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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Guest Post: Ideas To Keep The Family Busy Over Easter

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Guest Post, Holiday | Posted on 28-02-2013

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When the children are off school, it is a good opportunity to spend some quality time with the family and get out and about together. But where can you find an entertaining day out that will not only please everyone, from little ones to teenagers, but also won’t break the bank? Here is a simple guide to keeping your family busy and happy over Easter this year.

Organise your own egg hunt

Before you begin stocking up on eggs and baskets, make sure you know how many little hunters will be joining you on your egg hunt. You don’t want anyone getting left out! You can buy chocolate eggs from most shops across the county and some simple paper chain decorations will give your event a colourful theme. If the weather is favourable, then plan your egg hunt outside and give the children plenty of room to run about. If not, you can still have fun indoors, just remember to hide the eggs in easy to reach, safe places.

Visit English Heritage

All across the UK, there are amazing sites of cultural and historical significance maintained by English Heritage. For an annual fee, you and your family can visit any English Heritage site for free and experience a fantastic day out that will keep everyone happy. From ancient castles and historic buildings, to places of natural beauty and landscaped gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy; young and old alike.

Go camping

All you need for this activity is a tent and a guide book and away you go! There are so many fantastic places to visit all across the UK, from Land’s End to John O’Groats and the great thing about camping is that you can come and go as you please. Pick a campsite that caters to your particular needs, whether you want a beach nearby, children’s entertainments or a pet-friendly place, you can find something to suit everyone’s particular tastes this Easter.

Plan a free day out

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a great family day out. There are many free attractions that you can try that will keep all members of your family entertained. London has a number of free museums to visit, including the British Museum, the National History Museum and The Saatchi Gallery. Browse online and you can find a free attraction near you that will be perfect for a family day out this Easter.

Visit the theatre

Perfect for the whole family, a trip to the theatre offers fantastic entertainment and a wonderful experience for everyone. Wherever you live in the country, you can find great local theatre hosting lively shows, intriguing dramas and brilliant comedy that will keep the whole family entertained. Find out what’s on at the theatre online or visit your local theatre venue to browse through the fantastic shows coming to your town in the coming weeks.

This article was written by Kathryn Thompson, a freelance writer and mum to three daughters aged 12, 10 and 5.  Kathryn once bought a leather Filofax for her eldest daughter in a last minute shopping panic, as she convinced her they needed to record all their homework in it.  Her daughter was in year one at the time.

Guest Post: Local Bookstores Suffer the Wrath of Ebooks

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 24-09-2012

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“There is a strong feeling of pessimism amongst people within the book industry. This feeling spans from novelists to publishers, largely down to financial reasons. The worry these individuals have comes from the introduction of the eBook, the digitalised version of the traditional book. The impact of this new form of literary medium is causing massive reverberations throughout the field, and none more so perhaps than that of quaint local bookstores.

There has been plenty of coverage over the closure of independent record stores over the past five years or so, due to the explosions of internet downloads and mp3s. But the troubles local independent bookstores are going through seem to have been neglected somewhat in the media. This may partly be down to the appeal it has to people, as believe it or not, everyone enjoys reading, but to find someone who doesn’t like music of any kind? Impossible, surely.

It is quite a serious issue however, and one that I did not really contemplate until the last local bookstore in my nearby town was forced to close after over a twenty-five year residency there. When interviewed in the local paper the owner of the store explained that he simply could not compete and keep up with the conglomerates, the big chain stores and the influx of online literature, particularly their prices. He did manage to joke however that one the final books he sold was The Great Gatsby, jesting that had he perhaps read it he’d have been able to put up more of a fight into keeping is dream alive.

He had a fair point though concerning the financial competition, as eBooks are almost always sold for a cut price in comparison to physical books, with companion books such as Twilight and Philosophy – Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality available for under half the price of a hard copy. It’s not even unusual now for many eBooks to be made available online for free now, and it makes you wonder, how can anyone really compete with that?

There are not many independent bookstores left in the UK now, but hopefully, if communities band together, more and more can be saved and keep the true essence of the book alive.”

I love the concept of e-readers, and there is no escaping their popularity. But sometimes, for me, nothing beats a real book. I’d love to hear your thoughts…