Category Archives: Parenting

Better Sleep Tips for Busy Moms

The job of a mom is never an easy one, especially during the summer months where it’s down to you to keep your little ones occupied and entertained. For many moms, juggling family commitments, work, and everything else can quickly lead to a number of issues that can prevent them from sleeping well, no matter how tired they are when their head hits the pillow at night. If you’re a mom who’s finding yourself surviving on less and less sleep every night, then the good news is that there are several steps that you can take to help yourself wind down and get the hours of quality shut-eye that you need to keep your energy levels high. Here are some of the best things to do.

#1. Wind Down Early

Whilst you might want to have a few peaceful hours to yourself after you’ve put the little ones to bed, choose how you spend this time wisely since the activities that you do during your ‘me’ time can make or break the quality of your sleep at night. Ideally, it’s a good idea to begin winding down once your children’s bedtime arrives. Use the time when they are asleep to do something relaxing such as listening to classical music, taking a warm bath, or even doing some yoga. Avoid anything stimulating, such as watching action movies or using technology too much since this will only serve to keep you awake.

#2. Get Ready for the Next Day

Spending a little bit of time getting things ready for the next day, whether it’s making packed lunches or laying out your little ones’ outfits for school tomorrow, will give you less to worry about when it comes to going to bed. If you find yourself unable to relax in bed because you’re overthinking about the number of things that you have to do when you wake up, getting a head start on this can help to calm your stress and get you into a state of relaxation. It can help to have a checklist of things to do before bed, as this will enable you to stay in control.

#3. Create a Sanctuary in Your Bedroom

For most moms, the bedroom isn’t just a place for sleeping – it’s probably also strewn with toys, games, and anything else pertaining to the kids. However, research shows that making a calming, tidy sanctuary of your bedroom can have a huge effect on the quality of your sleep in a positive way. Use smart storage to keep things tidied away in your room, and if you have the time, you might want to consider redecorating in calming colors. You can also use essential oils in a diffuser to help you sleep; lavender oil is especially good for this. Lastly, make sure that you’re using the right bedding – a supportive pillow tailored to your sleeping style can make all the difference. See indreviews.com for more information on choosing the right type of pillow for you.

Did these tips help you sleep better? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

5 Tips for Going on Vacation with your Children

Raising a young family is no easy task. In fact, it can be an incredibly demanding undertaking. Often, these demands are only intensified when you decide to go on vacation. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Going on holiday with your family should be a time when you get to have fun and create lots of fabulous memories. If you are determined to make your next trip a success, you will need to read on. Below are five tips for going on vacation with your children.

Book your tickets ahead of time

Queuing with children can be an absolute nightmare. That is why you should book your tickets in advance. For instance, if you are treating your family to the cultural delights of a Vatican tour, you can arrange your tickets online. You could even buy ‘Skip the Line Tickets’ that will help to take even more pressure off your shoulders. If you want to encourage your children to engage with culture, it is vital that you maintain a sense of excitement. This will be hard to do if they are forced to wait around!

Plan ahead

To prevent yourself from getting stressed, you will need to plan your vacation carefully. Why not create an itinerary for how you are going to spend each day? Your plan should strike the right balance between relaxation and adventure. This will ensure that you are making the most of your time away. It will also save you from the panic of making on the spot decisions.

Keep your little ones entertained during your journey

Traveling to your destination will probably be the most stressful part of your experience. That is you will need to keep your little ones entertained during the journey. This is the best way to ensure that everyone is in a great mood when you arrive. You could play games, read books, or tell each other stories. Alternatively, you could invest in technology such as a tablet, an iPhone, or an iPod. This is a great way for you to keep your little ones occupied, without wearing yourself out. 

Think about the lessons that you are teaching your children

Going on holiday is a great opportunity for you to teach your children something new. Perhaps you could introduce them to a new culture and show them how important it is to respect people who are different from them. Maybe you could help them to learn a new language and find new friends. Or, you could take them to historical landmarks and teach them about an important event.

Encourage your family to document their experience

If you are hoping to make your vacation one to remember, you should encourage your entire family to document their experience. One way of doing this is by creating a family scrapbook. This is a lovely place for you to store all of your treasured pictures and mementoes. Tell your little ones about the scrapbook before you set off. This will encourage them to be on the lookout for inspiration throughout the trip.

