3 Fun Icebreakers for Kids

Icebreakers for Kids

photography-of-people-on-grass-field

​image by pexels

It isn’t only adults who may feel nervous when brought together with people that they don’t really know. The same definitely goes for children too. Much like with adults, there are a variety of different icebreakers that you can use to bring a group out of their shells and have them chatting away and getting to know each other in no time at all.

Getting to know you

girl-and-three-boys-on-staircase

​image by pexels

If you have a group of children that don’t know each other, then this icebreaker is an ideal way to get them finding out about one another as well as having fun too. Get the children to stand in a circle and grab a bean bag or a soft ball. Start the game by throwing your bean bag or ball at one of the children and ask them a simple question about themselves. “What is your name?” “Do you have a pet?” “What is your favorite color?” These are all great ideas. The children then take turns throwing the item and asking questions of their own. Play for 5/10 minutes depending on the size of your group.

​”Lets talk! Bridge the gap. Break the ice.” – Debashis Sarmah

There are different ways you can differentiate this activity. For example, you can use a beachball with circular stickers all around the ball. You can have a variety of fun questions on each sticker. The question can include things like “What is your favorite food?” and “If you could be an animal, what animal would you be?” When you throw the beach ball, the child will (hopefully) catch it, and the sticker that is under or closest to their right thumb when they catch it is the question they will have to answer. For even more fun, you can have the kiddos help you create the questions before you start the game as well. The options are truly endless!

The Line-Up

kindergarten-clown-garden-animator

​image by ​pixabay

​If you have older children then you might want to tailor your ice-breakers for their age range. A good game if you have a larger group has to be The Line-Up icebreaker. This works best with around 6 players per team and mixed ages is ideal. You act as the caller of the game; asking the teams to line up in order of age, first name order, height, birthdays, longest hair, most cousins. The list can go. This encourages the children to learn more about one another and will have them laughing and interacting too.

Just like the previous ice breaker, this ice breaker can be tailored as well to meet the needs of different students. For example, you can have the students do the activity silently, or you can have them practice their writing skills by being required to communicate via writing only. If you are a class teacher, this activity allows you to quickly see who the different students are in your class. This activity is known to bring leaders to the forefront and this can be helpful in allowing you to understand how to continue running your class. 

​Funny Faces

children-lying-down-in-circle-boys

​image by pixabay

If you have a smaller group of children, then you might worry that there are less icebreakers that you can use. However, there are some icebreakers that are ideal for smaller groups. Funny Faces is one of those. Ask the children to sit in a circle facing each other. One of the children is “it” and he or she needs to make their funniest face to get everyone else to laugh. They get a point for every person who smiles or laughs. After a set amount of time (say 30 seconds) they then need to wipe their funny face off and pass it to the next child. This is great fun and is likely to have even the grown-ups smiling. These are just some great ideas when it comes to ice-breakers for kids; ideally it is important to have them smiling, laughing and learning about each other, all without even realizing it.

These are some of the best icebreakers for kids. Want more icebreaker ideas?

Best Gaming Laptop Under $600

LOOKING FOR THE BEST GAMING LAPTOP UNDER $600?

Laptops have advanced rapidly in the past few years! They are no longer just scaled-down, portable machines that are only good for running Microsoft Office; many are fully fledged gaming machines with high-end graphics cards, fast CPUs, and lots of RAM. These specific devices can handle downloading and running games with fewer struggles compared to regular laptops.

Gaming laptops are typically a little thicker and heavier than standard laptops because they contain a more powerful hardware. But despite this additional weight, they are still relatively light and easy to transport.

This article will take a look at the best gaming laptops under $600 to help you choose a fantastic gaming machine with all the features you need to have fun while gaming.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GAMING LAPTOP

There are certain features that gaming laptops must contain to run modern games well. Here’s a breakdown of what each feature means and elements to look for to suit your preferences and budget.

A POWERFUL CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT (CPU)

The CPU is the component of the computer that performs calculations and controls input/output operations.  Modern computer games typically require a fast and responsive CPU that can perform calculations for the game.

If you play online multiplayer games, a fast CPU is particularly important because it is used to accurately track the locations of dozens of players and process data packets from remote servers.  For a budget of $600, Core i5 is a great option for gamers, and you’ll find that this can handle intensive tasks such as gaming and playing multimedia simultaneously. If you choose a lower specification of CPU, this will reduce the game’s speed. If your CPU is not fast enough to process the incoming data correctly, you may begin to lag.

AN EXTREMELY POWERFUL GRAPHICS PROCESSING UNIT (GPU)

For modern games, the graphics card is usually the most important component of a gaming laptop.  It is the device that processes the game’s graphics to make them look more stunning.  The GPU handles most of those high-fidelity textures, particle effects, animations, and physics effects. Essentially, the more powerful your GPU is, the better the game will look!

If you are playing older or less graphically intensive games, a GPU is less important.  However, if you are playing a graphically intensive game like a first-person shooter (Battlefield, Far Cry, Titanfall), having a high-end GPU is essential.

The amount of VRAM on the graphics card is also important in a gaming laptop and an extension of GPU.  The VRAM provides temporary storage space for the graphics card works such as frames, textures, and other graphics data.  If there is insufficient VRAM on the graphics card, it will have to wait for space to store files, which causes the game to stutter.  You should look for a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM considering the budget we’re looking at. However, you’ll need at least 1080P resolution on your gaming laptop for this to maintain the different frames for your monitor.

HIGH-RESOLUTION SCREEN

There is no point having a high-end graphics card that delivers beautiful graphics if the screen cannot render them well!  Ideally, a gaming laptop should have a screen of 1920 x 1080). This data allows you to view fine details on the screen without any blurriness, making it perfect for gaming.  If possible, get one with an in-plane switching (IPS) LED screen with a fast refresh rate.  An LED screen also improves the screen’s vibrancy no matter what angle you view your laptop screen at. This technology also improves the color quality of your images.

However, a higher-resolution screen doesn’t come without its disadvantages. As the images and videos are sharper and clearer, this uses more of your laptop’s battery life which can be an inconvenience.

A GOOD AMOUNT OF MEMORY (RAM)

RAM works similarly to VRAM: it is a temporary location for the computer to store information.  However, instead of being used by the GPU, the computer’s RAM is used by the CPU.

RAM is one of the most important factors when purchasing a laptop. This is a computer memory system which temporarily saves your laptop’s information, but it’s not to be confused with a hard drive which stores information for long periods. Without sufficient RAM, your device will run much slower and could even make gaming almost impossible. However, just having RAM isn’t enough as you need to have a sufficient amount for your games to download efficiently and not lag.

If you do not have enough RAM, your laptop cannot quickly store the information it uses when making calculations.  When this happens, the CPU resorts to storing data on the hard drive, leading to in-game lag and a less responsive computer.

In recent years, the price of RAM has dramatically dropped so you can now easily obtain 4 or 8 GB of RAM for your laptop.  This is the minimum amount of RAM you should have in your laptop for gaming, so your games load quickly, and the information is saved promptly. However, all games come in different sizes and require a different RAM size, so check the manufacturer guide on your chosen game for the minimum requirement. You might find that you can also watch YouTube videos or video call your friends while playing games. Consider if you ordinarily multitask while playing games, otherwise a large size isn’t essential for you.

A FAST AND SPACIOUS HARD DRIVE

Your hard drive is a permanent storage location for your computer’s data and game files.  Games can be quite large and require as much as 50 or 60 GB of storage space.  If you intend to play a variety of different games, a large hard drive will be required.

The two most common types of hard drives found in gaming laptops are Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD).   HDDs use rapidly rotating metal discs coated with a magnetic material to store data. The platters have to spin while you are storing or accessing data constantly.  SSD uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory. They have no spinning parts, and they don’t have to scan a spinning disk to find data, so they can retrieve and store data very quickly.

Typically, for the same amount of money, the HDD will have more storage space while the SSD will be much faster.  A 1TB HDD (1000GB) costs about the same as a 256GB SSD. However, the SSD will increase substantially faster which means the computer boots up faster, games will open faster, and games can write data to the drive faster. On average, an SSD takes 10 to 13 seconds to load a laptop while a HDD takes 30 to 40 seconds. An SSD also runs a lot quieter and smoother with no audible clicks, spinning or vibrating parts that could distract you from gaming.

BATTERY

The laptop’s battery is also important if you are gaming while traveling or somewhere without access to power. Gaming laptops use larger amounts of power than regular laptops to improve the graphics and create high-definition results. As a result, your device can quickly run out of battery even after very little use. This might not be an issue if you intend to play games with the charger plugged in, but if you wish to travel and play, you need to consider what power source will be available.

It’s a fact that the best gaming laptops only last a couple of hours without needing to be charged since they have to generate such high-quality images and refresh constantly. Although you’ll likely want a good battery life, consider that this will mean reducing the picture quality, so ask yourself if this is really essential to your gaming.

Acer Aspire E 15ASUS F556UA-AS54Dell Inspiron 7000 Series 15.6 Touchscreen Pro LaptopLenovo G70 Premium High Performance 17.3-inch HD+ Laptop
Rating: 4.8/5Rating: 4.3/5Rating: 3.5/5Rating: 5/5
CPU: Intel Core i5-6200U ProcessorCPU: Intel i5-6200U 2.3 GHz ProcessorCPU: Intel Core i5-5200U ProcessorCPU: Intel Core i5-5200U processor
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB DDR5 VRAMGPU: Integrated Intel HD 520GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500
Display: 15.6-inch HD 1920*1080 pixelsDisplay: 15.6-Inch Full-HD Display 1920*1080 pixelsDisplay: 15.6-inch High resolution LED backlight, HD touchscreenDisplay: 17.3-inch HD 1600×900 display
RAM: 8GBRAM: 8GBRAM: 8GBRAM: 8GB
Hard Drive: 256GBHard Drive 256GBHard Drive: 1TB SATA hard driveHard Drive: 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive
Price: $$$Price: $$$Price: $$$Price: $$
  • Acer Aspire E 15
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6200U Processor
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB DDR5 VRAM
  • Display: 15.6-inch HD 1920*1080 pixels
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Hard Drive: 256GB
  • Price: $$$
  • ASUS F556UA-AS54
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • CPU: Intel i5-6200U 2.3 GHz Processor
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD 520
  • Display: 15.6-Inch Full-HD Display 1920*1080 pixels
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Hard Drive 256GB
  • Price: $$$
  • Dell Inspiron 7000 Series 15.6 Touchscreen Pro Laptop
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U Processor
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Display: 15.6-inch High resolution LED backlight, HD touchscreen
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Hard Drive: 1TB SATA hard drive
  • Price: $$$
  • Lenovo G70 Premium High Performance 17.3-inch HD+ Laptop
  • Rating: 5/5
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U processor
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Display: 17.3-inch HD 1600×900 display
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Hard Drive: 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive
  • Price: $$

What to Look For in a Gaming Laptop

There are certain features that gaming laptops must contain to run modern games well.

A powerful central processing unit (CPU)

The CPU is the component of the computer that performs calculations and controls input/output operations.  Modern computer games typically require a very fast CPU that can perform calculations for the game.

If you play online multiplayer games, a fast CPU is particularly important because it is used to accurately track the locations of dozens of players and process data packets from remote servers.  If your CPU is not fast enough to process the incoming data correctly, you may begin to lag.

