5 Outdoor Summer Games for the Family

Family outdoor games are entertaining! Summer is here, and you are probably starting to imagine what to do for enjoyment with your family. Many excellent outdoor activities will make you leave the couch and engage yourself outside. Here are five outdoor games that will involve you and your entire family; you will experience good laughs and fun:

• Sprinkler Dash
Sprinkler dash is an outdoor game where you put up many sprinklers crosswise the backyard. After that, you will need one person to run across the yard without hitting the water. Players who are not running are the ones to operate the sprinklers by turning them on and off as the participant attempts to surprise them with their bearing. The runner who goes the longest without getting soaked is the winner.

• Water Limbo
Limbo is a favorite outdoor activity, and many people know how to play. Instead of a limbo stick, water is the substitute. Now play any fun music, and everyone gets dancing; pick an adult player to hold the water hose. Again, fine-tune the spray for a straight stream, and clutch it on the level of the shoulder for the majority of the participants. Get lower until the sole dry member remains. During a hot day, the game doesn’t take long because the majority of players opt to hit the water purposely to cool them.

• Backyard Bowling
You will by no means want to be confined in a bowling lane when outside is amazing. However, bowling is still fun! You can bowl in your backyard for enjoyment with your family. For you to get started, you need to purchase outdoor bowling set from toy shops. Alternatively, you can make one yourself. Next, collect ten bottles (2-liter each) and utilize them in favor of your pins. You can use any ball as a bowling ball. Pour a little amount of water in each bottle for mass and if you need to be fancy, paint the bottle to look like precise pins and give it a luring design.

• Blind Obstacle Course
The blind obstacle is formed by setting up several big objects across the yard. There’s no restriction; You can utilize objects, furniture, big toys or anything you choose. After objects are scattered, let your family members observe and comprehend the obstacle you made. Blindfold one player at a go and let them attempt to cross the yard and not bump on an obstacle. Whoever gets the furthermost is the champion.

• Flashlight Tag
The outdoor game is more of fun for kids since they can play out in the dark. You can treat your kids with flashlight tag whereby one person is named as “It” and takes the torch. After that, “It” closes his or her eyes, counts up to a set number while others hide. Once you hit the number, “It” goes in search of hiding members, and shines the light on whoever is found. Whoever will be found first in the beam will replace “It,” and the game goes round.

Those above are great outdoor games for a family. Ensure you carry water with you especially when the day is hot. For more, check out this site!

Easy Steps to Build an Awesome Sand Castle

Building a sand castle during the summer season can be fun to both children and adults. It’s not as complicated as it looks. It requires creativity and imagination. With a little patience, skills and the right tools, you can build a magnificent structure. Let me walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to build an awesome sand castle.

What you’ll need
A shovel for scooping the sand, carving tools like a plastic knife or spatula, castle decorations, water, sand, a paper and a pencil for castle design, a paint brush and buckets for hauling water.

Steps:

Choose a team
Get a group of friends or ask your family. Make sure they are creative, patient and strong.

Find a beach
Look for a beach that is not over-crowded with little children to avoid destruction of the castle. Also, the beach must have a lot of sand. You must choose a spot that won’t get washed away. A castle will look awesome if it’s built right above the high tide mark.

Design your sand castle
You should involve every member of the group in each process. Let everyone draw his or her sketch, then merge the ideas to come up with one awesome castle. Use a shovel to draw the outline in the sand. With that, every group member will know exactly where to start.

Begin building your castle
First, make a firm, flat foundation to ensure your castle has a strong base. A solid base will minimize the chances of collapsing. Lay a wet layer of wet sand, and then roll over it with a bucket. Experts have recommended that you make sure the foundation is firm enough to hold the weight of the castle. To get the best composition, mix the sand with water in the ratio of 1:1. Once you’re done making with the base, build the towers. Make sure the towers are well-connected with the doorways, walls and the arches.

Start curving
Curve the sand into the design you had sketched earlier. Start from the top heading downwards so that you won’t risk damaging the feet of the castle. Remember it’s not easy to replace the sand once you make a mistake.

Add the finishing touches
Add all the decorations you wish to. The design touches must be detailed and unique. Add windows, doors, and staircases. Smooth out the exterior surface.You can decorate the walls with drawings. Once you’re done the building, you can admire your masterpiece!

Now you know how to build an awesome sand castle. All you need is creativity and the right tools then you’re ready to go.

For more help:

3 Life Saving Swim Safety Tips

If you need to learn to swim, swimming lessons are an excellent way to get your feet wet. Most of us learn organically, though, in a neighbor’s pool or even a public pool, or from visits to the beach with parents who show us the basic swimming moves. Whether you’ve been swimming since before you could walk, took structured swimming classes as a child, or you’re still looking for a way to learn to swim, there are some basic safety tips every swimmer should know.

Don’t swim alone.
Always swim with at least one friend, even if you’re just swimming in your shallow backyard pool. When you take swimming lessons, you might hear that “you can drown in a teaspoon of water.” Whether or not that’s true is questionable (a teaspoon is a minimal amount), but the point they’re trying to make is that just because the water’s not deep and you’re an experienced swimmer, doesn’t mean that you’re safe. Water that isn’t above your head shouldn’t give you a false sense of security. If you were to faint or have an intense cramp and couldn’t stand properly, that water could prove more dangerous than you think, no matter how many swimming classes you’ve taken.

No child should ever swim alone, and no group of children should swim without an adult supervising. Even kids who’ve taken swimming lessons and have been swimming since they could crawl should never swim alone or only with other children. Kids can easily get overconfident and venture into water deeper than is safe or dive into water that might not be deep enough for safe diving. An adult should always be there to keep an eye on things. Drowning is the number one cause of accidental deaths for infants and children, but it’s a preventable one.

In riptide, swim parallel to shore.

Drill this into your head, if you get swept up in a riptide, you must swim parallel to the shoreline. Swimming classes in coastal towns should stress this safety tip. Riptides are a danger for ocean swimmers. Regardless of how hard you swim toward shore, you’ll make no progress. Fear and strain have caused many swimmers to exhaust themselves and drown. If you get caught in one and can’t get back, don’t panic. Swim parallel to shore at a reasonable pace. You’ll be able to swim out of the riptide so you can swim safely back to the beach.

Don’t dive unless you’re sure of the condition of the water.
If you dive into a pool, be sure that diving is allowed and safe because the water is deep enough. Make sure no one is in the area you’ll be diving, and that nothing is floating in the pool that you could hit. Never dive into a lake, pond or natural body of water if you cannot see through the water. Check the water first, even if you have jumped in that spot dozens of times. All the swimming lessons in the world won’t do much good if you dive headfirst onto a log or other debris.

For much more detailed instruction, look at the the Red Cross Website.

Best Camping Tips for Families

You drove a couple of hours to get to the campsite that you reserved for the weekend. You’ve also made plans for fun activities, meals, and swimming at the nearby lake or beach.

If this is your first time going camping, or going camping as a family, there are all sorts of other things to think about. Did you forget the bug spray or the matches? Do you have an extra tarp for your tent if it decides to rain? There are all sorts of little things like this that can really change the atmosphere of a camping trip. Here are some of our top tips on how to camp for families in the most efficient way.

1. Pre-Cool your ice chest
If you’re taking a cooler camping, you will want to chill it for at least 6 hours beforehand with ice. When it’s time to go, consider switching out the ice for fresh bags of ice, or adding to it. This will dramatically increase the cooling performance of the cooler.

If you take your food and ice bags and place them in the cooler at the same time, it will take at least an hour or and a half or so for the cooler to be at the optimal temperature to chill your food; however, precooling it before hand will get rid of that.

2. Organize everyone’s clothing
It would be way easier to have everyone bring their own personal duffel bag or backpack with their hygiene and clothing items beforehand, rather than bringing Jimmy’s underwear in Dad’s backpack, and Amy’s T-Shirt on Bob’s duffel bag, etc.

3. Store your gear properly
Plastic storage bins and containers are a great way to store all of your cooking equipment, sunscreen, bug spray and other similar items. Picking up some cheap plastic containers from the nearest container store and labeling them properly can save you a serious amount of fuss and frustration when it comes to finding the items you need.

4. Make sure you care for your tent
Some, but not all tents are waterproof; the majority of semi-cheap summer tents are not made with a waterproof coating. So, if you want to keep your tent dry and away from any moisture trying to sneak in, place a tarp under your tent before nailing it down into the ground to adequately protect it from dew, and also keep one in your gear bin in case it rains. However, be sure that your tarp (the one you will use if it rains) is the right size and will adequately cover the tent.

