There are so many great ideas out there to help make a parents job easier and lots of fun. Below is a great range of ideas all the way from education tips to funky food ideas. Have fun using these ideas or using aspects of them to inspire your own personal way of always keeping a smile on your little one’s face.
Last Month Pregnancy Checklist March 30 2015
You may not be able to reach your own toes anymore and it’s probably the last thing you feel like doing so book in for a mani/pedi appointment. Not only do you deserve some pampering, but you will probably only be wearing jandles for a while and your hands will feature prominently in A LOT of photos of your new bundle of joy.
2. Pack an “Instaworthy” Going Home Outfit
Although your baby is likely to be kept swaddled for most of the time in hospital it is essential to plan out your new baby’s outfit including booties and a hat. Everyone needs and adorable, instaworthy outfit. You may even want to plan out your own going home outfit too as you will no doubt feature in the ‘going home’ photo too. #homebound
3. Go on a Date… or 3 or 4
It’s hard to predict when you’ll next be able to head out with you partner for some special alone time. Take advantage of the last few weeks by doing things as a couple before your little family grows.
4. Check Your Phone Storage
You are just about to become the next Anne Geddes, taking so many photos and videos of your new bundle of joy. So whether you think so or not, you’ll hit your phone storage max very quickly. You won’t want to delete any of those special moments and adorable facials so make sure you have synced you’re your previous photos onto a computer to free up space in your phone.
5. Research A Newborn Photographer
Speaking of photos… before your baby arrives, get some recommendations from friends or start looking on facebook for reputable photographers that you like the style of. Photographers like to do these newborn photos in the first two weeks of life so it is best to look into it now while you have some spare time.
6. Invest In a Nice, Yoga Outfit
Even the skinniest of women will leave the hospital with a small baby bump. The great news is that cute, yoga clothing is acceptable as everyday wear these days. Purchase an outfit that is comfortable and makes you feel good. I highly recommend yoga pants that have a nice, large waistband that stretches up above your belly button. You can be comfortably dressed each day and still look great when visitors swing by.
7. Invest in Dry Shampoo
Unfortunately in the first few weeks with your newborn, washing your hair AND drying your hair may become a luxury that you can’t keep up every few days like you are used to. Grab some dry shampoo from your local supermarket or chemist. Another lucky, handy product you can use for blondes is Baby Powder. Sprinkling a small amount of baby powder on your blonde roots also work miracles for when your hair starts to look greasy.
8. Prepare For The Postman
There are always so many kind people who will provide you with an abundance of lovely gifts for your new little one. For those of you who like to be organized, purchasing some nice Thank-you cards and matching envelopes can be super handy thing to do so you have them at home and can send them off promptly when you have a spare minute. While you are at it you can even organize an address list to be even more prompt on your thank-you card delivery.
Alphabet Monster Game February 02 2015
Check out this fun way to help teach your little ones the alphabet. :)
1. Convert one of your old wipes containers into a monster by adding on a front, mouth piece with teeth and sticking on two googly eyes to the inside lid.
2. Label old milk bottle lids or a similar plastic round items with the letters of the alphabet.
3. Tell your little one the monster is hungry and needs to be fed some letter biscuits. Say a letter as well as the sound the letter makes and help your child to find the right letter to feed the monster with. If your child points to the incorrect letter, tell them why it is incorrect and make the sound that letter makes to show the difference. Teaching kids the sounds letters make is so important as it is the first step in learning to read so don't miss this important part out. :)
Extra Learning Tips:
*You could do both lowercase and uppercase letters to make it more challenging for pre schoolers.
*You could label the pieces with numbers instead of letters
*You could label the pieces with simple first words
Fun With Words January 26 2015
Check out this fun, hands on way of learning those first basic words that kids learn when they begin to read. :)
First find an old sheet or a plastic tarpaulin mat from a $2 shop and in different colour permanent markers draw some little bugs with basic words inside.
Then buy some fly swatters from a $2 shop and let the fun begin. You can have two kids playing against each other or you can play against your little one. (Make sure you let them win & don't get too competitive :P)
To play, say a word and then sound it out slowly for them (hat= hhhh aaaa tttt) then see who can find the word first. :)
Here are some word ideas that will help get your preschoolers ready for school:
*and, the, at, he, she, you, me, we, I, am, to, my, was, it, had, has, mum, dad, ball, did, get, said, on, in, up, down, yes, no, are, hi, like, for
For younger 2 and 3 year olds you may want to add little pictures under the words to help them learn the words. :)
Cake Decoration Idea January 19 2015
Want to add some 3D elements to your little ones birthday cake? All you need is a book! :)
Just simply print out a picture of the image you want on the cake. Place a sheet of grease proof paper over the image then use a chocolate icing pen or an icing bag with melted chocolate inside and a very fine piping tip to trace around the image onto the grease proof paper.
