Do your kids complain that they have nothing to do? From a young age, modern children are barraged with an onslaught of stimuli and experiences (electronic and otherwise), which may then result in them failing to develop the skills needed to engage their own minds. It’s this conditioning that’s likely behind your kids’ summertime declarations of boredom.
While it may be tempting to fill the vacuum of your children’s discontent with activities and excursions, it may be better to let them be bored. Here are four reasons why you should allow your kids to find ways to entertain themselves this summer.
1. Boredom builds confidence. When kids are successful at finding ways to occupy themselves, it boosts their self-esteem. Being bored makes it more likely they’ll try new things and test their limits, which is also ideal for building confidence.
2. Boredom improves creativity. Having nothing to do encourages kids to use their imagination to invent games and find ways to amuse themselves.
3. Boredom helps kids discover their interests. Studies have found that unstructured playtime lets kids develop decision making skills and discover their own interests.
4. Boredom forms friendships. Playing with other children helps little ones learn to communicate and read body language. When given time and space to play freely, they’ll begin to negotiate and create games together.
Bored kids are good for parents too. By letting your kids fight their own boredom, you’ll have more time to complete your own tasks, and maybe even get bored yourself.
In recent years, scientists have started taking a closer look at boredom. Their conclusion? Boredom happens when a person wants to be stimulated but can’t connect with their environment. Interestingly, researchers have found that modern children are especially susceptible to boredom (a phenomenon their parents are largely familiar with).
How to choose plants for your aquarium
Selecting plants for your aquarium may seem simple, but if you want your fish and plants to thrive, you should put some thought into your choice.
For starters, choose plants that are well suited to your aquarium’s environment. The type of substrate that covers the bottom of the tank, the temperature of the water and the lighting will all inform what types of plants will do well.
Also, consider what types of fish you keep. Some species will eat the vegetation in their environment. If you keep rainbow fish, tetras or others that are known to nibble on plants, pick vegetation that’s resilient and has sturdy leaves.
Finally, it’s important to consider the size of your aquatic plants when arranging them in your tank. Short, slow-growing plants need to be placed in the front and along the bottom of your tank so as not to obstruct the view. Mid-sized plants should be planted along the sides and in the middle of the aquarium. The tallest plants should go in the back of the tank where it can hide the tank equipment and provide your fish space to play and hide.
4 ways to help snow removers get the job done right
Thanks in part to the size of their tractors, snow removal service employees need your help to ensure that they’re able to do their job. Here are four things you can do to make certain you get the service you deserve.
1. Keep your driveway clear
Make sure your driveway is free of clutter. Shovels, sleds, hockey equipment and other winter accessories can prevent snow removers from clearing your driveway and may even damage their equipment.
2. Be careful where you leave your bins
Trash, recycling and compost bins should be removed from your driveway as soon as they’ve been emptied. Avoid leaving them in areas where snowbanks are likely to form. If you can’t keep them out of the way entirely, try to position them so they won’t be an encumbrance.
3. Move your vehicle
If possible, park your vehicle at least 10 feet away from your driveway so the plow can remove snow from it without having to maneuver around your car.
4. Remove ice
If your driveway is icy, you should use ice melting products or abrasives. Doing so will reduce the risk that you or someone else will slip and fall. It’ll also prevent the snowplow from sliding on the ice and potentially losing control. This is especially important if your driveway is sloped.
Snow removal service employees do their best to ensure your driveway is kept free of snow. This winter, help them help you by doing your part.
4 kinds of people who should have a walk-in shower
Are you renovating your bathroom and planning to install a new shower? If so, a walk-in shower may turn out to be your best bet. Here are four types of people who should have one.
1. Design enthusiasts. Imagine a walk-in shower with a mosaic tile floor and contrasting walls, or one with a sleek modern look perfectly suited to a contemporary esthetic. Design enthusiasts will relish the ability to create a space that’s functional and stylish.
2. Those with reduced mobility. Children and people with reduced mobility sometimes find it hard to climb in and out of a tub. Additionally, those who rely on wheelchairs can’t easily cross a shower threshold. A walk-in shower eliminates these issues.
3. Neat freaks. Because the walls and floors are simple expanses of tile, a walk-in shower is a cinch to clean. Including a handheld showerhead will make tidying up even easier, and designing niches into the wall for your shampoos and soaps will help you keep things organized.
4. Those with ample space. Walk-in showers feel more spacious than other types because they lack an enclosed shower base. To make it feel even bigger, opt for glass walls or do away with them altogether. Just make sure the floor slopes slightly towards the drain.
If you’re interested in installing a walk-in shower, be sure to hire a qualified plumber for the job.
Gifts teachers will love
Christmas is the perfect time of year to extend your thanks to your children’s teachers. Instead of giving them another “world’s best teacher” mug, choose one of the following gifts that’s sure to please.
• Personalized pencils with their name printed right on them
• A tote bag that’s roomy enough to carry all their work to and from school
• A gift card to a local coffee shop to keep them caffeinated while they’re marking homework
• A membership to a local museum to inspire their lesson plans
• A scarf to keep them warm
• A gift basket filled with supplies like dry-erase markers, red correcting pencils, glue sticks, grade-appropriate books and even classroom decor
• A nice bottle of wine to help them relax over the vacation
• A box of artisanal chocolates, because everyone deserves a treat
In addition, few teachers can resist handmade gifts, so anything your kids make is sure to be appreciated. No matter what you choose, don’t forget to have your child make a card that expresses thanks to the teacher for everything they do.
How to enjoy the holidays without overindulging
Food plays an integral part in many holiday celebrations. But when you have many social obligations in a short period of time, it can feel like all you’re doing is eating. Here’s how to enjoy the season’s festivities without overindulging.
Don’t skip meals
Eat regular meals throughout the holidays as this will make you less likely to overindulge at parties.
For breakfast, make some eggs or avocado on toast. These foods are full of protein and healthy fats that will keep you going all day.
At lunch, try a salad topped with a healthy protein like salmon, grilled chicken or legumes.
Have a light snack before heading out to the party to make sure you don’t arrive hungry. Focus on protein-rich foods like nuts or plain yogurt with fruit.
Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and in between consuming alcoholic drinks. This will help you avoid becoming dehydrated and will also allow you to feel more satiated and therefore make you less likely to overeat.
Get in a workout
On the day of the party, try to get in a workout. Not only does regular exercise help you metabolize your food quicker, but you’ll also crave healthier foods, making it easier to pass on heavier fare.
Making sure you take care of yourself over the holidays allows you to treat yourself without overindulging. You’ll enjoy spending time with loved ones and set the right precedent for the new year.
How to choose a hanging light for your entranceway
Are you redecorating your entranceway? If so, here’s how to find the perfect hanging light for it.
Determine the right size
To determine how big it should be, measure the length and width of the space in feet, add the numbers together and then convert the sum to inches. For example, a room that’s 10 feet by 12 feet needs a light fixture with a diameter of 22 inches.
Select the right height
Hanging lights should never be less than seven feet away from the floor. Any lower and they may give someone a bump on the head.
Choose a style you love
Hanging light fixtures come in a multitude of types, colors and shapes. Remember to keep the rest of your decor in mind when making your selection.
If you’re installing a light fixture where there wasn’t one before, hire an electrician. A certified professional will make sure that the wiring is done to code.
Types of hanging lights
• Abstract pendants are modern light fixtures formed into unique shapes.
• Bowl pendants have bowl-shaped diffusers that are turned toward either the ceiling or floor.
• Cluster pendants comprise a group of mini-pendants that provide the same amount of light as a single larger pendant.
• Crystal chandeliers can be made of cut glass or crystal and are perfect for formal spaces.
• Drum chandeliers are similar to drum pendants but have numerous light bulbs.
• Drum pendants are cylindrical and have a fabric or hardback diffuser.
• Globe pendants are sphere-shaped and usually made of a transparent material.
• Mini chandeliers are smaller fixtures that can be used in tight spaces.
• Mini pendants are slender hanging lights typically used in multiples.