Manly Daily 30th August 2011 – Launch Day.
PARENTS along the northern beaches can breathe a little easier thanks to a new website informing
them of local activities and services for their young children.
The Northern Beaches Kids Guide caters to children from birth to primary school age, detailing
services such as medical,playgroups, tuition and sporting groups, and activities including
shows, parks and eating out. Thesite also caters to pregnant women, advising them on the latest
products, where to shop,mothers’ groups and parenting courses.
The website is the inspiration of graphic designer Annika Coulson who was frustrated at trying to
source information for her two daughters Hayley, 4 and Alexis, 1.
“I wanted just one place to go which would tell me everything from how to entertain the kids on
a rainy day and how to get there, to where the best markets and childcare services are” Annika said
“I was always trying to gather information together for my mothers’ group and they soon relied on me to
know everything. So I decided to help out all mums in the area and start a website.”
Annika wanted the website to be a one-stop-shop for mums from Frenchs Forest through to Palm Beach.
“Obviously I can’t be everywhere, so I’m reliant on mums to contribute” she said.
“I need to know what they’ve discovered, if they’ve found a new child-friendly restaurant, park, or
childrens’ shop we should know about.
“And feedback is important on other things such as what the new doctor up the street is like, or
where the best bargains are. I want it to be as up-to-date as possible.”
Annika grew up on the northern beaches knowing where everything was until she became a parent.
“That’s when I was thrust into a whole different world. I knew there was a lot of things available to
children, I just didn’t know how to tap into it” she said.
“Now parents can source all the information they need at the click of a button.”
Manly Daily Friday 22nd February 2013
EATING OUT WITH CHILDREN
PENINSULA businesses are increasingly catering for kiddie clientele.
Healthy children’s menus, play areas and even kidsized toilets are offered in cafes and restaurants around the beaches.
Northern Beaches Kids Guide creator Annika Coulson said eateries recognised that families were a big part of their clientele.
Mrs Coulson was often asked by parents which peninsula cafes they would feel welcome at with their children, and she said there was plenty of choice.
‘‘I definitely think more and more restaurants and cafes are welcoming of children,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s easier to go out with your kids.’’
She said had noticed a recent change in kids’ menus, with offerings shifting from fried food to salads, pasta and childsized drinks. Also on the menu were paper, crayons and even play areas.
‘‘It’s just so much more relaxing to go out when your kids can play where you can see them while you eat,’’ Mrs Coulson said.
The behaviour of children in public places was in the spotlight this week after Dee Why Grand shopping centre put up a sign in the centre warning parents screaming children would not be tolerated.
On Shore Cafe Brasserie owner Ye Wang created a small play area in his Dee Why restaurant 12 years ago, to cater to families.
‘‘I see a lot of families in the area and they have to go somewhere,’’ he said.
The play area has books, toys and even a television.
He said he sometimes had 50 to 60 kids in his restaurant on weekends.
‘‘It’s not a problem, we give the kids stickers and lollies, we try to divert their attention, help parents to have a nice meal.’’
Flowerchild Collaroy – June 2015
Annika Coulson is an incredibly modest person despite her success. “I’m no writer” she says, “I’m nervous about writing for you”. But despite her nerves, Annika, a graphic designer in her previous life before kids, has founded one of the most successful facebook pages and websites for parents that the Northern Beaches has ever seen. Northern Beaches Kids Guide is a collaboration of local, current information relevant to young families who are looking for something to do or somewhere to go. From school holidays activities right through to available venues for rainy day functions, Annika has worked tirelessy to create what modern day mums are heralding as their ‘life source’. “I don’t know how mums figured out what to do with their kids before NBKG” quips Penny, the loudest of our research group to review the usefulness of Annikas brain child. “I just check the NBKG facebook updates, and I’m like, great, the library is running story time at 10.15. I’m there”. “I find it really helpful for the days that we don’t have planned activities or we are looking for new adventures. I have discovered heaps of little local gems from the site” nods Jennifer, another local mum who is singing NBKG’s praises. “It is really comprehensive and is always getting updated so I don’t miss out on anything” says Susanne, “although we are generally pretty busy so I don’t use it daily. But it’s there when I need it”. Annika states plainly her motivations for designing the website – “I was sick and tired of missing out on local activities or dates because there was no one place to find that information. Sometimes the paper would help, but I really felt there was a need for this kind of information in one place for parents with little ones.” Annika retrieves most of her information directly from the sources now, with many local companies and councils sharing their details readily. Annika, who still remains incredibly humble about her talents despite her offering such a useful social tool to the masses of the Northern Beaches, is just happy that now, mums and dads can have access to local information at the touch of a button. So, that leaves the question to be answered – What DID Mum’s and Dad’s do before Annika and NBKG?!
Peninsula Living Magazine – June 2015
Manly Daily -May 2015
52 Weeks Blog – Business Mamas, December 2015