Kids, Kelly Apter

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Children's show Musical Mornings with Mil’s Trills set for 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

15 Jul 2014

New York songwriter Amelia Robinson on her show that introduces music and instruments to all ages

If helping your little one discover the joy of music and language is high on your list of priorities, but one more rendition of ‘Wheels on the Bus’ might tip you over the edge, then a refreshing wind is blowing in from New York. Singer and songwriter…

Scotch Hoppers brings the simple joy of outdoor play to Merchant City Festival 2014

11 Jul 2014

‘The fact that we can close a city street for 10 days and have people playing in it is powerful'

In an era when having the latest iPhone is top priority for many children, it’s hard to imagine that a piece of string and a stick of chalk ever passed muster. Yet whiling away the afternoon playing hop scotch / peevers / beds (whatever you called it…

The Spokesmen

11 Jun 20144 stars

Visible Fictions' bike-based theatre show is a remarkably silly, thoroughly enjoyable hour

You look for your row, find your seat and sit down – that’s your average theatre experience. But in this special year of sporting activity, Glasgow-based theatre company Visible Fictions has come up with an entirely new way to enjoy drama. You still…

Scottish Ballet stage shortened Wee Hansel & Gretel for younger audiences

5 Dec 2013

60-minute version of 2013 winter show is aimed at children

As full of wonder, magic and charm as Scottish Ballet’s new Christmas show is, when you’re still growing your attention span, two hours can feel like an awfully long time. Which is why, for the second year running, Scottish Ballet is staging a condensed…

The Lion King

7 Nov 20134 stars

Costume and puppet designs steal the show in Julie Taymor's stage production of the Disney film

The Lion King has played to audiences the world over, with different casts bringing the Disney film to life each time. Everywhere it goes, the show is a hit, regardless of who dresses up as Simba, Scar or Pumbaa. And why? Because unusually for a stage…

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YurtaKids: Unleashed

21 Aug 20132 stars

Scarlattine Teatro's dance piece for under-5s lacks structure

Given that human beings are said to develop more between birth and the age of five than at any other point in our lives, creating a show that appeals to everyone in that age bracket is a task-and-a-half. And sitting next to those kids, of course, is an…

My Brother the Robot

11 Aug 20134 stars

Futuristic family fun

The technology in Tall Stories’ new show may seem far-fetched, but with robotic carers for the elderly already in development, it’s closer than you think. Little Bobby lives alone with her father in the year 2042, eating fish and chips from a…

Romeo and Juliet

6 Aug 20135 stars

Children's show version of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, who never looked so good

Any company staging Romeo and Juliet for younger audiences has two hurdles to overcome: make it clear enough for children to understand, yet fresh and interesting enough for the adult sitting next to them, who knows the story inside out. This energetic…

Bookbug Week celebrates the joys and benefits of early years reading

14 May 2014

‘It’s not just about reading, it’s about building strong family relationships’

The total recall most of us have for song lyrics from our youth tells you all you need to know about how the human brain receives songs. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to preparing pre-schoolers for the enormity of learning to read, the Scottish…

Glasgow Kids Comedy Club to feature 10-year-old comedian

29 Apr 2014

Adam Weir set for slot at comedy event at The Stand aimed at children

The prospect of standing in front of a crowd of strangers, and attempting to make them laugh, would strike fear in most of us. It takes a special breed of person to choose stand-up comedy as a career – yet at the tender age of ten, Adam Weir is already…

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Imaginate 2014: helping young audiences to view theatre and the world differently

28 Apr 2014

The kids' theatre festival uses everything from hammocks to penguins to capture younger imaginations

No leg room, hard seats and a giant head blocking the stage: just some of the potential barriers to fully enjoying a theatrical experience. But it comes as no surprise to find that ground-breaking children’s theatre festival, Imaginate, is offering us a…

Edinburgh International Science Festival finds room to grow at Summerhall

24 Mar 2014

The former veterinary school is now home to a wide range of family-friendly science events

For decades it was the home of scientific enquiry and medical research – so what better venue for Edinburgh International Science Festival to move into, than the former veterinary hospital-turned arts complex, Summerhall? One of a number of venues…

The Secret Life of Suitcases

18 Mar 20144 stars

A charming, ingenious piece of puppet theatre infused with a spirit of adventure

Despite the spirit of adventure running through this charming new show, there’s also a real sense of calm. Performers Ailie Cohen and Rick Conte deliver the tale of conscientious office worker Larry at a confident, unhurried pace that keeps us hooked…

Are your kids too old for Baby Loves Disco? Try Pop Lock-In

18 Feb 2014

The new afternoon event gives kids a little more independence in a club environment

When afternoon clubbing event Baby Loves Disco first got off the ground, it was as much for the grown-ups as the offspring sitting on their hips; a chance to hang out with friends in a nightclub environment, have a dance and recapture days gone by…

Artist Helen McCook discusses kids' embroidery event The Big Stitch Up!

