Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet Review – Make An Informed Decision

With the summer holidays approaching, many of you would be going on holidays with your kids. During travel, a tablet would certainly be handy to keep kids occupied. So here is a Fire7 Kids Edition Tablet Review which will help you decide whether to buy it or not.

Product Name: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

Where to Buy: Amazon.co.UK

Price: £99.99

Colour: Black tablet with a choice of Pink, Blue,Yellow kid proof case

Weight: 390 gms

Dimensions: 222 x 141 x 26.3 mm

Age range: 3 years-12 years

Includes:

  • Fire Tablet
  • Amazon Kid-proof case
  • USB 2.0 Cable
  • 5W power adaptor
  • Quick start guide

My Rating: 4.5/5

Other Features:

  • Fire tablet comes with a 16 GB storage space and Micro SD slot which means you can increase the storage to 256 GB.
  • Processor- 1 GB of RAM.
  • 8 hours of battery life and can be fully charged under 6 hours.
  • Screen resolution 1024 x 600.
  • 1 year free subscription to Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited which gives access to 5000 apps and games, videos, books and educational content from Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street and many more. After 1 year, the subscription will be $1.99 per month. The content is to be chosen as per the age range (3 to 5 years,6 to 8 years, 9 to 12 years).
  • 2 year worry free guarantee – if kids break the tablet, Amazon will replace it at no extra cost, no questions asked.
  • Tablet comes with a kid proof case- if the tablet falls it will bounce!
  • Parental controls – you can manage usage limits, content access and educational goals through the device or remotely through Amazon parent dashboard
  • VGA front facing camera and 2 MP rear- facing with 720p HD video recording.
  • Create child (up to 4 profiles) and Adult profile. You can add or delete content from your child’s profile.
  • Kids- safe browser which keeps inappropriate content out .

Pros

What are the good things about this product?

  • Reasonably priced at £99.99
  • 2 year worry free guarantee- no questions asked. If your kids break it, Amazon will replace it for free.
  • Kids proof case – if it falls it bounces! Very easy to grip cover.
  • Free access to Amazon Fire for kids unlimited for 1 year. You can choose content as per age.
  • Parental control – you can manage the usage limits by setting time limit on it. As soon as the time is up, the tablet shuts down. So even if you forget or get engrossed in your work the tablet will automatically shut down depending on the time you have set beforehand. You can also choose content you want your child to watch.
  • Educational goals – You can use Learn First to block access to videos and games until the educational goals have been met. For example – child can’t access the videos and games till the reading for the day has been completed.
  • If you (adult) have purchased any books or videos from Amazon, you can share it with the child profiles or un-share them if you change your mind. This can only be done under WiFi . So check the content before you lose the WiFi access and make sure you are ok with the content your child is watching. If you have a Netflix account, you can download movies and then share it with your child. Your child can watch it offline.
  • Flexible accounts- The adult account can have access to you-tube, socail media etc. The child account would have no access to in-app purchases, ads, emails or social media. You can set up to 4 child profiles. You can put content of different age range for each child.

Cons

What features aren’t very good?

  • There is no screen protector included. If you want buy one it will cost you another £9.99. But even if your screen breaks you can get the tablet replaced under the two-year guarantee.
  • Not great on hardware.
  • Quality issues in some Tablets where the charging port wasn’t working or touch was not recognised, applications were auto launching and generally some Tablets were slow at times.
  • Sound is not great but it is ok for kids programs.
  • Camera is not very great. You might not be to able use the photos or videos taken by your child.
  • Screen resolution is very low 1024x 600. But in my opinion it is not a very big issue especially on a kids tablet.
  • Parental controls can be confusing.
  • The two-year guarantee starts with the original purchase. If you get your tablet replaced, you will only get the balance of the time left for the guarantee on the new Tablet.
  • You cannot access the SD card slot and microphone with the case on which again is not a big issue in my opinion.

Conclusion

All in all, Amazon offers a lot of features for £99.99 . The best features would be the 2 years no questions asked guarantee, the kid proof case and 1 year free access to Fire for kids Unlimited. This makes it a great buy according to me. The negative features of the product particularly the camera and sound are not that big an issue. You can’t go wrong with £99.99 kids Tablet which has a 2 year guarantee !

Also if you compare it with Fire 8 Kids Edition, it is only a slight upgrade over Fire 7 which doesn’t seem worth it for an extra £30.

= = >Click here to buy Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition < = =

Enjoy your Tablet!

 

 

Teaching Children To Be Grateful – A Way To Happiness

One of the stumbling blocks that I have often encountered in my journey as a mother, is that my children are never grateful for what they have. As soon as I buy them a toy, they start demanding for another toy. Not only is this frustrating (and expensive) but I do wonder ‘Will they ever be happy with what they have?’ You might say children are always greedy, they are always ungrateful! But as a parent you do not want your child to remain ungrateful throughout his/her life. I believe that teaching children to be grateful is important as it is a way to happiness and contentment.

Benefits of being grateful

Whether it is an adult or a child, every person should be grateful for what they have. Being grateful brings a lot of positivity in an individual’s life and therefore you will be :

  • Less depressed
  • Less envious
  • Less materialistic
  • Less anxious

AND

  • More positive
  • More happy
  • More content

Overall, they would be more happier in their life, if they are grateful. Even as an adult, when they are faced with a difficult situation, the habit of being grateful will help them .

How do you teach your child to be grateful

It is not easy to teach children to be grateful. But if parents make an effort, then it can have an impact on the overall thinking/mindset of the child .

Please and thank you

My husband and I insist that every time the children ask us for something they have to say ‘ please’, even if it is just for a glass of water and a ‘thank you’ after it is given to them. I know in this fast life, parents might not have time to insist on please and thank yous, but it is very important that the children appreciate every thing the parents do for their children.

Making kids realise how privileged they are

Whenever we go to India, I show/explain my children how underprivileged the poor children living in shanties and slums are. I make my children realise how privileged they are – they have a home, clothes, food, toys etc. If you can take your children to visit soup kitchens or children’s homes and explain to them how fortunate they are compared to people in soup kitchens or children in children’s home.

Limit the number of toys, books, clothes you buy

I know as a parent we would like to provide “everything possible ” for our child. “I will give my child everything I didn’t have in my childhood”. I don’t believe in this. How would you teach your child how to be grateful for what he/she has got? The important question you have to make your child ask herself or himself is “do I really need this?” If the answer is no, don’t buy it !

Reduce wastages

Make sure your children finish all the food on their plate and they do not waste any food. If required give them a slightly lesser quantity if overeating is an issue. Avoid throwing food in the bin. Explain to them that there are lot of people starving in this world, so we shouldn’t be wasting food.

Set an example

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, parents have to always set an example for their children. Children always copy their parents. If they see their parents leading a modest life, buying things only if needed, then they will do the same.

For very young children

If your children are very young, you can teach them a few games to teach them gratitude. For example, each day or each week at the dinner table tell them to say one thing which gave them a lot of happiness on that day. Make sure you participate in the game as well.

If your child can write, they can keep a gratitude journal and write all the good things that happened to them on a daily basis.

In some religions, it is a custom to say a gratitude prayer before you eat your meal.

Make them earn it

If children ask for toys, don’t just give it to them. Make them earn it. Either through good behaviour or helping with household chores. Only give the toy if they pass the test of good behaviour.

Don’t hesitate to say no

If they ask for toys which are very expensive or you feel that they don’t need it or they are too young for it, say ‘no’. It is hard for some parents to tell their children I won’t buy it for you but you have to do it to teach your child gratitude. Children shouldn’t get toys or games that they demand for, very easily. It doesn’t matter whether the parent can afford to pay for it or not.

Re- use or share

If you have got more than one child, make them share or re-use toys or clothes. Don’t buy two or three or four of everything. Being very close in age and similar in size, my sister and I used to share clothes in our childhood.

Make them help with chores

Make your children help with chores, fold clothes, cut the salad, wash the plates. From an early age, make them clear up their toys every night before they go to bed.

Explain to them why

Always explain your actions to your child. Don’t make them feel that you are being mean or unjust to them. Teach them not to be greedy- to be happy with what they have. Make them choose toys or clothes to give to charity. Make them ‘share’ their toys and clothes with poor children.

Show them how much poverty exists in this world

There are lot of images and you tube videos available on the internet through which you can show how poor children live, starving children in Africa who do not have clothes or food or clean water to drink or schools to go to! When parents teach their children gratitude, it will be a good reminder to them as well that it is so important to be always grateful with whatever you have. At least it was to me!

Do you have any tips or stories to share about gratitude? Please put them in the comment box below. I will be happy to hear from you!

 

 

Potty Training Toilet – Potty Which Looks Like a Toilet!

Summer Infant My Size Potty Review

Product name: Summer Infant My Size Potty

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £30.99

My rating:4/5

Ages: 18 months+

Other Features:

  • The best feature of the My Size potty is that it looks like a real toilet (mini toilet).
  • A realistic flush sound to reward the child. Please note that it is a pretend flush!
  • It has got a removable, easy clean bowl like a normal potty.
  • It includes a clip-on splash guard which helps in potty training boys.
  • It has got a realistic flip- up lid design which makes it possible for a little boy to learn how to go standing up.
  • Potty has got a built in wipe dispenser that keeps flush able wipes within easy reach. Alternatively, the lid can be removed and used for storage.

= = > Click here to buy Summer Infant My Size Potty < = =

Pros

  • The toilet look definitely works for little children. Children always like to copy the parents but they might find the ‘real toilet’ a bit daunting and therefore this ‘mini toilet’ will help start potty training.
  • Easy to clean bowl.
  • Potty training boys is a little harder especially with the wee. The splash guard and flip- up lid will help a lot with the wee’s. If you have a girl then you can easily remove the splash guard and store it.
  • Children can get the habit of using the flush sound so that they not only get used to flushing but also the sound of it. At time of potty training, my son was initially scared of the flush sound of the adult toilet. So this feature might be handy for some children.
  • Children can sit properly on the My Size potty rather than squatting. This might encourage children to use the potty.
  • My size potty is comfortable and supports the back of your child.
  • Due to the toilet design, once the child is settled in potty training, they might automatically ask to go on the adult toilet. Therefore, it will be easier to transition your child from potty to toilet .
  • The ‘cistern’ can be used to store books or flush able wipes.
  • You might have more success with this toilet lookalike potty if you have not had much success with normal potty.
  • Good quality product.
  • Available in 2 colours white and pink. Pink potty will work very well with little girls.

Cons

  • It is a little flimsy. If your child throws a tantrum and manages to give the potty a little push it will fall over!
  • Expensive potty at £30.99.
  • Splash guard might make it a bit difficult for your little boy to sit on the potty- but do you need it ? You can encourage your little boy to hold it downwards to prevent wee splashing.
  • The seat cannot be removed to be used on an adult toilet.
  • Massive poos might not fit in the bowl!

I have put below my review of another potty which doesn’t look like a toilet so that you can compare both and choose one .

Feven 3-in-1 Potty Chair

Product name: Feven 3-in-1 Potty Chair 

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £24.99

My rating:4.5/5

Ages: 18 months+

Other Features:

  • 3-in-1 potty chair is a potty seat which transforms into toilet training seat and a step stool.
  • Duck themed potty seat which makes it more fun and interesting for kids.
  • The potty chair is portable and can be used during travel.
  • Includes splash guard for boys.
  • Has handles on either side for support.

Pros

  • Multi purpose product. You only need to buy 1 product. Start the training with the potty chair. Once your child outgrows the chair it can be transformed into a toilet training seat and  a step stool. Great concept!
  • It is portable and can be used during travel.
  • Duck themed chair which will make it fun and interesting for your child.
  • Handles on either side for support which will help your child get on to the potty or toilet .
  • Splash guard feature for boys.
  • Removable parts make it easy to clean and transform.
  • Available in 2 colours , pink and blue .

= => Click here to buy Feven 3-in-1 Potty Chair < = =

 

Cons

  • Slightly expensive potty.
  • Shape of the potty seat is more suitable for girls than boys.
  • No sound feature.
  • No pretend flush.
  • Step stool can take weight up to 45 kg- unless the parents are underweight, it can only be used by children.

Conclusion

From the above, I have come to the conclusion that Feven 3-in-1 potty chair has got an advantage over Summer Infant My Size Potty because:

  • The seat can be transformed into a toilet training seat and fixed on to the adult toilet. The balance parts can be transformed into a step stool.
  • Summer Infant My Size Potty is slightly expensive than  Feven 3-in-1 Potty Chair.

Out of the two I would choose Feven 3-in-1 Potty Chair due to the transformation feature. If you choose Summer Infant My Size Potty, you would still need to buy a toilet training seat after your child outgrows the potty to transition her/him to the adult toilet.

Always use the child toilet seat(to be attached to the toilet seat of the adult toilet) to prevent the child from falling into the toilet !

Good luck Shopping!

== > Click here for other potty training products = = >

 

 

 

Swimming Gear For Kids- Which One is The Best For Your Child

Learning to swim is an important life skill for children. However, children do need swim gear and it can be a hard to find a good quality as well as a good fit. Choosing swim gear for kids can be mind boggling at times so I have stated my opinion on each of the item below, which might help you decide:

Swim nappies

If you want to take your baby/toddler who isn’t potty trained, for swimming lessons, you should put swim nappies on them. I used the Huggies Little Swimmers nappies for my children when they were toddlers.

Product:Huggies Little Swimmers Swim Nappies

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £6.89

My rating: 4/5

Pros:

  • Huggies is a well-known brand
  • Swim nappies do not swell in water like normal nappies
  • Value for money
  • Leak proof in water
  • Each nappy lasts for about half an hour to an hour which is enough time for a baby to be in the pool .
  • No other protection required though I would recommend from my own experience that it is better to put a Happy Nappy (see below) on top of the swim nappy for added protection especially with the no.2’s

Cons

  • You will need to be careful with the size as these nappies are much smaller than normal nappies. You need to buy the right size also to make sure the no.2’s stay inside the nappy
  • These nappies should only be used while your little one is in water. Make sure you change them to normal nappies the moment they come out of water
  • It might be tricky initially to put this nappy on your child .

Happy Nappy

As per the rules of most swimming school’s, a Happy Nappy is mandatory for all children. I used Splash About happy nappy for my children. Keep in mind that a Happy Nappy has to be worn over the swim nappies. Just in case there is a leak in the swim nappies, the Happy Nappy contains everything inside. Make sure you always use both swim nappies and Happy Nappy for your babies/toddlers.

Product: Splash About Happy Nappy

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £10.99

My rating: 4.5/5

Pros

  • Added protection and keeps the swim nappy secure as well
  • They are snug yet comfortable and they allow full movement without any leaks
  • Happy Nappy has to be washed in cold water only. If required very little detergent should be used. Therefore, easy to wash and dry
  • Available in a variety of designs for both boys and girls
  • value for money and peace of mind that there will be no leakages

Cons

  • Be careful with the sizes before ordering – Happy Nappy has to have a snug fit. If the Happy Nappy is loose, it won’t be able to contain any leaks from the swim nappy !
  • You will have to physically measure your child’s waist, thighs etc. Do not rely on the measurement guide. Remember if the happy nappy is to loose, there will be leakages.

Swimming Goggles

My children find it hard to go underwater without goggles. So I would suggest buying swimming goggles with suction caps (it prevents water from going inside the goggles. Parents of babies/toddlers(under 3 years of age) should only buy goggles if you feel they need it .

Product: Copozz Kids Swimming Goggles

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £9.99

Age: 3 years-12 years

My rating: 4/5

Includes:

1xgoggles

1xprotection case

1xmanual

Pros

  • Copozz Kids Swimming Goggles has features like Anti fog, UV Protection, Clear Lens
  • Goggles come with a free protection case
  • Goggles are made with hypoallergenic silicone
  • Easy -adjust, fast -fit head strap
  • Good fit around the eyes
  • Great colours for kids

Cons

  • Clips on the sides might break as regular adjusting is needed with the goggles
  • Some people have had issues with the quality.

Swimming hats

In my children’s swimming school, it is mandatory for kids with long hair (read girls) to wear swimming hat due to hygiene reasons. I use silicone hat for my daughter which keeps her hair dry but it is harder to it put on than a polyester hat (which is not waterproof). So the parent has to decide which one is more suitable for them and their child. But I would recommend silicone hat as it keeps the chlorine water out and therefore protects the hair.

