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 or by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. 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. What age should children learn to swim?

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    Swimming is a skill that everyone ought to learn. Unfortunately, a large number of people don’t know how to swim. Yet, many of them spend some of their free time or holidays near pools, water wells, dams, rivers and beaches. They are putting their life (and their childrens) in danger without even realising it.

    Not knowing how to swim is like not knowing how to ride a bike. It’s also one of those activities that once you learn it you never forget it. The only thing that disappears is your strength if you don’t swim often enough. Swimming is a vital life skill that can save your, or someone else’s life when you least expect it.

    Children should be taught to swim as soon as possible. While there is no right or wrong age to teach children basic swimming strokes like freestyle or breaststroke or simply being able to float on the water, parents should make the attempt as soon as possible. There’s no sense in leaving swimming lessons till your child is older if you are able to do it at an earlier stage of their life. We enjoyed years of Water Babies lessons as at this stage babies can get used to the water and become comfortable with it.

     What age should children learn to swim_

    Once a child is five or six they can join a swimming squad to improve their stroke and technique. The better the technique the easier it’s going to be to swim for them. You might even find that your child enjoys swimming very much and wants to stick with it and takes things further. Local clubs often have race nights which can be beneficial for children too.

    Getting your children in the water as soon as possible is probably the best time for them to learn how to swim especially if you live near the water or have a pool. Swimming can be a life saving skill and you want your children to learn it quickly so that they will be able to look after themselves in the water and help someone else if necessary. Teach them to swim early and you will provide them with a skill for life that they will never forget.

    Children spend 9 months in the womb completely surrounded by fluid and are not afraid of water as newborns. If a newborn baby gets water in his or her eyes they do not startle or scream. If your infant cries during a bath it is most likely from being chilly; even warm water will make them feel cold as it evaporates.

    If infants are not scared of water, why are 3, 4 and 5 years olds so terrified of having water on their faces during their first round of swimming lessons? It is because they have had their whole lives to forget what it felt like to be underwater, and the unknown breeds fear. It is also because, at bath time, parents take such great care to keep water as far from babies' and young children's heads as possible, and show great anxiety if their children get even a small amount of clean water in their eyes or mouths. This anxiety teaches children that water, especially anywhere near the face, is something to fear.

    So, swimming should start in infancy. Formal lessons, of course, are not necessary for newborns, but being accustomed to water as something to be enjoyed and respected is needed. If water accidentally gets in your infants eyes, don't act like it's a crisis. Your child will be fine, and you don't want to create a fear that will make learning to swim much harder later on.

    Parent and Tot lessons are often offered for babies as young as 3 months of age. Again, the focus is (obviously) not on swimming by themselves, or even on "dunking" but just on getting used to the water and the swimming lesson environment. Once babies' are old enough to have some gross motor control, you can get them used to water on their face by blowing in their face (to make them hold their breath) and quickly lowering them into the water and bringing them back up.  Smile and give them positive attention afterwards, and most babies will love it.

    Usually children are ready for traditional lessons at the age of 3, which is when they are old enough to follow instructions from an instructor, and capable of sitting or standing still for short periods. Many 3 year olds can learn how to swim on their fronts and backs for 10 feet or longer. It is important to start swimming lessons early to give children a better chance of survival should they ever fall into water unexpectedly, or if an accident occurs during recreation. 

    Parents must know that swimming lessons are not a substitute for adequate supervision around the water. Children under 5 years of age do not generally have the ability to calm themselves down and recall their swimming lessons in a panic situation, but as your child gets older and more proficient in the water, the likelihood of them surviving a water incident, or being able to avoid the incident in the first place, is much, much higher.

    Early swimming lessons could make all the difference when it comes to saving your child from becoming a statistic.

  2. 10 Fun Christmas Ideas for Under 5's

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    Ever since they start walking and talking, kids love to help their parents and ask to participate in all happenings around home. Even small kids, like toddlers and preschoolers enjoy crafting and baking with mommy as we approach holiday season. Same goes for Christmas! Invite your toddlers and preschoolers to help you with Christmas crafts and decorations. And they can even make Christmas gifts for family members and friends!

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    1. It’s fun when your Christmas tree is twirling and whirling on the wind! Invite your kids to create Christmas tree twirler from paper plate and decorate it as they wish. Then attach it on your ceiling and let them spin!

    1. We always keep a stash of paper rolls in our recycle bin for crafts. This inexpensive crafting medium is so versatile and we love reusing them to recreate different items. Like this lovely toilet paper roll reindeer! Adorable, isn’t he, with his red nose!?

    1. Little ones enjoy sensory play and while you’re busy preparing for Christmas holidays, prepare for them Christmas themed sensory bin to occupy them and let them explore different textures and senses.

    1. Is your child looking forward to white Christmas? As years go by, we are lucky if snow really falls on Christmas. But you can still let them have a sense of white Christmas if you make with them homemade snow recipe.

    1. Do you have buttons laying around your home? We always have some spares for crafts and one of crafts we made with them are lovely button snowflakes. If you are looking for more easy Christmas decorations, you can take a look at collection in Handmade Ornaments book.

    1. Gingerbread man is one of my children’s favorite Christmas themes. We made many gingerbread man crafts over years and we still have gingerbread man cards we made years ago as keepsake!

    1. Thinking to put together a Christmas party or you need a larger scale Christmas decoration for your classroom? We love how kids get to collaborate to make handprint Christmas tree. Looks wonderful displayed on bulletin board!

    1. Crafts that can be completed in super short amount of time, when you need something to quickly distract and occupy little ones are sometimes hard to find. Let them create their own personalised easy solstice lanterns as last minute project before Christmas.

    1. Christmas crafting comes as good practice for your toddlers and preschoolers fine motor skills. One of the crafts where they can use their little fingers and practice waving are yarn Christmas trees. Love how each and every one of them is different and unique!

    1. Every child is looking forward to Santa coming on Christmas eve! As they wait, invite them to make their own paper plate Santa! Easy craft to make after reading your child’s favorite Christmas story!

    15 - Fun Ideas for the Christmas Under 5s - pin

    Christmas is one of those holidays every child loves. We also love to spend time over Christmas holidays crafting and baking together. Perfect opportunity to spend time bonding as family and create memories for years to come! You can start new Christmas tradition this year with your kids too!

  3. Baby Annabell : Milly Feels Better

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    Have you had to endure needles and injections for your little ones? Let's be honest, no one really likes having any kind of procedure that involves a needle, but it can be more of a problem for some. Fear of needles can be worrying for parents, particularly if your child needs regular injections or blood tests, there are ways to improve the situation and for children, this can come in the form of the fun and educational Baby Annabell doll, Milly Feels Better. 

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    Make Milly feel well again with the 5 Doctor accessories included. Milly's cheeks will turn red when she needs attention. Check her temperature with the thermometer and her heartbeat with the stethoscope.

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    With a budding doctor in our house, this is the perfect gift choice for her (and her baby doll addiction). At £34.99 it is reasonably priced and more affordable than a lot of dolls in this market and has the added benefit of being in the Baby Annabell range so can share lots of the other products, such as clothing and accessories.

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    When it's time for her medicine, put the medicine spoon near her mouth and Milly will start to feel better again. If she is still poorly, she can also be given an injection. Milly also features sleeping eyes when she is laid down, and will also laugh when tickled. (Note to self : turn her off when the children are asleep as you don't want night time giggles!)

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    Milly Feels Better encourages great role playing and can help children over come their own fears of getting injections or going to the doctors.

    If you think Milly Feels Better could help your little one feel better then we are delighted to be able to give you a chance to win one just before Christmas. All you need to do is enter below.

    Baby Annabell Milly Feels Better  

    The Prize: Baby Annabell Milly Feels Better Doll
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Gleam and notified within 7 working days by email
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.

    UK Entrants Only

    End Date 15/12/2018 at 12am

    This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.

     

  4. 21 Random acts of kindness for kids

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    No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted’ Aesop

    A random act of kindness is basically an act of kindness for no particular reason or reward. You can do these for people you do or don't know.

    RAOK ideas for kids

    It is a brilliant idea to involve children in random acts of kindness as it teaches them so much about giving and how absolutely wonderful giving is for both the giver and receiver.

    Here are lots of lovely ideas for random acts of kindness. Why not encourage your child to pick ones they would like to have a go at or help them come up with an idea of their own. Maybe this could be a Friday thing, a project for each day of the holidays or just, perhaps, an occasional activity for when the mood takes them:

    • Take flowers from your garden (or the shop!) to a local older person care home
    • Donate your pocket money to a charity
    • Feed the birds
    • Tell someone a joke
    • Say something lovely to your teacher
    • Ask your grown up if you can do some chores for them
    • Leave a book on a park bench with a note inside saying ‘Enjoy this book and once finished pls place it back on this bench’
    • Make your grown up breakfast in bed
    • Put enough money in a vending machine so they next person gets a freebie
    • Put together a little photo album for a relative
    • Smile and say good morning to someone new
    • Litter pick for 15 minutes in your local park
    • Read a story to someone
    • Offer to make everyone tea
    • Start a collection for your local food bank at school or on your street
    • Make a bookmark and leave it in a library book
    • Give someone (you know) a big hug
    • Paint rocks with kind messages and leave them hidden in your local park
    • Make a handmade gift for someone
    • Take some pet food to your local animal shelter
    • Run a second hand stall and donate the money to charity
    • Ask someone new to you if they want to play

    They could also keep a little journal documenting how their acts of kindness went if they wanted too to record their kindness journey.

    If you have any ideas of your own for random acts of kindness kids could do please leave them in the comments below so we can all learn from each other about the joy of giving.

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    This is an extract from Create Your Own Happy – an interactive book filled with happiness boosting activities for kids age 7-12 written by Becky Goddard-Hill and Penny Alexander (Harper Collins, 2018)