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We’re profiling the very best activities for dads and children in collaboration with Club Hub, and this week we’re delighted to feature: Baby Sensory South Birmingham

Baby Sensory is a national and international provider of children’s activities. The award-winning classes start with Baby Sensory for babies from birth to 13 months, followed by Toddler Sense for children from 13 months to pre-school. Mini Professors Science programme is a separate class that children can join from the age of two.

1.  What is Baby Sensory?

Baby Sensory is a wonderful combination of sensory learning and, for babies and dads, sheer delight. It’s an irresistible mix of sounds, smells, sights, textures, music, dance, singing and more, and no two classes are the same.

Karen Byrne -Smith founded Baby Sensory classes in South Birmingham after taking her own little one, Connie, to nearby classes. She says: “I saw the immediate benefits for both of us. She met all of her developmental milestones at an early age and I believe the classes helped with this immeasurably and gave her a valuable start.”

2. What’s in it for dads and kids?


Babies - and later toddlers - are introduced to an all new world of sensory experiences. At the same time, doting dads can experience the wonder in their child’s face. Baby Sensory is a safe and gentle way for little minds to start exploring the world, and a great way for dads to be around for some of the magic moments in those precious early months and years.

Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense are also beneficial to development, in all sorts of ways. “Our baby and toddler activities are excellent for developing physical, social, emotional, intellectual and language skills, coordination, awareness of the world, turn taking and sharing and experimentation,” says Karen.

Baby Sensory provides ideas for creative play, massage, movement and music in simple practical ways that can be easily repeated at home. In themed weeks, dads and babies will swirl through snow, laugh at the jungle jitters, explore a watery world undersea or join in on an animal adventure. The more advanced activities in Toddler Sense are all about learning through play.

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“The classes that we offer cover a broad spectrum from birth to five years and I have had so many mums returning with second and third babies, twins and even triplets. I have also had babies and toddlers attending all three of our programmes. I have seen thousands of little ones reaching their milestones: first smiles, sitting up, walking, talking, balancing, sharing, exploring, role playing, experimenting and finding friends. It’s an honour to share these special memories.”

Karen - Baby Sensory Birmingham South 
3. Key Activities At Baby Sensory

Karen also runs a Mini Professors Science programme. An interactive science class with over 80 different topics integrating EYFS outcomes and getting little ones ready for the pre-school environment. There dad can get involved from the science experiments, the Tuff Spots and really embrace the fun science.

4. Great for dads who…
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         Want to be there as their children explore new sensory experiences for the first time.
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         Want to capture some moments of real wonder.
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         Love a good bubble (who doesn’t?).
5. Find Out More & Booking

Contact Tessa on Club Hub, or check out the Baby Sensory website direct for classes in Birmingham South or Bromsgrove.

The post Baby Sensory – Sensing Possibilities appeared first on DaddiLife.

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Arts and crafts are wonderful ways to bond with your children and encourage their creativity. But lots of dads don’t know where to start when it comes to crafts with kids.

There’s an unspoken rule in my house: I do the outdoorsy and physical stuff, like teaching the kids to ride bikes or swim, and my wife does arts and crafts. There’s a simple reason for that. I would far rather kick a football about in a hurricane, or hurtle down a snowy hillside on a fragile plastic sled, than break out the glue sticks and poster paints. Quite simply, I am terrified of making things, and I am far from the only dad that feels this way.

But we shouldn’t. Making stuff is great, and many dads we speak to feel exactly the same. Children love it, and it sparks their creativity. It’s also a wonderful - and weatherproof - way of bonding. With that in mind, and for the sake of all the craftless, unartistic dads out there, here are six tips for for unleashing your inner maker.

1. Invest in the maker basics

Nothing is more dispiriting than finally plucking up the courage to tackle a craft project with your kid, and then realising that you’ll have to go out and buy all the maker stuff you need first. Instead, keep a good supply handy at all times. A basic art and craft box should contain:

1. Paper - the thick, sturdy, kind.

2. Crayons - preferably in a pack

3. Felt Tip Pens - with a range of colours

4. Glue sticks

5. Scissors - plastic for the young ones

6. Poster Paints

7. Googly Eyes - trust us, children love them

8. Sellotape

9. Recyclables - e.g. egg boxes, cereal packets, lolly sticks, the inside bit of toilet rolls, and so on.

10. Shortcuts - Don't be afraid to take them. Tracing paper is great for producing amazing art, without being artists. Sugru is a fantastic mouldable glue that makes making everything from skull lamps to necklaces that little bit easier.

2. Pick a good time…

If your project takes an hour, put aside an hour and a half (for prep and tidying up time), then silence or (better) switch off your phone, and give it your full attention.

Paul, dad of two, says: “When I first started to do arty stuff with the kids they could tell I wasn’t really into it, so they were a bit half-hearted themselves. They kept asking when they could go and play Xbox! But when I put my heart into it, their attitude changed too."

"My enthusiasm rubbed off on them."

Paul D, Dad of two.

3. Get some maker help

You’re not alone, dads. There are loads of online resources for inspiration and instruction. Parents.com has a whole section devoted to easy craft ideas, and there are lots more.

Need more help? No problem. Just follow a YouTube tutorial.

15 EASY CRAFT IDEAS FOR CHILDREN - YouTube
4. Don’t be scared to improvise

Don’t have the right shade of green? Nobody will care. You don’t have to follow instructions to the letter, and as you become more experienced you might want to use them just for inspiration - adding your own details and refinements as you go on.

As the folks at Activity Village say: “Crafting with children is all about having fun, experimenting, taking ideas that you see and adapting them to suit what you have available and what you think your children would enjoy most.”

5. There’s no such thing as failure

Chris, dad of two daughters, says:

“The first thing I made with my eldest daughter many years ago was an elephant mask. It turned out a mess. It looked more like a really long-nosed and unhappy donkey than a majestic elephant. But it didn’t matter. We loved doing it and laughed for days about our amazing ele-donkey. We haven’t looked back.”

As Chris knows, the point isn’t to make brilliant pieces of art or incredibly useful objects, but to have a good time with your children. If you make nothing more than a mess, and yet everybody has fun, it’s mission accomplished.

If there was no failure, then brilliant inventions like this new Lego inspired High Chair would not have been formed, thanks to dad's intervention, and a little Sugru! Damn that stuff is good! More Sugru inspirations here.

6. Big up your child’s efforts

Art teacher Nichola Cortese advises: “When your child shows you their creation, never say “what is it?” (even if you don’t know what it is). They might think it obvious and your question might undermine their confidence. Instead say: tell me about this.”

Be fulsome in your praise. But as Nichola says, don’t just say “that’s great”: “Be specific, and it will be worth more. Talk about their use of colour or the shapes they’ve made. It shows you really have taken it in.”

And the final piece of advice, just do it. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

The post Crafts With kids – Unleash Your Inner Maker appeared first on DaddiLife.

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We hear from Aurelien Mottier, a London based dad who tried the Je Porte Mon Bebe PhysioCarrier with his adorable little boy, Eden, not just in one country, but in two!

As a busy dad, I really value the things that Eden and I can do together at the weekend or on trips away, and having a baby carrier is very important in that regard. When I was asked about a JPMBB PhysioCarrier Review I jumped at the chance…not just to try it, but to take it with us to Korea and Cyprus!

Je Porte Mon Bebe Review - YouTube
1. ​First impressions

Ok, so first things first, the JPMBB is very very stylish! It’s black and discreet, does not have a big brand logo on it. Looks good all round and is made of good quality material. It’s super breathable, and after I tried it for my own baby and for a few weeks it did confirm how very solid and durable it is. Good quality build is a good start.

2. Multiple Carrying Positions Are Great

The Je Porte Mon Bebe PhysioCarrier has three carrying positions:

Front Carry Position
  • My favourite and the main one I have been using as it gives me the best hold, the most comfort. It's also probably the most enjoyable for my 6 months old baby when he wants to hear my heartbeat.
  • Back Carry Position
    I tried it only a couple of times as I think it’s great for older kids. It’s a good carry position to have as it's also the most practical for active dads (stuff like hiking).
    Side Carry Position
  • Being honest, I could not really figure out how to use that position, could be one of the reason why I did not enjoyed it as much as the other two, but it also might be Eden's age.
  • 3. ​How Quick Was It To Get On

    Not that quick actually. I must admit that past the stylish look and quality materials, this is not the easiest design to pick up intuitively, and there are a few things to consider to get the carrier on properly.

    The part I struggle the most with was is adjusting the cross-strap at the back. Maybe I am not flexible enough, but I found it quite challenging. Over-time my solution was to preadjust it and get the carrier on in a different way than describe on the instructions.

    Once I got the hang of it though, and familiarized myself with the design it became easy to put on and off, but it takes practice!

    4. Key Features Of The JPMBB PhysioCarrier

    For me the two main key features are:

    •      Being able to open the front trap / pocket, so it’s more breathable for the baby when it’s warm. As we went for 1 week in Cyprus, and because it was really warm, I found that feature very useful and practical.
    •      Another thing that I like is the net that is available to keep the baby’s head against your chest. In most cases, my son falls asleep when I get him in the carrier. With other carries, I have been used to holding his head with my hand, with this one I was truly hands-free!
    5. ​Overall Thoughts / Pros & Cons

    I would say it’s the most comfortable carrier I ever tried. The other ones I have tried usually end up putting to much strain on your upper back and lower back (I am comparing with BabyBjorn – I have a couple of those). From a dad stand point, it is very comfortable and very well padded, so comfortable on the shoulders.  

    I would give is 4.5 / 5

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      Very comfortable
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      Nice design and beautifully built
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      The possibility to make the carrier more breathable by opening the front zip
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      Great support to hold the baby’s head
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      Clearly very comfortable for the baby (my son would feel asleep in it most time)
    • No obvious front facing carrying position (my boy loves to see what’s happening and loves to face the world). A note on that though - JPMBB purposely do not encourage a front forward position due to the development of the baby, and is why they do the back carry with the physiocarrier + booster/neck pillow so baby can see the word without any issues.
    • Not the easiest to put on initially / takes a bit of time to get used to

    Find out more about the ​Je Porte Mon Bebe PhysioCarrier here.

    The post Je Porte Mon Bebe PhysioCarrier review appeared first on DaddiLife.

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    We’re profiling the very best activities for dads and children in collaboration with Club Hub, and this week we’re delighted to feature: Moo Music Epsom and Ewell, Surrey

    Moo Music is a music and movement class for babies and children up to five years old. It’s all about singing, dancing, using different props and musical instruments and, most importantly, sparking little imaginations.

    Why Doo Moo - YouTube
    1. The Story Of Moo Music

    Tamsin Christie started the group to keep her own little mover entertained. She found that too many classes struggled to keep her daughter’s attention, trying to keep her in one place for too long.

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    "Starting Moo Music classes has meant I am able to use many of the 100+ original songs (which are so catchy and great to sing and dance along to) to make my classes fun and active,” says Tamsin. “I actively encourage children to interact with each other, listen to the music and move around the room taking part in fun activities."

    Tamsin Christie - Moo Music, Epsom & Ewell
    2. What's In It For Dads And Kids?


    Moo Music is playtime, story-time and a sing-along rolled into one. Children are introduced to six fun characters (Maggie Moo, Ollie Oink, Henry Horse, Doris Duck, Barry Baa and Holly Hen) who together lead little ones through a selection of professionally recorded songs and fun, easy moves. Everyone is encouraged to get up and get moving.

    “Each class features a selection of Moo Music songs on a wide range of themes – from animals, journeys and children’s daily lives to counting, the senses or simply being silly,” says Tamsin.

    “Children also get the chance to dance, play games, learn actions and experiment with percussion instruments.”

    It’s all great fun, and it’s also great for development: “Moo Music classes are perfect for Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS),” Tamsin adds. “Through the songs, we reach all the EYFS milestones and have so much fun at the same time! Many childminders come to my classes as for them it is a great opportunity to help them reach the key EYFS for each child they care for.”

    Moo Music classes help to develop language skills, coordination and imagination, as well as an appreciation of music and a love of healthy movement.  

    3. What Else Do I Need To Know?

    Classes are currently held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings with a child-minders only class on Tuesday morning. Tamsin also puts together Moo Music parties.

    4. Great For Dads Who…
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          Want their kids to get moving.
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          Want to help their children reach EYFS milestones.
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          Who are happy to join in and get moving themselves
    4. Find Out More & Booking

    Find out more about Moo Music in Epsom and Ewell on Club Hub,

    There’s all the other information you'll need, including times and locations, on the Moo Music Epsom and Ewell website.

    The post Moo Music – Moosic to their ears appeared first on DaddiLife.

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    It often feels like the pace of our lives is going by faster with every week. Seeing the world through our children’s eyes  means we’re ever more conscious of all the ways the world is changing for them too. With increased pressure on our education system our children are often taught subjects to pass tests, not necessarily to build life skills.

    When we found out about Role Models, and their mission to teach a million children the skills of life – communicating well, solving problems, thinking critically – we were very introgued. We spoke to Founder, Hugo Shepard to find out more.

    Role Models - Life skills for kids - YouTube
    1. What is Role Models.me?

    Role Models was set up in 2014 by Hugo, where fresh from working in corporate world, he wanted to make a real difference, and remembered his student days where he provided childcare. He knew there would be a better way to nurture the real life skills that children need.

    "At Role models, we want to inspire this generation of children to make the world a better place through their relationships, their ideas, their careers and their own sense of purpose.

    We want to achieve this by teaching a million children how to communicate well, collaborate effectively, think critically, solve problems creatively and lead brilliantly so that they can shape their future and those around them."

    Hugo Shephard - Role Models

    As parents become increasingly concerned with areas like E-Safety, and securing future education for their children, there is a strong sense that more needs to be done to give our children the type of learnings that are really about them – their own confidence, their own character – and that’s a really important part of what’s going to determine success in the future, especially fir children in the pre and early teenage years.

    2. Life skills for kids and so much more


    In Hugo’s own words: "We help children fly by giving them the skills they need to grow, develop and thrive in a changing world because we believe that children should be skilled for life as well as being schooled in the classroom."

    There are two areas that Role Models specializes in.

    1. Life Skills Courses: These are typically 4-5 day courses for 8-12 year olds and 10 – 14 age groups respectively. Everything from Resilience, through to Leadership and Teamwork are all workshop options.

    And a lot of parents have noticed the difference.

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    "The kids are beaming when I picked them up today. They had huge breakthroughs and were very proud of themselves.”

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    "She came home bubbling over with enthusiasm today so am very pleased with how things have gone so far. Many thanks."

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    "More out-going, more confident in speaking up to for himself."


    Hugo adds; "our daily focus is on providing courses for children both here and abroad that focus on leadership, resilience, teamwork and creative problem solving – key skills for succeeding in a 21st century world. We approach everything in a way that’s serious fun."

    2. Creative Childcare: Building character in our children isn’t just about classes, it’s about everyday interactions too, and Hugh has created a brilliant way to think about childcare. With a huge network of fully checked childcare experts with passions in art, drama, sports and more – Role Models also offers childcare for a range of areas including:

    • Ongoing after-school
    • School holiday (full and half days)
    • Last minute / ad-hoc childcare
    • Evening childcare (including overnight if required)
    • Weekend childcare (half days, full days, or whole weekends)
    • Holiday childcare (take a Role Model with you for a weekend away or for a longer trip anywhere in the UK or abroad)
    3. Find Out More & Booking

    "The world is changing at break neck speed and schools need as much as support as possible to prepare children for the world of work and beyond. The skills that children need and future employers want cannot be developed at school alone and our courses and childcare offer a solution to that problem." Hugo Shephard

    You can book an Easter Resilience course on Club Hub, or check out the Role Model's website for full listings and details on childcare.

    The post life skills for kids – Role Models.me appeared first on DaddiLife.

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    We’re profiling the very best activities for dads and children across the UK, in collaboration with Club Hub, and this week we’re delighted to feature the under 5's cooking class: Three Bears Cookery Club!

    Kids love cooking. They love the gooey, gluey, yumminess of it all. They love the tastes, textures and smells. And of course, they love the fact that there’s something delicious (all being well!) at the end of it. Cooking for dads is an area we're particularly passionate about too and what we love about Three Bears is getting the kids into it early on in their lives.

    Cookery Classes for kids - YouTube
    1. The story of Three Bears

    Ruth Chubb started the Three Bears Cookery Club because she knew all that from experience. Her three children love to bake. When looking around for activities she realised that, while there were lots of child and toddler clubs, there were hardly any that helped teach children this most fundamental (and fun) of life skills.

    So to redress the balance, Ruth, who is fully qualified, boasting a BTEC diploma in catering, a Certificate in nutrition for children, and training in food allergies and pediatric first aid, started the Three Bears Cookery Club. She now runs classes in various locations around Derbyshire.

    “It’s named after my three girls. The great thing about running the club is that it means I can spend more time with them as they grow up plus work in a business I’m excited and passionate about.”

    Ruth Chubb - Three Bears Cookery Club 
    2. What’s in it for dads and kids?

    For a start, treats!

    “We make and create something new and exciting each week,” says Ruth. “Everything is included in the clubs and the children take home what they have made.”

    They also take a recipe card with them so they can recreate their culinary masterpieces at home.

    Needless to say, cooking is a wonderful skill for children to learn. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that children who learn the basics of cookery at an early age are more likely to make healthy diet choices later in life. Confidence with cooking can start with clubs like Three Bears.

    And that’s just the start of the skills cooking can teach. “Children can develop their motor skills, coordination, maths and English,” says Ruth. Toddlers socialise, take turns and learn how to follow simple step by step instructions. Older children mix, measure and follow more in depth recipes. Everyone has lots of fun.

    And dads? Well, dads get to eat the results.

    3. What else do they do?

    It’s not just the regular weekly club sessions. Ruth also offers a range of cookery themed parties for different age groups (including a Bake Off party for kids of seven and up!), and bespoke cookery classes for schools, nurseries, after school clubs and Brownie and Scout groups.

    4. Great for dads who…
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          Want their kids to learn an important life skill.
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          Want to help their children get a head start in basic maths and English.
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          Enjoy a tasty treat!!
    5. Find Out More & Booking

    The classes are geared for children aged 2-5. 

    Book your ticket on either the Egginton or Etwall classes on  Club Hub.

    HALF TERM ALERT! Three Bears are also running classes this February half term:

    The post Three Bears Cookery Club appeared first on DaddiLife.

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    We’re profiling the very best activities for dads and kids in collaboration with Club Hub, and this week we’re delighted to feature: Dreamee Teepees Slumber Parties!

    Dreamee Teepees is a children’s sleepover party specialist. They deliver, assemble and style the most magical Dens and Teepees ready for your child and their friends to have an indoor birthday party, and in quite some style too! 

    Dreamee Teepees Slumber Parties - YouTube
    1. How did Dreamee Teepees get started?

    When Kaeden Bailey decided he wanted a birthday camp out with his friends there was one small problem. Kaeden was born in December. So Kaeden and mum Tara scoured the internet for an alternative, and eventually came up with the idea for a brilliant indoor camp out.

    That first party was a roaring success, and Dreamee Teepees Slumber Parties was born. Dreamee Teepees is a multi- award-winning family run children's slumber party company based in Leeds. Tara and Kaeden, who run the company together, use beautiful indoor tents - called teepees and dens - to create unique sleepover experiences. In fact, they're celebrating a birthday of their own as the company turns one today!

    2. What’s in it for dads and kids?

    Anybody who has done a few of them knows how difficult it is to come up with birthday parties that are new, different and fun. So the first thing to say is that Dreamee Teepees solves a tricky problem. What could be more exciting for your birthday boy or girl than the coolest sleepover ever?

    And according to Tara, there’s more to a sleepover than midnight feasts and spooky stories (though both of those things are ace, of course).

    “Believe it or not sleepovers are a very important part of a child’s development. They are a great way for children to experience things such as new cultures and foods, and maybe even a completely new way of living. Providing the opportunity for these experiences also develops a child’s ability to adapt to new situations."

    Tara, Founder of Dreamee Teepees.

    “Sleepovers also allow children to improve their independence skills. In my previous career as a primary school teacher it was easy to see the children that hadn't experienced sleepovers as they would often be very upset on the school residential.”

    Tara adds that, for many children, a sleepover is the first time they will get ready for bed without their parents around and the first time they will pack and organise their own clothes.

    “These independence skills can be learnt in a controlled and safe environment in short bursts of time at sleepovers,” she says. “This is a much better way to develop these life long skills.”

    Dreamee Teepee Slumber Parties - the first parties of their kind in the UK - are available in a number of themed packages, including Movie Nights, Pamper Parties, Camping, Baking, FairyTale and Unicorn.

    3. What else happens at a Dreamee Teepee party?


    Tara and Kaeden are currently finalising details for themed kids’ clubs, something they aim to launch later this year.

    “I love having the ability to tap into a child’s imaginations and make them smile,” says Tara. “The fact that I get to do that with my son (and business partner) is just amazing. The clubs we plan to offer in the near future are going to hopefully enable us to employ other mums, giving them the opportunity to work around their family lives too.”

    4. Great for dads who…
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           Want to give their kids a truly unique birthday treat
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           Want to help their children develop independence skills in a gentle, controlled way
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           Recognise that a ‘sleepover’ might not involve a full night’s sleep!
    5. Where can I find out more?

    Find our more about the parties and prices on Club Hub.

    Check out the Dreamee Teepees Website for more information.

    The post Dreamee Teepees appeared first on DaddiLife.

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    Blue Peter reaches another milestone this week. What keeps the world’s longest running children’s TV show fresh and relevant?

    On 1st February 2018 Blue Peter airs its 5000th episode! To put that in context, the show has been around considerably longer than I have. My children will watch it on Thursday, nearly 40 years after I first sat glued to Valerie Singleton creating something incredible out of old corn flake packets, or John Noakes doing something dangerous for charity.

    Of course, things have changed since then. The show of 2018 is rather different from the homespun Blue Peter of the 1970s and 80s. But BAFTA Kids nominated producer Helen Varley says that its purpose remains the same.

    “Blue Peter encourages the CBBC audience to be inspired by the world and the people in it. Things that many people now assume are defunct, like writing letters and making things from what you already have at home, are really loved and cherished by the Blue Peter audience.”

    Staying relevant

    Nevertheless, times change. When I watched Blue Peter, it had very little competition. As Helen acknowledges, engaging an audience in an age of multi-channel, multi-device media is more of a challenge.

    “I think kids have changed because the world has changed,” she says.

    “The family unit has changed. The way we communicate has changed. Of course, there are fundamentals that stay the same, but if you think that children’s TV used to be on for an hour a day and now there are multiple digital children’s channels running 24/7, video games, apps, YouTube…there are a million things fighting for their attention and most kids won’t ever have known any different.”

    So how does Blue Peter stay relevant in an age when a badly house trained elephant isn’t quite the media moment it once was?

    Helen says: “These days, kids are born digital and thus it (the website) is a key part of the Blue Peter offering. It gives us a platform to communicate with the audience, offer them great content 24/7 and give them ownership of the show. It’s a real community.”

    On TV and online

    The Blue Peter website is now an integral part of the show, a place where kids go to get closer to the presenters and guests, enter competitions and share ideas. Innovations like Fan Club Live, an hour of live chat from 5:30pm on Thursdays, while the show is on, taps into a very modern desire for instant response.

    Helen adds: “We also play interactive games on the show, most famously ‘Spot Shelley’ where a cartoon of Shelley the tortoise is hidden somewhere in the episode and the first person to spot her and post where on the website gets a shout out live on the show! We also get kids to send in questions for celebrity guests – sometimes these are read out straight from the website.”

    Very different…but much the same

    The website also gives producers like Helen lots of data on what children like and what they want more of. And what do children of the online age want? Reassuringly, it’s all quite familiar.

    “We still have pets, a garden, we do makes and bakes and we award badges – although there are eight different badges now that challenge the audience to try new things,” says Helen.

    “The legacy of Blue Peter carries through the generations. For example, presenter Radzi recently completed a variation of a free fall skydive with the RAF Falcons for Children in Need, a challenge completed previously by presenters John Noakes, Janet Ellis, Simon Thomas and Andy Akinwolere.”

    Watch – then do

    In my own memory, Blue Peter was about joining in. You watched the show and tried to make the model. You worked for a badge or entered a competition. You sent your best drawing in. In that respect too, little has changed.

    “We ask our audience for ideas for challenges and we have amazing competitions with money can’t buy prizes,” says Helen. “Hero the Hedgehog and Whizzbee, mascots of the The 2017 IAAF World Championships and Para Athletic World Championships were designed by a Blue Peter competition winner.”

    Another recent competition winner will see a dragon they designed brought to life and placed on the Great Pagoda in Kew Gardens.

    Helen adds: “Over 37,000 children entered these competitions, a true testament to the creativity, dedication and imagination of our audience.”

    Another 5000 episodes?

    For dads of a certain age, Blue Peter feels steeped in nostalgia. But the show has consistently moved with the times, as you’d expect of the longest running TV show in the world.

    Today its digital and traditional incarnations have their own unique selling points, but bounce ideas and inspiration off each other. Children join in and have fun, as they always have. They just have different ways of doing it.

    And there’s something deeply reassuring about Blue Peter in a world were parents worry about the effects of the internet and its many distractions on young minds. The show is still about being active rather than passive, about doing as well as watching.

    For Helen, this is key: “What makes Blue Peter different from other shows is that all our makes and skills videos are created using low-budget materials, or things you can find around the house. Children are incredibly creative and the proof of this is the amount of post they send in to us.”

    So will its unique mix still be around in another decade? “Blue Peter is truly a national treasure and a real bond between generations,” says Helen. “Can you imagine a world without it?”

    What’s in it for dads?

    So why discover (or rediscover) Blue Peter? Quite simply, the website is a repository of great ideas, especially if you are, like me, useless at practical stuff like crafts and cooking. Right now you can get online with your kids and…

    There’s probably no other single resource that offers such a variety of activities in one place. If you haven’t checked it out in a while, it’s time you did.

    The post Blue Peter – the next 5000 episodes appeared first on DaddiLife.

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    We’re profiling the very best activities for dads and children in collaboration with Club Hub, and this week we’re delighted to feature: Diddi Dance in North Essex & South Suffolk! 

    Diddi dance is a funky pre-school dance activity for boys and girls under five. Charlotte Foxley runs the North Essex & South Suffolk area franchise and also runs special needs classes for under 8s. Their even making an incredible offer - a FREE trial of their classes! Just put DaddiLifeAOTW in the top of your message to Club Hub in their contact page

    Diddi Dance Club - YouTube
    Charlotte Foxley
    Founder, Diddi Dance, North Essex & South Suffolk

    “I love children and dancing so running a diddi dance franchise was just perfect for me. And a balance with home/work life was essential with my own two young children to look after.”

    1. What’s in it for dads and kids?

    Diddi dance ticks all the boxes when it comes to physical, emotional and social development. The classes meet all Early Years Foundation Stage criteria, which simply put means the children learn while moving. The combination of exercise and interaction is a huge draw.

    Charlotte adds: “Being part of a group is a lovely experience and I hope that we enable the children to feel comfortable in this type of setting for when they grow into the next phase of life.”

    Diddi dance uses original music and specially designed warm up routines, none of which you will find anywhere else. The sessions tap into children’s natural love of movement and rhythm. 

    “We cover 16 dance themes from around the world all aimed at pre-school and all simple enough for the children to try out,” says Charlotte. “They learn about the different types of dance style from Jive to Irish, Ballroom and Hip hop!”

    For dads, the groups are a great opportunity to encourage development and cement parent/child bonds in a fun and laughter-filled 45 minutes. The chance to meet lots of like-minded parents is an added bonus.

    2. Key Activities at Diddi Dance


    Charlotte runs special needs classes for children under 8s. More generally, diddi dance also offers fun, affordable parties, which include dancing games, action songs, hoops, dance ribbons, bubbles, balloons, bells and lots of fun. The parties are totally interactive - no sitting and watching here!

    3. Great for dads who…
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           Want to get their kids active in a really fun way
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           Want to help their children develop socially and emotionally
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           Love a bit of a boogie themselves!
    4. Find Out More & Booking

    I began attending Diddidance with my son when his little sister was a few months old.  I wanted the chance for my son to have some time to play that was just about him and not his new baby sister.  I felt so welcome from the beginning and it was difficult not to become caught up in Charlotte's enthusiasm.  I had fun joining in even if my son was a little reluctant to begin with. My daughter now participates in the weekly lessons and my husband takes both children every week to work on his dad moves. I love attending the classes when I have an opportunity when not working.

    I think the whole concept behind diddi dance is wonderful and will keep signing up for classes until my children have to go to school.  A lovely family experience led by a wonderful group of teachers (although we are biased because Charlotte is our teacher!).


    For further info, check out the nationwide diddi dance website, or Charlotte’s Facebook page for classes in Colchester and other areas of North Essex and South Sussex.

    The post Diddi Dance – Get them moving and grooving appeared first on DaddiLife.

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