It is important for children to have fun with their parents. As parents you spend a great deal of time correcting your child's behavior. They feel like all you can say is "NO".
Do you want your child to feel the only time they have your attention is when they do something wrong?
Playing games teaches your child that good behavior is rewarded. They will appreciate the time they spend with you.
Children also learn through their play. What better way for a parent to teach their child how to treat others than by playing games. Games teach them how to be competative, but games also teach how to lose in a gracious manner.
I urge all adults to look through the information below and learn what it takes to be a well rounded parent.
We also have a page entitled, Playing Games with Your Children. It has more on having fun with your kids as well as websites to give you even more fun ideas.
Fun Activities for Parents and Children
Title: Parents - Experience A Child's Playful Heart
Author: Linda Milo
Playtime between a parent and a child creates a deep emotional bond. It's the bond that sets the path for joyful, creative, cooperative times by being together. Adults seem to shun fun and games in their daily lives. As adults, we often get so caught up
in "grown up" business that we can forget how to have pure fun. Some parents just don't know how to play with their children or feel they don't have the time. It's no wonder - most parents work a full-time job and feel drained with little or no energy at the end of the day to feel playful. If only parents knew how much playtime shapes their family life, more parents would welcome it. They would come to know that it recharges their adult batteries!
Most parents played as children. Parents experienced being silly, laughing at nothing, playing games on their own or with their peers. Why is it that parents today have forgotten how to play? Why do parents feel like outsiders or simply ignore this way of communicating with their children? Parents make sure their children are loved, comforted, safe, fed, and sheltered; but when it comes to playing, most parents can't seem to get in the swing of it. Our society in general doesn't take playing very seriously either. Most play professionals such as day-care providers, after school program teachers, recreation department workers and camp counselors are paid very low wages for the really important work they do for our children's lives. These workers are treated more as baby-sitters than experts on children and play.
Playtime is a rewarding time for a fresh, renewed look at life. It's the time when a zestfulness of living takes place. When a parent plays with his child, there is a deep heart-to-heart vibration that can overcome all the day's stresses and frustrations. Participating in your child's playtime arena, whether it's on the floor, eye-to-eye, sitting next to each other or across a table, creates enjoyment and spontaneity, happiness, and an opportunity to interact as no other activity can. Years of research has shown that successful parenting is when there is a sensitive response to their child's needs. This response includes physical contact, smiling faces, eye contact, and communication, both verbal and nonverbal.
Some of my clients have said, "My family members need to feel more connected. We seem to be disconnected and going in different directions." Playing helps build that connection and communication so vital to a loving family environment. Parents can try to remember and reconnect with that part of themselves that knows how to be in the flow of fun. Asking a child to play with you and then allowing your child to lead you to what they want to play and how they want to play, is the first step to creating a deep connection. Hide-and-seek, tag, chasing, wrestling, fantasy play, sports, pillow fights, art projects, racing, etc. are games that all children like. You can start by knowing that anything can be fun, especially doing it together.
Here are five ways to be a more lighthearted parent:
1. Lead the way - ask your children what type of activity they would like to do with you. Talk it over and accept an activity that will bring both of you a feeling of gladness. Think about what caused you to giggle as a child. Children like rules - start the game with, "OK, if we play there will be no giggling or blinking!" Then pretend to fuss when your child breaks these rules! Let the games begin!
2. Loosen up - playtime is just that: play and time. Don't worry about messiness, noise, or commotion. Just remember to let the play flow and follow it along. As long as you hear silly giggles, howls of joy, see happy smiles, then you know that this playtime session is a success.
3. Encourage Your Children - Understand that when you play with your child it encourages strong feelings of excitement,exuberance, joy, as well as frustrations, anxiousness, jealousy, and embarrassment. Get a handle on these emotions by knowing that these emotions should be freely expressed rather than having them buried and held inside. So take time out during your playtime to stand back and remind your child that having these feelings is okay, that being angry or being joyful are emotions that are acceptable. This creates a deep connection between you. After all, play is a child's way of expressing themselves and their emotions.
4. Be Playful with Your Children - Use a voice that is relaxed and goofy. Step outside of your everyday stern parent style and start to feel the energy of play. Choose games that allow you to give your children encouragement, inspire their confidence, allows for their need of attachment and closeness. Give your children your complete attention accompanied with love, hugs and affection. Always promote win-win situations in the games you play and have a good time!
5. Be Lighthearted - Being lighthearted while playing with your child actually adds to your life and brings you time. Playtime is rejuvenating. You may have to push yourself at first, but very soon thereafter, you will feel, understand and want to play as the payoff is well worth it.
To help your batteries feel recharged after your exhausting day at work, take the initiative to spend more together time with your children, even if it only means hugging them, talking to them, being with them at the end of the day. Bring up everyone's spirits by telling them how much they mean to you and what you most appreciate about each family member. Create a healthy, energetic connection today that your children will remember for the rest of their lives.
Copyright © 2005 by Linda Milo and Empowering Parents Now. All
About the author:
Linda Milo, The Parent-Child Connection Coach, specializes in helping mothers and fathers turn their parenting challenges into a more livable, more workable, and more enjoyable family life. Her FREE better-parenting newsletter covers specific, proven, and immediately usable methods for overcoming the most common parenting challenges. Visit http://www.empoweringparentsnow.com
to subscribe, and you'll also receive her FREE Special Report.
Title: Fun for Your Kids In Your Own Backyard
Author: Bill Weaver
Just outside our back door is a vacation spot that our youngsters claim is tops for sheer fun. It is our own backyard recreation center that we created to solve the problem of idle vacation hours for our active sons and their friends. In the past our boys, like the others in the neighborhood, always greeted the summer vacation with unrestrained joy, but soon came the complaint heard all too often, "What can we do now, Mother?" We no longer hear this since we made our home playground.
Our backyard is typical of the ordinary city backyard, forty by fifty feet. Gone are the once gorgeous perennials, the rock garden and the beautiful fish pool. In their places are a number of attractions that delight the heart of any boy, and incidentally keep him very busy. We decided to devote one side of the yard to permanent play equipment, while we kept the other side free for games.
First we discovered that such a playground must be enclosed to keep all activities within our own yard-an arrangement any neighbor appreciates. Fences are expensive, and we wanted our budget to provide as much play equipment as possible. After giving the matter some thought we decided upon a four-foot-high snow fence. It's inexpensive, easily erected, and is not unsightly. It comes stained red but can be easily whitewashed or painted. It not only keeps the youngsters in but also acts as a backstop for balls.
When the fence was properly in place we had to choose equipment. By popular vote a "gym" was first. There are various types available on the market. The type with double apparatus repays you in satisfaction. There is something in children that makes them want the swing or trapeze at the same moment someone else does; hence the advantage of the twin feature.
A source of lasting pleasure to youngsters is our teeter totter. This was easily made with a sawhorse and a heavy plank. Cleats nailed across the underside of the plank near the center prevent it from slipping.
The sandbox is a tradition in American childhood. A plain box filled with sand can be glorified by the addition of four legs, benches attached along the sides, and a top of boards or canvas. The benches not only afford comfortable positions for the children while playing in the sand but do away with the problem of sand being carried into the house on small shoes-a fact appreciated by busy mothers.
In the far corner of the yard we have built a brick fireplace. This fireplace can be as simple or as elaborate as one wishes. Ours is a small one, sturdily built, using only three dozen bricks, but it draws well. It never loses interest for the youngsters, to say nothing of the oldsters. The boys love to do outdoor cooking. Wieners and buns, potatoes and husk-wrapped ears of sweet corn baked in hot coals, and dessert of toasted marshmallows is a favorite. The boys are very proud when their parents are guests at such a meal.
Perhaps you are thinking that the mosquitoes are also guests at such a meal. That problem was solved for us by building a screen house, also a family project. We had no blueprints. Its size was regulated to our needs. It was high enough to admit without stooping our six-foot Daddy. We covered the frame, which was made of crating lumber, with fine wire screen and purchased a ready-made screen door. The roof is of heavy, water-proof awning cloth. A picnic table and benches for five people makes for
comfort, not only for eating but for handwork and games.
About the author:
FREE information and ideas about Kids Parties -- Get the guide you want. It's FREE! Click here: http://www.EasyKidsParties.com,
Title: Rain, Rain, You Can Stay...We've Got Fun Things to Do Today!!
Author: Dayna Palmer
I have lived in one of the most rainy parts of the country. The Seattle area gets about 364 days of rain a year. OK, well maybe it isn't that many days but sometimes it seems like it. In most of the United States these winter months are not the most pleasant. Our kids get tired of being cooped up in the house watching the same movies and playing the same games.
Here are 5 quick and inexpensive crafts for you to do with your kids on those days that going to the park to play just isn't an option.
1. Sponge Painting
What you need:
- Many sheets of white drawing paper
- A couple packages of cheap sponges cut into shapes
- A package of Crayola finger paints
- Newspaper to cover the table and the floor in craft area
Let the kids go wild!! What child does not like to paint? You can cut the sponges into themes, like animals, and create some zoo pictures. The finger paints clean up in a snap...off the kids and the craft area J
2. Popsicle Picture Frames
What you need:
- 4 popsicle sticks per child
- Glue gun
- Foam shapes
- Roll of tape
Take the 4 popsicle sticks and glue them together to make a square. If you have a 4 x 6 picture handy use that to make the square the appropriate size for a cropped picture.
Then have the children pick out a whole bunch of foam pieces that they would like to use on their frame. If you are doing seasonal frames like Christmas, make sure that you have a good variety of foam shapes (holly, snowmen, Santa, trees etc.)
With the glue gun you will glue all the pieces onto the frame making sure that you can not see the popsicle sticks. Then let it dry overnight.
Finally you will tape the top of the bottom of the picture and place it in the frame. This will allow the picture to be changed if you want. If you want to keep the same picture in the frame you can glue it in for a better hold.
This is a great (and cheap) craft to give as gifts to family members (glue the picture in J) and teachers (taped in will do J)
3. How Big am I?
What you will need:
- 1 long sheet of white paper or recycled newsprint per child
- As many colored markers or crayons as you can find
- Colored construction paper
- Ribbons, buttons, sparkles and other decorative items
Have each child lay down and you can trace out their whole body. Cut out the picture and get ready to decorate!!
Using the construction paper the children can make clothes and using the ribbons and buttons etc they can decorate their clothes. Very thin wire works great for glasses.
Have the kids make it look as much like them as they can. You will be surprised by how they think they look J Hang them up on the back of their door. Pull them out in a few months and see how much your child has grown.
4. Christmas Paper Bag Wreaths
What you will need:
- I paper bag for each child
- Holly leaves and berries cut from construction paper
- Real pine cones
- Glue gun
- Christmas colored yarn
You will first twist the paper bag up (like you are wringing out a towel) and staple the 2 ends together. Help the children to glue on to the wreath the holly leaves and berries and the acorns on to the paper bag.
Let the wreath dry for awhile and the tie string around the wreath to make a loop so that the wreath can hang in your house or on your front door.
5. Mason Jar Stuff Holders
What you will need:
- 1 - 1 quart Mason Jar for each child
- Glue divided out in small throw away containers
- Tissue paper in multiple colors
- Paint brush
- Scrapbooking punches of various shapes
- Sparkles, ribbon or other decorative touches
Ahead of time you will want to punch a WHOLE BUNCH of tissue paper into the various shapes that you want to use. You could go
with a theme like fall and use leaves or just use circles or squares.
Get the kids to "paint" glue onto one side of the jar and place the tissue paper shapes on as they go. Do the same thing on all sides and the bottom and mouth and the neck of the jar. If you want to use the lid on the jar then do not put the tissue paper on the mouth and neck of the jar.
Make sure that all of the jar is covered and you can not see the glass. Then "paint" over all the tissue paper again with the glue.
Quickly put on the jar any other embellishments and then let dry overnight. In the morning your child will have a one of a kind "stuff" holder!!
I hope that you enjoy working on these crafts with your children. While a pretty end result is nice, it is the time that you spend doing the craft with you children that will always be remembered and cherished. It will be crafts like these that you will put away in a memory box and keep forever. Every time you look at that craft you will remember the precious time that youspent with your child.
So, while rainy day crafts keep moms sane...the memories will linger long after our children have grown up and moved away.
Maybe these rainy day crafts will be ones that we do with ourgrandbabies too.
About the author:
Dayna Palmer is a mother of 3 children - 1 girl and 2 boys - ages 5, 3, and 1 and lives in Roanoke, VA. She is actively involved in bringing parents and kids together with area businesses and organizations through her popular kids website. Her website provides families with a local events calendar, kid friendly businesses and organizations. http://Roanoke4Kids.com, RoanokeForKids.com
Title: Rainy Day Fun For The Whole Family
Author: Karen Fusco
Copyright 2006 Karen Fusco
Nothing can dampen spirits like a rainy day. Kids aren't the only ones who get cranky when they're cooped up inside. So to stop those rainy day doldrums before they happen, take a look at these 9 Great Rainy Day Ideas.
1. Pull Out The Board Games. In an era where X-Box and PlayStation rule, the joy of playing board games has fallen by the wayside. Rainy days are perfect for pulling out the Scrabble board or Bingo cards or even the Candyland game for the little ones. Crazy Eights anyone? Everyone will get so caught up in the games that they won't even notice the gray skies outside.
2. Have A Rainy Day Party. Let everyone dress up in their best clothes, and serve lunch or dinner on that good china you never use. Someone can play DJ and you can all dance away your discontent. Celebrate the rain. You'll find that you dread future rainy days less, and so will your family.
3. Walk. Yes, outside in the rain. Everyone gets dressed in their rainy day gear and then it's outside for a tour of the neighborhood. Puddle splashing is allowed! Getting wet won't hurt anyone--unless they're that witch from the Wizard of Oz--and it will be a great stress reliever. Actually, your kids will be so shocked, they'll probably look at you with awe for the rest of the day--and even better, forget to whine about being bored.
4. Create A Family Time Capsule. Putting together a time capsule is always a big hit with family members of all ages. Even teenagers will put their iPods down and get into the fun of making a time capsule. Set the time for pulling it out to be same time, next year--or even a rainy day a month from now. You'll have to help younger children, of course, but imagine their excitement when they see the time capsule in a year!
5. Start A Rainy Day Scrapbook. Let everyone design and create their own pages. Drawings, magazine cut-outs and photos will fill the pages. It can be an ongoing scrapbook or simply one for this particular rainy day. An ongoing rainy day scrapbook has the advantage of being a rainy day activity you won't have to plan for again and will give everyone in the family something to look forward to doing the next time it rains.
6. Visit A Museum. Museums offer a wide variety of activities for people of all ages. They're generally reasonable in cost to begin with, and charge less for weekdays. They're also great learning experiences and something your family doesn't do every day, so they're something special.
7. Give Each Family Member An Hour To Be In Charge. For one hour, they get to be king or queen of the rainy day and chose an activity for everyone else. This lets everyone in the family feel important and get to do what they enjoy most. You'll have to lay down some ground rules, of course, but letting everyone have an hour to be in charge will keep them busy not just for the hour, but for a lot longer as they make their plans.
8. Write Letters And Make Cards. To take everyone's mind off their disappointment with the rainy day, have them think of others who aren't as fortunate. A good way to do this is to have everyone in the family, including Mom and Dad, make cards for people in the hospital or write letters to soldiers or people in a foreign country. You can find sources online that will ensure your cards and letters are delivered anywhere in the world. This is also a good chance to teach children and teens about what living is really like in some countries.
9. If All Else Fails, Load Up The Car or Mini-Van and Head To Grandma's. She's probably suffering from some rainy day doldrums herself and will be thrilled to see you. It's also a free place to go where everyone feels comfortable just as they are. Just a note, though - you might want to call first. Grandma might be out and about taking a rainy day tour around her own neighborhood, and you wouldn't want to miss her.
About the author:
Karen Fusco is co-founder of http://www.SilkBow.com which supports Busy Moms with free gift ideas and helpful tips to meet the challenges of motherhood. SilkBow is the perfect place for the perfect gift. Karen can be reached directly at: karen@SilkBow.com
Title: Birthday Party Ideas, Games, and Activites
From: http://babytime.blogware.com/, babytime.blogware.com
Children love to celebrate, http://www.invitationbox.com/, birthday parties regardless of their age or maturity levels. But, a birthday party has to be unique lest it will turn clichéd and boring. So the parents have to utilize their imagination, intelligence and resources to the optimum. For facilitating this task, we have compiled our list of favorite party themes that you can use to help with your party planning.
Popular Toonami Party
Put on the dresses of all the favorites, idols, heroes-n-superheroes of kids like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Gi-joe, He-man, Bey Blade, Pokemon, Barbie either yourself or employ someone for the purpose. The person must talk-and-act like these Superheroes so that the children get thrilled by just seeing them.
Soft Toys Party
All children love soft toys. Asking all the guests to bring their favorite teddy bear is a great idea for a children's party (ensure that you possess some spare teddy bears as some guests might forget to bring teddies, bunnies, tweeties, and micky mouse, and other soft toys as gifts.) Create a bear cavern, jerry hole, and tweety's nest by using cardboard boxes, mounding pillows or moving furniture to the corner of a room. You can add blankets and toy party sets to make the bear cave very homey. For a fun activity, you can have the children all create their own bear masks to wear at the party. You'll need construction paper, glue sticks, tape, and crayons. In keeping with the teddy bear theme, bear shaped cookies, teddy grahams and cake with a teddy bear decoration are great treats. Make sure you include gummy bears in the grab bag too!
A treasure hunt party is all the rage with all children. The idea is to create your own treasure, which could be old jewelry, gold coin candy, and toy presents that you hide all over the house or the backyard. Or you can create a treasure chest out of a cardboard box with a map where X marks the spot! Parents and kids can dress up like pirates with eye patches and you can have games such as walking the plank or the children can go play with plastic swords.
About the author:
Title: Four Strategies You Can Try To Decrease the Stress with the Children Inside on a Rainy Day
Author: Chris Le Roy
Nobody can deny, having children cooped up in the house on a rainy day can be one of the most infuriating and frustrating experiences ever especially when you not only have your own children in the house but the rest of the streets children as well.
So what do you do?
Well as a parent it is your responsibility to help these children develop the skills to act in a responsible way. The most effective way, is to do that by getting all the children involved in activities together, with you. This will do two things, one it will help you set the ground rules on behavior in the house that is acceptable and two it will allow the children as a whole to socialize and to work as a group together. Learning the ability to socialize and to work together as a team will hold them in great stead as they enter university or go into the work force.
So how do we do that? I have outlined below four strategies that will help you to keep the children occupied whilst it is raining outside.
Strategy 1 - Play Group Games
In the hustle and bustle of our world today, far too many families do not spend enough time socializing with their children. One of the best ways to do this is to turn off the computer or computer games and to play a group game together regardless of the age of the children. That is right; you can include children as young as 2 and as old as sixteen with these games. The choice which is most important is the game you play.
When you are playing group games, everyone must have a role for each person or if someone is not included they are going to become disruptive and this strategy will not work. One of the games my parents used to play with me, my brother and our friends was Monopoly. Now I here you all saying it, how is a two year old going to play this game. Well, in reality, you need to include the younger people with the older children so that they can work as a team.
The older member makes the decision on what houses to buy, whether to build a hotel or how much rent to charge but the younger children, can role the dice and count to where the pieces need to go on the board, slightly older children at the age of 5 or 6 could actually read the Chance cards out. From an educational point of view, having the two year olds count the number of squares their piece needs to jump to will help with them learn their numbers for school. Getting the 5 or 6 year olds to read the Chance cards helps them to learn to read and being in a team with an older child will help them learn as a team and the older children learn the ability of patience and also how to work in a team with people of varying age. Plus the most important thing is that the older children learn the value of money.
Ultimately, playing group games like this will help all of the children and adolescents in their development towards becoming an adult and you as the parents will get to keep your sanity for another day. One thing I would strongly suggest is that you never tell a child they are to young to be involved, always find something for them to do in the game, so that they feel just as involved as the others. If you have ever watched a child grow up, they always tell you that they are a big kid now, help them to become one and play an important role in society as the skills you teach them now are what they will use as adults.
Strategy 2 - Have a Bake Off
Rainy Days are absolutely fantastic for Bake Off days. Now if you do not know what a bake off day is, it is a day where the kids make their own deserts for lunch or afternoon tea. These were fantastic times in our family and one of the key benefits it taught me was how to cook. In the days of fast food, many adults have seemed to by pass the art of cooking. When I met my wife, she was flat out boiling an egg but over the last few years she has become an accomplished cook.
When you have a bake off, cook simple things like cookies or muffins as these are really simple things to cook and all the children regardless of age can help. Whilst I do not condone 2 - 8 year olds going anywhere near an oven (that is for grown ups) they can play an important role in putting all the ingredients together, mixing them, measuring them out and most importantly decorating them at the end. The key advantage of getting them to do the measuring them is to help them learn measurements, counting and numbers. You can also get them to read the instructions in the cook book or on the back of the packets.
When the cookies or muffins are ready to be decorated, play a game with the children in getting them to count the number of items they are going to put on their cookies or muffins. For example if they were going to put a face on the muffin, talk about how many eyes will you put on the muffin, where will you put the mouth on the muffin and how many ears will it have. Each of these discussions will help in learning to count and they will also improve their skills in expressing themselves.
Strategy 3 - Discuss A Book, Video or Computer Game Together
When people first here of the third strategy, they immediately think about books like the Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter but they do not have to be. Look when you have a number of children in your house, get them all together, read a book to them and then talk about the book. Doing this is going to help in their development and will give them a huge step forward when it comes to high school.
Learning to analyze a book and express what you think are the messages of the book will help your children immensely when they go to school. In High School today across the western world, one of the tasks in their English classes they are going to be expected to read a book and then write an essay about the messages they have found in the book and the sooner they learn these skills, the more effective they will be in their classes.
For younger children you might read a Dr Seuss book and then look at the pictures with them. Talk to your children about the pictures. For example if you are reading a book about hats and there is a hat on the ground, talk about what might be under the hat. Get the children to tell you the color of the hat.
In essence it doe not matter whether you read a book, watch a video or play a computer game, to gain some educational value and to get your children thinking, simply talk about what they have seen or read. Get them to talk about the messages that may have been in the book or video and when it comes to computer games, talk to them in terms of strategy and how they can do better next time. Our children have an innate want to learn and the more we can foster that attitude the more your children will grow and learn and play an important role in society.
Strategy 4 - Make Meditation Into A Game
Meditation ... I know, I saw you stop and think then. Meditation for kids, you have got to be kidding. No! If you can teach children how to meditate at a young age you will find that they will continue it as they get older. It has also been shown that children who know how to meditate will be much calmer and in control of their emotions. Further to this, it has been shown that adults who meditate over longer periods have less coronary disease. I watched a research documentary a few years ago where they took ten people who had never meditated and had incredibly high blood pressure and taught them to meditate. They found over a 6 month period those people were able to control their blood pressure more effectively. In fact when they began to meditate for a period of 20 minutes their blood pressure dropped dramatically.
Look the bottom line is this, Buddhist monks have been meditating as part of their religion for thousands of years and it amazes me to this day how many monks live to an age over 100 years so all I can say is there is definitely something in this. For the past 10 years I have used meditation to help control my stress levels and I feel much better for it.
Meditation for children must be fun and simple. The techniques for children never involve mantras or anything along those lines, they should simply teach the children how to relax and to focus on their inner self. There are lots of internet sites available on teaching children to meditate but one thing you must consider, be very cautious of the type of music you use for meditation. I recommend Baroque Meditation music that has 60 beats a minute as this is the heart rate we are supposed to have. Research has shown that baroque meditation music at 60 beats a minute actually promotes the release of alpha waves from both our left and right sides of our brains. These alpha waves help bring about a sense of calm and can also help in promoting creativity, learning and calmness.
Look the bottom line is this, if you want to decrease the stress in your house on those rainy days, then the best way is to occupy your children. By using these four strategies I have outlined, you are also helping your children in their development and as a parent that should always be the most important thing you need to consider. Your children are you future and the future of this world, by helping in their development, let us hope they will contribute to a much more safer world.
To finish off, I really want to take a moment to reiterate the Four Strategies once again:
Strategy 1 - Play Group Games
Strategy 2 - Have a Bake Off
Strategy 3 - Discuss A Book, Video or Computer Game Together
Strategy 4 - Make Meditation Into A Game
About the author:
Chris has a Six Step Meditation Program called, http://www.1-on-1.biz/MeditationMusic/RelaxationTechniquesForStressManagement.asp, Relaxation Techniques for Stress Management, Baroque Meditation Music - http://www.1-on-1.biz/MeditationMusic/meditationmusic.asp, Meditation Music and
http://www.1-on-1.biz/MeditationMusic/WaysofReducingStress.asp, Seven Ways of Reducing Stress.
Title: Child Outdoor Games - Are Your Kids Breaking a Sweat?
Author: Nicole O'Reilly
Do you recall playing games like red rover, hopscotch, tag or marbles? Games that used to have you out playing until your mom came out calling for you because it was getting dark.
It seems like our own kids spend less and less time playing these simple active outdoor games. Studies have shown that the average child spends more than 20 hours a week playing video games alone and that doesn't even count the hours spent in front of the television!
Many parents blame modern society, particularly those in apartments with limited access to open spaces. Having their children playing out of their sight is understandably beyond their comfort zone.
Maybe us parents need to loosen the shackles on ourselves. Rather than sending our kids out to play, go toss a ball with them, play a chasing game or teach them something from our own childhood. The best way to get our kids to do what we want them to is to set an example.
Establish a routine of going on a family walk or visiting a park on a regular basis. So get out there and spend some quality time with your kids, the washing can wait, and you'll all feel the better for it.
Staying active is not only good for our kids (and our own) health, it is also beneficial socially for children to play games, particularly in a group situation. They can take on leadership roles, use negotiation skills and burn energy all while having fun. Best of all for parents you will have them sleeping soundly.
About the author:
Nicole is the webmaster of Kids Fun and Games and mother to two children under the age of six. She is currently enjoying the
journey of building her first website, designed for the parents of pre-schoolers. Enjoy! Find us at www.kids-fun-and-games.com.
Title: Birthday Party Ideas for Children Ages 2-12
Author: Boyd Norwood
Need a few birthday tips and ideas for the next birthday party in your household? Here's a variety of suggestions that we think will help you make your child's birthday party fun, special and easy for you.
Birthday Party Tips for the Young and the Young at Heart Your child's birthday party should be a fun and memorable experience for your child and for his or her guests. Here's how you can pull it off:
* Let your child choose the theme of her birthday party and be actively involved in the planning stages of the event. Have her write the invitations if she is able.
* Have your child greet each guest at the door. This will help her guests feel welcome and will help her learn how to be a great hostess.
* Have a birthday party table or counter space available for the presents. Ideally this place should be a place where all of the guests can sit comfortably and see your child open the presents.
* If you order a pizza or another 'hot food item', leave it in the oven before the guests are ready to eat.
* Avoid games, which leave some of the guests with nothing to do. A birthday party can be a nightmare if one of the guests is unhappy. If your child insists on playing a game from this genre, provide additional activities, which the guests can do while they are waiting for the game to end.
* If you plan on making a birthday party craft with the guests, make sure you create a prototype, for the guests to see and for you to gauge the difficulty level of the craft before the birthday party begins.
* When opening gifts, make sure that your child acknowledges who has given her each gift and that she thanks every guest.
* A party favor or a goody bag is a nice way to end birthday parties. Your child can say goodbye to each guest with these items.
* Book special events in advance. (i.e. Children's museums, Pizza Parlors, Arcades, Fun Houses, Tumble Bus Birthday Parties, etc.
Birthday Party Games and Activities for Children Ages 2-12
Birthday party themes, games and activities are perhaps the most memorable parts of your child's special day. Here are some ideas that will make your child remember her birthday party for a long time to come:
1) For the scientific child, help her to set up a series of fun science experiments that all of the guests can participate in. For a treat, serve the guests green sherbet with cream soda or ginger ale.
2) For the 'fashionista' in your life, divide the guests into two teams and have them race to put on designated outfits and accessories. Once they put the clothes on they must quickly walk or run down a run-way and pose for a picture. (You might need other parents or family members to help with this one). This is a birthday party she will never forget!
3) For older children, play '1-100'. This game requires 2 dice, one piece of paper and a pencil or a pen for each guest. Have each guest write his or her name on the piece of paper leaving space to write 1-100 below the name. Then, the birthday girl gets to choose someone to go first. The chosen individual will role the dice and if he or she does not get doubles then he or she will pass the dice to the next player. If however, the first player does get doubles then he or she will begin to write 1, 2, 3, 4,.......etc. under until another player roles doubles. The dice will continue around the table and when the dice returns to the first player and he or she gets doubles again then that player would begin where he or she left off. Whoever gets to 100 first, wins!
Birthday Party Gifts and Surprises
Birthday gifts and surprises don't have to include Barbies and Gameboys. They can also include the following:
* Ballet Classes
* http://tumblebuskids.com/tumblebusclasses.htm#TOP, Gymnastics Classes
* Sports Equipment
* A Mini-Trip
* A Trip to a Space Museum with Mom or Dad
* Breakfast in Bed
* A New Book on Tape
* Language Lessons
* A Book of Science Projects + Materials
* A Trip to their favorite Restaurant
* A Recipe Book for Kids, etc.
Remember parents, what your children want the most is time with YOU! Give your kids the gift of time.
About the author:
Boyd Norwood is a Web Content Specialist for, http://www.10xmarketing.com/Services/Advertising/Online-Advertising.html, 10x Marketing in Orem, UT. For more information in regards to creating the perfect,
http://tumblebuskids.com/tumblebusbirthdayparties.htm#TOP, birthday party, please feel free to contact
Title: Nine Fun Activities to Get Your Kids Away From the Screen
Author: Janette Vince
Have you noticed that children today just aren't as active as they once were? Many kids spend hours in front of a screen--watching television, surfing the Internet, or playing video games. If you're a parent concerned about your child's inactive lifestyle, there's something you can do--take them on a fun and exciting experience day. Experience days are relatively inexpensive ways of introducing kids to fun activities that will get them out of the house--and hopefully spark a continuing interest in a more active lifestyle. Here are nine ideas for activities kids love.
Windsurfing. Racing across the surface of the water, balanced on a board, with a sail full of wind--what could be more thrilling
than windsurfing? It's great exercise, and a thrilling challenge for kids who like the water. A good windsurfing school will provide all the equipment you need, including wetsuits, boards and sails.
Driving. What kid hasn't secretly wished to take the family car out for a drive? You'll be the coolest parent imaginable if you give your child a driving lesson. Driving experience days are normally done on an enclosed track, with a qualified instructor and in a safe environment. This activity makes a great "grown up" gift for a child's birthday.
Yacht sailing. Spark a life-long interest in sailing when you take your child on a yachting trip. Most yachting companies expect kids to take an active part in sailing the boat, and teach the rudiments of sailing along the way. It's an adventurous gift that will get children out on the water, feeling the sun and the wind on their skin--and hopefully renew their interest in the outdoors.
Powerboating. If fast is more your child's speed, try a powerboating adventure. Let your child experience the power, speed, and maneuverability of a world-class powerboat in a safe environment with a qualified instructor. During most powerboat outings, kids get a chance to pilot the boat themselves--this is sure to get them interested in spending more time on the water.
Shadow a zookeeper. Most kids love animals, and are especially fascinated by big cats and other exotic creatures at the zoo. What better way to see these animals up close and learn more about them than by shadowing a zookeeper? At many shadowing programs, kids get to feed the animals and experience a zookeeper's daily routine in a safe and protected environment. Kids will be thrilled to see these beautiful animals up close--and you never know; with this gift you could inspire a future zookeeper or veterinarian's career.
Paintball. Kids love to play war and strategy games. If your child loves playing action-hero video games, he or she will be crazy about paintball. During a paintball game, your child will be playing on a course encompassing acres of fields and woods, incorporating both natural and manmade obstacles. Paintball games employ strategy and planning as well as guts and stamina--making it an ideal activity to exercise your child's mind and body. If they love the video games, they won't be able to get enough of the real thing.
White-water rafting. Experience nature with a touch of excitement--take your child on a white-water rafting trip. Your child will navigate waves and whirlpools with ease and hurtle down raging rivers in confidence and safety--all in the company of an experienced white-water rafting guide. At most white-water rafting companies you'll be with a group of people and a guide in a large, heavy-duty inflatable raft. There's room for the whole family, so it's ideal for group trips and family reunions. If your child has no prior experience on the water, it's an exciting introduction that's sure to be more fun than the computer screen.
Flying lessons. What child doesn't love the idea of soaring over the clouds? Give your child an unforgettable experience - a flying lesson in a small aircraft. Flying lessons are available in airplanes, ultra-light aircraft, and helicopters. Your child will learn in a safe, controlled environment with a licensed instructor. This activity is sure to get your child less interested in video games--and more interested in exploring the skies.
Zorbing. Have you ever thought it'd be fun to hurtle down a hill inside a big plastic bubble? Chances are, you would have when you were a kid--and your child will love it. During a zorbing experience, you'll be strapped securely inside a huge PVC ball, suspended within an even larger one with thousands of nylon strands. Then you'll be pushed down a hill! The ball-within-a-ball suspension system keeps you cushioned and protected the whole way. Kids love this activity and will likely want to go over and over.
Lots of kids today are more interested in the Internet, television, and video games than spending time outside. However, as parents, it's our job to teach them that the real world is far more exciting than anything they can see on a screen. With all the thrilling, kid-friendly and safe activities available for kids, it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a few ideas. Give an experience day as a holiday or birthday gift, and your child is sure to thank you for it!
About the author:
Janette Vince is managing director of http://www.thanksdarling.com the unique gifts and experience day specialists based in the UK. For a range of fun days out visit: http://www.thanksdarling.com/categories/extreme.htm.