Category Archives: Preschooler
Bored of the lame ringtones on your phone or the same old “novelty” ringtones that are making the rounds in your office? Go for something different – yes! When everyone “zigs” you “zag”. So here are five ringtones that your kid will love and are guaranteed to get you some attention at work (in mp3 format – see below for instructions on how to turn these into iPhone ringtones):
- Mahna Mahna – pretty much says it all
- Hi Ho – get some work done!
- Wot Wots – you may not know this but your kids will
- Be like you – change to this ringtone if you are having “one of these days”
- Thomas and friends – ideal for trainspotters
How to turn any MP3 into an iPhone ringtone (.m4r file)
1. Start iTunes and right-click on the mp3 file, choose Get Info.
2. Click the Options tab.
3. Check the Start Time and Stop Time boxes, then enter times for each (e.g. 0:00 and 0:30) – on some older iOS version you might have to limit this period to 30s (max allowed)
4. Click OK, then right-click the song again and choose Create AAC Version. You should immediately see a new version of the song.
5. Drag that version out of iTunes and into a folder on your desktop
6. Delete the (original and updated) sound file from iTunes
7. Open the folder containing the AAC file you dragged out of iTunes, change the file extension from .m4a to .m4r. Double-click it and it should appear in your iTunes lirbary
8. Finally, drag your soundfile from the lirbary to your phone or sync your iPhone.
9. Once its on your phone, go into “settings”, “sounds” and select your new ringtone
NB: DIYFather does not own the rights to any of the original music these ringtone files are based on.
When children are old enough to play outside unsupervised, we often still have worries about their safety. And “unsupervised” rarely means that … especially at that tender toddler and preschooler age. Between 2-4 children are keen to enjoy unfettered exploration, which means lots of fun, but also carries a risk of injuries and accidents.
A scraped knee or a bruise is by-the-by, and necessary water under the bridge for most kids, but the garden can present a few greater dangers that need to be checked ot prevent more serious injuries – things like strimmers, shears, pliers and so forth should be kept well out of reach. However, there are also other less obvious things to consider, like decking, ladders, gravel, etc. So here’s a list with simple check list to keep your kids protected and safe in the garden.
1. Check your doors and windows
This might sound innocuous, but having clean and sealable doors and windows is very important to keeping kids in or out of the garden. French doors or solid but cheap external doors are readily available from suppliers like Todd Doors, and are excellent for creating an open gate between indoor and outdoor, meaning parents can keep an ear on the kids. Also, they’ll seal up nice and tight when it’s wet or cold, meaning no breakages/slippages or nasty draughts when it’s not time to play in the garden.
2. Garden shed/utility room: keep dangerous tools locked or out of reach for children
Keep all that DIY stuff far away from your kids – ladders, toolboxes, heavy machinery, drills all present obvious hazards to kids. One way to avoid this is by having your own shed or room where these items are locked up. If you keep them in the same shed or area as the bikes and toys, say, then make sure they are high up and stored safely, preferably hidden or hard to reach, and won’t dislodge if the kids are taking out their own toys and outdoor stuff. It’s always a good idea to be with the kids when they’re choosing their stuff to play with anyway.
3. Taking care with decking and levels
Decking, tree-houses and other garden areas made from wood are amazing fun: they are also very slippery when wet, and a bit of a health and safety nightmare! On very wet days, don’t let them near wooden surfaces that have a sudden drop; other options for smaller children include playpens, where you can create a safe playing area in another part of the garden.
Make sure your kids can enjoy your garden and backyard without unnecessary risks.
By John Sallis
Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and his family for winning the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway! Kevin also learned a valuable lesson as a dad – PJs are comfortable for a baby (who is about to go on a long haul flight) and the baby’s needs are important even if it means the PJs show up in the victory lane shot! Proud to be a dad – good on ya Kevin!
What seemed like a solid run at Martinsville Speedway for race car dad Kevin Harvick turned into a bit of a belly landing with 27 laps to go, Kevin’s engine corked it and his No. 29 team had to settle for an unfortunate 32nd-place result and the loss of one spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. However one unconditional fan of Kevin wasn’t worried: his son Keelan, who cheered on his dad during the race and after with excessive cooing, laughing and screaming. Looks like Kevin and his wife DeLana might have a future NASCAR driver on their hands! While Kevin practices his racing skills on the track, his son Keelan practices his tummy time on the floor.
Meanwhile Halloween isn’t lost on the busy racing family either – Keelan got dressed up as a Monkey to celebrate. But there’s no monkeying around for Kevin to prepare for his upcoming race in Vegas! So pack some extra bananas Kevin and get those other monkeys off your back on Sunday – good luck!
Storytelling used to be the only way families could pass on knowledge from generation to generation. Moms and dads did it a lot because that was probably the easiest way to get the kids to sleep. Recently a study revealed that over 1/3 of all toddlers and preschoolers in the US have a TV in their nursery / bedroom. As a result storytelling and bedtime reading is disappearing quickly and is often replaced with audio books on tablets or DVDs.
