Just as April showers bring May flowers, this month Parents is bringing you loads of ideas, resources, and inspiration to help your small ones grow into bright, confident kids.
We’re teaming up with Glennon Doyle Melton, founder of the online community Momastery.com—Parents 2014 Social Media Award winner for best all-around—and author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, CARRY ON, WARRIOR. All month long, Melton will be sharing her best ‘recipes’ for raising kind and brave kids and ‘crafting’ ways to reach out to lonely folks in our schools and neighborhoods on ParentsPinterest and Twitter pages.
Share what inspires you and your kiddos using the hashtag #CarryOnParents and we may RT or repin your picks.
Is all this crazy weather giving your kids (and you) cabin fever? This month, we’re bringing you tons of creative and fun educational activities to break the kids out of their indoor activity rut. With the help of mom of three Kim Vij from The Educator’s Spin On It, which won Parents 2014 Social Media Award for best Pinterest page, we’ll be sharing IQ-boosting ideas you’ll love. From our bloggers’ favorite games and to Vij’s best projects, ParentsPinterest and Twitter pages will be full of great suggestions. Be sure to share your genius picks using the hashtag #SmartMarch and we may RT or repin your wise ideas.
Whether you planned it this way or not, Valentine’s Day is here and you don’t have a babysitter. Although you and your partner may not be in for a night of wining and dining, it doesn’t mean you have to scratch the special day altogether. After all, Valentine’s Day is a holiday you can celebrate with whomever you love, right? Here is our fool-proof plan to please the kids and the grownups at home tonight.
Show the munchkins some love with a kid-friendly dinner.
Who says mac ‘n’ cheese is just for kids? This yummy comfort food will make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside and satisfy the whole family. And since it’s a special occasion, try spicing up your homemade mac or the go-to boxed version with one of our 21 spins on the classic dish. We especially love the “Little Italy” recipe with spinach, oregano, and chili flakes. It tastes fancier than it is to make (which is always a good thing).
While chowing down on your pasta, feel free to bust out your favorite wine glasses and pour yourself a glass of 100 percent grape juice (we like Welch’s, which has the same heart healthy antioxidants as red wine). While it’s no Cabernet, you’ll have more energy to keep the kiddos entertained than if you were sipping the good stuff.
One of the best parts of St. Valentine’s special day? The sweets! Finish off your faux-Italian dining experience with some tiramisu gelato. Recently, a batch of Breyer’s new gelato made its way into the Parents offices and was gone in a matter of minutes. ‘Nuff said.
Indulge in fun Valentine’s Day kid crafts and activities.
Start a Valentine’s Day tradition by creating cards, treats, and other crafts with the kiddos. Your little ones will love making you a Valentine keepsake and your heart will melt from their sweet little notes and scribbles. After you’ve completed your crafts, start winding down with one of our 50 Best Movies for Kids. We think 101 Dalmatians and Shrek are the perfect “love stories” for families.
Have adults-only after hours.
If you can manage to make it through dinner, crafts, and movies without falling asleep (it’s been a long week, hasn’t it?), reward yourself with some one-on-one time with your partner-in-crime. Feel free to exchange the grape juice for your favorite bottle of wine and pop in a romantic movie. According to a study by the University of Rochester, couples who watched love stories like “The Notebook” or “Terms of Endearment” and discussed them afterwords strengthened their relationship as much as couples who had been attending therapy together.
Then, be sure to check out our tips for finding the perfect babysitter, so you can have a date-night next week.
Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Nanny
Find more Valentine’s Day activities for your kiddos here.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock: beautiful girl with heart. valentine’s day concept
When it comes to your child’s birthday parties, you put loads of time and effort into creating special memories for him and his friends. But where do you draw the line? We want to know what you think of goody bags or party favors. Are they a waste of time and money or harmless fun? Take our polls!
‘Tis the season for making your list and checking it twice! If you’re still clueless about what to get your kids or other loved ones, be sure to tune in to ParentsTwitter and Pinterest pages from December 9 to December 13. We’ll be sharing tons of ideas for stocking stuffers, kids’ presents, homemade gifts, and more. Three talented bloggers– Amanda Kingloff of Everyday Fun, Lydia Beiler of Thrifty Frugal Mom, and Melanie Blodgett from You Are My Fave– will be joining in the fun by pinning their favorite crafty and unique gift ideas to the Parents pinterest board. Get in on the conversation and share your ideas (or borrow someone else’s) using #ParentsGifts on Twitter and Pinterest. See you then!
