Buying a Pressure Washer

We’ve been thinking of buying a pressure washer for those jobs which are just too time consuming, and lets face it too boring to do by hand.

I’m thinking, cleaning the car, garden furniture, decking, and rubbish bins, already and I’m hoping I’ll find many more uses for it once I’ve decided which one to get,

I’ve been looing at the Karcher Pressure washers but can’t decide between the K2 and the K4 I guess the K2 will be fine for what we need.

Also considering the Karcher Window Vac out of pure lazyness.

What do you guys think ?

Five Ways to Help Your Child Become a Good Reader

Child Reading

Teaching a child to read is a job that many families leave up to the school. However, if you want your child to excel at reading, there are things that you can do at home to give your child a boost. Reading is a skill that is interwoven into everything your child will do at school. The better your child is at reading, the easier everything else in school will become.

Here are five things you can do at home to help your child grow as a reader:

Encourage Reading as Early as Possible

It goes without saying that the sooner your child starts to read the better off they will be. This does not mean that you should sit down and start trying to teach a three year old how to read Dr. Seuss! Instead, you will want to start off with very simple stuff. How early? You can start pretty much as soon as your child can talk in complete sentences.

Two great places to start reading are your child’s name and with environmental print. Environmental print is simply the words we see all around us every day. Stop signs, restaurant logos, and the names of TV shows are all words that your child gets exposed to on a regular basis so there are plenty of opportunities for practice. Don’t worry about having your child “sound out” the words. The important thing is that they recognize that groups of letters can create words and that words mean something.

Make Reading Fun

Reading with your child doesn’t have to be boring and super structured. Sitting down and reading together with your kid is something that should be fun for both of you. After all, if both of you are having fun doing it, then it is more likely that you will do it again. Not only that, having fun wakes up the brain and makes learning easier.

There are a ton of fun books to read with your kids, no matter what age they may be. Find books with colorful pictures and easy to follow story lines for the youngest readers. For kids who are a little older look for books with exciting plots and colorful characters. As you read, try to imitate the voices of the characters. Read louder in exciting parts and settle down to a whisper during sad or scary parts. Have your child read along or imitate you as you read. Do whatever it takes to keep them (and you) interested and having fun.

If your child wants to read a page, but they don’t actually know the words yet, let them read anyway. Turning pages, following along with a story, and looking at pictures are all what experts call reading like behavior, and it is important for your child to learn. It doesn’t matter if the younger kids get some (or all) of the words wrong, all that matters is that THEY think they are reading and that you are spending time together.

Let Them Read (Almost) Anything

Many parents get frustrated or confused when their child wants to read the same book over and over again. However, it is actually very good practice and you should not discourage it. Like any other skill, reading takes practice, and practicing skills we have already mastered not only helps us maintain those skills it also makes it easier for us to learn more advanced skills.

A quarterback doesn’t throw a ball once and call it a day. They throw the ball thousands of times a year in practice. All of the easy throws add up and when it’s time to make the hard passes, they are ready. Of course the quarterback will practice harder skills. So will your child – when they are ready.

Your child might sometimes pick up a book that is way beyond what they can read. Don’t discourage this behavior. Your child will come to realize on their own that the book is too hard now, but it won’t be forever. No matter what the book is, the child probably recognizes some of the words so that means they just need to practice some more. Letting them come to this realization on their own will help them encourage themselves to keep trying.

Talk about What They Have Read

Fluency is the ability to quickly and correctly read words. Comprehension is the ability to understand what has just been read. By the time your child enters the third grade, school will be focusing more on comprehension than fluency. Fortunately, comprehension is another reading skill that you can practice at home.

When you are reading with your child, ask them questions while you are reading. Have them retell the story in their own words. If they have never read the story before, ask them what they think is going to happen next or why they think something in the story happened the way that it did. Look at the pictures before reading the book and have your child tell you what is going on in the pictures.

One powerful way to help with comprehension is to have your child make connections with the books they are reading. Have they read any books similar to the one you are reading? Ask the child to tell how they are the same. Do they know someone who looks or acts like one of the characters in the book? Ask them to explain how they are the same and how they are different. If the book is about a real place, has the child been there before? How is the place in the book different than when the child went there?

When your child is in school, they will be asked to write about things that they have read. Talking to your child during reading about what they have read is a good way to help them think about what they are reading more deeply than they might on their own. Just remember to have fun with it. Don’t ask your child to sit down and write an essay about Cat in the Hat!

Show Them That You Like to Read Too

One of the best ways to get your kid to love reading is to show that YOU love reading. When children see their parents doing something, they want to do it too. If you never read then don’t be surprised if they don’t take reading seriously either.

If you’re actually not much of a reader, don’t feel bad. You don’t have to be reading all the time to show your child that reading is important. Just make sure your house is well stocked with books and magazines and grab one every once in a while instead of flipping through social media or watching reruns.

Even though we live in a digital world and books and magazines are not as widespread as they used to be, reading is still incredibly important. Reading serves as a foundation for communication. People who are better readers are usually better writers and speakers as well. As communication becomes more face to face and instantaneous, kids who developed strong communication skills by being good readers at an early age will have a leg up on their peers.

Take the time to help your child become a good reader while they are young. It will pay off immensely not just in school but in whatever career they pursue later in life.

How to choose children’s bicycle seat?

bike

A bicycle is a convenient means of transportation for short and medium distances. The use of cycling includes daily trips for work and other business or just cruising around the area. A comfortable bicycle is equipped with numerous devices for the convenience of daily use. Various bicycle seats and bicycle trailers allow you to transport children from a very young age. Currently, there is a wide variety of bicycle seats.

How to choose a bicycle seat for a child to ensure safe transportation of the child?

Children’s bicycle seat is made of a steel frame and has proven safe materials (non-toxic plastics). This seat is specially designed for a comforable bike ride with your young children. Models differ by manufacturer’s brand and ways of how the seat is installed on a bike.

The main installation spots are:

• the pin under the saddle;

• bicycle frame;

• bicycle carrier.

Saddle on the bicycle handlebars

This modification is connected to the steering tube or to the front triangle. Such a bicycle seat is suitable for low-speed riding for small distances along bicycle trails, or any other roads with a flat surface.

Ways of installation:

• front upper pipe;

• lower front pin;

• body of the steering gear.

Advantages of the front saddle:

• Convenience in control;

• There is the possibility of constant monitoring of the child;

• Optimal visual view of the child;

• Lightweight design;

• Increased protection from pinching of the child’s feet between the spokes of the wheel;

• Adjustable seat belt;

• Ventilation opening;

• Increased depreciation;

• Free trunk.

Also, it is worth noting that the front bicycle seat is chosen for a bike with a rear shock absorber.

Disadvantages of the front saddle:

• Reduced safety for possible accidents and falls;

• Lack of pedaling comfort to a cyclist;

• The bicycle is narrow and firm, what brings discomfort for the child;

• Can withstand up to 15 kg.

Installation to the seat pin

Rear bicycle seat is attached to the pipe under the saddle – this is the most popular version of the child seat. It is attached with a special lock inserted into the ends of the suspension pins.

The main advantage is full depreciation: the seat is always suspended. For the installation of the seat, no additional fastening elements are required, in order to acquire a suitable chair; only the exact dimensions of the diameter and shape of the pin under the seat are required. It is considered the best option for safe and comfortable transportation of the child.

Main advantages:

• Available cargo transportation up to 23 kg;

• Easy to install / dismantle;

• Increased strength;

• Fixing the back of the seat;

• There is a compartment for the helmet;

• Presence of ventilation;

• Ease of planting;

• Universal – suitable for many modifications of the bike;

• Reliable depreciation;

• Can be used instead of the trunk.

Minuses:

• Only side views are available;

• Lack of tracking without special rear-view mirrors;

• Can not be installed to a bicycle with rear shock absorbers, as this may damage the parts.

Installation to the trunk

The seat installed on the trunk is suitable for flat dirt tracks and bicycle paths. It is mounted on the trunk box, so this type of chair can only be installed on a sturdy system. It is considered a simple and universal tool with a single minus – a complete lack of depreciation.

Advantages of fastening:

• Withstands a physical weight of up to 25 kg;

• Suitable for most cycling modifications.

Minuses:

• Absence of depreciation;

• Low degree of comfort and safety of the child.

If there is a question of which bicycle seat for children to choose on the bicycle, you can buy a universal seat complete with parts for attaching to the trunk and seat post.

Design of the bicycle saddle

Universal design of the bicycle seat:

• Side protective barriers;

• Adjustment of the passive safety device;

• Soft laying on the entire seating area;

• Adjustable footrest;

• Belt for fixing feet;

• An arc of attachment to cycling;

• Adjusting the angle of inclination with additional holes in the back of the seat;

• Equipped with a system to adjust the height of the backrest.

Required accessories for protection

There are three common degrees of safety for a child’s bicycle seat:

  • Belt that fixes the pelvic area of the child – strapping to the bicycle seat with additional plastic clips for the legs.

When falling, there is a risk of injury to the upper and lower extremities.

  • Foot fastener – the child is fastened to the bicycle seat with a special belt, the legs are located on the step.

If you fall, there is a risk of injury to your hands.

  • Full fixation of the child with seat belts. The child is held by the built-in belts.

This protection is considered to be the most reliable, serious injury is unlikely, possibly a minor injury if a serious fall.

The basic rules for choosing a bicycle seat

When choosing a bicycle seat, you need to pay attention not only to the brand and price of the product, but also to details that will ensure the comfort and safety of the passenger.

• The first thing to look at is a high level of protection – the smaller a child is, the safer the security system;

• Soft gasket on the seat;

• Notch for protective helmet;

• Footrest;

• Light reflectors for walking in the evening or cloudy weather.

When choosing a seat, it is better to choose items with anatomical forms, high back, side curtains and soft inner liners, then a ride with a young cyclist will be as safe as possible and will not cause discomfort.

Autumn Foraging

Autumn

Over the weekend, we had a fantastic outing to Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/waddesdon-manor/). The grounds were bright with autumnal colours; we were surrounded by splashes of red, gold and amber. Inspired by the beautiful scenery, we collected some pretty leaves, conkers, pine cones and twigs covered in lichen.

It was lovely to bring a little bit of autumn into our house so my toddler could explore these interesting things in more detail.

Sensory autumn box

A sensory box is a safe and simple way for toddlers to explore new ideas and objects. This was extremely straightforward to set up. All you need is a plastic box, or a cardboard box would do. I filled the base of the box with bird seed, but you could also use rice, popcorn kernels or sand. I put in some of the leaves, pine cones, twigs and conkers that we had collected at Waddesdon.

Alongside these, I added some little toy containers, a funnel, a bucket and a little plastic spade.

You could also add a few cinnamon sticks to stimulate your child’s sense of smell. Pop the box on the floor on top of an old sheet/splash mat and your toddler can have lots of fun exploring! my toddler began by sorting all the pine cones into the bucket.

But her favourite thing to do was to play with the bird seed and transfer it into the different containers.

I actually added three more little bowls of various sizes for her to use.

my toddler loved this activity and was happily absorbed for over an hour.

Leaf hedgehogs

Next, we decided to use some of the leaves we had collected to create some foraging creatures of our own: hedgehogs! This is a quick activity to set up. Draw a hedgehog shape onto some brown card or sugar paper. Cut out the hedgehog. To make several identical ones, use the first as your template.

Your toddler (guided by you) can then stick some leaves onto the body of the hedgehog, pointy sides at the top to emulate prickles.

To finish, simply draw the eyes, nose and mouth onto the face of the hedgehog using a black marker pen.

my toddler enjoyed sticking the leaves down, but I think that an older toddler would probably get more out of this activity, as they would be able to do more of it themselves.

Conker Caterpillar

We were lucky enough to find some nice conkers at Waddesdon, which were perfect for our next craft activity. To create conker caterpillars, simply make a hole through the middle of the conker. You can use a skewer, scissors or even a drill. I used a skewer. Then, grab some pipe cleaners. You will need to twist the end of the pipe cleaner to stop the conkers from falling off and also to avoid the sharp end from hurting your toddler. Then your toddler can have lots of fun practising his or her fine motor skills, threading the conkers onto the pipe cleaner.

I put a little bit of sellotape around the top of the pipe cleaner to protect my toddler’s fingers from the metal tip and also to make it easier for her to thread the conkers. When enough are on the pipe cleaner, you can remove the sellotape and twist the other end to secure the conkers. Then simply stick two goggly eyes onto the first conker to make your very own conker caterpillar!

my toddler found the finished product fascinating and enjoyed playing with it. She managed to pull the goggly eyes off very quickly though, so this is something to watch out for.

Next time you and your children are out and about enjoying the autumnal surroundings, don’t forget to collect some treasures of your own. We hope you enjoy recreating these activities. Happy foraging!