Showing posts sorted by date for query kids room. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query kids room. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query kids room. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query kids room. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Is It Time to Let Your Child Have Their Own Phone?

What Age Should Kid Get Phone?


If your child doesn’t already have their own phone, and they’re at an age when their friends are getting smart phones, no doubt, you'll face endless nagging conversations in the days up to their birthday and the holidays. The peer pressure for kids to get a cellphone is high, and if your child doesn’t have a phone, they may worry about being excluded from their groups or missing out on events (#fomo.) So, is it time to bite the bullet and get your kid the phone they’ve been wanting? It depends, right?

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Average Age
We face this in our family. On the one hand, I don't want to buy an expensive phone that's going to get lost or misplaced. But on the other hand, it would make life easier with after school clubs and activities. Children mature at different rates, each parent has to make their own decisions based on their own child. However, many parents want to know whether their child is ‘too young’ to get a cellphone, or whether they’re being cruel by holding out on this big purchase. According to recent studies, the average age to get a first cellphone is 10.3 years old, which means, by the time kids hit middle school, many of their friends will already have phones. 

Following Rules
Most parenting experts agree, it’s not the age of the child that matters, but more the maturity level and the ability to follow rules around smartphone usage. Before you put the device into your child's hands, you need to set ground rules. Set daily phone usage limits, how much time kids can spend, whether they can take the phone to school, etc.

Did you know, many cellphones have apps that help you keep track of your child’s screen time and ensure they’re not visiting inappropriate websites, but when you give your child a phone, you should be able to trust that they aren't using the phone in a way that will put them in danger. You can use "Google Find My Phone" to keep track of the phone's whereabouts, this can be very helpful when your teen is supposed to be home.

Protecting the Device
Cost is also a big factor when it comes to deciding to buy a cellphone for your child. Unless they’re already at an age where they have a part-time job, it’s another monthly bill for you to cover. You’ll need to ensure you have insurance in case the phone is lost or stolen. It’s worth looking for BodyGuardz iPhone 7 Plus cases too, just in case of any drops or knocks, so you aren’t stuck with a big phone repair bill. 

Ensuring Screen-free Time
One problem with giving children cellphones is that it’s harder to enforce screen-free times if they have their own device. If your kids go to the park with friends or hang out in their room, they’ll likely be glued to their phone.
When it comes to homework, studies have shown that simply having a phone in the room ruins a child's concentration, so you may need to watch out for slipping grades too. Consider enforcing cellphone usage times, say between 8 am and 10 pm, so your kids aren’t up all night surfing the internet or watching YouTube. When it’s time to do homework or sit down for dinner, place all phones in a basket out of sight, so there’s no temptation to fiddle with the phone and ruin family time.

Getting your first cellphone is a rite of passage in the digital age, but as a parent, it’s up to you to decide when the time is right for your child, and whether they can understand the responsibilities that come with this pricey gift. 
No matter what you decide, you'll have to deal with teen angst that will surely stress you out. We're right there with you. Got questions? Leave a comment and we'll try to help!


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Christmas Gift Ideas for Tweens: Gift Guide Review

Find the Best Christmas Gifts for Preteens (Tweens)


Searching for the best Christmas gift ideasChristmas gift ideas for tweens? Check out our gift guide for tween boys and girls aged 9-12 yrs. These Christmas gift ideas for tweens were tested by our staff's own children and have received a two thumbs up! 

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Finding the right gift for preteens is tough, because they’re not little kids anymore, but they’re not quite teenagers yet. Most tweens are outgrowing their favorite toys and developing their own tastes. What they loved yesterday is old news! Tweens often like gifts that are related to their interest and seem cool and fun: Think Nifty

Because shopping for teens and tweens is difficult, it's tempting to take the easy way out and give them money or a gift card, but a great gift is much more memorable and lets them know that you really care. Below are some of our top picks for teen and tween Christmas gifts.


5 Top Picks for Tweens Gift Guide Review


  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Camera



holiday gift idea for preteen tween girl girls


Our tween girls love this camera! Nifty is its middle name. The Instant Camera is the perfect gift for tween girls. It’s stylish and it's an excellent value for the price. The Fuji camera comes in a range of funky colors and uses automatic exposure to help make it easy to use for beginners. All you have to do is turn the power on, adjust the dial, take the photo and wait for the film to develop. The tiny photos instantly pop out like old fashioned Polaroid pictures.

The camera is compact and lightweight so tweens can easily carry it around with them and even take photos one-handed. A highlight is the simplicity of the design because it doesn’t overwhelm kids with features and accessories they won’t use. Be sure to stock up on lots of film, kids love taking pictures of everyone during the holidays!

