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Top Tips for Traveling with Children

January 24, 2018 | Leave a Comment

Taking children on holiday with you, is not always a simple task. In fact, it can be quite a challenge and can cause stress levels to rise, which is the last thing you want when going on holiday. Whether you are jetting on to a sunny resort or just taking a trip across the county to a remote cottage for a few days, traveling with kids can take some serious planning.

Our ‘how to’ guide is here to relieve this stress and help make your pre-holiday planning prep, a little easier.

Discover our top tips to ensure a smooth holiday getaway!

Pack a bag of things to do!

Whether you are traveling by plane, car, boat or train, always pack a bag of things to do. Especially when traveling with children.

Pack it full of things to do; games, colouring, devices, the works!

Whenever you hear those dreaded words ‘are we there yet?’ or ‘I’m bored’ be confident that you have come prepared with a bag of tricks to keep them happy and to combat boredom.

Think of some traveling games

If you are taking a long trip somewhere, we would highly recommend thinking of some fun journey games to play to pass the time.

Children love games and they are the perfect way to pass the time. Discover our long journey game guide below:

1). Eye spy

This game is perfect for any type of journey. Long or short, this is the perfect game to play to pass the time.

2). The number plate game

Ideal for long journeys on the motorway. Try to make a word out of the letters on another cars number plate. See who can be the most creative!

3). Spot the object

Choose an object and the first player to spot it wins! To make it more competitive, keep track of the points scored by each player.

4). The alphabet game

This game can be played on any type of journey!

The first player has the think of an object starting with the letter A, the next person would then think of one beginning with the letter B, but before saying it would have to say what’s been said previously. For example:

  • Person 1 – A: Apple
  • Person 2: A Apple, B: Bike
  • P1: A: Apple, B: Bike, C: Car

And so on…

Consider taking your Nanny on holiday with you

If you have a nanny employed to work with your family, why not consider asking her on holiday with you to take care of the children and to minimize the stress to you when it comes to traveling to your destination.

Allow your nanny to keep them occupied and happy whilst traveling to relieve the pressure from you.

Plan ahead your journey

Whatever type of getaway you are making, make sure you plan ahead and know what you might face.

If you are flying, prepare for a long wait at the airport. If you are driving, prepare for long delays on the motorway and for traffic build ups.

A top tip to keep children happy is to plan regular stops. Have a look ahead of your journey and see if there are any service stations or towns that you can pull in to take a break from driving, stretch your legs and grab a quick snack.

Take it at your own pace

The key to a successful journey is to take regular breaks and take it at your own pace. This might be difficult if you have to get be somewhere at a certain time or if you have to board a train or a plane, but always allow a little bit of extra time. 

 

So, if you are planning on making a getaway with your children, try to consider a few of the above to make your holiday travel as smooth and stress free as possible.

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

The importance of staying safe in the sun

August 7, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Summer is here! With the warmer weather upon us, we are able to spend more time outside in sunshine, going for walks, playing in the park or in the garden. However, being outside exposed to the sun, does come with a huge responsibility. Keeping your children or charges safe in the sunshine.

UV radiation can not be seen or felt and has no relation to the temperature so it can be hard to know exactly when we have had ‘too much sun’

Overexposure can cause sunburn which resulting in redness and a great deal of pain. The skin turns red within 2 – 6 hours of being burnt. Sunburn then continues to develop over the next 24 – 72 hours. The changing colour of the skin signifies damage to the skin.

However, with that being said, it is still important to ensure that we do get some exposure to the sun. Small amounts of UVR exposure is the most effective way of boosting vitamin D supply.

Ensuring your children & charges are kept safe in the sun

1. Sun cream – An essential for anyone who is going to be exposed to the sun. It should be worn to keep skin protected.

  • Make sure it has a UVA symbol
  • The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) indicates the UVB protection that it offers. Make sure the sun cream you use, has a SPF of 30 or higher to ensure maximum protection
  • All sun cream should be applied 20 minutes before going outside.
  • All sun cream should be reapplied at least every 2 hours. If you find that your children or charges are sweaty, apply more frequently. Sun cream should also be reapplied after water exposure (swimming)
  • If you child or charge is exposed to water (swimming) make sure you apply a waterproof sun cream with an SPF of 15 or higher
  • Protect your lips by applying a lip balm with an SPF in it. Make sure the factor is higher than 30.

No one sun cream provides ultimate protection, so never just rely on applying sun cream to offer protection.

2. Wear protective, suitable clothing

  • Wearing clothing can be the most suitable and effective way of keeping skin safe in the sun as clothing acts as a barrier.
  • Make sure your child or charge is kept covered with loose, baggy clothing such as over sized t-shirts with sleeves.
  • Always make sure your child’s or charges shoulders are covered as they can burn easily.

3. Wear sunglasses – Protect your eyes from solar UV radiation

  • When it comes to purchasing a pair of sunglasses, it is important to remember the Eye Protection Factor (EPF). The EPF ranges from 1 to 10. Be aware that the higher the number, the better protection they will offer.
  • Make sure that the sunglasses fit your child or charge and are not too big or sliding of their face. Ensure that they are close fitting and wrap around the eyes.

4. Wear a hat – protect your face from the sun

  • A hat is a staple for all children. A wide brimmed hat is fantastic for providing shade to the face, neck and the ears.
  • When it comes to purchasing a hat, any ultraviolet protection fabric will provide sufficient protection.

5. Find a shaded area – Don’t spend an excessive amount of time in the sun, spend some time keeping cool

  • Between the hours of 11am – 3pm, the suns UV rays are at their strongest. It is a good idea to avoid the sun during this time. You can still enjoy the great outdoors, but remember to spend some time in a shaded cool area.
  • Even when spending time in the shade, it is always important to remember to apply SPF, wear sunglasses and a hat.
  • Babies and toddlers should be kept in the shade at all times.

Remember to keep cool and protected this summer. Make sure you are doing everything that you can to keep you child or charge safe in the sunshine. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your child is kept protected, whilst still enjoying the outdoors.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

Cost effective days out and activities in Sussex for Parents and Nannies

July 11, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Cost Effective Weekend Ideas/activities for Parents and Nannies

Sussex

There is so much to discover in Sussex! This being said, it is not always cheap. If you are looking for some fun activities to do with your children or nanny children at the weekend that are fun, family orientated and don’t break the bank, then hopefully this article will help.

Sussex has so much to be discovered, including all of this:

Top Sussex Attractions/places to visit:

Brighton

Brighton is such an exciting place to visit with lots of different attractions to see and lots of activities to take part in. Perfect for families and nannies, providing entertainment and excitement for all!

Brighton Beach

Who doesn’t love going to the beach? Always an exciting day out and the perfect place to take children. With the warmer weather fast approaching, Brighton Beach is the place to be. There are also lots of attractions to visit along the beach side:

  • Brighton Fishing Museum – Free Admission, open 10am – 5pm Monday – Sunday – Perfect place to find out about the fishing and beach trade. Suitable for all ages to enjoy.
  • Beach Railway – The perfect way to see the sights of Brighton Beach, whilst sitting back and being taken on a ride you will be sure to enjoy. A 1 mile long route that runs between terminal stations at the Aquarium (close to the Palace Pier) and Black Rock (close to Brighton Marina). There is a fee to go on the railway, but it is a reasonable price. You are also able to buy a family ticket which you may find will be cheaper than buying individuals.
  • Traditional sea side activities – Lots to take part in along the beachside. Activities that children are going to love including a ‘merry go round’.
  • Brighton Pier – One of the most iconic places to visit in Brighton. An ideal place to visit with children of all ages. With free admission onto the pier, you are then able to visit various food and drink outlets, sampling the famous fish and Chips that Brighton has to offer, or picking up some of the traditional seaside treats like a Mr Whippy ice cream or some tasty donuts. When tummies have been filled, check out the pier’s attractions, arcades and rides. Lots of rides and amusements to choose from to suit different ages of children. The great thing about the pier is you are able to keep costings minimum. You may decide to set a limit for your children in terms of ride money or just enjoy the views that are on offer. A fantastic family day out that can be enjoyed on a budget.

