Are we nearly there yet?

bored kids

Everyone who has ever driven their family in a car knows that sooner or later they will hear the words “are we nearly there yet?”

In a recent survey by Parkdean Holidays of over 1,400 parents they discovered that parents are likely to hear “are we nearly there yet” in less than an hour of the car journey. In my car I’m lucky if we can last ten minutes before the question is asked – and its usually first uttered by my wife!

The majority of parents used iPads and electronic tablets to keep their little ones entertained in the car. But 532 parents still favoured a trusty old book as their source of entertainment. This does surprise me because I always thought reading in the car was a sure way to get a headache.

Thankfully my 4 year old daughter enjoys sleeping in cars. So keeping her amused is generally not a problem. And if she is fighting sleep I generally find a discussion of the day’s political events is a good way to bring on those zzzzzs.

Here’s a link to the findings. And a handy video for keeping your kids entertained in cars.

http://www.parkdeanholidays.co.uk/are-we-nearly-there-yet/

Parenting Tips: Driving Lessons for Kids

kids driving

 

Here are some of the best places that you can take your kids for driving experience and pre-driving lesson driving lessons:

THE AA

 The AA don’t just offer roadside assistance, they can also be on hand to get your kids behind the wheel. Aimed at 13-16 year olds, the AA Driving School provides a safe, controlled and stress-free environment for teenagers to experience driving for the first time. The lessons only cover the basics of accelerating, stopping, steering, changing gears and manoeuvring, so there will be no tearing it around the track for the overzealous Lewis Hamilton wannabes – but then there’s always go-karting for that.

MERCEDES-BENZ

There’s an old saying in sports that if you’re good enough then you’re old enough but the folks at Mercedes-Benz fail to see what competence has to do with it at all. The motto at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, Surrey, is: “If you’re tall enough then you’re old enough”. By ‘tall’ they mean 1.5m and by ‘enough’ they mean that you have to at least be able to reach the brake pedal. Their 30 minutes and 1 hour courses for under 16s go a bit further than your average conservative introductions to the world of driving. They take the little whippersnappers through the basics and then head straight onto the famous Brooklands circuit for some dynamic handling and skid management lessons. These are courses designed to get young adults introduced to the fundamentals of driving at a young age and perhaps even progress them into the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy.

SILVERSTONE

If you’re after driving experiences then SIlverstone is the place to go. The legendary racetrack is not only the official home of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix but it is also the host of some of the world’s greatest driving experiences, and they don’t only cater for adults with driving licences. Kids too can get the chance to ride around the same circuit that has been driven on by every F1 superstar in the history of the sport. The driving experiences for ‘rookies’, as they call them, cater for ages 13 plus and offer the choice between driving lessons in a Renault Clio 200 Cu, scooter lessons on a Yamaha JogRR 50cc or for the thrill seekers an adrenaline-pumping, high-speed drive around the classic circuit with an expert instructor behind the wheel.

ŠKODA

Over at ŠKODA they’re not looking for the new Michael Schumacher with their under-17 driving lessons. ŠKODA’s research suggests that motoring accidents in young drivers can be reduced by 40% through providing under-17s with driver training. This isn’t surprising considering that 20% of new drivers are involved in some sort of road incident within 6 months of passing theirs tests. So in response ŠKODA has helped set up ‘Young Driver’, the UK’s only nationwide driving school for children aged 11 to 17. Motoring expert Quentin Wilson described the lessons as “a road safety revolution” after his son took part in the course. Wilson’s enthusiasm for ŠKODA’s scheme makes complete sense but what doesn’t make any sense is that SEAT’s website claims to be responsible for the exact same driving scheme and link to the same ‘Young Driver’ website. They even both use Wilson’s quote as their own. Watching the video the cars all look like ŠKODAs to me and the explanation is probably that uber-parent company Volkswagen is actually behind the whole thing.

