How To Pack For Your Family Stress Free

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Having just come back from a holiday I thought I would post an article about one aspect all parents dread prior to travelling; packing! Packing is one of the most stressful aspects of travelling with children. How many clothes do we have? Can they stay entertained with all the activities? Having everything in place so you have everything covered is the temptation - but this isn't always the best option! Holiday packing needn't be overwhelming. In case anything does go wrong, we've crafted some great tips for keeping stress levels low. Check out these family travel packing tips: Take Only What You Need, Don't Pack Too Much You probably won't because you are very unlikely to change your mind. Prepare everything you plan on packing, then take out half of what you planned on packing. Do not overpack - you are unlikely to wear everything you bring. Furthermore, if you are going somewhere with laundry facilities, why take along baggage you will not need? If there is anything you forget to bring, such as an extra T-shirt, just remember you can just purchase it on-site if you need it.

Get Your Children Involved 

As we understand, packing (or anything!) might take a little longer for young children, yet providing them with their own rucksacks in which they can accommodate their favourite toys and colouring books can make them feel more involved and useful. I know my children love their personalised T-shirts and I order theirs from Rarecustom. Be Aware Of Your Luggage Weight Allowances Before You Travel

Each airline clearly states its luggage size and weight limits. You may end up having to pay extra fees if you arrive with luggage that exceeds the carriers' limits even slightly. You can avoid surprises at the airport by double-checking your luggage before you leave. Of course, if you are travelling within your own country, you don’t need to worry as much about the weight of your bags. Make Sure There Is Some Extra Space

Your case is filled with a few spaces even though you packed light. Don't rush into filling them in! You may want to bring some souvenirs back home as gifts to friends and family, or even for yourself. Let them back in some space. Have A Spare Pair Of Childs Clothing In Your Carry-on 

The suitcase is not the place to store all of your child's clothes. It is not uncommon for accidents to happen and the only thing you are likely to need if they do is a spare set of clothing. A limited emergency kit including spare clothes, baby wipes, and some nappies if your baby uses them should always be kept in your hand luggage.

Pack Accessories

A single outfit can be transformed into several different looks by adding different accessories. Packing small accessories such as beads, hats, and scarves is easier than packing many outfits. As well as taking up less space! Pack Each Day Separate 

Whenever possible, pack an outfit a day for each child in individual ziplock bags. It is true that it may seem like more work, but it really saves you a lot of time and hassle when trying to put together outfits for all your family members, especially if your family is larger than average. Also, ziplock bags are also a great way to pack away dirty laundry without having to worry if it gets mixed up with any clothes you're going to bring back from your trip. Pack A Basic First Aid Kit

Being prepared for travel with children is always beneficial, so remember to pack a first aid kit that includes plasters, antiseptic cream, bug repellent, infant paracetamol suspension and child ibuprofen. Remember, it is always better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it. Pack Something The Kids Haven’t Seen Before

When your children start getting bored or restless, pull out a few new toys and games from your hand luggage. A few great ideas are card games, magic writing boards (they feature an easy-to-clean screen and a pen attached that won't roll away from the screen like regular pencils), reading books, and travel games. You won't have to worry about them taking up much space either. Make Sure Pack Appropriately

Unless you plan on hiking, you can leave the hiking boots at home if you do not plan on hiking. Additionally, look at the weather forecast before coming to your destination, and make sure that you are adequately equipped to cope with what you will encounter. Have a look at travel blogs before you go to help you pack more sustainable items on your family holiday if you would like more information on that. Always Plan Ahead 

Make a list of the things you need to do. It is always a good idea to keep a mobile device handy so that you can make a note. Make a list of things you need to do and email it to yourself. It doesn't matter what you do, do whatever you find works for you, and start as soon as possible. Even if you are very careful, you are almost guaranteed to forget or overlook something when packing at the last minute, especially if you are running behind a camera with excited kids hovering in the background. Don't wait until the last minute to start planning. Make sure you give it a try, you will be pleased with the results. 

This short guide should help you to pack for your family holiday easily and stress-free. Do you have any other tips that could help? Please share them in the comments below.

How To Raise An Environmentally Conscious Child

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Climate change is no longer something we can ignore. More and more people are adapting their lives to take control of their carbon footprint and to help protect the planet. Educating children about the significance of climate change is essential, and is a responsibility that falls on every parent. Introducing kids to environmentalism from an early age will teach them how to live their lives in harmony with the natural world. For some tips on where to start, take a look at the advice from an independent school in Surrey.

Be A Role Model
Simply talking to your child about climate change isn't enough. You need to advocate for environmentalism in your day-to-day life to set an example for them to follow. Expressing your own interest and enthusiasm will inspire them and will help to raise them in an environment where climate change is very much a part of the conversation. Try to live your life in an eco-friendly way and your child will adopt your good habits.

Get Into Nature
Talking about melting ice caps and temperature change can easily be lost on a small child. It's important to frame environmentalism in a way that caters to their level of understanding. Immerse your child in nature at every opportunity you have, and help them develop an affinity with the natural world. Explore local parks, collect leaves, feed ducks, put a bird feeder in your garden. Explain how important it is that we do what we can to look after the plants and wildlife you come across.

Make It Fun
Children are much more likely to show interest in things they find enjoyable. Make recycling into a game, perhaps using a scoreboard to add points whenever they put an item into the recycling bin. Get your hands dirty in the garden by planting a vegetable patch. Kids will love to get involved with the planting of seeds and will feel a sense of pride when they get to harvest something they have grown themselves.

Back To School Birthday Present Ideas From Wicked Uncle

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It's September, the kids are back to school, and life is becoming somewhat normal again. The past year or two has been difficult for everyone. It's a relief to have some normality, and structure back into our lives - especially for our children.

Seasoned parents know that with the start of the new school year comes the school party season - so many invites! Let me tell you, these kids have better social lives than I do. Noah has only been back at school for a week and has already been invited to two parties which he is so excited about. I find that as the children get older it's harder to find gifts that they'll like or something that they don't already have - this is where Wicked Uncle comes in.

Wicked Uncle is an online store that provides so much more than just toys. They have searched far and wide to find to put together a website jam-packed full of fun, unusual, quirky, educational, and different gift ideas for children. They thoroughly test every item before they list it on the website, they can gift wrap presents, send out handwritten cards, even email birthday reminders to you - making the life of every parent that much easier. With party season in full swing, I've decided to pick my top three gifts from the Cool Gifts for 9-Year-Old section.

Jellyfish Tank - Colour Chaning Mood Light - £18.95
This lamp is 24cm tall and is rounded to hold two amazingly lifelike jellyfish that swim around the tank. The LED's light up the tank changes colour and creates a relaxing feel to any room. 
This has Noah's name all over it as he aspires to be a marine biologist when he's older. I'm adding this to Noah's birthday list for sure.

Stinky Pig Game - £10.95
This is a pass the parcel game with a stinky twist - this pig hums and then trumps! You simply press his tummy, 
and he'll respond with a song. Roll the dice and then you are off. Pass him left, right or roll again, but do it quickly before he farts1 If you are holding the pig when he trumps you get a token, the player with the fewest tokens at the end wins! I can see this game going down a storm with most children Noah's age and for that price too - you can't go wrong!

6 in 1 Solar Recycler - £16.95
Last, but certainly not least - get children's brains engaged with this fun, eco-friendly, activity set. The six models are easy to build using old recycled items, various kit parts, including a solar panel, motor, and instructions. Kids will be amazed by recycling an old can of pop into a robot that actually walks! There is so much more to do but I don't want to give it all away. It's a fantastic way to introduce kids to solar power technology, recycling, green power all while encouraging them to use their minds, all while nurturing their imagination. It's another gift that I have got to purchase for Noah and his friends!

Please do take a look at the website because you will be blown away, just like I am. It's incredible having so many inspirational toys, and activities all in one place - items you wouldn't have known about. I feel well and truly inspired now when it comes to present giving this birthday season and I know you will be too.

Which toy do you like the sound of the most? 

Understanding Your Child’s Curriculum

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Curriculums – they change, they’re confusing and they’re really very important to your child’s future. Curriculums in the UK are standardised and known as The National Curriculum. The National Curriculum is broken up into 4 ‘key stages’ and children complete each key stage as they advance through their school years. Reception is not included in the key stages.

Key Stage 1
Key Stage 1 is taught to pupils aged between 5 and 7. This is when they are in years 1 and 2. When Year 2 is completed, all children sit their SATs (Standardised Assessment Tasks) which all children undertake nationally. These tests are designed to assess the academic ability of the child in the key subjects of maths and English. Only maths are English are tested. Parents receive copies of teacher assessments which are separate from the tests – parents can ask for the results of the test if they are interested. SATs are not like traditional examinations in that there is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’.

Key Stage 2
This is taught to children aged between 7 and 11 during years 3 to 6. At the completion of Year 6, all children take their SATs, and a lot of their final year at primary school is focused on underpinning previous years of education. Key Stage 2 SATs were redesigned in 2016 and became more challenging. These tests assess reading, maths, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. These tests are taken in May with results being available in July.

Key Stage 3
When children progress to secondary school, they begin with KS3, during Years 7 to 9 when they are 11 to 14 years of age. Key Stage 3’s curriculum covers core statutory subjects including religious education and sex education. There are no SATs at the completion of Key Stage 3 but rather formal teacher assessments.

Key Stage 4
Key Stage 4 is studied by children aged between 14 and 16 through years 10 to 11. The assessment for Key Stage 4 involves GCSEs and it’s only once this stage is completed that children can finally move on to study A Levels.

After Key Stage 4
A-Levels are not compulsory but children must continue to study in some way until they are 18. Whether that is via an apprenticeship or a traineeship or volunteering is up to the child. Some students opt for a combination of education and training whilst others choose to focus completely on education.

Talk with your child’s teachers
If you have any doubts or concerns about the way your child’s curriculum works, always raise them with teachers. This senior school in Surrey ensures all parents have plenty of opportunities to discuss curriculum concerns with the relevant staff and this is one of the best ways to help parents help their children. Your child’s experience can be greatly improved if you understand their goals and any difficulties they may encounter along the way.

Helping Your Child Become More Resilient

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When we’re stressed our body changes to allow us to think faster, be more alert and to be capable of handling what comes our way. If it’s not controlled properly, or if we are in a state of stress for a long time, it can cause us to become annoyed, angry and upset. These are the basics of understanding resilience, and even as adults there are times where we can fail to stand up for ourselves.

It doesn’t mean it’s not impossible, though, and through practice and developing thought processes we can continue to be resilient through many struggles. These are things that should also be taught to your children, and to do that we’ve put together a guide with this girls prep school to show you where to begin.

Show who already supports them
They’ll have a lot of family members around them who want to see them do well, so it’ll be a great way for them to know about what support they already have around them. A lot of a child’s development is reliant on their self-esteem, positivity and motivation around others, which is often influenced by who helps them around the home and who they know they can turn to.

Show them that it’s okay to ask for help A huge part of understanding resilience means that it’s knowing who to call on if you’re in trouble. As children we want to know that our parents can help us when we need them, and showing that it’s okay to ask for that help when they need it will give them a huge boost in confidence.

Encourage free playtime
Time for a child to have fun alone or with friends will give them the chance to manage their behaviour, cognitive functions and independence skills. Activities like playing in a sand pit, going to the park with friends, playing with their own toys or using memory games as practice will keep your child stimulated as they learn.

Do you have any tips you would like to share?

Historic Newspapers - Personalised Burnley FC Newspaper Book

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Father's Day is right around the corner - this year is flying by. I don't know about you but I really struggle when it comes to gifts for the men in my family. Thankfully, Historic Newspapers got in touch, suggesting one of their personalised Football history books to gift to someone special this Father's Day. I'd never seen their products before and thought, wow - what a unique idea!

Nick and I decided to order one of the football history books for his step-dad who is a huge Burnley FC supporter. I know, I know - someone has to support them, haha. Ordering on the website was very quick and stress-free. I simply selected the book that I wanted to order, then personalised by typing the giftees name, and by adding a personal message.

You can also upload a photo, and select a certain cover which vary in price - it's great and as I've already mentioned, very easy to do. The A4 leatherette with colour pages - £39.99, A3 brown leatherette with colour pages - £44.99, and last but not least the A3 luxury black leather, with colour pages, and free embossing - £59.99. There are additional extras too such as embossing, or gift boxes for £5 each.

This personalised Burnley FC history book is a must-have for all Clarets. The history starts in 1913, and the earliest newspaper reports are so fascinating - it's like stepping back in time. It's great to learn about some of the teams most memorable matches, and key players. Having all these newspaper clippings in one book is so special - it's quite incredible to flick through and watch the clubs history unfold before your very eyes. I have to say, seeing Sean Dyche at the end really made me smile! 

I can't recommend this book enough - it's going to be a gift that is enjoyed for many, many years. 
Nick's stepdad is going to be made up with this incredible, and thoughtful gift. Visit the website to take a look at Historic Newspapers full range of football history books.

Would someone in your family like a football history book? What team do they support?