The summer holidays have arrived at a strange time in 2020, we’re slowly easing out of lockdown and can do more than what we’ve been used to over the past six months so we’ve got some alternatives to going abroad during the holidays.
Some of you may have been at home with your kids for the past four months as they’ve been off school, and you’ve either been working from home or been furloughed.
Some smaller children did go back to school around 3-4 weeks ago, so you may have been lucky enough to get back to work or have some time without the pressures of looking after your kids.
While holiday restrictions were lifted at the beginning of July, many holidaymakers have struggled with refunds and don’t want the hassle of taking their kids abroad with all the limitations and safety concerns.
Here are our alternatives to going abroad this summer:
If you’re still on furlough, but you think you could afford to get away for a week, then going on holiday could be an option. Also, if you’ve cancelled a holiday, you may want to think about replacing it with something a little closer.
The important thing is to check the logistics of the trip. If you drive 200 miles to find that all the on-site entertainment isn’t on and there isn’t much to do in the local area you could end up quite bored for a week.
Have a look what’s open and make a few calls before you book anything online as some companies may not have updated their websites, especially if they’re acting as a third party.
Also, check with your employer and ask if they anticipate you coming back to work anytime soon.
While it’s not necessarily a holiday, it’s always great to catch up with the ones we love, especially as we haven’t seen them for three to four months.
If your kids have grandparents, they’ll want to catch up with them too. Be mindful of who you’re going to see. For example, if you’re going to visit an older person, you’ll want to assess the risk of going before you make plans.
Ensure you take measures to stay safe by washing your hands and avoiding any family members that have Covid-19 symptoms.
If you’re concerned about going away or don’t have the funds to, you can cut costs by setting up a camping space in your back garden.
Your kids will love being able to stop out in the back garden, and you won’t have to buy too much gear because they’ll be able to come inside.
You could buy a paddling pool or some garden toys to make it feel like they’re on a proper camping trip. You could even get the marshmallows out if you have some equipment to make a fire.
Whatever you do, watch out for those muddy feet if it’s raining!
For a full list of government guidelines, click here.
Here are some tips for staying safe when you leave your household.
To stay safe from the Covid-19 pandemic, schools are only accepting children who’s parents are key workers, and many of us are faced with spending a lot of time at home.
Keeping the kids entertained during this time can be a challenge, but being stuck inside doesn’t mean you have to go berserk with boredom!
Relaxing at home may have sounded amazing at first, but let’s face it, too much time inside can make you stir-crazy – especially with the kids running riot. Here are some ideas to help you to keep them entertained:
School kids are used to having a daily routine, so inputting some structure into their days at home will help keep the chaos to a minimum. Let them create their own timetable, so they feel like they’re involved with the decision – this will make them much more likely to stick to it. Think about allotting time to eat, to exercise, to learn, play, do jobs around the house, have some free time and get some fresh air.
You’ve probably heard the dreaded words ‘I’m bored’ 100 times already, and no solution you suggest seems to be good enough. Get each person in your family to list ideas for what they can do when they get bored. Then use the list when you get bored – simple! This way, the ideas will be their own.
Making a fort never gets old. It’s a sure-fire way to keep your kids out of trouble for a few hours, plus, it’s cheap. Let them use old cardboard boxes or blankets and pillows to transform their bedroom into the most epic fort ever! You may even find yourself wanting to join in with this activity.
Everyone in the house needs to eat, but why not make mealtime prep fun? You’ll feed the family, teach the kids some skills and keep them entertained all-in-one. Turn your kids into little chefs by letting them help with mixing ingredients, cracking eggs and the best bit – licking the bowl! There are plenty of easy to follow baking and cooking recipes that they’re sure to love.
Let them raid your wardrobe or the fancy dress box, get dressed up in their favourite garments and strut their stuff! This activity is a great way to get your kids to use their imagination and pretend to be whoever they want. It’s fun for them and fun for Mum and Dad to watch.
