The Magic of Storytelling

Did you know that Story telling is older than Grandma and Grandad? Infact it’s older than most things in existence! but sadly it’s a tradition that’s fading. moon

People of all ages love story telling and for many of us big kids, some of our most treasured childhood memories are reminiscent of our beloved bed time stories.

These days, children are born into a heightened technological environment. They have numerous television channels and video games to utilise and entertain them during the day. However, this stimulating media can prove problematic before bed. Storytelling brings family life back to basics. It encourages routine and prepares children for a peaceful nights sleep. It’s also a special family opportunity to share and grow with diverse mental, social and educational benefits for children whether they’re simply listening or reading the story themselves.

But don’t take our word fstoryor it! The science behind storytelling says that children who are read to from an earlier age have better language development and tend to have better language skills later on in life. It introduces lots of new ideas and thought processes as well as increasing your child’s exposure to new vocabulary. A story is also a great way to explain the meanings of words as kids learn faster through pictures and contextual information.

Here at BubbleBum we believe the best stories are the ones that aren’t just words off a page. They’re the ones with interactive pit stops and Dad’s funny voices. These ‘extras’ encourage children to actively participate in the storytelling process. They might even change, adapt, expand and question plots and protagonists, enhancing their reasoning and listening skills…and the overall fun !

On a more serious note, Storytelling is also a great opportunity to explore important issues which might be relevant to your family. This mastorytellingy include stories about safety, ill-health or moral judgement – which all boost your child’s social and emotional development.

One of the most important aspects of storytelling is the provision of ‘quality’ family time away from the stresses and strains of daily life. Reading before bed can provide a wonderful opportunity to share and exchange attention and emotion regardless of the day’s highs and lows! This way everyone can benefit from ending the day on a positive note with a snuggle and a short story or two. It’s also a great way to maintain a close bond with your child, which is equally reassuring and affirmative before bed.

Making memories which last a life time is the goal of any positive parent and child interaction and storytelling can be an integral part of these special moments!

Regardless of the novelty of any new toy or gadget, a good story with someone we love will always be BubbleBum’s favourite!

Four Seasons 0004

Four Seasons 0004

 

35 Fun and Affordable Ideas to Cure those Summer Boredom Blues

SUMMER HOLIDAYS. Kids love ‘em and Parents dread ‘em.Sand-Writing-in-photoshop-tutorial600

With so much spare time and restless energy to manage, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and under-prepared!

The Mums and Dad’s at Bubblebum have found that although there’s no shortage of summer activity recommendations online, they’re not always very easy or realistic for overstretched parents!

Luckily, we’ve thought of an abundance of fun and practical things to do because we’re truly passionate about understanding and taking the stress out of family life!

Some activities may require more creativity than others but they’re all designed to overcome the biggest summer conundrum…the problematic weather conditions! So no matter if it’s too hot, too wet or too windy, BubbleBum have got you covered.

1) Two walls, one very long yarn of wool. Cut up and tape (masking tape) at different angles and heights. Think spiderman’s web, think instant laser obstacle course!2004-07-14-pavement-chalk

2) Take to the dry pavement with multi-coloured chalk! A Great way to inspire a bit of creativity, and as soon as the (inevitable) rain comes, it all washes away.

3) Rainy day Movie marathon – Disney Days are always the best. Popcorn is mandatory! – try some frozen grapes too! Yummy

4)  A Sunday morning scavenger hunt in a park or nearby wood. It requires a little forward thinking in way of clues and novelty prizes but with a bit of team work it’ll all be worth it when you see all those little eyes light up. You could even get a few parents together and split into teams!

5) Water and kids is a match made in heaven! Water guns, water balloons or even a garden hose have the potential for endless amounts of laughter. Alternatively you could fill up the paddling pool and get the bath toys out…or even wash the dog!

6) Don’t underestimate the power of the park. Whether it’s a swing race with Dad or half an hour spent perfecting the monkey bars with mum, there won’t be one audiable complaint!

7) Write a letter to someone you know in a different country and include a drawing. Pen friends are a great summer past time.

8) Starting a scrapbook to keep all of all your summer memories together. It will also need to be regularPark Picnic - picnic items on grassly updated. Think weekly crafty Tuesday mornings. Bliss.

