Organizing a Perfect Outdoor Party for Your Kids’ Birthday

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Parents have an inherent weak spot for their kids, and if it was up to them, they would celebrate each milestone in children’s life – from the first teeth and the first words to college diplomas and weddings of their own. Since that would pretty much drain every budget no matter how huge it is, it’s best to stick to the good old birthday parties and make them perfect. Throwing a kids’ birthday party inside your home is not a very good idea, especially if they’re small and love to run around and break things. An outdoor party, on the other hand, would thrill the little ones and make your job much easier. Here’s how to throw an awesome celebration without breaking a sweat or the piggybank.

Turn the Backyard into a Playground

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Kids won’t just sit, listen to music and discus the weather, if you know what we mean. They will want to play together, which will make your job easier, since you won’t have to constantly entertain them. First, make sure that the backyard is safe (no items they can use to hurt themselves, no small pieces which the younger kids could swallow, etc.). Some cool projects you could make are a sandbox (you can use simple items like wreath container or painted tire), chalkboard walls, tents, a tire swing, water balloons, a movie area, etc.

Go Festive with Décor

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Colors, colors, colors, and yes, did we mention colors? Sure, you can go with one theme, like an animated movie or a fairytale, but if you opt for freestyle, you have some interesting ways to decorate on a shoestring budget. Balloons are the most affordable way to make a splash, but you can make them more interesting by attaching them to a wall in the shape of the child’s name or age.

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Make a happy birthday banner using letters from newspapers and books, hang paper flowers or floral pompoms above the table, use metallic paper to make streamers of shimmering circles, and use colorful ribbons for everything from lanterns to garlands. All of these are perfect projects for the kids to pitch in too, so family bonding is an extra perk.

Delicious Bites and Treats

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All that running is bound to make the kids hungry, so having some snacks within their reach is a must. As with anything else on kids’ birthday parties, safety comes first, so make sure the food is kept in a cool place. Summer outdoor parties can be especially dangerous for snacks containing dairy, eggs and meat, so you should consider cool room rental, especially if the party is too big for your fridge. Some of the kids’ favorite snacks are in fact the simplest to make, so you won’t have problems here. Treat them with mini hot-dogs, ice creams, tortilla sandwiches, mini pizzas, brownies, macaroni and cheese, and tacos. Don’t forget the cake, though.

It’s All Fun and Games

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Kids’ birthday party entertainers are more expensive each year, and most of them don’t even succeed in making the kids laugh. So, why not make up your own entertaining solutions? First, you will need some music. Whatever you do, make it cheerful, kids don’t enjoy listening to Bryan Adams. Find some animated movies soundtracks and play them on a loop. Second, you’ll need some creative outdoor games, for when the kids run out of ideas. Ask the kids to participate in the decision-making process. After all, they know the best what will be fun for them and their peers. Pitch in some fun ideas like sack race, Frisbee toss, wooden block stacking, pool prize search, scavenger hunt, water-gun war, cone run, etc.

Depending on the kids’ age, they can participate in each step of the party organization. Not only you will have extra helping hands, but also you will get to spend some time with your little ones, which is the most precious gift of them all.

How to Educate Your Child to Read

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Teaching a child to read can be very intimidating to some parents. Questions like, is my baby ready for it? Am I too eager to teach my kids the alphabet? How should I do it? Honestly, there is no right or wrong way. You can use flashcards to teach your baby simple words in as early as 3 months, or you can simply read books to them. There is no reason for you to fret about teaching your child how to read. It is a gradual process. And believe me, kids are like sponges. They just absorb everything you tell them so even if your children do not seem to pay attention to what you are teaching them, do not worry.

If you still do not know where to start, here is a breakdown of how to teach your child to read the easy way. By the way, these tips helped me to successfully combine educating my children to read and blogging for my favorite website.

Get an Early StartPalm Springs commercial photography

Reading to your child can start whenever you can; the sooner the better. This means reading to your baby at an early age. In this way, you are not only encouraging your child to read, but you are also developing their love for books. Be consistent with your and your child’s reading schedule. Spend at least 20 minutes every day reading to your child. At this age, they will surely absorb every word and develop their vocabulary. They might not be able to utter the words right away, but as they get older, they will become more familiar with the words and alphabet, which is, of course, a good start in learning how to read. Additionally, as your kid gets older, make sure to adjust the books you are reading to them to match their age and challenge them a bit.

