DIY for the kids to enjoy at home in the UAEKelly Johnstone, 08 Apr 2020 05:46:57 +0400As schools continue to offer distance learning across the UAE, families are looking for creative ways to keep the children entertained at the end of the school day.

A UK company called Victorian Plumbing has a suggested that a creative way to stave off boredom is to get the kids involved in some DIY.

As well as being educational and entertaining for little ones, a spot of DIY can also provide them with some life skills, which could prove useful for setting them to work on tasks around the house.

Here are eight tasks that you could set them to work on.

Make A BirdHouse

This is the type of DIY task kids love getting stuck into, and it will help them learn all about nature. Your little helper can design and build their very own bird home with a helping hand, obviously.
Top Tip: Keep the excitement flowing by encouraging your child to monitor the birdhouse visitors. And, continue the learning by searching online for interesting facts about each wild guest.


Painting is an essential DIY skill they’ll use for the rest of their lives. So, if an outdated room needs a spruce up, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your child involved. Teach young DIY'ers how to prepare a room for painting, and the importance of covering furniture.
Top Tip: Before your child begins to paint, get the area ready. Tape off areas not to be painted, and paint a border around the wall so the child can paint within.

DIY Practice

Practice makes perfect, right? Get a large scrap of old wood, and let your children practice using a tape measure, tightening screws, and hammering nails. But, to avoid any injuries make sure your child is fully equipped with protective wear.
Top Tip: Introduce tools one at a time, allowing them to examine and get to know the tool before starting to use. Practise holding the tool safely, talk about how to use it and how to carry it.

Turn Trash Into Treasure

With a little dirt, you can turn any household item into a repurposed planters for your vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Your children can learn all about sustainability by repurposing their old toys, coffee cups, and tea tins.
Top Tip: For your impatient little ones use quick-sprouting seeds such as sunflower, cress and salad seeds.

Sanding wood

Grab any old pieces of wood, or bits of any old furniture. Lay them out on a protective sheet, and let the kids sand them down until they are smooth. Once smooth, let them decorate with glitter, paint, and all things colourful.
Top Tip: Introducing power tools to children can be scary, start with a screwdriver. It doesn’t spin fast and doesn’t have sharp parts.

Dismantling and Putting Back Together

If you have any broken gadgets lying around, let your little DIYers dismantle and reassemble them. Kids get the chance to unscrew and put things back together, the perfect entertaining and educational activity.
Top Tip: Avoid using any electronic items, as they may still have dangerous parts attached and they might hold voltage.

Bicycle Maintenance

Bikes are essential to every kid’s childhood, so learning how to fix them will come in handy as they get older and start to ride independently. Start by showing them the basics: check brakes are working correctly, fix a loose chain, how to change a tire and add air.
Top tip: Bike maintenance can be a dangerous task, spinning wheels, brake rotors, chain, and cogs are all dangerous for little fingers. Teach your child how to prevent injuries with protective wear, such as eye goggles.

Fixing Squeaky Hinges

Little DIY maintenance jobs around the house are a great way to get your children involved. Your little helper can assist in tightening squeaky door hinges and door handles. Introduce your child to the different tools and equipment you can use for small DIY jobs.
Top tips: When a tool isn’t being used, teach your child about how to store properly. For example, putting nails away in boxes and screwdrivers in draws.

Four fun spring recipes at home with the kids in the UAE, 08 Apr 2020 03:00:00 +0400Clare Lavin – mum to six-year-old Oscar and 18-month old Darcy – has always been passionate about cooking. The Dubai-based mother-of-two made it to the quarter finals of Junior Masterchef and then later appeared on the cookery show, Masterchef Goes Large. Having passed on her love of whipping up fun, innovative meals to Oscar, she now encourages him to help her in the kitchen teaching him new skills and encouraging his creative flair. Her specialities are cooking quick and easy dishes that the whole family can enjoy. For more family-friendly recipes, follow Clare on Instagram @claresfamilykitchen.

