Thursday, March 20, 2014

How to Make Sure That Your Kids Have a Great Holiday With a Budget

The School holidays bring with them mixed emotions from parents, on one hand they are delighted to be spending quality time with their  children and on the other hand they are under pressure to make sure that the holiday time is great fun and memorable.
Here is a list of ideas that will suit a variety of budgets and ages:-
Visit the Local Playground
Where ever you live, be it country or city there is always a playground nearby.  The walk to the playground can be an adventure in itself or an opportunity to speed along on a shiny scooter or bike.  It doesn’t matter if your child is a toddler or a bit older they will both enjoy the fresh air and the opportunity to play with other children, as well as challenging themselves on the playground equipment.  You also get the opportunity to chat to other parents and everyone has a lovely time.
A Day at the Beach
Even when it is a little bit chilly children seem to find the beach so exciting that they are prepared to build sandcastles, even at early spring temperatures.  Wrap everybody up warm if it is cold and embark on a seaside adventure.  Children relish the freedom they have from cars and boundaries and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to interact with other children.  In warmer weather you will find that you will be able to spend virtually the whole day at the beach for the cost of a picnic and ice creams all round.
Visit a Museum
With a little research you can find out which museums are very children friendly and have playground equipment as well.  Children will enjoy looking at the exhibits and asking questions about the history behind them; particularly if it is related to a topic that excites them.  Some museums give children the opportunity to dress up in costumes and participate in role play activities such as; a Victorian school room.  The cost of visiting a museum can vary from free to having to pay an entrance fee.
A Crafty Day in Doors
When the rain is pouring and it is too horrible to go outside, it is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your children making a variety of objects.  You can choose to be completely heuristic in your approach and make robots, machines, in fact anything from bits and pieces in your recycling box.  You can purchase craft kits online if you would rather be more structured and produce longer lasting creations, don’t be surprised if your child finds an alternative way of putting even the most prescribed craft items together.  Children will thoroughly enjoy the time you spend helping them make their machine and talking to you.
When you start thinking of ways to entertain your children you will discover that the list is endless and you will be surprised at how easy it is to bring a smile to your child’s face.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Everyone is a Big Kid When they See Adventure Playground Equipment

When I was a teacher I used to love school trips, not because it meant a day out of school and was a day off.  Believe me twenty five children with hands like octopuses and bouncing around like baby goats is not relaxing, even with enthusiastic parent helpers!  I particularly enjoyed the trips where we would go walking or canoeing and then end the day in an adventure playground.
Active Children
Spending time out of school with your class is somewhat liberating because you are still teaching them and making sure that they are safe but using play and can tell them about nature and things that just crop up without having to include it in your copious amounts of planning.  Walking up a mountain really shows children’s stamina and true strength. On a trip to the Brecon Beacons with my class from Dagenham it was very interesting to see the loud cocky boys finding the height of the hills overwhelming and scary, holding on to me for dear life, while the quieter unassuming children moved along the fells like mountain goats.  Without the restraints of the classroom walls were able to be ourselves and share this wonderful outdoor experience equally.
Adventure Playground
So far I have painted a Mary Poppins picture of school trips, when in fact these are only the edited highlights. Children are wonderful when they are occupied and busy and tend to not cause chaos when they are eating or sleeping.  But when there is any room for manoeuvre your role goes from being one of pastoral carer and educator to referee and high court judge.  The easiest way to overcome this is by letting the children loose in an adventure playground because adventure playground equipment is both exciting and safe.  As soon as I see an adventure playground the child inside me leaps out and I am delighted to be able to ignore the age restriction and join the children in a liberating experience.

Zip Wire
In every good adventure playground there is always a zip wire to go on and most of the children and teachers will spend most of their time queuing up to feel the wind blowing through the air and  experience the nearest thing to flying they will have on the trip.  The zip wires in adventure playgrounds tend to be very small and manual so that they can be used safely by children without the help of an adult.  I hasten to add that I was not helping the children use the zip wire – I was just waiting for my turn and hopefully earning some popularity points along the way!
The equipment pictured in this article is available from where you will be able to find a huge range of adventure playground equipment to choose from.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How Can You Calm Your Anxious Child?

