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From dealing with huffs and puffs, fussy eaters, to battles over bedtimes, us parents know how hard it can be. We've got ideas from parents from all over Scotland on little things you can try out to keep the kids busy and happy – and that will make your life a little easier!

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Boredom busters

Tip #1: To help morning school dress stress, try task timer

Image of a boy laughing and jumping on a sofa.

Time them getting dressed and then challenge them to beat it, working out the difference each day.

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Tip #2: For a calm way to start the day

Want a bit of peace and quiet while they're having their breakfast? Get them to count all the words beginning with the same letter on the cereal box.

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Tip #3: To make the school run faster

Try mind reading! Think of a number between 0-30 and ask them to guess it. You can help by saying "higher" or "lower".

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Tip #4: Try picnic plates for fussy eaters

We've all had times when our kid will only eat one thing. Something you can try is picnic plates! Offering them a choice of fruit, veg, cheese and meats can help them to try new things. You can find loads of easy and cheap recipes to tempt your fuss pot on Parent Club. You can find more tips for tempting fussy eaters here.

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Tip #5: To get them eating greens

Calling brocolli 'little trees' can help them to eat it all up. Here's a "Lamb and Tree" stir fry that any wee dinosaur would love!

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Tip #6: Want them to eat up their veg?

Struggling to get them to eat anything green? Try letting your kids prep the veg for dinner. Getting them to help means they're more likely to try it.

Have a look at our recipes for simple things they can help you make.

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Tip #7: Make shopping easier

If your kids throw a strop when you're shopping, why not try playing bananas and beans? Ask them to find everything on your shopping list that begins with the letter 'B'. If you don't have a shopping list, ask them to point out all the 'B' words they see. Here are loads more ideas for avoiding a strop at the shop.

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Tip #8: Avoid sulks in the shops

If you always dread the big shop with the kids, try bargain hunting! Getting them to find items less than £1 on your list can keep them entertained and help avoid huffs.

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Tip #9: Calming down before bed

If you find your child gets a bit excitable as soon as you mention bedtime, one thing you can try is a step-count. Counting footsteps on the way to bed can help calm them down and go to sleep more easily.

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Tip #10: For rainy days

We know what it's like when you're stuck inside and all you're hearing is "I'm bored". Why not try asking them to write a story or a comic about their best day ever? You can both have fun remembering good times, and it can help keep them entertained if you need get some housework done. Head over here for more tips to cure cabin fever.

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Tip #11: To calm their wild side after school

Want to calm their wild side after school? Try a jungle adventure. Getting them to write a list what they'd need for a trip to the jungle is a fun way to keep them busy. Why not throw in some silly ideas to make them laugh? Surely they'll need a sink plunger, and Granny's hat?

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Tip #12: Keeping them busy before teatime

Following a recipe together is a fun way to keep them happy while you're getting the dinner on. They can help to wash rice before it goes in the pan or measure out ingredients. If you are stuck for what to cook, why not check out our recipes?

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Tip #13: To unstick them from their screens

Photo and children drawing at kitchen table

Finding it hard to get your kids away from their screens? Why not try poster play? Getting them to make a poster of their favourite film or book is a fun way to keep them busy. You can find more tips to unstick them from their screens here.

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Tip #14: A device-free bedtime

To get your kids off their devices and ready for bed, try letting them read to you before bed to help them drift off quicker. Want more tips to get them yawning? Check out our top tips for bedtime.

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Tip #15: Getting them off their screens and into sleep mode

Photo of boy and dad reading bedtime stories

Try story time! Letting your child read to you before bed can help them drift off quicker. You can find more top tips for story time here.

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Tip #16: No more "I'm bored"

Next time you're walking down the street, on the bus, or in the car, get them to add up all the red cars. You might find that giving them something to do keeps them busy and happy when you're out and about. No more "I'm bored!" 

For more ideas on keeping them happy when you're out and about, head over here.

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