103 articles Articles posted in Kids

How Can I Stop My Child Being So Messy?

Messy kids bedroomAlthough it can be normal for your child to make some mess, it can be frustrating when you know that, ultimately, it means more work for you. You may want to find ways to help them become a little bit more organised with their possessions, to cut down on the amount of fetch and carry, alongside wiping and other cleaning, that you then have to do throughout the day. No matter whether your child is 2 or 12, they can be taught to break their messy habits.

Bedroom Storage

One of the first considerations you may need to make when trying to get your child to be a bit tidier is the storage they have available to them. Items which are small, stiff, or even difficult to reach may prevent your child from tidying. An idea to resolve this issue can be to swap out their existing bed for a cabin bed, like those found at roomtogrow.co.uk, as this may have storage attached. A cabin bed is not overly tall, meaning your child will be able to reach the drawers and cupboards, as well as the under-bed space that they may use. This can also help to keep all items in one place, rather than you constantly going through a number of different furniture pieces to look for missing socks or other supposedly lost items.

Rules

A good parent knows that they cannot be fun all the time. Rules and boundaries are important for your child to be able to grow up with a good sense of morals, and know which behaviours are acceptable. You may have a list of rules within your household, that you expect your children to follow. Adding rules about tidying up can help them to understand that these tasks are important. If you choose to add penalties to breaking these rules, such as missing a day out, or no time on a games console, it is important that you stick to what you say, otherwise your child will think that they can continue being messy with no consequence.

Set an Example

Children of all ages can learn through copying any behaviours they have seen, which can either be useful or problematic. If your child sees you leaving mess around the home, they may think it is also acceptable for them to do so. Likewise, if your child sees you putting your books or clothes away, and helping out, they may think that is also what they should do. Setting a good example can be vital to your child’s development, as well as not allowing them to be influenced by any bad examples they may see from their friends, other adults, strangers on the street, or even via the media.

There may be a number of reasons why your child is messy, and each reason will vary from child to child. By finding ways to help promote cleanliness, and giving positive reinforcement for jobs well done, you may be able to replace these behaviours with those that promote a tidier and more hygienic lifestyle.

How To Pick The Best Sporting Activity For Your Child

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Incorporating sports into your child’s life is an excellent idea as there are significant advantages your child can gain from being involved. The truth is that not all kids may enjoy sports since their interests may lie in other activities. However, the challenge usually comes in choosing the right sport for your child if they are interested. Like all other decisions, you take on behalf of your children, choosing the right sport is just as important. So, how can you go about making the right choice? Here are a few things you should consider.

Expose your child to several sports

The best way you can be sure you are making the right choice is by having a lot to choose from! By exposing your child to a wide range of sports, you help create various experiences for them. This goes a long way to help them discover the sport in which their interests lie. You do this by simply giving them information on sports you are knowledgeable about. For example, if you know all about rugby or soccer, you can share this information with your child to perk up their interest. Watching various matches and tournaments is also a great way to expose them to multiple sports. Doing so would also help you decipher the ones they like and dislike.

Look out for signs of enthusiasm

Perhaps, your child is already interested in a specific sport. To be sure of this, you would have to be mindful of the sports they seem to be enthusiastic about. Children tend to express their interest in something by talking about it. A lot! Listen to your children talk to figure out which sports they prefer. They may speak excessively about plays, strategies or follow games closely. They may also form bonds with other children who play that sport or share an interest in it. However, you would need to be flexible in this regard. This is because your child may express interest in a “non-traditional” sport such as mixed martial arts or gymnastics. Whatever sport they show interest in, find ways to support and encourage them.

Consider your child’s physical traits

Is your child tall? Perhaps they have long legs? Or, are they stout? Your child’s physical appearance can play a role in what sports they could enjoy playing. For example, your slim and short child may be better off being into athletics or basketball. However, do not let their physical attributes hinder them from participating in sports they are interested in. You should also consider their skills, strength, and temperament. These attributes would be a significant determinant of whether your child should join individual or group sports, the nature of the sports they would excel in, or their overall attitude towards a sport.