An extremely powerful graphics processing unit (GPU)

For modern games, the graphics card is usually the most important component of a gaming laptop.  It is the device that processes the game’s graphics and makes the game look beautiful.  Most of those high fidelity textures, particle effects, animations and physics effects are handled by the GPU.  Essentially, the more powerful your GPU is, the better the game will look!

If you are playing older or less graphically intensive games, a GPU is less important.  However, if you are playing a graphically intensive game like a first person shooter (Battlefield, Far Cry, Titanfall), having a high-end GPU is essential.

The amount of VRAM on the graphics card is also important in a gaming laptop.  The VRAM provides temporary storage space for the elements that the graphics card works with — frames, textures, and other graphics data.  If there is insufficient VRAM on the graphics card, it will have to wait for space to store files, which causes the game to stutter.  You should look for a graphics card with at least 2GB of VRAM.

High-resolution screen

There is no point having a high-end graphics card that delivers beautiful graphics if the screen cannot render them well!  Ideally, a gaming laptop should have a 1080P screen.  If possible, get one with an in-plane switching (IPS) LED screen with a fast refresh rate.

A good amount of memory (RAM)

RAM works in a similar way to VRAM — it is a temporary location for the computer to store information.  However, instead of being used by the GPU, the computer’s RAM is used by the CPU.

If you do not have enough RAM, your CPU cannot quickly store the information it uses when making calculations.  When this happens, the CPU resorts to storing data on the hard drive, leading to in-game lag and a less responsive computer.

In recent years, the price of RAM has dropped dramatically so you can now easily obtain 4 or 8 GB of RAM for your laptop.  You can also upgrade your RAM at a later point.

A fast and spacious hard drive

Your hard drive is a permanent storage location for your computer’s data and game files.  Games can be quite large and require as much as 50 or 60 Gigabytes of storage space.  If you intend to play a variety of different games, a large hard drive will be required.

The two most common types of hard drives found in gaming laptops are Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD).   HDDs use rapidly rotating metal discs coated with a  magnetic material to store data.  The platters have to constantly spin while you are storing or accessing data.  SSD uses an integrated circuit assemblies as memory.  They have no spinning parts and they don’t have to scan a spinning disk to find data, so they can retrieve and store data very quickly.

Typically, for the same amount of money, the HDD will have more storage space while the SSD will be much faster.  A 1TB HDD (1000GB) costs about the same as a 256GB SSD.  However, the SSD will substantially faster which means the computer boots up faster, games will open faster and games can write data to the drive faster.

Battery

The laptop’s battery is also important if you are gaming while traveling or somewhere without access to power.

Some of the best gaming laptops under $600

These laptops are all excellent choices for gaming!  They all have excellent GPUs, plenty of RAM and beautiful displays required for gaming.

Acer Aspire E15

Acer-Aspire-E15Price: $549

CPU: 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U Processor (Up to 2.8GHz)

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB DDR5 VRAM

Display: 15.6-inch Full HD Display 1920*1080 pixels

RAM: 8GB DDR4 Memory

Hard Drive: 256GB SSD

Battery: 6-cell Li-Ion (2800 mAh) Battery with up to 12-hours Battery Life

The Acer E15 is the best of the laptops reviewed, with a super-fast Intel Core i5-6200U Processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1080p display and a 256GB SSD.  It boots up quickly, is responsive and a real pleasure to use. It has a large 6-cell Li-ion battery that is capable of an astonishing 12 hours of battery life — more than the other laptops reviewed.

This is the only laptop reviewed here that has a dedicated graphics card, the GeForce 940MX — making it ideal for games with more advanced graphics.  Of the laptops reviewed, this is the one most likely to run a game like Battlefield or Titanfall at high frames per second (fps). With an average of loading 30 fps, this Acer laptop might struggle loading games such as Black Ops 4, but it’ll present graphics in high definition.

With many gaming laptops, cooling can be a huge issue, but we’re pleased that this Acer laptop doesn’t overheat meaning you can comfortably sit it on your legs while continuing play. This is all down to the CPU and GPU to keep the laptop running efficiently while downloading graphics.

The graphics card, SSD drive, and outstanding display are the major selling points of this laptop.  It is a substantial offering from Acer and incredible value for money.

ASUS F556

ASUS-F556Price: $529

CPU: Intel i5-6200U 2.3 GHz Processor (Turbo to 2.8 GHz)

GPU: Integrated Intel HD 520

Display: 15.6-Inch Full-HD Display 1920*1080 pixels

RAM: 8GB DDR3

Hard Drive: 256GB SSD

Battery: 38 Watt/hr Li-polymer battery (2.5 times the lifespan of standard Li-ion)

This ASUS shares some similar specifications to the Acer Aspire E15, with the same Intel i5-6200U process and an incredibly fast 256GB SSD.  It has a stunning 1080p screen that renders games beautifully.

The long-lasting Li-Polymer battery can provide more than 700 charge cycles, which is more than 2.5 time what a standard Li-ion provides.  It is also highly efficient at retaining its charge capacity, keeping up to 80% of the full charge of a new battery.

It is a very attractive laptop that is only 1-inch high.  If you are frequently traveling, you can fit it into your rucksack or bag very easily as it only weighs 2.3kg!  The high-quality battery means you will get plenty of gaming from the laptop before you need to recharge.

The only downside to having such a low-profile laptop is that it doesn’t have enough room for a stand-alone graphics card. It uses an integrated Intel HD 520.  This card may be fine for older games and less graphically intensive games. So you could run Starcraft, League of Legends or CS:GO well, but it might struggle with the latest Battlefield or Titanfall game.

Dell Inspiron 7000

Dell-Inspiron-7000Price: $587

CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U Processor (3M Cache, up to 2.70 GHz)

GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500

Display: 15.6″ High Resolution LED Backlight, HD (1366 x 768) Truelife Touchscreen Display

RAM: 8GB DDR3L SDRAM

Hard Drive: 1TB SATA hard drive

Battery: 3-cell battery with up to 8 hours of battery life

Dell offers an excellent range of value-for-money laptops that often come with innovative features.  This Dell Inspiron is no exception, coming with a 15.6″ touchscreen display. It has a beautiful display to use, and Windows 10 Home comes with excellent touch screen support. This easy-to-use touch screen makes gaming more accessible to everyone, and you can quickly navigate through levels without having to click the mouse.

While games look fantastic on this display, it does not run on 1920×1080, instead only reaching 1366×768.  This only becomes an issue if you intend on playing games with advanced graphics (Battlefield and Titanfall).  If you are playing something like The Sims, CS:GO orStarcraft, the game render beautifully.

It comes with a huge 1TB SATA HDD, which is large enough to store hundreds of movies or thousands of videos.  It has plenty of RAM, and the Intel Core i5 is a solid processor. The battery life is great also, coming in at 8-hours, which makes it one of the best gaming laptops on the market right now.  This laptop is a great choice if you want one with a touchscreen and sufficient RAM.

Lenovo G70

Lenovo-G70Price: $517

CPU: 5th Gen Intel Core i5-5200U processor (3M Cache, 2.2 GHz base frequency, up to 2.70 GHz),

GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500

Display: 17.3-inch diagonal HD+ BrightView WLED-backlit (1600 x 900) display

RAM: 8GB DDR3L 1600 MHz RAM

Hard Drive: 1TB 5400rpm hard drive 

Battery: Li-Ion with up to 5 hours battery life

Lenovo has a reputation for making reliable and affordable gaming laptops.  The G70 combines some great components in a sleek shell. The display is a huge 17.3 inch BrightView WLED display that looks absolutely gorgeous.  Although the resolution has been scaled down slightly, the larger screen makes gaming more immersive.

This laptop has plenty of CPU power and RAM, providing a very fast user experience, so you can spend more time playing games than waiting for images to load.  The Boot-up and game loading are slightly slower than the other laptops because it is runs a HDD instead of an SSD, but you will have plenty of storage space available.

The only downside with this laptop is the low battery life (probably due to the larger display), and limited screen resolution that isn’t 1080p and an integrated graphics card.  However, it provides a very affordable, budget-conscious gaming laptop nonetheless!

HAVE ANY OF THESE LAPTOPS CAUGHT YOUR EYE?

Choosing a gaming laptop isn’t easy when there are so many factors to consider and an array of products, but the above selections show a variety of resolutions, battery life, storage and more. Also, refer back to the amount of RAM and storage space you need to play your favorite games, or you risk choosing a laptop which isn’t suitable for your specific needs.

If we had to recommend only one gaming laptop, it would be the Dell Inspiron 7000 model since this offers a sleek and streamlined design. The device is comfortable and ergonomically designed for hours of use thanks to the keyboard’s shallow feel. The buttons are soft, and the touchpad is responsive so you can enjoy playing games. But from the remaining gaming laptops, have any caught your eye? Share your thoughts or further recommendations in the comments.

Best Jumping Stilts

Air-Trekkers Adult Model

Are you looking for a new past time that is fun, exciting, and can greatly improve your fitness?  Jumping stilts may be the answer!  Jumping stilts are special stilts that incorporate springs, allowing you to jump to great heights.  You can run while wearing them, leap on top of tall objects, and even perform acrobatics!

They have become incredibly popular in the past couple of years and there are now hundreds of videos online that show the incredible stunts that can be performed.  There are also many different manufacturers making jumping stilts for people of all ages and skill levels.

This guide to jumping stilts will explain how to choose the perfect pair of jumping stilts and use them safely.  Then, we’ll explain how to get started on jumping stilts and highlight five of the best jumping stilts on the market.

Who invented jumping stilts?

Jumping stilts were invented by a German aerospace engineer named Alexander Boeck and patented in the United States in 2003.  They are spring-loaded stilts that are strapped onto both legs.  When strapped in, a person stands approximately 16-20 inches above the ground.

When the wearer jumps and lands on the ground, the springs compress and bounce back, sending them flying into the air!  The harder the user pushes the stilts into the ground, the higher they jump.  Some of the most well known jumping stilt brands include Powerskips, Fly Jumpers, Pro-Jumps, Air-Trekkers, Flying Jumpers and Power Striders.

Jumping stilts are a lot of fun but they can also be used for exercise.  Jogging with a pair of jumping stilts on helps you develop strong legs, core strength, and great cardiovascular fitness.

Choosing the best jumping stilts

There are a number of considerations that go into choosing the right pair of jumping stilts, including your age, skill level, and weight.  Here are some simple tips to help you find the right pair.

Choose stilts designed to support your weight

The springs on a pair of jumping stilts are rated to suit people in a certain weight range.  The precise weight range for each model varies depending on the manufacturer, so take a close look at the product’s website or manual before making a purchase.  Some manufacturers simply have a youth model and a variety of adult models, while other manufacturers have 10 or 12 models to suit users ranging from 40 to 250 pounds in weight.

Consider how you would like to bounce

Some people prefer jumping stilts with a softer or harder bounce.  A harder bounce can sometimes be better for stunts involving great heights and faster speeds while a softer bounce makes hopping onto high objects at slow speeds easier.  However, personal preference also plays a role.  Some manufacturers have models with hard and soft springs.  You can also buy jumping stilts that are slightly out of your weight range to obtain a harder or softer bounce.

Is noise an issue?