When you are finished, simply place the paper in the centre fold of a book and wait for the chocolate to set. Put in fridge to speed up the setting process. Experiment with different books of different thicknesses to get a variety of 3D angles.
Letter And Shape Fun For Preschoolers January 12 2015
This is a wonderful idea for helping to keep your little pre schoolers occupied in the holidays. This activity will keep them busy, help them develop their fine motor skills and it's such a fun, interactive way to practise the letters and shapes they know.
All you need is a packet of large, different coloured popsicle sticks and some velcro spots. Put a spot on each end of the popsicle stick and on both sides (one side furry and the other side sticky) Then let your little one manipulate them and turn them around to make some fun letters and shapes in matching colours.
Amazing and Super Simple Stain Tip January 05 2015
Wow! This would have to be the easiest stain removal tip ever. It's all-natural. It's no-hassle and most importantly it's FREE! What is it? Direct sunlight! :)
All you need to do is rinse the item then hang the stained baby clothes or reusable cloth diapers on the line. Make sure they are hung in a sunny spot or simply just lie them out flat in the sun for a few hours. Pop them in the washing machine after a few hours when the sun has gone down and the stain should magically disappear. Even on those gorgeous white outfits that you thought were ruined forever.
Note that this stain removal tip is for baby poop. If your baby is 100% breastfed the effectiveness of the sun bleaching out baby stains should be great but does lessen as formula and solid food are added to the baby's diet.
Kids Games For The Handbag December 29 2014
There are always times when you are out and about or sitting down enjoying a coffee and a soft toy to cuddle just won't cut the mustard as entertainment for your little toddlers. Check out these cute tin box ideas to keep your kids super entertained.
Find a small tin or even plastic container and glue a lego base to the top of it. Place a few of your kids favourite lego pieces inside and the fun can begin. (Make sure you have 2 different lego characters to ensure longer entertainment & encourage imagination)
Another great idea is to make a mini O's and X's game in a tin. All you need to do is draw up the grid in a marker pen and put in some little playing pieces in 2 different colours.
Great Independent Activities For 1 Year Olds December 22 2014
The holidays are here!! :) With the holidays, brings the many hours of the day that you have to keep your little one's entertained and busy. Check out this great list of activities that you can easily make at home from the Imperfect Homemaker.
Toy Storage Ideas December 19 2014
Wow! When you though you couldn't possibly fit any more soft toys in your baby room, another one arrives.
Toys can take up so much space in a baby room so check out some of these cute toy storage ideas to help control the soft toy collection & keep them all in a tidy, confined area of the room. :)
IKEA KOMPLEMENT CLOTHES HANGER SHOE ORGANISER DISPLAY
HOMEMADE WOODEN SWING SHELVES
Onesie Enlightenment November 24 2014
Have you ever wondered why baby onesies have envelope shoulders? This week we were enlightened by baby website 'Babyology' on their wonderful, true purpose.
We have all been there at least once... your baby has created a poonami. :( You immediately know you have to quickly strip your baby and hose them down. Not to mention you will now have to throw that gorgeous outfit you just put them in back into the wash. You think this is as bad as it gets until you have to try and get the onesie up and over their head to take it off. Uh oh! Not very pleasant for your poor baby who doesn't like their onesie going over their head at the best of times.
So guess what? What if we told you that you don't have to pull that dripping onesies over their head any longer. The enveloped shoulders are made to completely open up the neck line. Open up that neckline and just roll the onesie down over the shoulders to easily slip the onesie off with a lot less mess and a much cleaner baby. High fives all around for this discovery. :)
Top 20 Girl And Boy Baby Names of 2014 November 04 2014
Baby-naming website Nameberry has released its list of the most popular baby names of 2014 so far, with Imogen and Asher still holding onto their number one spots they claimed in 2013.
The top girls' name Imogen, is a Shakespearean name popular in England. The number one boys' name Asher, is a Biblical name meaning fortunate or happy. Pop culture influences have continued to prove trendy this year, with new entries including Khaleesi from Game of Thrones at Number 18. As well as Elsa from Frozen, Katniss from The Hunger Games and Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars also make an appearance in the top 100. See the top 20 boy girl and boy names below or click here to view the top 100 girl and boy names- Top 100 Baby Names.
Neat Baby Clothing Storage October 27 2014
Keeping your baby's wardrobe neat and organised is the key!! All you need is some large plastic boxes with lids and you can just make your own size labels to stick on each box. You can find great plastic boxes at the $2 shop or for more variety and strength try ' Storage Box.
Especially when receiving gifts from wonderful friends and family you can get quite a large variety in sizes. Therefore it is so helpful to store each piece of clothing you receive or buy with other clothing the same size.
As the months go buy, just bring out the new box of clothes to hang in the wardrobe and fold in the drawers. Then you can just store the clothes that are too small in the correct size box to re use for another sibling down the line or pass on to a an expecting friend. :)
Bubble Fun October 20 2014
Alphabet Cars October 13 2014
Helping your child learn the alphabet and learning to recognise letters means you have to find a way that hooks them in. A great way of getting them more interested is to make the experience interactive and fun.
A great idea (especially for little boys) is to use little toy cars to help match letters. Simply put little letter labels on the toy cars and make little garages out of tape on the ground or building blocks with letter labels too.
Get the kids to drive the cars around then find the right 'garage home' for the car to park in. You can get the kids to match lower case letters with lower case letters or mix it up for a challenge and get them to try match the lower case letters with their corresponding upper case, capital letters.
Have fun :)
Teething Time October 06 2014
The vast majority of babies sprout their first teeth when they're between 4 and 7 months of age. An early developer may get their first white cap as early as 3 months, while a late bloomer may have to wait until they are a year old or more. Whenever the first tooth makes its appearance, it's a very exciting time celebrate the milestone by taking pictures and noting the date in your child's baby book.
Teeth actually start developing while your baby's in the womb, when tooth buds form in the gums. Teeth break through one at a time over a period of months. Generally first come the bottom two middle teeth, then the top two middle ones, then the ones along the sides and back. They may not all come in straight, but don't worry they usually straighten out over time.
The last teeth to appear (the second molars, found in the very back of the mouth on the top and bottom) have usually begun coming into place by your baby's second birthday. By age 3, your child should have a full set of 20 baby teeth, which shouldn't fall out until their permanent teeth are ready to start coming in, around age 6.
Teeth Cleaning Tips:
*The first sign of a tooth erupting through the gums is your cue to start cleaning their gums and teeth. It is great to start early so your child will come to accept teeth cleaning as a usual part of your daily routine.
*Begin cleaning your baby’s first teeth as soon as they appear with a small, soft bristled toothbrush. A toothbrush should be changed regularly, around every 3 months or when signs of “shagginess” start to appear.
*Plunket recommends that all children in New Zealand should use a toothpaste containing flouride from a young age. It is recommended that you use a thin smear of fluoride baby toothpaste.
*Try to teach your baby to spit the toothpaste out, rather than swallowing when brushing their teeth and don’t let your baby eat the toothpaste.
Good luck :)
How To Turn Your Baby Into A Bookworm September 29 2014
2. Find interesting books that have simple, bright, interactive and stimulating artwork in them. Books with large, bold fonts are also great and stand out on the page better for your little one to identify.
3. Point to each word as you read it. That will get your little one looking at the words and will also help them to understand that those words are telling the story of the book.
4. Talk about what is going on in the pictures. Point to the pictures and say what they are a couple of times to help build your little ones future vocabulary.
5. After you have had some structured time with reading the book from front to back, encourage your little one to look at the book by themselves. Keep several sturdy books among their other toys and encourage them to be gentle and careful when handling a book.
Ouch Pouch September 22 2014
Alternatively you can find a little bag or pouch from home to fill. Or make your own little first aid bag with material or simply fill a plastoc ziplock bag.
Homemade Ice Blocks September 15 2014
Here is a great idea for making your own yoghurt ice block treats for your little ones. These little treats can also be a nice refreshing, soothing feel on those babies gums who are teething.
1. Buy the right yoghurt for your baby. Most babies can start eating plain, unsweetened, pasteurized, whole-milk yogurt after they start eating solids at around 6 months. Plain Greek yogurt is fine too. Avoid flavoured fruit yoghurts that contain fruit as these are likely to have added sweeteners. Also avoid low fat yoghurt as small babies need the calories from fat.
