6 Scientific Reasons You Should Smile More Often

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Your smile is a more powerful tool than you give it credit for. If used frequently, it can bring happiness, comfort and strength to any of your relationships – as well as yourself. At a scientific level, it does even more than that, meaning it’s important to flash those chops at every opportunity.

So the next time you consider skipping the dentist, consider the ramifications of such an act. Keeping those whites pearly and gums healthy will help you on the road to smiling heaven, no matter your age, gender or race.

So, in an attempt to brighten your day, here are 6 scientific reasons you should be wielding the unparalleled power of a smile!

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Smiling makes you look more attractive

Firstly, a quick test. Look at your wife, husband or partner. When do they look happier, prettier and healthier? Is it when they have a face that looks rather grumpy, or when they’re positively beaming?

The answer is the latter, and the same is true of you too. Your smile makes you look friendlier, more approachable and yes, more attractive. To other people, it’s a sign of confidence and happiness, and that’s something you need in everyday life. Even if you don’t feel particularly attractive inside, a smile can set you on the right path.

But if this is the case, ask yourself… why? Is it your teeth, gums, lips? Those not happy with their chops can look into crowns or dentures, and a dental clinic with Injex facilities can make any procedures pain free. Before you know it, you’ll have a smile that makes you feel attractive too! And there’s no greater asset than that.

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Smiling decreases stress levels

Have you ever been having a rough day, YouTube searched some funny cat videos and had a good old giggle? No? I don’t believe you. You must have! Whether it’s cat videos, people falling over or something else entirely, the power of a laugh can’t be understated.

That laugh can improve the outlook of your day, and change it from dreary to delightful! Smiling through stressful events and days has been scientifically proven to help you cope with them. It might not sound like it can do much, but a simple smile can reduce stress hormones and stop your heart from pounding.

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A smile can boost your immune system

Your body is a complex system of vessels, organs and cells. It’s hard to predict, hard to manage and hard to look after – at the best of times! Your immune system, the part of your body that protects you from diseases and illnesses, is one such thing that’s not under your control. Or is it?

According to scientific research, a simple smile can help your body release a lot more white blood cells than it usually does. These cells are critical to a healthy immune system, helping fight against dangerous infections.

White blood cells actively combat pathogens – the organisms that cause a variety of diseases. These cells are produced by stem cells in the bone marrow, called hematopoietic stem cells. When you smile, the body produces more of these cells than normal, which put up an additional line of defense if you’re feeling under the weather.

So the next time you have a cold? Smile. Feeling sick, or have a headache? You know what to do. There’s a reason that people recommend bed rest and time off work when an illness strikes. It’s because it’s pretty hard to smile at work!

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Your productivity will be increased

If we combine all the other benefits of regular smiling to create one happy package, then this good mood can set you on the right track for a working day. If you’ve ever tried to stay productive when you’re down, sad or unhappy, you’ll know how hard it can be. That’s why it’s important to remain positive, especially when you have a lot of work on your plate.

Let’s look at this using an example. Employees at Google headquarters are allowed to ride around on colorful bikes, slide down slides and eat free food. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a workplace ripped right out of a fever dream. All these positive emotions in the workplace lead to smiley employees, which leads to productive employees.

You can try and implement some of that feel-good factor in your own workplace too. If you work from a home office, put up a mood board and decorate it with happy photos and memorabilia. If you work in an office building, choose a seat that provides the best view of the sunlight, or add a funny image to your desktop background.

In short, a simple smile can work wonders for coping with the (often) arduous nature of full-time work. Remember that the next time your boss is in a foul mood!

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Smiles catch on

You’ve probably heard this saying before, but is it grounded in any sort of biological truth? Well, yes – yes it is. Whether it’s two strangers or two relatives, a smile can be passed on just as easily as the baton in a relay race.

According to studies of facial movements, smiling releases endorphins which help to relax you and others. And what does a relaxed person do? Smile. A lot.

You’ve probably experienced this in your daily life, without even realizing. When you get on the bus and smile at the driver, they’ll usually be smiling back. If you smile and make jokes with a particularly moody friend, eventually, you’ll break them down. It’s all to do with those chops!

