Graduation season is upon us and children, teens and young adults everywhere are getting ready to take that next—and very big step—in their lives. Whether your kids are getting ready to go to school for the first time or saying goodbye to school for the very last, this time of year is full of emotions, especially for parents. As we aim to arm our kids with all the knowledge and inspire them as much as we can, we also know that sometimes the best encouragement can come from none other than a wonderful book. Books about graduation are not only written to rouse good feelings and spark creativity, but also are meant to calm those jitters about the impending future. Whether your little one is embarking on the their first days of kindergarten or your 20-something is jetting off into the adult world all on their own, these 12 books aim to excite, energize and shed a light on what lies ahead. Congrats grads!
Whether you want to read along with your child or gift it to a kid who's too shy to ask questions, books can be a great resource for teaching children about their changing bodies, relationships and emotions. From sexual education and child development experts, real parents and the help of real children, these are the best books about sexuality and the human body for children of all ages, from retailers like Amazon, Target and Walmart.
Shhh...baby is asleep! Sound and white noise machines are a must-have for little ones and light sleepers. They're an excellent tool to help develop sleeping routines and provide soothing sounds while blocking loud noises to quietly calm your child. Backed by pediatricians and certified sleep specialists, the benefit of introducing a sound machine early on to your infant is to create a, "womb-like white noise that actually activates a calming reflex in the baby, which helps promote sleep," says Dr. Harvey Karp, founder of Happiest Baby and creator of the SNOO Smart Sleeper. "It also reduces waking from outside distractions like noises and lights and internal disturbances like gas and mild hunger."
When shopping for the best machine, parents should be on the lookout for a unit that blocks disturbing sounds, especially during naptime. "Sound machines help drown out the noise we can't control, this is especially important during the daytime when most outside noises occur (i.e. cars driving by, dogs barking etc)," observes Certified Child Sleep Consultant Susete Pinto. However, doctors and sleep professionals caution against keeping a loud sound machine near your sleeping baby. Always maintain the noise levels at 50 A-weighted decibels while never keeping the device too close to the crib. "I generally recommend a noise level similar to what a hair dryer or vacuum might produce," say Dr. Karp.
Sweet as a lullaby and the best method for blocking out boisterous household and outdoor noises, our top picks of sound machines will work to calm even the most restless little sleepers. Get ready to make some noise! Wait, on second thought, let's sound off on comforting white noises to soothe your sweet babe.
Whether your kid is trying to master the art of comedy or just needs a break from the electronics, a joke book can be a great way to get them reading. Reading jokes books can help your kids build vocabulary, improve social skills and develop problem-solving skills by figuring out silly riddles. Check out these cool, clean and kid-approved joke books from retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart.
Once all the holiday parties have died down and parents are back to work, the winter doldrums start to set in. Just because it's cold outside, that doesn't mean outdoor activities are out of the question. On the contrary, playing in the snow is one of the best ways to burn off (or chill out) all that pent-up energy. Plus, besides skating and sledding, there are all sorts of creative toys, games and even productive — snow chores, anyone? — things to do in the great, winter outdoors for kids and they're all available on Amazon now.
Stuck inside on a rainy day? Bust your kids' boredom with one of these STEM activity kits. They'll have so much fun with these experiments and activities, they won't even realize they're learning. And since they'll need your help with some of the fun, you'll all get some quality time together.
Do you dream of turning your nursery into a peaceful oasis for your little one? We've found eight gender-neutral decor ideas to create the perfect bohemian-inspired space you'll both love.
Homework can be a stressful affair for everyone involved. Juggling after-school activities, meal prep and housework, it often takes a village to get reading assignments, flashcards and worksheets completed at a decent hour. We've yet to find out how to make schoolwork magically disappear altogether, but we can tip parents off on how to make the situation more manageable. Here's how to create a quiet, supervised and streamlined area where kids can study at home.
Modern design is all about practicing the less-is-more approach. If you're able to resist the many cute toys, accessories and decorations available today, you'll reap the rewards of a long-lasting nursery that's comfortable, practical and beautiful. Prioritize the 10 essentials below to build a foundation for a modern sanctuary for your little one.
It's about that time: Ice, ice baby! There's a chill in the air, the winter months are upon us and ice skating rinks across the country are opening their gates. This, of course, keeps kids busy outside with friends while parents are bustling around buying holiday gifts, readying the house for guests and more. Ice skating is not only a great sport but also one of the best outdoor activities and winter weather pastimes for families. Whether your kid is a beginner or a star athlete, a boy or a girl, a figure skater or a hockey player, or just having fun with friends at the local frozen pond, here are the coolest ice skate styles from Amazon, Target, L.L. Bean and Urban Outfitters that any kid will covet.