Mini birds nest cupcakes

Makes 12 small cupcakes.
Prep time: 15 mins.
Cook time: 15 mins

100g self-raising flour
100g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
2 eggs
Dash of vanilla essence
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 pack mini eggs

Step 1

To make the vanilla sponge, cream together the sugar and butter. Stir in the eggs, flour and vanilla essence.

Step 2
Put into mini cupcake cases on a mini cupcake tray and bake on 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

Step 3
When the cupcakes are cooked, leave to cool completely. Make the icing by creaming together the cream cheese, cocoa powder and icing sugar.

Step 4
To decorate the cupcakes, cover each one in the icing, and decorate with the mini eggs.

TIP: Arrange the cupcakes in an egg box for a cute finish.

Creme egg rocky road

Makes 10 rocky road.
Prep time: 20 mins.
Cool time: 1 hour

100g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
1 tbls golden syrup
100g unsalted butter
100g digestive biscuits
Handful mini marshmallows
1 pack mini Cadburys creme eggs

Step 1
Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter over a bain mairie, until smooth and silky.

Step 2
Crush the biscuits into small pieces and add to the chocolate mix, together with the marshmallows. Stir well.

Step 3
Transfer chocolate mix into a pirex dish or deep baking tray.

Step 4
Dot the top of the rocky road with the mini crème eggs (removed from the wrappers). Put in the fridge for an hour until set, then cut up and serve!

TIP: These go perfectly with a glass of milk for kiddos and with a cup of tea for parents, if your little ones will share them that is!

Spring chick mimosa eggs

Makes 8 mimosa eggs.
Prep time: 20 mins.
Cook time: 10 mins

8 free range eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 black olives
1 carrot

Step 1

Cook the eggs until hard boiled (10 minutes), then cool down in cold water and peel. Put in the fridge to completely cool.

Step 2
Cut the top off the eggs and scoop out the yolk into a bowl without breaking the white of the egg. Add the mayonnaise and mash into a smooth paste.

Step 3
To decorate, fill the eggs with the yolk mix, making a small chick head at the top. Cut small olive circles for eyes and a small beak out of carrot. Then admire your handywork!

TIP: Cute food art that can be used year round to get kids to eat eggs.

Bunny jelly in grass

Makes one large jelly.
Prep time: 10 mins.
Cool time: overnight

1 packet raspberry or strawberry jelly
1 packet of lime jelly
1 rabbit shaped jelly mould

Step 1
Make the jelly to the packet instructions. Fill the jelly mould with the raspberry flavor and put the lime jelly in a small pirex bowl.

Step 2
Chill the jelly overnight in the fridge until set.

Step 3
To serve, remove the rabbit jelly from the mould, dunking in hot water if necessary so the jelly comes out. Careful not to over heat! Mash the lime jelly with a fork to resemble grass and put around the rabbit.

TIP: You can scatter pretty flowers made out of edible paper around the jelly rabbit.

Expert advice on the benefits of using technology in UAE classrooms, 08 Apr 2020 03:00:00 +0400From suggesting what you watch on Netflix to who you follow on Twitter, artificial intelligence (AI) is already an ever present feature in our lives. But what are the implications of using this technology in the teaching of our children?

“The global education landscape is fast evolving” says Emma Whale, Vice President – Schools, Pearson Middle East. “There’s an increased emphasis on going beyond the school curriculum to prepare students for higher education and employment, so schools across the UAE and globally are innovating their approach to curriculum content and delivery.”

Whale says that the digital revolution is now all around us. “We predict that in about 20 years there will be at least 500 new jobs, which will demand new skills and values. Technical skills such as AI, business intelligence, data and marketing analytics, coding and programming will all be highly valued.”

However, is bringing more technology into the classroom to be welcomed when many parents already feel they’re fighting a losing battle over screen time?

Whale says: “We see the advancement of technology as a positive development.”

She adds that: “It has the potential for individuals to access a range of relevant, engaging and motivating educational programmes customised to their varying specific needs.”

According to the Pearson Global Learner Survey 2019, students believe that technology has the potential to increase accessibility to education and improve the overall learning experience. Three in four respondents said that AI could make a positive impact on education, helping it to be more engaging and providing more personalised content.

But we’re not about to see a robot replacing the teacher in class just yet.

“The majority of students and parents in the UAE still consider classroom and in-person teaching the preferred mode of learning,” Whale says. “As a result, we’re focused on developing holistic digital and blended learning experiences, incorporating both print and digital.”

So how might a greater use of technology affect the attention span of students and the ability of teachers to engage with them?

“The majority of parents and educators actually believe the perceived advantages of IT and technology outnumber the negatives,” Whale explains.

“Respondents to our survey agreed that digital channels, content and devices have the potential to improve learning outcomes and to better prepare students for any future challenges.”

She added that digital learning solutions allow educators to teach in a much more personalised and targeted manner, while also helping students to master all of the concepts being taught in the classroom.

“In addition, technology has also made it easier for teachers to engage students in learning, for example through innovative interactive content using things like video and quizzes.”

And with greater emphasis being placed on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) both in the UAE and globally, it would seem technology is only going to play a greater part in the school life of youngsters moving forward.

As Whale concludes the most highly valued jobs will be in IT, software engineering and business consultancy so technical skills in young people will be key.

“Recruiters will be looking for people who have a higher level of technical and socio-emotional skills for these positions,” Whale says.

“Bringing more tech into the classroom is actually making our students ready for the 21st century workplace.”

Seven ways to monitor technology use at home

- Limit screen time by setting a schedule and asking children to use their gadgets according to the prescribed timetable only.

- Activate Privacy Settings for different websites and platforms to keep a check on their online activities.

- Monitor and model your own technology habits. Set a good example for your kids by limiting your own technology use.

- Get them involved in other activities such as a productive board game or outdoor physical activity.

- Create tech-free zones such as “tech free” dinners, etc. which means that they won’t be allowed to use their gadgets during this time.

- Encourage face-to-face communication by interacting with your kids on a daily basis and listen to their thoughts, ideas and issues.

- Talk to them about internet safety and make them vigilant towards social media threats like cyber stalking.

What to watch with the kids in the UAE, 07 Apr 2020 12:36:42 +0400If you’re deciding what to watch at home with the kids, streaming movies can be a delicate business. Skew too young and you risk boredom or, worse, replacing critical information in your brain with all the names of Paw Patrol. Skew too old and you traumatise your children. The sheer volume of possibilities can feel overwhelming, so Time Out London’s curated selection of movies that hit that rare sweet spot of entertaining little ’uns and parents alike, should be a huge help.

Age group: Under fives

Housebound toddlers can be a tough crowd. Give them what they want in a movie – usually songs, bright colours, some light action (ie nothing with guns or crossbows) and at least one cute animal – and they’ll sit rapt for hours. Get it wrong and they’ll be ransacking your knife drawer before the opening credits are over. Unsurprisingly Disney – and the newly launched Disney+ on OSN – is your friend here. Pixar, in particular, is king when it comes to all-ages entertainment.

Look out for the four Toy Story films (toys!), Up’ (balloons!), Finding Nemo (clown fish!) and Monsters, Inc. (monsters!) for the youngest viewers. A few Disney princess movies hit this adult/toddler sweet spot, too. Our tips? Moana, The Little Mermaid (obvs) and Tangled. Pinocchio is a masterpiece for all ages too, though, no, the toddler probably isn’t interested in how the story helped inspire Kubrick’s idea for AI Artificial Intelligence.

If you’re trying to free yourself from Disney’s hooks, the How to Train Your Dragon movies have your back. The story of a young Viking and his dragon pal, they’re full of colour and spectacle and are zippy fun for grown-ups too. At the gentlest end of Studio Ghibli’s filmography you’ll find Ponyo, which is loosely based on The Little Mermaid, while the ageless My Neighbour Totoro is a delightful way to while away a couple of hours as a family. They’re both on Netflix.

