Friday, March 24, 2017

Encouraging your Children to Play Sports

As a species, it seems that the majority of us are simply getting lazy. All age groups are spending more time sitting down than moving their bodies, and this is not good for either our mental or physical health. For many adults, inactivity is a difficult habit to kick, even though we are aware of the harm that we are doing to our bodies. However, for children, it is not too late, and if you want your child to enjoy a happy and healthy adulthood, then you need to be encouraging your children to play sports now.

The benefits of sport

Just why should you encourage your child to put away their video games and get active? Just what are the benefits of sport and other physical activities? The benefits are numerous. The most obvious is that activity of any kind improves physical health. Being active means that the calories that your child is consuming are being burned off to provide energy rather than being stored in their body as fat as they sit idle on the sofa. Exercise is good for mental health as activity releases feel-good endorphins in the brain – quite simply, a person “feels” better after engaging in moderate to strenuous activity.

There are also social benefits. A child who plays sports usually has to engage with other people to win, so they will be developing their social skills if they engage in sports, including their communication abilities and their willingness to cooperate with others to achieve a desired objective, such as scoring a goal. Playing sports also widens their group of friends and helps them to build up their confidence and self-esteem so that they do not feel isolated or “different” from their peers.

How can you get your children away from the computer and active out of doors? The best way is to lead by example, so one way of getting your children active is to make time for family sport sessions. If your family enjoys tennis, why not book a tennis court for a Saturday or Sunday morning and have games of singles and doubles? Just remember to make the rules of the game, whatever you end up playing (as long as everyone enjoys it), at the very beginning and give them praise when it is due. If sport is a new activity for you as a family, try not to be too rigid about the rules, as you may risk boring your children.

Sports, like any new activity, can take time to learn and perform well, so if, for example, you have just started taking your child to swimming lessons and they are not progressing very fast, do not make your disappointment known at their lack of ability or progress. Instead, always encourage them to do better without making them feel pressured. You may also find that the sport that your child takes up loses its appeal after a while, so do not be annoyed if they suddenly want to switch to a new sport. Let them try a few different activities and experiment with what they like. They are more likely to stick at a sport that they enjoy than one that they do not. Be prepared for this to cost a little, though, as the more sports they take part in, the more equipment you may have to buy or hire.

As much as you want your child to be active, you also have to consider how hard they can push their body. Children are not professional athletes, after all, so they need to stay safe when they engage in sports. You will have trouble to curb their natural enthusiasm for getting stuck in, but you can prepare them beforehand by ensuring that they have the correct kids sportswear for their sport. For cycling, this would be a helmet and possibly kneepads in case they come off their bike. You can also mitigate the chances and the effects of an injury for the more athletic kids by including in their sport gear some compression wear, such as a knee sleeve or elbow sleeve.

Finally, you could also encourage an interest in sports in your children by watching, as a family, any sporting events on television. Make these events fun by bringing in (healthy) party food or even having a little family get-together beforehand or afterwards. Also, while watching, point out how successful the professional players have become because they have been interested in sport. There is nothing like an idol or role model for encouraging an interest.


Children should be encouraged to exercise for all the benefits that it will bring them. You can encourage your children in this respect by taking part in the games yourself and being supportive of their efforts, whether that means when they arrive home after playing a game or if you are there on the sidelines, cheering them on.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Springtime With Your Infant

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Now that winter is over, it brings moms a wealth of new options when it comes to taking care of their kid. After all, springtime means more sunshine which means you can get out and about with your child. And with it being lighter till later, it also enables you to make the most of the lovely weather. It can feel like a blessing when you don’t have to spend all days stuck inside the home with your child. Of course, it can leave some moms stuck when trying to decide what to do with their kid during spring. And it’s important to make sure they are safe when you are taking them out and about in the sun. Therefore, here is some help and advice to ensure you get the most out of springtime with your infant.

Spend some time outside in the garden

The best thing about spring being here is you don’t have to stay inside with your small infant. After all, it can feel like the walls are closing in when you are inside for hours on end with your child. There is only so much you can do with your little one when you are stuck inside the house. In fact, a lot of moms end up relying on the TV to keep them busy during the cold months. But now that spring is here, you should make the most the time in your garden with your child. You can buy some outdoor furniture which you can then put in your yard. And then you can sit outside cuddling your child while enjoying the fresh air. You could even spread out a blanket on the grass which you can use to sit on with your kid. That way, you both won’t get mucky from the grass. And you will both enjoy spending hours out in the sunlight. You could even do a bit of gardening while you are outside with your newborn. Bring their seat outside, and then you can get some planting done while your child enjoys the outside air. Just make sure you put your child somewhere which they won’t be in direct sunlight. And ensure they are away from bugs while you are outside in the yard!

