head here for details.
- Zog Live
Our favourite orange dragon is the latest of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s wonderful characters to be brought to life on stage. Meet Zog, Madame Dragon, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout the Great is this magical musical number, which will be on tour in Chester, Guildford, Swindon, Cambridge, St Albans, Birmingham, Hull and Cardiff during April and all over the country until July. More details here.
- The Cat in the Hat
Dr Seuss’s much-loved Cat is coming to the Rose Theatre in Kingston in April in a show that features riotous rhymes, music and amazing acrobatics. The book has been adapted in association with the National Centre for Circus Arts and the production promises to be a rollercoaster of fun and mayhem! More details and tickets available here.
- Matilda The Musical
One of our favourite musical adaptations of recent years, Roald Dahl’s classic is currently on tour and will be at the Edinburgh Playhouse throughout April. This multi-award-winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company is smart, funny and inspiring, everything you would expect from Matilda Wormwood herself! Head here for more details.
Plan a day out
- Horniman Museum & Gardens
The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill is one of London’s best kept secrets. Avoid the West End crowds and head out to South-East London, where this gem of a museum holds a fantastic natural history collection, plus an aquarium and beautiful gardens. Their current exhibition is Brick Wonders, a celebration of the wonders of the world made entirely from LEGO bricks. What’s not to love?
- We the Curious
Bristol’s We the Curious is one of the UK’s biggest and best interactive science centres and a firm favourite of the Parrot Street support crew. It describes itself as an indoor festival, with a huge array of playful hands-on exhibits. During the Easter holidays, they are launching a new programme of activities all about the positive actions we can take to tackle the challenges facing our planet. Top tip: don’t miss the amazing planetarium show.
- Vauxhall City Farm
We’ll be taking the Parrot Street support crew down to Vauxhall City Farm to meet the goats who feature in our April Cockatoo activity pack. Their handler, Sophie, told us that they love a cuddle. There are urban farms all over the country, so even if you’re staying in the city for the holidays, you can still experience a bit of country life.
- V&A Museum of Childhood
This East London outpost of the Victoria and Albert Museum is the perfect destination for a day trip with the kids. It’s designed for the whole family, with lots of hands-on exhibits and facilities for kids of all ages. Don’t miss their current exhibition, A Pirate’s Life for Me, which closes on 22nd April. It’s a playful celebration of fictional pirates and their influence in popular culture, with a large-scale pirate ship at its centre.
Stay close to home
- Get crafty
Craft activities inspired by a book you’ve read are a great way to encourage your little bookworms to engage a bit more deeply with what they are reading and to keep them talking about books even after they’ve closed the cover. All our activity packs include ideas for craft activities inspired by the books we send our subscribers and we’ve shared a few examples on our blog. Why not have a go at making your own comic strip or a woodland creature hand puppet?
- Visit your local library
Your local library is the perfect place to while away a couple of hours, especially if the weather is not so great. It’s also worth checking with your local bookshop as many have events on for children and families during the school holidays. Getting to meet an author face-to-face is an incredibly inspiring experience for kids and grown-ups alike!
- Start a family book club
Why not take the opportunity to start a family book club? Pick a category and challenge everyone in the family to read a book on that theme. You could read the same book together or each pick your own books to read independently. It’s a great way to inspire a bit of book chat. We’ve got some great category suggestions here.
- Go on a literary treasure hunt
Want to get the kids outdoors? Hide clues representing different book characters around the garden – you could use props or write a question on a piece of paper. Don’t forget to give them a hint as to where the next clue can be found. If you’ve got slightly older children, why not suggest that they write the clues and set a treasure hunt for their siblings? (NB. This would work just as well indoors too!)
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