As Easter approaches, families are on the lookout for exciting activities to enjoy together. While the holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, it also presents an excellent opportunity to engage children in activities that promote their holistic development. From Lego creations in London to exploring historical sites like Blenheim Palace, here are some top Easter events that not only promise heaps of fun but also contribute to shaping emotionally intelligent, confident, resilient, and happy kids.

1. Art of the Brick (London): Fuel creativity and inspiration at the Art of the Brick exhibition, where families can marvel at stunning LEGO creations and engage in hands-on activities. From reimagined art masterpieces to interactive installations, children unleash their creativity and critical thinking. By building and creating, they develop problem-solving skills, resilience, and a passion for innovation and design.

2. Blenheim Palace Adventure Play (Oxfordshire): Venture into the thrilling Adventure Play at Blenheim Palace, where children can explore tunnels, bridges, and hidden chambers. With opportunities for climbing, sliding, and imaginative play, kids unleash their adventurous spirit and physical prowess. By navigating through obstacle courses and engaging in active play, they develop coordination, resilience, and a love for outdoor exploration. There is also the amazing Palace to visit and the wonderful late Winston Churchill to take a photo with!

3. Cadbury World (Birmingham): Embark on a chocolate-filled adventure at Cadbury World, where families can immerse themselves in the fascinating world of chocolate making. Beyond the indulgence, children get the chance to engage in interactive experiences. Laugh along as Freddo embarks on an egg-citing adventure and attempt to conquer a series of challenges to win the mystery prize, The Golden Egg! With plenty of audience participation, dancing, songs, and laughter, your little ones can help Freddo navigate through this chocolatey challenge. The Caramel Bunny will also be making an appearance! Dive into the Easter spirit with their Easter Trail, filled with exciting activities and surprises for the whole family allowing your children to develop problem-solving skills, and embrace creativity, as they explore the wonders of chocolate production.

4. Hertfordshire Family Easter Festival 2024 (Hertfordshire): Immerse yourself in a world of fun and excitement at the Hertfordshire Family Easter Festival. From egg hunts to carnival rides and live entertainment, children engage in active play, social interaction, and creative expression. As your little legends participate in various activities, they develop teamwork, communication, and emotional intelligence, perfect for increasing confidence and resilience in social settings.

5. Hampton Court Palace (Surrey): Transport your family back in time to the days of Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace. Explore the grandeur of the Great Hall, stroll through magnificent gardens, and let imaginations soar in The Magic Garden playground. As children uncover historical secrets and embark on the Lindt GOLD BUNNY Hunt, they develop curiosity, historical knowledge, nurturing their intellect and observational skills.

6. Wookey Hole Caves (Somerset): Boldly go on a journey of discovery at Wookey Hole Caves, where families can explore geological wonders and unravel hidden surprises. With a new 4D cinema, an Easter Witch, egg hunts, and adventure activities, children unleash their curiosity, creativity, and bravery navigating through cave systems and engaging in interactive experiences. A wonderful place to cultivate resilience, adaptability, and a thirst for knowledge.

7. Wyvernwood Colchester (Essex): Discover outdoor adventures at Wyvernwood, where families can explore jumping pillows, unicorns, goblins, dragons and storytelling trails. With Easter-themed activities including the Golden Dragon Egg Hunt, plus face painting and nature encounters, children unleash their imagination and creativity with no phones in sight. Casting spells with Merlin and many other adventures, really helps boost imaginative capabilities. Watch your children approach the world of Wyvernwood with a sense of wonder and exploration as they meet The Captain, Princess Arabella, Tatiana Queen of the Fairies, Merlin, Sprocket and Gurt the Lord of the Goblins. Watch out for the green bogeys!

As families embark on Easter adventures, these activities not only promise unforgettable experiences but also contribute to children’s holistic development. Each activity enriches children’s lives, shaping them into confident, resilient, and intellectually curious individuals poised for success in the future.

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But if you don’t have time to go on an Easter Adventure, there is still plenty to do at home.

Easter Activities for Preschoolers (3-5 years):

  • Decorate Easter eggs using crayons, stickers, and washable paint to spark creativity and fine motor skills.
  • Bake and decorate Easter-themed cookies in fun shapes like bunnies, chicks, and eggs, allowing them to explore different textures and flavours.
  • Organise an Easter egg hunt in the back garden, hiding colourful eggs filled with small treats or toys for them to discover.
  • Create simple Easter crafts such as bunny masks, handprint chicks, or paper plate Easter baskets to boost imagination and sensory exploration.

Easter Activities for Children Aged 5-8 years:

  • Bake traditional Easter treats like hot cross buns, bunny-shaped bread rolls, or sugar cookies, involving your children more in the kitchen to develop cooking skills.
  • Plan a painting or crafting session where they can create Easter-themed artwork such as springtime landscapes, bunny portraits, or flower crowns.
  • Engage in gardening activities by planting spring flowers or herbs together, teaching them about growth cycles and nurturing plants.
  • Challenge their problem-solving skills with Easter-themed puzzles, riddles, clue based scavenger hunts around the house or garden, keeping them entertained while stimulating their minds.

Easter Activities for Tweens (8-12 years):

  • Experiment with advanced baking projects like braided Easter bread, homemade chocolate truffles, Simnel cake or intricately decorated Easter cakes to hone their culinary skills.
  • Host a DIY Easter craft day, allowing them to make handmade cards, painted egg ornaments, or personalised Easter baskets for family and friends.
  • Organise Easter-themed trivia games or brain teasers to challenge their critical thinking skills and encourage friendly competition.
  • Get involved in charitable activities such as volunteering at local food banks or crafting Easter care packages for those in need, encouraging empathy and making a positive impact on their community.

So, this Easter, however you want to celebrate let the adventure begin, and watch your children blossom into brilliant stars of tomorrow!

