Category Archives: Guest Contributor

5 ways sleep

5 Ways Sleep Helps Your Child Learn and Grow

Please welcome Guest Contributor from Tuck Sleep,  Sara Westgreen, with this important information for parents:

5 Ways Sleep Helps Your Child Learn and Grow

A good night’s sleep is just as important as eating a nutritious diet.

However, most kids between the age of five and 12 need 10 or 11 hours of sleep a night but only get about 9 1/2 hours. There are a lot of reasons that your child needs to get a good night’s sleep, and here are five of them.

Kids Grow Overnight

Kids do most of their growing overnight, thanks to the growth hormone that is secreted during deep sleep.

The more deep sleep that your child gets, the better they will grow in the long term. They won’t grow to be a giant if they are sleeping more than usual, but they will grow to the height that they are designed to be as long as all of the other factors are there.

 

Grows Proteins to Fight Germs

It’s no surprise that when you don’t sleep well, you are more likely to get sick. That is because the human body produces a type of protein called cytokines while we sleep. Cytokines fight infection, stress, and illness, and also make us tired to help us heal.

The more sleep that the human body gets, the healthier a number of cytokines their body produces. Since kids are constantly in contact with other humans at school and at home, this is especially important for them.

Less Clumsy

If your child is particularly clumsy or impulsive, it might be because they are not getting enough sleep every night.

Kids who do not get enough sleep regularly are far more likely to be injured badly enough to need medical attention compared to their well-rested agemates.

Increased Attention & Better Mood

A child who has slept well is going to be much more pleasant to be around than one who has not. They are also more likely to pay better attention and store better memories, thanks to their time spent asleep.

This is the reason that sleep testing is an important part of being tested for attention deficit hyperactive disorder.

Adding an additional 27 minutes of sleep per night could be the key to helping your child be more attentive and pleasant for everyone else to deal with in the long term.

Be More Creative

REM sleep encourages creativity by making it significantly easier for our brains to solve problems creatively and find previously unrecognized links between things that we already know.

REM sleep is the deepest level of sleep that our brain falls into and is essential to feeling rested in the morning. If your child is struggling to fall into REM sleep, you might want to try offering a white noise machine to them see if that will help them sleep more deeply and wake up less often in the middle of the night.

If your child is struggling in school and struggling to sleep, you should definitely talk to a pediatrician to see if there is a different medical reason for the sleep trouble, and to find possible solutions for this problem.

5 ways sleep

Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.

7 easy swaps

7 Easy Swaps to Make Your Meals Healthy

7 Easy Swaps to Make Your Meals Healthy

Please welcome Guest Contributor, Brittnay Sharman.

A little bit of creativity is crucial when it comes to eating well. Rather than denying yourself or overindulging just a few tweaks here and there won’t have you missing out on anything. Turn these idea yummy ideas into habits to ensure you lead the healthiest lifestyle possible (while still enjoying it)!

Have you ever tried frozen banana in the blender? Well it is a game changer, tastes exactly like ice-cream! You’re going to learn to make some simple changes that will have you eating healthy in no time.

Homemade Muesli

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start it off the right way.

Instead of kicking off the day with a bowl full of commercial cereal, which are sure to be filled with processed sugars and other preservatives, try having a bowl of homemade muesli as a healthy alternative!

Treat your body and taste buds the right way, by adding in your favourite fruits into your healthy homemade bowl of muesli!

Forget About the Fizzy Drinks

Fizzy drinks sure do taste good but we all know they aren’t in the slightest bit good for us. Many people tend to avoid drinking water because they think it is boring and have no flavour. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

You could try kombucha, a fermented and sweetened tea drink. Make sure you look for a brand that is lower in sugar. Kombucha can be found at your local grocery and health food stores. You can even make your own kombucha. Soda lovers typically love kombucha because they can still get the carbonated taste they are used to.


Let’s Taco About It!

Pulled pork and tacos go together like mac and cheese! However, the cut of used for pulled pork is usually the shoulder which high in saturated fats and sodium. Instead you can try smoked pork tenderloin, it has a similar flavour and still melts in your mouth (not to mention it’s a nice lean as chicken breast).

Our families favourite tacos are piled high with avocado, cherry tomatoes, pork loin & chipotle lime. Kids love to build their own tacos, so on the table in all your ingredients in small bowls. Making your own always tastes better!

Use Steam Instead

Cooking veggies and fish by steaming them is a super healthy alternative. You retain all of their natural yummy flavours, whilst cooking them to perfection. By steaming your food, you’re adding no extra calories to your meal, making your favourite (usually unhealthy) meals, much healthier. You can top fish with flavourings like lemon and chilli and use the steam to infuse the flavours into your food.

Poach, Don’t Fry!

Poaching is another great way to cook foods you’d usually fry. Take eggs for example; if you usually fry your eggs, try poaching them next time. Cooking them in hot water means you aren’t using any oils in the cooking process.

Poached eggs are super healthy, and tasty; you aren’t covering up any of the natural flavour of the eggs with oil. As well as eggs, you can poach fish, fruit and even chicken, with scrummy results!

Make a Condiment the Star!

Have you tried making your sauces? If you have ever had a read of the back you will notice that sugar is one of the main ingredients. If you see some tomatoes on sale, why not make your own tomato sauce? Or you could try making a yummy pesto. It is great to add to pasta or as a coating on chicken.

If you looking for a creamy spread like butter, why not try avocado. It is a similar texture to butter and great to spread on flatbread or toast. It is super easy to also make salsa, hummus or even salad dressing.

We All Scream for Healthy Ice cream

We all love ice-cream, but if you have ever brought a tub and ‘accidentally’ finished the whole tub, this can help. If you see some brown bananas at the shop or have some, don’t throw them out, peel and freeze them now! When your ready for some yummy ice-cream grab them out and throw them in the blender for 1 mins -2 mins. You will find it turns into fluffy banana ice cream in no time!

It is delicious on its own, but you can add anything you love in ice-cream. You could throw in some blueberries, coconut milk or mint. You won’t believe how similar the consistency and taste is to ice cream!

Educating yourself is crucial when it comes to eating well. Rather than denying yourself or overindulging just a few tweaks here and there won’t have you missing out on anything. Turn these idea and behaviors in habits to ensure you lead the healthiest lifestyle possible (while still enjoying it)!

how to

How to Quit Your Spending Addiction in 5 Simple Steps

How to Quit Your Spending Addiction in 5 Simple Steps

We all want to save more and spend less – but that can be tough when it’s so easy to use your money. These days, there are countless pieces of technology out there that make it simpler than ever to spend without even realizing how much cash you’re wasting. Signing up to monthly subscriptions takes a matter of minutes, and you can confirm a purchase with a tap on your smartphone screen.

So, in a world where it’s incredibly easy to form an addiction for your spending habits, how do you change your financial health for the better? Here are some simple tips to help you reduce costs and prepare for the future.

1.     Plan Your Budget and Set Savings Goals

There are few things more important when it comes to making sure that you stick to your budget plans, than having a strategy in place. Your budget is a great way to give yourself an insight into where you’re overspending, and where you can cut back to improve your savings. Just remember that you’ll need to keep track of the money you spend to keep your budget as accurate as possible. Write down, or record everything you buy, from a morning newspaper, to a fresh cup of coffee.

Additionally, while you’re setting up your budget, make sure that you have an overarching goal in place to keep you motivated when the going gets tough. Sometimes it’s harder to control your spending than you might think, a few simple goals could help to keep you inspired.

2.     Stop Eating Out

As tempting as it can be to simply grab some fast food for dinner after a long day at work or buy a sandwich from the canteen for your lunch, you can save a serious amount of money simply by using the food you buy from the grocery store. Think about how you can plan to pack your lunches for work all week, and stock up on the ingredients you’ll need in advance.

Work with your family to come up with a list of meals that you’ll want to eat in the week ahead. If it helps, try choosing a theme for certain days, like make your own pizza day on Fridays, or taco Tuesday. Alternatively, you can look into trying out new recipes with ingredients you know everyone enjoys.

3.     Ditch the Credit Cards

Credit cards can be a huge problem when you’re trying to save more and spend less. It’s easy to over-spend when you don’t have to see any cash going out of your wallet or bank account. The best thing you can do to make sure that you stay on track towards your goals, is to get rid of the credit cards and replace them with cold hard cash instead.

Figure out exactly how much money you’re going to need when you go shopping, and only take that cash amount with you. That way, you can ensure that you don’t spend any more than you planned to. If you see something extra that you want to buy, you’ll have to go back home for your card, and that will give you time to think about whether you really need the extra item.

4.     Don’t Underestimate Little Savings

When you’ve got big goals for your money, it’s easy to overlook the little savings that you can accomplish simply by giving up your morning coffee or switching your electricity or gas supplier. Many people struggle with their budget because they’re looking for big ways to make a difference all at once. However, the truth is that the best results come from the smallest changes.

When money is tight, every little saving opportunity you can find will make an impact. Whether that means cutting out coupons from your local newspaper or shopping online so you can avoid paying for petrol.

5.     Know the True Cost of Everything

Finally, whenever you’re considering making a purchase that’s not on your monthly list of essential expenses, take the time to think carefully about the “true cost” you’re agreeing to take on. A good way to do this is to calculate how many hours you’d have to work to earn the money to pay for whatever you want to buy. For instance, if you were lucky enough to make $20 an hour, and you wanted to spend $80 on a meal, you might not feel too bad about using those four hours of work.

On the other hand, if you’re only earning $10 an hour, then $80 on one meal converts to a whole day at work instead.

 

 

 

 

cultural

Creative Kids Cultural Ideas and Activities

I am happy to share some of my thoughts as a guest blogger on cultural activities ideas for kids and the importance of multicultural games for our children. From learning about different cultures music, various foods, new languages, national sports and loads more. This really is a fun and important activity for the children to learn. Learning something culturally different has never been more important. Learning to appreciate cultural diversity is a gift to your child that they will take with them through life and reap the benefits.

cultural

However, let’s be frank, teaching children about cultural diversity is daunting and it’s not surprising. There are so many different countries to think about, cultural norms to respect and each of those has its own style of expression within each, so yes, it can be hard just to get started, but hopefully by sharing a few easy-to-do cultural games/activities this will be a great place to start with your kids.

Why is it important to teach multicultural activities?

There is growing complexity in the world we live in and the once well-defined boundaries are now coming down, due to the ever-increasing interconnectedness of the world we live in. Therefore, equipping children with the right tools to be able to question racial slurs and national rhetoric, which is all too common all over the world is crucial for us as a whole.

 

Multicultural Games and Activities for Kids

There are fun games and cultural crafts for kids to explore which help make learning a joy. From great books exploring other countries and what makes them special to learning how to meet and greet in a different language. There are some great simple ways to get children learning while exploring creative ways to learn about the world.

Introduce kids to music from another country 

Listening to music is part of most family’s daily routines whether in the car or at home doing some house work, but when is the last time you played some music from Botswana? Or how about the Aborigine didgeridoo? Well, this simple activity is a great way to learn and share about a new sound, talk about the people and some of their cultural norms.

Eat out and get the kids trying new food from another country

We all love to eat out and kids are no different. Take the whole family to a new restaurant and try some new cuisine.

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Books that teach kids about other Countries

There are some amazing books that help children to learn about other countries and contain interesting facts about the spoken language. These explore simple ideas like: what does money look like, facts about the places and what do people from that country typically look like.

Cultural crafts for kids

By exploring racial differences through arts and crafts can be a good way of sharing the concept in a hands-on-approach. Drawing activities and making your own people with cut-out carboard can be an excellent way of showing preschoolers that we are all cut from the same cloth.

Learn the world map

The world is a big place, but with a print out of the word and some colouring pens this can be a great way to ensure they know the difference between each country.

Make a recipe for another country

Show your children how to make food is always a good idea. One fun idea is to make each dish something unique from a different country – Pizza from Italy went down well with my kids!

Listen to YouTube and hear people speaking different languages

This is a really easy activity to do with the kids and something that can be filled with laughs. I would always recommend try to pick a few good videos before go randomly selecting, but with a children filter on it’s fine.

cultural

 

Conclusion

Whether multicultural activities for preschoolers or cultural crafts for older kids – there is something out there to begin exploring with your children the diversity of the world!

 

Reference:

10 Cultural Diversity Activities For Elementary Students

The Importance of Teaching Multiculturalism & Diversity

https://familymaven.io/kidsactivities/kidsactivities/14-fun-multicultural-education-activities-vzhjYA0r402Q3OsaCcVAUg

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cultural-education

 

About the Author

Matt Morrisey is a former teacher who has travelled all over the world teaching children English, from China to the UK Matt is well known. Matt’s parents are teachers and his only brother works for a children’s charity in UK.

Matt currently is a contributor at STAR WALK KIDS and loves to write about new tech toys, outdoor games for kids, parenting hacks and fun future facts for kids that range from national geographic topics to gaming at home. He loves techy drones and can’t wait until he opens his window to allow a drone to enter with an Amazon package. Not long now.

His work has been read by readers all over the world and features on blogs and websites all over the world. Matt recently decided to go back to university to do his PhD where he looks to continue his career.