Tag: Children

DIY Glitter Jar | New Children’s Show Esme & Roy

We love doing arts and crafts in our home especially lately as our daughter prepares herself for Kindergarten. This is why we were very excited to try the DIY Glitter Jar in honor of the new children’s show, Esme & Roy that will be premiering on Treehouse this month.

Esme & Roy use calm-down glitter jars to help the littlest residents in Monsterdale work through their emotions and avoid monster meltdowns (we as parents are very familiar with these types of meltdowns). Now watching the glitter swirl to the bottom of the jar gives kids time to calm down and regain control of their emotions.

So we got to create our very own with our daughter, Nikki.

Material Needed

You will need the following material for this craft:

  • Jar
  • Glitter
  • Food Colouring
  • Clear Glue
  • Hot Water
  • Stir Stick

Instructions

  1. Pour clear glue into the jar until it fills up to about 1/4.
  2. Slowly pour hot water until the liquid reaches 3/4 of the jar.
  3. Add as much glitter as you would like and stir using the stir stick.
  4. Add more hot water to bring the water level to just below the top of the jar.
  5. Add 1-2 drops of food colouring and stir using the stir stick.
  6. Twist on the lid and give your jar a shake! Be sure to sing the Glitter Jar Song (below) as you watch the glitter swirl and fall!

“When the glitter starts to fall like snow –
take a deep breath, nice and slow –
watch as it settles all around –
and feel your body calming down.”

Those are the easy steps to follow to create your very own Glitter Jar! We had a blast doing this together and of course Nikki’s favourite part was stirring it all together. It was a really fun craft to do and really got us excited to watch Esme & Roy when they premiere on Treehouse on August 18th!

Esme & Roy Synopsis

This new children’s show follows a young girl named Esme and her best monster friend, Roy, on their adventures as the best monster babysitters in Monsterdale. The series invites children into a colourful world where even the littlest monsters can overcome big challenges together.

Esme & Roy offers easy-to-adopt strategies that can help even very young children regulate their emotions. Tactics include: taking slow belly breaths, which provide a pause for children to be reflective; self-talk that uses positive statements to remind kids of their strength and capability; giving oneself a soothing hug; and using a “glitter jar” to calm the body and mind, shaking a sparkly snow globe-like jar and taking deep breaths while watching the glitter swirl and slowly fall.

This sounds like a great children’s show with positive messaging and we just love that! We can’t wait to watch it and have our daughter learn from it too. We hope you will tune in on August 18th and if you would like to try this craft, make sure to tag us @mommabraga and use #EsmeandRoy when you share. We can’t wait to see your Glitter Jars!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

7 Great Ways to Raise and Empower Your Daughter

Having a daughter is a great gift, but also a great responsibility. We live in a world that is changing, hopefully for the best, especially when it comes to the position of women in the society, their empowerment and their voice. So it is, now more important than ever that we raise generation upon generation of young women who will know there is no limit what they can do in life and who will feel empowered from day one. But it all depends on the parents and what we install in their minds from the very beginning. So here are some great tips on raising a little powerhouse of a lady.

Let her be heard

It is important that you always ask her about her opinion on the matter at hand. Just telling someone what to do over and over again creates a pattern that is hard to break later on. So, by letting her know you are interested in what she has to say you are teaching her that her opinion and ideas matter and thus encouraging her to put them forward. This will have a great impact on the way she interacts with others as she will be able to form her own opinions and won’t be afraid to share them with the world.

Photo by Michael Morse from Pexels.

Encourage her to learn

Education is a huge part of female empowerment. Being able to attend the schools she wants or to choose her own profession it is something truly amazing. And to think it was not an option just a few years ago, and is still not in some countries in the world. Luckily there are a lot of organizations working on changing this, and there are more and more girl’s scholarships available to help set this change in motion. So help your daughter understand, however cliché it might sound, knowledge is power, and education is an integral part of that.

Expose her to the right role models

Having someone to look up to is important as we grow up. And for a young girl having strong female role models can be life changing. It is important that they exist both in the family and outside of it. Of course, you are the biggest one she has, so it is important to not only teach your daughter certain principles but for you as a parent to live them as well. Next come the role models from the world of literature, politics and, yes, pop culture. There are some great women throughout history that can serve as fantastic role models, from Jane Goodall to Lisa Randall and Aung San Suu Kyi, all of whom show how strong and powerful women can be and how they can influence the changes in the world we live in.

Photo by Albert Rafael from Pexels.

Help her withstand the pressures of our society

Even the best upbringing cannot help your daughter and save her from the cruel reality that comes from entering the society. From kindergarten to university she will have to hold her own. We all know how cruel kids can be and how at times it is difficult to stand up to peer pressure. It is up to us, as parents, to help our child cope, and not let them suffer in silence. Because not everyone will accept an empowered female, and there will be times that she will have to stand for what she believes in, even when it seems impossible. That is the lesson we are supposed to be teaching them.

Take the time to discuss different notions

Be there to answer her questions, from the very start. Whether they are about life, the world we live in or people who surround us. It is important that she gets that information from you as much as possible. That way you know what she hears is the truth. Letting her google it or hear it from the wrong people could have a negative effect on her point of view, and even her self- esteem. You can take a few minutes out of each day and simply tell her to ask you whatever she wants. It can be a great learning and bonding experience at the same time.

Photo by Lgh_9 from Pexels.

Teach her to be critical about the media

What media places out there can have a strong effect on young girls, and they can be quite taken with it. Thinking that they need to look, act or think in a certain way. This can have a negative effect on the way they perceive the world and what is expected of them to be. So it is important to start having this conversation as early as possible and to keep having it until they grow up. Teach them about the distorted images that the media can sometimes show, pointed towards the right media outlets, and help them see themselves as individuals and not part of the collective thought that is being pushed at them.

Don’t limit their imagination

This might be the most important piece of advice. Your daughter needs to have a vivid imagination because that is where all great ideas come from. So if she wants to be a truck driver at three years of age support it as much as you would support her wanting to be a doctor at eighteen. Don’t limit her choices and ideas; let her express herself that way she can show you and the world who she really is without the fear of not being accepted.

So now you have your guidelines, and don’t forget you might be raising the future president or astronaut.

About the Author

Claire Adams is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Greedy Granny and Pop Rocket Brings LOL Fun On Game Night | Goliath Games Review

Playing games are loads of fun especially when you play as a family. We were recently introduced to two games by Goliath Games and one of them just hit the Game market!

Both of these games had us laughing out loud through our Family Game Night and it was great as we haven’t laughed that much and hard in a very long time!

Greedy Granny

Can Granny’s even be greedy? Well this one surely is!

Greedy Granny is a mischievously fun game that is perfect for the whole family. Your mission is to swipe a treat of each type from Granny’s tray as carefully and as quietly as you can. One wrong move will wake her up and send her teeth flying!

How to Play

  • The youngest player goes first by spinning the treat wheel.
  • If the spinner lands on green, the player attempts to sneak a treat away from Granny.
  • Pay attention to the number on the spinner section as this tells the player how many times you must press the button on the side of Granny’s chair.
  • If the spinner lands on purple, the player must put a treat back (if they have one) and press the button the number of times indicated on the spinner.
  • If the player lands on a circle with a line through it, then you miss a turn.
  • If a player lands on the symbols of the two people, then the player may take a treat from the other player who has a treat
  • The first player to collect one of each type of treat and keep Granny snoozing wins!
  • For 2 to 4 players. Ages 5 and Up

Game Contents

  • 1 Granny in an Armchair (2 pieces, easy assembly required)
  • 1 Set of Granny’s Teeth
  • 1 Treat Wheel
  • 12 Treats

#MelAndNikkiReview

Greedy Granny truly had us laughing out loud from start to finish. Nikki and I would be on the edge of our seat wondering which one of us would make Granny loose her teeth. Lucky for me I was the one who always got Granny to fly, LOL! This in turn made my daughter laugh with delight and say, “You did it again Momma! This Granny is Greedy!” It was SO much fun! We give Greedy Granny 5+++ sweet tooth out of 5! It provided us with highly engaging entertainment with learning, laughter and family time.

 

Pop Rocket

Ready for some out-of-this-world fun?! Pop Rocket will surely have you seeing stars in this exciting game by Goliath Games. Pull the string on the Rocket to start the countdown, and roll the die. Keep an eye on that Rocket because it can BLAST OFF at any moment! Watch the stars explode into the sky and be the first one to collect enough stars to fill your constellation to win!

How to Play

  • The player who can jump the highest goes first. To start the game, that player should gently pull the fuse on the side of the rocket fully, and throw the die.
  • The die has a few landings. There is the star-catcher picture which means you can place a new star-catcher into play anywhere on the table. It can’t be moved without throwing the die again. When all your star-catchers are in the game, skip a turn. There is the picture with more than one star-catcher in it and this means you can change the position of one of your own star-catchers already played or move it on a pile or move it to the top of the pile if it was covered. If none of your star-catchers have already been played, skip your turn. The last picture is of a star on the die which means you steal a star from another player and add it to your star holder.
  • The game plays clockwise. When the timer ends (approx. 60 seconds), the rocket will open and release the stars!
  • Players win the small stars that land in the star-catchers of their own color.
  • With the collected stars, players would add them to their own constellation. If you are lucky enough to catch the BIG star, you can choose 2 extra stars of your choosing.
  • The first player to complete his or her constellation wins! *It is possible for several players to win at the same time.
  • For 2 to 4 players. Ages 4 and Up

Game Contents

  • 1 Rocket
  • 1 Big Star
  • 40 small stars
  • 12 Star-Catchers (4 colored sets of 3 star-catchers)
  • 4 Constellations
  • 1 Die

#MelAndNikkiReview

Pop Rocket had us jumping from our seats! The anticipation of it popping had both my daughter and I giggling throughout the game. Even though the pop happens in about 60 seconds, but it seems to take much longer as we are anticipating the pop. But that was the fun! Pop Rocket was a blast and we give it 5+++ Rocket Stars out of 5! This game offered us the fun, entertainment and laughs that we enjoy as a family.

There you have it! Two more amazing games by Goliath Games that will have your family smiling and laughing all the way through. These are the best moments and experiences to share together. That time spent together and interacting with one another is such a priceless gift. We truly love these opportunities as it brings us such joy and fun.

If you would like to add Greedy Granny to your family game night, click here to see where you can purchase your very own. If you would like to add Pop Rocket to your family game night, click here to see where you can purchase your very own.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article is in partnership with:

 

 

Building Swimming Confidence And So Much More | Aqua-Tots Fast Track Program

We adore swimming in our household and it is something that our daughter, Nikki, has enjoyed even more since taking classes at Aqua-Tots Swim School. We always felt that swimming was an important life skill to learn and we found it necessary for our daughter to learn them in a comfortable and safe setting.

We recently participated in Aqua-Tots Fast Track Program and we were astonished to see the leaps she took in her swimming skills. The Fast Track Program is a program that consists of four consecutive lessons over the course of four days with the same instructor. With the flexibility of my work schedule we were able to participate in the early morning class at 8:45 AM.

