Wednesday 27 July 2022

How To Choose Play Equipment For The Whole Family

You may think that play equipment choices only include the brightly coloured plastic cheap looking (despite the cost not being so cheap generally).

 Still, you may be surprised to learn that a great range of natural material play equipment is sturdy enough for adults to use too.

If you are going to buy play equipment, why not consider a more natural look for your outdoor space where the whole family can benefit? 

Not only could it last much longer, but it could be more aesthetically appealing in your garden too. 

The benefits of natural materials for outdoor gym equipment

Quality wooden and stainless steel outdoor gym and play equipment is incredibly sturdy and hardwearing and is perfect for families to have for many generations. With that in mind, you can transform your garden or open space to have play equipment that the whole family can use. 

Choosing natural wood will mean it can be used all year round, it will last longer than plastic as the sun doesn't do the same damage to wood as it does the plastic children's equipment, and it will look and feel natural even on the hotter days. Natural woods such as oak and Robinia look great too and are a far more realistic view from a living room window, so your garden will not feel overrun by bright artificial plastics. 

Sensory and Sustainable

Children can learn the feel of natural wood when playing outside. Wood and metals offer a greater sensory experience. Far too often, overused plastic is the main focus of children's play, so having the opportunity, whether in your own garden or by a family trip to the park, is great for children to learn about the benefits of sustainable and natural materials.

 Choosing natural resources is possible through suppliers such as PlayEquip, who can provide professional advice, individual outdoor play and gym equipment, and bespoke solutions for your home garden or local open space.

How to choose equipment for all ages

Spending time outside is essential for both adults and children to help look after overall fitness and health and improve mental wellbeing, so why not have fun and play together. With the right outdoor play equipment families can take traditional bonding time outdoors. Choosing sturdier equipment means adults can join in with the kids having fun and getting fitter while they do so.

Exercising as a family is a great way to set good habits, encourage those less able, and build on what each person can do. Often exercise is one of the first things to be forfeited if time is tight, and visits to the gym can get in the way of everyday family life, so choose play equipment that offers options for the whole family.

Examples could include

·      Outdoor pull-up bars

·      Monkey bars

·      Climbing walls

·      Weave bars

·      Rope climbs

·      Balance beams and wobble boards

·      Trampolines


Exercise targets to reach

Consider family play equipment that enables you as a family to exercise using the three key exercise focuses


·      Aerobic – raising your heart rate for a prolonged period. Such as jumping on a trampoline. They can be sunk into the ground, making them safer for all ages.

·      Strengthening – pulling up on monkey bars, pull-up bars, and climbing walls to improve arm, leg and core body, spine, and abdomen strength

·      Flexibility -  balance boards, wobble boards, and everything else we have already mentioned will help build body flexibility for all ages. 


As we age, we should keep on top of regular daily exercise, and spending time outside exercising is good for our health too, so using family-friendly outdoor play equipment with or without the kids will improve overall health and help in everyday life chores too.


Flexible solutions to suit your space

 If you have a small garden, don't have room for an indoor gym, or don't like or want plastic only safe for small children in your garden or open space, then natural wood and metal choices are the answer. 

Whether you buy a bespoke set-up or individual pieces, there is a wealth of play and outdoor gym equipment that the whole family can use, and it will look far more natural and enable you to connect with nature.


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Tuesday 12 July 2022

Teaching Your Child to Manage Their Emotions

As a parent, an important thing to know is that the way you react to your children's emotions has an impact on the development of their emotions. We are all born with emotions but knowing how to safely handle them is taught. 

As a baby, the only way they can communicate is through their emotions even though they have no clue what it is. There are primary emotions like anger, joy, and fear as well as secondary emotions like anxiety which comes from fear, or violence which comes from anger. These are learned through experiences. 

Here are some ways to teach your child to manage their emotions.

Through childhood, secondary emotions come into play more. They are at a standstill between understanding which emotions are appropriate and which ones aren’t and how to express the emotion they’re truly feeling deep inside. 

As a parent, the best thing to do is sit your child down in this situation and help them through it.

 The first thing to do is to identify what it is they are feeling and find out what triggered it. Through this alone, you’re teaching your child a coping mechanism on how to manage these emotions by themselves.

Model this behaviour yourself. When abruptly hit with emotions that are overwhelming, try and take a couple of minutes to remind yourself of your child who may be watching or listening and take appropriate measures to handle it. 

Children learn from what they see and the majority of the time it’s how their parents behave that engraves habits into them. If a child is exposed to many negative emotions, it can make them struggle in the future. 

Similarly taught in these private colleges, try and keep a balance of emotions exposed and attempt to stay more positive for better long-term effects. 

Validating your child's emotions will ultimately allow them to independently manage them as well as understanding when and where is appropriate to show certain ones. 

Creating that safe space of understanding will allow your child to develop the skills to effectively manage their emotions no matter what situation they’re in.

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Helping Your Child Develop Their Critical Thinking Skills

Being a critical thinker will help your child succeed in both education and life. Every day, children put these skills to the test, especially in school. Good thinking is an essential skill to build as a habit.

Here are some ways to help your child develop their critical thinking skills.

Encourage agreements and disagreements. 

The ability of a child to decide whether they are for or against a situation shows great critical thinking skills. In order for them to do this correctly, ask your child to explain why they think the way they do as this will give an indication of whether or not they are correctly using their critical thinking skills. 

Ask further questions. If the situation is someone has stolen another person's belonging, your child’s answer may be because “it’s not nice”. Asking your child why they feel this way about the situation will allow them to provide a reason for their answers.

Joining extracurricular activities such as a debating club which is provided in this independent prep school in Birmingham, is a good way for your child to develop their critical thinking skills. Another benefit is that they can test their skills with children of a similar age to them. 

Encouraging your child to learn how to be a better listener is imperative in many aspects such as this. Allowing the other person to think and speak with no interruptions is necessary to become a critical thinker.

Above all, being a good role model is best. 

Become a critical thinker yourself and show your child how it’s done. After all, children pick up most of their habits by watching their parents so this is an easy method to naturally develop your child’s critical thinking skills. Allow yourself to improve where necessary and observe the positive changes it makes on your child.

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Monday 11 July 2022

How to Boost Your Child’s Imagination

Children with a healthy imagination grow up to see the world with a vivid approach and tend to become creative problem solvers. When your child picks up a block and pretends to be on the phone, this is a great visual of development. 

Here are some ways to boost your child's imagination every day.

The best and easiest method is to read to your child. Encourage them to build an affinity to books as it can lead to a lifelong skill that helps them throughout their life. 

Reading can spark the imagination of a child. You can help this further progress by allowing them to ask questions, making up their own endings, and even going on to writing their own stories later on. If reading at home is difficult, take them to your local library. You’ll see an instant fascination by them looking at the rows of books with a guarantee that your child will leave with at least one book in their hand.

Playing is also an easy way to boost your child’s imagination. A private school in Buckingham shows that play is a great way for children to bond as well as parents and children alike. With schedules being tight, it can be difficult to find time to play with your child, so use your imagination too. 

Play water games with them at bath time or make play games whilst waiting in a traffic jam. Incorporate educational games in there too. The options are endless. 

Create art. Children melt at the sight of a table full of glitter, glue, and different materials. Do art sessions with your child and allow it to get messy. Decide on a broad topic and allow your child to get experimental. 

Once they’re done, ask them to describe what’s on their canvas. A smudge of different paint colours to you, maybe a rainforest full of animals to them. Allow them to see further than just a smudge on a piece of paper. This will help them thrive creatively.

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Friday 8 July 2022

5 Screen Free Activities for Children

Today’s children grow up surrounded by a multitude of screens around them. Children are very observant and will notice adults using their devices for leisure and work. 

