Thinking of something to keep the kids away from the TV and not paying top dollar for the privilege can be hard work for parents. This is the problem that Peter McCormack and his fiancée Clare Fowler are hoping to solve with a hotlist of things to do for families around the UK.
Discovly is an email service designed to offer a few solutions each week on a regional basis. Users can sign up to receive an email every Thursday in time to prepare for the weekend.
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You can choose an area where you live or where you might be planning to visit. The options are limited at the moment while the service is launched but there is a smart plan for expansion.
The emails contain a selection of destinations, usually with an outdoors theme and where possible they are free. Locations like heritage sites, nature walks, parks and other places where kids can learn and run off some steam will doubtless appeal to parents who worry about bored kids at home or seeing their children glued to computer games.
The service also keeps tabs on performances and festivals that are child friendly and will keep youngsters occupied.
Discovly came about as Fowler spent time every week coming up with good ideas for the weekend’s activities. The couple discussed the idea of sharing the lists with other parents who jumped at the chance to find better information tailored to their needs as parents.
The activities are geared toward parents of kids up to the age of thirteen. Having a two-year old and an eight year old, the couple realised that a broad selection of things to do should appeal through that age group and that after the age of about 14, usually teenagers have their own social life.
McCormack acknowledges that there are already lists and places where parents can find a data base of things to do but he felt that this lacked the tailored approach that would suit busy parents.
At the moment, the information has the personal touch of Fowler who appears to have a pretty sharp handle on local events and activities. The clever thing is the plan for expansion.
McCormack hopes to attract super-mums like Fowler who have a good local knowledge and some handy ideas about what is happening near them. With this network in place, not only can that information be spread through the email service, but plans to visit different parts of the UK can be organised by filtering a search on the site. Mother really does know best in this case.
Email might seem to be an old-fashioned method of getting the information out, but as many Londoners who subscribe to services such as Ian Visits will know, it’s incredibly useful to have the right information come straight to you without any effort and a short, well designed mailshot is just as accessible on mobile for checking on the move.
For now, the service is free and the focus is on growing an indispensable guide to the weekend for hectic families. Those who fancy finding out more can sign up now and the first emails should arrive on July 18.
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