Category Archives: Making Things

Drama for kids can substantially improve confidence and sociability in kids

Drama for Kids

With a growing interest in children's confidence and sociability, we predict drama for kids will be one of the hot topics for parents this year.

So, is drama for kids a good thing?

Not long ago a Drama teacher friend made an interesting case for encouraging children to join Speech and Drama classes and groups. “I don’t think for one minute that every child I teach will end up on the stage”, she commented, “but I do think, besides enjoying themselves, they’ll gain in self confidence and public speaking. They’ll all have to do an interview or speak up for themselves at some time in their lives and this will stand them in good stead”. She has a point.
A confident child makes eye contact

Drama for kids develops confidence and sociability

We asked our Binky Bear Facebook fans why drama is good for kids and Sylvia from Southampton, summed up most comments when she said: “Drama gave my daughter confidence. It placed her out of her comfort zone, meeting new people. All this helped her grow as a person and this has benefitted her as she faces challenges of growing into an adult.”

How to find a drama club near you

Just search online using Drama Clubs for Kids and you will find a whole list of people to contact near you. There are some big names like Stagecoach and Theatre Bugs and there are some wonderful local clubs doing great things.
Drama for kids can substantially improve confidence and sociability in kids

Kids in action at Drama Beast in Alresford

Take Drama Beasts in Alresford for example. We also asked Binky Bear fans which drama clubs they would recommend in Hampshire and Drama Beasts was top of the Leader Board. Founder Nicky Gower describes what drama can mean to children: “Our ultimate aim is to help children improve their social and communication skills, grow their self-esteem, highlight the importance of teamwork and foster an appreciation of performance.” Nicky goes on to explain, “Our drama sessions are never about 'auditions' or 'securing the lead role' but instead, we aspire to bring out the best in every child, so even the shyest of children begin to feel more confident as they perform in front of others.”

If music is more your thing...

Try one of the many Music with Mummy or Moo Music groups. Again, our Facebook fans talk very highly of our local Moo Music group. www.moo-music.co.uk/areas/alresford which is clearly adored by the children who attend and highly rated by parents.
Kids play musical instruments and sing at Moo Music Alresford

Kids enjoying Moo Music in Alresford

Denise Rosewell who runs Moo Music in Alresford Hampshire describes what they do: “We use all sorts of exciting props, puppets, toys and percussion instruments as we sing, dance and play.” Sounds great to us.

It’s Panto time! (Oh yes it is…)

Binky Bear

Make Your Own Pantomime with Binky Bear

Drama for kids is also the theme of our January Muddy Paws Club download and those clever people at Binky Bear HQ have designed this wonderful Create your own Pantomine activity sheet just for you.
Binky Bear Posts his letter to Father Christmas

Three Ways of Writing to Santa

What better way to start the build up to Christmas than writing to Santa. Here are three ideas.

1. Make Santa a picture

For really young ones, all you need is a piece of card, a large envelope and some bright toy catalogues as well as glue and glitter of course and children can tear their favourite pictures from the catalogue (or kids’ magazines).   Everyone can join in with writing to Santa or it may be just two of you at the kitchen table.  Either way the letter will be a visual feast for Santa!  You may end up doing the writing but that’s fine as the fun bit is choosing and tearing out the pictures.
Writing a letter to Father Christmas

Writing a letter to Father Christmas

2. Write a Binky Bear Letter to Father Christmas

There are loads of freebies on line but the best one (of course) is the Binky Bear Letter to Father Christmas.  If your kids prefer colouring in, try this download which we gave out last year to all our Muddy Paws Club members.  All the children have to do is fill in the blank list at the top of the page and then colour in Binky and the rest of the picture. You can download your Binky Bear Letter to Father Christmas here: binky_bear_activity_colour_sheet_dec. december-colouring-sheet

3. Write a letter via The Royal Mail and Santa writes back!

The third way is to write a good old letter and you can send this letter to Santa via the Royal Mail and get a letter back.  In fact you can send any of these pictures and letters to Father Christmas via the Royal Mail and providing you send it to Santa's correct address you are very likely to get a reply. The Royal Mail ask that you send your letters by first or second class post to arrive by their deadline on Friday December 9th.  They don’t guarantee a reply but it is likely and it will be personally addressed.  Send your letters to: Santa/Father Christmas, Santa's Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ
Binky Bear and the red post box in Alresford

Binky Posts his Letter to Father Christmas.