Now at first, I wasn’t sure how we were going to do early morning classes as Nikki isn’t a morning person but the simple thought of swimming had her up and ready to take on the world. With each class, I saw that she was getting better and much faster. Her confidence tripled as the days went by and it was simply amazing to see. I have to mention that Nikki’s biggest struggle with swimming has been going on her back. Nikki was so afraid to do back floats and by Wednesday she was doing them on her own which had me in tears. I was extremely proud that she conquered her fears and did it with such confidence. This all on its own was the breakthrough that we have been waiting for and it has finally arrived. That day I started telling anyone who wanted to hear that my daughter did the backstroke and back float. The best part was how proud Nikki was and every day that week, she would ask me, “Did I do good today?” Every day I told her that she did amazing and that I was so proud of her. Seeing her smile and how proud she was of herself, was all that I ever wanted and needed. That one week in the Fast Track Program did all that for us and we are truly thankful for it!

The Fast Track Program is designed to build on each child’s skills on what they are already learning and helps them propel their skills forward. It is also designed to build children’s confidence and aids with quicker retention of skills.

We saw these benefits right away from Day one and by Day four the transformation was remarkable. They do say practice makes perfect and that is exactly what the Fast Track Program does. By going to class every day for four days straight really gave my daughter the opportunity to hone in on the skills that she has already learned and advance in new skills too. Her muscles were grasping the concepts and motions making each day a little easier to learn. Building those muscle memories takes a lot of repetition and practice before it can become second nature and the Fast Track Program is a great example of this. It allows a child’s body to memorize what they need to do and then allows them to focus on adding new techniques and speed to their swimming. I know that Nikki was swimming a lot quicker than she was the week before!

The benefits are endless in our opinion as it really does wonders for a child’s learning on such an important life skill. But it is so much more than just swimming as it builds confidence and I need to mention that Nikki was at her happiest during the Fast Track Program. Her smile was permanent that week as she was so proud of what she accomplished in just four days. Now that in itself made it all worth it to us.

We captured Nikki on the last day of class to see what she thought of the Fast Track Program and even though she was quick with her message it was sweet nonetheless.

To learn more about the Fast Track Program, please contact Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. They do have the best swimming curriculum that truly benefits each child as it is based around your child’s learning.

Special thank you to Aqua-Tots Swim School for giving us a confident little swimmer.

Like Dory says, “Just Keep Swimming.”

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim School.

Learning Friends 100 Words Book Leaps In Fun For Children | Product Review

LeapFrog is a favorite in our household as we enjoy the interactive, innovative and educational toys that they offer. For more than 20 years, LeapFrog has helped children expand their knowledge and imagination through award-winning products that combine state-of-the-art educational expertise led by the LeapFrog Learning Team, innovative technology, and engaging play – turning playtime into quality time that helps children leap ahead.

This is why we were extra excited to get one of the latest and hottest toys from LeapFrog, Learning Friends 100 Words Book™. This interactive toy is a touch and learn word fun in a book type format. So what does it do?

Touch and Learn

Discover abundance of things like animal noises, colors, food, clothes and body. These words are learned through pressing the pictures on each page. The beauty is that the words that were chosen are toddler friendly and appropriate by learning experts.

Three Play Modes

There are three play modes available on the Learning Friends 100 Words Book which are: Play words, exciting sound effects and fun facts. No matter which play mode you are in, it is a guarantee fun learning experience.

12 Learning Categories

There are 100 different words in the book and each page is designed beautifully and with many colors to engage the child in learning. The categories vary and some are foods, clothes, colors and more.

Bilingual Play

With a simple slide on the language switch, your child can learn about colors, objects and animals in both English and French – c’est magnifique!

Benefits

One can only except a learning piece to LeapFrog and they have done it so well with the Learning Friends 100 Words Book. The skills that your child can learn from this product are: First Words and Phrases; Colors; Animals; English; Geometry; Food and Nutrition; Opposites; and Human Body. There is just so many great things to learn in one little book.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Learning Friends 100 Words Book™ by LeapFrog has made it onto our most recommended list for children 18 months to 48 months. It is a great toy to help a child learn in a fun and colorful way. We love the ability to press each image on the page and have the child hear the word to associate it with the image. We have to admit that even though my daughter is almost four years of age, she really enjoyed the book and was very proud that she knew all the words. Now she is even more excited to use the book to teach her baby cousin who is five months old to give her a head start. 😉

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it, 5+++ Leaps out of 5. It’s an amazing learning tool and it makes learning so much more fun. Also I need to mention to all the parents that this toy comes with a volume button so you can control how loud you would like it to be. As parents we truly appreciate and value that little extra function. Believe me this toy will not annoy you. 😉

If you would like to purchase this product please click here to see the closest location to you.

