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Worried Your Kids Watch Too Much TV? Try These Ideas Instead

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It is so easy to use the TV as a babysitter. We’ve all got so many household chores to do while the children are around. We cook, we clean, we do the laundry and the vacuuming. We can’t physically entertain our kids every second of every day or nothing would get done. So, to keep them in one safe spot for ten minutes, on goes the TV. We know where they are, we know they’re safe, and we know we can get a nourishing meal on the table.

However, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of having the TV on for a lot longer. I’m not a fan of all those ear-piercing sound effects that sound like the phone is ringing in the other room, or someone’s knocking on the door. But I can see how easy it is to let all that wash over you. And before you know it, an hour has passed. So what can you do to drag your kids away from the TV? There’s more than you might think.

The children in my life love their favorite TV characters with a passion. But I’ve learned that they don’t need to be watching them on TV to enjoy them. Merchandise has exploded into our lives. There are bed sets and lampshades and pencil cases and lunchboxes. You can find your favorites adorning bags, clothes, scooters, and snack packets. There are even dolls and plushes of their favorites. It can all be pretty expensive, but at least, they’re not sat in front of the TV.

There are also lots of games and puzzles featuring TV and film characters. These I can get on board with. They encourage lateral thinking and fine motor skills. And the scooter gets them active and outdoors. I can’t complain for a second with these things. And it’s all thanks to a funny little character they saw on TV. Are your kids refusing to wear their sweaters when it’s chilly? Simply pop down to the store and pick one up that has a picture of their favorite TV character on it. The sweater will probably never come off again!

If you’re looking to get your kids more active and outdoors, you might be able to find some items bearing their favorite characters too. Bicycles and scooters are very popular. You should read some reviews though to find the best quality ones. And bear in mind that you may be paying a little more for the item just because it has the characters on there.

I love that the theme parks are getting on board with the TV shows at the moment. You can find all your favorite Nickelodeon characters like Spongebob Square Pants and Dora The Explorer. Many theme parks have rides based on family movies and other TV characters too. It’s a great day out, and the kids are running around keeping active at the same time.

While you’re traveling for your day out or if you’re going on vacation, it’s handy to have some episodes of their TV show available. They can be watched on a tablet or even smartphone. But there are plenty of apps that are more engaging and interactive. They may even be educational. Best of all, they feature your child’s favorite character. Your kids think they’re playing, but they’re actually learning at the same time.

Image Source: clconroy
Image Source: clconroy

To keep your kids active and away from the TV, you could try shopping for some branded sports items. You can often find balls with characters on. Slippers bearing cartoon characters have been around for ages. But I’m now starting to spot more and more sports shoes with logos and pictures on. Cycle helmets and skateboard pads are also available in most characters!

If you can’t find something that you need with their favorite character on, you can cheat. Stickers are very easy to come by. You can usually find them online, at your newsagent, or even in the dollar stores. It’s a great activity to do with your little one too. Sticking stickers keep some of the kids I see entertained for ages. Once they’re branded their helmet or trike, they’re ready to ride. And this means they’re out of the house, in the fresh air, and getting some exercise!

I love buying gifts for the kids when it’s their birthdays. I do my best to find them something educational or activity based. But you could also keep them active on their special occasion. You can find jumping castle hire near you that may well have inflatables of a TV show or a movie. Why not have their party at a theme park? It’s a great day of fun for them, and they’ll be away from the TV!

I know the TV has its place. And I definitely appreciate how handy it is when I have to get on with a couple of chores. There is certainly a time for sitting down and cuddling your little one in front of a StoryTime TV show or their favorite cartoon. I’m definitely all for watching TV when I finally get a chance to sit down in the evening! But I also understand why so many parents are against letting their kids watch it.

We all want to spend quality time with the kids. And most of us wish we could find more ways and more time to engage with our children. It’s not easy these days. Fortunately, there are channels that specialize in educational programming. They can explain and demonstrate things in ways I just don’t have the resources to do. Plenty of kids learn a lot from the way things are presented on TV shows.

Image Source: GaborfromHungary
Image Source: GaborfromHungary

At the end of the day, if a funny little yellow character with a passion for bananas gets my kids to eat more fruit, that can’t be a bad thing, surely. And if they want to be out playing soccer with their friends all afternoon because there is a picture of a Turtle on the ball, how can that not be good? Perhaps there are more uses for that TV than we thought.

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Treat The Kids To A Week’s Vacation In Boston

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Some parents believe that city breaks and kids don’t mix, but that’s not the case. Admittedly, some cities and children don’t mix, like Las Vegas, it might have a lot to see and do, but with young kids, it’s just far too crazy. There are lots of cities that are kid-friendly, but none more so than Boston. Of all the ideal cities for a family break, this place has to be number one.

Image Source: Flickr
Image Source: Flickr

The reason Boston is so perfect for a family getaway is because the activities aimed at kids are all also adult-friendly. There are lots of things to do as a family that everyone will enjoy. There are also plenty of child-friendly restaurants that serve healthy food that’s affordable priced.

Make travel as stress-free as possible

You have lots of options when it comes to getting to Boston, depending, of course, on where you live. The main travel options are to fly, take the train or drive; flying tends to be quickest but with little ones in tow, driving can be easiest. How you choose to travel is up to you – choose the fastest, most affordable and least stressful option.

However you want to travel, pack the kids activity packs to keep them occupied. Magazines, mini toys, and tablets loaded up with their favorite movies and games can work wonders when it comes to travel. Keep them occupied, and you’ll find your journey much easier to cope with.

Be choosy about your hotel

Often, the most stressful part of traveling with kids is choosing the hotel. This is because as a parent, you need to find a hotel that’s child-friendly, and also affordable. To get an idea of all the most budget-friendly Boston hotels, check out these hotels deals. Often, if you look online, you can find some fantastic discounts for four and five-star hotels.

Aim to select a hotel that’s within walking distance of the city center. This is especially important when you have little ones as their legs get tired more quickly than ours do. Of course, you could use the city’s public transport system to get around, but this just makes the trip more expensive.

Research all the best family-friendly restaurants

Kids are fussy eaters; they like what they like, and that’s it. If you plan on eating out while you’re away, it’s a good idea to research all the best family-friendly places to eat. There’s a lot of seafood served here, so you’ll find fish dishes on almost every menu. That’s ideal if your kids love fish, but if they don’t, it’s not so ideal.

The good news is that there are plenty of places that serve pizza, pasta, burgers, and grills. So there should be lots of places with food your children like on the menu. The best child-friendly places to eat, include Chatham Squire, Sel De La Terre, and La Verdad. You’ll also find plenty of family-friendly street food, so there’s no need to stress about what your little ones will eat.

Create a plan of your daily activities

If anything, you’ll have too much choice when it comes to what to see and do each day. If your children love exploring, walking around the city could be enough to keep them occupied for a few hours, as there are so many things to see and do.

From artsy museums and unique parks, there is plenty on offer. Don’t forget to hit the Freedom Trail while you’re in the city. Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, and Boston Common are also worth a visit.

For the perfect family city break, Boston is the ideal place.

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5 Tips for Bringing the Spark Back into Your Relationship

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Relationships can grow stale as life gets busy and time for each other dwindles. It is important to make time for each other, laugh and smile often to keep a relationship healthy and interesting. Be spontaneous sometimes, it’ll keep your partner guessing.

Plan a Date Night

Even if you’ve been married for 20 years, you still need to have date nights every now and then. This is especially important for new parents. You spend so much time focusing on parenting that you forget about each other.

Plan something fun and ask a friend or family member to watch the kids. Go to your favorite restaurant
or take part in an activity that you both enjoy. Some time alone together can do wonders for your dulling relationship.

Take a Weekend Trip

Sometimes you just need a temporary change of scenery, without children and friends/family stopping over unannounced. Consider a bed and breakfast, or rent a cottage/cabin for a weekend. Leave your computers at home and just focus on each other. Plan some activities, and of course, some time for romance later in the evening.

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Recreate your First Date

Consider recreating your first date. It will start a reminiscent journey of your time together. You should laugh and remember feeling awkward on your first date. Remember the nerves and excitement that you felt. Going back to where your journey together started will help you both remember why you chose too on it together, and can help bring that lost spark back.

Try Something New

Try a new activity together. Challenging yourselves as a couple is a good idea. If you both have different interests, consider trading off and taking part in an activity of the other’s liking. It will give you a better look of their personality and may teach you something new. The activity may be enjoyed by both of youand become a regular part of your lives.

Cook Together

Cooking together can be very romantic. There is something about food, and cooking that brings people together. Taste everything together, make adjustments together and have fun making the meal. Try something you’d normally order in a restaurant and follow the recipe carefully. To make it a little more fun, put your own spins on recipes and really make them your own. Cooking together should be done regularly as it can lead to a very romantic evening later.

Couples tend to lose sight of each other and the relationship as time goes on. People become comfortable with their relationship situation, which in turn, can become boring. Keep your partner guessing. Keep life interesting. Without spontaneity, interest can be lost completely. When a problem arises, work on it together, without arguing and do something unexpected that is fun.

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