As is customary, each year brings a new season of fashion, food, outrageous Tiktok trends, and baby names.
I decided to take a look at the popular baby name website, Nameberry to see what their predictions are for 2022.
It was interesting to see that they have identified 7 major trends that will influence baby names in the coming year.
Bridgerton inspired names
Names with the letter R
Names that give a feeling of retro nostalgia
Euro Chic names
Names ending in an S
Names inspired by nature
Nameberry make their predictions based on American social security administration, user behaviour on their website, current events, pop culture, and several other defining factors including categories from TV, music, nature, letters, and sounds.
So, if you are expecting take a look at these name suggestions.
Baby Name Suggestions for 2022
It is believed that after the harsh pandemic months many parents may want to lighten the air and will choose playful names like Birdie or Pixi
Other suggestions are
2.Bridgerton – inspired names
It seems the ever-popular Netflix Regency Era novel adaptation – Bridgerton has proved extremely popular among future parents with name choices like :
3. The letter R
Short names that are powerful in their simplicity and strength will appeal to the parents of 2022
There has already been quite a trend of short unisex names starting with R, mostly as middle names.
4. Retro nostalgia
Much of the time what is old becomes new again and many retro names evoking happier, simpler times are making a huge comeback this year.
Old names like
5. Euro chic
Euro chic baby names appeal to the sophisticated worldwide traveler and would be comfortable anywhere from Copenhagen to Cape Town
Chic names like
6. Names ending in S
Names that end in S are quite rare and Nameberry predicts a change in this for both boys and girls.
Some examples are
With the pandemic keeping us all indoors for most of the year, it is predicted that many a wanderlust parents will draw inspiration from nature and use names like
South Africa’s, well-loved, convenient baby food brand, Squish has launched an SA first, a new larger 200ml pouch size especially for toddlers and their growing appetites.
The new, bigger 200ml pouch range sees the popular baby and toddler food brand extending its existing range of ready-to-eat 100% fruit and veg and yoghurt purees and pressed juices, giving parents another reason to love the 100% goodness and convenience of Squish.
The range includes three yoghurt flavours and three 100% fruit puree flavours packaged in the convenient new, bigger 200ml pouch.
“We have created this larger pouch size with our consumers in mind, providing a new, innovative solution for babies and toddlers with growing appetites,” says Tamara Patel, Brand Manager for Squish at RFG. “The bigger Squish 200ml pouch is perfectly sized for growing kids, in a convenient format that parents want, in a size they want.”
Patel explains that the latest extension to the Squish product range came after identifying the opportunity to introduce a larger pack-size, “The 200ml Squish range has been developed for parents who have grown to love Squish during their baby’s weaning journey, but are looking for a larger meal for their babies and toddlers as they grow older.”
“Like all our Squish products, the utmost care has been taken to ensure that we offer our consumers the best product possible,” she adds. “We do not compromise on quality ingredients, there are no preservatives, colourants, flavourants or starch, and we fully control our supply chain, meaning we can control the quality of raw materials from the fields, right through to the end product.”
She says, “Our Squish puree range is made from 100% fruit and vegetables, and is preservative, colourant and flavourant free with no added starch. Our 100% fruit and veg puree with yoghurt range is made with double cream yoghurt, not yoghurt powder, which offers us a notable point of difference.”
“With our new bigger pouches, parents can rest assured they are offering their children the same goodness and great taste they have come to rely on from the Squish 110ml range,” she adds. “We understand that parents want the best for their children, but they are often pressed for time. With the extension of this larger pack size, they can feel confident in the knowledge that they are not compromising on the quality of ingredients for baby through to toddler.”
“Over the past few years, we have seen a switch in consumer behaviour from jars to pouches. The pouch format offers a safe, hygienic and convenient offering,” Patel explains. “We saw the need to provide a larger pack to parents of older babies and toddlers. Where they would have previously purchased two pouches per meal for their growing little ones, the 200ml pouch is an all-in-one meal for an older baby, or the perfect lunchbox snack for a toddler”.
The Squish range now comprises a wide range of purees in 110ml and 200ml pouches, and a 100% fruit and veg pressed juice range ensuring that parents find a range of convenient, quality products to help them on their weaning journey, from starting solids right through to toddlers and beyond.
The products are available nationwide at top-end retail, wholesale and specialist chains – find Squish in the baby food section.
For more information visit: www.squish.co.za or follow Squish on Instagram: @rhodes_squish
So you can imagine our excitement when Straight_zigzag sent Hamish the latest product – Building Genius.
This soft, safe, silicone construction toy comprises of 3 of each of the brands popular products – Mox, Hix and Oibo.
Truly toys that grow with your child and can be used from baby stage.
With so many uses.
Your baby 0 -1 year can grasp and sense.
Toddlers 1-3 can stack and build.
Children 3 – 12 can imagine and invent.
We spent some time exploring the products and using them in lessons to:
sort colours and shapes
do maths sums
We also used them in play….
Hamish used them in free play with water to experiment with volume
we turned the hix into boats and see who could blow them across the bilibo fastest
he rolled the mox balls to the bilibo
practised throwing and catching with them
and he played with them using his imagination creating robots
The hix fold into 3 sizes and are great for fine motor development as your child manipulates the silicone into it’s different sizes.
The mox balls have groves that could look like eyes and slits which Hamish calls a mouth. You can post items inside for your child to get out or let them squeeze the sides to open the mouth.
The oibo are also flexible and the mox fit inside. Hamish loves to pop the balls in and manipulate the sides of the oibo to get them out.
How to use the Building genius in lessons
Nothing excites me more than a toy we can use in lessons, mostly because I know that I will immediately have Hamish’s full attention and that he will grasp the concept a lot faster because he is enthusiastic to play.
I jumped straight in by introducing the building genius to our next maths lessons.
We’ve been working on sizes and Hamish categorized the hix into:
– small, medium and large
-big, bigger, biggest
-small, smaller, smallest
Next we reinforced categorizing and sorting by placing the items on a piece of paper to match the colours.
Lastly we reinforced shape names and properties by looking at the hix, mox and obio and discussing what shape they were and how many sides each had. Then Hamish grouped each onto a piece of paper with its corresponding shape.
Using familiar objects and favourite toys in learning activities makes learning a concept much more enjoyable.
So, although Hamish loves to build and create his own items with this lovely set, he also loves to add them to his learning time.
I love the possibilities of play and learning that this set of toys offer and can’t wait to share the new and innovative ways we find to introduce them into our every day learning and play
Hasbro has launched Bring Home The Fun, an inspiring, purpose-driven website designed to support families around the world as they spend extended time at home and indoors.
Visit BringHometheFun.com to explore family-focused resources, including tips for family playtime, activity challenges to keep kids occupied, and ideas for using games and toys to stimulate kids’ brains.
The site also features resources to help children and families cope with stress that might be heightened among kids at this time.
Featured content includes:
other resources developed through our philanthropic partners to help develop empathy and kindness in children.
Fun to watch videos include:
My little pony
Fun to do activities from your childs favourite toys like:
My Little Pony
Tried and tested
Hamish has been kept busy during lockdown with many of the play doh activities.
Some of the ideas we tried were:
This fun rainbow caterpillar to match our rainbow of hope. Rolling doh balls is a good fine motor activity.
A fire man truck to support our essential services.
And a lady bird.
There are so many more activities to do, each one designed to keep the kids engaged and entertained.
This has become my go to site for inspiration to keep Hamish happy throughout the lockdown.
Not just for the play doh activities but also to :
Make PJ mask character masks for imaginary play
Colour in his favourite Transformer characters
Make musical shakers with Peppa pig
Make a set of Peppa pig puppets
Make power ranger posters from the colouring sheets
These activities have been chosen to help parents and children become more mindful and take part in a variety of activities and projects that help to focus on placing emphasis on putting empathy into action.
Some of these activities and projects include:
Decorating lunch bags
Interviewing a senior
Family good scavanger hunt
Be a bee helper
Making homeless care kits
Being water smart
Creating a recycled bag
Upcycling plastic bottles
ABC flash cards
Encouraging kindness in kids
With so many resources avaliable to parents, it’s nice to find a platform that encourages character building, emphasizes empathy and kindness, educates parents and offers entertainment and family bonding activities through our childrens favourite characters. Helping them to identify and connect the lessons through play.
The teacher mom in me loves to keep Hamish busy and learning.
I love spending time with him, playing with playdough or painting. Building new models and playing with educational toys.
Often on my blog and Instagram this is what my readers see but the truth is I am very well aware of the fact that he can be over stimulated and because of this we also have a lot of our day that is not structured, full of free play or quiet rest times.
What is over stimulation?
Over stimulation is defined as when a child is swamped with too many experiences, sensations, activities and too much noise, leaving them unable to process it all.
This often results in a child who is cranky, unsettled, overly sensitive, crying or throwing a tantrum.
Signs of over stimulation
There are some tell tale signs to spot if your child is over stimulated.
Cranky or tired
Turns their head away from you and seems upset
Moves in a jerking manner
Clenches their fists
Tired, cranky or upset
Easily moved to tears ( emotional)
Unable to vocalize their distress
Tells you that they do not want to continue an activity
Refuses to co- operate
How to balance activities and quiet time
Your child’s brain develops faster and more rapidly in the first 5 years of their life than at any other time of growth.
And your child’s experiences:- the things they hear, see, touch, taste, smell and do, stimlate those growing brain cells making millions of connections.
This means that your child will need a stimulating environment with lots of different activities that offer a variety of ways to play and learn, as well as lots of opportunities to practice what they have learnt and ways to interpret the world around them through play.
But, this also does not mean as parents we need to keep our children busy with a new activity, toy, game or extra curricular event every minute of the day ….Children need time to process the information their brain is receiving.
They need quiet time to recharge and rest.It is also in these quiet times that your child will learn to entertain themselves, explore their environment in their own way and at their own pace and naturally start to self stimulate:- understanding when they need to rest in order to feel better.
How to help your child if they are over stimulated
If you see your baby is over stimulated, take them into a quiet space.
You can also try to wrap your baby or carry them in a sling, as this redcues physical stimulation.
Toddler / preschoolers
Often toddler overstimulation results in tantrums or an emotional outburst,staying calm will help your child settle down faster.
Reduce the noise and activity around you child
Help your child to verbally express how they are feeling
Some times a child will prefer to do a quiet activity, like reading alone but you could also lie down with a younger child and sing songs or tell them a story.
If your child refuses to do an activity or does not want to continue, stop.
Finding the right amount of stimulation
Each child is different so there is no right amount of stimulation. Different children cope with different amounts of excitement, noise, and activities. Some children cope in stimulating environments better than others.
In all situations the best remedy is to allow your child to be the guide and if they are over stimulated, remove them from an over stimulated enviromoment into a calmer, quieter one.
Starting our morning with an Ocean inspired small world invitation to play.
To make your own you will need:
Little fish and ocean creatures
How to play
I set out a bowl of water as an ocean, and we added salt as Hamish has now learnt the difference between salt water and fresh water and that certain animals need salt water to live in.
I gave him some ocean creatures, whales, dolphins, fish, octopus and seals and some divers.
We built a rocky area for the seals with his mishmash dough ( there’s always that tub of dough that got mixed)
Again he has learnt that some animals can only live in water but some need to come onto land as well. And then I stepped back to let him explore, imagine and play.
It’s important for me to not interfere too much with his play but to let him play freely.
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