There perhaps is nothing as rewarding as being a parent. It is incredible watching a young baby incapable of making endearing gurgling noise, eating ferociously, and filling diapers grow into a young adult. My son recently turned fifteen, and having a teenaged son, is like trying to navigate a mine field, blindfolded, carrying a tray of delicate porcelain teacups and attempting to jitterbug. Accidents and mishaps are inevitable. The trick, as I am slowly discovering, is to maintain the damage to a minimum. As I study his facial features now, I no longer see a young boy; I see the firm chin and piercing eyes of a determined young man. Although at this point I have not completely concluded precisely what he is determined at. Up until most recently he was the neatest of individuals. He prided himself in keeping everything neat and tidy. He would fold his clothes and put them away in an orderly manner that would put Martha Stewart to shame. In his room everything was in its place, books were neatly stacked, CD's in their covers, the bed always made.
Quite why children love tricycles, scooters and bicycles is perhaps a slight mystery - do they like the feel of the air rushing past them, or the fact that they can move about quickly with relatively little effort? Almost certainly the appeal does not lie in the increased likelihood of them having scraped knees, cut elbows, a bump on the head and a missing tooth. However, since children do enjoy these modes of transport, and fathers do seem to enjoy launching their small children down the road armed only with a vague idea of what a brake handle looks like, toy manufacturers have managed to design a range of cycles to appeal to both boys and girls, and to all ages. A number of features have been incorporated for safety, and many bikes these days are adaptable to allow it to grow, to at least some extent, with the child. Clearly to begin with very young children will not be able to understand pedals, brakes, or even steering, but will enjoy trundling along on wheels. An excellent choice at this age would be to purchase an push along car which has a base and a rear handle.
When you think of children's toys it is easy to imagine the fairly small collection of characters and gadgets lined up along the shelves in various toy shops and department stores. However, toys can be significantly larger, and in particular, those toys which can be used in the garden. If you are fortunate enough to have a garden or other outdoor space, then you may have considered the idea of purchasing some outdoor equipment for your child to play with. Playing inside is all very well, but children should be encouraged to get outdoors to play for several reasons. First of all, they are likely to be at less risk, or pose a reduced risk themselves, to items, ornaments and other paraphernalia around the house; secondly, they are likely to have a greater space to run around in, and help burn off more energy, and of course, being outside is a great benefit to them, as the fresh air and sunshine will do them a very good deal of good health wise. We all need sunshine and fresh air, and it is not simply some myth that they us good - sunshine helps promote the body's ability to use vitamin B, and the fresh air will be of much greater benefit than the dusty, air conditioned and sterile air contained within a building.
Some toys have their ups and downs, but none more so than the trampoline. It used to be the case that trampolines were limited to schools, gymnasiums and the seaside theme parks, but in recent years there have been miniature trampolines available for children, and even more recently much larger trampolines which have been almost adult sized. Ranging in size from just a couple of feet across to a full six feet in diameter, these have proved to be extremely popular with children of all ages, and with a few parents as well! Some of the smaller trampolines are simply designed to be kept indoors, and frequently have a hand rail to hold on to. Very small children, including toddlers, can use this to hold on to whilst they jump and bounce. Small children have a natural tendency to bounce and jump, and the experience of being able to do so with such greater effect is always met with delight. These trampolines are usually built very strongly, with wide legs that prevent tipping over or flipping, and the springs themselves are either well hidden by a surrounding collar of plastic, or non-existent, with the base of the trampoline simply made from elastic.
A train set is often bought for a little boy by his father, not always because the father genuinely believes his little boy really wanted a train set, but because the father really wanted a train set. However, there are many occasions when children, not just boys, are interested in train sets, and have a great deal of fun with them. Of course, like any other toy, they come in a variety of types, and if you are considering buying a train set, whether for you, for your child, or for your child to start with until they get bored and you 'reluctantly' have to take it over, then there are a few things to consider and bear in mind when looking to choose a suitable set. For very young children it would clearly be inappropriate to buy a scale model of the Flying Scotsman and half a mile of track. Instead there are a number of fantasy train sets, from Thomas the Tank Engine, who has remained popular through the books, television series and other related toys, to Harry Potter, with the Hogwarts Express featuring amongst various other models and features.
Children love exploring at the beach - the combination of dry powdery sand, wet squidgy sand that can be moulded, and water is intriguing, and allows for endless experimentation, building, modelling and finding out about how things work and feel. Very often children also like building roads, towns, forts, castles and other constructions, and then either use their imagination, or small shells or pebbles as cars or people, and use the sand and water as the scenery for their small world of pretend play. These same opportunities and benefits can also be brought back to the garden, in the form of water and sand play tables. Very often these are used at play groups, nurseries and infant schools, and there are very good reasons why these tables are so often seen and used at these places. The children love the feel of the sand and water, and the different textures help stimulate their minds, and the ability to make believe, construct, experiment and build is endless, and is the sort of play that is always going to be beneficial, as well as absorbing.
It used to be that the only time you'd come across a bouncy castle would be at the fun fair or other special event. Occasionally a child's birthday party would be wild enough to have hired one, but that would be a treat. Today, it is now possible for inflatable bouncy castles and ball pools to be available for use at home - either in the garden or even inside. Of course, the bouncy castles for use at home are generally smaller, since it is unlikely to have very many children playing on it at once, and whereas the professional bouncy castles have either one or two motors attached pumping air continuously into the inflatable castle, the ones at home can be pumped up manually, using either a small foot pump or electric pump, and then a valve is closed, holding the air inside like a balloon. The quality of build is usually more than ample for one, two even three children to play on quite happily, and a wide range of designs are available. Bouncy castles themed to Barbie, or Disney films, or places such as desert islands, the army or underwater are available too.
If you are at all green fingered, then the chances are that your little one has joined you outside, and wanted to join in with whatever you're doing. Fortunately there are plenty of alternatives to letting them use your electric hedge trimmer or ride on lawnmower, and children's garden sets tend to come in three main varieties. The first type are the toy tools and garden sets, which are designed to be used indoors as much as out in the garden. These toys are for those children too young to really be trusted to do anything with your blessed plot, and just really want to role play rather than lovingly tend an ornamental rose. These garden kits are usually entirely plastic, and therefore incapable of really doing anything, and often include a spade, a fork and a rake. Children love using miniature tools that look like their parents' and it may well be that having their own set helps to foster an interest in gardening, which makes it much easier in later life when you need them to dead head the hydrangeas for you.
According to a recent Internet Safety workshop I attended in April, the three most popular chat rooms are MySpace, Yahoo! Chat, and Facebook. These social networking sites are places where people congregate online to share messages, music, pictures, files and more. These anonymous sites allow the user to assume any identity and chat with individuals worldwide. While most of the visitors are of no real concern to children, a recent FBI sting identified 29, 000 registered sexual offenders who had active MySpace accounts (using their own names). The number of anonymous sex offenders remains unknown, as registration on these sites is based on the "honor" system. This is disturbing, as a 2006 University of New Hampshire study showed that 1 in 7 children were sexually solicited online, and 1 in 33 were aggressively solicited in a sexual nature. A relatively new entrant into the "virtual world" of social networking is a website known as Second Life. With nearly 13 million online users, this is one of the fastest growing virtual community sites in the world.
Maybe you are too young to get a job or you simply like being your own boss. Starting a business may be the perfect choice to earn some money. With a little creativity and hard work, you can start your own business. There are many ways aggressive young people can get started in the business world. Here are a few ideas: A Painting Service Painting is a messy job, so if you have some experience and some friends there are surely some people who would pay you to do it. Be sure you can offer professional results at a lower cost than a professional company would charge. Selling Drinks or Bottled Water During the hot summer months, an ice cold drink at a good price would be a welcomed thing at a park, playground, or anywhere there is activity. You could purchase drinks at a wholesale price, chill them and they would sell like crazy. A Cleaning Service People who don't have time to clean their homes or small businesses would gladly pay someone to do it for them. Yard or basement cleaning could be a real money maker too.