If you intend on using the jumping stilts around the home, you might prefer a quieter pair that does not annoy other occupants.  The design and construction materials of jumping stilts determines how noisy they are.  If you would prefer a quiet pair, ask other jumping stilt users for their opinions on noise levels of different products or contact the manufacturer.

Think about comfort

If you will be using the jumping stilts for long periods, look for a pair that has additional padding on the foot rests and calf rests.  This will help you avoid any blisters or bruising.  You can also tie a towel around the stilts to provide a bit more comfort.

Consider the spring type

The springs on jumping stilts are usually made from fiberglass or carbon fiber.  The manufacturers of carbon fibre springs suggest that their products are spongier, stronger and last longer.  Carbon fibre springs are often used by professionals who are performing acrobatics and require very strong springs to handle long jumps.

While the springs on jumping stilts will lose tension, it takes a very long time.  Professionals who are performing stunts often change their springs, but the average user will rarely or never need to change theirs.  Most users will be fine with a fiberglass spring, but if you see yourself really getting into the sport and performing stunts, go for carbon fibre.

Consider the price

In general terms, more expensive jumping stilts have better components and will last longer.  If you are trying out jumping stilts for the first time, you might be better off with a budget pair to start with.  However, don’t go for the cheapest product on the market — remember that safety is a concern.  If you think you will be using your stilts for a long period or you are an experienced jumper, spend a bit more money to obtain better performance and greater longevity.

Make sure you buy an officially licensed product
There are only a handful of companies producing officially licensed jumping stilts.  They make high-quality products that are guaranteed with warranties.  Unfortunately, there are also some shady competitors offering non-licensed imports.  Many of these products are poorly made and can be dangerous to use.  Make sure you check that the jumping stilts are an officially licensed product.

Using Jumping Stilts Safely

Jumping stilts allow you to jump to great heights and perform crazy tricks.  However, it’s important that you always think about safety before using them.  Falls can happen and because you will be so far off the ground there is more risk of an injury occurring.  These safety measures will help you enjoy your jumping stilts without any injuries!

  • Always wear the appropriate safety gear
    You should always wear a helmet when using jumping stilts.  BMX bike helmets are ideal — just make sure it has a strap and you use it.  Optional safety items include wrist guards and shin guards to protect your knees.

  • Be sure to fit them securely
    Jumping stilts have straps that keep your legs attached to the stilt.  Always ensure these straps are well-fitted.

  • Make sure you get jumping stilts appropriate for your weight
    If you wear a pair of jumping stilts with the wrong spring for your weight, they may work poorly and increase the risk of a fall.  You can even damage the jumping stilt and cause a fall.

  • Buy a quality pair of jumping stilts
    There are dozens of different jumping stilts on the market, ranging from children’s versions through to professional jumping stilts.  Stilts can also vary greatly in terms of build quality.  If you are going to be performing large jumps and attempting acrobatics, spend a bit extra to ensure you have a well built product.

Getting started with jumping stilts

Jumping stilts are radically different from almost every other sport.  They share some similarities with using a trampoline, but you will also be running and performing acrobatics while wearing them.  One thing for sure — jumping stilts will test the strength of your legs and your cardiovascular health.  If you are interested in getting fitter, they are a great choice!  Here are a few simple tips for getting started on jumping stilts.

  • Take it slow at first
    It takes some tie to get used to being on jumping stilts.  Resist the urge to try a backflip or other acrobatics until you have spent a good amount of time using your jumping stilts.  You should take some time to get used to the additional weight on your legs and the feel of the springs.

  • Be aware that the use of jumping stilts requires a lot of fitness
    Even if you are physically fit, you may find jumping stilts to be exhausting at first.  They really test your leg strength and cardiovascular fitness.  Start with short sessions for the first month, to gradually build your strength up.  Don’t be surprised if your legs feel a bit wobbly after your first few attempts!

  • Practice walking first
    When you first strap the jumping stilts on, practice walking around before attempting any large jumps.  You can use a high fence or railing to help you balance while you walk around.  Focus on getting a feel for how much the stilts bounce when you press down and how much traction they have.  You can also try a few stationary bounces while using a fence for additional support.  Before long, your confidence will increase and you will feel comfortable running and jumping in your stilts.

  • Checkout some videos for tips and advice
    There are some great video tutorials on YouTube which cover the basics of using jumping stilts.  They are a great resource for perfecting jumps and more advanced moves.

  • Stick to flat surfaces at first
    While you will see many videos of experienced jumpers traversing 6 steps in one leap — stick with flat ground for the first month or so.  There is more risk involved when jumping around steps or on sloping ground.

  • Don’t get carried away!
    Jumping stilts can make you feel like superman!  You will be flying through the air and leaping over high objects before you know it.  Avoid the temptation to perform very advanced maneuvers until you have mastered the basics.  You should spend time getting a feel for how heavy the stilts are on your legs before performing any acrobatics or attempting to leap over objects.  Take your time learning how to use them and don’t rush your progress.

5 Of The Best Jump Stilts

Here are 5 of the best jumping stilts on the market.  They are all well made and guaranteed to provide many hours of fun!

Air-Trekkers Adult Model – Carbon Fiber Spring Jumping Stilts


ADULT JUMPING STILTS by AIR TREKKERS BW EXTREME 1 Pair of Spring…

  • BIONIC-LIKE DESIGN: High performance carbon fiber springs. Leg Cuff & Wide Velcro binding straps for added safety….
  • RUN, JUMP, FLIP: Run Faster Jump Higher. Try parkour, free running, and acrobatic flips & tricks. Hands free POGO…
  • EXERCISE & FITNESS: Cardio, core body strength. Arouses athletic skills ideal for agility, coordination, balance, and…

Air-Trekkers are one of the most well known brands of jumping stilts.  Their products are well made, comfortable to wear and perform well.  This model is designed for adults who weigh between 160 and 210 pounds.  It features high-quality carbon fiber springs, a durable aluminum frame, and well padded knee supports.

This model can handle everything from general fitness running through to exciting acrobatics and parkour jumps.  Because the stilts are so light weight, they are perfect for anyone who wants to perform a backflip or other advanced trick.  The excellent durability of this product means they are very safe to use. 

Pros

  • Strong and durable carbon fiber springs

  • High standard of construction that guarantees years of use

  • Very lightweight which makes them ideal for acrobatics

Cons

  • Expensive

Child Youth Kangaroo Shoes Jumping Stilts


Kids/Child Youth Kangaroo Shoes Jumping Stilts Fitness Exercise…

  • -Iconiciris store authorized. Certification: SGS and CE,it indicate the jump stilts is safe to play
  • Load Range:Weight: 66~110lbs/30~50kg
  • Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Special Product’s Supplier

This is a fantastic pair of jumping stilts designed for children.  They measure 23 and a half inches to the top bracket with a foot pad that is 10 inches off the ground.  This makes them the ideal size for an older child or teenager.

These jumping stilts have a flat spring that is controlled under deformation — this means that movement is very straight relative to the ground, making them easy to balance on.  This product is intended for a child who is getting their first pair of jumping stilts and will be performing basic jumps.

 

Pros

  • SGS and CE safety certifications

  • Durable and high-quality construction

  • Designed to be safe and stable for children to use

Cons

  • Not suitable for acrobatics

Skyrunner Adult Jumping Stilts


Skyrunner Adult Kangaroo Shoes Jumping Stilts Men Women Fitness…

  • Certification: SGS and CE,it indicate this jump stilts is safe to play
  • Load Range:Weight: 155~200 Ibs/70~90kg
  • Manufactured By:Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Special Product’s Supplier

If you’re looking for a fun way to reduce stress and lose weight, these jumping stilts from Skyrunner make for a clever investment. SGS and CE certified, the stilts are safe to use for everyone – you can practice tricks or simply jump around to burn calories.

Reliable and high-tech, the jumpers are made from durable materials and come with a double attachment system that holds your feet perfectly on the platform. The entire system is so comfortable that the stilts will actually feel like natural extensions of your legs.

Thanks to their sturdy construction and tight attachment system, the jumping stilts can be used for high jumps, acrobatics, and even intensive running. Despite what the manufacturer’s name suggests, you won’t actually reach the sky. But we’re here to guarantee that you will come close.

Pros

  • Meet safety requirements

  • Made from durable materials

  • Double attachment system

  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Beginners may experience some trouble tightening the straps at first

Adult Kangaroo Shoes Jumping Stilts


Adult Kangaroo Shoes Jumping Stilts Fitness Exercise…

  • Certification: SGS and CE,it indicate this jump stilts is safe to play
  • Load Range:Weight: 200-242lbs/90~110kg
  • Manufactured By:Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Special Product’s Supplier

This is another great pair of jumping stilts from Skyrunner.  This pair is designed for heavier adults in the 200 to 242 pound range.  It features a sturdy aluminum frame and well built fiberglass spring guaranteed to deliver years of fun.  These jumping stilts are a great option for adults who want to get fit while having fun.  Most adults can reach 10 miles per hour while running in these stilts and jump as high as 7 feet into the air.

Pros

  • SGS and CE safety certifications

  • Durable and high-quality construction

  • Very affordable!

Cons

  • None, this is a great pair of jumping stilts that is affordable and well made

Jump-bird Jumping Stilts


Jump-bird Jumping Stilts Pogo Stilts 66-110lbs/30-50kg Black

  • Full Aluminum Frame 6063 Style, Thickness 2.8mm,Nylon Belt,High Quality Fibreglass Spring,Wear Proof & Skid Proof Rubber…
  • Spring: special reinforced glass fiber;Body: aluminum alloy;Step: rubber;Connection: bolt or nut
  • Load Range :Weight: 66-110lbs/30-50kg,CE&SGS Certification

This is a fantastic pair of children’s jumping stilts that is safe and affordable.  They are made from a full 6063 aluminum frame that is extremely durable.  Other features include a special reinforced fiberglass spring, thick nylon straps, skid proof rubber feet and adjustable kneepads.  It is designed to be used by people weighing between 66 to 110pounds.

Pros

  • SGS and CE safety certifications

  • Straight vertical bounce, which makes them great for running and bouncing over tall objects

  • Durable and high-quality construction

  • Very affordable — a great present for the kids

Cons

  • None!

Our Verdict

Best overall jumping stilts

The Air-Trekkers — Carbon Fiber Spring Jumping Stilts are an incredible product.  They are well-made and designed for both professionals and keen amateurs.  You can do anything with these jumping tilts and they are made to last!

Best value-for-money

For adults, the Adult Kangaroo Shoes Jumping Stilts are great value-for-money.  For kids, get the Jump-bird Jumping Stilts — they are safe, well made and affordable!

We hope you enjoyed our guide to the best jumping stilts!  You are going to love this sport, you will get fit while having an incredibly fun time! Make sure you check out our adult obstacle course ideas as well.

Featured image by: Amazon

The 5 Best Youth Catchers Mitts

Best Youth Catchers Mitts

When it comes to baseball, whether played professionally or by a group of youths, every player on the field is required to wear a glove, even the catcher. The only difference is that the glove the catcher wears is referred to as a mitt because unlike a glove, the mitt does not have individuals places for the catcher to place his or her fingers. Also, the mitt tends to have a rather large, deep pocket that is designed to allow the catcher to trap the ball within the glove once caught.

If your child is currently expressing interest in the catcher position, make sure you have the right equipment on hand, which includes quality youth catcher’s mitts. With so many mitts to choose from, it can seem nearly impossible choosing the right one. Luckily, the list below can take the guesswork out of your purchasing decision by highlighting the top five youth catcher mitts available for you to buy.

