Archive for the ‘
Your Child ’ Category
Friday, November 22nd, 2013
** Guest-edited by Emily Jenkins, 2013 Chair of the National Book Awards Committee on Young People’s Literature and author of Toys Go Out and more
First come my board-book standards. Your baby should have them. All babies should have them. All of them are properly interesting to someone who still wants to chew on books.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illus Clement Hurd
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illus Felicia Bond
books by Sandra Boynton (my favorite is Snuggle Puppy)
books by Eric Carle (my favorite is From Head to Toe)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin, illus Eric Carle
books by Dr. Seuss, shortened into board books (my favorite is Hop on Pop)
books by Karen Katz (my favorite is Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?)
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
The Max and Ruby books by Rosemary Wells (my favorite is Max’s Breakfast)
The Duck and Goose board books by Tad Hills (my favorite is Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin)
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
All the fun baby-centered books by Leslie Patricelli
Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill
If you’re a book lover, or on your second baby, chances are you already know the books above. You want to buy your baby (or your friend’s baby) something that’s beautiful and worth reading over and over and that might be a little under the radar. Below are my go-to board book gifts for literary folk who have all the others.
I Kissed the Baby! By Mary Murphy
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
More More More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illus Helen Oxenbury
Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tufari
Baby Penguins Everywhere by Melissa Guion
Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, illus. Marla Frazee
Ten Little Babies by Gyo Fujikowa
Peek-a-Boo by Alan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
Also check out nine new board books from the American Baby Editors.
Remember that your local bookstore can order any of these books, and you can also find many board books in our Parents.com/shop
Activity Tips: Mia Reads Book
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Thursday, November 21st, 2013
My kids are crazy about Build-a-Bear Workshops, where you choose the skin of a new plush friend and then get it filled, right there in the store, with fluff. And they’ve got a new addition to announce: Baby gifts from Build-a-Bear! The line is called Hug-a-Cub. Since the new goods are for babies, you don’t have to wait in a store to get them stuffed (definitely more fun for the older kids). They do encourage you to order online, because there’s lots to chose from there.
For instance, the 5-piece Brown Bear Gift Set can be personalized with Baby’s name. And I was excited to see this Sweet Velvet Bear who is allergy-friendly. There are a lot of Snugglers, too, those blankets-with-a-head that babies love so much.
Build-A-Bear is giving away THREE cuddly Hug a Cub 5-piece Brown Bear Gift Sets, including a soft bear, rattle, snuggler, blanket and bag to tote your treasures.
To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and Wednesday, November 27, and don’t forget to read the official rules. Be sure to check back on December 2 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. Goody luck!
Our winners have been chosen. Congrats to Charley Elizabeth, Veronica Lynn Willyard and Mary Singer!
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allergy, baby gifts, brown bear gift set, build a bear, build-a-bear workshop, Giveaway, hug a cub, prize, sweepstakes | Categories:
Babies, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear
Friday, November 8th, 2013
Who doesn’t remember loving Sesame Street as a child? I was so obsessed that my parents got Big Bird to come to my fifth birthday party, a day that still goes down in infamy among my family.
These days, Sesame Street’s educational and award-winning story lines aren’t just for television. The show now tops children’s learning in the digital sphere as well. Parents got the chance to check out some of the program’s latest apps, all designed for children 5 and under to expand their creativity.
1. Big Bird’s Words, $0.99
Recently launched on Google Play (and soon on iTunes), Big Bird’s Words is an app that uses verbal cues to teach vocabulary. In the game, Big Bird and your child help Sesame Street’s friends find items on their lists, such as shopping for Cookie Monster at the grocery store. Once everything is checked off, kids can explore further by taking pictures of everyday objects matching each item and learning additional related words.
2. Elmo’s Story Maker, $3.99
Based off Sesame Street’s “Elmo The Musical” segment, this app for iPad and Kindle allows kids to tell a story from beginning to end. They can choose or create their own characters and pick special objects as the tale plays out. The app reads your story out loud, or you can make a special recording. Later, share with family and friends through email or social media.
3. Sesame Street Family Play, $0.99
Lacking inspiration for new games to play with your kids? The Family Play app available on iTunes features 150 ideas! Whether you’re at home or on-the-go, this generator will help you find an activity based on location, number of kids, and objects around you. Each idea encourages playtime outside the screen, proving technology isn’t totally necessary for a good time.
Also on our radar: Sesame Go, a video-on-demand service that will offer content from the show on any web-based application. Currently in Beta testing, the service will be available to fans in the next few months, proving Sesame Street really is just about everywhere you look…or click and tap.
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Big Bird's Words, digital learning, digital world, Elmo's Story Maker, kids and technology, kids apps, kids games, sesame street, Sesame Street Family Play, technology | Categories:
Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Time for Fun, Your Child
Friday, November 8th, 2013
Have you seen Bethenny Frankel’s new talk show? The SkinnyGirl entrepreneur tackles some serious issues on Bethenny, her new daytime show. Parents attended a taping that covered everything from fashion advice to a discipline debate to a discussion on body image. After the taping, Parents sat in on a blogger Q&A with Bethenny as she talked about spanking, healthy eating, and spending quality time with her 3-year-old daughter, Bryn.
What’s your best advice for single moms?
BF: Prioritize. You don’t really have a lot of free time so, you have to be organized and efficient. Quality time is the most important thing with your child. You have to sleep. I don’t have a nanny, so the minute I get up it’s game time until 8 o’clock when it’s bedtime. I try to get sleep so I feel good all day and we can do great things together. I work really intensely and hard and do two shows a day, which is really difficult, but I cram it all in so that the other time is free time, but there’s no manicures, there’s no me time. I just go right to pick her up from school to make it great for the both of us.
During the discipline debate segment during this morning’s taping there was a lot of discussion about spanking and about the new trend of shaming. What are your thoughts on disciplining this way?
BF: Just to be clear, I didn’t have that much of a problem with the woman telling her daughter to hold the sign [on her Facebook saying she had used the site inappropriately], but I would never do that. It’s not even in the realm of possibility, nor is hitting. [The Facebook photo] just didn’t create such a visceral reaction in me, but hitting does. Although, I remember when a teacher told me I looked like I’d gone through an egg-beater because my hair was messy and I do remember that being traumatizing. I still remember that and it was third grade. I think you can reason with children. They feel your energy. You have to be calm and direct. My daughter is young, until you get older you don’t know, but I just wouldn’t lay my hands on anyone.
So what is your tactic for disciplining, since you’re not a spanker or a shamer?
BF: Just consequences. If I say “no” and my daughter disobeys me or she cries [because I say “no”], it’s okay, you can cry. People cry when they get sad. You can cry. Let her go through it, but I think you can’t take the path of least resistance. A lot of times when a kid is crying a parent just wants it to stop so they give them a toy or a treat. I’m willing to sit through it, even at a restaurant, even if there are other people there. Not a crazy tantrum because I’m not going to ruin someone else’s meal, but I’ll let it go for a second. It does end. You have to be patient about it.
With a daughter and the show, how do you still prioritize healthy eating for yourself and Bryn with such little time?
BF: It’s just ingrained in you, but it’s not always perfect. Yesterday I was with her in the morning and I hadn’t eaten breakfast and I had half of one of those big sprinkle cookies because it was her snack time. I had part of that for breakfast which isn’t the ideal breakfast, but I don’t really get overly caught up in it. Then for lunch I had sushi and then at dinner I had a veggie burger. It’s kind of all balanced out. I’m not always healthy, I had French fries last night, but I had French fries with a veggie burger. It’s all in moderation. You want to be the person who’s here and drinking green juices every day or like Ellen [DeGeneres] where it’s all raw and organic and vegan, but that’s not going to happen.
As the face of the SkinnyGirl empire, and after the discussion of body image duing the taping today, how do you plan to teach your daughter to have a positive body image amidst all the noise?
BF: I don’t think it’s a teaching thing, I think it’s a living breathing thing. I hear moms saying “I look fat in these jeans” or “I was bad” or “I’m going on a diet” and all of those are cues that children hear from a young age. There is none of that in my house at all. There is no noise about exercise or working out. She just eats what she wants. I do see other kids that are very focused on food and they want to eat it all and they want more and vice versa, kids that won’t eat at all, but she’s pretty balanced. I happen to be lucky that my daughter isn’t someone who is obsessed with food. It’s about not having all of that stuff in your house. If you have chicken nuggets and processed food and they get used to that, that’s the slippery slope. I’m proud of the fact that she likes healthy food. And then I don’t mind, have ice cream, or pizza, or chips, but there’s a base that’s healthy. She just likes brown rice, or pea soup, and greens, but of course she can have ice cream. There are no “no’s.” I think that’s another problem is that parents are big on restricting. I was the house with cut up fruit and sliced turkey and other people had Cap’n Crunch and you were so excited. Or Twinkies! I don’t have that stuff in my house, but if you’re somewhere and you want to: have it.
When you do have down time, what do you like to do for you time and what do you like to do with your daughter?
BF: Oh my G-d when am I by myself? When I’m by myself, yoga or talk a walk with my dog, just go somewhere in the city. I’ll take a walk along the river or get a coffee somewhere. Sometimes it just feels free to be alone. I’m a person that likes to be alone and I’m not alone that much. … Just walk and wander. Do nothing, mindless nothing. When I’m with my daughter anything. The playground, biking, the park. Just fun things that I think are an adventure. It’s so nice, it’s so fun together.
Do you have any plans of how you two will spend the holidays?
BF: The traditional traditions. I love doing the Christmas tree with her and taking her to see the windows and to Central Park and Rockefeller Center. I’m very big on activities, whether it’s pumpkin-picking or carving pumpkins or apple-picking and making apple pie out of it, cooking, we’ll definitely do Christmas cookies, we’ll definitely do the tree-decorating and the house-decorating. That’s the best thing about kids, they make you young again. You have somebody to do all these great activities with that as an adult we sleep, we workout, when you’re single you didn’t do all these fun interesting activities. Life’s pretty active with her. There’s not really a moment that’s not filled.
A lot of times I’m exhausted, but I’m not a sit-in-front-of-the-TV mom. I want to do great, interesting things with her. It doesn’t mean we have to go to Europe to the Eiffel Tower, it just means sit on the playground or have a picnic. You feel good about yourself. What you put into your kid you get out.
To watch the discipline debate on Bethenny, tune in Monday, November 18. Check your local listings.
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Friday, October 18th, 2013
Cribs, rompers, and blankies, oh my! When it comes to furnishing the perfect room for Baby, sometimes there’s just too much décor. Take it from the lifestyle department at American Baby; we conceive a new nursery theme each month for our “Nesting” page.
So how do we manage to scout a set of items that mesh? You’d be surprised where we find inspiration.
1. It’s not about matching.
Yes, ideally you want your nursery to flow well. But that doesn’t mean it has to match to the point where all creativity is drained. The best ideas come when you make unexpected choices, like using a spotted orange crib sheet to mimic bedrock pebbles for a dinosaur theme. Definitely beats the traditional creature-filled bedding.
2. It can start with one product.
Despite how put together our layouts seem, it doesn’t take long to develop a theme. It can be sparked by anything really at a moment’s notice. When we came across this brigade of dolls, they inspired a Japanese-centered nursery that would go on to include florals and the cutest wrap dress for November–subscribers look out for your issue soon!
3. Practicality outweighs design.
Don’t just choose décor because it looks nice. Think about longevity and the drain on your wallet, too. A $300 diaper pail may match your coveted color scheme, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth it in the long run. Be sure to research multiple sources and consider timeless pieces that will last beyond your child’s early years, like cool mirrors or sophisticated lamp bases.
Before you know it, you’ll want to sleep in Baby’s room instead of your own!
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Babies, baby, baby's nursery, baby's room, decor, home decor, home design, interior design, nursery, nursery decor | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear, Your Child, Your Life
Monday, October 14th, 2013
Aden + Anais, best known for its adorable muslin baby blankets, is now giving away 10 of its muslin “sleeping bags,” or wearable blankets. These are a safe way to keep your baby warm while sleeping without using a loose blanket, which poses a suffocation risk; avoiding them in cribs is an important part of reducing the risk of SIDS. The company is running this giveaway now because October is SIDS Awareness Month, when advocates work especially hard to increase the awareness of SIDS as well as the importance of safe sleep habits for babies. Among those advocates are the CJ Foundation for SIDS, a nonprofit which has provided millions of dollars for SIDS research initiatives, support service grants, public education, and awareness campaigns since 1994. In fact, a portion of the sales of all Aden + Anais sleeping bags go directly to the CJ Foundation.
To enter the giveaway, visit Aden + Anais on Facebook. (Scroll down a bit to find the latest post about the contest.) Good luck!
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Friday, October 11th, 2013
With the hefty mix of apps and games available, it can be hard to determine what’s not only fun, but also appropriate for your child.
If you use LeapFrog products, they’re helping parents decipher the daunting world of gaming with their recently-released Parent’s Guide . From skill-building to privacy concerns, six key points help you decipher what to consider the next time you’re purchasing Leapfrog games or apps for young ones.
Another way to keep track of kids’ games, especially for the older crowd, is a free mobile app from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Search for titles by age rating and filter out apps that share personal information or location. You can also flag options that contain violence, strong language or other mature content. Check out how to navigate through the app below.
If you’re still at a loss, ESRB’s Resources for Parents offers even more websites to decode everything gaming for your son or daughter.
What ways do you check for fun and safe games and apps for your tyke? Do you try every app yourself? Ask other parents for their reccs? Share your strategies below and help other parents!
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apps, ESRB, ESRB app, Games, gaming, kids apps, kids games, LeapFrog, LeapFrog Insider Checklist | Categories:
Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun, Your Child
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
When my daughter started kindergarden, she hated reading. There I said it.
Her teacher always sent her home with books from which she was to read for at least 20 minutes every night. But whenever she sat down with a book, I’d watch her body slump and her mind wander to far away thoughts of magical moving pictures from the glorious TV in her room.
She was no stranger to reading before she started school. She had an entire library in her room that I filled with all of the classics. I’d been reading to her since she was in the womb, and she’s always loved reading hour, which we have every Saturday and Sunday after lunch. But this was different. Being in kindergarden meant that she had to decipher the strange letters on the page on her own, and that was no fun.
She once started to say “I hate rea-” to which I gasped and forbid her from ever having such thoughts. As an English major and a lover of books, this was like a punch in the stomach for me. I felt a sense of loss for all of the amazing stories she might miss out on; all of the lives she wouldn’t live if this feeling continued. Dramatic, I know, but it’s really how I felt.
So of course I did what every wise, all-knowing mother does when she encounters an obstacle: I called my mom.
“Being a mom means being a teacher,” my mom said. “Put your teaching pants on.”
Apparently moms have all kinds of pants in an invisible mom-wardrobe that we just have to whip out and pull on when called for. So I did. I pulled on my teaching pants, and they weren’t comfortable, but they fit.
After watching her read each day, I took to the chalkboard in her room and made lists of word families that I noticed gave her trouble.
Practicing “ou” brought mountains and clouds to life on the page for her. I bought books that were fun, like We Are In a Book, by Mo Willems. She cracked up reading that one and asked for more of his books. One Saturday I encouraged her to write a letter to her favorite author, and a week later she received her first piece of mail – a response from Mo Willems himself. He thanked her and promised to keep writing “Funny jokes to make her laugh.”
It took some time, but soon enough, she was reading books at home that were well beyond the reading level that her teacher was assigning.
Now as a 1st grader, new books have become rewards for completing her chores and finishing other books.
Some of her favorites are Amelia Bedelia, and The Show Must Go On. She recently finished The Adventures of Captain Underpants (in 2 days) and I challenged her to read Wayside School is Falling Down in 1 week. On the line – the entire Captain Underpants box set.
I’d be lying if I said that my daughter loves every book that she picks up. She’ll still swap a book for the TV if the story isn’t funny enough, but she’s come a long way from the days of (almost) hating to read. And I get to put the teaching pants back on the hanger during reading hour.
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Books, challenges, education, kindergarden, learning, learning trouble, love of learning, reading, school | Categories:
GoodyBlog, school, Your Child