Currently many children have been taught at home for the last 12 weeks so the thought of having the usual summer holidays start in a few weeks might seem a bit daunting. A lot of the activities we usually would do with our children during the summer may even still be under restrictions as we move into the summer months, so we’ve put our heads together to think of suggestions to keep our little ones occupied, no matter what age they are or what the weather is like.
1. We’re not a camping sort of family (I do like a comfy bed!) but we recently bought two small popup tents for the garden. We had a boys tent and a girls tent, and although it was a little chilly once it was dark, it was great fun. The boys used camp beds and sleeping bags in their tent, while our daughter and I used mattresses from their old toddler beds and our double duvet in ours. It wasn’t your traditional camping experience, but having croissants for breakfast outside made it as close as we needed.
2. We used the tents as little reading booths out of the sun for the next few days before putting them away. The children then realised they liked having a shelter in the garden, so with a few carefully positioned garden chairs, we used blankets to make a den. It looked quite Moroccan with an open side and a broom holding the door up, but they loved playing out there! It took a while to collect the building materials and a while longer to do the actual building, so all in all, it kept them busy for most of an afternoon! Obviously if the weather isn’t quite so lovely, using blankets and indoor chairs, even sofa cushions, can make an exciting fort den.
3. Embrace those Hama Beads! These classic little beads are great fun for little hands and big imaginations. Once the children have made their designs on the peg board, you carefully iron them to stick the beads together and once they are cool, you can use them to make fridge magnets, keyrings or other little plaques. We have quite a few coasters, and we have enjoyed making little hearts for friends during the lockdown. Making little gifts for friends and neighbours has helped the children remember that we all need support at this time.
This pandemic has changed so many aspects of our life, but one thing is certain, working as a team and enjoying our time together can keep us all happy. Regularly washing our hands and observing the various restrictive measures such as social distancing can help keep us safe.
We have more ideas for keeping both young and old entertained, so look out for our next blog post. Don’t forget to send us any of your suggestions or plans for the summer!
From BBQs to Roadside Picnics, we do love to eat outside, in fact, the best part of summer is being able to eat outside without freezing. Now our children are getting a little older, we’re getting a bit wiser when it comes to planning picnics, with the obvious benefit of them being able to help!
With that in mind, we have collated our favourite tips and tricks when preparing for your next picnic – having tested them all out thoroughly so far this summer!
1. Simple is best
You’ve heard it all before but keeping a picnic simple really is the best option. I have even been known to put everything in the hamper, and then play ‘Construct Your Own’ when we arrive at the designated picnic spot, picking up fresh bread on the way. Using an ice block (or even refrigerated small fruit juices) keeps sandwich fillings cool and salad crisp.
We recently had an even simpler picnic: we went for a bike ride, after reaching our destination we bought some food and sat on a village green to eat it, before cycling home.
2. Its all in the planning
While we have just said its best to keep it simple, a little bit of planning goes a long way.
– Keeping fruit juice cartons in the fridge save having to add extra ice blocks to the hamper.
– Baking snackable (yet non melting) puddings, such as fairy cakes or flapjack, means marginally less mess when eating.
– Prepare a little more for dinner today to use pop in the fridge and use on the picnic tomorrow.
– Keep small sachets of sugar, oil, salt and pepper so your drinks and salads are to your liking.
– And of course, keep your picnic blanket and thermos near or even in your hamper so you don’t have to search for it every time!
All this can be done beforehand so you can be Picnic Ready in no time!
3. Everywhere is suitable
Finding the ideal picnic spot is great if you know the area well. It can be harder once you’ve been walking for a little while and everyone is getting hungry. There are very few places that can’t be used for a picnic, however.
We sometimes play ‘Left, Right, Straight On’, where, as we get near a junction, the children must decide which way to go. We’ve discovered plenty of new picnic places this way. Don’t forget emergency clothes for riverside picnics and that our Bright Bots Training Pants do give you a few more moments when looking for a toilet!