Some parents still choose to read and with millions of (free) ebooks available reading is often easier than to come up with your own story. Reading to kids is clearly a good thing however Rick Polito, creator of the Shake-N-tell app believes it is also very important for kids to hear original stories to stimulate their imagination.
Kids enjoy stories that are about things that have happened in their family. You could call these stories “family non-fiction”. So tell your kids about adventures you had when you were young, let them know how what happened during the day or just make up a story. Of course as parents we are often tired and just want to get the kids off to bed so we can sit down and relax. Fortunately there’s now and app to help parents along with storytelling. It’s called Shake-N-Tell and it’s free! This application helps by providing the bones of a story and you simply fill in the gaps. Even better – the kids can help fill in the gaps.
So give storytelling with Shake’n Tell a try and see what happens!
Inspired by nationalnannies.com
Ever wondered what fathering in the fast lane would be like? Meet a daredevil dad who does this every day – Kevin Harvick: diaper shopper, digital native and NASCAR race driver. Kevin is currently competing in his 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and DIYFather.com has been given the opportunity to follow Kevin for the last 5 races of the season. On July 8 this year something wonderful happened – Kevin became a dad to son Keelan. With that added support and “dad mojo” we have no doubt that he’s got the edge to beat all the other drivers on the circuit. So get behind this campaign and check back over the next 5 weeks to follow and support Kevin on his epic journey to make Keelan the youngest son of a NASCAR Champion!
About Kevin Harvick
- Born and raised in Bakersfield, California
- Received a go-kart for kindergarten graduation that led to the start of his racing career
- Moved to NASCAR competition in 1996
- Has won 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races
- Captured two NASCAR Nationwide Series championship – NASCAR’s junior division – in 2001 and 2006
- Kevin and wife DeLana owned their own race team that fielded two fulltime NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams and two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams for 10 years (2001-2011) before closing the doors at the end of the 2011 season to start a family
- Named 2009 Driver of the Decade
- Won NASCAR’s biggest race of the year – the Daytona 500 – in 2007
- Established the Kevin Harvick Foundation in 2010 to support programs that positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States
- Engages with fans on his personal Twitter page (@kevinharvick) and has over 249,000 followers
About the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is the championship system used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series that awards the top 12 drivers in the regular season with a chance of winning the coveted championship trophy. Their points are reset for the final 10 races of the season and the close points battle throughout this period ends at Homestead-Miami Speedway where the champion is determined.
10/21 – Kansas Speedway
10/28 – Martinsville Speedway (Va.)
11/4 – Texas Motor Speedway (Dallas/Ft. Worth)
11/11 – Phoenix International Raceway
11/18 – Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway
Here’s a little game you can play with your preschooler or young school child to develop reading skills. You can play this almost anywhere and in all situations (especially when you need to wait somewhere or while traveling). Basically find a page with some text on it – could be anything … a newspaper, an advertisement, a poster, instruction manual or a website on your smartphone. Depending on your child’s reading skills pick words on that page that he/she needs to find (e.g. say “look for the word: car”). Make a game out of it and keep score – reward your little one enthusiastically with praise every time they find a word or get something right. Help them if need be with hints and explain what to look for (first letter, how a word is spelled etc). Most kids love the challenge and can really get into the game and scoring points for every word they find. Best thing – the game really stimulates pattern recognition and language development as children begin to recognize whole words. This skill is what helps develop a good reading speed (as fully developed readers recognize whole words – they don’t read letter by letter and then form the word).
There you have it “word search” – a simple game to pass the time, develop skills and have fun! Try this at home!
It seems inevitable that at some point in your life as a parent you have to deal with headlice (one way or another). Most likely someone at preschool, kindergarten or school has them and you get a letter to say “check your child”. Or perhaps you discovered your little one scratching their head a lot or noticed some strange skin irritation around the neck or behind the ears. Either way – it helps to familiarize yourself with this pest.
Headlice are tiny insects that crawl from head to head and may be passed on through shared objects such as hairbrushes, towels and hats.
Detecting headlice – what to look for:
- Check your child’s head and look for small light or dark brown insects without wings (check the entire head but especially the back of the head and at the sides and around the ears).
- Also look for tiny whitish eggs (nits) like grains of salt attached to hair shafts.
- Check for small red marks on the neck or behind the ears (headlice bites).
You may also notice your child complaining about itches on the head or neck. If you are aware of a case of headlice at school, pre-school or kindi check all members of the household daily at the same time for at least three weeks.
What to do – how to get rid of headlice and nits
- Get some headlice treatment (from your pharmacy / chemist) and treat anyone who is hosting headlice. There are lots of inexpensive treatments available that are all quite effective.
- Advise the school/kindergarten if you find headlice and confirm that treatment has begun.
- Continue treatment for about three weeks (also read instructions that come with the treatment you chose). Three weeks is the length of the headlouse breeding cycle – you need to break the cycle or infestation will continue.
- After each treatment, comb the hair with a fine toothed comb.
- Wash all bedlinen, pillowcases and towels in hot water and tumble dry for 20 minutes on high.
- Thoroughly clean all items in the household that come in contact with heads – e.g. hair brushes, hair bands, combs, etc. Ideally soak in a bleach solution or very hot water for at least 10 minutes.
- Vacuum carpets and rugs frequently
A few myths:
- having headlice is not related to poor personal hygiene … if anything headlice prefer clean hair
- your child cannot get headlice from pets – headlice are species specific. I.e. headlice for humans need human blood to survive. There are different species for dogs, cats, etc.
- and yes – you can catch headlice from your kids (headlice don’t care about the age of their host)
If you follow these rules you should only have to put up with headlice for a short period. It’s a bit of pain to deal with them but fortunately effective treatment is available. You can also check the web for natural treatments (like washing hair with vinegar etc if you don’t want to get a chemical solution). Good luck in your dealings with headlice!
- having headlice is not related to poor personal hygiene … if anything headlice prefer clean hair
OK it’s time to get ready for April Fools Day so we thought let’s put together a useful list of pranks you can play on your kids and partner.
Babies and Toddlers: well given that the irony of April Fools Day may be a bit lost on babies and toddlers you can just have a good old laugh with them. E.g. paint your face, user finger puppets or put a nappy on your head (a fresh one!!!)
Preschoolers: Find a piece of old / scrap cloth. Place your victim’s favourite toy or other item of interest on the floor and stay nearby. When the victim comes along and bends down to pick up the toy, rip the cloth … yell out that your little one as just ripped their trousers.
Primary school children: Add a few drops of food coloring into a milk carton for a nice surprise at breakfast! If you have sleepy kids you can also get up a bit earlier and draw something on their face while they are still asleep.
Preteens: Hide in a wardrobe or closet in their room when they get home and give them a good old fright
Teens: change the language setting on their mobile to some random language (make sure you know how to change it back … otherwise the relationship with your teen might deteriorate quickly).
A prank you can play on your pregnant wife is to tell her that you will need to be overseas for work when the baby is due. Probably a good idea to declare it as an April Fools prank within 5 seconds to avoid any serious domestic repercussions.
Another good one for your partner is to “fake nail” a fridge magnet to the fridge. Find a small photo or sonar baby scan that you’d typically hang up on the fridge. Use wire cutters to cut off the head of a nail and glue the nail head to the item you’re going to hang. Find a flat magnet and glue it to the back of the photo. Wait until the glue is dry and until your partner is in a room close by to the kitchen (but not IN the kitchen). Put the photo on the fridge (i.e. using the magnet at the back), take a hammer loud hammering noises. No doubt your partner will come into the kitchen to investigate and “catch” you nailing a picture to the refrigerator.
One of the values that parents like to pass along to their children is the importance of sharing. Like anything else in parenting, even the strongest efforts are met with varying degrees of success. Some children really struggle with the concept of sharing. Even kids who are generous by nature will not share a few particular things. Here’s a list of 10 things that even the most giving children have trouble sharing.
- Affection – displays of affection often make children irrationally jealous; most kids can’t stand to share the affection of a parent or caregiver.
- Comfort Objects – whether it’s a special teddy bear or a blankie, these items are totally off limits for other kids.
- Attention – the attention of the people children care about it something that almost all kids find it difficult to share.
- Bedrooms – sharing their personal space with anyone, even a sibling, can become so grating that kids explode; temper tantrums from children who share a room are anything but rare.
- Favorite Foods – almost all kids have trouble sharing when it comes to their favorite food.
- Toys – most toddlers and some preschoolers will have trouble understanding the concept of sharing a toy (it is generally thought that children don’t fully grasp the concept and importance of sharing until age 7)
- Bathrooms – tweens and teens that share a bathroom are likely to spend more time at war than getting along; constant complaints about grooming habits and long showers will, more often than not, spiral into all-out battle.
- Television – with so many different channels and interesting shows to watch constantly, sharing a television is no easy task.
- Clothes – at a certain age, kids begin to positively loathe the idea of sharing clothes with a sibling. By the teen years, arguments over clothes borrowed without permission begin.
- Teachers – having behavior, grades and learning style all compared to a sibling can be nerve-wracking, leading to resentment.
A Harvard University study suggests that kids who witness their parents being generous to one another and sharing have an easier time grasping the concept and applying it without the help of an adult. The same study also showed that older children who witnessed stingy behavior between their parents were more likely to exhibit the same reluctance to share themselves; as with many other childhood lessons, sharing is mostly learned by modeling and discussion.
By Tina Marconi