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Archive for November, 2013

Mum's the word!

A question, that has been going round in our family for many years, is, do we have the time, energy and space to add in another (furrier) family member?
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I have three lovely daughters who are dog mad, the eldest has been nagging us for years for a dog but its never been the right time!

But since October, we have been living in a new place, a farm house to be exact and the question has popped up again!

Now I know its nearly Christmas, and I’m not one of those ‘we could get a dog for Christmas’ types. I think a dog takes a little more consideration than ‘wouldn’t it be a nice gift to the children!’.

So, anyways, just on the off chance of looking at my girls school’s forum I noticed a family needing to rehome their dog due to not having enough space or time…

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berry berry blog

A great way to add new ornaments to your Christmas tree each year is to create some home-made ones with your children.

With younger children, keep things simple by cutting out Christmas theme shapes (e.g. stars, gingerbread men) on cardboard and then decorate with stickers, glitter etc. You can also make hand prints on cardboard and then cut them out. To hang up your cardboard ornaments, simply tape a little loop of wool or string to the back of the artwork.

With older children, there are a range of DIY ornament kits in arts and crafts shops leading up to Christmas. You can also purchase unpainted glass baubles that you can paint and decorate at home.

Pictured are some cardboard ornaments we made and also a Christmas theme drawing by my daughter which we’ll be sending into Giggle and Hoot (local children’s show), fingers crossed it’ll be featured on Giggle…

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Courage to be Catherine

Rebecca Inspires Now

Catherine and Daddy FARE

Emmy dresses
royalty marathons
picking coach for mommy
dancing around people protocol
knowing when to tip
talk
touch her throat
princesses
tangled with mermaids
surrounded by sentinels
she knows what to eat, drink
sample
she knows the safety
of one hundred orange shirts
cruisin’
for the courage to be Catherine

There’s this little girl, four years old who sings this song: “Milk, eggs, wheat and beef! Milk, eggs, wheat and beef!” Her name is Catherine and those are her food allergies. She stood on the stage at the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) walk and sang the song, bobbing her head from side to side. “Come on everybody, sing it with me!” The song has helped her remember her allergies.

Catherine is typically a shy and polite little girl. To see her on stage and to see her take it all in with grace: that she was a race…

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The world’s most expensive gifts: From the glass pool table to the £3,400 coffee beans, what the really rich will get this Christmas

While most of us will be happy with a DVD, t-shirt or perhaps a nice new watch from our loved ones this year, the uber-rich will be expecting a little bit more as they unwrap their presents while sipping Kristal Champagne in front of the Queen’s Speech.

‘If in doubt, sprinkle it in diamonds’ appears to be the rallying call of the upmarket manufacturers and boutiques catering to the whims of the international jet set this Christmas.

From a £20,000 bejewelled USB stick (perfect for the billionaire tech genius in your life), to a solid gold pen that comes with an eye-watering £60,000 price tag, MailOnline takes a peek under the wrapping paper of the one per cent.

 
ScrabbleFine words: How many points in the word ‘luxury’? This £2,225 Geoffrey Parker Scrabble set in cherry wood is inlaid with a printed, hand-bound leather board and comes with leather Scrabble letters and letter racks. geoffreyparker.com

 

 
Pool tableHigh roller: For the minimalist games room, and the maximum budget, this £42,000 ultra-modern Nottage Design pool table is made of toughened glass covered by a transparent surface that replicates the feel of a traditional cloth-topped version. Comes with a set of balls, triangle, bridge stick and two aluminium cues. quintessentially.com

 

 
Beats SwarovskiBling: Raise someone’s street-cred to A-lister heights with a pair of gold-plated, Swarovski crystal-encrusted Dr Dre Beats headphones. There’s an A-lister price tag, too – £1,689. crystalrocked.com

 

 
1936 BMW 328 Children's CarHot wheels: A set of wheels for Little Lord Fauntleroy. At £12,537, this Blanc Chateau 1936 BMW Children’s  Car costs more than a Ford Fiesta. quintessentially.com

 
Terra Neva coffee £3,400Glitter: The ultimate treat for coffee connoisseurs – Terra Neva, from the Peruvian Andes, is the caviar of coffee beans and comes in a sterling silver sack. Order 500g, which costs £3,400, and a coffee machine is included! harrods.com

Gold vacuumGold: Will this 24k gold-plated vacuum cleaner (right) really make a carpet look like a million dollars? Because that’s what it costs!  But for that (£625,000) it can be customised with a hand-sewn outer bag in the material of your choice. govacuum.com

 

 

 
USB stick £20K Shawish JewelleryValuable technology: For the gadget geek who has everything — the world’s most expensive USB stick is studded with diamonds, rubies and sapphires and has a storage capacity of 32GB. Prices start at £20,000.
thehouseofluxury.com

 

 
Philip Treacy crackerThe joke better be hilarious: Asprey’s limited edition cracker includes a party hat designed by famous milliner Philip Treacy and a sterling silver thimble engraved with his signature. There’s confetti, too, and a festive joke, but the price is funnier – £1,500. And you only get one. asprey.com

 

 
 
 
Diamond iPhoneThe sparkliest iPhone 5 around thanks to the 500 diamonds and platinum surround. Yours for £10,000.
frostoflondon.co.uk

Aston Martin coolerA champagne cooler by Aston Martin, the silver interior is insulated with carbon-fibre to prevent condensation. It costs a cool £26,000. harrods.com

 

 

 
Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect PencilThis is called the perfect pencil – it had better be for £404 for the set. Made of alder, this pencil from Graf von Faber-Castell comes with a sterling silver-plated lid plus an integrated sharpener and rubber. stonemarketing.com

 

 
Faber-Castell penGood for autographs: You’ll have to be quick if you want to spend £60,000 on this diamond-encrusted, solid gold-barrelled pen from Faber-Castell — only ten have been made. graf-von-faber-castell.com

 
Donna KaranThe lady in your life will out-sparkle the fairy on the Christmas tree in this gorgeous grey silk gown from Donna Karan. The hidden boned bodice should disguise any signs of festive excess around the waistline. A snip at £9,880. harveynichols.com

Height chart

Mere mortals mark the height of their children in Biro on the kitchen door, those with this £1,250 to spare can treat relatives to this David Linley walnut height chart with sycamore gradations and inlaid blackboard. davidlinley.com

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blog-christmas2013

If you are looking for the hot Christmas toys for children in 2013 then you have come to the right place. Here we are going to review some of the likely contenders for the big selling toys over the Christmas period of 2013. These are the ones the kids are going to be begging you for over the coming months and we countdown some of the best toys for Christmas 2013.

With the rush for Christmas presents always being very stressful, it’s a great idea to plan ahead. That’s why we are reviewing some of the most popular toys that are going to be hitting the shops in 2013. These are the toys that your children are likely to be after, so you can get in there ahead of the queues and get your child what they want in good time with minimal fuss.

 

 
 

Big Selling Christmas Toys

Every year there are certain toys that capture the imagination of children all over the world. These often end up selling out in the run up to the holidays and the prices tend to increase as demand goes up. If you can work out what is going to be big over Christmas you can make sure you buy your presents early.

Christmas 2012 saw some really big selling toys hit the shelves. Some of the most popular ones we saw selling were interactive toys. Fijit Friends were one of the most popular of these, the cute little dancing toys really sold very well and children all over the world are now the happy owner of one of these toys. Another very popular interactive toy was Cookie My Playful Pup, another release from FurReal friends which sold very well. Furreal have plenty of new toys for this year and we will discuss these later. Then of course we were given the brand new Furby, a big seller over the holiday period.

One company that had a massive year was Blip Toys, these make the popularSquinkies and these have been growing in populiarty recently. In 2013 we have seen new Squinkies such as SpongeBob SquarePants, WWE superstars, Power Rangers and Minnie Mouse characters. Along with these there has also been a new pack released based on the new Avengers movie. Over the summer months there were several new lines introduced as well such as Simpsons, DC Comics and Spiderman. These soft mini collectables are sure to be huge over the Christmas period once again.

So what other toys are going to massive come Christmas 2013? Well let’s have a look at some of the big contenders.

 

The Furby Boom

 

Get The Furby Boom

Furby Boom Figure (Polka Dots)
Furby Boom Figure (Polka Dots)

Amazon Price: $40.00
List Price: $64.99

Furby Boom Figure (Straight Stripes)
Furby Boom Figure (Straight Stripes)

Amazon Price: $39.99
List Price: $64.99

The Furby Is Back, Again!

A new toy that Hasbro are hoping will rival the new Fijit Friends is the re-release of the Furby. This classic toy was the most annoying toy of the late 90’s. It was also massively popular though and Hasbro are bringing out an updated version for 2012. This one has lots more responses programmed in, far more movement than the old one and it even interacts with apps you can download from a smart-phone. You can get the new version in Teal, Black, Yellow, Purple, Orange and White. The price for the new version is around $60 although you may have a chance of picking it up a little cheaper online.

New For early 2013 though are the Furby Party Rockers. There are four new characters and they are smaller than the original Furby. They are set to retail at around $25 so they are far more affordable than the original. The great news is that they also interact with last years version, so if you have one of them you can pair the two together. There are lots of fun and slightly irritating responses programmed in and once again kids are going to love these.

Late summer is when the big new version comes though. This is the Furby Boom and it’s an exciting new interactive toy that you can use along with an app on any smartphone or tablet. You get your Furby Boom and then match it up on the app and you then have a digital version which you can hatch and then play with. There are lots of toys out there that now have apps and this looks like being one of the better ones. The actual physical toy has LCD eyes which light up and move round. The Furby Boom is going to be sold for around $60, there are some very colourful characters to choose from and they look like being on of the big sellers for Christmas this year.

 

An Interactive Minion

 

Get Minions Online

Despicable Me 2 Minion Stuart Laughing Action Figure
Despicable Me 2 Minion Stuart Laughing Action Figure

Amazon Price: $34.90
List Price: $34.99

Get Your Own Minion Army

One of the films that really caught the imagination of children the world over this summer was Despicable Me 2. The real stars of this animated film were without a doubt the Minions. Theses cute little characters are just hilarious and children and adults just can’t seem to get enough of them. So with that in mind it’s no surprise that there are various Minion toys out there and these are certain to put a smile on any child’s face.

If you want to spend a little money and go for the deluxe version then opt for the action figure minions. You can get the most well known characters such as Dave, Stuart or a few more. These are interactive toys and they come with around fifty responses in the original Minion voices. The figures will laugh and giggle as well as coming out with some brilliant little sayings. Each Minion has different responses programmed in and there is plenty to keep children and adults laughing for hours. The figures retail at around $40 but are worth every penny.

If you don’t want to splash out on a talking figure, then a simple plush toy might me more up your street. There are lots of different sizes and versions to choose from. If you head over to Amazon they have lots on offer and you can even buy your own little set of Minions. The prices vary according to size but there are plenty to choose from whether you want to spend just a few dollars or a little bit more.

With the Minions currently being one of the most popular things around, toys based on them are certain to be very popular and very much loved by children everywhere.

 
 

The New Elmo Is Here

Playskool Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo
Playskool Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo

Amazon Price: $54.99
List Price: $59.99

Big Hugs Elmo

For the past few years we have seen a popular Elmo toys do well over the holidays and it looks like 2013 will be another good year for Elmo. This year Big Hugs Elmo is the latest toy to excite youngsters all over the world. It looks like this one will retail at around the $50 mark and it is expected to be a really popular seller.

This version will cuddle you back if you wrap your arms around him. Hasbro are behind this toy and they have used all their knowhow to make him as interactive as possible. Elmo will sing along with you, he talks to you when you hug him and there are lots of different movements you can get out of him. If you turn him upside down you get a funny response and the toy can work out which way around he is facing. There are also different games Elmo will play with you such as playing with frogs or horses. There really is plenty of content programmed into Big Hugs Elmo to keep your child entertained for hours one end. Plus the fact that this is not as expensive as some of the other more hi-tech interactive toys out there. Elmo is aimed at children under the age of 5, although I imagine a few little girls who are a bit older would still love to get a Big Hugs Elmo for Christmas.

 

Fijit Friends Shimmies

 

Get Shimmies Online

Fijit Friends Shimmies Pink Spinrose Figure
Fijit Friends Shimmies Pink Spinrose Figure

Amazon Price: $9.99
List Price: $24.99

Fijit Friends Shimmies Blue Polka Figure
Fijit Friends Shimmies Blue Polka Figure

Amazon Price: $8.50
List Price: $24.99

New Interactive Toys For 2013

Last year Fijit Friends were one of the big sellers. The company behind Fijit Friends are Mattel, they have already introduced the Fijit Friends Newbies which have been snapped up throughout the year so far. In the Fall of 2012 we saw Fijit Friends Yippits introduced. These are smaller than the original toys but larger than the Newbies. They retail at around $40 and there are going to be four new characters, namely Patter who is pink, Scooch who comes in blue, Skippa in light green and finally Plooki who is purple.

They have clap sensors which means they will respond in a variety of different ways to different clap patterns. Another excellent feature is that they unlock new content in the original Fijit Friends, content that you would never see unless you get yourself a Yippit. They also have three songs each they will perform and they come with two interactive games. Mattel seem really excited about this new product and when these hit the shops around September we are expecting them to be as popular as the Original Fijit Friends were back in 2011.

Brand new for 2013 are the little Fijit Friends Shimmies. These are the forth generation of the toy and there are three new characters. We have Whirlina, Polka and Spinrose. Once again the toys are interactive and there are various features that you can unlock as you or your child plays with them. They are a whole new set of cute moves these will pull off and we are expecting them to retail at around $20, so far cheaper than the original ones were. It would be no great surprise if Mattel brought out a fifth generation of the Fijits in time for Christmas 2013.

 

VIP Pets

 

VIP Pets Hit The Big Time

Vip Pets Nyla
Vip Pets Nyla

Current Bid: $24.01

Say Hello To VIP Pets

A brand new range of toys that have come over from Spain are the VIP Pets. These cute little puppy characters are made by iMC Toys and they have the potential to be huge. There are six characters being released in the first wave, these are Taylor, Juliet, Gwen, Alex, Nyla and Lady Gigi. Each VIP Pet comes with long bright hair which is perfect for grooming. You get little combs and other tools to groom your pets with. These retail at around $20 so they are not to expensive and they could well be very big over the holidays.

There are plans to release two more characters later in the year and these will be Tiffany and Lilith, so obviously iMC Toys have faith that these will be very popular. Along with the individual pets you can also buy a pet grooming salon which costs a little more. The appeal of these is just how cute they are and so we think little girls are going to fall in love with the VIP Pets and they could well be the next big thing when it comes to dolls. Initially these were only available in Europe but they have made it over to the US now and look like being big sellers over the next few months. The only slight issue with these is that they can be hard to locate, so if you want to get a head start on VIP Pets we suggesting getting them online sooner rather than later.

 

Zoomer The Robot Dog

 

Get Zoomer Here

Zoom Pets Zoomer Dalmatian
Zoom Pets Zoomer Dalmatian

Amazon Price: $103.76

More Technical Toys

Last year we tipped DiscoRobo for big things and we were a little disappointed with the results. This did not really sell all that well and maybe it was just a little too complicated for some children. Tosy are also bringing out SketRobo this year which is a robot that will actually draw pictures for you, it comes with a few hundred sketches programmed in and the creations it comes up with really are impressive.

One of the most impressive looking tech toys for this year comes from a company called Spin Master. They are bringing out Zoomer the Robot Dog. This dog is simply incredible and it interacts with the users much in the same way we see Fijit Friends do. In other words in will respond to certain voice commands such as ‘sit’, ‘play dead’ or even ‘let’s play ball’. Amazingly he can understand English, Spanish and French, so you are not limited to English, you can use other languages as well. The dog runs on four legs and has a remarkable array of movements programmed in. The toy also learns while you interact with it so the more things you say to Zoomer the more content you will unlock.

Zoomer comes with a USB charger so this means you don’t have to buy new batteries all the time which will save you some money. We are expecting him to go on sale around August time and he will have a retail price of $99.99. So not the cheapest of the interactive toys but certainly one of the most impressive.

 

The New Sphero

 

Get The New Sphero

One exciting new toy that could well be on many older children’s wish list is the Sphero. This is a small ball that actually interacts with a smart-phone. You can control the ball and make it roll in different directions, the ball also has lots of different LED’s fitted inside so it can glow different colors. The Sphero looks like being one of the big toys for 2012 and no doubt will be a big seller at the end of the year. The people behind this are planning lots of interactive games that can be used on smart-phones so if you get one of these then look for the apps that you can use along with the Sphero.

One toy that came out late in 2011 and was expected to sell well was the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer. This is marketed as being a Tablet for children. The fact is though that it seemed to fall flat on it’s face and sales have not been as impressive as it’s designers were hoping. One step up from the LeapPad though is the new Kurio Tablet. This is made by Inspiration Works and is the best child friendly tablet we have seen so far. It comes with a rubber casing but this can actually be removed so it looks just like a standard Android Tablet. The designers of this have been very smart and given parents plenty of controls over limiting what their children can and can’t see, so security is a big feature of the Kurio. The product is aimed at children age 5-15 so a large age range. This is by far the best Tablet we have seen for children and it will be retailing at around $200 and be available around September.

 

The New Version For 2013

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra Kids' Learning Tablet, Green
LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra Kids’ Learning Tablet, Green

Amazon Price: $140.00
List Price: $149.99

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra

Despite the original version of the LeapFrog LeapPad not doing as well as many had thought the makers of this have not given up quite yet. New for 2013 is the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra a newer and slicker version of their child friendly tablet. This one retails at around $150 and looks like being the best one they have brought out so far. It comes with a 7″ screen that is said to be kiddy proof and it connects to Wi-Fi.

There are over 800 apps you can download for this tablet including eBooks, videos and music. The tablet has 8GB of memory so plenty of room for storing photos and videos. Much like a modern tablet it has two cameras, one front and one back. The battery life is said to be longer than previous models and there are plenty of other really good features that were not previously included. If you are thinking about buying a tablet for your children then this is one that is well worth a look. It is recommended for children ages 4-9.

 

Cuddles, My Giggly Monkey

 

Daisy From Furreal Friends

 

Daisy

FurReal Friends Daisy Plays-With-Me Kitty Toy
FurReal Friends Daisy Plays-With-Me Kitty Toy

Amazon Price: $43.34
List Price: $51.99

New Furreal Friends Pets

One range of toys that is always very popular with the younger generation are Furreal Friends. These are life like animals that respond to touch, sound and movement. The company behind Furreal Friends are Hasbro and over the years they have brought out many classic toys. Last year one of the most popular ones was Baby Butterscotch Pony. This is a smaller version of the classic Butterscotch Pony which came out back in 2006. Another great looking toy from Furreal Friends was Bouncy, My Happy To See Me Pup. This adorable little toy has a movement sensor so when you approach it will start jumping all over the place and barking with giddy excitement. This was another big seller back in 2012 and it should still be quite popular moving into this year.

It comes as no surprise that Hasbro are releasing yet more Furreal Friends in time for Christmas 2013. The most impressive of these looks like being Cuddles, My Giggly Monkey. Cuddles will cling onto you and move her head back and forwards. She also has various different responses to touch and she has lots of different movements she is capable of. This one is set for release sometime in the fall and it is going to retail at around $80, this makes Cuddles the most expensive of the new releases from Furreal.

Our personal favourite for release this year is Trixie, The Skateboarding Pup. Also due for release in the fall Trixie is one of the most lively creations we have seen from Hasbro. You place her on her skateboard and then drive her round using the simple yet brilliant little remote control. The speed and movement you can get from this is very impressive and great fun for kids young and old. Take Trixie off her board and she has moveable feet, ears and head. While she is moving around she yaps excitedly and makes sounds that would put a smile on almost anyone’s face. This one will retail at around $40 and we are expecting this one to be the big seller for Furreal come holiday season.

Next up is Daisy, Plays With Me Kitty. She is an adorable little kitten that is very interactive. She has several touch sensors located on places such as head, back and paws. She has the ability to stand up on her back legs, jump around or simply walk around. As you would expect there are also lots of sounds that Daisy makes including a very cute purr. This is a little more basic than the other two releases but still highly impressive. We are expecting Daisy to start showing up in the fall and have a price of around $45.

In the spring Hasbro also brought out lots of new smaller pets including some new Feed Me Babies, these come in the form of little bears that you can feed with a bottle and they make sounds like they are drinking. These cost around $15 and are out now. There were also Dress Me Babies which included bunnies, cats and puppies, all these were quite cheap to buy as well at around $15. You also have the Walkin’ Ponies which came out in the spring, these are very cute and walk around very well, plus they make some adorable little sounds, these cost $20. Plus of course Hasbro has added to their massive line of little snuggimals which are very cute and only cost around $10, so they are quite easy to collect. So as you can see, plenty of new Furreal Friends pets which are sure to be very popular come the end of the year.

The Hobbit Toys

Last year the Hobbit movie was simply huge and there were lots of toys and games brought out to coincide with this. The same is true this year with the second Hobbit movie hitting out screens over Christmas time.

A big video game last year was the Lord Of The Rings video game in Lego. This is still very popular and there are more Lego games coming out that seem to be very popular. There are plenty of rumours that around Christmas time we will also see a Lego Hobbit video game hitting the shops.

As well as Hobbit Lego there are also going to be other Hobbit toys. A company called The Bridge Direct have been given the licence to create Hobbit action figures and also replica weapons such as the swords. These first started showing up in September and you can now buy 6 inch figures of characters such as Gandalf, Bilbo, Thorin. There are also 3.75 inch figures available and these include version of the dwarves, Bilbo and you can even get a Gollum figure. If you want some more gruesome characters then you can get the Goblin King in a twin pack with Thorin, you can get Grinnah who is the second in command of the Goblin army or you can get Bolg who is the leader of the Orcs and comes in a twin pack with Gandalf. These are also likely to be big sellers come the end of the year as hype surrounding the release of the movie starts to increase.

 

 

Spider-Man Web Shooting Figure

 
Batman The Dark Knight Rises The Bat Vehicle
Batman The Dark Knight Rises The Bat Vehicle

Amazon Price: $10.00
List Price: $31.99

The Amazing Spider-Man Deluxe Rapid-Fire Web Shooter Pack
The Amazing Spider-Man Deluxe Rapid-Fire Web Shooter Pack

Amazon Price: $22.99
List Price: $32.99

Super Hero Toys

As you are no doubt aware the Super Hero craze has really taken off in the past few years. Marvel Comics and DC are battling it out on the big screen bringing out massive films such as The Avengers, Spiderman, The Dark Knights Rises and more. This year we have had Man of Steel and the new Iron Man 3 movie so it comes as no great surprise that currently Super Hero toys are very popular.

One we are expecting to do well is the Spider-Man Web Shooting figure. This stands around 13 inches tall and has a mechanism that shoots out a chord from each hand. There are buttons on the back to control the shooters and they look really impressive. With a reasonably modest retail price of around $35 this could be a very popular Spider-Man figure. Another one based on a recent movie is the Batman The Dark Knight Rises Bat Vehicle. This comes with a vehicle that we see in the movie and it also has a Batman figure which it shoots out into the air. This retails at around $30.

Not exactly a super hero but not far off is of course James Bond. With the release of Skyfall and the fact that it looks like being one of the biggest box office hits of all time, demand for toys based on Bond is certainly another area to look at. There are little cars for sale based on the classic Aston Martin and other James Bond cars, there are spy kits that could end up being very popular and of course there are all the old movies and books you can buy. These may not be ideal for younger children but as kids start getting a little older they should start to appeal.

 

The Classic Toys

Every year we see more new releases from classic toys that have been going for years. One of the most obvious of these is one we have already mentioned, Lego. In 2012 Lego released theirSuperheroes range, a line of toys based on Marvel Comics and also the DC Universe. These toys were very popular when released and we expect more new sets based on Superman and Iron Man 3 to be coming out in 2013. There are also lots of other popular Lego themes and the company will be releasing plenty of new toys just in time for the holidays.

When it comes to little stocking fillers then Lego Minifigures can be perfect. These retail at just $3 each and they are very collectable. The latest series of Minifigures is Series 11, these came out early September and are once again very popular. The next release, Series 12 is coming out early January and this is likely to feature characters from the new Lego Movie coming out early in 2014.

Over the past few years one of the biggest lines Lego have been bringing out is the Star Wars theme. We have seen some brilliant new sets released in recent years and 2013 has been no exception. Star Wars Lego is once again expected to be very popular over the holiday season. Some of the new sets we have seen this year include Jabba’s Palace, a large Malevolence set, a new version of the Gungan Sub, a Sith Fury-Class Interceptor, a new Republican Star Fighter and a Desert Skiff. All these sets come in various shapes and sizes and range in price from quite low to high. The latest new release from the Star Wars line is a special collectors edition of the classic B-Wing which comes out in October. This has a huge 1486 pieces and so is one of the biggest Star Wars toys ever released by Lego. if you want something that little bit special then this certainly is one worth taking a look at.

One of the all time classic toys for girls is of course Barbie. In 2012 we are seeing a new take on the doll, we are going to be seeing Barbie Photo Fashion Doll hit the shops. This is basically a normal barbie doll but with a little camera installed. There is a display on Barbie’s front and when you take a picture you can save this and then Barbie effectively wears your picture. There are well disguised buttons and controls and you can also download the pictures or even upload ones onto Barbie. The camera is an impressive 5 Mega Pixels and you can actually store up to 100 photos. This looks like a really nice take on what is a classic toy. Barbie Photo Fashion Doll will retail at around the $50 and we are expecting her to be available around September time, just in time for the Christmas rush.

Another product that is like a modern day Barbie are the Monster High dolls. These were very popular in 2011 and Mattel the company behind these are expecting 2012 to be an even bigger year for them.

 

The New Catty Noir Doll

 

The Twyla Doll

 

Monster High

They have several new releases coming out late in the year and we are expecting Monster High dolls to be hugely popular with children once again this Christmas. These latest releases include a line of dolls based on superheroes which was called Power Ghouls. This included new versions of some classic characters and also some lesser known ones. The big release over the summer months is the Thirteen Wishes range which features seven new dolls and Cleo De Nile play set. We are getting two new characters in this range as well and these will be Twyla and Gigi Grant. Twyla is the daughter of the Boogie Man and Gigi is a daughter of a genie and she has the ability to grant wishes for her fellow class mates.

Last year the two big releases wereJinafire Long and Skelita Calaveras. This year we had Twyla and Gigi Grant, but there are some other exciting new dolls as well. Catty Noir is coming out in September and she is likely to be massively popular as she is a brand new character. There was also the long awaited release ofWydowna Spider at Comic Con, this was an exclusive release but you can buy her online.

There was also a new Scarah Screams doll which was from the I Love Fashion range and this also included a new Clawdeen. Heath Burns was another exciting release, there are not that many male dolls out there so a new one went down very well. Heath comes with bandages on his arms where he has been burned and that flame red hair that looks so good. Along with Heath there was also a new Holt Hyde doll brought out over the summer months.

There was also a new Fearleading pack containing three of the Fearleaders. There really are plenty of new dolls that have been released so fans of Monster High should be spoil for choice. Looking into 2014 there are new characters coming out such as Honey Swamp, Clawdia Wolf and Jane Boolittle. None of these however are likely to be in stores before Christmas so you will have to wait till next year for these new ones.

 

Twister Dance

 
Twister Dance
Twister Dance

Amazon Price: $24.95
List Price: $34.99

Another classic toy that has undergone a bit of a makeover is Twister. This year we are going to see Twister Dance released. This is basically a dancing version of the game. You have a console that you can hook up to your iPod or iPhone and it will play your music. There are then four colored dots you place on the floor and you must dance in time to the sequence of colors your console flashes up. The company behind Twister have managed to get Britney Spears on board to help promote this new toy, so we are expecting it to be huge later in the year. There are five songs that come with the game by artists such as Willow, Kesha and Britney.

As well as all these new toys that incorporate technology and interactive elements, there has also been a swing back to more classic toys. You can pick up some beautiful handmade wooden toys at the moment and these seemed to be gaining in popularity. Come Christmas 2013 we may well see these being very popular and sought after.

As the year progresses it will become clear what are to be the hottest new toys for Christmas 2013. In February there was a massive Toy Fair and this gave us some clues as to what to expect over the coming year. The real buzz seems to be around the interactive toys that incorporate technology along with classic kids design, but we have also seen some more classic design toys as well. As more toys start to appear we will update this page throughout the year giving you an idea of some of the best toys for Christmas 2013.

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Christmas Poem

As a child growing up in Newfoundland, I remember one Christmas when there was no snow a week before Christmas and how concerned I was that Santa might not be able to come without it. But, ah not to worry, by Christmas Eve we had at least a foot of snow on the ground. I can still remember the intense relief I felt that Santa would have no problem getting to my house.

letter-from-santa-001-791x1024

 
I wrote a letter to Santa,
To make sure he would know,
It’s only two weeks until Christmas,
And we still don’t have any snow.

Just didn’t want his reindeer
To have to work too hard.
I was afraid they might get stuck
In the mud outside in our yard.

I mailed my letter on Monday,
Only two days ago.
As I dropped it in the mailbox,
It slowly started to snow.

It’s been snowing ever since,
More as each day goes by,
I’m getting kind of worried now,
That Santa will think I lied.

I’ll write another letter,
And mail it off today.
Tell Santa not to worry,
There’ll be lots of snow for his sleigh.

© 

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It’s easy to get carried away at Christmas, especially when you’re surrounded by festive food and drink. But you don’t need to be a scrooge to save money in the supermarket – here are our top 10 tips. 

1. Make a list 
Don’t spend extra money on the packaging without realising. Go straight to the fruit and veg aisles and choose your own vegetables from the loose items section. It’ll save you money and take away the tendency to overbuy.

2. Go to the market 
Supermarkets have to pay for electricity, water, building rents etc etc and some of that cost is passed on to shoppers in the price of their products. Market stalls don’t have to pay those charges so are often a lot cheaper and there are real bargains to be had at the end of the day, so shop late!

3. Think about turkey alternatives 
With everyone going mad for turkeys, sales of other meats suffer, so they’re discounted more regularly. Roast beef is a popular alternative to a turkey and chances are you’ll already have horseradish sauce in your fridge so you won’t have to splash out on cranberry sauce, stuffing, or other trimmings.

4. Spread the cost 
If you know you’re going to need snacks like crisps, nuts, sweets, spirits etc for the relatives, buy some every week. That way you can take advantage of weekly offers in the run-up to Christmas and it means you won’t have to buy them all at once when they may be full price, just before the big day itself. 

5. Shop online 
Shopping online saves time, money and effort, but it also stops you from impulse buying. In fact, a recent study showed that shopping online could save the average family £160 this Christmas. While you’re going up and down the aisles you’ll often pick up things that aren’t on your list just because you like the look of them (supermarkets are designed to make you do just that). Food websites will also try and encourage you to buy extras, but they’re easier to ignore.

6. Don’t overbuy ‘just in case’ 
Christmas is such a social time and when you have guests you’ll want to give them food and drink, especially when people pop round. But don’t forget that chances are you’ll be going out more than usual too to parties and other social gatherings, so be realistic and think carefully when you’re buying for guests.

7. Look out for special drinks deals 
Drinks are one thing you can buy in advance as and when you see the deals. Try not to be seduced by posh champagne labels, even if they’re heavily discounted, supermarket-label wines and champagnes can be just as good and you’ll save even more money. If you’re having a party, don’t buy your Christmas Eve/Day drinks until that’s out of the way – you may have enough left over to get you through Christmas without spending any more cash!

8. Don’t buy too big a turkey 
If you do buy one (see tip 3), work out how much turkey you’ll need for the exact amount of people you’re feeding so you’re not eating turkey for the rest of December. 9. Don’t be sucked in by special offers 
Special offers do, of course, save you money, but you often end up buying more items simply because they’re cheaper than usual. And, in the run-up to Christmas, supermarkets will be filling their stores with bright, cheery decorations, music and money-saving offers to make you spend more. Stay focused and only buy things on special offer you were going to buy anyway.

10. Buy own-brand 
Supermarkets offer their own ranges of popular products at cheaper prices, so think before you reach for branded items. For example, if you’re buying biscuits to go with your cheese, if you lay them out on a plate and throw away the packaging, none of your guests will know you’ve bought the cheaper own-brand version. Check our guide to supermarket value products you swear by.

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two-cute-tiny-baby-feet-wrapped-in-a-blue-green-aqua-knitted-blanket

Two tiny feet,

That wave in the air…

Two tiny hands,

That tug at your hair..

And an adorable little face,

A bundle of joy to love & embrace.

baby-boynnnnnnnnnnnnnn

A cute baby boy

To cuddle and squeeze,

To pamper and play with

And bounce on your knees…

Tiny fingers, tiny toes

Little itty bitty clothes.

Teddy bears and smiles of joy

Oh! my gosh its a little boy.

Two little feet, ten little toes,

Leave their impressions today.

Soon they will wear two little shoes,

And be running and jumping at play.

Two little feet, too little time,

Before they are walking to school,

Kicking a rock, or skipping a rope,

Wading a puddle or jumping a pool.

Two little feet, One little child,

Will soon go their own way,

But footprints in my mind recall,

They stood here yesterday.

Someday I’ll jump through puddles,

Take a stroll or run a race.

Someday I’ll walk across the street,

Or maybe walk in space,

Someday I’ll scale a mountain,

Or I’ll join a ballet corps.

Someday I’ll walk a tightrope,

Or explore the ocean floor.

Someday these feet will do some things,

That only heaven knows,

But for today they’re happy

Just to wiggle all their toes.

You were six months old and full of fun,

With a blink of an eye, you suddenly were 1..

There were many things we were going to do,

But I turned my head and you turned two…

At two, you were very dependent on me,

But independence took over when you were three…

Your third birthday, another year I tried to ignore,

But when I lit the candles there weren’t 3, but four…

Four was the year that you really thrived,

Why, look at you now, you’re already five…

Now you are ready for books and rules,

This is the year that you go to school…

The big day came; you were anxious to go,

We walked to the bus, going oh so slow…

As you climbed aboard and waved goodbye,

I felt a lump in my throat and a tears stung my eyes…

Time goes so fast, its hard to believe,

That yesterday you were home here with me…

And tomorrow when the bus brings you home &
you jump to the ground

You’ll be wearing your cap and graduation gown…

So I’m holding on to these moments as hard as I can,

Because the next time I look,

I’ll be seeing a grown man!

A years gone by

How time has flown

We can’t believe

How _____’s grown

He is such a joy

and so much fun

Oh my! Our Baby’s

Turning One.

I am brother of her

and she is my sister

she is too little for us

to talk to each other

She’s a little bit of sunshine

She’s a smile to light our days

She will steal our hearts and

Keep them with her warm endearing ways

She’s our precious little daughter

With a sweetness from above

Who will fill our years with laughter

And our lives with lots of love.

Ten tiny fingers that always want to play

That never stop exploring the wonder of today

Ten tiny fingers that from the very start

Will reach out for tomorrow, yet aways hold your heart.

Patty cake patty cake Bakers man

Play with my cake mom said I can

A Birthday cake is so much fun

I am really glad that I am one.

6844148158_1b3be09294_z

Mother’s Heart

I loved you from the very start,
You stole my breath, embraced my heart.
Our life together has just begun
You’re part of me my little one.
As mother with child, each day I grew,
My mind was filled with thoughts of you.

I’d daydream of the things we’d share,
Like late-night bottles and Teddy bears.
Like first steps and skinned knees,
Like bedtime stories and ABC’s.
I thought of things you’d want to know,
Like how birds fly and flowers grow.

I thought of lessons I’d need to share,
Like standing tall and playing fair.
When I first saw your precious face,
I prayed your life be touched with grace.
I thanked the angels from above,
And promised you unending love.

Each night I lay you down to sleep,
I gently kiss your head and cheek.
I count your little fingers and toes;
I memorize your eyes and nose.
I linger at your nursery door,
Awed each day I love you more.

Through misty eyes, I dim the light,
I whisper, “I love you” every night.
I loved you from the very start,
You stole my breath, embraced my heart.
As mother and child our journeys begin,
My heart’s yours forever little one.

“Little girls are precious gifts,
wrapped in love serene.
Their dresses tied with sashes
and futures tied with dreams.”

Picnik collage2

Children

Little hands and tiny feet,
Shy, and cute, and so petite;
Little whimpers, little cries,
Darling, little sparkling eyes;
Outstretched fingers, wiggling toes;
God, how can you love them so!
Children chase away the gloom,
And sunshine fills most every room;
Little mannerisms dear,
Laughs of happiness and cheer;
You just can’t know the joy of home,
Until you have children of your own.
You feel so humble, deep inside,
And have so much parental pride;
You can’t describe the joy and pleasure,
God has given with this treasure;
A million couldn’t buy the joy,
The happiness, and love, sublime;
They’re bundles straight from heaven,
And, Lord, they’re really mine

Author Unknown

Priceless Little Parts:
These little hands will grow to be,
big and strong and helpful, you see.
These teeny-tiny little toes,
will carry this body that grows and grows.
This precious, sweet and radiant smile,
will help me go the extra mile.
…..And seep inside, a soul and heart,
Destined to be special from the start.

dancing-baby-clip-art
A new little baby

To love beyond measure-

To add to your lives

More joys and more pleasure

And may each new year

Hold for Baby and you

The happy full fillment

Of dreams that come true

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

There’s nothing like a baby

To put new joy in life

And give each day new meaning

For a husband and a wife

That’s why it’s such a pleasure

To congratulate you two

And wish the best of everything

For baby and for you

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Hello there little fellow!

The good news is going ’round

That you’ve mad a “happy Landing”

And arrived all safe and sound

Well this just comes to tell you

That you’re lucky as can be

To become the newest member

Of so nice a family!

These Are The Years

These are the years, the gentle years

the soft and sentimental years

when wee little fingers

reach and touch

and little eyes gaze

with wonder and trust,

when you love so tenderly

and so much

these are the gentle years.

These are the years the rainbow years

the quiet walk on tiptoe years,

the years of laughter

and smiles and sighs

when both of you watch

with misty eyes

the tiny bed

where a cherub lies,

these are the rainbow years

These are the years, the tender years,

The blissful, sweet-surrender years

when your little treasure from above

is the soul and purpose and center of,

your plans & dreams & dearest love,

these are the tender years

Itsy – Bitsy fingers,

Wiggly little toes,

Teeny – tiny tummy,

Baby button nose –

Lullabies & Laughter,

Lots of “baby things,”

And then to fill your heart,

The Love a baby brings.

Babies are cute and cuddly,

Full of charms,

And custom made to fit in our arms.

Just 12 short months ago

I made my big debut

So now I’d like to celebrate

My 1st Birthday with you.

My little hands play patty-cake

They peek-a-boo and wave…..

They catch me while I learn to walk,

And splash me as I bathe.

They hold your fingers tightly

And touch your heart so deep…

My little hands reach out to you

For hugs before I sleep…..

My little hands are tiny now continued

But yours will serve to guide me.

And when I’m grown I’ll still reach out

And know you’re right beside me.

“What Is A Little Girl!”

She’s a bundle of sweetness,
brightness & fun

The beauty of springtime,
the warmth of the sun

She’s Innocence covered with mud,
sand, & soot

She’s Motherhood dragging
a doll by the foot…

She’s a composite picture of
giggles & tears

Of tantrums, excitement,
amusement & fears

A bundle of mischief
and often a tease

A creature of moods
not easy to please…

Who’ll capture your heart
with her pixie-like grin

Or chatter and beg till your
patience wears thin

But obedient, naughty,
mischievous or coy

She’s Mom’s little Darling &
Dad’s Pride & Joy.

What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Girls are made of sugar ‘n spice,

Everything sweet, & everything nice,

Girls are ruffles, bonnets, and bows,

Dimpled smiles and dancing toes,

They’re tears and giggles, dolls and curls,

That’s how it is with little girls.

—————-

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

Boys are mad of chuckles & grins,

Tousled hair and banged-up shins,

Things with wheels & frogs in pockets

Questions, baseball caps, & rockets;

They’re joy & mischief, fun & noise-

That’s how it is – boys will be boys!

These little feet have learned to walk,

And now they’ve learned to run…

These little feet just love to dance,

They climb and have some fun…

These little feet don’t want to rest,

They only want to play… continued

These little feet are busy feet,

They’re on the go all day…

A Dream come true

Ten little toes,

Two little eyes,

One little nose

(Button size)-

A wish full filled,

A dream come true…

Congratulations

To all of you!

Aren’t Babies Grand

They don’t have any teeth

And they don’t have much hair,

They can’t talk at all,

They can’t walk anywhere.

They sleep all day long

And stay up the whole night,

They yell every time

Things don’t suit them just right:

But with all the worry

They cause you , by heck,

They do make a home-

(Yeah they make it a wreck)

And they make you so happy,

So proud and so glad

Isn’t it wonderful

Being mother and dad!

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

It’s fun to hold and cuddle them

It’s fun to watch them grow

& to dress them up & show them off

To everyone you know

So it isn’t hard to understand

How happy you must be

With a darling little daughter

Added to your family!

Babies are for bouncing,

and for jouncing on your knee,

For charming you, disarming you,

and giggling with glee.

Babies are for kissing

and missing when you’re gone,

For walking with & talking with,

and putting booties on.

Babies are a pleasure

a treasure from above,

They’re to adore, but even more,

Babies are for love.

There’s magic in a little girl,

In shining eyes and tossing curl,

In winsome simile

and dimpled cheeks

And music when she laughs or speaks

There’s magic

in a little girl, its true–

Best wishes to your little girl and you.

A baby girl brings worlds of joy

By merely being there.

Within the shelter of your arms,

The comfort of your care,

And may this joy be just a hint

Of happy years to be

Not only for you, Baby,

But for all the family.

______’s little fingers,

And sweet baby toes

Made these impressions for you

At just six months old.

A Baby Lives Here Now

In the corner of the spare room,

There’s a little cradle now:

And the day-to-day routine

Has gotten busier somehow.

There’s a bib among the napkins–

And a talcumy perfume

Drifts around the little toys

That lie about the room.

The little teddy bear stands guard

With his round and rolly eyes

When all the house is still

But for the sounds of lullabies.

Yet even without all these things,

It’s still obvious somehow

From the happiness that fills the air–

A baby lives here now

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

A baby boy’s a promise

Of happy things to come-

Building blocks… a rocking horse…

A baseball glove… a drum…

Of Lots of noise and action

Of A busy, loving, fun filled home

With lots of joy inside

Bless your precious little heart–

You still don’t know as yet

How happy and excited

Grown-up folks can get!

But soon you will discover

The pride and gladness too

That started on the happy day

Their home was blessed with you.

This brings congratulations

And the warmest wishes too

Now that you have a brand new son

To share your life with you

For there’s nothing any nicer

Than a bouncing baby boy

To fill your home with happiness-

And Your hearts with pride and joy

Your eyes might be green,

Your eyes might be blue,

My imagination runs wild

With images of you.

Your hands & your feet,

How small they must be,

When you’re placed in my arms,

Whose face will I see.

Whether a handsome boy,

Or a beautiful little girl,

We shall cherish the day,

You are brought into this world.

A small child so precious and sweet,

Has come into your lives
to make them complete.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

______’s little fingers

And sweet baby toes

Made these imprints today

At just Six Months Old

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

A baby’s one thing
the whole world adores,

And the best part of all
this one is yours!

A baby is sunshine &
moonbeams & more.

Brightening your world
as never before.

 Author: Unknown

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BABY-BOOKS

Reading any book is a soothing way to send your baby off to dreamland — but stories about going to bed, sleeping, or dreaming are particularly suitable for bedtime, and can even help your child understand and accept bedtime rituals as he gets older. No matter which book you pull out at bedtime, read it in a soothing voice to help calm and reassure your baby.

Here are some of our favorite bedtime books, guaranteed to make at least one of you sleepy:

Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann
When the zookeeper makes his nighttime rounds, one mischievous gorilla steals his keys and follows him, releasing the other animals from their cages one by one. Under a moonlit sky, they parade silently behind the sleepy zookeeper and follow him into his house, where the keeper’s wife discovers them and escorts them back to their beds. Practically wordless, the book tells a delightful going-to-bed story with magical illustrations that will enchant your child.
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
For decades children have taken the story of the little rabbit in Goodnight Moon to heart as he performs his evening ritual of saying goodnight to every object in his room, including “a comb, and a brush, and a bowl full of mush.” Clement Hurd’s illustrations start out intensely colored and gradually fade to shades of gray as the bunny grows drowsy. Many parents tell us they depend on this quintessential bedtime book to help their children nod off at night.
The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
When a young bunny threatens to run away and become a rock … a fish … a flower … his mother joins him in his imaginary flight and assures him that she’ll follow wherever he goes. It’s a sweet story of the unconditional love of a mother for her child, told in soothing rhythms — an ideal book for helping your baby go to sleep feeling safe and cared for.
Hush Little Baby, by Sylvia Long
If you don’t think the classics can be improved on, reading Sylvia Long’s new edition of “Hush Little Baby” may change your mind. Unlike the original song’s language, which spoke of a mother buying her child all sorts of things to comfort him, this new version emphasizes the beauty and comfort found in the natural world. The familiar bedtime melody will calm and soothe your child, and you’ll appreciate the book’s tender, gentle spirit.
Counting Kisses: A Kiss-and-Read Book, by Karen Katz
“My tired little baby, do you need a kiss?” From “ten little kisses on teeny tiny toes” to “one last kiss on your sleepy, dreamy head,” sparse text and winsome illustrations lead you and your baby through a kissing countdown that’ll soon be a favorite bedtime ritual for you both.
Snoozers: Seven Short Short Bedtime Stories for Lively Little Kids, by Sandra Boynton
The charming Snoozers serves up seven bite-size tales sweetened with humor. Each little story takes a minute or less to read. Colorful tabs help older babies turn the pages themselves. And the wonderfully absurd “Silly Lullaby” at the end just might become a family favorite: “Go to sleep, my zoodle / my fibblety-fitsy foo / Go to sleep, sweet noodle / The owl is whisp’ring, ‘Moo.'”
Good Night, Little Bear, by Patsy Scarry; illustrated by Richard Scarry
Here’s a classic Little Golden Book that many moms and dads will remember from childhood. After finishing a bedtime story, Father Bear hoists Little Bear on his shoulders and takes him to bed. In this playful tale of “Where could Little Bear be?” Father Bear searches (wink, wink) high and low — above the china cabinet, under the stove, even in the woodbox outside — to find him. Little Bear finally reveals himself when they pass a mirror. In a gesture every parent can relate to, Little Bear goes to bed believing he’s fooled his dad.
Kitten’s First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes
Simply told and luminously illustrated in black and white with soft shades of gray, this darling story about a kitten who mistakes the moon for a bowl of milk is a comedy of errors. As Kitten chases after the moon, she finds herself in humorous predicaments until she ends up back home, where she finally finds what she’s looking for. The whimsical ending makes the refrain throughout Kitten’s journey all the more amusing: “Still, there was the little bowl of milk, just waiting.”

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The following suggestions can help when your child does not want to go to bed or is having trouble staying in bed:

Maintain structure for bedtime
Your child will benefit from the structure and rules you set regarding bedtime limitations. In fact, having firm rules can ease – not cause – anxiety in children. Make sure you explain the new bedtime rules to your child. When you, the parent and/or guardian, are consistent with the bedtime rules, your child will understand what to expect, learn self-control, and adapt. In fact, they will learn to like the predictability of the sleep routine, but the initial few days need some determination on your part to succeed. It is also very important not to lose ground during holidays and vacations. All adults involved in bedtime routines should agree to act similarly so the child is not confused and learns not to push limits with one or the other adult.

What should the structure be?
Establish a set bedtime
Establish a regular bedtime for your child and be consistent about sending your child to bed at this time. Children with consistent bed times are more likely to get sufficient sleep. If you’d like to a establish an earlier sleep time than your child current has, you can start setting your child’s bed time 15 minutes earlier every few nights until you meet your new goal. For example, if your child currently falls asleep at 9:30 p.m. and you would like him or her to go to bed at 8:30, you could start making his or her bedtime 9:15 for a few days, then move it back to 9:00 p.m. This technique is called bedtime fading. Be cautious about moving the bedtime back too quickly or making it too early (for your own convenience) as to make it age inappropriate. Doing so may cause your child to not be able to fall asleep, leading to a lot of frustration. Your child’s sleep physician may sometimes recommend a late bedtime to begin with and then advise the fading technique. This strategy may reduce stress as you introduce the other quiet activities and routines around bedtime noted below.

Plan up to 1 hour of quiet time before bed for bedtime routines
Before bedtime every night, set aside up to 1 hour for calm activities, such as listening to quiet music or reading a book in a dim light. The activity should be something that is fun, and that can be used as a tool to create a sense of approaching bedtime. However, the activity should not be too stimulating – such as TV watching, computer gaming, or heavy homework, which may arouse rather than calm your child. The last several minutes of quiet time activity should take place in the room where your child sleeps.

Activities such as going to the restroom, a relaxing bath, brushing teeth, etc. may be incorporated in this time. Also, it is important for children to be brought to bed/put into bed awake so that they learn to fall asleep by themselves.

If your child cries, speak calmly, reassure your child “that he or she is fine and that it is time to go to sleep.” Make your visit brief, and then leave the room. If your child continues to cry, space out the time between visits to the bedroom, and when you do return, do not do anything but talk calmly, briefly (1-2 minutes), and then leave. No arguments or discussions need to take place. The purpose of your visit is to let your child know that you are present and to reassure him or her that they are okay. Continue to keep the atmosphere as for bed time (dark, quiet, calm). Your child will learn to calm down and go to sleep if you stick with this routine.

If your child starts developing a habit of getting out of bed, these tips may help resolve this problem. Take your child back to bed, tell him or her that the door will be closed (but not locked) if he or she gets out of bed again and that he or she has control of keeping the door open by staying in bed. If your child stays in bed, the door stays open. If your child gets out of bed, close the door for 1 or 2 minutes. If your child gets out of bed again, put your child back in bed and close the door again for another couple of minutes. Be consistent. You may increase the length of time the door is closed by 1-2 minutes if you do not get a desired response. When your child stays in bed, open the door and acknowledge their good efforts with praise. If age appropriate, a bedtime pass to allow one exit from the bedroom for a specific reason may work as well to give the child a sense of control. For older children, a method of positive reinforcement can be performed, such as praise next morning for staying in bed.

A word on rewards and penalties
Do praise your child and reward your child when he or she stays in bed or does what you want him or her to do regarding bedtime activities and sleeping. Consider stickers, breakfast treats, small toys, or other special prizes as some possible ways to reward your child. Be careful not to offer junk food as reward. Use positive phrases, such as, “you are doing a great job of staying in bed.” On the other hand, don’t dwell on misbehavior from the previous night. Don’t use the bedroom as a place of punishment or time outs – so your child doesn’t associate the bedroom with negative behavior. Also, don’t lock your child in his or her bedroom. This again can be considered more of a punishment by a child or can even scare some children.

Patience and persistence
Changing any habit takes time. Your child will learn new sleep habits if you stick to your prescribed routine. Your child may want to argue or complain about new bedtime rules. You must ignore these arguments and protests. Firmly and calmly let your child know that this is the new bedtime plan. It may be very challenging at first and may take several nights to get your child used to the new plan but with some persistence, you will succeed. Remember, consistency is the key!

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Tabulampot

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