Archive for the ‘ Must Read ’ Category

Donald Faison is Hysterical in Luvs #Willitleak Campaign

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Insider Images/Andrew Kelly for Luvs (UNITED STATES)

This year celebrity daddy Donald Faison took on a brand-new role when he dressed up as Santa! In partnership with Luvs, Faison shared laughter and Ho-Ho-Hos with diaper-bearing cuties as part of the Luvs #Willitleak campaign at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan on December 9. The event stirred up excitement over a giggle-inducing 23 second “Will it Leak on Santa’s Suit?” video.

Faison says the Santa suit was hot—but hanging out with a bunch of kids was cool. Even cooler: Luvs will donate diapers through the Children’s Miracle Network to families in need, based on how many impressions the “Will it Leak on Santa’s Suit?” video gets by Christmas night!

Faison has one wish this Christmas, and that’s to spend time with family. You should do the same too. He says, “Relax, reload, unwind and get ready for the upcoming year. Spend time with your kids—you just can’t tell me looking at your kid doesn’t make you happy.”

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Jennifer Hudson: “I just want to keep making music and being with my family”

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

In the spirit of the holiday season, singer-actress Jennifer Hudson went to work with Johnson’s Brand as they launched their new initiative More Hands, More Hearts on #GivingTuesday. As a mom to 5-year-old David, Hudson was thrilled to assemble babycare kits to distribute to families in need nationwide as part of the campaign. Here, the Grammy-winning artist gets real about her desire to give back, her proudest moment as a mom, and the latest star David is trying to emulate.

P: What drew you to this particular project on #GivingTuesday?

JH: Well, in general giving back is very important to me. We founded the Julian D. King Gift Foundation in honor of my nephew a few years back because we wanted to be able to think of him and know that something positive was being done in the world. And with Johnson’s More Hands, More Hearts it’s that same idea of helping others. You never really think of how many needy babies there are in the world, but they need our help. Julian’s Foundation exists to provide positive experiences for children of all backgrounds so that they will become productive, confident and happy adults, but you need healthy, happy babies first. They need diapers and bottles to grow and be healthy and so I’m thrilled to be involved with this project.

P: You mention the Foundation in honor of your nephew. How has the Foundation progressed since you started it six years ago?

JH: Oh my goodness, so much. When we first started it we just wanted to honor my nephew and help kids in the community. It started with the toy drive for gift-giving around Christmas, but now we added a back-to-school supplies drive. The line was around the block. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I can’t even keep track.

P: Does it work through scholarships or is it more event-focused?

JH: Well, we do have the dinner around Christmas each year and kids in the community can be nominated by their teachers to attend. They don’t have to be getting all A’s, but they do have to be trying. It’s the effort we want to encourage. It’s not a scholarship, but we reward that effort by granting their Christmas wish around the holidays. Our mission is to be something positive, a catalyst for change in children’s health, education, and welfare. We have the Toy Drive and Hatch Day each year and sometimes other events—we do as much as we can but we are local [in Chicago].

P: Let’s talk about your son, David. What is your favorite thing about this age?

JH: He’s 5 now and I think it’s just how creative he is. His mind is just going going. He started building a tent area at home, gathered materials and built this huge tent area and then I found out he has a garbage can in there. He throws trash in it and then empties it in the kitchen trash. He’s keeping it clean. It’s so funny to see him create his own little home.

P: It sounds like he’s very much his own little person. Is there a parenting rule that he always gets you to break?

JH: Bedtime. That’s probably the toughest because he always wants to stay up late and hang out. He’ll fake being hungry, like “Oh mom, I’m hungry, I can’t go to bed yet.” And I let him have a snack, but then I realized Wait. He’s not hungry, he’s just trying to stay up.

P: What has been your proudest moment as a mom?

JH: I mean, I brought a life into the world. That in and of itself…. But he’s also so smart and creative and thoughtful. He really cares about others. Like if I’m cold, he’ll curl up next to me and cover me with a blanket. He’s very aware of others and how they feel.

P: So is he like his mama? Does he like to perform?

JH: Ohhhhhh yes. He loves to dance and he just loves Michael Jackson. I took him to see Usher and told him Usher is like Michael Jackson. He had the best time. When we got home he said “Mommy! Turn on ummm ummm what is his name?” And I said “Usher?” And he said “Yeah, Mommy. Turn on USHER! I’m gonna dance for the camera!”

P: Through your Foundation you encourage kids to express themselves and accomplish things with this idea of Hatch Day. It’s so important for kids, but it’s also important for adults to mark their accomplishments. What do you hope to accomplish in 2015 in the essence of Hatch Day?

JH: Oh wow. I never thought of it that way, but I feel so blessed. I just want to keep making music and being with my family. If I can keep making music that people enjoy, I really hope for longevity in my career. I want to work towards that.

