Top

Magic of Storytelling and Books for Children

July 26, 2019 | Leave a Comment

The magic of books and storytelling

JK Rowling, who knows a thing or two about the magic of children’s books, left no doubt about her feelings towards a good story, when she said:

“I will defend the importance of bedtime stories to my last gasp.”

Books, and the wonderful stories within them, can play a vital role in expanding a child’s imagination, and a huge amount of research suggests that reading to a child at home from when they are a baby onwards is the best way that a parent or carer can influence a child’s long-term educational outcomes.

If academic research doesn’t convince you though, then how about this excerpt from Roald Dahl’s book ‘Matilda’, to illustrate the broadening of horizons that reading can inspire.

He wrote of Matilda that

“the books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”

The English village in question, by the way, is in Buckinghamshire – not so very far away from Bedfordshire!

Children interact with books and stories in different ways, depending on their age and development. What’s certain is that they are constantly learning as they do so. They will observe how to handle a book and how to turn the pages. They will watch as you point out pictures on the pages and talk about them and, in time, will copy these actions and make links between the written and spoken word. They will hear a variety of new sentences and words that they may not hear in everyday conversation. They will concentrate and start to develop an understanding of language.

children are made readers on the laps of their parents

Younger babies: as their eyesight is still developing in the early months, start them off with books with strong black and white patterns and pictures, which help them to focus and aid their concentration. Textured, interactive and lift-the-flap books are particularly good when babies start to handle books themselves, as they allow babies to explore using all of their senses, and to discover all that the book has to offer.

Older babies – 3 year olds: spending time reading with them can promote brain development and spark their imagination and curiosity, while starting to help them to distinguish between what is real and what is make believe. Regularly reading books together can help to expand your child’s vocabulary more rapidly and help them to understand the meaning of words and how to use them. Once they start to speak and use short sentences books can also help your child to foster a desire to learn, naturally leading to them ask questions and seek answers.

Preschool children and those in Reception class at school: repetitive stories that rhyme and/or have alliteration are great fun, and titles such as ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury , ‘The Gruffalo’ by Julia Donaldson, and ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see?’ by Eric Carle are good examples. There is usually a natural rhythm with which to read these stories, and if you pause during the repetitive/rhyming parts your child will enjoy filling in the missing words.

Books can be a useful tool to help any child to make sense of new experiences and changes that are happening in their own lives, such as starting school, a visit to the dentist, a new addition to the family or the loss of a loved one. Reading books about things your child is experiencing will help them to speak about how they are feeling and to make sense of their feelings.

Story time does not have to be limited to sharing books. Children can be fabulous storytellers themselves and there is so much fun to be had in creating stories together. Make use of props such as puppets and figures, or if you are feeling particularly creative make some of your own with your child. You can introduce your child to the concepts of story writing, encouraging them to think about their story having a beginning (introducing the story and characters), a middle (where something happens) and an end (where the story comes to a conclusion).

So why not switch off the TV, put away any mobile phones and other devices, and spend some magical time with your child, reading and telling stories. Make it part of your daily routine and create a time when your child will know they will have your undivided attention every day.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go” – Dr Seuss.

Bedfordshire Libraries

The library is obviously an ideal place to get access to a huge variety of books for your child. Bedfordshire also offer a home library service for library users who are unable to get to their local library. Full details of this service can be found here.

There are several libraries across the county where your child can have access to a vast selection of books. Some of the libraries also offer activities sessions for children where they can share stories and take part in art and craft activities. Please see the list below to find your local library;

Ampthill Library
1 Dunstable Street
Ampthill
MK45 2NL
Tel: 0300 300 8053

 

Barton Library
Bedford Road
Barton
MK45 4PP
Tel: 0300 300 8054

 

Bedford Central Library
Harpur Street
Bedford
MK40 1PG
Tel: 01234 718178

 

Biggleswade Library
Chestnut Avenue
Biggleswade
Bedfordshire
SG18 0LL
Tel: 0300 300 8055

 

Dunstable Library
The Dunstable Centre
Court Drive
Dunstable
LU5 4JD
Tel: 0300 300 8056

 

Flitwick Library
Coniston Road
Flitwick
MK45 1QJ
Tel: 0300 300 8057

 

Houghton Regis Library
Bedford Square
Houghton Regis
Bedfordshire
LU5 5ES
Tel: 0300 3008058

