Posts Tagged ‘kids


I admit that I am pretty lazy at the moment and the thought of walking in the cold and rain doesn’t appeal to me what so ever.  Nine years ago I didn’t have any qualms about putting on wet weather gear and walking everywhere. That was until I finally passed my driving test and now I have become so reliant on my car,  walking seems to be so, ‘yesterday’,  in terms of transport.  It would seem that I am not the only lazy so and so in the land because the country as a whole has become more sedentary and we are all sitting on our backsides more.

Since technology has become more interesting and the internet is user friendly we can explore images and talk to people all over the world.  I have even noticed that I know lots about local Facebook friends lives but don’t actually say more than, hello’, to them when I seem them.  I waste more time now devoting myself to rubbish online than I ever did in the past.  My backside is definitely getting bigger and I need to get into my summer clothes this year.

There are many reasons beside having a huge bum as to why we should exercise more and these include:-

  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia
  • Source NHS Choices

This information is reinforced by an article by Playdale Playgrounds, ‘How to help your community with a trim trail‘, in it they discuss a study by Oxford university who found that ,‘Forty four per cent admit to not taking part in any moderate exercise meaning that British fitness levels are among the worst in Europe’. This means that nearly five million adults spend the majority of the day sitting down. 10% of adults admitted to not even walking for at least ten minutes a day‘. They also referred to a study by Cambridge University who claimed that sitting down all day was worse for our health than obesity.

As parents it is our responsibility to set a good example to our children, although they seem to pick up our bad habits better than our good ones. (That’s because underneath we are all pretty naughty pretending to be good!). There are some simple ways that we can encourage our children to put down their gadgets and get moving. As the weather gets brighter it will be much easier to go out and reduce the size of our big bums.




Last night I watched a pretty shocking and sad documentary on Channel 4. ‘Junk Food Kids: Who’s To Blame?’ . It would seem that now one third of British children are overweight or obese. Also, stemming from this, which you might not really think about is the number of kids who are having to undergo drastic dental treatment due to rotten teeth caused by their diet.

The show, unsurprisingly, sparked a lot of activity on social media. Twitter was filled with people angry that ‘Who’s to blame?’ was even a question that needed to be asked and I have to say I agree with them. Parents must take responsibility for their child’s health.

The basics of it are that junk food is cheap, quick and easy. Alongside that, for some people taking their kids outside and entertaining them rather than leaving them infront of the tv may seem like all too much hard work. Small amounts of exercise do wonders of good whether it’s running around the garden, a quick trip to the playground or something more structured like a sports club or class.

Did you see the documentary? Here’s a trailer if you missed it.

The more active a parent, the more active the child.

Makes sense I suppose doesn’t it? Your child’s exercise levels are directly linked to your exercise levels.

I found this article about a yoga buff who does yoga poses with her little daughter. Now I’m not sure if this is a regular thing but those photos are adorable and it looks like they have a lot of fun. However, unfortunately, it may be the case that not all of us can a) get ourselves into those positions b) have a photographer on hand to capture the moments c) have time in the day to slow down and relax enough to do some yoga…and also d) a co-operative child!

Have a look at all the photos below…


But it’s definitely fair to say that a little bit of exercise can be slotted into a daily routine in some sort of format. Even if it is just a walk to the park, a session running around in the garden playing on the swing or the slide maybe, a quick trip out on the bikes or a dance session in the living room!

…I’m off to get a yoga mat I suppose…

When watching kids play on the playground equipment at school inevitably there will usually be disputes for one reason or another (between the kids that is not the parents!) Maybe over something small, maybe over something slightly bigger. Sometimes they sort themselves out and sometimes it’s time to run over and get mummy or daddy to sort it out. It just got me thinking about sharing and the process kids go through when learning to be generous to others.

I have read that you shouldn’t really expect a child to share before the age of six, because before then they are not really capable of true empathy towards others.Toddlers and preschoolers go through that ‘it’s mine stage’ as they become more independent.

I think the main things to remember when going through that stage are not to force sharing. If a child is very attached to something of theirs respect that whilst still encouraging and setting an example, making a point of sharing things with them. Playing sharing games can also be great practice!

On a little side note, while researching the topic of sharing I little came across this which i thought I should share with you guys just for fun – A playground for adults! What a great idea…why should kids have all the fun?!


Since my last post was about activities to do indoors, on these frankly pretty cold and wet days, I thought I should even it out with some outdoor activity ideas!

Garden Playtime

Now not everyone is lucky enough to have some play equipment in their back garden but if they do they should be out having fun on it, carefully though if it’s wet!


Follow The Christmas Star

Hang up stars around the garden with activities written on them and clues to find the net star. The children have to run around on the star trail and complete the activities!

Star cards

Create Natural Decorations

Creating their own natural Christmas decorations outside can be great fun. Twigs and sticks are perfect for making stars when tied together with some string for a sturdy hanging decoration, or how about making Christmas characters out of sticks on the grass.


Snowball Race

Much like an egg and spoon race but instead use either a Styrofoam ball or a ping pong ball as the snowball and see who can go across the garden and back without dropping it!


A Present Hunt

Wrap up a pretend present and take it in turns to hide it somewhere outside giving ‘getting hotter’ or ‘getting colder’ clues while they search. You can even take it in turns to hide something in the box as a small prize!


Christmas Walk

If none of that is too appealing or hard to organise, there is always a good old Christmas walk where the kids can admire and look at everyone’s Christmas lights and decorations!

If the weather’s not so good (which it often isn’t in December in the UK!) there might be a lot of trying to keep the kids entertained inside over the Christmas holidays. So I thought I’d share a few of the little arty projects we have done in the past that have proved quite popular, plus they are all Christmas related so bonus points for that!

Paper Snowflakes

The classic paper snowflakes!. Most kids will do this at school as well but it’s something that is fun and requires a bit of skill. It’s great seeing them see what they have created when they open up the paper.


Making Christmas Cards

This is something we attempt each year for the families’ Christmas cards. Admittedly, some years we have ended up loosing patience, or at least the first few are masterpieces and then they steadily go downhill as we realise just how many there are to do!


Baking Snowmen

Really fun and easy to do. Simple biscuit recipe topped with a marshmallow and icing sugar!


Bead Candy Canes

This one will encourage some patience and hand-eye coordination!


Snowmen Feet

This could get a little messy so a firm grip on a child with painted feet is needed! It’s extra fun because it is personal to them, plus they get to get a bit messy in a way they probably don’t get to that much PLUS they can be creative and decorate their snowmen however they like!


Make Your own Snow

Now I haven’t tried this one yet but it looks like it could be really fun! Instructions here.

homemade snow recipe 1

For a few more ideas, check out this blog post and this website

Up until last week I had never heard the phrase helicopter parent before.  Actually, that’s not strictly true. I hadn’t taken the time to really think about the term until then. Watching daytime television (if I ever have a moment to, and more often than not it’s a better idea not to) it always seems that I am bombarded with parenting advice and explanations of different parenting techniques (some extreme, some not so much). When in between doing some other odd jobs around the house I passed the TV for a moment and  heard someone say ‘helicopter parent’. It sounded like quite a lively debate so I stopped and sat myself down to hear some more for a moment.

Just in case you are unfamiliar, helicopter parents are basically mums and dads who find it very hard not to get involved with every single aspect of their child’s life. You could describe them as ‘hovering’ around their little ones (hence where the name comes from) finding it hard to take a back seat. That’s putting it quite politely I think. In other words (which the woman in opposition on the TV used) they are controlling, overbearing and overprotective.


A few helicopter parent symptoms to look out for –

  • You spoil them
  • It pains you to drop them off at school
  • You think your child is perfect in every way and take every opportunity to tell people that
  • You’re like their security guard
  • You help a bit too much with their homework (i.e do it for them so they get top marks)
  • You are the germ police
  • You try to hand pick their friends
  • You often feel guilty and give into their every desire to shelter them from negative experiences
  • You’re over prepared and plan to every last detail


It’s fair to say that most of us will have been guilty of some of the things on this list from time to time. But I know that I am not a helicopter parent. Doing a lot of the things on this list will stop your child from learning valuable lessons.  Failure and challenges are important and teach kids  new skills and also that they can indeed handle failure and challenges. They need a certain amount of independence to develop and grow in the ways they need to. I’m a pretty big believer in letting kids get on with what they want to do (within reason of course) whether that’s playing outdoors, drawing and colouring, dressing up and being creative and making choices for themselves. This builds up their confidence and is, as they say, all part of being a kid.

Anyway, that’s my little lesson learnt to keep avoiding daytime TV! I stayed watching long enough to hear that apparently helicopter parents have now been replaced by snowplough parents! We’ll save that for another post…

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