Tag Archives: kids

Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

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Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home so why not get better acquainted with it during your next family night as opposed to the usual movies or games. Kitchens are meant to be used and enjoyed and creating a meal with your family gives you the opportunity to work as a team in a different activity while still spending quality time together. Who knows, you might just have a secret chef in your home! Try the following during your next family night for some good food and good fun:

Agree On A Menu:

If you are going to prepare an entire dinner with your family, then it is best to agree on a menu beforehand so you can pick up all of the necessary ingredients and save you from any surprise trips to the store. Is there going to be a cuisine style that should be adhered to? Is each person going to make their own dish or will tasks be delegated? Will there be enough options for people with dietary needs? All of this should come into consideration while preparing the menu to ensure that everything goes smoothly while cooking your meal.

Don’t forget to read your recipes carefully for instructions that you must complete beforehand or a crazy long cooking time so you can plan accordingly. It also doesn’t hurt to assign stations for everyone to work in so no one gets their toes stepped on and remember to tend to any fridge repairs that need done so all of your leftovers can keep!

Baking & Decorating:

If you’d rather move right onto dessert than try your hand at cooking a whole meal as a family, then that’s okay too! Baking and decorating desserts is fun for children and adults alike. You could even incorporate a competition element to the evening by offering a small prize for the best tasting (or decorated) dessert. Classic desserts are sure to please but there are plenty of creative updates on old favorites that you can try like cake pops and hot chocolate bombs. Making your own chocolate is also a great activity for those with a sweet tooth. 😀

Smoothies:

Going out for a hike with the family in the afternoon and returning home to make some smoothies seems like the perfect way to spend a spring day. Encourage everyone to make their own concoctions with a wide assortment of fruits and low fat yogurts to pick from. Smoothies are also great for sneaking in some veggies like spinach, kale, or carrots.

Slime & Play Dough:

Perhaps, you’d rather use your family time in the kitchen to whip up a few batches of slime or play dough together. If so, there are countless recipes online that you can follow for some colorful, creative fun made with ingredients in your own house. Your kids are sure to have a blast!

Retire your living room for family night and head to the kitchen instead for a more hands on, interactive evening. Creating in the kitchen as a family will encourage team work and help introduce children to different concepts in math like fractions and units of measurement. It’s just as educational as it is wholesome fun.

What Are Some Of The Most Unusual Pets?

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What Are Some Of The Most Unusual Pets?

If you want to bring a pet into your family, but are not interested in a cat or dog, then you might want to consider one of the more unusual animals. There are lots of different unusual species of animals that you can actually keep as a pet. Below, we will take a look at some of the different options to give you some inspiration for your new family pet:

Bearded dragon:

Yes, that is correct; you can own your very own bearded dragon. This is an animal that certainly lives up to its name, as it is very much like a dragon. It has an armor of reptilian scales, which are shiny. It also has spikes under the chin, which look like a beard, hence the name. The spikes underneath the chin will puff depending on the mood of the bearded dragon. You can find more @ beardeddragonguidance if you are interested in this pet and want to know the care requirements.

Tarantula:

A lot of people do not like the sound of owning a spider as a pet. In fact, for a lot of people, they can’t think of anything worse. However, giant spiders definitely can be pets, and they can make good ones. You do need to make sure that you consider your choice of spider species with care and consideration, though. Curly hair tarantulas and Mexican red knee tarantulas are excellent pets. They live on insects and they are certainly not advisable pets for anyone who is a bit squeamish.

Sugar gliders:

Another weird yet wonderful pet that you may want to consider is a sugar glider. Sugar gliders are also known as pocket pets. They are very small creatures that will add a lot of excitement and joy to your life. They can be taught a number of different tricks, they are very loyal, and they are extremely playful as well. A sugar glider is one of the most exotic pets out there today, and they are great for families, couples, and single people alike. One thing you do need to be mindful of, though, is that they are nocturnal by nature, which means they enjoy staying up during the night.

Pygmy goat:

If you have a large outdoor property, a pygmy goat could be a great choice. These pets are very active and fun. However, they are also high maintenance, so you will need to make sure that you are able to give the goat the care and attention they need. Although they may be very small in size, they can also be incredibly noisy. Loneliness is one thing that pygmy goats can’t stand, so if you are someone who is not home a lot, this probably is not going to be the pet for you. Make sure you have a lot of leaves, grass hay, and space if you’re going to purchase this type of goat.

Hedgehog:

Although they may have prickly spines on their back, hedgehogs are very friendly. They can also become very affectionate with their owners, which makes them the perfect pet if you’re looking for a loving animal that is a bit different from the norm. It gets better too, as these pets are very low maintenance and they are calm. Nevertheless, do keep in mind that when they are small, they are going to require plenty of attention. You will need to keep up this attention as they get older as well, although they won’t be as needy. There are a few other things that you will need to keep in mind. For example, a hedgehog is a nocturnal animal, and so this pet is only going to be suitable if you are a night owl. Another thing that you will need to consider is the legislation in your local area. You need to make sure that it is legal for you to keep a hedgehog as a pet.

There are lots of different unusual pets that people can own. We hope that this has helped to give you some ideas for the sort of pets that could be right for you. Of course, irrespective of the sort of pet you decide to bring into your family, it is important to consider this with care. You need to make sure that you are able to provide the pet with the love and care that is required so they can lead a happy and healthy life.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Hosting A Fun Family Game Night

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Hosting A Fun Family Game Night

Many of us have exhausted a range of activities in the midst of societal lock down. We’ve baked, we’ve cooked, we’ve tried foreign cuisine, we’ve read, we’ve relaxed. So, it’s understandable if you’re feeling restless or irritable once your options for activities have been depleted. Not being able to ‘get out’ and enjoy the warm weather (by virtue of it being winter) also limits us a little more. You shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling irritable, as a lot of people are – myself included!

But what’s best for when you’re feeling irritable? To us, playing games and having fun with our family members can really help. Games help us act creatively, to compete in safe settings, and moreover, to have fun and a laugh. Hosting a fun game night with the family can be lovely then, and perhaps a weekly tradition.

But what sort of game nights could you have with the family? Your board game collection is a great place to start or you could order a couple of games online for something totally different. Why not also consider some of the following options?

Word & Quiz Games:

It can be fun to test your general knowledge or show off your Words With Friends skills with a word game. My personal favorite word game is Scrabble and using a descramble words tool can help you buff up before the games begin. Memory games, general trivia, and even games like timed ‘random Wikipedia journeys’ can be a great idea. These games will help you get a brain workout by the end of them! And who’s to say they aren’t competitive?

Video Game Parties:

If you have any video games consoles and games that offer cooperative play, you will be in for a blast. Four play Mario Party can be phenomenal, for instance, helping you enjoy a range of mini games across a players board, building stars, and dunking on others as you go. You’re sure to have fun with Mariokart, Keep Talking, And Nobody Explodes to show you what friendly competition is all about. We would also recommend Human Fall Flat and Fall Guys if you’re looking for something comical and cartoonish.

A Homespun Talent Show:

It can also be a wonderful idea to enjoy a homespun talent show, one that helps you feel connected, appreciated, and able to express your silliest joys. Perhaps you and your partner can do a magic show for the children, while they can lip sync and play air guitar to their favorite song. It sounds very silly, and it is! The goal is for everyone to be grinning from ear to ear. You can all judge and score each act and work up to the semi finals and finals over the course of a weekend. It might be a bit of work, but the outcome will be well worth it!

With this advice, we hope you can enjoy a fun game night with the family – and no doubt end up having a ball. You will feel much better afterwards too! 🙂

Featured Image By: Pexels

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

4 Steps To More Success: Helping Your Children Learn From Home

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4 Steps To More Success: Helping Your Children Learn From Home

As a parent, tutoring is automatically an additional responsibility once your kids are school age. Whether you are helping with homework or teaching them how to do basic research, you are engaging in some form of tutoring. With the COVID-19 pandemic still a real threat, many parents have taken on tutoring their kids full-time to keep up with the schoolwork they may be missing. Other parents have decided to co-tutor with teachers online using the various available technologies. This is the best time for you to step up your game as a tutor so keep on reading for our tips to help you improve:

Incorporate technology:

Technology is driving education, and you must find ways to incorporate it into your teaching. Students of all ages now have access to at least a mobile phone or a laptop – even if it belongs to their parents. There are tons of apps out there that can help you to deliver any conceivable topic from history, science, math, and English tutoring, the choice is yours. You can use these apps for your professional development or you may be able to introduce these apps to your kids as a fun way to learn and explore the subject area.

Be adaptable:

No two students are the same, so you must be adaptable and quick to realize your child’s learning style. Find a method that he or she identifies with and use that to teach them to increase their participation. Some students prefer to know the subject matter and prepare before the actual class. Others learn best when the teaching is interlaced with some activities that improve their retention. Another thing to improve upon is speaking in terms that will be understood and always encouraging questions when things aren’t clear.

Be patient:

Patience is key to understanding your child and finding ways to make learning easier and more fun for them. While some students are quick to understand certain concepts, others are not. Do not get flustered or impatient. Instead, take your time to explain and break down the idea so that they can grasp it. Other students have problems with retention, and this is quite common. If you do have a student that struggles with information retention, employ the use of memory retention techniques such as mind maps and acronyms, which can be helpful in such a situation.

Seek your child’s feedback:

If your child is struggling, ask for their feedback on what you can do to make things easier. It could be that he or she is not learning in a style that best suits them. Ask them how they feel about your teaching style or approach to a topic when you are helping with homework. You can also ask them how you can make the lessons more exciting or beneficial to them. This will help you improve your teaching methods while giving your kids the opportunity to voice their feelings and have a hands on experience with their education.

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Pixabay Image

2020 has brought parents directly into the classroom with at home learning. Help them be successful with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

4 Unusual Benefits Of Learning From Home For Kids

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4 Unusual Benefits Of Learning From Home For Kids

Earlier in the year, schools around the world closed their doors for many months. At the same time, teaching still moved forward and kids still learned. It was all done at home, and there’s every chance we’ll see this again in the future. Nobody really knows what will happen with COVID in the next few months/years, but you could also look ahead to the distant future. Who knows, learning from home might be the common thing in ten years!

Anyway, you might worry about kids not being in school, but there are actually a few benefits of learning from home like the following:

You get to monitor their work:

When your child is in school, you have to assume they’re paying attention in lessons. You put blind faith in the idea that they are working hard at all times. Realistically, this could be far from the truth and they might mess around a lot. But, if they learn from home, you can monitor their progress. You can check that they’re paying attention and being a good student. Effectively, you make sure they do the school work and actually learn while in class!

They develop better computer skills:

All schools will have a system in place where children can speak to teachers as they learn from home. Typically, this is some kind of cloud based teaching software. As such, your children spend a lot of time working on a computer and using different applications. In this day and age, that can be extremely beneficial. They develop better computer skills, setting them up for better job prospects. You pretty much need to be a computer expert if you want a job in the next decade or so. So, while face-to-face learning may be better in some aspects, studying via a computer doesn’t come without its strengths.

Much better school lunches:

Let’s be honest, school lunches are terrible. They might be good in some schools, but they generally reach a very low standard. By learning from home, your child will have access to the entire kitchen – and your cooking. Therefore, you can make them a much better and more nutritious school lunch. This will definitely help fuel them for the rest of the day.

Fewer distractions and more help:

Your child has fewer distractions when they’re learning from home. This is mainly because they have no classmates causing disruptions. As a consequence, they might be able to focus and get through their work a lot quicker. Plus, the other benefit of not being in a classroom is that they can get more help. If they struggle with something, they can ask you for assistance. There’s no need to wait for the teacher to help twenty other kids before eventually getting to them!

See, learning from home isn’t as bad as you might think. So, you shouldn’t worry if schools close again, and your child is back in this situation. Like everything in life, it’s all about finding the positives out of a negative situation. 

Featured Image By: Pexels

Barbie Dreams

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Barbie Dreams

Hello! I don’t know about all of you, but when I was little I love, love, LOVED to play with dolls. Any kind would do – Barbie, Polly Pocket, Bratz and whatever else I could dress up and create stories with. Dolls always helped stimulate my imaginative play and I couldn’t wait to take each and every doll out of my toy box and change their outfits, careers, names, and story lines.

While my sister and I were in Pittsburgh visiting our cousin at her amazing microblading studio, Kristen told me the platforms that I had on looked like Bratz doll shoes:

It was basically the best compliment ever and it brought me back to the hours on end that I would spend playing dolls in my youth. I absolutely think that my love of dolls helped stoke the coals of the burning passion I have for fashion today. I have also always loved to write and my ever changing plots for all of my dolls definitely helped with that, too.

It has been literal decades since I’ve played with dolls but, now that I have a little niece (Valerie), I cannot wait to instill the joys of story telling and dress up with her. I was adamant about buying Val her first baby doll for her first birthday and it makes me so happy when I see her snuggling up with her gift from me.

My late grandma had the most divine collection of Madame Alexander dolls – many of which I have today. I love having these special, beautifully costumed dolls that my grandma held so dear and I still admire them as if I was seeing them for the first time. I am so thankful for my mom and grandma for helping develop my love of dolls because it impacted my adult life so positively.

Here’s to looking forward to many hours of playing dolls with my niece as she continues to grow and to looking backward at the favorite toys of my youth that I will always love. ❤

What was your favorite toy growing up? How did your favorite activities in youth impact your adult life? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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

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