Free downloadable e-cookbooks will help you get dinner on the table

Doreen Christensen How’d that first day back at school go? If you’re like me, you had a bit o’ trouble getting dinner on the table at a reasonable hour. Now that those lazy summer days are over, you might be looking for a few fast shortcuts to make week-night dinners come together in a snap. […]

Picture book helps explain events of 9/11 to children

Sept. 11, 2011 9/11 children's book

Provided by Roaring Brook Press “America is Under Attack” is by Don Brown, from Roaring Brook Press. It is aimed at children 6-10 and is $16. McClatchy-Tribune With the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaching, it is time for parents to plan how they will explain that day to children too young […]

Totsy offers a 10 percent discount code on top of their already great deals for back-to-school shoppers

Totsy

MCT Totsy.com is a member-only website that offers limited-time sales on high-quality items for parents and kids. McClatchy-Tribune Right now, parents across the country are trying to stretch their back-to-school budgets to get all the necessities for their kids. The members-only website Totsy is here to help with a special deal for readers. Totsy says […]

Moms gear: Help your child keep away from sunburns with swimwear that changes color in the sun

swimwear sunburn kids

Provided by Seasons UV LOL swimwear from Seasons UV changes colors and patterns in the sun to make your child aware of when they need to reapply sunscreen. Maggie O’Neill Parents can teach their children to be sun aware – and sunburn aware – with a new line of swimwear offered through Seasons UV called […]

New Crayola products just in time for the new school year

Crayola

Provided by Crayola Crayola’s Dual-Sided Dry-Erase Board is black on one side and white on the other. The board comes with a pack of eight Crayola Washable Dry-Erase Bright Crayons. It is recommended for ages 3-plus and costs $9.99. McClatchy-Tribune Crayola has released a few new products that moms and dads might want to add […]

Kids’ gear: Sports pads keep your kids safe and comfortable

G-Form knee pads

Provided by G-Form The G-Form elbow, shin and knee pads are made from a lightweight material made specifically to flex with your joints and become rigid upon impact. Price: $39.99. Website: www.g-form.com. McClatchy-Tribune The G-Form elbow, shin and knee pads are made from a lightweight material made specifically to flex with your joints and become […]

Our favorite things: Three creative toys to keep kids occupied in these last weeks of summer

Color blanks

Provided by Disney FamilyFun magazine The Color Blanks are funky white plastic figurines. The Color Blanks sets come with permanent markers and stickers. Ages 6 and up. RoseArt, $5 to $10. Disney FamilyFun magazine Creative Fun: A Figure of a Different Color Here’s a unique blank slate for kids’ creativity: 4-inch-tall, posable, funky white plastic […]

Mother of Confusion: Jim Henson’s ‘Dinosaur Train’ kick-starts second season with movie

Genevieve Hinson Hey, there’s big news for Jim Henson Company’s “Dinosaur Train” fans. The second season on PBS Kids is launching with the premiere of “Dinosaur Big City,” a one-hour movie airing on Aug. 22. (Check for your local listing at www.pbs.org/tv_schedules/.) After that each of the episodes will focus on the outdoors and other […]

Moms Gear: Make gardening easier with ergonomic gardening tools

Radius Garden Tools

MCT Radius Garden Tools enhance a gardener’s digging experience and provide more ease when planting, weeding and cultivating because of their ergonomically-designed handles. Maggie O’Neill It’s one thing to work with a commonplace handheld garden trowel, but quite another to use an ergonomically-designed tool. The founder of Radius Garden Tools has created four handheld products […]

Moms Gear: Dig around with gardening gloves that are made to last

gardening gloves

MCT The Women’s Bionic Blooms Gardening Gloves are available for $24.92 in various sizes and colors, including lime green, through www.homedepot.com. Maggie O’Neill Whether you’re putting new plants in your garden or pulling out stubborn weeds, you’ll find that the Women’s Bionic Blooms Gardening Gloves last much longer than cotton run-of-the-mill counterparts. In all actuality, […]

