May 2015 archive
Being a stay-at-home mom means you’re always on edge. You’re always the one rushing about making sure everything’s okay. The mornings are the worst! Running around the house getting everyone ready for school. Making breakfast, packing bags, getting clothes ready. Yep, the daily life of a mom, is tough from the off. It doesn’t stop there either. Once everyone’s off to school you have a whole day ahead of you. Maybe you still have a small child, and they’ll need attention throughout the day. Taking care of a kid and making sure the house stays clean and tidy can be taxing tasks. Make no mistake, being a stay-at-home mom is not easy work. In fact, it can be stressful and take a toll on your well-being. It’s important to recognize when you’re stressed and what’s stressing you out. Once you’ve done that you can work on ways to de-stress! This post will go through some of the main reasons you’re stressed, as a mom, and what you can do about them:
(Image source: http://goo.gl/St970L)
You’re doing too much work! Running around for everyone else is tough. You need to find ways to limit the amount of work you do around the house. I’m not suggesting you neglect your kids needs or just leave things in a mess. But come up with ideas to make hard tasks easier. A tough task that usually falls to the mom is washing dishes after every meal. You’ve just spent ages slaving away, and everyone gobbles up their food then runs away again, leaving you with the plates. You can make this easier by doing one of two things; buy a dishwasher or give your kids incentives to clean their dishes. Promising them an after dinner treat can be an easy way to get their attention. By washing their own dishes, you have less work to do, and you’re also teaching your kids to clean up after themselves.
Post-Pregnancy Self-Confidence Issues
After going through pregnancy, many moms are left feeling self-conscious about their looks. Looking in the mirror, staring at the extra weight and scarring/stretch marks is a sure way to get yourself stressed. You start to feel like you’ll never look like you did pre-pregnancy ever again. It’s something we shouldn’t get stressed about, but we do. But don’t fret, you aren’t stuck with a post-pregnancy body for life. Only for as long as you decide on it. Make some changes to your life, become more active to help lose some of that weight. You don’t have to do it alone either; you can keep fit as a family, together. You could also invest in an ultimate mommy makeover to get you back to feeling more like the ‘old’ you.
Lack Of Sleep
One of the main causes of stress for stay-at-home moms, and moms everywhere; lack of sleep. Whether it’s your newborn crying throughout the night or your partner snoring keeping you up. It seems all mom’s go through a period of zero sleep each night. When you don’t get the right amount of sleep, your body releases a stress hormone. Ironically, not getting enough sleep is stressful, and stress is one of the main causes of insomnia. So you’re stuck in an endless cycle. Find ways to improve your nights sleep, relax before bed. If you can deal with your stress, then you should sleep better. As a result, if you sleep more, you won’t be as stressed. As I said, it’s a strange cycle that loops back on itself.
No-one truly understands the life of a stay-at-home mom, other than those in similar positions. People often act like it’s an easy life, you don’t have to go to work so it should be easy, right? Wrong. Being a stay-at-home mother is a job in its own right. It is a stressful life to live. So I hope this article has helped you realize what’s causing you stress, and how to deal with it.
Sleep apnoea is a disorder which only makes itself known while you’re unconscious, and the only truly reliable way of determining whether you’re affected is to participate in a sleep study. However, there are several warning signs which provide an indication of sleep apnoea.
Your partner notices loud or chronic snoring
Snoring occurs when the airway is obstructed. This obstruction will normally be minor, but sleep apnoea involves a more serious blockage which results in a more noticeable level of snoring – usually enough to keep your partner from sleeping well. If they frequently complain of loud snoring, you might have sleep apnoea.
Partners should be especially concerned if they hear gasping, choking, or snorting. The lack of oxygen in the body can often cause people to wake briefly in order to frantically draw breath. This is often quick enough to be forgotten about by the person themselves, but anyone sharing a bed with them is likely to take note.
You’re exhausted – regardless of time spent in bed
Tiredness during the day has become so common in the modern world that it often slips by unnoticed. Those with sleep apnoea often feel excessively tired due to the constant interruption of their sleep cycles, but ignore the condition since it typically builds gradually.