Find out what you need for newborn with our Baby Care Supply List.

How to Buy Baby Gear on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Gear on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Gear on a Budget

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The Parents Goody Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win Five Chuggington Playsets and Two DVDs, All Worth $280!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Do you have a little builder or train conductor at home? If you think these Chuggington model train sets are just too much fun to pass up, this giveaway is for you!

Enter for the chance to win approximately $280 worth of merchandise, including five Chuggington train playsets and a DVD.

ONE (1) lucky winner will receive:

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between now and the end of the day on December 8, 2014. Be sure to check back on December 9th and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, or the District of Columbia, 21 years and older. Begins: 4PM EST on December 2, 2014. Ends: 11:59PM on December 8, 2014. Subject to Official Rules at http://www.parents.com/blogs/goodyblog/official-rules-enter-for-the-chance-to-win-five-chuggington-playsets-and-two-dvds/. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Meredith Corporation.

For more check out our official rules. Goody luck!

Best Toys That Feature Favorite Characters
Best Toys That Feature Favorite Characters
Best Toys That Feature Favorite Characters

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Meals I Make for My Kids Are Not Instagram-Worthy. They Eat Them Anyway.

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

I feed my kids well, and they are healthy, and for that I should get a freakin’ medal. But instead what I get is a Buzzfeed article called “This Woman Makes Staggeringly Pretty Meals for Her Children” showing a mom in Asia who creates works of art for her kids to eat, but first uploads photos of them to Instagram. Culinary masterpieces that, frankly, I doubt her kids even appreciate. They probably beg for a bowl of Froot Loops, but instead have to eat a rice Hello Kitty under a sunny-side-up egg sky.

Do you know what our family dinner looked like last night? It’s this bowl of mush right here: I can show you because I am eating the leftovers. Want to know how I made it? First I had to navigate Trader Joe’s on a Sunday morning, which, in my Brooklyn neighborhood, resembles Times Square on New Year’s Eve. I bought pork, broccoli slaw, and pineapple spears, and only had to wait in line about a half-hour. At 7 a.m. Monday morning I laid the slaw, the spears, and the pork in my slow-cooker, covered it all in Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sweet Korean BBQ sauce (I stockpile slow-cooker cheats in my pantry like liquid gold), and turned the dial to “low.” After getting my kids to school, commuting, working an 8-hour day, traveling an hour to retrieve my son at his band class, and then getting my daughter from her piano lesson, TA-DA! I added the finishing touch. I stirred in leftover Chinese fried rice from our Sunday-night takeout. I stress that I made this entire recipe up in my own head. We ate it, and my kids loved it, so there Hello-Kitty lady.

It took 12 hours from the time I started it to the time I served it, so if she wants to try and say she puts in more effort, I say heck no. It fed me and my kids and is feeding me again, and I’m guessing her fancypants plate only covers one of her four children. I win again. Okay, I am not going to address the sodium content in my dish, nor the calories. It had both fruit and vegetable! I am not to be made to feel guilty because I don’t carve up food to look like boats, or Pokemon, or mermaids.

That said, if she would come make this cream-cheese Olaf for me, I would be totally into it. 

Family Dinners: 4 Tips To Make Them Better
Family Dinners: 4 Tips To Make Them Better
Family Dinners: 4 Tips To Make Them Better

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Unbored Games: Easy Ways to Have Fun as a Family

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

By Brooke Schuldt

In a world of high-definition entertainment, sometimes it can be hard to get your kids enthusiastic about family game night. Thankfully, Elizabeth Foy Larsen and Joshua Glenn offer loads of ideas to help entertain your kids in their new book Unbored Games: Serious Fun For Everyone. Larsen discusses the importance of family play and why people should take games seriously. 

Your book promotes kids playing not only among themselves, but also with their families. Why do you think that playing together as a family is so important?

Playing games together is great for a lot of reasons: It’s a way to connect and enjoy each other that doesn’t feel forced—it’s genuinely fun, and that’s truly important. I’ve interviewed a lot of child psychologists over the years and one thing they say is that kids are often stumped by the question: “What does your family do to have fun?” We want kids to grow up with memories of enjoying time together with the people they love. And that can get tough in a culture filled with homework and regularly scheduled extracurricular activities.

Along with indoor and outdoor games, your book talks about online games and mobile app games. Why is it so important for parents to be aware of their children’s online activities? 

We enjoy a lot of online games and apps and think there’s no reason kids should stay away from them if their parents have pre-screened them and if kids can show they can regulate their use and not become addicted.

The first page of the book lists the ten reasons why games are important. How do you think playing games positively affects a child’s development?

Where do I start? Games encourage kids, especially younger kids, to learn how to keep practicing until they figure out how to do a certain move or skill correctly. They also teach collaboration, problem-solving skills and, in the case of outdoor games, are an incredibly fun way to get exercise. We encourage kids to hack or modify a game if they don’t like the way it works, which is important when it comes to nurturing creativity.

What is your favorite game to play with your family?

We love Anomia, which is a fast-paced word association game. But when all of my kids were in elementary school our absolute favorite was Apples to Apples. We’re a loud family who love to argue and persuade each other that each one of us is right. Playing that game is still a great way to get us laughing, even if we’ve all had bad days.

How is your latest book different from your previous book Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun?

The original Unbored is an all-encompassing activity book and resource for kids and their families that touches on all parts of a kid’s life. Unbored Games focuses exclusively on games—how to play them, how to make them, how to modify them to suit your needs.

The Best Games of 2014!
The Best Games of 2014!
The Best Games of 2014!

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Enter to Win a John Deere Wagon Full of Toys

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Harvest season intersects with toy season, and if Santa is feeling a little pressured all around, this week’s giveaway of a wagon full of John Deere toys can help! 

The John Deere Steel Stake Wagon (worth approximately $200) is one we have here in our offices; it’s our secret weapon for moving props around our hallways. You’ll love pulling your kid around in it, or watching him use it himself…ideally to help you get leaves to the curb.

The winner of this giveaway will also receive the following toys: Gear Force Harvest Action Combine ($60), Monster Treads RC Gator ($50), Monster Treads Shake & Sounds Farm Armor ($35), Monster Treads Raging Bull Roundup ($30) and Kernel Shucks ($16). Most of the toys are for ages 3 years+; the wagon is for ages 2 years+, Kernal Shucks is for 18 months+, and the remote-control gater is for ages 6 years+.

The approximate retail value of the total prize is $391. That’s a nice start, Santa! For your chance to win, you can leave a comment below, up to once a day every day between now and 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 17th. We’ll post the winner at the bottom of the thread, and please check your “other” message folder on Facebook to claim your prize. For more details, check in to our official rules. Goody luck!

We Pick the Best Toys of 2014
We Pick the Best Toys of 2014
We Pick the Best Toys of 2014

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Teach Kids About Veterans

Friday, November 7th, 2014

By Brooke Schuldt

When the Penguins of Madagascar tell you to do something, you do it!

At least that is what your kids probably think.

First Lady Michelle Obama knows how influential those four show-stealing penguins are, and that is why she enlists their help with a top-secret mission in the video Operation Got Your 6. In the video, the penguins let everyone know how veterans better our communities. They also explain the military lingo Got Your Six, which means standing behind someone.

The campaign works to inform civilians about the importance of our service members, both those who have served and those who currently serve.

The video also promotes the “Take a Vet to School” program, which allows schools to welcome veterans into the classroom to share their stories with students.

Operation Got Your 6 is a cute, quirky way to teach your kids about the significance of our veterans and is a great way to observe Veterans Day. Click on the penguins to watch the video.

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Dear Mom: I Gave Your Brats Candy for Dinner

Friday, November 7th, 2014

By Brooke Schuldt

When I originally said I was free Saturday night, I figured it would be three hours of feeding and entertaining your kids—two boys who are very close in age—before they went to sleep and I continued my Mad Men Netflix binge.

I never imagined that I would be pinned to the ground against my will by one brother while the other taunted me by dangling my IPhone over the trash can filled with the dinner that they refused to eat.

“Give us candy for dinner instead,” the first brother yelled, “Or your phone swims with the fishes!”

Technically it would be swimming with macaroni and cheese, but I decided it was not the best time to be snarky with him. And yes, I could have just thrown the second brother off of me, but the risk of hurting him stopped me.

So, do you know what I did?

I gave them candy for dinner.

Not a lot, because I still respect your rules. But you have to understand that when one of your demon children is pinning me to the ground, and the other is looking to destroy my only connection to the outside world, desperate times call for desperate measures.

If it makes you feel any better, I put a vegetable on the table with the candy. You can probably guess where that vegetable ended up.

Babysitters work hard for our money, and only occasionally does the “I’m going to call your mom” threat actually work. Kids are resilient and barbaric.

I once had a kid trick me into thinking that he wanted to go outside, only to lock me out while he ran around the house threatening to call the police and say I was a burglar. This was all because I said, “Hey, we have played Just Dance for about an hour now. Why don’t we do something else?”

Parents, please be kind to your babysitters. Most of them follow the rules to the best of their abilities, but if your smartphone was dangling over three bowls’ worth of Kraft Easy Mac and a stranger’s son was sitting on your back, wouldn’t you just give in?

Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care
Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care
Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care

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