Saturday, 31 December 2016

Free New Years Printables

Here is a great printable New Years pack full of educational activities to print off for the little ones:
New Years bingo is a great activity for the family:

Friday, 30 December 2016

Kids Are Interested in Plastic Surgery & How Parents Can Handle This

Some adults might deal with body image concerns, but you may not think young children experience this. The sad truth is that this is drastically changing. Recent surveys around the world, including one in the
UK, found that kids as young as three years of age are worried about their bodies and image. This is the reason why kids are becoming interested in plastic surgery, but the question boils down to whether a parent should allow it or not.

What Drives Kids to Plastic Surgery?

There are many factors that might lead children to plastic surgery like the following:

  • Media promoting unrealistic beauty goals
  • Peers may be bullying a child
  • Not highlighting a child's good features or skills, which could build self-esteem
You can do something about these issues to help ensure that your child does not seek out such a drastic solution.

Why Should a Child's Body Image be Taken Seriously?

It is easy to dismiss your child's body image issues as a phase or something that your child will simply outgrow. Sure, many children outgrow their body image issues, but that does not mean this is promised.

A disturbing study shows that kids with body image problems have a higher risk of becoming depressed, anxious, and suicidal. All of these outcomes are serious, making it important that parents take action.

Taking Action

You can have honest conversations with your children regarding their image, or have your children visit a trained psychologist should your child's issues require one.

A parent can also get involved in a child's physical growth. This could mean going to the gym together or taking up similar activities that might boost your child's body image.

Understanding Underage Plastic Surgery

The truth is that you can try to discourage your child from wanting plastic surgery, but it may not help. It is good to know the kind of surgery that your child is interested in, as it may help focus on the underlying issue. The following are just some of the most common surgeries that kids are interesting in, according to the professionals :

  • Liposuction, which helps reduce fat
  • Breast adjustments, which could mean that your child wants to go bigger or smaller
  • Rhinoplasty, meaning that your child is unhappy with his or her nose
  • Genioplasty to reshape the chin
  • Otoplasty to reshape the ears

You should keep in mind that your child is particularly vulnerable at this stage in development. Children have an unyielding desire to fit in more than adults. Valuing your own uniqueness is something that usually happens when you mature, which is the reason why most children lack this virtue.

A child that does want to get the procedure needs to understand what it means. For one, the changes made today might affect
your child later on in life. You should talk to the plastic surgeon to find out how the changes might affect your child in the future.

You should remember that your child's mental health and capabilities will be evaluated before surgery is allowed. Of course, some children do not pass this evaluation and still get the procedure because the parents allow it. Keep in mind that you are given the right to opt for the procedure only if you prove that you are acting in your child's best interest.

There is no doubt that this is a heavy subject to tackle and one that brings up a lot of ethical questions. The key is to be open, and learn how to talk to your children so that you are always aware of your child's thoughts and feelings.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

How to Host a Fundraiser for Your Child’s School

Fundraising can be a major part of building a successful and supportive learning environment for your child at school. Not only does it help provide learning materials for your child, but it also teaches them about community and working together to meet a goal.

As a parent, you may get tired of the same fundraisers of selling candy bars or coupon books, so what can you do to help bring a more creative fundraiser to your child’s school?

The Basics of Organizing a Successful Fundraiser

The biggest part of organizing a fundraiser is gathering a team of supportive parents who want to help their school so their children benefit as well. Before you start asking around, though, you need a solid plan in place.
You should have a plan that specifies how the money will be spent and what the result will be. If you are raising money for a playground, for instance, have a rough sketch of your team’s vision for donors to look at.

After that, it’s time to get organized. Have calendars and a system to keep track of donations as they come in as well as any other finance opportunities and important deadlines. Next, gather a team to help the fundraiser project and assign responsibilities so no one feels overwhelmed.

Have an account where all the money goes and be sure you are tracking it so you know at any point how close you are to your goal. If you have a fundraiser that will last more than a month, be sure you have a list of donors and interested parties to email to keep them updated on how the fundraising efforts are going. Set up a display inside your school so parents can see your efforts and even donate to the goal if they choose.

Fundraising Ideas

You’re also going to need a creative approach to raise money if you don’t want to sell candy bars. Here are a few ideas you can do instead:  

1. Parent Parties
This non-traditional approach to fundraising brings the fun back to it all and encourages parents to connect and build relationships outside of school. The way it works is that a volunteer hosts a dinner or similar event in their home and other parents purchase tickets to the event.

The money raised from the ticket sales goes to the school. Sometimes, a local restaurant may even donate the food and beverage component, so the cost of the event can be minimal to nothing.

2. School Garage Sale
A garage sale is a great way to raise some money without costing much to put it together.

You could volunteer to help organize the event or to be helping hands on the day of the sale. Each family could donate items, and all the proceeds would go to the school. Any remaining items that didn’t sell could be donated to a local charity.

3. Sponsored Read-a-Thons
Read-a-thons are a lot of fun because they encourage a love of reading and get family and friends involved in what children are doing at school.

A child asks people they know to sponsor them during a certain time frame, and the sponsor donates a certain amount of money per book that the child reads. This is a great option because outside of organizing the fundraiser and collecting the funds, the effort is minimal.

By letting your child know what they are raising the money for, they may be even more encouraged to read to raise more money for their school. Either way, getting kids away from the television and into a good book is always a win.

4. School Auction
Have an auction at school, and the items people bid on can be services or products various parents and businesses donate. All of the proceeds go to the school, and the person who wins the auction feels like their money went to a good cause — and they receive something for their donation, too.

In addition to raising money for the school, this is also a great way to make the community aware of what everyone specializes in.

Using the Funds for a Good Cause

Remember, it’s a good idea to start a fundraiser with a specific project or cause in mind. If you want to raise money for new school books for next year, for instance, make that your purpose.

For some schools, it’s a good idea to raise funds to build a better playground, while others may focus on getting Smart Boards and computers for the classroom. A new playground can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000, so fundraisers are usually necessary for its construction.

Parents and donors often identify with fundraisers and are more likely to give when they know where their money goes — and as long as the money will help the students, you can’t go wrong in your fundraising purpose.

How To Select The Right Dentist For Your Child

If you're like most parents, you care about your child's dental health. As such, you want to be sure that you can find the ideal dentist for your young girl or boy. If you fail to complete the selection process carefully, you could wind up choosing an individual who adversely impacts their oral hygiene or simply leaves them feeling scared and uncomfortable during the appointment. With these realities in mind, it's important that you complete the review process carefully to ensure that you locate a dentist who is "a good fit" for your child. Learn more about how to make it happen by referring to the information found in the quick reference guide that appears below:

How To Find The Right Pediatric Dentist

When you begin looking for the right dentist for your child, remember that offering excellent pediatric care requires specialized training and sensitivity. Also remember that you should never simply send the child to your dentist unless she or he specializes in the pediatric sector.

Meet with Potential Candidates

Once you have located a sydney dental clinic that offers pediatric dentistry services, it's time to meet with them.  Make sure that you bring your young girl or boy to the meeting. Remember that the meeting is a basic consultation and should not involve any dental work. During this time, you're simply attempting to determine whether the dentist is qualified and can maintain the type of good rapport with your child that keeps her or him comfortable during check-ups. As the consultation unfolds, pay attention to how your child and the dentist interface. The ideal dentist will have an amicable disposition that helps the child relax. If you come across a dentist with a cold or otherwise off-putting demeanor, do not do business with them. And as noted by Colgate, simply getting a bad feeling about a dentist is enough to cross them off the list.

As you consult with the dentist, try to determine whether she or he will be a good educator. Specifically, the dentist should be able to provide your child with tips regarding how to care for their teeth properly. Additionally, the pediatric professional should communicate information regarding dental hygiene to your child clearly and effectively. Keep in mind that the dentist is not the sole oral hygiene educator. You should also provide your child with key information regarding how to keep her or his teeth in excellent condition. Articles like "Oral Health Tips For Parents Of Young Children" will provide you with simple tools and techniques you can use to help your child care for their teeth properly.

Observe the Clinic Environment

As you complete your dental consultations, make sure that you carefully observe the clinic environment. One area you'll want to consider is the waiting room. It should be full of kid-friendly magazines and toys. Also pay attention to the examination rooms. These areas should have equipment and chairs suitable for children. Your child should never be intimidated by the idea of having to sit in an oversized dental chair designed for adults. Also pay attention to the office staff. These individuals should be amicable and warm when interfacing with you and your young boy or girl.

Getting major treatment like braces can be stressful so having a comfortable environment is important. Your child will learn many new treatments and skills when they have extended treatment and they will be given the opportunity to achieve new independence as well. With braces come all sorts of issues, and soon they will even learn how to cut braces wire at home.

Talk With Your Child

Once you complete the consultation, make sure that you speak with the child. After you've reviewed your notes and thought critically about which dentists you prefer, ask your daughter or son if they had any favorites. Remember that whether your child likes the pediatric professional is even more important than the dentist leaving a favorable impression in your mind.

Don't Delay: Find The Perfect Dentist For Your Child Today!

If you're serious about finding the right dentist for your child, know that you can realize the goal. You can use some or all of the strategies outlined above to ensure that your children obtains the excellent, interactive pediatric care that they deserve.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Plasmart Watermelon Ball

Get your UNDERWATER game on!

The Watermelon Ball is neutrally buoyant and looks, feels, and behaves like a real watermelon in water!
You can dribble, kick, pass and easily intercept the Watermelon Ball - even under water! Play Watermelon Ball versions of basketball, soccer, keep-away and more! Pass up to 10 feet underwater and even bounce the Watermelon Ball off pool walls for trick passes and winning moves!

Visit Plasmart for more information and amazing products! Also follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Check out this video to see the Watermelon Ball in action!

I can see this as a great gift to give the kids if your staying at a hotel with a pool this year. You don't always have to have sunny weather to enjoy a good game of Watermelon Ball!

Maximum Ride Review


Epic Sci-Fi Adventure Arrives on DVD December 6, 2016
            TORONTO, Ont. – Based on the phenomenal bestselling book series by acclaimed author James Patterson, MAXIMUM RIDE takes flight on DVD December 6, 2016 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  Patterson’s book series spent 144 weeks on the New York Times best seller list, has sold over 20 million books worldwide, and has spawned 11 Manga comics.  The film brings to life the extraordinary journey of six DNA-enhanced young orphans with the ability to fly who are on a mission to rescue the youngest of their flock while discovering the diabolical, scientific secrets of how they came to exist.  Their leader is Max, wise beyond her years, who must summon all her courage and acumen to outmaneuver the brutal half-human/half-wolf creations known as “Erasers”, confront her own inner demons and ultimately face a stunning betrayal.
           MAXIMUM RIDE boasts a sensational cast of up-and-coming talent including digital influencers such as Allie Marie Evans (Vanity), Patrick Johnson (Mean Girls 2), Lyliana Wray (Girl Missing), Luke Gregory Crosby, Gavin Lewis (OMG!, Just Jacques), Tetona Jackson (Stolen from Suburbia), Zayne Emory (Crazy, Stupid, Love), Carrie Wampler (Austin & Ally) and Peter O’Brien (Neighbours).

            The MAXIMUM RIDE DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with English 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English, French and Spanish subtitles. Studio71 and J.P. Entertainment present “Maximum Ride.”  Starring Allie Marie Evans, Patrick Johnson, Lyliana Wray, Luke Gregory Crosby, Gavin Lewis, Tetona Jackson, Zayne Emory, Carrie Wampler and Peter O’Brien. Casting director Chelsea Ellis Bloch, C.S.A. Edited by Joel Griffen. Director of photography Ed Wu.  Music by Bowie Dinkel and Kelvin Pimont.  Executive producers Andrew Reyes, Carrie Morrow, Leopoldo Gout, Bill Robinson, Jenna Marbles and James Patterson.  Produced by Gary Binkow and Amee Dolleman. Casting director Chelsea Ellis Bloch, C.S.A.  Based on the novel by James Patterson.  Written by Angelique Hanus and Jesse Spears.  Directed by Jay Martin.
About Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.  PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, consumer products, and digital content for audiences in 180 countries and territories.  The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment and transactional digital distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles.  PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and transactional distribution across worldwide digital distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies. 

Friday, 23 December 2016

Wait! What You Need To Do Before You Move Your Family Into A New Home

When we get the keys to a new home, it’s easy to want to move everything in straight away. After all, you can’t wait to make your new home perfect for your family. However, it’s so important that you do a few things in the home before the kids arrive. Otherwise, their health could potentially get put in jeopardy. Therefore, here are some things you must do before you move your family into a new home.


Check for damp and mold

You would hope that any issues in the property would have been spotted when you had your survey. But it’s easy for things to be missed; especially if you go for a simple survey. Therefore, it’s so important that you do a thorough search yourself when you get the keys to your new home. You need to look out for any signs of damp or mold in your home. Peeling wallpaper, damp walls, and a musty smell are all signs of damp. Therefore, if you do see any of these, it’s best to get a specialist to come out to your home. They will be able to remove any mold and help you to find ways to reduce the damp. For example, it might be caused by a leaky pipe in your home. Therefore, this will need to be fixed before you move your family into the property.

Clean the carpets

Although you would have hoped the previous owners would clean the carpets, it’s not always a deep clean. And there might still be dirt and dust which could harm your kids. It can be particularly dangerous if one of your family suffers from allergies. Therefore, before you move your family into the home, you should make sure you give the carpets a thorough clean. It will ensure you start the time in the new house clean and fresh. After all, it can be harder to reach particular areas once you have furniture in the home. If you don’t have time to give it a good clean, you might want to consider hiring a company like Surfside Carpet. They will give it a thorough clean and ensure it’s ready for your family to move in!

Vacuum Cleaner, Carpet Cleaner, Housework, Housekeeping

Make sure you cover all sockets

If you have little ones, you will know how much they love to touch things like plug sockets which can put them at risk. And that’s why when you move into your new home, you will have to ensure these are all covered before you let your little one’s loose. After all, if they have never had a child before, they might not have anything on there at the moment. Therefore, go around the property and make sure there is nothing that will see your child get into harm's way. Also, you should check that there are no random wires around. After all, you don’t want to put your family at risk of an electrical shock. You can also read this article for further help toddler-proofing your home!

And remember to give the kitchen a thorough clean before you begin cooking in there. After all, you don’t want to use an oven which has old food inside!

The Ghost of Home Maintenance Future: What You Need To Know

The chores list just keeps growing, and you just keep pretending it doesn't exist.

Hey - no judgement here! We've all done it. We know there is a long, seemingly endless list of things we've been meaning to do - but, well, Netflix exists? So why not just watch some more Netflix? There's always better things to do than the things we have to. It's like being back at school, ordered around and our energy demanded in certain areas - only this time, it comes internally.

Home maintenance is one of those things that goes on the to-do list. We think of all the things we should do. We tour around our home looking at all the things we should do. And then we say... no, not today. We punt it off into the forgettable tomorrow; a tomorrow which, of course, will involve us moving it to the next day.

So remember how I said no judgement? Don't worry, I meant it - this is a sin humanity as a whole is guilty of. However, I'm going to take the role of the Ghost of Christmas Future in A Christmas Carol. If you fail to…

... Clean Out Your Gutters

The water builds and builds. It's heavier with every rain shower, and then finally, something has to give. The whole guttering falls off and takes roof tiles with it. Now it's not just an annoying chore for an afternoon; it's a complete disaster that is going to rinse your home insurance to pay for.

How Often Should You Clean Them? Once per week, potentially more during fall.

... Clean Pans Out Before Washing

This applies to both if you're washing them by hand or with a dishwasher. It's even worse if you do it with fatty, oily remnants on pans - washing that down the plughole is a recipe for a nightmare. The kind of nightmare that results in your having to find out how to fix a blocked sink in the middle of the night when you should be in bed.

What Should You Tip Down The Sink? Nothing but pure liquids. Anything remotely thicker should be disposed of in the trash.

... Deal With Limescale Issues

Limescale is the result of mineral deposits in your water - it's what makes cleaning a bathroom and kitchen difficult. If left unchecked, it will grow (so to speak; it's not alive) and build up along any areas with prolonged water exposure. It's been known to kill youthful washing machines and can cause havoc in terms of aesthetics with taps.

How Do You Get Rid of It? You need a specialist product, so get scanning labels. You'll see a lot of home remedies for limescale removal, but almost none of them are as effective as a special branded product.

So yes, you've got better things to do - or at least, things that you would rather be doing. But occasionally, you are going to need to settle to those maintenance tasks - the consequences of not doing so are far too plain to see.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

How to deal with the self-esteem pitfall after giving birth!

 The Instagram Effect: The Pressure of Perfection

Our relationship with social media is definitely a love/hate one. As much as we enjoy seeing what’s up with our friends and our favorite celebrities, its also takes a toll on our self-esteem. New moms see celebrities shedding baby weight within a few weeks; fitness models that further promote their tight abs, cellulite-free, stretchmark-free bodies. Then you have friends competing with one another… there’s Stephanie with her workout selfie, in yoga pants and sports bra, stroller jogging with the baby. She has 300 likes and 30 “Go girl!” comments. You still struggle to lose the muffin top and it’s been 6 months since you gave birth. It’s pressure!

Pregnancy, particularly the first one, can leave some women’s bodies virtually unrecognizable, and the attitude that women have to look perfect during and immediately after it, is widely perpetuated by celebrities and #instagramfamous new mommies. “Seeing beautiful, “perfect” women all over their newsfeeds can create serious self-esteem and anxiety issues in new mothers,” says New York City neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez Psy.D, professor at Columbia University. “After pregnancy, hormones are still raging, the woman is going through a roller coaster of feelings and adjusting to a whole new lifestyle; the added pressure to look perfect right away can be very emotionally disruptive,” she adds.

It’s common for women to become concerned that their partner will no longer find them attractive compared to the girls on their own newsfeeds. “While a little insecurity is normal, fretting over keeping your partner’s attention is counter productive,” says Hafeez. “You should focus on feeling healthy and strong again, and especially bonding with your partner and your child. The feel good chemicals your brain releases while making a connection with your new baby and adjusting to life as a family will boost your mood and stave off bad feelings.”

Some new moms might be motivated to “fix” their new body with surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons the demand for “Mommy Makeovers” has grown dramatically over the past 10 years; the most popular procedures, breast lifts and tummy tucks, have increased by 70% and 85% respectively. These surgery packages aim to combine a number of procedures in one surgery with one recovery period, meaning a woman can choose to undergo a breast lift, lipo and tummy tuck in one go.  

These packages can also include reconstructive surgeries, different from cosmetic surgeries in that they seek to improve the function of the body, rather than alter it for aesthetic purposes. The most popular is vaginoplasty, which tightens the vagina, and some say even heightens sensitivity. Since 2010 interest in vaginoplasty has increased by 45%, possibly more according to various reports.

However, choosing plastic surgery to bounce back should be carefully considered. “Pregnancy and child birth are very traumatic for the body,” says North Carolina board certified plastic surgeon and best selling author Dr. John Zannis, “It is very important to give yourself a break.” Going under soon after pregnancy, especially for multiple procedures, is not recommended. The body needs time to heal and bounce back on it’s own, and depending on the age and individual metabolism of the woman, it will!

During pregnancy your organs move and grow. The uterus itself expands from the size of an orange to the size of a water melon and shrinks back to it’s normal size, but that process takes weeks or months, the main reason for your post baby belly. It takes some women as much as 2 years to fully bounce back. Many don’t give their body enough credit; it’s a natural machine and it knows what to do. You will lose about 12 pounds during delivery. Breastfeeding burns up to 500 calories a day and releases hormones that shrink your uterus. You need to give it time!

“If a new mom is set on getting any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, she should wait at least a year. This time period allows for the body to bounce back on its own, heal, regain its strength, and be ready to take the stress and trauma of invasive procedures,” advises Zannis.

“It’s also very important to remember that celebrities are human, but they are not “normal people”, they have a team of nutritionists, trainers, personal assistants, nannies; helping them and keeping them on a strict schedule, and a strict diet,” cautions Hafeez, “It’s unrealistic to expect yourself and your body to go back to supermodel shape in three months.”

“If a person lacks self esteem no amount of plastic surgery will satisfy them. This is when we see body dysmorphia and plastic surgery addiction. I encourage mothers to rejoice in that they are bringing life into the world and their over all health and well-being is most important for them and their baby. It’s great to want to lose the baby weight but set a realistic goal,” says Hafeez.

Many ad campaigns are in fact embracing different body types and a more realistic looking model is used. Some companies are even including real people and bloggers in their ads to show that 5’10” 118 pounds on a woman is not the norm. Don’t be so hard on yourself!