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Back to school books for kids to calm first day jitters

Child reading book sited on a ned

These books can ease worries and make back to school more exciting.

Girl lying on couch reading a book

Whether your child is strapping on a backpack for the first time or just starting a new year, the first day of school is nerve-wracking even in the best of times. With school schedules changing and new precautions around coronavirus, parents can expect even more back-to-school jitters this year.

Parents can ease first-day jitters is by establishing the new routine ahead of time and reading books to prepare for the big day.

Books about starting school range from tender to hilarious. Try one of these picture books, a mix of old favorites and titles as new as your little student.

Cover of the Book First Day Critter Jitters

“First Day Critter Jitters,” by Jory John and Liz Climo

$ 17.99

If you think your child is nervous for the first day of school, just imagine how hard it would be for a snake to strap on a backpack. This funny picture book shares the first day anxieties of all sorts of critters, and will show little ones that everyone gets a little nervous.

Cover of the book : Dandi Leads the school parade

 “Danbi Leads the School Parade,” by Anna Kim

$ 17.99

Danbi has an extra-tough adjustment to make as she arrives at her first school in America. She’ll use communication — verbal and non — to connect to her new classmates.

“I Got the School Spirit,” by Connie Schofield-Morrison and Frank Morrison

$ 17.99

The little girl at the heart of this story has nothing but enthusiasm for her first day of school. Use it to drum up excitement before school starts.

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The Best Toddler Beds to Ease the Transition From Baby to Big Kid

Baby in Bed

Toddlerhood comes with many changes — some big, some small — but one of the most important is the transition from crib to bed. If your toddler is breaking out of their crib, they might be signaling to you that they are ready for big-kid beds.

There are no strict guidelines as to what age kids should switch to a toddler bed, but they can start to show interest as early as 18 months and as late as 4 years old. 

While some kids may be enthusiastic about the idea of a toddler bed, for others, the thought of a big bed can be scary. Toddlers’ worlds are changing every day — potty training, new siblings, new school, and more — and life can get overwhelming, so it’s best to keep sleep stress-free and straightforward. 

Convertible Toddler Beds

Dream On Me Convertible Toddler Beds

Price:$101.99

This toddler bed comes with detachable rails on either side and is low to the ground for added safety. Plus, the solid-wood foundation makes the bed extra sturdy. It also comes in many different colors and fits a standard toddler bed mattress. You can’t go wrong with this pick.
3-in-1 Convertible Toddler Beds

Dream On Me Emma 3-in-1 Convertible Toddler Beds

Price:$141.00

For parents concerned that they won’t be getting the best bang for their buck with a bed their kids only use for a few years, this toddler bed converts into a table and two chairs after kids grow out of it. Note: The conversion kit is sold separately.

Monarch Hill Ivy Toddler Beds

Price:$134.00

This toddler bed features built-in guard rails that help keep your little one from rolling off. It’s also quite sturdy, and many parents praise how easy it is to assemble.

12 Brilliant Potty Training Tools & Toilets That

Prepare for potty training by stocking up on these must-have items. Our list of supplies will help you and your child ease into this developmental milestone.

Kids seem to learn something new every day. But out of all the developmental milestones to achieve, there’s only one that equally instills fear and pride in the hearts of mothers everywhere: teaching your infant to use the bathroom. Fortunately, there are so many potty training products that make learning so more simpler.

Unlike other landmarks, potty training challenges can sometimes impede progress, in a way. Think about it. They’ve spent their whole lives peeing and pooping comfortably in their pants, and all of a sudden their parents want them to drop everything (including their pants) and go do their business while sitting on a cold, hard piece of porcelain multiple times per day.

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Summer Infant My Size Potty

$26.48

For some children, starting on a training potty that looks like the real thing can make the inevitable transition easier. Enter this porcelain lookalike potty. It’s just like the ones grown-ups use (minus the plumbing), and it features a pretend flusher and a built-in wipes compartment for convenience. A clip-on splashguard helps keep pee in the bowl, which can be removed for easy cleaning.

Potty Training Seat with Ladder

$19.90

Helping your child get one step closer to potty independence, this combined step stool and potty seat lets little ones get on the potty all by themselves. No-slip floor pads and handles help keep your little one safe while protecting your flooring from scratches, and a collapsible frame allows for easy storage once your kid has this potty thing down pat.

Fisher-Price Learn-to-Flush Potty

$26

A little encouragement can go a long way for kids who are potty training. This electronic Learn-to-Flush potty has built-in sensors that detect wetness, so when your little one makes it to the potty in time, the cheerful, smiling potty plays music and sounds as a reward. After getting down to business, kids will love the pretend flush feature. Additionally, the blue seat fits on grownup toilets to make the transition to the real thing easier.

20 Best Baby Sunscreens to Protect Young Sensitive Skin

Babies are delicate little creatures, which is why they need their own special kind of sun protection when they play outside. That’s where baby sunscreen comes in.

So what makes baby sunscreen special? “We tend to use sunscreen that contains mineral blockers for babies, while adults use mineral blockers alongside chemical blockers as well,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. “Many parents are concerned with the use of titanium dioxide in sunscreens for kids, so many of the latest baby sunscreens are zinc-only. Because zinc is an element found naturally in our bodies, it’s safe to use on delicate baby skin.”

Thinkbaby sunscreen stick SPF 30

$9

First up on our list of the best baby sunscreen products? The top-rated sunscreen stick by Thinkbaby. Pegged as the “standard for safe sunscreen,” this product has the highest level of UVA and UVB sun protection available. The non-greasy formula is easy to apply and is quickly absorbed into the skin (a major bonus point when you’re trying to get even coverage on a wriggling baby). Better yet, it’s free from harmful chemicals and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Erbaviva organic baby sunscreen SPF 30

$16

Not only did this baby sunblock earn a top rating from the EWG, but, like many others on this list, it was also hand-picked as one of the 20 top-scoring baby sunscreen brands among all EWG-approved options. It’s naturally crafted with zinc oxide, aloe, sunflower, olive and jojoba oils, and infused with organic essential oils of chamomile and lavender. Parents love that it’s a light sunblock that doesn’t leave white residue on the skin—plus, it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Ready for fun in the sun? Here are the best backyard games for the whole family

Summer’s looking a lot more normal than it did this time last year.

While parks, pools and camps are opening back up for families and children, it’s also super simple to head to the backyard to soak up some sun and fresh air with the kids.

We found some great outdoor toys that will keep them preoccupied for hours on end — whether they prefer an active game or sitting in an inflatable kiddie pool. Read on to see 45 fun water games, sand toys, fun pool accessories and more that will help elevate their playtime this summer.

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HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS

Boy and girl playing with AeroDisk

Fat Brain Toys AeroDisk Max

$29.95

Who needs tennis rackets when you can use handheld trampolines? This AeroDisk Max toy comes with two hand trampolines that can be used to bounce a rubber filament ball back and forth. Set up a net for a unique game of tennis, or even use the disk as a frisbee.
Woman and Man in a garden playing with a portable tennis Set

PRO Swingball – All Surface Portable Tether Tennis Set

$63.99

This portable tether tennis game is perfect to play with a friend or even solo. Designed for older children and adults, this fast-paced game will keep you entertained for hours. Simply fill the base with water or sand for stability and play anywhere.
Fish shaped water blaster

Nerf Super Soaker Fortnite Slurpfish Water Blaster

$9.99

If your little one is a fan of the video game Fortnite, they will get a kick out of this Fortnite Slurpfish water blaster. Its small size makes it easy to carry around, and it is a great way to beat the summer heat and keep cool..

40 Standout Ways to Elevate Your Dining Room Decor

Decorating ideas for small dining spaces, modern setups and more.

Much like the kitchen, the dining room is the heart of the home. It’s where you enjoy delicious meals and enjoy quality time as a family, so it’s only right that you’d want a clutter-free space that’s full of style. Whether your dining room needs a complete makeover or just a few basic design upgrades like a fresh coat of paint on your walls or floor, the possibilities are endless. There are a slew of inexpensive design projects you can tackle over a weekend or in a matter of minutes to take your dining area to the next level.



And if papers and bills have taken over your dining table, don’t fret. “You need to figure out the logjams that are creating clutter and handle those with portable solutions,” professional organizer Lorie Marrero says. For instance, you can easily purchase a rolling cart for paying bills at the table, so paper clutter stays out of sight come dinnertime.

Ready to revamp your dining room? Browse these chic dining rooms that are filled with more than enough design inspiration.

White Vase

$30

Made from ceramic stoneware with a slight glossy finish, our Pure White Vases come in a range of shapes and sizes. Collect a few and arrange this everyday must-have on mantels, ledges and tabletops.

Wine Red Taper Unscented Dark Colored Candles

$17.49

Bolsius 10 Inch Wine Red Taper Unscented Dark Colored Candles for Household Decoration on Wedding, Parties & All Occasions, 7.5 Hours Burning Dripless Table Candle

Bold Tablecloth

$27.99

his rectangular tablecloth is suitable for daily use—both indoor and outdoor use like parties, picnics, holidays, dining, barbecues.

Summer Camp and COVID-19: What Parents Should Know

Before sending children to summer camp this year, parents should ask themselves a few questions.

Experts say parents should learn about their child’s individual risk factors for COVID-19 and how children’s involvement in a summer camp program impacts the safety of other family members.

“Ultimately, parents will need to be cognizant of their children’s and other family members’ own risk factors and vaccination statuses in order to make these decisions,” said Dr. Sarah Schaffer DeRoo, a pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

It would help if you also considered what risk factors might make sending your child to camp more challenging, including underlying health conditions or having a family member with compromised immunity.

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Summer Camp During COVID-19, what to Look for.

Summer camp can be a chance for children and teens to make friends, learn new skills, and spend time outdoors. Kids have missed out on a lot of these opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summer Camp could be where your child can relax and reconnect, but worried since COVID-19 continues to spread. More than a year into the pandemic, studies show that camps with proper safety steps in place can greatly limit the spread of COVID-19 infections. Key steps include mask-wearing, physical distancing, having smaller groups, and cleaning and disinfecting as part of the daily routine.

If you’re considering camp for your child this summer, whether it’s a just during the day or an overnight program, here are some questions to ask.

Will masks be required indoors at camp?

All campers over age 2 and all camp staff should wear face masks indoors, unless advised against it medical or developmental reasons–especially if not everyone is vaccinated. In general, masks do not need to be worn for outdoor activities except in crowded settings where there is a lot of close contact.

Will everyone be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before camp starts?

All camp staff who are eligible should be fully vaccinated prior to the start of camp. All eligible campers ages 12 years and above should also be encouraged to be fully vaccinated. If a camp operates with all staff and campers that are fully vaccinated, then additional COVID-19 safety measures, such as physical distancing are not needed while at camp.

Summer Camp tent

20 Creative Things to Do for Father’s Day That’ll Make Dad Feel Extra-Special

There are so many different ways to celebrate your dad on Father’s Day. Picking out the perfect Father’s Day gift and writing a sweet message in his card may be a given, but it’s also important to make sure that your dad’s special day is full of activities that’ll bring him even closer to the people he loves most: his kids. Really, if you were to ask him, quality time is the best gift you can give your dad, which is exactly why we’ve rounded up tons of fun things to do for Father’s Day this year.

Before you dive into planning mode, figure out what kind of celebration your dad has in mind: Does he prefer a day jam-packed with activities or something more low-key? Then work your way down this list to find family-friendly ways to make his Father’s Day as special as possible. From free activities that you can do from the comfort of your home (a backyard movie, game night and home-cooked brunch) to all-day plans that’ll take you miles from home, you’re guaranteed to find something that whole family will enjoy — dad, especially.

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26 DIY Father’s Day Gifts That Are Easy Enough for Toddlers and Kids to Make

All dads — even the one who claims to be Mr. Tough Guy — love a Father’s Day gift that tugs at his heartstrings. Since it can be tough to find a store-bought option that has just the right amount of practicality, personalization and heart, try your hand at making one of these DIY Father’s Day gifts this year. These homemade gift ideas vary in skill level, but most of them are easy enough for toddlers and kids to make (with mom’s supervision, of course).

Many of these DIYs highlight everything your #1 guy loves most: manning the grill, cracking open a cold one with his buddies and going on adventures with his family. While we made sure to find ideas that he can actually use in his day-to-day life (say, a new spatula and apron for grilling), there’s also so much room for you and your kids to get personal. Add heart to any of these handmade gifts by writing a heartfelt message, incorporating your family’s best photos or attaching a homemade Father’s Day card. Even if the final product doesn’t look exactly like the photo shown here (ah, expectations vs. reality), there’s no doubt that he’ll cherish this present for years to come.

Here are some DIY Father’s Day Gifts you can try out