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The Importance of Family Dental Hygiene

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Just recently, all four of us had our yearly check up at the dentist. Husband and I were given the thumbs up by our dentist, who said we’re obviously taking good care of our teeth and practising proper dental hygiene, but he had a few notes for the girls.

Sausage needed to include her gums when she’s brushing, because her gums bled slightly when the dentist prodded at them (something they don’t want to see) and BB was told she’s doing a good job but she needed to make sure she’s including her whole mouth when she brushes, not just at the front. He also said it would be a good idea to visit an orthodontic clinic in the net few months as Sausage is getting to the age where a decision about braces can be made.

A lot of people don’t realise, but poor dental hygiene can actually lead to a whole load of other health problems, not all of which will be in your mouth – it can even put you at risk of a heart attack. Here are some serious health problems, from the NHS website, which can start with poor dental hygiene:

  • Gum disease dangers

    Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It’s mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build-up. In some people who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts to the bacteria around the gums and causes too much inflammation. In others, the inflammation doesn’t clear up properly. The result of the intense gum inflammation is that it also affects the bloodstream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.

    What’s the damage?

    Gum disease has been linked to a variety of other health problems, including:

    • heart disease and heart attacks
    • diabetes and its control
    • stroke
    • rheumatoid arthritis

    Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, explains: “The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed by robust scientific evidence. Despite this, only 1 in 6 people realises that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke or diabetes. And only 1 in 3 is aware of the heart disease link.”

So how do we get kids to take their dental health seriously? Obviously we don’t want to scare them with tales of heart disease and diabetes, but impressing upon them how important it is to keep their mouths in good shape can be the difference between a life of good health and serious ongoing issues. 

Start As You Mean to Go On

Establishing a good routine from an early age is essential to getting kids to see tooth brushing as part of their daily activities. You can start brushing teeth as soon as they erupt, using a special baby toothbrush with no paste. Help them to make a game of brushing by doing it to music and letting baby have a go of doing it themselves. If they see tooth brushing as fun, they’re far more likely to want to do it.

Get An App

There are loads of apps out there which have built-in timers to ensure kids brush for the correct amount of time and also often have fun songs or animations which your kids can brush along with. Have a look in your device’s app store to find one suitable for you.

Offer a Reward

Giving your child a reward for brushing should be a regular item in a parent’s arsenal, but the reward that works best will depend on your child’s age and interests. Someone under the age of eight, for example, may be receptive to a funny bedtime story before lights out – but only after he brushes. For an older child, a good reward might be letting him watch an episode of a favourite TV show between brushing and bed.

Remember, good dental hygiene doesn’t just happen in the bathroom – what they eat and drink can also be a contributing factor. People are mostly aware that fizzy drinks and sugary sweets are an issue, but a lot of people fail to remember that fruit and milk also have high sugar and acid contents, which can also attack the enamel of teeth.

If your kids eat fruit or drink milk, make sure they clean their teeth afterwards and try to give only water before bed as the lack of saliva  in the mouth during sleep means that it’s even easier for the tooth decay to occur.

Top Kids Gadgets on Very

Kids gadgets are constantly evolving and revolutionising the way our kids are being brought up. Back in the day, children would be happy with the latest Action Man figure or the new Polly Pocket series. Now, they are wanting iPad’s, drones and robotic walking, talking dogs. So, suppliers are having to keep up with the demand, and keep improving technology to get ahead of their competitors.

We are going to take a look at some of the top kid’s gadgets that you can buy from Very, showing you just how far the technology has come.

Power-Man Robot

Walking and talking toy robots are all the rage, and none more so than the Power-Man Robot. This toy has the ability to move backwards, forwards, left and right, and can even shoot foam disks!

It also has the ability to play music and pull out its best dance moves upon request. Power-Man can answer your kids’ questions, and he has the ability to record their voice and play it back to them. He also has educational content hidden away and can quiz your kids on trivia and present them with brain teasers.

Amazon Fire Tablet

Youngsters can use the Amazon Fire Tablet to learn and to play. They can use it to read their favourite books, as well as play some games featuring their favourite characters from Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street to name but a few.

