Tag Archives: activities

Productive & Rewarding Activities To Do As A Family

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Productive & Rewarding Activities To Do As A Family

As a parent, you’ll want to do all you can to make your child’s (or children’s) quality of life the best it can be. This means you’ll have to put in work in various areas. Educating them is obviously high on the list of priorities. Keeping them healthy mentally, physically, and socially is also important, of course. You also must make sure that their minds are being stimulated every single day in a positive sense, too. Part of being a parent is helping your child to view life in an optimistic and positive light. There is very little point to life if we’re not enjoying every single day!

Your job is to raise them properly and ensure that they have every advantage going into their adulthood when they’re entirely responsible for their own life. No matter how old your kids are, they are never too old to do things together as a family. Here are some activities that you can do with your family that will be educational, productive, rewarding, and fun:

Family work outs and exercise:

Working out as a family is a great way of bonding as well as staying fit and healthy. It’s often tedious and grueling when you have to work out on your own – especially during the cold, dark, and gloomy days. Getting your gang to tag along with you can be so rewarding. Not only will you all enjoy it, but you’re teaching your entire family about the kinds of things they need to be doing in order to feel better mentally and physically. They could also pick up all kinds of sporting hobbies – which is, of course, an added bonus.

Extra curricular schooling:

Some kids may not like the idea of learning things when they’re away from school. Others, however, may find something they genuinely love and they may want to delve into it even further. The practice of learning from home has become a lot more popular due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it has to stop once life gets back on track again. One thing’s for certain; you’ll have a much smarter child on your hands than if you don’t bother with it!

Work on the house:

Nobody’s expecting you to behave like professional remodeling companies, of course. Even though that would be AMAZING if you could replicate that stuff! Doing some DIY and conjuring up little projects would be fun a place to start. You’ll get productive tasks done while teaching the kids (and yourself) all kinds of new, useful skills.

Travel to new places regularly:

Doing the same kinds of things over and over again, even if you find them quite entertaining, will end up being boring. You won’t stimulate your brain anywhere near as much as perhaps you should. Visiting new areas of the world definitely would. Even new areas in your home country need exploring! You’ll learn so much and your confidence would grow a lot. Plus, there are plenty of awesome memories to be made when traveling with your family!

Enjoy quality time all together with the ideas above for an even stronger family unit in the future.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Three Hobbies To Take Up In 2021

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Three Hobbies To Take Up In 2021

The year is slowly coming to an end, bringing with it a time for reflection and looking to the new year. If you are starting to think about some new hobbies to take up, there is no better time to do so. It could be that you have always wanted to learn to dive or that there is a budding artist in you just waiting to get out. No matter what it is, there are a plethora of new skills out there just waiting to be discovered. Have a think about what you want to do and then consider how you are going to do it. Is it a course that you can do online? Or do you have to travel to do it? Will you need any equipment like a camera? How much will it cost? These are all important things to consider. Here are three new habits that you can take up in 2021:

Horse riding:

Horse riding is a great hobby to take up. It has a whole host of benefits as well as being a ton of fun too! By riding a horse, you will soon find that your posture has improved and that your coordination and balance has got better. It is also a brilliant way to get close to the beautiful animals, and you can help out with everything from grooming them to training them if you wish. Once you have been riding for a while, you could take your horse riding up a level and enter competitions or showjumping. You can teach your horse to jump over hay bales and other obstacles and compete against others.

Photography:

When it comes to learning a new skill, photography is an exciting choice. Not only will you learn something new, but you can also get some photos printed out that you can put up on the wall. It is a great way to remember good times and memories, as well as get images of people and places that you love. There is always something new to experiment with in photography and you have the possibility of turning your hobby into a career.

Crocheting:

Crocheting is a valuable skill to have, and it is relatively easy to learn and cheap to do. Once you have bought the wool and needles, you have the tools to create a whole host of beautiful crochet items to wear and for your home. Whether you decide to make a blanket, cardigan, or a scarf, the options are endless. One of the best things about crocheting is that it can be done anywhere at any time, and you will soon find the number of items you can create getting bigger and bigger.

These are just a few ideas of hobbies to take up in 2021 that are sure to pique your interest. No matter if you start it and love it or do it for a few weeks and realize it’s not quite for you, the most important thing is that you have taken on a challenge, pushed yourself out of your comfort zone, and tried something new. Don’t be afraid to try something else if your first option doesn’t work out!

Featured Image By: Alexander Dummer from Pexels

At Home Concerts Pt. 2

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At Home Concerts Pt. 2

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl” job is as an independent provider for adults with special needs. Pre-COVID, community integration was my specialty and I was always finding exciting activities and events for my clients to participate in that they might not have had access to before.

One of my favorite haunts “back in the day” with a client who is a music lover was a vinyl record club at the library where a group of our now good friends would sit around, eat pizza, listen to music, and talk about anything and everything. It was such fun and we both miss it a lot so, naturally, at home concerts had to happen when record club was no longer an option.

At home concerts are one of my favorite activities to do with clients now because it’s fun, safe, and I love singing and dancing with my pals! If you remember my original At Home Concerts post, you will know I taught one of my friends how to use YouTube and we are still going strong on watching his favorite golden oldies artists perform.

My other client has a much different taste in music, though. He loves rap! And so do I so at home concerts with him are an absolute trip. In fact, he was the one who introduced me to Cardi B and she’s one of my faves now! Every week we alternate who is going to pick the album and we spend the entire time dancing on opposite ends of the room, laughing, and talking about everything from the important to the downright silly.

Pre-COVID, at home concerts were the last thing on my mind when I could take my clients to all kinds of wonderful events where live music was played. Post-COVID, I find at home concerts to be an inspired idea and it has become my new favorite part about my job.

Exploring different genres of music, hearing songs I’ve never listened to before, and seeing my clients have fun is a high point of my day when we feel like listening to some tunes. We all consider our at home concerts to be an exciting event and it could be for you and your friends/family too!

Dress as your favorite artists, celebrate a different theme or genre, or even learn the different dances of the times so you can better groove to the music. An at home concert can turn a blah day into something really awesome – all it takes is a little creativity. 🙂

What are some of your favorite at home activities? Do you have any suggestions for what my clients and I should listen to next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Up To?

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What Have I Been Up To?

Howdy! I will always be the first to say how much I miss pre-COVID life. I miss going on dates with Johnny, seeing all of our friends, and not worrying my head off every time I’m in public. And, as someone who works with very high risk families, nonessential outings just seem unimportant to me. So what in the heck have I been up to, then, if I don’t do much of anything in public any more? A whole lot of the following:

Reading:

I love, love, love to read and always have so ample at home time has meant finishing beaucoup books. I try to read at least two chapters or thirty or so pages depending on the book daily. Right now, I am finishing up the prequel to The Hunger Games called The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes and it is excellent! I have such a hankering now to go back and read the entire series and watch all of the movies, of course. 😀

The Sleeping Nymph by Ilaria Tuti is what’s on deck after my Hunger Games book. I am also always open to suggestions of your favorite books so be sure to let me know in the comments!

Duolingo:

Like reading, I try to practice all five of the languages I’m learning daily on Duolingo. I am currently on a twenty day streak of studying French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech and that is huge for me. The last time I had a streak that long was when I was recovering for a month from my oral surgery gone wrong.

I am very motivated to keep that streak going and I am so excited for Johnny to get me Duolingo Plus for Christmas so I no longer have to worry about having enough hearts to complete each practice session. I also plan on adding Swedish, Latin, or Greek into the mix next!

Video Chats:

My ultimate BFF, Lea, and I still see each other about once a month to have a social distanced drink at either one of our homesteads. Other than that, I do a lot of FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom to “see” all of the rest of my pals in my friend group. I love setting aside an hour block or so on the weekend to catch up with friends both near and far and it definitely helps keep me sane to chat even if it isn’t face to face.

Video Games:

Johnny and I are both in love with our Nintendo Switch and when I have some free time, I enjoy playing Animal Crossing. It is so relaxing and fun and I am always excited when the game updates so that you can catch new fish and bugs and participate in different activities like growing pumpkins or foraging mushrooms. I cannot wait to see what our island looks like for Christmas!

I also just beat Paper Mario: The Origami King last week and it was an absolute blast. Johnny got it for me for our one year anniversary and it felt so good to finally beat it. The game was insanely entertaining, visually beautiful, and it was challenging without ever being too too hard. I plan on buying a new Mario game for the Switch soon so if anyone has any favorites, please let me know. 🙂

Online Shopping:

Finally, there is nothing like a little bit of online shopping to help perk me up. I have so enjoyed all of my early Christmas shopping and I am very pleased to say that I am almost done buying for everyone on my gift list. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t pick out a little something something for myself too – especially since I haven’t gone shopping in person since February.

I love ordering small pick me ups like face masks to pamper myself with and, when I really feel like splurging, I never say no to a new pair of shoes!

Are the activities I listed above the most exciting? Not by a long shot. But I value my safety and those around me much more than needing to be out and about right now. So, in the end, it’s not all that bad. ❤

What are your favorite at home activities? What do you miss the most from pre-COVID times? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

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Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Hello!! Normally, the holiday season is an uber exciting time to get together with the people you love most and celebrate. However, with COVID-19 still on the up and up, these next few holidays might feel more daunting than anything. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be different this year but different doesn’t mean bad so try getting more into the holiday spirit with these ideas:

Host A Food Drive:

It’s nice to remember how fortunate we are during the holiday season but it’s even better to think about those who have less than you. So, how about hosting a food drive with your friend group or family? Choose some of your local food banks or homeless shelters to help support and see how big your donation haul can get. Offer a small reward to the person who collected the most goods and turn a collection drive into a yearly tradition.

Mystery Gifts:

Due to COVID, it is much easier and safer to online shop for holiday gifts instead of going into the store. A fun way to recognize this would be to send mystery gifts to your friends or family. No names, no cards – just a Zoom meeting after all of the gifts are received to see if anyone can guess who sent them theirs. Set your own rules like a spending limit or if hints can be given and see how well all of you know each other by sending off surprise gifts!

Arts & Crafts:

Having an abundance of time at home is perfect for trying your hand at some holiday themed crafts. Whether that be creating hand print turkeys with your little ones or having a boozy Christmas ornament decorating sesh with the girls, a craft night is a perfect way to get together and try something new. Have a Zoom meeting all together or social distance appropriately and, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite hobby.

Countdown Memories:

Sadly, a lot of families will not be able to get together this holiday season and that sucks – for lack of a better word. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in one of the most loved holiday activities – reminiscing on holidays of past. Create a slideshow or presentation of your top holiday memories complete with pictures, videos, or goofy memes to help better describe your favorite times. Send them off to those you hold dear and enjoy hearing about everyone else’s most treasured holiday memories.

Sponsor A Family:

The holiday season should, ideally, be a magical time for everyone but, unfortunately, that is not the case. If there is a family in your community that you know is struggling, lend a helping hand. Leave a surprise donation of toys, gift cards, food, and anything else that you think they would need to better enjoy their day. You might be able to make it the best holiday yet for someone who needs it the most.

How do you get into the holiday spirit? What are some of your favorite holiday memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Women’s Golf, Is It Time To Increase Its Popularity?

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Women’s Golf, Is It Time To Increase Its Popularity?

Golf club managers have a lot of questions about Millennials. However, we must not forget that there are still too few women in the field. According to our statistics, approximately 75% of the millions of golfers who use our software are male. This proportion is enormous! If women’s attendance equaled men’s, our bookings could increase by 47%. Golf is not a sport physically inaccessible to women so why are so few playing? Rather, the problem lies in the culture of the golf community itself and within the media. Changing your club culture is no easy task, but there are several steps you can take to gain the interest of women:

Organize camps and lessons for young women:

The earlier and the younger the players start playing, the better. Learning is through teaching and instruction. Setting up training camps for young women is the perfect way to get more girls to play golf, besides giving parents a break during summer vacation. During camp planning, take the time to find inspiring leaders. It is more motivating and interesting for young girls to refer to a female model. Your young golfers could be marked for life by the teaching of a strong and talented woman. If you have an interest in golf from a young age, then this hobby should certainly be nurtured.

Host an event to celebrate Women’s Golf Day:

If you didn’t know, Women’s Golf Day is an internationally successful initiative celebrating current and future golfers. The event is repeated every year in June. Normally, this celebration lasts about four hours and is divided into two: two hours are spent on golf and two more on networking. The first half can consist of playing a nine-hole game, taking lessons, doing practice sessions, showing new product demos, or just practicing on the driving range. After golf, participants are encouraged to socialize over a drink or a meal. In some cases, golf clubs invite speakers and promote business networking.

Golf clubs that have organized an event to celebrate Women’s Golf Day have said they have witnessed an increase in their female clientele. Some participants continued with the lessons, and others even bought an annual membership! There is certainly a shift in the sports industry when publicity is used to its advantage. The media are responsible for the success of many marketing campaigns, and with sports becoming a more intrinsic part of our lives, for fitness and pleasure, it is certainly important to look out online for all the newest news and information relating to women in the industry. It’s a great way to promote women’s sports proactively.

Get Fashionable:

Sports clothing has become much more fashionable recently. We appreciate the comfort and the style of sportswear, and it has been incorporated into our everyday life. When women play golf, there is no reason to say that they can’t look dazzling in their apparel. Ladies golf clothing is now better than ever. Golf fashion is timeless, elegant, and a real must-have on the golf course.

Hit the green with more girl power than ever with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

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There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

You know… I think the best ships are Auntships and yes I definitely made that up on the spot, lol. This past weekend, I had the absolute joy of watching my sweet niece Miss Valerie Jane. Val Gal is almost twenty months old and she is my sister, Kristen, and brother in law, Ramon’s, little girl. Valerie is honest to god my best friend and my life has been so much happier since she was born.

Despite having Blue’s Clues on in the background for the entire evening, Val and I had the best time playing, snacking, and enjoying a pajama party while her mom and dad were at work. Between her French lessons from her auntie, reading books, putting puzzles together, working on her flash cards, and cooking in her pretend kitchen we had a jam packed Saturday night!

I love being able to see Val’s happy and silly personality continue to develop every time I see her. I swear, she is always giggling, belly laughing, and on the move and I don’t know how her parents keep up with her. Especially considering that Kristen and Ramon have five pets, as well. Three dogs named Tydus, Winston, and Platinum and two cats called Mary and Gloria (All rescued). 🙂

I know I’m biased because Val is my niece but I am just so proud of her, Kristen, and Ramon because she’s legit the best kid on the planet. In fact, I tend to not like children that much to begin with but I wish I could see Valerie every day.

Being able to go to chez Kristen and Ramon’s for an evening and do nothing but make Val laugh hysterically from the “Where’s Val? I can’t find her anywhere” game was a high point of this entire year, lol. I was so tired after caring for a constantly on the move kiddo but all I have to do is think about our “auntie and me” time together and it never ceases to put a smile on my face.

Being an auntie to lil Valerie Jane is one of the best gifts I’ve ever had and I really do think the best ships are Auntships. ❤

Are you a proud aunt or uncle? Which TV shows are the kiddos in your life obsessed with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Sure Your Children Get The Best Education

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Making Sure Your Children Get The Best Education

The responsibilities you take on when you become a parent seems almost endless, and it can often be hard to keep up with their various needs and demands. One area which you may believe needs little intervention is their education, as many parents feel relief dropping their child off at school, knowing they’re in ‘good hands’. This isn’t always the case, and your child should not have to struggle through their education all alone with nowhere to turn for support or guidance besides their teachers, who are commonly too busy to help.

Ensuring your child can get the best education needn’t be difficult, as there are a few key areas in which you can focus your efforts to encourage them to thrive. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best top tips and tricks that you can make the most of today to help your children thrive:

Make Things Fun:

One big issue that mainstream education can’t seem to overcome is the fact that learning must be fun. Children will never develop an interest in the topic that they are being taught unless they are somehow inspired by the process, as their imagination is at its peak during early school age and this should be taken into consideration. Turning learning into a game is such a great way to motivate your little ones to get more involved with schoolwork. Getting crafty is also a super immersive tool as well as just being a blast!

Create a kind of reward board for school homework and extracurricular activities that can fill up with gold stars as your children progress, as this is a great fun way to keep them interested and motivated. Rather than simply sitting around the table to complete homework on a sheet of paper, incorporate other materials into the mix which can help them to visualize – this is especially good for mathematics, as things like playtime building blocks can be a great representation for counting and other simple maths.

Explore Alternative Methods:

Many education facilities simply don’t provide their students with enough teachers and resources to inspire them to truly thrive, so it’s a good idea to explore a few alternative or additional methods that might be of benefit. There are many extracurricular activities that your child can explore, from exciting STEM clubs that take part in cool experiments to platforms which offer online resources that can be utilized by you at home! Alternative home schooling is constantly growing in popularity, and this added interest is allowing for continued investment into fun opportunities that your children can make the most of.

Help your children continue to blossom in their education with the tips above. You can maintain ultimate peace of mind that they are receiving all of the help they need and you will bond as you play a bigger role in their school experience.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Ballooning Around

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Ballooning Around

Hello! As of right now, there has been a sharp increase of COVID cases in Ohio. Myself and Johnny, both of our families, and all of my clients are hunkered down more than ever and the feeling of having “nothing to do” is particularly strong. As an independent provider for people with special needs, I am constantly trying to figure out ways to keep my clients entertained from the comfort of their home. This past month, I learned that something has simple as a balloon can be a whole lot of fun.

My most senior (and high risk) client’s brother celebrated a birthday in October, so we spent a lot of time making decorations and discussing birthdays of years’ past. The piece de resistance, however, was definitely when I blew up a ton of balloons the day before and the morning of the big day. My client loved selecting which color balloons he wanted and he wrote his brother’s name on every single one.

Once we had plenty of balloons ready, I asked my client if he wanted to hit it back and forth together and he was all for it. In fact, so much so that we have played “Balloon Bounce” pretty much every day that I’ve seen him since. This has been my “sneaky” way of incorporating a more, for lack of a better words, “active” activity into my client’s routine and he has so much fun that it doesn’t even feel like a little work out.

We have dubbed ourselves the Balloon Bounce International League and we have nicknames too! While we’re hitting the balloon, we always play our favorites tunes and it brings my client back to playing volleyball in the Special Olympics. My only rule? Placing items that could get hit throughout his room elsewhere so nothing breaks!

Balloon Bounce is one of the most simple past times I think I have ever come up with and it really is a blast. All it takes it a little creativity and imagination and even the smallest activities can become a new daily favorite. Hey, I’ll take it!

How do you get creative with activities at home? How did you celebrate any recent birthdays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Deeana Creates From Pexels

Spooky (And Safe!) Family Fun

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Spooky (And Safe!) Family Fun

Hello! Halloween is right around the corner and, unfortunately, it’s going to be very different than in 2019. No trick or treat for my niece, no big parties, no Halloween concerts with Johnny – just lots of scary movies and fond memories of when COVID didn’t exist. If you’re a huge fan of Halloween like me and Johnny, this might have you feeling down and out about the lack of activity going on. So, why not give these spooky and safe ideas a try?

Trunk Or Treat:

In my neck of the woods, they are doing a trunk or treat program for the little ones getting in the Halloween spirit. This involves picking up a treat bag at ten different, driveable locations and, afterwards, your name will be put in a drawing for more goodies. My family plans on piling up in Johnny’s mini van so we can all enjoy seeing our little niece dressed up in her Halloween’s best… And all from the comfort of our car! Nice. 😀

Shudder Screening:

Johnny and I have been watching nothing but scary movies this entire month and we have the streaming service, Shudder, to thank for that. In fact, we’ve had so much success that we plan on keeping the service beyond our free month long trial. From exclusive content just for Shudder, scary shows, movies, and the fact that they are constantly adding more programming I can’t believe we haven’t gotten this service sooner! The first show I recommend? Creepshow! It. Was. AWESOME.

Costume Contests:

If you’re used to having a yearly Halloween party with your friend group, how about hopping on Zoom to have a little reunion? Create costumes from what you already have at home and award a prize to the best look. Maybe that will be Cash app-ing some moolah or ordering a pizza for the top winner? Don’t forget “raspberry” prizes for the worst costume!

Spooky Scavenger Hunt:

A super fun way to celebrate Halloween night is with a spooky scavenger hunt. Limit yourselves just in your home and backyard and, once it gets dark, let the games begin. Fun for people of all ages, use clues and hints to help direct the participants to the items being collected. Mini pumpkins or ingredients to a “potion” perhaps? Once the hunt is complete, celebrate with candy, caramel apples, hot cider, and a movie.

Jack-O-Lantern Contest:

Jack-O-Lantern contests are a great way to get the whole neighborhood involved in some Halloween fun. Have everyone vote for the best pumpkins on your block and see who comes out on top. You can also have contests for best decorated house, cutest pet costumes – you name it! Then, everyone in your area can get in on the Halloween spirit, too. 🙂

How are you safely celebrating Halloween this year? What did you dress up as last year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah