These sand art subscription boxes can be ordered and delivered straight to your door. The kit includes 6 bottles of coloured sand, 5 sand art pictures, a bag of picks to take the stickers off with and an instruction leaflet.
The sand art is easy to set up and so simple to use it even kept my girls busy for hours. On each of the cardboard pictures there is a layer of backing paper that has been laser cut for each element of the picture.
Using the pick tool you can peel off each little piece of backing paper to reveal the sticky card underneath. Then use the sand bottles to shake a bit of the coloured sand onto the sticky patch. You can then shake off the excess and repeat the process on the next piece of the picture.
These pictures are easy to do and my girls 8, 10 and 12 years old managed to get on and do them by themselves. Occasionally they asked for a bit of help when it came to removing a small piece of backing paper but apart from that they were able to get on with it by themselves.
I would advise doing the activity over a tray or if you don’t have one then the box that these are delivered in works great for keeping the extra sand in. There was plenty of sand for my girls to do all 6 pictures and we still have some left over in each bottle.
I would highly recommend these packs to anyone looking for a simple but fun activity for their children to enjoy. If your children let you, I would advise giving them a try yourself. They are great for adults too and a lovely calming activity to get the creative juices flowing.
The cards come in resealable packs that you can put the sand art back in and seal them up to keep safe after you have finished. I didn’t realise this until afterwards when my 8 year old had already ripped the pack to shreds. So I would advise opening them yourself to ensure you can use the packs afterwards.
Even with a tray you will still end up with a bit of sand and sticker backing over the floor and table but these are easy to sweep up and are worth the 5 mins of cleaning up for the few hours it kept my girls busy.
The smaller pictures have printed on the back messages that you can add your name to and then send on to someone as a gift. Great for giving to family members to cheer them up and let them know you are thinking of them.
You can order your sand art subscription box by contacting Stephanie on Facebook or Instagram –
The one thing lockdown has given us is extra time but are you making the most of it?
Why is it important to upskill!
We are heading into uncertain times especially when we come out of lockdown. It is likely the world will be different when we are allowed back to normality and the jobs we did before Covid-19 may not be the same or in the worst case exist at all. That is why it is so important to take this time and learn what we can to broaden our skill range and ensure we have the best chances coming out of this pandemic .
How to upskill while on lockdown!
When I say we should all be upskilling I am not saying you should go out and sign up to year long courses that are going to cost the earth. There are more ways to learn and develop our skill set without breaking the bank and if you are willing to spend a little bit of time investing in yourself you will be a lot better off.
1. Reading is an effective way to acquire knowledge and there are books for every subject imaginable with a wealth of information just waiting to be picked up and read. Books are generally inexpensive and with the birth of kindle you can order and start reading instantly.
Even if you don’t know what to learn about subjects like digital marketing or even motivation are topics that can benefit everyone in this age. After I was recommended it I recently read ‘The Subtle art of not giving a F**K’ and this was a brilliant book for motivation and learning to analyse what is important in your life.
2. Short courses are another great way to boost your skills during lockdown. I have found that Reed.co.uk has a database full of online short courses in a vast array of subjects some at amazingly low prices.
These are perfect for boosting your skill set. I have carried out courses in digital marketing, basic portuguse and I am currently doing a photography diploma. If you are just looking to do these to gain knowledge then you can find courses for peanuts but a lot of the cheap ones charge quite high fees to obtain a certificate after you have finished the course. So please make sure you check what the certificate price is and if you want to have the proof of doing the course then make sure you factor in this cost before signing up.
3. Social Media and the Internet is bursting full of knowledge all at the tip of our fingertips just waiting to be explored. You can find information on any subject you want on the internet. Experts will often give away a lot of free advice and tips on blogs and social media that can provide you with those all important learning opportunities. I read blogs and join social media groups specific to my interests all the time to grow my knowledge. I have learnt more about photography from social media groups than anywhere else.
Through a social media group I found a Facebook marketing course for £12 through Mums in Business Association that has provided me with so much information it was well worth the money spent.
4. Podcasts and online videos can be full of information and provide great learning opportunities. The benefit of these is that you can listen and learn whilst carrying out your household chores.
5. Trial and error is a great way to learn especially with the extra time we have been given with lockdown. This is probably one of the most important ways we can upskill and keep continually learning. We shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes but be prepared to learn from them.
I wanted to upskill my photography skills so I sat in the garden all day practicing taking pictures of bees using trial and error. I must have had 100’s of rubbish pictures but I finally learnt what settings I needed and ended up with pictures to be proud of.
Since I took a pledge to keep constantly investing in myself and upskilling my knowledge my life has changed dramatically and my confidence has boomed. In the space of 3 years I have built 2 websites from scratch without any prior knowledge, created a vibrant parenting blog and become an award winning children’s author.
Before I started upskilling myself I was just the girl with dyslexia that wasn’t that great at spelling and grammar. When I recently built a new website I went back and reread all of my previous blogs and I will be the first to say they were awful. My writing has evolved tenfold since then and all because I am constantly upskilling and never giving up.
So why not spend at least one evening a week investing in yourself and growing and upskilling your knowledge.
Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Beckie of Miss Digital Media check out the interview here https://www.missdigitalmedia.co.uk/brands-books-and-bios/ This is what Beckie has to say about my interview and her […]
You think you know it all until that charming little bundle of joy starts taking you through hell with all the demands you cannot meet and behaviour you cannot stand. Are you doing something wrong? Well, it’s time to adopt different parenting techniques.
This is what Beckie has to say about my interview and her page –
Beckie Sanderson owner of Miss Digital Media interviewed The Simple Mum about writing, blogging, building a brand, and publishing children’s books.
The purpose of the interview was to write an inspirational and informative guest post for Beckie’s Classroom Blog, to help other aspiring authors, bloggers and businesses with tips on how to create a brand, write a blog, publish a book and build an audience.
Check out Beckie’s Classroom Blog for helpful articles tips and advice on branding, design, online marketing, self-publishing, and more.
Beckie is always looking for other businesses to collaborate with! Please get in touch with her if you would like to contribute a guest post to this blog.
Miss Digital Media offers a variety of services to help businesses to boost their brands, publish books and promote their businesses.
Understand that they look up to you – they will follow in your footsteps.
The fallacy that raising kids gets easier should only be accepted if you’ve never done some birthing. Easier said than done! Nonetheless, that is why we are here – advise you on the best and most appropriate parenting techniques approved by psychologists, pediatrics, daycare nannies, and even teachers. These are approved methods that will also assist you in dealing with them as they reach their teen years and start understanding themselves and even deal with other people.
1. Positive Parenting Says No To Rewards
The mission with positive parenting techniques is to influence long term behavior. These are not quick fixes to your kid’s melodramatic episodes. You thus have to toughen up as you bring out the character you desire to see in them. The problem with rewarding kids to achieve certain things is that they will always expect something for what they do. If this was how life in the real world was, then it probably wouldn’t be such a slippery slope to try this on your kids, would it!
2. Positive Parenting Techniques Addresses the Cause
You want to be wiser than they are as you read your kid. This is not that tender age when they would only express themselves through constant shrieks and cries, leaving you guessing what they really want. Now they are a bit ‘mature,’ and you want to develop mature and effective parenting techniques.
Take time to know them to know what they really want when they don’t know how to ask!
Don’t address the behavior directly – rather, seek to understand whatever is causing that behavior. If you’re watching them play and your phone rings and they start shouting all of a sudden not heeding your warning gaze, probably they were enjoying your attention, and someone wants to steal that!
3. Positive Parenting Techniques Offers Choices
First of all, make it pretty clear whatever you want to get done, whether they will have a memory book for chores or draw pictures to recall not to leave their shoes carelessly on the door. Then, give them alternatives instead of issuing the dos and don’ts commands.
4. Positive Parenting Techniques Are Consistent, Firm and Loving
Psychology is a full package of wisdom and love combined.
A routine has to be forged. Since the youngsters tend to love it their way or enjoy forgetting, parenting discipline techniques also ought to be constant. Sometimes, it might hurt you to keep them away from something or discipline them, but we never promised it’s going to be an easy ride!
5. Positive Parenting Techniques Uses Humor and Isn’t Perfect
You never laugh at your kiddo, you laugh along with them. You never make them feel worthless; you make them understand that a certain habit has no worth. Don’t aim for perfection. You’ll be discouraged way too early. Aim for small but sure steps that provide a notable change.
This life is not a race with anyone – do not compete to make your child turn into something you saw next door or on social media. They have their journey to take, and as they grow, you may see them depart from some things you’ve held on dearly to. Just be patient with them as they grow and learn how to express themselves.
Do you think positive parenting techniques work? Why or why not? Leave a comment!
Amalia Liberman is a wife and a mother of two as well as a novelist and writer, the author has been featured in Women’s Health magazine and also written different articles in lifestyle magazines. Her passions lead her to search out knowledge with all her searching and she doesn’t mind sharing her findings.
The Love/Hate science experiment is a great experiment that all children and adults should do and the results are astonishing and will teach a lot about the affects of love/positivity and hate/negativity. When my partner Dino heard about this experiment we just had to try it for ourselves to see if the effects were really true.
Equipment that you need
2 Clear pots (we used washed up yogurts pots
Label your two pots one as Love the other as Hate and put a little bit of cooked rice in both pots about a tablespoon in each should do.
Every day you need to talk to the pots of rice, the love pot you need to say nice things to and tell it you love it and the hate pot you need to be horrible to it and say that you hate it.
These pots are then left out on the side for the next week to see which pot gets mouldy first. Make sure you keep the pots next to each other when leaving them out so they are in the same environment and the test is then done fairly.
Even though it is only rice it still doesn’t feel right being mean to it. I found it quite hard and even my daughter turned around after telling the rice she hated it and said ‘that was the meanest thing I have said’. However this is an experiment that will teach them an important life lesson.
The rice in both pots is still looking like fresh cooked rice.
The rice has started to dry out and go a bit hard. It looks slightly harder in the hate pot but there is not that much difference at the moment.
The rice has dried out a lot in both pots, it clearly looks a lot more dried out in the Hate pot than the love pot but neither pot has any signs of mould.
There is a small spot of mould showing in the love pot of rice.
In the hate pot it is clear to see that there is a lot more mould.
The Love pot is starting to go mouldy and has one spot of mould on the rice.
The hate pot has clearly got a lot more mould in it than the love pot.
After 6 days the Love pot has a few spots here and there of mould.
After 6 days the hate pot of rice is almost completely mouldy.
I was sceptical that this experiment would work or that there would be any clear results but I am amazed by just how compelling the evidence from the experiment was.
It is clear to see from the evidence that the hate pot has suffered greatly from the hatred and negativity it was shown and at the end of the experiment the rice was almost completely covered in mould.
The love pot on the other hand has got hardly any mould showing the effects that love and positivity has.
If this is the effects that negativity and positivity have on a pot of rice imagine what they do to the human body. It just goes to show how important it is to always be kind to others and the power that love and kindness can have.
This is a great experiment to do with children it is easy to set up cheap to do but the results are compelling and it will teach children and important lesson on kindness.
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To celebrate VE day whilst we are still all in lockdown the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) charity has created their Tommy in the Window campaign which is to thank and celebrate our national heroes both past and present. They have arranged an array of festivities leading up to VE Day and on the day itself.
The RBLI are asking families to take part in the VE celebrations by placing a carefully designed statue of a first world war statue Tommy in their windows and to join in with some family fun activities they have arranged.
Here are some of the family fun activities that RBLI have put together as part of the VE day celebrations –
A children’s activity pack complete with activities from baking to a VE Day diary to a scavenger hunt that you can download here – :https://rbli.co.uk/veday75/
89 year old Former Royal Marine and WW2 veteran George Bradford has found memories of VE day which he shares; “VE Day itself… It was sunny. Everyone was celebrating and we were all going in and out of everybody’s houses. There were balloons and union flags everywhere. I think they even started street parties. We didn’t have all that many cakes but there were a few. Not a lot as there was still rationing. Everybody was out in the street. Nobody made you go to bed – not on that day.”
Lockdown is a hard time for us all and everyone is coping differently. I felt compelled to write this post after reading that the suicide rate has increased during lockdown which is just heartbreaking. To hear that people are feeling that down and isolated they feel that taking their own life is the only option is so sad and more needs to be done to reach out and help people feeling this way before it is too late.
Staying positive and trying to ride this out is great but it is not going to help you in the short term. It is not a good idea to base your current happiness on a thought for the future that is out of your control.
The best thing to do is take a minute to think about what small changes you can implement now to make life more bearable until the day arrives that we are allowed out again and to fulfil a normal life.
Here are some simple steps you can do now to try and help with your current mental health:
Let it out
First thing is let your emotions out and don’t try and ignore them. Having a good cry can help with this and release some stored up emotions.
It is also important to think about what made you feel like this in the first place and not just lockdown in general but what parts are you struggling with. Writing them down will help you to understand and have a better picture of the areas where you need to implement small changes.
Limit or cut out social media
If you are feeling down and struggling then seeing pictures plastered everywhere of everyone happy and enjoying lockdown is not going to help. We always seem to judge ourselves by what we see others doing especially over social media. However social media is very subjective and not an accurate outlook of how people really feel. By limiting or taking yourself off social media you will be taking away that unrealistic standard of which to judge yourself by.
Limit the news exposure
With all that is happening at the moment the media channels seem to be showing an endless cycle of bad news so watching constantly can make anyone feel sad. Watching too much of the news can be overwhelming and will cause you to feel sad and panicked by what is going on so limiting your exposure to it can help improve your mood.
Set a routine
Now this doesn’t have to be a military style routine but having some kind of routine will help put some structure to your days during lockdown. We keep the routine of doing an exercise video every morning. This isn’t always at the same time every day but Monday – Friday at some point in the morning we do the video all of us together. I try to then do homeschooling until 3pm (notice the word TRY as it is not always successful), even if home learning isn’t going well I still will do my best to not let them on their tablets to play until after 3pm. The other part of our routine is going for our daily walk after dinner everyday. As you can see this is a very relaxed routine but it helps massively to bring some structure to the day.
Find a Hobby
Finding and participating in a hobby will keep your mind occupied and off what is currently happening and will also lift your mood and help improve your mental health.
Drawing, painting, knitting or writing are all great activities to keep your mind occupied and will help lift your mood. I know this can be hard if you have young children but if you are really struggling with your mental health then there is no shame in leaving your children in front of the TV for a bit so you can take some time for yourself and do an activity that is going to help your mental health. Parenting can be hard especially during this current situation so if needed use the power of TV and electronics to create some time for yourself. Once you are feeling better you will be in a better frame of mind to help your children.
You could also take some time in the evening when the children are in bed to do a hobby that you enjoy even if just once a week instead of sitting down to watch TV. Being creative and achieving something will help boost your mood and improve your mental health.
I have spent a lot of time drawing, writing poems and stories which I could lose myself in for ages and completely forget for a while what is going on. Once I have finished writing or drawing I feel so much happier and calmer. I have put together a post of lockdown poems that others and I have written.
With the days all merging into one and us having no commitments to adhere to like work and school runs it is hard to keep the motivation going. Week by week the motivation is slipping further and further away. That is why making a short list everyday of things to do can help give you motivation. I put things like hover, clean bathroom, fold washing, on my list, things that normally I would just get on and do but with lockdown my motivation is slipping so writing them down helps. I find that having these little tasks written down that once I have completed them and tick them off the list it gives me a sense of achievement and a bit of motivation to take on other tasks that weren’t on the list. As well as cleaning my list also contains things like, get the children to draw a picture, drink more water, eat 2 pieces of fruit and other small things like this that can help make the day more positive when achieved.
If everything is getting too much for you then please reach out either to family, friends, mental health charities or there have even been lots of support groups set up to help others during lockdown. So many people are suffering from mental health issues at the moment so please don’t feel you have to suffer alone. The NHS have a list of helpline numbers you can call for help and advice.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
We have all been thrown into a situation that we were not ready for and have no control over when it will be over. No one was prepared or expected this and we are all trying to find ways to cope. I don’t think there is a parent or individual who has not struggled and found things hard at least once during lockdown.
If you do have a bad day where you feel down, homeschooling has been a flop, you have all eaten crap all day don’t feel guilty about it we all are having these days. Just try and make some small steps (maybe write a list of things to do, see above) that you can do to make the next day slightly better.
It is important that you take things easy and one step at a time making small changes to help with your mental health and well being.
If you are struggling with homeschooling you need to remember that teachers go through years of training to be able to do the task of teaching our little ones something we have not had so don’t feel guilty if your home lessons don’t always work out. Do take a look at my post. Please stop worrying about homeschooling your children.
Sultana scones are so tasty especially when freshly made and teamed with Jam and cream. They are great to make as they use limited ingredients and are quick and easy.
The hardest thing when making scones is then deciding if the Jam or Cream goes first!
For me it has to be Jam first as I feel I need to spread the jam but I dollop on the cream.
350g self-rasing flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
30g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 220c fan or 200c gas
Add the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and mix together
Add in the butter and with your fingers rub together until it looks like breadcrumbs
Stir in the sugar and sultanas to the mixture
Make a well and add in 175ml of milk and a tsp of vanilla extract to the mixture and stir quickly to combine.
When the mixture is combined, scatter some flour over a board and tip the mixture out on to it. Sprinkle a bit more flour over the dough and your hands and then start to give the dough a quick knead until it is smoother.
Flatten out your mixture till it is about 4 cm deep then use a 5cm cutter to cut out your scones. The first time we made these I didn’t have a cutter so I just ripped some balls of dough from the mixture and then flattened them down.
Place your scones on a baking tray and then brush the tops of the scones with a bit of milk
Bake for 10 – 15 mins until they are golden and have risen
Let them cool and then add in your Jam and Cream making the big decision of what goes in first.
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I love nothing more than to lose myself in a good book and given the chance I could spend hours reading.
My favourite type of books to read are non-fiction biographies, memoirs, travel and self-help books. I just love to read about other people’s journeys, their adventures and how they overcame problems and the fact that they are real inspires me more. I also like to see things from different peoples perspectives and with non-fiction books you will always learn something new.
Below are some of the books I have enjoyed reading and would recommend. Some of them you may have heard of and some are lesser known books by indie authors but are still very good reads.
You have probably all seen and heard about this book, it is one of the most compelling books that I have ever read. A true story, it is written about Lale who ended up in Auschwitz and was given the task of being the tattooist of Auschwitz. It shares his harrowing experience in the camp and what him and others had to do to survive. Despite all the hurt and sorrow he faced on a daily basis, love still managed to find a way to shine through and he met his beloved Gita. Even after he managed to get out of the camp his ordel wasn’t over.
This book had me both sad, happy and angry but it is truly amazing to read that through such an awful time how the prisoners came together and did what they could to lift each other spirits and support one another.
I have also read the follow on from this Clika’s Journey which again is a compelling story and is even more heartbreaking than The Tattooist of Auschwitz as you know what she went through before in Auschwitz so to then be imprisoned again is just astonishing. This book however is classed as a fiction novel as Cilka wasn’t around to tell her story so the author has done her best to research and get as much evidence as she could about her time after Auschwitz but did have to add bits and characters in so it is not classed as non-fiction.
If you had to leave home at 14 to be sent off to work as a scullery maid in a stately London townhouse working 13 hour days you would see this as a hardship but not little Mollie Brown. This book is her account of her time as a scullery maid for the gentry and although her life sounds tough she recalls her time in an upbeat and happy way sharing an insight into what life was like back then and the mischief she got up to.
I enjoyed reading this book, I love hearing about history first hand and how things were so much different back then and hearing the good and bad points from someone who was there.
Now I love travel books, I am not in a position to travel the world myself so reading others journeys and adventures is a close second. George is very funny and had me smiling and laughing throughout as he recalls his adventures around South America with his girlfriend Rachel. They get up to all sorts including wading through a swamp in a pair of borrowed puma trainers in search of annaconders after George had an oversight on the booking. As you can imagine Rachel wasn’t too happy about not having the proper wellies to go in search of a man eating snake in a swamp you can’t see the bottom of. Their adventures will have you laughing and enjoying a sense of wonder as they travel and get up to all sorts.
I have also gone on to read Not tonight Josephine and Free Country by George Manhood that are both equally as funny and good as Travels with Rachel. Not tonight Josephine is about George’s travels with his friend around America where they drive around and stay in their car again this is so funny and the adventures they get up to will have you gripped.
Free Country is just plain bonkers especially as you know it is a true story. It is how George and his friend travelled the length of the country without spending a penny and started off with only their boxer shorts. They had to beg for clothes, shoes and bikes and rely on people’s kindness throughout the whole trip.
This book is Lauren’s hilarious account of how she went traveling around the world on her own and all that went wrong for her. When you read her account she is the least likeliest person to go traveling on her own, she had debilitating anxiety and was battling an eating disorder but despite everything she followed through with her dream and you will see how travelling helps her to grow and overcomes her issues. She does hit a lot of bumps on the way and gets herself into some tricky situations however the book is written in an upbeat positive way that will have you laughing along.
This book is brilliant and really takes you into an unseen world of what happens behind the GP’s closed doors. All names have been changed including the GP’s but it really does give you an insight to what it is like to be a GP and what they face daily. It was a real eye opener and after reading the book it has given me a much greater respect for GP’s and what do.
This is such a great read and is so asstounding how Yossi managed to survive on his own with barely any provisions in the Jungle. After being separated from his friends in the Jungle with sheer luck and determination he managed to cling on to life and made it through. It is a gripping read that you find yourself willing him along to stay strong and survive and the fact that it is a completely true story of survival makes it so much more interesting.
This book has been made into a film starring Daniel Radclif although I have not seen the film so cannot comment if it is any good. From experience the films are never as good as the books.
Now I love the Part-Time working mummy. I think that she is fabulous and such a wonderful human being. I love following her on Facebook and reading her posts and how she helps so many people. When she bought out her book containing her life story I had to read it to find out more about this amazing woman. This book is a heartfelt read hearing about what she went through as both a child and adult and how it took her a lot of strength and courage to overcome and become the wonderful woman she is today.
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