Clockwise from top: Rope Climbing Monkey Tin Toy, Mr Benn Make Your Own Big Top, Dodo Soft Toy, Box Robot, Apothecary Jars
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Rope-Climbing Monkey Tin Toy

This mechanical marvel scrambles up a string. £12,

Apothecary Jars

Make like Hogwarts with these replica jars. £9.99,

Mr Benn Make Your Own Big Top

A circus that stars David McKee’s illustrations as 12 moveable figures. £11.99,

Dodo Soft Toy

The Natural History Museum’s irresistibly cuddly if sadly extinct bird. £30,

Box Robot

This eco-friendly motorised cardboard robot is a blank canvas for scribbling and invention. £10,


The line-up: Summer entertainment

Magic Piano & The Chopin Shorts at Aldeburgh

A new animation by the team that created the Oscar-winning Peter and the Wolf, Magic Piano is the tale of a girl and her flying piano, set to Chopin’s Etudes. It’s shown as part of Aldeburgh’s Snape Proms on August 25, with the musical accompaniment performed live, and preceded by The Chopin Shorts, a set of four animations also set to a selection of the Etudes.

Edinburgh Fringe

Among all the fledgling stand up shows, there is a good deal of family fun to be had at Edinburgh. This year sees the return, for a third season, of the hit cabaret show Huggers (pictured left), while Paper Finch Theatre offer a puppet telling of the Hans Christian Andersen classic The Steadfast Soldier. Author and singer Richard Digance presents a “grimy, slimy and mucky tale” in his musical War of the Worms.

Michael Rosen

The Proms

Among the highlights of the season is a Family Prom matinee, on September 1, of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, illustrated on the spot by Tony Ross, with music by Mussorgsky, Grieg and Stravinsky performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Children’s Choirs. Proms Plus events (free and unticketed – so get there early) give a chance for the whole family to play and sing along.

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