• When my 10-year- old was a baby, she received more piggy banks than we knew what to do with. Seriously, was this some sort of hint that we start saving right away for her college education? Oddly enough, when her younger sister was born 4 years later, no one bestowed her with any means for saving her dollars. So how is that then that she is our resident saver, while her sister likes to spend her bucks right away? But that’s a story for another day…If there’s one thing I noticed, it’s that the idea of giving a a piggybank as a gift is as exciting as getting pajamas on Christmas morning. How do you go about making something practical a little more exciting? We [&hellip

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    When my husband was a kid, he liked to watch “Inspector Gadget.” He may have thought the adventures alone were cool, but personally, I think he was mesmerized by his watch, which could do just about everything under the sun. If ever we thought those kind of gadgets were a long way off, well, let’s just the say that the future is now. VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch is probably the hardest-working timepiece we’ve ever seen. Ever the multitasker, this wristwatch boasts a miniature camera for taking photos and making videos, four games to play on the go, and (our favorite) a voice recorder with five voice changing effects (bet Inspector Gadget would have loved that). Kids will love to dress up their pix with personalized picture [&hellip

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    “Tempus fugit,” my grandfather used to say. For those unschooled in Latin, the expression means time flies, with the implication that you’re having fun, of course. I wish I could say this is the case for my 6-year-old, but she’s already crying the boredom blues…and it’s only the second week of summer vacation! When I tell her we’re heading to the beach, she reminds me that we “did that already.” To the library? “I already have enough books.” (Not a phrase I could personally ever relate to.) Well, since this kid has her eye on the clock more than any summer-loving child every should, the least she could do is learn to tell time….and I don’t mean the digital way! Later this month, Maple Landmark [&hellip

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    How cool are your blue jeans? Probably not as hip as you’d like them to be (seriously, my mom jeans could use a makeover). If you happen to have some crafty tweens who are already crying the summertime blues, but are way past the Rainbow Loom craze, have we got a product for them (and you)! Peaceable Kingdom’s Jean Tats are a simple way to update your favorite pair of jeans without involving any tears, rips or dye jobs. Easy as pie, these tattoos don’t require any special tools or any hard-to-follow instructions either. Simply cut them out, remove the backing paper and place the tattoo face up on your jeans. Next rub the tattoo evenly with the included popsicle-type stick. Finally, carefully lift off [&hellip

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    My favorite thing about having young kids is witnessing their imaginations firsthand. My 6-year-old wishes she were a bunny, and sometimes draws her alter ego as herself. (I won’t get into her insatiable appetite for carrots and celery…let’s consider it a parenting perk.) If you happen to be blessed with a kid with a penchant for pretend play, then surely you must know Julius Jr., the preschool sensation with his own Nick Jr. TV series. This little monkey has the knack for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, including a basic cardboard box that turns into a wonderland of magic and fun. Bringing Julius and his gang’s excitement over to playtime is a complete line of toys and books. Fisher-Price has already launched a number [&hellip

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    Here we go: summertime in the suburbs, and that means plenty of afternoons spent leisurely lounging by the pool and making my way through a long list of beach reads undisturbed…NOT! With two kids about to descend upon my daily routine of quiet and productivity, that fantasy is about to be shattered. Because my creative kindergartner will be with me for much of her summer break, we’ve got to get those creative hats on and start thinking. I tend to look for craft supplies that don’t require too much parental supervision (not only to encourage her independent thinking, but to keep me from hovering). So when Elmer’s recently introduced its Early Learners line, it earned big smiles in this house. Products like the Washable Glue [&hellip

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    Tomorrow marks my most favorite day of the year…after Christmas and my birthday, of course. The summer solstice promises to be a sunny and beautiful one. Naturally, that means plenty of time spent outdoors…and plenty of sunscreen. I’m not taking any chances with my kids, having gone through enough skin cancer treatments to keep me forever under a wide-brimmed hat and in long sleeves. They’ll be slathered in sunscreen from head to toe, whether they like it or not! Because we go through so much sunscreen over the course of the summer, I like to stock up on well-made products that go the distance, rather than settle for an inexpensive drugstore brand. Elemental Herbs All Good Kids Sunscreen is a high-quality product that deserves a [&hellip

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    My aunt and uncle have a summer house in New Hampshire, a place I remember from my childhood as one of peace and tranquility. While nature was all around us, it was the stillness of the lake, momentarily shattered by the cry of the resident loons, that I am able to recall instantly. If you’re not familiar with this species of bird, you come to know them by their haunting call, one that lingers long after you’ve packed up and gone home for the summer. So when I received my copy of The Lake Where Loon Lives, I knew I could be transported back to New England simply by turning the pages. What I did not anticipate, however, was the sharp contrast to the sounds [&hellip

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    If your baby’s first bath was a momentous milestone, imagine what her first shower will be like someday. My own daughter’s transition from bath to shower was a bit late in the game (she was especially fearful of the water continuously hitting her face), but if Rubber Duckie & Friends had been around, the experience probably would have been a lot less traumatic…for both of us. Playfully designed in the likeness of a rubber duck, frog or other smiling-faced animal friend, this removable head attaches easily to any shower arm for an independent shower-taker, or it can be used a handheld sprayer for parents unsatisfied by emptying cups of water over their child’s head. It comes with all of the essential materials (a wand, 6-foot [&hellip

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    Right now, I’m in Brazil (mentally speaking, of course). While I wish I were relaxing on one of their beautiful beaches, the place I’m in is a far cry from the sandy shore. We’re packed in like sardines at the Sao Paulo stadium, but hey, it’s worth it just to see J. Lo and Pitbull in the midst of an Amazon rainforest made up of walking trees and dancing flowers…Poof! I’m wide awake now, but as they say, a mom can dream, can’t she? If you or your kids want to live out their World Cup fantasies over the next few weeks, we have a few toy suggestions to help get your game on. Playmobil’s Take Along Soccer Match comes with everything needed to play [&hellip

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