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Teaching Kids About Money

Parenting children about the concept of money can be a challenging task. Find some advice on The Stir about methods to consider and avoid. Listed below are some tools that will help teach children different aspects of money—how to get it, where it comes from, what to do with it, etc.

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Credit: The Stir, Million Dollar Goal, Radical Parenting

-       Allowance: An important principle to teach children is that money does not grow on trees; money must be earned. Instilling hard work ethic in kids will help them appreciate money and not take it for granted. Giving children an allowance will show them that good behavior and actions will be rewarded. You can keep track of responsibilities on a chore chart so kids have a visual of what they are achieving.

-       Saving: Once money is earned, children often want to spend it immediately. It is important to teach them how essential saving money is.  Piggy banks are a great option for this. They help children be responsible savers and also guide them in establishing a lifelong habit.

-       Board Games: Board games are good for hands on teaching. They allow you to interact with kids about how to handle money and also give visuals that are much more easy to understand. Cashflow and Monopoly are two board games that will teach children many components about money like real-estate, debt, investing, etc.

Innovative Products for Baby Safety

There have been countless innovations made for the safety of babies; however, securing the well being of your child does not end at simply purchasing new gadgets. Emerging technologies are clearly aimed to protect children, but many accidents occur due to misuse of products.  Jennifer Durbin, author of Pregnancy Tips for the Clueless Chick, discusses baby safety tips on WNCN and suggests these products as reliable safety must-haves.

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Credit: Bumbo, Jamm, HoneyBee Child

 -       Floor Seat: For babies who have not been able to sit themselves upright yet, the Bumbo Floor Seat is a great product that will assist them. It is important to note the term  “Floor” in its name, because many people have improperly used the seat, resulting in accidents. This baby chair is useful in feeding babies and teaching them how to sit on their own.

-       Doorstop: Heavy doors serve as a common hazard for babies. The Jamm Doorstop works on all floor surfaces. It has a curved design so that when pushed underneath a door, both sides curve upward and secure the door firmly in between. This innovation will surely help protect little fingers.

-       Swing Safety: Although playground parks are meant to be fun for children, many of the activities are accident-prone. HoneyBee Child developed the SwingEase, which allows babies and toddlers to swing alone or with a caregiver. It clips onto a standard chain swing and converts into a toddler swing, providing support across the chest, back, and underarms.

Supplies for a Hispanic Heritage Month Road Trip

Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins September 15 and goes through October 15, celebrates the independence of several Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, and Belize. Huffington Post discusses the growing significance of Hispanic Heritage in the United States as our population is “becoming more and more Hispanic.”

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Credit: Roots Web

According to U.S. Census data from 2013, 17 percent of Americans are Hispanic, making this group the largest ethnic minority in the country.” With the increasing numbers in Hispanic population, many areas of the U.S. are heavily influenced by Hispanic culture.

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 Credit: Huffington Post

A great way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month is planning a family road trip to visit several of these areas. Take a look at Huffington Post’s top seven sites to visit that embrace Hispanic culture. Each of these locations celebrates difference aspects of Hispanic Heritage, from important people to important events.

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  Credit: TheFind

A road trip isn’t complete without the proper supplies. The Great Hispanic Heritage has many books that are good reads for on the road. You can learn about famous individuals and also about Latin American history. When you need a break from reading, turn on some traditional Latin American music to lighten the mood.

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Credit: The Find, Giggle

Here are some more supplies that will help make your road trip a blast! Road Trip Bingo is a portable board game that is easy to transport and you won’t have to worry about losing any pieces. Also, to avoid any food/beverage spills, take a look at these bags, containers, and trays that will help keep your snacks fresh and your car nice and clean.

 

End of Summer Camping Fun

What better way to end summer than with a camp out in your backyard? These tips from Parenting can help you pull it off:

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Credit: Parenting

Games:

-       Bucket Brigade: This fun water game will have everyone soaking wet by the time it’s finished. To play, split your family into two teams and give each team a water pitcher. Each team races to transfer all the water in their pitcher to a kiddie pool—but only using small paper cups to do it. Teams can work willy-nilly or form a bucket brigade, whichever strategy they think will win.

-       Catch the Bunny: To play this game, start passing a rubber ball (the bunny) around in a circle. After a few seconds, toss in a beach ball (the farmer) and pass it around to catch the bunny. If a player is holding onto the bunny and the farmer catches up to it, they’re out. To make the game a bit more challenging, have the bunny go in only one direction around the circle but allow the farmer to travel any direction he wants to catch up to the bunny.

