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6 Fun Fall Activities for Families

Fall Activities AVV

By Jamell Andrews

Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t have to mean making life all about school and work. The season of falling leaves and all things pumpkin-spice offers a whole slew of fun, family-friendly activities to enjoy. Here are 6 fun things to do as a family this fall.

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5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe at Amusement Parks

Mother and daughter at amusement park

By Lisa Pecos

Nothing says summer fun like a day at an amusement park. From the rides to the games, amusement parks have all kinds of fun things to do for the whole family. With all of this fun, though, there are also a few risks for children, from getting separated from family to getting injured. The following 5 tips can help keep your kids safe so that you can all enjoy this quintessential summertime experience.

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How to Get the Most Out of Family Time

Time For Family

By Jamell Andrews

Between school and work, extracurricular activities, and household chores, it’s easy to see why family time is at a premium these days. If you, like may parent’s, are finding that you don’t have nearly as much time to spend together as a family as you’d like, then these tips can help you make the most of what time you do have for more meaningful family time.

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W.A.T.C.H. Releases 2016 Summer Safety Report of Most Dangerous Toys

baby eating plastic toy - dangerous toys

By Lisa Pecos

World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) has released their 2016 Summer Safety Report and chances are that some of your child’s favorite warm-weather toys have made the list. With emergency departments expecting to treat approximately 2.7 million children injured in accidents this summer, parents and caregivers should have a look at the list and through the toy box.

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12 Fun Family-Friendly Summer Activities

By Vanesa Sallego

Summer’s on its way, which means hot and sunny days and your children home from school for some summer vacation. To help make the most of this time of year and keep your children from getting bored, we’ve come up with a list of 12 fun summer activities that are fun for the whole family and affordable.

1. Family road trip

You don’t need to get on a plane or travel far to find something new and exciting to do. Besides, half the fun is getting there! Pick a destination an hour or two from home to explore and get the car games and iPod playlists ready for some quality family time in the car.

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Tips for Travelling with Children

Travelling with Children

By Lisa Pecos

Summer vacation is fast approaching, and while many parents are looking forward to getting away, the idea of travelling with children can be a little daunting to say the least. Fortunately, a little planning can help take the stress out of travelling with children and make vacations a lot easier on the whole family.

Keep it Simple

This is the best possible motto when planning a trip with children, especially younger children. The key is to plan trips that are as simple as can be, from reducing the number of items on your travel itinerary to avoiding flights with multiple connections.

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Making Healthy Foods Fun for Kids

By Jamell Andrews

Most children will take a processed snack pack or treat over fruits and veggies any day, but with childhood obesity becoming an epidemic, finding ways to make healthy foods more appealing is more important than ever.

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with more than 1 in every 3 children being considered overweight or obese. This increases their risk of joint problems, heart disease, and much more.

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Drinking in Movies and Teenage Drinking

teen_drinking

Teenagers Who Watch Actors Drinking Alcohol in Movies More Likely to Drink Themselves

A study published earlier this year in the journal Pediatrics found that young European teens who watched more scenes of actors drinking in Hollywood movies were more likely to binge-drink and otherwise abuse alcohol.

Researchers gave questionnaires to more than 5,000 15-year-olds from England, and found that youths who had watched the most minutes of drinking scenes in different movies were twice as likely to have problems relating to alcohol as teens who had watched the fewest minutes. Those who had watched the most minutes were also almost 2.5 times more likely to drink at least once a week and 70 percent more likely to binge-drink (that is, drink 5 or more drinks in a single day).

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Some Words of Caution Before You Buy Your Children’s Holiday Toys

Holiday_Toys

Before you buy toys for the children in your life this holiday season, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) — and doctors — caution you to keep some important things in mind.

PIRG has released its annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, which evaluates many children’s toys that are being sold during the holiday season. As always, there were toys that PIRG tested and concluded did not meet safety standards of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, or that had other problems that make the toys dangerous.

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Many Simple Steps Your Family Can Take to Help Save the Planet!

Earth in children`s hands

Parents do well to teach their children the importance of doing what we each can, to help save our planet. The efforts of one person alone don’t amount to much, true; but when you add many, many people, and many families, we collectively surely can make a big difference.

Below are many simple, easy things that you and your family can do around the home, to help keep your surroundings environmentally friendly. These steps won’t cost any more money; in fact, they will often save you money!

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Eight Big, Free Gifts that Parents Can Give to Their Children

Many presents

If you hit bull’s eye and got your kids some fancy, expensive gifts for the holidays that they are still playing with some weeks later, kudos to you. But what if you got your kids presents that only held their interest for a couple of days? You probably feel like you wasted money.

It turns out, a lot of the best gifts that you can give to your children … cost no money at all.

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Six Tips for Stress-Free Family Meals

Family Having A Meal Together At Home

Family time is something that’s increasingly in short supply in our busy modern times. Some of the best opportunities for family togetherness are mealtimes — in particular, dinner, when we can leave the day’s cares behind and family members can enjoy a relaxing evening.

Recent research by Columbia University found that children who eat regular dinners with their families are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, or to have disciplinary problems at school. Many previous studies have similarly shown that regular family mealtime makes teens less likely to smoke, drink, act up, or become sexually active.

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Ten Tips for Having a Fun and Safe Family Camping Trip

Camping

Taking your family on a camping trip could be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences you will share. It’s a great opportunity to get away from the noise and congestion, and get in touch with the beauty and serenity of nature. A few precautions will help make the trip educational for your children, and an experience that will leave all your family members with fond, lasting memories.

Get to Know Your Chosen Camping Grounds

The first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the camp grounds. Get information about the site and weather conditions from park rangers. You can also check weather forecasts online. But keep in mind that weather can change dramatically from one day to the next, or even from one moment to the next, so, plan accordingly.

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Safety Facts About Insect Repellents – and Choosing the Best Brands

As millions of American children head off to summer camps or outdoor family get-togethers, many parents may wonder how to protect their youngsters from the varieties of insects that might be found at camping grounds and parks.

These days, we all have even more reason to worry about bugs than normally, as infestations from the potentially deadly West Nile virus continue to occur in different parts of the country.

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Teaching Kids to Love Nature

In an age of growing disconnection between people and nature, many parents find it challenging to instill in their children a sense of appreciation for all that the earth has to offer. In many cases, nature is remote and not easily accessible, while electronics and media are immediately available, and many busy parents understandably go the easier route. But there are numerous benefits to helping your child appreciate the wonders of the great outdoors, and it is even More »

Sibling Rivalry: What Can Parents Do?

Sibling rivalry can take many forms over the years. When the second child is first born, it can take the form of acting out, regression, and fussiness on the part of the older child. And as the kids grow up, it can turn into arguing, physical fighting, and deep feelings of jealousy and resentment. Most sibling rivalry is more of an annoyance than a serious problem, but it can become emotionally taxing to parents who had hoped their children would get along and love each other.

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Amber Alerts – What to Do in Case Your Child Goes Missing

It is one of every parent’s worse nightmares. You take your eye off your child for a minute only to find her gone when you turn around. Or one day he does not get home from school at the normal time. Or she goes outside to play and does not come back in. Scenarios like these are fortunately uncommon, and when they do happen there is usually a good explanation, and it is usually pretty easy to find the temporarily missing child. But what about those very rare cases where the child is not easily found?

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How to Raise a Musical Child

When it comes to educating children, a lot of focus is placed on practical skills like reading and math, which are undoubtedly important. But we should raise our children to be well-rounded individuals, and this involves teaching them forms of creative self-expression. While different kids have different talents-some are good at drawing, some can dance well, and some are most talented in non-artistic areas-music should be integral to every child’s life. And even if your child does not develop into a musical prodigy, it is a good idea to have cultivate familiarity with the art form.

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Leaving Your Child Home Alone

By Lisa Pecos

In the early years of a child’s life, parents are forced to do whatever they have to do to make sure the child is supervised at all times. But once the child reaches a certain age, the issue starts to become fuzzier. Most well-behaved kids reach a point-generally in their preteens or thereabouts-where they are responsible and self-guided enough to look after themselves for a few hours. Yet considering whether to leave a child home alone raises all sorts of issues, and many parents are reluctant to face up to these issues until a little later. In the end, it is up to each family to decide on their own, but in any case there are some important factors to keep in mind.

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Hosting a Princess Tea Party

By Chris Molnar

Oh the princess tea party — it’s practically a rite of passage for little girls everywhere. At some point your daughter will embrace this phase and celebrate it for all the dainty beauty that it is. This makes for the perfect theme of a party and your little princess can truly celebrate.

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Techniques – When Potty Training Clashes With Your Vacation!

There are some simple preparations that you can make in advance before embarking on a trip away with your toddler in the midst of his potty training.

