Budget Birthdays For Your Bambinos

We all want to through our little ones awesome birthday parties, but there are just sometimes when our budgets don’t allow it. This is especially the case if you are a single parent or you or your partner have just been let go from work. If there isn’t much money to go around, you probably won’t have any spare to put towards a fabulous party. Thankfully, though, children’s birthday parties are very easy to organize, even if you are on a restrictive budget. Hopefully, all of the following tips and ideas will help you through a reasonably priced party that your child will never forget!

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Forget About A Venue

There are lots of different venues that can host children’s birthday parties. Some restaurants will rent out function rooms while your local leisure center might organize a sports-themed party for you. However, if you are trying to plan a party with little money, you should try and forget about renting out a venue. These can be very expensive, even if you hire one for a couple of hours. It’s best to have the party in your own home and garden. If you only have a very small house and no garden, you might want to think about having the party in your local park. It’s totally free to use parks and you will be able to organize a birthday picnic or tea party if the weather is going to be nice.

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Organize Your Own Food

Another aspect of party planning that can be extremely expensive is sorting out the catering. Rather than hiring a catering company to make a buffet for your party, you should think about cooking and baking yourself. Even though this will take up quite a bit of time for you and will require a lot of careful planning, you will find that it can drastically reduce your costs. It’s also a good idea to try and bake your own birthday cake as well. Don’t worry if you aren’t a very good baker – there are now lots of baking kits you can buy that will help you. Betty Crocker does a really good one for birthday cakes. It’s also worth planning your party for around 2 pm – 4 pm. As it won’t take place over a mealtime, most parents won’t be expecting you to feed their kids a lot. So, you will be able to get away with preparing just a few snacks and the cake.

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Host A Potluck Party

If you don’t fancy cooking everything yourself, you might prefer to host a potluck party. This is when you ask all the other guests to bring a dish to put towards the buffet. Just make sure you add a note to the invites asking everyone to bring something. If your party is themed, you might like to mention the theme so that everyone brings a dish that matches the theme. One of the great things about organizing a potluck is that you will be surprised with all the amazing and delicious foods that people bring to the party!

Be Smart When Gift Shopping

One of the things that can often cause a birthday party to go over budget is all the birthday presents for the child. Every parent wants to make their child feel extra special on their big day and do so by buying them lots of gifts. However, if you don’t have enough cash in the bank, you shouldn’t put yourself in the red just so your child gets a lot of presents. After all, bigger isn’t always better. One way to reduce the costs of birthday gifts is to browse sites such as dontpayfull.com to try and find some coupons and vouchers. You might also want to go gift shopping when shops have their sales. Alternatively, simply restrict your child’s gifts to a certain amount of money. For example, set aside $100 to use to buy their presents and make sure you don’t go a penny over!

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Think About Joint Parties

If your child’s birthday is close to one of their friend’s birthdays, you should think about holding a joint birthday party. This can be beneficial for you and the other child’s parents as you can evenly split the costs so that you both don’t have to pay full price for anything. If you decide to host a joint party along with the other parents, then you might even be able to afford a venue and catering company.

Go Electronic

About a decade ago, lots of parents would spend money on fancy invitations for the party. But now, thanks to the Internet, you don’t need to do so anymore. There are lots of cheaper, electronic options instead. For example, you can simply email all your child’s friends’ moms a quick message about the party with all the necessary details. Alternatively, if you are on facebook.com, you can create an event page and invite all the moms and dads on there. It’s useful to bear in mind that not everyone is on Facebook, though, so you should make a point of telling those people in person.

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Think Of Free Activities

If you can’t afford to hire a children’s entertainer, don’t worry. There are lots of free activities that you can do during the party. If you are having the party in your garden or a park, you could plan a scavenger or treasure hunt. There are also some outdoor games you could play with all the kids, such as hide and seek, blind man’s buff, and three-legged races. Most of these games can also be played inside if the weather starts to turn bad. Basically, any kind of children’s game will go down really well at a birthday party. So, why not ask the kids what they want to play!

Planning and hosting a children’s birthday party doesn’t have to cost you the whole earth. Now that you have all of these great tips and ideas, you should be able to keep your overall costs down to a minimum.

Have fun!

Fantastic and Fun Bike Camp for Kids

Our daughter is nine years old and was overdue to learn how to ride her bike. So, we decided to find someone that could not only teach her how to ride her bike, but how to do it safely. We found a place called Pedalheads.com that specializes in doing exactly what we needed. Their setup similar to a summer camp with different scheduling options with half-day or full day sessions. I registered our daughter for the full-day session from Monday thru Friday so she could learn as much as she could from their expertise. She was so excited to attend the first day and learn how to ride her new bike she had decorated with streamers and stickers. My hubby and I were a little nervous dropping her off the first day, but we met the staff and noticed they were really organized. This put us both at ease and allowed us to share in the excitement with our daughter. After the first day, she was already riding her bike around the practice area and having a blast!

They have a program with four levels that helps their students focus on the skills they need to learn how to ride their bike safely and have fun at the same time. Each day she progressed noticeably and learned more skills and continually to gain confidence with her riding. By the end of the week, she was riding easily with confidence around their obstacle course and down a grass hill. The students displayed their new riding skills with a parade on Friday, the last day of class for the week. We were impressed with how all of the young riders from three years and up were riding their bikes so easily around the obstacle course that simulates riding on streets and bike paths.

This program is the best way for a child who needs to learn how to ride a bike, especially when keeping safety in mind. Our daughter is now excited to ride her bike at the park and ride to school after she gains a little more experience thanks to Pedalheads.com.

How To Travel With Toddlers Stress Free

With summer here, our thoughts turn to family holidays. Clear blue seas, golden sands and balmy temperatures are just around the corner, but there is just one problem because to reach that idyllic location you are going to have to travel. No problem you may think, it’s all part of the experience. Think again. For when you are a parent of one or more travel averse toddlers, this can prove challenging at best.

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Children love family holidays. It is a time to spend quality time with their parents and siblings, enjoying all of their favourite activities in the sunshine. Swimming, playing ball on the beach and building sandcastles – what could be better. What they seem to forget, is that you have to get there first.

Taking a flight, however long with children can be stressful. It is difficult for your little ones to understand that they have to remain seated sometimes for hours at a time, seatbelts on with nothing much to do.

Unless you are one of the lucky ones who start your vacations with private jet charters, most of us will embark on our journey in a cramped economy class cabin full of strangers.

Tempers fray, stress levels rise, and even the shortest of flights can turn into an endurance test that you would rather forget.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. With thorough preparation and careful planning, you and your toddlers can have a calm, stress-free flight, and they might even learn to enjoy it.

Do the groundwork

If your toddlers haven’t flown before make sure they understand what to expect. You can even recreate the scenario at home by lining up a few chairs and playing ‘aeroplanes’ with them. Explain that they have to remain seated but emphasise the positives. Tell them that they will be able to watch TV on the plane and get them involved in packing their cabin bags too.

Give yourselves time

Calm parents equal calm kids, so make sure you allow plenty of travelling time to get to the airport. You will avoid unnecessary stress and reach the boarding gate feeling relaxed.

Distractions

Make sure you have plenty of activities that you can bring out when needed. Drawing, pocket games, ipads or a story for when they feel sleepy will help pass the time.

Take plenty of snacks

There is no better distraction for a young child than their favourite snack. Make sure you take plenty and try not to get anxious about what they choose to eat on board. It is only one flight, and at least it will keep them quiet.  Remember to pack some lollipops for when you are coming into land. Children can suffer terribly with pressure pain in their ears so take along something they can suck, a comforter or even their favourite teddy.

You made it! Hopefully, you will have had a great flight and can now enjoy your holiday. Just remember the advice for the return leg of your journey and your family vacation will be one to remember for all the right reasons.

Careful Parental Advise For Illnesses That Toddlers Commonly Catch

As children grow up, they’re bound to catch something; it’s purely inevitable. Not only is it a foregone certainty, but essentially human beings would not exist if mother nature does not test our defenses. Our immune systems can only develop strong if we don’t go through illnesses when we’re little. Unfortunately, children need to go through some common ailments before they can grow up with tough, reactive white blood cells. In a way, children aren’t exposed to illnesses because as parents we try to protect them as much as possible. We make every precaution we can think of and still, one day; your child will get sick. It doesn’t help that toddlers are extremely curious and often put things in their mouth to feel and chew them. Basically, parents are fighting a losing battle. However, that’s not to say you should just let them be because of course, you should wrap them up warm when they go to school in the winter. By no means necessary are your children going to go through the ebb and flow of illnesses in a linear pattern. However, there are certain illnesses which they are likely to catch, and here’s how to treat them.

Souce – Quinn Norton

The most common

Of course, everyone knows it, because it’s the bane of all humankind; the common cold. You know the drill by now; the first sign of a virus taking hold will be your children complaining of feeling hot, or suddenly they develop a sniffle. Next will be the un-mistaken noise of the dry throat cough. Before you know it, your child’s sinus will be stuffy, their nose will be running, and they’ll be sneezing regularly. Toddlers above two years old are unlike babies in the fact that they can take cough medicine, although the brand and strength should be consulted with your doctor or local nurse. Equally, warm orange juice should clear their throat, as well as closing the bedroom window at night and keeping their extremities such as hands, feet, and head covered. Although initially, they’ll feel hot, the body expends so much energy trying to fight off the virus, that the energy resources are located purely in that battle; thus their body temperature will start to dip.

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Shigellosis

Shigellosis is a bacterial infection that attacks the digestive system. A shigellosis outbreak is mainly found in unsanitary daycare centers, and ingested through contaminated drinking water; as well as food. The bacteria releases toxins that exasperate the intestines which cause further progression of the infection. Toddlers are more likely to get it because they put their fingers in their mouths and allow bacteria into the bodies. The symptoms are watery diarrhea as well as cramping of the abdominals. Toddlers can feel nauseous, and vomiting can occur. Symptoms usually begin to surface within three days. To treat the illness, first, you need to fight off the effects of dehydration by giving your toddler plenty of fluids, especially those that have electrolytes in them. It’s best not to give your toddler some kind of medication as this will actually keep the bacteria in their system for longer. Usually, within 4-6 days, the illness should subside and pass. If it prolongs, go and see a doctor or take to the nearest hospital, although, such instances are very rare.

Conjunctivitis

Pinkeye or to use the medical term, conjunctivitis,  is an inflammation of the soft tissue lining the eyelids. The cause of the infection is due to contact with another person’s infected secretions, and bacteria living in the nose and ear making contact with the eye from the hands. This causes redness and sometimes yellow pus to discharge from the area. Your toddler will suffer from blurred vision and dry eyes. It’s a bacterial infection which has to be treated with antibiotics in liquid drop form. Belay your child from going to school for a couple of days. Make sure they wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their eyes as well as sharing towels, blankets, pillows at home, and the other children at the daycare center.

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Asthma

If you see your child struggling to breathe, or hear them wheezing when they exhale, they may have a mucus infection in their throat. This can lead to breathing difficulties which cause their windpipe to react overly defensive and tighten and or close up. Asthma is common in toddlers because they often don’t have very thick mucus to protect them. Bacteria from mold, damp or poor quality air in the home care lead to this illness. Dust mites also play a role, because the feast on dead skin cells and their excrement causes bacteria to waft into the air. When this occurs, the germs latch onto living tissue and begin to infect the internals of the throat. To treat your child, they must see a doctor as soon as possible. He or she will prescribe your child an inhaler, only to be used in mild discomfort and or sudden attacks of breathlessness. The main thing you can do at home is to make sure their bed sheets are changed regularly and to hoover their carpet which is where most of the dust mites reside. Equally, fresh air should be circulating their bedroom, so bacteria in air particles don’t infect them further while they sleep. They should also be regularly changing their clothes, so dead skin cells aren’t allowed to pile up and fester in them.

Photo by – Eden, Janine and Jim

Ear ache

Ear ache is very common in toddlers, and there can be multiple causes. Swimming in dirty pools can afflict them with swimmer’s ear which is an infection of the ear canal. Pressure from the cold or even pain from the jaw can radiate itself into the ear. Your child may suffer from fever due to the proximity of the infection to the brain; the body will need to be cooled by wearing thin clothes and avoid wearing socks at home. Take your child to the doctor, and they may give you some antibiotics if the infection is in need of immediate attention. However, if you think the infection is in its early stages and can be managed, simple ear drops can fight the infection adequately.

A Fun Holiday In The Mile High City Of Denver For Kids And Families

Situated in the north of Colorado, lies the metropolis of Denver. A great city for holidays with kids as there are lots of family-friendly activities to do. It’s a remarkable urban environment, and there’s no doubt about it, the city has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the 19th century. Thanks to the investment by the US government and real estate companies, there are so many cozy neighborhoods with friendly locals who can’t wait to tell you about their city. There are lots to see, eat and enjoy as many different parts offer, hiking, rafting, skiing as well as some mouthwatering restaurants. The downtown area has also been given a makeover, and now possess some of the cleanest streets in the state, as well as safer bicycle routes for greener transportation. Denver is aptly nicknamed the Mile-High-City, and one can see why because it sits approximately 5280 feet above sea level. There are a few notable spots that family adventurers must see while in this gorgeous city.

Fluidly getting around

Travelling with children can become taxing as their enthusiasm might be misconstrued for impatience. Denver’s urban investment has brought the standard of public transportation to the highest level it’s ever been. However in the modern world, wherever there is investment there are entrepreneurs to be found. Gliding around the city has never been faster and easier with Ridester at your fingertips. Unlike a traditional taxi, there is no waving down or waiting. Simply download the app, book a journey and your car will arrive. The neat thing about the app is that your journey can be planned, with the distance and estimated time, equating the proposed price before you even set off.

Photo credit – Children’s Museum of Denver

Children’s museum

The children’s museum is great fun for the little ones who want to play and learn while adventuring in a new city. The complex just recently got a whopping $16 million expansion, with new materials, colors and designs more fitting for the modern child. It’s one of the most sought after spots in the town and has children clambering to get in line. One of the highlights is the enclosed three-story structure that provides children with the fun of climbing it with safety in mind. Children also have cooking classes available to them when they visit, and that’s sure to occupy their full attention.

Image source – skeeze

Cooks Fresh Market

The best connoisseur’s congregation spot and by far the best deli in the downtown area. Great for families and reasonably priced, eating on the go has never been more delicious. The attention and purely quality of ingredients are obvious in all the items they sell. Their salads are famous throughout the city for the best selection of soft cheeses, and everyone loves their soft and fluffy pastries. Brilliant gourmet cooking with a handy selection of great picnicking spots in the park just around the corner for the family to sit and enjoy.

Gifts for kids

Hope Tank sells cool and fun gifts perfect for children who want a physical memory of their trip to Denver. Handcrafted jewelry, t-shirts, and many Colorado state souvenirs. All the items are created by local artists; however, the great thing about each sale is that some of the profit goes to helping nearby charities. Playful magnets, coloring books, key chains and bouncy balls are great fun for the kids and something they can keep to remind them of the fun they had in the metropolis Mile-High-City.