5 Benefits of Pottery Making Classes for Kids

If lately you’ve been looking for some entertaining and educational activities for your child to take part in, have you ever thought about signing them up for a few pottery making classes? Aside from the fact that your son or daughter will enjoy being able to get their hands onto a pile of clay as they create some really interesting things, there are actual studies to support the fact that there are a myriad of benefits that come with your child learning more about pottery.

If you’d like to know what some of those advantages are, here are five of them:

Pottery is good for sensory development and motor skills. Something that Play-Doh and clay have in common is that they are both great for developing a child’s sensory and motor skills. A big part of the reason is because they are the kind of things that appeal to a child’s sense of touch. Just think: Play-Doh and clay are able to be poked, twisted and molded in into all kinds of shapes. Plus, they are moist and, at the same time, somewhat heavy too. So, if you desire for your child to excel in the sensory and motor skills, pottery class is one way to make that possible.

Pottery is great for creative expression. One of the best things about participating in a pottery class is that it encourages you to tap into your imagination and make some of your ideas tangible. Being that children tend to be extremely creative, a pottery class is a place where their imagination can truly thrive. Whether they’re making a cup, a figurine, or their own unique piece of art, pottery class is wonderful when it comes to encouraging creative expression.

Pottery is a way to strengthen problem-solving skills. When the pottery instructor feels that your child is ready to sit at the pottery wheel, there are a lot of things that your son or daughter will have to focus on: sitting up properly at the wheel, maneuvering the wheel and the clay simultaneously, and also making their creation. For the first several times, your child will have to follow instructions and also be open to making some mistakes along the way. That’s OK because another benefit that comes with taking a pottery class is that it’s effective when it comes to developing problem-solving skills.

Pottery is a form of self-discipline. If you were to read an article on the Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association website about another reason why it’s good to put your child into some pottery classes, something that it may address is the fact that pottery classes can help your son or daughter develop self-discipline. The reason why is because as they learn certain rules and procedures pertaining to making pottery, they will have to retain and apply them in each class in order to get the results that they want. And the more self-disciplined that they become, the more it can benefit them in other areas of their lives.

Pottery is a lot of fun. One of the best things about being a child is being able to participate in lots of fun things all of the time. Making pottery is certainly something that fits into the “fun” category. In the process of creating things, pottery class is one of the places where it’s acceptable to get dirty, to play around, and to not rush – all at once. If you sign up your child for one pottery class, they will definitely want to return time and time again! For information on pottery classes for kids that are in your area, go to your favorite search engine and put “pottery classes for kids” along with your city and state in the search field.

How to Find Affordable Quality Daycare for Your Child

Although in a perfect world, all of us would be able to stay at home with our children until they are able to go to school, the reality is that many of us need to work in order to provide our kids with all of the things that they need. Thankfully, there are daycares that our sons and daughters can go to during our working hours.

If you have a little one that you’re looking to put into daycare soon but you’re a bit hesitant about doing so, that is easy to understand. You definitely want to make sure that your child is in an environment where they will be well cared for when you are not around. So in the effort of helping you to find affordable quality daycare for your son or daughter, here are five great tips:

Get some referrals. When you’re on the hunt for a good and affordable daycare for your child, one of the best places to start is by asking some people you personally know who either have a son or daughter in daycare or did within the past couple of years. That way, you can get personal testimonies about their child’s quality of the care along with the prices that the daycare charges.

Research several daycares. Whether or not you decide to take the referral route, it’s still going to be a good idea to research several different daycares. An organization that can assist you is the local branch of the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. They will be able to tell you things like what the daycare licensing requirements in your area are, the complaints that a particular daycare may have received, and also if you qualify for certain kinds of financial assistance.

Make personal visits. No matter how awesome a daycare’s website might look (even if it offers a virtual tour), it’s still a good idea to make a personal visit. There are a few reasons why this is a good idea. For one thing, you can look to see how the daycare is run on a daily basis when it comes to everything from the cleanliness of the rooms to the teachers’ rapport with the children to how friendly and professional the administration is. Plus, by meeting with someone who works in the finance department, you can share with them your budget and perhaps even work out a payment plan.

Ask specific questions. Say that you live in Woburn, Massachusetts and you heard that the Artisan Childcare Center is a good daycare. And let’s say that you’ve set up an appointment to check it out. While you’re there, be sure to ask plenty of questions like what’s the teacher-to-student ratio, what are the teachers’ qualifications, and also what the turnover rate has been in each class and at the daycare as a whole? Answers to these kinds of questions will provide you with deeper insight into the program and help to put your mind at ease.

Bring your child in for a visit beforehand. Once you feel that you’ve found a daycare that you really like, the next step is to bring your child in for a visit. Being that they’re the ones who will be spending a significant amount of time there, you need to make sure that they can adjust comfortably. If they seem pleased, then you know that you have found a qualified and affordable daycare. Good luck with your search!

In today’s climate of neurotic overkill, what parents need is less advice

Before we get into the detail of the article, I really want to thank the team here for letting me post here with them.  It means a lot to be able to get something published for my My Hot Revenue Money Saving Website at great site like this.

Hey, Great British Public! Are you tired of the economic downturn? Exhausted by the prospect of a Euro meltdown and even more recession? And are you generally fed up with the gradual erosion of cohesive social values at home, as exemplified by last summer’s riots, and also quietly depressed by the dangerous and ongoing conflict in Afghanistan that continues to claim British lives?

Well, guess what: David Cameron’s got the solution for you. And it’s called Parenting Classes!

No, really. Correct me if I’m wrong, but when Cameron launched his parenting initiative (free classes for some, plus a new NHS website with advice for others), he seemed to take a veiled potshot at the nation’s parents by declaring: “To those who say that government should forget about parenting and families and focus on the big, gritty issues, I’d say: ‘These are the big, gritty issues.’”

The implication here is that it all begins with parenting. And that, when you think about it, everything from the financial crisis to the riots to the entire malformed line-up of this season’s Apprentice could’ve been averted if only there were some decent mums and dads out there.

Reference: teamnomad.co.uk

Furthermore, I don’t even buy his central thesis: that parenting classes are inherently a good thing. His big line, which is basically lifted straight out of the 1989 Steve Martin comedy Parenthood, states that: “It’s ludicrous that we should expect people to train for hours to drive a car or use a computer, but when it comes to looking after a baby we tell people to just get on with it.” He adds that he would’ve loved more advice and guidance when his own children were babies.

Yet surely in today’s climate of neurotic overkill, where we’re berated from all sides by the hectoring directives of Tiger Moms, Eagle Dads, Idle Parents, Toxic Parents, Helicopter Parents and Contented Little Parents, what we actually need is less advice, not more. Because when you add all that into the legion of eager friends, family, relatives, in-laws and oddballs who all decide that the arrival on Earth of another newborn baby is a signal for them to impart to you their boundless and esoteric parenting wisdom, you quickly realise that nobody knows anything. They’re all bluffing.

The two elder matriarchs who’ll stand in your nursery arguing about the merits of blackout blinds? Bluffing. The books that’ll recommend rocking baby to sleep, and the manuals that’ll advocate a tough-love drop’n’run? More bluffing. And the parenting gurus who’ll warn you of the crucial difference between “weak love” and “firm love”? Still bluffing.

And I speak from experience too. For our first baby (of three), I went to more parenting classes than I’d care to admit. And the best bit in any of these classes, without doubt, was not the actual instruction from the gurus (again, bluffing), but the after-class group moan. This mostly involves standing around in the car park and staring into the bedraggled eyes of another parent and saying: “I haven’t slept for 14 nights, my baby screams solidly for 18 hours a day, and I feel like driving my head through that plate-glass window!”

And the best bit? The other parent says: “Me too!”

And that’s the embarrassing simplicity of parenting. Everybody knows, deep down inside, that the only parenting rules worth anything are: “Love them. Don’t hit them. And don’t let them have a mobile phone before they can pay for it.” Everything else can be accomplished by a big group moan.

So if David Cameron wants to advocate more public moaning by parents, I’m all for it. But otherwise, I quite fancy someone taking care of those big gritty issues.

My world of tweets and croaks

Finally. I have found a use for Twitter. I call it Death Watch. It’s both self-explanatory and worryingly morbid, and consists of finding myself, after any period of smart-phone inactivity, greedily picking up the device, turning to Twitter, going straight to the “Discover” section, and waiting with bated breath to, well, see who’s dead.

And it’s been a Death Watch bonanza lately, with the news of the loss of Donna Summer, Vidal Sassoon, and Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys all broken to me at the strangest times and places – “Guess who’s dead?” is fast becoming my new catchphrase. I suppose it says something about the fragility of life. And, let’s face facts, it’s better than reading a status update from Nicki Minaj.

This post was contributed by the The Green duo who is a regular poster both here on their own blog.  You can catch them on twitter, facebook or even their very popular youtube channel.

Benefits of Getting a Financial Help from a Moneylender Singapore

Moneylenders have proven quite useful in helping people who have financial problems. There are a number of benefits of getting moneylending services. For a start, they have less strict requirements compared to the banks. If you want a loan from a bank, you will realize that there are so many requirements. It might even be difficult to secure such a loan if you have bad or no credit. However, moneylenders can offer you a loan with bad credit.

Additionally, with the moneylenders you can be able to negotiate the terms. The conditions for getting a loan are not fixed. This means that the licensed moneylender Singapore can be able to offer you terms that suit your situation and you can easily meet. They also have flexible repayment options. For example, you can ask to repay the loan quickly so that you can get out of debt sooner. On the other hand, if you would like to pay the loan in smaller amounts, you can request for more time.

Apart from offering loans, the licensed moneylender can also offer financial advice. People who are not so knowledgeable in financial matters need a lot of help in choosing the right loans. Therefore, the money lender can offer financial advice services. This allows you as the borrower to know which loan will best suit your financial situation. This means that you get a loan package that will meet your financial needs without putting you in a bind in future when it is time to repay the money.

The approval process for getting the money from the licensed moneylender Singapore is also less strict. There are not so many checks to go through when trying to approve the loan. This is because the requirements are simple hence you can get your money in a short amount of time. The moneylenders are the best people to turn to when you are having financial problems and you need a quick solution.

Therefore, when you have a financial problem, you need to ensure that you choose a moneylender who can offer you all the above benefits. The lender should have easy to meet application requirements. It is also necessary that you get your loan from reputable moneylenders who have been approved by the authorities. Seeking referrals from friends and relatives will also help you get a good lender. These are people who are able to give you a loan with the best terms.

Getting a loan in Singapore from Licensed Moneylenders

Major financial crises can arise at any point, without giving you time to rearrange your plans or necessitating the need for a personal loan Singapore. It is therefore useful to have a licensed moneylender to turn to during such times.  You need a reputable and notable lender who has a variety of loans packages, which you can benefit from, and the flexibility to negotiate a repayment plan best suited to your financial needs.

Guidelines for identifying the right lender

The first step is to make sure that they have a money-lending practicing license. While this is not a guarantee on their conduct as pertains their service to you, licensed lenders are regulated by an act of parliament, meaning that they must abide by a certain code of conduct designed to ensure ethical practices in the business. A license can be verified by confirming with the list of official moneylenders available online.

Even after the lender, you should look for reputability and professionalism in their dealings with you and other potential clients. This will be in their choice of language as they serve you, and what kind of information they require from you. No lender should ask for your SingPass ID and password, or retain original copies of your important documentation submitted when applying for a loan, unless they are legal documents for assets signed over as collateral for secured loans. You should also not be asked to sign a Note of Contract for an incomplete loan, and one copy of the note should be given to you at the time of signing. You should ask as many questions as you can to allays all your misgivings prior to signing any documents, your licensed lender should reveal all the terms and conditions, including the effective interest rate for the loan and repayment plan you have elected.

Borrowing money

Once you have clearly outlined your need and the amount of money that you require, shop around for a licensed moneylenderwith a personal loan Singapore package which will best suit your need. For instance, if you have a poor credit history, you will need a lender who can give you a package that takes that into account. Also check around for lenders with the best rates, and with a good reputation. Look for established companies, and if possible read the reviews from other past clients about business dealings with specific lenders on independent review websites available online. Make sure you examine all other terms apart from the rates, to settle on a package that suits you all around.

5 Helpful Tips for Finding Your Perfect Prom Night Dress

One of the biggest nights in any teenage girl’s life is her prom night. And because it truly is a significant and special time, if you’re planning to go to prom soon, it’s understandable that you want to get an amazingly beautiful dress.

The thing is, finding the perfect prom dress consists of taking several different factors into consideration. So, if you’d like a few tips on things that you can do that will help you to find the kind of dress that will fit your body type, personal style, and budget, please keep reading.

You should think about your shape. Oftentimes, when the topic of body type comes up, it’s in the context of adult women finding the kind of outfits that would best complement their shape. However, when it comes to looking for the right prom dress, this is something that you should also take into serious consideration. One website that provides plenty of information on how to find a prom dress that looks well on any physique is Beauty Riot. Just go to the site and put “prom dress for body type” in the search field.

You should think about your style. Another thing that you should think about is what your personal style is. For instance, while some young women like to follow the hottest trends, others prefer to wear more of a throwback look that’s reminiscent of a certain era. You need to feel comfortable and confident in whatever dress you wear. So before heading out, think about what kind of dress will best represent who you are as an individual.

You should think about shopping at various outlets. Although there are a lot of young women who automatically think of the mall when it comes to looking for a prom dress, there are a lot of other options to choose from. You can go to a thrift store. You can go to a consignment shop. You can go to a bridal store. You can have your dress custom-made. You can shop online. You can even borrow a dress from a family member or friend. So when you’re shopping for a prom dress, whether you decide to get one from a store like Night Moves by Allure or someone’s closet that you know, realize that the outlet doesn’t matter. The objective is to find what you like the most. Where you got it from is secondary.

You should think about your accessories. Creating the perfect prom look is not just about the dress. It’s also about all of the accessories from your shoes and jewelry to even the kind of purse that you plan to carry (for the record, a clutch is the most ideal). So make sure that you think about what kind of accessories that you want to wear on your prom night. That will also help you in choosing the perfect prom night dress.

You should think about your budget. The last tip is actually one that could have been provided first. You don’t want to fall in love with a particular dress only to discover that it’s a lot more than you can actually afford to pay, so think about what your budget is. That is something else that can help you when it comes to going on your prom night search and selecting a beautiful gown. Happy shopping!

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Party Rental Company

Event planning requires vision, style, and a strong sense of organization. But even with all of these traits on your side, planning for a large event can be tough if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, there is no shortage of party rental companies that can help you out by supplying nearly everything you need to make your event fun and memorable. Whether you’re looking for tables and chairs for your outdoor wedding or a bounce house and chocolate fountains for a child’s birthday party, rental companies can deliver the amenities you seek. But there are a few things you’ll want to consider before you sign on the dotted line.

  1. Location. You’ll obviously want to find a party rental company that’s near the location of your event. If you’re lucky, you can find a chain that has a local office, as well as a location in whatever destination will host your event. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the local store to see what they have, as well as ensure that there are no issues with getting the goods you reserve to their destination. The closer the location of the party rental company is to your event, the better chance everything will arrive on time and that you can address any issues quickly should they arise.
  2. Products and services. Before you can contract with a party rental company, you need to make sure they have the items you need. Not every facility carries the same goods or offers the same services. For example, some offer only the basics, like tables, chairs, place settings, and portable generators. Others go well beyond that to provide decorations, activities, game stations, and fun extras like popcorn poppers or fondue fountains. And then there are options for pick-up or delivery to consider. These are all things you need to determine up-front so you’re not surprised down the line.
  3. Pricing. This is, of course, an important aspect of any rental process. You need to find out not only what the products and services will cost you, but also if there is a deposit (and whether it is non-refundable), as well as if there are insurance options.
  4. Contract. If you want a valuable piece of party rental advice, it is this: read the contract before you sign. Most party rental companies expect you to sign an agreement. After all, they want to ensure that their products are returned in good condition following your soiree, or that you pay for any damages. But don’t be afraid to protect your interests, as well, by asking to strike out items you disagree with. Just get a signed contract (not a copy) for your own records.
  5. Availability. Everything above is moot if the party rental company you choose does not have the items you need available on the date of your event. So before you get into issue like pricing and delivery options, make sure to ask if needed items like tables and chairs, tents, and other amenities are even available when you need them. Vendors like The Train Quest offer all kinds of products for your convenience, but it’s up to you to book well in advance of your event to ensure you are able to reserve the rentals you prefer.

5 Youth Swim Lesson Benefits for Kids

Swimming is not a skill that people are born with, despite the fact that we spend the first nine months of our lives in a fluid-filled sack. That said, the younger kids are when you get them into a pool, the easier time they’ll have acclimating to this foreign environment. As a result, they’ll be more comfortable in water from the get-go and they’ll likely have a much easier time learning to swim. Here a just a few of the benefits kids will enjoy when you enter them in youth swim lessons.

  1. Get comfortable in water. People were meant to live on land. But considering that over 70% of our planet’s surface is covered with water, it’s not a bad idea to get kids into it and make sure they’re comfortable, just in case they happen to fall in the drink. Of course, the more pressing issue is not an accidental dip, but rather planned activities. At some point your kids are going to be on family trips or outings with friends that include water activities like swimming, water skiing, boating, etc. And you want to make sure that they’re not afraid to jump in and have a good time with everyone else.
  2. Avoid drowning. This is probably the number one reason most parents enroll their kids in swimming classes. While you certainly don’t want your kids to feel left out when family and friends go swimming, you also don’t want them to jump in the water unprepared to keep themselves aloft. The sooner you get your children into the water, the better chance they’ll enjoy swimming and avoid the potential for drowning. So start taking dips with them as infants, enroll them in classes as toddlers, and they’ll take to swimming like fish to water.
  3. Socialization. You’ll probably start kids with swimming lessons before they’re even in school, and the setting provides an excellent opportunity for children to interact with their peers, as well as authority figures other than their parents. This will help them learn how to get along with other kids and wait their turn. And they can begin to get a taste of the process they will encounter when they enter the school setting.
  4. Exercise. With all the chatter about childhood obesity these days, you’ll be happy to hear that swimming is a highly effective tool in your fitness arsenal. Not only does the water add resistance to this cardiopulmonary exercise, but kids will view it as a fun and desirable activity that they can participate in with their friends. In short, it won’t be work at all.
  5. Challenges and rewards. There’s no doubt that swimming lessons can be challenging, even for kids that enjoy being in the water. As they advance through their classes, they’ll have to learn a variety of strokes, diving, and perhaps even lifesaving techniques, depending on how long they continue taking lessons at Swimtastic Swim School or the local YMCA. But they’ll also gain the confidence that comes with facing their fears, meeting and exceeding expectations, and developing their abilities in a watery world. And the next time they go to the beach with family or friends, they’ll be able to leap into the surf without a second thought.

How to Display Family Portraits in Your Home

One of the best things about having your own family is that they bring so much life into your home. Not just when it comes to their presence, but even when it comes to all of the photographs that you have taken and collected over the years. In fact, if you happen to go through your stash, you might be surprised by just how many of them are true works of art.

If you’d like show off some of your pictures inside of some of the various rooms in your house, this is a great article for you to read. Below, it’s going to share with you five creative ways to display your family portraits. That way, your guests can enjoy them almost as much as you do.

Present them as a puzzle. One really cute and simple concept is to hang your pictures on a wall in such a way that they look like one big puzzle. You can do this by going to a local arts and crafts store, picking up some identical frames and then positioning them in such a way that some of them are horizontal and some of them are vertical. Just make sure that by the time you’re done hanging them, they fit into a shape like a square or a rectangle.

Enlarge your photos. One of the reasons why print companies like Kinko’s still come in handy is because you can take some of your prints (or you can email them some shots) and they can enlarge them for you. You can even get pictures that are poster-size. This is an awesome idea if you want to put one big picture in each of your children’s rooms or a few black-and-white shots of them in a more common area like your living room.

Get a few picture rails. If you happen to have a lot of fun candid pictures around the home, one way to put them on display is to buy some picture rails along with some frames and then showcase your shots that way. If you do decide to take this route, the main thing to keep in mind is that it’s a good idea to also invest in some great lighting fixtures. That will help the pics to illuminate in any room of your home. For more information on how to add some pictures rails onto a wall inside of your home, visit an IKEA store in your area or visit the IKEA website.

Try a photo lampshade. Say that you went to a place like Amy Tripple Photography to take some great family photos and you want a unique way to show off your pictures. Something else that you can do is make a lampshade out of some of your photographs. It’s relatively easy to do and it will serve as a great conversation piece when guests visit. One website that can walk you through the process is MillionMoments.net. Just go to the site and put “DIY lampshade with Instagram photos” in the search field.

Or perhaps a photo tabletop. Speaking of being creative, another wonderful idea for displaying your pictures is to make your own photo tabletop. It can be a coffee table, a desk for your home office or even a table for your kitchen. For more step-by-step instructions on how to make your own photo tabletop, visit eHow and put “make photo table tops” in the search field.

5 Reasons to Send Your Child to Camp This Summer

If you were to ask a room full of adults what some of their favorite childhood memories are, there’s a pretty good chance that some of them would say that they loved going to summer camp. By having this be a part of their summer tradition, they were able to meet new people and also mature a little more over the course of the couple of weeks that they were there.

So, if you’re contemplating whether or not to send your child to camp, you definitely should. However, if you’d like some specific reasons why it’s such a beneficial thing to do, here are five of them:

It will make them more independent. If you have a child who you want to be able to take more risks than they tend to do, that’s one reason why enrolling them in summer camp can prove to be a really good idea. By spending several days to a couple of weeks around new people, it will force them to become a bit more independent than they might be if they had stayed at home. As a direct result, it can cause them to become more confident and that is always a good thing.

It will expose them to new things. One of the best things about summer camp is that it can expose your child to activities that they might not be able to do otherwise. Camps tend to go to great lengths to come up with indoor and outdoor activities that are not only fun, but educational as well. It’s a safe environment for your child to try new things.

It will further develop their social skills. If you have a son or daughter who is shy, this is one more reason to send them away to camp. By meeting with camp counselors and sharing cabins or rooms with other kids, it will put them into the position where they will have to engage with new individuals. It can definitely help to develop their social skills.

It will give them a break from technology. If you were to ask someone who works at place that hosts summer camps like Padonia Park Club for another reason why sending kids to camp is such an awesome thing to do, one of the things that they might tell you is that it can give your child a break from all of the technology that they may be consumed with on a daily basis. While it’s certainly OK to have a laptop and at a certain age, a smartphone as well, those items shouldn’t be the kinds of things that kids feel like they absolutely can’t live without. Spending some time outside playing, swimming, or horseback riding will remind your son or daughter that you can have fun, even when you’re not “plugged into” anything.

It will help them make friends to last a lifetime. And finally, another wonderful benefit that comes with sending your child to camp this summer is that it can help them to cultivate friendships that will last for the rest of their life. They can meet people there and then get their email address and write to them, call and then connect with them again the following summer. Summer camp is great all the way around! For a list of some great summer camps in your area, go to your favorite search engine and put “summer camps for kids” along with your city and state in the search field.