Editor writes: “I love handwriting. Cursive, loopy… the sort like mine that looks like a seismograph reading… Not so much my middle child, who would rather wield a tennis racket than a pen. But we had never really thought about improving the engagement with the pen. Well – other than ‘Do you want to try the red one now darling?’
If you have a preschooler struggling to get to the starting line, Stabilo’s EasyGraph pencils are well worth a look as they have lovely ergonomic indentations to help little hands grip in the right places.
For slightly bigger ones who want a ‘grown-up pen’ but break every biro you lend them by putting too much pressure on the nib, the left or right-handed EasyOriginal rollerballs are wonderful.
There is lots of helpful handwriting support on Stabilo’s Pen License webpage also.”
Nairn’s (the makers of those lovely oatcakes you keep in the cupboard telling yourself you’ll eat for pre-gym energy but end up loading up with cheese for a late night snack when you’ve forgotten to eat all day…) have a range of fun mini bites for kids in the shape of space stuff.
We tested the Berry flavour (they also come in choc chip and cheese) on some hungry after-schoolers.
“Nairn’s Astrobites are gluten free and have barely any sugar when compared to other kids’ snacks, but none of that will be in any way on your child’s radar because – essentially – they look like space ships. The Berry variety isn’t too sweet – one tip is to put them out with a round bowl of hummus or a cream cheese dip and let the kids pretend they are ‘landing on the moon’…”
Available from most supermarkets incl Ocado. For more info and stockists click here.
DW Fitness Clubs has found that children could be getting a third of their recommended salt allowance before they even get to school.
For children aged 4-6, the NHS recommends no more than 3g of salt per day.
A serving of 30g of cereal contains:
Kelloggs Krave = 12% of your child’s recommended salt intake (6% for adults)
Rice Krispies = 12% of your child’s recommended salt intake (6% for adults)
Cheerios = 10% of your child’s recommended salt intake (5% for adults)
Coco Krispies = 8% of your recommended salt intake (4% for adults)
Manufacturers list salt content per 30g, but that’s a very modest portion size, for a hungry child (and aren’t they all?) It would be very easy to eat two or three times that.
So if a child had a large bowl of Rice Krispies (100g) that would be 1.13g of salt, over a third of their daily allowance. Scary, huh?
We all know that ‘good energy’ basics like porridge, bananas, sugar free peanut butter, Greek yoghurt with berries or dippy eggs would be a better option here, it’s obviously just a case of having ten minutes more in the morning (as with most things…)
But worth flagging this story up if your child gets a bowl of cereal at pre-school Breakfast Club…
The Moonpig Kids’ Institute decided to gauge reactions to appropriate and – errr- pretty out there Xmas gifts.
The moral of this story is that Batman and My Little Pony get the thumbs up whilst jars of pickles and loo rolls aren’t likely to score us Parent of the Year. Obvious maybe, but it’s kinda fun watching their little faces in this vid…
In a study of grown ups, Moonpig also found that:
4 in 5 (80%) of Brits think the Christmas gifts they received as a child are more memorable than those they received as an adult.
22% of Brits said that the best gift they have ever received as an adult was a tech gadget, with cash also featuring high on the list with 20%
A shiny new bike came top as the best Christmas gift received as a child, with a doll’s house and Scalextric coming second and third consecutively.
Check out the Moonpig.com website to see the full range of Christmas cards, gifts and flowers.
If you’ve got kids with dry skin conditions, chances are you have Oilatum in your bathroom cabinet. And you’ll know what a godsend it is when flare ups cause tears, sleepless nights – and heaven forbid but it happens – teasing in the playground.
Oilatum has teamed up with real parents and The British Skin Foundation to put together ten top tips for little ones with dry and sensitive skin – we thought they were pretty good so have featured below. Please do drop us a line or share a Tweet if you can think of other helpful ideas that might have been have missed out, or just tell us what works for you and your little one – we love a bit of shared wisdom!
In addition, the kind chaps at Oilatum have also offered us a competition prize of a £50 Boots voucher for the best additional tip, so don’t be shy. (Editor’s decision is final, no cash alternative, gratuitous pics of super cute bubbas in the bath will definitely score you bonus points in our office…)
Editor’s tip:oh gosh this will sound awful but in there is an episode of Peppa Pig where George Pig gets wet, doesn’t take off his wet clothes and subsequently gets a cold. So my boys can often be heard saying ‘get those wet things off so you don’t catch a cold like George Pig’ – but obviously the logic here is that wet clothes aggravate the skin…
If you’ve not yet discovered BerryClever it’s definitely a site to scope before you buy anything new for your kids or pets. The site provides peer recommendations for a huge range of products and it’s directors Kristi and Emma work tirelessly to ensure their advice is trustworthy. We caught up with them and found out what made these two former City workers decide to trade it all in to work with children and animals…
SM: How did BerryClever come about?
Emma:Kristi and I both experienced that sense of being overwhelmed as expectant mums when it came to buying baby products. We both leant on our friends and families for advice, who all gave us a shopping list of things they had used. This was where the idea for BerryClever was formed. We wanted a place where parents could go to get trusted advice about baby products from people they know. When we researched what our audience wanted, we discovered that 86% of new mums leant on their friends and family first when considering what to buy for their children. We also found that 86% of mums preferred to read reviews from people they know and trust.
BerryClever.com is a unique online environment,which allows you to connect with existing friends and new like-minded ones to discover the products they love, regret or simply can’t live without. You simply log onto the site to browse and discover new products, and read other parents’ reviews. BerryClever’s reviews, known as ‘tips’, are no longer than 150 characters making them quick to write and read on mobile devices and ideal for busy mums on the go. Our hope is that we help parents make the right decision about what to buy, and also to give them new ideas for making life easier! There are so many baby products out there, so BerryClever is a great way of wading through all of the products and find what’s right for you. There are also lots of great pre complied lists that you can browse, these will give you ideas on the best products for dealing with certain issues such as teething or colds, or just to prepare you for different stages in your baby’s life like weaning, bathing, feeding or changing.
SM: What has been the biggest challenge for you as a business?
BerryClever:We had a host of product features and ideas prior to launch and the most difficult thing to do was decide on which products to launch with and test first. With a limited budget we chose those which we felt would give us the most significant learnings to take the product forward.
SM: Coming from corporate backgrounds, do you miss wearing suits for work?
BerryClever:Not at all! We mostly get to wear jeans to work, and dress up a bit more for meetings. It’s a good mix!
SM: Being mums and pet owners yourselves, do you find you tend to agree with the tips on your site, or are there products that surprise you?
BerryClever: There are definitely products that we loved, and then found that lots of other mums didn’t like them (and they listed out great reasons for why they didn’t like them!). Most of all, we’ve discovered a lot of really innovative and helpful products that get highly reviewed, or that other parents suggest that we put on the site. Some of these products are quite simple, and will make such a big difference!
SM: Which of your respective babies, dogs and cats is the most difficult to shop for?
BerryClever: we think puppy Parker is probably the most difficult to shop for, because he is less able to tell us what he loves, mehs or wishes he had.
SM: What’s next for the business?
BerryClever: We’re always working on refining our website and making it easier for people to use. We are working on lots of new features and designs that we hope our members will love!
Ask any mum of a kid with dry skin and they will tell you the same thing: they’re just kids. With dry skin.
Ask them to stand still whilst you slather on aqueous cream? Nope, they’ll be trying to ride their trike ’round the living room. Expect them to use ‘medicinal’ bath treatments when their siblings use something pink, glittery and smelling of Peppa Pig? No way.
For mums of kids with dry skin Oilatum has always been a great brand. ‘As a body lotion or bath treatment it really delivers,’ one of our SM testers says ‘,on the days you forget to use it, run out or they stay over at a friend’s house you notice the difference straight away…’
So we were really glad to hear that Oilatum have launched a new range of cleansing products, including Junior Bath Foam, Junior Head to Toe Wash, Junior Shampoo – all mild enough to be used daily and created with dermatologists.
SM Tester says:‘the first thing to say is that the cleansing products can be used by all the family, so no need to buy separates – even tiny babies can use. They have the same scent as the lotion, which I really like (maybe we are used to it), to me it smells powdery and clean. The bubble bath is lovely, lots of foam – enough to make ‘castles’ as my daughter likes to – and the Head to Toe wash is mild and gentle, no complaints of stinging eyes. After the bath my daughter’s skin was touchably soft and this lastest all day…’
Editor’s tip: try the super moisturising Head to Toe wash for shaving your legs!
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