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This is how art benefits your children

Many parents expose their children to art because they feel it’s a good way to keep their kids engaged and it helps them pass time. What they don’t know is that art actually has some really good benefits to a child as they are growing up.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of art on children.

Art helps in developing patience and determination

The thing about art whether its music, dancing, drawing, painting or any other form of art is that it requires plenty of practice before you can get good at it. Children who are exposed to art quickly learn that you must put in consistent effort in order to get back positive results. Ultimately this helps the children in developing patience and determination which are very good qualities in today’s world.

Art helps in developing problem solving skills

In most cases, art involves taking an abstract concept and turning it into a piece of art that is appreciated by many. Whether it’s stringing a couple of words to make a song, or using different keys on a keyboard to come up with a melody, it’s essentially a problem that is being solved. These problem solving abilities can then be used in other aspects of the child’s life especially in their future career.

Art helps in promoting creativity

The beauty about art is that it helps the artist to express how they view the world. Artistes have been known to use paintings, music, sculptures, and many other art forms to creatively pass impactful communication to their audiences, and some of these art pieces have gone on to transcend history. Encouraging children to learn art from a very young age will help in enhancing their creativity which will come in handy in their future life.

Art helps in developing self-confidence

Evidence shows that most children who take part in performance art such as drama, music, poetry, and so on that require them to perform in front of an audience develop self-confidence much faster than those who don’t take part in these art forms. This ability to overcome stage fright comes in handy when a child is growing up and this confidence will be of tremendous benefit in their day to day life both personal and professional.

Art helps in promoting team work

Many art forms will require collaboration whether it’s a play on the theater, a choir, or any other form of art that requires two or more people to work together. Collaboration will help children realize that working together tends to produce really good results and this will encourage them to always look forward to team work. This is a quality that will benefit them in the course of their personal and professional life.

Art has proven to be an essential component of a child’s development therefore parents and teachers are therefore encouraged not to limit children in terms of the arts they want to engage in and instead provide a conducive environment for children to explore and nurture their artistic skills.

Here are 5 health benefits of playing video games

The increasing popularity of video games has left many parents worried that they in some way will affect their kids especially their ability to develop social skills as well as participate in other outdoor activities such as sports. This however is a misconception as recent research indicates that games actually have very good benefits to a child’s development especially their cognitive development.

Here are 5 health benefits that children get from playing video games.

They help in improving coordination

Video games of today are very interactive and immersive therefore they engage different sections of a child’s brain simultaneously. Most games will require children to make use of their audial, visual as well as physical movements simultaneously during game play and this helps to improve their coordination. These are benefits that will come in handy when they take part in outdoor activities such as sports.

They help in improving problem-solving skills

Video games are designed in a way that they provide a problem which the gamer is challenged to solve in order to be able to move to the next level. The game also needs to be played within certain set rules. This essentially means that players have to learn to understand problems and find creative solutions to these problems and this is essentially what gaming is all about. Problem solving skills are very vital in a child’s development and will come in handy in their future.

They help in enhancing memory development

As part of game play, players will always be given a set of rules at the start of the game which they are meant to internalize and memorize because they will require them during game play and it may be the only way for them to progress to the next level. This constant need to memorize and remember these rules helps in enhancing memory development of kids, both their short- term and long-term memories.

Games can be a great learning aid

There are numerous games that have been designed to act as learning aids for children. These games are meant to help improve the child’s cognitive and creative skills as the games help engage and stimulate different sections of their brains. The games range from puzzle to word games, and many more that have tremendous benefits on a child’s development.

They help in improving social skills

Many games today have a component of engaging multiple players on one platform either to collaborate or compete with each other. Such platforms have provided a good avenue for children to develop social skills as they can interact with each other in real time on a personal level. Once these children learn how to develop these relationships online they can easily transfer this knowledge offline.

It’s however important to note that video games should be played in moderation as they have been proven to be very addictive and therefore disruptive to a child’s development. Parents are therefore encouraged to ensure kids engage in video games under their supervision.

Creative tips on how to get your kids eating healthy

Many parents are faced with the age old question of how to make their kids to eat healthy. The desire of any parent is to want their children to willingly prefer healthy food over junk. So what options do parents actually have?

Nutrition experts are of the opinion that parents don’t need to stress themselves up about their children’s eating habits, instead, they need to be innovative and simply find creative ways to get their kids eating right.

Here are a couple of creative tips that actually work wonders.

Start serving dinner for breakfast

Nutritionists believe that breakfast is the most important meal and this applies to kids as well. If you notice that you children are picky eaters during the day, just ensure they eat a healthy breakfast. The best way to do it is making them have their dinner during breakfast. It’s very much okay for your kids to have the leftover chicken, veggies and rice as their breakfast, and pancakes for their dinner. Switching things up will get them eating. Just ensure it’s nutritious.

Junk is actually not so bad

The thing about junk food is that the more parents tell their kids not to eat it, the more attractive it becomes. The idea is for parents to mix junk with some healthy meal choices so as to make them more attractive. For instance offering chips and a good salad choice, or pizza, or chocolate milk is perfectly ok. It’s junk but it contains some significant nutritional benefits.

Involve your kids in the food preparation

Every once in a while let your children join you in the kitchen and even let them pick out the menu. The thing is your kids will be more inclined to eating if they actually took part in the cooking process. It gives them some sense of accomplishment eating what they played a hand in cooking. It may be a lot of work but it will get your kids eating healthy. Make it a family tradition to once or twice in a week the kids pick out an interesting meal from a cook book and you work together in preparing it.

Incorporate more sauces

It’s always fun when you dip your food in some type of sauce or even mix this sauce into your food. Even though your kids may not like the taste of the food, adding some sauce that they like may improve the taste of the food and encourage them to eat more. Learn to make sauces form things the kids like such as yogurt, hummus, ketchup, maple syrup, and gravy among other sauces. With time, your kids will get used to food they previously disliked.

Getting your kids to learn to eat healthy is actually not rocket science and you are likely to achieve more by being creative and making some compromises as opposed to forcing them. Try these creative ideas and we can guarantee you an improvement in their eating habits.

Here are 4 healthy foods that your kids will definitely enjoy

Preparing healthy meals has never really been a problem, the challenge is always on how to get kids to willingly eat these meals and appreciate the value of eating healthy. This is a challenge that many parents go to on a daily basis and has become some sort of a routine. Well, we have some good news for you parents. There are healthy foods that your kids will actually enjoy.

Here is a list of 4 healthy foods that your kids will definitely enjoy.

Incorporate flaxseed in pastries

Flaxseed is very rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient that has been proven to enhance brain development in children. Research indicates that flaxseed is absorbed into the body faster when it’s ground therefore you can opt to sprinkle some on your kids cereal during breakfast, or even add it to the flour when preparing pastries that your kids enjoy to snack on such as cake, waffles, bread, muffin  or pancake.

Incorporate sweet potatoes in meals

The beauty about sweet potatoes is that they are highly nutritious, naturally sweet, yet very inexpensive.  You can experiment with preparing it in different ways such as baking them and topping with other flavors such as cinnamon, yogurt or any other, you can also boil and mash it, and serve with some meat and stew, and many more, the options are limitless. Just ensure to keep it exciting for the kids.

Incorporate hummus in your meals

Many don’t know that hummus is made from beans so be sure to keep this secret. Hummus is a very healthy dip that kids actually enjoy and is rich in various nutrients such as fiber, protein and complex carbs. In addition to other ingredients such as olive oil which is very healthy, hummus is a very healthy food for kids and the fun part is that they will eat it willingly. Incorporate it in their meals such as sandwiches, wraps and as a dip for their chips.

You can’t go wrong with salmon

Salmon is very rich in high-quality protein as well as Omega-3 fatty acids which are very essential for the growth and development of children. The beauty about salmon is that there are very many creative ways you can prepare it and make it interesting for kids such as baking or grilling, and its natural flavor means you don’t have to worry about seasoning. There are very many simple recipes available that you can experiment with.

Be sure to try these simple yet healthy meals that we guarantee you your kids will enjoy and will keep demanding that you prepare.

5 ways to encourage your kids to be physically active

In our previous article we mentioned that recent statistics have indicated that about 1 in 3 children in the United States of America are either overweight or obese, and this has been blamed on the fact that children are becoming less and less active. Case in point, children in America spend on average 7 hours every day either watching TV, on their computers, phones or other electronic devices. Further statistics indicate that less than 50 per cent of a child’s time will be spent in extracurricular activities such as sports or other physical activities that are likely to improve their health.

There is therefore an urgent need for parents to start encouraging their children to start taking part in physical activities to ensure they stay healthy.

Below we look at 5 ways to encourage your kids to be physically active.

Make it fun

It’s important for parents to identify fun activities that will encourage their kids to be active because if they enjoy it they will want to do it. These could be recreational cum sports activities that the kids enjoy such as swimming, skiing, and other sports activities especially those that the entire family can get involved in as part of family time.

Consult your child’s doctor

It’s important to have a conversation with your doctor and identify physical activities that may be of benefit to your kids. Because doctors have more experience with such matters, they may be better placed to offer good suggestions that will benefit your kids.

Ensure there is a safe environment

Physical activities have been known to result in injuries and this may discourage children to participate in them. It’s therefore important for parents to provide a safe environment where children can take part in such activities. This will include ensuring the kids have the right protective equipment that is both comfortable and appropriate for the activity.

Make their toys active

The moment parents start buying toys for their kids, they need to ensure that they provide toys that will keep the kids active. These will include toys such as jump ropes, balls, bicycles, and any other toy that can be considered an active toy.

Lead by example

It’s very important for parents to lead by example therefore they need to be very good role models for their children. If you are a physically active parent who regularly enjoys exercising, chances are high that your kids will take up after you. It may even be fun asking them to join you in your morning run.

As you encourage your kids to embrace physical activity, you must remember that it goes hand in hand with a proper diet therefore ensure you balance both. Nutritionist will let you know that the foundation for a healthy life and active life will always start with proper nutrition. Be sure to find solutions that are customized to suit the needs of your children.

The top 8 reasons why children should exercise

Recent statistics have indicated that about 1 in 3 children in the United States of America between the ages of 10 and 17 years are either overweight or obese, and this has been blamed on the fact that children are becoming less and less active. Plenty of time has been allocated to technology, academics and other activities at the expense of physical activities.

What many parents as well as teachers fail to acknowledge in spite of evidence based research is that physical activity is just as important any even be more important than these other activities and therefore it needs to be prioritized.

Below are the top 8 reasons why children should be allocated time for exercise.

1 Statistics indicate that children who are involved in physical activities for at least one hour everyday record a lower rate of obesity.

2 Studies have shown that children who are involved in physical activities everyday record higher test scores is school especially in English and Math.

3 Studies on child development have shown that the development of the body and brain always go hand-in-hand and is most important when children are at a young age. During this period it’s very critical for a child to be active because it boosts brain as well as development of the physical body.

4 When kids are involved in physical activities especially those that engage multiple senses simultaneously such as sight, touch, sound and many more, it boosts their brain development and gives them a wide array of skills that will benefit them tremendously later in life.

5 Studies have shown that when kids are exposed to aerobic activities from an early age it helps to increase the number of neural connections as well as the size of essential brain structures.

6 Studies have indicated that children who are involved in frequent physical activities demonstrate improved emotional responses because physical exercise involves a high degree of coordination and balance and this plays a direct role in emotional response.

7 Studies have shown that exercising frequently will decrease depression and anxiety and this is very important for the health of a child as they are growing.

8 Exercising regularly will help boost a child’s self-image and self-confidence and this is very crucial as a child is growing up.

This by any chance does not mean that kids should be kept away from technology, academics, or other activities so that they can exercise but rather a balance needs to be found between their day to day non-physical activities and the physical activities. This is the only way children will be able to live much healthier lives.

These are the recommended fitness exercises for kids by age group

Health and wellness experts are of the opinion that children should be exposed to exercise as early as possible so that they can enjoy the many physical and cognitive benefits that come with exercising. The only caveat is that the exercises they are involved in should be age appropriate. At a minimum, it’s recommended that children should have at least an hour of physical activity every day.

These are the recommended fitness exercises for kids by their age group.

Kids at age 5 and below

At this age, any physical activity that kids are exposed to should be purely about play. It’s very much okay to expose kids to sports activities like basketball, soccer, swimming and ensure they know they are playing for fun and not for competition. At this age they are still working on their coordination skills therefore such exercises will help them develop them faster.

Kids between ages 6 and 8

At this age, kids have developed significant coordination skills therefore in addition to swimming, soccer and basketball, you can introduce them to baseball, gymnastics, bicycles, and other athletic activities. The earlier they start playing diverse sports the earlier you will be able to identify where their talents lie at the same time ensuring their overall healthy development.

Kids between ages 9 and 11

At this age, kids have much better coordination including hand-eye coordination and this means you can enhance the competitiveness in the games they participate in. Just ensure you don’t put so much pressure on them to win. At this age, you should be open to letting your child participate in any type of exercise they want, just facilitate their safety.

Kids between ages 12 and 14

At this point, kids are approaching their adolescent age therefore they are likely to lose interest in structured sports but this will mainly depend on their level of passion for the different sports that they were exposed to. At this age it’s okay to introduce your child to exercise related to body and muscle strength, just keep in mind that they should only start lifting weights once they hit puberty. It’s important to at this point start educating them on health benefits of different exercises and the pros and cons of each. They are now old enough to be able to make decisions therefore they need sufficient information so as to be able to make informed choices.

Kids at age 15 and above

At this age it’s advisable to enroll them in a professional weight training class that’s if they don’t participate in any sports. If they are active in sports, this will form part of their training regimen. Injuries are common at this stage as the kids experiment with different sports and other extreme events such as triathlons and decathlons.

It’s important for parents to ensure they support their kids at every stage of the process and always encourage them and ensure they have all safety equipment that is required to participate in their sports of choice. The better the fitness habits formed as a child is growing up, the more active they will be later in life.

3 ways to protect your child during the flu season

There is no time that parents dread like the flu season. The moment one of your kids catches it you can be guaranteed that the rest of the kids will catch it and finally the parents will catch it. Generally, eating healthy is the first defense against the flu because it helps strengthen the body’s immunity but there are other measures you can put in place to protect your kids.

Here are 3 ways to protect your child during flu season.

Ensure your kids stay healthy

The best prevention for the flu is staying healthy through good nutrition, sufficient rest and enough exercise. These will help strengthen your kid’s immune system to enable it fend off any potential illnesses. Most importantly, ensure your kids consume sufficient fruits as they are rich in much needed vitamins that will give a much needed boost to their body’s immune system.

Ensure you child gets the right flu vaccine

Vaccines have been proven to be around 62 per cent effective in protecting children from flu. This means that in addition to proper diet it can be a very effective way of keeping your child flu-free this season. Therefore visit your doctor and find out which flu shot is available for this season and have it administered to your child as soon as possible.

Nurture good coughing etiquette

Studies have shown that the flu germs can spread as far as 6 feet when a person coughs or sneezes. It’s therefore important to nurture good coughing and sneezing etiquette by teaching your kids to cover their mouth as well as nose when they sneeze or cough and ensure they clean their hands afterwards. This will prevent them from spreading the flu to others if they catch it.

With these measures in place you can guarantee yourself a flu-free home during the coming flu season.

The 3 most common childhood illnesses

There are common illnesses that children are prone to because their immune systems are usually still developing therefore is not strong enough to fend off these illnesses. It’s therefore upon parents to make it a point to learn about such illnesses so that they are better prepared to prevent their children from contracting them and if they do contract them, ensure their children get the proper treatment and care to ensure speedy recovery.

Below are the 3 most common childhood illnesses.

#1 The common cold

Most children will contract the common cold at least five times in a year. Its symptoms usually include headaches, sore throat, mild fever, loss of appetite, and a blocked or runny nose. The common cold will mostly clear out on its own but a parent is free to use supplements that contain vitamin c, added zinc, and Echinacea which have proven their ability to shorten the duration of the illness.

#2 Chickenpox

Chickenpox is a contagious illness that spreads from one child to another and results in an itchy rash and red spots forming all over the child’s body as well as fever, cough, headache and a sore throat. Usually, these symptoms will develop roughly 14 to 16 days after the child is exposed to the virus. The child stops being contagious 10 days after the first symptoms have presented. During the period the child is ill, it’s advisable to feed them plenty of vitamins.

#3 Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is commonly referred to as pinkeye and is basically an inflammation of the conjunctiva that is caused by many of the same viruses and bacteria that are responsible for colds. It’s a highly contagious illness and that’s why it’s very common in children. Parents are encouraged to feed their kids plenty of vitamins as they are very helpful in the treatment of conjunctivitis.

All of these 3 illnesses are not life threatening and are easily treatable and will mostly be out of the child’s system in a couple of days.