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Children's Crafts and Activities Product Reviews

Sand Art Children’s Activity Subscription Box Review

We have been gifted this wonderful sand art subscription box from Stephanie Keeble, Kids Bee Happy Independent Consultant 

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 – 

Stephanie Keeble, Kids Bee Happy Independent Consultant – Facebook

Awesome.sand.creations – Instagram

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Why not also take a look at my other posts

Art is good for the soul (even if your not very good at it)

How to make decoupage hearts

How to make Hama Bead bowls

The Love/Hate Children’s science experiment

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Mental health & Wellbeing poems

Mental Health Awareness Week

A Poem for Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health will affect 1 in 4 of us, 

So raising awareness is a must. 

Nobody should feel they have to suffer alone, 

There is plenty of help at the end of the phone. 

Whether you have anxiety, feel lonely or stressed,

If you feel angry, have body issues or feel depressed, 

Pick up that phone and take the first step, 

Dial the number and speak to a mental health rep. 

Mental Health Helpline Numbers;

Anxiety UK;

Providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm)

Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

CALM;

This is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Mind;

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Website: www.mind.org.uk

Samaritans;

Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Website: www.samaritans.org.uk

Sane;

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers. 

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)

Young Minds;

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Website: www.youngminds.org.uk

For more information on Mental Health and contact number take a look at the NHS website.

Why not also take a look at my other post –

The benefits of Journaling for children and adults

Ways to help children improve their mental health

Small steps you can take to improve your mental health during lockdown

Self-care tips for busy parents

Cool that Volcano; A book of hope

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Business and Marketing Parenting Advice

Why you should be using this time to upskill

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.

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Guest Posts Parenting Advice

5 Positive Parenting Techniques Every Parent Should Know!

Photo Of Boy Standing Beside Mother

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.

Mother and Son in Kitchen

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

Hands, Holding, Embracing, Loving, Child, Girl

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.

Conclusion

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!

Author’s Bio:

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.

Picture sources –

  1. Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-boy-standing-beside-mother-3330709/  
  2. Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mother-and-son-in-kitchen-3730943/  
  3. Source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/hands-holding-embracing-loving-718559/   

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Why not also read my other posts –

Homeschooling Activities

Ways to help with Mental Health during lockdown

Lisa Norman’s guest blog on the birth of her son prematurely

Review of the educational Human Heroes App

A collection of lockdown poems

Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities Mental health & Wellbeing

The Love/Hate Science Experiment to show the effects of Kindness and Negativity

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
  • Cooked rice
  • 2 labels 
  • A pen

Method 

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 Experiment 

Day One

The rice in both pots is still looking like fresh cooked rice.

Day 2

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.

Day 3

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.

Day 4

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.

Day 5

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.

Day 6

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.

Conclusion

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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Order my children’s book Pete The Cheeky Parakeet – A lighthearted funny rhyming story with a great message about friendship and kindness for children aged 3-7 years old.

If you enjoyed reading my post why not take a look at my other post –

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Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.

Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities

VE Day Celebrations with The Royal British Legion

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 – 

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.” 

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Why not also read my other posts –

Poem for Captain Tom Moore

Lockdown poems

Poem for an amazing mum

Pete the Cheeky Parakeet! My journey to getting my first book published

Why I wrote The Book of Silly Rhymes and how it can help reluctant readers