Category Archives: Mums

10 Simple Ideas for Days Out this Summer

Days out in the summertime don’t need to cost a fortune. Families can have a great time in their local area by enjoying outdoor activities, whether means heading to a nearby beach, exploring natural trails or camping out in your own back garden.

Here are ten simple ideas for family-friendly days out this summer:

Blue Flag Beaches

Blue Flag Beaches

We all love a day out at the beach, but how do you know which ones are best for your family? Blue Flag beaches are considered to be the cleanest, most well kept beaches with the highest water quality and safety services available. The UK has 178 Blue Flag beaches located all around the country. You can use this handy map to find your nearest Blue Flag beach.

Geocaching

How about taking the whole family on an outdoor treasure hunt? Geocaches are hidden boxes filled with unknown surprises that are dotted all around the country. All you need is a handheld GPS and you can download the coordinates for geocaches in your area. Geocaching is great for getting children active outdoors and their boosting map reading and problem solving skills. You can also try geocaching with the National Trust.

Woodland Walks

There are woodland walks and nature trails all around the UK, so no matter where you are you won’t need to go far for this activity. If your little ones are reluctant to get their trainers on and go out walking, encourage them by creating fun tasks such as collecting leaves which can be used for art projects at home, or spotting different kinds of wildlife. You can search for your nearest woodland walks on the Woodland Trust’s online map.

Fossil or Interesting Rock Hunting

Are your children born explorers? Fossil hunting could be the activity for them. There are a few spots across the UK which are famed for their fossils, including the Jurassic coast in the South West, the South Downs in West Sussex and the Yorkshire coast to name just a few. Fossil hunting is a great way for children to learn about rock formations and the environment. The National Trust has a full list of all the top fossil hunting spots in the UK. You may be surprised what is on your doorstep and if you can’t find a fossil you should be able to find some interesting rocks which will teach your children about the geography below their feet.

Pick Your Own!

Pick Your Own

Fruit picking is lots of fun for children, but make sure you know what fruits are in season before you go. Strawberries are usually ready June to August, while raspberries are only available for picking during July. The blackberry season is a bit longer, extending from July to early November. You can search for your nearest PYO farms here. Once you’ve got your berries, you can have making your own jam or just eating them straight from the basket!

Picnic in the Park

Putting together a picnic is a great way to encourage children to help out in the kitchen. Simply by making some sandwiches, blending some chickpeas to make hummus, and bringing along some chopped vegetables and fresh fruits, you can have an excellent healthy picnic basket in no time.

Castle Ruins

Visiting castles and ruins is not only an adventure, but also a great way for children to learn about history. The UK is home to some incredible stone castles, which you can look up on the CastleXplorer map. Many castles are owned and protected by heritage organisations and therefore have an entrance fee. You can save money by becoming an annual member.

Garden Camping

Garden Campin

You don’t to drive for miles to enjoy a camping trip. For young children, camping outside in your own back garden can be just as fun. Teach children how to set up a tent, using the poles to make the structure and pegging the strings into the ground. When evening rolls in, enjoy a small campfire and toast some marshmallows. Night time is the perfect opportunity for some stargazing too.

Kite Flying

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height! Kite flying is a favourite pastime of young and old alike. If you don’t have a kite already, you can make one at home using sticks from the local woods, a spare rubbish bag and some string. Head on up to your nearest hill or a windy spot and watch your kite soar.

Local Conservation

The summer holidays gives families plenty of time to get involved with conservation projects in their local area. These will vary depending on the area in which you live but you can usually get involved with beach cleanups, wildlife spotting and monitoring animal population numbers. You can contact the National Trust, the RSPB and other local charities in your area to find out what programmes will be running during the summer months.

Don’t forget to see ideas from What’s On 4 Juniors too in our annual round-up of ‘Days Out & Getaways’ : http://www.whatson4littleones.co.uk/days-outgetaways.asp

Days Out & Getaways 2015 with What’s On 4 Juniors

About the Author: Sam Flatman is an Educational Consultant for Pentagon Sport. Pentagon have worked with over 5,000 settings to create innovative playgrounds and learning environments for young students. He has been designing playgrounds for the past 10 years and has a passion for outdoor education. Sam believes that outdoor learning is an essential part of child development, which can be integrated into the new school curriculum. He is currently based in Bristol with his two sons.

