Stop The Chomp With These Termite Tips

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Thanks to TDHCA

Your home is probably your single biggest investment ever made and you therefore will have lots of different insurances and plans in place to keep that investment safe from worrying home problems.  But did you know that most home insurance policies in the U.S. don’t cover the repair and treatment of termite infestation, which affects approximately 6000,000 homes a year and costing homeowners more than $1 billion!

Termites are known to destroy wall and roofing timbers of a home within three months and attacks are likely in virtually any urban area. These bugs literally will eat your house down around you.  Follow these top tips however and you will be helping to protect your home and your pocket from termite termination.

  1. The most obvious protection against termite raids is to have regular termite inspections by a qualified pest professional and install a termite management system or control plan around your home such as Terminix.  You can often get home inspections for free so this is a really cost-effective solution to a growing problem in the U.S.
  2. Ensure ground water drainage flows away from or around your home to control the amount of water available to the insects. You could consider using a soil drainage system for instance if water drainage is a problem in your area. Termite nests, both underground and occasionally even above ground, can only take hold if there are good moist conditions
  3. Don’t install a watering system or regularly water plants close to the house. It is tempting to plant large flower beds under windows and along walls to give our home a welcoming facade but this is just why termites are taking hold of so many properties with devastating results  
  4. Regularly check for leaking pipes, appliances such as washing machines, water systems, gutters and downpipes etc. Any leaks will increase moisture levels and provide the perfect conditions for termites to thrive as well as adding water damage to your repair costs!
  5. Don’t use or keep wood mulch near your home. This is actively removing the termites food supply. If you have to use wood mulch at all make sure it is treated with an insecticide and be vigilant for potential nests.
  6. Don’t store timber or old cardboard near your home – these are both perfect termite food.  This includes firewood, which should be stored off ground level.
  7. Finally keep the outside of your home clear of plants and other items such as furniture or climbing plants that might block your view of potential termite raids. If you can’t see the walls of your home you can’t see who might be trying to sneak in!

Follow these simple tips and you could significantly reduce your risk of a termite infestation.  However termites are determined insects so if you begin to see or smell signs of damp in your home this could be a termite attack. Call a professional immediately – the sooner you act the more of your home you will spare the chomp.

The Home With No Tear: Child-Friendly Homes 101

There is no such thing as a safe home when you have children. With younger ones, you will need to become an expert at preventing risks, which means that you need to think ahead of what could go wrong. Don’t worry, though; it’s a skill that parents develop incredibly fast – a little too fast maybe.  While everyone is aware of the common risks, such as checking the quality of your tap water – you can buy testing kits online and in DIY shops  – and limiting the presence of harmful substances at home, it doesn’t mean that your home is completely childproof. Indeed, you need to think ahead and to imagine what children are more likely to do. The answer is simple: fall, bump themselves and touch things that they aren’t supposed to are among the common things that parents find their kids do. Put in other words, children spend a lot of time hurting themselves. But it’s what childhood is about. They need to experience the world and explore their surroundings to grow, and that is, unfortunately, synonymous with injuries. Planning ahead means that, while you can’t stop children from getting hurt, you can at least make sure that no injury will be serious.  

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Is your tap water safe?

Avoiding Outdoors Injuries

If you have a garden, you will have already noticed that young children love to roam free and play outside. It’s, therefore, important to make the garden as safe as possible for your younger ones. Start by removing any poisonous plants – yes, even the one with the lovely pink flowers that your great Aunt Madge gave you many years ago – and levelling your garden. This will limit any risk of accidental injuries. As the days are getting longer, and you are more likely to let the kids play outside later during the summer, you should make sure that the garden can be easily lit at night, using LED flood lights, for example, to do the job. Additionally, a simple reminder about child safety: avoid hard stone kerbing and edging in your garden, and don’t keep any wooden furniture and accessory that has not been previously smoothed with sandpaper.

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A safely lit garden

Avoiding Accidental Bumps Indoors

You can’t stop your children from running around and bumping into the furniture. But you can make sure that it will only be a bruise instead of a serious cut by using cushioned edge guards on sharp corners. If you can’t find the appropriate protection, you may want to consider smoothing the corner with an electric sander. Do make sure to use it without the kids in the room and to clean the dust afterwards. Sharp corners are particularly harmful to the soft skin of children.

Avoiding Accidental Allergies Indoors

Last, but not least, you are probably taking care of keeping your chemical cleaning products away from children. But, while this reduces the risks of accidental poisoning, chemical products are still harmful to the skin and can cause allergic reactions. If you can, you should switch to child-friendly cleaning products that are non-flammable and made only from natural ingredients. Indeed, many household chemicals are closely linked to asthma, kidney and liver damages, and skin irritation, when they are not suspecting carcinogen. It’s not a risk that you want to take.

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Keep green cleaning habits

Super Savvy Money Tips For Household Crises

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Financial emergencies – no one likes them, but everyone experiences them at some point. The broken boiler, the plumbing leak, the exploding car engine – if you are anything like our household, you probably experience one of these issues every year at least.

And when money is tight, these events can be a gut wrenching experience. You try to make every cent of income count, work hard to save a few bucks every once in awhile, but there is always something that crops up that sets you all the way back to square one.

Of course, head to any financial advice blog and they will all tell you that you should be planning for emergencies, building up a fund for such occasions, and developing better foresight than Nostradamus. The reality for the vast majority of us struggling to make ends meet is that this is nearly impossible.

So the big question for today is, how do you deal with these household financial crises that seem to crop up when you can least afford them? I’ve pulled together some ideas from across the web so take a look and see what you think – I hope they will help some of you out.

Some emergency fund is better than none

Forget about what you might have read about building up six months worth of wages for your emergency fund. The vast majority of families I know would struggle to put aside six days worth! That said, even a  small amount of money set aside at the end of each month can help. It makes paying for these terrible financial emergencies a lot easier and leaves you with more of the income you typically use to pay for the basics. If you literally have no money to save, think about cutting back in certain areas. Perhaps you could go to a cheaper grocery store and bank the difference in price. Or maybe you could pull an extra shift at work if possible, and put your extra earnings into the savings pot.

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Act fast

Some household emergencies require immediate action, of course. When your little one hurts themselves, you aren’t going to wait around for a week to bring them to a hospital, and there are other situations like a gas leak where it is essential that you get help straight away. But there are other emergencies that you might think you can sleep on – damp in the walls, for example, or a boiler making noises reminiscent of a dying goat. My advice would be to act as fast as possible. Call out the plumber, the gas company, or whoever you need, because the longer you leave it, the more its going to cost to repair.

Don’t panic

Yes, you should always act fast to prevent the problem becoming worse – and more expensive. But you still need to act sensibly, too. When panic stations are in full swing, it’s easy to go into situations blind, and hiring the wrong person for the repair job can lead to even more issues. It can be difficult to think clearly when emotions are running high, of course, but a wrong decision about getting things fixed cold come back to haunt you in the not too distant future. Try and think rationally about the situation, ask for repair quotes, and speak to friends and family about repair recommendations – never take on the first person you find that is willing to do the job.  

Know your finances

If you don’t have a large emergency fund, make sure you always know your current financial situation – at all times. You will need to prioritize your money, usually in an order like this: food, shelter, getting to work, utilities and then debts. If you do have an expensive crisis on your hands, contact your creditors and explain what’s happened, then do the same for your utility companies. The vast majority should be lenient with you as long as you don’t turn it into a habit. A short-term loan might help, of course, but you should raise cash in advance loans only if you can guarantee you can pay it back at the earliest opportunity. Severe financial emergencies in the home can often lead to debts spiraling out of control, and no one wants that to happen.

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Ask for help

Instead of getting into more debt, it’s a more sensible idea to swallow your pride and ask for help. Family, friends – even neighbors – might be willing to help you out in any way they possibly can. As a single mom, I can tell you that people can be incredibly kind, and as difficult as it can be to ask for help, there is no shame in it. After all, if a desperate neighbor asked you for the same help, would you hold it against them? Unexpected expenses are exactly that – unexpected. And even with the best will in the world, it is impossible to prepare for everything.

Check your insurance

Once you have got on top of the initial problem, it’s worth checking your insurance plans to see if you are covered. It would be nice to be able to do this right at the very start of the process, but we all know that insurance companies are pretty tight when it comes to paying out, so always fix the issue first of possible. Look into warranties, too – if your oven breaks down, for example, it might be within a guarantee period and open for free repair. That said, Murphy’s Law suggests a piece of equipment will only break down a day or two after any guarantees expire!

Sell some stuff

Finally, selling possessions because you have to isn’t the most pleasant experience you can have, but it can help plug up your finances. All of us have things in our home that we rarely use, and as a rule, anything that hasn’t been touched for six months is probably not worth keeping. However, selling your things is not a quick fix – it can take days or weeks to get rid of things, even on sites like eBay and Craigslist.

Dig Deeper To Avoid New Home Nightmares

When buying a new home you will normally have a checklist of the types of facilities and features that are important to you and your family.  Things like the view, a large kitchen and private garden usually top the list but you could save yourself money and time by digging a little deeper to see if your dream house is in fact a potential new home nightmare.

Here are some common home problems you should definitely try to avoid or at least plan for when picking your perfect pad.

Rising damp – rising damp refers to excess groundwater that rises through the walls of your home causing structural weaknesses and unpleasant damp smells.  You can spot it fairly easily by looking for discolouration of the walls and the presence of mould. You can also feel the damp by placing the back of your hand against the plaster. Depending on the severity of the case it can be quite costly and fiddly to fix. It can also have a number of causes such as poor soil drainage that can cause other structural problems – so this is one to avoid unless you want rising repair bills.

Infestations – whether it’s rodents or termites, pest infestations are a pain. Unlike rising damp being forewarned is forearmed and the presence of pests doesn’t have to prevent a sale.  Check for signs of pests like droppings, rotting wood or even termite tubes, mud like structures that cling to the outside of the house, so that you can put plans in place to evict the unwanted residents before you move in. There is plenty of information and advice available on the internet and you can also find control and prevention solutions like Terminix.

A good foundation – without a good foundation your new home could be at serious risk.  The obvious problem that springs to mind is subsidence, which you can check by looking for cracks, usually by windows and doors.  Foundations can also be compromised by root systems from large nearby trees which can grow up through the foundations threatening its integrity.

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A hard hat – if you have a solid bottom, make sure you top it off with a good roof. The roof is often the most neglected and expensive area of the house if damage occurs. There are five common roof problems that are bad news for potential home buyers – caused by leaking gutters, nesting animals, missing or damaged tiles and shingles and water damage.  You can check for these problems by asking to see the attic or taking a pair of binoculars with you to house viewings and simply looking up. Check fascias, tiles, gutters, flashings and soffits for signs of discolouration and damage. If you are unsure of the consequences of any damage seek professional advice.

A home survey should throw all of these problems up so don’t worry if you miss the signs.  If you can spot them before the survey though it will save you time and energy that you can be better spent planning your new home move.

Our super fun day at Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo

What a fun day we had at Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo!  We packed up our cooler, packed up our kids, packed up the van and off we went at 7:30 AM to get to the zoo before 8:30 for a super fun day!  And just to clarify… there are 8 of us all together.  So 2 babies, 4 children, and 2 adults.

Welcome to the Zoo

We got there at 8:30 and they started letting people in shortly after that and we headed to Komodo Cafe for a Buffet Breakfast.  The breakfast food was DELICIOUS!  Pancakes, Sausage, Home Fries, fruit, orange juice, coffee… YUM.  The buffet was definitely nice and a GREAT start to our day.  (with full bellies!)

Crafts!  They had a few simple craft options for the little ones to do.  They could choose between a butterfly, an airplane, or coloring a paper egg.  These were all simple enough for the preschool aged children, but also fun for the school aged children.

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A visit with the Easter Bunny!  What was nice about this event is that you do need a special ticket to attend and they only sell so many.  So there was not a long line to visit the Easter Bunny and when we got up there I didn’t feel rushed like you do at the mall.  We have a few little ones that are afraid of costumed characters (and stuffed animals… Caleb…) so we needed the time to visit with Mr. Easter Bunny.

