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Tips&Tricks

Tips&Tricks

Surviving a plane flight with a toddler

As an expat family we have early accepted the fact that most of our holidays will be spent visiting family back in our home country, especially after we got a baby. My mom would kill us if she didn’t get the chance to see her granddaughter every couple of months. Sometimes I don’t have time to call her on video chat for two full days, and she is already ready to call the police to check on us. But that means that every few months we have to survive a plane flight with a toddler.

If you are actually one of the lucky ones that can actually choose where to go on holiday, check out our old blog post about planning a holiday with toddler. I will have to wait a little bit longer for that.

plane flight with a toddler

While she was a baby, she was a perfect travel companion. By the time plane lifted from a ground she was already fast asleep and she would stay like that almost until the end of the flight. Now, it is more difficult. She is more active and interested in everything that is happening around her, especially in other people. Stalker vibe is strong in her.

Plane flight with a toddler

  1. Always try booking a direct flight

Layover is already hard enough when travelling alone, but with a child can be a horrible experience. They are already nervous and confused, you want to make this experience as fast as possible. If you have to choose a connection flight, make sure that you have enough time between the flights so they can relax, have a meal and run around for a bit.

  • Don’t pack light when it comes their essentials

Always, but always bring enough pacifiers if your child is using it, and then bring some more. Usually, I always have at least one in my bag, but when travelling I pack backups everywhere. My bag? Check. Suitcase? Check? Diaper bag? Check. My husbands’ backpack? Check. The same thing goes for their favourite toy. Always pack a spare one unless you want to end up with an unhappy child. I don’t have to even tell you about spare clothes in their diaper bag. You know that they will have an accident the only time when you don’t bring a change of clothes.

  • Protect their ears during take-off and landing

In order to help them through pressure changes, you should make sure they are either sucking or chewing during the take-off and landing. You have few options, you can either breastfeed, give them a bottle of formula or breastmilk, Sippy cup, pacifier or even something to eat like a cracker or a cookie.

  • Organize the flights so they correspond to your child sleeping schedule

If you have this option definitely use it to make your life easier. This is the best way to make sure your flight goes as smoothly as possible. Your child will sleep happily during the flight and you can also get some downtime.

  • Bring entertainment

 You know what child likes the best, so make sure you pack enough of the toys that can keep them entertained if they decide they don’t want to sleep. For us the winners are the quiet books and drawing board or sketch pad.

Do you have any useful advice I can use on our next trip?

Tips&Tricks

How to survive washing your toddler’s hair

I don’t know what it is with toddlers and hair washing, but most of them consider it equal to murder. If you have one of those perfect toddlers that don’t scream murder the moment they realize it is time for dreadful hair washing, just keep on scrolling. You don’t want them to get some ideas. Just retreat quietly and don’t even mention to them that hair washing could be a problematic experience. If you are not one of those lucky parents, stay with me. We will think of something together.

How to survive washing your toddler's hair
Photo by kelly samuel on Pexels.com

You have a couple of strategies to survive washing your toddler’s hair.

  • Just don’t wash the hair.

First and the one my toddler prefers is to just forget about it. It is already been a week since last hair washing? Just sniff them, if they don’t smell bad you just bought yourself another week. Unfortunately, it is not a really effective solution as eventually, you will have to tackle the dragon, and it will be anything but calm and relaxing experience you wish for.

  • Involve them in the process.

What I have noticed with Emily is that she is more willing to cooperate if she has a choice, so we make bath time full-on immersive experience. She gets to choose the shampoo and the towel we will be using, which toys will join her during the bath time and even in which colour we will change the bathwater too.

You can even get them to practice hair washing on one of their dolls. Help them to wash the doll’s hair while you lead them through it and it might make them more comfortable when it is their turn.

  • Find out what is making them scream less.

Emily is willing to jump out from the bath head first if we dare to turn on the handheld shower. The moment she hears it she is an uncontrollable crying mess while if we try rinsing with a jug of water, she will cry just for a second and then continue to moan and whine.  The alternative is not ideal as she is still not happy to wash her hair, but it is making her less annoyed and more cooperative. Last time she even took a small cup and tried to rinse her own hair which is a win in my book.

Some kids also hate leaning the head back as they don’t feel safe, and they will be happier to lean forward. Just make sure you place a dry cloth over their eyes to make sure no water gets to their eyes. Hopefully, after a while they will learn this helps and they will hold it without any help.

  • Never let them leave the bath while they are still crying.

The most important thing you need to do is to make sure they associate bath time with fun time, if you allow them to leave the bath while they are still crying, they will always associate it with being unhappy. If they just make a fuss when washing their hair but love taking a bath, try to wash the hair at the beginning and then bring on the fun. Give them different cups to play with, rubber ducky or any other bath toy. If you want my suggestion, invest in Bath crayons. They were a complete game-changer. Now she will cry during the rinsing, but stop the moment she gets her hand on the bath crayons.

Hopefully, some of these tips will work for you also so you will finally be able to relax during the bath time, but if you have any suggestion please share it with us. We need all help we can get to survive this toddlerhood.

Tips&Tricks

HOW TO EFFICIENTLY WORK FROM HOME WITH KIDS

It’s that time of the year again! – Summer break vs. work from home with kids.

Just imagine; kids are playing, bubbles floating, fairy dust everywhere. Work is getting done, everybody is chilled. Guess what – it’s never going to happen and that’s fine.

Work from home with kids it’s hard. It’s a challenge to juggle both work and child care while you’re at home. Take deep breaths and try not to get frustrated if things don’t go the way you planned.  Well, how do you get work done when your kids are around? Giddy up and help yourself with our tips.

work from home with kids

Schedule your work hours around the kids

Kids will have major effect on your work schedule, causing you to change it from traditional working hours to flexible. It’s in a child’s nature to be curious and to engage in activities with their loved ones. So, how do you take care of your business without making them feel pushed out? Without a schedule, it might be really hard to do your chunk of work and you might end up feeling tense. This means scheduling out breakfast, lunch, naps, play time, outdoor time activities and screen time.

What about nice, family breakfast to start the day right? After that, you can carry out planned activities which your kids can do on their own. Staying nearby helps you supervise your little ones and get some work done.

Twinkle, twinkle little star

Try working while your kids are sleeping. That means waking up earlier in the morning or staying up later to work at night. Younger kids like to take naps so it’s jackpot time for you! Use that time wisely and only focus on your work (believe us, cleaning can wait).

Keep them entertained

A kid who is bored will constantly interrupt and bash into room while you’re working. Pinterest is full of magical ideas, according to the age of the children. To help you out, we suggest to hide some of your kid’s toys, and bring them out after a while. This will keep them from getting bored of them. Seeing those toys after a while will make them seem brand-new, interesting and fresh.

Give heads up to your colleagues

Having children at home when you work is not an easy task. Especially if you have business colleagues with whom you work closely and who depend on you. Agree on working hours with each other to avoid difficulties in dead lines and communication.

Ask for help

Hej lady, you might need a lifeboat! Get as much as help as you can. If you want to get a lot more things done in a shorter amount of time, consider asking family members or other trustworthy parents to take care of your child. Having in mind your self-care, take as many breaks as you need! If it gets rough, it might be a good idea to hire a babysitter.

Working from home with kids is tough. Don’t feel guilty when you need to pull out the TV or your phone and turn on something for them to watch. Give your best shot at sticking to the WHO recommendation for screen time, according to the age of a child. This gives you one hour of working without disruption. Choose content wisely and always monitor the situation.

You can get your work done and at the same time be home with your children. And remember: “It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos”.

Do you have to work from home with kids? Let us know in the comments how you’re hanging!

Share this article and help other parents.

Tips&Tricks

Preparing your children to do well in further education

These days it’s expected that our children continue their further education as much as possible. We all want our children to secure a degree or completing an apprenticeship because we know that it can substantially improve their child’s job opportunities. So, they start to get their children used to the idea that they will attend university, from an early age.

This is great because if your child knows that is likely to be the case they will be more motivated to do well at school and get good grades. But, there is far more you can do to prepare your children for further education.

Get them used to using the tools they will need to produce good work

Becoming a good academic writer is quite challenging. You have to learn quite a few additional skills, including how to use specialist tools and software. It makes sense to get your child used to them at an early stage. You could, for example, give them access to a free to use APA citation tool like this one to get them used to citing their sources whenever they write.

Very soon using this essential tool will become second nature to them. They will also get used to the fact that they need to carry out careful research and be prepared to demonstrate that they have done so. Getting into the habit of quoting their sources will also make them think more carefully about which ones they trust and how they structure what they write.
Also, get them some educational books so they can get familiar with the writing style.

Encourage them to set and follow a study schedule

Studies show that students who are highly organized do better than those that are not. They get more done and do so in a shorter period. At an early age get your children to set up a study schedule. You can easily find printable ones online, which they can then edit.

Make sure that they have enough time to relax

When setting up their study schedule with them, be sure to factor in enough time for them to take a break and relax. We all need time to decompress. It is all too easy to inadvertently push your children and yourself too hard.

Help them to prepare financially

Going onto further education is not cheap. The sooner you start saving for your child´s university or scholarship the better. If you can do so, open a college account for each of your children and put money into it regularly.

When they are old enough to understand, encourage your child to make a small contribution too. Doing so will engage them and help them to learn to prepare financially for their future.

Encourage them to share what they learn

Studies show that sharing what you are learning with others helps to crystalize things in your mind. This is the case regardless of what age you are.

Encouraging your children to help out by teaching others what they know is also a great way to build character. Plus, the fact that they have been doing so will look good on their university or apprenticeship application. Something that will make it more likely that your child will be able to fulfill their dream of continuing with their education.

Tips&Tricks

Gifts for your little ballerina – toys and presents that your little dancer will cherish

Twirling, spinning, balancing and feeling like you’re floating on air. Ballet is almost a right of passage for any little girl. Especially if she’s in love with all things pink, delicate and dance-themed. Ballet can help build confidence, improve posture and give them a sense of purpose, especially if they’re working towards a grade or a competition.

If your little ballet dancer has a birthday coming up, then finding them the right gift doesn’t have to be difficult, you’ll find a great range of toys for 6-year-old girls here, just click the link. But if you really want to make their birthday extra special, why not consider something that will complement their passion for ballet? Here we’ll take a look at toys and presents that your little dancer will cherish.

Some ballet slippers

Every little ballerina needs their own pair of slippers. You can get them handmade from a proper supplier to make them even more special. You’ll want a pair that will last long, look great and are super comfortable!

A trip to the ballet show

If your ballet dancer is a little older, than a trip to see a world-famous ballet production is a birthday present that they’ll never forget. If they’re a little on the young side to sit through 3 hours of dance, then consider taking them to see a local kids production. They’ll take lots of inspiration from seeing others dance.

Room décor

How about a little room makeover for their birthday? You’ll be amazed at the difference a few simple ballet-themed wall decals can make. You could paint their walls, add a rug, treat them to some ballet-themed bedding and create somewhere to hang all their precious ballet attire.

A ballerina musical jewellery box

Every ballerina needs somewhere to keep their most precious trinkets and jewellery, so what could be better than a ballerina musical jewellery box? Is there anything sweeter than a wind up musical box with a gorgeously detailed ballerina slowly turning? Your little one will love it.

School stuff

A new ballerina school bag, and stationery and notebooks. If your ballerina is of school age, then they’ll love these new dance-themed additions to their school day.

A new tutu

Every ballerina needs a tutu. Beautiful layers of silk, nylon or tulle, you’ll find a wide range of beautiful, handmade tutus online. Your little dancer will love showing it off at their next dance class.

Tips&Tricks

Top 10 Games How to Teach Kids to Communicate with Others

Many children are unable to gain essential communication skills because they spend more time on their smart devices and less time with their peers. As a parent, you can use several fun games to help your kid develop these skills and become more eloquent. 

Various issues may mean that your child has trouble picking up on essential communication skills. The common reasons are low self-esteem and the lack of interaction with other children. Fortunately, both of these can be tackled with a few communication skills games. 

Woman Playing With her Child

As a parent who is stuck wondering how to teach communication skills to your little ones, the following games will be helpful:

1. Conversation Ball

This game consists of discussing with your family, with the rule that the person holding the ball is the only one allowed to speak. It will teach your kids to listen to others without interrupting. 

2. 20 Questions Game

The 20 questions game will train kids to think critically and ask questions directly, as they’re expected to guess what’s on one of the participant’s minds by asking questions. 

3. Impromptu Speech

Get your kid to talk about something they love for about two minutes. As they grow older, introduce more challenging topics and have them give longer speeches to improve their ability to express their thoughts accurately. 

Girls on Desk Looking at Notebook

4. Identify the Object

In a group, blindfold one child, then have the others describe an object to him or her. The blindfolded kid is supposed to guess what the object is from the descriptions. 

5. Presentation

Have your kid write a poem about a particular topic. They should then recite it to the family to build their confidence in public speaking. You can keep the lyrics in your baby memory books to remind you of those fun moments. 

6. Picture Storytelling

Picture story selling is another game of teaching communication skills for kids. Bring a set of pictures then ask your child to arrange them to create a storyline. 

7. Scrabble

Scrabble is a board game that enriches your child’s vocabulary. It widens their knowledge of a language and makes them more confident when speaking. 

8. Dance Freeze

For communication skills activities for kids that work on listening skills, try the dance freeze game. Children should dance when the music is on and freeze when it stops.

Boys Playing With Building Blocks

9. Taboo

Taboo is a picture game, where there are cards with an image and three words below it. The kids are supposed to describe the object in the picture without using the three words. This game develops vocabulary and verbal expression. 

10. ‘Get to Know You’ Balloons

Have kids write questions on paper, put them in a balloon, and then blow it. The questions can be about topics such as their favorite pet. Let them play with the balloons, pick one, then burst it. Each child should answer the question that they get. This allows them to talk about themselves and learn how to communicate their feelings. 

Build Your Kids’ Communication Skills in Style 

Teaching children communication skills is fun when you use games. Make your child feel free to express their thoughts about things that affect them. When you show them that you’re ready to listen, they will open up more easily.

Let us know in the comments which communication games your kids enjoy the most. 

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.