8 Skills to Teach Your Toddler Before KindergartenWithout a doubt, the demands of kindergarten have changed over the past several decades. The half-days of play-based instruction and lengthy naps are long gone, replaced by desk work, limited recess, and direct instruction. Overall, programs are much more academically rigorous than most parents anticipate.
But it's not just the academic content that overwhelms students. In my role as a school occupational therapist, kindergarten teachers are constantly approaching me in the hallways begging for tips on how to improve their students' fine motor and self-help skills. So I was inspired to create a list of the ones that students struggle with the most upon entering kindergarten. With a little practice, your child can be the shining star in kindergarten in no time!
Related: 10 things you should NEVER say to your toddler
Remember, however, that these are just some suggestions to get you started. Feel free to use your imagination and get creative, and, most importantly, don't panic if your
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- Babble.com | Parenting – Fri, May 18, 2012 3:33 PM EDT
8 Skills to Teach Your Toddler Before KindergartenWithout a doubt, the demands of kindergarten have changed over the past several decades. The half-days of play-based instruction and lengthy naps are long gone, replaced by desk work, limited recess, and direct instruction. Overall, programs are much more academically rigorous than most parents anticipate.Read More »from 8 Skills Every Toddler Should Know Before Kindergarten
- Babble.com | Parenting – Fri, May 18, 2012 3:17 PM EDT
6 reasons why my cell phone makes me a better parentHave I told you lately that I love you, iPhone? Have I told you there's no one gadget above you? (Sorry, BlackBerry. While you were my first love, things change. Namely, the iPhone is just that much better.)Read More »from 6 Reasons Why My Cell Phone Makes Me a Better Parent
I love and adore my iPhone. Almost more than my limbs. It's kind of like a limb, actually. Not only do I not leave home without it, I don't even leave it lying around my home. It comes with my everywhere.
Related: Moms react to Time's "Are You Mom Enough?" cover
Despite this piece in Time magazine that claims cell phone are bad for parenting, my cell phone has, without a doubt, 100 percent made me a better parent. Here's why:
I leave home without worrying about work1. I leave home without worrying about work
When I started working from home in early 2009, I didn't have a smartphone. So my daughter and I never left the house. I couldn't. I was working (as opposed to "working").
Once I got a smartphone six months later? It was a whole new world. No more did I fret about what I was missing, because I kept in touch via my
10 DIY gifts for your gradGraduation season is officially in full swing- and in addition to hearing "Time of your life" and "Closing Time" way more than necessary, that also means that graduation gift season is in full swing! Graduation is the perfect time to get sentimental and creative with your gift. Whether your grad is celebrating a high school or college commencement, it's bound to be a sentimental time and the start a huge period of change in their lives. That's why it's the perfect time for a personalized, homemade gift that they can take with them wherever they go. Check out 10 homemade graduation gifts:Read More »from School's Out! 10 Homemade Graduation Gifts
You Did it! Graduation Cards1. You Did It! Graduation Cards
Fill a collection of handmade mini cards with reasons you are so proud of your graduate on the back, or attach them to graduation gifts. These would also make adorable place cards if you're hosting a sit-down dinner for your graduate.
Get the tutorial
Related: 5 things every college senior needs to hear
Vintage Book Travel Organizer2. Vintage Book Travel Organizer
If travel plans are coming up
- Babble.com | Fashion – Fri, May 18, 2012 3:11 PM EDT
Looking for a way to spice up last year's sundress or those ratty (but beloved) denim shorts you've had since high school? Look no further than Forever 21's gorgeous, fun, and most importantly CHEAP collection of summer accessories. They've got everything from shoes to scarves to makeup! There's so much that it's tough to narrow it down, but here are 8 of our favorite summer accessories from Forever 21:Read More »from 6 Summer Accessories to Get at Forever 21 Right Now
Criss Cross Platform Wedges 1. Criss Cross Platform Wedges, $29.80
Nothing screams summer like a pair of sky-high wedges. Throw in some red patent leather, a little cork and a Mary Jane strap and you've got summer's sexiest shoes. Want. Need. Now.
Buy these shoes
Related: 16 ways to wear leopard print this summer
Border Polka Dot Scarf2. Border Polka Dot Scarf, $8.80
Have you heard? Polka dots are IN this summer and we couldn't be more excited! And something about the thick border and alternating polka dots on this scarf make it unique and extra-stylish.
Buy this scarf
Gladiator Wedge Sandals3. Gladiator Wedge Sandals, $24.80
Baby wedges are the best.
Study: Drinking Coffee Starves Off DeathThis is seriously the best news I've read all month. A study just reported in the New England Journal of Medicine found that coffee drinkers have a lower overall risk of death than non-drinkers. And I'm not talking about one measly cup of coffee a day, either.Read More »from Study: Drinking Coffee Staves Off Death
The study, which was conducted by the National Cancer Institute and used data from the National Institutes of Health, found that after adjusting for the fact that coffee drinkers are more likely to smoke, there was a significant inverse correlation between coffee drinking and mortality. Translation: drinking coffee staves off death.
The study found that people who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had a 10 percent lower risk of dying. In fact, for both men and women, people who drink four or five cups of coffee a day had the lowest overall risk of death. For men, that sixth cup bumped their risk back up a bit, probably because six cups of coffee a day isn't very good for your blood pressure.
This study also explains why
7 Ideas for Hosting a Country PicnicIf the warm spring weather doesn't make you want to host an outdoor party, this will! Take a gander at these gorgeous country picnic party essentials. Whether for a beautiful country wedding, or a small Sunday afternoon with family, don't neglect these irresistible details.Read More »from 7 Tips for Hosting a Country Picnic
Picnic Invitations1. Send Picnic-themed Invitations
These adorable invitations are happy -- and inviting! If they don't make you feel like getting cozy on a picnic blanket, I don't know what will!
Find out more
Hay Bale Seating2. Replace Chairs with Hay Bales
Add to the country ambience by substituting hay bales for chairs. The combination of the hay and the gorgeous, understated table setting is picnic perfection. I recommend topping them with quilts, however, to avoid a night of itchy discomfort.
Find out more
Glass Bottle Vases3. Use Glass Bottles as Vases
This detail isn't unique to picnics, but it does seem a perfect fit. The idea of opening a cupboard, selecting an object, and creatively beautifying it is "country" at its heart. Perfect for centerpieces or
- Babble.com | Shine Food – Thu, May 17, 2012 5:30 PM EDT
The country of France has so many amazing culinary treasures it is hard to know where to start. Do we talk about the wine? The baguettes? The incredible macaroons? I can hardly answer that question, but I can tell you this: start easy. French food may seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Really, a delicious meal in France might be a slice of quiche, a green salad, and a citron presse. There is nothing complicated about that! If you've always enjoyed French food but are unsure of the best way to get started making it at home let me help you. Here are 10 easy and delicious interpretations of french food that are completely family-friendly and are a great way to take a culinary road trip through France right in your home kitchen. Check out 7 essential recipes:Read More »from Bon Appetit! 7 Easy and Delicious French Recipes Everyone Should Know
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon1. Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
This dish is a French go-to that gets better with time. If you're busy, make it in the slow-cooker to save time.
Make Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon:
- Babble.com | Animal Nation – Thu, May 17, 2012 5:26 PM EDT
Ruff Rockers: 7 Awesome Album Covers Featuring DogsNow when you think about rock 'n roll cover art you probably think of hot babes, fast cars, leather, and guitars -- but some artists don't go for such conventional and clichéd imagery. These musicians are so confident in their coolness that they proudly feature a pup on their cover instead. And, really, who doesn't love a dog?Read More »from Ruff Rockers: 7 Awesome Album Covers Featuring Dogs
We're talking Pugs, St. Bernards, and Beagles, engaging in jumping, kissing, and, of course, looking adorable.
Captain and Tennill1. Captain and Tennille
Captain & Tennill featured their beloved Bulldogs
-- Broderick & Elizabeth -- on the cover of their album, "Love Will Keep Us Together." They even wrote a song about one of the dogs called, "Broddy Bounce."
Find out more about this album
Barbara Streisand2. Barbara Streisand
Streisand? She's a dog person. For her album "Songbird," she posed with her beloved poodle Sadie who was, "a gift from the cast of her Broadway musical hit Funny Girl back in the 1960′s."
Find out more about this album
Sublime's Bradley Nowell (the deceased
- Babble.com | Parenting – Thu, May 17, 2012 5:24 PM EDT
What do you do when two parents have conflicting belief sets?My son's mom and I have two very different belief sets. She's a devout church-going Christian. I'm a spiritual agnostic. She finds peace in a pew. I find peace on a mountaintop.Read More »from “Daddy, Why Don’t You like Church?” — when Mom and Dad Have Different Religions
Up to this point, it hasn't been too big a deal when it comes to co-parenting our son. I let her take him to church, and she lets me take him hiking. We have a mutual agreement that we will both always be passionate about our personal beliefs but never tell him what he must believe. It will always be his choice, we've decided.
And now that he's getting older (he just turned five), he's starting to ask questions. This means that for the first time, he's going to have to start processing our distinctive beliefs and start deciding for himself what he wants to believe.
On Sunday, I picked him up like I always do, and I asked him what he did that day like I always do. "I went to church," he said.
"Oh, did you like it?"
"Yeah," he responded, and then added, "Daddy, why don't you like church?"
I wasn't quite
The Jewelry I'll Never Get Rid OfWe all seem to go through periods in our life that are so special that the jewelry we wear or receive at the time takes on a special significance. I'm not one who goes crazy over accessories, yet I have a small box filled with jewelry. Some of it's expensive, but most of it is on the cheaper side, and all of them are full of precious memories. I'll never ever get rid of them, no matter how ugly or out of fashion or how poorly they match my outfits. We all have these little stashes, don't we? Here's a look at mine -- and the stories behind it.Read More »from The Jewelry I'll Never Get Rid Of
Braided Bone Necklace 1. Braided Bone Necklace
When my husband and I were newly dating, he was the type to climb up mountains, wear braided bracelets and Birkenstocks, send pressed flowers in love letters, and listen to a lot of Dave Matthews Band in his Jeep. Now he's an international tax attorney in the big city wearing a nice suit. Back when our relationship first started getting serious, he asked if I'd wear one of his bracelets, like getting pinned or wearing a