Junior ISAs: Should You Get One For Your Child?

When it comes to junior ISAs, a small amount goes a long way if it is regularly contributed and withheld until your little one is ready to receive the money. If you start when they are born, you could have a nice little nest egg to gift to your child once they come of age and start looking to put deposits down on houses and pay University fees.

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The Boy… Aged Eight

The Boy aged 8

It's been way too long since I blogged, still trying to find my mojo with a busy job and homelife, and balancing how much of my son's life I share; his digital footprint is something that I am very aware of as he gets older.

However, there are two things that I do every year to celebrate The Boy turning another year older; video him answering the same set of questions, and a collage of his favourite things. Ashamedly, I seemed to have not done the photo last year, but I'm not missing it again!

The Boy aged 8

 

Here are his previous collages aged three years old, four years old, five years old, and aged six.

Turning Crafts With Your Kids Into Memories

There is nothing better for decorating a family home than children's crafts that you helped them make. Not only is making unique crafts with your children some excellent bonding time, but it can help build up their creative and problem-solving skills which will serve them well throughout their lives. Therefore, this is something that you will want to start doing with your children if you have not already begun to do so. To help you with this, you will want to take a look at some of the following suggestions that you and your children could easily make use of.

Customized Bedding

When it comes to custom bedding, you can make an entire set or simply focus on one piece to customize that can be added to your current bedding selection. Is Father’s Day or mom’s birthday coming up? Help your kids go through some photos of the fun times that they have had and pick the best ones to have uploaded to a company that can create custom bed sheets, pillows, comforters, or anything else that you can think of.

If you know how to sew a quilt or want to use this as the time to figure it out, you and your kids could take t-shirts that you bought from all of your vacations together and use those for the various quilt patches.

Make Some Windchimes

You and your children can make various wind chimes that you can set up all over your porch, on the outside of the windows of the house, around the garage, or spread throughout your yard. The options are endless.

If you and the children have collected driftwood over the years from a nearby river or from when you went on vacation, you can use those along with shells and make very rustic or beach-themed windchimes. If you do not want to use the seashells that you collected while on vacation, or you simply do not have any, you can easily find bags of them at your local craft stores.

Canvas Artwork

Head to your local craft store, or a large department store with a suitable crafting department, and pick up some blank canvases. They come in a variety of sizes, so you should have no trouble finding some canvases that will fit nicely on the walls of your home.

Then you need some quality paint in a variety of colors and various sizes of paintbrushes. Take all of the supplies outside with the children on a nice sunny day and let them have a blast creating their own art masterpieces. Once they are dried, you can hang them all throughout the house.

Custom Coffee Mugs

There are a few different ways to do this. You can upload pictures or drawings of your children and have a company print those onto the coffee mugs of your choice. The chikdren can have a lot of fun picking out the best photos or drawing something extra special for the mugs.

If you want to create custom coffee mugs with a more hands-on approach, you will want to purchase plain white coffee mugs. Purchasing non-toxic paint and brand new paint brushes. While you might want to get a variety of sizes, make sure that you are also getting very thin brushes for any small details that they want to create on the mug.

As you can see, there are many different crafts that you can do with your children that you can then have up on display around the house. Pick one. Pick two. Or pick all of these and any others that you come across. You and the children will have a great deal of fun making wonderful memories and décor for your home.

His Ideal Sport: A #TennisForKids Journey

Tennis for Kids filming

Last year I was very keen to sign my son up to the Lawn Tennis Association's #TennisForKids campaign in its inaugural year. He was fortunate to have one of the 10,000 spaces available throughout the UK and received six free sessions learning some basic skills and having a brilliant time. At the end of the six sessions, he was able to take home the racket that he'd been learning with in order to continue to play. The campaign was a roaring success for us, free taster sessions and a free racket to see if tennis was 'his thing'.

It turned out that tennis was very much to his taste as he continued playing tennis after the sessions ended in June, attending the Saturday morning sessions until the end of November and even going on some Summer camp days during the holidays. We've recently signed him up as a junior member of our local LTA club and he starts proper lessons in the first week back after the Easter holidays; those six free sessions have really started him off with a passion for the sport.

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#TennisForKids: One Year On – Advice and Tips

TennisForKids 2017

Last year we were fortunate enought to be involved in promoting the (then) brand new initiative from The Lawn Tennis Association, Tennis For Kids, which enabled 10,000 children around the United Kingdom to receive a course of six tennis sessions from qualified coaches free of charge. The programme was so popular that a further 5,000 places were created, in total this introduced 15,000 children between the ages of 5 and 8 to tennis, a sport that they may not have considered playing before. And at the end of the sessions, each child received a free tennis racket to keep.

The Lawn Tennis Association have contacted me again this year as they are running the fantastic and free campaign again this year. However, in 2017 they are offering up a whopping 20,000 spaces to children around Britain, giving them access to six free tennis sessions of quality coaching and a free racket!

TennisForKids 2017

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Plinky Plonk Progress

Twelve years ago my old headteacher decided to sell the infant school piano to the piano tuner for £100. I interjected and asked if I could buy it for the same price.

At the time, we had a shell of a sixty year old house. The only floor which had not been dug up due to a dodgy dampproof course was in the living room and the day when we would make that house our home seemed a long way off.

Yet sure enough, the following Saturday morning saw two men in a van transport the battered and coffee-ring stained mug that was a feature of my own childhood infant assemblies, to our 'new' rubble-strewn house. We protected it from the constant dust for six months, encasing its wooden, badly varnished carcass in many layers of plastic sheeting, cursing the hefty lump of wood and wondering why I'd had this bright idea when neither of us could play the piano.

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Paw Patrol: Zoomer Marshall (Review)

Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall

For several years now, my son's favourite programme has been Paw Patrol; a television series which follows the adventures of the inhabitants of Adventure Bay and their frequent rescuers – eight pups and their ten year old leader, Ryder.

I've often wondered about the sense of having a town's emergency services completely staffed by a team of dogs, and my husband frequently worries that Ryder's parents seem to be absentee. But then when the mayor has a pet chicken (called Chickaletta) who lives in her handbag, I think this is one of those shows that shouldn't be analysed too much.

However, our favourite pup is the very loveable dalmation Marshall who is in charge of the fire and rescue division of Paw Patrol. We were recently sent a 'Zoomer' version of Marshall to review, a type of toy that we haven't come across before.

Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall

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How To Give Your Family An Experience They Will Never Forget

When it comes to spending time with your family, you are going to want to make any time spent with them an experience that they will thoroughly enjoy, and one that will ultimately be memorable. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to take them to Disneyland in order to provide them with an experience that thy will never forget, but if you’re looking to make a huge effort to celebrate an occasion like a birthday, then there are a few different ways that you can do this.

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