Family · Kids

5 Activities That Encourage Children to Bond

5 Activities That Encourage Children to BondSpending time with friends is not only vital for a child’s happiness and wellbeing, but it also provides an ideal opportunity for them to develop crucial social skills. In this post, we’ll discuss a few activities — from team sports to laser tag for kids — that allow children to bond with one another. 

Every child is unique and will react positively to different activities and scenarios, so it’s important to explore the various options out there to find something that suits their needs and allows them to evolve both mentally and physically. Bonding with others is highly beneficial for children and can have a positive impact in many different ways, making finding things to do that encourage them to spend time with others well worth the effort.

  1. Team Sports

Let’s start with something that is and has always been a go-to activity for team building, socialising and fitness. Many of the world’s biggest sports are team-based, examples of which include football, rugby and basketball. Aside from the primary benefit of being extremely fun, they allow your children to meet new people, get in shape and learn how to work efficiently as part of a team. 

Although kids take part in these types of activities at school, finding teams or clubs outside of school can provide additional benefits, as they’ll be able to widen their social circle and may even take on a new long-term hobby.

  1. Laser Tag for Kids

Think paintball, minus the pain and with the added intrigue of modern technology, and you’ve got laser tag. An exciting, immersive experience that offers realistic combat scenarios in a safe environment, the nature of the sport is perfect for kids who are fascinated with action-packed films and television shows. More importantly, though, it’s an ideal alternative to video games that encourages kids to exercise and spend time outdoors.

So where does one go for a brilliant day of laser tag? GO Laser Tag London is one of the UK’s leading laser tag facilities. There, your children will be able to enjoy adrenaline-fuelled action and a variety of game modes while immersing themselves in an enormous forest battlefield. You’ll even get a free pizza for every player. Lunch and a fun day of laser tag — what more could your child want?

  1. Escape Rooms

Escape rooms have become more and more popular in recent years with both adults and children, as it’s not only an engaging experience that requires creative thinking, but it also demands the need for efficient teamwork. Problem-solving is an essential life skill that can benefit people no matter their age, but for children, these skills prove crucial throughout their education and career. 

A quick search online will give you a decent idea of what escape room experiences are near you, but if you’re looking for something special, it’s worth checking out some of the best escape rooms the UK has to offer.

  1. Hiking

Not all bonding activities require teamwork or a competitive environment. In fact, activities such as hiking can be an effective way of improving your child’s communication skills and fitness while encouraging them to explore the great outdoors. While on a hike, your kids will have plenty of time to engage in conversations with both children and adults. 

Whether they’re discussing everyday topics, navigating the terrain using a map or talking about something else, talking to others in real life, rather than online, is vital for the development of essential social skills and general confidence in social surroundings.

  1. Zorbing

The thin line between excitement and fear is one that many of us love to walk from time to time, and adrenaline activities offer children an engaging and unforgettable experience in a safe environment. One great example is zorbing, which consists of one or two participants getting inside a huge inflatable ball and rolling down a steep grass hill.

Although this is one of the more simple activities on the list, especially as it doesn’t really require any effort or teamwork, that isn’t to say that it’s not a brilliant bonding experience. There are also three different zorbing options to choose from; harness zorbing, aqua zorbing and black hole aqua zorbing. 

The “aqua” options involve 40 litres of water inside the inflatable sphere, which creates a waterslide-style experience with the added excitement of rolling down a steep hill. The black hole option is a blacked-out sphere, which creates an immense sensory two-person freestyle aqua ride unlike anything your children will experience at a theme park. Plus, the addition of water makes it perfect for cooling down during a hot day.

Friendship

Best Friend Gift Ideas and Inspiration

Buying a Gift for your Best Friend
Photo by Court Prather on Unsplash

Buying a present for a female best friend can be tricky. You probably know her likes and dislikes inside out, and could spot her style from a mile away, but that doesn’t always help when it comes to buying a gift. You want something special but also practical that she’ll actually get some use out of, but the two don’t often intersect. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some ideas and inspiration of what to buy your best friend for a special occassion, or when you just want to remind her how much she means to you:

A Trip

What better gift to your best friend than the gift of quality time spent together? Okay, so a jaunt to New York may be out of your budget, but a day trip to London or your nearest city for lunch and some sightseeing (or shopping!) could be an amazing way to show your best how much she means to you. You could even book a hotel and make a whole weekend out of it, allowing you to really let your hair down.

Home Tech

Buying your friend some useful tech for her home is a great way to show her how much she means to you, but also how well you know her! Is she someone who always needs ice in her drink? How about buying her the best ice maker for her home so that she’ll always have fresh ice for her beverages?

Unique Jewellery

Going and buying your bestie some generic jewellery might be an easy option, but it won’t neccessarily be well received. However, if you opt for some unique jewellery with a design that suits her personality, it’s likely to be a gift that she will love and cherish forever.

An Experience

Kind of like a trip, but with a difference! Is your bestie a thrill seeker? Is there something she’s always wanted to do? Booking an experience day for her means that not only will you get to spend time with her, but you’ll get to watch her tick something off of her bucket list. A couple of years back, Husband booked me a zoo keeper experience to help care for raccoons and it was, hands down, the best gift I’ve ever received!

A Photo Book

If you have a whole bunch of picures of the two of you from over the years, a photo book could be an amazing way to memorialise your friendship. Spend just a few hours picking your favourites and using an online photobook maker and you’ll end up with a totally personalised gift which will bring back so many memories of happy times together.

Do you have any amazing ideas for showing your best friend how much she meas to you? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Home

Making Our Current Home Work for Us

Making Our Home Work for Us
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Next week, Sausage starts senior school. She turned eleven a few weeks ago and suddenly seems so grown up. She currently shares a bedroom with her sister, which was their choice when we moved in, but a lot can change in the space of four years and I think Sausage is craving her own space. It will be even more important when she has homework to do and needs a quiet place to do it, so we’re having a re-jig of the whole home, to make it work for us.

We have three bedrooms in our home – one for Husband and I, one for the girls and another which is used as an office/dressing room/junk room. Sausage is going to have the room that Husband and I are in so that she and BB have rooms which are the same size, while Husband and I will move into his office and the dining room will become the office.

Both girls would like their bedrooms decorated too, and their colour choices could not be a better illustration of their differing personalities. Sausage wants her bedroom to be purple with black accents, and BB wants hers to be even more pink than it already is! Everyone says they look alike, but I always counter that with “…but their personalities are VERY different!” We’re buying a new bed for Sausage as she’s currently in bunk beds with her sister, and she’s looking forward to choosing one.

At the moment, what we call “the dining room” isn’t actually used for anything close to dining. It’s where Sausage’s budgie, Bagel, lives, as well as the family’s bikes. Our shed isn’t massively secure, so we keep the bikes inside, but this will definitely need to change. As well as a bed, we need to invest in some sort of bike storage for the home, like a shed or lockable bike box to keep everything safe and secure.

We need to do a few other things around the house, too. Our kitchen floor needs replacing and we have the tiles, we just need to get around to actually laying them! Our upstairs bathroom is in a state of disrepair, just because it’s quite old, so we’re hoping our landlady will take care of some of that this year too.

I think the only room we’re not doing anything to is the living room! However, once we get all of the moving around and rearranging done, our home will work a whole lot better for us.

#LoveYourself

How to Be Happier with Your Appearance

How to Be Happier with Your Appearance
Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

As someone who struggles with their self esteem and appearance, I know that it can be hard at times to look in the mirror and be okay with what you see. There are lots of things that I’d like to change about myself, and although I have no issue with people who choose cosmetic surgery, it’s not something I would ever do. There are, however, a few non-invasive cosmetic things that I could do which I think would make me feel happier with the way I look. Here’s a few of them:

Eyelash Lift and Tint

Some days I wake up and really can’t be bothered with make-up. However, I have light eyelashes and look a bit run down if I don’t have at least some mascara on. I’m put off of the idea of having semi-permanent lashes because of the cost and upkeep but I would like to have a lash lift and tint, which make your eyes look more open and your lashes look as though you’re wearing make-up.

Brazillian Blowdry

My hair is ANNOYING AF. It’s not straight, but it’s also not curly. It’s this annoying inbetweeny, not-really-anything texture which means I need to straighten it every day if I want to wear it down and that is a massive pain. I’d love a Brazillian blowdry which would massively reduce the amount of styling I need to do to my hair and might mean that I don’t wake up looking like I’ve been dragged through a hedge every day!

Cosmetic Dentistry

I had braces when I was younger and they did a pretty good job of getting my teeth straight, but years of over brushing and acid reflux mean I’ve not got a lot of enamel left on my teeth, which makes them look discoloured. I’d love to have some sort of cosmetic dentistry done so that my teeth are not just straight, but also white again! I think a perfect smile would really improve my appearance.

Laser Tattoo Removal

I only have 4 tattoos and most of them are fine, but I have one that I hate and it’s the one which is in the most noticeable place. I don’t mind having a tattoo, and if anything I plan on having more,  I just don’t like this one, so I’d love to have a few sessions of laser removal done so that I can have it covered with a design that I actually like!

Laser Hair Removal

I’m gonna be real with you – I am really bad at shaving. As well as leaving it too long between shaves and ending up with the appearance of a yeti, I’m actually physically bad at it and end up covered in cuts! I’m too much of a wimp for waxing or epilating, so laser hair removal would be great for me. As well as cutting down on how much shaving I need to do, it would save me from the blood loss I suffer each time when I massacre my own legs!!

Family · Holidays

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Worried If You’re Not The ‘Right Kind’ Of Family

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It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Many of us feel that if we haven’t the main nuclear family setup with 2.5 children and a white picket fence, we aren’t up to snuff. Something has surely gone wrong when making our life decisions. But of course, that is absolutely nowhere close to the truth. Too many families are made to feel as though they are too out of the ordinary simply because they may not have the ability or the inclination to raise children, or that they are a same-sex couple, or that they might have been together for years without getting married.

This can unfortunately leave you to think you are the odd ones out, even though in your heart you know you are just as worthwhile as any other family. Let our advice help you feel more certain in yourself – for no other reason than this is simply the right way to consider things. We hope it helps you grow back that confidence, no matter how you have bene treated.

Love Is All That Matters

If you have love, that is all that matters. No matter if you’re related, if you’re adopted, if you live in the same house, close, or far apart. A family is family when it loves one another. There are many ‘families’ out there that are related by blood but never speak to each other. There are parents who simply threw money at having their children raised by nannies and rarely ever spoke to them. Love is all that matters, however you express it in a caring manner. If you have that, you are a verifiable family.

Blood Isn’t Thicker Than Water

‘Blood is thicker than water’ is a saying that often suggests you should prioritize your blood relatives above all else. But most of us know that is never the case. Blood is never thicker than water. For that, let us use an example. Perhaps a mother of a child has been single for some time now, and wishes to enter the dating scene. They meet someone despite not forcing their interactions, and they hit it off naturally. They fall in love. Said step-father loves the child of his new partner wholeheartedly. It doesn’t matter to him that the child is not his, because by all accounts, he loves said child like one of his own. He works day after day to provide for them, and spends most of his free time playing with or speaking to them. He is dependable, always there when needed, attending band practice, sports days, and teaching said child how to stand up to the bullies at school. 

Said stepfather finds out about how Tacori offers a broad catalog of gorgeous engagement rings, and purchases one for the proposal, which is swiftly accepted. Is that stepfather any less of a father because the child was born of another man? It might be that said biological father didn’t leave due to bad personality management, but due to a saddening and unfortunate circumstance. Does this lessen the fact that the stepfather is the true father? Some might have opinions about this, but we would say absolutely not. We are not raised and do not learn life by those who biologically bring us into this world, but by who stands next to us throughout our journey with unconditional love. If your family has that in any capacity – you’ll also realize that blood is not thicker than water, at least in the figurative sense.

Every Family Has Faults

While there are of course certain levels of family fault to consider (abuse is never acceptable), if you discount your family ties because you might have disagreements from time to time – understand that it is natural. Back to our stepfather example, it might be that despite being there, a stepfather isn’t the most social or friendly with the children. However, he still provides and is still responsible.

While perhaps not the picturesque hollywood-movie view of a family, it’s important to know that whatever works for you, works for you, and being unapologetic about that can be important. We often forget that a family grows together, and cares for one another. When you keep in mind that you are all on a journey together and sometimes, learning happens through minor conflict, you can default to being more supportive and less worried about your definition of your family health.

With this advice – we hope you can feel more certain in your loving relationships with your family members. With communication, all can be healed or appreciated.