Do You Remember When the Internet and Gadgets Were Not Widespread?

It’s hard for many young people to imagine life without their smartphones, apps, and internet service. But before the mid-20th century, people did just fine without all the excess technology. If you wanted to communicate with loved ones or friends, you called or visited them in person in decades past. Handwritten letters were also popular and even taught as part of proper etiquette. For the kids who were bored back then, they used their creativity to entertain themselves. They played board games, went for long walks, played at the park, or read good books. Here is more information on a time when we didn’t have the Internet and why that was a good thing.

We Used Maps, Phonebooks, and Help From Others to Get Around

It is a little sad that today’s youth may not know how to understand maps, atlases, and phonebooks. But in decades past, this is how people learned how to find places that they were unfamiliar with. Or they may have pulled over at a gas station to ask others how to locate certain places if they got lost. Also in decades past, you had to write addresses, names, and phone numbers in a small book that you kept on hand. This enabled you to use your common sense more and it taught you to follow directions carefully.

Libraries Were The Main Sources of Research

Before you could find out anything on the Internet, there was a time when you had to visit the library to obtain the information you needed. You read encyclopedias, non-fiction books, old newspaper articles, journals, and magazines to gather research. It took more effort to find out facts in those days.

You Learned About The Latest Music From Radio

A long time ago, the only way you learned about the latest happenings in music was by listening to the radio. If you wanted free tickets to a concert, you would have to be the first or second caller to obtain them. When you listened to the radio, you heard fun interviews from your favorite artists and you could even record those interviews with blank cassette tapes.

Relationships Were More Meaningful

Nowadays, you can press some buttons and establish so-called relationships due to social media and online dating sites. But decades ago, people created relationships in more meaningful ways. Maybe you went to church with your neighbors and through real face-to-face interaction, all of you became friends. As a child, you learned proper conflict resolution strategies such as apologizing, extending forgiveness, not putting the other person down during disagreements, and working issues out calmly. Manners went a long way back then, and people exhibited more respect and empathy for each other.

Basic Life Skills Were Commonplace

Before the digital era, everyone possessed important basic life skills. These skills included sewing, how to prepare nutritious meals from scratch, knowing how to make minor home repairs, growing veggies, and fruits, knowing how to repair minor car problems, and how to manage money without relying on apps and finance blogs. Now there is a concern that future generations may not have those same skills or at least with the same capabilities as their grandparents from generations ago.

In conclusion, life was simpler in the days before the Internet and gadgets arrived on the scene. What would happen if we learned a few lessons from the past and incorporate them into our modern world? Maybe we might be happier, more self-sufficient, and even better spouses, friends, parents, and employees.

Go Cycling to Explore the City

Cycling is a fun way for the entire family to stay fit, and it can be done virtually anywhere. 

Where Can I Go Cycling? 

Bikes can be ridden on streets, sidewalks, and trails in almost any town in the United States. Many large cities offer bike share programs or other bike rental services that allow riders to purchase single rides, daily passes, or longer memberships to make cycling more convenient. Cycling can be a great way to explore a new city while staying fit. 

Cycling Equipment and Safety

While children and casual riders usually do not need the most expensive bicycles available, committed cyclists who expect to ride a large number of miles each week should plan to invest in high-quality bicycles that are built to meet their needs. Before purchasing a bicycle, be sure to consider the type of terrain that you expect to use it on. Although most varieties of bicycles will perform well on streets and sidewalks, you should plan to purchase a mountain bike, fat tire bike, or other vehicle built to withstand rough terrains if you plan to spend a significant amount of time riding on trails. 

All riders, especially children and cyclists who ride on rough trails and in cities, should wear helmets while riding. Be sure your helmet fits correctly, and never wear a helmet that has been involved in a crash. Pads may also be worn, particularly by children and less-confident riders. Reflective clothing and lights are recommended if you must ride at night, though it is a good idea to avoid riding at night whenever possible. Be sure to bring plenty of water if you will be riding a long distance in hot or humid weather, and always pay close attention to traffic.  

Professional Cycling

While most people cycle for fun or to stay fit, it is possible for highly-trained riders to become professional cyclists. While the Tour de France is the best-known bicycle race, elite cyclists can participate in a plethora of other high-level races as both individuals and members of teams.

Some bicycle enthusiasts also commit to riding long distances to support causes that are important to them, such as participating in specific races, riding a certain number of miles, or even riding across the country.

Cycling can be a great way to stay fit while having fun in the sun. Regardless of where you live or travel, you’re probably not far from a trail, bike path, or other great place to cycle!    

Everything You Need to Know About Planting A Tree

It’s no secrets that more trees than ever are getting uprooted and moved in the name of “human activity.” Whether humans are looking to make paper goods or cut down trees to build buildings, towns, or cities, trees often get put on the backburner in the 21st century. Deforestation has devastated many wild animal’s habitats and will continue to devastate more of them if we don’t do something about it and soon.

That is where replanting trees comes in!

The Importance of Trees:

Many people have forgotten how important trees are to the world around us. Consider that over 180 million Americans rely on forest watersheds for their drinking water and the water that they use in their homes daily. If these trees were to get taken away, people would have to pay a lot more for water to have it filtered and provided to them at the same quality which it is now.

Moreover, trees remove pollution from the air in the surrounding atmosphere and help improve our air quality.

Large populations of wildlife rely on trees for their well-being and lives. They depend on forests, cover, and water. Moreover, about 1/3 of all endangered species live in the forest and require this protection for their existence to continue.

If trees are not present, soil can get eroded at a much higher rate by both wind and rain that comes through the area. Trees help manage heavy rainfalls and reduce flooding in many areas and also eliminates what deposits of foreign debris and mineral get put into the water when it goes into runoffs after it rains heavily outside.

These are just a few of the reasons that trees are so crucial to our planet and the well-being of humans living nearby. 

Helping Replant Trees:

Fortunately, many different organizations such as One Tree Planted (United States) or Trees for the Future (mainly works in sub-Saharan Africa) advocate keeping our forests healthy by replanting the trees that we use for natural resources. Other projects also exist such as Nature Conservatory’s Plant a Billion Trees project (worldwide initiative), which aims to plant a billion trees around the world are all aimed at keeping the world’s forests healthy to provide a healthy planet for future generations. 

You Can Contribute:

Many of these conservation projects allow you and other everyday people contribute to their cause without ever having even to dig a hole to place a tree. Organizations such as One Tree Planted request that those who want to help donate $1 to the charity and they plant a tree with the dollar that is donated! These organizations (there are many) plant trees throughout the entire world to help offset the trees that humans are using as we continue to build and develop the planet for further human habitation.

Conclusions:

If you want to donate to any of these great charities, there are links on their websites where you can help plant trees and save your planet! Your dollar goes to a great cause, and the planet gets more trees, which we need to ensure that we can keep our planet healthy for many generations to come!

Cards Anyone?

While it is difficult to calculate, some 1,000 – 10,000 card games have been developed through the years, according to the International Playing-Card Society. Not everything to do with cards is fun and games though. Fortune tellers use tarot cards in order to forecast someone’s future, magicians use cards to develop mind-boggling tricks, and history reveals some cards even being used as a form of currency.

How did cards evolve?

The precursor for playing a game of cards developed centuries ago in China, sometime around 1000 AD. They made their way through the Middle East and Egypt, reaching the European continent around 1360. Recorded in history was a Swiss ordinance banning cards in Bern in 1367. In Paris, a 1377 ordinance referenced the use of playing cards, showing that card games were catching on around the continent.

While ever-evolving, the idea of 52 cards in a deck seems to have come along from the Middle East, which was very active in the study of astronomy. The most prevailing concept is that the four suits represent the four seasons. Thirteen cards per suit, from the ace to the king, are thought to represent the nearly 13 lunar cycles of a year.

While the face cards continually changed from country to country, the idea of the king, queen, and jack undoubtedly developed in Europe. The joker came about later and is believed to be derived from the juker in the game Euchre, invented in 1860. The Euchre juker is the card that trumps all others, and the joker is similarly used in many card games today.

Game Cards Come to America

While card decks arrived with European settlers into the US, it was in 1885 that the first Bicycle brand cards were produced by Russell, Morgan & Co. Different types of games evolved including versions of poker which included gambling, family games, and, of course, solitaire.

The top three family card games, according to Bicycle cards, are Slapjack, Crazy Eights, and Play or Pay played with poker chips or candy, rather than real money. A ladies afternoon tea and game of cards often involves bridge or canasta. Some specialty games have warranted development of special decks for children such as Go Fish, and Old Maid, although regular decks of cards will also work.

Cards games have become an institution in everyday life for fun, relaxation, and skill. Few family households don’t have a deck of cards in a drawer, and few computer users don’t have at least one card game bookmarked on their favorites list.

Go Surfing to Catch a Wave

Both professional and amateur surfers live for the exhilarating experience of riding the biggest wave they can find. If you’re heading to Hawaii, California, or another tropical destination, going surfing can be a great way to experience local culture while enjoying the ocean. 

History of Surfing

Surfing has been around for several centuries. The earliest known record of surfing is from 1767 in Tahiti, and it is believed that the sport has likely existed in some form since ancient times. While the first surfing competitions as we know them today did not appear until the 20th century, early Polynesian cultures are believed to have chosen their village leaders based on their surfing ability. 

Surfing Equipment and Safety

Choosing the right surfboard is the most important step in planning a memorable surfing experience. Surfboards are generally made of coated foam or other lightweight materials, and they come in a variety of sizes and types. Be sure to select a board that is appropriate for your height and matches the type of waves that you plan to surf on. 

Always dress appropriately in order to protect yourself from the sun, your board, and the water. Depending on where you are surfing, wear a wetsuit or a rash guard and board shorts, rather than a bikini, t-shirt, or other clothing. Other essential equipment includes a leash to keep the surfer connected to the surfboard, surf wax to help the surfer avoid slipping off the surfboard, and surf earplugs to protect the ears from extreme temperature or pressure differences.

Always bring plenty of water, and avoid surfing during the sunniest hours in the middle of the day whenever possible. Never go surfing alone, and use extreme caution when surfing in unfamiliar areas.    

Competitive Surfing

Tourists surf occasionally on vacation, but natives to top surfing areas often participate in a variety of competitions that may lead to careers as professional surfers. Children, teens, and adults who live in Hawaii, California, and other tropical areas often spend part of the majority of their days in the ocean, and natives to coastal cities often begin building their swimming and surfing skills from a young age. Bethany Hamilton, a Hawaiian surfer, became well-known as a teen, and she continues to inspire both surfers and other women around the world.     

Where Can I Go Surfing?

While surfing is often thought of as a Hawaiian sport, it can be done in virtually any coastal city that is located in a tropical climate. According to the Travel Channel, some of the best places to catch a wave around the world include California, Costa Rica, Australia, Morocco, and Tahiti, in addition to Hawaii. Many top tourist destinations offer surfing lessons and equipment rental.  

If you’re heading to Hawaii or another popular ocean destination, be sure to add surfing lessons to your to-do list and get ready to have some fun in the sun!

Enjoy a Classic Game of Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a fun game that has been played on playgrounds around the world for decades. It has also been used for other purposes such as military training. Hopscotch has a rich history and still enjoyed by many school children and adult alike as a fun activity that is simple to play. It can virtually be played anywhere and very few supplies are needed to play it.

History of Hopscotch

Hopscotch traces its origins back to the early days of ancient Britain during the days of the Early Roman Empire. Hopscotch used to be played on 100-foot courts and was used mainly for military training purposes. Roman soldiers would run the entire hopscotch court in full body armor with their packs on to improve their footwork, agility, stamina, and endurance.

Over time, Roman children were drawing smaller versions of the hopscotch course with 10 spots to hop as they imitated the regular exercise completed by the adult soldiers as they prepared for battle.

Hopscotch Goes Worldwide

Hopscotch spread in popularity and has since become a worldwide activity. Hopscotch is called “Marelles” in France, “Templehupfen” in Germany, and “Hinkelbaan” in the Netherlands just to name a few options of how popular the game has become. More variations of the game have become popular as well as children look for new challenges and fun new ways to play a long-time favorite playground game.

Hopscotch Today

Today, hopscotch is a game that you can see getting played on school playgrounds throughout the US. Many playgrounds areas have hopscotch courts spray painted onto the pavement for kids to play on. In driveways in neighborhoods throughout the world, it’s an inexpensive game to play that passes time for children. Children simply draw the court out on the sidewalk or street with a piece of chalk and they have hours of fun playing this classic game.

Sometimes, even adults enjoy a lighthearted game of hopscotch for fun. Clubs exist throughout the country and there are even 5K and 1K races that have hopscotch built into them. One of the most popular events of the sort is the Hopscotch Music Festival which next scheduled to get held September 5th to 7th 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Tossing markers (usually a smooth rock or stone) and having to pick them up while standing on one foot or “hopscotching” can make the game more fun and challenging for older children. If a player misses their marker, falters, or lets their foot touch the ground, they are effectively “out” of the game. The last person left wins.

Many children also play with more than 10 squares to make the game more challenging by making the course longer. Soldiers used 100 spots, but 25, 50, or 75 may be used by children who want to find a challenge that meets their needs. Variations of the game that children have created over time also exist, but the root of it is always a fun jumping and hopping game!

Conclusion

Hopscotch is a fun game that can be played almost anywhere and continues to keep children entertained for hours. Imagination and creativity can give children many variations of this game and make it a fun game to play alone or with their friends.