  • Wilson A360 Catcher’s Mitt – Right Hand Throw
  • Size: 31.5″, 32.5″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: No
  • Break-in Ready: No
  • Under Armour 31.5″ Youth Framer Series Catcher’s Mitt
  • Size: 31.5″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: No
  • Break-in Ready: Yes
  • Easton NATY2000 Natural Youth Series Catcher’s Mitt
  • Size: 32″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Break-in Ready: No
  • Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt
  • Size: 32.5″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Break-in Ready: No
  • Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove
  • Size: 32″
  • Right-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Left-Handed Throw: Yes
  • Break-in Ready: No

1. Wilson A360 Catcher’s Mitt

51VE8MW8r4L._SL250_Baseball is a game that requires the development of certain skillsets. The only way to develop those skillsets is by practicing and ensuring that your child has the right equipment to use when playing the game. The Wilson A360 Catcher’s Mitt is a quality youth mitt that provides a comfortable fit for improved performance during both game time and practices.

The Wilson company makes it a point to work with top-performing MLB players in order to design youth catcher’s mitts that best emulate the mitts that professional players use. This particular mitt consists of a palm and web that are made entirely of pig skin. The glove features that half-moon web shape that allows catchers to adequately catch and cradle the ball during gameplay.

The Wilson A360 Catcher’s Mitt is available in either a 31.5-inch size or a 32.5-inch size in order to accommodate both older and younger children. Keep in mind that this glove is only available for catchers with a right-handed throw, meaning the glove itself is designed to be worn on the left hand. You should also keep in mind that this glove is specifically designed as a baseball mitt rather than a softball mitt.

2. Under Armour 31.5″ Youth Framer Series Catcher’s Mitt

best youth catchers mitts

Under Armour is an extremely well-known brand within the sports world; and that’s not just limited to baseball. With this Framer Series youth catcher’s mitt, you can get the innovation and design that you know and love from Under Armour.

This catcher’s mitt, at 31.5 inches, is a lightweight glove. This allows any young player to quickly move around. It can also help young players develop their catching skills. While it’s lightweight, it is equipped with PHT Padding Technology, which makes it just as protective as heavier catcher’s mitts.

Contributing to the lightweight design, this catcher’s mitt has an open, perforated back. This adds breathability to the mitt and also decreases the weight. It also uses a high-quality synthetic material on the back of the glove. This helps remove excess weight in specific spots of the glove that don’t need durability.

Additionally, this mitt has a deep pocket along with a large surface area. This allows a huge target for the pitcher, as well as a good amount of catching space.

Although this mitt isn’t one of the most inexpensive options, it may provide you with the best value. It has incredible features, as well as a decent price tag.

3. Easton NATY2000 Natural Youth Series Catcher’s Mitt

41rZWt2uCrL._SL250_When it comes to youth catcher’s mitts, the Easton NATY2000 Natural Youth Series Catcher’s Mitt takes the cake for a number of reasons. To begin with, the mitt is designed with smaller hand openings in order to better accommodate youth players looking for a secure, comfortable fit and design. In addition, the 32-inch size of the mitt is great for young little league players looking for better control of the ball.

The extended web and closed back provides a relatively deep pocket, which in turn means fewer balls dropped when it comes down to those all-important strikeouts. The mitt comes equipped with a palm pad in order to reduce often felt with ball impact. The good news is, sting reduction not only reduces the chances that your young player will get hurt, it also provides a boost of confidence.

It is common for young players to shy away from catching a ball out of fear that it will hurt. Thanks to the palm pad found in this glove, your child will quickly gain the confidence needed to improve their catching abilities and their overall gameplay. Although the Easton NATY2000 Natural Youth Series Catcher’s Mitt is not quite out-of-the-box ready, it does not take long for younger players to break it in for a more natural and comfortable feel.

4. Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt

Youth catchers mittWhen it comes to youth catcher’s mitts, Mizuno has certainly made a name for themselves with the Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt. The transitional sized mitt is available in a 32.5-inch size that is perfect for young hands looking to catch a ball. Thanks to Mizuno’s Power Close technology, youth players will find that it is much easier to close the mitt and keep it closed for increased ball control. A V-Flex Notch design increases the ease with which your child can close use the mitt in terms of closure and ball catching and controlling.

You will quickly find that this mitt can improve your child’s catching and controlling techniques, which is in part because of the ParaShock palm pad designed into the mitt. The pad absorbs the impact of the ball, which means young hands will not feel the sting that often comes with a high-impact catch. Sting reduction will in turn reduce your child’s fear of catching the ball, which will enable them to play with more confidence on the field.

Although your child can use the Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt for softball, it is important to realize that it is certainly defined more for baseball. Furthermore, when purchasing this mitt, you have the option of purchasing it for either a left-handed or right-handed thrower. While the Mizuno does not come ready for use straight out of the box, it is relatively easy to break in. In fact, you will find that your child can break it in pretty quickly with perhaps just a few practices.

5. Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove

51VfcObEKTL._SL250_The Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove is certainly a great choice with regard to youth catcher’s mitts. Part of what makes this particular mitt so special is because of who designed it. When you choose a catcher’s mitt for your child, you want to ensure that it is designed to do its job, which includes catching or scooping a ball, closing around it, and controlling it. No one understood that better than MLB hall of famer Gary Edmund Carter.

As a former player for both the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, Carter understood the importance of a quality mitt, particularly since he played the position so well. For that reason, Carter designed this mitt with a deep pocket as well as a Spiral-Lock Web and Grasp-Clasp wrist system to ensure that your child would have an easier time catching and controlling the ball.

The Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove also features an open-back design that provides breathability for added comfort. As if that isn’t enough. Carter designed the glove to offer a Praying Mantis fit in that it has two more finger slots in order to keep the fingers firmly in place once inside the glove, which in turn improves the level of control your child has over the ball. The glove has a shock absorbent feature that protects little hands from injury upon catching the ball.

In addition to its very unique design, this glove is made from high-quality, lightweight materials that your child will find comfortable. The pocket of the glove features a Steerhide material that is carefully selected and crated in the U.S. The back of the glove features Akademalyte leather. The materials are secured in place using rawhide gray lacing, which adds additionally quality and an appealing appearance.

When purchasing this catchers mitt, keep in mind that it is available for either a left-handed or right-handed thrower. The uniquely shaped design and shape of the glove enables your child to gain fast, easy access to the ball, which should in turn help to improve your child’s gameplay experience and overall technique.

Youth Catchers Mitt Final Thoughts

There you have it, The 5 Best Youth Catchers Mitts. Perhaps you are in need a baseball bat as well. Make sure you check out our list of Best Wood Youth Bats as well.

5 Best Wood Youth Bats

Best Wood Youth Bats

There are many advantages to using wood bats, particularly for youths. Wood bats help players develop their skill and technique since a player must adapt to use both their arms and body to ensure a good swing. Of course, it is commonly said that a wooden bat is prone to breaking during a hard hit, but a quality bat can send a ball straight for the fences without doing any damage to the bat itself.

Wood bats tend to have proper weighting and balancing to ensure a proper swing. In turn, youths who use a wood bat pick up greater barrel awareness, which allows youths to learn the best strike zone grasping techniques so that the player has a greater chance of hitting the ball with the sweet spot. Of course, knowing what benefits a wooden bat provides is not enough. It is important that you also know which wood youth bats work best. The list below highlights some of the best wooden bats on the market.

1. Marucci JB19 Youth Maple Wood Baseball Bat

Marucci JB19 Youth Maple Wood Baseball Bat
This posh and well-crafted Marucci bat combines a thick handle with a traditional barrel, ensuring the player will be in complete control. It’s one of the brand’s most balanced and fastest swinging bats, available in various sizes from 26 to 31 inch. That’s great, since it enables the player to pick up the perfect size for them.

The product is made from maple, with every bat bone rubbed to ensure the ultimate in wood density. The only downside is that the bat isn’t recommended for beginners – it’s best suited for players with some experience in hitting wood. However, since the bat is made with the very same specifications as the adult version of the JB19, the transition later on should be more seamless.

The Marucci maple wood bat offers a 30-day warranty, so you can be confident in the quality of the materials used in manufacturing. If you’re looking for an elegant bat that will help young players refine their skills and reach their full potential, this one is a great choice.

2. Rawlings Adirondack Youth Wood Bat

21oEPARaElL._SL250_Similar to the Louisville Slugger Youth 225 Bat, the Rawlings Adirondack Youth Wood Bat is also made from ash and features a nice black finish. However, this bat also boasts a laser-engraved knob for a sweeter appearance that any youth is sure to enjoy. When it comes to youth wood bats, this one is capable of withstanding the true test of time thanks to its solid construction.

The bat features a 1-inch handle that is easy for smaller hands to grasp while a medium-sized barrel ensures a greater chances of hitting a home run. The bat is available in varying sizes ranging from 27 inches to 31 inches for youths of all different ages. This bat is sure to improve the swing technique of your young hitter thanks to the balanced feel that it provides.

Despite the fact that the Rawlings Adirondack Youth Wood Bat is somewhat on the thin side, it offers incredible craftsmanship. Although the ash wood ensures that the bat is lightweight, it offers enough weight to help young children develop their batting skills. Overall, this bat is a great choice for any young player looking to improve their gameplay.

3. BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat

31u5nYxev-L._SL250_The BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat by Barnett is perfect from the youngest of youth players to the oldest thanks to its incredible size range. Bat sizes include 24 inches, 28 inches, 30 inches, and 32 inches in length. The bat itself is constructed of a quality composite wood, which offers solid swinging capabilities as well as the ability to send a baseball flying for the fences.

The bat is relatively lightweight and smaller in size compared to many other youth bats. It is approximately 2 inches in diameter at the end of the barrel, which may make it seem small in stature, but it is big enough to knock quite a few balls out of the park. A relatively thin handle makes this bat easy for young hands to hold onto while they practice so they can bring their A-game to the playing field.

BB-W Wooden Baseball Bat features a natural finish, which gives it a traditional appearance that is perfect for avid baseball fans of any age. Although the bat is small enough that it is easy to handle, it is also sturdy enough that it allows players to improve their techniques. The thin handle makes it easy for players to determine where the strike zone is so they can find the bat’s sweet spot without issues.

4. Louisville Slugger WB125YB-BW Baseball Bat

41ZOttjWiwL._SL250_The Louisville Slugger WB125YB-BW Baseball Bat is everything a youth player could want from a contemporary looking bat. The bat, which is made from ash wood, looks incredible with a wine colored finish on the handle and a black finish on the barrel. Part of what makes this bat so fantastic is that it is the perfect choice for young baseball players. The bat is available in two sizes, which includes a 27-inch bat weighing in at 26 ounces, and a 29-inch bat weight in at 28 ounces.

This bat is a tad heavier than some bat that are similar in size, however, it offers incredible balance and the weight of the bat allows players to develop some of the best swinging techniques possible. By improving their swinging technique, youths can gain a competitive edge on the field that allows them a better chance of hitting a home run.

The Louisville Slugger WB125YB-BW Baseball Bat is made of ash wood. Ash is a far more flexible wood than other, more traditionally used woods such as maple. However, the flexibility of the wood provides a more forgiving sweet spot to ensure the bat does not split when your child cracks a ball out of the park. In addition, the sound the ball makes when it connects with the bad will have your child grinning from ear-to-ear.