It can be difficult to attribute a cause to chronic fatigue, especially since many people regularly fail to get their recommended amount of sleep. However, if you regularly feel tired after spending seven to nine hours in bed, it could be an indicator of sleep apnoea.
You’re waking up with headaches – or an urge for the bathroom
People with sleep apnoea often wake up with headaches since the frequent pauses in breathing decrease the levels of oxygen in the brain. These headaches will typically become more frequent and last longer as the condition grows more severe.
In addition to headaches, there is a strong link between sleep apnoea and nocturia (the frequent need to urinate during the night). The lack of oxygen essentially triggers the body’s flight or fight response mechanisms – including a feeling of fullness in the bladder.
If these symptoms present themselves, ensure that you participate in a sleep study – either privately or through the NHS – to determine for sure whether you’re suffering from sleep apnoea. In addition to that, you may also try to use one of the best and highly recommended anti-snoring devices on the market today.
Photo via Ginny Washburne
When you are a new mother, it can feel like you don’t know what to do. I should know. When I first had my kids, it was a massive learning curve. After all, nobody ever tells you what raising kids entails. You just assume that it will be easy when you get the hang of it. Well, the bad news is that it doesn’t get any easier than it is now. How you cope with your new responsibility changes, though, and you will find it manageable. It might feel as though you can’t cope just now, but you can. I wanted to share a few motherhood insights with you so here they are. Here are six essential things that you need to get.
#1 Weatherproofing gadgets
Pretty soon, you will want to take your baby out with you. The first time you take your kid out, you might feel that it is a massive effort. If it starts to rain, you might not know what to do. Having little things, like the Bugaboo Raincover could make a massive difference. That way, you can make sure that you are ready if the heavens open up and it starts raining. Don’t panic, you will get used to it before you know it.
#2 A diaper dispenser
When you start to change your kid’s diaper, it can feel like a bit of a rush. Yes, you have to do it all as fast as possible. That means that the best thing you can do is have somewhere clean to put your dirty diapers. You might think that a trash can will do the job, but a dispenser is much better than that. You can get one online or at the mall. Get one as soon as possible to save yourself trouble later on.
#3 Childproof locks
When your little one starts to crawl, you are going to have a nightmare. There are loads of dangers around your home, and so you need to childproof it as soon as you get a chance. You can get little child-proof locks that you can use to keep your drawers as safe as possible. That way, if your child tries to get into the knife drawer, you can make sure that they won’t succeed. Easy!
#4 Loads of baby clothes
Okay, here is the truth of the matter – babies are messy all the time. Not a day goes by when a baby doesn’t soil their clothes. The more baby clothes you have, the easier you will find it to stay on top of things. That way, you will find that it is super easy to keep your baby as clean as possible. Remember, babies have low immunity, which means that you need to keep them away from germs.
#5 A secure cot
There are loads of cots on the market. You might not know how to choose the right cot for your baby so let me help you along the way. You need to make sure that the cot you choose has high barriers. That way, you should have no trouble when it comes to keeping your baby safe. The best material for cots has to be wood as it is safe and won’t hurt them.
#6 Entertainment for your baby
You might think that newborns don’t need entertainment, but they do. You need to make sure that you have little toys and things for your child to enjoy. For example, you could get a mobile to go above your baby’s cot. These little touches will make a world of difference to your child, and so they are well worth getting.
The most important thing you need to remember is not to panic. Perfecting your parenting skills will come with time, and so you needn’t worry. Take it from me – you can do it!
Summer is my favorite season! Plenty of fruits, warm weather, beach time and a lot of tanning. Not mentioning that kids love it too, but mostly because it is the holiday time which means no school and no homework. As a mom, summer time does not mean more free time or more quiet moments. So, it usually means yelling, laughter and your kids` friends coming over. But as any mom, you cannot but not love them. Despite all the moments when you just want to lock yourself in the pantry and pretend you are not in the house. I will leave that conversation for another time though. This time I am going to talk about the best ice cream recipe made with summer fruits. It is easy to make, it has a lot of nutrients, and it is the perfect dessert for your kids and their friends. You will need the following ingredients:
- Summer Fruits : blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, and redcurrants. Of course you can add other types of fruits as well if you wish.
