• Author Archive

    When I was a kid, I loved my Play-Doh. The scent alone was enough to inspire me to create anything, from the pizza topped with pretend pepperoni to a three-dimensional heart that made for a heart-felt Mother’s Day gift. So naturally, when I had kids of my own, I couldn’t wait to break out the good stuff and watch them sculpt away. In fact, some of my favorite moments of my now-fourth grader’s early days were seeing her make play food out of dough with my dad, the two of them with sleeves rolled up, working feverishly to outdo the other one’s creativity. Boy, have things changed. Since my daughter was in preschool, a whole slew of molding compounds have entered the scene: from ones [&hellip

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    Ah, the 1980s…the big hair, the acid-washed jeans, the legwarmers. If you grew up in this era, you’ll recall these signs of the time fondly…or wonder why the fashion police weren’t out to get you. I remember trying to make like Jennifer Beals and “flash-dancing” my beloved sweatshirt by chopping off the sleeves. Funny that I never looked as cool as she did (sigh…). One 80s trend that’s making a comeback is Bo-Po nail polish from Worx Toys. Maybe you tried it out at a friend’s sleepover or coveted a bottle of your own? It’s that Brush On, Peel Off (hence the name) polish that made application and removal a snap. Now it’s back for a new generation of mini make-up mavens, and with a [&hellip

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    How will you and your family be celebrating Earth Day? For starters, we’ll be filling up on water from the tap instead of stocking up on those fancy-schmancy bottles that come in super packs bigger than our car. We’re also gearing up to plant our annual garden, one that’s been on hiatus in the last few years but that we’re determined to start up again (can’t wait for that fresh mint scent that wafts through the open windows…). And naturally, we’ll be tuning into a special episode of WordGirl airing on PBS Kids, April 22nd (check your local listings for times). We like this show in general because it proves that reading is cool, even for superheroes. In honor of Earth Day, the show’s monthly [&hellip

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    Still looking for last-minute Easter basket stuffers? We’ve got some great suggestions that work for girls and boys, from a name that’s synonymous with creativity. New this spring, Crayola has introduced Chalk Grab ‘N Go Games, a line of classic games based on its colorful sidewalk chalk. If you’ve got kids, chances are you have a bucket of sidewalk chalk hiding somewhere in your garage, like we do. With these fun games, chalk extends its usefulness beyond hopscotch and sidewalk sketches into more active play. Each packaged game–Chip Shot Golf, Foot Hockey, Bean Bag Toss and Obstacle Course–contains all the tools needed to play, including four sticks of chalk. Not only are these games ideal for backyard play, but they pack easily for trips to [&hellip

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    As soon as spring break rolls around and my kids have been home bothering…ahem, spending time with me for a whole week, it makes me  realize that summer vacation is not too far away. I feel like we’ve gotten a bit of a jump-start on getting our summer gear, thanks to off-season swimming lessons, but still haven’t found a decent bag for toting all my kindergartner’s stuff…until now. PaddlePak is a water-resistant backpack for ages 2 and up that’s both pretty and practical. You can stash a wet suit or towel without worrying about ruining the fabric. A special roll-top seal keeps everything safe and secure, while the Trunki grip keeps sunglasses or water goggles within easy reach. Our favorite “de-tail” is the tail that [&hellip

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    In our family, spring cleaning extends itself over to our family car, and that means swapping out our current CDs for some fresh new tunes. Just in time, The Little Rockers just dropped their third kids’ CD, Count Me In!, and it makes for a refreshing new sound. Chris & Jessie Apple are at it again with a medley of songs that are as diverse as its listening audience. Aimed at ages 2-6, Count Me In! contains plenty of catchy, sing-alongs that are easy on the ears and age-appropriate for the preschool crowd. From the opening title track, to “Wild, Wild West,” each track invites young listeners to use their imaginations and dream big. Whether they are greeting a new neighbor in “Hi, Hi, Hi,” [&hellip

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    Less than one week until Easter; are your baskets ready for stuffing? Gone are the days when I was a kid, and chocolate bunnies and jelly beans would suffice. Ever since the Easter Bunny has stepped things up a notch to include toys and other goodies, we’ve been on the hunt ourselves in search of fun favors. If you happen to have a new baby in the family this spring, you’ll want to make this Easter egg-stra special (and candy-free). We love the Squeakaboos line from Babalu. These brightly colored, soft plush rattles are sized just right for little hands. Babies can squeeze the handle to hear them squeak, and they can discover a jingly rattle and crinkly sound inside each character’s head. With eight [&hellip

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    When I first heard that Laurie Berkner was releasing her first-ever lullaby album, I practically ran to put on my PJs and jump into bed. Having spoken with her on the phone for an article in a local parenting magazine, I can instantly recall her soothing voice, one that would be ideal for assuring a good night’s sleep for any tired tyke. Sure enough, Laurie Berkner Lullabies offers up plenty of reasons to grab a blankie and settle down for the night. Among our favorites are  “Fireflies,” a nod to our favorite season and its magical creatures, and “Pillowland,” an imaginary place that invites listeners to play and dream. Astute listeners will pick up on two Berkner classics, “Under A Shady Tree” and “Five Days Old” [&hellip

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    Juggling two kids’ schedules competes for my attention every day. As a mom who’s been working from home for the past decade, I’ve become a master at time management and, on most days, feel like I have a pretty good handle on things. Even though my girls’ lives are undeniably busier than mine was at their ages, their schedules are predictable for the most part. But for moms of little ones, trying to get a baby to nap on queue, or take a bottle when they’re good and ready, is easier said than done. Aiming to make new parents’ a little less overwhelming comes Baby Bundle, a brand-new mobile app designed to simplify your baby’s everyday routine at the swipe of a finger. Monitoring Tools [&hellip

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    Get a grip already, Mother Nature! What’s with the one nice day that taunts us with sunny skies and mild temps….only to be faced with tomorrow’s promise of cold rain and highs in the low 40s? It’s making everyone a little bit stir crazy, and I’m not just talking about the kids! Well, if there’s anything this erratic season is teaching us, it’s to seize the day and take advantage of the outdoors whenever the weather permits. Today was one of those days meant to spent outside, so after homework time, we happily hit the backyard to try out a new toy.  Nerf Sports Bash Ball is, hands down, the best excuse to play a game of catch, soccer, dodgeball…you name it. You may wonder, [&hellip

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