 

Leighton Buzzard Library
Lake Street
Leighton Buzzard
LU7 1RX
Tel: 0300 300 8059

 

Potton Library
Clock House
Potton
SG19 2NP
Tel: 0300 300 8063

 

Sandy Library
Market Square
Sandy
SG19 1EH
Tel: 0300 300 8065

 

Shefford Library
High Street
Shefford
SG17 5DD
Tel: 0300 300 8067

 

Stotfold Library
Hitchin Road
Stotfold
SG5 4HP
Tel: 0300 300 8068

 

Toddington Library
9 Market Square
Toddington
LU5 6BP
Tel: 0300 300 8069

Written by Sally Whitear – Harmony at Home Nanny Agency Bedfordshire for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2019

Childcare and Baby Activity, Treasure Baskets

June 28, 2019 | Leave a Comment

Treasure Baskets

A treasure trove of sensory experiences for your babies

The pioneer of the treasure basket, Elinor Goldschmied, once said that we can never truly know what it is like to bite into a juicy ripe peach, or what concepts such as cool, smooth, prickly and rough actually mean, until we have experienced them for ourselves.

“Every baby should have a Treasure Basket”  Frankie Gray, Norland Nanny and Founder of Harmony at Home

Giving a seated baby a range of natural, household and recycled objects in a basket and allowing them to explore the items using all of their senses, is a great way to stimulate a baby’s brain, keeping them interested and engaged in the world around them.

Left to play in this way, children will begin to develop preferences, make choices and build their attention, concentration and decision-making skills.

Creating a treasure basket

Make sure the basket you choose is strong and sturdy and made of natural material such as wicker or willow. It should have a flat bottom and be strong enough not to tip over if the baby leans on it. Bear in mind that handles might get in the baby’s way when they are reaching for objects, so a basket without handles may be best.

A round basket that is approximately 30cm in diameter and 12cm high would be ideal.

In terms of the contents, evidence suggests that children respond more intensely to natural materials and more muted colours, so make sure the items in the basket reflect this. It should contain no plastic items and the contents should not be toys, but a variety of common everyday objects, mixed with natural objects you may find when exploring outside.

It is obviously essential that you assess each of the items in terms of safety. If there is any concern about the hygiene or safety of an object, it is better to omit it from the basket.

Items to include in a treasure basket:

  • Natural objects – fir cones, large pebbles, shells, dried gourds, large chestnuts, big feathers, pumice stone, large corks, avocado pear stones, large walnuts, loofah, natural sponge, citrus fruits
  • Objects made of natural materials – wooden spoons, little baskets, wooden nail brush, wooden curtain rings, shaving brush, wooden balls, wooden clothes pegs
  • Wooden objects – small boxes, castanets, bobbins, cotton reels, napkin rings, egg cup, small bowl, beads on a string
  • Metal objects – spoons of various sizes, small egg whisk, bunch of keys, small tins, lemon squeezer, small funnel, brass curtain rings, bunch of bells, metal egg cup, tea strainer, lids from jars, metal beaker, lengths of chain, bicycle bell, tea infuser, costume jewellery
  • Leather, textile and rubber objects – rubber puppy toys, leather purse, small leather bag, coloured marble eggs, velvet powder puff, length of rubber tubing, tennis ball, golf ball, leather spectacle case, rubber bath plug with a chain, bean bag, small cloth bags containing lavender, thyme, rosemary, cloves
  • Paper and cardboard objects – small cardboard boxes, little notebook, greaseproof paper, tin foil, insides of kitchen paper towel

Don’t forget that this is your baby’s time to freely explore. Keep yourself available and attentive, yet relatively unobtrusive, so the baby is motivated to investigate the objects for themselves.