For blind or partially sighted children

And the magic does not end there, blind or partially sighted children can write to Santa too and get a reply in braille, audio or large print.  The deadline for this is December 1st and send letters to: RNIB, Midgate House, Midgate, Peterborough, PE1 1TN. The closing date for letters is Thursday 1 December 2016.  You can find out more here. http://www.rnib.org.uk/information-everyday-living/family-friends-and-carers/resources-parents-blind-or-partially-sighted/letter-santa

Receive a letter from Santa

The NSPCC can arrange for Santa to send out personalised letters if you make a donation of just £5 (suggested).  So you don’t actually write to Santa but if you set this up for your kids they can each get a lovely personalised letter from Santa himself and the NSPCC benfits from your money. All you have to do is choose a template to suit the age of your child, add in a few details about what your child likes to do, (there is a drop down menu to help you: dancing, playing football etc) what their achievement has been this year (behaving for your teachers, tidying your room, etc) and you can name a close friend or relative they are close to and those clever people at the NSPCC will write a lovely personalised letter to your child from Santa himself or if you prefer from Father Christmas or Siôn Corn if you want the letter written in Welsh.
Little Elf

Getting Your Own Letter From Father Christmas Is Very Special

The deadline is December 16 and https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/make-a-donation/letter-from-santa" target="_blank">here is the link you need. th. So time to get out the glitter and glue? And if Binky Bear appears on a little person's Christmas List then all you need to do is click here and find out all about the World of Binky Bear.
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Kids In The Kitchen

With the Great British Bakeoff in full swing how about getting the kids in the kitchen and inspiring the next generation of bakers? Butterfly cakes for garden treats, bobbing boats to take to the beach. Making them with the children and grand-children - what better way to spend an afternoon as the holidays draw to a close or as younger brothers and sisters are left at home when the older ones go to school.Continue reading this article...
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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...
Binky Bear Picture Competitions

Competitions: Winning Or Taking Part?

If you have a prolific young artist in your family or an occassional artist who likes to work to one specific brief, we have an opportunity for you: enter our monthly Binky Picture Competition. As the entries for our current competition trickle in at a steady pace, ahead of 15th of the month deadline, I started to think about why we had decided to run monthly picture competitions in the first place. Our first competition was back in November and Daisy from Southampton, aged just 4 ½ was our first winner. We sent Daisy a certificate with a copy of her picture featured in it, wrapped in an envelope addressed to her, along with her prize. Her mum told us how delighted Daisy was to find her big envelope next to her cereal bowl at breakfast and that her certificate is now displayed with pride on the fridge door. Continue reading this article...
Binky Bear and Pumpkins

Can you carve the Perfect Pumpkin?

Carving the perfect pumpkin should be easy but I'm afraid until we came across these 4 easy steps, our pumpkin carving was messy, and quite frankly a bit risky.  Follow these four steps to have perfect pumpkins and a tip from me is, embrace the mess.  It will get sticky, you will have pumpkin innards everywhere but you will have had a great time and end up with a lovely Pumpkin to put in your window or pop outside on the step, as a wellcome to all the Trick or Treaters.Continue reading this article...
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Binky’s Blackberry and Apple Crumble!

By Liz Nankivell I am passionate about getting children involved in doing things with you, whether it be handing them a map to lead you on a Binky Walk or encouraging them to help you in the kitchen but I know from my own experience that the thought of all the disorder and mess this might create, can easily put you off. That is until I realised that children don't really notice that they did not do everything and even playing a small part still gives them a great sense of pride in the final, delicious result. Here's a classic autumnal recipe for Blackberry and Apple Crumble. When I last made it, my little helper on the day, had a go at chopping apples with a plastic picnic knife and then she added all the pre-prepared ingredients to the dish. When the final result was put in front of the family, she proudly told everyone that she made it! PS: I thought you'd like our blog illustration of Binky getting involved too. Such a clever teddy bear. Introduction: Apple and Blackberry Crumble is a British classic pudding recipe. It is simple to make and ideal for involving a little helper. This recipe will make a crumble for 4 people. Ingredients and method: Take a kilo of apples; Granny Smith’s or Bramleys are best. Peel and core them and then slice them thinly, adding about four handfuls of blackberries. Sprinkle over some granulated or demerara sugar – about 50 grams.* (If by the time you read this all the hedgerow blackberries are long gone, just add in an extra 100grams of apple.) Now make the topping: mix together 225 grams of plain flour, 150 grams of soft brown sugar and 75 grams of butter. Keep mixing with your fingertips until it is quite crumbly. Spread the topping onto the blackberries and apples and place in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 30-40 minutes. Let it cool down a little before you eat it. *If you like your fruit a bit mushed up, cook first in a little water. Serve with custard or ice-cream.      
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Binky’s Pumpkin Tips

By Liz Nankivell It is great to get children involved in making things with you and the more mess, the more fun they have!  Carving pumpkins has to be one of the messiest tasks there is but don't let that put you off. Depending on how old your children are, more or less careful preparation beforehand will make it all manageable and I don't think children really notice that they did not do everything but they do feel very proud of what they have produced with your help. There are not many teddy bears capable of carving a pumpkin, so it is with some pride that we can actually print Binky's Pumpkin Tips...Continue reading this article...