Fun Activities to do with Kids

The next time you have a houseful of restless kids tired of snowy or rainy days, try one (or more) of these fun activities:

Paper airplanes have been around for ages because they’re fun.  Instead of just making paper airplanes, have the kids decorate them, too.  It can inspire creativity and kill a little time.  Once the airplanes are made, see whose plane can fly the farthest, straightest, or highest.  You could even set up targets like hoops, bullseyes, or maybe an empty wastebasket.

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If your kids love jigsaw puzzles, working together to assemble one can be a great way to spend an afternoon.  For a slight twist, assemble a fairly easy puzzle and turn it upside down over the picture of an animal or one of their favorite movie characters.  Remove pieces one at a time until someone correctly guesses what’s underneath.

Blow up a balloon for each child and see which child can use their hands, head, or feet to keep the balloon bouncing and off of the floor the longest.  Alternately, have the kids work as one group or two teams to keep multiple balloons in the air.  This one can improve dexterity and concentration and also involves some running around, which is a great way to burn excess energy.

Split kids up into two teams.  Put them on opposite sides of the room with a clear line halfway between the teams.  Next, take wadded paper, balloons, sock balls, or anything else small and throwable (without being dangerous or breakable, of course) and split the items evenly.  At your signal (a whistle or maybe music starting), each team starts tossing anything on their side of the line to the other side of the line.  Whoever has the least amount of “garbage” on their side when time is up (another whistle or music stopping) is the winner.  This is another simple activity that will burn some energy.

Gather up a bunch of clothespins or extra pens and pencils and a mason jar or similar container.  Taking turns, have each child stand on a chair and try to land the clothespins (or whatever) in the jar.  Whoever lands the most is the winner.

Have the children all take off from a starting line and run to a predetermined line or point.  When they reach this line, have them lie down on their backs with their hands folded across their chests.  Once in this position, the challenge is to return to a standing position without moving their arms and then run back to the start/finish line.  Another great energy burner that also helps with coordination and focus.

Use fly swatters or improvised paddles made of paper plates and popsicle sticks to bat a balloon back and forth (sort of like badminton).  You can either award individual points ping-pong style, or have two or more teams competing to keep their balloon in the air the longest.

It can be hard to keep kids from making each other and you bonkers when they get bored after being stuck inside for too long, so keeping a few tricks up your sleeve to keep them occupied, especially if your activity inspires creativity or physical activity, can be a great way to make some memories as they learn great lessons.

The Best Small Portable Air Conditioners for Hot Atlanta Summers

In places where summer heat’s accompanied by high humidity levels, an air conditioner can be crucial to keeping your cool and staying comfortable.  There are so many portable air conditioners available that finding the right one to meet your needs without breaking the bank (either on initial purchase or in terms of your cooling bill) can be a challenge.  A basic understanding of how portable air conditioners work and what features will best meet your needs can make the process a little less challenging.

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The first thing to understand about how air conditioners work has to do with dehumidification.  All units are designed to remove moisture from the air, but some do it better than others.  If you live out west (or some other area where the air stays dry), dehumidification isn’t as big a concern for you as it is for someone who lives in a place where relative humidity numbers can be nearly as high as the temperature.  Manufacturers don’t actually make models designed for dry versus humid climates, but if dehumidification is a concern for you, you want to make sure that any model you consider does that job well.  Spending less for a model that isn’t superior at removing moisture from the air will usually leave you regretting your decision.

Deciding how much cooling power you need can be a little tricky.  You’ll see that AC units measure cooling capacity in tons, but what does that mean?  Back before air conditioners, buildings were cooled by blocks of ice.  The amount of cooling an actual ton of ice could accomplish in 24 hours became the basis for measuring an AC’s cooling ability.  Since few, if any, of us have any idea how cool a ton of ice can make a room, this doesn’t exactly help, does it?  Unfortunately, it isn’t really possible to come up with an accurate chart of how many tons of cooling power you need based simply on room size since several other factors also come into play.  One of those factors is how hot your weather gets.  If you live in a place with extreme heat and/or humidity conditions, you’ll need more tonnage simply because your unit will have to work harder to maintain your desired temperature than someone who lives in less extreme conditions.  In addition to the weather in your area, your yard plays a part in the process, too.  Specifically, whether or not you have a trees or other foliage offering shade or blocking direct sunlight can play in part in determining how hard your air conditioner will have to work.  Inside the house, features like high ceilings, windows (and whether or not they’re energy efficient), overall room size, and even your roof (again due to energy efficiency issues) all play a part in determining how many tons of cooling power you should look for in your new AC.  A qualified (and trustworthy) AC retailer or specialist will be able to help you determine what your specific needs are based on the above factors.

An air conditioner’s filtration system is an important consideration, too.  Filters are responsible for removing dirt and dust from the air being drawn into the AC unit.  Over time (how much depends on how dusty or pet-hair-filled your air is), filters will become clogged and need to be cleaned or replaced.  If you opt for a model with disposable filters, keep that recurring expense in mind when you’re comparing prices.  Failure to properly maintain your air conditioner’s filter can result in your unit having to work harder to get the job done, and it could even result in serious mechanical problems.

If you’re looking for a unit that will be mounted in an open window, make sure that the unit will fit the space before you buy it.  You also want to be certain that the unit will sit level so that it can drain properly.  If your unit is smaller than the window opening, you can find relatively inexpensive and easy-to-install materials designed to fill any gaps.

Visit the page: best small portable air conditioner for reviews of top models, including pros and cons of each.