• 5 OUTDOOR GAMES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
  • This entry was posted in Toys on September 28, 2018

  • Playing outside is a great way to help your kids have fun and stay fit. There are many benefits to outdoor play, including exercise, socialization and strengthening muscles. Have your kids enjoy the fall weather and unplug indoor games and TV, sending them outside for some fun and a little fitness. Here are a few outdoor games the whole family will enjoy!

    - Beanbag Toss or cornhole is a perfect outdoor game that the whole family can enjoy. It takes a balance of luck and skill to get the hang of, but once you get the form down it’s everyones favorite game. The game is played with two sets of wooden boards set 27 feet apart (or closer if you are playing with younger children). There are dozens of beanbag toss games available made for all ages and skill levels.

     

    - Outdoor Chess with a giant chess set with spaces big enough to stand in. Chess teaches kids motor skills, strategy, creativity and how to play by the rules. This game is played on a life-size black-and-white checkerboard with large resin chess pieces. Each player moves the one to two foot tall pieces in this classic strategy board game. Each piece has a specific rule for how it can be moved. The game is over when the opponent’s king becomes trapped on the board, known as a checkmate. Outdoor chess can be played by two players or by several kids divided into two teams. KETTLER giant chess sets are made of resin with boards about ten feet square and players can be weighted down with gravel if needed.

     

    - Table Tennis is a great way to create a little friendly competition. Two or four players are needed for a game. Table tennis tables can be designed for indoor or outdoor use. Models with a true play-back feature can be set up for children to practice or play by themselves. Table tennis is a popular after-school activity for a range of ages.

     

    - Bocce is a classic outdoor game, it can be played in the grass or even on the beach. Standard bocce balls weigh about 2 pounds, which can be heavy for younger kids. Some variations of bocce are available with more kid-friendly with lighter weight balls and plastic rings. Bocce is a fun challenge for all ages and a simple outdoor game to get the hang of.

     

    - Hide and Seek can be enjoyed indoors and out, with two or more players. It can even be played with Mom, Dad or the babysitter. One person, often designated as “It,” closes their eyes and counts to 20 while the others hide within the boundaries. After announcing “Ready or not, here I come,” It looks for all of the other players. The first one who is found becomes It in the next round. There are many variations on the game, and the rules should be agreed upon before it begins.




  • THE FUN HISTORY OF TABLE TENNIS
  • This entry was posted in on August 27, 2018

  • The game of table tennis originated in England in the 19th century. A game that could be played indoors after dinner, it was an alternative to lawn tennis. According to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the first known mention of the name "table tennis" emerged in the 1880s. A patent application by British inventor James Devonshire was submitted in 1885, but was later withdrawn.  

    Origins

    The game of lawn tennis was all the rage in England among the royals and society's upper crust from the 1870s until the turn of the century. It later went international and earned the simple moniker of "tennis." Converting the game of lawn tennis into something that men and women could play indoors had its challenges in the early 1880s. Imagine trying to shrink a court that's 78 by 27 feet into something you could fit in your dining room or parlor. It was done, nonetheless, first using a dining room table lined with various objects across the middle to simulate a net. Framed parchment paper was a popular option back in the period. Rubber balls, bottle corks, balloons and even balls of string were the early options for table tennis balls.

    Table Tennis By Any Other Name

    According to the ITTF Museum, the game had a multitude of names before "table tennis" stuck. Flim-flam, whiff waff, parlour tennis and indoor tennis were among them, as was and Gossima, named for creator Jaques Gossima. George S. Parker listed a board game with dice called Table Tennis in his 1887 games catalog, but the title also referred to indoor play with a table, a net, a racquet and a ball. The game which we know as table tennis today was alternatively called ping-pong when Hamley Brothers trademarked the term "Ping Pong" in 1900.

    Acquiring Fame

    The game of table tennis and its equipment have evolved over the years, gaining popularity and fame worldwide. In 1901, the Table Tennis Association and Ping Pong Association were both formed, and combined into a single organization in 1903. In 1926, the ITTF was born in Berlin. The first world championship competition was held the same year in London. In 1971, the American table tennis team became world-renown ambassadors as the first group of Americans to formally visit China in 22 years.

    Our KETTLER engineers began working with aluminum for table tennis in the 1960s. We first introduced indoor table tennis tables and equipment into our recreation and fitness lineup in 1976. By 1977, popularity of the sport had grown worldwide, and the ITTF was formally recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The sport was admitted to the Olympic program in 1981, becoming a part of the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988.   

     

     




  • TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SUMMERTIME BBQ
  • This entry was posted in Patio on July 09, 2018

  • One of the best things about summer is the outdoor parties.  Ranging from patriotic themed BBQs, to luaus and pool parties, summer is filled with outdoor fun.  Here are a few quick tips to make your BBQ the best of the summer:

    Choose a Theme: Decide on a theme and go from there in choosing table settings and decorations. 4th of July, for example, is always a popular time for backyard get-togethers and barbeques. If there is no holiday or event you are celebrating with your barbeque simply choose a summery color scheme to tie together all of your decorations and to give your patio a festive, unified look.

    Decorate: Once you have a theme or color scheme in mind, decorating your outdoor entertaining area should be a fun part of the process! Choose a colorful table cloth to brighten up your table. Use plates, silverware, cups, and napkins to also help liven up your patio area for the occasion. Once the sun goes down the party can still go on. Adding decorative lighting is functional and adds a cozy feel to your backyard.

    Prep the Day Before: Get your basics set up and ready the day before so you’re not in a rush. It is always important to clean the grill and check your charcoal or gas supply ahead of time. Stock up on all the food items you’ll need for the party as well as condiments, napkins, plates and ice. Be sure to set up extra tables, lighting, and plenty of comfy seating options. Also clear your patio of any clutter and mow the lawn!

    Classic Recipes: Keep with a simple, classic menu for your barbeque, sticking with favorites for example potato salad, corn on the cob, coleslaw, fresh fruit, vegetables, burgers, and hot dogs. Or go potluck style and have your guests bring a different side dish or dessert. No matter what you’re cooking keep in mind how many people you invited and make extras just in case. Prepare as much as possible the day or night before so that you’re not stuck in the kitchen and are able to enjoy the company of your guests.

    Keep Bugs Away: Protect the food and your guests from bugs. Offer insect repellent sprays and light candles, or torches to ward off mosquitoes. Cover food or use sealable dishes to avoid any bugs invading your buffet. The most important things to do are to keep the patio area clean, especially where people will be eating, and keep the food inside if possible.

    Summer Drinks: In addition to stocking up your coolers and fridge with your favorite beer, try mixing together a fresh summer punch. Add a summer twist to your favorite drinks by adding frozen berries or lemon slices instead of ice to keep drinks cold and give them a little extra zest. Also have lots of water and sodas on hand for non-drinkers and kids!

    Healthy Options: Keep in mind who you have invited to your barbecue and if there is anyone with a food allergy or any vegetarians that will be dining with you. Have a vegetarian option available just in case. Healthy fresh sides and snacks are tasty and refreshing for everyone to enjoy. Try a tray of vegetables or fresh fruit instead of potato chips as an appetizer for guests to snack on before the main meal.

    Entertainment: Adults as well as kids enjoy lawn games and of course a summer playlist is key for any barbeque! If there are going to be children at your party make sure you also set up a few activities just for them, so they stay entertained while the adults spend time together. Arts and crafts, water games, whiffle ball, or Frisbees are all easy, fun options for kids of any ages. If your pool will be open for use at your party make sure to have sunscreen available and never let children swim without adult supervision.

    Throwing a successful summer bash can definitely be a lot of work, but with these quick tips in mind, your party will be the favorite of the summer.




  • HAVING FUN WITH YOUR KIDS ON RAINY DAYS
  • This entry was posted in Table tennis on April 11, 2018

  • If you're planning on some spring fun with your kids and you get rained out, you don't have to scrap you plans for some quality time. Enjoy the day anyway with some rainy day adventures. Instead of turning on the TV, put together some fun indoor activities that everyone can enjoy. These are the days that make fun memories your children can remember for years to come.

    Make a Fort

    The indoor fort never loses its allure. Use some large blankets to completely cover your dining room table area and make a fort. Put the coziest and fluffiest blankets on the floor inside. Invite the kids to bring their pillows, a few books and their favorite stuffed animals. Add a flashlight, a deck of cards and perhaps some activity books. Pretend you're on a camping trip or on a voyage to a land far away.

    Table Tennis

    One fun way to get the kids active and have fun on a rainy day is a game of indoor table tennis. You can play singles or in teams. If you have an odd number of people, one person can be the scorekeeper. Another option is to put your skills and pride to the test and let the kids play as a team against you.

    Ant-Free Picnic

    Who says picnics have to be outdoors? Enjoy the indoors on a rainy day with a picnic in your living room. Plan a menu and have the children help you make lunch as if you were going to the park. Pack a basket full of drinks, snacks and sandwiches. Spread out a blanket on the floor and bring along a portable radio for some extra fun. Take it one step further by making a follow the leader procession from your kitchen all around the house – with your picnic supplies in tow – before arriving in your living room. Set up your picnic area together as if you've been on a long journey.

    Embrace the Rain

    For those days when the summer rain just keeps on pouring, turn it into a fun adventure. Get everyone bundled up in their raincoats and waterproof shoes. Grab your umbrellas and go outside. Splash in the puddles and have some care-free fun. Wrap up your adventure indoors with a bowl of soup and some good conversation after you've all changed out of your wet clothes.

    Baking Cookies

    Create some classic rainy-day fun in the kitchen. Whip up a batch of cookies. Pull out your favorite recipe and let the kids help, from baking and decorating gingerbread people to using cookie cutters for more interesting shapes.

    A rainy day doesn't have to be gloomy. Create some indoor sunshine with a little imagination and make some happy memories.




  • SPRING CLEANING-PICKING OUT THE TOYS YOUR CHILD HAS OUTGROWN
  • This entry was posted in Toys on March 27, 2018

  • As kids grow, their interests and abilities change and grow. If you've ever looked at your child's toys, you've probably noticed. With springtime in full bloom, it’s a great opportunity to finally get those cleaning tasks done that have waited all winter. This is a good time to go through the indoor and outdoor toys and pick out the toys your child has outgrown or never uses.

     

    There are many factors to help you to decide which toys should stay and which ones should go. Remember that any toys your children are attached to – even if they don't play with them anymore – could cause a forlorn whine when you suggest that it's time for the toy to go. You'll need to decide whether to tell them it's time to clean out the toys or to do it yourself when they're not around. Either way, getting things organized is the first step. Corral the indoor toys, and track down the ones used for outdoor play. If they're scattered and disorganized, find a better way to store them in bins, shelves and boxes.

     

    Now comes Step Two which is deciding which ones should stay and which ones should go. Separate all of the toys into three piles: keepers, giveaways and lost causes. The keepers may need to be cleaned up for more playtime or passed on to a younger sibling. Toys that you won't be keeping for any of your children can go to charity or a friend's kids. There are some toys that aren't fit for any child of any age. Games and toys with missing or broken pieces are the best candidates for the discard pile for lost causes. Recycle what you can, and appropriately dispose of the rest.

     

    Here are a few key areas to consider when deciding:

     

    Interest:

    Kids naturally lose interest in toys that are geared towards a younger developmental stage. If they haven't been used in more than a year, your child has lost interest.

     

    Size:

    Lack of interest isn't the only indicator that your child has outgrown certain toys. Ride-on toys that no longer fit your child's arm's reach or can't be adjusted to the right foot-pedal length are too small to use. Put these toys away for another child to use if they're still in good condition. If you don't have other kids or close family friends, these can be donated to charity.

     

    Condition:

    The favorite toys receive the most attention. They sometimes have that loved-worn look about them, like the teddy bear with a missing eye and a shriveled arm. If a toy is still in good condition to play with safely, put it in the keeper pile or the giveaway pile. Otherwise, it's time for it to go away. You may want to put collectibles and the top favorites into a bag in the attic for when your children are grown and will appreciate them once more.

     

    Outgrowing toys is part of growing up. While it's sad to see some toys go away with spring cleaning, they can sometimes go to a happier place. It's always a good idea to take time to get organized and make room for more age-appropriate toys.