How much TV do you watch as a family?

New research has found more and more people in the UK are watching TV by themselves.

child watching tvWe are a nation of television lovers, able to enjoy a host of shows whenever we want to watch them. However, has this technological rise in convenience come at a cost? Do families now spend too much time apart? Is there such a thing as ‘too much TV’?It’s been found that 65% of eight to eleven year olds in Britain are owners of a smartphone, this means they have access to a never ending stream of programming and are less likely to sit with their families if they are watching a show which doesn’t immediately grab their attention.

This has been labelled by many as the image of the new “modern family”. Families sat, each focusing on individual devices, and sometimes even in different rooms!family watching tv

Too Much TV?

So what do the TV habits of modern Britain look like? As part of their Bringing the Summer Home campaign, asked more than 1,200 people across the UK a series of questions about their TV habits, and they revealed some very interesting facts, such as:

  • The average person in the UK watches 61 hours of TV a week
  • Drama is the most popular TV genre in UK households, with the average household watching 5 hours of Drama a week
  • 8% of parents don’t watch any television with their children
  • 9% of parents regularly watch over 7 hours of television a week with their children
  • 6% of UK households were most looking forward to watching Rio 2016 this summer
  • Chat shows were the least popular genre in UK households, with the average UK household watching only 3 hours of this programming a week.
  • 7% of UK families wouldn’t invite others over to their house to watch any events on television
  • However, 4% would invite people round if it was a live sporting event

television and childrenIt’s no secret that there are massive benefits to be had from children spending time with their families. Whilst this family time is ideally spent outside, playing games and enjoying the sunshine, quality time watching films and television programmes together most certainly has its place.

Of course, too much TV can be bad for your child. So how can you hit that sweet spot between a healthy amount of family interaction and an unhealthy TV habit?

Tips to help you monitor your children’s screen time

  • Set limits – Let your child know how much time TV they can watch a day. One or two is fine, anything after that and the screen gets turned off! This will help them grow accustomed to finding other activities to occupy themselves and help them form a healthy relationship with the small screen. Make sure they know that too much TV is not good for them.
  • Be honest – We’ve all heard the “square eyes” comment, and whilst that might work with younger children, an honest discussion about why they should step away from the screen will be more effective as your child matures.
  • Keep the TV in the living room – This means no TV in their bedrooms. This makes it difficult to monitor their usage. This also helps control what they can and can’t see in terms of programming. A sneaky late night TV session from your child could introduce them to all sorts of adult material.
  • Set parental controls – This is a must for owners of TV packages which contain hundreds of channels. There is no such thing as “past the watershed” on some digital channels and parental controls help control exactly what your child is exposed to.

Steps In The City with BuyAGift

buyagiftWith obesity on the rise, we want to encourage people to get active by getting the recommended 10,000 steps a day, and what better time than when the Olympics are on, to add to the motivation to get fit.

Studies show that by increasing our daily steps up to 10,000 a day we can reduce mortality by 46% and by walking more we can almost halve our death rate.

Our friends over at have a brilliant guide on their website called ‘Steps in the City’ which they have created in response to this.  BuyAGift map

In a nutshell, it’s a selection of great days out in London that guide you around themed routes of must-see landmarks such as The Shard and London Bridge and many lesser-known hidden gems. The best part being that all the routes will take you past the magic mark of 10,000 steps, a great way to get active without even realising!St Pauls cathedral

And even better, for anyone on a budget, all of the routes created in this guide are free; with paid options highlighted for those who would like to add a little extra.

The guide can be used on mobile to follow the directions and each route can be opened with Google Maps to keep you on track, whilst including factual information about points of interest along the route.


BuyAGift, incidentally is a great place to go for gift experiences so check it out some time!

A Weekend Break in London

The Healthiest Summer Snacks To See You Through August

grape catterpillarSnack time accounts for about 10-15% of kids’ daily calories and because they make up such an important part of a child’s diet, always try to choose healthier snacks over pre-packaged convenience foods. This, however, is easier said than done, as snacks in the supermarket are quick and easy to grab but are often unhealthy and packed with sugar, so being prepared is essential.

We’ve teamed back up with Claudi and Fin who have done the hard work for you and put together some great summer snacks to help keep you and your kids healthy this summer!