Keeping Your Home Itch-Free – How to Prevent Head Lice and Fleas

No matter how careful you are, sooner or later your child is bound to come home with head lice. Similarly, very few people get away with having a pet without the occasional fleabite, so it can often feel like you’re resigned to your fate. However, although head lice and fleas are irritating, if you attack the problem quickly, it can be easily managed.

Head lice are relatively harmless because they don’t spread infection or disease, but they can make your head intolerably itchy, so it’s important to stop them in their tracks before they multiply. Similarly, if you’ve ever had a fleabite, you’ll know how painful they can be. Here are some tips for keeping itchy pests out of your home.

head lice

How to Prevent Head Lice

Unfortunately, if your child attends school or daycare, there’s not much you can do to prevent head lice, other than encouraging your child not to share brushes, combs or hats with their friends. Head lice spread through head-to-head contact, as unlike fleas, they cannot jump or hop.

The best you can do is attack the head lice with an over the counter treatment and a fine-toothed comb and make sure you get rid of the eggs so they cannot hatch and multiply. Adult lice cannot survive away from the scalp for more than a day, so unlike fleas, they cannot live in your home without a human host. Therefore, it’s not necessary to deep clean your house or car.

You Can’t Wash Them Away

Head lice can survive submerged in water for up to 20 minutes, so washing your child’s hair every day won’t get rid of them. Head lice like clean hair as much as they like dirty hair, so having head lice is not a sign of poor hygiene, and no amount of shampoo will make a difference. Instead, use a CDC approved treatment, and check your child’s head every day for new lice.

How to Get Rid of Fleas

Of course, cats and dogs can’t get head lice, but they can get fleas, which are worse in most cases. Unlike head lice, however, fleas can take residence in your carpets, rugs and upholstery for weeks, making them even trickier to eliminate.

Even people without pets can find fleas in their home. Fleas can be passed from person to person on the subway, in the supermarket, or anywhere else where you’re in close contact with someone who has one on their clothing. Once they’re in your home, they’re notoriously difficult to rid of, which is why it’s essential to use the right treatment.

To get rid of fleas, ticks and chewing lice, use Pet Action, a vet-recommended treatment that lasts for up to six months. Don’t forget, as well as treating your pet, it’s also important to treat your home with a flea spray that will kill any remaining eggs.

Just be careful to use a spray that is safe for children and pets, like a non-toxic herbal treatment. If the problem persists, you may need to call in pest control for further advice.

How to Create a Kid-Friendly Outdoor Space

Outdoor playtime is important for kids of all ages. It provides them with the space and freedom they need to run around, shout, and just basically be a kid. With that said, if you have young children, it’s important to create the kind of outdoor space that not only encourages this type of freestyle fun but is also safe for them to play in. Whether you’ve just moved into a new house, or you’re looking for ways to better your outdoor space, these tips are sure to help you create a child-friendly yard.

bella and caleb

A Fenced in Space

One of the first tips is to create an outdoor space that is fenced in. If you have a particularly large yard, it may not be necessary to fence the entire space, rather just a segment. You need to know that the children are safe and are staying within bounds. If they have access to the road, then traffic can pose a serious safety risk.

Photo credit to Rachel Myers Photography

Photo credit to Rachel Myers Photography

Provide a Shaded Area

While the sunshine feels great and is wonderful for your daily dose of vitamin D, it’s also a good idea to offer a shaded area for your children to play in. This ensures they remain comfortable, even on the hot days, which makes the space more useable. Shaded areas can be gazebos, pergolas, camping style tents, a patio table with a big umbrella, or even a playhouse that has a roof for shade.

Give Them a Swing

If you don’t feel like investing in a whole swing set or playset, then you can opt for just a swing instead. A tire swing attached to a mature tree is sure to put a smile on any child’s face. Swings are one of those things that kids seem to gravitate towards.

caleb swinging

Encourage Creativity with a Chalk Wall

Rather than having sidewalk chalk all over the side of your house, your walkways, and patio, why not give the kids a designated area to be creative. An outdoor chalk wall is the perfect way to do this. This DIY project is simple and quick, and you can make the wall as big or small as you want.

A Fun Water Feature

What kid doesn’t enjoy playing in or with water on a hot sunny day? With that said, why not create a built-in water feature? You can create a small fountain, pond, or even a water table. This will be especially entertaining for younger kids.

colton playing in water

Kid-Friendly Seating

Kid-friendly seating is an absolute must have. You can add a small table and chairs and create a space all of their own that is separate from the adult area.

A Pest-Free Environment

Finally, you want to be sure that the space is safe for kids in terms of pests. If you’re looking for the best pest control company in the world, look no further than Reynolds Pest Management. They will be able to come in and get rid of any issues you may have.

Now that you’ve created the perfect outdoor space for your kids, it’s time to head outside and enjoy it with them.

The Best Hands-Free Solutions for Moms

For the majority of moms, it is common to find yourself with your hands full…literally. Whether it’s babies, groceries, school bags, sports equipment, or pushchairs, there always seems to be something that requires you to haul it around. Not only this, but the second you find your hands full usually tends to be the moment that you need them most of all. One way to avoid this dilemma is by opting for hands-free devices. This will make it so much easier to multi-task. Below are a series of suggestions of the best hands-free solutions for Moms everywhere.

Hands-free cars

When you are weighed down with groceries or pushchairs, the last thing you want to think about is how you are going to open the trunk of your car. This is also true for if you are holding hands with your children in a busy car park and don’t want to face the risk of them running off. A solution is found in the Ford Kuga, as this SUV was one of the first to offer a tailgate that opens when you swing your foot underneath its trunk. Another useful piece of hands-free technology, for your vehicle, is the sat nav. This is a clever way to always know where you’re going without having to pull over and look at a map.

Hands-free hoovers

Have you ever dreamt of your household chores magically doing themselves? Well a hands-free vacuuming device will certainly take you closer towards this fantasy. With this clever bit of kit, you will be able to pick up dust in even the hardest to reach of places, and give you some precious time back!

Hands-free Google

Instead of having to log onto your computer to search the internet, why not take a look at Google Home? This hands-free smart speaker is a great way to find an answer without the hassle of physically using a computer. You can ask the device to play music, set alarms, add to your shopping list, and even to control your lights, thermostats and switches.

Hands-free books

The sale of Kindle ebooks has increased year on year, and one popular feature of a Kindle is its ability to turn stored books into audiobooks. This is a great way for you to enjoy your favourite literature whilst continuing with other tasks. This technology allows even the busiest of Moms to keep up with the latest bestsellers without having to physically sit down.

Hands-free baby rocker

When you need to comfort your unsettled baby, give your hands a welcome break with a hands-free baby rocker. This device is a great way to make sure your baby feels tended to without forcing you to remain in one spot. Baby rockers can be moved around the house easily and are the perfect solution for any grizzling infant. They can also help to get your baby to sleep, as the repetitive motion is incredibly soothing. Some models even come with music or attached toys.

Things You Should Do Before Moving into a New Home

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Image source

Buying a new home is so exciting. Once the contracts have been signed and you’ve packed up all your things, you just want to move right on in. However, before you rush to set up home in your new place, there are a few things that you should do…

Hire a Reputable Removal Company

First and foremost, before you move into your new place, you should look for a company that offers cheap suburb removals, but who also have a good reputation. A good removal company will take great care of your stuff and make it easier for you to move in without any fuss.

Change the Locks

When you buy a new home, it’s always a good idea to change the exterior locks on any doors and windows. Although the previous owners, real estate agents, cleaners, etc., are probably very nice people who wouldn’t think of doing anything nefarious, it’s better to be safe and sorry, and you’ll feel a lot happier in your new home knowing that only you and your family have working keys.

Clean Up

There’s a good chance the house will already be pretty clean because the previous owners will have wanted to show it in the best light, but you don’t exactly know how they lived; if they had any pets; or if they had any previous pest problems, so it’s probably best to do a full cleaning blitz of the place. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do it yourself, call in the professional and have them do it for you.

Redecorate

If you want to put your own stamp on the place, it’s much easier to redecorate before you move in. The property will be empty, so you won’t have to worry about the logistic s of moving furniture around and finding a safe place to store your valuables o they don’t get covered in paint. Again, you don’t have to do this yourself if you don’t want to, but if you’re planning on decorating in the future, it’ll be much easier to bring it forward and get it done before the move.

