Category Archives: Having an Outdoor Adventure

bowl of fruit

Healthy Food For Kids

This is our first of two posts about healthy food for kids. Guiding children to eat healthy food is a challenge most of us face. Experts agree that the learning process has to be gradual to lead to success. And it can be fun!

“Rename them”, scientists say

“In a new study, 186 four-year-olds were given regular carrots and, on other lunch days, they were given the same vegetables renamed X-ray Vision Carrots. On the latter days, they ate nearly twice as many.”
carrots in the shape of a flower

X-ray Vision Carrots

Healthy Packed lunches – making choices

Whether or not there is guidance from your child’s school you can have fun together making your own list of favourite foods. Use a blackboard and different coloured chalks for various food types. This way kids have their say while gradually becoming aware of the nutrition values of different foods. If they can buy stuff at school, give them a restricted amount and let them ‘save’ the money to put towards something special, which is not food.

Healthy Main meals

For the ‘main’ meal of the day limit the amount of starchy foods and always have one vegetable option that you know they like. Get the children to help you prepare what you’re going to eat. Then they can give it a name. Elsie’s cauliflower cheese. Start the day with fruit for breakfast. Don’t forget that frozen is just as nutritious as fresh. You can puree fruits and serve with yoghurt.
raspberries

Pureed fruit for breakfast

Developing Healthy Habits

Give them smaller bowls and, if age-appropriate, allow them to help themselves. They’ll appreciate being given a choice and feel grown-up. Encourage them to limit their portion size but ‘come back for seconds’. If they say they’re full don’t push them into finishing everything. Eating when you’re no longer hungry ultimately leads to habitual over-eating. Children also need to recognise what they’re feeling “Is your tummy full now?”

Healthy Snacks

Snacks don’t have to be large. Stick to regular meal and snack-times, three meals a day and two snacks. If they don’t want a snack, skip it but watch out for crankiness before mealtime, as small children become suddenly hungry. Snacks don’t have to be large - a couple of slices of fruit and a cracker is plenty.

Feeling good

Up to school age children love to copy parents’ habits and choices – so take advantage of this and talk about what you’re eating – especially something new. They’ll want to try it too. Discourage the “yuck” face from older children in front of the little ones and talk positively about vegetables. Vegetable Patch Talk about fruit and vegetables when you’re out in the garden and crops that you see growing in the fields when you’re out for a walk. Go out and pick blackberries together in the summer and then make little blackberry and apple tarts.
Child Picking Blackberries

Blackberry Picking

We will continue this theme of Healthy Food For Kids with our next blog about “When a treat’s no longer a treat…” In the meantime here is some further reading about the Carrot Experiment: http://www.livescience.com/7695-kids-prefer-veggies-cool-names.html
Binky Bear Explores French's Shoe Shop Southampton

Fitting Children’s Shoes

With National Shoe Fitting week coming up on 8th April we at Binky Bear got thinking about the importance of fitting children’s shoes. Fitting Children's Shoes

Shared memories

We were talking about going to the shoe-shop to get our first pair of school–shoes. I wanted red wellies, I remember. That idea soon went out of the window. “Try walking to end of the shop for me” said the assistant. Then I got it. All around me were other five-year-olds trying on black lace-ups while parents and grandparents looked on seriously. The children were all looking forward to the special treat afterwards.

What the experts say about Fitting Children's Shoes

Babies are usually born with perfect feet. According to NHS Podiatrists it’s better to avoid pram-shoes and tight blankets for new-borns. They even suggest cutting the feet out of baby-grows. Binky Bear photo of new-born's feet A child’s foot is not a small version of an adult’s. It’s softer and more pliable. And when the child starts to walk going barefoot is preferable in the right environment. Children’s feet – and this really is surprising – are vulnerable to deformity up to late teens.

How to fit your child for shoes

Finding a reputable shoe-shop where the assistants take time over the fitting of your child’s shoes is worth the search and certainly gives peace of mind. It may not be necessary to buy new shoes at all, if the assistant re-assures you that the shoes are OK for a bit longer. Binky Bear Loves Billy Goat Shoes in Alresford Jo at the independent shoe-shop, Billy Goat, in Binky’s home-town of Alresford, says, “We will happily measure your child’s feet and let you know whether their shoes are still a good fit!”

Make a day of it

Choosing the all-important new shoes is a social event. You may take your child to the nearest ‘big’ town for the day. Binky was recently taken to the award-winning French’s Shoe-shop in Southampton to have his feet measured. Naturally he got cake afterwards!
Binky Bear finds the perfect pair of boots

Binky Bear finds the perfect pair of boots at French's Shoe Shop in Southampton

Or maybe you can combine shopping for shoes with exploring a favourite Binky trail in London, Winchester or Alresford. And include cake, of course! https://www.wjfrenchandson.co.uk/ http://www.billygoatshoes.co.uk/visit-us
NATIONAL SHOE FITTING WEEK
autumn-leaves_9813_m

Binky Bear’s days out with the kids

It's getting colder, but here are some ideas for days out with the kids, whatever the weather. How about planning a day out with something seasonal included, which is free. There are lots of things to watch in public places at this time of the year.

