KIDS ZONE

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Beat The School Holiday Boredom With These Creative Ideas

The school holidays are great because they give us more family time. Who doesn’t want more family time? The only issue is that being stuck at home so much can lead to boredom, and as any mom knows, boredom usually leads to squabbles between the kids, which you don’t want. There is nothing worse than being trapped in a house with kids who are picking fights constantly with each other.

The key to beating off school break boredom is to keep your kids occupied as much as possible. Obviously, this is a task that is often easier said than done, but if you are smart about it, it is possible to beat school holiday boredom. The answer to preventing your kids from getting bored when stuck at home is crafting.

That’s right, arts and crafts are a great way to prevent your little ones from becoming overly bored while on school break. Like the idea of doing some arts and crafts projects with your kids? If the answer is yes, then read on for all the best creative art ideas for keeping your kids busy while stuck at home.

Lino printing

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Give each child a piece of lino, a pen, and a lino cutter. Ask them to draw a design onto their tile, or to draw it on paper first and then trace it onto their tile if they would prefer. Tell them to be creative, and pick whatever design they like to draw. Whether they opt to draw animals, patterns, or people, it doesn’t matter – let them be as creative as they like. Once they have drawn their design, show them how to use a tile cutter to cut it out. Then, once they have finished cutting, give them each paper, card, or a piece of material to print their design onto. Invest in a selection of different printing colors, so that they can create all manner of print designs, from black and white ones to ombre colored ones.

Do crayon art

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Got any crayons laying around the house that never gets used? Well, now you can put them to good use! Give each child a piece of paper and a white crayon, and ask them to draw a design on it – remind them that they won’t be able to see it. Then, give each child a watercolor paint palette and ask them to fill the page with a range of colors. As the paint crosses the wax from the crayons, it won’t stay, meaning that the pattern will be visible against the areas that the paint has taken to.

Tie dye

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Whether you use white t-shirts, blankets, sheets, or towels, it doesn’t matter; you can make some incredible pieces of art with tie dye. Twist whatever material you are using into any shape, apply rubber bands to it, and dip into your dye. Remove from the dye, twist the garment until all the water comes out of it, and then dip in fresh water, and squeeze it out until the water runs clear. Remove the rubber bands and place on the washing line to dry. While the item is drying, you should be able to clearly see the pattern that has been created.

Mosaic making

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Do your kids love to collage? If the answer is yes, then mosaic making could be a great art project for them. All you need is some plywood boards, mosaic tiles, glue, and grout. Show your children what mosaics look like and ask them to create their own designs, reminding them to ensure that the tiles are stuck close together on the board. For sticking the tiles down, cordless glue guns could work well, just as long as your children are old enough to safely use them. Once the glue has dried and all the tiles are in place, help your children to cover the entire design in grout, making sure that all the gaps are filled, followed by wiping the tiles clean of grout.

Salt dough

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Salt dough is a cheaper alternative to molding clay that works just as well. Mix together in a bowl, two cups of plain flour, one cup of salt, and one cup of water, stir the mixture together until a dough forms. Knead the dough, before splitting into portions for each person. The dough can be sculpted into any shape before being placed in a hot oven to bake until hard. Once cooled, the salt dough can be decorated with paint, before being covered in PVA glued to seal it.

12 Awesome Pinatas for Your Next Party

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As I work to plan this weekend’s birthday party for my two sons, my mind is on pinatas. I remember this being a huge part of childhood birthday parties. We would be blindfolded, handed a stick or bat and someone spun us around. Once done being spun around, we had to then use this baseball bat to try to whack the pinata to let loose all of that candy.

While this is a wonderful childhood memory, most pinatas were homemade whereas today you can hop online to purchase one that’s already made. And spinning to hit with a baseball bat? Say no more, there are now packages of gear for you to use that includes a blindfold and stick to hit the pinata. Having a party for younger kids? No problem, there’s even pull-string pinatas now. The options are endless, I hope you enjoy these pinatas I hand picked from Amazon to share with you.

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CRAFT TIME WITH KIDS

How to DIY a Face Shield

You can make a face shield with your kids at home using materials found at hardware or home improvement stores. While these face shields are not approved medical devices, they’re better than nothing.

These face shields can:

  • Protect against flying objects, splashes, liquids or droplets

  • Be sanitized with soap and water or sterilizers

  • Be worn over a mask or a bandana for extra protection

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What you'll need:

Clear plastic sheet/Acetate

Foam

Double-sided tape

Garter

Puncher

Scissors

Ruler

NOTE: Work with your parents for safety purposes

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Measure and cut the foam length 12 inches within 1.5 in thickness 1 inch.

Step 2: Attach the foam to the longer side of the plastic sheet with double-sided tape.

Step 3: Press down on the foam to ensure firm adhesion.

Step 4: Punch two holes on each side of the plastic sheet slightly below the foam.

Step 5: Insert the garter in the holes and double knot them inside the shield.