9) Go on a picnic! Alfresco summer dining can be cheap and cheerful and it’s always a well spent hour or two. Jam sandwiches have never tasted so good. (Plus you can get help with the prep and packing! Added bonus)

10) Beach combing – it’s amazing what little curiosities you can find on your local beach! Whether its sea glass or anemones, there’s plenty to see, discover and learn on our beautiful seas and shores.

11) Should the summer choose to behave as it should and bless us with a bit of sunshine camping is a great idea for all the family! You don’t even have to leave home! Set up a tent in your back garden for the added bonus of a flushing toilet!

12) A summer get-together is never complete without a giant skipping rope ‘skip off’. Kids and adults alike will love it. Fit and active fun! (Any DIY store will sell long pieces of rope)

13) Build a pillow fort – the more pillows the better, fairy lights and blankets are added bonuses for a magical movie experience, complete with oreos and milk maybe?

14) Baking a cake caMARSHMALLOW-POPS-540x360-customn be too messy and time consuming! Why not make some marshmallow pops ? Load a skewer with a couple of fluffy treats and dip into melted chocolate. Fill a few bowls with different toppings such as sprinkles and crushed m&m’s and dip the marshmallow pops in for an individualised no fuss feast.

15) Create a family time capsule together. Get the kids to each pick a photo (make copies) and choose a small momento to go with it. Burry them in a decorated shoe box somewhere easily accessible so you can go back to in 5 years and rediscover some forgotten treasured memories.

16) Have a mini spa afternoon. Little girls will love it! Try a a natural mud mask and cut some cucumber for over your eyes.  Maybe apply a bit of blue eyeshadow to Dad, style Mum’s hair and paint each others nails. You can incorporate it into bath time too!

17) Friendship bracelets are a summer tradition. Great for boys and girls alike. Matching bracelets are very important for best friends. The whole neighbourhood will soon be looking for some!

18) Twister – never underestimate a classic. Lots of laughs for everyone involved.

19) Sandcastle building – hours of fun with a bucket and spade. Even better when you come prepared with cocktail umbrellas, pipe cleaners and marbles – Remember to take it all with you again when you’re finished so you can save them for another day and keep the beach lovely and tidy.

20) Feed the local ducks – an oldie but a goldie. The more grandparents the sweeter the memory.

21) Make personalised t-shirts with a pack of waterproof sharpies. Oversized ones mean more room to draw. They also make great summer pyjamas and personalised gifts!

22) Find some old wallpaper and cut a few large life size strips. Masking tape them blank side up  against the wall as near to the floor as possible. Help each other draw around the outline of your bodies. Try and draw the person who owns the outline or someone else in the family. Don’t forget to take a picture!

23) Send a message in a bottle, throw it out to sea and wait to see if anyone responds.
24) Flying a kite. Simple and spectacular fun.

25) Dress up for the cinema! Home made costumes are always the best and they can be an ongoing project or an earlier Halloween outfit. Princesses, Pirates and little Minions love the cinema!

26) Barbie doll spa day – a shampoo and a good scrub. No woman wants crayon on her face for 3 months. Poor Barbie!…Requires sunshine.

27) Go star gazing – wrap up warm, take a few blankets and make some hot chocolate in a flask. Check the forecast for a starry night or a full moon. Cuddle up close and enjoy.

28) Stress heads made from flour and balloons, googly eyes and marker pens…You might want to make these earlier on in the summer.

29) Mars bar rice crispie cakes– a twist on a classic. Same process as normal rice crispie cakes using melted mars bars. Add little Mars chunks to the mix post melting for added deliciousness!

30) Decorate white canvas shoes with waterproof sharpies for some fancy footwear that will be the envy of friends and relatives.

31) Raid the dress up closet, gather up some props and have a Silly home photo shoot. Let everyone take a few photos, taking turns to be the model and the photographer. Family Photo gold!children-laughing

32) Keep an art box topped up to make crafty birthday cards, thankyou’s and get well wishes.

33) Check out your local Library and see what time their storytelling sessions are. A great opportunity for you and the kids to meet and make new friends.

