POSTS WITH TAG: kid activities

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    When my kids were younger, I remember thinking how much easier things would be when they got past the baby/toddler stage. Now that they are 9 and 6, I'm greatly relieved to have made it through the years of sleep deprivation, tantrums, and potty training -- but while the physical job of caring for them has eased, I'm discovering that our lives are actually growing more hectic day by day.

    I've always said that babies should come with their own "It gets better" campaign, but in terms of creating scheduling headaches and the sensation of being overwhelmed at all times, it turns out that kids only get worse as they get older. Hello, I feel like I should have been warned about this! The system's broken! I mean, come on, I'm getting older too! Yeats must have been thinking about motherhood when he wrote, "Turning and turning in the widening gyre; (...) Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

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    Siblings may not always get along, but if there's one time they'll share in their excitement, it's Halloween. With two or three or more siblings, all sorts of role-playing scenarios abound, and your typical knight-and-princess, good guy-bad guy dynamics are the least of your options. To get your creative juices flowing, we scoured the blogosphere for the best ideas to bring you the most creative sibling costume ideas below.

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    Halloween is almost here! And if you're one of those moms who waits until the last minute to do everything (hey, who isn't?), then you could be scrambling to figure out what you can throw together last minute as a Halloween costume for your kids. Look no further. We've got the quick-and-dirty ideas that will save your bacon this holiday season.

    Most can be scrounged together from common household items or a quick trip to the local convenience or craft store ... and they're so clever, families will assume you spent months masterminding these get-ups. You're welcome!

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    If you are a parent and you have a computer, I'm sure you've seen the article titled "6 Words You Should Say Today." Sometimes it's shared under different titles: "The Only 6 Words Parents Need to Say to Their Kids," "This Is the Only Parenting Tip You'll Ever Need," "6 Words You MUST Say to Your Children or You're Literally the Worst and Should Go to Jail," etc. The gist of it is that saying "I love to watch you play" is the best thing you can say to your child when they're doing an activity like sports or playing a game -- much more powerful than praising or criticizing their performance.

    Here's the problem with that oh-so-viral command: what if you do NOT love watching them play, not at all, not even a little bit? What if watching them play is so insanely boring, it makes your brain feel like it's liquifying and is on the verge of erupting from your eye sockets in a wall-splattering fountain of grayish-red gore?

    Because that, friends, is exactly how I feel about Minecraft.

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    Baseball is America's pastime, and attending games with family and kids is one of the best summer activities. But seeing your face on the Jumbotron? Well, that just beats everything. Take one young Miami Marlins fan, for instance, who noticed he was being broadcast on the stadium's televisions and immediately broke out into dance.

    But not just any dance. What may seem normal and even silly at first turns downright ridiculous. See for yourself:

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    Summer is fast approaching and that means your tween is going to want to host the dreaded sleepover. Great, just what you were hoping for -- a dozen squealing preteens singing "Let It Go" for hours on end with no actual "sleep" in sight (for them or you).

    But sleepovers don't have to be completely stressful (and sleep-less). If you set some clear guidelines beforehand -- from food to cellphones to activity rules -- the night will go a lot more smoothly.

    We asked moms for their best sleepover advice, and here's what they had to say:

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    I used to think breastfeeding was the biggest debate in the Mommy Wars. Nope -- it's Disney.

    Parents who take their children to Disney World are a special breed. If you're a mom who has broken breakfast bread with Snow White -- and this goes double if you actually enjoyed doing it -- you may not realize how exceptional you are, but you are pretty bloody amazing. You've agreed to hand over a chunk of your vacation time -- a precious 5 out of 14 days you get each year to use for everything from having a root canal to attending an aunt's funeral -- to a 6-year-old who wouldn't have a clue if those Mickey ears cost $3 or $300.

    When it comes to Disney, there's no middle ground. You're either a parent who loves taking your children to the theme park or one who despises the idea. And, if you aren't all rah-rah Disney and are foolish enough to admit this in front of your pro-Disney friends and acquaintances, well, expect your punishment to be very severe.

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    Does Father's Day sneak up on you every year, leaving you scrambling for a gift? Well, you're in luck. Because it's a day for men who have kids, it's the perfect holiday to get your kids busy making something for their dear ol' dad.

    Talk about a win win: you get some quality time doing crafts with the kiddos AND they can whip up something fun for their favorite guy. We've pulled together some of our favorite Father's Day gifts created by moms around the web that can be made with your kids ... some even made entirely by kids! And every one will make Dad's day.

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    When I signed my family up for Screen-Free Week, I knew there would be friction. I'm raising a kid in a time when 8 to 18-year-olds spend an estimated 75 percent of their time connected to some sort of gadget. Telling my 8-year-old she couldn't watch TV, play on her laptop, or touch her Kindle for an entire week was going to be a hard sell.

    But I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was caught up in the mystical promise that forcing my family to "unplug" would bring us all together and make us closer. After all, that's what the folks behind Screen-Free Week promise ... that by getting rid of gadgets for seven days, our kids will be "turning OFF digital entertainment and turning ON life."

    So, did it happen?

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    At one point or another, most of us have heard someone say that all so-and-so needs is a "kick in the pants" to get him to do something. Yeah, not so effective when the person you're trying to motivate is 6 years old AND you deliver him an actual swift kick in the pants.

    One Florida dad clearly doesn't agree. The man, whose name has not been released, was caught on video pushing his young son down a skateboard ramp in an effort to -- I'm guessing -- force the child to face his fears. His actions angered families at the park and he has been temporarily banned from visiting the skateboarding facility. On a more serious note, the Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating to determine whether there's more to this story.

    Is dad simply administering some good, old-fashioned tough love, or did he take things too far?

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