School Summer Holiday Activities

With the school summer holidays upon us you might be wondering how on earth you’re going to keep the kids occupied without breaking the bank. Take a look at a few of these great ideas to beat the boredom factor this summer:

Theme Days

Choose a favourite book, TV show or even a country and theme your day around it. Learn a new language, have fun dressing up, reading stories and eating food related to your chosen theme. Let the kids choose their own theme days and you’ll always be on to a winner.

Open Air Cinema

Lots of local councils and even stately homes with large grounds arrange open air cinema events during the summer holidays. Why not take in a great new film while sat on the grass in the park enjoying a picnic. What a great way to enjoy a film together!

Get in the Kitchen

Kids love to cook, so why not plan to make something new once a week. You could try making cookies, cakes, bread or even dinner if your children are old enough to make something a little more involved. Don’t forget you don’t actually have to cook in the kithen, you can make fridge cakes and sweets that don’t need any oven time at all.

Build a Den

Who didn’t love building a den as a child? They can be made from a sheet suspended over a washing line or draped over a few chairs, under the table cloth or out of fallen branches in the woods. However you make it, the kids will have hours of fun letting their imaginations run wild pretending they’re in a castle, or pirates hiding their spoils in a cave.

Water Parks

The UK has lots of great lidos and water parks to enjoy. From huge purpose built water parks offering a huge array of rides and kids areas to the more sedate and somewhat more traditional lidos where you can just enjoy swimming outside, it’s a great way to spend a day with the kids, enjoying the novelty of swimming outside.

Get Back to Nature

Whether you go camping, enjoy long walks in the forest or like exploring the local wildlife, there’s always some fun to be had if you enjoy the great outdoors.

Have a Picnic

You don’t need to go anywhere to enjoy a picnic. Thanks to the novelty of picnic style eating the kids will happily enjoy a picnic in the back garden or even inside if the weather isn’t being particularly summery.

Water Fight

Fill up the paddling pool, get the water guns and water bombs out and let the kids run wild in the garden cooling off after all the great weather we’ve been having lately.

If all else fails, why not start a boredom jar!?! They’re hugely popular with kids and parents alike and you don’t even have to come up with any ideas to put in your bored jar if you can’t think of any as Jen from Mum in the Madhouse has done that for you!  

Whatever you get up to this school holiday we hope you all have a great time!  

About dumb wires rather than dumb pipes

The provision of an Internet connection is not a moral question. An Internet connection is a collection of standards interoperating such that your house can connect to the Internet and access content. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) doesn’t push content through the connecting wires, fibres or radio waves; rather it is a passive connection that waits for something inside your house to request something; it’s a pull, not a push.

You have to wonder if the traditional referencing among the ISP community to "pipes" as a collective term to describe Internet connections has caused people (politicians and some of the media in particular) to see an analogy with mains water. Mains water is not just delivered to your premises, but delivered to a certain chemical standard, to a level of purity. But is also delivered under pressure; in the house people can only restrict or block it, they cannot change it, cannot increase the flow rate or pressure, and they don’t have to do anything to ask water to come from a certain tap; they open the tap, removing what was holding back the water, and in the water comes. Moreover you cannot choose to get your water from different sources, per tap or per tap open. Water is a pushed service.

Your Internet connection on the other hand is far more similar to electricity; like electricity an Internet connection does nothing further unless you or someone in your household actively requests that it does. With electricity that’s when you plug in/turn on an electrical item like a TV, kettle or drill; with an Internet connection it’s when something connected to your house wifi network tries to go on the Internet. Until you turn on the kettle, no electricity is used by it, whether or not the socket is turned on, and the kettle will use exactly the amount of electricity it needs to boil the water in it. Electricity is a pulled service.

Likewise until someone in your house starts a web browser no content enters your Internet connection, and only the content requested by that web browser passes to and through your Internet connection. Different browsers in your house, on tablets, PCs and TVs, can request and receive different content and different content types (images, videos, text, etc.) from anywhere in the world all at the same time. But if you cut the cable to your router nothing will come out; try that with your water pipes and you would have a powerful illustration of the difference between water pipes and Internet connections.

Asking the ISPs be responsible for what content you request is like asking electricity companies to be responsible for what is done with the electricity you use. They both just provide dumb wires through which households and businesses pull what they want; only water companies push stuff at you through pipes.

New Year: Healthy Family

It’s that time of the year again. Every year we vow to get healthier, whether that’s to lose weight, stop smoking or just to move more and increase the amount of exercise we do. Whether alone or with your entire family, there are plenty of great family friendly websites around to help you do just that. And what a great way to get children involved with the Internet too!

You’ll have no doubt seen the Change4Life adverts on TV and in the media. It’s a great campaign run by the NHS that encourages you all to get healthy together. You can sign up for some great tools to help you along the way like the Smart Swap Pack, which helps you to drop fat and sugar in your diets just by swapping one thing. With fridge magnets, apps, some great recipes and money off shopping vouchers, weekly tips and lots more, it’s an excellent way to get healthy together. Plus as it’s taught within schools from an early age it will be instantly recognisable to the children too. 

A fantastic blog packed full of healthy recipes is Mamacook. Full of delicious healthy family friendly recipes for main meals, babies, toddlers, lunch boxes and the entire family to enjoy together, you’ll find treats like Simple Baked Southern Fried Chicken and Lamb Koftes with Homemade Naans. The author herself has even lost a few dress sizes just by eating her tasty and nutritious recipes, what more of an endorsement could you ask for!?!

Educating children about where their food comes from is one of the best ways to teach them about nutrition. Learning how to grow vegetables together by planting their very own kitchen garden is not only a way to include organic vegetables in your diets but also great exercise and something really fun to do together. The children will love having their own little vegetable patch and watching everything grow. For some great ideas for planting your own vegetable garden with the children head over to the Imagination Tree.  

Of course exercising more as a family is a great way to enjoy each others company while reaping the benefits of a more active lifestyle. Perhaps you could head to the beach for a walk, enjoy jumping in puddles in your wellies, kick leaves in the local woods, ride your bikes or challenge each other to a dance off on Just Dance. There are so many ways to enjoy activity together, you’re sure to find something you all love. 

What are your New Years Resolutions? Will you be working on something together as a family this year?  

TwoTen to be available on Firefox OS phones

Here at TwoTen we are committed to making our services available to every device the kids these days might use. This is why we’re working to provide an application that will run on Firefox OS and provide your children with protection while using mobile Internet on their "first phone". Why we think this would be a good idea? Well, while Firefox OS comes with most of the features other well known mobile operating systems offer, it is completely open source and it’s designed with lower specification devices in mind. And this is great because to build a phone that runs on Firefox OS yet can take a few knocks (or unplanned arrival in pools of water…) will be cheap, which is basically the ideal specification for a child’s first phone ;).

There are already some preview phones out there running Firefox OS and our team has recently got their hands on one. It’s a Keon Geeksphone. Go ahead and follow that link and see the impressive price tag for specifications you would usually find at double that with the well known brands. Apart from that we were very pleased by the box it came in and the arrangement of each piece within the box.

The box.

The phone in the box.

Accessories properly arranged in the box.

We’ll be trying our best to make sure that the TwoTen Cube will be just a good an experience for you and your children! 

Starting post

Welcome to the TwoTen blog. Over time we will be posting on a range of subjects around online safety and building a better Internet, and of course the occasional post on educks. We will also report back on events we attend, link to posts about TwoTen and arrange for guest postings from relevant experts. First article due shortly!