You can create up to 4 individual child profiles, and you can cater the content for each child, whether that be books, videos, games and apps. It features either a 7-inch/8 inch/10.1 inch touch screen and has a 1024 x 600 resolution which is perfect for playing games and watching videos.

The Amazon Fire Tablet keeps you in total control setting bedtime curfews and controlling the content they can view and screen time.

Guitar with Built-in Speaker

Do you have a budding Rockstar in your home? Then this may be perfect for them. If they’re a fan of playing the air guitar, then they’ll far prefer playing the real thing!

This guitar comes with a hardwearing maple neck, a hardwood body and rosewood fingerboard. It also comes with a built-in speaker so you won’t need to buy an external one, and your kids can put on their rock show wherever they like!

As you can see there are some great gadgets out there for kids. Technology is ever advancing, so keep your eyes peeled on Very for more in the future.

Five Ways to Get Your Kids Interested in Reading

Southend on Sea’s award-winning Children’s Library © Andy Spain www.asvisual.com

With World Book Day on the horizon and parents around the country scrambling to put together costumes for the kids, we’re all thinking about the books that we love. It’s a great way to get kids to be creative and learn about new books from their friends, but what do we do for the rest of the year when books just aren’t as engaging to kids as gadgets or screens? Although the girls both love a bit of screen time, they’re also complete bookworms and love reading, so I thought I’d share with you five tips on how to get kids interested in reading:

Give Them Freedom

There’s a tendency with a lot of parents to try to get their kids to focus on “real” books, steering them towards novels which they feel their kids should be reading. However, we’ve found that giving kids freedom over what they read is a much better way to get them to read. Whether it’s a comic, magazine, joke book, even a recipe book – if they find it engaging, it’s ALL reading! Their tastes will likely change over time, but removing the pressure can have a profound effect. Happy Beds have released a new World Book Day campaign, which looks at the UK’s best bedtime books. This is a great list and hopefully your children will love the thought of reading some of these!

Read With Them

While some kids find snuggling down in a corner with a book a pleasant experience, some kids find it isolating, which in turn discourages them. Ask if you can read to them, or let them read to you, and make it something fun that you can do together. You can even sit together and read your own books to yourselves, but a sense of closeness and companionship can really help.

Make it Fun

There’s are SO many ways to make reading fun. Pick a corner of the room and make it your reading nook, get some blankets and torches and make yourselves a reading den, pick a character each and do your own voices for them! Kids will engage with a book in a much bigger way if they feel that what they’re reading is fun and exciting.

Visit a Library

Library use is way down in recent years and far fewer parents take their kids to the library than ever before, which is such a shame. Check your library for fun events, as they often have things running in the holidays. Also, when you go to the library, don’t just check your books out and leave – many libraries have comfy little spots where you can sit and read while you’re there, which will maximise the value of your visit and give your kids a sense that going to the library is an event in itself.

Be Topical

Kids often like books when they have context to their lives. If they’ve watched a film about space, find a book on the same subject so they can learn more. If they’re currently mad about dinosaurs or cooking or a sport, encourage them to read about the subject as this will help improve their knowledge and vocabulary.

Do you have any tips for getting kids to become book-lovers or fun ideas for how to celebrate World Book Day? I’d love to hear them, so please do leave me a comment below.

SLEEP TIPS FOR KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Introduction

Being a super mom and dad to the kids with special needs and intelligence is proud. Imagine your kids doing a log of creative activity, running, thinking, making innovative plans and so on. Really you feel blessed to have kids, who are constantly colouring your life with their laughter and sometimes with their naughtiness. You though sometimes feel disturbed, but by heart you want all this happen. So, staying up and running after your kids is a challenge too for you. When you see them grow up, you are also worried about their nutrition, their growth, and their health. So, we will say, your special kids need your special attention. You have to take care of their special needs. So, sleep is very important for your kids, as the kids with high- functioning brain find it difficult to get settled into the bed and go to sleep for a longer time. They need a very comfortable place and space to sleep peacefully. According to Dr. Rachel Dawkins, all those kids who are paid special attention get a satisfactory measure of sleep have enhanced behavior, thinking, learning, memory, and generally speaking mental and physical wellbeing. Not getting enough rest can prompt hypertension, corpulence and even wretchedness. In order to provide them with the best environment, the parents need to make wise decisions regarding their bedding. You should choose suitable furniture and fabric in which they can sleep peacefully.

