Daddy and Munchkin Blog
Seriously, Take Kids Camping!

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Some of my best childhood memories came from the camping trips I had with my Grandparents and Mum. We would find a good site, pitch up, get the croquet and games out, play endless garden games and relax. It was childhood at its best.

Ready or not, I’m coming to find you! – Hide and seek camping style!

It’s something I always wanted to pass to Munchkin. This year, Nanny and Grandad were already planning to go to a local site so we joined them for a one-night trail run. The short, it was fantastic, so seriously, take kids camping!

The sky’s awake so I’m awake!

As a parent, we often worry about our child sleeping well. So the thought of camping in the summer with an early sunrise and sharply rising tent temperatures was enough to add a bit of fear with taking Munchkin camping.

Going to a local site eased the fear a little. If worst came to the worse we could escape home in the middle of the night and return the next morning.

So, we put our fears aside. Bought him his own character airbed and a new Paw patrol nightlight and took familiar things like his pillow, duvet and favourite bed toy from home. We made sure we had long walks, lots of activity and a little bit of a later night after a late takeaway dinner.

The result: he slept through undisturbed until morning.

kids camping
Phew. Out light a light switch.

Home away from home

To make him feel at home and included, we made sure whatever we had, he had. He had his own little camping chair so he could sit around the firepit with us, and his own personal airbed. We let him help with activities such as pumping up his bed, helping with the washing up and building the tent – he especially loved the mallet, offering to help hammer in the pegs. We took a good selection of toys which could be used outside and garden games. Ensuring he never got bored.

Playing like at home

We also take his tablet with Amazon kids+ (I’ve review that here). This was good whilst we pottered around getting food ready and for his usual bedtime routine with a few stories.


For great days out with young children see our reviews of Hobbledown and National Trust properties ➡️


Affordable holidaying

The most important thing, especially with the current cost of living crisis, is that camping can be affordable. You can pick up a good sized tent for a family of 3 or 4 for under £50 and pay a quarter of what is it for a low budget hotel room for the pitch. There’s a bit of prepayment for things like chairs and airbeds, but at this time of the year you can find cheap camping stuff everywhere, for example, we picked up our foldable chairs for a little over a tenner and borrowed other bits from my parents. It was obviously more pricey this time, but will make an affordable getaway next time and the next…

A reasonably priced tent for us three. Oh and a car to store everything else

The trial run

As it was Munchkin’s first time a we opted for this as a trial run for future camping.

The reason for a short trial run of camping was two-fold. Firstly we needed to see if Munchkin would sleep. Second, we needed to see what items we needed and inevitably you will forget something the first few times! Like any holiday, imagine going away and forgetting the baby milk, or a favourite cuddly toy!

Prepare for all weather

In the UK we all know we can experience all four seasons in one day. We went in June.

Summer is probably the hardest as you never know what you are going to get. So pack the sun cream and shorts, the coat for the cooler evenings and the wellies and waterproofs if it rains. Plus, plenty of spares if they get muddy or wet. Be overprepared.


Given this was just our trial run I imagine ill update it over the trips to come.

Do you have any advice on camping with kids?

Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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Mutable Review – The ultimate multi-activity table.

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From the moment we started trying for a Munchkin, I had created a list of products I wanted for him or her when they were old enough. At the top of that list, a Mutable by Stokke (previously Mukako) (Visit Stokke.com). Its been a favourite product for years now, and it hasn’t disappointed, so here is our Mutable review.

Since being brought out by Stokke, the product line seems to have decreased. So while this review doesn’t match all the products sold by Stokke they are still stocked elsewhere. I will include links where possible for other UK stockists where appropriate.

Mutable Review
The Mutable

What is a Mutable?

The Mutable is an Italian designed multi activity table for kids up to the age of 8 as it grows with them. The table is made of a beautiful wooden design, with a modern shape and a splash of colour. It has screw on legs, with additional pieces to enable it to grow in height as your child grows. This gives the chairs two heights and the table four heights to grow with your child.

There is an insert in the top which houses the ‘multi activity’ components. These are wooden or cardboard discs which change the table from a simple table, to a lego or duplo table, a chalk board or white board, a round puzzle board or a city or world landscape. There is also further options such as multi level lego towers, playdough moulds and adaptable scenarios.

