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Over the last few years, the way we pay for things has changed dramatically, from cash and cheques, to debit and credit card and most recently to cashless, mobile and contactless payments.
Although a brilliant resource for education, creativity and communications, it is increasingly important that we teach young people how to use the internet safely and responsibly.
Internet safety – top tips for young people
The internet is a fantastic tool and one which many of us couldn’t live without – particularly younger generations!
We are no longer naïve to the threats posed by the online world. However, they are becoming increasingly sophisticated and unfortunately those who are most at risk are young people.
Although a brilliant resource for education, creativity and communications, it is increasingly important that we teach young people how to use the internet safely and responsibly.
With Safer Internet Day 2018 just around the corner, celebrated globally on Tuesday 6th February, this is a fantastic opportunity to talk about and better understand the dangers posed by the internet, in order to learn how to help our young people stay safe online.
Here are our checklists for safer internet use!
Younger children (ages 5-13) –
- Be safe – set parental controls on any devices your child has access to (mobile, tablet, games console or computer); settings are often trickier to change once the device is in use, so remember to set these controls on any new devices before your child has access to them.
- Be open – discuss what is safe and appropriate to share online, such as photos and videos.
- Be honest – talk with your child about what they are looking at or using online, and encourage them to share their activities with you.
- Be aware – remember that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have minimum age limits of 13. These age restrictions exist for a reason, no matter how much pressure you receive from your child to allow them to have a profile; consider discussing social media with your school and parents.
- Be smart – approach the tricky subject of online stranger-danger openly but carefully. The intention isn’t to frighten a child into fearing the internet, but to make sure they know never to share photos/videos of themselves with people online, or to agree to meet up with them.
Teenagers (ages 13-18) –
- Be involved – stay interested in your teenager’s online activities and keep discussing it with them.
- Be responsible – communicating online and communicating face to face often feel like very different things for teenagers. Ensure they understand the repercussions of their internet activity in terms of what they say and send to others online.
- Be open – discuss what is and isn’t okay to share online and don’t be afraid of approaching tricky subjects such as cyberbullying.
- Be safe – most public places now offer open-access WiFi, and while this can be very handy when out and about, it also poses a security threat. Many public WiFi services do not include filters to block inappropriate content; keep an eye out for family friendly WiFi schemes including Mumsnet Family Friendly WiFi and RDI Friendly WiFi.
- Be firm – consider adjusting parental controls on their devices to match your teenager’s level of maturity.
For more information, visit www.saferinternet.org.uk.
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It’s nearly Halloween which means it’s time to get out the sweet bowls and dust off those old costumes. It’s also the time of year that you can get creative with your kids. Whether you are planning a spooky themed …
15 Creative Halloween Ideas For Kids
It’s nearly Halloween which means it’s time to get out the sweet bowls and dust off those old costumes. It’s also the time of year that you can get creative with your kids. Whether you are planning a spooky themed party or just want to celebrate this autumnal holiday we’ve got some great ideas for you. From pumpkin painting to hand-made decorations, here are some fun creative Halloween ideas you can make with your kids. Time to get crafty!
1. Hand Decorated Masks
This one is a really simple and fun idea that you can do with your kids one afternoon. All you need is to head to your local arts and crafts store and grab some cheap materials. You buy a cheap blank masks from Hobbycraft from £1.20. Then you can get creative! Just use whatever your kids can get their hands on. Paint, felt tips, markers, glitter, whatever you like. Go mad or go for something more traditional. Either way, your kids are sure going to have a fun time with this one.
Another easy one. All you need is some black wool, a foam ball, a few pipe-cleaners and some googly eyes. Wrap the wool around the foam ball until is completely covered. Then attach the pipe-cleaners and googly eyes. And voila, you have your own little spider.
Illuminated Haunted House
This is definitely one to do with the kids. Grab some old cardboard, an old juice carton will do. You then want to cover it in black card. You then need to cut out the windows and doors (to be done by an adult of course!) and then decorate with your favourite colour card, glitter, paint…whatever you like. Once you’re done don’t forget to add a battery operated tea light to make it look extra spooky.
Do you want a fun activity involving pumpkins that doesn’t involve sharp implements? Then, why not try pumpkin painting. Grab some acrylics and your paint brushes and get creative. This is a Halloween activity that the whole family can enjoy!
Pom-pom Spider, Ghost and Pumpkin
Make some adorable pom-pom decorations themed for Halloween. There is a great tutorial that you can follow for this one over on Live Craft Eat..
Another simple one that can get a little messy but definitely lots of fun. Using a balloon and lots of yarn and glue you can make a very cool looking pumpkin decoration. Here’s a great tutorial on Naturally Educational that’s easy to follow.
Hand Print Bats
This one does what it says on the tin. Grab some black card, fold in half and trace around your hand or your kids hands or both for some different sizes. Then cut them out, unfold and see your spooky hand bats come to life. Stick them around the house to really get that Halloween atmosphere going. For a full tutorial check out the Reading Confetti blog.
Paint Swatch Crafts
wFor this one you’re going to need to head to your local DIY store and pick up some different coloured paint swatches. Grab as many as you like in as many colours as you like and get the kids crafting. Make them into Frankenstein’s Monster or a spooky witch. You can find some great inspiration by Liz On Call, or come up with your own and see what you can make
Paper Ghost Garland
This might be one more aimed at the parents and it mostly involves cutting. But the kids can certainly help with the decorating later. You want to find a long piece of white paper that you can accordion fold. Draw your ghost shape and then cut around it, making sure to not cut around the arms (see example from Skip To My Lou if you aren’t certain). Once cut, unfold and then get the kids to draw on the faces of the ghosts. You could even add accessories as well if you were feeling extra creative.
Egg Carton Pumpkins (with secrets!)
You can follow the short tutorial from Reading Confetti for this one in order to make the pumpkins themselves. Cut up some egg cartons, paint them orange and draw on faces. Then, put whatever you like inside maybe a message or some nice treats.
Paper Craft Bats
This is an alternative to the hand print bats. Although it does require a few more materials, it also means having more fun. If you want to find out how to make them you can follow this really easy tutorial from 4crazykings.
Toilet Roll Tube Monsters
Something that is easy to get a hold of for crafting are toilet paper tubes. Instead of throwing them away, why not get the kids to make them into something spooky for Halloween. Turn these boring rolls into a witch or a ghost using whatever materials you can get your hands on. Card, paper, paint, glitter; whatever takes their fancy. The kids are sure to enjoy getting messy and making something they can be proud of.
Rice Krispies Pumpkins
Easy to make and doesn’t require an oven. This simple recipe from Food Family Finds will make some delicious rice krispie cakes that look just like pumpkins. Why not give it a try?
Halloween Themed Cookies
You could use whatever cookie recipe you like for this one but you’ll also need to invest in some Halloween themed cookie cutters. The BBC Good Food website has a really great recipe with some fun ideas. But, as always, you can make them look however you like. Let the kids go crazy and see what spooky creations they can come up with.
Cotton Wool Ghost Wall Hanger
Make yourself a spooky companion or two using some cardboard, paint and a bunch of cotton wool balls. Draw and cut out a ghost shape in your cardboard. Paint on where you want to eyes and mouth to be with black paint. Then start sticking on your cotton wool balls. Make one or many and stick them up around the house for a quick and fun little project for the kids. You could go even further and paint the cotton wool balls to make some different spooky mascots. Go ahead and give it a try.
If you try any of these out be sure to share with us on Facebook! Have any other great Halloween themed crafts you’d like to share with us? Why not leave a comment below.
Children begin school in September already having had a massive range of experiences – playgroups, nurseries, child minders, staying at home or a combination of all these. Even if your child has been to a full time Nursery the step …
Prepare Your Child to Start Reception
Children begin school in September already having had a massive range of experiences – playgroups, nurseries, child minders, staying at home or a combination of all these. Even if your child has been to a full time Nursery the step up to full days in Reception can feel like a challenge for you both.
To help calm any anxieties we have put together some advice. This should help make the transition as smooth as possible.
Transitioning to Reception
Most schools organise days in the Summer term for the children to meet their new teachers. It allows them to spend time in their new learning environment. This is a good opportunity for your child to find out where the toilets/playground/coat pegs are. You can also meet all the adults who are going to be in the classes. There will always be questions which parents want to ask the teachers once the new term has begun. The staff there will be happy to answer them as they arise.
Rehearse the school routine
Over the summer holidays it can become easy to get out of the habit of getting up early enough to be ready for the school day. Also if your child has only been attending afternoon nursery sessions it is worth having a few practise days. Help them to get up, washed, dressed, eat breakfast and then take the actual journey to get to school to arrive in time.
