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10 ways to save money at the grocery store

It’s Sunday! Grocery shopping for the week time. 
Enjoy this Bellytich Rewind
According to the USDA a family of four spends approximately $200 per week on groceries. Over the course of the year, that $200 per week adds up pretty quickly. And while groceries are never going to be something that you cut out of your budget, even the USDA admits that there is room for considerable savings.  If you were to become what the USDA considers a “thrifty” family of four you could end up saving $70 a week on groceries, which totals up to $3,640 a year!
If you’re looking for ways to shave money off your grocery bill, consider these tips.

  1. Buy beans dried instead of canned.  By purchasing dried beans and cooking them yourself you can save 60% on the total cost of beans.  You are probably thinking that you don’t have time to prepare dried beans, but if you cook the beans on the stove while you are home on the weekend, you can package them up into portions, freeze them, and then defrost them as needed.
  2. Buy generic when you can.  Buying the generic brand over the brand name food can help you save up to 50% on an item.  Macaroni and cheese is a great example of this. The name brand blue box costs $1.05 whereas the generic brand runs about $ .45.  That’s a savings of 57% on one item. 
  3. Look for locally grown, in season produce.  Farmers markets usually open in early summer and continue to sell through the fall.  Buying locally grown fruits and veggies will not only support local farmers, it will also support your grocery budget. Not to mention the produce tastes better, is better for you, and is cheaper.  Some stores will also advertise that they buy from local farmers, and these products will also be cheaper because they are plentiful and in season.
  4. Purchase meat in larger quantities.  Many times grocery stores will offer a discount if you buy a “family” package of meat.  Once you buy your meat, divide it into portions and freeze it.
  5. Compare pricing by size.  Have you ever noticed that sometimes stores put items on sale, but it’s actually cheaper to buy a larger size of the same item?  For example, if the store has ketchup on sale, 2 for $3 for the 16 oz. bottle check to see how much the bigger bottle costs. You may find that the 32 oz. bottle costs $2.75, so you can save $ .25 and only have one bottle to store.
  6. Watch the sale ads.  By buying what is on sale you will maximize your savings.  When you sit down to create the menu for the week, take a look at the sale ads for that week.  If baby back pork ribs are on sale this week it would be silly to plan to make beef ribs for dinner and pay twice as much per pound.  Maybe you are really craving pork chops, but they aren’t on sale this week and pork tenderloin is.  Making adjustments to your menu based on buying on sale can save you money.
  7. Price match ad items from other stores. Most stores will price match with the ads from other stores.  This will allow you to get the sale prices on certain items, but avoid having to run all over town picking up a few items here and a few items there.  So you’ll have a cost savings in your food and your gas expenses.
  8. Plan menus for the week ahead.  By planning out your menus in advance you will create a list of items that you need for those meals.  Buy what’s on your list and nothing more.  If you go to the store with a plan then you will be less likely to buy unnecessary extras.  Planning for the full week of menus also reduces the number of trips to the grocery store.
  9. Avoid convenience items.  If you buy your cheese in a block and grate it yourself, you will save about $3 per pound.  The same goes for any other convenience item like pre-cut fruit or pre-chopped onions; you are paying for someone else to cut stuff up for you.
  10. Use coupons.  Consumers saved approximately $4.6 billion a year by using coupons.  Keep in mind that it only saves you money if you use a coupon on an item that you would have bought anyway.  Don’t spend money on items just because you have a coupon for it.

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30 Early Development iPad Apps for Kids

Being a child is hard. The world is new, and there are a lot of things to learn. And re-learn when we get it wrong. As we grow, sounds turn into words, words gain meaning. Then people start throwing numbers at us. First they’re small numbers, then they grow. They want you to do what with them? Understand their value, their order. Add them, subtract them. Now it’s back to words, which now come in clusters called sentences. Which we have to write stories with.

And that’s just the beginning. There’s a lot to learn in our early years on which our later years rely upon. Fortunately, today’s children have tablet computers like the iPad. In addition to the touch features being incredibly addictive, there are thousands of apps that making learning fun. In no particular order, here are 30 fun and educational iPad apps aimed children in the “early childhood education (ECE)” group. Definitions vary, though it covers kids about 3 to 9 years of age.
Notes to parents and guardians:
  • Several of the app publishers listed here are members of Moms With Apps, who promote best practices for children’s apps.
  • All prices are in U.S. dollars, though some publishers are outside the U.S.
  • Check iTunes profile for a given app to find out the minimum version of iOS your iPad needs.
  • Where age range listed here for an app does not match the iTune profile, note that the range here was provided privately by that app publisher as more accurate than iTunes’ age categories.
  • We suggest that you preview apps in private before allowing your children to use them.
  • Accompany children during their first few uses of an app, to show them how to use it, to answer questions.
  • Some parents like to establish certain parts of the week and day/ evening for when tablet use is permissible.
  • Tablets — especially iPads — can be addictive. Monitor your children and make sure they balance their time with physical activity, and that they are not downloading apps on their own.
  • Some experts believe children under four years of age should not be overly exposed to tablet computers.

30. TinyTap

TinyTap
Are your kids bored of their iPad apps? TinyTap lets them make their own, share them with others, and play games made by thousands of other users, including teachers. Games can be educational, including for learning math, words, grammar and more. Add images, record questions in audio and more. TinyTap can be used by children 6 years old and up to create games, and by kids one or older to play. It’s also a great app for teachers who want to create custom games for their young students. In-app purchase modules for various topics including farm animals, dinos, music and more are available.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 6+ to create, 1+ to play

Price: Free

29. Quizmaker

Quizmaker-1
Quizmaker is an app developed by a Occupational Therapist working with special needs children in a German school, and her son. The app has two modes: quiz taking and quiz making. The former lets kids take quizzes, and the latter lets parents and teachers create custom picture quizzes about the subjects their kids enjoy. Add audio instructions for each question, as well as a set of “positive” and “negative” feedback audio recordings that play depending on who a quiz question is answered. Create quizzes with one or more multiple choice questions and add pictures (3 choices per question) for the answers. Pictures can be from your Dropbox account, the iPad’s gallery, or fresh from the camera. Use your own backgrounds for quizzes, or download a set of free backgrounds right from the app. When you’re done creating a quiz, you can export it (and others) to Quizmaker format and share that via email.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 4-5