As a parent, putting your child in front of the screen is effortless and allows a lengthy amount of time to get domestic tasks complete and a time to be alone without being disturbed. 

However, given how education as well as keeping connected with peers online forces children into screen time, it is important to encourage your child to take further leisurely activities off the screen and into the real world. 

Here are 5 screen-free activities they can do. 

Bring out the board games.

 Get the whole family together and encourage your children to take part. It brings out competitiveness and allows your child to learn collaborative skills too. Board games can range from ones that help with education to ones that are just pure fun. Give yourself a break too by letting them get on with it with older siblings. Bonds can be created through teamwork. 

Reading books, 

especially those of length can keep a child who has an interest, occupied for long periods of time. 

Similar to this prep school in Cardiff, continuous reading will help your child become more imaginative and increase their vocabulary. 

Writing Stories

Your child may find themselves wanting to write their own stories too. This activity is one of the easiest and can be the most enjoyable.

Take regular walks. 

Children are known to be bursting with energy so this is a great way to help them unload some of that. The best part is, you can choose to walk anywhere. You can walk down the road to their favourite ice cream shop or even visit your local woods which come as a world of their own. You’ll end up finding yourself on the best of adventures.


Allow your child to take responsibility and feel grown-up. They can help with the preparation for dinner and attempt to bake their favourite treats. When you have spare time, use child-friendly recipes that don’t require any sharp tools or heat to cook such as sandwiches and icing cookies. 

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Wednesday 6 July 2022

Chook update


I am absolutely loving having chickens again, the girls have all settled into garden life and are treating us to pretty eggs in return.

Bea loves them just as much as I do and loves trying to make friends with them when they are out and about when she is.
They usually come and join her when she's playing in her little paddling pool.

Collecting beautiful eggs never gets old and I love being greeted by the girls when they see me or having them all run towards me when they're out in the garden free-ranging.
They all love their treats and I'm pretty sure watermelon has become their favourite, especially during this warmer weather we've been having.

I was recently very kindly gifted a Nestera medium chicken lodge and I love it.
The girls do too, I will be doing a whole blog post on the coop in a few days' time.

The urge to add more chickens is unreal and I'd love to add more colours to my egg basket, so I'm currently trying to butter Jon up and get him to agree.

Having that little slice of the good life really makes me what to pack up again and move to a farm, but for now, my little slice of heaven has really made me happy!

Tuesday 5 July 2022

Allotment progress

Thought I'd share some plot progress with you, as I haven't really shared much since we took it on in February.

We had a big task to level the ground out and give the soil a good turnover, as nothing had grown on the plot for a few years.

Once Jon had used a rotavator to work the soil, we set about laying a ground sheet to help with weed control and set the beds up and put woodchips down for the paths.

We have done it all gradually but everything has really taken off.
Vegetables that we've planted so far;
Broad beans,
French beans,
Runner beans,
Tomatoes of all kinds,
Yellow courgettes,
Red onions,
White onions,
Rainbow chard,
Sweet potatoes,
Purple Kale,
Red Cabbage,
Brussel sprouts.

Once we've harvested some of the beds we will do a crop rotation and plant up some new veggies

We are already getting little harvests of early crop potatoes, broad beans, and now our courgettes and cucumbers and starting to be able to be picked.


The kids all love coming down and helping pick what needs picking and lending a hand with the watering.
Then chilling in the bean teepee whilst we do whatever needs doing.

We are planning on getting Ducks, we have the run and the duck house, we just need to set it up.
We still need a shed and want to add a polytunnel to the other plot during the winter and we are hoping next year to add a couple of beehives and maybe some more chickens.
I'm also keeping my eye out on the Facebook marketplace for a playhouse for Bea so that she has someone to play with when she is there with us.
I think it will make the whole experience for her more enjoyable.

We are going to completely change the layout over the winter to help us maximize our space and get the most out of it, but for now and in our first year we are feeling very happy with what we've done so far.