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How Safe Are Sunscreens Ingredients?

When people go to the store to buy sunscreen, they assume that the products they purchase are safe and effective. Whether you purchase sunscreen for trips to the beach, lounging poolside, or for everyday protection against the sun’s rays, you probably expect to be able to rely on your sunscreen to protect you from sun damage.

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Summer Problems Caused By Nature

The sun is shining, the days are longer and you have waved goodbye to coughs and colds but summer brings its own little irritations. Here are some tips to help.

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Toxic Materials and Toys: What to Watch For

As if we need one more thing to worry about these days, the LA Times recently published an article on watching out for toxic toy materials. Although regulations on toxic materials in toys do exist, there are  many harmful substances that aren’t regulated at all. You probably remember when Mattel made headlines in 2007 for having to recall millions of toys because they contained lead paint–both the toy industry and parents where in a huge uproar about exposing their children to harmful chemicals. As a result, changes were made, regulations were put in place, but a ton still needs to be done.

The article reports, “One of the main problems is that children, particularly those younger than 3, often put toys in their mouths or otherwise use toys in ways that they were not intended. But even older children can be at risk due to behaviors such as sucking on a necklace. Experts agree that until a comprehensive U.S. policy is in place to identify and disclose all toxic ingredients, consumers should (A) not panic and (B) do some research before joining the throngs of holiday shoppers.”

The LA Times put together a list of what to watch for. It’s long, which gives you one more reason to start your holiday shopping now–it’s going to require some homework if you you want to keep your mini-me’s out of harm’s way. More »

Dining Out With Children: Should It Ever Be Okay?

By Lisa Pecos

When it comes to dining with children, too many parents fall into the trap of thinking that the rest of the world should happily accommodate their children without complaint. Because we love our children so much, it is easy to forget that other people may not be as charmed by them. This is especially true in grownup restaurants, where diners expect to be able to have a quiet, relaxed meal without someone else’s loud kids running around and disrupting one’s meal.

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The Art of Sharing – Shared Custody

My Experiences with Shared Custody

Our breakup started and ended quickly. That said I had probably missed all the signals a failing relationship yields the whole year and half we were together. In that time we had shared an apartment, friends and our son. In hindsight we were naive to think a relationship with so little chance to grow before Austin came along would succeed. We did our best to accommodate the changes a child brings. We picked out the best daycare, bought all the necessities and read the books people suggested. Austin became the best thing in our lives. Soon it had become clear he was the only topic we could discuss without argument, the only reason we were still together.

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That, I understand! Parenting

By Ambyr Hunt

So, their are times when I am up late enough to watch the old episodes of Seinfeld. I just love Seinfeld and the raw truth that is “uncovered” during each show. The presentation of each life lesson is so hysterical that their are times when I have to pause the t.v. and catch my breath! Seriously, I don’t know if I think it’s funny because I have lived out some of the drama presented or if it’s just that I am up late and slap happy! Either way, I just can’t make it through a show without wiping tears of laughter off my face! More often than not, I am laughing alone in bed with a very annoyed sleeping husband. To me, it’s worth every frustrated grunt that comes from his side of the bed!

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How to Lose Your Mommy Tummy

One of the hardest things that new mothers face is figuring out how to lose their mommy tummy.  The outer abdominal muscles become so stretched out during pregnancy that even once you have given birth and your uterus has shrunk back down to its normal size, it is very difficult to get those muscles back into pre-baby shape.

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Are Sunscreens Harmful for Kids Health

sunscreen_for_kids

When choosing a sunscreen for your kids health, the greatest urge may be to simply grab something off the shelf of your local drug store. There are a variety of sunscreens that are specifically marketed for children, but in reality the formulations of these sunscreens are not really that much different than the ones you find in regular formulas that are marketed for adults.

Harmful Ingredients

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Personalize It: Giving the Perfect Gift for Every Occasion

By Diane Cullen

One of the best gifts I ever gave was a ceramic plate. Given to a dear friend on the occasion of her daughter’s baptism, the plate was hand-painted in pink and pale green and featured a cross, just as I had specified. The baby’s name and baptism date were spelled out in hand-drawn, whimsical letters. I can still recall that feeling of giddy anticipation as I waited for my friend to unwrap that plate. Here was a gift I would have made myself, just for my friend, if only I possessed the talent. Because I don’t, I did the next best thing: I asked a talented artist to personalize her work to my specifications and together we created a one-of-a-kind gift that I know my friend-and in time, her daughter-will cherish forever. After all, this perfect gift was handmade just for them.

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Last-Minute Fun & Easy Party Games & Activities to Make Your Kids Birthday a Hit!

By: K.D. Grant

Last minute kids party planning made easy! Find a full day’s worth of fun, ready-to-play, and often free, interactive games and activities to make your child’s next birthday party truly memorable.

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Easy Kids Craft Ideas: A Refreshing Alternative to Extravagant Parties

By Rachel Messina

As shows such as MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” showcase the growing trend of over-the-top and extravagant parties for children and teens, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember the days of simple gatherings where Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Musical Chairs were considered prime entertainment.

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Surprising Secrets to a Successful Summer

by Toni Schutta

 

You’re probably busy planning every detail so your kids can have a memorable summer packed with vacations, summer camps, sports activities and more.

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Grappling with the Birthday Beast

by Jennifer Kirsch

A mother starts to plan her son’s birthday party five months in advance, calling the parents of children with proximate birthdays to coordinate dates. A bewildered father wonders where to corral the many toys his daughter receives for her birthday. A friend confesses her relief at learning her son would like to go fishing with a neighbor on his birthday, foregoing a party. A comic strip pictures a family going through customs en route to a birthday celebration.(1)

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Road Trip Bliss – 5 Tips for Enjoy Road Trips with Your Family

By Sylvia Wells

Road Trip Bliss

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Raising Strong Children from Shaky Relationships

By Sylvia Wells

I always wanted five children, just like my mother. Even knowing they would all be boys in accordance to the needle and thread test I did when I was about ten years old. The funny thing is that, although I planned to have all these children, I didn’t put a second of thought into who their father would be. Fast forward thirteen years to find myself in a short term relationship with an egomaniac and holding a baby boy in my arms. Fast forward another five years and I’m a single mother of an only child. I was blessed with remarkable boy, but now that I was single I couldn’t imagine having any more children.

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The Holidays, Toy Safety, and Parents

With millions of toys made in China pulled from the shelves over safety fears in recent months, deciding what to buy your children for the holidays has become an increasingly difficult decision. The holidays are dangerous enough without having to worry about giving children gifts that could potentially harm them.

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Fun Family Activities to make your Christmas Season Memorable

By: Kaydee Grant

Plan for some old-fashion holiday fun with simple games and activities that will have your family playing, singing, and laughing together while creating lasting Christmas traditions and memories. You’ll find ideas that will send your kids off on an exciting Christmas gift hunt, or finally get your Christmas party guests caroling, and more!

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2008 Financial Crisis Raising Family Stress?

Numerous factors create stress within a family, but the current world financial crisis is hitting many homes all over the world. How does the family coupe with this type of stress?

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New Journal Provides Communication Tool for Separated Parents

A new journal available to separated or divorced parents allows them to communicate important information about their children to ensure a smooth transition between both homes, and peace of mind for the parents.

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Kids Birthday Parties. Have They Gone Over the Top?

By Janie Kimball

In our, “more is better” society, kids birthday parties have gone over the top. Find out have to create an inexpensive, yet memorable birthday party.

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Mommy, My Skin Hurts. I Don’t Feel Good.

Exposure to the sun is associated with all forms of skin cancer, but the most common type of skin cancer is basal skin cancer. Frequent severe sunburns and intense sun exposure in childhood increase the risk of basal cell skin cancer. Basal cell skin cancers usually appear on sun-exposed areas, most commonly the face and neck, but also on the trunk and legs. The fact that it is showing up in teens and people in their 20s is of great concern to dermatologists. The incidence of basal cell skin cancer in North America is going up by 10% a year.

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Parents and Lifeguards Beware. Dry Drowning!

Parents need to know the three warning signs of dry drowning, since dry drowning occurs most often in children and the small amount of water necessary to claim another victim to dry drowning can be inhaled during a child’s bath time, in the neighborhood pool, or at the beach.

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Surefire Hit Gift Ideas For Kids

Whether it's a holiday or a birthday, kids can be especially hard to buy gifts for. Here are some surefire gift ideas that will make any kid happy. Games The best games to get... More »

Why Plan an After Prom Party

by Lori Heatherington From the time I enrolled my daughter in elementary school it seemed that the world was out to ruin her innocence. Her know-it-all six year old friends with older brothers and sis... More »