4 Ways To Keep Your Children Entertained This Summer!

It’s the time of year which every child across the land looks forward to – the long summer holidays! Only Christmas rivals the delight of the school gates shutting for the next six weeks. Although summer is a fantastic way for families to spend quality time together, it is also a time which fills many a parents hearts with trepidation. Thoughts of “how will I cope?” springs to mind. There is also the inconvenience of work, most people in employment don’t have the luxury of taking six weeks off work, unless you are a teacher!

 

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The summer holiday gives everyone the chance to rest and recuperate. It is well documented that the pressure children are under at school is immense, they are tested at every opportunity and the early mornings and after school activities can take their toll, resulting in grumpiness and tiredness. Lazy mornings during the summer gives children the opportunity to get their full allocation of sleep, how much sleep kids should get depends on their age, activity levels and the child as an individual. There are guidelines according to age, but there are considerable variants. Children need varying amounts of sleep according to life stages. If they are entering a growth spurt, more sleep is necessary which is one of the reasons why teenagers appear to want to sleep 24/7!

 

Unlike older people, to relax children do need activity. It is good to be bored on occasions as long as there is lots of opportunity and stimulation around them. Being bored actually stimulates the creative nature in children.

 

Most people book a holiday during the summer holidays, which will break up the weeks, but you still have a few weeks to fill. The remainder of this article will look at ways of entertaining your children through the summer break.

 

Free activities in your local area

Often local towns and villages put on free festivals and activities during the summer holidays. Try to look for a programme of events and book your days around them. Perhaps your town has a free puppet show at 2pm in the market square, you could pack up a lunch to eat in your local park, followed by the show, an icecream on the way home and that’s one day ticked off the calendar!

 

Visit your local library and see what events they have over summer. Often libraries have storytelling sessions followed by a craft session, visits by local authors and summer read schemes.

 

Some country parks and stately homes are run by the council allowing free access in the summer. Privately owned visitor attractions also have a couple of days allowing free access.

 

Arts and crafts

Before the summer break starts, try to collect a stash of items that can be used for arts and crafts. Cardboard boxes, scraps of wool, silver foil, paper, pens and paints can all inspire creations. Don’t forget plenty of glue and sticky tape!

 

Some art and crafts ideas could include creating homes for dolls, making pom pom creatures, painting and drawing. Your child will probably make their own plans as they have a tendency to have oodles of imagination.

 

Games and jigsaws

Remember all those games and jigsaws your child got for Christmas, only to be played with once? Summer is the ideal time to dust them down and get playing with them. Long lazy days mean that jigsaws are likely to be completed in time before bed and the extra long game of Monopoly can be accommodated!

 

Games and jigsaws are perfect for rainy days.

 

Go to the beach

 

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If you live fairly close to the beach – fantastic! If not get the train and make it part of the fun. Lakes are also lovely to visit in the summer. A trip to the beach can be as expensive or cheap as you like. Head to a more deserted spot, well away from the amusements to do some beach combing and sculptures. Pack all your loose change and divide it between your children for a fun hour or two in the amusements – making it clear that once the money is spent it’s gone!

 

A packed lunch will make the trip more affordable and pack a big picnic rug to prevent sand in the sandwiches!

 

Try to create fabulous memories for your children’s summer holidays. If you try to get out of the house once a day, even for just a short walk the summer will be less likely to be filled with squabbles and grumpiness. Children are naturally inquisitive and they love to learn and experience new things.

 

Have fun and have a wonderful summer!

 

Twinning Is Winning! Planning A Nursery For Twins

Congratulations, the stick has turned blue and shock – it’s TWINS! Let’s not panic. Twins are a big surprise when you plan for one baby and you got another one for free. Nearly every set of parents are thrilled when they find out that they have a set of twins on the way; after all, it’s twice the love and you could possibly choose to complete your family in one go. There’s a good chance though, that you are feeling utterly overwhelmed. You only planned for one baby. Your finances only planned for one baby. Your maternity leave and plans only factored in the one baby. The idea of trying to juggle the needs of your instant family, plus other children you may have and the housework – it’s okay, stop hyperventilating. You can feel overwhelmed and underprepared, but you would feel the exact same way with just one baby. One baby is demanding and takes your time away from you. One baby still takes your money and you still have to financially plan for one child. Getting creative to sort out twins is the only way forward.

