Christmas is magical when you have young children.
The build up is electric and I love nothing more than going down to the school or nursery to watch them perform their Nativity Plays. We are waiting with baited breath to find out who gets what part this year, but my children have been everything from Donkey’s, Wise Men, a Star and even Angels.
There is nothing better than being surrounded by the whole family on Christmas Day but when they grow up into young adults that doesn’t happen very often, however this year is going to be different.
Last year we had our best Christmas ever – we won a Christmas holiday to Coombemill in Cornwall and they went to great lengths to make it special.
We stayed in the most beautiful cabin complete with log burner and a real Christmas tree for us to decorate when we arrived. Just the smell of real pine is delicious! Fiona and her whole family couldn’t have made us feel anymore welcome and organised entertainment for the children.
We explored the farm, took part in feed runs and even ensured that Rudolph had plenty of food before his epic trip around the world with Father Christmas. The kids enjoyed a magical train ride on the Coombemill Christmas Express before being take to the local village of St Tudy where we took part in a Christingle service, before congregating outside to meet the big man himself and sample some mince pies and mulled wine.
Father Christmas found the kids and left sacks filled with toys for them to enjoy on Christmas morning and getting out to do the feed run was a nice break from all the unwrapping. Even cooking Christmas Dinner in a strange oven didn’t phase me, as there wasn’t the pressure of making it perfect like it is at home, although of course it was ;0)
The only thing that was missing were my eldest two, so this year we have booked to go back – all 8 of us plus Abbey’s boyfriend! I cannot wait!!
I have written this post as an entry for the Transun Lapland competition to win a trip to Lapland to see Santa!Read More
Over a million British children have never walked to school
As children across the country get settled into their second week of the new school term, new research by British clothing brand Regatta has revealed that Britain’s schoolchildren are being denied the chance to walk to school by parents who are choosing the speed and convenience of motorised forms of transport over healthy walking.
The cross-generational study has found that a shocking 17% of primary school aged children have never walked to school, despite almost half (47%) living within one mile of the school gates.
It was also revealed that the number of kids who walk to school has declined by 62% since the 1960s, when kids walked to school an average of almost 14 weeks more a year than schoolchildren nowadays.
While 38% of parents readily concede that in an ideal world they would walk their kids to school every day, almost half of them (46%) admit to not encouraging their children to walk to school.
The excuses as to why they chose the car instead of walking include “It’s quicker” (38%), “It’s more convenient” (27%) and simply “It’s easier for me” (23%).
In their quest for convenience, parents are ignoring their kids, who find the walk to school fun (45%) and an opportunity to spend time with friends (25%), get some fresh air (29%) and do classic childhood activities like splash in puddles (15%).
It emerges that over half of schoolchildren (58%) have even petitioned their parents to ditch the car and pound the pavements with them.
The dying tradition of the walk to school has not gone unnoticed by the older generations, with 73% of parents and 96% of grandparents concerned that kids walk to school less than they did when they were little.
Actress and mother of two Jo Joyner says: “My children started school this week and whilst they skipped merrily through the gates, I was bereft! It’s really important to me that we walk to school together as much as possible so that we can get excited about the new day ahead and talk about any worries or fears they might have. I’m very lucky that our village school is a pretty walk through the church yard and down the lane, even if we do always have to detour into the park on the way home! I see the mums, dads and grandparents frantically trying to avoid the traffic wardens and grab the last space and I think I’d much rather leave that extra half hour and walk.
“Of course it’s not always possible in this busy world, but I’m so aware that before I know it my little boy will be teenage and offer just a grunt about what he’s been up to and my girl won’t think she needs me because she’s all grown up. So, I’m making the most of splashing in puddles, spotting slugs and hide and seek on our way home for now. I’ll definitely be downloading the Regatta adventure guide to see what else the twins and I can get up to on our school walk.”
Regatta Marketing Director, Jo Hawkins commented: “It’s incredibly sad to see the huge decline in kids walking to school, particularly with the knowledge that most children are more eager than ever to get out in the fresh air.
“Thinking back to my own childhood, I struggle to remember a time when I went to school in the car, which really goes to show how much things have changed over the years.
“At Regatta, our hope is that we can help equip parents and their families to be able to embrace the outdoors, and walk to school more often.”
Regatta has created a Walk to School Adventure Guide, which is available to download via the Regatta website and contains tips on how to make the most of the walk to school, as well as cunning tricks on speeding up the journey time without compromising on the fun factor.
I am very proud that we walk to school what ever the weather and in the last two weeks we have really tested the coats we were sent to review as we have seen, what can only be described as, biblical rain which of course only starts as we walk out the door!
Probably my favourite coat is Sebastian’s Fox Puddle suit as it certainly has the cute factor and draws lots of attention when he is spotted. Eliza has a gorgeous purple Parka, which unlike many children’s coats is nice and long, coming down to her knees, which keeps her nice and dry. Isaac has a lighter waterproof jacket with a removable fleece lining so it can be used throughout the year and I went for a long length Audrey jacket, which has been great at keeping me dry too! Even the lesser spotted teen got a Parka and has actually worn it, which, if you are the parent of a teen, is a minor miracle.
The PDF is packed full of fun activities for the kids to try from puddle jumping, to counting objects in certain colours and you can adapt it to make the school run fun for weeks to come. The lovely team at @regattaonline are sharing everyones walking to school pictures on their website, simply use the hashtag #itsmyadventure.
Do you and your children walk to school?