And again, back to the workplace example, a smile can improve your relationships with coworkers. If you’re always moody and grumpy, are you likely to foster a strong chemistry with your peers? Probably not. A smile goes a long way folks!

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You will look more approachable

Ever been to a job interview and been absolutely terrified of the grumpy-looking employer? Imagine how different things would be if he had a big, beaming grin. It would certainly have made you feel more at ease, and would’ve reflected positively on the interview as a result.

And, yet again, there’s solid scientific evidence to support this approachability theory. Numerous studies have shown that a strong smile can impact the customer/seller relationship in a good way. This means that if you work retail, for example, a smile will make people buy more things from you.

Of course, there’s more at play than that, but the principle stands. By possessing a bubbly exterior, you increase your likeability and make yourself look more appealing. This can work wonders if you frequently interact with customers in person, and could boost many a sales deal.

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For some health benefits, we either have to spend a lot of money or wait quite a long time. Whether it’s pills or surgery, there aren’t that many beauty products that work instantaneously.

But now you know that there are. Smiles are free, easy and unlimited, and they can do a lot more good that you realize. You won’t be able to move mountains or cure blindness, but since when is it a bad thing to inject some positivity into the world?

So, the next time you’re having a rough day, or you notice someone else is down, flash them a smile. By keeping your teeth healthy, visiting the dentist and eating a healthy diet, you can keep this most potent of weapons in tip-top shape. It’s a powerful tool that I encourage you to use!

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou is happy to bring you this refreshing new content as a collaborative effort with other parties to contribute helpful, high quality posts and family friendly topics! Lots of interesting info coming in the days ahead on a variety of helpful subjects. Please note: I only share articles that I feel are of value or interest to my readers.

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Great Wet Summer Fun Ways To Make Kids Smile

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Great Wet Summer Fun Ways To Make Kids Smile

Have you ever started the summer with the high hopes that the kids will be happy to be out of school with a long break and will occupy themselves? Not going to happen. “School’s Out” simply means more work for mom or guardian in most cases. I am here to share with you the fun and fabulous ways to occupy your kids or grandkids with wet and water-filled excitement!

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Squirt Gun Battles

There’s nothing quite like the imagination of a child. Seeing my son and daughter cleverly imagining they are on an island with pirates surrounding them as they use their squirt guns to battle the invading pirates is quite an entertaining sight. I’m sure your children will be happy to endure some sunshine and fresh air for a chance to battle it out against siblings, friends, cousins, or mom, dad, and uncles for a wet version of the game “capture the flag”!

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Water Balloon Toss

Get ready to get drenched on this exciting summer must do! Kids and adults of all ages never seem to turn down a chance for the great age-old game of water balloon toss! Find some type of bucket to hold the water bombs (what my kids like to call them) and fill it with as many as you can.

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Keep this outside of course, and invite neighbors kids to come over for an afternoon of snacks and good, clean, wet and wild fun! A referee is usually needed to keep the kids lined up in teams of two with one on each side to toss the water balloons back and forth to. Whichever team lasts the longest with tossing their balloon and not busting it gets a point. Keep score for each team and once the bucket is empty, let the kids know which team won. Give them all an ice cream or popsicle party afterwards to enjoy while drying off.

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Swimming

It’s time to consider taking the plunge in your private swimming pool, purchasing a little kiddie pool, or buying passes to the local community pool. Having the freedom to go take the kids swimming whenever you want to is such a blessing. Beware though – your family pooch may just jump in with you to cool off too!

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My little ones love going to swim at both the local Legoland waterpark as well as in their own personal kiddie pool out back. It helps to pick up some pool toys for use in the kiddie pool like a water table too for added activities and enjoyment. Kids will love to use their imaginations scooping and pouring water into cups or little plastic teapots.

So whether you are in the mood for public diving performances, backyard splashes, or a game of hide and sneak with the squirt guns, you can be sure to please your kids and grandkids this summer by using the simple wet and water-filled suggestions found here. Enjoy your summer and may it be a cool one!

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5 Simple Confidence Boosting Tips

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We all need a bit of a boost at times. Life brings many challenges, and some of them are difficult to face. We deal with loss, disappointment, and stress. This is in addition to problems faced on a global scale. Though we try to remain positive, there are times when things get us down. We feel ‘less than’ and ‘not good enough.’ During those times, there are a few simple things you can do to boost your confidence.

  1. Accept

Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes we do the wrong thing and make mistakes. This is being human. Accept this quickly and move on. Work out what went wrong, and take steps to remedy it. It’s not about the thing that went wrong; it’s what you did to fix it that counts.

It’s also worth taking stock and working out why this happened. You can then put steps in place to avoid it happening in the future.

  1. Outward Changes

We all have bad days, and some are worse than others. There are times when we don’t feel like getting out of bed, let alone leaving the house. It can take a huge effort of will to put one foot in front of the other. On those days, try anything you can to make you feel a little better.

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Though we know that personal growth comes from within, our appearance is still important. Looking great can sometimes give you the boost you need to get you through the day. If you look good, chances are you will feel better too.

There are many things you can do to present a confident exterior:

  • Try a different hairstyle. There are lots of examples and tutorials online.
  • Put on some makeup and a show-stopping, lip plumping gloss.
  • Wear high heels.
  • Wear bright colors.
  • Accessorize your outfit.
  1. Smile

Speaking of outward appearances, try smiling, even if you don’t feel like it. Scientific evidence shows that the simple act of smiling makes us feel better. Smiling affects your brain, relieves stress, and relaxes your body. It is also contagious. Try smiling at a stranger and see if they smile back.

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  1. Encourage Others

Help others by boosting their confidence. There are several ways you can go about this:

  • Smile (see above).
  • Verbal praise for something they have done.
  • Written praise in the form of an email or note.
  • A ‘thinking of you’ card.
  • Asking how they are.
  • Offering to help.
  • Suggesting a quick coffee or lunch.

Encouraging others helps them, and it helps you too. It feels good to assist other people and it can be empowering.

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  1. Go Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Trying something you haven’t done before can help boost your confidence. You can pat yourself on the back for trying something that you didn’t feel comfortable with. And the sense of achievement you feel can perk up your mood.

 
The above are simple, confidence boosting tips to make you feel better. However, we recognize that there are some problems that require more than a quick fix. On these occasions, you may need to seek the help of other people. Either a friend, family member, or professional guidance from a therapist or your church pastor may help. But for simple, everyday problems try the above. You might be surprised by the results.

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou is excited to bring you lots of  fresh, new content as a collaborative effort with other parties to contribute high quality posts and family friendly topics! Tons of great info coming soon on a variety of helpful topics. Please note: I only share articles that I feel are of value or interest to my readers.

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ESV Family Devotional Bible by Crossway

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ESV (English Standard Version) Family Devotional Bible by Crossway

I was very excited to receive a free copy of the ESV Family Devotional Bible from Crossway to review in exchange for my honest opinion. Special thanks to the sponsor for this great opportunity to share a Bible fit for families who love to spend quality time in God’s Word together. Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win one for your family!

Within the pages of this ESV Family Devotional Bible are some really cool features! Not only does it include some great illustrations that are helpful for visualizing the Bible Stories represented, but these devotions for families also include Questions For The Family and a Key Verse. Another neat bonus is the smart highlighted note at the end of the family devotional page that shows where the next devotional in the Bible is located for your family to continue forward in their study.

I’m sure if your family is similar to mine in always being on the lookout for great devotionals from the Bible to use in teaching our children, then you will most likely enjoy purchasing a copy of this ESV Family Devotional Bible to have on hand in your own home. Educating our children about the truths of God’s Word cannot be taken lightly. This Bible does a fantastic job presenting these family devotions throughout it’s pages in an appropriate tone and with an insightful message that fits the passages of the Bible it’s representing. The follow-up questions and focus on the Key Verse are an added bonus that draws it all together. Very effective presentation and easy to lead your family in a devotional with.

