• Monthly Archive:: June 2011

    Brace yourselves: Today, I took both of my girls to the beach and we managed to return home with everything we brought, along with some sand, of course.¬† Armed with lunch, towels and a ton of beach toys, we were ready for a day of sun and fun….and for me, rescuing the requisite pail or hovel that always manages to tumble into a nearby stream that the girls love to play in, and inevitably wind up in the saltwater. (Can’t you just hear the cries of “Get it! Get it!”? I know they will haunt me in my dreams tonight.) At a moment when my daughters were play contentedly, I happened to look up and see a blue shovel floating by–one that didn’t belong to [&hellip

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    One thing my girls love about warm weather? Outdoor art! Because I’m a spoilsport about doing messy crafting inside during the rest of the year, summertime means free rein on paints, Play-Doh and more once we can spend the better part of the day in backyard. One cool crafting compound that we’ve been psyched to get our hands on–literally–is WABA Fun’s Bubber. As much fun to say as it is to play, this stuff looks and feels like a confectionery from our local soda shop. Light as air, yet infinitely more colorful, it’s a welcome relief from the sticky clay that always manages to find a new home under little fingernails. I like that it works just as well making little balls, as it does [&hellip

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    How many adorable baby outfits have been ruined by strained peas that didn’t quite make it into your little one’s mouth? Don’t blame your finicky eater–or your less-than-stellar spoon-feeding skills. It’s those bibs that don’t exactly cover as much terrain they should. We’re partial to DaBib, a generously sized catch-all bib that keeps baby food off your baby, especially when it doesn’t quite make it into her tightly closed mouth. What makes this bib different from your basic ones is its soft collar that catches leaks and drips before they become a stain. The stay-put collar also prevents your little one from trying to yank the bib off over her head…and you know what that’s like. DaBib comes in two styles: DaHugs, a terrycloth bib [&hellip

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    I must confess: In my younger days, I was a closet geologist. One summer on break from middle school, I became infatuated–no, make that obsessed–with all kinds of rocks and minerals. After a stint as a nature camp counselor, I could proudly rattle off the difference between sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic. I knew my quartz from my graphite, and eventually became a collector of many treasured finds. And no, it wasn’t because I was hoping to score a big, fat diamond someday. Now, I get to impart my learned wisdom (or whatever is left of it) to my daughters. Since studying rocks is hardly considered “sexy,” I love when I can stumble upon a educational product that can get my own juices flowing and, in [&hellip

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    My youngest niece is about to celebrate her 13th birthday and, much to my sister’s delight (or is that a tear in her eye?), it marks the last big party for her baby who’s all grown up. While my niece and her pals never grow tired of a summertime sleepover, it always nice to jazz up the festivities a bit. Adding a modern twist to a classic kid favorite–and one that’s even sure to satisfy the attention of the tech-centered tween crowd–is Crayola’s Glow Chalk. This is not your mom’s sidewalk chalk, but rather a special kind that illuminates any driveway etching and street curb designs you can dream up. What I like about Glow Chalk is that it gets kids involved in the concoction, [&hellip

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    My daughter is at the age where crafts rule. Each year for her birthday, we decide on an art activity that ties into her party’s theme. This year, we made ball and paddles with a carnival motif, and the year before that, it was sand art for a beach scavenger hunt. When she turned 5, we did an around the world party, and the kids made their own kaleidoscopes…but sadly, they (the kaleidoscopes, not the kids) fell apart before the party was even over. So much for investing in party store supplies; you get what you pay for, as the saying goes. One kaleidoscope kit that does not disappoint is the new one from Creativity for Kids. Whereas other models have flimsy materials at best, [&hellip

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    Lots of traveling moms I know complain about how annoying it can be to schlepp their kid’s car seat through the airport. I don’t envy them; the few times we’ve done it, my husband’s wrist looked like he was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. If you’re planning to fly the friendly skies anytime this summer, you won’t have to struggle with the bulk of a cumbersome seat, thanks to the new Britax Car Seat Travel Bag. Designed to fit most standard car seats, this sturdy bag features carry handles and padded shoulder straps, so you can carry it backpack-style. Or, if you’re so inclined, use the built-in wheels and pull it behind you. Worried that you’ll lose your gear at the baggage claim? A handy [&hellip

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    Never underestimate the power of media. When my 7-year-old was looking at DVDs to borrow from our public library’s children’s department, she wondered aloud, “You think they have Justin Bieber’s ‘Never Say Never?’” (Why, won’t SpongeBob do anymore?…) For those kids who need their Bieber fix comes a product we didn’t think possible: a line of singing Justin Bieber toothbrushes (yep, you read that right) that sound like the boy himself. I’m all for getting my kids to brush regularly, but this product really takes the cake–and brushes away the potential for cavities. Each song includes two Bieber songs, specifically designated for daytime and nighttime brushes: “Baby,” “U Smile,” “Love Me” and “Somebody to Love.” Whichever tune strikes your mood is, of course, up to [&hellip

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    Getting my daughter to write thank you notes isn’t an easy feat and from what I hear, it only gets more challenging with age. But short of bribing her–hey, I had to write my fair share of thank yous when I was a kid, and we just did what we were told–I wondered if there wasn’t a way to make this chore a little less arduous. Well, score one for Smens scented pens. These are the grown-up cousin of Smencils, an equally refreshing line of colored pencils that make practicing ABCs a treat for little noses. Each pack contains 10 uniquely named pens with cool monikers like Aloha¬† and Banana Fo Fana. We can’t decide what we like best about Smens: the fact that they [&hellip

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    On a humid and sticky day, I know the last thing my bike-riding daughter wants is a “hot hat,” as she puts it, but we insist that she wear her helmet…or else. Donning a helmet while biking is no laughing matter, but as is true for many of those trying parenting moments, a little humor can make a big difference. Perhaps this was the thinking behind the creatively designed bike helmets from Raskullz (the name alone is worth a smile). Their 3-D helmets, sporting a motley crew of wacky characters, are probably the coolest thing in head gear we’ve seen in a long time. Be it the Go-Rilla, Shark Attax or Brainy Bunny (shown here), each helmet is made from a soft rubber material that’s [&hellip

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