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15 Adorable Parenting Tips To Entertain Your Kids All Day Long

15 Adorable Parenting Tips To Entertain Your Kids All Day Long

Our little ones can be an endless source of joy and pride. I don’t know about you, but one look at the picture of my little rascal is enough to get me to calm down and keep a cool head during a particularly stressful day at work. The thing is, even though we enjoy spending time with them, kids are just on a whole other level when it comes to energy. They can run around all day long, and their attention span is not their strong side. For these reasons it can be difficult to channel all their energy in a more creative and constructive way, and manage to keep them entertained throughout the day. Well, different people have found some very interesting parenting hacks over the years. Here is a list of fun activities that will help you keep your children busy and engaged until bedtime.

1. Create your own coloring book

Toddler with a coloring book

    Kids love to paint and draw, and if there is a story behind the pictures and they have to be careful to color in the right lines then you are helping them develop their cognitive skills and fine motor functions, as well as keeping them busy. You can draw up different scenes freehand on a piece of paper or you can use pictures worked over in Photoshop to create some awesome scenes for your coloring book.

    2. Hold a drawing/painting contest

    Baby covered in paint

      A blank piece of paper gives your children much more artistic freedom than a coloring book and it’s much easier to set up a drawing or painting contest. Write down a few themes, animals and objects on small pieces of paper, mix them up and then draw one. Everyone has to draw whatever comes up, including mommy or daddy, and then you move on to the next one.

      3. Create art from everyday items

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        A particularly optimistic crafting project may require you to shop for supplies, but there are tons of simple household items that can be used in unique and interesting ways. You can use bubble wrap to make cool patterns by dipping it in paint and applying it to an object or you can paint old empty bottles to make vases.

        4. Decorate the living room for an exciting party

        Throwing a childrens party

          Throw a small party for the whole family, but have the kids help you out with planning and decorating beforehand. By the time they are through with decorating and dressing up, you’ll have plenty of time to serve up some juice and snacks. Then just play some music and let them tire themselves out by dancing.

          5. Build a Lego town

          Pile of legos

            Legos are incredibly versatile and can serve as building blocks for just about any project. Gather your little ones and design a basic outline of a town. Then start planning the important administrative building and the homes for some of the other toys. You can come up with some back stories for the different toys as well – e.g. why a naughty soldier is in jail or why the dinosaur and Bratz doll live in the same building. This can be hours of fun.

            6. Turn old cardboard boxes into race cars

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            Kid in cardboard box car

              We all know that babies and toddlers often find big cardboard boxes more amusing than even the shiniest and fluffiest toy in the world. You can combine this natural fascination with huge boxes and some fun scenarios by turning them into cars. Draw some wheels and lights and cut out windows. Give them a Frisbee for a steering wheel and pretend you are racing, or just driving around town, naming the things that you see as you travel.

              7. Organize a stage performance

              Kids playing in professions

                Help the kids come up with a script for an adventurous play and then have them set the stage, dress up and perform for you. It will take them quite a bit of time just to set up the stage, rehearse and find the right wardrobe, and then you can look forward to a fun play that you can record. If they are feeling very creative you can even have two shows that day.

                8. Make some Halloween costumes

                Halloween kids

                  With Halloween right around the corner it only seems fitting to start preparing some great costumes. Get the kids involved by letting them choose the materials and make drawings of how they would like their costume to look. They will get very excited and will gladly help you out, doing any small task that you assign them with a sense of pride. This fun project makes the children feel important and sparks their creative side.

                  9. Play “busy little ants clean up their home”

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                  Toddlers cleaning up

                    Most parents have trouble finding a good balance between work, household chores and spending quality time with their kids. If you create a fun game around cleaning the house you can have your little sweeties take on a decent part of the workload and stay fairly entertained in the process. My daughter loves animals and animal documentaries, so we like to pretend that we are a colony of busy little ants that are preparing our home for the winter. It is also a good way to let the wife take a much deserved break, as she becomes the ant queen who gives out orders.

