3 Childhood Toys That Foster Creativity

product_470_1_9g7l-6bToys for children do not look anything like they did even a mere 10 years ago. It is actually fairly commonplace to see 4 year old kids playing games on iPhones and iPads. However, is that what is best for your child? Part of what makes childhood toys so great is that they are meant to help children develop creativity and imagination. At least, this is what they used to be all about. Even though technology may be a fun and easy solution when you are buying toys for your kid, it is still best to find toys that will make your kid use his brain and creativity on his own. The following are three children’s toys that fulfill both purposes.

1. Australian Folkmanis puppets.
While a kid is growing up, he will start to see that he can employ control over his hands and arms. If you have noticed, babies will stretch their arms out in the front and reach for things. These puppets help to foster this natural discovery process and help with motor skills. They are well loved because there is such a vast variety, including puppets of witches, eagles, and more. Additionally, they are of the utmost quality and designed to be safe for children.

2. Toys made from wood.
Wooden toys have always been a popular choice for young kids and have many advantages. They are friendly to both children and the environment. If you have a child, you are probably very aware of the children enjoy putting things in their mouths. A lot of toys and present danger in this way, particularly plastic toys, which can be toxic. Wooden toys, however, are much more safe for chewing, if your child does that. These toys can be transformed into anything you would like, including buildings and blocks. There is no limit, and these are just a good and safe choice for your child.

3. Puzzles.
Though you may think about jigsaw puzzles whenever you hear the word “puzzles,” there are all sorts. One is the windmill stacker, which will exercise your child’s brain. There are more complex ones he can graduate to as well.

Modern technology can be a part of your child’s life, but remember that toys are supposed to help with the development of your child. You can find great toys for this purpose at The 3 Cheeky Monkey (http://the3cheekymonkeys.com.au/).

Rainy Day Indoor Playground


Weather can be unpredictable. When you have children, they don’t always understand that the weather outside is unsafe to play in. What are parents and caregivers to do? Well, there are plenty of items and toys that can turn an ordinary home into an indoor playground.

Companies like Playaway Toy Company have created product lines such as the Rainy Day Indoor Playground. Products such as these are designed to create the ultimate play space inside a home rather than setting up equipment outside. This is the perfect solution for smaller homes.

There are many items that can be installed inside the home to create this type of play environment. All that is needed is a doorway and a strong support bar to attach to this area. At that point, the ideas are endless. You can attach a swing, trapeze bars, climbing ladders, and even a hammock to create a safe play area inside the home.

These types of indoor activities have been used by therapists to help special needs children for years. These activities build gross and fine motor skills. They also provide physical and mental stimulation to aid in learning.

While these types of tools have been used to aid in the learning styles of special needs children, it can also be a great tool for all children to use. Not only does it offer a fun alternative to outdoor play, but it also provides the environment to improve the skills children need to succeed in their learning.


Image Asian Boy and Colorful Small Ball by Sura Nualpradid through FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Organic and Non Toxic Baby Gear

As public awareness of health hazards posed by pesticides, chemicals, and other processes used to make consumer products rises, attention is turning to their impact on children. Infants and children are more susceptible to the effects of toxins and chemicals than adults, largely because of their smaller size and mass. This was recently highlighted when a Canadian infant died due to exposure to pesticides the family had brought with them to kill bedbugs. As an issue this is something that affects people and children from all corners of the world.


For mothers and fathers it means paying attention to the contents and composition of the products used for their children and particularly infants. In the early phases of life, infants are really only exposed to four things; food, mattresses, their clothing, and the air. Unfortunately parents can do little about the air, but in regard to the other areas there is room to help shelter your child from the effects of the environment and toxins.


  • Organic Baby Food – The first thing to do is start with what your child is consuming. This means making sure you invest and spend the extra money on organic baby food. Organic food will be made with ingredients that have not come into contact with chemicals or pesticides. Fortunately prices for organic baby food are dropping as more food products manufacturers decide to enter the business either to earn a better rate of return for shareholders or to do the right thing in being socially responsible. Recently food giant Campbell’s soup launched a line of organic baby foods.


  • Organic Baby Mattress – A 2 in 1 organic baby mattress is both a functional addition to your life, and made of organic non-toxic ingredients. Like the baby food there is no need to sacrifice quality in order to obtain a better price, as the pricing on organic mattresses is currently on the decline. Unlike the non-organic plastic-containing alternatives, these mattresses are free of volatile organic compounds and are PVC free. Further these organic mattresses are made in the United States where the safety standards for children’s items are very high.

    Since the mattress is a durable long-lasting two-stage mattress parents will actually save money. Thus you will not only save money, but you will not be sacrificing quality or your child’s wellbeing by exposing them to dangerous substances. In fact children who sleep on organic mattresses are less likely to suffer from allergies.


  • Organic Clothing – Similar to organic mattresses in that they are made with organic cotton and wool, organic clothing is designed to safeguard your child from toxins in traditional cotton. Since your child will be wearing clothing for much of the day, it is best to ensure they are exposed to as few toxins as possible.

Setting Up Camping Tents: Important Things You Need to Know

Camping tent

Camping holidays are always fun. They are a great way to get closer to nature and enjoy time outdoors. However, a great outdoor experience starts with proper planning. In this piece, we will focus on how to avoid making mistakes while setting up your tents.

Decide on the proper tent

The type of tent to carry for your camping trip should be determined by the type of camping you are embarking on. Are you pitching a tent in the campground? Then you can go with a heavy dome one. If you are going on a back-packing camping expedition, however, a lightweight tent is the best option. Here is more on choosing the right tent.

Stick to the rules

When choosing the best campsite, many people place comfort ahead of every other thing, and rightly so. However, the rules cannot be ignored. The exact rules vary from one national park or forest to the other but one common rule is that you should only set your camp more than 200 feet from the nearest water source. This is to protect sensitive plants around the shoreline and also ensure no one pollutes the water. Check if there are other conservation rules before you lay your tent.

Check the lay of the land

The best location to set your tent is an area that is flat, not bumpy and has good drainage.  Sleeping in a tent that is setup on a steep slope is not advisable, as there is a possibility of you sliding downhill in the middle of the night.

Use a ground cloth

Before you start fitting the polls together and stretching the canvas, you need to lay a waterproof cloth down on the ground first.  This cloth provides a slim barrier of protection between the bottom of the tent and anything that may puncture through it. It is also good for protecting against ground-level condensation. The ground sheet may also be useful as a rain shield for your cooking area.

Protect your food

A well setup tent should protect your food from wildlife and spoilage. This will ensure you don’t make it easy for animals to steal your food. Many camping resorts frown on campers being careless with food, as it isn’t just a nuisance, but also causes the animals to become dependent on humans for sustenance. Again, attracting animals like squirrels, rabbits, and so on, may not pose a problem for you but attracting a fox, badger, or red deer into your tent is a great way to destroy your tent while placing yourself in potentially grave danger.  The smaller animals may not harm you but they may  harbour diseases as this article shows.

Don’t use open fires in or around your tent

Regardless of how big your tent is, lighting an open fire inside it is very risky. You can burn down the tent and sustain injuries, especially if the fire is on while you sleep. Many camp sites do not allow open fires either inside or outside the tent, so you may also be breaking a law by doing this. If you need fire, ask the authorities what the rules are.  Most camp grounds will allow use of gas stoves, as these have a lower risk of starting a wild fire, or burning your tent to the ground

By following these tips, you can set up your tent and be on the way to enjoying a peaceful camping adventure.

How to Teach Children about Cooking and Food Safety

Whilst you, hopefully, know a lot about kitchen safety, your child will only know what they have been taught or have picked up from watching you.  And, whether you have a large bespoke kitchen designed by miketaylorbespokekitchens.co.uk, or a small kitchen that you struggle to move around in, you’ll find that children are inquisitive creatures that want to learn more about what you are doing, and even help if they can.  So keep reading for a few tips on how to teach children about cooking and food safety.

Food Safety

  1. Always wash your hands before you handle food. Not only do you carry germs on your hands, but the food you are preparing could also have harmful items on it.
  2. Always wash your hands before handling a new ingredient – this is especially true if you are dealing with raw meats or eggs.
  3. Use different chopping boards and knives for raw meat and other ingredients.
  4. Wash all fruits and vegetables before you use them to remove bacteria.
  5. When using knives, make sure that you cut away from your body – it’s important to teach children about the right knives to use for items, and the best way to use them.
  6. When thawing food, it’s better to do it either overnight in the fridge, or in a bowl of cold water, rather than just in the air.
  7. Cold foods should be kept cold and hot foods should be kept hot. If an item that should be served either hot or cold has been sitting out for more than two hours, it needs to be thrown away.

Cooking Safety

  1. If you are cooking items on the stove, never leave them unattended. It only takes a few seconds for them to boil over, burn, or cause a fire.
  2. When using utensils on a stove, don’t leave them in the pan. Metal utensils can become very hot and will burn your fingers, whilst plastic utensils could melt.
  3. Don’t touch a burner unless you are sure it’s cold – this tip particularly applies to electric ovens.
  4. Make sure to check that the oven is empty before pre-heating it. This tip is especially important if you have young children in the house that are prone to hiding Action Men and other small toys.
  5. Always use an oven mitt or a hot pad to remove items from the oven. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to explain that this is a job that you must do.
  6. Never turn on an empty microwave – at the very least there should be a cup of water inside.
  7. Any dishes that you place in the microwave must have a label that says they are ‘microwave safe’.
  8. Avoid rushing around whilst cooking – this is when accidents happen.

When teaching children about cooking safety, you need to consider their age and maturity level.  They could always start by helping you out with small jobs, and increase their experience as they grow older.  Can you think of any more tips to teach your children about cooking safety?