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Unleashing Your Child’s Cognitive Potential

Hey brilliant parents, today I wanted to talk to you about the handwriting hack that’s changing lives and boosting brainpower. This is not anecdotal, it’s backed by science and real success stories, and this one thing is so easy to do. so let’s uncover the secrets behind this game-changing parenting strategy.

Meet Sarah and Emilio: A Success Story

Meet a wonderful mother we shall call Sarah, a brilliant parent like yourself, who was on a mission to give her son, Emilio, the best shot at success so she signed up to family coaching. Like any power parent, Sarah was all about wanting the best for her child, so Sarah asked me in one of our coaching sessions if I knew something simple but effective that she could implement immediately. I told her about the power of handwriting! Intrigued by the simplicity, Sarah decided to give it a whirl—and boy, did it pay off. The result wasn’t neat handwriting it was so much more!

The Science Unveiled: Why Handwriting Reigns Supreme

Recent studies, led by experts like Dr. Audrey van der Meer and Dr. Sophia Vinci-Booher, have peeled back the layers to reveal the profound cognitive benefits of handwriting.

When your child grips a pen and sets it to paper, their brain ignites with activity. It’s like a firework show of neural connections, lighting up regions responsible for memory, motor skills, and sensory processing. And the best part? This neural glow translates to tangible gains in learning and retention.

What Sets Handwriting Apart?

So, what sets handwriting apart from typing? It’s all about the sensory experience, folks. When your little one scribbles away, they’re not just forming letters—they’re engaging their senses, fine-tuning their motor skills, and giving their brain a workout like never before. From the tactile sensation of pen on paper to the visual feedback of ink flowing, every stroke stimulates neural pathways in a wondrous collection of cognitive engagement.

Putting Theory into Practice: How Sarah Nailed It

Okay, let’s talk real talk. Sarah didn’t just sit around talking to me about the benefits of handwriting, nor did she ask her son to practicing writing sentences and letters. Instead she took the golden nugget, put our actions plans into place and set to work implementing this in Emilio’s life.

Armed with a trusty pen and notebook, Sarah introduced Emilio to the wonderful world of journaling and storytelling. And guess what? Emilio was hooked! As he poured his thoughts onto paper, his brain was firing on all cylinders, making connections left, right, and centre. We then took the handwriting up a notch and his creativity was flowing with every word, every placement of the washi tape, every dinosaur sticker placed down. A wonderful synergy between paper and person began.

The Big Transformation: From Meh to Magnificent

Fast forward a few weeks, and Sarah noticed something amazing: Emilio was on fire! Not only was his memory sharper than ever, but her creativity was off the charts. By embracing the power of pen and paper, Emilio was unlocking his full potential and paving the way for a bright future. And the best part? It didn’t cost Sarah a fortune—just a pound for a pen and paper. Even taking it to the next level didn’t break the bank, a cute stationery set ranges from £5 to £15 and comes with washi tape, journalling paper, memo sheets and stickers. They are also great presents to give and/or ask for birthdays and holidays.

Exploring the Exciting World of Children’s Pens

As your child gets into stepping away from the tablet and getting back to the pen, you can of course be a little more adventurous with the types of pen you choose. When it comes to pens for children, the options are as diverse as their imaginations! Fine liners offer precision and control, perfect for intricate doodles and detailed drawings. Coloured pens bring a splash of creativity to the page, allowing kids to express themselves with vibrant hues and bold strokes. Scented pens add an extra element of fun, turning writing into a sensory experience that engages both the mind and the nose. Fountain pens and coloured ink provide a touch of elegance and sophistication, encouraging children to take pride in their writing and explore the beauty of calligraphy. And for the budding collectors, special edition and novelty pens offer a unique charm, turning everyday writing tools into cherished keepsakes. With such a variety to choose from, every child can find a pen that sparks their curiosity and fuels their creativity!

The Brainy Breakdown

Let’s delve deeper into why brilliant children should swap their laptops for notebooks and embrace the tactile experience of handwriting.

 

Recent studies, including one conducted by Audrey van der Meer and Ruud van der Weel at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), have uncovered compelling evidence supporting the superiority of handwriting over typing. By monitoring brain activity in students, they found that handwriting stimulates higher levels of electrical activity across various brain regions compared to typing. These regions, responsible for movement, sensory processing, and memory, light up like a spotlight on a stage when engaged in the intricate dance of penmanship.

The tactile experience of forming letters by hand engages multiple senses and motor functions simultaneously. Unlike the monotonous keystrokes of typing, handwriting requires intricate coordination between the eyes, hands, and brain. Each stroke of the pen activates neural pathways involved in motor planning and execution, reinforcing the connection between perception and action. This multi-sensory approach to learning not only enhances memory retention but also deepens conceptual understanding—a cognitive feat that typing struggles to replicate.

Handwriting Practice Encourages Self Expression

Moreover, handwriting offers a gateway to creativity and self-expression. Children who wield pens and pencils are not merely transcribing words—they are sculpting thoughts, shaping ideas, and imprinting their unique identity onto the page. As they navigate the intricate dance of letter formation, they forge a tangible connection with language, transforming abstract concepts into concrete realities.

Dr. Sophia Vinci-Booher, an expert in educational neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, underscores the transformative power of handwriting in childhood development. Her research highlights the critical role of fine motor activities in strengthening neural connections and fostering long-term learning. By engaging the motor system in the act of writing, children immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of sensory experiences, laying the foundation for cognitive growth and academic success.

Handwriting’s Biggest Predator And Children’s Declining Motor Skills

However, the rise of digital technology poses a formidable challenge to the primacy of handwriting in education. In a world where touchscreens reign supreme, children are increasingly deprived of the sensory-rich experience of penmanship. Dr. van der Meer warns of the consequences of this digital shift, citing alarming trends in children’s declining fine motor skills. Without regular practice in handwriting, children risk losing touch with a fundamental aspect of their cognitive development—a loss that could have far-reaching implications for their academic and personal growth.

