It’s All Happening At the Zoo This Summer – #NYisWild

Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo! Do you remember that song from Simon & Garfunkel? Well here in the NYC area we’d have to change the lyric from zoo to zoos because we have five fabulous (and famous) ones — Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo & Queens Zoo.

THM-WCS-NY-Is-Wild-Photo-Safari-Red-PandaAll of these great city zoos are run by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. To celebrate, the WCS is turning the concrete jungle of NYC into a social media safari this summer with its #NYisWild” campaign.

Now thru September 7, participants can register at NYisWild.com and embark on a city-wide adventure by tagging qualifying photos of the “120 ways NY is wild” with the corresponding number and the hashtag #NYisWild to enter to win a number of prizes.

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What It Was Like When I Was A Child….

In a lot of ways, my kidlets have it a lot better today than I did growing up. They’ve got more opportunities for education, better fashion as well as a multitude of technology, information, communication and entertainment options available instantly at their fingertips. But is all this advancement at the expense of igniting the creative spark within our children?

10376276_10153109189569595_4284187600267633178_nAccording to a 2010 study by the College of William and Mary of about 300,000 creativity tests going all the way back to the 1970s found that creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are also less humorous, less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas.

To me, my kidlets have short attention spans and tend to bore easily. Sometimes they have a hard time inventing their own play. Though they have rooms full of toys, games, art supplies and books, they still come and ask “what can I do/play?” I used to think they didn’t have enough options, but now I’m thinking they might actually have too much to choose from and don’t know what would actually satisfy them….

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Lovable Labels The Ultimate Camp Pack #Giveaway

THM-Lovable-Labels-Ultimate-Camp-Pack-Kids-CanoeMy son’s been going to summer day camp for the past few years and it’s something he looks forward to. I mean, who can blame him, he’s not in school and his days are filled with carefree fun!

Every night during the months of July and August he comes home and excitedly tells us all about his adventures in swimming, sports, cookouts, woodworking, ceramics, photography and go carts. His little sister is always a captive audience. She listens intently, with wide eyes and then sadly laments, “I wish I was old enough for camp!”

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How To Get Kids To Talk

Does this conversation I recently had with my son sound familiar to you?

Me: Hi honey!  How was your day today?
Son: Fine.

Me: What happened at school today?
Son: Nothing.

Me: Did you know that  there’s a new Skylanders Trap Team character coming out?
Son: Yeah, his name is Love Potion Pop Fizz and he’s this wild and crazy mad scientist! He loves making potions and he got caught up in a raspberry soda blast that turned him pink and made him smell all pretty.

How come my son can describe to me in great detail a Skylanders character that hadn’t even come out yet, but when I ask him about his day/school he suddenly becomes an introvert?

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Fantastical Fun @BigAppleCircus ‘Metamorphosis’ Coming to NJ Feb 26 – {Ticket #Giveaway}

Did you ever want to join the circus when you were a kid? Many times when I ask my kidlets to finish their homework, do their chores, or eat something yucky (like broccoli!), they tell me they want to run away to the circus because it’s always fun and carefree.

THM-Big-Apple-Circus-Metamorphis-RingmasterWait until I tell them that next month, their dreams can come to when we go see the Big Apple Circus and their all-show Metamorphosis, filled with astonishing acts and startling transformations that transport circus-goers to a realm of enchantment under the Big Top!

The Big Apple Circus brings its intimate, classical one-ring circus to TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ from Thursday, February 26 through Sunday, March 15.

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What I Did On My Christmas Vacation

Happy New Year!  Wow, what a nice break. I was lucky to have the past two weeks off from both work and blogging — which is the longest amount of consecutive time off I’ve had since I was on maternity leave with my daughter!

THM-How-I-Spent-Christmas-Vacation-NewYear-2015So yesterday was my first day back at work and the kidlets first day back at school, so I figured I’d share what we did during our break. Isn’t that what kids typically get as an  assignment when they return after the holiday break?

Anyway, we had a lovely holiday – filled with lots of family, food, fun and presents.

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How To Host A Successful Playdate #DisneyKids

I received free products in order to host the #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate.
The opinions expressed here are my own.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-playdate-blocks-image23559451As the mom of two kidlets under the age of 8, playdates are a big part of my life.

Playdates are great opportunities for children to interact with other children in small settings. Aside from being fun, playdates help a child the chance to develop their social skills, build their self-esteem and broaden their views on how people are different and alike.

I also find that playdates are a great opportunity for parents, especially working moms like myself who aren’t as visible at local activities or school events, to build relationships with other parents of similar aged children. It’s always helpful and reassuring to have friends who can share and commiserate in both the challenges and joys of raising children.

There are no hard and fast rules to hosting a playdate. All you have to do is remember that a kid playdate is not a star-studded gala. You don’t have to go all out to impress, all that work and detail would just be lost on the kiddie crowd anyway.  All you really have to do is make sure your playdate is packed with lots of fun!

Here are my tips and trips to hosting a successful playdate:

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Special Guest for The Chirping Moms 12 Days of Toys: Day 11 CHARM IT! Charm Bracelet & Disney Frozen Olaf’s In Trouble Game {GIVEAWAY}

In the spirit of the holiday season – which to me means sharing and giving – today The Harried Mom is teaming up with The Chirping Mom’s 12 Days of Toys Giveaway! Along with my “Show and Tell with Deb & Lisa” cohort Lisa Pisano, from Mom a la Mode, we’re thrilled to be Day 11 of this giveaway extravaganza. I want to thank to those new folks who found their way over here today and to my regular readers, there’s some holiday cheer in store for you all!

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Grab Bag List of Gift Ideas

Did you know that the National Retail Federation estimates that the average holiday shopper will spend $800 on holiday gifts and goodies this year.  I hope you have enough wrapping paper and tape on hand for all those gifts!!

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-many-christmas-presents-image27647684If you’re like me, you’re in the midst of holiday shopping getting presents for family, friends and co-workers.  I always seem to be on the hunt for that “perfect” gift to give someone.  I like to take the person and their interests into consideration and try to find something unique to them.

With that in mind, here is my sort of grab bag list of some last-minute gift ideas – from holiday-inspired and budget finds to stocking stuffers.  Want to know the best part? You don’t have to trudge to the store or mall and wait on a line to get any of these items. They are all available online and delivered right to your or your gift recipient’s door (and in some cases, already wrapped)

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Kid Lit: Season’s Readings!

Are you ready to start celebrating the ho-ho-holidays?  This month’s Kid Lit post features books about December festivities including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa for children aged 3-10.

A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas
By Philip Yates, illustrated by Sebastia Serra (Sterling)

Young mateys will find plenty of holiday joy in this humorous, colorful and thoroughly piratical version of the “The Night Before Christmas.” On this ship, the mischievous brigands have visions of treasure chests, not sugar plums dancing in their heads.

This ship of pirates don’t expect a visit from old St. Nick, but rather from Sir Peggedy, with his peg leg and hook arm!  Sir Peggedy cracks a whip and drives a team of eight giant seahorses — Salty, Scurvy, Sinbad, Mollie, Cutthroat, Cross-Eyes, Roger and Jolly!

This book by far is my kidlets favorite out of the bunch.  It is filled with rollicking rhymes and sprightly, fun-filled pictures—featuring whimsically multicolored seahorses, stockings hung on the ship’s bowsprit with tar, child-friendly pirates, and, of course, comes complete with a treasure map!Continue reading ⇒