Thursday, October 31, 2013

5 Sports to Keep Your Kids Active and in the Backyard These Summer Holidays


This is a Guest Post from Mick Simmons Sport, a place where you can find clothing and equipment from many different sports around the world.


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© Photographer: Sandy Matzen | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Kids are getting overweight and in Australia the epidemic is more and more evident as time goes on. It’s not getting better and with the internet becoming more and more useful it’s hard to get the kids out into the backyard. Here are a few fun things you can suggest to get them out on the town.

Backyard Cricket

Over the fence is six runs and out! If you’re going to set out and play a game together cricket is a pretty worthwhile choice. Pick up some wickets and a couple of bats and it’s time to have some fun. It’s a game that has some structure, the ability to encourage teamwork and it’s not too athletically demanding or exhausting. Have fun, though you can pick up some pads at Mick Simmons Sport AUS or any other sports retailing website if safety is a concern.

Backyard Soccer

Keep in mind for this one that you’re going to need something to stand in for goals, preferably something you can afford to lose or break without any problems. Someone is going to run into it or slam the ball there and everyone has one story about when they broke something important. This is pretty similar to any other kind of soccer and it should be relaxed fun for everyone.

Croquet

This is a much more relaxed game that the entire family can get involved in. As it’s a game that requires only basic skills and not a lot of strength kids and old people can get involved without any handicaps. This is a great sport for taking the time to bond together and play the game without straining yourself too hard. Besides, it’ll make you feel classy, croquet is a game classy people play, and everyone knows this.

Football

From low to high energy, as Australians a love of football is almost built into our DNA. Some families live and breathe it and it’s easy to see why. Its recommended you go down to a park if you don’t have a big back yard and you want to play two hand touch to prevent injuries and allow everyone to play unless you’re certain there’s going to be problems. It’s a fun fast paced game that’s going to give everyone a bit of fun.

Lawn Bowls

A simple sport that gives coordination, depth perception, tests your arm and your aim and doesn't involve any risk of running yourself ragged or getting hurt in hot weather it’s good to play a sport that doesn't involve you catching sunstroke or stumbling and running into someone’s elbow. This can help your kids and entertain them all at once.

Summer days are a time for fun, for going outside, relaxing, having fun. Sitting in front of the screen feels like wasting a summer once you've really been outside. It’s time for kids to go back to basics, go outside, and play.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Save on your Childrens Education Expenses


This is a guest post from Fox Symes, Australia's largest provider of debt solutions.

School is an exciting prospect for many children, as they enter those first independent years and start testing the boundaries of your authority. It may be a bit heart-wrenching, to watch them patter up the path and out of the realm of kindy-hood forever; it will be predictably quite expensive, the sudden influx of school fees and demands, from books, to time, to lamington drives, there’s a ream of hidden extras associated with schooling, even the cost effective public system hide a caveat of unexpected outlays – Excursions, anyone? Though it might sound a bit extreme, readying yourself for your child’s education through the different age groups will allow you an insight into what you have to save, what is achievable and if you should look around now for a better price, before they become too invested. Being new with thirty other students is a giddy experience; being the new kid half way through term is incredibly difficult!

Primary School: Shop Around

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© Photographer: Johanna Goodyear | Agency: Dreamstime.com
How much will be due and when? Even if your child has yet to start school, asking around to potential campuses will assist you in matching the right institution to your means, without sacrificing other fundamentals, like small classes, religion (if applicable) and engaged teachers. Take the collated numbers chart and work it against your current income, allowing for inflation and fee increases over the set number of years until your child starts school. Do you have another little one coming up the ranks? Is it important that your kids attend the same campus? Do they have different talents and focuses that will be better served by different schools? Be honest about your income and only enrol when you’re certain you can meet the financial outcomes of the institution, even if your debts require consolidation and the expert eye of a company like Fox Symes.

Secondary Education: Be Prepared

Though primary education is highly important and essentially formative, high school gears budding students achieving an optimal University entrance score, securing their future livelihoods and building their self-confidence to handle real world situations. You want to invest in their schooling. Creating a savings plan now, even if they've only just entered second form, will open up a range of closed doors, as your frugality and perseverance pays off and admission into a highly sort after grammar school is well within your reach. The benefits of saving are unimaginable, as a positive management practice facilitates discussions between child and parent, emphasising the importance and value of a dollar earned. They will be grateful, when they mature and their lives are just that little bit easier thanks to your influence and sacrifice.