A special thank you to LeapFrog Canada for the opportunity to review this great product for our amazing readers and followers.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Please note that the product was given in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and no monetary benefits were exchanged.

Capturing Moments | DIY Photoshoot

*Please note that these are ideas and we do stress to be very careful while taking photos of your child. Always make sure that they are always safe during the process. Happy Baby will make a Happy Mommy!

Written By: Karen Silva (A.K.A. Mama Silva)
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Sometimes we just want that “picture perfect” photo that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine or Pinterest. So how can you create this yourself? Where do you start? What would you need?

I will share with you some of the ideas I threw together and some tips and tricks I use whenever I feel like being a baby photographer for one afternoon. Please keep in mind that all babies and children are different so if yours is not photogenic just remember to work around their schedule and be PATIENT!

First, I think of a room or two around the house that I know will give me great natural light for my pictures. I always choose a room with large windows. Once I find the room I like, I gather all the décor pieces and background ideas to the room. In the mean time, I will either have my little one watch her favorite cartoons or have someone look after her just until I am ready to take my “model” to her photo shoot.

Background Prop & Décor Ideas

Some background ideas that you can use are blankets, fabrics, carpet or if you are willing to spend some money on professional looking backgrounds, you can buy some on Amazon. Also keep in mind of colors when choosing your background. You wouldn’t want to do a flowered background if you are planning on having your baby wearing all flower prints. You can also be creative and use nature as your background by having your baby lie on the grass.

Next, I think of some décor pieces that I would like to incorporate in the photo with my daughter. As an example, for her first Easter, I got some plastic eggs and a stuffed bunny to put around her while I took photos. You can add fresh flowers, your pets, toys and any props that you see fits your theme.


Dress Up

Now comes the fun part which I like to call “dress up time”. This is where you get an outfit or a couple that you would like your baby to wear for the “photoshoot”. Remember to play-off on your baby’s mood. I normally do just one outfit but may switch her headbands, this way I can focus more on getting that “money shot.”

Picture Perfect Tricks

You might be asking, what is the money shot? Well for me, it’s when I get that ear to ear smile from my little one. If she’s in a good mood I will get it no problem by just talking to her. Other times, I may need a little “motivation.” Some of my tricks that help me get that “money shot” is getting someone else to get her attention and get her to smile. If that doesn’t work or if I am by myself then I like to use some of her favorite toys… and that works for me EVERY TIME! 🙂

Finally, it is time to get my little “model” all dressed up and brought in the room. I use my cell phone to take photos but feel free to use a professional camera if you have one. Also remember to take breaks and just have fun with it. I love to do these on rainy days or when she is just bored of her usual routine. If you choose to do this on rainy day just remember that you will have to provide your lighting the right way to get a good photo. It’s a little more work but overall still worth it.

I hope these tips and tricks helped you and motivated you to do a little photoshoot of your own with your little one. It’s a great way to create some memories and spend some fun bonding time together.

If you choose to do this fun activity with your little ones, I would love to see them. You can tag me on social media on Twitter and Instagram.

Until next time…Happy DIY!

About the Author

Karen Silva is a writer on Momma Braga and is Melanie Braga’s sister. Karen graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently joined Momma Braga and has become an expert writer for the blog. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.

Karen is also a mother of one very adorable baby girl in 2018.

 

Neymar | A Soccer Dream Come True

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition. The championship has been awarded every four years since the tournament began in 1930 (with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War). The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world.

Therefore, it is no surprise that it’s an exciting time when the FIFA World Cup begins. You see the flags proudly displayed on cars, homes and of course team jerseys worn to support their teams.

We can’t forget the players who are playing on the field and how proud they are to represent their country on the biggest world stage.

One team in particular has played in every tournament and has won five times.  This team is Brazil and this year they are hoping to bring the World Cup for the sixth time. Now there is a player on Brazil that is well known and that is Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.

We have definitely heard of him before and this is why we were excited to be introduced to a children’s book that is about him growing up.

Neymar A Soccer Dream Come True, is about Neymar growing up as a child in Brazil with the dream of being a professional soccer player. It is written by Mina Javaherbin and pictures are by Paul Hoppe.

The book takes you on the journey that Neymar took to get to where he is today. It shows us that if you work hard and believe in your dreams, they can come true.

We love that positive message for kids to read! The book flowed nicely and it was an easy read. The illustrations were a great compliment to the story too. For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Neymar A Soccer Dream Come True, 5 GOOAALL out of 5! A personal like of this book for me was the Portuguese that was included in the book and it was neat that they included a glossary on the words. Since I can read Portuguese it was exciting to read it to my daughter and know exactly what the words mean.

If you are a soccer fan and one of your favorite players is Neymar, then this is the perfect book for you! To purchase this book, click here.

We hope you all have been loving the FIFA World Cup so far this year and I am excited to see who wins!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Remember Life’s Greatest Moments | Custom Star Maps

There are many moments that change our life forever such as the birth of a child, a wedding, anniversary or even moving into a new home. These are just some of life’s moments and wouldn’t it be grand to have a custom night sky to remember your special night?

The night sky isn’t the same all year round as it changes and you see different constellations. This change is due to the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the sun. The Earth shifts approximately one degree per day, making each night sky different from the night before. Therefore, your special night would be unique to you and your life moment.

We recently discovered, Modern Map Art who customizes these special moments and we are thrilled to introduce them to all of you.

This frame was not included.

 

How It Works

Modern Map Art uses an incredible detailed star database with hundreds of thousands of stars, and find what the sky looked like at an exact time and place in history (or future). Then, you would simple select your style and order. Your print will then arrive in a matter of a few business days (depending on where you live).

#MelAndNikkiReview

We give our Modern Map Art, 5+++ constellations out of 5 for being out of this world! It offers a unique way to remember one of our most memorable life events, our daughter’s birth. Now we have a custom piece of the exact date, time and location of where she was born and we love it!

The process to order was simple and easy. We love how customized it is as we got to pick from their colors, fonts and styles. This really gave us the feeling of being unique with the choices we were able to make. Now we have a piece that we can proudly display and it will always be beautiful art as it was one of the best moments of our lives.

 

We highly recommend Modern Map Art to anyone who wants to remember life’s greatest moments in the most unique and beautiful way. A perfect gift for anyone in your life.

To purchase your very own, click here.

Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Fox and Raccoon | Storytime

Storytime is always an exciting time especially when new books arrive to be featured on the #MelAndNikkiReview! We love sweet and unique books as they make storytime that much special. This is why when we were introduced to the sweet and charming world of Juniper Hollow, we were in enchanted.

Juniper Hollow is where fuzzy friends abound and that is where Fox and Raccoon live. They are the best of friends and live next door to each other. They also spend every day together with the exception of today. It appears that Fox is so busy that she doesn’t have time to play.

But never fear as Raccoon is here to help! He helps her with all the tasks that she needs to do but it seems that Fox is STILL busy. Will she ever have time to stop and play with him? As it turns out, she has a surprise up her sleeve…

After reading this book a few times (almost every night) since it arrived at our doorstep, we can’t help but feel enchanted by Fox and Raccoon. Firstly, the textile art is captivating and it allows us to feel that we have been transported to Juniper Hollow. Secondly, the friendship between Fox and Raccoon is beautiful and sincere. It was heartwarming to see how much they cared for one another as the story progressed.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Fox and Raccoon 5 juniper berries out of 5! The story of friendship and love is an important message for children and it is portrayed beautifully in Fox and Raccoon. We also loved the textile art as we personally have not read books with this type of art so it was neat for us. We would recommend this book for children ages three to seven and this would make a perfect addition to storytime.

This children’s picture book is a debut for Lesley-Anne Green who is the author and she is a textile artist who creates her adorable critters using wool, thread, fabric and love. She lives in Toronto with her family and an incorrigible pug named Lola. We hope she will continue to create more beautiful books for children.

If you would like to purchase this lovely book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

6 Things Your Kids Should Do After Leaving High School

Written By: Claire Adams

Graduating from high school can be both exciting and stressful. On the one hand, it’s a big milestone for every child, something they can be proud of. On the other hand, college is just a few months away, and the pressure of their parents to enroll right away can often be too much. However, there is no real reason for them to start college the same year – there are many ways of spending their gap year wisely. So, if you’d like to help your child make the most of their free time after high school, here are six things they could do.

1. Encourage them to learn something new

Taking some time off means that they’ll finally have enough time to dedicate to something else, like learning a new language or improving their tech skills. They probably already have some ideas in mind, something they’ve always wanted to do but could never find the time to start.

There are many skills that can be useful in both educational and professional field, which is why you should inspire them to get involved wherever they can. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, and it shouldn’t be anything stressful; the idea is to have fun while using their time wisely, so they should choose something they will enjoy doing.

2. Help them improve the skills they have

Besides learning something new, they can also work on what they already know. For example, if your child likes editing pictures in Photoshop, they can sign up for a graphic design course and improve their skills. Or, if they like drawing or painting, they can sign up for art classes and become even better. In other words, if they are passionate about something, taking some time off to nurture that skill and bring it the next level can mean the world to them.

3. They can get a job

A good way to spend the time between high school and college is by earning some money. Getting a job can help your child become more independent and responsible. It doesn’t have to be a serious full-time job, though – any decent job can teach them how to work in a team and organize their time, which are skills that can be quite valuable in the future.

Moreover, there is always something that kids want, whether it is a new computer or a new pair of jeans. Getting a job would allow them to treat themselves to something nice and learn the importance of money and hard work. Even if they don’t buy anything, they can always save for the future. Plus, earning money on their own can be quite fulfilling, and having some work experience could help them land a much better job in the future.

4. Let them travel

Is there a better time for your child to see all the places they’ve been learning about? If you’re worried about your child’s safety, or if they’ve never traveled alone, there are many safe and fun student trips organized by Unleashed Grad Trips that can offer your child lots of opportunities for fun, education, and relaxation.

Traveling is also a great way for your child to leave their comfort zone and make new connections with people from all around the world. They’d get to experience different cultures, see different points of view, and develop skills like cooking, managing their finances, finding their way around in unknown places, etc. Therefore, let your child see the world, and they are guaranteed to return home much more mature and refreshed.

5. Suggest volunteering

Just like getting a job, volunteering can teach them responsibility and organization. Plus, they’d feel great about themselves once they realize that they can make a difference and do something useful for the community.  Moreover, doing charity work shows that they are compassionate and capable of adjusting to unknown situations, especially if they choose to volunteer abroad. This is something that would look great on their resume, and it would surely be a life-changing experience for your child.

6. Allow them to relax

It’s not the end of the world if your child doesn’t know what they want to do next. Some kids just need time to unwind and figure things out, so try not to make a big deal out of it. Let them do some research, try out new things, or just relax and think things through. After all, it’s better to take some time off and rest than enroll in a college right away just to realize one year later that they’ve made the wrong choice.

There’s more to life than studying, and there are many ways to learn besides going to school. So, let your child take some time away from hovering over a book, and encourage them to spend that time wisely. This way, you can rest assured that your child will be much more motivated and more likely to make the right choices in regard to their future.

 

About the Author

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter.