Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad, when he is not relaxing in one of our best recliners, or our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: The Toddler Years

  1. 10 ways to keep the kids amused when the weather's wet

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    So, the six-week holidays are upon us and, as if right on the cue, the heavens have opened. Yes, The Great British Summer has sprawled itself over August once again, complete with dull grey skies, pounding rainfall, and spectacular thunderstorms. What’s more, that rain has wiped out your entire school holiday entertainment itinerary. 

    LLP - 10 ways to keep the kids amused when the weathers wet

    Playing in the park, picnics, long family walks, when the weather’s on your side, the list of summer activities is endless. Yet, thanks to the UK’s clime, us parents must prepare for the worst. We need a bag of tricks for keeping the kids entertained when we’re three-weeks deep into the summer break, and the rain just won’t quit.

    1. Perfect the Pinterest crafts
      You’ve had them pinned for months on end. Now is the time to brave the storm – bring out the coloured pencils, the paint, the PVA, and get stuck in!
    2. Rustle up a culinary sensation Have a flick through some cookbooks for inspiration and spend an afternoon making a luscious family dinner. Alternatively, children go wild for baked treats, you know, biscuits, cake and buns. Organised well, you can scatter such activities out across the remaining weeks, filling up mornings with quality ‘together time’.
    3. Tap into the autumn term
      If your school lets you in on your child’s topic for the upcoming term, use those rainy days to explore the subject. Perhaps there’s a book you can enjoy together, a film, a related local attraction. Google is your friend and learning can be fun.
    4. Look out for library events
      Meet the author, comic book creations, character-inspired crafts, check out your nearest library for some surprising summer fun.
    5. Swot up at local museums and exhibitions
      From Halifax’s Eureka! Museum to London’s Natural History Museum, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, and all that’s in-between. Inject a bit of culture into their break at museums and exhibitions.
    6. Head for the pool
      Swimming! It’s such a simple solution, you may have even overlooked it. Forever a crowd pleaser, pack up your swim stuff and take a dip with the kids.
    7. Bring out the board games
      Prepare some snacks, set the table, put a family movie on the tele, and you’re set for an afternoon of board games.MonopolyTrivial Pursuit, and Jenga are just a few timeworn family favourites, but why not try something new, too. Check out QwirkleArticulate, and Beat the Parents.
    8. Make the most of kids’ cinema
      New cinema releases often make the family calendar over the summer holidays. Yet, when the brood gets bored, early morning kids’ cinema can be a lifesaver. Showing films that have recently left the big screen, it is a cheap and cheerful way to pass a few hours, especially when it’s miserable outside
    9. Create a cinema at home
      I am usually one for letting light into the rooms and have taken every opportunity to create more light in the house with roofwindows (and because they are so easy to install too) but why not shut all the curtains and blinds and create your own cinema at home? Get some movies and popcorn, snuggle up on the sofa and enjoy some family favourites. 
    10. Just get wet!
      We all seem to have such an aversion to rain! For guaranteed ultimate family fun, brave the weather and just get wet! Kids love mud! Mud fights, mud pies, mud slides, whatever! Dress them in old clothes and let them loose. It is sure to be the day they remember from the entire summer break.

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  2. 5 ways to protect your child from the sun

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    Summer is well and truly here. We’ve been promised some hefty heatwaves in the UK over the next few weeks, and I wore a skirt, so I can confirm that we’re all ready for it.

    Sunscreen 15

    In theory, that is. In reality, we’ll have to shed our cardis and give up our cuppas – we’ll be wishing for autumn again in no time. But for now, let’s imagine the bliss of the summer sun, bbq's in the back garden, and children happily playing outside, heads in the clouds rather than attached to screens.

    As parents, we all understand that sun comes with safety issues. The best way to protect little ones from harm is to keep them covered. Sunblock is advised from birth to five years, with factor 30+ sunscreen thereafter. You should also be sure that your selection protects from both UVA and UVB rays.

    Sun cream aside, there are other ways to keep our youngsters safe in the sun, whether you’re holidaying at home or venturing abroad.

    Invest in a sun safe swimsuit

    Unlike other items in your kids’ wardrobes, sun safe swimwear is made from material that offers a specific level of ultraviolet (UV) protection. Look for a swim piece that provides UPF 50. This will block 98 per cent of the sun’s UV radiation. All very scientific, but in practical talk, it means not having to reapply sun cream every single hour of the summer holidays. I know it is nice to get a bit of colour but I would rather have the peace of mind than the worry of sunburn.

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    Aim for the shaded areas

    Keep the kids in shaded areas. It may seem like common sense, but sun worshippers out there can be too quick to dismiss the risks of being out in direct sun all day. Give your children’s sensitive skin a break from harmful UV rays and find a cool spot out of the sun. It is also possible to buy sun safe play tents for young children, which provide shade and additional UPF protection.

    Stay out of the midday heat

    The sun is at its strongest between midday and 3pm, wherever you are in the world. This is the best time for children to take a break from being outdoors. Head inside, grab some lunch. If you’re out and about, find somewhere cool to sit inside for a little while. When holidaying with nippers, try to build in a daytime nap just after noon. That way everyone gets some rest, and the children miss the glare of the midday heat.

    Pack a sun hat

    Sun hats can help prevent the scalp from burning, while providing shade over sensitive facial areas. UPF protector caps are now available to buy too, which usually include sunshade neck flaps as well. Keep the head undercover, there’s nothing worse for children than a serious bout of sunstroke on holiday. Or for us grown-ups, for that matter.

    Reconsider your holiday dates

    Sure, it’s good to getaway to Greek isles in the peak of summer, but have you considered holidaying slightly out of season? As well as getting more holiday for your money, temperatures are likely to be much better for young ones. April to May and early October are ideal times to fly to typical holiday destinations, which is what we did this year. A May half term holiday was a novelty for us but it was also a tolerable temperature for the children. 

    Do you have any other tips?

  3. Becoming a Super Mum

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    People who do not have children think it is easy. Before we had children, I envisioned being dressed in a flowing white gown, rocking a perfect, rosy-cheeked baby as she slept soundly in my arms (or something along those lines anyway).

    This fantasy was intact for about 20 minutes after I became a mum. Soon I realized the flowing white gown was impractle and gave it up for t-shirts that could easily double for a burp cloth and sometimes a tissue.

    The rosy-cheeked little bundle of joy could break the sound barrier when teething, and the rocking chair was exchanged for a battery operated swing that you hope keeps the baby quiet long enough for mum to grab a shower at least every couple of days.

    Now that I am an experienced parent, I have learned the meaning of the word multitasking. I will share a couple of ideas with you.

    Becoming a Super Mum

    Celebrations

    Birthday parties, sleepovers, and holidays are not always easy to manage. But I have learned the easy way to handle a celebration is to set up a candy buffet. This takes the place of snacks and pastries. You simply need a table, table covering, clear vases or jars, and a theme. You order your candy based on your color scheme from an online supplier like Sweet Services.  

    This makes a beautiful setting for any celebration. And everything is reusable. For your next celebration, you simply change the theme and colours of the candy. The candy is shipped directly to you just in time and there is little set up. Perfect for busy mums with little time to spare!

    Keeping your child active

    There is nothing more important to you than the health of your child. This means you watch what they eat and you give them planned activities that keep them moving.

    Having been a dancer growing up, I love the idea of dance class. This is great exercise and it gets the kids out of the house for a while.

    To make the most of your child’s dance class experience, be sure to provide them with proper dance clothes. This is as much a mental exercise as a physical one. It signals your child to know it is time to get busy, and they look really cool at the same time.

    Balancing home repairs

    Being a family that includes children puts a strain on the household. Though we may want to live in a perfectly clean, well maintained and modern home, achieving that goal is not always easy.  Put major remodeling jobs on hold until the children are old enough to be expected to take care of their space. Until that time, repair that which is broken as needed and keep things as clean as you can and hope for the best.

    One way to keep your property value is to keep the basics up to date. It is safe to do smaller remodeling jobs such as replacing floors, updating cabinets, and replacing the sinks with modern sinks and vessels. These type of repairs allow you to maintain a better standard of home and protect your resale value.

    Final Thoughts

    It is not easy being a mum, but no matter how exhausted we are, we know that it is a job worth every effort. The key is to keep your sense of humor and roll with it. Soon enough, there will come a time when the kids are out creating their own world. Until that time. Enjoy every moment with your kids. That is all that matters.



  4. Fun Activities for Grandparents To Do With Their Grandchildren

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    Quality time with grandparents is important for families. Both children and grandparents benefit in numerous ways from spending time together. I read an article last week about how grandparents spending time with their grandchildren are apparently less likely to develop Dementia And Alzheimer’s. (!!)

    As a grandparent, life is less hectic so here are some ideas to enhance your quality time with fun activities that help you stay connected. 

    Fun Activities for Grandparents To Do With Their Grandchildren (2)

    Bake Something Sweet

    If you enjoy baking, you can share your love of this pastime with your grandkids and also teach them some important cooking and baking skills. Even toddlers can help in the baking process by pouring dry ingredients in a bowl and helping to mix batter. Think about the types of desserts your grandchildren enjoy and be sure to keep the ingredients on hand for the next time they come for a visit.

    Colouring

    Colouring is a quiet and relaxing activity that appeals to kids as well as adults. With the mandala coloring app, you can color a veritable masterpiece with your grandkids. To learn more about this easy-to-use app, just click the link. Coloring is a perfect pastime for grandparents and kids because it doesn't require 100% mental focus; families can still enjoy interesting conversations while creating their work of art.

    Read

    A great way to enjoy quality time is to read together. Take your grandchildren to the local library or your favorite bookstore to stock up on picture books or paperbacks. You can read a novel together or you can read to the kids if they prefer. Reading builds skills that kids need to perform well in school so it's definitely a great way to spend a morning or afternoon.

    Memory Lane

    Pull out all of your old pictures to acquaint your grandkids with your past and relatives they may not have met. Photographs can lead to fun storytelling and help kids get to know you better. As a special project, consider helping your grandchildren make a family tree that they can display in their bedroom.

    Visit an Orchard

    From strawberry picking to apple harvesting, local farmstands and orchards often feature opportunities for people to pick their own produce. You and your grandchildren can enjoy some fun in the sunshine while picking out yummies to bring home. With so many youngsters spending time with their video games, it's important to give them balance by ensuring that they stay connected to Mother Nature too.

    Play Games

    From cards to dominoes, non-electronic games might be a refreshing change for kids and certainly provide plenty of fun for grandparents too. Board games that grandparents played as kids are still exciting for kids today. Break out the Monopoly or Risk board and spend an afternoon gaming with a bowl of popcorn or chips to share.

    Keep these activities in mind for when your grandkids come for a visit. They certainly don't require much money but they can provide your family with priceless quality time. With all the fun you'll have, don't be surprised when the kids beg to come again soon!