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Stained Glass Effect Craft

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft, Kids Activities , Tags: colours, craft, fish, parrot, peacock, rainbow, shapes, stained glass, tissue paper

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Why not make some fun 'stained glass' effect pictures to hang in your little one's windows and see them light up in the bright sunshine?  For this activity you'll need:-

  • some black card
  • assorted coloured tissue papers
  • glue
  • a craft knife (for you to use in preparation)
  • some child safe scissors

Prepare some templates one evening whilst the children safely tucked up in bed!  Take the sheets of card and cut them into shapes and then, using the craft knife, cut holes in them.  Make sure you have thick borders around your holes because these will become 'frames' for the tissue paper to be stuck to.  Here are some ideas of pictures you can make-

  • Parrot: cut out a parrot shape then cut out holes inside the tail, holes for the body and wings, the head and perhaps a crest on top
  • Rainbow: cut rainbow arcs into a whole piece of card, making one arc hole for each colour of your rainbow
  • Fish: cut the card into a fish shape then score out stripy markings using the craft knife
  • Peacock: If you're feeling really artictic, cut out the shape of a peacock making a fan tail with long holes with small round holes at the top

If you aren't overly artistic, just cut shapes into the card because once the tissue effect has been created, they'll still make wonderful patterns.

Once you have prepared your templates, have your children cut out coloured pieces of tissue to stick over the holes. Use this as an exercise to practice your colours by talking about the colours you need and what colours you are cutting out.  Glue the tissue shapes into place and then hang your pictures in the window.  As the light shines through, you'll have some lovely bright art!

Keeping A Pet

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Family , Tags: cats, dogs, fish, hamsters, pets, toddler

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Having pets in the home is a great way for children to learn about responsibility as well as helping them to develop a nurturing, kind nature towards animals, and indeed, people!  However, although it may seem nice to have a cat sniffing round your ankles or a dog wagging his tail at you, the reality of keeping a pet can be very different.

Not all animals are suitable for pets - unless you live in a rambling country house or a farm!  To start with, go for something easy to look after (as it may be you doing the messy work rather than your children!)  Choose something small, easy to keep, easy to exercise, cheap to maintain, and that fits your home and surroundings.

  • Hamsters, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs: These are all nice and small and provided they are fed, watered and cleaned they will pretty much look after themselves.  Vet bills are low as they need little with regards medical support unless there is an unexpected problem. Food is cheap and bedding is cheap.  Hamsters are good to keep but do lots of sleeping during the day as they are actually desert animals and tend to come out when its cooler.
  • Dogs: great for companionship, but they are expensive and need exercise.  If you get one from Battersea Dog's Home, check their temperament, what their background is and whether they have a history of being with children. Also, check how big they will grow!  Dogs also need training, need to be socialised and groomed and they are demanding when it comes to entertainment.  They like to be played with and walked and to have a run.  They need toys, lots of food, equipment such as leads, baskets, collars etc and their vet bills can be very expensiveeven just for vaccinations and health checks.  Big dogs could bowl over a child but many are very patient with little ones pulling their ears or treading on their toes.  Just keep an eye on the dogs and children when in close proximity.
  • Cats: are fairly independent and spend much of their time out of the house.  They need vaccinations and can require vets attention for various ailments.  They also may chew or scratch furniture so need training. Cats and kittens are not really suitable for children under five.  A toddler's affection could seriously damage a kitten!  Older cats may be able to cope with the sudden noise and movement of children, but may also find being in a room full of noisy children rather  threatening.  They may run away or may swat with a paw.  With regards a cat smothering a baby, it seems this is largely exaggerated. However, it is strongly advised that a cat should not sleep on a child's bed for fear of suffocation.
  • Mini-pets: goldfish are a great option is your space, time and patience is short.  Children love the idea of a fish as a pet and will enjoy getting involved with the feeding and cleaning.  Avoid reptiles, unless you are already familiar with owning them, as they are expensive and need all sorts of specialist equipment.

Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: allergies, baby development, bacteria, cheese, fish, food, listeria, liver, peanuts, salmonella, vitamin a

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Food safety advice tends to vary over time - some foods deemed unsafe to eat at one time may become positively beneficial at others, but there is always advice on some foods that should be avoided during pregnancy.  Mostly such foods suffer increased exposure to dangerous bacteria, and if not stored properly between manufacture and consumption, they could pose a serious health risk to a pregnant mum to be.

Until August 2009, government advised that pregnant women should avoid peanuts for fear that consumption might be a cause of intolerance in children.  This advice has changed now because science is not certain that this is a causal effect of allergies, indeed there is growing evidence that consumption of peanuts during pregnancy may actually reduce the likelihood of babies suffering peanut allergies.

Some foods such as soft cheeses and pâté should be avoided because there is an increased risk that they may carry listeria, a very dangerous bacteria to pregnant women.  Pâté also contains high levels of vitamin A, a vitamin found in liver, which is also best avoided during pregnancy.  High levels of vitamin A may have a negative impact on your baby's neurological development.  For the same reason, you should avoid taking fish liver oils and eating liver in any other form.

Pregnant women should also be cautious against eating raw or undercooked foods, especially eggs, meats and shellfish.  These all pose a higher risk to bacteria and viruses, such as salmonella.

Finally, certain sea fish may contain harmful levels of mercury to an unborn baby - avoid tuna, shark, swordfish and marlin whilst pregnant.  High levels of mercury can affect neurological development in your baby.

Many other foods often considered dangerous actually pose no risk at all, these include:-

  • Processed (rather than homemade) mayonnaise and salad dressings will be made from pasteurised eggs
  • Hard and increasing numbers of soft cheeses are also made with pastuerised milk nowadays
  • Yoghurts and probiotic drinks are also made from pasteurised milk
  • Spicy foods pose no danger to unborn children
  • Honey is suitable for pregnant women but shouldn't be given to babies under 1 year
  • Ice cream is also made from pasteurised milk and poses no risk to pregnant women

If you are pregnant, you will be looking after yourself and paying more attention to diet than usual, but most foods are perfectly safe to consume, you don't have to change your diet radically just because you're expecting a baby.  Exercise caution, but don't stifle your lifestyle!



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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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