Win a family ticket for 4 to the National Pet Show at Excel London

On May 6th and 7th 2017, the National Pet Show will take place at the ExCeL, London, bringing together pet enthusiasts from all over the UK to learn more about our favourite animals. During the event, Tetra, leaders in aquatics and sponsors of the Kids Zone, will host a number of sessions and competitions for visitors to take part in, educating families about the interactive world of fishkeeping and all of the wonderful species available to own.

In addition, Tetra will be demonstrating the positive effects fishkeeping can have on children and how fun and engaging the hobby can be through a range of aquariums on show including the new Tiny Tetra, which offers children a simple and safe introduction into pet ownership.

To celebrate its attendance at the show, Tetra has a family ticket to give away (four people) to the National Pet Show in London to one of my lucky readers. For your chance to win just enter the giveaway below.

For more information about Tetra visit http://www.tetra-fish.com/ or join in the conversation on Facebook with Tetra UK

Win a family ticket to the National Pet Show at Excel London

Top Tips for Kids Using Tech

My children, like most others today, are hooked on their devices. If they could, they would be on them all day and a good part of the night too.

I do allow them access to their devices but with the dangers of online grooming and having access to unsuitable sites, I make sure there are a few rules in place at home.

First of all, all the devices have strong parental controls. I know exactly what the children are accessing on their tablets. They do go on You Tube but again I have age limits in force and I ensure that they do not see anything that is unsuitable for their age.

To do this, they are not allowed their tablets in their rooms. They need to be within sight of me so I know exactly what they are watching. They are quite young, at 12, 8 and 5, I feel to be given the freedom to surf the net at will.

Purchases cannot be made too unless they know the password – which they don’t.

They have full access to child friendly sites and You Tube Kids and things like Disney Life where I know content is tailored to their ages.

Netflix is something they like to go on too but again they are restricted to the children’s section.

I don’t do this because I always want to be in control (well, sort of when it concerns online content) but because of the scary stories that I read about children being groomed online. Children are not in a position to decide on these things and are easily influenced by their peers. It is up to the parents to ensure that they are not in a vulnerable position to predators just waiting to strike online.

Netvouchercodes conducted a recent survey on baby and toddler tablet usage and these are results –

Baby and Toddler Tablet Usage Survey 2017. An infographic by the voucher codes website NetVoucherCodes.co.uk

 

It’s amazing how at an early age, children are drawn to screens. Do you have any rules in your home on tablet usage? I’d love it if you shared them in the comments below.

The Challenge of Childhood Stress: How to Help Kids Handle Their Stress

Kids today hardly have the childhood that their parents enjoyed. Not only do children need to keep up with multiple afterschool activities so as to not fall behind, the pressure of getting into a prestigious college starts right from middle school. The trouble is, children are even less well-equipped to handle stress than grown-ups, and it can begin to show on their physical and mental health. A child with burnout at 10 is a sad thing to see.

Certainly, you should look into helping your child live the life of the child, turning the dial down on unnecessary activities and school work where you can. It’s important to make sure that your child’s everyday routine helps lower stress levels, as well, however.

Introduce your child to happy brain breaks

A change is as good as a rest. A brain break is a break away from scheduled study or activity. Not just any kind of break qualifies as a brain break, however. It needs to be mental activity, but one that takes the mind in a very different direction from routine activity. Such mental activity can be even more restful than actual rest.

It could be having fun with a music instrument, playing with an erector set or art therapy with some coloring activity. Coloring books are all the rage among adults in need of stress relief, and it can work with kids, as well. If your kid finds coloring books uninteresting, an Android Mandala coloring book app such as Coloring Book for Me & Mandala can be just the right choice. Coloring a beautiful picture can be wonderfully soothing brain activity.

Bring in breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are typically used by adults to help relax. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t help a child, too, however. You need to help your kid understand the point of breathing exercises, and offer help with a little practice. Since kids do get quickly bored with quiet, gentle exercise routines, however, it’s usually not a good idea to try more than a minute at a time.

Once your kid begins to learn how it’s done, he’ll like it, and he’ll be able to use it whenever he feels stressed, wherever he may be. It’s an exercise that can be done anywhere, without anyone knowing.

Target stress wherever it appears, and take it out

There is so much stress to a kid’s life these days, there’s no need to add to it by making mistakes. A kid needs to get strenuous physical activity each day to burn off energy. It’s a natural physical need, and you need to make sure that it happens. An hour of activity and 11 hours of sleep a day should be considered non-negotiable.

Finally, lack of a routine can be a serious stressor. Children feel good about regular wake-up times, bedtimes, mealtimes and study times. You need to make sure that there is a certain amount of structure. It can help make the world seem safer and more manageable to a kid.

Jamie Raven – Magic of the Mind Review

Ethan is intrigued with magic and would love to be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

We were recently sent this Jamie Raven Magic of the Mind game to review and he was more than thrilled at being able to perform his own magic on us.

The amazing Magician, who shot to stardom on the 2015 series of Britain’s Got Talent when he finished as ‘Top Human’, has joined with Paul Lamond Games to bring you 4 Magic Sets – Card Magic, Magic of the Mind, Street Magic and Sleight of Hand.

The set is indeed magical as it came with no instructions. You need to access the internet via a secret link in the set to see how to perform the tricks.

You need to sign in to the secret website which then gives you access to demonstrations by Jamie Raven himself so you can learn from the master.

The instructions were clear and Ethan was able to perform the tricks by himself without help from me.

The pack is priced at £10.95 and is available at all major retailers.