Avoiding The Games Console: Suggestions To Keep Older Children Entertained

When it comes to keeping older children entertained it can be quite the difficult task. Younger children seem to be happy with colouring, reading, and their toys, but as children get older and hit there pre-teen and teen years, the introduction of technology is so much more evident in their lives. It is an issue when it comes to things like games consoles, tablets and computers, and with games being so readily available you ruin the risk of your children being glued to these devices rather than doing anything else. Of course, in moderation, technology is great for kids, but it might be worth trying to introduce other activities that could help them avoid being on a games console during their spare time. I wanted to share with you some of the suggestions.

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Playing sports after school and on the weekends


Sport is one of the obvious choices when it comes to encouraging children away from their rooms and technology, and it is still one of the best ways children can learn new skills, socialise, and remain fit and healthy. Whether you choose something active like soccer or basketball or they prefer other options like swimming or athletics, there is bound to be some sort of sporting activities they like. As a mom, you could also get involved with the training and team, perhaps being in charge of the youth basketball uniforms or being the one that provides the refreshments at training. It is a great way to be involved in your kids activities, without taking over or in their words cramping their style.


Encourage them to be more social


When it comes to being social, as children get older, their insecurities become more evident to them and their confidence can drop. Making new friends or talking to other students can become a little more difficult. So encouragement to be more social could be a great way to help them step out of their comfort zone. Whether that is encouraging having friends over after school or playing outside, it can be a lovely way to help older children grow in confidence.


Introduce daily or weekly chores with rewards


Chores may not be their idea of fun, but as parents it is important for you to help establish some skills in terms of independence and taking care of themselves for when they get older. It could be that you encourage them to keep their room tidy, make their beds, or vacuum the house. It could be that you want them to help in the garden or other chores. Whatever it is, it could be a great way to keep them from the tech, and teach them good values. You could also reward them each week or month for keeping up with it.


Discuss new hobbies they could explore


Finally, why not discuss new hobbies that they could explore. It might be science club after school, or entering chess tournaments. It might have something to do with sports, adventuring or being outdoors. Whatever it is they want to do, try and encourage it as best you can. It could be just the distraction they need from the games console and technology.


I hope that this has given you some ideas to consider to help your children be less reliant on their technology.

Make Your Garden Both Fun and Stylish


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One of the great joys of childhood is being able to play and use your imagination to create adventure. And as a parent, if you can encourage your kids to go out into your garden on a more regular basis, you have the extra advantage of ensuring that they stay safe while still enjoying themselves. There are plenty of ways that you can make your garden an environment which is full of fun, and this doesn’t mean compromising the style which you have worked hard to create. We will be talking about some of them in this article. Of course, everything comes back to how much space that you have available and your budget, but hopefully, you will find something that suits you within this article. So, let’s dive right in!


Make the Toys a Design Feature


One of the main problems that people have when it comes to comes to kids toys in the garden is that they do not look attractive and they are not in keeping with the environment. You can get around this by buying wooden versions of the same toys – or if you are particularly handy – making them yourself. Tree swings, seesaws, and jungle gyms can provide hours of fun for your kids without destroying the aesthetic environment that you have worked hard to create.


Child-Friendly Water Features


Though having a pond in your garden is a nice water feature which can attract a host of wildlife, you may well not be comfortable having an exposed body of water when you have young kids running around. But you could have some fountains and other running water features which provide some light and movement, as well a place to splash each other during the warmer months of the year. And something as simple as putting a sprinkler in your garden can provide plenty of fun during the summer.


Make Use of Vertical Space

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If you don’t have all that much space to work with in your garden, it makes sense that you use the vertical room which you have available. There are plenty of things which can be hung up high such as chalkboards, climbing walls, and buckets of toys. Again, it all comes back to aesthetics and ensuring that your garden still looks at its best, while also providing a fantastic environment for your kids to play in.


Fun for Older Kids


As your kids start to get older, it can end up getting harder and harder to lure them outside. However, there are some things which are fantastic for people of all ages. Trampolines offer an ideal way to stay active. Take a look at some of the top models that this post lists. Another great option is an outdoor table tennis table. Another alternative is offering a place where your kids can relax with friends including comfortable seating and a fire pit.


Build in Storage for Toys


As a parent, you will already be only too aware how much stuff that your kids can accumulate. Instead of having is strewn all over the garden, you should try to come up with some storage systems so that your garden doesn’t lose that minimalist look. Bench storage is always a nice option as it has the practicality of giving you some additional seating which is always going to be handy when you are having friends and family over to enjoy the garden.


Create a Vegetable Garden


There is a great sense of pleasure in gardening together as a family, and if you plant some fruit and vegetables, this gives you the added bonus of saving you money on your household food shopping bills. It is worth creating a plan before getting started, and beginning with some vegetables which are seasonal and thrive in the conditions which you have available in your garden. Also, don’t attempt to grow anything which is too difficult to maintain if you don’t have a huge amount of time to devote to looking after them. Planting a vegetable garden helps to teach your kids some valuable life skills centred on caregiving and the value of working to complete a project.

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As you can see from the advice in this article, there is no reason why your garden can’t be both fun and stylish. A garden is always going to be a work in progress in which you can make gradual additions over time to improve the space which you have available.

Professionals to Engage With When Buying a Home

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Purchasing a property is a complex process. It’s not all too surprising that many of us can quickly begin to feel overwhelmed after deciding to find a place of our own! However, it is one that you are likely to carry out at some point or another. After all, we all want to own a place of our own! Luckily, you don’t have to go through the entire process alone. There are a whole host of professionals out there who will be more than willingly to lend you their knowledge, expertise, and experience in order to make your journey to buying home a lot simpler. Here are a few to consider!


Mortgage Brokers


If you’re buying a house, you’re going to have to take out a mortgage. Long gone are the days when people would simply save for a few years and purchase their first property outright. House prices are so high nowadays that you are likely to spend multiple decades getting the funds together. Luckily, mortgages mean that you can actually live in your property while you are paying for it! Now, there are all sorts of mortgages on the financial market and it can be extremely difficult to figure out which will prove best for you as an individual. Mortgage brokers like Altrua Financial can help to come up with deals between you and professional lenders. They have pre-existing relationships and connections, and are likely to come up with a better offer than you would find from scouring the market alone.


Estate Agents


Estate agents are professionals who specialise in selling and letting properties. You are likely to have to go through them in order to gain the details of individuals who have place properties on the market. Not all too long ago, you would have had to actively step into an estate agent’s office and browse through tangible booklets detailing all of the properties that they had on their books. However, nowadays, most agencies have all of their information online. You can browse ads, taking a look at images of all of the properties that are currently on the market and reading through details regarding their price, details, and proximity to amenities. This takes a lot of pressure off your search, as you can browse freely until you find something that catches your eye. The first contact you are likely to have with an actual estate agent is when you inquire about a property and arrange a viewing. If you decide that the property is for you after your viewing, the estate agent will then draw up an agreement and take care of all of the legal work between you and the individual selling up.

These are just two different groups of professionals operating within the property market who you are likely to come into contact with at some point or another in your house hunting journey. However, we’d highly recommend engaging with them, as they will make the entire process a lot simpler!

Wonderful Home Improvements You Can Make the Most of in This Lovely Weather

Wonderful Home Improvements You Can Make the Most of in This Lovely Weather


Working on your home is all about making the right changes and improvements that are going to enhance the home properly. There is always so much you can do to make the home better and more appealing, but sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time to do this. You have to make sure there are a lot of different things you have planned for the home.


The weather is great, and this is the perfect time to get out there and start doing a bit of home improvement work. There is a lot to do around the home, and some of it might involve a big project. Now that the weather is here it is time to improve the home as best you can, and start implementing all those changes that couldn’t be done in the cold and wet.


Get the Roof Done



In many ways, the roof is the most important element of the home, structurally. This is the very thing that protects the home and keeps it (and you) safe. The roof guards against adverse weather conditions and makes the property safer. As a result, you have to make sure you fix up the roof and get it repaired where possible. Make sure you visit https://roofingarchitects.com/, where you can hire contractors to repair and strengthen the roof as much as possible. This is certainly something to consider when looking at making some key home improvements that will benefit your property in the future. The roof needs to be as secure and airtight as possible, and this might mean getting it relaid, but the contractors will be able to tell you.





There are a few great ways of improving your home beyond the normal, and one of the best is to extend. This is something that offers so many benefits to you as a homeowner and will provide the home with extra space as well. When your house feels too small extensions are a great way of solving that problem. They are also great for modernizing the home and adding value as well. Extensions can be a big undertaking, and that’s why we said you need to wait for great weather before attempting anything like this. So, you have to make sure you have secured planning permission, and you have your extension planned in advance so that you can get going right away when it’s time to start.


Revamp Your Garden



Never overlook how great the garden is, and the impact it is going to have on the rest of the property. Keeping a great garden is essential for making sure you improve the rest of the home in the process. There is a lot you can do to revamp your garden and make it much more impressive. Consider clearing it out and starting again from scratch. Perhaps putting in some decking, or adding a water feature would make the garden look much more majestic. You also need to think about whether you want to have real grass or artificial turf for your lawn, as there were benefits to each. Revamping the garden is the perfect home improvement to carry out when the Sun is here, and you should make the most of it.


These are just a few of the best home improvements you can use to improve and enhance your property in the future. You want to make the home as great as you possibly can, and this means making changes that you feel are going to improve things and make them better.

The 3 Keys To Building Your Dream Home

Home is where the heart is… but if your heart just isn’t in it anymore, your home is just a  property. If you’ve lived in your home for some time now, your lifestyle and circumstances may be radically different to how they were when you first moved in. Perhaps you now have a larger family, maybe you have a new job or work from home. Maybe you’ve just outgrown and fallen out of love with your old place. The fact remains that when a house has stopped feeling like a home, it’s time to consider taking the next step in your life and moving on. But if you’re ready to move from your starter home to the home of your dreams, the home where you’ll put down roots and live out your days, it can be extremely frustrating when the right house never comes along. You do what you can to raise the value of your existing property, you even generate a lot of interest, but the perfect home still eludes you.

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If you can’t buy the home of your dreams, why not build it? By sticking to these tips, you’ll hold the keys to building your dream home in your hands…


Establish a wish list and a “must have” list


When the prospect of building your home is first broached your mind is likely flooded with a wealth of possibilities. You will fantasize about a futuristic kitchen, gleaming with quartz and chrome and filled with the latest mod cons, or perhaps your thoughts will turn to a state of the art home cinema chock full of the latest tech and Audio Video Services. Maybe you dream of a bathroom with a freestanding clawfoot bathtub. While blue sky thinking is great, it’s important to differentiate between your wishlist and your “must haves”. Work out your budget for the essentials and treat everything from your wish list as an optional extra.


Work out a realistic budget


Here’s where a lot of projects fall apart. Many budgets are either not fully comprehensive or are unrealistic in your projections. Remember that you’ll have to factor in everything from land costs, local fees and taxes, design and engineering charges and the cost of the materials themselves. A comprehensive budget includes everything from landscaping to the fixtures and fittings. It’s also a good idea to add a 10% contingency. You may not find that you need it, but it will ensure liquidity for the project and prevent any wasted labor costs.


Be realistic about what you can do yourself


In your zeal to create your dream home without going over your budget, you may be tempted to take on a lot of the work yourself. But this is extremely foodlardy. After all, you wouldn’t represent yourself in court. You wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself. This may well be the single largest and most important investment you ever make, so it behoves you to build a team of professionals who will be able to help you achieve your dreams. By all means do what you can by yourself, just be realistic about what you can expect to achieve alone.


When you work to these 3 principles, anything is possible.

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