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Getting in contact with other parents of multiples via social media, parenting forums and blogging platforms is a great way to get live feedback from people in your exact situation. It can help the overwhelming feeling that you are alone and handling this. We can promise you, you aren’t. There are plenty of parents around with twins and even triplets, handling it like a boss. They can tell you reviews on the best prams, what to expect when it comes to feeding and sleep schedules, and you could even arrange to meet up with them and form a whole new social circle. One thing that they will all tell you about, is the nursery that you need to start planning far enough in advance so that your wallet can handle all the new purchases you’re about to make. It’s nice to plan a nursery for a baby, but it’s twice as nice to plan a nursery for twins on the way. If you get that lucky, you’ll soon learn that planning a baby nursery for twins isn’t twice the work – just twice the fun!

Making room for a baby is a completely different ball game when you are expecting twins. The idea of putting two newborns into one room can be daunting, especially if your house has a nursery perfect for one baby but not big enough for two at the same time. Of course, the guidelines for safe sleep – which you can read in more detail on this website – state that a baby should be in the same room as its parents for the first six months. This is because babies regulate their breathing with their parents breathing, and being in the same room is also far easier during the night feeds. Don’t worry though, you can create an absolutely beautiful and functional space for two babies without much more effort than what you would have put in for one baby. So, let’s all take a nice deep breath and look at how you can start planning the perfect twin nursery.

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Beginning early is the absolute key when it comes to putting together a nursery for twins. A normal singleton pregnancy takes anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks for a fully developed baby. Twins are a success if they reach 36 weeks, and that means you have less time to get things together. It’s likely you only found out at your first ultrasound that you have twins on board, and if that ultrasound was at the standard 12-week mark, then you really only have 25 weeks to get your nursery ready. This is the reason that an early start is a good idea. If you find out the gender of the twins, you can then decide whether you want to plan a neutral nursery, like the ideas you can find here, or make it more personalised. If you choose to personalise a nursery, then you can use merchandise from Makaboo.com/ and make it a monogrammed haven for your babies. Don’t be drawn in by convention; a boy’s nursery doesn’t have to be powder blue, and a girl’s nursery doesn’t have to look like it has been hosed down with Pepto Bismol. You can choose any colour you want for your nursery and you can hang any accessories that you want. Finishing the new nursery will be the last thing on your mind when the babies arrive, so you need to start early so you have time to budget and shop. The last thing you want to do when you are heavily pregnant with two babies is decorate a nursery. You could choose to hire in a design and painting company to paint and decorate your nursery for you, but half the fun of setting up a nursery comes from doing it yourself.

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One of the most tempting things about having twins on the way, is the chance of doubling up on everything you need. This is probably the last thing that you should do, because you only have one pair of hands. Are you really going to use two sets of wardrobes and clothes chests when you are changing the babies? How about two baby baths and two changing tables? It’s not only an expensive concept, it’s one that just doesn’t play out. Instead, have one set of everything – except the crib. Use drawer separators like these ones to separate clothes, and use one changing table. You can’t physically change both babies at once, so there’s really no need for two changing tables. We mentioned that the crib is the one thing you should buy two of, and the reason there is an obvious one. You have two babies, and you can’t put them both down in the same crib unsupervised! It’s fine for newborns to share a crib, as they cannot roll into each other and disturb each other. Choosing small, simple cribs is the best option, especially with sharing your room at the beginning. You can still put both cribs together, but you don’t have to worry about babies disturbing each other.

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When it comes to decorating your nursery, keep it simple. Neutral colours with bolder accessories is the best idea than trying to theme your nursery. You can get easily tired of a nursery theme, but a neutral colour is far better because if you get a little bored or want to change the theme, it’s just the accessories that you have to change out. Keep it simple with your colours, and avoid busy patterns. The nursery is a space for sleep, and so keeping it light, calm and pretty is exactly what your babies will need. Don’t go nuts on the accessories, even though every cell of your body will be screaming at you to buy the bunting for the wall. You don’t need it and you don’t want the nursery to be too busy. Check out some of these lovely ideas for a simple nursery and make a point of comparing prices of wallpaper and paint online. You can have a lot of fun with the décor for a nursery. Mixed gender twins is even more fun, as you can choose a neutral colour throughout the room and for furniture, but have different accents for each gender. Check out these ideas for mixed gender bedrooms.

More babies equal a lot more stuff. Toys, clothes, blankets and even diapers and changing accessories will be a bigger amount. You need some sound storage in the nursery and this IKEA Kallax unit is a cheap and cheerful way to keep things organised. You can choose different colour boxes to go into the unit, meaning you can coordinate with the nursery accessories that you’ve bought. You could even choose to install hooks into the closet for things like coats and towels, and you can buy canvas storage bags to hang from them for easy-grab wipes, diapers and cream. You’ll also need to think about lullaby machines – buying two instead of just one is going to be a good idea as small babies cannot see very far away from themselves at first.

When you raise multiples, you can feel completely outnumbered, as if you’re in the middle of a circus. Don’t panic though, because you are a parent and you are built to adjust. Things will seem harder when you think about them, but once those babies arrive and are in your arms things will just fall into place. Having a good support system around you will make life an awful lot easier for you, so spend your pregnancy rallying the support of family and friends. Make sure that they know that you would appreciate a freezer stocked with easy meals that you can cook, and make sure that they are on your speed dial. A good support system can make a huge difference. Twinning is winning so enjoy your new babies and your new nursery adventure!

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party

“This post was sponsored by Fresh Avocados – Love  One Today® as part of an In-Home Party Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.”

Growing up, my mom served avocado with just about every meal we had.  She loves them more than anyone I’ve met before, except maybe me.  I don’t know if it was due to her influence of serving avocados so much or if it’s because I have the same cravings as she does, but like her, my kids were raised on avocados.   From tacos to salads to my 7 layer dip recipe, I serve avocado’s just about daily.  I even use them in my smoothies.  As much as I love avocados, I equally love to host parties. Of course, I show off my favorite avocado recipes during all of my events.  Some I’ve created myself and some I talked my mom out of.  I’ve tried just about every avocado recipe online that I could find as well.

Wholesome fresh Avocado 7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

 

There are several reasons why it’s easy to get the kids to eat avocados. In fact, they were my kids first fruit. They are smooth and have a creamy consistency along with a mild taste. I would mash them up and feed them from a spoon until they were old enough to have slices of them. Like my own kids, even before I knew about the nutritional value of fresh avocados, I loved them. After learning that Avocados contribute nearly 20 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients, that are important to infant/toddler nutrition, I started giving them to the kids even more often than I already was. My mom probably knew all of this when she served us avocados, but being a child, all I knew was that I loved the taste. She was counting on that when she served us meals with avocado in them. I’m sure she also knew that wholesome, fresh foods are less likely to contain added sugars, salt, and other processed ingredients.

Today I’d like to share my favorite 7 layer dip recipe with you so you can encourage your own kids to enjoy avocados. It’s sure to be a party favorite so go ahead and bookmark my post to save my recipe.

Wholesome fresh Avocado 7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

Ingredients:

5 Ripe Avocados. Use 4 in recipe and dice 1 for the top.
1 can of refried beans.
16 ounces of sour cream.
1 pack of dry taco seasoning mix.
1 to 2 lemons (need 2 teaspoons) or lemon juice.
Garlic cloves (grind 3 cloves).
Green onion (chop 3 to 4 stalks)
2- 8-ounce blocks of cheese, grated (I use mild).  If you’re in a hurry, pre-grated cheese works well.
1 small can of sliced black olives.
1 medium-sized tomato diced, chunky sizes.

Instructions:

In a glass bowl spread the can of refried beans evenly along the bottom.
Combine the sour cream and the dry taco seasoning, then spread on top of the beans.
Mix the avocados with the lemon juice and garlic. Sometimes I mash them, sometimes I cube them. Add on top of the sour cream mixture.
Add the cheese, green onions, black olives and tomatoes to top it off.

Serve with Tortillas.

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

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What’s your favorite way to eat a Hass Avocado?

 

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad

 

7 Layer Dip, Recipe + Love One Today® Avocado Party #AvoKids #IC #ad