A child’s birthday is an exciting time of the year for everyone in the family. It’s a time for celebrating what makes your child unique and a time to let them show their personality. However, planning a birthday party is also complicated. Before the big day, you must pick a theme, cake, menu, decorations, location, and favors if not more. While you want to involve your child and make sure they’re happy, this can make things even more complicated.
However, today, we’ve created a list to help you get your child involved while still keeping the process simple. Start with the theme and build from there. Yet, if you ask your child what theme they want, they might be overwhelmed. Luckily, having a list that they can choose from will make sure that the theme they pick is doable and fun.
If you’re looking for a simple theme that’s can be done at home in the rain or shine, them an old fashion movie night is perfect. All you’ll need is a few movies, some old film posters on the walls and striped bowls for popcorn and snacks. You might also think about having something they can do when the sugar rush kicks in though.
Whether your child likes all sports or just a single sport, this type of birthday never fails to impress. Depending on your budget and needs, this can be done at home with themed food and games, or at a children’s gym, such as Bodies in Motion.
If your child likes outer space, aliens, or astronauts, then a space birthday is perfect. Use stars and create a dark room that they can explore to “find aliens.” For dessert, think about a cupcake cake that is stars, planets, and suns. If you can keep your children up, think about getting a telescope so they can do some real stargazing.
Having a dance party is perfect for kids who love music and moving. All you’ll need is a space to dance, a few lights, and the tunes they love most. However, if you want to take it up a notch, then look into getting a karaoke machine so they can sing and dance.
Superheros are a great theme for kids that like comics, video games, or have overcome things in the past year. In addition, this is another theme that is great for getting kids moving. Bodies in Motion has offered superhero-themed parties in the past that get kids feeling like heroes on obstacle courses and the gym floor.
Animal lovers will relish the idea of a farm or petting zoo themed birthday. Decorations can be as simple as a few stuffed animals with fake wooden fences. For older children, a trip to the zoo or renting a petting zoo could be an option depending on your budget and style. Think about animal-shaped cupcakes for the perfect topper for the day.
Think slime, bug ovens, coke and mentos, moon sand, and more! The little scientist in your home will love having a day of experimentation with friends. For extra fun, think about making a cake in the shape of the periodic table! If you know a scientist, bring them in to have fun and answer questions. For decorations, bring out the lava lamps, microscopes, beakers, and test tubes to complete the look.
Step right up to the perfect birthday bash! Though you might not be able to build a roller coaster in your backyard, you can create a backyard full of carnival games, treats, and prizes. Rather than a cake, try fried Oreos or funnel cake. Games can include picking the rubber duckie, balloon pop, dart toss, tug-of-war, and more. Should something happen, simply take your games into the garage!
If your child’s birthday takes place in the summer, renting a pool is the perfect nautical theme. However, even if you don’t have access to water, you can create a nautical theme with a wave themed cake and sailor themed decorations.
Last up on the list is the woodland theme. For this, think trees, mushrooms, fairies, and mythology. Bring the magic of the forest into your home with mushroom cupcakes, forest floor decor, a woodland photo booth, and dress up. Create fairy homes and drop them off along a local trail for the perfect activity.
It is common knowledge that fitness and exercise have many health benefits. When working out regularly, you can expect improvements in strength, endurance, health, weight, and mood. However, did you know that the type of activity you do can impact the mental health benefits that you receive? Research has shown that jogging can increase your life expectancy and that yoga makes people happier. It should be no surprise then, that martial arts bring some power to your brain as well.
Improved Attention Span
In the age of social media, our attention spans seem to have taken a nose-dive. If you feel like this has happened to you, then martial arts might be able to help. Researchers say that martial arts help with your attention span through a technique called attention state training, or AST.
It is said that if you perform martial arts, you will see linked improvement between your alertness in daily life and at the gym. Karate, in particular, is linked with this research as the best option. By teaching your brain to pay attention to both auditory and visual signals, karate teaches the brain to pay better attention to multiple tasks in daily life.
