My Mini Pop Artists At Warhol Croydon

Research from the International Child Art Foundation has found that a child that is exposed to the arts acquires a special ability to think creatively, be original, discover, innovate, and create intellectual property – key attributes for individual success and social prosperity in the twentieth century.

This is why exposing my litttle ones to as much art and culture as possible is of great importance to us as a family.

By this I don’t mean sitting in front of text books flicking through endless pages of text, but actually getting out and exploring which for me is a far more interesting way of gaining knowledge.

This weekend we took a trip into Croydon to explore the Warhol Croydon exhibition that has been bought to the streets of Croydon by the award winning RISE Gallery.

The street exhibition has been inspired by the life and works of Andy Warhol who was a leading artist in the 1960’s pop art movement.

A group of extremely talented artists have come together to create twelve instillations taken from the inspiration of his work and placed across the whole town centre.

There are plenty of free guided walks that you can book online to take part in or go it alone like we did.

The tour took us from the bustling high street full of shoppers to super quiet derelict buildings, from high rise offices to beautiful gardens and the quirky streets of Surrey Street Market.

We stopped and took time to take in each piece and the children really loved telling me their thoughts…some not so complementary and some hilarious.

It’s wonderful to see what others see when looking at the same piece of art and there is nothing thing better than seeing things through a child’s eyes.

The tour took us some time as I didn’t follow the route as marked out which from experience I would suggest doing.

With the tour complete we headed off to the Whitgift and Centrale Shopping Centre to take part in the Andy Warhol themed session that allowed Oscar and Frankie to become Mini pop artists for the afternoon.

We are familiar with Whitgift Weeenies Kids Club sessions that are put on throughout the year and are completely free to take part in.

The sessions can be anything from animal handling to art sessions and are suitable for children aged 3-10.

This session saw the children trying their hand at printing by carving out a picture into a foam board, covering it  with as much and as many different colours as they like and then creating their own Pop Art style masterpiece.

The friendly staff were at hand to help out where needed yet allowing the children free reign to really bring out their creative side.
Cleaned up and art in hand we finished off our jam packed day at RISEgallery they at the moment is homing some pieces of original artwork by Andy Warhol himself.

It certainly wasn’t a stuffy gallery that didn’t want enquisitive children around, we were infact all warmly welcomed, shown around the gallery and even had a chat about the art work that the boys had created.

The exhibition is on until the end of the month and there is still time to book in for this Sunday’s Wennies Kids Club session, so get yourself booked in as it’s something not to be missed!
*collaborated post

Design A Purfume Bottle Competition With Whitgift And Centrale Shopping Centre

I am ashamed to say that I haven’t yet had the chance to get myself into Croydon to see all the fabulous events they are going on this month to celebrate the works of the great Andy Warhol with Warhol Croydon 2017.

From guided walks to kids crafting sessions there is so much to see and do it certainly has to be on my list this week.

Croydon biggest shopping centre couldn’t miss out on all the fun and as they are currently housing a huge canvas of the iconic Andy Warhol inspired Chanel purfume bottle they have come up with a great competition to run in conjunction with this.

You have until the 21st September to get creative and come up with your own, original idea of a design for a Chanel purfume bottle.

This is open to any age and simply needs to be assessed into the comments section of their Facebook page ‘HERE’ for your chance to be a winner.

The winner will then be announced on Facebook  on the 22nd September.

Good luck and I look forward to checking out all your designs!

Egg Hunts And Seaside Trips 

A typical British Easter bought with it the horrendous weather!  This said we managed to dodge the downpours and the wrath of Storm Katie and still have plenty of fun.

Our usual Easter Sunday started with searching for all the goodies the Easter bunny had left for us around the house and filled up on them with a super chocolaty breakfast.

Next up we donned our wellies and set off to Morden Hall in Surrey to take part in their egg hunt.

We always opt for a National Trust hunt put on by Cadburys as it gets the children interested in their natural surroundings while the adults can take in the beautiful settings.

   
 
We climbed over logs, played pooh sticks and jumped in muddy puddles while filling in our quiz sheets.

   
    
 
All filled in we made it to the finish line to collect our chocolate bunny prize.  The only downside we have here is that there is not an allergy friendly option, and although the hunts are put on by Cadburys I feel the National Trust could supply an alternative for those children that can’t eat chocolate.

 
 
After a sleepless night on Sunday with Storm Katie doing her worst by bringing down half our fence and sending a line of children in every few minutes telling us about the noise I still got up early to plan our trip to Margate, much to the dismay of my husband!

On our way down the winds settled a little and blue skies appeared which put a smile on everyone’s face.

We parked up and made our way for a bite to eat before making our way onto the beach.

   
    
 
The boys loved running into the wind and skimming stones across the sea.  I think the big boys enjoyed it the most!

   
    

Once we had had enough of the beach we headed over to the Turner Contemporary. This is a gallery I love and art is something I really want my children to be able to experience.

The children are always more taken by the vast open spaces but I always hope that they are taking something in from their trips.

   
  
 
Before making our way back home we took a stroll around the town looking at the quirky shops and street art and planning our next trip back.

   
  
 
What did you get up to this Easter?

  

 

Image Of The Week:Everyday

The theme for this weeks Image The Week over at Truly Madly Kids is ‘Everyday’ and this is one of my favourite weekly moments.

Now we are all back into the school routine and it’s just me and number five a home we love a weekly trip to our favourite cafe Art Rebellion for coffee and cake and a bit of quality time for just the two of us, we’ll sometimes we get Daddy joining in too!!

   
  

Rainy Summer Holiday Trips In Surrey

I knew that my post on outdoor summer days in Surrey was tempting fate, and I was right!  A few days later we  have horrendous torrential rain.

For me a bit of rain never puts me off getting outside and to be honest all the places such as farms are empty which I love!  Unfortunately though even I have to give in sometimes and settle for indoor activities instead.

I’ve listed a few of my favourites for you here:

Mother Kitty’s

  

If you have under fives, nestled at the top of Rickman Hill in Coulsdon is a wonderful little softplay and vintage tea rooms called Mother Kitty’s perfect to relax and have a cup of tea whilst you watch the little ones play.

   
 

The soft play is only sutiable for under 5’s but I bring my older ones along as they are more than happy to sit and have a drink whist making use of the free wifi!!

  
If the weather holds out then there is a large park and playground that is great to have a run around in too.

Airhop

  

If you want your older ones to let off some steam and get away from their games consoles, Airhop is a fantastic place to visit.

Over 4’s can bounce around to their hearts content on the many trampolines, foam pits and basketball areas.

  
You need to book your hours session online and they do get full very quickly, so make sure you book well before your intended visit.

Little Street

I have only visited this fantastic place once, and it completely blew me away.  

The name says it all and once inside Little Street really is a mini town for your little ones to play to their hearts content.

   
 

They can do their shopping in the supermarket, go to the hairdressers, visit the doctors, pop to the cafe, drive up and down the street, work on the construction site and lots more.

   
   

This is a refreshing change to your run of the mill soft play area which I loved playing in as much as the kids.

   
 

You book your hours slot online as numbers are restricted to ensure your child can play in the best environment.

I couldn’t recommend this place more.  Really is a fantastic trip.

Honeywood Museum

We came across the Honeywood Museum last year after years of visiting Carshalton and were pleasantly surprised.

The entry is free and they simply ask for a donation as you leave.  The house is fasinating to explore and you can pick up question sheets from the front desk that the children can fill in as you walk around.

   
 
They put on regular craft sessions for the children that mine really loved taking part in.

I would suggest checking out their Facebook page to see what events they have going on before taking a visit.

  
Kidspace

Kidspace is a mega softplay area along the Purley Way in Croydon.

With a large age range in children places like this can sometimes be tricky for me, but this cover all ages for me.

There is a smaller area with a sensory play section, mini trampolines, climbing areas and slides that is sutiable for the little ones.

  
  
The main area homes a huge area that they can climb and slide around, a big ball shooting area, go carts and climbing walls.

   
   

It is more expensive than most soft plays, but it is worth the money.  

They have a lovely cafe serving hot and cold food that is a great addition to a great soft play.

The Lightbox

I love art and love to find places that the children can explore the arts in a fun yet educating way.

The Lightbox in Woking, Surrey is a small gallery perfect for children.  They  regularly change their exhibitions and always have something to capture the thoughts of little minds.

   

They have a craft room where they can get hands on and create their own masterpieces with the help of the lovely staff.

   
 

There is a all cafe serving a small selection of snacks and some wonderful homemade cakes.  Theses can be enjoyed in the beautiful garden to the front of the gallery of the weather is good.
I hope you have found something here that your children would love to visit; I would love to hear what you think.

  

  

  

Park Fitness And Cool Cafes

My husband and I are both qualified personal trainers and find it very important to get exercise and healthy eating into the little ones daily lives.  

It was a lovely sunny morning so after the school run I took number four and five along to one of our local parks to get involved in some exercise together.  We are very lucky that this park has an outdoor gym so whilst the boys sat and had a snack I could sneak in a quick workout while getting number four involved in press ups and star jumps which he loves then racing him alongside the assault course.

I hope that getting them involved at a young age will instil good practice that will take them to adulthood.



To reward ourselves for all our hardwork we popped into one of our favourite cafes Art Rebellion in Coulsdon.  This fantastically quirky cafe/art gallery offers an array of coffees, cakes and light lunches whilst taking in the magnificent art it has on display.  



The staff and surroundings are extremely kid friendly and number fours allergies are always catered for.  It makes him feel very special to be able to enjoy his babychino whist sitting in an uber cool converted mini.

I would highly recommend popping in for a drink whilst perusing the impressive artwork and gifts they have on offer.  I have plans for one of their brightly coloured stag heads if the hubby allows!!