Get Comforts with Dreamcloud

So, concerning the special needs of your kids, DreamCloudoffers the best quality foam mattresses which are flexible, soft and cozy. When the matter is about your kid, then why staybehind in providing them with the ultimate comfort. Headboard with the frame is the best luxury and comfortable furniture. These are luxurious style headboards, which are soft and adjustable to your kids’ needs. You also need to try DreamCloud’s mattresses which come with the best memory foam, highly flexible to your kids’ body needs. Their superior quality and design provide the ultimate comfort. Their firm mattresses will not let your kid’s sleep disturb from any outside cause, whether it be their pet jumping beside them on the bed. You do not need to be worried about the prices, because it gives 365-night trial, and you can return it for free if you are unsatisfied with its quality. It means you get to experience the 4 seasons sleep. It comes with the free shipping, so most beneficiary on customer’s part. No need to travel and pick the mattresses, rather, they will be delivered right at your front door.

Who Else Is Better In It Too?

Awara is another mattress company well known for its quality foams. It provides the adjustable bed frames, so it is very easy to choose from their sophisticated range of bed frames and foams. You can adjust the mattresses according to the body of your kids, and the angles most suitable for them to sleep or sit at with the full-size adjustable bed frames from this mattress providing company.

Levelsleep is among the trusted companies to provide the spinal alignment products, as it comes up with clinically tested mattresses which you give relief in pain, fatigue, and restlessness. It makes Levelsleep ideal for your young ones who do the physical exertion all day long and sleep on these comfy mattresses. Children love their room colorful and decorated, so Wovenlyrugs comes with the creative and bright designs for the rug in the kids room. So, give your kids the best time and a well-decorated room, which enhances their mental capability, and best sleep time in such relaxing and ambient aura.

Some Tips To Help You With The Needs Of Your Special Kids In Their Sleep

No one else except parents knows what the needs of their lovely kids are. It often happens the bad sleeping habits may affect the overall performance of your children. Due to the uncomfortable sleeping patterns, children have to struggle mentally and physically. They get tired, mentally absent, and all the time fatigued, start to take less interest in the games or creative activities. Under such circumstances, the parents should cater to their young one’s problems. Here are few of the tips that will help you overcome such situations.

Uncomfortable Sleeping Place:

You need to regularly investigate the sleeping place of your kids, that how much comfortable their bed is. Whether the mattress they are using is up to the quality or not. You need to check its flexibility, rigidity, and softness. If you see anything abnormal and not up to the mark, you should replace it immediately with the double foam mattress. Many mattress companies including the Nectar provide memory foam mattress which aid to distribute the body mass and heat uniformly for a comfortable sleep. These retain to their original position once you shift the weight on it. So, these are best recommended for the kids who do a lot of physical exertion all day long and finally come to rest or for a nap.

Look Around What Is Right.

You do not need to fall for anyone’s opinion, but it is best to do a proper study for selecting what is right for your kid’s body. It does not even mean that you have to go for the expensive options to provide in order to choose something desirable for your kid, neither the low price will help at all. All you need to do is to see what the best quality in the market is, judge its pros and cons, and when you see it is meeting your demands, then go for it. So, it is wise to choose your best mattress by studying the following features.

Suitable mattress sizes for your special kids
Mattress firmness
Mattress comfort
Mattress support
Motion transfer
Mattress durability
Type of Mattresses for the different posing sleepers
Kinds of mattresses suitable for individuals with different problems.
Best spots to buy the mattresses

Get Help From The Guides.

