Travel Accessories for Children- How Do You Keep Your Child Busy on Holidays and Family Outings

It is August and most of you parents must be getting ready to go to your family holiday. You would want to make the most of it and therefore you wouldn’t want your children to be bored or cranky during travel or at the holiday destination. Here is a list of travel accessories for children which might prove to be useful for your travel and holiday. Most of the items below are also a great way to encourage family bonding.

Drawing/Colouring/ Stencil Kit

Drawing/colouring kits are a must for all children. These travel kits can keep your children busy for a long time and also give them mental stimulation. If you have got a bored child, high up in the sky ,on a plane, there are very few things which a child can do and one of them is this.

Product Name: Drawing Stencil Kit by Art with Smile

Ages:3 years+

Warranty: 1 year for bag and stencils

My rating:4.5/5

Other features:

  • Includes special storage kit, 14 large plastic drawing stencils, 22 blank paper sheets,14 coloured pencils,1 pencil sharpener, 2 clips bonus.
  • Storage container is a waterproof fabric, with compartments to organise all the materials tidily,easy to carry, comfortable handle, hard side panel which can be used as a portable drawing surface.
  • Available in 2 colours (storage bag)- blue and red
  • 30 day money back guarantee

Pros

  • Well thought of drawing set. It can keep the whole family busy for a long time, therefore a very good family activity which brings bonding.
  • Good quality sturdy storage kit which will last for years.
  • Hard side panel can be used as a drawing surface and 2 bonus clips can be clipped on to prevent paper from flying.
  • Stencil has got over 280 individual shapes including animals, cars, dinosaurs , flowers,alphabet,shapes , numbers and much more.
  • It is portable so can be used anywhere, car plane,ferries,train or when you are in a restaurant or visiting family or friends.
  • No mess of paints or markers.
  • 30 day money back guarantee – if you are not satisfied with the product.
  • 1 year warranty for storage kit and stencils

 

Cons

  • Slightly expensive .
  • Quality issue with the sharpener.

= = >Click here to buy Drawing Stencil Kit buy Art with Smile < = = 

Kids Travel Suitcase

These small suitcases are fun and colorful,can be used as cabin baggage and can accommodate all your kids toys and books during travel. Due to the child friendly design your children will love to pull their own suitcase and hopefully will be a huge help to the parents!

Product Name: Boppi Kids Suitcase (Cabin Bag)

Dimensions: width 30 cm, Depth :22 cm, height is 42 cm

Weight: 1.5 kg

2 levels of handle height: 60 cm and 72 cm

My rating:4/5

Other features:

  • Lightweight and sturdy- The suitcase are lightweight,soft,durable and have robust exterior casing.
  • Available in 5 designs Aeroplane, Dog, Penguin Blue,Penguin Pink and Tiger.
  • They weigh only 1.5 kg and are within the size requirements of cabin luggage.
  • Freestand stopper which enables the suitcase to stand upright.
  • Polyurethane wheel which are soft and make smooth journeys to the airports.
  • A 2- height extendable soft grip handle – which is suitable for children of different heights and ages.
  • 17 litre storage capacity.

 

 

Pros

  • High quality suitcase with great designs for kids
  • Reasonably priced product.
  • Soft grip handle with 2 levels of height for kids of different heights and age.
  • Lightweight suitcase suitable for younger children.
  • Ample storage space of 17 litres.

Cons

  • Extra luggage for parents.

= = >Click here to buy Boppi Kids Suitcase(Cabin Bag) < = =

Bananagrams Word Game

Bananagrams is a brilliant educational game when you are on the go. I believe this game can be played by a child who is at least 4 years old (if he/she can spell at least 2-3 letter words).

Product Name: Bananagrams Word Game

Ages: 3years+

My rating:4.5/5

Other features

  • Bananagram is a portable educational game. Due to the banana shaped grab and go pouch, you can travel with it.
  • You don’t need a pen or paper, just a table to lay out the tiles.
  • 2-6 players.
  • One hand can take as little as 5 minutes.
  • 144 tiles in each pack.
  • Includes instruction leaflet.

