The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration Competition

The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration CompetitionIt’s the queen’s 90th  birthday on the 21st April 2016.  

On this day the queen will become the first reigning monarch to reach the age of 90.  To celebrate this occasion we are running a very special competition.  Below are NINE pictures of some well known British celebrities.  Name them all and you could win Mothercare vouchers worth twenTY pounds.  The catch? They have all been aged to look 90 years old.  Can you name them all?  

Submit your answer below for a chance to win £20 to spend in Mothercare

Mothercare voucher - Childcare Croydon

(must follow us on Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Twitter - Queen's 90th birthday celebration Twitter or like our page Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Twitter - Queen's 90th birthday celebration Facebook Page*) 

Submit your answers:

The winner will be chosen at random from those that  Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Twitter - Queen's 90th birthday celebration likes our Facebook Page or Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Twitter - Queen's 90th birthday celebration follows us on Twitter

Can you name these celebrities (click each one to make them larger)

Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrration - Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrration - Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrration - Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrration - Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrration - Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrration - Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrration - Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrration - Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrration - Little Blessings Childcare Croydon

To enter all you have to do is:

  1. Submit your answer above
  2. Like our Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Twitter - Queen's 90th birthday celebrationFacebook page or follow us on Little Blessings Childcare Croydon Twitter - Queen's 90th birthday celebration Twitter .
  3. Like the pinned post on Facebook OR R/T or like the tweet on twitter for a better chance of winning
  4. One winner will be chosen at random from all those that have guessed correctly and also follow or like our page
  5. The competition ends on the Wednesday 20th April 2016 at 11:59pm
  6. The winner will be announced on her birthday at 7pm.
  7. Good luck

Facebook:*                Twitter:

Try it yourself:

You can download the software too to make yourself look 90 as well.  Upload the picture to show your friends, make sure you tag us so we can see too 🙂 

The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration

The Queen's 90th Birthday Celebration Parade

The Queen celebrating her birthday in London

Although the queen turns 90 on the 21st April she doesn’t celebrate it until May 12th over four days. That’s a lot partying for a queen. During this period the Queen and other members of the Royal family will attend a pageant to celebrate the Queen’s life.  This will be held at Windsor Castle.

This event will be held every evening from May 12th to May 15th. The Queen’s 90th birthday celebration will be an event not to miss with the last night being shown live on ITV, hosted by Ant and Dec. It will be a 90-minute long extravaganza with 900 horses and more than 1,500 riders and performers.

On her actual birthday she will be attending Windsor Castle where you may get a chance to see her close up as she does her royal walk-a-bout, but attend early in order to get the best spot to see her.

Keep Up to Date with our latest posts. Like our Facebook page

*this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook

Reading with your child

Why you should read with your child

Reading with your child is important and helps your child in three key ways.  Reading with your child helps:

Develop your child’s communication and literacy skills

reading with your child read with your child

Build a stronger relationship with you and your child

reading with your child read with your child

Develop all areas of their academic development

reading with your child read with your child

Tips on how to read with your child:Read with your child reading with your child

Have a set time for reading

Find a quiet area, turn off and omit any distractions for example the TV or mobile

Let your child choose the book

Your child will be more engaged in the book if they choose it and will give them confidence and independence as it shows that you care about what they think

Did you know?

'Unborn babies can hear your voice from 18 weeks, so you can start to read to your child before they’re even born'

Read with your child reading with your childSit close together

This also helps them be more engaged. Help and encourage them to hold the book and turn the pages themselves.

Point to the pictures

If there are images in the book point to them and tell the child what they are or you can get the child to point to stuff in the book for example you can ask where’s the blue ball or how many sheep can you see?


Did you know?

'The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school'

Read with your child reading with your childAsk questions about the book

As with the last point it is important to get your child to interact with the book to keep them engaged. Ask questions like what will happen next or what’s the next word (if the story uses repeated refrain).  Other questions you could ask are:

  1. How do you think the character is feeling?
  2. How does that scenario/ or the book make you feel?
  3. What do you think they should do next?
  4. What would you do if you were them?

Try also to relate what is happening in the story to situations they have encountered in real life.  Talking about the characters and dilemmas helps children to understand what is happening better and a great way to discuss different issues.

Did you know?

'Only 53 percent of children ages three to five were read to daily by a family member (1999). Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read to aloud everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above poverty'

Read with your child reading with your childFinally have fun

The most important thing is that you and your child enjoy the time together. So make funny noises, do silly faces and have fun.

Why not try:

Making it up – a fun thing to do is to allow your child to make up their own story and their own scenario based on what they can see happening in the pictures

We encourage parents to read with their children here at Little Blessings

Because we understand the importance of parents reading to their children, over the last few weeks we’ve had different parents come in to read.

