Summer Ice Cream Round Up: Ice Cream on a Stick

Summer is here, and temperatures just keep rising and rising. Along with the heat, the urge for a refreshingly cold treat also tends to increase on a daily basis. Thankfully, July is National Ice Cream Month. In honor of the celebration, here at Parents we’ve taste tested a variety of flavors and brands to bring you our absolute favorites! (Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.) Be sure to check back every week during the month of July for even more yumminess.

Whether your child is on-the-go in the car, at a picnic, or at camp, it doesn’t get much better than ice cream on a stick if you’re a kid. From fruity to creamy, decadent to juicy, these treats are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Popsicle Red Classics

Popsicle Red Classic

Red usually means stop, except when kids see this Popsicle flavor. Red flavors are very popular, so the makers of this summer staple decided to package them all together. Gone are the days of children fighting over who gets the red one, while the poor grape and orange Popsicles are left to melt.

Flavors: Cherry, Raspberry, and Strawberry

Sold: Nationwide

“I love the adorable retro packaging. This is so smart because everybody always goes for the red ones, first, right?” – Samantha Hyde, editorial assistant

Dreyer's Outshine FV Apples & Greens

Dreyer’s Outshine Fruit & Veggie Bars

It’s pretty common for kids to enjoy fruit in ice cream, but veggies? That’s a whole different story, but these bars are 25 percent vegetable made with puree and juices.

Flavors: Peach Mango, Tangerine Carrot, Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry Medley

Sold: Nationwide

“With few calories and natural ingredients, you can’t go wrong!” – Caylin Harris, associate lifestyle editor

Talenti Gelato Pops

Talenti Gelato Pops

Made with fresh milk and pure cane sugar, these pops are worth the indulgence. And at 30 percent less fat than regular ice cream, you don’t have to feel guilty about it!.

Flavors: Caribbean Coconut, Double Dark Chocolate, Banana Swirl, Black Raspberry, Coffee, Mediterranean Mint, Tahitian Vanilla, and Sea Salt

Sold: Nationwide

“They’re so good!!! I love their salted caramel, and it’s great on a stick, too.” – Sarah Lyon, editorial assistant

Yasso Greek Yogurt Pops

Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars

At only 80 calories a bar and 5-7 grams of protein, you’ll want to go back for seconds with these delicious frozen treats. (Don’t worry. We won’t tell.)

Flavors: Chocolate Fudge, Mint Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Sea Salt Caramel, Peanut Butter Cup, Raspberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, Vanilla Bean, Mango, and Coconut

Sold: Nationwide

“AMAZING! It didn’t melt super fast, and was tasty without being too rich or heavy.” – Ashley Oerman, assistant editor

In the mood to made your own ice cream? Try one of the six delicious ice cream sandwiches!

I is for ice cream! Click here to download this fun coloring sheet.

How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations

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Bastille Day Is On Its Way! Shop These Looks for Kids

Even if a trip to the City of Lights isn’t on the horizon, you and your kiddos can still celebrate Bastille Day stateside with these festive outfits! Click the images to shop.

This sundress featuring a Parisian streetscape is très très chic and perfect for the humid July weather. ($24, Kohl’s)

Bon voyage, Baby! We have no doubt that your enfant is up for a rendezvous at the Eiffel Tower anytime. Let him lead the way! ($26, Land of Nod)

This black tank is funky and will allow her to brush up on her vocab–voilà! ($13, H & M)

For the cutie who can’t get enough of French cuisine, a macaron-themed one-piece by Spunky Stork. ($22, Shop Vault)

Bisou, bisou! This DKNY dress is a perfect choice for that upcoming summer soirée. ($56, Belk) 

He’ll look adorable wearing this traditional Breton striped shirt while lazing in the jardin. ($28, Boden)

Looking to add a little Genevieve or Charlotte to your pack? Check out more French baby name options here!

French Baby Names
French Baby Names
French Baby Names

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Raffi Returns! The Singer Discusses His Album

Raffi was a hit in my house (or more specifically, in the car!) while my sister and I were growing up. We listened to his songs so much that we almost wore out his cassette tape (yes, this was pre-CDs!).

Though it’s impossible to forget the charismatic children’s musician, many of us may have noticed his lack of albums in recent years. But fear not: Though Raffi–who is also an author–has taken on a variety of endeavors, which he describes below, he’s certainly did not bid adieu to singing. His album “Love Bug,” his first since 2002, hits stores July 15. Want to purchase it earlier? Here’s how.

“I feel like a new papa with this album,” Raffi told Parents.com. “I’m just thrilled to keep making music with my ‘Beluga Grads.’”

Here, Raffi discusses his song inspiration, his views on technology use, and more.

Parents.com: What prompted you to release another album after a 12-year break? 

Raffi Cavoukian: I felt the creative need to express myself to my loyal audience of many decades now, and recently I returned to the concert stage after an absence of 10 years….I thought well, gee, you know, I think a new batch of songs to express love and caring in a new way would be fun. At the same time, keep in mind that “Love Bug” is the first Raffi album of the digital era. In 10 short years, social media has changed parenting or at least made it more challenging. It has certainly impacted the landscape of childhood, so after I wrote and published the book Lightweb, Darkweb, about social media awareness and reform, I thought it would be really good to have an album of songs in response to the digital era, an album in full celebration of the real world.

P: How can kids and parents regulate technology use? 

RC:  In families, that’s the parent’s responsibility, to set the tone of their day, to set the tone of their interactions, and that requires conscious parenting, which is a Child Honouring principle….It just speaks to an awareness by parents of their inner processes so that they are mindfully engaging with their kids, and I know that’s easier said than done [laughs], but the goal is for mindful interactions, rather than unconsciously repeating what was done to us when we were kids. Parents have the opportunity and the responsibility of actually setting a tone in their families, where for little kids, I’m talking about real little ones, real life experience is valued and takes priority above all else. As I say to parents, and I’m basically saying what psychotherapists and pediatricians are saying, information technology can wait. What can’t wait is an infant’s need and desire to bond with the real world, the three dimensional world of wonders, of textures, of elements, this is the job of the formative years. You can do tech later. It’s going to change anyway [laughs].

P: Your listeners today are growing up in a different era than children of the past. How are today’s kids similar to your previous audience, and how do they differ? 

RC: The basic needs of early childhood are universal and irreducible, that does not change….What’s different is not the kids themselves, but the culture in which they live, to which they respond. It’s the culture that’s different, that’s faster, it’s more technologically obsessed, and these shiny tech devices represent an intrusion into the early years [of life for] a newborn and an infant. As I said before, the priority in early years, the job of a young one is emotional intelligence, as Daniel Goleman wrote brilliantly in that book, is to exercise the emotional intelligence, which is relational, real people, real world situations. We really have to be careful, we don’t want to introduce shiny tech representations of the three-dimensional world, these are flat, electronic representations that go hyper-fast.

P: What was your inspiration for the title track of your album? 

RC: The songs for this album came really easily to me. There was hardly any labor. I think for “Love Bug,” I had that guitar riff that I do [sings] and then the words just came immediately. I thought it was really a neat kind of way of looking at that impulse to hug people, and it’s just a love song.

P: What did you enjoy most about recording this album as a whole?

RC: I think the fact that I was recording again, a children’s album, that I imagined my fans would be waiting for it with great delight, because there hasn’t been a new one in 12 years. And the fact that I recorded 80 percent of it in my living room. In the book Lightweb, Darkweb, I talk about the lightweb being all that we like about digital technology, and I’m a tech enthusiast. I really appreciated the ability for my recording engineer to come from Vancouver, into my living room, with his laptop, and with just one connector box and some microphones, the recording console became his laptop, which is quite common these days. To work that way and the easy editing, I thought that was great fun. I look forward to doing more CDs actually, I’ve got more songs brewing.

P: One song on this album honors Nelson Mandela. Can you talk about this piece? 

RC: Those who inspire us live on forever, and Mandela was such a huge inspiration to me. Back in 2011, I wrote and recorded that song and got a chance to sing it for him in Toronto. You can imagine the thrill of being there, singing it for him, and when I finished, he stood up to shake my hand. Well you don’t forget that. In fact, that song title, “Turn This World Around,” is the subtitle of my anthology that I published in 2006, it’s a collection of essays called Child Honouring: How to Turn This World Around. While we wouldn’t think of “Turn This World Around” as a children’s song, it’s the bonus song that completes this collection of songs….The other person I’ve paid tribute to is Pete Seeger. I was with him two years ago….We sang two songs, I remember we were singing together, one was “This Little Light of Mine,” the other was “This Land is Your Land,” which Pete made famous. I mean, Woodie Guthrie wrote it, but Pete made it popular, so I included “This Land is Your Land” as well in this album. The song “Pete’s Banjo,” in case you’re curious, when I came back two years ago from visiting Pete, there I was on my front deck in the sun with my guitar, and I was playing…something that sounded sort of like a banjo, and that’s where I got the idea of a tribute song for Pete called “Pete’s Banjo.” That’s where that came from, and I think that’s where the impetus for this new album may have come from, from seeing Pete Seeger in his ’90s, singing, and people loving it, and I thought, “Wow” [laughs]. I kind of saw my future, if you know what I mean….What does an aging troubadour do? Well he keeps making music. That’s the message I got.

Photo by Billie Woods

Do you have a kid with an urge to sing? Start out with this simple song.

If You're Happy and You Know It
If You're Happy and You Know It
If You're Happy and You Know It

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How to Get Into Diagon Alley Early

Seeing pictures of hours-long lines at Universal Orlando Resort, full of fellow Harry Potter fans eager to get into the newest Wizarding World on it’s first day, got us scheming: How can you get into Diagon Alley before the crowds?! Obviously no day will be as busy as that opening day, but still. Here are some places to stay that will get you in an hour earlier than most muggles!

Stay at a Universal hotel. All four of them, Loews Portofino Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, Loews Royal Pacific Resort (named one of American Baby’s Most Baby-Friendly Resorts), and the brand-new, moderately priced Cabana Bay Beach Resort grant you early access to both Universal parks. Read all the fine print here, but the bottom line is, there’s not much fine print. As long as you have park tickets and an active room key for one of the hotels, you can get in early, which usually means 8am versus 9am. The other obvious advantage to a Universal Hotel is you’re right next to the parks and can either walk or ride a free shuttle, skipping the parking hassle. Hey, every minute counts!

There’s a $135 per adult, per night, tax-inclusive offer for a four-night stay at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort that includes multi-day park-to-park tickets and some breakfasts, so it’s a deal, as long as you can do a four-night getaway. Travel has to be August 17 to October 2, or November 30 to December 18, and must be booked by July 31. Start here. There are upgrade options too!

Buy a Universal Orlando package. Quite a few hotels in the area partner with Universal Orlando Resort and, if you buy a Universal-specific package, you’ll be granted those same benefits (early admission, park-to-park tickets) for about half the cost, you’ll just need to drive to the parks. For instance, Hilton Orlando’s “Universal Orlando Vacation” package boasts early admission and two park-to-park tickets for just $102/night for two people through December 18th, 2014, and $50 off if you book four or more nights using the promo code UNITRAVEL. (Based on availability, and some blackout days apply.) Those savings will buy you a serious amount of butterbeer and probably a wand, too!

Watch one staffer’s 11-year-old’s take on the Hogsmeade features at Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal Studios: Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Universal Studios: Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Universal Studios: Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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Show Baby’s Aunts and Uncles Some Love July 26!

There’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even Grandparents’ Day (it’s September 7, if you were wondering!), but did you know there’s a special day (July 26) devoted to aunts and uncles, too? These individuals likely play a significant role your child’s life, and they certainly deserve some love. The best present of all? Knowing how much Baby cares for them. Shop these cute aunt- and uncle-themed products, then dress up your kiddo and snap a picture, if you can’t actually visit those important relatives. Click the images to shop.

For the Aunts…

Baby has a bestie! We bet your sis will be thrilled to take on the role! (Carter’s one-piece, $5, Sears)

An animal-loving aunt will get a kick out of this adorable bib. ($5, Babies R Us)

This tee is perfect for the sweetie who has multiple aunts in her life–no playing favorites here! ($10, The Children’s Place)

The message is plain and simple–it’s amour! ($5, Target)

For the Uncles…

 

Good looks really do run in the family. Our guess is everyone thinks Baby’s adorable, so his uncle should be prepared for lots of attention! ($5, Babies R Us)

This one-piece is graced with positive adjectives (hip, funny, and hot, to name a few) describing Baby’s uncle, who, apparently, is flawless! ($15, Bed, Bath and Beyond)

Babes who are past the bodysuit stage can sport this bold tee. ($12, Kohl’s)

Who else lets Baby stay up past her bedtime and watch all the Dora she wants? That guy. ($10, The Children’s Place)

Should you hire your sister-in-law to babysit? Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Child Care: Should You Hire a Family Member?
Child Care: Should You Hire a Family Member?
Child Care: Should You Hire a Family Member?

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5 “Just Because” Gifts for Yourself or a Friend

Mother’s Day just passed and the holiday season is still half a year away, but who says you don’t deserve a pick-me-up every now and then? Feel free to not-so-subtly email this gift guide to your hubby, or just keep these ideas in mind for a fellow mama who’s in need of a little “just because” cheer. Click the images to shop!

A trip to the nail salon is always relaxing, but it uses up two of Mom’s most valuable resources–time and money. Do a quick at-home mani using one of these “baby-themed” Essie colors: Baby’s Breath, Play Date, Pink-a-Boo, Bahama Mama, or Cute as a Button. ($8.50, Essie.com)

Who woulda thought toting around wipes could be so stylish? This wipebox is functional and adorable, thanks to the bow design. ($7, Diapers.com) 

Falling victim to Mommy Brain? Keep track of info the old-fashioned way. We doubt you’ll mind reaching for this fun “don’t forget” notepad! ($8, JCrew.com) 

Don’t let the influx of baby bottles around the house take a toll on your furniture! These reusable coasters will help protect surfaces from unwelcome stains. ($12, MichelleDwightDesigns.com) Help her stay on top of a busy schedule with this floral desk pad. ($12, RiflePaperCo.com)

Plus, some push present ideas!

Cool Push Presents
Cool Push Presents
Cool Push Presents

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Larry King: “You Don’t Divorce Your Children”

We all know Larry King as the world-renowned TV anchor who kept Americans in-the-know on global happenings for 25 years via his CNN show, Larry King Live.

My Life As A Dad, the popular web series that delves into the lives of celebrity fathers, recently chatted with Larry King about his experience in being a dad to five children, two of which were born almost four decades after his first children.

Larry King’s son Larry, Jr., adopted son Andy, and daughter Chaia were born in the 60′s, a hectic time when his promising and long-withstanding broadcast journalism career took off. In the interview, Larry shares how he thinks his earlier children might view how he fathers his sons Chance (b. 1999) and Cannon (b. 2000) differently now.

“I don’t know if they are hurt by it…they don’t say it,” Larry says. “They all pretty much handle it very well and they love their younger brothers. But I imagine that there is a little resentment. That would be normal, you know, why he wasn’t there for me all the time. It’s the kind of life I led and if I could do a do-over again, I would have spent more time.”

The reputable TV anchor goes on to share his greatest piece of advice for parents and discloses one of his biggest regrets. His advice for parents: “The advice I would give is ‘you can’t get it back.’ The day you didn’t go to the game, you can’t get that back. You didn’t go. The hotel room that goes unsold will never be sold. The day you didn’t spend, you didn’t spend. That is a big regret of mine; that I didn’t do more.”

He also discusses how many men don’t understand real love until they have a child.

“It’s the first time in your life,” he shares. “You don’t have to love your wife–that’s why there is divorce. You don’t divorce your children. There are things about your children that will annoy you, but the love is spectacular.”

He also shares a special moment he had at one of his son’s baseball games: “Yesterday, my son pitched three scoreless innings for Notre Dame’s scrimmage game. I was sitting in the stands at the beautiful field at Notre Dame. He was pitching and standing on the mound with that regal look…I just looked at him and could almost cry. I flashed back to the day he was born and the day I took him to his first game. And there he is, standing with that regal look. He struck out a guy…that jolt just goes through your heart. He asked me, ‘Do you root for me more than you root for the Dodgers?’ and I said, ‘Of course!’”

And does he have any thoughts about the fatherhood experience?

“Fatherhood is fantastic, fantastic.,” Larry states. “Whatever is second best is a distant second.”

Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrities are pregnant, or find kids’ outdoor games at Shop Parents.

How to Pitch Like a Big Leaguer
How to Pitch Like a Big Leaguer
How to Pitch Like a Big Leaguer

More celebrity & parenting news:

Happy 2nd Birthday Penelope Disick

Jessica Alba: “I Have To Enhance What I Like About My Body”

Donald Trump Jr. & Wife Vanessa Introduce Daughter Chloe Sophia

CelebrityBabyScoop.com is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on CelebrityBabyScoop.com. 

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Best Deals for the Week Across the Web

By Susan Yoo-Lee, Editor of Savings.com

We love the summer for a lot of reasons. (Sleeping out under the stars, watching movies all day as a family when it gets too hot to play outside and running through sprinklers in the backyard are just a few of them.) And while every year we look forward to these traditions, there’s one other tradition that sits high on top of that list of things we love during the time of year: summer sales.

Check out this week’s deals for a plethora of sales on everything you need for the kids from Leapfrog games and entertainment to clothes and accessories from Babies ‘R’ Us and sports apparel from Champs, plus much more!

  1. LeapfrogBuy 2 apps, get the 3rd free (No code needed). Expires 7/21/2014.
  2. Babies R UsAdditional 40% off clearance for baby clothes, accessories and more (No code needed). Expires7/12/2014.
  3. Bargain Catalog Outlet$5 off orders $10 or more (Coupon code: BCJULYBDAY). Expires 7/31/2014.
  4. Champs Sports15% off orders $75 or more (Coupon code: LKS14L4S). Expires 7/31/2014.
  5. Gap. Summer Sale: Save up to 60% off (No code needed). Expires 7/13/2014.

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