Travelling by train is a great choice for families because it is usually more affordable, comfortable and unforgettable.

Bring your kids on a train ride shall enable your family to enjoy the beautiful sights along the ride and of course create beautiful memories that would last.

Going on family train trips also mean that you are choosing a more environmental friendly mean of transport for your family due to the reduced carbon emission as compared to travelling by air or by car.

If your going on a long journey train ride however, kids tend to get bored over time as they stay on the train.

To keep your bored kids from turning to the screens on your upcoming family train trips, try playing these kids’ games with them instead!

Via Mummy Pages: 12 games to play during your next family train journey

Getting away for a few days is lovely, but entertaining kids on a train can be tough if you don’t like giving them iPads or portable DVD players.

Below are a number of games we regularly crack out during our family train trips through Ireland. We’re big fans of staycations and one of the perks of train travel is that the whole family can participate in the games as the grown-ups aren’t stuck concentrating on the road or reading maps.

1. Impressions

Everyone take turns imitating people famous actors, television characters, musicians or even their loud next-door neighbour. You can’t say who you’re mimicking or give hints; you can only rely on your acting ability. The first person to guess who’s being imitated gets a point and the first to 10 wins!

2. Dots

Fill a page with evenly spaced dots to create a grid (eg: 20 dots across, 30 dots down). Each player takes turns to join to dots together. Once they create a box, they write their initial in it and then get an extra go. Person with the most boxes at the end wins.

3. The Never-Ending Story

One person starts a story and each person in the group contributes 2-3 lines. It’s called The Never-Ending Story, but don’t worry – you’ll get stuck eventually and have to end it.

4. I’m Thinking of an Animal

One player thinks of an animal. The others tries to guess which animal it is by asking “yes” or “no” questions. The catch? You can only ask 10 questions. Whoever guesses correctly gets to think of the next animal. If no one guesses after the 10 questions, the first player reveals the answer and then thinks of another animal.

5. Name That Coin

Tell your child to close their eyes and then place a coin in their hand. They must guess which coin it is by feeling it, but they only get one guess per coin. The player who guesses the most by the end of the round wins.

6. 20 Questions

Player One thinks of a person, place or thing. Everyone else takes turns asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. After each answer, the questioner gets one guess. Play continues until a player guesses correctly.

7. I Spy

The directions are simple: one person spies something and recites the well-known rhyme, ending in a clue. Everyone else takes turns trying to guess the mystery item.

8. X and Os

This is a fail-proof activity and works for almost every situation that involves waiting, It can go on for as long as your youngster stays interested and works really well if there is more than one child. All you need is two players and a pencil.

9. Puzzles

If you want to catch up on some reading or have a chat with your hubby, puzzle books are a great way to entertain the kids. Each books comes with a number of games like word searches and word grids that will keep your child quietly entertained while putting their brain to work.

10. The A-Z Game

Pick a topic and start listing items in alphabetical order (eg: countries). The first person to miss a letter is out and you continue until one person is left.

11. Yes/No/Uhm Game

Avoid saying ‘yes,’ ‘no’ and ‘uhm’ as your train companions fire questions at you.

12. Hangman

Another pen and paper game that’s easily played on a train when you get the table seats.

Many studies have found that messy play for kids is one of the best ways to let them learn and develop. It was also found that messy kids are more creative.

With the findings of these researches, more and more parents are starting to embrace messy plays and messiness in kids to empower them in exploring their curiosity, creativity and imagination.

However, it is never easy for parents to put up with their kids’ mess.

If you need help to deal with your messy kids, check out this video now for the children hacks that will help your life way easier.

BLhacks – Children Hacks to make things a little less…

Children Hacks to make things a little less messy!

Posted by Madres Solteras on Friday, March 30, 2018

Do you tell children’s bedtime stories to your kids?

Researches have shown that parents who read bedtime stories to their children are able to bond with and enhance the creativity of their little ones at an early age.

Children’s bedtime stories will also help your children to harvest many other benefits including increasing their moral values, developing their social communication and cognitive skills, improving their attention and many more!

If you are unsure on where to start and how to tell a story to a child, the following article is for you. Try these tips today to spice up the story telling sessions with your children!

