Little Tikes Top 10 ideas to keep the kids entertained

Little Tikes Top 10 ideas to keep the kids entertained

Top 10 ideas to keep the kids entertained 

 

With over 50 years of play experience Little Tikes has pulled together its top ten tips to keep kids busy – whatever the weather! Open the patio doors if the sun is shining and get little one’s into the outdoor spirit or get creative inside.

 

1. Get closer to nature by creating your own family treasure hunt in the garden. Involve children by asking them to come up with their own reward to keep them engaged.You could even make it a weekly or monthly treat!

 

2. For warmer days water is perfect for giggles in the garden. Fill Tupperware containers with water, collect different sizes of paintbrushes and get little ones to draw shapes, animals and write their names on the patio. Add some food colouring to the water for added excitement Or let imaginations run wild with water table fun. Set up challenges, make waves and watch the hours pass by!

 

3. Let little tikes put their social skills to practice as they play shops for the morning. Roleplay is an essential part of development and it’s even more fun when mum and dad get involved! 

4. Keep active whilst improving children’s mobility and co-ordination with a family sports day. Set up a relay of games and pick from a series of fun sports including a running race, a wheelbarrow race and a game of football. Adults and children can take it in turns to be the judges and contestants to mix up the fun!

 

5. Make maths fun by counting, multiplying, dividing and subtracting using different things from around the house. Toys, teddies, cushions, spoons. Let kids pick the props and get counting! 

 

6. Let your little one take the wheel in their very own car. Use blankets to create the shape of the car on the floor, use a cushion as a steering wheel and let imaginations run wild as kids (and the whole family!) head off on their own adventure.

7. Let children expand their imagination and have fun creating their own special fairy garden. Children can have lots of fun exploring in the garden to find twigs andleaves to make a fairy kingdom! 

 

8. For a calmer activity get kids to write their own story. Grab some paper, a selection of pens and let the creativity flow! You never know, it could be the next best-seller!

9. Den building is ideal for indoor or outdoor play. Create a cosy den filled with pillows, blankets, toys and magazines. It’s great for children to create their own private space and create that parent-child bond when building it! Parents can also encourage children to unwind and relax with colouring and activity sheets whilst playing inside.

 

10. One childhood game that has been passed on through generations is hide and seek! No matter how big or small, everyone can have fun counting to 20 and finding a spot to perch in. What’s more – toddlers can practice their counting skills!

 

 

Parents and guardians can also download activity sheets from the Little Tikes website. From colouring sheets, spot the difference, counting games and word searches – there’s even an activity certificate for well-behaved little tikes!

 

There’s also a wide range of toys for all ages, from the classic Cozy Coupe and the iconic Turtle Sandbox to the popular Little Baby Bum toy range.  

 

Let’s Talk About Post Natal Depression

Let’s Talk About Post Natal Depression

Let’s Talk About Post Natal Depression

Emma’s Diary Well-being Advice

The moment your little bundle of Joy enters the world, you are overcome with a mixture of emotions…but what if the Joy just isn’t there?

How could I say this you ask? But it is true for a lot of mums out there that they don’t feel the ‘Joy’. Maybe at first or maybe not. But as weeks go by something comes over you, like a huge cloud. You find yourself lost, a none entity and your struggling to understand what on earth this is.

I remember relating to all the films about birth and having a baby. Yes it looks painful, to be expected. The way birth is portrayed it’s not always true. Birth can be a traumatic experience for some and it certainly was for me and many mums. When my first born came it was nothing how I expected it to be and having had to be rushed to theatre, it didn’t go to plan at all. I remember feeling numb, I couldn’t hold my baby because Id had a anaesthetic spinal injection and I was exhausted. I felt an overwhelming responsibility to this new life, it was so much to deal with, I didn’t feel good enough.

I put on a brave face and threw myself into motherhood trying to do everything so perfectly. I carried on breastfeeding as long as I could but I simply couldn’t do it, then the shame came because I was so tired and I just wanted help….but I didn’t ask. I was ashamed to ask, because then they would know, they would know that I was a fraud, that I wasn’t coping.

I kept the ‘perfect mum act’ on for about 3 months. That’s when the anxiety hit me like a tight fist to my chest, churning around, racing thoughts.

Anger, sadness, confusion, happy, tired, numb, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, high, low, up and down, nightmares, dark thoughts, mood swings, crying, laughing, bored, irritated. These are just some of the emotions I experienced. I felt unstable.

‘Well-being is so different for us all. I think especially as a new parent you have to try and understand your new normal. It’s okay to feel all sorts of new emotions. I remember feeling completely out of sorts, like I didn’t recognise my own life. Anger, guilt, love, sadness, Joy, Anxiety, Irritational thoughts, Depression, Lonely but never alone, Happy, fulfilled, unfulfilled, wanting to run away, yet not wanting to leave the house.’

It was like nothing I had experienced before. I became paranoid, delusional and ultimately depressed. I stopped going out and stop socialising. I knew then that something was wrong. I went to the doctors and was diagnosed with post natal depression, I was put on citalopram an antidepressant. I didn’t want to take medication because of the stigma attached to mental health and I also didn’t want to become dependent on a tablet essentially. The medication really helped and I would take it forever as long as it means I can function. It’s not cure all don’t get me wrong but it did help with the anxiety and panic I was experiencing. There are other types of medication and therapy out there.

From my experience I wish I had spoken out sooner and got the help I needed. It is very normal to feel down after giving birth but when it starts to effect your life and take over that’s when something needs to be done. Just because you feel down it does not mean you don’t love your baby, a lot of the time it is a combination of lack of sleep, hormones and the fact that it is such a huge responsibility and change to your life. One thing to know is that you are not on your own and don’t be so hard on yourself. Listen to your body, be honest with yourself and your close ones about how you are feeling. You are a very important person and your well-being is a priority.

If you or anyone you know maybe be suffering from post natal depression please follow the link to Emma’s Diary for more details

POSTNATAL WELLBEING

https://www.emmasdiary.co.uk/wellbeing/postnatal#utm_source=blogger_stephanie_rich&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wellbeing_competition

WELLBEING PAGE

https://www.emmasdiary.co.uk/wellbeing#utm_source=blogger_stephanie_rich&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wellbeing_competition

 As Mother’s Day is just around the corner we have prepared an amazing give away for one lucky mum. What could be a better prize for a wellbeing theme than SPA? This is a much needed and deserved break for any mummy

As part of Emma’s Diary’s New Well-being Campaign I will be running a competition for one lucky mum to win a spa break!

Banya No1 Unique Russian Spa Experience for 2 in Central London! (FYI Justin Bieber and Kate Moss are regulars!)

Check it out

ABOUT

 

The prize is provided by Banya No. 1. Banya No.1 is the first of its kind in the UK and brings Russia’s oldest and most popular wellness traditions to the capital. Being not your typical spa experience, it features authentic Russian steam sauna, plunge pool, hot stone and treatment rooms and a Rest & Relaxation area with traditional food & drinks. It’s social as well as private. The key signature treatment is Parenie – an invigorating thermal massage, that uses leafy and fragrant bundle of birch, oak or eucalyptus twigs.

The prize will include 3-hour off-peak session for 2, including two treatments each (Parenie and Scrub) and a pot of herbal tea.

TO ENTER: Go to Instagram and follow instructions on my post @for_the_motherofsons

This competition ends on the Sunday the 22nd (Mother’s Day) at 1000am GMT. The Winner will be announced within 48 hours. This competition is for UK only. This giveaways is not endorsed, administered or sponsored by Instagram.

Check out the well-being campaign at

POSTNATAL WELLBEING

https://www.emmasdiary.co.uk/wellbeing/postnatal#utm_source=blogger_stephanie_rich&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wellbeing_competition

WELLBEING PAGE

https://www.emmasdiary.co.uk/wellbeing#utm_source=blogger_stephanie_rich&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wellbeing_competition

Good Luck! ✨ Stay Well 💕

Stephy Stokes (@for_the_motherofsons)

Parent Squad Emma’s Diary

The Becoming Mum Part

The Becoming Mum Part

Where do I begin. Let’s just say I didn’t get off to the best start in my motherhood journey. You see it all happened so fast…

It was a catalogue of events that spiralled and was the perfect cocktail recipe for what I now know to be post traumatic stress and post natal depression, the perfect storm.

I was a sister on an acute surgical ward. Work was my life, my career, my achievement, my purpose, my identity. Within the blink of an eye it was all gone and suddenly I had a new role to play…MUM.

I never imagined it would happen how it did. I always thought I would be married at 25, settled and living family life…it wasn’t meant to be. My partner left me the day before I started my new job as sister! I swallowed my pain and buried it deep along with the death of my relationship came other tragic events, death of loved ones, my sister moved away, my mum was ill with a chronic back condition. I just let it wash over me kept a brave face and maintained my role as nurse, professional, driven. Life seems to tick over at 100 miles an hour, a blur.

There I was nearly 30 having just dumped the last moron. Destined to be alone forever..I couldn’t even get a guy to commit to buying me a mcdonalds let alone marry me. My dreams were shattered. That was it I’m never seeing any one ever again, I will be happy on my own with my cat primrose.

Enter TOM.

It was (in my mind) just like in the movies. He turned up on the ward and that was it! A whirlwind romance, pregnant, married, new home all within the space of a year…

I got home with my new baby and after all the happiness that came following what was a very dark part of my life, it was only then I stopped to THINK…TO PROCRASTINATE and at a time of no stress and no commitments other than to be at home with my child…complete melt down and fog washed over me. What was this? The most amazing time of my life just happened, I got everything I ever wanted…why was I SAD. I did what I always did, bury it.

A few months in of thinking I had it all together, obsessive, hiding behind my smile, going to every mum club I could attend as I thought that was the ‘thing to do’ I suddenly become withdrawn, disconnected and isolated. Surprisingly I was full of anger. But I’ve just had a baby? Isn’t this the happiest if not the happiest ever I should be?…then comes the shame and the guilt. SHAME is the thing I found most uncomfortable almost unbearable.

I had a terrible experience before I left for maternity at work, I was bullied and it was horrific. I carried this with me, even on my wedding day. Now out of the work environment I was totally isolated and had no support or contact from anyone other than a couple of pals. I felt completely unworthy of society and no good for anything. I didn’t realise at this point I was depressed and put it all down to this particular experience.

Time went on and I ended up going to the GP. They whacked me on citalopram and I had private counselling. The counselling really helped. And the medication. I did not want to take it, I did not want the stigma but honestly it was and still is necessary for my recovery. It’s a process of ups and downs, I tried to come off it a couple of times and it was a disaster. I figured I need to take this, my mind isn’t well. I take tablets for Crohn’s to make me better so I should for my mental health.

If you are struggling forget what you think, what society thinks, just take it. It reduced my anxiety significantly. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t a cure all, your not suddenly loving life but it does numb that weird feeling you get from anxiety ever so Slightly enough for you to function.

Things got better. I joined a netball team! Soon after I found out I was pregnant…again..with my second son!

I managed this pregnancy so much better, the birth was so fast and I recovered in time to get straight back out there for my sisters hen party! …once the festivities were over that’s when it really hit me.

I was alone a lot..tom worked long hours and my life with him wasn’t quite so glamorous as I though it would be married to a doctor. The reality was, I was alone…with 2 children…12 hours plus a day. I missed my life…I missed working…I missed friends, who I thought I knew I was.

I tortured myself for months, why can’t I be happy staying at home! Why can’t I be content, am I a good mum? What is life? All the thoughts going round in my mind I needed to let it all out…that’s how the blog started. I instantly felt a weight was lifted.

Initially I wasn’t doing it for any reason or had any ambition, it was just like a journal. I wrote a private journal as-well and I began to wonder if other people felt the same as I did.

My blog was getting a lot of positive feedback and I was enjoying chatting to other mums. I was added to engagement groups on Instagram and discovered a whole community of mums sharing their stories and experiences. I wasn’t alone anymore! I just kept on with it and my platform grew.

A year later…another baby! And real platform! I was and guess I am a blogger, an influencer, a creator. I was working with other influencers, brands, reviewing products and essentially marketing. I was making money as-well.

It gave me confidence to become more social in real life. I did my reiki level 2 and enrolled on a counselling course. I miss my nursing life but I know my real role in life is to help others and I can do that regardless. I may go back to nursing I may not. My experience traumatised me and I will carry it with me forever but I used the pain to drive me.

Mostly importantly In everything I found the real me. I am not defined by what I do. I am simply Steph, I am a mum and to me that is the most important role in the world.

I am just a normal girl from huddersfield West Yorkshire with big dreams. I’ve stopped being the people pleaser I always was.

If you are anyone out there struggling with demons, self-worth, anxiety and depression. You need to know you are worthy and it is your given right as a human to feel happy, fulfilled and loved. You are not your thoughts and you are not what people say or believe you to be, you are you and you can achieve what you want to achieve by taking the first step and going with the flow.

The thing that I love the most is helping others and inspiring others to start blogging! It is the best tonic and is so much fun. Even if you don’t want to blog. Writing your thoughts down really helps you to get perspective and make sense of what can often be a very strange time in a persons life.

I wish you all the best on your motherhood journeys, enjoy the ride…I wonder what your story will be?….

Love Stephy xxxx

The I can’t be arsed Christmas guide for mums who can’t be arsed BUT have to be arsed because it’s Christmas…and you got kids now. (And you love it really)

The I can’t be arsed Christmas guide for mums who can’t be arsed BUT have to be arsed because it’s Christmas…and you got kids now. (And you love it really)

Long are the days I used to go Christmas shopping in town and come back with presents…for myself…OBVIOUSLY it’s magical and I can be bothered of course it’s just a lot of planning and expense and sometimes we spend so much time stressing that we actually miss the whole point of Christmas..yes the presents! Of course but what about the true meaning…

Christmas doing your head in? Anxious 10/10? just can’t seem to get the list down?

10 Christmas hacks I used to live by before becoming a responsible parent…

1. Become a planetarium -I’m not doing gifts this year to save the planet. All the waste and the plastic and the fumes from Santa’s slay it’s not worth it. Save the planet the world is a gift, savour it…always respect the ocean.

2. can’t think what to buy my dad yet again or my grandad or any man in our family yet again…get down to boots 3 for 2 they have a fab selection of lynx and socks just for a change.

3. forgot someone?…sainsburys is great for the forgotten gift, they even do vouchers…you could always improvise and give your friends the gross scraf your Gran gave you.

4. In laws. Enough said.

5. The gift of love, give someone a hug for Christmas

6. Groupon have some great offers…

7. Amazon well I don’t even have to leave the house? Maybe they will gift wrap..moon pig do….MOON PIG everyone at Christmas!

8. How about a Christmas Email?

9. Facebook shout out?

10. Instagram tag?

11. I’m desperate now. Time to get off your arse and sort it Hun! You can do it

It’s crazy this time of year but as a mum it is actually overwhelming because you have to think about everyone else and not just the kids. Actually my brain is struggling to function anyway. One thing I will say though, is that we stress so much about the wrong issues because deep down all that matters is the people we love and the time we spend together. This time of year can be tough and especially for people with lost loved ones. Cherish your family and practice gratitude everyday….

And if your stressed out just do it all online whilst your up in the night with the new born baby! It’s amazon’s prime time lol 😂

Jokes aside as long as my boys are smiling that will be enough for me, it’s all for them.

Enjoy December Folks!

Spread love and kindness in all the uncertainty in this world for what is life without love 🌍💕 xxx

Book Review: Lets Talk about your New Baby Brother or Sister By Helen A. Lacey

Book Review: Lets Talk about your New Baby Brother or Sister By Helen A. Lacey

She has only gone and done it again…written another beautiful book all about your new baby brother or sister.

Freddie has found it hard adjusting to having another baby around despite Monty being here for the past 8 months. Henry is very protective, it was hard for them to share my attention at first wish often resulted in a lot of crying. Showing Freddie this book has helped him, he is familiar with the baby in the pictures.

The Book is focused on a siblings guide for the next 24 months with their new baby brother or sister. It’s an important time as when a new baby arrives older siblings can often feel threatened. This book beautifully illustrates and explains the importance of the new role as big brother or sister and provides an interactive guide. What’s lovely as-well is that it is told from the babies perspective and gives a step by step guide to the milestones within the first 24 months.

The book encourages your child to part take in your new babies development and helps bonding for all the family. Would highly recommend

Freddie loved reading the book. Henry enjoyed reading the book to his brothers aswell. Monty loved telling his story

For the record I’m not expecting number 4 just yet (tbc…) but this book would definitely be something to consider

Stephy 💕

Did somebody say…Just Ask?

Did somebody say…Just Ask?

Did somebody say….Just Ask?

Why are we all so afraid to ask for help?

You need a dirty take away…you just eat so why not just ask? Imagine if it was that easy…like ordering a takeaway..a quick check of the menu and wayyhayy…there goes your bank balance….. but HELP! Most of the time…advice…is FREE and doesn’t put weight on.

I am terrible for it. I have an innate ability to just struggle on. I always have done. I see asking for help as a sign of weakness which is weird because I don’t think that of anyone else that asks for help, just me.

If I ask for help they will think I’m stupid, not good enough, she can’t cope. If I ask for help I have failed, I am unworthy and a fraud.

It isn’t the case. What’s the worst thing that can happen?…They say no, which is fine. So is it the fear of rejection?

Some days I wish I’d of just asked for help.

Henry has started school recently and I’m getting used to the whole school run. Its really tough with a 1 year old and 8 month old…I really wanted to make a good impression at the school gates but it’s hard to do that when ur dress is tucked inside your leggings and you have food in your hair! 🤣 one time id just had my lashes done..so I looked pretty together that day.

you will chat to your friends, text but will not go out the house for days because it’s easier to hide behind your sweet pictures.

ANTISOCIAL MEDIA has a lot to answer for.

They ask you..how are you today?

You say I’m Fine

( actually no I’m not fine. I know I look fit in my Instagram picture and I look like a mother of the year but I’ve just scrubed shit off the carpet this morning, fallen down the stairs, hit my head on the door, eaten 3 buns and cried hysterically for no reason what so ever) 😃

You say FINE, GREAT THANKS… you are literally on your knees. Sometimes you just need a chat and a hug to know your not going crazy 😘💕

Motherhood is really hard. Friendships and family are important and I know who my people are. They have my back no matter what.

My door is always open if anyone needs me. I may not know the answer but I will listen to you and make you a coffee. You are not on your own in this.

A special thank you to my friends this week! I needed help…and I asked them…and I didn’t need to cry about it lol…

what you reckon…Instagram worthy? (I have filtered? No? 🤣🤣🙌🏻)

Stephy 💕

So YOU want to be a mumblogger?

So YOU want to be a mumblogger?

So you want to be a mum blogger?

It’s coming up to my 1 year anniversary of my blog… Happy BLOGIVERSARY!!!!

I can’t believe I only started this blog one year ago and it has been such a fantastic experience. I would have never have thought it would take off like it did and I have been overwhelmed with love and support so thank you so much. Not only that but I would like to hope that it has helped some other mums out there who were struggling like I was.

What started off as a hobby basically to stop me from sinking into a depression, turned into a little obsession (that rhymes! Ha). I just went with it. It started to steadily grow, the next thing I knew I was networking with other mums and brands, running my own loop page and making money. I even started making money from advertising. I have advertised big brands such as Spec-savers, Vauxhall, Rescue Remedy. More recently, Hula Hoops, Bassets Vitamins and Hunter Official have asked to use one of my images.

The boys have repped for boutique companies such as Ruby-mae, Little Babe Boutique, Tiny Stunners and myself Abella eye wear (slightly cringe!)

My blog posts were getting out there as-well! One Author in particular reached out about publishing an article in his book. I was also blessed enough to be published on Baby, Bump and You! And have become part of an online blogging community.

I literally had no business or marketing experience what so ever and it wasn’t my intention to use it for financial gain but you can.

So how does an average house wife from Huddersfield with 3 kids manage to become insta-famous? (ok, not quite the Kardashian’s) I do get recognised in Sainsbury’s by the locals (who already know me)

If I can do it any one can!

…want to know how?

Hard work, time and dedication…and a few tricks…

For the most famous they already have their platform but for the general population you have to work at it,to build and become visible.

For anyone interested in using Instagram as a platform or blogging here are a few hints, tips and advice. (I am by all means no expert at this trust me)

1. Research and Reach out. initially, I researched other Mum blogs and messaged them for advice. One mum in particular was really helpful. She ended up on ITV This Morning with her triplet girls dressed the same as holly Wilby. She was such an inspiration and so down to earth. She advised me to get involved in ‘loops’.

2. Grow and gain more followers

Loops

These are how you can increase your followers and liaise with other accounts, in my case Mum bloggers. The idea is that it is one big community and you share in your growth together…it may seem strange but putting it simply.

more followers + more engagement = more money per post.

My favourites

-women follow loop

-coffee talk mamas

-fairymamaloop

Loops = followers

You can find out these on Instagram by typing in the search. A lot of mum bloggers specifically do loops so you can find them on their pages.

Taking part in loops allows you to gain more followers and become involved in engagement pods. These are groups put together so that you can share images and like each other’s posts allowing you to grow. The more growth the more visible you become on Instagram. Doing it this way is a lot more safer as you have more control on your audience and know you are getting authentic engagement.

You can pay for ‘ghost spots’ in Loops to increase your following without having to follow others but this can lead to unfollowing and a waste of your dollar to be honest. There are apps to track unfollowers and keep a track of who is engaging on your page. One in particular is called followers+ you can download it from apple. Be ready though because it can be soul destroying if people unfollow you and you can see it! I discovered this early on and found a few people I thought were friends unfollowing! Haha thanks! I bare no grudge but you have to have a thick skin and self-discipline to not get carried away with it.

Take it too seriously and personally = anxiety central!

Avoid this at all costs

3. The algorithm – Instagram algorithm is like a policing system making Instagram genuine and controlled. Therefore, it won’t let you grow to fast, like to many pictures etc

You have to be careful though, you don’t want to grow to fast too soon. All that happens is you end up with what is known as ‘ghost followers’ and you end up with a poor engagement rate.

Engagement rate is calculated on your first 15 posts, the amount of likes you have and the amount of followers.

Brands will look at your engagement rates

Words to become familiar with

1. Engagement rate

2. Followers

3. Stories

4. Content

5. Collab

6. Hashtags

7. Loops

Blog writing…

*Start your blog

-Wordpress is free (you can download the app from apple)

*Most important: ENJOY IT!

There is no point in doing it if you don’t enjoy.

To put it bluntly…if your doing it to compete then you are doing it for the wrong reasons and it is toxic!

Do it for you, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

People might have more followers, more likes but you can’t get obsessed with others. That’s not what it’s about, because in the grand scheme of things…does it really matter? Does anyone really care?…

Just concentrate on your account and it will be amazing! It’s your baby! Look after it…

*Use the right hashtags- hashtags can get your posts noticed! Thus increasing engagement…(£££)

Depending on your content use hashtags to target the audience you want to achieve

For example #toddlersofinstagram

#mumblogger

These are fab but used by the majority so using more local # can also help with visibility.

***************************************

When you become a parent it is so easy to forget who you are. Remember you are very capable so if you want to give it a bash go for it!

Life is taking me in a different direction now. I have recently become a student again! I’m really excited for the year ahead. I’m so proud of how far I have come since a one year ago. I had zero self-esteem and my confidence was rock bottom, in a rut and defeated.

You have to take control of your life and do something about it. You are the only one responsible for that.

I am in a much more positive place and looking forward to what the future holds. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world and so blessed to have an amazing family and support.

Here’s to the next year and wishing you all the best and for all your dreams to manifest 🙌🏻🎉💕

Happy blogging!…

Love Stephy 🙌🏻💕

‘Love a good knees up’ 🤣🙌🏻🖕🏻💕