Five fun indoors activities guaranteed to keep the kids entertained

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We all know how much kids love being outside. When playing in the garden or heading to the park is not an option, some kids tend to get a little bit grumpy, feeling like they have just lost an entire day’s worth of fun and games. But luckily, a rainy day spent indoors doesn’t have to mean putting the fun on hold. If you need ideas on keeping  your kids entertained without leaving the house, check out these five indoors activities you can do with your kids, including an arts project and how to play marbles.

It’s story time

Do you remember listening to your parents and grandparents telling you stories before bed? For many, these stories were real childhood highlights, and your kids will probably feel the same. Story time doesn’t have to be reserved strictly for bedtime. On a rainy day, build a cosy fort with some pillows and a blanket and tell each other stories. Don’t worry if you’re not feeling creative – take a look at these story starters for elementary kids to get inspiration.

How to play marbles

Marbles games are greatly underestimated. They are fun, easy (once your kid gets the hang of them), and will keep the young ones entertained for hours. If you’re new to marbles, have a look at this guide explaining how to play marbles. Here are some of the basics: marbles games are all about knocking the other’s marbles out of the ring with your designated shooter marble. This could be an activity for an afternoon, but some kids like to drag these “marble wars” on for weeks, fighting for every single marble. If Marbles are not your thing, check out some of the latest board games.

Express yourself

Whether your kids are budding artists or not, there aren’t many children who don’t enjoy an arts and crafts opportunity. The more material you’ve got, the longer the fun will last – you can prepare old paper, water colours, pens, glue, glitter, scissors (childproof ones, of course) and some arts and crafts instructions if you’d prefer to approach the whole thing in a slightly more organised way. If not, it’s all about the freestyle – this might get messy, but your kids will have an awesome time.

Can you feel the magic?

Kids love magic tricks – and can you blame them? Magic tricks aren’t just fun to watch; they can keep you guessing for hours if well executed. If you’re not a part-time magician yet (and who is?), take a look at some simple instructions online. You don’t have to master a lot of tricks – one or two will do the job just fine. Challenge your children to figure out how you do it, and then teach them how to get it right too. They will love to impress their friends with their new skills.

Hide and seek (in the cupboard)

Of course, staying indoors means there won’t be much running around or exploring – unless you live in a castle, of course. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have an adventure inside! Hide-and-seek will never lose its excitement, whether you’re playing in your house or outside, and your kids will love it. Make sure to agree on a time after which they are allowed to emerge victorious from their hiding spot though – beware, some kids take this game very seriously!

Haven’t found anything yet? Don’t despair. There’s an abundance of online resources available for parents such as parentsnet.co.uk, and many of them cover activities you can do with your kids without having to leave the house.

The Best Gifts For Any Occasion

Wouldn’t it be really nice if there were an easy list of easy to buy gifts to suit any occasion? For me, I get stuck on gifts for guys. Lots of my friends struggle to buy something for their Mums on Mother’s Day. Well, after a lot of ponderings, and a lot of research, I have created a quick cheat sheet or list. These gifts could be good no matter what the occasion. Most are good for guys and gals, and they also work whatever age the recipient is. So here it is, my top 10 easy wins for gifts:

  1. Photo frame – All of my friends and most of my family are really into social media. There are hundreds of photos I still haven’t caught up with across their FaceBook and Pinterest accounts. Not one of them has been printed out to be treasured properly. A silver photo frame containing that special shot is perfect for any occasion.
  2. Bottle of plonk – A good bottle of wine works for almost any adult recipient, and certainly works wonders on Father’s Day! Go for something a little more special on big occasions.
  3. Choccies – Chocolates make a great gift, but they tend always to be given to girls. I don’t know many fellas that wouldn’t polish the box off in one night.
  4. Gift voucher – Some of you old-fashioned types might not like handing over gifts where you can tell how much has been spent. The supermarkets stock voucher cards for pretty much every store you can think of.
  5. Flowers – Awwww. I love getting flowers. Just for the record, it is OK to give flowers to a guy. However, it’s probably less uncomfortable if you do it in private.2Thanks to Flickr.com for providing this photo
  6. Food hamper – These are really popular at Christmas, but I wouldn’t say no to a continental hamper any time of year. Foods from overseas work best because they seem so exotic. Perfect for souvenir gifts.
  7. Jewellery – Girls love jewellery gifts. It doesn’t matter whether it’s costume or platinum. If it looks good with an outfit, then it’s a winner present. Guys aren’t so big on jewellery, but if your fella wears an earring or is fond of watches, then you could win him over with a gift like that.
  8. Clothes – Clothing is a great gift for any occasion. A friend of mine has a Mother-in-law who is always knitting her jumpers! Pick something that looks a lot like what they already wear and you can’t go too wrong.
  9. Spa day – This is traditionally the gift you get for a birthday or anniversary, but it will be a most welcome gift for any occasion. Guys can take advantage of the sports massages. And ladies can sample anything from facials and manicures to relaxing Yoga classes. Heavenly.
  10. Wallet or purse – Unbelievably, these are very popular gifts. Choose something fashionable or high quality. Complete it with a gift box and a £2 coin inside.

Gift ideas can be tricky to come up with. These tried and tested staples should help you when inspiration refuses to arrive. Add a card, and you can be the perfect gift giver too.

 

How Parents Can Prepare for Their Second Baby

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Creating a family is a huge step for any couple, and a long process that gives people so many more rewards and struggles than anything else they will ever experience. When a couple decides to have their first baby, they are overjoyed and scared of what is to come.

As a couple considers adding a second child to the family, however, the process is a little bit different. Parents know a little bit more about raising children now, but they need to figure out how to juggle more than one child in the home. Here are some ways parents can prepare for their second baby.

Overcome infertility issues

In some cases, mothers will have trouble getting pregnant a second time, even if the first pregnancy was easy for them. In these cases, mothers will have to find ways to increase their chances of conception. Every couple can look into different options like IVF or even surrogacy to make their dream of a second child a reality.

Do not think that new baby means all new things

For the first child, parents needed to buy a lot of new things to give the baby everything he or she needed and wanted. This is not the case with the second child. Parents need to remember that they can reuse most of the things for the second baby that they used for the first. They will, however, need to buy some more of the things they use on a regular basis, like bottles and clothes.

Rework the home budget for the new addition

Even though adding another child to the family is not as expensive as the first baby was, it will still change the home finances a lot. Parents will need to sit down and create a new budget that works with their new family. This can help parents avoid debt and continue to give their kids whatever they need.

Prepare the older sibling

The firstborn child will often be used to the way things are and may not be so eager to give up full attention from his or her parents. It is important for the mother and father to spend some time with their oldest child to do the things that they will not be able to do once the next baby arrives.

Understand that things will be different the second time around

Most parents will have a routine down and a good understanding of what works for their first child. Parents need to remember that every child is different, though, and the second time around things can be very unfamiliar from the first child.

Get some extra help in the beginning

Even though every mother and father will need to be on their own with both children eventually, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for a little help during the first few weeks after the new baby arrives. This can help everyone adjust to their new life and welcome the new baby into the home.

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/brothers-boys-kids-baby-newborn-457234/

Types of Bread Your Family Should Try

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According to Berkel Sales and Service, bread can be a delicious and satisfying part of any meal, whether you include it as a complementary or primary component. Many individuals discover one or two bread varieties that they like, and then they rarely try any other kinds. This is unfortunate because bread comes in a wide range of types, and certain types go beautifully with some foods, while other kinds of bread make a perfect accompaniment to other foods. In order to make the most of your options, you might wish to explore some of the possibilities that are available.

White or Wheat?

One of the most common questions you may be asked in a sandwich shop or other restaurant is whether you want your order on white or wheat bread. White bread may seem less flavorful than wheat, but numerous children prefer it. If you can coax your child into trying wheat bread, which often contains more fiber than white bread, you may be able to convince the little one that wheat bread can actually taste appealing. This may not be a bad idea; introducing a child to wheat bread could ultimately lead the child to make healthier bread choices altogether.

Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, and Multigrain

Many adults prefer wheat to white bread. If you’re confused about the difference between whole wheat, whole grain, and multigrain bread, you’re not alone. Whole wheat and whole grain varieties generally contain unrefined ingredients, which are healthier to consume. Multigrain types may not be as healthy as the other two; they may be disguised as healthy options, but they may actually be highly processed.

Rye and Pumpernickel 

If you and your family have not tried rye or pumpernickel bread, you may want to buy a loaf today. Rye comes in light, dark, and marbled varieties. Pumpernickel is made from rye berries, and it is particularly dark and heavy. These bread types are great choices for a wealth of sandwiches, especially ones that contain deli meats and cheeses. They can be delicious when dressed with condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, or Thousand Island dressing.

Sourdough

Sourdough bread is actually made from fermented white flour, and it is another one of the healthy bread options. Sourdough contains an array of vitamins and minerals. Its flavor is somewhat tangy or sour, as its name suggests. This kind of bread is a great one to serve with cheese, olives, and fruit. It may also be dipped in warm olive oil and served as an appetizer.

Bagels

The bagel is a type of bread that is round with a hole in its middle. Bagels come in several varieties, so you can probably find one to match the taste of each person in your family. If your child prefers sweet bread, you might buy a bagel made of wheat bread and cover it with butter and honey. If you like savory bread, you could choose an onion bagel or one that comes encrusted with onions and poppy seeds.

Flatbread and Pita Bread

Flatbread can be found in countless ethnic restaurants. You might indulge in flatbread when you feast on Indian, Turkish, or Norwegian cuisine. This type of bread is made with unleavened dough, so it doesn’t rise in the way that other bread varieties do. It is generally a viable option for children because it is soft and has a mild flavor. Flatbread may also be used to make pizza.

Pita bread is slightly leavened, and it is made from wheat flour. This kind of bread is round, and when it is cut down the middle, each half forms a pocket. You can put a wide range of fillings in pita bread, from chicken salad to hummus. Pita bread may be a fun food to serve to kids.

Exploring various bread types can be a culinary adventure for your family. Whether you buy it or make it yourself, serving bread is typically a good way to complete a meal. With all of the choices available, you and your family can likely find several types to sample and enjoy.

This article was contributed on behalf of Berkel Sales and Service, your number one choice when looking for bread and meat slicers. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!

8 Fun Summer Learning Activities for Kids

8 Fun Summer Learning Activities for Kids

When school lets out for the summer, every kid is excited to get a break from the classroom and enjoy themselves for the summer. However, many studies have found it extremely beneficial for kids to maintain some degree of learning over the summer to improve their abilities overall.

There are some ways that both parents and kids can be happy over the summer. Parents can find a lot of great activities that keep kids learning, but are also fun for them to participate in. Here are eight fun summer learning activities for kids that everyone will love.

Have a home safety scavenger hunt

Home safety is a very important skill for everyone in the home to know. Parents can create a scavenger hunt for kids that allow them to find potential dangers and resolve them with the help of a homesecurity911.com system.

Create a summer calendar

Because they do not always have structured days in the summer, kids can lose track of what day it is. Crafting their own summer calendars with each day’s events on them can be a fun way to stay on track.

Make homemade instruments

Playing music is a great way to stimulate kids and teach them new skills that can be fun for everyone. Try making some original instruments from items around the home as a fun project for everyone to get excited about.

Grow a garden

Gardening is a good activity for summer for a number of reasons. Kids can not only learn more about the process of life and biology, but they can also spend some quality time outside with their parents.

Make a travel book

Most families will go on a vacation when the kids are out of school. Making a travel book before and after the vacation can be the best way to recap the highlights of the event and make lasting memories.

Download an educational game app

Today, parents can find a lot of great options for gaming apps on any mobile device. Not only will these games be fun for their children to play, but many games are parent-approved to teach kids a new lesson every day.

Improve the backyard

The backyard is one of the only places where kids want to spend time in the summer. Parents usually want to save a lot of their home improvement projects for the summer when the weather is ideal. Parents and kids can work together to make the backyard a better place by improving the space as a team and making it safer and more efficient.

Make a difference in the neighborhood

Volunteering is a common project that a lot of families will do over the summer. Even though kids may be hesitant at first, many will find that by the end of the summer, they will not only have had fun, but they will be begging to do it again next year. Every family can find the perfect project to help them make a difference in their neighborhood.

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/boy-face-happy-nature-outdoors-717151/

Food to Boost your Brain Power

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Find the Best Nursing Homes in Sussex

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One of the most difficult decisions a family can make may be when an elderly family member is suffering from signs of dementia or other mental health issues. Very often this can be a stressful time for the family as they try to decide just what the best course of action is to take. Often the best decision lies in finding the proper facility that can provide the level of care and attention your loved one needs each day. This can mean trying to find the best nursing home to get the help that you need. If you are in the Sussex area and dealing with this issue in your family you will want to consider the nursing homes in Crawley West Sussex as a viable option.

What to Look for in a Facility

You are going to want to take a close look at any nursing home you are considering so you can be sure it has the features you require to be sure that your loved one is safe and receiving the proper care and attention. You want a facility that is properly staffed, trained and experienced in dealing with patients with dementia and mental health disorders so that you can be sure the right assessments and treatments are going to be offered all of the time. You also want a facility that can provide areas for communal activities and socialization and for relaxing. If you are looking for all of this and are considering the Sussex nursing homes you will want to look at Ashton Grange Dementia Nursing Home as your top choice in the area.

Comfort and Care for Everyone

Ashton Grange places the comfort and care of all of its residence above everything else. The facility features 29 single bedrooms and one shared bedroom on its grounds. Many of the rooms have en-suite facilities and are also located right on the ground floor. A recent addition of six large luxury ground floor rooms has been added as well as a large conservatory area just over the garden that is ideal for relaxing. There were also renovations done to the kitchen and to the basement area, where a large laundry facility was added. There are communal areas where activities and hobbies can occur and relaxation areas for quiet time when desired. All meals are prepared fresh each day and can be served in the lounge or in bedrooms as desired and special diets are all taken care of as well. There is nursing staff available 24 hours a day and a full staff of senior care workers and junior care workers to tend to all of the needs of the residents.

When you have decided to seek help for your family member and want to provide them with a safe and caring environment in the Sussex area feel free to contact the staff at Ashton Grange Dementia Nursing Homes. The staff will be glad to provide you with any information you need or answer questions and arrange for a visit so you can see just what the facility has to provide.

 

Get the Best Residential Care in West Sussex

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One of the biggest concerns of many families today is making sure that elderly members of the family can get the quality care they need and deserve. There are times when residential care for the elderly is the best and most viable option, and when this time arrives you want to make sure that the facility you choose for your parent or loved one is one that is going to provide a high level of caring and meet all of the needs of its residents. If you are in the Horsham area and are seeking quality West Sussex care homes there are aspects you want to consider most when choosing the best facility.

Services You May Need

The place you choose as a facility for your loved one may rely heavily on the specific needs of the loved one. For some people you may need a residence that provides for a private room and bed and bathroom area. You may also want to look for a facility where there is the ability to call for nursing help or medical help when it may be needed. You also want to look for a place that has a friendly and caring staff that takes the individual needs of its residents into strong consideration with every decision that is made. While there may be a number of places that you can choose from as care homes in Crawley, only the Ashtonleigh Residential Home can be considered the best residential care home Crawley has to offer you and your family.

The Respect and Care Needed

This residential home has been open since 1997 and provides excellent care for all of its residents. There are 43 beds at the facility, with each resident having his or her own bedroom and many have their own toilets and showers. A recent renovation also created 14 new bedrooms on the ground floor, a new conservatory lounge and a completely renovated kitchen. Each room has a nurse’s call bell so assistance can be called for at any time and the communal area provides a great place for residents to mingle and take part in all kinds of activities. All meals are prepared fresh each day with special dietary needs of residents being catered to as well. Regular meetings are held with residents and their families to make sure all needs are being met and to lay out any plans that may need to be changed to make a resident more comfortable or at ease so they feel more at home.

Ashtonleigh Residential Home does all that it can to help its residents feel comfortable in their surroundings and consider it their home away from home. When you are considering a residential care facility for someone you love in the West Sussex or Crawley area, feel free to give Ashtonleigh a call to make arrangements for a visit. You can ask questions, discuss your options and see for yourself how fine of a place it can be to provide your loved one with the home, care and respect they deserve.

 

Keeping Cool With Your Family This Summer

Summertime brings the children home from school, and it also brings warm temperatures, which means that your utility bills will go up. There are ways that you can maintain your cool and keep the kids busy while managing your utility costs.

Get Out of the House

There are so many public places that keep their establishment comfortable during the day, allowing you to take advantage of them. Make a trip to the library, go to a museum, or enjoy a matinee. Go to the pool, or to a local park that has a lot of shade trees. Run errands in the morning before the sun heats up. If you aren't home, you don't have to keep everyone cool.

Don't forget the sunscreen when you do go outside, and make sure everyone stays hydrated. However, you should limit caffeine and alcohol. Wear a wide brimmed hat when you go out in the sun to protect your face and neck and to help stay cool. If you run outside or exercise, go early in the morning or when it's cooler in the evening so that you don't overheat.

When You're at Home

It might be challenging to keep the house cool. Keep the curtains closed to prevent the sun from heating the inside of your home. Angle your venetian blinds upward to keep the direct rays from streaming into the room. Don't use the oven. In fact, you can plan meals that are lighter and cooler, such as salads, sandwiches, and cold soups. Stay hydrated with plenty of water. If you're tired of plain water, infuse it with lemon juice or herbs for added flavor.

Use energy efficient lightbulbs that don't add heat. Check into the heating and cooling installation of a new HVAC unit that cools better than your older system. Run your dryer at night so that you don't add heat during the day when the sun is already doing its best. Play outside with the hose and other water toys, but limit your time in the sun when it's at its peak. Keep small paper fans handy for quiet activities in the living room.

Cooler Nights

Use fans to keep the air circulating throughout the home, especially at night. Open the doors of the bedrooms to let the air move freely. Take a cool shower in the evening and don't towel off. The evaporation will let you feel cooler. Wear loose clothing at night, and use silk or cotton sheets to absorb sweat and stay cool. Synthetic fabrics do not have natural moisture wicking abilities. Try to stay calm before bed because activity can heat your body up. Before bed, eat a popsicle or have some frozen fruit to cool your body down from the inside.

Be Creative

Keep frozen bottles of water around not just for drinking but also for cooling off. Wrap one in a towel and place it behind your neck. Go ice skating. Get out of the city and go camping. The pavement absorbs heat, so it's typically cooler in the woods or mountains. Set your thermostat to 78° F when you're at home, and turn it up a little when you leave. You'll notice a difference in your heating bills, but it won't affect your lifestyle. According to the AC Man of Houston (www.acmanhouston.com), stay on top of your HVAC maintenance and replace air filters regularly to get the best performance out of your system. Look for ways to keep cool this summer with your family, so that you can enjoy lower utility bills and build your relationship with your kids.

This article was contributed on behalf of the AC Man of Houston, your number one choice when looking for Heating and Cooling Installation. Check out their website today and see how they can help you! 


How To Create The Most Amazing Family Garden

Summer is finally here, and with the warm weather on the way, now is the time to start thinking about your garden. Kids love spending time outside, so having somewhere suitable to spend time outside as a family is important.

Many parents worry that their kids don’t spend enough time outside, but that tends to be because the garden isn’t suitable. Kids like having areas to play and have fun in, and if your garden doesn’t offer that, then they won’t want to spend time outside.

While it’s important that your garden is somewhere your children can run around in, it should also be somewhere you love. While you want to create the perfect outdoor space for your kids, your garden shouldn’t be one big play area.

To help you create the most amazing family garden, we have put together some tips, below:

 

Create different zones

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If you are lucky enough to have a large garden, the best thing you can do is create different zones. Instead of having a large trampoline taking up more of your grass, think outside the box.

Think about the different ways you can separate your garden into zones. Perhaps you could have a patio or area with a table, a grassy area with plants, and an area with a den, treehouse or kids climbing equipment.

 

Invest in good-quality play equipment

Play equipment is important for creating a child-friendly space, but that doesn’t mean you have to fill your garden with plastic. Instead of opting for cheap-looking equipment, go for something more organic looking.

Wooden play equipment looks good, is long lasting and will give your garden a better feel to it. Instead of making your garden resemble a day care center, opting for wooden equipment will give it a better look.

 

Add a pool

If you have a large enough garden, think about adding a pool. If you and your children love swimming, then adding a pool to your garden is a great idea. Just make sure to invest in a pool that has a safety fence, this is especially important if you have young kids.

If you are a little stuck for ideas of how to fit a pool into your garden, why not get in touch with a landscape architect. For the best landscape architects have a look online and do some research.

 

Be original

Instead of just adding a slide and swing set, think outside the box and come up with different play equipment ideas. Treehouses, dens, rope swings, tepee tents – there are so many options for garden play equipment to choose from.

If your little one particularly wants a piece of play equipment, like a trampoline, think about how you can make it work in your garden. For example, instead of having a trampoline taking up your whole lawn, why not have a sunken trampoline with a decking lid? By day play equipment, by night an area to have drinks on.

Creating a child-friendly garden doesn’t have to mean sacrificing on your own outdoor space. You can create a beautiful garden that both you and your kids will love, by following these useful tips.