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Mamma Musings

Mamma Musings

Ways To Teach Kids About Money – And Why It Matters

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One of the best ways to teach kids about money, it’s value and relevance in everyday life, is to include them in daily money activities, starting as early as possible.

Children often have a hard time understanding money, including the concept of earning it and paying for things. Our modern, cashless society makes money even more abstract. 

Make it Fun

Playing games with or about money makes learning lots of fun, and few kids dislike games. You could go for familiar board games such as Monopoly or introduce them to online games with money as the theme.

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Mamma Musings

How to Keep Your Kids Busy During the Holidays

One of the biggest challenges parents face during the holidays is keeping their kids entertained. It can be tough to come up with new ideas, especially if your children are already bored of the usual holiday activities. This blog post will discuss several ways to keep your kids busy and entertained during the holiday season!

How to Keep Your Kids Busy During the Holidays

Create an obstacle course

This is an excellent activity for kids of all ages. You can use household items to create an indoor or outdoor course. If you have younger children, make the obstacles easier. For older children, you can make the course more challenging.

children having fun in the snow

Pic Credit: Pexels

First, you will need to gather some materials. You can use anything you have around the house, such as chairs, tables, blankets, pillows, and so on. Once you have gathered all of your materials, it’s time to start creating your course! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Use furniture to create a maze that your child has to navigate through
  • Set up a series of challenges that must be completed in order, such as jumping over a pillow or crawling under a table
  • Time your child as they complete the course and see if they can beat their previous time
  • Make the course more difficult each time they complete it

This activity is sure to keep your kids entertained for hours!

Plan a family adventure

The holidays are the perfect time to plan a family adventure. This could be anything from camping in the backyard to visiting a new city. Talk to your kids about what they would like to do and make a list of activities that everyone can enjoy. If you’re stuck for ideas, there are plenty of websites that offer adventure holidays for families.

If you have older kids, they might enjoy planning the trip themselves. This is a great way to teach them responsibility and give them a sense of ownership over the holiday. Plus, it’ll free up some time for you to relax! Once you’ve decided on your destination, start booking accommodation and tickets. Make sure to leave plenty of time for spontaneity – after all, part of the fun of an adventure is not knowing what’s going to happen next!

Get creative with arts and crafts

Arts and crafts are a great way to keep kids entertained, especially on rainy days. There are endless possibilities when it comes to art projects, so you can let your kids’ imaginations run wild! If you’re stuck for ideas, there are plenty of resources available online. You can also take a trip to your local craft store for inspiration. Some simple ideas that your kids will love include:

  • Painting rocks or leaves
  • Making paper aeroplanes
  • Creating collages from old magazines
  • Drawing pictures of their favourite holiday memories

Crafting is also a great opportunity for quality family time. Sit down with your kids and make some holiday decorations for the home. You can even frame their artwork and hang it up as a permanent reminder of this special time.

In conclusion, there are many ways to keep your kids busy during the holidays. By getting creative, you can ensure that everyone has a fun and memorable time.

Note: This is a collaborative post

Mamma Musings

Is it safe to breastfeed when you have silicone breast implants

breast feeding mother

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With cosmetic surgery procedures becoming more popular, and more easily attainable for the average woman, the question about breastfeeding has emerged. Breast augmentation procedures are particularly popular amongst new mum’s. It’s a great way to turn back the clock and regain that pre-pregnancy size and fullness.  But what about those women who have already had breast implants, and now face the choice between breast and bottle?  It’s natural that these women might anticipate some complications or difficulties due to the surgery.  But what is the truth when it comes to breast feeding with silicone implants

Breast feeding alone can be a contentious issue amongst mum’s. Deciding what suits your lifestyle and what is best for you and your baby are choices that only you can make.  Mum shaming and internet trolling aside, you will get advice and tips that you never asked for, and are of little use.  Everyone, it seems, is an expert and they all want to give you their opinion, regardless of whether you want to hear it or not. Add breast implants to the mix and you could well send some of these ‘experts’ into a seismic spin. Keep in mind that the decision is yours to make.  Choosing to breastfeed is just that – a choice. Only you should decide what is best for you.  You are the expert in this case, and you know what suits your lifestyle better than anyone else. 

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Mamma Musings

The Benefits of Holiday Camps for Children

There are many reasons why parents choose to send their children to holiday camp during school breaks. Of course, there’s the obvious advantages that it provides a childcare option for those who have to work throughout the holidays, but there are also various benefits specifically for children. I have teamed up with a children’s’ holiday camp in Kensington to explore further. 