Everyone loves a talent show. This idea is one that the whole family can join in with, after all, the only thing more fun than watching is participating! Maybe your kids are bursting with talent that you know nothing about. Now is the time for them to showcase their best skills, from singing and dancing to magic tricks and drawing.
With any luck, the above ideas will keep your little ones entertained for a while. Give our Facebook page a follow for more ideas.
In the current situation, remember to:
As a parent, you want the best for your children, and that includes giving them all the nutrients they need to grow up healthy. But as we all know, getting them to eat their veggies can be a serious battle, and often doesn’t feel worth the hassle.
But, there are ways to make it easier. From sneaking vegetables into their food to making fruit and veg more appealing, here are a few tips and tricks and get them eating the right things.
The best part about smoothies? You can put in whatever you want, and your kids will be none the wiser! They’re packed full of health benefits and are super easy to customise for breakfast, snack time or supper. They also tend to be naturally sweet which kids love.
Plus there are so many different ingredients available; spinach, strawberries, bananas, kiwi, carrot, the list goes on, so there are bound to be a few different variations that are kid approved.
All of this makes smoothies one of the easiest and most delicious ways to get your toddler to drink their fruit and veggies.
Yes it’s sneaky, but what they don’t know won’t hurt them – in fact it will do them a world of good!
Here are some examples:
It may seem obvious, but if kids are hungry, they will eat. Putting vegetables on a plate next to other more appetising food won’t work, they’ll fill up on the unhealthy stuff and the veggies will always loose. Here’s a better idea…
When your kids are getting tetchy during the pre-dinner hours, don’t give in and let them have a snack of their choice. Instead, try placing a plate full of veggies on the table, you might be surprised what they will munch on when they’re hungry! Chopped peppers, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers are great snacky food ideas full of goodness, and it shouldn’t fill them up too much before dinner time.
Our professional staff at The Riverside Village Nursery often put some of these tricks into practice and we’ve seen great success! If you want to read more about what our nursery offers, click here.
It’s the start of a new decade, and if you spent most of the 00s promising yourself you’d get fit, the 20s are a perfect opportunity to make it happen!
Getting fit can be tricky when you’ve got children to look after, though. They need a lot of care and attention, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about yourself. getting fit in January doesn’t have to be a slog, here are three ways you can get the 20s off to a slim start!
If you don’t want to commit to a gym because you aren’t sure if you’ll be able to go often enough, you could try a free pass. Most gyms offer free passes at this time of year because it’s a great way to get people through the door when they want to get fit in January.
If you have a friend you could go with, invite them along. Think about what gym you’d like to go to. Do you want to work out on your own? Are you into classes? Do you like swimming and saunas?
The prices will vary depending on the facilities, and the location is always worth considering, too.
Hussle allows you to type your postcode in and get free or discounted passes from various gyms. However, if you Google gyms near you, you’ll be able to find one that suits you.
There are plenty of benefits of walking and running. To begin with, they’re both free! And to add to that, you don’t have to faff around getting to a gym; you can leave your house and start straight away.
Many people think you aren’t doing ‘proper’ exercise if you aren’t doing something to exert vast amounts of energy, which is untrue. Walking or jogging for 30 minutes has many health benefits:
You can also use apps to track your progress and see how far you’ve run. All you need is a smartphone.
Healthy cooking doesn’t have to take forever, and if you’ve got kids you probably don’t want it to either. Weekdays can be especially hectic, and spending hours cooking isn’t an option.
But healthy eating helps you get fit. Exercise and healthy food come as a package; you can’t have one without the other.
Think about your life as well when you make healthy foods, if you’re always on the go you’ll need carbohydrates in your diet. If you’re sedentary most of the time, you could cut down on the carbs.
If you’re ready to get fit this year, trying these three options will help you on your way to success. Come down to Riverside and treat yourself to a hair appointment after all of that hard work!
Autumn is coming to an end, and it’s barely warm enough to stand outside for five minutes – never mind go out and play games with the kids (unless it’s snowing of course).