                    10. Play some online games that develop memory and cognitive skills

                    Baby working on laptop

                      A child’s growing mind is like a sponge that soaks up all sorts of knowledge from the world around it. That’s why it is important to nurture both creative and clean logical thinking. These new generations are incredibly tech-savvy, so I find that it’s best to use a tablet to play one of the many great logical puzzles and memory games that can help develop your child’s cognitive abilities. The kids will be glued to the screen and will want to play over and over to get a better score.

                      11. Open up a bakery in your kitchen

                      Children baking in the kitchen

                        Taking care of a family means feeding a lot of hungry mouths, and it’s not exactly the easiest job in the world when said hungry mouths keep running around aimlessly or telling you how bored they are. Both boys and girls like to get their hands dirty and create, so with a bit of imagination and some dress up, you can have these eager little helpers work in your newly opened kitchen bakery. You can spend hours at a time working on different cookies or cakes, or just letting them play around with some dough while you prepare the snacks. In the end everyone gets a nice treat. 

                        12. Build a fort and hide

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                        Girl in a fort

                          There are very few things that are as exciting and fun as making a fort indoors. It’s a simple affair, although there are some very creative examples, and requires no more than a big blanket, a few pillows, a broomstick or length of rope and a bit of furniture rearranging. The magical fort can be decorated to taste and warm milk and cookies served inside – perhaps after a busy day at the kitchen bakery. It is also a great setting for storytelling.   

                          13. Hold a wrestling tournament and play different characters

                          Boys wrestling with dad

                            This one is particularly fun for boys, but I know a certain little girl who can perform a very good arm bar and likes to wrestle around with her dad for hours. To keep things interesting you can come up with several different characters and hold a tournament. Each of you will choose a character to play for a given time – just like you would in a video game – and the winners get to go on to the final stages. It’s best to let the little ones win at the end. They could even join forces against the main baddy played by yourself.

                            14. Engage in some storytelling

                            Gru reading a story

                              Be it in a magnificent fort, around the living room table or gathered in a circle on the floor, storytelling always fascinates kids and they like to join in as well. You can read stories from a book, and do your best to make up interesting voices for the characters, or you can do some ad lib and make up a story on the go using suggestions from the eager crowd. The kids can also be encouraged to come up with their own stories, suggest plot twists or make up funny characters.  

                              15. When all else fails, dress up and watch your favorite cartoons

                              Girl watching TV

                                After a long day the kids will get a bit tired, but they’ll still want to do something fun before bed time. The go-to solution for many parents is watching cartoons. It’s best to choose a couple of their favorite cartoons and have them dress up as their favorite characters for movie night. Just make sure they don’t stay up past their bedtime – you can give them some warm milk or hot chocolate.

                                These cool parenting hacks should keep your lovely little kids occupied and entertained throughout the day, while providing enough creative stimulus for their developing minds.

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                                Ivan Dimitrijevic

                                Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                                Last Updated on August 13, 2020

                                12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                                12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                                As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

                                1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

                                I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

                                Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

                                Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

                                2. What is the purpose of meditation?

                                The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

                                It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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                                Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

                                In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

                                You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

                                This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

                                The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

                                Less Physical, More Psychological

                                Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

                                This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

                                The First Benefit of Meditation

                                The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

                                1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
                                2. Relaxation of the body

                                Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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                                Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

                                That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

                                When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

                                When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

                                Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

                                Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

                                This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

                                Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

                                Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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                                This benefit takes you to the second one.

                                The Second Benefit of Meditation

                                While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

                                1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
                                2. Observance
                                3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
                                4. Patience

                                Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

                                You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

                                This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

                                1. Energy

                                Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

                                2. Observance

                                The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

                                3. Peacefulness

                                Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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                                4. Patience

                                The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

                                The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

                                Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

                                Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

                                The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

                                • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
                                • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
                                • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
                                • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
                                • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
                                • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

                                These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

                                Final Thoughts

                                Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

                                Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

                                Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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                                Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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