DRIVEB4UTURN17

On first inspection one would assume that a company called Drive B4 U Turn 17 were frugal character saving experts (they’ve even managed to get ‘U-Turn’ in there) but under the txt-style title of their website they soon make up for any letters that have been saved by stating “Under 17 Driving Lessons for 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16 year olds”. Well at least they’re thorough with the age specification. I would have gone for 10-16 myself but anyway, moving on through their site their opening gambit is: “If you are aged 10 to 17 and can’t wait to learn to drive”… hang on. Now I’m confused. I thought it was only driving lessons for 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16 year olds? Also I’m very concerned about these 10 year olds out there who are so eager to drive that they are scouring the internet for underage lessons. I’ll let it go anyway, so Drive B4 U Turn 17 also claims that they “can teach young drivers from age 10 provided they can reach the car pedals.” Hang on now we’re just back to “if you’re tall enough then you’re old enough”. You know what, just have a flick through their website yourself.

CycleMania

Yorkshire dad champions the benefits of cycling.

Those living within a close enough proximity to any of the Tour de France stages held in England would have gone to it. The two stages in Yorkshire were watched by 2.5m people and were an overwhelming success despite the withdrawal of Green Jersey favourite Mark Cavendish and defending Champion Chris Froome, both of Britain.

The Tour was the perfect place to get children interested in cycling. The raucous, carnival atmosphere that accompanied the race really gave for an electric buzz. A buzz that was completely enthralling regardless of age whilst the competitors were in brilliant spirits and very welcoming to the youngsters. The Tour has instilled in children a desire to start cycling – which certainly isn’t a bad thing.

The average weight of a 10 year old boy is 70 pounds, and an hour cycling at a decent speed would see him burn 318 calories. Cycling is evidently a great way to stay in shape and should actively be encouraged.

Another perk to having children interested in cycling is that it is such a great way to spend time as a family. Everyone enjoys a good cycle. There a fewer better, and cheaper, family excursions than a Sunday afternoon bike ride. Pack some sandwiches and get lost in the beautiful British countryside.

Being on a bike introduces your child to new places and all things natural. Because of the exciting element of cycling your child will struggle to get bored even though they are learning at the same time, whether that be about a certain flower or insect or the natural environment as a whole. The humble bike ride can be a very useful educational tool.

So even if you or your child hasn’t been interested in the Tour you should give cycling a go. It is a great bonding exercise and the benefits are vast.

Authors Bio

Joe Burton is a 33-year-old father of two boys: Harry 10 and Archie 6 and husband to the ever loving Lucy. He resides in Leeds and works in the exciting world of finance.

SUMMER HOLIDAY TIP:  OPEN A KIDS ART GALLERY 

It’s the start of the summer holidays and for many parents it will fill them with dread as they have to find countless activities to fill their child’s day and avoid those two deadly words  “I’m Bored”.

So here’s a suggestion to occupy a day or two – turn you house into an art gallery. Firstly, you may download a digital art app onto your ipad/tablet for them to draw pictures or create abstract digital arts by using the app. Once done, you can then print them out and display them on the walls of your house. Then get your kids to give you a tour of the exhibits and listen to their no doubt baffling abstract creations.

It will be fun to hear their explanation of why triangular blue blob with pink dots is in fact “daddy” and those disturbingly phallic looking yellow things are in fact trees. You can also quiz them on their motivation for giving rainbow eggs ears.

So load up some good quality printer inks, art papers and get your printer working hard. You can start your art gallery in no time.

Why not combine this activity with a trip to a real art gallery? Some parents think that young kids won’t “get” real art but even toddlers can appreciate masterpieces. Beth Schneider, head of learning at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, sums it up perfectly.

 “You’re never too young to enjoy Manet,” she says. “He often painted his family and friends, and children immediately notice that, in some cases spotting relationships grown-ups might miss. Going to an exhibition is a great family occasion that can spark a conversation that goes all the way home.”

My daughter loves big bold colourful works. Matisse at Tate Modern is a particular favourite of hers. Art galleries are big spaces so there is plenty of room for even the most hyperactive of kids. In addition, many galleries have special activities for children during school holidays.

kids art kids art2

World Cup Competition

888

Daddy Dazed is loving this World Cup  – such great games, such good goals – my biggest problem is wrestling control of the TV remote away from my daughter who doesn’t appreciate the finer points of team tactics and just wants to watch Frozen.

And now Daddy Dazed brings you a great free World Cup competition – Jungle Goal$, courtesy of 888casino

First prize is a LG 9.1ch 3D cinema system.

All you have to do is visit here – World Cup at 888casino – watch a short video and work out who bounced the ball the most times (HINT: it’s harder that it sounds, so concentrate) and guess the team that’ll win this year’s World Cup.

Competition ends 14th July.

Good luck!

Fathers Day Competition

Dear Readers, How would you like to make your dad’s dreams come true?

All you need to do is submit a video or simply tweet saying why your dad is your hero and what his #FathersDayDream would be e.g.: a racing day at Silverstone, a family holiday to Paris, a trip to see the Northern Lights  etc. Then Braun will chose one winner to make their dad’s dream come true!  

The competition ends on 16th June to enter & you have to include the hashtags #Braun & #FathersDayDreams in your tweet/video.  Full terms and conditions here – http://braunfathersdaydreams.wordpress.com/

Fathers Day Gifts

A message to my daughter. It’s fathers day this year and I’d really like a present. Last year the hand painted card was lovely and all but what I really want is something a bit more substantial. I know you have been hinting that you have made me something special – something about a card with your footprint on it in pink and with glitter – but if you were to look deep inside yourself you’d probably realise that you made that card more for you than me. When have I ever said “Oh what I really want is a splodgy picture of your foot”? So here I have a couple of recommendations for my father’s day gift:

1. A Bottle of Single Malt Whiskey 

whisky

I have two suggestions here:

The Macallan Gold Matured in 100% sherry seasoned oak casks, The Macallan Gold has notes of vanilla followed by dark chocolate, with lingering floral and light oak notes. Daddy likes to drink this after tucking you into bed.  www.themacallan.co.uk

Highland Park 12 Year Old This single malt whisky boasts a honey sweetness, followed by fruity notes with a hint of gentle smoke and a flavour that just keeps on delivering. Daddy like it very much.  www.highlandpark.co.uk.

2. Braun Cool Tec Shaver 

braun shaver

This is the ultimate electric shaver. It is the world’s 1st shaver with active cooling technology – now that might not mean much to you, but for my irritable skin this is a big deal.

Here comes the science, so listen carefully – most electric shavers allow warmth to build up in the head of the shaver, °CoolTec has an innovative aluminium cooling bar integrated into its head that actively cools down the skin during shaving, minimizing shaving redness, burning and itching sensations. It basically puts skin irritation on ice. Think of it as Frozen for my face. It’s like an icy blast of Elsa magic every time I shave.

I’ll be honest. I was so excited by this new technology and its sleek cool design that i have already bought one – so all you need to do is give the word and i’ll transfer your child allowance into my account. Thanks in advance. Daddy loves you.

Baby Jumping Festival

bizarre baby festival

Are you worried that your baby might be possessed by evil spirits. Well don’t worry all you need is a man in fancy dress to jump over your child.

Every year in Spain they hold a Baby Jumping Festival to purify babies.

El Colacho as it is known  is held in Castillo de Murcia near Burgos in the Spring. It is the culmination of the Spanish Catholic Festival of Corpus Christi.

The babies are laid on the ground and then grown men, dressed as devils (or bizarrely Elvis) jump over them. The act of flying in the air over the babies is supposed to cleanse them of all evil spirits.

baby jumping2

This bizarre festival was founded in 1620 and is a mixture of Spanish folklore and religion. The organisers are the mysterious brotherhood of Santísimo Sacramento de Minerva, who appear to be competing to wear the most outlandish costume.

After the baby hurdles, the children are sprinkled with petals and blessed.

In our safety conscious age, the festival has come under fire from critics who says its dangerous, and even the Pope has asked Catholic priests not to condone it, but it looks pretty good fun to me.

But I wonder what happens if one of these leaping lads was to land short and fall on one of the babies? Or if the leaper fell and twisted his ankle? Would they be able to seek compensation claiming it was a work accident? Perhaps they should have Leo Claims on speed dial!