Price: $2.99

28. Scavenger hunt for kids (I Spy for Kids)

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Scavenger hunts are fun, but they can also be educational, if you plan them that way. The “Scavenger Hunt for Kids (I Spy for Kids)” iPad app lets teachers and parents create scavenger hunts that can include numbers, shapes, and letters of the alphabet, as well as other objects. Add items to a hunt by typing in a sequential list of items to search for, and adding pictures and images as aids. Kids check in with the adult on each item they find. So kids learn while combining physical effort to find items.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 5+

Price: $0.99

27. Pick ‘n Seek

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Pick’n’Seek is a virtual hide-and-seek game for toddlers. Parents take a picture of their child with the app, adjust the pic, and voila, an animated digital version of appears. The digital child then goes and hides in various screens, and the real child tries to find themselves (At Home, Vehicles, Outdoors, Toys). For shy children that do not want their picture taken, parents can use an animated face as well. The app has four animated animal friends, and nearly 60 card game images. In addition to stimulating the imagination of children, it teaches them about shapes and sizes, movements and speeds, simple vocabulary words and more. There’s also a free lite version if you want to try the app before purchasing.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: under 3 years

Price: $2.99

26. Build A Scare

Deanavryn-Studios_Build-A-Scare
Build A Scare lets kids create unique “monsters” by dragging and dropping various elements to form faces. Spin the wheel to determine the number of appendages your monster will have. There’s a puzzle feature that you can use to create a jigsaw puzzle out of a freshly created monster — or from your iPad’s photo gallery. The app’s not just for fun. Inspired by methods used by a teacher with her students, Build A Scare teaches kids also learn to count, as well develop 2d spatial perception and their imagination.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 3-6 years

Price: $1.29

25. Willie’s Bone

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Willie’s Bone introduces kids to wiener dog Willie and his pug pal Paul as they go searching for Willie’s lost bone. As Willie and Paul find a farm, kids learn about what’s at a farm and what goes on there, including learning about farm animals, eggs, milk, wool, fruits and more. The interactive story also has companion games to be played separately, which teach children about colors, concentration, memory and other skills.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 4+

Price: $1.99

24. Teacher Tilly – Puzzle for toddlers and preschoolers

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The Teacher Tilly puzzles app (one of several Teacher Tilly apps) teaches 2-4 year olds problem solving, sorting, organization and other skills through a variety of puzzles. The included puzzles have voiceover tips from “Teacher Tilly,” which helps kids learn vocabulary. (The iTunes profile says that the app is used by speech therapists to aid children in practicing new words.) Solving puzzles wins virtual balloons, and you can create new puzzles from photos. Coloring pages are available for download and printing as well.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 2-4 years

Price: $1.99

23. Annie’s Picking Apples 2

Real-Fun-Learning_AnniesPickingApples2-Map
Annie’s Picking Apples lets kids navigate an animated squirrel along different spots on a map. When you stop the squirrel on a puzzle piece, you see a 2d jigsaw puzzle board. Stop on a colored circle and play a variety of math games. One is a counting lesson where you pull different colored apples from trees into the right baskets — teaches counting up to 20. Another is an animated conveyer belt system with different sections, which teaches sequences. There are a total of 27 “worlds,” and adults can set the difficulty level and set the amount of play time. Kids can practice in four languages: English, Spanish, French and German.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 3-7 years old

Price: $2.99

22. Hanna & Henri

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Henri gets out of bed, happy that its Saturday. Today, there’s a 7th birthday party for his best friend Hanna’s. You can help Henri get dressed by dragging and dropping items of clothing onto him from his closet. Next, help Henri pick a toy gift for Hanna from the toy story and get it wrapped. Before Henri goes to the party, he has to put a few things away in his bedroom first, by dragging and dropping them into the right box. The Hanna & Henri app combines these sorts of exercises with games, to teach children a variety of things including sorting and counting, as well as simple tasks.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 3-6 years old

Price: $4.99

21. Cavity Dragons Jr

Gooseling_Cavity-Dragons-fire-page
Can’t get your little ones to brush their teeth? Gooseling’s Cavity Dragons Jr. app could help by showing them what happens to teeth without brushing. (Or, depending on the age of your kids, try one of the other Cavity Dragon’s games from Gooseling.) One game in this app shows a set of teeth with food residue. Animated dragons also shoot fire onto the teeth. To win the game, help the fireman with his toothpaste hose clear out the spots of food. If you’re too slow, a cavity forms and the tooth goes gray. Get too many gray teeth and they all fall out. Another game has a fireman riding a toothbrush like a skateboard, whom you have to help clean the teeth. Win virtual stickers as rewards, complete a tooth puzzle, and help decorate the fire station. Gooseling also has a free Fire Station Cavity Dragons iPad app in the Apple App Store.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 2-5 years old

Price: $2.99

20. Spellyfish Phonics – Short A Words

Pyxwise_Spellyfish-Phones-Short-A-Words-ham
Pyxwise’s “Spellyfish Phonics – Short A Words” is one of several apps in a series, aimed at teaching spelling and phonics and aligned to Common Core. This one focuses on English words that are short and have the letter ‘a’ in them. Children can choose which word puzzle group they’d like to solve. E.g., “_an” words (end with “an” and are three characters long). Spellyfish the jellyfish gives animated commentary, explaining the word to be spelled out, and its context. As each letter is tapped, Spellyfish sounds it out as relevant to the world, effectively teaching phonics. For more advanced tests, there are Spellyfish apps for kids 5-6 and 7-9 — in all covering Kindergarten to Grade 5. Pxywise also has a Simplex Spelling series, and there is a free Simplex Spelling Lite that has reverse phonics.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 4-5 years old

Price: $2.99

19. Tiny Robot Maker

Tiny-Twiga_Tiny-Robot-Maker
On the surface, Tiny Twiga Studios’ Tiny Robot Maker app seems like it’s just about robots. However, there’s more to it than that. Kids get to play with robot illustrations, and mix and match parts, while also learning about color, shape and even parts of the human body. Tiny Robot Maker also has a free mini-coloring book with a birthday card that can be downloaded and printed out, as a supplement to the app.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 2-5 years old

