HOW TO DESIGN THE PERFECT PLAY ROOM

indoor playground

A kids play area needs to be a multi-functional play room that’s cosy, colorful and a play space that kids will love to be in.

Indoor places for kids

A well-designed playroom (that’s a special kids play area) needs to be a multi-functional play space with an emphasis on child skills development.

A child needs an indoor play area where they feel safe and free to explore… where they can be creative and express themselves by trying new things. The perfect modern playroom is free from clutter and old worn-out toys and furniture.

Kids play places

The home play area needs to include educational toys for kids, learning toys and soft play equipment that is both fun and safe to play on.

The indoor play space can be a special kids play zone where there are lots of learning toys for toddlers, encouraging various indoor children’s activities… improving a child’s skills development, especially fine motor skills in infants.  Early learning toys are essential for a child’s mental and physical development.

Designing a Child's room for Play

INDOOR PLAY PLACES

Indoor play places need to include an enjoyable happy play space that encourages kids to explore, read books, paint, and draw. A well-designed playroom needs to help develop a child’s imagination and encourage creative skill building.

It also needs to stimulate and strengthen a child’s thought processes, to ultimately expand their knowledge and understanding of why and how things work. A well-designed playroom prompts kids to expand their abilities, as well as promoting or strengthening their thought processes.

THE MODERN PLAYROOM

Perhaps the old playroom needs a fresh coat of paint and some new and up to date furniture with an emphasis on educational toys and skill development.  The ideal playroom environment stimulates a child’s inquiring mind to solve problems through exploration and play. The modern playroom needs to help develop the fine motor skills in infants and older children, to extend themselves through play.

The playing room needs to help develop a child’s creative skills through play, enabling them to learn about color, texture, balance, shape, and sound, helping kids to develop organization skills and stretch their imagination.


Setting up Indoor Places for kids

Indoor places for kids need to allow them to experiment and develop their imagination.

A soft play area is important in a kids play space, where kids can listen to music or experiment and develop their imagination by building a tee-pee tent or an indoor cubby house… or cuddle up with cushions and rest a while, sleep or read a favourite book.

Indoor places for kids might include an under-stairs playroom.  Another fun playroom feature might be a kids’ jumping place or be set up as a fun kids indoor playground, using wallpaper trees with cushions for rocks to climb over. You could create an imaginary kids playground jungle using soft play toy animals.  Or you could set up a special playroom as a kids indoor park, with wallpaper trees and indoor climbing frame.

Child skills development

Fun play places need to stretch a child’s imagination with varying stimuli to grow and develop their newly emerging thought processes, increasing their learning skills and independence.

Social development for children

Social development for children is important and safe places for kids to play with friends help to develop their emotional and social skills. Why not invite a few of your child’s friends over to also enjoy your child’s playroom?

THE PERFECT PLAY ROOM

How to Modernize your Play Room

What do children need?

We need to get back to basics. A child needs stimulation by using color, sound, feel, shape, texture, patterns and taste. Creativity thought patterns can be stimulated using music, words, environment and the exploration of many other areas.

It’s important to create a safe room where children can sit, stand, jump, lie down, crawl and feel free, whilst doing an activity. They need a designated room or area that is both creative and changeable… a room to play, express themselves, relax, read books and explore different experiences. It needs to be a totally technology free zone.

It needs to be a dual-purpose room. You need good design with both space, functionality, color and different zoned areas. These zoned areas are distinguished by colorful floor mats, seating areas, activity and relaxing areas, both stimulating and functional.

Discovery areas need color, texture, pin-up board areas and storage for books, games, pens and paper, instruments, soft toys and a chalk board.

7 Features of a Modern Child’s Play Area

1 An Open-Plan kids play area needs to be light and airy and not overcrowded.

2 The perfect play room needs to be a multi-functional safe play space.  It needs to be easily accessible, according to a child’s height, to encourage indoor play for kids. And it should provide for different places for kids to play, i.e., different kids play zones that are very flexible for play and relaxation.

3 Kids need to develop organization skills to keep the play room tidy.  Suitable storage in a play room is essential for organizing all the educational toys, books, toys, soft toys, and paints.  Colorful baskets or clear buckets with labels are a great way to store the different indoor children’s activities, learning toys and soft play equipment.  Use either clear buckets or colorful baskets that fit in the storage unit to separate the different indoor children’s activities and games.  

4 A kids play zone needs child-safe tables and chairs to use as a work space.  It also needs a chalk board or pin-up board or easel for kids to create or paint in the indoor play area.

5 The indoor play space needs to include the all-important soft play area by utilising colorful rugs, cushions, pillows, and soft throws to create a cosy play room where kids can rest, read, or snuggle up with lots of soft play toys and perhaps go to sleep.

6 Rotate educational toys.  Do not have too many toys in the play area.

7 For child skill development, the kids’ play places need to be enjoyable, colorful and constitute a fun indoor play space to be in.

A child needs an area where they can feel safe and free to explore their most creative side and express themselves freely. It needs to be an environment where it is fun, exciting and stimulating. Creativity can so often be stunted by merely sitting watching television, computers or other devices where their whole being is not being stimulated.

The essentials –

28 Pack Sensory Toy Kit

 a light and airy room

 functional storage space

colorful mat, cushions and soft bean bag

small table and two chairs

 a wall for a pin up board


Read more about Child Education


Helping to paint

Read more Helpful Parenting Tips


Playroom Design Ideas



How to break unhealthy eating habits in children

heathy eating

Processed food is one of the worst offenders when it comes to unhealthy food.

Most unhealthy fast food includes processed meat, unhealthy cheese, and foods with bad fats.

 

fast food

So, if you want to feed your kids healthy meals, food for kids needs to be free of snack junk food and should not include processed sugar.  Also, when preparing a snack for toddlers, especially exclude ultra-processed sugar and foods with refined carbs.

HEALTHY FOOD VS JUNK FOOD

child health and nutrition

What is an UNHEALTHY DIET?

There is much confusion around what constitutes an unhealthy diet.

Commonly asked questions are…

  • What’s the difference between healthy and unhealthy food?
  • Why is saturated fat bad for you?
  • What are unhealthy fats?

Children need to be taught the difference between unhealthy snacks and healthy snacks, as most snack junk food contains far too much processed sugar, sodium and unhealthy additives that are not good food for kids to eat.

Unhealthy food contains higher levels of unhealthy fats and can be harmful to a child’s health and wellbeing.

To avoid children eating last minute junk food meals, pre-packaged processed food and all the other unhealthy food children desire, following a simple ten step plan will help kids to overcome their unhealthy diet.

Follow these 10 successful strategies for overcoming a child’s unhealthy diet and develop healthy eating habits …..

heathy eating

10 TIPS TO HELP YOUR CHILD AVOID EATING UNHEALTHY FOOD

1 Plan meals ahead of time. Grill, poach, steam or slow-cook foods.  You can cook a pot roast or light the BBQ. There are so many different ways to cook kids healthy meals and replace an unhealthy diet with a very healthy diet.

2 Create a regular well planned shopping list to overcome last minute unhealthy food buying. Always provide kids healthy snacks.

3 Give kids healthy meals using lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, garlic, ginger, turmeric… adding plenty of salad greens, legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, whole grain foods, nuts and seeds… always avoiding foods with unhealthy fats and all processed food.

4 Delight your child’s taste buds by presenting them with varied colorful fruit and vegie platters, replacing the usual unhealthy food snacks with healthy snacks. This can be a great snack for toddlers as well.

5 Educate children on how to read food labels, looking to avoid any food products that may have unhealthy food additives such as added high levels of sugar and sodium, that are not healthy foods for kids.

6 Children need to replenish their energy levels throughout the day so provide your kids healthy snacks.

7 Add probiotic food to your child’s diet. To overcome an unhealthy diet, probiotic foods feed the gut with good bacteria to help fight off disease.  Natural Greek style yoghurt plus fermented foods such as Sauerkraut mix well with fruits and vegies.

