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.

 

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!

 

FOMO – Preventing the Fear Of Missing Out : The Family Edition

Do you ever get that feeling that you know you could be doing fun, exciting, or educational activities with the family, but you just not? Well, that’s FOMO or the fear of missing out. In this post, we will discuss the reasons you may not be doing all you can, as well as addressing this issue of a balanced family life. As it’s impossible to be on the go all the time, as you would all just end up exhausted!

Are you missing out because of tiredness?

Firstly, let’s look at one of the key barriers that many people with young families come across that can cause them to miss out on opportunities that come their way – exhaustion. As you will know if you have a family of your own the process of being pregnant, giving birth, nursing a baby and looking after a child as they grow up can be pretty intense. It involves a lot of emotional changes, physical changes, sleepless nights and worries. This quite understandably can make you a pretty tired person. A person that may be less likely try new and challenging things, especially when they have the kids in tow.

Now, what it is vital to grasp is that this is totally understandable and you don’t need to punish yourself for reducing the demands on your and your family when they are young. In fact, it’s great to be balanced, to know your own and the kid’s limits, as this can help you enjoy the things you do even more.

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However, to be truly balanced you need to have some time where you seize the day and go on trips, see shows, or visit new places as a family. Yes, it can be tough having to pack up everything you need along with the buggy for a day out, but it is truly worth it. Just make sure you are doing because you want to and it’s what the kids want, not just because you feel like you should go. As nobody gets to dictate your schedule but you, and if things are causing you or the kids to be too tired, it may not be worth the trade off.

Are you missing out because of money?

It’s a very different situation though when the thing that is preventing you doing what you want with the family is a lack of money, and it can be truly frustrating. After all, there is nothing worse than being desperate to see a particular show or visit a certain attraction when they have a special event running and just not being able to scrape the pennies together to do so.

So what can you do in this sort of situation? Well first of all, if it’s a once in a lifetime experience like Disneyland Paris at Halloween or the kid’s favourite cartoon characters in live performance, then it may be worth looking finding the funds elsewhere such as increasing your overdraft with the bank or getting a personal loan. Luckily, you can easily get personal loans even with poor credit now. Allowing you to pay back the cost of the activity bit by bit over a longer period. Making it a much more manageable option for a tight budget.

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The second solution may is to scour the Internet for similar events,  and activities that are on offer. Remember there are plenty of discount voucher sites that provide some great family fun experiences for a hugely reduced cost. Meaning it’s easy to find something that is more likely to fit in with your budgetary restraints and still provide a fantastic day out for you and the kids. So keeping that FOMO at bay.

Are you missing out because of transport?

Lastly, another factor that could be driving your FOMO is that you don’t have access to transport to get you to all the places that you want to go. This can be a really tough one because there are so many places in the UK that are super hard to get to if you don’t drive or currently don’t have a car like theme parks, beaches, and country parks.

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Although, to get around this some families book places on a day trips by coach, or even used the rail system to get there. Although this can be both pricey and hassle filled. Especially if you have little ones to entertain during the journey. Meaning to prevent FOMO becoming a fixture in your life it’s probably time to bite the bullet and get a family car.

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Run Out Of Ideas? New Ways To Make Exercise More Fun For Kids

In this day and age, it can be really difficult to tear kids away from TV screens and tablets. With summer finally here, it’s a perfect time to try and get your children more involved in exercise, and to ensure they have fun when they’re on the go. If you’ve run out of ideas and you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle against a games console, here are some new ways to encourage your kids to be more active.

Join local clubs and teams

Joining a team is an excellent way to make it easier for your child to make friends, and it’ll also encourage them to spend more time running around and letting off steam. There are so many team sports you can try, from football and touch rugby to cricket, netball, hockey, and tennis. Being part of a team gives kids a sense of belonging and identity, and it can also teach them valuable life lessons like working with others and being cooperative. If you’ve moved recently, and you’re not familiar with the area, search online for local clubs or ask your child’s teachers or other parents for recommendations.

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Encourage healthy competition

Life is all about competition, and it’s important for children to learn what it means to win or lose. If your kids take an interest in sport, encourage them to stay motivated and to try and progress and develop by promoting healthy competition. Race each other, try and score as many goals as possible in the garden or set up your own summer sports competition and invite friends and family members to participate. If you take a look at sites like Trophies Plus Medals, you can order child-friendly cups and medals that can be awarded to the winners. Set out a schedule, send out some invites, and work out what kinds of activities you’re going to try. You can put your own spin on sports day with sack races, running races or egg and spoon dashes, or take inspiration from the Olympics with sprints, throwing events and jumping, or tennis, gymnastics or swimming competitions.

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Spend more time together

Setting a good example is the best way to get your kids on board with a new, more active lifestyle. Try and take advantage of the long, hazy days and spend more time together. Go swimming, go dancing, take a trip to the ice rink or get your bikes out. Even if you don’t have any equipment, you can still enjoy the great outdoors. Next time you’ve got a free weekend, why not go for a walk in the woods and hit the beach armed with a badminton set, a ball or a frisbee?

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If you’ve tried and failed to get your kids more interested in active pursuits, hopefully, this guide will prove useful. Kids want to have fun, so try and vary the kinds of activities you do, spend time together, and get friends and family involved. Get outdoors, play games, encourage your kids to be competitive and take advantage of those sun-drenched days. We all know they won’t last for long!

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!

 

Strategies to Encourage Your Child to Confide in You

We all might fear the day our teens or tweens might not confide in us when things are going wrong in their life, or they are struggling. Some kids always talk to their parents, and have a very open relationship, while others distance themselves.

I want to do my very best that my children will have confidence in my relationship with them, that they can trust that no matter what, I will listen, love them unconditionally and be their to help them through the struggle!

Below are some strategies to help encourage your child to confide in you! These are not a guarantee, but it wouldn’t hurt trying in hopes to get them to stay open or open up to you in the future.

5 Tips for Communications Between Parent and Child

5 Tips for Communications Between Parent and Child

I think the tips below are great for starting as young as possible and then as they grow, they will learn to trust and lean on you! Granted you can’t have a deep conversation with a two year old, but you can build a strong foundation so that when the day comes, they can come to you for advice, an ear to listen, or support!

Loving and Calm

When your child, tween or teen gets in trouble, be loving and calm. Don’t just instantly get upset and begin yelling or saying how disappointed you are. Come to them in a loving and calm manner. Listen to what they are saying to you, and work through things in a calm way. The calmer you are, the more they will come to you for any situation. If they know you will get upset and yell, they will be less likely to confide in you.

Advice

Make sure that if your child comes to you to talk about any situation, feel free to give real advice. Don’t just give therapist style advice, but be a real person that they can connect with. If your child is struggling at school with a bully, don’t just rush to talk the principal. Hear out what your child is saying, and truly listen and give advice.

Be Open

Make sure your child/teen can talk to you about anything. No topic is ever off the table. Make sure they know that no matter what they can talk, even if it is embarrassing for them. Try to let them know that you always have an open door policy. That if they are struggling, get a bad grade in school, having a bad day and need to talk, you are always there. No judgement, just to listen and help them work through the issue.

Pay Attention

Make sure that you are watching their moods, and behavior. If you see they are acting off, make sure to reach out to them to see how they are. Just make sure that you are paying attention to the signs, so that if they are going through something, you ask, they might tell you.

One-On-One Time

Making sure that  you spend one-on-one time with your child. If you have multiple children, make sure to find time for each. It can be as simple as an ice cream date, just make sure they know you love and make time for them. Building an intimate relationship is a great foundation. Start this even at an early age, and continue it as they grow! Even older kids look for love and quality time from their parents.

These five simple steps can get you far in a relationship with your child. Start showing them love and support young and continue as they grow. Always tell them no matter what they can come to you, and make sure you stay calm and listen to what they are saying. Cool, calm and collected, when they do come to you, will make them feel more at ease to come to you in the future.

About the Author

Kelsey is a freelance writer for bloggers! A country girl from Kansas, who enjoys spending time with family! You can see what Kelsey has available for content in her Facebook Group.