Tag: summer activities

7 smart sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness.

If your little camper is heading off to sleepaway camp this summer, possibly for the first time (sniff), you’ll likely receive from the camp a long list of all the essentials to pack — extra socks, bug repellent, water bottles, headlamps. But, on top of all those must-haves (and they really are), we think that a few special items that connect them to home can help make the transition from bed to bunk a little easier. We spoke to our experienced sleepaway camp parents around here, and put together 7 of our favorite ideas for sleepaway camp essentials that help stave off homesickness and ensure the transition...

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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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The best modest two-piece swimsuits for sporty, modern, or girly girls. Because, well, they’re still kids.

It’s become somewhat of a summer tradition to share with you our favorite modest two-piece swimsuits for girls, because teensy triangle bikini tops just feel wrong to lots of parents of girls who haven’t even hit puberty yet. And maybe, if we can get them excited about how cute sportier suits can be, maybe it will make those teenage shopping years a little easier? (If we’re lucky.) We love the convenience of a two-piece for mixing and matching styles, quick bathroom trips, and the fact that those tankinis can grow with our girls into next summer. Plus, these kinds of swimsuits are not fussy at all, which...

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6 of the snappiest water shoes for kids that like to splash all day

Nothing beats running around barefoot in the summer, until those soft little feet hit a rock or your kids refuse to go into the lake because of a few “icky” leaves on the bottom. So now is a great time to stock up on comfy and durable pairs of water shoes for your toddlers or bigger kids, who will be in and out of water all day. We’ve roundup up a handful of our favorite water shoes from companies we love and trust — the snappiest, sturdiest pairs of water shoes that are an essential part of summer fun. CMP is an...

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These cool nature kits from Rose & Rex let kids choose their own summer adventure.

We’ve found the cutest new children’s toy, and it includes fairy dust. Or a treasure map. What more could any child want, really? The new, cool nature kits from Rose & Rex are what little kids’ dreams are made of, packed neatly into a cute wooden box. Carefully curated boxes that are sure to inspire kids to create and play, and take their big imaginations outdoors this summer. These nature kits come in two varieties, a Fairyhouse Kit and a Treasure Hunter’s Kit, so there is something for everyone, depending on whether your child is more inclined to whimsy or adventure (not that...

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13 awesome Father’s Day gifts for dads who love camping | Father’s Day Gift Guide 2016

We’re excited to kick off our brand new 2016 Father’s Day gift guide with something super adventurous: Truly amazing gifts for dads who love camping. As for my own husband, he’s taken our kids on enough camping trips this year to earn him whatever amazing new piece of camping gear he wants for Father’s Day. So I’ve been reading up on the newest and best camping tech to give him a Father’s Day gift he’ll really love as someone who likes camping. Wow, there’s some cool stuff out there! I’m looking for camping gifts for dads that just might make his time a...

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From space exploration to circus arts: 10 outrageously cool summer camps we wish we had as kids

For many of us, summer means heading off to our go-to camp where our kids spend their days playing outdoors, going on nature hikes, swimming in ponds, and singing goofy camp songs with all their friends. But if your kids would prefer a less-traditional or even totally off-the-wall summer camp experience, we’ve found loads of the coolest, most outrageous summer camps — both day camp and overnight — that fit every child’s idea of fun. Whether or not you take the plunge, or just fantasize about what your kids could do one day, these are all pretty awesome. But before you pack...

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The EWG 2016 safest sunscreens for kids: which are most affordable?

Every year, we have turned to the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Guide to Sunscreens to help us make more educated decisions about what are the safest sunscreens to slather on our kids (and ourselves) each summer. But we often find that when you break down the prices, whoa — it’s expensive to get safe sunscreens for kids! Especially considering how much we’re using. So this year we thought we’d take a good look at their short list of the EWG Best Kids’ Sunscreens, find the average prices online (generally from Amazon, Drugstore.com, or the brand’s own website if the product isn’t widely available at...

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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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The best bug sprays for Zika virus protection and how to apply them safely. Because we’d like to panic as little as possible about our kids, thanks.

This year, the Zika virus is on my mind (and everyone else’s, I imagine) so I’ve been avidly researching the best bug sprays for Zika virus protection. It happens that my daughter is extremely allergic to mosquito bites, so when she goes outside in the summertime, I make sure she’s covered head to toe in insect repellent — and for extra precaution, she wears one of those wristband mosquito repellents too. So you can see that this is an issue for me.   Do Non-Toxic Bug Sprays work against the Zika virus? Because she wears so much spray, I...

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10 really cool activity books for kids. For summer travel, or for regular boredom, which knows no season.

From books full of creative DIY projects to endless coloring pages, I have tracked down some of the absolute coolest activity books for kids, that I think your kids are sure to love as much as mine this summer. After all, I adore the warm weather and the break from routines, but I am admittedly not ready for summer vacation. With just 3 weeks left until school lets, I’m hoping these kids’ activity books will keep my brood entertained — and off screens — from the minute they wake up. Which is well before I’m able to crawl out of bed, because what is it about...

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3 great new albums for your next family road trip

There are few sounds as jarring and mind-numbing as super bored kids whining, Are we there yet? (I mean, could we be little more cliché, kids?) So, with spring break here for lots of families and summer vacations and other road trip opportunities on the way, I’ve rounded up a few new album releases by some of our kindie music favorites to help make the miles a lot more enjoyable. Whether you’re embarking on a long weekend adventure or a cross-country road trip, we think you’ll have fun with some of these sing-a-longs. Related: Family road trip tips: Tons of sanity-savers, tricks, and essential products to keep...

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7 of the absolute coolest new ride-on toys for kids. Let’s get cruisin’!

With a hint of spring in the air, it’s time to take stock of the cool ride-on toys out there so that our kids can stop hibernating with their handhelds and enjoy the great outdoors instead by pedaling, gliding and zooming around our sidewalks and driveways. And if your kids shot up a few inches this winter, you may have a good excuse to consider some new wheels. Here are some of the latest and greatest new ride-on toys that have zoomed into our view that we are certain will make our most adventurous young riders very, very happy. Related: Best gifts...

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Have bike, will travel: The super cool Durban bikes

Anyone who has seen my garage knows that we do not lack for bicycles. But, I always wished for a bike small enough to just toss into the trunk of my car alongside the kids’ scooters for weekend rides in the park or on the boardwalk. Which is why I was extremely excited to try out the Metro Special Edition foldable bike from Durban (yeah, the one seen on Ellen), a snazzy looking set of wheels that folds down to a portable size. What could be cooler? Made primarily for urbanites who may not have room to store a big bike in their apartments,...

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15 pretty Easter flower crafts for kids of every age, from easy to whoa!

There’s nothing quite like bright bursts of color dotting the landscape to wake me up and out of winter’s hibernation. And you can bring all the colors of spring into your home with these 15 pretty flower crafts you can make with the kids,even if the real ones aren’t blooming in your neck of the woods just yet. From easy fingerprint projects to more advanced crafting like weaving and stamp making, we’ve found some amazing DIY crafts that are getting us all excited about the warmer weather and good things to come. And don’t miss our newly updated post with 11 more fun, easy flower craft ideas for kids....

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11 creative painting projects for kids. Get out the brushes! Or…bubble wrap?

We admit that sometimes we avoid the really fun painting and craft projects that include supplies other than the box of nice, neat, perfectly sharpened colored pencils we know will minimize cleanup time. (The glitter glue, that’s a whole other story.) But then we think, aw, the kids always have the best time painting.  Maybe it’s time to get out the brushes? That’s when we toss some newspaper or a drop cloth over the table, stick an apron or giant t-shirt over the kids, and let them get messy. And you know? We’re always glad we did. The truth is, cleanup is never as awful...

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Festive Roots: Very cool craft kits for kids that help them be smarter global citizens too.

My kids can easily spend an hour at the kitchen table working on a good DIY project, so I’m always on the lookout for cool crafts kits that will pique their interest. Lately, it’s been the globally-minded kits from Festive Roots, which helps teach kids about cultural celebrations all across the world through crafting. Which is such a fantastic idea! Each kit includes three crafts inspired by a holiday from countries like China, India, and Mexico. The trunks come straight to your mailbox with everything — and I mean, everything — you’ll need to complete the craft. There’s no dreaded, Mom, where’s our glue stick? halfway through. The kit we...

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10 ways to make driveway bike riding more fun for kids

It’s hard to feel like King of the Road when really, you’re King of Don’t  Go Beyond the End of the Driveway! With three kids and one long paved driveway, I’ve been there!  So, whether you live on a house on a high-traffic street, or you just need to keep your kids a little closer to home for whatever reason, I’ve got 10 fun ideas to make driveway bike riding more fun for those kids who love their wheels but could use a little more excitement. And don’t forget the helmets! Even if it is “just” in the driveway....

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We’ve got 21 of the coolest coloring books for adults. Pass those markers over, kids.

It’s so easy to find yourself on-the-go all the time as a parent, but having downtime is important. In fact, I think it’s vital to being a good mom or dad. Of course, a few hours alone to get a manicure or go for a walk is so nice, but I like to find ways to unwind with my kids too. That’s why I’ve been absolutely thrilled to see adult coloring books blow up, and I’m fascinated by research I’ve seen lately saying that coloring happens to be a really effective way for adults to relax. So if you need a break from crosswords or Netflix or...

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13 great fantasy and adventure books for tweens. Get ready to buy the sequels!

My ten-year-old is the kind of kid who is still reading in bed long after his siblings have fallen asleep. But it can be hard to keep up with his pace, and continue finding age-appropriate fantasy and adventure books that tweens like him will be excited about. I mean, he really tears through them. If you’re in the same boat, I’ve put together some excellent fantasy and adventure books for tweens that we’ve loved at our house, and a few our local bookstore has recommended that we can’t wait to try. And hey, even if your child isn’t tearing through longer chapter...

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