Indoor Activities Guaranteed to Keep the Kids Busy at Home This Winter - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Indoor Activities Guaranteed to Keep the Kids Busy at Home This Winter

The weather outside may be frightful, but the prospect of having the kids home doesn’t have to be. 

By Brigitt Earley | December 11, 2020 | | Indoor Activities

Snow days have always been tricky. A single phone call—”School’s canceled!”—changes the whole day, sending parents everywhere scrambling to keep their kids occupied from sun up to sun down. But this winter, moms, and dads face a new and unique challenge: keeping their kids busy at home for days on end. Though many schools are still in session (at least in some capacity), there’s no telling what the coming months will bring. If we learned anything in 2020, it’s to expect the unexpected. Whether in-person school gets cancelled or not, chances are kids will be spending a lot more time at home this winter. And with social distancing restrictions still in place, there will be fewer opportunities to occupy this extra time with trips to play places or play dates with other kids. 

What’s the best way to limit cabin fever and keep everyone—kids and adults alike—sane without resorting to hours upon hours of screen time? There are plenty of indoor activities that spark creativity, promote learning, encourage imaginative play, and—most importantly—are fun enough to keep whining and groans of “I’m bored” at bay (at least for a few precious hours). Here, are some clever ideas to inspire you.

Plan a treasure hunt.

Hide a few special treats and prizes around the house, then draw up a treasure map to help guide the kids’ hunt for the goods. While you do this, challenge the kids to come up with pirate costumes to really play the part. If that sort of activity takes more effort than you can muster, here’s an alternative idea: Turn to Etsy, where you can find tons of printable indoor scavenger hunts. All you have to do is download, print, hand out, then come up with a special prize at the end.

Bake your favorite recipes.

Give the kids a cookbook to sift through, and let them pick out a new-to-the-family recipe to try. Making something like a kid-friendly dessert is a great way to keep little ones busy while also teaching important skills. Kids will not only learn how to cook, but they’ll also absorb important math skills through measurements. Plus, you’ll all have something delicious to show for the hours spent.

Do arts and crafts.

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12 DIY Board Games So You're Never Bored - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

12 DIY Board Games So You’re Never Bored

By LAUREN THOMANN | Updated on 05/05/20 |

Board games are a great way to keep busy and connect with friends and family members. Don’t have any on hand? You may not have known that you can make your own! These 12 DIY board games below could help save you from boredom if you happen to be stuck in the house. Plus, it’s a reason to break out the crafting supplies!

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Shield Insurance Agency Home Office in Hudsonville, Michigan

Happy Halloween to All!

Shield Insurance Agency wishes everyone a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Stop by the office, any time of the year, and we will have some treats for everyone!

We are located at 3214 Chicago Drive in Hudsonville, MI

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10 Most Popular DIY Home Decor Trends for Fall 2021 - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

10 Most Popular DIY Home Decor Trends for Fall 2021

10 Most Popular DIY Home Decor Trends for Fall 2021 – Shield Insurance Agency Blog

By Ashley Tyler  | August 13, 2021 |

Fall will be here before you know it, and with the incoming chilly air and changing, leaves can come the urge to change up your home decor. With a few simple swaps, your home can feel festive and ready to take on any get-togethers or impromptu parties the next few months have in store.

Whether you’re planning on hosting for the holidays or just want to cozy up your space, it doesn’t have to break the bank or feel like another chore on your to-do list. Start by picking a few of your favorite fall trends and use them in small doses around your house. Need some inspiration to get you going? We’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling for 10 simple ways to add the year’s most popular trends to your fall decor.

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8 Fall Chores You Can't Afford to Ignore - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

8 Fall Chores You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Do these maintenance tasks now and reap the rewards later

By Paul Hope | Published October 15, 2016, | Updated September 22, 2021 | Consumer Reports

Early fall is the right time to get your yard and house in order because come winter, small problems can turn into expensive nightmares.

