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Terms and Conditions for our #LetThereBeMud competition February 06, 2017 09:00Share your images now to win a suitcase of Professor Scrubbington’s magically foaming concoctions that will really #ScrubTheMud...
Let's Get Active January 31, 2017 13:27
This year we are on a mission to get you to try a new sport with your kids. Here at Scrubbington’s we want kids to get fit, active and healthy whilst also having fun and learning to be independent. Physical activity should not be a chore so find activities you enjoy as a family or get the kids involved in a new activity to build confidence. As children grow up they can use these skills to get involved in team sports or community groups.
Recent research (The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance) comparing 38 countries placed England, Scotland and Wales amongst the worst for physical activity. The study also showed that while activity levels among teenage girls have remained unchanged the percentage of boys doing an hour’s daily exercise has dropped by 6% in two years.
A 2016 study by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom found preschool children are now spending an average of more than 4 hours a day looking at screens. Among 5-15 year olds the figure rises to an alarming 5.5 hours. The best performing countries were New Zealand, Slovenia and South Africa where the average moderate to vigorous activity daily was over one hour.
On the 25th January a new health and wellbeing programme led by Premier Sport supported by #Sally Gunnell was launched which will give parents the chance to attend fitness classes at their child’s school while giving them fitness and health tips.
Studies (www.sportengland.org/activelivesjan2017) show that exercise makes you happier and leads to healthy habits for life. January is a great time to get those resolutions started. Here’s our top tips for getting active this year.
- Try a Parkrun. @parkrun organises 2k timed runs for children is free! Visit parkrun.org.uk for more information. Once children reach a certain age (year 6/7) you can encourage them to go for short runs on their own. Great for independence.
- Why not attend @GoFest – the biggest family festival of sport and dance in June 2017
- Take up a new sport :
Children’s rugby is on the increase with local clubs being set up all round the country visit trytimekidsrugby.com
Parkour has just been recognised as a sport follow #GiveParkourAGo or visit sportengland.org
Climbing could be the new fitness craze as climbing walls spring up around the country
Just take a walk and check out the wildlife visit wildlifewatch.org.uk for ideas
Kidrated.com is brilliant for active days out or to inspire you to take up new activities like skate boarding and trampolining.
- Make fitness a family affair – why not agree on a prize that everyone wants to win, each child comes up with a fitness task for everyone to do each day (10 jumping jacks, 5 flights of stairs, 2 push ups).
- Put a time in the diary to try a new activity each week, a swim, a walk to collect leaves and rocks or a family bike ride
- Book in those swimming lessons now – it’s the nation’s most popular sport and could save your life too
- Go ‘old school’ and have a family Olympics day, play hide and seek, catch, stuck in the mud or bull dog
- Try indoor skydiving/bodyflying for a shot of adrenaline visit @iFlyUK
- Join a football club or just have a kick around in the park
- Take up cycling which will improve the kid’s fitness levels and will make them feel independent. Visit org.uk to learn more about family friendly cycle routes
Why not share a photo of your family trying a new sport or activity and win a box of our magically foaming products. Tag us @ProfScrub with the hashtag #ScrubTheMud.
10 ways to make bath-time fun again January 31, 2017 10:39
Bath time should be a regular part of your child’s routine whatever their age. As children mature they may need to clean themselves even more than ever. By the age of eight, body odour and sweat can become an issue and involvement in messy activities like football, cross country, biking or tree climbing means that mud and dirt needs to be washed off and showers become much more of a ‘clean’ regime.
Most people know how to entertain their toddler with bath cups, plastic books and crayons and plastic toys. However, after the age of about 5 or 6 when children become more independent how do you make important time in the shower or bath enjoyable at this tricky ‘pre-teen’ age.
Get the kids who are now washing alone to add bubbles or foam to the bath and encourage creative play
Challenge them to a game of noughts and crosses or to practice for spelling tests the next day on the side of the shower.