Where to find objects for the treasure basket

Some items for your treasure basket can be found when out and about with your baby. Visit local parks and woodland where you can find a variety of natural items all free of charge. Some good places to visit are;

Priory Country Park

Barkers Lane

Bedford

MK41 9DJ

 

Rushmere Country Park

Linslade Road

Heath and Reach

Leighton Buzzard

LU7 0EB

 

Harrold-Odell Country Park

Carlton Road

Harrold

Bedford

MK43 7DS

 

Homeware stores such as The Range, and Dunelm are usually good places to find household items that can be included in your treasure basket. They have the following stores in Bedfordshire:

 

The Range

Units 4 and 5

Interchange Retail Park

Bedford

Bedfordshire

MK42 7AZ

 

The Range

Madford Retail Park

Dunstable Road

Luton

Bedfordshire

LU4 8DN

 

Dunelm

Unit 2

Alban Retail Park

4 London Road

MK42 0NW

 

Dunelm

Luton Road

Dunstable

Bedfordshire

LU5 4JN

 

Charity shops can be a good place to find some other, more unusual items for your treasure basket. A number of charity shops can be found across the county including the ones listed here:

Bedford

Sue Ryder

35-37 Ampthill Road

Bedford

Bedfordshire

MK42 9JP

 

Cancer Research

Bedford 70a

High Street

Bedfordshire

MK40 1NN

 

Keech Hospice Care

24 Allhallows

Bedford

Bedfordshire

MK40 1LJ

 

Sandy

Magpas Air Ambulance

Shannon Court

9 High St

Sandy

SG19 1AG

 

Wood Green

The Animals Charity

Shannon Court

1 High Street

Sandy

SG19 1AG

 

Barnardo’s

30 Market Square

Sandy

SG19 1JA

 

Luton

British Heart Foundation

70 George Street

Luton

LU1 2DL

 

Age Concern

32 George Street

Luton

LU1 2AZ

 

Keech Hospice Care

58 Birdsfoot Lane

Luton

LU3 2DQ

 

Dunstable

Age UK

1-3 Queensway

Dunstable

LU5 4ET

 

Keech Hospice Care

9 Ashton Square

Dunstable

LU6 3SN

 

YMCA Shop

9-11 Nicholas Way

Dunstable

LU6 1TD

 

Written by Sally Whitear – Harmony at Home Nanny Agency Bedfordshire for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2019

Easter Holiday Activities 2019

April 9, 2019 | Leave a Comment

Easter Holidays are upon us and we have some great hints and tips for different fun activities to experience with the whole family for Easter.

The Woodland Trust

Do you love a woodland day out with the family? Wanting to ensure your children have a great run around during the holidays, then take your children to the Woodland Trust. All the Woodland Trust woods are free to visit, find your local woodland trust wood here; https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/map/. Over the Easter period they have different Easter Activities for all ages, specific activities for ages 3-5 and 6+. You can download and print their activity sheets and take on the woodland adventure with you! Or set up your own mini adventure, using their activity sheets and placing Easter Eggs around for your children to hunt for.

Tea Party, Picnic

Enjoy the glorious Easter weather with picnics. The fun can start prior to the picnic with making Easter themed foods, such as chocolate rice crispy Easter nests. Easy to prep and make and fun for the whole family! All you need is:
• Chocolate
• Butter
• Rice pops/krispies
• Golden Syrup
• Cupcake cases
• Easter themed chocolate and sweets to decorate

Hot Cross Buns can also be enjoyed throughout the Easter break, you can purchase all different flavours in different supermarkets. There are also Dairy Free and Gluten Free buns for allergy sufferers. Check your local supermarkets. Spend time making lovely foods for the picnic and then go on an adventure whilst searching for a great place to enjoy your picnic!

Day out at the Zoo

There are fantastic Zoo’s all over the Country and a great way to break up the Easter Holiday. You may be a parent busy working all week and want to have family fun at the weekend, then take a trip to the Zoo! Or planning a camping trip for the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, whether its raining or shining a trip to the Zoo will make everyone’s day great.

Looking for a Zoo near you, we have created a list of some of the best Zoo’s in the UK:
• ZSL London Zoo
• Yorkshire Wildlife Park
• Colchester Zoo
• Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo
• Chester Zoo
• Dudley Zoo and Castle
• Bristol Zoo Gardens
• Banham Zoo
• Edinburgh Zoo

There are always different offers for trips out at the Zoo, whether you are travelling with a Railcard or collecting Club Card vouchers. Look at deals you can get!

Trip to the Farm

Perhaps your children love farm animals and having a muddy day out at the farm is more of the perfect day for your family. Make a picnic and take a trip to your nearest Farm.