Be Interactive

Children have the very little attention span. Hence, you have to make sure that your reading time with your baby is interactive. This can be done by changing the tone of your voice, your pitch and making the reading time fun and entertaining. Children develop understanding, as they get older. You can test if your toddler is able to understand the book or the story by asking questions about the materials you are using to read to them. Ask your kids some open-ended questions that pertain to the story. These questions can be:

  • Can you the see mother?
  • What is the mother’s name?
  • Did you like the story?
  • Who is your favorite character?

In this way, you will be able to get the undivided attention of your kids. It will also encourage your kids, at a very young age, to think critically.

Provide Access to Books

Make sure that your kids have access to books. There is nothing better than giving your kids the freedom to choose and pick their own book any time of the day. This only shows that you support your kids’ quest to learning.

Be a Role Model to Your Kid

Undeniably, if you want your kid to learn to read and to develop a reading habit, all you have to do is set an example. Make sure that your kid sees you reading even just once a day. If you share your passion for reading and books with your kids, they will surely develop the same passion and love for books as well.


Book Picnic!

Who said books are boring? One of the ways to make sure that reading and books are fun and entertaining for kids is conduct a book picnic. Get together with your friends, with or without kids, in a park or even at home and do a regular book reading activity for everyone. Each meeting, a person, will be assigned to read his or her favorite children’s book in front of everybody. Talk about interactive storytelling! This is one way of promoting reading and socialization among kids at the same time.

Reading time with your kids can be challenging at times especially when the kids are not in the mood for it. But as you develop a habit and a routine for you and your kids, you can expect the following:Palm Springs commercial photography

  • Your kids will develop an interest and love for books.
  • Their vocabulary will be elaborated at a young age.
  • They can start reading on their own at a young age.
  • Comprehension and critical thinking will be developed.

However, while it is good to teach your kids to read, make sure that they enjoy the experience. Challenging your kids is good but do not push them too hard. Keep the balance between learning and fun.


Lucy Adams is an essay writer from She’s a loving mother of two children. Lucy is always open to her readers, so feel free to supply her with your every idea! Fast response and high-quality research on agreed topic guaranteed!


Trendy Colours for Mermaid Tails

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Image by Fitz Kids via Flickr

Mermaids are mythical creatures that have been loved for a very long time. Having the body of a female and a fish tail for legs, mermaids are loved by both men and women. The reason why girls love mermaids is due to Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” franchise. Another reason why mermaids are loved by girls in Australia, is the popular TV series “H2O: Just Add Water” and the Mako Mermaids. All of these series feature teenagers turning into mermaids and becoming water princesses.

When little girls watch these popular TV programs, they wish to be mermaids as well. Mermaid tails produced by companies like Dream Blue make their wish come true.


What are Mermaid Tails?

Mermaid tails are aquatic toys that resemble real mermaid fins. Wearers can don these mermaid tails and slip in the waters. Most of these tails allow the swimmers to swim in the water easily even with their legs bound in one piece. Girls love mermaid tails as presents, as they can experience what it feels like being a mermaid.


Trendy Colours

When it comes to buying mermaid tails, there are many trendy colours and designs to choose from. Some of the popular ones include:

  1. Turquoise

 Turquoise coloured mermaid tails resemble the crystal waters of the deep blue sea. With a shining texture, tails of this colour also resemble the sparkling water on the beach in a bright summery day.

  1. Rainbow

With the rainbow coloured tail, a surreal effect is created by the wearer underwater. The tail itself reflects the light under water in multiple arrays of colours and shades, presenting a beautiful scene for both the observers and the wearers.

  1. Pink

Another beautiful colour for mermaid tails is the fuchsia pink. Under water, this pink comes to life and resembles a beautiful pearl. Any girl wearing this beautiful piece of tail will have all eyes on her.

  1. Metallic Tie Dye

 If you are not into rainbow colour, then a metallic tie dye shade of two or three colours will be worth it. With a metallic sheen, the strong colour combination is sure to turn heads.

  1. Purple

 What is the colour of the deep ocean? Bluish purple. The dazzling purple coloured mermaid tail reminds the onlooker of the darkness in the deep ocean, giving a nostalgic yet magical effect overall.

  1. Light Blue

Another blue colour that is sure to dazzle everyone is the colour of the shallow waves. Under water, light blue mermaid tail creates similar effect as the waves rolling on the shore on a summery day.

There are also other designs that resemble different fish tails such as clownfish tail, dolphin tail etc. With a large variety of tails, designs, colours and sizes available, there is always something to choose from. A wonderful review was posted up by the blog “A Nation of Moms” regarding the mermaid tails available in Australia. If you have a daughter and you want her to feel like a princess, gift her a present of mermaid tails toda

How to Educate Your Kid About Litter and Waste

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If your little one is old enough (think school-age) to understand the important aspect of environmental care and all its aspects, you will do well to educate them about litter and waste.

Children are very receptive when it comes to all things related to nature, and even waste clearance as a whole. It should be every parent’s mission to contribute to his or her kid’s knowledge on how to maintain a green lifestyle. Here is what you should consider:

  • Make kids aware – with all of the rubbish removal going on at your home and school, your little ones have likely grasped the basic idea that waste needs to be transported away in a specialised manner. Sharing the idea that the country should be kept clean is a simple enough concept, which your kids should embrace at young age. Proper waste disposal and no littering should be lessons to teach them whenever possible. Be there with them on waste clearance day, and explain the process to them. It is sure that your kids will be fascinated with everything and will soak up any information like sponges.
  • Talk with them – keep your children informed and discuss the topic whenever possible. For instance, when you are walking in the park and you see a piece of rubbish not in the bin, engage in a conversion about whether or not it should be there, does it make the park pretty, how it can be avoided, etc. Asking such questions can help you create a resourceful dialogue with your kids, during which they can learn a whole lot about waste and litter.
  • Share the downsides of litter – we are all aware how plastic affects the environment and all of the negative side effects it has. Surely your little ones won’t be able to grasp all of that, but they will understand when you tell them that litter is responsible for the death of the beautiful swans and the playful ducks. They will be aware of the negatives and will surely ask you how it can all be avoided.
  • Introduce the concept of recycling – recycling is one of the pillars upon which sustainable living rests. Recycling means conserving energy and materials, which would otherwise be lost. It takes many forms, in many of which children can actually participate. For instance, you can show them how to separate plastic, glass and paper to the respective bins. In addition, you can help reuse various materials, such as cardboard boxes into playful fun crafts.
  • Get kids involved in activities – if there are any local volunteer groups involved in picking litter, don’t hesitate to go along with your child. It is an activity they will love and learn a lot from. As long as this rubbish collection is well managed, there should be no danger for your kids. Make sure they wear gloves and that you oversee their work at all times.

Encourage your kids on the path of green living, and you will do them a huge favour. Working for a greener tomorrow is a great mission we should all be aiming at for the sake of our children.

Raw Talents: 30 Children Art Show


When art and kids collide, you can expect a truly enriching experience.  It’s simply marvellous how our children channel their boundless energy and creativity towards making pieces of art. For us moms, it’s invigorating how art detaches our kids from their gadgets and electronic doodads. We can skip the latte and a trip to the spa, because seeing our kids making good use of their free time is just as relaxing for us.

For this, we have Cyndi Chan to thank. She is a mom extraordinaire who has been regularly holding off-campus art classes to elementary students of the International School Manila (ISM). She teaches them the rudiments of art and literally gets down and dirty when doing art activities with the kids.
All that fun culminates in an art exhibit entitled Raw Talents: 30 Children Art Show.    The exhibit which will be held on June 4th & 5th, 1-5pm at the Pineapple Lab in Rockwell, Makati  showcases various artwork crafted by the kids in Cyndi’s classes.
As a way of giving back to the community, they will donate these art pieces to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).  This endeavour aims to make the expat community in Manila aware of what the PGH does to help bring healthcare to Filipino children in need.
Here’s a map to the venue:
Leave a comment below if you’re interested in going.

Do You Have an Artistic or Logical Child?

One of the many things a parent would like to know about their child is their aptitude for the arts or logic. Knowing this important fact can help a parent rear and guide their children as they grow into responsible adults in the future. A great place to find your children’s place in the educational spectrum is in school, where they are taught arithmetic and the sciences. Finding the right institution of learning for your child, however, is a difficult task. You might be worried of the price of an International School in Manila’s tuition fee. That is a fair and acceptable thought.

Going back an earlier point, it is definitely important as a parent to understand what your child excels at, whether it is with the performing arts or enjoying groundbreaking discoveries in science or math, nurturing your child’s potential is definitely recommended. Studies show that children are more likely to appreciate positive reinforcement and criticism as long as it is done because of something that they love, in this case, it could either be something artistic or logical.


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Artistic children are those that enjoy the performing arts, literature, artistry and music. These children are more likely to grow up as charismatic artists and doers. Artistic children are affirmative, active, charismatic and passionate. They are the type of people to do what they want precisely because they know what they want to do. Rearing artistic children is an enjoyable task for parents because artistic children are more likely to involve their parents in their activities as compared to more logical children. Some examples of a future career path for artistic children are as follows:

  1. Acting – Artistic children are very expressive and one of the best ways for them to express themselves is through acting. Many actors found their calling when they were younger and this led them to practice and hone their craft to perfection, from performing in plays to appearing in commercials as child actors.
  2. Musician – Like acting, music is a great way for people to express their inner voice either through music or lyrics. Many musicians write with their feelings instead of their mind. Musically inclined children are the type to enjoy musicals and plays.
  3. Artists – Drawing is a great passion for some artistic children. There are a myriad of ways for them to express themselves, from traditional art to the abstract.


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Logical children on the other hand are the type to enjoy the sciences and arithmetic. These children are more likely to grow up as decisive, calculating and rational instead of emotional. Logical children are more likely to take time in perfecting their craft as the sciences are ever growing and ever changing. These children enjoy reading and research. Some future careers for logical children are as follows:

  1. Lawyer – Logical children are the type to use their minds for argumentative reasoning. These types are the best fit to become lawyers in the future.
  2. Scientist – Precisely because logical children enjoy research, becoming a scientist is something that they will definitely enjoy as a career path.
  3. Teacher – Logical children have been found to be the best types of teacher. They are patient and are natural academes so becoming a teacher is a definitely a good fit.

Whatever type of learner your child is, it is important to remember that they should be whoever they want. After all, it is in your child’s best interest to find who they are in what they love.

Popular Baby Gifts for First-Time Parents

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Image by NoVa Hokie via Flickr

If you know a couple that’s expecting, then you know they need a plethora of items for their new bundle of joy. If you need help picking out a gift, this blog post really digs deep. While most new parents-to-be concoct an actual baby registry list, there are some baby items that new parents really want. Some of these are really practical and will be used often, and others are just fun but appreciated just the same.

  •  Cute Clothes  Most new parents stock up on basic onesies and sleepers for their new baby so they’ll appreciate if you splurged and went all out. You can buy baby hampers in Australia from Baby Gift Box Company, including ones selling designer clothes. They have a designer gift basket for girls that features pink ruffled bloomers made out of 100% cotton, a matching cotton bodysuit, Mary Jane style socks, and a personalised gift box.


  • Children’s Books  Nowadays, it’s becoming popular to sign a book instead of a card at baby showers so that the new baby has a full library as soon as they arrive. You can go with that idea or you can prepare a basket with lots of children’s favourites like Goodnight Moon, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and The Tale of Peter Rabbit.


  • Diaper Bags for Both Mom & Dad  Nowadays both mom and dad need diaper bags for when they run errands. It makes it easier to leave each bag in separate cars. Consider making the mom’s the main bag by finding one big enough to hold both bottles and baby food in insulated compartments, as well as several other pockets not only for diapers, but also for a small first aid kit, and phone. For the new dad, try to find the more modern combination of a diaper-messenger bag. It kind of looks like it holds his laptop and can hold his phone or e-reader in a compartment, but there are plenty of pockets for diapers, wipes, and anything needed for a car ride.


  • Modern Feeding Supplies  Do you want to help the new parents keep up with the times? Then consider gifting them some of these cool gadgets like a baby food dispensing spoon. It keeps feeding time easier and neater because all they have to do is fill up and squeeze the spoon for the baby to receive the food. Along with that, you could give them a baby food maker, where they can make their own out of various fruits and vegetables. In addition, as they grow older, they may have use for the cooling plate, which allows table food to go from hot to child-friendly warm in under a minute.


  • Car seat/Car seat CoolerEvery set of new parents needs a high-quality car seat like a Graco My Ride that holds up to 40 pounds facing backwards, and then can be converted to a forward facing toddler seat. If you live in a warm area, supplement this gift with either a car seat cooling pad or a car seat sun shade so that the baby is not exposed to too much sunlight.

While you can buy these gifts, don’t forget that sometimes new parents cherish homemade gifts or even a kind thought too. Ask any new mom and she’ll be extra grateful if you came by with a hamper full of dinner, cleaned her kitchen while she took a nap, or offered babysitting services so she and her husband could enjoy a night out.

Teaching Children About Interacting With Puppies

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Children and puppies can be natural allies, but first the proper introductions must be made. Dogs are man’s best friend, right? And hey, we know that every friendship has to start with a solid foundation.

So if you’re thinking, “I want my kid to become best buddies with my new puppy!” here’s what you need to know:

Create a friendly introduction

Children and puppies should like each other right from the start. So, how can you make sure that they stay friends? Follow these steps:

  1. Let children calm down from their initial excitement at seeing the puppy before they actual get to pet or hold them.
  2. Never let children be the first to make a move when in the room with a puppy.
  3. When first meeting a puppy, children should not touch, talk to, or make eye contact with the young canine until the puppy has calmed down themselves.
  4. Demonstrate first to children how to properly pet puppies and otherwise interact with them.
  5. Keep the puppy’s owner (regardless of who it is) close by and where the puppy can see them.

Keep playtime gentle

Both puppies and children are prone to rough play, and this is simply a natural part of growing up. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should play rough with each other.


Make sure children understand that they need to be gentle with their new animal friends. This means no pulling on puppy ears or puppy tails and no squeezing the puppy too hard. If the dog has flea preventative treatment, then be sure the child doesn’t get any on their hands.

Always keep safety in mind

In addition, be sure that safety is at the forefront. Make sure that playtime is taking place in a safe and secure area that you can easily supervise.


Keep any potentially harmful items (like cleaning products and furniture that can be knocked over) out of the way and out of reach of children both human and furry. If at any time the situation appears to be becoming unsafe for either the child or the puppy (or both), separate them immediately.

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Prevent health risks

Because children and puppies are much more susceptible to germs and illnesses than the adults of their species are, it’s important to take some precautions before letting them interact with each other. Here are some steps you can take:


  1. Have children wash their hands with warm water and soap before interacting with puppies. Repeat when playtime is over.
  2. Check that puppies are healthy and up-to-date on their vet appointments. That means keeping them up to date on all their medications.
  3. Keep children away from puppy urine and fecal matter, and make sure that these areas are cleaned up regularly and with good sanitation.
  4. Make sure that children understand the dangers of sharing their snacks with the puppy! Some people foods aren’t good for puppies and can make them sick.

Foster a good relationship for the future

How your child interacts now with a puppy will make a big impact on how they relate to dogs in general and even other animals in the future. But don’t worry if things don’t go exactly how you want them to the first time — just like people, sometimes multiple impressions need to be made.


If the child’s actions need improvement, correct them immediately. Likewise, don’t be afraid to discipline the puppy when necessary. After all, the best human-dog relationships are based on understanding and responsibility.


By following a few simple guidelines from the beginning, your puppy and your child can have a long, loving relationship.


Bio: Nina blogs about all things dogs at

Liahona Academy – A Therapeutic Boarding School for Boys

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Make A Difference: Parenting Tips

Fashionable Finds for Boys

If you could see me now, I”m slapping myself on the forehead because of another memory lapse.  With barely a few winks before Christmas day, it just dawned on me that I still don’t have a present for one of my nephews.  How could that have slipped my mind!  Thankfully, the internet has a plethora of gift options for some last minute, buzzer-beating shopping.

I consider myself lucky for stumbling upon  I could hardly contain my excitement as I browsed through their collection of boys’ clothes.  Their line ranges from tees to polos to hoodies.  Everything a boy needs to look and feel like a member of a pop boy band is here.

I’ve got my eye on this hoodie which I’m thinking of getting for my nephew:

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And on warmer days, this tee would be perfect as he heads out to the park for a stroll:

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I love how this rugby shirt would make him look like a stunner as he asks his crush out for some ice cream:

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They do have other items on sale, so I don’t think my shopping ends here. Better a forgetful aunt than a scrooge, right?