Tag: kids

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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Top 5 Toys for Toddler Girls
Top 5 Toys for Toddler Girls

Buying toys for your toddler daughter is not an easy thing to do. The market for this group is so narrow in many ways, especially when you look at how big a change there is in the transition from toys aimed at younger age groups to those meant for older children.

We searched high and low for the best toys to buy for toddler girls, be it for Christmas, a birthday, or another special occasion, and why you should consider making the purchase.

Tablet Devices

This year has seen the launch of a number of excellent tablet devices aimed at children. The best thing about these is that they are so much more than the usual “learning laptops” that are seen every single year. Buying one of these for a toddler girl will enable them to discover a world of features and applications tailored specifically for their interests, and help them become proficient at using a device that will likely form a huge chunk of their future.

Collectable Dolls

Whether you go for historically inspired dolls or something more contemporary, such as One Direction figurines, collectable dolls are always a great idea for toddler girls. The only real problem is that they will undoubtedly want to play with them, so if there is a collectable element to your motivation for buying, you may want to reconsider.

Furby

While the original incarnation of the Furby around 15 years ago was innovative at the time, it ultimately left a great deal to be desired in terms of how a child could engage with it. The new, improved, and re-launched Furby toys are much more interactive and engaging for a child, and can even be hooked up to a mobile device or laptop so that even more exciting features can be unlocked and enjoyed.

Design Toys

For those looking to unlock their child’s creative side, there are a wide range of design toys that are available, especially from well-known brands such as Crayola. Whether you go for a simple colouring and painting-based toy, or something such as Aqua Beads, for example, the possibilities for individual designs and an exciting voyage of self-discovery are endless.

Roleplay Toys

Whether it is dressing up as a favourite Disney character or keeping busy in a play kitchen, there are many imaginative roleplay option available for younger girls. You can be sure that they will want to dress as a beautiful princess, their favourite film character, or re-enact the housework behind you. These toys are great for killing time as well as helping your child develop social and emotional skills.

Check out some of these toy ideas next time you are at the shops, and don’t become hamstrung by what can be a difficult age group to shop for.

A Girl for All Time are stockists of a number of Christmas gifts for girls, including award-winning books, novels, and keepsake dolls.

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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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What’s the Best Way to Pay a Nanny?

If you simply want your teenage neighbor to come over on a Friday night and watch your kid for a few hours while you go out to dinner with your spouse, there’s nothing wrong with giving her $25 to $30 in cash when you return. But if you decide that you need more help with taking care of your children, this informal arrangement isn’t going to fly. 

Hiring a part or full time nanny definitely takes more work than just setting up babysitting appointments every now and then. However, you have to keep in mind that once you get everything in line, a nanny can truly change the way you live on a daily basis. Since there’s so much that a great nanny can offer your family, it’s definitely worth investing the time to get everything set up. 

One of the main tasks you’ll need to tackle is how you plan to pay your nanny. Since this issue has a few different parts, let’s look at each one. 

Hourly vs. Salary 

Since your nanny is going to be logging quite a few hours working for you, it’s easy to assume that paying her a flat salary is the best way to go. But what many people don’t realize is that current US laws classify nannies as hourly employees. What this means is that when they log more than forty hours in a week, the law states they should be paid time and a half. 

Because of these regulations, it’s best to go with an hourly arrangement. Since you won’t have to worry about running afoul of any legal requirements, you won’t have any concerns hanging over your head. And what’s actually beneficial about this setup is since your nanny will see exactly how much she’s getting compensated for any extra hours she works, you’ll never have to worry about her feeling taken advantage of. 

Use a System 

One of the reasons many people are hesitant to use an hourly arrangement is because they assume it’s going to be a hassle to track. While manually logging and calculating hours can be a pain, you can make life much easier by using a computerized system. Whether you prefer to run a local program on your computer or use one that’s based in the cloud, there are plenty of options available that will take care of everything you need. 

Get Everything in Writing 

Once you and your nanny agree on an hourly rate and any other relevant payment details, make sure everything is put in a written contract that you both sign. While you don’t necessarily need an agreement that’s dozens of pages long, simply getting the basics in writing will help you cover all your bases. It will also prevent any misunderstandings, as well as give both of you a starting point if there’s ever something you need to renegotiate.

John Wisenheimer is a writer for www.nanny.net which is a website that helps young ladies learn how to become a nanny.

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How to Child-Proof Your Home

Image by: Sherif Salama

Grandparents, godparents and babysitters, step forward. If you’re called in to look after the kids for a week, a few days or even a few hours, there are important steps you need to take to ensure your home is safe and child-friendly.

If you don’t have a garden…

Do your research in advance – where are the nearest parks and playgrounds? Can you walk to them safely, or would you need to drive? Preparing in advance means you don’t need to panic when the children want to play outside. Make a day of it by taking some ball games and picnic with you, and don’t forget the sunscreen and umbrellas!

If you collect antiques…

Young children and breakables don’t mix, so move any valuable ornaments, trinkets and objects out of reach.  The same applies to any furniture, artwork or books you are precious about. Looking after a child for a few days can feel quite disruptive, but taking the steps to safeguard your home – and your belongings – is better than a tearful trip to A&E when Sophie cuts her arm after knocking over an irreplaceable vase.

If you own a dog…

If you look after the kids regularly they will hopefully be familiar with any pets you own, but if not then introduce them ahead of the visit where possible.  Dogs and children can enjoy wonderful relationships, but it’s important that both parties are happy and relaxed. Even the calmest dog – or child – can be unpredictable, so it’s essential that small children and pets aren’t left alone together.

If you have a pool…

Investing in pool safety could save lives. Pool enclosures are a must if you’re looking after young children or those who can’t swim, along with a lesson on pool rules for the kids. Make it clear when they come to visit that the pool can only be used when you’re present, no running near the pool is allowed and (if required) appropriate floatation devices, such as armbands, must be used while they are in the pool. The same rules apply if you have a pond or any water source in your garden.

If you grow your own…

If you grow your own fruit and vegetables in a garden or allotment, involve the children. Showing them where their food comes from can be both educational and fun, especially if you cook together using the fresh produce they’ve planted or picked. Tending to your garden is also a great way to keep an eye on the children while they play outdoors.

Do you have any tips on child-proofing your home? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Louise Blake is a new mum and an aspiring writer. When she’s not child-proofing her kitchen or taking her puppy for walks, she blogs for David Salisbury. As a child Louise loved building forts in the back garden, and always wished she had a pool of her own.

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First Aid Kit for Kids

A first aid kit is a prerequisite for a house or an institution and it involves a lot more than a cotton roll and soap.

Benefits of Having First-aid Kits:

• Imagine having to run around the house for a cotton swab when a kid is bleeding after a severe fall; only chaos will ensue. Having supplies at hand saves time and panic during such emergency situations.

• These kits help prevent infections and can even help to save lives in extreme scenarios.

• It also prevents excessive blood loss and scarring.

• Remember the adage ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’

Emergency Contact Details (doctor, dentist, hospital)

Never underestimate the importance of writing down important phone numbers close to your kit box. Let’s say your child decides to be adventurous and jumps down the stairs, and in the process loses a tooth or splits his upper lip. Unless you have your dentist’s or doctor’s phone number on a speed dial, you are likely to get nervous and drop your phone searching for contact numbers. I suggest contact numbers become a permanent fixture on your wall, away from your children’s reach.

List of Essentials – The essentials that comprise these kits are:

• Sterile Gauze Pads: The child shouldn’t reopen the same wounds again. Therefore, tape the cuts tightly.

• Bandage: Cuts and scrapes are part of childhood. A child should have the freedom to play rather than stay at home for fear of injury.

• Antiseptic Wipes: I have seen children create a ruckus that could be heard a couple of streets away when an attempt is made to wash wounds with soap and water. For such situations, antiseptic wipes work well, as they are both hygienic and noise-free!

• Painkillers: A low dose painkiller like ibuprofen will help the child rest and help in healing of the wound.

• Soap: Remember to wash your hands and, if possible, convince the child to wash minor wounds with soap at all times.

• Tweezers / Scissors: I suggest never use your hand to clean a wound. Tweezers are the safest way to clean wounds, especially those from glass or grass.

• Antibiotic Ointment: Different antiseptic and antibiotic creams are available and often come with a first-aid kit. Along with these, antiseptic solutions like Dettol or Hydrogen Peroxide are essential.

• Calamine Lotion: There is nothing better to soothe rashes or prickly heat than this lotion.

• Thermometer: I use an electronic thermometer as they are more convenient. However, a regular mercury thermometer is also acceptable.

• Cold Packs: Broken bones and swelling heal faster with a cold compress. If these are not available, you can also use frozen peas.

• Gloves: There may not always be time to use it, but just in case.

• Eggs and Honey: A personal favourite of mine, I would also add these household items to the list because honey is an excellent antiseptic medium that is used to heal even surgical wounds, and eggs help regenerate scar tissue in case of burns.

Keep Life Simple

• First-aid kits do not have to be a fancy piece of equipment that needs to be under lock and key. Even an old tiffin box filled with all the basics will suffice.

• Remember that the whole purpose of this kit is to be useful during an emergency. So check and refill its contents regularly.

Consider Basic First Aid Training

Our children’s safety is paramount to our happiness. Learning how to provide first aid is vital to a child’s safety. First aid training will help you cope with any situation with composure.

A first aid kit could also be the difference between long-term injury and a quick fix especially when kids are involved. Its true value is only gauged during desperate times, and it’s then that we realise how important it is to have one that has all the medicines and equipment required. Coupled with some basic first aid training you can feel confident that you are ready to deal with most simple ’emergencies’ that kids create.

Ross Davies writing for Lebreton Health & Safety Training specialists in Paediatric First Aid Training..

Sedation Dentistry for Children

Have you considered sedation dentistry for your child? Going to the dentist is no fun for anyone, but for children in particular the experience can be a traumatic one. Some kids can tough it out, but if your child just can’t face the dentist chair, sedation dentistry might be the right option for you and your little one.

There are several different types of sedation dentistry to consider for your child. Your dentist’s recommendations will vary depending on your child’s age, averseness to the procedures and weight.

Conscious Sedation

Conscious sedation is a way to relax your child without completely putting him/her under. This form of sedation will make your child relaxed or sleepy so they are not as anxious during the dental procedure. It’s usually administered via inhaling a gas or swallowing medicine, depending on your child’s anxiety level.

Nitrous Oxide

One of the most common and mildest conscious sedation methods for children is the application of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. The gas is very safe and easily leaves your child’s body after the procedure is complete. They stay awake the whole time and are able to interact with the dentist although they may be a less sharp. However, the gas does make some children slightly nauseous. That’s why it’s best to feed them only a light meal the morning before the dental procedure if you know nitrous oxide is going to be used.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation treatments are a little bit stronger than nitrous oxide. Some patients have had harsher side effects like nausea and vomiting. However, if your child is unwilling to cooperate or is experiencing extreme anxiety, oral sedation is a commonly recommended and medically sound anesthesia treatment plan for children. Your dentist should provide you with instructions about what to do before and after this treatment, including any details regarding dietary restrictions and allocated time periods for rest. With oral sedation treatments, your child will most likely have to stay at the dentist’s office for an hour or so after the procedure is over, where she will be carefully monitored to make certain that there aren’t any lasting side effects. It can also take a while for the sedatives to wear off, so be prepared to carry your child to your car.

Unconscious Sedation – General Anesthesia

In the most extreme cases, general anesthesia may be an appropriate option for your child’s dental work. This will put them completely asleep, similar to tonsil removal or any other kind of medical procedure. General anesthesia is recommended if your child needs serious dental surgery done, if they have a lot of work that can be done in one sitting, or if they simply won’t tolerate dental work otherwise. There are some risks involved with general anesthesia, so your child will need a physical before it’s administered. Of course, make sure your child follows the proper guidelines before the procedure, and have a talk with them to make sure they understand what is happening and why.

The method you choose for your child’s sedation dentistry all depends on their age and tolerance for the dentist’s chair. Fortunately you have many choices in the matter. Consult with your child’s dentist and even your PCP. Don’t forget to ask a lot of questions to make sure you get the right treatment for your child.

This article was written by Mary A. for more information from Las Vegas Childrens Dentist click on this link..