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The small businesses making half-term a breeze

Half-term. It’s a wonderful time. The kids don’t have to go to school. The kids don’t want to go to bed. The kids always want to be fed. The kids, the kids, the kids.

If you’re looking for original ways to keep your kids entertained this half-term, here are some small businesses and tech solutions doing the hard work for you:

Getting techy

We all know there’s nothing better than a good book. Except now there is. Lost My Name is a company founded in 2012 by four friends who have taken books for young children to the next level.

Using a clever idea, ingenious coding and a simple online interface, Lost My Name has created a range of books in which your child is the star. Simply visit their website, input the name of your child, order your book and you will receive a story based on the letters of your child’s name. Lost My Name is one of the early companies to spot the potential of personalising a product.

Existing exclusively online, Lost My Name has used some smart thinking, clever tech and cloud computing to (in their words) combine the power of stories with the possibilities of technology.

Having a laugh

However entertaining the book, sometimes reading just isn’t going to cut it. So, please welcome to the stage, Comedy Club 4 Kids.

Entrepreneurs clearly recognise the potential of small businesses aimed at kids but more and more we are seeing activities that parents and children can do together. Comedy Club 4 Kids runs about 150 shows all over the UK and you’ll find co-owner Tiernan Douieb, performing at most of them.

Tiernan explained: “A lot of parents tell us how much they enjoy the shows as well, which is a really nice. They say it makes a big difference from kids’ shows that leave the adults bored. It’s essentially just a clean comedy gig so really it can be enjoyed by all ages.”

When asked which type of audience is more difficult to play to, Tiernan said: “Adults, definitely. They’re a lot more judgmental. Kids will only heckle if they need to tell you something they’ve been thinking of. They’ll sit in the front row immediately and be excited.”

In terms of marketing, as well as the usual local PR, flyering and social media, Tiernan has started using PopJam a safe social media site for children. “We ask kids to write jokes on themes or draw silly pictures and we’ve currently got just over 22k followers.”

Staying in

If you and the kids fancy staying in but need some inspiration, look no further than Mr Fox. Founded by two mums who made the decision to leave their London-based corporate lives behind them, Mr Fox is a free weekly newsletter and website packed with ideas and articles for parents and kids.

The founders have used the freedom remote working technology affords to build an online community of contributors and readers. On their site you will find everything from arts and crafts ideas to recipes to the best tech for kids.

Going out

Starting to get restless? It’s time to go wild.

The Wild Network is an organisation founded off the back of one father’s desire to encourage kids to spend more time outside. The father in question, David Bond made a film called Project Wild Thing to highlight his concerns. You can watch the trailer below.

The network has now grown from one entrepreneurial man to thousands of people and organisations. One of the best things they have produced is the Wild Time app. This smart little app suggests activities you can do outside with your kids based on the amount of time you have available. A fantastic example of tech making life easier for parents this half-term.

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