Product: Speedo Plain Moulded Silicone Swim Cap

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £4.99-£6.20

My rating: 4/5

Pros

  • Speedo is well-known quality brand
  • Ideal for regular swim sessions
  • Protects your hair from chlorine
  • Made of durable and long-lasting silicone and it won’t snag or pull hair
  • Available in a variety of colours

Cons

  • Quality issues at times even though hat is from Speedo
  • Few people have had issues with the fit even though these hats are supposed to be one size hats meaning they should fit heads of all sizes (for children)

 

Swim Costumes (Girls)

You will need a costume for your little girl! Fitting of a costume is very tricky. Make sure you get the right size and confirm the returns’ policy in case the size you ordered doesn’t fit!

Product: Speedo Girls Swimsuit

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £12.41

My rating: 4/5

Pros

  • Speedo is a good quality brand
  • Ideal for swimming lessons
  • Quick drying, soft and stretchy
  • Chlorine resistant and designed to last longer
  • Provides UV protection
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • No cartoon characters

Swim Costumes (Boys)

Again you will need a costume for your little boy. Be careful about the sizes though!

Product: Speedo Boys’s Essential Endurance+Jammer

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £8-£22 (depending on the size)

My rating: 4.5/5

Pros

  • Speedo is a quality brand
  • Suitable for regular swimming sessions
  • Chlorine resistant and quick drying
  • Comfortable and snag-resistant fabric
  • Retains shape and resists fading longer than any other swim material
  • Drawstring waist for a secure fit
  • Sun protection

Cons

  • Be careful while choosing the size

If your child goes to a swim lesson you would not need the following items but they would be handy when you go to the local swimming pool together as a family. By doing this you can encourage your children to learn to swim and also get an opportunity to have some family time. Make sure that you are always in the pool with your child and take all the usual precautions while you use these swimming aids, depending on the age and ability of your child.

Noodles

Water noodles are suitable for both adults and children. They can used for rehabilitation and exercise too. More importantly , it can help children gain confidence while learning to swim.

Includes:

1 x green noodle

1 x red noodle

1 x blue noodle

Product: Elite Water Noodles

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £8.57

Rating:4.5/5

Kids Float Discs

The float discs can be used to keep your child afloat in the pool while they learn to swim. The best feature is that you can use these instead of inflatable arm floats . It can be used even when your are on a holiday if you want to go into the pool with your child. The only thing is it will use a bit of space in the suitcase . They are lightweight so weight won’t be a problem.

Product name:Kids Child Float Discs

Place to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price:£9.99

Rating:5/5

Dive Sticks

Dive Sticks are great for building underwater confidence in the kids. It is a great toy too especially on holidays.

Product name: Zoggs Children’s Safe Dive Sticks

Where to buy: Amazon.co.uk

Price: £9

Age: 3 years+

Rating: 5/5

All the items can be easily purchased from Amazon. If you are a Prime member , you can get next day delivery!

If you want to share your child’s experience with any of the above swimming gear please put them in the comment box below, I will be happy to hear from you!

Good luck

Parents Helping With Homework – Is It Important?

The ex- principal of my children’s school believed homework was totally unnecessary and even though homework was given to the children it was never marked by the teachers. The reason that the ex-principal didn’t believe in homework was parents helping their children with the homework. This wasn’t acceptable to her. I believe homework should be done by children but if they are unsure of anything – parents should help, support and guide them. Some parents may say they don’t have any time to help children with their homework.

It is an individual choice whether parents feel homework is important or whether they are able to find time to help children with their homework, but I believe homework is important for following reasons:

Consolidates their learning

Children learn from teachers at school. Maybe by the time they come home they have forgotten what was taught in the school. It is also possible that the child has misunderstood or not understood at all what was taught in the class. You might say my child would have asked the teacher if they didn’t understand, but from experience both as a mother and as a child (once upon time), I know that a child can feel very shy or embarrassed to tell their teacher that they didn’t understand the concept. They might even feel that they will be bullied by their classmates if they say they didn’t understand. Parents helping them with homework can therefore help consolidate the child’s learning at school.

Parents know what is being taught in school

Through homework parents know what is being taught in the school on the day or week of the homework. This is especially helpful for parents of younger children. Younger children don’t always tell their parents what they did in the school.

Parents can gauge child’s understanding

When the parent is sitting with the child to do her/his homework, they can understand how much the child has understood what was taught in the school. They can also know the child’s weak and strong subjects and accordingly work with them on the weak subjects.

Parent teacher meetings

Homework also help parents discuss the child’s performance with the teacher in the parent – teacher meeting. Sometimes what the child might not know/do in the school, he/she will able to do it more easily at home under the guidance of their parents.

One to one

When a parent helps/supports their child’s homework, the child gets total attention of the parent which is not possible in the school. For example if the child is weak in a particular subject he/she might need more attention. This can be done at home with the help and support of the parent.

Parent’s contribution

Through homework, parents can contribute to their child’s learning.

A way to spend time with your child

I know that homework is not a favourite activity of a child, but through helping your child at homework you can get to spend time with your child as well as build some bond with her/him. Children feel loved too if their parents are involved in every aspect of their life.

Show your child you care

Through homework you can show your child you care for them and their well-being. You can also show them that you as a parent consider education very important and that’s why you persevere with them.

Teaching children important values

While you do homework with your child, it is very likely your child will get frustrated if he/she can’t get their homework right. This is the time when you can teach your child, not to give up or to keep trying again and again till you get it right.

After reading all the above if you feel that homework is important for your child, here are some tips which can help you to get your child’s homework done regularly:

  • Manage your time – set aside some time every day for your child and their homework
  • Explain to your child that you have to do your homework at a set time everyday
  • Encourage them to do their homework on their own or tell them to explain to you how a particular maths problem has been taught to them at school. Let them teach you !
  • If they get a problem or a spelling wrong – don’t tell them off. Tell them to keep trying till they get it right. Teach them not to give up. Teach them to persevere
  • If on a particular day your child is tired or if they are not in the mood(you will know if they are not focusing at all) don’t force them to their homework – leave it for the next day but explain to them that they must finish it the next day. You do not want them making a habit of not finishing their homework
  • Lastly, make sure you praise them a lot – whether their achievement is big or small. Praise will go a long way- children will feel more encouraged as well as happy with themselves

I reward my children with (reward) stickers whenever they show a good performance .

Do you believe in homework? Can you suggest any tips or tricks for making children do their homework? Type them in the comment box below and send it to me! I would be happy to hear from you.

Good luck with the homework!

 

 

 

Teaching Kids Life Skills -What and How?

It is my belief that children should be taught life skills at a very early age. If you start early there are more chances of them willing to learn things. Over the last weekend, my kids helped us pull the weeds out from our back garden and they loved every minute of it ! The best way to teach children is to do the chores together as a family (provided it is age appropriate for your child) . Teaching kids life skills can seem daunting at first but once you get started, you would automatically know how to do it. Of course every time things won’t go as per the plan! So be prepared for that ! I believe children should be taught the following life skills:

Swimming

You can start making your child go for swimming lesson from very young age, after his/her immunisations (around 4 months of age). If they learn as babies they are likely to remember how they were floating in the warm water in the womb for 9 months ! It can also be a fun and social activity for your baby. Swimming can be fun for child of any age provided they do not fear water and that’s why it is important to make them start swimming at a young age.

Keep themselves hygienic

Children must be taught to keep themselves clean. Please refer to my post on Personal hygiene for children. This life skill will reduce the chances of them having any illnesses or diseases. They will carry these good habits into their adult life and teach the same habits to their children.

Eat healthy and exercise

Healthy eating and exercise are a must for a good health, we all know that as adults. But the same things need to be taught to our children as well. At a young age, enroll your child in at least one sports activity in a week like football, basketball, gymnastics, tennis etc. When you start weaning your child, always serve healthy and fresh food. As they grow older continue to encourage them to eat a healthy and a balanced diet. If you are struggling to make your child eat healthy please refer to my previous posts.

Mental health

Just like physical health, mental health is equally important. The easiest and most convenient way to achieve good mental health is through meditation. Meditation is a life skill too and that too a very important one. Children should be taught how to meditate from a young age. I believe all schools should teach children how to meditate. (Refer to my post of meditation benefits for children if you would like to know how to make your child meditate).

Household chores

Depending on the age of your child teach them how to do some household chores. When my son was 4 years old, he started folding his own clothes. The folds were not perfect but my husband and I always encourage both children to help us fold clothes. When children are about 7-8 years old, you can make them start washing their plates or chop salad on Sundays and in the school holidays. Maybe when they are 10-11 years old you can teach them how to make chapatis(indian bread) or  grilled sandwiches.

Manners

I always remind my children to use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I refer to them as ‘magic’ words. Explain to them that rudeness and calling names are a strict ‘no-no’.

Gratitude

Children in the western and developed countries especially need to be taught how to be grateful for what they have got. It could be the simplest things like getting 3 meals a day, a roof over your head, abundance of toys, clothes,chocolates etc. They have to be reminded how lucky they are compared to children living in poor and under developed countries.

Be positive

Children need to be taught how to think positively in any situation. Positive thinking and positive attitude will always help children throughout their adult life too. Perhaps it’s a good time for parents to also remember the saying that ‘ your thoughts become your reality!’

Self belief and self awareness

Children should be taught how to believe in themselves when they are teenagers. Parents should practice self belief themselves. Children should also be made self-aware and body aware as they approach puberty .

Manage money

I feel this is another skill which should be taught in high school about how children should manage and save their money. Saving and investment are also life saving skills. This can be taught by parents from a very early age by getting children to save money in their piggy bank. If they save enough money they can buy a toy of their choice from it. Perhaps the parents could start a minor’s bank account in their child’s name and show their child how they have saved money and that the money is earning interest as well. 

Teach children to be happy

Teach your children how to be happy and not how to be rich. If you are happy in life, everything will fall in its place! This is an important lesson to be taught to the children. But it can be done only if parents believe in it and follow it. Children can be taught how to be happy if they are taught how to be grateful and how to think positively !

Apart from the above teach your child how to deal with stress or failures positively. You could tell them that if you don’t succeed in something, rather than thinking of it as a failure, think of it as a learning curve. Teach them to give a positive spin to things which don’t go their way .

Would you like to share any other life saving skills, then please put them in the comment box below, I would love to hear from you !

 

 

 

 

Time Management For Stay At Home Moms – How to Get All Your Chores Done on Time

If you are a stay at home mom like me, you would be very particular about how things should be kept or cleaned in your home. But this comes at cost. Do you feel you are devoting all your time to cooking and cleaning and have very little time for yourself? In this post, I would like to share a few tips on time management for stay at home moms. I have discovered these tips from own experiences – hopefully they would work for you too:

Allocate time

For every chore like cleaning the kitchen or the bathrooms – allocate a particular day or time. For example: Every Friday at 10 am, I will clean the kitchen. Every Wednesday afternoon, I will change the bed sheets – so on.

Follow the timetable

It is important that you follow your timetable. If you don’t then all the chores will be pending at the end of the week and it will be impossible for you finish them in the weekend when you want to do things together as a family. If these chores pile up, you will not only feel lazy to finish them but also it will defeat the purpose of time management.

Take breaks

When you make your timetable don’t keep all the chores for one day. My advice is to do 1-2 cleaning chores a day- no more. Spread out all the chores. Mix the indoor and outdoor chores. Don’t keep all the indoor chores for one day and outdoor chores for another day.

Plan your day

If you are the cook in your family, plan ahead what you would be cooking for lunch or dinner – do preparations a little earlier – maybe while your baby or toddler is sleeping so that once the time comes to cook dinner – you would take less time to finish cooking .

Don’t overthink

Overthinking is bad for anyone. But from a point of view of a stay at home it’s even worse. From the above example of changing bed sheets every Wednesday- don’t keep thinking from Tuesday evening – ” I have got to change the bed sheets”. By the time it is Wednesday afternoon – you have tossed and turned it so much in your head that you really don’t feel like doing it. But this will take practice. At the allocated time, just finish the chore – don’t bring any negativity into it, like – I don’t want to do it, I am bored with doing work etc.

Keep some time for yourself

Always keep sometime for yourself in the week when you are doing something you enjoy – at least for an hour. If you take a break and refresh yourself you would be better equipped to deal with all the chores .

Moms who have very young children

If you have very young children – children in nappies, it will be very hard for you to stick to your timetable. You might have allocated 10 am Tuesday to clean the kitchen but your child decides to do a poo – bang at 10 am! Don’t get frustrated – change their nappy and start cleaning the kitchen quickly before you change your mind or before negative thoughts start pouring in.

Be positive

I know it is very hard to be a stay at home mom and look after the children. Remember “your thoughts can be your biggest enemy”. Whenever you feel lazy about not finishing your chores, say to yourself ” I need to keep the house clean for myself and my family”, train your mind to think positively about household chores.

Fitness, exercise and healthy diet

Women should always strive to be healthy especially post birth – eat healthy and exercise. This will help you give the energy and stamina to cope with all chores, kids etc. Try to not eat ready made meals – look after yourself- eat nutritious food. Don’t think – that it’s just me – kids are gone to school so I don’t need to cook a nutritious meal . You should think of yourself too ! If you are a fit and healthy then you will be able to look after your family better.

Don’t look for perfection

In case you are inundated with chores,and your husband or partner offers to do dishes – accept it. I am sure most of us think ” if I don’t clean it, plates won’t feel clean”. If you get help take it. It is not easy staying at home looking after kids, cleaning the house and doing all the other countless chores. Acknowledge you are a human and treat yourself nice. If you think it appropriate advise the person /partner how you want the plates to be cleaned.

Focus on the solution, not on the problem

If you feel you are finding hard to cope with everything – split all chores individually and focus on how you can complete each one of them. If you look for a solution, you will find one! But if you keep thinking of all the problems you are facing – you will never see the end of it. A little change in mindset goes a long way. I have tried this myself and I have been very successful with it.

If you are or have been a stay at home mom, please share your tips in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you and it might help other moms too!

 

 

 

Top Toddler Toys – Must have toys for every child’s development

Most (healthy) toddlers are very active and it can be very draining on the parents to look after the toddler at home or keep them busy while they need to finishing household chores like cooking, washing up, laundry etc. There were some toys which I found useful when my kids were toddlers and therefore I would like to share what I feel are the top toddler toys. Hopefully it will keep your toddler engaged too. But remember that even though these toys keep them engaged – it is always a good idea to keep checking on them every few minutes.

Play gym or play nest

My daughter was very hyperactive toddler so I bought one of these to keep her busy. The play nest is a soft inflatable ring which provides the baby with a play environment and also makes the baby feel very secure. While the baby is seated inside it can also explore it’s multi sensory features (vision, touch and sound) on the fabric covering the ring or tube. From experience, it also encourages the baby to sit on their own. So you can use it to encourage them sitting on their own from around 8 months.

Product name:Galt Toys Farm Playnest

Where to buy : www.amazon.co.uk

For ages:0+

Price: £23.87

My rating:4/5

The gym doesn’t come with a pump but it is very easy to inflate it by blowing air in it.

Stacking rings or stacking cups

Babies just love this toy! It also teaches them which one is the smallest ring or cup and which one is the biggest. You can also teach them colours with the toys. Initially you would have to show them how to play. Give them each ring or cup in their hand (strengthens their grip) and make them place one on top of the other ! Then show them how to knock them down as well and this can be a lot of fun as well as good bonding! This toy encourages co-ordination too for the babies.  You can’t go wrong with this toy!

Product name: Fisher Price Stacking Rings

Where to buy : www.amazon.co.uk

For ages: 6+ months

Price: £8.90

My rating:5/5

Shape sorter

Another absolute “must have toy”! The shape sorter not only teaches the child co-ordination(putting the shape in the correct cavity) but also you can teach them shapes and colours. You can play with this countless number of times.

Product name: Mickey and Friends Shape Sorter Bus

Where to buy: www.amazon.co.uk

For ages:9+months

Price:£12.99

My rating 5/5

Mirror

Babies find looking at themselves very intriguing as well as amusing. You can use a baby mirror when the baby is lying on his tummy (tummy time). The mirror will keep them distracted during tummy time. By looking at the mirror they will become self-aware.

Product name: Fisher-Price Monkey Mirror

Where to buy: www.amazon.co.uk

For ages:0+

Price:£10.00

My rating :5/5

Bead activity

Bead activity cultivates hand-eye co-ordination logical thinking, fine motor skills colour recognition, imagination and thinking.

Product name: BATTOP Wooden Cube Activity

Where to buy: www.amazon.co.uk

For ages:6 months+(children under 3 years have to be supervised by an adult)

Price:£28.99

My rating :4.5/5

Hanging toys for strollers and car seats

You would need to put toys on the car seat,pram and cot which will keep your baby entertained while he/she is in the car seat. This cultivates hand-eye co-ordination when the baby reaches to pull the toys. The different textures and colours cultivates their senses of touch and vision.

Product name: Singring Activity Toy

Where to buy: www.amazon.co.uk

For ages:0+

Price:£13.99

My rating :4/5

Cot mobile

Motorised mobile toy which helps put baby to sleep. The toy comes with remote .You can restart the mobile without disturbing the baby. It also cultivates the senses of vision and sound.

Product name: Fisher Price 3-in-1 Projection Mobile

Where to buy: www.amazon.co.uk

For ages:0+

Price:£23.99

My rating :4/5

Pros

  • Babies love the light and the sounds and the motion of the toys
  • Helps to soothe the baby if not put her/him to sleep
  • Even during the daytime while the baby is awake, it is a good way to keep the baby busy/entertained in the cot while the mother or father need to finish a few chores
  • The mobile also has a remote control so you can restart it with the remote if you do not want to disturb your baby
  • The whole unit can be assembled and disassembled very easily and therefore if you do not want to use the hanging toys then you can just use the unit as a night light only
  • Cricket noise on the unit is very highly recommended
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Make sure you fasten the unit securely to the cot as you do not want the unit falling on your baby
  • Batteries drain very fast both on the unit and on the remote
  • Teddy bears are not very nice looking
  • The stars do not move- if that is an issue for you
  • Motorised motion sometimes makes a loud noise

Baby walker

I am not personally very keen on walkers as I believe the baby has to learn naturally to start walking rather than make him/her start walking with the aid of a walker. I had bought this walker but only used the toy part of the walker. The toys on the walker are very good but parents have to get accustomed to hearing the same sounds or songs again and again and again!

Product name: VTech First Steps Baby Walker

Where to buy: www.amazon.co.uk

For ages:6 months+

Price:£37.99

My rating :4/5

Pros

  • Vtech is very well-known brand and has good quality products
  • Easy grip handle
  • Detachable activity panel which cultivates fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination. It also has rollers at the bottom which develop manipulative skills. Other features are shape sorters, barn door, lights and sounds and piano keys(do,re me, fa,so). Mobile phone included for more fun.
  • Your toddler may learn how to walk with the aid of the walker

Cons

  • Requires batteries. The ‘try me batteries’ included in the pack but sometimes they don’t work and you would have to put your own batteries
  • The wheels of the walker are made of plastic, so it’s best to use the walker on a carpeted surface. The walker might go too fast on a wooden floor and your child might not be able to keep up with it.
  • If you decide not to use the walker part and just use the activity panel, it would lead to wastage

Whenever you buy a toy for your baby keep in mind the following factors:

  • Is it worth the price?
  • Is the quality good- is it safe?
  • Do you really need it – sometimes 2 toys perform the same function even though they are called by different names
  • Will it teach my child something- is it educational?
  • What is the age range of the toy?

If you would like to share your experiences of any of the above toys please get in touch via the comments box, I would be happy to hear from you.

Goodluck shopping for toys!

 

 

 

 

Personal Hygiene for Children – How to reduce illnesses

Children have to be taught by parents about how to keep themselves and their surroundings clean. They would have to be trained and reminded again and again about it. But you might ask, exactly what are parents supposed to teach their children regarding hygiene? I have put together some tips which I think are important so as to observe personal hygiene for children. This will not only reduce chances of your children falling sick but will also keep them and you happy.

Hairwash twice a week

Wash your child’s hair at least twice a week. As children are more physically active than adults, they attend to sweat more during daytime especially if it’s summer. Clean hair will naturally tend to smell better but also washing hair frequently will reduce the chances of them having dandruff. Excessive sweating causes dandruff.

Don’t dig your nose

It might sound funny to you right now but it is very important for children to be taught not to dig their nose. Children have got a habit of putting their hands in their nose and mouth and you don’t want their “nose wastes” going in their mouth! Also, sometimes children might dig their nose so much that they might get a nose bleed.

Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze

Children should be covering their nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing respectively preferably with a tissue. You might have to keep reminding the children about this a lot of times but repetition brings results. If one of your child has got a cough or cold you don’t want the other children or you getting it. In case, they sneeze it’s best to catch it in a tissue and than throw the tissue in the bin and than ask them to wash their hands. Also, if they have got a cold, children should be taught to wipe their nose on a tissue rather than wiping it off with the back of their hand.

Don’t put your hand in your mouth

As mentioned above , children put their hands in their mouth as a habit. My daughter keeps putting her hand in her mouth for reasons only known to her! I have keep reminding her not do that as I have no idea how many bacteria she has got on her hands !

Nails

In younger children, parents might have to cut their nails every 2 weeks and in older children maybe every 3-4 weeks depending on how fast they grow. A lot of bacteria get infested in the nails and this might go in the child’s body when they eat. If you have a baby or toddler, they might scratch themselves if their nails are too sharp!

Wash hands regularly

Washing hand regularly doesn’t let bacteria settle on our hands. Train children to wash their hands

  • When they come home from anywhere, school, park, extra activities
  • Thoroughly before and after meals
  • After they sneeze
  • After they have been to the toilet

Toilet Hygiene

Children should not only be trained to clean themselves properly after a wee or a poo, but also to flush the toilet and then wash their hands with soap and water before they touch anything. Also, toys shouldn’t be allowed in the toilet. If you have just potty trained them and they refuse to sit on the toilet for a poo, talk to them or read them a book. Don’t give them anything in their hands.

Prevent Body Odours – by bathing, showering daily

Parents would sometimes feel what is the need to give a bath to a baby every day , it’s not as if she is moving around that she will get dirty. I believe that at least within a day or two from when the child is born, he/she should be bathed- at least once a day. As your child gets older, you might need to bathe him twice a day in the summer, if he/she is very sweaty after coming from the school or the park or a football lesson. Children should be given clean clothes to wear every day. At night, clean their face, hands and feet and give them clean pyjamas to wear.

Hygiene in Cooking

Parents should also observe good hygiene while cooking food (using clean counter space, clean utensils especially chopping board ) and also serve on clean plates, bowls, spoon etc. If possible always feed your child freshly cooked food. 

Hygiene at home

Parents should train their children to clear their toys after playing from a very young age. When they are toddlers, parents can teach them how to pick their toys by pretending to play a game with them. For example, “let’s see who can pick the toys the fastest” or you(parent) put a toy in the toy box than you give your child a toy and tell her/him to put it in the toy box. Do this regularly to instill the importance of cleanliness. Parents should keep their home clean so that children ‘copy’ this from their children. As per one of my previous posts, Parenting Tips for Children, children always ‘copy’ their parents. If you want them to be clean, you should make sure you keep your home clean.

If your child is sick

If you observe all the above points, the probability of your child falling sick will be much lower. Viral infection picked up from school or nursery cannot be avoided completely. In case your child is sick, make sure you disinfect your home with appropriate child friendly sprays and disinfectant. Clean your home regularly to prevent spread of virus and bacteria.

If you feel I have left out anything or if you do things differently, please share it with me in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you!

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Role of Grandparents in Your Child’s Life – Is your child being raised by their grandparent?

Is your child being raised by their grandparents? I am not talking of kinship carers, who look after their grandchildren legally as the parents are unable to do so due to reasons such as mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse etc.

I am talking about grandparents who help the parents in looking after their grandchildren if both parents are working full time and are unable to cope with looking after their child/children. What should be the role of grandparents in your child’s life? Should grandparents remain grandparents or should they become parents second time round?

Age of the grandparents

Age of grandparents will determine whether they will be able to look after their grandchildren or not. When I had my children, my parents and my in laws were in their 70s and 80s which would make it hard for them to run around children or handle their tantrums.

Health and Lifestyle

Health and lifestyle will determine the stamina of the grandparents. If grandparents are healthy and active mentally as well as physically, it would be definitely easier for them to pick kids from school, look after them until the parents can pick them up.

Important for grandparent to look after themselves

Most likely the grandparents would be at least 60+ age wise (unless both the grandparents and the parents have had children in their early twenties!) and it is imperative that they look after themselves. It is the duty of the parents to make sure that they don’t overburden the grandparents with looking after their children. Grandparents need to have regular meals (on time) as well as rest or attend their medical appointments. Parents should think about the well-being of the grandparents before leaving their toddlers or hyperactive children to be looked after by the grandparents for the entire day ,every day especially in the school holidays.

Grandparent not keeping well

If the grandparent is not keeping well and is the childminder for your child, make sure you make other arrangements for your child. If the grandparent is not feeling well and you insist on them looking after your child, not only will you jeopardise the health of the grandparent but also the well-being of your own child.

Don’t Overburden the grandparent

Please bear in mind the age of the grandparent before asking them to help you with your child. Don’t give them multiple tasks to do in one go. If you need help, ask for one thing at a time and see how they cope with it and then ask them for more favours. If you feel they are struggling then reduce the amount of things they do for your child by either doing it yourself or getting a child minder/other help to do it.

Disciplining the Child

Parents shouldn’t expect grandparents to discipline their child. Discplining the child is the responsibility of the parent not the grandparents. Also, the grandparents have already gone through the process of raising and disciplining their own children and it would be harder for them to do it all over again.

Grandparents will do things their way

If you as a parent want the grandparent to look after your child, bear in mind that they will look after the child in their own way. As such they are doing the parents a favour by looking after the child, and it should be their prerogative on how your child is to be looked after. If that is not acceptable to the parent, it’s best for the parent to look after the child themselves or get professional help of a childminder/nanny. After all, a grandparent is not a hired help!

Spending time together

A grandparent should be able to spend quality time with their grandchildren. Only then their relationship can blossom. If the parents overburden the grandparents with chores for their children, grandparent will have not time to rest or spend with their grandchildren. They might become resentful or angry at being overburdened and may not be able to give their relationship with the children what it needs!

It’s not all about money

Finally, keep in mind that saving money on the childminder is not the only thing you should be focusing on. You should also consider the well-being of the grandparent and your child.

Grandparents are only for support

It has to be kept in mind that grandparents are only there to give support to parents for raising the child. They shouldn’t be given full responsibility of raising the child.  Grandparents can teach values or family and cultural traditions to their grandchildren. They can provide support to the parents by doing the occasional pickups or helping them with their homework.

It’s fine for parents to ask grandparents to help them with their child occasionally but if you do it every day , grandparents will get tired, angry and frustrated with the level of work. At that age they won’t be able to cope with the child as well as a parent can. If grandparents want to do their own thing, parents should make their own arrangements for their child so that the grandparents can enjoy their retirement as well as get a break from looking after the grandchildren.

What are your views about role of grandparents? Do you depend on the grandparents to look after your child? Please put your comments in the box below, I would love to hear from you!