Tag Archives: dads

Easy Ways to Encourage Physical Activity

Easy ways to encourage physical activity (in the digital age)

 

In the past few decades childhood obesity has tripled in the United States and it is now believed to impact the lives of more than 12 million adolescents and children. It has become a particularly sensitive subject, which has left many parents looking for practical ways to help their kids get a grip on their weight and steer clear of the many weight related health conditions.

So as a parent, what can you do to help your children stay fit and healthy?  As well as adopting healthy eating habits as a family, another fundamental goal is to encourage kids to maintain an active lifestyle. This certainly isn’t an easy task in the age of the internet, where computer games and smart phones are unavoidable, but with a little effort, it is certainly doable.  

 

Stop Driving Everywhere

The modern car revolutionized the way society operates and made getting to work, school, and seeing friends and family so much easier. Yet that does not mean we are obliged to use our cars for every journey.

Is it really necessary to drive to a friend’s house that lives just around the corner? Walking whenever possible is a sure way to encourage your kids to get active and appreciate the outside world. Even better, it will help you save on fuel and avoid additional wear and tear of your vehicle.

 

Make it a Family Event

Another great way to make exercise fun is to make it a family event where every generation of the family can feel involved. Instead of planning a day out at the cinema or going for a meal, consider activities such as a family bike ride.

This will allow kids of all ages to get involved and it can be made into a fun fuelled adventure that doesn’t feel like exercise one bit. Not only are bikes a great way to get active, but allow you as a family to explore local environments and make treasured memories.

 

Consider Garden Activities

Don’t just allow your kids to play on their computer games or watch TV all day. Ensure you are limiting their screen time to a healthy amount. The rest of the time they should be taking part in other activities, such as study, socializing and physical activity. Of course, sports aren’t for everyone, so if your child really isn’t a fan, then there are still many other opportunities.

For instance, my kids have various outdoor toys in the garden, including a trampoline, climbing toys and swing sets. These are affordable and a fun way to get kids outdoors and active.

 

Keep Play Fun

If you are playing a sport outside, don’t get too wrapped up in the details and rules of the game,  especially with regards to younger kids. Allowing your children to let loose without any restrictions is likely to be much more fun for them.

As kids get older, they will organically become more and more familiar with the rules, so for now just let them concentrate on having as much fun being active as possible. This can be a difficult task for sports fans, but still an important factor to bear in mind.  

 

Age Appropriate  

Another thing to consider is whether or not an activity is age appropriate. The most important part of encouraging kids to stay active is to ensure they enjoy it. The reality is that if they find it boring or too difficult then they are going to become dissatisfied with the activity and lose interest.

As a parent, you main role is to ensure they stay motivated and engaged. Younger kids and tots can really benefit from simple activities such as kicking a ball around the yard. Not only will this help them burn off some steam, but will also help them develop hand eye coordination and motor skills. Older kids and teens tend to find sports such as soccer and baseball more rewarding and the social aspect can also greatly aid them in their development.

 

Be a Motivational Parent

As the parent, you have the responsibility of ensuring your kids stay motivated to participate in physical activity including sports. Often, all a child needs is a little bit of encouragement from their loved ones and they will find the confidence to participate. As they get involved, continually let them know how proud you are and praise them whenever they make progress. The influential effect of a parent’s compliment should never be taken for granted.

 

The Bottom Line

Keeping kids motivated is arguably more difficult than ever with so many distractions from the digital world, but it that makes it even more important. Exercise is not only essential for a healthy and well balanced body and mind, but it can also help in a myriad of other ways too. This can include childhood development, confidence building and acquiring social skills.  You may even find that it builds a closer relationship between you and your child! 

30 Hours of Battery Life with @SonyElectronics WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones at @Best Buy #ad

Sony WH-1000XM3 Headphones available at Best Buy

My husband is a major music enthusiast.  If he’s not listening to it, he’s playing it.  Between his upcoming birthday and Christmas, I better start shopping early!  And I’ve got the perfect first product for the list: the Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones available at Best Buy!  

What’s so great about the Sony WH-1000XM3?  They really do just about everything you could ask for from a pair of headphones! 

Hands Free Calling and Google Assistant: simply double tap to answer a phone call or press and hold the noise-canceling button to ask the Google Assistant something.  

Industry-leading noise canceling: Sony’s proprietary HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1 brings the WH-1000XM3 to the pinnacle of noise cancellation.  While mowing the yard or even getting in a workout, my husband appreciates being able to block out the other sounds and focus on the music.  This is definitely a feature he will love!  

Premium Sound: The 40mm drivers with Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) diaphragms are Hi-Res Audio compatible, reproducing a full range of frequencies.  Anyone who plays music will appreciate the quality of sound these headphones put out!

All-day listening with quick charging: Listen all day with up to 30 hours of playback and quick charging that gives five hours of playback with just 10 minutes of charge time.  My husband is a busy dad, homeschooling our boys during the day and helping out with his mother’s small business by evening.  The length of charge these headphones hold is fantastic for those who not only will use them for hours at a time, but also for those who might not have time or remember to set them on a charger every night.  

Smart Listening: Smart Listening by Adaptive Sound Control automatically detects your activity and balances noise canceling levels accordingly.  This feature intrigues me and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in day to day listening.  You also can hold your hand over the housing to turn the volume down in an instant.  

 

Sony WH-1000XM3 What's in the box

 

What’s in the box:

  • Audio cable for wired connection
  • Carry case
  • Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones
  • USB-C charging cable

 

Overall, this pair of headphones seem phenomenal and perfect for my music-loving husband.  I can’t wait to check them out in person at Best Buy!  

 

Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones at Best Buy

 

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored. I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

 

Fun places to take your family in northern Illinois

Fun Places to Take Your Family in Northern Illinois

My family recently relocated from central Illinois to northern Illinois so we have had a blast searching down new and fun places to take the kids.  We’ve found an abundance of state parks and museums and I can’t wait to share some of our experiences with you! 

Rockford/Stateline Area 

  • Rock Cut State Park
    • canoeing on Pierce lake
    • Olsen beach swimming in summer
    • hiking trails
    • recreational opportunities
    • great place for fall family photos
  • Discovery Center Museum
    • children’s museum with large outdoor play place
    • water tables, dress up / pretend areas
    • several interactive educational exhibits, events
    • membership available (totally worth it if you ask me!)
  • Burpee Museum
    • award winning exhibits including a young t-rex skeleton
    • 4 floors of exhibits
    • admission varies by age
  • Anderson Japanese Gardens
    • beautiful gardens to visit with the family
    • evening and weekend events
    • closes for winter
    • donation days
  • Nicholas Conservatory
    • third largest conservatory in Illinois
    • sits next to the Rock River
    • 11,000 square foot plant exhibition
    • tickets available online or at the door
  • The Pottery Lounge
    • located in CherryVale Mall
    • paint pottery pieces or canvases in store (paint and cleanup included in price of piece!)
    • in store parties available
  • Carlson Ice Arena
    • skating and hockey
    • public skate
  • Sapora Playworld
    • indoor play structure for ages 5-12
    • smaller structure for ages 4 and under
    • admission fee varies by day/age, discount days
  • Magic Waters Waterpark
    • water slides, wave pool, lazy river, and more
    • area for ages 6 and under
    • cabana rental available
  • Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden
    • year round garden
    • handicap accessible path
    • snow shoeing and cross country skiing in winter
    • butterfly garden in the summer
    • admission fee varies by age
  • Belvidere Parks
    • this smaller town near Rockford has some beautiful parks along the Kishwaukee River that I recommend checking out
  • Byron Forest Preserve
    • hiking, sledding, and star gazing are among the options you have in this quiet forest preserve, just outside of Byron
  • Parks along the Kishwaukee River
    • head south of Rockford and you will find an abundance of parks and nature preserves just off of the Kishwaukee River
  • See more (including event calendars) at Go Rockford

