Top 10 free summer activities for kids: Cardiff

In the second addition of our 4-part series we have put together our top 10 free things to do in the beautiful city of Cardiff.

Cardiff has many attractions and fun, free things to do with kids on the days you get a bit stuck over the summer holidays!

Part 2: Cardiff

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Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2b766tm

OUR TOP 10

1. Cardiff bay beach

Visit the urban sea side at Cardiff bay beach! A fun day out for all the family running all summer long, with free entry, live entertainment and activities for all ages. Check out some more info here, we particularly love the sound of the water zorbing and the bumper boats!

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Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2b8fCiF

2. The Cardiff story museum

At the home of Roald Dahl, develop your child’s learning at the Cardiff story museum and take part in exciting activities such as reading, listening to stories and exploring new adventures with the famous characters. For 0-5 year olds, visit Dinky Dragons, on the second Friday of each month to take part in rhymes, craft, music and play!

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Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2biYEzJ

3. Adamsdown playcentre

A day at Adamsdown playcentre is a perfect way to support learning in a fun way. Enjoyed by all 5 -14 year olds, the centre is full of fun and games from team building sports, to cooking, it will keep your children occupied for hours and out of mischief!

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4. Geocaching

If you are ready for an adventure then take your kids to go geocaching! This fun activity can keep your kids active exploring new exciting locations. Geocaching is a GPS treasure hunt game played all over the world! All you have to do is download the app and start your adventure…

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Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2b8gmnL

5. The Animal Wall

Visit the animal wall and see the amazing life-like sculptures crafted into the wall. Perhaps you could get your kids to keep a tally of how many animals they can spot on the wall? Whilst in the area make sure you explore the castle and make a day of it by taking a walk in Cooper’s field park next door. On a sunny day you could even take a picnic!

The Animal Wall

Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2aILWEX

6. Amelia trust farm

Take a trip to a working farm with all your favourite farmyard animals including pigs, sheep and chickens. Onsite there is a play area and café but you could also take a packed lunch and enjoy the countryside under some shady trees.

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Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2ba9pUt

7. Cwmbran boating Lake

Visit the scenic spot of cwmbran boating lake. On a sunny day, take along a picnic and some extra bread to feed the ducks! Kids can play on the paddle boats or splash around in the water while parents soak up the sunshine.

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Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2aDz1IW

8. Victoria Park Splashpad

Victoria Park splashpad is great fun for all ages to run and play in a mini water park set up. The all-time favourite place for kids to cool off on a hot summers day!

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Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2ba93NP

9. Summer family trail

Explore your heritage at the national museum of Cardiff. The summer family trail is a great experience for all the family to take part in. This treasure hunt trail gives families the opportunity to solve clues around the museum and learn some new facts!

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Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2aNtHAX

10. Forest Farm Country Park

Become an explorer and take up bird watching or see how many different animals you can find in forest farm country park, just outside of the main city.  This park is perfect for all ages to enjoy the scenic walks and cycle rides, as well as getting up close to its wildlife.

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Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2bj2APV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids free activities for over the summer holidays

The arrival of Summer Holiday is always a welcoming break from School for kids. However, as parents, the challenge is on to keep the kids away from i pads and video games when the sun is out.

So to make your Summer a little easier, we’ve come up with 10 free ways to keep your kids learning and entertained over Summer as part of a 4 part series.

Part 1: LONDON

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OUR TOP 10

1. Visit the Science Museum

Take a trip to the science museum and educate yourselves! Learn about the world of science from the professionals and have some fun too. Make sure you visit the water play area located inside, that is an interactive space designed for children aged 3-6 years old to learn about water properties of sinking and floating and shadows and reflections.

Find out more at: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/

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Photo Sourced from: http://bit.ly/2awsnnX

2. Explore Golders hill park and zoo

Take a picnic to the park and spend the day visiting the owls, coati and even the lemurs! This is a fun day out on a sunny day for all the family to enjoy!

