Saturday, March 30, 2013

Do You Encourage Your Children To Daydream?

I came across an article that says Nicole Kidman encourages her kids to daydream. I thought that was pretty interesting. I don't think many parents do that. On the contrary, I believe most of us try to stop our children from daydreaming.  If you had a child daydreaming while doing homework, I'm sure you'd say "STOP DAYDREAMING". Apparently, Nicole Kidman  regards it as a time for her children to relax and have "creative" time. And you know what, she may be doing the right thing.

Let's turn to what the scientists have to say about this.

According to researchers from the University of Wisconsin and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science, daydreaming may help to increase the brain's memory capacity. I guess you could say that it is one way to exercise the brain.

I've always tried to keep my children's imagination alive. I think school dulls their creative ability and so I always look for ways and activities to nurture their creativity. I guess I shall put 'daydreaming' down on my list. However, there is a time and season for everything. So work time is still work time. Daydreaming will be like 'dessert'.

What do you think? Do your kids daydream?

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Helping your Kid Survive Their First Sleepover

Sleepover (Photo credit: secondtree)
Some parents are terrified of sending their kids to their first sleepover. Others may just be thankful for a night of peace and quiet. Either way, this will be many kids’ first time sleeping in a room where their parents are not just across the hall or in a house they may not be familiar with, and this can be intimidating. By following a few suggestions you can help your kids have a fun and safe time at their first sleepover.

1. Learning about their home for the night

When you drop your kids off at the home they will be staying at, walk through the house and show them where the bathrooms they will use are, where they can go to get drinks or a late night snack, and anything else they may need during the night. This way the child will not need to worry about asking for permission or finding whatever they need at night. This also can help to prevent your child from walking into a room where they could get hurt or accidentally wake someone up.

Another important thing to do is let the hosting parents and friend know if your kid has any medication they will need to take, or a disorder, like diabetes, asthma, autism or severe allergies. They should know what symptoms are typical and which ones might be more serious and warrant a call home or hospital visit. You should also make sure that your child can communicate the kind of problems they might experience from their disorder, and let their friends know in what situations they should wake up their parents for help.

2. Social Skills

A first sleepover can be scary for kids. A whole night of playing and talking with their friends may be far more socializing than what your child has experienced in other situations. While the sleepover will probably be full of games, movies and other fun activities, there may also be a lot of downtime. During popular sleepover events, like scary stories or funny jokes, you don’t want your child to feel left out. To prepare them, teach them some scary stories and funny jokes that they can spread to their friends during the sleepover. This way they can be involved in the conversation all night.

3. Homesickness

Sleeping in an unfamiliar room far away from your family may be a totally new experience for your child. To help them become more comfortable with this, have them try sleeping in a different room at your own house. Because there may not be enough beds for each kid at the sleepover, get your child used to sleeping on other surfaces. For example, they can try sleeping on a cushy rug or a couch in the living room. By getting used to sleeping in these locations, they may be able to fall asleep faster at their friend’s house.

So your kid can feel at least a little bit at home during their sleepover, let them bring along their own pillow, if not their blanket as well. Having some of their own bedding can be a huge source of comfort while they are trying to fall asleep. If they can’t bring their own blanket, your child may only be given a sheet or thin quilt. Consider packing a pair of footed pajamas for kids, so they can stay warm like they would if they had their comforter from home. If they have a stuffed animal they like to sleep with, this could be helpful too. Just be mindful of how old they are, as at some ages bringing along a stuffed animal may become a source of teasing.

Sleepovers are an important part of kids’ social lives. However, the first one can be nerve racking for even the bravest child. By using a few techniques to help your kid survive their first sleepover, you may be able to help them have a great time spending the night with their friends.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Make Your Own Easter Party Bags

Aren't these Easter party bags the cutest? And the best part is, you can make it yourself. They are totally easy and fun to make. Fill them with candy, chocolate covered pretzels, chalk, crayons, or anything else you can think of.

Here are the links to the different digital kits

To claim the free gift, you will need to create an account at the MyMemories website. Then you just click "add to cart" and you'll be able to download from your "my downloads" page.

The easiest way is to have the MyMemories Suite Scrapbooking software. If you do, you can easily install it directly to the software. If you don't have the software, you can still use the free digital kit. Just choose the download option for general use. It is suitable for software applications such as Adobe Photoshop & Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro, etc....  

For the tutorial, just click here

p.s. If you are in need of fun Easter games for your party, check out these printable games.
Save 20% on orders $15 and up this Easter! Use 'EASTER20' at checkout. Offer ends 31st March 2013.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Easter Books For Babies and Toddlers

I came across this Karen Katz book that is perfect for Easter. It is called Where Are Baby's Easter Eggs?.

It is a board book and the pages have flaps for our kids to lift. My first Karen Katz book was Where Is Baby's Belly Button? . My kids loved that book and I enjoyed reading that book to them. This Easter book is just as colorful and entertaining as all her other lift-the-flap books. Yes I admit, I'm a big fan of Karen Katz books.

Here are some other Easter themed books you might want to check out.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

4th Generation iPad Review

Everywhere you go, you will see someone using an iPad. Shows what a successful tablet computer it has become. It was the original iPad tablet that made tablets popular. It started a trend. Well, after 3 upgrades, we now have the new 4th Generation iPad. It's also called iPad with Retina Display. You probably heard of the iPad Mini too. That is like a sister-device aimed at competing with other smaller devices like the Kindle and Google’s Nexus.


Some people were not too happy when they launched the 4th Generation iPad.  Mainly because the 3rd generation iPad was released only 7 months earlier. I guess you can say they felt cheated. If they had just waited another 7 months, they could have had the latest and more superior product.


For those who don’t already own a 3rd generation iPad, the 4th generation iPad does represent a decent upgrade. So let’s take a closer look and see if it’s actually worth buying.

Key Specs For The New iPad

  • Price Range: $499 - $929
  • Storage Options: 16 GB; 32 GB; 64 GB; 128 GB
  • Dimensions: 9.50 x 7.31 0.37 inches
  • Screen Size: 9.7 inches
  • Resolution: 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Processor: Dual-Core A6X; Quad-Core Graphics
  • Photo Quality: 5 MP
  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Battery Life: 10 Hours


    Whether you’re a seasoned Apple tablet user or not, the chances are you’ll be pretty familiar with the way Apple’s tablet operating system – iOS – works. That’s one of the biggest selling points of iPads – they’re easy to get your head around because they use what’s become the standard operating system on the market today.
    iOS is a highly streamlined operating system that makes it easy for people to navigate their device and do the things they want to do. It deliberately keeps things simple so that it can appeal to the broadest market possible, catching casual users too. iOS makes for a satisfying user experience and is a definite positive of this device.
    Apple’s Retina Display has become pretty famous with tablet fans. It’s easily the nicest screen on the market thanks to its ultra-high resolution and incredible pixel density. Essentially, this makes for really crisp images across the board, from the menu system and web pages to movies. If you’re a real fan of beautiful images, then the Retina Display will push all the right buttons. Currently it’s the best in class.
    The 4th generation iPad has the same familiar options that previous iPads have had when it comes to color. This is somewhat limiting, but remains classy. Choose between black or white, both of which have a stylish appeal that won’t spoil your chic fashion sense whatever you wear.
    This iPad comes with 4 storage options, making it the first iPad to do so. The options are 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, as standard for tablets, and a new 128GB option. This storage increase is great for heavy duty users, especially those looking to use an iPad in place of a laptop. 128GB doubles the amount of data you can store on this iPad over any previous iPad, which is a significant change.
    This is the fastest iPad ever. Thanks to a processor upgrade from the A5X of old to the A6X everything flies along. Navigating the menu, switching between apps, browsing the web and gaming are all handled with complete finesse. This also means that games with more demanding graphics can also function just find on the newest iPad. It’s one of the fastest tablets on the market today.
    The front facing camera on this iPad has been upgraded. It’s now an HD camera that allows for sharper images of yourself – whether photos or webcam – and can also record in full 720p. This is a nice improvement over the camera of the 3rd generation iPad.
    Apple’s App Store is still the best resource for apps in the tablet world. It’s got the most apps available and the lowest instance of corrupt and broken apps or virus-carrying apps of any applications store.
    LTE is fast becoming a standard option for tablets and smartphones. It’s an ultra-fast cellular data service that can actually outperform conventional WiFi. It’s astonishingly fast, meaning you can enjoy full streaming media wherever you are provided you’re in range of your LTE network provider. This is a costly upgrade option but one that many will think is worth it.



    Compared with the 3rd generation, the 4th generation iPad doesn’t represent much of a design upgrade. It’s the same size and weight and features the exact same screen as the 3rd generation.
    If you like to hold your tablet in only one hand then you may find that this is on the heavy side. It’s not comfortable for extended periods of one-handed use. However, this is true with any tablet! You can always buy the iPad Mini if you like something smaller.
    A major annoyance for owners of older iPad accessories is that this version isn’t compatible with those accessories. If you do want to make use of them with the new iPad you’ll have to pay for a special adapter, and it’s not cheap.
    The price of the iPad has long been an issue. Apple ride high on the strength of their brand, charging a premium price. The basic model will set you back around $500 and that will only give you 16GB of storage. If you want the largest 128GB storage option as well as support for LTE cellular data you’ll have to pay a massive $929. You need deep pockets to own an iPad.

Is The New iPad Worth Buying?

If you are looking for one of the best tablets in the market, then you won't regret owning the 4th generation iPad. It does so many things right. For many people, the biggest problem would be the price. But if money is not an issue with you, then nothing should stop you from getting it.

If you already own a 3rd generation iPad, it may not be in your best interest to make the switch. There's not much of an upgrade to make it worth spending extra money. Of course, maybe you really, really want to have the latest model. Then I can only hope that you are able to sell your current model for a good price.

It is a different story if you own a 2nd generation iPad or another older tablet. This will mark a big step up on all fronts and you’ll definitely be a satisfied customer. Highly recommended.