 

Oregon Area

  • Blackhawk Statue
    • located in Lowden State Park, you will find the iconic Blackhawk Statue.  This statue is impressive with its size and serves as a great family trip.  There are nearby hiking areas as it overlooks the river. 
  • Lowden State Park
    • Enjoy scenic views of the Rock River from the Blackhawk Statue or hike the four mile trail!  Campsites are also available. 
  • White Pines Forest State Park
    • Lodge in one of the cute little cabins at White Pines Inn and check out the teepee on the grounds.  Enjoy wildlife watching along one of the park’s two steams, or hike one of the seven hiking trails. 
  • Castle Rock state park
    • A beautiful place to practice photography, Castle Rock State Park is also a fantastic place to take your family on a hike or enjoy the serene scenery.  The views are amazing! 

 

Chicago Area

  • Shedd Aquarium
    • indoor aquarium with 32,000 aquatic animals
    • changing special exhibit (your visit will always have something new!)
    • ticket prices vary, membership available, EBT cardholders receive free admission
  • The Field Museum of Natural History
    • one of the largest natural history museums in the world
    • 65,000 exhibits including temporary traveling exhibits
    • tickets available online and at the door, $3 admission via Museums for All (EBT) program
  • Museum of Science and Industry
    • over 2,000 exhibits in 75 major halls
    • 3,500 foot fall model railroad
    • domed space theater
    • relics from the Titanic
    • tickets available online and at the door, limited tickets for free via Museums for All (EBT/WIC cards)
  • Adler Planetarium
    • three full size theaters
    • space and science exhibitions
    • antique collections
    • Doane observatory
    • tickets available online and at the door, basic pass available for those with EBT or WIC cards through Museums for All Program
  • Navy Pier
    • landmark with 50 acres of attractions including outdoor Ferris wheel, restaurants, cruises, IMAX theater, park, and more
  • Millennium Park
    • outdoor ice rink (winter)
    • outdoor art and theater
    • famous “Bean” sculpture
  • The Skydeck
    • located in the Willis tower (formerly known as the Sears tower)
    • glass viewing area on the 103rd floor with glass floor
    • open all days of the year
    • tickets available

 

Schaumberg

  • Woodfield Mall
    • LEGO store
    • fun eateries including Dave & Busters and the Rainforest Café
  • FireZone
    • anything and everything firefighters…just for kids!
    • check the activity calendar for “drop in” times as some times are reserved for events
    • admission for children (1 adult free per child)
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center
    • play zones
    • 4D cinema
    • rides
    • tickets available online and at door, discounts for homeschool weeks
  • Pirates Cove Children’s Theme Park
    • open June – August
    • 18th century pirate ship you can climb aboard
    • children’s paddle boats
    • Castle playground
    • rock climbing
    • admission fee for ages 1-9, adults are always free

 

Bloomington-Normal

While this is more “central” than northern Illinois, I wanted to include Bloomington-Normal because there are some fantastic places to visit here.  Maybe you’ll pass through the area on your way to or from northern IL, or maybe you will just want to take a day trip to check out these places.  Regardless, I couldn’t leave them off the list. 

  • Discovery Museum
    • three floors of hands on exhibits for toddlers through preteens
    • paint wall (just washes away when you are done!)
    • Ag area, water table, and more
    • admission for ages 7 and up, works together with membership of some other museums
  • Grady’s Family Fun Park
    • 18 hole mini golf, go karts, kiddie rides, batting cages, adult/big kid rides and more
    • price varies depending on activity, wristbands available
  • Pepsi Ice Center
    • hockey and ice skating classes, free skate
  • Miller Park Zoo
    • wide variety of animals including wolves, reindeer, Sumatran tiger, and river otters
  • Upper Limits Rock Climbing Facility
    • 20,000 feet of climbing space indoor and outdoor
    • 110 feet tall routes
    • Classes, parties, membership, and day passes available

 

Other activities and places to visit in northern Illinois

 

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