Life Skills & Gaming: How To Teach Your Kids Both

Did you know that many games that are on the shelves in the stores are designed to teach valuable life skills? For example, children can learn patience from Monopoly and Risk – playing the long game teaches them strategy! They can gain excellent dexterity and problem-solving from video games and they can learn so much about the language in which they speak when they do crossword puzzles and more.

As parents, we want to teach our children as much as possible. We look to buy here when it comes to finding the best puzzles for our children to do to pass the time and help them with their general knowledge. The key is in knowing how you can tie in a lesson about life skills into the games that they are playing. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the ways you can teach your children both.

Four People Playing Dominoes

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  1. First, you need to choose the right game. If you want to teach your children about money management, pick games like Monopoly and Pay Day so that they can learn how they can “win” as much money and property as possible as they play. When you see them achieving the end goal of saving money, start a home tuck shop so that you can teach them how to manage the real thing! 
  2. Tie the games that you choose into your child’s interests. Children will be far more interested in playing games with you if they are interested in the subject involved. Games like Rollercoaster Tycoon, for example, taps into their interest in theme parks and offers them the chance to be creative.
  3. Most of the time, puzzles and jigsaws are the first games that children are given. They are taught to move from the outside in, building the puzzle as they see fit to replicate the picture on the outside. If you ensure that your child can see the image they are copying, they’ll be able to build a picture of their own life – puzzles teach them to dream!
  4. Problem-solving is a big deal in life, and the problems that your child solves while they are moving through a variety of board games and role-playing games will help them to think quickly and analytically in life, too. 
  5. Word games are perfect for helping your children to learn to spell, as well as helping them to learn how to speak correctly. Grammar is a big deal, and the spellings that your children will have to learn as they get older will ensure that they are ahead of the game at school.
  6. There are so many different types of games out there, but when you teach your children how to play board games like chess and draughts, you are able to teach them how to be skillful and competitive. This will offer them plenty of practice at how to solve problems and think fast and strategically in life, too. 
  7. Lastly, gaming offers your children the chance to have FUN. Games are for those of all ages, of course, but childhood is where the fun begins 

DIY Decorations For Your Teenager’s Bedroom

Are your teenage kids getting restless at home? Are you struggling to find activities that can keep them engaged? How about helping them to decorate their bedroom?  They are probably tired of staring at drab bedroom walls.

There are many DIY projects that you can involve your teenage kids in, but none will grab their interest and keep them involved like a project that will make their bedroom look super awesome. With the ideas below, you can quickly transform your teen’s bedroom from a boring room to a fabulous retreat.

Decorative Door Patterns

Your teen’s door doesn’t have to look as dull as the rest of the doors in your home. Make their door standout using washi tape. There are dozens of patterns you can create using washi tape. You can try to mimic another pattern inside the bedroom, or go for something unique. With a little creativity, you can both create something colorful or vintage depending on your kid’s taste.

Get Creative With String Lights

String lights are not just for Christmastime. There are a lot of things you can do with them. Create several sagging horizontal lines on the wall using string lights, then use cloth pegs to hang pictures on them. You can also use colored cupcake dressers to dress the string lights, then hang the lights around the bedroom.

Colorful String Art

With different colored strings, nails, and wallboard, you can create some stylish string art. First, write or print out the name or shape you want on the board. The name can be of a favorite musician or sports star. Set the nails where the letter markings are and then use the colored thread to form the design.

Geometric Wall Art

To add a creative statement in your room, try doing some artistic work. Take some colorful art papers and cut a large number of stretched triangles. Apply some glue on the back of the triangles, and then stick them on a white paper while trying to make a sun pattern. You can stick the artwork on a wall or on a frame.

Tie-Dyed Pillowcase

Take a white pillowcase and wet it. Fold the case using the accordion style. Take some rubber bands and wrap them around the folded case every few inches. Place the pillowcase on top of a plastic paper to protect the surface, wear gloves, and spray the prepared tie-dye of your favorite color between the rubber bands.

Make sure you leaving some white space between the areas you spray. Wrap in plastic for 8 hours, then cut the rubber bands and unfold. Rinse the excess dye, dry it, and stuff your pillow in the case and now it’s ready to use. Apart from cool beddings, remember your kids need to sleep comfortably. To improve their sleep quality, consider upgrading their mattress.

Stenciled Rug

If the rug looks boring, how about sprucing it up? All you need is a stylish stencil patter. Place your rug on a flat surface, pick one corner of the rug, and line your stencil on it. Mix fabric medium with paint and apply it on the stencil carefully using a paint roller or stencil brush.

If your rug is dark, use a bright-colored paint. Make sure you press the paint into the rug properly. After painting one section, lift the stencil, match up the edges, and repeat the procedure until you decorate the entire rug.

Book Planters

Do you have a kid who is an avid reader? Take a big book that isn’t being used and smear its edges with wood glue. If you want a deep planter area, you can use two books. Just use glue to hold them together. Mark the cutting area with a pencil and use a craft knife to slice through the pages.

Once you are done cutting, take a plastic bag and place it in the hole. You can use glue to hold it in. The plastic will prevent water from seeping into the book and damaging it. Add soil, place the plant, and water it. Use an indoor plant like a peace lily or rubber tree.

Leather Strap Hanging Shelf

If your kid’s room seems to be running out of space, you can help them design a DIY hanging shelf. You need leather straps, a hand drill, and a piece of wood to make the shelf. Cut two pieces of the strap to the desired length and create two screw holes on the edges of each strap. Create a loop with the leather strips, and attach them to the wall using the holes. Finally, place the shelf through the loops and ensure it is level.

Re-use Party Cups

Do you have some party cups around your home? You can use them to bring a bit of order and style to a room. Use different colored cups to store pencils, pens, markers, paintbrushes, and colored pencils. 

Final Thoughts

You don’t need expensive improvements to make your teenager’s bedroom to look and feel cool. With just a little creativity, you can brighten up your teen’s room, make it feel bigger and amazing. Use the ideas above to transform your kid’s room.

3 Fun Video Games To Play With Your Kids

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Those of you that are regulars on my blog will know how I feel about video games and gaming. I think they generally get a bad rep from lots of parents, usually because people don’t seem to understand the concept of gaming or how beneficial it can potentially be. 

So, I think it’s a good idea to encourage your kids to game – as long as they do so responsibly. It can be a very healthy hobby, and it’s also a chance for you to get closer to your kids. There are loads of enjoyable video games that you and your children can play together. Some of these are unique to the video game world, while others bring classic board games to life. If you’re looking to pass the time at home, here are the best games to try:

Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games

Mario and Sonic have teamed up for multiple games celebrating the various Olympics over the years. If you have a Nintendo Switch, then this is an excellent game to buy for the whole family to enjoy. You and your kids can compete against one another in a series of Olympic sports using popular characters from the Mario and Sonic universes. It’s a fairly active game as well, and can get wildly competitive! All ages can enjoy it, and it could be worth buying a Switch for this game alone. 

Scrabble

Yes, the classic board game has made it to the video game real on both Xbox and Playstation. The fun thing about this game is that it encourages your kids to practice their spelling and to learn new words. If they struggle, then you can easily use a word finder tool online to help them out. What I love most about Scrabble on the video game platform is that your kids are way more likely to play it than the original board game! It just seems much cooler to them. Plus, there are some extra features to keep everyone entertained as well. 

Overcooked

Lastly, we have a wonderful cooking-based game that the whole family will fall in love with. I’ve seen parents who have never cared for video games suddenly become engrossed in this one! The premise of Overcooked is easy to understand – you’re in a kitchen and you have to fulfill all the food orders. The instructions and controls are simple for children under 8 to follow, so everyone can get involved. It can get really frantic and exceptionally entertaining. It’s available across multiple platforms, but the Nintendo Switch version might be the best because you can use motion controls and get more people involved. 

There you have it: three excellent family games for you and your kids to play. I’ve linked videos to all the gameplay trailers, so you can see more about the games themselves. The moral of the story is that gaming can be a brilliant family activity. Instead of viewing video games as something that pushes the family apart, look at them as a hobby that can bring you all together!

What To Do When The Kids Start Moaning That The Internet Won’t Work

There comes a time in every dad’s life when the kids start bleating that the internet won’t work. For those of us old enough to remember a time before the world wide web, it’s not such a big deal. But for kids raised on zeroes and ones, it can be a traumatic experience to lose contact with the outside world, especially if you’re on lockdown

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The internet can go out of action for all kinds of reasons. And for some of them, you need to be some kind of network engineer or Ph.D. to figure them out

Others, though, are easy to solve. Here’s what to do when the internet doesn’t work for your kids. 

Check Whether You Can Solve The Problem

Most problems with your internet service occur because of factors within the home itself, but not always. Sometimes there’s an issue with the exchange or work on the line. In that case, there’s nothing you can do. 

Go to your router and check whether the “internet” light is illuminated. If it is, then it means that you still have internet service to your home and that the problem is under your control. 

Change Channel Settings In The Router Settings

Channels are bandwidths that your devices use to communicate with your router. Each device connects via a specific channel, preventing annoying cross-talk. 

Internet connections, however, can drop if too many devices try to use the same channel at the same time. It is vital, therefore, that you create different channels for each of them. You should be able to find this in the device settings. The password for administrator access should be on the router itself. 

Get A Range Extender

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Sometimes, WiFi can cut out because the signal isn’t powerful enough, especially if your kids try to watch the internet in the garden. Take a look at a WiFi extender list and find a device that will provide enough range for your property. 

Most routers will send out a signal about 20 meters before the quality begins to degrade. WiFi extenders pick up the signal from your router and then pump it out around the house further. The result is a far larger coverage area – perfect for providing internet access in the summer house. 

See If The Problem Is To Do With The Wireless Signal Itself

Another way to diagnose internet problems is to see whether it is a problem with the wireless signal or network settings. 

Instead of trying to connect to the router remotely, use an ethernet cable – the thing that looks a bit like a phone cable. Whack it in a compatible device and then connect it directly to the router. 

If the computer can connect to the internet, then you know that you have access, in principle. But if the wireless isn’t working, then it could be for a host of reasons. Try to update the driver software to ensure that you installed it correctly. Also, try resetting your router and re-entering the password, just in case there is a firmware problem.