Consumer Reports’ money-saving checklist covers everything from fallen leaves to your furnace. And many of these fall chores cost little more than time and effort. “A little bit of preventive maintenance now will help you avoid big hassles in the future,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees CR’s testing of outdoor power equipment and other home gear.

Outdoor Fall Chores With Immediate Payoff

Close Your Hoses

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Shield Insurance Agency - Types of insurance and the insurance companies Shield is proud to represent

Shield Insurance Agency Product List

Shield Insurance Agency | Start A Quote Today!

Types of Insurance Shield Insurance Agency Provides

Shield Insurance Agency has been in business for so many years, we can shop a lot of different companies for a lot of different types of insurance to be sure you get what you need for the price you can afford. Check out the list!


  • Auto Insurance
  • Boat Insurance
  • Condo Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Event Insurance
  • Farm Insurance
  • Flood Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Mobile Homeowners Insurance
  • Motorcycle Insurance
  • Motorhome Insurance
  • Recreational Vehicle Insurance
  • Renter Insurance
  • Term Life Insurance


  • Auto Facilities
  • Bond Insurance
  • Business Interruption
  • Cannabusiness
  • Church Insurance
  • Commercial Auto
  • Commercial Property Insurance
  • Contractor Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance
  • General Liability Insurance
  • Group Health Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Security Bond Insurance
  • Workers Compensation

Insurance Companies Shield Insurance Agency is Proud to Represent

Accident Fund
American Modern
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD
Berkshire Hathaway Homestate
Blue Cross Blue Shield/BCN
Bristol West
Companion Life
Delta Dental

Golden Rule
Liberty Mutual
Liberty Union
Molina Healthcare
National General

North American Company
Principal Financial Group
Priority Health
State Auto
Superior Flood
The Hartford
United Healthcare

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When Disaster Strikes What to Put in Your Medication Go Bag - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

When Disaster Strikes: What to Put in Your Medication Go Bag

Atlantic hurricane season is a good reminder that everyone should prepare this potentially lifesaving kit

By Consumer Reports Last updated: July 05, 2021

A well-stocked Medication Go Bag can be used to soothe a cut or burn—or to save your life during a hurricane, flood, fire, or other emergencies.  

But it’s important not to wait until you’re faced with the need to leave your home in a hurry to assemble your medication go bag, says Geoffrey C. Wall, Pharm.D., a professor of pharmacy practice at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Whether you buy a kit from a drugstore or build it yourself, Wall recommends that all households keep a medication go bag on hand. It should contain the essentials, including: 

  • At least seven days’ worth of over-the-counter and prescription medications you take on a regular basis. Label the containers clearly, and include a printed-out list of everything you take and the regimen for each medication, plus a copy of your health insurance card (in case you need medical care while you’re away from your home).
  • An antihistamine for allergic reactions, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy and generic) or loratadine (Claritin and generic).
  • Pain relievers, including acetaminophen (Tylenol and generic), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and generic), or naproxen (Aleve and generic).
  • Stomach and antidiarrheal remedies, including loperamide (Imodium and generic) and bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol, and generic).
  • An antacid for heartburn, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums, or generic.
  • Antiseptic wipes; an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin, Bacitracin Plus, Curad, or generic (use only for infected wounds); and bandages, gauze, and tape, for treating burns, cuts, and wounds.
  • Mosquito repellent to prevent bites, and aloe gel, hydrocortisone cream, or calamine lotion to soothe bites and skin irritation.
  • An eyewash solution for flushing out eye irritants.
  • Water-purification tablets.
  • Scissors.
  • Thermometer.
  • Tweezers.

If you and your family have special medical needs, you can build a more sophisticated medication go bag—for example, one that contains hearing aids with extra batteries, an epinephrine auto-injector, glasses, contact lenses, or syringes.

Fill Prescriptions in Advance

For prescriptions, you and your family members take, consider asking your doctor for 60- or 90-day refills rather than a month’s worth. That way, you’re more likely to have extras on hand for your medication go bag. (This can also save you money.)

