Spending Quality Time Outside The Home

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Saturdays are our fun days. My husband and I make sure we spend time with our kids outside our home. We pack our bags and a couple of snacks to enjoy the serene and green landscape at the park. With no television, smart phones, or any kind of gadgets; we spend a couple of hours chasing our kids, laughing, getting dirty in the sand box, and simply just enjoying the surrounding and the company of each other.

Leading the Pack

I must admit, it wasn’t easy to get my husband and my little kids to go outside and play. With so many toys and gadgets in the house, it was quite challenging to even get them to think about playing in the park. But I was adamant. I had to get them out of the house.

I remember when I was growing up, I had spent more time outside our house with my girlfriends. We would make our treehouse and stay there the whole day. Unfortunately for my kids now, we don’t have a lot of trees in our area. Because of that, I figured I should get them to appreciate the park that’s located near our area.

Heading Outdoors With The Family

At first, the kids didn’t want to move around so much. With no gadgets whatsoever, they got bored. The swings and the slides didn’t impress them at all. But that was only until they had noticed that my husband and I were having fun. Not minding their complaints, my husband and I were enjoying the slides and the swings. Gradually, our kids were getting the hang of it. Eventually, they were pleading, “It’s my turn, Mom!” That was music to my ears.

Fun Outdoor Activities To Do With Kids

As my kids started to enjoy the day in the park, the swings and slides were just not enough anymore. Hence, I had to think ahead. My husband and I decided to draw up some activities in the park.

So now, we pack a bottle of bubbles to take the park as well. My kids just love the bubble activity. They enjoy running after the bubbles. It’s actually a very good physical activity for them.

Together with a bottle of bubbles, we also take a hopscotch mat along with us. I learned that hopscotch is a great game for kids to play.

“… it’s super easy … it’s great for all ages. It teaches coordination, balance, all sorts of things.”

My kids are learning how to hopscotch and they’re enjoying it. They’re now appreciating the simple games that we had all grown up with.

We have been doing the Saturday-In-The-Park thingie for quite a while. My kids look forward to Saturdays now. But I really need to come up with more outdoor activities to keep their excitement level high. I am determined to spend quality time outside the home every Saturday afternoon.

Rules Of Kindergarten

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Sometime in 1988, I came across a book that stayed with me. This book is one of those that you just can’t seem to put down. But mind you, it’s not a classic. Even more, it’s not a novel or a mystery. But then, it might as well be. The title of the book is “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”. It is written by Robert Fulghum. It is such a simple book with a lot of truth in it. The knowledge and wisdom in the book was acquired through living and experiencing life. In case you want to see some reviews about the book, you can visit: http://www.librarything.com/work/29816

The essence of the book reflects the simple rules of kindergarten. Some of these simple rules are: Share your stuff. Clean up your own mess. Don’t talk to strangers. Return the things you borrowed. Listen to your teacher. As simple as they may sound, they are more than applicable in the adult life.

The book simply tells us that everything we are is the product of what we have learned when we were young. The rules we learned when we were young are still the same ones in our grownup life. Of course, there are some rules that we have picked up along the way. It is, after all, a must to learn something new every day.

Now how is this related to being a parent? Quite a lot. Our children are a reflection of who we are. Of course some wise up and learn to think for themselves, but basically, we can see ourselves in our children’s eyes. This means we have to be careful in whatever we teach our children. It is important that we are aware that they mimic everything that we do because in their eyes, we can do no wrong since we are the grownups. We, as parents, have the sole responsibility of shaping our children. Let us not forget that.

The book also shows us that the simple things in life are the hardest to forget. Our house is filled with memories of our kids when they were younger and these are just precious stuff. Our kids will grow up and become adults but the years of their childhood will always stay with us. Hence, we should treasure every moment, document every thought, play every game with them, and just take time to be with them. Before we know it, the kindergarten years are over and they’re about to graduate college.

I have had the book for decades now. I have read it over and over again. I must say that it really helps me understand the real meaning of being a parent. It still amazes me to know that the simple rules of kindergarten can really help me become a better parent.

Decorating Boxes With Beach-Finds: A Great Bonding Activity

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A day at the beach spent with children can be very rewarding. Seeing the kids frolic at the sand, catch the waves, and learn about tiny sea creatures make for real parent-child bonding time. Fun at the beach should not end when the sun comes down. By transforming certain beach finds into craft projects, the children will be able to remember their beach experience.

Easily parents and kids can decorate cardboard boxes with things they have found on the beach. Spend some time collecting shells, sand, and sea glass. Give kids a small pail and let them choose certain beach finds to take home. In the process, the parents must guide the children on what is only allowed to be taken from the beach so as not to endanger the small living sea creatures. So it is a must to see what the regulations are on the beach.

But of course, there are other beach finds that can be taken home as souvenirs. Sand, uniques stones, leaves, or whatever interesting beach piece is a good find. The materials gathered from the beach can be used to decorate boxes for all sorts of things.

For decorating boxes with beach-finds, the following materials are needed:
1. Plain cardboard boxes with cover (the box cover is where decorations are added)
2. Shells of varied assortments and sizes and/or sea glass
3. Sand
4. White Glue (white glue is best used as it dries clear)
5. Colored paper or decorative wrapping paper or paint

Simply paint or wrap the outer portion of the box. Paint the side of the top cover of the box (match it with the color of the body of the box). The top cover of the box will be decorated in shells, sand, or sea glass.

Assemble the shells to form designs like flowers, hearts, and other shapes depending on the size of the box top cover. Paste soon as a good design is formed. Create a sand-cement for added decorations (combine sand, little water and glue until it comes out pasty like cement). Layer sand cement on the box top cover and add the shells or sea glass. It takes three to four hours to completely dry the design.

A fun project for parents and children to do together. It is a great bonding activity with a great memorable output. The children can always keep the box as a reminder of their day at the beach, or the parents can use the box as a display in the house. Whichever way, this project is a good way to spend some time with children.

The day at the beach will not just be remembered in photos and videos but also in a form of a unique-looking decorative or functional item. In the years to come, the box can always make the parents and the children children look back with a smile.