How Do You Entertain Your Children? 

As a home educator, I spend alot of time with my daughter. We play, talk, research and do activities together, or go to classes, out on adventures and meet up with friends. Aside from the usual parenting duties, I view my role mainly as learning facilitator and to support her development in all areas. However, for the most part, I don’t see it as my job to entertain her per se. But of course there are times when I do need to keep her entertained for one reason or another, or rather help her to entertain herself! 

So how do parents choose to do this? Do you reach for a tablet, grab a book or get out board games? Or maybe you have a different approach? Rattan Direct are conducting a survey to find out more about how parents entertain their children. (Click here to complete the survey) 

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The survey asks questions such as which room in the house do your children spend the most and least amount of time; do they tend to hide out in their bedroom or do you all socialise in the living room together? Or perhaps they are most likely to be outside in the garden rather than in any room at all! 

What do you prefer to use as entertainment at home for your children; books, board games, gaming or TV? How about on car journeys? Do you struggle to entertain your children or not? And what are your thoughts on technology; is it a good way to entertain your children, do you think it is educational and do you think it affects their sleep?

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Personally I think technology can be educational and I think whether or not it affects sleep depends on the individual child. I do not personally use it as entertainment for Squiggle but that is down to our personal preferences and mainly due to her needs too. 

We are most often in the living room or the garden. She often grabs a book or magazine to look at, or chooses to do some drawing or writing as an independent activity if I am busy for a few minutes, whereas games tend to be something that we play together. If we are going on a journey, she takes some toys to play with in the car and listens to music.

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The final questions ask about furniture; for example, what do you look for in new furniture now that you have children? For us, there are alot of factors to consider but cost is important and durable is an absolute must! 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this survey, leave your comments below!

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Rattan Direct.

Valentines Day: What Do Women Really Want?

Do you celebrate Valentines Day? And if so, how? Of course everyone is different, and no doubt there is no exception when it comes to this special occasion, but Rattan Direct are seeking to discover more about Valentines Day preferences and habits by carrying out a survey. 

(Click here to take the survey)

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The survey asks questions such as how and where you would choose to spend Valentines Day, how much your budget usually is, who you think should organise and pay for the date, and what your thoughts are on this special occasion. Do you think it is all a making money con, or do you throw your heart and soul into it? Would you rather go out to the cinema, have a nice meal, head to a bar for a few drinks, snuggle on the sofa for a cosy night in, or spend the evening having some time to yourself? Do you think under £100 is ample enough budget or do you splash the cash to the extreme and budget £500 plus for it?!

Personally, I think the budget range should have started much lower; the first option was 0-£100, which I honestly think is a massive range and imagine most people I know would fall somewhere in this category probably! If I were celebrating, I would say a budget (well) under £50 would be enough.

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I personally think both people in a couple should treat each other equally, so if one person organises and pays then that shouldn’t always be the same person! Or plan the ideal night together and split the cost. For me, equality all the way…

As for what I would choose to do, all of the options sounded nice to be honest! I think it’s more about spending time together than about what you do specifically. 

And what do I think of Valentines Day generally? Well, I think it’s nice for couples to spend time together obviously! But I also think that should be something that occurs regularly, not just a big gesture on one day of the year. I admit that I do think Valentines Day is over commercialised, but then again, it is what you choose to make it!

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Rattan Direct.*

How To Protect Garden Wildlife This Winter

As the weather turns colder, the trees grow bare and frost lays on the ground, it is time to start thinking about how to protect the wildlife in our garden this winter. The main thing we can do is provide safe shelter and food. One of the simplest things that anyone can do is to let grass and hedges grow long and wild over winter. This provides a natural place for a variety of wildlife to hide. But there are also lots of other ways we can help too.

For example, we spotted this hedgehog hideaway at a local garden centre recently, which we thought was a great idea! However, if you do see a hedgehog out during winter when they should be hibernating, it is best to contact your local hedgehog hospital or other experts for advice.

garden centre, protecting wildlife, winter, Rattan Direct

Another popular idea is a bird house or feeder. Squiggle attempted her own DIY version; it is rather on the large side but a very interesting design and all her own work of course! She is going to try making a smaller feeder next, using a carton with entrance hole cut out and stick perch. I’ll post the results when it’s done! Remember to keep bird feeders away from anywhere that predators can easily reach them, but still near shelter if possible.

Bird feeder, protecting wildlife, winter, Rattan Direct

For our tiny members of wildlife, we have a couple of thick logs in an overgrown section of our garden. They provide a great place to hide during anytime of the year, but it is especially helpful in the winter months.

On the subject of wildlife, Rattan Direct are holding a wildlife photography competition and currently have a poll running to choose your favourite photograph from the final selection. There are some really interesting, and cute, pictures included. I have picked my favourite one, but I will let you look and decide for yourselves of course! The poll is here:

http://www.rattandirect.co.uk/blog/wildlife-competition-poll/

I’m looking forward to finding out the winner, it was a tough choice! In the meantime, remember those tips for keeping a wildlife-friendly garden this winter, and do let me know if you have any other suggestions too. Stay wild everyone!

This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Rattan Direct.

What Do Parents Do To Unwind Around The Home?

I mentioned in a recent post about the importance of having time to myself as a parent, and what an achievement it can be to actually find time to relax! But what are my favourite ways to unwind at home? A few things come to mind; I enjoy sitting in the garden, meditating or doing some yoga, or chilling in the living room on the sofa either writing or watching TV.

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Relaxing in the garden

Rattan Direct are conducting a survey about how parents unwind at home, and they will share the results with us soon. If you would take a moment to complete the survey, that would be really helpful, thank you.

www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/37BFHD9

The survey is in three parts:

1. How do parents unwind around the home?

2. How are you going to celebrate Christmas this year?

3. Has Brexit actually affected your spending habits around the home and garden?

Part one I already answered, but I did leave something out earlier! One of my very favourite things to do to unwind is to have my own little silent disco once Squiggle has gone to bed- I stick on headphones so I can listen to the music as loud as I want and dance around the living room!

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I love dancing around the living room to my silent disco!

Ooh, and they mentioned the C word in part two! Given it’s now practically November I am very much starting to think about Christmas now and get my head in that zone. Christmas tends to be very low key for us, to meet Squiggle’s needs. We try not to overwhelm her with too much going on or too many visitors, so we spend Christmas day at home and just have one or two family members pop over for a short time to wish a Merry Christmas, spend some time together and exchange gifts. Most of our family lives fairly local anyway, so nobody has far to travel, and we probably see them just as much, if not more, during the rest of the year compared to Christmas. We also do lots of festive days out in the lead up to Christmas too though, so there a nice balance!

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We have a quiet Christmas at home

As for Brexit, I have been trying not to think too much about it to be honest. It hasn’t affected my spending around the home and garden as yet, but who knows how I will feel in future. I do think house prices have been affected though, as I know a few friends are having problems with that. Let’s hope it settles soon. But for me personally, there has not really been any difference.

What are your thoughts?

DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Rattan Direct.