When did 02 network go down and were Giffgaff, Sky and Tesco Mobile services affected too?

THE O2 network went down in the UK last week, causing disruption for millions of users.

Here’s what we know about the outage hitting 4G and data services.

O2 has gone down across Britain this morning
O2 has gone down across Britain this morning
PA:Press Association

When happened to the O2 network?

Network issues caused havoc for O2 customers from the early hours of Thursday morning.

02 – which has 32 million customers – blamed the issue on a third party supplier, Ericsson.

The technical fault resulted in 3G and 4F services going down and meant millions of people were unable to make or receive calls.

After going down at around 5am on Thursday, 3G capability was finally restored at 9.30pm that evening.

The 4G network returned at 3.30am on Friday – after nearly 24 hours outage.

Britain’s second largest mobile company has now offered its 25million UK customers up to two days’ credit in compensation as a goodwill gesture.

But the move has come under fire after it was found this could amount to as little as 87p for some customers.

Were Giffgaff, Sky and Tesco Mobile services affected too?

The issues also  affected customers of Giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Tesco Mobile, which both share O2’s network.

A spokeswoman for Tesco Mobile, which has more than 5 million UK customers, said that it would also be offering some sort of compensation to customers.

It is not known whether mobile virtual network operators such as Sky and Tesco will seek a form of commercial recompense from O2 because of the outage.

 


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https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7911862/o2-network-down-giffgaff-sky-tesco-mobile/

Get your family quality Xmas gifts at bargain prices with these top tips — plus win £15,000 in our raffle

PANIC-BUYING means we each blow our Christmas budgets by an average of £325.

To help avoid this, I’ve asked my favourite expert — Sun Savers’ own mum-of-two Holly Smith, aka couponing queen and vlogger @hollyvlogs — for tips. I then give my verdict on each.

Holly Smith reveals her top tips for buying Christmas presents on the cheap
Handout

STOCKING THRILLERS: Stores such as Home Bargains and B&M stock discontinued products from other high street shops. You get up to 80 per cent off, including on Harry Potter products. I recently bought a My Little Pony Stationery set for £2.49 (RRP is £14.99).

Giselle says: “Holly’s right, B&M has great bargains. If you filling a stocking for your partner, take a look at B&M’s new Arome fragrances. They are £4.99, compared to the similar £94 Jo Malone one.”

PRIZE PRESENT-HUNTING: I leave buying kids’ gifts until late because I never know what the playground trend will be. But I love the Love Island make-up bags at Superdrug, reduced to 50p.”

Giselle says: “A brilliant find, these bags. I have to buy lots of gifts this year, so might get four of these then add the Superdrug Zoella Snowella mini perfume set (now £10, down from £16) and pop a perfume in each bag. Four perfect gifts, each costing a total of £3.”

Holly says you should head down to Primark if you’re looking for a bargain
Handout

TOYS ARE US: “I love Disney and if you are looking for bargains, try Primark. But if you do not have a Primark store near you, check out uniqlo.com who often have Disney products on sale.

Giselle says: “This is a new one on me. Save a fiver on a Disney sweater at Uniqlo for £14.90, reduced from £19.90.”

JUMP TO IT: “I loved searching for the best Christmas jumpers, in my Facebook video for Sun Savers, but you could always make your own. Buy a plain Fruits Of The Loom sweater (£8, amazon.co.uk) then use T-shirt transfer paper to iron on your own printed-out designs.”

Giselle says: “This is genius — and there is no harm adding decorations from your Christmas tree with a needle and thread. Go mad with tinsel and mini baubles.”

Deal of day

Get your gnashers sparkling with this handy kit
Handout

BRIGHTEN those pearly whites with the Billion Dollar Smile Teeth Whitening Kit from Superdrug. Was £39.99, now £29.99.

SAVE: £10

Cheap treat

Share out festive crisps with your guests over Christmas
Handout

TUCK into Tyrrells Ham & Cranberry festive crisps from starbargains.co.uk. Usually £1.85, now 85p.

SAVE: £1

Top swap

Why spend £32 on these socks…
Handout
…when you can buy these for only £4.99
Handout

KEEP cosy in Aldi knitted bed socks for £4.99 a cheaper alternative to The White Company’s pair for £32.

SAVE: £27.01

Reader’s saving tip

KELLY SHARPLES from Kidder-minster, Worcs, says: “A great way to clean blinds is to use tumble-dryer sheets – they grab all the dust.”

  • Send tips to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and get 28 codes, worth £5, if your tip is used. Include name and town.

Shop & save

Cream sherry is such a great Christmas tipple
Handout

ENJOY a festive tipple with Harveys Bristol Cream sherry, 75cl – on offer at selected Waitrose stores, down from £10.35 to £8.69.

SAVE: £1.66

Hot right now

POP to the Slug & Lettuce for their 2-4-1 cocktail deal – and try their new Glitter Candy Fizz which is topped with candy floss.

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £15k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months, with the first one at the end of June.Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to sunsavers.co.uk or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £15k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to sunsavers.co.uk or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7928551/christmas-presents-bargain-prices/

O2 DOWN – customers hit by network problems as 4G and data services crash

THE O2 network has gone down across the UK this morning.

Furious customers took to social media to flag problems with 4G and data services.

The )2 network is down this morning
The O2 network is down this morning
PA:Press Association

It appears that the network issues started about 5.30am, and customers across Manchester, London and Southampton have all reported outages.

The network confirmed they were investigating.

A statement posted on the company’s website read: “Our technical teams are investigating reports of issues when using data. Voice calls are working OK.

“We apologise for any inconvenience.”

O2 network issues
O2 customers around the UK have experienced issues with the network this morning
Downdetector

It also issued a statement on social media, commenting: “We are aware our customers are unable to use data this morning.

“Our technical teams are working on the issue with high priority.

“We are really sorry and working as hard and as fast as we can to fix this.

“Please keep an eye on our status checker: o2.uk/ServiceStatus.

O2O2 O2O2

O2

One frustrated customer wrote: “My data is not working neither are my calls. Not connecting and earlier I had no signal at all for about 45 minutes.”

Another added: “Oh great, O2 data network down”.

A third said: “Can I assume there’s a widespread issue with o2 mobile data. Everyone’s off around the country.”

Another pointed out the irony of the company’s response, saying: “Me: My internet isn’t working 🙁

“@O2 : that’s ok, check our website for updates”

The issues also seem to have affected customers with Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile, which both share O2’s network.

The Sun has contacted both Giffgaff and Tesco for a comment but haven’t yet heard back.

O2O2  O2

It’s not the first time O2’s network has experienced issues.

In October, the mobile network was down leaving thousands of customers unable to make or receive calls.

It also happened in September, as both Sky and 02 mobile networks were down due to Storm Ali.

Meanwhile, EE and Vodafone are being investigated by the watchdog over claims that they gave false information about network coverage in rural areas.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at money@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7905687/o2-network-problems-investigation/

When are the last Christmas 2018 posting dates for UK cards and parcels? And what is the last date to post abroad?

CHRISTMAS shopping is nothing short of a nightmare – that’s before you’ve even taken in posting dates.

With the holidays right around the corner, here are the key dates to keep in mind to ensure your festive post makes it to the right place at the right time.

Make sure you check the last posting dates for Christmas to ensure your festive packages arrive on time
Getty – Contributor

What are the last days to send post within Britain?

If you’re sending post – letters or packages – to loved ones within the UK, then here are the last dates to get those stamps on.

  • Tuesday, December 18: 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For 2nd® Class
  • Thursday, December 20: 1st Class, Royal Mail Signed For® 1st Class and Royal Mail Tracked 48®
  • Friday, December 21: Royal Mail Tracked 24®
  • Saturday, December 22: Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®
Sorry - the post man won't be making this trip on Christmas Day
The postal service will be taking its annual break for Christmas and Boxing Day
Getty Images

What are the last days to send post internationally?

Royal Mail International Standard (airmail) and International tracking signature services are available until December 18, 2018. Here’s the full list of dates to look out for:

  • Tuesday, December 4:           Africa, Middle East
  • Friday, December 7:               Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)
  • Saturday, December 8:          Caribbean, Central and South America
  • Monday, December 10:          Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand
  • Friday, December 14:             Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and USA
  • Saturday, December 15:        Finland, Sweden
  • Monday, December 17:          Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
  • Tuesday, December 18:         Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

If you want to send post international via Royal Mail International Economy, you’ve sadly missed all the dates except for sending to Western Europe – that cuts off on November 17, 2018.

The last date to get your letters and packages out for the UK 1st class delivery is December 20
Getty – Contributor

What about post to the Armed Forces?

HM Forces mail/BFPO cut off dates are:

  • Monday, November 26: Operational HM forces
  • Friday, December 14: Static HM forces

What if I am waiting for a letter or package this Christmas?

Royal Mail will operate a normal delivery service until close of business on Saturday, December 22, 2018, as well as a normal Saturday collection service.

As usual, there is no Sunday service on December 23.

Christmas Eve – Monday, December 24 – will be normal deliveries and ‘Saturday style’ collections.

There will be no delivery or collection while the postal service takes a break for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Normal services will resume on December 27 but only until December 29.

There will be no services as usual on Sunday, December 30.

New Year’s Eve will see normal deliveries and a Saturday style collection service in operation, with no services on New Year’s Day anywhere in the UK.

It’ll be business as usual from Wednesday, January 2 2019 – except Scotland, where there will be a Bank Holiday.