Make a grape caterpillar! Grapes are a great healthy snack. They contain a variety of powerful antioxidants which help contribute towards everything from glowing skin to protection from heart disease and free radicals. They also contain slow-release carbohydrates that help balance blood sugar levels, which helps keep you fuller for longer!


Mocktails are a great alternative to fizzy drinks and a much healthier choice! Check out this great recipe for a Virgin Pina Colada on the Claudi and Fin blog, guaranteed to make everyone feel like they’re on holiday! We’ve packed this recipe full of lots of yummy pineapples which are a great source of vitamin C and help aid digestion, we’ve also added coconut milk which is rich in healthy fats and packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals!

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banana popsBanana Pops are super easy to make and make a great afterschool snack! Just slice up your bananas and dip them in a dark chocolate, pop in some toothpicks and then freeze them, simple! Bananas are a versatile and healthy fruit as they are rich in potassium, high in fibre and contain natural antacids which makes them a healing and soothing for upset stomachs.

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fruit slushiesFruit slushies are the ultimate way to keep cool this summer! Try 3 cups of chopped watermelon, one lime, half a cup of ice and then whizz in the blender for a refreshing drink.   Watermelons are rich in beta carotene, vitamin c and assorted antioxidants, so great for your immune system!

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Frozen yoghurt is a great alternative to ice cream as it has a much lower fat content. This obviously depends on the brand of froyo you buy, so make sure you check the nutritional labels, as some products may be lower in fat, but still high in sugar! We’re a little bit  biased (!) frozen yogurt but our range of Greek style frozen yoghurt lollies really are a great choice.  They contain 38% less sugar than the ‘average’ supermarket lolly, are packed with real fruit, made from 100% natural ingredients and enriched with vitamin D for healthy bones.

Top Tips for staying safe in the sun with kids

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  • Stick to low sugar snacks. The government recommends children eat no more than an average of 21g of sugar per day so make sure you save sugar intake for treats!
  • Make sure they stay hydrated! It’s advised that children aged 4-13 years, aim to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day,so remember to always have a bottle of water with you.
  • Stay protected by always topping up the suntan lotion (even on cloudy or overcast days). The sun is at it’s strongest between 10-4pm so it’s advisable to stay in the shade at these times.
  • Keep them covered up. Make sure you get a floppy hat with a wide brim that shades their face and neck. Cover your child up in loose cotton clothes, such as an oversized T-shirt with sleeves and protect their eyes with sunglasses that meet the British Standard.

Happy summer everyone!

UK Child Maintenance Trends

UK child maintenance trends and why people aren’t claiming theirs ……

mum and baby

Raising a child is no easy feat, but you knew that already. There are no handbooks, no guided tutorials and when a separation occurs it can only make things harder, no matter how amicable the split. According to The Guardian, the cost of raising a child is ‘higher than ever’, with the average amount coming in at an eye watering £231,843 for those born in 2016.

As a single parent, this is where child maintenance comes in, to help alleviate the stress and worry associated with raising a little one singlehandedly, but many people do not take advantage of this support or feel they are unable to, due to issues with their child’s other parent.  A survey looking closely at UK child maintenance, conducted by debt management service PayPlan, discovered that out of the 500 people located throughout the UK who took part, a shocking 48.8% claim to not pay or receive child maintenance, which means many single parents could be struggling unnecessarily.

summer childHowever, the reasons for not claiming vary dramatically, as respondents cited ex-partners not being co-operative, that they didn’t know their whereabouts or they simply didn’t want any help from them. It’s obviously a sensitive subject and everyone’s situation varies.

Interestingly, those between the ages of 45-54 with a child under the age of 16 were the least likely to claim child maintenance, with 73% stating they do not pay or receive it compared to 42% in the 25-34 age bracket.

When it comes to child maintenance there are two ways to arrange a regular monthly payment – a family based arrangement or a statutory based arrangement. A Family Based Arrangement is an informal method, usually utilised by those who are on amicable terms with their ex partner. The survey confirmed that this is the most popular process, with 43.6% of those responding confirming they have a family based arrangement in place, while only 15.4% confirmed they had a statutory based arrangement.

twinsIt’s important to note that while this arrangement is a more positive way of ensuring your child receives the money they need, it is not legally enforceable.  This is where a statutory based agreement can help, as the CMS will deal with the negotiations for those claiming, so they do not have to concern themselves with chasing their ex-partner for payments.

