5 Family Game Night Ideas

5 Family Game Night Ideas

Family time is so important for bonding and creating memories with the ones closest to you. These days, as the evening approaches, family members often retreat to their own rooms and do their own thing. Sure, some time alone to relax and unwind is necessary, but don’t let that become the everyday norm. Set aside specific nights of the week for the family to come together for a good old-fashioned family game night! This doesn’t mean sitting around the TV and mindlessly munching on chips and popcorn. This is game night and it’s time to have a little fun! Here are 5 family game night ideas that the whole family will love, no matter the kids’ ages. Even if you can only get the whole group together just once a week, the fun will last for days until you can gather together again. Let the games begin! Charades When was the last time you played a game of charades? Make teams and let the guessing game have everyone using their imagination and laughing all the way. Pick topics from TV shows and movies, favorite characters, book titles, and kid-friendly activities. This classic game never goes out of style and the options for topics are endless. Keep score and see which team is best at guessing… although while having such a blast, everyone wins! “Cooking” Competition TV reality cooking shows are all the rage, so set up a mock competition at home. Perhaps you can ice cupcakes and vote on which family member came up with the best cupcake design. Or you can do a banana split creation contest. Go...
Summer Family Fun Ideas

Summer Family Fun Ideas

Summer is just about here, meaning extra time off with the family and the opportunity to enjoy the warm weather and sunny skies. Longer days means more time to create magical memories with the kids while they are still young and actually excited to spend time with mom and dad. Since the weather is perfectly pleasant and outdoor fun can be part of the agenda, consider these summer family fun ideas the kids will love, and you’ll relish in the blissful looks on their thrilled faces. Time with family cannot be replaced by anything else, so do all you can to spend as much time together as a unit as possible. Time flies and the summertime seems to fly faster than any other season. Make the most of the few summer months with family fun that can’t be beat.  Fishing   You need not be an experienced fisherman in order to enjoy a day of fishing dockside or by boat. Time by the pleasant water and striving for a common goal makes fishing an incredible bonding experience. Even if you don’t catch anything for dinner, the time spent taking in the great outdoors, talking, and laughing will be what the memories are made of. Take the bait and go for a day of fishing with the kids. You’ll be hooked! Hiking Get active and energized while taking your family excursions to new heights through hiking. Find a local trail or just take a hike around the neighborhood with the kids and they will learn about the importance of keeping fit and being alert and aware of their surroundings. Bring along...
How to Improve Children’s Behavior By Boosting Their Self-Esteem

How to Improve Children’s Behavior By Boosting Their Self-Esteem

Kids with a higher sense of self-esteem behave better and thrive more than kids with lower self-confidence. Here’s how to build your child’s sense of self worth.  As parents, we want our kids to feel they are important and to know how valuable they are as individuals. Self-esteem is something children need to have within themselves from a young age in order to develop with confidence and grow into successful adults. Without self-esteem and self-worth children may be more susceptible to develop behavioral issues at home and in school. Children with high self-esteem tend to be happier, better adjusted, and therefore less likely to act out in negative ways. As per Kids Health, “Kids who have healthy self-esteem tend to: feel valued and accepted feel confident that they can do what’s expected feel proud of a job well done think good things about themselves feel prepared for everyday challenges.” With these important attributes, these kids will behave better than kids who feel insecure, are critical of themselves, or exhibit self-doubt. When a child feels good about himself or herself, the confidence radiates from the inside out. Take the time to sit with your child each day for one-on-one conversations with age-appropriate topics and advice. Stay positive in order for your child to feel comfortable trusting you and opening up about even the most difficult subjects. If you give the child an outlet to communicate, the issues will not become bottled inside and then acted out on in a negative way. Encouragement and compassion are the keys to keeping your child on the up and up. No matter the issue, becoming angry...
How to Prepare Your Child for Summer Camp

How to Prepare Your Child for Summer Camp

Summer is just around the corner and lots of parents are sending their kids to summer camp – either day camp or sleepaway camp. If your child is getting ready for a summer to remember with fun-filled days at camp this coming season, before shipping them off, there are a few things to plan for in advance to ensure things go smoothly, and fun is the #1 result. All your child is probably thinking about is getting outdoors and playing with friends at camp, but as a parent, some preparation is in order to make the summer as great as it can be. These 3 pre-camp tips will start the summer off on the right foot.   Get the Right Clothing and Gear Summer camp means getting down and dirty, so make sure you have plenty of comfortable (and easily-washable) T-shirts and shorts your child can frolic around in. Last year’s clothing may not fit anymore, so be sure to do a fit check if you think you have enough clothing already. Don’t forget about socks, baseball caps, headbands, swimsuits, and underwear. A new pair of sneakers and flip flops may be in order too. Some overnight camps will require you to pack toiletries, towels, sunblock, sports equipment, etc., and they will usually provide you with a list of items your kid will need for camp. If you don’t have such a list in hand, contact the camp office and inquire. Camps may also have clothing and other gear with the camp name and logo on it for purchase or given to your child as part of your camp...
Great End-of-the-Year Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Great End-of-the-Year Teacher Appreciation Gifts

The end of the school year is inching close, so be sure you don’t forget the special teacher in your child’s life when the bell rings for the final time this school year. With all the time and dedication he or she has spent with the children in your child’s class, a token of thanks for all their hard work and care will be appreciated wholeheartedly. If you’re not sure what to get your child’s teacher, here are 4 ideas any teacher would be sure to enjoy. With varied price points and interests covered, surely one or more of these ideas would be perfect as an end-of-the-year gift. Teachers are so important in the lives of their students, and a gift to express your gratitude will be gratefully accepted with a smile. A Gift Card to a Craft Supply Store Often times, school budgets don’t provide enough for teachers to have the classroom supplies on hand that would benefit their students and enhance their lesson plans. A gift certificate to a school supply or craft supply store would help relieve the teacher of using their own money for such items. No matter how much you’re able to afford, a little goes a long way when it comes to how teachers can utilize these items to make their classroom a better place. A Gift-of-the-Month Club Subscription A gift-of-the-month club membership is the gift that keeps on giving. Each month, the teacher will remember your thoughtfulness and generous gesture. If he or she is a foodie, opt for a steak-of-the-month club or a monthly wine club subscription. There are plenty of...
How to Get Your Kids to Appreciate the Value of Money

How to Get Your Kids to Appreciate the Value of Money

We all want our kids to have the best we can offer to them, and that often means spending money. Kids won’t automatically have an appreciation of the value of things at a very young age unless we teach them that the toys, food, trips, etc. they enjoy aren’t guaranteed. These things take hard work to earn and they don’t come free. It’s easy for kids to become spoiled if they are always handed everything they desire on a silver platter without giving thought or care to how they were able to get it. It’s time to start explaining to your kids that money has value, and appreciating it will allow them to give even more thanks for the gifts and special things they receive in the future and for what they already own.   Assign Chores Once your child is old enough to help out around the house with age-appropriate chores, assign some duties to teach your child about work and the results that follow. If your child is asking for a new toy, explain that he can get it once he completes X days of cleaning his room or X hours of helping you put away the groceries and caring for the pet. He will begin to understand that in order to get things, he must put in the effort to make it happen. Not only will you get some much needed assistance around the house, but your child will feel proud of his accomplishments and enjoy what he gets in return even more knowing his work helped him get it.   Explain How You Get Your...
Summer Smoothie Recipes

Summer Smoothie Recipes

Summer will be here before you know it, so cooling off with a refreshing smoothie will surely hit the spot. Kids love to drink a sweet and thick smoothie since the consistency and chill-factor is just like that of an indulgent milkshake. But you can make summer smoothies that are far healthier for your kids than milkshakes are, and they won’t miss all the extra fat and calories since these smoothie recipes are extraordinarily delicious. Kids will run in from playing outside for a cool sip and you’ll love the fact that they are so easy to make. Kids will get some much-needed servings of fruits and veggies with every glass and you won’t even have to force them to eat healthfully! Let’s get started with a few simple smoothie recipes that will tickle everyone’s taste buds! Each recipe makes 2 servings.   Peaches ‘n Crème Pour one 16 oz. can of diced peaches into a blender with the juice included. Add ½ cup low-fat milk and an 8 oz. container plain or vanilla yogurt. Add one ripe banana for added natural sweetness and blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and garnish with a peach wedge. Smooth and delicious with a peachy-great taste. Serve with graham crackers or Nilla wafers to create a peach pie combination!   Berry Blast Off Toss ½ cup blueberries, 1 cup chopped strawberries, and 1 cup raspberries into a blender. Add one ripe banana, ¾ cup orange or apple juice, and ¼ cup fat-free half and half. Scoop in 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt and 2 tablespoons sugar-free strawberry jam. Blend until smooth...
Show Your Child How to Cheer Up a Friend Who is Feeling Down

Show Your Child How to Cheer Up a Friend Who is Feeling Down

When your child is with her pals, most of the time it’s all sunshine and rainbows. Smiles and laughter prevail, and the kids play, run, and share. Hopefully, things are like this all or most of the time, but eventually, one of your child’s friends may not be having the best day. Perhaps something happened during the school day that put her in a negative mood, she has trouble at home, she got some bad or sad news, or something else happened to make her feel down in the dumps. Kids may not know how to react or what to do if their friend is having a hard day. They may dismiss the behavior and ignore it, get worried themselves, or refrain from interacting with their friend. Not because they are uncaring or unsympathetic, but they may not know just what to do. You can give your child some tools to help their friend cheer up. A little advice can go a long way for a child who is put in the position of helping a friend in need. Rather than feeling scared or awkward, your child can be a shoulder to cry on and a bright spot in their friend’s otherwise miserable day. Listen If your child notices that her friend seems down, advise her to tell her friend that she would like to know why she’s sad. She is there to listen, learn, and understand. Your child may not have the answers or a way to make things better, but an open ear and a comforting friend may just help her pal get out of her funk...
Teaching Kids It’s OK to Lose

Teaching Kids It’s OK to Lose

We all want our kids to succeed in everything they embark upon, and hopefully they do well in their efforts. Winning is often times considered the goal when it comes to sports, competitions, getting the best grades in school, and so on. That said, it is pretty rare that any person knocks it out of the park 100% of the time. There will be people who are more athletic, more talented, more prepared, or just have a lucky day. We will all fail, make mistakes, or not to our very best from time to time. While this notion may be upsetting or frustrating, particularly for children, we must teach them that it is OK to lose sometimes. As long as they tried hard, had fun, and learned something in the process, they are still a winner. Winning all the time might not even be so great anyhow. If your kid is always #1, he may not have the incentive to try harder to better himself. This could lead to slacking off, slowing down, or becoming complacent with the status quo. Even the best kid on the baseball team can train harder to excel even further. The spelling bee champ always has new words to learn. The straight-A student can still expand his mind to learn new things. The dance recital soloist must always stay strong and in shape in order to continue dancing with grace and fine form. Remind your child that the point of their activities is to become a well-rounded individual. Play sports for the exercise, teamwork, and fun. Do well in school to learn and grow,...
Healthy Springtime Side Dishes Kids Will Love

Healthy Springtime Side Dishes Kids Will Love

Springtime is here, making light and healthy eating even more welcome as the weather warms up and everyone’s more active. Many parents are used to allowing the kids to eat fries, onion rings, and mac and cheese as side dishes, and although those foods are delicious, they aren’t the healthiest of options. Here are some springtime side dish ideas the kids (and you) will enjoy and they won’t miss the usual fried and fattening fare. Getting kids used to eating healthfully and mindfully will set them up for a future full of good health and happiness. Let’s get started with eating well this spring!   Green Beans and Slivered Almonds in a Light Vinaigrette Steam 4 servings of green beans in boiling water until tender and throw into ice cold water to cease further cooking. Towel dry and place in a bowl. Add a ½ cup of slivered almonds (you can buy them at the grocer this way) and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste and 3 tablespoons olive oil and ¼ cup red wine vinegar. Toss together lightly and serve as a cold side dish. This will pair well with chicken, fish, or even pasta dishes.   Baked Sweet Potato Fries Slice 2 large sweet potatoes or yams into the shape of long fries and set out on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with sea salt and seasonings of your choice and heat in a pre-heated oven set at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve with mustard or ketchup or on their own as a yummy and healthy alternative to regular French fries....