Family · Home · Kids

Moving With Kids: 5 Tips To Make It Easier And Less Stressful

Moving With Kids: 5 Tips To Make It Easier And Less StressfulMoving can be quite challenging and having your kids with you during this time can make the transition all the more difficult. Children feel safe at a home where they grew up in. They also feel comfortable with the neighborhood, school, and friends they already know. While moving can bring about a lot of excitement to kids, it can also bring out anxiety.

While it’s impossible to eliminate all the challenges you’ll have to face when moving with your children, there are tips that can assist you in making it easier and less stressful.

 

1. Inform Your Kids About The Move Early On

It’s essential that you inform them about the move in advance. You can have a family meeting to announce it. Whether moving is already kind of a regular occurrence or not for your family, it is still a big deal for everyoneespecially your kids. It’s guaranteed that you’ll get some reactions from everyone, but you can offer them pizza or any other food to help them stay calm during the announcement.

Having the meeting sooner than later is a good thing to do. Why? Because it can assist you in explaining to your children why are you moving and other details about the move. Taking the time to inform and talk to your kids about the move can help address the anxieties, frustrations, and concerns they have about the move. It can also help you reassure your children that everything is going to be alright.

2. Hire A Moving Company

If you want the move to be smooth and easy, you should consider hiring a moving company. Things can get very messy on moving day and it’s going to be more challenging for you if you have kids. But if you hire a moving company that can help you out, you’ll find it very convenient.

If you need to dispose of waste and old furniture before moving out, you can hire waste removal companies that can collect all kinds of rubbish for you. This even includes large appliances, toxic wastes, and yard wastes that must be removed before moving. You can visit https://www.dirtcheaprubbishremoval.com.au/ to see what a waste removal service can do for you.

3. Get Your Kids Involved

Involving all your children in the moving process is very beneficial. It can empower them and help prevent making them feel like they’re helpless. As you create a moving-to-do-list, make sure that you have tasks for your kids that they can easily handle. Even a small moving task such as packing their toys can make a big difference from their perspective.

Kids love to help out. Rather than telling them that they are too young to help on moving day, your children will love to hear that you have prepared some tasks for them! If your kids are old enough, you can have them help you pack, arrange toys, or pickup boxes.

You might want to give each of your child separate tasks such as packing up and cleaning the rooms, packing boxes, or takingcare of their younger siblings. These things will help keep them engaged and involved with the whole process.

4. Visit The New Place You’re Moving To

If you can, you should visit the new place you’re moving to along with your kids before the big day. A visit like this can give them an idea of the new place and make it familiar instead of being a mystery for them.

Before you make a visit, be sure to grab a copy of the local newspaper to find out about any kid-friendly activities that may be happening during your scheduled visit. Taking a look at the local kid’s playground or recreational center can help reassure your kids about the new place. They will start thinking that the new neighborhood is not so bad after all.

5. Have A Positive Mindset

On moving day, your mood could also affect your kids. So, if you’re cheerful and excited, they’ll also feel the same way. But if you’re too stressed and frustrated because things are not going according to plan, expect your kids to feel the same way too.

Final Thoughts

If you’re relocating with kids, the tips above can help you make the whole process easier and less stressful not just for them, but yours as well. Taking the time to prepare your children and hiring a moving company to help you out can make a lot of difference when you’re moving with kids.

Education · Kids

5 Unusual Extra Curricilar Activities for Kids

5 Unusual Extra Curricilar Activities for Kids
Photo by Daniel Chekalov on Unsplash

Now that the girls are being homeschooled, we’re acutely aware of making sure they have a rich variety of extra curricular activities lined up so that they’re able to socialise with other kids AND learn the creative things that might not be covered by day-to-day schooling. However, anyone who knows my kids knows that they’re not your average “football and ballet” kind of kids and they need something a little out of the ordinary to focus their creativity on.

