The Christmas is very close and apart from the warm atmosphere and love, there is one thing everyone is excited about, especially children – presents! Since you probably don’t want to get your kids ordinary gifts or something you usually buy for this occasion, you should take a look at the list we made! It is based on the predictions of Amazon, ToyRUs, and Argos, some of the most popular companies in the world. According to them, some of these toys will be the most selling this Christmas, you may as well get an idea for your present:

1.    Code-A-Pillar by Fisher-Price

This toy is originally designed for the preschoolers. It consists of approximately 8 segments that kids can mix and move in different directions and by doing so – putting it in action. It is a coding toy that can be pretty interesting and on top of all – help kids learn some codes or at least stimulate them to think about them and get motivated!

2.    Torch My Blazin Dragon by FurReal Friends

Amazon strongly recommends this toy as it’s very cute and kids will find it adorable! It is over 35cm tall and comes with a very interesting feature. By touching its charm button, stroking its nose or giving it a plastic treat, the toy will react! This shows us that the company really has invested into this little dragon. Apart from that, it can breathe out the mist, giggle, and snort! You can surprise your child by bringing a new family member. This time, it is not an ordinary toy. It’s a dragon that reacts!

3.    KidiZoom Action Cam by VTech

If you want to give your child one more reason to go outside and have fun, KidiZoom will help! It’s a ‘’Go-Pro’’ for children that will record their own little adventure. It can be attached to a helmet, bike or simply carried around the neck. It can also be used underwater with its waterproof case. The pictures can also be customized with cartoon images. Altogether, this could be a perfect gift for children! Not only they will feel all grown up but it will entertain them for a long while because they will have a lot of memories to capture!

4.    BB-8 Remote Control

Star Wars toys never get old and this one might be the best one out there! If your kid is a fan of the film, all the features that this toy has will be a real precious gift! BB-8 can roll in different directions while making amazing droid sounds. Your kid may have the old R2-D2 robot that should be replaced with this one as soon as possible! Is there a better occasion than Christmas? – Probably not.

5.    Barbie 3-storey Townhouse

Now, after the robot that is most likely to end up in the hands of a boy, we have something for little princesses as well! This time, it’s a pink Barbie house with little rooms and everything they should consist of, such as the bathtub, rooftop spa, TV, swing chair, working lift and similar! The Barbie doesn’t come in this package so your little girl can simply give a new house to her old Barbie!

 

We have all been told that every individual has something they can do better than someone else, that’s why we are all special in our own ways. However, some kids have more potential than others and unfortunately, it often gets ignored or unused because of the bad habits from the early age.

To prevent this from happening, children should adopt some of the recommended habits:

Music Lessons

Music is an amazing way to help children relax and even increase their IQ level. Whether they are interested in singing or playing, this habit could not bring anything negative to kids but the complete opposite. In fact, it is not only highly beneficial for the young ones but adults as well. Our brains need some relaxation and creativity, which music lessons bring altogether.

Sports

It is unnecessary to point out all the benefits of physical activities. Today, kids spend a lot of time indoor, which can affect their social skills as well. Doing sports will bring some relaxation, motivation, and new energy into kids’ lives. Even the smartest child with a lot of knowledge in different areas, unrelated to sports, needs to be active in order to stay healthy and focused. In a recent study, German researches have come to a conclusion that after doing exercise, the speed of learning new vocabulary words increases up to 20 percent!

Reading with parents

Parents can help their children learn how to read by stopping to read to them and read together instead. By sharing parts of the story, both parent and the child can be included in this little habit that will stimulate the kid to learn more while enjoying the time with his/her mother or father. This way, parents can explain the story and meaning of specific words, answer to questions related to it and make this procedure easier and exciting for the little ones!

Sleeping schedule

Sleeping is very important and probably one of the crucial factors that could affect our health, for better or worse. For children, it is even more important! Apart from toddlers whose recommended time of sleeping is between 11-14 hours, the average time that every child and teenager should spend sleeping varies from 8 to 12 hours. It is believed that even one hour under the bottom-line makes the kid less intelligent. For this reason, parents should pay special attention to their kids’ sleeping patterns. In the era of technology, they can get distracted by many things and stay up for much longer than they should, which is not recommended at all.

Self-discipline

One of the habits every kid should have is to be disciplined. Now, discipline consists of so many things but only high IQ is not enough for a child to prosper in the future. By learning some of the most important things, such as taking responsibility for his/her own actions, finishing homework, get home at the right time, be social and similar, kids can improve many of their skills and stop their intelligence from being unnoticed and useless. Routine is very important and every child should have it. Of course, they should take breaks and time to enjoy doing whatever they like but that should not, by any case, be most of the time.

Buying different toys and things that could interest their children is a common thing for every parent. It is not an easy task to keep your little ones entertained for more than a few minutes with one thing. They easily get bored and look for a different source of fun, which can cause a trouble afterwards.

Now, the best solution would be to find something they wouldn’t drop down quickly, something they would like to use for longer. These toys do exist and the most important part is that they are not made only for fun but for education as well! By combining these two, kids can develop some skills from the very beginnings of their lives and keep themselves entertained at the same time.

Here is the list of 5 educational toys for children:

Alphaberry

61-4wewb3fl-_sl1000_-480x480Children find many things interesting but some keep their attention longer than the others. Alphaberry is a great educational toy with appearance similar to blackberry that allows kids to do several things at once – listen to music while pushing the buttons and learning the letters from it. They can memorize them easily because each letter is pronounced out loud by the toy. It is recommended for 18+ months old toddlers.

Fisher-Price Play Gym

With all the feature lights and sounds that come with this little activity center, your baby’s senses can start getting stimulated from the very first months, which would develop her/his balance, motor skills, and coordination. One of the beneficial things about this package is the fact that children can use it from the very first months and grow up playing with it. It is very fun, interesting and educational on top of all!

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Busy Learners Cube

With 14 manipulative features that this interactive toy comes with, babies can start learning to spin, twist and press the buttons. By trying to resolve the mystery they will find while playing, the senses of the children will get stimulated, which is highly recommended and helpful. Apart from being educational, this toy has proven to be very fun for the kids, which is why it’s around the top of this list. It is recommended for children between 6 months and 3 years of age.

My First Rocket (Lego Duplo)

Lego has been and always will be one of the most favorite and famous children toys. Its brick construction sets have created a reputation that this company is maintaining very well. This line of products, Duplo, brings something new to the kids – an opportunity to build a rocket, planets, moon, and starts! By trying to set these pieces together, children have a chance to be creative, learn counting skills and think about potential solutions. This way, they will be more mentally active and develop their analysis techniques. It is recommended for children between the age of 1.5 and 5.

P’kolino: 3-Piece Puzzle

Anything related to problem solving and positive brain activity is beneficial to the children. With this wooden puzzle consisting of 3 pieces, kids can learn the shapes (circle, triangle, and rectangle) and start understanding which piece fits another and what do they form together. The materials used for these plywood pieces are water-based and non-toxic, according to the company. It is recommended for children above 6 months.

Metal Detector

This is one for children who’re a little older than the others, we’re talking about toddlers where they’re able to understand instructions and have the ability to hold a metal detector. My friend Richard has actually written a guide on the best metal detectors for children, as they need to get a small enough detector that they can handle. Also it needs to be simple.

Children learn to react with the technology and there is also the physical aspect of having to dig for buried treasure.

Family searching

We have all been overwhelmed with homework at least once, if not most of the time. After finishing school, you get new tasks and work that needs to be done and sometimes it simply feels like you cannot function anymore and you are everything but focused on what you are doing. We know that education is important and one of the crucial factors that decide out future. However, both parents and teachers should know that there is a limit that every student has when it comes to homework. Sometimes students tend to delay them and then rush to finish everything quickly, which is when they regret not spreading it and finishing at time.

How much homework can a student handle and when does it get too much?

A study has determined the ideal amount of time that should be spent on tasks. Psychologists studied 7,725 students from a private school in Asturias, Spain. They were consulted about how much time they invested in their assignments. After collecting the answers, this data was compared to their notes in science and mathematics.

It was concluded that teachers assigned about 70 minutes of homework per day on average and that their performance started getting worse after 100 minutes of work.

While there were small improvements in students who had 90 minutes of homework per day, they were not good enough to give two hours more homework per week. The Journal of Educational Psychology recommended 60 minutes a day reserved for homework. Accordingly, it is an effective and reasonable time for students that will be more useful than hours and hours of work with weak performance and concentration.

Educational system in Finland

We are taking Finland as an example because many people think that the way they manage given homework and tasks is the best one introduced so far. For Finns, the time students spend in school is enough for their education and homework is minimal.

In addition to reinforcing their knowledge, the tasks at home serve mainly to foster their sense of responsibility. Finland is one of the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) where students have less homework.

In Korea, a country with a successful educational system, students study more than 30 hours a week at school and they are given homework of more than 10 hours each week. In Finland, the school week has an average of 25 hours and students use 5 hours a week to do their homework.

Many students in Europe take more than 3 hours doing homework daily. In Finland only between 2% and 3% of the students take more than 3 hours doing homework. In Greece, for example, 77% of alumni take more than 3 hours doing homework.

You may think that Finland seems too relaxed regarding this matter but results are very surprising! Accordingly, students from this country are always well qualified on the International competitions. This fact implies that rather than giving students too much homework that they will finish because it’s mandatory, they should be given effective homework at the right amount that won’t tire them out and not bring anything positive.

As a parent I see what our children have today and I’m a little big jealous, is that wrong? We’re living in a world where people are getting smarter, have more food, more money than ever before. So should we be raising our children in a different way?

Recently I’ve been trying to introduce children to technology at an earlier age, why delay the inevitable?

I’m strongly against the idea that children are raised from an iPad and they don’t converse with their peers or even worse, their parents. It’s something that is becoming more popular day by day, so the idea with this website is to allow you to see what you can do that will mean they stay up to do or even advance quicker than other children without putting them in front of a screen for their childhood.

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We’ve all been there and seen children who seem to spend a silly amount of time 12 inches away from their iPad, there are many people who believe this is bad for them. It promotes children to avoid social situations, gone are the days where children went playing outside (Not that I’m advocating children should go out unsupervised) and now even when out with their friends they’re consumed by either their phones or tablets.

What can we do?

We are in an age where if they’re not fluent with technology they will be left behind, or have limited options as they grow.

Over the next few days I’m going to publish a post about certain things you can buy that will teach your children practical skills and also get them in touch with technology. Please share this website so we can help as many parents as possible. I look forward to sharing my experience with all of you.

Dorothy