From the category archives:

Big Kid

Create the best chocolate-free advent calendar

November 19, 2013

My friend, the very creative Wendy Copley, created a clever advent calendar for her children that has two big benefits over all other holiday countdown traditions: It focuses on experiences over stuff. She can change it according to her mood and available time. Allow me to explain. She purchased a wooden advent calendar kinda like […]

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Gender-neutral alternatives to a pink, plastic dollhouse

November 15, 2013

The dollhouse above, aka Mrs. Goodbee, is pretty great. It has two sides so more kids can play at once; it features audio effects (my daughter loves the toilet flushing sound); and, it was designed to teach manners. After the toilet flushes, a voice calls out, “Wash your hands!” But my kids don’t play with […]

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Try this with me: Smoothies in squeeze pouches for big kids

November 6, 2013

When I’m an old lady, the way 80-year olds will be able to tell that I’m 90 is because I’ll mention that when I purchased baby food, it came in jars. “Jars?” they’ll say, “No. When we were young mothers, baby food came in pouches!” “Not until 2009,” I’ll remind them. Back then, baby food […]

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#pinterestFAIL Crafting with my niece

October 4, 2013

Have you seen all those cool DIY kids’ craft projects on Pinterest? Homemade flubber, moon dough, foam dough, glow fairies, glitter balloons, and the like? Well I have, and I’ve been dying to try some. I enlisted my 10-year-old niece Mitra to help me test some of them, and here are our (highly scientific) results. FOAM DOUGH The […]

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How I get my preschooler to make his own breakfast

August 23, 2013

This is how I attempt to both empower my child’s independence and my own rest by making self-service food prep a reality. Let’s start with breakfast. I strongly encourage my big boys to make their own cereal in the morning by putting the milk on a low shelf in a container they can easily pour. […]

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3 things every mom must know before traveling with kids

August 14, 2013

This guest post was sent to us by Kendra, who has been traveling the world since she was three months old. My own children are 3, 5, and 7 and we love to travel together. Really. As moms, we recognize that vacations with our kids don’t always go as smoothly as they should. There may […]

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32 birthday gift ideas for girls who don’t like princesses

July 17, 2013

On her fifth birthday, Scarlett opened a birthday gift from my sister and then left the room crying. When I talked to her about it, she said with a very sad voice, “I forgot to tell Auntie Em that I don’t like princesses and fairies.” The gift was a set of paper doll and sticker […]

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Try this with me: Asked and Answered to end little kid nagging.

June 13, 2013

Do your children ask you the same question 80 times in a row? My 5-year old does, and sometimes I think it’s due to her age — distracted, impatient, excited, forgetful, enthusiastic — and sometimes it’s because she’s hoping for a different answer. “Can I have a snack?” “No. We’re having dinner in 20 minutes.” […]

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How to make a long wait with little kids not quite so terrible

June 3, 2013
Thumbnail image for How to make a long wait with little kids not quite so terrible

When I was a kid I spent hours and hours traveling between my mom’s house and my dad’s house. They lived 200 miles apart, which meant that every school vacation and 3-day weekend began and ended with a four-hour car ride for me, from age 4 until about 14 when I started having my own […]

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Non-messy finger painting solution

March 19, 2013

I have no idea what I was thinking when I purchased four colors of finger paint. You can see by virtue of where I was storing it, on the top shelf in my unfinished laundry room, that I was pretty keen on my kids using it. Not. Then I had the idea of using it […]

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New use for old baby socks

February 21, 2013

We are not much for Barbie in my house, but if we were, I’d like to put some socks on her. Actually, we do have a Barbie-sized Merida doll. I just might try this. Idea and photo from Beal Family

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A long-winded tale of two bunk beds

February 15, 2013

At ages five and seven-and-three-quarters years old, my children were sleeping in matching toddler beds from IKEA. On one hand, I thought “Poor Julian. Almost eight and still sleeping in the tiny bed he got when he was three.” And on the other hand, I thought, “Kids in other countries don’t even have their own […]

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