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Kids

  • Children's books

    10 books for younger kids

    Kids have had a lot on their plates: no school, no play dates, and slim chance of a summer of fun in the sun. Here's 10 great book for ages 5-8 to create a fictional escape route from the madness.

  • Thorpe House School, Gerrards Cross

    Muddy says: A small, friendly day school for boys aged 3-16 between Gerrard's Cross and Chalfont St Peter, set in 7 stunning acres and high on inclusivity.

  • Teenagers

    The survival guide to lockdown parenting

    School's out for summer... and the bloody rest. Parenting has never been harder so we've taken expert advice. You need to read this.

  • Is it time to try an online school?

    With many children struggling to study at home and doubts over September start dates, specialist ‘virtual’ schools are gaining huge traction - but what do they offer that’s different?

  • Parent ‘Lockdown learning’ survey – the results

    Earlier this month we commissioned our own comprehensive survey amongst Muddy readers into Lockdown Learning – and we’ve been blown away by the response! Thank you to the 1200 of you who expressed how you felt about virtual-schooling, the difficulties you and your children were facing, as well as revealing surprise success stories and offering […]

  • Kids driving you nuts? The best parenting books

    And we all thought parenting was hard BEFORE lockdown. Jeez! We've got five brilliant new books that promise to help.

  • To school or not to school?

    It's the dilemma that's dividing the nation - is it safe to send our children back to school on Monday? Two Muddy editors, one pro and one against, explain why they've made their personal decision.

  • 18 new-season buys for kids for under £25

    Don't let your kids' sartorial standards slip as much as yours have this spring with our edit of corona cash friendly buys for little ones

  • Living in lockdown with teens – eek!

    Here are 20 things to do that might encourage your teenagers to get out of bed by midday – or at the very least by least by nightfall (fingers crossed).

  • Sherborne Prep School

    Muddy says: Non-pushy yet achieves academically, strong on music and art and with an innovative approach to sport and fitness.

  • How to keep your kids learning in lockdown 

    It’s tricky enough for adults to stay motivated right now, but how on earth do you keep your kids positive, bright and ready to learn? Two top local schools offer some great advice.

  • Sherfield School, Hook

    A confident all-rounder and pastorally driven co-ed independent school set in 76 acres of rural splendour.

  • 10 best subscription boxes for kids

    Running on empty when it comes to entertaining the kids? Royal Mail comes up trumps with these brilliant subscription boxes – time to sit with a gin and wait for the postman.

  • St Andrew’s, Pangbourne

    This bucolic co-ed prep school in the rolling hills of Berkshire is family-oriented, outdoorsy with great results – and the Duchess of Cambridge raves about it.

  • Ashfold School, Dorton, Mid Bucks

    Muddy says: This bucolic co-ed prep school for day pupils and boarders in the rolling hills of Buckinghamshire is family-oriented with a deserved reputation for its all-rounder offering.

  • Kingswood Prep School and Nursery, Bath

    Muddy says: Children can be children at this co-ed prep and nursery with Scandi-style facilities and more, set in 100-acre of parklands overlooking the city

  • changelings school village green trees shrubs foreground

    Chandlings School, Bagley Wood, Oxford

    Muddy says: A warm, friendly prep school just outside Oxford, set in 60 lovely acres of land. A hidden gem amongst Oxford's more shouty preps - but for how long?

  • Rainy day out for kids

    Want to keep your pre-schoolers amused but can't face another soggy day at the park? Go to Godstone Farm where there's plenty of indoor play. And animals too!

  • St Edward’s School

    Muddy says: Looking for a city school? St Edward's School in Summertown, Oxford is a corker, with more than half of the cohort taking the IB rather than A-levels. Read on for the Muddy verdict.

  • Ludgrove School Wookingham exterior red brick and black beam building with perfect lawn

    Ludgrove School, Wokingham

    Ludgrove is a boys' prep school in Wokingham, that's understated but not under the radar. Homely yet high achieving, it's a place where boys can be boys.

  • J’adore/ J’abhor

    Parlez-vous teen slang? The language barrier has always been a problem when it comes to parent/child communications. Do you find the way your little darlings speak totally basic or, like, lit?

  • Waverley Prep School, Wokingham

    A modern day school in Wokingham for boys and girls, aged 0-11 years. This family focussed prep is ranked highly in the Sunday Times Top 100 for its superb academic record.

  • Swanbourne House School, Swanbourne

    Muddy says: This bucolic, rural prep school on the Bucks/Beds border has had quite a year, with a new, dynamic, sometimes controversial head teacher. Twelve months on, here's my update.