Of course, sometimes its just not picnic weather. In that case, we spread out the blankets on the lounge floor and have an indoor picnic instead! We find a outdoor soundtrack and pretend we’re by a campfire, in a rainforest even or by the beach!
4. Think outside the box
I do love a well-structured picnic, but sometimes, a little bit of silliness is in order. Backwards Lunch is always a favourite, where we eat puddings first, then move on to savoury. Amazingly, they still eat everything!
Completely spontaneous picnics are also always fun, so I try to keep nuts and sweets in the car in case we want to stop, as well as a small kite to play with.
Relaxing picnics are also very enjoyable, and especially during the holidays, we try to read as many books as possible. A nice outdoor meal (even in the garden) followed by a few pages (or chapters for the older ones) sets you nicely for a run around afterwards!
5. Everybody join in!
Getting everyone involved makes getting picnic ready much quicker. The children collect the hamper and blanket, while the adults gather together food and drink. We all then pack any books, balls or toys (the frisbee lives in the hamper to save time!) – and we’re ready!
Working together before the picnic means we all enjoy the time together while we’re picnicking.
Do you have any tips, tricks or ideas for summer picnicking with young children? Let us know – we’ll be very happy to try them out!
Is it time to move on?
There are so many benefits to using cloth nappies with your baby: the reduced waste, the reduced cost, the gentleness on your babys skin and of course, the cuteness of a big fluffy bottom! At some point, though, you must move on from nappies and start toilet training with your child.
If the time is right, there are a several signs that your toddler is ready to start using the toilet or potty. If you already use cloth nappies, these will already be helping them become more aware the cause/effect of needing to go to the toilet.
How will I know?
Here are 8 indications that your child is ready to start potty training. If your child can do 3 of the following, it might be time to give potty training a go.
1. Your child can stay dry for at least two hours at a time or is dry after a daytime nap.
2. Your child tells you that wearing a wet nappy is uncomfortable, and that they need/want changing.
3. Your child asks if they can use the potty or the toilet.
4. You generally know when your child is likely to have a poo.
5. Your child asks to wear training pants or normal pants.
6. Your child can understand and follow simple instructions, like ‘bring me the wipes, please’.
7. Your child can use words to let you know they need a wee or a poo.
8. Your child can put on some of their clothes on without help (e.g. shorts or pull on skirt).
Obviously, there is no set time for starting or even completing the transition from nappy to pants, and it really isn’t something you can force. My son got the hang of it almost instantly and was dry just after his 2nd birthday, my daughter took considerably longer and still had the occasional leak age 4!
The main message is: If you start toilet training but it doesn’t go well, don’t panic. Leave it a while and try again. Just like walking, they will get the hang of it eventually!
Does it have to be stressful?
In a nutshell, no it doesn’t. Bear in mind that up to this point, your little one hasn’t had to think about when or where they go to the toilet. They now must concentrate and realise that the sensation they are feeling requires action.
Every minute counts on the run to the toilet (I once had to run across an airport when our first son said he needed the toilet before checking in!) so regularly checking with your child can help them become aware of when they start to need the toilet.
Bright Bots Training Pants incorporate a PUL layer to help protect from little accidents. Bright Bots are not designed for multiple accidents, they don’t absorb urine or keep the skin dry as nappies do, but the PUL layer will stop small leaks, avoiding a complete outfit change every time.
Contrary to disposable training pants, these Bright Bots training pants are washable, reusable and are shaped just like ‘grown up’ pants. With both a selection of colours and sizes, these training pants are great for potty training.
We will look at other ways to help smooth out the transition in the next few posts, so don’t forget to check back!
As your little one grows, their nutritional needs also develop. When they are first born, feeding babies is relatively simple. Milk fills all their needs, and very well too. Once children start to show an interest in other food, getting them in a good routine is important to help their future eating habits.
Eating together around a table as a family is a wonderful time to discuss the day and to strengthen bonds, giving children a sense of stability and connectivity as they grow.
Here are our favourite tips for getting off to a good start:
1. Plan together
Children are more likely to be invested in a meal if they have taken part in the planning. Obviously, this doesn’t work for very young children, but maybe getting older children on your side will help the younger ones try different dishes. Likewise, children love to help, so, with guidance, even little ones can break eggs or stir batters.
2. Set the table
Preparing the table before serving means you don’t spend the first 5 minutes of the meal jumping up and down to collect missing items. As children grow, they can help with this. We have a 5-minute warning on ‘Food Time’, during which the children must wash their hands and help set the table. It doesn’t always go to plan, but meals times run smoother when we all take a share.
3. Know your place
It might seem odd, but having your own space, your own chair at the table, helps us feel settled. It might not be our favourite spot around the table, but it does save arguments. We didn’t always have our own chair when I was little, and the rush for the ‘best’ spot invariably ending in someone being upset.
4. Help everyone join in
When everyone is sat around the table, chatting, children feel part of the group. Using a high chair or a MiniMonkey MiniChair brings even little ones up to the same level. Admittedly you’ll need to move items out of arms reach, but as your little one grows they will realise that you are all important members of the family.
5. Make time, take time
Meals are where we learn family and cultural values, we learn of likes and dislikes, and where, with the distraction of food, we can talk openly to each other about what is on our mind. From a very young age, showing our children the importance of spending time together, regularly, can make all the difference.
Do you eat as a family? Have you seen any benefits in your children? Do you have any suggestions? Let us know!
Starting school is a major step in growing up, both for little ones and for us as parents. Seeing your ‘baby’ go off to school is probably one of the most difficult things to cope with, other than when they grow out of your favourite baby outfit of course!
Everyone in the Daizy office are parents and we’ve asked around for some tips and tricks that helped make the transition a little easier. Here you have our favourite 6:
1. Be positive
In the run up to September, no matter how you are feeling inside, speak positively about school to your child. When you are looking for uniforms, shoes and bags, talk about how much they will learn and enjoy it, the new children to play with. If they have older siblings, talk about the fun that they had at school, how they learnt to read, the books they had etc. The work you put in now will help once they start school in September.
2. Label everything
Panicking about losing belongings was quite high on our list so label everything. Absolutely everything. With the average class size at 30 and everyone in uniform, there are bound to be a lot of similar sizes, which makes reuniting a lost shoe or jumper to its rightful owner trickier than usual. Labelling absolutely everything keeps the process simpler and means you don’t have to spend time rummaging around in the lost property box. When my son started school I even labelled his shoes (no mean feat!) as almost every boy in his class had the same style!
3. No valuables
Although you might want your little one to know what time it is, the chances of them coming home with their watch is quite slim. Likewise, they might want to take their favourite teddy, but can you imagine losing it?! Children put things down and forget about them, so keeping personal, valuable items to a minimum will help keep them safe – plus, again, it means you don’t have to spend 20 minutes trying to find their belongings at the end of school!
4. Bright Bots Training Pants
This might seem an odd addition to the list, however, quite a few parents said that although their little one was using the toilet without a problem at home, once they were concentrating in class they didn’t notice the urge until it was almost too late. Bright Bots training pants have a hidden waterproof layer which helps protect clothes and gives a few extra moments to run to the toilet.
5. Remember PE day
PE day is always fun, a chance to learn new sports and work as a team – but the problems start once everyone is back inside getting dressed. From fastening buttons on shirts to untangling legs and tights, the teachers really have their work cut out! Help both adult and child by sending your child in easy to put on clothing on PE day: polo shirt instead of shirt if possible, socks instead of tights etc. And obviously label absolutely everything!
6. Don’t hang around!
I think this one is the absolute hardest. Finding the line between making sure your little one is settled and leaving them in the capable hands of the teachers can be tricky. Some children are excited to learn (like our son) and others would just like another cuddle for confidence (our daughter).
Remember that each child is different but also that the teachers will have seen lot of children start school and will have a couple of their own tricks up their sleeve! Most say that once their parents have gone, the child concentrates on the activities with everyone else. Not to say that you shan’t go home and feel a bit quiet….
School is a big step but think of all the fun you’ll have reading together, playing together and working through tricky maths together in the future!
If you have any extra tips or tricks to share, please let us know!
Summer is a great time for spending time outdoors and exploring. With the weather as favourable as it has been the last few weeks, we’ve managed to tick a few more activities off National Trusts 50 Things list. These are our favourites for summer:
11 – Go on a really long bike ride
There are loads of cycle routes around the country, from purpose made tracks like The Five Pits Trail near Chesterfield to the countless towpaths along canals through towns and cities. We used The AA to find local routes, and because you can choose difficulty and length, you can tailor it to your youngest rider!
3 – Camp out in the wild
And by ‘wild’, we clearly mean, ‘in the garden’! A little adventure (but with nearby toilets and a kettle to keep everyone happy) is perfect for spicing up the school holidays! Starting it off with an evening barbecue and ending with breakfast by the tent makes it feel like a real holiday!
27 – Go stargazing
If you’re already camping out (see above) this one is an easy addition. Most of the famous constellations are visible and easy to point out, even with street lighting. This makes a great ‘calm down’ session before bedtime.
41 – Plant it, grow it, eat it
There are so many vegetables that are relatively quick and easy to grow in a garden. We currently have various vegetables growing pots in the conservatory (the chickens find them too alluring to have them outside) and different herbs in the garden (they don’t seem to like herbs that much, which is odd, but useful!). Our children love watering and harvesting the vegetables, they get very excited when something is ripe – what about yours?
48 – Learn to ride a horse
I’ll be honest, we’ve not done this one yet, though our daughter is desperate to learn! This school holiday might be when her dream comes true – there is nothing better than an autumnal hack, so we’ve got a few months to get ourselves sorted!
What about you? Have you managed to do many of the 50 Activities? If the weather stays fine, this school holiday could be the best yet! Let us know which your favourite summer activities are!
The dread of every parent of school age children is receiving the ‘Unwelcome Visitors at School’ letter. Research in the US shows that headlice are becoming increasingly resistant to over-the-counter treatments, which only causes more panic!
There are, however, several natural remedies which help keep your whole family nit-free. Do you use any of these?
1 – Tea Tree Oil
You know we already love this naturally antibacterial oil, so it should come as no surprise that its top of our list! Tea Tree oil is a natural insecticide, and being a similar consistency to other oil-based nit treatments, means that it both suffocates and repels lice.
How to use it:
Mix 1 teaspoon of concentrated tea tree oil with natural shampoo and coconut oil or olive oil. Regular use of tea tree hair treatments and shampoos may also help keep the hair nit-free throughout the term!
2 – Garlic
Garlic is great for repelling bugs (why do you think they eat so much of it in hotter countries?) so it makes sense that loading your hair up with it would help get rid of lice. The pungent smell of garlic works in a similar way to oil, suffocating lice, while its antibacterial properties keep them away. The main downside of this treatment is having your whole head smelling of garlic…
How to use it:
Grind 10 peeled cloves of garlic into a fine paste and mix with a little lime juice or olive oil. Apply to hair and leave for 30 minutes before washing thoroughly.
3 – Mayonnaise
Incredibly messy, some claim that coating the hair with mayonnaise suffocates the lice. It is a similar consistency to conditioner, which others claim is good for preventing headlice. We’re not sure if this is really worth all the mess, so let us know if you have tried it!
How to use it:
Generously slather the hair with mayonnaise and massage into scalp. Cover with a shower cap and leave overnight. In the morning, comb out any dead lice and/or eggs and shampoo thoroughly.
Don’t forget that prevention is better than a cure and preparation is the key!
Nits find it harder to cling on to smoother hair, so regularly using conditioner on the hair can help keep them at bay. Hairspray and hair gel can have a similar effect, so using a small amount on your child’s hair at the beginning of the school term can help.
For any treatment to fully work, however, the most effective method of catching and getting rid of head lice is regularly and carefully conditioning and combing the hair.
Have you tried any of these natural methods of getting rid of nits? Let us know!
Cada año los padres con niños en edad escolar temen a ¡los piojos en el cole!. Una investigación en los Estados Unidos muestra que los piojos se vuelven cada vez más resistentes a los tratamientos de productos, ¡lo que solo causa más pánico!
Sin embargo, existen varios remedios naturales que ayudan a mantener a toda tu familia libre de liendres. ¿Usas alguno de estos?
1 – Aceite de árbol de té
Ya sabes que nis encanta este aceite antibacteriano natural, por lo que no debe sorprenderos que sea el primero de nuestra lista. El aceite de árbol de té es un insecticida natural, y al ser una consistencia similar a otros tratamientos de liendres basados en aceite, significa que sofoca como repele a los piojos.
Mezcle 1 cucharadita de aceite de árbol de té concentrado con champú natural y aceite de coco o aceite de oliva. El uso regular de los tratamientos y champús del árbol del té también puede ayudar a mantener el cabello libre de liendres durante todo el año!
2 – Ajo
El ajo es ideal para repeler insectos (¿por qué crees que comemos tanto?) Cargar tu cabello con él ayudaría a eliminar los piojos. El olor del ajo funciona de manera similar al aceite, los piojos se ahogan, mientras que sus propiedades antibacterianas los mantienen alejados. El principal inconveniente de este tratamiento es que toda la cabeza huele a ajo …
Tritura 10 dientes de ajo pelados en una pasta fina y mezcla con un poco de jugo de lima o aceite de oliva. Aplicar sobre el cabello y dejar actuar durante 30 minutos antes de lavarlo completamente.
3 – Mayonesa
Increíble!!! Pero algunos afirman que cubrir el cabello con mayonesa sofoca a los piojos. Es una consistencia similar al acondicionador, que otros afirman que tambien es bueno para prevenir la piojos. No estamos seguros de si esto realmente vale la pena, !así que avísanos si lo has probado!
Cubrir generosamente el cabello con mayonesa y masajear el cuero cabelludo. Cubra con un gorro de ducha y déjelo toda la noche. A la mañana, peine los piojos y / o huevos y el champú completamente.
¡No olvides que prevenir es mejor que curar y la preparación es la clave!
Las liendres encuentran más difícil aferrarse a un cabello más suave, por lo que el uso regular de un acondicionador en el cabello puede ayudar a mantenerlos a raya. La laca para el cabello y el gel para el cabello pueden tener un efecto similar, por lo que puede ser útil usar una pequeña cantidad en el cabello de su hijo al comienzo del período escolar.
Para que cualquier tratamiento funcione completamente, el método más efectivo para atrapar y eliminar los piojos tiene que ser de manera regular y cuidadosamente acondicionar y peinar el cabello.
¿Has probado alguno de estos métodos naturales para deshacerte de las liendres? ¡Haznoslo saber!
Winter can make drying cloth nappies a bit tricker than normal, so we’ve gathered together more suggestions and tips for drying reusable nappies even in the most inclement of weather. Last time we looked at the benefits of taking advantage of even the smallest amount of sunlight, of the spin cycle on your washing machine and of drying nappies overnight.
This time we see three other ways to dry washable nappies, whatever the weather.
- Keep some in reserve
Using cloth diapers save you time and money, especially during the holidays when your shopping trolley is probably already piled high. That being said, having a few extra nappies on hand for slow drying days is always a good idea. Ensuring you have enough to have some on, some clean and some drying will keep mean you shouldn’t have that late-night nappy panic!
Daizy Babies Bamboo 2-part cloth nappies are great for this because the waterproof outer dries a lot quicker than the bamboo fibre nappy. Having extra cloth nappies in your cupboard keeps everything running smoothly as, if necessary, the outers can be used twice before washing.
- Finish off in tumble dryer
Drying outside is obviously the preferable choice, but during winter, sunlight is less and warmth even less. When your nappies are almost dry (after the whole day out on the line, sigh) a few minutes on a low setting in your tumble dryer will help finish them off.
The heat of the tumble dryer can damage the bamboo fibre and affect the absorbency, however, a little bit of emergency use combined with the cooler setting can keep you to routine.
- Take each day at a time
Sometimes the weather is completely against you, but don’t be disheartened. Washable nappies are great for the environment and every reusable nappy that you use is a step in the right direction. What if it becomes too much to cope with? Don’t panic! An emergency disposable nappy or two when you’ve had a bit of a ‘logistics issue’ with the washing is not the end of the world.
Don’t forget, even if you only used 1 cloth nappy per day would mean 365 less nappies in landfill.
- Enjoy it!
Most of our moms use a combination of all of these tips, which helps them continue to love using cloth nappies.
Finding the best way of drying cloth nappies that works for you is the key, and sometimes you need to be a bit creative. Now you’ve seen all of our moms tips, how about you? Send us an email and let us know if you have any other hints or tips.
El invierno puede hacer que los pañales de tela tarden un poco más de secar de lo normal, por lo que hemos reunido más sugerencias y consejos para secar los pañales reutilizables incluso en las inclemencias del tiempo. La última vez vimos los beneficios de aprovechar incluso la menor cantidad de luz solar, el ciclo de centrifugado en su lavadora y el secado de los pañales durante la noche.
Esta vez vemos otras tres maneras de secar pañales lavables, sea cual sea el clima.
- Tener algunos en reserva
El uso de pañales de tela le ahorra tiempo y dinero, especialmente durante las vacaciones que estamos más ocupados . Dicho esto, tener algunos pañales extra a mano para los días que tardan más en secarse siempre es una buena idea. Si tienes suficientes pañales para poner, otros quizas para lavar y algunis secando significa que no deberías temer por quedarte sin pañales.
Los pañales de tela Daizy Babies de 2 piezas son ideales para esto porque el forro impermeable se seca mucho más rápido que el pañal de fibra de bambú. Tener pañales de tela adicionales hace que todo funcione sin problemas, ya que de ser necesario, los forros se pueden usar dos veces antes de lavar.
- Termine en la secadora
El secado al aire libre es, obviamente, la opción preferible, pero durante el invierno, la luz del sol es menor y el calor también. Cuando los pañales estén casi secos, unos minutos con un programa suave en la secadora ayudarán a terminar de secarlos.
El calor de la secadora puede dañar la fibra de bambú y afectar la capacidad de absorción, sin embargo, como emergencia combinado con la configuración más fría si es apto.
- Ten en cuenta
Algunas veces el clima está contra nosotros, pero no te desanimes. Los pañales lavables son geniales para el medio ambiente y cada pañal reutilizable que use es un paso en la dirección correcta. ¿Qué pasa si no puedes llevartelos algún dia? ¡No entres en pánico! Un pañal desechable de emergencia o dos cuando pasan estan circunstancias no pasa nada.
No lo olvide, aunque solo use 1 pañal de tela por día, significaría 365 pañales menos en el vertedero.
La mayoría de nuestras madres usan una combinación de todos estos consejos, lo que les ayuda a seguir prefiriendo el uso de pañales de tela.
Cada uno debe encontrar la mejor manera que se adapte a su rutina para secar los pañales. Háganos saber si tiene otros consejos o consejos aquí.