8 Teach your child to cook at an early age so they can learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy food. They may experiment with different foods and create their own favourite “kids healthy meals” that all the family can also enjoy.

9 Replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats such as avocados, healthy nuts, extra virgin olive oil, plus oily fish such as sardines, salmon and tuna as these are essential food for kids to eat on a regular basis.

10 Kids’ healthy meals should always include adequate protein, such as fish, chicken, red meat, eggs, milk, cheese and legumes. Protein helps provide cell growth in children as well as maintaining healthy bones, muscles, hair and skin while fighting off diseases.

Other important tips for active kids…

1 Exercise is important to help children stay physically fit and healthy.

2 Children need to drink adequate water to stay hydrated and it’s vital for growing bodies to stay healthy for physical activity and concentration. Therefore, it’s important to avoid any processed sugar drinks and replace with adequate cool water to stay hydrated.

3 Providing healthy kids snacks includes making your own smoothies, using lots of fresh fruits and vegies, plus natural yoghurt. Healthy smoothies with probiotics are a great food for kids to enjoy.

5 Kids need adequate amounts of sleep to perform all the tasks required for growing children to stay fit and active.

Read more about Healthy Food

Read more about breaking kids’ bad food habits


How Junk Food Affects Children

child health and nutrition

THE FAST-FOOD INDUSTRY

Millions of dollars are spent each year on very attractive advertising and fast-food packaging to entice and persuade families to choose certain fast food Restaurants. It’s convenient, generally cheap and easily accessible.  Fast food chains ensure that their restaurants provide a quick and easy meal for all the family… And there is no cooking or preparation involved. But many are nor aware of how junk food affects children.

Fast food restaurants are often the place of choice after a game of physical activity, to unwind with friends but these outlets have very limited healthy food for a child to eat.

Fast food chains make their food packaging very attractive to children. Packaging often includes many “must have” collectable toys, enticing children to come back and collect the whole toy series.

HOW CHILDREN DEVELOP FOOD PREFERENCES

FOOD PREFERENCES ARE DEVELOPED IN EARLY CHILDHOOD

When babies and young toddlers are first introduced to solid food, they often prefer some foods over others. However, when they are very young, it’s essential that they are introduced to good healthy foods gradually, Their diet should have lots of variety, to include all the vitamins and minerals growing children need for a healthy diet.

These food preferences are developed in early childhood and directly influence their future eating habits. If a child is exposed to unhealthy foods… foods with high levels of saturated fats, such as French fries, along with drinks and juices with added sugars, at an early age, this can be closely linked to a child’s health and wellbeing in the future. 

If children are presented with a choice of healthier foods such as vegetables as opposed to convenient chicken nuggets, French fries and drinks with added sugars, children will mostly lean towards the fast food options.

Once they are introduced to attractively presented fast food such as chicken nuggets, Burger King hamburgers and French fries (all high in salt) and drinks with lots of added sugars, children may become quite addicted to unhealthy food because these foods are both sweet and salty.

HOW JUNK FOOD AFFECTS CHILDREN

Children need a balanced diet of healthy foods, full of good nutrition

HOW DOES EATING REGULAR FAST FOOD IMPACT CHILD HEALTH?

Healthier foods with essential vitamins and minerals are the best choices for a child to eat. Natural healthy foods have no added sodium or sugars.  

However, when children eat fast food on a regular basis, they acquire a taste and preference for foods high in salt and added sugars and these often become the food of choice.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF JUNK FOOD

When children and teenagers overdose on fast foods, their desire towards healthy food choices is somewhat negative and this makes it harder to develop healthy eating habits and maintain a balanced diet.

Regular junk food (eaten more than 2 to 5 times per week) can negatively impact a child’s health and lead to serious long term health problems. One single meal of junk food may contain the total allowance of calories for one day… or more for a growing teenagers or young children.

Effects of Junk Food on Child Development

1          Learning Difficulties

Eating unhealthy food that lacks nutrition, on a regular basis, can stunt a young child’s scholastic learning ability and affect concentration levels when performing alongside other children of the same age.

Junk food lacks essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, fibre and probiotics that are essential for proper brain function.  Deficiency in such nutrients can lead to an inability to concentrate and absorb information clearly.  This causes a reduction in alertness and lowers the capacity to learn new skills. 

2          Increase in Dental Decay

Lack of essential nutrients can lead to abnormal bone growth as well as early dental problems.

Unhealthy saturated fats plus high levels of salt, added sugars, preservatives and the lack of the essential vitamins and minerals can lead to obesity as well as dental decay. 

3          Physical Development Effects

Obesity in children is increasing at alarming rates and this can curb their ability to be active and participate with their peers.  Obesity in growing children can lead to abnormal weight and balance issues and this leads to deformed bone structure.  This can affect their ability to participate freely in active physical activity, which can further lead to self-esteem and emotional problems.

4          Lack of Focus and Energy Levels

Overindulging in junk food can create an addiction for the taste of fast food and this leads to children craving fast food on a regular basis.  Children on a regular diet of junk food can suffer from fatigue and low energy levels.

5          Increased Risk of Depression

Poor eating can result in food habits such as sugar cravings, with high calorie foods giving a spike in blood sugars. This can lead to poor concentration and huge sugar crash swings, and difficulty staying focused and alert.

These sudden spikes can result in increases in depression, lower self-esteem levels, increased rates of hyperactivity and could ultimately lead to mood swings and less ability to accomplish required tasks.

6          Long Term Health Issues

Childhood food habits invariably become adulthood habits   When children eat fast food on a regular basis (more than several times a week) it can cause long term deficiencies in a child’s health and nutrition. This is because junk food lacks important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, protein, healthy fats and carbs that growing children need.  Fast food greatly impacts on their cognitive development, physical abilities and fitness levels, as well as their overall health and wellbeing.

Eating larger portion sizes and unhealthy fast food can lead to many health issues. High salt levels can lead to increased blood pressure and may even result in early kidney disease.

7          Reduced Academic Achievement

The highs and lows of overloading on sugar drinks and foods can dramatically affect a child’s or teenager’s scholastic abilities and overall academic performance.  This in turn has the potential to impact on their social relationships with their peers from a young age, and into the future.

8          Digestive Issues

Eating unhealthy foods, lacking in vital nutrients, can lead to early child health issues such as constipation and bowel problems.

Eating junk food can develop into an addiction and affect a child’s desire for much healthier foods. This can lead to constipation problems as fast food invariably lacks fruits and vegetables, fibre, and dairy products and this can lead to many medical problems.

9          Lower Immune System Levels

A fast food, high sugar diet negatively impacts the gut, increases childhood obesity and can lead to high cholesterol levels. The devastating effects of uncontrolled overeating of junk food can greatly affect the immune system and lead to long term medical problems.

10        Sleep Problems

Poor nutrition can lead to disturbed sleep patterns and consequently affects children’s health and wellbeing in the long term.


Growing children require heathy foods, slowly introduced, from all the food groups.

So, what is the solution to overcoming junk food cravings?

Read more about how to break the cycle of unhealthy eating…


5 Essential Parenting Tips – Supernanny

Supernanny
child behaving badly

Tip #1 What to do when your child is behaving badly and continually wants their own way

Help your child to recognise that their bad behaviour is not acceptable. You need to follow through with your decisions and help the child to apologise for misbehaving.

Tip #2 Training your child to respect others

Teach your child to know that you are in charge and that they need to have respect. Children need to learn to share with others and it is always good to reinforce good behaviour with praise when they show respect.

Tip #3 How to avoid tantrums

Always make your expectations clear. If the child is in the habit of throwing a tantrum when it is time to leave, give adequate warning at the beginning, then half-way through the session and again when it is time to go.  Reassure them that they will come back again and always follow through.

Tip #4 How to encourage your child to take responsibility for themselves.

Always make clear what is required of the child and praise your child when the required task is completed.

Tip #5 Training a child to be compliant

Sometimes a child will misbehave on purpose, to get your attention and to get you to give in on your demands. This is when it is it is helpful to actively ignore the child until they comply. Eventually they will learn that obedience is in their best interests.

Listen to the advice of the “Supernanny” in this video…

THE BENEFIT OF SWIMMING LESSONS FOR KIDS

Swimming

Helping your child to develop confidence in the water

It’s always great fun to get outdoors in the summertime, when the weather is hot and you can visit the beach with your family and cool off. Armed with your latest swimwear outfit, sunscreen, hat and beach umbrella… plus your children, you can look forward to relaxing while your kids are swimming at the water’s edge.

However, if your baby hasn’t had baby swim lessons, or your child hasn’t learnt water safety skills or attended a swim school, jumping into the water when they’ve never been to swimming classes, can be fraught with danger.

1       WATER SAFETY

How to build water confidence in your child

Water safely is paramount if you own a swimming pool or if you visit other people’s pools or public swimming pools or aquatic centres. You need to arm yourself with a water safety plan, so you are well aware of the dangers around children swimming.

Adult supervision is very important as swimming pools can be extremely dangerous for adults and especially children. All children, from a very early age should participate in baby swim or in a learn-to-swim swimming program so they feel water confident when swimming.

However, even if you child or toddler participates in regular swimming lessons, guardians or parents need to be very alert and vigilant about water safety when children are swimming in the backyard pool.

Parents should never leave a child unattended in a swimming pool, bath or dam.

Swimming pools are dangerous places for children and toddlers. There is always a possibility for children to drown in backyard pools if unsupervised.

All parents or guardians who have swimming pools should learn CPR skills to safeguard their children and others when they are swimming at the beach or in a swimming pool.

Most swimming pool drownings of children generally happen when there are no adults in supervision. Even if children have had swimming lessons an adult should always be present during swimming activities.

When children learn water safety skills at their local aquatic centre, they will not only become water confident but will develop a lifelong skill that they can enjoy They can encourage others to participate in swimming lessons also.

Child Safety Around Water

Even if children are attending regular swimming lessons, parents still need to be vigilant about water safety at home. Children need to be continuously and actively supervised by a capable supervisor when in or near water. Never leave children unsupervised, especially in baths. The presence of other children or the use of flotation devices should not take the place of active adult supervision. For children under the age of five, this means being within arm’s reach at all times.

Plan and Prepare for Water Safety…

  • Install secure fencing around swimming pools
  • Install CPR and a Resuscitation Sign in pool area
  • Parents need to upgrade their swimming skills
  • Never swim alone in a pool or at the beach
  • Vigilantly supervise children when they are swimming
  • Never be distracted by a phone call at a pool
  • Learn CPR skills as it may save a life

RULES TO REMEMBER FOR WATER SAFETY

1        LEARN HOW TO SWIM

2        LEARN CPR

3        NEVER LEAVE A CHILD UNSUPERVISED AROUND WATER, ESPECIALLY AT POOLS AND BATHS

4        SHUT THE GATE… SECURE POOL FENCING IS VITAL

5        DON’T SWIM ALONE.


2       SWIMMING LESSONS WILL SAVE LIVES

It’s essential that kids have swimming lessons

Swimming pools are a lovely addition to any home. However, if you have a swimming pool and you are not a proficient swimmer, you need to take adult swimming classes… and also enrol your children into swimming classes.

Adult swimming lessons as well as swimming lessons for kids are generally available at your local aquatic centre.  

Make sure your young baby has baby swimming lessons also and that everyone is aware of the water safety rules. Baby swim classes are widely available during the day and are a must for saving young children’s lives when near water.

Swim centres offer learn-to-swim lessons to the community to assist in getting babies into the pool early. They have programs that can develop skills that could save their lives. Some swim schools offer free lessons for babies 3 to 6 months old, and structured lessons for all age groups, including adults, allowing them to progress into competitive or fitness squads. Some schools also offer free CPR training to parents.

So, the sooner you enrol your baby or toddler into a swim school program at the local aquatic centre, the earlier they will learn to swim and reap the health benefit of swimming classes.

It’s an easy skill to learn and can save a life!

Not only do children need to start swimming lessons early, but they also need to continue lessons throughout their primary years. It might get challenging, but swimming is a life or death skill, especially in a beach-oriented lifestyle. Children should not only learn to swim but should become strong swimmers


3       SWIMMING IS A LIFE SKILL

Swimming is a life skill… once learnt you have it for life.

Every child needs to develop swimming confidence

Swimming strengthens a baby or toddler’s self-esteem when they learn to swim early in life as it helps them overcome the fear of water. When children participate in regular swimming lessons, they gain confidence quickly and are more willing to take on more difficult swimming challenges. As they watch other people swimming, learning new swimming techniques in the same class, they are more likely to have a go also.

When children become involved in an aquatic centre swimming program, having regular swimming lessons they learn to swim far more quickly, and their swimming confidence grows quite rapidly.

Therefore, the earlier children have swimming lessons the better. They will not only develop new physical abilities, but it will greatly improve their cognitive abilities, mood, health and wellbeing.

Swimming is an important life skill, so the earlier you book your child into a swim school, where they learn freestyle swimming, backstroke or butterfly swimming techniques the better.  They could then become part of a swimming team, helping others to learn to swim also.


4       HEALTH BENEFITS OF SWIMMING

SWIMMING HAS MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

SWIMMING IS A GREAT WAY FOR YOUR CHILD TO STAY HEALTHY

The benefit of a swimming exercise program with a swim kids club is that it a great way for children to have lots of fun, meet new friends while swimming and at the same time strengthening their muscles.

Developing and building friendships at a local aquatic centre keeps children socially engaged and strengthens their health and wellbeing. Being socially engaged increases their self esteem as well helping them feel important.

When children join a swimming team at a swim club they can participate in a competitive swimming program or develop more skilled swimming techniques at different swimming levels to improve their swimming techniques.

SWIMMING EXERCISE

SWIMMING IS A GOOD WORKOUT EXERCISE …. TO STAY HEALTHY

Swimming is one of the best ways to keep fit, not only for toddlers and children but for adults as well. Those who participate in swimming exercise gain so many health benefits as it helps keep their muscles strong and flexible, increases lung capacity and keeps the heart strong and healthy.

When wearing the correct swimwear, swim workouts while swimming in the ocean, doing open water swimming sports at your local aquatic centre, using the lap pool, applying different swimming techniques are all excellent ways to keep the body fit and healthy.

Some public swimming pools offer different lap pool lanes for varying swimming proficiency levels to practise and improve freestyle swimming skills.

Swimming classes are an excellent way for kids to keep fit and healthy as it improves the heart and develops lung capacity. Many kids who are overweight try swimming for weight loss, as it helps stabilize their weight while improving their health. The more kids are involved in a swim school program, the fitter they will be.

Older people often engage in low impact swim workouts, exercising the joints while keeping them moving freely.  Many doctors recommend low impact swimming classes for a quicker recovery to many sport injuries, especially knee joints.


5       SWIMMING IS A GREAT ACTIVITY FOR BOTH FUN AND EXERCISE

Beaches are always great places to visit or camp nearby when on holidays and swimming is such a fun thing to do while at the beach. When children participate in a swimming program, swimming lessons or just swimming in the ocean, children will always enjoy themselves more with their friends and family.

Kids building sandcastles on the beach, jumping waves, practising their surfing and swimming skills, become fitter, happier and healthier children. They will be exercising, making new friends, while having lots of fun… and creating memories.


Conclusion

Swimming is a wonderful sport that can fit into most lifestyles and can be used to keep fit and active at any age. Swimming can also be included in many other sports such as water polo, surfing, lifesaving, scuba-diving and triathlon.

In Australia, swimming is not only a sport, it’s a way of life… it’s in our DNA.

Australians spend a great deal of time around water. Learning to swim is a life skill, and children who can swim are 70 to 80% less likely to drown. The Australian Water Safety Council’s aim is for 100% of children to be able to achieve a base level of swimming and survival skills before leaving primary school.

So, enrol your child in a swim school program!


Read more about Child Health and Nutrition