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Friday, May 2nd, 2014
One celebrity mom who knows a thing or two about travel: Brooke Burke-Charvet. The Dancing with the Stars champ and mom of four has ventured all over with her family, from the states to Europe, even Africa. It makes perfect sense then that the TV personality recently teamed up with Embassy Suites Hotels to host a panel with her daughter Rain, 7, and son Shaya, 6, on the “Pretty Great Family Debate,” a discussion on tackling common family disputes like homework, bedtime and yes, vacation planning. Parents got the scoop on how Brooke keeps her cool while traveling and what she can’t wait to do with her kids this summer.
P: So your family likes to plan vacations together. What helps you all make decisions without butting heads?
B: I’m all for a family meeting, but it’s really tough. I have four very opinionated children. The little ones, Rain and Shaya, kind of go with the flow but my teenage daughters Neriah, 14, and Sierra, 12, always have their own plans in mind. We try to do one big family vacation a year, so what we do is we’ll sit down and agree on a destination. More so, it’s about them deciding how we want to spend the time once we’re there. I try to let everybody choose one thing that they want to do. You want to make sure that family travel is enjoyable for every member, so it’s not just all about the kids or all about the parents.
P: In your travels, what places have your kids found cool?
B: We have a pretty good sense of adventure as a family. My children love to be on an island; they love the water. This summer, we’re going to try scuba diving for the very first time now that the kids are old enough. We’re going on a family cruise too, which I’m really excited about. They even like to go to Europe and discover history. I’ve always felt like we make every destination family-friendly. We teach them how to conduct themselves in any environment.
P: How do you keep your children entertained on longer trips?
B: I really feel like that depends on the energy and nature of the parent. I mean, I took Shaya and Rain to Africa when they were 2 and 3, even though every other mother thought I was insane. It’s just a matter of trying to go with the sun rather than staying on your own time zone. Be flexible as a parent and try not to travel as Americans. Get into the mindset of the local people wherever you are. When you go into a trip expecting to have exactly what you have at home, you’re just going to be disappointed. And I’ve found red-eye flights can be really great for long trips because everybody can just shut down and go to sleep.
P: What go-to items are with you all the time on vacation?
B: Books! I’m a big believer of less is more, and I like to encourage my children to read. It’s a great way to wind down on the plane. I limit tech, but everybody likes to have some iPad time. They’ll play with a mix of educational and pure entertainment games. I also like arts and crafts that are containable, like everyone’s into these bracelet-making projects right now. The things that take up a small amount of space but are cute and nifty are great for me.
P: Family fights are never fun! How do you handle meltdowns during a trip?
B: With more kids, it’s bound to happen. There’s always one child not happy. I just think you have to nip it in the butt really quickly. I don’t tolerate a lot of family fighting.
P: With summer on its way, what activities are you most excited to do with your kids?
B: My two teenagers are into paddle boarding, and I also just started doing Soul Cycle with my oldest, Neriah. We have a trampoline in the backyard; that’s great exercise and super fun. Shaya is honestly determined to teach me how to do a back flip. God help me! We also like to be outdoors and go on hikes.
P: I’m sure you’ll have more free time this summer with your children out of school. What helps you unwind in your spare time?
B: For me, it’s really my workouts. That’s totally my only hour in the day that’s me-time where I really don’t have to think about anything else. It’s not just a physical benefit; it’s also great for mind, body, and soul. And I love to cook. I find that it’s really relaxing. It’s a huge bonus because my family loves to eat and there’s a lot of people to feed.
Planning a family roadtrip? Use these tips for a smooth ride!
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Brooke Burke-Charvet, Embassy Suites, family travel, family vacation, outdoors, summer activities, summer fun, travel tips, travel with family, traveling with kids, vacation planning | Categories:
celebrities, GoodyBlog, Travel
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
Summertime and the living is easy…unless you have a house full of children on summer vacation, that is. Ply them away from the PlayStation with these outdoor sports toys, currently up to half off on our e-retail site, Shop Parents:
• Keep big kids busy with Radio Flyer’s EZ Rider scooter or with a game of kickball using Melissa & Doug’s rubber bollie.
• Toddlers will clamor all over Step2′s Double-Slide Climber, while Pacific Play’s multipurpose Circus of Fun tent is a choice venue for both pretend play and sleepovers in the backyard.
• And for those headed to the pool or beach: Check out these snorkel swim trunks, made of fabric that blocks UV rays, and this ruffled Finding Nemo one-piece for a little fashion inspiration.
These deals will move quickly, so get them while they last!
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50% off, discount, GoodyBlog, health, kids, outdoor sports toys, outdoors, Shop Parents, shopping, Sports, toys | Categories:
Friday, September 14th, 2012
When I moved from rural Ohio to New York City, I bid a teary goodbye to my daily dose of shady trees, green lawns, and deer frolicking outside my dorm window (I’m speaking literally here. The deer were out there daily). That environment just begged to be enjoyed, and I took full advantage, running and biking almost daily on a nearby bike path. Now that I spend the majority of my time in an office building, I appreciate more than ever the importance of breaking away from my desk for some fresh air and vitamin D. Though I’ve traded in trees for skyscrapers, grass for concrete, and…I’m not going to go into what critters I’ve traded deer in for…any amount of sunshine does wonders for my mood and productivity, and even a 10-minute trip to Central Park is enough to put a spring in my step and a smile on my face. This isn’t just me lamenting the loss of a natural playground just outside my door. Science backs me up: Studies have found that a mere five minutes of outdoor exercise can improve self-esteem and mood, and children with ADHD seem to focus better after being outdoors. Heck, one study even found that spinal surgery patients felt less pain and stress, and took fewer pain medications during their recoveries if they were exposed to natural light.
That’s why I plan to take part in KEEN’s Worldwide Recess Day today. Just take a minimum of 10 minutes out of your day to go for a walk or play tag with your kids. If you live near a KEEN store, a company that “designs footwear, bags, and socks that enable you to play anyplace without a ceiling,” they’re hosting games of four-square, hop scotch, and tetherball around the country and around the world. To further encourage the 10-minute breather, they’re asking their fans to post images of their recess-capades with the tag #take10 on Instagram or Twitter, and offering a pair of KEEN shoes to one photo-poster every hour.
Leave a note in the comments letting us know what you did for your recess! I’m planning to take a walk in my neighborhood after dinner.
Image: Mom and child playing outside via Shutterstock
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Friday, April 13th, 2012
It’s time to get your kids off the computers, Wiis, and cell phones and outside kicking soccer balls, swinging, and playing tag. Good old-fashioned outside play needs to make a comeback. On average, kids have eight hours less of outdoor playtime than their parents did. The folks behind CLIF Kid recognize the importance of outdoor play and are doing their part to help with their 2012 CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year program. “This contest tapped into something that kids need, which is inspiration to get outdoors,” said Jennifer Yun, CLIF Kid brand strategist.
Kids ages 6 to 12 are challenged to create a unique backyard game for the chance to win big. Six finalists will be flown to San Francisco in July 2012 to show off their new games with one being chosen for the grand prize: a $10,000 educational scholarship, Marin Bike’s kid’s bike, and a Bell kid’s bike helmet. The other five finalists will each receive a $1,000 educational scholarship along with the bike and helmet.
Here are the ground rules and instructions for entering: Each game must be able to be played outside with two or more players. Bonus points for game creators who use equipment such as balls, hula-hoops, and chairs. Some past game innovations include Hoop Ball, a rolling-target game; and Eagle’s Nest, a strategic tag game. “The contest focuses on not just getting the kids outdoors, but the positive benefits of nature long after,” said Richard Louv, best-selling author and Chief Outdoor Officer for the CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year. Sign-ups end on June, 17, 2012, so be sure to tell your kiddos about the contest and fill out the application here.
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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
Moms’ Caffeine Intake Doesn’t Wake Babies
Pregnant and nursing women who consume caffeine aren’t causing their babies to wake up at night, a new study says.
Nearly Half of Pre-Schoolers Not Playing Outside
Nearly half of 3 to 5 year olds are not taken outdoors by a parent or caregiver every day, according to research presented in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine this week.
India Parents ‘Reject Newborn Girl for Baby Boy’
A newborn Indian girl has been left unwanted as her presumed parents seek custody of a baby boy handed to them by mistake, officials say.
Small Bomb Detonates Outside Planned Parenthood Clinic in Wisc.
Police say a homemade explosive device damaged a Planned Parenthood clinic in eastern Wisconsin.
Most Parents of Overweight Kids Don’t Hear It from the Doctor
Just one quarter of parents of overweight kids say they’ve been told by a doctor that their kids weighed too much, according to a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
NYC Parents Irritated by Ice Cream Carts at Playground
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Parents in Brooklyn are talking about trying to ban ice cream carts from a playground, frustrated by having to deal with cranky children when they deny them the cold treats.
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
You might not associate temperatures in the 40s with gardening, but mid-March is actually the perfect time to plant peas, according to gardening expert Rebecca P. Cohen, author of the new book, Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids. She recommends planting them in containers outside or, if it feels too nippy to be digging in your garden, on a windowsill. It’s an easy project for little ones to help out with—and peas are one of the most exciting vegetables to grow (add a stake to each container, and your kids will enjoy watching the peas vine up the sticks over the coming weeks). If you don’t want to deal with soil, you can even use wet newspaper with the seed pressed up against the glass, Cohen notes. Within seven days, your seed will sprout!
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