Website: http://www.pentagonsport.co.uk
Pentagon’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PentagonSportUK
Pentagon’s Twitter: @PentagonSportUK

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CALPOL Launch a Unique App for the iPhone

The makers of CALPOL understand how worrying it can be when little one’s are poorly and how everyday tasks can feel trickier to juggle. A recent survey of mums showed that many find it difficult to manage a poorly child along with their daily tasks, which is why the makers of CALPOL have launched a unique app for the iPhone to provide mums with the added support they need during this time.

With all of that growing up to do, little ones are bound to experience a few hiccups along the way so when children are unwell parents’ primary focus is on getting them better. A recent survey reveals that over half of parents feel anxious that they might misinterpret their child’s symptoms when unwell.

In response to parents’ needs, the new CALPOL app includes, among other features, essential advice on symptoms for the most common childhood illnesses. Providing easily accessible information at their fingertips allows parents’ to keep as much of their attention where it’s needed most, helping to take some of the stress and strain away from mums who are caring for their child. The app also includes a handy feature which reads the advice out loud providing mums with the extra support that they need when they are feeling tired.

The new app has been uniquely designed so that it can be used single‐handedly while a parent is holding their child. Created with busy mums in mind, the app features an easy‐to use ergonomic wheel so that even when mums’ hands are full, they have access to the information they need about their child’s ailment.

Other features include:

Dosage diary that enables parents to record the dose given to their child and will remind them when they last dosed. A recent survey of mums showed that parents would welcome information about what medicines to administer and when to make looking after their poorly child easier

Find my nearest pharmacy or hospital – speedy, essential information for a parent wherever they might be with their child when they fall ill

Temperature tracker that helps parents monitor their child’s temperature over the course of an illness

– Soothing lullabies, which parents can play to help comfort their little ones when they are feeling unwell

History – to track dosages given to their child and monitor their temperature

Information on immunisation, including automated immunisation reminders

Information on the CALPOL range

With many mums using iPhones more than any other smartphone and an average of twelve apps being downloaded by them every month, the new CALPOL app is anticipated to be very popular. The app for the iPhone is free and available for download now from the App store.

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Ferry Fun to Jersey!

Everyone was very excited about our mini-trip to Jersey although life had been so busy in the run up I suddenly realised the night before I hadn’t really had time to prepare or plan.

jersey3photoI needn’t have worried. Packing was a breeze, not having to worry about a number of bags and weights and sizes we just chucked everything in the car! The journey to Poole was pretty smooth although roadworks delayed us meaning we were later arriving than the ‘1 hour in advance’ advised. I started to get a bit panicky, remembering stressful airport check-ins, security delays, queues etc but again I needn’t have worried. We were met by a series of charming, professional Condor staff and before we knew it were comfortably on board, drinking coffee, as the ferry glided off.

We didn’t sit still for long however, such was the excitement of being on the water! We spent the next hour+ exploring the decks, enjoying the views, waving at other boats and taking in the sea air. The kids loved it! Then there was lunch, a wee bit of mooching in the shops and then the kids settled in the fab little cushioned area to watch a film and relax after all their fun.

Before we knew it we had arrived! We embarked, swiftly and efficiently once again and in less than 10 minutes we had arrived at the hotel. No waiting for luggage, no delays, no long tiresome walks through airports without the buggy. We felt refreshed and energised after the journey which was a welcome change from the stress and weariness flying with small children can sometimes bring.

jersey4photoThe hotel initially worried me as we piled in with 2 excited kids, various Toy Story characters and a football – it was so beautiful and tranquil – but we couldn’t have been given a warmer welcome. The Cristina is positioned in an enviable location with a 180 degree vista of the sea and breath-taking views. The staff were so kind – nothing was too much trouble and the food was amazing. My children are still talking about the breakfast! There was a great terrace – a real sun trap with amazing views – perfect for early evening drinks and the bar even had a toy box and mini library! There was a modest but perfectly adequate outdoor pool and sun bed area. The pool was cold but the weather had been so poor we were not surprised and the kids had their wet suits and so they were happy!

The room was lovely, bright and well appointed – quite ‘cosy’ for the 4 of us with a small bathroom but fine just for 2 nights. There was a private balcony area with chairs and again, stunning views. It was a short walk through the hotel gardens to the most amazing park (Coronation Park where we could have spent all day!) and the fabulous beaches abundant with shells and driftwood and so much space……..and the sun shone and shone!

We also enjoyed a fabulous visit to the aMaizin Maze and Adventure Park as part of our visit. This offers an incredibly well designed and managed family day out with activities including Petting Zoos, Go-Carts, Tractor Rides and Water Bomb Wars! Although we were there on Bank Holiday weekend, there was no over-crowding or long queues, the food was excellent and sensibly priced and the staff friendly, attentive and committed (very different to similar places we have visited elsewhere!) I would suggest that as long as you have dry weather this is a ‘must visit’ for families to Jersey. We were there for nearly 7 hours and didn’t run out of things to enjoy and the kids are still taking about it!

Jersey is a wonderful place for families. There’s so much to do but it’s small enough to feel very accessible and of course the wonderful thing about travelling by ferry is having your own car to explore with. The scenery is beautiful, quite rural and felt like a wonderful combination of France and Devon with the warmer climate making such a difference.

The Ferry back was an evening crossing where the ‘film room’ came into its own more than on our way out but that was fine. We had a very enjoyable trip once again, a nice meal and even got back ahead of schedule!

Our trip to Jersey has been one our most favourite family breaks ever – yes we were blessed with the weather but with so much to do and such a lovely ‘feel’ to the Island we will definitely be back!

By Suzanne and Dave aged 40 something, George age 7 & Ruby age 4.

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“Super-Mum”preneur Clare Wingfield is “One to Watch” as the UK’s first ‘What’s On 4 Juniors’ regional franchisee takes on the coveted South East!

Mumpreneur Clare Wingfield is the newest member to join the multi-award winning ‘What’s On 4’ international team as she takes on the What’s On 4 ‘Junior’ activity websites & BabyExpo Baby Show events in the coveted South East Region – www.whatson4littleone.co.uk, www.whatson4schoolkids.co.uk, www.whatson4kidsparties.co.uk and www.babyexpobabyshows.co.uk

Clare Wingfield - Profile Pic - Press ReleaseHaving spent two years in New York after a glittering career in the City, Clare returned to leafy Surrey with husband Andrew and daughters Leah and Natalie. Super-Mum Clare designed and built her new home recently and is now ready for her next challenge, soaring ahead with What’s On 4.

The What’s On 4 Junior websites and Baby Expo Events licenses have recently been offered across 12 regions of the UK and, with only a handful of places available, Clare swiftly seized the opportunity to be part of the international What’s On 4 business in her Region – the South East.

Clare says “With my youngest now at nursery it’s time for me to take on a new challenge! Having a young family is a perfect excuse to get out, explore new places and meet new people, especially when you have just arrived in an area – but you have to know where to go and what’s on offer and that’s why I’m really excited to be running the What’s On 4 websites and BabyExpo Baby Show Events in my area”

The What’s On 4 websites promote thousands of activity businesses across the UK and attract over 75,000 visitors each month. Clare is now responsible for the South East, with its tremendous fan and advertiser base and where What’s On 4 was launched by founder and MD Sam Willoughby from home countyHampshire over 7 years ago. In addition, the BabyExpo Baby Shows are one of the most successful Baby Show brands in the UK, attracting 150+ exhibitors and around 4,000 visitors. Not being one to waste time, Clare’s event planning is already underway ~ so watch this space!

Clare joins at a pivotal time for What’s On 4 as the franchise programme gathers increasing momentum – paving the way for blanket national coverage across the UK, region by region. The 7thAnnual What’s On 4 Junior Awards with Konfidence have broken all records with nearly 60,000 votes now in from the UK alone and as What’s On 4 continues its international expansion, more and more parents and carers from around the world are enjoying these fantastic websites packed full of inspiration, information, activities and fun!

Bev O’Sullivan and Marilyn Bradshaw, the Master Franchisees for the What’s On 4 junior business in the UK say “Clare’s track record has shown that she is success-driven and ready for the challenge of running one of our most exciting Regions. We’re thrilled with Clare’s plans and have absolutely no doubt the Clare is “one to watch” in the Mumpreneur arena!”

If you would like to follow Clare’s footsteps and run our What’s On 4 Junior businesses in YOUR region then please email marilyn@whatson4.co.uk for more information.

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Win a Babyzen YOYO buggy!

Enter our new competition to win one of the brand new Babyzen YOYO buggies worth £309!

Buggies have always been cumbersome and parents often face a struggle getting them up and down stairs, forcing them into car boots and on to packed tubes and busses and storing them away at home.

Anyone who has flown with a young child will also be familiar with the hassle of having to get the buggy packed away into the main luggage hold as it is simply too bulky to take on as hand luggage. These days are now over as the new YOYO buggy by Babyzen is set to revolutionize travelling with a child. YOYO is the first buggy in the world to fully comply with size recommendation for cabin baggage. Perfect for urban parents and fantastic for globetrotters!

This innovative buggy has already become a phenomenon in much of Europe and is about to hit the UK. Weighing just 5.8kg, this unique buggy is the most compact ever imagined when folded (52 x 44 x 18 cm). The featherweight buggy has a one of a kind folding mechanism which allows it to be opened and folded in seconds with just one hand and it can then be carried over your shoulder with the detachable shoulder strap.

To be one of the first to pre-order the Babyzen YOYO simply register your details at www.whitestep.co.uk.

Become a Fan on Facebook:www.facebook.com/WhitestepUK

To win a YOYO buggy worth £309 just click here and answer the simple question

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10 Great Tips about Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth

Our Guest Blog this week is from Cheryl MacDonald BA Hons CYT E-RPYT

545422_10151950993820486_1297208425_nAs much as mum may have wanted to become pregnant, it can still create a number of conflicting emotions when those two little lines appear on the pregnancy test.  And throughout pregnancy some mums-to-be experience a roller coaster of new emotions as different hormones race around your body. Practicing yoga during pregnancy can help mum work through these emotions, stay flexible and healthy and become positive about birth and parenting. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about yoga for pregnancy and birth…

  1. Yoga is not a cult! People have lots of preconceived ideas about what yoga is and who ‘should’ practice it. Anyone can do yoga, it helps you become flexible and calm so don’t be put off by serene looking photos of people with their legs around their neck.
  2. It’s important to find a yoga teacher that’s right for you.  Find classes that make you feel comfortable wherever you are in your pregnancy or your yoga journey and cater for all levels. Most importantly, make sure your teachers are fully qualified in teaching yoga for pregnant women accredited by the IYN and IPTI. If your prospective teacher does not hold a reputable Yoga Teacher Training qualification and specialist training in pregnancy yoga, look elsewhere!
  3. Don’t worry if you’ve never tried yoga before (we find that 80% of the mummies who come to YogaBellies pregnancy yoga classes have done very little or no yoga at all before).  Pregnancy Yoga classes have a steady pace and the focus is on practising at the level you feel comfortable at.  Everyone will be at a different stage of pregnancy and feel differently so it’s important to focus on what feels best for you (and baby.)
  4. 557308_428873157151048_898269765_nThe most important thing is not to force yourself (or baby) to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. It’s important to listen to your body’s signals.
  5. If you have practised yoga before or perhaps have been a dedicated runner or gymnast, prenatal yoga can help you come to terms with the fact that it’s no longer just about you.  Super fit mums can often find it hard to slow down during pregnancy, but this is just as important as keeping fit. Realizing that you can’t do everything the way you used to before you were pregnant is the first lesson in being a parent.
  6. A pregnancy yoga class isn’t just about keeping fit. Yes, we use especially adapted yoga postures which are safe and beneficial during pregnancy, but you will also learn breathing techniques to use to calm and soothe the mind. These can be used during pregnancy, birth and beyond.
  7. Pregnancy yoga instructors should also discuss useful postures to help get baby into the correct position for birth and to help turn a breech baby.
  8. At Yogabellies we specifically look at postures and positions you can assume during labour and birth to really assist baby’s easy entry into the world.
  9. 227823_200686093303090_935447_nEveryone looks forward to the end of Yoga classes! At the end of class you can have a lovely deep relaxation and self hypnosis session, which practised regularly helps mum remain calm and positive about pregnancy and birth. And yes, there are usually lots of sleeping mummies during this part.
  10. Pregnancy yoga classes are the perfect place to meet other likeminded mummies. It’s so important to meet other mums locally who are at the same stage in life as you and going through the same thing. Peer support will help you through the ups and downs of pregnancy and parenthood and reassure you that you and your baby are ‘normal’ and that someone else has probably had the same issue.

yogabellies_20120310_020 copyIf you need advice about yoga during pregnancy then get in touch with Cheryl at Yogabellies who specialise in Yoga for pregnancy and birth, and antenatal education.

Contact details: Cheryl@yogabellies.co.uk, www.yogabellies.co.uk

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