How to Design Your Ideal Playroom

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Kids need space to play. Nobody would argue with that. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room you can turn into a playroom, that’s the absolute ideal and we have some expert tips. But not everyone has that much space to spare, and often it’s more practical to make a play area in either a living or bedroom. Whichever you’d like to create, these ideas will help you make a play space your kids can’t wait to get to.

Make it Accessible
Try to see the play area from your child’s point of view. Little people need things low down so they can reach them. It also helps when toys and activities are on show, so their interest is piqued just by looking. This strategy helps kids become more independent and make decisions for themselves. They don’t need you to reach something down or suggest activities before they start playing.

Low-level shelving to display play items or hooks and pegs they can easily reach feeds their imagination and enables them to follow their natural curiosity. Try and keep toys out of boxes, so they’re always visible and available. It encourages independent choice and decision-making.

Make it Fun
The decor is as important for children as it is for adults. You want to make a play area both exciting and inviting. A simple colour scheme works well, using nature-inspired colours or maybe sticking to a single shade or tone. Mural nursery wallpapers or removable stickers can make a feature or create a theme.

Plain walls make the artwork stand out, but that’s not to say you can’t use bold colours. Just use them wisely so as not to accidentally make the area feel cluttered or too busy. Add pops of colour with accessories such as floor cushions, play mats or soft furnishings. Things like themed wall decals, pictures, posters, and photographs all brighten up the walls. And chalkboards, colourful shelves, and peg boards appeal to a kid’s sense of fun. There are some nice playroom decorating ideas here.

Make room for Physical Activity
Since it’s not always practical for kids to play outside, they need some way to burn off energy. Try and include plenty of floor space, so they can run and jump, bounce, balance, and dance if they want to. Physical play is as important as quiet, thinking styles of play since moving around helps them develop their motor skills. If there’s room, you could include things like ball pits or tents and tunnels to play in. It’s also good to have room for playmats, so there’s space to lay out train tracks or stack blocks. These toys encourage problem-solving and independent thinking.

Make Quiet, Creative Areas
Child-sized furnishings offer somewhere to encourage more thoughtful activities like arts and crafts, reading, or a place to lay out a puzzle.

When there’s a table and chairs that are designed for toddlers, you can relax and not worry about them falling or knocking things over.

Make it Versatile and Flexible
As far as possible, try and include toys, activities and games that offer a range of different play styles. These could include toys for role play, such as pretend kitchens or tool benches. Or educational play such as colouring, alphabet and number games, or books to read.

It’s often helpful not to have too many toys or games available at the same time. It really is possible to have too much of a good thing, accidentally creating an overwhelming muddle instead of an exciting selection.

Instead of offering everything all the time, try rotating playthings depending on your child’s current interests. Things they haven’t seen for a while will seem new and fresh again, and as a busy parent, you’ll appreciate having an easier time keeping the playroom tidy.

Adopting just a couple of these playroom ideas will help you make a special area that engages your child’s attention in a positive, skill-building way. It’s a tried and trusted strategy in the Montessori play method. Kids play and learn naturally, having fun in a safe but stimulating environment.

How to Raise a Team Player

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We can all benefit from working and sharing our ideas with one another. Team working is a valuable trait to have, not just in a professional setting but also in everyday life as it teaches us how to deal with different characters and maintain harmony. Here are some tips that we’ve put together to help parents in raising a good team player.

Dealing with Confrontation

It’s likely that your child will meet others that they clash with and that’s normal. In life, not everyone will like you and that is another lesson in itself to explore. It’s okay to think differently and agree to disagree but it’s important to do so in a respectful way. This can be done by trying to see things from different points of view and having an open mind. Something which you can train by encouraging them to read and broaden their knowledge of the world around them.

Real World Practice

The best way to build any skill is through practice. Extra-curricular activities and sports clubs can give children the chance to work with other children and develop these skills. In sports, children must work towards a common goal and with the capabilities of their team.

How to Communicate

Communication is the key to team work. Everyone must chip in with their ideas and help one another out. Something that can’t be done without talking and communicating which is why you should encourage conversation at home. Push your child to come out of their comfort zone and encourage them to participate in conversations by asking for their thoughts and ideas.

Social Skills

You also need to be a sociable person when working in a team. Other than communication skills, interpersonal skills are needed. This is the ability to tailor your communication to various situations and people’s emotions. Something that can be worked on by helping children with their emotional intelligence.

Top Tips for Encouraging Your Child to Study at Home

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Studying consistently at home can make all of the difference where grades are concerned. It can help children to get to grips with what they’ve been taught in class and better prepare for their examinations instead of having to cram in the lead-up. Here’s some advice that we’ve put together to help parents with home education.

Understanding Why It’s important

You won’t get much out of your child if they aren’t interested. Education is the key to a successful future and not all have the same privilege and opportunities. Understanding why it’s important and where their studies can take them can motivate children to want to put in the work and study at home. To do that, you might want to explore the different career pathways, and discoveries that are being made across fields and try to understand their individual motivations.

A Set Schedule

To make sure that they’re up to date with their school work and are actually putting in the hours, you can create a study schedule to follow. Children thrive from routine, and this will help to create good habits for the future. You should bear in mind that there may also be ways that they’d like to spend their free time, and both come to a compromise so that it’s realistic, attainable, and doesn’t lead to burnout.

Incentives

Whether they enjoy them or not, the subjects that they do at school are compulsory, and completing homework for them is a requirement. This may take a little more convincing, using incentives and rewards. For example, you may award your child extra pocket money for completing their homework on time and to a good standard.

Sit with Them

If your child repeatedly forgets to hand in their homework and their teachers have expressed concern, it may be that they’re not understanding what they've been set. Sitting beside them whilst it's being completed can help you to make sure that it is actually getting done and gives you the chance to jump in and offer help where needed.

Teaching Your Toddler About Personal Hygiene

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Toddlers love to mess with things and put them in their mouths. While a little odd, there's actually a reason for this. It's a key part of their sensory-motor development and helps them to learn more about the objects that they come across as it helps them to work out how big, hard or soft something is and their shape. At the same time, it’s important that they are taught how to stay safe from germs and viruses that make us ill. Below is guidance that we’ve put together with the help of a nursery in London on how to teach toddlers about personal hygiene.

Washing Hands

Our hands go through a lot, especially when outside. Children come into contact with a whole range of elements like soil and creatures like bugs. They may not realise this and understand that they need to wash their hands. By showing them that their hands are “yucky”, you can help them to make a clear distinction between what’s clean and dirty. You can also wash your hands together when coming inside so that it becomes a habitual thing for them to do and you stop bacteria and germs from spreading.

Explain Why We Need to Wash

As well as forming healthy habits, children should also have some level of understanding as to why they are important. Germs are tiny, microscopic organisms that cause disease. They aren’t visible to the naked eye so unsuspectingly, children can ingest them and become ill. There are many children's books on germs to help you explain.

Dirty Places

It’s especially important that children take care of their hygiene after going to the bathroom and other not-so-clean places. When using the toilet there are a whole other range of cleanliness procedures to follow like how to clean up after themselves. Something that children will need to be taught as they are being potty trained and preparing for school.

5 Important Life Skills to Explore with Your Child

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As a parent, you want to see your child become independent and able to do things for themselves. To prepare them for the real world, there are 5 skills that are important to explore. Communication, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, numeracy, and critical thinking. Below we talk about them in more detail as well as how you can help your child to develop them.

Communication

Communication skills are a vital part of everyday life and we’re met with social situations all the time. Your child will likely encounter many situations where they need help from others or need to vocally express how they feel and their ideas. You can help them in this area by encouraging conversation at home. Speak to your child about how their day went and ask for their take on things.

Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another. Nothing worthwhile comes easily as they say and it’s likely that your child will come across a dilemma or two. Sometimes you have to stray away from what you know and think outside of the box to find more effective ways of doing things. You can help your child to do the same by encouraging them to consider new perspectives and posing questions that encourage them to think differently.

Critical Thinking

Developing critical thinking skills will ensure that your child makes the best decisions for themselves and does not take everything at face value.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is just as important as communication. It’s the way in which you say things that has the biggest impact sometimes and different situations call for different approaches to avoid causing offence or upset. It’s essentially having an understanding and awareness of others’ emotions and is something you can work on by talking about feelings - how they feel to those experiencing them and what they look like.

Numeracy

Numeracy is a basic skill that we all need to get around. We need it for everything from shopping to organising and prioritising time.

5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Horses

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Horses are one of the most gracious beings that have been a huge part of human lives all over the world for centuries. The relationship between humans and horses goes as back in time as approximately 6000 years ago. Some experts also say that the horse is the animal that changed human history.

Known for their incredible beauty, strength and many other qualities, horses have greatly improved human lives for the better, which brings us to the point of this article. Along with their marvellous physical abilities, we observed that there are many other social and behavioural lessons that we humans can learn from horses. Therefore, in this article, we’ve brought you a list of all the wonderful things we can learn from horses to make our lives better.

1. Responsibility

When in the wild, horses generally groom and take care of one another. However, of course, domestic horses can’t do that, but they need care on a regular basis. As a horse owner, you must know all the effort that goes into choosing the best horse clippers, clipping the horse regularly, feeding them on time, etc. This helps you learn how to be consistent and accountable, regardless of the situation in front of you. As a horse owner, you cannot compromise on horse care at all. No matter what happens, you’ve to do what you’ve to do. Making you a responsible person!

2. Alertness

Horses are always on the lookout for danger around them. Being absolutely alert about everything that happens in their surroundings is one of their strongest qualities. As prey animals, their very existence depends upon the ability to assess the possibility of danger around them and take the necessary action. Now, of course, when it comes to humans in the modern world, you don’t always have to worry about danger at every turn. However, it is always helpful to enhance your awareness in any given environment.

3. Grace and Tranquillity

A beautiful thing about horses is that they are probably one of the most gentle, sublime and majestic creatures in the world. Merely being in the presence of a horse often brings a great sense of tranquillity and peace to humans. Being as graceful and serene as a horse is what every human should aim for in life. While busy schedules and the constant stressors of life may get us in a fit of frenzy every so often, practising a tranquil existence makes life much better.

4. Behavioural Analysis

If there’s one thing that horses are brilliant at, it’s analysing the hidden intentions of a person through non-verbal communication. Horses have a great eye for body language and usually make most of their ‘fight or flight’ decisions based on their analysis of a person’s intention. Similarly, humans, as social beings are constantly surrounded by people who speak of one thing and proceed to do the other. However, while speech may not be a direct indicator of a person’s true intentions, body language often never lies. By learning how to see through people, you can make your social and professional life much more easier and beneficial for yourself.

5. Self Assurance

For the most part, horses are one of the most self-assured creatures in the animal kingdom. They’re often aware of their strengths and usually perform better when they’re treated the right way. Being around a horse comes with a lot of responsibility and effort right from the beginning of the relationship. Remaining confident, alert and in control throughout your time with the horse is key to your relationship with him. Not only does this helps you bring in a sense of assurance within yourself but also helps you be a generally more social and confident person.

Conclusion

Now that you know some of the most incredible life lessons that you can learn while taking care of a horse and from horses themselves, it’s time you work on them. Caring for a horse is a very serene and responsible experience and can teach you a number of lessons that can help you in life. However, you also need to remember that it is a very intricate and important job that may take up a lot of your time. Regardless, we hope that this article helped you find what you were looking for and that you have a great time with your horses.