Holiday Camps Promote Physical Activity

kids playing football

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Children are spending far too much time glued to digital devices nowadays, and holiday camp is a great way to encourage them to put their tech down and get moving. Lounging around, spending hours in front of the TV, is not a healthy way to spend their break, whereas holiday camp will offer various activities to improve fitness.

Children Develop a Range of Skills

When children attend a holiday camp, they are given an opportunity to develop various skills. For instance, socialising with other children who they otherwise might not have met is great for their communication skills. They will also be given the chance to practise problem solving and decision making, which will help them with their independence. 

Holiday Camps Improve Academic Performance

At holiday camp, children are able to participate in learning activities outside of a classroom environment. This untraditional way of learning is often more engaging, meaning children are more likely to pay attention and remember what they have learnt. As a result, when they do go back to school, they will have a wider general knowledge and additional skills that will help them perform well.

Children Are Given a Confidence Boost

By developing various skills and building strong relationships with new people, holiday camps allow children to feel more confident in themselves and their abilities. As a result, they are more likely to try new things and take risks, as well as approach challenges with an optimistic outlook. 

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Mamma Musings

The Benefits of School Uniform for Children

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Lots of kids aren’t particularly fond of school uniform, but they actually provide many benefits that you may not have even considered. They create a sense of identity for the school, by demonstrating that each student is part of a community as such, which helps them feel like they belong somewhere. As a result, students can feel a sense of pride. 

Parents may begrudge having to spend a lot of money on school uniform at the start of term, but it actually works out much cheaper than having to fill your child’s wardrobe with different outfits for each day, especially if they want to keep up with the latest trends and designer fashion. School uniform shops often have payment systems in place to help spread the cost over a few months so that it doesn’t seem as dear. I have two boys so have been lucky I can hand them down to the younger sibling and our local parents group take donations if you wish to pass on or swap uniform jumpers etc. 

Tip: Sew name tags into your child’s uniform so that if anything is misplaced, your child has more of a chance of getting it back.

Tip: Purchase the uniform in a slightly bigger size so that your child has room to grow.

School uniforms also makes it easier for teachers to ensure all students are dressed in a smart manner so that they represent the school with pride. For my boys school the uniform is prescriptive from the crested jumper and tie right down to the colour of the school socks. While my pair often moan that they would love to be able to wear their own clothes (ie football jersey!) I am fully supportive of the uniform. It helps the parents an the teachers in my view.  For example even for the teacher when out and about with their class on field trips, if each child was wearing something different, it would be much harder to monitor what they were all wearing and enforce rules about what’s acceptable. Wearing a uniform at school will also help prepare your child for the future when they may have to wear a uniform for work. 

One of the most important benefits of school uniform is that it reduces bullying and peer pressure amongst students. If children had to wear their own clothes to school, they might feel anxious that they’re not “cool” enough or worry what their friends are going to say. My boys football team have also introduced a “uniform” as the regular Saturday morning training had descended into a battle of the Premier League teams.   It makes it a lot more cohesive and gives the sense of “one team”.  A child cannot be judged or harassed about what they’re wearing if they are all wearing the same thing. 

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Mamma Musings

Is Your Garden Prepped For The Winter?

garden

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With the arrival of the colder weather, trees’ leaves have already begun to fall from their branches, potted plants have begun to die, and it has become simply too chilly to spend any amount of time in your garden. It’s understandable, though, that you want to preserve your garden for the winter season in order to keep it looking presentable and to reduce the amount of work you have to do when it comes to making your garden look beautiful again come springtime. Get ready for the cold weather by reading these tips.

Mow the lawn and trim the hedges

Lawns and hedges don’t grow nearly as much in the winter as they do in the summer because of the extreme cold. Before the onset of exceptionally cold weather, take advantage of the opportunity to trim your grass and cut your hedges one last time to ensure that your garden remains nice and tidy throughout the winter season. Trimming your hedges back significantly will give you more than enough time before they need to be done again in the spring. Using treatments such as evergreen to treat your lawn can help to keep it in the best condition possible.

Out with the old, in with the new

Plants and trees may have died due to the cold weather, and now is the time to remove them so your garden doesn’t appear untidy in the winter. You should also prepare ahead if you plan to conduct any landscaping work in your yard next year, such as updating your garden furniture or purchasing a new shed, so that you can have a bin hire ready when springtime rolls around. Get rid of the old so you can make room for the new when springtime hits!

Plant evergreen trees

Your garden may look a little sparse in the winter after you remove all of the dead plants, but if you’re entertaining guests, you’ll want to make it look its best. Plant some evergreen plants in your garden to keep it looking good even if the leaves start to fall on other shrubbery.

Accessorise your winter garden

Certain people simply enjoy being outside regardless of the weather, and if you’re one of those people who enjoys being outside in the fresh air, it might be a good idea to invest in some of the following winter accessories to make spending time in your yard that little bit more enjoyable:

  • A clay fire burner for an open fire where everyone can snuggle up and enjoy the conversation.
  • If you don’t want to use a clay fire, consider a patio heater.
  • A gazebo providing weather protection, particularly against the wind and rain.
  • Outdoor fairy lights to add a festive touch.

A small amount of work now will ensure that your garden is ready for winter and will spare you from a lot of work in the spring.

Note: This is a collaborative post 

Mamma Musings

Tips For Going Back To Work After Having Children

working mum

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If you have just been on maternity leave, it can be a real struggle heading back into work. You are likely in two minds, with part of you being pleased to get back into doing what you used to do and having adult company, while the other half of you is wondering just how you will cope without your baby by your side all day. It’s important to remember that both of these feelings are completely normal for every parent that is heading back to their job after having children. To help you ease back into it, we have put together some top tips for going back to work after maternity leave.

See if there is any additional training you can do to brush up when you go back 

When you have been out of work for a while you can find that you feel a little rusty. This is why it could be a good idea to see if there is any training you can enrol yourself in to brush up on everything. There are many types of training out there including virtual and on-premises, as well as simulation as a service which is essentially a cloud-based service used for decision-making and training. Speak to your employer and see what they can recommend for you.

Get into a routine at least a week before you go back to work 

When you are staying at home all the time it can be easy to not have much of a morning routine. Once you are heading out to work, it is important that you get a routine in place to help you all settle in. Make sure you try and wake up at the same time that you will need to be up for work and have a trial doing the morning run such as breakfast and getting dressed. If you will be dropping your little one off at nursery or to a relative to look after them, practice how long this will take you and when you will need to be there in order to be on time for work.

Be gentle with yourself

The first few days and even weeks are always going to feel strange, so try not to be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time to get used to the new routine and way you structure your days and if you find it stressful try to remember this is normal. Focus on making the most of the time you are with your family and give yourself some down time when you can relax too – it’s going to be tough getting back into work especially at first!

These are just a few top tips for going back to work after having children. It is always going to be a big step, but soon you will find you get into the swing of things and juggling life just as you used to. Have you recently headed back to work after maternity leave? How did you find it? Do you have any tips for Mums?

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Mamma Musings

Helping Your Child Develop their Problem-Solving Skills

In life, we all encounter problems. To raise an independent child, it’s important to develop their problem-solving skills. This can be rather difficult to teach as there is no set way to solve a problem. However, at its crux, problem-solving consists of 6 main areas. Teamwork, research, emotional intelligence, risk management, decision making and creativity. 

We have joined an independent school in Surrey to share tips on how to develop your child’s problem-solving skills. 

Brainstorming

Lateral thinking is the ability to create new solutions by looking at a problem in different ways. This can help your child to overcome problems that are difficult to solve. To exercise this skill, ask your child brainstorming questions. This could be a question like ‘how many jobs require driving and what are they?’. There are very different ways to answer this question, prompting your child to think about all of the possible answers.

Group Sports

Sport is a good way to teach children how to work effectively in a team. Although it might not seem as obvious, team working is vital to problem-solving. It allows you to gain a better understanding of a situation, find help and collaborate with others.

Theorising Outcomes

Forward-thinking is an essential part of problem-solving and to correctly solve a problem we need to consider how suitable the solutions are. This involves an element of risk management and to get your child to practice this you can start with play. What would happen if they were to remove a block from a building they’ve built or if they balance too many things on top of each other? These are all things that you can explore together.

Emotional Intelligence 

Recognising emotion can allow children to understand problems better. By teaching your child what body language means. By knowing that another child is sad, your child can understand why they might not want to play and think of what to do to help.

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Mamma Musings

Learning To Love Exercise

woods

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If you want to achieve and maintain good health, exercise has to be a regular part of your schedule. Working out can help you to feel as right as rain by managing your waistline, promoting cardiovascular wellness and so much more, but actually encouraging yourself to get up and get moving is a totally different story. Finding the motivation that you need to learn to love exercise can be tough, and it’s all too easy to give up on your exercise regime to give in to laziness, but you’ll soon begin to feel the effects unless you make a conscious effort to change. Fortunately, figuring out how you can learn to love working out doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might expect, as there are in fact just a few key tips and tricks that you can make the most of to make exercise an enjoyable part of your daily schedule in no time at all. So, if you would like to find out more, then simply read on!

Find A Fun Exercise Routine 

One of the best ways to help yourself to better enjoy exercise is through finding a fun and enjoyable routine that you actually like completing. Forcing yourself to take part in a strenuous activity that you do not receive any kind of satisfaction from is no doubt going to drag your motivation levels down to an all time low, so you must make an effort to source more exciting and engaging activities that match with your unique wants and needs. You can find an aerobic dance class at your local sports centre so that you can throw some shapes to lose a few pounds, or even explore sport based challenges for charity that require regular training to help you meet your goal. There’s no need to try and get through a grueling workout when you could be doing something that you genuinely like, so why not begin your search for your perfect workout routine now? 

Fill Up With The Right Fuel 

Eating very little or consuming nothing but junk food can affect your ability to exercise quite dramatically, as the food that you eat directly converts into the fuel that your mind and body utilizes for energy and strength. This is why it’s absolutely vital that you can fill up with the right fuel that’s rich in a variety of different vitamins and minerals to provide you with everything that you need to smash your workout to the best of your ability. Eating a healthy diet will help you to feel renewed and revitalised, and it can even improve your quality of sleep too. Each of these features contribute towards your ability to exercise properly, as having a belly full of nutritious food and a good night’s rest will feel noticeably better than an interrupted sleep and a fast food burger.

Learning to love exercise has never been such a simple task when you can make the most of the brilliant ideas described above. 

Note: This is a collaborative post

Mamma Musings

What Does It Take To Make Your Home Safe for Your Young Kids?

We all want to be able to create a safe environment for children. And whether you need to upgrade your home or there is a baby on the way, now you have to think about looking at it from your child’s perspective. Young children are naturally curious individuals, so you need to assess your home from specific dangers. There are more children taken to hospital arising from an accident in the home than anywhere else. And there are many ways for us to make a safe home for our children. Here are some of the following. 

How to Prevent Your Children from Finding Hazards

family

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The reality is that there are so many different hazards in the property. The best thing that you can do first of all is to prevent any potential hazards by addressing what is already around. When it comes to electricity, you need to make sure the wires are hidden behind heavy furniture or concealed, but also now is the perfect opportunity to check the safety of these items. This is especially true if you live in a rented property, and the pandemic has meant that nobody has come out to check these things. You can hire an electrician to conduct an electrical installation condition report (EICR), and the EICR price is fair in comparison to most standards. But it’s also peace of mind knowing that you’ve had someone truly assess the electricity in the property. With regards to other hazards, you need to have plenty of locks, for example, keeping first aid supplies in a locked cupboard, having padlocks on cupboards with hazardous substances, and making sure that these are all stored safely out of your children’s reach.

Preventing the Risk of Drowning

It’s important to remember the children of babies can drown in as little as 5 centimetres of water. When your children are in the bath or playing near water, you have to be vigilant. When your children are having a bath, you’ve got to stay with them. If your children sleep under the water, they won’t make a noise, and so you may not be aware if your child gets into trouble. Additionally, you should wait until the water has drained completely before leaving a room. You may think that bath seats are a good thing, but the problem with bath seats is that they are prone to tipping over. When your child is having a bath, the best thing for you to do is to have a non-slip bath mat on the bottom, and fill the water very shallowly. But also remember other water hazards around the house, such as garden ponds or any containers or buckets. It’s important to make sure that these are always empty.

Preventing Burns and Scalding

Younger children are more prone to burning and scalding than older children. The biggest culprit of scalding is hot drinks. To prevent scalding always make sure you keep mugs away from any surface edges. It’s also worth noting that you should never pass a hot drink to a mother who is breastfeeding because even the smallest drop could scald both the mum and the baby. A hot drink can scald a child 15 minutes after being made, so when in doubt, keep it out of reach. When it comes to burns, make sure that you are keeping the appliances serviced. If you have a fireplace, make sure that it is serviced and checked according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You should also make sure that there is a fireguard, and make sure that there are no items up on the mantelpiece that will be tempted for your child. It’s also worth remembering that in case of fire, always have an escape route planned. Planning and preparing is always the best way to make sure that you can all get out in an emergency.

Preventing Suffocation

For younger babies, it’s important to give your child a safe sleeping place. Babies are best to stay in cots. And while you may think that the child is sleeping on you, you can put them on the couch, the best thing to do is to put them in the cot. If you let them sleep on the sofa, there could be large gaps and big cushions which could be dangerous. Also, make sure that any nappy bags or plastic bags are kept out of reach. When in doubt, make sure that you tie a knot in the top of his plastic bags as this will stop your child from trying to open them.

So, before you start redesigning your garden and renovating a property for your young children, the best thing to do is to make sure that it is safe first and foremost.

Note: This is a collaborative post