Create a Trust: University Daze

University can be an expensive jaunt, even with the added bonus of FEE-HELP and other assistance schemes; though financial pressures are alleviated now, they will come back to haunt your child after they make over a certain amount. If you want your kids to be free from the debilitating effects of student loans and subsequent repayments, setting up a trust will allow you to deposit and manage funds for the purposes of education, while still granting access to your child. Trusts are fantastic when it comes to crunch time and union fees roll in on top of new text books and costly accommodation.

Do you need advice? Who doesn’t? While nobody has all of the answers, and no, not even Google, financial bodies like the FSA Group can be a guiding light when planning for the future.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tips to make your child’s first sleepover a memorable one


This is a guest post from Bunkers, Australia's specialist in bunk beds & clever bedroom furniture.


For the majority of people their first sleepover was memorable for all the wrong reasons. A night away from home is a big deal at a young age. There are few simple steps that you can take as a parent to insure that your child’s first sleepover is a blast. All you need to do is read this article.

Ready?

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© Photographer: Ng | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Is your child actually ready for a sleepover? You may want to test the water with a cousin or family friend. This goes for hosting a sleepover and attending. Is your child ready to entertain a friend for a long period of time? Is your child ready to spend a night away from home? These are the kinds of questions you will have to ask yourself.

Know the parents and children

You keep your mind at peace you want to know the parents. Talking to them will get you any important information you need to know to insure the sleepover runs smoothly. This means finding about allergies, phone numbers and sleeping habits. Every child’s sleeping habits are different. Some like to sleep with a light on, the door open or music playing. As the host you need to be able to cater for this.

The rules

This is a new house and therefore there are new rules. Don’t assume the child has to follow the same rules you enforce at home. You’ll need to explain that some rules may be different to what they are used to. Rules may not seem fun but they insure that everyone gets along fairly.

Entertainment

Don’t let the name ‘sleepover’ fool you. The last thing these children want to do is sleep. There is no such thing as too many activities. It’s better to over schedule. You want to keep them busy and entertained. This will insure they remain happy.

Disasters

It’s clich├ęd but expect the unexpected. You can’t plan for everything. It could be as simple as the child has never seen a bunk bed in real life before, only on www.bunkers.com.au If a disaster does occur then don’t be afraid to end the sleepover, the parents will understand. Know when to throw in your cards. If all things are going swimmingly don’t be shocked to find wet sleeping bags in the morning. Try to be discrete; you don’t want to embarrass your child’s friend. Finally, keep the next day low key. A night away from home has probably insured that the children have not had much sleep. They may appear a little cranky. All you can do at this point is provide them with a healthy breakfast and send them on their way. You’ll know you've done a great job when your child asks if they can have another friend over.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

5 Ideal Locations for a Family Adventure


This is a guest post by the folks from My Adventure Store, where you compare, select and book the right travel experience from the world’s leading adventure operators and airlines.


Having a family does not mean the end of adventure holidays. Obviously you will need to research your destinations a little more carefully if you have a family, but there are many ideal locations for a family to have a whole lot of off-the-beaten-track fun. In fact, adventure holidays are one of the fastest growing trends in family travel. Kids, just like adults, enjoy getting away from the busy humdrum of daily life and setting of into the wilds.
An adventure holiday is a great way for you and your family to enjoy discovering the amazing world we live in. Adventure holidays cater for complete family involvement, so you and the kids can have a shared experience of exploring your destination. Companies that specialise in family adventure holidays have done their homework; they ensure trips are kid-friendly and safe. And there are loads of choices. Check out My Advenutre Store website to begin the hunt for your next family adventure.

The Land of Smiles


The people of Thailand love children and they will love getting to know yours. A Thailand holiday offers the perfect combination of culture, historical sites, outdoor activities and yummy food. Your family will experience unforgettable sights – riding elephants in the far north, busy and colourful markets almost everywhere, magnificent temples and the ancient ruins of Ayuthaya. You can take easy one day treks to the hill tribe villages in the far north and give your children the invaluable experience of seeing families who live an almost subsistence lifestyle where children help with farming, weaving and sewing. Visit the stunning beaches in the south and canoe through amazing ocean caves. The country is safe and the physical demands of exploring Thailand and well within the abilities of most families.

