Friday, June 25, 2021

Explore The Planet From Home

Are you dreaming of sunset on a sandy beach, surrounded by tropical flowers and exotic animals? More and more Americans are dreaming of vacations abroad. In fact, according to surveys, the travel industry is likely to face a huge surge in demand as soon as it is safe to travel again. Enthusiastic travelers and first-timers who have never left the United States before have both expressed the desire to explore new horizons at the end of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the situation calls for caution right now, forcing us to postpone our travel plans.


Explore The Planet From Home
Explore The Planet From Home - Image Credit:  Gerald - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Explore the Planet From Home


However, nothing is stopping you from exploring the world without leaving your home. Traveling from home may not sound like the change of horizon you expected, but it can be beneficial for your mood and your mind. Indeed, it is fair to say that after spending a long time self-isolating or unable to visit distant friends and relatives in other states, you want to jump on the next flight and go somewhere far away.  There is such a thing as cabin fever when you stay at home. You feel your thoughts turning to jelly and your mood is constantly swinging between frustration and depression. Does it sound familiar? You’re not on your own. We can’t recommend any trip abroad for now. But here are tips to spread the vacation spirit in your home. 





Try Out New Recipes


You probably already have all the appliances you need to cook a variety of exotic and exciting dishes. Unfortunately, we tend to stick to the recipes we know. So, it’s time to change your habits and travel into new culinary regions. The trusted food processor that can whip a healthy smoothie in a matter of seconds could become your summer best friend. As the temperature rises, your blender is the best utensil for cold soups, such as gazpacho, ajo blanco (a cold garlic-based soup), cool cucumber veloute, and even watermelon gazpacho. A cold summer soup is like a fresh tour of Europe and tropical islands, taking you through the delicious specialties of each region. Not tempted by a refreshing soup? The air fryer is a neat replacement for those who don’t have a bbq. You could take inspiration from spicy Indian recipes that are traditionally prepared in a tandoori oven. A world of flavors is ahead of you!


Watch Foreign Shows On Netflix


What does Istanbul look like? It’s said to be a bridge between Asian and European cultures. But pictures or books don’t do it justice. Instead, you want to get a taste of the multiple cultural influences that paved the old Sultanahmet district and the Roman Hippodrome, not far from modern buildings. But when walking in the streets isn’t an option, you’d be pleased to know that Netflix has got the perfect solution for you. The Protector is a Turkish series filmed in Istanbul that exposes the many old secrets of the city. Behind the fantasy story, the streets and old edifices tell the tale of old Constantinople.


Or perhaps you are wondering about Asian cultures. Netflix has a great list of quality South Korean dramas, most of which are suitable for 12+, ranging from the mesmerizing romance Crash Landing on You to the fantastic Korean Odyssey, a take on the Chinese Journey to the West. K dramas offer unique insights into the culture, the food, the landscapes, and the sense of humor of the South Korean population. Served by quality actors, you will soon find yourself inspired to try out a Korean bbq meal that the kids will love. 


For little ones, why not take a look at international animes that are suitable for young viewers? You’ll find a lot of beautiful Japanese and European animes that will hit just the right spot. Many come pre-dubbed for young viewers.


Make Time For Learning


If you can’t go abroad, why not prepare for when you can? Learning a foreign language could be the best way to plan your next trip. You could ask your Spanish teacher about the best spots for food in Barcelona, for instance. Besides, as you develop your conversational skills, you can also get more confident about organizing your future trip.



Explore The Planet From Home



Change Your Decor


With patience and attention, you could turn your interior style into an interior oasis of peace. Your decor can be all you need to travel to a foreign country. A Mediterranean decor for your bedroom combines rustic style, earthy color palettes, and eloquent influences. A Spanish-inspired decor will evoke the bright and bold colors of the culture, mixing bright reds and blues with taste. On the other hand, a Greek bedroom will marry citrus hues, aqua sea, and elegant dark patterns.


Your home could become the place that makes traveling possible at a time where borders remain closed. From learning new recipes to changing your interior style, let your home take you on an unforgettable trip.

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Explore The Planet From Home
Explore the planet from home.


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

5 Educational Activities To Keep Your Kids Learning This Summer

5 Educational Activities To Keep Your Kids Learning This Summer
Image Credit


5 Educational Activities to Keep Your Kids Learning this Summer


The warm weather is here and summer vacation is the perfect time of year to relax and have fun. There are plenty of ways you can keep your kids’ curiosity engaged, however, and get them learning outside of school. Try a mix of activities that will allow them to develop soft skills for the future. It’s also the right season to embrace the outdoors and get in touch with nature which can be very beneficial. Here are five educational activities to keep your children learning this summer.

Explore Nature With A Project


Find an area of natural beauty near you to explore. Getting in touch with nature is very beneficial for your well-being, and this is true for adults and kids alike. It allows you to gain perspective by experiencing the wonders of the natural world. Why not give your kids a project as well to help them learn more about ecology? You could get them to identify local flora and fauna, for example. Here are a few more fun nature activities to try.

Cooking Indoors And Out


Teaching your children to cook is a great way to bond with them and it’ll help get them interested in healthy eating. You could cook something spontaneously together if it’s a little too hot to go out. There are plenty of ingredients you can cook from frozen, so keep the fridge stocked for emergencies. You could even plan a family BBQ and get your kids to help out. Teach them the family recipes that have been passed down generations.

Join The World’s Biggest Treasure Hunt


For something a little different, you could try geocaching. This is essentially a worldwide treasure hunt where you use GPS to locate caches, which can be any number of objects hidden in various locations. This is perhaps better for older children with a little more stamina to help you look for the caches. Here are a few more tips on geocaching with kids.

Sneak In Some Studying


You could get your kids to do a bit of online research on a topic they’re interested in, even if it’s not something they’re studying at school. Get them to teach you about their favorite animals or dinosaurs, for instance. You could also encourage them to brush up on their studies with a few fun worksheets and games. Always reward them for their hard work and concentration. Here are some homeschooling tips on how to motivate children to study at home.

Take A Trip To A Museum


For a fun family day out, why not hit one of your local museums? Look online to see if there are any interesting exhibitions on at the moment. Many museums offer interactive activities for kids which are both fun and educational. See if you can find something new and exciting near you. You could even check out local historical buildings or culture centers you haven’t thought of visiting before. This way all the family might learn something new about your hometown this summer.


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5 Educational Activities To Keep Your Kids Learning This Summer
5 Educational Activities To Keep Your Kids Learning This Summer


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas for Dad

Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas for Dad
Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas for Dad


Father's Day is almost here!  Have you bought your dad a gift yet?  Maybe the little ones would like to make something for Daddy?  There is still time.  Here's a list of ideas for Father's Day crafts and gift ideas.

Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas

Foot Print and Hand Print Keepsake Crafts

Here's a footprint gift we made for the daddy of one of my preschoolers several years ago.  The kids loved creating these.  There are other ideas in my original post.  

Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas
Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas

If possible, allow the child to sign it himself or herself.

Decorate a Care Package Box and Fill it Up

Is daddy deployed or away from home for Father's Day?  It might be too late for him to receive his care package by Father's Day but you can still send one.  Here is an example of a care package we sent to my son while he was deployed.  He wasn't a daddy yet, but you can still get an idea about what to put in his box and how you can decorate it.

Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas
Decorate a Care Package

More Places to Find Great Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas

Suchot at the The Curious Frugal has listed 15 Fun Ideas for Dad shows us how to water color candles with nail polish.  Create another handprint painting using an apron for Dad as your canvas.  Create bookmarks, cards, tiles, and much more.

Scribble on a Sharpie mug.  Dad will enjoy his favorite hot beverage in a mug created by his child.  Learn how to do this so that it will last over at I Heart Arts N Crafts.

An Amazon gift card is always a good choice, especially if you don't know what to get Dad.  My husband has a few costly hobbies so he likes to keep Amazon gift cards from various family members from multiple occasions until he has enough to buy what he wants.  

Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas

Here's the perfect gift for the Dad who loves Marvel.  He's as incredible as the Hulk, as mighty as Thor, as smart as Iron Man, as amazing as Spider Man, and as honorable as Captain America.  He's your child's hero so why not get him a shirt that tells the world how amazing he is?

Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas 

Kim at Best Ideas for Kids shows us 10+ Father's Day Crafts for Kids.  Make super hero cards, rocket footprints, and get a great idea for mess free painting.  

Saving Talents offers great craft and gift ideas for Father's Day.  Take a scroll down her page to get ideas.  Be sure to check out the candy tackle box!  I love that!

Check out 110 Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas over at What Moms Love.  Read that again, one hundred ten ideas!  

Get him a massage tool.  My nephew has one of these and he loves it.  My husband tried it and almost immediately had to order one for himself.  He uses it a lot and loves it.  
Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas
This item is available here.

I love this Strong and Courageous wall art.  Remind Dad he can be strong and courageous because the Lord is with him wherever he goes.
Father's Day Gift Ideas
This item is available here.

Is Dad a praying man?  If so, he'll love this praying man figurine.  He can place it on his desk or anywhere he wishes to remind him of God's faithfulness.
Praying Man - Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas
This item is available here.

Do you have a favorite photo of Dad and his child or children?  Place it in this Dayspring photo frame.  Dad will also get a mug for his favorite coffee or other favorite beverage.
Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas
This item is available here.

How about a gift for Grandpa for Father's Day from his greatest blessings?
Father's Day Crafts and Gift Ideas
This item is available here.




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Friday, June 11, 2021

Kitchen Appliances That Can Open Up Whole New Worlds Of Cooking

      
Kitchen Appliances That Can Open Up Whole New Worlds Of Cooking
Kitchen Appliances That Can Open Up Whole New Worlds Of Cooking


Aside from helping you give the space a makeover, the appliances that you choose for your kitchen can have a truly profound effect on one of the most important family rituals of the day: dinnertime. If you have been underestimating just how vital certain appliances can be for the variety of meals available in your kitchen, then here are a few that might open up whole options you’ve never thought of.

Kitchen Appliances That Can Open Up Whole New Worlds Of Cooking

Kitchen Appliances That Can Open Up Whole New Worlds Of Cooking
Kitchen Appliances That Can Open Up Whole New Worlds Of Cooking


Slow Cooker


Are you the type who likes to set and forget it? Slow-cookers make it easy to toss almost any manner of meat into a sauce, stock, or marinade. From one-pot meals to stews to casseroles, they cook at low temps over long times, which can help to make meats even more succulent. If you ever just want to chill with a low-effort chilli, the slow cooker is one of the easiest ways to make it.

Air Fryer


If you want some delicious meals but you want to make them a little healthier than usual, then getting the grease out of the equation is one of the best ways to do that. They are also highly convenient. So, if you’re ever looking for healthier super easy boneless wings, a good air fryer can help you out there. They are also great for air frying vegetables in all kinds of marinades so you have tastier greens with your meals, too.

Rice Cooker


Now, how useful you find this particular choice depends on how much rice you like to eat. When it comes to all manner of Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, or other inspired dishes, rice can be vital and there’s no easier way to make a lot of it. However, there are lots of different things you can make in rice cookers, including soups, poached fruits, eggs, and steaming vegetables. They’re a lot more versatile than the name might make you think.

Food Processor


Food processors can help you make food prep so much easier in general. Any recipe that calls for something to be sliced, diced, or turned into a fine mist and these appliances can sort it out with little effort on your end except the clean-up after. However, one of the benefits of food processors (and blenders, too) is the addition of smoothies to your life. These quick, easy, and healthy breakfast (or lunch) drinks can make it much easier to get all the greens you need through the day.

Convection Ovens


You might be thinking that a convection oven might take a lot more room and money than you have. While still something of an investment, there are plenty of countertop smart ovens starting to come out that can help you cook more quickly and with more control than the traditional oven. Some of these smart ovens even have the option to connect to recipe books so the oven can automatically program itself to cook them efficiently.

If you want to make cooking in the kitchen less of a chore and much more of a varied experience, then the appliances above can introduce not just convenience but also diversity. Consider adding one or two to your kitchen.


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Kitchen Appliances That Can Open Up Whole New Worlds Of Cooking
Kitchen Appliances That Can Open Up Whole New Worlds Of Cooking


What Foods Can You Cook Frozen?

What Foods Can You Cook Frozen?
What foods can you cook frozen? Image Credit

What Foods Can You Cook Frozen?


If you’ve ever waited for your frozen food to thaw before cooking it, then you know the frustration that comes with it, especially when you want something to eat quickly. Thankfully, there are some foods you can cook right away without having to wait for the thawing process. Considering that the frozen food market is worth $65 billion in retail (2020 statistics), it’s pretty understandable why people love it.

Frozen Chicken Wings




Did you know that you can cook your frozen chicken wings in air fryer? For the best results, air fry your wings at 380°F, and when it’s almost done cooking, gradually increase the heat for a crispier outcome. Chicken wings are not like thick red meat, which takes longer to cook. Instead, they are classified as white meat and have less fat, which quickens the cooking time. As you air fry your chicken wings, be careful they don’t burn out.

Vegetables


If you have frozen peas, corn, beans, etc., at hand, all you need to do is toss them right into your cooking soups or sauces without waiting for the defrost period. Additionally, vegetables classified as cruciferous Рi.e., broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower can also be cooked frozen to reduce your time in the kitchen. They are particularly easy to handle when cooking stir-fries or saut̩ meals that need some extra crunchy veggies. The trick to cooking frozen vegetables is to avoid overcrowding them in your pan. A cooking utensil overloaded with frozen vegetables will result in the latter becoming mushy and soggy.

Bacon


Bacon slices or strips are covered with fat which melts quickly with the slightest heat application. Apart from cooking straight away from the freezer, the slight moisture soaked up within the bacon helps in a quicker cooking period. It explains why after frying or grilling bacon, it still retains its stretchy nature while crisp. However, over-cooking makes it lose its natural moisture, which gives your bacon a crunchy feel. As a tip, ensure your raw bacon is frozen in individual slices. This way, they will not freeze into a huge block that demands defrosting.

Dumplings


This Asian cuisine found its way onto the American market decades ago and continues to be loved by many. Indeed, the dumpling-making procedure is time-consuming, but once you’re through with that, its subsequent use is easy. For example, uncooked dumplings can be frozen for over a month. Then, when you’re ready to cook it, take it out of the freezer and cook it right away. But, according to experienced chefs, allowing frozen dumplings to thaw before cooking them can make the outcome soggy and sticky. 

Some Varieties of Fish


What Foods Can You Cook Frozen?


Some fish varieties are better for this. For example, salmon, tilapia, and cod can be cooked while frozen. They tend to maintain their outlook without falling apart. Therefore, whether you’re grilling, pan-frying, or grilling, these types of fish do not require prior thawing.

Hopefully, you know now that not all frozen foods require that long waiting time to defrost. Moreover, many commercially frozen food products use this as a marketing tool to attract more consumers. However, when you have to use them, follow the package instructions.

What Foods Can You Cook Frozen?



Thursday, June 10, 2021

4 Activities To Do This Summer To Bring You And Your Family Together

4 Activities To Do This Summer To Bring You And Your Family Together
4 Activities To Do This Summer To Bring You And Your Family Together

It may not always be easy to keep those familial bonds as strong as we hope. The Bible teaches us that family is one of the most important relationship we hold, but they can also be the most fraught. Families fight and argue and get upset with one another. This is normal and natural and can even bring us closer together. Togetherness is something we all should work on and focus on, it makes ourselves happier, and it makes our loved ones happier; a strong community strengthens our faith.

The summer is fast approaching us, and now that the kids will be off school and it's time to start thinking about holidays and BBQs and the beach, you may be stuck for ideas on how to strengthen the bonds of the family whilst everybody is off trying to enjoy the sun. 

4 Activities To Do This Summer To Bring You And Your Family Together

Summer Retreats


Christian family retreats are a great way of spending time with your family in the outdoors closer to nature whilst having loads of summer fun. The time you spend together, laughing, playing, praying, and having fun will secure memories that you and your family will remember for a lifetime. Many of these camps also include activities focusing on prayer and worship and study, strengthening your faith, and those all-important familial bonds.

No Phone Time


Phones are great, we use them every day, and they help us in our daily lives. But it is easy for us to get sucked into our cellular devices and distract us from the beauty of the world around us and from the people important to us. This is doubly true for our children who have been raised basically in a world consumed with technology and social media.

Obviously, we're not suggesting prohibiting the use of technology; our children's digital lives are important and something that brings them joy. But maybe this summer, while they have all this time off school, set aside an hour, maybe two a day with your family and have a zero phone policy. This includes you and your spouse! Use this time to really explore what and how your family is thinking and feeling, go outdoors, sit inside, talk to one another and enjoy each other's company. They may be resistant to it at first, but it will benefit you and your family in the long run.

Cooking Together


Cooking can be a very intimate activity. When you cook with, and for others, you are working together to ensure that you have created something wonderful and delicious. It's fun and can spawn so many joyful and lasting memories, especially when things go wrong! Good food can also stir such a feeling of grace and bring us closer not only to each other but to our faith, breaking bread as they do in the Bible.

This is why people get so excited for Christmas dinners and summer barbeques, and they are how we bond. Invite people over and let them try your tasty treats. It's not exactly feeding the 5000, but 50 of your closest friends and family will do. This summer, why not try rustling up some crab stuffed shrimp, an easy and delicious meal fun for all the family.

Lemonade Stand


The Bible teaches us about the importance of sharing and giving. There is no better way to give this summer than setting up a lemonade stand at the end of your driveway. And what's perfect is that your entire family can get involved! Everything from making your perfect family recipe with your kids, everyone banding together to make a large batch, and someone to hand them to thirsty passerby baking in the summer sun. It will teach your children the act of goodwill and neighborliness important to what strengthens our faith and personal betterment. And it doesn't necessarily need to be lemonade, whatever you and your family have to hand or come to mind, so long as you're spending time together and giving back to the community.

Hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration for activities for you and your family to do this summer; hopefully, they are able to bring you not only closer to each other but your combined faith. As we said, community strengthens our bond to our faith. Community builds us back up when we feel weak, low, and downtrodden. These are only a few ideas, and there are plenty of more things for you and your family to do this summer; the possibilities are endless!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Home Ed Essentials You Can't Live Without

Home Ed Essentials You Can't Live Without
Home Ed Essentials You Can't Live Without

The pandemic has changed the way that we teach our children these days, with most parents having no choice but to home educate while lockdowns were happening. Some families have chosen to continue home education beyond the pandemic, and it’s these families that need to consider the right essentials so that their children have everything that they need to succeed.

If you want to set up your home to be ready for home education, then it can help to know which school furniture is the best to have in the home to keep the kids focused. You could be in your first year of home education or your sixth, but either way, you need to be as equipped as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the essentials that you really cannot live without!


Home Ed Essentials You Can't Live Without
Image source: Pexels


Home Ed Essentials You Can't Live Without


  1. Great pencils. Your whole home education experience is going to be better when your children have the right writing equipment and pencils are a big part of that! You need great quality pencils, though, not just cheap ones, because cheap pencils don't stay sharpened and don't erase correctly. Find the pencils that will write and draw properly.


  2. Reliable sharpeners. While you buy great pencils, you need great sharpeners, too. You have to ensure that you have a good quality one so that you can keep your pencils working well. You don't want it to be dull too quickly, either, as when it goes dull, you can’t sharpen anymore!


  3. Art supplies. You don't want just any art supplies, but Crayola is the brand to go with. You want to make sure that these supplies work across a whole range of lessons with the kids and so you need to choose a good quality brand! It’s a good idea to get the quality stuff, as it will last and you may not save a buck but it’s worth it!