  • My Cinema Light Box

Last year, this was a hit with our preteens and tweens! A cinema light box is another nifty gift that helps tweens express their personality by showcasing a message they can personalize. Kids can share their own fun or inspiring messages to friends and family. Plus, there are lots of fun emojis included and plenty of room to add a range of messages that tweens will love. The light box has a cool color changing background with different settings that include fade, flash, and strobe to give a variety of effects. This is a truly unique gift for theater and other creative kids. Put their name in lights under the tree and brighten your preteen’s holidays.



  • Kanken Classic Backpack

The iconic Kanken backpack design is Retro which automatically translates to cool these days. Available in a wide range of colors, the large capacity storage space allows for plenty of room for school supplies and tablets. In addition to the main compartment, it has two side pockets and a front zippered pocket. The laptop pouch in the main compartment is perfect for a 13" Macbook Pro but won’t fit any larger laptops. Material is durable and water resistant, so if you're tweens are outdoorsy, it’s a great bag to take on hikes.





  • Electronic Drum Pad Set

Music lovers will have hours of fun with the electronic roll up drum pad set. Tweens can learn about the different sounds a drum kit makes and develop a sense of rhythm by playing a beat along to their favorite music. Use it with headphones to play at night and it won’t disturb your neighbors.

An electronic drum set pad is a great alternative to a full size drum set. Who has the room for a full-size drum set? It’s also easy to roll up and carry, so your kids can take it anywhere. We bought one of these for our tween boy last year. Pardon the pun, but it was a hit! We also bought this electric roll up piano for our musical tween daughter. She takes it with her everywhere she goes!





  • Crystal Growing Kit 

Crystal growing kits are a hit with 9 and 10 year-olds. If your preteen is into science or shows an interest in precious gems, the crystal growing kit is a perfect gift idea. Kids can grow red, blue, and white crystals and monitor their progress day by day as they transform into fully grown crystals. Once they’ve grown, add them to an LED display to show them off in their full glory. How cool is that?






These Christmas gift ideas for tweens are some of the best rated gifts for preteens on Amazon and have been proven hits with our own kids. If you didn’t find the perfect gift for your preteen, check out some more cool suggestions on Good Old Gifts. Hopefully, you'll find a gift suggestion that matches your preteen’s interests so you can give them something they’ll truly love this Christmas.



Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on our reviews and travel tips!


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Christmas Gift Ideas for Tweens: Gift Guide Review





Tips to Get TEENS to Read More

Turn Your Teens into Readers: 5 Handy Tips to Encourage Teenage Reading


Most parents want their teens to become avid readers.One poll found that three-fourths of parents with kids between the ages of 6-17 agreed with the statement, "I wish my child would read more books for fun." Getting a teenager to read is often more challenging than getting a 10-year-old to read. By the time your child is a teenager, they're more interested in screen time than book time. Not every kid is going to stay up late reading books, and that's okay. You can encourage teenage reading by choosing the right book for your kid, read on for five of the best tips to get your teen to read more.

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Turn Your Teens into Readers: 5 Tips to Encourage Teenage Reading
How to get your Teen to Read.

5 Tips to Get TEENS to Read More


1. Take Teens to Bookstores and Libraries 
Bookstores are far less common now than 20 years ago. The bookstore shortage is even affecting highly cultured cities like New York. Many people who buy books do it online.
Buying online isn't the same as having a world of books that you can reach out and touch with your fingertips. Bookstores and libraries are great places to discover new authors and get recommendations while fulfilling those bibliophile needs. Smell the pages, caress the covers, see the beauty of the illustrations as they were meant to be seen.
2. Encourage Fun Reading
Sure, you may wish that your teens would read Jane Austen or Charles Dickens.These days, if they're doing that, it's probably for a class. Reading a book for a grade can suck the joy out of reading a good book. 
What does that mean for parents? It means that you should encourage your teens to read for fun, even if "fun" looks different for you than it does for them. They should read what they want, even if it's just a magazine or a comic book.

A few years ago, some parents freaked out at the idea of teens reading the Twilight novels. But vampire romance novels, no doubt, made some kids into lifelong pleasure readers. Raising our hands here! When a kid that never reads gets addicted to a book series, you jump for joy!

Books for Teenage Boys: All Quiet on The Western Front
3. Create Screen-Free Zones
These days, both adults and teens are constantly on their smartphones. One way to fight the technology craze is to create zones where screens aren't permitted.

