Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Self-Expression Through Dance

As a parent, it is important for us that our children are able to express themselves well in a confident manner. Helping them to build this trust in themselves and nurturing their ability to express it is essential in their growing up years. So how do you become instrumental in this one?

Allow your child to engage in dance activities or classes. You will find that their shyness will slowly go away as they try to move up to the beat and rhythm of the music. If you are afraid that your child is not comfortable in his or her street clothes, then by all means find appropriate dancing clothes for her. You can find good gymnastics leotards among others at DanceMania. These will help your child to move freely and actively.

It is also important to ask your child what kind of dance he or she is interested in. It would be a bad idea to enroll him or her in a jazz class if their interest is in hip hop or ballet. It's like throwing them in a pot of boiling water.

Look for good reputable dance schools. If you want your child to have a feel first of what the class would be like, find schools that offer 1-2 trial classes. You will know it would be all the effort and money if you see your child's smile on her face and making new friends. Show your child that you are willing to support their passions and interests. And they will love you more for it! :D

Monday, December 9, 2013

10 Simple Bedroom Design Ideas for Your Little Girl

My little girl has been asking me when are we going to furnish her bedroom. She is now five and a half and will soon start with first grade next year so having a room for a herself is becoming more and more a necessity. If you are planning on decorating a room for your little girl, her are some simple decorating ideas to help you start with.

1. Focal point. Create a focal point in the room. It could be a solid color on one wall or a huge hand-painted piece that your little girl has made. From this focal point, work our the color scheme of the room. Popular color schemes for girls' bedrooms are brown-pink, green-pink, pastel. 

2. Stylish shelving. Provide ample space for your girl to showcase her books, artworks and knickknacks by putting up wall shelves. It is also a good way to update her collections and help keep clutter on desks a minimum.

3. Workstation / Craft Area. Allow your little girl's creativity to develop and provide a workspace for her. As much as possible, put it near the window so she has ample natural light and she can look outside for inspiration. Her desk will also be a place for her to make her homework when she goes to school so a grown-up desk will do the trick. This allows the room to grow up with her.

4. Plenty of open floor space. This is important especially if the room is meant for growing up kids as it provides them plenty of room to play, giving them enough space to develop their motoric skills. Make it more appealing by putting a kids rug on the floor. If you are looking for good rugs for your little girl's room, there's a good selection of kids rugs over at InHouse Rugs.

5. Reading nook. My little girl loves to be read before bedtime and I know that she will enjoy reading all by herself when she is old enough to read alone. A reading nook composed of a comfortable settee or a funky, hanging bubble chair will just be the perfect reading spot. Just be sure that it reflects her personality. 

6. Pretty jars or canisters. I mentioned a workstation for your child to work on and a grown-up desk. You can add pretty jars and canisters to hold her pens, pencils and brushes and other small crims crams. This will help keep clutter to the minimum. Be sure that she always has an empty desk so it will be more inviting to work or to study.

7. Design choice. Give your child options on the design and allow her to choose. This way, she will have a part in decorating her room and will be able to claim it as her own.  

8. Artworks. If your child loves to draw and do crafts, you could use these as decor pieces. You could always update the artworks by replacing the old ones with her new works. 

9. Wall Decals/Tattoos. Don't want the traditional wallpaper or the plain paint on the wall? Add a whimsical flair to the room by adding wall tattoos or decals. There's lots of wonderful designs available on the Internet today especially on Etsy.com. And what's more, it doesn't damage the paint and you can always replace it to suit your child's personality and interests.

10. Letter Frames. The classic letter frames that spell out her name will make any child's room more personalized. You can of course choose on the colors, the lettering, or it could also be a thing that interests your child and at the same time starts with the initials of her name.

So there, hope you are able to get some wonderful ideas. Happy decorating! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Threading The Fuxipfad in Mainhardt

One sunny autumn day, we went on a short hiking trip at the Fuxipfad in Mainhardt. It was a very interesting hiking trail, with different stations at various locations that is perfect for educating children about nature. It highlighted the animals and plants that can be observed in the area. 

Off for some adventure at the Fuxipfad. Thank you for the hearty welcome Fuxi!
I learned a lot of things on that day like how dead things, like dead tree trunks, are a source of life of other organisms like mushrooms. And how ants also help in decay process of dead leaves and trees. I also learned how important trees are in keeping water in the ground.

Mushrooms growing on the stump of a dead tree trunk.
I also got a chance to learn the organisms living in the creek, like the different fish and crawling insects, and birds too. There was a very interesting photo board that looks dark but they become clear when you insert and move the "flashlight", which is a metal plate. 

There was also a picture puzzle that shows what kind of tree grows in the area and some facts about them.

Daddy explaining to me the names of the trees and other facts and how their trunks look like. 
After completing the trail, we stopped for a bit at the children's playground which was already empty since it was already dark and then we went to a restaurant to fill our hungry bellies. We got the "Fuxi Meal" but that will be another story. :) 

Creating A Magical Christmas for your Kids

Christmas is the most exciting time of the year for our little ones. I still look back fondly on many of the Christmases I experienced during my childhood, hoping that one day my daughter will do the same. Come December, I’m going all out to make sure that this year is the most magical Christmas yet. Here’s how I’ll be doing it…

Create your own grotto 
Half of the magic of visiting Santa Claus is experiencing his glittering, Christmas grotto. This year, I’m going all out with decorations that are sure to make Santa jealous!

Every year I face the same struggle with my Christmas lights as I remember they aren’t quite as long as I’d like them to be. This year, I’ll be using one of those no fuss pre-lit Christmas trees to keep stress to a minimum. I really want my tree to be amazing this year, so I’ll probably buy some new tree ornaments to complement it. I’ll have the stuff my daughter has made at school on display too, to avoid making my living room too much like a show house.

Leave traces of Santa 
Obviously… I will be leaving the standard bitten cookie and half glass of milk on Christmas Eve as proof of Santa’s arrival, but I’m thinking of going a little further this year.

One thing I’ll definitely be doing is leaving Santa’s footprints on the porch. Using a pair of boots and icing sugar, the discovery of snowy footprints are sure to heighten my daughter’s excitement. If we’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas, I’ll leave sleigh prints in the drive too.

I also read online about one mom who leaves a swatch of red felt for their children to find, as if Santa has had to leave in a hurry, which I may also try.

Christmas stories 
Like most parents, I often read my daughter a bedtime story on an evening. It’s a great way to spend some quality time and soothe her off to sleep.

The 1st of December will see me swapping her everyday storybooks for Christmas themed ones. My local library is sure to have a range of books that will see us right through to Christmas Day, and I might even pick some up from Amazon. It’s a sure fire way to get her pumped for the big day.

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