Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pretend Play

Well after my previous, somewhat premature assessment of the great British weather we should consider moving back inside the house for playtime. In true British style the weather dictates where our children can play, unless your fortunate enough to have a spare, large garage for the swing to go and a ball to be kicked it looks like we are confined to indoor activities.
I remember I was very fortunate to have a large house with five bedrooms when I was a child and my brother and I often use to play hide and seek, this could take some time to play given the size of the house. When the rain is drizzling outside you often hear the moans of young children who are bored and can’t think of anything to do. Why not set them a challenge to come up with a really good activity that keeps them happy for 30 minutes and if they mange this give them a small prize this is a great way of getting your kids to use their imagination. After having rewarded this behaviour 2-3 times your child should be skilled in keeping themselves entertained and the moaning should stop (ok, maybe not all together).
Here’s an idea that you could get the kids to do once a week. Give them a load of old clothes that you are not too concerned about and get them to act out a play. If Dad’s a builder let your son use his old jeans and work boots to become his Dad on stage or your daughter could pretend to me Mum if Mum’s a teacher, doesn’t matter who they pretend to be it’s great fun and all the family can have fun together. If you find your children really enjoying themselves you may want to consider spending a bit of cash on some masks or outfits, who knows they may become the next Leonardo Dicaprio. Check out this link if you want some more ideas on pretend play

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Play Safe Kids in the Garden

Ok we all know that safety regulations in the UK can sometimes spoil our fun, whether it’s because children aren’t able to go on various school trips anymore or as someone laying a carpet needs to wear a hard hat. However, I for one feel that a lot of good comes from playing and working safe! We have all heard some horror stories about how children left unattended in the garden have suffered severe even fatal injuries. Not to get morbid or fanatical I would like to offer a good link which covers safe and secure ways of letting our children enjoy the great outdoors in the safety of their gardens.
What are the fundamentals or guidelines one should follow to keep your children safe when playing in the garden? Here is a great link to give you some details on safe play a great resource for all safety tips for our kids.
One of the most important things to remember when purchasing a toy for the garden is to read the instructions the manufacture has given. Many accidents result from simple neglect of carrying out this basic rule.
Gardens are a great source of entertainment and healthy exercise for kids, whether they are digging up your lawn (I say this as I remember one summer when I was 6-7 years old I decided I would attempt to dig to Australia and believe it or not my Mum just let me get on with it, I guess she figured it would tire me out or just keep me from under her feet) or swinging from a tree or kicking a ball they can be kept busy for hours. Healthy exercise is essential for our children and our gardens can be a great place for this, maybe you yourself could spend 10-15 minutes kicking a ball with your children.
If you are looking for fun and safe activities for your kids in the garden why not consider a leaf swing this can be easily fastened to a tree or even a rope ladder for climbing up into the tree.
Here are some other great ideas for outside toys
Play safe and keep safe always keep a watchful eye on young children and do not let them play unsupervised in the garden.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Natural Toys

Nowadays with all the concern about the environment it is worth taking time to consider what materials toys are made from and what impact these will have for our children and grand children’s future. The term carbon footprint is used to describe the resources we use and also the environmental changes we cause personally due to the products we use and buy on a daily basis. When looking at the toys we buy for our children maybe we should consider what is the future for all those plastic toys we buy? Well if that plastic is not recycled and used for something else it will stay in our environment for ever where as wood can take as little as 1 week to leave the environment and will enrich the environment too.
Natural products and natural toys are a sure way to reduce our carbon footprint and make the future brighter for our children and grand children. Toys made from natural products can still be fun and cheap for children to play with. Let your children develop their fine motor skills and mathematical skills by using wooden toys like this Balloons and Rings a sure way for kids to learn and enjoy themselves whilst keeping green too.
Games like shut the box helps again with problem solving and memory skills, also great for building confidence in younger and older children. Children, as we all know, can have hours of fun just playing with a pencil and paper and you can’t get more natural than these.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pocket Money

In today’s current financial climate it is wise to be prudent with your cash the same is true for our kids. It seems today that most of the toys you buy for under £5 are likely to break within five minutes of them arriving in those inquisitive hands. There are however some really good toys on the market which are not expensive and still give hours of pleasure without breaking. Plastic toys are a big ‘no no’ if you’re looking for something that will last the test of time wooden toys are far less likely to break and yet many can be found for under a fiver.
A good way to educate your child early in the discipline of finance is to give them pocket money. Children by nature will continue to ask for anything and everything without consideration for cost or time. A good way to combat this obsession in your child is to give them a certain amount of money each week that is theirs to spend on some sweets and a small toy. This way your child will begin to learn the value of money and also how long their money has to last them and should stop the endless inquiries as to whether they can have this or that. By teaching your child the value of money you give them a gift that will last them a lifetime.
Fun, colourful and educational toys can be found from as little as £1.50 wooden castanets are colourfully decorated in various animal designs making them a perfect addition to young children's musical collection. Percussion and rhythm are the foundations of musical appreciation and castanets, which are very easy to play, are perfect for children to learn about and enjoy rhythm. Smart Start Toys carry a range of toys all from under £5 which will last your child many years of fun just follow the link pocket money.

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