Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this weekend, and it's the perfect opportunity to teach tots a bit about the great man and what he was struggling for — and against. There's nothing simple about his life, struggle, or the civil rights movement, but click through for several kid-friendly tomes written on the powerful subject.
Thanksgiving's not all about football and turkey. In the days leading up to the feast, take some time to snuggle up with your tots for a Thanksgiving viewing party. Then, once family's in town and filled up on all of the Turkey Day fixings, relax and digest postfeast with classic Thanksgiving movies that most parents will remember from their own childhood.
Keep reading for five Thanksgiving flicks that everyone will love — whether it's their first viewing or their 20th.
Eat your dessert first! The fabled feast may be a big part of the Thanksgiving holiday, but for lil pilgrims with a sweet tooth, dessert is the main attraction. While anything sweet will make tots happy, some Turkey Day-themed treats are even more exciting! Check out the following collection of Thanksgiving-themed treats that will inspire your own epic dessert table.
How artistic! Lil ones love to create and can spend hours working away on a project. Arts and crafts are the prefect solution to Winter's doldrums, whether tots are into your standard paintbrush and paper fare or whether they have more specific artistic pursuits. Keep reading for five fun kits to occupy and inspire the lil Picasso in your life.
Let's paint! Lil ones love to get messy — whether they're playing in mud puddles or playing with paintbrushes. When the artistic spirit strikes, no one wants tots to worry about ruining a perfectly pressed outfit, so keep reading for five sweet smocks that will protect lil ones' clothes while they're creating the next great works of art.
Ninety-two days until Summer! The dog days of Summer may seem far off, but that last school bell will ring before you know it and mama needs something to keep the kids occupied while class is out of session. Keep reading for five extra awesome Summer camps for curious tots.
Love the one you're with! Prebaby, Valentine's day might have meant a long, romantic candlelit dinner followed by an even longer, romantic, candlelit night. Once a lil one is on the scene, the holiday — like everything else in life — shifts its focus from couple to family. With your lil one dressed in one of these adorable heart-themed onesies, you won't miss your prebaby celebration for a moment!
It's gonna be a wet one, folks! As unpleasant and frustrating as bed-wetting can be, it's not at all uncommon. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 20 percent of 5-year-olds and 10 percent of 6-year-olds wet the bed. Most lil ones outgrow bed-wetting without medical intervention, but there are some great products available to make the process a little more manageable for parents and tots. Support and positive reinforcement is crucial when it comes to helping lil ones get past the bed-wetting phase, so the last thing you want is to make a tot sleep in a soggy bed or underpants. Keep reading for some helpful products to support lil ones on their quest for total potty domination.
Sweet doesn't have to include sugar this Valentine's Day. Break the sugar cycle with five treats sure to delight tots as much as any short-term sugar high!
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Let's eat! School lunch has become more that a simple matter of tots scarfing down some grub before returning to the playground. It's become a major public-policy debate with Michelle Obama making it her mission to see that American kids start eating healthier, more nutritious meals at that critical lunch hour. British import Jamie Oliver has also been vocal about reforming the dismal state of most US school lunches. Amid all the lunch debate, have you ever wondered what lil ones around the world are carrying in their lunch boxes? Take the following quiz and find out.
Happy Year of the Dragon! Today, the Year of the Rabbit comes to a close, as the Year of the Dragon roars in. According to Chinese culture, the dragon — representing power and strength — is the most powerful animal in the Chinese zodiac. Lunar New Year is a holiday full of symbolism, stories, and fun ways to teach tots about another cultural celebration. Click through for festive craft ideas that will get tots in a dragon state of mind.
Tats on tots? Tattoos are a divisive aesthetic on adults; the thought of a child actually getting their sweet lil skin permanently inked is a pretty unpleasant idea, to say the least. Yet that's exactly what 10-year-old Gaquan Napier did with the full support of his mother Chuntera. According to the law in Georgia, where the family lives, it's illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to get tattooed — with or without parental consent, a fact that Napier claims to have been unaware of when she granted her child permission to permanently mark his body.
This story sounds pretty black-and-white — what was she thinking? — until we learn more details of the reason behind the tattoo. Two years ago, Gaquan was with his older brother Malik when he was struck and killed by a teenage driver at the heartbreaking age of 12. When Gaquan went to his mother and asked her permission to get a tattoo in memory of his deceased brother, Napier said, "It made me feel good to know that he wanted his brother on him."
Napier is currently in custody and facing a charge of misdemeanor child cruelty. In several other states, a child getting inked with the parents' permission is perfectly legal, so do you think this mom deserves to serve time for allowing her son to create a memorial to his big brother?
Love is in the air! Some parents object to Valentine's Day on the grounds that it's a "Hallmark Holiday," an artificially manufactured creation in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Yet, no one wants their lil one to miss out on all the fun or feel left out at school. Stick to your anticommercial ethos while holding on to the joy of the holiday by shopping at Etsy and supporting individual artists. Keep reading for 10 sweet finds that will delight lil ones without giving parents an ethics crisis.
Brain food! Everyone knows that good nutrition is essential to just about everything regarding tots' development — mental and physical. Feeding lil ones a balanced diet is a good rule of thumb, but there are certain foods that have proven positive benefits for healthy brain development. Unfortunately, telling kids that something is "good for them" isn't the appetite stimulant parents would hope for, and anyone who's ever tried to get a decent amount of green vegetables down the gullet of a stubborn toddler knows that healthy eating can be a challenge. Click through for breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes chock full of brain-boosting ingredients so delicious the kids won't even have a moment to protest between bites.
Get your PJs, it's time to head to "night care"! Nine to fivers are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and parents' alternate work schedules get blamed for all types of things, even childhood obesity. Thanks to good old supply and demand, a new industry has cropped up in the parenting world. Known as "night care," day care centers are extending their hours late into the evening, and sometimes through the night, to accommodate the nearly 40 percent of the American work force who reportedly work nonstandard hours. According to a story in the New York Times this week, "It’s the wave of the future. The trend is to move beyond nine to five because, with the changing economy, that’s where the need is."
The concept of having someone care for your kids at night isn't a new one: plenty of LilSugar readers said they would hire a night nurse if money was no object , but this is the first time there's been a significant shift from at-home night care for children to the use of outside facilities. While complete overnight care is still relatively rare, the idea of a child being fed dinner, read a bedtime story, and tucked in somewhere other than home might be the wave of the future.
Have you ever utilized a night care program? Would you?
Welcome to Miami! Like most reality shows, the runaway ratings hit Dance Moms on Lifetime has seen its share of drama. The original follows instructor Abby Lee Miller, the girls' fiercely competitive instructor, as she tells it like it is — little girls' and their mothers' feelings notwithstanding. Like its predecessor, Toddlers and Tiaras, Dance Moms has proven to be as much about the conflicts and personalities of the don't-call-them-stage-moms stage moms as it is about actual dance (hence the title).
Much of show's controversy has centered on Miller's very demanding teaching style. She is very up front about the fact that she does not baby these girls and expects complete and utter focus and determination — bellyaches, schoolwork, and other kid stuff is irrelevant in her world. Berating both mother and child is a part of the job.
The spinoff takes the wildly successful franchise down South, to the slightly more TV-friendly locale of Miami, FL — the original is filmed in Pittsburgh, PA — to follow two new teachers and a new crop of eager pupils. Maybe the warmer climate will mean a mellower crowd? Let's hope not: that wouldn't make for very good TV now, would it?
Will you tune in for Dance Moms: Miami?
Go with the flow! While breastfeeding may be the most natural of acts, it's not without challenges! Given that nursing tends to commence in the exhausting post-delivery new mom bleariness phase of parenting, new mamas can use all the help they can get. Check out the following five apps that support new moms and their hardworking breasts.
What the fetus! For many expectant parents, routine ultrasounds are one of the things looked forward to most throughout the pregnancy process, offering an incredible glimpse at the eagerly anticipated bundle of joy within. The last couple of years have seen an increase in both the use and popularity of 4D ultrasounds, which provide an almost eerily realistic image of the baby-to-be.
Though parents are understandably delighted by these scans — OMG he has your nose! — creating one more photographic keepsake is not their intended use, which is to monitor the baby's development and ensure that everything looks good medically. Yet the use of these scans has taken a quick departure from their medical origins, with "fetus parties" — where parents-to-be invite friends and family to gaze upon the 3D and 4D scans — becoming more and more commonplace.
While everyone can appreciate why expectant parents are so excited to show off and share these lifelike images of their unborn baby with family and friends, not everyone in the medical community thinks it's such a great idea. In a column for the BBC, Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive at The Royal College of Midwives, discusses her concern about the growing popularity of "fetus parties": "I think the worrying trend towards the commercialization of pregnancy and trend in 'fetus parties' can add to the burden, and can increase the expectation for mothers, which midwives then have to deal with.”
Did you have a fetus party?
Sibling rivalry alert! The impending arrival of a new baby in the house is exciting but not necessarily issue-free. When the new lil one is joining a big brother or sister — especially one who's used to having mama and daddy all to herself — a certain amount of jealousy and fear is bound to crop up. Keep reading for eight great books to help talk to tots about the joy of bringing a new baby into the household — while still addressing their fears and concerns.
Will you be my Valentine? Valentine's Day for tots doesn't have to be an expensive, complicated, time-consuming affair. Most parents and educators believe in an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to handing out Valentine's Day cards in school — meaning you make one for every kid, or for none at all, so no one's feelings get hurt. Keep reading for five easy DIY Valentine's Day cards that the kids will love making as much as they love handing them out to their lil friends.