Entertaining Your Kids at Home

Children can be one of the greatest blessings but come with a lot of needs. For instance, many younger kids need constant attention and activities to do at home. It can become a full-time job. So, it is essential to find entertainment in your own homes that can hold your children’s attention for some time while also being safe. If you are a parent with rambunctious children, here are several at-home activities to help entertain your kids:

Host Playdates

Children play well with other children, so one of the best ways to free up your own time is to find another parent willing to alternate playdates. Some days you can watch the kids and host a playdate while other days the other parents can. This idea will be a blast for all the kids as well as be low-maintenance for the parents.

Play Outside

Playing outside is a great way to let the children enjoy and explore the outdoors. You can go to the park or let them pick some outdoor sports activities. Let your children learn to discover what activities they enjoy and dislike during their early youth. From flying kits to sidewalk chalk in your driveway, the options are endless. You can even take them to water parks, playgrounds, soccer fields, and more!

Educational Video Games or Movies

If you need to get away and have some own rest and relaxation times, a movie or an educational video game is perfect for distracting children for several hours. This idea is not the best method to keep your children productive yet can help you get the physical break you need. A healthy mommy and daddy need their rest too to be the best parents they can be.

Creative Puzzles

While action figures, barbies, and racecars are all great toys to entertain kids, try adding some creating puzzles into the mix. Encourage your kids to try puzzles, Legos, or even word searches. These creative and brain exercising activities are great for children in their prime mental growing stages.

There are hundreds of great ways to keep children entertained. Try to keep in mind what children can and cannot do alone at their age. Always keep safety at the forefront. What are some of your children’s favorite household activities? Let us know how you keep your children entertained below in the comment section.

Lake House Activities for Spring Break

Throughout the United States, there are many highly desired homes. From mountainside living to high loft city apartments to a beautiful lake house oasis, we all have our fantasy home. If you grew up with a lake on your property, you probably have many fond memories of it. However, if this is your first lake house, you do not want to be missing out on the fun! There is plenty to do with your lake this spring break. Here are the top three must-dos for any lake house owner:

Boating

If you have a lake, you need to be on it! There are hundreds of different styles of boats to get for your home. Depending on the size of the lake and your community regulation, find the boat right for you. You can get powerboats like bay boats, cruisers, or deck boats, or you can get smaller options like kayaks or canoes. Depending on your swimming level, you may want to invest in some lifejackets as well.

Fishing

Fishing is also a great way to facilitate your lake. Make sure you invest in everything you need. Get your rod, extra line and hooks, bobbers, and bait. You may also want to pack some needle nose pliers and a small first aid kit for the day. Fishing is a great hobby to help relax and pass the time. Just do not forget to bring the sunscreen!

Swimming

Nothing feels more authentic and true to nature as swimming. Swimming is a timeless pastime that is great for all ages! Simply set up some lake activities and purchase some floating devices. Swimming in the lake is a great way to get the most out of your lake house.

If you are blessed with a home on a lake, make sure you use the many advantages associated with it. This exterior privilege is excellent for hosting guests and making great memories. All landscapes have different advantages, do not miss the opportunity of yours.

How to Create the Ultimate Homeschool Workroom

Whether you homeschool your children or they attend school outside the home, creating an organized and inspirational place for them to do homework has a ton of benefits for everyone! The space needs to be a place in the home that promotes creativity, critical thinking, and makes it fun to learn! We have listed some easy tips below for creating the ultimate school workroom at home. Let’s take a look!

Seek the Perfect Spot

If you are like most of us, your space may be limited, so organization and using the proper furniture is critical in the overall design of the room. If your home has a basement or upstairs play area, then you have the perfect spot! Seek out locations for this learning area by looking at unused space in your home. It could even be as small as a corner in your dining room.

Make the Space Fun

You can add pops of color with floor pillows in red, blue, green, or yellow. If anyone suffers from respiratory ailments, eliminating carpet is a step in the right direction. Also, depending on your child’s age, you can use colorful geometrical area rugs, or tiled puzzled mats made out of rubber/silicone. Keep in mind standing on a hard surface can be hard on your back and legs. Rubber padded mats and rugs are an excellent option for eliminating aches and pains.

Install Shelving

In just about any case, you will need to maximize space for storage by going up by installing vertical shelving. Luckily, you can purchase inexpensive shelving from big box stores, online retailers, yard/garage sales, and second hand/nonprofit charity stores. If you are buying used shelving, you can easily paint them by using spray paint or rolling on paint with a small roller. If the surface is a laminate surface, we recommend taking a fine to medium sandpaper and hitting the surface to ensure the paint adheres to the surface. Priming before painting is also recommended.

