Big Kid Activities  &  Sports

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    The following post is from our sponsor, Proctor & Gamble.

    Tough is a great word, unless of course you’re referring to steaks or bullies. When I hear the word tough, it conjures up images of superhuman strength, unshakable fortitude, and quiet courage. I see mothers who are strong in their convictions, strong in their character, and strong in their actions. And it’s all in the best interest of their children.

    It’s rarely the easy way, but the tough way is so often what makes a difference in the long run ...

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    Don't you just love it when a child takes it upon himself to do something unselfish and kind without having to be prompted? Then just wait until you hear about Josh Zuchowski, a 9-year-old boy who won a swimming trophy and gave it to his biggest rival -- who happened to be in the hospital at the time of the swim meet.

    When Josh didn't see 10-year-old Reese Branzell's name entered on the competition sheet, he learned the boy had been suffering from a bacterial infection in his hip. And Josh felt so horrible about Reese not being able to swim that he decided if he won the "high point trophy" in the competition -- it would mean more to him if Reese was the one who had it.

    And when he did wind up with that trophy? Well ... I think the card he wrote to Reese along with it pretty much speaks for itself.

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    I got a nice long break during the summer, but here I am again: awkwardly perched in a Coleman folding chair on the sidelines of a schoolyard field. At my feet is a bottle of water that my son runs to and gulps manfully while glancing around to check on his friends, providing me with a curt silent nod as I pepper him with chirpy Mom questions about whether he's having fun. He unceremoniously drops the bottle on my foot in his rush to return to the game, and I sigh and stand it back upright so it doesn't leak into my shoes.

    My god, I am bored. SO. FREAKING. BORED. And there are -- let's check the time -- oh sweet merciful crap, we've only been here for 10 minutes. Somebody, please tell me that being a soccer mom gets better? PLEASE?

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    Some days I feel like I spend more time on the road than in my house. It's to school, to baseball, to soccer, to play dates, and to the market and back again, time and again. I actually love having that time with my kids when they're trapped with nowhere to go (mwahahaha), but you also have to be more prepared than a Boy Scout if you want things to go smoothly.

    With the right arsenal of supplies, you'll be ready for anything. Okay, not anything, because with kids, you simply just cannot predict everything, but here are 10 things all moms should carry in their cars at all times that will help you manage most days.

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    The kids are finally heading back to school, but -- little busybodies that they are -- they’re still itching for things to do between soccer practices and playdates. And since you’re sick of seeing them glued to old iCarly episodes and playing Candy Crush on your iPad, here are 3 inexpensive ways to get them off the couch.

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    Summer isn't officially over this year until September 21, but with the kids going back to school and Christmas items already in stores (already!), it feels like it's coming to a close. But it hasn't yet, so don't throw in the beach towel now. 

    There are still several weeks to soak up the summertime fun, and just because there's homework and early mornings to meet the school bus, that doesn't mean the fun has to stop. It can be hard to keep the summer spirit up, especially once Labor Day comes and goes, but it can be done. Here are 10 images that scream summer to inspire you to enjoy every single day left. Embrace and capture as many of them as you can, because you before you know it, it will be that time of year when Christmas items really should be appearing in stores.

    What images scream summer to you?

     

    Image via AnneCN/Flickr

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    It may still be August, but back to school commercials and displays are cropping up everywhere! Reason enough to make sure you take advantage of whatever beautiful weather comes your way and get to a beach, any beach with your family, right?

    But if you need more reason than that -- you know, for a bit of a push -- here, 25 of 'em to convince you that at least one day trip down to the shore is absolutely necessary before summer splits for real!  

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    You don't have to always go on vacation to have some summer family fun. Using your imagination and crafting skills (novice to expert) you can have some really good times in the great outdoors, just outside your door. Here are 5 great outdoor crafts your kids will love and you won't hate. Get crafting!

    Image via Tiffany Kelly

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    When you're going to a sporting event with a child, be it a professional one or that of an older sibling's, you best come prepared. In case you hadn't noticed, kids don't have the same attention spans we do, and sitting outside can get boring or uncomfortable real fast when you're a small fry.

    So, stock up. Stock up on any and all things that will keep your child entertained and fed and warm when the initial thrill of "hey, this is cool!" wears off.

    Here are 6 things every sports mom needs to keep in her car at all times.

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    Ah, summer vacation travel. I am looking forward to a trip at the end of the month, and I really hope it all goes off without a hitch. But you know, some of the best vacation memories come from disasters. Maybe it's the euphoria you get from just surviving. Maybe it's the way some disasters have of making everything else from your trip seem that much better. 

    So here are eight epic vacation disaster stories for you to enjoy. Let's hope it's never this bad for you and your family.

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