Everybody’s Talking About – Autumn

Nature Resistant Kids

A new initiative has been launched to transform the UK’s cotton-wool-kids into free-range children. Research by children’s natural personal care brand Professor Scrubbington’s, reveals it is our lack of tolerance of dirty children, or parental ‘hygiene hysteria’, that is breeding a generation divorced from nature. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of parents surveyed would rather keep their children indoors than deal with the clean-up process afterwards and 41 per cent admit restricting their kids’ messy play to only a few times a month or less. Even when we do allow our kids to get grubby the research reveals we ‘off load’ the experience to third parties to avoid the clean-up process. Worryingly, 12 per cent of parents admit never allowing their child to enjoy outdoor messy play. Sadly, this is in stark contrast to what kids want. An overwhelming 78 per cent of children wish they could spend more time exploring outdoors. Chris Packham, celebrity adventurer and nature activist says: “Our natural instinct as humans is to explore the outside world and be adventurous. Indeed this has been critical to our evolution and vital to our survival. Yet our growing distaste for getting grubby has meant that a child in nature is fast becoming an endangered species.” In a bid to get families better connected to nature and each other, Professor Scrubbington’s has teamed up with The Bushcraft Company – which provide outdoor learning experiences for children – to launch the first ever literary inspired family nature camps which are due to launch later this year. Parents can also download a factsheet on how to nurture their children through nature from home at scrubbingtons.com

Little Ones Who Lunch

It’s the start of a new school year and children are catching up with all their friends about what they did over the summer. But have you ever wondered what else kids talk about over their lunch? Hartley’s has been working with Sam Wass, top psychologist for Channel 4’s Secret Life of a Five-Year-Old, who said: “From the research we know that almost half of kids love to speak to their friends for up to 30 minutes over their lunchbox. School lunches are kids preparing for the dinner parties of the future, learning important social and communication skills that makes it one of the most important parts of the school day.” Just some of the hot topics discussed are; future careers (being a YouTuber is a top choice), telling jokes (42% think knock knock jokes are the best) and almost a third (29%) like to chat about their Mum and Dad’s funny habits.

Being the Voice of the Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Forest sound and light show is searching for a child who can lend their voice to their award-winning event this autumn. The winning Voice, of a child aged five to 12, will appear in a recording to be played to tens of thousands of visitors as they travel by bus from Pitlochry to Faskally Wood, which organisers expect to be another sell-out. The competition is being run in conjunction with Bauer Radio and its Radio Tay, Radio Forth and Radio Clyde stations. The winner will record a pre-written script at one of the three radio stations, get VIP access to the station, and be guest of honour at the show’s special preview night on September 27. Ian Sim, chairman of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said: “We’re looking for a child with a voice that’s friendly, fun and assertive so that visitors will sit up and take notice as they’re bused to the event.” The competition runs until midnight on September 12. To enter Tel: 01738 400140 or visit enchantedforest.org.uk

Photography by Angus Forbes, www.angusforbesphotography.com

Becoming the First Daily Mile Nation

The Scottish Government has written to schools, nurseries, colleges and universities urging them to help Scotland become the first Daily Mile Nation. Around 800 Scottish primary schools currently take part in the initiative, which encourages people to walk, jog or run a mile every day and the scheme is now being rolled out beyond the school sector. Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell said: “This simple and effective concept can help us to reduce health inequalities and to reduce the impact on our NHS.” Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood added: “The UK Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines recommend at least three hours of activity a day from birth to five years; and at least 60 minutes a day for five to 18-year-olds. Active children are healthy, happy, ready to learn and they sleep better.” Since beginning at St Ninians Primary, Stirling, in 2012, The Daily Mile has grown exponentially, with over 3,000 participating schools and over half a million children now taking part daily.

The Baby Box Boom

Over 10,000 parents have already registered to receive a Baby Box and more than 500 were delivered in the first week of the national roll-out. All babies in Scotland will now be gifted with a box full of essential items aimed at tackling inequality and promoting health, a strong signal of the Scottish Government’s determination that every child, regardless of their circumstances should get the best start in life. The box itself also doubles up as a safe sleep space, awarded British Safety standard accreditation as a crib for domestic use.

Deliveries have been prioritised for babies born prematurely and those who are due immediately to ensure parents receive their box as early as possible. Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney welcomed the significant uptake and thanked those working to get boxes packed up and delivered as quickly as possible. He said: I would like to thank our delivery partners who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure all parents in Scotland are able to receive their box as early as possible to help them prepare for the first few, unfamiliar months of parenthood and ensure every child in Scotland gets the best possible start in life, whatever their background.”

The Trouble With Tech

Parents across the country have named gadgets and tech as the number one cause of arguments at home, according to new research from insurer Protect Your Bubble. When asked about the three top causes of arguments with children at home, almost one third (30%) named gadgets and other technology. Around a quarter (28%) suggested bedtimes, 19% suggested homework and 18% noted household chores. Arguments over technology typically stemmed from children staying up too late using gadgets, tech being used at the table, gadgets being shared with siblings, or children not looking after their tech properly.

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