Guest Article

Do you have a child that hates social situations, cries or clings when you need to leave, worries about things seemingly unimportant things, or suffers from headaches, stomach aches or panic attacks? It can be very hard as a parent to realize that they are suffering from anxiety and it can be even more difficult to know what to do about it.

The first thing you should do as a parent is find out more about child anxiety. Understand the potential signs and contact a mental health organization. Speak to a professional if you can. The more you know about anxiety the better equipped you will be to help your anxious child.

Talk to your child about what they are feeling but don't push them. Sometimes talking about the actual feelings can bring on more anxiety. But do let them know that anxiety is normal and that everyone experiences it at different points of their life. Let them know that as uncomfortable as anxiety can be, it won't happen. Ask them what the worst thing is they think could happen and show them that it won't.

Above all, don't let your child drop out of life because of feelings of anxiety. Instead, help them to deal with it. Instead of skipping the birthday party that they are anxious about, help them slow down and deal with their feelings. Perhaps you can stay as long as your child is interacting with others. Talk about the situations that they are worried about and help them role play them out together and come up with solutions for them. Remind your child that if he/she gets anxious it is ok and that the feeling will pass if they find something else to do.  And above all, give them praise when they have overcome a challenge.

Article provided by the folks at

Monday, February 17, 2014

Discovering the Quirky Miscito

Guest Article

There was nothing special about the day she was born and there was nothing special about her. In fact, she was simply given the number 75881241 as a name. She was just a small, insignificant speck, and she was weak. She was also hyper and — like her friends, her parents and her brothers and sisters— this little mosquito was born hungry.

She didn’t care where her food came from, she didn’t care about the animal or the age, and she just wanted to eat. She latched onto the first living creature she saw, a little boy who barely flinched when the newborn mosquito landed on his arm and sunk her teeth into his flesh. There was definitely nothing special about number 75881241— she was acting purely on instinct and hunger — nor was there anything special about the boy’s mother, who slapped at her son in an effort to swat the bloodthirsty insect away. But there was definitely something special about the boy! He took a step away from his mother, protecting the insect.

“No!” he yelled at her. “Leave her alone, she’s just hungry.”

“But she’s biting you!” his mother said, frowning at her son.

“That’s how she eats!” the little boy pleaded.

The little mosquito had fallen to the ground and the boy carefully picked her up and placed her back on his arm before encouraging her to eat. She was amazed. This was her first experience of humans, her first taste of humans, and she had instantly fallen for them. She was young, but she already knew that she needed to stay far away from them. Although, her family and friends had briefly warned her about them, this little boy was nothing like the humans they had described.

For days, she couldn’t stop thinking about the little boy. She began following him around, watching his every move. She smiled when he played and laughed when he danced. Once, when he held a girl’s hand, she wished she had hands too so she could hold his hand. Then the boy stopped laughing, he stopped dancing and he didn’t seem very happy anymore. She learned that he was sick with a disease that mosquitos spread. Number 75881241 was heart-broken. She shared in his tears and in his pain. She decided that she couldn’t take anymore and, so, she flew away. She flew in a direction she had never taken before and didn’t stop flying until her wings hurt and she couldn’t fly another inch.

She found herself in a city. It was a strange place filled with tall buildings, fast cars and a wall of noise and smog. She found other mosquitos too, different, quirky mosquitos. They didn’t feed off of humans. They ate junk food. And they didn’t do anything to hurt people. As soon as she met them she knew she had found her true home. She changed her name to Miscito, changed her lifestyle and learned to ignore the instincts that told her to bite humans. Soon, one of her new friends told her that she needed to eat more than just potato chips and cupcakes to lay her eggs. She offered Miscito a hot dog! Even though she hated the taste, she ate it for the little boy who had touched her heart. She was determined to one day repay his kindness and raise a new crop of “Miscitos” in much the same way.

The Miscito brand is a quality quirky kids apparel company.  It was created to honor the legend of Miscito’s bravery and courage and, in doing so, to address the problems of malaria. Our goal is to join in the fight against malaria, and the devastating effects it has on children worldwide.