TIME Parenting

Tips for Managing Meltdowns From a Child Therapist

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Idea no. 1: learn the art of ignoring

Actively ignore. Most disruptive kid behavior is attention-seeking, so your most powerful response is to withdraw your attention completely by ignoring. Is your kid whining non-stop because you turned off the TV? Let her know you’ll be tuning her out. You might say, “Hey Suzie, right now you are whining, and that hurts my ears. I’m not going to answer you until you can use your regular voice.” Then, don’t give her any response or feedback (that means, no eye contact, no “mom eye,” and no verbal feedback to her behavior. The moment she does something appropriate, praise! (i.e. “Thank you so much for asking in your big girl voice.”)

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Praise the positive opposite. Do you hate when your child screams inside? Amp up the praise for those moments when you catch her using her inside voice. Hate poor table manners? Look for any opportunity to praise proper use of utensils or chewing with mouth closed. Your child will learn that he gets your attention by behaving well, and you’ll start to see that negative behavior decrease.

Give specific commands. “Calm down” can be hard for a kid to decipher. Try, “Please put your hands in your lap” or “sit in your seat.” This way, your child and you are very clear on what is being asked.

Tell your child what TO do rather than what NOT to do. A command to “stop running” might back fire if your child then chooses to skip or gallop down the aisle at Target. Instead, try “please walk next to me.” This gives the child a specific expectation and there is no guesswork for you on whether or not she is choosing to comply.

Label problem behaviors. If your child likes to kick, pinch, push, and throw toys when he gets upset, you might label all these behaviors as “rough,” and let him know that anytime he’s rough, there will be a set consequence. Pick a neutral time (i.e. when he’s not in trouble), and try saying something like this: “Hey Johnny, usually you do a really good job being gentle with your hands. But sometimes, you forget and you are really rough. You are rough when you pinch, push, kick, or throw toys. From now on, anytime you’re rough, you’re going to have to sit in time-out. I know you’ll do your best to remember to be gentle so you can keep playing and having fun.” Don’t forget to label the behaviors in the moment—i.e. “Johnny, you just pushed your sister. That’s being rough. Because you’re rough, you’re going to have to have a timeout.”

Practice attunement. The best way to decrease problem behaviors is to increase your connection and positive interactions with her. Try saving 5-10 minutes every day to get down and really play with her. Let her lead the play, and you just following along. Praise her for what she is doing well. These types of interactions will help her feel heard and seen by you, and make her less likely to demand her attention in negative ways throughout the day.

This article originally appeared on Avelist

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TIME advice

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

It doesn't have to be a fully-body workout

 

This article originally appeared on TheSnug.com. Watch more how-to videos here.

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TIME Travel

Here Are the Places Travel Experts Want to Go Next

From Mexico City to North Korea

Travel + Leisure staffers share the once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the top of their travel bucket lists.

  • Visiting Family in Norway

    Norway, Western Fjords, Nordfjord, people in rowing boat
    Shaun Egan—Getty Images/AWL Images RM

    “Norway has been on my list for years now. I want to visit my family and take advantage of all the natural beauty Norway has to offer: hiking, kayaking, and biking my way through the fjords, and quaint villages.” —Erin Fagerland, Online Photo Coordinator

  • Discovering Marrakesh

    Majorelle Gardens
    Getty Images/iStockphoto

    “I’m always intrigued by places that are hidden and take a bit of effort to discover, so Marrakesh, with its private courtyards, secret gardens, and out-of-the-way shops is very appealing to me. I want to stay at a small riad like El Fenn, where life revolves around the courtyard, though I would certainly want to have a drink at La Mamounia—Marrakesh’s grand dame that has drawn Hollywood royalty for a century. I’d visit Jemaa el-Fna and the medina with its food stalls, spice shops, and artisans, sample sweetened mint tea, and buy a set of Moroccan tea glasses to bring home. I’d spend an afternoon at the Jardin Majorelle, which Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé saved from destruction and transformed into an oasis full of plants and a vibrant blue villa. I also love Moroccan cuisine, so I’d never tire of the mezze, tagines, and other delicacies.” —Laura Itzkowitz, Research Assistant

  • Lapland in Winter

    Europe, North Europe, Scandinavia, Finland, Lapland, Lemmenjoki, A very old and original house of the Sami people.
    Getty Images/Gallo Images

    “At the top of my bucket list is a trans-national winter journey through Lapland, taking in the snowy wonderland of a landscape, seeing the Northern Lights, and immersing myself in Sami culture.” —Nathan Lump, Editor

  • Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City

    Mexico, Mexico City, Coyoacán. The Museo Frida Kahlo, a gallery of artwork by the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in the house where she was born and spent most of her life.
    Getty Images/AWL Images RM

    “There are a few reasons why Mexico City is on my bucket list: there’s tons to see, do, and eat; and it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to get to. My dream itinerary includes walking around the markets, visiting the world famous Museo Nacional de Arte, and dining at all three of the restaurants on the San Pellegrino top 50 list. There’s also an incredible amount of activities just outside the city: I’d love to take a day trip to Teotihuacan to see the ancient pyramids, wander around Frida Kahlo’s house and admire her art collection, and hire a boat to tour the Xochimilco Canals—apparently you can take beers out with you, and for lunch, little rafts float nearby, preparing homemade tacos.” —Stephanie Wu, Senior Editor

  • Photographing the Darkness of the Sahara Desert

    camping in the libyan desert, Libya, Sahara, Africa
    Getty Images/LOOK

    “I’d say roughly 80 percent of the items on my bucket list are travel-related. I feel like I add new items to the list every week, but one of the most recent additions is to camp out in the Sahara Desert on one of the darkest nights of the year. I want to take photographs of the endlessly brilliant, starry sky contrasting against the sand dunes and then wake up with the sunrise the next morning.” —Danica Jorge, Digital Photo Editor

  • The Cannes Film Festival

    Cannes skyline
    Getty Images/Moment RF

    “Other people can take their hikes to see the Northern Lights—I’m doing a different type of stargazing. A trip to the Cannes Film Festival, with sing-songy French to tickle my ears and Mediterranean sunshine to brighten my face, has always seemed to me the epitome of luxury travel: Beautiful, powerful people? Check. Breathtaking scenery? Check. A sneak-peak at the world’s best films? Check. Glamorous parties, luxury yachts, and first-class food and drink? Check, check, and check. Of course the one check I don’t have is the one to pay for any of this, but hey, it’s fun to dream.” —Chris Abell, Digital Producer

  • Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp in Thailand

    Four people Sitting on an Elephant, Chiang mai, Thailand
    Buena Vista Images/Getty Images

    “For an elephant lover like myself, there’s no place more fascinating than the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The property serves as a village for mahouts, or dedicated elephant trainers, who work with rescued elephants and study their behavior. The 25 resident elephants are integrated into every component of your stay: they greet you upon arrival, assist you in elephant yoga classes, and are your partners in crime for sunset treks overlooking the Mekong. And when you need a break from wildlife (never!), day trips to Myanmar or Laos are a breeze—that is, if you’re not lured into the traditional Thai spa instead.” —Nikki Ekstein, Associate Editor

  • Madagascar’s Avenue of the Baobabs

    A group of young girls walk through Avenue of the Baobabs, near Morondava, Madagascar
    Getty Images/Cultura Exclusive

    “I spend most of my time in cities when I travel; there’s convenience in density. But traveling to the more remote corners of the globe is why I got into this business. You test your patience and skill, navigating from one obscure area to the next, and there’s a satisfaction in knowing that you’re experiencing something so different from your norm. The serenity of looming, cartoon-like trees in the midst of sea breezes and dirt roads make visiting the Avenue of the Baobabs in rural Madagascar a dream for me. It’s always been the place that I envisioned I’d travel to when I was older after seeing it in a childhood storybook. Eventually I will get there.” —Sean Flynn, Digital Producer

  • Time-Traveling in North Korea

    North Korea
    Getty Images/Flickr RF

    Forget Cuba and its vintage cars; for a real time-travel experience—to the glorious 1970s no less—I want to go to North Korea. Ideally, I’d fly into Pyongyang from Beijing on a Soviet-era Air Koryo jet, see the sights of the capital on a guided tour that includes a ride on one of the world’s deepest subway systems, and catch an awe-inspiring and uniquely North Korean cultural performance, be it the Arirang Mass Games, some of the world’s most musically-gifted toddlers, or the Kim Jong-un created girl group, Moranbong Band!” —Derek Eng, Designer

  • Hiking and Camping in Zion National Park

    woman hiking on canyon path
    Getty Images/Brand X

    “My most satisfying vacations are the ones when I get outdoors and off the grid, and the photos and first-person accounts of Zion National Park make me really want to go. Echo Canyon, Angels Landing, the Emerald Pools; they look so stunning in photos. I can only imagine that they are even more astounding in person. The challenge of the logistics and effort required by a hiking and camping trip focus attention and take the mind away from habitual thought patterns—for a real getaway.” —Laura Teusink, Managing Editor

    Read the original list HERE. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

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TIME Food & Drink

10 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Fruit

healthiest foods, health food, diet, nutrition, time.com stock, blueberries, blueberry, fruits
Danny Kim for TIME

Make fruit kabobs

Summertime means plenty of opportunities for fun. But little hands and minds need something to occupy all that free time. Why not experience the sweet, fresh fruit of summer with everyday food activities you can do with your children? It’s an easy way to pass the time and doesn’t cost extra.

Go berry picking. If you don’t have a backyard garden, look up a local U-Pick farm for a berry-picking adventure. Start now. Strawberries are in season first, then blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.​

Do a daily taste test. A taste test is one of the best ways to help children try new foods. Simply announce that you are conducting a taste test, set out the samples and watch them be gobbled up. Test different varieties of fruit and pick a winner, or try an exotic fruit with a crazy name.

Freeze leftovers for future goodies. Sometimes the harvest is a little too abundant. Decide to save some before it’s too late by washing and placing berries or cut-up pieces of fruit in freezer bags. Next time your kids are in the mood for a smoothie, it’s as easy as popping some fruit pieces in the blender. And since the fruit is frozen, it takes the place of ice cubes.

Make fruit kabobs. There’s something about food on a stick that makes eating fun for kids. Serve a wooden skewer of a single fruit or get creative. Create an image with a plateful of fruit kabobs. How? Make an American flag by arranging skewers of alternating strawberries and bananas for the stripes and top a few of the skewers with blueberries for the stars section.

Make homemade fruit soda. A no-soda household is a great start to a healthy food environment. But there is nothing wrong with mixing up some homemade soda for a summer treat. You can make a simple soda by mixing equal parts of fruit juice with soda water, club soda or sparkling water. Turn sour lemons and limes into soda by mixing ¼ cup lemon or lime juice with 3 tablespoons sugar first, then adding a cup of soda water.

Visit a fruit tree. If you don’t have a fruit tree in your yard, maybe you can visit a neighbor who does or a local orchard. Seeing fruit grow on trees helps little ones understand how real food grows.

Make a summer fruit mural. As you enjoy the latest fruit in season, have your little one draw or paint a picture of it. Display the growing line of color as the summer progresses. You might even make it from red berries to peachy peaches and on to orange pumpkins!

Use fruit as a natural flavor and color. Many foods in the grocery store come pre-made, meaning they are pre-flavored, pre-colored and pre-sweetened. You can do the same thing at home while having fun and limiting the not-so-good ingredients you have to settle for when buying processed foods. Use the juice of berries or cherries to color yogurt, ice cream or milk. Add cut up whole fruit to add the flavor and you’ve got an easy, healthy snack.

Create fruit art. For a classic still life, set out bowls of peaches, berries or just a slice of watermelon for water color inspiration. If you find yourself with peaches or small melons that are past their fresh date, dip in paint and use for stamping before they go in the garbage.

Inspect the seeds. It might be tough to get them to grow (trying can be fun, though!) but don’t just throw away the fruit seeds. Take the chance to inspect the type and size of seeds in summer fruits you eat. Strawberries have tiny seed specks that end up in your tummy, mid-summer fruits like peaches and plums have bigger stone-like seeds, and then you’ve got the spit-able seeds of watermelons.

This article originally appeared on Cozi

This article was written by Kati Chevaux for Cozi, a Time Inc. company. Cozi is the leading family organizing app that makes it simple to keep track of everyone’s schedules, shopping lists and to dos. Information is updated in real time and shared with each member of the family, so everyone is always on the same page. Get the Cozi app (it’s free!) at cozi.com or search for Cozi in your favorite app store.

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TIME Parenting

10 Character Traits I Want to Teach My Children

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A list to remind me of what I'm really doing as a parent

To be independent. I want each of my children to have the ability and confidence to live an independent life, making their own choices based on their own values, and not feeling limited by their own fears or insecurities. I have to remind myself of this when it would be easier for me to “fix” one of their problems, than to let them figure it out themselves.

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To reasonably assess risk. Risk management is a huge part of everyday adult life. So whether it be climbing trees or jumping off of the playground, I fight my helicopter-parent instincts every day in the hopes that by allowing my children to self-monitor their own risk-taking (age appropriately, of course) I’m teaching them skills that will last a lifetime. My hope is that these skills will inform them in the future when it comes to making decisions regarding buying insurance, starting a business, investing in property, etc.

To actively practice self-discipline. I intentionally use the word “practice” here instead of just teaching my kids to “be” self-disciplined. I believe that self-discipline is not a static character trait that does or does not exist in someone, but a daily choice regarding our actions that is ever-so-difficult to be consistent about.

To know how to lead, and also how to follow. Being a leader is not just being bossy. I want my kids to really know how to lead well. But we’ve also all been on a team with too many leaders and no followers. I believe it’s vitally important to know when to lead and when to follow. I hope I can teach my children to know the difference, and to do both well.

To deal with discouragement and disappointment and failure. Oh, how I wish I did better with this in my own life. Defensiveness and shutting down are my main reactions to failure. It takes hugely intentional, difficult work for me to persevere in the face of not succeeding at something. I hope I can teach my kids to embrace failure as a learning opportunity by providing a safe, encouraging place for them to fail.

To love reading. Reading teaches empathy by letting us live a world of experiences we never would have had the chance to see otherwise. I want my children to love reading so that they will continually have their eyes and hearts opened to new people, ideas, and places, even if they are limited by finances, location, or occupation.

To seek to continue learning. A new vocabulary word per week; random trivia facts that will probably never come in handy; the capitals of all the countries Central America: whatever it is, I hope that my children will grow up to be adults who love to learn, and never see their education as a task that they have completed or a box to be checked.

To be kind and generous to others. Enough said. We all know that this is an integral facet of a life well-lived.

To work hard. If it’s easy, do better, try harder, and excel. If it’s difficult, persevere, see it through, and buckle down. I want my children to know the value of hard work, to disincline themselves to work hard, and to appreciate the hard work of others.

To know what it means to live their own beliefs. My children may not grow up to hold the same values and beliefs as I do. At the very least, I can teach them what it means to try to live out a set of beliefs and principles, so that they can model that in their own lives as well.

This article originally appeared on Avelist

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TIME Travel

8 Awe-Inspiring Pyramids From Around the World

New ideas for your travel bucket list

Giza, Egypt doesn’t have a monopoly on “great” pyramids. From the mysterious Temple of the Feathered Serpent at Teotihuacan in Mexico to the kitschy Luxor Las Vegas, here are eight of the most striking structures in the world.

  • The Pyramids of Giza

    giza-pyramids-egypt
    Seth K. Hughes—Alamy

    The only surviving wonder of the ancient world, the Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure pyramids are well-deserving of their “great” designation. Add the site to your bucket list, but tread lightly—tourism is both a blessing and curse for the preservation of these spectacular tombs.

  • The Memphis Pyramid

    memphis-pyramid-usa
    iStockphoto

    Initially called “The Great American Pyramid,” this Memphis monument right on the Mississippi River pays homage to the city’s Egyptian heritage. Newly reopened after a 10-year hiatus, the structure now houses Big Cypress Lodge, a wilderness-themed hotel complete with an alligator pool.

  • Teotihuacan in Mexico

    teotihuacan-mexico
    Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd/Alamy

    While the Aztec city of Teotihuacan thrived between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D., the legendary Temple of the Feathered Serpent is still confounding historians and archeologists. Earlier this week, “large quantities” of unexplained liquid mercury were found at the end of the 340-foot-long tunnel underneath the ancient pyramid.

  • The Mayan Pyramids of Tikal in Guatemala

    mayan-pyramids-tikal-guatemala
    Ken Welsh—Alamy

    An easy day trip from Guatemala City, Tikal is a favorite tourist destination, largely due to its five soaring pyramids. Once a thriving city, the ancient Mayan ruins—complete with carved monoliths and ancient ball courts—are now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Luxor Las Vegas

    luxor-las-vegas
    F1online digitale Bildagentur GmbH/Alamy

    The Luxor Las Vegas hotel and casino stands 350 feet tall—less than 100 feet shy of the original Great Pyramid’s height—and features a spotlight pointing up through the apex, which supposedly can be seen from space.

  • Pyramid of Cestius in Rome

    pyramid-cestius-rome
    imageBROKER/Alamy

    Likely built as a tomb for a wealthy citizen in 12 BCE, the Pyramid of Cestius illustrates the Roman obsession with Egyption design and culture post-conquering. This infatuation with the Egyptian aesthetic is also thought to be the inspiration for the numerous Roman obelisks that still stand today, from the tower in St. Peter’s Square to Sallustiano above the Spanish Steps.

  • Uxmal Pyramid in Mexico

    uxmal-pyramid-mexico
    Brian Overcast—Alamy

    Known as the Pyramid of the Magician, this Mayan structure is considered emblematic of the Puuc architectural style, and one of the most important archeological sites in Mexico.

  • The Sudanese Pyramids

    sudanese-pyramids
    Andrew McConnell—Alamy

    Egypt may have the biggest pyramids, but Meroe, located in modern-day Sudan has the most. Like their Egyptian neighbors, Nubian royals were commemorated in death with steep sandstone pyramids built over their tombs.

    Read the original list HERE. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

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TIME Sex/Relationships

Couples Who Do This Together Are Happier

A study shows that giggling in tandem is a good indicator the relationship's going to last.

Study after study has shown that laughing is good for the soul. But now we know something else: sharing giggles with a romantic partner keeps the lovey-dovey feelings going, according to a study published in the journal Personal Relationships.

Laura Kurtz, a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina, has long been fascinated by the idea of shared laughter in romantic relationships. “We can all think of a time when we were laughing and the person next to us just sat there totally silent,” she says. “All of a sudden that one moment takes a nosedive. We wonder why the other person isn’t laughing, what’s wrong with them, or maybe what’s wrong with us, and what might that mean for our relationship.”

Kurtz set out to figure out the laugh-love connection by collecting 77 heterosexual pairs (154 people total) who had been in a relationship for an average of 4 years. She and her team did video recordings of them recalling how they first met. Meanwhile, her team counted instances of spontaneous laughing, measured when the couple laughed together as well as how long that instant lasted. Each couple also completed a survey about their relational closeness.

“In general, couples who laugh more together tend to have higher-quality relationships,” she says. “We can refer to shared laughter as an indicator of greater relationship quality.”

It seems common sense that people who laugh together are likely happier couples, and that happier couples would have a longer, healthier, more vital relationship—but the role that laughter plays isn’t often center stage. “Despite how intuitive this distinction may seem, there’s very little research out there on laughter’s relational influence within a social context,” Kurtz says. “Most of the existing work documents laughter’s relevance to individual outcomes or neglects to take the surrounding social context into account.”

Kurtz noted that some gender patterns emerged that have been reported by previous studies. “Women laughed more than males,” she notes. “And men’s laughs are more contagious: When men laugh, they are 1.73 times more likely to make their partner laugh.”

There’s also evidence that laughing together is a supportive activity. “Participants who laughed more with their partners during a recorded conversation in the lab tended to also report feeling closer to and more supported by their partners,” she says. On the flip side, awkward chuckles, stunted grins and fake guffaws all are flags that there may be something amiss.

This harkens back to a classic psychological experiment conducted in 1992, where 52 couples were recorded telling their personal, shared histories. The team noted whether the couples were positive and effusive or were more withdrawn and tired in telling these stories, then checked in with the couples three years later. They saw a correlation in how couples told stories about their past and the success of their partnership: the more giddy the couple was about a story, the more likely they remained together; the less enthusiastic the couple was, the more likely the couple’s partnership had crumbled.

While there are cultural differences in laughter display—Kurtz says that Eastern cultures tend to display appreciation with close-mouthed smiles, not the heartier, toothy laughs that are more Western—there’s no question that laughter is important. “Moments of shared laughter are potent for a relationship,” she says. “They bring a couple closer together.”

TIME advice

4 Easy Ways to Organize Your Vacation Photos

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Put your memories in one place

From the first day of camp to the Fourth of July parade, you’ve snapped quite a few pictures this summer. We’ve found four apps that will help you organize and share those images with speed and efficiency. So you can put the summer of 2015 in the books — so to speak.

Google Photos

What it is: The latest iteration of photo storage from Google replaces Google+.

How it works: The new app offers real time photo backup of what you shoot on your phone plus unlimited storage of high quality photos and videos. Once uploaded, you can search your photos by facial recognition or keywords with uncanny accuracy. It recognized our 8-year old from birth to her most recent birthday and never confused her face with that of her look-alike little sister. And rest assured, even though Google is in the search business, your photos are secure and private.

Favorite feature: “The Assistant” automatically groups shots based on date and creates gifs, photo albums, and collages.

Cost: Unlimited storage of compressed images; 15 Gb for full-sized images. 100 GB is $2/month; 1TB is $10/month.

LifeCake

What it is: Recently acquired by Canon, Lifecake is a private platform for storing, organizing, and sharing your family memories in the cloud. Think interactive timeline meets journal. Fear not: the founders (vets of Skype and Yahoo) promise the camera giant won’t change their commitment to your privacy or limit the devices you can use to capture photos. Keep clicking away on your phone.

How it works: After initializing the app and entering basic info for your kids (name and birthday), LifeCake lets you organize all of your digital photos and videos into a shareable timeline. You can add stories or captions to each image, create slideshows set to music from your device, and invite friends and family members to privately share in the fun.

Favorite feature: Make a hardcover photo book from the website for $50.

Cost: Download 10 GB for free; unlimited storage is $4.99/month or $35.99/year.

Kidpost

What it is: If you document your family life via social media, but have grandparents or loved ones who still can’t figure out how to use a VCR, this is the app for you.

How it works: After signing up, sync Kidpost to your social accounts. Next, on the Kidspot website add the email addresses of the people you want to share your memories with. Every day Kidpost will scan the images you post to Facebook, Instagram, Flickr or Twitter, and if you have added #kidpost to the post your friends and family will receive an email digest of the images.

Favorite feature: Want to be less obvious about using Kidpost? Customize your hashtag. #Goodtimes. #Summerof2015. Whatever works for you.

Cost: Free for the first month. After that $3/month or $30/year.

Carousel

What it is: DropBox’s answer to photo storage and sharing. If you use DropBox for other documents you will feel right at home.

How it works: Carousel syncs with your DropBox account and your phone, automatically backing up all of your photos you shoot on the cloud. Photos and videos are organized chronologically, but you can decide what to hide from your homepage. Create albums to share or post on your social accounts.

Favorite feature: Take a trip down memory lane with Flashback. It organizes and presents images from that very week in years past.

Cost: 3 GB of storage, free.

This article originally appeared on Cozi

This article was written by Lindsey Gladstone for Cozi, a Time Inc. company. Cozi is the leading family organizing app that makes it simple to keep track of everyone’s schedules, shopping lists and to dos. Information is updated in real time and shared with each member of the family, so everyone is always on the same page. Get the Cozi app (it’s free!) at cozi.com or search for Cozi in your favorite app store.

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TIME Parenting

How to Take Your Kids to Dangerous Places and Why

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Start with your own limits and work backwards from there

Professional adventurer Mike Horn is paid to do things like circumnavigate the equator without the use of motors, and walk to the North Pole in mid-winter without the use of the sun. These expeditions take months or even years, so if he had to get his two daughters comfortable exploring the natural world or he’d never see them – and they had to get comfortable with big mountains and deep oceans or they’d be wetting themselves long after they were out of diapers. You might not venture much beyond an afternoon on a sailboat or walks in the woods behind the house but, if your own kids aren’t naturally inclined to join in the fun, get them pumped about exploring by keeping Horn’s practical insights in mind.

Before Kids Can Explore The World They Need To Be Introduced To It

“The ocean or the jungle or ice or desert, everything is a play park or a school to them,” Horn says of little kids. Before bringing them into a new environment, tell them about a particular animal they might see or a specific experience they’ll have, so they’re focused and excited before they even get there. For example, before his girls visited him in the Amazon, Horn told them all about the freshwater dolphins that swim there (your kids might have to settle for bullfrogs in the local pond).

Start With Your Own Limits And Work Backward From There

“Little kids don’t think of what will go wrong, they think everything they do might be right,” says Horn. When introducing them to the outdoors, their innate trust provides you with the entry point to get them engaged, so don’t give them any reason to doubt you. “They only get nervous if the adults are nervous. And nature is not dangerous if you know what to do. So, parents should know their limits and never take their kids beyond them.” Basically, if it looks too windy for you, then don’t take your kids on the boat.

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Make Kids The Stars Of Their Own Adventures

After you and your kids do something new together, turn the experience into a story in which they’re the main characters. Then encourage them to share the story with their friends or during school Show And Tell. “Once they’ve done something that the other kids haven’t done, the other kids become interested and that gives them confidence,” he explains. “By repeating the stories, they become the author of what’s happening, of something other kids might only read in a book.” So, that time you heard howling when you were camping becomes Call Of The Wild, starring your kids.

Bring Them Along, Even If They Can’t Come With You

When Horn’s girls were little, they would follow his expeditions on maps, which made places they’d never been seem much more tangible. “When I would call, they didn’t want to know how I was doing, all they wanted was my position so they could put the pins in the map,” he recalls. This technique works just as well if you’re going fishing with your buddies for an afternoon – it just involves a much smaller map.

Keep It All In Perspective

“The father must never grow up,” says Horn. “It’s the kid’s job to grow up. Otherwise, the father loses the context.”

This article originally appeared on Fatherly

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TIME Family

11 Fun Activities to Do on a Rainy Day

Organize your own film festival

Gloomy weather can ruin even the cheeriest moods. Ward off boredom (for both you and your kids) with this list of family activities and relaxing ideas.

 

  • Have an Indoor Treasure Hunt

    flashlight
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    Children in the house? Keep their day lively with a treasure hunt. Make one set of clues for every player (try rhyming the clues for fun), each clue leading to the next one and, finally, to the treasure. Seal them in envelopes marked with a clue number (i.e., 2/7, or “two of seven”); this will help the treasure hunters keep track. Whoever solves the clues first and finds the treasure—a small toy, an IOU for a movie, maybe a cache of coins (regular or chocolate)—is the winner. Or have your kids play as a team to solve the clues—and uncover the treasure—together.

  • Make Your Own Bubble Bath

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    Slip into a soothing bath laced with your own moisturizing soap blend. In a clean container, mix together ½ cup mild liquid hand or body soap, 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, and 1 egg white. Pour the entire mixture under the running water as you draw your bath. Honey is a natural humectant, which will attract and retain moisture in your skin. The egg white helps create stronger, longer-lasting bubbles, for a nice, fluffy bath. For extra-dry skin, consider adding a tablespoon of light oil, such as almond or light sesame. (Another surprising bath booster? Vinegar.)

  • Create a Family Recipe Book

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    What You Need

    • Unlined journal
    • recipe cards (the more sauce-splattered, the better)
    • wine or Champagne labels
    • photos from family meals
    • adhesive
    • photo corners
    • ruler
    • shimmery alphabet stickers (available at crafts stores)
    • ribbon

    What to Do

    1. Color-copy all recipe cards, photos, and labels if you want to preserve the originals or make more than one gift book.
    2. Compile the memorabilia by time period, holiday, or any other theme that inspires you.
    3. Affix the items horizontally in the journal. Use photo corners for pictures and recipe cards and adhesive for labels and clippings.
    4. Stick a title on the front of the journal with alphabet stickers (using a ruler helps), and finish off with a ribbon.
  • Camp in the Great Indoors

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    Who says tents have to stay outside? If you have a pop-up or small dome tent, it’s easy to set up camp for your kids indoors. If not, you can create tents by draping sheets over the couch. Make them comfy with airbeds, pillows, and sleeping bags, then follow through with an indoor picnic to be eaten “under canvas.”

  • Invent a (No-Batteries) Game

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    Anne Libera, artistic associate at the Second City Training Center, recommends the following play-anywhere, no-props-needed activities.

    One-word story: Starting with “Once upon a time,” go around the room and have each person add a single word to the story. Tip: Decide on a genre in advance―fairy tale, ghost story, etc.―and go from there.

    Improvised poetry: One person says a line of poetry, and the next must say a line that rhymes with it, and so on. Let kids say the first line; it’s up to you to find the rhyme.

    Yes, and…monster! Invent an imaginary monster, with each person adding a new characteristic to the first person’s monster description. Every new idea has to start with an enthusiastic, “Yes, and…” and build on what has already been described.

  • Deep-Condition Your Hair

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    You’ve been wanting to give your hair a deep treatment but just haven’t been able to get to the drugstore or salon. Walk over to the fridge to find your solution: mayonnaise. Starting at the scalp, coat strands with ½ cup mayo. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. (For more at-home how-tos, see DIY Beauty Treatments and Fashion Fixes.)

  • Bake Up Some Chocolate Chip Cookies

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    Nothing cures rainy day blues like a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. Dunk them in milk or eat ’em (practically) right out of the oven—a surefire way to happily weather the storm. Now, if you and your family fancy other varieties, that’s no problem: We have 19 additional classic cookie recipes to choose from.

  • Organize Your Own Film Festival

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    Queue up some classics, old (Singin’ in the Rain) and new (Toy Story 3), let the kids add a few favorites—even mix in last week’sAmerican Idol on DVR for variety—and have a marathon screening. Keep a cozy throw on hand to snuggle under, a big bowl of popcorn to dip into, and settle in to enjoy the show(s).

  • Hold a Mini-Marshmallow Popping Contest

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    What You Need

    • scissors
    • utility knife
    • markers
    • ruler
    • rubber bands
    • glue
    • tape (transparent, duct, masking, or colored)
    • gift wrap or decorative paper
    • kraft paper
    • balloon, uninflated (1 per popper)
    • paper cup, bottom cut off (1 per popper)
    • mini marshmallows

    What to Do

    1. Knot the end of the balloon, then snip off ½ inch from the top.
    2. Stretch the balloon over the cutoff end of the cup so that the knot is in the center. (You’ll need to hold the balloon in place when you “pop,” or secure it with a rubber band for little hands.)
    3. Place a mini marshmallow into the cup so it fits snugly in the knotted center of the balloon. While aiming the cup away from you (and others), pull the knot back, release, and send the marshmallow soaring. See who can pop marshmallows the farthest or get the most into a bowl that’s a few feet away.
  • Host a Tea Party

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    Dress up in fancy duds, set the table with the good china, and put on your most formal manners (remember, extend your pinkie and sip politely). On the menu: tea (for you), juice or cocoa (for your children), and easy egg or chicken salad tea sandwiches in fun shapes, courtesy of cookie cutters. Let your kids decide the guest list—and which of their favorite dolls or furry friends are on it.

  • Pamper Yourself With a Skin-Softening Salve

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    Do a little spa therapy with a homemade scrub (this one comes courtesy of New York City makeup artist Gucci Westman): Grind about two cups of oatmeal, a natural skin soother; add a few handfuls each of coffee grinds and brown sugar. Then stir in three or four spoonfuls of skin-nourishing honey, ginger, and noni extract (find it at health-food stores). Before storing the batch in the refrigerator, Westman scoops out enough for a week into a jar, which she keeps in her shower, using it daily. “It smells lovely, and it’s gentle,” she says. “When my skin feels really dry, I add olive oil, too.”

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