Are your tweens bored during family outings and activities? Perhaps you just need to switch things up and try something new. You don't necessarily have to spend too much money on fancy gadgets. In fact, that could distract them from family fun. To keep the tweens from being bored, our family is always trying something new. Here are some of the all-time favorites that have passed the 'tween fun' test.
Turn walking into an adventure. Asking your tweens to go on a walk may bore them. But only if you make it seem like a chore. Instead, turn it into an exploration. Take a walk on neighborhood trails and bring along specimen containers and other investigative tools. A note pad is great for drawing observations and writing down interesting discoveries and theories. A magnifying glass can help when inspecting insects, leaves, animal tracks, and more. Binoculars are useful when watching birds and other creatures at a distance.
Flash back to when all we used was imagination. Today's tweens are often so into technology that some rarely use their imaginations. Think back to those fun little games you played, such as Telephone, telling ghost stories, Truth or Dare, and more. Remember all the fun you had playing these games with friends and family? Play them with your family and if your tween has her won ideas or variations, go along with them. These games are not just a good source of entertainment. They can also help bring families closer through the power of laughter. The best part is that they can usually be adapted to fit all age ranges. This is an important aspect in a large family like ours.
Scavenger hunts are cheap, easy, and entertaining. It doesn't take strenuous planning to set up a scavenger hunt. But the resulting fun and memories are priceless. Create a list of items for each child to find in the backyard or area park. These should be easy things to find in nature, such as a dried leaf, a fallen twig, or a rock. Your tweens (and even the younger kids) can be given a reusable grocery bag for collection purposes. It's up to you whether to make it a competition and award prizes or just let the kids go to it finding the items. If you want to mix things up even more, instead of the list, give the kids a treasure map or one clue at a time as each item is found.
Tweens and music go hand-in-hand. Turn up the music and have a family dance session. But don;t play just your music. Let the tweens choose music as well. I know, I know, some of their choices will be worse than nails on a chalkboard - at least to your ears. Save the complaints about it for another time and just enjoy the time with your kids. Understanding the music your tweens listen to can help you understand them more as well. The kids might even be able to teach you a new dance. You know they will feel you need the lessons.
Wacky sports can be a big hit with tweens. Have you ever tried blending sports together? For instance, try playing soccer or basketball while skating. Invent your own sports by mixing up and combining two or more sports with each other. Safety first, of course, but other than that, be creative. Water Balloon Golf is one of the more interesting combination games my kids and I enjoy playing together. This one is best played on warmer days. If it's a good day for swimming, then it's a good day for this golf variation.
Eliminate The Need To Haul Playpen/Bassinet To Park Or Other Outing
Baby can get worn out in the most inconvenient places, but it's up to the parents to prepare for this. With a double stroller, you can just lie the back seat down and bring up the footrest or under-attachment for protecting baby from falling. All four sides will be secure and create a quick napping spot that is also safe and comfortable. It can also act as a bassinet for smaller babies. If you have a particularly fussy baby, this can come in handy. Just pull the stroller back and forth to create motion for a cranky baby. Most double strollers also have a 4-way harness system (much like that of a car seat, but a bit thinner) in the back seat to prevent a small baby from rolling. The footrests usually also will latch upright. Some models may allow two such resting areas.
No Need To Hunt Down a Sanitary Changing Station
Changing a baby when you're on the go can be a challenge. You need a place to do it, which can't always be found and then if you do find a spot, it is rarely clean or sanitary. That's when your back seat in the double stroller comes in handy. Lie it all the way back and strap baby in with the correct buckle (harness or regular), depending on baby's age. Now you have a clean and safe surface for changing baby. This can also be a good spot to change baby's clothing if it gets soiled.
If You Get Pregnant Again, It's One Less Item To Buy
Sometimes a new baby will come right after the first or at least two years apart. The first child is still in the stroller, but now a second child will be in the stroller as well. Well, have no fear. You've already purchased the double stroller, so you're one step ahead in that department.
Most Infant Car Seats Can Attach To Both Seats
Lugging around the car seat of a sleeping baby is not exactly fun, but you don't want to wake baby, either. Most double strollers allow for two infant seats to be attached to the stroller easily. You may only need to attach one, but if so, you'll still have room for another child or some cargo. Cross-branding is okay, too because many models, like the Graco DuoGlider (mentioned above), will give instructions for latching other brands into the stroller properly.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
As you get closer to that big day, the day of your precious baby's birth, a variety of things will be going on inside your head, as well as your home. You probably will find yourself on a countdown of sorts. Anxiousness and excitement are just a couple of the emotions you might be feeling. Likely, with the help of your newfound "nesting" instinct, your home will be undergoing changes, preparing for the arrival of the new baby.
Seeing your precious little one through ultrasound or sonogram and hearing his or her tiny persistent heartbeat during the final stages of pregnancy may have you steadily finding yourself on a countdown. How many days until it is time for baby's arrival? You have been carrying and nurturing this sweet bundle and you are anxious to not only see the fruits of your labor but to meet this little person you have somehow come to love without yet seeing in the outside world.
It can be beneficial to feel excited or anxious, but it can also cause stress. One way to avoid this type of situational stress is to pour that anxiousness and excitement into planning for the baby's arrival. This is where the excitement and anxiousness actually will come in handy. There is plenty to do and plan for. Keep busy at it and before you know it, your pregnancy will be over and you will have given birth, in what can seem like a blink of an eye. Creating lists for each task can help make this aspect easier. Writing is also a great stress reliever, so the lists could have more than one benefit.
One thing you may be planning on your countdown is the type and style of furniture you would like in your baby's nursery. There could also be wall decorating or painting, the choosing of the nursery bedding, packing the hospital diaper bag for mom and for after the birth of the baby and many more tasks. A baby needs various supplies, some small and some large. It may take some time to come up with everything you feel is necessary, which is perfect for keeping your mind busy and focused, rather than stressed about the countdown to the big day.
Another great thing to do while on your birth countdown is to talk to family and friends who have experience with pregnancy and birth. Asking them what they did in their final days could yield some great tips and possibly uncover some ideas on preparing for the baby that you may not have thought about previously. Spending time laughing with friends and family can also be beneficial in preparing for the new baby. Not only can it be a stress reliever, but once baby comes, you may not be as available for this special time. For this reason, getting plenty of rest during the birth countdown is also a good idea.
*I originally published a version of this content via Yahoo Contributor Network
Home Diaper Rash Remedies
It's three o'clock in the morning and your baby is not happy. You check all the usual needs. It's not yet time for a feeding. The baby does not seem to have gas. The pacifier is not satisfying him. You then check to see if the diaper is soiled. Now you know why the baby is upset. He is uncomfortable, due to a diaper rash. But, you have a problem. You have no diaper rash ointments and the stores are all closed.
Having multiple children, I've been there a time or two (or more). Don't worry. Those over-the-counter products are not always the best for baby's skin anyhow. Many home diaper rash remedies are simple to prepare and very effective. Below are three of my favorite home diaper rash remedies. You likely have at least one of these home diaper rash remedies on hand already.
An oatmeal bath is one of my favorite home diaper rash remedies. This simple homemade diaper rash remedy takes away the itching and discomfort. It also helps to heal and soften the skin. To make an oatmeal bath suitable for home diaper rash remedies, you'll need an adult-sized tube sock and some old-fashioned oats. Generic brands work just as well as brand names.
Fill the tube sock about halfway with the old-fashioned oats. Then, tie the open end with a knot. Run the bathwater as usual. Swish the sock around in the water for about 30 seconds. Remove the sock from the water and squeeze the excess liquid into the water. Then, give the baby a bath as normal. This method works in a baby bathtub or regular bathtub. Use the appropriate bathtub for your baby, depending on his or her age.
Another of my favorite home diaper rash remedies, homemade baby powder, has been around for centuries. Home diaper rash remedies are often very simplistic in nature, but many are effective as well. For this homemade diaper rash remedy, it is no different. All that is need for homemade baby powder is flour and a saucepan. Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add 1 cup of flour. Stir it around for about 30 seconds until lightly browned. Pour into a cup. Test the flour before applying to baby's diaper area. The flour should be warm to the touch, but should not be warm enough to irritate the skin. This should be applied after each diaper change. This home diaper rash remedy helps to soak up excess moisture. Excess moisture is a leading cause of many different types of diaper rash. While a common ingredient in over the counter baby powders, talc (or talcum) can be harmful when breathed into a baby's lungs.
Milk of Magnesia (commonly used as a treatment for heartburn) is also on my favorite list of home diaper rash remedies. This simple home diaper rash remedy only requires a bottle of milk of magnesia and a soft cloth. Simply apply milk of magnesia to the affected area with the soft cloth after each diaper change. Allow the area to fully dry before placing a clean diaper on baby.
Note: These home diaper rash remedies are for common diaper rashes. Diaper rashes due to a bacterial or viral infection must be examined by a licensed medical professional. If a baby's diaper rash is not improving, see a licensed medical professional. These tips are intended for informational purposes only.
How to Prevent Diaper Rash
Cure Baby Diaper Rash Quickly and Naturally
Diaper Rash Treatment
* I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Quick and Cheap Homemade Pizza Recipe
If you're like me, then you prefer homemade pizza to any other. But making pizza can get pretty costly if you aren't careful. There are many ways I like to make homemade pizza. Here is my favorite quick and easy homemade pizza recipe for those on a budget.
For this quick and easy budget homemade pizza, you'll need a low-cost way to make the crust. Homemade is the lowest-costing, but unless you have prepared some the night before, it isn't very quick. The next best thing is to purchase pizza crust in a bag or box. I prefer Martha White brand pizza crust. It comes in a small bag and is usually about 75 cents per bag. Usually the ones that come in boxes are twice as much but make the same amount of dough.
Anyhow, you'll also need some low-cost pizza sauce that also tastes good. I find that the Hunt's brand tomato sauce gives me the flavor I'm looking for at a low price - usually just a little over a dollar. Plus, if you buy the plain one that is just pure tomato sauce, it can be flavored how you want. I like to add garlic, pepper, and oregano. What, no salt? Well you can add what you want, but I'm not too big on salt and leave it out of many of my recipes if at all possible. Besides, my pizza usually contains pepperoni, which already contains salt.
That leads us to the next ingredient - pepperoni. I find that the cheapest pepperoni slices that still have flavor are the Kroger brand pepperoni slices. I have a big family, so of course I am going to be buying a large package. Today I bought a large package of Kroger brand pepperoni slices for just under three dollars.
What's a pizza without cheese? My favorite cheese is actually mozzarella, so it makes sense that I make homemade pizza often. I most often use mozzarella cheese for my homemade pizza. It's low-cost and stretchy, as pizza cheese should be. Mixing Pepper-jack cheese with the mozzarella works well also and gives some variety. Parmesan is also a common pizza cheese. I find mozzarella and pepper-jack to be two of the most budget-friendly options for homemade pizza.
If you'd like toppings other than pepperoni and cheese, but would still like to keep the cost low, try mushrooms in a can, sliced black olives in a can, sliced jalapenos in a jar, and marinated artichokes in a small jar. The artichokes are usually a little over a dollar and the mushrooms, jalapenos, and olives are usually less than a dollar.
To actually prepare the pizza, follow the directions for preparing the dough. Once you have the dough flattened and shaped to your pizza pan, pour some sauce in the middle of the dough in a circle. Take a spoon and circle around the sauce until it spreads in an even circle around the crust dough at the point you want it to be.
Then, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the sauce at an amount to your liking. Now, because I have kids, I put the mushrooms and artichokes on first and then cover those with the pepperoni. They may know they are there already, but I think it helps them forget there are vegetables on the pizza. Other parents will understand the purpose behind that.
Now, stick the pizza in the oven at the recommended temperature on the pizza crust package. It generally takes about 10-15 minutes to cook. Watch for browning crust and bubbling cheese. That will tell you that the pizza is done. The only thing left to do after that is eat. Enjoy!
-- Note that any reference to any particular product/s in the above document is based solely on the opinion of the author. The author has not been compensated by the product company/companies in monies, gifts, or monetary awards for the mention of said product/products.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons; Public Domain
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
While rescuing civilians from boring content and brands, this awesomely crazy family conquers the world, managing Intent-sive Nature while going on Upstream Parenting adventures & lessons, sometimes in an RV. They strive to cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they settle for rescue dogs and cats.
By supporting us, you support a single parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to and/or stands for several causes, including homeless pets, homeless people, trans youth, equality, helping starving artists, and more! A portion of all proceeds from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature goes toward worthy causes.
For guidance in the world of freelance writing or for advice on her specialty topics, Ask Lyn.