2. Make a small opening in the top of the small yoghurt containers with a craft knife or sharp knife.
3. Push a popsicle stick into the hole and make sure it is resting just above the bottom of the container.
4. Pop the containers in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
5. Peel off the lid carefully around the sealed edges of the container. Then pull out the delicious ice block, remove the lid entirely from the stick and pass to your little one to enjoy. :)
Glitter Slime September 08 2014
Children love making things with you so what better than making a beautiful batch of glitter glue together. Making things helps to teach children how to follow instructions and at the end they will have so much fun with their new gooey toy.
What You Need:
1 Bottle of Washable Glitter Glue (approx 170mls)
1 Cup Water
1 teaspoon of Borax or Sodium Borate
1 Tablespoon of extra Water
How To Make It:
1. Mix 1 teaspoon of Borax and 1 cup water together in a bowl. You can find the Borax at your local stores in the Laundry section or online.
2. Have your little helper empty the whole glitter glue into a different bowl.
3. Add 1 Tablespoon of extra water to the glue and mix it together. This will help the glue to become a little more flexible.
4. Then pour the Borax and water mixture into the bowl of glue mixture.
5. Let your little helpers hands work the magic as they combine the glue and the mixture together. Right away you will see how the Glitter Slime will start to form.
TIP: Don’t throw the extra Borax mixture yet. If the slime gets too slimy you can put it back inside and it will harden some more.
Store in plastic containers or old baby food jars. Have fun. :)
Ordering Alphabet Letters September 01 2014
Once your child is able to identify letters and their sounds then the next step is to help them learn the correct ordering of the alphabet. Reading alphabet books with the letters in order and of course watching alphabet videos plus singing the alphabet song really helps to practice this.
A practical, hands on way for kids to practice this is with inexpensive wooden pegs and a coat hanger. Simply write the lowercase letter on one side and the uppercase letter on the other side of each wooden peg. Give the pegs to your kids with a brightly coloured, fun coat hanger and get them to practice clipping each peg onto the coat hanger in the correct order. If your child puts a peg in the wrong place instead of taking direction and saying "no that's wrong", instead ask them if it looks right and sounds right by singing the alphabet song together with them so they can realise and fix the mistake themselves.
Tip: Get them to practice ordering both their lowercase letters and uppercase letters as for some letters these two can be very different looking. (d D, g G, q Q, r R)
Learning The Alphabet August 25 2014
Most children begin recognizing letters between the ages of 2 and 3 and can identify most letters between the ages 4 and 5. This means that you can start teaching your child the alphabet when they are around 2 but don't expect full mastery for some time.
It really helps kids to learn the alphabet if you get them interested in listening to stories so read to them as often as possible, pointing out letters, numbers, colours and shapes. Children who are frequently read to start to understand that books contain words that are made up of letters and therefore become more inquiring into how to read them.
The best way to help introducing the alphabet is to rely on visual aids around you and nice colourful alphabet picture books. Sign your child's name at the bottom of any drawings they do and point to the letters in their name. Start pointing out letters you see around you or in books. Say the letter, make the sound the letter makes and apply it to an object your child knows. For example: “Look at the letter B, it makes a ‘Bah’ sound like in bear and ball and bath.” Then you can begin to ask what other words start with the ‘Bah’ sound?
Tip: Try to expose your child to both lower case and uppercase letters. Also try not to teach letters that look similar straight after each other (For example: b, d, p, q)
Once your child starts being able to identify letters then you can start to play letter games and let them play with alphabet word matching puzzles. Even give them a special letter of the day and see how many words they can come up with through-out the day that begin with the special letter. For older children aged 4-5 you can even start recording down words they come up with for each letter to help create a mini word bank for them to start learning on a whiteboard, blackboard or blank wall.
Developing Daily Routines For Your Kids August 18 2014
This idea won't be for everyone but there will be some of you super organised Mum's out there who will love it and action it straight away. I know I will be!!
Kids love routine and once they start talking they always want to know what's happening next. Creating a little timetable for your children is a great way of helping them know what's happening throughout their day and it helps to teach them key vocabulary that they will use everyday when they begin school.
First, you need to decide where you want to put the timetable. If you have a magnetic fridge then you can make little timetable cards with magnetic strips on the back of them. Alternatively you can use velcro hook and loop spots by making little timetable cards with velcro hook spots on the back of the card and the velcro loop spot to the surface you are sticking it to. Surface suggestions could be a mini blackboard or other small transportable boards that you can buy cheaply from Warehouse Stationery.