Price: $3.79

18. Little Digits

Cowly-Owl_Little-Digits
The Little Digits app makes counting to 10 fun by taking advantage of the iPad screen’s multi-touch gestures. While in counting mode, tap the screen with one finger to indicate the number 1, then tap with two fingers for number 2, and so on. (Turn off “multi-touch gestures” in the iPad’s settings.) Kids can do addition and subtraction math the same way, simply by tapping the screen with the correct number of fingers. If there are too many or too few fingers, the animation shows the number of fingers and plays a sort of low horn sound. For the correct fingers, there’s a pleasant xylophone sound, and the illustrated numbers dance.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 2-5 years

Price: $1.99

17. Story Dice

Thinkamingo_Story-Dice
Story Dice by Thinkamingo possibly has one of the simplest interface of all apps in this list. Still, that simplicity leaves room for storytelling that ranges from simple fun to complex. Use the Settings to set the number of dice (2 is default, 10 is max). Now tap the screen or shake the iPad to “roll” the story dice. Play charades, sing a song, say a poem or make a story out of of the images showing on the story dice. There are 170 pictograms in all, sourced from The Noun Project. In addition to helping children who are having difficulty reading but who understand images, this app can be used by adults as well.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 4+ years

Price: $1.99

16. Sign Me A Story

GraceSigns_Sign-Me-A-Story
Designed for use with special needs children or those with language/ hearing challenges, the Sign Me A Story app teaches kids to communicate through sign language, and reading through story and video. The first story, “GreenBeanies – One Cool Cat,” is free. Tap an emphasized word in the text of a screen to see a video that teaches how to sign that word. Story one teaches 14 signs, including morning, day, eat, happy, home and others. The second story, “GreenBeanies – Two Magical Hats,” teaches an additional 12 signs and is available through a paid in-app purchase ($1.99). (Story three to come.) The stories are interactive and meant for children at the higher end of the ECE age range, though some younger children may enjoy them as well.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 6-11 years

Price: free

15. Peekaboo HD

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GotClues’ Peekaboo HD teaches children animal names and sounds through different categories. The Farm module is included in the app and includes rooster, cow, duck, horse and more. The app gives animated clues to children on where to tap to reveal the animal whose sound they’re hearing. Additional modules available for purchase are Jungle and Safari (releasing Jun 2014). For languages, you can choose one free option from English, Cantonese, German, Mandarin, and Spanish, then buy more languages later. (Danish is an option in some of the games)
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 2-5

Price: free

14. Animals Flip and Mix- ABC Cognitive Game

PlaneTree_Animals-Flip+Mix-1
PlaneTree’s “Animals Flip and Mix- ABC Cognitive Game for Kindergarten and Preschool Kids Explorers” app, or Animals Flip and Mix for short, consists of a fun mix-and-match feature where kids can interchange three parts of the illustrated screen to create new creatures. The goal is to match top, middle and bottom parts of the screen by swiping each part left or right until the differently colored syllables match. While trying to match the parts, kids can create creatures that are combinations of fruit and animals — over 2,000 combinations in total – as well make up fake words from the syllable combos. When the three parts match, the apps shows a different interactive puzzle or animated scene for each word. Animals Flip and Mix teaches motor skills and visual perception, matching, spelling and more.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 4-6 years

Price: $1.99

13. Montessori Numberland

3ELLEs_Montessori-Numberland
Montessori Numberland is a counting app from 3 ELLEs, an award-winning developer of educational mobile apps started by Montessori teachers in 2010. Through a series of illustrated screens, the app teaches numbers, counting and quantity simultaneously. Children can trace the number in the direction shown by the arrows, as well as tap the same quantity of something displayed on the screen — such as five seagulls, four blocks, eight leaves, etc. Other apps in the 3 ELLEs Montessori series include Montessori Letter Sounds (ages 4-7), which has phonics in English, Spanish, French and Italian; Montessori Geometry (ages 5-10); Montessori First Operations (ages 5-7), which teaches addition and subtraction; Montessori Math: Add & Subtract Large Numbers (ages 6-9); and Montessori Math: Multiplication (ages 6-10).
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 3-5 years

Price: $0.99

12. Community Helpers Play & Learn Free

Paper-Boat-Apps_Community-Helpers
Paper Boat’s “Community Helpers Play & Learn” app teaches children about the people in various community-centric professions. This includes teachers, postal carriers, firefighters, farmers, and more. The free version includes four people (doctor, police officer, mechanic, plumber). There are two modes: Learn and Play. In the Learn mode, kids can tap a person to find out about their profession, and tap on various items that person uses to learn about those. In the Play mode, kids can play drag-and-drop learning games, such as helping the plumber fix some pipes, or helping a police officer with the description of a suspect. Community Helpers was featured by Apple in the “Best New Apps and Games” category.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 2-6 years

Price: free

11. Lasso Kid

Kidcore-Games_Lasso-Kid-2
Kidcore Game’s Lasso Kid is a free app that teaches hand-eye coordination/ fine motor skills and memorization, as well as logical thinking, sequences, intersection and more, through a series of illustrated screens that require kids to connect animals of the same type together with a virtual lasso. If an animal is not lassoed, it runs away. New activity levels are unlocked as one is completed. The difficulty level of each subsequent exercise increases, so older children can still be challenged. Parents can signup for free access to the Kidcore Web site for tracking their child’s progress in the app, set daily usage limits and more. Or skip that and add player profiles. Players can use one of the pre-loaded illustrated human or animal icons or add a photo.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 3+

Price: free

10. Writing Wizard

LEscapadou_Writing-Wizard-Tracing-Sun
Award-winning educational app publisher L’Escapadou’s Writing Wizard app helps kids learn handwriting of letters of the alphabet through tracing, as well as words and phonics with voiceover audio. Kids learn to write letters of the alphabet through animated clues showing the order of strokes. Sound effects and special graphics make learning more fun, and chidlren collect stars for completing exercises. There are four interactive games included in this app, which was featured in the Apple App Store. Parents and teachers can get involved by creating word lists and customizing the app in terms of text font size, writing instrument style and ink color, drawing difficulty, speed and more. Adults can also track a child’s progress (unlimited users), change letter sounds, indicate upper and lower case letters and more.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 2-8 years