For instance, let's say dinner starts at 6 pm. Want to eat? Have everyone in your family, including the adults, drop their phones into a basket outside the dining room before sitting down to eat.

The more you look at your phone, the harder it is to look away. Taking a break from screens can make it easier for kids to pick up a book and start reading

Or Encourage Kindle Reading: Whatever works, right!

4. Encourage Teens to Write
A teen interested in writing is more likely to get interested in reading. That's because trying to write a book gives you a different perspective on the books that you read. 

If your kid has a story to tell, give them the time and space to write it down. It can be anything from short-form fan fiction to a full-blown novel. Grab some cool writing journals and encourage them to get creative. If you want, you can even customize your book cover
5. Talk About Your Own Reading
Make reading a family priority. When you sit down with a book, you're sending your teen a message. Your teen may not think you're cool, but they're paying attention to what you're doing. 
If they ask what you're reading, tell them. Encourage them ask questions. They may tease you, but you're still showing your teen what it looks like to enjoy reading, even when you have a job, kids, and other obligations.


Books for Teens Boys Girls Read More

Get Your Teenager Reading
The idea of trying to get your teenager reading can feel impossible. But it's possible, and you don't even have to nag. In fact, nagging is more likely to backfire. Remember that, you know how it felt.
Of course, reading is great, but we've also got plenty of other ways to keep your kid entertained at any age. Bookmark our site to stay up to date on the latest parenting teens articles.


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Kitchen Safety Tips for Kids



How to Keep the Kitchen a Safe Place 


Thinking of doing a kitchen remodel? As parents, we need to remember to always put safety first. This is especially true when you have toddlers. Little ones often get into mischief, and you want to know that they’re out of harm's way. To toddlers and preschoolers, the kitchen is a magical place. When they wander into the kitchen, they also wander into an area that has several safety hazards. So, how do you keep the kitchen a safe place for your kids?


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kitchen safety tips for kids toddlers


Make your kitchen kid-friendly by paying attention to the small details. Ensure things like
fires, injuries from sharp objects, and slip and falls are avoided whenever possible. Below are some ways that you can help you  learn how to keep the kitchen a safe place for toddlers and adults alike!



Kitchen Safety Tips 



Invest in Good Lighting 

As simple as it may sound, having good lighting is a great way to make your kitchen safe for kids. When you have good kitchen lighting, you can see what you’re doing and reduce the risk of accidents. The fun thing about choosing lighting for your kitchen is that there are so many different types to choose. Good kitchen lighting should complement your interior design as well, as, give you enough light to use your space in all the ways that you want. We use our kitchen as our homeschool room, so lighting is a key factor. To modernize your kitchen for better safety, under cabinet lights often serve double duty as spotlight lighting for preparing food on the worktops, and as softer lighting in the evening when the main lighting is switched off. 


Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby 



Fires are a common occurrence, and because there are so many hazards in the kitchen, everyone should have a fire extinguisher in their kitchen. It has been said that over 150,000 fires take place in the kitchen every year, so you want to be prepared in case it ever happens to you. Place the kitchen fire extinguisher near your stove so that it’s easy to grab quickly. You’ll also need to learn how to use it, There are many online resources that teach how to use a fire extinguisher or contact your local fire station . Lastly, note that fire extinguishers have inspection dates that expire, so ensure that you’re up-to-date.  


Store Objects in Cabinets 



If you have sharp objects or ones that could harm your toddlers, you should put them into cabinets. This will ensure that they’re out of reach and minimize the risk of accidents. If you don’t have cabinets, or the kitchen cabinets that you have aren’t secure, you should install new ones. Cabinet Doors ‘N’ More sell quality cabinet doors; their replacement cabinet doors are made from solid woods, such as hard maple, paint-grade hard maple, red oak, and cherry. 


Slip-Resistant Flooring 


Slips and falls happen all of the time, but there are several ways to help prevent these kitchen accidents. The kitchen is especially prone to accidents like water spillage and cooking grease. So, you should get slip-resistant flooring installed in the kitchen. Some examples are wood with a flat finish, textured vinyl, or laminate flooring. Kitchen laminate happens to be somewhat easy to install and it's very durable. 


First Aid Kit 


In the event that an accident does happen, you should have access to a quality first-aid kit. Keep it in a cupboard, on a shelf ,or in your kitchen storage pantry for easy access. Some items you should have in your kitchen first aid kit include: bandages for cuts, dressings, and burn ointment. 


Whether you're giving your kitchen a quick makeover to make it safer for the kids, or a full kitchen remodel, we hope you find these kitchen safety tips for kids, especially toddlers, helpful. For more family activities and safety tips, please follow us on Pinterest.