Give older children the tools to clean themselves in the form of easy to hold sponges, smaller sized products and easy to reach toys. Keep a small mesh bag on the side of your bath and shower for easy reachability
Reading a book or magazine (as long as it’s ok to get wet!) can make bath-time great wind down time away from screens and interruptions
Older kids can get creative with their singing in the shower (and no one to hear them now they on their own)
Or install a waterproof shower radio for extra musical inspiration.
Make bath time ‘salon time’, crazy styles, foam beards and moustaches are a fun way to get clean and no-one needs see you
Science experiments are great fun and educational. They can learn about physics through flow and motion, chemistry through mixing and potions. Here’s an example. Get some cupcake liners or small storage boxes. Cut some sponge circles out of different sizes. See if they sink when they are dry. Then get them wet. See how much water it takes to sink each one depending on the amount and size of sponge. Add foam to turn into cupcakes!
Encourage good tidiness habits by providing each child their own coloured towel so you can see who hangs it up afterwards – prizes for the winner
If you do have a foaming or bubbly product why not create sculptures or words, just squirt and foam and off you go
Watch this space for a way to win with your foam artwork or sculptures!
Buy One, Give One this December with Scrubbington's & Honeypot Children's Charity November 30, 2016 09:27
Returning Stolen Childhoods
Five year old Wallis wakes up several times a night to go and check his parents who both suffer from alcoholism, are still alive and OK. The resulting tiredness means he struggles to concentrate the next day and so he’s falling behind at school. Seven year old Catherine’s mother is paralysed and so the cleaning, cooking and care of both her mother and younger sister falls on Catherine’s young shoulders, starting with a 6am alarm call.
The latest ONS figures conservatively estimate that there are a quarter of a million young carers in the UK taking care of parents, grandparents or siblings. The real figure is likely to be much, much higher as children and their parents are often reluctant to reveal their caring responsibilities. The reluctance is hardly surprising given the higher likelihood of being on the receiving end of bullying that young carers experience.
Research by the Children’s Society indicates 1 in 12 of these young carers are spending more than 15 hours a week taking care of a family member. The burden of this responsibility as well as being exhausting also brings tangible issues that affect the future life chances of these children:
- Their families have an annual income that is £5k less than the average.
- 1 in 20 will miss school because of their caring responsibilities.
- They are 50% more likely to have a special educational need or suffer from an illness.
- Unsurprisingly, young carers achieve 9 grades lower in their GCSEs overall.
Perhaps more sadly is the theft of their one chance of a childhood – the one time in life that should be fun filled and carefree. Thankfully, The Honeypot Children’s Charity exists to give Wallis, Catherine and many other 5-12 year old young carers some much needed support and respite by taking them for breaks at one of their outreach centres. Here the children can temporarily shake off their responsibilities for a weekend and enjoy normal childhood activities often for the first time. For example, Wallis was taken to the beach on his first break at their New Forest centre and was in tears building a sandcastle. It was his first experience of a beach and he had always thought it was a made up place that only existed in storybooks. Experiences like this are invaluable for enriching the life of a child like Wallis.
Buy One, Give One…
Here at Scrubbington’s we are long-term supporters of Honeypot and with your help this Christmas, we would like to extend our support by supplying them with some much needed children’s personal care products both for use in their centres and as gifts for their special guests. It’s really very simple, for every product bought in December in Waitrose, Wholefoods or via our online shop http://shop.scrubbingtons.com/collections/all we will be sending one straight to Honeypot.
Get Outdoors with your Kids this Half-term to win!!! October 19, 2016 11:30
Share a photo of your kids enjoying the great outdoors this half term to be in with a chance of winning a hamper of Professor Scrubbington’s magically foaming concoctions. See below for full T&C’s and how to enter.
HOW TO ENTER
Tag @ProfScrub in a photo of your children enjoying an outdoor adventure this half term using the hashtag #ScrubOutdoors.
Only one entry, per person, per platform permitted.
Publish a photo of your children enjoying an outdoor adventure this half term using the text and tag @ProfessorScrubbington using the hashtag #ScrubOutdoors
Only one entry, per person, per platform permitted.
Entries are open from 12:00am GMT Saturday 22 October 2016 to 12:00am GMT Sunday 30 October 2016 (the “Closing Date”). Only entrants submitted between these dates will be counted.
The Prize will entitle the winner to a hamper of Professor Scrubbington’s childrens toiletries. The prize will be despatched within 4 weeks of receiving address details from the winner. No alternative prize or cash alternative will be offered.
The Winner will be randomly selected by a representative of Professor Scrubbington’s on Monday 31 October 2016 and notified through the social media platforms used to enter the prize draw, within 7 days of the Closing Date.
The winner must acknowledge the winning notification with Professor Scrubbington’s, via social media or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org within 7 days of being notified.
If Professor Scrubbington’s does not receive this confirmation, the prize will be forfeited and an alternative winner drawn.
The winner will be the person named on the social media account used for entry. The Prize is not transferrable to another person.
If the selected winner does not fulfil the entry requirements then the prize will not be awarded and another entrant will be selected at random.
By entering the competition, all entrants agree to allow their competition entry photo submission to be used, duplicated and shared by Professor Scrubbington’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
By accepting the Prize, the winner agrees to participate in all reasonable media editorial requests relating to the Prize, including but not limited to, being featured on the Professor Scrubbington’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The prize draw is only open to UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding anyone professionally connected with the administration of the prize draw or Professor Scrubbington’s.
By entering the competition, the entrant declares that they are the copyright holder of the submitted photo entry and they have full permission of all persons included in the submitted photo entry or the legal guardians if the persons are under 18.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram or Twitter and by entering this competition you agree to a complete release of Twitter and Instagram from all liability relating to it.
Professor Scrubbington’s decision is final and Professor Scrubbington’s will not enter into any correspondence regarding the competition result and/or prize.
Professor Scrubbington’s accepts no liability for any legal dispute that may arise from any photo entries shared during the competition.
No responsibility will be accepted for any entries that cannot be made or are not received or included in the draw for any reason whatsoever.
If for any reason this prize draw is not capable of running as planned, Professor Scrubbington’s reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the prize draw.
The rules set out in these Terms and Conditions are subject to change over the course of the prize draw.
The Professor would like to raise awareness of Dyspraxia October 07, 2016 13:58
Do you remember the clumsy kid at school?
You know the one who tripped over everything, was rubbish at PE, a bit of a daydreamer, looked a bit of a mess and kept losing all their stuff? You should do because statistically, every class of 30 children has at least one. That clumsy kid probably had a little known and misunderstood learning disability called Dyspraxia. It’s a condition that’s close to our hearts as our founder Karen is the proud mum of Sam and Ben who have to overcome the challenges that Dyspraxia presents on a daily basis. And it is the daily stuff that Dyspraxia hits so hard, as Sam and Ben’s Paediatric Occupational Therapist explains “It’s quite hard to produce a brilliant piece of written work in class when you’re having to concentrate really hard on not falling off your chair”.
So what is Dyspraxia? No-one’s really sure on the underlying physiology or causes but it’s thought to be an immaturity of the central nervous system – the brain doesn’t send or receive strong enough messages to and from the senses (a bit like being permanently drunk!) and furthermore, the two sides of the brain send and receive their messages slightly out of sync. As Karen puts it “The two sides of the body often behave independently like 2 people in a 3-legged race trying desperately to operate as one. Great if you want to use both hands to colour in different parts of a picture at the same time, not so great when you’re trying to use a knife and fork or tying your shoelaces”.
The most apparent difficulties appear in tasks requiring any sort of co-ordination be that gross motor skills like running, jumping, throwing and catching a ball, riding a bike etc. (sports day is rarely a highlight in the school calendar for kids with Dyspraxia) or fine motor skills like writing, drawing, fastening buttons etc. (bang goes any chance of winning the decorated Easter egg prize!)
As well as these physical challenges there are also issues around planning and organising tasks. As Nicci the OT explains again, “If we take getting dressed as an example, they’ll have the physical challenges of standing on one leg to put trousers on or doing up a button but they also won’t know which order to put the clothes on” a comment that Karen readily identifies with, “I can recall getting to the school gates on more than one occasion to be told that one of them has forgotten to put their pants on!” She adds “It is the planning and organisational skills that are so challenging, as well as spending half our lives hunting for lost school items (the low point being my husband hunting for Sam’s shoes at a completely different school in a different town!) it’s heartbreaking to see them come up with a really creative idea but have no idea how to go about making it happen”. It doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to appreciate the social and emotional impact that the condition can have too.
Daily life is just that bit harder and this is often combined with very poor understanding or empathy from others, as people with the condition often just come across as clumsy and a bit chaotic. Karen recalls Sam receiving a ‘behaviour point’ in his first week at secondary school because he was last to get changed after PE and his tie wasn’t neat enough – “I know he will have practiced tying that damn tie ten times harder than any other kid during the summer holidays. I wanted to say to the PE teacher ‘Let’s give you 6 pints, a pair of gloves to put on and see how quickly you can get changed!’”
We founded Scrubbingtons because we passionately believe in empowering children to help them become more independent albeit in just one aspect of their lives – their personal hygiene. The spirit of Sam and Ben and the challenges they face is undoubtedly in our DNA. Dyspraxia is a disability that horribly disempowers children and adults and even more so if it isn’t understood by wider society. This week is Dyspraxia Awareness week and is a chance to spread the word of this little known condition. Please forward on this article and if you can, support the Dyspraxia Foundation in the fantastic work they do to raise awareness and support people with Dyspraxia.
Bridging the gap between puberty and maturity July 14, 2016 13:44
Bridging the gap between Puberty and Maturity
“They grow up so much faster these days”
A familiar grandparental lament and there is plenty of evidence to support this perspective. Two significant studies in the last 6 years (American Journal of Pediatrics and American Academy of Pediatrics) have indicated the earlier onset of puberty in our children.
There is a lot of debate and numerous theories proposed as to what may lie at the root cause of this. The rise in childhood obesity tends to arise as both the most common and arguably most compelling culprit. But rather than debating the cause, perhaps more pertinent questions are: what does it really mean, does it matter and how should we handle it?
Puberty ≠ Adolescence
What do we really mean by ‘growing up?’ The physical development in puberty is not the same as the emotional (and sexual) development of adolescence or as put more succinctly by Philip Hodson, fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy – “just because a boy has developed pubic hair doesn’t mean he’s ready for the leap, sorry to be vulgar – from Lego to legover”.
If puberty is arriving earlier, is it inevitable that adolescence will play catch up to ensure the gap between the two doesn’t widen or should society be responding appropriately to ensure that it does?
The premature curtailing of childhood
There is also substantial evidence to suggest that as well as ‘physical childhood’ being ended earlier with the arrival of puberty, there are other social and cultural influences curtailing the ‘psychosocial childhood’ of our children i.e. we are rushing them into adolescence too. David Elkind, professor of child study, Senior Resident Scholar at Tufts University has written extensively on the dangers of shortening childhood: “Our society is compressing childhood more and more to where children are not children for very long,” he says. “Children are under tremendous pressure to ‘be mature’ and to ‘grow up’ when they have not had the chance to develop emotional maturity.” He indicates 4 major factors in this:
- Pressures put on children by the media to be more grown up.
- Competitive pressures on children to perform and achieve rather than just be and play.
- News ad nauseum – frightening and alarming news stories round the clock that children struggle to appreciate are often extraordinary and remote events.
- Latch key kids – more children being left to fend for themselves at an earlier age – forcing them to take on adult responsibilities.
Surely childhood is an important time for trying out and learning the skills that need to be mastered for adulthood? There is an inevitable sequential nature to this – it should be completed in appropriate stages when children have the right level of emotional maturity, often through play and with the support and comfort of their adult carers. There are no shortcuts regardless of the timing of their physical changes. Rushing them risks leaving them ill equipped, without the necessary tools in their social/emotional toolbag to develop into confident, self assured adults.