Scroll through our pictures below:

  • Reading with your child
  • Reading with your child
  • Reading with your child
  • Reading with your child
  • Read with your child
  • Read with your child
  • Read with your child

They read different stories including 'I want my hat back' by Jon Klassen and 'We're going on a bear hunt' by Micheal Rosen. Find more books you can read to your child here:

The children loved it! They were surprised and excited about having their parents read to them at nursery and all sat intently and listened to the stories.

How often do you read with your child?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Want more activities to do with your child?

Check out some of the activities we do with our children here at Little Blessings: Nursery Activities

Keep Up to Date with our latest posts. Like our Facebook page

Christmas Gift Ideas for your Kids

With Christmas just around the corner, the big question for most parents is 'What should I buy my children?' There's loads to choose from, gifts for boys, gifts for girls, gifts for toddler, gifts for babies etc.  

We all know that minions and frozen toys are a big buzz for kids at the moment but we'll give you some more ideas.

With this article hopefully you'll find it easier to choose your child's gift.

We have tried to find the gifts given at the best price possible, though we have not verified the reliability of the sellers.  (and of course boys and girls can enjoy all the gifts listed) 

Gifts for babies

Water Drawing Painting Mat


Just Fill the Magic Pen With Water and Draw at the Magic Aquadraw Mat.  Children are fascinated as the colourful pictures Spring Up, the slowly Fade Away.  Draw, Trace Never Make a Mess

From: Amazon

Price: £0.89*

Peppa Pig Interactive Hide and Seek Game

peppa pig hide and seek

The Peppa Pig Hide & Seek Game is great for even the youngest of Peppa fans. You play the game by getting a parent or non-playing participant to hide the Peppa Pig figurine somewhere inside the house, and press down the figurine to begin the timer on when Peppa Pig will 'talk' to give players a clue to where she has been hidden.

From: Ebay Private Seller

Price: £6.99*


 Dolls Worlds Early Moments Doll

baby doll

This 16" /41cm/ anatomically correct fully jointed vinyl bathable baby doll would make a brilliant present for a child who wants a more realistic baby, or for a child who is about to become a big brother or sister. 

From: Tesco
Price: £9.99* 

Lego Duplo - My First Construction Site

lego duplo
Drive, dump and load at the busy building construction site! Set out the road sign and traffic cone to start the day at the work zone! It's a busy day at the city construction site. The workmen are enjoying driving around in their dump truck and front loader. Move the bricks around with the tall crane!
From: Toys R Us 
Price: £11.99*

Gifts for boys


For ages 3-7

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

imaginex caste

Now the king of the jungle is king of the castle with the Imaginext Lion's Den Castle by Fisher-Price! Do you dare enter the Lion's Den Castle?! Launch 1 of the 6 disks at the shields to weaken the castle’s defences, but look out! The eyes will light up and you will hear ferocious roaring sounds!


From: Toys R Us

Price: £24.99*

TOMY Pop-up Pirate


With Pop-Up Pirate game, children can take it in turns to slide swords into the barrel. Slip it into the wrong slot and out jumps Jolly Roger! Losers walk the plank.

Great children's game for 2-4 players.

From: Amazon

Price: £9.74*

Stomp Rocket Junior Glow

stomp rocket

Stomp Rockets are possibly the most fun all the family can have in the garden, this Junior version can be used by children as young as three to send the rockets flying high. The rockets are soft making them safe, and resistant to damage, and can be launched up to the impressive height of 100 feet. The toy is lightweight and portable which makes it the perfect entertainment on days out or on holidays.

From: The Gift and Gadget Store

Price: £8.99*

For ages 7 - 12 

John Adams Really Gross Science

really gross science

Science is never boring with the Really Gross Science Kit. Learn all sorts of fascinating facts about the human body while satisfying your love for yucky stuff with this gruesome bundle of experiments. Make a peeing bladder, an ear wax viewer and a bogey-filled nose, or even create a life-sized gooey human heart. Aside from a few extra household items like juice and ketchup, the kit has everything you need for loads of gross-out fun.

From: Amazon

Price: £13.01*

Despicable Me Minions Dino Ride.

minions dino

Build the Dino Ride by Mega Bloks and saddle up your Minions for some prehistoric pandemonium! The tyrannosaurus features a tail that moves and a mouth that opens and closes. The Minions come with different parts and accessories, like grass skirts, goggles, arms and feet, for you to mix and match!

From: Argos 

Price: £17.49*

Fifa 16 (On various games consoles including PS4, Xbox one etc)

fifa 16

FIFA 16 innovates across the entire pitch to deliver a balanced, authentic, and exciting football experience that lets you play your way, in your favorite modes. With innovative gameplay features, FIFA 16 brings Confidence in Defending, Control in Midfield, and gives you the tools to create more Moments of Magic than ever before.

From: Amazon

Price: £39.85*

Gifts for girls


For ages 3-7

Peppa Pig Dough Activity Picnic Case

peppa pig picnic

Have fun and get creative with the Peppa Pig Dough Activity Case - the case comes with lots of different doughing accessories so you can get going straight away . Various tools are included so you can make different pig shapes. Once you've finished - put it away in the convenient dough case box and avoid all the mess! Great for travelling with too.

From: Amazon

Price: £9.99*

TOMY Pop-Up Olaf (Disney Frozen)

tomy olaf

Children will have barrels of fun with Pop-up Olaf, the hilarious snowman brought to life in Disney’s hit film, Frozen. Take turns to twist Olaf and slide your crystal stick into his barrel – if nothing happens, then you’re safe, but if your crystal stick makes Olaf jump, then you’re out. Once a player is out, restart the game for a new round until the last player left to be crowned the winner of Disney’s Frozen Pop-up Olaf.

From: Tesco

Price: £11.99

KidKraft My Dream Mansion Dollhouse


My Dream Mansion makes playtime more realistic than ever before. Young girls will love decorating the colorful rooms so their favorite fashion dolls can live in style. This adorable dollhouse was built to last and would make a great gift for any occasion. 

From: Pluck Point

Price: £109.74*

For ages 7-12

Frozen Sing-A-long With Elsa

frozen doll

"Frozen Sing A Long with Elsa makes her debut this Autumn Winter. Simply place the microphone up to her to activate the hit song "Let It Go", which she sings in full. She also lets the child join in; just take the microphone away, sing the song and she carries on where you left off. The doll also says 15 different phrases from the film."

From: Smyths Toys

Price: £34.99*

Melissa & Doug Decorate-Your-Own Heart Chest

decorate heart

Includes a heart shaped wooden keepsake box, glitter and craft glue, colourful gems, 4 pots of paint and a brush. Perfect spot for storing special treasures. Make your own masterpiece. Developing your creative side is fun and easy with our fabulous craft items

From: Ebay Private Seller

Price: £6.65* 

Zoomer Kitty Toy

zoomer kitty

Zoomer Kitty is the PURRfect friend! She's the sweetest interactive kitty who loves to play, pounce and purr! Zoomer Kitty has touch sensors in her head, ears and cheeks. Pet her gently and you'll feel her really purr! Discover Cuddle Mode, Pounce Mode and more! She sings, dances, performs secret tricks and loves to play with and follow her interactive Kitty Toy!

From: Amazon

Price: £73.99*


What was your favourite gift idea? (Choose up to four)

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

You can also find some good gifts that other parents are selling here:

Lil Blessinggs christmas selling Banner-03


*prices do not include postage costs

General Election 2015 – What Do the Parties Propose for Childcare?

General Election 2015 Childcare

Are you voting next month? See how your vote will affect your childcare

At a Glance:


Increasing Their Tax-free Childcare Scheme
Parents will be able to claim back up to £2,000 a year in costs per child. For every 80p families pay, the Government will put in 20p up to a £10,000 annual limit. Will replace employer-supported childcare vouchers.

30 hours free childcare
Conservatives will double the current allowance of free childcare for children aged 3 to 4 years old from 15 hours to 30.




25 hours Free Childcare
Labour would increase the 15 hours of “free” childcare to 25 hours

Guaranteed Childcare
A legal guarantee that parents of primary-aged children can access childcare from 8am to 6pm through their local school

Increased Paternity Leave
Double paid paternity leave for fathers from two to four weeks

More Sure Start Centres
Doubling the number available at Sure Start centres


Liberal Democrats

More Two Year Old Funding
Ensuring more two-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours of “free” childcare. The proportion covered will double to 40 per cent in September.

Funding From 9 Months Old
Considering plans to extend “free” hours to children from 9months olds to fill the gap between the end of maternity leave and the two- year-old offer

Shared Parental Leave
Where parents can share a years maternity/ paternity leave between them

More Info:

Liberal Democrats has placed childcare as of greatest importance in comparison to the two other main parties.  They plan to invest £2.8bn in improving childcare which includes the proposals mentioned above as well as possibly increasing the 15 hours free childcare to 20 hours.  Lib Dems believe access to childcare is important in giving every child a fair start in life and making it easier for parents to balance childcare with work and cutting the cost of living.

Labour  also view childcare as an upmost importance having put it at the 'heart of their election campaign'.  They have discussed plans of having free universal childcare when the current financial situation improves, as well as the proposals mentioned above.  They also plan to re-open many of the Sure Start centres closed under the current government.  Labour see having affordable childcare as an important part of their 'cost of living' campaign in helping improve living standards for all.

Having been the party to introduce free childcare places Conservatives are 'proud' of measures taken in government to help parents with childcare.  The Tories would focus on offering a 'choice' for parents about whether to return to work or stay at home.  Though, as of yet they have yet to announce their childcare plans (this page will be updated when it is announced to be notified of this Like our Facebook page)

Updated: Conservatives have now announced their plans for childcare and have stated that they will be doubling the free childcare allowance for three and four-year-olds to 30 hours, giving working parents of three and four-year-olds 30 hours of free childcare a week.


What is currently on offer:

  • 15 hours a week free childcare places for all three and four year olds
  • 15 hours a week free childcare places for two year olds with parents on low income
  • The introduction of a new scheme for tax-free childcare from autumn 2015, aimed at working parents earning less than £150,000 a year, and from September 2015 all parents on the new universal credit would be entitled to an 85% subsidy on childcare spending.

Find out more by contacting your local MP

Who will you be voting for this May?

  • Labour (50%, 6 Votes)
  • Conservatives (33%, 4 Votes)
  • Liberal Democrats (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

Loading ... Loading ...

Childminder or Nursery? Which is better

What are the Benefits of a Nursery and Childminder?

Struggling to decide whether to send your child to a childminder or nursery?  This can be one of the toughest decisions for any parent as there are many benefits and drawbacks of both.  Below you can see some of the key benefits of both to help you with your decision.

Childminder or nursery? You decide:

childminder or nursery


childminder or nursery

Advantages of a Childminder

For most childminders:

  • More intimate - can get one to one attention, or with very small groups, which can make them safer (see how we stay safe)
  • Home environment - usually in a home which helps your child settle as they are used to this environment
  • Continuity of care - your child will get familiar with one or few carers, therefore building a strong relationship



For some childminders:

  • More flexible - can help with school drop-offs, and offer flexible start and finish times to fit around work and other commitments
  • Regular trips - childminders have the opportunity to take out their children more often and some take advantage of this
  • Meals - often get home cooked meals (see how your child stays healthy here)
  • Get to mix with other age groups, can learn from older children or become role models for younger ones

Advantages of a Nursery

For most nurseries:

  • Lots to do - nurseries have a wide range of activities for your child to get involved with (see our activities)
  • More children - will help your child develop their social skills and gain confidence
  • More staff - meaning the nursery is unlikely to be closed for unforeseen circumstances like illness to staff members
  • More structured and organised - your child will benefit from a routine that can help with the transition onto school

For some nurseries:

  • Different staff - get to mix with a number of different staff which can improve their social skills and confidence
  • Better education - staff are trained to create a safe and stimulating environment for your child to enjoy and develop in (see how your child can develop here)
  • More funding - greater access to funding as can access workplace funding etc (see what help is available for you)

Disadvantages of a Childminder

For most childminders:

  • Random closures - if the childminder is sick or away you may have to find alternative childcare yourself



For some childminders:

  • Less varied activities - childminders tend to not have much activities to do with their children can lead to less stimulated children
  • Your child is less priority - in some cases your childminder will also look after their own children, meaning their child will likely get more attention

Disadvantages of a Nursery

For most nurseries:
  • Less flexibility - strict procedures and opening times
  • Overbearing - A lot of nurseries are usually very active, and can get very loud.  This can be overwhelming for young children or children who are quite shy

For some nurseries:

  • Less frequent outings - nurseries tend to not go on as many outings and are restricted to where they can go due to large number of children
  • Pay for unused hours - as most nurseries charge per session and not per hour parents tend to pay for hours they have not used
  • Catch bad habits and illnesses - Mixing with lots of children more likely to pick up illnesses and learn negative behaviour like biting

Generally, a nursery is better if your child is more outgoing and confident as there are more children for them to play with and a lot of activities to do.  If your child is the quiet type or needs that extra care or support then possibly a childminder is for you as they will get the personal attention to help give them that extra confidence.

Personally, I would only recommend a nursery for children over two, as the younger ones tend to need extra personal care.  This is supported by research (early years education) that suggests that children up to the age of 3 progress better with childminders.  After which a nursery or a combination of childminder and pre-school is better suited.

The ultimate decision of whether to choose a childminder or nursery depends on you and what you want for your child.  A benefit for one parent could be a negative for you.  Though, I hope this article has helped you in your decision.

Which would you choose?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Find out how we manage to balance the benefits of a childminder and a nursery below:

How we give the benefits of a nursery

How we give the benefits of a childminder

Keep Up to Date with our latest posts. Like our Facebook page