6 Steps to Take to Help your Toddler Make the Move from a Cot to a Bed

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Knowing exactly when your toddler should be making the transition from their cot to a bed can often be guess work. There is no ‘right’ time to do this but one indicator can be when you feel that your ‘little’ one is perhaps a little too big for their cot.

Thankfully though, what is a bit more certain is how you can go about helping them make the move. Better still, this post usefully breaks this down into six simple steps for you to follow and by doing so you could see your toddler smoothly making this natural progression in life.

Step 1 – Choose the new Bed

First and foremost, you need to choose their bed and more importantly it needs to suit your toddler and the situation. The sensible option is to get a smaller bed as this will have similarities in size to their cot and equally if you’re purchasing the full frame get one which is quite low to the ground to prevent any nasty bumps if they fall out.

Step 2 – Make the Move Seem Important to Them

In the build-up, you should tell your toddler how good their new bed will be and how grown up this is. The aim of this is to make their new bed something they’re looking forward to rather than springing it on them suddenly.

Step 3 – Try a Couple of Nights at a Time

When the time finally arrives don’t just make the switch straight away, you need to make it a gradual process. Maybe let them spend a couple of nights in the cot and a couple in their new bed and over a few weeks start to increase the number of nights in the bed.

Step 4 – Praise them Lots

Similar to step 2, you need to be as positive as possible about the whole process. Every time they have a successful night’s sleep in their new bed, this should be something you champion.

Step 5 – Phase Out the Cot Completely

When they are eventually spending each night in their bed, leave the cot in the room for a few days and then remove it completely. Don’t do this straight away as they might still find comfort in having it nearby.

Step 6 – Keep an Eye Out

The last step is to just keep an extra eye on them when they’re asleep in their new bed. Your toddler will still be getting used their new bed for some time, so it’s worth just making sure they’re not having any issues in the night.

It’s as simple as this, just follow our six steps and in no time at all your toddler will be sleeping soundly in their new small bed!

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Help Your Kids Create Amazing Memories With These Awesome Activities

What are your memories of being a child? It’s guaranteed they won’t be of that movie you watched when you were snowed in. In fact, it will more than likely to be the experience of being snowed in.

The point is that kids build their memories with experiences. They never remember the day-to-day stuff that you do. And if you want them to have great memories of their childhoods, then you will need to act. These awesome activities should help give you a few ideas.

Cook With Them

If you have children that aren’t interested in food, you might get better results if you cook with them. Getting them involved in the whole process of peeling, mixing, chopping and creating dinner will fascinate them. And, hopefully, make them hungry! There are some great books around that can help you get started, or you could try websites like Annabel Karmel’s, which offers plenty of cool ideas and recipes. Our advice would be to start with simple  things like cookies and cakes, and build up to savory dishes.

Let’s Get Physical

While you might not be able to keep up with the sheer energy that kids have, it is important to join in with their physical play. And if you are struggling, then make sure you keep one eye firmly on the major benefit – you will get a better night’s sleep! Physical play is so important, so get out there and run with them, throw a ball with them, and do anything you can to promote exercise. The earlier you get started, the more they will form an interest in sport and fitness as they get older.

Take Me To The River

Many kids love being outside, and especially so if there is water involved. There is a host of cool activities you can do to give your child a memorable day out that will stick with them for a long time. They range from completely free (water fight, anyone?) to something that will take some investment. Getting a boat out on the water is a great idea for all ages. As long as you keep aware of the safety issues everyone will have a lot of fun. You could even try a kayak fishing expedition for something different. The outdoor sports gear reviews website has recently published an article that looks at the five best value fishing kayaks currently on the market. Take a look and see what you think!

Role Play

All children use role play to explore things they are learning. And they love it when their parents join in! It is a very important developmental process, and you should encourage it whenever possible. So, the next time it is raining, don’t just stick your kids in front of the TV, why not engage with their imaginations? Mommas and Poppas, doctors and nurses, whatever it takes, just join in. It might even be time for you to learn all the lyrics from Frozen!

We hope this article has set you on your way to come up with some great ideas. Doing things with the kids is so important, but it is also great fun. Enjoy your activities!

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Get a New Phone By Selling Your Old One

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These days every parent wants to have a cracking good mobile phone. This sort of gadget is incredibly useful for all sorts of things when you have kids.

For a start, you can take tons of photos and instantly organise them or share them. This is great news when you have a day out and want to capture the special memories easily and conveniently.

A good mobile phone is also very handy for keeping the kids occupied and happy on long journeys, for looking up health advice and all sorts of other things. There are many reasons for getting a new phone and a smart way of affording the model you want is by selling your old phone. The decision to sell my mobile phone certainly helped me in this respect.

Find Out How Much You Can Get

If you want to work out a budget for your new phone then you will need to know how much you can sell your old one for. Thankfully, this is easy to do now. All you have to do is enter in a site which buys old mobile phones and put in the details of the model you have. In no time at all you will know how much extra you have to spend on your new phone. Of course, you can get more money by selling more phones, so you might want to hunt down any long forgotten old phones that you have lying around. It doesn’t how old or tired looking they are, as they will still be worth some money.

Choose the Best New Phone for You

The variety of new mobile phones around makes it very difficult to choose just one.  All of the best new models have a lot of things going for them that make them worth considering. You will want to take some time to find out more about the ones that grab your attention and are within your budget. Remember that it makes senses for parents to choose chunky, sturdy phones that can cope with being dropped and being treated badly. You will probably want one with a really good camera as well, as this is one of the most important things for most parents. If you are planning to let a youngster use the phone then you might not want to go for one of the very best and most expensive models around.

Protect It

There are a few different types of protection you will want to consider. The first one is the physical protection that is needed to avoid it getting damaged when dropped. This means looking for some sort of protective case or cover to use on it. A good screen protector is also worth using. Additionally, if your kids are old enough to use the phone you might want to password protect it and restrict their access to it. If they are going to use the internet then you will also want to make sure that it has the necessary controls and filters so that they can’t access anything that they shouldn’t be able to see.

 

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Planning Essentials For A Stress-Free Family Vacation

Going away is exactly what you need when you start raising a family but it is incredibly difficult to take a vacation with small kids. Here are five tips to make sure your break away goes as smooth as it can, despite the inevitable chaos that comes with starting a family. 

Travel Light

It’s hard enough packing the car for a day trip with kids, never mind a two week vacation abroad. There isn’t any easy answer to this, other than pack what you need for your kids and travel lighter yourself.

Be ruthless and realistic. If you have to take a sterilizer or bulky toys, then you’re going to have to leave behind a few dresses and cut back on the pairs of shoes. Good clothes will only get splattered with food, baby sick or worse!

Also, think about how you will be traveling. You will need a spare hand to grab hold of toddlers or push buggies/strollers around airports, seaports and train stations.

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Remember The Kids

If you have children of different ages, try and give them something to look forward to each day. Babies aren’t too fussy – they only need feeding, sleeping, and simple engagement. But toddlers can get bored. Plan ahead for family-friendly activities. There’s no need to spend a heap of cash: most kids will be happy with a day on the beach or run around in the park.

Think about rainy days, too. Bring a tablet so that they can play games during the bad weather. There is a good selection of simple, child-friendly games at http://playberry.com/ if you don’t know where to look.

Choose The Right Accommodation

Choosing your accommodation is the single most important thing you need to do. Once you start a family, the days of hopping from hotel-to-hotel every night are long behind you. It’s time to settle down in more ways than one!

Try spending your vacation in one hotel or apartment only. This will reduce the huge hassle involved in repacking bags and moving. Although a good deal of research is required beforehand, it is worth it. You could have to spend a lot of time in those hotel rooms, and the more comfortable and spacious, the better.

Food

Eating out with your kids while on vacation isn’t easy as it should be. There are many countries who have different views to what you might be used to on whether children should even be allowed in restaurants. Thankfully, this isn’t too much of a problem if you have young kids, as you’ll need to get them home early anyway.

Our advice would be to call ahead to any restaurant you like the look of and book an early table. Get a feel for whether they like having children to avoid any embarrassments.

Enjoy Your Vacation

If you have a young family, then anything can happen – and the same is going to apply to your vacation. Traveling with kids can be stressful. You will never cover every eventuality, so it’s important to take a step back every now and again and relax.

Seek out babysitting services. Your hotel could provide them, for example. Or, you could even think about sharing nights off with your partner. It’s important that everyone gets the chance to wind down – not just the children. Happy holidays!

Planning a Fun Trip for Children

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Whether you’re a daycare provider, teacher, or parent, you likely try to think of unique ways to engage your children on a daily basis. While the regular daily curriculum is certainly important to a child’s healthy cognitive development, fun side activities such as field trips can provide an added bonus. Let the kids blow off a little steam by planning a creative field trip that they’ll love. They won’t even realize they’re learning! An indoor children’s playground makes for an ideal venue for such an outing.

