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As a parent, I can assure you that nothing brings more joy than when you’ve raised a well-rounded kid into adulthood. It is also true that raising problem kids can rob you of your enthusiasm of being a parent. That is why it is crucial to do fun things with your kids to create that bonding experience most parents dream about.

Some of the activities listed can be done within the comfort of your home and cost very little. You have to do everything within your power to keep your kids away from those addicting digital devices by substituting family activities kids would enjoy.

I can also testify that some of the activities will be frowned upon initially by your kids, but you have to be the adult and make everyone do it at least once.

Contrary to other blog postings about what things to do with kids today, some of the activities were selected to nurture your kids’ sense of belonging, teach them essential facts about life, and what determines happiness into adulthood.

The fun things to do with toddlers at home is by no means complete, for you’re only limited by your imagination. Your motto as a parent in thinking of what to do with your children on the weekend; simple, easy and fun.

While my kids were teenagers I created a calendar of activities for each month. On that calendar, we had family fun things to do, individual activities they can explore, family movie nights, and days where we all participated in helping the less fortunate.

I am sure you can tell which activities my kids frowned upon, but my husband and I made the rules and enforced them. To this day, I get mentions about some of the activities we did together as a family from my adult children with their own little ones to deal with.

Some Fun Things You Can do With Your Kids

Create a Family Garden

Create a Family Garden

If you own a home and have a backyard, try your best to convert it into a small family garden. It is sad to say that most kids and even adults have no clue as to how basic green vegetables are grown.

As a rule, you do not want to do all the grunt work yourself, you have to involve your kids. It teaches responsibility, and it is a good basis to build a strong work ethic that would come in handy into adulthood.

If you’re not sure what to do and where to begin in cultivation the soil, Google it or pay a visit to any farm close by to get ideas as to the first crucial steps. Kids love certainty and would participate in having fun as long as you exhibit the knowledge that you know the steps to take.

As the garden takes shape and form, the growth of the greens or fruits will create joy that cannot be described with words. My family garden started when my kids were less than seven years old, and it continued until they all went to college.

Get input from your kids as to what they like to plant and let them know which ones will not grow in your area after you’ve done the necessary research.

Play Monopoly Game as a Family

Monopoly Board Game The Classic Edition

You know that game called monopoly? It is a very good game to play with your kids. It teaches financial management in more ways than one. The buying of houses and the owning of streets teaches them about the concept of real estate and the benefits that can be derived from owning them.

While they were teenagers my kids learned the value of owning your own home instead of paying rent. While playing this game I also taught them what not to do with earned money if one wants to become rich. It also conveyed the message that it is far better to finance things that can appreciate in value as compared to things that can go down in value.

Play the Scrabble Board Game

Hasbro Scrabble Crossword Game

That game called scrabble is a very good family fun activity to build up your kid’s vocabulary. The words you can learn playing this game with your family will confound you. If you have several people in your household, get a large scrabble game board to increase the family fun.

If you can read and count, you certainly can play this game with your kids. With the prevalence of digital devices, this is one of the fun activities that should be played with all of them turned off.

Do not let your kids play on their digital devices while participating in any of these activities. If you cannot enforce this simple rule, you might be losing your authority without even realizing it.

Go For Family Bike Riding

Go For Family Bike Riding

If you happen to live in one of those metropolitan cities with bike trails take full advantage of them. Bike riding with your kids is a fun activity and it also contributes to staying in shape for both parents and kids.

If you have a little one that cannot ride one, this is a perfect opportunity to start teaching him or her the joy of mastering a bicycle. Most kids will pick up the riding routine with ease when everyone around them is using one.

Whether you know it or not, your kids will mimic your behavior as they grow up into adulthood, so teach them the right way how to do each of this activities. For safe bike riding, everyone must wear helmets and obey the traffic laws.

Go for Walks in the Public Park

Go for Walks in the Public Park

If you have a public park within your area take advantage of the amenities by visiting with your kids. Most parks will have numerous activities suitable for families to play. While public parks can be fun with many activities, try to keep everyone together, for many people go missing due to parental negligence.

We all used to participate in each activity before moving on to the next one. Based on your kid’s age, bathroom break required mommy or daddy to go with them. You can create your own safety system, but keep a watchful eye on your children while in the Public Park.

Pay a Visit to Your Local Fire Station

Pay a Visit to Your Local Fire Station

Kids regardless of age are fascinated with the loud siren made by fire trucks. Your local fire house would love to have you visit, but you have to call ahead of time to make the required arrangements. Some will already have tour dates established and if not, encourage them to do so.

When you get close to a fire truck, it contains far more complicated equipment than most people realize. Your kids would have many questions and you should let the fire master guide answer them all. I used to encourage my kids to write down the questions they want to be answered before we get there.

This idea came from my middle child who got an assignment to write about a fire truck and how it functions. The first time was enlightening and eye-opening. Subsequent visits provided familiar experiences, but we always learned something new. Also, pick different fire houses to visit, for each one is has a unique setup.

