POSTS WITH TAG: activities

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    Family road trips can be disasters waiting to happen. Between carsick kids, sibling spats, and incessant "Are we there yet?" whining, traveling with kids in tow is enough to make any mom swear off these jaunts for good.

    Still, since driving is often the only logical way to get to the beach, amusement park, campground, or any other family fun-oriented point B, we figured we'd ask some moms with plenty of car travel under their belts for their best family road trip tips. Keep these 9 stress-reducing tricks handy before your next outing on the open road.

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    Is there anything better than a good old-fashioned family vacation? Why it's as traditional and all-American as apple pie and short-lived Internet outrage. Over-packing, realizing five hours from home that you forgot your phone charger, yelling at the kids to be quiet or you will turn this car around so help me, enduring the 900th complaint of "Are we THERE yet?", arriving at your destination only for someone to immediately come down with the barfing flu ... it's all part of the glorious experience.

    There's almost always something that goes at least a little bit wrong on a family vacation, and when it does, all you can do is laugh. Because, well, the alternative -- weeping inconsolably into a dubious-smelling hotel pillow -- isn't going to do much good. For everyone who's ever had a summer getaway slide off the rails, here are 12 tragically hilarious moments from family vacations gone bad.

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    Dreading the "I'm bored"s sure to come with summer vacation? Might we remind you that the Fourth of July is coming up fast? If you're wondering what the two might have to do with one another, we have three words for you: July 4th crafts.

    Wait, let's add a few more: crafts that the kids can do! So long boredom, hello patriotism! We checked in with some of the craftiest moms in the blogosphere for patriotic activities that will keep the kiddos' fingers and minds busy for hours ... and help the whole family celebrate the national holiday.

    More from The Stir: Fourth of July Craft for Kids: How to Make Tie Dye T-Shirts (VIDEO)

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    When we think of summer, we think of lots of outdoor fun. Sprinklers, pool parties, nature walks -- we all love being in the great outdoors. But there are some days when the heat just gets to be too much and we have to stay inside. Especially when it comes to little kids -- no one needs to be overheating. There are plenty of exciting indoor activities, too, that involve more than just plopping the little ones in front of the television. 

    Prepare for some indoor fun for the hottest summer days. These activities are not only exciting, but yield some incredible keepsakes and memories.

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    I spent a large portion of my teen years in awe of girls who were brave enough to either crowd surf or jump into the mosh pit at rock concerts. At 15, I wasn't allowed to attend concerts without an adult, but I did it anyway. And though I wished I was more like those girls who wanted to prove they could do what all of the boys were doing, most had the same story to tell after they moshed or allowed the audience to hoist them up and pass them above the crowd like a hunk of bread: at some point, someone tried to cop a cheap feel. It was just par for the course and most girls knew it.

    Apparently, Aaron Lewis, the lead singer of the band Staind, knows it too. At a recent show as part of Rockfest 2014, he called some of the guys in the crowd "pieces of s**t" for "molesting" a girl who looked to be 15 as she crowd surfed. An extreme (but awesome) reaction? Perhaps. But Lewis' message serves as a reminder to parents that concerts are NOT places for young teens.

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    Faces thrown into shadow by flickering flames, your mouth sticky with the remains of a melted marshmallow (or ten), the night gloom closing in around you as you listen to an increasingly creepy tale about a killer with a hook for a hand and obviously it's not true, but um does anyone have an extra flashlight it just seems kind of dark right now … when it comes to creating visceral childhood memories, is there anything quite like a good old-fashioned campfire ghost story?

    For the sake of nostalgia and passing along this wonderful (and only slightly psychologically damaging) ritual to our own kids, here are 5 of the most memorable and scary campfire stories, perfect for sharing during a campout this summer.

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    It always happens. The end of the school year sneaks up on you, and all of a sudden, you realize you really need to find some way to thank the teacher who has poured a whole lot of love and knowledge into your child. Desperate for some ideas for that end of the school year teacher gift?

    Help is on the way! Teachers love gifts that show the children in their classroom really appreciated them, and these crafty ideas from some of the craftiest bloggers on the web are all designed with kid hands in mind -- your kids can actually make every single one!

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    Remember the day you mastered the skill of riding a bike? The thrill on your bike coach's face when you finally pedaled and steered on your own without hitting a wall? The even bigger grin on your bike coach's face when your mom handed him $100 for a private lesson?

    Yeah, don't feel bad -- that wasn't my experience either. But these days, it's totally possible for parents to dodge the often arduous task of teaching their little ones how to ride a bike by actually hiring a bicycle coach to do the dirty work for them.

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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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    Nothing is nicer than a day out at a spa. And what better day to escape and relax than on Mother's Day? Except for that niggling feeling of guilt you get celebrating the joys of mommy-hood away from your kids.

    Lucky for you, we've got a fix that gives you the best of both worlds -- and saves you a bundle, too! This Mother's Day, make it a Mommy & Me spa day. Don't worry, we're not saying you all "relax" together (because we are not naive fools). We're saying that this year, put the kiddos to work with these fun, safe, practical, and wallet-friendly at-home spa treatments. They're so easy a kid could do it -- and this year, they will!

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