5. Keep your sleeping bags dry
In case someone spilled water on their sleeping bag or had an exciting, sweaty or wet day from swimming and got their sleeping bag a bit wet, open it up and let them air-cool during the day to wick away any moisture left over. This is essential, because nobody wants to sleep in a damp or wet sleeping bag, but nobody wants to be cold, either. Consider bringing an extra sleeping bag or two, in case anything happens.

Also, make sure that you have proper amounts of deodorant, sunscreen, bug spray and fuel for your portable grill (if you decide to bring one). Have fun!

For more camping fun and ideas see video below!

5 Great Outdoor Activities for Toddlers

We’ve all been there. Your toddler wakes up from their nap, demands food and wants to play. However, it’s already five o’clock, and you just got back from work. But we can’t just ignore the little munchkins, can we? Here are some great, easy and fun activities for you and your toddler.

1. Take the kid outside!
A bit of breeze and some sunshine never hurt anybody, and can go a long way in turning their sad frown upside down! So this is the first step. You don’t need to travel far to get the grins going, either; your backyard is just fine. For some more outside ideas read here.

2. Play Caterpillar Hopscotch!
Like me, the chances are your little toddler has already read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and has no doubt fallen in love with it. With a little bit of preparation, and more importantly a box of sidewalk chalk, you can get a fun game going in no time, and here’s how to do it!
– Draw a large circle, no more than two or three feet in diameter. Make sure it has a face and some antennae!
– After you’ve used your incredible high-school level arts and craft skills, add twenty or so more circles to finish your jumbo-sized caterpillar body.
– Now it’s time to challenge your toddler to run from one end of the Hungry Caterpillar to the other. If you throw in a stopwatch, it can make it even more fun.
– Your toddler can try leaping from one circle to the other, bunny hopping, or leap-frogging.
– If you happen to have colored chalk, try to make each circle either Red, Blue, or Green in an attempt to encourage your little critter to follow the same color pattern, or even leap farther!
– As a bonus item, you can also have your toddler draw it with you!

3. Grow your own Mini Garden!
Introducing your little toddler to the natural wonders and beauties of nature can give them a great learning experience, and boost their sense of curiosity. Getting started is also quite easy. All you need is some fresh soil, some plant nutrients (some soils come with this already) and a pot. Throw your seeds into the pot with the soil, nutrients and some water, and leave it either outside or on a windowsill. Watch your flowers grow. As an extra fun thing, have your toddler check on it once a day, water it, and keep a ‘scientific’ journal!

4. Make some huge bubbles!
Come on, is there a single toddler in the history of existence who isn’t overly fond of enormous, soapy, watery bubbles? Most likely, the answer is no. Mix one cup of your everyday dish soap with a gallon of water. If you want, you can pick up some glycerin (from your local pharmacy) and add two or three teaspoons into that mix for some extra big bubbles. Of course, you could always just buy some bubble mix!

5. Create your own obstacle course!
When I was a kid, I absolutely loved this activity. For a quick and easy obstacle course with no complicated cleanup, get some chairs, buckets, Lego blocks, and hula-hoops and create a fun and easy obstacle course! This activity is great for building motor skills, and is a lot of fun.

More ideas? Check out:

4 Summer Nature Activities for Kids

Summer is the ideal time to head outside and enjoy some nature activities. The weather is warm, and you can explore lots of places. Here are some favorite summer nature activities for kids which you should try out:

1. Catching Butterflies
This is a great activity to do with your little ones. Apart from having a load of fun, you will also get to learn a lot about butterflies. You can carefully study the anatomy of the butterfly like their legs, their body, and the antennae. You should also carry a butterfly book along with you to find out what kind of butterfly you have captured. Bring a journal with you and write everything which you observe like how they find their food and what colors they are attracted to. It will be fascinating to read the book after a few months.

2. Scavenger Hunt
This is also an incredibly fun filled activity. Kids usually have a natural urge to explore new places. A child’s need to explore is why you will find that a treasure hunt is a favorite activity for almost all kids. And if you manage to create a well-designed and well-planned scavenger hunt, you can teach your kid some valuable lessons. Creating a scavenger hunt is usually not a very difficult task. You have to create it as per your habitat and surroundings. However, if you are struggling and running out of ideas, then you can always search online and go through the hunts created by other people.

3. Rock Art
This is also a favorite activity for almost all kids. Take your kid outdoors on a rock hunting adventure. Explore the surroundings and collect rocks of all kinds of shapes and sizes. Bring them to your home along with you. After that, tell your kids to decorate the rocks by painting the faces of animals or anything which they want. It will also make them more creative. In case your child has a talent for painting, you will get to know through this activity.

4. Hiking
Going on a summer hike is arguably the best way to explore nature with your kids. If you go hiking frequently, then they will get connected to nature right from an early age. Try to pick a trail which has a lake or waterfall at the end so that your kid stays motivated throughout the trek. During the trek, carry a trash bag along with you to store all the garbage. This habit is also a precious lesson which all children should be taught from an early age.

6 Outdoor Craft Ideas for Kids

There is a pool of various outdoor craft ideas for kids if you are wondering how to keep your kids engaged physically during their free summer times. You can easily trap your kids with creative and entertaining activities for hours with the following simple, yet attention-grabbing outdoor craft activities.

Involving your siblings to woodwork activities can pose a significant activity for your kid. Outdoor crafts for kids are meant to build confidence and to make your children active by refraining them from passive activities like watching television all day.

Wood Crafts
During summer holidays, kids can enjoy a form of crafting known as wood crafts. Wood crafts are outdoor activities which seem robust and complex, but there’s a variety of rather less sophisticated wood projects you can commence with your kids. The action of modifying unfinished pieces of wood into creative household objects is commendable for children. They instantly feel valuable, accomplished, and capable. Modeling objects with their bare hands enhance problem-solving skills. Also, the activity helps to unleash their thinking capability by allowing themselves in a new way. The following are also great outdoor crafts for kids;

Rock Painting
Your siblings will love staying outdoors in the garden, backyard or open field busy coloring garden rocks and stones. You need to provide them with acrylic brushes and paints and allowing them to put into practice their own innovative and creative ideas. They can either paint small objects and scenes on large stones and rocks or color small stones in multi or single colors.

Photo Frames
Photo framing can be decorated or made in many various ways. Ask kids to opt for their favorite summer photographs to be framed and provide them with wooden frames or plain plastic frames. Ask the children to add decorative details of each frame with a theme that perfectly goes in line with the picture. A photograph shot on the beaches can be incorporated in plastic or wooden frame decorated with seashells and sand. For instance, a birthday picture can consist of a frame decorated with birthday cutouts, stickers, or clip art.

Paper Wrapping
Allow your kids to make different kinds of paper wrappers for use for an extended period to wrap gifts for their teachers’ and friends’ birthday events. Give them access to various paints and various household items that make different patterns on the paper. e.g. sponge, carved buttons, jars lids, cut vegetables, etc. They can also make as many as possible and keep some in store for Christmas events.

Bead Crafting
Different sizes, colors, and shapes for assorted beads make it attractive to craft bead objects. Kids can design well-themed jewelry, bead art, pins and little enhancements by stringing beads onto a wire or a string and then bending or folding the wire to create desired shapes. Check out popular parenting magazines for more ideas on beading and jewelry making for your little princesses.

Playdough Activity
Customized playdough is an ancient craft and still among the most practical outdoor activity of keeping kids busy. Give the kids an outdoor ‘summer project’ to complete before the day ends in which they can make a summer scene, or some summer themed objects.

Finally, outdoor crafting activities for kids enable creativity in your child’s thinking. You can purchase personal materials or a scheduled activity kit for kids; Children enjoy creating works, and you can as well enjoy with them. Crafting activities for kids don’t require much supervision unless they involve dangerous tools.

Here’s an extra help for preschoolers. Watch:

How to Throw an Outdoor Birthday Party for your Child

Do you want to celebrate your toddler’s birthday party without spending too much money and breaking the bank? Well, we have you covered! Stick around for some of our best tips on sticking to a decent budget on your next outdoor birthday bash.

1. Start and finish at a good time.
You should plan your party from between 1:30 PM and 5 PM. That way, guests that you have invited aren’t expecting a whole meal and will be satisfied with whatever you provide.

2. Make it a group effort.
Potlucks are a great way to bond together in food and celebration. Next time you have an outdoor party for your little kid, try to make it a group effort by having everyone bring something small, such as dessert, chips, drinks, fruit, etc.

3. Stretch your planning schedule.
Try not to fit everything in last minute; start your supply-hunting as early as possible. This will give you time to shop at other stores and compare different items for the best value, quality, and price.

4. Consider going digital.
In a Parents survey of over 1,500 parents, over 70 percent said that they sent their invitation my mail. Next time, consider sending an e-mail, text, or phone call. This will not only save a good deal of money since you don’t need to spend your precious stamps but will also have a higher chance of being read by the recipient; a lot of people don’t properly look through their mail and end up throwing away a lot of valuable things.

5. Double or Nothing!
If your child’s birthday falls close to the birthday of one of his or her friends, consider having a joint birthday party; twice the people, twice the fun, and half the cost!

6. Avoid party stores at all costs.
Party stores sell just about everything at a serious markup; For an example, a box of chocolates could be sold for $0.20 per chocolate, $1 for 5, but at a big box store (any pharmacy, Target, Walmart) could be selling them half as much.

Not to mention, Party City (and other party stores) capitalize on your last-minute planning abilities. This extra ‘convenience’ stocking and pricing makes everything cost far more than it should. Check out this video to help plan your party on a budget:

7. See what you can do within your community.
If you have a local fire or police station, and especially if you happen to know any fire or police officers, consider asking one of them to show up in uniform to your child’s birthday party, says Steve Annette, an ‘economide’ from Money Smart Family Magazine.

8. Don’t do anything at all!
When your children are still very young, between the ages of 0-2, consider not doing any big special party at all; it’s a lot of effort for someone who won’t remember it at all anyway.

9. Order online for gifts.
Prices online are almost always significantly cheaper than in stores. For instance, if your child is into Kermit the Frog, you can purchase a Kermit doll for $13.99 or so, while name brand retail stores like Toys ‘R’ Us will sell the same product at a premium, such as $22.99.

While this isn’t always the case, and it certainly does vary between products and stores, there is always a big potential to save money when purchasing products online; this is why we recommend it so heavily.

And of course, there are much more other ways to save money when planning and designing a birthday party for your child; feel free to save money in any other way that you can think of; this is just a few basic ideas that we have. However, we do believe that these particular tips. Could benefit you and your wallet the most. Happy bargain hunting!

Guide To Planning a Picnic

Selecting The Right Place

What better way to celebrate than having a picnic? Selecting to correct setting for the picnic is going to be very important. Whether in the wilderness, a local park or your own backyard, if you’ve deliberately chosen to dine al fresco without table service, you’re well on your way to enjoying the pleasure of the picnic. These natural settings provide fabulous backdrops; now, it’s up to you to create the tone of your meal, from rustic to romantic. After you have made this selection, only then are you ready to spread the checkered blanket and pull out the corn on the cob.

Things You’ll Need

  • Candle Lanterns
  • Picnic Baskets (Complete)
  • Picnic Blankets
  • Picnic Lunches
  • Flashlights
  • Sunscreen
  • Bottle Opener
  • Folding Chairs
  • Corkscrews
  • Can Openers
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Trash Bags
  • Insect Repellents
  • Ice or frozen blue cold packs to keep your food and beverages at just the right temperature
  • Paper towels and/or moist towelettes
  • Condiments: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, sugar, etc.
  • A camera, so you can capture the memories!

Keep it simple:

The secret of a successful picnic is simplicity, plus careful planning and packing. It doesn’t pay to be too ambitious – the biggest mistake most people make is assuming that dishes which work at home will be just as good al fresco. When you’re planning a picnic, don’t forget to take advantage of the huge range of ready-made products available. Supermarkets have lots of prepared foods to enjoy in an unexpected burst of sunshine to help you create a quick picnic. Pasta salads and other dishes dressed in vinegar-based marinades can be prepared the day before, hold up well in the heat, and continue taking on a wonderful flavor over time.

Here are some packing and serving tips:

  • Pack the foods to be eaten last at the bottom of the bag or chest and the first on top, so that you don’t have to unpack everything at once.
  • Use vacuum-packed containers to avoid leaks and soggy bags; seal the containers in Ziploc plastic bags.
  • Pack soft foods like deviled eggs, tomatoes or fruit in hard plastic containers or egg cartons.
  • If you are serving a hot soup, preheat the thermos with boiling water. For a cold soup, chill the thermos with ice water for several minutes.
  • Divide or cut the portions in your kitchen. It’s much easier to serve pieces or slices of grilled chicken or duck than to carve them on the ground.
  • Pack garnishes in Ziploc plastic bags. Parsley, basil, mint and herb flowers should be sprinkled with water before packing. Keep them in the cooler.