It’s all about entertaining kids today! Fun and cheap ideas to keep kids busy without breaking the bank. Things to do indoors on a rainy day and inexpensive outings both you and the kids will enjoy. Plus swimming with babies – an episode no parent should miss.
Watch segments from Episode 10 of Mums & Bubs and access great articles about the topics discussed below.
How to entertain the kids is something we all face on a daily basis. Monica Trapaga, the expert at entertaining kids, has two children of her own, Atticus and Lily. She recommends making sure that there is plenty of television free time and that you get down and do things with the kids. Monica suggests it’s not that important how a project turns out but it is important to allow your children’s creativity and imagination to direct the activity you are doing together.
Monica shows us some papier mache puppets she has made with her kids; all from scraps laying around the house. Sarah Bryden-Brown, editor of Kid Spot, retells a story of her own children’s ingenuity when they used a cardboard roll and the liquid soap from the bathroom to blow bubbles for over an hour. She also recommends creating your own edible paints – that way you never have to worry about them putting their hands in their mouths after face or finger painting.
Monica reminds us that recycling does not just refer to the rubbish bin, but that there are many items that can be used for craft with the kids, such as old cartons, lids, paper and cards to name a few.
So what outings can parents do that are fun and inexpensive? Sarah Bryden-Brown recommends doing something that is interesting and fun for both of you, such as a visit to the fish markets for a stroll around and perhaps a seafood lunch or wandering around the local nursery talking about the different plants and even buying a small herb pot that can be taken home for an afternoon of gardening.
Lea Wilson recalls spending many an afternoon on the edge of a building site while her son marveled at the heavy machinery and kept him entertained for hours. Rachel says that she learnt pretty quickly that one of the best days out with her kids is to hang out at the airport for a few hours and simply watch all of the activity going on. Too often the simple things are overlooked, like the good old fashioned picnic or a visit to the park or beach. Everyone agrees that just getting out of the house and having some fresh air is good for both mum and the kids.
Kim Purnell, professional swimming instructor, recommends that 6 months is the ideal age for babies to start swimming as they have no fear and enjoy all the activities in the water. Of course it’s never too late to start and the teachers are able to adapt the program to suit all ages.
Teaching a young child to swim is all about:
Apart from ensuring that your child learns to enjoy the water, the main aim is to teach a child from even the youngest of children to swim to safety. To do this they are encouraged to jump into the pool, turn around, reach up to the side of the pool and climb out unassisted. With repetition and fun the aim is to ensure that this simple lesson can help the child to save themselves if required.
Kim is particularly passionate about teaching young children to learn about water awareness and basic swimming skills as her nephew recently drowned in a tragic accident. She hopes that by teaching kids to swim she may help to prevent this tragedy from occurring again.
What can you do to encourage your child to love the water?
Monica Trapaga, has experienced a mother’s worst nightmare. Having prepared the bath ready for the nightly bath time routine, she ducked into the kitchen to check on the dinner. Her son returned to the bathroom and reached for the hot tap and turned it on. He accidentally toppled into the now scalding bath, fully clothed, causing severe burns to his body. Fortunately, Monica reacted quickly and used her first aid training by running cold water continuously over her son while her husband called an ambulance.
Monica’s message is never leave a child unattended in or near a bath no matter what. Let the phone ring or the dinner burn, it’s not worth the risk. She also recommends that you check that your water system has the hot water temperature capped at the recommended 50^o^C to help prevent your child from being affected by scalding water. Watch this segment to hear her tell the story.
It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Even from birth books should be an integral part of each day. Offer a variety of books and make it fun and you are on your way to establishing good reading habits for life. Brett Osmond, from the Huggies Book Club joins Rachel to show us some of his favourite children’s books.
Fluffy Chick is a great first book for baby as it’s cloth and you can chew, eat or throw the book with out any problems. This allows your baby to explore the idea of ‘reading’ right from the start. Board books are also a terrific option for babies and toddlers as they’re incredibly sturdy and durable during the period when they are most likely to grab or rip at the pages – great value.
Brett suggests that the illustrations should be bright and interesting. Mem Fox’s book, Where is the Green Sheep?, is a perfect example of a great children’s book. She uses repetition and rhyme to engage the young reader.
All book discussed by Brett are available from the Huggies Book Club. They can be delivered to your door anywhere in Australia or New Zealand and Huggies Club members automatically receive a discount on all our books and free delivery.