34) Make banana ice cream – 1 ingredient for healthy and happy kids – Cover a tray with tin foil, slice 4 over ripe bananas and cover the tray. Leave in the freezer for 20 minutes and transfer them into a blender. Blitz. Stop and scrape the contents off the side. Repeat until a smooth ice cream consistency has been achieved. Put into a bowl and cover with a topping of your choice!

35) Invite family and friends around for a family quiz night. More people means more fun! Think of your own questions for added value and all round family inclusion (toddler’s and grand dad’s!). Winners could also get a hand made trophy made earlier on in the day.

ENJOY !

 

Food For Thought

While life ovegetable_cauliflowern the farm is a luxury we can’t all experience, a recent survey commissioned by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) found that children in the UK have some hilarious ideas about where their food comes from!

The study, which polled 1,000 UK boys and girls aged between five to 11 showed that many school children did not know what, where or how the food in their lunch boxes or dinner plates were raised or produced!

Some of the funniest statistics found that 1 in 20 children think cheese comes from pigs and 5% of kids believed strawberries grew in the fridge!

The study further found that 4% of our little ones thought potatoes came from our oink –tastic friends, and three in ten children (28%) also did not know carrots grew underground!

As for your salad sandwiches, six in ten children weren’t aware lettuce grew in the ground, while nearly eight in ten (78%) kids did not know broccoli was a plant!

Funny-vegetables

Fewer children are seeing farm animals first hand either, with more than one in three never having heard a sheep baa or a cow moo up close!

Furthermore, one in four children (24 %) surveyed did not know a baby cow was called a calf!

To test the theory, take the Foodie Farm Test with your little ones and tell us about the funniest answers you receive by commenting on our facebook post!

1) What is ketchup made from?
2) What do you call a baby pig?
3) How many legs does a donkey have?
4) What animal does milk come from?
5) What kind of baby animal is a kid?
7) What vegetable is orange?
8) What do sheep eat in the field?
9) What type of animal is a foal?
10) What type of vegetable are chips made from?

Magic Mums and Dreamy Dads – 10 tips for a cool nights sleep

It’s July and although we’re still experiencing the occasional rainy summer spell, the weather can be extremely hot and humid when it comes to bed time.

Here are 10 ideas to keep your little ones (and not so little ones!) cool and content during the night, whether you’re at home or abroad this summer.

1) BrrrrrEEZEY BEDROOMS
An hour before bed, open all bedroom windows and make sure that all doors are open between rooms to increase the circulation of cool air around the house.

2) FROSTY FANS
Position a fan in the middle of the bedroom, (you might need an extension lead for this!) and set the fan in a “non oscillating” fashion to ensure maximum flow of cool air directed towards the sleeping child.

3) ICY AIR-CON
If you have a pedestal fan (a fan with a long adjustable middle stand), simply wrap ice in a wet towel and secure with string on each end, suspend the ice pack in between two chairs in front of the fan and voila ! A home made air con! Strange but effective! (You will also need to position a bowl underneath to catch the water from the melted ice!)

4) SNOOZY BEDSHEETS
Use bedsheets minus the duvet as a lightweight comfort cover! It will keep kids cool and also prevent a midnight chill.

5) DREAMY DRINKS
Staying hydrated is key during long, hot, summer nights because we sweat lots! Keeping a frozen bottle of water next to the bed ensures that if anyone wakes up during the night they’ll have a refreshingly cool drink to take a sip of.

6) POWDER SNOW PILLOWS
30 mins before bedtime, place pillows and bed sheets in a few plastic bags and put them in the freezer, the plastic bags prevent ice from forming on the fabric so that beds can be made instantly before lights out. Effective, amazing and instantly cooling!

7) BATH-OMETRE BEDTIMES
A tepid bath slightly lower than your body temperature before bed is the best way to gradually cool down kids as part of a summer time bed time routine.

8) COTTON COOL
If pyjamas are being used (opposed to maybe just pants and nappy) – cotton is the best material to keep kids cool during those high humidity nights.

9) DOZEY DAMP CLOTHS
Have a damp cloth on hand to wipe down sweaty brows, necks and hairlines to instantly relieve hot and sticky sleepers.

10) SOOTHING SPITZ SPRAY
Use an empty and clean spray bottle containing icy cold water to spritz and keep kids cool and comfortable throughout the night.

Mummy tries BubbleBum Booster

mummytries.com recently got her hands on our BubbleBum car Booster seat and gave it a try with her daughter. Having heard about BubbleBum before from “writing life as it is” Renee and her daughter Mrs P were very excited to have a go with their very own BubbleBum. You can check out their full thoughts on their site by clicking here, or scroll on down the page to read the review.

 

Mummytries review

Mummy Pink Wellies Reviews BubbleBum

Our friends over at Mummy Pink Wellies recently reviewed BubbleBum.

See what they thought below:

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When we were approached to review the BubbleBum I have to say I was a little dubious initially! “An inflatable car seat? You what?” I thought “That can’t possibly be safe!”

But I did a bit of reading and discovered it is in fact safe. BubbleBum have passed all the relevant safety tests and regulations and are deemed as completely safe.

So we decided that yes, we would test it out.

 

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BubbleBum is the world’s first inflatable and deflatable, portable and packable car booster seat for kids aged 4-11 and weighing 15-36 kgs.

It’s billed as being perfect for everyday use, carpooling, holidays, rental cars and taxis. BubbleBum’s narrow design also makes getting three car seats across the backseat easy. Just as safe as any rigid car seat, BubbleBum has been approved under the United Nations ECE Regulation R44/04 for safety for both Groups 2 and 3 and is designed for use with a standard 3 point adult seat belt. It weighs approximately 0.5 kilograms and comes with a convenient carrying bag and shoulder belt positioning clip.

This clever car booster seat inflates in seconds with a few puffs of air and deflates/packs down just as quickly. When deflated, it is lightweight and small enough to fit in hand luggage, a child’s rucksack or in mum’s handbag. BubbleBum’s cool and funky design appeals to kids while parents love the convenience and ease of use.

 

BubbleBum

 

So, is it all it’s cracked up to be? Well yes, we found it really, REALLY easy to use. We took Littlebit’s regular high back booster car seat out and replaced it with the BubbleBum for the day.

She says: “It’s comfy Mummy and I like the colour!”

I say: I’m not sure we’d use this as a day to day booster seat, mainly because it’s not high back and that’s what is appropriate for Littlebit right now and we have room in our car for it so why change anything.

However, for throwing into the bag when we go on holiday, for days out when we won’t be in our own car, i.e. in taxis, on coaches, in other peoples cars, places where she wouldn’t necessarily have a booster at all, it’s a must have. It will make those journeys so much safer.

We also tested it out with 3 kids in the back of the car, something we haven’t been able to do before as we can’t fit 3 full size boosters across the back seat. This worked brilliantly with the BubbleBum in the middle, so we can have play dates with 4 kids now (1 in the front and 3 in the back) – I’m not so sure I like this idea though, what am I letting myself in for!? Our BubbleBum will now live in the boot of the car for such circumstances.

 

BubbleBum 3

 

Oh and the BubbleBum is tougher than you might think for an inflatable seat! We tested this out by having a bit of a jump on it on the drive, just to see. That was a lot of fun!

Watch the BubbleBum advert here (sorry it is American but you can still see what it’s about):

 

BubbleBum retails at £29.99 and is available at: Halfords, John Lewis, Tesco, Boots, Argos, Heatons, Kiddicare and Amazon.

You can find BubbleBum on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram too.

This is a review post. We were provided with a Neon BubbleBum for review. All opinions are my own.

Source: http://www.mummypinkwellies.com/2015/04/an-inflatable-car-seat-you-what/

 

Mumsnet Ealing Reviews BubbleBum

Our friends over at Mumsnet Ealing recently review BubbleBum over the Easter holidays.

See what they thought below:

To carseat or not to carseat?  This dilemma arises without fail every time our family is about to travel. There is always plenty to organise as it is and family trips or days out can get stressful. Well, let us debate no more – introducing Bubblebum!

Description and features:

BubbleBum is the world’s first inflatable and deflatable, portable and packable car booster seat for kids aged 4-11 and weighing 15-36 kgs. It’s perfect for everyday use, carpooling, holidays, rental cars and taxis.

  • Its narrow design also makes getting three car seats across the backseat easy
  • Just as safe as any rigid car seat, BubbleBum has been approved under the United Nations ECE Regulation R44/04 for safety for both Groups 2 and 3 and is designed for use with a standard 3 point adult seat belt. It weighs approximately 0.5 kilograms and comes with a convenient carrying bag and shoulder belt positioning clip
  • This clever booster seat inflates in seconds with a few puffs of air and deflates/packs down just as quickly. When deflated, it is lightweight and small enough to fit in hand luggage, a child’s rucksack or in mum’s handbag

We received this product to review just before Easter and couldn’t wait to try put it to the test while out and about during the school holidays. You know what? We loved it!

The seat came handy for taxi trips to Central London, beach and zoo days out with family when we had to squeeze in three little people at the back, and even for a couple restaurant outings as a booster!

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Portable & lightweight : ✓
Taking less than 20 seconds to inflate by mouth: ✓ [maybe a minute if you are also holding a wriggly toddler!]
Folds flat & packs away into its very own stretchy bag: ✓

The best praise, though, comes from the kids themselves. Our six year old and her cousin both found it to be very comfortable and much cushier than their normal seats – great for those bumpy country lanes!

 

photo 2 photo 3

 

Our rating:

Thumbs up! Bubblebum is a perfect solution to any family’s travel needs. Chuck it in your handbag, suitcase or the boot of your car, and carry it with you everywhere. We do!

BubbleBum comes in 3 colours (black, neon pink and neon yellow), retails at £29.99 and is available at: Halfords, John Lewis, Tesco, Boots, Argos, Heatons, Kiddicare and Amazon.co.uk.

Bubblebum website
Bubblebum UK Facebook
Bubblebum UK Twitter

Source: http://mumsnetealing.com/2015/04/10/bubblebum-for-taking-them-anywhere-and-everywhere/

 

CoolKidzCoolTripz Test BubbleBum

Our lovely friends from CoolKidzCoolTripz in Slovenia tested out our BubbleBum car booster seat. See what they thought below:

BubbleBum, the inflatable, portable and safe car booster seat is easy to use, light to carry and useful for many different situations, from car rentals to carpooling. That is why it is going with us on our holidays and special occasions.

My mantra is that one (aka me) should never complicate (too much) when traveling with kids but in some situations it’s just unavoidable. These can be so common; I honestly often don’t even think of them. Like the fact our kids require car seats. And we don’t always go places with our own car. It’s usually a hassle to find the best solution, because you either have to drag the seat along or pay additional money to rent it (or sometimes it happens they don’t even have it).

 

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Even when we are staying put, there are times I’ve wished we had additional one. Not often but at times when my Mom wants to pick up the girls and we have to go through all the commotion of transferring the seats back and forth. Or when we want to give our daughter’s friends a ride and we don’t have a safe place for them… But since all of these problems don’t arise too often, it was never really worth buying a whole new seat. We also have limited space, so I don’t know where we would keep it, when we are not using it. Besides it still doesn’t solve the whole traveling abroad situation, when we would still be required to rent a seat.

So, imagine my great joy, when searching for something completely different, I stumbled upon BubbleBum, inflatable car booster seat. The more I read about it, the more I was sure this is exactly what we need and it’s affordable. But most of all it’s easy to use, small enough to put away and it has been approved for safety.

 

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After using it I am also excited to recommend it to others who have kids aged 4 to 11. You just inflate it by blowing into a small valve (it took me longer to inflate all the plethora of beach things than it did to get this seat ready for use). And then you secure it to the seat. The booster comes with a removable seat belt positioning clip, which helps to make the seat belt stay in a comfier position for the kid.

When you don’t need it anymore, you just undo the valve, fold it flat and put the seat back in the bag. It easily deflates and folds flat so you can actually carry it along in your handbag (it’s really light, basically with the stuff I am normally carrying around, I almost don’t even know it was there) so it is perfect for going away on holidays, renting cars, carpooling…

For more info check out these sites: http://www.bubblebum.co and http://www.bubblebum.si.

Source: http://coolkidzcooltrips.com/coolkidz-picks-bubblebum-car-booster-seat/

BubbleBum has received a Mumsnet Best badge :)

We are DELIGHTED to have been awarded our mumsnet.com ‘Best’ badge for 2015 for our BubbleBum Booster Seat! 😀

It is such an honor for us, thanks guys!

Mumsnet Badge 2015

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