Getting the kids involved in making homemade Christmas Gifts gives pleasure to everyone. Here are two very simple ideas for you to try.Continue reading this article…
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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:-
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
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.
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.
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:-
Halloween can be fun for everyone and just takes the tiniest bit of planning. We at Binky Bear have come up with a few ideas which are fun for the little ones without being too scary.
A Halloween for Toddlers Alternative to the Pumpkin
This year forget the torture of pumpkin-carving! Mandarin-pumpkins are so much easier to do with small hands. They also happen to be a Binky exclusive and no knives or metal spoons are involved. Plus, they’re healthy to eat afterwards but don’t tell the kids!
You will need Mandarins/tangerines or similar and whole cloves. Give everyone a mandarin and about a dozen cloves for the jagged mouths and staring eyes. It may help the tiny ones if you prick holes in the skin as a guide.
A tray of these combined with banana ghosts (skinned halved bananas with chocolate chip eyes and mouth) makes a sweet and healthy treat.
Tailor-make your own Haunted Trail for the garden (or indoors). You can pitch this to just one age-group or a combination of older and younger kids. This may involve a bit of preparation for you but nothing complicated. We love these Spooky Eyes from Rust and Sunshine: http://www.rustandsunshine.com/2012/10/glowing-eyes.html
And why not hang up a few scary signs:- On a piece of old wood or card-board hand write something simple enough for a 5-year old to read out loud to everyone “Don’t go into the woods!” or simply “Keep Out!”.
Alternatively, search on-line for a spooky wood near you for a late afternoon spot of spookiness with all the family. Make a Chilling Check-list and tick them off:
1. Spiders’ webs preferably with spiders!
2. An old tree-trunk. What’s inside?
3. Footprints in the mud.
4. Rustlings in the trees – who’s there?
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…
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.
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.
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!
When we moved down to Hampshire we had no idea The Watercress Line would become so much a part of our lives.
On a day when the wind blows from the north the whistle of the steam trains cuts through the air as the trains travel in a wide arc behind our village and if the wind drops, a perfect trail of steam will track the trains location as it disappears into a cutting.Continue reading this article…
The word Montessori has been part of my vocabulary ever since my daughter was born but it was only last month that I had an opportunity to find out for myself what the Montessori Method is all about. Continue reading this article…
These days Binky has a lot of public engagements and he now has a brand new audience – the ladies of the Women’s Institute, the WI. Back in September I was chosen by Hampshire WI as one of their newest speakers, to give a talk on the Making of Binky Bear.Continue reading this article…
While attempting to reunite over 75,000 teddy bears left behind in their hotels, Travelodge discovered that quite a few did not belong to children. They got curious and in 2012 they set up a survey to find out more. Of the 6,000 adults who took part, 51% of adults reported having a teddy bear since their childhood, the average age of the teddy bears was 27 years, 25% of males said they took their teddy bear away on business with them and 1 in 10 men surveyed admitted to hiding their teddy bear when their girlfriend stayed over.Continue reading this article…