140 articles Tag kids

Let’s Celebrate! How To Throw A Perfect Kids’ Birthday Party

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No matter how confident you are in your parenting, there’s one thing that strikes fear into the heart of every parent: your child’s birthday party. Once they graduate from family parties to parties that seem to include every kid they’ve ever met, you know it’s going to be an extremely busy day! But there are definitely some ways that you can make it easier…

Pick A Theme

First of all, pick a theme. This will make the party more fun, and it will also allow you to personalise it for your kid, making it more memorable both for them and for the other kids who are attending. Choose something that your child loves, but make sure that it’s a theme that’s general enough to encompass a lot of different activities. For instance, if your kid loves dinosaurs, you could play a pin the tail on the dinosaur game, you could have the kids make their very own dinosaur tails, you could make dinosaur party hats. The possibilities are endless.

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Get Your Timing Right

It’s important to get your timings right. If your party is too short, your kid may get upset when it ends, but if your party is too long, the guests will get over-tired and fractious. Two hours is a great length for a kid’s birthday party. You should also do your best to keep the timings away from naptime, if your child is a little younger!

Include All The Kids

It’s important to make sure that if you’re inviting more kids than your offspring’s small group of friends, everyone is included. This includes the kids in your child’s class who may have special needs or learning difficulties. It is so important to ensure that they feel included, and chances are, you will have a friend for life in their parents, who will be delighted. Talk to their parents about whatever needs they may have, invite those parents along too if necessary, and make sure they’re included in the festivities.

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Talk To The Parents

It’s a good idea to talk to all the parents, not just those of kids with special needs. Note down any dietary requirements – and get some gluten and dairy free snacks, just in case! It may not be a terrible idea to ask the parents if they want to stay and hang out during the party if their kids are still young – provide coffee and snacks so they can relax and assist with their kid if emotions start to run high.

Don’t Be Afraid To Order In

Remember that you don’t have to do every single thing for this party yourself. If you’re not crafty, you don’t need to create handmade decorations. If you’re busy, why not hire a caterer? If you’re worried about making the perfect cake, look for companies like Anges de Sucre who provide a huge variety of cakes that are much prettier than anything an average parent could create! There is absolutely no shame in hiring a magician or entertainer instead of trying to corral the kids yourself. Don’t put yourself under unnecessary stress – life is far too short and you should try to enjoy the day as well.

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Plan Out Activities

It’s a great idea to plan out some activities, and to have some contingency plans if they fall through. If you want the kids to spend some time running around in your back yard but then the heavens open and it starts to pour with rain, have a CD of kids’ music ready so you can play musical statues or musical chairs inside. Remember that a dance party is always fun for kids of any age too! 

Make Easy Goody Bags

Costs for kids’ parties can really add up, and you might be surprised at how much cash you need to push into your child’s fifth birthday – don’t even start thinking about that sweet sixteenth… If you want to provide goody bags at the end of the party, you don’t need to go big or expensive. A great idea is to buy a book for each kid – you can get cheaply priced books online. With a slice of birthday cake, this is ideal. You could also provide a few pieces of sidewalk chalk, a small tub of play-doh, or a slime-making kit for slightly older kids. Just remember not to provide anything that stains or that makes loud noises, or you definitely won’t be the most popular parent at the school gates the next Monday!

Kids’ parties don’t have to be as stressful as they may feel – these simple tips should keep it fun!

How to Use a Rug in a Child’s Bedroom

You’re finally ready to move your daughter or son into their own room – but it needs a bit of redecorating, first! Adding a rug is one of the easiest ways to personalize your child’s room, while adding some function and comfort as well.

These days, rugs are available in a wide variety of materials and colours. Remember to choose something that is comfortable on your child’s skin, particularly their knees. Consider a rug that has a particular design on it to add an element of fun and adventure to the room – a rug with a built-in roadmap, or perhaps a forest scene. Or you may opt for something classic and quality, like a beautiful wool rug.