Via Nalibali: Easy ways to tell stories to children

People have told stories for centuries to explore ideas and make sense of their experiences. In fact, sharing stories is as natural to human beings as eating and sleeping! Some of the stories we tell today have been passed down from generation to generation, while others are new ones that we create ourselves.

Making time to tell your children stories can be fun and satisfying for everyone. It also lets your children know that you value spending this time with them. But storytelling has other great benefits too. Here are some of them:

  • Storytelling is a great way to teach children the life lessons you want them to learn. Great stories allow children to explore and think about love, hate, jealousy, kindness, power, good and evil.
  • Storytelling stimulates children’s imagination and their use of language.
  • Stories can transport and connect them to the lives of people they’ve never known, who come from long ago and places faraway.
  • Telling stories about your childhood experiences helps your children to connect with you.

So, how do you get going? Well, it’s always easiest to start with stories that you know. Also, think about which stories will interest your listeners and what is appropriate for their ages. For example: you wouldn’t tell a ghost story to three year olds, but teenagers might enjoy it! Build up a bank of stories to tell and then keep finding new ones by looking in books or on the Internet. Translate and adapt stories that may only be available in one language. Keep them in a special folder or a book.

Practise telling a story by telling it to yourself until you know it well. Then, as you tell it to others, remember that your voice and your body are your main tools! Use them to create pictures in the minds of your listeners by using:

  • interesting and expressive words
  • facial expressions, like scowling to show how angry a character is
  • gestures, like stretching out your arms to show how wide something is
  • expression in your voice that gives different characters, different sounding voices, like a soft voice for a shy character.

But, most of all, remember that if you enjoying telling a story, there is a good chance that your audience will enjoy listening to it!

Even though many children are lucky enough to become establish strong sibling bond with their brothers or sisters, it is common for siblings to fight. Sibling rivalry is unavoidable as long as there is more than one kid in your house.

Sibling rivalry usually starts when the second child is born. As the children grow to reach different phases of development, the way they relate to one another would be significantly affected by their evolving needs.

It certainly is upsetting and frustrating to watch your children fighting with one another. When a family is full of conflicts, the growing environment can sometime become stressful and toxic to the kids.

If your kids fight often, you might be worried about their sibling bond.

Check out the following video and article now for the sibling bonding activities you could try to improve the sibling bond in your little ones.

Via Playtivities: 20 Sibling Games to Bond, Compete and Cooperate

Activities for siblings that are easy to set up, can be played independently, help siblings bond, be a team member and even have some healthy competition. I picked our favorite sibling activities to share with you today. Honestly, they are life savers during colder weather when play time outdoors is limited.

Activities for Siblings

Lava game. It’s fun active game for at least 2 players/siblings. Let the kids jump from couch to couch without touching the floor unless it’s a pillow. The players must keep moving and try to hit and make other person touch the floor and melt (in lava).

T-shirt walk. Put both kids in one t-shirt and let them walk in the house. Ideally pick a room or place with less sharp furniture edges in case they fall. This sibling activity would be perfect to play in the backyard on the grass.

Pillow sumomo. We have played this so many times already. Find the rules here.

Apple roll. Give your kids an apple and tell them to roll the apple between their bodies without dropping it. Great team work!

Twister game is a classic, but perfect to play on a family night or on a rainy afternoon.

The ball roll. Let 2 kids hold long piece of cardboard with their hands and roll ball back and forward and try not to let it fall on the floor. The longer they will keep it on the cardboard – the better.

Freeze game. Perfect activity to lift up the mood in the house. Turn on favorite music and let your kids dance. Then stop the music, the kids must freeze until the music starts playing again. If anyone budges before you start the music again, they get a point.

Catchy Catch. Get a beach ball (balloon could work too) and toss it in the air. The players cannot touch the ball with hands and cannot let the ball fall on the floor. Advise them touch it with their noses, heads, feet, tummy.

Balloon pop. Ready for some loud fun? This sibling game is perfect if you have more players and bigger space to play in. Tie a balloon to the right leg of each player’s leg and leave a three foot long string. Then tell the kids that they have to pop each other’s balloons by stepping on them. Whoever is left with the balloon on their feet that is not popped – wins the game!

Balloon walk. Stand your kids side by side and but the balloon between their hips. Tell them to walk across the room without dropping the balloon (and without using their hands to help hold it). If they drop it, they need to start all over again.

Together we stand. Sit your kids on the floor, touching their backs and their arms linked at the elbows. Now tell the kids to get themselves up and standing without ruining the position (their backs touching and elbows linked). There will be some pushing against each other. To make the game more challenging leave some treats on the floor around the house for them to pick it up (while linked together). My kids had so much fun doing it!

Potato drop. This sibling activity is great for kids who are competitive and can handle the race. Put 2 bowls at the finish line. Then mark starting point across the room and give each child a potato. The task is to race while carrying the potato between their knees and drop it in the bowl at the finish line. They can’t use hands!

Touch my po-po (pom pom). This fun activity was created by my kids. I am not sure if they saw it somewhere, but they have been playing it for a while now. Attach pom pom to kids’ backs and tell them to try to catch each other’s pom poms. Lots of fun and laughter!

Beach ball towel game. Grab a beach towel and and a ball. Let your kids hold the towel stretched from both ends and drop the ball. The goal is to let the ball bounce on the towel on not fall on the floor. This is a great boredom buster activity for siblings.

Cardboard Slide Indoors. This is one of the favorite activities for siblings in our house up to this day. They play on it the entire day. See how we made our ultimate indoor slide.

Engineers. Let your kids explore with different ”building materials”. Let them build a tower together from what’s around the house. Then knock it down. How fun is that. My kids used pillows, trash cans, pots and pans, even their Lego blocks.

Blind Treasure Hunt. Place some treats around the house and blindfold one of the siblings. Let the other one (who is not blindfolded) guide the ”blind one” to the treat with words.

Spider Game. Tie some rope on the hall between the walls and let them get out of there.

Large Paper Painting – Tape some paper to a large piece of cardboard, put it on the ground outside and let the fun begin!

Scavenger hunt. Get these 30 free printable scavenger hunts for indoors and outdoors that are perfect for siblings. It’s great for teamwork practice.

It is no secret that children learn and develop best through play, especially through messy, exploratory and unstructured play.

Encouraging your kids to embrace messy and sensory play brings many benefits to them. It provides opportunities for kids to practice high concentration and play independently. It nurtures practical skills that they need in the future such as writing skill. It also fosters their imagination and curiosity through exploring these activities.

Despite the great benefits that messy, sensory plays bring to children, many parents are put off by these activities due to the after-play kids’ mess created.

With these cleaning tips for kids’ mess, you can now encourage your kids to play and then clean up more easily!

Check out this video now for the best quick cleaning tips for kids’ mess!

5 Quick Cleaning Tips For Parents

5 Quick Cleaning Tips For Parents 🙌

Posted by Goodful on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Happy Zoo Lover’s Day!

Visiting the zoo is such an exciting event for kids! Seeing the animal in real life which was taught to them in books or even on screen would get most of the kids hyped and excited.

If you are planning on a zoo trip with your kids today, it is important to educate your kids on the zoo safety rules and some safety tips for kids to keep your kids safe throughout your exciting trip.

Here are some zoo safety tips for kids that you would need to take note of before bringing your kids to the zoo.

Via Love and Marriage Blog: 10 Must Know Tips to Keep Your Child Safe At The Zoo

With the recently terrifying incident at the Cincinnati Zoo, you may be a parent who is wondering how to keep your child safe at the zoo. I don’t blame you. I have been, too. To find out as much as I could about keeping your child safe when you take them on a trip to see the animals at the zoo, I’ve done some digging at a number of sites that offer safety information from the experts.

How to Keep Your Child Safe at the Zoo

1. Don’t hold your kids in a dangerous position so they can get a better look.

You may think you have a tight grip on your kiddo, but it’s better safe than sorry. (A parent did this at a zoo & their child fell into a Cheetah exhibit.) For goodness sake, DON’T let your kids sit on the zoo fences or walls.

2. Teach your children not to tease the animals.

You shouldn’t trust that a piece of thick glass will always hold. There have been instances of cracked glass at zoos in the past. No matter the danger of cracked glass, teaching your child to be respectful of animals is just the right parenting decision.

3. Read and follow the zoo signs.

If a sign says not to feed an animal, don’t. If a sign tells you to stay back, do so. It is your responsibility to follow the rules so that your kids are safe.

4. If your child mentions wanting to go in the enclosure, take it seriously.

Children are often mesmerized by the animals, but also by the enclosures themselves. They often look like fun swimming pools are exciting places to play. When your child tells you they want to go in let that sound a caution alarm for you.

5. Create a learning opportunity about wild animals before you visit.

Your kids have stuffed animals at home. They watch cartoons and nature shows. Those things are fine, but they may ultimately teach kids that all animals are friendly, snugly and harmless. Spending some time teaching them about wild animals prior to your trip to the zoo is important.

6. Keep your kids close & accounted for at all times.

While you may find it appalling to use a child harness or a backpack with a harness, I personally would rather see a child safely attached to Mom or Dad than to see them on the news at the bottom of an enclosure. Hand holding is great, but kids have a knack for wrangling away. If your child is too big for a harness, you must be extra vigilant. Have a talk prior to your visit about your rules and make sure they know if they aren’t followed you’ll have to leave.

7. Stop with the photos.

If you’re distracted because you’re taking pictures or selfies or videos, you’re not being a responsible parent. Focus on making memories, not on documenting your outing for Facebook.

8. Focus on the educational benefit of a zoo outing.

Talk to your kids about the animals. Read them the signs. Take every opportunity to impart a love of wild animals so that when they grow up, they’ll carry that love with them.

9. Tell kids you are visitors in the animals’ home.

This is where animals live and kids need to know they are to be respectful visitors. You wouldn’t want a lion tapping on your bedroom window and yelling at you, would you?

10. Visit the zoo’s website before your trip.

There is always lots of helpful information about rules and regulations as well as info about the animals your child will get to see. As a parent you’ll also want to know where the first aid office is, where the bathrooms are, and whether you’re allowed to bring water or snacks inside the zoo.

No matter your feelings about whether animals should be in zoos at all, you can be a great teacher and a great example for your kids about loving, respecting and protecting wild animals. Just be safe while you’re doing it!

Happy Easter to all Energise Kids’ fans!

Easter is one of the most sacred Christian holidays which celebrates Jesus Christ’s return from death (which is also called the Resurrection).

It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon following the Spring Equinox on 21st March, which is on 1st April for 2018.

There are many fun and colorful ways to celebrate Easter for kids. Whether are your family Christians, here are 10 fun Easter holiday activities for kids that you could try to keep your kids active over this Easter holiday.

Make the most out of this Easter for kids, try them out today!

Via Active for Life: 10 fun ways to add activity to your Easter

Easter is almost here, so why not hop to it and figure out a way to get the kids active over the holidays? Short of simply hiding the eggs really, really far apart from each other, here are some fun ways to add some activity to your Easter:

1. Egg rolling

Do you know what an egg roll is? No, not that crispy appetizer at a Chinese restaurant. This other kind of egg roll is an Easter tradition that’s different from culture to culture and family to family.

A number of years ago a Scottish friend introduced my family to his version and we try to include it in our Easter festivities whenever we can. Simply boil a bunch of eggs, have fun decorating them, then pack them up and bring them to a park with a big hill. From the top of the hill, players can take turns rolling their eggs down. The egg that travels the furthest wins. We tend to invent rules as we go, so there’s always lots of running (and rolling) up and down the hill.

2. Switch things up

Have you ever heard of a reverse Easter egg hunt? Neither had I. But I can pretty much guarantee my kids would love running all over a park or the backyard to find little bits of nature to fill their eggs. Making sure, of course, that all the things we talk about collecting are safe for them to gather, and returning things once we’re done.

3. Active egg hunt

With older kids, a classic egg hunt might be activity enough if you challenge them with finishing times, quantities collected, or even make it a race. Obviously, only you know if your kids are ready to handle a little friendly competition, and if they are, it’s a great way to intensify the egg hunt.

