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Fireworks Night! Where to go with Children

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

It’s been a while since my last blog but seeing as it’s fireworks night I thought it’d be nice to help you all find the best places to go near you.  Remember to be safe – fireworks night is a lot of fun, but potentially dangerous (don’t get us started on sparklers!) so first and foremost, safety is key.

Click here to go to a great link the government has provided for advice on the safe use of fireworks which is a must for any nanny, au pair, childcarer or family to read before using fireworks around children.

Now that we’ve done the safety bit, I’ve compiled some great sites for information on where to go tonight.

If you’re based in London, Time Out is usually my go to website for great places to go.  My personal favourite has always been the Victoria Park Guy Fawkes Night celebrations in East London, however unfortunately for us this year, Newham Council will not be funding it due to the additional cost this year of hosting the London 2012 Olympics.  Still, fear not, as they are putting on many smaller but still fantastic displays all over the east.  The equally incredible Alexandra Palace Firework display has also been cancelled this year, which is a huge shame, however it’s a good reason to see something different this year.

For those of us in Manchester, there are some great firework displays planned, as are these great websites for Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Brighton and Hove, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Plymouth, as well as this great interactive map for Liverpool.

On Monday 7th November, I’ll be babysitting a friend’s children and we’re very excited about going to the Christmas Lights opening in Stratford City Westfield in East London, where there will also be a fireworks display and performances with Justin Bieber!  To read more about this, click here

Let me know where you went for fireworks night!  We’d love to hear from you and maybe get some suggestions of seeing something new next year!

Have fun and be safe

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Riots Across London – We’d Rather Make Playdough!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Riots in London and Making Playdough with Children

It’s been a while since I last posted here at Olives Childcare and a lot has happened since!  We’ve moved house and then been surrounded by some of the worst rioting the UK has ever seen.

Our overseas partner agencies have been wonderful with some of their words of support which we are extremely grateful for.  In return, we’ve been in constant contact with all of our nannies, au pairs, maternity nurses and mother’s helpers that we supply to make sure that they’re safe and secure along with the children they look after.  Fortunately, no one has experienced anything first hand and we hope it stays that way.

It is such a shame what is happening, especially with the Olympics around the corner (which incidentally we’re very excited about here at Olives Childcare).

Anyway, I won’t linger on the shameful behaviour of a small minority of young people.  We have more important things to cover.

How to Make Playdough

Making playdough is not only great fun, but you can also play with it afterwards!  What’s not to like?

As any playdough connoisseur will know, there are two main varieties of playdough:  Cooked and uncooked.  Why?  I hear you ask.  What is the difference?  As with most things, it is a personal preference.  I, as a more mature playdough user prefer cooked, however for some of the younger children we may look after both the danger of cooking and attention span needed may prove too much, so we shall begin with uncooked playdough.

Uncooked Playdough
1/2 a cup of salt
1/2 a cup of water
1 cup of flower
Food dye (the more garish the better!)

1 – First, find a good space to work on, preferably the floor.  Cover the area with newspaper to save a huge cleanup operation.  Also, get a medium to large sized bowl to mix the playdough in.  It can be fun for the older kids to be each tasked with finding the items themselves.
2 – Ask the little ones to measure out for you a cup of flower and add it to the bowl.  Next, ask them to measure out half a cup of salt and put it into the bowl followed by (lastly) half a cup of water.
3 – Give the child/children a spoon and ask them to mix the ingredients until it’s no longer too watery or floury.  We’re going for a nice and even mushy mix!
4 – Next is my personal favourite – adding the food dye.  I usually pick luminous lime greens, pinks and oranges, but then I have terrible taste and love bright colours.  Just add a few drops (don’t over do it or things will get messy when it comes to play time!) then have the children knead the dough until it has a uniform colour.

That’s it!  You’ve now got some playdough and here’s where the fun starts.  Your creations are only limited by your imagination!

I’ll do a future blog on the connoisseur’s playdough – the cooked variety.  Slightly more tricky, more ingredients, however more elastic.

One last thing – Keep the playdough away from pets!  It smells like food but has a high salt content.  Children usually notice after the first taste, but I hear that pets can ignore it to ill effect.

Have fun!

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Hi Everyone,

I’m sure that our blog is more than you could possibly want, however for those of you who like a good tweet now and then, Olives Childcare has launched on twitter!  Instead of regularly logging into our wonderful website like we know you do all the time you can keep up to date with our latest blog topics on twitter to pic and choose which ones you fancy having a peek at.

We look forward to seeing you there, @Oliveschildcare or!/oliveschildcare

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Welcome to the Olives Childcare Blog!

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Hi Everyone!  Welcome to the updated Olives Childcare website and blog.

Not only are we an industry leading childcare agency, but in our spare time we like to talk about childcare too.  This blog will hopefully provide food for thought for families and childcarers alike as we plan to regularly update it with interesting topics that we all face when working with children.

Over the coming months, we will be giving you some nice (hopefully!) recipes to cook with your children, or the children you care for, things to do, places to visit, frequently asked questions and much, much more!

Anyway, we look forward to seeing more of you and hope you enjoy our blog!

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