Best Gift Ideas for 3-5 Year Old Kids

This is a continuation in our series of posts on how to find the best gifts for kids. In our previous post on this topic we discussed about finding right gifts for 1-2 year old children. In this, we will focus on 3-5 year old kids. We will follow the same 4 step process as we had discussed earlier.

Understand the profile of kids in desired age group

Children in this age bracket of 2-5 years are highly mobile, full of energy and zest. Its practically impossible to keep them in one place. They are much more aware of their surroundings through TV, comics and friends. They watch cartoons and even have their favorite super-heroes. They have their own liking for clothes, toys, accessories and colors. They have started going to play schools and are most likely enjoying the environment outside of their homes. They are very imaginative and to them nothing is impossible. Laws of physics are not for them. Superman can fly, Pluto the dog can keep its tail straight up and Donald-duck despite being a duck can speak clear English. They enjoy this free environment without limits of logic that we adults impose on it.

Define objectives and explore options

They are clearly a lot more creative choices of gifts for kids in this age group. But because the kids in this age group are so aware, choosing the right gift is also very difficult. Their is a high chance that your gift may face outright rejection if it does not meet the mark and will never get played with. Here the most appropriate gifts for kids are those that combine the latest trends among kids eg popular cartoon character, with utility and learning elements. Again ask the question "what should a good gift do for the child". Here are some possible options

Help them exercise and build strength: 3-5 year old kids are growing very fast. They are growing in height, weight and physical dexterity. Games and toys that will help them exercise and grow could form very useful gifts for kids. Examples of some such gifts are …

  • Knock-me-down dolls
  • Ball games
  • Tri-cycle / bi-cycle
  • Roller skates
  • Swimming equipments

Help instigate curiosity and facilitating learning: They are exploring their environment and everything is very new to them. Toys that help maintain / grow their curiosity and support building knowledge are …

  • Electronic toys eg moving robots
  • Lego kits
  • Animal figures with sounds
  • Magic slates
  • Card-games on animals, places
  • Puzzle sets

Help them go out and play: TV, video games, and board games are keeping kids in-doors. Anything that supports going out, playing in teams, interacting with others is an excellent gift in my opinion

  • Mini cricket kits
  • Mini football
  • Mini badminton kit

Foster creativity and imagination: Academics and physical performance is something that can be observed. But creativity and imagination is not something that can be visually observed or tracked on a daily basis. It is important to get our kids to explore their creative …

Increasing Your Cash Flow. Key Component of Making, Managing, and Investing Your Money

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To become financially secure in your future, you must realize there are three key, very distinct components when working with money. The obvious one that most people focus on is the “art of making money.” Getting a good education, getting a good paying job, and receiving a paycheck can be easily accomplished. This is the one element that usually gets 90 percent of everyone’s focus. The art of mastering wealth creation is really becoming efficient with not only making money, but understanding that this one component is useless in your quest to obtain financial freedom unless you master the skills of the other two: The management and proper investing of the money to create genuine cash flow you can actually take to the bank and bring home.

It is critically important to understand the latter two, better than the first one. Compounded over time, even someone who makes relatively little money can become a millionaire if they manage what they make wisely and invest it with a high level of expertise and create cash flow. Cash flow is the essential ingredient to mastering wealth creation. Recently a report of a woman was released how she left the university she attended 60 years earlier in the 1940’s after passing, millions of dollars. She was a receptionist or secretary for most of her life. How did she leave millions? She lived within her means, managing wisely, and chose her investments carefully and made millions. This is happening less and less today, with the rise of inflation and the de-valuation of the US dollar. I have seen Individuals earning six figure incomes, annually, waste away their lives buying beyond their means, and struggling in their retirement, while others that earned half of what their peers did, are living a lavish lifestyle, after managing and investing wisely throughout their lives.

What money you make is generally determined by your actual earning potential; how much you and your employers, or company determine and agree you are worth in the marketplace, how much you are capable of generating from your craft or trade, or how much profit you have from net earnings from your business. A simple way to determine this is to look back and see what the highest tax return is that you filed in the most recent years. Generally when deciding that you need to increase your earning potential, there are things you may consider doing. The most common:

· Work more hours in a given week, work overtime, or take a second job.

· Learn to do the same amount of work in less time or more work in the same amount of time.

· Go back to school for further education, learn another trade, update your training.

· Move to an area that will pay more for the skills you already have or take a job that pays more.

The second component, the actual management of your money, is …

How to Prepare for a Career in Law Enforcement

Law enforcement is one of the most exciting, important, and demanding fields. A lot of young people see the glamor of a law enforcement career, but fail to understand the amount of preparation that is needed. They may spend their time looking through a catalog promoting the Blackhawk tactical gear and the amazing Surefire flashlights, and dream of James Bond type adventures. There is nothing wrong with this kind of dreaming, and Blackhawk gear is certainly the best you can find once you become a law enforcement officer. The problem is becoming one.

There are three levels of law enforcement type jobs. They are local, State, and Federal. The local level consists of City and Country police officers. The requirements are, usually, an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice, a physical fitness test, and a complete background investigation. The State level requirements are mostly the same, but you also must be willing to relocate anywhere within the State. The Federal level consists of several agencies including the FBI, and the DEA, or Drug Enforcement Agency. A Federal Law enforcement position will require a four year Bachelor's degree. Many four year colleges offer a degree in Criminal Justice. Each level also has academies where specific training is given.

If you are serious about a career in Law Enforcement, there are several things that you can do to prepare. The first, and perhaps the most important, is to remember that to a law enforcement officer requires that your own personal life be of the highest standard. It is impossible to enforce laws without you abide by them yourself. Remember that a background investigation is part of each level's requirements. You need to be aware that any type of criminal background in your record is going to disqualify you. It is important to consider even your financial matters. A very bad credit history can also harm your chances.

It is important to pay attention to your education, and your school record. It is a very wrong stereotype to think of police officers as uneducated dummies. A modern law enforcement officer needs to be highly educated. Most positions will require an associate degree, and many will be looking for a bachelor's degree. It is never too early to investigate the requirements for a degree in Criminal Justice, and schedule the necessary courses to make sure you qualify.

If you are serious about this career choice, you should be aware of the physical fitness demands of almost every law enforcement position. Live healthy, stay fit, keep out of trouble, and work hard in school are all preparations for law enforcement professionals. If this does not seem too demanding, you might be the kind of person who will be able to prosper in this demanding career field. …

Dating: Do You Know When to Stop Dating Someone?

If you date men or women long past the point when you are still exploring whether or not s/he is your ideal match, take heart! You are in the vast majority of people around the world. This phenomenon is not regional, generational, or related to education, or socioeconomic circumstances.

Being willing or able to recognize that someone is a good match or not a good match for you, and stop dating him or her, seems to be a universal dilemma.

Let’s review a few Dating Basics:

· Dating is a process and you are dating to find your ideal match.

· Recognizing that the men or women you are dating are not a match for you is the point of the dating process.

· It is highly likely that you will date a number of people who will not be your ideal match and that many of the people you are dating will recognize that you are not their ideal match.

· Ending the dating process is the only next logical step to take if we agree that the point of dating is to find our ideal mate.

Let me tell you a story that makes this much more complex than a philosophical question:

I have a young colleague who has been dating a woman for a number of weeks. They enjoy each other’s company very much. They share common interests and have a good time together.

He called me recently to tell me he was very sad. He had come to recognize that there was no future w/ this special lady. They are both professionals, mature and very clear about who they are and what they need and want in a partner. My young friend is crystal clear that he wants children. His special lady loves being an aunt to 5 nieces and nephews and has absolutely no interest in having children of her own. It is important to him that his life partner be as passionate and enthusiastic as he is about family and co-parenting (he holds a very high value for family/children).

This is an unsolvable problem. My young friend is correct. He must end the dating relationship. However, he and his lady friend might be able to change the nature of their relationship.

· First he must tell her very directly that they are not a match and why and that he isn’t going to date her anymore. Then he has some choices.

· He can say goodbye and never see her again; Or

· He can tell her that he enjoys her company and would like to continue doing some of the fun things they do together.

· He must tell her directly that he will be actively dating other women.

· If they are sexual he will have to let her know that their “new” friendship-relationship will be platonic.

The ball is now in her court. She really likes him and from everything he says, she probably thinks he is a pretty close match.…

Melissa and Doug Standing Easel Set – Best Art Easel Set

Any parent with little kids at home is well aware that keeping them busy is a hard task. The kids’ art easel is one toy that can keep them busy for hours as well as provide educational value. One of the best easels out there today is the Melissa and Doug Standing Easel. This adjustable-height deluxe wooden easel bought along with the Melissa and Doug Companion Set provide for the best art easel set in the market. Some online stores bundle both of these together and offer at very attractive prices.

This two-sided wooden easel will accommodate up to two kids at the same time and provides for multiple mediums for your kids to draw and paint. The height of the easel is adjustable and you can change it according to your child’s height. This is one of the main features that distinguish from the other easels in the market.

On one side is a chalkboard, on the other is a dry erase board. In between the two easel sides is a dowel for holding a paper and an extra large tray for holding erasers, chalk and markers. The colorful clips, sturdy paint tray with cup holders, and easy-loading paper roll allows the kids to unleash their artistic talents.

Just like a professional easel, the workstation is generously sized so that children can complete projects both big and small. Its durable wood construction ensures that it won’t tip and it folds up easily for convenient storage.

And the companion set provides all the necessary art supplies that are required to get your kids started on this wonderful toy. This accessory set comes with the following:

1. 4 eight-ounce bottles of poster paint – Provided in vibrant colors of red, blue, yellow, and green. They are washable, non-toxic and provide excellent coverage.

2. 4 spill-proof paint cups – These are dishwasher-safe and come with snap-on caps to keep the paint fresh paint and don’t dry out in between art sessions. The assorted color caps are provided to keep the paint where it belongs.

3. 4 medium brushes with medium-tip and natural bristle come with easy-to-clean and easy to grasp handles to apply the paint. The brushes are really high quality and durable.

4. 10 jumbo triangular chalk sticks – Non Toxic, Colorful, chunky, triangular pieces are easy to hold, and won’t slip away

5. 1 roll of easel paper – premium quality paper roll that easily loads on to the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing easel.

6. 1 felt eraser – A top quality eraser that features a solid-wood handle and thick, durable eraser pad.

7. 1 dry-erase marker – a standard one that easily wipes off any dry-erase surface

With the best standing easel and the best value for money accessory set this Melissa and Doug Art Easel Set provides the perfect combination of fun, education and value.…

Latest Technology Gadgets of 2008 – Arghh! I Know ’em

Curtains for 2008 are coming down in few days from now and if you see the developments the years witnessed, for instance the latest technology gadgets of 2008, it had been all complex devices that could perform intensive and incredible tasks. These latest gadgets 2008 are indeed with simple designs and several of them even user friendly, iPhone is one for sure. Most of the so-called latest technology gadgets are uni device multiple task performers. In fact the advent of nanotechnology enabled to device smaller gadgets that perform several functions while being nano in size. So said, it should be admitted that most of the latest electronic gadgets are designed for comfort, safety and weekend entertainment area.

Iphone has revolutionized the communication and in fact changed its face and the latest technology gadgets of 2008 has given us the Apple 3G which is the world’s first multi-touch screen gizmondo. Other high-end gadgets include the tablet PCs, electronic medical equipment, Bluetooth calls, mobile entertainment devices, voice commands and visual/audible traffic rerouting as well as complex car systems with GPRSs.

And did I mention about the accelerometer sensor used in the iPhone technology and other high-end handsets? The technology enables a phone to rotate its image automatically when it is turned sideways. Another technological advancement is the ambient light sensor that detects changes in the light conditions and adjusts the display brightness automatically and the proximity sensor senses things that are larger than fingers when they come close and turns off the display in order to save power and accidental key presses.

In the healthcare industry, one of the major developers of latest gadgets in technology in 2008 had been Philips. Cliniscape is used to keep updates of each patient’s health condition by providing uses information of blood containers, medication and others. It is from the Philips and is used as a mobile point of care device in order to access medical applications such as iSite PACS medical image, clinical information Portfolio and information management system.

And the latest computer gadgets in the field of education is the XO laptop which can be used at anytime and any place. Another innovation is the TI graphing calculators that can be used to solve complex math-related calculations. These calculators have large 3.5-inch display and more familiar mouse-like controls and spreadsheet capabilities, etc. The MacBook Air is the world’s thinnest laptop is another innovative product and a run away hit during 2008. The laptop is again by the iPhone manufacturers, Apple. The latest auto gadgets include car GPS, Bluetooth car starter, ozone air purifier, Driv-e-mocion and LED rims, etc.…

Lego Blocks – Why Have They Successfully Endured The Test Of Time

Lego blocks were originally patented on January 28th 1958 – that’s more than 50 years’ ago. Yet, did you know that you could still use any Lego building bricks you might have bought from that year with the company’s current-day bricks?

In to-day’s throw-away society, very few products can boast such a remarkably long shelf-life, and the durability of these attractive, colourful blocks is just one reason out of many for their outstanding popularity. But, before we consider the other reasons, let’s take a brief look at the beginnings of this renowned plastic brick…

Origins Of Lego

The original founder of today’s colourful plastic building brick was a Danish carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen who, at first, concentrated on making wooden toys.

In 1934, the carpenter named his company “Lego”, from the Danish “leg godt” which, roughly translated, means “play well”. However, it wouldn’t be until the year 1940 that the company started to offer plastic toys. And, it wasn’t until nearly 10 years’ later – in 1949 – that interlocking bricks were introduced, sporting the now-famous round studs on one side, and rectangular hollow on the other.

Reasons For Their Success

When originally introduced, the little building bricks were not particularly versatile. Also, plastic was not considered in a particularly favorable light when compared to wood. However, the Company, with its motto of: “Kun det bedste er godt nok”, or: “Only the best is good enough”, continually worked on and improved its toy.

Nowadays, it’s renowned Worldwide, perhaps being fairly unique in the fact that it pleases both children and their parents: kids derive hour upon hour of fun from it; whilst Mom and Dad recognize that playing with the toy is developing their offspring’s creativity, dexterity, as well as problem-solving faculties.

Here are just a handful of other reasons for the never-ending popularity of the bright little bricks:

• Safe, suitable, and fun for children of all ages… adults too!

• Versatile – most ranges are compatible with each other.

• Durable – you can even pass them on from one generation to another.

• Value-for-money – once purchased, they could last longer than you!

• Easy-to-clean – just wash in warm, soapy water.

• Easily-obtainable – from local stores, the Internet, or eBay.

• Environmentally-friendly production and marketing.

• Many different styles – from the ordinary building bricks through to boxed, up-to-date themes such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and Space Police, which include all people and items to fit the particular theme.

The Company continually strives to improve its product. Nowadays, you’ll even find Lego Education Centers, complete with qualified instructors, and fun, Legoland Parks, where you and your family can enjoy castles, dinosaurs, pirates, wild animals, and even water parks.

Fads come and go but, one thing’s for sure… Lego blocks are definitely here to stay!…

Children's Educational Games – Playing is Learning

A child's mind is like a sponge that can be soaked with abundant learning and information. The brain is in developing stages during childhood and that plus point for them to learn more. The other factor is that the children are stress-free, which keeps them mentally active to grasp things around them with much ease. Childhood is the stage when it is important for parents and teachers to inculcate the right mode of learning in children. Different education and learning techniques can develop your child into a more smart and intelligent person.

Techniques to improve your child's educational skills

Children are naturally curious and all you need to do is keep this inquisitive nature alive in the child. Any game or toy that penetrates their curious mind will catch their attention instantly and they will show increased interest in learning such an activity. There needs to a certain amount of fun element in the activity you present them so that the learning process proves to be successful. Games that are fun to play activate their positive energy and they learn better. Choosing the right activity or game is vital as that will be the deciding factor in the entire educational process.

Ideal children's educational games

Educational games should involve subjects such as history, science, maths or astronomy. You have access to games that can brush up your kid's memory and improve his / her spellings. Most of the children's educational games are animated and aim to draw the kid's attention at once. Free online brain games are highly resourceful with this regard. Your children will learn new and easy ways of solving math problems or start getting their spellings right by playing these specially devised games. These educational games can prove to be an important technique in the learning program.

Educational games aid learning disability

Educational games cover almost all fields of learning that caters to your child and his learning ability remarkably improves to new heights. The education games are crafted in such a manner that the difficulty level is increased as the child after successfully winning each level. The jigsaw puzzles, spelling games, number games etc available on lumosity.com will help your child direct his mental energy towards positive learning that will benefit them to develop their personality and are also efficient in aiding them academically.

Your child might also be facing learning disabilities such as dyslexia or has poor memory that hinders his educational performance. The brain games available online can be an amazing gift for your child to combat such learning disorders. You can get your hands on these games for free! What more? Guide your child towards better learning techniques for him / her to emerge as smart individuals. …

Real estate investing in Colorado Springs

The real estate in Colorado Springs is in a boom and it is surely the best time for investment in a property. Investment in a property in Colorado Springs is like having a paradise in store behind your back and there is no need to worry after retirement and that you can spend all the retirement days with your family and loved ones in the house or the property that you have purchased.

In Colorado Springs the temperature is warn during the summers and chilly during the winters. During summers the average temperature is 30 degree centigrade and during winters it is -9 degree centigrade. Most of the economy here is driven by military, high tech industry and tourism. Many companies like Verizon, HP, Intel and Atmel are set up here and more big businesses are likely to place a foot in the city. Due to this there is a huge demand in real estate. The city is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains which make it a favorite spot for many tourists for its scenic beauty and heritage. It is also a hub for education and entertainment. Even the headquarters of the United States Olympic Committee is housed in Colorado Springs which also makes it a sports destination.

Investment in Colorado Springs just does not mean purchasing the property and constructing a home, there are also many ways in which you can be benefited by investing in real estate where you can buy and hold the property, wait and sell it off when the rates are high. It is always there that if you buy and hold the property in Colorado Springs for a reasonable time, you are sure to make a lot of money.

It is even seen that many people are relocating themselves to Colorado Springs because of a new job or even for settling down after retirement for which there is a lot of demand in the real estate world so if you can hold the property for a time period, you will make a lot of money and the other option could be purchasing the property and giving it out for families and individuals for rent. Large multi unit property is the safest option for a long term investment because people stay in them for a real long time and there is a surety of a monthly income from these investments.

It is seen that many real estate investors are investing in Colorado Springs in more than three or four units at a time which are available at discounted rates. So, if you are planning to make money through investment in a property, purchase a lot of units at a less price and construct properties which can be given out for lease or rent.

If money is not the sole reason of investment, you can always choose to invest in a property or land which you plan to develop for residential purpose. You can choose from the various investment options like single …

Investing In Coimbatore Real Estate, A Safe Bet!

Coimbatore, the textile and engineering city of India is the second-largest city of Tamil Nadu next to Chennai. It is one of the principal cities of the state that is immensely popular for both historical legacy and industrial heritage. Coimbatore has seen tremendous economic growth in past few years that has sky-rocketed its real estate sector as well.

‘Manchester of South India’, Coimbatore is known for its extensive textile industry, mills and factories, automobile parts manufacturing and engineering firms. These industries supply a voluminous two-third of India’s requirement of electric motors and pumps. Education and manufacturing industry have been the vital elements for growth of this city which is to continue even in the coming years. Since, there are a large number of reputed colleges and educational institutions, the demand for real estate in Coimbatore is always on a higher side. The need for residential spaces like apartments, flats or even hostels has been growing, thus, weaving opportunities for real estate developers and investors. It has been observed among trends followed by investors that they buy big buildings and convert them into a hostel that fetches them high returns readily.

Coimbatore, being a textile and industrial hub already has started attracting attention from various global companies and MNCs. Gandhipuram, Town Hall and Avinashi Road are some of the favourite commercial property preference for these companies. It has some of the best properties available in economical prices as the government is now shouldering the responsibility of promoting it as an upcoming Coimbatore property destination. The Government of Tamil Nadu has slashed down the property rates to encourage investors from other cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc. to consider pumping in money in Coimbatore also.

Also, it has superb connectivity in form of a modern airport, well-developed network of broad gauge railway, six arterial roads, and three highways. The service industry i.e. IT and ITes is developing at a staggering pace with coming in of corporate giants like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Cognizant, BT Infoserve, Ephronsys, Robert Bosch, Nous Infosystems, CG-Vak Software, Quattro, Pricol, Spheris and Sharp etc. Software Technology Parks, IT Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and IT parks by Presidium Constructions, Bannari Amman Group, Salzer Group, Span Ventures and KG Group are also to be developed in the city soon.

Coimbatore is also called the ‘Poor Man’s Ooty’ in regard to its pleasant and salubrious climate throughout the year. The great climatic conditions of the city have also become a source of attraction for many.  Another sobriquet associated with Coimbatore is of the ‘Motor Sports Capital of India’ as motor sports play a very important role in the identity of this city. It is considered as a ‘Backyard of Indian Sports’ being the motor racing hub of the country.

The boom in Coimbatore real estate has led to its emergence as a city offering high-standard lifestyle.

The demand for property in Coimbatore has been witnessing a considerable rise leading to escalation in real estate investments. Both the residential and commercial properties …