Families Northants Jan/Feb 2023 Digital

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IN THIS ISSUE January/February 2023 Familiesonline.co.uk Education Early years Health Lots of free gifts for our readers in this issue! APPLY INSIDE Magazine FREE Northants
Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 2 CHARITY NEWS A BETTER FUTURE STARTS HERE JUST DON’T FORGET YOUR HATS Help young minds thrive, fund vital research, and give hope to those in need. GET INVOLVED www.wearahatday.org Brain Tumour Research Registered charity number 1153487 (England and Wales) SC046840 (Scotland) Friday 31st March 2023 REASONS TO SUPPORT


Happy New Year from all of us here at Families! We wish you the very best for the months ahead.

It’s hard for everyone to keep New Year’s resolutions – especially children. Download our free colour-in Reward Chart which may help to keep your children engaged.

Whilst everyone feels like hibernating in winter, getting outside is good for us so, to motivate you, we’ve got some ideas for seasonal family activities as well as some projects which will help welcome more wildlife to your garden. And, once you’re back indoors? We have some great ideas for making family nights in special.

Finally, in this issue, we have Britannica Magazine subscriptions and other goodies to giveaway! Apply inside the magazine. By doing so, you’ll also ensure you receive our digital magazine with lots more content and goodies on offer.

Get in touch


Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 3
Reward chart downloadable Education
years Family batch cooking Health Make your garden a haven for wildlife Winter
Dangerous things (you should let your child do)
night in Love craft In this issue 4 5 7 9 11 14 15 16 17 18 CONTENTS
make ‘n’ do’s
Competition winners from our September/October issue
APPLY HERE T&Cs apply Magazine Keep your child safe online FREE APP Advice and step by step guides to setting controls Regular updates and new features
to all our winners. You can find a list HERE
Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 4 DOWNLOAD REWARD CHART FOR YOUR CHILD HERE The Colour-In Reward Chart Grrreat Name: When I have coloured in all my animals, I can get my reward! ✹ Reward I will... I will... I will... Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Fill in daily behaviour targets STEP 1 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 ✹ Reward ✹ Reward Explain rewards your child will receive STEP 2 Tell your child when to colour in the animals! STEP 3 Motivate your child! Download our Grrreat Colour-In Reward Chart to help your child reach their behavioural or learning goals. Top tips for using a Reward Chart Be specific eg going to bed without a fuss Explain to your child exactly what’s expected of them Be reasonable about what you ask of your child Don’t forget to praise them for doing well

Getting the best from online tutoring

SATS: getting in the know

With Covid and the move to online platforms, tutoring has become more accessible, with more options and opportunities available. As a result, over fifteen percent of UK children are now receiving private tuition. But how can you get the best results?


Shared reading and language development

In May, Year 2 (KS1) and Year 6 (KS2) pupils will take their SATS exams. Yet, from their very first day at school, children are being trained to be able to perform in preparation for these assessments. So what support can you give at home?


Early language development is incredibly important and sitting down to read with your child gives them a big advantage in this area. But what are the best ways of helping your child to enjoy shared reading and why is it so beneficial?


Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 5 EDUCATION
toucanBOX giveaway! APPLY HERE T&Cs apply Magazine
10 available
Shadow Forest Theatre

Top children’s book picks for 2023

Plan some great reading for your child with our children’s book suggestions, all just published or due to be published this year.

DJ Baby Funky novelty board book featuring spinning record turntables! Ages 1+.

Ten Little Bugs Part traditional counting rhyme, part fun-filled story - perfect for sharing. Ages 3-5.

Grandad’s Pride

Beautiful follow-up to Grandad’s Camper, filled with heart and purpose. Ages 3-6.

The Library Fish Learns to Read

Charming picture book about the unusually literary fish. Ages 4-8.

Weird but true! 2023

National Geographic annual loaded with brain bending facts and photos. Ages 7-10.

A Dragon Realm Adventure

Special World Book Day story (£1) in the actionpacked series. Ages 8+.

Dave Pigeon Bookshop Mayhem

Special World Book Day story (£1) - a funny, joyful romp. Ages 6+.

Valentine Crow & Mr Death

Distinctive, warm and funny. From highlyacclaimed Jenni Spangler. Ages 9+.

Yetis are the Worst!

Gilbert the Goblin’s new adventure – finding the legendary yeti. Ages 4-8.

Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 6 EDUCATION

Tackling toddler tantrums

The ‘terrible twos’ aren’t called that for nothing! This stage of a child’s life is all about big feelings. Scientifically, it relates to the undeveloped prefrontal brain cortex meaning a child is unable to regulate their own emotions.

What is a tantrum?

