From the category archives:

Free/Cheap

‘Nuff said.

Glorified playdates make the best 2nd birthday parties!

February 21, 2014

We’ve gone on the record as saying that two-year old birthday parties are the ones you can just skip. A two-year old doesn’t know or care about such matters, so spare yourself the headaches of herding the kittens. My big caveat is when there are older siblings around because you don’t want them to think that the […]

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100 fun things to do with your baby

February 14, 2014

A valuable list of very simple things every rookie mom needs to know are included in the new book Homemade Play by early childhood educator Kim Lyons. These are not life-saving skills like how to treat a high fever, but rather revelatory concepts, such as things you can do with a kitchen sponge to entertain […]

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‘Nuff said.

Activity #94: Send a message via diapers

February 12, 2014

I love ParentHacks.com; the site offers tons of clever suggestions from readers with kids of all ages. This is one of my favorite parent hacks, and I think it’s a sweet, simple Valentine’s Day gesture: Pass secret messages on diapers. The parent/hacker who submitted it wrote: The other day after “school” I was surprised at […]

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Family Fun Hikes: Expectations vs Reality

January 14, 2014

Recently, RookieDad Alec and I took our two older boys around a two-mile hiking trail in the Berkeley hills. We left the toddler at home to give the big boys some special attention. My oldest, nearly nine, had chosen the path because he knows it well from summer camps and school field trips. As we circled […]

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‘Nuff said.

Activity #114: Go dog-watching

January 13, 2014

If your kid is not yet saying “doggie,” well, let’s change that.  Seek out a dog park and go there as an outing. Even if you have a dog at home, your little guy will enjoy seeing all the shapes and sizes they come in. If you are scared of dogs, stand outside the fenced […]

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Free parenting classes for moms in any location

December 19, 2013

We’re so excited to open up this set of classes from MommyBites.com. Some of the classes are “teleclasses”, meaning you call in to a phone number to listen to the speaker, and some are webinars, hosted online. All of the classes are designed for moms and new moms — and all of them are free. […]

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‘Nuff said.

Share your (realistic) New Years Eve ideas for parents

December 17, 2013

I’ve heard about many different families traditions on ringing in the New Year and I want to move that discussion over here so I can revisit it as my children grow older. As a little kid, I remember listening to the annual countdown of the top music of the year and watching Dick Clark drop […]

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Rookie Santa tip: Team up for stocking stuffers

December 5, 2013

Friends, nine Christmases into this parenting thing and I have a useful tip to share: You can and your friends can go in on stocking stuffers. Here’s how: Mentally assemble your friends with similar age kids and share this post with a little note saying, “This! I want to do this for Christmas.” Gather up […]

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‘Nuff said.

Activity #120: Try Potching

November 27, 2013

My stepmom (aka Grandma Leslie) introduced Julian to the kitchen counter at her house, way before it would have occurred to me. Bring a stool to your empty kitchen sink and let your toddler climb up. Fill the sink with warm soapy water, plastic cups, utensils, etc. Let your toddler pretend to make something or […]

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You can and should feed pumpkin to your baby

October 11, 2013

One of Heather’s clever “homemade” baby food cheats is to open a can of organic pumpkin and feed it to a baby. Adding pumpkin to rice cereal or oatmeal makes a fancy fall breakfast, like something you could order at Starbucks, but without whipped cream. Experiment with cinnamon, nutmeg, and or ginger to help your […]

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‘Nuff said.

3 tips for success with consignment sales of baby goods

October 1, 2013

Thanks to Jennifer Scoggins for her contribution today! Jennifer is a consignment shopping enthusiast and the owner of The Lollipop Market, a seasonal kid’s consignment sale in the Bay Area. My oldest child is a sweet little girl. If you’ve also had a girl, you know that no matter what you register for – 90% […]

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Activity #173: Chase the garbage truck

September 18, 2013

My friend Mike used to take his toddler Miles out for Garbage Truck Friday each week without fail. They did it for years. Their routine included picking up muffins from the local bakery and following the garbage truck all over Oakland for an hour or so. It was something that they both looked forward to. […]

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