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Make sure they are dressed appropriately for the weather

With winter now a distant memory, it’s time to change your infant’s wardrobe. After all, those full body suits and booties might make your child a bit hot and bothered this season. And you want to ensure they are dressed appropriately before you brave the outdoors this spring. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get some short sleeved body suits which will keep them cool this season. You can pair this with some cute leggings and a small cardigan which will ensure they still have enough layers to keep them warm. And make sure you get a good waterproof for your little one before you go out this spring. After all, you might still experience some spring showers while you are out and about. You can find some more tips for your infant’s wardrobe this spring in this article. And remember that whenever they have any skin on show, make sure you lather them up with sun lotion. That way, when the sun does rear its head, your kid will be protected from the hot rays

Go for a picnic with your little one

There’s no better way to enjoy springtime than going for a picnic with your little one. After all, it’s a great way to enjoy the spring sunshine while consuming some scrumptious food. And it will definitely help you to get outside of the house with your little one. In fact, the sunshine will do you both the world of good. Therefore, get a picnic basket which you can fill with a wealth of delicious treats. And then make sure you have a clean blanket which you can take to sit on with your child. You then just need to decide where to have a picnic with your child. It might be that you go to a local park which has plenty of room for you to sit and consume a delicious picnic. You can read up online for more advice on somewhere to go to with your kid. After all, you don’t want to make a bad choice with the location. And remember if it’s raining, you can still enjoy a picnic inside your home. As it says in this feature, just spread a blanket across your living room floor!

Go to the beach with your infant

It’s also a good idea to think about taking your infant to the beach now that spring is here. After all, it can make for a great day out for you and your baby. And the sea air can do you and your child a world of good! Of course, there’s a lot of things you need to do if you are going to take your little one to the seaside. Firstly, you need to have a look online and see where the nearest beaches are where you can take your infant. After all, you don’t want to drive for miles to the beach with your infant. Otherwise, if you end up in the car for an hour with a crying infant, you will be stressed out before you get to the beach. Once you find a good beach, you need to pack everything you need for the trip. It’s worth packing a good stroller you can use to take your infant around the area. You can look online for help finding one which is easy to move around and will keep your kid comfortable. In fact, check out reviews like this Minnie mouse stroller review to ensure you choose the right one for your kid. And if you think it will be too difficult to manoeuvre the stroller, you could always take a baby carrier. That way, you can have your little one close to you while you brave the sandy beach! Remember to take your camera as you are bound to get some great pictures of your little one at the seaside!

Head to the outdoor pool with your child

A lot of moms decide to take their little one swimming when they are a couple of months old. After all, babies love to splash away in the water. And it gives you a chance to bond with your baby, as well as get some essential exercise in your life. After all, you might not get an opportunity to be very active when you are running around after the kids. Therefore, swimming allows you both to have some fun. Now that spring is here, it’s worth considering taking your child to an outdoor swimming pool. After all, it will be a lot warmer at this time of the year. And it can be great to do some swimming while enjoying the sun. Just make sure you are both covered with sun lotion before you enter the pool. And make sure you pack everything you need before you go to the pool! That way, you can ensure you have a great time while swimming with your little one.

And you might want to consider going to visit some relatives or friends during the spring season. After all, now it’s better weather, you don’t mind making the trip to visit them so they can meet your little one. And you won’t have to worry about traveling back in the dark. After all, it stays dark now until around 7 pm! Read my previous blog for some tips visiting relatives with your kid.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Preparing for a Foster Child

Fostering is one of the most wonderful things you can do to help a disadvantaged child. If you are interested in helping disadvantaged children, either as a foster carer or in another way, contact Children’s Bureau.

Some of the children you will care for have come out of abusive situations, or have been neglected and perhaps even abandoned. Your job is to provide them with care and stability, for however long they spend with you. It’s incredibly important to prepare both your home, and family, to make the transition as easy as possible for everyone involved. This can be difficult, as you often don’t know when a child might arrive, how old they’ll be, what gender, or what their background is. So, it’s best to be prepared for anything. Here are some great tips to help.

Supplies

You don’t need to go overboard, but make sure you always have a few essentials ready. Have a bed made up and ready, preferably in their own room. Then, have a few bags, packed with some clean pajamas, underwear, a toothbrush, and some basic clothes, for both genders, in a few different sizes, as you’ll want them to have their own things as soon as they arrive. Also, be sure to stock up on kids’ favorite foods, snacks and drinks, and child safe medicines.

Space

It’s important to try and make a foster child feel safe, at home, and part of the family, so you’ll want to include them and make them feel welcome. However, depending on their situation, you may find they are withdrawn and crave their own space. So, where possible give them their own bedroom. Keep it quite plainly decorated, to suit any tastes, and let them know they can customize it. Include a few home comforts, such as books, cushions and blankets, to try to make it feel like a safe space from the off.

Entertainment

Children often need much less than we think they do to keep them entertained. So, you don’t need to go mad buying loads of toys. Just get a few things that fit either gender such as Lego, coloring sheets and pencils, books and family DVDs.

Prepare Your Family

Prepare everyone in the household for a possible new arrival. Explain to your own children, be honest with them, and encourage them to ask questions. Then, make a plan. When your foster child arrives, don’t overwhelm them. Introduce them to the rest of your family with a smile and perhaps take them on a tour. Show them your whole house. Be sure to keep smiling, let them know they can ask you questions. Another great, simple way to make them feel safe and comfortable is making eye contact. Get down to their level and look them in the eye when you speak to them.

Many charities work with children who have been the victims of abuse, placing children with foster families, but they also help prevent any future abuse, so there is plenty of valuable work to be done. Find out how you can help today.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

6 Incredible Ways Your Children Will Benefit From A Dog

Dogs aren’t just cute pets to have around the home. Your family could actually benefit in incredible ways from having a dog! How? Read on for 6 benefits your children can enjoy when you get a dog:

Unconditional Love
With a dog, your children will get unconditional love. It’s not as if they don’t get this from you. However, getting it from a dog means they will feel supported in numerous different ways. Not only that, they will enjoy the constant companionship that a dog can offer. Kids and dogs really can become the best of friends.

Responsibility
Along with a dog your child will need to learn responsibility. You don’t want to do everything yourself forever, so it’s a good idea to teach your kids how to care for the dog, and encourage them to take on different tasks. Whether you teach them to apply their Frontline Plus for dogs or simply fill up their water bowl, it’ll help them feel more responsible. Not only that, as they care for their dog, they’ll feel more empathy and compassion towards the dog and others.

Improve Their Self Esteem
Dogs can help to improve your children’s self esteem. As your child and dog play and learn together, your child will realize that they are needed. Your dog needs them, and that will feel amazing. Whenever they teach your dog a trick or get a chore right, they’ll feel more confident too.

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Decrease Their Stress Levels
Dogs can help to decrease stress levels. This isn’t just for children; those who pet a dog will experience stress relief too. Reading to a dog has been shown to help children feel less stressed. Kids get stressed just like adults, and although a dog might not be the answer to all of your problems, it will definitely help everybody to de-stress. Getting exercise with the dog can be a brilliant stress reliever too.

They Are Happier In General
As dogs encourage the brain to produce hormones like serotonin and dopamine, your child tends to be happier in general. They won’t always need to be with the dog to feel happy, but the dog will be a huge part of the reason why they are.

They Become Healthier
Owning a dog has many health benefits on children. Studies show that babies get sick less often in their first year when there’s a dog around, although you’ll need to be sure you don’t leave them unsupervised with your pet. Not only that, a dog encourages everybody to get outside more - fresh air and sunshine are really important. Children have less chance of developing allergies, too!

There you have them; 6 incredible ways you children will benefit from having a dog. This doesn’t mean you should get a dog if you can’t afford it, you don’t have the time or space for it, or anything like that. Providing your lifestyle suits a dog, and you’ve done your research on suitable breeds, then you could all enjoy these benefits!

Friday, March 10, 2017

PLAYMOBIL's My Take Along Farm for Toddlers

PLAYMOBIL®, known for their classic imagination sparking playsets, introduces the 1.2.3. My Take Along Farm. Built with toddlers in mind, this latest addition to PLAYMOBIL’s creative playsets line is packed with large pieces and features a bright, colorful design.

My Take Along Farm


My older children have been adore PLAYMOBIL’s sets so I was super excited to introduce my toddler to his first PLAYMOBIL playset specially designed for toddlers 18+ months. Complete with carry along farm house, animals and accessories such as feeding trufts and pitch forks, toddlers imaginations will be immersed in imaginative play on the farm. There is also a shape sorter built into the farm house, and best of all when playtime is over all the pieces can be packed inside the farm house. The storage and carrying handle make it a great toy for home or on the go!


PLAYMOBIL

Shape Sorter Feature

About the My Take Along Farm
Get ready to work on the farm with My Take Along Farm. With a bright and colorful design and large rounded pieces, this PLAYMOBIL 1.2.3. set is ideal for toddlers. Feed the animals and store all supplies in the loft. Pay careful attention to which shapes fit in the holes! When playtime is over, store all the pieces inside the farm, close up and grab the carrying handle to go wherever


Find the PLAYMOBIL My Take Along Farm in select stores and online at retailers such as Amazon.com for the MSRP of $39.99

Learn more about PLAYMOBIL and connect with them:

Product(s) and/or information provided for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and were in no way influenced.