More Than Just FRESH AIR

Whether you ’ re taking a stroll in a local park or ambitiously hiking a new trail , being outdoors helps you feel more grounded and connected to nature .
You may not realize the numerous physical and mental benefits that time spent outdoors has on the human body .
Mother Nature has a profound positive impact on people of all ages , but especially kids . Children ’ s natural curiosity makes the outdoors a place with endless possibilities . It ’ s where imaginations can take flight , they can observe biodiversity and learn more about their world around them , not to mention , move their bodies and breathe in some fresh air .
With an increasing number of popular TV shows focusing on different aspects of being outdoors - from travel spotlights to survival skills - more children than ever are inspired to get outside and explore .
Here are some outdoor ideas that you can do any time of year with your family :
1 . Visit a hiking trail you ’ ve never been to before , or try an evening hike with flashlights .
2 . Explore free outdoor programs in your community at parks and nature centers .
3 . Learn about astronomy and head outdoors at night to observe the stars .
4 . Try your hand at geocaching , where you use a free app on your mobile device to find hidden spots .
5 . Go outside and talk about how nature impacts the different senses - How does it feel , taste , sound , etc .?
6 . Try a new outdoor activity you haven ’ t done yet , especially in the winter months , like skating , snowshoeing or skiing .
7 . Have an outdoor picnic and organize a game of backyard flashlight tag with family , friends and neighbors for extra fun .
Not Investing ? NO Worries : 5 Tips to GET Started
If you ’ re unsure of how to start planning for your financial future through investing , you ’ re far from alone . While many feel they lack the funds , others are intimidated or simply don ’ t know how to get started . Fortunately , investing doesn ’ t have to be complicated , and it ’ s never too late to learn . With that in mind , here are simple suggestions for getting started .
It ’ s safer to invest money you won ’ t need for your monthly bills and necessities . Instead , use the funds available after everything is paid , whether it ’ s $ 10 or $ 100 . That will let you plan for the future without jeopardizing your everyday financial well-being .
Understand you can start investing with just $ 1 . This allows you to learn by doing versus feeling like you can ’ t start investing at all . Until recently , the only way you could buy stock was by having the funds to buy an entire share , plus transaction fees . With the new investing app Plynk , you can invest in a stock ( or exchange-traded fund or mutual fund ) with as little as $ 1 by buying a “ fractional share .”
Invest manageable amounts on a regular basis , whether that is $ 20 a week or $ 100 a month . Arrange for recurring investments if you can to make it easier .
Don ’ t try to time the market . Remember successful investors tune out short-term “ noise ” and stay focused on their long-term goals . Choose investments you believe in - then stick to your plan .
Be patient with yourself . If your investing schedule gets off , get ready to regroup tomorrow . Understand that any progress adds up over time , no matter how small the increments .
You don ’ t need to be a financial expert to begin investing . Thanks to Plynk , the new , no-experience-required investment app for novices , you can begin with as little as $ 1 . Find more info at plynkinvestcom .
Over 80 million Americans are interested in investing but don ’ t know where to begin , and over 50 % of millennials have less than $ 5,000 of their money in investments .
When you hear the term bullying , the thought of children heckling a student on a playground or in the classroom comes to mind . However , with the age of social media , bullying can extend far beyond the classroom .
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3 TIPS on How to Talk to Your Children about BULLYING
Bullying is defined by three core elements : Unwanted aggressive behavior , a power imbalance , and repetition or high likelihood of repetition of bullying behaviors .
While some people may argue , bullying is a serious problem . Bullied kids are more likely to experience depression , anxiety , health issues and decreased academic achievement , which often follows them into adulthood . As for the bullies , they ’ re more likely to abuse substances and engage in violence and other risky behavior as they grow up . While you can ’ t prevent bullying , you can spread awareness by talking with your children .
Frank Viscuso , author of “ Sprinkles the Fire Dog ” a children ’ s book about bullying , has offered three tips for discussing the subject with your children .
1 . Talk early and talk often – Talk with your children about bullying before they ever see it , experience it or bully someone else . If there is a book like “ Sprinkles the Fire Dog ” or a TV show or movie they like that has an example of bullying , use this instance as a teaching moment .
Always ask your kids about their day and how they ’ re feeling . By providing a safe space at home for them to express themselves , your child will have more opportunities and are more likely to confide in you when they see or experience bullying .
2 . Prepare responses – If your child does experience or witness bullying , they may be hesitant to stand up for themselves or others . Help your child develop responses ahead of time so they feel confident to respond in the moment . This is also a good opportunity to discuss who are safe peers and school staff they can confide in if the bullying occurs at school .
3 . Share your experiences – It may be uncomfortable to relive your own bullying , but by doing so , you are creating a positive example for your child . Whether you were bullied , were the bully or simply a bystander , your experience is invaluable . These moments will help you grow closer to your child and in turn , they will likely feel safe to share their own experiences with you .
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