Camping Snacks

Credit: Delish, thesingingrunner.com 

Snacks:

-       S’mores on a Stick: Give this classic camp food a twist. Pour warmed up chocolate sauce it into a shallow bowl or plate and put crushed graham crackers on another plate. Roast the marshmallows and dip them in the chocolate sauce and then in the crackers.

-       Breakfast Banana Splits: Finish off your night of camping with a Banana Split breakfast that serves four. To make it, combine 1/3 cup of light brown sugar with 3 Tbsp of butter and stir until crumbly. Add 1 cup of granola, mix and set aside. Split bananas lengthwise with the peel still on. Place them on sheets of foil and stuff them with the granola mixture. Wrap the stuffed bananas with the foil and roast them on the grill for 10 – 15 minutes and serve them with a scoop of vanilla yogurt.

15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids

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Credit: Amazon

Some children love to play outside. Others are a little harder to coax off the couch. What about you? Do you get outside much? The fresh air and activity is good for everyone!  15 Minutes Outside by Rebecca P. Cohen encourages parents to get outside with their kids for at least fifteen minutes a day. Fifteen minutes may not be a lot of time but the effects can make a noticeable difference. The book 15 Minutes Outside arms you with 365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids. The collection of activities is simple yet inspiring. Each one requires little planning, time, cash or patience making them perfect for everyone, no matter their circumstances. 15 Minutes Outside provides you with hundreds of easy ways to get outside with your family to enjoy a little bit of nature every day of the year.

Last-Minute Back-to-School Preparation

Think you’re ready for the school year? Make sure you’re prepared with these last-minute back-to-school tips:

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Credit: GoodHousekeeping

Planners: Give older kids their own planner to teach them time management. Make sure they transfer the family calendar events at least once a week and also add as things come up. Before they start their homework, have them check their planner so they can prioritize assignments and ensure none are forgotten about.

Organization: Instead of a bulky binder, consider getting your kid a notebook with tear-out pages and an accordion file folder. Your student can take notes in class and easily slip the pages or any handouts into the slots. When the week is over, he can empty the contents into a color-coded filing box at home for easy access.

Craft Supplies: Kids tend to procrastinate. Make sure you are stocked up on all the supplies your kids may need for projects such as markers, index cards, poster boards, etc. When you’re helping them finish it at 9pm the night before it’s due, you’ll be thankful you’re prepared.

Deal Alert: What to Buy in August

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Credit: LifeHacker

Back-to-school and end-of-summer sales make August the ideal time for shop for the bellow items:

-       Linens & Storage Containers: Stores stock up on items perfect for college students shopping for dorm necessities. If you need bed sheets, storage containers or any other dorm-friendly materials, take advantage of the college sales.

-       Office Furniture: Back-to-schools sales are a prime time to shop for office furniture. Consider investing in your deskfiles cabinets or office chairs in the next few weeks.

-       Kids’ Clothing: The school year is approaching, which means parents are busy shopping for their kids’ wardrobe. There are tons of good deals in August—make sure to buy your kid’s clothes while the prices are low.

-       School Supplies: Even if you aren’t buying them for your kids, school supplies such as pens, paper and folders will be at affordable prices during the back-to-school sales.

-       Swimsuits: With summer coming to an end, stores will be clearing out their summer attire, which means swimsuits will have huge discounts. Take advantage of the low prices and get your swimsuit for next year now.

 

Study For Success: Creating the Ultimate Homework Space

Having a good study environment is important for students of all ages. Transform your office space into a study oasis with the tips below:

Credit: Real Simple

Organization: If you have several family members using the study space, keeping everyone’s stuff organized is essential. Consider using file totes, file cabinets or Pottery Barn wall organization systems to sort out everyone’s documents. Adding a bulletin board or dry erase board to the space is a convenient way to post helpful reminders, grades and to-do lists.

 

Storage: Shelves are perfect for storing school and office supplies—put storage bins on the bottom shelves so your kids can access the supplies stored in them on their own. Make sure everything is labeled for quick and easy access.

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Credit: Real Simple

Furniture: Not all studying has to take place at a desk. Include unique and comfortable seating options like a beanbag for an alternate place to get work done. In addition, portable laptop desks provide a nice writing surface no matter where your kids are studying.

 

 

 

Back-to-School Shopping Q&A: Mr.Dad’s Armin Brott

For those who still haven’t gotten around to back-to-school shopping, have no fear. Check out this edition of our back-to-school shopping Q&A series with super dad Armin Brott from Mr.Dad, who shares his back-to-school shopping expertise.

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What are the must-have items on your kids’ back to school shopping list?

I can’t decide between a backpack with wheels so my daughter can carry all her stuff without doing any long term damage to her back or a much smaller backpack that would keep her from schlepping so much stuff in the first place.

What suggestions do you have for parents trying to shop with children of varying ages?

Group the kids together by age and make separate trips for each group (or individual). Older kids won’t have the patience to deal with buying glue sticks and colored markers for little kids. And the little kids won’t have the attention span to endure waiting for tweens or teens to agonize over which color mechanical pencils to buy.

What should parents avoid when back to school shopping?

They should avoid buying a lot of clothes–especially for middle schoolers and above. The real trends will be established after school starts, when the kids have a chance to scope each other out. If you’ve bought your child something that seemed like it might be cool but turns out not to be, you’ll have wasted your time and money.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for saving money?

When it comes to all those classroom supplies—binders, folders, paper, pencils, markers, etc.—parents should get together with other parents and order all those thing in bulk. It’ll be a lot cheaper that way. Better yet, contact the school and have them order all the supplies for all the classrooms, then bill the parents. Besides saving parents a ton of time and money, this approach would also help the environment by eliminating hundreds of car trips, thereby reducing pollution and fuel use. Of course, there’s looking for coupons, shopping the sales and holding out for the buy-on-get-one deals. Also go through your house before you go to the store. Chances are your child didn’t use up last year’s paper, pencils, etc. and stashed them under his or her bed. There are probably a lot of things you can buy less of or skip altogether.

How can parents and kids avoid burnout when back to school shopping?

Spread it out over a few weeks. There’s no reason why all the shopping has to be done in one day. For older kids, give them the amount of money you’d spend on clothes and let them make their own decisions—with the understanding that if they blow it all on a fancy pair of jeans, they’re going to be out of luck for a few months.

How does online shopping aide in your back to school purchasing?

It can save you a ton of time on anything that doesn’t need to be tried on (like clothes). If you’re pooling resources with other parents or school administrators (see above), buying online is really the only way to go.

How do you work out wish-list discrepancies with your kids?

Give the kids more say in the matter. Make lists of everything that’s needed and estimate how much it will cost. Tell the kids that once required items are purchased, they can spend the money anyway they like. If they come in under budget, they can keep the difference. If they’re over budget, they’ll have to dig into their own savings or make arrangements with you to work it off.

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Armin Brott has been building better fathers for more than a decade. He is the author of eight bestselling books on fatherhood, has written for dozens of major publications and websites and been a guest on hundreds of radio and television shows. As a trusted spokesperson, Armin speaks on fatherhood around the country and teaches classes for expectant and new dads. Armin lives with his family in Oakland, California.

For more updates from Armin, follow him on Twitter at @mrdad or like Mr.Dad on Facebook.

Gadgets for Your Little Students

Help your little ones do well in the upcoming school year with these kid-friendly gadgets:

     

Credit: Mashable, FatBrainToys, Amazon

VTech MobiGo: The VTech MobiGo Learning System features a touchscreen that allows your kids to look, listen and touch while playing educational games and activities that help them learn math, vocabulary, spelling, logic and more. The system comes equipped with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and one cartridge.

 

VTech V.Reader: Give your child an e-reader of their own. The VTech V.reader is an interactive e-book reader that helps your child become a confident and fluent reader. The fully narrated, animated stories come as downloads or cartridges and the device also has reading skill games and a dictionary.

 

“Teach Me Time” Alarm Clock: Waking up for school can be hard for little ones—especially if it’s on the wrong side of the bed. If your youngster is still learning to tell time, the “Teach Me Time” Alarm Clock can help. The alarm clock has interactive time-telling games, turns green when it’s OK to get out of bed and doubles as a night light.

 

LeapPad2: This kid-friendly tablet is like an iPad for your kids. The LeapPad2 has front-and-back cameras, a 5-inch touch screen with an attached stylus, 4GB of onboard memory and a library of hundreds of educational games, apps, eBooks and videos.