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

 A functional storage space

A colorful mat, cushions and soft bean bag

A 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


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…

Music Education for Children

music education

Music and your Child’s Education

For kick-starting your child’s music education, probably the easiest instrument to learn is the guitar.  Your child can learn to read music while they gain satisfaction from guitar playing. 

But they may prefer to play the piano and desire keyboard lessons.  The piano may not be the easiest instrument to play, but will be very useful in teaching music and musical appreciation.

Ukulele playing is another way in which kids can learn music.  So why not help them to learn ukulele, along with keyboard lessons.

Yamaha Music Schools

Yamaha Music Schools are in many states and are set up for teaching music to young children.

If you help your kids to learn music, it will benefit their overall development in many ways.


Teach Children Singing

It’s always enjoyable to hear kids sing.

To teach children singing is also a good way to develop their musical appreciation. 

If you find a suitable song to sing to baby, you will cultivate musical interest from a very early age. 


Our Story

When choosing a school for our two children, I looked around.  As well as having a good all-round education program, the school needed to have an exercise program, a sports program… and they needed to have music. The school that I chose was one that had classes in musical instruments. The children could choose an instrument for themselves.  There was an opportunity for our children to learn an instrument at school and participate in the orchestra.

The school was very much orientated to the arts.  We felt that this was important for our children.  It was a child centred school with a broad music program, and we felt this also was important for our children’s education.

The school’s singing program included various singing groups.  The school had choirs of different levels and they held competitions between singing groups. Our girls were very much involved in the school choir, as well as the smaller singing groups.  This was a great learning experience for them.

Your Child’s Music Education

To get your children singing, they too could become part of a choir. Or they could look for the easiest instrument to learn and have a lesson once a week at the school. 

They could learn to read music.  They could have guitar lessons or learn to play the piano.  Our children learned the saxophone and the flute.  They learned to read music and played in the school orchestra. 

Music Education at Home

Your family might be musically orientated, so allowing your children to experiment, see what instrument that they might like to play, provides the opportunity to expand their talent right into adulthood. You may, as a parent or guardian, play an instrument at home, and you could teach your children an easy guitar riff or basic chord piano playing.   

Besides having the opportunity to play a particular musical instrument, it’s important, for an all-round education, for children to be able to appreciate music, listen to relaxing music and find the music that they enjoy most.

To learn piano or learn guitar?

You might find that your kids are particularly orientated towards guitar playing or perhaps the drums.

Or they might like to learn piano.  Give them the opportunity to have some lessons, see where their talents lie and expand their music education.  

Learning an instrument is just as important as learning a sport activity. It gives the child a sense of pride in knowing that they have achieved something in themselves.

Or they might be in a singing group or a choir. This opens up avenues to them whereby they can present their particular talent to an audience and this is good for their self-esteem and their overall well-being.

They might love to sing and their singing needs to be developed. Their voices can be developed. Singing and being in a choir is very good for their overall development. … and they have a lot of fun together.  Playing any type of music, if it’s done in an organised group activity, will introduce them to new friends and they might form great bonds of friendship that can last a lifetime.

Choosing the Best School For Your Child’s Music Education

When choosing the right school for your children, you need to look for a school that’s heavily orientated around education, music, sport, the arts and the fun and enjoyment of mixing with lots of friends while gaining a good education.

Remember that when learning an instrument, children get to know others and mix with friends, which is good for their social interaction with other children.

Benefits of Music Education

Music education is important for building a child’s self-esteem, their character and their general health and well-being.  Music helps them to become more confident. They will enjoy playing on their own and can present solo performances, participate in choirs, and play musical instruments at school and at home.  

All of these activities will build their self-confidence and give them a great sense of self-respect.   

So, teach them to read music.  Commence the guitar lessons.  Buy them a piano to play and get your children singing.

Learn more about Child Education

HOW TO DEVELOP GOOD MANNERS IN YOUR CHILD

manners

The Importance of Early Training

Children who are not taught good manners from an early age have a very distinct social disadvantage. When sending your child to early kinder or preschool you will, as a parent, be more confident that, along with their healthy lunch, they will also be taking with them their learnt social etiquette and politeness.  

Good manners and good behaviour can be taught as young as two years, even though they may not fully understand, but it helps them to be more appreciative and aware of others and that their feelings are as important as their own.

Good manners develop into good habits that are an integral part of good behaviour.

Teaching Good Manners to young children is based on valuing others’ feelings and sensitivities while it demonstrates thoughtfulness and respect towards them. These children grow into good, well-mannered teenagers and adults.

Politeness is an expected social etiquette that should be taught at a very early age. However, it is never too late to learn good manners and politeness.  By teaching children manners early in life, politeness becomes a natural part of their everyday behaviour and speech.

Introduce polite words such as PLEASE and THANK YOU from an early age. This helps to develop an attitude of gratitude.  Even though children don’t understand these terms at first, they are practising using them.  Introduce other phrases later, such as “May I?”, “No, thank you” and “Excuse Me” to further develop good child behaviour.

INSTILLING GOOD MANNERS

GOOD MANNERS are an integral part of a child’s social behaviour development.  Learning good manners is essential to a child’s overall development and ensures that you will be raising happy children.

Good manners demonstrate respect for another individual. They help a child realise that other people’s thoughts and opinions should be listened to and their self-worth respected. Demonstrating politeness, thoughtfulness and respect develops a true sensitivity towards those with whom they come in contact, and others will respect them in return.

MEALTIME ETIQUETTE

TEACHING TABLE MANNERS

Basic table manners are essential along with social etiquette and good manners in today’s society and need to be taught and practised from a very early age, to become natural when socialising out with friends and family.

Children need to be taught not only good manners but table manners as well. They should be taught how to hold their spoon and fork and when chewing food, to keep their mouth closed until finished. Having good manners and good table etiquette is not talking while eating but waiting until their mouth is empty.  It’s also bad manners to put more food into their mouth when they haven’t chewed all of the previous mouth full.  Good manners is not talking whilst eating but to wait until they have finished chewing.  

Children need frequent reminders and practice at table manners.

Parents raising children need to put time and effort into teaching politeness.  Polite children with good manners are a pleasure to take out to a dinner or restaurant. When children are well mannered with good social etiquette, along with table manners, taking children to social events and activities can be much more enjoyable.  

They should make a point of teaching them table etiquette and manners so that they feel confident that their children will display good table manners and proper table etiquette when dining out… and it becomes more of an enjoyable outing for everyone.

12 EFFECTIVE WAYS OF DEVELOPING GOOD MANNERS IN CHILDREN

1  Setting an example

We, so often as a society, judge people by their social behaviour and this influences people’s perceptions towards them.  Polite children with good manners exemplify good upbringing where consideration for other people and their feelings is paramount. 

Parents need to lead by example when teaching good table manners. Teaching children every day, through parents mirroring good manners themselves, demonstrates respect and sensitivity for each others’ feelings.  A respectful child will develop naturally into a well-mannered individual.  

Mirroring good manners with your children and their friends develops politeness and good behaviour.

2  Correcting your child in public

When you are out in public places with your children, it’s always good to acknowledge other friends’ children and have conversations with them. This helps them to feel included. It demonstrates politeness to your children and that they too should show politeness towards them also, and can reduce any issues of craving attention or acting up.

When they are playing with other children they will then know its important to always be polite and show they have good manners.

Correcting a child appropriately when out

Correcting your child in public in front of others should always done sensitively and having careful regard for your child’s feelings. However, it is best to do so out of earshot of others, if possible.  Never make an example of your child, but give careful consideration to the situation, your child’s feelings and to not drawing attention to the situation.

Move your child to a more private area if possible and fully explain quietly your corrections. Always speak to your child at their level, maintain eye contact, using words that they can understand.  Always ask for their acknowledgement that they understand that good behaviour is expected.  Speaking firmly but quietly often dispels any behavioural issues in children when in public.

3  Good communication

The conversation should only take a minute or two. Always remember it’s the child’s bad behaviour that you are addressing and that needs to change… not them.  Make a point of telling them that you love them very much and that good behaviour is expected.

4  Guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways

Communicating to your children in this way acknowledges that they are respected, valued and loved. Children will have a better understanding of how you expect them to behave more sensibly, and that they should endeavour to take on board and know what is expected of them in the future. This is guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways.  

Politeness and demonstrating good behaviour is a skill that children need to learn from an early age.

Children need to learn to take responsibility for inappropriate bad manners. When children understand what’s expected of them, they develop their own sense of responsibility for themselves as they recognise and understand bad behaviour in themselves. Bad behaviour often comes from their frustrations, but they fail to ask for assistance.

Parents and guardians need to demonstrate and teach by example.  Avoid raising your voice as this creates tension. Children need to know that their frustrations can be overcome by expressing problems to an adult if they are finding it difficult to e.g. play a board game… and that asking for help overcomes bad behaviour very quickly.  When children learn to express their feelings and frustrations through asking for help, they take a giant leap towards becoming a person, not only with good manners, but that other people will want to be around.

Children will recognise how exhibiting good manners and good behaviour solves frustrations very quickly.

5  Deal with Interruptions

If your child interrupts you while having a conversation, quietly point out to them that it is bad manners to interrupt but you will attend to their needs when it’s appropriate.  This helps them feel noticed and recognised, but they will learn that that interrupting is not ok. It teaches them that politeness is not only having good manners, but is also being patient and waiting.

It very important that parents make sure that they follow through on their promise and don’t take too long in attending to the child as soon as they are finished.  This shows respect for the child… that they too are important.

6  Setting the Example

Developing good manners in children takes time, effort, consistency and showing by example. Practise good manners at home, always teach by example. Children will follow your consistent lead. Children need to know that good behaviour and good manners start at home and they are taken with them when they go out. If the rules are consistently applied, children learn very quickly and behavioural problems in children subside.

7  Gentle Reminders

Manners are not automatically learnt. Children need constant encouragement and direction when learning how to display manners.  Children need gentle reminders and explanations as to when and where to use these newly learnt manners and politeness.

Acquiring these newly learnt good manners takes lots of encouragement, reinforcement and practice as well as discouraging any bad manners or inappropriate table etiquette that may arise.  Consistent follow through by both parents or caregivers ensures no confusion for children.  

Learning good manners takes time and plenty of patience and reinforcement as politeness is a learnt skill and adds to their lifelong education.

8  BE A ROLE MODEL AND COACH

Good manners start at home by parents modelling good behaviour.  Apart from setting a good example to your children, realise that you are a role model for them and you can also be their coach.

Remember that they are watching and learning from you every day. They will inevitably emulate your good behaviour, both at home, on the road and in public.  Politeness and good manners need to be demonstrated in all circumstances and will stand them in good stead for the future because having good manners is an asset.

9  ENCOURAGEMENT

Children respond to positive encouragement, therefore look for different ways to encourage and build them up for their good efforts.  Parents can often too quickly criticise their children for unacceptable bad behaviour, but are slow to react to good behaviour when it is warranted.  Practise encouraging children for their good manners and politeness because it reinforces good child behaviour and this builds their self-esteem.

10  REWARD WITH PRAISE

Reward children for their good behaviour.  Praising children helps them to feel proud about themselves and valued.  Their personal feelings are given a huge boost.  Praise always creates a positive attitude.  Children will respond more easily when genuine encouragement and praise is given freely.  Praise builds confidence and self-esteem.  

At every opportunity, praise them for their good manners and good behaviour.

11 TEACH BASIC GOOD MANNERS PHRASES

6 BASIC MANNERS THAT ALL CHILDREN SHOULD KNOW

All of these words demonstrate respect for another.

Politeness phrases…

“PLEASE”.

“THANK YOU”.

“HELLO”.

“NO, THANK YOU”.

“EXCUSE ME”.

“MAY I?”

These words and phrases don’t come naturally, and children must be trained to see things from the perspective of the other person.  

12  SOCIAL MANNERS

Well-mannered children also need to demonstrate Social Manners

Social Manners children need to learn…

+ SHARING WITH OTHERS.

Guide children’s behaviour in positive ways

Teaching the importance of sharing is guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways.  When children are sharing their toys and activities with others, this demonstrates kindness and thoughtfulness toward other children or adults.  It displays respect, good manners and politeness.

Sharing with others is often one of the hardest things for children to deal with, especially if another child has damaged or is likely to damage their things.  However, sharing displays politeness, respect and good behaviour.

+ APOLOGISING or saying “SORRY”

Supporting and managing children’s behaviour can be difficult at times.  It may be difficult for children to recognise that their actions or words maybe disrespectful, rude.  However guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways is understanding that being sorry is important.  Children need to accept and recognise that their bad manners, lack of politeness or table etiquette will not be tolerated.

+ WAITING IN TURN

It’s a principle that even adults forget. Children learning politeness and good manners means learning to wait in line or wait for their turn when playing a game.  It means not interrupting when others are talking or when you’re on the phone. It’s important for parents to help their children to grasp these very important concepts and parents need to always lead by example.  Politeness and good manners are not difficult, it just needs to be taught from an early age.

Behavioural issues in children and bad behaviour can be dealt with fairly quickly if parents, guardians or teachers recognise the signs of frustration, anger or naughtiness when it first appears.  With gentle sensitivity, immediate explanation and understanding of their inner frustrations, bad behaviour can quickly revert to good behaviour and politeness in a few days or overnight.

It’s never too late to teach and encourage children to always to have good manners and demonstrate politeness.  

REWARD CHARTS CAN BE A GOOD IDEA FOR REMINDERS EACH DAY

Read more about raising happy children