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Summer Travel Must-haves

Summer’s coming and we are just as excited for upcoming vacations as you are! But traveling with kiddos is always nicer when you’re prepared. Don’t worry, we’ve got ya covered! Whether you are camping in the woods, jetting out to an exotic, fun-filled beach, or road-tripping through nearby cities, we have some of the summer must-haves to keep your kids organized, styled, and comfortable.

essentials for camping with kids

Camping

Lassig Cooler Backpack: Pack and lunch and  head for the hills! Perfect for taking on a hike with the family or even summer camp.

DC Lid Knit Beanie: Keep little ears warm at nighttime. 

Goo-Goo Baby Stainless Sports Bottle: An eco-friendly, durable way to stay hydrated.
 
Real Kids Shades: Whether a hike or playing on the lake, protect little eyes from UV rays.
 
Popochos Watches: Let your kiddo keep the time with a watch that’s perfect for out on a hike.
 
DC Hoodie: Perfect for cozying up around the fire.

Plane Ride Essentials for Traveling with Kids

Plane ride

Lassig Mini Messenger Bag and Trolley Bag: The messenger can be worn side or across for adjustable comfort for your child’s carry-on. The trolley bag fits all their stuff in style, with a bag they can easily roll along themselves.

Mon Petit Mardi Foldable Water Bottles: Once you get past airport security, fill these up to save on drinks, and stow away small when finished.
COCO Sandals: Comfortable shoes that slip on and off for going through TSA, but practical for the trip. 
 
BabyLegs: AC can be cold on the plane, but BabyLegs will have little legs or arms covered and are easy to put on or stow away.
 
Poivre Blanc Jacket: Layer up your girl in the cutest, fitted jacket.

 
Road Trip Essentials for Traveling with Kids

Roadtrip

Lassig  Car Wrap-to-go: Keep your backseat organized with kids’ toys and travel necessities.
Kidzsack Backpack: Make activity time a breeze with a bag your little one can decorate and store stuff in.
 
Eyes Cream Shades: From hotel pool to open road, keep your little one’s eyes protected.
 
Four Peas Pencil Bag: Store pencils, markers, and trinkets in an easy to carry case.
 
Zatswho Soft Photo Flashcard Set: Keep your little one learning while driving with fun flashcards.
Twin Sisters 20 CD Set and Carrying Case: Pop in these educational CDs to keep your kids entertained and singing along. 

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with Kids

Between the bubbly, pretty dress, and a kiss at midnight, New Years is always a fun holiday for adults. But what about mamas who want to celebrate with the little ones that get cranky long before the clock strikes twelve? We have five fun ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids.

1. Set the clocks forward. If your little one can’t stay awake long enough to give you a midnight smooch then try celebrating the countdown with them during an earlier hour. Switch the clocks the night before so they’re none the wiser– just don’t forget if you have any appointments that day!

2. Break out the noise and the bubbly. Sparking juice is a special little treat they can enjoy for New Year’s fun. If your cuties aren’t old enough for sparklers, small fireworks, or confetti poppers, try banging on pots, popping bubble wrap, and playing simple noise makers.

3. Invite their friends for a mini party. If you plan on having your own adult party, let your kids invite friends for their own shindig.  Set out board games, crafts, treats, and put on their favorite movie to make the night special. Hiring a babysitter to keep an eye on things will allow you to participate in both parties without worry.

4. Make a mini snack table and hot cocoa bar. Put out tiny bite-size treats for kids to snack on. Popcorn in cups, finger sandwiches, and mini desserts are quick little treats that will make the kiddos more than happy. A hot cocoa bar with peppermint sticks, marshmallows, caramel sauce, and whipped cream is a cute and easy way to entertain the little munchkins.

5. Remember 2012 and look forward to 2013.  Help your little one fill out this printable about the past and upcoming year! Be sure to keep it somewhere safe and bring them back out on the next New Year’s Eve to compare. (For printable version, click here.)

Happy New Year printable for kids

And most of all, don’t forget to *enjoy!* Prepare yourself for the inevitable chaos and that something will go wrong (or just not the way you’d hope). Let loose and enjoy your New Year’s Eve party. If everything falls apart just remember, there is always next year!

ecogear Little Kids Backpack and Messenger Bag Surprise Steal!

Happy Gift Week! We wanted to add a little extra present into the mix, just for you. You and your child will love ecogear’s kid-specific line of high quality bags with durable, eco-friendly construction. On school days and travel days, little ones can carry their essentials in the cute style of ecogear simplicity. Made with planet-friendly organic cotton, PVC-free materials, recycled plastics, and toxic-free dyes and components, and designed with simple features that won’t overwhelm your kiddo, ecogear will delight curious children and eco-conscious parents alike.

Hurry and grab this Surprise Steal before they’re gone!

ecogear Little Kids Backpack and Messenger Bag Surprise Steal!

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Children and Internet Safety and Games with Fooz Kids

Fooz Kids: Project Happy Kids from fuhu on Vimeo.

The Internet offers a world of learning and exploration for children, but also opens up dangers every parent should be cautious of. That’s why we fell in love with today’s steal, Fuhu Inc. Fooz Kids Premium Subscription. Not only does it give your child a fun, educational activity they will enjoy, it also protects your kids and your computer. It’s no wonder it’s won so many awards and recognitions and earned the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval.

Here are the top five reasons this is great for kids online safety and learning.

1. Focuses on education and entertainment.
With over 22,000 educational quizzes, games and math problems, your kiddo will be learning up a storm while playing games. With Report Card you also track your child’s progression by identifying their strengths, the skills they have acquired, and the remaining trouble spots.

2. Creates a safe environment for kids and protects your computer.
Most kid-friendly games still leave your computer open to outside web-browsing and unprotected files. Once you enter the world of Fooz Kids, your kids can’t exit out of it without your protective password and parental controls with keeps them using only what you want them to.

3. Provides a place for them to create and discover.
Kids can use their creativity and discover new things about their world, which helps build independence and persistence, as well as a healthy imagination.

4. Learn to connect online in a safe way. 
We live in a connected world, and your child can learn to share with friends and family through email, video mail, and more with a kid-safe, parent-managed friend list. After all, Grandma would love to see the latest and greatest creation from her little grandchild.

5. Create a balance of on screen and off screen fun.
Fooz Kids is all about creating a healthy balance of play on screen and off screen. Let them get inspired from fun on the computer, then explore their world off the computer from things they discover and learn.

What are your best tips for online safety and fun for kids?

Quest for the Lost Archive

The BabySteals, KidSteals and ScrapbookSteals archives are coveted by many. Any woman that knew the secret link held the power to a place full of magical treasures for a steal of a deal. Then a mysterious force made them disappear — they became the long, lost archives and women were forced to pay, *gasp* full price. And then…

Da, da, da, da…duh, dun, na.

One brave woman, In”deal”ana Jones, went on a quest to find the lost archives in the hopes to bring the great power back to womankind.

Have a Safe Halloween | Mom Tip Monday

Happy Halloween! Mwahahaha! If you’re taking your kiddos out, make sure you’re prepared and safe from the spooks. For today’s Mom Tip Monday we have a few tips to keep your little ghosts and ghouls safe for trick or treating.

• • • • •

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents

  •  Follow the light. Stay in well-lit areas and go to houses with the lights on. Tote some flashlights with you so you can see the path easily.
  • Stay with the pack. Stick together with a small group that should always have at least one adult. If it’s just you and your little one, tag along other people along the trick-or-treating trail.
  • Have kids’ info handy. If you are bringing other kids with you, get their full names, parents’ names and a phone number you can call in case anything happens.
  • Bring the ringer. While all dressed up, you may find yourself with pockets, but make sure you still bring your cell phone in case of emergency or in case someone needs to find you.
  • Cross with caution. Just like any time, make sure your kids know they need to look both ways before crossing the street, wait at corners, and stay close by you.
  • Stay warm. Costumes don’t always lend themselves to the chilly October weather. Make sure you incorporate some extra layers underneath or on top of their costume, and bring an extra jacket for them just in case. A nearby hot cocoa run never hurts!
  • Drive slowly. If you are driving to a neighborhood other than your own, watch out for trick-or-treaters on the loose!
  • Inspect the treats. After all the Halloween fun is over, be sure to inspect the candy to make sure it is safe and sealed before your kids dig in.

 

• • • • •
Hope your enjoyed these Halloween safety tips for trick or treating. Have a happy (and safe) Halloween!

Have a mom tip? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to enter a submission.

What parenting questions would you like answered from our KidSteals community of experts? Click here to ask a question.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.

Sprout Kids Rocker Giveaway!


It’s KidSteals birthday, but we have a special present just for you! A giveaway your little sprout will adore.

