210 articles Articles posted in Family

A New Family Car for Us

It’s a sad fact that our old jalopy just isn’t going to cut the mustard for much longer. It’s 20 years old now and although it’s still working just fine, I’m not convinced it’ll go through the next MOT and there are lots of bits which seem to have just given up the ghost – the door lining is peeling off (although I DID use my new glue gun to mend it, which I was most pleased about!), the wiring has seen better days and the fumes that the exhaust blow out absolutely STINK! Our budget isn’t huge, although we might consider getting a car loan  to help us afford something a little better, but here are the things which will be the most important factors when choosing:

Safety

The main reason we have our current car is that it’s made by a manufacturer which is known to be super safe. Whenever we look at second-hand cars, we always check the safety rating and if it’s less than satisfactory then the model doesn’t make it onto our list.

Economy

As much as I’d probably have great fun driving around in some huge tank of a car, it’s really not an economically sound choice for us. We’re looking for something with a mid-sized engine, decent fuel consumption because I do a fair amount of miles, something which isn’t going to be in the higher Road Tax bracket and also a car which is cheap to fix if something goes wrong!

Size

Our current car is an estate, and while it’s been handy (like when my tumble drier broke in the middle of winter and I went and collected a replacement in the boot of the car!) to have the extra boot space, we probably don’t need it. More seats would come in handy though, so I suppose we’d consider a 7-seater, if there is such a thing as an economical 7-seater!

Comfort

One thing that can be said about our current car is that it’s pretty comfy. The seats are decent and the car feels like our little home from home. Before we had this car, we briefly had a little Fiesta which we drove to Liverpool in a few years ago and the seats were so uncomfortable that I was numb down one side by the time we got back!! I don’t expect Rolls Royce-level comfort but seats which don’t hurt my ass are pretty important.

Entertainment

I know that the girls would absolutely love a car with screens in the back of the headrests for them to watch on our journeys and we do spend a lot of time in the car so I certainly don’t begrudge them that. For me, a radio and decent speakers are super important – I’ve never liked driving in silence and I NEED to be able to listed to Pop Master on BBC Radio 2 every morning!

What family car do you have? Do you love it? Would you recommend it? Do leave me a comment below, all inspiration is more than welcome!

Thinking of Foreign Lands

Just recently, Husband and I have decided that we really need a holiday. It’s been over a decade since we’ve left the UK and the girls have never been away, so it’s definitely time to get packing! We’ve got a few ideas of where we’d like to go as a family, and I thought I’d share some of them with you:

Malta

I’ve been to Malta twice myself, before marriage and kids, and I think it’s basically the perfect short-haul destination for families. There are cities, beaches, historical relics, brilliant shops, restaurants, activities, and everything is family friendly.

Paris

Before Husband and I ever met, we actually both went to Paris at the exact same time without even knowing it, and it’s somewhere we’d both love to revisit. I think we could make a really great family break out of it, combining time in the city to see all of the sights, as well as a couple of days at Disneyland! Agoda is a great place to look for good deals on accommodation around Disneyland Paris.

Iceland

Iceland is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit and there are SO many things I want to see there, from the Blue Lagoon to the rugged volcanic landscapes. Polar bear spotting and Northern Lights trips would be such an amazing experience for the girls and taking there somewhere which isn;t one of the ‘ordinary’ destinations really appeals.

Ibiza

I never made it to Ibiza in my clubbing days, but I’ve heard and read a lot about it as a family destination and it actually sounds perfect. There’s LOADS to do and apparently the northern side of the island is much quieter and more family-oriented. I’d still be tempted to watch sunrise at Cafe Del Mar, though 😉

Lake Garda

Another place which seems perfect for families is Lake Garda. There’s loads to do for families, like watersports and sightseeing, and there’s a real edge of luxury cool which would appeal to most grown ups. Mediterranean countries always have a real acceptance of kids in restaurants and public places too, which makes eating out as a family so much easier!

Where is your favourite place to go as a family? Do you have any destinations on your family bucket list? Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear all about it.

Bubble ball suit, Body bubble ball

Bubble ball suit is available in different sizes. You can wear the small bubble ball suits to play Bubble ball game, and the bigger ones can be used to roll down the hill. Bubble ball game is a game which is safe from the real soccer game. It is even more enjoyable than the soccer game. When a person wears it, then he/she will turn into a Body bubble ball. The Bubble ball suit is easy to wear, and it contains strips and handles. When a person wears it, then he/she can have a grip on it through the handles and strips. Some people assume that a person can have breathing problem while wearing bubble ball suits. Well, it is a false thing completely.
There are holes present in these bubble ball suits which are specially designed for the transfer of air. If you are a sports lover or love to spend time with your family, then you can get a couple of bubble ball suits for yourself and family members to play bubble ball game. You can also play bubble ball game at the birthday party of your friends or family or a special occasion or festival. Bubble ball game is an activity which every child or adult would enjoy.
The player can easily put his/her upper body into the plastic orb and would be easy to move his/her legs while playing soccer bubble ball game. Bubble ball suit is very light in weight so you would not face any difficulty while playing the soccer bubble ball game. www.inflatable-zone.com is one of the best online stores from where you can purchase different types of bubble ball suits. You can also give us details about what type of bubble ball suit you need, and we will surely personalize it according to your needs.

Bubble Soccer Ball – inflatable-zone.com

Bank Holiday Disasters

Today is the first day of Spring and that means that Bank Holidays are on the way! We’ve got FIVE Bank Holidays to look forward to between now and the end of August, and everyone seems so much happier when they’re getting bonus days off of school and work! The one and only downside to Bank Holidays is that this always seems to be a time that disasters happen for us, either home or health related, so I thought I’d put together a list of some handy contact numbers that you should try to keep around in case you have a Bank Holiday disaster too!

Plumber

If you’re going to get a leak, it’s BOUND to happen when most people are enjoying their day off, so keeping the number of a good emergency plumber around would be a really good idea. Drainage Services are one of the best in the South West and are experts in drainage and plumbing, but you can check yell.com if you need someone in another part of the country.

Dentist

It’s a running joke in our family that my wisdom teeth ONLY ever grow on Bank Holidays. I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve ended up at the emergency dentist on a Bank Holiday weekend, and although I’ve now had 3 of my 4 wisdom teeth removed, I always keep the emergency dentist number handy!

Mechanic/Breakdown Service

You’re getting all geared up for a day trip away somewhere fun and the car breaks down. Instead of languishing at home, thinking about all the fun you could’ve had, try calling out an emergency mechanic, or even a breakdown service if you’ve got cover for your car at home, They’re usually pretty prompt and you may even get back on the road in time to carry on with your plans.

Vet

If you’ve got pets, there’s a good chance that you’ll need a vet for them at some point and the last thing you want is for them to be ill and without care on the Bank Holiday. A few years back, Husband and I rushed Chuck to the vet and spend hundreds of pounds when he was poorly…only to find out that he basically had a bad case of wind! Pet insurance is also a VERY good idea!

Are there any emergency numbers that you keep on hand at all times? Do you find that bad luck always befalls you at the most inconvenient time? Do leave me a comment below about your Bank Holiday disasters so that I know it’s not just me these things happen to!

Tabletop Games: A Fun Way for Parents to Teach Children a Plethora of Skills

Kids love games of all kinds, whether outdoors or in, a sports or video games. These days, children of all ages are captivated more by the digital than the analog, leaving something to be desired for the developing brain.

According to the Association for Psychological Science, children who play with board games have an advantage when it comes to a specific set of cognitive skills like spatial reasoning. Additionally, playing games can play a major role in social development and the soft skills needed to navigate through the future.

Here’s a look at the some of the board game benefits that go beyond fun.

Cultivating Critical Thinking

Most children are naturally curious, and board games can help foster a greater sense of big picture thinking. A game with an age-appropriate level of strategic thinking offers an opportunity for kids to think outside the box.

Developing Motor Skills and More

Motor skill development from games is largely dependent on the age of the child in question. Small children or toddlers can benefit from the hand-eye coordination required to play the game. Rolling the dice and precisely moving a game piece across the board gives the littlest players a chance to develop a sense space, balance and hand-eye coordination.

Games that feature building blocks require a steady hand to keep pieces from toppling over, while games with a drawing component allows kids to think about how to represent something with a limited amount of time and tools available, and others still, have a focus on math and counting, helping with numerical development.

Other tabletop games may ask players to count quickly or solve a puzzle, all things that boost skills in the classroom, as well as out.

Enabling Social Development

From following directions to taking turns and losing with grace, board games can teach children a lot about being good citizens. For example, smaller children playing games will learn firsthand the give and take required to play games or work together with other people.

Board games also encourage children to vocalize needs and wants, whether it’s expressing a desire to win or getting that right card or position on the board, it opens up an opportunity to chat about expectations, as well as fosters a sense of understanding the instructions, or the nuances specific to trying to outsmart a competitor.

Building Confidence

As adults, we underestimate the power in feeling like we accomplished something. For children, successfully playing a game, win or lose, is an accomplishment—they may have learned a new skill, and now have knowledge that can be applied elsewhere.

If parents are playing, too, games are a great opportunity to offer praise for things like their creativity, curiosity, reading skills, etc., all things that boost confidence in a healthy way, which carries through to school and beyond.

Keep the Focus on Fun

Games don’t need to be intentionally educational to provide an enriching experience. A game designed with fun at its core still boosts brain development. Puzzles, word games and basic board games offer a wide range of opportunity for growth. Be it Monopoly or Chess, Chutes and Ladders or Candyland, anything your child chooses has benefits.

A Parental Packing List: Top Apps and Gadgets for Traveling with Tykes

Packing just for yourself for an upcoming trip can be a hassle, so it’s even crazier when you have to pack for the rest of your family as well, especially children. You want to make sure that you have everything they may need, but you also don’t want to go overboard and bring along everything but the bed.

While you will have to decide which clothes to pack for your kids, there are a couple of things you can concentrate on that will keep them occupied and safe during your travels. There are some apps and gadgets that you may want to think about getting so that your kids can travel happily. Here are a few things you can think about getting.

An Alarm Clock that Works

Nothing is more frustrating that oversleeping, especially when you’re traveling: chances are that you’ll have a few important things planned for the early mornings, so you need to make sure you’re up and the kids are ready to go. The Alarm Clock for Me app is a great way to get you and your children out of bed.

The alarm wakes you up by playing songs from your device, so you can wake up to something that will get your day started right. It also features a sleep timer so you can fall asleep to your favorite music easily no matter where you are. If you want, you can also turn your device into a bedside clock with the app, which displays good looking, easy-to-read numbers.

The app also gives weather updates in your area, so you and your family know what to expect. You can learn more at Google Play.

A Portable Charger

In today’s constantly-connected world, you will probably have two or three mobile devices that you and your family use to stay informed and entertained. When you’re traveling, these devices can run out of battery life really quickly, so it’s nice to have a portable charger for a quick charge up.

These chargers come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as outputs, so you should have no trouble finding one that suits your family’s needs. Many of them have the ability to charge two or more devices at a time, so the larger your family, the more outputs you will need.

A Sound App

If your kids are used to sleeping with a fan on in their room, or if there’s some other noise they are used to hearing at bedtime, then you may want to find an app that produces noises to help them sleep.

This app gives you the option of listening to nature sounds like waterfalls or thunderstorms, or you can listen to mechanic noises like fans and even the sound of a busy city street. The app is free and may help your kids fall asleep so they’ll be rested for all of the adventures you’ll be taking them on.

Try these apps and gadgets next time you travel with your children.

Gabriel Peters is a Dad who enjoys writing about travel, especially traveling with kids and some tips/tricks to make it easier on parents!

Brilliant Family Holidays In Europe For The Adventurous

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If you’re from an active family, a quiet, relaxing resort holiday might not be your idea of fun. You probably prefer the call of the wild, getting your hands dirty and your feet wet to lazing on a sun-lounger or paddling tentatively in the sea. Here are just five family holidays around Europe which have an adventure at their heart and adrenaline as their fuel, but which are suitable for families of all ages.

Cycle Austria

The great thing about a cycling holiday is that it’s completely adaptable. Each family member can have a bike, or you can mix it up with kiddie saddles, trailers, and even tandems. There really is no better way to experience the stunning scenery than by bike, though. Around the mountains in Tyrol, Austria, there is something of a cycling holiday revolution going on. There are hilly, fast-paced routes, or more sedate and flatter trails for following, depending on what you fancy, and the scenery is nothing if not dramatic. Comfortable accommodation and other fun sights make this a great introduction to the world of adventure holidays.

Undertake an Arctic expedition

If you’re not scared of a bit of cold weather, the northernmost parts of Europe are amazing adventure holiday destinations. From husky sledding to whale watching, Santa Claus to the Northern Lights, there are active breaks for all the family, and you’re all guaranteed to fall in love. Kids love the snow, and there’s plenty of it up there for making snow angels and having snowball fights. The scenery is out of this world, and so is the adventure.

Explore the Highlands

If you want to stay a little closer to home, head up to Scotland for some great outdoor adventures. Ziplining through valleys and treetops, kayaking and sailing in monster-infested lochs, and abseiling through waterfalls are all the order of the holiday, so if your kids are little adrenaline junkies, this is the trip for you. And once they’re done scaring the life out of mum and dad, the landscape is great for a stroll, a picturesque bike ride, and a good meal in one of the traditional local pubs.

Canoe the Norwegian coast

If you’ve got yourself some water babies, why not explore the beautiful watery world of the Norwegian coast in summer? The fjords and valleys are green and fresh, full of wild flowers and incredible animals. You can kayak or canoe, or if you feel safer, stick to dry land and walk. There are even some great campsites, if you really want to be at one with nature.

Surf Cornwall

Sticking to closer to home again, Cornwall is a great compromise for outdoorsy kids and more indoor-loving parents. Get them booked into a surf school for the day at Newquay while you enjoy a coffee in one of the cute little cafes, or cycle the Camel Trail, before visiting idyllic little seaside villages such as Port Isaac, and feasting on the amazing fish and chips.

Adventure holidays are a great time to burn off steam and gather new experiences, and there are some amazing opportunities right on our doorstep in Europe.

Travelling With Kids: All-Inclusive And Stress-Free

For many parents, going on a holiday with the kids that doesn’t involve any stress at all is the ultimate dream. But that is often it, though – it is only ever a dream and never actually occurs in reality. Having a stress-free time abroad with kids doesn’t have to be a completely impossible goal. I think I have found the answer! You just need to go all-inclusive with your accommodation. There are loads of resorts and accommodation around the globe that offer all-inclusive deals. And, trust me, whenever you visit them with your family, you will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Here are some brill reasons why you need to book all-inclusive for your next family trip.

Pixabay

Wish You Were Here

Where do you wish you could travel to? For some parents, their dream destination seems too much hard work with kids. For example, long-haul flights might put families off the idea of travelling out of Europe. But when you go all-inclusive, these worries shouldn’t put you off anymore. After all, the benefits of going all-inclusive will greatly outweigh these potential negatives! Not only that, though, but pretty much every travel destination will have an all-inclusive resort, or you could take an all-inclusive cruise from the likes of www.bolsovercruiseclub.com. Once you start posting your holiday pics to Instagram, your friends will certainly wish they were here!

All You Can Eat

Do you worry that your kids won’t like the local cuisine? This can be a problem, even if you visit the most child-friendliest of places. However, that won’t be a worry when you go all-inclusive. And that is because most of the accommodation and resort put on huge buffets with a fantastic choice of international foods. So, if you travel to Germany but your children aren’t too keen on sausages, I’m sure the resort you pick will also offer familiar foods from home on the buffet. Get ready to dig into a delicious feast from around the world, no matter where you are!

Pixabay

Kids Activities

Want to spend some time sunbathing on the beach in peace and quiet? Well, you can when you go all-inclusive! The majority of resorts and cruises have kids clubs which arrange lots of different activities for kids to do. And these clubs let parents leave their children with the professional club leaders so that they can enjoy some child-free time on their holiday. So you won’t need to research babysitter websites for your destination like www.kidminder.com/AboutUs.aspx. Instead, just drop your kids off at the activities club, and they will have a great time while you top up your tan!

Deals And Discounts

Lots of all-inclusive resorts and cruises appeal to many families because they offer various deals and discounts through the year. So to make sure your holiday doesn’t cost you the world, be sure to look out for these special deals. You can often find these in newsletters and directly on the company’s website.

Have fun going all-inclusive!

Keep Watering The Money Tree

Money doesn’t grow on trees – that is a phrase which all of us know, right? Hey, a lot of us probably even use that phrase on a daily basis, especially when our kids want, ask, need and throw tantrums over things that have caught their eye on the shelves in a shop. If there was such a thing as a money tree, the chances are that by now they would be kept in secure preservation somewhere like a national museum or a zoo. They may even be a rare species by now, with everyone ripping off their leaves made out of banknotes, and they would probably be selling for a lot of money on the black market. If I ever came across a money tree I would hide it away in my home where no one could see it, and wouldn’t tell anyone I had one. They would be dangerous things.

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Seeing as money doesn’t grow on trees, it is up to us to look after our money in the best way that we can. This can be saving money on bills by using minimal water, gas and electric, only using the car when it is absolutely necessary, and using coupons and taking advantage of deals when they are in the supermarket. However, with a family it can be fairly difficult to keep on top of saving the cash – especially with the demanding needs of the children having to be met.

Instead of splashing out on expensive brands and buying luxurious items when out food shopping, it may be beneficial for you to make a list of what you need, what you use and what you do not use. Take a look in the cupboards and freezer: how long has that tin of chopped tomatoes been in the cupboard? Will you ever use that frozen ready meal? If there are items which you carry on buying, but simply do not use then your best bet is to completely eliminate them from your shopping list. You will be really surprised at how much cash you could save. Also, look out for reduced items in the supermarket. It’s common for a lot of items to be heavily reduced later at night, so perhaps you may want to shop a bit later in the day rather than in the middle of the afternoon. Stock up on essential like bread, and simply put them in the freezer.

Even in bigger aspects of life, like for example if you are moving, look at different ways into how you can save money. It is a good idea to look at moving companies and what they can offer you. Also, you can sell furniture and home additions which you are not taking with you.

A lot of people like to buy second hand goods, so if you have anything surplus in your home, upload them to a second hand website and you will be surprised how many people will pay good money for the things which were lying dormant in your home.

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Las Vegas

Mobile slot games are becoming more and more popular among men and women across the globe. They can be played anywhere and anytime. It is a possibility to not only spend a nice time but make some additional money. But how can one keep playing mobile slot games when going to a vacation with a family?

Well, when planning a family trip to Las Vegas, one should clearly understand that a number of hotels there is really huge. Therefore, it takes some time to find the best and most interesting one for both parties: parents who can enjoy gambling and children who will be entertained 24/7. With this being said, here are the 3 most popular casinos in hotels that are worth your attention due to their multiple family friendly amenities e.g. pools, theme parks, beaches, rooms with a kitchen, performances, gaming zones and so much more.

Circus Circus

Circus Circus is a hotel-casino, one of the largest entertaining places in Las Vegas that belongs to the MGM Mirage Corporation. It consists of multi storey tower blocks and a Motor Lodge villa not far from the casino that is connected to the hotel. It was one of the very first gambling places in the city that are targeted on family vacation – while parents are playing favourite slot machines or card games, kids are busy with everyday free performances, games, prizes and of course an awesome and mind-blowing theme park.

Nowadays, this kid-friendly hotel offers rest and entertainment in a unique and largest theme park in America, where the most popular attractions are located.

Mandalay Bay resort & Casino

Mandalay Bay resort is simply created for rest with children when visiting Las Vegas. It is situated on the south of Las Vegas and therefore, can boast of such attractions as a beach, amazing pool area that consists of a lazy river, a wave pool and a beach where one can suntan, swim and just enjoy the time in a family circle. Apart from exclusive pool areas that are located outside, you will come across a shark tank inside the hotel. Kids will definitely be impressed looking at various types of sharks, piranhas and dozens of other fish kinds. The hotel offers different kinds of entertainment even depending on a kid’s age and preferences. For instance, some can enjoy the time swimming, sunbathing and playing on the beach, others can go to various performances including Cirque du Soleil, etc. Meanwhile, parents can spend a great time gambling in a casino.

Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Excalibur is considered to be one of the best family friendly places in Vegas. And the grounds for that are pretty simple- both parents and children are provided with a wide range of opportunities to have the most unforgettable and unbelievable time ever. Kids will 100% love the King Arthur-themed park, Fun Dungeon, carnival games, prizes and many other things inside the hotel. When going outside, you will be amazed at multiple pools, waterfalls and waterslides. What else could children wish for? Yet, this is not all Excalibur is ready to offer. After hours of games and swimming in pools, it is time to take kids to the medieval dinner show. They will see fighting knights, guards who protect the kingdom, try medieval cuisine etc.