Shane

Shane

I am blogging fanatic, who loves to write about business, the current economy, and art or design.  I also am an avid outdoors-man, who loves hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking.  You can also follow my opinions on soccer and sports at localsoccernews.com.  Most importantly, I'm a father. And my children are my everything. So they inspire a lot of my writing!

Website URL: http://www.localsoccernews.com

Thursday, 06 December 2012 14:52

How to Make Outdoor Chores Fun for Kids

It's fun now

Excuses usually abound when it’s time to do household chores. Ranging from chronic illness to physical ailments, no child gets excited about washing dishes or cleaning up their rooms. However, outdoor chores can become exciting activities as children splash in their bathing suits while washing the dog, jam to the radio as they garden, or dance along the sidewalk as they sweep. The key is to become inventive and turn an everyday task into an adventure instead of a chore, enticing them through fun, engaging activities.

 

Set up the Sprinkler

Let the kids have fun outside, running and jumping in and out of the sprinkler with the dog as you set up a self serve dog wash. Arrange all items needed for the pet wash into stations, starting first with the shampoo, bucket and a rag or sponge. Next should be a towel and a brush, and third, treats and a pull toy.

When the dog is good and wet, have your children massage in the shampoo, scratching the dog in his favorite places and laughing as he tries to wriggle free before they can rinse away the bubbles. When he is completely clean, give him a treat and let them have fun playing tug of war with his favorite pull toy.

 

Dance with the Leaves

Turn raking leaves into Dancing with the Stars by having your child use the rake as their dance partner. With each sweep of the handle, they can hop, skip and jump across the lawn as they gather leaves into piles while pretending to be their favorite TV star.

For even more fun, the tip of the rake’s handle can be used as a microphone, allowing them to sing and dance as they work. This game can also be played while sweeping the leaves and pine needles off of the sidewalk or driveway.

 

Enjoy the Garden

Play music while gardening. Whether watering plants, spreading dirt, pruning bushes or picking fruits and vegetables, your favorite tunes will make the time go quicker and the chore much more enjoyable. Fast-paced music is the best, urging your children to move quicker, sing louder and forget about the dullness of the activity at hand.

You can also turn weeding into a competition for your children in countless ways. For example, the child who has pulled the most weeds can be awarded with a prize — but be careful, this could lead to random pulling of greenery — or you can look for the prettiest/ugliest weed, the one with the most bulbs, etc., when all weeding is completed. It doesn’t matter. Just give them something else to focus on as they work in the garden.

Wednesday, 05 December 2012 16:14

How to Find Outdoor Activities on Zero Budget

fall

You don’t need a swing set, fancy equipment or even a local park to have fun with your kids outside. No matter what the weather, there are plenty of fun outdoor games and activities that involve only your family and imagination. After all, kids (of all ages) look forward to building the first snowman of the year. Check out these other ideas for free outdoor fun.

Fall Fun

If you live in a region with four seasons, take advantage of it. Remember when we were kids and the piles of leaves were just too tempting? Take the chore aspect out of raking leaves and turn it into a backyard amusement park. Sure, it’s a job that has to get done, but no one says you can’t enjoy the process.

Summer “Sports”

A bucket of sidewalk chalk can fill a summer’s worth of excitement. Depending on the age of your children, you can create hopscotch games of varying difficulty or simply take to the streets as artists. Your entire neighborhood is your canvas. Just don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen.

Of course, the classic sprinkler play is something that never goes out of style. You can up the ante with a slip ‘n’ slide, which can be picked up for under $10 at your local store. There’s no better way to cool off during the hot summer months. Pick up a bag of balloons to create water grenades for a cool game where everyone wins.

Getting Into the Winter Wonderland

Building a snowman isn’t the only winter activity. Creating snow angels and sledding are also essential winter activities. Don’t worry; you don’t need a professional sled in order to take advantage of the slopes. If it snows in your area, find an open area with an incline and make sure there are no hidden posts or other obstacles before playing.

The top of a recycling bin or any disc-shaped device can double as a sled. If you have inner-tubes or pool toys, these are also great for sledding. If you're looking for something more relaxing you can always check out the spa for some massages, or give acupuncture a try -- probably the best idea so that the busiest professionals can squeeze in some much-needed family and relaxation time.

The Transitioning Months

Both autumn and spring boast the best weather where it’s not too hot or cold. That means it’s prime time to get outside. Visit a local corn maze in the autumn. Make a serious game out of egg hunting in the spring. See who in the family can find the best pumpkin for carving. Indulge in the traditions of the holidays.

Sometimes just switching up the location can make a huge impact on your family’s health. Why not take the dinner prepping (and socializing) outside? How about having your kids read to you while picnicking on the porch? It’s the little things, like backyard camping, that stick with us as our favorite childhood experiences.

Friday, 14 September 2012 13:58

4 Ways to Protect Your Gardens from Intruders

As annoying and harmful to our gardens as insects can be, have you stopped to think about the pesticides you are using to save your plants, and create a healthier environment for your children? The pesticides that you can find now at most garden supply stores are certainly less harmful than the days of using DDT. The fact that DDT can still be found in our environment even though it was banned over forty years ago should be enough of an indication of how harmful pesticides truly can be to our environment. There are ways to protect your plants and your kids from pests without the use of harmful pesticides that can end up staying in the environment for many years down the road. You don't want your children exposed to that do you?

 

1. Know the Pests

The pest that you may be trying to kill could actually be doing the same thing, killing the other bugs. Some bugs that are on plants actually are beneficial and could be doing the work of a pesticide for free. Another point to remember about bugs is that, like us, they can be picky eaters, so if you mix up your plants so that not all of the same kinds are next to each other, the choosy bug will not linger around a plant that he does not like.

 

2. Maintenance

Knowing when to your water your plants is another way to prevent bugs. I found that when I watered my plants in the evening, mold and mildew would form, causing slugs and other insects to invade my plants. Watering early in the afternoon lets the plant soak up the water versus having it lay in the soil in the cool of the night. If you check your plants often you will be able to find if bugs are laying eggs or not on your leaves.

 

3. Soil Quality

The quality of the soil you use to plant is extremely essential to the health of your plants. Soil that has high organic content, good aeration and drainage will grow healthier plants that have minimal infestations.

 

4. Use Organic Pesticides

If going the route of not using any type of pesticide to prevent pests just is not working for you, then give organic pesticides a try. Organic pesticides are not created in chemical plants like traditional pesticides; they are harvested and refined from plant. Safer Brand’s video on “The Life of a Molecule” describes the benefits of using organic pesticides versus traditional pesticides and how to tell if the pesticide you are using is truly organic.

Trying these more natural ways of gardening will be healthier for your garden and for the environment.

Children At SchoolChildren are spending more and more time on the Internet today, and they are beginning at much younger ages. There are some safety tips that every child should know before they start browsing online without any adult supervision as there are many dangers online that children should be aware of.

Even using Google search to answer a question on mosquitoes could lead to your child clicking on a link to something unsuitable. Adults should always supervise what their children do while they are online to ensure safety.

Giving Out Too Much Information

Children should be taught to never give out their personal name, address, or phone number when online. If they are talking to someone they have never actually met, children need to be taught that this person could be lying about their age and other information. Many parents feel they do not want to scare their children, but in this matter they need to be told.

Giving out too much personal information can help a predator find your child very quickly. Explain to your children that any information they put out on the Internet will always stay there. Even if a predator does not use this information now, it does not mean that a future predator will not come along and see the information and then find your child. Make it clear to your child that even if they only give a street name or only give their phone number that a predator can still find them.

Someone that knows their way around the Internet can find all posts made by the child and put together the information given out to find where they live. Even telling someone their age and what school they go to can jeopardize your child.

Many children have nicknames that they use while online and give another state if asked where they live. Explain to your child that this does not count as lying. They need to do this to ensure they stay safe.

Let Your Children Know They Can Talk to You

Even if you are careful to supervise your child’s online activities at home, you do not know whether or not they may have access to the internet elsewhere, such as at a friend’s house. Let them know that if something happens while they are online that makes them feel uncomfortable that they can talk to you.

If your child has a question about something they have read or seen, it is much better that they talk to you rather than seeking out information on their own. Your child may be concerned that they will get in trouble, so you need to strike a balance between having boundaries of acceptable behavior and still being open to your child’s questions.
Thursday, 17 May 2012 15:44

Are You A Mosquito Magnet?

We all look eagerly onto the summer with dreams of basking in the sun and spending time outside. But in the back of our minds there is one nuisance that continues to make you want to turn around and sprint full speed back into the comfort of the indoors. That usually comes in the form of mosquitoes. So every summer, to fight this battle against these bugs and the mosquito diseases they carry, people have developed some crazy ideas of what will repel or attract a mosquito bite.

Fact: mosquitoes are annoying little insects. But what really attracts and repels them? From bananas & beautyberries to blondes & bugzappers, you can find all the juicy details below!  Which makes you wonder...Are you a Mosquito Magnet?