Install New Fixtures and Fittings

While you’re decorating, it might be sensible to also go around the house checking for any fixtures and fittings that are old, worn or mismatched –light switches, door handles, lampshades, etc. – and replace them where necessary. They might just be small things, but they can make a huge difference to how comfy your new home is when you do eventually move in.

Install Window Treatments

It’s hard to enjoy those first days in your new home when you have no blinds or curtains in place, and you’re constantly worried about the neighbors peering in at you. So, if your current blinds and curtains don’t fit your new home, buy some before you move in, and you’ll feel safe and comfortable in your new home from day one.

Have you recently moved into a new home? Did you complete any tasks before you moved into your new place?

Attaining Future Financial Freedom For Your Family

Everyone wants the best for their kids. You want them to go on and have the best possible job they can find. You want them to be able to enjoy their life freely; without having to work too hard. And, of course, you don’t want them to have to worry about money. Unfortunately, most people fail to secure these things for themselves; let alone their kids. So, to help you out, this post will be going through some of the best things you can do to ensure stress-free future finances for you and your kids. Now, you just have to do the legwork!

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(Image Source)

You

It’s best to start a process like this by thinking about yourself. If you can’t afford to support yourself; you won’t be able to afford to support your child. In most cases, it’s best to do this sort of work before you have any children. This isn’t always possible, though. So, you may have to simply start as soon as possible. This section will be going through a couple of the areas that have to be considered before you start making provisions for your kids.

Most people’s finances aren’t exactly in the best shape. It’s getting harder and harder for people to save their money; thanks to lower incomes and higher prices in stores. But, if you can’t save your money; you won’t be able to do anything for your kids. So, you need to look at the improvements you can currently make. A lot of people don’t need to buy everything that they spend money on. Instead, they could use cheaper alternatives or nothing at all. The biggest industries that this applies to are cosmetics and technology; which are both unnecessary to life. Using websites like Experian can give you loads of great ideas to help you start working on your finances. And, they don’t cost a fortune to use. Along with this, you could also ask your bank for some advice.

Next, you need to be considering what life will be like when you leave work. Retirement has become a huge issue for a lot of countries. You’re very likely to retire much later than your parents did. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Most people earn enough to contribute to a decent private pension, to supplement whatever they have. To find out whether or not you need to improve this area, you need to do some work. Look at your current rate of pension investment, and use calculators to see what it could be worth when you retire. Most people find that they won’t have enough money to get by.

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The Kids

Once you have a better handle on your own money, you can start to consider what you want to do for your children. At this point, you have to establish a balance. Your child won’t need much money until they leave home. So, you shouldn’t be showering them with money while they grow up. Instead, you should teach them the value of money. And, give them ways to make sure that they don’t lose it.

It’s very beneficial to a young person to have some savings behind them, in the modern world. Nowadays, to rent a property, you need to have huge amounts of money to pay in fees and deposits. Of course, this won’t be impossible for them to pay. But, it really helps if they have the money in advance for their first time. Being able to buy a car as soon as they can drive is great, too. Along with a host of other benefits that come from savings. Your child should play an active part in their savings, too. Where you can, you should have them make deposits into their own account. This will start to teach them about savings, and why they are important. Just make sure that you are building some savings for yourself at the same time.

Investments are one of the best possible ways to give your child financial freedom in the future. And, there are loads of options that you can take advantage of. To start, you need to think about risk. All investments come with some degree of risk. Investments with higher risk will usually have a better return; but, ones with lower risk will have a lower return. At the start, you can afford to take some risks with your money. But, as time goes on and you make more to invest; you’ll want to start getting a little safer. One of the best investments to make for your children is a savings bond. This sort of investment is incredibly secure, while still offering a good return. A lot of the time, these options are government backed. This means that even if they do fall through; you still get your investment back.

One of the biggest and best investments to make for a child comes in the form of property. It’s getting increasingly difficult for young people to buy their own homes. But, for those who already have a home, it’s much easier. It’s likely that you have the finances to pay for a small mortgage if you’re able to make other investments. Finding property for sale is nice and easy, too. Most places have loads of businesses that specialise in this sort of trade. This sort of investment will give you child the freedom of living rent-free. And, once they’ve left the property; you can start to rent it out to other people. Whether you decide to give the property to the child or not; it’s still a great way to help them out.

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Good Money Tips

It can be hard to make sure that you have enough money to cover things like this. Most people don’t have huge amounts of money to put away for their children. So, you might have to employ some clever tactics to make this possible. A big part of this will come from the research that you do yourself. But, to help you out, this section will be covering some basic tips to help you out.

First, it’s time to consider budgeting. When you want to start budgeting your money, you have to be very hard on yourself. People with habits of overspending will find it very easy to slip into old habits, without the right work. So, your first budget should only include the absolute essentials. And, you should live this way for at least a month. After this period, you should have a good idea of how much money you have going spare. Most of this money should go into your savings. But, of course, you will deserve a treat after this time. So, it’s okay to spend a small portion of the money on yourself.

Saving can be greatly aided by simply taking the right approach. A lot of people see their savings as a money sink. It’s something that takes money each month, without giving any real benefits. But, what if you lost your job? Or, what if your child gets into a school overseas and can’t afford to get there? Issues like this can be made into nothing; if you have savings behind you. Being aware of how something can help you will give you a lot of motivation to keep working on it.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to start making some big changes to your finances. Being able to support your child into their adult life is a great gift. And, you can make a huge impact on their success through doing this. Ultimately, this is one of the best things a parent can do. So, if you want to give your child as much as you can; this is the way to do it.`

The Home With No Tear: Child-Friendly Homes 101

There is no such thing as a safe home when you have children. With younger ones, you will need to become an expert at preventing risks, which means that you need to think ahead of what could go wrong. Don’t worry, though; it’s a skill that parents develop incredibly fast – a little too fast maybe.  While everyone is aware of the common risks, such as checking the quality of your tap water – you can buy testing kits online and in DIY shops  – and limiting the presence of harmful substances at home, it doesn’t mean that your home is completely childproof. Indeed, you need to think ahead and to imagine what children are more likely to do. The answer is simple: fall, bump themselves and touch things that they aren’t supposed to are among the common things that parents find their kids do. Put in other words, children spend a lot of time hurting themselves. But it’s what childhood is about. They need to experience the world and explore their surroundings to grow, and that is, unfortunately, synonymous with injuries. Planning ahead means that, while you can’t stop children from getting hurt, you can at least make sure that no injury will be serious.  

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Is your tap water safe?

Avoiding Outdoors Injuries

If you have a garden, you will have already noticed that young children love to roam free and play outside. It’s, therefore, important to make the garden as safe as possible for your younger ones. Start by removing any poisonous plants – yes, even the one with the lovely pink flowers that your great Aunt Madge gave you many years ago – and levelling your garden. This will limit any risk of accidental injuries. As the days are getting longer, and you are more likely to let the kids play outside later during the summer, you should make sure that the garden can be easily lit at night, using LED flood lights, for example, to do the job. Additionally, a simple reminder about child safety: avoid hard stone kerbing and edging in your garden, and don’t keep any wooden furniture and accessory that has not been previously smoothed with sandpaper.

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A safely lit garden

Avoiding Accidental Bumps Indoors

You can’t stop your children from running around and bumping into the furniture. But you can make sure that it will only be a bruise instead of a serious cut by using cushioned edge guards on sharp corners. If you can’t find the appropriate protection, you may want to consider smoothing the corner with an electric sander. Do make sure to use it without the kids in the room and to clean the dust afterwards. Sharp corners are particularly harmful to the soft skin of children.

Avoiding Accidental Allergies Indoors

Last, but not least, you are probably taking care of keeping your chemical cleaning products away from children. But, while this reduces the risks of accidental poisoning, chemical products are still harmful to the skin and can cause allergic reactions. If you can, you should switch to child-friendly cleaning products that are non-flammable and made only from natural ingredients. Indeed, many household chemicals are closely linked to asthma, kidney and liver damages, and skin irritation, when they are not suspecting carcinogen. It’s not a risk that you want to take.

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Keep green cleaning habits

5 Babyproofing Steps You Should Take Around the Home

Are you lucky enough to have brought a brand new child into the world? Having a baby is one of the most joyful occasions for any young parent, but you’ll need to proactively think about making the house safer. Today, let’s look at five home babyproofing steps you should take.

  1. Stair gates 

Little ones are susceptible to falling down (or even up) the stairs and causing themselves a real issue. Prevent that from happening by installing a gate which stops them from getting too close to the edge of the stairs.

When thinking about the best kind of stair gate to get, weigh up what kind of device would work best for your child, in your house. Whether it’s a screw-in gate or a pressure-fit, you’ll be able to baby-proof effectively with this incredibly simple step.
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(image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mliu92/)

  1. Keep toxic substances out of reach 

Things like bleach, clothes softener and weed killer are all potentially deadly substances, and absolutely have to be kept out of the reach of young children. The bottles are often colourful and would naturally appeal to young kids.

While toddlers might be able to differentiate between something they should and shouldn’t be putting in your system, the same is definitely not true of babies. Whatever age your kid is, don’t take the risk.

  1. Baby monitor 

We all loved walkie talkies as kids, but now they have a genuine purpose. Keeping track of your child’s night time habits will go a long way to ensuring they’re in as good a health as possible.

Baby video monitors have a number of benefits, with some of the most notable including being able to see if the child is facing any dangerous situations, or finding it easy to fall asleep. Resist the temptation to sit and watch the monitor constantly, though.

  1. Use door guards 

Small children run the risk of accidentally getting their hands caught in door frames, so make sure to do your best to lower the chances of one of them slamming shut suddenly.

You can do this by installing a number of soft foam protectors which attach to the top of doors to prevent them from closing all the way. These will stop the possibly of trapped fingers, without causing any damage to the existing door or frame.

  1. Bath thermometer 

The temperature of your baby’s bath should be roughly 37 degrees until they’re 6 months old, with water levels covering their shoulders – as they’re unable to regulate their body temperature at this point.

Having a thermometer on hand to ensure the conditions never rise above this level is the best way to guarantee they aren’t going to experience too hot or too cold a bath during these crucial early months of their lives.  Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 12.46.07 AM

(image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vialbost/)

Have these babyproofing tips helped you to think more about ensuring the safety of your child in the future? We hope you listen to our advice and guarantee your little one doesn’t fall into trouble in the future.

How To Make More Time For Your Kids

If you are a working parent, it can be an extremely difficult balancing act to manage all of your daily responsibilities while also spending quality time with your kids at home. Nowadays, we all live busy lifestyles so the commitments on our time are greater than ever. However, by making a few small lifestyle adjustments, you can really find that you have so much more time to spend with those who matter the most. Here are just a few things you can do to spend more quality time with your kids.

Mother and Daughter

Photo Credit

Parenting Meditation

Meditation is all about existing in the present rather than being consumed by past or future worries. If you have constantly got your mind on something else when you are with your kids, you won’t be able to fully appreciate their personalities as they start to develop or teach them about life. Ultimately, it takes some practice until you can learn to live in the present, but the rewards that you get are certainly worth having.

Free Up Chore Time

So much of the free time we do have is taken up by doing chores. If you can make some changes, you can end up with a lot more time on your hands. For example, you could order your groceries online instead of going to the store. Though this may cost a little more, there are plenty of vouchers available so it doesn’t have to get too expensive. You could also book a cleaner online instead of doing it all yourself. This may not be something you can afford to do on a regular basis but on special occasions it can really make a big difference.

Walk Instead of Driving

If there is somewhere you can get to on foot, consider walking rather than making the journey by car. It will take longer but that is the point and you can spend the time talking to your kids while also getting some exercise. Not only this, it will help your children get to know their neighbourhood a little bit better.

Cook Together

Why not turn a daily household chore into something that you can do with the kids? As well as learning and having fun together, you are also showing them one of the major responsibilities of running a household. Who knows, one day they may reward you with a meal prepared all by themselves!

Play Their Games
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Photo Credit

Many kids absolutely love playing video games but this can end up being an activity that causes a divide between you and them. Instead, try giving the games a go yourself. Though you may end up getting beaten pretty easily, you are interacting with your kids and sharing something that they love with them.

Make A Time Plan

We tend to be able to divide up our time easier when it is all planned out. Try making a plan on a week by week basis, working out your responsibilities and how you can spend extra time with the kids.