Looking for a Farm near you? We have created a list of some of the ‘free’ Children’s Farms in the UK:
• Georgie City Farm, Edinburgh
• Deen City Farm, South-West London
• Stonebridge City Farm, Nottingham
• Bath City Farm, near Bath
• Surrey Docks Farm, South-East London
• Vauxhall City Farm, South London

Found inspiration for a day out? Search the internet and find a local Animal Farm to you!

Easter Treats

Looking to Jazz up your Easter eggs this year or have children that have allergies and you all feel safer making your own eggs, then spend days making your own extra special chocolate eggs.

BBC GoodFood have four stages to make your own chocolate egg, so no need to fear >> https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-make-easter-egg

You could also make other Easter treats… perfected your Rice Krispie Easter Nests? Take it to the next level and make Rice Krispie eggs. Easter cupcakes and even homemade Hot Cross Buns. Baking can always be fun for the whole family and children can learn so many different skills. Sometimes it is worth spending less time in the outdoors and more time in the kitchen… with tasty treats to enjoy at the end of the day!

Easter Crafts

Planning a big Easter event over the weekend and wanting to make outfits extra special? Easter Bonnets are a tradition for many families and schools all over the Country. Spend time making Easter Bonnets with your children and jazz up their outfits. For boys, if they do not want a ‘bonnet’ you could make an Easter Cap! For extra fun, make this a competition with family friends and have Easter treats and gifts as a prize for the best bonnets or caps… Parents can dive into their competitive side!

Easter Baskets for Easter Egg Hunts. If your children are waiting all week for their Easter Egg Hunt Egg..stravaganza, start the excitement early with crafts to add to their hunt. Such as making their own baskets for the hunt.

Make an Easter Tree. At Christmas many families have Christmas tree’s and if your children love decorating a Christmas tree… then make a special Easter Tree and let your children decorate with all different egg-style decorations. You could also spend time making decorations for the Easter Tree. The perfect family tradition!

We hope these different days out and activities have helped give you some ideas of what you can do with the children this Easter holiday. Happy Easter from Harmony at Home x

Nannies and Families Celebrate World Book Day

March 5, 2019 | Leave a Comment

Nannies and families, World Book Day is on the 7th of March 2019!

This is an exciting opportunity for all children, nannies and families to get involved by dressing up, reading and bringing their favourite stories to life!

World Book Day gives young people the chance to celebrate reading, authors, illustrators and books. It gives them the chance to discover new books and new authors to get to know and love.

2019 is the 22nd World Book Day celebration and it is a time where young people can come together and celebrate reading. The main aim of World Book Day is ‘to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own’.

Taken from the World Book Day Website: http://www.worldbookday.com/

Dressing up:

Nannies and parents, a great way to encourage children to join in is by dressing up. Your child may be celebrating at school and may be asked to come in dressed as their favourite character from their favourite book or your child may just want to dress up at home and have some fun.

There are so many different books to choose from, it can be tricky to just choose one character to dress up as. If you are looking for some inspiration, here are a few well know characters that you can encourage your children to dress up as:

  • Harry Potter
  • Star Wars
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Dorothy – Wizard of Oz
  • Mary Poppins
  • Matilda, Miss Trunchbull – Matilda
  • Willy Wonka
  • Horrid Henry
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Mr Men characters
  • A Peach – James and the Giant Peach
  • The Big Friendly Giant – The BFG
  • Where’s Wally?
  • The Gruffalo

Bring your favourite stories to life:

Parents and nannies encourage your children to re-create their favourite stories/ books with some dressing up and role play. A fun idea to encourage children to get involved with World Book Day.

Nannies and families, why not have even more fun by joining your children and getting involved with dressing up and role play!

You will need to:

  • Choose your favourite book & character
  • Get dressed up as your favourite character and start planning your role play
  • Bring your favourite book to life!
  • Have fun recreating your favourite short story! All children can get involved.

Writing

Another important aspect of World Book Day is writing. Children have amazing, creative imaginations! Nannies and parents, encourage them get thinking, put pen to paper and see what wonderful stories they can come up with.

However you decide to celebrate World Book Day, enjoy it. It is a day that all can get involved with, children, parents and nannies! To celebrate World Book Day, many National Book Tokens are given out. If your child is given a World Book Day token to spend, remember to take them to choose a new book and get reading! To find more about information about World Book Day, National Book Tokens and more exciting ways to celebrate this amazing day, click the website link: http://www.worldbookday.com/

Written for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2019

Our top wooden toy gifts for Christmas 2018

November 30, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Looking for top wooden toy gifts for Christmas? We have cherry picked the best eco friendly wooden toys for children, from our in house boutique.