  • Beachborough front of house exterior blue sky brown bricks

    Beachborough School, near Brackley

    Muddy says: Hard to find fault with this lovely co-ed prep school on the Bucks/Northants borders - a family vibe, pretty rural setting and great results.

  • Moulsford School, Moulsford

    Muddy says: A highly-regarded boy’s prep school in South Oxon in a stonkingly lovely setting on the Thames, with a strong reputation for sport and extracurricular activities.

  • Get yer skates on!

    Ice ice baby! Nothing like a whizz around a rink to make you feel festive (followed by a mulled wine obvs). We've rounded up the best ones for your skating pleasure.

  • Nurturing Your Teen’s Career Aspirations

    Many Year 11's are now deliberating over where to study for A levels and what subjects to choose. How can a school best support your teen to succeed in today’s workplace?

  • Q&A with Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson

    The Sussex resident, starring in a show for half term, talks books, performing, fave local attractions and buying a post office

  • Your ultimate Autumn Walks guide

    Grab your kids, your besties, your dog and anyone else who is free to join you on our first Autumn Walks initiative with Joules - and win coats and wellies for the whole family!

  • Tom Gates on stage

    Part play, part living cartoon, part gig, Tom Gates live - in Brighton Wed 2 - Sat 5 Oct - stays pleasingly close to Liz Pichon's best-selling books.

  • Georgian building

    Twyford Prep School, Hants

    Muddy says: This Hampshire prep is a cosy school with a strong sporting pedigree and an impressive curriculum that encourages creative thinking.

  • Kimbolton School (Prep School), Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

    Muddy says: A highly-regarded co-ed prep school on the Cambridgeshire border in a beautiful rural setting, known for its amazing facilities, extra-curricular activities and family-orientated atmosphere.

  • Kimbolton School (Senior), Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

    Muddy says: You'll find 120 acres of glorious grounds and a stunning castle setting at this high-achieving co-ed senior school for day pupils and boarders age 11 - 18, with a strong all-rounder reputation and great results. Fancy a closer look?

  • Kimbolton School (Snr), Huntingdon

    You'll find 120 acres of glorious grounds and a stunning castle setting at this high-achieving co-ed day/boarding senior school (11-18), with a strong all-rounder rep.

  • Kimbolton School (Prep School), Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

    Muddy says: A highly-regarded co-ed prep school on the Cambridgeshire border in a beautiful rural setting, known for its amazing facilities, extra-curricular activities and its family-orientated atmosphere.

  • Stepping up: Year 2 to 3 transition tips

    If you have a child moving from Year 2 to Year 3 take a look at our expert tips on how to smooth their step up and help them navigate their new school term.

  • West Buckland School, Barnstaple

    Muddy says: A nurturing, non-hothousey co-ed day and boarding school in bucolic North Devon with acres of healthy air coast and countryside on its doorstep.

  • Summer Survival Guide

    Summer holidays are coming, oh lord stock up on the gin! You’ll cruise it with the Muddy survival holiday guide from The Parenting Partnership

  • Is an independent school right for you?

    Choosing a school for your child can be one of the most important decisions of your parenting life, but have you considered going private?

  • Stratford Lit Fest 2019: What’s on for children?

    Looking for a cultural family-friendly jaunt this spring? There's a brilliant line-up of best-selling and much-loved children's authors and illustrators at the 12th annual festival. Before you book, check out our top picks..

  • Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood

    Muddy says: 285 acres of fresh air and art deco heritage at this high-achieving all-rounder boys school on the Herts/Bucks borders, a mere 30 minutes from central London.

  • Aldwickbury School, Harpenden

    Muddy says: Don't be fooled by its traditional appearance - this boys' prep school feels refreshingly relaxed and modern in its outlook, teaching kindness and humility alongside a broad and rich curriculum

  • Preparing for exams

    As exam season creeps gradually closer, we have this advice for students preparing for their GCSEs and A-levels - thanks to Ian Thorpe, the headmaster at Downsend School.

  • South Downs stargazing festival

    Find an event near you for a spot of guided stargazing or a family-friendly workshop over the 2019 Dark Skies Festival

  • highfield slide

    Highfield and Brookham Schools, Liphook

    Muddy says: This pre-prep and prep school offer a whopping 175 acres of space for kids to run around in while they excel academically.

  • Kingswood School, Bath

    The only school founded by famous Methodist John Wesley (but it's not too 'religious'), offers a good-all round education with excellent results and pastoral care to match

  • Meoncross slide

    Meoncross School, Stubbington

    Muddy says: This independent co-ed for ages 2.5 - 16, is situated just outside of Fareham and boasts a real family vibe and an epic Beach School.