With that in mind, i thought I’d share with you some of the more unusual extra curricular activites we’ve stumbled upon while doing our research:

Musical Theatre

Lots of kids have singing lessons or drama lessons, but there’s a professional music school in Telford which actually offers Musical Theatre lessons, which incorporates acting, singing, dancing and stagecraft all in one! Sausage went to a musical theatre class when she was little and really enjoyed it, so it’s definitely something we’d consider again.

Parkour Clubs

When BB was about six months old, I was working on my laptop while she played on the ground next to me. All of a sudden, I saw her getting higher and higher and realised she was actually climbing up my clothes airer like a ladder! Since that day,  she’s been mad about climbing, throwing herself off of things and generally behaving  like a nutter, so when I recently found a class that teaches parkour to kids, I knew it’s something BB would love.

Quidditch Clubs

Any Harry Potter fan will recognize this game that, in the books and movies, requires players to compete on flying broomsticks. In 2005, some college students figured out how to adapt the game for earthbound Muggles. Now hundreds of colleges and high schools have their own Quidditch teams. There are even Kidditch teams for young players! BB is mad about Harry Potter so I can imagine her seriously digging this.

Cooking Classes

There’s not much that my two love more than cooking up a storm in the kitchen and they’re both pretty decent little chefs. Sausage even had a birthday party once where her and her guests attended a cookery class at our local Waitrose and it was great fun! There are quite a few clubs around now which teach kids to cook and I know this is the sort of thing where my two would thrive.

Lego Club

While Sausage is probaby too old to enjoy a Lego club, BB is at the prime age to use her imagination for this kind of thing! We do a fair bit of Lego building at home so turning it into a learning experience where’s she’d also get to socialise with her peers sounds like something we’d seriously consider. Lego clubs are popping up all over the place so if you’re looking for one near you, I’m sure a quick search will help you to find one.

Education · Kids · Parenting · Reading

Night Zookeeper Review and Discount Code

Night ZookeeperAs you may or may not know, we’re currently homeschooling the girls on a semi-permanent basis. Sausage is now in year 9 and will be home educated through to college age, whereas BB is in year 3 and is planning to go back to school once she’s had her COVID vaccine. This means that we’ve been using as many resources as possible to keep them both engaged by learning and also on par with their peers. Recently, I discovered Night Zookeeper and we were generously offered a 12 month subscription to try it for ourselves.

 It’s a subscription-based website which encourages reading and writing in a really creative way. It’s developed by experienced educators and brings together a compelling story, innovative digital technology, and effective curriculum-aligned educational content, to help your child boost their literacy skills.

The website is packed with games which help kids learn spelling, grammar and vocabulary and they’re so fun that the kids barely even realise they’re learning. I gave BB her login details and let her use the site without even telling her that it was a learning resource at first, and she was totally engrossed in minutes.

Night Zookeeper storytelling

Parents Point of View

One of the things I like about Night Zookeeper is the fact that it encourages kids to use their imagination. Sausage and BB have always had a thirst for knowledge and intense curiosity for the world around them and they’ve both channelled that through art and storytelling, so the format of NZK plays right into BB’s wheelhouse.

The site is really well set up in that there’s a separate login for parents so that you can see your child’s progress and see what they’ve been up to on the site. It even gives you a word count of how much they’ve written in each of their mini stories and it’s really interesting to see that the word count has been increasing with each time BB has used it.

It can also be used on tablets, laptops and PCs, making it accessible without the need for expensive new tech. There are lessons, writing challenges and word games which are immersive and exciting, telling fun, modern stories that the kids enjoy. There’s even a blog area where kids can write and share their own blog posts!

Perhaps the MOST useful feature of Night Zookeeper is the fact that real teachers can comment on BB’s work and leave her comments and suggestions to help her to expand her writing. Having that type of feedback is so valuable, I think it’s worth the cost of subscription all by itself.

Night Zookeeper teacher feedback

How does it work?

“By providing thousands of fun and engaging lessons, challenges, and games, Night Zookeeper helps children to learn new words, use them in sentences, and then create amazing pieces of writing that are shared with children from around the world. They receive feedback from our team of tutors as well as other children that highlight where they can improve. In-game awards and competitions keep them motivated to continue to learn and progress. They’ll write about everything, from stories about magical animals to instructions on how to make the perfect hot chocolate. All genres of writing are gradually introduced including newspaper articles, persuasive writing, reports, and poetry.”

What Does BB Think of Night Zookeeper?

“It’s really good! It feels like you’re playing a game and you don’t even really realise that you’re doing school work. My favourite thing about it is creating the animals because I like to get creative. I also really like the mini games because they’re fun and feel like other games that I play on my iPad” – Burrito Baby, aged 7.

Value for Money

Night Zookeeper PricingFor what you actually get, I think the subscriptions offer really good value. There’s content on there which suits kids from ages 6 to 12, so it can be useful even beyond junior level, and I love the idea of the continuity that will offer as BB progresses. All subscriptions come with a 7 day free trial, so you can see if you like it before you buy and if you purchase a 12 month subscription, it works out at just £7.50 per month.

Night Zookeeper Discount Offer!

We’re delighted to also be able to share with you an exclusive link for you to use, giving you a massive 50% off of a year’s subscription! By using this link you’ll pay just £46.99 for one child for a year or a truly bargainous £57.99 for up to three children per 12 month subscription! Click on the image below to nab your half price subscription:

Night Zookeeper half price membership!Conclusion

I’m really excited to see what else BB creates with Night Zookeper! We have a few different subscriptions for the girls to use during our home ed and I honestly think this is going to be the one which provides the best value for BB’s literacy. Thanks so much to the people at Night Zookeeper for giving us the opportunity to try the site.

Homeschooling · Kids · Learning · Music

Digital Piano: How to Choose the Right One

As you may have seen on my Instagram and Facebook stories today, we’re partnering with Casio Music UK to test out one of their learners keyboards. We’re so excited about the collaboration as I think Burrito Baby will benefit so much from music lessons. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some information from Casio about how to make sure you’re buying the right digital piano for your kids.

DIGITAL PIANO

With children now back in the swing of things at school, a lot of parents may be considering extra-curricular activities their children can take up to aid their learning and development outside of the classroom. Playing a musical instrument offers a whole host of benefits for young people and allows them to express themselves in their own unique way.

Digital pianos are a wonderful resource for kids of all ages and all kinds of disciplines. They make learning and performing much easier but still offer the satisfaction of playing on a beautiful expressive musical instrument. However, finding the right digital piano can be confusing and time-intensive. Casio, one of the world’s most renowned producers of premium, digital hybrid pianos, is here to help with the five questions parents should be asking when purchasing a digital piano for their child – from piano teacher, ABRSM music examiner and digital piano expert Chris Stanbury.

  1. HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO SPEND?

A good beginner’s digital piano should cost between £300 to £400. For this, you’ll get a great quality instrument that’ll support your child’s learning for a number of years. Avoid anything cheaper than this from online sellers as these don’t tend to last and offer a poor quality sound. It’s important to invest in something that’s satisfying to play as it will maintain your child’s interest.

  1. WHAT FEATURES SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

Digital pianos can have various features but the one thing you must check is that it has 88 weighted keys. This is something all pianos have and it is essential for developing the correct playing technique. The keys also need to be touch sensitive, which means that they are the same as a traditional piano. The harder you hit the keys, the louder it will sound, the softer you play the key, the note will have less volume. This feature is very important.

  1. IS A DIGITAL PIANO BETTER THAN AN ACOUSTIC PIANO? 

A good, acoustic (traditional) piano usually costs £1,000 or more. Pianos that are offered free on marketplace or auction sites are rarely in good condition and should be avoided. Acoustic pianos also need maintaining: the strings inside must be tuned at least twice a year at a cost of about £80 a time.

You get much more for your money with digital pianos. They take up a lot less space and don’t need tuning. Plus, you can plug in headphones for silent practice, which is perfect for busy households!

  1. WHAT OTHER FUNCTIONS DO YOU GET WITH DIGITAL PIANOS?

A great benefit of a digital piano is that if your kids love their gadgets, they’ll really enjoy connecting a digital piano to their phone, tablet or computer. This makes learning a lot more fun as they can take part in interactive lessons and play along to backing music.

Casio provides a free music learning app with all their digital pianos, called Chordana, and there’s free lessons too from Dr Chris himself on the Casio Music UK YouTube channel; so anyone can start playing right away. All owners also have access to the Casio Music Academy too, which also includes music lessons exclusively for Casio piano users

  1. WHAT DIGITAL PIANO WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR A BEGINNER?

My personal favourite is the Casio CDP-S90. It’s light, very compact and has a great sound. It’s also important to mention that it comes with a proper piano stand included (worth £88). This means the piano is at the correct playing height, which is important for developing good posture and finger skills.

Kids · Parenting

Some Tips for Reading a Fairy Tale Correctly to your Child

It is not uncommon for you to find yourself in front of two bright little eyes, looking at you, asking you to read them another story or once again the same fairy tale. The fatigue of the day may have overwhelmed you, and reading another page may seem exhausting, but the joy and satisfaction that is painted on your baby’s face completely compensates you! So here are some tips that will make your story vivid and extremely exciting!

Read slowly and clearly

Read slowly, enjoying every word. Do not forget that your child does not just listen to a beautiful fairy tale but at the same time learns and understands the language better.

Add excitement to your story

Start with enthusiasm and fun – as all fairy tales begin after all. The introduction to the story must be done in such a way that the little listener feels like he is entering a new world!

Become more vivid with your narrative

It is great for the whole body to be involved in a narrative. So you can shake your hands, make faces with your face and create heroes, trees, and anything else you want in the air with your hands. All this representation will excite your child and will entertain you too! So the story leaves the paper, gets tangled in your hands, rests for a while between the eyebrows of your face, can even be found floating in front of your eyes to return again to the pages of the book.

At this point it should be noted that there are now widespread audiobooks, which offer another intense experience to children using special narrators who can immediately convey any emotion of the fairy tale to your children. With the use of a narrator, these tales gain “life”, transporting the children themselves to imaginary worlds, with special characters and adventurous stories. You can see professional narrators at Voquent.com, which lend their voices in all kinds of content at such a short price.

Adjust the volume of your voice

The volume of your voice plays an important role. Start with a normal intensity making sure it has a pleasant and playful tone. As the story progresses, our heroes are introduced, enjoying every word staying the same style. When the upheavals and adventures of the hero begin, increase your rhythm and the volume of the voice where the story requires it. And at the peak, in the big upset, you do not need to shout and scare your listener. Maintain the stability of your voice by speaking slowly and quietly. The evolution of the story is fascinating in itself, so we do not need to burden it with “narrative” ornaments.

It is important to breathe throughout the reading. By breathing, we mean not holding your breath as you narrate but letting the air flow as if you were speaking typically. When we read a story, without realizing it, we hold our breath perhaps because we know what to say, maybe even because we are not relaxed and comfortable. When we speak, we never know what our next phrase is because it always occurs. So the air usually flows, and our breathing is normal. If you manage and maintain a proper breath during the narration, you will find that you will be less tired, and you will enjoy it more!

Also study the images of the fairy tale

If you are reading an illustrated story, take some time to look at the pictures. A new fairy tale will spring up in front of you after you discover that you are hiding the second text in the book, given only with pictures! Ask your child about colours, the sun, the moon, the heroes, what they wear, what they hold and anything else that comes to mind. This sharpens your child’s mind and stimulates his imagination.

Take real interest in your child

But the most important thing, the most important of all, is when you read a story to your baby, to do it with love. Only then will the story reach his heart and make him happy!