Add Your Personal Touch

If you have the room, create a space for a reading nook and quiet time depending on the children’s age. Also, you can purchase an inexpensive water feature for relaxing and enhancing their creativity! The options are truly endless when it comes to adding your own personal touch to the space.

We hope you enjoyed these tips and have fun creating this special place for your children, and by all means, please let us know your creative ideas for the project below in the comment section!

Tips for Creating a Great Play Room for a Child

If you are lucky enough to have some extra space in your home to dedicate to a play area for your child, we have some suggestions for you on how to make it great! The early years of a child’s life include a significant amount of brain development, so you want to make sure they are using their imaginations and have an enjoyable environment to develop their talents. Making sure they have a safe place to do this is essential. Here is how to get started:

You Must Be This Tall to Play

No matter the size of the room, there is something you can do to improve it for your child’s use. The most important thing to think about when the child enters the room is ease of use. Smaller chairs and tables, as well as fun colors and decor, will help set the stage and let them know that this is a space made for fun. Keep shelves lower and storage easily accessible, so whatever they take out can also be placed back there by them. This teaches them their first chores and responsibilities while simultaneously helping you out with clean up!

Let Creativity Flow

If your child has a particular hobby or interest, be sure to supply them with what they need to develop it. Whether it is art, photography, or books, be sure to create a little area for them to spend time creating and reading about new things. Provide books, a desk area, and arts and crafts supplies so they can let their imaginations run wild. Use a wall for displaying their work and create a safe spot for them to pause their progress until the next day. Knowing when to clean up items and leave them alone will not only show your child that you trust them, but it will let them know that you respect their space as well.

Sharing Is Caring

Finally, keep in mind that although they may spend a lot of time using this area as their own personal space, there are going to be times when they are going to want to share in it with others. This may include you, other family members, or friends. Be sure there is sufficient space not only for your child to play independently but for them to share the space and play well with others.

Have you created a play space before in your home? What do you feel are crucial elements of it? Let us know below in the comment section.

The Best Fabric for Family Room Furniture

Are you currently in the market for purchasing new living room furniture or reupholstering your current furniture? If you are currently in the market for investing in a sofa/chair, it should be treated as a big decision that requires some research. We have compiled a short list of “to-dos” for determining the correct color and fabric for your pieces. Let’s take a look!

Color

If hiring an interior designer is not in the budget, we have listed some questions that will guide you in the right direction for the perfect fabric color:

  • Who Will Be Using the Pieces? If children, pets, or teenagers are in the answer, darker colors are the best for hiding stains and spills. For neutral options, grays are popular and will be around for quite some time. Do not overlook blues and greens and treat them as bold neutrals. View the carpet, flooring, and all accessories to make sure they blend with the new fabric. 
  • Formal or Informal? If you are placing the furniture in a formal living room, the color may differ from the color choice you would choose for an informal living room. For example, you may opt for lighter colors in a formal area since it will be used less and only for special occasions.
  • Are Patterns Relevant? While we do not see that many patterned sofas anymore, we do see sofas brought to life by patterned pillows and blankets. Incorporating patterns through pillows and blankets can help hide additional stains, which is ideal for households with children and pets.

Fabric

Natural fibers like cotton, linen, silk, and wool are very soft to the touch but are not very durable. When you combine them with a synthetic fiber like polyester, viscose, and acrylics, the softness remains, but the added synthetic fibers strengthen the natural fibers. All of the children and pet-friendly fibers are synthetic and also stand up to spills and stains. Heavier or thicker fabric weaves are less smooth but more textured. These fibers are perfect for a family or great room pieces.

Cleaning Code 

Have you ever noticed the tag on upholstered furniture? It will include a letter code. Sofas with a “W” must be cleaned with a water-based cleaner only/distilled, or bottled water is recommended. An “S” means the upholstery must be cleaned with a professional-grade cleaning solvent and will not react well if water is used. “S/W” means that dry cleaning solvents and water can be used. 

Rub-Count

This is the best way to determine the durability of the fabric. The rub count is determined by a machine that rubs back and forth until the fabric is worn down. 20,000 and higher rubs are perfect for residential upholstery.

We hope that you are now aware of what to look for when purchasing or reupholstering your family/great room furniture. If you follow these tips, you will make sure that you have done your due diligence in fabric research!

Dorm Room Decor Ideas

Starting college can be stressful and intimidating at first. Since your dorm room is where you will be spending a good sum of your time, you can ease into the transition of college by making your dorm room feel more like home. College probably means you do not have a large budget, so designing your dorm room can be a bit challenging. If you are going to spend money, make sure you put it in the right places. Here are three ideas worth investing in to upgrade your dorm room:

Pictures 

Pictures can express yourself and give meaning to your room. Most dorm rooms will come in a very neutral color palleted walls and flooring. You probably cannot paint your walls, but you can add pictures! Add life with colorful and meaningful images. You can make a gallery wall above your bed or invest in one impactful photo. You can even have some of your favorite photos of your friends and family printed out onto canvases and hung in your dorm. Pictures are a great way to transform a boring space and tailor it to you. 

Rug 

Add warmth and comfort to your space by investing in a rug. You do not need to spend an arm and leg on a nice area rug. Find one that can help add comfort to your space. Remember, rugs can stain, so you will want to be cognitive on what you and your roommate do in your room after the investment (i.e., eating on the rug).

Comforter 

Your dorm is probably shared with a roommate. You both are perhaps putting elements into your space to make it more welcoming. Your bed is your personal space. Investing in a comforter that expresses you can make your dorm feel more personal. While you both may hang pictures or put décor around the atmosphere, your bed is directly and personally tied to you. Make a statement with some fun sheets, pillows, and comforter. 

These three investments are simple ways to help make your dorm room feel like home. Do not wait to personalize your room; find areas you want to improve and add a splash of you. You will not regret it.

Protect Your Pups from Arizona Heat

While living in the Valley feels like paradise, it does not take very long for locals to recognize that Arizona’s heat is no joke. The Valley is quickly growing in population, and more pet owners are becoming unaware of the dangers this heat can have on their animals’ welfare. During the hot summer months, your pet needs to be in a well-shaded area and provided with plenty of water. The heat is brutal and can take a toll on your furry friends very quickly. To prevent some of these dangers, here are several guidelines to consider:

Indoors

While you may be accustomed to outdoor pets, Arizona may have you reconsider. Not all dogs can handle Arizona’s desert sun. If your property does not offer adequate shade, you may need to bring your animal inside. Do not just leave your dog in a closed garage! Though shade is provided, this can quickly turn into a hot box and severely dehydrate your animal.

Water

Hydration is critical! During the summer, the temperature can stay as hot as 90 degrees even during the coolest parts of the night. Because of this, even when the sun goes down, dehydration can still become a concern. Always provide an outdoor water dish for your animal. Remember to keep it filled and check it daily.

Paws

Have you ever walked on blacktop pavement or even concrete in the sun barefoot? Then, you probably know how hot it can get. While dogs and cats paws are tougher than our feet, they can still get burnt. There are several companies which manufacture footsies for animals. Consider buying these for your pets to protect their feet from the scorching pavement. This little investment can make a significant impact on your dog’s well-being.

Keep your pets safe this summer and remember to keep them hydrated. Panting can be the first sign of dehydration. Pay attention if your dog becomes lethargic as well. Your animals need your help to stay safe.

Tips for Decorating a Teen’s Bedroom

Do you remember your childhood bedroom? Perhaps the design scheme consisted of pop star posters taped all over the walls and lots of funky colors. No matter how crazy your room looked, the best part about it was that it was your sanctuary. No doubt, as a parent, you want your teen to have that same feeling. How can you create a bedroom that your child will love? Well, no need to wonder because we have you covered with the following tips and tricks:

Select a Color Scheme

Of course, the first step in designing any space is deciding what color scheme you want. For personalization, use your teen’s favorite color. For instance, if red is their favorite color, be sure to use this hue in your design. You can also use a neutral color with bold palettes to help balance out the design.

Pick Furniture

No room is complete without the proper furnishing; however, the most important piece of furniture in your teen’s room is nothing other than their bed. You can add some interest in the room by selecting a lovely headboard and well-designed bedding. Be sure to incorporate other furniture in the room, such as a desk and chair so that they can have a place to complete their homework. Avoid crowding out the room with lots of furniture because as we all know, teenagers do not need any additional help creating clutter.

Accessories

Accessories or little things to complement the room is crucial for creating a room that your teen will love. Selecting the appropriate accessories will depend on your child’s personal likes. For example, if your teenage daughter is an ‘upcoming beauty guru,” you may want to incorporate an oversized mirror with lighting around it. Beanbag seats and Christmas tree lights are also some trendy accents you can use to add spice to a teen’s bedroom.

Lighting

Many people tend to overlook lighting, but this aspect is essential to the entire design of the room. In addition to overhead lighting, you may want to include task lighting in your teen’s room so that they can perhaps browse a magazine or read a book at bedtime.

Self-Expression

Self-expression is everything to teenagers; therefore, you will want to allow them to express their own unique interests and desire through their room’s design. Let their creativity go wild and help them to gather their ideas into a gorgeous concept.

For more expert tips and tricks, be sure to visit our blog hub at Fulton Homes. Thanks for reading!

Arizona Summer Heat Warning

Arizona has many of the sunniest cities in the United States. Yuma, Phoenix, Tucson, even Flagstaff all rank in the sunniest places to live. While blue skies and sunshine may sound like paradise, the heat can be extremely dangerous during the summer months. When in the Valley, temperatures can reach around 100-110 degrees or hotter during June, July, and August. Some locals may scoff at these numbers and act like they are no concern; however, this serious of heat should not be taken lightly. To help our community stay safe, we created this helpful guide for surviving the summer heat:

Hydrate

Dehydration can lead to a severe health risk. Remember to stay hydrated throughout the whole day. Early symptoms can consist of merely being thirsty, dizzy, nauseated, muscle cramps, or a headache. While it is easy to ignore, the desert heat can be relentless. There is no magic number to say how much water you will need. Continue to drink water throughout your day. Also, pay attention to lethargic behaviors, rapid pulse, or panting in animals. This heat can take a toll on not only you but your pets as well.

Sunblock

While we are not directly on the equator, the UV and sun exposure are very harsh. Find a sunblock with an SPF or Sun Protection Factor of at least 15. Each skin type is different, and SPF 30 is the most common. Find which sunblock or sunscreen works best for you and your skin. Just remember that sunblock will not last all day so you will want to reapply sunscreen if you go swimming or after the recommended time.

Stay Inside

Unless the day demands outdoor activities, stay inside. This is the perfect opportunity to appreciate your beautiful home. Enjoy your pristine air conditioning and beautiful indoor oasis. Find indoor summer activities for you and the family until the sun goes down when it is okay to hang out outdoors.

The summer heat can get brutal but do not let that deter you from enjoying Arizona. There is still much to do during the summer. If you do plan on going out or hiking, be smart! Make sure you have enough water for you and your pets as well! For more insight on Fulton Homes and the wonders of Arizona, make sure to subscribe.

How to Stay Protected Against the Arizona Sun

Arizona days can be incredibly hot, and while outdoor activities are in full force, you may be looking for a little extra protection from the sun. Whether you plan on going to the lake, family picnics or playing sports outside, all too often, we have seen how intense the sun can actually be. When you are exposed to too much heat, your body may experience dehydration, which can lead to heat cramps, exhaustion, and even a sunstroke/heat stroke. So that you and your family are healthy all summer long we have listed some helpful tips for staying protected:

Light Colored Clothing

Depending on how you dress, light colors can really help you stay comfortable when outside in the heat. Think about wearing white or soft neutral/pastel colored clothes made from natural fibers like cotton and linen. Since dark clothing absorbs heat and tight-fitting clothes are not made to let you sweat, you can get overheated during the summer. Your body’s natural cooling system is to sweat and evaporate; therefore, do not wear clothes that will prevent this natural cooling system from doing its thing!

Hats & Sunglasses

Buy a wide-brimmed straw or fabric hat that prevents UV (ultraviolet) rays from getting to your face and neck. Your skin will appreciate this as you age and so will you, compared to people who chose not to cover their face in the sun. Make sure you purchase sunglasses that prevent UV rays from damaging your eyes. Choose sunglasses that block ninety to one hundred percent of UV rays to stay safe.

Lip Balm & Sunscreen

Lip balm protects your lips, which are very thin and sunburn easily. Make sure you purchase a balm that has SPF (sun protection factor) of at least a fifteen. When you are outdoors who wants to ruin the fun by getting a nasty sunburn? No one does, but if you do not purchase a sunscreen with at least a fifteen SPF, you will probably be sitting on the sidelines with that nasty sunburn. If you are swimming or playing sports and sweating, be sure to purchase a waterproof sunscreen.

For children, do not forget to protect the tender areas like the tops of ears, eyelids, nose, shoulders, the head and back of the neck. We would also recommend a lip balm that is for chapped lips with an SPF of at least a fifteen to put under eyebrows and on eyelids to prevent a nasty burn. The chapped lip balm’s thick consistency will prevent the balm from running into the eyes.

Enjoy your summer, and stay healthy!