If you have more than 1 child, please take a few moments to work out the dropping off/picking up order. It can be very stressful for children to be the last one to be picked up. If you know you are running late for a particular reason it is helpful to ring the school and let them know. The staff can then explain the reason to your child and allay their fears.
Encourage life skills
Children will be asked to do a lot of things independently which you may have been doing for them at home. Encouraging your child to dress and undress for themselves will help when they are changing for PE. Showing your child how to fold their clothes and keep them together will save hours looking for misplaced school jumpers. Make sure their clothes have simple fastenings which they can use confidently.
Encourage your child to put things away. They’ll be expected at school to put their pencils in a pot, put books back on the shelf, collect pieces of lego up and to know where their PE kit is. Every little bit of independence helps.
Lunches can be busy times and if your child is confident at using a knife and fork this will help them eat much more quickly. However, midday supervisors are there to help if anyone needs assistance cutting up food.
If your child prefers to bring their own cold lunches make sure they are able to open their boxes and drinks for themselves and that they know to eat the savoury pieces first. Have some practices at home before the new term starts.
Label their clothes
Label your child’s clothes and show your child where you’ve put their name, so they can check it themselves. There are special labels which you can buy but a pen is just as easy. Make sure you keep checking that the name hasn’t washed off after a while though. It is also a useful habit to check that your child has come home with their correct jumper on too!
School toilets and personal hygiene
It can be common for children to wet themselves at school, especially in the first few terms. Remind your child to ask to go to the toilet rather than wait until it’s too late. Make sure your child knows how to pull up their pants and wipe themselves properly. Teach them how to flush the chain and wash their hands, so they don’t pass on those awful tummy bugs that can take out whole families and classes.
And finally…. Be Positive!!
Your child will be experiencing a whole range of emotions as you build up towards starting school. You can help make this a positive experience. I’m sure you will have just as many emotions and panics about leaving your child but it really isn’t helpful to pass these on – your child does not need to be reminded how much you are going to miss them. Keep those first day tears in check and only cry buckets once home!!
Sharenting, do you know what it is? The word is used to describe parents that tend to overshare everything they do with their family on social media. We probably all know someone like this or maybe you are that person. …
Is Sharenting The Right Thing To Do?
Sharenting, do you know what it is? The word is used to describe parents that tend to overshare everything they do with their family on social media. We probably all know someone like this or maybe you are that person. Recently, parents have started to question whether it is right to share photos of their children online for the world to see.
What does the public think about Sharenting?
Ofcom (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/multi-sector-research/cmr/cmr-2017) produced a report to see exactly how parents feel about sharenting and the results are in:
- 56% of the parents that were surveyed would not post any pictures of their children on social media.
- 70% don’t think it is acceptable to share images of others without their permission.
- 36% think that personal photos should be restricted to just friends or followers.
- 50% think that it is difficult to erase images from the internet after they have been posted.
It is clear to see from these statistics that there are definitely mixed feelings among parents, with 42% posting something about their children at least once a month. There is a definite split when it comes to what the children would want them to do. 38% of parents said their children wouldn’t want photos uploaded, whereas 52% thought their children are happy to have photos and videos uploaded.
What will the children think?
Uploading photos can seem innocent at the time. But it can be difficult to completely get rid of all traces from the internet. Parents have to remember that their children will grow up eventually and certain posts could come back to haunt them. Nobody likes to feel embarrassed.
With celebrities catching on to the trend and showing us pictures of their children on platforms like Instagram, it can make you want to do the same. However, some celebrities have often been criticised for posting photos that other parents themselves wouldn’t dream of doing. As a result, it can be easy to make a mistake. The general rule is that if you wouldn’t show it to your friends and family, it shouldn’t go on the internet.
Some quick tips before you enter the world of sharenting:
- Check your privacy settings. By making sure your posts and photos aren’t public, you are protecting your children from people who could hurt them in the future. Identity theft is a really issue in the world now and could make your child’s life difficult in the future.
- Talk to your child and see how they feel about you sharing images.
- Always check the terms and conditions to see who else has the right to share your image.
The first thought I had when my daughter was born was that this is my moment to do something good…!