You don’t have to sit in front of the fire warming yourself up all winter though – you can keep your mind and body active by playing some fun, engaging games with your kids.
Here are our top three favourites for this winter:
If your kids are curious, active and like to indulge in a bit of friendly competition – give them a winter scavenger hunt to keep them entertained.
You’ll need a collection of identical winter items: think gloves, baubles, twin ornaments (if they’re not important to you) and write them all onto a ‘Christmas List’.
Split your kids into two teams or 1v1, and set a timer. They have to find each item in the allocated time, and the winner is the one who does it the quickest.
You could arrange a surprise for the winning team as well.
Snowman slam is ideal for kids (and adults) that need to improve their target practice! All you’ll need is some foam or polystyrene cups – although recyclable cups would be better – and some cotton wool.
Stack the cups on top of each other into a pyramid and roll the cotton wool into throwable balls.
Get your kids to stand away from the cups and throw the cotton wool at the pyramid, trying to knock the cups off.
The winner is the team that knocks the most cups off. Brrrilliant!
The candy cane is a classic staple of the festive period, so it makes sense to include it in a winter game.
And the best thing is that you only need candy canes. You might want to tell the kids you’re playing the game after you’ve hidden the candy canes so as not to arouse suspicion.
Also, consider the age of your kids and where you put them – you don’t want anyone trying to scale the Christmas tree! You’ve already got their reward, too.
If you’re feeling brave, you could take the game outside.
Crisp, bright mornings, endless amounts of soup, soft brown, orange and reddish leaves crunching beneath your feet. It’s what autumn is all about, and we love it!
Autumn also starts the pre-build up to Christmas and New Years Eve, which is incredibly exciting.
There’s no shortage of things to do in and around the Blackburn area during this period, and here’s our pick of the bunch:
Veganism’s popularity has been on the rise in Britain for the past few years, and events like this help to promote an ‘animal produce-free’ way of life.
We’re not suggesting you have to ditch meat, but if you want to show your kids an alternative way of life and educate yourself on veganism, it’s worth going.
There’ll be plenty of Fair Trade gifts and delicious animal free produce, plus, there’ll be a positive atmosphere and a chance to learn from people that are passionate about the vegan way of life.
Also, with Christmas fast approaching, it’ll be a great chance to get some unusual upcycled goods, sample some vegan Christmas treats and make some eco-friendly adaptations to this year’s holiday season.
Location: Mellor Community Association, Mellor, Blackburn, BB2 7EW
Event Details: Sunday 10th November 2019 11:00am-4:00pm
Prices: You won’t need a ticket for this event, entry is free
If you and your kids love arts, crafts and great local artisan products, try Blackburn Cathedral Frost Fair.
There’ll be plenty of stalls with unique, specialist products such as handmade luxury confectionery, sweet & savoury treats, original art, homeware, unique children’s gifts and fashion.
Enjoy a stress-free shopping experience, pick up a rare gift and relax with a warm glass of mulled wine.
It’ll be held in Blackburn Crypt (an underground room or vault within a church) which is not yet open to the general public, so there’s a certain mysticism surrounding the event.
It’ll also be a great opportunity for you and your family to appreciate the fabulous architecture of the building.
Location: Blackburn Cathedral, Cathedral Close, BB1 5AA
Event Details: Friday 22nd November 2019 4:00pm-9:00pm/Saturday 23rd November 10:00am-5:00pm
Prices: You won’t need a ticket for this event, entry is free
If you don’t want to attend specific events this autumn, you can still spend some quality time with your kids at home or in nature.
Witton Park is breathtaking at this time of year – you could take your kids to collect leaves and make a leaf wreath, or set up a bonfire at home at roast some chestnuts and marshmallows (make sure you ask your neighbours and do it safely!).
If you want to teach your children how to swim, come to The Hub and try some of our swimming lessons – we cater to children of all ages. Or if you’ve got some time to pamper yourself, treat yourself to a new haircut in our salon.
Whether you’re visiting Lancashire for a weekend getaway or a local wanting to spend some quality time with family, there’s plenty of activities for you to enjoy in the historic towns and magnificent countryside that this region has to offer.
