Ideas For Encouraging Your Kids To Spend More Time Outside

There are lots of improvements adults can make to their gardens to encourage their kids to spend more time outside. Now is the best time to create your plan because you have a few months to get the backyard ready for the summertime. There are some suggestions below that you might like to consider, and you can always conduct some extra research online if you need some inspiration. When all’s said and done, most kids spend too much time sat in front of the television these days. With that in mind, you need to work hard to turn that situation around.

[Photo courtesy of Jesper Sørensen/flickr.com]

Create a fun play area

When it comes to creating a play area in the garden for your kids, the possibilities are endless. You could purchase swings, slides, and lots of other equipment to make the outdoor space seem exciting to the little ones. Of course, you might have to employ the services of an affordable tree arborist if you don’t have enough space at the moment. Once you remove all those unwanted trees; you can start turning your backyard into a thrilling activity hub where your loved ones can spend time with their friends. Again, if you need some extra inspiration; just look through Google images.

Start growing fruit and vegetables

Most children find mother nature fascinating, and so you could spark their imagination by growing some fruits and vegetables in your garden. Your kids will love learning about the plants and caring for them as they grow. The best thing about that idea is that, in a few month’s time; you can sit down at the dinner table and enjoy some organic produce. Put your kids in charge of watering the plants and ensure they take an active role if you want the best results. Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire them to take up an agriculture hobby or something similar? Stranger things have happened!

[Photo courtesy of Ricardo’s Photography/flickr.com]

Bring wildlife into your garden

There are lots of steps you can take if you want to bring some wildlife into your garden for the kids. Firstly, you need to secure the land to ensure your neighbour’s cats can’t get into the backyard. That should encourage more birds to land and eat from your feeders. You could also dig a small pond if you wanted to attract frogs and tadpoles. Some people choose to build chicken coops and benefit from fresh eggs every morning. The idea is just to make the backyard seem as vibrant and alive as possible.

If you put those suggestions into practice; there is a decent chance your kids will peel themselves away from the TV screen a little more often. Just be sure you spend lots of time in the garden as a family when the weather improves. Building a brick barbecue is a wise move because it will mean your family can enjoy a few meals outside during the summer. You might also think about adding some waterproof outdoor speakers, so you have some entertainment in the backyard. Just create a plan and work out your budget before the spring.

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Super Simple Interior Design Ideas

When people hear the term interior design, their minds often jump to hugely complicated projects that are going to take up a great deal of time and effort. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Sometimes, the best home improvement jobs are simple and don’t require too much from you in terms of commitment. When you own a place, it is always something of a work in progress so these jobs can really end up making all the difference.

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pexels.com]

Paint the Room in Soft, Light Colours

Whatever the size of your house, you want to get the most out of it by making the rooms seem as big as possible. A simple paint job can really make a big impact, particularly if you choose soft, light colours, as well as mirrors that reflect the natural light that comes pouring in from the doors. On the opposite side of the coin, darker colours tend to make a room feel smaller and boxed-in.

Mix Up Patterns and Textures

Whether you do the job on your own or you say to yourself “I want to find an interior designer near me”, mixing the patterns and textures in your rooms is a classic technique. There is nothing wrong with putting some old pieces of furniture alongside more modern items, as long as they don’t clash too much and they properly represent your own unique personality and style. When everything seems too uniform, it has the look of coming straight out of a catalogue rather than feeling lived-in.

Use What You Already Have

As we have mentioned already, there is no need to spend huge sums of cash buying a whole load of expensive, new items. Pretty much all of us have items that can be used to add a bit of character to your home. Just some of these include bedside tables, luggage racks, trunks and old pieces of furniture. Another idea is to hang some plates around the place as wall art. Some simple DIY tricks can look great and give you a good project to tackle.

