Days Out That Really Are Fun For ALL The Family!

It can often feel as though whenever you come across something that is designed to be fun “for all the family” that it’s actually just designed to keep the kids entertained and will almost certainly result in parents sitting around ready to fall asleep at any moment. This applies to films, games, toys, activities, and just about anything else. Of course, there’s not always something wrong with that. After all, kids need things that are just for them as much as anyone else, and most parents understand pretty clearly just how important it is to allow kids to have their time. But sometimes you just want to do something that you can all enjoy, even if it’s just for a little while. After all, if it’s something that you can enjoy too then you’re going to be able to get stuck in and engage with your child much more effectively. Not only that but it will make the whole experience a lot less stressful for you and make you far more likely to want to take your kids out for those kinds of activities again. With that in mind, here are a few days out and activities that really are fun for ALL the family.

The aquarium

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It doesn’t matter who you are or how many times you’ve been around the block; there is just something magical about an aquarium. It can often feel as though you’ve stepped into a whole other world which, to a certain extent, you have. There are things to see that you’d otherwise never experience in person and new things to learn around every corner. Aquariums are often designed with entire families in mind, so it’s not just about the kids. Besides, there isn’t anyone on the face of the earth who could watch a shark swim right past them and not feel a sense of awe and wonder at it. There are usually aquariums in just about every city but finding ones that are really worth visiting can be tough. Check out this page with the results for “SeaQuest aquariums near me“. That way you’ll be able to find the best possible aquatic day out for you and your family.

Go-karts

There’s just something primal about wanting to go fast. Kids know the feeling well, and anyone who’s ever had the temptation to open up the engine of their car and really build up some speed knows it too. Which is why go-karting is such a fantastic activity because it gives the whole family a chance to indulge in that kind of activity without having to worry about getting yourself into any kind of dangerous situation. Sure, you’re probably going to have a bit more control over things that the kids but there are often different tracks for every level, and even if they don’t break any kind of speed records, they’re going to end up having an absolute whale of a time because it’s impossible not to feel like you’re picking up incredible amounts of speed when you’re behind the wheel of a go-kart.

The pool

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If you’re not interested in spending a lot of money on some kind of complicated activity then why not just take the kids for a trip to the local pool. The wonderful thing about any day out with kids is that they have the amazing ability to turn anything into a game. All they need is a large body of water and a few floats, and they’ll almost certainly be able to come up with a whole bunch of hilarious games for you all to play. Not only that but a lot of pools have things like floats, inflatables, and other fun things to play with. That’s not even mentioning those pools with waterslides that you can all race down at high speed before crashing into the water with as big a splash as possible!

A day at the beach

Then again, why spend any money when one of the most enjoyable places in the world is totally free and just waiting for you to come and find it. The beach is one of those things that you almost can’t believe is totally natural since it seems perfectly designed to be fun for the entire family. The kids can build sandcastles, fish in rock pools, or splash about in the waves, while grown-ups can do everything from relaxing in the sun with a good book to heading out into the deep water on a board ready to catch some serious surf. The fact that you and your family can have this much fun without having to spend any money is honestly amazing, and it’s the kind of opportunity that you should take as often as possible.

A family movie night

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Of course, if you want to have fun with your family, that doesn’t mean that you need to get out and do something dramatic out in the world. Sometimes you just need to bring the fun to you. Why not get everyone cuddled up on the couch, get a big bowl of popcorn ready, and have yourself a movie marathon? You can each choose a movie so that you can all be sure that you’ll be watching at least one thing that you actually enjoy. It’s a simple way to spend your time, but if the weather’s horrible and you don’t have that much money to spend, it’s often the perfect family activity.

Sure, not every activity needs to be perfect for the whole family, but it’s always much nicer if everyone can enjoy themselves as much as possible rather than having to worry about getting bored and frustrated when your kids really want to you get involved with what they’re doing. Of course, these are far from the only options available to you. There are plenty of things that you and your family can do for fun; it’s just a matter of figuring out what you all enjoy and embracing that. If you find something that you all love then you could end up discovering a whole new family tradition that will stick with you for years to come.

 

Sporting Ruses Not Even Sherlock Holmes Would See Through

Most kids fall into one of two categories. They either love sports, or they hate the stuff. This has been the case for time immemorial, and we can all remember which group we fit into. If you didn’t enjoy sports, physical education would become a traumatic experience. There certainly wasn’t any chance of sports in your free time.

Once upon a time, though, that wasn’t so much of a problem. Even kids who didn’t love sport would go outside of an evening and play with their friends. Now, with the possibilities of games consoles and television streaming, it’s harder than ever to get non-sporty kids outside. And, who can blame them when there’s so much fun stuff to do? But, with childhood obesity now up to one in every five children, it’s crucial you encourage activity in your child.

The good news is, not every sport emits the groans that, say, a suggestion of football might do. In fact, some sporting activities won’t even seem like sports to your kids. Here, we’re going to take a look at some prime examples. Encourage your child to do any of these three activities, and they’ll exercise without even noticing.

Skipping

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 The chances are that you won’t have much trouble encouraging your child to skip. It’s a standard playground game and something that most children will do of their own volition. Yet, jumping rope is one of the most efficient forms of exercise. So much so that your child stands to burn ten calories for every minute they skip. Just half an hour of this could do them a world of good. If you haven’t already, buy them a skipping rope, and encourage them to play with it whenever you can.

Trampolining

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Most kids would love the chance to own a trampoline. It’s just one of those things on the bucket list of just about anyone under the age of 13. And, it might be a good idea to stop resisting them. Trampolining is another incredibly efficient exercise. It uses everything from leg muscles, to those in the stomach. While not as efficient as skipping for calorie loss, this is still fantastic for getting muscles working. Bear in mind that buying a trampoline isn’t as easy as getting a jump rope. You’ll need to ensure you purchase the safest option possible. You can visit Parenting Pod for more information on the best options out there, or do your own research. Once you find a model which fits your need, don’t hesitate to invest.

Horse Riding

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The majority of little girls, and some boys too, dream of the chance for horse riding lessons. As such, it shouldn’t take much convincing to get them to take up this physical activity. At 200 calories per 45 minute ride, this doesn’t have quite the same calorie burning capabilities. But, it’s still physical exercise. And, beggars can’t be choosers when unsporty kids are involved. So, make their horse riding dreams come true, and help them get fit, too.

 

The Greatest Gadgets For Parents With Babies

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Nobody ever said being a parent was easy, but why did they have to put the most difficult part right at the start of a journey? Having a baby is a baptism of fire for a parent, especially when dealing with their first. It’s a steep learning curve filled with sleepless nights and desperately trying to negotiate with a tiny person who seems to want…. Something, but you’ve absolutely no idea what! Watching a baby grow and develop (which they do, really fast) is a wonderful, edifying and life affirming experience… but it’s also a lot of hard work. Fortunately, living in the modern world affords parents a plethora of helpful and surprisingly affordable gadgets that not only make parenting a little easier but provide much-needed peace of mind. We’ve assembled a few of the best right here…

Diaper Pails

Never put disposable diapers in the trash. Ever. They’re not like regular garbage and should not be treated as such. Very few garbage cans can mitigate the inevitable odor that accumulates in a household where diapers are changed on a regular basis. A diaper pail is a relatively low-tech piece of kit, but one that makes a big difference. Click here for more information on what to look for in a diaper pail guide. You’d be amazed how much rosier your worldview gets when the smell of baby poop no longer permeates your home.

The Pacifier Thermometer

Newborns are extremely prone to infection. Checking your baby’s temperature is one of the surest ways to give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that your baby is healthy. The trouble is that getting a thermometer into the mouth of a screaming wriggling baby can be a long and exhausting process. That’s why some bright spark thought of putting one right there in a pacifier!

The MamRoo Car Swing

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, chances are there are some long journeys to catch up with friends and relatives for the holiday season scheduled in your calendar. This can be tortuous when you have an upset baby in the back. Of course, it’s imperative that your baby be kept safe in a car seat but this car swing by 4Moms will bounce and swing your baby just like you do, lulling them gently to sleep with these familiar motions while you concentrate on driving.

Video baby monitors

New parents, particularly first time parents, live in a near-constant state of paranoia. Aside from the ever-present “am I doing this right?” mentality that plagues those early years, there’s the very real worry that nags away whenever your baby is out of your sight. Audio baby monitors have given parents peace of mind on this front for decades, but living in the digital age has made it so much easier for parents to keep an eye on their beloved child at all times wherever they are. The current generation of video baby monitors allow parents to see how their baby is in real time using an app on their smart phone.

Gadgets like these are great for giving parents peace of mind and lightening the load so that they can take some much needed time for themselves.

Take Christmas To A New Level With These Fabulous Ideas

Christmas is nearly upon us, so it’s probably a good time to begin thinking about preparing for the festive season so that as soon as thanksgiving has come and past, you can concentrate on making this the best Christmas yet. Instead of doing what you usually do, why not take Christmas to a new level with these fabulous ideas?

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Decoration

One of the first things that we begin to notice when Christmas rolls around is the decorations going up in shops and around town. If you’ve been using the same decorations for your home for many years now, or you feel like a change in color then consider going all out for your home decor this year.

Usually, families have a real tree, or a green plastic Christmas tree to decorate in their home. These days, you can get different colored trees to display in your home, either as your main Christmas tree, or one for another room to keep the festivities throughout your home. If your home is stuck to a particular color theme, why not choose a tree that will fit in perfectly with your theme? For example, if you have a black and white theme, a black fibre optic Christmas tree would fit perfectly in your home.

Lets not forget about the baubles either. Depending on what kind of tree you have, or what theme you’re going for you can get corresponding baubles and tinsel to match. Alternatively, decorate and design your own baubles with the kids to make the magic even more real.

Another idea would be to decorate some figures to display in your garden with Christmas colors and fairy lights. For example, creating a snowman out of cardboard or a similar material and decorating him with lights and funky colors would make your home decor stand out from the crowd, and also give the children something to do when the christmas holidays roll around.

Tradition

It’s likely that in your childhood you have traditions from Christmas that you would like to continue with. While that’s a great idea, creating new traditions for your family will be something that you and your children cherish for the rest of your lives. Simple things like making sure you’re all together on Christmas eve to watch a film, with special treats for the family make all the difference to how Christmas feels to everyone.

Many people have traditions like not opening gifts until they have had their Christmas lunch, which extends the excitement even further. Just make it special for your family, whatever you choose to do.

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Gifts

Even though we all know that Christmas isn’t about the gifts, it is a majorly exciting part of the day for everyone involved, especially the children. Whether or not you’ve chosen to include Santa in your children’s lives, the thrill of opening presents is tremendous for them so remember to create some magic in their younger years to look fondly back on.

Stuck for ideas on what to get your children, or possibly even the rest of your family? Check out these brilliant ideas for stocking fillers to see if you can find some inspiration! http://www.giftbeta.com/category/best-stocking-stuffers/. While there’s no rules on how little or much you should spend, try to remember that Christmas isn’t just about gifts, and that spending time together as a family is more important.

Food

While the traditional roast turkey might not be something that can be missed off your shopping list, why not consider adding some unusual delights into your cart? Treats like cheeses, wines, pickles and biscuits can completely step up your food game on Christmas day.

One thing that might make Christmas more exciting for the family is to get everyone involved in cooking the main meal. Giving everyone an assigned task and then showing off all of your hard work at meal time will leave everyone feeling accomplished and more importantly, full.

So when the time comes for you to do your Christmas shop, remember to browse all of the aisles for the delicacies that stores tend to bring out around Christmas time. You might even find a new food to add to your list permanently!

Give

While you may be giving gifts to your family, don’t forget about the people who don’t have much in this world and make their year by giving to them, especially in these colder months. You can visit homeless shelters to serve food, create gift boxes for children in poorer countries, donate to charities, and much more.

Not only will this help those that are in need, but it will give you an enormous sense of well being. If you can’t afford to give money, give your time because that’s just as appreciated for many people who are facing Christmas alone this year. If a neighbor of yours is alone, make a point of inviting them over for Christmas dinner so that they can enjoy the day as much as possible. Nobody should be alone at any time in their life, especially Christmas.

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Remembering what it’s about

As briefly mentioned earlier, many people tend to forget what Christmas is really about due to the over commercialisation of it through the media. You probably already know that Christmas is derived from the religion Christianity. That’s not to say you must be a Christian to celebrate it, but do try and remember about where Christmas came from, and that it’s not solely about gifts and food. It’s also about much needed family time, and appreciating what you have in life. It’s also a time to build bridges with people, catch up with old friends and generally, a very lovely time of year.

So, step up your Christmas game this year with these fabulous ideas and make it your best Christmas yet! Remember, nobody should be alone at Christmas. The more the merrier!

 

When You’re Feeling Stretched Thin it is Time to Take a Moment for Yourself

Appointments, practice, carpooling, shopping, reminding, cooking, cleaning, consoling – a mother’s work is never done. Sure, it’s rewarding to finally hear a “Thanks, Mom!” or see your little ones grow into full-fledged individuals ready to slowly take responsibility for their daily lives.

Take a Moment for Yourself

A REAL Break 

But in the meantime, start thinking about your birthday, or Mother’s Day. Just a few times a year when you can guiltlessly ask for a little time off from the family grind. Such occasions are the perfect time to treat yourself to a short vacation.

But we’re not talking about an evening off to see a movie with your friends. Rather, this would be the perfect time to catch up with old college friends, or other moms who could really use some respite, and whisk yourselves away to a new destination where you can unwind.

Here are four U.S. cities you should consider, and why they’re great mom getaways. 

  1. Portland

Nature, art, wine, hotels – Portland is a real up-and-comer in terms of where to go next. If cityscapes aren’t your bag, you and your friends can take a daylong wine tour through the Willamette Valley. You’ll be picked up in the city and given a scenic sipping tour with exceptional views of the Cascade mountains.

There are also a number of boutique hotels who are known for rare pleasures like tea services, as well as rooftop bars, theaters, and more. 

  1. Dallas

Got a little money to burn? Here’s a secret: Dallas, Texas is a shopaholics’ mecca. Book your suite at a Marriott and Uber down to the flagship Neiman Marcus on main Street. The historic building offers personal stylists, trunk shows, an espresso bar, and salon services.

From there, you can visit Highland Park Village, Dallas’ premier shopping plaza with stores like Chanel, Etro, Diane von Furstenberg, Hermes, and Dior. 

  1. New Orleans

If you and your girls really want to cut loose, you might be considering NYC. However, it can be a little tough to nail down what you’re going to get into without serious planning or prior experience. Instead, book a trip to New Orleans and get settled on Bourbon Street. Live music, dancing, drinks, tons of great food – you’ll be talking about it for years to come. 

  1. Charleston

The best word to describe Charleston, South Carolina would be “charming”. You and your best friends can stay at Zero George, a historic, luxurious boutique hotel notorious for its exceptional cuisine – there’s even a cooking school!

Stunning outdoor piazzas, a lush courtyard, beautiful suites, and unparalleled concierge service that will ensure your entire trip is a hit with the whole crew.

Sounds so good that you won’t want to leave, right? Well, one of the most unexpected benefits of taking this time for yourself is that when you return, you’ll feel like a whole new person. Distressed, recollected, and renewed, you’ll get back to life the way it once was – except better!

The Importance Of Protecting Your Home From The Elements

The Importance Of Protecting Your Home From The Elements

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What is the reason you own a home for? Is it to provide loving experiences, shared by all your family members? Is it so you have a place to house all of your belongings? Is it so you have a place to lay your head at night, so you can comfortably sleep and begin the next day refreshed? Or, is it to protect yourself as a shelter from the elements outside?

Of course, it is likely all of these reasons in one, but there’s no denying that last part is the one with the most immediate priority. Our homes are often so beautiful and refined compared to the shelters crafted by humans in the far past that we forget their primary and sole purpose – to keep us safe from an unpredictable outside world. Not only do the walls help keep us in, but they help keep everything else outside.

For that reason, protecting your home from the elements should be carefully considered, and not taken for granted. Of course, no amount of preparation can prepare your home for the unfortunate issues which took place in Florida and the Caribbean in recent weeks, but a little foresight can surely help some of the most commonly insidious and preventable issues from arising.

Here are some tips for the budding homeowner:

Water

Water can enter your property in many different ways. From leaky taps to flooding, to appliances going haywire, sometimes we are dumped with a little more moisture than we’d like. Solving this can be an issue, especially when you don’t have the tools to best remove the issue. For this reason, it’s best to use a sump pump such as those found here https://www.crawlspacecharlotte.com/sump-pump/, which installed under the foundations, can give you a perfect draining solution to solve the problems in a matter of minutes.

However, water damage doesn’t always enter the bottom or basement floors of your property. A leaky roof or a poorly insulated window can both contribute to letting the rain in, especially when it’s falling with some intensity. It’s important to be wise about the solution you use here. Applying better and more insulated roofing felt in the property, as well as using silicon applications to overcome any insulation issues is sometimes the best place to start. 

Damp

Damp can arise similarly. Cold air outside can lead to excess moisture inside, and if this doesn’t have any way to escape the heat simply piles upon your walls, window fixtures and potentially electrical implements as moist mould. This can grow over time and lead to spores which can, in their worst estimation, make you very sick. Damp prevention is usually easy, but it will require a stern eye, good ventilation, and a solid understanding of the fault points that are most likely to carry its symptoms around your home. This is more a reaction to an outside element than one inside, but the validity of preparing for it is no less important.

With these simple tips, you are sure to have a leg up in repairing the potential damage of your home, and preserving its value and safety.

 

 

3 Tricks For Weaning Off The Pacifier

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One of the best comforts for a tiny, crying baby is a pacifier. Baby needs comfort, Mom needs sleep; it’s a no brainer that a pacifier is probably one of the best tools in the parental box of tricks. It’s your child’s first love and as with anything, breaking up is hard to do! The pacifier has provided you with hours of quiet while the baby soothes themselves into naptime oblivion, but the time is coming to start weaning off that comfort. Some like to wait until a child is starting to talk before weaning, which is a good idea!

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Teething is a huge reason a lot of parents turn to a pacifier. Not only does baby have something to hold onto and chew, they have a soother with them to rely on when the pain gets a little too much. There’s no true ‘right time’ to start weaning off the pacifier, as the time is going to be individual to each child. However, you can have a chat with your kids dentist and talk about when a pacifier starts to impact their dental care and growth and make a decision based on that. If you want to get your child off the pacifier earlier, then we’ve got some tricks that will help you to make the transition a little easier for you and for baby!

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Timing It Right. Did you know that a pacifier can help to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)? At night, babies often forget to stop breathing and the presence of a pacifier in their mouth can remind their brain to breathe as the tongue relaxes and triggers a suckling reflex. Try not to wean off the pacifier too early, and avoid trying to wean during big life changes.

Cold Turkey? Perhaps Not. Every parent knows their child individually, so you will know when your child is ready to let go. Sometimes, you can tell they are ready before they can tell you, so even though it may make for a rough couple of days, you can take the pacifier away and endure the crying. The best idea is from around 12months, start refusing the pacifier in the day time unless for a nap. Distraction techniques with toys work wonders here! Once they’re used to only using it for nap time, start to wean off the night usage by using….

The Dummy Fairy! Children respond well to fairy tales, especially ones that involve a gift. It may be bribery for some, but who can say they’ve avoided parenthood without bribery?? About a month before the pacifier is permanently in the trash, start talking about a fairy who brings a present and takes the pacifiers to the new baby. The night before, leave the pacifier in an envelope and swap it for a small gift for being such a big girl or boy.

Getting your child on board to give up a pacifier doesn’t have to be a difficult feat. It means you have to be strong and stay calm and they will emulate that behaviour. Good luck!

 

 

Time To Take Control: What Can Be Forgotten Now You Are A Parent

Getting that positive pregnancy test, welcoming a newborn into your life, and becoming a parent for the first, second, third or whatever time is always a remarkable and amazing experience. You become entered into a bubble, a special club, that only you and other parents understand. The sleep deprivation, the overwhelming feeling of love, and the fact you no longer mind the look and smell of dirty nappies. However, because we can become embroiled in the world of parenthood, there can be a few things we simply forget to do or even think about. Even though they may impact our family in the future. I thought I would share with you what some of them are.

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Taking out life insurance

While it may feel inappropriate to think about a time when you might be here if we are truthful with ourselves not one of us really knows what the future holds. The last thing any of us wants to do is to leave our partner or our children struggling to pick up the pieces. This is when it might be worth considering a life insurance policy. A life insurance will pay out a lump sum if you are no longer around, some people tend to take it out to cover a mortgage and any debts you may have. Even covering a loss of income, etc. Some people may assume that life insurance doesn’t cover you long term, but this is when companies like Whole Life Insurance comes in. You may be wondering what is whole life insurance, so head to the website to find out more about eligibility criteria. You may be surprised to realize that even with the biggest of issues in your life, you can still secure your family’s future.

Saving for your children’s future

It is hard to think about years ahead when right now you can’t see past tomorrow due to lack of sleep. However, these children grow up so fast and before you can even blink college and university will be here. This is why it is so important for parents to start saving for this as early as possible. It isn’t just about education either. You may want to have money set aside for their first car, even to help them get on the property ladder. We all know how hard that is for young adults these days. It could be a small amount each week, saving any birthday or Christmas money they receive in a bank account, but over the weeks, months, and years those small amounts can really add up.

Securing your own future

Finally, we can often forget about ourselves and our futures, so it’s just as important to have general savings to cover family expenses, trips, and even to help with your future finances when retirement comes along. You also might want to think about getting a will in place now that you are a parent. Every one of us has assets, be that of monetary or sentimental value, and it’s important that should anything happen, that your children and family know what your wishes and intentions are.

I hope this helps you take back some control of the future.