Price: $2.99

9. Night Zookeeper Teleporting Torch

Night-Zoo-Keeper_Teleporting-Torch
Wonky Star’s award-winning “Night Zookeeper Teleporting Torch” helps kids creatively through an ongoing series of drawing and writing missions. (The app asks adults to register so that kids can receive daily updates for drawing and other creative missions.) The drawing interface has unlimited ‘undo’ capability, making it easier for kids to improve their drawing and painting skills while having fun participating in a world of time-traveling elephants and giraffe spies that defeat Fear Monsters. Don’t be surprised if you hear your child roaring, as that’s the secret to unlocking special stories. Parents and teachers can participate through the online dashboard
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 5-9 years

Price: free

8. Splash Math – Grade 1 to 5

Splash-Math_Grade-1-to-5-free
Splash Math is a multi-award winning app series used by over 4 million children (on iPads, laptops, and desktops) in 8,000 schools, and is aligned to Common Core math standards. The series covers grades 1 through five, and each grade app has a paid and a “lite” free version. The “Splash Math – Grade 1 to 5″ app is free and a good intro into the series. For evaluation, you can skip the sign-up and try it out. Set up the app for your child by entering their name and grade level. Lessons are self-paced, interactive and give rewards in the form of points, games and other prizes. Explanations are given for wrong answers, and new math topic categories are unlocked as points are accumulated. There are too many topoics to list here, though in the free version, you’re only getting a preview. If you want more, from this free app, you can make in-app “lifetime” purchases for each grade, as well as a parent subscription.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 4-12 years

Price: free

7. GOZOA – The Key Quest

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The “GOZOA – The Key Quest” app teaches kids by combining gaming paradigms such as a quest with object physics, math questions (counting, addition, subtraction, multiplying, division, times table, digital and analog time, etc.). By winning prizes and points, and finding keys, you complete parts of the quest and unlock parts of the goal — which is to help Gozoa free his friends who have been locked up in a castle. This is just one of several Gozoa apps, with a free “GOZOA – Play & Learn Math Lite” app that uses Angry Birds-style physics and teaches numbers (tracing, counting, etc.) and math.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 6-11 years old

Price: $1.99; has free lite version

6. Kindergarten Math Standards

Maypop-Designs_Kindergarten-Math-3
Maypop Designs’ Kindergarten Math Standards app is one in a series aimed at different age groups. This one is for Kindergarten students, roughly 4-6 years old. It teaches topics for numbers (recognition, counting, sequencing, addition, subtraction, base 10, etc.), geometry (colors, shape, size, positioning, direction, patterns, outlines, etc.) and measurement. There are slideout panels that explain how a game is played. Complete a game and win points that can be applied to revealing sections of photographs from around the world. Kids can play solo or in groups (default four profiles; add more if necessary). Parents and teachers can configure what topics to include and which to turn off, to customize learning.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 4-6 years old

Price: $2.99

5. State Bingo and Road Trip US

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State Bingo and Road Trip US app gamifies the learning of geography topics, with a focus on Common Core standards. In addition to a study map that shows the different states and some important tidbits per state, there’s a State Bingo game in three levels of difficulty, a road trip game between regions, and a timeline serially revealing which states joined the the United States of America — with one state added every time you complete a challenge and “send a state to statehood.” State Bingo asks a question about a state (abbreviation, capital, scrambled letters, lakes, weather, crops, etc.) and a 4×4 grid of states to choose the answer from. Once you get four states in a row answered, you win. In the Road Trip game, you move between adjoining states towards your goal. Get a question right and you advance. Get it wrong and you have to answer another question. See your hits and misses when you’re done, then check the Statehoods feature to see which state joined the union next.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 7+ years old

Price: $2.99

4. My First App Vol. 3 Airport

Apppmedia_My-First-App-Vol-3-Airport
Apppmedia’s “My First App Vol. 3 Airport” is an award-winning app that teaches children about various of airports and what goes on there. The app offers a combination of jigsaw puzzles, pattern matching by comparing two similar but different illustrations, visual motor and motor planning skills through a game where players have to drop balls into specific holes on a board by tilting the iPad, and more.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 2-4 years

Price: $1.99

3. Playground 1 – 12 Fun & Educational Games

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Jan Essig’s multi-award-winning “Playground 1 – 12 Fun & Educational Animal Games for Toddlers and Children” app, or Playground 12-in-1 here for short, combines twelve different games that teaches while it entertains children. Playground 12-in-1 consists of 12 different games that teach shape and image matching, patterns, counting, coloring areas with brush and paint bucket, erasing, music and more, while helping improve fine and visual motor skills, logic, and problem solving. Kids can play solo or with a playmate, and parents can set a timer for play durations. Featured by Apple as a Best New App. Other apps in the series include Logic Playground and Preschoolers ABC Playground, both meant for 4-7 year-olds.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 3-6 years

Price: $3.99

2. Love, The App

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The “Love, The App” app deals with more serious lessons for children, such as tolerance, understanding, friendship and of course love. The app is meant for older kids in the ECE range and is based on an illustrated book of the same name from 1964 by Gian Berto Vanni. “Love, The App” incorporates a variety of transitions between pages, ensuring that the reader participate by interacting with various little cut-out windows and sliding elements that give slight animated hints as to what has to be moved, towards the inevitable message of love waiting at the end of the story. The app won the 2014 BolognaRagazzi Digital Award for 2014.
More Information:

Publisher/ developer website

iTunes profile page

Age range: 9-11 years

Price: $4.99

1. My Beastly ABCs

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An amusing way to learn the ABCs, using the names of monsters, mythological creatures and historic figures. It’s an animated story, with goofy monsters, and the rhyming, rhythmic narration is fun even for adults. For an ABC book app that’s 39 pages full of whimsical characters and only $2.99, you can’t go wrong. Makes us wish we had iPads when we were kids.
More Information:

Publisher

iTunes profile page

Age range: 4+ years

Price: $2.99
reposted with permission from Early Childhood Degrees

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10 foods to think twice about before giving to your child