However, the fees associated with a statutory agreement were cited as a main reason for this type of arrangement for child maintenance not being claimed. To process a claim a £20 fee is incurred, which for low income parents could prove difficult to pay on top of the child maintenance itself. It’s important to note though that this fee isn’t unnecessary, it allows the CMS to check the income of your ex-partner, accurately calculate the maintenance owed and set up a schedule.

It also offers advice on how to arrange the payments between yourselves, as well as setting up an online account to track payments and create an annual review. For those who struggle to maintain contact with their child’s other parent there is also a collection service available – however, there is an additional fee for this. Another concern was that the process was too complicated, with 31.8% citing this as their reason for not receiving statutory child maintenance. As well as this, concerns over legalities and the length of time to set everything up were other issues highlighted by those taking part in the survey.

However, on a regional level, London was the only area where more than half of respondents were working with a family based agreement, while Scotland and its cities have some of the lowest amounts – 61.4% stating they do not receive or pay child maintenance at all. If you are owed child maintenance it is important you find a way to state your claim and work to an arrangement that suits both partners and acts in the best interest for your child.

One of the biggest costs when raising a child is childcare. With the estimated average for part time care coming in at £115 per week and full time £212, it’s no wonder so many single parents struggle to go back to work if they have no support. In fact, the costs have risen significantly over the years – by 4.3% in 2015 compared to just 2% for the average wage. PayPlan have created an interactive graphic which looks at the costs associated with raising a child at various ages which you can take a look at here.

Child maintenance is of course a sensitive issue for many single parents but something that if obtained could greatly benefit a child’s life. It’s important you consider all options before admitting defeat when it comes to claiming maintenance and yes, there may be circumstances where you are unable to, but there is help available out there no matter what your situation. Here are just a few places you can go:


Child Maintenance Options

The Centre for Separated Families

Families need Fathers



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Director : Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
Producer : Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Alex Garcia.
Release : March 8, 2017
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment.
Language : English.
Runtime : 118 min.
Genre : Science Fiction, Action, Adventure, Fantasy.

Movie ‘Kong: Skull Island’ was released in March 8, 2017 in genre Science Fiction. Jordan Vogt-Roberts was directed this movie and starring by Tom Hiddleston. This movie tell story about Explore the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as a team of explorers ventures deep inside the treacherous, primordial island.

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Term-Time Holidaymakers Not Worried By Fines

A recent survey found that more than half of us are ok with breaking the law when it comes to a good deal on a holiday.

young children playing in pool
Mr John Platt, recently making headlines, disputed a £120 fine at the high court, after taking his 7-year-old daughter out of school for a trip to Disney World. Mr Platt claimed that there were many parents who were doing the same, and turns out, he could be right!

After a recent survey, Kenwood Travel found that out of 1,500 parents, over 50% would be more than happy to take their kids out of school, despite the threat of a fine! The survey also revealed that 18% had already taken their children out of school during term time.

Comfort Inn Maingate Kenwood TravelIn the weekend following the case, the travel industry has already seen a huge 88% increase in term time holiday bookings. In 2013 new rules were put into place making it much more difficult for children to get time off school. Allowing only ‘exceptional circumstances’ as a valid excuse. Although you may come across an ‘exceptionally’ good holiday package, or an ‘exceptionally’ cheap flight, the law doesn’t agree.

These strict laws don’t seem to settle with many parents either, with only 16% agreeing with them. And even though there have been 86 000 fines issued by over 100 councils, it’s very clear that the threat of a fine itself isn’t really putting off parents from taking their children out of school.

Kenwood Travel Holiday dealsHowever according to Pete Brudenell, from Kenwood Travel, there is no reason that taking your holiday during peak-season should leave you out of pocket. “Whilst demand is higher during school holidays, which tends to push up flight and hotel costs, Kenwood Travel still has some exclusive packages available at the best prices for the coming half term and summer holidays. We don’t believe in children having to miss out on school in order to avoid huge travel costs.”