Educational Yet Fun Experience

Field trips are meant to act as adjuncts to a child’s education. In addition to cognitive learning, kids can also engage in physical activity to strengthen their muscles, spatial skills, and social skills. An indoor playground, for example, can foster learning, self-esteem and social interaction via interactive play areas, according to Kid Junction. This is especially beneficial when the weather outside is not conducive to outdoor play and nature walks. Instead, kids can still experience learning and exercise through a controlled, safe environment that allows for imaginative play that is full of manipulatives, age-appropriate toys, games, puzzles, and physical challenges. In such an environment, you’ll also find interactive areas with various themes that appeal to all ages (such as grocery stores, theater stages, post offices and restaurants), toddler areas for the wee ones, mazes and obstacles for older kids, and even arcade areas that encourage motor skill coordination. Each area is safe and age appropriate for all levels, with specific designations for each age group that are clearly marked for the safety of all involved.

Benefits of Indoor Playgrounds

Kids’ health depends greatly on the physical activity they get. According to the American Heart Association, every child should get at least one hour of moderate to vigorous activity every day. When it’s impossible to get outside, or you just want a change of scene for students to go along with a lesson plan, physical activity can take many forms, such as an indoor children’s playground. Staying active means children can not only control their weight, but also decrease their blood pressure, boost their good cholesterol, elevate their self-confidence, and reduce risk of diabetes, points out the AHA. In addition, kids can strengthen muscles and bones, get better sleep at night, and develop a more positive outlook on life, says KidsHealth. Kids also strengthen their cognitive connections as well through indoor play spaces, which can increase their learning ability by helping brain cells grow and thrive, according to Parenting Science. Playtime also encourages the absorption of academic lessons through imaginative play. In addition to self-regulation, the opportunity to play can boost language skills and social skills. This way, they learn how to get along with peers, pay attention, follow social mores, control themselves, follow rules and check their impulses.

The next time you need to schedule a field trip outside the classroom or home, consider an indoor children’s playground as your destination. t may not seem like it, but children can learn valuable lessons and gain the necessary physical fitness they need to thrive, grow and develop their bodies and minds.

How Women Can Beat Fatigue during Pregnancy

How Women Can Beat Fatigue during Pregnancy

Being pregnant is possibly one of the most unique and rewarding experiences a woman can have. There are many feeling and symptoms that women commonly experience while pregnant that they will not experience in any other time in their life.

One of the most common symptoms that women will experience throughout their pregnancy is fatigue. Fatigue can not only be difficult to deal with, but it can make staying productive before the baby arrives that much harder. Here are some ways women can beat fatigue during pregnancy and stay energized throughout the day.

Put your feet up

Kicking up their feet is one of the most relaxing things a pregnant woman can do. Most women feel very sore and swollen when standing on their feet for long periods of time, so sitting down and elevating their feet while watching Direct TV can relieve a lot of those symptoms.

Find little tasks to give you a sense of accomplishment

Even though the fatigue experienced during pregnancy is not always mental, having some motivation can do a lot to help women feel better all day long. Find little tasks to do each day that leave one with a sense of accomplishment or other rewards to keep going.

Keep eating a healthy, nourishing diet

Diet is extremely important for a number of reasons while pregnant. Women should know also what foods will make them feel more tired and which ones will give them the sustained energy they need. Fatty or greasy foods will increase fatigue, while fibrous and high-protein options can increase energy all day.

Break up the day

Many people like to go out for the day to run errands and not come back until they are all finished. Though this may sound like the most convenient plan, it is not always practical for a pregnant woman. Instead, try to break up the day’s activities with rest times in between.

Get comfortable at night

It is common during pregnancy to be more restless at night when trying to sleep. Many women have a difficult time getting comfortable as their body changes. Investing in a body pillow or any other items to help make the bed more comfortable can help women get the restful and restorative sleep they need.

Stay active as much as possible

Even though physical activity may sound counter-productive to someone who is already suffering from fatigue, it can be the best solution. Maintaining a light exercise routine during pregnancy can help anyone boost their overall energy levels every single day. Just going for a short daily walk can help increase energy and revive their spirits.

Head outside for fresh air

When leaving the house becomes a big chore for a pregnant woman, it often seems easier to just stay in the house. This, however, can make even getting out of bed that much more difficult. A little fresh air every day can do wonders for making people feel more alert and awake.