28 Jan 2014

Back in the day, learning how to work magic with a sewing needle was essential for schoolchildren (well, the girls anyway). Opportunities for today’s young generation to get creative with fabric are few and far between – but Birmingham-based embroidery…

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Interview: performer Judith Williams, star of Hans Christian Andersen adap The Red Shoes

18 Nov 2013

The family friendly stage adaptation dispenses with some of Andersen's more grisly details

Hans Christian Andersen didn’t shy away from the dark side, but even he excelled himself with the macabre punishment in The Red Shoes. Happily for family audiences heading to Tramway this winter, the new stage version, created by Glasgow-based…

Interview: CBeebies' Chris Jarvis on The Chris & Pui Roadshow

14 Oct 2013

The two stars of Show Me Show Me present a show of songs, sketches and a whole lot of joining in

It’s one of the unwritten rules of life, that children’s TV presenters come and go. Kids grow up, the next generation comes along, and the revolving door of television spins in another smiling face to engage with our children. But two people who have…

Music lovers of all ages welcome at the Glasgow UNESCO City of Music Family Day

18 Sep 2013

Among those providing soundtracks to the free & cheap events are the RSNO, BBC SSO and Red Note

When you’re trying to appeal to a child barely out of nappies, right up to a teenager with fixed ideas on what’s cool, planning a ‘family fun day’ can be an arduous task. Now in its third year, the Family Music Fun Day aims to get the balance right…

Dinosaur Zoo promises to give kids a close encounter with prehistoric lizards

18 Sep 2013

The live show by Australia's Erth theatre company uses puppetry to educate and entertain

Animal handling sessions at the zoo usually involve creatures of the cute and cuddly variety – or who, at the very least, have a pulse. The brainchild of Australian physical theatre company Erth, Dinosaur Zoo proves that being extinct for over 60…

Barrowland Ballet to debut two versions of same show for kids and adults

16 Sep 2013

Tiger and Tiger Tale incorporate similar elements for two very different audiences

Natasha Gilmore was reading to her two young children when the idea came to her. Why not create two dance works with the same subject matter and similar title, but perform them to completely different audiences? ‘I’m really interested in how children…

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Sally Magnusson - Horace the Haggis and the Ghost Dog

27 Aug 20134 stars

Magnusson's follows up her children's book Horace and the Haggis Hunter with an enjoyable sequel

It’s just over a year since Sally Magnusson jumped from behind the news desk onto children’s book shelves with one graceful leap. The new role must suit her, because Magnusson’s likeable hero, Horace the Haggis, is back for an even more exciting…

The Adventure

21 Aug 20134 stars

An interactive kids' show that starts (intentionally) weakly but improves steadily throughout

It’s not unheard of for a show to start well, then descend steadily downhill – but The Adventure does the exact opposite. From a fairly lacklustre start (intentional, as it turns out), it just gets better and better. In the interest of making it as…


21 Aug 20133 stars

Mara Menzies' colourful puppetry and storytelling lights up the night

There are a few key ingredients you need to entertain young children, and this show has pretty much got all of them. An engaging storyteller, Mara Menzies interacts with the children as if they were sitting in the library at school, instantly taking…

Rumpelstiltskin and the Wheel of Fortune

11 Aug 20134 stars

Puppetry that spins pure gold

Perhaps it’s his funny name. Or the fact he can spin straw into gold. Whatever the reason, Rumpelstiltskin has remained a perennial fairytale favourite for over 200 years. Storyteller and puppeteer Andy Lawrence knows that, which is why apart from a few…

The Maharajah and the Kohinoor

6 Aug 20133 stars

Family-friendly show covering some home truths about the British empire

If you’re not already familiar with Britain’s behaviour towards India during the Victorian era, then prepare to come out of the theatre with any sense of national pride a little bruised. This is a story that deserves to be told; a piece of history lost…