Parenting – Expectations VS Reality
The first thought I had when my daughter was born was that this is my moment to do something good. In that little crib, lies a child that I can mould and nurture. All these thoughts, plans and ideas spun in my head and I knew it was going to be an amazing journey. What I didn’t realise, was that expectations are SO FAR from reality when it comes to parenting!
Expectation – I did a lot of research and found that it was much healthier and easier to make all my daughters meals. Invest in a food processor, cook from scratch, it will help you bond with your child they said.
Reality – It is much healthier and it was kind of fun, but spending time in the kitchen lovingly preparing a meal for my daughter – and displaying it in an aesthetically pleasing way – meant nothing when she refused to eat it.
Expectation – Another way to bond with your child is to clearly spend more time with them. I found a high number of mums were going to ‘mummy and me’ classes or arts and crafts with their children. I thought it would be fun to go for a walk on a sunny day, get an ice cream and feed the ducks! What could possibly go wrong?
Reality – Everything. It all starts well but soon she wants to get out of the pram and walk. Instead of feeding the ducks the stale bread, she decides she wants to eat it. Then, when I kindly tell her no, she has a complete meltdown in the middle of the park, with all the other parents staring at us. Only then do I remember the ice-cream! All goes well until she drops it on the floor and I call it a day.
Expectation – Even before I had a child, I knew I would always keep a memory book. So much happens in a day, let alone years. It makes sense to keep a record of it all and read back the lovely memories when the kids are older.
Reality -This is an amazing idea – if you remember to fill the books out. It’s been 2 years and the only things written down in her book, were all the expectations I had for when she is born. The irony! I couldn’t let a delightful book go to waste so I have made most of it up. She’ll never know?
There is a lesson to be learnt in all the above. No one is perfect and not everything goes to plan. In fact, all the unplanned moments are going to become the fondest memories you will have. Make meals with/for your children and laugh at the mess and fun that comes with it. Go out on day trips and when things don’t go to plan, learn from it and try again another day. Make memories every day and turn expectations into reality.
Reema Sabeen is a Retention Advisor working in the Support Team at ParentMail. She is a proud mummy to 2 year old Elayna and two cats, Dusty and Minnie! She has also published a book and loves to blog in her free time.
Soon September will be upon us and with the beginning of Autumn comes the beginning of a new school year. Whether your child is moving up a year in primary or moving to secondary school, there are a few things …
How To Prepare Your Child For The New School Year
Soon September will be upon us and with the beginning of Autumn comes the beginning of a new school year. Whether your child is moving up a year in primary or moving to secondary school, there are a few things you can do to help prepare them and make them feel less anxious.
Find out information about the school
If your child is moving to a new school that is unfamiliar be sure that you find out the basics. This will include:
- Learning what curriculum your child will be taught
- Seeing if the schedule and classes have already been decided, prepare the children by looking up the correct books they may need
- Visiting the school to familiarise yourself with where the reception is
- Finding out what time the school starts and finishes, as well as if there are any breakfast or after-school clubs for the children to attend
Is there a uniform? Does it need updating? Supplies?
Most schools will have a formal uniform that all students must follow. This information will be available on school websites and can be found at shops such as Uniform Direct.
Restore a routine before school starts
Sometimes the hardest part about going back to school for children is slipping into the routine of getting up early in the mornings. A great way to get around this is to start making sure they’re going to bed earlier and waking up earlier in the weeks leading up to that first day back.
How will they get to school?
Figuring out how your child will get to school will sometimes need to be arranged before school starts. If they are going to be getting the bus, will they need a bus pass? Check that the school has facilities that will be bicycles safe if that is your child’s mode of transport and ensure they have a bike lock and wear a helmet.
What will they do for Lunch?
Most schools will have canteens and lunch ladies who will prepare an array of lunch time dinners. If your child won’t be bringing a packed lunch to school, look in to paying for school lunches before the year starts. Using an app such as ours can make the transactions go through smoothly and you can monitor them. We will even send you alerts reminding you when a payment is due so your child never misses out!
Download ParentMail to make life easier
Here at ParentMail we want to make your lives easier, and with over 3000 schools and 3 millions parents already using our app you can be sure to receive a great service. Through us you can keep track of school updates, payments, school activities and most importantly your child’s education. For more information about what we can do for you, click here. Get ready for the new school year with us.
