How to Keep a Toddler Physically Fit

1.Play, play, play! Toddlers learn from manipulating and interacting with objects in their everyday environment. You can direct your child to appropriate and physical play by suggesting activities that involve physical coordination.
2.Roll a large, soft ball to your toddler to teach eye-hand coordination and balance. Your child will miss several times and have to chase the ball, resulting in cardiovascular workout and endurance.
3.Play hide and seek. Hide from your child and encourage your child to find you. Once you are found, run to a new spot to hide. Your toddler will chase you for as long as you hide. This activity builds spatial awareness and physical endurance.
4.Listen and move to music. Dance, jump or run in circles. Music provides an excellent opportunity to practice rhythm and balance and is a great aerobic workout for you and your toddler.
5.Pound and hammer with play tools. This activity is great practice for eye-hand coordination, and toddlers love to make loud noises with anything. Make sure you remind your toddler frequently what is appropriate to hammer on and what isn't.
6.Crawl through tunnels. Make tunnels from old sheets, chairs and tables. Not only will your toddler giggle and squeal with delight while worming through the homemade maze, you will be helping your child build spatial awareness and strong arms and legs.
7.Provide lots of push-and-pull toys. Pushing and pulling require good balance and spatial awareness. With a lot of practice, your toddler will become aware of the relationship between her own body and objects around her. 
By observing spontaneous play, you can build physical movement into activities initiated by your toddler.
Allow your child ample opportunity to explore and manipulate objects outside. Your child will naturally be physically active while outside.
Find or start a play group. Interaction between children fosters physical activity. 
Praise your toddler often for trying to perform physical activities. Remember that your child is learning how to control a small body. Be careful not to be critical of mistakes.
Consult a professional family doctor if you experience extreme frustration or anger when interacting with your child.   

How to Paint a Wall Mural

Using an Overhead Projector to Transfer the Mural Design
1.Select a design that you'd like to paint on your wall. The design can be one you've drawn yourself or one you've found on a greeting card, in a coloring book or from another source.
2.Make a color copy of the image you've selected to use as a reference when you're painting.
3.Make a black-and-white photocopy of the image. Use the copy machine to enlarge the image to a size at which you can easily see all the details.
4.Make a black-and-white transparency of your design. Ask the clerk at the copy store to help you.
5.Place the transparency on an overhead projector.
6.Turn the projector on and project the design onto the desired wall area.
7.Move the projector closer to or farther from the wall until the design is positioned correctly and is the desired size.
8.Mark the position of the projector on the floor with masking tape in case you need to move the projector before you've finished transferring the design.
9.Outline the design on the wall carefully with pencil. 
This is the simplest way to transfer the design to the wall surface.
Select a simple design with a limited number of colors if this is your first mural.
If you don't have access to an overhead projector, ask your friends. Teachers or others who do visual presentations at work may be able to borrow a projector for you to use.
If you're planning to paint your design with light colors, use a light-colored pencil to transfer it to the wall. Black pencil lines may show through. 
Warnings: Position the overhead projector squarely in front of the wall. If it's angled to one side or the other, it will distort the projected image. 
Using a Grid to Transfer the Mural Design

10.Select and prepare your mural design, following steps 1 through 3 above.
11.Draw a grid over the photocopy of your design and enlarge it onto a piece of butcher paper (see "How to Enlarge a Drawing Using a Grid," under Related Hows).
12.Cut each image in the design out of the butcher paper with scissors, beginning with the largest.
13.Use masking tape to fasten the cut paper images to the wall in the desired location.
14.Trace around each paper image carefully with a pencil.
15.Cut out any shapes that are inside the large paper images: a butterfly's spots or windows on a bus, for example.
16.Tape these smaller shapes in the appropriate locations inside the larger outlines.
17.Trace around the smaller shapes with a pencil.
18.Sketch in additional details, referring to the photocopy of your design. 
Tips: You can draw the grid and enlarge your design directly on the wall surface if your mural design completely covers the wall area with paint. 
Painting the Mural Design

19.Select acrylic paint colors for your mural by referring to the color copy of your design.
20.Pour each paint color into a plastic container.
21.Use a wide, flat paintbrush to paint in the large areas of your design first.
22.Blend and shade colors by painting one color on top of another before the bottom color has had a chance to dry.
23.Use a round paintbrush to add details and outline images. 
Interior latex paint can be used for painting large areas of color.
Because acrylic paints tend to be slightly transparent, it may take more than one coat to get the desired tint. 
Overall Tips:
If you used an overhead projector to transfer your image to the wall, you can use it to redraw details on your design that may have been covered with paint.
If you're talented and brave, you can draw your mural design directly onto the wall surface freehand.
Use the same process for painting a mural outside, but use exterior latex paints.
Paint stores save cans of mismatched paint and sell them at greatly reduced prices. Check to see whether they have any of the colors you need for your mural.    
Overall Warnings: Make sure the image you're using doesn't have a copyright. Copy stores will not allow you to photocopy copyrighted images. 

How to Buy Star Trek Action Figures

1.Find out if the person you are buying for is a collector. Target, Kaybee Toys and ToyFare all carry figures exclusive to their stores. For instance, only Target carries a 9-inch Commander Data posing as Sherlock Holmes.
2.Determine what size figures you should get. There are 5-inch, 6-inch, 9-inch and 12-inch sets.
3.Be willing to shell out some cash - most of the figures run between $10 and $35 apiece.
4.Buy 12-inch Collector action figures from the shopping list below, and check online auctions, comic book shops, toy stores and discount stores for others.
5.Shop different retailers carefully and compare online store prices.   

How to Make Original Nestle® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
3.Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Image a.)
4.Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5.Gradually beat in flour mixture.
6.Stir in nuts and Nestle® Toll House® chocolate morsels. Image b.)
7.Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Image c.)
8.Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
9.Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. click photos to enlarge  
For a slice-and-bake cookie variation, prepare dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into a 15-inch log; wrap again in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Most people use walnuts for the nuts, but you can also use pecans or anything else you prefer; or you can leave out the nuts.   

How to Show Your Home

1.Prepare (or have your real estate agent prepare) fact sheets on your home; these one-page flyers should include price, square footage, floor-by-floor listing of rooms, dimensions of major rooms, tax bills, utilities, broker's name, phone numbers to call, and an exterior photo of the home.
2.Prepare (or have your real estate agent prepare) a sign-in sheet for visitors.
3.Keep your home in show condition at all times - you never know when an agent will want to drop by with a client.
4.Improve the look and feel of your home with fresh flowers, soft music and clean walkways and street curbs.
5.Place signs on items that will not be sold with the property, such as washers, dryers or dining room fixtures.
6.Let buyers look around on their own so they can discuss your home privately, but be readily available for questions.
7.Keep children busy and quiet and keep pets away from the action. 
Make rooms look brighter with high-wattage bulbs.
Open drapes and curtains to let more light in.
Put all prescriptions, medications and valuables in a secure place. 
Be careful not to say anything that may be offensive to buyers. Talk about the property, not people.   

How to Prepare for Class

1.Buy your course books immediately after your first class meeting and take them to every class. Buying them before that is risky, since some classes are canceled for lack of attendance or the reading list is changed.
2.Review your class syllabus carefully, marking assignments and due dates in highlighter or colored pen. Jot down any extra assignments your instructor gives during class. Transfer this information onto a large home calendar.
3.Purchase all of the items you'll need for science or computer lab assignments well ahead of time.
4.Skim tables of contents to see how long each reading assignment is. Plan accordingly.
5.Take enough paper and writing implements for quizzes and essay exams even if your instructor has not announced any.
6.Make sure you finish all of the assigned reading for that day before showing up to class. An assignment written next to a date on the syllabus means to finish the reading by that day, not to start it.
7.Look up any words you don't understand as you read. Asking your instructor for a definition during class will not always get a favorable response.
8.Mark your text with your own comments, questions, underlinings and arrows. Prepare to ask one intelligent question as well as answer one.
9.Buy and keep ready at home your own dictionary, stapler, paper, writing materials and folders. 
Always be on time.
Exchange phone numbers with another classmate in case you must miss class and you need to get notes, assignments or handouts. 

How to Plan an Affordable Honeymoon

1.Determine your overall budget for the honeymoon, including travel expenses and spending money.
2.Decide upon a destination that will be affordable, while still allowing you to feel pampered.
3.Check with travel agents and online ticketing sites for the best prices.
4.Travel during the off-season, if possible. Remember that different locations have different off-seasons.
5.Consider all-inclusive couples resorts, which provide food, activities and accommodations for one flat price.
6.Book all reservations well in advance to ensure the best possible prices.
7.Ask airlines about companion fares or honeymoon package discounts. 
Tips: Make romance happen, even in the barest of conditions. Take a few candles to light in your hotel room, spend your time seeking out romantic nooks and crannies, and plan picnics instead of eating out at every meal.   

How to Decorate Your Master Bedroom in English Country Style

1.Keep in mind that English country style rooms have the appearance of containing pieces accumulated over many generations. This heirloom approach welcomes the mix of substantial Chippendale and daintier Sheraton, ornate Victorian and gracefully curving Queen Anne.
2.Choose mostly subdued colors. Patterns may be of a large scale, such as toile and florals.
3.Select a tall, imposing bed. Wooden four-poster and canopied beds are popular, but iron and brass fit the look as well.
4.Find furniture in woods including walnut, mahogany, pine and oak. Painted furnishings and wicker are also appropriate. Depending on the size of the room, select a tall highboy and/or a broad dresser, a desk, night stands, a settee, a bench and an overstuffed or wicker easy chair. A round table - covered with a skirt to the floor - makes a great bedside table and can hide a cache of magazines or paperbacks for nighttime reading.
5.Cover the bed with a chenille spread or a flounced-and-quilted coverlet. Florals in delicate colors are popular spreads, and shams, toss pillows and bed skirts complete the bed dressing.
6.Light the room with traditional lamps. Ginger jar, lead crystal, brass and candlestick styles are good choices.
7.Use a Victorian floral-pattern carpet, a subdued Oriental rug, sisal or an understated wall-to-wall carpet to cover the floor.
8.Plan on very full curtains. Valances, tiebacks, flounces and trim may be used.
9.Dress up walls with wallpaper, a wallpaper border or a stenciled border.
10.Hang a grouping of pictures (landscapes, family portraits, etc.) or an important painting above the bed, dresser or other furnishings.
11.Cover tabletops with bric-a-brac - anything from old china to framed family photos and silver candlesticks. 
If your master bedroom connects to a bathroom, remember to carry your decorating scheme - especially the colors - through into the bathroom.
If you want to avoid an overly feminine look, choose a paisley instead of a floral print and a tailored or pleated dust ruffle instead of a gathered one. Forgo lace, and accessorize with wood boxes and architectural fragments rather than dainty vases and china figurines.   

How to Have a Chinese Tea Ceremony at Your Wedding

1.Prepare tea with lotus seeds and two red dates to serve after the ceremony. The reason for this is that "lotus" and "year" sound alike in Chinese, as do "seed" and "child," and "date" and "early." Chinese tradition holds that adding the items to the tea helps to encourage fertility.
2.Remember that serving sweet tea to the groom's family during the wedding ceremony also helps bring about sweet relations between the bride and her new family.
3.Allow time at the wedding for you and your spouse to serve tea together to the groom's family.
4.Invite the groom's elders to join in. Address them by their formal names, such as First Aunt and Third Uncle.
5.Offer chairs for the guests.
6.Arrange the seating with the women to the left and the men to the right.
7.Kneel down with your spouse on the floor.
8.Remember that the bride is positioned in front of her father-in-law, the groom in front of his mother.
9.Arrange for lucky women, or ones who will bring you good luck, to help you serve.
1..Hold the teacup in both hands when you present it to each person.
1..Serve the tea to the groom's parents first, then proceed in order from the oldest participant to the youngest.
1..Expect to receive lucky red envelopes, called lai see, containing money or jewelry, from the groom's family.
1..Look for these envelopes to be placed on the platter on which the tea is served. 
Tips: While the wedding tea ceremony is only for the groom's family, the bride serves tea earlier in the day to her own parents. In this way, she thanks them for raising her.   

How to Celebrate a German Christmas

1.Decorate your house for the season. Display candles in special wooden frames attached to your windows and hang colorful pictures on the glass.
2.Put up an "Adventskranz," or Advent wreath, with four candles to symbolize the four weeks of Advent. Light one candle for each week. Advent calendars are also popular in Germany.
3.Celebrate St. Niklaus Day on December 6, when Niklaus (the German equivalent of Santa Claus) brings sweets and small toys for the children. According to old tradition, a dwarf follows Niklaus with a sack full of switches (thin, long sticks) for children who are bad.
4.Arrange a Nativity scene in your yard. Build a small crib or stable to represent where Jesus was born. Include figures of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and the animals.
5.Visit an outdoor crafts fair called a "Weihnachtsmarkt" (Christmas market) or "Christkindlmarkt" (Christ child market), which consists of vendors selling colorful handmade gifts. The Christkindlmarkt is especially famous in Frankfurt and Nuremberg.
6.Eat roasted chestnuts and drink "Gluhwein," a red wine that is served hot.
7.Plan to attend church on Christmas Eve day, if this is part of your family's tradition.
8.Expect Der Weihnachtsmann, or Father Christmas, to arrive late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve bearing presents to leave under the tree. Ask a family member to ring a bell to announce that the gifts have arrived.
9.Serve a Christmas Day meal of fish or goose followed by stollen and other traditional German sweets.
1..Visit relatives and deliver gifts on the day after Christmas. 
"Merry Christmas" in German is "Froehliche Weihnachten!"
Many American Christmas traditions - such as getting a Christmas tree for the home - originated in Germany. 
Warnings: Germany is a cosmopolitan country made up of several ethnic and cultural groups, so Christmas traditions are quite diverse and cannot be generalized. The steps above represent a few examples of local traditions that may or may not be appropriate for your personal celebration of Christmas.