This elegantly designed building offers a fantastic range of activities and services to the Darwen and Blackburn area. A regular favourite is Splash, a purpose-built swimming academy where there’s plenty of support to improve your fitness or to have a splash around with the family. The pool is eco-friendly and is bacteria free, making it a safe place for small children and babies who have sensitive skin.
Only a quick journey away is Tenpin Blackburn, a classic activity for everyone to enjoy. There’s also offers on too, like adding in a meal at The Grill diner as it’s more affordable that way and you don’t have to worry about finding a place to eat. For a modern twist, why not go to the glow bowling disco nights which the older kids will love? They lower the lighting, blast disco-style music and have UV effects.
Take it to another level and be prepared for a Nerf battle at Blackburn Dart Zone. Play well-known games like capture the flag, bank robbery, zombies and Fortnite. The indoor arena is almost 3,000 square feet so there’ll be plenty of room to play. There are inflatables and tunnels as well as soft floor matting so no one will get any accidental battle scars!
Hoghton Tower is only a few miles from Darwen and Blackburn and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and grounds which little princes and princesses will love. Join a house tour and discover the history of the house as well as the family, stop by the Tea Room for a quick snack and pop into the gift shop to complete your visit. Throughout the year there are family-friendly events where tours are offered with children in mind and the little ones can dress up in costume.
Have a lovely Lancashire summer! We look forward to seeing you at The Hub at Riverside soon.
We’ve had two very special team member anniversaries so far this year at Riverside Nursery.
In March, Nursery Practitioner, Sarah, celebrated being at Riverside for a decade, and Senior Nursery Practitioner, Lucie, celebrated her ten year anniversary in May.
Both Sarah and Lucie are fantastic assets to the team here in Darwen, and have met countless children during their years at the nursery – with their welfare and development of these children always their priority. We are very lucky to have them and we marked both occasions with a bouquet of flowers and voucher, as a token of our appreciation.
Huge congratulations to Sarah and Lucie, and here’s to the next ten years!
Swimming is for young and old, and can provide a fantastic way to improve fitness, while having fun. That’s why Splash, the purpose built swimming pool situated at The Hub at Riverside, is such an integral part of what we offer.
One of the best things about swimming is that we can do it together. Swimming as a family is brilliant for bonding, and we pride ourselves on offering a range of pool activities for all ages – from babies right up to adults. You might be amazed at just how quickly a trip to Splash! can become a weekly date in the diary which the whole family looks forward to.
Splash isn’t just a pool for fooling around – it is a swimming academy which offers children the benefits of instructors who are qualified up to ASA/STA Level 2. That means your children can learn good swimming habits for life, learning to do things the right way. Splash! is located in a secure area with lots of places to leave your car, and the good news is that parking is absolutely free.
Swimming is such a healthy activity on so many levels. At Splash!, your children and yourself can benefit from a pastime which is able to improve both physical and mental health. Furthermore, you can rest assured that your children will be swimming in a safe and secure environment which is designed to ensure that everyone enjoys their time in the pool, irrespective of the activity which they are undertaking.
At Splash!, we have put together a programme of different swimming sessions which we believe offers more variety than any other pool in the area. We have Aqua Aerobics, which is a fantastic way to exercise while making new friends, there’s also Little Splashers, our regular class for toddlers aged one to three years old, and their parents, introducing best practices in the water. And our Pre School sessions are designed specifically for kids aged three to four years old, setting them on the path to swimming independently, before they even start school.
Read about our Splash! swimming classes in detail and view photos of our facility now!
Once a week the children in our nursery take part in sports lessons provided by Mark and Karl from Sportz4All.
These lessons aim to encourage basic skills and physical development, as well teaching the children about sharing, taking turns and working as part of a Team.
Sportz4All incorporate the EYFS as much as possible into their routines, the sessions culminate in a sports day for our school leavers in the summer term – which parents are welcome to attend!
Contact the nursery to find out more.