Living in Boise in the winter can mean unpredictably frigid days with snow and wind. On the other hand, you could luck into a relatively warm winter day with sun. Though it might predict sunshine, you could be left with clouds. However, none of that matters as much as making sure your kids have let out enough energy.
If you've ever planned a day out, only to have it ruined by rain, then you know how much energy a child can have. Finding somewhere inside that your child can let that energy out isn't always easy. However, Bodies in Motion offers something that might be of use for these days — Bodies in Motion Open Gym.
What is an Open Gym?
An open gym is a place that children can play without worrying about nature or external forces. Often times, they have gymnastics equipment as well as teachers that will help them to use the equipment should they desire to. IN these spaces, children with special needs and younger children are safer than city parks where they might be hurt or unable to play.
In addition, an open play gym is safer because trained staff are always available to help with injuries. Simultaneously, the nature of the gym means that the play area is safe from predators as well as nature should rain start in the middle of a play session.
Who Can Come To An Open Gym
Our open gym is open for any child aged twelve months and up. The cost will vary based on the child's age. However, each child will have access to a number of play areas, ropes courses, and more. In addition, many open gym nights are themed so that kids can expect something new each time they attend. At our open gym, parents should stay to make sure their children are safe. However, about once a month, we have a Parent's Night Out, which is much like Open Gym but with the parent's ability to enjoy a night on the town.
Why Is An Open Play Gym Better?
If it's raining outside, you must find things for your children to do inside. If it starts raining when you are at the playground, that can mean upset and wet children. However, an open play gym session is inside, Meaning the unpredictable nature of Boise weather doesn't matter. The gym is inside a warehouse that will stay dry and lit for the duration of your play session. As an added bonus, no after rain playground to deal with, everything will always be dry.
Similarly to the previous positive, the safety factor of an open play gym has a lot to do with the indoor nature of the gym. With minimal entry and exit, only people that have been vetted by the team working at Bodies in Motion can get to the area where the children are playing. In addition to keeping predators away from children playing, Bodies in Motion also keeps children safe should they get hurt.
In a normal playground setting, there is a high chance that no first aid kit is present. However, Bodies in Motion has all standard first aid supplies a business working with children should have. In addition, many of the staff members are trained in first aid should something go wrong.
Unlike a regular playground, an open play gym has a diverse range of activities that you can do. In addition, many of these activities change each time there is an open play session. For example, one week there might be a ninja warrior course while the next week, the ropes course could be glow-in-the-dark. These types of courses are often not available on a traditional playground. In addition to them, you can also expect the typical playground and slide setup, giving more options for your time.
Many parents choose to host a birthday party at their home. In many cases, they cite the reasoning as simplicity and cost. However, once the party has started, they realize how complicated a home birthday party can be. In the end, you could have tons of cleaning and many extra costs that you had not planned for from electricity to a cleaner. That's why Bodies in Motion believes in helping you to find the perfect birthday party venue for your child and needs.
Today, we're going to talk about why a birthday party should happen outside of the home rather than in the home. Though some of the reasons are financial, you'll be surprised at the number of reasons there are to think about moving your next birthday party. Let's dive in!
Why Use a Venue for a Birthday Party
Though not often thought about, time is money. For example, if you have to spend ten hours set up up and tearing down a birthday party, that's over a full day of work for most people. How much do you get paid in one day? If you can pay less than what you get paid to have someone else take care of the setup and takedown, then you have saved time and therefor the money! This can be especially true if you would have had to take time off to get everything set up.
In addition, you should also think about how much time you have to spend cleaning up rather than the time that you've spent with your family. If you must clean for three hours after the party just to get the home in some semblance of order, that's three hours you could be spending with the birthday child, or relaxing while they sleep!
As talked about in the last paragraph, having a birthday party is messy. Though you can try to keep the mess to a minimum by keeping the kids outside, chances are you will still have a lot to clean up at the end of the day. In some cases, you might even have broken items that need replacing. Why is this? Homes are not set up to have what could be dozens of kids in one place. Unlike a venue, your home has valuables and breakable objects.
Add to this the fun items that often accompany a birthday. From streamers to silly string, birthdays can often produce a mess that needs to be picked up. A home has grass and carpet, making this job almost impossible. However, a venue designed for kids often has tile or rubber mats. Meaning a simple mop (done by the cleanup team) gets rid of all mess in no time at all.
Unlike a birthday party done at home, one hosted at a venue requires many fewer decisions. For example, when you host a five-year-olds birthday party at home, you need to pick the theme, decorations, time, toys, rentals, cakes, food, and more. However, when you choose a venue, you must then choose a theme, guest list, and time. After that, the venue can get decorations, cake, and even rentals depending on the venue you choose.
Though not always something that people think about, inviting 20 kids into your home, there is a high chance that you are also inviting at least 20 parents into your home. While many people don't care about what others see, it can be disconcerting to have that many people in your home looking at your things. When you have people go to a venue, you don't have to worry about hiding valuables or that awkward photo of your family at the beach you leave out for no reason.
With so many people at your home, things are bound to happen. However, there is a chance you are neither a lawyer or a doctor. Should something serious happen, you could be liable for any medical bills if not more. Having a party at a venue means the venue is responsible for issues. In most cases, they will also have someone trained in first aid available should something go wrong. In addition, a true first aid kit will be nearby at all times.
A few decades ago, martial arts was something of a mystery. Most participants had trained for years under arduous conditions all over the world. People didn’t simply join to get in shape. You had to attend a dojo and dedicate your life to the sport. Many thought of martial arts as they would think of Bruse Lee and Batman.
However, the modern world has changed much of that. While some of the mystery has stayed, classes are accessible by almost everyone at almost any fitness level. Gone is a lifetime commitment. Now, families can go to a dojo to get in shape and take a class together. You’ll see rapid rewards for your training and get some of the best training of any workout type. Best of all, martial arts focus on overall strength as well as your health, spirit, and mind.
Benefits of Martial Arts Classes:
Any age can reap many rewards from a martial arts class. The longer that you take a martial arts class, the more reward you will see at any age. In addition, the fitness factor can help you reach your health goals without growing bored.
Types of Martial Arts
Classes in traditional martial arts vary widely. Some mix traditional schools to form a new school all together. However, the basics are Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Kung Fu, among others. Each should be available at most martial arts schools. Unlike past decades, it is much easier to find a class for your age level and skill level from young child to older adult and from expert to beginner.
In addition to the school welcoming new students, the more experienced students will offer to take younger students under their wings as a point of pride and tradition. You’ll learn from instructors and students will help to keep you focused and learning.
Some people don’t want to focus on martial arts, but rather overall fitness. For that reason, many classes have been developed that take selected parts of martial arts to create a body-focused class. Known as boot camps, you’ll often see kickboxing mixed with plyometrics and other cardio exercises so that participants can get the most for their money. However, children are often not seen in these classes as they are more intense and focused on changing their body. Young professionals and those looking to get back in shape are the most common clientele as they don’t often have the time to learn the finer details of martial arts.
Another type of class you can expect not to be family-friendly is youth martial arts. Unlike traditional martial arts, these types of classes mix in fun games for children that start at a young age. In addition to traditional lessons, youth martial arts will also instill respect for elders, peers, and oneself. Children who take these classes young will often turn into leading adults with a strong set of morals and goals.
Though there are options to keep your to your own goals, traditional martial arts is perfect for whole families! You can bond, train together, and grow as a family. The modern martial arts gym is perfect for letting each person get what they need while training at the same place. You will learn much in terms of both mind and body no matter your age or experience level.
Idaho, though perhaps not the best known for hikes, is abound with outdoor adventures for all age ranges and skill levels. This list is by no means comprehensive; however, we have made an effort to pick the best hikes in Idaho at various skill levels. Remember, use common sense and take your time.
Hiking is a sport that can catch people unaware. Plan for twice the time than you think it will take and make sure you have a backpack with supplies of all kinds. Turn around if you think you can’t handle it and bring children depending on their age and ability.
Perhaps the easiest hike on the list, this ten-mile hike of mellow hills and trails has views of roaring waterfalls and Mt. Reagan. It’s located in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Starting, you will head into the forest, follow a creak, and then climb up a mellow hill for a few miles. Once at the top, you will see a meadow where you can break before either turning around or heading up steeper areas for great views of Alpine Lake and Mr. Reagan. At the lake, relax and have a snack.
City of Rocks National Reserve Trails
If you are looking for an option for younger members of your family, then this set of trails might have what you are looking for. In the City of Rocks National Reserve, you’ll find over 22 miles of hiking trails. However, you have options. For example, Window Arch Trail for a very short jaunt (300 feet each way.) On the other hand, try your hand at the Geological Interpretive Trail for a 1.2-mile loop or the Castle Rocks Trail in Castle Rocks State Park for 5 miles of fun. Each trail option has arches, windows, and other natural features that make them an exciting way to get outside.
South Bitch Creek Canyon
As the longest trail on our list, the South Bitch Creek Canyon trail and Carrot Ridge Trail are only for older teens and parents. Keep in mind this section of the country is wild with grizzly bears and all sorts of other creatures. You will need to be prepared with all the appropriate gear and protection. If you do it though, you will see 21.7 miles of pristine wilderness and great views. It’s perfect for backpacking on a weekend as two days make for the perfect amount of walking each day.
Wilderness Trail to Echo Crater
At Craters of the Moon National Monument, you will find this 8-mile round trip perfect for families with older kids. You can explore pahoehoe lava flows, the Broken Top cinder cone, lava trees, and other wonders! Remember, this is a lonely and hot hike so you will need to bring everything with you in a pack, including a good bit of water.
Toxaway to Alice Lake Loop
You might want to think about backpacking for two or three days on this adventure. While the epic 19-mile hike can be done in one day, you won’t be able to enjoy nearly as much of this jewel. Along the path, you will find jagged peaks, ridges, meadows, creeks, waterfalls, and more. Taking a path from Toxaway to Alice Lake will leave you in the Sawtooths among alpine lakes, basins, and ridges for the perfect set of views around.
With fall break right around the corner, you are sure to be looking for things to do with your family on those days. Though you could find a babysitter and continue “business as normal,” we think these options will be better for your family bonding as well as your mental health. Getting out of the office and spending time with family has never been better!
Do we have your attention? Time to look at a few of the top things that you can do in Idaho with a family during this fall break. You’ll want to take everyone, maybe even the grandparents on these adventures.
Bike the Hiawatha Trail
What used to be an older scenic railway, this trail is now a biking path. First, you will need to get a Hiawatha Trail pass from Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area. Then, you can take the 15-mile trail through ten covered tunnels and seven canyon spanning tressels. Make sure to bring headlamps as the tunnels aren’t lit! This bitterroot Mountain trail will leave memories for a lifetime.
Become a Cowboy at Red Horse Mountain Ranch
If you want a western vacation, then look no further than Idaho’s Red Horse Mountain Ranch. At this location, your kids will be able to learn to kayak, shoot a bow and arrow, ride a horse, or rock climb at the kid's program. Feel free to join them on the fun or head on a hike while they are distracted.
Climb a Sand Mountain
At 470 feet in the air, the Bruneau Dunes State Park is home to the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America! The best part, you can climb it! At this part, you will also be able to stay the night at taking part in the Bruneau Dunes Observatory’s late-night stargazing program.
Take on Class III Rapids
If your family enjoys a bit of a thrill, then Idaho’s Lower Salmon River will be the perfect place to take a trip to over fall break. This Class II rapid has white water thrills with sands beaches and under-the-stars camping. If you go in the fall, you will need cold water supplies and a special guide. However, the trip can be made.
See the Whole World
If you want to see the world, take a chair lift to the top of 9,159 foot Bald Mountain in Sun Valley. From here, you will be able to see some of Idaho's tallest peaks. Once at the top, enjoy a snack, take some photos, and prepare for the hike down. At 4.5 miles, you’ll be able to see all types of plants and views as well! Be ready as going downhill for this long can be strenuous on the body if not ready.
Go to the Moon
If you’ve already seen all the world has to offer, why not take a trip to the moon? When you visit Craters of the Moon National Monument, you will feel like you’ve landed on the moon. This monument is a one-of-a-kind volcanic adventure. You’ll be able to see lava flows that are 15,000 to 2,000 years old. Adults and older children will even be able to explore underground so long as they have a pass and the right supplies! Remember, don’t touch the bats and bring first aid in case something happens.
After-school care is a hot topic right now. Now that school has started, parents are asking what they should do with their kids until they get off after work ends. Sometimes this can be an hour, and other times it could be four or five. However, this topic isn’t as simple as people would first think.
Laws, income, and family availability all impact what a parent can choose from in regards to their kid. This can leave many parents asking, “is it okay if I leave my kid at home alone for a few hours?” In general, the answer will be “how old are they?”
Age is a Determining Factor
While only three states in the US have written laws about age and leaving children at home, the National SAFEKIDS Campaign recommends that no child under the age of 12 be left at home alone. Idaho specifically does not have any laws about leaving children alone at home, though it is suggested to follow the 12-year-old recommendation.
The factor that affects Idaho children most is their parent’s perception of their mental growth. Children that are left at home alone should be of sound mind with the ability to follow directions, and problem solves when the parent is not around. They should know not to answer the door or phone as well as how to prepare basic meals. If a child can do all of these things, they can be left at home alone for at least a few hours safely.
An Idea of Age Guidelines
Georgia is a state that doesn’t have laws but does have recommendations. Using their guidelines is a great way to start with a base and work from there based on the individual needs of the child.
Alternatives to Leaving Kids at Home
If you don’t think your child is ready to be left at home, then there are options that you can take part in, first, after school care. After school sessions, like those offered at Bodies in Motion, are perfect for keeping your kids watched. Teachers and guides will ensure that they eat, do their homework, and get some activities and socialization in.
On the other hand, if you have family close, such as a grandparent, they might be able to watch your, child, until you get off from work. This can be another way to make sure that your kid is eating, doing homework, and staying active. However, keep in mind your parent’s situation. If you have an active and hyper child, they might not be able to keep up.
Lastly, if you have older children in high school or college, you might be able to convince them to help a few times a week. This might take cash, but it will ultimately prove to be the simplest option as you will know where both children are when you come home in the afternoon. It’s best if your older child has a cellphone as well as the ability to drive in case something goes wrong.
With YouTube, TV, video games, and smartphones, 'it's important to make sure kids are getting unstructured playtime. Making this harder is the fast-paced and "unsafe" world we now live in. While you are, I might have played out on the street until the streetlights came on, 'that's no longer the norm. In years passed, running a few streets over at 10 to meet a friend was okay. Now? Not so much.
So how then, do we accomplish unstructured and unobserved playtime? In addition, 'what's so great about allowing kids to play without parents watching them all the time? Today we're going to talk about why kids should have unsupervised playtime and how you can encourage it?
Why is Unstructured Play Good?
According to Help Me Grow, "Unstructured play allows children the freedom to explore, create, and discover without predetermined rules or guidelines. 'It's been shown to foster cognitive development while boosting physical development and social and emotional development." In short, when you allow your kid to "just have fun," then you give them time to foster creativity and imagination, problem-solving skills, and social skills.
In addition, letting them play by themselves or just with friends allows them to foster independence and creativity separate from the influence that you might carry. For example, when you were a child, did you play cops & robbers or house in the living room with your parents watching or outside with just your friends?
How Much Unstructured Play is Good?
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, each child should get at least an hour per day to unwind, relax, and have some simple creative playtime. However, this number should be higher on weekends, and the younger the child is. Depending on the type of schooling you have, there is a chance that your elementary student is only getting 30 minutes of recess all day. Add homework after, and 'it's easy for kids not to get the time they need.
How to Encourage Unstructured Play?
Scale Back on Activities
If it seems like you are spending all of your time taking your child to soccer, after school, school, swimming, and t-ball then it might be time to cut one or two from the schedule. We want our kids to experience as much as possible; however, sometimes planning less leads to experiencing more. Consider which of the extracurricular activities take the most time away from "free time" and if they are worth the time that you and your family put into them. If the rewards 'aren't worth the cost, let is go!
Make Them Go Outside
As a kid, you and I probably begged to go outside and disappear for most of the day. 'That's not always likely with kids now. Rather than let them stay inside, make them go outside. You can provide them with some outside toys but tell them to go out and have fun. Though they might resist at first, chances are, they will find out what made it so much fun for us years ago. If you are worried, give them a phone or walkie-talkie they can use to keep in contact.
Let Them Create & Destroy
Kids love to build and tear down blocks, crafts, and more. Give them a craft box, building block, legos, and other reusable toys that inspire creativity. By letting them build, mess up, tear up, and start over you let their imagination take life. Think about chalk, sticks, branches, and dirt if you want to get them outside and creating all at once.
Letting kids play in the mud, bring out every toy, and use paint can be daunting to people who love order. However, the disorder is where kids will thrive. You 'don't have to let them finger paint the wall; however, giving them the space to make a mess and be themselves will show them what they can do. If you need order in the house, set up an "art studio" in the garage on the back porch!
One of our smaller known events is ax throwing. Our team of ax throwing experts guide participants through lessons and contests to see who can do the best and learned the fastest. In preparation for taking our ax-throwing class, this post will go into what you can expect, tips that will help, and things that you should not do when learning to throw an ax.
Dos and Don’ts of Axe Throwing
Do: Have Fun
Ax throwing is about learning a new skill and having fun on a date night or night out with friends and family. As such, you should work to have fun and enjoy your class. This isn’t a serious less that you will be tested on at the end. If you aren’t having fun, then we aren’t doing our job.
Don’t: Come Drunk
While ax-throwing is supposed to be fun and games, the reality is, you are wielding a weapon. As such, you should not come drunk or tipsy. Think about going out for drinks after learning how to throw axes. You can even bargain that the “winner” gets a free drink!
Do: Wear Good Shoes
While we don’t expect you to drop an ax, we don’t want you wearing strappy stilettos. Should you drop an ax, even it’s handle will result in a pretty good bruise when you have nothing protecting your foot. In addition, good shoes make the learning process easier.
Don’t: Come Alone
Our ax-throwing classes are meant for groups of six or more! Call ahead to book an appointment so that you know your triple date night is ready for action. Perfect for families, couples, and friends.
What to Expect in Axe Throwing Classes
Our ax-throwing classes take place on Fridays and Saturdays with groups of six or more. When you arrive at our ax-throwing class with your five friends, you will be given lessons by our expert. They will go over the correct posture as well as tips and tricks for throwing an ax perfectly. All guests throw within lanes that are enclosed by metal fencing so that you don’t have a chance of hurting other guests.
If you are interested in booking an ax-throwing class in Boise, Idaho with friends then Bodies in Motion is the place for you. Our classes will run you through the basics as well as tips and tricks to get better. Remember, you must be an adult, wearing closed-toed shoes, and with at least five of your friends. We have Friday and Saturday offerings throughout the year.
When you think of a typical afternoon, you think of coming home and playing with your children. A typical night might involve more playing and getting them ready for sleep. However, parents night out allows for you to have a well-deserved date. Drop your kids off at the Bodies in Motion gym for a night of fun while you and your partner go out, run errands, or have a date at home.
When presented with this service, most parents ask, "what do I need to do or to have for parents night out?" Today, we're going into that as well as what you can expect when you let your child attend a parents night out at Bodies in Motion in Boise, Idaho.
What Does Your Child Need for Parents Night Out?
When you take your child to our parents night out, you'll drop them off at 5:00 pm and pick them back up at 9:00 pm. You don't have to pack anything for them! Dinner will be provided in the form of an all you can eat buffet. In addition, fun themes and games will have them running and playing all night long.
Here is a look at our themes for the remainder of 2019!
If your child wants, dressing up to match the theme is allowed and encouraged. However, we understand if dressing like an elf isn't something that your ten-year-old wants to do with their evening.
What Do You Need for Your Parents Night Out?
After filling out the paperwork, there is nothing else you need to do! Now, it's all about what you want. Prepare for your night, whether that is a date, a movie, shopping, or just sitting at home in silence. Previously, we've talked about all the options you have when it comes to a parent's night out. However, here is a quick recap.
What Happens at Parent's Night Out?
Each Parents Night Out event is packed with fun activities, crafts, and our all you can eat Newton's Cafe Flatbread buffet. When your child arrives, they'll join a group of kids near their age. They'll have four hours to explore our gym and take part in the activities that we've planned according to the night's theme.
What Rules Are There?
If you want your child to attend parent's night out, then you need to make sure they are potty trained and between the ages of 3 and 12. They should also be a great listener and kind to other children. To make the most out of each parent's night out, we need all of our wonderful kids to have a great time.
If you are looking for a parent's night out, then contact us! We generally have one night a month. However, they fill up fast, so you have to book ahead of time. We are in Boise, Idaho, and our events run from 5 to 9 at night. As long as your child is between 3 and 12 and is potty trained, they can come!