Normal postal services will be back in action for the whole of the UK on January 3, 2019.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7681325/christmas-2018-last-posting-date-uk-international/

Mrs Crunch shows how to make great buffet treats to freeze in case of unexpected Christmas guests

WHEN unexpected guests pop in over Christmas, you can often be caught on the hop without anything to give them.

But with a little preparation and a couple of hours in the kitchen you can have some great buffet options in the freezer that you can serve up within minutes – and without any fluster. Here are some treats to keep on ice, ready for emergencies.

Getty – Contributor

With a little preparation and a couple of hours in the kitchen you can have some great buffet options in the freezer – just in case[/caption]

Lighter pork, apple and mustard sausage rolls

(Makes 9)

Alamy

These pork, apple and mustard sausage rolls will last up to six months in the freezer[/caption]

Cost: 39p per roll

Preparation time: 20 min

Cooking time: 20 mins

YOU NEED:

  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 Braeburn apples peeled, cored and very finely diced
  • 375g Morrisons Light Puff Pastry
  • 4 tbsps Dijon mustard
  • 454g Morrisons Eat Smart Cumberland Sausages
  • 1 medium beaten egg

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Put the apples and water in a pan and bring to boil. Allow to simmer for five minutes to allow the apple to soften.

On a floured surface, roll out the pastry into a long thing rectangle. Spread the mustard all over the pastry, then put the apple on top.

Remove the sausage meat from the skins, place it in a bowl and “squish” it together – the easiest way is using your hands.

Then portion the pastry into nine little oblongs – no need to be exact but you can measure out with a ruler if you want to.

Divide the sausage meat into nine portions and put one on to each little rectangle. Don’t overfill the pastry.

Roll up to form a sausage roll and seal underneath by brushing the beaten egg around the edges of the pastry.

Turn each sausage roll over and make small slits across the top to let out the steam when cooking.

Brush the top of the pastry with egg and bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.

To freeze, allow to cool, layer between sheets of baking paper and seal in an airtight container.

To serve, defrost them for an hour at room temperature, then warm them in a hot oven for five minutes.


TIP: Make big batches, as these will last for up to six months in the freezer. If you don’t want apple in there, simply leave it out.


Cheese straws

(Makes 10)

Alamy

These cheese straws can be made with whatever variety of cheese is your favourite[/caption]

Cost: 19p per person

Preparation time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 25 mins

YOU NEED:

  • 1 packet shortcrust or puff pastry
  • 100g grated Cheddar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Black pepper, to taste

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease a baking tray.

Lay the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and using a rolling pin, roll out to a thickness of about a £1 coin.

Sprinkle cheese over half the pastry, then fold it back over the cheese, and roll out again. Repeat this process, once more if you have enough cheese, keeping a little to sprinkle over the top later.

Now roll out the pastry into a rectangle and cut into strips – you can make small or large straws, and you can twist them too if you want to be adventurous. Arrange the straws on to the prepared baking tray.

Using a pastry brush, coat each straw with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with pepper and the rest of the grated cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly and remove from the tray.

Once they are fully cooled, put greaseproof paper in an airtight container and layer in the cheese straws before freezing.

Let them thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.


TIP: You can choose whichever cheese you like – red Leicester, or Parmesan, for example. For colour, sprinkle with poppy seeds.


Mini quiche tarts

These mini quiche tarts are super-versatile and can be made veggie by swapping the bacon

Makes 10

Cost: 40p per serving

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 25 mins

YOU NEED:

  • 5 rashers streaky bacon
  • 200g full-fat soft cream cheese
  • 2 tbsps semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tbsps chopped spring onion
  • 1 packet puff pastry
  • 1 handful of chopped parsley

METHOD: Preheat oven to 190C/Gas 5. Lightly grease ten muffin cups.

Place bacon in a large, deep frying pan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain any fat, dice and set aside.

Place the cream cheese, milk and eggs in a medium bowl, and beat until smooth. Stir in grated cheese and spring onion, and set aside.

Cut pastry into ten rounds. Press into the bottom and sides of each muffin cup, forming 6mm rims.

Sprinkle half of the bacon into the bottoms of the pastry-lined muffin cups.

Spoon about two tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into each cup.

Sprinkle with parsley, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until filling is set and rims of the tarts are golden brown.

Sprinkle with the remaining bacon, and lightly press into the filling.

Remove from tin, and allow to cool completely.

Freeze in a single layer in a covered container. Allow to defrost at room temperature for 40 minutes.

Reheat on a cookie sheet in a 180C oven for about ten minutes.


TIP: These are super-versatile. Replace the bacon with fried onions to make a veggie cheese and onion version. Or add broccoli and cubed red pepper instead.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7876153/christmas-buffet-treats-recipe/

Jilly Goolden picks the best budget and blowout bottles of wine for six Christmas situations — from the dinner to pudding and Boxing Day

ARE you dreaming of a wine Christmas?

We have just the bottles for you this festive season.

Jilly Goolden picks the best budget and blowout bottles of wine for Christmas
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Majestic, Lidl, Aldi, M&S and Waitrose put forward bottles – both budget and blowout – for six Yuletide drinking situations.

Then we got wine expert Jilly Goolden to pick the best – and explain her choices.

She said: “You’re likely to have lots of different people round and want something everyone will enjoy. I’ve picked wines that deliver on the label and look great – but also on flavour and are warm, mellow, comforting and engaging.”

Here, we toast Jilly’s 12 wines of Christmas.

Pre-Christmas drinks party

Blowout: M&S Mount Bluff Brut NV, £13.50 – buy now

Oliver Dixon – The Sun

M&S Mount Bluff Brut NV is a wine with personality that teams up well with nibbles[/caption]

IF you spend a bit more on party wine, you want wow factor. This has it.

The smell is peachy, so richly Chardonnay. It’s creamy with toasty elements. Like baking biscuits. It’s rich but not sweet, no hard edges.

It stands up to canapes. I would not team it with cheese but with nibbles it’s great.

It’s wine with personality – and people will be sure to notice it.

Budget: Majestic Loves Fizz, £5.99 – buy now

Majestic Loves Fizz is a perfect party wine at a magnificent price
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

THE daft label, showing someone opening a bottle which explodes in their face, gets you in the party mood right from the start.

This wine smells soft and floral, just off dry. Brilliantly bubbly, easy, sort of tastes like prosecco.

What is there not to love? Just glug it down. It doesn’t touch the sides. It’s a perfect party wine at a magnificent price.

Red for Christmas dinner

Blowout: Asda Orbitali Amarone Della Valpolicella, £14 – buy now

Asda Orbitali Amarone Della Valpolicella is a classic wine but with a modern style
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

HAS an absolutely delicious, sweet, come-onish cherry scent. So inviting.

Rippling through in tandem you’ve got a gorgeous fruitiness and mysterious backbone.

It’s strong but deliciously fruity so a real crowd-pleaser. It’s a classic wine but with a modern style.

Budget: Lidl Dame de Clochevigne Rasteau, £7.99 – buy now

Lidl Dame de Clochevigne Rasteau is like a Christmas cake, but will work with all the trimmings
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

WITH Christmas dinner you can opt for red or white – but what you want is something smooth, velvety and comforting, yet with enough guts to stand up to what you’re eating.

This has rich, fruity notes, like a Christmas cake, but also has an earthy grounding so will work with all the trimmings. Nothing will donimate it.

Pudding wines and port

Blowout: M&S LBV Port 2013, £11 – buy now

M&S LBV Port 2013 will last a fortnight and you can go on enjoying it by a roaring fire
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

FOR when you move on to the Christmas pud, and maybe cheese, this is port with incredibly generous berry flavours but serious backbone. Simple cheddar goes great with it.

And if you’re not on a bender you can put the cork back in, it’ll last a fortnight and you can go on enjoying it. Great to drink while sitting by a roaring fire.

Budget: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 12-year-old Pedro Ximenez Sherry, £8 – buy now

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 12-year-old Pedro Ximenez Sherry is the perfect partner to Christmas pud

THIS delicious sherry tastes of coffee and chocolate combined. It’s both syrupy and rich to the taste – and this means it will partner really well with Christmas pud or cake. And do you know what else? It would also taste just fabulous with a great big wedge of Stilton cheese. If that’s your thing.

Boxing Day leftovers wine

Blowout: Morrisons The Best Chablis Premier Cru, £15 – buy now

Morrisons The Best Chablis Premier Cru is lovely with a curry or a leftovers sandwich
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

YOU may feel a little bit bruised the day after Christmas and want comforting. This is peachy and coaxing but also subtle. It’s not an in-your-face Pamela Anderson wallop.

Would go beautifully with most Boxing Day fare – lovely with turkey, lovely with a rice salad, lovely with a curry or a leftovers sandwich.

Budget: Majestic loves Montepulciano 17, £6.99 – buy now

Majestic loves Montepulciano would match with a range of foods and is great to drink on its own
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

A FAINT aroma of tea here, as lots of Italian wines have. Spicy, with a kiwi fruit smell.

It’s a very light, fresh wine with cherry and melted ice-lolly flavours. It’s very easy drinking.

Because it’s a streamlined red, it would go well with cold turkey on Boxing Day, but it’s versatile so would match with a range of foods and is great to drink on its own.

Something to sip on the sofa

Blowout: Tesco Finest Vina del Cura Rioja Gran Reserva, £11 – buy now

Tesco Finest Vina del Cura Rioja Gran Reserva is sipped, not glugged, so perfect with a film
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

LOOKS smart on the table. Gran Reserva is top-notch rioja. It’s 2012 so a wine with ancestry.

It’s a dark, dense-looking tipple and smells hauntingly mysterious, with a slight whiff of roast dinner.

Light, enticing plum and loganberry notes with a bit of spice. Best sipped, not glugged, so perfect with a film.

Budget: Asda Solato Lambrusco, £6.50 – buy now

Asda Solato Lambrusco is so dark it’s black, and smells deep and interesting
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

LAMBRUSCO like you’ve never known. This is the real thing, a serious red wine with a bit of fizz.

If you’re snuggled up on the sofa and fancy a red but something a little different, this is it. It’s so dark it’s black, and smells deep and interesting.

Its fizz is exciting. It’s red but with surprising bubbles. Chill it and it’ll feel like a party on the sofa.

New Year’s Eve bubbles

Blowout: Aldi Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, £11.49 – buy now

Aldi Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut has a bit of age to it, so it doesn’t attack the mouth
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

POPPING the cork on New Year’s Eve is always a very special moment and, if you feel that you want to have champagne on the label, then this is the one to get.

It’s quite mature and has a bit of age to it, which is good. This means that, rather than being raw, and a mouth-attack, it’s mellow and soft.

Budget: Tesco Finest 1531 Blanquette de Limoux, £9 – buy now

Tesco Finest 1531 Blanquette de Limoux is a class act but friend to a budget
Oliver Dixon – The Sun

SMART bottle, smart label. A wine with history. Not a made-up, Johnny-come-lately affair, it’s a proper wine.

It’s what you expect from a delicious fizz. It smells of toasted crumpets and tastes like baking apple pie. Appley, crumbly, it just delivers.

A very smart party wine, class act but friend to a budget.



https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7872243/jilly-goolden-picks-best-budget-blowout-wines/

Bike rides, puzzles and board games – the 30 toys parents want kids to play with growing up

MICROSCOPES, modelling clay and magic kits were among the top toys adults believe children should experience while growing up, according to a study.

A poll of 2,000 parents also found many yearn for their kids to ditch their high-tech gadgets and try traditional toys such as chemistry sets, yo-yos and skipping ropes.

Parents said they wanted kids to ditch gadgets for toys such as puzzles and board games

Cameras, science sets and telescopes also made the top 30 list – all toys which those who took part said had a positive effect on their own childhood.

Art sets and easels also featured, with one in four adults agreeing a child’s toy should encourage them to be in the hope it boosts their self-expression and confidence at an early age.

Andrew Roscoe, of Very, which carried out the study, said: “Toys are so important to a child’s development and education; they can lead children to new discoveries, helping unlock their potential and their budding passions by encouraging learning, compassion and creativity.

“This can help set them up for the future and even spark a lifelong interest that can develop into a career path or hobby.

TOP 30 CHILDREN’S TOYS:

1. Bike
2. Puzzles
3. Board game
4. Teddy bear
5. Balls
6. Wooden blocks
7. Art sets
8. Modelling clay
9. Toy animal
10. Skipping rope
11. Musical instruments
12. Dress up clothes
13. Toy cars and vehicles
14. Train set
15. Yo-yo
16. Shape sorters
17. Small figures
18. Play kitchen
19. Baby doll
20. Science kit
21. Doll’s house
22. Art easel
23. Telescope
24. Ride on car
25. Microscope
26. Chemistry set
27. Tool bench
28. Remote controlled car
29. Magic kit
30. Camera

“It’s important for children to play with all sort of toys – from toy cars and dolls to construction kits and telescopes.

”All of these can benefit them in a number of different ways, developing skills across many different platforms.

“Adults acknowledge the fact there were certain toys during childhood which had a really positive impact on their growth and development.

”This shows how toys can encourage inquisitiveness, physical exercise and creativity, as well as social skills development when playing with peers.”

Over two thirds of the parents polled said their children play with the same toys they did when they themselves were young, showing how timeless classics that help with a child’s development endure more than the tech-centric toys of today.

The study also revealed most adults believe young children should be exposed to shape sorters, dolls, teddy bears and ride-on cars, while those of a slightly older age benefit from bikes, train sets, telescopes, and chemistry sets.

One in 10 adults highlighted role-play as an important factor in play time, with dress up clothes and play houses featuring in the list of the top 30 toys children should own.

According to those polled, the perfect toy should be fun first and foremost (52 per cent), as well as entertaining (49 per cent).

Four in 10 adults felt it is important for toys to be educational, while 44 per cent love them to inspire creativity.

One in four adults believed a toy or game should be family friendly, and 40 per cent said it should aid growth and development according to the study by OnePoll.

Child development expert and spokeswoman for Very.co.uk, Anita Cleare, said: “Play is essential for children’s development – it’s how they build their brains, learn about the universe and develop creativity, problem solving and social skills.

“Some of the best toys are the ones that encourage children to play together or with their families, as this helps children’s social and emotional development and teaches them key skills like communication, co-operation and negotiation.

“For example, Lego encourages children to use their imagination, board games give them the opportunity to develop complex thinking skills like planning and prediction; and puzzles are great for practicing mental rotation.

“If you want your child to play with their toys for more than one day, be sure to buy ones which spark their imagination.

“Who knows, maybe that science kit or construction toy might be the start of a lifelong passion. ”


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7754131/bike-rides-puzzles-and-board-games-the-30-toys-parents-want-kids-to-play-with-growing-up/

Black Friday 2018 – what date does it begin in the UK and how can you get the best deals?

BLACK Friday, the annual global shopping bonanza, was born in the USA but is now very much a part of British life too.

This year’s annual sales extravaganza is coming soon and shoppers will be desperate to learn about the latest deals.

What is Black Friday?

On Black Friday, shop prices dip for 24 hours in an attempt to get people splashing the cash in the run-up to Christmas.

But many retailers now spread out their deals over two weeks, with some now gearing up for Cyber Monday.

The day earned its name as it’s often the day shops “move into the black” – meaning they have enough money to cover their costs.

And it works – as customers often queue for hours, even days, to get their hands on the best bargains.

Unfortunately, the shopping mania can sometimes descend into violence, as people argue over discounted gadgets and appliances.

Many shops release details of their sale items before the day, so there are plenty of ways to bag the best deals.

The trick is to be prepared and organised and to always know what you want before the sales start – to avoid unnecessary spending.

Black Friday falls on November 23 this year, the day after Thanksgiving
Reuters

When is Black Friday 2018?

Traditionally, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving – an American holiday which falls on the fourth Thursday in November.

This year, the event falls on Friday, November 23.

To mark the festivities, retailers tend to have different discount days throughout the week.

Last year, Amazon – arguably the king of Black Friday sales – ran deals from November 17 to November 26.

In Britain, it’s considered to be one of the biggest internet shopping days of the year, as retailers pack their websites with oodles of offers.

Similar to last year Amazon is getting its sales season up and running early with things getting underway on November 16.

The Deals of the Day will also see sales items like kitchen gadgets, beauty and garden products, while the Lightning deals will see extra discounts, in limited supply and available for only six hours.

Which shops offered the best deals during last Black Friday?

HERE are just some of the retailers you should be sure to check.

Find even more on our Black Friday 2018 hub page.

How can you get the best Black Friday discounts?

Shop early in the day

Sadly, queuing up early in the day is the best way to get your pick of discounts.

Often, by the afternoon, the most exciting products have already flown off the shelves.

Don’t just focus on Friday

While many will look to Black Friday for all the best deals, this isn’t always the case.

Keep your eyes peeled all week (and on Cyber Monday) for bags more budget-friendly buys.

Do your research

Been waiting for the sales to purchase an expensive item?

Have a look around online to see the average price of the goods before you fork out for something on a whim.

Often, discounts won’t be as impressive as they first seem.

Watch out for doorbusters

The majority of stores will use doorbusters to get customers through their doors on shopping events.

These stand-out items will be drastically reduced in price, but they tend to be few and far between.

If you’re going to get your hands on one of these items, you may have to fight off some stiff competition.

When in store, try not to get suckered in by any other deals that aren’t actually saving you much money.

Find our 'Best Black Friday deals' pages

Looking to snap up a Black Friday bargain? Here's where you can find the best deals.

Prepare the night before

When placing online orders, heavily discounted items can sell-out in seconds.

To beat queues, it’s worth creating accounts on your favourite retailers’ websites in advance.

If you want to be extra speedy, try putting items that are set to be reduced in price in your basket before the sale period begins.

Then when you check-out, the items will be already reduced in your basket waiting for you.

Stack your vouchers

You may be stung with delivery fees when ordering a cheap item online.

Stacking vouchers, including free delivery or 10 per cent of sale items, can bring the cost of your shopping basket down further.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/6677002/black-friday-2018-deals-sales-start/

Nearly half of Brits are hiding a total of £96billion worth of debt from their family and friends

HOUSEHOLDS are sitting on a £96billion ­hidden debt mountain, a government-backed body has found.

Almost half (44 per cent) of people owe sums they have kept secret from their family, partner or pals, according to the Money Advice Service.

Getty – Contributor

Brits owe £96billion in hidden debts as their families are in the dark about it[/caption]

The average hidden debt is £4,164 per person.

The poll of 4,000 adults was to mark Talk Money Week, which aims to improve people’s money management skills and financial wellbeing.

Nearly a third (29 per cent) of people with debts who are in a relationship said their partner does not know about all the money they owe. And five per cent admit their partner is completely in the dark about their debts.

Women are more likely to talk to their friends about debts than men, the research suggests.

Credit cards were found to be the most likely source of hidden debt, with personal loans, overdrafts, informal loans from loved ones and store cards also common sources of hidden debt.

Caroline Siarkiewicz, head of debt advice for MAS, said: “Sharing a problem is the first step to solving it.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7716694/brits-hiding-debt-from-family/

Join Sun Savers to be in with the chance of winning a caravan worth over £14,000 — plus check out our money-saving holiday tips

YOU could enjoy holiday after holiday in style with our latest super Sun Savers competition.

We’ve teamed up with caravan experts Knaus to give one lucky reader a new, touring caravan worth more than £14,000.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is to collect ten Sun Savers codes
Christian Haasz, werbeFOTO HAASZ GbR

You could get your hands on this fantastic Weinsberg CaraOne 390QD. It sleeps up to four people and includes a host of top-notch features.

To enter, collect TEN Sun Savers codes from the 18 printed daily in the paper between today and Tuesday, November 27. Then head to the Sun Savers app or website and enter your codes.

Once you have entered ten, go to the Win A Caravan page and click “Enter” before midnight on Monday, December 3.

AS well as bringing you this great competition, The Sun is the official partner for the 2019 Caravan & Motorhome Show and as Sun readers you can grab an exclusive ticket offer.

We’ve teamed up with caravan experts Knaus to give one lucky reader a new, touring caravan worth more than £14,000
Christian Haasz, werbeFOTO HAASZ GbR

Book tickets in advance, paying just £7.50, at caravanshows.com and quote SUN19 at the checkout. It is the largest caravan and motorhome show of its kind, with the BIGGEST choice of caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes anywhere in the North of England.

The Caravan & Motorhome Show, January, 17-20, 2019, is held at Manchester’s EventCity.

It is a value day out for the whole family with FREE parking, FREE entry for under-16s, FREE show guide and FREE entry to Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show running in the same venue.

  • Advance box office closes: 9pm on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.
  • Standard advance price: £8.50; On-the-door ticket prices: £9.95.
  • Calls cost 7p per minute plus network extras. £1 transaction fee applies.

Meet the reader

ROSEMARY JANES is bursting with money-saving wisdom. The retired 61-year-old gets a boost by entering free competitions and even won a trip to sunny Jamaica.

Sun Saver Rosemary won a sunny trip to Jamaica
Getty – Contributor
Rosemary sells the things she doesn’t need on  Shpock, Gumtree and eBay rather than throw it out

Rosemary, who was a customer service adviser for a bank before retiring, says: “I’ve always worked with money in the jobs I’ve done, so I’ve seen how people get into trouble.”

As part of our Meet The Sun Savers series, Rosemary shares these thrifty tips.

  • Competitions. Since retiring, Rosemary has more time to enter free ­competitions online. She says: “I use Prize Finder and enter competitions in local newspapers. I’ve won a holiday to Jamaica, a mini cruise, hotel stays . . . the list goes on!”
  • Online shopping. Rosemary loves shopping online and has a handy tip to save you cash. “I use TopCashback,” she says. “I also look at VoucherCodes. Sometimes you can use both of them together but if you can’t, just work out which will give you the best offer.”
  • Green fingers. Some Waitrose stores give away their used coffee grounds. Rosemary knows how to make the most of it. “We take them to put round our roses and vegetables to make our own compost,” she says.
  • Do your research. If she wants a particular item, Rosemary finds the best deal on mysupermarket.co.uk. “The other day I wanted Cadbury’s drinking chocolate so I compared prices on MySupermarket. I also looked at what vouchers I had. This time I had £2 off a £10 Waitrose shop. I weigh up all the options and shop that way,” she says.
  • Kids’ clothing. Dressing kids isn’t cheap but Rosemary has a way around that. “My husband is from a large family of 14 nieces and nephews, so all the kids wore hand-me-downs. We saved lots of money,” she says.
  • Flog it. Rosemary says: “I sell stuff I don’t need on Shpock, Gumtree and eBay rather than throw it out. It’s surprising what people will buy. Somebody bought my toilet rolls!”
  • Dinner winners. The keen gardener says: “We grow runner beans, potatoes and tomatoes — and in winter, we freeze the excess. We cook from scratch and have a well-stocked chest freezer.”

Deal of the day

This subscription box would make a perfect present for a special man in your life

GET him a luxury grooming subscription box from mensgroomingguide.com. Your first box is just £17.49 with code THESUN. Worth £65.

SAVE: £47.51

Cheap treat

Everyone loves a bit of prosecco, especially when it’s on discount

HAVE a cheeky tipple with the Chambord limited-edition prosecco gift pack at Tesco. RRP £12, now £10.

SAVE: £2

Refer a friend

Referring a friend is super easy

YOU will probably want to tell your friends and family all about Sun Savers – and if you do, we will give you CASH as a bonus. Get £1 for each friend you refer to Sun Savers.

Plus, every friend you refer gets £1 too. Go to the Sun Savers app or website and click on the refer a friend page in “Offers” to see how.

Top swap

Why spend £2.50 on this jar…
…when you can grab this one for only £1.50

JAM fans can add a little sparkle to their toast this weekend thanks to Asda’s Strawberry & Champagne Conserve with edible glitter. It is made with the same Marc de Champagne as Marks & Spencer’s glitzy Sparkling Peach & Prosecco Conserve.

SAVE: £1

Reader’s saving tip

DIANE MORTON, from Maldon in Essex, says: “To help keep your floors clean during winter, cover muddy pram wheels with shower caps when you come inside.”

  • Send us your suggestions to sunsavers.co.uk/tips and get 28 codes, worth £5, if we print yours. Please include your name and town.

Shop & save

This would make a perfect perfume for someone special in your life

GET a bargain scent at The Perfume Shop. DKNY Be Delicious Shimmer & Shine. was £55, now just £24.99. Deal ends November 25.

SAVE: £30.01

Hot right now

HEAD to the “middle of Lidl” TODAY for bargain car accessories such as a car cover from £4.99.

6000 tickets on us to see Nativity Rocks!

SEE the festive feel-good film of the year early with Sun Savers and get into the Christmas spirit.

Your kids will have so much fun watching Nativity Rocks
Handout

We are giving 1,500 readers the chance to claim up to four cinema tickets to see a preview screening for the brand-new film Nativity Rocks!.

Back with the kids from St Bernadette’s Primary School in Coventry, this time the staff and students audition for a coveted place in a spectacular rock musical competition.

With the unique feel-good charm of the original film, Celia Imrie reprises her role as Headmistress Mrs Keen, starring alongside Meera Syal, Ruth Jones, Anna Chancellor, Hugh Dennis and Helen George.

The film also introduces Simon Lipkin as Jerry Poppy and Craig Revel Horwood as the ruthless show director Emmanuel Cavendish. Just remember . . . this Christmas, NATIVITY ROCKS!

You can see the film as early as November 18

You can choose from 20 preview screenings in towns and cities around the UK, including London, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and more. The screenings take place on Sunday morning, November 18.

To book your tickets all you need to do is head over to the Sun Savers app or sunsavers.co.uk and opt in to the “Nativity Rocks!” promotion that can be found in the “Offers” section.

Next, enter FIVE consecutive Sun Savers codes printed daily inside the paper from today until Wednesday, November 14. Lastly, head back to the “Nativity Rocks!” page in Sun Savers and click “Redeem” as soon as possible. You have until midnight on Wednesday, November 14.

Once you have clicked “Redeem”, you will receive an email with steps on how to claim your free tickets. But hurry, as tickets are first come, first served.

All you need to do is collect five Sun Savers codes

Don’t worry if you miss out on a preview screening ticket, you can still head to the cinema on Friday, November 23, to catch the release of Nativity Rocks!.

  • TERMS AND CONDITIONS: 18+ UK residents only (excludes Isle of Man and Channel Islands). Code collect 10/11/18 to 14/11/18. Tickets limited to 1,500 readers only. Subject to availability. T&Cs apply. Full T&Cs at sunsavers.co.uk.

Play now to win £15,000 on the Sun Savers Raffle

JOIN thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle.

Every Sun Savers code you enter will earn you a ticket for our £15k monthly Raffle. And for every ten tickets you collect in a calendar month, you get a GOLDEN TICKET for our £80k Raffle, which takes place every three months, with the first one at the end of June.

Join thousands of readers taking part in the new Sun Savers Raffle

There is no limit to how many tickets you can collect. So the more you enter, the better your chances.

To take part go to sunsavers.co.uk or open the Sun Savers app. Then opt in to each month’s Raffle by clicking “Yes!” when prompted and start collecting the Sun Savers codes printed daily in the paper.

Today’s code is on Page 20. Every time you scan or enter a code into Sun Savers, you get a Raffle ticket in the £15k Raffle.

Not yet a Sun Savers member? Just go to sunsavers.co.uk or find “Sun Savers” in the app store to get started.

Fancy a free fiver?

YOU can get FREE cash with super Sun Savers just for buying your favourite paper.

Our brilliant new rewards club will pay back our most loyal readers.

Just pick up the paper each day to collect your Sun Savers codes and we will GIVE YOU £5 when you have ­collected 28.

This isn’t a one-off and there is no limit to how much cash you can save.

For every 28 codes you enter, we will give you a fiver. So over the course of a year, that could add up to £65.

We are keeping it super-simple. You don’t have to enter codes from consecutive days, so don’t worry if you forget a day or two.

Download our easy Sun Savers app and quickly scan your code using your smartphone. Or go online and enter your code at sunsavers.co.uk.

To get you on your way, join today and we will put a bonus £1 in your Sun Savers wallet tomorrow. And the good news doesn’t stop with free cash.

With Sun Savers, we give you the best hacks, deals and tips to save money every single day.

TO JOIN: Don’t worry, folks — joining takes just 30 seconds, in three steps.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/7706221/win-caravan-worth-14000-sun-savers/