Are you visiting Houston with your kids? Do you have an idea of places to visit already to give your kids a swell time? Houston’s massive size alone can make the task of finding fun activities for your little ones quite daunting. However, with your willingness to give your child a wow experience, you’ll find plenty of entertaining options.
See these wonderful places in Houston you might want to put into consideration if you ever plan to visit the united states with your kids within the last few days of the holidays.
The Houston Zoo provides a unique atmosphere for fun with a collection of African lions, Asian elephants, California sea lions, playful bears, and majestic giraffes. kids will be mesmerised by the sights of curious gorillas and chimpanzees and for an extra fee, you and the kids can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium, children’s zoo or the commissary, where food is prepared for the animals.
Enjoy a good amount of different fishes here with Siberian tigers. Shark voyage adventure Train can be very awesome too as you get to see sharks and fishes swim above and around you. The Rides and midway games make kids king here but there’s always a way for adults to have fun and enjoy it too.
Children’s Museum of Houston
Talk about fun and learning, the Children’s Museum of Houston blends both through a structure that put your kids to work as a make-believe city council member, police officer or chef in Kidtropolis. Kidtropolis is a city where kids rule. they act like adults, work and earn, they can learn about budgeting by using a pretend $40 debit card to buy groceries. There is a section called the power play. Here, kids learn about health and fitness by doing what they do best: jump, climb and dance.
Space Centre Houston
Here, The Feel of Space presentation gives kids a sense of what it’s like to live and work in space. kids can experience the rich history and the awe of space through Kids Space Place, created for children of all ages who have always dreamed of experiencing the same things astronauts do in space. From the popular Build-A-Rocket to Mission Kidtrol, children will explore, learn the concepts of space and see how these fun activities can be applied to the space program.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science
Check out this extremely kid-friendly museum. kids will love the Burke Baker Planetarium, a domed theatre that can surround you with a starry sky, a laser light show or even a hurricane. This is practically the most visited museums in the country because of its overwhelming features that include palaeontology hall towering with prehistoric critters, a groovy planetarium, a 3D IMAX theatre, a magnificent butterfly exhibit, plus more than a dozen permanent exhibit areas.
Schlitterbahn Water Park
Here, the fun and adventure of interlinking climate-controlled rivers will magnet you from leaving the water. The slides and pools will also put you in a tropical mood. There are rides that are varied in speed and height. The waterboard allows for knee boarding experiences at no extra cost. Enjoy an entirely clean facility with well supervised life guards.
Ice at the Galleria
If your kids are fascinated about the idea of skating whenever they see it on television, then your visit to Houston should be an ample opportunity to let them have a first-hand experience and possibly give it a try. Even if they have never skated before, it’s still fun to try. There are also plenty of toy stores and ice cream shops nearby to keep them in the groove.
As parents, one of our greatest fear is not being able to protect our children. However, this fear has led to us to being overprotective. Gone are the days of using public transport or walking to school, supermarket, your friend’s house. Today, most of our children are driven everywhere for fear of getting lost, mugged or kidnapped. The downside to our “over protection” is we are training children who are “ajebutter”. Children who increasingly when left on their own might not be able to protect themselves and make wise decisions depending on what situation they find themselves.
Sheltering kids too much puts them in an unrealistic bubble and doesn’t prepare them to deal with various different situations when they occur. Studies support the fact that street smart kids are far less likely to be abducted than sheltered kids. This means it is in our best interest as parents to raise street smart kids who can keep themselves safe from strangers, identify safe places in the neighborhood, and navigate their way around tough places and situations.
This few tips can help you better equip them
- Armed them with critical information
Does your child know your real name? Do they know your mobile numbers as well as their house address? As early as possible let your children know their name and surname as well as their parents’ names, mobile numbers and home address.
- Teach them how to get help
During childhood, the possibility that your child will get lost or need help is 100%. She can get lost in the mall, at the airport, on the way home, etc. What if there is a fire, or an emergency does your child know what to do? Showing your kids how to get help will give you peace of mind and will prepare them if ever they are hurt or in danger. Teach your children to look for other helpful people when they cannot find you or become lost. This may be a teacher, police officer, or a mom or dad with children.
- Let them know the difference between Good Stranger and Bad Stranger
Define who strangers are without making them feel afraid. It’s important for children to understand not all strangers are bad strangers, instead teach them about warning signs, unsafe situations and bad people. Explain to them that strangers who tempt children with treats and rewards, who lure them to their cars with empty promises or who touch your child’s body when you say ‘no’ are bad people. And lastly, normal adult doesn’t need to ask children for help or directions.
- Train them to be observant
One of the greatest lessons my parent taught me about being street smart was being observant. Do you sense someone following you? When you enter public transport, are you the only female or are the other people looking funny? The stranger walking up to you, is he behaving odd? Has the same car/person be following you, turning when you? I hear all my Mother words ringing in my ears till today. Practice teaching your kids how to be observant and aware of their surroundings even when they’re with friends, they should still be cautious. They should be able to recognise people’s features, car models, landmarks, tell-tale signs, etc.
- Expose them to diverse people and places
Take your kids out into various communities to volunteer and interact with other people outside of their neighbourhood. Plan an outing that involves taking public transportation with your kids to get them familiar with that setting in case they have to use it one day. Resist the temptation to drive them everywhere, sometimes a stroll to a near by helps them get street smart about car and street safety.
- The Dos and Don’ts List
It is still important to have a list of dos and don’ts for your children. Here are some examples for your list –
- Don’t get in the car with anyone they don’t know even if it’s a friend’s friend.
- Don’t allow anyone touch your private parts
- Do stay in one place and yell my name at the top of your voice if you get lost in the supermarket
- Do let me know where you are going and your whereabouts all times
- The power of NO
Teach your kids how to say ‘no’ confidently to anyone acting inappropriately regardless of their position of power. Teach them that they have the right to say No and do not have to do anything they do not feel comfortable doing. Teach them that it is ok to speak up and be assertive if they are uncomfortable. Just because the person telling you to do something is an adult, especially the adult that is in charge at that time, it does not mean he/she has to be blindly obedient.
- Trust their gut
You won’t always be there to keep them safe, they will need to do it on their own. Talk to your children about their “gut” feeling – “an uncomfortable feeling in their tummy that tells them something might be wrong” It is how they are feeling about a person, place, or situation that they can’t quite explain. They need to learn to trust their gut feeling. It helps warn them about danger and help protect them from it.
At 9ijakids, we have a fun game to test your child’s knowledge about safety rules. Let them play about Safety 101 game to learn more about road, fire and online safety. Also, our Protecting Your Body game is another fun game to teach them about their bodies and how to recognise “bad touch”.
9ijakids – making learning fun through games.
The long summer holiday is an ideal time to take the kids on a trip – be it via road or air. Travelling with kids can sound like loads of fun but believe me it can also be exhausting, stressful and frustrating depending on the ages of your children. To be honest, the best advice that comes to mind when travelling with kids is avoid it as much as possible till they turn five (5) years old. This might not be realistic. So how do you stay sane while on the road or flight with your children?
Here are a few tips to make the trip a little more bearable:
#1 Plan the trip to accommodate the little ones
When travelling with children, specifically plan the trip taking into consideration your children. For road trips plan more time than normal to accommodate frequent stops and need for restaurant breaks. If by air, use kids friendly airline, ensure minimal stop over times, use direct flights and fly at night as much as possible.
#2 Go loaded with activities, books, toys, etc
Take as many items as possible that can keep the kids entertained – Lego, colour books, crayons, toys, puzzles, tablets, kindle, etc. Whatever you can think of, take it. Make sure it’s in your hand luggage and easily accessible. The whole point of this is that it shortens the journey for them. You could have them read a story and write a summary of it or even ask them to write down everything that fascinate them as they spot each and promise a reward.
#3 Double pack on snacks and food
Road trips can be unpredictable – an hour trip can easily become a 4-hour trip. The worst thing not to have is food. Long road trips or flights can leave kids feeling cranky and hungry. Hungry children are a nightmare. Most children don’t like the airline menu. When packing snacks, plan for delays – it’s always better to overpack than to run out. Consider snacks that don’t need refrigerating and that can still be edible after squishing. Finally, make sure the snacks are those the kids like, this is not a time to try out new snacks.
#4 Be prepared – pack the “extra”
Your motto on any family trip should be “Be Prepared” Plan for everything. So, make sure you pack extra outfits for unforeseen circumstances and kids medicines in case of fever, tummy ache, cold, cough and headache.
And most importantly get travel insurance. You will be shocked how expensive a visit to the doctors can be in another country. If you don’t want to spend all your holiday money on medical bill, go with your travel insurance.
#5 Forget about screen time.
Even if television is a no-go area at home, you would have to soft-pedal on this rule. For anyone travelling with kids, screens are a life saver. Ensure tablets, kindles are fully charged and armed with offline apps, movies, books and headphones before leaving home. Maximise usage of the on-flight entertainment– they are usually loaded with movies, games and a lot of their regular TV shows.
#6 Avoid dehydration
You don’t want to joke with this honestly as you need to make provision for water. You might be considering the fact that if you allow them take excess water then you would probably have to deal with regular trips to the toilet. Lol but don’t forget this, experts warn that dehydration is common in children on a long plane flight or journey. So, in any case, if you’re travelling on a plane, you’ve already got dehydration issues because of the dry air. As a way out of this, make provision for water and let your kids sip as much as they want.
#7 Make travel IDs
My son has gotten lost at the airport. The same thing has happened to my sister and several people I know. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to be separated from their child at the airport or in a foreign land. Make a travel card – a simple laminated card with information such as your mobile phone number and other relevant information if your child goes missing – and place it in your little one’s pocket and bags. You can even make ID bracelets to keep the essential information on the child.
#8 Don’t be shy – ask for help
It’s always better to travel with your partner or help. But in case you are travelling so, don’t be shy to ask for help at the airport especially all the additional luggage. Total strangers are usually happy to help you fold up a buggy or lift a bag, carry a car seat, hold a baby, etc. You might get the occasional refusal, but most people do help out.”
On a final note – while holidays are wonderful time to bond with family and create wonderful memories, remember you are travelling with kids. Do scale down on your itinerary. Don’t plan activities every single day. Leave days in between busy ones for relaxing and down time.
Holidaying in a foreign land is about adventure and exciting new experiences. To maximise the holiday, we recommend planning ahead to hit all top fun places for children.
Here are our top picks on places you must go to with the kids in Dubai.
What’s holiday in the summer without water and a big splash. Throw yourself into the action of Aquaventure Waterpark. Aquaventure Waterpark boasts of impressive water rides and adventures fit for all ages. Ride through shark tunnels, while your little ones little keep cool at the tamer rides and Splashers Children’s Play Area. If you like, you could also upgrade to include entrance to the Lost Chambers, the Atlantis-themed aquarium and finally catch a spot of sun on the private beach.
Kidzania is a well-known edutainment venue situated inside the Dubai mall. It is structured to look just like a little city, with paved streets for transport and residential buildings. Let the kids feel all grown up in this city. They can work as a fireman, policeman, chef or journalist, they will be ‘paid’ and allowed to use the money to buy things at Kidzania city’s shops. It blends education, fun and learning.
It is easy to forget that you are in Dubai once you step into Ski Dubai; the world’s largest indoor snow park. It is practically one of the most popular fun spots in Dubai located in the Mall of the Emirates in Al Barsha. If your kids have never had a feel of what skiing and snowboarding are like, you should consider this great place.
Wild Wadi Waterpark
Ride the crest of a wave at Wild Wadi water park. The exciting spot has 30 rides and attractions, themed around the tale of Juha, a character from Arabian folklore. Thrilling rides to enjoy including the 120-metre Jumeirah Sceirah, which reaches speeds of 80 kilometres, and the adrenaline-pumping Burj Surge, to toddler-friendly activities in Breakers Bay. It’s not just the kids who will go wild here, there are hours of fun for all ages.
Your kids can burn off their energy by jumping high and landing soft and safe. The adrenaline thrilling trampoline hub created a Mini Bounce program specifically tailored for children, allowing them to play and have fun in the safest way possible. The program is designed for kids aged 3 to 5 majorly and don’t forget to plan ahead as the venue is open Sunday to Thursday from 10 am to 12 pm.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Dubai Aquarium has a ten-million litre aquarium tank, filled with more than 140 colourful sea creatures. You and the kids are destined for awestruck if you decide to explore further to t the underwater zoo where you come in one on one contact otters, piranhas and penguins.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
IMG World of Adventure brings to life all the most iconic characters in cartoon network including Captain America, Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man and Thor. IMG Worlds of Adventure is made up of 4 thematic zones – Cartoon Network, Marvel Universe, Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard. Here, the family can enjoy a host of themed fun rides such as the Velociraptor, Lazy Town, Adventure Fortress or even the Haunted Hotel.
Have fun at Legoland with over 40 rides, shows and attractions on six themed lands crammed with 15,000 LEGO models and more than 60,000 LEGO bricks. To be honest, this will be just as much fun for the parents as it is for the kids. If your kids are familiar with the magic of Legos, they will be fascinated by the sight of a very large environment made entirely of giant Legos.
Your trip to Dubai isn’t complete without the quintessential Arabian experience. If you are a first-time visitor, a desert safari is a must for you. The overnight tour lets you experience the desert at both sunset and sunrise. You get to say to a camel, get photographed with a falcon and watch the Arabic Belly dance and Tanoura Dance with Arabic music. So, whatever your plans are, don’t forget to venture deep into Arabia’s deserts on a self-drive expedition.
Here is another place you should have in mind when visiting Dubai with your kids. This is a specifically carved place for kids between ages 1 and 12 years for maximum fun. It’s a great play area for kids if you want to give them a mind-blowing experience. It has the ‘Fun n Learn’ segment which provides kids up to the age of 4 an avenue for mental and physical development; It also has a ‘PlayZone’; a soft-play area that provides a safe place to slide, climb and jump around.
Summer Holiday Brain
After six to eight weeks of the summer holidays, children quickly forget a lot of what they learnt the year before. Teachers observe a dip in all children who didn’t read or do any academic work over the summer.
Half an hour of school-related work a day can make all the difference. So insist on at least a half an hour daily before fun – and certainly before any screen-time.
Lack of Exercise
The summer slide doesn’t just apply to school work -it also applies to physical movement and exercise. A number of children tend to return to school less fit and chubbier from sitting in front of screens, parents’ reluctance to let them play outside unsupervised and eating lots of junk foods and sweets.
It is important to encourage any kind of walking, playing or running around during the holidays. So if they cant do much during the week, try and make up during the weekend.
Eating too much junk
Summer holidays means lots of outing, parties and unsupervised eating at home. The children are always snacking sometimes out of boredom. So holidays are usually packed with drinking lots of soda, eating candies, living only on pizza, cookies and chocolate. Studies show that children’s’ body mass indexes (BMI) increased by twice as much over summer vacation when compared to the previous school year.
Its important to maintain a consistent meal time and schedule during the holiday. Stock up the fridge and house with healthy snacks and limit the number of unhealthy treats they can take daily and weekly.
On a final note, include your child in the planning process to ensure success.
For most parents its already four weeks since end of term. And the holiday seems to be never ending. I’m sure that by now you are asking yourself “when is school resuming?’. Surprise! Surprise!!!!!!! There is still three/four weeks left to the holidays. And to make matters worse, most summer camps would be ending next week. This is what Nigerians call insult upon injury . Lol. So, what can you do especially if you don’t want them to watch TV, be on their phones and play video games 24/7
Here are a few tips to help you cope with the final few days of the summer holidays.
- Plan some low budget fun activities
Already you’ve spent so much in this period and you probably don’t want to break the bank further. However, there are so much you can still do without necessarily making the naira roll out too much. You could simply stock up activities that are budget friendly such as water guns, bubbles, balls, balloons, board games, paddling pool, art and crafts, face painting, baking, etc
- Have a friend over at least once a week for each child.
This is like the most effective way to keep your kids engaged with fun activities at home without necessarily spending a dime. Well except that you might need to stock up your kitchen for that day. You can also get them to go over to a friend’s place for the day.
- Stock up on books either from a library or bookshop
Reading can be hard for some children and enjoyable for other. The secret is to discover what they really enjoy. My son enjoys books on facts like Guinness Book of Records. Apart from reading, also encourage the budding writer. Get them to write plays, poems, songs. etc.
- Make a movie or an album – With social media, a lot of children love the ideas of talking into the camera or taking pictures. Well you can leverage on this. Hand them a camera and tell them to make a movie – they can record happenings in their days or surrounding or taking pictures of funny/interesting- moments to be shared with family.
- Save big days out for the weekends – by saving big days out for the weekend the kids will have something to look forward to and understand that during the week they will be spending time at home. They will get to spend quality time with you at the weekend.
With all these, trust me you have them all engaged and utilising the rest of the holidays doing amazing things.
Have you taught your children about money, value of money and hard work?
What is the most important thing to teach your children about money?
Are there some things about money, saving, investing and taking risks you wish your younger self knew?
Do you sometimes wish that you had started out as an entrepreneur much earlier? Been better equipped to identify financial opportunities and act on them?
Research has it that not less than 70% of rich families lose their wealth by the second generation and a whooping 90% by the third according to Williams group wealth consultancy.
U.S. Trust surveyed people who have more than 3 million dollars in investable assets to find out how they are preparing the next generation for handling wealth. Not less than 78% were pessimistic about their children financial literacy and responsibility to manage their wealth when the time is due.
These figures are really alarming. It means that rich or not, it is our responsibility as parents to begin to expose and teach our children about money from a young age. When children learn to manage money at a young age, they are more likely to be responsible with their money as adults.
“If he is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money.” – Jackie Chan
It’s important to teach children at a young age that most wealth is not a result of luck – most people need to work hard and make smart decisions to “get rich and stay rich” and of course smart decisions are products of understanding personal finance, putting wants and needs in order of priority and ultimately saving and investing.
Here are 7 Things to Teach Them:
1. Money doesn’t grow on trees. You have to make money to be able to spend money. Spending money can only happen after you have earned it.
2. Get them involved in everyday financial activities – going to the bank, going shopping, getting change, finding best deals, paying bills, etc
3. Teach them about saving – let them learn to save towards small and big goals.
4. Teach them about delayed gratification – this helps them understand the basic about saving and investing to get more later than spending everything now.
5. Let them learn about making wise choices when spending money because funds are limited. Start them on an allowance. Let them spend it how they want and allow them to see that spending it immediately can prevent them from saving up for bigger things.
6. Teach them responsibility – As they get older, let them start paying for their own non essential items likes games or toys.
7. Practicalise earning money – as they become teenagers let them work during the holidays to earn money. Let them understand what it takes to earn money. You don’t value money until you are the one earning it.
Lastly, set a good example as a parent. You can also bring money lessons to life with fun games and activities. Here is where 9ijakids can help. Let your children play, learn and have fun with our financial literacy games – Kiddipreneur 101 and Money Matters. Click link www.9ijakids.com to start learning.
“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”
To be honest, there are times my little cousins say some things and I can quickly tell where they heard/learnt it from. So, whenever I see my Aunt correcting them, I want to laugh out loud and i am tempted to tell her that they’ve heard her say exactly the same thing the other day.
Our children are generally a reflection of us. This is a scary thought. Are you saying my child’s “discourteous/bad” behaviour is from me???
Yes!!! And double Yes. Your child was born with an amazing ability to absorb information. For better or worse, she/he is soaking up everything she/he sees, feels, and hears. So teaching your child good behaviour really comes down to what you, the parent or guardian, are modelling with your own behaviour.
If you are courteous, using “please,” “you’re welcome,” “thank you” and similar phrases, your child will follow suit. So start as early as you can. Teach your children to be respectful to their parents, as well as their siblings, teachers, caregivers and friends. Teach them to say thank you and please as they interact with- the supermarket clerk, the ice cream server, the waiter, etc. With this foundation in place, you will start to notice how it begins to happen naturally, on its own (though reminders are needed from time to time lol).
“Politeness cost nothing and gains us everything.”
It is important to discuss with our children why being courteous is important. Explain the importance of treating others as you would like to be treated. If they were in the situation where they were struggling to carry a heavy load across a parking lot; wouldn’t they appreciate it if someone helped them? Yes, they would.
Remember, at the heart of courtesy is a respect for oneself and others.
Making learning about being courteous can be fun. Let your children play this game and test how courteous they are. Click here to play our courtesy game and check out our other values games at www.9ijakids.com .
#1 It Makes Your Job Easier
A teacher’s job requires a lot of demands and sacrifices. Technology has the ability to make your job easier. No more late nights grading papers when 9ijakids games can give you instant scores on games played, no marking required.
#2 It’s a Great Motivator
Let’s face it, if you put an iPad in front of your students instead of a textbook, your students will be more excited to learn. This is because technology is fun and motivates children. 9ijakids games can be quite the motivator for struggling students.
When technology is implemented into lessons, students who may have been disengaged in the past get excited to participate. Technology is engaging: fun graphics and games mean that class doesn’t even feel like learning. Plus, digital technology comes quite easily to many children. When children feel comfortable and confident in what they are learning, and how they learning, they will be more apt to participate in the lesson.
#4 It Provides Local Content
Getting worksheets and activities for geography, Nigerian history/culture is not always easy. A lot of games and activities were made for their local markets – US, England. So learning about the States of Nigeria, Past Presidents, Culture, Festivals, etc can be much easier and more fun with 9ijakids games like StateQuest, Food Challenge, Who Wants to Be a Brainiac, etc
#5 Gives Immediate Feedback
With 9ijakids games, children immediately get feedback on wrong questions and know where they are strong and which areas need to be worked on.