Add a Touch of Greenery

[Photo courtesy of lum3n/pexels.com]

Adding a few plants and flowers to your living spaces can add a touch of nature indoors. The great thing about plants is that they are an affordable way of bringing in some colour and texture to your home. Many houseplants don’t require a great deal of upkeep, and they also help to clean the household air. Not only this, they can also absorb pollutants and get rid of a lot of harmful gases from the air.

Soften Up Hardwood Floors with Some Rugs

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Hardwood floors have a classic and elegant feel in the home, but they can end up looking a little bare without a few throw rugs. Choose a style and texture that suits you, and place them in key areas around your house without overdoing it. You could even change up the styles depending on the season if you like the idea of giving your home a different look throughout the year.

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How to Keep Your Home Cool during the Summer

While we may not be blessed with sweltering weather all year round in the UK, there is no denying that it can get a bit stuffy and uncomfortable in the home when the sun comes out. If you are searching for ways to make your home cool throughout the summer months ahead, read on.

[Photo courtesy of /wikimedia.org]

Tips for your A/C

Of course, the easiest way to cool your home is with air conditioning, and there are numerous ways you can ensure your system runs more effectively. If possible, provide shade for your air conditioning unit, as this will boost its efficiency by five to ten per cent. You should also make sure that you clean your A/C air filter on a monthly basis. Air flow will drop by around one per cent per week due to normal dust build-up. Another tip is to make sure you do not use a dehumidifier while your air conditioner is turned on, as it will cause the cooling load to increase, which will make the air conditioner work even harder. And, if you have been meaning to get your air conditioning unit repaired for a while, now is the time with a company that provides a quick service, such as Farmen & Dermer AC repair.

Window solutions

Not only do you need to concentrate on your air conditioning unit throughout the summer, but your windows can be key to ensuring your home is comfortable. You should think about exotic infills for your windows. This is a new technology that ensures the space between the panels is filled with argon or krypton, which boost R-values because they are gases that have lower conductivity than air. You should also install mini-blinds or white window shades, as they can lower solar heat gain by as much as 50 per cent.

Quick tips

Now that we have dealt with the most important aspects regarding keeping your home cool during the summer, let’s take a look at some quick tips that will help you along the way:

  • Grill – Forget about using the stove or the oven during the summer months; it is only going to make your home feel like a sauna. If you are already sweltering, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven. Instead, use the grill. After all, who doesn’t love a barbeque during the summer months?
  • Get rid of incandescent lights – Now is the time to get rid of incandescent lights. Did you know that they actually waste about 90 per cent of their energy in the heat they emit? This is an awful lot of energy and an awful lot of heat. Making the switch can reduce the heat in your home as well as your energy bills.
  • Heat-proof your bed – Is there anything more frustrating than being too hot while in bed? This may sound weird, but you’d be surprised how effective it is: fill a hot water bottle with water, and place it in the freezer, and then before bed put it under your feet before you go to sleep.
  • Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise – Lastly, you may not realise it, but you need to adjust your ceiling fans seasonally. During the summer, make sure your fan rotates counter-clockwise, as this will create a chilled breeze that will make you feel cooler.

For some more tips on making your home summer-ready, click here.

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Throwing Shade: Go Low-Tech But Stay Cool

If you know all too well how unbearable it can be once summer hits you’ll already be looking at ways to keep your bills down and your air supply up! Depending on where you live, temperatures can quickly reach 90 Degrees Fahrenheit and it’s much harder to concentrate, sleep and eat when the sun’s at its zenith. One of the best ways to keep cool during the summer months is to stay hydrated. You should also always make sure you carry sunglasses, as even on cloudy days the sun can be powerful, and our eyes are incredibly sensitive.

It may also be worth keeping your curtains open at night, that way the cold air will alleviate the stuffiness in your house once the sun’s gone down. Try to get as much fresh air blowing through your home as possible by opening windows, doors, using fans to circulate and blasting the AC for a few hours so the filters to trap any dirt and debris that may be floating around. You may also have noticed a greater abundance of insects appearing, summer is often where you see the most wasps, bees, flies and beetles. Take precautions by putting up fly screens even if you don’t live in a rural area and check food is never allowed to sit out in the heat, not only will this spoil the flavor and texture but it could make you quite ill. While bees and wasps may look pretty buzzing around your flowerbeds, they have a nasty sting so always know where your tweezers, antiseptic insect bite cream and plasters are!

Brown Woven Umbrella

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Take Cover

Parasols are great but if you want to make a real difference to the temperature in your home why not buy yourself an awning? The Department of Energy has stated awnings, or shaded covers can reduce heat by 30% simply because the sun rises and the linen cover takes the brunt of the heat while rays bounce off. While awnings aren’t as fashionable as they used to be; they do add a certain charm to your property as well as allowing you to sit outside comfortably. Before buying an awning always check to see if your property is suitable, maintain both the mechanism and fabric to stop cracks or holes appearing and never let children pull or raise awnings themselves as they could get their fingers trapped. Avoid any accidents by using an awning pole, a device similar to a loft pole which attaches to the hook on the underside and lets you pull down the striped sail from a safe distance.

Vacant Swing Near Grey and Green Tree

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Get Planting!

If you’re very lucky, you’ll live somewhere with lots of trees which isn’t just good for your health because trees take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, but they also act as a natural barrier and so quite often the temperature in the shade is at least ten degrees cooler than out in the open! However, lots of us believe that as long as there are trees somewhere nearby, we’ll automatically stay much cooler! Sadly, that’s not always the case as depending on where those trees are placed, that’ll decide how much shade you get. If you have no trees close to the house, it may be worth thinking about planting some young saplings now. Choose trees that grow quite quickly like poplars, maples, birches, and willows as well as those that are famed for their leafy, green appearance, so they’ll give you plenty of shade.

To save a significant amount of energy, or at least figure that’ll be noticeable on your next bill plant trees on the south and west-facing sides of your property. Everyone knows that south facing gardens tend to get the most sun, so by creating a tree line there you’ll reduce the heat dramatically. Remember, trees are a natural way to cool down your entire home as well as encouraging wildlife into the neighborhood. When planting always check the property boundaries before you start digging and as long as you don’t cross over onto your neighbor’s land you’re fine.

However, we do suggest being courteous as not only do you not want to start a turf war but it means if you block their beautiful view now they could do the same thing to you later on.

bed, bedroom, chair

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Have A Ceiling Fan

It may seem a bit old-fashioned, almost colonial, but high ceiling fans do a fantastic job of keeping the air moving while cooling down rooms you spend the most time in. In fact, the more people you put somewhere small the hotter the overall room temperature gets. This is because we each have our own perfect temperature! Some people feel much colder than others but in a big group heat becomes the dominant force and as it rises things then get fairly uncomfortable quite quickly as people begin to sweat.

Ceiling fans aren’t as ugly as they used to be and now come in a variety of shapes and sizes they’re also quieter than you’d expect. Remember, these fans are designed to keep you from melting so if you’re going out turn the fan off! If you really need your AC on, and let’s face it in mid-summer plenty of us see it as a lifesaver try to look for one that’s as silent as possible. There are also some great quiet ac units out there that won’t make you feel like you’re standing in the middle of an airfield instead of your living room every time you turn on the remote control!

art, brush, color

[Photo courtesy of Tookapic/pexels.com]

White Out!

Do you recall your eighth-grade science lessons and how your teacher told you how snow reflects the heat instead of absorbing it due to it’s lighter color? The same principal applies to our roofs so if you want to lower the temperature below you should mix it up above! It’s often why you’ll find buildings and roofs painted white or yellow in hotter countries so that the encroaching heat doesn’t seep inside. Believe it or not, a report by Climate Change Research suggested that if all buildings and roads in the US were painted white the energy saved could run into millIons of dollars.

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