Posts Tagged ‘
Monday, October 31st, 2011
Even though I’m an editor at PARENTS where an incredible amount of clever and crafty things are made every day, I am not a crafty, DIY-sort of person. I didn’t even know what a glue gun was until I started working here a couple years ago! But I have to admit that being surrounded by all this creativity has inspired me!
Yesterday I threw a Halloween-birthday party for my kids (Grant, 3 and Madelyn, 5) complete with Halloween decor and food pulled from PARENTS. Here’s what I did and what you can do, too. It’s so easy you could even run out right now to the store and buy all the ingredients and make one of these fun treats or drinks tonight. (I admit doing all of them would take a while — I spent most of Saturday. But it was fun and we did have a blizzard so might as well!)
MUMMIES: These were pulled directly from the October issue of PARENTS. All you do is wrap white electrical tape around a juice box and add googly eyes. Just don’t cover up the straw hole!
PRETZEL BROOM STICKS: These are just thin strips of cheese stuck on pretzel sticks with a little cream cheese. I wrapped them with the ends of cooked scallions. But you can wrap them with whatever you can find.
TEETH: These are slices of apples with a notch cut out of the back side for the mouth and almond slivers jammed in for teeth. Just be sure to dip in lemon juice so your mouths don’t get brown!
FINGERS: My daughter was great at helping with these gory apps. I cut a flat edge off the top of each baby carrot for the nail base with a knife, then added a dab of cream cheese. Madelyn stuck almond slices on for nails. We served with hummus.
What gory treats do you plan to make for Halloween? Or already have? Share them with us!
For more amazing ideas for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s sign up for our 100 Days of Holidays newsletter at parents.com/holiday.
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Friday, October 28th, 2011
My daughter, Katie, is having her Halloween party at school today, and she carried in a crate of clementines to share with the class. It wasn’t even entirely my idea. Her teacher asked parents to send in fruits or veggies for the celebration—a big difference from last year when she feasted on cupcakes, donut holes, and punch. (Here are some other great snack-mom solutions for class parties.) It’ll be interesting to hear what her classmates thought, but I know she didn’t mind having a party sans sweets. Her thinking: “I’ll get lots of candy tonight.” (That’s when we have trick or treat in our neighborhood.) And she’s probably right: After two hours of ringing doorbells last year, her ghost candy bag weighed five pounds. She thought that was awesome. Me, not so much.
Even though I don’t limit candy on Halloween, I do restrict it to 1 or 2 small pieces per day afterwards. There were so many pieces in her bag, she probably wouldn’t have finished it until Easter. I urged her to sort out her faves, and I’m embarrassed to admit, I trashed the rest. It seems incredibly wasteful on so many levels. This year, we’ve agreed that we’re not going to trick or treat as long (and spend the extra time on other Halloween fun, like decorating our pumpkins). And we’re going to “sell” back whatever candy she doesn’t want to her pediatric dentist, who is offering a dollar or so per pound. (Many dentists across the country have similar programs; see if yours is listed here.)
What are you giving out for trick or treat? At least 12 years ago—way before my kid days—I interviewed a researcher who did a really cool study: She interviewed trick-or-treaters about what they got from each house, and found that most were just as happy with trinkets as they were with candy. I’m sure they would have been disappointed if they didn’t get any sweets, but as long as they had some, stickers, mini boxes of crayons, erasers, and Halloween pencils were considered awesome loot. Since then, I’ve never handed out candy on Halloween. Our treat this year: glow-in-the-dark bracelets from Oriental Trading. Check out these other cool, non-candy suggestions from parents.com.
I’ve also been racking my brain about what to have for dinner before trick or treat; we need something fast and fun. Campbell’s sent me some its new Harvest Orange Tomato Soup so we’re going to have that (at right) topped with crackers, along with Witch Hat Calzones.(Here are some more healthy Halloween ideas.) Have a sensational, spooky weekend!
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Friday, October 28th, 2011
Unless you have a scheduled C-section or are induced, you have no say over when your new bundle makes its debut, right? Maybe not, suggests a new study at the Yale School of Public Health. After examining U.S. birth stats over an 11-year period, researchers found a 5.3% decrease in spontaneous births on Halloween and a 3.6% increase in spontaneous births on Valentine’s Day. The theory? Cultural connotations surrounding the holidays affect a woman’s desire to deliver and they’re able to will themselves to go—or not go—into labor if they’re due around those days. Now, before you read any further, it should be noted that I’m a person who believes in mind over matter. I’m convinced that I’ve successfully fended off a cold or the flu simply by repeating, “Now’s really not a good time for me.” Is this likely the reason I didn’t get sick? No. And even I’ll admit that I was skeptical when I heard about the study. But might I prefer to have my baby on a day associated with hearts and flowers or not have him on one characterized by witches and ghosts? Sure. And if you end up delivering or not delivering on those holidays, who does it hurt to believe you willed it to be so? In my experience of staving off sickness, it’s a bit of a confidence boost! So, in light of the fact that Halloween is on Monday, I’m willing to get swept up in the supernatural and say, “that’s some powerful thinking, expectant mamas! I’m impressed.”
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Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Baby, Mother Pulled Alive from Rubble in Turkey
A small baby was rescued alive from the rubble Tuesday in eastern Turkey, two days after a devastating earthquake toppled buildings in the region.
CDC Committee Recommends Boys Receive HPV Vaccine
A federal government advisory committee voted Tuesday to recommend that boys as young as 11 be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus, commonly referred to as HPV.
Toddler Watches Military Dad Read Prerecorded Bedtime Story
A video of a 2-year-old girl watching her military dad read a book to her in a recording has gone viral. The little girl looks captivated by her father reading, and she follows along.
Halloween and Trick-or-Treat Alternatives for Parents
As kids eagerly count down to trick-or-treat, some parents worry about Halloween. Safety and health issues , stranger danger, religious objections, too-scary decorations, older kids trick-or-treating, costume concerns: here are child-friendly Halloween and trick-or-treat alternatives.
4 Tech Tips for Parents to Embrace Digital Education
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Learning the ins and outs of the latest technology is a lot like learning to swim or ride a bike: The younger you are, the more naturally it comes.
Friday, October 21st, 2011
Study: Better Neighborhood Lowers Obesity, Diabetes Risk
Low-income moms who move from very poor neighborhoods to less disadvantaged ones lower their risk of becoming extremely obese and developing type 2 diabetes, a study reveals.
Autistic Children Have Distinct Facial Features, Study Suggests
We may be a step closer in understanding what causes autism, say University of Missouri researchers after finding differences between the facial characteristics of children who have autism and those who don’t.
Parents Go Online Before Going to the ER
One in eight parents goes online for medical information about their child’s condition before taking the child to the emergency room, according to new research.
Record Percentage of Illinois Schools Fail to Meet Federal Targets
Two-thirds of Illinois public schools this year failed to meet federal test targets that signal students can read and do math well, marking a record rate of failure for the state’s school system.
Apps Help Parents Keep Track of Children on Halloween
Five apps for mobile devices with GPS-enabled location tracking technology allow parents to know where their trick-or-treaters are at all times.
Cancer-Stricken Mom Chooses Baby’s Life Over Hers
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Stacie Crimm, a 41-year-old single mother, received the grim diagnosis of terminal head and neck cancer just months after her little girl was conceived. She opted to skip chemotherapy to protect her growing fetus.
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Number of U.S. Kids Injured on Halloween Is Scary
Children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween night than on any other night of the year, according to experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bill Would Overhaul No Child Left Behind
Senator Tom Harkin’s bill would dismantle the provisions of the Bush-era law that used standardized test scores to label tens of thousands of public schools as failing.
Stutterer Speaks Up in Class; His Professor Says Keep Quiet
At the County College of Morris in New Jersey, a history teacher showed little patience with Philip Garber Jr. when he raised his hand.
Folic Acid in Pregnancy Tied to Better Toddler Talk
Women who took folic acid supplements in the first two months of pregnancy were less likely to have kids with severe language delays in a new study from Norway.
Got Water? Schools Scramble to Provide Kids Most Basic Supply
Across the country, administrators are scrambling to comply with a new federal requirement that free drinking water be offered at lunch as part of an ongoing push to improve the health of the nation’s 49 million public school children.
Foster Children Gain Protection from ID Theft
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A new federal law intended to protect foster children from identity theft is just the first step to ensuring foster children enter adulthood with a clean slate, said the Rhode Island congressman behind the initiative.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Fall is officially here and Halloween is right around the corner, which means it’s time for pumpkins! If your town is at risk of suffering from a pumpkin shortage this year, relax, we have you covered.
The Parents Carve-A-Pumpkin iPhone and iPad app is ready to download — for free! — from iTunes. First, pick your pumpkin from a list of choices: traditional orange, eerie black, and more. The next step? Get creative! Draw a face on your pumpkin freehand or use a stencil. Once you’re happy with your Jack-o’-Lantern, you can easily share it with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, and email.
Download the free Parents Carve-A-Pumpkin app here!
Read more about Halloween on Parents.com:
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Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
We caught up with the single mom of 4-year-old Jack at the launch of the new Let’s Rock! Elmo toy, in New York City, where she accepted a donation on behalf of the charity Baby Buggy.
Do you have any Halloween plans yet?
Bridget Moynahan: Oh my gosh, no! I don’t even know what I’m doing ten minutes from now. What, do you think I’m organized?!
Well, you do look very organized!
BM: I’ll say that I bet he’ll be a Star Wars figure for Halloween. But don’t put pressure on me about the holidays! Honestly. I planned his birthday party about two days in advance.
When was his birthday?
BM: In August. There was a Star Wars theme. He’s already got some stuff. Maybe we’ll keep him on the same theme for a couple of years, so I can recycle!
What was the progression of the obsessions with 4-year-old Jack? Did he start with Elmo?
BM: He did! He had the Tickle Me Elmo. So that was a big thing in the house for awhile. And he still watches Sesame Street. So there’s that but…he’s a boy.
How did he get into Star Wars? Does he watch Clone Wars?
BM: It was me. I got him into it.
Are you a closet Star Wars fan?
BM: I’m not a closet Star Wars fan. I’m pretty much out.
We’ll look for you as Princess Leia!
BM: I will be!
Halloween costume ideas from Parents.com:
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