National Opposite Day: 5 Ways to Celebrate with Kids

Many people aren’t aware, but today (January 25th) is the official National Opposite Day in America. It’s the perfect opportunity to break free of our monotonous winter routines by trying something completely different. And for parents, it’s a unique opportunity to turn an ordinary winter day into a fun tradition the kids will love!

National Opposite Day: 5 Ways to Celebrate with Kids

1. Breakfast for Dinner

One of the easiest ways for parents to celebrate National Opposite Day with their  kids is to make some of their favorite breakfast dishes for dinner. With more time to prepare and no morning rush, you’ll be able to upgrade their morning bowl of cereal for a breakfast menu with pancakes or waffles, and scrambled eggs.

2. Summer in Winter

The middle of winter is when your kids are missing their favorite summer activities the most. Make it feel like summer in your home on National Opposite Day by having a picnic inside for dinner. You and the kids could also set up a tent in the basement, bedroom or family room to have an impromptu camping trip in the house.

National Opposite Day: 5 Ways to Celebrate with Kids

3. Take Things Apart

Instead of putting something together, try taking something apart. Better than a puzzle or a traditional board game, this kind of activity will help satisfy their curiosity about how things work. Get an antique analog clock you can take apart with them, or an old radio or typewriter. Supervise and to keep track of all the little pieces.

4. Simple Switches

Another easy way to celebrate National Opposite Day is to incorporate simple switches throughout the day. Give your kid the grownup mug for their morning orange juice. They’ll get a kick out of their parents having to use kiddie cups at your breakfast-for-dinner. They’ll also have fun trying to walk around in your big shoes.

National Opposite Day: 5 Ways to Celebrate with Kids

5. Bedtime Stories

Wind down National Opposite Day by giving your kids the opportunity to read their favorite bedtime story to you. It’s a good idea to move this up in the schedule so they still have a little energy to get through the story. Or, if you’re up for it, you could do a full bed swap and let your kids have the grownup bed all to themselves.


The great thing about National Opposite Day is that you don’t have to celebrate on January 25th. Turn any day on the calendar into an opposite day for you and your kids this winter. Mix things up, make some great memories and keep them entertained until summer rolls around with toys, games and more from Lakeside.

Summer Boredom Fixes

summer-funAs adults, we’d give just about anything to have the summer off just like our kids. They have so much time for all sorts of fun activities — yet they still get bored mid-summer. It’s hard to be responsible for entertaining them all summer long when you have work, errands and chores to do, but The Lakeside Collection has a few ideas to get you started. Here are 7 quick and easy boredom fixes for those mid-summer lulls.

DIY Ice Treats It’s hard to keep your freezer full of cool treats in the summer, but on a day your kids are out of ideas for activities, you can put them to work replenishing your supply with an old school treat. Have your kids stir together their favorite drink mix with sugar and water (a little less water than the directions call for). Pour it into an ice cube tray and cover it with plastic wrap. In the center of each cube, poke toothpicks through the plastic — the plastic helps the toothpicks stand up in the liquid. Place it in the freezer and wait for three to four hours for the cubes to freeze. When they’re frozen, you’ll have miniature ice pops to while away a hot summer day.

kitchen-twineObstacle Course This one requires a little bit of imagination from your kids. Using items from the garage and the house, have them build an obstacle course. It doesn’t have to be elaborate like the ones you might find at a military boot camp — it can be as simple as laying out a two-by-four to use as a balance beam or using a hula hoop to hop through. It can even involve crafting a bracelet out of kitchen twine — have them use their brains! When they have everything in order, they can race each other to see who can finish the course first.

DIY Container Garden A container garden is an upcycling craft to last the whole summer! Have your kids look for an interesting container from the house that you no longer need. Coffee cans, tea cans, old plastic storage containers that no longer have lids all work as planters. With a few seeds, soil and sunshine, your kids can care for and document the growth of their plants or flowers as they sprout and become greenery. A few weeks or a few months, it’s an activity to keep the kids occupied long-term.

DIY Spray Paint There’s so much you can do with empty spray bottles, it’s a shame to save them solely for cleaning! This project is pretty easy — all you have to do is dilute tempera paint with water and pour the different colors into spray bottles. Your kids can spritz a few paintings (outside, of course, to save yourself serious cleanup time) and create a backyard masterpiece to add to your refrigerator art gallery.

bubbleBubble Brilliance Have extra bubble wrap you don’t have plans for? While your kids’ first instincts might be to pop every bubble one-by-one, help them resist the temptation so they can make cheerful paintings! With a little bit of tempera paint, your kids can get creative with colors and shapes — they can even get creative with the applications — check out how Mess for Less stomped out a few bubble wrap paintings.

Ice Cube Racing This activity requires a hot slide — if you don’t have one in your backyard, the one at the park works just fine. Have the kids take a cooler of ice cubes to the top of the slide. On “go” have them each set an ice cube on the slide and watch it melt all the way to the bottom. The first cube to make it to the end of the slide without completely melting, wins. If you want to make it more colorful, make ice cubes the night before with a drop of food coloring for each cube.

Balloon Ping Pong With a couple of paper plates, tongue depressors and a balloon, your backyard will get more face-time with your kids than you might want. All you do is staple or glue the tongue depressors to the paper plate to create your paddle and blow up the balloon as a ping pong ball substitute. It may not be an official summer sport, but it’ll get the kids moving. Plus, it’s easy, inexpensive and addictive!

At The Lakeside Collection we have ideas and products to make the most of you summer and keep your kids from getting bored. Keep checking back with us until the 4th of July and throughout the summer for more inspiration!

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week

The holiday season is closing in fast, but The Lakeside Collection is loaded with plenty of toys and values to get you ready in a rush. We have toys, books, and clothes for every child in your family from newborn to teen all in one convenient online store. Here is The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week.

Ghosts and monsters don't stand a chance when you track them down with this Scooby Doo Remote Control Mystery Machine.

Ghosts and monsters don’t stand a chance when you track them down with this Scooby Doo™ Remote Control Mystery Machine.

Kids will have fun pretending to construct and build with this 17-Pc. Jumbo Tools Playset.

Kids will have fun pretending to construct and build with this 17-Pc. Jumbo Tools Playset.

Inspire a young musician with this 30" Wood Guitar With Case.

Inspire a young musician with this 30″ Wood Guitar With Case.

 

They'll be entertained for hours, turning page after page of this Licensed Look & Find Book.

They’ll be entertained for hours, turning page after page of this Licensed Look & Find Book.

 

Pinteresting Picks for March

Hooray for the last day of March! We’re super excited for the change of seasons, and, judging from what Pinterest shows us, our customers are excited for warm weather, too.

Here’s our list of the products most pinned for the month — our Pinteresting Picks for March.

Sidewalk-designerThis Designer kit and 50-Ct. Chalk set brings back memories of hours on the sidewalk and days inside crafting. The Magic Art™ Spiral Sidewalk Design Kit lets kids go beyond the hum-drum hopscotch to create amazing designs on the concrete on the backyard patio or in the front on the driveway.  The wheel stencils help create clever  patterns that will keep kids occupied for hours on sunny days. The Bucket of Chalk features thick bright sticks of pink, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple and white all in a plastic tub.tipsy-tower

Here’s a new twist on the vertical garden — the Tipsy Tower Plant Stand is an easy and creative way to give height to your garden using your own planters.  It works by sliding the down the bar at an angle, allowing each pot to rest slightly on the one below it, creating a fun, gravity-defying look. 4-Ft. tower can be used in 4 different configurations as the upright tower rod is actually 2 pieces. It’s designed to accommodate 4 or more pots. 2-Ft. tower can be used in 2 different configurations and is designed to accommodate 3 to 5 pots.stove-top-cover

With warm weather on the horizon, there won’t be as much use for the stove top this summer — but the space shouldn’t go to waste! This Wooden Stove Top Cover goes right over the burners giving you more surface area for working with food, cookbooks or whatever you don’t have room for on your counter tops. It’s easy to take off and put back on using the handles.Sliding-bathroom-storage

Everyone has spring cleaning on the brain and one of our more popular Pinteresting Picks helps keep the bathroom tidy. 2-shelf Sliding Bathroom Storage unit makes use of space by adding a shelf to your cabinet while also making access easy by allowing you to slide the shelves in and out as you need. It lets you add more stuff without adding to the clutter.

 

7 Ideas for Throwing the Perfect Weekend Party with Kids

Family-Party

As we grow, the term “party” seems to evolve. In college the word meant “all night experience” filled with lots of friends and unknown shenanigans. But things like a full-time job, children and other responsibilities get thrown into the mix as we get older. We have a few ideas that can incorporate the entire family when throwing a fun weekend party.

Keep it Simple, Keep it Small

It doesn’t have to be tiny, but when you want to keep both kids and adults entertained, it’s easier to keep everyone engaged when there are fewer people to deal with. No one gets overwhelmed, and parents can keep track of their kids.

Invite Adults with Kids

It’s easier to keep kids interested in the party if they have other kids to play with. Having playmates will make the party feel less like a chore for kids – you can even encourage them to invite their own friends. There’s more incentive for them to get out and have a good time if they have someone to have a good time with.

Game OnFamily-dancing

To stir things up and get guests of all ages mingling, make a game the centerpiece of party. Divide everyone up into random teams, have several big games like charades or a dance competition planned that involve team-work and keep score. Everyone stays involved, everyone behaves and everyone has fun. It also gives the party a clear beginning, middle and end so guests and kids can gauge their comings and goings.

Go Easy on the Booze

If you’re serving alcohol, keep it simple and stick to single-serving beer and wine for the adults and soda for the kids. The single-servings will prevent mix-ups with mixers so the kids stay safe and the adults can still have fun responsibly.

Host as a Group

Divide the hosting responsibilities up and give everyone a job to do. It will keep kids busy, involved and feeling important. The pressure of entertaining the kids will be taken off parents and it will keep the adults socially active.

Taco-Bar

Photo credit: http://frostmeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/mexican-fiesta-party-ideas-and.html

Make the Food Fun

A build-your-own taco or burrito bar will keep the kids as well as adults active and interactive. With finger foods and barbeque, it’s easy to walk off on their own to eat.  They have more opportunity to talk with everyone and stay engaged if they have to fiddle with their food rather than if a grab and go buffet is an option.

Hard and Fast Times

Have a set starting and ending time. It’ll save you the grief of putting a cranky child to bed and your friends will be grateful that they have answer to the question, “When are we leaving?”  It doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but try a party with kids without a closing time and you’ll notice a difference.

 

Pinteresting Picks for January

cosmetic bagsJanuary has ended, and just when we were all recovering from the holidays and thinking about those resolutions, we had a busy week preparing for yesterday’s big game! Now that things are settling down again here at The Lakeside Collection, we’re taking a look at some of the most popular Pinterest pins from January. Let’s see what you’ve all been enjoying over the past month.

Gifts Under $20 – Allegro Quilted Cosmetic Bags

Christmas may be over, but giving gifts is a year-round affair. With one of the most popular resolutions being “save more, spend less” it’s no surprise that gifts for under $20, such as this cosmetic bag, were popular pins last month. We’ve got lots of great gift ideas for $20 and under, so check them all out!

Spoon Rest and Utensil Set

spoon rest Another big hit in January, these attractive spoon and utensil rest sets are the perfect solution to messy counters and oven, and they’re especially perfect when you’re making sauces or cooking with oil. The bowls at the bottom catch all the drips, while the vertical style is attractive, easy, and much cleaner than standard spoon rests!

Footprint Stepping Stones (Set of Four)

Most of us are still experiencing blizzards, but in the southern corners of the country, we know it’s almost time to start planting for spring, which is probably why these adorable footprint stepping stones are growing in popularity! January is a great time to start thinking about what you want to do with your garden this year, and the perfect time to get your compost pile started!

 

twist roller rideTwist Roller Ride On

Who is ready to play outside with the kids? Apparently lots of you are, and you’re preparing with fun outdoor toys like this Twist Roller Ride On, which is great outdoor fun for kids 3 and up. It uses all the basics of physics – centrifugal force, gravity, and aerodynamics – to give your kids and fun and effortless ride around the driveway, sidewalk, blacktop, or other smooth surface. Pedals aren’t even necessary! Definitely put this one on your list for spring and summer fun.

Perfect Pancake Pan

Another fun pin, we love the perfect pancake fan, and so do pinners! We thing everyone should use it to make these cinnamon roll pancakes  – are so decadent and delicious, no wonder everyone kept re-pinning them too. We think they’re the perfect treat for your sweet this Valentine’s Day! And, with the Perfect Pancake Pan, making them for your sweetheart will be a piece of cake!

Top Ten Tricks for Traveling with Kids

Road-Trip-Planning-With-KidsMany people plan to travel during winter vacation to some fascinating destinations. Kids are thrilled to spend their vacations with other family members. However, they soon get irritated and bored during long drives. It’s not just makes them angry, but can also spoil your mood and travelling pleasure. You need to make some small efforts to keep them busy, happy, and cheerful. Therefore, you can take a sigh of relief and can enjoy the whole ride in good spirits.

1. Printed paper

Get some paper with different characters, pictures, and games such as pictures of family members to draw funny faces on them, kid’s favorite comic figures to fill with colors, tic-tac-toe, or hangman to have continuous fun.

2. Use home utensils

Bring a cookie sheet and felt magnets to help your make drawing easy by placing cookie sheet in their lap and magnets will help to keep things attached to the cookie tray.

3. Small treasures

Tiny treasure boxes with lots of tiny stones, gems and sticking letters, and shapes to let children decorate a sheet with.

4.Stick on

Grab some colorful stickers of various kinds and scotch tape along with vivid paper cards and paper scissors to keep kids busy in making scrap art on car windows.

5. Readable

Pick some comic books, kid’s storybooks, magazines, or else take Sudoku and word search activity stuff for kids with reading habits.

6. Cheap gifts

Before going on your journey, visit nearby toy stores and buy some cheap but colorful items that can be handy for travelling. Wrap them with trendy gift papers or tote bags to let your kids open them on the way.

7. Healthy and hydrated

While packing stuff like foods and drinks for travelling, select healthy food items that should also be delicious for your kids. You can take fresh fruits, dry fruits, homemade cookies, juices, and water to take care of your kids.

8. Sing with your heart

Kids and teenagers love to sing songs while going on vacation. You can also entertain them to sing funny songs or make your own song to make your kids laugh. Cracking jokes can also do the job.

9. Tiny snacks

For toddlers, its best to pack tiny snacks with in printed paper bags. In this way, you can handle their time-to-time popping hunger without getting irritated.

10. Get Photos

Another best option that can maintain the happy mood of your kids during the long journey is to take photos on every interesting spot along the way. All these pictures can make an interesting story of your journey, if you make holiday Christmas printed canvas to hold the memories on your wall a nostalgic source for your whole family after the event.

AtiqUr Rehman, devoted expert for Just4Canvas, is proficient web designer and a passionate writer. He gives his skilled view on home decor, travelling, shopping, and photography.

Image Credit: motherstlc.com

Tips to Keep Children Safe Around Hot Tubs

Hot-tub-safetySoaking and relaxing in a hot tub with your family can be quite a memorable experience. But safety is one of the most important concerns if there are children in the family. There are several tips to consider which ensure the safety of children in the family.

Some Important Tips:

Hot tub covers
Most people prefer to use hot tub covers to secure the hot tubs. Hot tub covers prevent accidental falls, accumulation of dirt, dust, debris and contaminants from entering the hot tubs. Most of these covers include locks which secure the hot tubs appropriately. Hot tub covers also help to maintain the temperature of water and save energy.

Secure the area
Another effective way to ensure the safety of children is to secure the area by building an enclosure around the hot tub. There are fences with latches which can be used around the hot tubs for extra protection. It will prevent unsupervised entry of children near hot tubs and spas.

Reduce the heat
Children should never enter hot tubs which have a temperature above 95 degree Fahrenheit. Moreover, it is recommended that children should soak for only five to ten minutes in a hot tub. It is also essential to check the temperature of the hot tub before it is used by children and reduce the temperature if it is too hot. Children should also be advised to drink plenty of water before using hot tubs to prevent dehydration.

Supervise children
It is pertinent to supervise children consistently while using hot tubs as accidents can happen anytime. Children should be kept at arm’s length while soaking in hot tubs. There are different types of spas and hot tubs available today.

Most people prefer to choose hot tubs according to the number of users and other features. The h2x swim spas are among the most widely used spas as it offers various features apart from soaking in warm water. Among the different types of exclusive spas made available today, the Twilight spas are renowned for its distinctive appearance and features. No matter what model is chosen, it still can be a danger.

There are various other factors to consider while allowing children to use hot tubs. Children should never be allowed to submerge fully in the water as it could prove to be dangerous. It is also important to avoid swimming or soaking near to drains with loose clothes and long hair. Children should never be allowed to use any type of electronic or electrical appliances near the hot tubs. Children should be advised on proper usage of hot tubs and made aware of the dangers associated with its use.

Today there are many ways to avoid accidents and mishaps while using spas and hot tubs. Install strong rails near to the hot tubs so that it is easy to enter and exit these tubs. Slip resistant mats can also be installed near to the tubs to prevent accidental falls.

This guest post was contributed by Sam who works with Master spa parts.

Image Credit: www.olympichottub.com

10 Christmas Party Games For Kids You Definitely Should Consider

Kid-Christmas-gamesChristmas is a very joyous time and is particularly fun for kids, who don’t have to go to school, get to have fun in the snow and receive presents. There is a lot of good food and plenty of sweets and the house is decorated and lit up, so you can expect the little ones go a little crazy with excitement. There are a number of great Christmas party games that you can play with your kids to give them a more creative and constructive outlet for all that extra energy.

1.Crafting presents

Kids love to get creative and use different materials and tools to craft unique items. You can use this fact to your advantage and kill two birds with one stone – just set up a crafting area where kids can draw, paint, make sculptures and have them create presents for each other as well as other family members. They can even create cute Christmas tree ornaments.

2.Gift wrapping and Christmas tree decorating

Have the kids help out with the preparations – they will have fun, your job will be a bit easier and you won’t have to worry about them running around the house while you are doing the decorating. You can use items that the kids have crafted as tree ornaments or decorations around the house. You can also hang up their paintings around the house.

3.Hidden treasure

Get up a little earlier in the morning and hide a couple of toys or bags of candy (you can use those chocolate gold coins as the perfect treasure) around the house or yard and prepare little hints in a form of a riddle or an encrypted treasure map.

4.Snowman competition

Divide into teams and see which team can build a snowman the quickest. You can switch up the rules and judge the quality of the snowman or the size, see who can build the most mini-snowmen in a couple of hours or build the best snowman family.

5.Building a snow fort

This one requires some space in your backyard and a lot of snow, but it is incredibly fun and you can use the fort to play tons of different games. It will take a good part of the day to get it right and you can customize the fort gradually over the next few days.

6.Snowball fight

The fort can be a perfect setting for a snowball fight – one team can defend it while the other attacks or you can play capture the flag, where you have to get the opposing team’s flag back to your base to win a round. Alternatively you can just make it a free-for-all and have everybody play against everyone else.

7.Sled racing

Sled races are some of the best fun you can have in the winter, for both kids and adults. Just make sure the hill you are sledding on isn’t too steep. The kids will already be wearing multiple layers of clothing and thick jackets, but  you don’t really want to have to worry about anyone getting hurt.

Captain-America-Costume

Image Credit: www.costumecollection.com

8.Dress up

Since you will need to get your kids dressed in layers of clothing, it is a great idea to make a game out of it. Hey, even Superman wears his costume underneath regular clothes, so you can buy a superhero costume and some superhero-themed socks, hats and underwear for them to wear instead of the boring plain clothes. Getting dressed will no longer be seen as a chore – it will be something they can’t wait to do.

9.A Christmas play

Speaking of dressing up, you can organize a small costume party and have the kids act out a short play. It can be something Christmassy with reindeer and Santa; it can be an epic battle from one of the latest superhero movies; it can be about medieval knights and dragons and so on. You can even get the kids to work with you on the play and help with set design and choreography.

10.Fun with Santa

Of course, no Christmas party would be complete without Santa Clause. You can hire a Santa, but it is much easier and cheaper to just rent a Santa costume and have a family member wear it. .

There are a lot of fun things you can do around Christmas and the most important thing is to give the kids some way to apply themselves in a creative manner, while keeping it safe.

Image Credit: womenontheirway.com

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

It’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays, and one of our favorite ones, Halloween, is coming up soon! Get everything you need to make your home and yard look gorgeously gruesome for Halloween today, and you’ll have plenty of time in October for planning parties, creating costumes, and adding cute or creepy finishing touches to your decor. If Halloween’s ghosts and ghouls aren’t your style, you’ll also find beautiful seasonal decorations to celebrate autumn. No matter how you decorate for October, you’ll find what you need.

Every Halloween display needs a focal point, and we love this skeleton decoration for its weird and whimsical charm. Just because he’s passed on doesn’t mean he forgot how to take life easy, so he’s found a comfortable spot to relax for a spell. This sleepy skeleton’s chest rises and falls as he snores in his hammock, perhaps resting up for a big Halloween night. His hammock is 8 feet long, so it’s a large enough piece to be the center of your yard’s display. Add a spotlight or two to show him off, and you’ll have one of the most unusual decorations on your block.Interactive-skeleton-hammock

Halloween is about more than spooky skeletons, though. With this cheerful Halloween bunting, you’ll get in the spirit of the season while still keeping your decor friendly enough for the littlest kids. Made of durable polyester fabric, the bunting is perfect for a porch rail, a deck or a fence. At almost 60 inches across, this adorable hanging makes an emphatic statement. Choose from jack-o’-lanterns in festive fall hues of orange and black with green accents or a trio of cheerful, bow-tied ghosts. If you have plenty of space to cover, choose both – they look great together or separately.

Halloween-Buntings

If your kids’ trick-or-treating days are behind them, or if you prefer a more sophisticated take on Halloween, try these oddly elegant lighted Halloween urns to flank your door or adorn your porch. Welcome guests to your Halloween party in style with these black, molded plastic urns filled with bare branches and twinkling lights. Choose from traditional Halloween black with miniature orange lights or an elegantly eerie purple with blue lights. If you prefer, you can mix and match them to create a dramatic setting for your next Halloween party. Each pair of urns is over 22 inches tall, so you can also use them as a towering tabletop arrangement or near your fireplace.

Lighted-Halloween-Urns

Halloween is also harvest time, which is why we’re showing off these sweet garden decorations for your yard. These painted metal pumpkins stake into the ground and give your front or back yard a festive touch that works for Halloween, Thanksgiving and beyond. Pair them with hay bales to impart a country harvest look to your yard.

Garden-decor-fall

Whether your Halloween style is cute, creepy or comforting, we have your look! Get started today, and you’ll have the best-looking display in your neighborhood. We’re always getting new stock in, so check back often to see what else we have in store for the holidays.