Extra curricular activities are so important for your child’s development. In fact they are more important than sitting at a table learning about maths and English. Learning new skills are excellent for a child’s self esteem, it builds confidence, increases social skills and enhances problem solving. Maths and English learnt in the great outdoors by participating in activities are more likely to be remembered and understood than within a classroom. This is because the skills gained will be meaningful to the activity taking place. Every child has a talent, it’s our jobs as parents to encourage our children to discover their talents and nurture them. Trying a wide range of activities will help a child to realise what they love and vise versa.
Sport covers a whole range of activities all with their own benefits. Sports encourage good hand/coordination, the ability to work within a team and stamina. Here is a selection of sport activities and the benefits participating will give to your child.
Swimming is an important skill to develop due to health and safety reasons. A child who is confident in the water is less likely to panic should an accident occur. Swimming should be encouraged from on early age with the emphasis on it being fun. Some parts of the world are lucky enough to have regular access to outdoor swimming pools, lakes and the sea. If you have your own pool, it is important to keep it clean. Technology has advanced to a level where it is now possible to purchase a robotic pool cleaner, which will remove a lot of the hassle associated with cleaning your pool.
Swimming is excellent for fitness and it gives the whole body a work out. It is good for the lungs and cardiovascular system and it will help your child remain within a healthy weight range. Swimming is also good for increasing flexibility. Most of all it is fun and your child will love spending time with their family and friends in the water. Once your child can swim confidently it will open up the opportunity to take part in other sports such as sailing and diving.
Martial arts train the body and spirit as one and the concepts are based on ancient methods. Learning a martial art teaches discipline, confidence and self esteem. They are also excellent for strength and stamina. If a child suffers from low confidence, learning a martial art will encourage an inner confidence as they learn the skills necessary for self defence. Martial arts are all about respect and children learn boundaries and how to respect each other.
Team sports such as football, baseball, volleyball and rugby to name a few are excellent for learning how to work within a team. A team player soon realises that everyone’s position within a team is of equal importance. It teaches empathy, respect and also the ability to get on with different people from differing backgrounds.
Additionally team sports encourage fitness and stamina in a fun environment.
Children are exposed to different forms of music from a very early age. Even in the womb babies can hear external music. Music has surprising benefits as it can help teach a child skills conducive to early maths development as well as enhances creativity.
Parents often sing lullabies and nursery rhymes to babies and this is where a love of singing starts. In preschools and nursery schools counting, animal sounds and new words are learnt through singing. A love of music and singing continues as a child grows and not before long music can be heard from bedrooms across the land playing the latest chart top hits.
Singing is excellent for language development, brain development and academic ability. Singing is also excellent for self esteem and encourages expression. Encourage your child to join a choir, as the enjoyment of singing as a group is immense. Often very shy children find singing a better way of expressing themselves and they feel transformed when completely immersed in song.
Learning to play an instrument
Learning to play a musical instrument as a child is excellent for self esteem and academic ability. In fact children who learn a musical instrument have been proven to have a higher iq than those who don’t. As the skill of playing an instrument increases so does confidence and self esteem. The pleasure from playing in an orchestra or performing to people is great for self esteem. Many children find playing an instrument is great for relieving stress and anxiety. The choice of instrument is very much down to the individual. It is worth exploring a range of instruments so that your child can choose one they are drawn to.
You could then opt to research musc tuition for your child. This may be offered at school, by a private tutor or you can now find lots of lessons online.
Art is great for encouraging creativity in your child. Everyone is creative in some form or another, if your child struggles at drawing perhaps their skills lie in writing, modelling or cooking. Art activities are great for developing fine motor skills and good hand/eye coordination. It is also good for the imagination.
Arts and crafts are great for stress relief and is a calming activity. The completion of art projects is fulfilling and excellent for self esteem.
Children love to act and even as small children they love to take on different roles during games. Drama is excellent at increasing a child’s confidence. Acting encourages creativity as well as the ability to cope in stressful situations. The challenges of performing on stage is fulfilling and once a minor acting part is completed a child will be ready to take on more challenging roles.
The skills developed during drama will last a lifetime and will stand them in good stead when making presentations or performing well in interview situations. There are many organisations around specifically designed to offer drama tuition, or simply create plays at home. Drama is also excellent at increasing language and writing ability. Your child could write plays for specific members of the family!
Freedom to explore an area of interest
If a spark of interest is ignited in a child, encourage them to explore the subject further. Often a spark of interest begins from visiting a museum, local area of interest or hearing a news item. Provide the opportunity for the child to learn about the subject to a depth which they feel is sufficient. Visit libraries, google the subject and visit places of interest. If your child is interested in history perhaps they would enjoy being a member of an archeology society, or an interest in animals may lead to a saturday volunteer job at your local animal sanctuary.
Often it is these interests which lead to a lifelong hobby or even career. You could have a marine biologist or astronaute of the future in the making!
It is important to not pack every second of a child’s life with activities as this could have the opposite effect of inspiration. Children do need to be bored on occasions so that they can be creative and become a self learner. As parents it is our job to provide inspiration and opportunity, but not to be too pushy. Encouragement is key.
Provide materials and resources in order for your child to discover their interests. If a child finds that a hobby is no longer of interest to them, encourage them to move on. Trying lots of different things will allow your child to develop interests and become a well rounded individual.
Many people make the mistake of thinking of creativity as a single trait that they either possess or lack. In reality, creativity is a spectrum trait in which a person can build skills. Creativity is not only valuable in the arts, but in science, business, and technology. These simple steps can help you encourage creativity in children.
1. Allow your child to fail
It’s so easy to discourage your child from trying their own recipe for cookies in an attempt to shield them from disappointment. However, allowing children to make their own mistakes supports independence, self-esteem, and resilience. Maybe the cookies won’t taste very good, but that doesn’t mean making them was a waste of time.
2. Limit screen time
Technology has its place, but experts are warning that children are spending too much time in front of screens. Among other ill effects, excessive screen time can hamper a child’s creativity. When you watch TV, your brain is gathering information and absorbing the images in front of you. In order to engage in divergent or creative thinking, your brain needs a break from information gathering. Place firm limits on screen time, and suggest activities like reading, outdoor play or the arts.
3. Choose open-ended toys
To choose toys for encouraging creativity, look for items that can be played with in more than one way. Some examples of open-ended toys include blocks or other building materials, art supplies such as crayons, markers, paint, scissors and glue, simple dolls, and play silks. If interested in something more complex and involved, stocking up on Orbeez refills and purchasing an Ultimate Soothing Spa or a Magic Chef set can provide endless hours of fun! These toys facilitate creativity by easily adapting to your child’s ideas.
4. De-emphasize achievement
In our hyper-competitive culture, parents often get wrapped up in trying to ensure that their child is the best athlete, the smartest student, and so on. It’s great to encourage your child to do their best, but it can be harmful to emphasize achievement. Kids feel the pressure to succeed all too keenly and start to value the grades over the knowledge itself. Create a family culture that values doing one’s personal best instead of winning the trophy. In this kind of supportive environment, kids will be more likely to value creativity rather than the “right” answer.
5. Make room for creativity
Set up at least one area in your home where your kids can let their creativity go wild. Perhaps that’s a corner in your garage where paint spills won’t matter or a playroom where block cities won’t be tripped over. Also, be sure that your child’s schedule has room for creativity. If your children are kept constantly busy with homework or extracurricular activities, they just won’t have the time to flex those creative muscles.
6. Be a good example
As much as we might like it to be otherwise, children learn by observing others and imitating them. If they don’t see the adults around them modeling creative activities, they might conclude that they aren’t worthwhile. The solution is easy: pick up a hobby. It doesn’t matter how good you are at knitting or woodworking. Your child will be delighted with your efforts and will absorb the lesson that creativity is important.
By following these simple guidelines, you can give your children a great gift. Building creativity will help them achieve their goals in the future, but it can also benefit them now by giving them greater confidence, increased social skills, and coping abilities. The power of the imagination is undeniable, and it’s within your power to help your child unleash it.
Are your kids becoming restless in the house? You should consider allowing them to play outdoors. This will change the atmosphere, allow the kids to interact with friends and learn new things. Currently, there is a tone of outdoor activities and games for kids today. You can also find the most appropriate outdoor activity for you and your kid; hence spend some time with him or her outside the house.
If you are short of outdoor activities for your kid, here are some that you should consider:
1.Texture Scavenger Hunt – to do this, you should wrap differently textured items in opaque bags, have the kid close his or her eyes and then go out to search for an item that has the same texture as the one wrapped in the bag.
2.Making a jumping rope and playing with it
3.You may have the kids play Sponge Bull’s-eye
4.Making a sandbox with a lid and playing in it
5.Bubble Blowing – making and playing around with bubbles is an interesting outdoor activity for toddlers. To make a bubble solution, mix 3 tablespoonfuls of glycerin with a cup of dish soap in a gallon of water.
6.Playing angry birds by throwing water balloons at each other
7 .Placing crayons in the sun to melt
8 Jumping through a functional sprinkler
9 Jumping in puddles
10,Having a family lunch outside your house
11.Gardening – Most kids love digging in dirt, hence gardening is not such a bad idea. In this case, you can have the kid plant trees, flowers or vegetables or even uproot weeds in the garden.
12.You can have the kid help you collect apples
13.Making bird feeders and using them to feed birds
15.Playing Volleyball – older kids may play volleyball on their own with their friends. If the child is too young to play organized volleyball, you may throw the ball high and have the kid catch it.
16.Flying a Drone – Believe it or not, flying a drone is not just for adults. There are specific drones that are made for kids. Although they won’t be packed with the best possible features, they are still fun and safe to fly.
17.Making treasure hunt maps and hiding several items in the compound then leaving the kid to follow the map and uncover the hidden items.
18.fly swatters painting
19.Have the children play Bossy Ball
20. Have the child walk the dog
21.Riding a bike around the neighborhood
22.Making and Using Hula hoops – Hula hoop hop is among the most favorite games for many kids today. In this case, the hoops are lined up and the kids are required to hop into the middle of each of the hoops with both feet. Having the kids make their hula hoops can be even more interesting for them.
23.Playing soccer outside – this is particularly interesting for young boys who can kick a ball
24.Making water tables and playing with them
25. Making water balloons and playing with them
26. Book reading under trees outside your home
27.Playing the little cleaner – since kids love playing with water, this will keep them busy outside the house. Just fill a bucket with water and some baby shampoo. You should then leave the kids to wash their bikes and toys.
28.Making and playing with a Hopscotch – to make this more interesting, use colored chalk
29.Making a Fairy Home – for older girls, making a fairy home can be fun. In this regard, the kid can collect building materials like stones, moss, bark and leaves and then piece them together using glue.
30. Climbing trees and walls – this should be a supervised outdoor activity to ensure that the kids do not fall off and hurt themselves.
31. Painting on the rocks in your compound using water colors
32. Nature Scavenger hunting
33.Leave the kids to dig in dirt
34. Have the kids catch and release frogs
35. Hanky Game – this game involves several kids forming a circle, with all of them seated, except the one holding the hanky. The one with the hunky should then run around the seated kids and drop it behind one without notifying them. The player should then race around them to the position he or she dropped the hanky without being noticed.
36. Using the old sheets in your home to make art
37. Using PVC pipes to make a sprinkler and playing with it
38. Have the children play ‘Firefly Flashlight’
39. Racing with their feet inside potato sacks
40.Swimming – This is something almost all kids love today. Swimming is not only a fun outdoor activity for kids; it also relaxes and refreshes their minds and bodies.
41.Holding a clothesline art show with their friends
43.Tug Of War – When playing in groups, this is an interesting outdoor activity for children. In this regard, the kids need to have a long rope. They should then draw a line and have two teams pull on either side of the rope, trying to get the other team across the drawn line.
44. Hula Hoop Freeze
45. Playing Bat The Balloon
46. Carrying out a Photo Opp with your kid in the garden
47. Wagon rides around the neighborhood
48. Making marble lunch
49. identifying shapes in the clouds
50. Park Hopping
Our Final Say You may be looking for an activity that will just keep your child happy and occupied outside the house. However, the various outdoor activities for kids mentioned above will also help with their mental development and physical fitness.
For many, January 1 offers an opportunity to forget the past and make a clean start. But instead of leaving everything up to fate, why not enjoy a meal to increase your good fortune? There are a variety of foods that are believed to be lucky and to improve the odds that next year will be a great one. Traditions vary from culture to culture, but there are striking similarities in what’s consumed in different pockets of the world: The six major categories of auspicious foods are grapes, greens, fish, pork, legumes, and cakes.
Grapes New Year’s revelers in Spain consume twelve grapes at midnight—one grape for each stroke of the clock. This dates back to 1909, when grape growers in the Alicante region of Spain initiated the practice to take care of a grape surplus. The idea stuck, spreading to Portugal as well as former Spanish and Portuguese colonies such as Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru. Each grape represents a different month, so if for instance the third grape is a bit sour, March might be a rocky month. For most, the goal is to swallow all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight, but Peruvians insist on taking in a 13th grape for good measure. Cooked Greens Cooked greens, including cabbage, collards, kale, and chard, are consumed at New Year’s in different countries for a simple reason — their green leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune. The Danish eat stewed kale sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, the Germans consume sauerkraut (cabbage) while in the southern United States, collards are the green of choice. It’s widely believed that the more greens one eats the larger one’s fortune next year.
Legumes Legumes including beans, peas, and lentils are also symbolic of money. Their small, seedlike appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked so they are consumed with financial rewards in mind. In Italy, it’s customary to eat cotechino con lenticchie or sausages and green lentils, just after midnight—a particularly propitious meal because pork has its own lucky associations. Germans also partner legumes and pork, usually lentil or split pea soup with sausage. In Brazil, the first meal of the New Year is usually lentil soup or lentils and rice, and in Japan, the osechi-ryori, a group of symbolic dishes eaten during the first three days of the new year, includes sweet black beans called kuro-mame.
In the Southern United States, it’s traditional to eat black-eyed peas or cowpeas in a dish called hoppin’ john. There are even those who believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year. This all traces back to the legend that during the Civil War, the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, ran out of food while under attack. The residents fortunately discovered black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky.
Pork The custom of eating pork on New Year’s is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving. Roast suckling pig is served for New Year’s in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Austria—Austrians are also known to decorate the table with miniature pigs made of marzipan. Different pork dishes such as pig’s feet are enjoyed in Sweden while Germans feast on roast pork and sausages. Pork is also consumed in Italy and the United States, where thanks to its rich fat content, it signifies wealth and prosperity.
Fish Fish is a very logical choice for the New Year’s table. According to Mark Kurlansky, author of Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, cod has been a popular feast food since the Middle Ages. He compares it to turkey on Thanksgiving. The reason? Long before refrigeration and modern transportation, cod could be preserved and transported allowing it to reach the Mediterranean and even as far as North Africa and the Caribbean. Kurlansky also believes the Catholic Church’s policy against red meat consumption on religious holidays helped make cod, as well as other fish, commonplace at feasts. The Danish eat boiled cod, while in Italy, baccalà, or dried salt cod, is enjoyed from Christmas through New Year’s. Herring, another frequently preserved fish, is consumed at midnight in Poland and Germany—Germans also enjoy carp and have been known to place a few fish scales in their wallets for good luck. The Swedish New Year feast is usually a smorgasbord with a variety of fish dishes such as seafood salad. In Japan, herring roe is consumed for fertility, shrimp for long life, and dried sardines for a good harvest (sardines were once used to fertilize rice fields).
Cakes, Etc. Cakes and other baked goods are commonly served from Christmas to New Year’s around the world, with a special emphasis placed on round or ring-shaped items. Italy has chiacchiere, which are honey-drenched balls of pasta dough fried and dusted with powdered sugar. Poland, Hungary, and the Netherlands also eat donuts, and Holland has ollie bollen, puffy, donut-like pastries filled with apples, raisins, and currants. In certain cultures, it’s customary to hide a special trinket or coin inside the cake—the recipient will be lucky in the new year. Mexico’s rosca de reyes is a ring-shaped cake decorated with candied fruit and baked with one or more surprises inside. In Greece, a special round cake called vasilopita is baked with a coin hidden inside. At midnight or after the New Year’s Day meal, the cake is cut, with the first piece going to St. Basil and the rest being distributed to guests in order of age. Sweden and Norway have similar rituals in which they hide a whole almond in rice pudding—whoever gets the nut is guaranteed great fortune in the new year. Cakes aren’t always round. In Scotland, where New Year’s is called Hogmanay, there is a tradition called “first footing,” in which the first person to enter a home after the new year determines what kind of year the residents will have. The “first footer” often brings symbolic gifts like coal to keep the house warm or baked goods such as shortbread, oat cakes, and a fruit caked called black bun, to make sure the household always has food.
What Not to Eat In addition to the aforementioned lucky foods, there are also a few to avoid. Lobster, for instance, is a bad idea because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks. Chicken is also discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away. Now that you know what to eat, there’s one more superstition—that is, guideline—to keep in mind. In Germany, it’s customary to leave a little bit of each food on your plate past midnight to guarantee a stocked pantry in the New Year. Likewise in the Philippines, it’s important to have food on the table at midnight. The conclusion? Eat as much lucky food as you can, just don’t get too greedy—or the first place you’ll be going in the new year is the gym.
Complete your Halloween decorations with these fun and totally free printables. Use them to prepare scary treats for the kids, decorate your home and organize a super spooky party. Print them on self-adhesive paper and get into the scary mood. Kids will love them!!
Feel free to share this linkwith others who would love these printables.Comment and let us know how you used your printables
You might have a little spare time this summer and if you do you should consider teaching your kids some awesome crafts. You may not realize this, but participating in crafts can be absolutely fantastic for child development. Let’s look at some of the advantages and the way crafts help kids as well as some of the possible activities that you could try and teach them.
Following The Leader
It’s fair to say that when you’re playing with crafts, you need to follow the instructions or the advice as it’s laid out. If you don’t do this, the end result is just going to be one big mess. That’s particularly true with paper crafts. One wrong cut and instead of a cool cut out of spiders to hang on the wall for Halloween you have weird deformed creatures. Still cool for decoration but not quite as stylish. Kids will learn fast with crafts that sometimes following the rules and the guidelines laid out really is the best option.
Just Have A little Patience
You might want to try teaching your kids some sewing. If you do this, you’ll have two options. You can either go manual with a needle and thread or be a tad more exciting with a sewing machine. The impulse for kids here will be to race along with the sewing machine, getting the line down as quickly as possible. They will soon learn that this isn’t the best way to achieve a fantastic result and instead they have to be patient. If you’re buying a sewing machine for your home for crafts, you have a variety of options. Here’s why the Brother PE770 is one of the best embroidery sewing machines on the market. It operates a range of different speeds, and that makes it perfect for something like teaching kids or sewing products for your home business. It presents buyers with the best of both worlds.
If you let your mind wander when you’re completing a craft it’s not going to turn out as you want it to. As such, crafts with kids can help them boost their levels of concentration. They’ll learn that if they want a great outcome they have to be careful and that’s going to be a lesson that will be beneficial multiple times in life. At first, kids might need a few little nudges to stay focused. Particularly, with crafts that take a while such as painting.
You might wonder when you should start trying to get kids into crafts and the answer is as early as possible. Early tweens would be a great time because crafts like this help kids develop fine motor skills. As such, they will be able to handle more delicate tasks and improve cognitive skill too. Don’t forget, that crafts often involve problem-solving, figuring out how to get around an issue or correct a mistake that you made. It’s just one more skill that could be great for your child’s social development.