4. Bunny hop

Have a dance party. Whether you’re at a big family gathering or it’s just you and your kids, there’s nothing like some good old-fashioned dancing. Turn on some favourite tunes and everyone can show off their best moves. And if you really want to include that famous rabbit-y dance? Well, this tutorial will show you, step-by-step, exactly how to do The Bunny Hop.

5. Leapfrog/bunny game

Leapfrog is always a fun family game. Pretending to be bunnies instead of frogs makes it perfect for Easter.

6. Animal friends

Even little toddlers can get in on the Easter fun with our animal activity. Have them pretend to be some of their favourite spring animals (chicks, bunnies, and ducklings come to mind) and they’ll soon be peeping, hopping, waddling, and quacking their way along the road to developing physical literacy.

7. Obstacle course/relay race

Set up a simple obstacle course in the backyard or even the living room and give it a fun Easter theme. Lots of hopping, eggs on spoons, egg throwing and catching, and maybe even some bowling with a hard-boiled egg to knock over the pins.

8. Community egg hunt outdoors

Have a community egg hunt outdoors. Here’s one simple way to do it.

9. Pack your gear

When you’re headed to a family dinner, pack the baseball gloves or a soccer ball. Then, when kids are getting antsy waiting for dinner to start, head to the nearest park. All those Easter goodies can lead to quite the sugar rush, so kids and adults alike will probably welcome the chance to run around and play together. It’s also a great way for kids who don’t see each other often to break the ice.

10. Have an Easter Parade

Toddlers and preschoolers will love putting on their Easter bonnets, making fancy signs, decorating their ride-on toys, and walking, marching, riding, and scooting down the street for a neighbourhood Easter Parade.

And there it is: An active Easter is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Were you aware that your kids are born Scientist? All their curious exploration and destructive experiments in life are the little experiments that nurture the scientific spirits in them!

“An adult Scientist is a kid who never grow up” – Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Instead of trying to teach Science for kids, let kids be kids and let them explore Science with limited restrictions in their daily life!

You will be surprised on how adventurous your little Scientists could be.

Check out the following video now a speech by Neil deGrasse Tyson to talk about Science for kids.

Comment below to share your thoughts with us now!

Neil deGrasse Tyson – Let Kids Be Kids

From trouble-maker to problem-solver: this is why you should let your kids destroy the house.Speaker: Neil deGrasse Tyson for the Space Foundation

Posted by Goalcast on Monday, March 12, 2018

Kids’ school holidays are the perfect time for parents and kids to bond through the extra family time you get.

School holidays might be fun at first, but as you cross out one after another activity on your holiday checklist, things could get boring and expensive after some time.

In addition, you would also want your kids to learn something out of the holidays. The key is to put proper planning in place on how to spend the holidays with children, so that your children may engage in self-development over the holidays.

Check out the following article now for the list of activities beneficial to your family and kids during kids’ school holidays!

Via Child and youth Protection Center of Zagreb: Spending holidays with your children

From children’s perspective, quality time includes direct and undivided attention of their parents.
School holidays offer opportunities for more family time and for the parents to improve positive communication and relationship with their children. Many parents, thinking about planning activities and fun for their children, may feel the approach of holidays is stressful. Some international studies show that about two thirds of children see quality time different from their parents. Parents who are very busy may think that cooking or watching TV in the same room is quality time with their children. From children’s perspective, quality time includes direct and undivided attention of their parents. We believe that it should enable talking about significant issues and practising useful shared activities.

Sometimes it is difficult to decide when is the ‘right’ time to spend with your children. The more grown up they are, due to their school and extra curricular activities, the more difficult it is . Parents often expect their children to be happy when they have planned special family events and activities, but it is not always the case. Apart from shared activities, quality time with children includes quality communication, too. Taking time to talk with your children is important in building an open and honest relationship, and it also creates an atmosphere where children can feel free to take up various issues. Talk to your children, but also remember to listen to what your children have to say. Foster your children’s curiosity and interests by asking a lot of ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ questions. This helps children in learning how to express their thoughts and feelings. Let your children talk about themselves, about what they like to do and about their worries. This will help in creating the atmosphere of trust and acceptance.

10 tips how to improve the quality of communication between your children and you:

1. Gather round the table and enjoy family meals

Family members can exchange information; this is time when parents can listen, offer advice and support to their children;

2. Read to your children

Research show that it develops interest in knowledge acquisition and stimulates language development in children. It also enhances attention, concentration and curiosity in children;

3. Do household chores together

Sharing household chores is a very productive way of teaching children responsibility. Doing them together with your children helps them understand the value of team work and good communication;

4. Help your children with their homework

Parents’ willingness to help reinforces children’s interest for school and better academic achievement. Regular visits to the library are an inexpensive and good way of spending time with children;

5. Take up a family hobby

Activities like cooking, making things, fishing or cycling are an excellent way of spending quality time with your children;

6. Play

Parents should choose social games with their children over long hours of watching TV programmes;

7. Plan occasional family outings

Prepare a picnic, visit the local park, go cycling, walk in the forest, visit the zoo or the museum;

8. Initiate family physical activities

Both strengthening the body and helping in building up their personality and increasing motivation and perseverance, they are very important for the development of children;

9. Make a calendar of ‘family time’

Since many parents have a busy schedule, time scheduled for their children is getting lower on their priorities list. Make a calendar of planned family events together with your children. It may bring about some creative ideas. Try to stick to the plan.

Some ideas for family activities during school holidays:

· Organize the ‘Olympics’ for your family and friends. Let the children decide which disciplines will be included and let them make the medals. Hold the medal ceremony and proclaim the medallists. Celebrate at a barbecue.

· Visit the airport and watch the airplanes taking off and landing.

· Make your family coat of arms.

· Make and decorate some new and unusual cookies.

· Read about activities and events during school holidays in the local newspapers.

St. Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick is an Irish celebration that is held on the 17th of March every year.

It was first started as an official Christian feast day to honor Saint Patrick and the emergence of Christianity in Ireland. St Patrick’s Day in today’s world however has evolved into a variety of festivals around the world celebrating the Irish culture with music, dancing, special food, parades and a whole lot of green.

If you are wondering how you should celebrate St Patrick’s Day for kids, try getting them to read the books about St. Patrick’s Day, going on a St Patrick’s Day Parade with them and getting them involved in St. Patrick’s Day Crafts!

Check out the following article now for the kids’ safety tips before you bring them to the St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Via Magic Mum: Heading to the St. Patrick’s Day parade? Keep these toddler safety tips in mind

Taking young children out to crowded places can be a little overwhelming – with so many people around the chances of them running off and going missing are significantly increased.

However, this doesn’t mean you should miss out on fun days, so long as you are careful and safe.

To keep your little one safe while attending a parade or crowded event, bear the following seven things in mind.

1. Write your contact number on their arm and clothes

The more places you write your own name and contact number on your child, the easier it will be to find should your tot go missing. You should always write it on their jacket and jumper in permanent marker, and on their arm or hand in pen.

2. Have a meeting point

While you may think that they are too young to understand what a meeting location is, you should ALWAYS show them where to go if they do get lost. This way you can run to check there first is they wander off.

3. Dress them in bright colours

If your child is wearing the same colours as everyone else in the crowd (like green) they will be really hard to spot. To stop this, dress them in a bright hat and coat so that you can see them from far away.

4. Pop them in a buggy or carrier

If you can pop your toddler into a back carrier, this will save you having to bring the buggy and you will always know where they are. If you aren’t able to manage this, make sure you bring their buggy and ensure they are securely strapped in.

5. Get there early

The earlier you get there the better spot you will find. This can mean you can set up a camp-type area which will save you having to wander around looking for a good spot – this is when kids get lost.

6. Invest in a good harness

If you know your little one won’t sit in their buggy for long periods of time, then you should invest in a harness that you can control so they can’t run away. Go for one that slips over their arms rather than just their wrist so it won’t come off easily.

7. Take a photo of them before you leave the house

A precautionary measure, this way you’ll have a photo of what they are wearing that day – important if the worst should happen.