Ancient Turkey

Turkey provides an amazing mix of exquisite natural beauty and ancient history. And there are lots of adventurous activities to keep you busy. You can take the family sea kayaking over amazing ruins or scuba diving or snorkelling in the crystal clear waters of Turkey. Another great adventure is to sail a gulet, an all wooden handcrafted motor sailing yacht, along the picturesque Turquoise Coast. And the family are sure to love the kebabs!

Have Christmas in Lapland

Why not take the family for a Christmas adventure in the traditional homeland of Christmas. Complete with snow, Finnish traditional Christmas fare and Santa and his elves, your kids will be in Christmas heaven.



Serengeti, Tanzia

Discover the raw beauty of Africa. Go on safari by day and relax in comfortable lodges by night. Your family will get to see a bounty of wildlife – elephants, lions, hippos, cheetahs, antelope and more. This is a truly unforgettable adventure.

The Tropics of Costa Rica

This destination has an abundance of national parks. You can check out the Arenal Volcano, go wildlife spotting and just take in the natural beauty of the place. A visit to the cloud forests, highland rainforests with 100% humidity will amaze – literally a forest of fog.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

5 Australian Thrill Rides You Must Try


This is a guest post from MyFun.com.au, where Australia's favourite theme parks, attractions and experiences come together under one banner.


Do you dream about hair-raising, stomach-dropping adventure, passing another nine to five wishing to be somewhere else more exciting, possibly plotting your escape early Friday morning or finally landing on Australian soil, without a kangaroo escort? Thrills are well within your grasp. If you’ve taken a few moments out of your busy life to explore the visual spoils of the Gold Coast, you are well situated to exploit the mecca of theme parks an hour above its borders – a short car trip or scenic bus ride will soon deliver you to the gates of summer fun, and to the teeth chattering experiences you’ve been craving.

The Superman Escape

Ride alongside Supes and save Movie World from certain disaster. Pulling out of the landing bay into a smoke filled chute will be the final peaceful moment you’ll have all day, as flashing lights and voiceovers build a sense of urgency and THWAK! You’re hurtling toward a vertical climb, punching the pedal from 0-100km in exactly two seconds. The twists, the turns and incisive loops will have you clutching at your chest support, as your body struggles to catch up with the G-Force corners and weightless drops. Don’t forget to breathe!

The Green Lantern Coaster

Though Ryan Reynolds has taken his leave of the man in the green suit (for now), his legacy lives on in the confines of an Australian wonder park. The Green Lantern Coaster is track of surprises and screams. Do you love steep, air-crushing dives? Us too. Strap into this coaster and prepare yourself for bone jarring corners at 66km/h, speedy climbs and the steepest drop in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Buzzsaw

Scary stories and terrifying rides are harmonious bedfellows, teasing the imaginations and sweaty palms of would-be thrill seekers as they line up, twisting through an abandoned woodshed. Hopping into a carriage, you’ll discover only a waist harness between you and a 46m climb; with nothing to cling to, how will you deal with 360 degree rolls, speeds of 105km/h and dangling with fingers tips free, chilling in the air before flipping over into a death drop? Rip it up.

The Claw

A velociraptor claw doesn’t sound particularly spine-tingling, unless Jurassic Park has come to life and you’re stuck in the cellar, trying to turn the lights on. Imagine though, you’re strapped into said claw, swinging nine storeys into the blue, rushing head-first against the sky at 75km/h. Has your stomach rebelled yet? No? Wait until it starts spinning. The Claw is the first pendulum thrill ride in Australia, making friends and frenemies in their droves; after all, who doesn’t love a collapsing floor and the delighted shrieks of less than courageous riders?

The Batwing Space Shot

The black bat is back and rearing to prevent disaster befalling Gotham once more; after battling Bane in the last instalment of the Dark Knight, Alfred has devised an ejection system, in case Bruce ever needs to shoot out of a pitted prison in a hurry. Secure your shoulders and nerves, you’ll need to be cool, calm and ready to pull 4.5G’s of pure inertia as you shoot 60m into the sky. It’s heart thumping and adrenaline crumping ride to the top with the Caped Crusader. Who would have thought the Australian Gold Coast held so many ways to lose your lunch or discover a dormant courage, all without lifting a finger?

What are some of your favourite thrill rides? Tell us in the comments.