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Every year, we all make the same mistake of setting new year’s resolutions for ourselves that are just that teeny tiny bit impossible to keep. Making self-improvement goals (like going on a diet or exercising more) can be emotionally and physically demanding for anyone, but when you have a little person on your mind 24-7 it’s even worse!

The easy solution is to bin the big resolutions. “Going on a diet” or “giving up drinking” can be intimidating following the celebratory festive joy and season of big meals and chocolate! So why don’t we try setting ourselves some smaller goals that will help us in lots of little ways?

Here’s our list of (doable) new year’s resolutions for parents. We hope there’s a few that will appeal to you. 💝


1. Plan a trip/day out that is fun for you!

We all often make sure to have plans that will keep our kids entertained. But what about us? This year, make sure you have at least one plan that’s going to have something there for you. Even if it’s still a family trip out, make sure there is going to be fun for kids and fun for adults too.

2. Stress Less about the mess

Marie Kondo knows what she’s talking about when it comes to organising a drawer or donating excessive amounts of clothes. However, what Marie Kondo never shows us is what happens an hour later when our freshly organised and neatly folded drawers has had a toddler has tumble through it.

So, let’s try to not pull our hair out when we see the toys strewn across the floor and let’s not bite our nails at the thought of opening a clothes drawer that we forced shut in a sloppily rushed panic. Let us tell ourselves that mess does not equal stress!

3. Talk less, Listen more

Busy busy busy! We’re all always rushed off our feet with a to-do list that’s as long as our arms. It can mean that we’re often rushing about and dashing from one point to the next. However, sometimes that can lead to us rushing through conversations or talks with our kids. And when they’re young, these can be incredibly formative moments!

So, let’s all try and take the time to slow down our pace a little. And when our kids want to talk, let’s try to let them talk as much as they can. Let’s listen as much as feasibly possible.

4. Family Activity Jar

Not sure what family activity to decide on this week? Here’s an easy solution!

Get everyone in your family to write down any activities that they want to do at some point inside a family activity jar (or hat, bowl, or any other vessel you want to use!). Do this throughout your week/regular routine. And then once you’ve reached the day when you are going to do something all together, reach in and pick one at random.

You’ll reduce disputes and keep things fair!

new year's resolutions idea: Making a family activity jar! (Jar filled with colourful curled up pieces of paper)

5. Look after your own health if you are feeling run down

This one sounds like it should be very easy to keep. But you and I both know that it’s not.

We try incredibly hard to stride through any illnesses and try to carry on like normal. But it can just make us feel worse and worse until we’re reduced to tears.

This year, let’s try not to do that. If you feel ill and feel like you need to take some time to look after yourself, then do that. Ask someone if they wouldn’t mind looking after your little ones for a day and allow yourself a sick day. Even super-parents need a duvet day and a hot water bottle every so often!

6. Smash your screen (time)

Something that we didn’t notice happening alongside the unfortunate experiences we’ve had during the pandemic is our newly increased screen time. A lot of us are clocking up more time on our phones, but too much time on social media (or using our devices in general) can have a big effect on our mental health.

Reducing the amount of time we spend with our phones would be a great place to start improving our mental health, and also help us sleep a little better at night!

7. Treat yourself once a week

Not being acknowledged as we’re doing our usual parenting acrobatics as a parent or guardian can sometimes leave us feeling a little bit invisible. All that work, and it usually goes unnoticed. It’s time that we started treating ourselves for all the hard work we do! Make sure to treat yourself at least once a week. Whether that’s with a takeaway, a pamper session, or just plain and simply, some me-time.

You deserve a treat too, mamas and papas!

8. Practice taking more moments of calm for one of your new year’s resolutions

Newsflash: Parenting is manic!

It’s time consuming, stressful, and none of us knows what we’re doing! And while it’s going on, our own mental wellbeing is usually on the back burner and slowly being extinguished.

But taking a moment of calm for yourself doesn’t need to take longer than 2 or 3 minutes. Whether you take a moment to write down your thoughts, do a quick meditation or take a walk, why not try increasing how often you check in with yourself?

Read more of our tips on how to be more mindful here!

a mum and dad following our new year's resolutions idea of taking a moment to breathe, by sitting back and relaxing on their couch.

9. Make plans for adult-only parent time

You love your kids to infinity and beyond! They are your tiny little human and you love them with your all. But we all need to take a break from even those we love the most. This year, make some plans that will give you a breather from the kid-pocalypse and have some adult-only time, and try to make it as guilt-free as possible!

10. Have more meals as a family

Sometimes the different timings from every person in the house can lead to differing meal times. Where we can, try to arrange to have more meals all together as a family. It will increase our kids (and our) mood so much more!

11. Make one of your new year’s resolutions trying something new!

What’s something that you’ve always wanted to try? A new food? New outfit? A new baby class?

Don’t hold back anymore! This is your excuse to give it a go, and if it turns out you didn’t like it? Well, now you know! Try out something new in 2022.

(Find a new baby class to try on Happity today!)

12. Call your loved ones more often

We don’t keep it a secret at Happity that parents often feel lonely. You simultaneously have someone always in your life, and yet no one to talk to. You’re not alone in feeling that way.

But, maybe it’s time we made an effort to change that feeling while we’re experiencing it. When you’re feeling a bit lonely one day, pick up the phone and ring up someone who never fails to make you feel better. Whether that’s a family member or a close friend! Make sure that you’re staying connected, and the isolated feelings that come with parenthood should hopefully feel a little lighter.

A young mum following our new year's resolutions idea to call family and friends more often.

13. Make some new year’s resolutions to spend more time outside

There are countless benefits of making sure to get some fresh air every so often! Mind.org have said that being closer to nature can do some of the following:

  • improve your mood
  • reduce feelings of stress or anger
  • improve your physical health
  • improve your confidence and self-esteem

And that’s just to name a few!

14. Accept help from others

Reminder: accepting help from others isn’t a sign of weakness!

We all sometimes have those days where we wished we had 7 or 8 pairs of hands. So when someone offers their help your way, don’t be afraid to take them up on it. Whether you’d feel more comfortable with them taking your kids for the day, or simply helping with folding up some laundry.

People are more than happy to help!

15. The best new year’s resolutions involve no longer being your own worst enemy

If you’re going to make any big new year’s resolutions for yourself, try to make them about being kinder to yourself! Don’t put any heightened amount of stress on your shoulders, and try to find a resolution that’s in place for you.

Make a resolution to stop beating yourself up, comparing yourself to the picture-perfect family on Instagram, and feeling like you’re not a “perfect parent”.

Being a parent isn’t easy. You should be proud of every achievement you’ve made day by day with your kids. Make sure to remind yourself of that throughout the new year.


From all of us at team Happity: Happy New Year! We look forward to helping you find your new classes this year  🎉


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15 Easy to do Rainy Day Activities For Toddlers

Read on to find some of our best rainy day activities for toddlers!


When you’re stuck indoors because it’s rainy or freezing (or you’re isolating!), the days can feel super long. Especially if you have an energetic toddler to entertain!

The four walls can seem like they’re closing in on you! Because of that, you end up wondering how you can fill the hours and make it through the day with your sanity intact!

We’ve put together some fab rainy day activities for toddlers to get you through.

Many are super quick and easy to set up. And little ones will love them.

Activities to do with toddlers on a cold or rainy day

1. Washing up glove finger puppets

Make finger puppets in minutes with this toddler-friendly activity. Simply snip the fingers off a pair of washing up gloves and use pens to make faces (Sharpies work best but supervise toddlers well if you use these!). You could glue googly eyes and wool hair to make your puppets.

Rainy day activities for toddlers - finger puppets

2. Painting with cars

For a quick and easy painting session with an exciting twist why not paint with toy cars? Your toddler can ‘drive’ cars through blobs of paint and then explore all the colourful tracks they make on the paper

3. Play dough works of art

Have you ever made ‘paintings’ with play dough? They’re so much fun to do. Start with simple shapes and let your toddler enjoy squishing and squeezing down the dough so that it sticks to the paper.

rainy day activities for toddlers

4. Rainy day activities for toddlers – Make a sensory play tray

You can do this quickly and easily by pouring dry pasta, rice, sand or flour into a tray and adding spoons, scoops, bowls and funnels. We have loads of fab ideas for sensory play trays here.

5. Car (or dolly) wash

Set up a bowl of warm soapy water and a bowl of clean warm water. Gather lots of towels. And then let your toddler enjoy washing their toy cars or dolls. You could also make toy cars muddy first by driving them through the soil in the garden for added fun

6. Two ingredient cloud dough

This cloud dough is super quick and easy to make – using only 2 ingredients! Just mix roughly equal amounts of hair conditioner and cornflour until you have a soft dough.

It is so lovely to play with! Add some play dough cookie cutters and tools for added fun.

7. Sock puppets

Put all those odd socks to good use! Glue on buttons, googly eyes and wool to transform an old sock into a fab hand puppet. Once you’ve made that, we know that your toddler is bound to have lots of giggles with it.

8. Rainy day activities for toddlers -Make an indoor den

Drape a blanket over two chairs to make a simple den. Fill with cushions, toys, books and little activities for some magical den time fun. Then you’re sure to have created a space that your toddlers will adore!

9. Take a trip to the library

It’s the perfect activity for a cold or rainy day. Wrap up warm and then head to your local library. Loads of libraries have arts and crafts or colouring activities on hand for toddlers to do too – some even have storytelling sessions.

Have a quick search on Happity to help find some great library-based toddler groups!

10. Cress Heads

A classic that never loses its appeal for little ones. Clean and draw faces on eggshells and then show your toddler how to plant and grow cress. They’ll love checking their little egg heads every few days to see when they start to grow ‘hair’. These lovely Cress Heads were made by Emma for her amazing guest blog filled with amazing activities for toddlers.

11. Let’s go shopping! – Rainy day activities for toddlers

Set up a play shop with your toddler. Will it be a food shop or a shoe shop? Maybe even an ice cream shop with cones filled with play dough? Gather all the items for sale and pop on a shelf or table. Add a play till and a basket and your toddler will spend a happy time playing shops.

12. Shaving foam painting fun

Squeeze out some shaving foam into a tray and add either food colouring or paint. Then let your toddler swirl the colours around with a paintbrush or marble them with a cocktail stick

rainy day activities for toddlers

13. Mini Masterchefs

Get the pinnies out and enjoy a baking session together. There are loads of toddler-friendly recipe ideas out there. We love this one for strawberry and coconut flapjacks.

14. Garden centres galore!

Garden centres are magical to toddlers and make a fun, free day out! If they have pets for sale, your tot will love seeing hamsters, guinea pigs and fish. There are also often fab books and toys to browse and child-friendly cafes. It’s a toddler-friendly day out!

15. Peg paintbrushesRainy day activities for toddlers

Use pegs to make fab paintbrushes that little ones will love. Use a peg to make paintbrushes with leaves, twigs, sponges and even tufts of wool. Your toddler will enjoy painting with their alternative brushes to see the marks they’ll make!

rainy day activities for toddlers - peg paint brushes

You might also like:

Easy crafts for toddlers

A-Z activities for toddlers

Sensory play ideas for toddlers

Becoming a first time dad can have premade assumptions. We expect soft, but dignified, feelings and swelling music to add to the hollywood-style scene.

But, is it quite so glamourous?

We’re excited to introduce a new monthly segment, “Diary of a First Time Dad”, being written by our new Head of Growth, Stuart. We hope you enjoy!


Diary of a First Time Dad: Age 45 and ⅔  

From the day I discovered that my wife was, that we were, expecting our first child, fatherhood conjured up an image in my mind. Closely followed by reality. A very, very, very different reality. Having gone to all the antenatal classes and the scans I was allowed to I felt informed… I’d read the books and packed the bag and I felt ready. Prepped. 

How did I imagine it? When the time came I’d grab the bag and bring round the car, get my wife in and get to the hospital in no time. After a few brief, soft-focus-shot hours a gleaming baby would appear and smile beautifically at me. In the clenched-jaw, picture immortalised by Hollywood I’d perhaps shed a single tear with my wife looking on serenely, holding our sleeping baby. Fast forward to the next day and we’re happily driving home, baby resting and before you know it we’re settled on the sofa with a cup of tea (decaf for my wife, of course – I HAD read the books) with baby Stu dozing quietly. I was ready. It was all going to run like clockwork. 

first time dad and newborn baby fist bumping!

*RECORD SCRATCH* 

That isn’t what happened. That isn’t close to what happened. Not even slightly close. To give an example, the idea of a single tear manfully rolling down my cheek was, in hindsight, highly unlikely at best. Notwithstanding the fact that there is NOTHING as a dad which can prepare you for meeting your first child. Think all of your emotions turned up to 100 and hitting you like an express train all at once – the more pertinent point is that I tend to wail like an Italian grandmother at mildly poignant television adverts. Suffice to say, I nearly flooded the birthing room. 

Fast forward to the slowest drive home since the horse and cart was replaced (joggers were overtaking me, and not particularly fast ones at that) and the clearest memory I have was the moment the front door clicked behind me. I looked at my wife. She looked at me. We both looked at our daughter. She threw up a little (and tbh if I’d known what was coming, perhaps I would have too.). 

…What now?

We all looked at each other and thought, what now? What on earth now?? As parents, you’re led all the way to the day of birth but straight after that, you’re on your own. Or at least that’s how it feels on that first moment home alone. My wife looked to me, exhausted, glowing, brilliant… and it was everything I wanted to do to problem solve and have the answers. Fix things. And so began the most humbling, grounding, wonderful, exhausting, exasperating journey. With the first lesson being you can’t ‘fix’ anything for the mother of your child. They know more than you. They can do more than you.

First Time Dad – First of a series

This is the start of my monthly blog as the diary of a first time dad as I enthusiastically crash around, getting lots wrong along the way but learning even more. 

I’ve actually only just joined the Happity team and these first memories go back to March 2020 when my daughter was born. As I sit here typing with one eye on a baby monitor she is currently 8 and a bit months old (when did I stop knowing the exact weeks and days old?). The posts in the weeks and months ahead will be a mix of what’s happening now and looking back on the months gone by. The teething. The weaning. The terror. The joy. Countless nappies. And so many laughs.

I’ll also try to recommend something I’ve seen, read or heard which has helped me make sense of the journey I’m going on. And whilst I’m a dad, I hope of course this will give some laughs, guidance (and let’s be honest, insight to you mums out there of what us dads are going through too!) to any parent or carer out there. 

This is obviously just my experience and everyone’s will be different. I’m a dad. Not a mum. My experience will be like many dads out there. And different from many others. The same as many mums out there. And different from others. Your experience may be very different to mine, and we would love to hear (and if you’d like us to) your story too! Get in touch on [email protected] if you’d like to share your story.

This week’s recommendation: The brilliant weekly podcast by Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe, Parenting Hell.


If you liked this, you might also like:

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If you’re feeling low then we’ve put together some top tips to cope at Christmas time.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or so we’re told.

There’s so much pressure at Christmas time for us all to be merry and bright – and an unspoken stigma towards anyone who might not feel so jovial.

But we all know that life doesn’t always work out as we think it should. If you’re suffering from depression or struggling mentally that doesn’t just go away as we hang up the tinsel. The pressure to have a happy Christmas can actually worsen symptoms,

But how do you get through the festive period if you’re feeling low?

Look after yourself

Nail the basics. Make sure you get enough sleep and rest. Eat well, drink enough water and get all the breaks you can.

It can be harder to eat well and sleep well when you’re struggling. But the more you can, the better you’ll fare.

It can help to ask your partner or a family member or friend to keep an eye out and help you nail the basics too. Whether that means cooking for you, looking after the kids so you can rest or helping with nursery/school runs so you have less on your plate.

If someone offers to help – let them. If nobody does – ask!

Even during the festivities make sure you carve out some time to breathe. If you need a walk alone or a nap then take it. If you need to put on a Christmas movie so the kids will zone out and you can snooze – do it!

And don’t feel guilty. Self-care is never selfish. When you know you’re already struggling it’s vital.

Use the FLAME way to build self-care into your days as Christmas approaches

How to cope at Christmas – Talk to someone

This one goes for whenever you feel down but is more important at this time of year. The task of planning for, shopping for and getting ready for Christmas can feel overwhelming at the best of times. And almost impossible if you’re struggling.

Talk about how you are feeling. Don’t bottle it up. Talk to your partner, your family, your friends. Opening up about how you are struggling is hard but it always helps. Talking will ease the pressure and help you gather support to help you cope throughout the busy Christmas period.

You might feel that you need to talk to a counsellor or a mental health professional to make sure you have the support you need.

Seeking help is not a weakness. It’s a brave and important step.

If you are feeling so low on energy that you can’t even begin to find out how you can get help then ask a family member or friend to help you find places to contact. We have some great charities and organisations that can help on our PND pages.

How to cope at Christmas if you're feeling low - talk to someone

Cut back on presents

We all know that there’s often too much spending and too many gifts at Christmas. And thinking of what to buy and shopping for them adds to the pressure. Make a list. Make it twice (scrapping all the extras) and make Christmas shopping easier.

If you can’t face the shops, buy online. Support local online shops if you can.

And – if your Christmas list is as long as your arm and it stresses you out – maybe now is the time to scale back on who you buy for. Maybe do a Secret Santa for adults in the family so you all but one gift instead of one for each other?

Scale it all back on the food will help with coping at Christmas

The lead up to the big day is such a hectic time. There’s just so much to plan and do and – especially if you’re feeling low – it can feel overwhelming.

One of the things you can do is to scale it back. You don’t have to go overboard and drive yourself to exhaustion prepping for the best Christmas ever. It won’t do you any favours and it won’t help your family either.

If you’re cooking – remember that essentially Christmas dinner is just a posh roast. And nobody will care if you cut corners. By all means – if you’ve got the time and the energy – make your own cranberry sauce and roast potatoes. But – if you’re feeling frazzled cut ALL the corners. Buy pre-made sauces and trimmings. Go all out and buy easy bung-in-the-oven shortcuts. Delegate and ask guests to bring a dish each so that there’s less pressure on you.

how to cope at Christmas

One of the best ways to cope at Christmas – Be brave enough to say ‘No’

Decide how you can cope at Christmas this year and say ‘No’ to anything you know will push you too much.

If you can’t face lots of social occasions – then don’t go.

If you’d rather have a quiet family Christmas at home then make it happen.

Last year – with the Covid restrictions – taught us all a lot about how Christmas doesn’t have to be a huge event.

And how there are ways to connect without even leaving your house. If you want to forgo a big family get together and travelling then suggest you all meet on Zoom instead for a family quiz.

It’s hard to say ‘No’ but – if you’re struggling – it can be the best thing for you. AND your family.

How to cope at Christmas: Limit your social media intake

Your Instagram feed will be chock full of images of families enjoying the ‘perfect’ Christmas. We all know that they’re just snapshots. And that they don’t always tell the full story. but being bombarded by images of the perfect family Christmas when you’re feeling low can make you feel even more miserable.

They say comparison is the thief of joy. But, if you scroll through social media, it’s hard not to compare. And to come away feeling worse than you did before you checked your feed.

If you’re struggling try and limit your social media intake. If you’re really brave – delete it altogether – at least during the Christmas period.

When there’s an empty place at the Christmas table

One of the reasons you might be struggling this Christmas is because you’ve lost a loved one. At this time of year, it can feel harder than ever.

Give yourself permission to grieve. It can be really really hard. But it’s not something that you should conceal and keep to yourself.

Cruse advises finding a way to remember your loved one and says:

“This can be as simple as ‘speaking’ to the person, silently or out loud, visiting their grave, or a place that was special to them. These things can be done alone or with friends or family. You may have photos or memories which you can share to bring you together.”

Marie Curie suggests finding ways to pay tribute in your day:

“Take the chance to talk about your loved one. You could light a candle by a photograph or release a balloon in memory.”

Pure and simply: you should listen to your own gut about how you would like to process the loss. Whether you would prefer going to your local church and being with a community as you hang an ornament with your loved ones name on it, or if you would prefer to quietly grieve in familiar territory like your own home -it’s up to you. Do what feels right in your heart.

And when you need to process it, try not to hold back the tears and keep a brave face for your family, as they can be a big source of comfort at this time. We need to remind ourselves that It’s okay to be facing a difficult time in your life and to feel sad about it. Even if it happens during the festive period.

Remember: It’s okay to be sad at Christmas

If you’re feeling low – for whatever reason – Christmas can be a hard time. The pressure, the enforced jollity and the overwhelm of all you have to do to get ready for the big day can be immense.

Talk to family and friends. Or perhaps a counsellor or medical professional.

And remember – it’s one day. Just one day.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ll get through it.

Reach out. Take care. Be kind to yourself.

And – let others look after you too.


Check out more from the Happity blog:

Simple ways to ignite your spirit and improve your mood

Is there too much pressure to be the perfect parent?

Manage your anxiety- 5 top tips to help you in the moment

Looking for some easy Christmas toddler activities to keep your little one occupied? Look no further!

At this time of year, every parent needs an easy way to keep little ones occupied while they get on with the million and one other tasks we need to get done in the run-up to Christmas!

Here are some simple, no-fuss Christmas toddler activities to keep little ones busy. Ways to win back 5 minutes to get stuff done.

Christmas toddler activities to print out

Image of Christmas Toddler Activities

This Happity Hack comes courtesy of Kerry, founder of the very fab and funky Paper Joy.

Alongside her bright and beautiful art prints, Kerry produces colourful and useful paper goods you can print at home. She helps to save you time and money. Kerry has very kindly let us have some fun printable Christmas toddler activities – perfect to achieve a few minutes’ peace and quiet.

Download and print Kerry’s Christmas creations:

Christmas Toddler Activity Colouring Pages from Paper Joy

Give them to your toddler and let them create a colourful Christmas picture.

Spinout the activity by letting them stick on some cotton wool, sequins, scraps of paper, or glitter to embellish their pictures. Voilà! A Christmas collage to be proud of.

Christmas print outs for parents too!

Kerry also has some fantastic free Christmas printables to help out busy parents too. Whether you’re organising your Christmas menu or your Christmas shopping or want to work your way through a Christmas bucket list – she’s got a printable for you!

Download and print them out to get your Christmas planning on track!

Christmas activities for toddlers

Hassle-free Christmas Toddler activities when you need to keep them occupied

Click the links to find ideas at your fingertips to keep your little ones occupied as you get through the hectic festive period.

There are cute colouring sheets, letters to Santa, little easy makes for toddlers – and much much more.

If you make a Christmas Eve Box for your children, then maybe this is a good idea for you. Print out these colouring sheets, staple them together and add them to your box. It makes for a lovely activity for little ones on the night before Christmas.


If you end up using any of these fabulous print-outs, we’d love to see them! Post them on your Instagram page or Story, tag our page and use the tag #HappityChristmas !

We hope that your children can have fun and that you can have an extra moment of calm with this easy little activity.

From all of us at Team Happity, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! 🎄

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Easy Christmas Crafts for Toddlers

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Looking for some cute and creative crafts for your toddlers this Christmas? It’s time to get the glitter out!

We’ve put together some easy Christmas crafts for toddlers. Many you can create with things you’ve got lying about the house (or in the recycling).

Let your little ones have fun as they create these festive masterpieces.

1. Super soft snow dough

christmas crafts for toddlers - snow dough

This is the softest loveliest snow dough. You only need TWO ingredients to make it. And it smells divine too! Just mix cornflour and hair conditioner together in a bowl. Knead together until you have a soft ball of snow dough.

Your toddler can just enjoy squishing and rolling it in their hands. Or they could make little snowmen, like the one we made above.

2. Cork and cotton bud printed snow pictures

Easy Christmas crafts for toddlers - printing snowmen

Toddlers will love printing these cheery snowmen! Dip a cork into white paint and print three circles to make each snowman. Once your snowmen are dry, add details with felt pens. After that comes the really fun bit! To make it snow – dip a cotton bud into white paint and let your toddler print loads and loads of snowflakes in the sky.

3. Christmas Crafts for toddlers: little card Christmas trees

Christmas crafts for toddlers - little peg trees

Such a quick and easy Christmas make for little ones. Simply cut triangles from green card and your toddler can decorate them with stickers, little buttons, sequins, mini pom-poms or even balls of scrunched up tissue paper. Pop a peg on the bottom to make their little Christmas trees stand up. Your toddler will have so much fun decorating their festive trees that they might make a whole forest!

4. Twig and pom pom trees

Christmas crafts for toddlers - little stick trees

This is a lovely activity for little ones. First head on a walk to find some twigs. Then, once you’re home cut the twigs into different sizes to make branches. Ask your child to choose the longest branch to place in the middle to make the trunk. Then arrange the smaller branches, sticking out from the trunk. Your toddler can now decorate their tree by adding little pom poms, beads or buttons along the branches. Don’t forget to add a star at the top (we used a shiny star sticker!). You can either keep all the pieces in a bag or box and use them again and again as a nice activity – letting your child build and decorate their tree on a tabletop. Or, you could use PVA glue or a glue gun to stick down the branches and baubles to make beautiful pictures or Christmas cards.

5 . Glittery pine cones – an easy Christmas craft for toddlers

Christmas crafts for toddlers - glittery pine cones

This is the perfect activity for toddlers as they will have so much fun in the making as well as being delighted by the sparkly end product. Roll pine cones into the paint. While doing so your toddler can have great fun rolling them around a piece of card or paper to make snowy prints. For a bit of extra sparkle sprinkle some glitter on top of the paint, while it is still wet. You can use a glue gun to stick a loop of string or ribbon to the ends of your glittery pine cones so that your toddler can hang them proudly on the Christmas tree.

6. Toilet paper roll creations

Save those humble toilet paper rolls for some amazing Christmas crafts for toddlers. There are so many ways you can use paint, pom poms, sequins and card cutouts to make some fabulous festive creations.

Snowman:

Paint your toilet roll tube white, cut out a carrot-shaped nose and glue it on, draw on details with a black Sharpie

Reindeer:

Paint your toilet roll tube brown. Stick on googly eyes and a red pom-pom nose. Draw a mouth with a black Sharpie. After you’ve done that, glue on antlers made from twigs or pipe cleaners.

Santa:

Paint your tube red all over, except for a small circle for the face, which you can paint white. Use a cotton pad to make the beard and moustache and use Sharpies to add on the details. For the hat, cut a circle of red card. Make a cut from one edge to the centre and then roll your circle into a cone shape. Add some cotton wool to make the hat’s trim and pop a little pom-pom on top to finish off.

7. Christmas Crafts for Toddlers- Eggbox Festive Friends!

Don’t throw out that eggbox just yet! You may just have some use for them yet with this cute little Christmas craft for toddlers. Though they may need your hand with the scissors, this one is a great way to make a new friend for your children.

You will need an eggbox, paint, brushes, newspaper, glue, coloured card googly eyes, and cotton wool. If you have extras like shiny gold card, glitter, buttons or colourful pompoms then they make for excellent additions, but they’re really not necessary.

For each character, you will need 3 holders of the egg box, so make sure you have enough (It doesn’t matter if there are gaps down the sides)

Elf

For your elf, paint two of the eggbox holders a light green, and one a light pink/orange. You will also need to cut from your scraps two smaller pieces for the ears. Leave to dry, and then very carefully (on the pink/orange one) cut a hole on either side for the elf ears (you may need to do this part for your children!) and stick them in. Then, begin stacking and glueing the holders together. (I put small scraps of newspaper between each to keep them separated a little!)

Now you can start adding your features! Paint or glue on your buttons, stick on your googly eyes, your googly eyes and a bright little hat for your happy little elf.

Santa

For Santa, paint two of the eggbox holders red, and one a light pink/orange. While you’re waiting for this to dry, maybe you’ll want to start cutting out hats and any other features you want to add for your eggcup friend! Then, begin stacking and glueing the holders together. (Again, putting small scraps of newspaper between each one helped to keep them separated a little!)

Now you can start adding your features! Paint or glue on your buttons, stick on your googly eyes, your googly eyes and a big fluffy beard for father Christmas

Christmas Tree

For a Christmas tree, paint all three of your eggbox holders green. While you’re waiting for them to dry, start cutting out the decorations you want to stick on (including your tree topper!) Then, begin stacking and glueing the holders together. (Again, putting small scraps of newspaper between each one helped to keep them separated a little!)

Now you can start adding your decorations! Paint or glue on your decorations, tinsel and whatever your heart desires!

8. Paper chain to display your Christmas crafts for toddlers

Have you got endless amounts of Christmas paintings, drawings, and crafts being made by your toddlers? Not sure what to do with these Christmas crafts for toddlers? Well, maybe the answer is as simple as getting them to make another one and turn it into something you can put on your wall this Christmas!

Simply help them by cutting out strips of two different colours of card, and passing them the glue to make some paper chains. Once you’ve made one long enough to hang along your mantlepiece or across a bannister, grab the blu-tac (or glue) cut out their shapes (if they’re okay with it!) and start adding them to your chain. Or, if you really want to keep your toddler busy, make multiple chains for multiple crafts.

Not sure what colours to use? Try picking ones that correspond with the pictures made. E.g. red and green for a Christmas tree, blue and white for a paper snowflake/snowman, brown and red for a reindeer. Or, alternatively, you can’t really go wrong with a bit of red and gold around Christmas!

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From the Christmas Light Express to the North Pole breakfast – here are some magical Christmas traditions for toddlers that they’ll love.

Once your toddler is at an age where they really start to ‘get’ Christmas you can start some family traditions. Traditions that will become part of your own family Christmas year after year. And ones that your toddler will look back on when they are older with fond memories.

Family traditions all add to the anticipation and the build-up to the big day. They create the magic and wonder of Christmas.

Watching the wonder of Christmas through your own child’s eyes brings back so much of the excitement you too felt when you were younger.

Here are some of the new family traditions you might want to start as a family, all perfect for toddlers.

1. A special decoration each year as a new Christmas tradition for toddlers

A lovely family tradition to start is to make or buy a special decoration each year. There are a lot of different options out there! If you visit your local Christmas market, you’re bound to come across a stall or two selling personalised Christmas decorations. Or, alternatively, you could make one yourself!

You can buy little snow globe baubles where you can insert a photo of your toddler. Or why not visit a pottery painting studio so that your toddler can decorate their own bauble?

Or get the glitter out and make some of our Easy Christmas Crafts for Toddlers.

2. Waiting for Father Christmas

Much of the magic of Christmas for little ones is waiting for Father Christmas to bring presents. There are so many lovely Santa traditions that you can start.

You might hang a “Santa stop here!” sign in the garden. Or put out milk and cookies for Santa – and a carrot for Rudolph, by the fireplace on Christmas Eve.

You could even draw around a large pair of shoes or wellies and cut out foot shapes from card. Then sprinkle flour or icing sugar (or fake snow) over the footprints. Once you take away the card you will be left with a footprint or two outlined in ‘snow’ as proof that Father Christmas really did arrive!

Christmas traditions for toddlers - santas footprint

3. Christmas stories by the light of the tree

T’was the night before Christmas, and it’s late in your house. Your toddler isn’t sleeping, but who is? Your spouse!

There are some brilliant Christmas classics out there for bedtime stories just fit for your babies, toddlers and children alike. Reading books in the run-up to the big day is a lovely Christmas tradition for toddlers. Pick out all of your favourites and enjoy the look of wonderment in their eyes!

One of the lovely Christmas traditions for toddlers to start is to pick 6 Christmassy stories, wrap them and place them under the tree. In the 6 days before Christmas, your child can unwrap a book and it can be their bedtime story.

You could also take them to a group that does group reading to feel the joy with other mums, dads and tots.

Check out some of the classes we list over on Happity here!

Christmas traditions for toddlers - reading books

4. Make/buy a personalised stocking for your to create a new Christmas tradition for your toddler

Whether you’re putting presents under the tree or filling a stocking -there’s something heartwarming about having a personalised stocking for your little one that you will be able to bring out year after year. Whether you’re buying one or making one -you won’t regret getting a stocking for your toddler.

5. All Aboard The Christmas Light Express

There’s nothing more magical than seeing lots of Christmas lights twinkling in the dark skies, in the run-up to Christmas. One late afternoon or early evening you could all go on a drive around your local neighbourhood to see the sparkly trees and lit up windows in the houses and gardens all around you.

You can make this experience even more exciting by making a ticket out of gold card and announcing to your toddler that they can step aboard the ‘Christmas Light Express’. You could wear a Santa hat and decorate the inside of the car with tinsel. Throw in some yummy drinks and snacks that they can enjoy on the journey. This will build up the magic even more!

Team Happity have said across the board that it’s one of their firm favourite Christmas traditions for toddlers – and older kids love it too!

christmas lights - toddlers first christmas

6. New Christmas tradition for toddlers: Visiting Santa’s Grotto

There are many places where your toddler can go and see Father Christmas in his grotto. At some, they may even be able to see his reindeer too.

Grottos are pretty booked up this year but if you can get a slot it’s totally worth it for that magical feeling of standing in Santa’s Grotto and seeing your lovely little bundle of joy staring up at Father Christmas in wonder. You’ll keep hold of the photo you take that day for far longer than you expect!

The big man himself- Father Christmas! Ready to say hello on toddler's first Christmas

7. Advent calendar and a reverse advent calendar

Toddlers will love opening the doors of an advent calendar and finding out what’s inside. At this age an advent calendar with pictures to reveal is perfect. It also helps your little one see how many days are left until Christmas. For them, the wait can seem to last forever!

Another idea to add to our list of Christmas traditions for toddlers to start is a reverse advent calendar. To make one you can stick four wine bottle holders together so you end up with a box with 24 sections. Use a pen to write numbers 1-24 on the sections. Each day your toddler can help you place one item into your reverse advent calendar. The idea is you fill your box with items and – when it is full – take it to a food bank or charity. It’s a really nice way to teach little ones about the joy of giving and thinking of others at this time of the year.

Christmas traditions for toddlers - advent

8. North Pole Breakfast as a new Christmas Tradition for toddlers

You might want to start Christmas day in a magical way with a North Pole Breakfast. You could make pancakes and use whipped cream and strawberries to turn them into Father Christmas and serve with a glass of milk or a hot chocolate. An exciting breakfast is a good way to refuel after your (no doubt) super early start to the day! And it makes a nice break before opening more presents or visiting Grandma.

Father Christmas pancake for a toddler's first Christmas

9. Snuggling up to watch a festive film

Christmas just doesn’t feel like Christmas without enjoying some festive films. There are some lovely Christmassy animations that little ones will love. Here are just a few:

  • The Snowman
  • Trolls Holiday
  • Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
  • The Snowman and the Snowdog
  • Arthur Christmas

There’s nothing lovelier than putting your PJs on and watching a festive film with the Christmas tree lights twinkling.


We hope you enjoyed our list! If you want to see some Christmas content from us, our lovely parents and some fabulous classes, jump over to Instagram and check out the tag #HappityChristmas

From all of us at Happity, we wish you a Happy Holidays and hope that you have a wonderful time this Christmas season! 💝

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9 Brilliant Benefits of Baby and Toddler Classes

Today there is huge pressure to be the perfect parent.

A recent survey from BabyCentre revealed that 3 in 5 mums feel a huge pressure to be perfect parents. Another survey by Sure Start Scotland found that 50% of parents said they were put off seeking help because they felt like ‘bad parents’ for asking.

Where does this pressure come from and how can we deal with it?

Nicola, a mum of two girls from Team Happity, addressed this in our latest Instagram Live. Here’s what she had to say to open up the conversation:

The overwhelm of parenting advice

Today we’re bringing up our babies and children with an overwhelming amount of advice from digital media. There are so many blogs, surveys and media headlines coming at us from all sides telling us how to parent (and how not to). Often, the advice is changing and contradictory. It can be confusing and lead us to doubt our own instincts. And worry about whether we’re getting things wrong. It all adds to the pressure.

Our own grandmothers and mothers brought up their babies without this plethora of parenting advice. They relied on their own instincts as well as asking advice from family and friends (who they lived close by providing a village to raise their child). Things were simpler. There was more hands-on support. There wasn’t the same level of scrutiny.

Now many more of us live far away from our families. Our ‘villages’ are not there to step in and provide reassurance, help and support on a day to day level. And we can feel more alone and more doubtful about our parenting.

A mother’s place is always in the wrong!

There are online debates daily on the rights and wrongs of parenting. You can easily feel like you don’t know which way is up and feel like, if you get it ‘wrong’, then you’ll be judged.

Even if you don’t face direct judgement from people you know – you make you can read tweets and comments online from others who disagree with any parenting decision you make.

You give your baby a dummy – and then read hundreds of judgemental comments online condemning parents who do that. You stop breastfeeding at 3 months or 9 months (or keep breastfeeding until 2 years plus) and wade through hundreds of comments on social media about why either decision is harming your child.

Even if you feel like this was the best parenting decision for you and your baby and your family at the time you made it, you’ve got to have a thick skin. And a high level of confidence to brush this level of passionate online criticism and judgement.

The pressure from social media to be a perfect parent

In the survey from BabyCentre 2 in 5 mums said that social media intensifies the pressure to be a perfect parent because you are constantly bombarded with perfect images of parenting and compare yourself to others.

There’s a well known saying that ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. When you’re constantly being fed photos of happy parents with Insta perfect lives then this is elevated. Comparing yourself and finding that you come up short can really chip away at your self-esteem.

The pressure was less without social media

My girls are both grown up now and so I went through the early years of parenting when social media wasn’t a thing. I actually feel really lucky and thankful for that. Don’t get me wrong – there are many positives to social media – especially in terms of connecting parents and providing an online community and support. But that level of ‘in your face’ comparison just wasn’t there for me.

I felt like I was on a good day if I left my house without an obvious baby sick stain on my jumper and having found time to brush my hair! I didn’t even give a thought to whether my baby’s nursery was beautifully themed or whether I was pushing a stylish buggy. (Mine was the one I could afford at the time and later one I got as a hand-me-down from a friend).

Social media is now part of our lives and is here to stay. We all know that behind every perfect Insta shot there is no doubt a pile of clutter that a mum has pushed away. And that, more often than not, the pics show the best sides of a parent’s day and not the tears, tantrums and ‘in the trenches’ moments.

When you’re feeling a bit wobbly it’s harder to remember that a photo does not tell the whole truth and to stop comparing your own life to the lives we see on social media.

Putting pressure on ourselves to be the perfect parent

For me, the idealised picture of motherhood that I had in my head during pregnancy was just not realistic. I remember being told I could go home with my newborn baby and feeling overwhelmed. Although I’d had nine months to plan for this moment, it felt a little reckless that now I was taking this tiny vulnerable newborn home, feeling suddenly like I had no clue what I was doing!

Of course I learned along the way, but that feeling of overwhelm and uncertainty rocked my previous vision of myself as ‘the perfect mother’ right from the get-go.

Expectations vs reality

I had strong feelings of how I would parent before giving birth. If any of the things I’d planned didn’t work out, then I’d really beat myself up and feel like I’d failed somehow.

For example, I’d planned a natural birth. After over 32 hours of agonising and exhausting back-to-back labour, I begged the midwife for an epidural. It was the right decision for me at the time but I still felt guilty for ‘failing’.

There were many other moments where the ideal and the reality of parenting didn’t meet up and the guilt I felt for ‘getting it wrong’ was huge. Whether this was giving up breastfeeding too soon or shouting at my child after a day when I was exhausted and frustrated and just didn’t have the patience to deal with the crying or tantrums.

Work and mum guilt

the pressure to be the perfect parent

I grew up with the message that women could ‘have it all’. Which is empowering on one hand. But adds to the pressure on the other. Especially since flexible working, affordable childcare and gender equality are not yet at the level where women can find a perfect balance between work and being a mum.

We are expected to work as if we don’t have children, and parent as if we don’t have to work. I have worked part-time and full time as a mum. And have often felt like I couldn’t give both my full energy and attention. It never takes much for a perfectly planned week to go off the rails and for the plates we spin in the air to keep both going crash to the ground. All it takes is a poorly child or a childcare issue for things to start feeling stressful.

The guilt that comes with not always being able to find the balance between work and parenting adds to the pressure.

There’s no such thing as a perfect parent

My children are now both grown up and over the years I have worked hard on being kinder to myself and trying not to beat myself up for not being the perfect parent. After all – the perfect parent doesn’t exist. Just as the perfect human doesn’t!

I make mistakes. Of course I do. I always say sorry afterwards and try not to let the mum guilt eat away at me. All the choices I have made as a mum were the best for me and my children at the time and with the resources (and sometimes the energy!) I had.

The truth is we’re all just doing our best. And that makes us good parents. Which – seeing as perfect parents don’t exist – is good enough!

The very fact that you are worrying about whether you’re a good enough parent means that you probably already are.

You’re amazing and you’re doing a great job.

You’ve got this!

Watch our Instagram live

We’d love to know what you think about whether there is too much pressure to be the perfect parent. Hop over to watch our Insta live and please do leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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Growing a baby means that your body changes pretty dramatically. You can end up with a mum tum (or baby pouch) that won’t go away no matter how much you try. Or boobs that have changed in shape and size. Or wobbly bits that you never had before.

You spend nine months learning to embrace maternity clothes. Whether they flatter or hide your bump.

After birth – you face a whole new challenge in what to wear.

You could be clinging onto maternity clothes that are 2 sizes too big for your body. Or maybe throwing on outfits that you don’t particularly love but also aren’t taking too much thought away from your day.

But, at the same time, it’s surprising how much of an influence your clothes have on things like confidence and self-love.

So how do we try and move past the panic in the morning and allow ourselves to feel more body positive? How do we feel good wearing the clothes we’re wearing?

Leanne from Team Happity recently discussed this on a Happity lunchtime live. Read on to find out what she had to say on the matter!


It’s tricky to feel body positive in the “no thoughts” outfit…

When time is precious, and we’re against the clock, experiencing body positivity is pretty much an afterthought (or never-thought!). But sadly, when we also do have time, most of us aren’t focusing on clothes. I think that we all have that same comfort outfit actually. The stretchy bottoms (probably maternity pants), t-shirt with a hole in it or a very visible stain on the front, and hair put up in a messy top-knot/pineapple bun.

There’s nothing wrong with having a “No thoughts” outfit. It’s easy to throw on, and is suitable for the routine gymnastics that the day will throw at us, as well of those few moments of calm where we can grab a cup of coffee and put our feet up. But, the unfortunate side to this outfit, as practical as it could be, is that it doesn’t do tons for our confidence.

We don’t feel our most fabulous in an old t-shirt and jogging bottoms. But after having that as your outfit, every day, for a significant period of time, it can actually be quite daunting to wear something else. Wearing a skirt in public feels like too big of a jump outside of the norm.

A woman stares at a mountain of clothes not knowing where to begin.

We can feel strangely afraid of clothes. It’s too much additional pressure and stress added to the day to be worth the hassle.

One of the reasons we may be afraid of certain pieces of clothing is the fear of exposing part of ourselves that we wanted to keep buried under the fabric. That the idea of being more “visible” or feeling more exposed was a really daunting concept (and still is!).

Confront your inner doubt and let your body positivity come out!

When I was in the process of losing weight a little while ago I hadn’t bought any new clothes that were adjusting to my new body size. I was weirdly okay with oversized bras but was desperately adding belts and stitches to old trousers to try and stop them from falling down. So, it seemed about time to go and buy some new clothes.

That was the first time in my life where I bought a crop top. A crop top is the opposite of what I would normally wear, and I felt like I didn’t have a good enough body for it. “No, only a certain looking body can wear that,” warned my inner doubts.

Yet, some part of me really wanted to just try it.

The top was exposing my belly, a part of my body that I had been trying so hard to cover up in the past, and was so so worried about being judged about it. I was shaking from the nerves, genuinely trembling and sweating, and this was just while I was alone in my room. But, I also just loved how I looked with it and how I felt wearing it. It made me feel cute.

The first time I wore it out in public was terrifying. I was holding my hands in front of my stomach or using a jacket to try and cover up the exposed skin. But the more I wore it out and about, I relaxed. And the more I relaxed, the more I realised that actually, no one was staring.

I was especially loving my new outfit during the sweaty summer weather. For 2021 the thought process was “suns out, tums out!” a phrase that I never in my wildest dreams have been saying in the past

Body positivity takes a conscious effort!

I suppose like most things that are looking after ourselves or making a change: practice makes perfect. Body positivity takes practice. The more small changes we make and give things an extra little thought, the more it begins to feel natural to us.

It’s just fabrics and zips and buttons! We shouldn’t feel afraid to wear clothes that may be a little more dressy than usual if they manage to boost our confidence and our moods. Trust me, if you like what you are wearing, your confidence will truly bloom!

So, with that all being said, I just wanted to give a few tips and some advice that I’ve either learnt, tried or heard from others. Because it can be a mental adjustment that takes practice. These aren’t anything too massive, but they might be a good place to start.


1. If you go into a clothes shop, challenge yourself to try on one “daring” piece of clothing that’s outside of your comfort zone

This is a fun thing to try out just to test your toes in the water of new clothing. In the fast-paced moving world of fashion and viral trends, there is always new clothing concepts that feel like they’ve come from a different reality. I never pretend to understand it, but it can be fun to explore. One time, my friend had convinced me to wear a pair of glossy leopard print “pleather” trousers, and a raincoat material snotty green t-shirt. I thought it would be an ache on the eyes, but the noise that I was making walking around in it was somehow worse. I sounded like a rubber duck in a Tesco carrier bag.

two women trying on clothes that may be slightly out of their comfort zone.

But you know what, trying on the most outlandish thing I can find in the shop for a laugh actually has taken away that little fear of trying on clothes that are outside of my comfort zone. I do feel like I’m far less afraid to try on clothes that are a little more colourful or show another side of me.

2. Try and have one outfit every week that you’ve planned beforehand & thought about it before wearing it

Time isn’t always a friend for us, and choosing an outfit if you have a touch of clothing anxiety can really take a lot of time and mental strain.

If you have a free moment, why not take a glance through your wardrobe and pick out an outfit that you like. Whether that’s a nice top or an unusual dress. And then, tell yourself you’re going to wear it on a specific day. You have it planned, decided, and then you still just need to throw it on the morning of that day. Less of a panic that morning, and no time wasted in the haste of that morning rush.

3. Being frugal can add to your body positivity!

One of the main reasons that a lot of us will be put off from going to go and buy new clothes probably comes down to the price tag. New clothes require disposable income that, most of us, otherwise don’t have.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as you’re willing to try out using second-hand clothes.

Maybe try visiting charity shops for your new outfits. Following the lockdowns, a lot of people were having sort outs of their wardrobe out of sheer boredom. This means that the charity shops are overrun with new clothes. And they’re nice clothes too. The last time I went to a charity shop, the changing room was shut. But, when you buy any clothes, you have two weeks to return them. So you can try things on at home and bring them back if you really don’t like them.

That, and you would be surprised at how excited little ones can get at visiting charity shops. It’s like a hidden trove of random pre-loved belongings, and they’ll be fascinated by the aged books or fossils like “CD’s” and “VHS tapes” 😉 . It makes for a fun activity to take your kids to too!

4. Donate or bin some of those old comfort clothes to feel more body positive

For me, one of the hardest issues I was coming across was actually wearing the new clothes I was buying. I dropped down three sizes, loaded my wardrobe up with cheap, cheerful and cute clothes that I could wear. And then proceeded to continue wearing my “holy hoodie”. As in, the hoodie that no longer had a pocket, just a flap and one big hole.

It made me feel a little too panicked to actually just wear some new clothes. I was worried about judgement constantly. And I realised that the only way I was going to actually start wearing my new clothes would be if I got rid of my old ones.

There’s a few things out there you can do with maternity clothes if they’re still in pretty good nick. If you want to make a bit of money off of them but if you don’t want to put too much energy into the selling of the clothes, then using the Facebook marketplace or join some buy and sell Facebook groups that are for specifically maternity clothes or baby/toddler products are a good way to go. For example, a popular group is Maternity clothes buy/sell UK (if you want to check them out!). Or try selling on apps like Vinted or Depop.

Woman donating old clothes to charity and encouraging body positivity

However, if you’d like to simply get rid of them, donating them is probably the best way to go! You have quite a few options for this. You could donate them to charity shops. Or, some local churches collect maternity clothes and baby supplies to directly provide for those in the community who may not be able to afford them. There’s also a lot of brands now have started doing “Recycling schemes” that often cover postage and donate to charities.

Have a look around, and see what has the most appeal to you.

5. You are not supposed to fit clothes. Clothes are supposed to fit you.

As much as we can advise people to wear clothes that are away from the realm of a “comfort hoodie”, we should also advise the opposite. In order to experience more body positivity, It’s important that you don’t try and squeeze into something that’s too tight. Especially if it’s just because it says it’s your usual clothing size.

You’ll spend the whole time you’re wearing it fidgeting and messing around with it, trying to make it sit right on your body. But, of course, this isn’t exactly going to make you feel confident while you’re wearing it, as you’ll constantly be thinking about it.

It may make you feel bad sometimes if what is your usual clothing size, for whatever reason, doesn’t fit you. But clothing sizes are finicky! What one brand measures as a size M, another brand measures it as an XL.

At the end of the day, you are not supposed to fit clothes. Clothes are supposed to fit you. The only person who will be looking at the size tag is you, so don’t be afraid to go the next size up if it will make you feel comfortable while you are wearing it.

6. Don’t be afraid of your stretch marks -A lot of us have them!

I would actually go as far as to say that a lot of us should show a little bit of love to our stretch marks. We like to call them Tiger Stripes instead of stretch marks! As they are badges that show the warriors we are as mums.

You truly shouldn’t feel ashamed about stretch marks. Your body adapted to growing a baby. And it’s pretty miraculous that it was capable of doing as much. Stretch marks are perfectly natural, and believe me when I say that others won’t be judging you for having them. You may get a couple of questions from younger family members, but at the end of the day if you’re encouraging them to embrace any marks or scars on your body and not hide them away, then it’s a great message to be demonstrating.

7. Encourage body positivity for your sake and your kids

A lot of adults do tend to talk about all the flaws they see when they see themselves in photos or when they look in the mirror they tend to think the worst. We vocalise this, and we actually audibly say “Ew” or “no” or “Oh God”. But we never fight to say to ourselves what it is that we like about the way we look. Photos or otherwise!

When we have others in our company who are strongly influenced by what we say and do, we are actually demonstrating how we view ourselves and influencing them to do the same. To look at images of themselves and then focus on what it is they don’t like, instead of what it is they like. And, when that happens, it’s very easy to actually stop noticing what it is we like about our appearance altogether.

Mother and child smiling in the mirror and demonstrating body positivity

Instead of tearing ourselves down (and influencing others to do the same), we should actually try to demonstrate more strength by looking at photographs and saying things like “I love the way my hair looks in this one” or “My eyes look great in this”. It may feel strange to do this at first, but it will truly show courage and make a big change to how you start to look at pictures of yourself. You yourself are making a conscious effort to look at photographs and find something good. And in time, it will take less and less effort to spot what you like.


Practice body positivity, loving yourself, and enjoy wearing clothes!

That’s all the tips Leanne has! Thanks for reading, and hopefully there’s something you could take away from it.

At the end of the day, we’re all still trying to teach ourselves to be more body positive. It’s a long-winded uphill struggle! A lot of us are self-conscious about our bodies. But, it makes sense in that case for us to need a conscious effort to deal with it.

If you have body positivity tips, then please go and leave them in the comments of Leanne’s Instagram live: she has said that she’ll be keeping an eye out for them and taking them onboard herself.

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It feels incredibly daunting to figure out how to improve your mood when you are stuck in a rut. Life is chaotic as a parent, and finding time to think about how to improve an unhappy mindset is more complicated than it sounds. Is there an easy way to approach our mental health?

Lisa Thompson, Happity’s Customer Support Manager and mum to a feisty three-year-old boy, recently did a Happity Lunchtime Live. She gave some fabulous tips on how to bring a bit more warmth into our lives and improve our mood following the guidance of a simple acronym.

Read on to find out more!


Using F.L.A.M.E to add warmth into your day!

As may have been the case with many of you reading this, my son’s birth did not go to plan and in the months after he came along. I had anxiety, PTSD and was physically poorly as well.

I decided to make little changes every day to get back to good. So that I could be the best mum that I can be.

So I have thought about the things that work best for me and wanted to share them with you today. I have even put together a little acronym.

This is what works for me, it may or may not work for you. Some of it you may have heard before but hopefully, there will be some new things for you to try.

As a mum, most of my examples will be about being a mum but these tips are for everyone! So if you are a dad, grandparent, carer or anyone really, then please do listen and join in too!

The acronym I use is this:

F.L.A.M.E

It’s a bit cheesy but I have chosen FLAME as this is about igniting your spirit and gaining more energy.

And don’t worry, the E is not for exercise! The last thing you need if you have been up all night with a teething baby is for me to tell you to go for a walk!

F: Thoughtful food to improve your mood

Now, rather predictably the F does stand for Food, but most importantly for fruit & veg! This is not about weight loss, this is about giving your body what it needs to thrive.

It’s recommended that we have between 7 and 10 80g servings. However many of us don’t get anywhere near that. It can be too much to try and get there all at once.

So, think about where you are at the moment; if it is only one a day, then that is your baseline.

Try and build up slowly to five servings a day, starting with fruit which in my opinion is a lot more fun than veg!

To get started pick your favourite fruit and then have that as a snack once a day. Or have it with your breakfast. Then when that habit has stuck, build in another fruit. Once you have built in the fruit, then you can start to build in the veg. Add cucumber or tomatoes to sandwiches, have good quality soups and try to have one serving of veg with your dinner. You’ll be at your 5 a day in no time and will probably be feeling awesome!

Introducing fruit and vegetables into your diet can really help to improve your mood

One thing I noticed I was doing was giving my son lots of fruit but never eating it myself! So now when I give it to him, I have some myself too!

I go along to the shops with my son and we pick a new fruit or vegetable together and take it home and eat it. It’s a great way to eat more fruit and veg and it is an activity for you to do together as well!

Check out this article the NHS has made, “8 tips for healthy eating“.

L: Laughter & fun!

Whether you are in the first 12 weeks or 12 years of parenthood, there are days that can just feel like a slog. You just have to get through them. However, my tip to improve your mood is to make time for fun every day and seek out opportunities for laughter.

Laughter helps to reduce your heart rate, lowers levels of stress hormones in your body and also connects us.

Take time each day to seek out something fun. Read a funny book, listen to shows on the radio which make you laugh, at the end of the day watch a comedy, rather than a gloomy drama. Contact someone who always makes you laugh.

These little moments in the day pierce the bubble of that feeling of slog.

Two friends together laughing over coffee

Another great way that still helps improve my mood is going to classes! Taking my son along to a music class, singing songs, shaking instruments, trying and failing to keep up with the signing of songs all made me feel great. My son loved them, and It also really improved my mood when the other parents were having a giggle as well.

So if you have not booked a class yet, I would really recommend going along to one and of course, there are lots of amazing providers on Happity! Check them out here!

A: Ask for help to improve your mood

Being a parent does not come with a manual and a lot of what happens is completely unexpected but many parents don’t ask for help for fear of judgement.

I really struggled with breastfeeding for about 8-weeks. And, as a lot of us do, I kept it in and I didn’t tell anybody. I kept it in, and I kept it in, and I kept it in. And as repressed feelings often do, it all came bursting out of me.

I was in a bit of a state. But I started to talk about it. I asked for help, I started to share my experience, I expressed my feelings, and it was almost like a cloud lifted.

Nobody judged me. Nobody called me a terrible mother as I had feared. Everyone was so kind and so helpful, and I managed to sort myself out. Eventually, I moved on.

Maybe that’s an extreme example, but it still applies to general problems that play on your mind. If you’re tired, or overwhelmed, or are not sure what you are doing then reach out to a person you trust. Whether that’s your partner, your GP, a friend -I promise you, it will help.

Seeking out help from a friend or professional can really help to improve your mood

Again, go along to classes, speak to the other parents and you will see that we are all in this together and not alone. But, if you are really struggling to cope, contact your GP. Or take a look at our PND support page to find out more information about who could help if you are unsure.

M: Moment of calm

I don’t about you but my mornings start in a really hectic way. Sometimes by a three-year-old shouting cock-a-doodle-doo at the top of his voice.

Then it’s breakfast, getting dressed, teeth cleaning, getting out of the house and getting him to the nursery or to my Mum’s. Then once he’s there my mind turns to what I have to do that day and starts whirring at the speed of light.

This is a pretty stressful way to start the day. So once my son is safe where he needs to be, I take a few minutes just to calm it down before plunging into the next part of my day.

Writing in a journal can really help to improve your mood!

It could be breathing exercises for a few minutes, meditation, journaling. Or maybe having a mindful walk on the way home from nursery. Whatever it is, it provides a pause and a moment of rest before you get going again. Sometimes it is just a case of having a cup of tea in the garden to improve your mood.

It might seem counterproductive when you have so much to do. But just taking a few minutes to rebalance will leave you more focused, calm and less stressed.

E: Enjoy improving your mood!

There are two parts to this one.

The first one is to do something that you enjoy every day or at least every week. If this sounds unrealistic for you, then just start small with five minutes or small acts. The key here is to do something that is just for you and is not part of being a parent so that you can start to feel like yourself again! 

  • Read a book that you have wanted to start for ages.
  • Listen to your favourite songs
  • Restart a long-forgotten hobby/start a new one.
  • Have a bath
  • Put on your favourite perfume/cologne
  • Craft
  • Go to the gym

If it’s available to you, then ask your partner or a trusted person to look after your little one(s) regularly.

Another good way to build this in is to practice ‘bundling’. Which is where you pair an everyday task with something fun. If I’m tidying up all the toys at the end of the day then I will listen to my favourite songs or podcast. It really helps to make it more enjoyable.

These little interventions can turn a bad day into a good one in an instant and start to make each day better.

Young woman painting in her art studio to improve her mood

The second half is to enjoy the small things! When we are deep in the busyness of every day, it is hard to remember to enjoy what’s happening.

A friend of mine starts every meeting that she runs with everyone thinking about what their ‘best thing today’ was. This is something that my husband and I do every night before we go to bed. It can be something really small. But taking time to think about what it might be that changes your mindset and you start to actively notice the good in every day.


So that’s all of Lisa’s tips on how to improve your mood!

Thank you so much Lisa for some absolutely brilliant advice!

Hopefully, we’ll be seeing Lisa at a Happity lunchtime live again in the future!

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