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11 Things Creative Parents Do With Bored Kids In Summer

11 Things Creative Parents Do With Bored Kids In Summer
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It’s the last month of summer. You’ve already done all the fun things you’ve planned, took a vacation together and even sent your kids to visit their grandma/auntie/cousins, so they wouldn’t waste their time in front of the TV. But, there’s still another month left and you completely ran out of ideas. Fret not! We have made this amazing list of activities your kiddos would love to do this summer. Cross each one from the list and none of you will notice that it’s time to get back to school again!

1. Organize a Photo Scavenger Hunt

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    All you need is a bunch of bored kids (done!), a few cameras or cell phones (all have them), a piece of paper where you list all the objects for the hunt (done in less than 5 min). Be creative and list various shapes (heart, square, crescent etc), along with colors and any other items that could be potentially discovered in your neighborhood. Print it out and give out to all the hunters.

    Now they should head outside and start exploring by snapping pictures according to your instructions. It could be a square shadow, falling from the window, an animal-shaped cloud, a heart-shaped string lying on the sidewalk. Find the shape, cross it off the list and come home with a bunch of cool new pictures and small rewards (for all participants, obviously).

    Scavenger hunts never get boring, as you can create different variations like neighborhood scavenger (asking the neighbors if they have certain objects from the checklist); library scavenger hunt (list questions, passages, facts etc) that could be found in books, and more.

    2. Make Up Spin-Offs of Favorite Stories

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      Done with all the planned summer reading? Now get creative and start inventing stories together. Ask your kid to write a small narrative about their favorite heroes. You can either suggest to write a “What happened next story?” or a “What if (insert their fav hero) did something another way?”

      Give the kids time to create and seriously warn them about copying each other ideas like a lot of kids like doing. It’s a great way to teach them the odds of plagiarism and fuel their creativity at the same time.

      You can turn it into a small contest with all participants reading out loud and rating each other stories, and themed prizes given out to all.

      3. Design a New Piece of Furniture

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        Summer’s usually the time when we try to get rid of our old stuff. Instead of throwing out that old armchair, give it a revamp together. Fabric colors don’t cost much and your kids would have tons of fun making their own signature design. You can either opt for different paper stencils or just let draw whatever they feel like to.

        4. Tie Dye Clothes

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          Tie Dye’s trending this season and, in fact, it never gets old or boring. It’s a fun way to update your kids’ and your wardrobe while challenging your creativity.

          Get some plain white T-shirts, scarfs, bandanas or anything else you feel like dyeing, and get creative together. Tie dying is pretty easy and you can make amazing patterns yourself simply by using different folding techniques.

          Sure, the whole thing may get a bit messy with kids. But, hey, it’s summer! You can do everything outside and clean up everything (and everyone) from the faucet.

          5. Start a Nature Journal

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            Go out on a nature walk or a short hike together. Don’t forget to take a notebook and some pencils along. Nature is truly fascinating and gives us plenty of room for creativity and observation. Challenge your child’s inner Darwin and prompt them to take notes and make sketches of things they see. Collect different leaves and flowers to scrap into your new journal later on or turn them into lovely artwork.

            6. Play with Bubbles that Bounce

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              Everyone likes soap bubbles, but they don’t last long. To extend the pleasure you should use the following recipe:

              • 1 C distilled drinking water
              • 1 Tablespoon dish soap
              • 1 Teaspoon of glycerin

              Mix everything together and let it sit for 24 hours. This way the bubbles won’t disappear immediately and bounce around a bit.  Or you can create extra large bubbles for even more fun!

              7. Learn to Make Kites

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                Kites have been keeping kids all around the world entertained for hundreds of years, long before Angry Birds or the TV were invented. Sure, you can buy a cheap one at a local store, but to keep your kids entertained for longer, learn to make your own ones. The whole process is pretty simple. All you will need is:

                • Two A4 sized craft papers in different colors
                • Scissors, pencil, scale
                • Two drinking straws
                • Glue
                • String – about a meter long
                • Some paper ribbons for the tail and decorations.

                Now follow these simple instructions to make your own colorful sky-flier.

                8. Set up a Lemonade Stand

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                  There’s a billion of simple lemonade recipes, all of them including some lemons (obviously), water, sugar syrup and a few leaves of mint. A stand could be colored and decorated together from an old nightstand. Selling lemonade to friends, family and neighbors, in fact, is a great way to give your kids a lesson about entrepreneurship. Who knows where it might lead in ten years?

                  9. Master Body Art with Watercolor Crayons

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                    Challenge your kids’ artsy side and let them draw all over themselves or each other with watercolor crayons. They are colorful, easy-to-wash away and can give them hours of fun creating temporary tattoos. Again, you can find and print out loads of amazing tribal, floral or abstract patterns online.

                    10. Have Fun with Snail Mail

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                      Did you know there are a lot of cool things under 13 ounces that you can mail? From flip-flops and stockings full of candies to a special mail bucket and shovel. Create a beautiful care package together and mail to some of your friends, relatives or a new pen pal.

                      11. Finish a 1,000 piece puzzle

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                        Everyone loves puzzles, but not everyone have the guts to finish them. As long as school days are still a month away, you can use the desk to assemble it. When it’s finally done, you can always glue a LEGO mat or a piece of carton on top to turn it into a lovely table cover or wall art.

                        Featured photo credit: Geomangio via flickr.com

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                        Published on July 22, 2021

                        20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

                        20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week
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                        It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

                        Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

                        Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

                        1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

                          These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

                          Get the recipe here.

                          2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

                            This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

                            To try this recipe, go here.

                            3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

                              Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

                              Check out the recipe here.

                              4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

                                Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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                                Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

                                  This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

                                  Find the recipe here.

                                  6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

                                    The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

                                    Get the recipe for this dish here.

                                    7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                                      Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                                      You can find the recipe here.

                                      8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                                        Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                                        Find the recipe here.

                                        9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                                          This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                                          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                          10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                                            Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                                            The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                                            11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                                              Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                                              Find the recipe here.

                                              12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                                                This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                                                Find the recipe here.

                                                13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                                                  Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                                                  This easy recipe can be found here.

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                                                  14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                                                    Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                                                    Find out how to make it here.

                                                    15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                                      This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                                      The recipe can be found here.

                                                      16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                                        This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                                        Find the recipe here.

                                                        17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                                          Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                                          Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                                          18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                                            Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                                            Find the recipe here.

                                                            19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                                              Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                                              Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                                              20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                                                Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                                                Get the recipe here.

                                                                Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                                                Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                                                Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                                                1. Lose the Sugar

                                                                Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                                                2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                                                Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                                                3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                                                Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                                                When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                                                Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                                                Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                                                More Healthy Eating Tips

                                                                Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

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