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How To Help Your Toddler Welcome A New Baby

How To Help Your Toddler Welcome A New Baby

A new baby on the way is an exciting time for everyone. But how do you prepare your toddler for the change that’s coming? Try to tell your three-year-old that she’s getting a new brother or sister before you tell other family and friends. If her auntie asks her if she’s looking forward to the new baby, and you haven’t explained it to her yet, she may get a bit baffled. Here are 5 ways you can prepare your toddler for a new addition to the family!

1. Talk about the new baby daily until and after she arrives.

Explain that a new baby is being brought into the family because you have more love to share. Try this, “Daddy and I had you because we had lots of love to give. We are having/had your
sister because we found even more love to give. Do you think you’ll have love in your heart to give to your new baby sister?”

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2. Include your toddler in your preparations.

Let him help you pack your bag for the hospital, clean the bottles, paint the nursery and put diapers away. Take a tour of the hospital or birthing center with your toddler in tow. Be sure to
sneak a peek at the new arrivals too.

3. Have your toddler pick out a gift just for the new baby.

Take a special trip to the store and have your toddler pick out a gift just for the new baby. Likewise, pick out a special gift from the baby for his big brother or sister. When your baby and toddler meet, have them give their gifts to each other.

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4. Give your toddler a role.

Talk often about the fact that each member of the family is important in their own way and makes their own special contribution. The family needs each person for it to be whole.

5. Give a little extra love.

Emphasize the older child’s importance by going through his baby pictures and talking about what a wonderful baby he was, and what a wonderful boy he is now.

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Image Credits: sathyatripodi, christianabella, sathyatripodi

Top 10 Fun Winter Activities For Kids

Top 10 Fun Winter Activities For Kids

Soon, it will start snowing and in a couple of months, Christmas will be here! Kids everywhere absolutely love playing in the snow while parents do not look forward to shoveling their driveway. Some people get excited for winter while some detest it. Well, you don’t have to be glum just because there’s hardly any sunshine. You can still make the best of it by participating in fun winter activities with your family.

Here are 10 awesome winter activities that you can enjoy with your kids!

1. Go skiing on the snow

A snow skiing getaway can be a great experience for the whole family. Kids can easily learn to ski with a good instructor and some practice!

2. Snowball fights

After you make sure that the snow doesn’t have shards of ice or stones in it, you can make small snowballs and have a snowball fight! This is a great way to relax, relieve stress and have fun with your children.

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3. Shovel snow

Shoveling snow can be a dreadful experience if you’re doing it alone. On the other hand, your kids will be excited to shovel snow with you! Get your kids their own kid’s snow shovels and shovel snow together. This can be very helpful to keep them physically active during winter.

4. Go fishing

Get dressed in appropriate (layered) winter fishing gear, find a good spot and relax. Winter lowers the metabolism of fish and hence, they’ll feed more if the bait is small. If you’ve never gone fishing with your child, this can be a brand new experience. Stay safe and have a great time.

5. Go sledding

Sledding is an exciting recreational winter activity enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Revel in the breathtaking views of snow-capped hills and enjoy sledding down the slope!

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6. Go ice skating

What is winter without some ice skating? Going ice skating is a must-do activity in winter. Experience the cold breeze of a crisp morning and have fun gliding on the ice.

7. Make snow angels

If you ask your kids to make snow angels in the snow, they will happily oblige! Don’t forget to capture these beautiful moments on camera!

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8. Make a snowman

The next logical step after making a snow angel is to make a snowman! Find a good place with lots of snow, make snowballs for the snowman’s body and get creative with the accessories!

9. Make sock puppets

Staying indoors in winter can also be interesting for kids. Making sock puppets is simple and easy, you can watch this tutorial video to know more. Attach googly eyes and some fabric to complete your very own unique sock puppet!

10. Make paper snowflakes

This winter art & craft activity only needs two things – paper and scissors (Side note for parents – make sure you do all the cutting). Every design you create and cut will be different, just like a special snowflake! Here’s a great guide to find out how to make beautiful paper snowflakes.

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Image Credits: MihaiParaschivrogerconnertnAdinaVoicu, PublicDomainPictures

7 Best Halloween Costume Ideas For The Family

7 Best Halloween Costume Ideas For The Family

7 Best Halloween Costume Ideas For FamilyHalloween is right around the corner! It’s that time of the year when your entire family dresses up in quirky outfits and wears crazy make-up – the spookier the better! Halloween is filled with great activities like costume parties, carving jack-o’-lanterns, putting up spooky decorations, trick or treating and so much more. Every parent loves to team up with their child and become the center of attention of every Halloween party. It’s a great experience for you to bond with your child and create memories that you can treasure for the rest of your life.

If you’re not sure of what you and your kid want to dress up as for Halloween this year, don’t worry!
Here are 7 easy and awesome Halloween costume ideas for you and your little one!

1. Tortoise and Hare

‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ is one of the most famous Aesop’s Fables. For the tortoise costume, you can dress your munchkin in a green colored outfit. Get him a backpack shaped like a tortoise shell and you have a cute little tortoise! You can dress yourself in a brown outfit and add bunny ears to go with it.

2. Elsa and Anna

If you have a daughter, she’s most probably obsessed with the Disney movie ‘Frozen’. Halloween is the perfect occasion to team up with your daughter as Disney princesses. You can let your daughter be either Anna, Elsa (or even Olaf!) depending on her choice, and you can be the other Disney princess. And don’t worry, Dads can dress up as princesses too!

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3. The Addams Family

‘The Addams Family’ has been an integral part of our childhood. You can take a trip down memory lane by dressing yourself as either Morticia (the mom) or Gomez (the dad). Your daughter can be Wednesday Addams or your son can be Pugsley Addams. This is also a great family Halloween costume idea!

4. Cruella De Vil and a Dalmatian

Both famous characters are a part of ‘101 dalmatians’. Your toddler can dress up in an adorable dalmatian costume. As Cruella De Vil, you can wear a long black dress and temporarily dye half of your hair silver or wear a wig!

5. Batman and Robin

Spice up your Halloween by being the Robin to your child’s Batman! Find an awesome Robin costume for yourself online and a tiny Batman costume for your little superhero! What fun it will be to be your son’s sidekick!

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6. Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears are extremely easy to find. Grab a pair of those ears, add short red pants with two buttons for the Mickey Mouse costume and a polka dotted red skirt for the Minnie Mouse costume. That’s it! Easy as pie!

7. Starbucks cold coffee and employee

Dress up as a Starbucks employee by wearing a black shirt and black pants with a green apron. Stick the Starbucks logo on it. For your child, you can make the cold coffee outfit yourself – just take a big cylindrical cardboard roll, print the Starbucks logo and stick it on the cardboard. Add ruffled white fabric to imitate foam, add a green straw made by cardboard, and voila! Your cold coffee is ready!

happy-halloween-2016

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Image credits: lcr3cr, Mojpe, Jill111, PublicDomainPictures

10 Ways To Raise Shy Kids

10 Ways To Raise Shy Kids

Every child is inherently different. Some children are extroverted and outgoing, while some others are shy and introverted. Every child has a distinct temperament. If your child is one of the shy ones, don’t be worried! It’s okay to have a shy child and there is nothing wrong with it. Researchers have found that inhibition is an important aspect of temperament that is partly hereditary. They also believe that some children are biologically born shy. So instead of trying to change the fact that your little one is shy, embrace it!

Here are 10 ways you can care for your introverted bundle of joy –

1. Let them know that you understand

Your child needs conversation and he will be most comfortable with his own parents. Make sure you keep talking to your child gently and let him know that you understand and care for him.

2. Ask questions

Ask your child if something or someone is bothering him, kindly. Do not interrogate your child in any way. Have patience and give him time to open up. He will respond positively to kindness.

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3. Encourage outdoor play time

Your shy child doesn’t have to stay at home all the time. Let him be around other kids of the same age. Even if he doesn’t open up to the other kids easily, at least it will expose him to social settings which will eventually help him warm up to them.

4. Be Patient

Nothing is worse than pressurizing a shy child. Don’t rush him to do something. Give him time, even if he’s taking more time than the other kids. Take a deep breath and just be patient with your child. Use a calm and soothing voice to help your child.

5. Help them find their passion

Some kids can be very timid but can express themselves better through art. Maybe your child likes to draw or maybe your child loves to play the piano. Whatever it is, channel this interest of your shy child into a passion she will truly treasure forever. It will be a liberating experience for your child and bring great joy to her.

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6. Motivate your child

Be their personal cheerleader. If your child is making an effort to do something out of his comfort zone, appreciate him and remind him that he’s doing great! “I know that this was difficult for you but you did it so well!” is a great way to uplift and inspire your child.

7. Don’t shame or humiliate them

Do not compare them to other children, especially with harsh words. Don’t put them on the spot. This can give your child anxiety and lower her confidence even further. Your child doesn’t choose to be introverted – this is just how she is.

8. Don’t force them

Don’t force them into any situation they clearly want to avoid. If they really don’t want to do something, don’t push them to do it. Interacting with other people can be stressful and emotionally draining for your child and sometimes it’s better to take a break.

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9. Encourage them to express themselves

Your child might have a lot of ideas, questions, opinions, fears which she just doesn’t know how to express. Make it easier for her by encouraging her to ask you anything at all. Make it a routine so that she gradually gets comfortable with it. Answer these questions with attentiveness & positivity.

10. Be affectionate

Avoid calling your child ‘shy’ every time. You don’t need to put your child into a category. Be affectionate, sympathetic and loving to your kid. Snuggle and hug your little one every chance you get!

It is essential to know if your child is introverted by nature or has become reserved because of a specific event. If your child is going through something or if the shyness is severe, it is best to take her to a mental health professional who specializes in child care. Either way, keep loving your children just the way they are!

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Image credits: LuidMilaKot , Ben_Kerckx , Unsplash

11 Reasons Why Reading Is Important For Your Child

11 Reasons Why Reading Is Important For Your Child

Reading helps your child’s development. The child gets familiar with sounds, words, language and print. All this adds to your child’s early literacy skills and helps him go on to read successfully later in life. It also stimulates your child’s imagination and helps them learn about the world! Reading together creates a precious time for bonding with your child.

The 11 Reasons why reading is important for your child are:

1. Improves vocabulary and understanding

As children read, they learn new words and also as they absorb more and more information, they understand how to frame sentences properly and ways to use words and language effectively.

2. Increases speaking skills

Reading helps kids to learn new words and connect them to other words. Learning these new words helps to be more expressive.
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3. Boosts imagination

When kids read, their brains translate the descriptions that they are reading into pictures. When they are reading a story, they also imagine how the characters are feeling. They tend to relate their own experiences to the experiences of characters.

4. Enhances communication

When you spend time reading to toddlers, they will try to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books and the contact with your child during story telling, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.

5. Helps concentration

To cultivate reading, kids have to sit quiet at one place for long time periods so that they can focus on what they are reading. Reading regularly thus develops concentration in them.

6. Gets them thinking

Little readers grow a habit of asking “why?”, “what?” and “how?”! Reading helps them develop a sense of curiosity which eventually emerges into building up the knowledge base of your kids.
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7. Increases comprehension skills

When a child reads aloud, it forces him to read slower which gives him more time to process what he reads, which improves reading comprehension and helps in building up vocabulary and phonic skills.

8. Enhances creativity

Reading and creativity go hand-in-hand. When kids read, they are taken into a complete new world which your brain learns to comprehend. This virtual reality created nurtures their brain to develop ideas for new worlds and other possibilities and also sparks their imagination.
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9. Calms the mind

When we read, we read in silence. The constant blinking and flashing lights which attack our senses when we are watching TV or looking at a computer are actually stressful for our eyes and brains. Reading the black print on a white page is quite less stressful for the eyes and brains.

10. Helps to pronounce words properly

Encourage children to read aloud. When you encourage kids to read aloud, it helps them to improve on their pronunciation skills and be audible enough.

11. Helps to discover new things

Reading gives exposure to the unknown facts. This is the root cause of interrogation which leads to the thinking and questioning process and helps kids to discover new things.
discover

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Image Credits: PublicDomainPictures, klimkin, dassel, pezibear