Tantrums describe the state of an individual who is out of control, full of big emotions and stress hormones and unable to calm themselves down. Tantrums can happen right into adulthood but adults learn to self-soothe.

Toddlers don’t possess these skills yet. They are not being naughty or manipulative, they are simply being toddlers. Tantrums are a normal and exceedingly common feature of child development. Research has found that nearly nine in ten children between 18 months and 2 years regularly have tantrums, with most having at least one a day, lasting on average between thirty and sixty seconds (although it is not uncommon for them to occur far more frequently and last for much longer).

‘No’ to the naughty step

Contrary to popular belief, ignoring, shaming or punishing tantrums can make a toddler’s behaviour much worse. These approaches ignore a child’s difficult underlying feelings and don’t resolve the cause

or help the toddler regulate their behaviour. Experts have discovered just how much infant brains are affected by the level of parental care they receive. With nurturing attention, the part of their brains responsible for regulating emotion become better connected as they grow. READ MORE

Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 7 EARLY YEARS
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Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 8Magazine APPLY HERE T&Cs apply Worth £54.99 each An exciting factual magazine for kids ages 7 to 12 5 Britannica bundles to giveaway Be amazed and amused by unusual facts, puzzles, jokes and brain teasers Say WOW with 6 month subscription + Britannica All New Encyclopedia

Family meals made easier

What is batch cooking?

Cooking multiple meals at one time and then storing for later use.

Food is cooked in a ‘batch’, then stored in airtight containers. Meals are stored in portions for ease.

Batch cooking often involves doubling, tripling or quadrupling ingredients.

What you need

Big pans - you’re cooking bulk so ensure you have enough big pans to cope.

Large mixing bowls to bring all those ingredients together.

Storage containers and resealable freezer bags. Choose the right size for your family.

Labels. Keep track of what you’ve got and when you cooked it.

Intro to batch cooking

Benefits of batch cooking

Saves money - buying food in bulk is cheaper. Saves time – you don’t need to cook every evening.

You are cooking when you want to and not when you have to.

It’s healthier as you always have a tasty nutritious meal on hand.

Top tips

Set aside a few hours so you’re not rushed.

Prepare ingredients - weighing, measuring and chopping first will make the job easier.

Clean as you go and, if making several recipes at once, tidy up as you go too.

Cool before you freeze; food will keep better and save fridge energy.

Meal planning

This 2 minute video from The Batch Lady shows exactly what you’ll need to start batch cooking freezer meals.

This short video from The Batch Lady offers a great rundown on how to plan weekly meals for your family.

Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 9 FOOD


cooking recipes


Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 10 FOOD
Here’s our recommendations for getting going with hearty batch cooked meals that the whole family will enjoy.
chicken korma
Very easy lasagne Simple method for cooking portions of homemade lasagne. Ultimate
Mild curry suitable for even spice-averse kidsperfect for freezing.
cheese Classic
squash balti A tasty vegetarian
fishcakes A family favourite – with a spicy twist!
chicken and black bean chilli
dish which can easily be doubled and frozen. Big-batch bolognese Enjoy half fresh and freeze the other half for a speedy midweek meal. Five-bean chilli Batch-cook this vegan five-bean chilli.
cheddar pies
dish made easy to batch up for the freezer. Butternut
Designed to be made ahead and

New online children’s physio directory

Parents wanting to locate a local children’s physiotherapist can now use an online directory launched by Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists.

The majority of children’s physiotherapists work in the NHS. Your GP can advise about local services and make a referral, if appropriate. However, some parents choose to seek advice and treatment from an independent or private physiotherapist either instead of, or to supplement, NHS care. Many children need support from a physiotherapist at some time during their childhood. This may be sought for advice and treatment relating to posture and movement or for acute injuries.

Qualified children’s physiotherapists are regulated, have additional expertise in child development and childhood conditions and the right skill base and knowledge to deliver the best care for babies and children. Find out more HERE

Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 11 HEALTH
toucanBOX giveaway! APPLY HERE T&Cs apply Magazine Shadow Forest Theatre 10 available *while stocks last Styles may vary T&Cs apply Magazine APPLY HERE T&Cs apply Keep your child safe online Advice and step by step guides to setting controls FREE APP

Managing children’s anxiety

Be fully present

Phone alerts and notifications are constantly distracting and family members often have to compete. Being fully present with the activity or conversation we’re having with our children - without distraction - demonstrates that we value ‘real’ time together and are fully available.

Avoid fuelling anxiety

Limit screen time

Research shows that too much screen time can lead to mental health issues in children, whilst lost time interacting with family/ peers can impact their social development. Monitor screen time, ensure content is ageappropriate, communicate about inappropriate images and model healthy device habits.

Spend time in nature

Children absorb emotions like sponges and overhearing the news or emotionally-charged adult conversation can fuel their anxiety. If your child is worrying about the future, use mindfulness to bring them back to the present moment—’right here, right now, with you, all is well.’ Tell them that you love them no matter what.

Nature-deficit disorder (NDD) can contribute to higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses. But the good news is, it can easily be reversed. Spending time in nature is easier than we think: village greens, parks, commons and nature reserves abound in the UK and they provide the perfect setting for free family activities.

Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 12 HEALTH
Claire at Bridgemaker Mindfulness shares her top tips.

Managing children’s anxiety

Claire at Bridgemaker Mindfulness shares her top tips.

Encouraging reading

Sharing feelings

Reading is relaxing, distracting and a good alternative to screen time. A 2009 University of Sussex study found that reading can reduce stress by up to sixty eight percent. Just six minutes of relaxing into a good book can lower blood pressure and muscle tension.

Can’t fall asleep?

Children are more likely to express their feelings when they sense we are fully available. Sitting somewhere that they have to pass by when they return from being elsewhere and gently inviting them to join us can be a good start. Listen intently without moving into ‘fix-it mode.’

Enrol on a course

Creating a comforting, wind down routine can help (reading a book together, listening to soothing music). Try placing hands on the belly, breathing easily and focusing on the breath, following the gentle movement of the belly that rises and falls. For the busy mind, try counting the breath to ten (in – 1, out – 2 etc) over and over.

Mindfulness apps/recorded meditations can help adults and children to relax and unwind but nothing compares with attending a course with a qualified mindfulness teacher which teaches key mindfulness skills. However, if, despite your best intentions and care, your child’s behaviour or anxiety level becomes worrying, do seek medical advice from a GP.

Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 13 HEALTH
Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 14 OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES Make your garden a wildlife haven We all want to encourage more wildlife into our gardens and help the environment. Here are some great projects to undertake with the kids. Create a bird bath Create a DIY hedgehog feeding station Make an easy DIY bird feeder Make a nestbox Build a bee hotel Make a home for frogs and toads Create wildlife highways Build a bat box Create a mini wildlife pond
Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 15 OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES Make ‘n’ do’s to liven up winter Take a look at our ideas for some creative activities that will keep the family busy – and outdoors during the colder months. Become a bushcraft busker Make a stick rattle Make a mud pie Have a wild sleepout Sail a DIY rainbow windsock Grow winter salad Roast chestnuts on an open fire Make a fairy door Create fake snow

Dangerous things (you should let your child do)

Let them experience ‘age-appropriate risk’ under adult supervision AT ALL TIMES. Research shows that it’s essential for a balanced childhood.

Use power tools

The use of a power tool is an important life skill that is good to learn early.

Spend an hour blindfolded

Challenge your child to live blindfolded – it’s fun and builds empathy.

Play with fire

It’s best children learn about fire safely with you.

Throw rocks

Children can’t resist throwing - and it can be managed safely.

Use a pocketknife

A life skill that develops with experience, whittling is a fun introduction.

Climb a tree

Another irresistible urge for children - fun and beneficial when done safely.


up a bottle of coke

A classic science experiment which is spectacular - but messy!

Play conkers

This ancient British game can be safely played if done correctly.

Use a bow and arrow

Though potentially hazardous, it’s great for developing situational awareness.

Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 16 PARENTING
Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 17 FAMILY FUN
night in Too dark and cold to venture out? Enjoy some special family nights in this winter with our top treat recommendations. Family dance party This Spotify playlist is sure to get the whole family up and boogying. Make a family time capsule Lay down some fab memories to rediscover in the future. Games night 15 fun games to determine the game’s champion in your house. Family bake off See who can make the best showstopper from these five easy bakes! View family videos and snapshots Get a smartphone or laptop projector and watch recorded memories! M&S ultimate family night in basket Hamper including cake baking kit, charades, treats and drink. Snack and treat recipes Crowd-pleasing movie snacks, including sticky chicken, nachos and sweet treats. BBFC movie night activity packs Liven up movie night with these great accompanying activity packs for kids. DIY ice cream sundae bar Build your own family ice cream sundae bar - a certain crowd pleaser!
Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 18 VALENTINE’S DAY Love craft – creative Valentine fun Kids often like to celebrate Valentine’s Day by making something special for their parents, other family members or friends. Here are some ideas to get their creative juices flowing. Loveworm bookmark Valentine tree craft Valentine heart fridge magnet Easy torn paper heart Valentine’s Day selfie frame DIY felt heart brooch BFF heart necklace Easy friendship rocks Friendship key chain