Top Five shows for the even littler little ones 2019….

So, earlier this month I published my top ten children’s shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year (see here) – and as always it was a difficult process choosing from the amazing array of shows available.  It helps if I am able to do this separate list of shows I would recommend seeing along with even smaller children. All of these shows are developed with the youngest children in mind, providing a sensory treat for them and a perfect introduction to theatre and performance…

There are obviously loads more shows for even the youngest children out there during the fringe, so please do explore and let me know how you get on !

image of eventValentina’s Galaxy – I remember bringing my very mini – mini reviewer along to Paperbelle a few years ago and they loved it – Frozen Charlotte create beautiful and inspiring shows for children and this one looks particularly exciting ! ”An intergalactic adventure for children aged 2-6, inspired by real-life female astronauts, this immersive performance captivates children and adults alike with a combustible concoction of experiments, rocket launches and stargazing.”   3rd – 18th August (not 5th/12th )


image of eventCeleste’s Circus – We LOVED this enchanting show and are delighted it’s back at the Fringe (see our review here). The hand crafted set is the perfect backdrop for this gentle adventure aimed at the under five’s. ”Celeste invites you to spot a peek-a-boo pussycat, applaud a highwire hippo and fall in love with the cutest seal pup ever. A complete joy to watch, with a delightful retro feel.”      1st – 25th August (not 6/7/8th, 13/14/15th, 20,21,22nd)


image of eventLittle Top – Starcatchers create incredible shows for younger children and this first experience of the circus Big Top looks as inventive and interactive as ever ! ”Welcome to Little Top, a magical first circus experience for babies aged 0-18 months. Little Top invites babies to experience all the fun of the circus. Roll up for a gently thrilling performance with spectacular balances, astonishing tumbles and inventive juggling. Be transported into a joyous, topsy-turvy world where patterns fill the air and anything is possible.”                                                                                                                              2nd – 17th August (not 5th/12th) 


image of eventFox-tot! – Returning after the success of BambinO, Scottish Opera are back with a brand new opera for 12 to 24-month-olds. ”Fox-tot! is full of imagination – a magical journey of discovery for those taking their first small steps into the big wide world. Set in a woodland world where anything can happen, this engaging mix of music and puppetry is an interactive experience for toddlers and adults to enjoy together.”                                   2nd – 16th August (not 5th/12th )


image of eventJelly or Jam – Have you ever seen a giant block of jelly – wobbly, jiggly and strong enough to stand on? Jelly or Jam takes you on an acrobatic adventure into the brains of young humans. Guided by real interviews with kids about their emotions and friendship,  don’t miss this rollercoaster ride filled with squishy, messy jelly that will inspire people, young and old, to consider the importance of individuality and friendship.                               3rd/4th and 10th/11th August

Final weekending…

So,…it’s been a jam packed few weeks and here we are, ready for the final weekend of the Fringe, and we’ve got the Portobello Big Beach Busk on Saturday 27th, the Book festival is still going strong and the Edinburgh Art Festival is finishing on Sunday too….so many choices ! If you’re still thinking of cramming in a few more shows, now’s the time to do it !

My final ten recommendations of shows still on this weekend would be :

  • The Many Doors of Frank Feelbad– Absolutely fantastic show, dealing with loss and the big feelings that surround this. Gentle, beautiful and brave…last show 28th August.
  • Children Are Stinky – Very fun and silly acrobatic and clown show from a lovable Australian Duo – featuring hula hoops, chairs and a fantastic soundtrack, lots of fun for the whole family !  Last show 29th..
  • 360 Allstars – Featuring some spectacular BMX tricks, brilliant basketball, impressive breakdancing and live beat-boxing – this show has something for everyone ! A jam packed hour of talented performers showing off their skills ! Last show on 29th…
  • Shark In The Park – Really enjoyable adaptation of the very popular books….featuring lots of singing, puppets and surprises. Last show on the 29th …
  • Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones – Using some inventive household objects, and even audience members shoes – this is a great little shadow puppet show. Featuring a few short stories in shadow puppetry…. Last show on 29th August.
  • The Bookbinder – an enchanting production, featuring imaginative storytelling and beautiful papercraft….about a Bookbinder’s apprentice who travels into a wonderful world to rectify a mistake. Last show on the 28th.
  • Beards ! Beards ! Beards !Ace show about a girl called Beatrix who wants to have a beard like all the wise and important men in history. Quirky and innovative with lots of great to catch for sure ! Last show on 28th.
  • Glasgow Girls – One for older children but absolute highlight of my fringe, fantastic musical about a very important and temporary topic of immigration and asylum seekers. Last show on 28th
  • Celeste’s Circus – One for younger children -this is a really sweet little show for under fives. Celeste takes us to the circus, using a lovely handmade set and featuring a cat, seal, dogs, hippo and elephant ! Last show the 28th August.

