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Monday, August 11th, 2014
This is a post from Heidi Kundin of Happiness Is Homemade provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner. Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.
Days that are filled with soccer practice, tutoring, baseball games, music lessons and impromptu park play dates keep families constantly on the go. My husband and I try to enforce a “no eating in the car” rule, but there are days when snack time and travel time inevitably merge. After too many incidences of last minute scrambling to gather snacks for my kids left me feeling frazzled, I had a moment of mommy brilliance that led me to create these handy Grab ‘n’ Go Bags. Now my kids always have a snack, water bottle, and other essentials ready to go!
What to Include:
- Healthy snacks – nuts, pretzels, dry cereal, Del Monte Fruit Cups or Fruit Burst squeezers, etc.
- Water bottle
- Cloth napkin
- Anything else your child frequently needs – sunscreen, sunglasses, book, etc.
We use our bags a few times a week, so I don’t worry about our snack foods spoiling, but if you won’t use them as frequently, be sure to select healthy snacks that have a longer shelf life. I love to include Del Monte Fruit Burst squeezers in our Grab ‘n’ Go Bags because each one packs an entire 1 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables with no high fructose corn syrup, gluten or artificial flavors. The flavor profile is fruit-forward, so my kids don’t even realize that they’ve eaten vegetables, and they are an excellent source of vitamin C.
Snacking on-the-go is a whole lot easier now that we have these Grab ‘n’ Go Bags! As an added bonus, the bag can also hold all of your child’s empty wrappers trash until you get back home, so there’s no reason for you to find garbage in the backseat!
Right now Del Monte is hosting a photo contest on their Facebook page, so jump on over and share which is your favorite – Del Monte Fruit Cups or Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers (Squeeze or Spoon?) - for your chance to win!
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Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Okay, we admit it–these pillows are really more for your benefit, Mom. After all, you’ll be the one rocking and nursing Baby at all hours of the night, so you’re going to want to keep your back comfy while you’re at it! Plus, pillows should never go in Baby’s crib–this is a major safety hazard. But as your cutie grows into a toddler, an accent pillow can make its way from the rocking chair to your kiddo’s bed, adding a bit of color and personality to her room (and serving as a cute reminder of those baby days). Click the images below to shop some of our favorites!
This watercolor pillow may just in fact resemble some of Baby’s first paintings! We love the bright colors and playful feel. It would look excellent sitting on a plain-colored comforter. ($55, Furbish Studio).
Your little adventure will love gazing at the bright colors and shapes on this pillow. ($30, Kohl’s)
Creative spelling aside, we love this pillow’s cheerful message! It would make a nice statement (literally and figuratively) when placed on a white chair or bedspread. The pillow also comes in white, if you want to go the opposite route! ($45, Lulu and Georgia)
This friendly elephant couldn’t be cuter! It’s the perfect addition to a future animal lover’s abode. ($25, Target)
Got twins? This fun matching set of pillowcases is great for a pair of two! They may even begin to dream in French. ($34 for the pair, Urban Outfitters)
Inspired to spruce up your little one’s room? Check out this modern nursery!
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accent pillow, bedroom, decorative pillows, furbish studio, Kohl's, lulu and georgia, nursery, pillowcases, pillows, rocking chair, Target, throw pillows, toddler, urban outfitters | Categories:
Thursday, June 12th, 2014
LEGOs, Barbies, stuffed animals, trains—are toys taking over your house? Parents’ editors want to know about your toy storage struggles. Take our completely anonymous, quick survey (we’ll never reveal how much you hate Barbie shoes) to tell us what you really think about keeping kids’ bedrooms and playspaces tidy. We’ll crunch the numbers and turn it into an anonymous stats page for an upcoming issue of Parents.
Click here to answer the survey.
Start getting organized today! Assign age-appropriate household chores to your little ones and shop kids’ bins and baskets.
Image via Shutterstock.
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Friday, March 14th, 2014
Ever worry about what your children are looking at online? Or worry they are spending too much time on the Internet? Of course you do!
There is so much to fear in the digital age, from online predators to cyberbullies to unwelcomed pop-ups and risqué advertising. But as consumers of the World Wide Web, we also know that so much good content is out there for children as well.
A new product just hit the market that may make it easier for parents to control the content as well as the amount of time kids are viewing it online. PowerCloud Systems, in partnership with Common Sense Media, launched a new parental control feature in Skydog (their home networking monitoring system), named webRover. The control is designed for monitoring kids between the ages 2 and 10. Through the Skydog-connected system, parents can set up multiple user accounts that can be controlled across all devices (including mobile and tablets).
“Kids can easily get exposed to age-inappropriate content,” says Caroline Knorr, the Parenting Editor for Common Sense Media. “They can do that by typing something into the Internet that seems like an innocuous search term, and they can arrive at a website that is not age appropriate.”
“Let’s face it, there’s no way that you can prevent your kids from being exposed to age-inappropriate content or content that you don’t approve of, but there are ways to manage their online activities so they are funneled into sites where they have a greater chance of finding age-appropriate, positive, nourishing websites versus what they might find on their own,” she continues.
Each webRover user profile can be customized based on what each parent deems appropriate for each child. For example, parents can schedule designated study hours during the week for school-age children where only approved websites can be accessed during that time. So even though kids may need the Internet to research a homework assignment, you won’t have to worry that they are wasting time playing an online game. For even younger children, parents can allow access-based categories, including learning potential. This is where Common Sense Media comes in.
