Have you ever wondered why children can spend hours sitting in an old box when there is a pile of new toys waiting in the corner? Or, why you have to empty piles of sticks and stones from their school bag? The reason for this is closely linked to an approach to play known as…

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Play Parks have been a feature of towns, cities and villages for decades. Without looking at one, I bet that you could close your eyes and guess at least nine out of any ten items in them. Apart from some changes in material, style and flooring, the main elements have remained the same. Not only…

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Working with children is well known as one of the most rewarding, challenging and multi-faceted jobs there is. Whether you work in a nursery, a school, a forest school or an after-school club, you will know that every day brings a new challenge. Despite the regular routines, no two days are ever the same.  At…

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Childcare costs in Cambridge have hit a record high and are among the most expensive in the country. However, this isn’t the only financial challenge we face. Between 2006 and 2018, the cost of living increased by 2.4% each year. This rise created extra pressure on our wallets and bank accounts. We’ve had to become…

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As the weather turns colder it is tempting to encourage children to stay indoors. However, getting outside is just as beneficial in the winter months as at any time of the year. If you embrace the outside opportunities available during the Winter, you will be amazed at the possibilities.  Many activities that are usually linked…

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As winter approaches, a trip to the beach is likely to be the last thing on your mind. Surprisingly, getting to the seashore could be just what you need to blow away the cobwebs and shake off the stress of the festive season. For both adults and children, the pressure and excitement that surround the…

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It can be hard make the right childcare arrangements sorted for the long Summer holidays. In the UK more children than ever are choosing to spend their time in holiday clubs. Throughout Cambridgeshire many of those children decided to spend their time at a Smartkidz holiday club. This year we had the best Summer ever!…

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The thought of children being exposed to risk is one of many parent’s worst nightmares. Much of the focus of our time as parents is keeping our children safe and minimising risk. Isn’t that what makes a good parent? However, a report by the Natural Trust has revealed that keeping children safe has resulted in…

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For those of us who work full time, the approaching summer holiday can be a nightmare. We want to give our children an enjoyable break from a year of hard work but keeping them entertained or finding suitable childcare isn’t easy. However, there are lots of options out there and holiday clubs are among the…

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On Monday 8th July 2019 Dr Shelly Newstead, the founder of PARS Playwork, Common Threads and the International Journal of Playwork Practice, led a workshop entitled ‘PARS 4 Parents’. It was designed to give parents an understanding of the PARS approach taken by staff at Smartkidz Play and Learn. What is an adventure playground? The…

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