This season, we're partnering with KaBOOM! to promote a SUMMER OF PLAY. A few months back, KaBOOM!, the nonprofit dedicated to bringing play to all children, held a nationwide contest with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to find America's Most Playful Family. Families all over the country shared the different ways they like to play, often illustrating that you don't need lots of toys or organized activities to have a great time. Play ideas can come from people of all ages, even caring adults who ensure kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive.
You can't help but be inspired by America's Most Playful Family contest winners, the Thomases from Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. Even though they don't have playgrounds in their community or fancy playthings, they invent games that incorporate cultural traditions and all three generations of family. Watch the video family portrait that won them the title, and then read about some of their fun games that you can try at home—no batteries needed.
Last year for April Fools' Day, we rounded up 10 fun pranks to play on your kids, but some of them were a bit elaborate and required a lot of prep. This year, we have 10 more pranks for parents who want to show their kids that they have a sense of humor, but also want the jokes to be super easy to pull off.
Regardless of whether your kids attend public, private or parochial, chances are their school is always looking for ways to raise much-needed funds to pay for enriching extras. Parents are often called upon to give money. But there are also lots of fun and easy ways for families to get involved in the fundraising process that involve donating your time and creativity, not your cold hard cash.
A few years back, I wrote a post featuring 7 successful large-scale fundraising projects I helped oversee at my son's school when I was PTA president. Today I'm sharing 9 simple fundraising ideas that can be implemented relatively quickly. In fact, inspired PTAs could get a couple of these off the ground before spring break arrives! You may have heard of some of these before (hello, bake sale) but I've included tips for ways to maximize profits and enjoyment.
What's the first thing my family does to prepare for Halloween season? No, not make costumes or crafts or plan out our calendar. Our very first activity is to throw out all the stale candy my daughter has been hanging on to since last October 31.
Whatever you do with your child's Halloween haul—donate, repurpose, hoard or eat—there's no question that trick-or-treaters collect way too much candy. And while I'm glad my kid doesn't actually ingest it all, many children do, and the health implications of that are pretty scary.
So this year I'm not going to be part of the candy craze. Instead, I plan to give out small, fun, non-edible treats, like the kinds of tchotchkes you might find in a birthday goody bag. (So if you have any of those lying around the house, start gathering them up now.) Yes, I realize these things may end up sitting around as long as last year's candy, but since they don't go bad I can always hand them out again next Halloween.
Here are some cool things to hand out on Halloween besides candy that won't get you egged.
When my family first heard I planned on homeschooling my two children they were baffled; why would I want to take on such a task, when I could “get rid” of them for six hours a day. Luckily my “crazy plan” isn't sounding too crazy, as more and more parents are ditching the school system and teaching their kids at home. New Jersey is an amazing state to homeschool in – no regulations, dozens of homeschool co-ops and groups and plenty to do. During the hours of 9-3 September through June my kids participate in nature studies, sports classes, and learning opportunities designed for homeschoolers that are either free, or extremely affordable. It's been such an amazing journey for us, and I'm excited to share some of my favorite homeschoolin' haunts.
I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby. While everyone stayed out late for live music and beers I was at home figuring out how to nurse. I wasn't too lonely (flying sky high on hormones) but I did long for conversations with other like-minded moms (I knew I was in trouble when I almost attacked a woman in the bookstore for picking up a parenting magazine I also read). Luckily the good ol' Internet makes it a cinch to find friends... if you know where to look!
Do you find yourself drawing a complete blank as a new year of school lunches and snacks is upon us? If you’re like me, the quest is two-fold – sending food to school my son will enjoy AND preparing something that’s good for his growing body.
Here are some tips on planning and preparing healthy school snacks and lunches that are crowd pleasers at my house:
The back-to-school season is filled with anticipation, excitement and stress—for kids and parents. There are new clothes and school supplies to buy, lunches and snacks to plan, and classes to prepare for (no easy task after summer slump). If you're worried that you'll never get it all done, stop, take a deep breath and check out our Back-to-School Guide, which is packed with simple tips and advice to help take the edge off. If your kid is going to school for the first time, we've got a list of books that help with the transition to kindergarten. Need name tags? We know about some super-cool ones. We also have plenty of meal posts, like our favorite meal planning apps, healthy lunch ideas and sensory savvy snacks so kids can make it through the school day. And we have an awesome Back-to-School Giveaway going on with multiple prizes worth more than $2,000 in total. We hope our Back-to-School Guide helps your family make it through the madness, sanity intact.
Welcome to Mommy Poppins New Jersey! The free online resource for parents and kids where you’ll get the scoop on what’s fun, unique, outdoorsy, indoorsy, artsy, bouncy, sassy and splashy in the Garden State. Come play with us, won’t you?