Searching for "outdoors"
There is no doubt about it; our kids are spending too much time indoors. They either watch television or play video games for hours on end. Yes, it is easy to cure that problem; unplug the television and throw the games console away. But as the children say; what else is there for them to do? We are an overprotective nation, and we don’t let our little ones out to play anymore. The dangers are no greater now than they ever were, we just hear about them more thanks to the internet. Our children are suffering because of our anxieties, and it is wrong. If something isn’t done about it soon, those who never get to go out unsupervised with their friends will be at a significant disadvantage in life.
I will write more about allowing your children to play away from home without supervision in my next article. It is all about managing the risk. For today, I wish to suggest ways you can encourage them to use your garden more than they do now. It isn’t hard, but you must make an effort to turn the garden into an appealing place for them. Here are a few top tips to help you achieve your goal.
Buy a swimming pool. It is likely to be a massive investment, but it is worth every penny, in my opinion. You can now find fibreglass pool liners online that cut the installation costs and time by half. The filtration equipment and heater comes in kit form too, so they are a DIY job at last.
Alternatively, you could buy a freestanding unit. It will probably not be as big as a sunken pool and will cost about the same. The pool is good for their physical health and gives you a fantastic reason to spend more time together.
Your little ones will know the program listings very well, and they will try to go back indoors when a show starts. Why not take the TV outdoors so they can enjoy the fresh it while they watch it. The guys at http://www.thetvshield.com/enclosures say that the products are safe to use and weatherproof. Garden television is the future as far as I am concerned.
Modern gazebos are more like detached conservatories these days. You kids will want to spend time out there because it is such an appealing space. Maybe they could use it as a place to do their homework, or to sit with friends who come round to visit. They will ask you if they can take the video games console out there; the decision is yours.
Swings and slides are as popular today as ever. The best structures also feature a climbing frame and are made from timber that will last for many years. Your kids will have many adventures out there and will come to no harm as long as you have the foresight to put a soft base down in case they fall. I suggest you use a product made from recycled tyres. They are bouncy and durable.
It is much better to tempt kids outside rather than force them. When you install the best features, they will be powerless to resist. Good luck with your mission; perseverance will pay off.
After being cooped up inside all winter, with Spring on the way and lighter nights meaning more time to play out, it’s essential to encourage your kids to get out and about this Spring. We’re so used to children now spending their evenings sat inside playing on their x-box or watching TV that it’s really important to push your children to play outside for their health and fitness. Here’s some top tips to get them back out enjoying the great outdoors:
Get them a new toy
Whether it’s a bike, pair of roller blades or a scooter, kids love having something to play outside on and there’s nothing more exciting than showing off your new toy to all of the other kids on the street. Scooters tend to be the most on trend with children of all ages been seen scooting around. Once your kids have their own new transport mode this also opens lots of doors for family bike rides and trips to the park plus it means they’ll be keeping fit and getting in lots of healthy exercise.
Arrange family days out
Going for a walk around a reservoir or heading out for a long walk in the countryside is a great way to be active as a family and the mild spring weather provides the perfect climate. If you’re heading out for the day, why not make up a picnic to enjoy somewhere in the sun for a rest and remember to pack a raincoat in your bag just in case you get caught out by a surprise April shower.
One of the best ways to encourage kids to get outside is to invest in a flying toy. Although some can be dangerous if left unsupervised, traditional toys like Frisbees and kites still provide a lot of fun. If your child is after something more technologically advanced, an electric toy helicopter or plane will perhaps be more impressive but arguably much more expensive.
Whether its games, family walks or something new, hopefully your children won’t need too much encouragement to get out this Spring, but if they have become a little too comfortable with staying indoors these tips and tricks should help you to prise them outdoors to benefit from the fresh air.
Miami is a mecca of many things and it’s enough to make any first time visitor’s head spin. The first step is to relax and realize you won’t be able to do everything—however, you can still have the trip of a lifetime when visiting Miami, Florida. There’s something for everyone in this iconic city, whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on the beach, dance the night away, or get lost in a dizzying amount of arts and culture. Here’s where to get started when you’re looking to conquer Miami for the first time.
What comes to mind when you think of Miami? It could be the shopping, the beach, or any number of popular Miami destinations.
Beaches and the Outdoors
No one should go to Miami without spending some of their time at the beach itself. You don’t have to limit yourself to just Miami Beach, since there are plenty of other beaches with its own unique setting. Head out to South Beach for celebrity spotting or relax on the sands of Sunny Isles Beach. Whatever the type of beach you’re looking for you’re sure to find white shores and turquoise waters that will satisfy you to your heart’s desire in Miami.
This place is also home to the only underwater national park in the country, so if you have time, head out to Biscayne National Park to get an entirely unique experience. It’s a great way to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and enter an underwater wonderland. Tropical scenery awaits in the luscious Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and you can spot over 2,000 animals at the Miami Zoo.
Arts and Culture
As much as Miami is associated with raucous nightlife and glorious sunny beaches, the city is also known for its art, museums, and culture. Checking out the art deco scene is a must for any first time visitor. Make your way to Miami’s Art Deco Historic District where you can wander around solo or opt to take a guided tour. After you’ve had your fill of deco architecture, check out the art galleries in the Design District. It’s a great opportunity to see the many different styles of art the city offers. Though much of the Miami art is kitsch, there is also something for fine art lovers at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens where European masterpieces are displayed.
A visit to Miami is also the perfect time to immerse yourself in its Latin influences. The best place to start is Little Havana, where Cuban music fills the streets, with eateries offering authentic foods and some of the country’s finest coffees. Walk along Calle Ocho for the best of the best when it comes to Little Havana.
Nightlife and Events
If you can, try to book your trip to align with one of the many festivals in Miami. Big music festivals often pass through the city, but there’s also Miami Fashion Week, Carnaval, and Art Basel. Ask any Miami local, and they’ll tell you that the festivals and parties are make the city come to life.
Miami is definitely on the list of cities that knows what they’re doing when it comes to throwing parties. While there are many run-of-the-mill nightclubs, you’ll also find a selection of the finest ones on the planet. Celebrities are known to frequent the hottest dance halls here, and anyone who wants to dance the night away is in luck. You’ll find plenty of lasers and mega clubs and intimate lounges wherever you go.
These days it’s all too easy to keep your kids occupied with a game on a tablet or smartphone — they’re mesmerized by the bright colors and noises, you have more free time to yourself. But there’s a simple, irreplaceable joy in teaching children more old-fashioned, hands-on activities like marbles, card games, and hide-and-seek. After all, these are the games we grew up with. Think of the joy we had in looking at the swirl of colors in a glass marble, or in finding a friend hidden behind a curtain. Don’t you want your kids to experience that same joy, interacting with the world around them, instead of staring at a screen?
If you can’t remember how to play marbles (or if you never played them yourself), there are loads of great guides online — and many include suggestions for lots of other, hands-on games, too.
Here are four great reasons to get your kids away from computer screens and involved in these kinds of activities:
- Your kids will develop better social skills — Too often, playing computer games is a solitary activity. But with marbles, sports, and other games, your kids will learn how to interact with their peers, whether it’s trying to flick each other’s marbles out of the ring or playing in a team in a relay.
- It’s great physical exercise — Games like marbles are a fun way for your kid to develop hand-eye coordination, and more physical activities like tag or climbing trees are good exercise for their muscles and cardiovascular systems. It’s certainly much healthier than swiping away at a touch-screen!
- Your kids will start to appreciate the world around them — Computer games create an artificial world that mesmerizes your kid’s attention, but we live in a real, physical world that your child shouldn’t be afraid to explore. If they’re outdoors breathing fresh air, laughing with friends, or admiring the visual beauty of a marble, they’re learning to savor all the wonderful things the world has to offer outside a computer screen.
- You can play with your kids, and create invaluable family time — There’s only so much parental bonding that can happen through a computer screen. But real-world activities, where you teach your kids how to flick a marble or shuffle a deck of cards, also make family memories that will last a lifetime.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional game on a tablet to keep the kids busy in a waiting room. But knowing how fun and simple it is to learn how to play marbles, there’s no excuse not to engage your children in the kinds of old-fashioned activities that are healthy for both their minds and bodies. The Internet is full of useful parenting tips — don’t hesitate to make the most of these resources, but once you’ve found what you’re looking for, get off the computer and start involving your kids in good old-fashioned fun!
Image by: Sara Shuman
Like all other mums, we wanted to have keepsakes of special events like birthday parties, get-togethers and other family occasions. And, photos would surely serve as the best keepsake. But, if you’re too busy making things go smoothly, the best option might be to hire someone to do the job for you – like a photo booth.
If you’re thinking of using a photo booth at a special family event, and why wouldn’t you? They’re perfect for all sorts of functions and it’s safe to say most people like them. Before you go on and hire one though, take a moment to plan for it. There are a few things about your event which you should consider before renting a photo booth, to make the whole thing work out properly.
In general, everything is in the very capable hands of whoever you hire the booth from, but helping them prepare adequately for the event will make everything work out perfectly. Here are five things to consider when hiring a photo booth.
- Think about the guests.
An event that is only catering for about ten people might have no need for a photo booth. Even if it is affordable, the difference between the photo booth being a memory maker and it being an elephant in the room, is definitely made up by the number of people who are available to use it. Sure, it will be fun for about ten minutes, but if that’s all the use you’re going to get out of it then what is the point, really? With photo booths, the old saying of ‘the more the merrier’ stands true. It’s a hit at parties, not gatherings. Also, if your guests are expected to get unruly and smash the thing, have it packed away at a certain point in the evening, the equipment within them is very expensive.
- How much space do you have?
Since the booths are not camera men with legs, they’re not overly portable. But then they are booths so they’re not supposed to be. You could check every shop for photo booth hire in Sydney and not find a very portable one, there just aren’t any; but that would be missing the point, they’re booths. If it can’t fit inside, can it go outside? If you weren’t otherwise planning on using the outside, there’s always a chance the photo booth will just get left alone outdoors like the only smoker at the party.
There are open planned booths available as well, they’re slightly more portable, take up a little less space and are great for outdoor events. Consider how many photo booths you’ll be using. If it’s a corporate event, you could end up needing a few. If this is the case, make certain your venue can accommodate them, they are quite big.
- What type of venue is your event at?
Are you having it indoors or during night time? It doesn’t matter. Most photo booths come with high tech flashes and other gadgetry to sort all of that out for you. Is it outside, however, consider the weather, is it near water? I think what I’m saying here is that, like a gremlin, it shouldn’t get wet. Also what about power points, where can you plug the booth in where it will still be visible and accessible to your guests. If you’re linking the photo booth up to the internet for social networking reasons (yes they can do that) you’ll want to make sure there is a reliable internet connection at the venue.
- The duration of your event.
Photo booths are stalwart and don’t bore easily, because they’re not people. It doesn’t matter how long your event is taking, hours or days, the booth will tire slower than the camera guy, and your guests will tire of the photo booth slower than they do the camera guy too. They’re great for weddings which generally take the whole day and go long into the evening. You can get Nan’s polite wishes for the future at 12pm and then her less edited opinion of marriage later at 12am. They will happily stay and snap your event all day long if they have to.
- The theme of the event.
This particularly refers to events like your kid’s birthday party. By default, photo booths usually come with the rental company’s’ branding on them and are a standard, boxy design. But there’s no need to accept that if you don’t want to. You can get a fully customised booth based on the theme of your party. You could kit it out in white and doves for a wedding, or make it glittery for a get-together. You can even use the photo booths to make theme appropriate souvenirs and memorabilia.
Photo booths are wonderfully customisable and great for giving any event a personal touch, so if you can use this to your advantage, you definitely should.
Having children is life’s greatest blessing, but they do change our perceptions of the home. Priorities of comfort and luxury are quickly overrun by a need for safety and fun. Our little ones are the most important thing in our lives, and putting them first is a must.
While we want to keep a degree of comfort and enjoyment for ourselves, it’s important to make the home suitable for children. Playing to their natural love of adventure is key. Knowing how to transform the home can be difficult, but these four tips should help you along the way.
A Bedroom Fit For A Prince Or Princess
A child’s bedroom is their little space. They should feel comfortable inside their rooms and actually enjoy going there. Whether it’s to learn, play or sleep, the bedroom should be a special place for your kid.
One of the easiest ways to make the bedroom more enjoyable is to celebrate their passion and hobbies. Using their favourite sports team, pop band, or television show as a theme is an easy way to ensure they fall in love with the room.
The key is to be creative. These ideas should get your juices flowing.
Make Bath Time Fun
Every parent understands the struggle that bath time can bring. A lot of young children just don’t like it, especially when it comes to cleaning hair. Aside from anything, it can be a little boring for the youngsters.
Injecting a little fun into the bathroom could be the key to improving their relationship with the bath. Thinking outside the box, as this bathshop321.com post does, could help find a way to battle against the problems posed by children’s bath time.
Our messy pups have a knack for getting dirty, so cleaning is extremely important. Make it more enjoyable for them, and it will feel a lot less stressful for you.
Encourage Outdoor Fun
Creating a home for adventure is great, but it’s far easier to promote activity in the garden. It’s probably safer too.
Converting your garden into a child-friendly zone isn’t overly difficult. It also serves as a great way to teach valuable life lessons while also promoting a good relationship with the outdoors environment. In an era where our kids are constantly attached to various screens, this break from the digital world is a welcomed distraction for any parent.
Besides, it’ll also encourage you to get out in the garden more too.
Designate A Space For Creativity
Children are naturally creative, and you should do everything you can to encourage it. Arts and crafts are a great way for you to bond with your child while also giving you a chance to assess various academic capabilities.
You should never stifle a child’s imagination and providing them a space to show their creativity will go a long way. It doesn’t have to be an entire playroom. Even a small desk will suffice. The key is to make them feel comfortable in this designated area.
It might even unearth a real talent.
There are a number of reasons your child’s school may need to make some extra cash. They could be looking to buy some new equipment to improve your child’s education. Or, they may be looking to expand their premises to provide a better education for more children. Either way you may want to do your part. Rather than donate you might volunteer in helping organise fundraising activities. Or, you may think about doing your own fundraising and giving the school your earnings. Let’s look at the best ways you can do this.
Use Your Skills
The easiest way to raise money is to pick something that you are great at. Perhaps your skill lies in the kitchen. If that is the case why not bake some delicious goods for sale? Adults and children alike will loving buying them to make their lunch hours extra tasty. You may be a keen runner during your spare time. In which case you can get people to sponsor you doing an activity such as a marathon. Whatever your forte there is sure to be a way you can use it to make some money for your desired charity.
Make It Fun
If you make fundraising fun, you are more likely to get attention. People are attracted to others getting involved in exciting activities. One example of this is the classic getting sponsored for shaving your hair off. It does not have to be your hair. You can get your kids involved and have them take the leap. They will gain a lot of support from their classmates for doing so and learn that looks are not everything. They will see they can help people by putting others first.
Promote Like Crazy
If you have a blog use it to your advantage. Post about your fundraising activities online. It does not matter if you do not have a website. You can set one up. Or, most of us have FaceBook and Twitter. You can use both of these sites to spread the word and let people know what is happening. You can do this to help your private fundraising activity or let people know your school is looking for donations.
Give People An Incentive To Fund
Think about giving people a reason to donate. You can recommend this to the school. It is human nature to want to be remembered. This is believed this is one of the reasons religion is such a powerful force that people want to believe in. They like the idea of their lives meaning more. A way people make sure they are remembered is literally leaving their mark on the world. You can help them do this by showing their donation for all to see. Check out Fundraisingbrick.com. This service offers to give your donors the chance to have the memory of their input into the charity last forever.
Teach The Children Life Skills
Finally, you can using fundraising to teach your children the value of hard work. You can help them feel good about others and encourage them to help their school and community. It is a fantastic way of getting them more involved in services that help them.
Cooking dinner on a barbeque is a lot of fun, and can be a much more relaxed way to feed your family and friends while enjoying the outdoors. We’re always getting tips on how to do a proper barbeque, but it can all be a little confusing sometimes. There are three key things to keep in mind when cooking dinner on a barbeque.
1. Utilise every part of your barbeque
It doesn’t matter if you have a standard barbeque with just a grill, or a top of the range one with all the bells and whistles such as hotplates, covered roasting pans and more. Different foods require different cooking times and methods. Try to learn these and use all the features of your barbeque! For example, some people prefer to start off fattier meats like chops on the hotplate before transferring to the grill to finish. Those who want those fragrant char lines on their vegetables will cook them on the grill, not the flat hotplate. If you feel like it’s time to get a new barbeque, visit stores like Barbeques Galore that have a large range to choose from that will suit your culinary needs.
2. Get the temperature right
Cooking cold or semi-frozen meat can substantially prolong the amount of time it takes for the heat from the barbeque to reach the centre of the piece of meat. By this stage, the outer surface may have already been charred, which is not pleasant or healthy to eat. While it’s important for raw meat to be properly chilled and preserved for food safety reasons, try and remove it from the freezer or fridge just in time for it to have thawed to room temperature to ensure it cooks properly. Also keep in mind the importance of preheating the grill in order to ensure a nice layer of caramelisation on your food, as well as that unmistakable smoky BBQ flavour.
3. Sometimes thinner meat is better
Cooking more thinly portioned pieces of meat is an effective way to get a feel for the power and cooking time of your barbeque. It’s also a great way to prepare meals more quickly as your barbeque will need less heat and time to cook through to the middle of your meat. You won’t have the problem of the meat being overcooked on the outside, yet raw on the inside. Consider using a tenderiser to flatten out pieces of meat to create more surface area for delicious seasoning or marinating. Whatever size of meat you’re using, always rest it before cooking. This will ensure that it retains moisture while avoiding that unsightly liquid oozing all over the plate.
Cooking dinner on the barbeque can be a really fun and easy thing to do, once you’ve mastered it. All barbeques are different, just as ovens and microwaves are also different. Experiment with a range of meats and vegetables, as well as all-time favourites like sausages and steak. Most of all, get acquainted with the capabilities of your barbeque! Before you know it, every dinner will be a success.
Your child or children will probably have already signed, sealed and delivered their letter to Santa. If you have a typical 21st century child, they will have asked for video game consoles and other items which confine them to the indoors. If you are looking for ways to encourage your children to spend more time outside then, we have come up with some ideas that will achieve exactly that.
Adventure day out
‘Experience gifts’ can also be enjoyed by kids of all ages. If you do your homework, you will see that there are a number of options for days out that will please even the fussiest of children. For older children, why not let them experience their first drive. The package usually includes an hour-long tuition with a qualified instructor and, if you child feels brave enough; they might be able to take the wheel themselves. Alternatively, you might want to treat your kids to a day of quad biking, horse riding or even a hot air balloon ride. These experiences will not only get your kids off the sofa but will give them something to remember for many years to come.
Image from Flickr
A good way of encouraging your children to get some fresh air is to provide them with plenty of outdoor equipment. You may decide on an electric scooter for kids that is not only fun but will make that walk to school a bit quicker! Although they won’t be able to use it for a few months, a trampoline is a fantastic gift for kids. This present will get your kids outdoors and keep them active. If your child likes playing football computer games, he or she may also appreciate a set of football goals and a football. This may encourage your child to take this interest outside, and they may involve their friends in a weekly kick about. You might consider buying your child a bike. This gift will get your kids out and about and doing tricks in no time. For the winter months, your child might also enjoy a sledge or a set of snowshoes.
Image from Flickr
If your child is naturally creative, them a simple box of colourful chalk may entice them outside. Allow them to draw to their heart’s content on your garden patio or pavement outside your home. Small children may really enjoy a grow your own plant kit. You can spend the day outside together digging up the soil and planting the seeds. Their interest in the outdoors will, hopefully, remain as they watch the plant grow. A build your own bird feeder kit is another great gift that will encourage your child to take an interest in the outdoors and nature. You may wish to invest in a small outdoor house for your child. This could be a playhouse or a tree house. This might work well to encourage your kids to spend time outside as it gives them an area they can call their own. You may wish to encourage them to use this space to draw or read.
With the long school, summer holidays fast approaching; many mums will be facing a dilemma for the next six weeks. It is an awfully long time to keep the kid’s entertained, but it can be done. While taking them out every day may not be viable, planning a trip out at least once a week will ensure that they are kept entertained and that your sanity remains intact! If you are struggling for awesome days out ideas, then you need not look any further. This guide will ensure that your little ones are kept thoroughly amused during the summer months:
Picnics in the Park
Taking the kids to the park can be seen as a little humdrum, but you can turn a boring day out into the adventure of a lifetime. Having a picnic in the park is lots of fun. Simply pack your favourite foods, grab your picnic blankets and dine alfresco. While we cannot promise that the weather will be glorious this summer, you can do this day out off the cuff, so you are not waiting around for the sun to come out. Your kids will love snacking outdoors, in between bouts of fun.
Embarking on a nature walk is a great way to inspire your kids with the plethora of wildlife around them. You can create your own maps and get the kids involved in the creating of the maps, as well as giving them a guide of objects to look out for. Think about what your local nature reserve is home to and then see what the kids can find on their adventure. If your local park is home to squirrels, then ensure that squirrels are one of the key animals to look out for. Incorporate it into their guides. Your children will love this kind of walk, what is more, it gives you the perfect opportunity to teach them all about the wildlife in their area. It is both fun and educational.
Theme parks are perfect for your mini-thrill seekers. If your kids love the idea of going wild on a theme park, then the summer holidays are the perfect time to take them. They will love going on the rides, getting wet on the log flume and running around like crazy. You can be on hand to ensure that they have someone to hold their coats and to supervise the proceedings. If you are more of a hands on parent, then you can go on the rides with them! Purchase photographs from the day, so that they can treasure the memories of their fun day out for a lifetime.
On the Beach
Kids love nothing more than building sand castles and playing in the sea. With that in mind, a day trip to the local seaside is sure to keep them entertained. You can cut the costs of a big day out by taking a packed lunch and buying buckets and spades beforehand. Simply pack up the car and away you go. Your kids are sure to fall asleep on the journey home after such a busy, fun filled day!