Thursday, 25 May 2017

Great ways to teach your children to recycle

Every day we walk the streets and see litter on the floor. In our homes, despite our best efforts to recycle, we may see our child throwing paper, plastic bottles and drink cans into the garbage. It is time to make a difference, teach our children the benefits of recycling and make an effort to be environmentally friendly.

Educate your child

Education begins with you. From a very young age, your child is looking to your behaviour as the example in how they should conduct their lives. Therefore, you should show responsibility in the items you throw away. Companies like will get rid of your genuine garbage, but recyclable items should always be placed into the correct bins for safe removal.

From an early age, advocate the need to look after our world. Explain the consequences on the world around us when we don’t. For example, the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our seas is harmful to marine wildlife. Animals can be cut by the sharp metal of discarded metal cans. They can also confuse waste with food, causing them to choke or suffer the effects of poisoning. Then, of course, are the issues surrounding pollution, the impact waste has on our atmosphere, and the crippling effect on our ecosystems.

There are many books available that you can share with your child, as well as a plethora of online videos and interactive games that can teach your child their responsibility in looking after the world around them.

Create opportunities

You should have recycling bins on your property, but encourage your children to have shoe boxes in their room. Not only is this an excellent craft opportunity, by painting and decorating the boxes, but you are recycling cardboard to be used as miniature containers for your children’s waste. As with your outdoor bins, paint each of them a different colour to represent a particular material.

Be creative

Children’s toys can be expensive, but you may have noticed the unbridled imagination kids have in using household items such as cardboard rolls and paper plates in their daily play. There are many craft ideas using recyclable material, so take a look online. For starters, make animal masks from paper plates, rocket ships with plastic bottles, miniature villages with old cereal boxes and garden decorations with glass jars. These ideas are perfect for rainy days, will provide your children with a lot of fun, give you some great bonding time, and save you money in the process.

Give to others

There will come a time when your child outgrows his clothes, books and toys. Provided they are in good condition; it would be a shame to throw them away. There are specific recycling bins for clothing, and there are many places which would benefit from used books and toys, including schools, hospitals and charities. Ask your child their opinion on where these items should go, and share in the reward that you are making a difference to somebody else's life.

This is contributed content and may contain affiliated links

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Toddler-Sized Challenge - My Idea

The Toddler Portion Sized Challenge needs parents and carers to come up with ideas of how we can make sure our toddlers are eating enough of the right foods and how much and how often they should eat. Upload your idea and be in with a chance of winning £1000! 

I've been asked to come up with my own idea for this.

I thought about portion size plates but I decided that an app would work best for mums like me. Something simple and easy to use,  because there's nothing more boring than reading pages and pages of information about your childs diet when really, all you're looking for is a quick and easy answer so you can get on with making lunch/tea/snack for your adorable but very impatient little monkey!

For the app I thought it would be great to have a little character appear as soon as the app is opened, the character could be anything really but i thought a monkey would be great to represent a toddler, maybe a cheeky faced monkey wearing a nappy? The first thing to do is enter your toddlers age and maybe weight too? In a box above the monkey are small images or words of what food you may be thinking about feeding your toddler and how much, for example, Rice (2 Tbs) Toast (1 slice) Milk (100ml) simply drag the food portion to the Monkeys mouth, if it's the right amount he will smile, drag another food portion to go with it, he will smile again if it isn't too much, if the amount of food you are feeding this monkey is too much for your toddler the Monkey will bloat and have a sad face!  As you are feeding the monkey, the portion and sizes which he was happy with will appear under the Monkey, example; 2 tbs Rice, 2 Fish Fingers, 2 tbs Peas, 100ml Milk.  There you have your toddlers meal or snack sorted and you know its enough food for their age. If you want to know more about how often to feed your toddler there could be some advice captions to click on to read more, so the choice is there for parents/carers who want to read more information on healthy Toddler diets.

As a busy mum of 3 children i would love to use an app like this to find out if my very fussy eating 3 year old is getting enough.

I really hope that some of you come up with ideas and join in with The Toddler Sized Challenge. Good Luck to any of my readers who decide to get involved!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Dogs can help kids feel less stressed!

There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your child feeling stressed, especially when you feel helpless about the situation. No matter what you say or do, you can see your little one is down, and you really want to change it. How can you pick them up? Well, research conducted by the University of Florida has revealed that pet dogs can help children to feel less stressed, offering a valuable source of social support. Perhaps it is time for a new fluffy addition to the family?

Dog, Labrador, Light Brown, Pet, Animal, Hundeportrait

The study in question looked at 101 children aged between seven and 12 years old, all of which had a pet dog. The children’s stress levels were analysed before and after completing a mental arithmetic task and a public speaking task. Both tasks were designed to stimulate the real-life stress a child typically experiences. Situations like this typically increase the stress hormone cortisol and evoke feelings of anxiety. The children were split into groups randomly to carry out these tasks. Some of the children had their dog present for social support. Others had no social support at all, and the rest had a parent present for support. Before and after each task, samples of saliva were collected to measure cortisol levels.

The results were very revealing. The research showed that the group of children that completed the mental arithmetic and public speaking tasks with their pet had reduced levels of stress and cortisol compared with those who had their parent present or no social support at all. Of course, parents still have an important role to play, and you can check out this post on what to do when the going gets tough. Interestingly, the way the dog and the child interacted also impacted the cortisol levels. Children who did not engage with their dogs much had higher levels of cortisol levels when compared with the kids that solicited their fluffy friend to be stroked or petted.

It is clear to see that dogs can play a critical role in the development of a child. Middle childhood is a period when kids look beyond their parents for social support figures. However, at the same time, their biological and emotional capacities to deal with stress are still maturing. This is why a pet dog provides the perfect source of social support to a child. Next time your child has an exam coming up, allow them to sit and stroke their pet dog while you are testing them in preparation, and see how it impacts them. Merely cuddling up to their fluffy friend in its leather dog bed after a stressful day at school may help to soothe how they are feeling.

Of course, this research is just one step when it comes to learning about the way in which children deal with stress. But it is an important step nonetheless. If we can understand what works and what does not work, we can buffer stress responses early in life to help with the emotional health and well-being of our kids. Not only can a dog help a child to calm down and feel less anxious, but it teaches them all about responsibility, and they learn the meaning of having a true friend.

This is sponsored content and may contain affiliated links

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Baby Gifts The Mums Will Actually Use

If you’re surrounded by friends who are having kids, you want to make sure each of them gets something special. But the truth is that a lot of baby gifts just don’t really work. If you’re wondering about what kind of gifts to get a baby, the best person to really consider is the mum. Here, we’ll look at the best gifts depending on what type of mum, exactly, they are.

The mum that’s always on the go
There’s a stereotype that life slows down a lot when you have a baby. True, for a lot of people, it does ground them. However, there are plenty of mums always on the move, too, and always with baby in tow. For those mums, the Cub Bag makes it a lot easier to get around and to feed the baby without having to make a whole song and dance about it. When not being used to feed or hold the baby, it also serves as great, comfortable storage for all their little essentials, too.
The mum that’s always two steps ahead
There are some gifts that you just have to be prepared for when you’re a new mum. You’re likely to get at least three blankets out of it, to start off with. You’re also likely to get clothes that the baby will look cute in right now. But if you have a friend who likes making sure the future is all prepared for, then they’re going to appreciate clothes the baby might not quite be able to wear just yet. There are lists of essentials that cover all the different age ranges that the baby is likely to need clothes for. Why not help build their future wardrobe as well as the current one?
The mum that’s always trendy
For some mums, the baby isn’t just the light of their life but another opportunity to get fashionable. Who doesn’t love making their baby look adorable? For those mums, amongst the hottest trending items are Saffron Bells. Accessories for babies are becoming all the rage not just because they look gorgeous and make the baby jingle every time it moves. We’re used to the idea of accessories being emotionally valuable and it gives the parents something to remind themselves of those precious first days for a long time in the future.
The mum that is a huge softie
We all have them (and occasionally, we are them). Some ladies really get choked up over a meaningful gesture and even over gestures that aren’t quite intended to be so meaningful. If your friend turns into an emotional wreck every time something touching happens, then you can reduce her to a puddle of tears with a plaster outprint for their baby’s hand or foot. Just expect to get all of the teary hugs.

How useful or how valued a gift is going to be will always depend on the parents who will or won’t use it. Hopefully, this article’s given you a starting point to finding the gift that’s really going to work for the whole family.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Make your Garden Greener. Eco friendly Advice

If you're concerned about living your life in a sustainable way, there's no reason to limit your efforts to only some areas. Maybe you already try to save on your energy bills or drive your car less, but there could be other areas of your life where you can change your behaviour. If you're a keen gardener, or you just sometimes potter around outside, you can make sure that your garden is eco-friendly too. Your garden is full of greenery and elements of nature, so it only makes sense for it to be as natural as possible. If you want to make your garden greener, try these steps.

Deal with Unwanted Weeds and More

One of the challenges of caring for a garden is getting rid of weeds and other unwanted visitors, such as garden pests. For a lot of people, the solutions to these problems involve using chemicals to kill off or keep away the things you don't want. But if you want to create a greener garden, you might not want to use any of these things. Another answer is to use less harsh, more natural solutions. If you want to treat your pond, you can get a Blanket Weed treatment from Swell that uses enzymes and minerals. You can find similar products to treat your lawn and keep weeds away, as well as more natural products for pest control.

Choose Native Plants

When you decide what to plant in your garden, you have a lot of options from all over the world. However, if you want to take an eco-friendly approach, you might want to choose only native and indigenous plants, instead of those that come from other places. The reason for this is that they will help to keep the balance of the ecosystem. They are already adapted to local conditions, so they need less help from fertilisers, watering, and other things.

Recycle for Gardening Supplies

You can use a lot of different supplies trying to care for your garden. This isn't always very sustainable, but you can make it more so. One of the things you can do is recycle in your home, so you have materials to use in the garden. For example, you can compost food and scraps so that you have compost to use on your flowerbeds. You can also use greywater from your home to water your garden. Collecting rainwater is also useful.

Water Carefully

When it comes to watering your garden, you don't need to be too enthusiastic. If it gets hot, you might need to water your garden more, but you don't have to go overboard. Be careful about how much you water everything and try to use recycled or collected water if you can. As well as helping to save on water, it will reduce your bills. You only really need to water everything when it hasn't rained for a while.

Gardens might always look green, but it doesn't mean they're as eco-friendly as they could be. Take action to make your garden even greener.