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Handwriting Needs To Be A Priority

As educators and parents grapple with the digital dilemma, the case for prioritising handwriting in childhood education becomes increasingly urgent. Handwriting lessons offer more than just an opportunity to master penmanship—they provide a holistic approach to learning that nurtures creativity, strengthens cognitive skills, and fosters a lifelong love for language and literature. If they aren’t doing this enough in school, then as a brilliant parent it is time to gently prize the technology from your child’s hands and replace it with a pen! Some removals of technology may be harder than others and I would love to hear comments about how this worked out for you, and positive stories to share with other parents how this simple hack is actually a genius move.

Empower Your Child’s Future

The handwriting hack isn’t just a fad—it’s a game-changer for unlocking your child’s cognitive potential. By embracing the power of pen and paper, you’re equipping your child with the tools they need to thrive in an increasingly complex world. So go ahead, invest that quid in a pen and perhaps even splash out on a notebook too, and watch as your child’s brainpower soars to new heights!

 

*Less than £1: At the time of writing a Janrax 9×7″ Blue Exercise Book (80 Pages) was 47p and a Bic Biro was approximately 29p

Hey there, fellow parents! Are you pondering over which language would be the perfect fit for your brilliant child to study? At Creating Brilliant Kids, we understand the importance of helping you make informed decisions that will shape your children’s futures. So let’s begin this language-learning journey together.

Today I will be discussing the decision making behind language choice for your child and I will be giving you the top five language choices for your child and give you the we see chosen the most.

Step 1: Look At The Child Not The Language First

So many parent’s come to us, exhausted from having sat down surrounded by stacks of language textbooks, trying to decide which path their child should take and ending up no closer to a decision. It’s because they are looking at the language not the child. If you have been there and done that, fear not it happens to the best of us.

Here is the CBK way to guide you through this exciting yet daunting decision-making process:

Follow Their Passion

When it comes to choosing a language for your child to study, passion is key. Remember when little Emily couldn’t stop talking about her dream of visiting Paris? That’s your cue! Encourage your child to pursue their interests and let their passions be the compass that guides their language-learning journey. Whether it’s the allure of Spanish flamenco or the intrigue of Mandarin characters, fuel their curiosity and watch them soar!

Consider Future Opportunities

If your child is old enough get them to understand the benefits to avoid the age-old question: “But why do I need to learn another language?” Feel free to tell them the story about my friend Jack. Jack’s parents encouraged him to learn German, and boy, did it pay off! Fast forward a few years, and Jack found himself landing a dream job at a multinational company, all thanks to his language skills. We all know someone like Jack. You may even be like Jack yourself. Get your children to see the benefit of future opportunities that learning a new language can unlock for them and see if that sparks a discussion of what types of opportunities they feel drawn to. Who knows where their linguistic journey might lead?

Connect with Culture

Learning a language isn’t just about memorising vocabulary and conjugating verbs; it’s about immersing oneself in a whole new world of culture and traditions. Take it from Sarah, whose son James fell head over heels for Japanese anime. Inspired by his passion, Sarah enrolled James in Japanese classes, opening the door to a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and forging lifelong connections along the way. They had fun making sushi together, having Japanese tea ceremonies and much more. So, when choosing look to the bigger picture of choosing a language that resonates with your child’s interests and allows them to explore new horizons at the same time.

Embrace the Challenge

Let’s face it learning a new language can be challenging, but oh-so-rewarding! If you want your child to attempt a language that is very different to their own, you need to make sure that they are ready to embrace the challenge, knowing that every stumble and stumble is a stepping stone towards fluency. If this is not where they are at, then choosing a language with a different alphabet or characters may be too much of a hurdle for them. It is more important for them to love learning than the language itself, because without the love they won’t keep up the language. If they fail too many times and give up before they succeed, then they won’t look to learning a third language, which is the ultimate goal.

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Step 2: Learn About The Languages From A Bigger Perspective

Choosing the perfect language for your brilliant child is a journey filled with endless possibilities and exciting discoveries, but every child is different and there is no one language that fits all.

Here is a little more information on the top 5 languages as chosen by us at CBK. We wold love to hear reasons for choosing other languages in the comments.

French

Bonjour! French, often dubbed the language of love, sophistication, and culinary delights, presents a tantalising gateway to a world of opportunities for aspiring linguists.

A Global Linguistic Landscape: French is not confined to the streets of Paris; it spans continents and cultures as the official language in 29 countries worldwide. These countries include France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, and several African nations such as Senegal, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Madagascar, among others. From the romantic boulevards of France to the picturesque landscapes of Canada’s Quebec province and the vibrant cities of Africa, including Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Madagascar, French permeates diverse societies, enriching both daily life and global interactions.

A Thriving Linguistic Community: With approximately 300 million French speakers worldwide, the language forms a vibrant linguistic community encompassing native speakers, second language learners, and foreign language enthusiasts. This extensive network embraces cultural exchange, facilitates cross-border communication, and nurtures a shared appreciation for French art, literature, and my personal favourite french cuisine.

Unlocking International Opportunities: French’s status as one of the official languages of prestigious international organisations, including the United Nations, the European Union, and the International Olympic Committee, underscores its significance on the global stage. Proficiency in French opens doors to diplomatic engagements, cultural exchanges, and business ventures across continents, offering a competitive edge in today’s interconnected world.

Seamless Integration with British Culture: Despite its global reach, French seamlessly integrates with British culture, serving as a bridge between nations. Whether savouring a freshly baked croissant in a quaint Parisian café or negotiating business deals in the bustling markets of Francophone Africa, French enhances personal and professional experiences while leaving room for British cultural identity.

Embark on a Francophone Adventure: With its blend of elegance, diversity, and global significance, learning French invites aspiring linguists on an unforgettable journey of exploration and discovery. From mastering the language of Molière and Proust to immersing oneself in the vibrant tapestry of French culture, it is more than just a widely spoken language.

Spanish

Hola amigos! Spanish, known for its vibrancy and cultural richness, transcends borders and opens doors to a world of business opportunities for ambitious individuals.

Expanding Horizons Across 21 Countries: Spanish is not just a language; it’s a hot contender for our top language. It is spoken as the official language in 21 countries. From the lively streets of Spain to the bustling markets of Mexico and the serene landscapes of Argentina, Spanish permeates every facet of life across Central and South America, as well as in Equatorial Guinea in Africa. Additionally, the United States boasts a significant Spanish-speaking population, further solidifying the language’s global reach.

A Massive Linguistic Network: With over 460 million native speakers worldwide and millions more proficient in Spanish as a second language, the Spanish-speaking community forms a vast linguistic network spanning continents and cultures.

Unveiling Cultural Riches: Mastering Spanish opens children up to cultural riches, offering insights into the diverse heritage, traditions, and customs of Spanish-speaking countries. From flamenco dancing in Spain to tango performances in Argentina, the cultural tapestry woven through the Spanish language provides a unique perspective and appreciation for global diversity.

Opportunities in Business and Beyond: As the second most spoken language globally, Spanish proficiency is a valuable asset in the business world. From conducting negotiations and forging partnerships to engaging with clients and expanding market reach, fluency in Spanish enhances professional opportunities across various industries. Whether navigating international trade, exploring emerging markets, or tapping into the rich cultural landscape of Spanish-speaking countries, proficiency in Spanish empowers individuals to thrive in today’s interconnected global economy.

Seize the Spanish Advantage: In a world where connections are key, mastering Spanish offers a gateway to success, enriching both personal and professional endeavours with unparalleled cultural insights and endless opportunities for growth and prosperity.

Mandarin Chinese

Ni hao! With China’s booming economy and growing influence on the global stage, Mandarin Chinese is a language that holds immense promise for our aspiring world changers.

How Many Countries Speak Mandarin as a First or Second Language: Mandarin Chinese is spoken as the official language in one country, which is China. However, due to its significant global influence and the Chinese diaspora, Mandarin Chinese is spoken quite widely in Southeast Asia and other regions with Chinese communities. These countries include Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and others and although not the official language in these countries, it is often taught in schools as a second language.

How Many People Speak Mandarin: Mandarin Chinese boasts over 1.1 billion speakers worldwide, making it the most spoken language globally. While primarily spoken in China, Mandarin extends its reach across the globe.

The Opportunities for Use in Business: The significance of Mandarin in the business realm cannot be overstated. As China continues to solidify its position as a powerhouse in finance, technology, and trade, proficiency in Mandarin opens doors to lucrative business ventures and invaluable cultural insights. Whether negotiating deals, establishing partnerships, or navigating the complexities of international commerce, fluency in Mandarin positions individuals for success in today’s interconnected global marketplace.

Difficulty Rating: While the tonal nature of Mandarin may pose a challenge, the rewards are well worth the effort. From forging business partnerships to unlocking cultural insights, Mandarin opens many doors and emerges as a pivotal language for aspiring individuals seeking to make their mark on the world stage.

German

Hallo! Embracing Opportunities with German:

Guten tag! Germany, the land of innovation and efficiency, beckons our young language learners with its rich cultural heritage and economic prowess.

The Successful Six: German serves as the official language in six countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Belgium, forming the linguistic backbone of Central Europe. Beyond its official status, German is also spoken as a minority language in select regions of Italy, France, and other European nations, highlighting its cultural significance and linguistic diversity.

A Global Language of Influence: It may serve six main countries but is has approximately 90 million native speakers worldwide, making German a language that occupies a prominent position among influential languages, shaping industries in manufacturing, engineering, and beyond. Its importance in business, science, and culture transcends borders, offering our budding brilliant linguists unparalleled opportunities for professional advancement and cultural exchange.

Gateway to Thriving Industries: From engineering marvels in the heart of Berlin to innovative startups in Munich’s tech hub, proficiency in German opens doors to dynamic career paths for brilliant kids everywhere.

Cultural Exchanges with Neighbours: Whether exploring the historical landmarks of Vienna, savouring the culinary delights of Zurich, or embarking on Alpine adventures in Austria and Switzerland, proficiency in German enriches your child’s cultural experiences too.

Difficulty Rating: Despite its reputation for linguistic complexity, mastering German offers a journey of familiarity and discovery, with its similarities to English many say mastering German is a journey that feels like a walk in the park. From mastering grammatical nuances to immersing oneself in the works of Goethe and Kafka, embracing German promises a rewarding odyssey of personal growth and intellectual stimulation.

Arabic

Marhaba! Arabic, the language of intrigue and opportunity, beckons curious minds to explore its rich cultural heritage and geopolitical significance.

Geopolitical Significance: Arabic is spoken as the official language in 22 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, including nations such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates but also extending to Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.

A Global Language of Influence:With over 310 million native speakers worldwide and widespread adoption as a second language, Arabic serves as a bridge connecting cultures and fostering global engagement.

Opportunities & Global Engagement: As the fifth most spoken language globally, Arabic opens doors to diverse career opportunities in diplomacy, international relations, and the energy sector. Its prevalence in diplomatic circles and international organisations underscores its geopolitical importance and relevance on the world stage.

Difficulty Rating: While mastering Arabic script may pose a challenge, the cultural immersion and global engagement it offers are invaluable assets for our brilliant kids. From exploring ancient historical sites to navigating bustling marketplaces, proficiency in Arabic opens doors to authentic cultural experiences and meaningful connections with Arabic-speaking communities worldwide.

The Best Language As Chosen By Us

In the end, the best language choice for your child is a personal decision that hinges on their interests, aspirations, and cultural connections. By considering the principles of choice architecture—preserving freedom of choice, incentivising learning, and making the process enjoyable—we can guide our children towards selecting a language that not only enriches their lives but also opens doors to a world of endless possibilities.

However if you really want a winner we have a tie. We chose Mandarin for the children who are drawn to learning new characters and tonal differences, and Spanish for everyone else.

Make it Fun and Interactive

Who says learning can’t be fun? Inject some excitement into your child’s language-learning journey with interactive games, cultural activities, and immersive experiences. From cooking up Spanish paella to exploring virtual reality worlds in Chinese, the possibilities are endless! By making language learning a fun and engaging adventure, you’ll ignite your child’s curiosity and set them on the path to success.

What Language Did You Want To Win?

What did you choose? Or are you still deciding. Below are a few more facts to help your decision to raise your brilliant multilingual marvel the Creating Brilliant Kids way.

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Language Summaries:

French:

  • Ideal for children seeking a European connection or considering immigration, offering opportunities for European passport acquisition.
  • Suited for those aspiring to careers in international diplomacy, fashion, or gastronomy, where French proficiency is advantageous.
  • Appeals to children passionate about exploring diverse cultures and landscapes in French-speaking countries, fostering cultural understanding and appreciation.

Spanish:

  • Perfect for children aiming to connect with vibrant Spanish-speaking cultures and broaden their horizons.
  • Offers practical benefits for those with aspirations to travel, study, or work in Spain, Latin America, or the United States.
  • Valuable for kids who recognise the widespread use of Spanish and its potential for enhancing career prospects on a global scale.

Mandarin Chinese:

  • Ideal for children interested in China’s dynamic economy and its growing influence in global affairs.
  • Provides opportunities for business, trade, or cultural exchange with Chinese-speaking communities worldwide.
  • Appeals to kids intrigued by the challenge of mastering a language with a rich history and cultural heritage, opening doors to diverse opportunities.

German:

  • Attractive for children drawn to Germany’s reputation for innovation, quality education, and high living standards.
  • Offers pathways for higher education, career advancement, or cultural experiences in Germany and other German-speaking countries.
  • Appreciated by kids for its practicality in Europe and its potential for accessing various industries and professional opportunities.

Arabic:

  • Suited for children interested in the rich history, diverse cultures, and geopolitical significance of the Middle East.
  • Provides pathways to careers in international relations, journalism, or humanitarian work in Arabic-speaking regions.
  • Has great value as a language spoken across vast regions with significant economic, political, and cultural influence.

 

Although I love reading non fiction, my own personal journey often leads me beyond the confines of psychology books and research journals. It’s in these spaces that I’ve seen firsthand that life’s greatest lessons can come from unexpected places. And guess what? The novel “One Day” is like a goldmine of wisdom just waiting to be unearthed! With the new TV series out, I couldn’t help but dive into the heartfelt insights inspired by the lives of Emma and Dexter. These pearls of wisdom aren’t just about their story—they’re about shaping our journey as parents and nurturing brilliant minds and resilient spirits in our kids.

Cherishing The Journey

So, parenting… it’s like one wild rollercoaster ride, right? From those sleepless nights to the heartwarming milestones, it’s all part of the adventure we’re on with our little munchkins. Just like Emma and Dexter, we’re all on this journey of growth and discovery.

I take this book to be a reminder that there is a simple beauty in embracing the chaos that can come with parenthood and celebrating every little victory, no mater how small. Life to many, is made up of the day to day with a mix of big experiences, you know the ones you will never forget. Not necessarily because they were that amazing to anyone else but because they played all the right emotions in you and found permanent residence in your memory banks. In 50 years, looking back at your life you will have the values and beliefs from the day to day life you shared but those epic experiences like your first family camping trip together or your first time at a theme park, those will be memories that will last not just for you but for them too. Make sure to plan some epic experiences with your little ones, even one a year is 50 amazing memories to look back on in 50 years time.

An Authentic Approach

The next theme that is so abundant in ‘One Day’, is that of authenticity, well for the most part! Just like Emma and Dexter’s friendship, our relationships with our kids thrive on love, trust, and lots of laughter. Just as Emma and Dexter’s friendship blossomed on a bedrock of sincerity, our relationships with our children flourish in a similar manner. We have the ability to create an environment where our kids feel valued and understood, a place of safety and a home of acceptance where they can express themselves freely and authentically. Emma and Dexter chose that path, putting honesty forefront in their most important interactions. We too can choose the same path.

Embracing Present-Moment Parenting

However, life can get pretty hectic, huh? It is easy to get thrown off track. But in the midst of all the chaos, it’s those little moments that matter most. You know, like those impromptu kitchen dance parties or those lazy Sunday mornings spent making pancakes. Those are the moments that create memories that last a lifetime. So, even if we need a little practice on providing a safe haven for authenticity, we can at least choose to be fully present in the here and now feeling the love we put out there echoed back.

Nurturing Empathy and Understanding in Parenthood

But, love isn’t always smooth sailing, is it? Just ask Emma and Dexter! The journey of parenting mirrors the complex dynamics of love depicted by these two. But it’s okay that it’s not always a smooth ride, because love is also all about patience, sacrifice, and learning to compromise. We can use this lesson from ‘One Day’ to teach our kids that love is more than just a feeling—it’s a choice we make every single day. Emma & Dexter recommitted to their love in all situations. By encouraging empathy and understanding within our families, we’re not just strengthening our bonds, but we’re also raising emotionally intelligent kids who’ll navigate life with grace and compassion.

Encourage Pursuit of Dreams and Passions

Sometimes we need more than grace though, we need a good dose of grit to chase our dreams! Remember Emma’s journey to becoming a writer? Talk about determination! Despite facing challenges and jobs that didn’t fulfil her, Emma displayed unwavering determination and resilience in pursuit of being published. Dexter played a crucial role in supporting Emma’s writing aspirations. Despite their tumultuous relationship and his own struggles, Dexter consistently encouraged Emma to pursue her passion for writing. He provided emotional support by listening attentively to her ideas, offering constructive feedback, and cheering her on during moments of self-doubt. Additionally, Dexter demonstrated his belief in Emma’s talent by actively advocating for her work and providing practical assistance whenever possible, such as connecting her with opportunities in the publishing industry. Through his unwavering support, Dexter was her greatest ally in the pursuit of her dreams.

We can encourage our children to fearlessly chase their dreams, just as Emma did, allowing them to live in an environment where their passions are nurtured and celebrated. Just like Dexter, we have the option to provide our children with the tools and support they need to navigate the obstacles they may encounter, instilling in them the belief that with perseverance and dedication, they too can turn their dreams into reality.

Learn from Mistakes and Regrets Together

However, we know there will be mistakes along the way and Dexter was no stranger to mistakes! Delving deeper into the intricacies of Dexter’s character in “One Day,” we see those mistakes actually shape his journey towards self-discovery and redemption, serving as poignant reminders of the complexities of human nature. From his reckless pursuit of pleasure to his reluctance to commit to meaningful relationships, Dexter’s missteps lead him down paths fraught with regret and missed opportunities. However, it is through these challenges that Dexter learns invaluable lessons about the true essence of happiness and fulfilment. We can’t protect our children from all mistakes, nor should we, but we can encourage honest communication and vulnerability. By viewing mistakes as stepping stones towards personal and collective growth we can give our child a safety net to make mistakes and bounce back again.

The Beauty of Diverse Parenting Styles

Not all parent’s handle mistakes the same way and that’s OK. In Dexter’s relationship with his parents in “One Day,” contrasting dynamics emerge, highlighting the multifaceted nature of familial bonds. While his connection with his dad is marred by tension and discord, his relationship with his mum shines with unconditional love and unwavering support.

Despite Dexter’s rebellious tendencies and occasional missteps, his mum’s empathetic approach illuminates the transformative power of empathy and acceptance within family dynamics. Her unwavering support serves as a beacon of strength, guiding Dexter through life’s challenges and reinforcing the resilience he has within.

It is not until Dexter confronts the consequences of his actions, that his dad eventually steps forward to offer guidance and reconciliation, showcasing the potential for growth and redemption. Through shared experiences and mutual understanding, Dexter and his dad embark on a journey of healing and forgiveness, illustrating the enduring strength in that relationship.

Amidst the differing approaches of Dexter’s parents, there lies a beauty in the richness of their love and support. If your partner doesn’t parent exactly how you would provide space for them to develop their own relationship with their children, there is space for both ways to have their place.

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Unveiling the Heartfelt Lessons of “One Day”

“One Day” isn’t just a story—it’s a treasure trove of heartfelt lessons that resonate deeply with us as parents. So, let’s embrace these insights wholeheartedly, knowing that they have the power to shape us into the brilliant parents our kids deserve. Here’s to raising kind, resilient, and endlessly brilliant kids who’ll one day change the world—one heartfelt lesson at a time. If you haven’t seen it yet, I wholeheartedly suggest giving yourself permission to binge watch this series! If you would like to catch the trailer see below or click here.

*photos and trailer courtesy of Netflix




 

Today, we’re diving into the thrilling world of rowing, a sport close to my heart and ignited by the iconic Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. Join me as we uncover the remarkable qualities this sport can instil in our children, all while bonding as a family over the excitement of the race.

Unveiling the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race

Background of Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race: To me the Boat Race brings up images of the banks of the River Thames buzzing with excitement as spectators gather to witness the clash between the dark blue of Oxford and the light blue of Cambridge. Plenty of Pimms’ glasses can be seen, bubbles flowing in flutes not just the river and yet it is still very much a family friendly event.

For over a century, this historic rivalry has captured the hearts of millions, showcasing not just elite physical prowess of the team but also the power of teamwork, resilience, and sportsmanship. There is also a ton of psychology in rowing as well, which is probably one of the reasons I loved being a coxswain when I was at Oxford. However, I was only 17 when I started and didn’t really realise how much effect sports psychology had in winning the race until much later in my 20’s when I swapped sides and coxed for a Cambridge college and started writing about the different personalities in the boat and how visualisation can help you win a race.

Life Lessons From The Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race

However, I digress, let’s get back into the lessons we can glean from the epic showdown that is the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race:

Synchronicity: Rowing is more than just pulling oars; it’s about moving as one cohesive unit. Similarly, family life can be likened to a rowing crew, gliding across the water in perfect harmony. Encouraging our children to listen to one another, follow the rhythm, and move forward together towards shared goals creates a sense of unity and cooperation.

Pushing Through the Pain Barrier: As the race intensifies and exhaustion sets in, it’s crucial that the rowers know that they will have to push through the pain to win and that they have it in them to persevere through the discomfort. Likewise we can teach our children the art of pushing through the metaphorical pain barrier by preparing them with resilience and determination. In life, challenges arise, but it’s those who push through adversity that emerge victorious in the end.

Turning the Tide: Sometimes, in the race it feels like we’re trailing behind, struggling to keep up with the competition and giving up can feel like the most obvious thing to do as the race almost feels already lost. However, there have been many dark horse comebacks in rowing, it is one of the reasons it is so fascinating to watch. Whether the rower catches a crab (i.e the oar gets stuck in the water – there isn’t a real crab!) or the team gets tired – there are very possible reasons that the other side can slow down giving the team behind the chance to gain victory. Whether facing setbacks in the race or in life, teaching our children to dig deep, summon their inner strength, do a rowing power ten and propel themselves forward can lead to unexpected victories.

 

Losing Graciously and Celebrating Being Chosen: While victory is sweet, there’s immense value in losing graciously and being proud of the journey itself. Reminding our children that merely participating in a prestigious event like the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is a testament to their dedication and skill instills resilience and sportsmanship. Win or lose, they are champions in their own right.

