Tag: family entertainment

The 9 worst children’s TV shows that made my life a living hell: 2002–2009 Edition

We’re happy to welcome guest columnist, Wendi Aarons. She’s funny. When I was pregnant with my first son, way back in 2001, I had no intention of ever letting him watch television. Expose my precious baby’s developing brain to the mindless crap that spewed from the idiot box? Not I! Instead, I would spend all day, every day lovingly teaching him to calculate sums with the wood abacus I’d handcrafted out of the olive tree in our yard. The olive tree that was nourished by my buried placenta, of course. That grand notion didn’t last long. In fact, it...

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7 fantastic children’s books to pick up before they hit theaters this year.

My kids love to read. But they also love to go to the movies. Luckily, that makes our summer reading easy this year, since I’m going to encourage them to pick up some of the great children’s books that are being adapted into movies this summer and fall. From classics like The Little Prince and The BFG to new favorites like The Queen of Katwe, there are a handful of movies based on kids’ books coming out soon that I know they won’t want to miss. So my rule is, you’ve got to read the book first. Smart, right? Here, 7 terrific children’s books turned movies that we...

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Finding Dory review: What to expect before you take your kids

This past weekend, my family and I braved the crowds to catch the new Finding Dory movie, the long-awaited sequel to the perennial favorite, Finding Nemo. With kids ranging in age from 5 up through 12, I was hoping it was something they would all enjoy, and thankfully I was right, though I think I might have laughed the most. While I don’t feel as though it was as funny or enjoyable as Finding Nemo, the kids were all glad we went, which is a pretty big deal if you’re like me and have a couple of very anxious movie watchers. And it’s not...

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The clever Bring Your Own Book game is our new favorite for family game night.

Now that my kids are old enough to play “real” games — you know, the ones where I don’t have to let them win — I love finding new clever and fun options for when we all gather around the table to play. So I was really excited to learn about Bring Your Own Book, a truly unique activity for our family game night. Created first by Matthew Moore and Luke Nalker, who launched it successfully via Kickstarter, it has been newly released by Gamewright, one of our favorite game companies, for people ages 12+. Since each game only lasts about 20 minutes, it’s perfect for families who might...

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11 truly clever tips and tricks for camping with kids to make it fun and easy. (Well, easy as possible.)

If you’re up for the adventure, camping with kids can be a really fun, inexpensive way to get away for the weekend. While it’s admittedly not the best night’s sleep you’ll ever get (though really, what parent gets a good night’s sleep anyway?), I’m a big fan of the unplugged quality time you get when you camp with your family — hiking, cooking over the campfire, snuggling up in sleeping bags. (Provided you leave your devices at home or in the car, that is. Free tip, from me to you.) Of course, knowing what you’re doing makes the whole experience so much nicer, so as an...

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Web coolness: Cool gift ideas for dad, lifesaving tips for moms, and the biggest parenting laugh we’ve gotten all week

Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   We’ve launched our annual Father’s Day Gift Guide! Yay! We’ll be rolling out a new one every day or so, but be sure to check out our picks for 13 of the coolest personalized Father’s Day gifts right now (like the beautiful tie clips made from children’s artwork from Formia Designs, shown above) because you’ve got to hurry on those. Also check out our Cool Mom Tech  guide to cool audio gifts for dads who love their music and movies. (We kind of want them all ourselves....

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Clear the table for 11 of the best board games for older kids. (Hooray for outgrowing Candy Land!)

The school year is winding down and I’m looking forward to nights with no homework (yay!) and fewer extracurricular activities on our calendar (double yay!). That means board game night. So I started to track down the best board games for older kids, since mine are quickly outgrowing the likes of Candy Land and Pictionary Jr. Of course, there are always classics like Risk or regular old Chess, which we’ve loved and played for years at home. But I’ve also discovered some newer games for older kids that are a little more challenging for kids 10 and up. And that, of course, means they’re a bit more fun for us adults to...

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A reusable tablecloth our kids can draw on? Yes, please.

With family picnics and outdoor parties on the horizon, I’m loving Jaq Jaq Bird’s Chalk Board Table Runner that gives kids — and adults, if we’re being honest — a creative canvas on which to doodle while they (cough) patiently wait for their food. It’s a much better way to keep kids occupied and in their seats than playing with their utensils. At 6-feet long, this portable table runner offers ample space for an entire group of kids to draw side-by-side. Or, hang it on a wall for some space-saving art opportunities. I even love that this table runner can be used to deliver...

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9 fantastic girl power movies for kids, streaming right now

Having two girls, I am definitely hyperaware of their increased interest in a film when it has a strong female lead. That said, when they’re with their male friends, and they’re trying to pick a movie to watch together, I realize how rare it is for some of the kids to be aware of movies beyond the usual big blockbusters. I really think it’s important for all kids to see girls and women in positions of power in the media they watch — whether that means fighting crime, protecting a family, solving a mystery, or just getting through life. I mean, as much...

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Sponsored Message: Never miss a game, season finale or live TV event with Slingbox

This is a sponsored message from Slingbox. Whether you travel for work or just need a diversion while you’re waiting for your kids at soccer practice, Slingbox lets you watch and control all the cable TV channels you already pay for when you’re on the go — on your tablet, phone, PC, or Mac. All with absolutely no monthly fees. – Don’t miss a special offer below! –  Getting set up with Slingbox is easy. Just connect it to your set-top box in seconds via WiFi or Ethernet cable, and the service will “sling” all of your cable channels right to your...

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9 fun, easy Easter crafts you can make with everyday household objects.

Spring is in the air and our kids are clamoring to make some easy Easter crafts — the holiday will be here before you know it!  So this year, I’m looking for some fun, realistic (ahem) craft ideas for Easter that incorporate things I have at home already. These easy Easter crafts I found are made with everyday supplies, hopefully to save you some money and a trip to the arts & crafts store (you’re welcome) — take a look at what kids can do with things as basic as plastic spoons, empty paper towel rolls,  drinking straws and egg cartons. Oh, and their imagination. Which isn’t basic at all....

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There’s more to kids’ movies than Disney and Marvel: Top picks from the NY International Children’s Film Festival

This weekend kicks off the NYICFF, or the NY International Children’s Film Festival, which has become one of our favorite annual traditions. We are definitely a movie-loving household, and work hard to find the good stuff.  (Multiple viewings of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic not withstanding.) Which means there are times we spend more time scrolling through Netflix looking for trying to agree on something decent, than watching the actual film. For those of you nodding vigorously right now — or just want something, anything besides the latest shoot-em-up superhero flick or insipid animated franchise — take a look at some of this...

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The coolest kids’ music of the year: Our 15 top albums | Editors’ Best of 2015

2015 was a very good year for kids’ music, with new releases from favorites like They Might Be Giants and Recess Monkey, as well as new-to-us bands like The Bazillions and Jazzy Ash. And if you have kids, but no idea what I’m talking about, well, you’re in for a treat! Kids’ music these days is definitely more than those albums of kids belting out pop covers in unison, and our children are lucky to have so much amazing music out there to choose from, that also happens to have lyrics that are fun, catchy, and don’t make us cringe...

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Feelings, nothing more than feelings: Inside Out now available on DVD and digital download

If you missed Disney Pixar’s Inside Out when it came to the theaters, perhaps you thought that getting kids to watch an animated movie about “feelings” would be about as exciting to them as one of those hour-long health movies that they have to watch in school. And yet, after laughing and crying through the film together — even my picky young teen — we can’t wait to do it all over again in the comfort of our home with the release of Inside Out on Blu-Ray/DVD. Just in time for a long, active weekend with family, when a little quiet time in front of the TV might be...

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8 of our favorite family board games for 6 or more players of all ages. Just in time for those big holiday gatherings.

We’ve got a strong competitive gene in my family, which means when we all get together, we like to hang around the dinner table playing board games. The kids get in on the action too, but that doesn’t mean we’re relegated to playing kiddie games all the time. We’ve found a lot games that the kids and adults both enjoy, from silly, laugh-out-loud games to more complicated strategy games that take a few hours to play. So, we’ve rounded up our favorite board games for 6 players or more. We hope they help get you through the throngs of friends and family...

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6 fun, easy ideas for making a custom photo memory game a more memorable gift.

Our kids are usually pretty clear about what they want for their big gifts for Christmas, so I often have the most fun thinking about those smaller gifts that are total surprises for our kids. So, we wanted to share one of our favorite affordable gifts our kids actually love: custom photo memory games from our super cool partner, Pinhole Press. – Don’t miss a special discount from Pinhole Press for our readers below – In fact, we shared this idea last year and our readers totally went nuts for it. So we’re thrilled to have such a wonderful sponsor that we know you all like...

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Web coolness: Star Wars VII mania, Sesame Street’s new character, and Halloween help

Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   If you weren’t aware, Halloween is coming up. We’ve got you covered for everything from decor to easy costumes to kids’ Halloween crafts to Halloween apps to adult beverages and seriously delicious homemade party treats. How about a sweet discount on Halloween candy just for adults? Got you covered. Tips for making Halloween safe for kids with food allergies. Meet Sesame Street’s first character with autism (at top) and an accompanying website. Are you a terrible person if you don’t send handwritten thank you notes? Great post...

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My Big Art Show: the fun family card game that might turn your kids into art history whizzes.

Two of my kids have now outgrown some of my own favorite childhood board games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders — classic versions only, please. (And yes, I admit I do like Candy Land. Don’t ask why.) My kids are now into the kind of strategy board games that take 30 minutes to explain the rules and another 30 minutes to set up the board. They can be a lot of fun, but I don’t always have the time or inclination. So I like to have a few games on hand that we can all play quickly and easily. This week we’ve been binging on My Big Art Show by Susie Hodge....

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The end-of-summer bucket list: 9 fun, easy ways to get in some last-minute fun in August

Hey, wait a minute. Is that you, August? How did you get here so fast? I know I’m not the only one who feels like this. Wasn’t it April just yesterday? Instead of trying to wrap our collective heads around the theory of relativity, let’s focus on how we can drain every last drop of fun out of this summer with our kids. Because in a blink, they’ll be back to school and we’ll be back to packing lunches (oh. yay.) again. Unless you’re one of those families who already has kids back in school, take a look at what I think...

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Fantastic tween books made into movies: 8 adventure-packed stories to help get older kids reading more.

We have no shortage of movie nights in the summer, but I would love to get my kids to crack open their books more often when school isn’t in session. And I think I’ve found a way to encourage them to read more while still keeping movie night on the calendar: I’m going to offer them great action and adventure filled tween books that were made into movies, with the caveat that we can only watch the movie afterwards. Whether you chose to read the titles aloud to your kids as a family story, or if your reader would rather finish the...

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