Next, decide what timetables cards you will make that fit into your daily life. Some ideas could be Breakfast, Snack Time, Lunch, Dinner, Story Time, Learning Activity, Outside Play, Playtime, Swimming, Art Time, Clean Up, Cooking, TV Time and Mini Trip for any outings.
Lastly, make your cards!! You could cut out pieces of coloured card and write each activity on the cards in vivid with a corresponding picture for the kids to understand. You could also type the activities up on a computer, add an image and print them on coloured card. Alternatively to help the images and words stand out, you can print them out on white paper and glue onto colour card to create a coloured border. If you're like me, you can even go 1 step further and laminate the timetable cards to help protect them from sticky hands and make them last longer. :)
Preparing Your Dog For Baby's Arrival August 11 2014
If you are pregnant, your four-legged friend will already be sensing that something is going on. However there are some things you can do to prepare your dog before baby’s due date. :)
Set Up Baby Stuff
It is a good idea to set up some of your baby's gear such as a baby swing or stroller around the house to let your dog sniff it out. Try to get your house baby ready a little earlier so your pet has time to adjust to all the new things taking over 'his' territory.
Address Unwanted Habits
If there are any habits you want changed before your baby's arrival, take care of them as soon as possible. For example if your dog currently sleeps in your room or jumps up on your couch and you don't want them to continue doing this establish new rules before the baby arrives. The last thing you want is for your dog to associate any huge changes in their daily routine with the baby's arrival.
Establish A Doggy Safe Zone
It is a good idea to make sure your dog has a dedicated retreat within your home where they feel safe. Whether this is a kennel or a room or a dog bed in a hidden area it is nice for your furry friend to be able to escape and relax away from the baby.
Get Them Used To Baby Noises
We all know that babies cry but your dog may not. If possible spend time with your pet around other peoples babies or even consider downloading some baby crying sounds and playing them for your dog while reassuring them. This may sound extreme but it will help to take the edge off hearing your baby crying in the first few days at home.
Bringing The Baby Home
After preparing your furry friend as much as you can for baby's arrival it is important to try have a smooth transition when baby arrives home on the first day. Try and get your dog used to the scent of the baby. You may want a family member to bring a blanket or item of clothing with baby's smell on it it before arriving home. Take it slowly when walking in the front door and before showing your pet to the baby, greet them alone with all the love and attention you usually would give them. When their excitement settles down show them the baby in the car seat from a distance to introduce them. You can even let the dog sniff the car seat if you feel comfortable letting them get that close.
Give Your Dog Their Usual Attention
New babies require a lot of attention and your usual routines can easily go out the window. For your pet's sake, it is important to keep their routine as consistent as possible. Try to take them for walks at their normal times and give them lots of love and attention so their life doesn't feel like it has been turned upside down because of the baby.
Keep A Watchful Eye
No matter how well you know your dog, it is important to always keep a watchful eye on them around your baby, especially through the first year of growth and development. Never leave your pet alone with the baby and set boundaries as early as possible. If you don't want the baby in your babies room then make sure you teach them that straight away and don't falter. Make sure you do the same for your baby and teach them to be gentle and respectful of the dog from the very beginning to make sure they will be best buddies in the future.
What About Cats?
While cats generally seem to be much more independent than dogs, many of the same tips above can be applied to your furry feline friends. Another thing to consider with cats is their ability to climb and get into things, including the crib or bassinet. Make sure you always close the door to the room baby is sleeping in or install a baby gate that your cat can’t get through. Also, make sure kitty litter and food is in a space that baby won’t be able to access once crawling.
Calming Jars August 04 2014
There are always times when our toddlers and children can get upset and need some quiet time alone. Calming jars are a great invention to help kids calm down and feel more peaceful before communicating with you.
What You Will Need: A recycled jar, glitter glue, extra dry glitter for extra shine, food colouring, warm water & mini toys of your choice.
How To Make A Calming Jar:
1. Squeeze about half a bottle of glitter glue into the jar so it fills about one fifth of the jar.
2. Pour in enough warm water to almost fill the jar. (Remember to save room for shaking and movement in the bottle)
3. Add in a few drops of food colouring to add colour.
4. Add in a few sparkles of extra dry glitter to add shine.
5. Add in 1- 4 of your child's favourite type of mini toys to make the jar even more exciting.
6. Make sure you screw the lid back on and secure it tightly. For younger children or children that are likely to try open the lid, I suggest hot gluing the lid closed just to be safe.
7. Shake it up and feel the peacefulness. :)
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