Many martial arts classes are touted as being great for an anti-bullying program. By sending children to martial arts, you give them the chance to learn how to maintain a level of self-control that they wouldn't have to learn elsewhere. Though research has only shown significant mental changes in boys, there is proof that martial arts are great for calming physical aggression and bringing confidence to the forefront.
Low-impact and meditative styles of martial arts are perfect for learning to read and control yourself in a stressful situation. One example of this would be Tai Chi. This practice put an emphasis on controlled breathing, meditation, and relaxation. Though not ideal for younger children, teenagers to adults can reap large rewards from this art form.
If you have been looking for a connection between emotional health and physical fitness, you can find it within martial arts. Karate has been shown to stabilize emotions and lower rates of depression across the ages. In addition, greater levels of self-esteem did training more fun and beneficial for the students involved.
When people are sedentary, they have a chance of forgetting. However, active people at all age ranges, often have better memories than their sedentary counterparts. Martial arts has been shown to improve a person's memory. In addition, research has shown the karate is better than the average workout at improving your mental cognition.
If you have been looking for an option for your children, Bodies in Motion offers special classes in the martial arts for kids. Our classes combine a mixture of teachings to create something that the children can learn multiple lessons from. We want to ensure that your children have access to tools that will keep them in shape physically and mentally while keeping them protected and free from harm should something happen.
With Fall right around the corner, you are going to need to start planning your Halloween costumes and getting your spices in a row. Fall is many children’s favorite time of year thanks to pumpkins, candy, and bonfires. In the city of Boise, the colors change, and the air turns crisp and cool. During Fall, there is more than enough to fill your calendar.
Linder Farms Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch
Enjoying a corn maze is the perfect way to start Fall correctly. Linder Farms will make sure your day is spent right. As the official corn made of the Boise State Broncos, this made is the perfect place to get lost, take a hayride, pick a pumpkin, pet animals, and more.
Idaho Botanical Gardens
The month of October is the perfect time to visit the botanical gardens. During the Halloween season, you’ll have access to the best scarecrow stroll in the state. Different scarecrows will represent local communities and organizations. You’ll have a chance to vote for the best while also seeing everything else the botanical garden has to offer.
Fall Boise Parade of Homes
If you like looking at homes, then Fall is the perfect time for you to get out of the house. The Fall Boise Parade of Homes lasts from September until October. Each weekend, you will be able to see new constructions and other gorgeous homes through an event that has been sponsored by the Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho since 1956. If you are looking to build a new home, this might be perfect for you.
See Spot Walk
This race is perfect if your family likes or even has a furry friend. It’s a 5K and Fun Run that’s often held in Julia Davis Park. You’ll be able to watch and participate in a 5K, 1-mile walk, contests, demonstrations, and more. You can bring pets and even see adoptable pets through the Idaho Humane Society.
Fall Harvest Festival
This is another event held at the spectacular Idaho Botanical Gardens. By attending this family-friendly festival, you can enjoy beer, wine, and food while voting on your favorite scare grow and enjoying live music. There are activities for children as well as adults.
Though not in Boise, this event is worth the trip. Taking place in the Fall each year, head over to Sandpoint, for three days of bands, microbrews, wines, and ciders. Though the festival might be geared towards adults, children are allowed, and special events are planned to keep them entertained.
Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic
Launch into September and Autumn with a balloon festival. Five days of free activities from August 28th to September 1st make this the best, and most colorful, start to the fall season. You will get the chance to participate in activities, attend the nite glow balloon show, and watch the balloons take off each day.
Overall, Fall is a great time of year in Idaho. There are plenty of things both listed and unlisted to take part in to keep your family, and you entertained. Don’t forget to get out of the house, enjoy the crisp and cool air, and let us know via our social media what you’ve been doing with your family to stay active and healthy.
As the school year starts, you and your children might wonder if camps are something that you can only attend during the summer break. As it turns out, camp is not just for the summer months! Camps are for children all year round! Breaks in the school year make it easy to get your kid into a day-long or week-long program so that they can have fun and you can work like normal.
Today, we’re talking a bit about what non-summer camps are, how to find them, and what to expect. Don’t forget to check out Bodies in Motion’s social media to make sure you know when we are hosting camps and other fun retreats and events.
What Can You Expect?
Though there are exceptions, mid-school year camps will be day camps that are either all day or most of the day options. Overnight camps are generally confined to summer and anything over a week will be hard with most school breaks only lasting five days. Also, your food included will depend on what camp you choose and the price that you pay. In many cases, you’ll need to prepare all three meals for your child, ensuring that they take at least lunch with them.
Much like summer camp, you will have the option to pick a theme and length that best suit your family. A five-day rock climbing camp might be great for older kids with interest; however, young kids might only be okay with a day or two to start. Make sure to ask them what they are interested in and get as much information about the class before you sign up.
When can you let your kid attend out-of-summer camps?
The first break that your children will commonly get is fall break. This week-long period in October or November will help your children destress halfway through the fall semester. FOr you, however, it can be stressful as you have to determine what to do with them for the whole week. A week-long camp is a perfect remedy for this situation. For the most part, these will be day camps that take place in a gym, museum, or other local attraction. Your child can learn a new sport or hobby while staying safe and engaged.
Though not as many are available, winter break is another time when camps are typical due to the long break in between semesters. Day camps and overnight camps, as well as short and long sessions, are available if you look in the right places. Keep in mind; these camps will fill up fast and often take place during the time before or after Christmas.
The last break that children often get outside of Summer is Spring Break. This week-long period works just as fall break in many ways. Day options with or without food can be found in most major kids gyms, museums, and attractions. In addition, the warming weather makes outdoor sports camps easier to run. Keep in mind, these camps often have the same schedule as school, meaning they don’t run from sunrise until you get off. There is a high chance that you will have to use the same after school method you use during the semester.
How to find a camp?
The best way to find these lesser-known camps is through social media and Google searching. Though they are advertised, they have often targeted ads that you might miss if you don’t look at the right flyer or sign up for the correct email list. In addition to searching the internet, try going to a local place that your child loves. For example, if your child loves swimming, go to the local swim gym to see if they will be offering any day camps during the week that the local school is out. You never know what you will find out.
With the school year about to start, chances are your child will finish school before you get home for the day. This can leave a gap where no one is around to watch your children. Do you have to make them go somewhere or can you leave them at home by themselves? A lot of that is based on the emotional maturity of your child, and a bit is based on laws. Today, we're helping you figure it out.
Are they over 14 years old?
In the state of Illinois, a child has to be above 14 years old before being left at home alone by law. Anything under this age and you will be legally obligated to make sure that they are supervised at home until you get there. Unfortunately, it does not matter what the emotional state of your child is under this age.
How long will they be at home alone for?
If your child is 14, chances are they can be left alone for a few hours until you get there. However, if you don't get home until late at night, you should find someone to watch them until you get home. Children at this age can not always handle an emergency. In addition, they are not adults and shouldn't be cooking, cleaning, and going to bed all by themselves.
Are they okay with it?
While it might seem strange, you should ask to make sure that your child is okay with being at home alone. If they are, then you can look at if they are ready. However, if they are not, you should find out why and work to grow your child's independence before throwing them in the deep end.
Do they know what to do in case of an emergency?
Does your child know what to do if there is a fire, power outage, or if you're gone longer than you should be? Making sure they know how to handle even the most unexpected emergencies can be the difference between life and death in the worst situations. Make sure they know all the important numbers as well as emergency services and their address.
Do they know not to answer the door?
When you are not at home, no one should be coming to the house to see the child. If they do, your child should know not to answer the door. In addition, they should not answer the phone unless the caller-ID shows that it's you or another approved person calling the phone.
Do they listen to you at home and at school?
Perhaps one of the most important factors is their ability to listen when you are at home. Staying at home alone can only be done if the child is responsible and capable of following directions. Think about how they act as school as well. If they can't listen to a teacher and behave when you aren't around, that's not a good sign for staying at home alone.
What do they do if they are hungry?
Does your child know how to take care of their own basic needs? If they don't, then they won't be able to stay at home alone. Making sure that they know what they can eat and how to get food and water when you are away is the first step in making sure that they can stay at home alone.
