How to help your Children learn with music!

Friday, 29 September 2017

For those of you that don't know, Pomelody is a comprehensive online music education system for children 0-6 and their families. In short it is the world’s first music education e-learning platform for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Designed from the ground up to stimulate a child’s music potential while giving parents (even those of us with no music ability!) an opportunity to bond and have fun.


Having reached its Kickstarter target in just 10 daysPomelody is now targeting its stretch goal of $55,000 on Kickstarter which will enable the development of an institutional version of the platform giving free access to underprivileged children, such as in orphanages, around the world. Music can have an important therapeutic effect for children escaping from war or natural disasters and offers a positive escape.

Pomelody the world’s first music e-learning platform for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, managed a Kickstarter campaign with the aim to bring fun, family-bonding music education to children and parents everywhere.


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 finalized) and building the platform is nearly finished. Pomelody has used Kickstarter to successfully secure funding of $30,000 to help develop further seasons (delivered quarterly via PC, laptop and tablet) and to finish the platform build.



So, what exactly do you get as a series backer of Pomelody, firstly a Kickstarter special price $109 instead of $149, but also

· 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

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.

I absolutely believe this yo be true. I am a huge music lover so Liv has been brought up around music her whole life, from singing nursery rhymes to making up her own songs with her musical instruments, I feel music has had a big impact on her learning. Also it is fun which means it is a great way to bond, best of all your little ones don't even know they are learning! I can't wait to give Pomelody a try!

Give the Kids Something Different This Birthday

Friday, 4 August 2017

Struggling to find the perfect birthday present this year? 

Why not try something they can’t break after a few days? 

Something which won’t leave them glued to a screen or keep them cooped up indoors all day. 


Remember the days, when playing outside in the garden or at the local park was our escape? The thing we would wait all day for until we finished school. 

Give your kid that same experience which they won’t forget, one they will be telling their kids about one day. 

Ticket to an event

Does your child enjoy listening to music?  Singing along to their favourite song? How about giving your child their first real experience at a concert, a play or a show? 
Let their love for music/dance/performing grow; watch them find inspiration by the uplifting atmosphere, you can find out who’s on tour by visiting sites like Ticketmaster.

Magazine subscriptions

Why not give your child a monthly subscription to their favourite magazine? Allow them to learn more about their favourite hobby, whether it’s an interest in cars or a particular sport etc. Give them the excitement of receiving an envelope with their name on every month, allowing them to feel grown up. 

Classes

Does your child dream of being the next Olympic athlete? How about the future winner of the Grand National? Or how about the next famous Popstar? Classes in skills such as horse riding, singing and dancing give your child the opportunity to improve their ability and become the best they can be. Allow them to feel part of something, enabling them to build friendships which will last a lifetime. 

Musical Instruments

Why not a piano to go with those piano lessons you bought at Christmas? Or a guitar, or a set of drums? Encourage your little one to practice each week and improve their skill. Let them express themselves in a different way, one which they can go to school the next day and show off their improved skill. 

A Piggy bank

Receiving a piggy bank gives your child a sense of independence and responsibility in learning to save and manage money. Why not let your children choose a toy which they have to pay for, encouraging them to save up for it? This gives them a chance to feel like a grown up and may benefit them in future.

Memberships

Why not something which could last the whole year. Does your little one share the same dream as most other kids? To have their own Gorilla? Tiger? Giraffe? Or maybe an Elephant, Rhino or Cheetah? The different Adoptions packages which The Aspinall Foundation offers include unlimited entry to Howletts Wildlife Park or Port Lympne Safari Park. 

Your child has the option to visit their beloved animal at any time throughout the month or the year dependant on the package. 

Day out

How about a day out, doing an activity they’ll love? The options are endless, for example, swimming, bowling, skating, have a picnic at the park or go on a bike ride. Being able to create great memories which will be remembered as ‘the best day ever’.

7 Things to consider for first-time homeowners decorating their homes

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Decorating your first home? Then we’ve put together our 7 top tips to help you, from discovering the artist within you to making the most of the inexpensive solutions available. You’ll soon have your new property feeling like a home. Here are some hints and tips on how to go about it

1) Incredible paint effects 

Take a leaf out of the book of Jocasta Innes and rediscover traditional painting techniques to introduce some unique style into your home. In her book Paint MagicJocasta re-introduced painting techniques such as marbling, stippling, stencilling and rag-rolling to the British public. So why don’t you have a go? It’s amazing the effect that a fresh lick of paint can have on a room. So get out your paint brushes and get to it. If you want to make a small room seem larger, then stick to pale colours and use paint with light reflective qualities toenhance the light levels in the room. It will help give your home a fresh new look and make it look brighter and bigger to boot. 

2) Statement furniture

Put a personal stamp on your home with a few pieces of statement furniture. Invest in furniture that is well crafted and will serve you for a long time to come. Shop around online to buy furniture directly from the manufacturers, so that you save by cutting out the middleman. That way you’ll get better quality for your budget and save the pennies and pounds.Look closely for the signs of a well-made piece of furniture from dovetail joints to wooden corner blocks and avoid those pieces that primarily utilise staples, glue and nails. 

3) Think vintage

Vintage style has been a firm favourite with interior designers for a long time now, and it’s an easy way to inject some personality into your interior design scheme. Scout around your local charity shops, auction rooms and car boot sales to find a few choice bargains. Don’t stick rigidly to one era. Have fun creating a pick ‘n’ mix of different styles to introduce a unique personal style into your home. If you’re looking for a focal point for a room, vintage finds can be the perfect means to achieve this.
If you’re working to a small budget to decorate your first home, then don’t forget to check out the freecycle network: www.freecycle.orgIt’s a community-based initiative that’sentirely non-profit making. Here, you could find a pre-loved pieced of furniture that needs a new home and stop it going to landfill. With people regularly updating their soft furnishings, living room suites and kitchens, you never know what nearly-new treasures you might find, so log on to find out.  



4) Making over your kitchen

Making over your kitchen doesn’t have to be expensive. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to shell out for an entirely new fitted kitchen, as that’s not the case. You can give your kitchen a fresh new look simply by giving it a new coat of paint or putting new doors on your cabinets. In fact, you don’t even need to do the latter, with specialist paint and colourful vinyl available to update a tired-looking kitchen. Have a go at some DIY jobs like tiling, there’s lots of advice available online from Wikihow to YouTube.        

5) Architectural salvage

Architectural salvage yards can be the perfect place to find an unusual feature for your new home or garden. Don’t just take things at face value, think about how you could reuse or repurpose objects and give them a new life. Old sinks and chimney pots have long been repurposed as eye-catching garden features, while vintage industrial paving could be reused to create the hard landscaping features in your garden. What’s more architectural salvage yards often come up trumps with striking features for inside your home from stained glass inserts for your windows to old sewing machine bases to repurpose as tables.

6) Discover your inner artist 

Discover the artist in you and get creative while decorating your new home. Whether it is fabric, painting, woodwork or ceramics that interests you, use your creative talents to make your house a home. Sign up for a local evening class and develop your craft skills. Get to work creating a bright rag rug for your living room, a painting for your wall, a quilt for your bedroom or a statement piece of ceramics to give the wow factor in your home. Consider reupholstering your vintage and charity shops finds to give them a new look. The sky’s the limit, so let’s get started.         

7) Light fantastic

Optimise the light levels in your new home by introducing mirrors and glassAgain mirrors are something you can pick up for a song in your local charity shop, but there are also lots of chic, inexpensive examples available in high street shops too. Consider creating a gallery effect with lots of smaller mirrors clustered together on one wall. Also, think about introducing glass tiles or light fittings with cut-glass elements that will reflect light around your home. 

So there you have our seven top tips for decorating your first home - we hope it’s got your creative juices racing and that you’ll soon have your new home decorated.

Top Tips for Revamping Your Backyard

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

With summer now just around the corner, this is the perfect time to start revamping your garden so that you can spend some quality time with your family in the backyard over the warmer period of the year. This can be achieved in many different ways, but ultimately you will want to create a bright, attractive and fun space that is great for the kids, but also somewhere that you can chill out or socialise with friends.


Social Area

One of the most important parts to address is the social area. All gardens should have a space where you can sit down and enjoy food and drinks together whilst soaking up the sunshine. Raised decking is a superb place to do this as it can look fantastic and perfectly blends the indoors and outdoors together.


You will want to have a table large enough so that you can enjoy family BBQ’s, as well as enough chairs for the family and a few additional guests. It is worth installing a clear glass balustrade if you have raised decking and young children, as this will make sure that no accidents occur and it can also look great too.


Outdoor Lighting

You may also want to consider outdoor lighting for this social area. This allows you to enjoy being outside once the sun goes down, plus it can also help to create a welcoming ambience and accentuate certain areas at night.


Lawn Games

Another way to revamp your garden is to invest in some fun lawn games that you can play as a family. This could include skittles, croquet, bowls or any other type. Kids love to spend time playing in the garden, so consider joining them with games that are great fun for everyone. You
 may also want to invest in some outdoor storage so that these games and any other toys can be stored away whenever not in use. This keeps the garden looking tidy and attractive.


Non-Plant Surface

If your grass often looks scruffy and unattractive, consider constructing a non-plant surface through the garden to create contrast and to improve the look of the overall area. This could be a gravel path, pebbles, bark chips or paving slabs.


Fresh Paint

Applying fresh paint to the perimeter fencing, garden shed and furniture is a quick and easy way to revitalise the entire backyard and you could even try bold new colours to revamp the garden.


These simple steps will transform your garden and ensure that it is where you and your family create many happy memories this summer.

How to choose windows for your baby's bedroom

Want to choose the right windows for your baby’s bedroom, then here are a few tips to help you:

Opening
First and foremost, you’ll want a window that your child can’t open, whether it has handles that are out of reach or are fittedwith locks. Look at options where the windows open at the side or top. If you do have locks fitted, keep the keys where only adults can reach them, but in an easily accessible place in case you need them quickly. You may want to baby proof your windows in other ways, like installing window stops or guards, but remember the latter must have a release mechanism in case of an emergency. 

Safety
When choosing your windows look at the options for strengthened glass or having a protective film installed – so there is no risk of the glass shattering.

Quiet
To minimise sound pollution and to ensure your baby has a good night’s sleep, consider installing double or triple glazing to keep the noise levels down. It will help you all to have a peaceful night’s sleep.

Warmth  
In addition, you’ll want to consider how the window will contribute to the warmth of the room, but allow for ventilation too. Look to see if windows have a good energy efficiency rating, as the better the rating, the more the windows will retain warmth, reduce drafts,  cold spots and the build up of condensation.



Frame materials
UPCV windows have a reputation for lasting a long time, whilst wooden windows suit properties of a more traditional style and are often considered more environmentally friendly too. Aluminium and steel frames also have a reputation for lasting a long time, can be built to a slim design and suit a certain sort of property down to the ground.    

Easy to clean
You’ll also want a window that’s easy to clean, just in case of mucky finger marks. Something you can wipe clean easily is just the ticket. 

Aesthetics
Once the safety and practical considerations are out of the way, you’ll want to consider the look and 
aesthetics of the windows too and choose a style and material that fits in with the rest of your home – especially if it is a period property.  

Permissions
If you’re planning to install new windows, then give time to consider whether there are any permissions you need in place beforehand. Remember, if your property is in a conservation area or is listed, there will be restrictions on what you can do, and youll need listed building consent. Some new windows even require planning permissionIn addition, if you’re in a leasehold property, then you may require the permission of the freeholder or a maintenance company.  
If you’re not sure what windows to choose for your baby’s bedroom, then ask the advice of the professionals, the team at Buckingham double glazing can help you find a window that’s fit for purpose and gives you peace of mind too.