For older children, there are app enabled toys and games, such as numbers and letters and ‘around the world’ and ‘ring o stories’ . So what can be a snack table, is an art space, a pay space and also a learning space.

Daddy and Munchkin’s Mutable review.

As I said in my introduction, the Mutable does not disappoint. From the morning it was delivered and constructed, which was a simple process with hand screw legs. Munchkin was eager to play with his cars on the town landscape, scribble with giant chalk on the white board and take his wooden train or cuddly toys for a ride up high.

Daddy loves it as its self contained. Every activity is stored within the table. There’s an attached pen/chalk pot which is useful for easy storage and access to (you guessed it) pens and chalk, and a storage bag for tidying up, which is filled by simply removing the centre and pushing the toys through the hole. We used this from when Munchkin was just one to teach about tidying up, and it worked a charm.

Overall I cannot fault it, and can’t wait to buy extra toys and games and use it as a learning tool for numbers/letters and humanities in the future. The only drawback is the price, but when you consider the amount of time it can be used with its variety of uses, its was an easy equation for us and its been worth every penny since.

What Else is Available?

We originally opted for the moderately supplied Essential Plus bundle. In 2022 this includes two chairs, 7 inserts, extra puzzles, storage bag and pen holder, but there are many more options to add. It currently retails at Stokke for £434.90 but can be found cheaper elsewhere in the UK such as pram world who stock it for £345.90.

In terms of accessories and toys, there are extension sets to allow space for 6 children and silicone covers to protect the table.

In the toy department, there are 3-dimensional playhouses, wooden playhouses, and lego towers, play dough moulds and educational games. I already have my eye on a playhouse, playdough mould, and more games for Munchkin.


Interested in a tablet for your little one? Check out my Fire HD Kids tablet review ➡️


One year on…

It is still the best product we have invested in. It is a favourite place for a painting and drawing or scribbling on the chalk board. Munchkin has started to use the Mutable for imaginative play taking his dinosaurs to the town landscape and therefore we have expanded our Mutable collection.

We now have the two, two sided games, one teaches about fruit and vegetables and the other is a space themed game. These both come with multiple levels, allowing the game to change as your child grows, for example changing from counting to doing sums and multiplication.

The second is a superhero house. A multi-level wooden playhouse that sits it is own disc holder on top of the Mutable. It has multiple rooms, from fictional superhero to real life such as police and firemen. We spend many an hour playing with this now. Unfortunately this product is not sold by Stokke since their take over however even if they still sell the furniture and the heroes but can be found elsewhere on third party sellers like Pramworld.

Mutable Review – Those all important stars

Quality

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Price

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Useability

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Instructions

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin approved.

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Fire HD 10 kids tablet and Amazon Kids+ review

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If we like it or not, technology is a huge part of life. We use the internet for nearly everything. We buy food, order takeaways, share our lives on social media, do our work and our kids…they use tablets as early as primary school. This is why, after Munchkin was doing so well at potty training, we bought him a Kindle Fire HD 10 Kids tablet, and here is my review.

K

Initial ‘out of the box’ feelings

As soon as you remove the Fire 10 kids from the box you can see its safe for kids. The standard tablet design is enclosed in thick rubber case with integrated kickstand/carry handle which comes in three colours. It looks unbreakable and may be hard to damage. But for peace of mind, as we know what children are like, purchase also includes a 2 year guarantee for any breaks or screen smashes caused by an angry raging toddler/small human.

It has oodles of space for all those many apps they download each day at 32 gb and comes with 1 year of Amazon Kids + supplying many many books, games, videos, songs and apps. It has a bright display, long battery life, reasonable sound quality, albeit slow charging time.

Set up and Safety

The parent dashboard for Kids

The Amazon Fire 10 HD Kids links directly to a parents account which you use to set up the device. This means as a parent, you have full control. You can access the device remotely from the Amazon Parent Dashboard to see statistics and control the device.

At 3 years old, we only use the tablet with Munchkin, so are able to see and control what he sees but in the future when he plays alone, we will easily be able to remotely see what he accesses and how how long.

Furthermore, the dashboard has controls. You can see daily time limits in terms of shutoff time and total duration of use. You can control content, the web browser, turn music on and off, Prime video access and the age filter and theme. You can even set educational goals and even set ‘learn first’ where your child has to meet educational goals before using any games or entertainment.

