|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...
|Posted by Danny Nutt on May 2, 2019 at 11:15 AM|
There's been a lot of press coverage recently about Climate Change. This is now a real and present danger to the future of our planet and it's time for us all to do our bit so we can (literally) save our planet.
Recently, a client asked me which plastic and other products we use as she was conscious about plastic waste and wanted to teach her daughter to try and avoid plastic where possible. This is generally so difficult as so much that we consume generally include plastic! I reassured her that the main plastic we use are toy gold medals we give out as prizes for each birthday child. Apart from that, any paper etc we use at our Arts and Crafts parties, we always make the effort to recycle. We don't use balloons, we're fazing out glitter (also for the Arts and Crafts parties) and yes, we give out sweets that are wrapped in plastic film, but that's sadly the case with all sweets nowadays. And for hygiene purposes, this is better than individual, unwrapped sweets.
We're trying the best we can at the moment and we can certainly do more. But until the big companies start making their packaging recyclable and/or compostable, it's going to be tricky.
If you have any ideas on how else we can be more environmentally friendly, please do let us know!
|Posted by Danny Nutt on April 18, 2019 at 3:00 AM|
What a welcome relief, I imagine, that we are now embarking on a four day break. And whatever your religious beliefs, having a long weekend with your family is always an attractive prospect.
For those of us lucky enough to get away, whether it's somewhere hot like a beach in the South of France or the outer echelons of the North Yorkshire moors, no doubt you will have plenty of activtiies to do with the kids.
But what if you're just staying at home? Have you thought of how you're going to fill the four full days?
Well if you're stuck for ideas how about firstly finding a brilliant, unique locaton for an easter egg hunt? Like one of the many 'wild' parks in London? Streatham Common? Hampstead Heath? Putney Heath? Or perhaps you could head to the countryside?
The other thing you could do is hard boil some eggs, get your paintbrushes out and paint some lovely, colourful designs on them.
Finally, kids love colouring in and there are plenty of free colouring in sheets of Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, daffodils and more available online.
I hope you've now got some ideas for the long weekend ahead and I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Easter!
|Posted by Danny Nutt on March 27, 2019 at 10:40 AM|
People love stories, don’t we? Whether it’s from a colleague relaying a situation with a tricky client, a family member recalling an embarrassing episode as a child for your amusement, or a novel. Stories can excite, inform, educate and enlighten us.
But what makes a really good story? Well this is difficult to answer in a few words and is a fairly subjective area. But for me, it has to have a strong leading character that is heroic, attractive, but also has flaws; an exciting plot; a moment when everything could go terribly wrong; a nasty character and a positive conclusion.
Here at Nutty’s, we pride ourselves on stories. It’s what drives our Adventure Parties. It’s the beating heart, the motor that carries our entertainers along and the hook that keeps the kids in the palm of our hands. And seeing the little faces engrossed and hanging on our every word really fills us with joy and pride. Ultimately, stories are a shared experience, especially at our parties. We ask the kids questions within the storytelling sections and invite volunteers to act bits out. And in real life, when we’re sharing stories with our family and friends over the dinner table, seeing and hearing their reactions help us to make sense of our own stories. We may think we have behaved in a certain way when we relay our tale, but the listener’s reaction may make us re-evaluate. So it’s as much about learning about yourself as it is learning from a story- even with fictional stories. How we react to a character’s actions may make us question how we would deal with a similar situation in real life.
We have so much to gain from stories. We as humans have been telling them for thousands of years. And now more than ever, in the age of screens at our fingertips, it’s so important to keep telling our kids stories and encouraging them to read more. It’s also invaluable to inspire them to write their own stories, to put their imaginations to good use and to entertain us too. They’ll enjoy seeing our reactions as much as we do the other way around! So keep telling stories, keep reading them and keep championing them. They’ll never go away and we will always have several new stories tell from our many experiences, throughout our lives.