You do not have to rely wholly on the material, but you need to pay attention to another thing too. It is on the aesthetic sense and beauty of your kids’ environment. As discussed earlier, creative and bright atmosphere enhances the mental capabilities of your kids. Here the better sleep guide is helpful in determining what you need to do. You may choose from it the perfectly suitable beds, color schemes, and furniture for your kid’s room. Place the aesthetically beautiful things in your child’s space, where he or she may have the positive effect of these things on his/her mind. According to psychological research, children tend to grab the effects of things from their surroundings and it affects their behavior. Good things may give their mind a peaceful sleep, which in turn make them more productive.

Pass Some Time With Them

Along with providing them with their peace of mind through material and aesthetic comfort, your parent is important for them. Kids with the special needs, need their parents most around them. They want to share their thoughts with them and want to the stories from them. According to a research, the kids who tend to share their problem with their parents are mentally healthy, and they have healthy sleep patterns as compared to those kids whose parents couldn’t spend enough time with them. So, it is best to pass sometime before the sleep. Lie down beside them and make them feel your presence. Make them realize you are always with them, motivate them to be courageous and encourage them to be confident.

Verdict:

As discussed above, the best sleep tips for your kids are to take special care of their sleeping place. Keep regular check if their bed is bothering them during the sleep. Buy the best foam material from the market and do not forget to study the sleep guides. Pass the quality time with your kids, so they can share everything with you.

Top Toys That Develop Creativity in Children

Toys should not just be entertaining. For children, playing is life. Why not take this chance to help them develop their cognitive or problem-solving skills? A creative play toy box is not limited to just arts and crafts. Toys that spark their imagination or promote role-playing are just as good. The best creativity toys are those that kids want to keep on playing with rather than those they easily get tired of.

Puzzles

Puzzles allow kids to problem solve at their own pace. You might be tempted to help them, but step back and let them come up with their own strategies. Puzzles exercise the mind and challenge the way of thinking. Playing puzzles develops their cognitive and problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination and fine motor development. Accomplishing a puzzle can bring satisfaction to them, boosting their social skills.

Building toys

Building blocks are great open-ended toys for children. Since they are open-ended, they promote open-ended play. They spark their imagination, develop their fine motor skills and allow them to solve problems. It is better to have them play with open-ended building blocks rather than those they will assemble to form a specific figure. Watch them create structures or combine blocks with other toys.

Artists tools

Kids love to write or draw whatever they like, so give them writing instruments to let them express creativity through art. Larger crayons or markers are great for smaller kids. Choose washable variants to minimize mess. Craft sets can be easily bought, and they are worth the investment.

Moulding dough and clay

Play-dough is another open-ended toy that encourages children to think while enjoying. The advantage of using this toy is that they can easily mash it together if they do not like what they created. It develops not just creativity but also fine motor skills, social skills when played with other kids, and even their sensory and language skills.

Dress up toys 

Dressing up offers benefits that you might never have thought about. It fosters imagination, allows children to explore themselves, helps establish their identity and improve their communication. Help them enjoy role-playing by gathering materials and accessories that reinforce the experience. They can put together a show and play with other kids, which also develops their social skills.

Pretend play toys

Toys such as food sets, kitchen items and the like all encourage imaginative play. Children love playing with food toys because they are exposed to food every day. This also allows them to imagine and combine things. This is best done with other kids to enhance their social skills. Dollhouses and dolls are girls toys that also foster creativity.

You should enhance their creativity first, before teaching kids to be innovative. Toys that foster this are certainly worth the investment. They teach children to be creative, to think flexibly and solve problems. As parents, it also pays to play with your children. Creativity always starts at home and is not only limited to arts and crafts; anything that exercises their minds and sparks their imagination helps kids become creative thinkers.

Image: Pixabay.com

5 Great Benefits of Skiing for Children

If you are undecided on whether taking your children skiing is a good idea, you may be pleasantly surprised by all the benefits it can have for them. The benefits for their physical and mental health are endless, not mention the amount of fun they’ll have. So, if you need an extra push to get you on the slopes, read on.

Pixabay

Boosts Positivity

If you’re currently dealing with a stroppy teen, a trip to a ski resort could be just what you all need for a bit of sanity. Sports like skiing and snowboarding have been proven to improve your mood and increase positivity. The bottom line is – children who are active are generally happier. So, if you’re looking for a family holiday where everyone will leave happy, skiing is a great choice.

Overall Health

When you go on a skiing holiday, you’re not only spending a lot of time in the great outdoors but you’re also exercising your body fairly rigorously. Your children will benefit from the fresh air, vitamin D and skiing is ideal for keeping the heart and lungs healthy. The great thing about this for kids is that they won’t even notice how well they’re looking after their bodies because they’ll be having too much fun.

Pixabay

Balance

Taking part in skiing requires a lot of balance. It’s very physically demanding to keep your balance on skis for hours on end but it does the body good. Similarly, it isn’t just adults that need to unwind and relax at this time of year. Kids need a break too and spending time in a place like Chalet Iona can help to destress their minds and bodies. There’s nothing quite as easy as a relaxed child.

Get Back to Nature

Children spend more time than ever indoors thanks to technology. So, if you have a gaming enthusiastic or a child who likes to spend a lot of time on their phones or tablets, going on a skiing break could open their eyes. The breath-taking views, snowy mountains and beaming sunshine are just some of the perks to being on the slopes. You may even bump into some wildlife while you’re there.

Pixabay

Confidence

Every child needs a confidence boost every now and again. Whether it’s because of a failed test, a friendship gone wrong or a broken heart, it’s always nice to be reminded of your worth. Skiing is a great way to boost self-esteem and confidence. It can instill a sense of achievement when you master something new and children will develop a new found pride in themselves. When a child gets a confidence boost it can change their whole perspective on life, and parents may just get a well-deserved break.

There are so many benefits to skiing, including everyone getting a good night’s sleep and muscle toning for the whole family. But the main reason to go skiing is the pure enjoyment each and every family member will get from it.

What Was Your Favourite Part of the Playground Growing Up?

Remember running out to the playground at break time after lessons, or a walk down the park, as a youngster and getting all excited because your favourite spot was free? For some, it is the slide, while others immediately run over to the bars.

Not all playgrounds are created equally, with some encouraging more play than others. Yes, you may have loved playing hopscotch, but did anything really capture the imagination like an all-singing-all-dancing structure filled with endless possibilities?

It probably depends on what type of child you were. Here, we take a look at some of our favourite parts of any playground.

Slide

What young child didn’t love the slide? Of course, some slides were better than others – there was nothing worse than getting stuck halfway down the slide, only for the next child to dislodge you on their way down. The best slides were, of course, the slides that had a spiralled design, rather than a straight slope down.

You might also remember the unfortunate discovery of a landing pad that wasn’t quite padded enough in parks that hadn’t been maintained as well as they should be. It was all good fun, though, wasn’t it?

Seesaw

The seesaw could be a lot of fun, as long as you had someone to actually go on it with. If you were something of a loner, the seesaw only served to compound your loneliness. But it was okay, because you could make friends on the playground and jump on the seesaw with them – after all, you are in a social setting.

This was a very simple piece of equipment that would keep us entertained for a long time. Of course, if you would get a little overzealous, your parents would get a little twitchy, but that was what the rubber matting was for.

Field

Is the surrounding field technically part of the playground? At school, everyone would be excited when they could play football on the grass, so for that reason we are saying yes. When we were at school, the grass field was used almost exclusively for sport, especially football.

Do you remember sliding around in your new school trousers and seeing your mum’s face drop when you returned home? Now we know how mum felt because, as any parent will tell you, grass stains aren’t fun to get out of clothes. Especially whites…

Rocker

Going back to those that loved to play on the seesaw, anyone that couldn’t find a friend to participate with them could jump on the rocker. This is a one-man seesaw, if you will, where the child can swing backwards and forwards or side to side to their heart’s content.

The best part of the rocker was that you were not reliant on another’s momentum (or lack thereof) and could go as fast or as slow as you wanted. The simple things always made for the best park equipment when we were young.

Swing

A staple of the playground, the swing was the reason for many a bump and graze when you fell off. You would always hear fables of how one kid managed to swing all the way over the bar (almost always when no one else was present, funnily enough) and foolishly try to replicate the feat yourself. It would never end well, or you would chicken out at the point your body would become inverted.

Looking back with an adult’s perspective, playground’s seem such a simple concept but, through the eyes of a child, they really do represent a world of opportunity.

Play More and Win a Sudocrem My Little Adventure Pack!

One of the reasons that we moved to our little house in the countryside, back in 2015, was so that we could spend more time outdoors as a family. Living in a very suburban area meant that we were constantly surrounded by noise and pollution, our garden was overlooked by about 100 other houses and to get anywhere even vaguely quiet or secluded, we’d need to drive a fair way.

Where we live now, there are less than 15 houses in our entire village and we have a lovely big garden for the girls to enjoy, as well as public footpaths leading through the countryside, right on our doorsteps. It means that screen time has been massively already reduced this summer, with the girls choosing to play outside in the paddling pool, riding their bikes, or walking with me and Husband when we take Maureen out (which hasn’t been until about 9pm in this heat!)

We’ve teamed up with Sudocrem to get involved with their latest campaign to get kids outside. As part of the campaign, they are encouraging parents around the UK to nominate a nursery and give them the chance to help improve the nurseries outdoor play area – just click the link to go through the the page for nominations. 

They said: “Children are spending more time indoors than outside and they are missing out on exploring the natural world around them. In fact, research found that 1 in 9 British children have not visited a beach, park or forest in twelve months, and on average, a British child only spends 4 hours a week playing in the great outdoors. [1]This is why Sudocrem set up the award-winning Play More campaign, an initiative designed to encourage parents and children to get back in touch with nature and explore the greatest playground on earth- the outdoors. As part of the campaign, Sudocrem carried out a survey which asked 200 children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old to identify some of the creepy crawlies in Britain. The survey revealed that 9 out of 10 children (89%) were unable to recognise a butterfly even though there is an abundance of native British insects, with around 27,000 insect species calling the UK home. Moreover, 51% didn’t know what a Bumblebee looks like. And, surprisingly, 1 in 3 (29%) didn’t realise that bees make honey[2].

Children are not only unable to identify some of the most distinctive insects, but they are also missing out on the adventure which comes with playing outside in a natural environment.  Over half of those surveyed (59%) admitted that they had never climbed a tree, 89% didn’t know what a Buttercup was and 77% couldn’t identify a Sunflower. Are children losing their sense of wonder and adventure?

According to children’s TV presenter and naturalist, Chris Packham, who’s an ambassador for Play More, parents should be encouraging their children to get outside and explore the natural environment around them. “I was very fortunate when I was a child because I was encouraged to interact with the outdoors- looking under rocks and searching under logs and hedges to find creepy crawlies. If you just open your eyes, you’ll see that there is an incredible natural world out there waiting to be discovered”.”

They’ve given us one of their gorgeous Sudocrem My Little Adventure Packs to give away to one lucky reader.  The kit is worth £40.00 and includes:

– Play More t-shirt
– Play More sun hat
– Bug Pot
– Frisbee
– Butterfly Net
– Magnifying glass
– Trowel or fork

To be in with a chance of winning, leave me a comment below telling me your favourite place to get outdoors with the kids. You’ve got until midnight on 31st July 2018 to enter.

T&Cs: winner will be chosen at random. Winner will have 48 hours to provide me with their postal address once contact has been made. If winner doesn’t respond within this time a new winner will be chosen. No cash alternative offered, prizes supplied and sent by PR company for Sudocrem. Mum’s the Word accepts no liability for supply of prizes.
[1] According to a government report, ‘MENE: A pilot for an indicator of visits to the natural environment by children- results from years 1 to 2 (March 2013-February 2015)’.
[2] National report conducted by Sudocrem, April 2018.

Keeping the Kids Entertained This Summer

keep the kids entertained this summerEven if you’re going away this summer, there’s a good chance that you’ll have at least a month at home, which you’ll be wanting to fill with activities for the kids, keeping the dreaded cries of “MUUUM, we’re BORED!” at bay for as long as possible! There are loads of things that you can do across a variety of budgets, which will fill their summer nicely, and this is just a few of them:

Pony Camp

If you live near a riding stable and have kids who love animals, find out if they’re doing any sort of pony camp during the summer. Last year, Sausage went to a pony camp one day a week for the entire holidays, and although it wasn’t cheap (we paid about £25 per session), it meant that even during quiet weeks, there are at least one day with guaranteed fun! Our stables bought all of their Horse Nutrition Products from Spillers, so we knew they were well cared for.

Shopping Centres

Take a look at the shopping centres near you; many of them have fun days for kids all the way through the holidays, with various characters like Chase from paw Patrol or Anna and Elsa from Frozen turning up. They’re generally free or very cheap, and give you a chance to pop into town for an afternoon of low-cost fun.

Pick Your Own

The nice weather means that you’ll be wanting to get outside as much as possible, and a PYO farm is a lovely bit of wholesome fun for the whole family. You generally only have to pay for the fruit you actually want to take home with you and the kids get to spend a few hours doing something which is about a million miles away from screen-time.

Fun Classes

Okay, so I’m not suggesting you get them doing school work in the holidays, but there are a few different places you can take them where they’ll get to learn something fun. YO! Sushi do awesome sushi making classes for kids, which we tried last year and the girls ADORED, but you’ll also find stuff at your local library, like coding classes, which your kids might enjoy, and again, they’re usually pretty cheap.

Litter Picking

This summer, Husband, the girls and I have decided that we’re making it our mission to go litter picking at least once a week. We live in a beautiful rural spot which is popular with dog walkers and cyclists, but we see an alarming amount of trash and mylar balloons when we’re out on walks. We figured, if we pick up as much as we can, we might offset some of the damage, doing a good deed and spending time together in nature at the same time. It might not be hugely glamorous, but it’s free and we’ll get a nice warm glow for having dome something for the environment.

Ways to Fill the Summer Holidays When You Aren’t Going Abroad

pony schoolIt’s fair to say that Husband, the kids and I are all homebodies. We love the idea of going abroad on holiday but when we had Chuck is was impossible and Maureen is still a little bit too young for us to leave her for too long, so a jaunt abroad is off the cards for now. We do, however, like to fill the summer holidays with as many days out and activities as possible, so that the kids don’t get bored and do that annoying bickering thing that kids do when they spend too much time at home, with only each other to play with! This is just a few of the things we do each year:

Pony School

We’re lucky enough to live close to a few different riding schools and some of them run pony schools in the holidays where the kids spend one day a week riding, grooming and generally “horsing” about (HA!) with the friendlier ponies at the stables. It’s usually about £25 per session and the kids need over the knee boots from UK footwear specialists Uppersole, but it’s pretty good value when you think about how long they get to spend with the ponies.

Garden Beach

Last year, we bought a massive paddling pool, set up the slide, sun loungers, a Bluetooth speaker and some mocktails and had what we called “The Garden Beach”. It was like a very miniature version of lazing around the pool on holiday, the kids thought it was amazing and I loved the chance to sit in the sun and read my book! This year, we’re planning on elaborating and even having a tent by the pool which we may spend the night in, if the kids are brave enough!

Fruit Picking

One of the things we have planned this year is a bit of Pick Your Own – it’s something I did when I was a kid and I absolutely loved it, and as soon as I told the girls about it, they found the idea really exciting so it’s on the list of things to do this summer.

Get the Bus

The kids are lucky enough to have Mummy’s Taxi Service which means they get ferried everywhere in the comfort of our car, but neither of them has ever really experienced public transport much, so they’ve asked if we can take a trip into town on the bus! This may sound very run-of-the-mill, but when you consider that we live in the countryside with one bus stop a mile away and buses which run quite sporadically, I suspect it may be more of an adventure than your usual bus trip!

Cookery Classes

Our local supermarket has a test kitchen and every year they run kids cookery classes throughout the holidays. They’re about £7 per session and include all of the ingredients they need to make a different dish each week. It’s a really nice way for the kids to spend a morning, plus they learn new skills and have the thrill of bringing home and eating what they’ve made.