Ideas to help children and teens fundraise

Posted April 8, 2014 by nicola baird blogs
Categories: parenting

Tags: , , , , , ,

For anyone lucky enough to be lucky, there’s sure to be a time when they’ll be asked to fundraise for a good cause. Should children be involved? And if that’s a yes, what makes it easier for teens and tots to raise money? For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children follow this blog or get my book Homemade Kids, out of the library. This post is by Nicola Baird, also see www.nicolabaird.com

Lola is going to run the last 3 miles of London's Marathon for the fourth time.

Lola is going to run the last 3 miles of London’s Marathon for the fourth time. This time she’s using her run as an opportunity to raise funds to help all those affected by the Honiara flash floods which has killed around 20 people and left 1000s homeless in Solomon Islands Please donate here.

“It’s the only thing I can do to help” – Lola, 15, says ready to run and fundraise for people made homeless in Solomon Islands – a place she loves – after flash floods in the capital Honiara. See the link to the fundraising page here.

There’s no point raising money for a good cause unless like Lola you believe in that cause, or have some reason to support the person asking. That’s why school fundraising can be so successful – all those winter fairs, summer fetes, international days, fun runs and litter picks are shared by a large group of like-minded people.

Holiday fundraising ideas: selling bulbs and small plants.

Holiday fundraising ideas: selling bulbs and small plants.

And don’t forget the cake sales – which teaches cooking, budgeting and business basics.

It’s more challenging to fundraise for a friend in specific need – perhaps someone with a long-term illness or a particular project – because you have more to explain. Sometimes you have to explain what the charity does, and what you are organising (eg, a ceilidih for a gap year). Lots of young fundraisers find this selling element very hard. The trick is to work out what you want to raise, how you’d enjoy doing it and what time you’ve got.

Lola has been to Honiara, and watched in horror as Australian TV images showed us the wrecked bridges and houses floating into the sea.

Teens like Lola can work out their own fundraising challenges, but small children will need grown up help. There’s a plus – adults have to be hard-hearted to resist a primary school aged child saying they have given all their birthday money to helping a Thai baby elephant orphanage or to get a ping pong table and skateboard ramp added to their local park…

5 ideas to make fundraising fun and effective

Add a key so your lucky recipient knows which egg is chocolate. We had to use a few shop-bought chocolates intended for the easter egg hunt to make our gift look a bit more generous.

Fundraising ideas for Easter. Make your own easter eggs – or just pour melted chocolate into a blown hen’s egg. Possibly cup cakes sell better… Also try stalls selling homemade lemonade, big slices of cake or bagels stuffed with cream cheese (and maybe salmon).

  1. Do fundraising with a friend (or better still friends).
  2. See if you can think of an organisation or person who will match fund any donation you make. So if you want to raise money towards a wig of trendy hair for a teen with cancer, see if you can find someone to double whatever you raise at your Thursday cake sales. This might be a generous family member… it’s always worth asking.
  3. Make a sign to support your fundraiser! We love the Run Lola Run joke (it's a film...)

    Make a sign to support your fundraiser! We love the Run Lola Run joke opportunity (it’s a film…)

    Try and collect money by using justgiving or everyclick so you don’t actually have to deal with banking and accounting for the money as well. Plus anyone who is a tax payer can click the gift aid box which gives even more to charity (25p extra on every £1).

  4. Memorise a short sentence that explains what you are fundraising for. “We’re raising money to build a new art block, what can you give us?.”” I’m collecting pennies to give to XX Animal Shelter, what will you give?”. “I’m litter picking the beach/local park on Saturday – will you give  Surfers Against Sewage/your local park friends group a donation?
  5. Don’t worry if someone says no, that’s fine. But if they do offer cash or support in other ways, be sure to thank them.

A bit more about Solomon Islands
Back in the 1990s I lived in Honiara – a wonderful Pacific Islands city – for two years. Honiara is the capital of Solomon Islands. Myjob was to train journalists at Solomon Island Development Trust: every day I walked to and from work over the Matanikao Bridge, which was suddenly swept away by flash floods a few days ago.