We know that the school holidays have really only just begun, but they will be over before you know it. Soon the kids will be waking up early and heading off to school once more. Whether they are starting a …
Get The Uniform Ready Before School Starts Again
We know that the school holidays have really only just begun, but they will be over before you know it. Soon the kids will be waking up early and heading off to school once more. Whether they are starting a brand new school or moving up a year, it is likely that they will need a new uniform. It’s amazing how quickly children can grow over the summer.
If your child is starting a brand new school you will need the school’s uniform list. When it comes to blazers, jumpers or PE kit, the school logo may need to be featured. It will be clearly stated by the school if this is the case and where you can find it. A lot of schools allow you to buy the uniform through them, but there are always companies like Uniform Direct. As for shirts and trousers, you can easily buy these from high street stores if you want a cheaper price or great deals.
Here is a complete list of what your child will most likely need for the school year (buy enough to last a full week):
- Cardigans, sweatshirts or sweaters
- Polo shirts or shirts
- Trousers or skirts (shorts for the warmer months)
- A tie if the school requires one
- PE Kit including shorts, t shirt, socks and plimsolls if needed
- School Shoes
- A book bag (if needed) or a school bag
- A school coat (some schools require them to be a specific colour so always check)
If you are worried about your child having a growth spurt, you can buy the next size up in shirts and trousers. Of course, there is always the option to buy more when it is needed, but you may need to do it online.
We have a few little extra tips to help you out:
- Always make sure you label everything clearly. Children are bound to lose things such as jumpers and PE kits, but with a name tag it will be much easier to find in the Lost Property box. You can even do the same for lunch boxes and bottles (those always get lost).
- Make sure your child has 2 coats, one for the warmer months and one for the summer months.
- When it comes to socks, always try to go for darker colours. We know how often children like to take their shoes off and they’ll be dirty before you know it!
We hope that all the children have a great start to the new school year when September rolls around!
Reading can be a fun way to pass the time. It is also critical for your child’s development in education. Thanks to technology, children would now rather watch a movie or play a video game than read a book. If …
Encourage Your Child to Start Reading With Our Help
Reading can be a fun way to pass the time. It is also critical for your child’s development in education. Thanks to technology, children would now rather watch a movie or play a video game than read a book. If you as a parent are looking for ways to motivate them to pick up a book, look no further.
Here at ParentMail we have come up with a few ways to help your child fall in love with reading.
Read to them:
If you want your child to have a passion for reading, it always helps to start them off young. A great way of doing this is to read a book to them. You can do this in the day or last thing at night. By listening to you they will understand how a book can have so much meaning and even learn how to master the art of holding a book. You can make the story more interesting to them by speaking in a different voice for each character and even act out the scenes.
Let them decide what book to read:
Nobody has ever loved a book that didn’t interest them and the same goes for children. Visit your local library or book store and let them decide what book to pick up. If you know what their interests are you can always help steer them in the right direction by offering them a choice of books. It doesn’t even have to be a traditional book! It can be a graphic novel or comic book, as long as they enjoy it, it doesn’t matter what form the words are in.
Always show an interest:
Always show an interest if you see your child with a book. Why not get them to explain a little bit about the story they are interested in. This will help your child to make connections and increase their comprehension skills when it comes to school reading. The best thing a child can hear is praise from you, especially if they are reading a book that would be considered difficult for them.
Why not make reading a bonding experience and join them? If they see that you love reading, they will be more inclined to pick up their books too. Doing this together will also give you more things to talk about, as they will most likely be interested in what you are reading.
Bonus tip! Create their own special reading area:
This is something that they are bound to love! By creating a special reading area that is comfortable for your child, they will love reading their favourite books. A special nook, with shelves for their books and a couple of beanbags and pillows will allow them to escape to a fictional world. Struggling for creative ideas? Just check out Pinterest for some incredible and inventive nooks.
With the start of the summer holidays officially upon us, what better time is there to explore the great outdoors. In total there are 15 National Parks throughout England, Scotland and Wales. To celebrate the start of National Parks Week, …
Get Out And Explore The Top 5 National Parks The UK Offers
With the start of the summer holidays officially upon us, what better time is there to explore the great outdoors. In total there are 15 National Parks throughout England, Scotland and Wales. To celebrate the start of National Parks Week, which runs from the 24th to 30th of July, we are choosing our top 5.
Do something different this summer. Venture out of the city and explore some of the beautiful mountains, lakes, waterways and wildlife that the UK has to offer. There are a lot of national parks to choose from so we have decided to help narrow them down for you. We have chosen 5 of what we think are the best the UK has to offer. Whether you want to strap on your hiking boots, paddle down a river on a canoe or take the bike out for a ride, there is something for you and all the family.
Up first, The Lake District National Park in England
Located in the county of Cumbria, the Lake District is England’s largest national park. As of 2017 it is a world heritage site that covers an astonishing 912 miles. In the past, the park has inspired many famous authors including William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, and has been a popular destination for holidays.
The Lake District is home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, with an elevation of 3,209 feet (978 meters). If you are feeling adventurous and fancy a challenge put your hiking skills to test on this! In total, the Lake District has 16 main lakes. The deepest being Wastwater at 243 feet (73 meters) and the longest lake being Windermere with a length of 10.5 miles!
You are guaranteed a great time if you decide to visit here, with a wide range of activities to keep everyone entertained. Try something new with the boat trips, sailing and canoeing that are on offer. You can also keep it more tame with a walk around the lakes or challenge yourself with high ridge walks.
Snowdonia National Park in Wales
Situated in a mountainous region of northwest Wales, Snowdonia is the largest national park in Wales covering 823 square miles. Not only is it home to Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales at 3,560 feet (1,085 meters), but almost half the population speak Welsh. It is a national park that is bursting with culture and local history for you to immerse yourself in.
There are a vast array of activities that can be completed. Of course, the most popular is to hike up one of the six paths that Snowdon offers. It is not the easiest of feats and can sometimes become a challenge with steep and rocky paths. If you are looking for something a little easier why not try out the many bike trails. You can even attempt to see the sights on horseback!
Of course, you don’t have to be as active as this during your trip to Snowdonia National Park. There are many amazing castles to explore such as Conwy Castle, said to be the greatest example of a walled town in Britain, and Cymer Abbey, the only standing remains left of the Cistercians. With so much to see and do, you can be sure that you will want to go back again.
New Forest National Park in England
There is a lot of history within New Forest National Park, which is located in Hampshire, southern England. Back in the 12th century it used to be the royal hunting ground for King William I and his noblemen, with some of the trees being over a thousand years old! Nowadays, it is home to a multitude of wildlife that we are sure the children would love to see. You will be able to spot the wild ponies, donkeys and cattle roaming the woodland and sometimes even drifting into the streets of the villages. Shop owners have to be careful that they don’t wander inside! It really is a sight to see.
There are a number of walking and cycling routes for you to take in all the sites of New Forest, as well as a Walking Festival that will be taking place in the month of October. So if you want to take the family out to explore the wilderness and discover the amazing history hidden within, take a trip down south!
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
This list wouldn’t be complete with one of Scotland’s National Parks and Cairngorms is definitely one to visit. Located in north east Scotland, it is one of two national parks that is on offer. It covers an amazing 1,748 square miles in Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland, Angus, Perth and Kinross regions.
You won’t find the family uttering the phrase “I’m bored” when you take a trip up north. There there is so much to see and do. There are lots of walking and cycling trails for you to explore, as well as 12 golf courses to try out and an array of water sports. In Winter, why not try your hand at some of the snow sports on offer. They even have a funicular railway that will take you to the top of the Cairngorms ski resort.
Cairngorms is perfect for those who love hiking. There are 55 peaks that are over 900 meters tall. Not only does it have all this, the Cairngorms also boasts of having 4 of the 5 highest mountains in the UK! Ben Macdui is the highest at 1,309 meters, while the smallest of the four is Cairn Gorm at 1,244 feet. If you think you have what it takes to hike them, start planning your visit soon!
Last, but not least, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in Wales
If you just can’t wait to be beside the sea this summer, then check out Pembrokeshire Coast in west Wales. It is Britain’s only fully coastal national park with an incredible 620 square kilometres of cliffs, beaches, harbours and coves. There is so much to explore with the family that you will be spoilt for choice.
Be on the lookout for the amazing wildlife that resides nearby. You may be able to see Atlantic grey seals lounging on the rocky shores. Maybe even some dolphins and porpoises in the water! There is something for everyone with lots of activities that include climbing, hiking, surfing, canoeing and so much more. Or maybe this will one of the more relaxing trips you take this summer. You can spend the days lying on the beach catching a tan whilst the kids play nearby.
Which of these National Parks will you visit this summer?
