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Hours Of Fun! Smart Ways Dads Can Keep Themselves Entertained With A Phone

If you’re a dad, you probably know all too well that parenting can involve a lot of waiting around. Whether you’re ferrying the kids from one friend’s house to another or you’re waiting on them to finish after-school clubs or soccer practice, it pays to have a few fallback options to keep yourself entertained. Thanks to smartphones, you can now access all kinds of entertainment options at the touch of a button. If you often find yourself looking for ways to kill time, here are some of the best ways to take full advantage of your time off and your phone’s capabilities.

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Online gaming

You may not consider yourself a gamer, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t delve into the world of online gaming while you’ve got an hour to while away. There’s a vast array of online games available, and you can choose options and titles that appeal to your interests. You can see what all the fuss is about and discover the games your kids are raving about, or you can indulge a passion for sport, music, history or science fiction. Many games are free to play, you don’t have to have an account to join in, and you can pick up and drop games as you please. You can challenge other people, or you can find information about getting involved in live markets, for example, if you enjoy football or racing. Gaming is a fun, accessible, affordable way of filling your time, and it can also enable you to meet new people and gain a better understanding of what your children do in their spare time if they enjoy gaming at home.

Reading and researching

If you’ve got a phone and you’ve got Internet access, you can host a giant pool of informative, insightful resources. Whether you’re keen to keep abreast of current affairs or you’re researching for a new blog post, a journal or work-related tasks, your phone is a portal to all the information you could possibly need. You can access news sites, download apps for your favorite sites or newspapers for easy access and find academic sources. There is a huge amount of information available online, and not all of it is accurate, so bear this in mind when you’re trawling through search engine results. Stick to reputable, respected sites.

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Socializing

Has it been an age since you caught up with old school or college friends? Is a message to your sister or grandmother long overdue? If you’ve got a phone to hand, take advantage of the time you have and be social. Check out the latest news on social media, start a new group chat with your old classmates and get in touch with family members you haven’t seen in a while. It’s never been easier to stay connected. Social platforms, email and video calls enable you to contact others for free, no matter where you are in the world.

If you’re a dad who regularly finds themselves with half an hour to kill while you’re waiting for your children, your phone can keep you entertained in numerous ways. Indulge your interests, get up to speed with what’s going on in the world, play fun games and be sociable.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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The St. Louis Gateway Arch is #YourArch This Summer

The St. Louis Gateway Arch Park Foundation invited my family and I down to get an exclusive tour of the new St. Louis Arch Museum before it opens to the public on July 3rd this summer. Getting a sneak peek of the new museum was something that I could not say no to, so I agreed and patiently waited for the details to arrive.

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Once the details were sent we began scheduling and planning our day. First up was some yoga down at Kiener Plaza for #KienerKids! Several kids and adults participated in an early morning yoga session in beautiful downtown St. Louis. With a fantastic view of the Gateway Arch and some yoga getting us ready and focused for the day ahead of us we were ready for our tour. But first we finished up the awesome #KienerKids activities. A long with yoga, there were a few games, the Kiener Plaza playground, and an awesome story teller that was just fantastic at keeping the kids attention with his stories and songs.

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After story time we took a quick restroom break and took a quick walk from Kiener Plaza to the entrance of the museum. A quick introduction from our tour guide and we were in! A really cool feature to the new museum that we did not try out because, well, we didn’t bring extra clothes and we didn’t think it was “open” yet was this little pond like feature right in front of the museum doors. It isn’t a fountain so much as it’s a water feature that kids can play in and view the amazing light reflections that you will see at various times of the day. It was very interesting to hear about and I cannot wait to see it in action.

Upon entering the museum you are immediately able to see it’s open design. There’s so much space AND light!!! Before when entering the museum you felt as though you were entering a bunker and the sunshine stays behind and never entered, that is no longer the case. The new layout and construction now allows for natural light to spread all through-out the museum, removing that claustrophobic feel that was once there. Check out St. Louis Dad on Instagram or search #YourArch to see more photos!

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Wide open spaces, class rooms, and more, the new St. Louis Gateway Arch Museum is worth visiting again and again. There are many great photo opportunities within the museum as well as from the top of the arch.

The St. Louis Gateway Arch Park Foundation has done a terrific job with everything! The path you take to get to the Arch from Kiener is as simple as a walk in the park, no longer are you needing to cross an interstate to get from one spot to the next! The displays within the museum are all up to date and incredible. Kids and adults will have a blast learning about St. Louis, Missouri, and the rest of the mid-west while exploring the numerous interactive features and displays.

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When you’re done learning and playing with all of those awesome features you can easily grab some tickets to the top of the arch and get that 653 feet view of St. Louis. It is breathtaking looking out over the city, or even spinning around and looking across the river and at all of the action happening everywhere. Maybe you can even see my house!

Our experience of the sneak peek tour was worth every second of time spent at the arch. The kids are already asking to go back, especially my little monument fan. She is so fascinated by our nations monuments that she wants to see them all! We can at least cross the Gateway Arch off of her list. She loved it and so did the other kids. I have a feeling my blogger buddies over at AndHattieMakesThree.com, SippyCupMom.com, and STLMotherhood.com all had a great time as well!

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We always have a blast downtown. From Cardinal games to trips to Kiener Plaza and the various parks all around the city. We even got lucky and were able to stop the ice cream man on our way back to our car. The kids devoured popsicles in the likenesses of their favorite cartoons. That left us with just a few more awesome picture opportunities that we totally took advantage of. So not only does St. Louis have some great parks, great museums, we also have some amazing photo spots all over the city. So come on down and check it all out!

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Last but not least, St. Louis Dad and the St. Louis Gateway Arch Park Foundation wants your help!

The Gateway Arch Park Foundation invites the public to participate in the #YourArch campaign, a one-of-a-kind collaborative photo montage to celebrate the grand opening of the Museum at the Gateway Arch and new West Entrance on July 3. Images will be sourced through social media, Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #YourArch. Photos can also be uploaded through the campaign’s website, www.YourArch.org.

The crowd-sourced and Arch-inspired masterpiece will be unveiled at the Museum at the Gateway Arch grand opening celebration on July 3. The #YourArch photo call is open to lovers of Gateway Arch National Park near and far, and can include both newly-snapped selfies and vintage throwbacks of people with the Arch and the surrounding Gateway Arch Park. A new #YourArch inspired video launches May 4 as part of the campaign, and captures the connection visitors and St. Louisans have with the monument.

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“The Arch is part of so many shared memories – grade school field trips, an iconic backdrop for stunning wedding photos and those first futuristic tram rides to the top revealing a spectacular view of St. Louis,” says Eric Moraczewski, executive director of the Gateway Arch Park Foundation. “We see millions of visitors, from St. Louis and around the world, taking their photos with the Arch. The #YourArch campaign celebrates that shared pride and awe of the monument and reminds us that the Arch belongs to everyone.”

To enter photos, use #YourArch on Instagram or Twitter (profiles must be public), or visit www.YourArch.org to upload them directly to the campaign. For more information, visit archmosaic.yourarch.org.

About Gateway Arch Park Foundation: The Gateway Arch Park Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to ensure that the Gateway Arch, its grounds, neighboring public space, and attractions are a vital, active, welcoming, well-supported resource to the community and nation for generations to come. The Foundation is part of an alliance that helps meet this mission, which includes the National Park Service, Bi-State Development, Great Rivers Greenway, Jefferson National Parks Association and the City of St. Louis. For more information, visit www.ArchPark.org.

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How to Successfully Childproof Your Home & Possessions

Have you childproofed your home yet? If not, it’s time for you to change that by taking action. It’s a lot easier to do than you might think, and it’ll certainly save you a lot of time, energy and hassle later on. There are so many things that can get broken or damaged in your home if you’re not careful to protect them. You’ll only end up cursing your stupidity for not taking action sooner if something was to get broken later on.

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As well as that, it’s equally as important to be thinking about the safety and wellbeing of your children in your home. Don’t forget that the home can be a very dangerous place for a small child, so their safety is not something that should ever be taken for granted. If you make that mistake, you’ll only end up regretting it massively later. Read on to learn about how you can get all this right for your family inside your home.

 

Don’t Leave Junk for the Bin Lying Around in the House for Too Long

 

Kids will start playing with and climbing on pretty much anything you leave lying around in the home. That’s why you need to be careful with what you leave lying about if it’s potentially dangerous for them. Rather than leaving things by the door for you to take out to the bin later, you should focus on getting them out into the bin right away. You certainly don’t want your young children to hurt themselves out of playful curiosity. It’s up to you to make sure nothing like that ever happens.

Invest in Some Plug Protectors to Avoid Major Problems

Plug sockets are often found at eye level for children sitting and playing on the floor. This means they’re always going to be attracted to them, and you have to mitigate that danger as best you can. If you don’t, you will put your child at risk. If they were to take something metal and push it in there, they would potentially kill themselves as a result, so this is not something to be taken lightly at all. You can easily buy plug protectors that cover the socket and stop kids playing with them.

Insure Your Electronics and Other Valuables

Taking out a big insurance policy for all the things that you own is definitely a good idea. Like it or not, your electronics and other most valuable items are more likely to get damaged and broken if your kids are using them. By having the security that comes with a good insurance policy, you’ll be able to achieve real peace of mind. Browse the options and find the policy that’s the right fit for you. That financial backup is priceless for most people, so don’t underestimate what the right insurance policy could do for you.

Get Into the Habit of Using Cases and Screen Protectors

Lots of people don’t really like putting screen protectors on things like phones, tablets and other gadgets with screens. But it’s something that you won’t regret once you have your children grabbing hold of them and dropping them on the floor all the time. The same applies to cases. A simple phone case from somewhere like Custom Envy will protect it more and make it look nice. These things are worth considering unless you want that expensive Samsung Galaxy to get smashed up.

Don’t Risk Valuable Breakables by Displaying Them in the Open

If you do have a precious vase that dates back hundreds of years and is worth more than the house itself, why take risks with it? Putting breakable things like that on display in your home is asking for trouble when you’ve got children growing up and rushing around the place non-stop. Put them in storage or sell those things if you prefer. Whatever you choose to do, don’t put them at risk by leaving them on display where they could get damaged.

Lock Up Cupboards Containing Liquids They Shouldn’t be Touching

Don’t Underestimate Their Destructive Potential

Sure, your child might look like nothing but sweetness and light. However, you shouldn’t let that fool you because when they’ve decided that they’re going to smash and throw something until it breaks, it’s almost certainly going to break. The destructive potential of your little angel should never be underestimated! It’s certainly worth taking the right precautions so that you don’t end up with regrets later on. And don’t let their sweet cherubic faces fool you.

Keep Some Stuff in a Locked Room if You Have a Spare Room in Your Home

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room in touto family home, you should definitely try to make use of it. That space should never go to waste when you have the chance to make better use of it. By adding a simple lock to the door, you can make sure that your most valuable and treasured things aren’t taken and damaged by toe meddling kids. It’s a great way to keep things safe and completely remove the possibility of something going wrong.

Use Childproof Gates for Safety

Stairs are obviously very dangerous for small children who are not yet able to walk independently. You should make sure that you have gates that shut off access to stairs so that your child can play safely without you having to worry about them crawling over to the edge of the stairs. They’re very adaptable and easy to install these days, so they can be used in your home in all kinds of ways in order to keep your child safe.

Nothing is safe in your home if it’s not protected from your children. And the safety of your children themselves has to be your number one priority too. All of those issues are addressed here, so make sure you start to implement some of the things that have been covered. Doing so will help you to childproof your home properly.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Inheritance: What Will You Leave Your Kids?

Even though not many of us want to think about it, we will all have to plan what will happen with our entire estate once we have passed away. It might not be the most pleasant thing you will have to think about, but it is very important. Planning your inheritance well will ensure that your children are well looked after once you are no longer around to provide for them. Even if your children are already grown up with their own families by the time you do pass away, a strong inheritance plan will help them to increase their own financial situations. You might even have something left over the pass on to your grandchildren.

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The best thing you can do to plan for your inheritance is to write a last will and testament. You will need to do this with a lawyer, such as www.klenklaw.com, so that it can certified an official document. Once it has been signed off as official, it will have the final world once you are no longer around.

Do you already have an idea of the kinds of things you will leave your children in your will? Don’t worry if you haven’t got a clue. Here are some great ideas.

Property

One of the main things that people leave to their next of kin is their home. If you share your property with your other half, then you will technically own half of what the property is currently worth. In the event of your death, this half will automatically pass onto your spouse. However, it is best to note this in your will as well so that there can be no confusion. If you own your house outright, then it is very important that you name who it should pass onto after your death. This way, there is no confusion for anyone left behind once you pass away. You don’t have to leave it to just one person either. So, if you have two or three children, you could leave the house to all of them. They will then receive a stake that is worth half or a third of the property value, depending on how many of them there are.

Cash

If you have any money in bank accounts and savings accounts, you should also mention this in your will. That way, there will be no dispute about how the money should be divided up between your children. There will also then be no way that the money falls into the wrong hands. When you are updating your will, it is really important to get an overview of your cash savings in their entirety. So, even if you have money dotted around in different accounts, be sure to find out exactly is in each of them so you know just how much you can share between your children and any other next of kin.

Investments

Don’t worry if some of your cash is tied up in investments. These can often be inherited as well. However, when it comes to traditional forms of investment, such as stocks and shares, they will need to be sold so that the person who inherits them can then start new investments in their own name. It isn’t always possible to simply switch the name on the account, even if the original holder is now deceased. This is slightly different with new forms of investments. So, if you’ve invested in a cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin on www.xcoins.io, your next of kin can simply inherit these without selling them first. But remember that it is always best for you to check on the official guidelines when it comes to including certain investments in your will as there are different restrictions with each one.

Family Heirlooms

Do you own something of particular value, such as an antique piece of furniture? Well, you don’t have to worry about what will happen to it after you have died, as valuable items can also be included in your final will. In fact, lots of people often include precious family heirlooms in their will so that their children will inherit them and that the item stays in the family for another generation. Unlike property or money, these valuable items can’t be split between different people, so you will need to think very carefully about who you want to pass it on to. Carefully thinking about this will also help you reduce any arguments that may arise between your children when they deal with your will and estate.

Land

It’s not just property that can be inherited. If you own some land, this can also be included in your will as well. As with leaving a house, you can split the ownership of your land between different people. So, if you wanted to leave it all of your children, they will be able to each have a stake in the land’s value. They can then discuss it amongst themselves as to whether they want to continue sharing it or if one of them wants to buy the others out so that they can own it all.

Your Business

If you are reading my blog, there is a very good chance that you run your own business. So, are you wondering what will happen to it once you pass away? If you are a partner in a business, then you could leave the value of your assets to someone in your will. If you are a sole trader or the only owner, then you can leave everything. Thankfully, inheriting a business is only rarely affected by inheritance tax. That’s because you will be able to apply for business relief which can help you escape from paying all that tax!

As you can see then, there are a lot of different assets that you can include in your last will and testament. If you need more guidance, though, it is worth speaking to a lawyer who specialises in estate inheritance. They will tell you everything you need to know.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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