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Back-to-School Shopping Guide: Grade School Edition

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Credit: The Good Blog

Back-to-school shopping season is in full swing! Check out the below guide of back-to-school must-haves for grade schoolers:

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Credit: Good Housekeeping 

Backpacks are one of the most important back-to-school necessities. We’ve looked to Good Housekeeping for some of their most highly-rated backpacks for kids ages 8-12:

-       FUL’s Heart Breaker: The FUL’s Heart Breaker backpack is made of durable polyester that can withstand serious wear and tear, so you can be sure it will last the entire school year. The spacious backpack can easily hold 10 pounds of school items while its curved, padded straps provide extra comfort. Plus, the backpack has a 1-year limited warranty.

-       Pottery Barn’s Mackenzie Large Backpack: Perfect for a kid that wants to carry everything they own with them to school, the Mackenzie Large backpack easily fits everything from books to extra clothes while the two adjustable straps can hold a coat or even a skateboard. It is made with a 600-denier polyester that can handle abrasion, water and being dropped. The backpack is comfortable to wear and easy to carry, making it a great choice for your over-packer.

-       FUL Superstition: If you’re on a budget, the FUL Superstition is an affordable option that won’t let you down. Though it has a more simple design with just one large compartment and one smaller pouch for all your school essentials, the backpack’s durable, luggage-grade fabric and decent storage space make it a solid option. The bag can hold 10 pounds of gear and is comfortable and easy to carry.

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Credit: Amazon, Lillibillypeace.wordpress.com, Ebay, frecklebox,

Southpaw, Amazon, Redbook, Walmart

Supplies:

-       The Basics: Kids like their supplies to be fun and bright, so search for erasers, pencils, pencil sharpeners and notepads with colorful, kid-friendly designs. Don’t forget the pencil pouches and folders to help keep them organized.

-       The Extras: If they’re old enough, get your kids a fun and simple calculator. We also recommend getting Grotto Grips pencil grasp trainers to ensure correct writing position and Crayola’s glue sticks that have a wide base to keep them from rolling off desks. Highlighters are great for studying, but kids make mistakes so get them an erasable highlighter so they can fix any highlighting errors. Lastly, put labels on all of their supplies to keep them out of the lost and found.

This Week on TheFind Blog: Kids Videogames, Beach Gadgets, TheFind Android App, Back-to-School Q&A With Kimberly Vetrano, Summer Beauty Products & Outdoor Activities

Have you checked out TheFind blog yet this week? In case you missed it, here’s a recap of what’s happened:

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 10.04.10 AMCredit: illgaming.in, Beach Vacation Choices, bigtent.tv, Elle, One Perfect Day 

-       Challenge your mini-gamers by playing kid-friendly videogames with them.

-       Enhance your day at the beach with these beach gadgets.

-       Check out TheFind’s soon-to-be released shopping search tool app for Android.

-       Get the latest back-to-school shopping tips and tricks with our Q&A with Kimberly Vetrano.

-       Make your beauty routine fit for summer with these beauty products.

-       Enjoy outdoor activities with your kids this summer.

Summer Fun for the Family: Kid-Friendly Outdoor Activities

Don’t just encourage your kids to get off their gadgets and play outside on a regular basis… join them! Having some fun in the sun is good for everyone and an excellent way to bond with the kiddos. Check out the creative outdoor activities below and spend the day with your kids outside:

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Credit: Spoonful

Bubble Burst Paintings: It’s no secret that kids love bubbles. Add some color to their bubble blowing and they will be even more excited about them. Stir 2 tablespoons of tempura paint or 15 drops of food coloring into ½ cup of bubble solution. Tape a large piece of paper to a fence or between two trees and have your child bow the bubbles against it. Though this activity is more about the process then the finished artwork, kids will love watching the bubbles hit the paper and burst into vibrant circles and splatters.

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Credit: The Craft Nest

Hula Hoop Hideout: You and your kids can play games, read books or have a picnic in these Hula Hoop Hideouts that hang from trees. To make them, pin the top edge of a sheet to the hula hoop by folding a sheet over and pinning it to itself. Create a hanger to tie up the hideout by tying two long pieces of twine to opposite sides of the hula hoop. Decorate the hideout with tulle and ribbons, hang it from a tree branch, add blankets and pillows under your fort and your backyard oasis is complete. See here for more detailed instructions.

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Credit: One Perfect Day

Nature Crafts: Combine creativity with nature by using plants, pinecones, leaves and rocks to make artwork. You can decorate pinecones or rocks with glitter and paint or create leaf print paintings by inking a leaf with a sponge and pressing it onto paper in various colorful designs. Get as creative as you like with the help of Mother Nature’s art supplies.

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Credit: Glue Stick Blog

Ice Excavating: In this game, kids excavate small toys or objects from the ice with small tools. To play, put small toys or objects in a container such as a metal cake pan, fill it with water and freeze it. Once it’s solid, turn the container upside down and run warm water on the back to let the block of ice become loose. Give your kids their excavating tools and let them get cracking on the ice to free the toys.

Summer Beauty Products

  • posted July 11th, 2014
  • Beauty

Summer requires a beauty routine fit for hot weather. We’ve looked to Elle for some of their favorite summer beauty products listed below:

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Credit: Elle

Aveda Sun Care After-Sun Hair Masque: Summer takes a toll on your hair, so giving it extra attention during these hot months is important. The Aveda Sun Care Hair Masque is an intensive, antioxidant-rich cream mask that brings back much needed moisture to your sun-damaged hair.

Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer: Keep your skin shine-free with Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer. The moisturizer is ultra-light and provides a smooth and weightless finish that is ideal for summer heat.

Aveda Sun Care Hair and Body Cleanser: Remove chlorine, salt and any other residue that is inevitable during summer with the Aveda Sun Care Hair and Body Cleanser. The color-safe formula is made with organic sunflower seed oil and vitamin E and can be used on both your body and hair.

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Credit: Elle, awaydiscounts.com

Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50: Protecting your skin from damaging sun exposure is crucial. The matte formula in the Avène High Protection Tinted Compact is made with 100 percent mineral sunscreen and pre-tocopheryl (photo-stable vitamin E) with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and powerful antioxidants.

LiftLab Lift & Fix High Potency Solution: Hot weather can be rough on your skin. Give it some TLC with the LiftLab Lift & Fix Solution, perfect for soothing redness or sensitivity. The formula strengthens the skin barrier while calming irritation.

Susan Posnick COLORFLO Bronzer: Bronzer is a summer makeup staple. The Susan Posnick Bronzer gives your skin a natural looking glow while also protecting it against UVA/UVB rays and absorbing the excess oil on your face.

Back-to-School Shopping Q&A: SheScribe.com’s Kimberly Vetrano

Don’t let back to school shopping stress you out. Check out the below edition of our Back-to-School Q&A series with parenting expert and She Scribes blogger, Kimberly Vetrano, for her best back-to-school shopping tips and tricks.

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What items do you anticipate will be trendy this fall?

My kids don’t really go with trends. They have their own individual style. I would think the “must have” latest and greatest technology will be #1 on most kid’s lists. I also think there might be plenty of apps available that help with homework, setting goals and studying for tests that kids will want their parents to download and/or purchase for them.

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

Whenever possible, shop with each child individually or go shopping with your spouse, significant other, family member or friend and have them go with one child while you shop with the other. When we go back-to-school shopping, my husband takes my son to buy clothes and I take my daughter. When it comes to back-to-school supplies we can usually do that together because we just end up buying two of everything.

What should parents avoid when back to school shopping?

Parents should avoid giving into their kids just for the sake of getting the shopping done quickly. My husband and I are both guilty of doing this. When we’ve had enough with shopping and just want to go home we tend to give in to our kids more than we should which ends up busting our budget. Avoid shopping with children (or adults) who are not in a good mood. It will only make everyone else get into a bad mood and make the shopping trip drag on. Avoid overdoing it. As much as you want to get all the shopping done ASAP, it’s not fair to little ones to be dragged all over the place for the sake of getting it done in one day. Spread out the shopping over a few weeks or several days whenever possible. You should avoid thinking that you MUST get all the supplies before school starts. It’s OK to go shopping for something after the first day of school. Your child is not going to start the school year off the wrong way if they don’t have every single supply on their list.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for saving money?

Purchase things like flashcards and loose leaf paper at our local dollar store. It’s the same exact stuff you can purchase in big name office supply stores, but at a less expensive price. This is especially good during the year when the big name stores are not having sales. Why spend $3+ on a pack of flashcards when you can get the same amount for a $1? Take advantage of sales and stock up on supplies you’ll need throughout the year (paper, pencils, erasers…) so that you have them on hand when you need them. Repurpose supplies. For example, three ring binders can be very expensive. At the end of the year, collect all the binders from your kids (or child) and save the ones that are still in decent shape to use again the following school year. That also applies to things like page dividers (simply replace the paper that slides into the tabs), backpacks, book socks and writing instruments. Hand down supplies from an older sibling to a younger sibling, especially things like scientific calculators, which are very expensive. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for the supplies you need. They might have some left over from their child that they can give you. Don’t go crazy with clothes shopping. Kids end up wearing what they already have in their drawers/closets after a day or two when school starts.

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

Try and buy as many supplies from one location as possible. No one wants to spend their day going from store to store. Shop at the least busy times to avoid long lines. For younger children make sure they have something with them to keep them entertained so they are not bored (teens usually have their cellphones they can play with). Try and shop for supplies early in the back-to-school shopping season and spread out the days you go shopping. Don’t try and do all your shopping in one week. If you find you still need more supplies, wait a week before going to another store to buy more supplies. A marathon-shopping spree is not always a fun thing for young children. Make sure everyone is well fed and hydrated before heading out to go shopping. Bring snacks along for little ones. Be well rested and in a good mood (that applies to everyone). Trying to shop with a tired or cranky child (or parent) can burn you out very quickly.

How much time and money should families allocate?

This would have to do with your family’s budget. School supplies can cost a bundle if you are not careful. Look over the supply list and set a limit on what you would like to spend. Give your children a limit too. If you are shopping for backpacks give your child a limit so that they don’t ask for a $90 backpack. As for time, try and spend as little as possible. Shop at places where you can get most of your supplies in one place so you don’t have to run from store to store and waste time and gas. You don’t have to purchase EVERY item on the shopping list. You can wait and make purchases for when your child really needs it. Just make sure they have the basics before school starts. That is the important thing.

Are there any items that you recommend parents wait to buy and why?

Clothing. Purchase a back to school outfit and a few extras like socks, shoes and underwear. Then hold off purchasing more clothing for a few weeks when the prices go down. Here in New York it’s usually warm in September when our kids go back to school. They end up wearing their summer clothes a lot of the time. There is no point purchasing a lot of new clothes when they just end up wearing what they already have. Instead wait a month and take advantage of pre-winter sales. Purchase clothing out of season when it’s on clearance or deeply discounted. You can usually “guesstimate” what your child’s size will be in the next few months. When my kids were little we’d buy cold weather things in the spring and summer things in the fall.

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Kimberly and her family, along with her “mini-zoo,” reside in the suburbs of New York City. On her blog, She Scribes, she loves to cover a variety of topics. Her tag line is “A little bit of this, a little bit of that.” When she’s not blogging Kimberly can usually be found spending time with her family, watching movies or simply hanging out at a local park. For more updates from Kimberly, follow her on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest or like She Scribes on Facebook.

Gadget Wave: Top Tech To Enhance Your Beach Day

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Credit: Beach Vacation Choices

Think technology and the beach don’t mix? You may want to reconsider. Check out the below gadgets we spotted on Complex to see how you can make your beach days even better:

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Credit: Complex

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: For those that want to spend their day simply basking in the sun, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the ideal gadget for you. The Kindle Paperwhite eReader has the best display for outdoor reading, with its a front-lit screen and strong battery life making it a much better option than a tablet when it comes reading.

Sea-Doo Seascooter GTI Scooter: Looking to have a more adventurous beach day? Ride some waves with the Sea-Doo Seascooter. The electric scooter cruises the water at up to 3 miles per hour, reaching 100-foot depths on up to 2 hours of power.

Braven BRV-X Speaker: What is a relaxing beach day without some tunes? The Braven Speaker is built to withstand beach conditions with a shockproof rubber exterior. Your music can be easily played from a smartphone through NFC pairing and the built-in 5.200 mAh battery can charge extra devices.

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Credit: Complex

SuperSoaker Max Infusion Helix: Take a break from all that sunbathing for a bit of friendly competition. A water gun fight is perfect for completing your day at the beach. The Super Soaker Max Infusion Helix is one of the best water gun options you will find, offering up to 20-feet targeting and two powerful spinning streams.

Birksun Solar Backpack: The Birksun Solar Backpack not only carries your beach gadgets but it also charges them. The backpack is capable of fully juicing two smartphones and several other portable devices at once. While you’re laying under the sun, let the backpack recharge the built-in battery.

LifeProof Cases: With all the potentially hazardous sand and water, the beach is not always the safest place for gadgets. LifeProof Cases keep your iPhone, iPads or Galaxy S4/S5 damage-free with the light and thin protective cover.

YoLife Yogurt Maker: Make Your Own Yogurt at Home

 

Yogurt is a go-to snack option for many families due to it’s health benefits and kid appeal.  Yogurt with active cultures replenishes the good bacteria in your digestive track and can help relieve common digestive symptoms.  When you make your own yogurt at home you’ll know the exact ingredients making it even healthier.  The Yolife Yogurt Maker comes with everything you need to make your own yogurt in just 8-12 hours:

  • Seven 6 oz. glass jars with lids
  • Small cover with starting time indicator to remind you when your yogurt will be ready to eat
  • Big cover with time indicator

With the YoLife Yogurt Maker by Tribest Corporation, the leading provider of healthy lifestyle kitchen equipment, you’ll be able to make yogurt for your whole family in individual and family-sized servings.  The YoLife Yogurt maker retails for…..:

 

(Almost) Introducing the All New Shopping Search By TheFind, for Android

Many of you have been using Shopping Search by TheFind on iOS and Android. And as Android’s reach grows amongst mobile devices, our Android product team is working hard to submit a completely new iteration of the app to Google Play.

In the meantime, we have created a closed community on Google+, where some of our users, fans and friends can take the forthcoming app for a little spin and give us their expert shopper feedback. This app is being built for you and our ultimate goal is consistency, a great user experience, reliability, and performance. This is why it’s crucial for us to have our friends and fans in our Google community as we prepare for launch.

.Android Screen July 7

We want you to get to know the app, love it, and tell your friends about it. If anything prevents you from doing so, you will let us know, won’t you?

What’s new?

  • The app has a whole new look and feel

  • The Catalogs feature is much more refined, with tons of new titles!

  • And there is more. Maybe you can tell us what you notice and what’s most useful.

Please join the community here, using your gmail account. Please be sure to have a Google+ profile activated before asking to join, as this is a community requirement for Google.

We thank you in advance and can’t wait to hear your feedback.

Sincerely,

Your friends at TheFind

Challenge Your Mini Gamers this Video Game Day

Family-Fun-Time

Credit: illgaming.in

Tomorrow is Video Game Day so be sure to take some time to celebrate with your kids with a few of our favorite games below:

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Credit: Parenting.com

PC:

-       World of Zoo: This game lets players create their own virtual zoos with more creativity than other zoo-simulator games on the market. In addition to the dozens of different species available to choose from, kids can change the colors and fur patterns as well as the shapes and sizes of animal’s body parts with the “animal editor.”

-       Nancy Drew: Let your kids put their deductive skills to the test with the Nancy Drew mystery games, where players scout out clues to solve the mystery. We like the Warnings at Waverly Academy edition, where players investigate a fancy-pants prep school and Nancy Drew must go under cover. Recommended for older kids.

-       Cake Mania 3: In this baking-themed adventure game, pastry chef Jill Evans is accidentally zapped through time and space. Players must help her return home by establishing bakeries around the world, helping Jill take orders, bake and ice cakes and keep customers happy.

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Credit: NYTimes, FrugalPhillyMom, LegoWikia.com

Wii / Xbox / PlayStation

-       Skylanders Swap Force: To play this Skylander-themed game, kids put real toy figurines onto a portal to morph the toy character into the adventure game. This version is special because the toys have swappable parts, so kids can recombine them into new and different superheroes. Recommended for kids ages 10-14.

-       Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Combining Legos with Marvel superheroes, this game lets kids play as the Lego version of their favorite Marvel hero or villain. The premise of the game is that when Doctor Doom and the evil Loki take down the Silver Surfer in space by shattering his board and Nick Fury and the Marvel heroes must gather up all the pieces.

-       Disney Infinity: With this Disney game, kids can mash together all their favorite Disney characters into one game. To play, kids introduce Disney characters into the virtual world by placing toy figurines onto a portal and choosing between 2 modes of play; a linear adventure with Disney characters inside their movie world or the option to create their own world and populate it with their favorite characters.

This Week on TheFind Blog: Best 2014 Toys, Travel Gadgets, 4th of July Fashion, B2S Shopping Q&A with SheFind’s Jeanine Edwards and Green Household Products

Been swamped lately? In case you missed it, here’s a recap of what’s happened on TheFind blog this week:

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Credit: Parenting, ZDNet, Pinterest, SimplyGoodStuff

-       Get your kids toys that don’t require technology with these top toys of 2014.

-       Pack light for your summer trip with handy travel gadgets.

-       Learn back-to-school shopping tips and fashion trends from our Q&A with shopping and parenting expert Jeanine Edward.

-       Get inspired for next year’s 4th of July attire with these patriotic fashion tips.

-       Make your home more eco-friendly with these green products.

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