Despite the pandemic keeping us indoors up until mid-February, let’s make it as good as we can and see the positives when it comes to having more free time (again) with the people you love the most! We still have a great feeling about 2021 and look forward to some fun times ahead!
This Style article will provide inspiration from ‘how to keep the kiddies entertained’, ‘making homework time fun’, to weekend activities that will help you unwind from ‘Parent mode’ to ‘Pina Colada Monday Fundays’… *wink wink*
Wondering how to keep the kiddies entertained now that home schooling has started, and their clubs are cancelled? Maths, Football, literacy, and gymnastics – you name it, you’ll have to do it from home! So, why not create a fun space to learn in addition to their very own club where they can still have that ‘release’ from a long day of working at home with mum or dad.
Home Schooling ROCKS: Wondering how you’re going to get through the day? Well, the trick is routine! Be sure to have your breakfast together and prep your children for the day ahead. Maths in the morning, small snack breaks, lunch, and free time in the afternoon to revise or for ‘quiet time’ like reading or writing a creative story… Plus, use ALL the resources that the school are willing to give you. Whether it’s as simple as a colouring sheet, mock test papers to increase their skills or online sites that they can work through daily.
Making it fun doesn’t have to be a chore either, the more they realise they can learn ANYWHERE, the more they’re going to want to, especially if you’re giving them praise along the way. If you’ve noticed that they’ve scored high on a spelling quiz or similar, you can treat them to something small. Maybe a favourite takeaway or small ‘prize’ when you pop out for the essentials? We think they’ll love it.
Football Club: Set up a goal outside (or indoors if you’re brave enough) and get a soft ball that they can kick about and practice their goals. You could cheer them on from the side or even play 1-on-1 to test their skills! Need snacks and carton juice boxes to keep the energy levels up? Pick up what you need from Tesco.
Prima Ballerinas: Wherever there’s room, get their ballet shoes on and start to perfect their plié. Set them a goal where they come up with a 10-step routine that they can perform to the family before dinner time. *In case ballet blisters occur, prepare with plasters from Boots on your next visit to the centre.
Stretch it Out: Get flexible with your kids and do a stretching routine before they show off some of their gymnastic moves! Be sure to lay out pillows so they don’t bump or bruise themselves on any hard surfaces.
Get Arty: Get the paints, glitter, and coloured paper at the ready! Your children can get creative & paint a modern family portrait. Grab bits & bobs from Poundland or WHSmith at the centre as they’re still open for the essentials.
Get your Groove On: Let them have some fun with what you can find in the house. We’re talking, making music with pots & pans, or dusting off the family recorder… Obviously, this isn’t for the faint hearted, but they could come up with their own January jingle and play it back to you & the family. You could also grab dinner from Tesco to enjoy after the big show… YUM!
Indoor Camp-Out: This will have everyone super excited – sleeping bags, yummy snacks, and movies galore. If, as a family you fancy grabbing a few new treats to try, be sure to grab something sweet (or savoury) from Greggs & Pound Bakery which is currently click & collect only. (We would love a yum-yum right about now or a traditional sausage roll!)
A spa day for you and your partner sounds nice, right? (Or it could be just for you). Grab essentials like facemasks, bubble bath, bath bombs and more from shops like Boots & Poundland. You could even browse Bodycare once the store opens up again.
Unfortunately, not all our stores are open right now, but if you’re waiting for the centre to re-open fully, you could write a list of everything you’ll need for your ‘at home spa day’ and grab it with ease after Lockdown 3.0 is lifted.
Need more inspiration? We got you! For those 18+, pick a day most suitable and enjoy a cocktail making experience at home. You could easily grab ingredients & probably even a new mixer from Tesco… Plus, if you feel like getting extra fancy, you could pick up new homeware from Poundland or Tesco too.
We have a popular #January cocktail at your service: (Yes, we know – we’ve thought of everything)
Fresh fruit cocktails don’t have to retreat during winter. Liven up your go-to Negroni with tangy grapefruit segments and grapefruit peel swirled inside the glass.
This tipple will switch ‘parent mode’ off and ‘fun time while the kids are tucked away in bed’ swiftly on! You can thank us later.
Been a long week of family meals, zoom meetings and helping with your child’s homework? Enjoy some down time as a family and bring the ‘mad hatter’s’ tea party to your home. Make the dining table or kitchen space whimsical by creating a scrummy tea party where you can all wear wacky hats and crazy clothes! This can all be finished up with your favourite finger sandwiches, tea, cool glasses of milk and mini cupcakes. Does this not sound like the perfect way to enjoy January 2021? It does to us.
While preparing the final touches, let the kids have some fun and help you lay the fruit on the table and get the paper cups at the ready – we know they’ll love feeling involved. Whether its new tableware, paper plates, food and any extra bits – be sure to pick up the essentials you may need from Poundland or Tesco. You could even get dressed up as a family – theme could be: Cosy Jumpers/Outfit Coordinates for the WIN! You can grab something for the whole family from Sports Direct once the centre fully re-opens.
We’re hoping our ideas will inspire you to kick the January blues right in the kahunas! Like we said before, even though some shops are currently closed, be sure to make the most of the time you have at home with loved ones & making some of the ideas above a reality. We’re hoping for a healthy & positive 2021 and we can’t wait to see you at the centre again soon. #ShopSafe #InThisTogethe
Even though the summer term has only just come to an end, prep for the new school year has started and so has the high street’s hard sell on school uniform. With September a steadfast 6 to 8 weeks away it’s not to early to get your kids kitted out in their new threads, and it needn’t be costly, with stores like Aldi and Lidl promising an entire head-to-toe combo of four pieces for £3.75, and trusted uniform suppliers like Marks & Spencer and Debenhams having already run early bird promotions in June. There’s no need to suffer from fear of missing out, wherever you choose to shop you’ll find deals, but don’t leave it too late as great uniform at even greater prices sells out fast!
From worn out patches to loss of shape, rips, tears and ink-stains, if you want a uniform that is durable, breathable, stain resistant and easy to care for, look out for these buzzwords when you’re considering where to buy and make sure the uniform you choose for your kids goes the extra mile.
Needless to say, the high street offers fantastic value for money when it comes to school uniform. Established suppliers like M&S, John Lewis, Next, Debenhams, Argos, Mothercare and Peacocks are all strengthening their offering, not only providing great value multi-buys and buy one get one half price offers, but pioneering enhanced fabrics, greater sizing options, and a variety of fits, whilst supermarkets like Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury are all in on the act offering even larger multi-packs at bargain-basement prices.
Supermarkets are not to be shunned for school uniform. The Tu range at Sainsbury and at Argos has over two hundred options with a wide range of colours. Polo shirts in packs of three are from £3.50 per pack, trousers and skirts are £7 for a pack of two and sweatshirts start at £4 for a pack of two.
If your child will be sporting the basic uniform rules of either navy, grey or black trousers, skirts or pinafores, a white or blue collared shirt or a plain polo shirt, and a green, navy, grey or red knitted V-neck or cardigan, then the high street can accommodate your every need. And if your child has to wear school regulation shirts and jumpers embroidered with their school’s logo, you can still be savvy and stock up on basic trousers and skirts, PE shorts, plain tees, football shorts, vests and socks, offered by high street retailers at incredibly low prices.
‘Back to school’ is an expensive time for parents. Thankfully, high-street stores and supermarkets are reducing this expense by offering staple items for cheap prices, and with added value technology to take the strain of playground antics and growth spurts, school uniform is now designed to make your life easier and your uniform bill lighter.
So what’s the most important thing to consider when buying uniform? Price? Size? Quality? Guarantee? All these factors are important considering 80% of parents replace school uniforms within the same year of purchase, and 60% of school uniforms are replaced within the first six months. From worn out patches to loss of shape, rips, tears and ink-stains, you want a uniform that is durable, stain resistant and will go the extra mile.
PROOF IS IN THE WEAR & TEAR
Stain-busting hi-tech innovations is what you want if you’re after playground proof uniform. Look for extra protection and treatments on fabrics that will make it last, no matter how many tumbles and muddy puddles your child encounters. Many brands on the high-street can offer you skirts, tunics, trousers and shorts with DuPont™ Teflon®, an invisible fabric protector that helps protect clothing from spills, stains, blemishes and everyday messy mishaps. Stains and spills clean up quickly and easily, and fabrics retain their colour and quality so they look better and last longer. Look out too for Triple Action Stormwear™, Stain Away™ and StayNEW™ technology.
Clever touches in school uniform make it easier to play the long game as ingenious design touches allow the uniform to grow with your child. The latest addition to the schoolwear market are adjustable hems and cuffs, adding 3cm onto blazers and trousers – say no more, and almost all trousers and skirts come with adjustable waists, (some with Supercrease™ technology), perfect for growth spurts and extra comfortable for active kids; and since all children are different shapes and sizes, you can now buy slim fit and plus fit trousers for girls and boys and generous size skirts and blouses, trousers and shirts.
IF THE SHOE FITS
If the shoe fits, chances are you’ll want more from a school shoe than just comfort. Say goodbye to scuffs with scuff-resistant finishes and hello to sweet smelling school feet with new Freshfeet™ technology that eliminates odours and prevents bacterial and fungal growth. Look for shoes with breathability; tiny permeated holes in the soles that allow moisture to be quickly absorbed so feet stay dry and healthy. Shoes that promote cushioned soles to support growing feet and waterproof and slip resistant soles are also great buys.
The latest innovation in school uniform will save time for you in the mornings. Look out trousers and skirts with no buttons or zips and shirts that are fastened with Velcro. Marks & Spencer’s new line of school uniform will make it simpler for children to dress themselves and includes buttonless shirts, zipless trousers and skirts and a long-sleeved polo shirt, which can be worn with a tie.
BECAUSE MULTI-BUYS MATTER
Whatever you are buying look out for multi-packs, buy one get one free, and buy one get one half price offers in-store. Great value packs of shirts, polo shirts and vests are pretty much available everywhere but the offers you really want are on trousers, skirts and pinafores, and cross departmental buys.
PEACE OF MIND & YOUR GUARANTEE
More retailers will guarantee their school uniforms, because quality matters. George at Asda gives a 100 Day Satisfaction Guarantee, your proof of purchase will allow for an exchange or refund, while Morrison school uniforms can be returned for up to 200 days under the “no quibble” guarantee. At Aldi, you can return goods up to 60 days after purchase if you are unhappy and 12 months for faulty goods. Lidl offer a 30-day guarantee and 12 months for faulty goods, Tesco is 30 days if you change your mind, 12 months if faulty and Sainsbury will guarantee your uniform up to 20 washes.