Participate in a Charity Event

Participate in a Charity Event

Spending some time helping the less fortunate will provide your kids with experiences that cannot be taught in school. Activities we took part in included homeless food kitchen, school yard clean-up, homeless kids tutoring, toy giveaways to less fortunate kids, helping the Salvation Army food bank, etc.

Each of this activity gave my kids the knowledge that they are fortunate and should appreciate what they have. It is one of the best ways to build compassion for the less fortunate among us. I also think it taught each of them the need to work harder so they could afford the finer things in life.

Pay a Visit to a Prison or Jail House

When my first born was in the tenth grade he started running around with the wrong crowd and I could sense things were getting worse despite the threat from his dad. When the severe beatings dished out by his dad failed to get the right message across I sought help from the local police precinct commander, since I served on the civilian complaint review board.

He suggested we make time as a family and visit a prison that was about 100 miles from our home. Marriages that last will go through tough times and the argument with my husband about this issue was very heated, to say the least.

I married a guy that was vocal in his opinion and also knew when to hold back and see what happens with a decision that was basically my doing. I soon learned my husband hated jails because he spent a weekend locked up for driving with a suspended license over 25 years ago.

He was the disciplinarian and I was the one that provided the love and care to make the kids feel good. Both mom and dad cannot be soft, for I have seen close friends lose their kids to the street because none of them played the “bad guy” role. Trust me, you need that in a family with several kids, if you want to maintain order and discipline.

When you visit the prison in your area or state expect to go through intense scrutiny due to contraband trafficking. The impact the visit had on my first born was immediate. Also, the warden took the time to explain the routines of the cellmates on a daily basis.

My boy got his act together and ditched most of the troublesome friends and that prison visit played a great role. We made more trips to help out charities that were trying to give some of the prisoners a second chance in life.

Cook a Family Dinner Together

I raised three boys and one girl, and they all know how to cook. I still get many thanks for forcing them to participate in cooking activities. I always let my boys know that you can only appreciate a woman that could cook if you know the process.

Initially, they all participated reluctantly, but soon the argument centered on what dishes to make. The bonding experience that is created when the family participates in creating sumptuous meals cannot be described with words.

I still have pictures I took during this activities and my kids love going through them when they visit to relish the memories. What you teach your kids will be passed on to your grandchildren, which is why cooking with the family is so important.

Paint a Room Together

After my husband and I bought a rental property we could not find a cheap painter to spruce the apartments up for us, so we made the kids join us in this activity. Truth be told, my husband practically forced the kids to participate to my silent objection, but he got his way on this issue.

He taught them how to plaster a small hole in the wall and how to use masking tape the right way. My kids learned how to paint that long weekend and that skill was deployed when it came time to refurbish their rooms.

Conduct Family Reading Sessions

One of the rigid rules that were enforced by my husband revolved around reading books and writing book reports. This started as soon as the kids could read and write. My children excelled in school because while other kids were learning to create book reports they were already masters at the activity.

This fun activity kept my kids at home busy during the summer months, soon the competition was about who can deliver the best book report. With encouragement from the loving mom, we created prizes for who can deliver the best book report with drawings.

Contrary to what you might have been told, smart kids are not born, they’re created by proper tutelage from caring parents. The school teacher can only work with established habits developed from home.

Pay a Visit to a Large Farm with Animals

Pay a Visit to a Large Farm with Animals

If you love to eat meat, I urge you to pay a visit to a local farm that raises animals for slaughter. When you meet pigs, cows, chickens and goats up close you get a sense that they have a lot in common with humans.

My kids learned how to milk a cow and they realized that a pig will eat almost anything. Trips to a local farm will teach your children where our food comes from and the processing methods involved. On trips to any farm, do not wear your best clothes for they will get very dirty.

In Conclusion

The above activities are just an opening to the other fun things you can imagine. It is better to start the fun activities at a much younger age and nip all resistance in the mud as soon as it arises. Digital devices will not teach your kids about life.

The many games played online will only stimulate a tiny portion of their brain. You need your kids to do real stuff to understand and appreciate certain things in life. If you do not teach your kids how to cook, who’s to blame?

Whatever fun things you choose to do with toddlers at home requires full attention for them to take it seriously. Teach your kids about the realities of life by making them engage with some of the games listed above.

The fun things to do with your kids might be resisted at first, but you’re the adult and it is right you provide the guidance they need to grow into proper adults.

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The joy of international travel cannot be measured with words. Your visit to a new country can open your eyes to other cultures and potential business opportunities provided you’re prepared to handle emergencies that might come your way.

Most people preparing for international travel usually think of securing a passport, visa, and an airline ticket. A foreign country is far removed from your residence in America and unless you come armed with the right crucial documents and health protection, your trip might turn into a nightmare.

My recent trip to Ethiopia with my family will give you some insights as to what you need to bring along on your journey to a foreign land regardless of your length of stay.

While the emphasis of this article is to provide what you need to protect yourself just in case a medical emergency should occur, other crucial steps to make your trip a success would also be explored.

What You Need for a Foreign Trip

Passport – It is sad to say that in this day in age you cannot visit most countries without a passport issued by the U.S. Department of State. The process is lengthy and cumbersome unless you’re willing to use a passport expediting service, and you can find one located in any major city in America.

I am always baffled why the government that we elected makes it so difficult and expensive to procure services that we the citizens are entitled to? In simple terms, unless for a few nearby countries, you’ll need a genuine passport to travel abroad, period.

Also, keep in mind that the new passport for those over the age of 16 is valid for ten years, and five years for those below that age. Each passport now comes with a secret biometric chip hidden inside and it will alert the authorities whenever you’re within the vicinity of any major United States Domestic terminal.

Applying for a Visa

A visa is simply a stamped permission on your passport for you to enter a foreign land for a certain amount of time. Visas to some countries are far harder to obtain than others. Do not be surprised at the documents you’ll be asked to bring with you to the visa interview.

Some countries will make you prove you’re capable of taken care of yourself financially during your stay in their country before approving your visa application.

When you apply for a visa to another country you’re basically subjecting yourself to their laws and customs, so it is your obligation to know about them or you might find yourself stuck in a local jail during your trip.

If you’re gay or bisexual pick your host country carefully, for some are not as liberal as in the USA. Homosexual acts in some Muslim countries are punishable by death or long prison terms.

Most Muslim countries would not even grant you a visa if you answer yes to the gay question unless you lie. Regardless, it is your obligation to know the local laws and taboo and follow them religiously if you want to enjoy your stay.

Buying Your Airline Ticket

It was shocking to discover that some countries would not grant your visa application unless you submit it with a valid airline ticket for travel. When faced with such a predicament let the airline know ahead of time that you would be canceling the ticket if your visa application is denied.

I would urge you to pay with a credit card just in case the airline tries to deduct any fees during cancellation. We bought our airline ticket to Ethiopia through our local American Express travel office and they have an established reputation for honest dealing.

Securing Your Lodging

Just to ensure you do not become homeless, some countries would require prove of accommodation for your length of stay before your visa is approved. Again, to protect yourself against visa denial book your hotel accommodation with your credit card and let them know you’ll call to confirm once your visa is approved.

If you’ll be staying with a local host rather than a hotel, each country has rules pertaining to that. I guess your local host would probably need to confirm your invitation to visit. Do not be annoyed, for this is the same rules and regulations American Embassies around the world expect visitors to our country to comply with.

Immunization Shots

International travel is sometimes encumbered with rules about immunization shots. I remember my doctor recommended I get measles and malaria shots before traveling to Ethiopia. I dislike immunization shots of any kind, for I truly believe most are made from poisonous ingredients and would do more harm than good.

I was able to bypass this nonsense rule on religious grounds. Use common sense and do your own research before subjecting yourself to shots containing questionable substances.

You Need a Good Luggage Set

The travel bags you used for your trip to another city within the United States of America might not be adequate to protect your valuables when traveling to another country. This is an excellent review of the best luggage sets one can use for international travel.

I would urge you to buy a luggage set that is hard-sided, which makes it far more difficult for luggage thieves to go through your belongings. Keep your important stuff on your carry-on luggage including passport, currency, wallet, maps, cell phones, and other crucial documents?

How to Protect Your Health

There are many things we take for granted in America that simply does not exist in many foreign countries. Take, for instance, in many countries, it is customary for you to bargain down prices, while in America we just pay whatever price is listed on the product.

I would urge you to ask your health insurance provider if you’re covered during your trip to a foreign country. Health insurance companies hate dealing with hospitals in other countries because they do not know the cost ratio of services provided.

Some health providers will simply tell you coverage is only provided within the continental United States of America, while others would tell you reimbursement can be provided if the health emergency is covered by your policy.

It is far easier to get a temporary health insurance coverage for your trip overseas to cover your length of stay in any foreign land. Stick with travel health insurance providers with established networks and reputation for honest dealing.

If the insurance provider does not have an approved hospital in your destination country that might be a sign that the coverage might not be worth the asking price. In some countries, the availability of health services are poor, to begin with, and you will have to deal with private clinics that only accept cash upfront for any treatment.

A friend that recently visited the city of Lagos in Nigeria, almost died from an infectious wound simply because the private clinic would not provide treatment unless the payment is fully made upfront with cash.

Keep in mind, that the moment you board that plane to another country, your civil rights or human rights are basically suspended based on your host country practices and customs. Carry enough cash when traveling abroad to handle any health emergencies.

In Conclusion

Your trip abroad will be an enlightening one and will open your eyes to other customs and maybe business opportunities. Depending on the country you visit, you will come to appreciate the remaining rights we still enjoy here, once you return home.

You should at least visit other countries during your lifetime, and you can bet you’ll become a better person because of it.

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