- Two tablespoons of organic honey. Make sure it is runny.
- Handful of nuts (your choice, also optional)
All you have to do is mix the fruits, nuts, honey and ice in a blender or food processor until the mixture is smooth. Place the mixture in a freezer proof container and leave it for a couple of hours or until frozen. Take it out and put it in the food processor or blender again to remove any hard ice bits. Place back in the freezer for another hour or two and then scoop it into a bowl when ready to eat. It can be garnished with more summer fruits or mint.
Summer fruits are a great add to your menu during the summer time. If you are a fan of gardening, having a few fruit bushes in your garden could save you a lot of money. It would also allow you to enjoy the sweet taste of summer fruits any time you want. Whether you prefer raspberries, strawberries, or you want to look for blackcurrant bushes for sale online, having at least one of them in your garden would be great. But, if you are a busy mom, it may be easier just to buy them from a supermarket.
No matter where you get your summer fruits from, you can always mix them into delicious and easy to make desserts. This will make you the favorite mom among your kids` friends. And not only that, but you will also ‘trick’ your kids into eating their daily serving of fruit with this delicious ice cream recipe. To be a revolution mom, you need the right ‘weapons’ in the fight against unhealthy crisps and sweets. Although your kids most likely prefer them over fruits. But not anymore, the ultimate ice cream recipe is here. It is easy, healthy and a great way to keep your kids` cravings for sugary foods and drinks in check. Be a smart mom, be a revolution mom!
Image from Pixabay
Moving home is an emotional process. Even though you might be excited to explore a new house and neighborhood, many people also name it as one of the most stressful things you can do. It can be even more complicated when you have children, especially when they’re young kids who you need to watch all the time. Trying to organize everything to go off without a hitch is hard when you have little ones to supervise, and even harder if you’re a single parent or your partner can’t be there. If you need to move house with small children, use this guide to make the whole process easier.
Preparing Them for the Move
Depending on the age of your kids, they might not know what’s going on. But they’re likely to know that something is happening, even if they don’t know what it is. Getting them ready for the move could be super easy, or it could be a bit more of a struggle. If they’re a bit older, they might already have a few friends, a pre-school they love and attachment to the house. Explaining that you’ll be moving somewhere else, even if only the house will change, might give them a bit of a shock. You can get them involved in moving from the beginning, by taking them to see the new house and letting them pick out a room. Explain everything that will happen, from packing everything up to finding a new park to play at.
Organizing a big move is difficult at the best of times, but even more of a trial when you have kids running around. To help you stay on track, you could create a list of things to do and a schedule for when you need to do them. It’s best to try and get as much help as you can get, whether it’s from professional movers or family. You can hire a truck to drive yourself. But it could be easier to employ movers like American Home Movers at http://www.americanhomemovers.com. Having other people to load and unload things into the truck means you have more time to watch the kids and supervise the move.
One the Big Day
When the day comes to move, you have to make a decision about whether the kids are going to be around. If you think it might be easier for them to be out of the way, try to get someone to watch them while the house is packed up. Of course, some parents might not have any choice. If you have to have the kids around, you can still make the move painless by keeping them occupied. If they’re old enough, give them a job to do. You could even make them a badge with their role, making them Chief Toy Packer or Truck Supervisor.
Eventually, you’ll arrive at your new home. Let the kids unpack their rooms first so they can start to settle in. It won’t be long before it will be like you’ve always lived there.
According to a recent report by Barclays Bank, there are more than 2 million family owned businesses in Britain. These companies generate revenues in excess of £540 billion. While quite a few of the companies are several generations old, even the first generation businesses are clocking an average growth of 22%. The revenues from the family owned companies are projected to grow to £661 billion by 2018.
You may be surprised to learn that some well known brands like Walmart, BMW, Ford, Samsung and food giant ABF closer to home are all examples of family owned businesses. A lot of these businesses have demonstrated their resilience and growth across generations and economic cycles. Be it the Lebanese take away around the corner, which has been around for 60 years with branches across the city, to Stemcor, the world’s largest steel trader with revenues in excess of £6 billion, both are family run businesses.
These companies constitute a full third of the British economy and are an integral part of it. What are some of the reasons behind the success of these businesses? Multiple studies on the topic point towards a number of shared traits.
Family run businesses are focused on preserving and building business value. Owners see themselves as caretakers of a legacy to be passed on to the next generation. Newer ventures are conservatively leveraged and managed in a hands-on way by the owners. The focus is always on the long term.
Better at retaining talent
Unlike their big box corporate competitors, these companies offer more than just financial incentives. There is emphasis on creating and building a culture and an empowering work environment. Family run companies are more likely to promote from within rather than hiring externally.
The M1 Group is one such family run business. A multibillion-dollar diversified investment holding company, it has interests across a wide spectrum of businesses, ranging from oil to fashion to energy and real estate. The M1 Group had its genesis with Investcom, a telecom company started in 1982 by Najib Mikati and his brother Taha in Lebanon. A two-time Prime Minister of Lebanon, Najib Mikati continued to co-run the M1 Group while in office. In 2005, the company listed on the London stock exchange for $741 million, and in 2006, MTN of South Africa acquired it for $5.5 billion. The brothers, along with Azmi Mikati from the second generation, continue to run operations at M1.
Frugal in good and bad times
Family owned businesses are careful with expenses. They won’t invest in a fancy office address, as the same money can be put to a more productive use. These companies are much less likely to let people go during periods of economic stress.
Continuity of vision
Family run businesses normally have a long standing CEO. This ensures a steady vision and consistent strategies; it also ensures continuity in relationships the company has with its multiple stakeholders. A sense of stability and continuity is engraved in the DNA of these companies.
There is a lot that family owned business have going for them. From a unique sense of value creation to a stable environment and steady growth, family run businesses chart a success path of their own.
Keeping your kids fit and healthy feels like it’s more important than ever before and tennis is a great way for the whole family to exercise and have fun together.
You don’t need to be an aspiring Andy Murray or Serena Williams to derive benefit from playing tennis as it’s a sport you can enjoy regardless of ability. You just need a racket and a few tennis balls, and somewhere to play. There are plenty of public courts around as well where you can play for free, rather than needing to be a member of a private club or sports centre. You can even practice hitting a ball against a wall to get used to the feel of playing tennis and the techniques you need.
The one time when you will find the public courts heaving with people is during Wimbledon fortnight and the tournament can be a fantastic way to inspire your kids to pick up a racket and play. The key is making sure that the interest is maintained throughout the year and not just for a couple of weeks in the summer.
And the best way to do that is to actually take in a trip to tennis, with this summer providing plenty of highlights in British tennis – the Aegon Championship at Queen’s Club, the Aegon International at Eastbourne, the Davis Cup quarter-final tie between Great Britain and France, and, of course, Wimbledon.
The stand-out date for your diary is obviously Wimbledon.
The dates for Wimbledon, which runs from June 29 to July 12 this year, can make it tricky for the whole family to attend given the tournament is scheduled during school term time. However, the middle Saturday will still guarantee plenty of tennis being played and, if there has been rain in the week, there could be play on the middle Sunday as well.
Alternatively, if you live in the London area, you can buy a ticket for a general Grounds Admission which allows you access to the courts after 5pm when there are still three or four hours of tennis still to be played in the day.
Ticket prices will vary depending upon what stage of the tournament is being played, with it cheaper in the earlier rounds. However, that actually works in your favour as there are many more courts in use during the earlier rounds and that allows you to get much greater value for money. You can pay £18 for a ticket for Grounds Admission after 5pm, and it is £25 before that time. That admission gives you access to Courts 3-19 in unreserved seating and standing areas. If you have children under the age of five, they don’t require a ticket, although it is not recommended that you take a pushchair due to how busy it is.
by Magnus D
However, one way you can savour the atmosphere of Wimbledon which can fit around school times and not cost anything is by watching the action from Henman Hill. Or Murray Mound/Mount as it has been rechristened in recent times due to the success of the Scot. This is where a convivial crowd gathers to watch the tennis on a big screen outside the venue. What you will also often find is that when Murray is playing, in particular, he will often not be on court in the early rounds until teatime. So you could pack up a picnic, grab the kids and spend a warm, summer evening cheering on Murray, who is second favourite to win Wimbledon for the second time in his career.
If Wimbledon is on your doorstep, relatively speaking, then one way to travel to the venue is by bicycle as public bike racks are available for free. Alternatively, it’s probably best to travel by either Tube or bus, rather than driving to Wimbledon as it can be expensive to pay for parking. You can catch the District Line to either Southfields or Wimbledon station and then hop on one of the shuttle buses which run every five minutes.
A further way to pique your children’s interest, and probably your own as well, in tennis is by downloading the official Wimbledon app. This will give you all the information you need about the tournament. It can provide you with details of the latest scores and draws, and also give you details about the history of Wimbledon and profiles on players. There is also the chance to listen to the radio and watch highlights of the tennis. Given how kids lap up the use of technology, it is a good way to marry learning about the sport and taking an interest in actually playing tennis.
The traditional warm-up tournament for the men’s singles at Wimbledon, meanwhile, is the Aegon Championship at Queen’s Club. This usually attracts many of the top players in the world and runs from June 15-21, giving players a week off before Wimbledon starts. The traditional warm-up tournament for the women’s singles in Britain is the Aegon International at Eastbourne, and this year it will feature the likes of reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki and the British number one Heather Watson. The Eastbourne tournament takes place the week after Queen’s, and the week before Wimbledon, so you could have a full month of watching high-class tennis in the day and then heading off to the local courts for a knock in the evening or at a weekend.
Barely has Wimbledon finished and the thrilling tennis action continues with the Davis Cup tie between Great Britain and France, which is also at Queen’s Club. This takes place from July 17-19 and it could prove to be the perfect conclusion of five weeks’ memorable tennis from a British point of view, especially if Murray can follow up his 2013 triumph at Wimbledon.
With so much quality tennis being played in Britain this summer, there has never been a better time to introduce your kids to the sport. I would heartily recommend getting into the sport as it can be a relatively cheap way to keep fit as well as proving to be a valuable way to teach your children skills and attributes which can stay with them for life.
If there’s one thing we know for sure, most moms don’t have is enough time in the day. From the routine weekdays to the activity packed weekends, we’re always on the go. Taking care of this one and that one, cleaning the house, cooking the meals, going to work, and even finding time to spend with our husbands, we do it all… but often times that leaves very little time for us. Trust me, sometimes I’ve been so involved in taking care of the household that I’ve walked out of the door literally without having brushed my hair.
It seems we’re never entitled to much of a break or down time that allows us to care for ourselves. And unfortunately, when we’re not caring for our own health, the first places it seems to show up is in our weight and our skin. From spots and blemishes, to acne and skin tags, our stress is worn all over our faces. Since we can’t very well run away to a deserted island and leave the kids to fend for themselves, we simply have to come up with ways to care for ourselves.
So while I can’t come up with every solution to taking care of yourself as a mom I have found some pretty simple ways to care for your skin to give it that glow you had in your senior year of high school.
1. Eat a Well Balanced Diet– Eating well is something that you can do all week long. Though it might present challenges when you’re pressed for time, there are great ways to incorporate foods rich in vitamins and nutrients to replenish your skin. Some of those methods include:
- Preparing meals on the weekends and simply microwaving your healthy choices during the week.Incorporating your kids into the meal making can be a great way to spend some time together while still handling business.
- Having healthy snacks like nuts, yogurt, and granola bars on hand for those midday munchies
- Eating a salad with every meal
- Eating out a little less often
2. Purchase Reliable Skin Care Products for Issues – When dealing with skin issues such as skin tags that obviously will not go away on their own, utilizing over the counter skin products can be just the solution you need. It is important that you don’t do too much trial and error with products as some of them can be damaging to your skin. Instead, do a bit of research on all-natural skin tag removers and acne treatments before making your purchase.
You can review the ingredients, check out consumer reviews, and even compare for price to get the best overall value.
3. Stay Hydrated – You’d be surprised how many moms can go hours without having had a fresh glass of water. Water does wonders for your skin, hair, and nails and therefore you’ll want to make this a priority. It is ideal that you drink at least 6-8 cups of water every day. If you’re like me and can’t stand water then why not try adding fresh fruit to your water for a little flavor.
4. . Get Some Rest – Many moms haven’t heard the term rest or sleep since their child has been born, but we’re going to have to try and get some shut eye. Sleeping allows your skin to repair itself throughout the night. When we miss sleep, we create dark bags and circles around our eyes and also prevent the collagen from repairing the damage our skin experienced the day before.
5. Purchase Reliable Skin Care Products for Issues – When dealing with skin issues such as skin tags that obviously will not go away on their own, utilizing over the counter skin products can be just the solution you need. It is important that you don’t do too much trial and error with products as some of them can be damaging to your skin. Instead, do a bit of research on an all-natural skin tag removerbefore making your purchase. You can review the ingredients, check out consumer reviews, and even compare for price to get the best overall value.
6. Clean Your Face Twice Daily – In the morning when you wake up and at night before turning in for bed you should be sure to wash your face efficiently. You don’t want to leave dirt, oil, and dead skin cells on your face all day or all night. Washing adequately will require you to invest in a few products that might include: an astringent to pull dirt to the surface, an exfoliant to scrub dead skin cells off the face, and a mild soap or cleanser to give your face a clean fresh look and feel.
7. . Purchase a Good Moisturizer – While water is a great way to hydrate your skin, your skin also needs a good daily moisturizer. Now you can find facial creams and lotions that double as sunscreen for protection from the sun’s rays no matter what the season is. There are moisturizers for people with varying skin types including oily or dry.
8. Go Makeup Free Sometimes – We all love to look our best when walking out the door, but sometimes we can go a bit overboard with the makeup. In an attempt to cover up those fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, bags, and pimples, we can cause more harm than good. I personally do not wear any makeup on the weekends unless I’m going to a special event. This gives my skin a chance to breathe without being smothered by all the makeup I sometimes pile up.
While I knew about some of these skin care tips listed above, I must say that in my research I didn’t realize how important simple things like sleeping, eating well, and staying hydrated were for the skin. I know some of these might be easier said than done, but even incorporating a few at a time into your busy lives can help to improve the overall health of your skin. Over time, I was able to incorporate all of the above tips and eventually achieved healthy skin with fewer acne breakouts, or complaints about oily skin. Hopefully you can begin including these into your everyday life and see the difference in the way your skin looks and feels.
If the world is to improve then we need strong female role models to help guide the way. It is especially important for young girls to see that they have the potential to achieve their hopes and dreams if they work hard and show compassion for others. Seeing others achieve their goals can go a long way towards them believing they can as well. Here are a few of the inspirational role models that children should be aware of during the crucial formative years, where they need the strongest of role models:
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu
In Ethiopia, economic opportunities are rarer than they should be. Bethlehem started out making handmade shoes and has since expanded her business to include many skilled workers from the area where she grew up. This is a great example of a powerful female entrepreneur creating improved opportunity for those around her. Her company is fair trade certified and continues to grow and create opportunity for those who were formerly in a disadvantaged position
Jennifer Atiku has achieved success on many levels and was recently called to the bar. She will no doubt use her new expertise in law to achieve great things for the Gede Foundation. The Gede Foundation is working hard to eradicate and treat the HIV virus in Nigeria. They care for patients and family members on all levels. Unfortunately, in Africa there is great shame associated with disease, so those who are suffering often do not seek treatment quickly when they have the greatest chance at recovery. Gede offers counselling to those afflicted so that they realize that they have value. Clinical services offer the latest in testing and effective treatment. Education efforts ensure that disadvantaged people understand how the disease is spread and how best to prevent it. With consistent treatment, Gede is confident that they can continue to make large strides in reducing the spread of the debilitating disease and improve understanding.
Khanyi is the powerhouse behind the magazines Destiny and Destiny Man. In these magazines there is a lot of information to help entrepreneurs get good advice and find resources to achieve their dreams. Her magazines help aspiring business start-ups connect with one another and think about their long-term goals so they can better plan their business endeavours. Having guidance throughout the start-up of a business is truly crucial to quick success.
Helping children establish their own goals
Goals are important to have because they give a sense of accomplishment when achieved. This encourages children to strive for even higher goals. Determination such as this creates true change and improvement in the world. If children speak to you about someone they look up to, it is important to ask them why and help them recognize the characteristics that make this person worthy of their admiration. When children realize what it takes to achieve goals then they can set their own in good faith.
You don’t need to buy expensive toys, or splash out on home gadgets to keep your kids entertained on a rainy day. Just because you’re all stuck indoors doesn’t mean anyone has to be bored – from cooking and karaoke, to indoor tents and tips on how to make paper mache – here are five fab ideas to keep you and your kids entertained, come rain or shine.
1. Crafts for Kids
Children love to be creative, and the internet is full of simple crafting ideas for parents and kids to make and create together. You don’t even need to be armed with a load of tools and techniques to get started – you could rescue and reuse all your waste cardboard, kitchen jars and clean trash for a junk modelling session, or why not learn how to make paper mache or playdough? Made using common kitchen ingredients, play dough is easy and quick to make (and cheaper than the shop-bought version), while learning how to make paper mache will help you transform some old newspaper into something any child would be proud of.
2. Fun in the Kitchen
Cooking with your children is a brilliant way to develop their interest in food and not only teaches them essential life skills but offers a low cost, fun activity for all involved. A good place to start is baking. Cookies, cakes, and biscuits are all easy to make and there are loads of other child-friendly recipes for you to choose from. Always consider your child’s age, ability, and tastes, and be sure to involve them in the whole process – from picking out the recipe, to shopping for ingredients and eating it together afterwards. For older children, opt for more complicated dishes or recipes that will either challenge their taste buds or educate them on regional or local foods to your area.
3. Fancy Dress Fashion Show
Dressing up is always a fun activity; both boys and girls will love to strut their stuff down a makeshift runway in the weird, wacky and wonderful outfits they’ve put together themselves. Dig out any old or elaborate items from your own wardrobe and encourage them to create accessories out of household items such as lampshades, bed sheets and any craft materials you have. Lighting is important so turn off the overheads and angle any lamps you have onto the runway (a hallway is perfect), filming or photographing your child as they parade up and down to an upbeat soundtrack.
4. Movie Day
On a rainy day it’s all too easy to simply dump kids in front of the television. However, while it is worth limiting TV and computers to 1-2 hours a day, there’s certainly nothing wrong with sitting down with your children for a bit of shared screen time. A great idea for a lazy day indoors is a movie marathon. Let your kids help choose a couple of their favourite films, pop some popcorn, close the curtains and look forward to an afternoon snuggled up on the sofa.
5. Build a Den
Inspire your little one’s imagination by helping them to build their own indoor den. Gather up any extra bed sheets, pillows and boxes for building blocks, or throw a blanket over a kitchen or dining room table for an easy hideaway. Pile in lots of cushions, pillows and blankets then give them the privacy and freedom to transform their snug into their very own land of make-believe. Whether it be a fort, raft, tee-pee or teddy bears picnic, once the building work is done: that’s when the fun really starts.