childhood-unplugged 

Tea Parties Are an Inexpensive Birthday Hit

When my daughter told me she wanted to have her birthday party at the roller skating rink, I thought, "Sure! That sounds easy." Then I called the rink and had to ask them to repeat their fee twice, because I was pretty sure I heard wrong. I...

Inauguration Day - How to Celebrate With Your Kids

My three-year-old has no idea what a President is or does. Oh, sure, we've explained it to her a time or twelve, but she's three ... "leader of the free world" pales in comparison to Dora Saves the Snow Princess. But our enthusiasm last November...

Kid-Friendly Charities to Encourage Your Children to Give

When we started giving my 5-year-old daughter an allowance a few months back, we gave her three choices. She could take her five $1 bills and either put them into her piggy bank to save, a special jar to give away, or in her little princess purse to...

New Year's Eve Customs From Around the World

We'll be spending our New Year's Eve the way we always have since we became parents ... at home. Our trusty babysitters are lucky enough to have a social life (and an annual party invitation), so we stay in. Sometimes we have company, sometimes we...

Five Ways to Make This Christmas More Memorable

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, the holiday has officially begun. Whether you're working today, anticipating tomorrow's fun, or you already have a houseful of company, Christmas Eve is the kick-off for what is probably your kids' (and...

Snow Play for a Snow Day

We had two snow days in a row last week, unusual for us in early December. The snowfall so far this year has been heavy, suggesting there will be plenty more opportunities this winter to sleep in, ditch the routine for the day, and play in the...

Build a Gingerbread House This Weekend

Nothing says family time like a great craft or cooking project, and a gingerbread house is just that. It's the perfect Saturday activity to keep antsy kids busy while they wait for Santa to come. Historically, it's not clear how the gingerbread...

Toys for Family Togetherness

Toys for Family Togetherness
Here's a riddle: What's the best gift you can give your children this holiday season that can't be wrapped up or put under the tree? The answer is ... your time. It's tempting to spend, spend, spend...

The Great Thanksgiving Staycation - Five Family Outings

Our Thanksgiving celebration this year involves just a short day trip, which leaves a nice, long, leisurely weekend to be enjoyed at home. Our lives are so busy during the week, I look forward to these bigger chunks of unscheduled time to decompress...

Be Thankful for Thanksgiving Crafts That Keep Kids Out of the Kitchen

On Thanksgiving Day, there are either too many or not enough cooks in the kitchen. That makes it a good day to un-invite your favorite pint-sized chefs so that they don't get underfoot, or worse, hurt. But even if they can't help carve the...

Don't know much about history? That's about to change

A few months ago, my older daughter was given a book about castles. Or more specifically, one hypothetical castle, and how it changed over hundreds and hundreds of years, the final page being castle ruins with sightseers crawling all over it. ...

15 TV-free activities for a rainy day

Last Saturday, we woke up to a wet and gloomy day. We made a huge breakfast, hung around in our pajamas, and spent the day not going anywhere. After a busy fall and a busier Halloween, it truly was a gift. It's really tempting on a lazy, rainy...

Take a hike

Fall isn't just here, it's settled in and made itself comfortable. In my part of the country, the long winter ahead is looming, which means getting outside as much as possible right now, before that long cold snap sets in is more important than...

Jack-o-lanterns - Think outside the pumpkin

If you're carving a jack-o-lantern this year, this weekend is the perfect time to do it. With the cooler weather, your creation is sure to last until Halloween next Friday, with plenty of time for the kids to enjoy lighting it each night. The...

The ultimate Halloween party

As my daughter reminded me this morning, there are only 15 days left until Halloween. Halloween falls on a Friday this year, perfect for trick-or-treating that runs past bedtime, but also a great opportunity to throw a Halloween party. Before you...

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