Category: Parenting

5 Amazing Activities to Keep Your Kids Entertained

Paint by Numbers for Kids

Keeping your kids entertained is not an easy task, especially with the limited movement we have had recently. There are however many ways to keep your children entertained while supporting their development, and these can take place at home.

If you’re fresh out of ideas, here are 5 ways in which you can keep your kids entertained at home while creating fun activities for the whole family!

1. Arts & Crafts

Arts and crafts are a fantastic way to keep your kids entertained while also developing essential skills. When children paint, it improves their dexterity as they are being mobile and using their muscles. Particularly in infants, development occurs both mentally and physically as the actions stimulate their brain.

Using painting by numbers techniques is fantastic for older children. The smaller sections require additional focus and dexterity, honing their fine motor skills. It is also a fantastic way to get them to unwind and remove themselves from technology, connecting with reality.

There is a large scope for painting with kids as the limitations of their work are that of their imagination. It’s important to encourage the use of different materials, textures, and tools to let creativity take over. Encouraging this level of creative freedom is essential when it comes to neurological development.

2. Sound & Music

Music is a sensory experience, much like taste, touch, and sight. If you have the willpower to endure the noise, music is a fantastic tool to support children’s development. It’s important to expose children to music for several reasons, all of which develop cognitive function and support learning.

For younger children, listening to music is significant in helping them distinguish sounds and noises. As they then listen to lyrics, they hear familiar sounds which they can distinguish into letters and words. The repetition of hearing sounds through speech, through music and books, will solidify their learning and understanding as they grow.

Music should be created, not just listened to. When your kids are older, it’s important to introduce them to instruments. These include a piano, drums, guitar, or even their own voice. Playing with instruments is a way to unleash creativity and you can support the children with making their music. You never know, this hobby may turn into a passion and you could have the next musical star on your hands!

3. Puzzles

There are many levels of puzzles, from basic to advanced. Toddlers and young children are often exposed to simplistic puzzles in the form of putting a few pieces back together. These toys are fantastic for several reasons, they teach children to recognize shapes, hone their concentration and cognitive skills, and give them a sense of satisfaction when they are complete.

Puzzles are a fantastic way to keep children entertained as they get older as well. With the range of puzzles available, you are sure to find one on a subject that interests and intrigues your kids. From Star Wars to Bratz, Harry Potter to Fortnite, it’s a fantastic way to entertain them in a simple way.

The best part is, you can incorporate incentives into the process of puzzle making, in the form of a reward for finishing. When your children become advanced, you can purchase increasingly intricate puzzles, to keep them continually entertained.

4. Create a TV Show

If your kids love watching TV, a great idea is to get them to create their TV show. If you have an old cardboard box lying around or a spare sheet to create a curtain, you’ve just made them a stage to showcase their creativity.

Acting and drama are classic ways to support children with communication skills, boost their confidence, and get them to think outside the box. If your children have been watching TV shows, the chances are that they are familiar with the concept of acting and will have an idea of what to say and how to say it. This is particularly fun if you have multiple children, as they can all get involved!

So where do you start? You may want to give them some prompts if this their first time coming up with an idea. Here are some questions:

  • What is your TV show called?
  • Where is it set?
  • Who is the main character?
  • Who are the other characters?
  • What would the characters wear?
  • What would the characters say?

There are of course so many more questions you could ask to get their mind going but these are a great start. Also, don’t be afraid to get involved! Having your children explain and give direction is a great way to support their communicative skills as they have to explain what they mean. Most children love the shift in power with them being able to tell you how it’s done!

5. Time Capsule

A great way to entertain your children is to introduce the idea of a time capsule. If your children aren’t sure what a time capsule is, this is a good starting point to get them to do some research. On the other hand, if they’ve learned about it at school, it’s a good way to support their understanding through mirroring the activities at home.

The premise of a time capsule is to give your future self a snapshot of life in the past. The idea is to include significant events and personal experiences from the present so that you can reflect on these in the future. The concept is a great way to get your kids thinking about the world around them and reflecting on what they think is important.

When you create the capsule with your children, some tips are:

  • Get the whole family involved
  • Include a newspaper from the day
  • Have each person write an explanation for what they have chosen
  • Choose a date in the future to open it and stick to it

Time capsules are a great way to not only entertain your kids but the whole family. It’s a fantastic way to see what everyone thinks about the present and there is time to reflect on what you think the future will look like.

Does your child love to write?  Are they interested in how websites work?  Check out our 21 Blog Post Ideas for Kids Creating Their First Blog/

9 Fun Trampoline Games That Benefits Your Kids

Trampoline Games for Kids

Keeping kids physically active for better growth and development is a continual challenge for parents. Luckily, there are a variety of options to occupy kids with activities that are also beneficial.  Among those options, trampolines are unique. And with fun trampoline games kids can be entertained for hours.

The benefits of trampoline games are great in number. But parents have to assure safety before allowing their kids to jump on a trampoline. In the following section, we will explore the necessities of trampolines along with the top game formats and safety procedures. Let’s get into it.

Benefits of fun trampoline games for kids

Trampoline games are great to entertain kids while ensuring numerous health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits before we list our 9 fun trampoline games.

Benefits Cardiovascular System

Just 10 minutes of jumping on the trampoline increases a child’s heart rate, resulting in muscle strength and cardiovascular improvement. That means your kids are not merely jumping, they are giving their heart a great workout with even thinking about it.

Improves Energy Levels

When kids are bouncing high in the air, they are carrying more oxygen with the bloodstream throughout the body. This extra oxygen powers up their overall energy levels and keeps them healthy.

Cheers the Minds

Generally, kids love bouncing. They get great fun from it. And while they are bouncing on the trampoline, oxygen flow increases. This increased oxygen assures the release of mood-enhancing endorphins.

Boosts Confidence

While jumping on a trampoline, kids try to reach higher and higher with each jump. They practice various tricks and moves on the jumping mat. All these activities enhance their confidence significantly.

Enhances Motor Skill & Co-ordination

With each jump, kids need to land perfectly to acquire the perfect bouncing effect. To assure this, the jumper needs to concentrate on the landing position and other things. And while doing this, some kids can dunk a basketball successfully. All these movements and mind exercises, contributes to improving their motor skills and co-ordinations.

Top Trampoline Games for Kids

Bubble Blow

Bubble blow is an interactive game. In this game, parents can accompany their kids or two players can go for it. Players will get into the trampoline. One of them will start blowing the bubbles while the other will try to touch or pop the bubbles as many as possible before the bubbles fall on the mat. The players can interchange their roles whenever they like.

Since kids will play with those bubbles you should allow only non-toxic elements for them. Once they are done playing, you can hose down the trampoline quickly.

Piggy in the Middle

This game is perfect for three players. One of them will remain in the middle of the trampoline mat while the other two will stay outside. The middle player is called Piggy. The outside players will throw balls to each other over the trampoline and the Piggy will keep bouncing and trying to catch the ball. The throwers will try their best to trick Piggy. Once Piggy catches the ball, the thrower of the losing ball will become the new Piggy.

Color and Shape

Nowadays various indoor trampolines come with a jumping mat that has various shapes. The shape can include many symbols like the fish, the stars, or simply the alphabet. You can instruct your kid to land on a specific symbol while he is jumping inside the trampoline. This activity is great for kids to improve their memory with synchronization skills.

Additionally, some indoor trampolines come with an interactive sound system. Each time your kids bounce on the trampoline the built-in sound system will inform the count of total bounce. This feature always inspires your kids to jump more and more.

Poison Ball

This game requires several players. Each player will remain outside except one and he will remain inside the trampoline. The outside players will throw balls on the trampoline to reach the insider player. And the inside player will try to avoid the balls while jumping on the trampoline. If the rolling balls touch the player, he will be eliminated and the next player will come inside.

The process continues until the winner is found. The player with the longest bounce time wins. Since the rolling ball eliminates the player, it is called a poison ball.

Crack the Egg, aka Popcorn

Crack the egg or Popcorn is one the most famous games. At least two players are to be there for this game. One will become the egg or popcorn and curl on the trampoline mat while holding the knees to the chest. The remaining player will jump on his knees or feet. He will try his best to make the egg let go of the knees and thus he will win. The players then can interchange their positions.

You can allow at most three players for this game at a time with supervision. And always try to get a trampoline with an enclosure for kids.

Bull and Matador

The best part of this game is all the players remain inside the trampoline. One player goes down on hands and knees and becomes the bull to try to tag the rest. The remaining players try to avoid the bull and can do anything except for jumping over the bull. Thus, they are called the matadors. Each time they successfully avoid the bull, they shout Olay! Once the bull tags someone, he or she becomes the next bull.

This format is one of the most competitive games. And it is always better to supervise kids while they are playing on the trampoline. Parents or adults can accompany kids in this game if it is played on a sturdy larger trampoline.

Basket Ball

Kids love to basket a ball while jumping on the trampoline. Nowadays, you can easily find a trampoline that comes with a basketball hoop and basketballs. Once you attach the hoop with the trampolines, kids can go for it. You can improvise the game by using an empty box or plastic bin on the ground to basket a ball instead of the hoop.

To make the whole game more challenging, you can allow multiple players one by one to score baskets. The highest scorer is the winner and you can gift the little winner as you wish.

Snake aka Jump Rope

This game is quite fun and interactive. Two players will hold a jump rope while sitting on the opposite sides of the trampoline. And the other players will jump back and forth over the snake or rope without touching it. With time, the rope holder will wave it harder and faster to challenge the jumpers. Even they can wave the rope up and down to make the game more competitive. The one with the highest score wins the game.

1-2-3 Sit

In this game, one instructor remains outside and others keep bouncing on the trampoline. After some time, the instructor will shout 1-2-3 and each jumper will try their best to land on the mat with a sitting position. If this happens perfectly, one or more players will fly high into the air. This bouncing up fact is very popular among kids and they love this game a lot.

Since multiple players will jump simultaneously, it is better to play this game on rectangular trampolines. For safety, you should never allow kids to play this game on a trampoline without an enclosure net.

Things to consider for kids’ safety

Trampoline injuries are quite common.Therefore, be sure to take safety measures before allowing kids to jump on the trampoline.

  • Get trampolines for kids according to their age. Preschool trampolines will differ from kids’ trampolines.
  • You should notice the overall structural quality of the trampoline. The frame and spring must be of good quality.
  • If are getting tramps for preschoolers, it is better to avoid the springs.
  • You always essential to buy trampolines that come with an enclosure system.
  • Check the galvanization quality of the frame and spring, if you are getting it for outdoor use.
  • Always try to supervise your kids or be close by when they are playing on the trampoline.

Once you assure those steps, your kids will remain safe. And then you can allow them to play the fun trampoline games they love most. You can improvise any game to any extent you like.

5 Creative Ways to Save For Your Children’s Future

Saving for Your Children's Future

Raising children can be expensive, and the costs add up even more as they grow older. Whether it be the rising cost of college, funding extracurricular activities, or paying for sentimental moments like prom, class trips, and more, it can be intimidating to think about paying for their future endeavors.

However, no matter what your financial situation is, it’s possible to strategically save up and plan ahead for your children. Here are five creative ways to start.

1. Use a 529 College Savings Plan

If your biggest concern about your children’s future is paying for college, you should consider opening up a 529 College Savings Plan. This is a smart decision to save for the cost of college as this account is designed specifically for higher education.

This plan is beneficial as it usually has low fees, and any gains and withdrawals are exempt from federal income tax as long as they’re spent on qualified educational expenses. Friends and family can also contribute to these accounts, which can help relieve pressure to save for your children’s college by yourself. Instead of having people buy your children toys or other items they might grow out of, it might be a better use of their money to contribute to this account for birthdays or holidays.

Another great feature of a 529 plan is that you can easily change the account’s beneficiaries, which is especially helpful if you have multiple children. This way, in case one child gets a full ride to college or decides not to attend college at all, you can dedicate the money toward someone else. If you’re unsure your children want to go to college, some of these accounts also allow you to use this money for private K-12 schools as well. Keep in mind that 529 plans function on a state level rather than a federal level, so some benefits may vary based on what state’s plan you choose.

2. Tap Into Your Home Equity

If you’re a homeowner, you can take advantage of your home equity to save for your children’s future. This is a resource some homeowners might not realize they can financially benefit from, and it can be a budget-friendly way to fund different goals or projects.

With this type of loan, you’re able to borrow against how much equity you have in your home, so it’s important to make sure you’ve paid off a decent amount on your house before you pursue this option. This loan is ideal for saving and paying for your children’s future as there are no restrictions on what you can use the money for—you can save for your children’s college tuition, save for a pricey class trip, or even support a new hobby they want to take up.

Additionally, you’ll receive the payment in one lump sum with fixed interest rates, so you don’t have to wait to start saving and planning ahead. Just make sure to adjust your budget to account for monthly payments as your home acts as collateral for this loan.

3. Open a Children’s Savings Account

Just because you’re the parent doesn’t mean you have to do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to saving. Encourage your children to also contribute money toward their futures by starting a children’s savings account.

Parents co-own the account, so this is a safe and effective way to promote financial wellness among your children early on and can help teach them to save their money rather than spend it. For instance, if your children earn money from a lemonade stand or other activities, motivate them to allot some of that money for their savings. You can also put a portion of their allowance or any monetary gifts in this account to help them save up quickly.

4. Start a Side Hustle

If your current budget doesn’t give you much room to save money for your children, starting a side hustle might be worth it for some extra cash.

Think about any hobbies you already enjoy doing and try to monetize them so your side hustle doesn’t feel like a burden. You could sell homemade art, crafts, or offer a service like home cleaning or dog walking. The options are endless, so choose something you’re passionate about.

Another popular side hustle idea is purchasing a rental property for passive income. This can give you a significant amount of money to save for your children’s future, and after your kids grow up, you can use the profit for other expenses or goals. If you really want to plan ahead, you can buy a home where your child is attending college and use this property as their college housing. The rent from their friends and roommates can cover your mortgage payment, and you can save money from campus housing.

Depending on your side hustle, you can also get your children involved to give them the opportunity to contribute to their future expenses. This can serve as a fun, bonding experience and can be a useful opportunity to teach them more about money and running a business.

5. Sell Unused Items

Children grow up faster than you realize, which also means they grow out of a lot of things you buy them. As their hobbies, interests, and needs change, try to capitalize on unused items rather than letting them go to waste.

Instead of donating or throwing these items away, try to sell them to make some extra money you can reinvest into your children’s future. For instance, if your kids have played baseball for years and now want to try lacrosse, sell their old equipment and use that money to buy the new materials they’ll need.

Reselling items has become popular and there are several online apps and websites created specifically for this. You might even find some gently used items you can buy for your kids at a discounted price. If online platforms aren’t for you, you can also try selling directly to consignment stores or even holding a garage sale.

Saving for your children’s future can seem daunting, but there are effective ways to plan ahead and afford their dreams. Seek creative ways to invest and save your money, and you’ll be financially prepared to face future expenses.

12 Outdoors Activities to Do With Your Kids

Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids

Encouraging your kids to venture outside and breathe in fresh air is super important for their mental development and emotional well being. Every child should enjoy frolicking in the great outdoors or taking part in a fun outdoor activity – especially if it’s a gorgeously sunny day.

However, getting them outdoors in the first place is easier said than done. Isolation at home has made us all far too comfortable staying indoors and turning to electronics or screens for entertainment. But enough is enough!

It’s time to plan some outdoor activities for your kids and find some fun and excitement in new creative ways. Whether it’s an outdoor activity in your own backyard or a special family outing, here’s 12 activity ideas you can try.

Outside the home…

1. Climb a treetop course

Climbing along a treetop adventure course like those you find at places like The Adventure Park is a fantastic form of outdoor exercise for children. What’s more, it’s an exciting day out for the entire family! With exhilarating zip lines and challenging rope climbs, a treetop adventure course is a perfect idea for a fun-packed day that gets the smiles beaming and adrenaline pumping.

2. Learn and play at the zoo

Visiting the local zoo is a staple family day out that all kids will enjoy. Discovering diverse species and learning about nature will spark their curiosity and help them learn about the all-important struggles of conservation and animal welfare. A lot of zoos hold special events too, so choose a date that offers fun opportunities for playtime! Pack a delicious picnic full of treats and goodies to enjoy at lunchtime too.

3. Seek thrills at an amusement park

Depending on the age and height of your child, an amusement park offers tonnes of family laughs and thrills to make a day truly unforgettable. Whether it’s a ride on a spooky ghost train, a splashdown on a log flume or a spin on a carousel, an amusement park has something to entertain everyone. Plus, roller coasters are an opportunity for us big kids to scream and play too.

4. Play in the sand at a beach

If you’re close to a beach and the sun is beaming, head to the shore for a spontaneous day of frolicking on the sand. Find the perfect spot and settle down for a day of relaxing in the sun. It’s also a great opportunity to teach beach safety to ensure it’s always a safe outing.  Remember the bucket and spade to build sandcastles and take a bathing suit for the kids to splash in the waves. There’s always room for a well-deserved ice cream too.

5. Clean the neighborhood

You might be surprised how enthusiastic your child is for helping the community. So why not take them on a spirited walk through the neighborhood to clean up the area and pick up the garbage littering the streets? It’ll teach them about environmental concerns and develop their understanding of having community-minded morals.

6. Explore a historical area

The majority of towns and cities will have some form of history, so make the most of the local culture by exploring any historical sites, landmarks and monuments. You’re never too young to learn about important historical events and figures, so why not reverse time for the day and find appreciation for where we come from and how fortunate we are nowadays?

In the backyard…

7. Find treasure on a scavenger hunt

As an excitable youngster, a scavenger hunt was always one of the most thrilling activities to look forward to. It’s one of the many fun activities a family can do close to home. You can keep them entertained for hours! Best of all, your backyard is the perfect spot for hiding treasure and setting a trail for them to explore. Make it as hard or as easy as you like and choose any special prize for them to find at the end of their hunt.

8. Compete in a water gunfight

This is the ideal option for a beautifully sunny day that requires some cooling off. Get yourself to a local store and buy a selection of water guns for the ultimate afternoon of family fun. You can set up a few carnival-style games or simply start a competitive water gunfight. Just make sure windows and doors are closed as you’re likely to get soaked!

9. Try out a new sport

For an activity that gets the heart racing, try out a new sport in the backyard to see if any new interest is sparked. It’s always important for your child to find a hobby they love, so why not spend a free afternoon dabbling with a fun game of backyard soccer, basketball, or tennis? There’s nothing wrong with a spot of healthy family competition too!

10. Practice arts and crafts outdoors

Kids are creative and loves arts and crafts, it might be a nice idea to bring their art project outside. This is an even better idea if you don’t want any more unnecessary mess taking over the house. Whether it’s drawing, painting, or sculpting, you can set up an arts and crafts corner in the shade and let them get messy till their heart’s content. Plus, there’s nothing like the sights and sounds of the great outdoors to inspire creativity!

11. Set up an obstacle course

If visiting an outdoor adventure park isn’t an option for you, why not create your very own obstacle course in your backyard? Use a variety of items around the house and make a fun course for them to dip, dive, crawl, and jump their way through. You can even make it competitive by setting a timer and making it a family challenge to see who can complete the course in the fastest time.

12. Camp overnight in the backyard

To extend the fun through the night, camping in the backyard can be a wonderfully exciting activity for your kids. Pitch a tent and make it ultra-cozy with pillows and blankets for a snug night’s sleep. You can even build a campfire beforehand to roast some delicious homemade s’mores as the sun sets. Then as dusk settles, you can watch the stars in the night sky together with a steaming hot chocolate.