If you’re out and about – enjoy it !! And let’s hope the weather is also kind….

Third Week Highlights…..

Another busy week has passed, and I’ve seen some great and unusual shows too ! A little bit of everything ! We’re in the final week of the Fringe now, with most shows finishing on the 29th August…so if you’ve been thinking of checking something out -now is the time to get organised and do it !!

Highlights this week have included the following  (there were others but they have finished their runs already sadly-like Snail and the Whale and Poggle) :

  • The Glasgow Girls – This has to be one of my total highlights of the Fringe so far this year. It’s brilliant – powerful, moving, musical and fun ! It’s recommended for ages 12+, and I think is a really important piece of theatre for this age group. Please, please try and catch it – last performance 28th August.
  • Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones – Using some inventive household objects, and even audience members shoes – this is a great little shadow puppet show by the brilliant Bunk puppets. Featuring a few short stories in shadow puppetry, it’s unique to also be able to see ‘behind the scenes’ too ! On until the 29th August.
  • The Amazing Bubble Man – I felt like I’d been missing out on something, having never seen the bubble man, even after he’s been here for at least the last nine years! I finally went to see him and really enjoyed the show – he certainly knows how to work his bubbles, putting smoke inside them, making big ones, square ones, spinning alien ship ones, light up ones, helium filled ones….it’s a hit with all the bubble fans out there and he includes a little bit of bubble science too for the older ‘kids’ inside the venue ! On until the 29th August.
  • Celeste’s Circus – This is a really sweet little show for the under fives. Celeste takes us to the circus, using a lovely handmade set and featuring a cat, seal, dogs, hippo and elephant ! Lots of cute touches for the little ones and the perfect length too to keep everyone entertained ! On the 26th-28th August.
  • Hup – A quirky, gentle piece for under twos – four musicians delight the crowd with their music and a playful racoon. Really really lovely…..On until the 28th (not 24th).

For something a little different, I would recommend :

  • Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tours – I LOVED every minute of this and can see it working really well with families – there were some kids on my tour too….everyone gets headsets and listens and sings along to some very familiar disco tracks whilst ‘dancing’ around the city being led by Guru Dudu, who advises on some dance moves, some choreography and gives some great chat !! VERY fun indeed…..on until the 29th, a few tours a day !
  • Teatro Delusio – Three actors are able to be 29 characters with no words – it’s amazing really, through the use of masks they are able to transform completely and have the audience transfixed in a story of the backstage of a theatre. One for older children perhaps, but my seven year old daughter enjoyed it and loved the masks…On until the 29th August

Shows for ‘littler’ little ones….

My friend will be returning to visit this year with her (slightly bigger) baby, so I’ve done some research on suitable shows for littler children and it seems that this year rather brilliantly there are plenty of shows to choose from !

I think it’s great-it’s a good way to introduce children to theatre and fantastic that shows are being aimed at this age group and making them and their parents feel welcome !! The shows look like they will bring lots of exciting colours, textures and sounds to the festival too…..

Puzzle – I was lucky enough to see this last year (and wrote a review here) and thought it was captivating, colourful and charming !! A beautiful piece of younger children’s theatre exploring colours and shapes set to enchanting music composed especially for the age group.     August 5th – 20th (not 14th)

Hup – This musical piece for 0-24 month olds looks inspiring and fun – ‘two violins, one cello and one very mischievous raccoon.‘Both transfixing and mesmerizing, this relaxed and intimate delight of a performance is full of surprises geared right at tiny tots …’    August 11th – 28th (not17th/18th/24th)

Celeste’s CircusCeleste warmly invites wee ones to join her circus trip.See the high-wire hippo, the peek-a-boo cat and a lovable seal performing for paper fish. This charming show is designed for 0-5 years and looks like alot of fun!  August  4th-16th (not 10th) and 19th-21st and 26th – 28th


Poggle -‘ Mischief maker, maker of fun. Tumble tumble, tickle my tum. Beasties beasties, buzzing bees, Poggle’s not scared of climbing trees. Vince wants to explore the forest but he’s too scared until he meets Poggle, a friendly creature who takes him on an adventure to the magical musical tree’. This dance theatre show with live music looks imaginative and unique…for ages 6 months – 4 years.     August 5th – 21st (not 8th/15th)

