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

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

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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Three Crucial Tips for Creating Your Hybrid Home Office

Three Crucial Tips for Creating Your Hybrid Home Office

Imagine ditching the daily grind, working from home and getting down to business on your own terms: living the dream, right?

However, one of the most overlooked aspects of working from home is the importance of a designated office space.

After all, many remote workers don’t have the luxury of a dedicated home office and therefore must make do with the space that they already have. If you’re already in a cramped apartment or simply don’t have the square footage for a designated office, is your journey as a solopreneur sunk?

Absolutely not.

It takes a bit of creativity and some rearranging to make work, but it is possible to create a hybrid home office by understanding how to make the most of you space you already have.

Pick the Right Spot

In most cases, you have three options of meshing an existing space in your home to create an office environment:

  • Your bedroom
  • Your guest room
  • Your living room

Each of these spaces has their distinct advantages and disadvantages. For example, you’re probably most prone to interruptions in your living room if your working hours aren’t confined to the daytime. Similarly, staying cooped up in your bedroom may make you feel a bit claustrophobic as you spend the bulk of your day in the same space.

Ideally, a home office can be placed in a guest room which often goes unoccupied most of the time anyway. This option provides you with the most space as you can invest in a stylish daybed and install a desk in a guest room without feeling cramped.

Make the Most of Your Storage

Considering that you’re going to need to take up as little space as possible, make sure you have storage options that allow for a compact working environment. Whether through home storage hacks such as hanging storage or Ikea-style cubes where you can hide your clutter, it’s important that you take up as little space as possible to give yourself some literal breathing room.

Designate a Space That’s Distraction-Free

Regarding the placement and design of your home office, bear in mind that one of the notorious productivity killer is distractions. Many stay at home workers sadly discover distractions after they’ve set up their office, so don’t make that mistake. Such distractions related to the placement and design of your office include:

Light – Make sure that you control the level of lighting in your room to your preference, either by investing in lamps or sun-blocking shades.

Noise – Noise most definitely impacts your productivity: if your desired office space is adjacent to a window or on the side of your home that faces a busy street or highway, you may want to rethink your placement.

Family – Likewise, you may want to have your office away from the kitchen or your kids’ rooms (think: high traffic areas of your home). Also, make it crystal clear to your family that your office space means serious business. In other words, it’s not a play area, nor is it somewhere where you should be disturbed.

Creating a hybrid home office just plain makes sense if you’re in a cramped space; however, you need to be both smart and selective when it comes to design and placement. Think of it this way: the sooner you get settled in your new space, the sooner you can get down to business.

 

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