Next Monday Parents Pinterest and Twitter pages will become a DIY-er’s paradise for #ParentsCrafts week. From November 18th through the 22nd, the mega-creative minds of Krissy, from B-Inspired Mama, and Marie, from Make and Takes, will help us pin cool crafts to our Pinterest Boards. As the holidays and cold weather approach, you’ll appreciate these bloggers’ genius DIY ideas to keep your little ones busy, decorate your home, and have some fun indoors. Also, be sure to keep an eye on our Twitter feed (posted right here!), which will be packed with more unique activities. Use the hashtag #ParentsCrafts to share your own ideas!
This Sunday is National Grandparents Day! A day where we can take a second to remember the people who successfully raised one set of children and then went on to help bring up another batch. Although parents teach kids the alphabet, haul them to soccer practice, ballet, and piano lessons while helping them grow into successful adults, there are some life lessons that can only be taught by Grandma and Grandpa.
Maybe it’s because they come from a different era or that they get to return the kids to their parents after they’ve been sugared up and spoiled with hours of TV time, in any case, the knowledge of Grams and Gramps is unique from Mom’s and Dad’s.
Take my Nana for example. This is a woman who volunteers at a nursing home to entertain the “old people” (her words, not mine) at the age of 82; a lady that once broke her back on a roller coaster. Most recently my partner-in-crime and I went skydiving for her 80th birthday and then did it again the following year just for kicks. You get the picture. Though my parents have always had great advice, it’s pretty hard to top a skydiving Nana.
Besides a new appreciation for jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, she has taught me four life skills I use every day.
1. Enjoy the sweet things in life. She swears the key to a long and healthy life is eating a candy bar for breakfast every day. Even though the Snickers diet may not be right for me, she does have a point. If you don’t allow yourself to enjoy the things you love, even if that’s just a candy bar, it makes life a heck of a lot harder.
2. Patience. Have you ever tried explaining Twitter to someone who has never owned a computer?
3. Get out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s encouraging me to move to New York to follow my career dreams or forcing me to take pictures of her posing with a homeless person’s shopping cart while visiting me, she’s taught me that you have to go after what you want and not to worry about what others think.
4. How to fold a fitted sheet.
We asked the Parents staff to sound off on their favorite advice from their grandparents. Here’s what they said:
“My grandma grew up very poor in rural Kentucky and had to drop out of school early. She has taught me to appreciate my education and the advantages it’s given me.” – Hannah Werthan, Editorial Assistant
“My grandfather David, who died July 8, taught me that being silly is not just for kids and finding the laughter in almost any situation is essential. He also taught me that one should love to dance, but alas, that’s one lesson I have not taken to heart.”-Michael Kress, Executive Editor
“Orange juice pulp is healthy for you – so don’t remove it from the glass when it’s poured for you. Also, if it’s winter time and the refrigerator is full, the fire escape is an acceptable alternative for dairy products.”-Cathy Simpson, Accounting
“My grandfather told me I should only buy Chevy’s because they’re the only cars ‘made correctly.’ My grandmother said you should only be sad about something for up to 2 weeks. After that, it’s old news and you’re ‘not allowed to cry about it anymore. Time to get it together!’ ” – Sarah Aires, E-Commerce Intern
“My grandfather always told me, ‘The best cure for a cold is ice cream!’ “ –France Salvosa, Art Editor
“I used to love watching my grandmother brush her false teeth at night. So, I guess I learned the importance of good oral hygiene!” – Jenna Helwig, Food Editor
“My paternal grandmother instilled a DIY spirit in me: Don’t like store-bought soy sauce? Make your own! Tore a hole in your jeans? Patch it up with ribbon! Even though I have yet to make my own soy sauce or repair torn jeans, being resourceful is a quality that has been ingrained in me.” – Sherry Huang, Features Editor
“You’re most full when your refrigerator is empty.”-Amanda Nesbot, Editorial Assistant
“My Grandpa Lester taught me how interesting people are if you only ask. He was friends with the cashier at our local grocery store, the teller of our bank, and the butcher at our deli all because he took the time to ask them about themselves. He took the time to care and to listen.” –Ruthie Fierberg, Editorial Assistant
What’s the best piece of advice your grandparents have given you or your kids? What life lessons do you hope your kids learn from their grandparents?
Whether your kids have been in school for weeks or just started this past Tuesday, there’s no denying that summer is over. Though this time of year can be exciting for kids with their new notebooks, backpacks, and blue jeans, it can also be extremely stressful. In fact, a 2010 study by the American Psychological Association found that when parents are stressed (possibly from buying all those jeans, backpacks, and notebooks) tweens and teens are emotionally impacted. On top of that, the change from relaxed summer schedules to an activity filled fall may make it more difficult for kids to get enough sleep and feel stressed, both of which can affect their health.
Today, our health director Kara Corridan is teaming up with CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips for a Google + Hangout. Join them today at 12 p.m. E.T.to learn about how to keep your kids healthy as they get back to hitting the books this fall.