We just wanted to say it. A big, big, BIG thank you to everyone who has read and enjoyed Kidadl throughout this strange, tumultuous year. We try to cover a bit of everything on Kidadl, from fun days out (when permitted), to parenting tips, to the latest rules and how they affect families.
Throughout 2020 we’ve also published dozens of features that entertain, educate and inspire. So many, in fact, that we thought we’d put together a guide to our best features of the year, in case you missed them the first time around. Happy reading… and we look forward to Kidadling together again in 2021.
Despite everything, we still found plenty to make us laugh in 2020. Whether it’s six inventions every parent would like to see, or the eight reasons you’re late leaving the house AGAIN, we tried to keep the humour flowing during difficult times.
TV and film proved particularly fertile territory for the giggles. Back in the summer, we decided to rank all of the characters from In The Night Garden. Having sat through all 9,873 episodes (we’re guessing), we feel in a position to offer judgment. Among our favourite denizens of the garden is Makka Pakka, a hero for our times. “The beige creature spends much of his day self-isolating in a cave.. disinfecting stones. When he does emerge on his 'og pog' (a kind of push-scooter), it is to cleanse the Night Garden of germs and to wipe down the faces of the other characters. Questions must be asked about the hygiene of his sponge, but we can only applaud his commitment to keeping the Night Garden clean”.
One thing that can be said about the Night Garden: it has a memorable theme tune. But is it the best? Well, we ranked the best music from CBeebies shows, too (hint: Waffle the Wonder Doggie did not win). Or perhaps see if you can improve on our CBeebies limericks, which include:
The ubiquitous Justin Fletcher,
Is on every show, and I’ll bet’cha,
Those wall-to-wall tumbles,
and pratfalls and stumbles,
Have never once needed a stretcher.
Peppa Pig has universal appeal, with gentle, easily-relatable storylines for the kids, and a peppering of in-jokes for the grown-ups. Back in August, we put it under close, geeky scrutiny. Ever spot the reference to Jurassic Park? Remember the time the narrator slipped-in some subtle geopolitical satire? And find out why Madame Gazelle might just be a vampire. Paw Patrol is less subtle, but it nevertheless got us pondering. Where does Ryder get his funding? Why is a small boy in charge of such dangerous machinery? And what does “No job is too big, no pup is too small” mean, anyway?
Have you ever met a child (or an adult, for that matter) who doesn’t enjoy poring over a map? We’ve put together quite a few over the year. If you’re looking for Jurassic parks, then we hopeyousaurus mapping all the dinosaurs in the UK. This here map contains all the theme parks, dino-golf centres, museums and other places with giant dinosaur models that we could find. If instead you’re looking for witches, wizards, bears and Wombles, then try our map of children’s characters. Find out where in Britain the likes of Lara Croft, Katie Morag, Dennis the Menace and Fireman Sam live. And did you know that Peter Rabbit and Postman Pat are practically neighbours?
Bake-off fans should sample our map of British bakes -- cakes, breads and other foods named after the town in which they originate. Tuck into Bakewell tarts, Shrewsbury cake, Cornish pasties and Dorset knobs, among dozens of others (then try baking them all). Finally, have a play with this map of toys. It shows where some of the world’s most popular playthings have their origins. The practical British gave the world the jigsaw and Mecanno, while Risk was invented in France (by a famous director). The yo-yo, meanwhile, dates to Ancient Greece.
Q. In which country was Trivial Pursuit first developed?
The “New Normal”
Many of our most-read articles concerned “you know what” and the family challenges of coping with lockdown, social distancing and adaptation to a new way of life. Among the more serious articles (such as talking to your kids about wearing a face mask), we slipped in a few lighter pieces that are still relevant now.
‘"Daaad. Can you come and wipe my bottom please!?!," screamed in repetition while you're having a Zoom meeting with the boss.’ -- that’s just one of 11 “funny lockdown moments” that surely happened to every family. See how many you can tick off. We also wondered whether you should make masks for your children’s toys, as a way of communicating the need for face coverings. Try these games you can play outdoors while keeping to the Rule of 6, or conversely these outdoor games that can be adapted for indoor play.
Above and beyond all that, though, is the absolute treasure trove of crafting ideas we’ve assembled to help families have fun together through those long days indoors. Take a look at our epic list of craft projects for boundless inspiration.
Get Out Exploring
Yes, we spent much of the year behind closed doors. But the on-off closure of sporting and cultural venues meant that we also had time to rediscover the great outdoors. Among our more popular nature guides, we told you how to get a wild parakeet to land on your hand in central London. Of course, visiting the woods and the wilds can be a two-way process, as we found when we asked “You brought WHAT home?” If your child regularly presents you with smashed up snail shells, purloined pinecones and their collections of mouldy (possibly maggot-ridden) acorns, then you’ll find much to nod your head at.
Further inspiration can be found in this family walk around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, a socially distanced dinosaur trail at Knebworth, a Sherlock Holmes trail around London, dog and cat trails around London, an amazing open spaces near the M25, and the most Instagrammable outdoor spaces for kids.
Other Top Articles
The Kidadl archive is vast and deep, and we published hundreds of articles in 2020. Some of the other highlights include a guide to buying diverse toys, a self-guided tour of London’s black history, amazing objects to see in the night sky, why cooking with kids is fun AND educational, difficult questions about the weather, science facts we all get wrong, discover which characters share your child’s birthday, and the improbable story of a tortoise who beat humans to the moon.
Go explore, and keep Kidadling!
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.