Friday, June 19, 2015

The Fourth of July

The Fourth of July: Facts & More


The Fourth of July is known as Independence Day in America. It was on that memorable day in 1772 that the president of Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. This formally freed the United States from the rule of Great Britain. It is commemorated each year to remind everyone of liberty and freedom.

Celebrations are conducted nationwide. Parades are usually held in the mornings. Speeches on patriotism are given by politicians. The flag is displayed in every public building. The most common tradition is the display of fireworks.  Firework displays are done during the evening hours, after dark.

The colorful firework displays are more elegant and beautiful when they are lighted against the dark skies and twinkling stars. Many people buy fireworks for their own personal show in the neighborhood.

It’s Time for Outdoor Fun

Many activities, such as baseball, outdoor parties and picnics are part of the Fourth of July celebrations. Since it is summer, it’s the perfect time for these outdoor events. Kids can play Frisbee, baseball, football or swim or play in a sandbox.

Food Plays an Important Role in Fourth of July Activities

Backyard barbecues are held everywhere. Hamburger and hotdogs are good choices for barbecue meals. You can vary the hamburger patties by using different kinds of meats, like veal, lamb and beef. You can mix some celery, onions and pickles in the meat. Use a little seasoning of salt and pepper. You can put in some egg and bread crumbs to keep the burger firm and moist.

Try a variety of hamburgers and see which ones are best enjoyed by your family and friends. The hamburgers can be given more zest by adding some barbecue sauce on the grill. If people prefer cheeseburgers over the plain burgers, you can use the standard Cheddar and Provolone cheese. You can make a typical burger more exotic by using Blue Cheese. 

Create your own special dips to go with your barbecue foods. There are many refreshing dips for summer. Mexican dips, such as salsa and black beans are very tasty and go well with all kinds of dishes.

Be sure the buns are soft and filled with sesame seeds. The buns should be able to absorb the juice oozing from the burgers. You should have relish, ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut available for the hotdogs.


Baked beans also go well with hotdogs. Let your guests mix and match the condiments for their burgers and hotdogs. Include an offering of chips, potato salad, corn on the cob and other favorite side dishes. And don't forget to include a dessert or two.

After a day of fun activities and lots of good food you will likely be ready to slow things down. End the day by relaxing with friends and family as you enjoy watching the fireworks light up the sky. 

From Everyone at Package From Santa -
Happy Fourth of July!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sun Safety

Sun Safety: Protecting Your Family 

Be careful of overexposure to the sun. The sun can be beneficial but too much sun can cause more harm than good. The sun emits ultraviolet rays which, over an extended length of time can result in burns, cancer and other adverse reactions. The intensity of the rays can vary depending on the day, time and location.

The rays can become more intense during noontime and at higher altitudes where there are fewer clouds. Although the body can provide some protection against the sun’s rays, too much exposure can result in extensive bodily damage. Overexposure can result in dry skin, premature aging and even skin cancer. You should protect your skin (and your family’s) from overexposure to the sun’s rays. 

Kids and the Sun

Children are very susceptible to overexposure. And during the warm months kids want to be outdoors. They go to the beach, they indulge in many outdoor sports and activities: they simply enjoy the warmth of the sun.

Babies are more liable to burns because of their thinner skin. You should keep babies in the shade. They should not be subjected to direct sunlight.

Older children are harder to control. They are more energetic and enjoy the outdoors. They do not realize the sun’s rays can reflect from other surfaces and harm them. For instance, people on the beach under an umbrella can still get burned because the sun’s rays reflect from the sand and the water.  

Sun Protection is a Must

Have your children use sunglasses and protective clothing when they are outdoors.  They should try to stay in the shade and avoid areas that reflect the sun’s rays, such as cement and glass. They should apply sunscreen on a regular basis. You can check the SPF factor to determine the amount of sunscreen to apply. Protect the lips with chap sticks. Sunglasses can prevent the glare of the sun’s rays from affecting the eyes. Make hats part of your kids’ regular attire when in the sun.

To help encourage healthy protection from the sun’s harmful rays, let your kids choose their type of protective clothes and sun hats. Most kids will tend to wear clothes that they choose themselves.


You’ll find lots of helpful content at this Package From Santa blog.  We cover everything from health and safety tips to ideas for holidays and special events to information about home and lifestyle hacks. Stay informed – visit often! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Kite Flying

Kite Flying: It's Not Just for Kids!


Do you remember the fun of flying a kite? Flying a kite can be a very exhilarating experience. There is a thrill of having a kite soar high in the skies and watching colorful kites fly can be very enjoyable.

You can put the kite in the air several ways. The more traditional way would be to run along an empty stretch until the kite becomes air borne. If the wind is strong, you can have someone hold the kite a distance away from you. When a strong gust of wind comes along, the person can let go of the kite and let the strong wind carry it upwards.

Up and Flying

Getting the kite into the air is just the start of flying a kite. You need to keep the kite flying. Otherwise, the kite will just fall down to the ground.  You have to pull the kite with your string and make it catch more wind so it will stay in the air. You have to pull the string and move around the field to keep the kite in the air.

A wide open field or along the beach are ideal places for flying a kite. Make sure the area is clear of stones, glass and rocks. You will be watching the kite and not paying much attention to the ground. There should be a constant steady flow of wind high in the air. You have to be alert because strong gusts and wind turbulence could make the kite fly in a haphazard manner. Make sure that any bystanders stay a reasonable distance away from you.

Kite Construction

The kite has to be sturdy. The frame should be lightweight to enable the kite to fly easily. It should be strong to withstand the strong gusts of wind. Kite materials, such as bamboo frame, silk paper, string and glue are available in hobby shops. You can also get basic instructions on making the kite.

Be sure the kite is well balanced and symmetrical in shape. Glue the paper on the frame and tie a string on the frame. It should be a long string. You hold the other end of the string and guide the kite while the kite is soaring in the air. Constant practice will make you and your entire family proficient in flying a kite.

The team at Package From Santa think kite flying can be an amazing family activity. If you agree, please share this post with others!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Springtime Allergies

Staying Ahead of Springtime Allergies

Springtime brings with it many things: from fun outdoor activities and games to cookouts and walks in the park. Unfortunately, spring can also mean dealing with allergies. For many kids, the first experience with springtime allergies happens between the ages of 2 and 5. These allergies can be associated with such triggers as weed pollen, mold spores, pet dander, or dust mites, among other allergens.

Some of the symptoms may seem like other types of illnesses. While a family history can play a role, it is not always an indicator that your child will develop allergies. We’ve gathered a list of some of the signs/symptoms and precautions for springtime allergies that you can be on-guard for.

Signs & Symptoms

1)      Congestion. Congestion is usually associated with colds, but if the problem lasts more than 2 or 3 days there’s a good chance that the stuffy or runny nose situation is related to an allergy.
2)      Fever-free. Unlike flus and other ‘bugs’, allergies do not result in a fever or body aches.
3)      Watery eyes. Allergies can cause the eyes to become watery and/or itchy.
4)      Ear troubles. Unfortunately, in some instances, allergies can result in ear infections.
5)      Rash. Allergies can lead to a skin rash, which may develop on the back, chest, or practically any area of the body.
6)      High pollen count = increased symptoms. When the pollen count goes up the chances for allergy symptoms is increased. If possible, keep your child indoors when the pollen count is elevated.

Care

There are plenty of over-the-counter allergy medications available, but it is always best to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Your doctor can determine if in fact, the symptoms are related to an allergy and he (or she) can make suggestions about the type of medications best-suited for your child’s particular needs. In some cases a prescription medication or allergy shots may be needed.

Minimizing the Problem

Preventing the spread of pollen, dander, etc. can be a helpful way to decrease the resulting problems. Adding a high-efficiency furnace filter and a HEPA filter to your vacuum can help prevent the circulation of allergens throughout your home.


Keep reading the Package From Santa blog for more helpful information related to kids’ health and other important issues.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Simple Craft Projects Are Important



Why Simple Craft Projects Are Important

You can get your children involved in the joy of crafting by starting them with simple crafts projects. As are exposed to easy to do crafts they can handle they will become increasingly interested. The completion of a craft project helps kids feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. On the flip-side, kids can get turned off from crafts when the projects are difficult. This leads to feelings of frustration and can make kids feel overly challenged.

Age and Experience Matter

Difficult and challenging crafts can be handled by kids with more experience and by older children. The goal is to ensure your children experience the joy of doing crafts and hobbies during their childhood. Teaching your kids about hobbies and crafts is an excellent way of spending quality time with them.

Getting Prepared

Although most families have a collection of craft-related materials, not everyone has the items needed to complete a craft project. Before starting it is important to make of list of the things you will need and gather those so they are on-hand.

For instance, to create a simple bead bracelet or other beaded project you will likely need many beads, thread or thin wire, clasps, and some tools, such as pliers and wire cutters. You should make sure your beads have small holes to insert the thin wire. Otherwise, you will have to drill small holes through the beads. There are many inexpensive colorful beads of different sizes available. Make sure to have some beads in the same size and color and others in varying sizes and colors.

Creativity is Part of the Fun

Designing is the most important aspect in crafts. You should allow your children to come up with their own designs. Bead necklaces, bracelets and earrings are fairly simple projects that most kids can handle. You can give some suggestions and show pictures of different styles, but it is important to encourage kids to use their imagination and creativity. In the end this helps kids feel more pride in their work.

Keep the Interest Alive

As kids continue to try out their craft skills and creativity they become more and more proficient. There may even come a time when they can give their craft projects as gifts or possibly sell the items. 

You can help encourage your kids to stay involved in crafting and related hobbies. A simple craft project could develop into a hobby that lasts a lifetime.

Do you like learning about activities for kids and family-related topics? If so you will want to bookmark this Package From Santa blog. Visit often to keep up with helpful posts.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.: Words to Guide Us

 


Life is a Journey

Life is a journey and it is not always easy to stay on track. Fortunately, we can all benefit from meaningful words of inspiration and hope from exceptional leaders and forward thinkers. In fact, many of these infamous quotes can be ideal teaching tools for our kids.
 
Martin Luther King Jr. was a great and courageous man. He fought for what he believed in. He spoke his beliefs to everybody. He was honest and truthful in all this undertakings. He encouraged everyone to fight for their rights. His actions and words have spread throughout the country.
His words are just as meaningful and relevant today as they were many years ago. Take a few minutes off your hectic schedule and reflect on his sayings. Pass it on to your children. Explain to them the importance and significance in today's age.
 
Stop Bullying

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The many wars and terrorism happening worldwide can only be combated through peace and love. Children should never be bullies. They should be positive and understanding in their actions. Find out if your child is being bullied or challenged to physical fights in school. Explain to them the acts of compassion, understanding and kindness. Encourage and support kids in doing the right things.
 
Another of King's wise sayings is “Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek”. Many people look forward to winning the prize regardless of how they get it. We should make children aware that how we win the prize is just as important as winning the prize. For instance, lying and cheating are not good ways of becoming rich and successful. Some people talk maliciously about others and spread bad rumors about them. They get recognized and accepted by destroying the personality and credibility of others. Help your kids recognize the importance of becoming successful through their own merits. Martin Luther King Jr. practiced this saying avidly.
 
Life is a Journey

A third saying is “The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important.” It is natural to want to live a long life. But what is more important is living a life that has meaning and importance not only to you but to others. Make it a point to role model for your kids, let them see that how you live your life is important. The journey is important!
 
Help Guide Your Kids Through Life

There are many other sayings of Martin Luther King, Jr. All of the sayings are full of wisdom and honesty. Quotes from wise people like Martin Luther King, Jr. can be a great way to teach children about how to succeed in life. Explain how these principles can be applied to everyday life. 
 
This Package From Santa blog provides tips and ideas about issues related to kids, family, and more. Please visit often to stay up to date.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Year Family Traditions



New Year Family Traditions


Making family traditions for special occasions, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, is a good practice. Traditions help the family remember the past and strengthen the bond between family members. The New Year is a special occasion that should also have family traditions. 

By this time Santa Claus is back at the North Pole resting up. He spent lots of time reading specially crafted letters to Santa and made decisions about who is naughty and who is nice. Then he made his long journey to deliver gifts to kids all across the world. He is tired and probably sleeping right now.

But that doesn't mean you should be sleeping too! Don’t sleep the day away on January 1st. Many families fail to have traditions because everybody is tired on New Year's Day. They are resting from staying up late celebrating New Year's Eve. You can have traditions for New Year's Eve and another set of traditions for New Year's Day. The traditions can make the New Year events more meaningful and memorable.

 
For New Year's Eve, you can have some punch and fruit to eat as you welcome the New Year. A family camp-out can be a great way to welcome the New Year. Try camping in the house – kids will love the ‘adventure’ and you will be much more comfortable. You can set the tent up in the living room. You can play games and tell stories around the tent while waiting for midnight.

You can spend the time discussing various resolutions. Some resolutions may be difficult to keep. You can also talk about ways of keeping the resolutions. While you will probably make well-planned resolutions designed to make you a better person, your kids will likely have different ideas about resolutions. Remind your kids, and yourself, that resolutions should not be too difficult to maintain. Otherwise, it’s easy to lose interest in working to meet the goals. 

New Year resolutions should not be too easy either. If they are you (or your kids) will not feel a real sense of accomplishment when the goal is met. After sharing each other’s resolutions you can write them down. Each family member can make their own predictions about which resolutions will be kept. You can then review these next year as you again celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another.

Whoever has the most correct predictions can win prizes. You can also have another set of predictions about other matters, such as world events and sports. This will make the children become more aware of happenings around the world.

Special Meals Can Become Family Traditions

On New Year's Day, you can have brunch, a combined breakfast and lunch meal. This will give everyone a chance to sleep late. If people are still tired, you can have a New Year dinner instead. It is important the family eat together on the first day of the year. The family meal produces a closer bonding among the family members.

Clean-Up Time

This can also be the time to put away the Christmas decorations. All the family members can pitch in and help keep the decorations for the next year. If you have an artificial tree, you may want to pack and store it away. Don't forget to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Family members tend to become too familiar with one another and assume many basic practices. A Happy New Year greeting is always appreciated. 

Happy New Year to All!