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.
A lot of people today spend so much time cooped up in their room playing video games or streaming on Netflix. Such a small amount of time is spent, if any at all, outdoors playing with other kids or enjoying a good ‘ol fashioned barbecue with the neighbours.
All of that should change this coming summer and you can start by playing any of these awesome backyard games. So let’s say that after so many years and countless First Home Buyer’s Guide articles you pored through, you finally have a house and are planning an awesome party. Let’s remind friends and family how exciting it is to drop everything you’re doing to play outside.
Water Balloon Dodgeball
A fun twist to an old favourite, this game is pretty self-explanatory. Load up balloons with water, team up, and get ready to dodge like your life depended on it. You can invite more people to join this game and turn it into your little backyard tournament. Limit the number of people on the field to maybe four or five, and around four teams. The winners of each elimination round will then compete each other and win the title of “Best Backyard Dodgeball Team.” Just remember not to aim for the face, and wear protective gear if you have them.
Picnic basket relay
Divide everyone into teams and give them a complete picnic set, which includes: plates, utensils, glasses, and even food. Each team member must set up a picnic as fast as they can and the put it back in the basket. Once they are done, the next player needs to do the same. The team who can finish the fastest wins.
Try to avoid using materials that will break easily just in case people get too excited and accidentally drop plates and glasses.
For this version of charades, only one person in the team is guessing. Other members will pick from your pool of topics or phrases. They will not act it out though, instead they will form a picture and freeze, a bit like a tableau. Then the team member will have to guess what the ‘picture’ is. You can do themed charades so that it is easier for them to guess the picture like movies or songs.
Do this “Amazing Race” style. Which means you will have to prepare riddles and tasks that the teams will have to figure out and accomplish. The goal is for them to form a puzzle or look for an item around the house. Make sure you go wild with it, too. You can hide items in places they will not think you will make use of and ask them riddles that will really mess with their wit.
You can limit the team members to three or four, and around four teams only. When you are setting up the tasks, make sure there instructions and guidelines so that the game remains safe to play.
This is the perfect game to show off those dance moves. Everyone joining the game should partner, face each other, with a whole page of newspaper laid out in front of them on the ground. The rules are simple: they will start dancing once you play music. When you stop the track, they should stand on the newspaper, making sure that both of them are on it. After each round, the players will fold the newspaper in half, and then they will start dancing again once you play the song. This goes on until only one pair remains.
So clear up the backyard, call all your friends and family, and get ready for an awesome summer bonding!
The formative weeks of any summer are spent on the beaches, barbecuing, and doing some yard work. It is only until mid-July when many homeowners start to think of how they can improve their homes, owing to the fact they spend the vast majority of their time indoors owing to the heat of the summer. If you find yourself in need of home improvement ideas, we have a good suggestion – install a bioethanol fireplace in readiness for winter.
Ethanol Burners As Compared To Others
The traditional fireplaces require firewood that has been properly seasoned. You still have to cut, haul, and then lit the firewood to make a fire. Moreover, you still need to a chimney, enormous space for the fireplace and wood storage, and you must meet the stringent regulations governing the insulation and use of wood fireplaces. Many houses are not capable of meeting all these capabilities. On the other hand, gas fireplaces are not always appropriate, depending on the size of the space you want to heat.
An ethanol burner accord homeowners with the opportunity to install a fireplace that fits their unique requirements and needs. Additionally, these fireplaces are very easy to install and they do not require the installation of a chimney or flue. They can be used indoors and outdoors. On the financial front, they are much cheaper too than gas and wood fireplaces to install and maintain. They are virtually maintenance-free.
In terms of flame quality, they burn with a beautiful orange flame that accentuates the ambiance in which they are used. In many regards, they become the focal point of any space they are installed in.
They are also very effective in warming up the spaces where they are used. Finally, they are easy to regulate and extinguish once you are done using them.
Forms of Installations And Fireplaces
An ethanol fireplace is very flexible in as far as installation goes. They can be installed on the floor, on tables, on the wall, on hearths without any problems. When properly installed, these fireplaces add value to your home when and if you want to sell your property. They also help out in refinancing situations.
Purchasing A Ethanol Fireplace
At our store, we do offer our high-quality bioethanol fireplaces on sale from time to time. And whether you purchase a catalog or clearance burner, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you have purchased your burner from a licensed dealer who has professionally installed it for you.
Having children adds a new dimension to your daily life. It’s an exciting and rewarding time of your life, but also one that comes with a lot of new responsibilities, and plenty of additional worries! For a start, you can’t oversee what your baby is doing every minute of the day – although undoubtedly you will do your best – and the concern when he or she is out of sight is something that hangs around all the time.
That’s why it’s important that any furniture, accessories or toys you buy for your baby are proven to be safe and secure. You need to make sure that everything in the nursery complies with all the relevant safety requirements, and that you can rest assured your baby will be perfectly safe when left alone for a few minutes. A play yard and play pen is a great idea, as it is somewhere your baby can play safely and without risk.
The Best Play Yard
As with all baby and children’s products, there is a strong market for play yards, but we have found one that we believe is a contender for the best in class. It’s the BabySeater play yard and we believe you will be impressed by what it offers you. Made from strong materials for durability, but with comfort and safety to the fore, this excellent playpen has a mesh surround that keeps baby inside but visible at all times, and a canvas floor for comfort and strength.
The canvas is an important choice as it works well in both wet and dry conditions, while all the materials used are easily washable – a great and very important point as small children do tend to make a mess! This play yard comes with locking systems that comply with the required safety requirements, is easy to put together, and is a good size so your small child has plenty of space to enjoy.
Portable and Ready
One of the key features of the BabySeater play yard is that it is portable. It can be folded down to an easy to carry size so that you can take it when you go on holiday or even on a day out, and it comes with special straps for carrying that make this even easier. It will fit comfortably in the back of a small car, and is simple to erect. In fact, the play pen comes to you from the store ready to simply click into place and use, so there is no need for actual assembly at any point.
There are plenty of reasons why this very neat and safe play yard will make your life easier, and if you want you can also buy it with a handy canopy, which is great for when using outdoors in the sun. It’s not too large yet offers plenty of space, and for the quality you are getting it is also surprisingly good value, so have a closer look and see how you can ensure your baby has a safe and fun place to play.
One of the best ways to spend quality time with your family is to plan outdoor activities that will be healthy and fun for everyone. Leave the TV behind and go outside in nature, on the beach or forest to feel the real benefits of fresh air and open space. Also, these activities will keep you all motivated to change your lifestyle habits and adopt a healthier one.
There are so many activities to choose from and so we made you a list to make it easier for you to decide.
Go swimming together
If you live near sea, river or lake, use that advantage to go for a swim with your family. This will also be a perfect opportunity to see how your kids swim and teach them some new techniques. Bring an inflatable swimming mattress with you and while at that, choose the ones with interesting shapes like dolphin or pineapple.
Also, take snorkeling equipment with you, especially if you go to the beach since the sea is great for this activity. Go on the seashell collecting mission with your kids and help them build sand castles when you’re resting from all the activity. Additionally, if you have small children, fly a kite or play volleyball in the water since that is a fun activity for all.
Hiking in national parks
Choose a different national park every other weekend and go for a hike with your family. National parks are great locations to enjoy wild nature and animal life, as well as to breathe some unpolluted air. Choose a path near waterfalls and take a dip if the weather is right, or go on a tour to see caves and animal reserves.
If you believe your kid will be bored, it’s always best to choose the most interesting hiking tracks that can show them amazing landscapes. This is also a great way to teach your kids more about the environment and how to preserve it.
Plant a garden
Gardening is fun for everyone and the best thing about it is that will show lasting results. Kids like to dig the dirt and play with plants, so you will giving them a perfect activity. However, instead of planting flowers, plant vegetables since that way you will teach them more about food and its importance.
Moreover, buy a tree seedling and plant it together in your yard so it would become a symbol of your gardening endeavor. Opt for some fruit-bearing tree if possible, like cherry, walnut or apple so that you can make jams and pies from it.
Go on a camping trip
Pack your sleeping bags and go away from chaotic city life to nature and spend a couple of days relaxing away from the buzzing of technology. Rent a camping trailer or simply decide to sleep in tents and get ready to spend time barbequing under the clear sky. Teach your kids a few tricks like how to start a fire or purify water, as well as how to truly enjoy the wonders of being away from the urban life.
Camping with kids is also fun if you spend time around the fire making S’mores or picking mushrooms and turning them into a tasty stew. For an added experience, bring a telescope so you can observe stars in the night or binoculars to watch birds.
Form a family cycling team
Cycling doesn’t have to cost much, just look for the BMX bikes for sale and you’re good to go. There are many bicycle tracks available in the cities which are perfect for the shorter rides. However, for the complete experience, go to a national park and start pedaling together.
Make frequent breaks so your kids can rest and be patient with them if they have trouble getting the hang of things in the beginning. Choose a cycling track with the best view and you can tell your kids something about the places you pass on your way. If you plan to cycle in nature, bring some food with you and make a picnic break after a while.
Visit local farms
Children today don’t have many opportunities to see how the farms work, so use that as a perfect way to spend time with your family. Local farms are often open for visitors and you can buy organic produce and teach your kids a thing or two about farming as well. Ask farmers to tell them more about livestock breeding, dairy products, and vegetable farming.
Additionally, some farmers allow visitors to ride horses, so make sure you introduce your kids to this activity as well. Farms are perfect to see a different way of life and find out more about the world around us. It will be a great family experience to try some of the activities there together, like digging out potatoes or feeding the animals.
Every family needs time for themselves away from the modern technology and everyday life. Outdoor activities are one of the ways to keep family healthy and have fun at the same time. Nature is often the best choice to relax, experience some physical activity and get to know your kids better.
Therefore, add to the zoo and restaurant another activity which will keep the whole family involved and occupied. Not only will you start a healthy lifestyle, but also be able to teach your kids about the environment and benefits of nature.
About the Author
Jessie is a passionate blogger and home designer. She loves writing about tips and tricks that make every home a better place, inside and outside. Besides this, she loves sports, martial arts, outdoor activities and spending time with her close ones.
Your home is most likely the most valuable asset you have, and the most expensive purchase you will ever make. It’s also a working environment, where you spend a major proportion of your life – both you and your family – and as such, you want it to be a pleasant and practical place to live.
You also want to make sure that it retains much of the intrinsic value that lies in the building itself; the fixtures and fittings on the exterior, for example, need to be kept in top condition, and that means replacing parts that are damaged and worn by the elements on a regular basis. Then there’s the interior, where you might want to upgrade your kitchen once in a while, or to change the bathroom.
Or, you might want to remodel the house, or to add space to your existing building. There are many ways you can do this, and gain not only additional space but also add value to the house, and there are experts in Lansing home additions that you can talk to for the very best in advice and help on improving your home.
Ideas for Additions
The scope for additions to your home is potentially never-ending, and that’s why it always pays to get the experts in to give you the best advice. Have a look at the rooms you have, and think how great it would be if you could have even more space. Now, consider those areas of your home that are not being used to their full potential.
Let’s start with the garage; many homes have large garage areas, and we’re not exaggerating in saying that many of these are simply used to house junk that doesn’t really need to be there! Garages are a cost-effective and superbly impressive way of adding extra space; get an expertly-done conversion, and you have a new sitting room, bedroom, or even a playroom for the kids. The space is there, the basic structure is present, so the cost is kept down when you convert a garage for living use.
What about those little-used outdoor areas? Your local home additions and remodelling expert can give you ideas as to how best to utilise space by building out from, say, your existing dining room. Perhaps add a deck and extend the room by a few yards, with a lovely wide glass frontage that opens onto the deck, and you transform the whole room in one go – and at surprisingly little cost.
Whether you want to extend or add, to convert or remodel, the choice is yours, but rest assured this is one of the most affordable and effective methods of adding real value to your home, without the need for considerable expense. Even a new, fresh and modern kitchen will make you feel like you are living in a new home, so get in touch with the experts now, and see just how easy it is to remodel your home to your advantage.
Now that you and the kids are ready to add a four-legged creature to your family, it’s time to think about breeds. Between chihuahuas, hounds, and poodles, there are a lot of options, but no breed matches the Labrador Retriever. As the most popular dog in the US, they’re a common addition to homes all over the country. This kind, smart, and lovable breed hits all the buttons when it comes to your fur baby. Here are just five reasons why your family should adopt a Lab.
They’re great with kids and other dogs
With small children in the house, you can’t afford to take in a volatile breed. A Lab is known for being patient, gentle, and kind, making it perfect for those families with children or other pets in the home. They’re a fun-loving breed that clearly sees family members as part of their pack, and they’ll do whatever it takes to protect those they consider theirs. They also know how to shake loose, often turning a little silly when they’re having fun. They’re a great addition to playtime, often matching your kids’ enthusiasm.
They’re easily groomed
Your kids are focused on how the dog will join them on adventures. Your priorities lie elsewhere: namely how much mess they’ll add to the household. Few breeds can claim they don’t shed, so don’t let anyone dupe you by claiming Labs won’t leave behind some fur. They will. Luckily, they only tend to lose a lot of their short double coat during the summer months — hopefully, a time they spend outdoors with your kids. Since they have short hair, they don’t require a lot of grooming like other breeds. A simple bath when they’re feeling grimy is as complicated as it gets. Regular brushing will also limit the mess.
They’re easily trained
Though not as clever as a herding breed, Labs aren’t dumb by any means. The Labrador is one of the most popular breeds acting as service dogs, amounting to roughly 70 percent of all dog guides in America. They can be quite clever when given the time and attention they need to learn. You can enroll them in training camps by checking out your local pet store. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, you can check out online guides or head to your local library for dog training books.
With so many reasons why you should add a Lab to your growing family, it’s easy to jump right in and adopt your very first pet. But before you surprise everyone with a furry family member, you need to think about the practical side of having a pet.
Make a budget
After paying for Fido’s adoption fees, all the other pet accoutrements don’t seem too expensive. But don’t underestimate how quickly food, toys, and grooming products add up. Before you know it, your newest member of the family can be the costliest one. Making a budget is a great way to realize how much you can afford to spoiling your furry friend. Sit down with a pen and paper to tally your income and compare it to your expenses. This exercise lets you know how much leftover cash you have to spend.
Start an emergency fund
Though Labs are considered a healthy breed with few medical concerns, they will have to go to the vet every once in awhile. Knowing this, you should put away a small amount of cash each week into a dedicated emergency fund for your dog. Something as small as $10 each week is a great way to start this fund. It will take a while to grow, but even the most modest contributions will eventually mature into something that can help pay for a round of antibiotics or a necessary blood panel. If Fido ends up needing care early on in his time with your family, you can use loans to your benefit and supplement your emergency fund that way. When you look for these cash loans online, you can get the cash you need in as little as one business day, making it an ideal form of assistance when your vet bill needs immediate payment.
Take a moment to consider what you need to do to provide the best care for your pet. When your family can meet all your dog’s needs, Fido can start meeting yours. Add a happy Labrador Retriever to the home and welcome a loyal, fun-loving four-legged friend to the family. They’re the perfect breed for young families.
Just because you’ve become parents, doesn’t mean your adventurous streak has diminished — do you find yourself reading your child a bedtime story about far-flung lands and the great outdoors, only to wish you could pack up your bags and leave as a family tomorrow?
A lot of parents would say that while your child is still toddling, that’s the best time to take them on the road; once they’re of the age to go to school, you’re limited to official vacation times, which can make traveling as a family more expensive. As such, you may be thinking about taking your toddler on a family adventure soon.
Why you should travel with your toddler
Little people benefit from travel in all the same ways that adults do; it’s great for their development to explore new places and take in new experiences, especially if you can expose them to cultures and languages they don’t encounter at home. Of course, it’s also advised to try and maintain some of their daily routine, especially if you’re trying to potty train or encourage a new behavior. Attempt to wake them at the same time every day, regardless of where you are on the road, and get them settled in bed at a reasonable time too.
What you’ll need to pack
You may be aghast to discover how much more luggage you’ll need when you’re packing for a toddler too — from toys to bath products and spare clothes, you’ll soon fill up the bags! If your little one is yet to be potty trained, make sure you’ve packed some swim diapers if you’re going anywhere with water. If you’re in the process of potty training, you’ll be relieved to learn there are lots of travel size models available, including fold-up and disposable potties. Check out a parent guide to see which one is best for you and your toddler.
Depending on your child’s temperament, you may decide that taking a road trip is preferential to flying with the family, as such you should look for an adventure that’s closer to your doorstep. If you do opt for a flight, check with your air carrier to see what their policy is on traveling with strollers. Either way, make sure you’ve packed a lot of patience — as well as toys and games to keep the little one entertained!
Do your research, and see what child-friendly activities will be available on your destination. Remember that toddlers will want to move around and be stimulated constantly, so if your ideal vacation involves a lot of relaxation you may need to make some sacrifices! If you’re seeking some peace and tranquility, manage your expectations and make sure you place your child’s favorite toy at the top of the ‘must pack’ list!
There’s no time like the present…
While your child is still too young for formal schooling, you’ve got the freedom to take longer trips, at a time in the year that works for you. So, as long as you plan ahead and pack your bags properly, there should be nothing stopping you traveling with your toddler.
Adopting is not only a great way to give a pet in need a second chance, it’s also the only way many families can get a new pet when they can’t afford to buy a pedigree puppy. While adopting a pet can be a great thing, it’s also a big commitment. You also have to understand that adopting a dog is not exactly like buying a dog and raising it and you’ll have to make some adjustments. Here are some of the things you’ll have to take into consideration before you adopt a pet.
If you’re going to adopt a pup, you have to know how big it’ll be once it grows to adulthood. Big dogs need more space, and this could be a recipe for disaster if you live in a small apartment or you don’t have sufficient yard space. If you have limited space, go for a smaller dog breed that does well in secluded areas, like a Basenji or a Bichon Frise.
Be Prepared to Commit
You also have to be prepared to make a commitment to this dog who, in many cases, may have been neglected in the past. They might be difficult at first, but you have to take the time to let them adapt to their new environment. This could be a great time to retrain them if they haven’t been trained properly or at all. Sites like ourpetspot.com can teach you several training techniques you can use on adopted dogs that will work fast on any type of dog.
Check if Your Neighborhood is Dog-Friendly
Not only does your house have to be dog-friendly, but your neighborhood as well. If you don’t live in a neighborhood with plenty of green space for your dog to exercise, you might end up with a very sad puppy on your hands. Make sure you also understand the laws in your area; certain breeds might not be allowed or there might be some important municipal laws that you should be aware of.
You should also check which types of dogs are in the neighborhood; you don’t want to have to go to war every time you go to the dog park. You should also make sure that you’re close to a vet clinic in case of emergency.
Make Sure You Pick a Dog that Fits Your Lifestyle
You should never pick a dog that can’t keep up with you or you can’t up with. If you have a low energy lifestyle, then you might have issues with your dog. He might grow restless, destructive or develop behavioral issues.
You might also get disappointed if the dog you pick doesn’t enjoy the great outdoors as much as you do if you were looking for a partner for your morning jogs. Make sure that you do your research and ask about the dog’s temperament before you pick one.
Adopting a dog is one of the best gifts you can make to a pet in need. But it’s also a huge responsibility, so make sure that you know exactly what you’re signing up for before you make a decision.
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 pro 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.