Category Archives: Pregnancy & Parenting

5 Craft Ideas that will Earn Your Child Money

Collaborative Guest Post

Handmade goods are everywhere, and people are making a living off their passions. Everyone is looking for that cool, original gift to buy. The good news is, anyone can get in on the fun. Your kids can learn a craft and become entrepreneurs in their free time. Though there are all kinds of crafts that sell, some of them are easier and cheaper than others. Here are a few crafts that are easy to learn, quick to produce, and could earn your child some extra pocket money.

  1. Stickers

Everybody loves stickers! Kindergarteners love to get them on school reports, teens cover their notebooks in them, hikers cover their water bottles in them, and crafters dedicate entire drawers to their sticker collections. Stickers have taken on a new life, outside of the scrapbook aisle and teacher supply store.  Plus, stickers are super easy to make! If your kid is artistic, they should turn their artwork into original sticker designs.

All your child needs to get started selling stickers is some matte sticker paper. They can doodle, draw, and paint right onto the paper and cut those stickers out by hand to sell in person. If you have the resources, they can up their sticker game by digitizing their artwork. A high-resolution photo of their art on a white background can be uploaded into any free photo editing software. Cut the background out of the photo and leave it transparent. Digital images can be printed onto high quality vinyl sticker paper for a more professional look. Partner with local paper or art supply stores to sell your kid’s stickers to a wider marker. Or, start an online store!

  • Knit hats

Lots of kids learn to knit or crochet as a quick, easy craft. Once they’ve mastered the basic techniques, they can start selling knit goods. Hats are a fast, simple project that can be made en masse, depending on the pattern. Knit beanies are very popular, and are a wardrobe staple from fall through spring. After factoring in the cost of yarn, you can sell a handknit beanie for a fair profit.

Knit or crochet hats are a more expensive and time-consuming product to sell, but it’s great for crafty kiddos that need something to do with their hands. A single ball of inexpensive yarn can yield an adorable beanie in one evening. It’s a great craft to sell during the fall and winter to make money for holiday gift giving!

  • Baby Blankets

Baby blankets are the simplest of sewing projects. All you sew is a straight line around all four sides. The nice thing about baby blankets is the size. Material for a full-sized blanket is expensive, and they can take days to construct. A baby blanket is significantly smaller, meaning you get more blanket per yard of fabric.

A quick, simple baby blanket project is the minky blanket. Minky is that super soft fabric that almost feels like fur. The blankets are usually minky on one side, and an inexpensive synthetic satin on the other side. You can even buy folded blanket binding to finish off the edges like a professional. These fabrics come in a multitude of colors and patterns, so your child can get creative with it. After making a sizable inventory, these blankets can be sold at craft fairs, online, or to local businesses. 

  • Photography

If your child has access to a camera or smartphone, they can start making money with no initial spending on materials. Though some photography is more art than craft, it is a profitable business that is easier to get started than you might think. There are several digital platforms that will pay people for stock photos, like still lives or nature photography. Some free stock photo sites work on a donation basis, meaning the more followers and downloads your child gets the more money they could be making.

For teens 14 years old and up, photography is a legitimate service industry job. They can focus on portraits, like senior photos, or events like birthdays. Teens who offer their photography services can market themselves through word of mouth, free platforms like Craigslist, or a personal website. As a parent, it’s important that you teach your teens how to meet with clients safely. They should never go to a photoshoot alone, and you should always know who the client is and where they will be. If your teen is smart and safe, photography can be a lifelong career path.

  • Upcycled Clothing

We all do our best to limit our environmental impact, and thrift shopping is one way of saving money and saving the earth.  Unfortunately, many charity shops seem to cater mostly to the over fifty crowd. For a creative teen, those outdated threads could mean a fashion goldmine! Upcycling is the act of finding gems in charity shops (or just the back of your closet), and re-imagining them into something new! No Pinterest board is complete without a couple of t-shirt crafts or button-down shirts turned into dresses. There are plenty of genius upcycling ideas floating around the internet, and plenty of gently used clothing that can be turned into something unique!

So, how can your child actually make money on arts and crafts? The key is to find the appropriate audience and venue. It might take some help and support from you, but your child can find a market for their handmade goods. Craft fairs, farmers markets, and even local boutiques are great for handmade goods. Ecommerce platforms like Etsy and Shopify offer a professional level audience for your child’s crafts. Even starting small, like selling their homemade slime to their friends at school, gives kids a taste of running a handmade business. Encourage your kids to be entrepreneurs! It is a lesson in healthy risk taking that can reap significant rewards.

Byline:

Ron Stefanski is the founder of JobsForTeensHQ.com and has a passion for helping teenagers find jobs.  He created the website because he feels that teenagers need to focus on their professional passions much earlier in life and aims to teach them how they can do that.  When he’s not working on his website, Ron is a college professor and loves to travel the world. 

DreamWorks Dragons Dawn of New Riders – XBOX One Game Review

The boys are both avid gamers, and have been fans of How to Train Your Dragon for longer than I can remember. Dragons Dawn on New Riders game has released to tie in with the new film. We were sent a copy of the new game to review, and so I decided to let my 10 year old let you know his thoughts on the game.

Review by B aged 10;

The game is played initially as Scribbler, a new character who hatches and develops a dragon a Chimeragon, called Patch. Later in the game you actually play as Patch – which was amazing as you could stand back in battles but still have force (and who doesn’t want to be a dragon anyway!).

As you go through the game you gain powers. To gain powers you need to complete a temple.The temples are places with puzzles to complete, which unlock doors which eventually lead you to a battle. If you win, your Dragon may evolve which will give it a new power. You can have up to three powers at one time, however you can only use one at a time. You need to select which one is best to use for each challenge.

I like the mix of characters between new and old familiar faces. Especially the new character Scribbler as he’s strong and determined. It’s great that the new dragon Patch evolves. At the end of the game we thought he was going to die, but he has another surprise in store! I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars, it was great fun to play.

Parent View

Graphically I was quite impressed with the game, and I think the boys were too. The puzzles were easy to understand and solving them was fun and straightforward. My 8 year old especially enjoyed the game, as he didn’t find himself getting frustrated! I really liked the fact the game encouraged them to read – as they needed to in order to move on through the game. (My 8 year old is a reluctant reader – so anything to help him is a bonus!) The only thing I would have preferred would have been to add in the option for 2 player so they could play together.

Counting the days to Half Term..

Homework. parent meetings, school trips. A variety of medical appointments. Plenty of out of school activities. A growing collection of bills. Oh,  all the germs seem to have wanted to visit us this term. This is why I’m counting down to Half Term.

While a little bit of routine is wonderful. I already miss the freedom of the holidays.

It’s fair to say that most of the stress of school days is actually my fault. Poor planning, or specifically trying to get too many things done in too few hours. I have crammed so many jobs into the last week, dashing from one place to the next. It’s led to a week of feeling utterly exhausted. Why do I do it to us? I’m not sure, but I need to change it.

Learning to pace ourselves.

My stress contributes to the mood of the children. If I’m happy they are happy. When I am stressed, they are generally grouchy. It’s time for us to stop and take a breath.

Certain things I put in place to help us all. Homework, we look at it as soon as it arrives, not wait until it is due. Music practice, 5 minutes every day is better than fighting to practice at all over the week.

Lunchboxes.. the boys empty them and leave them by the sink. I write a meal plan for lunch boxes, this helps with shopping for and packing them!

Half-term at home.

February half-term is always a tough one for us. The weather is always mixed, and money is not in great supply as it’s not long since Christmas and two Birthdays! So, February half-term is always spent at home. The first few days usually everyone wants their freedom. Then they get bored! So I always plan indoor activities to do in the holidays.

If the weather is good, we will pack up a flask and get out and about. I must admit I’m longing for Spring to arrive when it is easier being outside with all the children together!

One year old baby update

I had forgotten how tiring a one year old is. He is on the go all day, any mischief he can find himself in, he will. At the moment his favourite thing appears to be climbing. Perhaps one day he is destined to climb mountains, as at the moment nothing seems to high for him to clamber. I take my eyes off him momentarily and instantly find myself having a heart in mouth moment as he is precariously clinging to the top of a curtain or something.

How on earth I have a one year old I don’t know. 2018 was lost in a blur of grief, ill health and frankly confusion. I will forever be in debt to those friends who reminded me of school trips, dress down days, and school closures. They allowed me to use what energy I had to enjoy my baby, my now one year old.

One year check.

We had our one year check with the health visitor, which went really well. He is doing OK, I was reassured that he is biding his time to talk, it will come. To be honest I’m not entirely sure he ever gets a chance to speak with the others around, and I probably speak more than I should to him. But, I’m sure we will get there, eventually. I like the one year check as it gives you a chance to double check that your child is about where they should be developmentally. He’s the first child I’ve had who hasn’t got a dummy at the one year check – he threw it out his cot aged 5 months and wouldn’t have it back. Another reminder that each child is very different.

Food

Food is one of those things which I hoped we would not have any issues with. However, little N has other ideas. He is already starting to fuss and has developed an absolute aversion to rice. So anything with rice in gets launched across the kitchen. Cleaning up rice isn’t much fun, so I’m torn between keeping it off the menu and adopting the approach of keep trying (but keep the broom and mop handy..).

Sleep.

Pah, sleep is for the week. This boy of mine likes to sleep in the comfort of the Superking sized bed. Though so far for two nights this week he has actually stayed in his own bed all night…so perhaps he is starting to make improvements with his sleep? We will see. It was nice to have two proper sleeps this week! He has a good bedtime routine, and so I’m hoping soon we may get a little more undisturbed sleep,

Play

He loves toy cars and spends time pushing them along. Other than that he loves the chickens and ducks. Oh, and climbing. He’s not quite walking but will walk if I hold his hand, and happily coasts around the sofas.

What to do with family between Christmas and back to school.

That awkward stage between Christmas Day and back to school, how do you survive it? Pre-Christmas Day, it was easy to find festive things to entertain everyone. But then the excitement of Christmas Day is over, LEGO is built, family visited and the children start to ask is it back to school yet…

Currently, we’re in the midst of eating up the Christmas food. At least one meal a day feels quite snack based – if only as I’m saying if you eat this healthy soup (made using left over vegetables) you can have a slice of yule log… There also feels like there’s a lot of TV watching too. But that might be just because we are suffering from a Christmas cold?

Yesterday, we hosted a BBQ for friends. Yes, a BBQ in December! It was the perfect way to make the most of the very mild weather. It also encouraged the children into the garden. They actually stayed outside until it was going dark! Being outside was definitely something they had all needed! Whether you have space to encourage the children outside or take them to the park, getting them outdoors will give you a nice quiet evening!

Days Out

Days out, there are still some great days out to have before back to school! They don’t have to be expensive, and places which are open are often a little quieter at this “off season” time. Remember to utilise your National Trust or English Heritage Passes if you have them. Another great place to visit is country parks. Local to us we have a country park which offers a huge play park, and mountain bike trails. Great for burning off energy!

Remember to check out what’s on in your local area, sometimes local events can be great fun and good value. Our local garden centre has family events on next weekend just before the children go back to school. It’s worth checking out local to you bloggers e.g. High Wycombe parents – What Mummy thinks. They often give great tips on where and when to visit places local to them!

Staying in?

If you’re staying home make the most of Festive TV. If you have younger children have a cinema afternoon at home with the curtains pulled closed and some snacks – left over goodies from Christmas or some home made ones will work well.

Get your craft on! There are plenty of  ideas on www.funcraftskids.com including lots of makes to do with things you would normally bin! 

Top 5 Kids Christmas Films

I’m the first to admit that I’m getting a little excited about our first Christmas as a family of 6! One of our favourite ways to get in the festive mood is watching a Christmas film, and we usually watch a couple after School each week on the countdown to Christmas.

Now, my list is controversial, it doesn’t include many of the great festive favourites we have come to love each Christmas (Elf doesn’t feature…) but it is 5 films which we love as a family – and they may give you some inspiration for the season! So, why not get ready with a cosy blanket, mug of hot chocolate and some popcorn and one of these festive favourites! Continue reading Top 5 Kids Christmas Films

Quality Time With Family

With four children, weekends are hectic. Sports clubs, parties and homework. Then there’s the mountain of washing, ironing and the weekly shop to contend with! The weekly shop takes longer than it should, and as I take the children with me I spend a bit more than I should. There’s also dealing with tantrums from my 4 year old… I get home needing a large cup of tea!

Finding time to sit down as a family and talk without distractions at the weekend is increasingly difficult. As the children get older, they get busier, the washing mountain grows and so does my shopping list!  It all puts strain on our family time at the weekend. Toby Carvery got in touch to ask if they could help take the strain off us this weekend. They offered to take on one of our jobs while we sat down to a roast dinner at Toby Carvery instead.  Continue reading Quality Time With Family

3 Tips for the morning school run!

The school run is not my favourite time of day. Getting everyone ready, with all their stuff safely to school on time feels like a military operation. Then add in the negotiations required to get the children to sit nicely and not argue in the car, my diplomacy skills are exceptional! But, it can be exhausting!

I thought I’d share my 3 Top tips for the morning school run – Or 4 tips if you include always start the day with a good cup of coffee!

Continue reading 3 Tips for the morning school run!

Weaning – slowly does it.

I thought I’d share a little update on our weaning journey with Noddy. He’s 7 months now, and by this stage his older siblings were greedily eating all the food they could grab. N though, has always had a rather disinterested approach to food. It’s really hard when your child has little interest in food. I have battled for years with a fussy eater, and it is heart breaking, so I did panic when N didn’t want to try solids at first. But, we’ve persisted.

Weaning - baby in baby bjorn high chair

We started weaning a little early on the advice of our health visitor. However, it was a disaster and we gave up, deciding to try again once he was 6 months. Our journey began with trying to encourage him to eat finger foods, but he just threw them down. So we tried pureed carrot which nicely decorated clothes (mostly mine) and the floor. We had 5 weeks of pure frustration, weaning wasn’t meant to be this hard?! Noddy was unimpressed with everything we presented him with, looking at us like we were insane. It was hugely frustrating, and I did begin to wonder if I could ever persuade him to eat. He would try a tiny bit one day, and the next day keep his mouth firmly shut. While we were on holiday he ate more, but it didn’t seem very much still.

7 months arrived, and I decided to just carry on the weaning journey introducing more to his diet.

7 month old weaning

Noddy greedily ate a big portion of pasta with ricotta and tomato sauce, yes he smothered quite a lot over his face, but a huge amount went in his mouth and was greeted with happy noises. Stronger flavours are more popular with him, we have had success with foods flavoured with herbs and spices. He likes to feed himself, though finger foods aren’t always a success. I’ve noticed that he prefers to grab the spoon and help feed himself. Though, he is no where near co-ordinated enough to do it all by himself, he does try! We have started to try things like egg on toast over the last week, which has proved popular. He also happily sits in his highchair while we eat dinner, and will have a little of whatever we are having. This has mixed success – sometimes he will just throw it on the floor and other times he will try a bit.

Drinking..

He loves his sippy cup, though I think he loves throwing the contents of it around as much as he likes drinking from it! Everywhere gets soaked! Thankfully it is only water, so it is quick to mop up! I’ve started to think that he’s having a little too much milk, but he’s such a petite baby that I’m trying not to worry. This week he has a horrible cold, and perhaps that is why he is keen to drink a little more milk than “he should”.

So, all in all, while we have had a slow start, I think we’re getting there. I just hope he continues to enjoy trying different flavours!