Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I miss being a kid!!!

I miss being a kid, and I do my best to never let that play seeking, excitable part of myself die. I was remembering today, some things that I did as a child and ways I try to still be childlike? If you think my idea is kid stuff, think again? Read this wonderful article: 

Here is one of my current favorite childlike activites. To relax and color. Please share a favorite if you have one, that makes you feel like a kid again?

Coloring has become a recent craze, but almost 6 years ago, I had a rare opportunity to start coloring again . At the time I wasn't able to locate coloring books for adults, so I remember searching the internet and finding mandalas’s (circular patterns used for meditative purposes). They were detailed and rhythmic designs that inspired me to play with color combinations while meditating on the patterns. 

Now grown up coloring books can be found almost anywhere and the choices for markers, glitter gels and crayon pencils are color-exciting with wonderful benefits for the artist!!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Here's a quick Party Checklist, if you are planning your child's birthday party at home?

Whether you are planning a large celebration with family and friends or planning to invite your child's few closest pals, here are some idea's to help make the party planning easier!

1. Decide whether you want to have a theme party?

Having a theme for your party will help you narrow down decoration and activity choices, but themed parties can be more costly. If you decide to go with a theme, ask your child what kind of party theme he or she would like?

2. Select a few dates

Before setting the date, check that your child's favorite friend is available? If best friend Johnny or Jamie are going to be out of town, your child won't be happy without their favorite friend attending?

3. Make a list of whom you are planning to invite?

The type of party and activities planned, will dictate how many kids you can host? For example: A backyard party(be sure to plan a rain date) may allow you to invite your child's school room class of 30? However, if your child wants an inside tea party, your list may look a lot different?

4. Line up an entertainer for added party flair

Bringing in a professional will not only add unique fun to your party, but will create a little excitement of 'what's next', while the children await the activities? Be sure to book in advance so you can be assured availability. Also, try to plan the entertainer's arrival at least 30 to 40 minutes after the start of your party. Some 'settling in' time before the show not only gives kids time to greet each other, but add's a buffer for any late arrivals.

5. Send out invitations

Written invitations may seem a bit old fashion, especially with the ease of less costly and less time consuming virtual communication?  However, if you want to increase excitement about your child's upcoming party, old fashion methods of paper to pen works very well! If you are pressed for time, think about asking your child for help? You may want to provide stickers, colorful pencils, confetti or even an unsolved riddle within? kellysthoughtsonthings.com/why-handwritten-party-invitations-get-more.

6. Plan the order of your party activities 

The average party runs from 90 minutes to 2 hours. If you hire an entertainer, remember to ask them how much time they will need? Most entertainers can organize activities for the full length of the party or will work with you if you want select services only? A good balance for a party will include both energetic and calmer activities with one or two special treats. For example; a food treat, like cotton candy or a character appearance for photo memories, perhaps your child's favorite movie character ..or a special activity like hula hooping. Link to our website for hula hooping ideas All of these will provide a unique touch and make a memorable party! Remember to charge phones and camera's and if possible designate one person to be the 'chief photo and memory maker'!

7.  Food 

The best type of food for kids parties is simple or finger foods like pizza, cut up veggie's with dips, chips, popcorn, fruit, and of course cupcakes or birthday cake. To satisfy thirst, make available small water bottles/drinks that little hands can grab. Keep it simple and in one place so kids can easily find and for easy clean up, when the party is over.

8. Extra help

Ask friends, relatives or older children to help supervise during the party. Some entertainers can provide an extra person but you will usually be charged for the additional service. Planning extra help, even if you don't think you will need it, assures peace of mind.

9.  Remember to give your guest a party favor

A little take home treat after the party, gives kids a party memory and an opportunity to share the fun. They can even be handed out at the party end, as a thank you. Some entertainers will provide favors as part of their service, saving you time and follow up. Be sure to ask if they provide this service?

10. Lastly, relax when the day arrives

Easy to say when you don't have 25, 6 yr olds pulling at your sleeve, asking you when the activities will begin ..and they all showed up 15 minutes early with the food now just coming out of the oven?  Remember, part of the charm of an at home party, is a more personable and less formal approach with
even a few unexpected twists and turns? Additionally, have a few back up favorites if you want to keep things less 'on the fly'. One or two popular childhood games, a handy pop in video of kids favorite movie or activities to keep an active group moving( balls, jump ropes, a few bubble bottles/ wands.) Remember to consider the age group when deciding ..and if all does not go perfect, relax.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hula Hooping? A different 'spin' on exercise or a 'core' lesson worth noting?

Your core, or roughly the 35 muscles that surround your spine and pelvic area, are a group of muscles that help support and stabilize your whole body. Strong core muscles work together to hold the body upright, maintain balance and make possible, effortless arm and leg movements.

A strong core or the desire to develop a better one, is where the fundamentals of hula hooping begins? Hula hooping is a fun way to exercise but the benefits of developing the skill, can hardly be called 'child's play'!

I remember when I decided to begin my hula hoop practice in 2010? Determined to find new 'fun' things to do, I signed up for a local class. I remember feeling initially awkward and somewhat off center, as I tried to make my hula hoop spin before it eventually dropped to the floor!

Watching my instructor as she effortlessly spun and twirled to the music, made me more determined to  'get it'!  "Think of your hula hoop as your dance partner", she would say." "Don't try to control it. Just go with the flow."  Hummmm?  Those words caught my attention. I was already aware of other area's in my life that I needed to learn the art of "letting go". So began my hula hooping passion. Here are some basic hula hooping facts that you may or may not already know?

Hula hooping is a combination of dance, exercise and play. Hoop dance inspires creativity and the expression of movement. Endless opportunities exist with the only boundaries being your own imagination. As an exercise, hooping is aerobic, combined with strength and flexibility. The American Council on Exercise (ACE Sponsored Research) conducted a study on the effectiveness of a hooping workout, in regard to it's aerobic and calorie burning results. The researchers concluded that during a 30 minute hooping workout, the participants burned an average of 7 calories per minute or a total of 210 calories, making it an acceptable exercise that can contribute to better weight management. http://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/1094/  As play, hooping increases feeling of joy and laughter. This is my own observation from my experience with teaching children and adults.  I've seen countless times, almost immediately after 'putting on a hula hoop', a smile appears followed by laughs and ahhh's as skill after skill, is mastered!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Should adults make time for play? 

When adults think of play time, they usually think of it as an activity, only for kids. In our fast paced, over booked modern lives, many of us focus so heavily on work and family commitments that we never make time for simple fun! 

Yes, play time is essential for a child's development, but it can be an essential source of relaxation and stimulation for people of all ages! Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, jumpstart learning, connect you to others, fuel your imagination and even release endorphins (the body's natural feel good chemicals). 

Finding time to play can also help add creativity to things like work, relationships and solving everyday problems. For studies on adult fun check out this link: http://www.alive.com/health/adult-play/

So what exactly is play and how can we begin the process? In her article titled: "20 Positively Silly Things to Do to Reduce Stress", Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant, M.P.H. says, "The truth is, it doesn't really matter what you do to manage your stress as long as it  a.) makes you feel better and  b.) doesn't cause any harm to you or anyone else". 

I personally liked all of her 20 suggestions, but my favorite one I must admit, was #12 which says: "Dance in a public place. See how many people you can get to join you?" As an entertainer for kids parties, I do that with ease and wha-hoo, it is fun!!!!! 

Welcome to the New Fun Forward blog!!

Welcome to the National Association for Fun blog. We are glad you stopped by. Having fun is, well fun.. but it's also healthy for you!  We plan to post interesting articles on the importance of having fun and ways to increase fun in your life. Please come by often and get involved in the conversation. Wishing all of you a fun and healthy life!