|Posted by Danny Nutt on November 6, 2019 at 6:35 AM|
We are all addicted to our screens! And it's becoming increasigly clear that too much time spent flicking through Instagram stories, spending hours on What's App or tweeting endlessly to random strangers is actually bad for our mental health.
Worse is the impact screens have on our children. I see it everywhere I go, kids glued to their phones on the bus, even staring at them whilst they're having Sunday lucnh with their parents, and the parents are doing it too!
I try really hard not to stare forlornly at my phone or iPad when I'm with my kids, but as I'm self employed sometimes it can be a bit of a juggling act. Nonetheless, we don't allow any phones at mealtimes, no TV or screens are allowed bedfore school and none of us take any screens up to our rooms before bed time.
It's just so sad to see families not talking to each other because everyone is staring at a device!
Is it really that important to look at other people's hoiday snaps on Facebook when you're meant to be having quality family time? I call it lazy parenting. And I also call it self harm, because that's exactly what it is. Dampening our senses and ironically making us less connected.
So how can we cut down our screen time but do something that also involves an act that's similar for our down time?
Read a book! Stories are a wonderful way for us all to learn about our own lives and to stretch our own imganation (you can't do that on Tik Tok, it's all there in front of you!).
So don't be afraid to grab that phone out of your child's hand, give him or her a good book and maybe even read it together? Talk about it, discuss what you like or don't like, try and guess what happens next. Make it a shared experience. And see how your minds will open up and you will fee less anxious and withdrawn.
Go on, try it!
|Posted by Danny Nutt on October 8, 2019 at 8:50 AM|
We've chatted before about our environment, but it can never be spoken about enough.
It's becoming increasingly clear and evident that we are seriously damaging our planet. C02 emissions are at an all time high, we're globally experiencing more extreme weather conditions, the global average temperature is getting higher and plastic continues to pollute our rivers and oceans.
Right now, activists from Extinction Rebellion are blocking bridges, waving placards and sending out clear messages to our government at locations across London.
But what can you do to make a difference at home, with our children?
Luckily, there are now several options of things we can collectively do that will make a difference. But with so many choices, and costs inevitably being a factor, here is our top five things you and your children can do to help save our planet. And in all cases, save some money...
1) Buy a metal water bottle and ditch buying single plastic ones. Did you know that not only is plastic a danger to our environment if not recycled, but that it takes billions of tonnes of energy to actually make it too? So avoid plastic water bottles at all costs and refill your metal one regularly. The water will taste so much nicer without any plastic residue, you'll help create less plastic waste, plus you'll also save cash.
2) Drive less. Of course if you have a hybrid or electric vehicle, this isn't quite so relevant. But we all know it's still very expensive to buy one so in the meantime, instead of driving to the shops to buy your emergency pint of milk or when dropping your kids off at school, for example, walk! It's also so much less stressful. You won't have to battle your way through traffic or struggle to find somewhere to park, plus you'll be sending out less C02 in to the atmosphere. Win win.
3) By metal straws. Kids love straws, but plastic straws often can't be recycled by local councils. This option leaves no carbon footprint at all, plus you can use them again and again.
4) Eat less meat or become a vegetarian or even a vegan. Look, I love my meat too, but as a family we know how much damage to the atmosphere is caused by animal farming that we now eat a lot less meat. So why not look at other options for your favourite dinners? Moussaka with lentils instead of lamb mince, quorn instead of beef mince for spaghetti Bolognese or a delicious veg and bean stew? There are so many books and online blogs now dedicated to meat-free recipes, you'll have a lot to choose from.
5) Turn the heating down! If you don't already have one, it's well worth having a proper thermostat that regulates the central heating based on the actual temperature of the room. So rather than leaving it on for hours on end and sweltering unnecessarily, set the thermostat to 19.5 degrees and when the temperature hits that mark, you'll use less energy and still feel warm.
I hope this has been useful? Every bit of effort helps...
|Posted by Danny Nutt on July 9, 2019 at 11:00 AM|
We're very much looking forward to our Summer Holiday Club during the last two weeks of the summer holidays in August.
That period of the year can be quite daunting for parents. Six weeks for state schools and eight weeks for private schools to fill! Once you factor in a holiday away, perhaps a few days with the grandparents and the odd play date, there will still be weeks to fill whilst us parents have to go to work!
So why not book in with us?
In terms of what we'll be doing... We'll be welcoming in the kids from 8.30am onwards whilst we take registration and then the kids can hang out, listen to music, make new friends, play some board games, read or do some colouring in. Then we'll gather them all togethr once eveyrone has arrived at around 9.30am and run over some basic golden rules, followed by some super fun games. The most popular games we run are: Bulldog, Grandma's Footsteps, Keeper Of The Keys and Wink Murder.
We'll then have a break for around 20 minutes whist the kids grab a drink, a snack, go to the toilet, run around outside and let some steam off. Then we'll have a drama session. We'll focus on a different aspect of drama each day: improvistion, devising, character building and more. Then we'll break for lunch.
Then, depending on the weather, we'll either have a fun water fight outside, a game of tag or take the kids up to the playground outside the West Norwood Leisure Centre and have a game of Stuck In The Mud, run a super energised obstacle course and perhaps gather them around and tell them a story which they can contribute to!
We'lll then aim to head back to base (St Lukes church hall) and have a rest, a drink of water and a snack and then do some relaxed activities like some arts and crafts and some less energetic games and then before you know it, it will be home time!
For more info ir if you wish to book, please go here- https://www.nuttyschildrensparties.co.uk/holiday-workshops" target="_blank">http://https://www.nuttyschildrensparties.co.uk/holiday-workshops
We look forwward to seeing your little ones there!
|Posted by Danny Nutt on June 25, 2019 at 10:45 AM|
If, like with my kids, your children insist on having packed lunches every day at school, it can be a bit of an effort for many reasons. Firstly, you have to actually make it and that adds more busoness to your already busy schedule as a working parent. Also, it's hard to keep it varied sometimes apart from the usual sandwiches, crisps and fruit. AND, all that packaging can add even more environmentally un-friendly waste.
So, how do we make the kids packed lunches environmentally friendly? Well, here's our top 5 tips to help you!
1- Make your own bread. You can either use a bread maker or there are lots of simple recipes available where you can make bread by hand. We've been doing it for generations! Then there will be no carbon footprint and no packaging
2- Use plastic free packaging to wrap the sandwches in. There are now dozens of natural, re-usable alternatives to cling film and foil (both of which, crazily, can't be recycled). Just look online and you'll see lots to choose from.
3- Buy organic fruit and vegetables. Riverford, which we use, is a brilliant, affordable company that has 100% organic produce. It's totally free from chemicals and pesticides and in turn tastes better, doesn't harm the environment when being grown and is much more healthy for you. Plus most of its produce is grown in the UK, so has a minimal carbon footprint.
4- Make sure your kids keep all the food waste inciuding fruit peel. Most local councils now collect food waste for composting, so instead of your kids throwing their waste in the bin at school, ask them to bring it home for your compost bin!
5- Make sure they have a non-plastic, re-usable water bottle instead of the plastic ones. This is for two reasons. 1- it's another way to avoid buying plastic and 2- the popular metal bottles on offer keeps the water cold and tastes so much better.
I hope you this all helps!
|Posted by Danny Nutt on June 11, 2019 at 10:35 AM|
I've always believed that art is freedom. It has no boundaries, can be completely unique, it's aimed at everyone and it has its own language.
My daughter, Lola, who's 9, has recently really got in to painting. At home, she often just quietly gets out an old newspaper from the recycling bin, spreads it out on the dining table and just starts painting.
The other day, she painted lots of random sized shapes with different colours. I said to her, 'Wow that's great Lola, what's it meant to be? What's your thinking behind it?' and she replied 'I don't know Dad, is that OK?'. And I said, 'Of course! There are no rules with art, you just have to create something'.
And that's what's so brilliant about art, especially for kids. Their imaginations are so pure and raw, that sometimes the very act of creating without any specific, conscious thought, can have a profound effect.
In an age where children would much rather play on an iPad or watch Netflix, allowing kids to paint, draw or create something from an old loo roll gives them a platform to create. And whether they're intending to do this as a future career or not, it gives them a chance to express themselves, to let their imagination flex its muscles and for their creativity to shine.
I just wish I could paint as well she she can!
|Posted by Danny Nutt on May 30, 2019 at 11:20 AM|
It feels like summer has arrived today and it's half term, hoorah! And despite the usual connotations with warm weather: getting your shorts on, BBQ's, sunbathing, etc. this is the perfect opportunity to get your kids away from the telly, thier tablets and PS4's and get them outdoors.
The other day I had a lovely time with my kids cycling. We went through two local parks, had a picnic, had fun in the playground, bought some bird feed and fed the ducks, then raced back home and felt great!
And it really doesn't have to cost you anything to get outdoors. Wherever you are there will either be a local park, playground or the countryside.
Me and my family and friends also had a wonderful May Bank Holiday weekend camping in a forest in Dorset. When you spend longer than a few hours outdoors in that kind of environment, your inner clock slows down, the kids have so much freedom and you really get in tune with nature.
In an age where I see toddlers in their pushchairs glued to Peppa Pig on their mums' smartphones and people literaly wasting their free time on the tube mindleslley flicking through Instagram, getting outdoors is one the best antidodes to the modern, information based world. You'll feel calmer, more energised and believe me, happier.
We also love performing our parties outdoors and during one I ran last week in a beautful garden in Hertfordshire, I could see pure joy in the kids' faces as they felt so relaxed and free.
So what are you waiting for? Get off Facebook! Put your phone down and get outdoors, even for a walk! You'll feel so much better...