Giving Your Kid A Santa-stic Christmas

Christmas is a time for family. And, as a child, the festive period is somehow even more magical. Maybe it’s the novelty and newness of this special time of year, or maybe it’s the beauty of believing in Santa Claus. Whatever the case, you should let this childlike mindset reignite your love for the festive season too. Your goal should be to give your kid a “Santa-stic” Christmas. Here are some pieces of advice to help you on that mission.

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Set traditions.

The best way to make Christmas special for your kid is to create some family traditions. Whilst they might say they’re most excited for presents and chocolate, every child loves spending some quality time with their family (they just might not admit it for fear of losing their street cred). Traditions don’t have to be complex or expensive. You could all watch a Christmas film together in the evening or have a special festive breakfast first thing in the morning. Find something over which you and the family can bond.

Give and receive fantastic gifts.

As tough as it is for kids to grasp, Christmas is about giving as well as receiving. Obviously, we understand the pain because we were all young once. All you could think about was racing to the living room on Christmas morning and tearing into those presents waiting for you underneath the tree. Of course, it can help your child to appreciate this festive season more if they give as well as receiving; it’ll teach them that Christmas is about sharing the joy and making others happy too. Your kid might not have money of their own yet but you can take them out shopping to help them at least pick out gifts for members of the family. It’ll teach them something about the goodness of giving to others.

Of course, helping your child choose presents for others might be easier than choosing a present for them. You should definitely ask them what sort of things they have their eye on this year to avoid disappointing them but you probably want to surprise your little one too; it’s always a satisfying feeling to see their face light up. Still, you have to find that perfect gift first. It can be quite a stressful experience. You should either get them lots of little presents or one big one that’ll blow them away. The latter could make Christmas a little more memorable for them. If you want tips on choosing kids dirt bikes and other cool items that they’ll remember (and hopefully use) for years to come then you should do some research. Be a little bold with your gift-giving this year.

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Throw a party.

You might want to set the date a few days before or after Christmas but there’s nothing like a festive party to get your child and the whole family in good spirits. You could put on some games for the children so as to get them all in the spirit for the big day and the adults could drink wine in the kitchen. That sounds like the perfect Christmas to us.

Sporting Ruses Not Even Sherlock Holmes Would See Through

Most kids fall into one of two categories. They either love sports, or they hate the stuff. This has been the case for time immemorial, and we can all remember which group we fit into. If you didn’t enjoy sports, physical education would become a traumatic experience. There certainly wasn’t any chance of sports in your free time.

Once upon a time, though, that wasn’t so much of a problem. Even kids who didn’t love sport would go outside of an evening and play with their friends. Now, with the possibilities of games consoles and television streaming, it’s harder than ever to get non-sporty kids outside. And, who can blame them when there’s so much fun stuff to do? But, with childhood obesity now up to one in every five children, it’s crucial you encourage activity in your child.

The good news is, not every sport emits the groans that, say, a suggestion of football might do. In fact, some sporting activities won’t even seem like sports to your kids. Here, we’re going to take a look at some prime examples. Encourage your child to do any of these three activities, and they’ll exercise without even noticing.

Skipping

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 The chances are that you won’t have much trouble encouraging your child to skip. It’s a standard playground game and something that most children will do of their own volition. Yet, jumping rope is one of the most efficient forms of exercise. So much so that your child stands to burn ten calories for every minute they skip. Just half an hour of this could do them a world of good. If you haven’t already, buy them a skipping rope, and encourage them to play with it whenever you can.

Trampolining

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Most kids would love the chance to own a trampoline. It’s just one of those things on the bucket list of just about anyone under the age of 13. And, it might be a good idea to stop resisting them. Trampolining is another incredibly efficient exercise. It uses everything from leg muscles, to those in the stomach. While not as efficient as skipping for calorie loss, this is still fantastic for getting muscles working. Bear in mind that buying a trampoline isn’t as easy as getting a jump rope. You’ll need to ensure you purchase the safest option possible. You can visit Parenting Pod for more information on the best options out there, or do your own research. Once you find a model which fits your need, don’t hesitate to invest.

Horse Riding

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The majority of little girls, and some boys too, dream of the chance for horse riding lessons. As such, it shouldn’t take much convincing to get them to take up this physical activity. At 200 calories per 45 minute ride, this doesn’t have quite the same calorie burning capabilities. But, it’s still physical exercise. And, beggars can’t be choosers when unsporty kids are involved. So, make their horse riding dreams come true, and help them get fit, too.

 

Keep Illness Away From Your Baby This Winter

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No parent wants their baby to suffer from any kind of illness if it can be helped – and it can almost always be helped. If you are a new parent and you want to make sure that you are protecting your baby as well as you can this winter, then there is plenty you will need to take on board. It can be surprisingly challenging to ensure that your baby is kept away from disease during the colder months, but with the right approach, you should be able to ensure that you are at least minimising any risks which might be inherent. Without further ado, let’s look at some of the best ways to keep your child healthy this winter.

Hand Washing

As a parent to an infant, you just can’t afford not to wash your hands regularly. Although we all know that hand washing is essential for health reasons, so many people fail to really do it correctly. With a child in the mix, however, this kind of behavior can actually be lethally dangerous. You need to make sure that you are washing your hands regularly, especially at the usual times you normally would. But you also need to make sure that you are actually cleaning them with the proper technique.

Proper hand washing technique is something that unfortunately escapes a lot of people, but it is likely to be essential if you want to keep your baby as healthy and free of germs as possible. A strong hand washing routine should take around two minutes to complete, and you should make sure that you are really getting in under the nails and in between the fingers accurately. There is a huge noticeable difference between doing this and just giving your hands a quick rinse, and you need to make sure you are doing it just right. It is likely to make a massive difference to how successfully you keep your baby away from any potentially harmful germs.

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You will also need to try and make sure that others who come into contact with your baby are keeping their hands clean. This is much more difficult to police, but polite requests should usually be more than enough in most cases. Remember too that you can only do a certain amount to protect your baby, and to a certain degree you have to accept that you can’t control the germs. That being said, proper hand washing should make a world of difference.

Regular Cleaning

Naturally enough, it is critical to ensure that you are cleaning your baby regularly. If you are a first-time parent, you might be surprised at how confusing the whole realm of cleaning your baby can actually be, at least to begin with. But with some simple research, you should be able to get on top of it in no time at all. For a start, you need to make sure that you are cleaning your baby at the right amount of regular intervals. You only really need to clean your baby around three to four times a week, but if you want to bathe them every evening, then there is absolutely no harm in that. You don’t want to subject them to baths more often than that, however.

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Be sure to check the temperature well with your elbow, and then place them on one foot at a time, and gradually so on until they are in entirely. Then it’s just a case of making sure that you are gentle but thorough – a fine line which you just need to try and find yourself. Also ensure that you clean every part of their body, including shampooing their head. As well as being generally good hygiene practice, it also helps to treat cradle cap and other conditions so is definitely a good idea. The more thoroughly you clean your baby, the less likely it is that they will pick up anything over the winter months. Just make sure to keep them warm throughout the bathing process, and especially after.

Be Careful Of Crowds

It is common for new parents to want to take their baby everywhere they go and show them off. It is likely that you will experience this same feeling, but for the sake of their health, it is a good idea to try and minimize the amount you take them out to see lots of people. You don’t want to hole them up inside, of course, but you should just be wary of how many people are coming into contact with them. The fewer, the better, especially over winter, as this only makes it much less likely that they will pick up any germs or illnesses. As long as you are conscious of any crowds of people, you should find that your baby is healthy for much longer, and hopefully won’t get sick over winter at all. If your baby does start to develop an illness of some kind, then you definitely want to make sure you keep them inside, as this is the safest way to deal with it.

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Vaccines

Something you really can’t afford to overlook is the issue of vaccination. If you are serious about keeping your baby as healthy as possible, then you will want to make sure that you get them vaccinated in all of the major diseases. This is the safest way to keep them from getting genuinely very ill – something that no parent wants for their child, after all. If you vaccinate them, you can be sure that you have done everything you can to keep them protected as well as possible for the entirety of the winter months. Without vaccinations, you are keeping your baby open to vulnerability for many diseases and illnesses, so it is definitely a good idea to ensure that you get this done as soon as possible.

As long as you follow the above advice, you should find that you are able to keep your baby as safe as possible over the colder months.

What A Pet Can Teach Your Kids

If you have a family, there are high chances you have a family pet as well. It’s part of the perfect packaged deal: kids we love and a pet to complete the circle in a cute and friendly ways. Dogs and cats can be our best friends, and having a hutch in the backyard means we have an excuse to spend a lot more time out there. That means that having a pet can teach us a lot more about ourselves, and allow us to brush up on our people skills. For children, this works in double time due to the developmental process. Here’s a few of the best talents a child can pick up from interacting with a four legged friend.

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Plenty of Compassion

Guinea pigs, rabbits, and hamsters are some of the smallest creatures we can keep in our houses, and they’re cute and fluffy enough for a kid to love unconditionally. The bonding that can take place is one that’ll last forever, and offers a good model for any future friend making.

Sometimes our kids can surprise us, and the amount of empathy they can gain just from cleaning out a cage without being asked, or refilling bowls and water bottles is immense; it also teaches boundaries. Picking up these basic need skills can help them understand what they’re feeling better, and get them to be more considerate of others as well.

Responsibility

Self control is something we all need to get a little more of, and having a small furry friend who relies upon your for everything is a good way of learning this, and learning it fast.  Even when you have healthy and natural treats to give out, like those of Betsy Farms, too many is still bad for your pet’s health.

A dog is one of the most reliant pets that you can have, and they love us with all of their pure hearts. However, kindness can sometimes go a little too far when we want to repay this devotion. Learning how to temper treat time allows kids to understand action consequences, and what they can do to avoid them in the first place.

A Few More Social Skills

We all talk to our pets, whether it be in a baby voice or a full blown conversation, so let your kids use this to their advantage. Having a dog can teach us how to interact with others, and when and where to smile, if you’re not very good at keeping that up. This works especially well for kids who are a bit lonelier, as sometimes a pet can be an only friend.

Coming home to a pet makes us feel happier and more comfortable when we’re around the house, so the same goes for when we’re outside. Taking a dog for a walk can give a kid a boost to their confidence as they have someone with them that they don’t have to interact with on a human skill, but can still practice on.

Tech Hobbies To Encourage In Your Kids

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Technology gets a lot of stick when it comes to its relationship with your kids. OK, so sure, there are some bad points to consider, but if you are a Luddite in these modern times, I’m afraid to say there’s no doubt your children are missing out. Technology gives them a whole bunch of fantastic opportunities, which you or I may not have had when we were kids. Let’s take a closer look at the sort of thing you can encourage – all thanks to the wonders of modern tech.

Coding

First and foremost, if your kids get enthused by coding, who knows where it might take them? The world is literally their oyster if you can get them excited to learn the fundamentals of coding and create incredible apps, systems, games or websites, and the earlier they start, the better. There’s a massive push toward getting kids into technology, and in particular, lots of options that will show them the ropes. Pick up a Raspberry Pi, and get them into services like Tynker or Kodable.

Music

It wasn’t too long ago that kids had a choice between a traditional instrument or nothing when it came to learning music. But these days, it’s another story entirely. Every iPad comes equipped with the brilliant Garage Band, where your kids can create tunes of any kind. There are smartphone apps, too, like Crayola DJ and Sesame Street Make Music. And once they have made their first album, you can even use a professional audio CD service, order in bulk, and send everyone in the family a copy – or two. There’s never been a better time for kids to get involved in music, and who knows – perhaps your little one will end up being the next Mozart?

Gaming

Too much gaming can be damaging for little ones, of course. But there are benefits to gaming, as well. Not only will children start developing skills like coordination and reflexes, but gaming is problem-solving in its most basic form. And if they are good at what they do, they could even compete – some of the pro-gamers around these days earn an astonishing amount of money.

TV

OK, so no more than two hours of TV on any given day – that’s a given. But when your kids are sat in front of the box, what are they actually watching? Shows like Bill Nye, the Science Guy are well worth watching, and you have the likes of Horrible Histories for those that prefer culture over physics. Common Sense Media have a formidable list of TV shows that will ensure your child is actually learning something, rather than just be a passive participant of the technology they use.

Art

Finally, let’s move back to your smartphone or tablet. If your child has a passion for drawing or painting – and which children don’t! – there are plenty of options when it comes to tech. Color & Draw For Kids, Morton Subotnick’s Pitch Painter, and Doodlecast for Kids are all excellent outlets for budding Monets.

Any more tech hobby ideas for kids? Let everyone know about them in the comments!

 

Top 5 Disney Movies for Teen Girls

Who doesn’t love a Disney? Oh yeah, some people aren’t utter Disney children and still re-watch the movies over and over throughout their teen years. My bad. So, what movies do you convince your teen daughter to watch on her own or with the family? Fear not, here’s five Disney movies for them.

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Top 5 Disney Movies for Teen Girls

Mulan

Many teens, especially girls, struggle with self identity and learning to accept themselves. Mulan is the story of one determined and strong-willed girl that finds a way to achieve what she wants, even through the criticism of others. This movie is best for showing girls to keep fighting and not let what others say get in your way. Buy it Here.

Alice in Wonderland

Clumsy little Alice, falling through the rabbit hole. Which version is a matter of personal preference, since both of the versions are pretty different from each other. This movie has a lot of humor and fun, and portrays a brave and determined young girl finding her way through the chaos of Wonderland. Overall, Alice tells girls no matter how crazy things may seem you can never give up, plus this movie is pretty humorous. Buy it Here.

Brave

Although this isn’t the time for most when girls are forced into marriage by their parents, Merida can be inspiring. She makes her own mistakes and causes her own problems at times. However, she learns to appreciate what she has and fight for her own thoughts and opinions to be heard. This girl is pretty strong and inspiring. Buy it Here.

Pocahontas

Pocahontas went through a whole lot of chaos in this movie, hm? This woman is a strong willed and thoughtful character who deals with a lot of stressful factors, all with a love story woven in between. Throughout the movie she proves to teens that fighting for what you believe in can succeed, not to give up, and most importantly: you don’t need a knight in shining armor to come save you. Buy it Here.

Beauty and the Beast

Who doesn’t love a love story as a teen? I mean come on, falling for a beast is amusing and mysterious, isn’t it? Beauty and the Beast shows an image of a courageous and selfless girl. Although falling in love with a beast is kind of sketchy, it does show the concept of not judging a book by its cover or that love is about what’s on the inside. This movie has comedy, romance, fear, and more. This one doesn’t necessarily teach girls much, it’s just a romance must-see for any teen. Buy it Here.

Mulan, Alice in Wonderland, Brave, Pocahontas, and Beauty and the Beast. Quite a diverse pick isn’t it? However, all of these have good lessons and messages behind them for teen girls. Try getting your teen to watch these sometime!

This article was written by Ki Shack, my teenage daughter who is currently available to write content for your site. Contact us today to inquire about her rates and options.

12 Awesome Pinatas for Your Next Party

As I work to plan this weekend’s birthday party for my two sons, my mind is on pinatas. I remember this being a huge part of childhood birthday parties. We would be blindfolded, handed a stick or bat and someone spun us around. Once done being spun around, we had to then use this baseball bat to try to whack the pinata to let loose all of that candy.

While this is a wonderful childhood memory, most pinatas were homemade whereas today you can hop online to purchase one that’s already made. And spinning to hit with a baseball bat? Say no more, there are now packages of gear for you to use that includes a blindfold and stick to hit the pinata. Having a party for younger kids? No problem, there’s even pull-string pinatas now. The options are endless, I hope you enjoy these pinatas I hand picked from Amazon to share with you.

12 Awesome Pinatas for Your Next Party

12 Awesome Pinatas for your Next Party

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Ya Otta Pinata Unicorn Pinata


Ya Otta Pinata Shark Pinata


Butterfly Pinata


Darth Vader Star Wars Pinata, Pull String


Poop Emoji Pinata, Pull String


Pinkie Pie My Little Pony Pinata, Pull String


Tequila Bottle Pinata


Ya Otta Pinata BB004911 Monkey Pinata


Princess Tiara Pinata


Ya Otta Pinata Dragon Pinata


Ya Otta Pinata BB012220 Tractor Pinata


Tiki Pinata

Encouraging Creativity In Children

As a parent, giving your children the best start in life is the top item on the agenda. Encouraging the kids to explore their creative sides is a pivotal part of that development. This is why you must take the necessary steps to let it happen. But how?

There are many different approaches, and trying out various methods until you find what works for the individual is key. Here are four of the most common and rewarding ideas out there.

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Toys For Adventure

Home is the perfect starting place for children to express their creativity. One of the best options is to let them use their imagination. A toddler tipi can go a long way to getting youngsters to take on all kinds of crazy adventures. As they get a little older, you can additionally look at garden jungle gyms.

In addition to encouraging creativity, those types of toys promote a sense of sharing. This makes them a far better option than solo games and toys that stifle creativity. When choosing video games, titles like Minecraft are better than linear narrative adventures.

Encourage Artistry  

Unlocking a child’s artistic flair is a truly wonderful thing, and this could take many different forms. Of course, paints and crayons are a great starting point, but there are many alternatives. Just because your child isn’t naturally brilliant at drawing, it doesn’t mean they can’t be artistic.

Playing musical instruments is another fantastic way for them to express that flair and creativity. With this in mind, all parents should embrace gifted children. Similarly, dancing and other art forms can be used to promote that creative spark in a productive manner. These activities also aid the development of key motor skills while team events increase communication too.

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Explore Exciting Locations

One of the best ways to explore that creative side is to explore new locations. Our family loves visiting Helen, Georgia. However, yours could find similar adventures in a host of places. From parks to nature reserves, those day trips and adventures are truly rewarding.

Learning more about the world gives your children a far better chance of making up imaginative games and stories. Meanwhile, the car journeys can be a great time for building that excitement and getting them to think about those magical adventures. If nothing else, the opportunity to make new friends will have a hugely positive impact.

Let Them Have A Say

When organizing fun family activities, it’s very easy to take control. However, actively encouraging kids to have an input can work wonders. Brainstorm ideas at the kitchen table to get them excited and using their imagination. Of course, you may have to reject some ideas. Still, you’ll be surprised with the great suggestions. In many cases, they’ll choose things that’ll save a lot of money too.

Even simple tasks like baking cakes together, or growing fruit and veg can tap into their creativity. With a little planning, you’ll have no problems making it fun and child-friendly. The kids will be happy while you’ll love spending time together too. The fact that it helps their development is simply a bonus.