 

Pros

  • Easy to carry educational game.
  • More flexible and enjoyable than scrabble
  • Helps children get practice of spelling and make interlocking words.
  • If your child is young you can “bend the rules” a little and encourage him or her to make words without interlocking them.
  • Duration of each game is very short and therefore it a good game to play in groups.
  • Can be played in bars, restaurants and cafes.
  • Huge age range 4 years to 99 years. The whole family including extended family can play together and have fun.
  • Excellent value for money.

Cons

  • It is not the original Bananagrams but is good value for money unless you are fussed about “originals” and “fakes”.

= = > Click here to buy Bananagrams Word Game < = = 

Quirk !! The Hilarious Family Card Game

A perfect family game which you can play on the go!

Product Name: Quirk!! The Hillarious Family Card Game

Ages: 7 years+ as per box but younger children can play too!

My rating:4.5/5

Other features

  • An easy to play, light-hearted family card game.
  • Perfect for ages 5 year to 99 years.
  • 2-6 players.
  • 15-30 minutes of play.
  • 56 cards in total including 13 character cards,7 Tactics Cards,3 Defense cards and 7 skip cards.
  • Includes instruction leaflet.
  • Portable game- easy to carry.

Pros

  • Quirk provides a lot of fun family time without any family drama!
  • Game for all ages 5 years onward. Children aged 3 years can play with a little of help.
  • Portable game. You can take it anywhere with you .
  • Great game for social interaction.
  • Great game with lots of fun and laughs!
  • Play it anywhere – during travel or over Christmas holidays or at family gatherings.

Cons

  • Game is a little expensive.

= = > Click here to buy Quirk!! The Hilarious Family Card Game < = = 

 

Conclusion

I believe all the items are great to have during travel. Except the suitcase, all the other items can be used everyday whether you are at home or at a restaurant or at a friends house .

Playing these games is also a great way to bond together as a family.

Have you got any experience with any of the above items , please share via comment box.

Have great summer holidays

 

Regards

 

 

 

 

When Should Children Stop Sleeping With Parents – At What Age?

In the Western Countries, medical professionals always advise that the child sleep in their own room from 6 months onward. Room sharing with parents is not encouraged. But in other countries, it’s perfectly fine for children to sleep with their parents upto 7-8 years or sometimes even 10 years of age. So, when should children stop sleeping with parents?

The First 12 Months

From my own experience, for the first 12 months I kept my child in a cot in the same room as me. I did not let my baby sleep in my bed except when I would breastfeed my baby in the middle of the night. If you breastfeed your baby at night on your bed, don’t let blankets or quilt cover your baby or make them too hot. Also, you have got to make sure you don’t crush your baby. Make sure you always place baby on their backs and there are NO older children in your bed at that time.

After 12 Months

When I stopped breastfeeding at around 12 months, I moved the cot to another room, so my child would sleep in a separate room. It was very hard transitioning them from my room to another room. My husband and I had to wake up several times in the night to console them and put them back to bed. But the key thing here is to be consistent .

Initially you will have to put them to sleep, preferably the same way you used to do it when they used to sleep in your(parents) room.

You have to keep doing this everyday so they get used to idea as well as you. When they wake up in the night and ask to sleep with you, encourage them to sleep in their bed. Sit with them for a bit while they put themselves to sleep again. It was very hard doing this every night, absolutely exhausting. Sometimes, I just had to give in and let them sleep in my bed.

But the next day I would remind my child again that she/he needs to sleep in their own bed.

Be Consistent in What you do

If you want your child to sleep in their own bed, you should be consistent in what you say to them. Don’t say one night, ‘you can’t sleep in my bed tonight’ and the next night you say ‘you can sleep in my bed’. If you are utterly exhausted like I was, explain to them , because you are scared of the monster, you can sleep in my bed tonight but not every night, you have to start sleeping in your own bed.

Praise them

Every time they sleep in their bed for the whole night, I used to reward my children with reward stickers and praise them. Praise will go a long way.

Be Patient

Transitioning them to their own room is a process. Don’t expect overnight success.

The younger the better

Even if your child is older, move him or her to his/her room ASAP. It is easier to make younger children sleep in their own beds in their own rooms than older children. As children get older, it will be harder to make this move. Remember you are doing this for their development, so don’t feel guilty.