Managing the gap
But if there is (or rather should be) a growing lag between earlier puberty and adolescence, how should we manage this? As Dr Robert Scott-Jupp, consultant paediatrician at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health points out, there are some real practical issues that earlier onset of puberty brings with it: "It's a practical problem for young girls who start their periods while they're still at primary school age. They're not very well set up, there's not much privacy. There's also the important educational aspect, that girls need to be educated about puberty at an earlier age so they're not taken by surprise."
Research by children’s toiletries brand, Scrubbington’s makes a similar point about tackling the problems of earlier body odour in primary school aged children and how social pressures and taboos can make it difficult for parents to support their children through this. Their founder, Emma Cranstoun explains “when we were researching initial product ideas in focus groups, parents would often take us to one side after we’d finished and ask us if we’d thought of doing a deodorant because their 8 year old was already starting to smell a bit after physical activities and whilst they didn’t want them teased in the changing room, they equally didn’t feel comfortable handing them a can of Lynx”. Their response was to develop a bespoke natural, children’s deodorant, packaged very much as part of their range rather than with any adult connotations and also to put a natural de-odouriser into their washing products so children can be protected from body odour before they or their parents feel ready to use a deodorant.
If this earlier physical maturity is an inevitability; then rather than piling on unnecessary pressure to grow up fast, maybe the role of brands and the media should be in providing thoughtful solutions to calmly deal with the practicalities of earlier puberty in a manner that is appropriate for who and what they still are i.e. children?
Pink, Blue or Something New? October 22, 2015 11:40
Branding gender neutrality to children?
The launch this year of the Cannes Glass Lion (an advertising industry award to recognise work that addresses issues of gender inequality or prejudice) definitively heralded the arrival of marketing into the gender equality and gender neutrality debate. This in turn poses challenging questions about the role brands can and should play within this arena. It’s easy to be cynical given the commercial opportunity presented by gender stereotyping; after all, surely the marketing community has an inherent interest in maintaining the gender stereotype status quo that it has built over the years, and which boosts its chances of selling two items rather than one (especially to children)? Yet as the new Cannes award indicates, business and brands are waking up to the gender debate but it’s not always an easy path to tread.
We can all applaud campaigns that directly challenge gender inequality, such as Sport England's ‘This Girl Can':
Things may be a little more complex, however, when it comes to tackling the marketing of gender neutrality, especially within the sphere of children. Perhaps it's because it feels that this debate hasn’t fully played out to a socially accepted, normative view in the way that gender equality has.
Progressive modern parents may nod along to the principles of campaigns like Pink Stinks:
But it's hard to shake an unvoiced unease that no amount of gender neutral parenting is going to tear Jasmine away from her Hello Kitty nightie or Joshua from his Nerf gun. Equally, most of us instinctively recoil at the thought of an equivalent to Sweden’s ‘hen’, a gender neutral alternative to ‘he’ and ‘she’, ever crossing the North Sea.As well as being unclear where we sit on the nature vs nurture debate, there is also something vaguely uncomfortable about involving our children in the incubation of a political point of view (be that wearing the gender neutral clothing range or being given an obligatory doll, etc.) Shouldn’t childhood (and parenting with it) be a little more carefree and effortless?
The role of brands in this arena should be what it has always been: to make choices easier without the moral angst. The trailblazer in this sphere (perhaps unsurprisingly, given its progressive, Scandi roots) was arguably Lego. We may not have realised it at the time, but back in the early 1980s it flirted with being the ultimate gender neutral toy. Sadly Lego appears to have steered a path towards a more gender targeted approach of late:
Perhaps the best guidance for brands who want to play in this space comes from children themselves, who simply don’t see the stereotypes and so have no need to comment. Research conducted by Scrubbington’s, a new children’s personal care brand, asked primary school aged children to produce collages of their interests – the differences between the genders were surprisingly minimal:
Scrubbington's response to this research was to produce a gender neutral range of toiletries, but they didn’t feel they should preach a political agenda, as founder Emma Cranstoun explains: “We really tried to learn from the children we spoke to, and so we created a character, Professor Scrubbington, who mirrors the straightforward, unbiased perspective of his audience – he has no awareness of stereotypes and is simply focused on empowering all children to keep themselves clean. When that’s your focus, you don’t see the need for a pink and blue one”.