British Airways i360

The i360 is the tallest moving observation tower in the world and is an exciting way to see Brighton & Hove all at once. Located on Brighton Beach close to the iconic West Pier. Suitable for children and ideal for families. Children are able to point out key landmarks, ships and all exciting things that they see. Children are also able to enjoy animations showing how the i360 was built and there is also a free app that can be downloaded to enjoy a photo hunt around the attraction.

The i360 is not free and you do have to pay a charge to go on. However, children under 4 will go free and if you book online, you are able to save some money on your tickets.

To find out more about ticket pricing and opening hours, visit their website >>> http://britishairwaysi360.com/

If you and your children prefer going on adventures and getting muddy then these places are for you:

Tulleys Farm

Lots of fun to be had at Tulleys Farm. An ideal day out that it suitable for children of all ages. Lots of seasonal and day to day events take place during the year at Tulley’s Farm, so there is always something to do and take part in. There is also a tea room to enjoy, a courtyard to explore, a play area to have lots of adventures in and an animal patch to get up close with some of the animals Tulley’s has.

There is free admission into Tulleys. If you want to take part in a special event that they are running, then there would be a charge to pay.

http://www.tulleysfarm.com/

Washbrooks Farm

Washbrooks has it all! Animals, climbing frames, sandpits, tractor rides, a football pitch, a zip wire and lots of play areas all to be discovered. They also have a place to relax and grab a cup of coffee or some lunch when needed.

Open everyday form 9:30 – 5pm. There is a fee to enter, however children under the age of 3 go free and if you are a family of 4 you can save on ticket prices. Tickets are very reasonably priced and it is definitely worth the trip. With so much to see and do, little ones will not get bored.

http://washbrooks.co.uk/index.php

National Trust

If you and your family prefer a quieter place to visit and spend time together then why not visit a National Trust place. Sussex is home to lots of National Trust establishments that have stunning scenery and are child friendly.

Here are a few free/low cost National Trust locations:

  • Wakehurst Place, Haywards Heath, West Sussex – Free for children under 16, National Trust Members and friends of Kew/Wakehurst
  • Devils Dyke, near Brighton, West Sussex
  • Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex
  • Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, near Eastbourne, East Sussex

There are so many places to visit and lots of stunning scenery to be scene. To find out more information about the places listed or to discover other National Trust Locations, click on the link >>>

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionlondonsoutheast/sussex

Castles

An exciting and educating way to spend the day that all are able to enjoy.

Here are a few castles located in Sussex that have stunning scenery and are suitable for families:

  • Arundel Castle
  • Lewes Castle
  • Bodium Castle

The admission of these places is not free, so if you are planning on visiting make sure you plan ahead and decide on the perfect time of year you would like to go and what events would be best suited to you and your family.

Sussex has so many exciting things to offer and lots of exciting places to see. Hopefully this article has helped you to gain an understanding of them. There are lots of activities and days out to be had that don’t cost a fortune. Spend time with your family or Nanny children discovering what Sussex has to offer.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

Booster seats explained

November 28, 2016 | Leave a Comment

UPDATE: New approvals rules for backless booster seats look set to come into force before March 2017, and not December 2016 as originally expected. Under current UK law, all children travelling in a car must use the correct child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall. In some European countries this height limit is 150cm. However, a committee of European safety experts has voted to amend the approval rules for backless booster seats (sometimes called booster cushions), under the R44 regulation, to limit their use to children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg. The regulations will apply to new products entering the market.

Read more: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2016/10/booster-seats-rules-change—update-453898/ – Which?

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A new law comes into place around December (date to be confirmed) that changes the rules on Children’s car booster seats.

It’s important as a parent or nanny with children that you are aware of the change and what it means.

These new rules only allow children that are taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg to be able to use a Booster seat purchased or manufactured as new from around December 2016. Please check the government website for this new law release date here: https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules/using-a-child-car-seat-or-booster-seat

Here is a list of things to remember when buying a new Booster seat

  1. Ensure it is high back;
  2. Ensure it has head protection;
  3. Ensure it has shoulder protection;
  4. Make sure that there are red guides to feed seat belt through;
  5. Choose a seat with Isofix fitting if your car has Isofix points (this stops the seat “swaying”, fixing the seat to the vehicle).
  6. Don’t be distracted by character design/colour;
  7. Avoid buying online, visit a retailer where expert advice can be given, and you can try the seat in your car with the help of an expert fitter.

Current law states that all children must use a booster seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall. This law will stay in place for Booster seats purchased prior to the change in law.

The new law is only for new Booster seats that have been manufactured and purchased after the expected December 2016 change. We strongly recommend that you switch to a high-backed booster seat for children aged 4-12 until your child reaches 125cm tall or 22kg. Recent research shows that a high-backed booster seat will offer a lot more protection for your child than the backless booster seat.

Further information about car seats and their use can be found on the ROSPA website here: http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/types-of-seat/booster-cushions/

Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2016

628 x 1200 family in car

Fun Family Things to do over Easter!

March 24, 2016 | Leave a Comment

Easter Weekend is a great 4 day weekend for all the family, whether it’s Easter egg hunts or enjoying a big Easter Sunday dinner with all the family and friends. There are plenty of activities to do over the weekend, so if you are a mummy or a nanny take a look at our ideas here…

London are creating many wonderful events for this wonderful weekend that are great for all the family, luckily it’s only a train ride away!

Chocolate

There is an amazing chocolate tour around London for the ultimate chocolate lovers. This three hour tour through Mayfair lets you learn about the history behind chocolate, how it’s produced and traded. Plus you get the pleasure of sampling different chocolates, truffles macaroons along the way- all family favourites. The walk however is only suitable for children age 13+, so not the best family day out if you have younger children, and booking in advance is important.

Easter Egg Hunts

On Friday 25th March, The Roof Gardens in Kensington are holding an Easter Hunt for Adults!  This will be taking place 100ft above London where adults will be challenged to find hidden treats among three different themed gardens. Alongside this, make sure you keep an eye out for their Roof Garden’s Ducks accompanied by some Easter tags and be in with a chance to win some special prizes.

Over the next couple of days (25th March – 28th March) there is an Easter egg hunt taking place at Lee Valley Park Farms. This Easter egg hunt is brilliant for all ages. Take time to walk around the farm and meet many different farm animals along your way to finding your Easter eggs. Get the chance to meet new arrivals on the farm and not forgetting the possibility to meet the Easter bunny! Also, make a trip on Tex the Tractor to their working dairy farm and let the kids run around in their in and outdoor areas.

Family Theatre

Take time from the 29th March to the 10th April to visit the theatre this Easter, from magical stories that will sure to keep your children interested. Roald Dahl’s, The witches, a story about a boy and his grandmother battling witches that are trying to turn children into mice.  This is being shown in the Rose theatre, Kingston

Of course these are only a few attractions happening over the weekend, but if you love exploring London these will sure make your four day weekend a real treat.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Family Friendly Holiday on the Isle of Wight

November 16, 2015 | Leave a Comment

The Director of Harmony at Home Limited, Frankie Gray and her husband are delighted to announce that bookings are being taken for their Family Friendly Holiday Cottage on the Isle of Wight. As a Childcare Expert, Frankie has kitted out the detached 3 bedroom House to the highest specification. It has been refurbished and furnished in 2014. You can book your holiday online here: www.seaside-holiday-cottage.co.uk  and  you can book your Childcare or Babysitter for the Holiday with the Harmony at Home Isle of Wight Branch.

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