Originally posted June 2014 and updated July 2017
Sunshine, warmth, blue skies... beautiful weather for fun in the outdoors. Enjoying the outdoors with kids doesn't have to be a daunting all-day activity. But sometimes it's difficult to encourage the kids outside and away from the screens. Or maybe you're looking for inspiration for handling those "I'm bored!" complaints.
What you need is something that will turn outdoor activities into an adventure.
Encourage even the most reticent nature walker outdoors with the thrill of a nature scavenger hunt.
It won't take much preparation time for you but will definitely provide loads of fun for your grandkids.
Start with a scavenger hunt list. You can always create your own but why reinvent the wheel when there are great ideas already done for you?
Make a list
Take this list from Chrissy Taylor, for example. Print the list, laminate it for durability and so that you can reuse it. If you have small children, your list might have to be in picture-form.
Ideas for pre-readers
If you do have pre-readers, there are plenty of options and ideas readily available. It's a wonderful way to explore the senses and encourage them to locate things that feel or smell. Check out this scavenger hunt for little ones- it includes a simple printable list to download and use.
Teams or individuals
Decide whether to run your scavenger hunt as a team contest or individuals. This will probably be determined by the number of kids you have and whether they've included their friends.
Don't forget the prizes
These don't need to be difficult or costly but, since most kids are fiercely competitive, it will add another level of excitement if they're striving for the prize at the end of the hunt. Don't forget consolation prizes for those who miss out.. especially with little ones.
It's also a good finish to any scavenger hunt if you conclude with a special snack or treat. Something as simple as an ice-cream for everyone to conclude the scavenger hunt can turn a fun adventure into a memory-making event, a simple moment that matters.
Leaf shape scavenger hunt
A simple option for younger ones, is something like a leaf shape hunt. Give each child a list of leaf shapes to look for and a bag to collect the leaves in once they find them. Design your own checklist of leaf shapes or download a ready-made one.
Try a photo scavenger hunt
If your kids are older and complain, "Oh, we've done this," be ready for them. Hand out a photo adventure scavenger hunt. Not only do they have to find the item on the list but take a photo. It's amazing how the addition of a camera or smartphone can change the interest level from ho-hum to extreme.
Alphabet Photo Scavenger Hunt
How about an Alphabet Photo Scavenger hunt? It's nice and easy. The kids will need to find and photograph items for all the letters of the alphabet, or as many as they can find.
Backyard, beach or bush
Your scavenger hunt can be held in your own backyard, at the beach, at a park or, if you're very adventurous, you could take them all for a bushwalk.
Hand each child: a bag to collect the found items, the laminated list, a whiteboard marker (use on the laminated list) and a rations pack. (They're always hungry and a trail mix should keep them happy. Don't forget some water.)
The fun needn't end once you're home again. Create a beautiful nature light with the kids as a colourful reminder of your day out in the great outdoors.
Create a nature light
* glass jar or container
* small battery operated tea light
* items collected from your scavenger hunt and walk
* small stickers
1. Carefully arrange all the items from your adventures outdoors in the glass jar.
2. Nestle the tea light amongst the items in the jar.
3. Add some small stickers or decorative tape to the outside of the glass container... and you're done.
The nature light jar looks equally attractive whether it's filled with leaves, pebbles, sticks and flowers or with items from the beach- shells, sand, seaweed and driftwood.
Use the day's activities to generate some discussion and to talk about God's creation, made for us to enjoy.
And, every time you or the kids look at the nature light, they'll remember the fun adventure you all had together as a family.
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I know most people don't share because they feel that we bloggers don't need their 'tiny' share. But believe me... you matter! Each and every reader is important and appreciated.
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'Presentation is Everything.'
Do you have family visiting for Easter? Whether you're planning your Easter celebrations for just your own immediate family or an extended gathering of friends and family, a beautiful table arrangement really sets the scene for a perfect Easter celebration.
Now, this can be daunting consideration. But, don't feel you need to spend hours preparing a lovely display. I've found a collection of ideas, from a simple minimal approach to an amazing table overflowing with delight.
You may have decided to go with a separate table for the kids. That's fine. I've got that covered, too. So, just click through the images and find the table creation that appeals to you and your needs. There is a link on each image to the original and the instructions.