The floods killed around 20 people and made 1,000s homeless. Their homes literally floated down the river and out to sea. It’s like the River Thames going crazy.

Living in Honiara changed me (as working overseas should). Most of all it showed me how to live life surrounded by children – not something that happens in the UK unless you are working in a nursery or school. Of course I talked about the place incessantly when I went home, and later on to my own children. After years of uming and ahing about when to re-visit my family spent two months in Honiara in 2011. Before that visit Lola, then 12, raised a little cash for equipment for students at the school she joined for a short time.

This time Lola’s running to help people in Solomon Islands who lost everything after freak flash floods.

For a tropical paradise Solomon Islands has had some bad luck. It was a British colony (OK that’s debatably good or bad); in the 19th century blackbirding was rife – meaning many men were forced to work as slave labour in the Queensland sugar cane fields. It became a missionary hot spot which led to the suppression of ancient animist cultures. And then it was used as the battlefield for the Japanese and Americans during World War Two. I don’t want to even think about the troubles which brought Guadalcanal to a near civil war only a few years back. But things have been improving for a while.

Lola and Nell with custom dancers from Lau, Malaita - they'll be dancing at the Pacific Arts Festival in July 2012, which will be held for the first time ever in Honiara.

Uk visitors Lola and Nell in Honiara 2011 at the sports ground with talented custom dancers from Lau, Malaita.

Famous Solomon Islands moments

  • For the Americans: during World War 2, JFK was famously rescued by Solomon Islanders after his boat was sunk by the Japanese. He scratched “help” on to a coconut which was then taken by an islander to the American base. This saved his life, and he went on to become President of the USA.
  • For book lovers: who love those amazing Pacific books -Solomon Time, The Bird Skinner, Pattern of Islands (not too far away geographically). Ditto Mr Pip.
  • For Royalists: Gary Barlow (Take That) went there in 2012 to make a very colourful video shown during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Not long after Prince William and Kate made a visit.
  • For film buffs: Thin Red Line – grim, gripping and set on Guadalcanal.

Over to you
I look forward to hearing what sort of ambitious fundraising you’ve done with your children. Do share.

 

 

In praise of newborns & all mums

Posted March 31, 2014 by nicola baird blogs
Categories: parenting

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Mothers’ Day 2014 (30 March) may have passed (in the UK anyway, Oz and the southern hemisphere is on Sunday 11 May 2014) – along with the chocolates my lovely kids gave me and the flowers I gave my mum. But you could use all that mumsy good will as a reminder to give any help you can to those who have just given birth (or are just about to do so)…  For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children follow this blog or get my book Homemade Kids, out of the library. This post is by Nicola Baird, also see www.nicolabaird.com

xx

Adorable spring, wonderful new borns. Us humans often need a bit of extra help though.

Did you know that there are laughter experts? Yes, people who can teach you to laugh more – some of them as a result of attending a laughter therapy course, see here. Well new mum Kate is one of those people. Not so long ago she was even invited into TV’s Big Brother house to wake the contestants up with some laughing exercises - imagine how hard that would be. You can find out more about Kate’s work at her very cheerful website, http://www.vibrantkate.com/

Just recently Kate’s given birth to her first child, a cute boy, who looks very fine in his just born photo wearing a rainbow cardigan. Instead of relaxing on her babymoon (the time when mum and baby get to know each other) one of the first things Kate did was to send an email thanking people for their help on her birth journey. She found that

  • Natal hynotherapy workshops helped her give birth with no pain relief
  • Turtle Tums classes (aquanatal swimming) kept her strong and flexible, and encouraged her to have her baby in a pool birth
  • Knowing the Golden Thread Breath helped her get through all the contractions.
  • One of her friends painted a rainbow over the words “Baby X” on her bump. It makes a beautiful birth announcement photo to share but also Kate liked it for “allowing me to honour my body’s achievements”.
  • Yoga helped her conceive, as did conception-enhancing reflexology, which she liked because it was “relaxing, and non-invasive”
This book was fun to write, and I still make use of it (not just for weighing down shopping wish lists)......Kate liked my book too. Here’s what she said:
“Homemade Kids has pointed me towards so many brilliant ideas and philosophies with wit and warmth that have informed my pregnancy and will continue to influence my parenting style! I especially liked your attitude that whatever choices parents make, they are all doing their best and that compassion and tolerance are the best we can teach our children, rather than being preachy.”
Good luck to any of you with babies… As for the rest of us, maybe seek out people with newborns and offer to mind their bigger kids, do a washing up session or pop round with some nourishing food for the freezer.
Over to you
What ideas do you have for helping new mums? Do share.

 

Ways to help boys enjoy craft

Posted March 10, 2014 by nicola baird blogs
Categories: parenting

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How do you encourage boys to do things like sewing, cooking, glueing and craft experimenting? A new book focuses on Boycraft in a bid to convince boys that craft is for anyone, even them. For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children follow this blog or get my book Homemade Kids, out of the library. This post is by Nicola Baird, also see www.nicolabaird.com

Do boys like craft? It’s a nonsense question isn’t it – most primary school boys I know have a stick in their hand, and their eyes on the hunt for any treasures the ground will yield up allowing them to make whatever they need (fort, weapon, power strobe, beastly bug etc).

At least they did until they were given a phone.

Boycraft by Sara Duchars & Sarah Marks (Frances Lincoln, £12.99)

Boycraft by Sara Duchars & Sarah Marks (Frances Lincoln, £12.99)

But for those families who can’t quite think how to get boys making things the new book Boycraft should be a winner.

Boycraft by Buttonbag.co.uk craft specialists Sara Duchars and Sarah Marks is full of fabulous ideas for kids to make – such as giant bean bags (with tail), fantastic Halloween dress up outfits and papier mache Egyptian mummies (my favourite). The instructions are easy to follow and put together in a way that just makes you want to have a go.

Is a book for boys necessary?
At the after-school club my daughters went to, all the kids, boys and girls, used to do supervised craft. A couple of years after the youngest left I was back visiting and stunned to see that the girls were still making chatterboxes and doing craft, but the boys were queuing up to use the playstation. There was no way they wanted to do craft any more… It was a real loss for those boys who by making spiders from pipe cleaners, foil axes and wooden stilts are learning the skills for DIY, as well as having fun. A background in craft gives you the confidence to adapt things that don’t fit, or fix things that break – essential life lessons.

Giant medals made with a jam jar lid, ribbon, sellotape and a splash of decorative imagination. One of the great ideas in Boycraft.

Giant medals made with a jam jar lid, ribbon, sellotape and a splash of decorative imagination. One of the great ideas, in new book Boycraft, that would make a brilliant addition for a party bag.

At a packed medal-making event at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green co-author Sarah Marks explained: “We don’t gender divide our craft at buttonbag.co.uk and a lot of people have said it’s bad to do the gender divide. But we felt we needed to give boys permission to do craft. It’s a shout out for them.”

Make craft easy to do by putting out the tools that are needed. Ideally only help when it's asked for... craft is all about learning from mistakes.

Make craft easy to do by putting out the tools that are needed. Ideally only help when it’s asked for… craft is all about learning from mistakes.

While my 13-year-old, Nell, made a couple of medals I discovered we were sitting next to Sarah’s youngest, 10-year-old, Oliver, who was busily making a mini cityscape from 3D paper folds…. “We’re always doing craft at home,” he told me reaching for the sharper scissors. With some relief he also added: “I don’t have to make all my presents at Christmas…”

Take home message
Seems like Oliver’s mum Sarah has got it right:

1) Do lots of craft with your kids, because it’s normal and fun. It’s also often a way for a child to get something cheaply, within about half an hour (or less if you are making a medal).
2) But never force kids to do craft because it’s what they should be doing... especially in the high-pressured run-up to Christmas.

