Blog

  1. Coaching kids: Good cop, bad cop

    Successful coaches aren’t charmers. We recognise the sheer toughness required to coach international sides, but we prefer generosity and warmth when looking for instructors for our kids. The difficulty is that we all like watching our kids win.That isn’t the same as encouraging gloating – we just want sport to offer our children that sense of pride and achievement. Maybe that red-faced...
  2. Family paddling: Kayaks v canoes

    Whitewater or quiet ponds - the real challenge is transporting the kitA kayak or canoe sitting in your back garden is perfectly chic, so storage isn't the challenge. It's the hauling around. Swedish car accessories maker Thule’s slogan is “Bring your life” which I find rather lovely. If you’re already in the business of dragging family bikes around the country then you’re...
  3. The risks of using sun-screen

    A worried parent is a good parent, or so we feel. And modern people worry massively about sunshine. Some pretty massive controversies about skin cancer have been knocking about in the public domain. Studies showing sunscreen causing cancer.  Studies showing that lack of sun exposure causes more cancer than over-exposure does. Studies showing that the higher the SPF, the less liberally it’s...
  4. The anti-helmet argument

    The case for bike helmets isn’t cut and dry. Personally I don’t like the smugness that often goes with purchasing safety kit. Ticking a box which says safety is very different from increasing safety. There are surprisingly good, well-researched arguments being made against bike helmets. Let’s separate three different helmet debates: Obviously there is the protective value of helmets to...
  5. Winter Olympics: Sports at speed

    With the Winter Olympics you get none of these half-hearted football injuries – when snowboarders crash they do a proper job of it. I am still waiting for the biathletes to raise their game. They could so easily generate more media interest by taking the occasional potshot at the crowds. I find the biathletes the most impressive of the contestants - endurance...
  6. Got the kit, now keep the interest

    It’s sod’s law that your child won’t tell you that he hates rugby until he has the new boots and the head guard – he might even wait until you’ve had his three-figure mouthguard fitted at the dentist’s. Even parents who weren’t the keenest joiners during their own school days love to see their offspring engaging with a sport. We...
  7. Toddler parkour over organised sport

    You can build everyday sports skills without equipment or lessons. There’s an industry around parents telling them to sign their children up for endless classes – promising to set their offspring up for a lifetime of sporting success with early years football coaching, gymnastics or racquet sports. The logistics of organised sports for a family with two or three children...
  8. Kids, knives and chainsaws

    Only the strong can belong, is the motto on the Isle of Berk, where the hairy Hooligans live in the “How to Train Your Dragon” series. Well, I hate to boast, but in my home country of Norway full-on four-inch knives, complete with carbon-rimmed stainless steel blades, are a bog standard christening present. I was reminded of this when I...
  9. Dress for success: Layering for winter

    It isn’t about the expensive overcoat. It certainly isn’t about the matching hat and gloves. Each autumn British stores are filled with kids’ winter clothing which just doesn’t do the job. The goal surely is to stay outdoors for the length of time which suits the parents. Secondly to minimise kids’ complaints. These two tie in! So start with the...
  10. Birthday mess belongs outdoors

    Whether you hate hoovering or just want to keep your china intact, you’ve got every motivation to entertain your kids’ friends outside. Anyone can organise some water games on a June afternoon and hand out ice lollies at the end. Only very clever parents can rustle up a cool outdoors party for their November baby. Make sure there are no surprises...
  11. Join Team Magnus

    Messing about Team Magnus loves mucking about outdoors. Company founder Kristine Moody has always been happy to give any sport a go. Based in Perth, Scotland she's honed her skills at rustling up popular outdoors activities for kids whatever the weather. She writes for you and other active families - the families who get out early and stay out late.  

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