Although you want to help your child make the right choice, it is vital to offer support than to force them to join a sport. Therefore, use these factors to hear your child out and not force them.

The Best Flower Crafts for Kids

Kids Flower CraftsArts and crafts are important for your child’s development. Not only can they get their creative juices flowing, and let their imagination run wild, but the holding of pens and paintbrushes can help improve their fine motor skills.

Plus, there is no better time to do some crafting, and as the weather begins to get warmer and the flowers begin to bloom, there is plenty to spark your child’s imagination.

From potting plants to sunflower competitions, if you’ve been spending more time outdoors as a family, why not use nature as your inspiration for your next crafting session with your kids.

Here are our top flower-themed activities for you and your little ones to get your hands on, and most importantly, have fun!

Flower hand painting

With bright shades and interesting petal shapes, flowers make the perfect, colourful spring time picture. Plus, when paint is involved, things can get messy and fun!

Tulips have a unique shape and come in a variety of colours, so why not make them the subject of your kids’ crafting session. Even better, you get to create the painting using your little one’s hands.

To make a tulip painting you will need:

  • Paper
  • Plate or paper plate
  • Colourful paint, including green
  • Paintbrush
  • Apron (if you think things will get messy)

First, encourage your child or guide them to paint a green stem on the paper, and then add some large green leaves. If you have a bunch of tulips to hand, it can help to mirror the shape. Next is the best bit – and made need some adult supervision if your child is younger.

Your child then places their hand on a plate of coloured paint, making sure that its completely covered. Then, press their hand firmly on the paper at the top of the stem. Keep the fingers together, and then slowly spread them out to create the tulip shape.

The picture is then complete! You can do this on a folded piece to make a greetings card, or cut out the hand-print flower and stick on the top of a lolly stick to make a pretty bookmark. You can also experiment with shapes and colour.

Try yellow as the main colour, and spread the hand out completely when pressing on the paper – you can then fill the middle with some black paint to create a beautiful sunflower picture. Again, if you’ve been growing sunflowers in your garden, you can take the activity outside and use them as inspiration.

Egg box flowers

The best crafts are made from the materials you can find around your house, reusing something that possibly could have been thrown away. For example, an old egg box is a great starting point to make a colourful and interesting, homemade bunch of flowers.

To make egg box flowers you will need:

  • Egg box
  • Scissors
  • Colourful paint
  • Green pipe cleaners or lolly sticks
  • Buttons (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)

Firstly, if you’re child is old enough, let them cut each section of the egg box individually, or you can step in to help. Then, you cover the whole section in colourful paint – whichever colour your little one chooses. If using them, stick a button in the middle of the box to create the centre of the flower. Or you can simply paint the centre with a contrasting colour.

Finally, stick the egg box flower to the top of a green painted lolly stick or pipe cleaner. If you wish, you can bunch up a few of them and tie together with a coloured ribbon, taking inspiration from the flowers you find outdoors. You can use them to decorate the kid’s own section of your garden.

Tissue paper blossoms

If paint isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other materials that can represent the colours and flowers that we see in nature. The texture of tissue paper can be used to create blossoms – the perfect activity for spring as we begin to see these bloom all around us!

To make a blossom picture, you will need:

  • Pink tissue paper
  • A piece of paper
  • Glue
  • Brown pen, crayon or pencil

The first step is the most fun for little ones, as you need to screw up all the tissue paper into little balls. Set aside whilst you encourage or help your child to draw a tree trunk and some branches on the piece of paper, with either a crayon, pen or pencil. Then, they can stick the tissue paper flower buds onto the branches they’ve drawn, until the paper is full and a beautiful blossom tree has been created.

You can use any shade of tissue paper you like to create the blossom picture, and with nature as your inspiration, the possibilities are endless!

Back to School Budgeting – Save Money This Summer

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It’s been a strange year for many families. The kids have been at home, the grown-ups too, and it just seems odd thinking about going back to a normal routine of school and work. With the summer coming up and schools rushing to reopen, it’s come to that time of year again to stock up on back to school supplies. 

The average parent spends £230 on school uniforms alone every year, not to mention PE kits, stationery, books, and lunches. With all parents in the same boat, there must be ways to cut these costs down. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to save money on school supplies this year.

Second-hand Uniforms

Many parents use social media groups to swap uniforms. Facebook is a good place to do this, or you can advertise in school. It’s better for little kids who grow so quickly before their uniform is even worn. It’s also a good idea to swap books and revision guides. There are many apps and websites for swapping second-hand items in your local area if you can’t find anyone. 

Make a Realistic Budget

It’s a good idea to write a checklist of only essential items and see what you already have at home. You can then make a realistic budget for what you actually still need to buy. Budgeting apps can help your with this as well. Explain to your kids that a new pencil case every year might not be that necessary. Think about where you can cut a few costs. For another quick and easy solution to any financial situation, check out payday loans.

Factor in Hidden Costs

Don’t forget about extra-curricular activities that you might need to budget for as well. Things like sports clubs and music lessons can set you back a bit. For lunch costs, you could set up an account and plan it with your children so they’ll know what to expect. If you’re looking for inspiration there are plenty of cheap lunch box ideas online. Get creative with leftovers and fun treats. Home-cooked food is much better for them than prepared meals anyway, besides being a lot tastier.

Shop in Sales

It’s hard to rely solely on second-hand items so when you do need to do some shopping, give your self some time to wait for the sales. Take into account your child’s growth in that waiting time, don’t forget. Supermarkets often have crazy cheap offers in the summer, and you’ll be able to find deals online as well. Here are some more tips and tricks for buying school uniforms. 

Determine a Savings Timeline

If you plan how much you’re going to spend on school supplies you can start developing a timeline and save up with plenty of time in advance. Put aside a piggy bank for school funds. School stuff costs a little more nowadays due to technology being implemented into their studies. Plan ahead a little for your children’s education to make sure they don’t go without.

Keeping Kids Healthy At Home

It can be difficult to find ways to keep the kids healthy and active when it’s necessary to spend most of the day at home. Many parents find themselves lost for ideas and feeling uninspired. With a little bit of imagination and some supplies you probably already have at home, it’s easier than you might think to get the kids up and active. Here we have some fun ideas to try out – you won’t hear them saying “I’m bored” for a while when they are enjoying these fun activities!

Make an Obstacle Course or Play Sports

Kicking off our guide to fun, healthy activities for children is the classic obstacle course. You might be thinking you don’t have enough space or the right equipment to set one up, but it’s quite likely you have everything you need already at home. An obstacle course can be set up in the garden using various outdoor toys, and rocks can be used in the place of cones. It’s also possible to do an indoor obstacle course – encourage your child to climb on the sofa, crawl under chairs or commando crawl under a blanket. You can also set things up for them to jump over, or use simple household items like cans of food as ‘dumbbells’.

Indoor sports are also possible with a little care. The hallway is perfect for practicing batting a soft ball, or playing football with a small, soft ball. You could even set up a net on the kitchen table to have a game of ping pong!

Work or Play in the Garden

healthy kids

Activities to do at home don’t have to be done inside the house – on a nice day, it’s great to get some fresh air and venture out into the garden. Kids can help with simple gardening jobs such as digging up weeds and tidying up, and they will also love to plant seeds and check on them each day. If the weather is nice, they’ll love using the hose to water the plants, and themselves!

Playing in the garden can be loads of fun too. There are many great toys out there which are perfect for using in the garden. If space and finances allow, a slide, trampoline, or swing set are great for kids to burn off excess energy. However, there are loads of great, cheaper options also available which will still entertain kids no end. Balls are always a winner amongst kids of all ages, and they will surely have hundreds of ideas on games to play with them. Simple toys such as hoola hoops always seem to be loved by children too – they are ideal for indoor or outdoor use.

There is plenty of toy ideas over at tncore.org if you’re stuck for ideas.

Follow an Exercise Video

Any kind of exercise of course comes under the category of healthy activities, but doing it from home might be new. Thankfully, YouTube is packed full of all kinds of exercise videos, many of them perfect for kids of all ages. Most of these online exercise classes don’t need any special equipment, and they can be done at any time. You can find anything ranging from aerobics to dance to yoga – there is sure to be something out there to interest your child.

Make a Treasure Hunt

Perhaps one of the most fun indoor activities to do with kids is setting up a treasure hunt! They can wait in one room whilst you prepare and hide clues, each of which leading to the next one. At the end, leave a simple treat to reward them for their hard work, such as their favourite snack.A scavenger hunt games can also be fun. Prepare a list of things for your child to find around the house, and sit back and relax as you wait for them to bring their goodies to you!.

Enjoy Active Games

Board games are a great way to pass time with the family, but there are also a few games out there which can help kids to be active. Twister is a classic, and is fun for the whole family to get involved! If you have a Wii Fit or similar, this is another great game to keep kids active whilst also having loads of fun at the same time.

Play Party Games

It doesn’t have to be someone’s birthday for kids to enjoy playing party games! There are loads of great party games which can be enjoyed on a rainy day spent indoors, and will also help get your child up and moving. Musical statues is always a winner, especially when your child picks out their favourite songs to dance to. To make it even more fun, call out the names of different statues to pose as when the music stops. Another wonderfully simple yet fun game is throwing a balloon around and trying not to let it touch the floor. This is a great game for one child to play alone or for siblings to enjoy together. The final fun party game idea is playing with and popping bubbles. Kids of all ages love bubbles – no one can be sad when there are bubbles around!

How to Keep Your Kids Entertained and Educated at Home

The recent life-changing social distancing measures that have been introduced mean that for the first time, many of us are facing the challenge of home-schooling our kids. In addition, we are needing to support our kids, who will be unsettled by the disruption to their routine and upset by the events going on around them. However, there are simple steps that we can take to help keep kids education on track and ensure that they are entertained while at staying at home.

Providing a structured routine

Ensuring that your kids have a structure to their day is vital for keeping them motivated and productive. Continuing with your usual meal times and bedtime routine is also recommended to bring your kids some normality.

Plan the day using a timetable

The classic timetable is ideal for kids of all ages to use, as it provides predictability to the day and ensures they complete all of their school work. By also including meal and snack times it can help stop kids developing any unhealthy eating habits during their time at home. Get your kids involved with writing their timetable, as there are many excellent skills they can develop at the same time.

To do lists

If you are struggling to keep your kids entertained and motivated throughout the day, then try writing a to-do list filled with activities to keep any bored kids occupied. A to-do list is a perfect opportunity to get kids helping out around the house, as you could include daily chores or even get them involved with preparing meals.

Online exercise inspiration

It can be challenging to think of exercise ideas for kids outside of their regular sports and activity groups. However, to inspire you, there are many online activities for kids that will help keep them fit and active.

Try contacting your child’s current sports and activity groups, as many have created online fitness sessions that may also allow your family to join in. Otherwise, there are a great variety of exercise, yoga and dance videos on YouTube that kids can enjoy participating in. Online workouts make perfect fitness sessions for everyone who is at home with the kids that will get the whole family moving.

Online educational resources

When undertaking home teaching, the support from kids’ educational websites is invaluable. These resources ensure that any work you do with your kids follows their school curriculum and is at the correct level for your child’s learning ability

STEM Learning

The STEM Learning website provides many exciting and stimulating learning activities for kids of all ages, so if you are stuck for fun things to do then, this is a great website to visit. There are even wildlife spotter sheets and fun plant project ideas that are perfect for encouraging time in the garden. For more STEM play options, there are many suitable educational toys for 6 year olds and above that are ideal to use in combination with these projects.

Learning through craft

Staying at home is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some quality family time together and try some craft ideas. There is plenty of inspiration available on social media sites, and most activities only require items from around the home. Craft activities are a great way of recycling everyday household items such as cardboard tubes and plastic bottles. However, if you need to increase your craft range, then there are many great craft inspired educational toys for 7 year olds and below to enjoy.

Educational play

Providing kids with time to play with toys is an essential part of learning. There are many great educational toys available, so you will be able to find the perfect toys for occupying every child. For inspiration, take a look at https://www.starwalkkids.com where you can discover exciting toys for all ages.

30 days of Lego play

Lego sets come in a range of themes, making them perfect educational toys for 8 year olds and above that bring out every kid’s creativity. They are perfect for entertaining kids for hours and allow kids to design new and exciting masterpieces. If your child loves Lego, then they are sure to enjoy the 30 day Lego calendar, which sets a different Lego challenge every day for kids to complete.

Minecraft educational resources

Minecraft is the latest video game craze, which all kids love playing, and with many educational toys for 10-year-olds featuring this popular game, it can be challenging to get kids to think of anything else.

If you are struggling to get your kids to focus on their school work as they constantly want to be playing this game, then there is a compromise, as Minecraft has produced an excellent range of educational resources. Kids can choose a wide variety of lessons, including many science, history, and language topics, so you can be sure that your child will learn a lot while exploring the Minecraft website.

BrightMinds – Educational Gifts for Kids

Being a parent at Christmas can be a tough job. If Burrito Baby had her way, all of her gifts would be things that Husband and I consider cheap, plastic tat which will probably be chewed up by Maureen before New Year because it all gets left on the floor! Also, as you’ll know if you read this post, Sausage is getting  to that ‘hard to buy for’ age, which makes buying presents even tricker. We’ve always tried to find a balance between three things:

  1. Stuff they actually really want.
  2. Stuff which is good quality and will last longer than a few weeks.
  3. A combination of gifts which are fun but are also educational in some way.

Both of the girls are really fascinated by science. Just a few weeks ago, Sausage came home from school absolutely buzzing because she’d used a bunsen burner for the first time and she seems really engaged by things she’s learning in her lessons. BB isn’t quite at bunsen burner level yet, but she’s developing a deep love of all things science, mostly anatomy and nature.

A while ago, BrightMinds got in touch and asked if we’d like to pick some things from the website for the girls for Christmas, and I realised that it’s basically a whole site, dedicated to things my kids would LOVE! BrightMinds specialie in STEM toys (science, technology, engineering and maths), as well as wooden toys, role play & board games that are fun to use but also encourage learning and development.

BrightMinds - Learning Resources Anatomy Models: Set of heart, brain, body and skeleton

We opted for the Learning Resources Anatomy Models which consists of a set of heart, brain, body and skeleton models, giving children gain a deeper insight to the workings of the human body. Children learn as they build each of the models using the step by step photo illustrated assembly instructions. It’s a bit like a puzzle, but taking it to a whole new level!

I just know that both girls are going to love these and that it will hopefully help to continue to foster their love of science. At the moment, BB is adamant that she’s going to be a doctor AND a vet (hello, tuition fees!) and these models might be the thing that inspire her to make a choice. I haven’t opened the boxes yet, as I want to save them for Christmas, but you can see them through the window on the front and the quality and level of detail looks excellent.

I think these make such a great gift for the scientifically-minded kids in your life and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. The best part is, you can still place an order all the way up to 23rd December for next day delivery, which mean you’ve got plenty of time to get some things ordered before Christmas. Don’t forget to take a look around the WHOLE Brightminds site for other STEM toys, arts and crafts kits, books and a whole load of other educational gifts which are so vibrant and fun, kids will forget they’re learning!

Young Driver: Driving Your Way to a Great Christmas!

Young DriverPhoto by Cory Bouthillette on Unsplash

Sausage is at that slightly difficult age when it comes to buying gifts. At 11, and a first year at senior school, she’s not into toys anymore (Funko Pops aside!) but she’s still a kid, so we don’t want Christmas to be about ‘functional’ gifts rather than fun ones. As a Mum, I finally understand why people hae always said how tricky the ‘tween’ years can be, purely because they really are in between phases.

Just recently, we heard about a company called Young Driver, where kids as young as five can have a driving lesson, and it seemed like a perfect stocking filler for Sausage. They have centres all around the country where kids can drive a real car, with a real instructor, and they even cater for a wide range of physical and mental disabilities and have automatic cars with hand controls for wheelchair users at selected sites.

Fostering a love for driving at this age is a great thing to do – I’ve written before about how happy I was when I learned to drive and how much I loved the freedom, and although driving is an expensive business these days, I think it’s important for people to learn how, even if they chooe not to use a car on a daily basis.

The best thing about Young Driver is that you can buy vouchers for one lesson, or as many lessons as you want, which gives you an option to suit every budget. The lessons are exactly the same as the lessons that they’d have when they turn 17, and there’s a YOUNG DRIVER™ Drive Diary charts your progress and goes with you.

The 30 Minute Festive Lesson Voucher  gives your tween a 30 minute Young Driver™ experience and is available as a postal voucher, which makes it great as a last minute gift. Gift vouchers are valid for 9 months from date of purchase, so they have plenty of time to get booked in for their lessons.

Im so excited about giving Sausage her voucher at Christmas – it’s such a unique idea for a gift and I really think she’s going to geta huge thrill out of the whole thing. I also think that a gift like this shows that we have confidence in her and see her as a very mature 11 year old.

If you want to learn more about Young Driver or the lessons they offer (they also do birthday parties at some of their centres!), follow the link above. There’s still time to buy a voucher before Christmas a they offer an option for email delivery which you can print off yourself at home, for extra convenience, meaning you can buy something right up until Chritmas Day itself!

Ways to Raise Funds for your PTA

Ways to Raise Funds for your PTAPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Since Sausage starting at primary school, I’ve done my best to get involved as many PTA events as I can. This has meant chaperoning many discos, helping out with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas sales, setting up stalls at the school fete and as many other things as I’ve been able to get involved with, time wise. In September, the parents received a letter, letting us know that the remaining two members of the PTA were stepping down as the committee and my sister-in-law and I decided that it would be too sad to see the PTA close down all together so we would take on the role of Chair and Deputy Chair.

Since we took on the roles we’ve had brainstorming sessions with other members of the PTA and have come up with lots of fundraising ideas that we want to try over the next 12 months. Our current commitments to the school include keeping the minibus running, but we also want to provide them with some new school playground equipment such as climbing frames so that the kids can make better use of the outdoor space. Today, I thought I’d share with you some of the fundraising ideas that we’ve come up with so far, so they might inspire you to help raise funds for your child’s School.

Embroidery and Name Tags

There are several companies which will give you a percentage of sales when you share their leaflets for your parents. Labels and embroidery are the most common examples and they allow parents to get all of their labelling needs covered while the school benefits from the commission.

100 Club

The principle of a 100 club is that you have a list number one to 100 and parents are able to buy a number and pay £1 per month for this number. At the end of each month, you draw a winner from each of the 100 names and you split the £100 usually 50/50 between the parent and the school. Obviously if you have a much larger school and want more parents to get involved you can have more numbers but do bear in mind that the main work involved with the 100 club is ensuring that each payment has been made from each parents bank account every month.

Enterprise Evenings

Lots of the parents but our primary school are self-employed and run their own businesses, many of which revolve around crafty endeavours or selling things. Enterprise evenings are fairly simple, and there are two ways that you can make a profit. The first way is to simply sell table space so that each business pays a fee to rent a table and then any profits they make, they keep for themselves. The other way is to agree a profit share for the evening so any profit made per table is split with the school but you don’t generally charge for the space. The latter option is more difficult to arrange because obviously it relies on everyone being honest about how much profit they made in the evening.

Movie Nights

If your school has a decent sized hall with a projector, running a movie night is a really simple way to make some money. Advertise it so that kids bring their own bean bags, chairs, blankets etc and all parents have to do you drop them off to watch a film for a couple of hours and then collect them at the end. Our school has its own popcorn machine so we’re planning to offer a bag of popcorn in the ticket price, but as this is cheap to make it shouldn’t affect our profits too much. You can also set up refreshment stands and sell food and drink if you want to.

Open Mic Night

This one might not work if your school is small, however our primary school has almost 1000 pupils and therefore lots and lots of grown-ups who are willing to get involved with stuff. You can charge people to come along on watch and encourage everyone to bring their own food and drink so that everything you make is purely profit. It’s a really fun way to get the adults involved with the school community and you could even combine it with the movie night so that those who need childcare have it built in with their night out.

Collecting Coins

This one takes relatively little effort and is something that you can get the whole school involved with. All you need to do is take a decent sized container to each classroom and ask them to fill it with as many 1p, 2p, or 5p coins. Then, at the end of term, you count up which class has the most money in the pot and the class with the highest amount of money raised wins a prize. You can make the prize something like lollies for the whole class if it’s a summer event which means you’re out loud will be minimal and everything else will be profit for the PTA.

If you have any other ideas that you think would be good for raising money for the school PTA and our outdoor play equipment, please leave me a comment below as we’re always trying to come up with fresh ways to raise funds.

Top Reasons Why Dogs are Good for Kids

Top Reasons Why Dogs are Good for KidsIf you know us, you’ll know that we’re a family animal lovers. Husband and I got Chuck in 2006, just a couple of months after we got married and he wa a huge part of our lives for 13 years. We’ve had other pets over the years, too – Happy the hamster, Maureen our Staff-Frenchie-Boxer cross, Bagel and Biscuit the budgies, plus various dogs we’ve fostered over the years.

We’re huge believers that pets make a home complete and that it’s great for kids to have pets too, as it teaches them responsibility…even if it is always be cleaning out Bagel’s cage instead of Sausage! With this in mind, I thought I’d share some reasons that dogs are great pets for kids (and why investing in scratch-proof flooring is a good idea if you want one!)

Bonding

Having a pet helps to build family bonds as animals are often the focus of family activities. From walking the dog together to grooming or feeding the pet, these simple but enjoyable tasks allow everyone to slow down, enjoy each other’s company and communicate with one another.

Exercise

Having a dog means that you have to go for walks. Come rain or shine, dog need exercise, no excuses. You have to remember, that as well as for their physical health, dogs need exercise for their mental health. When they’re at home, they can’t sit and read a book or watch the TV, that’s their equivalent of getting out and having a sniff around the neighbourhood!

Responsibility

The daily commitment of caring for an animal is a great way to teach kids the importance of dependability and responsibility. To be a dog’s provider is an honour that requires a lot of patience and work. We make sure that Sausage and BB help to keep Maureen’s water bowl clean and refilled, put her food down, and make sure her bed is nicely plumped up for her to rest in.

Mental Health

It’s actually been scientifically proven that spending just 15-30 minutes with your dog can help you feel more calm and relaxed, reducing stress and increasing happiness. Playing with your pup increases your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility. Just having a dog around can give your mental health a huge boost.

Comfort

Having a dog can be a huge source of comfort in so many situations. When my kids are ill, Maureen (as did Chuck) will always be the first one to sit with them while they’re recovering on the couch, she’s always there with face licks when the girls are crying and she lets us know if anyone o much as breathes wrong within a 100m radius of the house. She’s a huge source of comfort for us all and loves nothing more than a snuggle with her pack…except maybe for a 5 mile walk where she gets to chase pheants!