3 Fun & Easy Autumn Activities for You and Your Kids

Autumn and Halloween Naomi Mc Laughlan1. Autumn Treasure Hunt

Autumn Treasure Hunt Naomi Mc Laughlan

Why not explore your neighborhood, local park, the woodlands or the beach (depending on where you live) and get your kids to notice the little changes autumn has to offer?

We currently live close to the beach, but also have woods nearby, hence we went on a daily explorer walk over the past week and collected all sorts of items, and then decided to decorated the house with our treasures.


2. Autumn Window Decor

PHEA Autumn Leaves Project 2017

1. Collect leaves – This was most fun for my youngest, almost like an Easter Egg Hunt 

2. Measure your window(s)

3. Roll out clingfilm based on your measurements (do not cut it off the roll yet) and spread out the leaves. Then cover once more with clingfilm and cut. Decorate your windows and secure it with sellotape.

 


3. Crayon Candles ( Up-cycled Nutella Glass Cups & Old Crayons)

 

Candle Making with Naomi Mc Laughlan

My kids looove Nutella, hence we have several dozens of glass cups, which we usually clean and use as kids drinking cups. However, after a big drawer clean up I collected a huge pile of crayons and thought I try out something I have seen on the web before. You also need candle wicks, which you can order online for only a few bucks or get from your local art store.

  1. Take of all paper of the crayons
  2. Choose your colors
  3. Melt one crayon and secure the wick on the bottom, middle of your glass
  4. Melt the rest of your crayons, color by color and slowly add to the glass (careful, as the wax is extremely hot! Children should be supervised at all times during this activity)

There are two ways of melting the wax; 1. You can use a microwave safe container and melt it in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time until, stir and repeat until everything is fully melted or 2. You can use a water bath on the stove.

Let me know what you think!

All the Best,

Naomi xxx

 

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Child Centered Parenting versus Parent Centered Parenting

Proud Mommy Moment Naomi Mc Laughlan 14 June 2017

To be or not to be….or the chicken and the egg question comes to mind, doesn’t it?

Since my son Jason has turned 20 yesterday, I have reflected upon the past 20 years of parenthood and the experiences I have accumulated over the years…

His first smile, first word, first step, first birthday, first day at kindergarten, first day at school etc. So many pressures memories, almost unbelievable how fast the time has passed!

I also noticed how many other parents I have encountered; during pre-birth classes, at nursery, kindergarten, school and hobby groups, as well as my son’s friendship cycle. Many different approaches to parenting, many little lives influenced on how their parents conducted the ‘parenting game of life’.

I have learned that some focus their approach around the child, value the little person as a unique individual who cannot conform to ‘norms’, but rather allow them to flourish and explore the world, while the parent (s) organise their lives based on their child’s needs and wants.

Meanwhile, I have also met many parents who ‘add their child on’ to their life, life style and general way of approaching their day-to-day. By for example, continuing their life’s pretty much as prior to having had the child; they continue their work schedule and leisure time and manage their child’s day by delegating childcare either between each other and also towards family members or childcare providers, friends and other children entertaining activities. They continue to meet up with friends and when they go out as a family they base their choice on what they (the parent(s)) would like to do, not their child. Interestingly, those parents often wonder why their child ‘misbehaves’ e.g. can’t sit still in an adult centred restaurant and even doesn’t like the food served or during a show that they are not interested in.

In my opinion, there is no ‘right or wrong’ type of parenting, as each child is so different, even within the same family. My three children are entirely different and truly need and want very different approaches, not just based on their age, but also based on their individual interests and personal preferences.

However, I do think that parents need to pause and reflect on a regular basis, to spot issues asap, to avoid taking a route that is damaging for the child or even for themselves.

I have met mums who constantly hover over their kids, completely lose their sense of self and practically live solely to please their children. Or mums and dads who feel burdened when they ‘should or have to’ spend extended times with their kids, buy as many toys as they can and yet still find little to no connection, while those children have no interest in their countless toys and are constantly bored. Both are unhealthy in my opinion, as both will lead to heart ache in the long run, for all involved.

In my parenting, I have always tried to balance between the two and learned that this approach is best, not just for my eldest, but also for my younger two girls. For example, when we want to eat somewhere together, we choose a buffet (most often Chinese) or simply McD’s (although their veggie menu is limited), as the first offers the option to choose food everyone likes and the second that the children (almost) cannot ‘misbehave’ (be a child, move around and not noise restricted), as it clearly is a child centred food outlet (balloons, crayons and paper and toys included). Another example is that while I drive and drop my kids to their hobby sessions (ballet, judo etc.), I either take a book with me and read while they enjoy their sessions, chat with another mum while drinking a nice cup of coffee or listen to an audiobook. I use these pockets of time to also enjoy the time, so that I don’t feel that I am ‘just the Taxi’.

I do have to admit though, that if I had to honestly evaluate which side I am on, I would consider my parenting approach to be child centered, and I guess that has come from learning experiences of the past 20 years; If you try to enjoy an adult type activity, don’t force a child to enjoy it and vice versa. Although, I do actually enjoy many child centered activities, e.g Disney and Co.

I had my son very early in my life, so I guess that is another reason why I enjoy the child centered approach, as I was so young I had not yet established a ‘me first’ e.g. ‘selfish way of life style’ that may have led me to feel ‘disturbed’ by my child’s needs and wants. Instead, as I wanted to traveled the world, for example, I chose places and hotels etc. which would entertain both of us. In addition, as I had my second child 5 years later and then my third another 6 years later, the child centered approach made even more sense, the bigger the family became. Which led to many decisions, including to homeschool, to start my business six years ago, working from home serving customers around the world and writing business and children books.

I would love to read your thoughts on this! Have you found a parenting approach that works well? If so, please share it in the comment section below. Thanks 😉

All the Best,

Naomi xxx

P.S.: Enjoy every second of being a parent!

Homeschooling Your Preschool Child

homeschooling-a-preschooler-naomi-mc-laughlan

Each child has unique interests and learning needs, not to mention attention spans. Therefore, if you are wondering whether homeschooling is suitable for your child or children, it is best to do an initial evaluation of what your preschool child’s needs are.

Several online resources provide lesson suggestions for preschoolers. You may find these materials very helpful. However, consider them only as a guide to give your child’s learning some direction. It is highly advised to be aware of the learners’ interests, be it an inclination to writing, sports, arts and crafts, or any other subject. You can then incorporate these interests into your list of “things that a home schooled child should know.”

For different age groups of children, you may need to employ different methods and techniques for homeschooling. And in order to know which methods and activities best suits your child under a specific age group, this short list may be of help.

Children of age 2 are found to be the most difficult. The child often gets bored and at times frustrated when being taught. Stimuli are needed in order to catch their interests. Children of this age group are most eager to learn, often walking around, and climbing steps. Common behaviors of this age include self-centeredness and possessiveness. Their sense of humor also develops. Do activities relating to these capabilities of the child.

Homeschooling a 3 year old is even more trying. At this point, the child is more physical in affection and in play. They don’t mind change, love having friends to play with, and they take verbal instructions very well. Use these to stimulate them to participate in learning activities. At this age, they are already capable of communicating their needs.

Children of age 4 are usually capable of working with scissors, hopping around on one foot or skipping. They start to learn to draw and possess a lot of physical energy. Let them try new things, as this will be their number one interest. They are very imaginative so give them an opportunity to develop and express this creativity.

Remember that all children grow at their own rate,

and in their own ways.

To achieve maximum benefits for the home schooled preschooler, you should trust your child’s own intuition of their momentary needs and wants and give them sufficient freedom to explore, inquire, and ultimately learn.

I invite you to take part in the Professional Home Educator Academy, which is an online based training program for parents who like to set up a successful home-school environment. I have been a homeschooling mum of three for many years now, and I have highly enjoyed every step of it.In the program I share not only my experience, but also easy to follow steps and strategies on how you can make homeschooling integrate into your own family setup.

PHEA Pic

Let me know what you think in the comment section below!
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All the Best,
Naomi xxx

5 Tips for Easy Air Travel with Kids

Travel with Children Naomi Mc Laughlan

I have been a frequent flyer my entire life, nationally and internationally, and as I have become a mother early, I can say that for the past 19 years, I have been able to gather some positive and negative experiences when traveling with my three children. Oh boy…like running out of nappies at the airport, because the luggage was already checked in and my baby girl had diarrhea… or having to live in the same cloth for days in a sh** airport hotel, because my luggage got left behind and I had to wait for it to arrive before being able to travel on in West Africa…but also the great ones, for example when my kids enjoyed watching planes take off or meeting highly interesting, lovely people along the journey.

There’s no denying that it has become more and more difficult to fly without running into snags or problems with the airport or the airlines. Enduring the line at the security check point in some airports is enough to put some passengers in a bad mood, especially the little ones ;-).

However, despite all of the inconveniences that come with flying, it is a necessity. There are several things that can be done to make flying easier and more hassle free, and all that is involved is a little bit of common sense and planning.

1. Get to the Airport Early 

Arriving at the airport early is a no-brainer, especially when the airlines tell passengers to arrive at least two hours prior to a flight’s departure time. However, there are many people who refuse to heed this request, and arrive at the airport just several minutes before a flight is scheduled to leave. If there is a line at the check-in counter or at security, this can create a very stressful situation. Not only may the flight be missed, but a new flight must be booked, and the passengers will probably have to travel stand-by on a later flight with no guarantee of a seat until the very last minute.

2. Take a Morning Flight

Leaving on an early flight does not necessarily mean a 4 a.m. flight must be chosen. However, flights that leave first thing in the morning are less likely to be running late, and they are less likely to be affected by weather problems across the country and/or other planes that may be delayed at other airports. Also, if for some reason the first flight of the day is cancelled or delayed, there will probably be several other flights throughout the day that, if necessary, can be taken instead.

3. Try Not to Fly During “Rush Hour” 

Airports, like highways, have rush hours. Typically, rush hour in the morning is from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., and in the afternoon from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. These are the hours when airports are the most crowded with people waiting for flights. Crowds mean longer lines at the security check points, more people in the restrooms, more people waiting in restaurant lines, and more people taking up seats in the waiting areas. Flying at a NON-rush hour time of day can alleviate the need to stand in lines and sit with crowds.

4. Try to Take Non-Stop Flights 

Obviously, when a non-stop flight is taken, there is less risk of being delayed. Taking off and landing both take quite a bit of time, so avoiding having to do this twice is recommended. There will always be destinations when a non-stop flight is not available, but there are plenty of cities where non-stop flights are just as common as those that stop. It may even be worth a few extra dollars to book a non-stop flight to avoid an unneeded hassle and the possibility of being delayed.

5. Book Connections with Enough Time 

If a non-stop flight is not available to a desired destination, make sure to schedule enough time in between flights. When airlines book flights, they often have a layover requirement of 30 or 45 minutes between connections. However, this is often not enough time if the original flight arrives late. In order to avoid this stress, try to schedule connecting flights with at least an hour to spare between the arrival time of the first flight and the departure time of the connecting flight.

Lastly, do not forget to pack as light as possible, because depending where you are heading towards; you will be able to buy most items at your destination, so there is no need to ‘perform heavy lifting’ to get it there.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

All the Best,

Naomi xxx

📣 P.S.:

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Donut Peach & Raspberry Jam

Once again we have been experimenting with some yummy food; super sweet and juicy donut peaches and raspberries, which we have transformed into jam 😉

Peach Jam Naomi Mc Laughlan

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Peach Jam 2 Naomi Mc Laughlan

Donut Peach & Raspberry Jam

1.4kg Peaches

125g Raspberries

1kg Jam sugar (with apple pectin) or Caster sugar

Instructions

Step 1 Rinse the peaches, then half them and take out the stone, cut them into little chunks and put them in a large sauce pan.

Step 2 Rinse the raspberries and add them to the peaches.

Step 3 Bring the peaches and raspberries to the boil and simmer gently for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 4 Add the sugar to the pan and stir until dissolved. Then boil rapidly for about 15 minutes or until the jam has reached setting point.

Step 5 Allow the jam to cool down for ca. 15 minutes, then fill it into clean, (sterilized) jars.

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All the Best,

Naomi

Mother Daughter Tag – How well do you know each other?

Mother Daughter Tag 2016 Naomi Mc Laughlan Insta

My daughter Jasmin has #dared me to make a video for my YouTube Channel and do a mother daughter tag with her. I was soooo sure that I knew most of the answers. Well, you’ll see how that went in our video below.

If you want to go ahead and to a mother daughter tag or a mother son tag too, here are the questions:

MOTHER TO DAUGHTER or SON:

Mom’s favorite color is….

Mom’s shoe size is…

Mom’s favorite flower is…

Mom is how many years old…

Mom’s favorite song is…

Mom was born in which State/City…

Mom has how many siblings…

Mom’s favorite dessert is…

Mom is how tall….

Mom’s favorite Sonic drink is…

Mom was how old when she had her ears pierced….


DAUGHTER or SON TO MOTHER:

Daughter’s / Son’s favorite color is…

Daughter’s/ Son’s favorite meal that Mom cooks is…

Daughter’s / Son’s favorite book is…

Daughter’s / Son’s favorite song is…

Daughter’s / Son’s favorite school subject is…

Daughter’s / Son’s favorite vacation ever was…

Daughter / Son wants to be how tall when she grows up…

Daughter’s / Son’s favorite Sonic drink…

Daughter’s / Son’s favorite gift ever was…

Daughter’s / Son’s favorite birthday ever was…

Daughter’s / Son’s favorite thing to do with mom is…

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Let me know what you think!

All the Best,

Naomi xxx

How to make your own font – Learn from my mistakes

How to make your own font Naomi Mc Laughlan

I have created my own handwritten font, for a project to promote the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, and I wanted to craft something truly unique. The project involved the design of a collection of eco-friendly Tees, which are made from 100% Cotton and Bamboo, they are available in my Tee Collection.

To create the font, I have used a free online tool from Myscriptfont.

Tip: Make sure to write carefully within the outlined boxes and use a pen that does not bleed into the paper. – If you watch the clip, you understand why 😉

In the following video tutorial, you can watch how I tried, failed and finally made my own font.

Let me know what you think,
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All the Best,
Naomi xxx