Kid Lit: Comic Books For Kids

Recently my kidlets discovered the wonderful world of comic books. I think comic books are a great way for children to get interested and excited about reading as well as helping to develop and stimulate their imaginations. The illustrations, the exaggerated characters and the way panels are arranged in comic books help to pique a child’s interest.

THM-comic-book-kidsHowever, I quickly learned how important it is to be sure that my kidlets are reading age appropriate material. See if you, or your child, base reading choices  solely on the comic book cover art, you can easily be deceived and accidentally expose your children to themes they may not be ready for.

See comic books have a reputation for being “for kids,” but quite the opposite is true. Walk into a comic book store – yes they actually do still exist – and who do you see hanging out in the aisles and checking out the latest releases? It’s not kids, but rather adults.

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Bringing a Child’s Artwork to Life With Their Own Custom Made Stuffed Animal – Budsies Review

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal growing up that you carried everywhere with you? What about your kids? Do they have a favorite that they can’t seem to put down?

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Check out these stuffed animals, they’re my kidlet’s newest favs. Not only are these dolls cute, cuddly and colorful, but my kidlets actually designed them.  Yes, these two dolls were created from artwork that my kidlets made and turned into a reality through a wonderfully whimsical company called Budsies.

Budsies brings artwork to life created by children (or adults!), by creating one-of-a-kind stuffed dolls.

The Budsies process to make your own doll is super simple. Your child creates a color drawing using crayons, markers or even paint. It can be of anything your child desires…an animal, a person or even an object. Then you take a picture of it and upload from your computer or smartphone to Budsies website to order. In five weeks or less a custom-made stuffed animal inspired by your child’s drawing arrives at your home.

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Liberty Science Center – #ScienceSummerFun Giveaway

What do you do with your kids on summer days when you’re tired of going to the park, beach, library or movies? What about on rainy days? While the Hubs and I might want to go to a museum, the kidlets prefer places where they can have lots of fun and get “hands on.”

PrintThe Liberty Science Center is just the place to meld our parental & kidlet preferences. It’s a 300,000 square foot fun learning center located on the banks of the Hudson River in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park.  You should make the trip over there just to see the spectacular and unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower.

Dedicated to bringing the excitement of science to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center (LSC for short!) features 12 museum halls featuring ongoing exhibitions such as Skyscraper!, Infection Connection, Energy Quest and Communication. They also host a live animal collection with 110 species and giant aquariums where you can actually touch sea creatures. The Center also houses a 3D theater, the nation’s largest IMAX Dome theater and tornado/hurricane-force wind simulators.

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Kid Lit: Avoiding “Summer Slide” – Read A Book, Or How About Forty Of Them!

Ah, summertime!  It’s what my kidlets look forward to all year.  Two solid months of fun, excitement and no stress.  Days filled with playing, hanging out with friends, swimming, making crafts and eating lots of ice cream.   Hearing about my kidlet’s daily adventures makes me wish I could be a kid again – having a pretty-much carefree summer instead of going to work everyday.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-boy-girl-reading-books-image19977713However, as many of you moms out there would agree, while I want my kidlets to enjoy their break, I don’t want them to suffer from “summer slide.”  That’s what happens when young minds sit idle for weeks at a time without any learning instruction.  To help avoid this, I enrolled both the kidlets in our local library’s summer reading program.

Each of my kidlets – my son is almost seven, my daughter is 4½ – got their own personalized reading log.  We keep the logs hung up on the bulletin board in our kitchen for easy access.

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Kid Lit: Another “Good Question!”

A few months back I wrote about how my kidlets ask me about a million questions a day and how I used Good Question! books to help me answer some of their more probing ones.   My kidlets devoured those books and by the time they were finished with each of the five books we had, they were all smarty pants about things like the five senses, the American Civil War, the Earth, how plants grow, how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and our solar system!   And then another round of questions began….

THM_GoodQuestion_1Thankfully a new series of Good Question! books recently showed up at our home, courtesy of Sterling Children’s Books, so once again, I’ve got answers!

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Why Children Shouldn’t Play With Matches: Fire Prevention and Safety Tips

Easter is supposed to be a day of glory, celebration, resurrection and new life.  Unfortunately, this past Easter Sunday while watching the news I heard about a tragic story about a brother and sister, both only 4 years old, who had died earlier that morning after a fire erupted at their grandfather’s home Queens, NY.  What made it even more devastating was that the fire was apparently sparked by one of the children playing around with a lighter in a basement bedroom.  This was truly a sad story, but also frustrating because it could have been prevented by teaching that child about the power and danger of fire.

THM_FirePreventionSo today’s post is a sort of fire prevention PSA, I’m not waiting until October for Fire Prevention week.  If this information can help to prevent even one fire or save one person, sharing it now is well worth it!

According to research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), each year there are more than 1.3 million fires reported in the United States. These fires cause more than 3,400 civilian deaths, 17,500 civilian injuries and cause more than $12.4 billion in property damage.

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When Are the Stories of My Children No Longer Mine to Tell?

Creating and maintaining The Harried Mom takes a lot of work. I started this blog a few years ago as a creative outlet for myself, to share my stories about everyday parenting – the good, the bad and even those forehead slap moments that we all experience with our families. Over time the site has evolved to also include family meal ideas/recipes, DIY kid crafts, reviews and fun activity/outing suggestions to do with kids. In the next week or so, I’ll even be debuting a new look to the blog!!

THM_WhenAreStoriesNoLongerMine_1The Harried Mom truly is a labor of love.  See, my #1 job is being a mom & wife ILR to two kidlets and a husband I just adore. After that, I’m a mom who works away of the home (because every mom is a working mom, my job just happens to take me out of the home) in a fab career.  This blog is what I do “after-hours,” at home once the kidlets have gone off to dreamland, The Hubs fed and laundry is done (well, sometimes!). It does take a lot of time, effort and lots of understanding from my family & friends, but I really enjoy doing it so it’s worth it.

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I’m Leaving (And Returning) On A Jet Plane…

My father worked for the same company for 41 years and in his entire professional career he never was sent out-of-town on a business trip.  In fact, he never spent even one night away from home when I was growing up.  I on the other hand have been working for 20+ years  and I can’t even begin to tell you how many business trips I’ve been on.

TravelingmomI love my career in public relations and its given me the tremendous opportunity to travel and see many places, both large and small in this world.  It’s due in large part to my many business trips that I can brag and say that I’ve visited all the contiguous 48 United States (I’ve also been to Hawaii on my honeymoon, so I’ve been to 49 states,  all I need is to cross Alaska off my list).Continue reading ⇒

Meatless Meals – Veggie Quiche

Most weeknights The Hubs and I don’t get home until after 6:30 pm from work.   Once we do get home we try to spend as much time as possible hanging out with the kidlets before they go to bed.  That means we play board games, build LEGOs, play with Super Heroes/Disney Princesses, read books or if it’s Wednesday night, give the kidlets baths!  By the time 8 pm rolls around the kidlets are safely snuggled into bed and The Hubs and I are starving!  But who wants to start cooking a meal at 8 pm to eat at 9 pm and then go to bed not too long after?  Not this gal – so lately I’ve been making extra meals/dishes on Sundays that we can just re-heat during the week.

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One of my current favorites is making quiche.  This might be a little rudimentary, but I have had people ask me what it is — a quiche is an open-faced pastry crust with a savory filling thickened with eggs. I like quiches because they are so versatile. You can fill them with just about anything you have in the fridge — cheese, meat, seafood or vegetables — and you can serve it either hot or cold.   They are the perfect meal to make in advance, store in either the fridge or freezer and pop out when needed.

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If You Don’t Laugh, You’ll Cry

Over the weekend I had one of those face palm parenting moments.

It happened when I went into the kidlets playroom to see what they were up to. I found my six-year old son sitting perfectly content on the couch watching cartoons, but my daughter was nowhere in sight. Unlike my son, she gets bored pretty quick watching cartoons. My girl is constantly in motion, she always has to be doing something so I knew I’d find her around the corner creating a masterpiece at her art table.

That’s when I discovered this:

THM_LaughCry_1One of several clumps of hair I found on the ground that morning.

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