Making the occasional gift a child knows right from the start is destined for someone else is a real learning curve for all children. It’s lovely for them to be gift-givers – Nell even made me a medal at this event!

So families with boys, maybe have a flick through Boycraft if you see a copy – I’d be amazed if it doesn’t inspire you to either get creating, or get your hands on your own book.

Over to you
What ideas do you have for getting kids to do craft, or do you have any really good tips on where to find ideas for things kids can make?

Museum of Childhood in east London is open 10am-5.45pm daily.

You can buy Boycraft from Amazon, here’s the link.

How to celebrate a teen birthday?

Posted March 2, 2014 by nicola baird blogs
Categories: parenting

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

How do you celebrate a teen birthday without breaking your budget, especially during the wet, cold months when a picnic in the park isn’t an option? For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children follow this blog or get my book Homemade Kids, out of the library. This post is from www.nicolabaird.com

Les MIserables is the world's longest running musical. If your child gets into it they may learn to sing, develop an interest in politics and even read Victor Hugo's massive classic. Or not!

Les Miserables is the world’s longest running musical. If your child gets into it they may learn to sing, develop an interest in politics and even read Victor Hugo’s massive classic. Or they may not!

Significant birthdays can cause the indecisive agonies over how to celebrate. For your own 18th and 21st maybe you went a bit mad – many of us had a lot of school or college friends to celebrate with…

But what do you as the parent encourage a 16-year-old to do? Or how about someone just entering their teens as a 13-year-old?

Ready to enjoy the birthday cake her big sister made - after the sleepover.

Ready to enjoy the birthday cake her big sister made – after the sleepover.

Have a go gifts
I think experience presents, or even experience activities for a few of your child’s friends, are the way to go. Modern teens are very happy to do sleepovers – to eat (maybe even make) pizza and cake and then blitz on films before settling down to a broken night’s sleep. But the guests invariably have their phones glued to them, it’s as if they can’t really be fully present in the room without half their attention on a game or instagram.

Phones down
That’s why taking a small group outside their comfort zone (and mobile range) – for a judo or tai chi lesson, a whirl around a skating rink or a have-a-go session on a climbing wall can be a generous present.

So could an afternoon at a treetops adventure centre, like GoApe in the UK, or a session segwaying (a two-wheeled electric scooter).

Les Mis Kidz club attendees with member of the cast Sarah xx.

Les Mis Kidz club attendees with member of the cast Sarah Lark (ensemble) giving the thumbs up.

The drawback is these are expensive options, because you’re paying for your child’s friends too. You may also have to also organise minibus transport.

This year my budget is tight so I didn’t want to organise anything over £100, which ruled out a group have-a-go party. To be truthful I was utterly stuck for my oldest daughter, thinking Amazon voucher it will be, until I sat beside two out-of-work young actors on a train to Colchester in Essex in early December. A bit rudely I thought they’d be happy to talk to a stranger, and might be brilliant on ideas about what to get for a teenager who adored the musical Les Miserables. And they were. Their ideas included:

Poster from ebay (total spend about £1 plus postage)

Trip to a theatre book shop (£5-£50 or your choice of limit)

Backstage tour and the show at The Mis Kidz Club (£35 +£20 show ticket)

Turns out the The Mis Kidz Club is for 8-16 year olds, although a lot of the dozen children who go for a one-off Saturday morning are on the younger side. “Think of this as an advantage,” I told my 15-year-old, “You can help the little ones and get to sing the best parts…”

Best of all the ticket wasn’t a bank breaker: it cost £35. As an extra treat you could buy £20 (or less), ie, cheap tickets for the Saturday matinee for the Kidz Club child and their family. My daughter was told about this present at Christmas, but didn’t get to use it for another month – the first date when their were places available. She didn’t seem to mind, in fact the build up was as enjoyable as the going, a lovely example of delayed gratification in action.

The deal involves dressing up, getting a backstage tour, meeting a cast member and doing an improvised show. For any theatre fan, Les Miserables obsessive or budding singer this is a fantastic treat.

The Éponine or Fantine option
But what Lola really loved was heading to the stage door after the show to get the casts’ autographs. And the lovely Les Miserables cast seemed happy to oblige their fangirls! So if the Kidz Club sounds like an expensive faff (though it wasn’t it was fabulous!), but you have a theatre addict remember that stage door option…

Lola meets the cast after Les Mis - what lovely folk they are, so talented and happy to say hello to their fans inbetween the matinee and the evening show.

Lola meets Carrie Hope Fletcher (Éponine) after Les Mis – what lovely folk they are, so talented and happy to say hello to their fans inbetween the matinee and the evening show.

20140125_173728

ABOVE: Tam Mutu (Javert) signs outside Les Mis,Queen’s Theatre. BELOW: Rob Houchen (Marius – possibly the best one ever).

20140125_173251

Over to you
What ideas do you have – especially during the wet, cold months – to help teens or younger children celebrate their birthdays in a memorable way, without breaking the bank?

What skills do humans need?

Posted February 10, 2014 by nicola baird blogs
Categories: parenting

Tags: , , , , , ,

How do you know you’re doing the best for your kids? First make a list… For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children follow this blog or get my book Homemade Kids, out of the library. This post is from www.nicolabaird.com

Truisms through the shop window.

Truisms through the shop window.

If only we knew what skills our children need. It’s easy to give them what we wanted to learn as children, but to get it right for each future generation is crazily hard. And my generation – the ones who had left university before computers were mainstream – have seen how needs change firsthand.

My daughters’ school is in the process of rethinking its ethos – like most schools we want to support young people in their learning. But goodness it’s hard to crack what future skills they need, especially with Michael Gove’s more old-fashioned focus on examined courses.

In the Evening Standard on 7 February 2014 Nick Curtis produced a fascinating list  of the 10 skills that will help children for the future. They included basic knowledge of economics (ie, banking and debt); understanding cost-benefit ratios (I don’t get this one at all but i think it might be opting for well made over tat); map reading skills; how to change a car’s electric battery and maintain a bike; understanding of the way bodies get stiff and worse; how to speak Mandarin; how to speak in other languages without being able to speak that language; sex education that isn’t too fluffy; how to play a portable musical instrument and how to say no.  It’s a great list.  A lot better than the do-gooder lists you can buy in gift shops (see pic.).

It inspired me to do an audit on my girls – here are some skills I think they need, and are slowly developing.

How to look good with a moustache is essential - but what else does a teenager need to know?

How to look good with a moustache is essential – but what else does a teenager need to know?

11 things teenagers need to know

  1. Planning tools (eg, SWOT grids) to help make decisions
  2. Ability to delegate
  3. Understanding probability (re, if it will rain, will the tube flood, health risks)
  4. Ability to research
  5. Social skills so you can get on with people rather than get their backs up
  6. Ability to market yourself (for interviews etc)
  7. New media skills (and how to use it safely and why not to be a troll)
  8. Grit and determination
  9. Know when to celebrate (big treats and mini pats on the back)
  10. Willingness to work hard – and evidence that you can
  11. Awareness of the need to learn
Battling for the seat at the winning table. Or just a game of chess.

Battling for the seat at the winning table. Or just a game of chess.

Younger children might benefit from these 15 skills

  1. How to use basic tools in the tool box, kitchen drawer etc
  2. The names of things (ie, in the tool box)
  3. How to cook
  4. How to sew
  5. How to grow food
  6. Confidence reading and being able to choose your own books
  7. How to ask questions (and listen)
  8. How to play an instrument (or whistle or sing)
  9. How to read maps
  10. How to unwind and relax
  11. How to be kind
  12. First aid knowledge
  13. How to look after an animal
  14. How to file, and keep papers in an organised way
  15. How to save money and use it.

Of course I can’t do all the things on the list… the challenge is to find ways to hand them to the next generation as a gift rather than a chore.

Over to you
Any ideas how I can build global awareness and a sense of life as fun into the skills I wish to share with my daughters – and help teenage school students learn?

Where will the children play?

Posted February 6, 2014 by nicola baird blogs
Categories: parenting

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

How do you make it safe for kids playing out who live alongside roads? Here are a few tried and tested methods… For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children see http://homemadekids.wordpress.com, or my book Homemade Kids, www.nicolabaird.com

Brand new adventure park for kids.

Brand new adventure park for kids.

Where will the children play – when it stops raining in the UK?

Just been researching people who live in Islington (for my other blog – weekly interviews from this neighbourhood) and discovered that Cat Stevens was based here at some point. Pre kids I had a big phase listening to his song Where do the children play (live)? You can listen to him sing it here.

The summer changes my neighbourhood – walking around sunny streets you meet loads of familiar faces, many of whom happily greet you or the kids (there are 700 at my daughters’ school for starters). But most of the year there are far fewer hellos echoing across the pavements. It’s partly the weather, but also because people drive, and because Londoners are always in a hurry. (Though I’m sure every mum is always in a hurry).

20130626_094916

At least we don’t have to worry about croc attacks in the UK when our kids play out.

There are parks for the kids and all sorts of activities, including this new – utterly amazing – adventure playground built on to the slopes of a disused railway line now busy with pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers and cyclists. But what kids don’t have is the opportunity to do stuff for themselves – make dens, cook on bonfires, or even play in a spot where other kids will be lured out. Or if other kids are around, say playing football, lots of families are frightened about them mixing.

Plenty gong on at the street party - a sing song, cello performance, street play for the kids, chat for the adults and food sharing under the shady gazebo.

Plenty going on at the street party – a sing song, cello performance, street play for the kids, chat for the adults and food sharing under the shady gazebo.

Lots of parents find ways around this – they go camping, or have enough green space to turn a washing line into a camping den. They sign up to scouts, brownies or some other activity that values outdoor experience and life skills. But wouldn’t it be great for our kids if they could just kick a football outside their door. Yes in the streets. Or use the middle of the road as a skipping venue or the No Man’s Land marker in a game of tag? For those of you living in a street which is predominantly for parking cars can you see what you can do to enable your kids to come out and play with their friends without being forced indoors?

Here are some examples of how to do this.

Street party (one-off or one day a year, but a great start). See all the tips here – http://www.streetparty.org.uk

Local lobbying – this mum actually got Mrs Thatcher into her living room in 1974, with great success, see here.

Or just ask – try putting notes through your neighbours’ doors (the ones with kids); or go see them. Take your child along, and some fat chalk – that way they can start sketching on the pavements right now! Have a look at the kids playing out groups, see here.

Over to you
What are your top tips for getting other families outside?

In praise of walks with kids

Posted January 20, 2014 by nicola baird blogs
Categories: parenting

Tags: , , , , ,

 What ways do you use to get kids to talk about stuff – homework, fun, what’s bothering them? People often use the school run for this – my favourite way with primary school students was to take a steady walk. What about bigger kids or even the ones in buggies? For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children see my book Homemade Kids www.nicolabaird.com

I loved the way this decorated tree can be a perfect hiding spot.

I loved the way this decorated tree can be a perfect hiding spot.

“Do you know what animals eat spiders?” asked the little boy to his mum as they passed in the street. Agog I waited for the answer – assuming it would be something crazy. Turned out to be birds… but the child on the pavement was very little, not long out of a buggy on the walk to school. As the family walked away I could hear the conversation was getting interesting – lots of stuff about the food chain.

Walking is a great way to spark conversation because you cannot help but see things that get people asking why and how questions, whatever their hunger levels or mood. And small people often see the most interesting things, probably because they are closer to the ground.

Why do people leave chicken bones on the ground?

Could I eat this dropped sweet?

Would an extinct sabre toothed tiger have walked down this road? Etc, etc

Graffiti in Portugal Street, near the Royal Courts of Justice, London.

Graffiti in Portugal Street, near the Royal Courts of Justice, London.

At the weekend I try and walk around bits of London which are low on shops, just to get a better sense of this big city.

Both my daughters, now nearly 13 and 15, tolerate this. In a way walking with their mum is an old habit. We spent eight years with the oldest, and 11 with the youngest rushing to and from school.  We also have a dog, but he prefers parks and grass. So when we leave him at home it’s signs of the city we are looking out for. Like this crazy grafitti (left).

Nell looking in the Cabinet of Jurisprudence - one of the eccentric displays at the Seven Stars pub. can you see the one-spectacled skull?

Nell looking in the Cabinet of Jurisprudence – one of the eccentric displays at the Seven Stars pub. can you see the one-spectacled skull?

Pub time machine
Another good spot are pubs – buildings that used to be pubs, re-named pubs and walks taking in as many pubs as possible. You don’t have to go in to get a sense of the atmosphere – hopefully this means these pub crawls aren’t too habit forming. It is a good way to think about the generations of people who’ve lived where we live, but maybe years before us.

Rules of Pub Cricket
Or just brush up on maths with the game pub cricket. Divide the street into left/right (or north/south as appropriate). Then when you see a pub sign count the legs relevant to it’s name. For example the Coach & Horses will have a lot (look at the sign), The Cock has two, The Duke’s Head none.  For older children set a challenge for each pub – so think of two famous people and ask if they could ever have drunk in that pub (eg, Dickens and Hardy) at the same time? Be led by your children’s choices of celebrity to make it a bit less worthy.

Strange structures by Pentonville Prison - possibly an echo of cattle stalls or maybe disused gardens. Or are they seaside posts?

Strange structures by Pentonville Prison – possibly an echo of cattle stalls or maybe disused gardens. Or are they seaside posts? It turned a walk into a mini Stonehenge exploration…

Be inventive
Sometimes it’s hard to know what you are looking at. If that’s the case – a strange shaped rock, a huge excavation or odd wooden structures (see pic above) it’s a chance to get older kids to search their Mind Palace (borrowing a useful Sherlock Holmes tool) and come up with an answer. What is it supposed to be?

Nell's friend looking through the pix he took during our walk.

Nell’s friend looking through the pix he took during our walk.

Taking photos of what they see is another brilliant way to keep a child’s interest in a walk. But be prepared to take over their equipment if they are tempted to do something that might damage it, like climb a tree.

Over to you
Do you walk regularly with your children – whatever the weather? Do you find it a good way to keep them talking to you, whatever their age?


Keats House Poets Forum

Poetry Lives Here!

Hollywood? Bollywood? No!! this time it's all about Nolly and Ghallywood!!

I believe that everyone knows Hollywood, and that a lot of people know of or about Bollywood (Indian movie Industry), but what about Nollywood and Ghallywood? In my blog it's all gonna be about the West African specifically Ghanaian and Nigerian movie industry.

MelissaRoberts

Fitness Can Be Sexy.

IT'S WHAT YOU'D LIKE TO BE

My Journalist self follows fabulous people into fabulous places.

Lights, Camera…Islington!

The Unbelievable Mr X presents

dajekenya

Off to Africa

Adventures's Blog

finding happiness in everything

schwingeninswitzerland

Join us as we learn about everything Swiss as expats in Geneva

Dust And Coffee Stains

An Open Chifforobe For All Things Old and Dusty...

Music, Power and Politics

"The Revolution Will Not be Televised"

E-art-h without Eh

Art "is a language [...] that all mankind can understand. It cuts across the boundary of illiteracy". // El arte "es un lenguaje universal. Hace desaparecer las fronteras del analfabetismo".

Mumtoteens

Got teenagers? Then you know what I'm blogging on about.

My Make Do and Mend Year

A year of making, making do and mending, and buying nothing new!

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

19noonbaker

You're Invited to stay !

Healthy Planet Blog

be a part of it

My Tropical Home

Photography, Stories & Reviews

The Onion Patch.

A peak inside our ink-filled brain cells.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 733 other followers

%d bloggers like this: