POSTS WITH TAG: activities

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    Talk about awkward: Your kid is invited to a birthday party, only the invitation says guests should bring "no gifts." If you've ever found yourself in this predicament, you might surmise deep down that you're screwed no matter what: If you follow the host's wishes and show up empty-handed, you will feel like a heel, particularly if other guests bring gifts anyway. Or, if you blow it off and bring a present, the host might truly be miffed and thank you through gritted teeth.

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    'Tis the season when high schoolers get gussied up and pose for their senior portrait ... only these days, students are rebelling against the usual stiff poses and bland backgrounds and are shaking things up! Your teenager probably wants a creative senior portrait -- and some ideas on how to make that happen.

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    I got frustrated with my Fitbit recently when it recorded a gut-busting hour-long cross-training workout as "three very active minutes." If the Fitbit people are taking feature requests, I'd like to see an update that allows you to carefully fine-tune its definition of very active by telling it to eat a bag of dicks.

    Anyway, this made me think how there are certain parenting activities that seem WAY more physically challenging than they actually are. Like if you bothered to enter them in a fitness/meal-tracking app, you'd probably learn that you burned the caloric equivalent of one slice of cucumber (no peel), but at the time, they feel as exhausting as running a marathon. Uphill. In the snow. Both ways.

    For instance:

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    Studies show that kids -- even teenagers -- begin to emulate what they see on TV. Kids tend to watch TV shows and think that this is how real life is supposed to be. It sets their expectations of what is normal. I understand it may happen in some circles, but I really hope deviant sexuality, rampant drug use, and naked dating are not normal ... even in southern California. Do our TV shows reflect real life, or are the real lives of our children and teens beginning to reflect what they see on TV?

    I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s. The glory days of televised amazingness ... at least, the way I remember it.

    MacGyver. The A-Team. Family Ties. The Cosby Show. Growing Pains. 

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    Sensory play. It's a term that's becoming better known as more and more kids are diagnosed with various special needs in America, special needs that make them more prone to crave sensory input. They want to touch things, to feel things, to squish them between their fingers and actually get a tactile sense of the world around them.

    So how do you satisfy their cravings? How about some crafts designed for your little sensory seeker?

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    Quality time between a mother and her son is so important. But sometimes, it’s hard to think of fun, new ways to spend time together -- especially one on one. So we've decided to round up 10 great date ideas. We especially love #9!

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    Who doesn't want to keep their kids entertained until bedtime mercifully arrives? Really, do any moms feel the urge to raise their hands? Boredom equals bad behavior, so we avoid it like the dirty diaper stuck to the bottom of the pail.

    But our obsession with overscheduling may stifle organic learning opportunities. You'll be surprised by what your child absorbs when you leave your wallet, cellphone, and watch behind. It's all about perspective, soaking up the bounty we often ignore in a rush to get to the next gymnastics class. Here are 5 everyday activities that will enrich your kids more than you think:

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    How annoying are goody bags? They're usually filled with useless kid crap that breaks on the car ride home. And then we have to vacuum the itty bitty plastic pieces stuck in the car mat -- or at least throw some stuff over it to cover it up. (Whatever works.) Either way, it requires effort. So annoying.

    Unfortunately, goody bags or party favors are a must. You don't want to have the kid who didn't give them out at his party. It's a major faux-pas in kidland; a definite don't. We have 10 coolinexpensive ideas that won't have you up all night swearing up a storm in your head as you stuff those bags with crap. Promise.

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    It's no surprise that kids love bubbles -- and kids love making arts and crafts. So why not make your own bubbles? Better yet, why not make your own incredibly GIANT bubbles? Nothing better than a DIY activity that keeps the kids happy, busy, and away from electronics!

    So, what are you waiting for?

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    My kids love art. I mean most kids love the opportunity to be creative, express their imagination, and make a mess. Which is why this recipe to make your own finger paint will not only be a fun activity to do with your kids, but it will also save you money.

    This finger paint recipe comes from the Home & Family Show, which airs weekdays at 10 a.m. on the Hallmark Channel.

    So, here's how it's done:

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