Category: Family Topics

Making Fundraisers Fun: Have The Kids Earn The Money This Year
Making Fundraisers Fun: Have The Kids Earn The Money This Year

 

One of the best ways to ensure the success of your fundraiser this year is to get the kids involved. Kids are great at getting people to donate money, the fresh faces of youth always help to loosen a person’s purse strings. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious, and it is often just what is needed to kick start a fundraiser. Don’t get stuck doing all the work for them again, and teach them some money saving skills they will need in future by involving them in the fundraising. Here is a look at some fun ways to get kids involved in a fundraiser.

 

Raffles

One of the best ways to raise money is to hold a raffle. Everyone is more likely to part with their money if they have a chance of winning something else. You can use half the money collected for prizes, and the other half to go into your fundraising account. Kids can sell the tickets and promote the raffle event by making signs, decorations and picking out the prizes.

 

Pins

Another great fundraising idea for kids, is to have them sell pins that promote your cause. You can get PinPros custom pins with your fundraising logo on it. Send the kids out in the neighborhood, or have them set up shop at a local sporting event or concert. Sell the pins for a dollar or two, and you will see the money come rolling in. Best of all, everyone who buys a pin will be promoting your fundraiser whenever they wear them.

 

Kids Artwork Sale

One of the most creative and fun way to get kids involved in a fundraiser is to have them create art. Get a large group of kids to all create a piece or two to sell. You will be amazed at how fast the children’s’ relatives will be looking to buy their artwork. There isn’t a grandparent, aunt or uncle alive who can resist parting with some cash for an original masterpiece by their favorite elementary-school artist. Give your kids a chance to showcase another kind of talent as well for a performance raffle.

 

These are just a few ideas to get kids involved in a fundraiser. You should be sure to solicit the kids for ideas as well. When they have a hand in the planning, they will work that much harder to ensure success. The bottom line is to have fun and to instill a sense of giving in the kids..

Creative Water Balloon Games to Play with Kids
Creative Water Balloon Games to Play with Kids

 

Children somehow love to play with water especially when it isn’t bath time. Be it the hose pipe, a swimming pool and lately discovered water balloons. There is practically so much that you can do this summer. Here are some games that you and your toddlers can play in your own backyard using some colourful water balloons.

  • Exploration: If your child hasn’t seen a water balloon then the thrill to hold one is clearly shown on their faces. When the feel the surface and compare its weight to a balloon without any air they learn that water has weight. They can carry the balloons around and even drop them to see what a splash it makes.
  • Filling them up with water: One can set a timer to see who which family member will fill 10 balloons the fastest. You could even try a competition wherein children can put there balloons under a running tap to see who has the largest water balloon without letting it drop on the ground.
  • Catch: This game is a huge hit with children of all ages actually. Take a water balloon and toss it around with friends and family. One could also play hot potato too. Rubbing soap on your hands makes the game a tad bit difficult.

  • Waterballoonhunt : Hide those colourful water balloons and see how many kids find and get the water balloons back to an adult without letting them burst.
  • Water Balloonfight : make teams wherein you have to playfully throw water balloons at each other. Make sure nobody hurts the other in the process.
  • Launching Water Balloons: You can create a launcher to throw water balloons over a long distance. Compete with friends and see how long everybody goes for. Perfect game for kids and adults too.
  • Dropping balloons : Allow your kids to drop balloons from varying heights and see the splatter on the floor.

If you have a baby at home then not knowing how to stop thumb sucking can be frustrating. You obviously don’t want the habit to stay and this is precisely why we at endthumbsucking.com have created thumb guards for babies. We believe that instead of letting the habit stay, it is best to nip it in the bud. Our Glovey Huggey guards easily go over the child’s thumb and doesn’t promote thumb sucking. Along with our signature products , we send out stickers and toys as incentives for not sucking their thumbs..

6 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Nutrition
6 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Nutrition

 

When it comes to your child’s health, a well-balanced diet is crucial. Although some children are picky eaters, and like every parent, you reward them with their favorite foods, it’s important to encourage a healthy diet. Start now with these six simple tips.

 

Make it Colorful

Children love colorful things, and when food is fun, they are more likely to try it. Keep their plates full of color by creating a rainbow of colors on their plate. For breakfast they could have strawberries with their cereal, orange and pineapple slices with their lunch, blueberries for a snack, and broccoli and eggplant mixed in with their dinner. Although children may be hesitant to try new fruits and vegetables, when they look appealing, they may just give it a shot.

 

Make it Fun

Make eating a healthy diet fun. Make a breakfast that resembles something they love, have a picnic, and always try to make eating fun and exciting. Find the best blender available to create fun and healthy smoothies, soups, and drinks for your children. A fun summer treat could be a popsicle made from your very own smoothie mix. Eating shouldn’t be a time of anxiety for the kids, or for you. Don’t force them to eat, or threaten them. Eating should be fun and enjoyable whenever possible.

 

Let Them Help

Get your children more involved, and let them help with making their own meals. For example, they can stir the pancake mix, pick some of their fruits and vegetables from your garden, or even help set the table. Children like to be in charge and if they feel as though they are helping, they will be more encouraged to eat whatever you’re making.

 

Be a Role Model

Children take after their parents, so it’s important to be a good role model. By eating a well-balanced diet, limiting snacks, and avoiding unhealthy foods, you can prove to your children that eating healthy is important just by the way you live.

 

Eat as a Family

To help your children eat a better diet, try to eat as a family as often as possible. Although everyone has a busy schedule, eating as a family allows time to bond and creates good eating habits. You’re able to make your children a healthy dinner each night and monitor what they’re eating when you eat as a family.

 

Create a Chart

Children love to set goals and obtain them, it can be a fun idea to create a healthy eating chart. At the beginning of each week, create a chart that aims for eating about 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Each time they have a serving of fruits and vegetables, they can put a sticker on the chart. They will not only be able to see their progress but feel great about having some responsibility when it comes to food. You can make this even more fun by offering a reward at the end of each successful day or week.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your child’s nutrition. From creating a weekly chart, to eating as a family, your children can become more involved and healthier at the same time..

Five Positive Habits Children Learn From Their Siblings
Five Positive Habits Children Learn From Their Siblings

It’s always tough on the older sibling when mum brings home a new baby. Suddenly the older child is no longer the center of attention and with around 80% of us having a brother or sister, sibling rivalry is a phenomenon that most of us have experienced at some point in our lives.

But as much as we remember complaining about our annoying brothers and sisters throughout our childhood, most of us tend to forget the many ways in which our siblings influenced our development, emotionally, socially and academically.

Here are five positive lessons children can learn from their siblings.

 

1) Conflict Resolution

Squabbling, to parents, is an annoyance that can occur on a daily (sometimes thrice daily) basis. Sometimes as parents we wish we could just bash their heads together and force them to get along, but for the children themselves, these tussles provide an excellent opportunity for them to develop as people. Through conflict with a sibling, the child boosts their emotional, mental and social skills.

As tempting (and sometimes necessary) as it is to break up the dispute, parents would do well in letting their children resolve the problem themselves every once in a while. Next time there is a struggle don’t give them an audience, or they might play up to you to get you on their side. Instead, teach them how to see things from the other person’s point of view and help them reach a compromise together.

 

2) Important Life Skills  

Studies in child development have shown that babies who have an older brother or sister learned to walk significantly earlier than their older sibling did. This is thought to due to the fact that babies copy the behaviors they see around them, in order to learn how the world works. This habit stays with us all through childhood, into adolescence and even into adulthood, as it’s in our DNA to want to be part of the pack. Therefore, if your child has picked up the habit of thumb sucking, seeing the older child not sucking their thumb will act as a social reminder that the behavior isn’t seen as ‘cool’ or mature and they will be unconsciously encouraged to stop.

 

3) How to Teach

Older siblings often learn, through being around their younger brothers and sisters 24/7, how to teach. This means they have to pick up important skills in patience and humility in order to get the youngsters to talk and play properly with them. Our older siblings therefore play a huge part in our education, from speaking, reading, writing, artistic development and sport to much much more. All be it in an informal way, whilst simultaneously becoming less selfish and more sharing individuals themselves.

 

4) Self –Soothing Methods

Dividing your time as a parent between your children can be difficult, as quite often all of your children will crave your attention at the same time. But don’t fret because you haven’ got two or more sets of arms, take comfort in the fact that the child you are temporarily neglecting, is learning valuable self-soothing skills that will help them become more resilient and deal with their feelings better in later life.

 

5) Building Their Own Identity

As previously discussed, younger siblings like to copy their older brothers and sisters’ behavior  But many younger siblings get to a stage in their development where they want to be seen as individuals. Having another child to compare themselves to aids this building of the self and helps you child focus on their personal strengths and weaknesses. At times your child may feel inadequate compared with their sibling, but being familiar with this feeling early on keep them from damaging their self-esteem too much, as they learn quickly that everyone is good at different things. To keep your children’s self-esteem high, make sure that you have a reward system in place that recognizes individual achievements.

What did you learn from your siblings as a child? Share in the comments below!

 

Louise Blake is a new mum who well remembers the fierce battles she had with her siblings, but also the lessons she learned. Now settled in Bath she currently writes for Classroom Carrots who help to improve child behavior.

Photo by: Vastateparksstaff

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Makeup and Nails: Is your Child Ready?

Every mom has found their darling child tucking into their cosmetics bag haven’t they? I even have several pictures of my boys with mascara all over their sweet faces and lipstick just about everywhere else! If you haven’t found squashed lipstick in your makeup bag, then you are a lucky momma, but if you have girls, likelihood is they are coveting your cosmetics stash from a young age.

So how do you handle the urge for you little ones to wear makeup. Even if you are not a makeup mom yourself, little girls are privy to the done up front covers of magazines they see at the supermarket, and the made up girls on TV. Even their dolls appear to be wearing makeup.

For moms of thumbsucking kids, nail varnish can be a godsend. My trick is to paint my little girl’s nails and then on her thumbnail paint some extra detail, so she really doesn’t want it to come off. If the habit wins out then I at least match her painted nails to her Glovey Huggey thumb sucking guard as it encourages her to wear it. I try to make her thumb guards as cool and appealing as possible!

As for other makeup, I do not mind my kids experimenting at home. A great idea I saw on a mom blog a long time ago was fake makeup, made of melted wax and poured into pots so little ones could mimic the wearing of makeup without actually putting any on their sensitive skin.

However, as kids get older, this probably won’t cut it and they will want to play with lots of different colours. Lots of moms will be fine with this and buy cheap makeup for their young ones to enjoy at playtime. I am definitely in that group. In fact I didn’t mind my girls going out with some makeup on. It’s just them creating and playing and is entirely innocent, but I know many moms do not feel comfortable with their children wearing any make out of the house.

For me things change with tweens and teenagers as that’s when the intent of makeup wearing changes. It ceases to be imaginative dress up and instead it becomes a tool of attraction, making your kids feel prettier, older and often more part of their crowd.

When my eldest hit this age, I decided to help her out as she still wasn’t au fait with subtle makeup application. Instead I took her to the store and we selected a mascara, blush and lipstick that would be all hers and that looked natural, I drew the line at foundation – totally not necessary for her. This way, she had autonomy, but I was still in control of her not looking like jezebel!

This way too, I was also able to purchase all natural non toxic products which I believe are much better for our health.

Do you let your children wear makeup?

Bio: Anne Johnson is a mother of 4 and an advocate of healthy living including choosing a natural skincare  regime and natural cosmetics, especially for young skin..

Creating Christmas Traditions
Creating Christmas Traditions

This time last year I was writing a blog for an Italian real estate agent and had the pleasure of submitting several posts discussing the Italian traditions of Christmas. I was quite surprised to find that Italian Christmas traditions in both the North and South of the country are quite different to what we experience here in North America. Food is still a big part of their day, but Santa and Christmas trees aren’t.

I have a young family and it’s been fun to create a unique approach to gift giving and the folklore of Father Christmas. Learning about different customs around the world really got me thinking about how we could build traditions in our family.

Here are some of the different traditions from other areas of the world that we are going to incorporate into our own Christmas celebrations.

  • Italian letter writing – On Christmas Eve, after dinner, children put a letter on their father’s plate. The letter tells their daddy why they love him and are grateful for him and mom.
  • Dutch Christmas Eve – My husband’s family are from Friesland, north of Holland. Traditionally the Dutch, like many countries in central and northern Europe, open their presents on Christmas Eve. We now choose one present to open on Christmas Eve (will it be a thumb sucking guard this year?) and open the rest on the ‘big day’.
  • Greek offering to the less fortunate – A lot like their Mediterranean counterpart, the Italians, the Greeks don’t give many presents. Instead they give small gifts to hospitals, orphanages and people in need. This year, we will be participating in a gift rally for those in local foster care.
  • Austrian Baked Carp – I love turkey, just love it, but I like the idea of an alternative. We celebrate Christmas with a big family gathering so I am going to bring a fish to shake things up a little at our Christmas table.
  • Egyptian New Outfit – I like this tradition most of all! On Christmas Eve Egyptians will head to church dressed in a new outfit. Growing up in the north of England we did similar on Christmas Day, we always saved something special for the 25th. A cool idea might be to gift a new Glovey Huggey to match the outfit your child is going to wear. This is a good way to encourage them to wear the thumb guard and make it fun and exciting.
  • French Chocolate Log – I’m not a big fan of fruit cake which is the tradition for Christmas. Long ago I started to make a French chocolate log for dessert. Serve with cream or ice cream – delicious!

Christmas is a fun holiday to celebrate whether you celebrate age old traditions or are creating your own family folklore. It is a great time to hang out with your kids and show how much you love them, thumbsucking and all.

 

Author Bio: Breanna Andrews is a mother of two young children and a writer. As the article suggests, she loves new clothes and is currently coveting this Becksöndergaard star scarf by Minkpink for herself and the Nature’s Pride for her daughter!

Image courtesy of posterize / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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5 Things That Every Children’s Toy Should Be
5 Things That Every Children’s Toy Should Be

Playtime

There can be no question that children’s toys have evolved massively over the years.

However, perhaps the biggest thing you can say about children’s toys is that, in more recent times, they have come full circle to a point where traditional, “old school” toys are now among the most popular available. So, knowing that modern toys eventually came to be discarded in favour of original, much-loved ones, what does that tell us about how every toy should be?

Fun

This is an obvious one – if a toy isn’t fun then a child is never going to spend any time playing with it, are they?

More to the point, a toy needs to be able to provide a child with hours of fun at a time, if something gets boring after half an hour then can it really be considered to be fun?

Interactive

When people see the word interactive they immediately think that there must be some sort of digital element involved. Interactive play doesn’t mean that they have to be on a computer, or playing a game on the television – just that they are able to get something out of the toy itself and engage with others with the toy.

Educational

Part of that something should always be learning. If a child, particularly at a young age, is not getting anything out of their playtime then what they are playing with needs to be looked at.

Children are encouraged to learn through play from a very young age, with building blocks and shape sorters often among the first toys we will own. Parents, as well as schools and children’s clubs, should ensure that this process continues throughout the child’s formative years.

Multi-Purpose

One great way to help the child develop – as well as save money for the parents – is to ensure that toys are multi-functional. Take a girls doll, for example. That can be a plaything, an imaginary friend, a character in a story, or an alternative to a teddy bear in bed.

If a toy is boring and one-dimensional the child is unlikely to get any real value out of it.

Meaningful

If a child has no emotional connection with a toy, then there is no point to it. You could buy a little boy a remote controlled car, however if he has no interest in them then it makes no difference whether you have bought him an archetypal “boys toy” or not.

Seek to buy toys with real meaning, and a child will value them a lot more.

A Girl for All Time is an online retailer that provides a range of toddler girl toys, including award-winning dolls, novels, and keepsakes.

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Christmas Gifts from the Kids
Christmas Gifts from the Kids

As the Christmas season is soon approaching, include children in sharing the holiday spirit by encouraging them to give gifts. Children can give all sorts of gifts to their family, friends and loved ones, from buying wholesale jewelry to making their own crafts. Here are four ways for children to spread Christmas cheer and give gifts anyone would love:

1. Bake Holiday Cookies

Cookies are a great gift to give during the Christmas season. For a fun and enjoyable activity to do together, let children bake their own holiday-themed cookies to give to others so they learn how to bake while making delicious treats. You can buy prepared cookie dough from the grocery store that you can let kids cut and arrange on baking sheets or you could walk your children through the steps of making dough from scratch. After baking and cooling the cookies, decorate them to spread the holiday spirit and personalize the cookies with messages like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” Use colorful paper or boxes to add a finishing touch to their gift.

2. Give Stuffed Toys

If children are giving to others close to their age, consider having them give toys like stuffed animals. Not only do stuffed animals or dolls decorate a child’s room, they can also make a good friend to him or her. If a child’s room is overflowing with stuffed animals, action figures or dolls, encourage him or her to either donate or gift toys they do not use or rarely play with. Buying new toys from the store is also another option to give toys if you are concerned with getting your children to part with their unused toys.

3. Make Customized Cards and Calendars

Making cards and calendars are simple craft projects anyone can do and makes for a thoughtful gift. Make calendars by pasting decorated paper on flip calendars or fold paper into cards. Using construction paper, children can decorate cards and calendars any way they choose to express their creativity and imagination. Decorating ideas range from cutting out white pieces of paper to make snowflakes to drawing Christmas trees, presents, and other holiday-themed pictures.

4. Buy Costume Jewelry

Children love to play dress up and as they already know, wearing costume jewelry completes any outfit. For a gift appreciated by girls and women of all ages, let your children buy wholesale jewelry as a gift. With a huge variety of jewelry and designs to choose from, including necklaces, bracelets and earrings, costume jewelry is an inexpensive way to add style to clothing and outfits.

Let children get into the holiday spirit this Christmas season by giving gifts, whether buying something small or making their own custom gifts.

Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.

Attached Images: License: Creative Commons image source

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Out on Their Own: Trick or Treating Safety

For many children, being allowed to trick or treat without an adult is a rite of passage and a coming of age moment on a par with no longer thumb sucking or tying their shoe laces on their own. Whether you feel fine letting them out alone at age 8 or 18, there are still several safety precautions you should enforce to make sure they arrive home safe and happy, with a bucketful of yummy candy!

Here are the ten safety measures you should implement before your child goes out on their own this Halloween.

  1. Make a map of the route they’re to take, and give them strict instructions not to veer off the route. You can also roughly calculate the time they’ll be home, giving about 2-3 minutes at each house.
  2. Give them a curfew, and make sure they know to stick to it. It’s a good idea to have them home before it gets completely dark, as it becomes more difficult to be safe, and tripping, cars and older teens can become a bigger hazard.
  3. If your child has a mobile phone, make sure they take it with them and have it stored in a concealed but easily accessible place. Program your home number into the speed dial, so if they have any issues they can contact you quickly.
  4. Instruct them not to eat any candy or chocolate on the way, as it may have been tampered with. When they get home, make sure to check over their spoils and throw away any treats not in commercial packaging, or with packaging that’s been tampered with.
  5. Remind them to avoid houses without lights outside, even if they’re decorated, or dark houses without decorations. Let them know that some people do not celebrate Halloween, and may not be forgiving of them trick or treating, and dark porches are not a safe place for them to be.
  6. Make sure they know they are not allowed to enter any stranger’s houses or vehicles, especially if they offer them treats to come inside. If they wish to go into a friend’s house, let them know they need to call you first to ask permission, or get their friend’s parents to call you.
  7. Refresh their road safety knowledge, as most accidents on Halloween are related to cars. Make sure to practice crossing at designated crossings, remembering to look both ways before they cross the road – try giving them a pupil reward sticker every time they cross the road safely to reinforce this. If you can, choose a loop route with sidewalks where they can stick to one side of the road and then come back along the other to minimize the number of times they have to cross roads.
  8. Make sure their costumes fit well and don’t present a tripping hazard, and avoid large masks or headwear that could obscure their vision. Shoes that fit well are also a must, and if your child will be out after dusk make sure they have reflective tape attached to both the front and back of their outfits so they can be seen by motorists. If your child uses thumb sucking gloves, try to incorporate these into their costume so they don’t have to feel shy about wearing them outside the house.
  9. If they have an accessory to go with their outfit, for example, swords or sticks, make sure this are made of a flexible material like foam so they won’t injure anyone if your child trips or falls. If they aren’t, leave them at home.
  10. Make sure to remind them of these rules every year they go out alone to remind them how to be safe when trick or treating alone.

Do you have any more safety tips for Halloween?

Bio: Louise Blake is a new mum and aspiring writer. She loves Halloween, but is focused on safety. She currently writes for Carrot Rewards giving helpful advice for parents..

From hygiene to ethics: How to teach children good habits

Psychologists often emphasize the fact that behaviors learned in childhood tend to follow a child throughout the rest of their life. As parents, you’re largely responsible for helping your children develop good behaviors that enable happy and healthy futures. The earlier you begin teaching these behaviors, the easier it gets, so be sure to get started now on the following important lessons:

Health and personal hygiene

Several studies have shown that those who develop unhealthy habits in childhood are more likely to exhibit unhealthy behaviors as adults. This trend can be observed in the rising numbers of obese people in the United States; children who eat junk food and lead a sedentary lifestyle tend to carry those behaviors into adulthood. In an environment where fast food and television watching are commonplace, parents have to make an extra effort to provide their children with healthful foods and encourage physical activity.

Similar to this idea, it’s important for parents to encourage personal hygiene by teaching children to brush teeth properly and at least twice a day, flossing once per day. Although children may be losing their baby teeth anyway, developing these good habits is the most important objective of practicing dentist-recommended behaviors. You can use dental coupons to give your children the supplies they need to maintain excellent dental health, while still sticking to your budget. Daily bathing is also an important habit to foster in children, because adults who never learned about good hygiene may find it harder to get a good job.

Personal ethics

Teaching your children to be respectful and to make ethical choices is arguably the most challenging – yet most important – responsibility you have as a parent. Simple lessons include teaching kids to clean up after themselves to share with others. Other lessons may be harder to explain, like why they should sacrifice for those less fortunate and not make assumptions about other people based on what they look like. Children often struggle with these ideas early in life because they’re so focused on their own happiness and satisfaction. However, parents should continually explain why children should exhibit ethical behaviors – and parents should lead by example, too.

Empathy plays an important role in helping children develop a strong ethical code. Although empathy may seem like an innate characteristic, children often have to be told why they should care about others and the appropriate ways to show they care. In other words, children may feel love and care for others, they just may be confused about the right ways to show it. Drive is another important character trait that will help children succeed in reaching their goals, whether they be personal, academic or professional.

Parents face many challenges when raising their children to be upstanding adults, but developing these habits is a process that will take some time. Although children may rebel against these habits at first, they’ll gradually begin to see how these behaviors influence their lives for the better as time goes by. Remember, it’s never too late to begin practicing these habits, so be sure to take advantage of any time you have left during your child’s developing years.

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