Christmas is a few weeks away and gifts are flying off the shelves. Time to do some online shopping. Struggling to find the perfect gift? Harmony at Home Children’s Eco Boutique has fantastic gifts for children of all ages. We specialise in personalised wooden toys. Making every toy special, unique and long-lasting.

We have provided you with a list of our bestsellers, perfect for Christmas 2018.

Gifts for animal lovers!

Wooden rabbit hutch: suitable for ages 3+ years. A gorgeous wooden hutch, which comes with a fluffy bunny, a carrot, cabbage, water bottle, brush and removable ramp.  This hutch can also be made extra special with personalisation. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-rabbit-hutch/

 

Animal Stacking Game: perfect for little ones. A fun game, which enhances hand to eye co-ordination. It is made with beautiful bright coloured woodland creatures. The aim of the game is to stack the woodland creatures on the 3 wooden pegs. This present can be personalised. Suitable for either genders and suitable for 12 months+. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/personalised-animal-stacking-game/

Wooden vet kit: suitable for 3years+. This wooden Vet Kit includes 7 different items to help get the bunny back on its paws. There are tweezers, a syringe, thermometer, 2 x bottles of medicine, a tube of ointment and a stethoscope. All of the pieces, including the bunny, fit inside the case- making this a great toy to take when traveling. Can be personalised. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/personalised-wooden-vet-kit/

 

Wooden farm set: suitable for 3years+. This farm set has all your expected animals you see on a farm- horse, sheep, cow, pig, duck and chicken along with a farmer and his wife. It also includes a wooden fence and two trees to complete the farm scene. The farm house doors open to add extra fun when playing and all items can be stored safely inside once finished playing. Can be personalised when requested. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/personalised-wooden-farm-set/

Wooden pull along tractor: suitable for 12months+. Comes complete with a detachable trailer and farm animals.  A Pig, Horse, Cow, hay bale and milk churn are all included and fit onto the back of the trailer. The wooden tractor has rubber wheel coverings making it slide easily and smoothly across the floor. Pull it along the floor with the red string attached to the front of the tractor, or little ones can just push it along instead. Plenty of hours of fun will be had with this toy. Can also be personalised. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-pull-along-tractor/

Gifts for 1year+

Wooden bear walker: perfect for children that are learning to walk and wanting to play and develop at the same time. It helps enhance all stages of development. As well as doubling up into a toy box. This walker can be made extra special with personalisation. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-bear-walker/

 

Cascading wooden cars: Suitable for 2years+. Cascading Wooden Cars is a fun game, Watch the four coloured cars zoom down the track. Tiny hands can put the cars back to the top to see another exciting race! This game can also be personalised, to make car lovers dreams come true. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/cascading-wooden-cars/

Gifts for age 3years+

Wooden popcorn machine: suitable for children age 3+ years. Great for children’s imaginations. Pull the side handle down to make the popcorn pop and bounce around. Then open the front and pour the popcorn into a classic wooden striped popcorn basket. With cut out tickets, people can come and purchase your special popcorn when playing. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-popcorn-machine/

 

Wooden chess and checkers: suitable for 6years+. A perfect travel game. This game turns form a case to a chess and checkers board game. This game can also be personalised if you wish. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wooden-chess-checkers/

 

 

 

DIY wooden Christmas tree: suitable for 4+ years. Get festive this Christmas with this DIY tree. Colour or paint the wooden Christmas tree sections to make your 3D tree. Then thread the coloured beads and the extra wooden items such as the stocking and candy canes to decorate and complete the tree. Made from wood, with wooden beads and nylon string. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/diy-wooden-christmas-tree-kit/

 

Wild animal bookends: This lovely set of Wild Animal Bookends will be a bright and colourful addition to any child’s bedroom or playroom. They feature friendly looking animals, with butterflies mounted on springs for extra fun. They have non-scratch bottoms, and personalisation is available. Great for any book lover. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/wild-animal-bookends/

 

Song bird musical box: suitable for 3years+. This musical box is decorated with a bird theme. Open up the lid to find a bird dancing to Le temps des cerises by Antoine Renard. Inside there’s plenty of room for necklaces, bracelets and much more! Can also be personalised. https://shop.harmonyathome.co.uk/product/song-bird-musical-box/

Halloween must haves!