Summer fun and games: A couple of new toys to help fend off the summertime doldrums

Base Camp Shelter kids toy

Provided by Summit Base Camp Shelter, $35, at www.summittoysshop.com. Disney FamilyFun magazine It’s bound to happen sometime during the summer break – no matter how overscheduled the kids seem – they will at some point begin to complain of boredom. That’s when you can break out these two items. You will be Hero Mom for […]

Moms Gear: Make quick and healthy fruit popsicles for you and the kids

Zoku

Provided by Zoku The Zoku Quick Pop Maker allows users to freeze treats of their own making in just seven minutes. It is available for $49.95 from www.zokuhome.com. Maggie O’Neill Being able to freeze a popsicle to readiness in seven minutes should appeal to any mom, but especially those wanting to provide a fruit-based treat […]

Get some help with sleep training your baby

Goodnight Sleep Trainger

MCT The Goodnight Sleep Trainer helps keep exhausted parents keep track of their sleep training. It is on sale at www.thinkgeek.com. McClatchy-Tribune New moms and dads know their lives will never be peaceful again until they have a full night’s sleep without a huge struggle. Now you can get a leg up in the difficult […]

Rewarding reading: Keep your kid reading this summer

summer reading rewards

Ed Judice: Disney FamilyFun magazine At the beginning of the summer, buy beads that your child will find enticing and add a new bead to a yarn lace each time he finishes a book. Disney FamilyFun magazine Encourage your kids to read all summer with an add-a-bead bookmark. At the beginning of the summer, buy […]

Moms Gear: Feeding time just got greener, cleaner

baby bibs

MCT These organic bibs have three cute text language messages on them. They are $36 for three at www.textmessagebaby.com. Melissa Schweiger Kleinman I remember so clearly all the milk that dribbled down my son’s chin during feeding time, finding their way into hidden crevices that could only be uncovered after digging deep into his neck […]

Mom’s gear: Babba Cover

baby seat cover

MCT This cotton cover is lined with a fabric that has an SPF/UV-blocking rating of 40 to 50. The sides are made of a mosquito mesh that will keep bugs out while letting air in to keep the baby from overheating. Available at Buy Buy Baby stores or online at BabbaCo.com. Price: $50. By Colleen […]

Apps: The Kick to Pick app names your baby

iPhone app

HO The iPhone app Kick to Pick allows your unborn baby to assist it in finding just the right name. The app is available in the iTunes App Store for .99 cents. McClatchy-Tribune As a parents, you know that an iPhone can be a great distraction for a grumpy child on a long trip, a […]

FashionPlaytes.com allows girls to become fashion designers – and other sites for fashion wannabes

FashionPlaytes.com

MCT FashionPlaytes.com allows girls to flex their burgeoning fashionista muscles by choosing a basic garment (dress, T-shirt, hoodie, pants) and then add her own flavor by selecting the color, ribbons, appliques, rhinestones, ruffles or buttons. Rod Hagwood Where is the next generation of fashion designers coming from? Maybe your home. FashionPlaytes.com allows girls to flex […]

Moms gear: Home spa products to pamper yourself

black rice soap

Provided by Harnn The HARNN Exfoliating Black Rice Soap with vegetable carbon helps detoxify and deodorize. It is made from rice bran oil, palm oil, coconut oil, herbs, essential oils, and no preservatives. For all skin types. It is $6.99 for a 3.5 oz. bar at www.harnnusa.com. McClatchy-Tribune HARNN Asian-inspired home spa collection includes products […]

Moms Gear: The Bobble filtered water bottles allows you to fill up without fear

Bobble water bottle

Photo provided by Sprint Corbis The Bobble filtered water bottle comes in different sizes and colors. The 13oz. bottle is $8.95, 18.5 ounce is $9.95 and the one liter bottle is $12.95. A family pack with one of each size is $31.85. Replacement filters can be purchased separately at www.waterbobble.com. Emilie Lucchesi Many moms carry […]