All of these National Parks have so much on offer, you will just have to take a trip to each one. The whole family is guaranteed to have a great time and learn something along the way.
The school run can be very stressful. Keeping organised, calm and encouraged can make your morning so much easier for you…and your kids too! Here are some simple tips on how you can make the school run less stressful. Get Everything …
Making the School Run Less Stressful
The school run can be very stressful. Keeping organised, calm and encouraged can make your morning so much easier for you…and your kids too!
Here are some simple tips on how you can make the school run less stressful.
Get Everything Ready the Night Before-
The last thing you want to be doing in the morning is running around trying to find what you need for the day. So get everything ready the night before. Be sure that their bags are packed, leave them near the door and make sure the uniforms are ready. Remember to always have a spare tie in case they lose it…again! Also, packing the kids lunch boxes before bed means that one job is crossed off your list.
But the number one rule of parenting is that everything takes three times longer in the morning. Make sure you stay patient and prepared.
Be Up Before the Kids-
Make sure you’re up before the kids, because if you aren’t up, they won’t get up. If you’re prepared, you’re allowing yourself more time for the day ahead. Taking 5 minutes for breakfast will make you so much happier leaving the house with food in your stomach. But it’s essential that you get a good night’s sleep too, or else it will make your morning school run so much harder.
Stick To a Daily Routine-
It’s important that your kids have a routine, sticking to it will really help you keep things in order. They will then know what to do every morning and when they’re used to it, it will make your life so much easier. And if they start helping a little bit more with the morning routine then you can reward them with some TV time. That’ll definitely work wonders!
The last thing you want to be doing is losing your temper. It’ll stress you out and the kids too, which means they’ll want to go against everything you say. You don’t need that when trying to have a stress-free school run. Keeping calm with the kids means that they are more likely to listen to what you’re saying and in return it will be easier for you. Making sure that you remain organised and calm will work hand in hand. The result is a less stressful school run for you.
Don’t rush. You’re better off getting the kids to school 5 minutes late and having a less stressful school run, than rushing. Rushing means everything will go wrong and you will be even later than you wanted to be. Keeping relaxed and prepared always results in a better day. That’s what you want – a less stressful school run.
Hopefully from reading these 5 simple tips it’ll help some parents out, when finding the school run stressful, with what not to do and with what you should do to be stress-free
Living in the 21st Century has it’s pros and cons, especially when it comes to the internet. Everything we’ve ever wanted to know is available with the touch of a button. However, that also means information we don’t want to …
The Best Ways to Keep Your Child Safe on the Internet
Living in the 21st Century has it’s pros and cons, especially when it comes to the internet. Everything we’ve ever wanted to know is available with the touch of a button. However, that also means information we don’t want to see can be accessed and sometimes by mistake. This can be especially dangerous for children and it is important that as parents we make the internet a safe environment for them.
Children are naturally going to want to explore the internet and see what is happening in the world as they grow up. We have some tips to help you set some ground rules and ensure their safety is never compromised.
How much time are they allowed online?
The answer to this question will change depending on personal preference and how old your child is. Some parents would prefer that their child spent as little time as possible, whereas others don’t mind. Whatever you decide, make sure that the children understand the rules and the consequences for if they break them.
Learn about the internet with them
A great way to make sure that they are safe on the internet is to join them in browsing the web. Find out what kinds of websites they want to visit and keep an eye on them whilst they are on the computer. You don’t need to be with them all the time, but checking in on them every so often will help you feel assured that they are safe.
Teach them to be mindful of the dangers
While the internet can be fun and entertaining, it can also be dangerous to someone who doesn’t fully understand it. Make sure to teach them to protect their privacy at all times by never revealing their personal information, especially on social media where anyone can see it. They should never:
- Give their full name, phone number, address, emails or passwords to anyone online, even if they are a “friend”.
- Avoid opening emails from people they don’t know (it could be a virus).
- Never meet anyone in real life that they meet online, as not everyone is who they say they are.
Safety is the number one priority
While surfing the web, sometimes things can pop-up in windows that children wouldn’t want to see. This is where you can set up safe-surfing options that will automatically block any content that contains strong language, nudity or violence. By applying this to your computer you can rest easy knowing they are safe from damaging images. Most browsers will have an option built in to do this, but you can also buy more advanced software. Of course, it isn’t always possible to filter everything, so let your child know that they can come to you about anything they have seen or read.
Watch out for social media
With 2 billion people now using Facebook each month, it is more important than ever to keep your online identity safe. If you allow your child to have a twitter, Instagram or Facebook account, ensure they are using the security features offered to them, especially on Facebook where it can be easy for people to hack accounts.
We hope that these tips help you and your children enjoy the internet safely!
When it comes to summer holidays, there is a lot of planning involved. Booking the flights and the hotels is the easiest part. Actually planning how you will travel to and from the destination is the tough part, especially when …
Our Top Tips For When You Travel With The Kids
When it comes to summer holidays, there is a lot of planning involved. Booking the flights and the hotels is the easiest part. Actually planning how you will travel to and from the destination is the tough part, especially when you have kids.
Don’t worry though, we’ve come up with some tips to help make everything run smoother and stop the kids from crying and asking “are we there yet?”
Are you going to travel with young children? These tips are for you:
- Take your time when you travel and never rush anywhere. The only way to make this a possibility is to thoroughly plan when you are going to leave. Ensure you have extra time in case of road accidents or diversions.
- It is almost guaranteed that the kids will get hungry on the journey. Make sure you pack some sweet snacks such as fruit and savoury foods like breadsticks, cheese and even bagels. Chocolate bars and sugary sweets are never a good idea as there is nothing worse than travelling with a child in the middle of a sugar rush.
- A great idea is to buy a disposable camera to keep the kids entertained for hours. It gives them the freedom to explore the world safely and they will keep those memories forever. Plus, there may even be a few worthy shots in there!
- Want to keep the children quiet for a long period of time? Bring a portable DVD player or tablet stocked with their favourite TV shows and movies that will last the length of the flight. Not only does this keep the kids preoccupied, it gives you time to relax and unwind too.
Keep the older Children Entertained too:
- While the young ones will likely fall asleep, older children are prone to getting bored on long journeys and that isn’t fun for anyone. Bring along something fun that is suitable for travelling such as word searches, puzzles and maybe even a colouring book or two.
- Find out what kind of activities the kids want to do when you get to your destination. Not only will this keep them from being bored, it will build their excitement and pass the time.
- As it is the 21st Century, a great idea to keep the kids entertained are apps and games on tablets or phones. There are a wide range of free and paid apps that will distract them from the long journey ahead.
The most important tip of all is to have fun and enjoy all that a family holiday brings. Experiences and memories last a lifetime and it is something that your children will remember forever.
It is the last term of the school year and the summer holidays will soon be upon us. The kids are probably already excited and talking about the plans they want to make with you. Summer is where the best …
How to Prepare For Summer When The Kids Are Home
It is the last term of the school year and the summer holidays will soon be upon us. The kids are probably already excited and talking about the plans they want to make with you. Summer is where the best memories are made, something I’m sure we all remember from when we were younger. It is our duty to offer our children the same experience. “I’m bored” is not a phrase that will be uttered this summer.
Get ready for Summer Fun
When it comes to deciding how to make the most of the time with the kids, ask for their opinions first. Is there a new movie coming out that they want to see? Do they fancy a trip to a theme park or maybe even the zoo? By doing this you can prioritise the events and find out how much money you will need for the activities.
Of course, there are smaller activities that you can do with the kids that cost much less than a big day out. We’ve come up with a list of activities that we’re sure everyone will love:
- Pack a picnic and head to the park! Get everyone to pick their favourite treats, crisps and sandwiches to put into the basket and find a great place to explore and relax in. And even if it rains, there’s nothing to say you can’t have an indoor picnic!
- Stock up on cooking supplies before they all finish school. While you’re at it, why not buy a couple of cook books that you and the children can rummage through, looking for that perfect cake to bake.
- Get the whole family over for a BBQ if the weather is good and enjoy the time together. It isn’t often when everyone can be in the same place and have some delicious food.
- A trip to the seaside is a must with the kids and they are sure to love the change of scenery! There is nothing better than listening to the waves, eating ice creams and helping them build sandcastles. Don’t forget the towels!
- Arts and crafts can be a great way to pass time when the weather is less than desirable. Make staying indoors fun by buying ceramic painting kits, paint by numbers, making dream catchers and so much more. The possibilities are endless!
These are just a few ideas that will keep the kids entertained for hours this summer. Make the most of the six weeks off with the kids before it’s time to pack the school lunches again.