Bored? Don’t Be, Come To Our Fun Day In Warwick!

We all sometimes draw a blank when thinking of ways to keep our children occupied and entertained, if you find yourself in that position on Saturday 8th November, worry not, if you’re in the area, come down to our “Fun Day” at Monkey Puzzle in Warwick!

The staff there have got together and will be organising a number of fun activities at the event, which will run between 11am to 2pm.

Alongside the things you would expect to see at a fun day, such as face painting, there will be hook a duck, dancing, budding footballers can test their skill with our score a goal game and what we expect to be the most popular, a mobile farm where you can meet all the animals.

So don’t forget it’s Saturday 8th November, 11am – 2pm, refreshments will be available and best of all…

It’s free!

Get more details on Monkey Puzzle Warwick’s website.

Top Tips For A Great Family Camping Trip!

Camping, get it right (and the weather!) and fun for all is guaranteed. But many of us think of camping and then…

Outside loos, mud, noisy fellow campers and cooking of a one ring stove…how can that be fun?

Well think again, camping and campsites have come a long way in recent years and provide those little luxuries that take the “living rough” out of camping. Taking the kids can put off a lot of people, but prepare in advance and it’s a doddle AND a lot of fun!

When you’re booking there are a few things to consider, whether or not your pitch is likely to be near any entertainment, baby-sitting services usually get booked up very quickly and if your looking for kids clubs check the ratio of carers to children and the eating arrangements.

On the subject of eating arrangements, make sure to create a menu for the period so that you know what to take and what you will need to buy when your there. It is also a good idea to cook some meals ahead of time to take with you in a cooler bag, saving a lot of time for the first couple of days.

Finally, the following list will ensure you don’t forget anything and enjoy your outdoor adventure…

  • Torch – toilet in the middle of the night!
  • Battery powered lamp
  • Mallet – tent pegs won’t go in the ground on their own.
  • Matches and batteries.
  • Gas for the stove.
  • Cooking pans / tin opener / cork screw – not all wine bottles are screw tops!
  • Plenty of cutlery and cooking knives.
  • Washing up liquid and sponge.
  • Washing powder – camping can be dirty.
  • Pillows / duvets / blankets.
  • Towels.
  • Pump for the air beds.
  • Warm, waterproof clothing – It is a British “summer” after all!
  • Wellies – see above.
  • Sun lotion – you never know!
  • Toilet roll – no explanation needed…
  • Wet wipes.
  • Potty – for the little one in your life.
  • Phone charger.
  • Fold up chairs.
  • First Aid kit and insect repellent.
  • Entertainment! – board games, books, video games.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few things, if I have try and have fun discovering what exactly! Finally for a list of quality sites and further information visit the Camping and Caravan Club website.

Have Fun And Learn With Storytelling Apps

Here at Monkey Puzzle Towers we are constantly looking for innovative vehicles for young children to learn through play. Sometimes that involves technology rather than pure physical exercise.

We recently came across a wonderfully thought out app based on the age old story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Your child will have fun embarking on a journey of discovery and exploration. They will be able to help Goldilocks search around the three bears house, filling her rumbling tummy, mending poor Little Bear’s chair and ultimately making amends for her naughtiness after the chaos she creates!

Too often nowadays, with so many apps available, children are hoodwinked into downloading them only to find they offer little cognitive value.

The Goldilocks app is different though.

With its charming illustrations, changeable, interactive story lines and quirky soundtrack your child will have hours of fun engaging with this app.

Here are some comments from parents that have enjoyed it…

“I love this app and so does my 3 year old. Hurry up and bring out the next one. We love the quirkyness and its currently on constant repeat. Beautiful illustrations and cute music.”

“Lovely illustrations, great fun story beautifully told and lots of little fun games too.”

Why not take a closer look at the Goldilocks and the Three Bears app and see how much fun you and your child could have.

Things To Do With The Kids In The Summer Holidays

It’s that time of the year again when a certain dread befalls Mums and Dads up and down the country…

“How can I possibly keep the kids occupied throughout the summer holidays?”

First of all don’t feel guilty! When you consider that you have over 500 hours of “entertainment” to provide to keep your little ones happy, it is enough to make even the most inventive people stretched.

But don’t despair, just be practice,l start thinking of ideas now so that the summer holidays don’t just creep up on you and leave you in a panic.

A chunk of it, for many families, will be dealt with by a family holiday so that’s about 25% taken care of!

Next get online…

I was searching the web for the very same reason today and was amazed how many ideas and events I found that not just the kids, but you as well, can enjoy. There are many websites to pull from and I would suggest you begin with these five and adding them to a summer planner…

Why not also look up for free activities in your local area, you will be surprised how much there is available.

One last tip, and one I use EVERY summer. Speak with your kids friends parents and share the load! Having extra kids doesn’t mean that it will be double or treble the work load, but what it does mean is you will get a break when their parents reciprocate.

Enjoy the Summer fun!

Promoting Traditional Playground Games

Do you remember back in the day when your Mum or Dad told you to “go and amuse yourself”.

What did you do?

In my case we’re talking the 1970’s, where the most high tech thing I owned was an Action Man which, when you pulled the string out from his back,  would kind of talk back to you. What I would do was get hold of a friend and go out into the big wide world and, well, amuse myself by exploring, climbing, kicking a ball around…

…simple, fun stuff, that was free.

Let’s fast forward to 2013. An era of video games so realistic that, they can even sense your movement, football games that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing, 3D television displays that mesmerise you and books that aren’t books but “tablets”.

Sounds incredible doesn’t it…

…but let’s look a little deeper.

Upon closer examination you begin to realise that these technological breakthroughs are slowly turning our children into sedentary beings that has “entertainment” on tap while they just sit around. We, and children in particular, are slowly losing the desire to “amuse ourselves” by being active, inquisitive and inventive.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Think back to those games you played as a child, while some may seem antiquated, some have actually survived to this day! And here’s the thing…

Kid’s love playing them!

At Monkey Puzzle we always promote traditional games, alongside educational technology, but we strive to get a balance so that, as the children develop, they appreciate both forms of entertainment.

So with the above in mind here’s a great blog post listing 10 classic childhood games to teach your kids…

Let the fun begin!

For more information about Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries visit our home page and if you are interested in our Nursery Franchise take a look at what we offer.

Favourite Childhood Playground Games

We all have our favourite playground games from the past, many have stood the test of time, others forgotten and now just fond memories, but the truth is many favourite playground games from our childhood would still amuse the children of today if they only knew about them.

I know from my past that when in the playground there were hardly any toys or gadgets to amuse us, so it was up to us to be creative and amuse ourselves. I, myself made a point of passing down the games I used to play with my children so that they aren’t lost forever, and there were never any complaints from either of them!

For some time now there has been concern that children no longer play outside, sure the weather doesn’t help and this coupled with the lure of the TV and computer games makes it difficult to get your kids outdoors. But resurrecting “retro” playground games will bring joy to many children, believe me?

So here are three little gems that I remember fondly that you should play with the little ones…

Please Mr Crocodile (a gentler version of British Bulldog!)

To play this you need a few kids so maybe try it at a party.

One player assumes the part of the crocodile and the other players stand on the opposite side and say together, “Please Mr Crocodile may we cross the water to see the Queen’s daughter, who fell in the water 100 year’s ago? Mr Crocodile what colour should we wear?”

At this point the “crocodile” chooses a colour and any of the other children wearing that colour have to try and get to the other side without being caught by him.

Should they be caught then they become the crocodile. Simple but lots of fun, and guaranteed giggling!

Bad Egg

Before I start on this, there are no bad smells involved, promise!

One player is chosen who becomes the “bad egg”. They turn their back to the others and then asks the others each to name something from a particular group (colour, football team etc…). Once each player has answered, the “bad egg” throws a tennis ball over their shoulder (oops forgot to tell you needed that!) and shouts out one of the answers. All of the players bar “bad egg” run in different directions, the one whose answer was called has to run after the ball and shout “stop” once they have it.

On hearing stop, all players remain stationary and stand with their legs apart except for the ball holder. They have to attempt to roll it under the legs of one of the other players. If successful that player becomes “bad egg”, fail and the player who retrieved the ball becomes “bad egg”.

French Cricket

I suppose this ones for the boys, but girls can play too.

All players stand in a circle and one is chosen to bat first. That kid stands with their feet together and defends the stumps (their legs) with a cricket bat. The players in the circle bowl at the stumps and he must bat the ball away. If he does he can move his feet and face in a different position. If not he has to stay in the same position and twist to defend his stumps without moving his feet.

He is out when the stumps are either hit or he is caught and replaced with the person who got him out.

The last one is my favourite and I played it just this weekend, I’m still a big kid at heart…

Enjoy these games but be safe and with balls involved watch the windows!! Finally if you didn’t already know Monkey Puzzle also designs and installs playgrounds all over the country, if you want a free site visit with a 3D CAD drawing of your design with no obligation then get in touch with us.

For a comprehensive list of playground games take a look at these.

Ideas For Homemade Christmas Gifts

Christmas is coming the goose/turkey/duck/nut roast is getting fat (well maybe not the nut roast). But however much we love Christmas, some things can become a little stressful. Last minute running around the shops trying to finish the present shopping, food shopping on Christmas Eve, oh and let’s not forget how expensive it can be and for many this is the biggest headache of all.

But there is a solution…

Make your own!

Just like shopping for presents online, the internet is a great source of ideas and instructions for making great presents for the family and relatively cheaply. I know from experience that the joy my parents got from receiving presents made by their grandchildren (well maybe just a little help from me), outweighed the shop bought ones.

So my pre Christmas treat for you is a list of websites that I have sourced to give you ideas, tips and instructions for homemade presents and by posting this now the time for you to get everything together to make them!

For food lovers Delicious magazine offers some great ideas for gourmands every where.

All About You has lots of ideas for Mums, Dads, kids and the home.

How about 100 inexpensive ideas from the Happy Housewife!

And we mustn’t forget good old Netmums who have a ton of ideas for christmas gifts.

So there you have it, be creative and get making!