The organization rates and reviews media across multiple platforms (like movies, TV shows, video games, apps, etc.) and assesses the appropriate age for each product. Multiple factors come into play, including violence, sex, cigarettes and drugs, language, positive role models, and learning capability. So, even though some websites may be kid-friendly, they may not necessarily promote learning. Through webRover, parents can customize the sites they want to allow, like ones with a higher educational rating. For sites that don’t have a ranking (like religious and regional websites), parents can manually enter in their own information and ratings. Parents can even override Common Sense Media’s ratings if they decide their young child can handle websites aimed at older children, or if they find something age-inappropriate based on their own values.
“Often parental controls are blunt instruments that block out too much good stuff,” Knorr says. “That’s been a real downfall with the controls up until this point. So the way Skydog has implemented it…they are saying, ‘You know what, we want to just curate the good stuff for kids.’”
The big key here is that although there are different recommendations about the what, how, and when children can access the Internet, the webRover feature allows ultimate control to be left up to the parents. And that deserves a little sigh of relief!
Download our Internet-use contract so your kids know the rules before they log in online!
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bullies, common sense media, cyberbullying, digital age, digital devices, Internet, online predators, predators, skydog, technology, webrover | Categories:
Entertainment, Home, school
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
A recent Parents poll shows most moms spend 15 hours or more each week sponging, scrubbing, sweeping, and vacuuming. To help slash that time, we enlisted the help of our editors, as well as cleaning experts, to deliver clever tricks and products for every room in your home.
In December, I sent 22 editors home with more than 30 of the latest and greatest cleaning supplies on the market. I assigned everyone a mission and they each went home to dutifully vacuum pet hair from carpeting, scour bathroom grout, steam hardwood and tile floors, wash windows, and scrub stoves—hey, we’re not above manual labor! Every sponge, brush, vacuum, and scum-busting solution was put to the test and if our real moms and dads weren’t impressed, we cut it from our list.
To see which products shined, check out our room-by-room guide to spring cleaning:
The room that’s the heart of the home is also its most mess-prone. Food prep plus eating is a recipe for sticky counters, gritty floors, and crud everywhere else. Here’s how to cut kitchen cleaning time in half:
Your Living Room and Bedroom
These spaces have a lot in common: soft, comfy furniture, plush carpeting, and personal clutter. They also share the cleaning challenges of upholstery stains, dirty carpeting, and dust. Use our tips for tricky messes:
Make the place where your family gets clean spotless. Tackle soap scum, mildew, stained grout, and more:
Find The Best Vacuum for You
We tested the latest vacuums to find the right tools for your home’s carpet, tile, and wood. Find out which is right for your family:
Which family space do you need the most help keeping tidy? Let us know in the comments!
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Image: Dad and daughter vacuuming by Stephanie Rausser
23 Clean Discoveries, bathroom, bedroom, cleaning, easy cleaning, home, housekeeping, kitchen, living room, organizing, Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo, save time, solutions, spring cleaning, timesaver | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Home, Solutions
Friday, February 28th, 2014
It’s been 24 years since Dr. Seuss‘ last book was published, but the beloved author’s imaginative worlds continue to stick in the minds of readers, from nostalgic parents to a new generation of kids growing up with his stories. This coming Sunday, March 2, will mark his 110th birthday. To celebrate, we scouted some decor that can Seussify your child’s room or nursery.
One of my favorite things about The Lorax is that it’s not just a feel-good book; it also has a really important environmental message. This LumiSource Medusa floor lamp ($127) sold at Wayfair reminds me a lot of the sprouting fuzzy heads of the tale’s Trufulla trees, which the main character learns to appreciate after tearing most of them down and seeing the destruction first-hand.
Fish also prove to be recurring characters in Dr. Suess’ books, including One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and even The Cat in the Hat. This Fishbowl Pendulum Clock ($44) from Uncommon Goods speaks to the type of fun animals you’ll find mixed throughout his stories.
Speaking of The Cat in the Hat, there’s no better way to show your Dr. Suess fandom than by designing around a color scheme of red, white and black. We love this striped pillow ($29) from Zazzle because it mimics the cat’s famous headwear, and the touch of black alludes to the feline himself.
Dr. Suess’ last published book Oh the Places You’ll Go became a popular tale for its focus on exploring the world and encouraging kids’ self-discovery. The character travels from place to place via air balloon, so a mobile ($50) from MoMA with tiny versions of the flying machine will spark your tot’s sense of adventure, too.
Through his writing, the author made a real effort to encourage kids’ creativity and individuality, so there’s no better way to celebrate Sunday than by putting your imagination to the test. Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!
Shop for The Lorax kid-room decor in our own Parents Shop!
Or if One Fish Two Fish decor is more your speed, there’s lots of cuteness and colorfulness around that!
Finally, see what we’ve got in The Cat in the Hat decor.
And make a fun cardboard fish toy with your kid this weekend!
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baby's nursery, Cat in the Hat, decorating a nursery, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Seuss birthday, nursery decor, nursery design, nursery furniture, Oh The Places You'll Go, One Fish Two Fish, the lorax | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Home, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun