Best Ways To Accommodate Your Child’s Outfit Needs

child costumes Let’s face it, almost every holiday invites children to wear some type of costume or festive accessory.   Whether your child wants a full on goblin outfit for Halloween, an elf hat for Christmas, or a Heart Shaped headband to celebrate Valentine’s Day, one must always be on the look out for cheap and reasonable ways to keep up with holiday trends.  From school plays, school spirit days, themed birthday parties, costume parties, or costumes for playing dress-up, parents are looking for places to find the perfect costumes and accessories for their kid’s upcoming activities and events. Below are a few great places you can find great outfits for children of all ages.

Your Closets

An oft-overlooked place to find excellent costumes, are the closets in your home. This could be anything from “dress up” clothes that can be spruced up with embellishments, to mom and dad’s dated high school attire, to old costumes that can be transformed into something new. It is also an excellent place to find junk jewelry, and dated accessories that can be used to enhance costumes, both old and new.

The Craft Store

Even those who are not avid sewers or crafters can find several easy ways to make costume ideas online, or by getting creative with fabrics and embellishments. For example, a plain facemask can be embellished with rhinestones, sequins, and feathers to create a Mardi Gras style mask, or a box you have at home can be covered with brightly covered construction paper and black electrical tape to create a Rubik’s cube.

Vintage And Thrift Stores

Vintage and thrift stores are a great place to find second hand costumes in excellent condition. You can also find dated styles and trends for a decade theme party at a vintage and thrift store. For example, if your child is invited to a 70s theme party, bellbottoms and multi-colored polyester shirts are easier to come by in thrift stores than just about anywhere else. They are also an excellent place to find sweaters for the always fun, ugly sweater party.

Costume Store

Every Halloween, pop up Halloween costume stores can be found all across the nation. However, you can also look to see if there are any year-round costume stores, or costume rental locations in your area. Also take advantage of the post-Halloween discounts at your pop-up stores. Their goal is often to sell as much of their inventory after Halloween, before they close their location for the season. You can visit these stores a day or two after Halloween, and search for costumes for your children’s upcoming parties and special events.

Online Costume And Craft Stores

If you do not have the time or desire to get creative and make a costume for your kids, it may be easier to shop for their costumes online. For something unique and one-of-a-kind, search handmade arts and craft sites by crafters who ship the costumes they make around the nationwide. However, if your child has a very specific look they are going for, it may be easier to search for the costume they desire at a specialty costume website.

There are plenty of places you can turn to when looking for new costumes for your children. If you have many kids in your family, hang on to the costumes you purchase over the years to see if they can be repurposed at a later date.

Byline: Claire Wintrode’s daughter needed to be an angel for the latest school play, so they went to find an outfit online for cheap

 

 

 

 

 

How to Facilitate Fun and Safe Social Experiences for Your Young Children

kids playing board game It can be challenging to let your young children have fun while ensuring they are safe. Letting your children play at other friend’s houses, or go on excursions with their buddies can be risky if you don’t know their friends very well. Below are a few tips to help ensure your children’s safety, while supporting their development of an active and healthy social life.

Sign Them Up For Extracurricular Activities

If you keep your kids busy with extracurricular activities such as sports, arts and crafts classes, and summer camps, you likely know where they are and what they are doing as they enjoy the opportunity to play and socialize with their friends. If your kids have not yet found extracurricular activities that are a good fit, use it as an opportunity to keep searching until they find an activity they enjoy. They can even sign up for extracurricular activities with their current friends, or utilize extracurricular activities as a way to make new friends.

If They Are Going To a Friend’s House, Get To Know the Parents

Whether riding the school bus home with a friend after school, going to a birthday party, or staying the night at a friend’s house, try to get to know the parents of the kid’s house they are going to. Try to gauge whether the parents have the same values as you, and ask any questions you may have. Primarily, who will be home with the kids, who will be transporting them to activities outside the home, and find out how they will be spending their time so that you can make sure your child has everything they need. For example, if your son or daughter will be going to a pool party, you should make sure they have waterproof sunscreen, sunglasses, and any floating devices if necessary.

Make Sure You Know Their Schedule, And Double Check

It is important to know where your kids are at all times. If your child has a cell phone, you can install a tracking app, with or without their knowledge, so that you can find them at all times. However, as your kids become older, busier, and more independent, you may want to create a schedule so that you know where they are when they are not with you. Also create a system for letting you know if plans change, and make sure to double check where they are with surprise visits, and specific questions about where they have been.

 Host Fun Activities at Your House

One way to ensure you know where your kids are at all times, while giving them the time to socialize and have fun with their friends, is to host fun activities at your house. These fun activities should require a bit more time and attention to detail than simply inviting someone over to play or spend the night. For example, you could host a game night once a month, a baking party, a costume party, a movie marathon, or a holiday event.

The above tips are just a few thoughts to keep in mind to ensure that your kids have a reasonable amount of independence and are able to socially interact with kids their age while stay safe.

Byline: Andrea Potter recently decided to throw a costume party for her son, Alex, in order to meet all of his friends and understand his social circle more.  Alex dressed up as a teenage mutant ninja turtle, much to the liking of his friends.

 

 

 

 

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Setting Limits on Technology for your Children

kid on computer While iPads, smartphones, and other devices can conceivably be educational, they often hinder children’s ability to learn how to read, write, and spell. Young children often learn how to use smartphones and touchpad devices before they are able to learn how to write with a pencil. Some parents don’t spend time reading to their children and use technology as a way to distract and entertain their kids. Technology can be a welcome addition to the home, but it should be used in moderation.

 

Watch Your Behaviors

 

It’s important to remember that children will mimic their parents’ behavior. If you are always on your smartphone or playing on the iPad, your kids will want to do the same thing. Be mindful of your technology behaviors and make it a priority to spend quality time with your kids. To show your kids that they are more important than technology, do not use your phone or other devices during dinner or when you are outside playing with your kids. Be mindful of them watching you, and make sure you are focused on engaging with them.

 

Set Rules

 

If you have school-aged children that know how to read and write, there is a good chance they already play video games and enjoy watching movies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children spend less than 2 hours watching television each day. You need to make sure you are setting limits on how much time your kids can watch TV and play with their devices. There are some apps and other programs that do help children learn, but you want to minimize how long your kids use computers.

 

Set rules on their use of technology and focus on engaging with your kids. Several devices come with timer programs that allow children to know when they need to stop using them. This can help parents avoid a frustrating struggle to get their kids to put down the iPad and go outside to play. If you have kids that fight you or whine about stopping their playing time, it might be a good idea to consider taking away all technology for a week to show them how much fun they can have without being dependent upon technology.

 

Learning to Think

 

Sometimes, the hardest kids to talk to are teenagers. They love to use their smartphones, which can be an expensive problem for parents. It is important that you understand what your teen is doing on social media and other sites. You need to remind them of the importance of privacy and discretion. Teach your teen to learn how to think about social media by talking about their texting behaviors: Have they ever sent out a message they regretted? Did they ever become bullied or offended by text messages and social media posts? The goal is to help teens learn how to establish socially appropriate behaviors when they use their phone. Teens still look towards their parents for social guidelines, so if you are texting during dinner, or if you keep your phone on during a movie, they are likely to do the same.

 

Byline: Alysha Linton purchases all technology for her family from Kensington.com at affordable prices.
 

 

 

 

Winter Cleaning: Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Involved

child sweeping It’s fast approaching Christmas and it’s also time for that dreaded big winter clean-up. There’s no getting
away from it; every season seems to bring about a quarterly review of the household, and that could also mean that you have a big clean to do, every three months. The question is: are you resigned to this job to undertake yourself? Maybe it’s time to put your cunning to the test and rope the whole
family in on this winter’s clean. And here some basic tips on how to do it without creating more chaos.

The best way to do things is to try your best to make them fun. This is no easy task – brain surgery might actually be easier in most cases (we all know that tidying is rarely fun), so you’ll have to think outside of the box, and tailor the fun and potential rewards to you would-be team of cleaners.

You need to do a quick inventory of what the job will actually involve. Here’s a quick checklist to aid your initial task:

Are you utilizing storage and cupboard space well?
Is the house full of clutter?
As a household, are we guilty of hoarding?
What are our plans over the winter period?

You might be able to guess what I’m about to say, but here goes: clutter is the route of all messy households. There’s a distinct possibility that Christmas will create allot more need for extra storage space. That means out with the unused to make space for the new. Your old clothes and items would make someone very happy so give as much as you can to your local charity shop.

Now it’s time to lure them in.  It’s important to appeal to your children’s – and spouse’s – sensibilities. Bribery might work but ensure that this doesn’t involve anything that will cost you money. Make sure that everyone is free and get your plan underway. Like most things in life, tasks are much easier if you make the people involved feel like they have some ownership of the task. Give your little one’s elaborate titles, and put them in charge of their own rooms. Entertain the idea that they need to make space for potential new toys, and that giving older, unused toys would help other children out this Christmas.

A sweet and treat allowance could be suggested, but ultimately approved by them. A larger treat for the end of the task might be an idea as it gives them a goal to work towards. Put their favourite music on to keep their spirits high and a few breaks to keep the energy levels up; remember – you’ll also need a rest-bite here and there.

Most of all – try to enjoy the process. A chore is only a chore if it is done in a negative way. After the big tidy comes the best part: decorating the tree. Hopefully you won’t have started this until you’ve had the big clean-up!

Getting everyone involved will help to speed up the process, and in a strange way, have fun with the whole family. I wish you luck in your task ahead.

Biography Paragraph:  Whatever way you clean you can utilize some professional help with your local man and van service. They offer a range of services as well as their man and van service, like storage for items you want to keep but don’t have enough space, maintenance and repairs, and many more. Some jobs are better left to the professionals to ensure they are done safely and efficiently.