Wee ’uns should also get a kick out of Madagascar and its sequels, all of which have enough comic chops to keep the big ’uns engaged (especially Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, which opens with a Salvador Dalí homage). It’s important to note that Ross from Friends voices a giraffe in these films. Meanwhile, Sing is a poptastic riff on The X-Factor-style talent shows that has at least half an eye on its older audience members. If you’re going to pick one film for the whole family in which Taron Egerton sings I’m Still Standing, make sure it’s this one and not Rocketman.

Age group: five to eight

Kids are born smart and only get smarter. By the time they hit five, the chances are they can confuse you into putting on just about any movie they ask for. Die Hard? Sure, as long as you eat your vegetables. Keep your wits about you and look out for movies that ramp up the storytelling sophistication a little. The dialogue-free, ethereal first half-hour of Wall-E might be a little esoteric for toddlers but it’s perfect for kids hitting the world-weary age of six or seven. Same for Howl's Moving Castle, a Ghibli anime full of gasp-worthy moments. Kermit and co await in The Muppet Movie (and sequels), which will offer Gen X mums and dads a nostalgia trip of their own.

There’s a talking-animal movie for all ages (if you’re an adult, it’s The Witch) and for this age group it’s one of the best of breed: Babe.

What better time to introduce them to someone who could get them to eat their veg without a murmur: scary orphanage manager Miss Hannigan in Annie – but go for the 1982 one, not the rubbish 2014 version. If you need to occupy the kids for half an hour, try the achingly emotional The Red Balloon. The French classic is what a Pixar film would look like if it was, a) live action and b) made in 1956. It’s still the only short film to ever win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (again, your kids won’t care).

They definitely will tune into the madcap energy of Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep Movie, The Lego Movie and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, though. All three boast loads of fizzy fun for little people and knowing pop-culture riffs for parents. In the ‘mad as a bag of porpoises’ category, you’ll find The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water which is, well, nuts in all the best ways (hello, Antonio Banderas as Burger Beard the pirate). Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, based on Dav Pilkey’s much-loved children’s books, is a hilarious animated skew on the superhero movie filled helter-skelter adventures and daft dad jokes. Tra-la-laaa!

Age group: nine to 12

The nines and above are probably ready to embrace a little darkness. We’re not talking Hostel, but definitely the kind of ooky-spooky creepiness that all the best campfire tales are made of. In other words, it’s time for Labyrinth and The Goonies, a potentially perfect lazy afternoon double-bill filled with Goblin Kings, truffle shuffles, Sloth and co. One’s a quirky fairytale; the other, a giddy boy’s-own adventure. Or you could combine the two things into one glorious movie by watching swashbuckling, meta, magical The Princess Bride, a movie that never, ever gets old.

There’s something equally timeless about the old-fashioned art of stop-motion animation, especially in the shape of Jason and the Argonauts. There is no child in the world who won’t get a thrill from Ray Harryhausen’s skeleton battle, in which Jason and Argonaut pals engage in some Arg-y-bargy with a bony brigade.

There’s loads of classics that hit the spot across all generations. Try The Railway Children (1970), The Black Stallion (1979), The Witches (1990), The Secret Garden (1993), and, of course, The Wizard of Oz. If you can handle Munchkins and Oompa-Loompas in these psychologically fraught times, throw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory into the mix. Fair warning: the tunnel sequence is TERRIFYING.

Also scary, though much less so, is stop-motion classic Coraline. Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s book by Laika, the studio who made the also ace Kubo and the Two Strings, it’s a dark delight about the parallel worlds children create when their parents are mentally elsewhere. Try not to check your phone during this one.

If you can forgive Steve Spielberg for the walkie-talkie bit, ET The Extra-Terrestrial is the perfect entré to the ’Berg’s incredible filmography. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn may not be in quite the same league as the Reece’s Pieces-scoffing space refugee but it’s still a blast. Another lovable fish-out-water caper comes in the duffel-coated form of Paddington. Thanks mainly to Hugh Grant’s evil thesp Phoenix Buchanan, Paddington 2 is even better. Frankly, we’re still outraged that it didn’t win Grant an Oscar.

Now might be the moment to introduce the kids to the Harry Potter movies – after all, Harry is 11 when he heads off to Hogwarts for the first time. The early ones are a little cheesy for adult tastes but the kids will expect to watch them before you move on to the later, more satisfying stuff. Be warned: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 is a long two and a half hours, even in when you’re stuck at home.

There are three none-but-British comedies to look out for, too. Shakespeare comedy Bill comes from the Horrible Histories gang and while short on pinpoint historical accuracy (this Bard once played lead lute in a Stratford combo called Mortal Coil), it is full of big laughs and silliness. It’s also got Simon Farnaby in it, which always a guarantee of hearty lols. Oh, and the other two? The slightly underrated The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Both are gold-standard family entertainment.

Age group: 12-15

Congrats! You’re arrived at the teenage years. It’s time for the national film watching curriculum to kick in. These are key formative times for young movielovers-to-be, so now is the moment for some of the classics of your own younger years: Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters. It’s also the right moment for a coming-of-age movie like Bend It Like Beckham, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and classic of its kind, Stand by Me, which doubles as a handy (and not overly traumatic) intro to the work of Stephen King. Kids can hardly go uninspired by the stirring montages and epic power ballads of The Karate Kid, which doubles as a handy intro to the work of Joe Bean Esposito. We defy you not to do at least one surreptitious fist-pump during You’re the Best.

The children have probably discovered superhero movies by now without any parental guidance. Most of the good ones, like Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War, are on Disney+. One that isn’t, but is a total treat is Spiderman: into the Spiderverse. The Phil Lord and Chris Miller-produced animation has a raucous hip hop soundtrack, a cool hand-drawn animation style, bags of wit, and Nicolas Cage do a gravelly voiced noir Spider-Man. What’s not to love?

Eccentric in a whole other way is Gallic animation The Triplets of Belleville (imagine if Studio Ghibli was French) which somehow crams ’20s-style music halls, the Mafia and the Tour de France into one madcap 90 minutes. And – because it’s never a bad time for a movie in which Bill Murray plays a badger – Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox. It will satisfy Roald Dahl purists, Wes Anderson fans and people with no particular fur in the game, despite being typically Wes-oteric in sensibility. It could make a great farming double bill with Babe.

On the off-chance your children come to you demanding some purifying foreign-language cinema from the 1950s, Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy is a beautiful tale of a young Indian boy making his way in the world. It’s a great movie about families in all their complexity, too. If you’re needing something educational to fill those long home-schooling hours, look out for Spellbound, a lovely, characterful doc about American spelling bees and the kids who compete in them. It will teach the kids to spell intimidating new words. The irrepressible School of Rock meanwhile, will teach them where the umlaut goes in Motörhead.

Age group: 15+

We can’t tell you when to throw John Hughes movies into the mix – some have aged better than others (Sixteen Candles is a car crash) – but the sportos, motorheads, geeks, bloods and waistoids would all point you towards Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at this point. And it’s worth it for the Twist and Shout bit, to watch Matthew Broderick somehow making the epically self-involved Ferris likeable, and to see what Alan Ruck got up to long before Succession.

You could call Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything… the most John Hughes-y movie John Hughes didn’t make, but we’d argue it’s more likeable than the lot. It’s got a big heart, John Cusack and Ione Skye are magical in it, and it’s got that iconic bit with the ghetto blaster in it. More modern but equally charming high-school comedies include Easy A, 10 Things I Hate About You, Lady Bird and the touching, topical Eighth Grade. Breaking Away, a coming-of-age gem about four high-school grads from 1979, is a delight too. Look out for a fresh-faced Dennis Quaid in an early role.

The world needs Will Ferrell movies right now (okay, not Holmes & Watson) and Step Brothers and Elf, in particular, are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. Do not wait for Christmas to invite Buddy the Elf into your house.
Equally stocked with elves, though lighter on the candy cane, is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Huge action sequences, timeless villains, heroic moments, talking trees… there is truly something here for everyone. The same goes for another franchise lumbered with a woeful prequel trilogy, Star Wars. Chances are not everyone in the family has seen it, so what better time to put that right? Sorry, Gran. Needed in the Dagobah system you are.

For more age-appropriate sci-fi thrills check out Joss Whedon’s fab western-in-space Serenity, the JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek (2009) and James Cameron’s muscular action masterpiece Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The funny-tense Sneakers came out a year later and has aged just as well, mainly thanks to an all-star cast (Redford! Aykroyd! Poitier!) that buys in wholesale to its caperish tone.

With its big themes of race, morality and everyday heroism, the great To Kill a Mockingbird needs to be watched at least once. But the ultimate film to watch with your teens? We’d go with Boyhood. A sweeping portrait of childhood, the teenage years and parenthood in all their glory, pain and messiness, it’s a uniquely relatable movie whether you’re 15 or 50.

Stay fit at home in the UAE with La Liga AcademyKelly Johnstone, 07 Apr 2020 12:21:57 +0400La Liga Academy in the UAE has launched a stay fit programme online.

The football scouting school is inviting little footie fans to sign up to the sessions in order to keep active and maintain their fitness levels.

As schools remain closed until the next academic term, mini athletes are looking for different ways to burn off energy.

And, as well as boosting fitness, this latest offering from La Liga Academy is also aimed at helping with focus and concentration (something a lot of mums and dads will be thrilled to hear as they power through their supporting their kiddos with distance learning).

Fitness enthusiasts in all age categories from under six and above can take part and find a level suitable to their skills and experience.

The programme includes football tactics, fitness activities and challenges that children can practice during throughout.

Plus, all of the activities are designed with a progression so that they can be practiced over a period of time and children can challenge themselves to improve their skills.

Grab your football boots and your laptop and Bend it like Beckham!

Sign up here.

Three top takeaways for kids in the UAE to tuck into, 07 Apr 2020 03:00:00 +0400Wokyo

Little diners can choose from the noodle restaurant’s dedicated kid’s menu that includes both rice and noodle options. (800 96595).


A firm family favourite thanks to its healthy options, including wholemeal bases, and huge variety. They taste great, too. (800 74692).


This list wouldn’t be complete without a Mackers Happy Meal. Kids love the toy as much as their chicken nuggets or burger.

The Nickelodeon Play app is now free for kids to download across the UAEKelly Johnstone, 06 Apr 2020 14:26:07 +0400The Nickelodeon Play app is currently free for kids in the UAE to download.

Little ones can hang out with their favourite Nick characters such as Dora the Explorer, Shimmer and Shine and SpongeBob SquarePants on the app's various shows, videos and games.

Powered by OSN, the colourful app is designed to keep kids be creative, engaged and also allows them to interact with various different functions and activities.

Nick fans will be able to access both full-length episodes of iconic Nickelodeon series as well as TV shows and cartoons.

The cool line-up includes series such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, iCarly, School of Rock and much more.

The Nickelodeon Play app is available to download on the App Store and on Google Play.

“We’re delighted to announce free access to the Nickelodeon Play App in the Middle East. With the growing demands of technology and entertainment in the region, and keeping in mind our main priority, our users’ demands, we’ve tailored our app to allow full complimentary access to Nickelodeon’s content on-demand while allowing users to watch and stream videos at the most convenient time for them”, said Tracey Grant, Vice President Content & Channels Middle East.

Nickelodeon Play App is available on Google Play and App Store and is available to new and existing OSN customers for free for 30 days in English and Arabic.

The Jumeirah Kids Club has introduced fun activities for kids to try at home in the UAEKelly Johnstone, 06 Apr 2020 13:55:49 +0400Trying to find new and innovative ways to keep the kiddos entertained all day every day? (We hear you mums and dads).

The Jumeirah Kids Club has introduced something that might help keep mini family members busy at home.

So let your creative kiddos lose on these fun activities, and who knows, you might get a bit of downtime for you at the same time.

Card Creation

DIY card making is a fun way to get crafty and put a smile on someone’s face.

What you need:
• Colourful pieces of card/paper.
• Colourful markers, pencils and crayons.
• Glitter.
• Glue.
• Scissors.
• Optional: sequins, beads, pompoms, fuzzy pipe cleaners, buttons etc.

What to do:
1. Create a card-making station on a table with all the materials laid out.
2. Help your little ones decide who they will make the cards for.
3. Let their creativity shine.

Lego Building Competition

LEGO games are great for creativity and help kids think beyond the instruction-lead box set mentality. So step up masterbuilders and give these a go.

What you need:

What to do:
1. Set-up a LEGO building area (to avoid parents accidentally stepping on stray LEGO pieces, ouch!).
2. Begin the build. Either follow the instructions to LEGO masterpiece.

Circuit Class

Stay fit and active with a circuit course at home for the kids. Circuit courses are a great way to integrate aerobic fitness with muscular endurance and flexibility activities, which can be recreated in your home environment.

While equipment isn’t necessary, you could use the following:
• Dining chair.
• Jump rope.
• Football.
• Hula hoop.

What to do:
1. Set up four to six stations, with the goal for each child to spend 60 seconds at each station not including a 30-second rest in between. Station examples:
a. Jump rope or jumping jacks (cardio).
b. Step-ups on a dining chair (strength).
c. Balancing on one leg (agility).
d. Ball toss with a parent (coordination).
e. Hula hooping (coordination, strength and cardio).
f. Push-ups against the wall or on knees (strength).

2. Include a five-minute warm-up such as high knees, jumping jacks and circle jumps in and out of a hula hoop.

3. Set a timer for 20 minutes.

4. Turn the music up and let the workout begin.

5. Include a five-minute cool-down including stretches.

Junior mocktail maker

Gather a drinks shaker or two and shake up some fizzy fruity mocktails at home. Children will enjoy mixing their favourite flavours, adding fancy garnishes and of course, drinking them as a refreshing afternoon treat.

What you need:
• Fruit juices and cordials.
• Garnishes such as lemon, lime and fresh mint.
• Drinks shaker.
• Colourful straws and mini umbrellas.

What to do:
1. Set-up a mocktail station with all ingredients and equipment.
2. Allow little ones to choose their ingredients including flavours, garnishes and straws.
3. Shake (or stir) the mocktails before pouring into a glass.
4. Top with garnish.
5. Help them name their mocktails – that's half the fun!
6. Enjoy.

14 UAE websites that are still delivering things to keep kids entertainedKelly Johnstone, 06 Apr 2020 13:36:52 +0400If the kids have worked hard at distance learning, they deserve to play hard to, it's only fair.

These 14 UAE websites are able to deliver everything from toys and playdough to arts and crafts straight to your door.

A spot of online shopping may be just the incentive they need to get their maths, science and English finished.


There isn't much you can't get on Amazon. If the kids want to read there is a huge selection of age appropriate books (and if they want to listen, you can download audiobooks here too), or if they prefer to get stuck into some masterbuilding then they can pick from an extensive range of LEGO sets. There are outdoor and indoor toys, plus loads of arts and crafts supplies as well.


Far from just having must-haves for babies (though, tiny tots are very well-catered for here too) Babyshop offers toys, clothes and accessories for kids of all ages. You can toys to play with outside and inside, as well as the coolest bikes and scooters so little ones can whizz around the garden.


If you're doing your weekly food shop, you might want to check out some of the other categories this hypermarket offers besides groceries. Paddling pools, trampolines and video games consoles being some of the favourites, but you can pretty much get everything from colouring pencils and pens to board games.

Early Learning Centre

As well as carrying their own range of educational toys for younger age groups, Early Learning Centre also carries toys from beloved brands such as Hatchimals, Rainbowcorns and LEGO.

Eggs N Soliders

This beloved local brand, which specialises in stocking all-natural child and parent-friendly products, caters for sleep, change, travel, feel, play and last but not least – mum. Some of the sustainable brands being stocked at the new store include Grimms, Wishbone Design, Viga and Plan Toys, plus nursery accessories from Little Unicorn, Naturally Sheepskins and Olli Ella.

First Cry

Kids from newborns up to eight-year-olds are catered for at online store First Cry. The choice of toys here is incredbile. Kids into action figures? They've got it. Little ones want to play outside in their own play house? Yep, you can get one of those here too. Clothes, accessories and must-have baby equipment can also be added to your cart.


What better than sets of LEGO to keep the kids happy? Just beware not to tread on it when they leave it lying on the floor – ouch, we've all been there. From Star Wars sets and LEGO Friends to Duplo for tiny masterbuilders, there's plenty of options for the whole family.


If you love browsing Magrudy's various treasure trove shops where stationary, books and toys are found in abundance, you'll enjoy browsing their website almost as much.


If you're looking for pretty much anything for your babies and kids, you're likely to find it here. The e-commerce shopping destination is all about offerings that help make mums’ lives easier, categorised into an easy-to-browse platform. Happy shopping.


Browse an assortment of products including electronics, toys, fashion, beauty, baby, home, kitchen and even groceries. The best thing is, while you're loading things in the cart for the kiddos, you might want to slip something in there for yourself too. All that distance learning? You deserve it mums and dads....


Designed to make the lives of busy mums easier, this shopping platform offers more than 2,000 of the world’s most renowned, authentic brands with a curated edit or products and quick and efficient check out system. Plus, we love the price match guarantee, which offers peace of mind that you are getting the very best value for your baby essentials and kids accessories.

Toys R Us

The website stocks a huge range of toys, games, sporting goods, electronics, software, baby products, children’s apparel and kid's furniture all in one place. There’s a Babies R Us selection, Bratz and Barbie toys, educational toys, robots and plastic guns, plus a great outdoor area packed with trampolines, bikes and the like. If you’re struggling to get hold of a specific toy, you’ll probably find it here.

Virgin Megastore

Ideal for older kids there are video game consoles, technology and gadgets galore online at Virgin Megastore. It's worth pointing out that if your kids have the tween birthday present of choice, namely Virgin vouchers, these can't be used online.

Yalla Baby Box

The flexible, monthly subscription box contains baby must-haves ranging from diapers and wipes to toys, baby care products and formula. But on top of the essentials, the kind people at Yalla Baby Box also drop in surprise treats for parents and their baby every month. As an added bonus, it also has specialist doctors, paediatricians and psychologists on hand to chat and provide basic round-the-clock support to parents.

Dubai’s The Duck Hook to deliver special roasts for EasterReema Rahman, 06 Apr 2020 07:42:45 +0400Easter isn’t just about chocolate eggs (or cheese ones for that matter – find out more here) it's also about spending time with your friends and eating a slap-up roast. And while this year you won't be able to socialise in person, there's still a way enjoy an Easter roast with your household.

British gastropub, The Duck Hook, has you covered this Easter in Dubai as it’ll be delivering speciality roasts straight to your door.

Available for delivery between Tuesday April 7 and Sunday April 12, The Duck Hook’s roast options include roast beef, which comes with a prime rib of beef, Yorkshire puddings, horseradish sauce and beef gravy, or a whole roast baby chicken with sage and onion stuffing balls, veal sausages wrapped in veal bacon, cranberry sauce and chicken gravy.

Love lamb? You can also opt for the slow-roasted lamb rump with mint sauce and a lamb gravy.

All the roasts come with all the trimmings you could hope for – roast potatoes, roast parsnips, buttered carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. Your only dilemma is choosing between beef, chicken and lamb.

It wouldn’t be an Easter feast without a bit of chocolate right? The roasts also come with a home-made chocolate Easter egg filled with sweets, while four home-made hot cross buns with Cornish salter butter can be ordered as an add-on for an extra Dhs15.

For those with a mighty appetite, desserts such as apple crumble with custard, baked lemon cheesecake, and sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce are also available for an additional cost and you can even get an extra roast portion for Dhs75.

The Easter roasts start from Dhs265 for two and you can place your order by emailing or calling 055 781 3244.

For more scrummy takeaways in Dubai, head here.
Dhs265 (roast for two), Dhs325 (roast for two with dessert), Dhs495 (roast for four), Dhs595 (roast for four with dessert), Dhs665 (roast for six), Dhs795 (roast for six with dessert). Available Tue Apr 7 – Sun Apr 12. Email or call 055 781 3244 for orders.