For more information on these and other considerations for rugs in a child’s bedroom, see the infographic below from Land of Rugs:

Saving for the Summer

Saving for the SummerWith the summer holidays fast approaching, many of us have started to think about our finances over the coming weeks. Keeping kids entertained for six weeks isn’t cheap, and the cost of summer can seem truly daunting. With that in mind, I thought I’d look at some things you can do to top up the funds, ahead of this expensive time of year.

Get a Part Time Job

Childcare can be super expensive, but if you’re not currently working and need some extra cash, there are lots of part time jobs out there which can fit around family time. From courier work to bank nursing at your local hospital, out of hours options are there, providing you’ve got someone to watch the kids in the evening.

Get a Loan

While I wouldn’t usually suggest getting yourself into debt, as long as you’re sensible with making your repayments on time a loan can be a useful buffer at this time of year, and getting a loan can even help to repair bad credit if you ensure you stick to your repayment plan. There are also loans for bad credit if you don’t have the best credit rating.

Cancel Any Services You Don’t Use

This is a great time of year to take a look at your finances and cut back on anything that you really don’t need. I currently pay £10 a month for a gym membership, which I barely use, and although a tenner doesn’t seem like much, it’s enough to make your eyes water when you think about it as £120 a year!

Streamline Your Shop

If you’re like us and end up wasting food because of less-than-savvy shopping, this is a good place to start when it comes to money saving. Sit down and look at HOW you shop (weekly, monthly, day-by-day) and work out where most of the waste is coming from. You could also think about WHERE you shop and whether there’s a cheaper option out there, like Lidl or Aldi. Meal planning is also often a good way to help you to be more frugal. 

Get Your Walking Shoes On

Many families are guilty of jumping in the car for short journeys, which would actually be more than walkable. Unless you’re in a massive hurry, try to make any journey of a mile or less on foot – or even better, get the bikes out and get the whole family cycling. As well as cutting your fuel costs, it will get you all moving and will also reduce your carbon footprint – everyone’s a winner! 

Do you have any fab money saving or money making tips for my readers? Do leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you. 

Help Your Schools to Get Out and Grow!

Here at Mum’s the Word, we’ve been long-time supporters of the Get Out and Grow campaign, pioneered by Sudocrem, in association with Greenfingers charity and Cliffton Nurseries, with the goal of getting children out of the house and into the garden. They sent us some facts which are, quite frankly, a little bit sad..

Despite the fact that 87% of British households have a garden, over half of British children between 4 and 8 are unable to name 5 vegetables or fruits grown in them and 95% were unable to name 3 herbs. Many of those couldn’t identify gardening tools, with only 8% able to identify a trowel, 80% never having seen a rake before and, worrying, 79% believing worms are bad for plants. 

73% of those asked said they had never grown a sunflower, while only 8% had ever picked an apple, which perhaps explains why they’re unable to name even one. Less than 10% had dug up a vegetable and only 6% had ever eaten a fresh pea from the pod. Based on this evidence, it is perhaps unsurprising that only 20% have ever eaten a vegetable they’ve grown themselves.

Sudocrem is now expanding the initiative to include schools, based on the figures that 90% of children said that they would like a garden at school and at one primary school in Lincolnshire, a school garden made all the difference when it came to pupil’s behaviour.

The Benjamin Adlard Primary School, run by headmaster Sam Coy, was previously rated by Ofsted as one of Britain’s worst schools. Four years and one school garden later, and the Gainsborough school has won the national Pearson award for School of the Year: Making a Difference.

Headmaster Coy insists: “The children absolutely love den-building, just generally getting dirty and nature hunts. One child recently told me that he loves going to the forest school on a Tuesday afternoon so much as it helps him to behave all week as he never wants to not be able to go.”

We’re absolutely delighted that Sudocrem is offering people the chance to nominate schools which they think could benefit from their very own gardening kits, and they’ve asked Mum’s the Word to be an ambassador for the project.

All you need to do is comment below the name of the school you wish to nominate and why you think they deserve one of the kits, comprising of gloves, spades, wheelbarrow and much more to get the school’s garden into full bloom. The kits are worth £160, but having the tools to get outside could be worth SO much more to the kids of the school you nominate.

Leave your comment by Sunday 9th of June and we could have the kit sent to the winning school before the summer holiday begin.

(Winner will be chosen by me, prizes will be provided by Satellite PR and sent straight to the winning school, no monetary alternative will be offered, all decisions are final)

How to Make Your Teeth Last

If you have kids, you might be already teaching them about the importance of looking after their dental hygiene, and take them for checkups. Unfortunately, when we get busier and our daily schedules change, our oral hygiene routine will change. Neglecting your teeth can cost you a fortune, so it is important that you choose long lasting solutions and focus on prevention first. Below you will find a few tips on how to look after your family’s oral hygiene at every age.

Image via PxHere

Regular Routine

From an early age, you should teach your kids to brush their teeth every morning and night, as a minimum. Even if they are going for a school trip or on a sleepover, you will need to ensure that you are checking on them and remind them to look after their teeth. Every habit takes long weeks, if not months to stick, so it is important that you are taking responsibility for providing the right guidance to your kids.

Choosing The Right Brush and Toothpaste

It is not enough to just brush regularly; you might want to ask your dentist which brush and toothpaste to use. You might have teeth that are too close, or suffer from infections, bone issues that will prevent you from making the most out of a regular dental routine. If your teeth get stained or you suffer from plaque, you might need a special treatment and a hygienic intervention.

Flossing

Many people underestimate the importance of flossing. It might be making your oral hygiene routine a few seconds longer, but it is definitely less painful than a descaling treatment or a bleeding gum or tooth. You will, however, need to find the right type of dental floss, and your dentist can certainly help you with choosing one.

Early Orthodontics Assessments

If you want your kids to have a perfect smile, you might want to get them to have a dental assessment and a referral to the orthodontics clinic. Under a certain age, the treatment is free or pretty cheap, and there is nothing more valuable you can give your kids than the confidence to smile. If you miss the opportunity, you will never forgive yourself.

Long Term Solutions

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It is also crucial that you focus on the long term solutions. For example, you might get a denture for cheap, and it will be OK for a while, but maintaining it will be hard, not to mention the lack of comfort. Instead, you can get some strong and long lasting dental implants that will last for decades and feel like you haven’t even broken a tooth at all. If your child breaks a front tooth, you don’t want them to live with it for the rest of their lives: get  a professional technician to restore their smile.

If you want your teeth to last for a lifetime, you will need to make the most out of the checkups and preventive measures. It is your responsibility to teach your kids how to look after their teeth.

 

The ABCs of Daycare

You are starting a family and though everything has been planned out you still have that nagging worry in how you are going to care for your kid when you have to juggle between house chores and work. Sadly, an entire family cannot sometimes live off only the salary of one of the parents and thus leaving the care of the child to experts in Daycare Cambridge. If you are like most parents and shiver of the idea of leaving your treasure alone with practically strangers, then do not fret as this is absolutely normal.

Some studies conducted have estimated that about 70% of families rely on daycares or some version of it to allow them to work their 9 to 5 jobs. And as there is an obvious need, the market has done its magic and sprouted plenty of daycare options for you to choose from. You can select from one of the excellent daycare Cambridge centers to hiring nannies. There are essentially two different kinds of daycares, a group center or a home daycare with each having its own pros and cons. Group daycare centers are established by licensed professionals who hire people with expertise in child care. They offer an environment not just for learning academically but allow them to mingle with other kids their age so they mature mentally and socially.

This article will try to help you answer all your questions about daycare and how you can then decide which one you are going to choose for you child.

The types of day care centers

A daycare facility is the physical space where you are intending to keep your child while you are off to work. There are usually two options depending on where you are situated in the city.

Group Day Care – These kinds of centers are regulated by the state and are usually run by the owners themselves. About one fourth of all infants and toddlers go to these kinds of centers. Being in a shared environment such as this means your child will be allowed to interact with other kids.

Home Day Care – Home day care centers are less of a formal setting than group day care but it does not necessarily mean that it is inferior. It is often run by a homeowner and uses the home itself as the facility. Most of the time, the owner will have kids of their own and will care for their kids and yours simultaneously. While some of them are licensed, there are more that do not have any formal training in the field.

Why you should send your child to daycare

Continued care. Most center offers to care for children from as young as infancy up until they become toddlers and, in some cases, even beyond. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you would not have to worry about the formative years of your child as he/she will be exposed to consistent care through out.

Education. In order to prepare a child before going through formal education, there are some things that he/she needs to be able to do. This includes reading, writing, knowing their numbers and even talking properly in front of other people. Being busy at work, this might be time that you may not be able to set aside for your child. Day care centers usually have curriculums based on their age where they will be able to make most of the time that they spend while they are away from home.

Socialization. An integral part of developing a child before he/she starts going to school is to make him/her comfortable around other people, especially around other kids his/her age that he/she are yet to be acquainted with. Being in a daycare where there are typically a few groups of kids that he/she can be a part of will prepare him/her for the journey that awaits him.
Cost. A nanny is an alternative to a daycare cambridge center. While you can be assured of the quality that professional nannies can provide, they usually come at a price which renders the need to send your child to care so you can work kind of pointless. However, there are instances that children may need special attention and thus there may be no alternative to hiring nannies.
Reliability. First time parents are often not well versed with child care. There is no shame in this as there rarely is ever a chance for people to practice being one. Sending your child to daycare assures you that your children will be handled by professionals with countless years of experience among them. This, not only settles your worry of not knowing enough to care for your child but affording you an opportunity to learn as well.

Choosing your daycare

Choosing a daycare center is no picnic. Seeing that the best of the daycare centers are hot commodities, finding one that fit your route to work in itself might already be a challenge. This is the reality of it but through it all, you would do everything for your child and thus you still want the best daycare for him/her.

Research is key

In the age of mobile electronics, it is quite simple to track down establishments as well as learn what people have said about them. This should come fairly easy as long as you know where to start looking.

Interview the centers

It might not be enough to rely on the words of other parents to put your mind at ease before deciding to let someone else care for your child. You may go to the centers themselves and look at the facility as well as talk to the ones in charge. This is an important step as a face to face conversation can tell a lot about a service provider. This will also allow you to see the kind of children that your child will eventually be playing and learning with.

The Importance of Family Dental Hygiene

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Just recently, all four of us had our yearly check up at the dentist. Husband and I were given the thumbs up by our dentist, who said we’re obviously taking good care of our teeth and practising proper dental hygiene, but he had a few notes for the girls.

Sausage needed to include her gums when she’s brushing, because her gums bled slightly when the dentist prodded at them (something they don’t want to see) and BB was told she’s doing a good job but she needed to make sure she’s including her whole mouth when she brushes, not just at the front. He also said it would be a good idea to visit an orthodontic clinic in the net few months as Sausage is getting to the age where a decision about braces can be made.

A lot of people don’t realise, but poor dental hygiene can actually lead to a whole load of other health problems, not all of which will be in your mouth – it can even put you at risk of a heart attack. Here are some serious health problems, from the NHS website, which can start with poor dental hygiene:

  • Gum disease dangers

    Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It’s mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build-up. In some people who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts to the bacteria around the gums and causes too much inflammation. In others, the inflammation doesn’t clear up properly. The result of the intense gum inflammation is that it also affects the bloodstream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.

    What’s the damage?

    Gum disease has been linked to a variety of other health problems, including:

    • heart disease and heart attacks
    • diabetes and its control
    • stroke
    • rheumatoid arthritis

    Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, explains: “The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed by robust scientific evidence. Despite this, only 1 in 6 people realises that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke or diabetes. And only 1 in 3 is aware of the heart disease link.”

So how do we get kids to take their dental health seriously? Obviously we don’t want to scare them with tales of heart disease and diabetes, but impressing upon them how important it is to keep their mouths in good shape can be the difference between a life of good health and serious ongoing issues. 

Start As You Mean to Go On

Establishing a good routine from an early age is essential to getting kids to see tooth brushing as part of their daily activities. You can start brushing teeth as soon as they erupt, using a special baby toothbrush with no paste. Help them to make a game of brushing by doing it to music and letting baby have a go of doing it themselves. If they see tooth brushing as fun, they’re far more likely to want to do it.

Get An App

There are loads of apps out there which have built-in timers to ensure kids brush for the correct amount of time and also often have fun songs or animations which your kids can brush along with. Have a look in your device’s app store to find one suitable for you.

Offer a Reward

Giving your child a reward for brushing should be a regular item in a parent’s arsenal, but the reward that works best will depend on your child’s age and interests. Someone under the age of eight, for example, may be receptive to a funny bedtime story before lights out – but only after he brushes. For an older child, a good reward might be letting him watch an episode of a favourite TV show between brushing and bed.

Remember, good dental hygiene doesn’t just happen in the bathroom – what they eat and drink can also be a contributing factor. People are mostly aware that fizzy drinks and sugary sweets are an issue, but a lot of people fail to remember that fruit and milk also have high sugar and acid contents, which can also attack the enamel of teeth.

If your kids eat fruit or drink milk, make sure they clean their teeth afterwards and try to give only water before bed as the lack of saliva  in the mouth during sleep means that it’s even easier for the tooth decay to occur.

Why You Should Teach Your Children a Foreign Language at Home

While English has become one of the most spoken languages around the world, learning a foreign language opens many doors. It is extremely beneficial to teach children a foreign language from a young age to assure that they can have a future in which they can travel around the world and communicate with people from different nationalities and backgrounds. With a foreign language one can form cross-cultural friendships, have a boosted cross-cultural understanding but also benefit from broader career opportunities and exciting travel adventures. Teaching a child a foreign language no longer means sending them off to language classes but it can also be easily taught at home through reading and interactive games and videos.

It is always encouraged to begin teaching a child a foreign language from a young age as the younger the mind is, the easier it is to pick up the language. As a child starts getting older certain windows close in terms of language acquisition therefore learning a language before puberty will allow children to speak with a native accent. Knowing a foreign language is certainly an incredible skill to have especially when thinking ahead of the child’s future career. Career-wise it is in fact known that professionals who can communicate in a second or third language are always more desirable for the job. It has also been studied that thinking in a foreign language helps people make quicker and better decisions and can contribute to a higher standard of living.

There are many ways to teach children a foreign language and the very first place to begin is inside the child’s home. If the child’s parents speak two different languages a highly recommend approach is the One Person One Language method. With this method each parent consistently speaks a different language to the child, for example one parent will speak their native Spanish while the other speaks their native English. This method is highly effective in raising a bilingual child as there is a consistent exposure to two different languages. A few other ways to teach a child a foreign language is to have them read consistently in the foreign language. Watching videos that are 100% in the target language is also a great way to interactively learn. Language learning apps also provide a simple, effective and comprehensive system for learning languages at one’s own pace through interactive lessons, numerous courses and with the help of voice recognition. For example a child can easily learn French thanks to the combination of effective education methods and the use of apps like Babbel that are interactive and therefore very intuitive.

When deciding which foreign languages to teach your child it is important to think of their future and which languages might benefit them the most. Spanish for example is the second widest spoken language in the world, with over 300 million people speaking it every day. Spanish is therefore one of the most useful languages in the world for travel and business opportunities. Meanwhile, French is the most widely studied foreign language in the world, with 200 million speakers worldwide. French is also the official language of 29 countries and is the basis for many words in English such as “naïve” and “cinema”. Mandarin Chinese instead is spoken by over 1 billion people worldwide, making it the most widely spoken language in the world. The Chinese have always interacted with hundreds of cultures and many nations today enjoy Chinese-specific cultural contributions in the areas of cuisine, commerce and the arts. As Mandarin Chinese is tonal, meaning that pitch is used to distinguish its lexical or grammatical meaning, the earlier a child begins to learn this language the easier it will be for them to pick up on the difference in tone.

Many parents have become more proactive in jump-starting foreign language education for their children knowing all the benefits a second or third language can bring for their children later on in life. Language learning has many benefits on the brain: in fact it is proven to boost cognitive, memory and listening skills and is therefore a wonderful way to stimulate a child’s brain while in its peak development.

Win a Sudocrem ‘Get Out and Grow’ Bag Worth £40

Husband and I have always been passionate about getting the kids outdoor and spend a lot of time educating them about nature. It’s something we both find really interesting and that love of all things nature-related really seems to have permeated down to the kids, too. We’ve lived out in the countryside for almost 4 years now and we absolutely love it – we all agree that our very favourite thing about living out here is the huge variety of wildlife that we get to see every day.

That’s why, when I read the results of a survey conducted by Sudocrem, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Here’s what they found:

“Whilst 87% of British households do have a garden, it’s clear growing isn’t something that families do together. Over half of British children between 4 and 8 are unable to name 5 vegetables or fruits grown in this country, with 95% unable to name 3 herbs. Many of those couldn’t identify basic gardening tools, with only 8% able to identify a trowel, 80% never having seen a rake before and, worrying, 79% believing worms are bad for plants. 

73% of those asked said they had never grown a sunflower, while only 8% had ever picked an apple, which perhaps explains why they’re unable to name even one. Less than 10% had dug up a vegetable and only 6% had ever eaten a fresh pea from the pod. Based on this evidence, it is perhaps unsurprising that only 20% have ever eaten a vegetable they’ve grown themselves.”

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Sudocrem to give away TWO Get Out and Grow goody bags, containing a whole load of stuff that will help kids to get outside and learn all about planting their own produce.

Goody bags contents for 2-5 yr olds include:
– Get Out and Grow branded drawstring bag
– Get Out and Grow branded t-shirt for 3-4 yr olds
– My Little Sudocrem
– Child’s gardening gloves
– Small watering can
– Mini gorilla gardening tub
– Flower seed packet
– Lavender seed packet
– A few coloured sticks to use as plant markers

The packs contain over £40 worth of goodies and winning one couldn’t be simpler. Just leave me a comment below telling me what your favourite variety of apple is! The giveaway will stay open until 26th April 2019, so you’ve got plenty of time to enter. 

The Dos And Don’ts Of Keeping Kids Interested While Travelling

Kids are notoriously difficult travel companions. Even if they might be excited to head off on holiday at first, all of that excitement can quickly wane once they have been on a train or plane for a few hours. They can quickly become bored and fed up of all the travelling that is usually involved with going away on holiday, and this can be extremely frustrating for everyone they are travelling with.

So, there’s no wonder that many parents try to think of as many ways as possible to keep their kids entertained while on the move. If you are planning to go away as a family any time soon, you might want to know these great strategies.

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Do Visit Somewhere The Kids Want To Go To

This might sound fairly obvious, but there are still some families who head to destinations that their children have no interest in whatsoever. The first thing you need to do is make sure that your children actually want to go, and then they’ll stay excited for longer on the journey. Travelbag’s great guide to film location destinations could give you some destination inspiration, as it could be worth going to where your child’s favourite film or show is filmed. They will love the idea of being in the same place as their TV and movie heroes!

Do Pack Plenty Of Entertainment

Make sure that you pack as many books and travel games as you can into your hand luggage. These will be invaluable once the boredom starts to hit. Most older children will be able to pass the time by getting engrossed in a book, while you can distract younger kids from the boredom of travel by playing a game with them.

Don’t Forget Snacks

If your kids get hungry when out on the road then they will immediately start to complain. In order to prevent this from becoming a full-blown tantrum, it’s a good idea to pack a few snacks and drinks into your hand luggage as well. Try to stick to healthy snacks as giving your kids too much sugar could send them as high as a kite, something which certainly won’t go down well with all the other passengers on your mode of transport!

Don’t Take An Indirect Route

If you are booking flights, try to always fly direct if you’re travelling with kids. Needing to change will only lengthen the journey, and that will mean that there’s more time for your children to moan and complain. So, stick to a direct route so that you get to your destination a lot quicker!

Do Get Them To Keep A Travel Diary

Another way you can keep the kids entertained is to encourage them to keep a travel diary. If you give them a notebook, they will be able to jot down their observations while travelling. It’s also a good idea to give them a disposable camera for the trip as well.

Hopefully, your kids won’t complain too much on your next holiday!