10 Cheap Family Activities For Every Parent

If you're looking for family activities to do with your children, and don't want them to cost a fortune, then why not consider some of these exciting things you can do.

1. Just spending time with your children playing board games, or dressing up, or reading with them, will be very rewarding. Perhaps you don't get the chance to spend as much time with your children as you'd like to, so why not do something they like doing?

2. Going for walks can be great exercise for all the family, as well as fun and educational. Why not go to the countryside and see what wildlife you can see, or find out more about the area where you live, or put on your wellies and go out in the rain, and jump in some puddles or find some mud to play in!

3. Maybe your children love going to the park, so why not take them more often? You could take a football or a frisby, as well as playing on the slide and swings. Letting your children run around with others their age is a great way for them to make new friends, and also to let off steam.

4. Your children might benefit from going to museums and art galleries, especially if they're studying something specific in history or art at school. You could help them learn more about a certain period of time, or artist, and help them with their schoolwork at the same time. You might enjoy visiting a museum or gallery you haven't been to in a while too.

5. Are your children too young to appreciate your favourite sports? Why not see if they'd like to go to a football or rugby match, or maybe they've been inspired by watching tennis or motor racing on TV.

6. Does your gym have children's classes? Remember that if you don't take your health seriously, and watch what you eat, you can't be surprised if you're children are unhealthy. Instead of watching TV, or spending time on the computer, why not suggest going for a bike ride, or swimming?

7. Getting your children interested in cooking from an early age, can promote healthy eating, and ensure that they understand the importance of eating good quality fresh produce, and get their five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. If you eat a lot of fast food, or unhealthy snacks, your children are likely to want to as well.

8. Don't forget to encourage your children to spend time with their friends. Maybe your children could invite a couple of friends round for tea, or to play. Why not see if you can become friendly with their parents, and they might repay the favour?

9. An afternoon doing arts and crafts is a great way to spend time with your children. Why not encourage them to be creative and artistic? Perhaps they'll enjoy colouring pictures, or making collages, or following instructions to make a model, or create something useful and practical.

10. Gardening can be fun for all the family, so if you've got green fingers, why not let your children help you with your gardening ideas and plans? They could have their own area of the garden, or plant pots, and grow their own seeds, and see how they do.

Now you know what sort of things you can doe with your children, and that they don't have to be expensive, what other family activities can you think of?

By M James

Discover a wide range of Family Activities you can do with your children, and amazing seasonal Gardening Ideas to make the most of your garden. If you're a parent, then you'll love Candis magazine. Find out more at Candis.co.uk today, and subscribe online. You'll be glad you did.

Raising a Disabled Child

As a teenager in the late 60's I couldn't have imagined my life as anything other than being a housewife and mother, a June Cleaver look-a-like. Maybe a "little" job that was cute and didn't require much work or brain power on my part. But that was not to be. Ultimately, I became the parent of a mentally challenged child.

My son was born with a heart defect that required surgery. A tissue graft in his heart failed and blocked blood to his lungs. He went through renal failure as a result. As a believer in a higher purpose, when my son was so near death after the second heart surgery, I swore an oath to take care of him despite my limited understanding that the "normal" child was gone and not sure what would be left.

During my son's crisis a black minister from Louisiana with a daughter facing a similar crisis, whispered these words of comfort "God gives no more than you can handle." When times have been difficult, that phrase has been my rock. I can handle whatever the trial, because God gives no more than I can handle.

My son's father couldn't "deal" with the residual health and learning disability issues and left a few years later. I was left with a special needs child and the courts back in the late 70's did nothing to protect his future needs.

The situation sounds grim, but we managed. I had to for my son and his sister's sake. As the saying goes, "failing was not an option". When I began my journey as a single parent I had a $7.00 an hour job in a flower shop and an order for child support that seldom came. We managed because I had no choice. Meanwhile, I became a better person for the struggle. A hobby a few years later became a livelihood and now makes an income six times that beginning salary.

My son and I still live together after all these years. I own my own house, I have a new car, and I have a career as a writer. My son and I travel together, go to movies and both our lives are filled with outside activities for each of us. I am a firm believer, you make your life what it is. I decided a long time ago to have a happy life despite the challenges thrown my way. Over the years I have faced my son's health crisis', job lay-offs and my daughter's diagnosis of being bi-polar. Despite it all I chose to be happy. I am a successful person on so many levels.

My crowning achievement is my son. He functions academically as a 8 or 9 year old. But as an adult, socially he is charming, personable and friendly. He is everything a parent could want in a son. He takes his job seriously. He is a hard working young man who still opens doors and isn't afraid to scrub the toilet while I do laundry.

Not everyone would consider my situation a blessing but I do. The struggles have been rewarded time and time again. I stood at my son's bedside and made a promise. That promise of "I'll endure whatever hardship" has turned out to be "heaped with blessings". My life is not what I expected, but it is richer than I could have ever imaged. Having a disabled child is not the end of the world, it's the beginning of a more rewarding life filled with unconditional love and great joy.

Charlotte Hoaks is a successful technical writer in the Houston area. She and her son are members of the Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC) a support organization for the disabled. Charlotte uses her skills as a writer to share information and inspire others to be more pro-active with assistance for the disabled. The disabled are the "silent" minority. They only have a voice when others advocate for them.

5 Things a Single Father Should Know About Their Kid's School

Single fathers can feel cut out of the picture when it comes to staying on top of the events and procedures at their kids' schools. There is plenty of information to handle, from homework to after school activities. Some announcements may come home with kids and get lost. But these ten tips can make life much easier for everyone:

First, make sure teachers know that the kids have a single father so there won't be any misunderstanding. Don't depend on the kids to relay this information. Make the information known and be clear about it.

The second step is to be sure to make it to Back to School night, PTA meetings and any other opportunities to meet and connect with school administrators and teachers. At Back to School Night teachers may describe classroom rules and leave contact numbers. They may even describe the course curriculum. Back to school night gives single fathers a chance to gauge the tone of the school, general procedures and the appearance and layout of each of their children's classrooms. It is an important way to learn about a school.

A third point? Be sure to ask about free tutoring service or resource rooms in the school. Many schools offer after school tutoring for free. Sometimes, teachers can recommend names of experienced tutors. Busy parents sometimes can use these services to help their children succeed. Find out where resource centers are located and where free tutoring takes place.

The fourth step? Be pro-active and be sure to check for papers and announcements that come home with children. Have a file folder set up for each class as well as school activities. If there are permission slips to be signed, due dates for major projects or other information, stick it in the appropriate folder and consider having sticky tabs with due dates for important papers. Know if the school has a procedure for clear communication about homework and due dates.

Finally, it is vital to understand a school's policy about absences or missed school days. Some won't let children return to school without a permission slip. Other schools have policies that allow only so many sick days per semester or year.

O'Neil is a eager internet newbie in the art of writing articles. His newest interest is in girl games. So come visit his recommended where you can play girl games. You can venture it his most popular section of games, dress up games.

Dating Tips For Single Parents

It is not easy balancing being a single parent with dating. Single parents face many other challenges than those who are just single and dating. Single parents may feel apprehensive when beginning to date. Here are some dating tips for single parents to help ease that nervousness.

For those who have already taken the plunge into dating; some single parenting tips to help you discuss your new dating life with your children follow the dating tips for single parents.


Make a list of qualities your dating partner must have, qualities you would like them to possess and qualities that absolutely will not work for you.

Some desirable qualities might include patience with children. If a long term relationship is your goal; a desire to have a family might be important. Common interests and mutual hobbies could be qualities you would like but are not necessarily required. Qualities that you do not want may include a party lifestyle or lack of motivation. You may also want someone who has an understanding of the demands of parenthood or at least a desire to learn about those demands.


Be mindful of your appearance when in social settings. Try not to wear attire that is provocative. You don't want to give the impression that you are readily available. Conduct yourself in a manner that says you have respect for yourself and others will respond accordingly.


Sex is usually an awkward subject when you are a parent. Professional dating advice for single parents recommend that you do not engage in sexual activities on the first date. In fact, their dating advice for single parents caution against sexual activity until you have established a relationship that is intimate and shows promise of developing into something long term. Sexual relations too early in a relationship that then ends can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem.


Work on building a social framework of friends. Participating in social activities with friends is a good way to meet people with like interests in a nonthreatening group environment. Don't be afraid to initiate conversation and introduce yourself to someone you are interested in.


If friends want to set you up with a blind date; ask for the persons email. Begin corresponding with the person via email so you can begin to learn about the person. Conversation will flow more easily when you already have an idea of the person's interests. This will help ease nervousness on the first date; and hopefully you will have a more enjoyable date.

Explaining dating to your children may seem difficult and awkward. It needn't be stressful. For parents already dating; single parenting tips to help you follow.

1. Graphic details of your dating are not necessary. A simple response that you are spending time with a close friend will suffice in the beginning. If a relationship progresses into more; you can begin to discuss you dating partner with your children. Omit intimate details even if you have a teenager.

2. If dating begins to turn into a more long term relationship; you may consider an introduction. Prepare in advance for the meeting. Professionals recommend to parents dating, this single parenting tip: public areas such as a parks or a zoo make neutral places to introduce a dating partner to your children.

3. Give your children time to adapt to this new person who is getting so much of your attention. Expect your children to have questions and concerns. Answer their questions honestly and keep the communication lines open. Reassure your children they are still your priority and you dating does not change how you feel or take care of them.

Hopefully when you begin dating; these single parenting tips [http://www.singleparentdatingadvice.com/dating-tips-for-single-parents.html] will make the transition for your children go more smoothly.

Pieter West travels the world on a regular basis and have written about numerous subjects. He has an extensive knowledge about, finances, DIY, parenting advice and many more subjects.

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