October 17, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Halloween is only two weeks away!! 

The leaves are changing and falling off trees. Pumpkins are out in full force and shops are filled with tasty treats.

This Halloween, Harmony at Home Children’s Eco Boutique (in Worthing and online on Notonthehighstreet) have some great Halloween accessories and costumes to make children look extra special. Whether they want to dress scary, pretty or funky, we have some great ideas for you.

Looking to make your children’s outfits extra special?

We have the best ‘trick or treat’ bags to fill with sweets. These bags come in either orange or black, with a spiderweb decoration and the option of being personalised. Plus, they are reusable and easy to store away till next year. A great addition to any Halloween outfit. https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/harmonyathomechildrensboutique/product/happy-halloween-trick-or-treat-bags

Searching for the perfect Halloween Tutu?

This orange and black beautiful tutu is great for parties and Halloween night. With super soft satin topper and a matching bow, this multi-layered skirt is super bouncy and fun. Available in medium (age 2-4) or large (age 4-8). It can be used repeatedly, for many parties and Halloween nights to follow. https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/harmonyathomechildrensboutique/product/halloween-animal-costumes-for-children

Go in store or order online as soon as possible, Halloween is only two weeks away!

The 1st official day of AUTUMN!

September 23, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Today it is officially AUTUMN!

Autumn is the season for knitted sweaters, scarves, and thick socks in boots. And of course, a knitted bobble hat. But not only is Autumn great for fashion, it is also a time of year full of great facts and fun for children.

8 Facts about Autumn:

  1. In North America, Autumn is known as the fall and many Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and Halloween during the Autumn season.
  2. Autumn is mostly known for the change in leaves and the shedding of these leaves from trees.
  3. In ancient times, autumn was one of the most important periods of the year as many cultures/individuals practiced rituals and offerings to their gods and goddesses so that they would have a successful harvest to feed them through winter.
  4. There is less sunlight in Autumn because the days are shorter.
  5. The Autumn season starts on the 23rd September and ends on the 21st December!! Only 4 days before Christmas!!
  6. Autumn nights are great for stargazing as the skies are much clearer.
  7. In the U.S. Monarch butterflies are the only insect to migrate to a warmer country during the colder season.
  8. Common Autumn harvests are pumpkins, corn and apples.
REMEMBER in October there is a half term,which means a week of entertaining the children.

Family days out, arts and crafts and activities to celebrate Autumn and keep the children entertained:

  1. Pumpkin Picking and Carving: whether its finding your pumpkin in your local supermarket or taking a day out to go to your local farm, finding the perfect pumpkin and spending time decorating and carving it is a great way to pass the time. A great activity to do as a family! You can even make a pumpkin family 😉
  2. At the Science Museum in London, 7-11 year old’s can experience a sleepover of a life time. With hands-on experiments, watching different shows and sleeping among the exhibits. As well as breakfast and a movie in their iMAX theatre the next morning to finish the experience. Running on October 7th and November 11th– get booking!
  3. In Kent, at Leeds Castle, spend the day watching different birds of prey soaring through the air. Great day enjoying the crisp air and watching some of the most incredible birds take to the sky.
  4. Lewes Bonfire night on November 4th. A procession through Town, lighting of 6 or more bonfires all over the town, as well as a firework extravaganza!
  5. Days out in a maze, no better way to enjoy the changing season and the growth in crops that adventuring round (and getting lost) in cornfields.
  6. When staying at home, use fallen leaves to create fantastic images and paintings. Whether its painting leaves and creating prints or making leaves look even more beautiful by adding glitter and using them as decorations.
  7. Re-create a childhood favourite using chestnuts to play conkers. Hours of entertainment and you can re-live your childhood. As well as this, you can decorate them to again make decorations.
  8. Finally, trick or treating! This tradition is big in America, but it is great to do in the UK too. Dress up and enjoy the American tradition. Fun to do with a group of friends or as a family 😊

Get set for National Nanny Recognition Week 2018

September 5, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Celebrate National Nanny Recognition Week 2018!

Are you aware that the fourth week in September (23rd – 29th) 2018 is National Nanny Recognition Week?

This special week created in 1998 recognises the work that Nannies do for families.

National Nanny Recognition Week gives families the opportunity to celebrate the work that their Nanny does for them.

National Nanny Recognition week is not necessarily a time to give your Nanny a gift, it is however, a time to reflect on the amazing work that Nannies do, and a time to say ‘thank you’.

How to celebrate National Nanny Recognition Week

Tell your Nanny how much they mean to you.

Make an effort to tell your Nanny how much they mean to you. There are many ways in which you can do this:

Give them words of encouragement – throughout National Nanny Recognition Week, give your nanny a few extra words of encouragement

Be positive – When your Nanny helps you out, praise them for the job they have done.

Personalise a special gift for your Nanny

Put your creative minds to the test and see what gifts you can make with your children. Creating a personal gift is an ideal activity to do with children to show how much their Nanny means to them personally. It gives them the opportunity to get involved and make something special that their Nanny can treasure.

Give your Nanny a bunch of flowers

A bunch of flowers is a simple gift to give your nanny to show your appreciation. Choose a bouquet you think they would love and give it to your Nanny some point during National Nanny Recognition Week.

Let your Nanny have a surprise half or day off

In celebration of National Nanny Recognition Week and to show how much they mean to you, why not see if you are able to let your nanny have some time off. Any time off you can offer would be appreciated.

Invite your Nanny to have a meal with you and your family

The perfect idea for a ‘live in Nanny’ to show your appreciation. Invite them to join you for a meal at breakfast or dinner, don’t forget to prepare their preferred meal.

The Simplest Gift of All…

Having a great Nanny employed to work with your family is a something that cannot be taken for granted. Over National Nanny Recognition Week, make sure you make the effort to tell your Nanny how special they are to you and how they are a valued member of your family. A little bit of praise and appreciation, really can go a long way. Offering praise can help them to feel appreciated and know that they work they are doing is not going un-noticed.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

How to Celebrate National Grandparents Day

August 15, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Sunday 7th October is National Grandparents Day!

Nannies & parents, do your children know how special their grandparents are? NGD allows them to show off their love and appreciation for them.

Grandparents are so special, so it is important to recognize and celebrate all they do. Not only do they offer love and support, but they also offer time, patience, guidance and most often or not, TREATS!

Grandparents love to shower their Grandchildren with gifts & treats, so it is nice to say ‘thank you’ and show a bit of appreciation for a day!

How to celebrate with your children:

Spend the day with them

Spend quality time with your grandparents. However you decide to celebrate, enjoy spending time together.

  • Go out sightseeing
  • Take a trip to the cinema/ theater
  • Go out for a meal or simply stay in.

Make them a special gift

  • Decorate a photo frame and place a your favourite photo with them in there.
  • Create your family tree
  • Make your own puzzle for them to do

Design a card for them

Make them a special card. Include a personalised message, a poem, a song or a picture to show how much you love and appreciate them!

Cook them a special meal

Show your appreciation by making their favourite meal for them.

Relive special memories with them

Take a trip down memory lane and list out your special memories you have with your grandparents. You may remember a certain day or place that you visited. Re-spark and re-live the day with them.

Tell them you love them

One of the simplest ways to celebrate and show your appreciation is simply to tell them how much you love them.

Nannies & parents, however you decide to celebrate National Grandparents Day with your children, get involved, have fun and make them feel special. Find out more about this event HERE!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Best Birthday Party Ideas for Kids

July 4, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Looking for Birthday Party theme ideas?

Celebrate your child’s Birthday in style!

Many children’s birthday parties have a theme. With fun new crazes being introduced, party planning is being taken to a whole new level.

Take the stress out of having to think of a suitable birthday party theme, by checking out our ideas:

Birthday Party Themes:

  • Superheros – Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman
  • Fairies
  • Princesses
  • Unicorns
  • Cars
  • Trains
  • Star Wars
  • Peppa Pig
  • Animals – favourite pet or zoo animal
  • Disney
  • Beach/ summer time
  • Vintage
  • Circus
  • Neon
  • Pirate
  • Cowboys
  • Under the sea
  • The great outdoors
  • Space
  • Sport – football, dance

So, if you are planning a party but stuck for a theme, why not consider some of our awesome themes? Remember, your never too old for a themed birthday!

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2018

Next Page »