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.

 

4 Household Items That Can Be Fixed Surprisingly Quickly

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We live in a disposable society. The relatively cheap cost of technologies that would have shocked and wowed just a few decades have rendered many of the products we use on a regular basis so readily replaceable that we assume it’s quicker and easier to replace them than to repair them. The trouble with this mode of thought however, is that not only is throwing items that can easily be repaired away is not only inherently wasteful, it can be horrendous for the environment. Since our mindset veers so readily to replacement rather than repair, we’re often unaware at just how easily a whole range of household items from trouser zippers to USB cables can be fixed in a matter of minutes.

Why not set a positive example for your kids and choose to get handy the next time one of these commonly used  items breaks?

Clothes and zippers

The rise in affordable, good quality sewing machines has rendered many a savvy parent a dab hand at fixing the odd popped seam or torn knee. However, if you don’t have one, that doesn’t mean that clothing repairs can’t be made quickly and easily. Torn jeans, for example, can be fixed in moments with small patches of denim and an iron-on hemming web like Wonder Web. Simply turn the jeans inside out, place the patch on the affected area and secure into place with the hemming web. It’s a long lasting fix that takes less than five minutes.

Oh and those troublesome busted zips that we’ve all encountered at least a few times? They can be repaired in just a  few minutes too with just a set of needle nosed pliers. Use the pliers to gently lever the zipper open at the bottom (on the side that has come away from the track), feed the loose track back into the gap in the slider that you have created then close back around the track with the pliers when it’s secure.

Headphones

Your walk to work wouldn’t the same without music, podcasts or audiobooks to keep you company would it? The trouble is that your phone or mp3 player inevitably goes into your pocket, placing a lot of undue stress on the connecting wire. Inevitably this leads to loss of sound or stuttering sound in one or both ears. Fortunately with a soldering iron, some wire strippers and a little patience this is easy enough to fix in less than 10 minutes.

Scratched furniture

Pet owners know the frustration of seeing their beloved wooden furniture engraved with scratches made by unknowing claws. Fortunately for you (and your oblivious pet), these scratches can be visibly reduced by rubbing them with walnuts. Seriously. Walnuts! Take a shelled walnut and rub the ‘meat’ of the nut into the scratches. Not only will your scratches be filled up, but the oils in the nut will lend the surface a natural shine, making the scratches disappear as if by magic.

Charger cables

USB and charger cables can usually be fixed without even needing to solder them. All you need is a pair of sharp scissors and a four Scotchlok cable connectors. Strip off the damaged section of wire and cut the remaining cable in half. Strip away about an inch and a half of the plastic jacket, exposing the 4 USB wires hiding under the shielding (black, white, green and red). Cut the shielding away and slip the wires into the Scotchloks on either side. Your cable is now completely repaired!

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!

 

Family Fun Activities to Get Kids Outdoors

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Parenting, like most things in life, is all a matter of balance. While it’s not right to demonise use of technology- there can be some apparent developmental gains to be made in letting children use technology– so time spent on the iPad needs to be balanced out.

Encouraging our kids to get outdoors and make the most of the world around them is a journey, and by setting up fun activities as a family that make the most of our natural environment, you can create some precious family time memories, while also finding that balance. Here are just a few ideas to make your days out sparkle:

Go on a treasure hunt

Revealing the wonder of the natural world can be as simple as making a game out of an ordinary nature walk. Create a list of flora and fauna that are all around your natural area – leaves, flowers, birds and small animals you are likely to spot and have your children do a treasure hunt to locate these all around you. A fun trip outdoors like this will have more benefits than just adding a glow to their cheeks – it also requires observational and problem-solving skills that will get them thinking. Make the outdoors special to them by creating a map of their favourite spots along the way.

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Fly a kite

What could be a more cheerful activity outdoors than flying kites together? These traditional toys are great fun, whether you buy one or even have fun making your own from construction straws and crepe paper. There is a range of coordination and even engineering skills involved in making your own kite, and running around outside flying them is lots of exercise without seeming it. Find out more information on how to get started with family kite flying at stuffkidslove.net.

Grab some chalk

An effortless way to engage young minds in the outside world is by giving them some chalk and letting the sidewalk become their canvas. What art can they create inspired by the features of the natural landscape? There are also endless spelling, counting and physical games that can be played when you have that drawing board – from traditional playground favourites like hopscotch to hangman and connect four. Let their little imaginations run wild, or try incorporating natural elements like leaves and pebbles into drawings.

Have a campout

Vacations in the great outdoors can be a happy childhood memory for many of us, but if you don’t have the time or budget to go on a trip, or have younger children that need their home comforts, a great way to get started is by camping out in your own backyard! The Great American Backyard Campout has lots of ideas for fun games and activities to be enjoyed doing this, but you can’t beat telling stories by torchlight and even having your children make shadow puppets to use in putting on a show.

Making the most of outdoors can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, and once you’ve had a taste of all the family fun to be had outdoors, you’ll be looking for any opportunity!

 

Hidden Secrets No baby Book Will Tell You About Motherhood

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From the moment you find out you are going to be a mom to the day they turn one, you are going to have your face buried in baby books in an attempt to control the nerves that have you shaking like an autumn leaf. However, from our experience in motherhood, we’ve learned that there are more than few truths that baby books leave out; a few secrets that will spring up on your completely unwittingly.

So, to help prepare you for the home truths that hit harder than an Alex Rodriguez home run we have pulled together some things every experienced mom will nod their head at and things you probably haven’t heard about until now. We gotta tell you, this whole being a mom thing is the most entertaining adventure you have ever been on.

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You Will Sing Songs All The Time

At bathtime, during feeds, when you’re getting them dressed and preparing the usual dinner of pureed sweet potato; you will catch yourself singing another Disney song. Or a nursery rhyme. Or just a song where you have rewritten the lyrics to squeeze your baby’s name into it. You will become an all-singing and all-dancing mom that is happy to get paid in smiles.

Puke, Poop And Pacifiers

It is going to be an unprecedented experience for you (hopefully), but from the day your baby is born, you will have to get used to them being addicted to their pacifier and you getting puked on sixty-three times a day with the odd leaky poop thrown in there for good measure.

Your Google History Will Be Mental

Within a month, your Google history will be a minefield of giggles. You’ll find that you subscribed to Inner Parents just so you could find out what the best wipe warmer of 2017 is. There will be ten Google searches a day whereby you were searching, “what is wrong with my child,” and you will find yourself asking Siri, “How do moms with twins do it?”

You Will Leak Milk At Some Stage

Whether it be because you didn’t realise it took five days for your breast milk to come in after giving birth, or you didn’t manage to pump your boobs in time or, most embarrassingly of all, forgot to put your breast pads in; you will find that your boobs will leak milk and your shirt will display the results for all to see.

Your Kid’s Fashion Comes First

So long as your child looks as cute as hell, you will not care about the fact you are going out with sick-knotted hair, wearing a poop stained shirt and only one shoe on. You sacrifice your fashion needs to make sure your kid looks amazing; we all do it.

No Time To Shower

All those years you took the luxury of a shower for granted. But now it is too late because, well, you simply don’t have time for a shower anymore. Nope. The time will come, one day, but even then it won’t be a peaceful one as your kid bangs on the door and begs you to let them in. So, for now, your biggest luxury is dry shampoo. Sorry.

How Do You Know What Your Child Is Thinking?

Kids are so changeable these days it feels almost impossible to keep up. They might have liked something yesterday, but today they’ll deny ever being interested. Anything from the food that they like to the toys and games that they want to play with changes from one day to the next. It’s not important to know everything about your child’s life, it’s important to keep up to date for a lot of reasons. Their safety is always a concern because they could unwittingly be putting themselves in dangerous situations without knowing. It’s also impossible to buy them gifts that they like if you don’t know what the next big thing is. Having a better understanding of your child’s likes and dislikes improves the time you spend with them as well. If you’re completely clueless about your kid’s life, try these methods to gain a bit of insight.

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Online Resources  

The internet is full of all sorts of great parenting resources and you can use them to find out what kids are into at the minute. When you’re trying to buy gifts for young children, they’ll want exactly what all of their friends are playing with. There are plenty of sites that can tell you what the most popular toys for toddlers are at the moment. But make sure you check these sites regularly because it’s always changing. When your kids start to get a little older it’s even harder to understand them. Sometimes, they’re using so much slang it’s like they’re speaking another language. Luckily, there’s a great new site called careful parents that can help you with that. It has loads of great information on slang terms and what they mean, as well as the latest trends in toys, games, fashion, and all sorts of other things. Have a quick browse and your eyes will be opened.

Talk To Other Parents

As a parent, you’ll pick up on small snippets of your children’s lives but you’ll never get the whole picture. But if you meet other parents and you all fit those bits and pieces together like a jigsaw, you can start to build a better idea of what they’re all up to. If you hear or see anything that you’re concerned about, ask the other parents if they’ve heard anything similar. By combining your efforts, you can keep a better eye on your kids and find out the things that they aren’t telling you.

How Do You Know What Your Child Is Thinking

Ask Them

It seems like an obvious thing to say but many parents are afraid to do it. The key to getting them to open up to you is to be casual about it and not push them. Don’t sit them down and demand to know everything that they do when you’re not around. It’ll just make them feel persecuted and they won’t want to speak to you at all. Just take a general interest in the things that they like doing and let them know you are open to their likes and dislikes. This will build more trust between you and they should hopefully tell you more about their lives.

Don’t expect to find out everything about your child’s life, just try to keep on top of anything that might be a worry.

Tips for Teaching Children About Stranger Danger

With it being summer and kids out of school, it is a perfect time to teach your child about stranger danger, if you haven’t already! Sadly, we live in a world that is full of hate, crimes, kidnappings and more, it is is vital that we teach our children to stay away from strangers. Children are innocent and trusting, and it is up to us to teach them that not everyone will be kind to them!

It can be a little hard teaching them the difference on who is safe and who isn’t but with these tips below it might help you out. The definition of stranger danger, is someone your child doesn’t know. Children need to know that if they don’t know them, to stay away. Now, a police officer, firefighter, they don’t know them, but they need to know they are safe people to talk to if they see.

Tips for Teaching Children About Stranger Danger

Always Have a Buddy 

Make sure your child always has someone with them when they are outside. This can be a friend that they go to the park with, or play outside together, even an older sibling. Just make sure that they always stay close with their friend and never go into a strangers house, or talk to strangers when they are out. If someone approaches them, to leave. If you leave them for a minute at a ball game, say stay close to Uncle Jimmy. Make sure you always have a friend or family member that is an adult that your child can go to if you are not right there.

No, Go Yell, Tell

This is a part of the National Crime Prevention Tips, for teaching children about strangers. By telling the stranger, “NO”, and then run away from the situation to a parent or adult they may know near by. As your child is running, tell them to  yell for help as they are doing this. Once they find an adult they know, tell the parent what happened. This is very simple, and I suggest role playing this with your child so they can learn and remember in case a situation arises.

Follow Gut Feelings 

Teach your child how important it is, if someone makes you uncomfortable get away as fast as possible. If they are asking you if you want candy, or to come into their home, those are all bad signs. Teach them that if their gut is telling them to get away, always follow it and run away. If someone does make your child feel uncomfortable make sure they know to come and tell you right away.

Stay Close Together 

When you are out at a parade or walking around at the mall, teach your child to hold your hand and stay close. This will help keep them a lot safer, and you can physically feel them holding your hand. Try to always stay on top of where they are, when you are in stores, so that they don’t wander off and have a stranger approach them.

Make sure to sit down and talk to your child about stranger danger, and act out scenarios by role playing, so they can get the feel of what can be a negative situation. Show them and teach them how to get out and react fast, because it can truly save their life!

 

Teaching Your Child About the Value of Money

Having children can be extremely expensive. In fact, it’s estimated that in the United States, the cost of raising a child till they are 17 is roughly $233,610. If that number isn’t enough to make you reconsider, then perhaps the sleepless nights, diaper changing and crying will make you think twice about having kids. However, it goes without saying that the parents that stick with it all the way find a new sense of purpose in life, and children can bring untold amounts of joy to your life. Sadly, the cost is still a problem and money is something that not everyone has copious amounts of spare.

These costs are unavoidable, but teaching your children about the value of money can be an extremely helpful way to cut down the costs of things such as entertainment and food. Adjusting your life to a baby can be difficult because you can’t exactly teach them much until they’re a little older, so wait until your children understand basic mathematics then apply these fun little events and activities in order to teach them how to manage money and how to be frugal.

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Search for coupons together 

With so many websites on the internet offering cheaper deals and big percentage-off signs, it’s easy to teach your children to be attracted to a bargain. Tell them all about how much money they save with deals, and browse websites like CouponSherpa.com together to not only find out about new deals and get some bargains, but to also inspire your family to save money. With some luck, your children will learn that everything comes on sale eventually, and it’s best to save money unless they absolutely need something (doesn’t happen often!).

Teach your children about budgeting 

Once your children are capable of simple mathematics, teach them the importance of budgeting. Start small by giving them a set allowance and telling them if they save the money, they can afford more things in the future. Tell them simple things, such as if they buy sweets every day, they’ll spend a set amount of money and they won’t have much money to carry over into the next week. Tell them it’ll take them x number of weeks to save up for a toy they want, and teach them to manage their allowance even if it’s just a bit.

Encourage your children to make money 

Your child might not become an entrepreneur at the age of 14 (although as seen at Entrepreneur.com it’s entirely possible!) but it’s a good idea to teach them how to actually make money and how the world works. A simple and rather cliche way of helping them make money is to set up a lemonade stand in the neighbourhood. This will teach them about what it costs to make the lemonade and the profit they make for selling them to other children and adults. This will teach them not just the value of money, but also time and how it directly translates into the money you make.