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  • Literary days out the kids will love

    I love literary destinations – so much so that when my partner, Matthew, and I tied the knot earlier this year we had our honeymoon in Yorkshire so I could visit Brontë country. It completed our love story, really, because the first book I read when I moved from France to England was Jane Eyre – a gift from Matthew when he discovered my love of 19th-century literature.

    Visiting literary destinations can be a brilliant way for kids to connect to reading, too. What better way to spark their interest in books than by taking them to places where writers have created characters and magical worlds from the inspiration around them. There are also some great museums and visitor centres where kids can learn more about their favourite author through interactive exhibits and activities.

    You might like to try these...

    tidy books, literary destinations, literary days out, days out with kids, getting kids reading, literary places, literary tour The books that inspired literary days out, on a Tidy Books bookcase

    The World of Beatrix Potter

    Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tittlemouse – you’ll meet a whole host of Beatrix Potter’s characters during this tour. You can pop into Mrs Tiggy-winkle’s kitchen, see Tom Thumb hiding under the floorboards and get a photo of Mr. Jeremy Fisher on his lily-pad boat. There’s also a short film that introduces you to the author and her stories. While you’re in the Lake District, take a trip to Potter’s house, Hill Top, which has been kept exactly as she left it when she died in 1943. http://www.hop-skip-jump.com/ https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top

    The Gruffalo Trail

    At Thorndon Country Park in Essex, kids can use a map or app to find the cast of characters from The Gruffalo – which, by the way, is my favourite business book.   Just follow the clues and you’ll discover hand-crafted carvings of mouse, fox, owl, snake and, of course, The Gruffalo himself.  http://www.visitparks.co.uk/education/gruffalo-trail/

    Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

    You’ll find the fantabulous world of Roald Dahl in the Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden, where the writer lived and wrote for over 30 years. The galleries are packed with things for 6-12 year-olds to see and do – like creating a character, making up a gobblefunk word, smelling chocolate doors and finding the mouse in the gobstopper jar.  http://www.roalddahl.com/museum

    Pooh Country Tour

    It’s a real adventure tracking down the places that inspired author A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books. A map will help you find the East Sussex locations for Roo’s Sandy Pit, The Heffalump Trap and Where The North Pole Was. A favourite for kids is Poohsticks Bridge, where Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore had fun racing their sticks in the stream. http://www.pooh-country.co.uk

    The Harry Potter Experience

    At the Warner Bros studio tour Harry Potter fans can step into the Great Hall, marvel at the Forbidden Forest and see the Hogwarts Express on  Platform 9 ¾. There’s also chance to view props like the Puking Pastilles dispenser and a whole range of movie costumes. Plus you can find out more about the special effects used to bring Harry’s magical world to life.   https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/experience

    These are some of the best literary destinations in the UK, but do you have a favourite literary destination where you are? Tell me in the comments below

    tidy books, kids bookshelf, kids storage, kids furnitureGeraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile.   She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids.  Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.

     

  • Take one book, add grandparents – and relax!

    If you’re a grandparent you’re probably a little bit relieved that the schools have gone back now. Much as you love your grandchildren and you’re happy to help out with childcare, I bet keeping them entertained over the long holiday left you feeling pretty exhausted at times.

    I read one study that said the average grandparent would be looking after their grandchildren for more than 600 hours during the summer recess. That’s a LOT of hours to find ways to occupy them!

     tidy books, grandparents, grandchildren, grandparents reading with grandchildren, grandparents reading Grandparents reading with grandchildren is the ideal way to relax

    Of course, reading to, or with, grandchildren is a lovely way to spend some time together. And it’s a nice, calm activity that doesn’t involve racing around – with grandparents getting out of breath and the grandchildren getting hyperactive!

    I know from grandparents who’ve been in touch with me that once they’ve bought a Tidy Books product for one of their grandchildren, when another one comes along they buy them the same one, too. It’s not just about treating their grandchildren equally – they obviously understand the importance of books in their grandchildren’s life and want to share the enjoyment of reading together.

    I love visualising a child selecting their favourite book from their Tidy Books bookshelf and asking granny or granddad to read it to them. What a wonderful way to connect the generations and to watch your grandchildren learn and grow. When my son, Emile, was growing up he loved his granny Barbara reading to him even more than me or my husband. It was such a special time together, just the two of them.

    I’m a way off from becoming a grandmother just yet, but I’m hoping that one day I’ll get to experience all that for myself. In the meantime, next month it’s National Grandparents Day on October 7th. And what better way to celebrate the occasion than gathering up the grandchildren with a good book and sharing some quality time together. No running around required!

    tidy books, kids bookshelf, kids storage, kids furniture

    Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile.   She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids.  Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.

  • The accidental trend-setter

    When I founded Tidy Books in 2004 it was never my intention to be a trend-setter. In fact, being trendy was absolutely NOT what I wanted my business to be about. I never wanted to make things that would be here today and gone tomorrow. My ethos was – and still is – to design children’s furniture and storage that stood the test of time. But I’ve always been extremely proud that my bookcase, with its front-facing shelves so kids could see the book covers, was the first of its kind.

    Fast forward to 2018 and it seems Tidy Books is accidentally trending again. According to Houzz nearly 50% of parents are choosing white as the main colour in their child’s bedroom. Which is how, earlier this year, our iconic white bookcase came to be featured in the Houzz of 2018 – a pop-up home exhibition showcasing the latest design trends.  

    tidy books, neutral kids room design, kids rooms, timeless design, kids design Parents are choosing white and natural furniture for kids' interiors

    Using wood as part of a neutral palette is also having a bit of a moment, and we’re getting an increasing number of requests from bloggers and Instagram influencers asking to feature our bookcase. Being on trend has even led to TV stardom. Fans of Homeland will probably have spotted our natural wood bookcase and letters in Series 6 of the show – fitting in beautifully in Carrie’s daughter’s bedroom in their trendy New York apartment.

    A neutral look for kids’ bedrooms definitely seems to be ‘the thing’ this year. It’s all over Pinterest and has even gone global, with Australian-based interior designer Kristy Wither picking it as a 2018 trend. She suggests using natural and whitewash tones as a canvas, then adding splashes of colour with bed linen and throws (in case you’re interested, her other top trend are metallics, velvet... and unicorns!).

    It’s all pointing to a more unisex style for kids’ bedrooms, creating a space that’s suitable for boys or girls. And of course it’s a perfect interior design solution for a bedroom that’s shared by a young brother and sister. Which is probably why grey is another popular choice right now. Well for that we must have had a crystal ball because last year Tidy Books worked with an interior designer to introduce a timeless and harmonious colour palette that included pale and dark grey.

    Honestly, I don’t try to be on trend. I’ve always gone for neutral colours because I love kids’ furniture and storage that looks great wherever you put it in the home. The combination of style and practicality is what Tidy Books is all about. Trends will always come and go, and that’s fine by me. I’ll still be here creating beautifully made, long-lasting designs that can be passed down through the generations.

     

    tidy books, kids bookshelf, kids storage, kids furniture

    Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile.   She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids.  Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.

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