Always fill prescriptions on the first day you become eligible for a refill, rather than waiting until the day you run out. If you are able to obtain an emergency supply, establish a plan for rotating your go-bag supply so that it remains up to date. And remember to check medications periodically to ensure that they have not expired.

“During an emergency, some states allow pharmacists to dispense an emergency supply of medications without doctor authorization,” Wall says. But, he adds, “certainly if a known potential disaster, such as a hurricane, is predicted, make sure you have prescription meds and supplies before it hits.”

You might also ask your health insurance company to assist you in obtaining enough medication and supplies to have on hand.

Storing and Maintaining Your Kit

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Sparta Hay Bale Decorating Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Decorating a Hay Bale in Sparta Michigan

Sparta Hay Bale Decorating Contest!


Email to register to decorate a bale! A location will be randomly selected for you, the hay bale decorating must be completed by Sept. 12


The decorated bales will be on display from Sept. 13-Sept. 26


Voting will be done TWO ways: 1, we will have a “like” contest on a Facebook post (that will be posted with a photo of each bale, this will be posted September 14!) AND voting will take place IN PERSON during Michigan Apple Fest in the Sparta Chamber Offices! The combination of both votes will be the placing of 1st, 2nd, 3rd places!


The top 3 places will be awarded $100 in SPARTA BUCKS!

RULES: The hay bale must stay upright as you find it. Add decor, paint, pics, etc. into the hay bale, the items must be removed by Sept. 26 or the items will be thrown away. Photos of your bale will be taken on Monday, September 13 for voting.

We are getting so excited, we wanted to pull up some photos from last year for some inspiration!!

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How to Get Rid of Stuff at Home - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

How to Get Rid of Stuff at Home

Our decluttering tips will help you figure out what you no longer need

By Kevin Doyle | August 05, 2021 | Consumer Reports | Get rid of Stuff | Home Insurance

Sealed in a plastic bag in the back of Kris Schwartz’s bedroom closet is the student nurse’s uniform that her mother wore 80 years ago, complete with pinafore and removable cuffs. Her mother’s nursing cape hangs in a downstairs closet, and a journal her mother-in-law kept is safely stashed in the desk drawer of a home office. These relics are just a metaphorical speck in the “tsunami of stuff” Schwartz says she and her husband have accumulated in their Maine home over the decades.

“I have loads of books, mementos, baby clothes, and letters from people I’ve forgotten about stuffed in my closets and my cellar,” Schwartz says. “The garage is so full it’s sometimes hard to get a car into. Most of it serves no purpose or function, but I can’t get rid of it.”

Marie Kondo’s approach to tidying up may have inspired her fans to fold their underwear like origami, but it took a pandemic for many Americans to start to deal with their surfeit of stuff. “A lot of people suddenly needed to find space for two home offices as well as schooling at home,” says Cindy Sullivan, president of the nonprofit Institute for Challenging Disorganization. “The pandemic definitely contributed to a lot of decluttering.” Many secondhand and resale stores, hauling companies, and professional organizers have reported an uptick in business.

Rule 1: Get Ready to Let Go

For Dawn Castagna, a health industry executive in New York, getting started is the hardest part. “Analysis paralysis definitely applies to me,” she admits. “My wife says, ‘We haven’t used it, so it’s going.’ But I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t know. Who would be the right person to give it to? Should we sell it?’ And when I’m not sure about the right way to get rid of something, I just stop.” If you’re facing similar struggles, these three questions can help jump-start the process:

1. Do you really need it? Anything you don’t use or have multiples of can probably go. “Nobody needs 18 spatulas,” Ferrari says.

2. Can you easily replace it? Amanda Scudder, MSW, a professional organizer in Richmond, Va., recommends the $20/20-minute rule: Anything that would cost $20 or less and take 20 minutes or less to acquire again can probably go without creating much regret.

3. If you’re not using it now, will you want it in five or 10 years? “If it’s already in storage, ask yourself why you need to keep it,” says Amy Tokos, president of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals.

You also want to start small. Instead of tackling the garage, start with clothes. “Once you see how much lighter and more energized you feel after decluttering your wardrobe,” Scudder says, “you can take that energy into tougher categories.”

Ferrari recommends not handling anything you’re considering getting rid of. “It’s better to have a friend or professional organizer hold it up for you,” he says. “Once you touch it, you’re more likely to keep it.”

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CR's Guide to Getting Better Internet Without Busting Your Budget - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

CR’s Guide to Getting Better Internet Without Busting Your Budget

By Consumer Reports | July 13, 2021 | Better Internet |

How to solve WiFi problems and trim your monthly bill. Plus, what CR is doing to get everyone faster, cheaper broadband.

Over the past 18 months, our home internet connections have helped us reach family, friends, and colleagues. They’ve been both practical tools and a needed source of entertainment during a difficult time.

That may be why 76 percent of Americans agree that internet service is as important as electricity or water, according to a February nationally representative Consumer Reports survey of 2,514 U.S. adults (PDF).

But using the internet at home can be frustrating, too, as many people confront dropped video-calls and sputtering movies—along with confusing bills and poor customer service. The good news is that some broadband problems are easy to fix. The following information can help you do that and maybe even help you save a bit of money.

To learn more about the issues that affect internet customers, Consumer Reports is launching a project called Broadband Together along with several other nonprofit organizations to collect and analyze tens of thousands of internet bills. You can read more about the project, and then consider joining the effort by taking an internet speed test, sharing a bill, and providing us with some basic information. 

The information we gather will help us learn how much people are paying in neighborhoods across the country, whether they’re getting what they were promised, and whether prices are fair.

If the internet is glitchy in your home, the first step toward a solution is to pinpoint the problem. And it helps to understand how online material—be it a Netflix show, Zoom call, or social media post—gets to you.

As you can see in the illustration below, movies, email, and other data are funneled by internet service providers (ISPs) through a series of cables and wires to homes with wired service. 

If something’s not working, the problem could lie outside your home and may require a call to the company to fix. Or the trouble could be with your home WiFi network, which distributes information wirelessly to your computers, TVs, and other devices.

Which is it? To figure that out, an easy first step is to test your internet speed.

How to get Better Internet

It’s useful to know how fast data moves into and out of your home. To find out, you can check your speed at Measurement Lab or Speedtest. With a click or two, you’ll learn your download speed (how fast data such as a movie streams into your home), and your upload speed (how fast data like your end of a Zoom call streams out). The numbers, measured in megabits per second (Mbps), will vary a bit each time. If possible, first run a test with a computer that’s physically plugged into your router using an Ethernet cord. The results may vary a bit each time you run the test. But if the speeds are consistently much slower than the maximum speeds promoted by the ISP for your plan, call the company. Then do the same test wirelessly (over WiFi) throughout the house. If it’s only the WiFi speeds that are slow, focus on your router to find a solution. 

Is Your Service Level Fast Enough?
ISPs generally offer several plans, each promising a different range of speeds—the faster the connection, the more you pay. So which plan is right for you?

It depends on how many people you have at home and what they do online. You need only around 1 Mbps to listen to a Spotify song and 4 Mbps for a Zoom call—but 25 Mbps to watch a 4K movie on Netflix.

The numbers are cumulative. If two TVs are streaming 4K movies at the same time, that’s 50 Mbps.

Every ISP has its own tiers, but you can use the speed ranges below to see where you fit in. Many people may pay for more speed than they really need.

Up to 100 Mbps
This is plenty for two or three people with routine needs. That includes Zoom calls, high-definition movie viewing, and some online game play.

100 to 300 Mbps
These speeds should accommodate even a data-hogging family that plays several 4K movies and taxing online games all at the same time.

300-Plus Mbps
Few households need more than 300 Mbps. If you have internet problems, the solution is probably not to slap down the plastic for your ISP’s priciest superfast service.

Make Your WiFi for Better Internet

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