When your child begins to eat solid food, it’s important to remember that just because his palate is expanding, there are still a variety of foods that aren’t suitable for him to eat at such a young age. Due to choking hazards, allergy concerns, and your toddler’s nutritional needs, some foods should be banned from your little ones plate until he’s older. You should avoid giving these ten foods to your toddler, and should carefully consider whether you want to introduce some of them into his diet at all, even when he’s older.
  1. Tree Nuts – Tree nuts, like pecans, almonds, and walnuts, should never be given to a toddler. The reasons for this policy are two-fold, due to the choking hazard that they present and their place on the list of most common food allergens. Children with food allergies often react negatively to tree nuts, and it’s not a good idea to introduce them when your child is still so young, especially if tree nut allergies run in the family.
  2. Peanut Butter – Ingesting a small amount or coming into contact with peanut butter can be harmful or deadly to an allergic child, and peanut allergies are among the most common in young children. The thick consistency of peanut butter can also present a choking hazard to toddlers that don’t have any known peanut sensitivities, making it wise to hold off on introducing this kid favorite until your little one is a bit older.
  3. Soft Drinks – Keep Kids Healthy recommends that toddlers only have four to six ounces of fruit juice each day, and never soda or other soft drinks. These sugar-laden beverages can be harmful to little teeth, are filled with empty calories, and often contain caffeine – a stimulant your toddler probably doesn’t need.
  4. Hard Candy – Hard candies, which are usually little more than a mix of solidified sugar, artificial flavoring, and coloring agents, are an unwise choice for your toddler’s diet due to the high choking risk that they pose, as well as their lack of nutritional value.
  5. Hot Dogs – Generally made from highly-processed meat and filled with sodium and additives, traditional hot dogs may not be the best choice for your child’s diet. If you do decide to feed them to your toddler, however, it’s imperative that you slice hot dogs lengthwise before serving them. Coin-shaped slices, a popular choice because they’re easy for little fingers to maneuver, pose a very serious choking risk and are among the most common causes of fatal choking incidents.
  6. Low-Fat Milk – Seattle Children’s Hospital recommends that children under one year of age avoid having cow’s milk entirely, and that kids under two years of age steer clear of drinking low-fat, non-fat, or reduced-fat milk. Toddlers need some fat in their diets for a variety of reasons, not least of which is their neurological development. After your child reaches two years of age, your pediatrician may or may not recommend a switch to low-fat or skim milk.
  7. Popcorn – Popcorn can be tricky for adults to eat because of the pesky bits of kernel that can stick to your teeth and throat, and are even more dangerous for kids. Because partially-popped kernels can be very hard, and fully-popped ones can present a choking hazard as well, your toddler should not eat popcorn. Additionally, microwaveable popcorn brands are almost invariably awash in a sea of chemicals, some of which can be harmful.
  8. Eggs – Because egg whites can cause upset stomach and skin complaints in some toddlers and whole eggs are a very common food allergen, it’s best to avoid eggs until your child is a bit older and you can safely test for signs of an allergic reaction.
  9. Honey – While it’s not altogether common, honey contaminated with bacteria that causes botulism can lead to a very serious illness. After toddlerhood, the likelihood of your child contracting botulism from ingesting honey is very slight, but it’s best to avoid this natural sweetener altogether until then.
  10. Fish – Some types of fish can be quite high in mercury, and exposure to them can be toxic in large amounts. Fish is also a relatively common allergen, so it’s best to skip those fish sticks until your child is well past toddlerhood. Even then, opt for types of fish that aren’t known to be particularly high in mercury.

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After Baby: 12 ways to maintain your relationship with your partner

 While it’s no secret to any couple past the honeymoon stage that marriage requires work in order to be successful, it can come as a surprise to new parents just how much raising children changes the dynamic of a marriage. Keeping the ever-elusive “spark” alive after babies come along can be one of the biggest challenges that a married couple faces, but it’s absolutely possible. These 12 pointers can help you maintain the great relationship you have, even when the demands of parenthood begin to weigh on you both.





  1. Put in the Effort – It may seem simple on the surface, but just remembering to put some effort towards maintaining your marriage when you’re exhausted, mired in the world of potty training or just trying to keep up with a demanding family schedule can be a challenge. Just like anything else worth having, a marriage does require at least some effort from both parties to continue running smoothly.
  2. Try to Focus on the Good Things – Becoming fixated on the frustrating aspects of your marriage is easy, but it’s also poisonous. Trying to keep the things you love most about your partner and your lives together at the forefront of your mind will require some dedication, but it can have very positive results in the long run.
  3. Compliments, Compliments – There are a thousand things you love about your spouse, but the hectic pace of everyday life can make remembering to appreciate those things difficult. Making a point of complimenting your spouse each day shows appreciation for them and can be the balm that frazzled nerves need during high-stress moments.
  4. Avoid Taking Stress Out On Your Spouse – Letting off steam is normal, but it can become problematic when you’re expressing your frustration with an unrelated situation by attacking your spouse. It’s easy to take stress out on those closest to you, but it’s difficult to repair the damage that type of behavior can have on your relationship.
  5. Make Time for One Another – Time probably isn’t something that you have very much of, which makes it all the more significant when you set a sliver of your precious free time aside to spend with your spouse.
  6. Remember That Your Partner is Not a Mind-Reader – You may have a running list of things that need to be done in your head, but you shouldn’t expect your partner to be able to read that list. You have to communicate your needs and expectations to your spouse if you expect them to be met, so don’t fall into the trap of expecting them to just know what you need without direction.
  7. Don’t Be Too Proud to Apologize – Flying off the handle is easy when you’re in the pressure cooker that is raising children on a tight schedule. When you’ve had time to cool off, however, don’t let your pride stand in the way of a much-warranted apology, especially if you’ve realized that your reaction wasn’t necessary.
  8. Assume the Best – When you’re stressed, tired and in sore need of a break, it’s easy to assume the worst as you’re trying to decipher the inscrutable actions of your spouse. Rather than believing the worst-case scenario is just around the corner, try to assume the best intentions were the motivation behind any behavior you don’t understand.
  9. Small Gestures Go a Long Way – A sweet greeting card snagged from the rack at the market, a favorite food prepared for dinner and other small gestures like these can add up in big ways, especially when they’re the bright spot in a challenging day. Remembering to do these things amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life isn’t always easy, but it’s almost always worth the effort.
  10. Seek Spontaneity – Look for every opportunity to do something lighthearted and unexpected, even when you can only grab a few moments in which to do so. Just because your impromptu road trip days have come to an end doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice every shred of spontaneity in your marriage.
  11. Remember That You’re Playing on the Same Team – When little grievances add up to big problems, you can easily lose sight of the fact that you and your spouse are on the same team and are pursuing a common goal. Rather than seeing your spouse as the opposition, try to shift your perspective.
  12. Be Adults Together – In a sea of diapers, cartoons and juice boxes, there isn’t always room for a grown-up discussion that doesn’t center around the practical aspects of running a household. Just spending a kid-free hour of television time together before bed can create interesting talking points. Every couple has their own shared favorite pastimes, but it’s important to spend time together being adults, not just oversized kid-wranglers.
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Top 12 Celebrity bumpwatch, parenting & kids sites

Besides BellyitchBlog, where else do many people turn for celebrity bump watch and for photos, news, updates and video of their favorite celebrity moms, dads and their adorable children? Here is a list of the top 12 sites we put together:
  1. Celebrity Babies People Magazine sponsors this amazing website dedicated to the latest news on the celebrity parent front.
  2. BabyRazzi This web blog merges top-tier celebrity gossip coverage with the most adorable pictures of the stars’ little ones.
  3. Celebrity Baby Scoop Where’s the first place you should go in your search to find the brand of diaper exclusively used by Brangelina’s babies? This site might just find your answer.
  4. Black Celeb Kids This popular site is almost exclusively about African-American celebrity and their various outings, excursions, and projects.
  5. Made for Mums This English parenting blog features regular posts on the parenting styles and trials of the world’s rich and famous.
  6. Lil Sugar This site bridges the gap between celebrity sleaze portal and warm-and-fuzzy, mom-centric news offerings.
  7. HuffPost Parents Find the latest baby stories from Nick Cannon and Mariah, Jessica Alba and — yes! — Barbara Walters right here. It was formerly called ParentDish.
  8. Famecrawler Designed with future moms in mind, Famecrawler ensures you a steady stream of precocious, paparazzi-ready baby coverage.
  9. Celebrities at BabyCenter In Hollywood, who spanks and who doesn’t? Who feeds carrots and who splurges on junk food? Find all the starry parenting info you crave here. This is the celeb part of the #1 parenting destination BabyCenter.com.
  10. SheKnows – This is a must go to site for fun and interesting takes on pregnancy. It also has unique stories related to pregnancy and parents from around the world. You can get a healthy dose of celeb pregnancy news here too!
  11. HuffPo Celebrity babies – This popular news and aggregation site has launched its own special section to cover the much buzzed about celebrity kids.
  12. TheBump – Though known best for its parnting communities and birth clubs, this resourceful blog occasionally delves in celebrity bump watch and baby world with fun posts.
Bonus: The UK Daily Mail Online and The Sun papers, both out of UK, are general circulation sites but which each dedicate much coverage to celebrity parents and mums-to-be.

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10 ways to save money on child care

Hard economic times have forced many households to make tough financial adjustments, and families in need of childcare services have thus been presented with a daunting challenge: how do you cut expenses while still maintaining a high level of childcare? For those who find themselves in that predicament, there is some good news: there are several ways to cut back on the expense of childcare without sacrificing the quality.

  1. Nanny Share – It’s becoming more common for dual income families to share the services of a single nanny. The cost of her service is also shared, and the nanny alternates care of the kids in one of the families’ homes. This allows both families to maintain the quality of care their kids receive, at half the cost.
  2. Split Shift Care – A family with school-age children can reduce their childcare expenses by paying a nanny to work only the hours that the kids are home from school, giving her the rest of the time off. The family could save 35-40 hours’ worth of salary each week.
  3. Alternative Compensation – A nanny’s salary can be structured so that non-monetary benefits are substituted for financial compensation. In other words, some nannies may be willing to accept less of a wage if their salary package includes a gym membership or some other desirable benefit. Some benefits, like contributions to health insurance premiums, can also save employers money because those contributions are tax-free.
  4. Telecommute – Working parents who have the option should consider working from home when they can. Since education and experience influence a nanny’s salary, opting for a less educated or experienced nanny when you’ll be in the home may reduce your childcare costs.
  5. Flexible Hours – Alternately, some companies offer flex time to their employees, allowing them to work non-traditional hours. This can allow parents to work a schedule that reduces the need for child care. Filling in the gaps with part-time nanny care, rather than having full-time coverage, can cut childcare costs significantly.
  6. Budget – Assign a strict budget to your household expenses and make sure your caregiver adheres to it. Buy food in bulk, use coupons wherever possible, and cut out expensive snacks in favor of much more affordable ones, like celery sticks and peanut butter.
  7. Live-in/Live-out – If you are presently employing a live-out nanny, you may want to re-think your options.  A live-in arrangement might save you some money if you add in the accommodations to your nanny’s compensation at a lower salary.
  8. Reduce Duties – Families whose nannies are doing double duty as cooks or tutors or who have taken on other additional responsibilities may consider working up a new job description and contract. Sticking with essential child care duties could save you a bit in salary.
  9. Referrals – Some nanny placement agencies offer discounts or rebates when families who contract with them provide them with referrals. If you can find some families who need quality affordable child care, send them to your agency. Securing and screening a caregiver on your own can also save you costly fees associated with using a placement agency.
  10. Flex Accounts – Companies frequently offer their employees a flex account that provides the family an annual sum that they can apply toward any health care – or childcare – expenses they incur that aren’t covered under their insurance plans. Take advantage of those dollars and apply them toward paying your nanny.

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Back to School: 10 Apps that can Help with Homework

Once upon a time, kids who needed homework help had only their parents or caregivers to turn to. In today’s high-tech world, however, that’s all changed. Because a staggering number of modern kids have the power of an iPhone in their pocket, there’s a world of virtual tutoring programs available at their fingertips. Check out these 10 homework helper apps that can help kids manage and complete their assignments.
  1. iHomework – One of the most important things a homework-dedicated iPhone app can help kids do is to remember their assignments in the first place, and iHomework doesn’t disappoint. At only $0.99 in the App Store, this useful application allows students to keep track of their assignments for each class, manage projects, and stay on top of due dates for those assignments.
  2. FlashCards++ – Because this $3.99 app allows kids or parents to create their own flashcards for study purposes, this app can help kids from kindergarten to senior year study and retain information. Any area that your kids need coaching and special attention in can be managed with FlashCards++, and your created cards can be backed up with Dropbox to prevent data loss.
  3. Grammar Guide – When kids get old enough to start writing papers and book reports, teachers begin expecting correct grammar and composition, as well as an understanding of the covered material. With Grammar Guide, you can put a powerful reference tool in your kids’ hands, allowing them to look up anything they’re not sure about on the spot. Put an end to essays covered in red marks!
  4. Spelling Tutor – Younger kids can practice their spelling on the go using your iPhone if they don’t have their own with this $0.99 app that makes studying spelling fun. Create your own lists to correspond with those that are currently being covered in class as a study aid for your youngsters, and watch them become spelling bee champs.
  5. The Chemical Touch Lite – For kids learning the Periodic Table of Elements, The Chemical Touch Lite will be a lifesaver. The app maker says “Sometimes all you need is simply a periodic table.” Students will agree he got that right!
  6. Free Graphing Calculator – Graphing calculators are certainly not cheap, and they only have one use. This free app turns your child’s iPhone into a graphing calculator which, while still pricey, will at least allow you to keep in touch with them as well as help them complete their math homework.
  7. myHomework – A free app for managing assignments and test dates, myHomework is another that provides the very essential assistance of reminding kids that they have homework in the first place. The app can be used on either the iPhone or the iPad, and can also sync with the dedicated website to allow desktop access as well mobile management.
  8. iStudiez Pro – Not only does iStudiez allow your child to manage their homework assignments and class schedules, it also makes monitoring and tracking grade point averages and alerts easy. High school kids in advanced placement classes with high academic goals will definitely benefit from this app, which is directed largely at students on the collegiate level but can be easily adapted for high school users.
  9. Dictionary.com – Dictionary & Thesaurus – Recommended by Time Magazine, CNET and Apple themselves, the Dictionary.com app puts a comprehensive and exhaustive dictionary in your child’s pocket. In addition to the standard definition and proper usage information, this $2.99 app also provides audio pronunciation assistance and allows kids to shake their phone for random words, which is a powerful vocabulary-building tool.
  10. Mathemagics – Easy Algebra Fast – Mastering algebra is no easy feat, but this $0.99 app helps kids do just that. Helping kids learn to solve equations quickly, Mathemagics is like having an algebra tutor in your child’s back pocket. Practicing and accessing lessons, preparing for standardized tests, and getting top grades in algebra can all be accomplished with the combination of this one app and a bit of dedication.


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10 Suggestions for Parents of kids being bullied

There are few things as heartbreaking and infuriating as learning that your child is the victim of bullying. As attention towards this very real problem allows more parents to understand that the way some children are treated is more serious than a simple case of “kids being kids,” efforts to crack down on schoolyard harassment are increased. If your child is among the millions that are physically or emotionally tormented by a bullying peer, these 10 tips can help you navigate this delicate situation.

  1. Recognize the Signs – Kids are often reluctant to approach an adult or to report bullying behavior because of a sense of shame or embarrassment. It’s important to keep your eyes open for any signs of bullying so that you’re able to recognize them and begin to help your child solve the problem.
  2. Be Available – While pushing or pressuring your child to open up about any trouble he’s having at school is likely to make him even more reluctant to talk, it’s imperative that your child know you’re there and available to listen to him whenever he does need to talk to you. When he’s not being pressed to talk about being bullied, he may be more willing to open up.
  3. Ask Questions – Make sure that you take the time to learn what sort of abuse your child is suffering from, why it’s happening and what you can do to support him through it.
  4. Discourage Retaliation – It’s imperative that you not only abstain from encouraging your child to retaliate against bullying peers, but also that you take an obvious stand against it. Retaliation will only cause your child to land himself in trouble, and can often backfire in terrible ways.
  5. Save Harassing Communications – Make sure that any emails, private messages on social networking sites, texts or voice messages that contain harassing statements, threats or other proof of bullying are saved for reporting purposes.
  6. Speak With School Administrators – In persistent cases of bullying, the best course of action is to calmly approach school administrators to discuss the matter. Though it can be understandably difficult for you to keep your emotions under wraps during these conversations, it’s important to remember that you’re more likely to get the results you’re looking for if you maintain your composure and remain calm.
  7. Teach Him How to Block and Report Cyberbullies –Social networking sites, email providers and other Internet-based communication portals almost always have “Block and Report” options, which can help to prevent some harassing messages from reaching a bullied kid. Make sure that your child knows how to block social networking profiles, email addresses and phone numbers from contacting him.
  8. Get Him Involved in an Activity or Hobby – Helping your child find a hobby that he’s interested in and getting him involved in activities outside of school can not only help to distract him from the taunts of his classmates, but also can boost his confidence when he discovers that he’s skilled in a particular area.
  9. Nurture His Self-Esteem – Your child’s self-esteem takes a battering when he’s taunted by bullies, making it imperative that you do everything you can to help him rebuild it. Make an effort to let him know that he’s an important, treasured part of the family, and that he’s loved very much and cannot be replaced.
  10. Consider Counseling – In particularly severe or long-term cases of bullying, your child may require the services of a counselor to work out his feelings and begin to recover. Remember that years of being bullied are the equivalent of being abused for that period of time, and may require some assistance for your child to overcome
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10 ways to encourage independence in your child

Raising independent children is hard work, but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do, for them and for you! Children who are able to solve their own problems and do things for themselves are happier and more relaxed about the world around them. They are less stressed about how everything is going to get done because they are in control of the situation. It takes time to teach kids how to be independent, so be patient with the process and expect a few messes along the way!
  1. Set clear boundaries – Let children know what their boundaries are and what is expected of them. There should be no surprises in what they are allowed to do on their own and when they should ask for help. If there are questions, kids should talk to the grown-up in charge and discuss the situation with them.
  2. Create structure and routine that encourages independence – Set kids up to be able to help themselves as much as possible. Put cups on lower shelves, keep drinks on the lowest shelf in the fridge, have children sort and put away their own laundry, let them pick out their own clothes and dress themselves in the mornings and create a snack shelf in the fridge with healthy options. The more they can do for themselves, the more that a sense of independence will be created for them.
  3. Teach problem solving skills – If children have a problem, teach them the skills they need to solve it. A common problem children have is fighting among siblings. Instead of always stepping in, give them the option of resolving the conflict with each other on their own. Role-playing is a great way to introduce these skills without having all the emotion of a real conflict in the way.
  4. Show empathy – It’s important for kids to know you care while they are figuring out how to solve a situation. Tell them that you care about what happens to them, but that you’d also like for them to be the one who figures out the solution. You won’t allow them to get physically hurt, but they do need to find a solution that they think will work.
  5. Let them fail – It sounds harsh, but allow for mistakes. The best consequences are the ones that occur naturally. For example, forgetting your homework at home will mean you will suffer a consequence at school. It’s a learning experience, but one that is sure to help your child remember their homework next time! Let them spill the milk when trying to pour it into their glass, then show them how to clean it up and try again!
  6. Let them do it themselves – Have children be responsible for their own belongings on a trip. They can pack a small backpack of toys and books to bring on a trip, be responsible for carrying it through the airport and onto the plane and make sure that all of their belongings get back into the backpack for the trip home.
  7. Give choices – Let children think for themselves and give them reasonable choices about their day. If they need to be dressed up that day, allow them to choose the blue or the grey shirt. Have them help you decide which snacks to prepare, what project to work on, what homework they’d like to do first and other choices throughout the day.
  8. Let them speak for themselves – When you are at a restaurant have your child order their own food or if you’re at a medical appointment have them speak to the receptionist, nurse and doctor. This gives them the opportunity to learn how to interact with people outside of their social groups and in professional settings.
  9. Interject, but don’t intervene – When children are in the middle of figuring out a problem, but are struggling a bit, don’t solve the problem for them. It’s okay to offer suggestions and ideas if they are truly stuck, but it’s important that they use the thought process to get themselves out of the situation. Your children will probably surprise you by coming up with solutions that you may have not even thought of!
  10. Practice how to practice – Practicing is a life-long skill that we all use on a daily basis. If your child takes up a musical instrument, but halfway through the year decides they no longer want to play it, use the experience as a practicing experience. They need to finish their commitment and should consider it practice for life. Make sure to explain that to them.

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10 ways to save money at Disney parks

Nearly every kid dreams of going to one of the Disney theme parks during their childhood years, but parents are usually a little more hesitant to book the trip because of the hefty price tag that accompanies it. If you are thinking about taking a trip to a Disney park and are looking to save money, check out the following ways to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your trip.  Keep in mind that Disney would like you to think that buying their packages is the best way to save money, but often you can save more by buying things separately.
  1.     Stay off the Disney campus.  Surrounding hotels have lower pricing to entice travelers away from staying at Disney.  Keep in mind that you will need to have a way to travel back and forth from Disney if you stay off campus.
  2.     Book your trip during the off season.  Disney has many seasons ranging from “Value” to “Peak”.  Unfortunately there isn’t a 3 month period that is considered to be the off season.  Weekdays during the fall months are cheaper, and the period after Thanksgiving and before December 21st, when “Holiday Season” starts, is cheaper to book as well.
  3.     Book a hotel that includes breakfast.  While breakfast is one of the least expensive meals to eat out, it can save you a surprising amount of money by eating at the hotel.  Before heading back to your room, grab some extra fruit for a snack later in the day.
  4.     Bring along a soft sided cooler.  You are allowed to bring in soft sided coolers to the park, and the ones that will fit in a backpack or are a backpack are ideal.  This allows you to bring in both snacks and lunch.  Plan to stop at a discount store or a grocery store to stock up on some food to take in for when family members start to get hungry.
  5.     Plan to eat your evening meal outside of the park.  By dinner time you’ve spent the majority of the day at Disney and everyone is probably ready for a break.  Take this opportunity to head back to your hotel and let everyone rest a bit and freshen up.  Then, before going back to the park, stop and eat something.
  6.     Bring a refillable water bottle and flavored packets.  There are water sources around the park that you can fill up a water bottle with, but it’s well water and doesn’t taste very good, so plan on bringing some flavored packets to sweeten up the water.  Staying hydrated at the park is very important since you will be outside much of the time.
  7.     Check out local ticket hubs for discounted tickets.  Disney wants you to think that you can’t buy tickets anywhere except through Disney and their affiliates, but this isn’t true.  Keep your eyes open for ongoing deals.  Sometimes you can make a donation to an Orlando hospital and the hospital will give you tickets to Disney for your family.  Different programs like this pop up all year long so keep your eyes open for deals.  Local ticket hubs can save you 5 to 10%, which may not seem like much, but once you do the math it starts to add up.
  8.     Join the Cirque club to receive 35% off of tickets.  Joining the club is free and you must buy your tickets 30 days in advance to receive the discount.  The discount is only offered for the Cirque de Soleil performances that are during the Tuesday through Saturday shows.  Check the online club for applicable dates.
  9.     Go to Disney Quest for half price.  If you’d like to check out Disney Quest (a virtual-reality theme park in downtown Disney) you can check for a manager’s special.  Often if you go within 2 hours or less of closing you can save half off the ticket price.  It would be something different to do and if you can go for half price it might be worth it.  This discount isn’t always offered so check while you are there.
  10.     When renting a car don’t get stuck on size.  If you plan on renting a car once you reach Disney make sure to check rental sites often, because specials do change.  Rebooking your reservation could save you a bundle.  Compact cars tend to rent out first so check the next size up; you can still end up saving because the rental companies may have a bunch of bigger cars they need to rent out and as such will give you a free upgrade.
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