Thursday, 28 September 2017

Making a Difference: Chelsea Children's Hospital Charity

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital holds a special place in our hearts.  
It was there that our second-born came to the world; 
we have lots of happy memories and are eternally grateful 
to the doctors and staff for their care. 

Despite having my baby there, I had absolutely no idea
that based within Chelsea & Westminster Hospital 
is the Chelsea Children's Hospital
one of three specialist children's hospitals in London 
and one of the biggest providers of children's medicine in the capital

Three decades ago, a team of doctors founded 
in order to raise money for much needed equipment 
and services which would otherwise not be available. 

Chelsea Children's Hospital Charity, A Mum in London

The charity's work is of immense importance 
for poorly children and their families: 
thanks to its efforts they managed to acquire
the first children's surgical robot in the UK named Pluto,  
infrared vein finders and much needed foldable overnight beds 
for the children's parents.

On a human level, the charity offers glimpses of hope 
to the families and children themselves, 
as we were told by a parent who had their child there. 
The charity organises Christmas parties, 
hands out emergency toiletry packs for parents 
to get them through the first night 
and offers support and a smile when things are tough.

How Can I Help?
The Chelsea Children's Hospital Charity
has teamed up with Merci Maman,
who donate 10p from every sale and provide gifts for the mums on the ward,
with Thomas's School and Fulham Cricket Club
as well as with the local community
which help them to raise money.

You can help this amazing charity
either by volunteering,
fundraising or simply donating.

A little always goes a long way.

Chelsea Children's Hospital Charity is based at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, 369 Fulham Road, London SW10 9NH

Thank you to the Charity and Merci Maman 
for inviting me to the brunch 
and for the ward tour.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Treetop Fun: Go Ape at Chessington

I was reading recently a study on the importance 
of outdoor play for children: 
the close contact with nature 
encourages children's perception of the world, 
it enhances the mastering of important physical skills 
and makes them appreciate and respect the environment.

With that in mind, this summer has been all about planning 
entertaining outdoorsy activities with them, 
and, undoubtedly, one of the most fun we've had 
is the Go Ape Tree Top Junior Adventure at Chessington.

Go Ape Tree top junior review, A Mum in London

Set in the woodland next to Chessington World of Adventures, 
Go Ape's Tree Top Junior course 
is especially designed for younger children over 1metre tall; 
since there is no age minimum an adult on a 1:1 ratio
is required to be on the course for children under 6 years-old, 
which meant you can join on the treetop fun too! 

The 5year-old and I arrived just on time for our allocated slot 
{the booking is for a one hour time slot} 
and were quickly set up with the harnesses 
{remember to dress the children and yourself appropriately, 
with suitable clothes and closed flat shoes}. 

We were told the safety rules, given a quick demonstration 
and off we went; so, here is where I confess that, 
while the Kid was confidently climbing the stairs to the treetops, 
I started wishing I had sent Mr K instead. 

Go Ape Tree top junior review, A Mum in London

The course is made of tricky and easier parts, 
strategically combined to build up self confidence and the fun. 
It is quite high at six metres above ground, 
but the harness gives a good sense of safety.

Be prepared to do very wobbly plank crossings, 
to climb on wall frames and crawl through nets 
before a fantastic descent on the zip wire. 

I was truly amazed at how much fun and enjoyment 
all the kids were having at Go Ape, 
and their sense of achievement every time they finished one crossing.
We will definitely be doing that again 
{Mr K. that is, because I will be watching them from below}!

In a Nutshell: a fun, adventurous way for families 
to spend time outdoors and build up confidence and self esteem.

Tree Top Junior at Go Ape Chessington (just next to the theme park), for children of all ages above 1m tall
Tickets are £18 for children and over 18s.

Disclosure: We were invited to review the Tree Top Junior Adventure.
All views and wording my own.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Sun Safety for Kids: Five Useful Tips

Did you know that when our skin tans 
it is actually being damaged? 
The body's natural response to UV radiation 
is to produce more melanin, 
which causes the skin to change colour. 

So, in this glorious summer 
we are having here in the UK, 
it is vital to know how to protect our skin 
and especially children's skin from the dangerous 
consequences sun exposure can have. 

Cancer Research UK and Nivea Sun 
have created this easy guide with tips 
for families to enjoy the sun safely.

Sun Safety for Kids, Five Useful Tips

Take C.A.R.E
C- Cover Up: wear a T-shirt, hat, sunglasses
A - Aim for the shade between 11am to 3pm
R - Rub on sunscreen of at least 15SPF
E - Enjoy the sun safely

What is the Best Time to be Outside? 
UV rays are strongest between 11am and 3pm 
when the sun is at the highest point in the sky. 
Try to find shade around that time 
or plan your outdoor adventures 
early in the morning or late in the afternoon. 

Teaching Kids the Shadow Rule 
A good way of teaching children to understand 
when the sun is strongest is to show them the shadow rule: 
when their shadow is short, 
that's when they are most likely to burn. 

Choosing the Right Gear 
Make sure children are covered up when the sun is strong. 
Long sleeve tops, shady hats and sunglasses 
are essential for enjoying the sun safely. 
Choose garments and accessories
 made from natural fibres, like cotton and linen.

Picking the Right Sunscreen 
We always use a SPF50 on ourselves and the children. 
The recommendation is to use a sunscreen 
with at least SPF15 and 4 or 5 stars on parts of the body you can't cover.
Use a generous amount and reapply frequently. 
For wriggly children, the new roll on sunscreen 
is a life saviour and even makes sunscreen applying fun.

Being the Good Example
Show your children how to apply sunscreen 
and teach by example, 
by protecting yourself with shade, clothes and sunscreen first.
I always do a funny face with sunscreen on my face, 
which makes the children want it too.

Nivea Roll On sunscreen, £4 | Available in Boots and Pharmacies
Flamingo Hat £5, Yellow Swimsuit £5 & Cover Up £7, all from Nutmeg | Available in Morrisons

Thank you to Cancer Research UK & Nivea for the sun protection guide and creams.
Thank you to Nutmeg for the summer essentials.
All views and wording my own.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Gruffalo at the Chessington World of Adventures

It's no secret that we love Chessington World of Adventures.
It is our go-to place for family fun, laughs and lots of adventure
and we are lucky to be a short ride away from it.

But we are even luckier to have been asked
by CWOA to become blogger ambassadors,
meaning we will be testing all new rides
and going on amazing adventures
before reporting back to you.

So, when we heard that a new ride 
featuring the boys' favourite baddie
opened at Chessington World of Adventure, 
we packed our bags and got ready for an adventure.

The Gruffalo at the Chessington World of Adventures, Review from A Mum in London

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson 
is one of the kids' all time favourite books;  
I cannot tell you how excited they were 
when they found out that they were going to join Mouse 
on an adventurous river ride to meet the Gruffalo.

The Gruffalo ride is for families with children of all ages
{babies in arms are welcome too} 
and feature all the ingredients for a fantastic adventure. 

Firstly, explorers have to board a little boat 
and sail down a river in the middle of a dark wood; 
secondly, there are amazing visual and sound effects 
that make this journey truly magical and immersive;
thirdly, there are surprises at every turn 
that add to the fun and the excitement. 

The Gruffalo at the Chessington World of Adventures, Review from A Mum in London

Needless to say, the children were over the moon 
and asked "When are we doing it again?" 
as soon as it ended. 

For more Gruffalo fun, there are screenings of the movie, 
Gruffallo themed rooms at the Chessington Safari hotel, 
a Gruffalo gift shop and food outlet
and a Meet and Greet with the Gruffalo himself!

In a nutshell: the Gruffalo river ride is a must-do 
for all Gruffalo fans, small and big!

The Gruffalo river ride is included in the CWOA entry ticket (from £28 | under 3s go free)

This Saturday 17 June CWOA will remain open from 6.30pm to 9.30pm for Roar and Explore, an exclusive fund raising event which supports the Chessington Conservation Fund (CCF) and which has raised £400,000 to date, to protect the future of nature and wildlife through conservation work and education within the local community and worldwide.

Disclosure: We were invited as Blogger Ambassadors 
to review the Gruffalo ride and were not paid to do this review.
All words and opinions our own.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Top Tips to Make Children Love Reading

A recent survey* of 42,000 schoolchildren 
showed that the percentage of children 
who enjoy reading are at an all time high. 

This research, conducted to celebrate the 20th anniversary 
of the National Literacy Trust’s Young Readers Programme
shows that the longer children enjoy reading, 
the greater the benefits are in the classroom: 
children who enjoy reading have a higher reading age** 
than their peers who don’t.

The truth is it can be tricky for parents 
to instill in their children the love of reading. 
The key is to be patient and follow your child's lead and preferences, 
as this top tip guide for making your child love reading 
from the National Literacy Trust shows.

Top Tips to Make Children Love Reading, A Mum in London
Image via

Top Tips for Parents 
who want their child to love reading

1. Make time to read: read a bedtime story with your child every night or set a regular time to read together during the day. Little and often works best: a good ten minutes reading together is better than a difficult half hour!
2. Let your child choose what to readyour child is more likely to develop a love of reading if they are able to choose the books they read with you. Join your local library for free and your child can pick from a wide selection of books that suit their interests or play to their hobbies, such as football or animals.
3. Explore different reading materials and formats:  as well as fiction there is a world of comics, magazines, ebooks, read-along audio books and non-fiction to discover.
4. Get the whole family involved: encourage your child to read with other family members like grandparents, brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles.
5. Bring stories to life: when reading stories out loud with your child, give characters different voices that match their personalities. You could pause the story and ask your child what happens next, or even try acting out parts of the story together.
6. Create fun reading challenges at home: on a rainy day you could organise a treasure hunt around the house; give your child a list of things to find and see how quickly they can read the list and collect all the items.
7. Be positive: praise your child for trying hard at their reading and let them know it’s alright to make mistakes.
8. Be a reading role model: your child learns from you, so seeing you enjoying and valuing books can be a great inspiration.

*The research report is based on findings from the National Literacy Trust’s seventh Annual Literacy Survey. 42,406 children and young people, aged 8 to 18, responded to the survey in November and December 2016. Of these, 9,754 children were in Key Stage 2 (aged 8-11).

**10-year-olds who enjoy reading have a reading age 1.3 years above their peers who do not enjoy reading (10.8 years vs 9.5 years)
12-year-olds who enjoy reading have a reading age 2.1 years above their peers who do not enjoy reading (12.6 years vs 10.5 years)
14-year-olds who enjoy reading have a reading age 3.3 years above their peers who do not enjoy reading (15.3 years vs 12 years)

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