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Tag: Parent Tips

12 Must-Read Return to School Tips for Preschool Parents

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Preparing preschool kids for a return to school routine is a hard nut to crack for almost every parent. But when we know some useful tips and tricks to prepare our kids to go back to school, it becomes easy to tackle.

Mummies and Daddies, may we have your attention?

Before sharing some must-read return to school tips, we want to remind you of something. Being a parent is the most wonderful life experience. It’s important to take time for you and your kids to enjoy the special moments, like going back to school.

Now flip through this article and by reading it, you would be able to handle the most difficult situation of the year- Return to School.

Here are 12 must-reads back to school tips for parents:

1. Try to manage your own anxiety 

Being parents of a toddler or preschool kid is always hard and full of anxiety. Thousands of parents have been reported to be anxious at the end of vacations. They are apprehensive about how to manage back to school routine of their kids.

Don’t worry, we are at your service with tips and tricks to handle your anxiety by planning back to school.

Keep in mind, if you plan everything, there is no need to worry. Keep reading.

2. Handle back to school anxiety in a pandemic

We are not living in ordinary times. Adding to the usual stress of going back to school, we can’t forget we are in a pandemic. Although schools are not a major cause for COVID-19 spreading events, some parents are a little bit apprehensive about going back to school

And their kids may be also stressed about the COVID-19 protocols that are still in place. There are many rules to be followed. Everything is so new and overwhelming to them.

One of the main questions is about the masks as in many countries and states it is not mandatory for children. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics, like many other institutions worldwide, is recommending that everyone older than age 2 should wear a mask

And you know what? For most kids, wearing masks is not a big deal if their parents wear them naturally. Some children even forget they are wearing a mask. Model good practices for your kids, wearing a mask, keeping good hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes.

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It may be hard for young kids to adjust. They have more difficulties expressing complex feelings and can get easily frustrated. What to do? Encourage them to talk. Talking is ok; yielding, hitting, or kicking is not. Let them know it is ok to feel scared, sad or even mad when things don’t go like we wanted to and that they can be helped when they tell an adult how they are feeling.

3. Try a daytime timetable

The biggest issue is to take your children and especially preschool kids, out of vacation mode. To get them back into a fixed routine, try a daytime timetable two weeks before starting school.

It’ll naturally help the kids to adopt a new back-to-school routine.

We can try to fix a time for every meal, going outside or playtime. A set daytime routine helps in teaching discipline to kids.

4. Decide on the favorite snacks of your child for school lunch boxes

A week before school is going to restart, try some family cooking activity. And through this fun-filled family cooking activity, we can decide on the favorite snacks of kids for school lunch boxes.

Announce sending your kids with a surprise lunchbox every day when they are returning to school. It’ll artlessly excite the kids for going back to school.

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5. Buy new stationery and a backpack 

Buy new stationery and a backpack to celebrate kids going back to school. Toddlers love to have new stationery. 

The best way is to take the kids to a store to shop for new pencils, colors, learning games, and other products. But you can also surf online with kids to buy the best stationery deals for return to school. There are plenty of good learning games for kids to buy in the market. 

It excites children of all ages and they are happy to go to school with all the new stuff.

Thinking about how to choose a backpack for school?

We have the answer. Try to choose bags of lightweight and soft materials. For preschool kids, the size of bags must be an exact fit. 

Try to choose a backpack by following this simple checklist:

  • It must have two wide straps;
  • Not more than 16 inches in length for toddlers and preschoolers;
  • Soft material bags with chest strap and padded back.

A trolley may seem easiest to carry, but be careful choosing as some wheels turn the backpacks too heavy for small children.

6. Show your excitement for back to school routine 

Parents’ moods directly influence preschoolers. If we, parents, show anxiety over the matter, they will be anxious too. So make sure you are excited about kids going back to school

To show enthusiasm we can plan different activities including playing schools together. Pretend play is more helpful than you think! You can pretend their toys are classmates, check them into class and start a lesson. Reading stories and coloring books are two other activities the little ones will certainly enjoy, and that can set the mood for returning to school.

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7. Watch learning-based Cartoon shows and play games 

Another way to know our kids’ perspective of different things is to watch cartoon shows or play games with them. It helps in creating a friendly bond between parent and child. We get to know what our kids think about the cartoon characters, what are their aspirations. This way we can guide them in a friendly and effective way and they start trusting on the parents more.

8. Set screen time limits

Cartoons and games can teach a lot, but only in the right amount of time. One of the biggest troubles with toddlers and preschool kids is they are addicted to their gadgets. Which is not at all a healthy lifestyle for them. So if your kid is also spending most of his/her time on screen, it’ll surely cause serious trouble to keep them away from their smartphones, tablets, and other gaming gadgets. Limit their screen time before the end of vacations so they get used to this new routine of staying away from screens.

There are some apps out there that can help. KidsBeeTV, for instance, has a daily time limiter that parents can use to define how much time their child can spend watching videos and playing games.

It could also be useful for you as a parent to check these great online safety tips for kids.

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9. Plan next day’s chores a night before 

Another concern is managing the day while going to school. To hold our day, we can plan the next day’s chores the night before.

If we give ourselves and the kids a basic framework for the day, we’ll be much more likely to organize our days with effective work. It’ll help the kids in managing their school homework and other things when they are back to school.

10. Get to sleep on time

Playing games or watching cartoons till late at night is another common problem with the kids. If kids are going late to bed, consequently they’ll get up late in the morning. During back-to-school days, they wake up crying or sobbing and cause tension for all parents. 

The solution is to get to sleep on time. Make sure you and your kids are taking proper sleeping hours.

11. Start the day early in the morning

Richard Whately warned about “losing an hour in the morning, and hunting all day for it.”  

It’s a great reminder for everyone. Starting the day early in the morning helps in back to school routine. Usually, during vacations, parents and kids try to sleep till mid-day. Restarting school, they have to get up early in the morning and it causes a wave of frustration and tension.

The best way to avoid such a situation is to start a day early in the morning.

12. Choose comfortable clothes for school

We must be careful while choosing clothes for preschool kids. Never rush upon fancy and uncomfortable clothes except on special occasions. During vacations, kids have been wearing simple tee shirts and shorts. And wearing uneasy clothes for school can make them more agitated. Try to choose a light and breathable fabric.

Take time to follow these tips and prepare kids for their learning classes at school.

But one thing to keep in mind: to raise healthy children, we need to be healthy parents. With all the demands on our lives, it is not easy. If you are feeling you have no time to yourself, know you are not alone. Many parents are facing that problem, but fortunately, there are great self-care strategies for parents that can make a change in your life. Glad to help you!

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Sustainability for kids: 5 Simple Ways to Teach Kids About Sustainability

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We understand that as busy parents with so many plates in the air, moving to a sustainable lifestyle can seem like a daunting task.

Many parents shy away from teaching sustainability for kids, not because they don’t believe it’s essential, but rather because they don’t know where to start themselves. Here’s the thing, a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight and all of the little things soon add up.

Whether you change one thing weekly, daily or monthly, know that the small changes are making a difference. The same approach can be used when it comes to sustainability for children. Certainly, we all want to leave our little people a better world and a healthy planet, and we want them to understand the importance of looking after it.

We care about your kid’s education

There is no doubt that our children will grow up and make their decisions independently from us one day. They might grow up to be educators or even important policymakers. The habits we teach them today will affect their future life choices. If we can build sustainability into our kid’s daily lives, they are more likely to grow up and make healthier life choices.

Sustainability often leads to healthier choices for us but also for the planet. We shouldn’t overlook the fact that by teaching our children to take responsibility for their environment and world, we also teach them to take responsibility for themselves and their own actions.

Going eco-friendly doesn’t have to be overwhelming for you or your children, and we’ve put together five practical ways to teach your little one’s sustainability that we have tried and tested ourselves.

1. Get outside to go green

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This has to be, by far, the easiest way we’ve found to teach our kids respect for nature and their environment. Getting outdoors and connecting with the natural world is one of the best ways to teach children about sustainability.

When we’re in the great outdoors with our kids, it’s easy to have conversations about the importance of our natural world. Explaining to our children that trees are the Earth’s lungs gives them a sense of awe about forests and trails. These huge beautiful plants do so much more than provide us with a beautiful environment. Above all, they help to keep us and the whole planet alive.

2. The three R's

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Reduce, reuse and recycle. Many parents still have difficulty with this, but it doesn’t have to be a challenge.

In some communities, the three R’s are already mandatory, so it’s only a matter of time before becoming the norm across the world.

A fantastic way we’ve found for us as parents and our kids is to head out and buy an indoor recycle trash can thing. They can be purchased from most DIY or home stores, and they come ready divided into sections to make recycling easy.

We’ve found a wonderful way to help kids identify which trash goes in which section is to draw or paint pictures for each area. Once they are stuck on, they give a visual representation that even tots understand. You can even save up your piles of newspapers or your cans and allocate a kid a section to fill. Little ones especially love this, and it becomes a game rather than a chore. Developing lifelong eco-friendly habits through fun is the easiest way to make them stick.

3. Compost is cool

Many people shy away from composting. If you don’t know where to start, it can feel a little overwhelming. There are so many kids composting kits online nowadays that are straightforward for kids and parents.

A quick Google search and you could be making your own compost for your garden while the little ones mimic your actions with their very own compost kit in miniature. The cuteness factor of this alone makes us want to get outside and put those banana peels to work in the garden.

Composting also follows on from the three R’s as it shows children just how much of our trash can be put to use.

4. Gardening rules

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Gardening follows on from composting nicely. Teaching kids to garden from a young age teaches them about the lifecycle of living things. It also gives them a solid idea of the environment needed to sustain life and teaches them responsibility for something that is alive.

Kids thrive in a gardening environment. The benefits are far-reaching, and many pre-schools now incorporate it as part of their curriculum, and with good reason. Giving kids a love of cultivation from an early age instils a healthy respect for nature and the environment. Sustainability develops from that naturally.

Another bonus of gardening is that it is an open-ended activity. There are no real rules or end time, and kids can make mistakes and learn in a calm and relaxed environment. Studies show that when this happens, little brains absorb the blueprints for their lives.

5. Get involved in community projects

Many communities have projects that involve beach cleanups, community cleanups and other initiatives that promote and teach sustainability. Getting your kids involved in the community early teaches them respect for their whole area and not just their home. Volunteering and giving back will become an ingrained habit in your children.

Other community projects may be upcycled projects or yard sales that save sending items to the trash. If there aren’t any initiatives in your area already, why not have a go at creating one? We love the idea of old upcycling materials into toys or games, or pieces of furniture. The most special thing of all is that they are made with mum and dad.

Sustainability for kids: The takeaway

Many of us find the idea of sustainability daunting, but when we really look at our daily lives, there are steps that we take towards it naturally. Gardening, upcycling and hiking all teach kids about sustainability. All we have to do is be a little more intentional with our conversations while doing these activities. Little by little, we will all become eco-warriors.

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Working from home with toddlers? It’s Possible to be Productive

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Truthfully, working from home with toddlers can be difficult. It might be smooth with an infant because they can sleep for hours. However, a toddler is mobile and wants your full attention, so being productive can be challenging. Fortunately, there are ways you can get the best of both worlds.

Whether you run your business from home or you do remote working for a company, there are proven ways you can attempt to stay productive and spend quality time with your kids. Remember, every family is different, so pick what works best for yours.

1. Wake up early

Are you a morning person? If you are, waking up a few hours before your toddler is an excellent way to get some work done. You can start by doing the most urgent tasks, so throughout the day, you can steal a few minutes here and there away from your child to work on the small ones like replying to emails.

If your mind is not made to function at total capacity in the mornings, you can still wake up early but start with the simple tasks and plan for the rest of the day. Don’t forget to drink your coffee first!

2. Have a schedule

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Many home working parents will swear by a schedule.

As you already know, routines are essential for young kids. Your old way might not work anymore because kids are not in school and you are working from home with children. However, it’s necessary to try and preserve your old schedule as much as you can. The best way to do it is to have the same blocks of time with different activities. The only time that should remain constant is bedtime.

Experienced home working parents suggest scheduling your kid’s days in 30 minute or one-hour time blocks. Within this time, they can play, nap, have snacks, or watch their favorite kids tv shows on their devices.

3. Create a workstation

Understandably, not everyone has a home office. Those who have an office find it easier to stay productive because it is a place you associate with work. Fortunately, creating a flexible workstation at home is not as difficult as you might think. All you need is good lighting, a table, and a comfortable chair to get started. You can create this set up in your living room or bedroom. Some home working parents have even done it in the closet.

Having a designated area for working helps your toddler understand what you're doing.

Whenever you sit there, they know that mommy or daddy is working, and they can’t play right now.

You can set the boundary in creative ways, like having a stop sign or a thumbs down sign to indicate no kids allowed. You can make the signs together as a fun art project.

The rest of the family can also use the home workstation. In this case, when you sit down to work, your toddler can also be bashing away at an old keyboard so you can be ‘working’ together. Don’t feel guilty about giving them their devices to play or watch some educational games and kids TV shows on apps like KidsBeeTV. You might get a solid hour to get some work done, especially because you know the app is safe for your little ones. 

4. Be transparent with your co-workers

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Working at home with babies

You have seen it happen several times to other parents while on a video call from work. A baby is screaming in the background or running around with nothing but a diaper playing innocently. Communicating with your co-workers will help them take it easy on you sometimes.

Some of them might even offer to keep your child busy with stories or games while you get something urgent done. Some companies might even consider making your schedule more flexible to accommodate your parenting duties. 

5. Ask for help

This might be disappointing to hear, but parents are regular humans, and sometimes we can’t do it all.

Life becomes much easier when you get help from your friends, family, spouse, or babysitter. Think about all the things you have to do in a day: cleaning, cooking, working, giving your baby attention, and everything in-between.

Overworking yourself might lead to burning out, and that’s not good for anybody.

Normalize asking for help from your spouse or getting a babysitter to help out during the day. You can also talk to other parents that are working at home with kids to gain some tips or have a babysitting arrangement that works for all of you.

Whether you need help or not is determined by how flexible your job is. If you work full-time or are required to attend several meetings in a day, you might need help. If you only work for five hours a day, you can plan your day accordingly and get everything done.

6. Practice self-care

It hasn’t been easy for adults or children adjusting to the new normal.

Children might need more emotional support, but don’t forget to take care of yourself either. Before you book a spa day, start with the small things like taking work breaks. If you play with your kids before work, take a minute to ground yourself before you start working.

Working from home with toddlers can be just as stressful as a day in the office. Find a stress outlet to help get rid of the negative energy and blow off some steam. You can work on a paint project with your toddler, go for a walk, call your friends, journal, listen to music, whatever works for you.

 

Also, could be a good idea to check out these 5 ways to teach sustainability to your kids… You will find fun and educational family activities. 

 

Finally, it’s easy to feel less productive when working from home with toddlers, even when you do your best.

It all comes down to the planning.

Here’s a tip for you: focus on making meaningful progress on the most critical tasks at work and having memorable moments with your kids. Remember, families are different, and what works for someone else might not work for you. Be kind to yourself and take it one day at a time. It’s possible to work at home with kids and spend quality time with your family.

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8 Self-Care Strategies for Parents Who Have No Time for Themselves

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We care about parents…

Contributing to the safety and well-being of children is part of our values ​​and our mission and for this, the well-being and health of parents are also fundamental. With this in mind, together with the fantastic team at Hers we’ve compiled this list of 8 self-care strategies for parents that can help you keep stress levels low.

Being a parent is a full-time job, so spare time isn’t something you have a lot of. Your children are your priority, so every minute of the day is dedicated to their care.

By the time you get the kids dressed and ready for school, you’re already running late for work and you barely have time to meet your daily deadlines before it’s time to pick them up and get them home for dinner.

You love your kids and would do anything for them, but you can’t be the best parent you can be without taking a little time for yourself once in a while. Stress paired with mental and physical exhaustion takes its toll. If you don’t take the time to relax and reset, you may end up doing more harm than good!

Your kids deserve to have you at your best, so make time for self-care to keep yourself healthy and well. Here are some self-care strategies for busy parents.

 

1. Get organized and pencil in time for yourself

Whether you have one child or several, it’s essential to keep things in your household organized. Use dry erase boards or jumbo calendars to keep track of commitments and to-do lists, and don’t forget to pencil in a little time for yourself as often as you can. While you’re at it, give your calendar a once-over and make sure you’re splitting the parenting duties evenly with your partner. You shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden alone!

2. Include physical activity in your daily routine

As parents, we can lose touch with our physical beings and we all know, that is no good!

There are so many studies about the harm of a sedentary lifestyle. It’s important to make movement a staple in your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it needs to happen. You could do bodyweight squats in your bedroom. You could get a jump rope (side benefit: great exercise for kids with a little too much energy… you know the type!). You can take brisk morning or evening walks. Walks to lunch and bike rides to school count. If you’re with the kids, bring them along and make it a thing.

In any case, little daily exercise can go a long way in keeping your body happy (plus it can boost your mood and relieve stress).

If you are the type who needs to get “in the zone” for this type of thing, you might even look for a gym that offers childcare services so you can fully focus on your workout. Here’s a list of standard safety criteria the childcare should meet.

3. Take advantage of tools that keep your kids busy

There’s nothing wrong with letting someone else do the work for you from time to time.

With apps like KidsBeeTV out there, your kids can enjoy fun, educational videos while you enjoy a few minutes to yourself. Choose from over 5000 safe and educational videos curated just for kids and rest assured that your kids will be learning while you relax. Brew yourself a hot cup of tea or lie back on the couch and close your eyes while the kids enjoy the latest weekly content.

4. Keep a daily journal

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If you feel like you’re constantly juggling commitments, keeping a daily journal may be just what you need to give your brain a break.

Journaling can be a form of meditation – it’s an opportunity to take a step back from the stress of the day and to focus on your mental health. Also, if you’re struggling with stress or negativity, consider keeping a gratitude journal where you keep track of the things you have to be thankful for. The simple act of journaling can also help you protect yourself from parental mental health problems and get negative thoughts or emotions out of your head. Most importantly, is that you can do it while your kids are napping, eating, or doing school work. 

5. Stay connected with friends and family

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Who says that parental self-care has to be a solo activity? Staying connected with friends and family is essential for strong mental health, so create opportunities to maintain positive relationships. If you have friends with kids, set up a playdate and catch up with your friends over coffee while the kids play. You could also join a local moms group or book club to get a little social time away from the kids.

6. Put the kids to bed early

As a parent, you understand the importance of routine. You may already have a nightly routine in place, but you might want to consider working a little time to yourself into that routine.

After an active day, put your kids to bed a little early when they’re already tired so you can have a little time to yourself. Soak in a hot bath or settle in with a good book before bedtime. Just 15 to 30 minutes of time to yourself at the end of the day can help you relax and unwind – it may even improve your sleep.

7. Spend time outside each and every day

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Generally, spending time outdoors makes you feel alive. When you’re starting to feel cooped up and crazy, grab the kids and head outside for a little fun in the sun. Even on a cool or cloudy day, being outside in nature can boost your mood and relieve stress. Take the kids on a nature walk or pack a picnic and spend the afternoon at the park.

There are plenty of simple ways to enjoy time in the great outdoors and it’s just as good for the kids as it is for you.

8. Seek support and get help when you need it

Being a parent is a fulfilling but exhausting job and everyone needs a little support from time to time.

When it comes to parental self-care, sometimes the best thing you can do is give yourself permission to ask for help. There are plenty of resources for online mental health evaluation, some of which are entirely free and don’t require you to go anywhere. Just answer a few questions. Your kids deserve you at your best and you deserve to feel like the happiest and healthiest version of yourself.

Try working some of these self-care strategies for parents into your daily routine to keep yourself and your kids happy and healthy.

There is no more noble calling than becoming a parent but just because it’s noble doesn’t mean it’s easy. When you become a parent, you learn to make sacrifices but it’s important to find the balance between prioritizing your kids and losing yourself. 

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5 Essential Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

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Every parent’s priority is to ensure their kids are safe wherever they go – and that includes keeping your kids safe online. This can seem like a daunting task.

But it is an essential challenge to manage, with 25% of kids aged six and under and 95% of teens owning a mobile device!

As we all know, the internet can be a dangerous place and with such wide access, it is the parents’ job to assure safety for kids on the internet

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to increase your kids’ safety on the internet. Here go our top 5 tips for keeping your kids safe online!

1. Start discussing kids safety online as early as possible

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As soon as your children encounter the internet – which at first should be via a parent’s device and, of course, supervised – begin the conversation about online safety with your little ones.

You can explain the need to be careful when using devices connected to the internet, in the same way, that you teach children to be careful when crossing roads in real life.

Start with simple safety concepts – like not talking to strangers, just like in real life –  and you can move on through the trickier stuff as they get older.

2. Keep the conversation open and understand what your kids are doing - and why!

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Once your kids are using devices more independently, be sure to sit down with them frequently to discuss e-safety. Crucially, listen to them!

You should allow them to explain to you what they are doing, so you can understand their point of view and their motives. Articulating what they are up to will also help kids consider their actions online more carefully.

Entering their world will enable you to handle any risky behaviour in a non-confrontational and constructive way – which leads neatly on to the next tip.

3. Don’t ban your kids from doing things you don’t like

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Banning things that you are not comfortable with is not always the best solution. Indeed, it can often make it even more tempting for a child to explore the forbidden fruit!

Instead, you must make your son or daughter understand why a certain behaviour or website makes you uncomfortable. 

In this way, you build a relationship on trust rather than fear. Make sure they know that when they are old enough, they will be able to use the internet as they please, but that as a parent, it’s your role to ensure kids are safe on the internet.

4. Know which apps your kids use - and choose wisely

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As noted in Tip 2, it is essential to listen to your kids and learn from them how they are using their devices and the internet.

You and your child can decide together on which apps they have access to. Of course, your job as a responsible parent is to make sure these decisions are wise.

This can be challenging, as kids will naturally want to use certain apps – social media, for example – before they are ready to do so. Again, your trust-based relationship on the topic of the internet and devices is crucial.

Fortunately, there are lots of safe apps for all sorts of things and for all age groups. We at Magikbee built our own – KidsBeeTV, the safe, educational and fun video app for kids. That would be a great option for a child who loves watching videos.

5. Spend time together offline!

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It might sound obvious, but it is still a crucial bit of advice: spend time offline with your kids. Play board games, go to the park or bake cakes together. There are thousands of 100% offline activities that you can enjoy with your children.

These activities are good for your kids – and good for you! Even light exercise, like a gentle bike ride, is great for your health.

Meanwhile, teaching your child to enjoy real-life activities from an early age will help them understand the need for balance between time spent across the online and offline worlds. And they’ll also discover wholesome, healthy hobbies to enjoy for their whole lives!

There you have it! Our top five tips for keeping your kids safe online. Stay safe guys!

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