3. Watch the pelicans being fed in St. James park

Take a walk to Buckingham palace and watch the pelicans being fed between 2.30 and 3pm in St. James park.

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4. Go pond dipping at Camley Street natural park

Take your kids to go pond dipping and see what they can find in the two-acre nature reserve in the center of London. Make sure you visit the viewpoint, a floating platform with peep holes to take a sneaky peak into the world inside the pond.

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5. Check out Coram’s Fields Playground

Coram’s field is open to under 16’s for a fun day out packed full of activities and new experiences all free of charge. Make sure you visit the adventure play area, the sandpits and the paddling pool!

Find out more at: http://www.coramsfields.org/ 

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Photo sourced from: https://playgroundadventureuk.wordpress.com/

6. Take a trip to Mudchute Farm

Take a trip to Mudchute farm and visit all the animals, they even have llama’s and alpaca’s!

Find out more at: http://www.mudchute.org/

7. Make your own temporary sculpture at Liminal, Tate modern

At the Tate Modern they are encouraging families to take part in a series of family workshops around Liminal. Boost your child’s creativity with a fun day out at the gallery and broaden your imagination!

Find out more at: http://bit.ly/2an9e5k

Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2an9e5k

8. Test out the giant slides in Victoria park

Visit the giant slides in Victoria park for endless fun of running up and sliding down! Perfect for all ages.

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Photo sourced from: http://www.studioludo.org/blog/

9. Explore the Grant Museum

Explore zoology at the Grant Museum! Discover a natural world and take part in family activities to uncover fossils and find all sorts of exciting new things!

Find out more at: http://bit.ly/2aHgWX5

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Photo sourced from: http://huff.to/2aJMqf3

10. The alligators mouth book shop

Educate your children at the Alligator’s mouth book shop in Richmond. Meet the authors of all your kids favourite books and take part in story time on the carpet to listen to all sorts of new stories.

Find out more at: http://www.thealligatorsmouth.co.uk/

Photo sourced from: http://bit.ly/2apMVfB

 

Summer Flavours

This fruit infused water is a fun way of tasting new fruits and creating a healthy and appetising drink for you and your family to enjoy!

Particular combinations that we’ve listed below provide tons of vitamins and minerals and can have fantastic health benefits.

 

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Lemons alone can bring down a fever, prevent kidney stones and have anti-cancer benefits. Grapefruit can help you lower your cholesterol as well as giving you a healthy dose of vitamin C. Alternatively, Ginger is a fantastic ingredient for building up immunity and fighting bugs off during cold and flu season!

So throw out the sugary cordials and start getting creative with your water. You can even get the kids to help make this and pick out the flavours!

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(Photos sourced from http://blog.lulus.com/)

Method:

All you need:

  • A few jugs of iced mineral or sparkling water

  • A selection of all your favourite fruits!

Simply slice and dice the fruit and divide it into new combinations for you to try!

Below are some of our favourites:

 

  • Strawberry, Cucumber,Lime and Mint

  • Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon and Mint

  • Blueberry and Lime

  • Strawberry, Raspberry and Basil

  • Orange and Kiwi  (The vitamin C booser!)

  • Watermelon, Kiwi and Strawberry

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(PHOTOS SOURCED FROM http://www.sheuncovered.com/)

You can also try fruit infused ice cubes.

Simply place small pieces of fruit into an ice cube tray, freeze for approximately 3-4 hours and then pop them into your drink to add more flavour. You could even add them to a pimms jug on a warm Saturday afternoon!

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(PHOTOS SOURCED FROM http://feistyveggies.com/)

Drink Up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Collection Just Launched

We have just launched five stunning new styles for our AW16 collection that combine up-to-the minute contemporary design, with detailed interiors and accessories …

EDEN

Embracing the trend takeover of non-leather bags, we are proud to announce that we have launched our first ever vegan-leather bag. The Eden was designed to bring about style and quality whilst offering a great alternative to leather A nod to sustainable fashion, the new Eden is soft, buttery and leather-free and will double up as the ultimate gym or weekend bag. With double sided webbing in a vibrant contrasting colour, the smart straps across the outside of the bag allow for easy storage of your jacket, baby blanket or even yoga mat.

Click here to shop

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EMMA

Our new ‘hero’ bag for Autumn Winter 2016 is the Emma. The Emma is the perfect everyday ‘go-to’ bag, set to be on every fashion editor’s hot-list next season. Classic, understated and with timeless sleek detail, this is the ultimate shoulder-bag that can be teamed up with any outfit, and will double up as an equally luxurious handbag.

Click here to shop

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SANDY

On-trend with this year’s homage to sports-luxe style, the new Sandy is another fresh new changing bag to be added to the Storksak collection. A super lightweight bag cleverly designed to hold all of your essentials. It comes equipped with a luxury padded changing mat with two mesh pockets for storing baby’s creams and nappies and a back pocket for wipes, plus FAB bag (food and bottle bag) to keep your baby’s food and bottles warm while on the go.

Click here to shop

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ANNA

The Anna is another spacious new addition to the new season’s range. It has a stylish patterned quilted nylon finish, chic enough to transition your look from urban day to night, but casual enough for trips out to the park. This elegant bag also comes with a separate matching insulated FAB bag (food and bottle bag) that can also be attached to your stroller for quick trips out.

Click here to shop

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QUILTED STROLLER ORGANISER

Designed to give you smart and convenient storage for all your babies essentials whilst out on the go. This practical satchel-style Stroller Organiser made from water resistant quilted nylon, is the perfect accessory for keeping you organised. The velcro straps attach onto your stroller to help make parenting easy, comfortable and hands-free.

Click here to shop

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Our new collection is available to pre-order online now and you can shop the full range of Storksak bags, accessories and organics products here: www.storksak.com

A letter from Sorcha …

From time to time, we get lovely letters and emails from our wonderful customers. We wanted to share this particularly lovely note from Sorcha, a truly inspiring Storksak Super-mum!

“I first bought a Storksak Jamie for my sister in 2009. They loved it and so when I found I was expecting in 2011 I asked my child’s father to buy me a Storksak for myself.

Little did I know that 5 years on I would still be using it every single day!

You see my son has autism (with sensory processing disorder, and social communication disorder,) as well as poor muscle strength, hypermobility syndrome, probable ADHD and a rare auto-inflamatory disease called PFAPA -a periodic fever syndrome. 

It took a long time to get his diagnosis’ and we had many, many trips to A&E, many hospital admissions to different hospitals, occupational therapists and speech therapists….

Throughout it all the Storksak (called mummy’s brown bag) has been there providing him and myself with security!

It has so many useful pockets for dummies, medicines, wipes, trains, cars, apple juice, spare clothes (he was toilet trained just at 47 months but still required plenty of changes of clothes incase water drips on him or he spills any food or drink).  

It has had communication cards clipped onto it to help him in nursery, and now it also houses my phone and tablet, Chargers and external batteries…..  

It has been everywhere with us, including nursery daily, trips to Thomasland, and the trip we took to Finland. It has been sat on, jumped on, dragged on the ground, chewed on.. And it still looks good!  

So Thank You! And as for my sister- well she used her bag for two years, put it away and has now used it another 2 years for baby number 2.  

Well done on a great product!”

Sorcha's son Isaac

Sorcha’s son Isaac

Thanks for your kind words Sorcha!

If you want to share your thoughts on our bags, please send us a message on facebook or email directly to chloe@storksak.co.uk.

 

 

Outdoor Activities for your baby this Summer

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Sometimes bringing up a child can be hard work so it’s important to take a break from your daily routine by getting some fresh air and being active with your little one! Doing this is a great way to aid their physical and cognitive development as well as releasing ‘happy-hormone’ inducing endorphins for you!

Now’s your chance to show your baby the world, we’ve got you covered with things to do.

 

A walk in the park

Taking a walk in the park can be a great way to relax for yourself and your baby. They will love exploring the big world outside, opening their eyes to the adventure outside of the home. Even if your baby is too young to play, they will love meeting new people and enjoying the colours of the park, with the nice feeling of grass on their feet.

Splash around in the pool

If your baby loves a bath, swimming is a great bonding activity for the both of you and is also a great way to meet other local mums with young babies too. As your baby grows, kicking will become one of his/hers favourite ways to exercise and stretch out their limbs. Also, the earlier your baby becomes familiar with the water the better as this will help them develop the skills for swimming.

Go for a Jog with the Stroller

Many mothers who struggle with low mood in the months following the birth of their baby have found exercise to be a key ingredient in lifting their mood and becoming happier! Strap your little one in securely to your stroller and go for a gentle jog to get your heart rate up, even 10 minutes a day of exercise can have surprising results in relieving stress.

A picnic in the sunshine

Just grab a blanket, pack up some yummy treats, find a nice shady tree in a scenic park and enjoy! Bring along toys or even fun extras like bubbles to keep you little one entertained.

A day at the seaside

We all know just how relaxed seaside air can make us, so imagine the effects it will have on your baby! Bring a sun umbrella or tent with you for a bit of shade and enjoy the beautiful view in front of you. Don’t forget sunscreen! Sand is also fantastic for babies to play with and mould as they develop their motor skills.

Bond through yoga

Restorative yoga can be a great way of both bonding with your baby and toning your entire body! Lots of yoga studios offer classes designed for mum and baby that will stimulate the relaxation response in both of you.

Bring indoor activities outdoors

Bring your babies high-chair for a meal outside in the garden, and you don’t have to worry about mess on the floor! You could also bring toys outside to help your baby get to know and explore new surfaces.

One for a rainy day …

 

Treasure Baskets

Treasure baskets are a amazing way of teaching young babies how to touch, recognise and taste different objects. Just put a random selection of things into a basket, making sure they are big enough not to swallow. Let your baby explore and investigate the interesting materials and enjoy the sensory delights of the basket.

For 20 months +…

 

Waterplay time

If it is a warm day, set up a paddling pool under a shady tree and fill your paddling pool with 5-10cm of water so your baby can have a little splash around. Play with plastic cups and bath toys to keep them entertained. It is also very important to never leave your child unattended near the water and paddling pool!

TOP 15 TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

At Storksak we are always tapping into the advice and experiences of our customers and fans to make better products for you!

As the holiday season is fast approaching and kids are getting more excited in anticipation of their summer trips away, we thought it would be useful to our Mums to create the ultimate packing list for your summer holiday.

 

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We partnered with our sister brand Babymel and asked our fans and customers to tell us the ONE thing they could not travel without on their family holiday, hundreds of you replied and gave us your travel essentials. We’ve compiled the answers to create a list of the top 20 travel essentials to take on your family holiday …

1. Wipes: Whether its standard wet wipes, antibacterial or the trusty baby wipe… this one came at the top of your list

2. Snacks: For emergency feeds and tired children when travel plans change last minute

3. Changing bag:  We are very happy to hear that a changing bag is very high on your travel essentials list – we totally agree!

4. Spare clothes: Little accidents are sometimes unavoidable so it’s important to always pack extra clothes for the journey

5. Stroller/carrier: A must-have to make any journey easier!

6. Tablet: Sometimes a lifesaver when you or your children are suffering from delayed-flight boredom!

7. Toys: Great for comforting your little one or as entertainment on planes and trains

8. Camera: Don’t forget to capture those wonderful memories on your holiday!

9. Sunscreen: An essential for babies delicate skin when away in the sunshine

10. Blankets / Muslin cloth: These simple pieces of woven cotton cloth have numerous uses and are definitely a must have item when travelling with a baby

11. Soft toys: For children who can’t go anywhere without their trusty cuddly toy, which also doubles up as a great comforter when travelling on a plane!

12. Mobile phone: An obvious one for Mum and Dad, but your phone can also double up as hours of entertainment for young children

13. Dummy: An essential item to placate and relax your child

14. Music: Playing music to your little ones can brighten their mood and boost language skills, and it is also great for making long journeys more entertaining for everyone

15. Colouring books/ Books: Perfect for hours of entertainment, especially on long journeys!

 

The Designer’s Pick

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Here at Storksak we understand how hard choosing a bag can be, especially when there are so many great bags to pick from! We thought we would make your lives that little bit easier and asked our Founder and Head of Design, Melanie Marshall to tell us her favourite bag from this year’s Spring Summer collection, and share her reasons why this is such a fabulous, must have bag …

 

Her pick: The Noa Stripe Fawn

“Feeling the promise of Spring, I am loving our new Noa fawn stripe. Long summer days, linen clothes and outdoor fun – this is definitely my favourite bag for the coming Summer. The super functional mini organiser is perfect for keeping your essentials organised on short trips out of the house. I also love the simple colour palette which goes with everything!”

 

The Noa Stripe Fawn is available to pre-order now for May Delivery,  SHOP NOW – bit.ly/1qWYsZ8

 

Spring Bag Trends

A changing bag is the perfect way to update your look for the new season for busy mums – this essential everyday accessory doesn’t have to be merely practical, but can bring your outfit together and make it look stylish at a time when fashion can’t be your first priority.

Whatever your personal style, here is our edit of the biggest catwalk looks, and which Storksak bags you can invest in to nail them:

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Graphic prints

Graphic patterned bags, stripes and bold prints ruled the runway at Kenzo, Stella McCartney and Dolce and Gabbana this season. Storksak’s style is more classic than loud, but for print lovers we have designed a beautiful range of bags called the Nina, whose series of patterns are completely original and designed in-house. We also introduced a stripe design to our Noa range for SS16; the Noa Stripe Fawn.
Primary colours

Bright, primary colours feature heavily on the catwalk for the new season, especially prominent in the Tommy Hillfiger collection. Our award-winning Noa range is available in a stunning selection of colours, whether you are looking for bright, pastels, or classic neutrals. £5 from the sale of every Noa yellow via our UK website goes to charity ‘Women and Children First’ – so you can even shop guilt-free!

Backpacks

The backpack trend is still going strong, and luckily for busy parents this perfectly practical item, once the domain of school children and hikers, has had a high fashion makeover.
We have introduced the Charlie backpack, a unisex design in a range of colours with matching insulated food bag, to the Storksak range for Spring/Summer 2016. A fun, practical and easy to wear item, this is the perfect investment for both parents.

Metallics
The 3.1 Phillip Lim collection offered a range of pretty metallic silver designs, in minimal, unstructured shapes for SS16. Our classic Tania Bee Graphite fits this trend perfectly – with a slightly metallic finish that is subtle enough for everyday use.

Top handles
This ladylike style was seen all over the catwalk this season. Invest in our chic top handle design, the Catherine Leather, as seen at Miu Miu, Dior and Fendi, for grown-up glam.

To keep up to date with Storksak’s latest news and find out about our latest ranges first, don’t forget to follow us via Facebook and Instagram.

Nigella Lawson recipe: dairy and wheat free chocolate cake

 Yesterday at Storksak HQ we celebrated Product Developer Rebecca’s birthday, and Emma created this amazing dairy and wheat free cake for her.

It’s so delicious and chocolatey you would never guess that it isn’t the real deal! If your kids have a dairy or wheat allergy they don’t have to miss out, here is the recipe for this delicious treat below:

rebecca cakeIngredients:

Makes: 8-12 slices

Metric Cups
  • 150 millilitres regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 50 grams good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 125 millilitres boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons best vanilla extract
  • 150 grams ground almonds (or 125g plain flour / 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour)
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF. Grease a 22 or 23 cm/ 9inch springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.
  3. In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.
  4. Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or other bowl and whisk arrangement of your choice) and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
  5. Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond (or flour) mixture.
  6. Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.
  7. Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm with some ice cream, as a pudding.