Luna Drive-In Cinema

Luna Drive-In Cinema

Drive-In Cinemas are now back for the summer and Luna Cinema is offering tickets to these Drive-In Cinemas now. Details found here:

Luna Cinema is going to start up again with Drive-In Cinemas from Saturday 4 July in Allianz Park in London.

There will be regular viewings with a bespoke sound system and a fantastic selection of food and drink available to order from your phone with waiters speeding around on rollerblades to deliver it to you.

Don’t delay when booking your tickets as demand is very high.

For more information see below:

Riverside Charity Quiz

Riverside Studios Quiz

Riverside Studios Charity Quiz Nights are raising money to ensure that Riverside Studios can reopen after the COVID 19 emergency. Tickets to the events can be found here:

These are family-friendly quizzes hosted by celebrities including, Eddie Izzard, Dara O’Brian and Robert Bathurst.

Wednesday 10 June Eddie Izzard

Wednesday 24 June Dara O’Briain

Wednesday 8 July Robert Bathurst

The quizzes start at 6.30 pm. Teams are made of households so only one ticket per household is necessary.

Prizes for the winners include dinner for four at Sam’s Riverside.

For more information and to buy tickets visit the website here:

Postcard from the Past Competition

Postcards from the Past Competition

BBC History Extra has created a lockdown competition where children aged 6-13 are asked to write a postcard to a historical figure, from the perspective of that person, imagining that they are stuck in a historical lockdown. Details can be found on their website here.

Postcards should be photographed and sent in electronically. The closing date is Wednesday 1 July. After then, a panel of judges will choose 10 winners whose creations will be published in a future issue of BBC History Revealed.

The 10 winners will receive a t-shirt, water bottle and framed picture of their postcard.

To enter, follow the link below:

Free Children’s Shows on Amazon

Free Amazon Children’s Shows

Amazon is now offering free TV shows for children on its website. You do not need to pay for an Amazon Prime account and can simply watch for free here:

TV shows on Amazon range from cartoons to new releases – a great way to mix up what the kids are watching.

All you need to do is set up an Amazon account. Free Programmes can be found here:

Churchill War Rooms – Virtual Tour

Churchill War Rooms – Virtual Tour

The Imperial War Museum is offering virtual tours of the Churchill War Rooms on their website linked here:

Take a look inside the Cabinet Rooms where Churchill stayed and worked throughout the Second World War, from the comfort of your own home.

To have tour simply follow the link on any device:

JK Rowling’s New Children’s Book

Jk Rowling’s New Children’s Book

JK Rowling has released a brand new children’s book which you can read now for free. Follow the link and explore the tales of the Ickabog and King Fred the Fearless to brighten your lockdown.

With new stories published every week, reading the Ickabog is the perfect way to keep the kids entertained at home. There is also a competition for illustrations of the book on the Ickabog website which will be judged by JK Rowling herself.

For more information and to read the story please see the Ickabog website.

Brentford Football Club Lockdown Party

Brentford Football Club Lockdown Party

Fed up spending Friday evenings in during lockdown?

Why not join Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s free lockdown party on Instagram? Put the date in your diary for Friday 22 May 2020.

Join the Trust for Hip Hop, Grime, R&B, Dancehall, Afrobeats, House and much more by experienced DJ. They have exciting signed Brentford merchandise to be won if you take part. Plus, you can request songs as you enjoy the party.

The first lockdown party is aimed at teenagers and will be held on Friday 22 May 2020. It will run from 6.30pm-8.30pm. All you need to do is follow the Trust on Instagram or like their Facebook page. You can then join in.

A more family orientated lockdown will take place on Facebook Live on Wednesday, 20 May, from 6pm-8pm for children in primary school. Parents feel free to join your children for this party!

For more information please visit the brentford football club website.

Beauty and the Beast – Broadcast

Beauty and the Beast – Broadcast

Watch the Chichester Festival Theatre’s performance of Beauty and the Beast online. The performance will be available from Thursday 21 May until Friday 19 June, 2020.

You may think you know the story of Beauty and the Beast but director Dale Rooks has a few surprises in store in this brand new version adapted from the original fairy tale by Anna Ledwich, with music and lyrics by Richard Taylor. Set designer Simon Higlett and costume designer Ryan Dawson Laight deliver a visually spectacular production.

A foolish prince cursed to a life alone in a castle; a kind and beautiful girl who asks her father for nothing but a rose. One must learn to love and be loved in return, the other needs to realise there’s more to a person than first meets the eye. It’s a tale of magic, compassion and love, full of enchanting characters, marvellous musical numbers and some deliciously scary moments, guaranteed to delight the whole family.

For more information please see the Chichester Festival Theatre website.

Puppet Performances with The Little Angel Theatre

Puppet Performances with The Little Angel Theatre

You can watch the The Little Angel Theatre’s puppet performances online for free via their YouTube channel.

Based in Islington, Little Angel Theatre is London’s only purpose-built puppet theatre, and has been producing and making puppetry shows since 1961. Little Angel Theatre produces innovating puppetry productions for 0-11s, as well as running community events, courses and classes for children and adults, and nurturing artists’ talent.

During these unprecedented times, the theatre is now closed. Fortunately you can still watch their puppet performances from the comfort of your own home via their YouTube Channel.

Why not break up the lockdown boredom and watch there latest video ‘What Does An Anteater Eat?‘ uploaded on Sunday 17 May 2020.

For more information please see the Little Angel Theatre website.

The Little Gym at home

The Little Gym at home

Many parents in Chiswick are familiar with The Little Gym on Hartington Rd. This local franchise of an international company offers physical programmes which help children build the developmental skills and confidence needed at each stage of childhood.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency, The Little Gym team has been filming exercises for children from four months to 12 years and their videos can be found on The Little Gym Youtube channel.

The Little Gym Youtube


Zumba Kids classes online

Zumba Kids classes online

From your home Online Live Zumba classes with Chiswick based Zumba Zin Instructor Anna

Zumba Kids – Every Tuesday & Friday at 16.00

Zumba – Every Tuesday & Thursday at 17.30

Zumba Gold (50+) – Every Monday & Thursday at 12.30

Email me!

Let’s dance, smile and stress relief from the comfort of our own house at this time when we most needed, let’s join the world and show that we can be a part of this celebration of Zumba love and unity.

Harry Potter at Home

Harry Potter at Home

J.K. Rowling has announced the launch of Harry Potter At Home, an online hub where people can find Harry Potter-themed things to do during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Welcome to the Harry Potter At Home hub where you’ll find all the latest magical treats to keep you occupied – including special contributions from Bloomsbury and Scholastic, nifty magical craft videos (teach your friends how to draw a Niffler!), fun articles, quizzes, puzzles and plenty more for first-time readers, as well as those already familiar with the wizarding world. We’re casting a Banishing Charm on boredom!

ScratchJr – Coding for young children

ScratchJr – Coding for young children

Coding is the new literacy. With ScratchJr, young children (ages 5-7) can programme their own interactive stories and games. In the process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer. ScratchJr. is available as a free app.


Dr Seuss’s ABC – AR app

Dr Seuss’s ABC – AR app

Dr Seuss is magical, even if you’re just sitting with your child reading a Dr Seuss book, old school style. There’s now an augmented reality app which brings the characters to life in your living room. Children learn their alphabet, but how they learn to tell the difference between reality and imagination is another matter!

‘Effortlessly combining play with learning, the magical imagination of Dr. Seuss is brought to life in the Dr. Seuss’s An Amazing AR Alphabet! app. Every character from the pages of Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! has been meticulously recreated in 3D and presented in AR for the very first time’.

Download for $3.99. Android/Apple

Mental Maths

Mental Maths

An award-winning learning tool, Mental Maths offers Maths and English sessions at Primary and Secondary level.

‘IXL offers a delightful experience, full of vibrant visuals, interactive questions and exciting prizes. Learning becomes an adventure where students build the confidence to explore new concepts and rise to any challenge. With IXL, your children will learn at their own pace—IXL’s adaptive questions automatically adjust to just the right level of difficulty. A wide variety of question types keeps practice sessions fresh and enables all types of learners to reach their full potential’.

Mental Maths offers a different programme for each school year from Reception to year 13. Cost: Maths or English £7.99 per month. Maths and English £12.00 per month.

Android/Apple – subscription

YouTube Kids

YouTube Kids

YouTube Kids was created to give children a more contained environment that makes it simpler and more fun for them to explore on their own, and easier for parents and caregivers to guide their journey as they discover new and exciting interests along the way.

Guardian technology journalist Stuart Dredge says:

‘After a rocky start when some non-child-friendly videos made it through the filters, YouTube has worked hard to make its official children’s app something parents can trust. It includes a dedicated learning category collecting great videos about science, nature, space and other topics’.

See their sections on

Arts & Crafts – Step-by-step instructions and project ideas help spark young minds and encourage children to make their first masterpieces.

Toys & Play – Videos to spark playtime with toys and stories about family and friends (real and imaginary!)

Learning & Hobbies – From homework help to how-to’s, these videos give children a greater understanding of the world around them.

Shows & Cartoons – Full-length shows and films with family-friendly stories keep children captivated by their favorite characters.

Music & Dance – An enormous range of music and dance videos for children who just can’t fight the rhythm.

Gaming – Tips, tricks and secrets that let children learn all about the games they love and engage with popular gaming culture.

YouTubers & Family Vloggers – YouTube’s most family-friendly faces share their lives and interests with viewers around the world.

Android/Apple – free

World of Peppa Pig

World of Peppa Pig

You’re knocking on an open door if you’re trying to engage children to learn with characters who are already firm favourites. World of Peppa Pig has been designed to capitalise on their love of the cartoon characters with interactive games, videos and activities helping preschool age kids to learn.

‘Safe and ad-free, fun and educational, snorts and giggles guaranteed’. Your children will also recognise songs from the TV show. It costs £4.99 a month.

Android/Apple/Amazon – subscription

Teach your Monster to Read

Teach your Monster to Read

Teach Your Monster to Read is an award-winning app, available for free to play on desktop and laptop computers. The iPhone, iPad and Android version of the game is a paid-for app which helps fund the project.

The game is for children in the first stages of learning to read, or for older children who need a bit more practice. ‘It takes children on a magical journey, meeting colourful characters along the way and collecting fantastic rewards. When children are engaged, they’re motivated to learn. As they progress, they rehearse a range of essential reading skills; matching letters to sounds, blending, segmenting, tricky words and reading full sentences’.

It has been provided by the Usborne Foundation charity, as a way of helping children learn to read. The charity was founded by Peter Usborne MBE and his children, Nicola and Martin, one of the world’s leading children’s book publishing companies and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. He was previously one of the founders of the magazine Private Eye.


Hopster children’s TV

Hopster children’s TV

Hopster’s slogan is ‘making screen time smart’.

Hopster has taken a collection of familiar cartoons and shows, including: Sesame StreetBob the BuilderThomas the Tank Engine, Fireman Sam and Pingu, and designed fun learning games around them, with sessions on core skills such as maths and phonics. Cost: £4.99 a month.

Download it from the Apple store – Android/Apple/Amazon – subscription

Montessori preschool app

Montessori preschool app

This one is not free, but costs only £5.49 a month. Designed by Edoki, the app offers a range of Montessori inspired, beautifully designed exercises for very young children, including maths,  phonics, music and early coding.

Download the Montessori’s preschool app via Android/Apple/Amazon – subscription.

Khan Academy Kids – for younger children

Khan Academy Kids – for younger children

Khan Academy is a free collection of education courses for all ages, but it has an app specifically for two to seven-year-old children that focuses on maths, reading and social and emotional skills. Recommended by the Guardian.

Technology journalist Stuart Dredge says: ‘It has a large and growing archive of learning videos, digital books and simple but engaging exercises’.

Download on the Apple Store. Available for iPhone and iPadGoogle Play and Amazon Fire.

BBC CBeebies Go Explore – for younger children

BBC CBeebies Go Explore – for younger children

The BBC’s CBeebies has a whole range of free apps. Go Explore, for younger children is focused on learning games, perfect for home schooling.

Go Explore is packed with free Educational CBeebies games and videos based on the early years curriculum to help get kids ready for school. It’s free to play with no in-app purchases and children can play offline.

‘Each game in Go Explore draws on the Early Years curriculum, helping children as they grow, building up their skills and understanding ready to start school. Games cover a range of topics, from learning about phonics and letter sounds with the Alphablocksto exploring different geographical habitats with the Go Jetters to helping guests at The Furchester Hotel make healthy choices. Your child can also have fun with shapes and sequences by planning a party with Hey Duggee,learn about technology with Maddie and the world around us, join Bing and friends to learn about emotions and help the townsfolk of Biggleton.

Download the Go Explore app now via the AppleGoogle Play and Amazon app stores.

Konnie Huq – Children’s videos

Konnie Huq – Children’s videos

Image above: Konnie Huq

TV presenter Konnie Huq has started a Youtube channel for children. The former Blue Peter presenter and sister of Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq, started putting up her videos on Wednesday 25 March and each day she presents a different topic: Reading & Story Writing, Bake Cookies With Only Three Ingredients, and Fun, Easy Science Experiments for example.

Konnie posted on Twitter that she’ll be sharing videos at 10.00am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She promises reading, writing, STEM, and arts-and-crafts activities suitable for kids between the ages of six and 12. She will also be reading stories live every Tuesday and Thursday at 10.00am.

“Any kids’ authors who’d like a chapter read out from their books get in touch” she says.

She started with a short reading from her own book ‘Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World’, along with story-writing tips, writing exercises.

Usually when you see Konnie in the media she’s looking very glam, on the arm of husband Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker on a red carpet or some such. In the videos she looks refreshingly normal, what one might call ‘Lockdown chic’, which I suspect is a very deliberate strategy to connect with her audience, who also haven’t bothered to comb their hair yet today. The videos are great and if you could do with a a bit of home-schooling inspiration, she’s your woman.

Read other stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Free Audio Books for Children

See also: PE lessons with Joe Wicks

Free Audio Books for Children from Audible

Free Audio Books for Children from Audible

Audible Stories have generously made their audio books for children available to all kids while schools are closed. The collection also includes literary classics which might appeal to grown-ups as well!

“For as long as schools are closed, we’re open. Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.

All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.

Explore the collection, select a title and start listening.

It’s that easy.”

Start Listening

Sophie Ellis Bextor Kitchen Disco Live

Sophie Ellis Bextor Kitchen Disco Live

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has started doing Family Kitchen discos on her Instagram page on Fridays at 6.30pm.

For her first one on 27 March she promised:

I’ll sing for you in sequins. it’s going to be chaos as kids everywhere but let me be your disco bunny xxxx I take requests disco classics/feel good.. if it’s and success I’ll do it for the foreseeable”

Join Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Kitchen Disco on instagram @sophieellisbextor

Busuu – Free Language lessons for kids

Free Language lessons from Busuu

Busuu are offering children everywhere FREE access to English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and French lessons onYouTube.

“Coronavirus is stopping over 500 million children from attending school – so we’ve embarked on a mission to #KeepKidsLearning”

Up 5 hours of lessons per language each week. Different lessons will be tailored to different age groups – so there’ll be something for everyone!

Find out more here >

P.E. lessons with Joe Wicks

P.E. lessons with Joe Wicks

The Body Coach star Joe Wicks is hosting a free workout aimed at kids live on his YouTube channel.

“With the schools closed and with us all spending more time at home, it’s more important than ever that we keep moving and stay healthy and positive.

Exercise is an amazing tool to help us feel happier, more energised, and more optimistic.

The workouts will be fun and suitable for all ages and even adults can get involved.

You don’t need any equipment, just tune in to my YouTube channel at 9am each morning for a 30-minute, fun workout. ”

To join in subscribe here.