“The ESV FAMILY DEVOTIONAL BIBLE is a hardbound colorful Bible.  It retells 130 key stories from the Bible with full color illustrations for each story, as well as placed within the Bible text where it is found.  The stories are simplified and easy for children of all ages to understand.  
The ESV Family Devotional Bible is designed to help families read and apply God’s Word together. This full-color edition features the complete ESV text interspersed with engaging illustrations and gospel-centered devotions related to key Bible stories—guiding families through the entirety of God’s Word over the course of a year. Each devotion also includes discussion questions and suggestions for additional reading, helping families develop a habit of reading the Bible together and applying its truth to all of life.”
Hope you’ll enjoy picking one of these ESV Family Devotional Bible’s up for your family. Use it well and strengthen your bonds with your relationship with the Lord as a family.
Follow Crossway on Social Media or purchase a copy of the ESV Family Devotional Bible:
 #ESVFamilyDevotionalBible

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.” Love2EncourageYou is not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social media channel.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Prize: ESV Family Devotional Bible

Date: June 27-July 2nd at midnight EST

Open to USA and Canada. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Void where prohibited.

Enter through the giveaway entry form below:

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“Wise Guys” by Kent Evans, Teaches Men Wisdom

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“Wise Guys” by Kent Evans, Teaches Men Wisdom

Trying to bring some positive encouragement and uplifting messages to the men in our life right now. Here’s a great book called, “Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom From The Men Around You” by author Kent Evans with Rob Suggs. Forward by best selling author: Kyle Idleman.

Proverbs 4:7 NLT says, “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do”.  This book is full of inspired thoughts and ideas to help the men in our lives glean the guidance and wise counsel they need from the godly men around them. This would make a wonderful gift to a dad, grad, grandfather, boyfriend, husband, uncle, friends, and lay leaders at your church. Find a way to offer this awesome book to every guy you know! You’ll be giving them a blessing!

I just love seeing amazing books like this for Christians to grow in their walk and build godly friendships. Wise Guys helps men grow through learning from each other. Pick up your copy today!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a copy of the book for review. . I received  a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. However, I only share items I feel are of value or interest to my readers.

 

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Gearing Up For A SUPER Summer With PJ Masks!

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Gekko's Super Gekko Sense

Hello my friends! Guess what? We are a PJ Masks FANS Family! That’s right! I even sport a purple mask on occasion and make my kids giggle too!  I’m so excited to share with you today that three all-new action-packed episodes of the top-rated PJ Masks will be airing this summer! The new shows, featuring the dynamic trio – Catboy, Owlette and Gekko – are all set to debut on the Disney Junior Channel beginning Friday, June 24. The fun-filled adventures include:

“Catboy Squared”/“Gekko’s Super Gekko Sense” – Friday, June 24, at 9:00 a.m.
In “Catboy Squared,” Catboy’s desire to have everything his way gets out of hand when Romeo’s multiplying machine accidentally makes lots of Catboy copies. With every Catboy insisting on his way or the highway, Romeo might finally take over the world. In “Gekko’s Super Gekko Sense,” Night Ninja challenges the PJ Masks to a game of Capture the Flag with the PJ Mask HQ as the prize. But when Gekko doesn’t feel his powers will earn them the victory, he makes up a new power that could cost them the victory.
(Check out this exciting episodic clip from “Gekko’s Super Gekko Sense”!)

“Owlette and the Owlteenies”/“Gekko’s Blame Campaign” – will be airing on Friday, July 15, at 9:30 a.m.
When Night Ninja finally pushes the Ninjalinos too far in “Owlette and the Owlteenies,” they become Owlette’s new sidekicks. But when Owlette forgets what it means to be a good leader, the Ninjalinos cause some chaos of their own. In “Gekko’s Blame Campaign,” the mini-car that Greg borrowed from Cameron goes missing after he doesn’t take good care of it. And when it turns up in the nighttime powered up by Luna Girl, Gekko’s desire to not take the blame allows the villainess to nearly destroy HQ.

“Owlette and the Moonflower”/“Slowpoke Gekko” – August (date still to be determined, but will be announced once available)
In “Owlette and the Moonflower,” Luna Girl uses her Luna Beam to create a giant evil moonflower and once it blooms, its seeds will scatter throughout the city and turn it into her very own giant weed garden. Owlette won’t admit how little she knows about plants and each of her plans get the weed closer and closer to blooming. In “Slowpoke Gekko,” Gekko has to learn to not get distracted if he wants to stop Romeo from using his super slow ray to take over the world.

You’re not going to believe this – but on top of all the crazy, awesome excitement coming with the PJ Masks new episodes, you are in for an IMMEDIATE treat right now! In addition to the premiering episodes, the first-ever PJ Masks app, PJ Masks: Moonlight Heroes, has just soared into the iTunes, Google Play and Amazon app stores! Woo-hoo! The FREE app lets players embark on exciting nighttime adventures with the PJ Masks team: fans can play as Catboy and use his speed and agility to overcome challenges;  engage Gekko’s ability to stick to walls and run up the side of buildings; and take to the sky with Owlette to fly over the city’s rooftops! With the familiar music and special sound effects from the hit TV series, PJ Masks: Moonlight Heroes lets kids immerse themselves in the exciting world of their favorite heroes!

PJMasks Moonlight Heroes App

PJ Masks is a colorful and inventive CGI-animated series from Entertainment One that follows 6-year-old Connor, Amaya and Greg, who transform into their dynamic superhero alter egos, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, when they put on their pajamas at night and activate their special animal amulets. Together, the three friends embark on action-packed capers, solving mysteries, having thrilling nighttime adventures, and learning valuable life lessons all along the way.

You won’t want to miss out on all the amazing summer fun with this new PJ Masks app and the upcoming new episodes on TV! Stay tuned for more thrilling PJ Masks fun in the weeks and months ahead!

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Worried About a Break Out Of Spots? Don’t Be!

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Every woman wants clear skin that they can be proud of just like the celebrities. But, before you get to that point, you have to take care of spots. Yes, spots have been plaguing your skin for years, and it is about time they stopped. Even though it is nothing like your teenage years, it is still enough to cause you to despair when you look in the mirror. There is nothing more conspicuous and less appealing than an angry spot. If you are still fighting spots on a daily basis, here are a few tips that will help you win the war.

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Change Your Diet

Spots occur because the bacteria in your body clog your pores. As the body tries to push the spot out, the skin can become infected. This is when you have to deal with blackheads and whiteheads. And, it gets worse when the spot gets ready and aggressive. The trick is to rid your body of the bacteria that causes clogged pores. Then, your skin will be as free as a bird. Start by omitting pore clogging foods from your diet. If you aren’t sure what they are, just do a quick Google search. To make spots less likely, you can also eat foods that help clear the skin. You probably know them already, but foods like leafy greens are a big help.

Pop Them

Lots of women think that this is a big no-no when it comes to spots. And, when the spot is so far along that is true. But, when it is young, popping a spot doesn’t do much damage. The reason spots become a problem is due to an infection. So, if you can get rid of them before they are infected, your skin will be much better off as a result. Any blackheads or whiteheads that you see need dealing with straight away as these are the main culprits. It isn’t nice, but get your fingernails underneath the skin and push. It will hurt, yet the relief will wash away the pain.

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Wear Less Makeup

Your makeup is full of chemicals, and guess what that does to your skin? Yes, it clogs your pores. You can relieve the situation by implementing a comprehensive beauty regime. That means cleaning your face with antibacterial wipes and moisturizing to replace any lost moisture. But, the best option is not to wear as much in the first place. Once it’s on your face, the chemicals will have an effect whether you wipe them off or not. Or, another alternative is to try makeup that is less likely to cause your skin harm. There are plenty of companies that make less harmful makeup, and it isn’t hard to find.

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Moisturize

Skin that glows and looks good is skin that is moist. The moisture in your skin allows it breathe freely and look great in the process. Your everyday life might take the moisture out of your skin, which is why it is important to replace it at night. A good moisturizer will keep your skin glowing from night to day. All you have to do is make sure you apply it in the morning and at night.

You don’t have to worry about spots. With these tips, they will become a thing of the past.

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou is proud to bring you this refreshing new and helpful content as a collaborative effort with other parties to contribute high quality posts and family friendly topics! Lots of great info coming in the days ahead on a variety of helpful subjects. Please note: I only share articles that I feel are of value or interest to my readers.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Teen Active During Summer Break

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5 Ways to Keep Your Teen Active During Summer Break

We all know that teens today can often be seen glued to their electronic devices whether it’s texting each other, using social media, or playing games.  During the school year, many teens are involved in different extra-curricular activities such as dance, sports, music lessons, and so on.  What about the summer vacation months when all of that comes to a pause?  How do we keep our teenagers from zoning out on the electronics now that they aren’t spending most of their day in school and their afternoons in their activity of choice?  Yes, there are all of the expensive ways to keep them active such as attending sporting events, theme parks and more, but here are some wallet-friendly ideas to get your teenager up and moving about and still having quality family time on a budget!

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Bowling and Skating

Probably two of my teenage daughter’s favorite active things to do are bowling and skating.  Most towns have a bowling alley and a skating rink, but if not, there is sure to be one in one of the surrounding cities close to you.  Both activities engage most of the main muscles groups therefore giving your child exercise without them even knowing it!  These are also both great activities to do as a family.  You may not be as nimble on the skate floor as you were back in the day, but it will get you moving as well as give your kid some entertainment watching you try to keep up!  Bowling and skating can generally both be done for under $10 per person in most areas, and the majority of skating rinks and bowling alleys offer specials depending on the time of year and day of the week.

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Swimming

Another great way to get your teen off of the couch and moving is swimming.  If you don’t personally have a pool or know someone who does, a lot of towns have community pools that charge under $5 to swim.  Again, this is another appropriate activity that will engage all of your child’s muscle groups and chances are, they aren’t going to complain about splashing around in the cool water on a hot summer day – just be sure to load up on the sunscreen!  Bring along some water guns or diving rings and have a friendly family competition – chances are you will also meet other families and possibly new friends for both you and the kids!

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Nature Walks and Camping

Some even cheaper fun things to do with the older kids this summer would be taking nature walks and camping.  Nature walks may not seem like something a teenager would enjoy but, most teens do enjoy a bit of friendly competition.  Before starting out, set a goal of who can spot the largest variety of wildlife, fauna, or whatever strikes a chord with your teen and let them choose the prize for the winner.  If they get to choose the prize, they will be more likely to be willing and even excited to participate!  Camping is usually one of those love it or hate it things and when you are camping in an area with no cell signal or Wi-Fi connectivity, teens aren’t likely to love it.  Encourage them to still bring their phones or cameras so they can take pictures which they can later use to show off the family trip or maybe even enter into a photo contest. Bring along board games and cards so you can play games when it is too dark to go exploring and don’t forget to bring the s’mores!

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It Doesn’t Have To Cost A  Lot

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to get your family moving and active.  Simply look around, think creatively, and if all else fails, contact your local city hall and find out what activities are going on in the area in the upcoming weeks.  No matter what you choose to do, engaging your teenager in a fun family activity that doesn’t involve being “plugged in” will be beneficial to everyone physically, emotionally, and mentally and will create memories your teens will one day share with their children.

What suggestions do you have for budget-friendly activities for teens this summer? Leave a comment and share with us.

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Love2EncourageYou Contributor: Liz H.

Guest Blogger/Skilled Virtual Assistant: Introducing Liz H! She’s a  Christian mom of 2 (infant and teen), skilled in copy writing, typing, organization, book keeping, and research. Virtual Assistant for hire at reasonable rates. Themed blog posts for sale at $15/post including 1-2 pics. You can contact Liz H. at lizk29@outlook.com!

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Family Vacation Planning Made Simple

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Are you celebrating a special occasion this summer? Have you been tasked with arranging a break away with your extended family? If so, you’re probably feeling both excited and stressed. It can be tough to please everyone and logistics for group travel can be a nightmare. If you’re looking for a hassle-free guide to organizing a trip, look no further. These simple steps will hopefully make the planning process a piece of cake.

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Choosing a date and location

Perhaps the first things you need to do are choose the date and location. Send a message around everyone who is invited and see when people are available. You can use apps and software programs to show dates that suit everyone. Once you’ve got a date in mind, you should also have numbers. You can then start talking about possible destinations. Encourage everyone to share ideas and see which options appeal to most people. If there isn’t a clear winner, hold a vote and go with the majority.

Transport and getting around

Getting a large group of people from A to B can be tricky. But not if you plan ahead. If you’re traveling to a resort, campsite or holiday park, you can book a transfer for everyone. If you’re going to a city for the weekend, you could charter a bus. Check out Shofur.com for ideas and prices. If you can book group travel beforehand, you can usually save money. It’s also much easier to organize private travel than to hire a series of taxis or get everyone on the same local bus or train.

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Accommodation

Wherever you’re going, there’s likely to be options when it comes to accommodation. Have a look online and weigh up the pros and cons of different types of lodgings. If you’re staying in the city, you may find that apartments work out cheaper than hotels. If you’re going for an outdoor adventure, you could consider camping or renting out some log cabins. You may be able to take advantage of group saver rates, so enquire before you book. Booking online can often save money.

Costs

Cost is a priority for most people when it comes to planning a vacation. Try and make sure that you give people a clear idea of cost as soon as possible. If you can, pay a deposit and then the rest closer to your departure date. This will enable your party to spread the cost of the trip. It’s usually easier to ask everyone to transfer money to your account and make a single payment. This way, you don’t have to collect cash from everyone and then pay into your account before making the payment.

Family vacations are all about making memories and enjoying quality time together. The last thing you want is to be stressing out about finding hotels or getting everyone to the destination at the same time. Plan ahead, do some research and take advantage of group perks. Weigh up your accommodation options and look for deals online. Consider your travel options and think about booking a group transfer or hiring a bus. Get the main things sorted as a priority. Then you can relax and look forward to a memorable break.

Disclosure: I’m excited to share that Love2EncourageYou is bringing you this content as a collaborative effort with other parties to contribute high quality content and fun topics to bring you a smile! Lots of great topics and themes coming in the days ahead on a variety of helpful subjects. Please note: I only share articles that I feel are of value or interest to my readers.

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Important Skills Kids Learn While Playing Board Games

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It’s been so much fun having hubby off to play with the kids and spend lots of quality time together so far this summer. We are a huge advocate for playing board games, card games, imaginative play, puppet shows, talent shows, karaoke, reading books out loud, and many other fun ways to instill elements of family togetherness, laughter, logic, reasoning, and a dozen more great qualities!

Important Skills Kids Learn While Playing Board Games

You know those times when you recognize your child really wants and craves your attention, but you are just not sure what to play with them? That’s the perfect moment to reach for a board game! Children can learn so much just by following basic directions and rules of the game. Skills and qualities you desire to see in your child can add up quickly – even if you play just one game with them!

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10+ Things Kids Can Learn Through Board Game Play:

  • Patience by waiting their turn
  • Following directions – understanding which direction to move in
  • Cooperative play – working together as a team (when the particular game requires it)
  • Counting (possibly even adding or subtracting or multiplying)
  • Reading skills (reading directions, reading game play requirements on the board or cards involved)
  • Calm, quiet time activities are important too (some kids only want to go, go, go and move their bodies constantly – playing a sit down board game can show them they can have fun even when sitting still)
  • Logic and reasoning
  • Strategy (figuring out game strategies, planning ahead to where to move their piece next)
  • Geography or map reading skills (depending on the game being played)
  • You can still have fun without using an electronic device (Even though we are huge fans of things kids can learn through video games, apps, and computers too! It’s important kids learn that being unplugged and spending quality time in a board game or other activity with the family is just as fun!)

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Take Time With Your Child or Teen Today

Take time with your child (or teen) today, or sometime this week and offer to play a board game or card game with them.  This one on one time with you is precious to their hearts and means the world to your child. Teens will also appreciate that you stopped your day to spend time with them. They see you as being willing to invest quality time with them in a way that is meaningful in their eyes and that is the best gift of all. There are many exciting games out there that your child will enjoy learning how to play with you – even cool strategy games for adults and teens such as Ticket To Ride (shown in pic), Settlers of Catan, Dominion, Splendor, and many more.

Be your kid’s hero this week and spend time playing a board game with them! Laugh, learn, and love these cherished memories together. You’ll wish you had more of them when they are old enough to move out one day!

Tell me your favorite board games for young or old that you love to play together in the comments below. Help others learn about new favorite games to try out with their kids!

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