How'd you get those dimples or those brown eyes? From your parents, of course! We know that we inherit half of many of our personality and physical traits from mom and dad, but what else do we know about those all-important genes? If you've ever wondered how your wee ones turned out the way they did, take this true or false quiz to see what you know about the role those genes really play!Take the Quiz
One of my favorite parts of Valentine's Day is how everything becomes heart-shaped for a month, and that includes the candy! Conversation hearts are a seasonal staple, but while they're cute to give and get, the chalky taste can leave your sweet tooth unsatisfied. Instead of doling out the pastel treats, check out these five easy ways to make delicious heart-inspired desserts!
Source: Flickr User ellie
Earlier this week we found out that 20,000 kids are banned from Facebook every day after trying to sign up for an account. Others, however, lie about their age in order to get access, which can set them up for privacy or safety issues.
If your tot or tween has been begging for the ability to update her status, there are many safe, kid-specific social networks to choose from. These sites follow the regulations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which regulates how much personal information sites can ask from children, among other things. Check out the list of the top social networking sites for kids after the break!
Every once in a while, moms need a break on the weekend. If your Saturdays are filled with endless errands, having a babysitter to take care of the lil ones while you cross things off your to-do list can be a life-saver. And it can be a great time for your tots, too! Check out how a day off for you can turn into a day of adventure for your kids!
Nothing says Spring has sprung quite like a cute fuzzy chick. But if you don't have a clutch of the baby birds to marvel at, chick-themed toys and apparel for your tot are the next best (and arguably cuter) thing! Check out these adorable options for your lil chickie!
Mom didn't lie — breakfast is definitely an important part of the day! We all know it helps your lil learners perform better in school, but why exactly is it so essential? Check out this quiz to see if you know the facts according to recent studies!Take the Quiz
The glut of happy-faced kids during the day outside (not to mention the ones milling about in your own home!) can only mean one thing — Spring break is here, which hopefully means a week of relaxation and fun for your tots.
Which, of course, can mean the exact opposite for you. Keeping kids happy and occupied while they're off can be a full-time job! Some moms concede on certain rules to keep the house in happy order or to treat tots during their vacation, while others more or less keep status quo. What's your policy? Whether it's staying up well past bedtime or letting them eat ice cream every day, do you relax the rules for Spring Break?
Should warning labels be on artificially dyed foods? The FDA is trying to decide this following a study showing that those petroleum-based dyes found in everything from cereal to candy can cause behavioral problems like ADHD. If the findings worry you, moms who still want to make a colorful treat for her kids can still feed them the rainbow by using natural food dye, which are made from the colors naturally found in certain foods.
If you want to try out natural coloring, making your own can be half the fun of an afternoon of family cooking! Lil ones will love to experiment with homemade color combinations, which use common kitchen ingredients like red cabbage, beets, turmeric, onion skins, and coffee to impart pretty shades of pink, red, orange, and more.
Store-bought dyes are another great option, especially for decorating baked goods. India Tree Nature's Colors come in a pack of liquid red, yellow, and blue ($19) and can be combined to make other colors, while Nature's Flavors sells many different shades in powder and liquid form ($15 each).
While natural food dyes don't give you those vibrant colors that we're used to from artificial dyes, what better time than Spring and Easter than to experiment with different shades of pastels! What natural food dye tricks do you use?
Source: Flickr User AmberStrocel
Are your kids getting enough water? Like many people young or old, I find myself falling short on my water goals some days, so I'm happy to try any trick to get myself to drink enough. Are your kids the same? Then read on for five ways to get them to drink more H20, and let me know if you have any other fail-proof tricks!
It's school picture day, and you've brushed and adjusted and ironed your tot into the picture of well-behaved, clean-faced childhood. But when the picture comes back it's not quite what you expected!
Between playground boo-boos and stray hairs, your lil one's photos have them looking every bit the mischief! But what if you could pay a few extra dollars to remove minor imperfections on your child's school picture? Schools in Australia are offering parents just that. For about $15, a company will airbrush a child's photo so they can look their very best — meaning no more acne for the older ones!
Everyone wants to look their best in photos, but critics say this service is another way society forces children to try and be perfect. What do you think? Would you buy an airbrushing service for your child's school picture?
Source: Flickr User shakestercody
Mom's choice of what to eat is important both during pregnancy and after baby has arrived. But while everyone warns her of the perils of drinking or caving into her cravings while pregnant, some moms are surprised to find out just how important their diets are when it's time to breastfeed.
A vegan French couple recently found out the sad way. The lack of nutrients in mom's milk meant that their baby suffered from serious vitamin B12 deficiency and eventually died. While the deprivation seems to have been accidental, the couple are now being charged with neglect and could face time in prison.
While the story is alarming, maintaining your vegan lifestyle as a breastfeeding mom is still possible with careful thought about what should be part of your diet. Read on for what you need to know about some essential nutrients after the break.
Don't let the dolls have all the fun! If your lil one has an eye for the contemporary, why not give him his own mid-century place to call home? Made from recyclable cardboard or sturdy wood, these eco-friendly marvels are backyard fun for any budding design maven. Check out these five affordable and luxurious modern playhouses!
New moms have it hard — there's so much to think about, and not enough hours in the day! Even after deciding whether breastfeeding or formula feeding is right for you, some moms have another choice to make: which type of water to use to mix powdered formula?
Of course, mama wants to make the best decision, but the answer isn't all that simple. There are unknown safety concerns (like the radiation fallout the poor moms are dealing with in Japan), the possibility of too much fluoride, and whether or not you need to filter or boil it. Bottled water, on the other hand, may not have enough fluoride for your baby, or may be just too expensive. And then there's the pricier option: buying water especially made for baby!
Whether you run the tap or buy, which type of water did you and your doctor decide was best for your baby?
Preschool Age Kid's Gardening Tool Set ($27); Melissa and Doug Blossom Bright Gardening Tote Set ($12); Morgan Cycle Child's Gardening Gloves ($10); J. Crew Girl's Sun Hat ($25); Williams Sonoma Butterfly Apron ($22); NYBG Kids Watering Can ($18).
No matter what foods you ban from your house, your tots may still have a hankering for the contraband goods. But where did they get that sweet tooth? A new study says that what mom ate before they were born may be at fault.
The study found that mama mice who were fed junk food passed on the genes that released those feel-good chemicals in their babies when they were later fed the same foods. The babies also chose to eat much more of a high-fat, high-sugar diet than those whose moms didn't eat the unhealthy stuff.
The researchers say moms should try to limit their junk food diet when they are pregnant and breastfeeding. But it can be hard to ignore those pregnancy cravings! Were you able to eat healthy while you were pregnant?
Hollywood toddlers are all about the painted nail — are yours? Two-year-olds like Vivienne and Zuma and older tots like Kingston are spending their time at the salon. If your lil one can't get enough nail polish this Spring, check out the colorful (and on-trend) shades from five great nontoxic nail polish brands just for the kids!
The classic board game Candyland has been a kid favorite since its debut in the 1940s. If your lil one can't get enough of Candy Cane Forest or Gum Drop Mountain, a Candyland-inspired birthday party is easy to put together and fun to attend! Get ready for a sugar high with these ideas on turning your house into a candy kingdom!
Clockwise from top left: Gymboree Crib Moccasins ($13); Little Marc Jacobs Haiku Dress ($84); Cindy Kirk Girls Stripe Crown Fedora ($16); J. Crew Kids' Saint James Stripe Sweater ($115); Gymboree Racecar Stripe Shortie One-Piece ($12); J. Crew Boys' Ruler-Stripe Slub Pocket Tee ($12); Le Top Kids Chameleon Camouflage Sleeveless Stripe Romper ($31).
March is in like a lion, but sunny days will be here soon, meaning long days spent outside with the family. And what is better than background music to go along with your day at the beach? An iPod speaker station is the perfect solution for keeping tots entertained and setting a fun mood.
I tried out the Julius Dance Machine Speaker Station ($100) that Paul Frank had sent over to see if it could, in fact, get the party started. Made for all iPod devices (although adaptors are not included), it easily mounts your iPod and charges it while playing. The speaker dock comes with an adaptor, but also includes a rechargeable battery, meaning it is made for travel.
Who is this designed for? What I liked about this kid-friendly speaker dock was its ease of use — there's only a few buttons, including the volume buttons, which are on the monkey's ears, and the power button at the top of his head.
What sets it apart? At first, I wondered exactly what would make this simple speaker dock a "dance machine," but I quickly realized why it's a good purchase. Moms and dads can take it along to a picnic or kid's birthday party and get up to six hours of playtime on the rechargeable battery.
What did it sound like? The speaker sound was clear, and the volume reached a loud level. I didn't test it outside, but the sound was more than acceptable for such a small speaker station, even though I was at first concerned that some sound may be distorted since the iPod mounts right in front of the speakers. I can imagine that if you were in a noisy area it may not have the power to project far, but its size and portability make it a great option for an impromptu backyard party or a day at the park.
Would I recommend it? I can see how someone who loves the Paul Frank monkey would go bananas over this speaker dock. It's portable, easy to use, and — aside from the impenetrable plastic packaging it comes in — easy to set up.