Age filter and theme

The age filter and theme allows the tablet to restrict all content. It allows you to set a minimum age to maximum age range which Amazon then changes all the books, apps, games etc to fit within. This allows us, as parents, to slowly nudge the range up, as they grow up, to limit things that are too simple, and push things to challenge their little minds.

The theme simply changes the tablet either to a version aimed at older children who can read to one for younger kids who can’t yet read. That uses images rather than text.

What can they learn on a Fire HD 10 Kids?

From my own experience, I have always let Munchkin chose what to download and play with from the Kids+ library. Though so far, though the various games he’s chosen I have seen evidence of shape sorting, colour sorting, letter and number formation, counting, the alphabet, care for animals and where they live, how crops are grown and more. It’s a great learning tool.

When the Kids are asleep…

The Fire HD 10 Kids is essentially just a regular fire tablet with the kids software bits added on. So when the kids are in bed and you need to play Spotify or browse the internet in the evening and can’t find your phone? Swipe down, hit the account icon, enter your password and boom its just a normal Fire. Just make sure you charge it ready for your little one the next day, oh and prepare for long load times on websites.

Fire 10 vs Fire 8 or 7? It comes down to size, speed and storage.

The Fire HD 10 Kids retails at £199, the 8 at at £139.99 and the 7 at £99 so why opt for the 10?

Firstly, the number stands for the screen size. For the 7 its 7″ and standard definition, 8 takes you to 8″ and HD and 10 takes you to 1080p on a 10.1″ screen. The storage, RAM and CPU jump up too with size, from 16 GB storage with 2 GB RAM and quad core processor on the 7, up to 32 GB storage, 3GB RAM and Octo-core processor for the 10. Put simply, its size, speed and storage.

What Munchkin thinks…

I asked my three year old little poppet Munchkin what thinks of it…(with some help)

It’s fun, good and I like it 😁

Munchkin age 3

Looking to entertain a child away from a screen? Check out our Mutable multi-activity table review ➡️


Amazon Kids +

Amazon Kids+ is the subscription you get a year included, which then continues from £1.99 per month. It gives kids access to tons of age appropriate books, films, educational apps, audio books, and games. It seems to have everything. I found one of our favourite books and tons of great educational and fun games and apps. Its got Thomas, Numberblocks and Alphablocks, Ceebeebies and many many more. Munchkin has everything he wants.

Amazon Kids+ app selection
A small example of apps Kids+ apps in the 3-5 years range. Screenshot from amazon.co.uk

It’s preinstalled on the Fire HD 10 Kids but compatible with Android, iOS, Kindle and Fire tablets. Everything is controlled by the parent dashboard, so you can limit every aspect.

You can get a free trial here and take it for a spin.

Environmental considerations.

For the environment conscious parent like me its good to know this:

The technical gubbins

CPU: 2.0GHz octa-core CPU
RAM: 3GB
Display: 10.1-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 pixels
Storage: 32GB
Ports: 1x USB-C, headphone jack, microSD
Battery life: 14:32
Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.5 x 0.4 inches
Weight: 1.02 pounds without case; 2 pounds with case

Fire 10 review – The stars

Overall

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Cost

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Usability

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Set up

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Safety

Rating: 4 out of 5.

All considered I’m chuffed with the Fire HD 10 Kids and so is Munchkin. Any questions, drop a comment or contact us.

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin approved.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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save money in the cost of living crisis
Save Money in the Cost of Living Crisis

When you buy something using the retail links in our blog posts, we may earn a small commission. This money goes towards fuelling further content. If you want to support us, you can also buy us a coffee

With everything increasing in price, from petrol to food, cosmetics to energy, its fair to say this cost of living crisis is going to hit a lot of people hard.

Munchkin calculating the damage

To help, there are little things, from simple tips to handy services, we can all do to save some pennies. Afterall they do say: ‘Save the pennies and the pounds start saving themselves’.

So here are my tips to use less, save some pounds, get some things more cheaply and lessen the pressure of the crisis.