Step 6: Cut the edges of the plastic sheet into a rounded shape make sure that the garter and the foam are a line keep the shield flat so the user can freely adjust it for a snug fit.

Step 7: Wear it with a smile and stay safe!

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COLORING TIME

(CLICK IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD)

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The best free online games for PC: no download required

Looking for some of the best free online games to play right now? Publishers like Steam and Epic Games are busy locking horns over their digital storefronts and platforms, but there’s a rich world of fun browser games that can be accessed directly through the web. No launchers or two-factor authentication, no agonising downloads or hard drive space juggling, just instant, free online games.

The best free online games and browser games have even gone onto to inspire larger budget remakes and spin-offs, like My Friend Pedro and Kingdom of Loathing. Impressively, despite the obvious tech constraints developers have also managed to craft free online games to cover any genre you can imagine, so yes, you can play a 100-player battle royale in your browser. So whether you’re looking for something to sink a few minutes into or your next gaming habit, there’s a free online game for you.

We’ve tried to ensure this list caters to all sorts, all at the enviably low price of free.

Forge of Empires takes elements from the Civ and Age of Empires series and mixes them together to create one of the PC’s best free online games, no download required. You start off in the stone age with a few shabby huts and a couple of spearmen to prop up your humble enclave of humanity, and over many, many hours you’ll progress your people through several historical eras, researching new military, scientific, welfare, and cultural institutions. Combat and expansion play out in separate screens, offering a little more space for players to flex their tactical muscles.  Play Forge of Empires for free

GAME OF THRONES WINTER IS COMING

If you’re looking for an official Game of Thrones game then this is pretty much your only option on PC, and the fact that it’s a free online browser game doesn’t hurt either. You guide your very own lord on a path to greed and power on server map modeled after Westeros, complete with all the major landmarks you encounter in the novels and TV series. Your aim, as in an MMO strategy game, is to grow and accumulate wealth and power, taking over more and more land before you’re ready to launch an attack on a major stronghold like Storm’s End, The Eyrie, or King’s Landing. Aside from being able to add famous faces from the franchise to your army like Arya Stark, Jon Snow, and Daenerys Targaryen, one of the game’s best features is its JRPG-inspired battle scenes, which offer the kind of cinematic flair and scale that’s often missing from free browser games.  Play Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming for free

STRONGHOLD KINGDOMS

The MMORTS genre might not be as widely recognised as the best MMOs and MMORPGs, but it’s on the rise, and Stronghold Kingdoms is one of the best examples around. This massively multiplayer real-time strategy game casts you as a feudal lord or lady and sets you to work building and growing a medieval empire by besieging your rivals, researching invaluable new tech, and forming alliances with others. It does require a tiny download to play, but the download itself is tiny and the game should run on any rig. Like many free MMO RTS games, Stronghold Kingdoms is packed with depth if you’ve got the time to sink into it, with political struggles between players and large-scale wars to navigate on your rise to success. And sure, the graphics certainly look like they come straight from the late nineties, but they’re nothing if not charming.  Play Stronghold Kingdoms for free

TRAVIAN: LEGENDS

Travian has been knocking around for well over a decade, building up a loyal fanbase of MMO and strategy games enthusiasts and laying the foundations for many other entries on this list. Legends is its latest form, boasting gorgeous graphical upgrades while still being one of the few online games that doesn’t require a download. The gameplay is refreshingly simple with very few hidden mechanics: you choose one of a handful of factions, found your tribe, and grow from a ramshackle village into a fortified, technologically advanced empire. You can keep yourself to yourself if you want, but if you do want to branch out there are also trades, alliances, and plenty of warfare to throw your clan into at a moment’s notice. There is some waiting around for buildings and actions to complete, but if you treat this as a relaxing game then you won’t find it too egregious.  Play Travian: Legends for free

RAIL NATION

If you want to mix your love for trains with strategy then Rail Nation is less of a train simulation game, and more of a management game. It focuses on all the details, economic solutions, and power plays that come with running your very own railway empire. It does get into the details of trains, so there’s plenty to admire in Rail Nation, and it’s free-to-play. Starting off small, you’ll work your way up until you have a network of trains and stations, while strategically managing your workforce, profits, and allying with neighbouring train companies.  Play Rail Nation for free

CUISINE ROYALE

It may have started out as a joke, but Cuisine Royale is still pulling in steady player counts more than a year after its initial launch. The secret to their success? PUBG-like gameplay, steady updates that bring fresh content to the game, and a cosmetics-only free-to-play model. Cuisine Royale also offers its own tweaks to the established battle royale games formula. The most obvious one is that instead of military armour and equipment, every player has to use pots, pans, and various other pieces of kitchenware to keep themselves safe from bullets – hence why it’s called Cuisine Royale. Other neat tweaks like a severely reduced player count and simple WW2 games-inspired weaponry keep fights simple and competitive. If you’re looking for a semi-realistic, free-to-play BR game, then Cuisine Royale is one of the best currently around.  Play Cuisine Royale for free

FORGE OF EMPIRES

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