After 3years+

By the time your child is around 3 years of age, she/he should able to start putting themselves to sleep. If not, encourage them to do so. Explain to them that you need to go to sleep and there is no point of mummy or daddy sitting next to you or ‘close your eyes, I will back in a little while’ and then check on them every 10 minutes or so until they put themselves to sleep.

If required put a night light

I always put a night light in my kids room, so they don’t feel the darkness too much especially in the winter. Also, they can find their way if they wake up in the night.

Why is it Important for Children to Sleep in their own beds

  • Children need to deal with their fears or nightmares on their own. This will increase their confidence about looking after themselves.
  • Parents need a little space from their children. This is especially necessary so that both the Mum and Dad can keep their marriage strong. Please refer to my previous post, How To Keep your Marriage Strong After Kids.
  • It encourages independence in children.
  • Parents and children both will have a goodnight’s sleep as everyone will be sleeping in their own beds .

So what are your experiences or opinion on this matter? Should children be sleeping with their parents? How hard it has been for you to move your child out of your room? Share via the comment box, I would love to hear from you!

Regards

 

 

 

Tim Holtz Travel Stamp Platform- A Must for Stamping or Card Making

Tim Holtz Travel Stamp Platform is a wonderful and a must have accessory for anybody interested in stamping as a hobby or for card making. This is a portable platform which comes with a protective sleeve. Therefore, it can be taken to craft lessons or craft clubs. Craft Stash – UK’s number one paper craft store sells this bundle for a very reasonable price- otherwise you would have to spend extra to purchase the protective sleeve. Also, Craft Stash do Live Facebook Shows every Friday at 1 pm in case you would like any ideas about stamping/card making .

Product Name: Tim Holtz &Tonic Studios Travel Stamp Platform and Protective Sleeve Bundle

Where to buy:Craft Stash.co.uk

Price: £32.99

My rating: 4.5/5

 

 

Includes:

  • Travel stamp platform with reversible lid
  • Protective Sleeve
  • 2 x high strength magnets

Other Features:

  • Fully magnetic 6.5″ x 6.5″ base with dual thickness lid to accommodate both clear and rubber stamps.
  • Open edges to accommodate larger sheets of paper for stamping.
  • Magnetic base and 2 magnets to hold the card in place.
  • Marked for accurate card alignment.
  • 0.25″ guidelines on clear platform.
  • Reinforced, wear resistant metal hinges.
  • Paper guides located on top and side of platform.

How to use the platform:

  • Place the card on the base and attach the magnets to keep your card securely in place. Stick your stamp to the clear lid in the desired position.
  • Bring the clear lid down onto your card to stamp your image.
  • Lift to reveal your finished design, accurately positioned every time!
  • Repeat the process above to darken the image.
  • If you want to use rubber stamps, make sure the word ‘rubber’ reads when you close the lid.
  • If you want to use clear stamps, make sure the word ‘clear’ reads when you close the lid.

Pros

  • Tim Holtz is a known brand and has been in crafting since 2000.
  • The Tim Holtz Travel Stamp Platform is highly durable and is made of quality materials
  • It is great for doing multi layer designs especially when you want to duplicate cards.
  • It is perfect for crafters who want to carry the platform to craft classes or clubs. It is portable.
  • It has a reversible lid which accommodates both clear and rubber stamps. It ensures accurate contact every time.
  • The lid can be flipped very easily in order to use rubber or clear stamps. It is marked for accurate card alignment.
  • The base is magnetic and anti slip.
  • This stylish travel stamp platform comes with a protective sleeve which protects the platform during transit.
  • Stamping area is 6.5″ x 6.5″ – which is a great size.
  • The platform provides precision stamping every time.
  • It works well with the smallest of papers.
  • It is very useful for crafters or anybody wanting to make cards and very easy to use.
  • Due to its size, it takes up minimal space.
  • If you purchase through Craft Stash, they have got a great customer service as well . Even if you don’t , you can still attend their live Facebook shows for stamping ideas.

Cons

  • It comes with only 2 magnets – if you require more you would have to purchase them separately.
  • Magnets are very strong- so you would have to keep them separated.

= = > Click here to buy Tim Holtz Travel Stamp Platform and Protective Sleeve Bundle < = =

Conclusion

I believe that Time Holtz Travel Stamp Platform is a great high quality, value for money, easy to use portable product. It is preferred over other brands by crafters. If you are interested in craft making, stamping or card making, this is a great accessory to have. It can also be a great hobby for moms or even grandmoms!

Have you got a stamping platform? Is it a Tim Holtz or some other brand? Would you like to share your experiences with me – please put your experiences in the comment box below.

In the meantime, stamp away!

 

 


Regards

How To Work From Home With Kids – Especially During Summer Holidays!

By now all schools would have closed and all school going kids would be over the moon, EXCITED..summer holidays have started! But the parents of kids, who work from home, would not be so excited. How to work from home with kids is indeed very challenging. Summer holidays last for a long time 6 weeks to 8 weeks, nearly 2 months ! Parents not only need to work but also keep the children occupied. I would like to share some top tips on how to handle both of them .

Time Management

Allocate time for doing your work in a day. Say you want to do 3 hours of work during the day, work 2 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon. Allocate time for any other chores you would want to do for example cooking lunch or playing with kids. Time management is very crucial to completing  all your professional and personal work .

Plan Ahead

Before the start of the holidays, make sure you have stocked up on your stationary like printer papers, cartridges, etc. Make a timetable or schedule of how you would complete all your work on time as per your deadlines. Make sure you follow this schedule properly .

Explain your work to your children

Explain to your children that why your work is important to you ? What would happen if you are unable to complete your work on time? You should do this so that children realise the importance of your work- financial or need to create your identity. Kids shouldn’t feel neglected during the holidays.

Make Rules

During the holidays, I often explain to my children that I would be working from home so that I can look after them. But when I am working, please do not disturb me. If I complete my work on time, I can play with them or take them out to the park or to the beach. If your children are very young then they might not understand. Even older children will need to be reminded time and again not to disturb while the parent is working.

Make a list of activities

Before the start of every holiday, I make a list of indoor and outdoor activities which are of interest to the kids. Then I add a list of educational work which I would like them to do during the holidays. For example times table,spellings, cursive writing etc. Like me, you can put the list on the fridge or anywhere you can easily access it. If you feel the kids are getting bored or restless, you won’t need to think how to keep the kids busy, as the list is right in front of you.

Consider buying some inexpensive toys – the novelty of the toys will keep them busy. If you have bought more than one toy , space out giving each toy.

Keep toys and games within reach

If you have got more than one child, make sure all the toys and games are within easy access. For example while you are working, your children can play a game of snakes and ladders with each other. If the games are within their reach they can easily get it themselves rather than you leaving your work and bringing the game to them.

Don’t forget to spend time with them

Parents have got to accept that during the summer holidays, they wouldn’t be able to do as much work as they would be able to do during the school term time. Whilst making your schedule, try to accommodate sometime spending with the kids doing their favourite activity, indoors and outdoors.

Take the kids to parks and beaches

Make sometime available for taking kids to parks and beaches – that is the best and cheapest way to enjoy the summer, also it’s the most enjoyable activity for kids. As a parent, you would to get fresh air as well and enjoy the sunshine!

Consider Summer camps or activities

If your child likes certain activities like swimming or football, get them enrolled in the holiday courses. If your child likes going to summer camps, enroll them there. This will encourage social skills in them. They might also learn certain other activities, while they are at the summer camps.

Arrange play dates

Arrange play dates with your children’s class mates or friends. Depending on your workload, you can decide whether to let your child go to their friends house or vice versa.

Consider working at night

From experience, if you have got a child under the age of 10 years, you would not be able to do more than 3 hours of work during the day. The next option is to work at night after the kids have gone to sleep. Beware that you would be tired as well especially due to the fact that the kids are at home .

Taking annual leave

If both parents are employed, you can use maximum number of your annual leave in the summer holidays. If grandparents or relatives are willing to help you, you can leave your children one or two days a week with them. Make sure you spend time with your children on other days of the week.

As mentioned above, it will not be possible for parents to do as much work in the holidays as they can during term time. Holidays are a good time to spend quality time with your children and work is important too. 

Therefore, balancing both is very important. Children shouldn’t feel neglected and unwanted .

Do you have a plan as to how to handle your work and your kids during the holidays? Would you like to share it ? Put your ideas in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you.

Happy Holidays!

 

Regards

 

 

 

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.

Please bear in mind that with Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet you would be increasing the “screen time” for your children. It is my opinion that everything in moderation is fine. As long as your children are getting enough exercise and mental stimulation in a day , it is perfectly fine to enjoy playing games for an hour or so occasionally.

Product Name: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

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. You can cancel the subscription anytime you want to. 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 .
  • 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 through the device or remotely through the Amazon Parents Dashboard. 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, social 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.
  • Through the Amazon Parents Dashboard and discussion cards parents can find out which titles their kids enjoy the most and can have discussions with them about it.

Cons

What features aren’t very good?

  • There is no screen protector included. You will have to buy one separately.. 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 are 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

There are lot of good features in this product . 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 this 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.

Kids tablets are useful when you need the kids to sit quietly for a little while, whether it is at home or at the airport or at a restaurant.  As long as you put a time limit , it is perfectly fine for kids to enjoy themselves and you can have some quiet time !

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

 

 

<<==Click here to get your free Trial subscription for Amazon Fire for Kids ==>> 

 

Enjoy your Tablet!

Regards

 

 

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!

Regards

 

 

Potty Training Toilet-Potty Which Looks Like a Toilet!

A parent can potty train their child only if the child readily sits on the potty.  It will be helpful if the potty training toilet seats are attractive so that the kids will be tempted to sit on it.  Therefore I would like to share two very “attractive” potty seats which will hopefully help the process of potty training for you and your child.

Summer Infant My Size Potty Review

Product name: Summer Infant My Size Potty

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 .
  • 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

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 !

The books below helped me tremendously. Read them to your child everyday before you start potty training . This will prepare their mind as well as yours for potty training!

 

Remember to be patient. If the potty training isn’t working there is no harm in going back to nappies for few weeks and then trying potty training again.  If there are too many accidents happening then go back to the nappies. Try again after a couple of weeks !

If your child isn’t ready nothing will work . It is best to postpone the potty training for few weeks and then start again!

Good luck Shopping!

 

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

 

Regards

 

 

 

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 swimming gear and it can be a hard to find a good quality as well as a good fit. Choosing swimming gear for kids can be mind boggling at times! 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. Just like the normal nappies, the  swim nappies come in various sizes.

Product:Huggies Little Swimmers Swim Nappies

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 .

==>>Click here to buy Huggies Little Swimmers Nappies>>==

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

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, it is 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.

==>>Click here to buy Splash About Happy Nappy>>==

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

Age: 3 years-12 years

My rating: 4/5

Includes:

1 x goggles

1 x protection case

1 x manual

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.

==>>Click here to buy Copozz Kids Swimming Goggles>>==

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

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)

==>>Click here to buy Speedo Plain Moulded Silicone Swim Cap >>==

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

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

==>>Click here to buy Speedo Girls Swim Costumes >>==

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

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

==>>Click here to buy Speedo Boys Swim Costumes >>==

 

Even if your child goes for swimming lessons, you should take them for a swim in  the local pools with the family . The more they practice the faster they will get through the various stages of swimming.  This will also be an opportunity to have fun  with the family which will bring bonding as well  . 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.

Remember , I am not a swim teacher or an expert, this is just my opinion . 

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

Rating:4.5/5

 

==>>Click here to buy Elite Water Noodles >>==

 

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

Rating:5/5

==>>Click here to buy Kids Child Float Discs >>==

 

Dive Sticks

Dive Sticks are great for building underwater confidence in the kids. It is a great toy too especially on holidays. It will keep children occupied in a fun way!

Product name: Zoggs Children’s Zoggy Sinking Dive Sticks

Age: 3 years+

Rating: 5/5

=>Click here to buy Zoggs Children’s Zoggy  Sinking Dive Sticks >=

 

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!

Regards

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!

Regards

 

 

 

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.

Read my post Swimming Gear For Kids- Which One is The Best For your Child?

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 post

How To Get Children To Eat Healthy-Tips for A Healthier Lifestyle.

 

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 !

Regards