Articles by "Places to Visit"
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For the grown-ups, beaches are great for sun-bathing, surfing, and swimming, but for kids it is more than that. For kids, it is a different world altogether. On the beaches, they have all the freedom to use their imagination and to increase the spectrum of their thinking. Here, they can dance, sing, play, dive, surf and do a hundreds thousand activities. Following are a few of the exciting activities which one can enjoy with their kids on the beach.

1. Treasure Hunt

This is one of the most loved games for kids. When you have sand all around you, hiding things will become even more interesting. This game can be modified in a number of ways. One of them could be where parents can hide things under the sand and place an identifier on top of it. They can then ask the kids to guess what is there under each identifier. For example, if they have put a Kids Jewellery Box under the sand they can put a bangle over it. The article at the top will be a hint to what is under the sand.

2. Beach Bowling

Creating the bowling pins out of the sand will be the first exciting part of this game, followed by playing a game of bowling with your gang. The re-creation of pins every time will make them even more involved in the game. They can play this game in groups as well, where they can keep rotating the roles of bowling, creating pins etc.

3. Beach Funny Faces

The best way to play with the sand is to show your creativity. You can draw numerous funny faces on the beach. While creating these faces, kids can also play a game where they will talk to each other by making only faces and not speaking. This will encourage them to understand different kinds of human emotions. Who knows? We may get back a totally new set of emoticons invented by these little geniuses.

4. Sun-Dial

This is one of the easiest and simplest activities you can enjoy on a beach. You only need a stick and few pebbles, which you can get easily. Place the stick in the centre in an upright position and place the pebbles around it equidistant from each other in a circle. While chilling out and playing, kids will observe and learn how the motion of the sun is associated with our time system.

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5. Sponge-Animal

Let the children understand how a certain object can absorb so much of water and become heavy. First, they can make the sponge-animals absorb water from the sea and then they can play various throwing and catching games with these sponges. When someone catches the sponge, they will be splashed with water.

6. Balloon Fish

Sitting on the sea-shore, one can easily find a couple of fishes closer to shore. Parents can show children some fishes in the sea, and can ask the kids to draw the faces of the fishes which they saw near the shore on the balloons. They can then fill balloons with water and will be happy to see the inflating of their balloon. This will make them understand how things inflate in real world.

7. Passing the Water

This game is played by more than one player. The more people, the more interesting this game will become. The main idea behind this game is to pass the water in one player's glass, to the glass of the person who is standing right behind him. They can make themselves stand in any way. They can either stand one after the other in a straight queue or they can even form a circle.

8. Beach Ball with a Balloon

Kids can place one balloon at the center of the towel, and can play a game of catch by making the balloon jump up and down on the towel. The aim will be to save the balloons from bursting.

9. Hide and Seek Castles

First, the kids will have to prepare several castles from sand and will have to name them individually. When the game will proceed, one of the kids will become the finder and rest all will try to hide behind the castle. The Finder will then guess who is behind each castle.

10. Playing with Alphabets/Numbers

The beach can be treated as a large notebook for beginners who have just started learning the alphabet, and numbers. We can help them learn the shapes of different letters and numbers by making them draw the figures on the beach. The moment the sea will erase these drawings, it will be fun for kids to re-draw them, and this will allow them to practice.

11. Beach-Tents

Kids can prepare a small beach-tent out of their bed-sheet, sticks, and some medium-sized pebbles. Sleeping in tents in jungles has always been fun for people in any age group, but one can not take kids into jungle. To make the kids feel like they are in the jungle, parents can decorate their tents in hut-like fashion, and also place some bushes around the tent.

12. Tug-O-War

One of the favorite games for all age groups, this can be played by using a simple item, like rope, and involves a lot of teamwork. The kids will learn how to make strategies to defeat their opponents. Though this game symbolizes strength, good strategies will usually prevail. Parents can include themselves in this activity to keep the game moving, as most of the time, kids will not be able to survive in this game for more than few seconds.

13. Shell-Search

The young Sherlock-Holmes can get hands-on experience searching for different kinds of shells. The person who gets the most shells will be the winner.

14. Music

Here, parents can help their kids identify the sound and rhythm of sea-waves, and how they relate to the sounds that musical instruments make. However, this activity will require quietness and an isolated beach, but the effort to find one will definitely pay-off.

15. Mom's Bucket

This game can be taken as a war between the moms who have brought their children to the beach. The moms are required to hold the buckets 10-15 meters from the shore, and the kids will bring water from the shore to fill the bucket. Whoever fills it up first will be the winner. Here, one can utilize the timing of the waves to reduce the distance travelled to fill up the bucket quickly.

Author: Bob Tom

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If you're considering going on one of the wonderful bear tours offered by a top specialist wildlife travel company, you might be rather surprised at the choice of destinations. Finland is one of the lesser-known destinations for bear tours but it offers many wonderful opportunities for sighting these impressive creatures.

The Brown Bears of Finland

The Brown Bear is, in fact, Finland's national animal. However, they are thought to be only around 1000 left in the country. Consequently, they are now a protected species. Because the animals inhabit areas very close to the border with Russia, it is actually the Russians who have reinforced the Finnish efforts to conserve them.

On organised bear tours to Finland, you will visit the vast wilderness that constitutes the habitat on the Russian border with Finland. Martinselkonen Nature Reserve is one of the most popular places to see the Brown Bear. At 300km from Oulu and 100km from Kuusamo, it is very much out of the way and is the ideal place for the animals to exist without fear for their safety. On a good night, those hoping to see these magnificent creatures might be fortunate enough to encounter up to 15-20.

When to Go

The best time for sightings is from the middle of April to the beginning of June when the bears have just woken from hibernation, and then from the start of July until the middle of August when they're concentrating on feeding. The time in between is rutting time and, as they're not so concerned with foraging for food, they are not as easily seen.

What to Expect

There are various bear tours on offer, but the best should include transport, accommodation and an expert guide. While on the trip you will spend time in special 'hides' in the evenings when the animals are at their most active; these hides are the perfect sites from which to observe the animals. Photographic opportunities abound and there is plenty of space in the hides for the entire group to observe and photograph at the same time. They are also equipped with bunk beds and a toilet should you want to rest while waiting for the action. Martinselkonen also offers several hides for professional photographers, which accommodate two or three people at a time.

During the day, most itineraries will offer ample time to explore the local area keeping your eyes open for some of the resident birds such as the Ural Owls, Siberian Tit and Pied Flycatcher.

If you're considering one of the excellent bear watching tours on offer, make sure you add Finland to your list of countries to consider. You won't be disappointed.

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Summer is that wonderful time of year when school is nearing the end, swimming pools are starting to get filled up, and people are cleaning the backyard grill. We're talking about the summer, and with any discussion about the summer, there comes a need to discuss family vacation ideas.

Sure, everyone is prepping their home for all of the get-together, barbecues, and pool parties to be had, but everyone definitely looks forward to the summer because it is the time of year where everyone in the family is almost completely on the same page regarding free time. Schedules coming together means it's the right time to get the whole family together and just get away for a little bit. There is one problem, though - where do you go?

Perhaps the hardest part of planning a vacation happens to be deciding where you actually want to go. Everyone has an opinion and a reason for maintaining said opinion, but a decision has to be made. Otherwise, you might just forego the whole mess, and that's just not right. Maybe a better plan of action might be to think about what you want the vacation to accomplish instead of where you want it to be.

Stick with us here. Rather than try to give you specific places to consider for your family's summer vacation, it might be best to think of certain types of summer vacations that get your family excited about the possibilities. Nothing is worse than going on a trip and then being sort of "blah" when you're there. "Blah" tends to turn into "meh", which then makes doing anything on the trip pretty uninspiring. You want your summer vacation to have "oomph".

You also want to actually get away when you go on vacation. For the last few years, there has been a big push to enjoy a "staycation" and keep things close to home. While there's nothing wrong with that, there are limitations to the inspiration it can give your family. Traveling, on the other hand, is what inspiration is all about.

Here are seven vacation ideas to help inspire your family's summer travel:

Beaches - What's more invigorating than sand, sun, and the ocean? Also, remember that you don't have to travel somewhere exotic to find great beaches close to you.

State & National Parks - Maybe it's a little "old-school", but state & national parks provide a bevy of activities for the whole family and are a great backdrop to cool outdoor fun.

Water Parks - In case you weren't aware of it, the summer months are pretty warm. Beat the heat with a family vacation to a premier water park.

Agritourism - Visitors to these farms enjoy a quaint & unique overnight stay, all the while exploring agricultural life & even being part of the harvesting process. If your family is big on organic produce & the farm-to-table approach, this is a great trip idea.

River Adventures - Again, the notion of cool river waters against summer heat makes sense, plus get the whole family's adrenaline pumping!

Volunteerism - You may not think it, but volunteering not only does a lot of worldly good, but it also allows you to see the world. It's certainly a way to feed the soul.

Road Trip - Of course, you can't go wrong with the traditional road trip. They say the destination isn't as important as the manner in which you got there, and it definitely makes for some great memories.

Family vacation ideas should be all about wonder and excitement. They should be able to pull you out of the dreck that can sometimes best describe life & get you moving. Let this be the summer that sets the standard for your family's summer vacations from now on!

Has that dream vacation been on your mind a lot lately, but the travel costs keep holding you back? Make that much-needed getaway possible with Wizootravel. Save up to 60% on hotels and flights with our guaranteed cheapest deals to destinations worldwide. No hidden fees. Just what you see. Book your dream holiday now!