Top Festivals Child Friendly Festivals

 

Magic Loungeabout

Returning for a third year with three headliners and an increasingly enticing programme of music and arts, this is a boutique festival where you get the chance to see arena filling acts in an intimate setting. Short listed for best new festival in 2008 and best grass roots festival in 2011, Magic Loungeabout considers itself to be one of the most imaginative festivals in the north and the ultimate escape to the country for those in the know. And better still our YogaBugs Yorkshire team will be there too.

Venue: Broughton Hall, Yorkshire (www.magicloungeabout.net)

When: 27 to 29 July

Tickets: Check website

Underage Festival

Now in its sixth year, this super-cool one-day festival for 13-17 year olds only is all about the music. With five stages to choose from, your teens will be spoilt for choice with 22-year-old soul and folk sensation Lianne La Havas (whose influences include Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill) London’s lively grime and dance-punk act Hadouken! and Outfit, a guitar-pop quintet from Merseyside who’ve been compared to New Order and Franz Ferdinand.

Venue: Shoreditch Park, London N1 (underagefestivals.com)

When: 31 August

Tickets: £19.50

Sunrise Celebration

Last year Sunrise won the Green Parent Magazine Best Festival Award and they’ve just found out that they’ve won for this year too! The festivalwill have an larger kids area this year, focused around a giant helter skelter, with a fairground ride, a safe toddlers’ area and a teen space with a skate ramp. There will also be a wide range of workshops for kids from basket weaving to learning about home-grown food.

Venue: Gilcombe Farm, Bruton (sunrisecelebration.com)

When: 21-24 June

Tickets: adult £115, age 16-17 £70, age 5-15 £25, family £255

Standon Calling

This imaginative festival is particularly child-friendly with its special area set aside for children, which features an art and crafts area for painting, drawing, playdough, mural making, beatboxing classes and more. The organisers recently reported that as many kids tickets were issued for 2012 as in the previous two years combined. Not surprising, as under 13s go free.

Venue: Standon Lordship, Herts (standon-calling.com)

When: 3-5 August

Tickets: adult three-day £99, two-day £78, one-day £25-£39, under 13s free

Cornbury Festival

Cornbury is well-known for its magical children’s zone, featuring storytelling, yoga, parachute games, a ventriloquist show, Punch & Judy, face painting, mask making, arts and crafts, clay modelling, the Orange Hat Puppet Show and circus skills African dance workshops.

Venue: Great Tew Park, Great Tew (cornburyfestival.com)

When: 29 June-1 July

Tickets: adult £150-£275, age 13-16 £75-£150, age 3-12 £10-£25

Larmer Tree Festival

This intimate festival, held at the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens, is packed with activities for children including the Emmy-award winning Farmer Jason and his infectious music show. Look out too for Vasalisa and the Peacock from Hinged Theatre, who host an origami puppet, workshop for kids, as well as kids’ drumming with Inta Africa, and a YouthZone for 11-17 year olds.

Venue: Larmer Tree Gardens, near Salisbury (larmertreefestival.co.uk)

When: 11-15 July

Tickets: adult five-day £190, age 11-17 £155, age 5-10 £130, four-day £105-£165, three-day £90-£140, one-day £24-£60

Camp Bestival

Children are superbly catered for at this quirky festival, with the Upper Kids’ Garden on the Castle’s back lawn providing a big top, theatre workshop and bouncy castle, plus a separate toddlers’ area and the pioneering Breastival Mother and Baby Temple. The Lower Kids’ Garden caters for slightly older children, and features the English National Ballet tent, the Insect Circus and Museum and the Little Big Top. Look out too for CBeebies Mr Tumble and antics from Dick and Dom.

Venue: Lulworth Castle, Dorset (campbestival.net)

When: 26-29 July

Tickets: adult £175-£185, student £170, age 15-17 £110, age 11-14 £95, under 10s free

Our Top 10 Quotes By Gandhi

Here are ten of our favorite quotes from one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century – Mohandas Gandhi. Do you have any others?

1. You Can Change The World
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
 
2. Think Positive
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
 
3. Cherish Life
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
 
4. Don’t Give Up
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
 
5. Practice Compassion
“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
 
6. Live In Harmony
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
 
7. Forgive
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
 
8. Meditate
“I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”
 
9. Serve Others
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
 
10. Live Life To The Fullest
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

Vote For YogaBugs In The What’s On 4 Little Ones Awards!

Could you spare a few seconds to vote for us in the What’s On 4 Little Ones Awards? We’ve been nominated in the category “Best National Pre-schooler Development Activity (2 to 5 years).” Winning this award would give our profile a big boost as the awards are sponsored by Prima Baby and Pregnancy Magazine. And this would mean more children catching the Yoga Bug. By voting, you could win a trip to the awards as well as a luxury spa treatment.

Voting closes at 5pm on Sunday, 6 May.So  just click here to cast your vote! And thank you for your help.

How To Make A Yoga Mind Jar

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We love creative, crafty ideas that encourage kids to take an interest in yoga and meditation. So when one of our teachers shared a link they’d found about how to make a Mind Jar, we wanted to share it with you straightaway.

So what is a Mind Jar? A Mind Jar is quite simply a meditation tool to use whenever your child feels stressed,overwhelmed or upset. Imagine the glitter as your thoughts. When your child shakes the jar, ask him/ her to imagine their head full of whirling thoughts, then watch them slowly settle while they calm down.

So how do you make a Mind Jar? It’s best to use a plastic jar – perhaps an old peanut butter one. Then mix 1 tablespoon of pink glitter-glue with about 1 cup of hot water. Add pink food colouring and a tiny tub of glitter. The glue makes the water so thick and gooey that the glitter just slowly and gently swirls around, it takes about 5 minutes for all the glitter to settle, perfect for you and your child to o gather your thoughts!

Thank you to “Here We Are Together” for this fantastic suggestion! Let us know how you get on with this.

New Study Shows Benefits Of Teen Yoga

Readers of this blog will know about the remarkable changes our Impact & Change programme has brought to children in the UK’s primary schools. (For more information, see this story). So we were delighted to learn about a new study proving the mental and psychological effects of yoga for teens.

Harvard Medical School has just released a study about the psychological benefits of yoga on teenagers in 11th and 12th grade. Published in the April issue of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the study concluded that yoga may “serve a preventative role in adolescent mental health” by providing teens with beneficial ways to deal with stress and trauma, instead of falling into the dangerous and destructive behavioural patterns so common in high schools across the States.

51 high school students took part in the study.  They were randomly assigned to either regular PE classes, or Kripalu-style yoga classes that included asana, pranayama, relaxation exercises, and mediation. The students were given multiple tests and questionnaires, before and after the 10-week program, regarding their levels of anxiety and stress, their anger management abilities, and their mindfulness and resilience in the face of challenges. The results show that students who took yoga were better equipped to deal with life’s ups and downs than those in the regular PE classes. Since mental health disorders often form in the teenage years, learning effective healthy coping strategies for dealing with stress is essential during this time.

Although the study was small, its results are nevertheless promising.It’s great to see further evidence of how yoga teaches young adults positive ways to react and deal with life’s challenges.

50 Things to Do Before You’re 11¾

Last week the National Trust launched a nationwide campaign to encourage sofa-bound children to take to the outdoors and enjoy classic adventures. Its ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾’ campaign provides a checklist for under-12s (and those who are young at heart) with activities ranging from running around in the rain and bug hunting, to setting up a snail race and making a mud pie.  

The ‘50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾’ initiative has been developed to respond to a report the National Trust commissioned which highlighted research that fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places compared to almost half a generation ago. A quarter of all children never play outside, one third have never climbed a tree and amazingly one in 10 cannot ride a bike. Children are more likely to get bumps and bruises falling out of bed than from falling out of trees. Meanwhile, children spend an average of four-and-a-half hours a day sat in front of a TV or computer screen.

But the National Trust report suggests it may be parents who are stopping kids exploring the great outdoors. More than 80% of kids said that they want more freedom to play outside – to build dens, swing on ropes and go camping– but fewer than 10% get the opportunity because their parents won’t let them.

The National Trust have formed a group of five Elite Rangers who will share their expert tips on enjoying outdoor adventures and their enthusiasm for encouraging children to play outdoors.
The elite five will be showing their top tips over a free weekend (21st and 22nd April) when the National Trust will open up over 200 of its houses and gardens for free over the weekend.

Kids can pick up a free 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ scrapbook from participating properties – and start ticking off their ‘outdoor adventures to do’ list. The fun can continue at home by visiting nationaltrust.org.uk/50things where children can fill in their completed activities and earn points towards their very own explorer badge.

Activities To Do Over Easter

 With our variable climate and forecasts of snow in mind, we thought you may want some ideas for Easter inspired activities to do at home with the kids. So here are just a few!

1. Netmums

Netmums have put together a list of crafty ideas that make use of recycling materials. From Easter Flower Pots to Daffodil Head Boppers (you’ll have to look to find out what these are!) you’ll find plenty to do here.

2. Kaboose

This website has a whole range of craft activities. Is there a limit to the number of bunny inspired activities?

3. Topmarks

How much do your kids know about Easter? Find out where the customs that have grown up around Easter originate here.

4. Visit Britain

With so many activities available, often involving chocolate eggs, Visit Britain have brought together their selection of the best here.

5. Woodland Trust

As well as arranging outdoor activities in their woods, the Woodland Trust has activities for budding nature detectives which you’ll find here.

6. YogaBugs Fun Zone

And finally, but most definitely not least, we have all sorts of resources for you to download on the YogaBugs Fun Zone. You’ll find a yoga inspired Easter routine here. We also have activities going on over Easter so check out the Find A Class page on the website. Many of our Franchise Managers have Facebook pages so do look them up.

Happy Easter!

What To Do This Weekend: 23 March

With Easter around the corner, we wanted to find some Spring themed activities for you to do at home with the kids. You’ll know from our YogaBugs classes that a favourite pose is Butterfly. So we were delighted to discover an album of Spring mandalas on the Omazing Kids Yoga Facebook page. We hope their selection of downloadable mandalas will give your children lots of pleasure. We’d love to your beautiful drawings so do photograph and email them to info@yogabugs.com.

Our Top 5 Tips For Better Health In 2012 – Part 2

1. Share Meals With The Family

Not only does it provide opportunities for bonding, this provides an opportunity to try new foods. This is a good habit to instil in your children. Research shows that young adults who regularly eat family meals have higher intakes of key nutrients and perform better academically than those who eat with their families two or fewer times per week.

2. Cut Back Your Food Intake By 100 Calories A Day

Just reducing your calorie count by 100 calories a day (or one less biscuit) would prevent, and reverse, the 2lbs annual weight gain of the average person in this country.

It takes an excess of 3,500 calories to gain a pound, or 35,000 calories to put on 10 pounds in a year. Reducing your energy intake by 100 kcals a day (this is only equivalent to a couple of crackers with cheese, a tablespoon of oil or glass of wine) should make you 10 pounds lighter at the end of the year!

3. Watch Your Alcohol Intake

It’s fine to have a few glasses of festive cheer, but one of the several public-health time bombs we’re sitting on is the rising toll of alcohol-induced liver disease. Official alcohol limits (21 units per week for men; 14 for women) are too high for many people.

4. Don’t Smoke

Smokers live shorter, less healthy lives. No action improves health more than stopping smoking, and it saves a lot of money too.

5. Start Meditating

New research suggests that mindfulness meditation – an essential part of Buddhist and Indian Yoga traditions – is an effective way of helping people to overcome stress and improve their quality of life. This research indicates that this practice has health and performance benefits, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and enhanced cognitive function. Stress is a major factor in heart disease; meditation experts say the technique can help control it. One study discovered that patients with heart disease who practised Transcendental Meditation cut their chances of a heart attack, stroke and death by half, compared with patients who did not meditate.

Another study has found that people who meditate over the long-term have significantly larger hippocampi – the part of the brain associated with memory and learning. This study also found those who had meditated also had increased grey matter or a larger brain! Researchers are now looking at whether this helps to slow down the ageing process.

Our Top 5 Tips For Better Health In 2012 – Part 1

 1.       Develop A Regular Yoga Practice

Join us for the Yoga Journal 21-Day Yoga Challenge – http://www.yogajournal.com/21daychallenge. Why don’t you join us too and transform your life and yoga practice? You can choose either a beginner’s track or an intermediate track, depending on your previous yoga experience.  You’ll get a daily video, weekly meditation and regular newsletters with practice tips and recipes. Participants can set goals and track their progress, either solo or in teams, to keep you motivated. The challenge begins on January 9.

The Yoga Journal website is a fantastic resource. Here you’ll find videos and podcasts – suitable for all levels – as well as lots of yoga inspired features. Another great resource is the Yogaglo website – www.yogaglo.com. For the bargain price of £11 per month you can access hundreds of online classes led by leading yoga teachers.

2.       Start Running

Running costs nothing and is a very attainable goal for most people. Your one expense should be a decent pair of trainers to minimise the risk of injury. Initial enthusiasm can also lead to injuries, so make sure you don’t push yourself too hard at the outset.

If you don’t fancy running on your own, there are a number of running groups, led by licensed running/fitness coaches, which are ideal for beginners as well as more experienced runners. To find out about groups near you, look at http://www.runengland.org/groups. If you’re looking for a sociable, weekly session, visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk. These 5km “park runs” embrace all abilities, and there are now over 90 “park run” locations in Britain.

3.       Focus Harder On “Informal Exercise”

It’s the everyday activities that burn off calories by just getting us around. With just a small shift in mind-set you can improve your health by simply doing as you usually do, but working “smarter”. A study, in 2005, comparing the amount of informal exercise performed by obese and non-obese individuals, found that if obese individuals had “non-formal exercise activity” levels similar to the lean non-obese subjects, they would have burned an additional 350 calories a day, equivalent to roughly 1lb of fat every 10 days! Even postural changes and fidgeting made a difference.

Most people are aware of using stairs instead of escalators or getting off the bus a stop early and walking, but try being creative. Anything that expends more energy – even not using buttons to open automatic doors, but pushing or pulling them instead – is effective over time. In the office, write fewer emails: get up and talk to people instead. Fit as many of these “activities” as possible into your normal living pattern so that you are exercising without upsetting your day.

4.       Always Sit Down To Eat & Eat Slowly

Sitting down relaxes the digestive tract and increases our awareness of what we’re eating. We’re less likely to suffer from indigestion and more likely to enjoy our food if we sit down to meals rather than eat on the run.

People who eat their food quickly have a higher risk of becoming overweight. Researchers have offered several explanations for this, one possibility being that eating slowly allows the body to signal that it is full up before consuming too many calories. A study of 30 women, offered lunch and water and asked to eat until they were full, showed that when women ate slowly they consumed less food (both in terms of the calorie content and the weight) than when they ate quickly.

5.       Eat A “Rainbow Diet”

To ensure that you get your recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals, eat at least 20 different food types each day, including fruit and vegetables of every different colour. Foods with a variety of colours have different healthy nutrients – vitamins, minerals, micro-elements, antioxidants, etc. There are literally tens of thousands of protective phytochemical compounds present in the plant kingdom which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is our best bet for delaying/ preventing virtually every chronic disease. This view has been established by scientific study and endorsed by UK and US government health agencies, the World Health Organisation and virtually every major medical organisation.