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How to parent smarter not harder.

Photo of two tween girls standing back to back to illustrate article on helping children with friendship problems

Helping children with friendship problems

Helping children with friendship problems is all about listening and empowering and very little about giving advice. There are some clear Do’s and Don’ts. But before we get to those,...

photo of a young boy and girl playing together to illustrate article on helping young children make friends

Helping young children make friends

Helping young children make friends involves some thoughtful conversations and as many opportunities for learning and practice as possible. Here are some practical tips for parents of little ones to...

Recommended books to inspire children to be adventurous - montage of book covers

Books to inspire children to be adventurous

When I was seven, my favourite pastime was planning adventures with the kids who lived in my lane. We would put together Adventure Kits (these usually involved string and snacks!) and head off into...

Photo of three girls balancing on a wall to illustrate article on 'Balancing Safety and Independence in children's lives'

Balancing safety and independence in children’s lives

When it comes to balancing safety and independence in children’s lives, we live in an era when risk-averse parenting is the norm. Children now spend more time being supervised by adults, more...

photo of two children outside to illustrate article on fun ideas for winter family time

10 fun ideas for winter family time

When the days are short and it’s cold outside, it can be hard to come up with creative ideas for fun family time. Then, before you know it, everyone has retreated to their personal screens and...

photos of book covers with play ideas for busy parents in article by parenting expert Anita Cleare

Play ideas for busy parents

Let’s face it, the pandemic has been more than a little challenging for working parents with young children. What with homeschooling and lockdowns and blurred boundaries between work and home,...

photo of children playing to illustrate article on supporting your child's development by parenting expert Anita Cleare

101 ideas for supporting your child’s development

We all want our children to do well – at school and in life – and to reach their full potential. But battling over homework and bribing them to complete extra maths booklets isn’t...

20 Exercise Ideas for Tweens (8-11yrs)

If you are worried that your child’s physical fitness levels plummeted during lockdown, you are not alone. Lots of parents report struggling to keep children physically active when so many...

Socially distanced games: ideas!

Please do adhere to local social distancing regulations at the time of reading this! Not being able to play with friends has been tough for children during the coronavirus lockdown. Young children...

Susie Robbins gives ideas for growing resilience through play (picture of kids climbing tree)

Growing resilience through play (by Susie Robbins)

This is a guest post by Susie Robbins There is a lovely saying that I regularly repeat to my children: “Mistakes are proof that you have tried.” When we make mistakes, it is easy to give...

Fun card games for children of all ages picture of Racing Demons game

Fun card games for children of all ages (by Ellie Dix)

Regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of a pack of playing cards as a screen-free pocket-sized boredom buster. And while the coronavirus is keeping us all cooped up indoors, I’m sure...

indoor play ideas for children

Low cost no-prep indoor play ideas for young children

Getting outside with children is great for their development as well as for overall family well-being. But there are times when it just can’t be done. And, with the current Covid-19 coronavirus...

Risk-averse parenting? Young child wearing a helmet on a bike

Risk-averse parenting and the fear of being judged

Risk-averse parenting is the modern norm. Children now spend more of their time being supervised, more time inside the house, less time in independent free play. And they are not allowed outside...

child playing outdoors in wet weather wearing wellington boots - ideas for outdoor play

12 ideas for outdoor play when it’s cold or wet

Getting outside is great for everyone’s well-being. And children love the outdoors because it’s always changing – every time you step outside your front door is a little different...

photo of child holding crayons - one of the best toys to buy for children!

What are the best toys to buy for children?

I recently took part in some research on what adults think are the best toys to buy for children. Unsurprisingly, Lego was considered the top ‘classic toy’ that all children should have....

What can sport teach children? (by Eira Parry)

Guest post by Eira Parry What parents ultimately want for their children is a long and happy life.  We want our young teens to sail into adulthood feeling confident and acquiring all the necessary...

pen drawing by child to illustrate article on the zone of proximal development (zpd)

Parents and the zone of proximal development (ZPD)

The Zone of Proximal Development – it’s a bit of a mouthful but, bear with me, this is something all parents need to know about. The ZPD is a grand term for a simple idea that can really...

photo of dice - a brilliant idea for a kids boredom kit!

What’s in your Kids Boredom Kit?

When my children were little I didn’t have a mobile phone. Smartphones hadn’t been invented. (Wow that makes me feel old!). When we were out and about, there wasn’t the option to...

What is free play and why is it important?

There has been a lot in the press recently about the role of digital technology in children’s lives and whether kids are becoming addicted to screens and smart phones. There is no doubt that...

Top tips for stress-free play dates

Lots of parents find hosting play dates stressful. Especially when you don’t know the other parent/child well. Or when there is a risk of behaviour getting out of hand. Is it ok to step in and...

photo of bored child - but boredom is good for children!

Why boredom is good for children

Boredom is good for children because it stimulates curiosity and fires the imagination. At its best, boredom is a creative state that leads to new ideas and new play. And we know that good quality...

Why play is good for parents (as well as children)

When you watch children playing, it is impossible not to be struck by how completely engaged and absorbed they are by what they are doing. Play is the epitome of mindfulness – being 100% in the...

How boys and girls play differently (and why it matters)

Take a look at any school playground and you will see that often boys and girls play differently. How do they differ? What are the implications for their child development? What does it mean for how...

Children need room to roam

Regular readers will know that I am passionate about play. Play helps children organise their brains and wire up their neurons. Children need room to roam, physically and imaginatively, so their...

20 ideas to boost children’s reading skills

There’s no doubt that if you want to boost children’s reading skills the best thing you can do is to encourage them to read. Lots and lots. But not all children are quick to discover a...