  4. Organizers. If you’re buying stationery for the house, you need places for it all to go. You can buy in filing cabinets, pencil organizers, pencil pouches and more. This will keep the home organized and your school space looking tidy.


  5. Display options. Just because the kids are at home and learning doesn't mean that you cannot proudly showcase their drawings and their work. You should consider display options so that your kids feel like their artwork is a masterpiece! Think bulletin boards, peg boards and large whiteboards on the wall.


  6. The right desks. Your kids may be happy around the table where you eat, but you can have dedicated school tables and chairs to work from, too. You can even have cabinetry for storage along the walls and this will ensure that the kids are comfortable if they are studying and learning effectively. When you are well equipped, you are going to help your children with their academic success. 


Home education should be fun and you should be equipped for it. The list above is not exhaustive and you can shop today.


Home Ed Essentials You Can't Live Without
Home Ed Essentials You Can't Live Without


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

That's not my . . . Taller and Shorter

That's Not My . . . Taller and Shorter
That's not my . . . Taller and Shorter

That's not my . . . Taller and Shorter

That's not my . . . Taller and Shorter by Fiona Watt is a board book for younger children.  This cute little book is illustrated by Rachel Wells and features adorable animals that kids love.  Children will compare which animals are taller and which ones are shorter such as a giraffe and an elephant, a frog and a mouse, a meerkat and a duck, and so forth.  That's not my . . . Taller and Shorter helps young children understand the concepts of big, little, and height comparisons.  Children will enjoy watching a tiny little mouse appear on various pages throughout the book.  They will also enjoy fireflies, butterflies, and birds.  If you wish, you can help your child count daisies, stars, and clouds as you read together. 

The pages are colorful, thick, and durable.  If the pages become soiled, you can wipe them off with a damp cloth but don't soak them.

Get your copy here!

Activities to do with your child before or after reading That's not my . . . Taller and Shorter:

(The following activities cover a range of ability levels.  Pick the ones that will benefit your child.)

Here is a live interactive taller and shorter worksheet from Live Worksheets.  Do you have older children?  Scroll down for worksheets about units of measurement for older children.  

Kindergarten parents, here's one for you.  It's 27 pages of taller and shorter measurements for Kindergarten aged children.  It's only 95 cents at Teachers Pay Teachers.

This activity is another one that you can purchase at Teachers Pay Teachers.  It's a Kindergarten measurement activity.  Your child will compare more/less, shorter/taller, etc.  

Read Marvin the Very Tall Bear by T.A. Unwin.  This book is recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 7.

Marvin the Very Tall Bear
This item is available here.

Gather blocks, paper tubes, and other objects for your child.  Ask him or her to build short buildings, tall buildings, and other structures.  Identify the taller structures and shorter structures.  Your collection might look something like this.

Visit Learning Playtime to get a whole bunch of ideas for helping your child understand the concepts of taller, shorter, and other measurements.

Provide your child with LEGO Blocks.  Have her or him stack the blocks to see how tall they can stack a tower before it falls down.  Build smaller towers as well.  Build several towers.  Then arrange them from shortest to tallest.

Scavenger hunts are so much fun.  Send your child on a Taller/Shorter scavenger hunt.  You don't have to make your own list unless you want to.  Primary Playground has already created one for you.  There are a lot of scavenger hunts listed so you'll need to scroll down a good ways to get to the Taller or Shorter scavenger hunt.

If you have multiple children in your home or classroom, arrange everyone according to height.  Line everyone up from shortest to tallest.  

Use nesting dolls to teach the concept of taller or shorter.  This set is animal themed.  Kids will love comparing the heights of a bear, a fox, an owl, a rabbit, and a raccoon.

Animal Nesting Dolls
This item is available here.

That's Not My Taller and Shorter
That's Not My . . . Taller and Shorter

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Recommended Items

Recommended Items
If I have reviewed it on the blog and it's still available, you'll find it here.

Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway