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The Grinch

To celebrate the release of The Grinch in cinemas, The Natural History Musem Ice Rink has been well and truly Grinched, along with the beautiful festive fairy lights and stunning decorations,

The Natural History Museum Ice Rink has a cool Grinch movie theme, where you can celebrate the Grinch movie and experience the beautiful green lights and images of the Grinch as they illuminate the ice rink, standing central is the stunning Grinchmas Christmas tree filled with an array of green baubles. The Grinch festive movie theme will be available to experience at the Natural History Ice Rink until 16th December.


The Grinch, based on Dr. Seuss’ beloved holiday classic. The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas,  The Grinch lives a solitary life with his loyal dog Max inside his cave which is rigged with inventions and contraptions, but the Grinch only sees his neighbours when he runs out of food.

Each year at Christmas Who-Vile disrupt the Grinch's tranquil solitude with their increasingly bigger, brighter and louder celebrations, but when the Whos declare they are going to make this Christmas three times bigger this year, the Grinch realizes there is only one way for him to gain some peace and quiet: he must steal Christmas.  To do so, he decides he will pose as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, even going so far as to trap a lackadaisical misfit reindeer to pull his sleigh.

Meanwhile, down in Who-ville, Cindy-Lou Who-a young girl overflowing with holiday cheer-plots with her gang of friends to trap Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas Eve rounds so that she can thank him for help for her overworked single mother. As Christmas approaches, however, her good-natured scheming threatens to collide with the Grinch’s more nefarious one.  Will Cindy-Lou achieve her goal of finally meeting Santa Claus? Will the Grinch succeed in silencing the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all.

The Grinch is now in Cinemas across the UK.

Less Screen Time And More Play This Half Term

A new study has revealed that, by age 7, children will have spent 2 years and 3 months of their lives in front of a screen.  More than half of that time is ‘mindless’ screen time – spent without family or friends, in solitary, screen-based activities. The study, conducted by Persil amongst parents in the UK and Ireland highlighted that time spent in front of a screen dwarfs time spent outside. Parents reported that their children spend more than twice as much time in front of screens than playing outside – equating to 456 days of alone screen time by age of 7 versus 182 days of outdoor free play. This latest research also shows that children now spend much less time on “real play” than ever before. One reason is the unprecedented amount of time they spend indoors looking at screens.

Screens, when used in the right way, can be very beneficial – aiding learning and development amongst children. But there needs to be a balance between screen time and outdoor play. This is a balance we know parents are looking to achieve. Sir Ken Robinson, leading expert in education, creativity and human development, and Chair of the Dirt is Good Child Development Advisory Board, comments:

"If you’re an adult now, how much time did you spend as a child playing outdoors, making up games on your own or with friends, dashing around, taking tumbles, all for the sheer fun of it?  Until recently, children spent many hours every week on this sort of physical, imaginative, social play.  “Real play” like this is not only enjoyable: it is vitally important in young lives. Research has long shown that it has essential roles in the balanced development of all children and young people.

Here are five simple tips on how to balance your kid's screen time and outdoor play this half term week based on the idea and recommendations by Sir Ken Robinson.

1. Find an engaging way to limit screen time:
Create a brightly coloured rewards chart to allocate time slots on how much time is allowed behind a screen and to help plan outdoor activity for your kids on a daily basis. This is a fun and creative way to reward your kids with well-done stickers when they stick to the plan every day! By using reward charts and coloured stickers your kids will see the change as a positive one!

2. Encourage fun and creative activities with your kids:
Don’t be afraid to get messy – indoors or out. Find an activity your child really loves and enjoy the fun together! It could be as simple as making music out of garden twigs, or starting an arts and crafts session using conkers, pine cones and leaves you found in the park, or playing team games such as rounders’ or a treasure hunt. It is also a great way to bond together and encourage creativity. Inspiring your kids to be creative can stimulate their imagination and also reduce stress and anxiety.

3. Embrace the British weather, even in the winter:
We all know splashing in puddles, climbing up tree houses, swinging on swings and getting really muddy is a child’s dream of having fun! On a rainy day grab your wellies, a waterproof coat and go on an adventure with your kids at your nearest park.

4. Try incorporating 'real play' into your child’s daily routine:
Real play is unsupervised and self-initiated. Some ideas to get you started are playing with sand, painting, chasing games, role play, juggling, and hiding games. Giving your kids opportunities for active, physical, imaginative, and social play can have such positive benefits in kid’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.

5. You don’t have to spend loads of cash:
Real play doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes it’s nice to just be with your kids so, join in with any outdoor activities, go for a stroll together and have a conversation about their interests or be imaginative and have an exciting bake-off competition together. The main resources are time, energy, companionship and laughter.

Persil, along with parents and experts recognise the importance of children playing and embracing dirt, and have been promoting the benefits of outdoor play for over a decade. Persil is commitment to addressing the play imbalance that so clearly exists. As part of that commitment, they have collaborated with a series of initiatives to provide parents with practical solutions to addressing this play imbalance.

There are several ways you can get involved:

Outdoor Classroom Day – Taking place on 1st November 2018, this initiative challenges schools to get children to take at least one lesson outdoors that day and celebrates the importance of playtime. In 2017 alone, 2.3 million children took part around the world in over 100 countries, including over 580,000 in the UK where the campaign is led by Learning through Landscapes. Parents and teachers can sign up atwww.outdoorclassroomday.org.uk 

Parkrun – it is easier than ever to get the whole family enjoying the great outdoors with parkrun.  As an official sponsor, Persil is helping to ensure there are hundreds of free events that take place every weekend across the UK, go online atwww.parkrun.org.uk to find your local one

Real Play Coalition – Persil, alongside IKEA, National Geographic and The LEGO Foundation created the Real Play Coalition – a movement that prioritises the importance of ‘real play’. Join us in our mission to make the world a more playful place by visiting www.realplaycoalition.com and signing up for more information

The JoyFills Café In London hosted by Love Island’s Jack and Dani

To celebrate a tasty new biscuit brand JoyFills why not head to the UK’s first ever hot-air balloon café on Monday 29th October 8-2pm, to help lift the spirit of the UK,  the first day after the clocks change, the unique hot air balloon inspired café  will be first experienced by you along with Jack and Dani from Love Island, you will have the opportunity to soar up to 55ft above ground level to experience the amazing London skyline view.

Attendees (on a first come, first served basis) will be treated to Oreo and Cadbury’s JoyFills, a cup of coffee tea or hot chocolate where you can wave goodbye to summer and officially say hello to the colder months, The cafe will be open to the public from 8.00am – 2.00pm in Stratford’s Olympic Village (address details below)

Bite-sized biscuit, JoyFills one day only hot air balloon experience will bring smiles of joy back to the faces of the UK, as British Summer Time officially comes to an end.
  • Who: JoyFills, a new deliciously light biscuit with a soft, creamy filling
  • What: The JoyFills Café – a unique hot air balloon-inspired experience and café
  • When: Monday 29th October, 8.00am – 2.00pm
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 5 Thornton Street, London, E20 2AD
  • How much: Free entry
To help re-live that summer feeling as we officially transition to autumn, the pop-up café will allow visitors to enjoy a warming drink whilst munching on the tasty new snack, available in delicious Cadbury and Oreo flavours.  While providing a thoroughly enjoyable antidote to those post-summer blues, the JoyFills café on the ground will also be giving away packs of the light, airy biscuits alongside a complimentary hot drink to passers-by.
JoyFills are available in four delicious flavours; Cadbury Milk Chocolate creme, Cadbury Choco cookiecreme flavour, Oreo Vanilla creme flavour and Oreo Choco caramel creme flavour, with each small but mighty bite a true taste sensation.  Found in the biscuit aisle of all major retailers including Tesco, Asda, Co-op, Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s for just £1.50. Each sharing pack contains 90g of the innovative bite-sized treat, ideal for sharing with friends and family. 


Not really surprising to me as a working mum, but rather interesting to learn that British parents do an equivalent of an extra day’s work per week in the mad morning dash, working parents’ busy morning routine amounts to an additional 10 hours 15 mins a week on top of their nine to five jobs.
The typical parent completes 43 tasks – from last-minute homework to defrosting the dinner - in a gruelling domestic routine BEFORE they reach their day job.

Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain studied 2,000 working parents with children of school age to celebrate the launch of new Nutri-Grain snack bars, which are made with six B vitamins and iron, known to help release energy from the food we eat and keep us fueled up on busy days, the purpose of the study was to find out just how much us working parents do each day. On average, school-age parents leap out of bed at 6.01am (with one third up before 5.30am) to ensure they can complete a checklist of 43 tasks – taking more than two hours - before they even get to work. This amounts to 10 hours 15 mins every week, equivalent to more than a whole additional working day. 

The busy working parent’s checklist of 43 tasks:

Commuting to work
Brushing teeth
Getting yourself dressed
Making breakfast for the kids
Getting the kids to brush their teeth
Packing and making your own lunch to take to work
Ferrying the kids to school
Packing the kids’ school bag
Cleaning dishes / packing the dishwasher
Putting a washing load on
Preparing for any after-school clubs (e.g. packing sports kit)
Filling up coffee holder/water bottle
Making/eating breakfast
Brushing the kids’ hair
Searching for misplaced items (e.g. kids’ clothing, homework etc.)
Getting the kids up and dressed
Getting the kids to finish their homework
Packing and making the kids’ school lunch
Making the beds
Filling out permission slips
Wiping surfaces
Polishing school/work shoes
Feeding the pets
Making a to-do list or shopping list for the day
Organising medical appointments (doctor/dentist/) or picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy
Arranging childcare
Defrosting food for dinner that evening
Scrolling through social media
Putting away toys
Ironing work/school clothes
Applying makeup / grooming
Folding/putting away clothes
Organizing play dates
Having a shower/bath
Drying/styling hair
Checking/responding to emails/messages
Paying bills
Taking the bin out
Exercising / going for a run / to the gym
Watering the plants
Reading the news/weather
Walking the dog
Locking up (doors, windows, setting alarm)

A Kellogg's spokesperson said: “It’s clearly a case of wake and work for British parents who are packing in a whole additional working day every week on top of their nine to five jobs.“The morning checklist of chores means working parents’ days are rammed, understandably leaving most exhausted by 11am. Fuelling up with a mid-morning snack is a great way to get through the 11am slump and sustain energy levels throughout the day.”

Eight in ten parents (79 per cent) confessed they do not eat a big enough breakfast to sustain them through to lunch, while 42 per cent said they skip it altogether most days and despite getting up at 6am to do their morning chores the average parent doesn’t leave work until 6pm, meaning their day is in fact a far cry from the traditional nine to five.

Leading UK nutritionist Laura Clark estimates the morning shift for working parents could be equivalent to burning over 300 calories every day:
80 per cent of working parents admit to getting HANGRY from failing to eat a proper breakfast, leading 44 per cent to have arguments with colleagues , The morning dash has never been busier for British working parents according to new research released today, which reveals their wake-up routine adds an additional day's work* on top of their nine to five jobs every week.

Dr Becky Spelman, a leading UK psychologist, said:
“We're all feeling the stresses of modern life with the hassles of always-on culture and parental chores adding to the burden of already frazzled parents. As well as ensuring that we all keep our minds and bodies properly nourished and energised, employers offering flexible hours for working parents can be a real help when it comes to managing the work-life balance.”

In a brand new recipe Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain bars have been fortified with six B vitamins and iron, with no artificial colours or flavours, Created as the perfect mid-morning snack for people with jam-packed schedules, Nutri-Grain bars contain 25 per cent of our daily needs of B vitamins, which help release energy from food, and 17 per cent of our daily iron needs, which helps cognitive function.
Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain bars are available from all major supermarkets and are approved for school lunchboxes.


Merlin Entertainments launches new school lesson ‘Fake News and the Media’ to educate young people on the pitfalls of false information in popular and celebrity culture. Madame Tussauds London
has been at the forefront of popular and celebrity culture for more than 250 years, this amazing new a new programme will support and educate students about fake news.

The ‘Fake News and the Media’ school lesson is part of Merlin Entertainments new ‘Today’s Lesson Will Be…’ educational programme that is being rolled out across the company’s London attractions. Created in collaboration with education specialist SHAPES for Schools this new lesson is linked to PSHE and the English national curriculum and is targeted at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 students aged between 9 – 13 years old. The ‘Fake News and the Media’ lesson has been created as a reaction to the current issues around the distortion and misuse of false information and the influence it is having on young people’s choices.  As the lines continue to blur between what is a real news story and what is false, the interactive lessons will provide teachers and their students with the essential skills to navigate the news agenda safely online and across social media.

Delivered by Madame Tussauds performers, the ‘Fake News and the Media’ lesson will lead students through a critique of how the media presents news whilst also analysing the difference between rumour, spin, satire and false information. It will include:

  • Structured discussion around modern celebrity culture and the media, and how the two are linked.
  • Working in groups to categorise news stories according to different criteria, including, how the news was shared; who wrote it, text and images, and the emotive impact on the reader.
  • A group-based definition of ‘fake news’ and other key terminology.
  • A game in which pupils try to identify their classmates’ real stories from their fake ones.
The new ‘Fake News and the Media’ lesson can be booked as part of Madame Tussauds London’s school's package. This includes such benefits as a 40% saving on tickets and free Teacher Resource Packs. For more information please visit www.madametussauds.com/education

Joanne Channon, Education Manager at Merlin Entertainments, said: “The dissemination of false information through the media both online and across social media can be incredibly confusing and challenging for young people. Out of the classroom learning is proven to be highly effective in helping to stimulate young minds while boosting student’s social skills such as confidence, creativity and communication. We believe our new workshop will inspire students this academic year and we hope it will have a positive impact on how they interact with modern media in the future.”

Merlin Entertainments ‘Today’s Lesson Will Be…’ educational programme offers high-quality learning opportunities outside of the classroom with a variety of curriculum-linked workshops at five of London’s most iconic attractions. The learning experiences, accredited with the LOtC quality badge by The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, are currently available at the Coca-Cola London Eye, Madame Tussauds London, DreamWorks Tours: Shrek’s Adventure! London, SEA LIFE London and The London Dungeon and offers a range of workshops covering subjects from English, science, geography to history and even drama – offering a range of levels from KS1 all the way through to KS5. For more information visit www.merlinsmagicallondon.com/schools