And remember, you can add to or simplify the original concept or substitute items where necessary.
Just as an example, this Easter arrangement took minutes to prepare.
STEP 1. Buy an Easter wreath. Yes, you can make your own but I didn't have time and you can find them everywhere.
STEP 2. Place the wreath in the centre of the table.
STEP 3. Add a floral arrangement to the centre of the wreath, or an apothecary jar filled with eggs. (You can buy a floral arrangement or make your own.)
And that's it! Done. Simple.
Check out the other beautiful and creative ideas below.
There are many other ideas from truly creative people, and I gathered some to show you, that will inspire you and provide some simple, yet beautiful solutions. From fun-filled kids' table arrangements to elegant designs to outdoor dining ideas, you'll find something in the following collection that, I'm sure, will help you create your own Easter table arrangement.
And... as an added bonus, why not plan to include Easter themed table serviettes.
You'll find links to the instruction below.
If you're looking for other Easter ideas and inspiration, the check out my Easter Pinterest board. Are you planning an Easter Egg Hunt? Here are some tips. And if you'd like an Easter that allowed you time to focus on what really matters, download my free book below, Stress-Free Easter.
One of the most fun things to do with children during school holidays is a picnic.
If the weather is good, not only can you put together a basket with the perfect fluffy blanket, but you can get the kids involved in all the preparations. This will then elevate your standard picnic to a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, and that is simple fun that gets everyone together.
You don’t have to lay on a whole party, though, even though the Teddy Bears’ picnic is a popular birthday party theme. Inviting a few neighbourhood friends or school friends over the holidays can be so much fun!
Lazy summer days full of sunshine and dandelion clocks are the perfect time to have your first Teddy Bears’ picnic, and here’s how you can make the most of it.
Finding things to do over the school breaks can be easy if you are inventive about it. Children love to be outdoors in the sunshine, having a picnic is a pure novelty so incorporating both things together make for an exciting and happy afternoon all round. Be excited about the upcoming school summer break and everyone else will be, too!
There’s nothing quite like waking up to a nice hearty breakfast. By kitting your kitchen out with a few handy appliances, setting yourself up for the day with a wholesome meal could be made much easier.
Here are just a few tools that your kitchen may be in need of.
Are you wild about waffles? You can buy ready-made ones in the shops, but for that extra-fresh feeling nothing beats home-made waffles. Waffle-makers come in all shapes and sizes – with many low cost versions on the market. You can even experiment with recipes and make potato waffles and gluten-free variants. It’s also great trick to use on leftover pizza.
Create your own freshly-squeezed juice by buying a juicer. If you grow your own fruit and veg, this can be a very useful tool to have. You’ll get all the fresh vitamins and nutrients you may not get in a supermarket variety, and have the option to experiment and make your own juices.
Pricing can vary depending on how elaborate you want your juicer to be, with some models costing under thirty quid and others over a grand!
If you need a caffeine hit to get you energised in the morning, why not say goodbye to instant coffee and become your own barista from home by investing in your own coffee machine?
Whether you want a simple percolator or a hi-tech grind and brew coffee maker, there are all kinds of machines available on the market that could give your coffee that extra touch of luxury.
Of course, avid tea drinkers may prefer to stick to the kettle – but even as a toy to impress coffee-drinking guests with and it can be useful.
Multi frying pan
For those grandparents that are used to serving up full English breakfast to big families, this ingenious pan could be a life-saving tool. It’s size allows you to cook a full fry-up on it. Some even have compartments so that you can stop food mixing.
Multi-frying pans fit over multiple hobs – with some having multi-purpose grill use. Pricing varies, but generally you can nab one at under thirty pounds.
Just make sure you have the kitchen space to store it (you may be able to throw out a few other pans to make room – you won’t need them with this multi-pan).
Poached eggs can be a delicious morning treat, perfect for making egg benedict or egg royale. However, they’re also one of the trickiest and most frustrating methods of cooking an egg.
Buying a specialist egg poaching device could make the process a lot easier. You can buy small compartments for under a tenner or buy a specialist poaching pan for the job. Some more high-end machine may offer multiple ways of cooking eggs from boiling to poaching.
This could save having to bother with timers and allow you to cater all manner of guest requests (if you own a b&b this ought to be an essential tool).
Do you ever get to that point in the day where you simply don't have energy left?
Of course, you have! It's a fairly natural part of everyday life. There isn't a person alive who doesn't come to the end of a busy day feeling like they could do with a lie down and a good long sleep. But what happens if you feel like that all day?
There are far too many people who go through their entire day feeling as though they're running on empty and, not matter what they do; they simply can't seem to bring up their energy levels. If that sounds familiar to you then don't despair, this problem isn't one that you necessarily have to live with.
Here are just a few things might be leaving you lacking in energy, and what you can do about it.
Of course, we all understand that eating too much is going to leave you feeling bloated and lacking in energy. But far too many people tend to ignore the impact that other elements of your diet can have on your energy levels.
For one thing, eating to little can be just as bad, if not worse, than eating too much. If you're not eating, then your body simply won't have anything to use when trying to produce energy. Even something as simple as skipping breakfast can have some pretty serious consequences for your energy levels.
Make sure that you're eating a healthy, balanced diet. Keto recipes are a fantastic way to make sure that you're giving your body everything it needs without going overboard on unnecessary ingredients.
We all like to have a good time now and then, but there always has to be a limit. Let's face it; there are only so many late nights that you can have before it starts to take a serious toll on your energy levels. However important socializing might be for you, there comes a time where you simply need to spend some time alone, relax and get an early night. As with just about everything else in life, it's important to keep moderation in mind. There's absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying yourself, just remember not to go overboard with it.
Your exercise routine
Staying active is incredibly important to keeping your energy levels. up.
The problem that many of us face is that we often lead pretty sedentary lifestyles. Spending each and every day stuck behind a desk is a surprisingly taxing experience.
It's important that you spend at least a little bit of time each day doing something physical.
Of course, going too far in the other direction can actually be pretty dangerous. Too much exercise all at once can cause your body to release too much cortisol, the stress hormone, which is a surefire way to burn yourself out.
If you want to increase your energy levels then it's important to start slowly and build up your levels of exercise gradually.
With the constant reminder from modern societies that people need to be thinner to be beautiful, one can’t fail to wonder how it is possible to lose weight permanently. Indeed, while it seems easier to find effective diets, it seems a lot harder to keep the weight off durably.
After all, intermittent fasting, crash diets and even the Atkin diet - and many others that are not named here - have one thing in common: They are impossible to hold for a long term achievement. Most people, inevitably, grow a little tired of their deprivations and sometimes of the food supplements.
Is it the price to pay to be accepted as beautiful by the rest of the world?
No, of course, it isn’t. Getting fit is different from losing weight, and the difference is what makes the one permanent and the other temporary. Getting fit implies a radical change of lifestyle for the best. And it’s a lot easier than you think!
Here are the three things that people who stay fit and slim have in common.
They Start A Fitness Activity
You can’t keep the weight off if you don’t develop a regular fitness activity. What you choose to do depends on of your taste and your fitness level, but whether you decide to walk, to run, or to start kickboxing lessons, the advice is the same: You can only achieve results if you genuinely stick to it.
This is exactly why it’s important to listen to yourself, instead of following the current trends. For instance, most people like to cultivate a jogging spirit: Running is trendy and highly regarded. But to stick with running, you will first need to have an interest in the activity. In short, if running isn’t your thing, don’t just decide to start with it to go with the flow. Find an activity that excites you.
They Change Their Eating Habits
There is a big gap between dieting and changing your eating habits. Staying fit and in good shape is not about dieting, as you would have already guessed. It’s about understanding which food is good for your body and staying away from the ones that aren’t.
This means consuming more vegetables and fruits, more healthy proteins and fibers, and naturally drinking sufficient water. At the same time, while you stay away from processed foods, you start developing new cooking style: Rock frying pans with their high-quality heat distribution and non-stick coat are ideal to limit fat in your preparations, food processors and blenders are perfect for all smoothies and healthy soups, etc.
They Learn Discipline
It’s difficult to start walking on the fitness path. So, you will need to develop of sense for what is good until your mind gets a natural feeling for it. Most people like to fill a sort of fitness journal where they can keep track of their eating and exercising habits.
This does not only allow them to monitor their day-to-day progress but, this rapidly develops a new relationship with the body too. You can see the impacts of healthy food on your energy and your weight, and measure the strength that your body is building with it.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.