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How do you Keep Kids Happy on Rainy Days?

A Guide to Keeping Your Kids Happy on Rainy Days


For adults and teens rainy days are great: you have the perfect excuse to stay inside, curl up on the couch and catch up with your favorite TV show or video game. Yet for little ones, rainy days force them to face the prospect of one more dreaded day stuck inside the house. When you use this guide to keeping your kids happy on rainy days for tips and tricks, rainy days don’t have to equal boredom for the kiddos!


This post contains Amazon affiliate links.



How do you Keep Kids Happy on Rainy Days?  Cowboy Costume Dress Up
Howdy Partner! Mayhem in a Cowboy Costume.


Boredom Busters for Rainy Days

Click through the links below for fun activities on how to keep kids happy on rainy days.

Get Creative with Painting
Painting doesn’t have to be just painting anymore; try some fun ideas, like painting with spaghetti, or paint rocks to look like ladybugs (on a drier day before the rain started, of course) or try finger painting in a fun new way. If you're up for it, let the kids try face painting with you as their model!
Maybe you have a designated kids' playroom and you want to get creative with a spare bit of white wall that's just begging for a splash of bright color. You can always paint your wall like a chalkboard and let the kids go wild!
If you're organized, you can prep for rainy day activities during the summer by collecting interesting seashells at the beach or walnuts in the yard, and saving them for a rainy day when you and the kids can paint the shells all kinds of creative ways!

Entertain All of Their Senses
As you know, younger kids are receptive to nearly anything entertaining, so don’t underestimate the power of visual and aural stimulation. Whether it’s a colorful cartoon on the TV or sound waves making the floor vibrate with their favorite childhood tunes, you can use this stimulation as a spin off for a drawing activity like this cartoon anime lesson.
Oh, how times have changed!
Also, you may want to consider investing a little more in home tech equipment for a true all-round experience; for example, thewireszone.com has a great range of audio and video equipment, including amplifiers to really fill up the house on those gloomy weather days. With all those beats pumping though the house, you'll be up dancing on the ceiling! Seriously though, dancing with your kids is the best rainy day boredom buster ever!!

Use the Furniture to Your Advantage
If you have a large living space with plenty of couches and chairs, consider building a lion's den or a makeshift maze for the kids. You can move the furniture around and even drape the furniture in towels and bed sheets to create a cozy tent or tepee area for the kids to crawl into and stay quiet for a while. Ask Alexa to read a story while you catch up on some chores.

decorate with fairy lights on Amazon
Decorate with Fairy Lights. Photo Credit: Amazon

Add a sensory element by placing toys and books inside the blankets and light it up with funky fairy lights to make it a space the kiddos will never want to leave (until the sun comes out, of course.)

Catch up with Chores
It doesn't sound like the most fun thing to do, but if you have a whole bunch of household tasks you need to catch up with – and a rainy day just so happens to present an opportunity to do just that – then make the kids pitch in and get all those chores done together.
Need some motivation? Here are some printable chore charts for kids to help you keep track of their progress and work toward rewards!
Turn ‘matching up odd socks’ into a fun game with a prize, or maybe get creative in the kitchen if you have food that needs prepped, and let the kids help whisk up dinner!
You can also turn chores into competitions! Promise a special treat for the winner of ‘who can tidy the front room the fastest!’
How cool is that? Using chores as rainy day boredom busters is a great way to teach kids that helping around the house can be fun!

Play Dress Up in Costumes
You don't need a trunk full of costumes to play dress up with kids and keep them happy on a rainy day. No Ma'am, just raid your closets for old clothes, ties, and bandannas. In the picture above, we raided Grandma and Grandpa's closets for an old vest from the 70's, a gun holster, and an Australian Outback hat. Voila! Instant cowgirl costume.
Making costumes can keep kids busy for at least an hour on a rainy day. Once the costumes are complete, it's time for some good old fashioned pretend play!



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How to Get Babies to Sleep Through The Night Tips

The True Secret to Getting Babies to Sleep Through the Night


There's no denying that every parent wants their child to have peaceful sleep throughout the night – an uninterrupted night of great sleep. However, the reality is most kids don’t function that way and will keep waking up time after time, night after night. That’s really frustrating, especially for a parent, you can't sleep if your baby is awake. So what's the secret on how to get babies to sleep through the night?



How to Get Babies to Sleep Through The Night Tips baby infant toddler


This post contains Amazon affiliate links.