Either way, whether you agree with Mr John Platt or not, some companies such as Kenwood Travel are offering a range of great value packages, making summer holidays much more affordable, without you having to break the law and pay that fine.
All of the below are for 14 nights stays based on two adults and two children flying Virgin from Gatwick to Orlando between 15 Jul-31 Aug 16.

Kenwood Travel Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista from £875 per adult and £675 per child (room only)

Kenwood Travel International Palms Resort from £775 per adult and £595 per child (room only)

Comfort Inn Maingate from £755 per adult £579 and per child (breakfast included)

Colour Psychology – How Different Colours Affect Our Moods

colour psychology chartDo you feel more lively or anxious when you’re in a yellow room? This could be due to the fact that yellow is believed to stimulate nerves and speed up metabolism. It is, therefore, a brilliant colour to use to aid productivity in the workplace or paint your office canteen.

We live in a world full of colour and all have our favourites, but did you know colour has a much bigger impact on our lives than we may think. It can affect our mood, the way we think and even our creativity.

There is a reason why cancer wards in hospitals are often painted pale pink –  pink is considered to be calming and peaceful – and did you know green is a great colour to paint your bedroom, as it is associated with security and restfulness as well as health and harmony?

Colour Psychology:

  •       Warm colours link from comfort and warmth to hostility and anger (around 25% of people’s favourite colours)
  •       Cool colours are associated with peace and tranquility as well as sadness (around 60% of people’s favourite colours)
  •        Neutral colours are perfect for keeping things calm and simple (around 8% of people’s favourite colours)

The psychology behind colour is reallyfascinating, as this infographic below explains. From the ‘scary colours’ colours to ‘help you win friends’ and the ‘forgettable’ colours to the colours people love the most, we hope you can use it to inspire you when choosing which colour to decorate your child’s nursery or your living or working space.

Colour Psychology Chart

Pampers Wonder Week

After Pampers Wonder Week was so successful last year, Pampers have surpassed themselves this year with even more amazing savings for parents.

Pampers Wonder Week

From 31st March – 6th April, Pampers will be working with selected retailers across the UK to give parents a week of amazing deals, helping babies get the good night sleep they deserve!

Wonder Week is all about buying in bulk to save you lots of money, which bargain-loving blogger Miss Thrifty is passionate about. Miss Thrifty  is in The Times Top 50 Websites to Save You Money and below blogger Karyn shares her Top Tips to Bulk Buy Successfully:

  1. Always compare costs and check the price per unit.

In the UK, a product’s price label on the supermarket shelf will also specify the price per unit: if you are considering a bulk purchase of a product, then check this price-per-unit, compare it and make a judgement call as to whether you will be saving money in the long-term.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

  1. “Stack” coupons and offers for additional savings.

To “stack” is to put multiple coupons towards the purchase of a single item. You can collect coupons from magazines and websites. If the supermarket with the best bulk-buy offers isn’t your closest, remember that you can obtain the savings anyway, if you take advantage of price match schemes.

  1. If you are buying baby products, think long-term.

Think ahead if you are bulk-buying baby items such as clothes and nappies – my little one has already outgrown his 0-3 month outfits, Babies grow so quickly, so it’s sensible to buy a size up, or mix and match your bulk buy products. Disposable baby wipes are something you’ll be buying for years, so your bulk buy will definitely get used!

  1. Be wary of bulk-buying a product or brand you haven’t bought previously.

Fortunately, many of the baby brands are available to try at no cost or low cost: Pampers, for example, will send you free samples (

Pampers Logo

All of the product offers & pricing in Pampers Wonder Week are at the sole discretion of the retailer but below are some highlights……


Amazon 30% off voucher* with Amazon’s ‘Family’ discount, meaning up to 50% off’ for Amazon Prime members*

Asda Baby Dry Giga Pack £12 (instore only)*

Boots 5x Baby Dry or New Baby or Active Fit Essential Packs for £25*

Morrisons 3x Baby Dry Essentials Pack for £15*

12x Sensitive Wipes for £8*

Baby Dry Jumbo Packs are 2 for £18*

New Baby Jumbo Pack are £6*

5x Pampers Mega Packs for £45*

12x Sensitive Wipes for £8*

3x Baby Dry Jumbo Pack for £25*

12x Sensitive Wipes for £8*

New Baby Essential Packs 2 for £13*

12x Sensitive Wipes for £8*

Ocado 5x Baby Dry or New Baby or Active Fit Essential Packs for £25*

Superdrug 5x Baby Dry or New Baby or Active Fit Essential Packs for £25*

Tesco 2x Baby Dry or New Baby Dry Pants Large Packs for £14*

Waitrose 5x Essential Packs for £25*

New Baby Jumbo Packs 2 for £14*

3x 5x Sensitive Wipes for £12*

Your Baby’s Vision

Click the image below to go to a new digital tool to help you learn about your baby’s vision.

Baby Sight

The new interactive tool from Vision Direct helps parents learn how their baby’s vision develops over the first year. Using the simple interface, parents can quickly shift from a newborn’s first view to the fully developed vision of a 12 month old child.

  • Developed by opticians, this digital tool features a simple sliding scale to show the developmental stages of a baby’s eyesight.
  • Input your child’s age and the tool will give you some idea of what your baby’s field of vision, depth perception and colour awareness might be like.
  • As you move the slider, you’ll notice colours and objects become sharper. For instance a newborn will see only black and white while a two-month old will see only bright primary shades.

Head Optician for Vision Direct Brendan O’Brien said:
“We hope this will help parents understand how their baby’s vision changes during this critical time for development. The tool features helpful tips on how to support your child as they learn to focus, track objects and see colours.”

Parents can refer to this tool as their baby grows and use this resource to encourage healthy development.

Interesting Fact: Did you know that at 10 months old, a baby’s eyes will be the colour that they’ll stay when she’s grown up; give or take a shade or two?

Mothercare Wins Baby Changing Room of the Year

Mothercare has claimed 1st place in the Best Retailer category in the annual Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room Awards. Baby Changing Room at MothercareThe CEO of the National Childbirth Trust, Nick Wilkie presented the award personally to the Edmonton branch in February.

Stacy Moore, Store Manager said: “We’re thrilled to have won the baby changing room award as voted for by our customers.  We have thousands of parents and children visiting our stores every day, so it’s great to hear we are providing a comfortable and award winning changing space.”

Mothercare won the award for its clean and spacious facilities, which offer a comfortable changing mat in a calm environment, disposable towels, and plenty of room to move around and stow a pram. The retailer faced competition from the likes of Asda, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, and Sainsbury’s.

The Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room Awards received nominations from parents across the UK in another impressive voter turn out.The Winning Mothercare Team

Sudocrem Care & Protect launched the Awards in 2014 to recognise the very best in baby changing facilities across the UK. The first campaign prompted almost 1,000 parents to nominate their favourite baby changing rooms.

“It’s often simple things like good baby changing facilities that make life better for parents in the First 1,000 Days”, says Nick Wilkie, father-of-three, “That’s why the Baby Changing Room Awards are such a great idea and why the NCT is so pleased to be involved.”

“This has been yet another wonderful opportunity to highlight fantastic baby changing facilities and remind everyone of the difference that good nappy changing facilities make to Mums’ lives. We hope it will encourage businesses everywhere to provide excellent facilities.” Says Senior Brand Manager Nick Lang.

Some members of TheBabyWebsite recently reviewed Sudocrem Care and Protect which comes with a hinged flip-top lid to give quick mess-free access to the ointment using one hand; a must when nappy changing requires speed and efficiency.

Sudocrem Care & Protect is a nappy rash ointment – designed specifically for babies – that offers TRIPLE PROTECTION against nappy rash at every nappy change:Sudocrem Care & Protect

  1. Creating a protective barrier that seals in the skin’s natural moisture and protects even the most delicate skin against external irritants.
  2. Conditioning the skin Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5 helps to protect the skin and keep it soft, healthy and moisturised.
  3. Guarding against infection – As well as sealing in the good stuff, Sudocrem Care & Protect acts as a barrier to protect delicate skin from the bad stuff, like the chemicals in urine and poo, and from chafing and rubbing.

Because Sudocrem Care & Protect is just for your baby, it is hypoallergenic and has been dermatologically tested. It is also free from artificial colours and preservatives.

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