  • The wonderful Wizard of Oz

    This isn't Kansas, it's Somerset, in a clever re-working of the iconic tale at The Brewhouse in Taunton

  • Review: The Comedy of Errors

    Local children take to the stage in the RSC's new First Encounters with Shakespeare production for 7 - 13-year-olds combining the floss, yoga and some frenetic family fun.

  • Inside The Haunted Castle

    Muddy intrepidly goes in search of the scariest thrills for Halloween at Warwick Castle on a family day out.

  • A Georgian stately home.

    West Hill Park School, Fareham

    Muddy says: A happy, romping countryside prep, where children develop in a kind, secure environment & gain regular scholarships to top public schools.

  • INSIDER GUIDE: FOLKESTONE

    This town has not only gained a reputation for its artistic heart - it's also making convincing marks on the foodie map. What more reason do you need to visit?

  • Horrible Histories talks to Muddy

    The family favourite is back in Sussex. Muddy spoke to co-director Neal Foster about what grisly goings-on are in store

  • 5 reasons kids should do yoga

    From teaching self-acceptance to creating balance and calm, here are five reasons why kids should have yoga in their lives.

  • How to grow happy kids

    How can you help your kids find the holy grail of happiness? We’ve found an expert who has previous in the matter…

  • King’s High, Warwick

    Muddy says: One of the UK's top performing independent schools for girls aged 11-18 chosen as The Sunday Times' West Midlands Independent Secondary School of the Year, 2019. This year sees the school moving into a stunning new spacious, green campus.

  • Great Ballard School, Eartham, nr Chichester

    Muddy says: This outdoorsy school near Chichester, with a gorgeous South Downs setting, has a bucolic, nurturing environment for children from two and a half up to 13.

  • Cambridge International School, Cambridge

    Muddy says: Looking for a school that puts huge emphasis on pastoral care, nurturing and individualised education? The Cambridge International School is building a strong, vibrant and unique community in the centre of Cambridge.

  • Awful Auntie – Live on Stage

    David Walliams’ number one children’s best-seller has its first stage outing – but will it meet fans’ expectations?

  • South Downs stargazing festival

    Catch astronomy events throughout Sussex during the South Downs Dark Skies Festival this February

  • Planning a kids’ party? AAAAARRGHHHHHH!

    Stop right there, Mudsters. We've taken the pain out of your kids’ parties and found these super-fantastic bods who'll only go and do the whole lot for you. And I mean the WHOLE lot

  • Surviving the summer

    If the thought of six long weeks with the nippers has you reaching for the gin at 10am, don't worry. Children's life coach Lisa Parkes is here to help.

  • Autumn London Days Out with Kids

    10 fun things to do in the capital this Oct half-term.

  • Aylesbury Grammar School

    Muddy says: The all boys' Aylesbury Grammar School in mid Bucks has a strong reputation for academia, music and sport, particularly rugby.

  • Dorset House School, Bury

    Muddy says: A friendly family-feel co-ed prep and pre-prep school for 4-13-year-olds with flexi-boarding possible.

  • Get your skates on!

    Time to polish up your double toe loops and triple Salchows – or maybe just try and stay upright? Outdoor ice rinks are starting to pop up all over the place. Here’s a round-up of the best places to skate in the West Country and beyond.  So put on your bobble hats and mittens and […]

  • Great art in the great outdoors – Cass Sculpture

    Forget browsing quietly in a gallery, shuffling with the crowds or praying your kids will last five minutes before loud declarations of boredom. Cass Sculpture Foundation at Goodwood, near Chichester takes the whole thing outdoors, putting the discovery back into art and giving you and yours room to roam. I’d been meaning to get to […]

  • Quinton House School, Northampton

    Muddy says: A traditional, friendly, Northampton independent day school for boys and girls 2-18, in a beautiful 31 acre setting.

  • Muddy reviews: Flown, at Pavilion Theatre, Worthing

    The first thing I thought as I settled down to watch Flown at Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre was ‘how are they going to perform circus stunts in a space that small?’ This excellent show from Pirates of the Carabina (great name!), on until Sunday, is an intimate form of circus – not in a big top but […]

  • The Muddies get behind the wheel…ooh-er

    Would you let your 12-year-old behind the wheel?  I did, *gulp*.  Too young to take conventional driving lessons but raring to go, the Muddies’ 15-year-old cousin has been learning to drive through the Young Driver training programme – and loving every minute.  My two (a few years younger) have been green with envy, until I […]

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