When you first think about leaving your child at home alone, you should work to run through a few scenarios with them. Get them to answer each question with what they would actually do, for example, if someone came to the door that they didn't know. Then, if they answer the questions correctly, you should leave them alone for short periods of time, working your way up to longer periods.
A great way is to start by spending time with the next-door neighbor for thirty minutes then checking back in. Once you can do this often, you can work the time up and start going on trips with the car. Eventually, you'll know how long you can leave your child alone for and what to expect when you get back.
If you’ve been looking for a school option for your growing child, then this list will be the ultimate guide for you. We’ve gathered the 13 different types of schooling that exist in the USA school system. Take a look at the standards and decide what’s best for you and your child.
Traditional Public School
Public schooling is the most common type of schooling in the USA. The schools are operated by federal government funds and overseen by school boards. Traditional public schools will abide by certain standards and often show they are meeting those standards via standardized testing.
This school is a mix between a public and a private school. They are free; however, parents have to submit a separate application to enroll in this type of schooling. They can make more decisions about what to teach and focus on in comparison to public schools. Often, the freedom is translated into pressure to perform in their specified field.
These free public schools specialize in certain areas like the sciences or arts. They are operated by a district and enroll students using a random lottery. They are highly competitive and promote higher-level cognitive and social learning.
Public Online School
More public schools are opening online options for students. Like home schools, these take place at home. They offer flexibility and freedom for students to learn at their pace. There are major differences per program, so it is vital to track what you are getting into.
Traditional Private School
The government does not fund these schools. Rather tuition, paid by the parent and ensures that the school is running. They have the freedom to deviate from the national curriculum and focus on whatever they wish.
A boarding school offers both food and lodging to its child. However, they also have a thriving community of scholars, athletes, and artists. Most schools require students to live on campus for the whole school year. They offer deeper relationships, extra-curricular activities, and many extras other schools can’t.
Language Immersion School
These types of schools teach in a second language for the students. In general, these are designed for a student whose first language is English but wants to be fluent in another language. In these schools, almost all of the classes are taught in the second language but can be supplemented by English when the need arises.
Special Education Schools
These types of school are designed for children with mental or physical limitations that are keeping them from succeeding in other types of schooling. They are better equipped to deal with special needs children, their limitations, and their needs. Often, they will have extra counselors, nurses, and advisors that are informed of the specific limitations and needs of each child.
The first in specifically religious schooling, these schools get most of their funding from a local church. As such, they are often partnered with the church and cheaper than traditional religious churches. Their education is much like a traditional private school; however, they often have a religion class or chappel time.
These are simply private schools that have a religious background. Tuition will still be paid completely by the parent. They often have uniforms that must be paid for outside of tuition. These schools have more control over their religion classes than the parochial schools due because of their independence.
Montessori schooling honors each child’s interests. While the curriculum is well rounded, it also emphasizes hands-on learning and subjects that the child has taken an interest in. It’s a structure that teaches children independence and advanced thinking from a young age.
All Waldorf Schools in the US are nonprofits, and that is, and that’s a defining characteristic of the school. Within the school, emotional and imaginative learning comes first. The educational curriculum does not come into play until seven years of age. This slow and steady approach has proven successful, with 94% of graduates going to college compared to 66% of graduates outside of the movement.
Not exactly a whole schooling type, the Reggio Emilia schooling type focuses on the ways that a child learns. Founder, Reggio Emilia, famously said, “The child has a hundred languages.” As such, teachers document each student’s learning moments, emotions, and expressions so that they can best teach and help each child grow.
As summer winds down, your family will soon be getting ready for the school year and everything that will entail. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit more fun while the summer sun is still going strong. Today, we’re talking about how to have a bit more summer sun before the school year starts.
Plan a Mini Vacation
If you have some time and money to spare, the best way to celebrate the end of summer is to plan a mini weekend vacation before the school year starts. Think about the places that you can go with a short drive from your home. Perhaps a trip to a lake or to a new city. If you can score cheap plane tickets, maybe you can even head to the beach for the weekend. Last-minute tickets are hard to find, but not impossible.
Plan a Staycation
If you don’t have the ability to leave or just don’t want to, then taking a staycation might be a better option. Plan a trip through your own town as if you are here visiting as a tourist. Go to the museum and into town to shop. Take a minute to go to the local park and find a place to swim! When you live in a town for a long time, it can be easy to forget how many things there are to do.
Movie Night Under the Stars
It’s time to find a projector and a white sheet. Though projectors used to cost an arm and a leg, they can not be gotten for a low price at the local Walmart. Find a projector and get a white sheet that you can hand on the back of your home. Use an inflatable kiddie pool with pillows to create the perfect place to lay. Grab all of your favorite movies and TV shows and spend the night watching movies outside. If you want, sleep under the stars right in your own backyard!
Spend a Day Hiking
If your family is more into taking a trip to see nature, a Saturday hiking could be just what you need to finish the summer off right. Find a hiking trail you haven’t done before and taking your family for a trip. Remember, you should always wear appropriate clothing and pack both food and water. Also, make sure to bring some first aid so that you can take care of any issues that may arise.
One fun option that doesn’t cost money is window shopping. Take a day to go to all your favorite shops and try on clothes. Take photos, grab lunch, and have fun. However, remember not to spend money! Though fun, window shopping is hard if you find something you like. An option to solve this would be to set a budget so that you know you have some money to spend and strive to keep yourself under it.
Though fun, summer will come to an end. Making the last of it count before school starts back up is a great way to bond with your family before the stress of the school year kicks in. What do you plan to do this summer? If you are still looking for a preschool option when school starts back up, give Bodies in Motion a shout.
Enrolling your child into fitness classes or sports classes is no easy choice. You have to worry about picking the right one, getting the gear, signing papers, and even the age that you should do all of that at. Today, we’re going to help you a bit by talking about at what age children can join fitness classes.
It Depends on the Sport or Subject.
The first thing that you should think about is what sport your child will be doing? Each sport has different requirements for age and mental ability. For example, children just a few months old can begin to learn how to swim. On the other hand, a true track or cross country team won’t start until your child is at least middle school age.
This age difference is mainly dependent on how a child would handle each sport. Children can do both karate and gymnastics as young as three or four. Football and soccer will start later after the children have gained an understanding of team sports and playing together. In addition to age, you should also think about the mentality and abilities of your specific child.
What is Your Child’s Mindset?
Next, think about the mental age of your specific child. If your child has an advanced understanding of playing as a team, starting tykes soccer at three or four won’t be a bad idea. On the other hand, starting rock climbing at five might not be a good idea if your child isn’t very good with heights or tough challenges.
Is It Healthy for Him or Her?
Another thought should be on the health of the sport. Long-distance running isn’t recommended as a sport until the child is older and their bones are more fully formed. Many of these recommendations will be based on joining the programs with competitive intentions. That means children can still learn the sport informally and be safe; however, rigorous training won’t be ideal until older.
For example, competitive swimming shouldn’t be taken until your child is at least four years old, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics. However, if you want to get into water safety and readiness, then children as young as six months will be fine.
Do You Have Time
Outside of physical preparedness, comes your family situation. If you don’t have a lot of time in your life, starting a sport might be something to put off. You don’t want to cause stress with a sport. Remember, meetings and competitions will take time on weekends and weekdays. In addition, the financial cost of sports can be high. There are a few things that you should ask yourself and your family before signing up.
Does the Child Want to?
While you should always encourage your child to do new things, you should also be sure your kids aren’t miserable. By making sure they are happy, you can start them out on a healthy track in life. If you force your child into a sport that they hate, they could form adversity to fitness classes and sports teams.
Think about a diverse range of activities that your child could do. Each season, try something new until they find something they love and want to stick with. A few examples include karate, rock climbing, swimming, basketball, football, soccer, track, and cross country. Just remember to talk to a doctor about what they are ready for.
As a parent, you have to work to pay the bills for your family. You might not be able to be around your child as much as you or they may like, including after school. After all, in many cases, your child's school will end at two or three while you might not get off work until five or six. If your child is young, they can't stay at home by themselves. Rather than just leaving a babysitter at home, why not send them to after school care?
Children Need More Than an Eye
When you leave your child at home with a babysitter, then there is a high chance that they will spend their time relaxing or watching TV until you get home. If they have homework, then the babysitter can help them. In addition, they might be able to play with neighborhood friends. However, what's missing is hand-on experiences, structure play, extra learning, and time enrichment. While children might be alright at home, they aren't living their full potential.
A child at afterschool care gets everything their mind needs to keep growing and having fun until you get home at night. They will be able to do their homework, go on field trips, play with others, and take part in activities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
Children Have Varying Needs
In addition to needing more than just an eye to watch then, each child has unique needs based on their development and age. At home, there is a chance that nothing will happen and they will be left to their own devices. At after school care, thought will be put into each day of activities by the teachers and program directors.
The teachers and directors will take into account the age and abilities of each child so that they can get the most out of their time each day. If you have a five-year-old, working with legos to build a massive car might be too advanced. By the same token, a ten-year-old should not be coloring simple pictures. A teacher will know this and can make sure that each child will get what they need each day.
What Should You Look For in After School Care?
When you look for after school care, you should keep a few things in mind. In addition to this list, make sure to think about your own needs and circumstances.
Overall, after school programs are a great way to make sure that your child is getting everything they need to grow into a strong and independent adult. As they reach an age where they can stay at home alone, be sure that they have learned how to take care of the home and their responsibilities. If you are looking for an afterschool care option in the Boise, Idaho area, check out Bodies in Motion today!
Fall is the perfect time of year to run a new race, whether it’s a new 5k or new marathons. With a few months left, you still have plenty of time to get in better shape before the deadlines start approaching as well. Running is a great way to cross-train, lose fat, and have fun with your family. Today we’re going to talk about the top races that are coming up in Boise in the fall!
USA Endurance Events: Jack & Jill’s Downhill Marathon & Half Marathon
As a USATF Boston Qualifying Race that drops over 4000’ throughout the race, you know you can this is a personal record course. What’s better, avid runners will be able to use the time they get from this downhill race on both the 2020 and 2021 Boston Marathons.
The race starts at an elevation of 6753’ in Bogus Basin and ends at an elevation of 2683’ at Ann Morrison Park in Boise, Idaho with an almost all downhill slide. Their website has a great graph showing the elevation based on the mile that can help you plan and visualize.
With a race date of September 15th, you still have plenty of time run your next or your first marathon.
City of Trees Marathon and Half Marathon
If September seems a bit too close for a full marathon, why not try this October 13th option. Rather than a straight race, this circular race will start and finish at Parkcenter Park in Boise. As with the previous race, this is a Boston Marathon Qualifier that uses chips for the best timing.
As an October race, you can expect fall foliage to accompany your run the length of the course. The course takes place mostly under the tree canopy on the Boise Greenbelt. Due to the location, you can expect a flat and fast river-side course.
Zeitgeist Half Marathon
If you’re looking for something that can mix fun and fitness, this race is perfect. Taking place on November 2nd, it’s 13.1-mile length is lines with aid stations and beautiful sights. The loop course is paved and changes 1,181 feet in elevation over three hills.
If you run, you will get a long sleeve shirt as well as a finishing medal. In addition, you can expect a post-race party with hot and cold food as well as awards and live band. Unlike most post-race menus, this event aims to have a full menu anyone will love. Examples include garden pasta, scalloped potatoes, mushroom soup and chicken tortilla soup, bagels and cream cheese, and micro-brewed beer.
The YMCA Halloween Run
For those not looking to run 13 or 26 miles, a fun and short option is available. The YMCA is hosting a 5k and Monster Mile on the 26th of October at 4:30 and 6:00 in the afternoon. As previous, the course will take place on the Boise Greenbelt offering a fast and flat run or walk for you and your family.
As a Halloween run, this race is more fun than fitness. Glow Sticks and costumes are encouraged, and there will even be a pre-race costume contest! Register online to save money and ensure that you get an entry into this spooky event!