Image: http://pixabay.com/en/pregnant-woman-baby-family-377451/

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3 Great Ideas to Keep Your Kids Busy on a Rainy Day

Having energetic and excitable children running around the house can be exhausting. On the weekends or the school holidays, you can often rectify this by taking the kids out on trips. Maybe you can go to the park or travel to the local zoo. But the problem is, what do you do when the weather is bad? Kids don’t want to be cooped up inside all day. But they can’t go out because it’s too  wet.

The danger here is that you risk your kids going stir-crazy and driving you mad as a result. You need to come up with healthy and productive ways to keep them busy and entertained on a rainy day. It’s tempting to just sit them down in front of the TV or computer and leave them to it. And his might be their preferable choice. But these days kids already get quite enough exposure to technology as it is. Instead, try to come up with activities for them to do that don’t involve technology.

Here are a few ideas for ways to keep them busy on a rainy day:

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  1. Set up a Playroom

In the house, you should try to set up a playroom for the children. If you have the space, this would be a fantastic thing to do. It can be a room where they keep the majority of their toys. And they can head to this room to play. The great thing about a playroom is that it’s like giving your kids a special room all to themselves. It’s like their own secret domain away from grown-ups. This instantly makes it more appealing and attractive to them. Try to come up with a theme for the playroom, and get the kids involved in creating the theme.

  1. Encourage Dressing Up Games

These days children are so quick to sit in front of their XBoxes or Playstations. And there’s something to be said for traditional games. Try to encourage the kids to play dress up games like you used to when you were younger. This is a great way to get them interested in performing, and they might even learn a thing or two in the process. You could go online for a selection of costumes. Maybe you could get a Just Pretend kids princess dress for your daughter. Maybe get a related costume for your son. They can create their own games based on the costumes at their disposal. This is an idea that can keep your kids entertained for hours. And it’s a healthy and creative way of nurturing their brains.

  1. Bring Out the Board Games

One of the more classic approaches, when the rain comes, is to dig out the board games. Kids might be resistant to these at first as they might consider board games boring. But there are many kid-friendly board games around these days. And playing as a family improves enjoyment and bonding. You can even get interactive board games that come with a DVD and have questions relating to clips. This might be a good way to transition your children into the concept of board games. The good thing about board games is they can last a long time and still be enjoyable. They also teach kids the value of teamwork as well as individual success. And they teach children about winning and losing.

 

 

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How We Made An Amazing Playroom For Our Children

Making a playroom was one of our best ideas in a long time! As the kids grew older, they started to treat the entire house like a playground. They were climbing on kitchen surfaces, jumping on the furniture and there were toys everywhere. We’d start finding Buzz Lightyear toys in the weirdest places! Sound familiar? We needed to do something, so we created a playroom. In this post we’ll explain how we did it and how it can benefit you.

Carve out a good space

For us, we sacrificed our office space. It was once a little area of peace and quiet, until the kids got so loud that nowhere was quiet! We rarely used it anyway, so it made much better sense to turn it into a playroom. We emptied the clutter, found the best storage for it all and gutted the room. If you don’t have a spare room, you can always partition an area of their bedroom. We know couples who have transformed a part of their garage too. Use whatever space you have available to you.

Choose a theme

The plan was to make sure the kids loved every second of their new playroom. So we let them decide on the theme. They chose a Toy Story theme full of space and cowboy decorations. Boys will be boys. We are sure that in a year’s time they’ll have a new obsession and we’ll have to change it! But, for now, it’s Toy Story themed. We chose the right paint for the job and picked up a few relevant decorations. You can literally make any theme work in your playroom. Think of it as a challenge!

Get the children involved in decorating

This was the most fun part. The kids loved being involved in creating their own room. They got stuck in with painting and decorating. A lot of the time it was a complete mess. But, the important thing is that they put their own stamp on it! Of course, it’s really important that you keep them safe and help them with anything. When it comes to installing storage units and other bits and pieces, make sure you’re in charge. Put up their artwork or favourite pictures. Let them make it their own.

Good mix of learning toys and fun toys

We really wanted them to have their own space. But it’s certainly not a case of build the playroom and leave them to it! Once it was ready, we filled it with their favourite toys. However, we made sure that there were plenty of things there to aid their learning. It’s really important that they keep developing their cognitive and motor skills as they grow. A playroom isn’t just for playing, it’s for learning. Let them explore their imagination, create things and learn along the way.

Now we have a fantastic room that the kids love. We’ve reclaimed our own house back and it (mostly) stays quite tidy. With their own fun space, they’re less inclined to turn the kitchen into a playground. Try your own version and see how it works out. Good luck!

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Springtime Fun and Games Your Kids Will Love

Spring is the best season; there is no doubt about that. The air is getting warmer, and the kids are ready to burn off the energy that they have been storing up all winter. Most kids love to get outside and feel the fresh air. They are desperate to get into the garden and play. There are some fantastic games that you and the children can enjoy this spring. It’s all about unleashing their creative and active personalities.

  1.    Chalking on the Patio

If you have a large patio area, your kids will adore chalking on the pavement. This can be an excellent way to create beautiful art, get messy and have some fun in the great outdoors too. You can pick up a cheap tub of outdoor chalks and make sure that the kids get plenty of fresh air. You can draw hopscotch’s and vivid pictures. After all, what could be better than having your kids artwork proudly displayed on the pavement?

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  1.    Swing Ball Sets

Did you know that there has been a rise in more people opting for nostalgia-based games? According to research by Totally Swing Sets, there has been a significant increase in parents buying these kinds of games. Let’s face it, we had a blast with our parents playing swing ball when were kids! These are great games for your kids as it encourages teamwork and exercise. It’s vital that we get our children moving, and these kinds of old-school games are the best way to do it.

  1.    Treasure Hunts

If you have smaller children, you may need to guide their outdoor activities more than you would with older kids. So, why not create a treasure hunt in your back garden? You can make a cool pirate map and decorate it for the kids. Give them clues where treats and sweets will be hiding. Get them to solve riddles, or complete an obstacle course so that they ‘earn’ their treats. It will keep them active and giggly all spring long, but it’s great for family bonding too.

  1.    Backyard Nature Trails

Your garden is a wonderland for nature! Create a bingo sheet of animals that can be spotted in your own backyard. Collect pine cones, leaves and petals to create beautiful collages. You can even complete the drawing and painting tasks in your backyard. It’s a fun way to teach kids more about the local wildlife. What’s more, they will love collecting the cones and flowers to make their collages too.

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  1.    Camping in the Yard

Camping is a great way to making sure that your kids get back to basics. Of course, finding the time to go camping can be difficult between work and school. So, why not opt for a backyard camping adventure on a Saturday night? You can choose snacks and tell stories around a camp fire. It’s the perfect way to bond as a family.

Having fun with the kids this spring need not be expensive. All you need is an active imagination. It’s the best way to spend some quality down time together as a family unit. What could be better than that?

 

 

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The Parent’s Guide To Creating A Family Focused Lounge

I may not be an interior designer, but I do know a few things about creating a comfortable, stylish, child-friendly, home.

For many families, especially families with younger children, the living room is the hub of the home. But what happens when your living room isn’t as family-friendly as you would like it to be?

If your living room isn’t as family-focused as you would like it to be, there is no need to panic. There are plenty of simple ways you can transform your living space into a more family-friendly environment, all you need to do is a little bit of DIY.

For all the best tips to transforming your lounge into a more family-friendly space, have a read of this.

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  1. Think about flooring

If your little ones are rather messy, then having white fluffy carpet is probably not the best design choice. If you have young children who like to make a mess, you want to invest in flooring that is easy to clean, such as stone or laminate flooring.

If you are worried about a stone or laminate floor being too cold  for your little ones to play on, you could always invest in a couple of washable floor rugs.

  1. Choose your paint carefully

When you have young children, it is inevitable that a sticky hand mark or a marker pen is going to make its way onto your living room wall. Instead of worrying about this, why not pick a type of paint that can just be wiped clean of any marks?

Or, if you want to encourage your children’s creativity, why not use chalk paint to decorate your living room? That way your kids can draw on your walls to their hearts content, and you can just wipe it away later on.

  1. Cover the furniture

If you are worried about little fingers making a mess of your sofa, consider buying a sofa that is made from an easy-to-clean fabric, such as leather. If you are unsure of the best fabric to choose, pop into your local furniture store and ask them for their suggestions.

Alternatively, you could always pop covers over your sofa. This is an excellent way to keep your sofa protected from any spills or stains as the sofa covers protect it. Just make sure to choose sofa covers that are easily washable.

  1. Make your living room as comfortable as possible

Your living room should be as comfortable and cozy as possible, as this will make it  more appealing for you and your family to spend time in.

Have a think about the ways you can add comfort to your living room. Such as adding floor pillows or investing in Sack Daddy adult beanbags for older members of the family to relax on.

  1. Add entertainment

To make your living room a more fun and enjoyable place to spend time in, invest in different forms of entertainment, for your family to enjoy. For instance, if you like having family movie nights, a large television and a BlueRay DVD player would be a great investment.

For younger members of the family, design an area in the living room where they can play with their toys without getting in the way.