Pitch-In for Fitness with an Outdoor Sports Pitch

Playing in the neighbor’s yard or community park are common past times for kids of the 20th century. But this is now a rarity for kids today – especially those who are hooked on their gadgets. Given the importance of fitness in one’s overall well-being, everyone should be encouraged to participate in outdoor physical activities and sports. One way to do this is to provide kids with facilities like an outdoor sports pitch or playground.

Sports facilities in the school and community provide kids with a venue to explore different physical activities. This helps promote physical, mental, and social wellness in the community. However, not all communities have ample sports facilities to service the needs of their residents. This makes it harder to encourage people to get into sports. If you have extra space in your property then you may want to consider having your own outdoor sports pitch. This can be your contribution to sports and fitness in the community. You can also make money out of it by renting out the facilities for private events.

The usual concern in building or installing an outdoor pitch is limited space and budget. But this can be solved by installing MUGA or Multi-Use Games Areas instead. According to FIBA rules a basketball court should measure exactly 28m x 15m while a tennis court would require space of about 23.77m x 10.97m. This means you will need a minimum of around 54m x 27m of space for both pitches. On the other hand a MUGA would only require around 37m x 18.5m and you can already play basketball, tennis, and netball in it. Aside from saving on space, MUGA also saves on the cost of building and maintaining multiple pitches.

All Purpose Outdoor MUGA Court Surfacing

It would be great to have your own outdoor sports pitch. Aside from having free use of the facility anytime you want, you are also taking part in community building by encouraging kids to engage in sports and fitness activity. But if this is not possible, then you can simply involve your kids in sports activities in school and the community.

My Little Ponies Magically Come to Real Life!

Can you spot Rainbow Dash flying around?

My sisters and I grew up watching My Little Pony on Saturdays.  It was one of those shows we eagerly woke up for on Saturday mornings.  I would have continued watching it even in my teen years had they not stopped producing the show.  So just imagine my glee when they aired an animated series again and I was able to watch my little ponies anew.  I’m sure you moms watch it with your little ones too!

Well, here’s something you can also enjoy with your little princesses when you’re not watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on TV.

In this character guidebook from Scholastic, your favorite ponies from Equestria come to life through the power of Digital Magic!  They can be as small as the palm of your hand or grow so big that they won’t fit inside your house.  You can stroll with the ponies or make them fly.  Augmented reality really really really rocks!

 

 

The ponies are so cute when they’re little but become amazingly huge when they’re life-sized.  It’s also fun to see them prancing or flying around.

Aside from being able to interact with the ponies, we also got to know them more coz the book is full of sooooo much trivia about each of them.  We even found out more about the magical land of Equestria!

It’s fun to watch the ponies move around but it’s much better when you do it with a friend.  You can ask your friend to download the app, connect to each other’s devices, and have your favorite ponies stroll together. The app can easily be downloaded for free on your smartphone or tablet

What We Love About This Book

It’s My Little Pony!!! Obviously, we love it just because it’s all about our beloved magical ponies!  But aside from that, we also love it because we’re able to read so much about them in the colorful glossy pages of the book.  Making the ponies come to real life is also amazingly magical.  The book might be a bit too big to fit in my purse but we don’t mind carrying an extra tote for it. 🙂  This book gets a two-thumbs-up from both the kids and this mom.

Read more about augmented reality here.

Watch Your Favorite Transformers Come to Life!

Do your kids love watching Transformers in Disguise on TV? I’m sure you’ve also spent hours pretending that you were Autobots fighting the Decepticons.  I’m guessing most of the time you get to be the Decepticon, too.  If your kids are great fans, I’m sure they have wished many times over that the Autobots were real.  Here’s some great news!  Aside from watching them on television, you can now actually watch Transformers come to life as never before! Not on the big screen but in your own home through Scholastic’s Augmented Reality book Transformers Robot in Disguise: Where Crown City Comes to Life.

My son Jakei likes watching Transformers Robots in Disguise on Netflix so he was very excited when he saw the book. While waiting for me to download the app, he already became so engrossed in reading the book.  It actually doubles as a character guidebook for the animated series.  It starts with a brief intro about how the Transformers came to planet Earth.  Then there are descriptions and fun trivia about all the featured Autobots and Decepticons.

With the app, Jakei can make the robots walk and drive around. It’s really cool to watch them transform from vehicles to robots.  When the robots are in lifesize, they even leave cracks on the ground when they walk!

 

The kids and I also enjoy taking pictures with life-sized Transformers. We did kinda look weird taking pictures outside (because you can’t very well fit a life-size Transformer inside our house!) but it’s really cool to see pictures of us with life-sized robots.

The app also helps develop kids’ creativity as there is a feature that allows them to create their very own robots.  There’s another feature in the app that we haven’t tried yet.  Friends can actually play together in the Battle Mode.  They get to choose their own Autobots and Decepticons and engage head-to-head in a battle.  All they need to do is to download the apps in their devices and connect the devices to each other.  If they don’t wish to battle it out, they can just choose Transformers from the same team and make them walk around together.

What we love about this book

The kids love this book because they get to use the tablet! LOL! Aside from that, they get to do so many things with different robots. They can also play together even while using gadgets.  When gadget-time is over, they still get to enjoy reading the book and learning more about the Autobots and Decepticons.  They actually know more about the characters now than I do.  Not only kids will love this book as I myself enjoy reading the book and using the app.  This is surely another book that will stay in our collection for years.

Read more about augmented reality here.

Totally Cool Augmented Reality Books from Scholastics

My kids are bookworms! There’s no question about it. Aside from being bookworms, they’re also advanced readers.  One factor that contributed to this is that we kept them away from gadgets during their early years. They learned to appreciate and to love books because of this.  I’m guessing that they love smelling the pages just as I do. Ebooks may be convenient and more affordable but it cannot parallel the satisfaction we get from flipping through page after page of paperbacks.

However, when they reached school age and became exposed to games their classmates play, we eventually allowed them some gadget time – always closely monitored and timed though. 😆 They do look forward to being able to use their tablet or my phone to play games or watch videos. Old-fashioned mom though still prefers that they just stick to their paperbacks.

Most likely, Scholastic knows that many other moms have similar sentiments. This is probably why they came out with their augmented reality books – books that encourage children to read while enjoying their gadget time.

The Magic of Augmented Reality

Whoa! It’s AWESOME!!! This was the first reaction of the two kids when they first tried out the app.  It’s like VR only better!  In virtual reality, the kids play in an artificial environment; but, in augmented reality, they play in their actual environment.  It’s bringing something inanimate to life and interacting with it in real time.

It’s totally cool! It’s showing on the screen like it’s really real! Like it’s really there in real life! – Jade

If you’re still confused about what augmented reality is, just think of it as something like 4-D.  It’s like adding another dimension to a 3-D image. When you hover your phone or tablet over the page, a lifelike image pops out and becomes part of your own environment. THEN you can interact with this image by making it move around and even taking pictures together with it.

 

In the books from Scholastic, our kids’ favorite characters come to life with the power of Digital Magic.  Now that we’re hopefully all clear about what augmented reality is, let’s check the books out in the next two posts.

Click here for Transformers Robot in Disguise: Where Crown City Comes to Life.

Click here for My Little Pony: Where Equestria Comes to Life

4 Hacks for New Parents to Ease Adjustment into Parenthood

As a new parent, you suddenly become bombarded with a plethora of baby products and (often unsolicited) advice. But as a first-timer, it can be hard to distinguish the must-haves from the gimmicks. Likewise, the tips and tricks that worked for others may not be conducive to you and your new bundle of joy. With that in mind, here are four hacks to make the transition to parenting a little easier to manage.

1. Get More Done with Babywearing

Your new bundle of joy no doubt craved being in the womb, but life doesn’t just stop after you’ve given birth. Of course, there’s still cleaning and cooking to do, other kids to look after, and often work to catch up on. You may get a break for the first few weeks, but soon enough you’ll need to figure out a rhythm to get it all done with a new baby on board.

If you need a little assistance carrying your newborn, an age-old practice could provide immense, mutually-desired enjoyment. In fact, embracing babywearing can help you get more done, while also meeting your baby’s needs. Furthermore, studies have shown that moms who practice babywearing for three hours a day see their infant cry 43 percent less than babies who didn’t receive the same — or any — amount of nurturing.

One of the most comfortable carriers for little ones is the Solly Baby Wrap, an ultra-thin stretchy wrap designed for use throughout your child’s first year. Tula also makes a variety of carriers to make babywearing comfortable and seamless. And, most carriers can even be used for discreet and convenient hands-free nursing, too.

2. Minimize Startle Reflex with Swaddle Suits

Sure, we all know swaddling babies is a great way to soothe and prevent them from startling themselves awake. However, because babies tend to wiggle out of this cozy wrapping, swaddling is a battle many babies end up winning. To decrease the chances of your baby popping free, keep them securely swaddled — and ultimately asleep longer — by using swaddle suits instead of traditional swaddle blankets.

Love to Dream makes one of the most popular options, the Swaddle Up, which features an ultra soft, stretchy material and a two-way zipper to make nighttime diaper changes a breeze. With this genius design, babies can keep their hands near their face for comfort. Plus, the Swaddle Up is light enough to be worn over the top of the baby’s sleepwear.

3. Make the Most of Your Smartphone

There’s an app for nearly everything these days — and there are certainly no shortage of options aimed at parents. To ease the stress of tracking all of your baby’s newfound habits, you can leverage this type of technology with an app like Total Baby. For example, you can use this app to easily keep track of feedings, soiled diapers, sleep times and baths. Meantime, because your child will start to grow up before you know it, use an app like FirstYear or Baby’s Firsts to record all of your baby’s precious milestones, from their first smile to their first steps.

You can also keep your baby soothed by loading your smartphone with gentle melodies to the tune of popular hits with the online program, Rockabye Baby. Likewise, if your baby needs some white noise to fall asleep or calm down, your best bet is to download an app that provides some ambient white noise. Ultimately, whatever works best for your little one, be sure you can download musical tracks for offline play to avoid exceeding your data limit on your smartphone plan.

4. Manage Messes with a Change of Clothes in the Diaper Bag

You know to never leave home without a change of clothes for your baby, but what about for yourself? After all, when you’re constantly holding, rocking or changing your little one, it’s only a matter of time before you get covered in spit up, urine or a blown out diaper. Your best bet? Stash a spare shirt for yourself in your diaper bag, so you can quickly change when your precious bundle of joy doles out a wardrobe malfunction.