{Topic} Football tips

2006 Grand Final, West Coast Eagles v Sydney Swans

Does your child love football? You can encourage your child to post their football tips each week.

This could be a great exercise in typing as well as playing with formatting text. To mark which team they have chosen, they could type out the fixture for the week and then highlight their tip in bold.

As well as their tips, they could also add some comments to why they have chosen a particular team to win.

To follow this up, post the results of that round.

This can be a great way to give your child some practice typing and is a simple way to create a regular post, as well as keep track of their weekly scores.

My son used to do this as he has a weekly tipping competition with his Opa. Posting the tips on his blog was a great way for them to keep track of who had won each week as they kept losing the pieces of paper they had written their tips on!


Photo source


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What if your child doesn’t like the product

What if your child doesn't like the products?

Most marketers are reasonable and won’t expect a glowing review, especially if they are contacting children, however they will expect an honest review.

If your child doesn’t like the product they have been sent, get them to elaborate to their reasons. Was the product too old or too young for them? Was it too scary, too silly, too cute? Was it for girls and your child is a boy, or the other way around?

Another thing to suggest to your child in their review is: What would they change to make it better? It may be as simple as they were unable to put it together without help, so clearer instructions would make this product better for someone their age, or including batteries so they didn’t have to wait for you to go out and buy some!

If your child really didn’t like the product and doesn’t want to write about it, that is also OK. You may want to put a page on the blog saying that you are happy to receive products from companies to review, however there is no guarantee a review will be published.

Publishing a less than glowing review will also be a good opportunity for your child to learn, as writing a constructive review can be a lot harder than writing a glowing review.

In anticipation of this situation, and your child is interested in writing reviews, you may want to encourage them to write a review about something they don’t really like, just to get some practice.

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When Marketers Call

Is this something your child wants?

There is a growing trend among marketers to get promotion on blogs. This can take many forms, however the most common request seems to be for reviews.

If your child posts reviews, there is a chance they could be contacted by a marketer.

So, what do you do when you are contacted?

The first thing is to evaluate if this is something you and your child want on the blog. If your child doesn’t write reviews on that type of product, or doesn’t write reviews at all, then it may not appropriate, or it may be the case that the product is not suitable for your child. For example, if you have a son and someone offers a new frilly hair bow for them to try out, then say no.

One thing to keep in mind is that it’s OK to say no to marketers. If you do, just send a polite email back to them to say thank you for the offer, but not at this time. You may want to give a reason, for example, your child is a boy and the product offered is for a girl. If you don’t want them to contact you again, it is also OK to say this, however you may want to leave it open ended if this is something you and your child may want to consider in the future.

If you decide that you are interested in the product, you may want to find out more information. Most marketers will send you a product to try and not expect you to return it. Unless they have already told you this, it is worth checking to confirm this point. In general, if they want you to return it after use, you can ask they pay for postage, or decline the offer. If it is a consumable product, they should not expect its return.

Through this process, you will need to explain to your child about the expectations of the marketers. They will generally expect a review on your child’s blog, or at least a mention. Explain to your child that it is cool to receive free stuff, however they will have to write about it afterward. If your child is fine with this, go ahead with the arrangement.

Once the product arrives, encourage your child to play with it, take photographs of it, especially of them using it, where possible, and to write a review.

Remember to have your child involved in the discussions so they feel their blog is theirs and not yours.

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{Topic} Reviews

Review their favourite things

One thing your child can do is write a review. Reviews can be on anything – TV shows, computer games, activities they do, music they listen to, books they are reading, or whatever else they can think of.

Writing reviews will encourage them to thing about why the like something, rather than just saying that they like it. Encourage your child to think about the different aspects of the thing they are reviewing.

Whenever your child publishes a review, find a link on the Internet to where readers can buy the item or visit the activity. If identification is an issue for you, only include links to general sites. For example, if they have read a book they bought from a local bookshop, include a link to Amazon.com instead of to the local bookshop (as much as it would be great to support a local business).

Your child can also earn a bit of pocket money, or pay for hosting, if you have a self hosted blog, by including affiliate links to the items they review. If your child’s blog is just for family and friends, they may not earn much through affiliate links, however it never hurts to put them up, as most affiliate programs are free to join.

If the blog is open to anyone, you never know who may be reading your child’s blog, the marketing manager for a company may contact you and your child and ask them to review a product for them! You never know what might happen!

You and your child could also create their own review ratings. For example, your child may want to award their favourite product a score out of 5 bananas, or something related to their blog. If you want to promote your child’s blog and their reviews, you can always send a button and a link to the review to the owner of the products your child has reviewed.

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Revealing Your Child’s Age

Do you let people know your child's age?

This is one area that I disagree with a lot of the cyber safety talks – letting people know how old you are online.

My kids came home from school after a cyber safety DVD at school and one of the things they were talking about was never revealing your age online.

When it comes to chat rooms, I agree, however when it comes to blogging, you and your child may want to share their age.

Why? It’s simple, if your child is posting reviews, it helps to say the review comes from a 9 year old boy, for example, and will have more impact. It is for this reason you may find it even more important to give your kids a nickname.

If your child is not writing reviews, then you may not want to say how old your child is. It is entirely up to you and your child whether or not you reveal your child’s age.

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Pictures are the thing

Create a photo blog

If your child is a budding photographer, you may want to create a photo blog for your child.

There are a lot of templates out there for photo blogs, and sites that host them. If you go for a hosted solution, make sure your child is in the age range.

Before posting photos, talk to them about the sorts of photos they will be posting. If you are concerned about identifying where you live, or who your child is, set some guidelines. For example, you may want to make sure no street signs are visible.

There are many great landscapes and wildlife photos your child could take and publish on their blog.

If you are worried about writing, invite your child to include descriptions of the photo they have posted. It could be the story behind the photo, such as where it was taken and why, or even a bit about the photo. For example if they take a photo of flower, they could research the name of the flower and some interesting information about it.

With a photo blog, put the focus on the photos themselves, you never know, you may have a budding photographer on your hands.

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Choosing a Template

Choose the right template for your child's blog

Choosing a theme or template for your child’s blog can be a difficult task, especially with so many different themes on offer.

If you are using WordPress and do a search on “Free WordPress Themes”, the search result will return around 68,400,000 results! Similar searches on other blogging platforms return a similar number of results.

With most kids, when they start, they may not know what their blog theme will be – for example, this blog is all about blogging for kids, I have another blog for my parenting thoughts. So, I’ve planned the themes around the theme of the blog.

When choosing a theme, one place to start is with your child’s favourite colour, or something else that they love. For example, if your child’s favourite colour is pink and they love butterflies, you may be able to find a pink theme that features butterflies.

To start with, you may want a free theme, however be careful which one you choose as some free themes can have extra code embedded, usually in the footer, to serve ads for the designer of the theme.

The beauty of most blogging platforms is that you can easily change the theme if your child’s favourite colour changes or they don’t like butterflies any more. As they go along, you may decide to invest in a premium or custom theme to get something that better reflects your child and their blog.

Whatever theme you choose, make sure your child is involved in the process, after all, this is their blog, not yours.

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