Big Kids

4 Unique Activities to Get Your Kids Off Their Devices

This post was contributed by Luke Douglas of

One of the biggest concerns parents have is how to instill good habits in their children.

That starts at the earliest age and never really stops. If you have a kid, you’ve probably asked yourself time after time how to motivate them to spend more time outdoors. Everybody knows how beneficial it is for kids to spend time engaging in outdoor activities but actually getting them outside is easier said than done. Nowadays, thanks to tablets and smart phones, it is not enough to just get them outside; you have to come up with an engaging activity to keep them away from their smart devices, so consider the next few suggestions.


Skateboarding is a great activity for kids. It is fun and good for their physical development. This is a type of exercise that will help kids build muscles and improve their physical coordination. Although it is not a team sport, it provides a great opportunity for children to learn how to socialize and make new friends. Once they get into skateboarding, they will probably spend their free time at skate parks trying to build their skating chops, and they will surely meet other kids with similar interests. If you want to get your child into this activity, a good idea would be to buy them a cool Bart Simpson skateboard. Every kid knows how much Bart loves skateboarding and having a cool skateboard like that will surely pique their interest in this activity.


If you want to teach your kids about nature, you should start gardening with them. You don’t need a lot of space for this – you can plant a small garden in your yard or just a few plants in a bigger pot if you live in an apartment. Talk to them about their interests and decide whether they are better suited for caring for decorative plants or edible ones. Whichever type of plants you choose, taking care of them will teach your kids responsibility, commitment, and the value of taking care of nature. Planting some vegetables will be great for their feeling of accomplishment when they see and taste the fruits of their labor. Gardening is not exactly an exercise, but it is physically challenging and it will help your kids get moving. Plus, your garden or balcony is guaranteed to look nicer.

A bug hunt

bug hunting with your kids

Image from

Another great outdoor activity is organizing a bug hunt. Challenge your little ones to scour your yard or neighborhood for interesting bugs. They should search everywhere they can to find as many bugs as possible, and they can also classify them later. They can draw the bugs or if they are old enough to use a smartphone and are interested in photography, they can even photograph them. This activity will get them running around searching for as many bugs as they can find, it will develop an appreciation for all living creatures, and it might get them interested in biology too. This is a great activity to physically activate children but also to develop a sense of wonder in them. The key to an activity like this is to plan it well and come up with prizes for good results. The prize should be something that will further inspire them to learn, like visiting a museum, but it can also be a good idea to spice it up with something your kids really like.

Neighborhood Olympics

Organizing a fun event like the Olympics for the kids in your neighborhood will get them all outdoors, and once they see how much fun running around can be, they will forget about their smart devices. You don’t need to do a lot of preparation. Announce the sports in which they will be competing, make some paper medals, and let them do the rest. If you organize it well, they will spread the word, invite their family to watch, and do their best to show their skills. If the kids get into it, you can even make a tradition of it. The important thing is that they will engage in an activity that is great for their health, spend time outdoors, and have an outlet for their creativity because they will want to make it bigger and better next time.


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luke douglasLuke is a fitness and health blogger at and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

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Recalled Children’s Toys May Still Be For Sale Online

On November 22, 2016, the United State’s Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) released its annual Trouble In Toyland report for hazards in children’s toys and recalled children’s items.

The report covered everything from the different types of hazards present in children’s products, to which products were recalled and may still be available for purchase online, as well as what parents can do about it. Toys have been recalled for reasons ranging from high levels of lead, to choking hazards, to combusting batteries, and even small magnets that, when swallowed, pose a severe risk of damaging intestines that would require invasive surgery and, in some cases, even death. PIRG has taken actions to prevent any and every sale of these recalled items, though they still need your (the consumers) help to ensure that none of these products pose a threat to any child. 

Some alarming highlights from the report include:

“In 2014 alone, there were 251,800 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms.”

“Over 40 recalls were issued of toys and children’s products since January, 2015, totaling over 35 million units. Over a dozen recalled toys still appeared to be available for sale.”

“Choking on small parts, small balls, and balloons remains a leading cause of toy-related deaths and injuries. Some toys can pose hidden hazards, exposing children to dangerous chemicals that are linked to serious health problems.”

“Between January 2015 to October 2016, the CPSC recalled 11 toys for violations of the CSPIA toxic heavy metal lead standard.”3

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes clear that any amount of lead in a child’s blood is unsafe.6 Moreover, since the effects of lead exposure cannot be reversed, it is especially important to prevent lead exposure to children in the first place. Unfortunately, toys can pose a risk in part because lead is used in other countries and can be found in imported products.”7  

“Additionally, lead may be incorporated into plastic.8…Children can inhale or come in contact with lead dust [in the air from light and air breaking down the chemicals in the plastic] when they put toys in or near their mouths.”9  

“The [Federal Standards For Lead .. in manufactured children’s products are slightly more than double the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for children’s products. (Despite the fact though, that there really is no acceptable level for lead at all.)

“Balloons pose the most serious choking hazard to children in the United States. They are responsible for more childhood deaths by suffocation than any other product.”

“Between 2001 and 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, approximately 38 percent of all toy-related choking fatalities reported to the CPSC involved balloons.”34 

“Between 2009 and 2013, the CPSC estimates that highpowered magnets caused approximately 2,900 emergency room-treated injuries. 41…Nearly 80 percent of high-powered magnet ingestions require invasive medical intervention, either through an endoscopy, surgery, or both.”

“In the United States, burns and fires are leading causes for unintentional deaths and injuries to children.51 From January 2015 to October 2016, the CPSC recalled four toys due to overheating which can lead to fire and burn hazards.”52 

Perhaps the most alarming news of all is that most product recalls don’t even reach the majority of consumers. That means that a recalled toy or children’s item could still be in your home, unbeknownst to you. 

So now that the Christmas shopping season is in full swing, what can parents do?

  • Review the full list of recalled toys on PIRG’s website and see if you have any of these toys in your home. If you find that you do have a recalled toy or children’s item, follow the instructions PIRG instructs for that particular toy. 
  • If you see a recalled toy for sale online, or need to report a toy-related injury, report it to
  • Carefully examine and assess any toys or children’s products before making a purchase. Remember that the list of recalled children’s items and toys are from January 2015 – October 2016; there may still be other hazards on the shelves that have gone undetected. If you think you found one that may be hazardous, again report it to
  • Go through any toys or products your children have, searching for possible hazards, especially those mentioned in the report. Take inventory of toys now before presents are opened, and make sure to go through any new toys and presents that are received this holiday season.
  • Subscribe to any government agencies that will notify you of product recalls so you can stay up to date. Make sure you send your information in to any companies that allow you to do so to be notified of any recalls they may issue customers.
  • Sign the petition to remind the CPSC to take action against retailers selling recalled children’s toys and items. Sign the petition now!


Want to know more about the hazards in children’s toys and find out the exact items that were recalled? Read the full report here


Want to find safe, eco-friendly toys?

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