A Roll of Family Fun with Board Games

Smart phones, laptops, or game consoles are staples in the lifestyle of most kids today. Prying them away from these techie tools seem to get more challenging each day. Introducing kids to classic bonding activities like board games can help you strike a balance between virtual entertainment and real life social interaction with fun and learning too. Here are some board games that can make spending time with friends and family better than a whole day in the virtual world.

board games, playing with kids

Hubby and son playing Blokus, a game which improves kids’ strategic ability

Board games may sound dull and boring compared to the animation and 3-D effects of video games. But do not underestimate the fun and learning that these games can bring. For instance the classic game of Snakes and Ladders combines the lessons in virtues and vices together with the excitement of chance and competitiveness to win the game. Ladders that help you get ahead of the game are represented by virtues while snakes that drag you down are represented by vices.

Another timeless classic is the Monopoly which has evolved into different versions since the 1930s. This game demonstrates the economic effects of market domination by a single entity. The objective of the game is to drive all your opponents to bankruptcy leaving the winner in control of the whole economy. Aside from Monopoly, games like Cash Flow and The Game of Life also has some practical life lessons that can be learned while playing the game.

Parents who would like to help their kids hone their math and verbal skills while having fun can turn to word games like scrabble, boggle, and Upwords. Players in these games earn points by forming words in the game. The one with the highest score at the end of the game wins. The Quirkle board game may be a better fit for families with young children. Instead of words, this game makes use of colors and shapes to form combinations and score points. Tiles of the same color and/or shape are matched to form a row or column, pretty much like a combination of domino and scrabble.

There are loads of board games that cater to a wide variety of interests. You can bring out the geek in the family by playing with board games like Smithsonian Be the Expert, Big Brain Academy, Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?, and Trivial Pursuit. There are also games that incorporate some physical activity like Reverse Charades where players are required to pantomime, and Twister where players challenged to different poses as instructed by the game cards. With all these options, there is little chance of the whole family getting bored with board games. Choose age appropriate ones or look for the latest versions to get the most fun out of them.

Importance of Reading to your Kids during Bedtime

reading to kids

 Despite being so tired during the day, many parents still opt to spend time with their children by reading to the little ones before going to sleep. Each family may have different mechanics in fulfilling this, but the routine is like the most anticipated part of the day for the kids.

There are so many benefits to reading to children before going to sleep. One, it helps them to relax and unwind after an active day (well, at least most kids are active during the day). The parent’s voice is soothing and the familiarity is relaxing. And since they only get to sit or lie down and listen, it will help usher them to a peaceful sleep.

Second, it stimulates their minds to learn language, new words, usage, and many other things. It teaches them to talk, to read, and use language more efficiently.

And lastly, but most importantly, it builds a strong bond between parent and children. They know that they are loved because you have set aside a special time to be with them. They have your undivided attention. It is also a time for parents to answer the little ones’ queries, to correct misconceptions, or the clarify things that from the book that can come in useful later on in life.

The rather short discussion after the reading time when the kids ask questions about the story is a very important time that parents should give a lot of attention to. This is the time when kids are willing to bare their souls to their parents. Despite how trivial their topics are, parents ought to keep going because this openness becomes a habit that will be carried on when the kids become teenagers. That way, it won’t become difficult for parents to deal with the transitioning to puberty because they have an open line of communication with their children.

Image credit: telegraph.co.uk

Top Spring Interior Styles

spring decor, kids room

It won’t be long before spring has sprung and we can emerge from our winter ‘hibernation’ and seize this beautiful time of year. In Eastern philosophies this season represents ‘renewal’, and getting one’s home in order is a symbolic gesture of getting one’s life in order. Perhaps this explains the mad cleaning frenzy or ‘spring clean’ that many of us go on at this time of year! So let’s take a look at how to inject some fresh, spring magic into your home and life by looking at top interior styles for Spring 2014.

Citrus chorus

The word ‘fresh’ is often associated with spring. It’s also associated with citrus fruits. What better way to introduce the essence of this season than by incorporating bright limes, yellows and oranges? You don’t have to go crazy, just use these bold colours as accents throughout rooms.

The reason why neutral colour palettes have become so phenomenally popular for home interiors (e.g. paint, window coverings and flooring) is because they provide a blank and very versatile canvas to work with. For more ideas, take a look at some stunning home interiors by www.coralhomes.com.au. If you paint with bright colours and use bold soft furnishings, chances are, you’ll get sick of them after a relatively short period of time.

Decor is by far the easiest, most affordable and flexible way to introduce colour to a home. Plus, you can change pieces throughout the year to match the season or when you feel like something different. You can alternate cushions, rugs, throws, vases and so on.

Back to Nature

spring decor, spring, spring interiors

This latest style trend is all about getting back to basics, about removing the clutter and creating a tranquil interior that you want to escape to. You can easily incorporate nature into your home. Here are some quick and easy ways to introduce nature-inspired design into your decor:

Indoor plants – there are now an amazing array of varieties to choose from, ranging from bold architectural foliage, to delicate fronds. Colours are also diverse, offering dark greens right through to bright limes. Aim for some flowering species, like bromeliads, which offer a stunning show of yellow, orange, red, pink or even purple flowers.

Floral arrangements – are a wonderful way to add beautiful bursts of colour to your home. To keep costs down, have a look into incredibly life-like artificial flowers made from silk. If flowers aren’t your thing, you can also use leaves from your garden. They look fantastic in over-sized clear glass vases and add a simple, fresh and natural element to any room.

Printed fabrics – are a very easy, but stylish way to introduce nature-inspired design to your home’s decor. There are so many options to choose from here, ranging from delicate and traditional floral designs to simple, clean, modern prints. Buying fabric by the meter and then making your own cushions and other decor items will save you a bundle and let you create unique pieces you’re unlikely to see in anyone else’s home.

So there you have it, a snapshot of how to bring quickly and affordably, spring-inspired design into your home.

Image credit:
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Safety Tips for Kids’ Party Activities

kids party, kiddie party, party activitiesThrowing a party for kids involves so much – sending out invites, decorating the party venue, preparing food, planning games and activities. You want to make sure fun is printed all over the scene that you may have completely omitted all about planning for safety. With little children in attendance, it’s extremely important to put safety on top of your planning list for kids’ party activities. Use these tips to help elicit good time minus all the ingredients that can spoil all the fun.

Serve Choke-Free Munchies. Choking is considered one of the major causes of death in children aged five and below. Choking is usually caused by eating certain types of food that eventually lodge in the throat, blocking air to pass through. To prevent any choking accident happening in your kid’s party, avoid serving hard, round, firm, smooth, sticky, and gooey foods. This includes nuts, seeds, dried fruits, popcorn, hot dogs, grapes, marshmallows, and gum. Cut food items into tiny pieces manageable for little children to munch on. Encourage children to sit down and refrain from talking while eating, instead of allowing them to run around with food in the mouth.

Opt for Foil Balloons. Although they cost more than latex balloons, foil or Mylar balloons are safer to use in children’s parties. You may order foil balloons in different designs, themes, colors, and shapes at from PartiesOnline party store. Balloons are essential party components that add festive atmosphere, but they are also a leading cause of choking deaths in children below six years old. Kids belonging to this age range are a curious lot and they tend to put anything they see lying around, including pieces of latex balloons. Once ingested, latex can completely clog the airway, causing the child to choke if not immediately removed.

Create a Safe Play Area. Looking after your own kid can be a nerve-wracking game, much more with a handful of his league running loose in the party zone. Your kid’s visitors are inclined to be more adventurous exploring a different environment. Take your childproofing skill to a level higher to make sure that your place becomes a safe setting for kids party activities. Install mini-fences to lock kids out from dangerous parts of the house such as garage, kitchen, basement, pool, and stairways. Keep away sharp objects, chemicals, fire hazards, portable appliances, and breakable objects. Check the party area for holes, water sources, and other spots that can pose as potential hazards.

Provide Safe Toys. Providing safety measures extends to allowing your tiny guests to play only with safe toys and craft materials. Avoid handing out miniscule toy articles such as marbles, puzzles, assembled toys with button-sized parts, and the like. Spare yourself from stress and anxiety by not allowing the kids to use playthings with sharp and projectile parts such as dart guns, water pistols, or bows and arrows. Wear your party safety hat on when deciding on the type of favors to give out. Send off the children safely with age-appropriate toys and goodies.

Stay Alert. You’ve fallen victim to the sneaky tricks of your tot. Make sure it doesn’t happen when there are many similarly sneaky kids under your care. Whether they’re licking ice cream, hand painting a craft, or playing some kid party activities, don’t let your eyes linger off away from them. If there’s a need for you to attend to some matters, ask another adult to watch over the kids and to call a halt when mayhem ensues. If you’re renting some party equipment for kids to bounce around, ask the company to provide staff to supervise and implement safety policies regarding proper use of equipment.

Safety does not usually occupy the top priority in planning a children’s party because no one wants to think of kids parties as dangerous. However, as everyone says, it’s better to be safe than sorry so you can use these safety tips to make your child’s day truly special and trouble free.

Fun Time in Munich

It was a two-week school break which made us decide to spend a few days in Munich which was a 2-hour drive from home. We just thought of one place which we know the kids would enjoy, the BMW Museum. Since we’ve been to both the Porsche and Mercedes Benz Museums twice, it’s really hard stopping the kids especially Zyc from asking us to visit this another famous car museum here in Germany. Aside from the museum and the historic buildings in the city center, we didn’t actually know where else to go. Thanks to Google and to my Filipina friend, we were able to have fun during our stay.

We spent four days in Munich and we started the trip with a visit to the BMW museum. The museum is closed normally on Mondays but it was open that day. It was a Monday after Easter Sunday and a national holiday so it was understandable that many families had their bonding time.

BMW museum, munich, germany

Seeing cars everywhere, there’s a happy kid!

BMW museum, munich

There was an Easter activity for kids and Ryz gladly participated. Actually, she was a bit bored so she decided to look for something to do that would relieve her boredom. In this activity she was supposed to complete tasks from different stations and would get a stamp for it. In the end, she was supposed to get a prize. Although she wasn’t able to go to all the stations she was still able to enjoy it and not notice time passed.

After almost a whole day in the museum we headed to the hotel and decided to just spend the rest of the day there. Besides it was a holiday and we had nowhere to go to.

The following day, we let the kids have fun with science in the Deutsches Museum. Deutsches Museum’s official name is German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology. It is the largest museum in Munich and the world’s largest museum of science and technology. It houses thousands of exhibited objects from the different branches of science. Now, when you go to this museum you need to wear comfortable sneakers or any footwear you’re at ease with. It is a colossal building and will take around 4 to 5 hours to complete the tour unless there will be areas of science that you’d want to skip and doesn’t interest you.

Deutsches museum, german museum, munich, germany

Aside from this building, there are also two other museums which are part of the German museum but are located in two different places. These museums hold the exhibit on Mobility and Transport such as cars, trains, and the likes and another one which is called the Flugwerft Schleissheim which is located in a historical airfield. Different aircrafts can be found there and a restoration workshop. These places were a bit far to drive to so we decided to skip these. Besides, tickets to these are valid until December of next year.

Education and fun didn’t stop here. We still have two days of excitement in this great city.