 

The perfect holiday gift, this Modern Kids Rocker by Sprout is designed to inspire creativity and exploration in your kids. Easy assembly with no tools or hardware is simple enough for kids to figure out.

 

Components can even be swapped with Sprout Play Chairs and Sprout Cubby Organizers to build new things. How cool is that? Plus, Sprout is made in the USA and designed to be eco-friendly, using recycled wood products. Check out the entire line of Sprout Play and Organization products and their Facebook and Twitter pages.
One lucky winner will get a Modern Kids Rocker (a $70 value) in the color of her choice!

To enter
, watch this video, then come back here and fill out this form to share what you like most about the line.

 


Contest ends Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 11:59pm MDT. Winner announced upon notification and will be chosen with random.org. The contact information you provide will not be shared and will only be used to notify winners. Click here to read our full privacy notice. Winnings are not for resale. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Participation open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years or older. One entry per person.


Dealing with Kids’ Food Allergies | Mom Tip Monday

Does your child have allergies?  For today’s Mom Tip Monday Liz Calloway, fellow KidSteals fan and blogger behind Times to Laugh and Cry, shares her tips dealing with food allergies with your kids.

• • • • •

My husband and I have always loved to cook — it’s one of the things that we have enjoyed doing together since we met. We joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and explored and experimented with new foods like kohlrabi, celery root, and garlic scallions. Never would I have imagined how that enjoyment would be put to the test after our son was born.

 

At 10 months old, my son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies: dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs. As an exclusive pumper, this meant that I needed to eliminate all of these allergens from my body too — a challenging feat, but one that my husband and I met head on. Our goal had been to breastfeed for a year and now we weren’t sure there was a formula that my son would even take. We had to make this work. Going to the local pizza place for dinner after work wasn’t an option any longer. We needed to know everything about anything that we ate. This becomes even more important now that my son is 2.5 years old and wants to eat off of our plates.

We researched substitutions and met with many people that offered advice and tips and realized that some of the best things we could do was cook for ourselves as we could control what went in — our old hobby has become our new hobby!  A website we found was a wonderful resource for finding allergy-friendly recipes.

Flavors, such as seasonings and oils, have become popular in our household. Grapeseed Oil has a wonderful buttery flavor and is a great replacement. I drizzle it into potatoes as I am mashing them and add in a little rice milk or almond milk to give it a creamy consistency. (Thankfully, we don’t have an almond allergy.)

We’ve found other things that offer one to one substitutes such as rice milk vegan cheese, and rice pasta, as well as new foods that we can add into our regular rotation of meals like quinoa – a fantastic grain that is gluten-free and can be used like rice but with a grittier, grainy taste and a bit firmer texture.

Baking has been challenging and fun at the same time.  I’ve made cinnamon rolls, muffins, quick breads, crisps, and cobblers – mostly successes but a few failures.  The joy on my son’s face makes it worth it – I do tend to follow recipes more closely here since baking gluten- and egg-free is more challenging.  But being egg-free means we can lick the bowl without fear of getting sick.

Being out and about, is equally challenging – as is daycare. Communication is key as well as having a plan. I don’t want my son to ever feel excluded or different as he gets older, so we’ve been careful to find substitutes when necessary and always have a back up treat. There are lots of safe treats on the market now. Daycare keeps a cupcake in the freezer for birthday celebrations so that he has one too. When it was time for his birthday celebration at school, we made sure that it was something that everyone could have – I asked if there were any other allergies in his class and ended up making jello jigglers instead of cupcakes – the kids loved it and my son was really excited that everyone got the same treat.

With time, we have grown out of an allergen but added a few more so we are constantly evolving our cooking and baking ideas as well as ensuring that my son gets to try new and exciting dishes as he expands his palate.

• • • • •
Thank you Liz!

Have a mom tip? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to enter a submission.

What parenting questions would you like answered from our KidSteals community of experts? Click here to ask a question.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.

Kids Halloween Costume Ideas | Mom Tip Monday

A crisp of fall is in the air and the spookiest holiday is just around the corner. To make sure every little boy or ghoul is decked out to say “trick or treat,” for today’s Mom Tip Monday we have fifty fun Halloween costume ideas for kids you may not have thought of. Several of these you can even get creative and make it yourself. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

• • • • •

Boy

Bulls-eye and arrow

Dragon

Viking

Optimus Prime

Digger

Robot

Spaghetti and meatballs

Yoda

Astronaut

Airplane

Train conductor

Lego man

 

Girl

Ladybug

Mermaid (great for kids in strollers)

Poodle

Bouquet of flowers

Paper doll

Day spa diva

Ice cream cone

Chick

Statue of Liberty

Butterfly in a cocoon

Mary Poppins

Cupcake

Raining cats and dogs

Queen bee

Hot cocoa

 

Unisex or Group

Baby burrito

Baby carrot and a bunny

Cat and mouse

Popcorn

Washing machine

Jellyfish

Greek statue

Bumble bee and flower

Little Bo Peep and a lamb

Mario, Luigi and/or Princess Toadstool

Skunk (little stinker)

Peacock

Mama’s little angel/devil

Crayon

Popeye, Olive and Sweet Pea

Little Red Riding Hood and Wolf

Lobster

S’mores

Hot air balloon

Sushi roll

Owl

A bag of Jelly Bellies (made of balloons)

Kangaroo and kid

 

• • • • •

Hope this helps you come up with an award-winning Halloween costume idea. Wishing you a plenty of treats and no tricks!

Have a mom tip? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to enter a submission.

What parenting questions would you like answered from our KidSteals community of experts? Click here to ask a question.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.

 

Dealing with Grief with Kids | Mom Tip Monday

Despite what you may want your kids to experience, life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Hard times can hit for you or your loved ones and it can be hard to explain this or experience this with your children. For this Mom Tip Monday, fellow BabySteals mom, Anita Sullivan, shares her own experience and tips on dealing with grief with children.

• • • • •

Anita and her family

More than four years ago, my adult brother went missing. It’s been a difficult journey for our whole family, including my oldest son who was four at the time. We’ve had to help him through it, while dealing with it ourselves. We’ve also faced the challenge of not wanting our youngest to not know about his uncle. We’ve also had the death of my husband’s mom and losses of loved pets.

Many families deal with situations like it, not knowing how to best help their child grieve, while also grieving themselves. While we usually are talking about happy things on this family of steals fans, we all have loss in our lives at times too. Here are some things we’ve learned that may help your family too.

1. Show your kids your emotions, don’t hide them.

Kids need to know it’s okay to be sad, and it’s okay to cry. But also show them that you are happy over memories and over time together. By putting on a brave face and never letting them know you’re grieving, they learn that it’s not okay to be sad.

2. Make sure they know that happy times are ahead.

Plan things to do as a family that you can look forward to, knowing that it won’t eclipse the sadness, but will create new good memories.

3. Encourage your kids to share memories of the lost loved one.

Create a scrapbook or box of memories that they can look through and remember their loved one. Allow them to participate in adding to it. For example, my son has a great memory of my brother taking him fishing. I’d forgotten about it, but he hasn’t.

4. Communicate with caregivers.

Let teachers or caregivers know that your child may experience out of the norm behaviors as they cope with this. Let your child know they can talk to these adults in their lives about what they’re feeling.

5. Share stories with your kids.

Tell stories about the lost loved one as your kids grow, reminding them how much the person loved them, or would have loved seeing them grow. Keep them alive in the heart of the family, giving your kids a feeling of roots and love. My sons have limited family in their lives, but I always want them to know the love of family.

6. Be honest on a level they can understand.

When my brother was first missing, we didn’t know what to tell our son. We didn’t want to lie, but we don’t really know the truth. We don’t know where he is. We’ve come to realize that it’s okay to say “we don’t know but we won’t give up until we do” and keep the brutal details from him (like that we believe he killed himself). As he’s gotten older, we’ve added more details but always the truth as he could understand and cope with it.

7. Just love ‘em.

When my husband’s mom died, our son was five (our youngest hadn’t yet arrived). He told my husband, “Dad, don’t be sad, you still have me.” His pure unselfish love for my husband helped in those dark days, and my husband responded in a way that made him know he was more valuable than anyone else in the world to us.

To learn more about our experiences and family, visit my blog. I’m just a sister, wife and mom sharing my journey and story of hope. Maybe you’ll find something to relate to.

• • • • •

Thank you Anita for this advice on dealing with this tough situations with kids. As much as no one wants to go through it, it’s great to have tips on how to make these situations a little easier for you and the kids. Stay tuned for another great mom tip next week.

Have a mom tip? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to enter a submission.

What parenting questions would you like answered from our KidSteals community of experts? Click here to ask a question.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.