Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Smart Tactics for Making School Supplies More Affordable

Many children are now back at school after their summer break. While you might already have bought back to school supplies, there can often be many more things needed throughout the year. Various expenses can pop up that you have to meet. They range from new clothes when old ones have been outgrown to money to take on field trips. These expenses can add up so that you end up forking out a lot of money over the school year. This can be an annoyance for some parents but for others it can mean a struggle to take care of other costs. If you need to stock up on school supplies, try these tips to make it more manageable.


Find Ways to Fund Larger Expenses

There can be a few school expenses that result in spending a large chunk of money at once. You won't always have that money available, even if you've been trying to save. Many times the issue is that money has been tight for that particular month. You know that if you can wait until next month, you'll have the cash you need. This can happen for unexpected school costs, in particular. One of the options when this happens is to try a solution like Personal Money Store. You can search for short-term loans that are suitable for your purposes. You can usually borrow as little as $100, and you can pay it back on payday.

See How the School Can Help

If the cost of school supplies seems too high, you might want to see how your child's school can help. Not every school will be able to provide assistance. However, many make an effort to ensure that all their students get the supplies they need for their education. For example, some schools will try to offer more affordable supplies to purchase. Others might subsidize the cost of various items. Your school might also be able to refer you to a supply drive that could help you get the things you need. Sometimes, teachers even dip into their own pockets to ensure that pupils have the supplies they need for the classroom.

Look for Discounts and Inexpensive Options

If you need to save money, it's always best to start looking for cheap options. The cost of many school supplies has risen in recent years. However, it's still, fortunately, easy to find many cheaper options. Costs can add up and come to a larger amount, but you can reduce the expense if you buy carefully. The first thing to do is scrutinize back to school sales carefully. Make sure that you're actually getting a good deal and not just falling for something because it's in a sale. There might be a better option that's cheap all year and is similar in quality.


Reuse and Mend

Every year calls for new school supplies, but remember that you won't always have to replace everything. Some things could be a must, like certain clothes and shoes or stationery. But there are things you can use again, repair or recycle into something new. For example, is your child's pencil case from last year still in good condition? While a new one for the new year might be fun, perhaps it can keep going for a bit longer. Hand-me-down clothes have long been a way to save money when you have multiple children. If you can fix something instead of throwing it away, it can save you some money.

Separate Must-haves from Nice-to-haves

Children are often given a list of supplies they have to have for school. They may be expected to have everything on this list, and there's no getting around it. But there are still ways to ensure you only spend money on essentials and not on unnecessary items. Firstly, if your child has a list from school, check to see what is necessary and what is just a suggestion. Secondly, consider other school supplies that aren't on the list. Which of them does your child need and what might just be nice to have? This includes exactly which products you choose to buy. For example, it might be fun for your child to have a Frozen backpack. But if a plain bag is cheaper and sturdier, it may be a better purchase. Sometimes, you might have to compromise, and it could mean cutting out the extra niceties. Focus on making your kids happy in other ways to avoid making it all about the things you buy them.

You can't avoid the need for school supplies, but you can find ways to make them more affordable. Throughout the school year, look for methods to reduce the expense.

Monday, 22 August 2016

5 Indoor activities for kids: Rainy Days


No matter how much we hope and pray for a perfect summer full of beautiful blue skies and warm weather, we have to face the fact that we live in the UK and the weather is (very) unpredictable. With this in mind it can be difficult to plan days out to keep kids active and occupied. Some of the best indoor activities for kids combine fitness, fun, family and friends.

Shark attack
Make your way to one of the many aquariums across the UK for a day of exploring the underwater world, pretend you are mermaids for the day, or that you are kings of the ocean (fancy dress optional).
To do list:
Take a list of colours and see how many you can tick off as you go around the aquarium.
See how close you can get to a shark.
Find Nemo or Dory!


Culture:
An event called Kids Week has just been extended until September 7th, and allows one child under the age of 16 to choose from a selection of London theatre shows for free, when accompanied by a full paying adult (2 additional children can also join for half price). There is a variety of child friendly performances from The Railway Children to The Gruffalo, a great way to make some lasting memories.
To do list:
Take a selfie in front of the theatre.
Learn the words to one of the songs so you can sing along.
Travel to the location by bus, try to get a seat on the top deck and take in the sights of London as you go.

Jump In
If you have woken up to a Duracell bunny and no end of activities seem to be wearing them out, why not take them to a place where they can actually bounce off the walls. Trampoline parks draw in kids of all ages with a range of different activities including dodgeball, basketball and fitness classes. There are also dedicated sessions for teens and children who are 5 and under. Also some centres are now offering trampoline summer holiday camps if your kids really get the jumping bug!
To do list:
Have a competition to see who can jump the highest.
Try and flip into the huge foam pit.
Swing on the rope swings and pretend you are Tarzan.

Imagination:
You do not have to focus solely on physical exercise over the summer holidays. A trip to the library is always a great way to exercise your child’s inquisitive brain. Whether they choose one book or six, if you are reading to them or they are hidden in a self-made pillow fort, reading is an excellent way to pass the time over the summer. Try engaging with your kids about the books and ask them questions about the story and the characters, or you could go one step further and put on a play of the story to be performed in front of friends or family.
To do list:
Write a book report on the book to recommend it to a friend.
Drink hot chocolate whilst you are reading.
Don’t forget to put on silly voices when you are reading the character speech!

Indoor play
This is always a winner with both kids and adults and there is and endless variety of options to choose from. One of the more unique venues is Treehouse Family Play in Bournemouth which offers a metal and plastic free play frame and indoor garden, alongside a coffee house with all locally sourced products.
To do list:
Play hide and seek.
Find the highest point and time how long it takes to get to the top.
Pretend that the play frame is your spaceship and you are travelling to another planet.

Alternatively:

Get your wellies on!
If you really just need to get out, why not try a new craze such as Geocaching, advertised as ‘the world’s largest treasure hunt’. Wrap up in waterproofs and go hunting with your kids for some hidden gems, don’t forget to climb a few trees and splash in as many puddles as possible whilst you are on the hunt!

Author Bio:
Ian Alam is a blogger & writer from UK who specializes in writing about health & Fitness topics. He works with Go Jump In, which is counted among one of the Best Trampoline Park London, UK.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Five Tips On How A Nanny Can Help Kids Get Back Into The School Routine


Skill Sets
Prepare the kids for whatever skill sets they will be required to abide by in school. For example, if potty training is a skill children are required to have before entering the classroom, this is a great place for a nanny to be involved in the preparation.
 
Healthy eating
Nannies can assist children in getting children's nutrition on track, which will ultimately help their attention and energy levels in school.
 
Picking out outfits
Kids love to be involved in back to school shopping! With the parents consent, nannies can plan a fun day with the kids for back to school shopping and school supplies. This gives them a chance to individualize their look, and also find control in a situation that can be a sometimes challenge or anxiety-inducing transition.
 
Homework preparation:
Nannies can help prepare children for the upcoming curriculum in the classroom by developing fun, interactive games that will start stimulating their minds.
 
Last hoorah!
Have a final, summer day with the kids - pool, ice cream, playground, zoo, etc .... all things they will soon miss, but can enjoy one last time before the school year begins. Make it exciting and special; and also use the opportunity to get the KIDS pumped up for the memories to follow in the coming year.
 
 
Florence Ann Romano, Nanny Magic (www.florenceannromano.com ), is a dedicated philanthropist and former nanny who has always had a special place in her heart for children. Romano worked for over 15 years as a nanny, beginning as a 'Mommy's helper' at the age of 11. She shares her experiences in Nanny and Me (Mascot Books, May 2015), her beautifully illustrated debut book for children making the transition from being cared for solely by their parents to having a nanny in their home.
 
Born and raised just outside Chicago, Romano earned a degree in performance theatre at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. She is the owner of Trinity, LLC - a 100% woman owned and new family company that runs the Original Six Media production company. Romano also serves as President and Founder of a junior board for young professionals that support Autism awareness for children and adults.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Give It A Go Eat A Rainbow

Mom's Choice Awards® Recipient. 

Parent Tested, Parent Approved Award Winner. 

2016 Family's Choice Awards Winner. 

Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow is an inspired, inspiring romp through eating healthfully. With the help of her son and some talented friends, Guylay makes eating fruits and vegetables a delicious daily habit for all ages. --Tanya Steel, Creator of the White House Healthy Kids Lunchtime Challenge and co-author of Real Food for Healthy Kids 

Getting kids excited about eating fruits and veggies is a top health priority for our nation. I'm thrilled to see a fun and inspiring book targeting kids at a very young age. That age group is where the magic can happen in terms of establishing healthy dietary patterns that last a lifetime. --Dr. Tia Rains, PhD in Nutrition 

Statistically speaking, zero percent of children in America are meeting the American Heart Association s Simple Seven guidelines for a healthy heart. Why? Poor diet. When it comes to health, this is where our children are at the greatest risk. If there is ever a time when we need Kathryn Kemp Guylay s newest book, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow, it s now. Kathryn, with help from friends and her son, has created a resource that is engaging to KIDS. With colorful, magical illustrations and a well-crafted storyline, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow brings fruits and veggies to life. I strongly recommend this book and I urge everyone to bring it to every student in every elementary school in the country. Thank you, Kathryn! --Laura Putnam, CEO of Motion Infusion and author of Workplace Wellness that Works.


Product Description


Are you a parent or teacher hoping to encourage children to eat more veggies and fruits? Want to support healthy eating messages in a fun, educational and positive way? Looking for great educational messaging with peer-to-peer messaging?

Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow uses charming illustrations by 12-year old Alexander Guylay combined with real-life photography and simple rhymes by award winning nutrition educator Kathryn Kemp Guylay to create an augmented reality that immediately draws kids into the story. Kids are introduced to Blake, the main character, who feels sleepy (low energy) and wonders why he doesn t have the energy to play like other kids. Blake meets a friendly, magical leprechaun who takes Blake on a journey to find the pot of gold (a metaphor for good health and energy). Blake is shrunk down to tiny size and explores the colorful world of fruits and veggies.

The colors (and fruits and veggies) lead to the pot of gold, where Blake feels vibrant and full of energy. The book addresses healthy eating, specifically fruits and veggies, in an engaging and positive way. Targeting early childhood and elementary school age groups, this picture book will be simple yet profound in promoting healthy eating habits in children.
Each page is created for maximum engagement, using a delightful combination of photography, illustration, color and text. Think The Wizard of Oz meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids meets nutrition and health literature.

From the Inside Flap

As an avid artist, Alexander ("Alex") Guylay, 13, spends hours sketching, outlining and coloring characters he creates.  


Alex is following in the footsteps of his Grandmother Marilyn who received her Masters in Art from the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. In both 2015 and 2016, Alex won Awards (Silver and Bronze) for Academic Merit in Art, a high distinction for his dedication to the subject matter.  

When conceptualizing her new children's book on eating well, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow, Alex's mom Kathryn Kemp Guylay knew immediately that her son's artwork would be an ideal fit for the book. They applied augmented reality, an art medium that mixes real life photography with Alex's whimsical hand-drawn images. 

Alex knows how to properly fuel his body, especially for activities he enjoys like: alpine skiing, hockey, mountain biking and hiking. From a young age, Alex has absorbed and embraced nutritional advice in a fun, actionable way. His warm and witty sense of humor allows him to share information about healthy living in a way that is high impact and well-received by other children. 

Alex finds inspiration for his illustrations from artists Jake Parker, Alan Blackwell, Matthew Armstrong and his art teacher Cara Frost. Alex is a middle schooler in Sun Valley, Idaho.

About the Author


From kindergarten classrooms to corporate boardrooms, Kathryn has inspired tens of thousands of individuals to improve their health and happiness. Kathryn is constantly admired for her effective and fun wellness education. Never wanting to be perceived as the food police or convey guilt, Kathryn uses positive messages as well as games and activities to bring wellness lessons to life.

Kathryn is a speaker, certified nutritional counselor and coach with a master s degree in business administration (MBA). She is the founder and executive director of Nurture, a national nonprofit that provides nutrition and wellness education to children and adults.

Kathryn also collaborates through several althth initiatives such as Michelle Obama s Let s Move, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Wellness Council of America. She is also a sought-after media expert in the area of wellness, having appeared on over a hundred radio and television interviews including NPR, CBS, and WGN. Kathryn is also an award winning and bestselling author. Her first book, Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes, presents stories and experiences from her personal life, using skiing and snow sports as metaphors for success in life and health. In her new children s book, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow, Kathryn educates kids about the importance of eating a colorful variety of fruits and veggies.

Illustrated by her son Alex, the book inspires children to try new healthy foods. Kathryn and Alex applied augmented reality, an art medium that mixes real life photography with Alex s whimsical hand-drawn images. Kathryn learned early in life how the food you eat directly affects how you feel. She quickly became hooked on nutrition. She fully embraced her passion for nutrition professionally after her children were born.

Through her work with Nurture, Kathryn credits her family for her continued passion for nutrition and healthy living. Her husband, Jeff, is her trusted recipe reviewer and is a consistent Nurture volunteer. Her daughter (15) and son (13) love growing and preparing food. Kathryn s interests include running, skiing, yoga, music and sustainable farming. Kathryn is honored to be a member of women s alpine skiing and Nordic skiing teams in Sun Valley, Idaho and has been named a Health Hero by several organizations, including the Department of Health and the Edible Schoolyard Project (Alice Waters).

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

DO YOUR CHILDREN HAVE BACK TO SCHOOL ANXIETY?



NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST DR. SANAM HAFEEZ PROVIDES TIPS FOR PARENTS TO EASE BACK TO SCHOOL JITTERS

Did you know that anxiety issues are the most common mental health disorders in children? There are an estimated 18 million children and teens who suffer from anxiety. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 25 percent of teenagers have issues of anxiety, and the statistics don't take into account the young people who are undiagnosed or don't reach out for help. (credit sheknows.com)  Because the start of a new school year can trigger or worsen anxiety in stressed-out children and teens, NYC Licensed Neuropsychologist and School Psychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez offers the following tips for parents to help ease back-to-school anxiety for their kids.

Start Early
Over the summer, most families take their cues from the sun and stay up later. While it may be tempting to keep the late-night fun going up until the end, starting your school routine a few weeks early can help ease the transition back to school. Starting two to three weeks before the advent of school, begin going to bed and getting up close to when you need to for school, and try to eat on a more regular schedule as well. This advice isn’t just for little kids -- teens and adults need quality sleep for proper functioning as well, and getting your schedule straight now will help ensure that you all start the school year off more prepared and don’t feel as much anxiety over the advent of that first day.

Give your child a preview
Talk to your child about what they’re going to be doing in the upcoming school year. If your child is starting school for the first time, see if there’s a kindergarten orientation or a way to meet their teacher before school begins. Whether they’re starting a new elementary school or going back to the same one, go explore it with your child. Review where their class will be, visit the cafeteria, the library or the art room. Take them to the playground (with a friend who’ll be going to their school, if possible) to help them get adjusted and feel comfortable at the school. Give your child a “preview” of the new faces and places they’ll be seeing. This can help to “right size” the school in your child’s mind and take the fear and mystery out of it.

Shopping together for school supplies
Shopping together for school supplies, and using the shopping trip as a time to talk about what to expect at school, can be a healthy way to keep a child talking. Parents should also try to connect their child with future classmates. “If a child knows someone who is going to be in the same classroom, that can greatly reduce their apprehension and fear of the unknown,” says Dr. Hafeez.

Facilitate friendships.
Help prepare kids for school-year socializing by arranging a couple of playdates with classmates and reminding them that they’ll be seeing their familiar school friends again soon.

Talk up the positives
Field trips, old friends, new classes, sporting events, after-school activities. There’s plenty to get fired up about! Remind your child and the enthusiasm will be contagious.

Sick of School-Literally
Nervousness over heading back to class can make kids feel sick. They may complain of stomachaches, headaches, nausea and dizziness, especially on Sunday evenings after feeling well all weekend. If you observe potential symptoms of stress as the start of school approaches, Dr. Hafeez  suggests having a candid conversation with your child. “Don’t just accept ‘fine’ if you ask your child, ‘How are you?’ or, ‘How was your day?’ Ask questions that can't be answered ‘yes or no,’ like, ‘How do you feel about going back to school?’ Then, let them talk, and don't try to fix what they say.”

When anxiety about school “masks” something else
Kids of any age who don’t want to go to school, or avoid it, may be doing so because of a specific issue beyond general anxiety, worry or depression, notes Dr. Hafeez.  “Children who are bullied or teased often become anxious about going to school, and if the problem is not addressed, the anxiety will continue along with a host of other problems,” she says. “Similarly, children who are avoiding school may be doing so because school is hard for them — school anxiety many times emerges just before a child is diagnosed with a learning difficulty.”

Sanam Hafeez Psy.D
New York State Licensed Neuropsychologist and School Psychologist 

Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a New York City based Neuro-psychologist and School Psychologist.  She is also the founder and director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C.  She is currently a teaching faculty member at Columbia University.

Dr. Hafeez graduated from Queens College, CUNY with a BA in psychology.  She then went on to earn her Master of Science in Psychology at Hofstra University.  Following that she stayed at Hofstra to receive her Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) She later completed her post-doctoral training in Neuropsychology and Developmental Pediatrics at Coney Island Hospital.

Dr. Hafeez’s provides neuropsychological educational and developmental evaluations in her practice.  She also works with children and adults who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…) In addition, Dr. Hafeez serves as a medical expert and expert witness by providing full evaluations and witness testimony to law firms and courts.

Dr. Hafeez immigrated to the United States from Pakistan when she was twelve years old.  She is fluent in English, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi (Pakistani and Indian languages.) She resides in Queens, New York with her husband and twin boys.