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  • InAt home, Coronavirus, Resources

    Hey Duggee online activities keep kids busy in lockdown

    Do you have a Hey Duggee fan in the house? If so, this blog is your guide to find their favourite online activities to keep them entertained.

    Hit preschool brand, Hey Duggee has been keeping children entertained for years. Now that the UK is in lockdown though, parents are even more grateful for online content that is available 24/7.

    Already a family favourite, the popular series Hey Duggee has added even more activities, videos and fun to their social media and website. There are even new episodes coming soon!

    Online activities to keep little ones busy

    The website has published a whole range of Hey Duggee online activities and games to keep little squirrels busy. Find instructions and badges with activities to do at home, or more educational videos such as ‘Science With Duggee’.

    The Hey Duggee Official YouTube channel is full of the episodes but also lots of extras too. Even better, you can actually hit ‘play all’ if you just need half an hour for a work call. With over 40% more people watching the channel since lockdown, it’s clearly helping a lot of families at the moment!

    To keep little hands even more occupied, BBC Studios has launched an official Hey Duggee Pinterest profile. You can find fun activities, arts and crafts and baking recipes, further expanding the brand’s digital “paw-print”.

    Hey Duggee and Covid-19

    Despite the obvious negatives of lockdown, the characters have been highlighting the positive moments too. For instance, on social media and iPlayer, you’ll find a series of ‘shorts’ as part of the ‘Stay Home’ campaign.

    The Hey Duggee Stay At Home Badge video was followed by The Handwashing Badge, adapting the notoriously catchy ‘Stick Song’. The video had 97k views in the first 24 hours, with parents praising it for encouraging good hand washing hygiene.

    As well as downloadable templates and colouring sheets, Hey Duggee fans can download a card to send to grandparents in isolation.

    You can download fun virtual backgrounds for family Zoom sessions, rainbow colouring sheets, and weekly activities from The Design Museum’s Young Design Museum.

    Harriet Newby-Hill, Global Brand Director – Children’s at BBC Studios says: “It’s been incredibly rewarding for the team to see such fantastic levels of engagement from our Hey Duggee fan community. We’ve loved all the fabulous creations from our young fans and seen a great deal of positive comments from parents in response to the inspiring and fun activities we’ve curated for our digital channels.”

    Brand new episodes of Hey Duggee Series 3 are set to air on CBeebies in June.

  • InAt home, Resources, Seasonal events

    Fun superhero activities – #NationalSuperheroDay

    28th April is National Superhero Day, and what better way to engage children by creating some fun superhero activities to show them how important role models are.

    Each year, since Marvel Comics created the day in 1995, it honours superheroes, both real and fictional.

    Whether it’s Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, or another well known superhero, they are great role models for our children. The whole idea is that these individuals serve and protect us while fighting evil.

    In real life, our children are surrounded by people who don’t have superpowers or wear capes. These people however, still help to protect them and keep them safe.

    Medical staff, police, social workers and teachers are just a few of the heroes who protect children on a daily basis. 

    So it’s a day to celebrate the work they do (and have some fun doing it too).

    We’ve come up with some fun ideas superhero activities that the kids can do at home with no real special equipment or planning.

    Celebrate National Superhero Day

    Fun superhero activities for kids

    When you say ‘superhero’ to a child, they will automatically think of the caped crusaders of their favourite TV programmes or films.

    Naturally, they will look up to these characters. They might need a little education that it’s the ‘everyday’ people around us who really look after us.

    For now though, there are lots of fun activities that you can do with your child to capture their imagination.

    Recognising our real life heroes

    To truly do this day justice though, we need to educate our children about the real life heroes who keep our world turning. In the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are lots of ways that we can recognise people who make a difference.

    Explain to your child the idea of everyday heroes. These are people who make a difference, perform good deeds, and don’t do it for recognition. Or perhaps survivors and other people who are brave or important to someone.

    At the moment, children will be more aware of this idea, so it’s a great time to build on what they are hearing all around them.

    • Get them involved in Clap for Carers if they can last until 8pm bedtime
    • Write about a real hero
    • Write a list of real life heroes they have seen or met
    • Share a photo on social media of someone making a difference and explain why
    • Play with toys that represent real life heroes such as vets, rubbish trucks, fire engines etc.
    • Discuss what characteristics makes a hero
    • Download images and create a collage of people who help us
    • Do some ‘thank you key worker’ colouring sheets and display in your home
    • Read stories about people who help us
    • Dress up as key workers or play games
    • Explain how every role is important even if it might not seem it e.g. shop workers, delivery drivers and cleaners etc.
    • Make a card for someone who has helped with something (this can even be a parent or carer)
    • Have a look online for lots of free worksheets and resources for children that explain the idea of important jobs and people

    Whatever you decide to do to celebrate #NationalSuperheroDay, remember to share it with others to spread the word of how many people keep our world turning.

  • InCrafty Kids, Resources

    Keeping children entertained during a coronavirus lockdown (COVID-19)

    With so much panic around a Coronavirus lockdown circulating, naturally our worries are starting to spread. 

    Panic buying has seen empty supermarket shelves and families scrabbling around for nappies, baby formula or medication. Parents are also beginning to panic that the government will close schools for weeks (or months) as part of a Coronavirus lockdown.

    Baby and toddler groups and special events are being postponed, and the usual places to take the kids are having to close their doors. Therefore, our lives as parents and carers may soon be unrecognisable. 

    For this reason, there has been a lot of chatter on social media asking how we will be able to keep the children entertained if we go into a Coronavirus lockdown due to the pandemic.

    Can we take the kids out of the house during Coronavirus lockdown?

    The Coronavirus situation is changing daily, so keep checking the latest Coronavirus updates.  

    Also keep an eye on the NHS website for medical advice, how to spot Coronavirus symptoms and the latest recommended guidelines. 

    It is likely that the UK may go into a Coronavirus lockdown at some point, and therefore only essential trips will be advised. Currently, however, there is no suggestion that you can’t go out with children. 

    The main point is to try to minimise contact with the ‘at risk’ group (over 60’s, people who are ill, those showing symptoms etc).

    In general, the advice is to stay at home for 7 days if you have coronavirus symptoms:

    • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
    • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

    Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

    Also, please remember that the elderly and vulnerable are also in need. Therefore, please do check in on anyone who you think might be at risk during this difficult time. 


    So how are we going to survive the lockdown with kids in the house?

    Aside from educational packs that are expected to be provided from schools, here are over 70 ideas to help keep your little ones busy whilst stuck indoors.

    Ideas to keep the kids entertained during the Coronavirus outbreak

    70+ ways to entertain the kids in a Coronavirus lockdown

    coronavirus lockdown ideas

    Sign up to receive your free download of 70+ ways to entertain the kids in a Coronavirus lockdown!


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    Or access the downloadable guide here.

    coronavirus lockdown ideas

    Old school ‘free’ ideas

    1. Read books – go through the shelves, organise books and read one a day that you’ve not looked at for a while
    2. Learn to draw animals from shapes – look on YouTube for ‘how to’ videos
    3. Play in the mud/ jump in puddles
    4. Sort toys by category, type or colour
    5. Play hide a seek indoors
    6. Play charades
    7. Draw a picture and frame it
    8. Go on a garden search – look for worms, stones, shells etc.
    9. Have colour treasure hunts – hunt around the house for items of a colour and sort them into displays
    10. Paint rocks to hide in the garden
    11. Write letters – particularly to older relatives, friends or neighbours who may be feeling isolated
    12. Make a den or put a tent up indoors
    13. Look through boxes of old photos and organise them
    14. Have movie days – make a cosy bed on the floor and have a movie
    15. Learn new jokes
    16. Use washing up liquid or bubble mixture to make bubble snakes
    17. Have water play outside or in the bathroom
    18. Write a story and illustrate it
    19. Share housework and give kids simple tasks such as dusting
    20. Wash the car together
    21. Weed the garden
    22. Think of a topic and do a project on it – use the internet to research it and make a workbook or display
    23. Play shops with tins from the cupboards, plastic bags and receipts

    Free but needs a printer / basic craft supplies

    1. Turn a rock / potato into a character and make it a house
    2. Make a collage with different textures or pictures from magazines
    3. Do colouring – print colouring sheets from CBeebies, Milkshake or Pinterest, or buy a colouring book
    4. Download activity sheets to practise writing letters, maths, puzzles etc. – look for blogs with free worksheets
    5. Draw with chalk – on the patio or pavement
    6. Make your own Top Trumps – look or make up facts
    7. Do painting – paper, canvas or body painting (if using safe paints)
    8. Make play dough – find a simple DIY play dough recipe online
    9. Sew something – use string or wool, a needle and cardboard if you don’t have any specific equipment
    10. Make a card for someone
    11. Cut up pictures from a magazine to make your own jigsaws
    12. Plant seeds or bulbs in the garden 
    13. Play or download flash cards
    14. Make a melted crayon picture – look on Pinterest
    15. Make a robot from an old box

    Tech ideas

    1. Listen to podcasts – 500 Words, Science Adventure Stories for Kids, Rebel Girls, Bedtime Explorers, David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical podcast (look on Spotify, BBC Sounds, your phone’s podcast app)
    2. Write emails to friends if you can’t go out to post
    3. Download Cbeebies apps – Playtime Island, Go Explore, Storytime, Peter Rabbit, Numberblocks etc.
    4. Ask Alexa for games – look on the skills app for ideas of story-telling apps and quizzes
    5. Download educational apps – phonics, letter formation, numbers, reading etc.
    6. Make funny videos using Instagram or Snapchat filters
    7. Start a YouTube channel – record toy videos, cookery or acting out stories
    8. Create a time-lapse video of what happens in a day
    9. Facetime, Skype or video call friends and relatives who you may not being to see
    10. Watch educational videos together – Baby Einstein, school resources on YouTube etc.
    11. Go on journeys with Google Earth – look at places you go, your house, and places all around the world

    Buy some activity packs

    1. Find books for rainy days / crafty project books – from Amazon, The Works, Hobbycraft etc.
    2. Subscribe to educational boxes (at least for the 1st free trials and cancel before you are charged) e.g. Toucan Box, Mister Maker Box etc.Buy cheap activity sets – B&M, The Range, Home Bargains, Hobbycraft, Poundland or PoundToy.com
    3. Buy some comics or kids craft magazines that contain puzzles or creative ideas

    Play with toys already in the house

    1. Have a teddy or dolly picnic
    2. Make Lego, Duplo, Sticklebricks builds (and allow them to be left out)
    3. Make Hama Beads creations (loads of ideas on Pinterest for patterns)
    4. Play boardgames Set up a scene with figurines, Barbies or superheroes
    5. Play with sand
    6. Pack rucksacks with toys and play holidays in different places indoors
    7. Create a school and role play children and teachers

    Cook with the kids / Food

    1. Bake – look online for healthy snacks that your children can bake
    2. Get the kids involved in preparing meals e.g. making their own toast or cereal, sandwiches, supervised chopping etc.
    3. Ask the kids to create a menu and design their own restaurant or cafe
    4. Play with food colouring to experiment with colour mixing

    Performing arts / Exercise

    1. Learn to sing new songs
    2. Make music – use any instruments you have, or make your own from everyday items at home
    3. Learn dance moves from videos
    4. Learn to do a cartwheel or handstand
    5. Do yoga together – check out kids yoga on YouTube
    6. Do kids workouts – look at The Body Coach for his kids routines
    7. Make an obstacle course
    8. Make targets and use balls to try to hit them
    9. Act out your own version of a movie
  • InHealth & Wellbeing, Resources

    Miscarriage support in Warwickshire

    Find miscarriage support near you

    Did you see the miscarriage research that has just come from Imperial College London?

    The findings from the recent study showed that miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy can lead to ‘long-term post-traumatic stress’. In fact, they went on to state that one in six women experience these effects.

    650 women who had experienced an early pregnancy loss took part in the study. Consequently, it’s the largest ever study into the psychological impact.

    The results from this miscarriage research revealed that one month following pregnancy loss, 29% suffered post-traumatic stress, 24% experienced moderate to severe anxiety, and 11% had moderate to severe depression.

    Nine months later, 18% of women had post-traumatic stress, 17% anxiety, and 6% had depression. 

    It therefore highlights that we need more miscarriage support and aftercare.

    Experiencing miscarriage

    Sadly, here at Warwickshire Kids, we’ve been through miscarriage ourselves so we know just how devastating it is.

    No matter how many weeks pregnant you are, you lose your baby and all of the dreams you’ve already made.

    After that, the woman then has to ensure invasive medical procedures, the horrible physical process, and the longer-lasting after effects. Partners are often expected to ‘get on with it’, but they too are, of course, affected by the loss.

    One of the main reasons that it is so hard to understand is that there are no answers or reasons why. In fact, a lot of parents feel that they can’t talk about what has happened. It might even be that they don’t know who they can reach out to. In addition, other people don’t always know what to say or say the wrong thing to a grieving parent.

    This can make you feel very alone, so it is no wonder that it can cause mental health issues.

    Support for miscarriage

    If you have experienced an early pregnancy loss, your recovery and how you try to come to terms with it will be completely personal.

    Perhaps you’re a talker and could benefit from counselling? Maybe you prefer to read other’s stories? Whatever it is, for your own wellbeing, we recommend finding out what miscarriage support is available to you.

    There are 250,000 miscarriages and 10,000 ectopic pregnancies every year. In other words, you are not alone and not to blame in any way.

    Here is a list of organisations that you can contact for support to help with your miscarriage recovery.

    Miscarriage support will vary depend on your location, but we hope that you can find something.

    Helplines

    Miscarriage Association – helpline 01924 200799 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm)

    Tommy’s – helpline 0800 014 7800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or email at midwife@tommys.org

    Child Bereavement UK – helpline 0800 02 888 40

    Sands – helpline 0808 164 3332 or email helpline@sands.org.uk

    Cruse Bereavement Care – helpline 0808 808 1677 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm) and a network of local branches where you can find support.

    Samaritans – helpline 116 123

    NCT

    Clinics

    There is an amazing resource under Professor Quenby who holds clinics in recurrent miscarriage in Coventry. You will need to speak to your GP to be referred.

    Support groups and counselling

    Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support – (Nuneaton, Bedworth, North Warwickshire) email at sophiagroup16@gmail.com. Support group on the first Tuesday of each month at Combe House, George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

    North Warwickshire Counselling Service – (Nuneaton) 024 7632 0095 nwcs.nwcs@btconnect.com

    The Acorn Centre – (Nuneaton) 02476 381878 info@acorncentrewarks.org.uk

    Hope Group – (UHCW Coventry) – pregnancy after loss

    Life Charity – (Leamington Spa) 01926 312272

    Online support groups

    Tommy’s Facebook support group – a safe destination for the baby loss community

    Public group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support

    Closed group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support

    Closed group – Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support – DADS

    Read more about the miscarriage study at https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/194715/miscarriage-ectopic-pregnancy-trigger-long-term-post-traumatic/

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  • InFamily friendly days out, Resources

    Family planner: a year of family memories – FREE download

    The new year and new decade has arrived.

    Your social media feeds will be full of 10 Year Challenge posts. Some of which will make you feel really old.

    And if that’s not enough to remind you of your age, if you remember the turn of the century, you’ll be trying to work out where the last 20 years have gone.

    It’s a fact of life that as we get older, time seems to tick by faster and faster each year.

    Throw children into the mix, and you’ll feel as though it’s been five minutes since last New Year’s Day.

    Happy New Year 2020

    The reason? As modern parents, we feel pulled in every direction to keep everyone happy.

    Organising and caring for kids is a full time job in itself. Anything on top of that explains why the weeks just disappear. Not to mention parent guilt and trying to cram family time in too.

    Don’t worry though, we have the answer.

    Make memories that last a lifetime

    Family days out and adventures with the children are, for most parents, what weekends and holidays are about.

    Exploring new places or activities and making memories are what help to shape a child’s upbringing. It goes without saying therefore, that family times are what they that they will remember the most.

    They are often what we forget to do though, and can be expensive.

    Well, perhaps not.

    Planning made easy

    The key to winning at any kind of parenting task is to break it down.

    Things don’t seem quite so daunting if you’re taking baby steps and get a loose plan together.

    So how do you fancy some help in planning your year?

    This is something I came up with when expecting my second child. I was so worried that in the blur of newborn days, my eldest who was 3 at the time, would miss out on the fun times we’d always shared together. It’s also easy to forget your own name as a new parent, so planning to go to new places is often virtually impossible.

    12-month memory planner

    I created a 12-month planner of 3-4 manageable things to look forward to each month and ticked them off as we went.

    Each month might include visiting a new park or attraction, learning a new craft, an annual tradition, an experiment, or simply just coming up with a fun new idea. For example, go for a picnic, have a tea party, do a treasure hunt, or make a pom pom creature.

    The best part is that they were things to do with the kids that were easy and could be adapted to suit the budget.

    In planning your year you:

    • Alleviate your own worries about forgetting to focus on spending quality time together
    • Create a lovely plan of new activities that the kids will love to tick off
    • Won’t be having to think up ideas for family time last minute
    • Produce a lasting keepsake of the year you had together, so there will be no confusion in what you’ve been up to

    This will be our 3rd year of planning our family times, and I can honestly say that having my planner printed and hanging on the fridge door is a lifesaver.

    So here’s the thing… I’m sharing my planner with you this year.

    Simply sign up below to receive a 2020 planner that you can use to plan your family time.

    Year long family plan for 2020

    Warwickshire Kids logo

    planner

    Sign up to receive your free 2020 memory making planner download!


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    If you need some inspiration for what to add, here are a few ideas:

    • Go on a winter walk
    • Have a superhero tea party
    • Have a movie night
    • Make thank you cards
    • Collect leaves and make a nature picture
    • Find a new park
    • Go swimming outdoors
    • Camp in the garden
    • Make a movie with teddies
    • Put on fancy dress and take funny pictures
    • So painting and frame it
    • Go to a theme park
    • Go ice skating
    • Watch a live sports game
    • Make salt dough
    • Go to the cinema
    • Visit a relative
    • Have a day out at the seaside

    The world is quite literally your oyster. And remember, there’s nothing more demoralising than a not being able to tick anything off a list. Keep it achievable.

    We really hope that it helps you to make 2020 a year that everyone will remember.

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