An Online Education: Protecting your Kids from the Dark Side of the Web

No parent wants to think about their child being vulnerable to predators of any kind, but ignoring the fact is much more dangerous than being aware and proactive. This is especially the case when it comes to protecting our kids online and with one third of the world’s internet users being under 18, parents have to play a part in protecting their kids and helping them understand the risks of our increasingly digital world.

As many as one in five US teens who regularly use the internet admits to having received unwanted sexual solicitation via the web and younger children can also become targets. It is important parents act accordingly and help children understand the risks of internet usage and learn to use it responsibly from a young age.

This is an image of a boy using a tablet

Understanding Online Grooming

While parents of under 18s in 2024 are much more au fait with the web than older generations, none of us is immune as technologies develop so quickly. Grooming or sexual grooming is the act of befriending and/or influencing a child with the aim of preparing them for sexual activity. Online grooming simply uses the internet as a key tool for this process and it can result in non-contact and contact sexual interaction between the instigator and the child. The worry this brings to any parent’s mind cannot be underestimated but being afraid and not preparing our kids is much more dangerous than hoping it simply won’t happen to them.

A Note about the Law and Online Grooming

The relative new nature of the idea of online grooming means laws in this area are not necessarily as clear as they should be. Few taskforces target the crime on a global scale and the main body for dealing with grooming, as opposed to sexual acts which follow, is the Convention on the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. At the time of writing only two states across the country, Illinois and Arkansas, have specific statues in place to address the problem of online grooming and experts in the field, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children assert grooming should be considered an “offense-specific process” rather than preparation for the true crime. While this can sound quite complex and make a worrying issue even more worrying, it is important as if your child were to be groomed, you’d want justice, even if it hadn’t got as far as a physical act.

There is also the Violent Crimes Against Children International Task Force in place which brings together 68 online child sexual exploitation investigators from 46 countries around the world. This is a highly specialized unit who can and do help in many circumstances and they have annual case coordination meetings for task force members to pool resources and support each other in their shared battle. Understand the dangers of online grooming and what it actually is, really does matter for parents so they can spot signs and act appropriately in the worst-case scenario.

How does Online Grooming Begin?

Most grooming will begin on a popular app or social network which children are already using comfortably. It may even happen through games, including many high profile cases involving the games Roblox and Minecraft. This doesn’t mean children should be banned from using technology, but transparency is important and helping your child understand the basics of how to protect themselves is too.

Online grooming often begins with someone discussing the game or getting to know a child on their level, talking about school, sports and other common areas of interest. Many predators choose to mask their age so they can easily get close to children online and become their “friends”. Gaining trust before introducing any sexual or dangerous element is a common pattern and one which children may not easily identify.

Social networking sites are particularly popular with perpetrators as they can access a wealth of information about children with relative ease. Children are often shockingly open with strangers online, especially if they’re enjoying games together or believe they’re talking to another child and unfortunately, predators are more than aware of this and are able to manipulate the situation to their advantage.

This is an image of a boy looking at his phone while sitting on a bench outside

Recognizing Signs of Online Grooming

Many kids are regularly rebuffing grooming attempts and we don’t even know about it. As mentioned, many teens have turned down sexual advances online and not even thought to talk to their parents about it, which has made it seem a normal occurrence which can make it even more of a danger. Some of the clearest signs of online grooming may seem like typical teen or preteen behavior but it’s important to remember – you know your kid, so if there is a change in their behavior – take it seriously.  Below are some of the most commonly recognized signs of online grooming to watch out for:

  • Asking to spend more time on the internet or actively doing so
  • Switching off screens or changing tabs when you check to see what they’re doing
  • Being secretive around their online activity
  • Discussing new friends you aren’t aware of or haven’t heard of before
  • New electronics being “given” to them and no explanation of why or how
  • Use of sexual or explicit language you wouldn’t expect them to know or don’t consider age appropriate
  • Mood swings and volatile emotional reactions

All of these may not be signals you recognize and some genuinely might be typical or hormonal reactions you expect from your child. However, if anything seems unusual it is worth delving deeper and keeping closer checks on their behavior and activities online.

Grooming and inappropriate sexual online behavior isn’t something we ever want to think about but it is something we can be aware of and help our children understand is wrong before it becomes a problem for them. Below we’re looking closer at what you can put in place to prevent grooming and to protect your children as they become confident internet users.

Grooming Prevention Strategies

It’s a sickening reality that no child is too young to be groomed and so no child is too young to be taught how to understand what is right and wrong when it comes to others and their body. These simple strategies can be implemented as early as you feel is appropriate with your own kids:

  1. Body Safety

Children can be taught body safety as early as three years old. Children should know the correct words for body parts, what appropriate touch is and the importance of consent. If they say no, it means no and any child can be made aware of this as soon as they begin to use the word appropriately themselves.

  1. Grooming Behaviors

While its scary, it is important to teach children about grooming behaviors such as isolating them from their friends, using sexual and inappropriate language and encouraging them to keep secrets from their parents and people they trust.

  1. Reporting Gifts and Alone Time

Any unsolicited gifts a child gets, you should be told about. This can be hard for children to understand as presents are great and if they’re told “Mommy won’t like that I’ve given you this” they may be scared to tell. The same goes for snacks, treats or even one-to-one time they spend with adults who aren’t you, as this is something you should be aware of, even in the most innocent of situations.

  1. Remove Blame Culture

Kids are scared of getting in trouble with their parents, but when it comes to this issue, you need to ensure they feel 100% comfortable with you and how important it is to tell you anything that is worrying them. Don’t minimize their feelings or their fears and let them know they will never get in trouble for telling you about any worries about people they’ve spoken to online.

  1. Be Open and Honest

No one wants to terrify their kids or give them the idea that they’re not safe, but it’s a hard fact and by telling them, you’re protecting them. Never be afraid to talk to your kids about difficult issues and help them protect themselves.

This is an image of girl sitting at a table on her laptop

Get Web Savvy to Protect from Predators

As we’ve said, the parents of today’s under eighteens are fairly internet savvy themselves, but there are new apps and technologies launched every week and online predators make it their business to know them as well as any kid. As well as ensuring your kids have strategies in place to protect themselves from grooming, put the following in place to ensure you are doing enough with the web to protect your kids as much as you can too:

  1. Understand Privacy Settings

Spend time with your children exploring the privacy settings on their favorite apps and chosen browsers. Ensure they understand the absolute minimum levels of privacy you expect and to always assume anything new has public as its default setting, so take time to set it to private. Many of the most popular social media apps want things to be public, so drill it into them to check every app or even do it yourself, a condition of them being able to download it at all.

  1. Review and discuss apps, games and website choices

While your children are going to want some privacy, the internet really isn’t the place to find it. A condition of having their own cellphone, tablet or computer should be you are allowed to have full access to check in their app and website use and ensure it is safe and secure. Setup your own accounts on their favorite apps so you can keep an eye on their usage but also ensure you have a good understanding of the apps functions. Younger kids may be begging for Snapchat or Instagram but you should also respect the age limits on these sites and consider one of the many child-centered social networks instead like Gobubble or Popjam.

  1. Know Their Friends

If you have a good understanding of who your children’s friends are, you’ll notice if a new name pops into the mix. You can also make sure they understand how powerful the internet can be for making you feel like someone really is your friend, but in reality, you don’t know them as well as you think. It’s very easy for anyone to become quickly connected to someone who seems to share all their interests online but consider why someone would mirror your exact likes and dislikes and what this could mean. Being suspicious of online friends may seem extreme but it helps set a useful precedent and ensures your children understand the importance of their own online safety.

  1. Keep Personal Information Private

Usernames should never include your child’s real name and if they want to talk about themselves online, they should avoid real places, times and dates. Obscuring every detail about themselves may seem false, but it ensures no one lurking online with ulterior motives captures anything of their real identity. Opt for fun cartoon images and favorite characters for profile pictures over family photos or anything which identifies your child.

  1. Encourage Open Communication

As our kids enter their teens they often feel less comfortable speaking to us about personal matters. If something makes your child uncomfortable or scared online then ensure they know there are people they can talk to, and it doesn’t have to be you, as there are many charities and resources ready to help and provide that listening ear.

This is an image of a childs hand using a mouse with computer

Online safety is a topic which many people switch off from, especially teens who think they know best. However, if you are sure to instil a healthy and cautious approach to online friendships and behaviors from their earliest internet usage, you should have additional peace of mind about the choices they might make. Transparent and open communication in the home is essential for protecting your kids as they grow up using the net on a daily basis.

30 Cute Flower Names for Girls

Many people view their newborn daughters as delicate and sweet. For those parents who want to give their child an ultra feminine name there is no better choice than to name their little girl for one of nature’s beautiful flowers.

Here is a look at some cute flower names for girls that parents will love.

Our List of Lovely Girl Flower Names

If you’ve got a newborn girl on the way and you’re still struggling to pick out the perfect name for her then you’ll love this list of uniquely cute and fun female flower names!

1. Fleur

Fleur is a French word that literally means flower.

Not only is the name both sweet and feminine it also has an exotic sound to it, which may make it popular with parents who are looking to give their child a slightly different and exotic name.

2. Calla

Calla is the shortened version of the flower calla lily, which is a white trumpet shaped flower with a yellow inside.

The name itself simply means “beautiful.” One of the things that makes this cute name ideal is that it is not a common name so will make the child feel a little more special.

If you’re still trying to decide on a middle name for your girl then check out our list of Cute Middle Names for Girls.

3. Blossom

Blossom is a simple name that means “to flourish.” While it is a cute name for some reason it may make a better middle name than a first name for a little girl.

The name Blossom was made more popular by the television series of the same name that aired in the 1990s.

4. Camellia

Camellia is a lovely name that carries with it a certain amount of strength. The flower itself is named for botanist Georg Joseph Kamel and means Kamel’s flower.

The flower itself comes in different shapes and colors making the flower as unique as the name itself.

5. Clover

Clover is a perky name for a girl and the meaning of the name is simply “key” Clover is a meadow flower.

Clover has trifoliate leaves and spikes of red, white or yellow flowers. Clover is of English origin.

6. Daisy

Daisy is a name of English origin and means “Days eye.” This name has been used for a number of different fictional characters including: Daisy Clover, Daisy duck, and Daisy Duke.

There have also been a number of athletes, actors, and other professionals who have also been named or called Daisy.

7. Dahlia

The Dahlia is a Scandinavian flower that comes in various colors and has a kind of a fluffy petal look.

Given to your baby girl the name will have an exotic sound to it and it is a strong though very feminine name.

8. Flora

Flora is of Scottish and Latin origin and simply means “flower.” Flora was the name of a Roman Goddess of flowers and spring who enjoyed eternal youth.

The name is a bit old fashioned, but is super feminine and easy to pair with a number of middle names.

9. Daphne

The name Daphne comes from Greek Mythology and means “Springs flower.”

In mythology the nymph Daphne escapes the attention of Apollo by being turned into a Laurel tree by her father. The name Daphne has a regal sound to it.

If you are interested in other ideas you can check out our list of one-syllable names for girls.

10. Hana

The name Hana is of Japanese origin and means bud or blossom. What makes this name unique is the spelling as compared to the more popular and familiar Hannah.

11. Holly

Holly is a name of Old English origin and comes from the name of the Holly tree. The name means to “prick.” is often given to little girls who are born in December.

The name Holly has a festive feel about it that many parents love.

12. Ivy

Ivy is a climbing vine and comes from the Old English word for fig. The name itself means “faithfulness” and was often given by Greeks in wreath form to newly weds as a symbol of fidelity.

Ivy is often connected to Holly in Christmas Carols.

13. Lotus

The name Lotus is of Greek origin and symbolizes purity and grace. The name itself is sophisticated and exotic. The lotus grows in ponds and small lakes rather like water lilies.

The lotus was a name given to many different flowers before it came to represent the Egyptian white lotus.

14. Marigold

Marigold is a sunny golden flower and the name itself does seem to be bright and sunny.

At one time naming a girl Marigold was reserved for fictional characters, but today is slowly finding its way among charming girl’s names for those parents who want to name their daughters something a little different from the standard Susan or Becky.

15. Jasmine

Jasmine is a name of perfume scented flower and is of Persian origin.

There are many different variations of the name including Yasmin, Yasmine, Jazmin, and Jessamine. It is also the name of the female Walt Disney character in Aladdin.

16. Rada

Rada is a name with origins in several languages including Yiddish, Latin and Russian. The meaning of the name actually means rose.

Rada is both a simple and lovely name that is truly unique and not overused.

17. Winika

Winika is a lovely and exotic name that is Maori origin. It is the name of a Pacific orchid that blooms around Christmas time and means “Christmas Orchid.”

It is a wonderful choice as a female flower name for any girl born in December and a wonderful choice for any parent looking for a slightly unusual flower name for their daughter.

18. Belladonna

Belladonna is a name of Italian origin and simply means “Beautiful lady.”

The plant belladonna also known as nightshade is a deadly plant, so naming your child this lovely name will also give her a hint of darkness and danger.

19. Tulip

Tulip is a name of Persian origin. The name originally was an offshoot meaning turban because the petals slightly resemble a turban.

Today, the name means “perfect love.” Although Tulip may seem an unusual name there are actually quite a few famous or near famous people who have that name.

20. Iris

The name Iris is of Greek origin and means rainbow.

Although the name seems prim and proper it’s colorful meaning makes this a bright and beautiful choice to name a daughter.

21. Violet

The name Violet is of Latin origin and simply means “purple flower.” When Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck named their daughter Violet the name almost immediately increased in popularity.

The Violet is considered a delicate flower, but may be more hardy than some people think.

22. Jacinda

The name Jacinda is of Spanish origin and is actually the Spanish name for the Hyacinth flower.

The name itself has a lovely unique ring to it and seems to turn a common flower into something slightly more exotic.

23. Magnolia

Magnolia is of Latin origin whose strict meaning is “Magnol’s flower.” It is considered an appropriate name for a Southern belle and is often related to the musical “Showboat.”

Girls given this name are likely to prefer the nickname Maggie to going by this flowery name.

24. Zinnia

The name Zinnia is of German and Latin origin and means Zinn’s flower.

The name Zinnia is not as commonly used as other floral names, but it seems to have an energetic quality to it that could make the name an excellent choice for some parents.

25. Azalea

Azalea is a relatively new name in the world of girl’s names first coming up on Social Security lists in 2012.

The name is said to mean dry, but the beauty of the name may make it especially appealing to parents looking for a floral name for their daughter.

26. Lilac

Lilac is a name of Persian and English origin and means “bluish or lilac.” It seems to be taking the place of the more old fashioned flower names like Lily or Violet.

The Lilac flower has a sweet light scent and is certainly a sweet name to give any girl.

27. Cassia

The name Cassia is of Greek origin and comes from the Cassia tree, which bears a yellow flower.

The tree produces a spice that is much like cinnamon, which is how the name Cassia came to mean “Cinnamon.” It is a lovely name to name that red headed baby girl.

28. Dianella

Dianella is a name of Australian origin and comes from a small star like purple flower of the same name.

It has a beautiful ring to it and is a more elegant take on the name Diane.

29. Lily

Lily is a rather old fashioned flower name that has been given to girls for generations. The name Lily means “pure or passion.”

Although the name is old fashioned it has a sweet ring to it. Other versions of the name are Lilith, Lillian and liliana.

30. Heather

The name Heather is of English origin and comes from a Scottish wildflower. The flower is hardy and thrives in rocky soil that is often considered barren.

If you are looking for a floral name for your little girl that is strong and resilient then Heather may be a good choice.

Conclusion to Lovely Baby Girl Flower Names

If you are looking for a cute flower name for a baby girl then these names should give you a start.

The Importance of Gender Neutral Toys for Kids

The term “gender neutral” toy is a misnomer. It doesn’t make a great deal of sense as toys cannot have a gender and we’re of course referring to the gender of the child who the toy is marketed at. Research from Michigan State University found that it is the toy manufacturers, advertisers, and society itself that have, over the decades, designated certain toys as being for boys and others for girls. It has become the norm for us to associate blue with boys and pink with girls, but this has been the work of the toy industry itself, quickly supported by society enforcing these stereotypes.

The same MSU study mentioned above also suggests that society has used toys as a means for positioning children for their “correct” gender roles. Both subtly and not so subtly girls are pushed to play with dolls, makeup sets and purses. Their focus should be on making themselves and their homes look beautiful whilst “playing house” and “playing mom” in a traditional nurturing role. On the other hand, young boys are taught that they should be interested in cars, building, weapons, and other aggressive subjects, positioning themselves as heads of families, communities, and the workplace.

While many children are happy in their gender identity, plenty are not, and with strict gender stereotypes at play, there is not an inclusive and safe environment for children who may not currently be confident in either of the “set” gender roles. Gender-designated toys teach children that there is a right and wrong way to be and as research has shown more than once, gender is not fixed, so children shouldn’t feel limited in their play.

Where do Gender Stereotypes Come From?

Gender stereotypes have some basis in survival and historical necessity. The first civilizations required everyone to contribute for their communities to survive. As men tend to be naturally larger and more physically strong they took on the role of hunters and protectors of the communities. The high risk involved in hunting meant it did not make sense for women, who naturally produced and provided nutrition for the young, to be involved in hunting. Instead they took on the role of gatherers as well as caring for the young.

There are examples of women hunters in history but they tend to be the exception not the rule. Therefore, the stereotype that men protect and lead was born. The idea that men were aggressive and women were gentle also comes from this same idea, as men would kill for food while women nurtured the young and cared for the home. These are the first examples of a patriarchal society becoming the norm, with men taking all positions of power and women’s opportunities were limited.

As the world became more mechanised, industrial revolutions took place and the physical strength necessary at the beginning of civilization was no longer necessary to survive and thrive, gender stereotypes still prevailed. Clubs and spears gave way to swords and guns that did not take great strength to use. Farm machinery made it possible for anyone to plough, regardless of their physical strength, yet the original stereotype of men’s and women’s roles did not change. Women were largely out of the world of work until the 19th century, when they began becoming more regularly seen working in factories and other businesses. To this day, we still have a clear and shameful pay gap between men and women.

The most obvious gender stereotypes we encounter today come from advertisement and manufacturers. Particularly in the toys market and they are once again supported by comments from family, from school and from society as a whole. Girls are pushed into the idea of caring about their looks, a clean and tidy home and nurturing children when playing.  Boys should be aggressive, passionately into sports and find vehicles fascinating.

These gender stereotypes have been reinforced for generations by toys that have been targeted by gender. Manufacturers have used pink and blue to ensure that parents and children know which toys are supposed to interest which gender. However, try as they might, not all toys can be designated as one gender or another.

The Problem with Gender Designated Toys

Gender designated toys do have their supporters and they suggest that biology dictates the kind of toy a child will gravitate towards. Girls will prefer to play with dolls, princesses, makeup and beauty toys and domestic toys. However, boys will opt for construction vehicles, guns and even math-related toys. This may be true for some children but it is hard to see whether children are actively choosing their “correct” gendered toy or are simply driven by society and the need to conform.

History has shown that individual children are indeed individual, and may have interests that flout gender expectations. Many girls excel in math and science, and have little or no interest in playing with dolls or play kitchens. Or they may enjoy both playing with cars and racing sets and their dolls. There are also many boys who prefer imaginative and role play games, may love to bake and create alongside their other toys. The pressure to be gentle for girls or aggressive for boys can be damaging and have an impact on them, not allowing their natural and innate characteristics and personalities to form.

By sending the message that little girls who prefer “boy toys” are tomboys, and little boys who prefer “girl toys” are sissies, we are telling our children that there is something unnatural about their interests, and they are less feminine or masculine than they “should” be.

The problem with forcing children into playing with only neutral toys, however, is that we are preventing them from reaching their full potential. As parents and educators, we should want to do everything we can to allow and help our children reach their potential. This means letting go of the idea of gender designated toys, and allowing children to play with all toys, and not just those that are specifically marketed as neutral.

Gender Neutral Toys have Always Existed

Gender neutral has become somewhat of a buzzword when in reality, these kinds of toys have always been available. There have always been toys such as Lincoln logs and natural colored building blocks, wagons, art supplies, puzzles, puppets, stuffed animals, plastic farm or zoo animals, shape sorters, sand toys, sleds, and so much more. Unfortunately, many toys that should be gender neutral have, at least in the not too distant past, been made gender specific by manufacturers who were looking to cash in on those who believed that gender roles should be reinforced. Toys as simple as dump trucks and diggers have been manufactured in bright pink to make them “okay” for girls to play with. A good example of this is the Danish company LEGO. They have created complete ranges in pink, purple and pastel colors hoping to attract female fans.

Why Gender Neutral Toys Are Important for Girls

The idea of a patriarchal society is something we have already mentioned and it is precisely this which makes gender neutral toys and play so important for young girls. Of course, there are female doctors, even at times when it was practically unheard of, but this can still be seen as going against the grain of the stereotypical female role. Women have had to fight and work hard to overcome obstacles and achieve the same if not more than their male counterparts.

However, parents of girls no longer accept this. more parents are telling their daughters that they can (and should) do whatever they want; they are encouraging them to follow their interests rather than be stuck in clearly defined gender roles. This is why it is so important for little girls to not only be encouraged to play with gender neutral toys, but also to be encouraged to play with all toys, or those that interest them, even if they’re seen as “for boys”. All children should be encouraged to follow their natural interests and play in a way which keeps them engaged and happy, finding their own talents in whatever field that might be.

Similarly, boys should have access to the same range of toys and find their own path. Research shows people who find it hard to define their gender in later life or are different to the gender they were assigned at birth often had difficulties at a young age with play. The opportunity to play with all toys is essential for children’s wellbeing and finding out who they are in many ways. That doesn’t mean that little girls should be discouraged from playing with “girly toys” if that is truly what they want. However, alongside those toys, girls should be given gender neutral and some “boyish” toys to give them the full range of toys to play with. After all, there is nothing wrong with Barbie driving a dump truck or a bulldozer instead of a pink convertible.

Common Gender Neutral Toys

Anyone looking to increase the range of gender neutral toys for their children could consider any of the following:

  • Wheeled toys, including cars, wagons, walkers, bikes, trikes, scooters, skateboards and skates
  • Shape sorters (mainly for young toddlers)
  • Assorted building materials, including Lincoln logs, magnetic blocks, Duplo and Lego blocks, building sticks and K’Nex
  • Tossing games, such as corn hole, ring toss, darts and Frisbee
  • Puzzles (great for children of all ages)
  • Puppets
  • Art supplies, including clay, crayons, coloring pencils, paint and drawing paper
  • Balls of various sizes
  • Playground equipment, including swings, slides, merry go rounds, teeter totters, climbing ropes, ladders and walls
  • Microscopes, telescopes, chemistry sets, magnifying glasses, bug catching kits
  • Fort building sets
  • Board games of all different types
  • Stamp sets 

This list is not exhaustive and also shouldn’t be used counter intuitively. We should be trying to change the narrative that there are gender designated toys and in fact, all toys are gender neutral.

Better Understanding is Leading to Progress

Many parents are exasperated when they see the rows of boys and girls’ toys in stores up and down the country, but there really is progress being made. Parents are demanding that stores drop the gendered toy sections, so children can feel less self-conscious when exploring and finding the toys they like. Boys shouldn’t feel uncomfortable in the “pink aisle” of the store or girls in the “blue aisle”. There is a push to stock similar toys together rather than gendered toys together, so dolls would be alongside action figures for example.

Some companies are now rising to meet the demand. Mattel, for example, has come up with a gender neutral doll that allows kids to create a doll with the look that they want it to have. Wonder Crew, meanwhile, is a company that makes dolls who are just like real boys, labeling them as “crewmates” to take away the stigma that is associated with boys playing with dolls.

While progress continues, if we want to raise children who are free to explore and reach their full potential, then we, as parents and the first educators of our children, need to strive to offer our children toys of different types. This will give them the opportunity to discover their own interests without worry about gender, and enable them to explore their identity without feeling forced into stereotypes.

50 Unique & Cute Baby Girl Middle Names: Female Names

Most people are excited about having a new baby and often spend a good deal of time considering different names until they find the perfect name for their child. While first names are often fairly easy, many parents agonize over choosing the perfect middle name for their baby girl.

Here is a look at 50 unique middle names suitable for any girl.

Best Unique Middle Names for Girls

1. Bree

The name Bree is of Irish, Scottish and means ‘strong or honorable’ and ‘full of virtue.’ Ironically the name Bree first became popular based on the 1971 movie “Klute” which won Jane Fonda an Oscar for playing a prostitute with that name.

2. Dawn

Dawn is a name of English origin and essentially means ‘break of day’ and is often given to little girls born around sunrise.

3. Fawn

Fawn is a girl’s middle name of both French and American origin and means a ‘Young doe.’

4. Jae or Jaye

The Name Jae or Jaye is Korean, Latin and English and also has several meanings including ‘Jay like the bird’ or ‘Sweet and Beautiful.’

5. Aryn

Aryn is of Hebrew origin and is a beautiful girl middle name. It means ‘messenger.’

6. Jaidyn

Jaidyn is a female baby middle name of Hebrew origin and has a couple of different meanings including ‘He will judge’ or ‘Precious.’

7. Katheryn

Katheryn is a common girls middle name that is English in origin and another cute baby girl middle name. It means ‘Pure.’

8. Brooke

The name Brooke is one of those popular nature names for girls, comes from English and means Stream.’

9. Hope

Hope is a name that is English in origin and was popular both as a first and middle name among the Puritans. The name means ‘Full of hope, trust or rely’

10. Love

Love is a middle name of English origin that was extremely popular in the late 1800s. It comes from the name Louve, which means ‘female wolf.’ Modern name the name Love is meant to express the emotion of ‘great caring.’

11. Merle

Merle is a unisex middle name often used for girls and is Latin origin. The name means ‘ blackbird.’

12. Raine

The girl’s middle name Raine has many origins including French, Latin and Native American. The name may mean ‘Queen’ or be a deviation of the word ‘Rain’

13. Rose

Rose is a pretty common middle name that simply means ‘sweet flower.’

14. Rylie

Rylie is a somewhat unique girl middle name of Irish origin that simply means ‘Brave.’

15. Breean

Is another middle name for a girl that is of Irish origin and the name has the meaning of ‘Brave and Noble.’

16. Caylen

Caylen is a somewhat unusual girl middle name of Old French origin. The name means ‘Pure.’

17. Devon

The name Devon was once primarily a male name, but more recently it has become somewhat popular as a middle name for girls. From the English the name origin comes from the village of Devonshire.

18. Ocean

Another one of the nature names that has been gaining in popularity the name Ocean is originally of Greek origin and actually means ‘Big Heart and Pure.’

19. Raven

Raven is a nice sounding middle name for a girl. As one would expect the name means ‘crow.’

20. Robin

Another birdlike female middle name for girls, Robin is of has a meaning of ‘songbird.’

[Related: Good Boy Middle Names]

21. Zoe

A name of Greek origin Zoe is a name that quite literally means ‘Life.’ It has also been translated to mean ‘vibrant’ as well.

22. Allison

Allison is a rather common English name that is often given as a middle name to girls. The name itself means ‘Truthful and Noble.’

23. Noel

A cheerful and merry middle name for girls Noel is French and means ‘Christmas.’ This name is exceptionally appropriate for those infant girls born in the month of December.

24. Naomi

Naomi is a name of the come from Hebrew and means ‘Pleasant.’ The name is associated with the mother-in- law of Ruth in the Old Testament.

25. Susannah

Although the middle name Susannah is associated with the pioneers, probably due to the song “Oh Susannah” it is actually Hebrew and means ‘Pretty and Sweet.’

26. Gillian

Gillian is an English name and the feminine form of the male name Julian. It means ‘Full of Youth.’

27. Sophia

Sophia is a sophisticated girl’s middle name and is of Greek origin. The name simply means ‘wise or wisdom.’

28. Amity

The origin of the girl’s middle name Amity is Greek and means ‘friendship.’ It is rather a lovely name to give to any newborn girl.

29. Irene

Another girl middle name of Greek origin The name Irene means ‘Full of Peace.’ Originally Irene came from the name Irini.

30. Viviann

The name Viviann is of Latin and French origin and is a rather chic and sophisticated girls middle name that actually has a nice meaning since it means ‘Alive.’

31. Belle

Made popular by “Beauty and the Beast” the middle name Belle for girls is actually from the French and means ‘Beautiful.’

32. Blue

Blue is an American name that can either be male or female and simply means ‘the color blue.’

33. Faith

Faith is a name of English origin and this cute middle name for girls was made popular by the Puritans. It means ‘Trusting in all things.’

34. Jade

Jade is a lovely middle name for girls and is of Spanish origin the name means ‘jewel or Precious stone.’

35. Skye

The name Skye has its origins in Ireland, the UK and the United States. It was an extremely popular name during the civil war mostly as a boy’s name. Today it is quite common as a girls middle name and can mean ‘Sheltering’ or ‘Sky.’

Skye is a great one syllable middle name for girls.

36. Amber

Amber is a middle name for a girl of American origin the name quite simply means ‘Golden jewel.’

37. Zaylee

There seems to be two stated origins for the girls middle name of Zaylee one is said to be of Australian origin with a meaning of ‘Flower.’ The other is said to be of American origin and is a made up name and is believed to mean ‘Dry.’

38. Ireland

Of Irish origin Ireland is a name made popular when Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin gave their daughter that name saying that Geographic names were a family tradition.

39. Iris

If you are looking for a bright and happy girl’s middle name then Irish may fit the bill. The name is of Greek origin and means ‘beautiful rainbow.’ What could be more lovely than that.

40. Ivy

An American name the name Ivy is a name for actual vine Ivy.

41. Lark

The name Lark is of American origin and brings to mind someone who is cheerful and outgoing. The name means ‘melodious songbird.’

42. Joy

Joy is a name that originates again from the English and comes from a generation of names such as Bliss and Merry. It is a happy sounding middle name for any baby girl.

43. Lake

A somewhat unique girls middle name of English origin is the name Lake. Named for someone who lives by a ‘Lake’ the name is rather unusual and pretty.

44. Winter

Winter is a lovely middle name for baby girls born during the colder months of the year. Of English origin the name reflects the season of snow.

45. Summer

The name Summer first became popular during the 70s and has remained fairly popular ever since as a female middle name.

46. Sunset

Sunset as a name seems to be of American origin and is a unique girls middle name. It is believed that the meaning of the name means ‘Beauty at the end of the day.’ It is definitely a lovely middle name to bestow on a girl.

47. Fleur

Of French origin the name Fleur is a lovely middle name for baby girls. The name means ‘Flower’.

48. Sage

Sage is a name of French origin and has a meaning of ‘wise one.’ Sage is a flowering herb and an excellent masculine flower name for boys.

49. Ivory

Ivory is a middle name for girls and is of American origin and means ‘pure and white.’

50. Dakota

The name Dakota is of Native American Origin with a meaning of ‘Friend or ally.” Once primarily a man’s name it is now often used as first or middle name for baby girls.

Final Thoughts on Splendid Baby Girl Middle Names

If you are searching for a cute middle name for girls then one of these names may fit the bill.

50 Cool Middle Names for Boys: Unique Baby Names

The same name that some parents give their boys as first names, may be given as a middle name by other parents. While there is no hard and fast rule normally if a child is given a short first name the middle name tends to be longer and vice versa. In other cases if the first name is of medium length then the middle name may be of medium length as well. Here is a look at 50 cool middle names for boys.

Middle Names for Boys

Good Boys Middle Names

If you are looking for a unique baby boy middle name for your coming son then here are 50 great male middle name ideas to choose from.

1. Blake

Blake is a name that has a nice ring to it and means “someone who is dark haired or has a dark complexion.” The name is considered to be of old English origin. The name Blake blends well with quite a few first names.

2. Grant

The name Grant means “one who is great or has big achievements.” It is of French-Anglo origin and is a take on the word Grand. Grant is a nice strong name that will beef up any first name it is paired with.

3. Rhett

Rhett is a name that is Welsh in origin and means “fiery.” In the United States many people choose this name after the famous character in “Gone with the Wind.”

4. Luke

Luck is a Greek name that is said to mean “a person who comes from Lucania,” however, many parents choose the name since it comes from the Bible.

5. Reese

Reese, like the name Rhett, means “fiery” and is an old English name. This is a middle name for boys that seems to go well with some of the more common first names such as Thomas or Andrew. Reese can also make a great one syllable middle name for girls.

6. Trey

Trey is an old English name that originally meant the “number 3.” While this boy middle name can easily be given to the third child in the family it can actually be used for any child.

7. Cash

The name Cash is believed to be a shortened version of the name Casper. It is an English name and means “one who is wealthy.”

8. Grey

Grey is of English origin and is actually based on the color gray. It makes for a nice sounding middle name that goes with most first names.

9. Judd

Judd is a name of Hebrew origin and the name means “one who is worthy of praise.” This name is old fashioned and has a reliable sound to it.

10. Lane

Lane is a name of English origin which simply means “path or roadway.” The simplicity of this name makes it a middle name that should go well with almost any first name.

11. Clark

Clark is a name with a nice ring to it. The name is of English origin and actually stands for one who clerks. Clark is also a common last name that makes a great first name.

12. Drew

Drew is a name of English origin and means “one who carries a weighty load.” Drew could also be a shortened version of Andrew.

13. Heath

The name Heath sounds like the hero from a romance novel. The name is of British origin and means “one who lives on or very near the moor.” (Can’t you just picture a tall, dark brooding man strolling across the moors deep in thought!)

14. Finn

Finn is a name of Irish origin that means “one who is fair.” The name itself seems to be a name filled with good humor and laughter.

15. Seth

A name of Hebrew origin the name Seth means “one who is placed or appointed.” The name Seth seems to have a sense of calm about it.

16. Neil

A name that is Gaelic Neil means “passionate.” So if you are looking to give your boy a middle name that may instill a love for life into him then Neil may be a good name to choose.

17. Zane

A name of Hebrew origin, the name Zane means a “gracious gift from God” This would be a great middle name for a boy whose birth had been hoped for a long period of time.

18. Troy

Troy is an English name based on the ancient city in Greece and means “strong and brave.” While Troy isn’t the most common name it isn’t so unique to make a new parent shy away from the name.

19. Jace

Jace is a Greek name the meaning of which is “to heal.” In the US Jace can also be a nickname for Jason.

20. Wade

Wade is a name of English origin and it simply means “someone who crosses the river.” The name Wade has easy fill to it.

21. Damon

The name Damon means “to tame or gentle” and is of Greek origin. This name appears in many stories of ancient Greece.

22. Devin

A name of Irish origin, the name Devin means “Bard or Poet.” The name may be great to be bestowed on a child that you are hoping will have an artistic bent.

23. Noel

Noel is an English name derived from a French name and simply means “Christmas Season.” This is a great middle name for any baby boy born in the month of December. Noel is also a popular girls middle name!

24. Byron

Byron is a name of English Origin that has a sophisticated sound to it. Ironically, the name means “Someone who lives near a cowshed.”

25. Quintin

Quintin is a Roman family name that literally means “the fifth.” The name was traditionally given to the fifth son in the family, but today the name can pertain to any child regardless of the order in which they are born.

26. Noah

Noah is a Hebrew name associated with the Bible. The name means “ One who is calm and quiet.” The name has a solid sound to it, which may be appealing to many prospective parents.

27. Caleb

A name of Hebrew origin Caleb means “One who is like the heart.” You can almost picture a baby who is given Caleb as a middle name will grow up to be a kind and loving person.

28. Cody

The name Cody means “One who is helpful.” and although the name is of Irish origin it brings to mind cowboys of the old West.

29. Ryder

Ryder is another name that sounds like it is straight out of an old west novel and this name in fact, is actually of American origin. However, it is said that this name means “ Like a Knight.”

30. Denver

Denver was originally a name of French origin and referred to someone who came from “Anders.” However, when American parents choose Denver as a middle name, they may be naming their son after a city in Colorado.

31. Gavin

Gavin is a Welsh name and means “white hawk.” Although Hawks are considered birds of prey and have a fierce reputation some hawks are also quiet and gentle.

32. Jared

Jared is a Hebrew name and has two meanings. One meaning is “Sweet and loving like a rose.” and the other meaning is “descending.” Jared is a very strong sounding name that will go well with many first names.

33. Leo

Leo is a name of Latin origin and means “strong as a lion.” This short name combines well with longer names and has a nice ring to it.

34. Dezi/Desi

Dezi is also a name of Latin origin and it actually means “To be filled with yearning or sorrow.”

35. Drake

Drake is a name that means “dragon” and is of middle English origin. The name bestows a certain fierceness on the male carrying this as a middle name.

36. Trevor

Trevor is a Welsh name that means “one who lives on a large settlement or homestead.” The name has a sophisticated sound to it and goes well with short strong first names.

37. Tyson

Tyson means a “strong and fiery person.” The name is English and is not overly common nor so strange as to turn potential parents away from choosing the name for their boys middle name.

38. Damien

Damien is a Greek name and means one who “tames” The meaning of this name suggests a person who has a strong personality and a firm command of situations.

39. Boone

The name Boone means “a blessing” and is one of those names that is of French origin, but brings forth thoughts of strong and independent men who were the early frontiersmen who settled the United States. Quite possible because the name is associated with the famous Daniel Boone.

40. Wyatt

Wyatt is another name of French origin that has come to remind most people of cowboys of the old west. The name Wyatt means “brave warrior” and seems to be the name of a person you can depend on.

41. Tait

The name Tait is of Greek origin and means “Happy and Cheerful.” One might expect a boy with the middle name of Tait to be a joy to be around and someone who will keep others smiling.

42. Ian

Ian is a name of Scottish origin and means “God is gracious.” Ian is a pleasant sounding name that will go well with a number of first names.

43. Dakota

Dakota is a name of Native American origin and means “friend or ally.” It is also another name that brings thoughts of the old west to mind.

44. Guy

Guy is a name of German and French origin and simply means “wood” or “wide.” Guy is a name that is simple and fun and will match well those incredibly long first names.

45. Edgar

Edgar is an old English name that means “fortunate and powerful.” It also means “wealthy spear.” Edgar seems to be a name that has a sense of reliability about it.

46. Sage

Sage is a name of French origin and means “wise one” or “the spice of the prophet.” This name seems to have a bit of western flavor to it like so many other names on the list.

Sage is also a flowering herb making it a fantastic flower name for boys.

47. Logan

Logan means “hollow” and is a name of Scottish origin. The name has a strong sound to it and makes a good middle name or even a great first name.

48. Rowan

Rowan is a name of Irish origin and means “tree with red berries.”

49. Crew

The name Crew is of Welsh origin and means “Fortress by the water.” The name is unique enough to appeal to parents who are looking for a slightly different middle name for their son.

50. Hunter

Hunter is a name of English origin and simply means “One who hunts.” The name is both interesting and has a certain strength to it that makes it a name that has been increasing in popularity.

Final Thoughts on Splendid Baby Boy Middle Names

If you are looking for a cool middle name for your upcoming baby boy maybe one of these 50 boys middle names will hold some appeal.

30 Unique One Syllable Middle Names for Girls

Most parents who choose a one syllable middle name for their infant daughters do so because they chose a longer first name for the child. However, modern day parents typically want a middle name that is a little more unique than the traditional Ann, Sue, or Jo.

Unique One syllable girl names

Cute, Fun & Unique One Syllable Girl Middle Names

If you are looking for a unique one syllable middle name for your girl then here are 30 you may want to choose from.

1. Skye

The name skye has a romantic ring to it and reminds one of either clear sunny days or starry nights. The name itself is of Irish origin and the name is said to mean “sheltering” which is a lovely meaning for any female.

[Related: Cute Girls Middle Names]

2. Ayn

The name Ayn was made somewhat popular by Russian writer Ayn Rand. Oddly enough many parents chose Ayn as a 1 syllable middle name because they feel it is a unique play on Ann or Anne. However, the origin of the name is Hebrew and is said to have 3 possible meanings; “Prayer,” “God favors me” or “eye.”

3. Bay

Bay is a name of Old French and Latin origin and has several meanings bestowed upon it. Again this simple short middle name for girls seems to have a number of different meanings including “berry” “ a water inlet” or “Auburn Haired.”

4. Brooke

Although the name has been around a while it was Americans that made the name popular as a girl’s first or middle name. The name brings to mind a small stream that runs over pebbles or rocks. The name has a peaceful and serene sense to it, while still being somewhat unique.

5. Joy

The name Joy has an extremely happy sound to it and the actual meaning of the name is “Rejoicing.” The simplicity of this one syllable female name combined with the feeling of happiness it evokes could make this name a favorite among many parents.

6. Sage

As a 1 syllable middle name Sage has a kind of exotic ring to it some parents will like. Even better Sage means “wise one” which bestows a great meaning to the child’s overall name.

[Related: Excellent Baby Boy Middle Names]

7. Jett

Originally Jett was exclusively a male name, but recently it has been used as a name for females. Jett is a strong name which some claim means “Black Gem.” The name is definitely unique and actually quite attractive.

8. Bree

Bree is a name that comes from Irish and English origins with the generally acceptable meaning of “strength.” The name is both easy and sophisticated having an uplifting appeal to it.

9. Lark

The one syllable girls middle name Lark means “Songbird” and the name itself brings to mind someone who is cheerful and outgoing and extremely social. Lark is one of the nature names that seem to be growing in popularity with modern parents.

10. Rain

Rain seems to be purely an American name as well as another of those nature names that are increasing in popularity. The name itself means “Blessings” or “Blessings from above” which is actually exactly what a baby is.

11. Hope

Hope is a name of Puritan origin that was often given to baby girls. Although old fashioned the name reemerges every few years and is a lovely simple name that some parents may choose to use.

12. Lake

Another nature name that is gaining in popularity is the name Lake. Primarily given to boys it is now emerging as a girl’s name as well. The name Lake means “Still Waters.”

13. Kai

The name Kai (pronounced Kye) has many origins including Hawaiian, Scandinavian, Greek, Latin and Chinese. The name also has almost as many meanings as it does origins meaning “Pier of a harbor; Keeper of the keys; strong; unbreakable and more.

14. True

The name True is primarily given to females and this name means “genuine, real and loyal.” It is a nice sounding name that goes well with many first names.

15. Star

The name Star is of English origin primarily American and like the name Skye has a romantic sound to it. A star is a celestial body that shines brightly.

16. Bliss

Bliss is a name of Old English Origin and seen a reemergence in popularity in recent years. The name has a sweet sound and means “ Joy, Cheer, or Intense Happiness.”

17. Swan

Swan is another bird name that is becoming popular. The name gives the impression of elegance and purity and seems to go smoothly with a number of first names.

18. Jade

Jade is the name of ornamental green stone that has great value in Asian countries. The stone is said to bestow wisdom, clarity, courage and modesty on the possessor of the name.

19. Leigh

Leigh is often used in place of the more common middle name of Lea or Lee. The name means “Meadow or Field.”

20. Belle

Belle is a name of French origin and simply means beauty. The name Belle has many positive connotations such as Belle from “Beauty and the Beast,” Southern Belle, or Belle of the ball.” While used as a middle name Belle seems to have southern connotations it can be used by parents anywhere.

21. Blaire

Blaire is a name of Scottish origin and means “plain or field.” The American version of the name means “Trustworthy and honorable.”

22. Wynn

Wynn is a name of Welsh origin that has a sophisticated sound to it. The name itself means “ friend, white, fair, or blessed.”

23. Dawn

Dawn is a name meaning “daybreak.” and is the perfect middle name for a child born in the wee hours of the morning just as the sun is rising.

24. Snow

Another one of those nature names Snow is a perfect name for a little girl born in winter. The name has a sense of purity about it.

25. Dale

Dale is an old English name that was once given to males, but in more recent years has become a name for females as well as males. Dale simply means valley and is a short snappy name that combines well with a variety of first names when used as a middle name.

26. Fawn

Fawn was a popular girl’s name during the 60s and 70s and fell out of favor because many parents felt that the name did not give their child enough to live up to. Fawn simply means “young deer” and the name has an air of innocence about it that might find favor with some parents.

27. Fleu

Fleu is a name of French origin and simply means flower. The name has romantic flavor and brings to mind grace and beauty.

28. Lei

Lei is a Hawaiian name for a wreath of flowers that is normally placed around a person’s neck as a welcome or during a celebration. Like Fleu the name brings to mind beauty.

29. Teal

Color names for girls such as Blue and Gray have become quite popular. Teal is a color name for a girl that has a much more feminine ring to it than many other colors names.

30. Day

Day is a name of American origin and can easily be a name for either a boy or girl. The name day simply means daylight or sunlight.

Final Thoughts on Splendid Single Syllable Girls Middle Names

Remember the name you choose for your child is a name that your child is going to have to live with for many years to come, which is why many parents agonize over the choice of name for their children.

20 Masculine Flower Names for Boys

Many people believe that their baby’s personality is in part influenced by their name, which is why many parents name their boys after flowers. By giving a boy a flower name, parents not only seek to give their child a more unusual name, but also have the hope that the child will grow up to be gentle and appreciate the beauty in the world.

Of course when choosing a name for their son, parents don’t want a name that sounds girly or will get their child teased so here is a look at some great manly flower names for boys.

Unique Boy Flower Names

Cool & Unique Male Flower Names for Baby Boys

1. William

There is little doubt that William is considered a masculine name after all not only is William the name of a current British Prince, it was also the name of William the Conqueror. However, Sweet William is also a beautiful flower and makes a great name for any baby boy.

2. Basil

Basil is an exotic sounding name, like a character in a romance novel. It is also the name of a flavorful flowering herb used to season food. Although the name sounds a bit old fashioned it is a strong name that carries with it a bit of sophistication.

3. Sage

Another flowering herb, Sage is another of those great male flower names. This name reminds you a bit of the old west leading those who hear the name to associate with it with strength and masculinity.

4. Jared

Jared is a nice strong name that does have a certain popularity. However, it may surprise you that Jared is actually the Hebrew name for a rose. This is a perfect name for parents who want to give a manly flower boy flower name to their son that most people won’t know is a flower name.

5. Florian

Florian is Latin name that simply means flowering. While it does not pertain to specific flowers it still gives the feeling of beauty while retaining it’s masculine flavor.

6. Hawthrone

Hawthrone is a flowering plant that is also used for medicinal purposes. While you may not want to give your son the first name of Hawthrone, it would make a fine middle name for any parent looking for flower boy names.

[Related: Cute Last Names That Make Better First Names]

7. Oleander

The name Oleander is both sophisticated and somewhat playful. It is also the name of a flowering shrub that has beautiful flowers. This is a great name for those parents looking to give their son a name that is a little less common.

8. Ren

Ren is another among masculine flower names that is perfect for naming a son. The name Ren means Lotus in Japanese and the lotus flower stands for perfection and purity.

9. Rowan

Rowans are beautiful flowers that grow in dense clusters. While the flowers themselves may be somewhat delicate when viewed individually, the name Rowan certainly has a very masculine ring to it.

10. Ash

Ash is a flowering tree that is certainly suitable to be a popular boys flower name. The name Ash has a nice masculine ring to it and in addition the name is short which makes it attractive to many parents.

11. Arnit

A rather unusual, but strong sounding name for a boy this male flower name simply means beautiful flower. Arnit is one of those unisex names that can be given either to a girl or a boy and when given a girl actually means “mountain of strength.”

12. Crisanto

Not the common name, statistics suggest that only about 28,600 people in the world bear this exotic sounding name which means “Flower of Gold.” The name is of Greek origin making it even more exotic choice for some people in the United States.

13. Elm

Elm is a strong normally tall tree that bears lovely delicate looking white flowers that are actually quite robust. Bestowing elm as a middle name for your son will lend strength to his name.

14. Trevor

Trevor is a shorter version of the word shatrevar, which is a Persian word for flower. The name Trevor itself is a strong name and very masculine.

15. Yarrow

Yarrow is actually a strong fragrant herb that bears a bright yellow flower that reminds one of sunshine. Yarrow makes a great boy flower name that is both unusual and attractive.

16. Bud

Bud is most commonly used as a nickname, but it can be used as a first or middle name and is a masculine flower name simply meaning blossom. The appeal of the name Bud, is that it is a short simple name that is easily paired with longer more sophisticated names.

17. Oak or Oakes

The name Oak doesn’t refer to a flower, but rather refers to a tree that is known for its strength. The name is old English and has a powerful ring to it.

18. Gentian

The name Gentian is a take on an Illyrian King named Gentius. Gentians are brilliant blue flowers with fringed petals. The name itself actually brings forth visions of gentlemanly conduct, which many parents may find appealing.

19. Florent

This name is quite popular in Europe although far less popular in the United States where the name may seem to have a bit too much flourish. The name simply means flowering.

20. Moss

Moss is another of those names that is not a flower boy’s name, but is named for those soft dark green dark ground covering you often see in the woods or growing near the roots of trees. Moss is an old fashioned name for a boy that has a nice simple ring to it.

Final Thoughts on Good Boys Flower Names

If you are looking for a flower boys name that still has a sense of masculinity and strength then one of these options may be just the name you are looking for.

30 Unique Last Names That Make Even Better First Names

The idea of turning a last name into a first name in your search for cute baby names is certainly not a new idea since the use of surnames as first names dates as far back as the end of the Roman Empire. As the empire began breaking down it seemed that those old royalty names were up for grabs and no longer reserved just for the nobility.

In addition, some traditional last names actually have their origins in first names. For example the last name Johnson came about as a way to differentiate John’s son from Aaron’s son so it seems only natural for these last names to become first names once again!

Most importantly, choosing a surname for a first name can allow parents to give their child a unique name or bestow on them a baby name with a special meaning. Regardless of why you may choose to use a surname as a 1st name we’ve come up with a bunch of unique last names that make even better first names for babies.

Cute Last Names as First Names for Girls

For your convenience we have divided our list of names into cute girl’s names and cool boy’s names.

1. McKenna

One of the most Unique surnames turned into a first name for baby girls is the name McKenna is an old Scottish name from the County Monoghan where the family Mckenna was known as the “Lords of Truagh”.

As a first name the name McKenna is used exclusively for girls, however, ironically the meaning of this name means “son of the handsome one”. Newer naming books have substituted the word son in the meaning to child to make it more feminine friendly.

2. Quinn

Another cool last name used as a first name is Quinn. The name Quinn is of Irish origin and comes from the Gaelic O Cuinn meaning descendant of Conn.

Often given as a 1st name for a girl Quinn means counsel or intelligence.

[Related: Masculine Flower Names for Boys]

3. Reagan

The name Reagan is an Irish name and is Gaelic the name means “king’s child”. This baby name became very popular in the United States especially for girls after President Reagan made the name a household name. It’s meaning today is “Little Ruler.”

4. Luna

The name Luna seems to have always been both a surname and first name, but also makes a great one syllable middle name for girls! It has origin in Rome, Italy as well as Spain. Luna was the Roman Goddess of the moon and today the name Luna still means “Moon”.

5. Ryan

Ryan is an old Irish name that dates back to the County Tipperary in the 13th century. In most countries whfere this name is used as a first name it is given mainly to boys, however it has been a popular girl’s baby name since the 1970s and means “young royalty”.

6. Harper

The name Harper is of English, Scottish and Irish origin and is the occupational name for the player of the harp. The Harper was one of the most important figures in the Baronial Ball and the position was often hereditary.

As a first name Harper is most often given to girls and has the meaning “minstrel.”

7. Rowan

Rowan is a Scottish, U.S. U.K., and Canadian surname that was extremely popular between 1840 and 1020. It also has Norse roots as well as Arabic.

The accepted meaning of the name Rowan is “Little Red One”. However, it is interesting to know that in Norse the Rowan was a tree with red berries, and in Arabic Rowan is a river in Paradise.

8. Cassidy

Cassidy is an old Irish surname meaning curly-haired.

Ironically it is believed that Cassidy made the transition from a last name to a first name when baby-boomer parents began naming their little girls after the Grateful Dead song “Cassidy”. It’s a bit humorous to think that this name is “Dead head” name.

9. Peyton

Peyton was originally a name for place in Sussex England and later became a famous first name for new babies due to Peyton Randolph the 1st president of the Continental Congress and later the football player Peyton Manning. Later it became more popular as a girl’s name.

10. Bailey

Bailey is a name of Irish, English, or Scottish origin. As a first name it is usually bestowed by parents who want their child to have a unisex name.

The accepted meaning for the name Bailey is “Steward” or “sweet person” although it is believed that the Irish meaning is Legend.

11. Addison

Addison is a name of English origin, that is one of those surnames that started out as the first name Adam, then became a surname for the “son of Adam” and is now once more a first name.

Ironically while the name Addison means “Adam’s son” it has been used almost exclusively for females.

12. Riley

Riley is an old Irish name derived from the name O’Riley. It was primarily a male’s name until the 1990 when it became popularized as a girl’s name.

Riley can mean “rye field” or it can also mean “Valiant” which came from a man who died at the battle of Clontarf .

13. Arden

The name Arden has it’s origin in Ireland, England and Hebrew. The name Arden in Hebrew is another name Eden and means “Great Beauty”. In Celtic the term means “Lofty”

14. Lane

Lane is an English name that is believed to have its origins in Celtic.

It is considered a unisex name and works equally well for a boy or a girl, but we happen to feel it makes a great girl’s name. The name Lane means “Path.”

15. Whitney

Whitney is an old English name that comes from a location in Herefordshire. It can be used for a boy or girl and means “From the white Island”. 

Cool Last Names as First Names for Boys

1. Carson

Parents in the United States may choose the baby name Carson for their son based on the historical figure “Kit Carson” the independent frontiersman who was known for his bravery and strength. However, the origins of this name comes from the Scottish/English Borderlands and actually means “Son of marsh dwellers.

2. Cooper

One of the most playful sounding last names for first names is the name Cooper.

The name is of Dutch and English origin and actually means “Barrel Maker” Barrel Makers played a very important role in history as most goods at one time were shipped in barrels.

3. Duncan

Duncan is an old Scottish surname that has often become a 1st name and originates from 2 kings of Scotland. The name itself means “Brown haired man” or “Chieftain.”

4. Griffin

Griffin is of Welsh and Irish origin where there were Welsh princes of that name. Later it was an English surname as well and now it has become an interesting first name for boys.

The Welsh meaning of Griffin is “Ruddy” while the English meaning refers to the creature that has the body of a lion and the wings and head of an Eagle.

5. Landon

Landon originates in Cornwall and comes from the families that lived in Langdon or Longdon.

Landon means “Long hill” and is a great name for parents looking for a unique name for their baby boy.

6. Parker

Parker is a last name that can be used as a boy’s first name. It has English and French origins and the name quite literally means “Keeper of the Park”.

The name is quite popular in the United States where it has been ranked the 47th most common name for boys. Part of the popularity of this name is based on its association with Spiderman.

7. Stone

The surname Stone turned first name has its origins in Britain and the U.S. And actually means “Dweller by the stone”. Possibly the most well known person bearing the first name Stone is the commentator Stone Phillips.

8. Walker

Walker is a name of German origin that dates back to the 13th century. The name literally means “Someone who walks” and is taken from a German officer whose duty it was to walk a certain portion of the king’s forest.

As a first name, the name is great for a baby boy because it has a feeling of quiet strength.

9. Spencer

Spencer is a surname as a first name for boys that has its origin in Latin and Old French. This name means “Steward” who is a person in charge of someone’s land or property.

As a first name, the name Spencer seems to suggest trustworthiness.

10. Hunter

The name Hunter originally comes from the Scottish kingdom of Dalriada and simply means “One who hunts or gives chase”. Given as a first name the name Hunter has a strong feel to it, which many parents like.

We also love Hunter as a cool and unique middle name for boys.

11. Ross

The surname Ross may be of Scottish or German Descent and has become a fairly common first name for boys. The Scottish meaning of the name means “headlands” while German meaning is steed.

12. Grant

Grant is an extremely strong sounding name that is of English, Irish, Scottish or French origin oddly enough in regardless of origin the name Grant means “talls or great.”

13. Tanner

The name tanner is of German, Finnish, and English origin. The name has a different meaning depending on the country of origin.

In German this boys name comes from Danner and means “forest”. The Finnish meaning of the name is “Field or ground” and the English meaning of the Tanner refers to the “Tanner of skins.”

14. Grayson

Grayson is a family surname from Dumfriesshire near the English border. The meaning of the name means “watchful” or “Gray haired one” and when used as a 1st name Grayson has a sophisticated air to it.

15. Maxwell

Maxwell originated as a Scottish surname originating as a place name for Maccus meaning “Great” and wella meaning “Stream” with the combined meaning being “great stream” or Mack’s stream”.

The name has a strong outdoorsy feel to it, which parents who hope to instill a love of nature in their child may choose.

Final Thoughts on Good Last Names Used As First Names for Both Girls & Boys

These unique surnames that have also become first names offers some cool and interesting names for new parents to choose from. One of the best things about choosing one of these names is that any one of the names you choose has a lot of history behind it.

Everyday Ways to Get Kids Engaged with Science

The importance of science for society and our understanding of the world cannot be ignored. UNESCO describes it as our “greatest collective endeavor”, and there is no time like childhood to develop a love for and an interest in the sciences. Likewise, successful STEM Education states “Studies have identified the elementary years as the period when students form their interests in STEM identities and careers—much earlier than many people probably believe to be the case”. As parents and careers, everything we can do to impact our children’s views of science positively is essential.

A poll by NPR found that nearly 25% of parents and careers do not believe their child’s school emphasizes science education enough. It is therefore worth considering what more you can do as a family to promote science and to encourage a love of the subject in your kids.

Some parents may worry about their child’s ability and whether scientific information is actually sinking in. However, research carried out by the Bay Area Discovery Museum, The Roots of STEM Success: Changing Early Learning Experiences to Build Lifelong Thinking Skills, brings together a range of studies of children aged ten and under. It finds that while younger children may not be able to sift through information and share it effectively, they can understand complex scientific concepts and draw valuable conclusions. Children can do more than we think, so it is our responsibility to provide them with the scientific experiences they need to maximize their potential.

The Benefits of Scientific Education in Childhood

The earlier you introduce scientific ideas and theories into your children’s lives, the more they stand to gain. There are a wide range of benefits that come from prioritizing scientific education.

These include the following:

1) Foster a Lifelong Love of the Sciences

Children are naturally explorative. They want to learn and discover new things. Tapping into your children’s natural predisposition for discovery and experimentation will help to set the ball rolling for a lifelong love of science. Classroom-based learning can have a positive or negative impact on children. So, the more foundations you lay, the better the chance of a positive outcome. Nurturing a positive attitude to scientific learning positions your kids positively for their future education.

2) Provide the Base for a Scientific Mind

Scientific and critical thinking is a valuable skill across all areas of life. Simple day-to-day activities give many opportunities to introduce scientific ideas and a scientific approach to thinking. Encouraging and directing children’s natural curiosity and bringing basic scientific vocabulary into play at an early age makes this feel more natural and intuitive for your children as they grow.

3) Enrich Wider Learning and Education

A good basis of education in science has many transferrable skills and opportunities. Children have the chance to develop and practice a wide range of skills and attributes. For example, as already mentioned, scientific language can help boost their vocabulary. Similarly, other core skills such as communication, collaboration, and perseverance are developed in examination and investigation-based tasks. Once your child shows an interest in any area of science, you can nurture and push this forward with additional support and wider-related activities such as reading and literacy tasks and math-based exercises linked to the science.

There are many different ways of introducing science in day-to-day activities or planning days out to engage your kids with the science all around us.

Proactive Ways to Get Kids Engaged with Science

It is possible to be overly regimented and to expect too much of young children. If you have a passion or interest, it is natural to want to share this with your children, but different approaches may be suitable for your children to help ensure they enjoy the process. Keep these points in mind:

Process over Results

Introducing scientific concepts and engaging your children in scientific tasks is more about the process than results and correct answers. There should be no pressure on children to perform, and while you want them to gain some scientific understanding, the activity itself is the focus. Focus on channeling their curiosity and building their investigative skills.

Encouraging Child-Led Activities

Early science education is all about giving your children the chance to explore. Organizing activities is great, but if things go off on a tangent and the kids want to explore something else, let them go with it. Providing the opportunity to learn and investigate in their own way is much more likely to be a success than rigid classroom-like activities.

There are many everyday ways you can bring science into your home and introduce it to your kids. One option is to buy them a simple science kit or one you can go all out with some of the wonderful ideas discussed below. 

1) Make a Mess

Children of all ages will delight in the chance to make a huge mess, and there are scientific ways of doing so. With a couple of shrewdly-selected materials, mess-making can become a scientific project and activity for kids of all ages. For example, the youngest kids can enjoy shaving foam play, giving them the chance to touch, feel and mold the foam. In addition, you can ask questions to encourage their scientific thinking, such as:

  • What does the foam feel like?
  • What shapes are you making?

You can make it even more fun and explorative by adding food coloring and looking at the paths the colors make through the foam. Kids will love the chance to make a huge mess.

Exploring the popularity of slime and the online craze it has generated is the kind of scientific project older kids will love. Making slime involves a range of different scientific processes. There are hundreds of recipes online as well as ready-made slime making kits that test the kids’ abilities in measuring and mixing. You can also use it as an opportunity to ask questions about the slime. What makes it slimy? What makes it gooey? These kinds of questions get the children’s scientific minds whirring!

2) Explore Water

Water play can be enjoyed from birth, and as children grow, you can begin taking a more scientific approach to things. A few toys, plastic bottles and a bowl full of water is enough to engage young minds and will prompt them to approach water from a new scientific angle.

Playing with water in its different forms helps children understand and get to grips with what it is and how we use it to determine our understanding of other materials. Water is the easiest way to introduce children to the concept of liquids, solids, and gases. As you freeze and boil water, you can show them how it changes into its different forms.

A bowl of water is also a fantastic way of teaching children about floating and sinking. Test different toys and objects and make predictions. Which will sink and which will float? You can also ask why and see who is right. With your water bottle, you can cut a few holes and test the speed of water trickling through. As the water levels drop, what happens to the speed of the trickle? These are just some ways you can make the most out of a day’s water play.

3) Build Ramps

A building activity always gets the kids excited, and structural engineering counts as a science. Building ramps is a chance to explore motion, gravity, and planning. You can build ramps from anything you like – LEGO sets, cardboard, or a dive in the recycling trash should be enough to get everything you need. Once made, get a ball or marble to roll down the ramp. Challenge the kids to use what they have to create a fast, smooth surface for the ball to roll down. See who can get their ball moving fastest and for added scientific value, let them record their findings with your cell phone. This creates even more opportunities for discussion and interest.

4) Count Electrical Objects

Give the kids a lesson in both science and history with the story of Benjamin Franklin. In 1752 Franklin made his scientific breakthrough combining a key and a kite in a storm. Definitely don’t attempt to replicate his work, but you could look around the home and see how many items require electricity to work. Explain to them the history of our understanding of electricity, Franklin’s work and also see if they can begin to consider life without any electricity at all! That will surely be a challenge.

5) Explore building designs on a neighborhood walk

Architecture is another area of science that could be a way to get the kids talking. Take a drive or walk around the neighborhood and look at the different buildings. Show them the differences between different types of structures. For example, skyscrapers rely on specific building elements to ensure they can withstand strong winds, and coastal properties are often built high to avoid waves. You can show them different types of structures, and after the walk or drive, you can replicate the structures you’ve found at home. Whether you take another dive in the trash, bring out the building blocks, or simply draw, the kids can create their favorite style of structure at home.

6) Play sports and discuss physics

Not all kids are sporty, but those who love the chance to get stuck in can also take a great scientific lesson from their endeavors. Ball sports are great for teaching the principles of physics and discussing ranges of motion. Different sports also allow you to introduce anatomical science and discuss the different muscle groups in action in various games. Baseball, for example, involves a range of different core muscle groups, including anterior deltoid, triceps brachii, abdominals, obliques, quadriceps and pectoralis major. While you may not want to list the muscles in action during a big game, it is a great way to start a scientific discussion while training or playing at home.

7) Look around you and explore nature

A walk in the country is a great learning opportunity as well as lots of fun. It’s the perfect way to introduce the kids to a wide range of different types of trees, plants, insects and animals. You can introduce them to your local and indigenous wildlife and compare this to different areas when you vacation or visit family. You may know of local nature trails in your area, and national parks are a great place to experience nature and find new types of plants and animals.

Something as simple as turning over logs or rocks in the park can be a great starting point for a science project. What creatures can you find? Do you know the difference between various types of bugs? Bright days are perfect for sunbathing in the yard and looking at the different clouds in the sky. Can you tell your cirrocumulus from your cumulonimbus?

8) Bring biology to life with a fruit and veg garden

If you have space in the yard, then give your kids the gift of gardening. It’s an excellent way for them to experience basic biology principles in action, and you can introduce a range of scientific concepts as the garden begins to grow. Whether you opt for flowers or vegetables, the kids have a chance to learn about photosynthesis and the lifecycle of a plant. You can also introduce meteorology and weather, with weather predictions and forecasts built into their gardening plan and how they plan to organize their garden.

9) Take time to understand medicines

Next time the kids have a cough or need paracetamol, take the time to look over the bottle and explain just how this medicine works. The chance to understand at an early age can spark an interest in this area for some kids, and it can also help to convince them that taking their medicine is a good idea. If they do show an interest in medical science, you can introduce further concepts such as vaccinations and their importance, how x-rays work and how the body can heal itself after many types of injury and illness. This could be your first step in nurturing a future medical professional.

10) Talk chemical reactions over soap making sessions

Practical experiments are always the most effective, and as you’re always asking the kids to wash their hands, why not give them a lesson in the history of soap? Written down, it doesn’t sound very interesting, but a soap making session is a great way to introduce some basic chemistry. Soap making consists of chemical reactions that can be great fun when taught. For example, bringing together fat or oil, water, and a choice of alkalis soap begins the saponification process. When you make your own, you can also discuss bacteria and how to prevent the spread, another great scientific message to get across. 

A lifelong love of science and developing a scientific mind is something you can foster from an early age. These are just some of the ways you can introduce scientific concepts to your kids before they even start school and help encourage scientific learning for later life.

15 Best Fake Press On Nails Your Daughter Will Absolutely Love

Little girls love playing dress up including experimenting with makeup, nail polish and even fake nails. Press on nails for young girls are fun to use and makes girls feel glamorous when dressing up for picture day or just for playing dress up.

To help you when shopping for fake nails set we have put together a list of the best fake nails for kids just below.

Tips for Finding the Best Fake Nails for Kids

If you are looking to purchase some cute fake nails for the little girl in your life then here are some tips that will help you to find the best nails available.

Our List of the Best Press-On Fake Nails for Kids


240-Piece Nail Art Set


This large fake nail set for kids comes with 10 boxes of short faux nails with each box containing 24 nails. These nails come in a number of different patterns and are pre-glued and press on nails that are easy to put on.


  • Kids love how these nails look when they are on
  • The designs in this set are extremely cute and colorful
  • Great variety of patterns that appeal to kids of different ages


  • Some people have difficulty getting these nails to sticks

What age is this recommended for?

These press on nails are best suited for children ages 5 years and up


120-Piece Children’s Press on Nails


This 120-piece nail set is made from toxic free high quality ABS material. The nails come in 12 different sizes. If the glue on your set isn’t activated then heat the nails with a hair dryer to reactivate the glue.


  • These nails are easy to put on and take off
  • The nails come in a variety of cute designs
  • You can mix and match the nails from the different packs


  • These fake nails fall off some children’s nails quite easily.

What age is this recommended for?

This nail set is recommended for children ages 5 years and up


Maity’s 120-Piece Press On Nails Set


This press on nail set comes in 5 separate boxes of nails with 24 nails per box. These nails come in 12 different sizes and are made from ABS plastic.


  • These nails come in cute designs
  • The variety of sizes makes it possible for these nails to fit different age children
  • These nails are easy to put on


  • The glue on these nails do not stick on well

What age is this recommended for?

These nails are made for children 4 years and up


144-Piece False Nail Set For Kids


This press on nail set for girls comes with 6 boxes of nails containing 24 pre-glued nails in each box. These nails are made from ABS material that is not easy to break. These nails come in bright colors and graphics.


  • These nails have bright and cute designs
  • Easy enough for young girls to apply themselves
  • Makes great party favors for girls


  • These nails do come off easily

What age is this recommended for?

These nails will work for many children ages 3 years old and up


Vivace 4-Pack Junior Sticker Nails


This sticker nail set comes with a total of 48 pre glued nails in a variety of colors and graphics. Just press on these nails and shape.


  • There is a good variety of nails
  • The nails in this set are really cute
  • These nails are good quality and can be worn more than once


  • You really need 2 sets of nails to do both hands

What age is this recommended for?

These nails are best suited for children ages 7 years old and up


Melliex 96-Piece Nail Set


These cute fake nails are made from lightweight ABS material. These are colorful press on nails that come in 4 patterns including colorful ice cream, hearts, fish and polka dots.


  • Easy to apply these nails
  • The quality of these nails is good


  • Nails come off too easily

What age is this recommended for?

These press on kid’s nail are best suited for children ages 5 years old and up


Cute Animals Designs Press On Nail Kit


These little girls press on nails come in a set of 10 boxes with 24 nails in each box. This set has cute animal designs such as cats, rabbits, foxes and bears. Made of ABS material.


  • These press on nails are bright colors and graphics
  • These nails fit children of different ages
  • Nails are easy for children to put on


  • These nails are not very sticky

What age is this recommended for?

These fake nails for girls are suitable for children ages 5 years old and up


Juniors Artificial Nails Kit


This 7-pack set of fake nails for girls come with a total of 84 nail tips in a variety of bright colors and fun designs. These are press on nails that are pre-glued with an adhesive.


  • These nails don’t bend or break easily
  • The designs are very cute and bright
  • The nails are easy to apply


  • There are not enough of each nail design for both hands

What age is this recommended for?

These nails are suitable for most children ages 4 years old and up


Beautia 3-Pack Kids Glue On Nails


This set of acrylic nails for tweens comes in 3 packs of french tip nails for a total of 72 nails in various sizes so that they will fit several different age children.


  • These nails are good quality for kids nails
  • The French tips with glitter are really cute and well done
  • These nails are easy to apply


  • Many of these nails don’t hold for an extended period of time

What age is this recommended for?

These nails are best suited for children ages 9 years old and up to 13 years old


120-Piece Pretty Glitter Press On Fake Nail Set


This 120-piece Glitter Nails Set is made from ABS material and comes in 24 different sizes and 5 different colorful designs. This set of nails are easy to trim and file making a perfect fit for young girls fingers.


  • These nails are well shaped
  • Cute colorful designs for young children
  • Can be reused


  • Some people feel that the adhesive on these nails don’t stick well

What age is this recommended for?

These nails are recommended for kids ages 5 years and up


Pink Flamingo Nail Set


This set of Flamingo nails for young girls are short and come in 9 small sizes. Made of ABS material these nails won’t break easily. These nails come in 3 different themes Flamingo, Unicorn, and Hamster.


  • Easy to use
  • These fake nails won’t damage your natural nails
  • Bright colors and cute designs


  • Some people have problems getting these nails to stick

What age is this recommended for?

These nails are recommended for children 5 years and up.


Townley Girl Disney Princess Nails for Girls


This set of Disney press on nails is great for little girls since they are easy to apply and you get your choice of 4 great themes including Frozen 11, Disney Princess, Minnie Mouse, or My Little Pony.


  • These nails are easy to apply and take off
  • Kids can mix and match designs
  • Great graphics that kids love


  • The adhesive does not hold well

What age is this recommended for?

These fake Disney nails for girls are recommended for kids age 6 and up


96-Piece Cute Designs Kids Fake Nails

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This false nails set comes in 4 boxes of 24 nails each. The nails are extremely durable and flexible and come in bright colors with clear clean lines.


  • Easy to apply no mess
  • These nails have cute designs
  • The nails have wonderful clear colors kids love


  • The adhesive on these nails don’t stick well

What age is this recommended for?

These nails are best suited for children 7 years and up to 10 years old


60-Piece Mermaid & Glitter Nails


This Mermaid and glitter nails set for kids consists of 60 short disposable nails for children. The nails come in 4 cute designs and contain adhesive right on the nail.


  • Easy to use
  • Bright colors
  • Clear graphics on the nails


  • These nails don’t remain on the nails well

What age is this recommended for?

These nails are recommended for children ages 3 and up to 12 years old


Gradient Color Rainbow Children’s Fake Nails


These rainbow colored acrylic infused nails are designed to be long lasting and are perfect for little girls who enjoy playing dress up.


  • These nails come in great colors
  • Easy to apply because of self adhesive
  • These fake nails stay on the natural nails well


  • These nails are a poor fit for many young kids

What age is this recommended for?

This set of nails is best suited for children ages 6 years and up

Conclusion to Finding The Best Fake Nails for Kids

If you are looking for a great stocking stuffer, Small gift for a Valentine’s basket, or party favors for young girls who love fake nails then one of these nail sets may be just what you are looking for.