Embracing Personal Passion: Sharing our own experiences and passions, whether in rowing or other pursuits, can ignite a spark of curiosity and enthusiasm in our children. Using the race as a springboard to explore their interests and aspirations encourages them to pursue their passions with zeal and determination. Use the race as a stepping stone to finding out what they may really want to pursue at. a top level.

CBK Activity Suggestion

As an activity, imagine you and your family are in a boat, rowing towards a shared destination. Each oar represents a family member, and together, you move as one, listening to each other and working towards your dreams. Engage your children in this imaginative exercise and discuss how your family can row together towards your goals.

Family Time Incorporating The Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race

If rowing isn’t your thing, you can still have a lot of fun incorporating it into your weekend. 3 ideas to do with your family include.

 

 

Rowing Watch Party: Host a rowing watch party, either in London or from the comfort of your living room. Deck out in your chosen team’s colours (dark blue or light blue), and get ready to cheer your hearts out!

Family Indoor Rowing: After the race, keep the fun going with bonding games inspired by rowing. Set up an indoor rowing competition using chairs and broomsticks, or engage in teamwork challenges that promote synchronicity and communication.

Family Rowing Adventure: Plan a family outing to a nearby river or lake for a day of rowing. Other choices could include punting or pedalos. Whether it’s renting a boat or joining a guided tour, immerse yourselves in the thrill of rowing together as a family, creating cherished memories along the way

Where To Have A Family Boating Adventure

If you’re looking for a memorable family day out, there are plenty of opportunities to rent boats, hire pedalos, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the water in the UK. Here are our top five picks:

  1. Hyde Park, London: The Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park has stunning views of lush greenery and iconic landmarks, it’s the perfect way to unwind and reconnect with nature in the heart of London.
  2. Woburn Safari Park, Bedfordshire: After a thrilling day exploring the safari park and encountering amazing wildlife, why not relax with a pedal boat ride on the picturesque lake? Don’t worry the crocodiles are not housed there!
  3. Oxford and Cambridge: Both historic cities are beautiful and punting is very popular. Glide past the famous colleges and perhaps inspire your little ones to think about whether they would like to be at a University that has such history, it is never too early to get brilliant children thinking about options.
  4. Lake District, Cumbria: Immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the Lake District whether you choose Windermere, Coniston Water, or Derwentwater you will have a choice of breathtaking views.
  5. Center Parcs: For a family-friendly getaway, with a variety of water activities on their tranquil lakes, it’s the perfect way to add some outdoor fun to your holiday.

So pack a picnic, grab your paddles, and embark on a day of adventure on the water with your loved ones!

If you want to explore more ways to nurture brilliance in your little ones, visit creatingbrilliantkids.com for resources, tips, and inspiration.

Facts About This Year’s Boat Race

The 2024 edition of The Gemini Boat Race, will be held on Saturday 30th March 2024. The race will be live on BBC One, streamed online and broadcast worldwide, and show the 78th Women’s Race and 169th Men’s Race. The Boat Race has no silver and bronze medals, it’s a fierce side by side contest and every year, the dial resets. On the 30th March you can also catch the 49th Osiris-Blondie Race and 59th Isis-Goldie Race.

The Gemini Boat Race is one of the most prestigious events in the UK sporting calendar, with Light and Dark Blue crews Oxford and Cambridge Universities competing in a 4.2-mile side-by-side race along The Championship Course.

 

Barnett Hill is a 56-bedroom 4-star luxury hotel nestled in 26 acres of gardens & woodland in the Surrey Hills, just south of Guildford.

Barnett Hill was originally the private home of the famed Thomas Cook family. Perched atop a hill with panoramic views and revealing itself at the end of a winding tree-lined drive, this Queen Anne mansion looks stunning at any angle..

Contemporary and design-led, the boutique rooms, suites and residences are appointed with chic designer furnishings and spread across the main Mansion House, Gardener’s Cottage and Courtyard, there is something for everyone. The Courtyard has an interesting horse sculpture at its heart.

Couples can enjoy a romantic getaway in one of Barnett Hill’s fabulous suites. The Beatrice Cook Suite is sumptuously decorated…

For something a little more contemporary, the Arnold Mitchell Suite is very well-appointed.

Outdoor lovers can enjoy a countryside escape with their dog whilst staying in the Courtyard rooms.

We stayed in the hotel’s Master Suite which is beautifully decorated with stylish furnishings and a calming palette of colours. The Master Suite Lounge looks so welcoming.

The Master Suite Bathroom is an Instagram influencer’s dream with its deep bathtub and modern styling… however we wouldn’t be posting any bathtub pictures during our visit!

The hotel is both dog & family friendly. We didn’t bring the pup on our visit but we did bring Minipreneur who headed straight for the teepee that the hotel team kindly provide to visiting families for their little ones…

The teepee is just a cosy welcoming space that Minipreneur dived right in.

There was plenty to keep Minipreneur occupied. He really enjoys colouring in. “Up and down and side to side, we stay in the lines!”

Look what Papapreneur noticed on the table! What a lovely welcome from the hotel team.

We just had enough time to put on Minipreneur’s favourite Mickey Mouse Hoodie before he checked out the yummy treats.

Time for a taste test by Minipreneur. He certainly looks like he’s enjoying them. Thank you Barnett Hill!

After we unpacked and settled into the room, it was time to explore the beautiful gardens at Barnett Hill.

Minipreneur loves the outdoors, whatever the weather, so he pulled on his Joules Tiger Wellies and Frugi Puddle Buster Trousers & Coat before heading outdoors. He loved the sundial so much he had a go at being a Human Sundial!

But soon enough, it was time to run off and explore the rest of the beautifully landscaped gardens.

“Come on Mummy & Daddy! Stop dawdling!”

According to The Telegraph, the hotel looks like a ‘gingerbread-brick palace’. Did someone say gingerbread? Minipreneur makes a mad dash for the Terrace but will be a bit disappointed that the bricks aren’t made of gingerbread!

