Friday, 2 November 2012

Do you home school?

Many people do. And for a wide variety of reasons. Lack of good educational opportunities in the local area, a child withdrawn from school due to bullying (by fellow pupils or teachers) or lack of facilities for a child with specific needs.

Over the next few months, That's Parenting will carry several articles on home schooling. Please look out for them.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The National Trust reveals kids' want and need more family time

The National Trust has revealed one in five 8-11 year olds want to spend more time with their parents and more than a third of parents said they want to spend more time with their kids.

While watching television and DVDs tops the YouGov poll as the most common way for parents and children to spend time together in the UK 26 per cent of children aged 8-11 years old and nearly half (49 per cent) of all parents surveyed said they would like to spend more time together just going for a walk. 

To help families get out on an autumn walk, users of the website Mumsnet have provided some top tips on making sure that parents have got everything ready for a fun day out such as climbing a huge hill, flying a kite or hunting for some treasure on a beach.

Over the half-term period there will be hundreds of family walking adventures at National Trust properties as part of the Great British Walk, which has been organised in partnership with PruHealth.

These walks are the perfect way for kids to tick off their '50 things to do before they’re 11 ¾' , including collecting and play conkers and picking and eating apples straight from the tree.

Simon Pryor, Natural Environment Director at the National Trust, said: "Despite the fact that TV seems to be dominating family life its really encouraging that children and parents want to spend more time together and that walking is seen as a great way of doing just that.

"Walking is a brilliant way for families to spend time together, get fit and discover the joy of the British countryside.

"And with so many great activities taking place at National Trust properties around the country this half-term there's no better time to get out and go on a walking adventure."

Mumsnet co-founder and CEO Justine Roberts added: "It's all too easy to end up spending all family time in front of screens, watching TV or playing video games. Spending time with the children outdoors can be just as cheap as well as fun and educational and offers a bit of balance in a world dominated by X-Factor and Fifa 12."

Dr William Bird, GP, said: "Children can benefit hugely from walking in the outdoors. High blood pressure, cholesterol and depression can be detected in children as young as 10, due to inactivity. Spending time with family, in the outdoors, can invigorate even the most TV or X-box-obsessed children."

Free family friendly trails can be downloaded from www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatbritishwalk and families can share their favourite walks online for the chance to win a stay in a National Trust holiday cottage.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Miffy Bath Care Range

Get your kids squeaky clean with the Miffy Hair and Body Wash, Miffy Mild Bath Bubbles and Miffy Baby Lotion (300ml; £2.99 each). The mild mixtures are made with organic camomile to sooth and calm babies (also paraban-free, allergen-free, artificial colour-free, SLS/SLES-free, pH balanced).

To help get scrubbing, the 100% cotton Miffy Wash Mitt (£2.99) comes in red, yellow, blue or green. The wipe-clean Miffy Blue Bib (£4.99) helps keep babies food-free and the Miffy Single Toothbrush (£1.99) is a soft bristle toothbrush delicate enough to use on children aged 0-3. The gorgeous Miffy Hooded Towel (£9.99) is 100% cotton, is super soft and perfect for wrapping your baby in to keep warm after bath time.

Perfect as presents the Miffy Bath Kit contains 70ml of the baby lotion, hair and body wash and bath bubbles as well as a gorgeous Miffy flannel (£9.99). The Miffy Bath Care Collection also makes a great present, including a 300ml bottle of hair and body wash as well as 100% cotton hooded bath towel (£9.99).

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Dot Dash for glory! ‘Push Presents’ with a Personal Touch

The popularity of new mothers receiving a ‘Push Present’ to celebrate the arrival of a new baby has increased in recent years with several high profile celebrity mums being showered with extravagant gifts from their partners. Nick Fitch, owner and founder of award-winning contemporary British jeweller, Nicholas James, is himself the proud father of three young sons. The arrival last year of little Jude inspired Nick to create a very special celebration ring to surprise his wife, Rebecca.

Nick envisioned spelling out the name of the new addition to the Fitch brood in Morse code symbols using a mixture of white and brown diamonds set into a platinum band. The resulting ring was an overwhelming hit with Rebecca, who was absolutely thrilled with such an individual gift. Spurred on by this success, Nick now offers this unusual design concept to his customers.

Hand made to order, each item of jewellery offers fantastic scope for creating a truly unique piece. Additional elements of personalisation including the setting of different coloured gems to reflect the appropriate birthstones or using specific precious metals and finishes to complement existing jewellery.

Nick explains; “I’ve always been fascinated by codes and conveying secret messages. There’s an inherent beauty in the simplicity of ‘dots’ and ‘dashes’ created by American artist Samuel F. B. Morse in 1836. A Baby Celebration Ring makes a truly individual memento and is a great contemporary alternative to more traditionally styled eternity rings.”

As each Baby Celebration Ring is bespoke please visit the Nicholas James showroom in Hatton Garden to discuss your requirement

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Baby Show Celebrates 10th Birthday at Earls Court, 26-28th October 2012

The Baby Show Earls Court is the flagship event in The Baby Show calendar and this year there’s even more to shout about because they are celebrating their 10th Birthday!

They will be joined by a who’s who of parenting experts including Professor Robert Winston (Child of our time), Annabel Karmel MBE (The Baby & Toddler Mealplanner), Claire Byam-Cook (celebrity breastfeeding expert) and Dr Julie Coultas (baby development expert). There is a host of exciting content for visitors including daily fashion shows, The Face of the Baby Show competition, giveaways and of course, lots and lots of opportunity to shop.

With over 300 brands present at the show it’s the ideal opportunity to test and buy in a tailor made environment that includes free changing facilities courtesy of nappy recycling experts Nappies2Go, a free Fisher-Price crèche (bookable in advance), Vtech Smart Play Zone packed with innovative toys to help development through play, a shopping drop off and collect by car service, so that you don’t have to lug your shopping around with you and for the first time you can take the stress out of shopping completely by booking a personal shopping experience with Baby Concierge.

With leading brands such as Britax, Fisher Price, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, M&S, Stokke, Superdrug, The Gro Company & Trunki in attendance, The Baby Show really is a one stop shop for all of your parenting needs.

The Baby Show, Earls Court 26th – 28th October 2012. Advance tickets cost £13.50 each (Friday) and £14.50 each (Saturday & Sunday) or £20 on the door. To book advance tickets visit thebabyshow.co.uk

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Hunter Launch Their 2012 Autumn/Winter Kids Collection

Designed to keep children's feet dry, Hunter Boots' new kids collection is perfect for school trips, rainy mornings and weekends spent in the great outdoors this Autumn. The new Autumn/Winter collection features brand new styles designed to be fun and useful, such as Hunter's first glow-in-the-dark boot and a roll-up kids welly boot.

With the nights drawing in, Hunter are proud to announce the launch of their new Kids collection for Autumn/Winter 2012. Featuring an amazing selection of colours, designs, features and accessories, Hunter Boot have created a collection that will keep kids and their parents happy.

Chris Dewbury, Sales Director at Hunter explains: “The team at Hunter are particularly happy with our latest kids collection because it offers so much choice for all the family, from boots, to socks, to bags. We're especially pleased with our Original Kids' Glow Boot which glows green in the dark and is fitted with light reflective strips and a reflective logo, making it perfect for after dark activities, such as Halloween and Bonfire Night.”

As well as glowing green boots, Hunter's latest kids collection also offers a number of handy accessories that are great for kids and their parents, such as a mini version of the Classic Boot Bag, the Kids' Rucksack Boot Bag. The bag, which is available in two vibrant colours, fuschia and blue, is designed to be useful as well as stylish. Featuring adjustable shoulder straps, a reinforced back panel, a reflective logo and an extra internal pocket, it can be used for much more than just carrying muddy wellies this Autumn.

Because the nights are getting darker and colder, Hunter know that keeping little toes toasty this Autumn is very important. So the collection also features a number of variations on their classic welly socks. Kids can choose to accessorise their welly boots with anything from classic school shades such as navy, green and black, or go for bright stripes that will add a pop of fun to their welly boots. The Autumn/Winter 2012 collection features Hunters Kids’ First Welly Socks which are designed to fit the smallest of feet.

Because welly boots can take up a lot of space in bags and the car, Hunter boots have put their innovative stamp on a pair of boots that kids can take with them easily when they travel. The Original Kids' Tour has a light, flexible leg crafted onto a durable Hunter rubber sole so it can be quickly rolled away and packed into a suitcase without taking up lots of space or weight. With a comfortable cuff top and Hunter buckle to the side, the Tour maintains its good looks, as well as its functionality, making it perfect for camping, weekends away and festivals.

Dewbury continues: “Hunter's Autumn/Winter Kids collection is inspired by our adult collection of wellington boots giving little ones the chance to have as much fun as mum and dad do in their Hunter boots. We've also added lots of little fun features, such as reflective strips and the added bonus of extra colours and accessories to make sure that kids feet are warm, dry and fashionable this year. ”

Hunter Original Kids’ boot is available in sizes 8 – 14 and the Hunter Kids’ First boot is available in sizes 4 – 1.

Monday, 3 September 2012

BootsWebMD.com launches Baby Personality Quiz

BootsWebMD.com has launched a new, online Baby Personality Quiz which highlights several key traits to look out for when analysing a baby’s temperament.

With the help of the Baby Personality Quiz on the BootsWebMD.com Children and Parenting Health Centre, users can identify their baby's personality by answering a series of simple questions about their behaviour. The results of the quiz can then be analysed to identify their behaviour patterns. Essential information about the best approach in managing a child's behaviour habits can also be found, with a simple step-by-step guide to keeping in sync with the baby. It could even help users to work in tandem with their child's temperament and personality to make life easier for both parent and child.

Whether the child is feisty or easy-going, the answer to identifying its personality and behaviour patterns lies in a number of key areas. According to paediatrician Dr William Carey, author of 'Understanding Your Child's Temperament', these include:

Activity/energy level - if the child has high or low energy levels, parents need to look for ways to keep them moving at a pace that's comfortable for them
Approach to newness - a naturally hesitant or shy baby will need extra reassurance and patience to overcome their shyness
Intensity - if a baby is laid back, they can get lost in the shuffle of family life and vice versa. If the baby is intense they must be taught to deal with the curves of life
Sensitivity - if a baby has high sensitivity to lights, noise or texture, parents must be patient and look for ways to avoid sensory overload such as the lighting and the type of clothes the baby wears.
Regularity - if everything is unpredictable, potty, naps, moods, parents have to let go of their controlling ways and loosen up. Conversely, if a baby likes structure, parents might have to adhere to the schedule they crave
Persistence - puzzles are great tools to lengthen attention span, along with a daily dose of bedtime reading.
Overall mood - parents should take the time to observe their baby's daily patterns and what makes them smile for a happier baby.

Peggy The Pug - how to use crowd funding for a charitable cause

Peggy The Pug TM fundraising campaign is live now on Peggy The Pug on Indiegogo for 45 more days.

Peggy is an inspiring little dog, who transforms people’s lives with her happiness and positivity. For this reason, Peggy's owner Sara decided to create a book composed by 30 bedtime stories (some true, some more imaginative) that parents will be able to read to their kids, or that kids will be able to read by themselves. Peggy’s stories are not only captivating and unique, but they are also interactive as kids will be able to discover new words, draw their own stories and learn while they read.

But since the team behind this lovely project always wanted to build a brand that was socially minded, they decided to do so by using a brand new way to raise money - crowd funding. With the help of www.indiegogo.com/peggythepug, they built a campaign and they are now working hard to reach their goal. By helping them to raise money for this project, you will also contribute to help organisations working with kids.

In fact, thanks to your contribution, Peggy The Pug's team will be able to print the first 2,000 copies of the book and start distributing them to local libraries, pediatric hospitals, schools and organisations working with kids, completely FREE of charge!

With this money, they will also be able to run a small online advertising campaign to promote the sales of the book online on their website.
Also, they will create a version of the book for iPad, iPhone, Kindle and other tablets and/or phones.

If they beat the goal of 15,000 USD then they already have more ideas that will make your book an extremely interactive story thanks to some magic technology and they will also print even more copies!

With Peggy The Pug learning is fun and accessible to everybody!

The book is currently available in both English and Italian.

How can you also help?

- If you are a journalist, a blogger or you just have many online friends, then spread the voice about our project!
- Like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/peggydpug
- Share this on your Facebook wall: COPY AND PASTE (including this)! By helping Peggy The Pug project on Indiegogo, you will help them to raise money for a great cause! If they reach their goal they will print and GIVE AWAY 2000 copies of their children book to paediatric hospitals, schools, libraries and other organisation working with children! With as little as 25 USD you will get a hard copy of the book for yourself and you will help other kids! They ship worldwide! HELP NOW on www.indiegogo.com/peggythepug!
- Are you a distributor or you would like to retail Peggy’s book offline in your country? Please get in touch with Sara ASAP
- Other ideas? Please contact us!

Thank you!

Sara, Peggy and the team of Peggy The Pug TM.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Disney Princess-Style Locks for Little Princesses!

Disney Rapunzel Straighten & CrimpNew Disney Princess Haircare Range:
- Beautifully designed Disney Princess Hair care products
- Caring features which are kinder to the hair
- Unique child proof plug cover to stop your little princess using the product without adult supervision

Millions of children all over the world are enchanted by Disney and its wonderful character-filled world. And if your little girl is a Disney Princess fan she will love you styling her hair with these new Disney Princess haircare products, lovingly created in character. These include a fabulous range of electrical hair styling products that perfectly fit the unique Disney Princess characters – including, Cinderella; Rapunzel; Jasmine; Ariel; Belle and Aurora. Great for birthday and Christmas gift ideas and any other gifting treats, Disney Princess haircare products offer a fantastic choice of products to delight all Disney Princess fans!

Unique Patented Child Proof Safety Plug

Disney Princess haircare products include features that have caring properties for younger hair, and every product comes with a free unique patented child proof plug cover, to stop your little princess from using the product without adult supervision. Simply fit the child proof plug cover onto the product’s plug when not in use. You can remove the cover when you are ready to style your little girl’s hair.

Disney Princess Rapunzel

Known for her highly curious nature and sense of adventure, Rapunzel is also famous for her amazingly long locks. These new haircare products featuring Rapunzel are designed to help create lots of beautiful styles in minutes. Choose from Straighten & Crimp (a combination Straightener and Crimper); a Multi-Styler (with lots of different styling attachments to create masses of princess hairstyles); and a fabulous Hairdryer Gift Set (which includes a Hairdryer, a Disney Princess carry case; hairbrush and hairclips).

Disney Princess Jasmine

An exotic, fiery beauty, Jasmine’s long, smooth and silky hair glistens in the night sky when she is flying high over Agrabah on a magic carpet ride with Aladdin. She styles her hair with a stunning royal jewel head band and neatly tied back with a ribbon. The Jasmine Micro Dryer lets you style your little girl’s hair in lots of different ways quickly and easily, leaving it soft and shiny just like Jasmine’s hair.

Disney Princess Ariel

Ariel has a feisty spirit, that matches her very distinctive long flowing red hair. The distinctive red colour makes her stand out amongst the other magical under the sea characters. The Ariel Ceramic Straighteners lets you straighten your little girl’s hair with care and control, leaving it soft and shiny so she too can feel like a princess.

Disney Princess Belle

Belle is known for her spirit and natural beauty and likes to experiment with different hairstyles for her long flowing brown locks. The Disney Princess Belle Dream Dryerlets you style your little girl’s hair in lots of different ways, the dryer’s Ionic feature,leaving hairwonderfully soft and shiny just like Belle’s.

DisneyPrincess Cinderella

Cinderella wasn’t born a princess, but she has all the natural graciousness and poise of one. Now a Disney Princess, Cinderella often needs to look the part and her Straighten & Curl will create beautifully sleek and smooth straight styles, tumbling curls or waves, quickly and easily. As well as looking fantastic, Straighten & Curl plates are specially coated with tourmaline and ceramic, which is more natural and gentle to hair. Ionic and infrared technology also makes hair softer and easier to style. There’s also comb attachments that slot over the plates for curling – all perfect for creating ‘belle of the ball’ looks.

Disney Princess Aurora

Aurora has an unassuming grace and cheerful, unaffected spirit. Sleeping Beauty Aurora yearns to meet that special someone and discover the wonder of true love. The fabulous Mini Crimper Gifting Set featuring Aurora is perfect for creating beautifully crimped eye-catching locks and includes an easy to use crimper (with variable heat settings) with Disney Princess Carry Case, Hairbrush and Hairclips for your little princess.

Disney Princess fans everywhere can enjoy having their hair styled with the very latest hair care styling products - designed with their favourite Disney Princess characters in mind –offering fabulous inspiration for gifts any time of year.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

National Trust recruiting for Kid's Council

The National Trust has announced it is recruiting a group of advisors made up entirely of children to provide advice on how to get more of the nation's kids outdoors.

The idea follows the charity's recent Natural Childhood Report and 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ campaign, and shows the Trust stepping up its game in encouraging children to explore the outdoors and get closer to nature.

The National Trust is looking to sign up ten children aged between seven and twelve to the Kids' Council where they will play an important role in developing the charity's outdoor campaigns, and making their properties more fun for younger visitors.

The perfect candidate will be brimming with enthusiasm and fun, plus have a natural love for the outdoors and fresh air. Potential applicants are also required to have an adventurous spirit and a wild imagination. A fondness for rolling down hills or jumping in muddy puddles would be considered a bonus.

To offer children a chance to try out the National Trust and get inspiration on what they would like to change if they were appointed to the Kids' Council, the Trust will open up its doors to children for free for the whole month of August. Over 200 places will be free of charge to children**, giving them the opportunity to explore National Trust places across the country.

The successful council applicants will be announced later in the year and will be offered free access to National Trust places for themselves and their family. Canoeing, surfing and camping are among the activities that will be part of the winning prize to ensure kids and their families experience the full National Trust offering. The Kids' Council will meet throughout 2013 and report their findings into the National Trust's Visitor Experience Director, so their suggestions can be put into practise to help make the outdoors more fun for the nation's kids.

The application process will close on 7th September 2012. Applications can be downloaded from the website at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kidscouncil and sent back via email, post or handed in at National Trust properties.

Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, commented: "We are really committed to helping kids enjoy the great outdoors and we want to make our places the most fun and family-friendly day out destinations in the UK. I'm really excited that our new Kids' Council will help us do just that. Our kids go free promotion for the entire month of August will not only give kids and their families the chance to get out and explore, but hopefully inspire them to apply for our Kids' Council and let us know what we can do better in the future."

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Back to School with a Little Help

Little Helper
Little Helper's new FunStation Duo
‘Fun, Funky and Safe’ brand Little Helper has launched its new two-seater FunStation Duo toddler desk and chair set, just in time for the new school year.

Perfect for homework or a spot of creativity, Little Helper has taken the success of its FunStation Solo for one child and developed another for two children with the design-led yet practical FunStation Duo. Using all the styling cues of the multi award-winning FunPod®, this is not just a kid’s desk but a piece of stylish furniture.

Designed with budding artists in mind, the new fun and funky FunStation Duo comes with tabletop desk, two chairs and a penholder but with a contemporary designer twist. Two children can comfortably sit at the FunStation Duo with A4 paper, enabling them to interact, play and learn together.

The FunStation Duo meets all international safety standards, and is now available in three colour schemes ‘Natural’, ‘Natural and Red’ and ‘Walnut’ to complement today’s living spaces.

SRP £129.99. Available at www.amazon.co.uk and www.mothercare.com

Monday, 23 July 2012

Sleep-pod™ baby sleep shade arrives in time for sunshine and sport

Outlook Australia, creator of the original, multi-award winning shade-a-babe™, has added a new, ultra-breathable sleep shade to its range. Called the sleep-pod™, the new shade is designed to help babies nap-on-the-go and to protect them from sun, glare, wind and cold.

Featuring a roll-down blackout blind and a fully opening solarscreen mesh viewing panel, sleep-pod can be used in four different ways to screen 73% to 99% of UV and to regulate airflow to suit conditions. Marking it out from other similar products, sleep-pod™ has been intelligently designed to:

• Work in a variety of temperatures and climates – ideal for the UK and as a holiday must-have
• High levels of safety – In line with the latest SunSmart recommendations, the shade offers a careful balance between sun protection and healthy, limited sun exposure to ensure the child gets enough Vitamin D, ‘the sunshine vitamin’.
• More than a sun shade – helps baby sleep when out and about
• Easy view – the baby can see out, and parents can easily keep an eye on baby
“We have always avoided making baby shades that completely cover in a UPF50+ total sun block. It’s a very thick fabric and for babies,you need airflow, to ensure the baby doesn’t get too hot under the shade.” says Eileen Hoey-Slocombe, founder of Outlook Australia, experts in baby sun safety. “It also seems a shame to spoil the baby’s enjoyment of the sunshine and the outdoors as babies need some exposure to sunlight each day to help them produce Vitamin D.”
The sleep-pod is also suitable for use indoors to help babies sleep in public places such as playgroups and restaurants and fits most front and rear facing single or twin buggies with individual canopies. It can also be used in the car with the black-out blind rolled up for extra, required airflow.

The sleep-pod™ is available in three colours: Stone, Steel and Black and is available for £19.99 at www.cheekyrascals.co.uk

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Keep kids happy with Popagami characters

Pop-ettes: Just a few of the collection
PARENTS panicking at the thought of long wet school summer holidays need fear no longer – Popagami Pop-ettes (created by folding sheets of paper) will keep the little monkeys occupied.

The latest Pop-ette characters come from Philip Craik, author of “The World of Popagami” – a fun activities book, packed with a dozen easy-to-fold colourful animals . . . and even a robot.

Philip Craik is a former chemistry teacher and engineer and has been a science technician at Ardingly College in West Sussex for nearly five years. He is the creator of Popagami.

“We have had tremendous success with the book of Popagami characters,” he says. “I know what a challenge it can be to keep children occupied, but folding these little characters will create fun and interest.

“The folding instructions are easy to follow and the little characters will be popular on children’s bedroom shelves.”

The book is ideal for long car journeys and holidays and is suitable for children from age six upwards

The World of Popagami is on sale at just £4.99 and available both online and in some major bookshops, including branches of Waterstones.

Visit www.popagami.com to see the range of characters.

All characters are the copyright of Pop-ettes Ltd and Ettes Publishing.

The characters in The World of Popagami include a robot, rabbit, meerkat, leopard, mouse, tiger, bear, cat, mountain lion, cow, giraffe and horse.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Peppa Pig Goes Swimming with your Child!

NEW! Personalised Peppa Pig Book
NEW! Personalised Peppa Pig Book
Enjoy swimming and splashing with Peppa Pig and George in a wonderful day at the pool in this new personalised edition of the Peppa Pig Book - Peppa and 'Any name' go Swimming available to pre-order on 23rd July from www.peppapigandme.com

Peppa Pig is a hugely popular pre-school brand with many children adoring the loveable but slightly bossy little pig and this book is your child’s opportunity to star alongside their favourite Peppa characters in their own personalised Peppa Pig Goes Swimming book. 

Peppa and her family are going swimming with your child, but George is scared. In this personalised edition will George learn to love swimming as much as Peppa and your child.

Personalised books are a perfect gift and a great way of getting your kids involved and excited about reading as they hear and read their name and see themselves on the pages of the book in the Peppa Pig illustrations.

Start your child’s Peppa Pig adventure at www.peppapigandme.com Personalisation options include; gender, first name, surname, hair colour and style, skin tone and eye colour , you can leave a personal message for the child printed on the first page.

Books cost £14.99 GBP and will be available to pre-order on 23rd July from www.peppapigandme.com and www.penwizard.co.uk Enter code 150935 at your basket for free P&P.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The award-winning self warming baby bottle just got better!

yoomi feeding system RRP 23.50 GBP
Yoomi, the creators of the UK’s first self warming baby bottle, has just launched a new addition to their award winning feeding range... the yoomi charging pod.

Using groundbreaking patented technology, the yoomi pod allows existing yoomi warmers to be recharged in the microwave in just 2 minutes, making recharging simpler and quicker for parents.

On the shelves since 2009, yoomi provides an ideal solution to quickly warming baby’s milk to the perfect temperature whether it be in the car, on a plane, out for lunch.. or on holiday! This is a truly innovative feeding system which can be used quite literally anytime, anyplace, anywhere!

No longer will you have to stumble around the kitchen for the night time feed or wait for the waiters to bring you some boiling water. At the touch of a button, this bottle and warmer in one, will warm your baby’s feed to breast milk temperature in just 60 seconds - making life just that little bit easier!

The pod now comes as standard with all feeding systems, making yoomi the ultimate baby bottle - quick, convenient and stylish. Recognised by The British Library as one of the ‘Top 15 Inventions of the Decade’ and the winner of two Gold Loved By Parents awards for ‘Best Bottle’ and ‘Most Innovative Feeding Product’, yoomi really is a product that every parent should know about.

The best bits about yoomi...

* easi-latch™ teat: thanks to its natural breast-shaped and super-soft silicone teat which allows for a breast-from-breast experience
*transition sorted: thanks to the consistent breast-milk temperature feed provided by yoomi, babies have the familiarity they need to support weaning from breast to bottle
*reduced likelihood of colic: with its 6 anti-colic vents (most bottles have 4) yoomi allows for a more comfortable feeding experience for babies
*easy pouring and mixing: yoomi’s unique, wide-necked bottle makes pouring and mixing simple – as well as clean and tidy!
* convenience, always: being suitable for both expressed breast-milk and formula, and ideal for either combination or bottle feeding means yoomi supports all parents baby feeding needs
*safe: yoomi only warms milk as your baby drinks, giving bacteria less time to breed. And of course, the yoomi range is 100% BPA free meeting the highest safety standards
* all you need: the yoomi bottle can be used on its own or with a yoomi warmer and all yoomi bottles, teats and warmers are interchangeable across the range.

Jim Shaikh, the inventor of yoomi commented: “we designed and developed yoomi to help make life easier for parents like us: to take the stress out of feeding – we’re thrilled that so many parents think we got it right… one mum went so far as to say that yoomi changed her life! We hope the yoomi pod can continue to give the same level of support by improving the usability of the product.”

The yoomi pod launched with the exclusive retail partner Mamas & Papas on 1st June 2012. Yoomi is is also available at Mothercare, Boots, Amazon and also online at www.yoomi.com

For retail enquiries, contact Baby Brands Direct

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fantastic fishy family fun!

Pembrokeshire Fish WeekFrom rockpooling to river walks, children are sure to have fantastically fishy family day out at the Pembrokeshire Fish Week festival!
Between June 23rd and July 1st, there are dance workshops, angling lessons, cookery classes, and much more all over the county – for children of all ages.

The fishy frolics start at Milford Haven marina on Saturday 23rd June - the opening day of Fish Week. Explore the heritage tug ‘The Brocklebank’ and the ‘Earl of Pembroke’ tall ship, watch street theatre performances of the Fishermen and Mermaid, and listen to tales of the sea in the storytellers’ grotto.

For keen young cooks, there’s a fantastic children’s fish cookery marquee, sponsored by Valero, where they can make their own delicious fresh fishy dishes with expert advice as part of a great family day out.

Come and enjoy art and craft drop-in workshops, pavement painting, and circus skills, or learn about the coast and sustainable fishing, and dip into touch tanks!

And look out for the Children’s Decathlon - complete 10 activities around the dockside and enter the prize draw for a VIP Family Ticket to Folly Farm!

If your kids love dancing, then don’t miss the new Dance Festival on Sunday, 24th June, also at Milford Haven Marina.

D12 will include contemporary, hip hop, belly dance and free running, featuring performances by professional dancers and companies and the work of various dance groups. Why not join in one of the free workshops, led by professional dance artists and teachers?

Also on 24th June is ‘Music and Mayhem’ at Tenby Harbour, a great day of beachside entertainment.

Enjoy street theatre, graffiti workshops, face painting and stilt walking, and be entertained by Matt the Magic man, plus Battlefield Live. Or join in with the assault course, volleyball and surf simulator on the beach!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Olympic diver calls for superhero effort for water safety!

Nick Robinson Baker launches Top Trunks
Nick Robinson Baker launches Top Trunks
People across the UK are being urged to dress like a superhero for a day to save lives. The gesture backs Water Safety Awareness Week, which is taking place June 16 – 24.

The call comes after British Olympic diver Nick Robinson Baker launched the countdown to the drowning prevention awareness campaign last week.

Nick, 24, who became a lifesaver when he rescued fellow diver Monique Gladding from the water at a World Cup meeting in Russia last year, is spearheading Water Safety Awareness Week, by the Royal Lifesaving Society UK (RLSS UK).

Water Safety Awareness Week climaxes on Friday 22 June, when everyone is being asked to take part in Top Trunks by wearing their swimming kit over the top of their clothes for the day and posting photos of themselves online.

Nick explains: “The idea is that on Friday 22 June as many people as possible wear their swimming trunks and costumes over their normal clothes and go about their normal lives. It will be a really visual prompt to people to find out more about Water Safety Awareness Week.

“All we ask is that people email photos of themselves in their Top Trunks outfits to watersafetyawarenessweek@rlss.org.uk and that they pay a minimum of £1 to RLSS UK via JustGiving by searching on the Royal Life Saving Society UK.

“As I found out, you’ll never know when you may need to save someone’s life, and this will be a really fun way to encourage people to learn how they and their loved ones can be safe in, on, or near water.”

The launch of Water Safety Awareness Week follows a spike in drownings across the UK and Ireland in recent weeks.

RLSS UK - the national water safety and drowning prevention charity - hopes its national campaign will help to reduce the annual number of accidental deaths from drowning in the UK. Latest available figures, from the National Water Safety Forum, show that there were 420 accidental deaths from drowning in 2010 – one nearly every 17 hours.

Di Standley, chief executive of national charity RLSS UK, said: “We hope that the idea of Top Trunks will catch on and become more popular each year. It’s a light-hearted way of getting across a serious message. Even if just one life is saved as a result of Water Safety Awareness Week, then it will be a success.”

One person who will be following Top Trunks with interest is Leamington Spa charity worker Sally Crowther, 32, whose father drowned in Crete in 2004.

She said: "It was horrible. Unfortunately we'll never know what really happened but perhaps he decided to go for an early morning swim on his own and just couldn't cope with the tide.

"My dad drowning is one of the worst things that my family and I have ever gone through and I would never want anyone else to go through the same thing.

"I think that Water Safety Awareness Week is not just important, it's essential. Open water needs to be respected and understood. Please don't let what happened to my dad also happen to you."

Money raised from Water Safety Awareness Week will help RLSS UK to deliver water safety packs for school children, free community lifesaving sessions and the charity’s ‘Don’t drink and drown’ campaign.

Find out more about Top Trunks and follow the Week on Twitter at #WSAW2012.

Five top water safety tips from RLSSS UK

1. Teach your children to swim and if they or you don’t swim, go for lessons

2. Accompany any children in your care in the water, staying within your depth. It’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe

3. Never swim alone.

4. Only swim at lifeguarded beaches and lakes

5. Look out for lifesaving classes at your local swimming pool

Prospero & Platty Stories

Resurrect the art of listening

Is your child bombarded with fast and furious fantasy figures thrust upon them because you are caught up in the busy whizz of modern day keep-up-with-the-Jones’ living?

Do their eyes glaze over in front of a wide variety of different sized screens, shooting myriad colours and warring wacky weirdo characters at them in frenetic scenes?

It’s time to relax, breathe, sit comfortably together and, appreciate childhood as it’s meant to be: a calm and enjoyable discovery, a first flush blossoming of the imagination, an enjoyable contentedness and veneration of life.

Why not make for yourself a daily sanctuary of half an hour in which you can enjoy each other’s company; an unshakeable routine in which you know your child is listening to you because you are calm and contented and looking forward to the joint discovery of what adventure Prospero and Platty have got up to today on arrival of their morning post.

The Prospero and Platty adventures are specifically written for parents and children to read together. They are gently descriptive and are based in the real world, not a vast virtual vortex of vroom. They encourage sharing and problem solving, not fear of alien foes and fortresses. They are pleasant and endearing, not hard hitting and horrid. They are also original, and not a revamped stale tale. Finally, there are no pictures, so the emphasis is on the listening side of the experience and allowing the imagination to work with words alone.

Have a sneaky peak for yourself at http://amzn.to/LYyY56 and then decide whether to create that special routine to be endearingly remembered.

David Wilson has lived in the county of Surrey in England for most of his life and greatly enjoys the countryside with his beloved wife, three kids, two cats and menagerie of other animals. The Puzzle Box is his first book and the first in a series of adventures starring two protagonists which David has adapted from stories told to him by his father as a youngster. His target audience is parents reading to children and the books are therefore a gentle and descriptive read, similar in style to Enid Blyton. He writes under the pen name of John Sinclair, his given middle names.

Star alongside Fifi and the Flowertots in your own Personalised Adventure!

Help Fifi, the forgetful Flowertot, find Violet’s missing present in time for her party. See your child’s delight as they magically visit Flowertot Garden and meet Fifi and all the Flowertot gang in this fun and exciting adventure.

With just a few clicks your child’s name and customised character magically appears in the words and pictures of their own personalised Fifi and the Flowertots story at www.penwizard.co.uk

Personalised books are a perfect gift and a great way of getting your kids involved and excited about reading as they hear and read their name and see themselves on the pages of the book in the Fifi and the Flowertot illustrations.

Create a character to look like your child by choosing their hair colour and style along with skin tone and eye colour, add their first name and surname - there’s even an option to leave a personal message on the first inside page to create a truly special gift.

“My little girl absolutely loved this book. It was really nice as you could design the character around your childs features. The book was bright and colourful and well bound with a glossy cover. A really lovely gift for any child.” Mlunjwa|17/04/2012

With delivery within 5 working days, this makes the perfect last minute personalised gift for any Fifi and the Flowertots fan. Books are available from www.penwizard.co.uk and don’t forget FREE P&P with code 654235 entered at your basket.

Personalisation:
- First name & Surname
- Hairstyle & colour
- Skin tone
- Eye colour

Book Specification
- Full colour gloss cover
- 24 Full colour pages
- Perfect bound paperback
- Size: 21 x 28 cm

www.penwizard.co.uk

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Monday, 21 May 2012

KISS Public Relations appointed to handle the launch of Petra’s Planet, a new virtual world for children

PetraFinnish-based Dramaforum Oy has appointed East of England PR agency, KISS Public Relations to handle the launch of Petra’a Planet, an exciting new virtual world aimed at children between 6-11 years old.
The free online game stimulates children’s natural curiosity and encourages exploration of other cultures through play in a virtual environment. KISS Public Relations will handle a press and public relations campaign which will incorporate both print, online and social media.

The account was won following a two-way pitch with KISS Public Relations impressing Dramaforum Oy with its creative ideas and experience. Sheila Mitham works with Leeds-based Dubit and Kzero, companies that have been involved in developing the virtual world. She said, “We chose KISS Public Relations as the agency had some great creative and cross-media ideas and a good understanding of this sector.”

Commenting on this latest win, Justine Smith, PR Director at KISS Public Relations said, “We are very excited to be appointed to handle the launch of Petra’s Planet. The PR campaign will focus on engaging with a wide range of media, as well as targeting influential bloggers.”

Justine continued, “Digital educational games can have a significant impact on learning for children and are being used increasingly by teachers. A recent survey in the USA found that 70% of teachers believe using digital games boosts motivation and engagement with content and curriculum. Petra’s Planet has been developed with a huge focus on learning and education and has an extremely rich game content with over 47 individual mini-games. We are confident the new site will be a big hit in the UK.”

Aside from PR and social media, Petra’s Planet will also use AdWords, game seeding, promotions and campaigns on other social media sites including Everloop, Kid Zui and Vwogo.

New content will be created and added to Petra’s Planet continuously, with new regions being introduced in the months ahead, providing on-going news and product enhancements to communicate to the client’s target media.

Fostering People Ireland announces recruitment events

Fostering People Ireland, the non-statutory Dublin-based fostering agency, has announced two events aimed at recruiting more carers to help the growing number of children in need of care in the capital and the surrounding area. Fostering People Ireland has grown its reputation since its launch in September 2011, but remains in need of qualified, enthusiastic carers.

The first event will be held at Maudlin House Hotel in Naas, County Kildare on 23 May 2012 from 4pm - 8pm. The second event will be held on 6 June 2012 at the Premier Inn, Airparks in Swords, County Dublin from 4pm - 8pm. Refreshments will be provided at both events.

The fostering agency based in Dublin is encouraging people from all walks of life to come and talk to their advisors about all things fostering, from qualities needed to become a foster carer to fees and allowances. The events are an ideal opportunity for people to have an informal chat with the agency's foster care experts in order to see if caring would be a good fit for them.

Whilst Foster Care Fortnight is in full swing in the UK, Fostering People Ireland is determined to keep the spotlight firmly on addressing the growing need for carers in the Dublin area.

Lesley Dale, Service Manager at Fostering People Ireland, said: "Events like these are crucial in helping people find out whether fostering is right for them. Whether they are able to drop by for a quick chat or stay for a drink to discuss fostering, we can provide the information that can help them make the decision that has the potential to change the lives of children in need.

"Fostering People have really made a name for themselves in Ireland as an independent fostering agency with a great network of support for its foster carers. We hope that these events will help us get that message across and convince people that deciding to become a foster carer is life changing."

FACTFILE:
Fostering People is a non-statutory fostering agency based in Glasnevin, Dublin. Working in partnership with the HSE, Fostering People provides high quality family-based placements for children in need of foster care.

Fostering People is a part of the international Core Assets Group, providing positive outcomes for children and young people around the world through high quality social care services.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Make your own Jubilee party decorations!

Anyone interested in decorating a Jubilee Celebration free?

www.themetraders.com/make-your-own_jubilee-party-decorations...

Themetraders party planners, props and productions are celebrating the Jubilee by giving away free on their website, templates of Royal Crowns, Union Jack flags, Jubilee cup cake wraps, Union Jack Bunting, Royal Tiaras.

These are ideal as activities for children to decorate and to make.

Themetraders has stunning Diamond Jubilee decorations and is decorating many many Queens Jubilee parties, top tips, if you want to create the ultimate street party or simply have an extravagant Royal party theme consider throne hire, Royal Jubilee props, Jubilee prop hire, and install amazing queens Jubilee decorations.
www.themetraders.com/queens-jubilee.php

That's Health: A breakthrough in allergy prevention

That's Health: A breakthrough in allergy prevention: Highlights of new breakthrough clinical evidence were previewed at the Allergy + Free From Show (18-22 May 2012) which demonstrates that t...

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Christening Gifts with a Personal Twist from GoneDigging

A christening is a special event for everyone involved, right? The parents, grandparents, friends, aunts, uncles, godparents... the lot. When you’re deliberating over what Christening gift to plump for, on the one hand, you could go for something traditional like a prayer book or a bible, or you could go for something innovative, namely something from leading personalised gifts site www.gonedigging.co.uk...

When you think of buying a Christening present, do you cringe at the thought of another money box, photo frame or silver rattle? Let’s face it; while these gifts are quaint, they’re not exactly imaginative or exciting.

There’s really no excuse for picking such conventional, dull christening gifts any more. There are so many unusual and exciting pressies out there. Nowadays, more and more folks want to give something that shows they’ve really thought about their choice of Christening gift idea and prefer to give something that stands out from the crowd.

To find something that’s well-designed, high quality, affordable and special sounds like a lot to ask, doesn’t it? So where and how do you find these almost too-good-to-be-true-sounding christening gift ideas?

Well, here’s the good news: you don’t even have to set foot anywhere near a shop or spend hours battling your way through busy crowds. Who’s got the time anyway? No, courtesy of the internet, it’s a walk in the park.

GoneDigging has a babylicious array of personalised christening gifts, which you can get from the comfort of your sofa. These tend to be bespoke name-based gifts, and you can buy everything from Babies Astrological Charts to Personalised Teddy Bears – or even name a star after a wee one – http://www.gonedigging.co.uk/christening-gifts/

If you’re a godparent, the traditional Christening gift is anything made of silver. Conventional christening presents include silver photo frames, jewellery like necklaces and bracelets. You can choose to have many of these products engraved with the child’s name or initials, or even a special message:

Silver Name Bracelet, £49.99 – http://www.gonedigging.co.uk/engraved-gifts/engraved-jewelle...

Cheeky Cherub Necklace – http://www.gonedigging.co.uk/engraved-gifts/engraved-jewelle...

Christening Photo Frame, £22.99 – http://www.gonedigging.co.uk/engraved-gifts/engraved-silver-...
Personalised Children’s Books – from £12.99

For truly unusual christening gifts, plump for a Personalised Children’s Book, featuring the little one’s name throughout the story and across every picture – http://www.gonedigging.co.uk/unusual-childrens-gifts/persona...

Personalised Fairy Tales – £19.99
You can also get your hands on Personalised Fairy Tales – even adults will love to relive the magic of fairy tale stories! There are all kinds of titles up for grabs, including Jack & the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Three Little Pigs and more – http://www.gonedigging.co.uk/unusual-childrens-gifts/persona...

Food Hampers – from £49.99
The parents of the baby in question definitely wouldn’t turn down a delicious hamper complete with a bottle of their favourite tipple. What’s more, you can personalise the bottle label with ANY NAME & PERSONAL MESSAGE –http://www.gonedigging.co.uk/hampers-and-gourmet-food-gifts/...

Name Canvases – £34.99
Chic and unique Christening gifts don’t stop there. How about a Name Canvas, with the child’s name magically printed in a beautiful array of letters? These would make lovely Christening gifts for girls –http://www.gonedigging.co.uk/unusual-childrens-gifts/childre...

Personalised Blankets - £29.99
Made from the softest fleece and personalised with the little one’s name, Personalised Blankets will keep any sleepy baby or tiny tot super toasty and warm whether they’re at home or on an autumnal walk – http://www.gonedigging.co.uk/unusual-gifts/unusual-gift-idea...

Granted, you might have to pay a tad more than the proverbial silver-plated money box or dummy, but with a bit of online searching, you can find pretty, practical and very personal Christening gifts for boys and girls that’ll be cherished for a lifetime.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Monday, 7 May 2012

That's Parenting: Kids! Win a Trip to Thailand and Become Anantara's...

That's Parenting: Kids! Win a Trip to Thailand and Become Anantara's...: After last year's wonderfully successful worldwide search, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is again looking for a keen elephant lover a...

Kids! Win a Trip to Thailand and Become Anantara's 2012 Roving Elephant Reporter


After last year's wonderfully successful worldwide search, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is again looking for a keen elephant lover and budding TV star aged between 7 and 15 to become this year's Roving Elephant Reporter, at the 11th King's Cup Elephant Polo Tournament (Sept. 12-16, 2012) in Hua Hin Thailand.
 
Created to cover the larger than life games from a perspective that has never been seen or heard before, the young winner will become a media star in the making as they create a video report on the event, as well as enjoying an all expenses paid seven night stay at Anantara Riverside Resort and Spa in Bangkok and Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa, Thailand, with an accompanying adult, including return air fares.

The winner of Anantara's hunt for a Roving Elephant Reporter will become a star of the ele polo circuit, delivering a television report with VIP access to all areas.  Exclusive interviews with Cherry the Elephant Vet and Director of Elephants, John Roberts and Thailand's last Elephant Spirit Men will allow the Roving Elephant Reporter to investigate all areas of the tournament with Anantara's most experienced elephant gurus.  In addition to meeting the pros the lucky winner will also be able to do some celebrity spotting on and off the field during the event.

The Roving Elephant Reporter will also explore the Royal seaside town of Hua Hin with a series of signature excursions, such as a visit the exquisite teak wood palace of love and hope - Maruekhathaiyawan - one of the oldest and most treasured royal palaces in Thailand.  An elephant trek through a local vineyard will also invite the reporter's parent to refresh their own adventurous spirit with an expert tasting session.  A specially devised kid's Thai cooking class and an art class on the pitch. While a day spent playing in the gentle waves of Hua Hin's long golden shore will round off the trip of a lifetime.

"Being the winner of last year's Roving Elephant Reporter was the most amazing experience in my life," said 2011 winner, fourteen year old, Ann Skelly, from Ireland. "From helping with actual vet checks, interviewing the elephant experts and the players, including the New Zealand All Blacks and German royalty, to seeing the elephants up close was truly an awe inspiring experience and I wish all the entrants to this year's competition the best of luck."

To enter this elephantastic competition, simply submit/upload a short video lasting between one and two minutes to www.facebook.com/anantara
  • Press "Like"; 
  • Go to 'Share' on the main wall
  • Click 'Video', where you have a choice of recording a video with your webcam or uploading a pre-prepared video and tell us why you should be chosen as Anantara's Roving Elephant Reporter. 
  • Alternatively, mail the CD to I Want To Be An Elephant Reporter, Anantara Hotels, 17th Floor Berli Jucker House, 99 Soi Rubia, Sukhumvit Soi 42, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.
The contestant with the best video entry, as voted by our elephant experts will be invited to spend seven fun filled nights on a full board basis with an accompanying adult at Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa, including return flights, accommodation, daily activities and transport.

Tell the world your amazing elephant tales with Anantara as your guide.

Please note the following Terms & conditions:
Contestants must be aged between 7 and 15 years
Videos must be between 1 and 2 minutes long
Contestants may be of any nationality, but present their video in English
Entries must be submitted by August 1st
The competition winner will be announced on August 4th, 2011
Must be available to participate in the tournament from Sept 12 - 16, 2012
Contact organizers for full terms & conditions

Monday, 30 April 2012

New Teddy Tennis iPhone/iPad App for Children Aged 2 – 6



A sample background image
Inspiring Activity and Creativity in a World of Tennis!

Teddy Tennis, a children’s sports and lifestyle company, today announced the release of The Teddy Tennis Sticker Book, a fun creative App for iPad/iPhone/iPodTouch that will inspire kids (aged 2-6) and provide them with hours of FUN.

“The Teddy Tennis Sticker Book is aimed at providing young children with an exciting multimedia experience for learning and play,” said Richard Bean, co-founder of Teddy Tennis. “All the images and music that we have applied in the App we also use when teaching Teddy Tennis. It works brilliantly on the tennis court and it will do the same when children are playing on iPad/iPhones.”

Victoria Hatch, director of Nyx Digital, the developer of the App said, “When I first heard about Teddy Tennis I knew the programme would be ideal to develop into an App. Throughout its development, my 2 year old Eleanor provided invaluable help in market testing the product. She loves it and I am confident that young children everywhere will love it too.”

There are two modes of play with the The Teddy Tennis Sticker Book, each mode offering different elements of fun and creativity.

Stickers: The Sticker Game is based around the characters, images and music that are used in Teddy Tennis. It involves activity with a multiple selection of backgrounds and stickers.

Stamps: The Stamp game which combines sound effects, stamp images of Teddy Tennis characters and the opportunity to create freehand images and drawings is particularly creative and is something adults will enjoy too!

How kids aged 2 to 6 can benefit?

- It will stimulate young minds and encourage them to get active and to play Teddy Tennis like the bears at the Teddy Tennis Academy.
- It’s great fun
- Encourages creativity especially using the ‘Stamp Mode’ where children can freehand draw with coloured crayons
Why parents will love the app?
- It’s great fun to play.
- It encourages creativity
- Great characters and music will keep the child hooked for hours
- It will inspire children to get active and learn to play tennis
Features:
- The App is free to download and play
- Multiple background images and stickers
- Includes a selection of Teddy Tennis music
- Camera icon to send on pictures email addresses
- Upgrade option for more background images and stickers

The Teddy Tennis Sticker book is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

That's Entertainment News: Ice Age Live! A Mammoth Adventure

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

FCA helps heroes at local spring jamboree

FCA, a leading Independent Fostering Agency, held a spring event at its North East regional office in Chester-le-Street at the end of March to raise money for the Help for Heroes charity which was set up in 2007 to assist persons who are currently serving or who have served in the armed forces along with their dependants.

Over 80 people attended the jamboree including FCA staff, foster carers and looked after children. A selection of stalls including traditional cake sales, auctions, a raffle and tombola were available at the event which raised around £600 for the Help for Heroes charity.

Taking the opportunity to thank foster carers for their on-going dedication, FCA proudly presented long service awards to carers who have been with the agency for five and ten years consecutively.

Mick Austin, Area Manager for FCA North East was really pleased with the turnout on the day and said: "There was a real atmosphere at the event and the generosity and enthusiasm of staff and foster carers encapsulates the spirit of the North East team.

"We hold a jamboree twice a year and it's a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the hard work of foster carers and the positive outcomes they achieve with the children and young people they look after."

Events like this one in the North East serve to support awareness of fostering as a potential career for those who can offer their home and a sense of security to a vulnerable child or young person in need. With a current national shortage of foster carers in the UK reaching 10,000, recruitment of foster carers is an important step towards improving the outcomes of looked after children and young people.

FACTFILE:
Foster Care Associates (FCA), part of the Core Assets Group Ltd, is the UK's leading Independent Fostering Agency, with offices operating throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Working in partnership with Local Authorities and Health Trusts throughout the UK, FCA provides 'quality care in a family setting' for over 2900 foster children who are looked after by the agency's 2200 foster families.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Casabu, the UK’s Hot New Private Sale Site, Launches with Support from Magnetise’s Lead Generation Services

Private daily sales for UK mums, babies and kids using ‘next gen lead gen’ to drive customer acquisition

The Magnetise Group (Magnetise), a marketing technology company that improves the reach, return and accountability of digital engagement, is working with Casabu, the UK’s new daily private sale website for mums, babies and kids, to drive customer acquisition and lead generation around its launch on 17th April 2012.

The campaign (interactive demo available here), launching on 18th April, will place interactive banner adverts across top tier UK publishers, including newspaper websites and popular parenting sites and blogs, and will offer consumers £5 off their first purchase. The campaign creative will use children’s illustrations that encapsulate Casabu’s premium but accessible and playful branding and will provide consumers with a rich and enticing window into Casabu’s world of Europe’s coolest brands at up to 70% off retail prices.

As Casabu is a one-stop shop providing everything a mum needs from pregnancy, throughout childhood and up to pre-teen, Magnetise is tailoring the campaign to specifically fit this audience. Magnetise is optimising towards Casabu’s target customers - a core female audience of 20-40 year old mums across the UK with children aged 0-10 years. One advantage of this type of performance marketing is the fact that only leads that match the target demographic are priced and paid for, giving Casabu an extremely attractive and highly accountable method of customer acquisition.

"We’ve chosen Magnetise as our partner for lead generation due to their cutting edge, highly measureable pay-per-performance technology capabilitie};” commented Rachel Oxburgh, CEO of Casabu. “Their campaigns will allow us to build out our membership base quickly and efficiently.”

Magnetise’s In-Banner technology enables data entry, processing and confirmation, all within the banner. This means that users stay on-site, making the adverts attractive to premium quality sites and services. The eCPM pricing also offers publishers a low risk way of incorporating performance advertising. Consumers who enter their details will be presented with the voucher code, signed up to the service and transferred to and logged into Casabu - all from within the banner. This makes the advert, offer and transfer to Casabu a single, seamless customer journey. Any members who do not make immediate use of the special offer will be automatically sent a reminder email after a designated period.

“Daily deal or private sale ecommerce businesses have been growing over the last decade and are now incredibly popular for brands and consumer alike;” commented Peter Gowrie-Smith, Managing Director of the Magnetise Group. “Casabu’s niche is well-chosen and the products they have sourced to date are incredible. Using Magnetise’s lead generation capabilities, the site will be off to a strong start from launch.”

Casabu will offer a range of different daily deals, from brands including Their Nibs, Koo-di, Ben Sherman and Feu Follet, as well as European brands that are totally new to the UK. The company is also encouraging retailers and manufacturers with relevant products to get in touch by email to leslieann@casabu.com. Casabu will bring parents exciting ranges of fashionable baby and children’s clothing, designer toys, essential nursery equipment, must-have furniture and stylish maternity wear at significantly less than high street prices.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Casabu transforms the way UK parents shop, with super hot daily deals

Europe's coolest brands available at up to 70% off.

The exciting and widely anticipated launch of daily deals website Casabu, the UK's daily flash-sale website for mums, babies and children, will take place today and is set to change the way that UK parents shop forever!

After a year of scouring the UK and Europe to seek out the hottest and most stylish brands, Casabu will bring parents exciting ranges of fashionable baby and children's clothing, designer toys, gorgeous maternity wear and treats for mums at unbelievable savings of up to 70%. Casabu is a one-stop shop providing everything a mum needs from pregnancy, throughout childhood and up to pre-teen.

The first week of sales will feature UK brands such as, Their Nibs, Ben Sherman, Feu Follet and Koo-dias well as products totally new to the UK such as Swedish street clothes from Novastar. Fiona Bell - founder of Their Nibs says:

"Their Nibs are really excited to be one of the first brands featured on Casabu. It's such a great way for parents to discover small boutique brands like us and with such fantastic discounts all brands will be affordable for parents."

Flash sales have rapidly become the biggest trend in retail and work very simply; once signed-up to Casabu, you will receive a daily email or mobile alert bringing you news of exclusive sales, each sale lasting for a limited time. You then simply browse, click to buy, and sit back and wait for your beautifully-packaged items to arrive at your door.

Casabu is the smart, modern way for parents to save money on some of their favourite brand names as well as discover and fall in love with new ones. Members can access Casabu.com via their computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone and can also keep track of the daily sales by downloading the Casabu app for iPhone/android or by following the site on Twitter @ casabu_tweets.

To become part of the latest shopping phenomenon sign up for free at www.casabu.com.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

National Trust launches campaign to get children outdoors

The National Trust has launched a fantastic nationwide campaign to encourage sofa-bound children to take to the outdoors and enjoy classic adventures from skimming stones to building dens.

The '50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾' initiative is in response to a report commissioned by the National Trust which highlighted research that fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places compared to almost half a generation ago, a third have never climbed a tree and one in ten can’t ride a bike.

The charity's '50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾' campaign provides a checklist for under-12s (and those who are young at heart) including everything from running around in the rain and bug hunting, to setting up a snail race, damming a stream, flying a kite and making a (delicious) mud pie. 

To help bring to life these simple pleasures, the Trust has formed a group of Elite Rangers who will share their expert tips on enjoying outdoor adventures and their enthusiasm for encouraging children to play alfresco.

The five rangers, all Trust staff, come from across the UK and range in age from 29 to 49. They include a 6ft 3" tree climbing expert, who has scaled 50 metre-high trees, (a.k.a. Tree Man), Captain Skim who can skim a stone over 26 times and Midas the treasure hunter. The other rangers are Den-Boy, an outdoor hideaway-building champion, and a mini-beast expert, a.k.a. The Bug Catcher.

The fantastic five will be offering top tips on their chosen skill to the nation's children over the National Trust Free Weekend (21st and 22nd April) when the National Trust will open up over 200 of its houses and gardens for free over the weekend, as well as all the countryside spaces it cares for, which are always free access

Kids can pick up a free '50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾' scrapbook from participating properties and start ticking off their outdoor adventures to do list. Plus, the fun can continue at home by visiting www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50things where children can fill in their completed activities and earn points towards their very own explorer badge.

Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, commented: "Our Elite Rangers are a fantastic bunch, with bags of enthusiasm for the outdoors and what it can offer kids. We're hoping that the nation's children will embrace the 50 things and start having their very own outdoor adventures with their family, with our Free Weekend the perfect opportunity to get outside in the fresh air."

Monday, 2 April 2012

Cool for kids and their parents! Great clothing from Lula Saphire

Looking for something really different for babies and toddlers? Then you'll be wanting to visit www.lulasapphire.com.

They are passionate about bringing children fresh and stylish products; toys to nursery décor, essentials for changing, feeding or the great outdoors! There are even stunning wall stickers, CDs, really cool blankets, fabulous furniture and much, much more!

Lula Sapphire is a one stop boutique; a nest egg of inspired modern designs and products sourced and brought to parents from well know designers across the globe. So whether shopping by brand or a particular item, Lula Sapphire promises a high quality service and attention that will make the lives of parents and parents-to-be so much easier.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Create The Perfect Nursery For Your Little One

When you're expecting a baby - or more than one! - there are lots of things to think about. One of the items at the top of the agenda is the baby's nursery.

A nursery is a calm, organised and peaceful room where the baby can rest and play. Yet it is also a practical space that grows and adapts with your child.

Sliderobes offers parents the perfect bespoke storage solution for all the toys, nappies, cuddly animals and clothes. By adding a Sliderobes storage unit to your nursery, it will provide valuable extra space, leaving you with plenty of time to focus on your new arrival without worrying about where to store all of his or her belongings.

What's more is that everything is designed around you and your baby; the design will reflect your needs and style. The finishes on offer are virtually endless; be it contemporary or traditional designs in neutral creams, girlie pretty pinks or boyish blues, for example. Sliderobes creates stunning bespoke designs that work around awkward features such as alcoves, sloping ceilings, chimney breasts and low beams.

As your child grows and develops, your Sliderobes wardrobe can grow too. Replacement doors can be installed to see him or her through their teenage years which means Sliderobes becomes a long-term investment.

For design inspiration, visit Sliderobes' website, www.sliderobes.com.

If it is not convenient for you to visit a store, a Sliderobes designer will visit your home, at a time to suit you, for a free, no-obligation design appointment to discuss requirements. For more information about Sliderobes, please call 0800 454 465 in the UK and 1800 352 352 in ROI or visit www.sliderobes.com. For interior design and home suggestions follow Sliderobes on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Babies All Wrapped Up - Dr Claire Winstanley

Bristol based GP Dr Claire Winstanley has just released her first all encompassing baby book for information on dealing with pre and post birth questions and problems. 

Aimed at first time parents, this is the book all current parents will wish they'd owned years ago; containing a perfect balance of invaluable tips and professional advice from a senior medical practitioner. 

'Babies All Wrapped Up' is an invaluable source of information for nervous parents-to-be; taking them through the necessary stages of pre-birth, birth and post-natal care (not only for mum and baby but dad too). 

Written in a warm accessible format, this book offers support of a practical, emotional and physical nature. Dr Winstanley has also spent three years painstakingly researching the best medical advice from a wealth of midwives, paedriatricians and specialist consultants, resulting in a brilliantly informative but heart warming manual.

What then, is different about this book?
Dr Winstanley offers succinct information in easy-to-find chapters; taken from her years of experience as both a senior GP and a mother of three, herself. The book provides both essential medical information and also tips on the smallest detail to help first time parents in an accessible way. Most importantly, it fills in all the information gaps left by other baby books on the market.

Dr Winstanley said: "I wanted to produce a quintessentially invaluable manual for the first time parent without losing any of the warmth and cosiness felt when a baby arrives”.

Approved by paediatricians, health visitors and midwives, this book should be any new mum's first port of call before that little bundle arrives.

DragonWeb Publishing Ltd

Monday, 5 March 2012

That's Education: I CAN Stay Silent in School?

That's Education: I CAN Stay Silent in School?: I CAN, the children’s communication charity, is calling on primary schools across the UK to get involved in a fun and engaging Sponsored S...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Let Me Play With The Box Tube Toys! A fantastic concept by By Oscar Diaz

It's often said that if you give children a new toy, they will often start to play with the packaging!

Well, what if the packaging is actually a part of the toy?

The last edition of New York International Gift Fair in February 2012 saw London designer Oscar Diaz presenting Tube Toys, a series of vehicles to assemble were the packaging is also a part of the product.

Each Tube Toys comes with components such as stickers and wheels inside the cardboard tube that becomes the body of the car, fire engine, train or tractor, with pre-cut slots for easy assembly.

All components are recycled or recyclable and only the paper strip round the outside is discarded. In reducing considerably the amount of material discarded after buying it, Tube Toys is definitely an eco friendly toy.

The full range is available at eco concept store www.e-side.co.uk - Available until the end of February

Retail Price £10.50 each tube.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Strong start to Junior ISA as parents march £250 Child Trust Fund provisions for those who missed out

Family Investments, a UK-based children’s savings provider, says it has witnessed strong demand for its new Junior ISA, with just under 6,500 accounts opened since the product was launched on November 1st last year.

They have noticed particularly strong demand amongst existing Child Trust Fund (CTF) holders, highlighting parents’ desire to make equal provisions for siblings who may have missed out on the CTF.

All children born after 2nd January 2011 are eligible for the Junior ISA, but unlike its predecessor the Junior ISA does not come with a contribution of up to £250 from the government to kick start the savings habit. However, many parents have sought to level the playing field for their children with many choosing to add £250 or more to their regular savings to match the government CTF contribution.

Parents are engaged with the Junior ISA and this has so far been reflected in the contributions, with the average coming in at around £28 per month compared to the market average of around £24 for Child Trust Funds.

Almost ten thousand parents had enquired about the Junior ISA with Family Investments before it was launched providing a bumper start for the new product, and more than two-thirds of the accounts taken out so far have been opened by mums, continuing the female bias experienced with the CTF.

Despite the strong start to sales, Family Investments believes that both the government and the industry will need to work together to ensure that Junior ISA remains front of mind amongst parents.

John Reeve, Chief Executive of Family Investments said: “The fantastic start we have seen for Junior ISA reflects an underlying demand amongst parents to make a financial provision for their child from an early age. With significant costs, such as university tuition fees or a deposit for a first home to meet, many parents have recognised the need to start saving early.

“Parents have been very receptive to the Family Investments product, particularly as our low minimum premium of £10 per month makes it accessible to all families. We have designed our Junior ISA to appeal to busy parents who are looking for a simple, affordable product that they can manage on their own terms. Both our Junior ISA and Child Trust Fund can be managed online providing round the clock access to key account information.

“The Junior ISA was designed as a universal savings option for parents and Family Investments is committed to making the product a success. However, without the initial nudge of a government voucher, there is no guarantee that parents will continue to see the Junior ISA as the natural home for their children’s savings. Both the government and the savings industry need to continue to build awareness of the product to ensure that the current momentum behind the product continues to build.”