5. Louisville Slugger 2015 Youth 125 Ash Wood Tee Ball Bat

41124qy-KTL._SL250_When it comes to youth wood bats, the Louisville Slugger 2015 Youth 125 Ash Wood Tee Ball Bat is where it’s at. The bat features a stunning natural finish for a more traditional baseball bat look that is sure to make any little slugger happy. The bat is constructed out of carefully selected ash lumber to ensure a solid, high-quality construction.
One benefit of this bat is that it is only 26 inches in length, which makes it the perfect bat for any young tee ball player looking to improve his or her gameplay. It is the perfect choice as a starter bat for even the youngest of players since it is relatively lightweight and easy to handle. Since the bat is made from ash wood, it provides enough flexibility to ensure that your young player is able to make good use of the bat’s sweet spot.
Hitting a ball and landing a home run should be no problem considering that the bat is 2 inches in diameter. A smaller sized handle ensures that tiny hands can grasp the bat with ease. This well-made bat is a great choice if you are looking for either a good practice bat or a T-ball bat, especially considering its affordable price. Overall, there is almost no way you can go wrong when choosing this bat for young baseball players.

Final Thoughts

With so many bats available on the market, it can seem like a daunting task trying to find the right one. Fortunately, the list above help you get started with some great starter bats for young players. Each one features its own unique benefits that your children are sure to love. Better yet, each bat listed comes at an affordable price that parents are sure to love.

There should be no reason why you should have to break the bank just to ensure that your child receives a quality youth bat to play with. Although there might not be any warranties available on the bats mentioned above, their solid build should ensure plenty of playtime without the worry of cracking and breaking.

Of course, you should keep in mind that the chances of splitting a bat are always likely with wood, but the better the build of the bat and the more solid the construction, the less likely it is that your little slugger will splinter it to pieces. All-in-all, the bats mentioned above will provide your child with plenty of playtime both on and off the field while also improving their swinging technique thanks to their balanced weight.

The 11 Best Motivational Audiobooks

The Best Motivational Audiobooks

If you are looking for the best motivational audiobooks, you have come to the right place. I am an avid reader and audiobook junky. I love books that motivate and inspire action. This list of audiobooks will do just that.

Step Into Your Greatness by Les Brown

Step Into Your GreatnessI’ve listened to this audio more than any other. Les Brown is dynamic in his speaking and motivates you to step out of your comfort zone. My favorite part of this book is where he will not be denied. Day after day he shows up to the same place asking for a job. Every time he gets turned down he just comes back the next day with optimism. Finally, when they realized he wouldn’t quit coming back he’s told “go get me some coffee.”

The premise is to “make no your vitamin.” People quit to easily. Get used to being rejected. Each no gets you one step closer to a yes.

The audio is short in length at 48 minutes. This makes it easy to listen to over and over again.

The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone

The 10X RuleI soak up everything Grant Cardone has. This guy has more energy at 50 then most have in their 20’s. The main point of this book is to take ten times more action. The more action you take the more likely you are to succeed.

Look at more deals. When people were telling him he needed to take it easy on social media he increased it. “Be omnipresent.” Some people use one or two platforms. Grant says you need to be everywhere. When the economy was pulling back he pushed his chips all in.

If you are looking to be motivated this book will do the trick. The book is about taking massive action and that is crucial. What good is motivation without action?

This audiobook is 7 hours and 24 minutes long but it doesn’t seem like it. I listen to mine on 3x speed and you should too!

Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet by Jesse Itzler

Living with a SealFirst I must say this book has a substantial amount of profane language. If you are put off by the f’word or if you planning on listening with others around, this book might not be the right one for you.

Want to get motivated? Try having a navy seal live with you, that’s what Jesse Itzler did. Jesse was running a race when he first noticed “Seal.” It was a team race but Seal was running it solo. With double digit miles remaining Seal had broke all the small bones in his feet because of his large frame. If you and I broke one small bone in our foot I think we would say the race is over. Not Seal.  He finished the race. Oh, and I think I forgot to mention that he was peeing blood as well.

Jesse remembered his racer information and looked him up on Google. This lead to Jesse flying out and convincing Seal to come live with him for 31 days. Seal agreed under one condition, “You have to do whatever I say or I’m out of here.” Agreed.

One of the first challenges was doing pull ups. Seal had him do pull ups until he thought he couldn’t do any more. Once Jesse was spent, Seal told him now we are staying until you do 100. Jesse thought it was impossible but he had agreed to do whatever Seal said or he would leave. Jesse ended up doing the 100.

The book is filled with challenges like the pull ups. The book is about us being able to do more than we think we are capable of. Most people stop prematurely when they have more to give. If you are looking for motivation, this book will do it. Start pushing yourself like Seal pushed Jesse.

The audiobook is 5 hours and 18 minutes.

Quiet: Learning to Silence the Chatter and Believing That You’re Good Enough

best motivational audiobooks

This book is incredibly motivating. With this audiobook written and read by Fearne Cotton, we get to explore why so many of us question whether or not we are good enough, or whether or not we ever will be. The book is filled with her own hand-drawn illustrations and thought-provoking activities. These are meant to still your mind, stop you from self-sabotaging, and silence your inner critic. And it truly gets the job done.

The Quiet audiobook includes interviews with those who assisted in helping Cotton learn to accept her own flaws and imperfections. It also provides advice on drowning out misinformation and noise from work, family, and friends that can often increase our doubt and insecurities.

Cotton opens up in this audiobook about what it’s like living life in the public eye. Although many of us can’t relate directly to that, she shares her methods and activities that she uses to get through online trolls and negative chatter, which can be helpful to anyone in this age of social media. She even provides statistics and facts that contribute to the fact that social media is linked to rising levels of anxiety, depression, and various other mental health issues.

Stop competing with the outside noise telling you you’re not good enough and start listening to Quiet! You won’t regret it.

This book is 3 hours and 51 minutes long.

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money- That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor DadWith over 3,000 five star reviews you can rest assured that this book is legit. I’ve listened to it multiple times and it extremely motivating. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I hear more people mentioning this book as a book that changed their life.

This book motivates you to think differently about money. Most people’s mindset is to “work for money.” Robert says that this is backwards. You should have money work for you. It talks extensively about leverage. How to use other peoples money and talents to make you more money.

There are some great lessons in here and will motivate you to change the way you think about money. Some might say his principles are a little more “risky.” Others say that working 9-5 for 40 years is the most risky thing you can do. You decide.

The book is 6 hours and 9 minutes in length.

The 4 Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferris

The 4 Hour Work WeekThis book has over 3,500 five star reviews. I’ve listened to and read this book multiple times. Like the Rich Dad book it will challenge your believes around work and money.

If you are interested in starting a business this book will really help motivate you. In the book there are a number of great ideas on how to start testing a business idea. Tim talks extensively about outsourcing on the cheap. Learn how to hire virtual assistants all over the world to do the work that you get bogged down with.

In the book he talks about being overwhelmed with the business he had started. He was working too many hours and was getting burnt out. That’s when he decided to unload his tasks and give his workers the freedom to make decisions. He started checking emails at only specific times of the day as well as taking limited phone calls. He fired his headache customers because 20% of the customers were 80% of the problems. His new processes led from working lots of hours to working a “4 Hour Work Week.”

Many people reference this book as a game changer in their life. I would agree. I have learned a lot from this book and the outsourcing techniques are invaluable.

This audiobook is 8 hours and 18 minutes.

Poke the Box by Seth Goden

Poke the BoxSeth Goden is considered a marketing genius by many. I’ve listened to this audiobook at least ten times over the last five years. If you are looking for motivation to take action, this book will help.

What I love about this book is that it gives you permission to try things. It gives you permission test things and fail at them. Are the people that make the biggest difference in the world the people that conform? No. It’s the people that persist and go against the norm.

From this book your mindset on failure with transform. You will feel confident in moving forward with your ideas. Too often you hear people telling you not to try something because it might not work out or it’s too risky. Don’t listen to them, list to Seth. Start taking action today.

The book is short at 2 hours and 14 minutes.

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran

The 12 Week YearI love this book. I’ve gone through it many times.  One of my favorite sentences is “Execution is the single greatest market differentiator. Great companies and successful individuals execute better than their competition. The barrier standing between you and the life you are capable of living is a lack of consistent execution. Effective execution will set you free. It is the path to accomplish the things you desire.” That pretty much sums up with this book is about.

This book will motivate you to take FOCUSED action. The book provides you with tools that will help you deliver great results. If you know what you want and you know how to get it, this book will help you progress towards the obtainment of your goal.

It talks a lot about how the annual plans are faulty. Too often people set year long targets but drag their feet until they get closer to the end date. By moving the targets closer it keeps you moving at a faster rate. Set bigger goals with shorter time frames and see what happens.

This book is 5 hours and 17 minutes long.

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam

Millionaire TeacherBefore you ask what this book is doing on the list, hear me out. This book will motivate you to learn about your finances. Too often people feel overwhelmed with learning about money and investing. This book simply dumbs it down to where anyone can understand it.

This book could save you $250,000 over your investing lifetime (depending on how old you are). I read this book and it opened up my eyes. When I started looking into what I was investing in and being told to invest in, I was shocked. We then went through this book as a company. Because of this book we are moving from one 401k provider to a different 401k provider. The way I invest has been forever altered.

By reading this book you will know more about personal finance than 95% of the population. When you meet with your financial advisor, you will be equipped to make sound decisions. Although this book might sound more boring than the rest, it will save you tons of money.

The audiobook length is 6 ours and 24 minutes.

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle is the wayIf you are looking to stay motivated in challenging times, this is the book for you. Too often we run into challenges and we retreat. This book instructs that we must continue in the face of adversity.  Ryan says, “The Obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” He talks about the opportunity and learning that comes along with crisis.

His perspective on obstacles and challenges is refreshing. It goes against the cultural norm but it is accurate. This book will help you push through your challenges.

Ryan Holiday apprenticed under the great writer Robert Greene. It is so well written, and so spot on that I have taken an absurd amount of notes.

This audiobook is 6 hours and 7 minutes in length.

The Laptop Millionaire: How Anyone Can Escape the 9 to 5 and Make Money Online by Mark Anastasi

Laptop MillionaireThis book is legit. If you are looking to get motivated to make money on line, this is the book. Mark talks about how he used to be homeless until he met LM (the laptop millionaire). LM taught him the ways to make money online from anywhere in the world. If you want to learn to write ebooks, create courses, software, and the importance of building an email list, this book will do just that. It is filled with content on money making strategies. If taken action upon, they could work for you.

This audiobook is 9 hours and 1 minute long.

There you have it, my list of best motivational audiobooks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

5 Best Slowpitch Softball Bats

Best Slowpitch Softball Bats

The best slow pitch softball bats have a number of features that favor the players physique and overall performance. These bats offer their users the right length, weight, taper, material, grip, and barrel size. Sadly, the market provides a variety of softball bats with various designs, shapes, and characteristics; therefore, it is upon a batter to select a bat that combines the best features.

When choosing the best bat, there are no guidelines or charts. The choice can be out of personal preference or adaptability to the player’s physical characteristics. Settling on the best bat can be tad tricky and requires careful analysis of the features that improve a player’s performance. However, both softball fans and players agree that swinging different sizes and styles of bats is the best way to arrive at a purchasing decision.

We have listed five of the best slow pitch softball bats because they are loved by their users and have been recommended by them.

The bats will be analyzed based on their:

    1. Barrel Size
    2. Grip
    3. Bat Taper
    4. Weight
    5. Length
    6. Material

1. Easton Rival ASA/USSSA Slow Pitch Bat

best slowpitch softball bats

This incredible slowpitch softball bat features an evenly balanced 12-inch barrel, along with 100 percent durable aluminum alloy. This Rival slowpitch bat will give you an incredibly fast swing, as well as fantastic control.

It has a one-piece design. This will give you a stiff feel with impact feedback. You will get the maximum ping possible every single time that you swing!

This bat gives you an incredible value. Don’t let its affordability fool you, though. This bat is able to be offered at a lower price point because of its single piece, all-aluminum composition. Other bats on the market are two-piece and composite, which is why they will cost a bit more.

Pros:  Affordability; 100 percent aluminum; incredible control

Cons: None!

2. Louisville Slugger Slow Pitch Z-4000 ASA End Load Bat

31Po4o45H1L._SL250_The Louisville Slugger Z-3000 made its debut in 2014 and did not disappoint. The bat recorded great results and set the slow pitch season ablaze with outstanding performance. It gave rise to the Z-4000, which has been giving ASA league players a cutting edge since its inception.
The Louisville Slugger Z-4000 features a patented TRU3 connection system that is able to lock the handle and barrel together to reduce vibrations. This beast-in class carbon fiber material- is manufactured with excellent durability while offering the player best results. The Louisville Slugger will give its users great confidence as they step out to face their opponents.

For improved power and performance, the bat has a half-ounce end load construction. In addition, the bat has a 12-inch barrel with the “Z” series sweet spot, the new ‘15/’16 Grit Blast finish, and a 0.875 inches tapered handle.

The Louisville Slugger Z-4000 features significantly as one of the best slow pitch softball bats. The bat is approved for usage in ISA, ASA, ISF, USSSA, and NSA baseball organizations. The bat can be bought in various weights for between $250.41-299.95 on Amazon.

Pros: Made out of high-quality materials

Cons: Some users claim the bat is heavier than it appears

3. Easton Salvo Composite Balanced ASA/USSSA Slow-Pitch Softball Bat

313L8fLM54L._SL250_The list for the best slow pitch softball bats is incomplete without a bat from Easton. To attain maximum performance and optimize sweet spot, the 13.5- inch barrel of the Easton Salvo is constructed from IMX Advanced Composite.

The balanced weight offers excellent bat control and gives the user more control. The ultra-thin 29/32 handle and Single System Composite Design also enhance control and provide more room for an extra whip. The handle has a gauze grip to increase comfort.

Pros: Great pop, well balanced, looks cool, can be utilized by a variety of players, has a great swing, more bat control to aim shots

Cons: Some users insist the pop is not comparable to the initial salvo, does not have a good grip

4. DeMarini DXUWE Ultimate Weapon Slow Pitch Softball Bat

41xYuH+quJL._SL250_Another work of art from DeMarini that features in this list of best slow pitch softball bats. DeMarini is mainly known for making some of the best softball bats, and it is no surprise seeing another model from the same brand.

This bat stands out from other DeMarini models because it is a single-walled one non-composite bat. The DeMarini DXUWE is made out of C405 alloy, which provides better and consistent performance due to the heat treatment that it receives during the manufacturing process. The C405 performance also maximizes sweet spot.

The bat mostly comes with a length of 34 inches and has a positack grip to reduce hand fatigue and vibration. The bat can be bought in a variety of weights: 30oz, 28oz, or 26oz. DeMarini DXUWE is approved by USSSA and ASA, for some cases.

Pros: provides decent pop, has a nice grip and handle, pleasant contact sound, sweet spot is wide

Cons: can be light for batters who prefer heavy bats, not durable, some users hate the plastic nub on the handle, some users claim the bat mostly turns ball down and not up, scratches easily

5. DeMarini 2015 the ONE

31dkFZFfVkL._SL250_A Demarini bat will easily find its way to the top among the best slow pitch softball bats, and the DeMarini 2015 is no exception. The bat gives a good swing and can significantly improve a player’s performance. This 2015 model comes with the stiffest barrel, meaning it has one of the strongest handles to sustain aggressive hits and to enable players to hit the ball without feeling fatigued.

The bat comes with a 13-inch barrel that is manufactured using 4.one composite. The composite uses high amounts of carbon fiber to create an end product of high quality and performance. The handle is made using SC4 alloy and is strong enough to withstand a major impact.

The dish end cap provides maximum stiffness when hitting the ball while the end-loaded swing offers maximum power during a hit. The bat is approved by ASA, ISF, NSA, and USSA baseball organizations.

Pros: provides amazing pop, bat has indicators (notch number marks) that guide the batter to get the full circumference broken in uniformly, ideal for control hitters, excellent control, balanced swing, sweet spot is large, durable, hits both 300/52 and 375/44 balls very well

Cons: some users claim the bat needs breaking in when still new, can take some time to break in (around 300-400hits), does not provide sound when hitting the ball (some people prefer to hear some sound), hurts if you do not hit the ball on the sweet spot.

The Best Youth Wrestling Gear

Youth Wrestling Gear

There is something elemental about wrestling. The small amount of equipment required is all about reducing surface area. While there are teams and a measure of cooperative spirit, the game is ultimately played between two people. Holding someone to the ground seems much more tied to our evolutionary past than say, kicking a ball into a net. It’s no wonder that wrestling is often called “the oldest sport in the world.”

It makes sense that wrestling fans would want to introduce their kids to such a rewarding sport early on. However, it takes special considerations in order to make sure that young wrestlers have safe matches. In the United States, school wrestling teams are required to provide certain safety features for student wrestlers, such as mouthguards and headgear. By taking the right precautions, kids can enjoy wrestling safely.

This article will serve as a general overview of safety considerations for young wrestlers and will introduce samples of great gear options for them.

Youth Wrestling Safety

Growing pains are very real experiences. Puberty, braces, and other factors can all affect how young wrestlers compete. All of these factors must be taken into consideration when buying wrestling gear. With wrestling in particular, it is important that gear fits properly. Loose headgear or shoes can cause an athlete to trip and risk needless injury. Gear that is too tight can restrict movement and prevent a winning move.

It’s important to frequently check to make sure that equipment fits growing bodies. While many pieces of equipment are marketed specifically toward youth, older kids or kids with larger frames may be ready for gear traditionally marketed toward adults. Headgear especially is highly adjustable, and lasts longer as kids grow.

Most schools require physicals before students can begin training for wrestling. These physicals are a great chance for parents to know their children’s vulnerabilities and to determine which equipment will best protect them. For example, a child who is double jointed might wear knee padding in order to help prevent overextension of the knee.

Make sure that weight loss or gain for wrestling is done in a healthy manner. Talk to the coach about weight loss and gain techniques.

Singlets

What to look for:

Singlets are the one piece of wrestling equipment that are not hard to shop for. Many teams have matching singlets to order for the whole team. However, make sure that they fit comfortably and are made with quality material before focusing on colors or patterns. Following are a couple of solid options for singlets:

Brute Men’s Lycra High Cut Wrestling Singlet

Brute is a dependable brand for wrestling gear. This particular singlet is s good representation of what to look for in a singlet. It is made with nylon and lycra spandex, comfortable materials that stretch to conform with an athlete’s body. It’s high cut, with the legs ending just above the knee. The legs have a gripper elastic to prevent them from riding up. It comes in seven colors and several sizes (including youth sizes).

Asics Men’s Solid Modified Singlet

Another highly rated singlet, the Asics Men’s Solid Modified Singlet is similar in many ways. It is also made with nylon and lycra spandex, although with a greater lycra spandex to nylon ratio. The legs end above the knees as well, but the sleeves are lower cut.  Flat seam stitching creates a slightly closer fit.

Wrestling Shoes

What to look for:

High tops

One of the main reasons to pick a high quality wrestling shoes is in the ankles. Wrestling shoes feature high-tops with support to protect ankles and give competitors more leverage for better moves. At the same time, they shouldn’t constrict movements.

Wrestling shoes need a very snug fit—they should fit like a sock. When wrestlers wear shoes that are too big for them, they increase their chance of tripping and getting hurt. Shoes that are too tight can cause pain and constrict movements.

Good grip on the mat is one of the biggest advantages a competitor can have in wrestling. Look for treads with sharp angles that dig into to the mat.

Split soles v. unisoles

Almost every brand that sells wrestling shoes makes models with both split and non-split soles. Split sole shoes contain two soles—one for the toes and one for the heal. Split-soles are lighter and more flexible, making it easier for athletes to make well-articulated moves. Split sole shoes are the most common choice for lightweight wrestlers, who most need to be quick on their feet.

Unisoles have one sole that extends over the entire sole. Unisoles are not as flexible, but they are much more durable, and can be a good choice for heavyweight wrestlers.

Synthetic v. natural materials

Every shoe buyer most consider whether or not to get a shoe made out of leather, synthetic materials, or a mixture of both. While synthetic materials were once considered only a cheap alternative to leather, advances in technology are making them a more and more desirable option.

Wrestling shoes made with leather hold quite a few advantages for athletes. Wrestling shoes require a firm grip on the foot for safety. When a leather shoe is worn a little tightly, it expands and conforms to the foot. The material is also thicker than most synthetic material, which makes some wrestlers feel more protected. A big disadvantage to leather shoes is their high cost.

Shoes made with synthetic material vary widely in terms of quality, so select carefully. Depending on the kind you buy, shoes made with synthetic material can be more breathable and flexible. They are also more water resistant, helping players’ feet stay cool throughout a match. Synthetic materials are lighter and more versatile. They are increasingly the top choice for sports shoes. They also hold designs much more readily than leather, making it easier for teams to have shoes that show off their team spirit.

ASICS Men’s JB Elite Wrestling Shoe

This shoe is a great example of what can be done with leather. This is a higher-end, specialty shoe that still makes use of a rubber sole and other synthetic materials.

Because it contains synthetic materials, this model retains some of the benefits of synthetic materials. It contains mesh, allowing for the athlete’s feet to breathe. Its sole is rubber with a split design, allowing for quickness on the feet. Enhanced medial arch support keeps the athlete in comfort, even during long matches. An ecsaine (faux-suede) and leather upper keeps the shoe light while retaining the comfort and fit of leather.

ADIDAS Mens HVC WRESTLING SHOES

Adidas Mens HVC Wrestling shoes are tried and true classic wrestling shoes that happen to be fully synthetic. The focus here is on the fact that they are lightweight, breathable, and yet also durable.

This is a unisole design with a fine tread, making this shoe ideal for heavyweight wrestlers who need to be able to dig into the mat for leverage. A single-layer mesh allows the feet to breathe while also keeping the shoe durable.

Most handy of all, a built-in lace cover means no taping before competition!

 Mouth Guard

In the United States, schools require mouth guards for student wrestlers. Since mouth guards have to vary in size and shape for different athletes, purchasing an appropriate mouth guard is often left to the parents.

There are three main types of mouth guards: pre-manufactured, boil and bite, and custom made. Pre-manufactured mouthguards are the kind you will find most readily available online and in stores. They are the most affordable option, and work best for kids who have average sized and shaped teeth.

For a slightly more personalized fit, boil and bite mouthguards are molded to a kid’s mouth at home. These have the disadvantage of tending to slip out of the mouth easily.

Custom-made mouthguards are by far the best option, and by far the most expensive. They often require several visits to the dentist. If your child has braces or an abnormal teeth structure, strongly consider ordering a custom mouth guard.

Another special consideration for youth wrestlers is braces. The best option is to discuss a custom-fit mouth guard with your dentist. However, there are more affordable, pre-manufactured options available.

Mouth guards should fit comfortably and allow for breathing and talking. The best-designed mouth guards protrude slightly in order to protect the chin and lower jaw. They should be resistant to tears and easy to clean.  Cases should be vented to help keep mouth guards bacteria-free. If chemicals are a concern, also consider the material the mouth guard is made of. Medical-grade silicone is a great option.

Redline Sportswear Mouthguard w/ Vented Case – Protection For All Contact Sports

Here is an affordable option with some customization because of its boil and bite design. It comes with a vented case, definitely an added value. The material is BPA free and allows the wrestler to breath during competition.

Shock Doctor Double Braces Strapless Mouthguard

Here is an excellent option for kids with braces. It is pre-manufactured. Since boil and bite mouthguards can get caught in braces, so a pre-manufactured or custom mouthguard is your best bet. This model provides “ortho-channels” that allow an athlete to breathe more easily. It is also manufactured using medical grade silicone, making it a soft and comfortable option.It comes in either a bright blue and a bright pink color.

Headgear

What to look for:

Soft shell v hard shell

Wrestling headgear is also often also called ear guards, because their man function is to protect ears from damage. There are two designs of headgear to help prevent these injuries: soft shells and hard shells.

Hard shell headgear is made with foam and a durable plastic shell. It is more lightweight and often contain designs that allow for better hearing during competition. It also tend to last longer than soft shell headgear. However, they are not allowed at all competitions.

Soft shell helmets are manufactured with polymer, rubber, or fabric materials. These are a popular choice for young wrestlers, as they tend to be more comfortable.

Fit

Headgear specifically designed for youth are great for wrestlers at the younger end of the spectrum. However, kids grow quickly, and many pieces of headgear marketed towards adults are adjustable enough to be a great fit for minors as well. Strap designs vary, with as few as two adjustable straps and as many as five. An important consideration is ear size. Headgear with halo straps (two straps on the top of the head) are best for wrestlers with smaller ears.  A four-strap design is best for athletes with larger ears.

Ability to hear

During a match, it is certainly to an athlete’s advantage to be able to hear words from his coach, teammates, or well-wishers. Because headgear protects the ears, it sometimes blocks important noises from the athlete. Be careful to select a piece of headgear that protects the ears while still allowing the athlete to hear the world around him.

Cliff Keen Youth Tornado Wrestling Headgear

This hard shell youth headgear provides excellent venting, allowing the athlete to hear better and stay cooler. It has a simple tightening system, making it easier for young athletes to prepare on their own.  It also has deep er pockets, so that even athletes with quite large ears are protected.

ASICS Unisex Gel Wrestling Ear Guard

While marketed for adults, this soft shell headgear would also work for teenage wrestlers. It has a comfortable chin strap. Its simple design makes it easy to put together and understand.

Optional Gear

There are several pieces of equipment not required in schools that may nevertheless be helpful to young wrestlers.

Knee pads

Wrestling is essentially a game about falling. Whether an athlete is winning or losing, his knees will take a beating. The concept sounds simple, but there are actually several knee pad designs. Some provide simple impact cushioning, with a circular cushion to cover the knee. Others (often called “knee sleeves”) are lightweight, less constricting, and have a slippery surface in order to prevent mat burn.

Knee pads should fit snugly without limiting range of motion. Athletes can choose to wear a knee pad on only the knee they fall on the most, or on both legs. This is all a personal choice. Choose knee pads carefully to fit your wrestler’s specific needs and preferences.

Lace Covers

Most competitions require competitors to cover or tape shoelaces to prevent tripping accidents. If your athlete finds the sight of tape unseemly, a lace cover may be a good investment. Lace covers are usually just elastic bands that cover the ankle where the laces are tied.

Head Cover/ Wrestling Cap/ Slicker

There are many names for this simple accessory. It’s just something that covers up hair to keep it out of the face and prevent an opponent from using their hair as leverage. They also come in various colors, creating yet another way to show team or school spirit.

Head covers are usually made with lycra spandex, but consider a cotton blend so that it helps absorb sweat.

Blood Rag

Blood rags are kept under an athlete’s singlet for wiping their face or mat in the case of blood loss. Blood rags are only required for higher-level competitions. However, blood rags still come in handy in lower-level competitions. They are great for sopping up excess sweat. There is no need to buy a specialty blood rag—in fact, a cotton handkerchief can do the job perfectly well. A blood rag worn for many seasons can become sort of a good luck charm, so pick one that fit’s the athlete’s personality in some way.

Summary

Wrestling doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience for young wrestlers. Proper youth wrestling gear and proper training helps them feel prepared for this intensive contact sport. Have fun cheering your little one on from the sidelines!

21 Best Yankee Swap Gifts

Best Yankee Swap Gifts

You may be asking what a Yankee Swap Party is. Sometimes known as a White Elephant Gift Exchange, this party is a clever way to spice up the good old fashioned gift exchange that your family and co-workers bore you with year after year. The rules can vary, but simply, everyone is directed to contribute a gift within a certain price range. Usually, to assure everyone gets something nice, the limit is up to twenty-five dollars. As each person arrives with their gift they are asked to draw a number from a hat. Each person waits until his number is called. On each person’s turn,  he may  decide to pick an unwrapped gift from the table to open, or swap the gift with someone else. Each gift is technically unclaimed until the swap is over. Don’t be surprised though, if in the end there is more swapping going on. After all, the fun of the party is to go home with something exciting!

The following is a list of the 21 best yankee swap gifts you can choose from:

1. BLACK + DECKER Brew ‘n Go Personal Coffeemaker with Travel Mug

617X9JI5vgL._SX425_Family, friends, or co-workers, this gift is perfect for anyone in the group! The coffee brews directly into the 15-ounce travel mug, and the mug is designed to fit in almost any vehicle cup holder. The coffeemaker is equipped with a permanent filter, filter basket and an auto shut-off for those busy mornings. The mug is complete with a lid and can be washed safely in the dishwasher. This gift will be a big hit at the swap party.

2. Pyrex Simply Store Rectangular Glass Food Storage Set

31b1gZcm3lL._SX425_This versatile gift will be welcomed by women and men alike. Imagine taking your food from the oven to the fridge in one dish. Carry these dishes with you to the party, and warm the food in the microwave when you get there. You can freeze the leftovers right in the same dish, and place it in the dishwasher when it is empty. The 6 piece set includes one 3-cup, one 6-cup, and one 11-cup rectangular dish. Each dish comes with its own lid. These easy to store, stackable dishes will have everyone fighting over them.

3. Hot Cocoa Gift Set By Fireside

91kQKHIERWL._SX522SX522_SY263_CR,0,0,522,263_PIbundle-3,TopRight,0,0_SX522_SY263_CR,0,0,522,263_SH20_Everyone likes hot chocolate, so you can’t go wrong with this gift! This gourmet hot cocoa set includes, three 8 ounce cans that each consist of salted caramel, chocolate truffle and peppermint. Just add hot water and you will have a hot cup of cocoa to warm you up on the coldest day. Make a special treat in the summer by adding the cocoa to a glass full of ice. Either way you like it, this gift will be sure to please. Packaged in a gift box with ribbon, your work is already done.

4. Yankee Swap Gift Tee Shirt

81zMV810m6L._UX522_Give them a souvenir to remember the night forever! With this shirt, they can wear it to the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party they will be going to next. This classic fit, lightweight, 100% cotton tee is available in a variety of colors and sizes. Make this the best yankee swap gift on the table, and be the star of the party.

5. Adult Coloring Book Set of 3

818DKhEN9WL._SX425_The latest craze is the relaxing, adult coloring book. This gift is great for a swap party with the girls. Older children will enjoy this gift as well. This set includes mandalas, flower designs and geometric patterns. These books are great for anxiety and stress relief. Explore your inner creativity with each of the 48 single-sided coloring pages, and express your thoughts on each of the 48 journaling pages in every book.

6. Cupcakes & Cartwheels- Ribbons Quick Change Watch

51zwEguaQyL._UX466_This is another great gift for the swap party with the girls. From young to old, she will love this gift. This Quartz watch comes with a variety of 11 different ribbon straps that tie in a bow for security.  Complete with a different strap for everyday and every outfit, she will never get bored. For an elegant presentation, this watch is packaged together with the ribbons in a pink gift box. Make everyone fight to get this gift at the party.

7. Oster Fondue Pot

61IQvR0GcIL._SX425_Everyone loves to eat, and this gift can be fun for everyone. This 3- quart fondue pot is made by oster, and can be used to dip sweets into chocolate, melt some cheese, or fry some meat. It comes with 8 color coordinated forks and a sure release break-away-cord. An adjustable temperature control, and cool touch handles make this pot user friendly. This gift will be a big hit, and probably one of the best yankee swap gifts you will find.

8. Never Have I Ever: The Game of Poor Life Decisions Card Game

71tUagjYleL._SX425_This party game is for ages 17 and older, so it would be ideal for the adult Yankee Swap Party. This popular game includes 550 cards of hilarious, awkward, and embarrassing adult material. With this game, you have the opportunity to learn more about each other. A fun party game that the winner might want to play with everyone when the swapping is over.

9. Fritesla 16000mah Power Bank Portable Charger for Smartphones

31diVUmQZALAlmost everyone you know has a smartphone, so why wouldn’t this be one of the best Yankee swap gifts at the party? This slim charger is convenient enough to fit right into your pocket, next to your cell phone. This lightweight charger features dual USB outputs, a USB light with an LED reading. Available in four color choices, this gift is something everyone will want.

10. Northpoint Cashmere Velvet Reverse to Cloud Sherpa Throw Blanket

A1CJkVV21AL._SL1500_Nobody will resist the comfort of a soft, warm blanket. This blanket has the feel of velvet plush on one side, and reverses to the feel of an extra warm cloud sherpa on the other side. The ideal 50×60 inch size makes for a comfy movie night throw, or wrap it around your shoulders while working at the computer late at night. This gift is available in a variety of colors and will be perfect for anyone in your group. Sit back and watch them fight for this one.

11. Freshly Roasted Delicious Healthy Nuts Basket

71JxDPwdiBL._SX522_This tray of healthy nuts is made with four delicious sections of cashews, pistachios, honey glazed pecans and almonds. These nuts are 100% natural and will make the perfect kosher, vegetarian or organic snack for anyone in the group. The nuts are packaged for freshness in a box, and ready for gift giving. The winner will be so delighted, maybe he will share some with you before the night is over.

12. Pen Light With Stylus Tip

61kUOCH4d7L._SL1108_This is the best Yankee Swap gift for the office party. The pen is engraved with, “Success Dreams Create Reality.” This 3-in-1 ballpoint pen is equipped with a replaceable ink cartridge, replaceable battery, and is complete with an LED flashlight and a stylus tip. This handy pen is everything a person needs to get through a busy day at work. Packaged in a classy gift box, this pen is ready to go. Become the favorite co-worker when they find out this gift came from you.