Head In The Clouds – This year’s offering by Ipdip who create performances especially for early years looks enchanting and sure to be fully immersive with sounds, touch, smell and visual treats. ‘Cirrus the dog has a serious job: he has to keep watch on the sheep. What to do when they lose themselves, drifting amongst the dancing clouds? How can he help these woolly-headed dreamers get back down to earth? ‘ For 0-5 years.                 August 8th – 28th (not 10th/17th/24th)

Nick Cope’s Family Songbook We have been lucky enough to see Nick Cope a few times before and we have all enjoyed every single second- he sings gorgeous songs about everything from socks, supermarkets, bears and dragons. Audience participation is included and the kids will love him! If you haven’t heard his songs or seen his shows before, come and find out what you’re missing. For 0-8 years                                                                                   3rd-21st August (not 17th)


Highlights so far….

Sorry for the gap in festival updates this week – been busy with little one’s first day at school etc, so not had too much of a chance to get out and about !

I thought I’d do a bit of a run through of some of my highlights so far in shows and activities as the last week of the fringe festival is fast approaching !

  • Dinosaur Zoo – we saw this right in the first week and we loved it – it works for younger children obviously as they mostly love dinosaurs and the puppets are incrediably realistic but also for older kids as it’s very informative and interactive which I really enjoyed – there’s also a chance to meet and greet some of the dinosaurs after the show which was fab ! – on until 25th August
  • Pirate Gran – we saw this last week and again it was great – I loved previous Scamp Theatre productions and this one had the same entertaining songs, cleaverly thought out set design (the set changes were infact one of the best bits of the show as mundane lounge furniture got trasformed into a pirate ship !) and fast paced storyline to keep everyone engaged. – on until 25th August
  • Dr Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and his singing tiger – Dr. Brown Brown Brown Brown Brown and His Singing Tiger I managed to catch this show last week too – I absolutely loved the first Dr Brown kids show and this time Dr Brown is packing for an adventure and its a whole new delightful, funny, interactive show with the fantastic singing tiger melodically guiding us through! I love this show as it totally involves the audience and this is great for kids and also pretty brave for the performers as anything can and will happen !  They have just added two extra dates for the show – TOMORROW the 15th August and Saturday 16th August, both 11.30 in the Bosco Tent George Square Gradens – I highly recommend catching it while you can.
  • A Simple Space – Although this is not strictly advertised as a kids show – it’s playful physical theatre that young people will both enjoy and be totally inspired by.  Seven Australian acrobats (who all happen to be gorgeous) playfully compete against each other and push themselves to their physical limits. My children sat entralled throughout the entire thing and it is awe inspiring – I didn’t manage to see this show last year and I am SO happy I saw it this time, its the best show I’ve seen so far this year and you leave feeling very very happy ! – On until the 25th August (not 18th)
  • Celeste’s Circus – I personally haven’t seen this show, but a few friends have, and it comes highly recommended – I know its one of the few shows out there suitable for very young children and apparently they are loving it ! Hurry though, as it finishes this weekend on the 17th August.

You are not short of good places to hang out and for the kids to be entertained this August – I have had some great days out and about exploring activities on offer :

  • Pleasance Kidzone – This is always a great place to hang out between shows or even just to go and absorb some of the festival atmosphere. They have some good arts and crafts activities on offer again this year, from shrinkie necklaces and keyrings, to painting your own mug, designing t-shirts or smaller things like decorating tiaras. I was pretty impressed that prices started at £1 and we spent a great morning making things and exploring the toys in the area. Theres also a little cafe with food and hot drinks which is always much needed !
  • BBC area – By now you’ll know that I love this space and its a total gem of a place to go with the kids. They have free childrens events going on most days, have a fantastic kid friendly area with deckchairs, fake grass, a ping pong table and Ipads to play on ! The CBeebies weekends offer even more chilrens actvities including facepainting and you can even get your photo taken and then superimposed onto scenes so you can be a weatherperson, be hanging out in Albert Square or with the tardis or with Mr Bloom or the ZingZillas and best of all – its all for free. Do, do check it out !
  • Edinburgh Book Festival – I was hanging out at the Book festival today and like previous years the childrens bookshop is a great place to spend some time with the kids exploring all the fantastic books and there’s a lovely area with cushions and shelves to spend some time getting lost between the pages. Then there is the always amazing storybox which offers arts and crafts activities everyday with a new theme daily and offer a range of activities around this as well as providing a cosy space with books and toys.

I’m just hoping I find some more time to get out and about and enjoy it all for a bit longer !