Big Energy Saving Week 2022 – get children involved!

Big Energy Saving Week runs from 17th to 23rd January 2022. Here we share some fun ways you can teach your child about the importance of saving energy and what they can do to help. By saving energy they are looking after our planet and also lowering your household bills.

What is energy?

You could kick off Big energy Saving Week 2022 by drawing your child’s attention to the ingenuity behind energy production. This may help them to appreciate the energy we all take for granted and to be more committed to saving it.

You might share books about how renewable energy is produced, such as:

Renewable Energy Sources – Wind, Solar and Hydro Energy Edition by Baby Professor

How Does it Work? Solar Energy by Baby IQ Builder Books

Wind, Rain, Hydro and Renewable Energy by Baby IQ Builder Books

Renewable Energy Sources – Wind, Solar and Hydro Energy Revised Edition by Baby Professor

If you type ‘how energy is made’ into YouTube you will find a wealth of free films on everything from nuclear power to how energy reaches our homes. Always watch films all the way through yourself before sharing them with your child.

On E.ON’s Energise Anything website you will find lots of activities you can do with children aged 5-18. They can even make their very own lightning storm!

Life without electricity

Show your child how much we rely on power by turning off electronic devices for a couple of hours (or a day if they would really like a challenge).

Ask your child to help you carry out household jobs by hand instead of using the washing machine or dishwasher. This helps them to appreciate how much we rely on energy and they may think twice before putting clothes they have worn just once into the washing basket.

Your child could watch A day in the life of a regency servant from BBC Teach shows which shows what life was like for people before electricity.

Save energy in the house

Each day you could play a game where your child races around the house turning off lights in empty rooms and devices nobody is using. It is important not to leave machines on ‘standby’ as it is a potential fire hazard.

You could turn this race into a family competition to see who can turn off the most unused equipment. If you have a smart meter at home, you could use this to show your child how their efforts are really saving energy.

For an overview of how saving energy protects the environment and what we can all do to help, we recommend watching Protecting our environment by conserving energy from BBC Teach.

Go outside

Playing games outside in the garden or in the park is a great way to save power in the house. Show children how they can warm up outside by running around or cool down in hot weather by sitting in the shade and enjoying the breeze rather than switching on a fan.

Stuck for games to play outside? Read our blog post 10 equipment free outdoor games for ideas.

Save water

A major part of saving energy is using less water. To find out why it is vital to save water you could read Why we should all be saving water from the Energy Trust. Water is a scarce resource and supply in the UK is already struggling to meet demand. People often think our rainy climate means water supply here is not a problem, but this is far from the case.

There is plenty we can do at home to save water. Showers are the biggest water users in the home, and we also use lots of energy heating them up.

You could turn water saving into a game for your child by keeping a tally. Each time your child saves water they could give themselves a point on the tally.

Here are some easy, water-saving ideas:

  • Take showers instead of baths and keep showers short.
  • When brushing your teeth turn off the tap.
  • Use cold water instead of warm water when possible. According to Unicef cold water and warm water are equally effective at killing viruses such as Covid-19 as long as you wash your hands for 20 seconds, use soap and dry your hands completely afterwards.
  • Only use washing machines and dishwashers when they are full.

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At home activities for World First Aid Day 2021

It’s World First Aid Day on 11th September. The purpose of this day is to highlight the importance of first aid training for people of all ages to prevent injuries and save lives.

Here we share some simple life-saving activities you can do with your child at home so they stay calm and take the right steps in an emergency.

Can your child make an emergency call?

Two five-year old children, Kyran Duff and April Walsh, both saved their mum’s lives by knowing what to do in an emergency. The children knew how to dial 999, they were able to unlock doors and could tell the operator where they lived. Thanks to these children both women made a full recovery.

  • One of the most important things we can teach our children is how to use the phone to dial 999 in an emergency. Does your child know how use your phone and what buttons to press on the keypad if the phone is locked?
  • Help your child to memorise their home address. Perhaps you could turn your address into a song to the tune of a familiar nursery rhyme?
  • Help your child to learn their phone number as the ambulance operator will ask for it in case they get cut off during the call. Again, you could put the numbers to a tune to help your child remember them.
  • Does your child know how to open the door in an emergency? Teach them how.

Make sure your child understands that dialling 999 is for emergencies only and explain the reasons.

When teaching your child how to unlock a door you also need to teach them to respect a locked door. Be mindful that your child does not leave the house unattended or let other people in without your knowledge.

Can your child reach a first-aid kit?

Put together a child-friendly first aid kit without scissors, tweezers and anything else that might be dangerous.  Make sure the first aid kit is easily accessible to them.

Show your child how to apply plasters and use a bandage and let them practice. See if they can tell you in which type of emergency would they use a plaster or a bandage.

First Aid skills to learn

Stopping bleeding

The ability to stop bleeding quickly can prevent someone going into shock – so it’s a valuable skill!

  • Show your child how to apply direct pressure onto a bleed until it stops and let them practice on you.
  • Explain that a towel or a piece of clothing can be used if they are not near a first aid kit. Cleaner material is preferable.
  • Say that if the bleeding soaks through the bandage or material they need to apply another layer over the top.

For more about how to stop bleeding and the correct steps to take, please see the St John’s Ambulance website. Learn as much as you can about stopping bleeding before you teach your child.

Treating a nosebleed

Watch this St John’s Ambulance video about how to treat a nosebleed and then practice with your child. Help them to know what to do if they have a nosebleed themselves or somebody else has a nosebleed and there isn’t an adult nearby.

If a nosebleed lasts for more than 30 minutes it’s time to call an ambulance.

Treating a burn or scald

Make your child aware of hazards by walking around the house and asking them to point out and explain potential hazards (eg. don’t touch the oven or the end of a hot hairdryer because you will get burnt).

Have a look at the St John’s Ambulance website to find out how to treat burns and scalds and then ask your child to practice on a doll. The priority is to cool the affected area and, if they are alone, to then dial 999.

First Aid courses for children

One of the most likely accidents to happen is choking. The most important skill a child can learn is how to recognise when somebody is choking and what to do. If an adult is out of the room and a younger sibling chokes, every second counts.

On the St John’s Ambulance website there is a video showing what to do when somebody chokes. You could learn yourself and then teach your child. Nothing, however, can replace attending a first-aid course and practising the skills learnt to keep them fresh. Mini First Aid run classes for children and St John’s Ambulance run activity clubs for the over-7s that incorporate first aid.

More first aid activities you can do at home

See First Aid learning for young people from the British Red Cross. Here you will find activities and films for children aged 5-18 to help them develop essential first aid skills to keep themselves and others safe.

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Fun ways to teach your child where their food comes from

World Food Day is celebrated on 16th October every year, even in these unprecedented times. The aim is to raise awareness that everybody – food producers and consumers alike – have an important role to play to ensure nutritious food is available to everyone across the world.

As consumers we can influence what food is produced by making healthy, sustainable choices. To learn about how our daily choices can have a positive impact visit the United Nation’s World Food Day website.

For children, the first step in making the best choices is understanding where their food comes from. Advances in technology mean that with every generation we become further and further removed from the source of our food.

Here we share some enjoyable ways to teach your child how food gets from farm to fork.

Grow your own fruit and vegetables

Children love sowing seeds, looking after plants and eating what they have grown themselves.

To begin with choose food that is quick and easy to grow such as herbs see ‘How to make a herb garden’. Once interest is sparked your child could grow courgettes (these are very easy to grow), tomatoes, mange tout, green beans, butternut squash, strawberries and raspberries. Even in autumn and winter there is plenty to grow!

Involve your child in picking and preparing their fruit and vegetables. They could make a pizza from home grown tomatoes and basil, or pies and smoothies from strawberries and raspberries. Your child might eat some of their produce straight from the plant or in a salad.

Pick your own

This is an activity to save until late summer. Pick blackberries – remembering not to pick blackberries from near roadsides or near to the ground. Apart from blackberry crumbles and pies your child could make summer pudding, ice cream, jelly and sorbet or eat blackberries as they are. There are lots of recipes online.

Pick-your-own farms are a fun and cheap day out. You can pick strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants and more – depending upon your closest farm. Type ‘nearest pick your own fruit’ into Google.

Read food books

There are some fantastic books that spark children’s interest in the connection between nature and food, and the importance of healthy eating.  These are our favourites:

How Did That Get in My Lunchbox: The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth

Looking at all the food in a child’s lunchbox and how it got there. Where did the chocolate in the biscuit come from? Who made the bread for the sandwich? This book looks at the steps involved in producing some foods e.g. planting wheat and mixing flour into dough to make bread. There are also healthy eating tips and an introduction to food groups is included.

I don’t Like Salad! by Tony Ross

The Little Princess does not like salad, especially tomatoes. She changes her mind when she is given some tomato seeds to grow and sees the first shoots appear.

Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle

Jack wakes up very hungry – he wants a pancake! But first his mother needs flour from the mill, an egg from the hen, milk from the cow, butter churned from cream and firewood for the stove. Will Jack help his mother and get his pancake?

See Inside: Where Food Comes From by Emily Bone and Peter Allen

Children lift flaps to find out what food is produced in greenhouses, on farms and in the sea. There is a map with flaps showing where chocolate, tea and other things we enjoy come from. Children discover the importance of corn, rice and wheat around the world.

Encourage your child to look at the labels on the food they eat to see where is has come from. They could find places on a world map and use the internet to research the journey their food has had from source to plate.

Visit farm shops or markets with your child to find out what is seasonal and talk to them about what ‘seasonal’ and ‘sustainable’ mean.  The World Food Day website is a great source of information.

Visit a Farm

Whether you visit a city farm or a farm in the country this is a great way to show your child where their food comes from. Some farms allow children to feed lambs, collect eggs, stroke sheep and even to see cows being milked and cheese being made.

There are farms that offer overnight stays so children can really experience life on a working farm. It is also worth keeping an eye out for farm open days near you.

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