13. Care Package with 50 Sweet and Salty Snacks

91W+mDU+WpL._SX522_This variety snack pack is ideal for the family or school swap party. With chips, candy, cookies, crackers, gum and more all in the same package, how can you go wrong? They can share it, re-gift it, or eat it all themselves, but no matter what they choose to do with it, this will be the most talked about gift of the night.

14. Burt’s Bees Hand Repair Gift Set

91LzBuhSMTL._SL1500_Everyone has dry, chapped hands every now and then, so choosing this gift will not be a waste. The hand repair kit includes Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Shea Butter Hand Repair Cream. This kit is packaged in a clear nylon bag tied with ribbon. As an added bonus, the kit also includes a pair of cotton gloves to help keep in the moisture. The person that wins this gift will have to hide it from the rest.

15. Woodwick Candle Fireside

41ck0LVOTlL._SX425_Everyone likes to hear the crackling of the fireplace. With this candle, not only will they get the sound and relaxation listening to the crackle from the wick, but the fireside scent will top it off. This candle is available in two sizes and will put off the scent for 100 hours. You won’t go wrong giving this candle jar to your friends at the party.

16. The Grill Light by Knight Lighter

419kzVoDjPL._SX425_This unique gift will be sure to lighten up the room. This light is the perfect BBQ companion, but has many other uses as well! Made with a durable Nylon Glass Fiber and 11 gauge steel clamp, this light is made to withstand heavy heat and light rain. Clip it in your dark closet or onto your beach chair. If you need light, grab the grill light. Make your friends fight for this gift at the swap party.

17. Heat Sensitive Color Changing Coffee Mug

61hvu7LIDCL._SL1200_This 16 ounce, ceramic mug will confuse everyone in the room. The mug will change color and design when it is hot, and will change again as the beverage cools down. This mug can be fun for everyone, and with this design, even the kids will love it. Keep a sleepy person on their toes with this happy conversation piece.

18. Rustic Whitewash Tabletop Chalkboard Sign

BEST YANKEE SWAP GIFTSChalkboard that are meant to go on tabletops in homes are great things to give someone as a gift. They are fun products that anyone can enjoy. Witty, encouraging, helpful, or sweet things can be written on it in any household. Chalk even gives the freedom to draw, be creative, and set the tone for the house and any guests who enter in. You can’t go wrong with this gift!

19. Play Visions 450 Nose Aerobics Game

617pG6Mj90L._SL1500_This gift will be fun for anyone! Enjoy watching your adult friends play this game when they put on the plastic glasses and try to catch the tiny ball in the little basket. This can make any party entertaining, or watch  your co-worker secretly play behind his cubby. For ages 5 and up, but this game will be a riot when the adults try to play!

20. Hidden Alcohol Sunscreen Flask

81jwSHeyUGL._SL1500_This is the best gift for the adult party. These two, 9.7 ounce realistic sunscreen bottles, will conceal your drinks so you can sneak them in with you wherever you go. They are leakproof with airtight seals, and are food-grade safe. Extra seals and a funnel are included. The flasks easily hold approximately nine shots each, and can easily be passed around for sharing.

21. Knock Knock Bathroom Guest Book

41fFBRp2hdL._SX425_This unique book will have everyone spending time in the bathroom at the next party. Each page is designed for the guest to answer questions, draw a picture and describe their bathroom experience. No more trifling through an outdated magazine, or critiquing the color of your host’s bathroom. Even the serious grump at the party will laugh at this book!

Click here to add your own text

Click here to add your own text

Click here to add your own text

The 5 Best Splitting Mauls

Best Splitting Mauls

A splitting maul is a tool that is made to split chunks of wood into smaller and more portable pieces. While you can use an ax to split firewood, a maul has more weight and a wider head. This makes it much easier to do the splitting, which is a definite perk. It also causes nearly no part of the wood to go to waste. More wood means less splitting and enjoying that wood in your fireplace for a longer time. Finally, using an ax for a maul’s work or vice versa is dangerous and can cause accidents that you can prevent by using the correct tool. That’s why having a splitting maul that is good quality is so important.

Mauls are typically heavy with an eight-pound maul head being the typical offering. There are some mauls that are a bit lighter that can be used for smaller pieces of wood if you prefer. In addition to being much heavier than a typical ax, the splitting maul typically has a longer handle. The most common length is 36”, but some are available at a bit smaller length. You just want to be sure that it’s long enough that the maul hits the ground after the strike, rather than your foot. Definitely not something anyone wants to experience.

With that said, we have made a list of the best give mauls on the market right now. These are from various companies and have many attributes to them. There is something here for everyone, no matter how experienced you are. We ranked these on many things and offer all the information you will need to make a choice. We hope this helps you in ensuring you have the right equipment for you and your needs.

Estwing Fireside Friend 14″ Splitting MaulFiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-InchFiskars Garden Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36″HUSQVARNA Splitting MaulGransfors Bruks Splitting Maul
4 lbs maul head4 lbs maul head8 lbs maul head6 lb maul head6 lb maul head
Steel handleFibercomp handleIsoCore Shock handleWooden handleWooden handle
14 inch36 inch36 inch32 inch32 inch
Lifetime warrantyLifetime warrantyLifetime warranty90 day warranty20 year warranty
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
  • Truper 30958 8-Pound Splitting Maul, 36-Inch Fiberglass Handle
  • 8 lbs maul head
  • Fiberglass handle
  • 36 inch
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Check Price
  • Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Axe, 36-Inch
  • 4 lbs maul head
  • Fibercomp handle
  • 36 inch
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Check Price
  • Fiskars Garden Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36″
  • 8 lbs maul head
  • IsoCore Shock handle
  • 36 inch
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Check Price
  • HUSQVARNA Splitting Maul
  • 6 lb maul head
  • Wooden handle
  • 32 inch
  • 90 day warranty
  • Check Price
  • Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul
  • 6 lb maul head
  • Wooden handle
  • 32 inch
  • 20 year warranty
  • Check Price

Estwing Fireside Friend 14″ Splitting Maul

This small splitting maul makes short work of wood chunks with a top-notch, immensely durable design.

Thanks to single-piece construction, forged in full, this hatchet-sized maul is effectively made to last.

This tool’s head design truly sets it apart from competing options as it is weighted with a sledgehammer second head, allowing you to work a lot less to get wood chopped. The weight drives the head through timber quickly and efficiently.

The grip on this maul is genuine leather that provides a stable and safe hold for working. You can swing away without worrying about this cleverly designed tool slipping from your fingers.

Fine steel makes up this splitting maul’s form, contributing to its impressive longevity. A shiny blue finish further protects it, while also making it quite a nice cutting tool to have and hold. Reviewers mention just how tough and fine-tuned this maul is for its intended task.

Complete with a protective sheath, you can rest assured this splitting maul will last you quite some time.

Pros:

  • Small size and comfortable weight
  • Fine-tuned design
  • Durable

Cons:

  • May be too small for some uses

Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Ax, 36-Inch

21Gr5-U6KXL._SL250_The Fiskars X27 Super Splitting Ax is number four on the list of 5 best splitting mauls. This ax is made to split medium and large logs with total ease. Balance and power have been perfected in order to increase the speed of your swing, allowing more power to hit the wood. This product is a bit different than others when it comes to the weight. It is 36” as is typical but it comes with a 4 lb maul head. However, the weight distribution is great and the super sharp edge makes this less of a problem than it would be on many mauls. In addition, it has a shock absorbing handle that helps prevent any overstriking.

This maul is available at a great price. That includes a sheath for storage and protection. It also features a great lifetime warranty so you don’t have to worry about what happens if something does break or function improperly. If you are looking for a maul that is a bit lighter than the typical ones, but with the average reach, this Fiskars X27 is the tool for you. The price is right, the options are right, and there are very few negative comments about the ax.

Pros:

  • Handle is lightweight but strong
  • Ideal for medium to large sized logs
  • Extra power from advanced bevel convex blade
  • Includes sheath for storage
  • Great price for what you get

Cons:

  • Lower weight means less impact power

Fiskars Garden Iso Core 8 lb Maul, 36″

31Gd0KaysmL._SL250_The third maul on our list of 5 best splitting mauls is another offering by Fiskar. It features a lifetime warranty so you don’t have to worry about problems now or in the future. Fiskars seems to be a great maker of these mauls and this one is a winner.

As far as the specifications of this maul, they are more average than the one above. This Fiskar has an eight-pound maul head and has a 36-inch handle on it. What makes this maul even better is the handle. It is made of a patented technology called IsoCore Shock Control System and you can guess what it does from the name. It is going to make shocks and vibrations much less intense, which makes chopping wood so much easier than a typical splitter. In addition, Fiskars features blade geometry optimized for this sort of work. This provides power and penetration that is much more intense than is typical. If you need more reason to check it out, take a look at the riveted head. This technique makes sure the head will never slide down or snap off of the handle.

Pros:

  • Blade geometry offers great penetration
  • Insulation sleeve holds initial shock
  • Riveted head won’t snap off or slide down
  • IsoCore Shock Control System takes away shock and vibration

Cons:

  • Not everyone is a fan of the grip material

HUSQVARNA Splitting Maul

21lsA-zGiFL._SL250_This next splitting maul is from Husqvarna and is their most heavy and powerful ax available. This maul looks more traditional with a wooden handle but is not entirely average. Rather than implementing an eight-pound maul head, this one has a six-pound head. It is also slightly shorter than usual as it comes in at 32”. If you’re looking for something a little more manageable for someone smaller or new to splitting wood, this could be a dream. It’s a very sturdy and useful maul without being too heavy or awkward for shorter splitters.

The maul comes with a warranty just like the others. The only difference is that the warranty on this product is only 90 days, rather than the year most of them offer. That said, you do get a leather sheath with this one for no extra cost, which is always a good thing. Free accessories are the best bargain of all.

Pros:

  • Made for splitting biggest logs and wood chunks
  • Can be used as sledge or with splitting wedge
  • Includes leather edge cover

Cons:

  • May not be as useful against hard wood types
  • Short warranty period

Gransfors Bruks Splitting Maul

21I0DVgBZ8L._SL250_The Gransfors Bruks maul is our priciest option on the list and is a definite contender in the top 5 splitting mauls available. It comes with a 32-inch handle, just like the former maul, and comes with the same six-pound head. This is great for smaller individuals or those new to the practice of splitting wood. The handle is wooden and of a hickory, making it the perfect choice if you prefer wooden handles. The blade is ground to a concave blade making it thinner than a lot of splitting mauls on the market. There is also a steel collar to give a great grip. This maul is the heaviest sold by Gransfors Bruks, who are a well-known company.

While this maul is a bit more expensive than others, there’s a good reason for it. Gransfors is known for very quality axs and make a product that will be worth the money. You do receive a sheath with the maul and it comes with a 20-year warranty. This isn’t as epic as the lifetime warranties of some but it certainly speaks toward a quality piece of equipment. When you add all of these things together you get a great splitting maul that will last you many years into the future.

Pros:

  • Concave thin blade
  • Great for wedge striking
  • Leather sheath included

Cons:

  • Medium weight head

There you have it, The 5 Best Splitting Mauls available. You are now equipped to make an educated purchase.