Norwich's Tunnel of Light

Start with a walk round the historic street of the town and then walk through the 45 metre ‘tunnel’, 50,000 tiny lights, which reflect the colours and patterns of the Northern Lights. Norwich’s seasonal lights will be switched on 17 November. For info about the historic city as well, go to:- http://www.visitnorwich.co.uk/whats-happening/event/first-uk-tunnel-of-light/ norwich tunnel of light

Winchester's Woolly Hat Fair

Or if you are Hampshire based keep your eyes out for the Woolly Hat Fair coming to Winchester. http://hatfair.co.uk/woolly-hat-fair/ Events will be free to attend and will take place at 5pm every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday between 3 – 22 December.

Hamleys Christmas Toy Parade- London

Binky throw up autumn leaves on days out with the kids And if you just happen to be in London on 20 November after doing the Binky Bear walk through St James’s Park - like Binky (finishing in Trafalgar Square) join all the fun of Hamleys Christmas Toy Parade. The whole of Regent’s Street will be closed to traffic for the event. http://www.hamleys.com/hamleys-parade.html night photo of christmas lights London’s Christmas lights are already starting to go on, so check on-line for specific dates. Seasonal lights are now going on all over the country, so check in your local press for exact dates.

Reindeer Spotting

If you want to splash out on an extra special day this Christmas how about visiting Santa’s reindeers, somewhere in the UK near you? This link has a few pointers:- http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/family/days-out-where-can-you-see-1488475
Summer Trails For Kids

Summer Trails For Kids

Want to go for a walk? No! Want to go on a trail? Yes! Here's how to make your trails for kids rock: 1. Have a purpose: a. What we did today: go out and take photos to load up on Facebook later to show Auntie Chris, Mum, Dad Grandma etc. What We Did Today and then everyone gets to say what their favourite thing was b. Plant investigator: find 10 different leaves – try these free Apps to help you identify what’s what: Tree Id and Garden Answers. Woodland Trust Tree Id App c. Go foraging: pick blackberries – from mid-August in some places – then return home to make blackberry and apple crumble. 2. Follow a trail map. Learning how to read a map is a fantastic life skill and you can start with very simple ones. a. Draw your own ‘mud map’ for a place you know well and leave some gaps for the kids to fill in things like, the names of buildings, drawing in a tree, the bridge, the shop etc. Mud Map for Summer Trails b. Complete a trail that links to a book – yes like ours! You can download our free trail maps for London, Winchester and Alresford here. From August 20th you will be able to download our very latest Binky Trail which is set in leafy Surrey, near Compton. 3. Have a few extra activities up your sleeve. a. “I spy” and also “I hear with my little ear…” b. Follow my leader, taking it in turns to lead the pack c. Stop and play hide and seek. Woodland walks are great for this d. Walk and Talk – get kids to take it in turns to talk about what they see and hear as they walk – this is great to get quiet ones chatting. 4. Finally take a picnic, a few trail treats, plenty of water and sunscreen and have a great day out!
binky-bear-at-woodlands-primary

Binky Bear Goes To Woodlands Primary

A rather wonderful thing has happened at Binky Bear - Woodlands Primary in Carnoustie, Scotland has opened a Binky Bear trail. We spoke with Deputy Head teacher Judith Connor to find out more.

1. Tell us about your school and your part of the UK

Our school is Woodlands Primary School which is in Carnoustie in Angus. Carnoustie is often called 'the home of golf'. We are very lucky to live in a small town on the coast with a beautiful beach. Woodlands Primary School caters for children from 5 - 11 and we also have a nursery class for 3 - 5 year olds. We are an eco school and are currently working on our 4th green flag and we are also a fairtrade school with a fairachiever award. reading-about-the-trail-at-woodlands-primaryContinue reading this article...
The Binky Bear Winchester Walk

The Binky Bear Winchester Walk

The Binky Bear Winchester walk follows exactly the story in Binky's second adventure book, Binky in Trouble. In this story Binky and his friend Dog have an adventure in the historic heart of Winchester. This 90 minute walk will help you explore this beautiful city and take you past the key sights of Winchester College and Winchester Cathedral, The Buttercross and into the muddle of lanes and alleyways that make Winchester such a curious place to visit.Continue reading this article...
A Binky Bear Walk Read And Explore Books For Kids

What Is A Binky Bear Trail?

When we meet our fans they are often surprised when we ask them if they have actually been on a Binky Bear trail. And then when we explain how each book is an adventure waiting to happen for them and their family and that what they hold in their hands is not just a book but a plan for a great day out, they want to know more. So for all of you out there who love our books but who have not yet actually been on a Binky trail, this blog post is for you.Continue reading this article...
MyKidsy Blog

Why Travelling by Bus is Best!

In August 2015 I was invited by www.MyKidsy.com to write a guest blog about my own outdoor adventures in London with my daughter. Here it is and I hope you like it!

Living about 50 miles from London in a sleepy Hampshire village, my daughter and I look forward to our day trips up to London and we try to get up each term, ideally on an Inset day when trains are not too busy.  I lived and worked in London for over 15 years, commuting from the south-western suburbs and it was only when I began researching our third book Binky Goes To London and when we started to take the photographic illustrations of Binky our teddy bear character and his real animal friends in various central London locations, that I started to travel around by bus and on foot.  What struck me was how previously-made tube journeys are so much faster and more interesting if you walk.  So throughout the making of Binky Goes To London we travelled by bus and on foot with the occasional taxi ride, if we had a very tired corgi with us! Continue reading this article...