1. Affordable Family “Staycation” Ideas

    Father and daughter cook while campingIf expensive vacation trips are out of the cards, opting for a vacation that’s close to home — a “staycation” — might be a perfect fit for your family. Plenty of activities for you and your family to enjoy await within driving distance of your home.

    Here are some family ”staycation” ideas:

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  2. Celebrating Earth Day: Outdoor Activities Your Kids – and the Environment – Will Love

    Kids exploring the great outdoors Although initially begun as a holiday in the U.S. only, Earth Day is now celebrated in 192 countries each year. As part of those celebrations, many choose to take the day and spend time outdoors or plant trees in their communities. Without a doubt, it’s a wonderful opportunity to both spread awareness about the issues threatening our planet and to begin working to solve them.

    In addition to being a great day to help our environment, Earth Day is also an excellent time to begin to teach your children about nature, while doing so in a manner that is enjoyable for them as well. Of course, not every child will find spending all day planting saplings inherently enjoyable. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to design fun outdoor activities that children of all ages will enjoy.

    Here are some great outdoor activities that will keep your child engaged, while helping them learn at the same time:

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    Categories: Living Green
  3. Encourage Reading with a “Words” Scavenger Hunt

    Scavenger HuntWhen a child first learns to read, it’s helpful to give him or her plenty of opportunities to practice with you, such as by sounding out the words on the back of a cereal box, reading road signs or voicing recipe instructions while making dinner or baking a cake.

    To help make reading fun for your child, a good idea is to create games that help bolster the reading skills you’re trying to reinforce. One great game is the scavenger hunt because it can strengthen reading, problem solving, creativity and imagination, among other qualities.

    Here’s how to plan a play-at-home scavenger hunt for kids that’s entertaining while requiring your child to flex his or her reading muscles:

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    Categories: College Planning
  4. Five ‘Feel Good’ Ways for Giving

    The holidays are a time for giving. They also present an opportunity for parents to teach their children an invaluable lesson: generosity. What is the best way to raise a charitable child? Set an example. As the holidays draw near, consider volunteering as a family to show your children that the best gifts don’t come in boxes. They come in the form of a smile on someone else’s face – and knowing that you put it there.

    Here are five ways for giving back this holiday season:

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    Categories: Living Green
  5. Healthy Activities to Combat Turkey Day Calories

    Grandfather Teaching Grandson to Catch FootballYou could have your Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings – the turkey, sweet potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce – but keep in mind that a big meal could weigh in at about 4,500 calories. That’s equivalent to about eight Big Macs.

    The sleepiness or “turkey coma” (as some people call it) induced by overindulging is associated with tryptophan, an amino acid in turkey that is a natural sedative. Nutritionists and exercise physiologists recommend that people who tend to eat large Thanksgiving dinners prepare for their feast by increasing their physical activity days, and perhaps weeks, ahead of time, also on the big day.

    Here are some outdoor activities for blunting the impact of Thanksgiving calories:

     

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    Categories: Health & Safety