The Art of Giving Back: Becoming a Volunteer

If you’ve got an itch to go out and help others or know someone in need, it might be time to get out and volunteer. Volunteering is the act of helping others without expecting anything in return, and it’s been around since the 13th century.

The Progression of Volunteerism

The first acts of service associated with volunteering come from religious practices during medieval times in Britain, when people were encouraged to help the poor or sick. Estimates place as many as 500 hospitals run by volunteers in and around England in the 13th century. But the actual term volunteer was first coined in 1755 and meant ‘to offer oneself for military service.” Then, in the 19th century, volunteering became more organized and formal, with the creation of the YMCA in London in 1844. During the Civil War, Clara Barton rendered aid to soldiers, and her efforts formed the Red Cross. More organizations formed in the 20th century, helping give those that wanted to provide support a place to focus their efforts and those that needed help a way to get it. Now, with the internet, volunteer options are endless, and people are more connected than ever. 

The Benefits of Volunteering

Giving back to your community can benefit you, too. Here are several ways you might not have thought of:

  • helps to reduce stress and combat depression
  • connects you to others and gives you a community
  • enables you to make friends or work on social skills
  • adds to your resume and helps you learn new skills
  • provides you with a sense of purpose

How to Volunteer

When choosing where to volunteer, there are several things to consider. You’ll need to think about how much time you have to offer, how far you can travel, the types of things that interest you, your skillset, and what organizations have a need at that time. You don’t have to limit yourself, either. You can choose to volunteer at multiple places, during a set time-frame, or only once a year. You can give of your time, money, services, or whatever fills a need. Just the act of helping others is all it involves, and that can mean a multitude of various things. When you think you’ve found the way you’d like to give back, visit or contact them to learn more about how you can get involved. 

Where to Volunteer

With so many places and people that have needs, you won’t have to look far to find a place to volunteer. If you have kids in school, consider volunteering there. If you love animals, contact a local shelter and help walk the dogs. Visit a senior center and ask about spending time with the patients. Youth organizations are always looking for volunteers, and religious facilities need volunteers too. Or use a service to help you find opportunities near you.

One Last Note About Volunteering

No matter how you decide to get involved, it’s the simple act of helping that matters. Today, volunteering is safer than ever, with paperwork required and sometimes even background checks. This may seem tedious, but it ensures the safety of all involved. Be sure you ask questions so you will know what’s expected of you and don’t be afraid to find a new opportunity if the one you tried isn’t a good fit. Volunteering should be a rewarding and fun experience for all involved.

The Revival of Family Game Night

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there were no cell phones or computers, no television. After the evening meal, the family might stay at the table together for a rousing board game. Through all of the inventions of modern time, those evenings have nearly been forgotten. They don’t have to be, nor should they be.

Tabletop Games, a Prelude to Board Games

Many believe chess to be the oldest tabletop game in the world. This game of great wit and forethought came about around 600 AD in either India or China. It is not, however, the oldest.

Checkers dates back even further to 3000 BCE. First thought to have come about in Ancient Mesopotamia, or what is now known as Iraq, checkers, or draughts as it is known in the UK, continues to be popular today. While also a game of strategy, unless involved in tournament play, it doesn’t take the deep mindset of chess, being a game children and adults alike can play.

The First American Board Games

Board games, as we know them today, are games created for the mass market to promote family fun. Games in a box emerged with Monopoly in 1935. Made and sold by Parkers Brothers, the game actually originated as The Landlord’s Game by Lizzie Maggie at the turn of the 20th century. Her game rules were to demonstrate a monopolist mindset, versus the anti-monopolists, when finances were paid out to all investors sharing the wealth.

However, the actual game of Monopoly is credited to Charles Darrow. The Philadelphia salesman was introduced to The Landlord’s Game through friends following dinner one evening. He later patented his own version, known as Monopoly, and sold the copyrights to Parker Brothers. Learning of Maggie’s influence of the game, the company purchased her patent, as well.

More Games, and Their Future

From there Parker Brothers continued manufacturing a wide variety of board games including Clue, Sorry, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit. Their competition was the Milton Bradley Company, which invented Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, and the Game of Life. The Milton Bradley Company bought out Playskool with its most famous game, Yahtzee, in the 1960s.

Through the years other types of board games emerged such as the very popular 1990s Dungeons and Dragons, originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and eventually marketed by Hasbro, who also bought out Parker Brothers. But, with the onset of video games and computer games, board games have gone by the wayside.

With an increased demand to go back to our roots of the family sitting down, together, for dinner, some are bringing out their old board games, too. There is a definite need in today’s society to return to those times together, whether through those old board games, or new ones piquing the interest of modern youth.