Everything you need to enjoy a fun New Year’s Eve with the kids

Are you planning to spend New Year’s Eve with the family? Here are some great festive ideas for a fun-packed New Year.

Are you planning to spend New Year’s Eve with the family? Here are some great festive ideas for a fun-packed New Year.

Get dressed up together for the festive occasion

It may well be that your kids won’t be staying up to see in the New Year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t party with them! Before your guests arrive, have fun choosing your party outfits together. Sequins, glitter, bow tie… anything goes for such a special occasion! Girls could dress up in mum’s stilettos, or boys could wear dad’s tie… and don’t forget to take a photo to immortalise the fun of it all!

Make the decorations and party novelties

And while you’re waiting for your guests, why don’t you spend the afternoon making party novelties, pointed hats or maracas? There are plenty of tutorials online showing you how to make these fun accessories yourself. You can also make your own garlands, using origami with coloured paper or with pine cones on a string.

Turn the living room into a dance floor

You don’t have to wait for the evening to put the music on and start dancing! Put together a compilation of your kids’ favourite hits and get into the groove together! Dust off those disco balls and lights in the cupboard and get everybody in the party mood!

Make a delicious hot chocolate

At around 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon make your kids a traditional hot chocolate. It’s the perfect warming drink to relax with as night begins to fall. You could add a festive touch with a marshmallow cut into a heart or clover shape. If they don’t like hot chocolate you could always make them a delicious fruit cocktail instead.

These simple ideas will help your New Year celebrations with your kids go with a swing and make it a night to remember!

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How to keep your kids entertained over the Christmas holidays

How to keep your kids entertained over the Christmas holidays It’s the Christmas holidays and you’ve got the kids at home again… you really need some ideas to stop them getting bored. Below are a few suggestions for activities to keep energetic children busy!

How about an outing?

It’s true that winter can be cold and wet and spending time outside isn’t always terribly appealing. But there are still some fun outdoor activities that are sure to be a hit. You could enjoy a family ice-skating trip, for instance. Outdoor ice rinks pop up in lots of towns and cities during the Christmas break, to the delight of everyone, big and small! You could also organise an early evening outing to admire the magic of the Christmas lights.

Craft activities

Or you could decide to stay cosy indoors and try out some craft activities. Tinsel, baubles, salt dough… the range of options is endless! Or what about scrapbooking? Why don’t you sit down with your kids and put together an album of souvenirs from your last family holiday?

Get your apron on!

What could be more comforting than a bit of home baking? Use the holidays to bake biscuits, tarts and cakes with your kids. Some treats, like yoghurt cake, are really easy to make and only need a few ingredients! Or how about trying your hand at bredeles, traditional Christmas cookies from Alsace.

The cinema

Going to the cinema is a perfect rainy day activity! And lots of children’s films tend to be released in time for the school holidays. A great opportunity for an outing the whole family can enjoy. And don’t forget about art house cinemas, where you can often discover some real little gems.

Board games

Trivial Pursuit, Triominos, cards… there is no shortage of games available to keep your kids entertained. You will have great fun and enjoy some quality family time. And if you’re going on a long journey, don’t forget to pack a travel version of your favourite board game!

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5 high-tech gift ideas for kids

5 high-tech gift ideas for kids

Are you a fan of new technologies? Pass on your enthusiasm to your kids these five high-tech gift ideas this year.

The Clementoni interactive globe

Help your children learn about the world’s geography while they have fun. This interactive globe with stylus provides a wealth of information about different countries and their histories. Play the quiz with them to find the answers to 500 questions together!

Their very first “Smartphone”

Give your kids a V tech Digigo so they can play at being a grown-up. A toy inspired by smartphones, this XL-format tactile phone is very easy to use. It works using wi-fi so your kids can communicate with friends and family in complete security. It also has a camera function and plays music.

The Kidizoom – Kid Connect camera

With this camera specially designed for kids, your children can have fun taking photos and videos, and much more besides! They can also play around with special effects or distort the sound of their voice. The Kidizoom camera can store up to 1000 photos!

The Octopus by Joy connected watch

Independence, responsibility and self-confidence… the Octopus by Joy watch offers a whole host of innovative features to help kids learn to tell the time and get into good habits, thanks to its ingenious system of symbols and rewards.

The MIP Silverlit connected robot

Ideal for kids who love robots, the MIP Silverlit model is very stable and easy to control just by using hand movements. It has lots of different sound and light effects. And an Android/IOS app can be used to expand the robot’s capacities and increase its interactivity.

Another great gift idea is a REMI connected alarm clock made by Urban Hello! It’s the perfect accessory to help regulate your child’s sleep patterns that will quickly become their essential sleep companion!

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REMI: for children beyond the age of 6 or 7

REMI for children beyond the age of 6 or 7REMI is your child’s ideal sleep companion, from birth right up to the age of 10. We shine the spotlight on what it can offer kids of 6 or 7 and beyond.

A sleep companion, from 0 to 10 years!

REMI is a multifunction connected clock that’s the perfect bedside companion for kids for their first 10 years. From birth up to the age of 3, it monitors their nights, tracking and recording their sleep. From 3 to 6, it will help them settle into a good sleep routine. Then, for the over-6s, it’s a great way to encourage kids to start becoming more independent.

Bedtime and wakeup time: managing their own routines

From around the age of 6 or 7, children start primary school and take another step down the path towards independence. At this age, they can also start learning to use their REMI all by themselves, via the dedicated app. Parents can teach them to set the alarm function, for example, and to organise their own bedtime and wakeup routines. Kids can set the times for each event and can also personalise the display. They can even have fun choosing a name for their REMI if they want!

They can enjoy their OWN music in their OWN room!

In the early years, REMI plays their favourite lullabies and creates a soothing atmosphere ideal to help little ones drift off to sleep peacefully. Later on, at around the age of 6 or 7, they can set the device to play their top tunes. REMI is a bit like your child’s very first hi-fi. They can use it to play all their favourite music in their bedroom, so they can create their own little cocoon where they feel secure and happy!

Urban Hello’s REMI is much more than just an alarm clock or a connected sleep trainer. It is a device that you can continue to use as your child grows. And for maximised safety, REMI cuts all radio emissions whenever you exit the app. Pretty smart!

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Are you familiar with positive discipline?

Are you familiar with positive disciplineMealtime or bedtime tantrums, playing up, crying… positive discipline can help you parent your child effectively to restore a calmer, happier family environment.

Positive discipline: a kind parenting method

When it comes to authority, young parents can often feel unsure and lost, wanting to be neither too strict nor too lax. And in the midst of this parental indecision, kids tend to seize power. So what should you do if your child disobeys you, bites or constantly breaks the rules? Positive discipline encourages parents to bring up kids kindly. This approach, developed in the 1930s, is a genuine life philosophy that fosters self-confidence and autonomy.

Preventing mealtime tantrums

Does your child tend not to eat what’s in his or her plate or leave meals unfinished? Offer a limited choice, with two options, for example. If they don’t eat much, tell them you understand that they aren’t hungry any more. If it happens again, talk about it with your child. Ask them what they think could be done so they don’t have an empty tummy. Suggest preparing the meal together or eating a little earlier. The main idea is to get your child involved in trying to find a solution.

Bedtime and positive discipline

Bedtimes are often a problem for families. Kids tend to demand all sorts of things to put off going to sleep (a glass of water, a story, a cuddle, etc.). That’s because children aren’t programmed to fall asleep on their own. They need to feel reassured by the presence of their parents. What’s more, children don’t understand why all the rest of the family is still up while they are meant to go to sleep.

There are several solutions to help your little one get over this problem. In the first few months, you could opt for “cosleeping”, which means sleeping in the same room as your baby. Then, when babies are a little older and are sleeping in their own room, be sure to establish a bedtime routine straight away. Tell them a story, do a little meditation together… and repeat the same routine every day. This reassures children and helps them fall asleep more easily.

Positive discipline can also help you in numerous day-to-day situations. Give it a go!

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Getting the best out of your baby sleep trainer

Getting the best out of your baby sleep trainer

Are you thinking about buying a baby sleep trainer? Here are a few tips to help you make the best use of this accessory specially designed for new parents!

Practical advice for using a baby sleep trainer

Designed to help parents listen out for their little one, a baby sleep trainer can make it easier to get young babies off to sleep more easily. However, make sure you adjust the microphone properly to stop you being disturbed by every little movement your baby makes! Also avoid using it in a noisy setting.

When should you react?

A baby sleep trainer can be an invaluable aid. However, parents should not over-react. Various studies have shown that leaving babies to cry isn’t necessarily bad for them. And in the first few months after being born, they can wake up as many as 10 times a night on occasions! So there’s no way parents should rush to comfort them at the slightest little sound. They should only intervene if baby cries for too long or doesn’t manage to fall asleep again alone.

More than a baby sleep trainer

In addition to allowing you to keep an eye (or ear) on your baby, some baby sleep trainers – like Urban Hello’s REMI - also offer “sleep tracking” features. These allow you to measure your child’s sleep quality and get a clear understanding of his or her sleep cycles.

Urban Hello’s REMI is a connected baby sleep trainer, which can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker to play music from your smartphone or tablet: the perfect sleep companion for kids, and therefore for their parents!

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Little things that can disturb your child’s sleep

Little things that can disturb your child’s sleep

A whole range of factors can disturb children’s sleep. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do about them!

A sleep “debt”

An accumulated lack of sleep is a very common problem in young children. In this case, they generally wake up too early (around 6 a.m. or even earlier), they make wake several times through the night, cry a lot when put to bed and the quality of their daytime naps suffers. They are down on sleep so they sleep less well, and so it goes on. It truly is a vicious circle! So what’s the solution? Put them to bed earlier and try to stick to a routine that is as regular as possible, for both naps and mealtimes.

Sore gums

All babies are affected by teething and for some it can be a particularly painful process. And when they lie down, it can be even worse. This can make getting them off to sleep extremely difficult. Try raising your baby’s head using a large pillow to make them more comfortable. You could also try using homeopathic remedies. And don’t hesitate to give them a teething toy to gnaw on during the day. The pressure helps soothe sore gums.

Tummy troubles

During the first few months of life, babies often suffer from the infamous “colic”. They start to cry and squirm in pain whenever night falls. A gentle tummy massage just before bedtime may help calm them. Or you could try the swaddling method, as being all wrapped up can reassure and soothe little ones.

Older children may find it difficult to get to sleep if their meal has contained too much protein, fat or sugar. So watch what you put on their plates!

A lack of bedtime routine

Maybe the atmosphere before bedtime isn’t ideal to prepare them for sleep? Avoid screens and games that get your kids over-excited in the hour before bedtime. Instead, suggest a quiet activity or play soothing music. And, most important of all, establish a bedtime routine. This should consist of three phases: washing and tooth brushing, relaxation, and cuddles. Repeating the same routine reassures little ones and helps them fall asleep.

Do you want to establish a routine to help your little one get a good night’s sleep? Urban Hello’s REMI is the ideal connected sleep trainer to help kids sleep better. See for yourself!

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REMI: for 2 to 7 year-olds

REMI: for 2 to 7 year-oldsDoes your child find have problems getting to sleep? Does he or she have disturbed nights and wake up in the morning still tired? Offer 2 to 7 year-olds a sleep coach with Urban Hello’s REMI, to help them have sweet dreams!

Sleep routines with REMI

Urban Hello’s REMI is a new-generation smart bedside clock. It’s a multifunction device that will help kids between the ages of 2 and 7 get into a regular, healthy sleep routine.

Simply click the clock item in the REMI app to set the timetable for your child’s day-to-day routine: wakeup time, bedtime, nap time, toothbrush time… Then click your chosen time, for example 8.30 p.m. for bedtime. Give the event a name and select the days concerned. Finally, click the face to choose REMI’s expression (asleep, awake, etc.) and the light intensity to customise the atmosphere in the bedroom.

Play nursery rhymes and bedtime stories in your child’s room!

Does your little one need to be comforted at bedtime? Even when you’re not there, you can set REMI to play the music, stories and nursery tales of your choice in your child’s room. A great way to provide instant reassurance!

Select the tune of your choice in REMI or transfer your own music directly from your PC to your connected bedside clock, just as you would with a USB stick. So you can wake up your kids or soothe them to sleep with their favourite music or nursery rhyme.

REMI is your child’s new sleep companion! A genuine sleep trainer, it helps them sleep more peacefully so they wake up more refreshed. REMI helps you ease your child into a sleep routine and makes the bedroom an even cosier, more comfortable place to be.

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How to organise your children’s bedtime with your babysitter

How to organise your children’s bedtime with your babysitter

Are you planning to use a babysitter? Here are a few tips to help you choose one and prepare them properly for your child’s bedtime routine.

Finding the right babysitter

Is this the first time you’ve left your kids in a babysitter’s care? The job requires patience, creativity and a strong sense of responsibility. One of the main points is obviously to make sure that your babysitter really likes kids. Make sure that he or she is used to spending time with children. If they have not yet got any experience, ask if they have little brothers or sisters or cousins of their own that they are used to looking after. This will give you peace of mind!

Have them arrive a little early to give them time to get to know your home and kids

You’ve found the ideal babysitter for your needs? If possible, have him/her arrive half an hour before you plan to go out. Take them on a guided tour of the house, pointing out any hazards (electric sockets, windows to be kept shut, sharp table corners, etc.). Warn them to be particularly careful of these dangers while looking after your children. After that, carefully explain what they are to do: meal, toothbrushing, bedtime, access to the TV or otherwise.

Bedtime routine and babysitting

Establishing a bedtime routine is very important. Children like to do the same things and hear the same bedtime stories each night. It makes them feel safe. They know what’s going to happen next, which reassures them. When you’re not there to oversee bedtime, the child’s regular routine should start at the same time and proceed in exactly the same way. Explain to the babysitter how important it is to stick to the routine.

Want to help your kids get a good night’s sleep, even when you’re not there? Urban Hello’s REMI is a smart bedside clock with a whole host of features to help you establish a bedtime routine. A clever, reassuring little device for children from 0 to 10 years!

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Helping children relax before bedtime using essential oils: good or bad idea?

Helping children relax before bedtime using essential oilsDoes your child find it difficult to get to sleep? Beyond the age of 3, certain essential oils can help them fall asleep more easily. Read on to find out more!

Mandarin essential oil

With its delicate fragrance, mandarin essential oil has soothing properties. It is a natural remedy to alleviate anxiety, stress and nervousness. You can also use mandarin essential oil to improve your child’s digestion and relieve stomach ache. Simply mix 10 drops of mandarin essential oil and 5 drops of ravintsara essential oil and diffuse in your child’s room before bedtime.

True lavender essential oil

A home essential, lavender essential oil regulates the nervous system, soothes and relaxes. Place a drop of lavender oil on your child’s pillow before starting the bedtime routine, for peaceful, calmer nights!

Camomile essential oil

Used as a herbal tea by our grandmothers, camomile is well known for its powerful calming effects. In essential oil form, it soothes nervous tension. Dilute a drop in your child’s bath water to help them relax. Another option is to mix a drop of camomile essential oil with jojoba, sesame or calendula oil and use it to give your child a massage.

Petit grain bigarade essential oil

Derived from the fruit of the Seville orange tree, also known as bitter orange, petit grain bigarade essential oil is known for soothing and sedative properties. It calms children with a tendency to get overexcited! Use it in a diffuser or simply add a drop of oil to a tissue or handkerchief for your child to inhale.

Beyond the age of 3, certain essential oils can be used to soothe your child. Other useful products include niaouli essential oil, which re-energises and decongests, or tea tree essential oil to stimulate the immune system: great weapons to tackle winter. If you are unsure, ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.

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