Pomelody launches to give children the gift of learning through music

It’s Launch day for Pomelody! These guys are promising to give children the gift of learning and development through music and I thought I’d weigh in with my tuppence to let you know why I’m rooting for them and the value I place on music throughout the early years (and beyond.)

You may or may not know that prior to being a blogger and social media manager I worked with children, clocking up 13 years in total. During those years I studied and pretty much immersed myself in the amazing concept of child development. Towards the end of this career stint I ran classes for parents and their babies and toddlers where speech and language was the main focus. While singing may not be my strong point, especially when your class co-host sings like a Disney princess, I did have a firm belief that singing and rhyme had a huge effect on a child’s language development.

I sang to youngest every day, even now we have a sing off most bed times and I have no hesitation in saying that it influenced his talking and understanding. Sometimes to my detriment, usually at 5.30 am when he can articulate, very vocally, what he wants. On repeat.

So if we’re singing on the sang hymn sheet (see what I did there?) read on as this Pomelody kickstarter sounds fantastic.

Home-based e-learning music platform for pre-schoolers aims to unlock a child’s innate musical talent and potentially increase IQ by 18% –

Pomelody is a comprehensive online music education system for children 0-6 and their families. It’s the world’s first music education e-learning platform for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. It’s designed from the ground up to stimulate a child’s music potential while giving parents (even those with no music ability) an opportunity to bond and have fun. Every quarter, Pomelody delivers an online (via PC, laptop, tablet) series of music.

The idea came from professional musicians Adam and Anna who, whilst raising a young family and knowing how powerfully music impacts on a child’s development, tried to find musical content that they could use in order to interact with their children.

There was very little musical content available and what was available was unstructured. They set about designing, testing and recording a series of specially recorded songs, music theory tutorials for parents and animated stories for kids. The result is the first simple to access (online via PC, laptop or tablet), fun and engaging platform for parents to embrace music along with their young children. Indeed, the first music-making classes for families ever put on video.

The production of content (season one is finalised) and building the platform is nearly finished. Pomelody is now turning to Kickstarter to secure funding of $30,000 to help develop further seasons (delivered quarterly) and to finish the platform build.

 

Pomelody are promising to give children the gift of learning and development through music and this is why I think thats great!

What do you get as a series backer of Pomelody? (earlybird discount $69)

  • Collection of 25 songs – composed, recorded and produced with 12 different bands/artists
  • 10 Pomelody classes recorded
  • One songbook
  • 3 animated lectures with music theory for parents
  • Animated stories

Importantly, Pomelody also has a of $55,000 on Kickstarter which will enable the development of an institutional version of the platform, giving free access to orphanages around the world.

Adam, Weber founder of Pomelody, said:

“Music is such a powerful medium to stimulate a child’s imagination. Its benefits stretch way beyond childhood with many reports suggesting that it can boost an individual’s adult IQ by up to 18%, compared to children with no early years music exposure. Whilst this is motivation in itself, it’s the sheer joy and bonding between a child and its parents that makes interacting with music so magical. With Pomelody we have a created a unique opportunity for families to bond, to learn, to have fun and to stimulate the next generation. We are very excited to bring this project to market and, fingers crossed, we can achieve our stretch goal and give free access to underprivileged children around the world.”

You can always watch the video below to see it in action;

 

Disclaimer

I received compensation in exchange for writing this review.  Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

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Ticking off our Frugi bucket & spade list

It won’t be long now till the schools and pre schools kick out. For us that means no alarm clock and trying to get out and about doing something new and exciting for which I’m always up for some new ideas and inspiration. In the past I’ve  drawn up a summer holiday plan so the boys and I know what we’re doing and so we don’t get the end of the summer holidays feeling like we haven’t made the best use out of the freedom of the summer holidays.

These days, it’s much more ad hoc. The older 2 like to sort themselves out and with only left to worry about, we can do things at a little more of a relaxed pace. Saying that, I still need some ideas so the Frugi bucket and spade list is ideal. Not all are suitable for my adventurous 3-year-old, but we’ll certainly be giving the majority of them a go, in fact we’ve already started!

A week’s holidaying in sunny Sardinia saw us hitting the beach every day. Sand castle’s, sand sculptures and sea paddling were the order of the day. Along with an attempt at sand angels which anything but angelic.


And back in slightly cooler England, it was out for a morning bug hunting and puddle jumping;

bugs found = 2 – I’m pretty rubbish at getting too close to anything inspect like so we admired from a distance)

puddles conquered = 5 – note to self, waterproof trousers are a must, beige and absolute no no.

Next on our list is to get out on the water, warm weather and calm seas are the must have’s for that little adventure and I’d really like to tackle my fear of camping with a night under the stars, I just know that this little chap will be so up for a tent shaped adventure, especially if we can hook up with his cousins who also happen to have an amazing tent.

If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for things to do this summer then see if anything on the Frugi Bucket and Spade list floats for boat;

what's on your bucket and spade list this summer?

 

ticking off our toddler approved summer bucket and spade list with the help of Frugi

Disclaimer,

This is a collaborative post with Frugi 

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Today I’m choosing not to be a shouty mum

Choosing is the most important action in that title. I should probably start by explains that it’s not that I never get cross or live on a bubble of zen with my legs crossed and rose-tinted spectacles, ignoring EVERY misdemeanour with a smile and a nod

 they’re just expressing themselves

type thing. I know when my kids have stepped out of line and that they do things which need pulling up and stopping. I just choose not to shout.

It’s a parenting style which evolved through understanding and looking at things from their point of view rather than my own. Once I realised that life can be just as complex and downright wobbly for them, the light bulb moment came that yelling (and smacking) was more about releasing my frustrations than teaching them right from wrong.

Need that clarifying? Here goes;

When I’m stressed my brain and my patience goes gaga. Little irritating things turn into big irritating things. All that cortisol and adrenalin rushing round my body stops my rational thoughts like a huge boulder on the track. for example, when I’m stressed and my toddler’s wiping my favourite hand cream all over the bathroom wall instead of washing his hands. That really pisses me off. I WANT to shout and ask him wtf does he think he’s doing? Does he not think I’ve got enough to do. (of course he doesn’t, he’s 2 and it’s perfectly natural to be egocentric)

But I know that’s my fight response taking charge. I’m cross and I feel like shouting to release that frustration. You still with me?

Sure it’ll make him realise that I’m fuming, it was wrong and maybe he shouldn’t NEVER do it again.

But here’s the problem.

I need to be showing my kids how to show some self-restraint

By nature, I’m not that shouty, stressed person. Most of the time I’m rational and would talk to my son in a calm but stern voice when he’s done something wrong. Explain why it’s wrong and give him an understanding of why not do it again (not just it’ll make Mummy scary) Those moments when I want to yell are the hardest by far. Those are the ones when I’m exercising every level of restraint not to lose my parenting cool.

But they are also the moments when I’m modelling to my sponge-of-a-son how not to lose your cool. When I yell (it has happened in the past, I’m not Mary Poppins!) my kids glaze over, they shut down OR they get angry back. THEIR brain stops working as it should & they go into a fight or flight situation, where any chance of rational understanding goes out the window. In short, they stop listening,

When I yell (it has happened in the past, I’m not Mary Poppins!) my kids glaze over, they shut down OR they get angry back. THEIR brain stops working as it should & they go into a fight or flight situation, where any chance of rational understanding goes out the window. In short, they stop listening, instead, consumed by their own feelings rather than understanding what they did wrong.

I need to be showing my kids how to show some self-restraint, so they can do the same when faced with similar situations. By not shouting at every annoying or naughty thing they do, they also know that if they do do something horrendous, then they’ve really crossed the line. But even those moments when I have to whip out the big Mummy voice, we still regroup and talk about why it was wrong. Like I said, I’m not perfect but I am the role model and trying my arm hardest to raise level-headed kids.

But the no shouting thing, that’s normal me, that’s what my kids expect and that’s how my kids learn right from wrong and go out into the world with little inner voices reminding them how best life works. Don’t always jump in with both fists.

That’s why today I’m choosing not to be a shouty mum.


 

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Reviewing The Sleep Tight All Night Bear

Sleep, babies, toddlers, blah, blah, blah. They have got to be one of the most talked about subjects on every parent’s lips at some point in their kid’s lives and I totally put my hands up, I have quite an unconventional approach to sleep. 3 babies in and I ripped up the rule book and stopped fretting about what everyone else did with my last baby and followed my son’s lead.

We co slept for 2 years as that was the only way he settled and even now he wanders into my bed most nights or mornings.  He’s a happy, sociable child and I’ve never had the sleep deprivation that I experienced with my older kids. So why am I reviewing a sleep aid device, if I don’t think my son has a sleep problem you’re probably thinking?

Well, as much as I have no problem with early morning or night-time snuggles. As a work from home mum, who’s most productive part of the day tends to be the evening. I could REALLY do with cutting down our bed time routine. In the past I can spend over an hour settling, reading and sitting with my boy waiting for him to nod off for the night. He’s such a busy little thing at the best of times and seems to pull every last snippet of energy out the bag just before he heads off to dream land.

Which is why I’m testing the Sleep Tight All Night, I was curious to see if it helped cut down bed times.


Looking light a normal teddy, it’s a cuddleable sleep aid which helps teach your child when to sleep and when to get up by using different coloured lights and sounds to differentiate day and night. There’s a selection of  soothing white noise and nature noises for night and cute phrases for day.

We started off by keeping the Sleep Tight All Night  bear downstairs in daytime mode for few days while my son got use to it, then we moved onto to introducing it to our bedtime routine. Each night, after the usual round of stories, I remind my boy to get his sleep teddy, he pull’s out the unit which sits under a velcro’s patch of material at the bottom, set the timer, then go through which noise he wanted.

reviewing the sleep tight all night bear to helpmeet toddler settle more quickly at bed time and improve our bedtime routine

After a few days or so, he’d always opt for the heart beat sound but only after he’d been through every other one. I really started to notice a difference to how quickly he settled after a week. There’s was much less resistance and tossing and turning as he went through the same routine ending with selecting his noise, putting the monitor back in the teddy and telling me the light is red so time for bed. Then laying down quietly, drifting off in half the time he’d done previously.

reviewing the sleep tight all night bear to helpmeet toddler settle more quickly at bed time and improve our bedtime routine

I’ve not seen any change to keeping him in his bed all night yet, but if I’m honest, I’ve not really enforced this as I don’t have a problem which him coming in to sleep with me as he drifts straight back off. So I can’t comment on how effective it is in that respect, that said, I will be trying it out when he’s a little older and able to understand that he needs to stay in his bed and go back to sleep.

In a nutshell, the Sleep Tight All Night teddy has cut down bed time by helping my toddler settle and wind down to relax off to sleep. It’s given my son some independence and control over his bed time routine and is now a permanent feature on his pillow, I’m hoping it helps maintain some normality when going on holiday too!

Disclaimer

We were sent this product for the purpose of this review, the Sleep Tight All Night is available to buy  from Golden Bear Toys 

 

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Setting Online Parental Controls With The Help Of O2 & NSPCC

I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself to keep check on the parental controls on all the devices my kids have. It’s been really easy to let things slip as they get a little older but compared to how I was with my older son, the tween has a lot more freedom. While I’m fully aware that this whole parenting game is pretty much trial and error (should profusely apologise to my teenager at this point, he has been a total learning curve) now I’ve settled into the role and am a lot more confident that I’m doing ok, I’ve been free wheeling with the tween.

But he’s the quiet one, the one which won’t make a fuss and just go about his day playing his xbox, checking his phone and watching TV when we’re home, while my lively toddler takes up a lot of my time. We always used to joke that my sister, the middle child, only ever appeared so well behaved (compared to me) because she was so quiet and in hindsight, she wasn’t the total squeaky clean teen we all thought she was. Silence was her virtue, where as open and nonchalant me got away with nothing!

So I’m using that gift of hindsight to take a reality check on my quiet little 12 year old and setting up parental controls on his iPhone, sorry son! He’s at such a vulnerable and impressionable age and the internet can be a dark, dark place. I had been using a Home Halo device to filter unsuitable websites to their devices. The peace of mind it gave me was invaluable but since that packed in, I’m relying on the BT broadband parental controls as well as setting up the correct ages on all their apple devices and keeping check on browsing histories that they’re not access anything they shouldn’t which has slipped the net.

KidzInMind is an ‘app of apps’, unlocking over £50 worth of educational games and apps that can be played by children on smartphones & tablets

Social networking is a big scare factor for any parent theses days but I do feel it’s something which we have to allow. I regularly check my tween’s followers and at 12 I think it’s not unreasonable to know his passcodes, making sure we have that conversation about staying safe online  and for him to know that I’ll be doing it so he can exercise a little self control.

My real concerns, however, are when he’s searching the web and the possibility of him stumbling on things by mistake.  knowing where to start when your kids get new devices is a total mine field though. Even a technology loving mum like myself is finding it harder to stay ahead of the game. Initiatives like those offered by the NSPCC and  O2 provide parents with the free advice and technical support they need to keep children safe online.

For example, they run workshops with parents across the country, and offer a free dedicated helpline service – 0808 800 5002 – for any internet safety questions (i.e. setting parental controls). Additionally parents can get hands-on free assistance in-store with O2 Gurus. (you can book an appointment here)

With the statistics showing that;

  • Childline has seen a 60% year on year increase in counselling sessions with children left worried after seeing porn online.
  • ·      NSPCC research found that children were as likely to find pornography accidentally, as to deliberately search for it.
  • ·      Web traffic to the NSPCC’s parent advice on protecting young people from the impact of porn has increased by 58% during 2016.

Setting parental controls is something to be taken very seriously.

making sure your kids don't loose their momentum when it comes to their education is easy with these fun homework ideas

Disclaimer

This is a collaborative post 

 

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