The Easter Egg Hunt.  This was the highlight for our gang.  Everyone talked about the Easter Egg Hunt ALL day.  First- how cool is it that the Egg Hunt takes place in the zoo, like where you walk to see the animals!  Second- the eggs were not filled with candy, instead the eggs were empty and you turned in the eggs for a goodie bag after the egg hunt.  There were two special Golden Eggs that you got an extra special prize with- I have no idea what that prize was since we did not find any Golden Eggs.  BUT- the goodie bags were very nice and included a cute stuffed animal along with some other small trinkets.  What was nice for this mom was that those stuffed animals doubled as souvenirs from the zoo.

After the egg hunt you had until 10:30 to visit with the Easter Bunny and then we were able to enjoy the Akron Zoo for the rest of the day and the kids had a ball!!

Day at the Akron Zoo

 

Would I recommend Breakfast with the Bunny?  YES!  This was a really fun day for our kids and I feel like everyone should experience a special event at the Akron Zoo at least once– or maybe even a yearly tradition!  This was the first time we had the opportunity to do something like this and I really felt it was worth the price tag (a big question I got when I was telling people that we were going).

Factors into the price:  #1- The breakfast buffet!  This an all you can eat, good quality meal.
#2 The Easter Activities- Visit with the bunny with virtually no line (umm- have you waited more than an hour at the mall– because that was us at Christmas time with Santa!), a personalized-no-rush visit with the bunny, a fun egg hunt IN the zoo, and a craft!
#3 The goodie bag had a stuffed animal so we saved money having to buy souvenirs for 6 kids.  (that is like $10 per kid right there!)
#4 Admission to the Zoo!
#5 – Free Parking too- and we got a close spot!

So yes- take your kids to check out Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo.  There is still ONE more day left for you go this year (April 15th), and if you can’t make it to that day, please be on the look out for this event for next year!

5 Babyproofing Steps You Should Take Around the Home

Are you lucky enough to have brought a brand new child into the world? Having a baby is one of the most joyful occasions for any young parent, but you’ll need to proactively think about making the house safer. Today, let’s look at five home babyproofing steps you should take.

  1. Stair gates 

Little ones are susceptible to falling down (or even up) the stairs and causing themselves a real issue. Prevent that from happening by installing a gate which stops them from getting too close to the edge of the stairs.

When thinking about the best kind of stair gate to get, weigh up what kind of device would work best for your child, in your house. Whether it’s a screw-in gate or a pressure-fit, you’ll be able to baby-proof effectively with this incredibly simple step.
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(image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mliu92/)

  1. Keep toxic substances out of reach 

Things like bleach, clothes softener and weed killer are all potentially deadly substances, and absolutely have to be kept out of the reach of young children. The bottles are often colourful and would naturally appeal to young kids.

While toddlers might be able to differentiate between something they should and shouldn’t be putting in your system, the same is definitely not true of babies. Whatever age your kid is, don’t take the risk.

  1. Baby monitor 

We all loved walkie talkies as kids, but now they have a genuine purpose. Keeping track of your child’s night time habits will go a long way to ensuring they’re in as good a health as possible.

Baby video monitors have a number of benefits, with some of the most notable including being able to see if the child is facing any dangerous situations, or finding it easy to fall asleep. Resist the temptation to sit and watch the monitor constantly, though.

  1. Use door guards 

Small children run the risk of accidentally getting their hands caught in door frames, so make sure to do your best to lower the chances of one of them slamming shut suddenly.

You can do this by installing a number of soft foam protectors which attach to the top of doors to prevent them from closing all the way. These will stop the possibly of trapped fingers, without causing any damage to the existing door or frame.

  1. Bath thermometer 

The temperature of your baby’s bath should be roughly 37 degrees until they’re 6 months old, with water levels covering their shoulders – as they’re unable to regulate their body temperature at this point.

Having a thermometer on hand to ensure the conditions never rise above this level is the best way to guarantee they aren’t going to experience too hot or too cold a bath during these crucial early months of their lives.  Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 12.46.07 AM

(image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vialbost/)

Have these babyproofing tips helped you to think more about ensuring the safety of your child in the future? We hope you listen to our advice and guarantee your little one doesn’t fall into trouble in the future.

Easter Egg Hunts and Activities in the Mahoning Valley

Easter time is upon us and this is one of my favorite times of year to find fun (and usually free) community events to go to!

If you would like your event added to this page, please email me at mommyhasalife@gmail.com  

 

Friday, April 7, 2017

6-7 PM
Grace Chapel Community Church
4075 Lamor Rd, Hermitage, Pennsylvania 16148
Families bring your kids to our annual Easter Egg Hunt. This is a night filled with fun, surprises, and the story of Jesus resurrection
7:15 Family Movie night Trolls

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Starts at 8:30 AM Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo

Easter Egg Hunt at Greenford Luthern Church
7450 W South Range Rd, Salem, OH
9AM-11 AM 
Children of all ages are welcome to join us for time of fun and fellowship while Easter Egg Hunting and sharing/learning about resurrection rolls.

The Grille 29
29 North Main Street in Hubbard, OH 
9AM-11 AM
We will be having a breakfast buffet and easter egg hunt on April 8th at 9:00am. 
The breakfast buffet will start at 9:00am 
Children 10 and under- $5
Adults-$8 
The easter egg hunt will be for children 10 and under.
Basket Raffle proceeds will be added to the Bunny Hop’s Hospice of the Valley donations

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8th Annual Wick Park Easter Egg Hunt & Pancake Breakfast
10 AM – 1 PM
260 Park Ave, Youngstown, Ohio 44504
The Wick Park Neighborhood Association (WPNA) with the support of councilmen Nate Pinkard and Julius Oliver, Ursuline High School, YSU Greek Organizations and the Youngstown Rotary will be hosting an Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast in Wick Park on Youngstown’s north side for children ages 1 to 12 on Saturday, April 8th, 2017.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST: 10AM-1PM
Suggested donation: Adults $5, Kids $2.
EGG HUNT: 11AM – 1PM
*11AM: Crafts, coloring contest, science table, Easter bunny and face-painting will begin at 11AM
**NOON: The actual egg hunt will begin at noon and children will be grouped by age (1-2yo, 3-4yo, 5-7yo, 8-10yo) with staggered start times. Children ages 11-12 will be doing a scavenger hunt. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult. First 100 children registered will receive a goody bag.
***Bring your own basket/bag and dress for weather and MUD.** Rain boots are strongly suggested – event is rain or shine.

Austintown Bounce Bounce with the Bunny Eggstravaganza
$5 Admission
10-12 Egg Hunt, Visits with the Bunny, and Prizes, and of course Bouncing in the Inflatables.

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11:00 AM
Easter Egg Hunt at Trinity Luthern Church in Niles, OH
Come and join the fun! We will have games, crafts, snacks, and of course – the hunt! With a prize for every hunter!

Crossroads Egg Hunt 2017
April 8th
1pm- 3pm
Austintown Park
6000 Kirk Rd
Canfield, Ohio 44406

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Starts at 8:30 AM Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo

Thelma’s Sports Nook
285 E High Street Ext, Sharpsville, Pennsylvania 16150
4/9/17 1 PM- 3 PM
Come join us for our 1st Annual Easter Egg Hunt this year! It will be held at The Pavilion from 1 until 3.
There are 3 different age groups:
Up to 4 years old
5 years to 9 years
10 years and up
The Easter Bunny will also be there with goodies and plenty of picture opportuinties!

Friday, April 14, 2017

10 AM-11 AM Easter Egg Hunt at Playground World
4400 Renaissance Parkway, Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128
Followed by open play for $6 per child

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Starts at 8:30 AM Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo

10-11 AM @ Struthers Parkside Church
Free Easter Egg Hunt

1:00 @ Memorial Baptist Church
56 Water Street, Poland, Ohio 44514
Come join us on April 15th at 1:00 pm for our Easter egg hunt. Rain or shine we will be hiding eggs for all ages!

1:30-5:00 @ The Sand Hill Stable
4311 State Route 303, Mantua, Ohio 44255
Join us for the 4th annual Easter Egg Hunt! Egg Hunt is $5/child and pony rides are $3. The Easter bunny will be here starting at 1:30PM, egg hunt will begin at 2PM. Visit with the minis, donkeys, goats, pigs, & rabbit! Over 2000 eggs this year!

 

How To Make More Time For Your Kids

If you are a working parent, it can be an extremely difficult balancing act to manage all of your daily responsibilities while also spending quality time with your kids at home. Nowadays, we all live busy lifestyles so the commitments on our time are greater than ever. However, by making a few small lifestyle adjustments, you can really find that you have so much more time to spend with those who matter the most. Here are just a few things you can do to spend more quality time with your kids.

Mother and Daughter

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Parenting Meditation

Meditation is all about existing in the present rather than being consumed by past or future worries. If you have constantly got your mind on something else when you are with your kids, you won’t be able to fully appreciate their personalities as they start to develop or teach them about life. Ultimately, it takes some practice until you can learn to live in the present, but the rewards that you get are certainly worth having.

Free Up Chore Time

So much of the free time we do have is taken up by doing chores. If you can make some changes, you can end up with a lot more time on your hands. For example, you could order your groceries online instead of going to the store. Though this may cost a little more, there are plenty of vouchers available so it doesn’t have to get too expensive. You could also book a cleaner online instead of doing it all yourself. This may not be something you can afford to do on a regular basis but on special occasions it can really make a big difference.

Walk Instead of Driving

If there is somewhere you can get to on foot, consider walking rather than making the journey by car. It will take longer but that is the point and you can spend the time talking to your kids while also getting some exercise. Not only this, it will help your children get to know their neighbourhood a little bit better.

Cook Together

Why not turn a daily household chore into something that you can do with the kids? As well as learning and having fun together, you are also showing them one of the major responsibilities of running a household. Who knows, one day they may reward you with a meal prepared all by themselves!

Play Their Games
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Many kids absolutely love playing video games but this can end up being an activity that causes a divide between you and them. Instead, try giving the games a go yourself. Though you may end up getting beaten pretty easily, you are interacting with your kids and sharing something that they love with them.

Make A Time Plan

We tend to be able to divide up our time easier when it is all planned out. Try making a plan on a week by week basis, working out your responsibilities and how you can spend extra time with the kids.     

Check out Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo!

The Akron Zoo is one of our favorite places to visit every year!  This is one zoo that always has something fun going on and a lot of cool experiences to be had at this zoo.  When Colton was younger, we used to go to Story Safari, which was one really cool story time and they even brought in animals for a hands on experience, so when I have seen Breakfast with the Bunny in the past I REALLY wanted to go.

Well, this year I am over the moon excited that we are going to Breakfast with the Bunny at the Akron Zoo!  This is an exclusive event that you must register for and buy a ticket for, so if you are thinking about it, DO NOT DELAY, from what I can tell, they will probably sell out.

Akron Zoo Breakfast with the Bunny

What exactly is Breakfast with the Bunny?

I am sure this is your first question.  You arrive at the zoo at 8:30 A.M. and there is an indoor area where they will have crafts, activities, visits with the Easter Bunny, and of course a breakfast buffet.  The egg hunt will take place outside, and it is an egg hunt with prizes!  After you are done with all the fun Breakfast with the Bunny activities you also have access to the zoo for the entire day, from 10 A.M. – 5 P.M..

What days will they be offering Breakfast with the Bunny?

How much does it cost for this super fun event?

Akron Zoo Members

  • Adults: $16
  • Child: $23

Non-members

  • Adults: $24
  • Child: $29

I feel like everyone needs to experience one of these events at least once in their childhood, so if you have been on the fence, take the plunge!  The Akron Zoo does a FABULOUS job with these special events and I know I am excited to take our family!

How do I register?

Go to the Akron Zoo’s Website  and click on the date that you would like to attend.  It will take you to a site where you can select your tickets, register and pay.  VERY EASY!

Akron Zoo Logo

Also, please check out Membership to the Akron Zoo.  This a great value for a whole year of fun for your family!  We did the Akron Zoo membership three years ago and it was worth every penny!  You get a lot of added bonuses and discounts (along with free admission and parking) all year!

The Science Of Why Your Kids Should Go On Trips

As adults, we travel the world to help us relax. After a long year slogging it out in our jobs day after day, we need some time to relax. But while traveling might be about relaxation for adults, for kids, it’s about learning, development, and being happy.

Although going on trips might seem like just having fun, there’s a lot that happens to the young brain when kids leave the home. Playing badminton on the beach or building sandcastles might seem whimsical and unimportant, but it’s actually essential for “attachment” where kids build closer bonds with the people around them. It also helps to send a strong psychological message to kids: what they’re doing is valuable, and other people love to play with them.

Trips are an opportunity for kids to break out of the monotony of their everyday interactions. According to research Elizabeth Buie, more than two-third of children’s daily conversations with adult authority figures are simply about their routine. On top of that, 65 percent of adults say that they only occasionally play with their children and that they spend most of their time doing other things. And, finally, just a quarter of children say that they talk to adults about things which actually matter to them.

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It appears, therefore, that everyday life has a habit of grinding traditional relationships down and making them all about monotony and routine. What’s needed is some change in the routine, and that’s precisely what trips offer

Here we’re going to look at some of the science behind why trips are so beneficial to kids. This is what the research says.

It Helps With Brain Development

Going to new places and doing new things has a fundamental impact on the developing brain that’s linked to our evolution. When kids go on a trip, they’re exercising a genetically ingrained system in their minds that separate the novel from the routine. If you’ve ever been abroad to a new place yourself, you will have experienced this system in action. There’s a reason you remember everything you do on holiday and where you’ve been. It’s because your brain has switched modes: from processing the routine to processing that which is novel. Our brains are hardwired to take on new information and new stimuli and behave differently in response. For instance, you’ll have noticed that when you’ve been to a new place, you feel more tired than if you’d just done your regular routine.

Kids have the same experience too of trips to new places. All of a sudden the world opens up to them and they start taking stuff in. According to Professor Jaak Panksepp of Washington State University, once kids have these new experiences, they become more open to knowledge and more sociable. Their brains release dopamine which leads to lower levels of stress and more generosity. This, in turn, helps to generate warm sentiment among the people they are with, supercharging their emotional development.

The cool thing about these systems, says Panksepp, is that the more you use them, the better they get. In other words, the more kids take trips abroad to new places, the more emotional development they are likely to experience. Their emotional states slowly turn into their personal traits, says Panksepp, meaning you could end up with much happier and much more manageable children. Panksepp says that activating these brain systems over and over will help turn family holidays into growth opportunities. Kids will learn how to be more independent and more goal-oriented. And they’ll also have greater levels of social intelligence, thanks to the fact that they are so focused on play and the outside world.

It Helps Understand The World

There’s a reason why children go on school battlefield trips. It’s so that they can understand how the world came to be the way it is. Reading about the world in books is okay. But if you really want to understand the way that the world is, there’s no better learning tool that just going out and experiencing it. The world can be a complicated place at times, and so trips which aid understanding are essential. Experiencing new cultures helps children to see that people who happen to live in a different country aren’t necessarily any different to them on a basic level. They have the same drives since they are part of the human family.

Travel, however, also shows kids that other cultures are different to their own. Some cultures are good, other cultures are bad. It’s important for kids to be able to understand the differences, as well as why some cultures behave in the way that they do. Again, greater cultural exposure – with guidance – is associated with greater emotional intelligence.

Helps With Concentration

Many parents know how difficult it can be to get children to concentrate on a topic for an extended period of time. There’s currently an epidemic of ADHD in schools, thanks to the environments in which kids are raised. It turns out that the Victorian model of education, where children are sat in rows and have to listen to a teacher talk about something they have no intrinsic interest in, is damaging.

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This is why so many schools that care about the wellbeing of children are now ditching the classroom altogether and moving into the forest. Forest schools have found that so-called “green play” increases the length of time for which children concentrate after only 20 minutes in nature. Walking around in nature helps to calm the body and reduce stress hormone levels.

Of course, all this science and research begs the question: does going on trips help to raise IQ? It turns out that enriched environments are a kind of “brain fertilizer.” They help to stimulate the frontal lobes – the part of the brain responsible for most of our higher thinking – potentially making us more intelligent. There’s probably also knock-on effects on intelligence from kids feeling more relaxed and upbeat about the world. It’s certainly a lot easier to concentrate on your school work when you’re feeling positive.