Look what Minipreneur has found – Giant Chess!

Minipreneur loves horses so went straight for the White Knight!

After all that outdoor exploring, it was soon time to head back to the suite to get ready for dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.

Guests can enjoy a seasonally inspired menu in The Oak Room restaurant.

The 2-AA rosette restaurant is perfect for a posh date night or equally good for a more casual evening.

There’s plenty to admire from the stylish and generous food to the cosy open fireplace and garden views.

Here are the highlights of our dinner at The Oak Room. Starters include a delicious Duck Terrine…

… and a simple but very tasty Prawn Cocktail.

Mains include a succulent Pork Belly

Carnivores will also find it impossible to resist the Ribeye Steak

For those with a sweet tooth, we highly recommend the Chocolate Fondant.

Another classic dessert on the menu is the Sticky Toffee Pudding which is always a crowd-pleaser, especially when it’s as delicious as this one!

In the morning, relax with breakfast in bed.

Barnett Hill
Blackheath Lane, Guildford GU5 0RF
+44 (0)1483 893361
www.alexanderhotels.co.uk/barnett-hill

As I scrolled through the latest posts from my wife on Creating Brilliant Kids, one article in particular caught my eye: “Beeped at by a Stranger On The School Run– What Happened Next Might Just Surprise You!”. In the article, Sloan delves into the invaluable practice of turning life’s challenges into teachable moments to empower our children. I thought I would give you a dad’s perspective of things and if you like this, I will write more dadspective responses to her work, so do let me know.

Scroll to the bottom if you want the video version.

So, I asked my dad friends if they had experienced road rage and if they’d be willing to share their stories with me for Papapreneur. I actually got more responses than I was expecting. I have chosen two to share with you today.

Mark & The Milkshake

First, there’s Mark, a tall, bespectacled chap in his late 30s, with a friendly smile that puts you at ease. Mark’s a software engineer by profession, balancing coding sessions with playdates at the park with his kids. Mark explained this particular memory is very much etched in his brain. He calls it – the notorious strawberry milkshake incident.

So there’s Mark cruising along in his car with his two kids, when out of the blue it feels like the universe decides to test his patience. He’s stuck in traffic, tempers flaring with each honk of the horn. He say’s he didn’t start it. Maybe it’s the heat or just a particularly trying day, but before Mark knows it, there’s a strawberry milkshake flying out the window which lands squarely on his windshield. Clearly the other driver had thrown it in a fit of road rage. It’s one of those moments that left him scratching his head in disbelief, wondering, “Did that really just happen?” but he had to respond quickly as his kids were in the back asking 101 questions thinking it was the funniest thing ever. Of course this could lead to problems as no one wants their kids emulating that behaviour and their laughter was infuriating the man more as he has got out of his car by this point. Mark diffused the situation but what would you have done in that situation, I would love to hear. How many of you would have retaliated back?

Ikea Pete

Then, there’s Pete, a rugged bloke in his early 40s, with a beard that his kids say could house a bird! Pete works as a landscape gardener, spending his days tending to lawns and flowerbeds before heading home to tackle the chaos of family life. Now, imagine Pete pulling into the Ikea car park, hopeful for a swift furniture-shopping expedition, already optimistic as we all know the Ikea one way shopping system is anything but quick! In any event, fate had other plans for Pete.

As Pete tries to find a parking spot, another car cuts him off, triggering a car-to-car confrontation worthy of an action movie. Doors slam, voices rise, and suddenly, Pete finds himself in a standoff. It’s like something out of a comedy sketch, only it’s all too real. And let me tell you, when Pete’s crouched behind the steering wheel, too nervous to face the other driver, he starts to question his life choices. Was it really worth sending out the first insult?

Dad Showdowns

Now, who’s to blame in these situations – the original aggressor or the reactive respondent? It’s a tough question, one without a clear-cut answer. But what Mark and Pete have come to realise is that as parents, it’s crucial to be proactive, not reactive. They need to work on their triggers, so they don’t lose their cool in front of their kids. It’s all about setting the right example and teaching their children how to navigate life’s challenges with poise and resilience.




For Those Than Need Support

Mark & Pete were OK in these instances, but there are times when sometimes anger can be too much for someone. So, if you or someone you know struggles with managing their responses in high-pressure situations, don’t hesitate to reach out. My wife, Sloan Sheridan-Williams, has helped 100’s of people be less reactive to their triggers, working with them to eliminate triggers or pre programmed behaviour that no longer serves them. At the end of the day, we all want to be the best parents we can be – even if it means keeping our cool in the face of flying milkshakes and Ikea showdowns.

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My wife’s original post in version




Creating Brilliant Kids has now been added to Substack. So join in the conversation and discussions there. Sloan heads up the conversation with over two decades of experience, Sloan Sheridan-Williams is a uniquely talented celebrity life coach, international speaker & author. She has appeared in the media over 250 times and had her own radio show. Sloan has been the go-to expert for a diverse clientele, including rock stars, royalty, politicians, Hollywood actors, professional athletes, reality TV stars and more. Sloan has also worked with many leading brands over the years including Unilever, Lexus, BMW, Honda, eHarmony, Hotels.com and Booking.com. Not just a life coach but a therapist and lawyer as well, there is no problem that Sloan doesn’t have a strategy to solve.

With over two decades of experience, Sloan Sheridan-Williams is a uniquely talented celebrity life coach, international speaker & author. She has appeared in the media over 250 times and had her own radio show. Sloan has been the go-to expert for a diverse clientele, including rock stars, royalty, politicians, Hollywood actors, professional athletes, reality TV stars and more. Sloan has also worked with many leading brands over the years including Unilever, Lexus, BMW, Honda, eHarmony, Hotels.com and Booking.com. Not just a life coach but a therapist and lawyer as well, there is no problem that Sloan doesn’t have a strategy to solve.