Get cashback with Quidco or Top Cashback 💰

I often recommend cashback sites, and I am bewildered that more people don’t use them. If you buy near to anything online, you can get cashback. And when I say anything, we are talking insurance to food shopping to online gambling to mobile phones to energy to technology. Nearly everything we buy online.

Simply, sign up for a cashback site such as Quidco or Top Cashback, choose the site with the best cashback, search for a retailer, click the link to access the site, complete your purchase and the transaction gets tracked.

Quidco cashback screenshot
For example, get £18.15 for a new customer home delivery or 2.42% for existing customers.

It takes some time for the cashback to be granted, but in six months time you could be looking at an extra little payday. It’s amazing how many times I have needed some money and there’s been some sitting in my Quidco account to save me.

Sign up to Quidco for £5 free cashback to start off your saving.

Use less energy ⚡

While we are stuck in a time where we can’t shop around for the cheapest energy deal, we have to look at ways to reduce our use. This is the case for me, so I’ve made some simple switches.

It’s the obvious things really. I have started using eco modes on the dishwasher and washing machine. Then set up smart plugs to switch off devices such as my PC and the TV when we’re not using it. I’ve changed lightbulbs to LED bulbs and been slightly more so Dad-like who always tells people to switch off the lights. The result is that my electricity hasn’t gone up quite as much as I expected.

Smart plugs (so you don’t have to remember to switch things off) are available on Amazon.

Further to that, reduce your thermostat temperature by 1 degree and stick a jumper on this Autumn. They say 1 degree equates to around £80 saved per year.

Get a free £15 purchase with Zilch 💵

Zilch is a new ‘buy now pay later’ company who give you a free £15 if you sign up with this link. Simply set up an account, shop though Zilch and use the free £15 to pay. You don’t have to use their credit option, just use the free £15 and buy a takeaway though Just Eat or Deliveroo.

After all a free pizza tastes so much better than one you paid for.

Zilch screenshot
An example of the many many Zilch retailers.

Oh and you can then refer others, you can get £15 too.

Use discounts from food box companies to save on the weekly shop 📦

This is a great idea for lower food bills. Meal box companies like Hellofresh and Gousto happily give discounts to join (up to 40% off). So sign up, make the most of the discount and then cancel. Then try the next box. These companies also tend to come back with another offer every six months or so so you can rinse and repeat. Oh, and they are also super tasty.

Sign up using this link for £47 off your first three Hellofresh boxes.

Save money with meal subscription boxes – here is one of ours

Use less fuel ⛽

With petrol and diesel prices sky high, and with it not being that simple to switch to electric, there’s some easy switches you can do. In this category, I must say that there’s some I do enjoy and some less so.

Change your habits. Try car sharing if you can. I recently started two days a week with a colleague from work. I’m saving money and I get some company on the journey. Win win. Make sure you only carry what you need, and that includes fuel. Less weight means less fuel used meaning less money spent.

The less enjoyable you can drive more eco-friendly. Accelerate slower, slow down naturally rather than using hard braking and use the eco modes on your car if you have one. Certainly less fun, but if they mean we can fill the tank a day later then it can be worth it

Consider Foodbanks or Community Fridges ❄️

If you have to choose between food and fuel, consider approaching a Food Bank or Community Fridge. For Foodbanks you need a voucher to gain a referral. Community Fridges however are for anyone, and provide surplus food from supermarkets and donations to prevent food waste. You can find out more about, and how to gain the referral to, Foodbanks here (the Trussel Trust) and here (citizens advice) and all about, and where to find a Community Fridge scheme here.


Do you have any other money saving tips? Add them in the comments

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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Combating Low Confidence

I have always had two sides. There’s the side people see. He appears confident, good with new people and able to present data at work. Then there’s the side he feels, the low confidence, nerves and the symptoms surrounding them – the sweats, the increased need to visit the bathroom and the resulting dehydration.

I have come to realise over time that I just use tools. Simple things that boost low confidence enough to get by and appear confident. Not usually on a day to day basis, but on those big days: the interview, the annual work review, the wedding speech, the big presentation…etc. Simple tools that really change how I come across and alleviate those nervous symptoms.

The Power Pose

This one came from a book my manager lent to me. The power pose is that of a winner, like when Usain Bolt wins a race, and performs his ‘celebration bolt’. Just imagine that feeling, but actually throw your arms up and feel the power of the pose. Or alternately, place your hands on your hips, raise your chin and tighten your muscles. It instantly boosts your testosterone which elevates your self esteem and builds your confidence. Allowing you to smash that meeting. Below, Munchkin shows the most simple one.

The Munchkin power pose

You’ve entered a race and lo and behold you’ve only gone and won! You raise those arms in jubilation as the endorphins pump around your bloodstream. Hold it for 30 seconds, add 30 seconds of another and the result: you feel amazing!

‘I won a race Daddy!’

Don’t trust me? Here’s the science and the Amy Cuddy TED talk all about power poses.

Sing your heart out

This is similar to power posing, but more fun and you can do it in your car. Build a good powerful playlist, turn it up a few notches and sing your heart out.

You make look a fool at roundabouts, but damn does it feel good when you step out the car at your destination. Oh and just make sure you keep both eyes on the road, otherwise those positive benefits may get a little lost.

Exercise

Ask me to do a presentation and I shudder in fear. But way back when I was doing my masters (2013 eeek! 🙈), I was also starting the NHS couch to 5K running program (it helps you run 5 km or 30 minutes in nine weeks – here’s the NHS site). On the day of my dissertation presentation I went for a week 8, or 25 minute run and remarkably didn’t feel an ounce of nerves before or during the presentation. The dual benefit of boosting low confidence whilst getting a little fitter.

The post run sweaty red faced selfie

Think back

This one’s useful if you have used one of the others previously. Think back to the time you weren’t nervous for an interview because of your morning run, or smashed the presentation due to your power pose. If you were fine then, you can do it again. Get those positive thoughts flowing and convinces those nervy gremlins to go back in hiding.


These are some of my tools I use to combat low confidence, do you use any others? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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Count with Peppa

Whilst this product was kindly gifted. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

From the second I said, ‘look, a package for you’ Munchkins eyes lit up. When he saw it was Peppa, the excitement was unreal, he could not wait for me to wrestle and free it from the packaging.

Peppa pig count with peppa
One happy poppet

Peppa Pig Count with Peppa is a number and colour recognition toy all styled in the design and with the voice of every parents favourite pig.

It uses 10 coloured number discs, with different colours and the numbers from 1 – 10. On the other side is the corresponding number of items i.e. 5 planes. Peppa can recognise which discs are inserted and therefore know if the correct disc is posted.

‘Where’s the number 5?’

There are multiple games, from find the number, to find the coin which has a certain number of an item. It also plays three songs, from the series, which Munchkin was instantly joining in with. This will further solidify Munchkins colour and counting skills and improve his ability to follow instructions.

We admit we had a little issue pushing the coins through at first. But two days later it seems to have improved for us both.

Available at Argos. £20

Thanks for reading,

Daddy reviewed, munchkin approved.

Daddy and Munchkin

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Daddy’s Top 6 Big Potato Party Games

As parents, there’s still times we need to put the kids to bed, get the beers out and enjoy a game or five…

Big Potato have always been a favourite of mine, even before I started to collaborate with them. They produce fantastic party and family games, and are also working to be more eco-friendly by reducing plastic, reducing box sizes and planting trees (double points from me!)

So here’s a run down of my top 6 big potato games. If you’re interested in my all time game favourites you can find that post here.

If any of these games, or any of their others, interest you, you can use the code BBMUNCHKIN for 15 percent off. So you can enjoy those games for a little less.

6. Day at the Festival/Night at the movies puzzles

First on the list is a new release from Big Potato Games. There’s two puzzles, one is all about movies and one about bands and music artists.

Each is a 1000 piece puzzle which when complete, becomes a second challenge to identify the hidden bands/movies from the picture clues.

big potato
A puzzle with a game twist
  • Age 12+
  • 🕑 Variable, as its a puzzle
  • 👤 1+

5. 20 Second Showdown

20 second showdown is instant, fast paced, addictive fun. Split into two teams, grab a baton and get prepared.

Flip the timer and start the 20 second countdown, complete a task then flip the time back to start the time running for the other team. Complete simple, and often hilarious tasks and try to stay in the game by completing the task within the time. The first team to run out of time loses.

Fast paced, tense, team fun
  • Age 10+
  • 🕑 15 min
  • 👤 5 – 20

4. P for Pizza

P for pizza was a lockdown savior as it only requires a minimum of two players.

The lockdown savior. A simple, quick, addictive pizza themed game

Reveal three categories, match to a letter and shout an answer before another player. If you are first, win a pizza slice and add it to build your mega pizza slice to win. Though as you build, the categories you can answer reduce, making it harder the game progresses. A game so good you always play it twice.

  • Age 10+
  • 🕑 15 min
  • 👤 2 – 4

3. Don’t get Got

Don’t get got is the ultimate party game as you can play it alongside something else, like dinner, a party or other games.

The ultimate play anytime task game.

Get five secret tasks and one ‘guess what?’. Be the first to fool three other players and complete your tasks, but don’t get caught, or rather, Don’t Get Got!

  • Age 10+
  • 🕑 30 min – 30 y
  • 👤 2 – 10

2. Snakesss

Watch out, there’s snakesss about!

Find out who’s the best liar!

In snakesss, players get points by answering questions correctly after a brief team discussion. But beware, some players are actually snakes who try to charm you to choose the wrong answer. Snakes score points by distracting you from the correct answer.

One player gets the wooden ‘Mongoose of Truth’ token which shows they definitely aren’t a snake!

  • Age 12+
  • 🕑 40 min
  • 👤 4 – 8

1. The Chameleon

And finally, number one! My favourite Big Potato game is The Chameleon.

Blend into the crowd and remain undetected.

In this game, one player is The Chameleon who needs to blend in with the crowd. Every one else tries to uncover their disguise.

Turn over a new topic card and roll the dice. This will show the topic to all players but the Chameleon. Take turns giving a word related to the topic in order to detect the Chameleon – but watch out, they can escape if they can guess the topic so be wise when you choose your word.

  • Age 14+
  • 🕑 15 min
  • 👤 3 – 8

Which of these do you think would be your favourite? Let us know in the comments. And if you’re tempted, use code BBMUNCHKIN for 15% off!

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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Prep Tips for a Pandemic-Era Back to School Season

With only a two year old, in all honesty, Daddyandmunchkin knows nothing about the return to school, so here’s a guest post from Lydia Chan.


While back-to-school prep always seems to frazzle parents, starting up school amidst a pandemic makes things more challenging. Being prepared can go a long way toward easing frustrations, though. Consider these prep tips to help you stay safe and get ready for a smoother school year.

Amp Up Your Electronics

Be sure to address your household’s electronic needs before the first day of school, whether virtual or otherwise.

Prep Kids (and Their Spaces)

From virtual classroom resources to in-person prep, your kids will need to prepare for the school year. Here’s what to think about.

Photo from Rawpixel

Banish Germs Year-Round

Combating cold and flu season isn’t the only germ-related concern this school year. So, you’ll need tougher cleaning protocols for your family’s health and peace of mind.

Heading back to school can be both liberating and frustrating for parents. Between worries over germs and concerns on the effects of technology, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But with these tips for navigating digital classrooms, boosting kids’ confidence, and eliminating as many germs as possible, you can enjoy a calmer back-to-school season.

About the Author

Lydia Chan understands the life of caregiving for another. After her mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she found herself struggling to balance the responsibilities of caregiving and her own life. She is the co-creator of Alzheimer’s Caregiver, a website that aims to provide tips and resources to help caregivers.

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Daddy and Munchkin

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Get Toddlers Involved

Raising good little humans can start very young. From as little as 1 year old, Munchkin wanted to help around the house and by letting him help, we feel we are raising a well rounded human and giving him the skills to succeed from an early age. Its very simple to include them in little tasks to get toddlers involved and build their life skills.

Grub’s up

Giving Munchkin access to snack choices and letting him select from breakfast options supports developing his independence with free choice, which aligns with our Montessori style of parenting. Similarly, by letting him help with dinner preparation, whether that be cutting up some vegetables with a child safe knife, or letting him mix on the hob, we feel we are building those skills he will need in the future and his interest in what he’s eating and where it comes from.

Shop shop away

Another simple way to get toddler involved is at the shops, or when the delivery arrives. Let them select a snack, or what vegetable to have with a meal to include them, then get them to help put it all away too. This is good for language too as Munchkin will ask when he doesn’t know what something is, learning along the way.

Wash, splosh and scrub.

Adults generally hate doing the washing and unloading the dishwasher, but toddlers seem to love it. Let them sort through the clean washing, and pass it to be hung out to dry, or give them the ultimate trust of unloading the dishwasher, passing cultery and plates to you to put away. Similarly, toddlers love to get involved in a little cleaning, as much as they do a poor job, but it helps them feel part of the family team.

Out and about

For me, teaching life skills out and about, is just about telling them everything to understand the world. From what a wind turbine is, to how a shop operates, to why we need petrol for the car, I just tell him everything, all the time.

The most important of these being crossing the road. I would tell Munchkin to stop, and look left and right even when he was just a little 6 month old on the way to rhyme time and I’ve never stopped since in the hope it’ll be drilled in for when he one day ventures out alone (eek!).

Cash talk

With less physical cash out there, due to easy contactless payments and of course, Covid-19, its useful to talk about money when its spent as otherwise he doesn’t really see it. We do this by showing him money when we do come across it, and explaining what it means when we beep our cards. When Munchkin is old enough we will also set up his own pocket money bank account such as a Starling kids account (available from age 6) or prepaid card so he can learn to spend or save his own pocket money.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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Go Wild at BeWILDerwood review

What’s Bewilderwood About?

Based on the book series by Tom Blofeld, BeWILDerwood is a magical forest playground for the whole family. With wooden playgrounds, a sky maze, ropewalks, balancing beams, and the fastest and longest slides, all set within the trees in a beautiful forest setting. Everything is suitable for the entire family too so adults can play alongside their children for a truly enjoyable but exhausting fun family day out, so here is our beWILDerwood review.

Entry costs* £17.50 for an ‘Almost Wild’ child of 92 – 105 cm, £19.50 for over 105 cm to 65 years and £12.50 for the over 65’s. Entry includes all day climbing and exploring, free parking, and is inclusive of story times, dancing events and craft activities, so there’s no extra cost. *as of August 2021

bewilderwood review

A brief word on Covid

With restrictions lifted, I think its still nice to mention the Covid restrictions in place. BeWILDerwood supported digital ticket entry and cashless payments so there was no wasted paper and no handing over of tickets or payment cards. There were signs for social distancing in queues (although widely ignored by most) and instructions to keep left on pathways. There were also hand sanitiser stations at every section of the park (and most were full, which is quite the accomplishment as this has been a rarity elsewhere).

Munchkin’s (a two and a half year old toddler’s) experience

The forest is munchkin’s favourite place so that was a good start. Then, to add to that, there were slides, things to climb, and plenty of things to explore. Munchkin had a absolutely fantastic day, given a longish wait to enter and for the (very short) boat ride.

Which is probably my only negative. While Munchkin was excited for the boat, a 30 minute wait for a generally unexciting 2 minute journey isn’t really worth it. That said, it may be better for fans of the series as sets the scene of the books.

To avoid the long wait to enter, I recommend arriving early to beat the queue, get straight onto the boat and arrive first on the large structures such as the sky maze.

With only one or two things that were too big for his height, such as large ‘demon drop’ style, almost vertical bag slides, he was in his element. Climbing ladders, going across rope ladders and down the largest and fastest slides he’s ever seen! There was nothing he didn’t want to do. Ultimately proven by falling asleep before we even left the drive out of the wood!

Food and Drink

For this one we took a picnic, and there were numerous picnic spots, including one right next to the car park for an each lunch grab, so it was a breeze finding a free table.

If you to find something to eat there, there’s sausage buns, hotpot, nachos, sausage rolls and picnic food, such as sandwiches, crisps and fruit. Although we didn’t try their food, it was reasonably priced (£4.35 for a sausage hotpot), so we will likely eat there next time. They also do ice cream!

Where do you find Bewilderwood?

BeWILDerwood can be found in two spots in the UK, in Norfolk (north west of Norwich) and Cheshire (half an hour south of Chester). Here’s their handy dandy maps from their website.

Star Rating

No complaints here. A fantastic day out for the whole family.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin Approved.

Other Places to visit?

Where else shall we take our toddlers I hear you ask?

Hobbledown Review

Sundown adventureland review

Chessington World of Adventures with a toddler review

National Trust properties

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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