Even though it’s common for babies and toddlers to wake up frequently and “refuse” to take quality naps during the day, there are some things you can do to help your baby sleep better through the night. If you were wondering what you can do to make bedtime sleep better for your infant or toddler, consider the following tips:

Baby Sleep Tips


1. Avoid Over Tiredness

Overtired babies find it hard to sleep, which means you might think your child can’t sleep, while it’s actually an effect of over tiredness. It's in your best interest to know your baby’s sleep patterns and to avoid keeping them awake for longer than necessary. Doing so can help you catch the earliest signs of tiredness in your baby, hence address them effectively.

2. Swaddle your Baby

Most babies love being swaddled, and it makes sense! Newborns have just come from a safe environment in their mother’s womb, and they're used to being held tightly, which is why swaddling a baby makes perfect sense. Besides, a swaddled baby won’t be able to hit themselves in the face, which in most cases, wakes them up. Ensure that your baby is comfortable, wearing overnight diapers, and you'll be surprised by how peaceful their sleep will be through the night (and yours too.)

3. Calm your Baby Before Sleep

Babies need some settling time before bedtime, it helps their body to begin a “shut-down” process which enhances better sleep. This is the time when you turn off the TV or music, take your baby to their bedroom which is a quieter environment, and let them have their settling time (10 – 15 minutes.) There are different ways to calm down a baby, dimming the lights and ensuring that the room temperature is perfect are both helpful options. Also, playing nature sounds such as chirping sounds of crickets and other calming nature sounds can help soothe baby. With these calming techniques, your baby’s mind will easily adjust, allowing them to fall asleep faster and easier.

4. Have a Routine

According to Sleep Reports, a sleep routine for baby’s nap times and bedtimes can help. As far as sleeping is concerned, our bodies “learn” and adjust so that they're always ready for the same process. A bedtime routine can involve activities such as bathing your baby, changing their clothes, feeding them, and then observing some “quiet time.” After the bath, it’s always a good idea to avoid playing, and preserve such moments for cuddling and giving your baby the comfort they need to help them fall asleep faster.

5. Avoid Over-stimulation

If your baby can't sleep, the best thing you can do is avoid overstimulating them. Look around your baby’s room, and you’ll notice it’s probably very stimulating. Lots of shapes, colors, sounds, objects, and even other people.

Of course that was the plan, you designed it to stimulate your baby’s senses. One of the ways babies get overstimulated is when you play with them at bedtime or giving them toys to keep them company. This causes them additional stimulation and makes it hard for them to sleep throughout the night. It’s the same as when an older child plays video games at bedtime.

6. Embrace the Sun

When a baby’s “body clock” is off schedule, it can be “reset” by exposing it to the sun, whether it means opening the blinds once your baby is awake or taking them for a morning walk in their stroller. Wondering how that makes them sleep better? If your baby’s sleep patterns aren't set, they’ll have some trouble sleeping through the night. However, correcting that by exposing them to sunlight once they wake up, helps your baby sleep better at night.

7. Avoid Sleeping Props

Another thing you'll want to keep in mind is that babies learn by association. Once you understand that, you should discourage using sleep props to lure your baby to rest. Sleep props are things that you regularly use, such as, feeding or cuddling, to encourage your baby to sleep. If you use sleeping props as solutions to get your baby to fall asleep, your baby will get used to them, which means you have to use such “solutions” every time the baby needs to sleep. As long as your baby is relaxed and not over-stimulated or over-tired, you don’t have to stimulate them to fall asleep – they’ll do so automatically.

8. Handle Night Wakings 

It’s normal for your baby to wake up at night for diaper changes and nighttime feeding during the first few months. When such situations arise, they should be handled correctly so that your baby won’t find it hard to go back to sleep again.

The most important thing you can do is to ensure you remain in their bedroom if it’s time to feed or change their diapers. Don’t take them to another room or they'll learn this routine. Also keep the room as dark as you can, but ensure that you can see around the room comfortably. You also have to avoid making any unnecessary interactions with your baby – stick to simple feeding and changing.
Once you’ve done everything your baby needs, it’s time to get your baby back to sleep. This is something you need to do quickly to ensure your baby doesn’t get confused thinking it’s time to rise and shine. Make it less complicated, as you want your baby to start learning that they need to sleep through the night.

In some cases, your baby might wake up only for you to find out that they're not hungry nor do they need a diaper change. During such times, you should only give them gentle pats or strokes to encourage them to go back to sleep.

As a result, getting your baby to sleep through the night shouldn't be impossible. One thing you need to remember is that some babies are just better at sleeping than other babies, which is why the above tips might not always work effectively for every kid out there. If you have repeated issues with bouts of crying, you’ll want to check your baby for colic or other health concerns.



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