Improve your childs listening skills

Improved listening skills can give children a real head start

As a parent it is very easy to get frustrated because you feel your child is not listening. Sometimes the reason for the childs none compliance is rather straightforward, they are more interested in what they are watching on television or playing on their games console. Of course other factors can also affect your childs ability to listen, such as how long they have already had to concentrate for and the environment they are in at that particular time. As a parent there are certain strategies that you can adopt to increase your childs ability to listen in all circumstances.

First of all, find your local YogaBugs class. YogaBugs sessions are especially designed to develop childrens listening skills. YogaBugs teaches children to concentrate for longer periods of time and actively encourages compliance with spoken instructions. Of course for the children they are simply having loads of fun going on a wild adventure using adapted yoga poses.

There are also lots of strategies you utilise at home to help develop your childs listening skills.

Always give lots of praise for good listening – Children love positive reinforcement. If they learn they can win your approval simply by listening then you will find them more willing to be compliant.

Make eye contact – Even though you are busy, if it is important that your child listens to you then you need to demonstrate this importance. Try and avoid talking to them across the other side of the room while you are focussed on a a different task. Stop what you are doing and ensure you have made eye contact. This will help them to engage better with what you are saying.

Be specific when giving instructions – Give your child the best possible chance of understanding by being clear with your instructions. Make clear the behaviour you want from your child and the time frame you want it in.

There is no silver bullet to developing your childs listening skills but if you take this 360 degree approach then over time you will without doubt see huge improvements.

ACROSS-THE-UK

New Statistics report over half of children are not getting enough exercise!

 

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New Statistics from the BBC reported that half of the UKs young children are not getting enough exercise!

The University of London monitored 6,500 children in order to find out how active children in this country really are and shockingly 51% of children are still not getting the recommend one hour of physical exercise each day.

These statistics suggested that 38% of these were girls compared to 63% for boys.

Here at YogaBugs our aim is to introduce and encourage children from the moment they can start walking to get active through our unique yoga inspired classes.

Its not just about yoga!

We pride ourselves on helping to educate children along with their parents/carers into the importance of living a healthy lifestyle – eating right and getting enough exercise, no matter how old they are. We offer diet and nutritional information to our parents along with classes that can be done together at home click here to view a sample.

Researchers from UCL suggested in their study that it is vital to make sport and other activities more attractive to children, in particular girls.

And thats the beauty of YogaBugs; our classes bring stories to life through specially developed moves inspired by yoga. Combining fun with exercise, children from a young age go on wild adventures where they may roar like a lion, fly like a bird or blast into outer space!

Our unique yoga programmes are suitable for children from walking age – 12 years, encouraging both girls and boys to participate together. Our classes help increase children’s confidence and concentration by encouraging them to be vocal during classes, by expressing their emotions physically and through specially developed yoga-inspired moves that help children to focus.

All children can do YogaBugs to their own ability, they don’t need to be fast, have good hand to eye co-ordination or to be physically fit, all they need is bags full of energy and imagination.

Dr John Middleton Faculty of Public Health said;

“We need our children to grow up to be fit and healthy adults, not just because it’s what any civilised society would want for its children, but it’s also best for our economy too”.

 

Prof Carol Dezateux, one of the lead authors of the research then went on to say;

“There is a big yawning gap between girls and boys. We need to really think about how we are reaching out to girls. Our findings are particularly worrying as seven-year-olds are likely to become less active as they get older, not more, no matter what gender.”

The research then went on to explain in order for children to achieve the one hour a day that is recommended, children need to take part in moderate or vigorous activities, which could include anything from brisk walking and cycling to playing football or rugby and running.

This is where YogaBugs is making a difference!

Our yoga programmes have been developed with the help of yoga professionals and individuals experienced with working with children, to help instil a love of exercise from a young age with a big emphasis on the children having fun in a YogaBugs class, as well as getting them active at the same time.

The UCL research is not the first to suggest that children of this generation are not active enough. Previous studies have relied on self-reporting by children or parents/carers estimating the levels of exercise which is not precise. Whereas this research by UCL involved real-time monitoring of the children as they wore and accelerometer to measure the exercise levels, this was attached to an elastic belt around their waist.

Dr Ann Hoskins, of the Public Health England added;

“This study highlights that there is still much to do to keep children and young adults active as they grow older.”

 

At YogaBugs we couldn’t agree more and as a company we are actively seeking individuals who are passionate about yoga and want to help us get kids active, to join our network of talented franchises.

For information about local classes and franchising opportunities visit our website www.yogabugs.com

For a sample of our classes please click here:

 

Sources from: www.bbc.co.uk/news

Written by: Amy Burge

Summer fun with a sparkly explosion

Hi folks,
Amy here I am writing the blog today, with the kids breaking up from school this week, sometimes finding fun and imaginative things to do can be a hassle. That’s where I come in to help!

My Niece Olivia has been asking and asking to do some fun science experiments that sparkle and explode. Which I don’t mind as who doesn’t want to make things explode, takes me back to when I was at school in science class, hiding behind the desk while my science teach put mentos into a Pepsi bottle and watched it bounce around the room. But don’t worry this little experiment isn’t as messy! I hope you have as much fun as we did!

Supplies you need for a sparkly explosion.

  •  Vase
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  •  Food colouring (we used red to make it look like an explosion)
  • Glitter (we used blue to make it stand out from the red)
  •  Pan or box to contain the mess
  • Other supplies (look at step 4)

The 4 easy steps

  1. Place 2-3 tablespoons baking soda in the bottom of the vase and then place the vase in the pan/box.
  2. Add 6-7 drops of food colouring and 1-2 teaspoons of glitter (colour of your choice).
  3. Quickly pour in half a cup of vinegar and watch out for the sparkles!
  4. When all the action is over, why not repeat the experiment but this time let your child choose what to add. What does pepper look like in an explosion instead of glitter? Does adding salt change anything? Let your child or sibling change the variables and before you add the vinegar to make it explode, why not predict what will happen and see if anyone guesses right!

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Enjoy watching your little ones faces when they see the explosion, they will be sure to want to do it again and will keep them occupied.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog, stay tuned for another great idea to do with your kids over the summer term.

We also have our own Pinterest page, which is full of more great ideas. Also please don’t forget to support us by liking and sharing our page on www.facebook.com/yogabugs

Kids eating healthy

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Fast food is a big part of modern life these days, making it incredibly hard to teach a child how they should eat healthy. The cheapest and easiest foods are those that are normally the least healthy for us.  If you give your child the choice between healthy food and junk food, you are more than likely not like the results.

Even though it isn’t possible to get a child to like all healthy foods, there are some ways to get your child/children to try and hopefully like at least a few of them. Allowing you can be as creative as you like, getting kids to eat healthy foods can be a little harder than people think.

Here are some great ideas to make eating healthy fun for your child/children.

  • Sneak the healthy food in.  Even though it would be great if your child to understood the importance of fruits and vegetables, this isn’t always the case. If you can’t get them to eat good food willingly, there are ways to sneak them in, such as making
    muffins out of bananas or apples, or pizza with spinach on it, or blending vegetables into mash potato.
  • Call fruits and vegetables by funny names.  You can refer to broccoli as “trees”, making them more fun to eat. There are many different names you can call fruits and vegetables, even making up your own if you prefer. Majority of children prefer to eat foods that sound fun.
  • Try to make the foods taste better. Ranch dressing is great for broccoli, while peanut butter is a great topping for celery. There are several combinations for vegetables that can make them taste much better for children. You can let your child pick a topping for a vegetable; even if it’s something you wouldn’t normally like yourself, they will think this is fun and will make them want to taste it as they have chosen what to out onto it.
  • Dress the vegetables and fruit up.  Just as much as calling them names help children eat healthy foods, making them look funny also helps. You can do this by making funny designs on the plate, or setting them up to look like people.

For example you could draw a funny face onto a banana skin and call the banana ‘Barry the banana’. Although some parents don’t like their children playing with their food, sometimes it helps to get them to eat healthier.

There are several ways to make your kids eat healthier, but in order for them to enjoy it also has to be fun as well, this means the parents interacting with them and making it fun.

Getting children to eat healthy isn’t always an easy task, because children usually don’t like foods that are good for them. It can however, be done with a bit of creativity and fun. Hopefully, doing this will help your child develop a love of healthy foods for the rest of their lives.

 

5 A DAY and your family

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Do you cook and shop for a household, including a fussy eater or two?

It’s easier than you might think to ensure everyone gets five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.There are many ways to introduce more fruit and vegetables into your family’s diet. The wider the variety of fruit and vegetables you eat, the better.Dietitian Azmina Govindji gives a few simple tips to get you started.

Think about your day
There are 5 A DAY opportunities throughout your family’s day.

“Not all those opportunities are immediately obvious,” says Govindji. “A cooked breakfast, for example, can give you several portions if you have grilled mushrooms, baked beans, grilled tomatoes and a glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice.”

If you have cereal or porridge for breakfast, add some fruit, such as sliced bananas, strawberries or sultanas.

Govindji highlights some other 5 A DAY opportunities:

  • Morning break at school. All children aged between four and six at Local Education Authority-maintained schools are entitled to one free piece of fruit or vegetable a day, which is usually given out at break time. If your child is older, you could send them to school with a piece of fruit to eat at break time. The School Food Regulations ensure that fruit and/or vegetables are provided at all school food outlets, including breakfast clubs, tuck shops and vending machines.
  • Lunchtime at school. A school lunch provides your child with a portion of fruit and a portion of vegetables. If you give your child a packed lunch, there are many ways to add fruit and vegetables. Dried fruit counts towards their 5 A DAY, so why not try sultanas or dried apricots? Put salad in their sandwiches or give them carrot or celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, satsumas or seedless grapes. A lot of swapping goes on at lunch, so talk to the mums of your child’s friends to see if you can all give your children at least one portion.
  • On the way home from school. At home time, kids are often very hungry. Take this opportunity to give them a fruit or vegetable snack. This could be a small handful of dried fruit, a banana, a pear, clementines or carrot sticks. When they’re really hungry, they’ll try foods they might otherwise refuse.
  • Dinner time. Get into the habit of having two different vegetables on the dinner table. You don’t have to insist that the children eat them, but if Mum and Dad always do, they may end up trying them. Vegetables in dishes such as stews and casseroles also count. When cooking these dishes, avoid adding extra fat, salt and sugar, and use lean cuts of meat.

Get children involved early
Getting your child involved in choosing and preparing fruit and vegetables can encourage them to eat more.

“Familiarise young children with the colours and shapes of fruits and vegetables as early as possible,” says Govindji.

“Each weekly shop, let them choose a fruit or vegetable they’d like to try. Supervise your child in the kitchen while they help you prepare it.”

Present your children with as wide a variety of fruit and vegetables as possible and make eating them a normal part of family life.

“If your children aren’t keen, canned vegetables, such as sweetcorn, lentils and peas, can be a good place to start,” says Govindji.

Disguising vegetables, by grating carrots into bolognese sauce, for example, can also work, but don’t rely solely on this.

“Try not to reinforce the idea that vegetables are unpleasant and always need to be hidden in foods. Instead, have fun together by trying lots of different fruit and veg and finding what your children like.”

Sourced from: www.nhs.uk

Ice Balloons

What a great time to take advantage of our wintry circumstances by getting creative and  having fun, with the bonus of these activities  looking great too.  Enter the ice balloons! I spotted these on Pinterest a while back when there was defiantly no sign of snow, so I’m excited about getting to make these now (even if the snow only lasts for a few days).

All you need to do is fill balloons with water and food colouring, then freeze them, is a great activity.  Put a dot of food colouring in each of six balloons, filled with them with water and tied them. We simply placed them outside in the snow and waited. Once frozen, the balloons easily popped and slid away, leaving vibrantly coloured balls of ice. The artist in me can’t get enough of these and we will definitely be making more!

If you’re mess-conscious, just be warned that your fingers & sink will end up multicoloured, but it came off the sink easily and after bathing the girls they were only slightly reddish-blue. :) You may want to wear gloves and dark clothes or ones you don’t mind getting stained.

To avoid a balloon falling and spraying everywhere—including walls! —don’t fill up too much, tie very carefully and then place gently in a tray. Although there’s a potential of literally leaving a mark with this project, I still think it is well worth the effort because they are so beautiful and your children will LOVE them. An easier and less risky alternative is to fill plastic containers with coloured water. As long as it’s cold outside, these can add some much-needed colour to the rest of your winter. Enjoy!

If you do make these, please send us some photos I’d love to see the results. Also if you have any wonderful snow ideas of your own, please share.

Ideas for encouraging kids to read

Hi folks,
Claire here I am writing the blog today, I have worked for YogaBugs for over a year now, I am a Primary School teacher with over ten years experience and I also managed a Children’s Centre. I am also more importantly a mother of two very active and energetic boys, one 6 and one 3 years old.

I wanted to write about something that as a mum and a teacher I can sometimes find frustrating. I struggle sometimes with being enthusiastic when it comes to reading the school book every night (let’s face it, they are written for learning purposes not entertainment value) or getting my boys to turn off the telly, game console etc. and come and read a book.

We are all aware of the importance of reading and how when a child does engage, it is a magical moment to see them so emerged in a story and become so excited that they can’t wait to read more (and if like my 3 year old, turns the page before you have finish), but how do we get that to happen on a regular basis and make it part of our everyday life?

I have put together some ideas and tricks for you that I have learnt over that last 12 years, when trying to convince children that reading is the best fun ever. I hope you find it interesting and more importantly useful. I would love to hear your feedback and, also as I image many of you will have your own great ideas that you have tried and tested.

Make it a Game or a Challenge; try some positive reinforcement to kick-start the reading process. Make a list of five or ten books you and your kids can read at the same time, and create a chart to keep track of how far you’re both getting. Whether it’s two pages or 200, any progress is progress worth noting. You’re a reader, too, so make time for some reading of your own! We all know how much children love to repeat the things adults say and do, and if your kids see that you’re interested in your own book, they’ll be quick to follow suit.

What Gets your Child Excited? The incentive to read is different for every child. For anyone to be motivated to do anything, they have to believe two things: (1) They have to believe they can do it, and (2) they have to want to do it. Some kids may be motivated by a sticker on the chart, while others may need the promise of a more tangible prize, like a trip to the community pool or zoo, a trip to the book store to buy a book of their choice, to catch their attention. However, Thom Barthelmess, president of the Association of Library Service to Children, cautions parents against promising TV time in exchange for reading. “Kids are smart and they’re paying attention, and the message we want to give them is that reading is its own reward. When we [offer TV as a reward for reading], we show them that reading is what you do to get something really valuable, like watch TV,” Thom says.

Dinosaur Books vs. the Remote Be sure that your kids’ books are easy to access within your home. By making kids’ books more available than the remote, you’ll encourage them to turn a page rather than turn on the TV. Do you have a box that can be left in the living room will a few selected books? Spice racks (wooden shelf types, IKEA sell them for something silly like £1.99) are great and easy to put up, fix them low so that your kids access them at any time, you’ll be amazed at how much they will use this book rack.

With emerging readers—little ones who aren’t yet reading on their own, it’s especially important to be conscious of the emphasis you place on literacy. Young children are incredibly excited to learn how to read because it moves them up that ladder to being a big kid, so use this excitement to get them looking at books and telling you the story (even if it is nothing like the story).

Reading on the road Reception teacher Nancy Singer finds that the best time to practice early reading skills is when you’re in the car. After all, she says, you’ll have a captive audience! “Parents are so busy. There just isn’t a lot of extra time anymore. But everyone’s in the car, whether it is school runs, shopping, activities etc, we all spend time with our children in the car,” Nancy says.

Look for environmental print, words you see all around you on buildings and street signs. When you drive by a restaurant or store, call out the letters. When you roll up to a stop sign, say “Stop! S-T-O-P spells stop.” “Who can spot the Tesco sign?” Nancy says efforts like this help your kids make the connection between letters, sounds and reading.

Lighten Up Help your kids realise that reading lends itself to more than just books. Encourage them to get their hands on everything they can, including comics, game directions, cereal boxes and kid-friendly websites. “Even having them go online and search for things—it’s still reading. It’s still having them comprehend and synthesize the information from what they’ve read. This also highlights to them, just how important reading is. Just as you’d curl up with your favourite magazine, there are publications geared toward kids, as well. It can sometimes be more difficult to interest boys in reading than girls. Boys, typically aren’t interested in narratives, and most of the books available for younger kids are just that. This is no excuse to let your sons off the hook. For a lot of boys, it might Sports Illustrated, there are some good magazines and comics available now, that are designed to grab boys interest, but it doesn’t matter what they read as long as they read

Reading and writing go hand in hand at the early stages of literacy. Letting little boys write about topics they’re interested it is more productive than say, asking them to journal about their favourite memory.

Time to Read Out Loud When making dinner ask your child to sit in the kitchen with you and read to you, as for most parents/carers time is something we would all like more of, ask them to help you read the recipe that you are following. I often make mistakes when I’m reading, my son loves correcting me and it also shows them that we all make mistake and reading takes practice.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving For birthdays and holidays, give your children books, just as you would a toy. Everything is more exciting dressed in wrapping paper and a bow. Thom says, from a parenting perspective, it’s as crucial to show children the importance of reading as it is to tell them. “One way to show them is by making a book into a gift, which they already know is something of great value,” he says. “We know kids having access to things to read is critically important to kids loving [reading]. Surround them.”

The more enthusiasm you show about the book, the more they’ll appreciate the gift they’ve received. Think about the stories you loved as a child. Write a personal note on the inside cover so your children understand how much this book means to you. If you cherish it, they probably will too.

And when your kids do receive a book as a gift, keep the book in a special place. Especially at a young age, kids are interested in anything—and everything—that belongs to them alone. I have a few books that I keep for special reading time together and not one that they can have all the time and handle, my little loves these and always gets excited when I ask if he would like to read one of them- (It’s the Jolly Postman at the moment).
Slow and Steady Wins the Race All children learn to read at a different pace. Instead of asking your little ones to finish a certain number of pages, look at the picture, discuss favourite parts. It doesn’t matter what page they start on it’s the reading that is important.

As a parent or anyone who is around young children, you’ve probably noticed that many love to “read” their favourite books over and over again, essentially reciting the stories from memory. (If I have to read Mr Tickle again I may go insane!)  As boring as this may be for us, this is actually an important early step in the reading process. Children learn sounds before they learn the letters that represent those sounds.

It’s counter-intuitive to us, as adults, because we associate the letter with the sound, but children learn that in the reverse order, you know for sure they’re beginning to understand and learn words when they read the same or similar words in a different context. They’re beginning to understand if they can take those skills and transfer them to a different book that they haven’t read before.”

The Monster under the Bed Leave your kids’ books next to their beds. If you encourage them to read for a few minutes each night, they’ll be polishing off books in no time. My three year who cannot read yet, insists that I leave one or two books with him, and I love to listen (outside the door) to his interpretation of the book.
Night time reading with your kids is a necessary activity (and should be an enjoyable one) this is a nice idea that can help this, create an “under the bed box.”

Take a shoe box and wrap it up with colourful paper and ribbon; make it special, and keep it in under your child’s bed. When she receives a book as a gift or brings one home from school, add it to the box and let her know she doesn’t have to share any of those specific books with her siblings or friends. At night, before your children go to sleep, go under the bed and pick out a book to read.

An Adventure of Its Own To kids of all ages, there’s nothing like a good adventure. Turn a trip to your library or local bookstore into an anticipated event, and you never know your little ones might even beat you to the car.

Help your kids sign up for a library card. Not only will they feel more grown up, but they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and possession over their reading abilities. If, early on, you can instil in your children the value of print, they’ll carry it with them for years to come.

Choose a book for yourself while your kids make their own decision. If it is a first time visit, it make take a while, let them roam around and explore, show them where their sections are and guide their choice but ultimately give them the final choice. They may want a great big catalogue of fiction, and seemingly random books, they may just want to read about this one animal and then go back 30 pages and read about another animal, this is ok and should be encouraged.

I hope you have enjoyed this tips and that you find them useful, let’s get our children reading more.

We also have our own Pinterest page, which is full of more great ideas. Also please don’t forget to support us by liking and sharing our page on facebook/YogaBugs.

 

 

Helpful Information about Nutrition for Children

As parents we want the best for their kids, but we know it can get confusing with the
foods we should make sure they are eating for a healthy diet. So, to help you we
have put together some useful information about nutrition for children.

 For a child’s body to function in a healthy manner it requires basic nutrients on a daily basis.

Carbohydrates: These are the major sources of energy for the body.
Carbohydrates are divided into two groups;

Complex Carbohydrates: These are naturally starchy foods such as potatoes, rice, bread, pasta and vegetables.

Simple Carbohydrates: These include sugary foods, e.g. Cakes, biscuits and chocolate as well as processed foods containing a lot of salt.

Fibre:

Is also found in carbohydrates e.g. fruit, vegetables, grains and is not used for energy but for a healthy bowel.

Proteins:

These play an important part in the structure and function of all cells in the body. Protein deficiency can  cause retardation in children.

Protein – rich food include animals sources (complete) e.g. meat, fish, milk and vegetable sources (incomplete) e.g. pulses, nuts and grains.

Fats:

Fat in its true sense provides energy, heat insulation, cushioning and buoyancy to the body.  Because of association of high fat diets with obesity and heart disease it is generally recommended that fat should contribute to less than 35% of the total calorific intake.

Fats are the source of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.  Animal sources
include butter, lard, fat, milk, fish oil and vegetable sources include vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.  Foods high in saturated fat include all dairy products such as cheese and butter.

Vitamins and Minerals:

These are required by the body in minute amounts and are required for good health and growth.  Each vitamin and mineral has a specific function and one cannot be substituted for another.  Many vitamins and minerals are needed to form a balanced diet as they play a vital role in a number of activities including regulating the heart rate, bone formation, digestion and nerve and muscle activity. Vitamins and minerals come
in a variety of sources and are found in all of the above food groups especially in fruit and vegetables.

Water:

The importance of fluid intake is of paramount importance in children as it is responsible for their temperature control, chemical reactions and therefore normal function. This is an essential nutrient, vital for the maintenance of life. General recommendations are to drink at least 8 cups of water per day.
Water can be found in fluid form in fruit and vegetables.