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Kid’s BIRTHDAY PARTY CHECKLIST

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Children’s Birthday Party coming up?

Yes, we know what it entitles….pressure building up months in advance, mad rush to search for an event planner, confusion on where to order the cake from, and perplexion on whether to get your little one’s dress stitched or buy it, and would she stand out in it.

As stressful as this time is, it is also a milestone every parent eagerly looks forward to, and hopes for the day to be the best. Our easy Birthday Party Checklist ensures that you approach the day prepared and ready, to make it a memorable day for your little one.

 

1 – 3 Months Before

dora

birthdaydirect.com

Dinosaur party? A celebration of all things Dora? Let your child help pick; the theme will help narrow down decoration and activity choices.

Do you need to ask the entire class, or does your child just want his six best friends? The type of party may dictate how many kids you can host (in other words, a Guitar Hero competition may work best with fewer contestants).
The earlier the better—it’s no fun telling your child that the magician or story teller she has her heart set on is already booked. Ask for references of people who have used the entertainers recently, and check up. Be sure to ask if there are any setup requirements.

4 Weeks Before

Your child won’t be happy if his best friend is going to be out of town.

Send Invitations. Make written invitations creative and coordinated with the party theme. Indicate whether parents are invited to stay (parents of toddlers should remain), and include an RSVP date and start and end times.

Plan to fill two to three hours with a mix of energetic games and calmer activities (like crafts or storytelling). You also need to factor in time for entertainment, snacks, and general freewheeling ruckus. If the presents will be opened, save that for the end; if you start running out of time, you can skip it. Keep in mind that an outdoor party may become an indoor party in case of rain, so plan alternate, rainy-day activities, just in case.

Make sure you have the following covered, and note if you need to buy or borrow anything. Check online party ware sources like outlandishevents.com and partyhunterz.com to save time.

Possible Supplies:

party

-decorations like streamers, balloons, party hats, or signs

-game and craft essentials

-music

-sports equipment

-portable tables to hold food or presents

-coolers and serving dishes

-tablecloths, plates, cups, and utensils

Some good sources of party favors are; Birthday Bugz, Apple of My I, Chamki and Travel Shop

3 Weeks Before

Plan the menu
Keep it simple—finger foods, pizza, things kids actually like are super easy and sure to please. If you like, plan a few special treats (like a cocktail) for parents. You can either make them yourself or order them from bakers and food suppliers. We recommend Kydz Adda, The Bumble Bee Studio and Claytopia.


Enlist friends, older children, other relatives, or parents of party guests to help supervise activities. Consider hiring a high school student, your baby-sitter, or a professional to help with pre- or post-party cleaning or to help supervise games, replenish food, and generally take some weight off your shoulders.

1 Week Before

This way, you’ll need only a quick once-over before the party.

Make any foods that can be frozen.

If you are making it from scratch, bake the layers and freeze them (you’ll ice it the day before the party) or cake can even be ordered from home bakers or patisseries. We recommend Orange Oven by Infinitea and Cocolocco.

3 Days Before

Make space in a hall closet and fill it with presentable hangers or designate a bed for coats (and make sure the room’s free of breakables).

Make sure danger areas like stairs and upper-floor windows (and pools) are safeguarded, double check that any chemicals are locked away, and check for sharp-edged corners on furniture that might be dangerous.

baby

Charge video and digital cameras. Stock up on extra film or memory cards.

1 Day Before

Set up dining and gift tables and activity stations. If you find you’re missing anything (pencils for games, etc.), you have time to run out and get it.

Do everything that doesn’t involve helium.

This includes defrosting and icing the cake if you froze one. Also, for any foods that require cooking on party day, do as much prep (dicing, marinating, rinsing lettuce) as possible.

Day of the Party

One to two hours before guests arrive, set out foods that won’t spoil. Wrap them tightly to ensure freshness; tear off the wrap when the first doorbell rings.

They can help with games or supervise a craft, so you’re free to run the show and keep kids from running amok.

cake

The birthday child gets the first slice of cake!

Your child can hand them out and say thank you at the same time.

Two to Three Days Later

Help your child send thank-you notes, and send your own to your helpers.

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20 Sci-Fi Books for Little Readers

Why does science have to be BORING & DULL??

Science can be exciting & fun too and rather than the doom and gloom that many SciFi books for young readers, these books are all about imagination and how your little one can have fun with the story.

This list of 20 Sci-fi books is about getting kids hooked on a certain science fiction series or character to demonstrate the pure fun of reading a story that is out of this world.

20 Science Fiction Books for Young Readers

# 1 Aliens for Breakfast by Stephanie Spinner

#2 NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley

#3 Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold

#4 The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

#5 The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

#6  Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Betty

#7  The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron

#8 My Teacher Is An Alien by Bruce Coville

#9 Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

#10  The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

#11  Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith

#12 Charlie and the Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

#13 Space Case by Edward Marshall

#14 Space and Beyond (Choose Your Own Adventure Series #3) by R.A. Montgomery

#15 Earthlets As Explained by Professor Xargle by Jeanne Willis

#16 Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg

#17 The Wump World by Bill Peet

#18 Space Invaders by D.J. McGhee

#19 Commander Toad in Space by Jane Yolen

#20 Mars Needs Moms! by Berkeley Breathed

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Post Partum Depression and 5 things Dads can do to help

Father Watching His Infant Sleep

You’ve become a dad, and you are absolutely thrilled about having this brand new baby in your life, even though you are exhausted and more than a little nervous about figuring out how to properly raise another human being.   You knew this would be a challenge, but you’ve hit a major, unexpected obstacle.  Something is not right with mom.

Perhaps you can’t exactly put your finger on it, but you know she’s not acting like you thought she would.  Maybe she seems sad all the time and can’t stop crying.  Maybe she keeps saying she’s not a good mom even though you tell her over and over again that she’s doing just fine.  Maybe she’s really angry with you all the time now, or she’s worrying nonstop and can’t relax.

You are probably unsure whether to make a big deal out of this since it could just be the baby blues.  You don’t want to scare her.  Perhaps this will simply go away with time.  All you know is that she’s not happy, and now you’re not happy either.   Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what to do about it.  Many dads don’t.  Below are five steps you can take to find out what’s wrong and help both her and yourself.

Katherine Stone, a Post-Partum depression specialist, gives inputs on how dads can help their wives overcome this disorder.

1. Learn what the symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety are.

The baby blues is a normal adjustment period most new mothers go through in the first two weeks after birth. It is not a mental illness and will go away on its own.  If your wife has just had a baby in the last two weeks and is weepy, or having a difficult time adjusting, that’s fairly normal.  It’s not necessary to call out the cavalry yet.

Postpartum depression and anxiety, on the other hand, are real illnesses that can arise any time in the first 12 months after a baby is born.  If the two-week baby blues period has passed and your partner has any of the following symptoms for more than a week or so, you should consider reaching out to your healthcare provider:

  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and/or being overwhelmed
  • Irritability or anger
  • Deep sadness; frequent crying
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Racing thoughts and/or inability to relax
  • Constant worrying
  • Scary thoughts that she recognizes are wrong and are very disturbing to her
  • Thoughts of suicide or of running away

Note:  Postpartum psychosis, a very rare illness that can arise after childbirth, is distinct from postpartum depression and anxiety.  It often shows up in the first few weeks or even days after a baby is born, and its symptoms include delusions, paranoia and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there).  If your partner exhibits any of these signs, she may not be aware of what is happening to her and her illness could lead her to do things she wouldn’t normally do.  In this case, it is important to call a medical professional right away.

2. Gently tell her about your concerns.

If you feel your partner is suffering from the symptoms above, the next thing to do is talk to her.  Sit down with her and let her know you are worried about her wellbeing.  Focus on the behaviors you’ve seen – crying or inability to sleep, for instance — as the reasons for your concern.  Encourage her to share with you how she is feeling.  Tell her that whatever she is going through is not a weakness on her part and that you know this is not her fault.

Let her know that, if it turns out she has postpartum depression or anxiety, these illnesses are very common.  In fact, they are the most common complication of childbirth, affecting as many as 20% of all new mothers.  They are temporary and fully treatable with professional help.

Tell her you will stand by her.  Research shows that emotional support from a spouse is an essential factor in the recovery from postpartum depression.

3. Start working with her right away to get professional help.

Studies show that the sooner women who have postpartum depression or anxiety are treated, the less negative impact their illness will have on the family.

Women with postpartum depression and anxiety are often extremely fatigued, scared and ashamed.  This can make it very difficult to ask for professional help.  Assist her with this.

“If the depressed person is reluctant to seek help, then don’t try to convince the person that depression is causing the problems. Instead, talk about the depressed person’s behaviors and the ways in which treatment can help. For example, after you have listened and sympathized with the depressed person’s feelings, try to agree on wellness goals (e.g., consistent sleep and feeling less irritable). Then, try to assign some action steps that you can agree on to reach these goals (e.g., after two weeks, if the person does not improve, you will set up a medical evaluation).”

4. Support her treatment plan. 

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www.popsugar.com

There are many decisions to be made, including what type of treatment to choose, whether to continue breastfeeding … imagine trying to make these decisions while you are suffering from an illness that has “difficulty making decisions” as one of its symptoms. She needs your unwavering support.

Many people feel nervous about treatment methods like psychiatric medication or psychotherapy, mainly because they don’t know much about them.  Instead of making judgments or taking the advice of people without medical training, go with her to the doctor.  Learn what the treatment options are, what the risks and benefits are, and what may be helpful to her based on her own unique situation and history.  Support whatever decision is made.  And if one treatment method doesn’t work, be open to others and encourage her not to give up.

5. Make sure not to forget your needs.

If you are feeling your own sense of frustration or disappointment that your partner isn’t blissful about the new baby, that’s normal.  Don’t stuff your feelings down or ignore your own needs.  You need to make sure that you are taking care of yourself during this time as well.

Source- http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/

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25 Books to Read with Kids in 2015

 “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
William Styron, Conversations with William Styron
This is what these 25 books will do for your child; Help them live, even for a little while, several lives.
Find the list below.

1. Goodnight Already! by Jory John, illustrated by Benji Davies

Goodnight Already! by Jory John, illustrated by Benji Davies

HarperCollins

Bear longs for sweet, sweet slumber — if only Duck would let him get some shut-eye.

What kind of reader is it for? Those with younger siblings who constantly prevent them from experiencing peace and quiet.

Release Date: Dec. 2, 2014

Buy here.

2. Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony

Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony

Scholastic Press

It definitely pays to be polite when doughnuts are involved! Remember to say “please” and “thank you” if you want a sweet treat from this bear.

What kind of reader is it for? Someone who could use a little brushing up when it comes to manners (but in a fun way).

Release Date: Dec. 30, 2014

Preorder here.

3. Zombie in Love 2 + 1 by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Scott Campbell

Zombie in Love 2 + 1 by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Scott Campbell

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

The sequel to Zombies in Love in which our zombie pals become parents to a bouncing, non-dead baby boy. Why are his teeth growing in instead of falling out? It just doesn’t make sense!

What kind of reader is it for? Anyone who appreciates things that are heartwarming and hair-raising in equal amounts.

Release Date: Dec. 30, 2014

Preorder here.

4. Oliver and Patch by Claire Freedman, illustrated by Kate Hindley

Oliver and Patch by Claire Freedman, illustrated by Kate Hindley

Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

A lonely boy + a lost dog.

What kind of reader is it for? Boys and girls who may be feeling a little lonely themselves (whether it’s because they’ve moved to a new school or even just a new classroom).

Release Date: Jan. 1, 2015

Preorder here.

5. The Big Blue Thing on the Hill by Yuval Zommer

The Big Blue Thing on the Hill by Yuval Zommer

Templar

What on earth is this strange thing on the hill? None of the animals can quite figure it out, but they want it to vamoose ASAP.

What kind of reader is it for? Children who will enjoy feeling smarter than those silly animals (“It’s not a monster, it’s a van!”).

Release Date: Jan. 6, 2015

Preorder here.

6. First Snow by Peter McCarty

First Snow by Peter McCarty

Balzer + Bray

It’s Pedro’s first time seeing snow and he’s going to take full advantage of the fluffy white stuff. Sledding! Snow angels! Snowballs!

What kind of reader is it for? Anyone who appreciates the joy and magic that occurs whenever snowflakes start to fall.

Release Date: Jan. 6, 2015

Preorder here.

7. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Putnam Juvenile

CJ and his grandmother ride the bus through town and he learns how to see the beauty of his neighborhood.

What kind of reader is it for? Someone who may have some questions about inequality (“Why don’t I have an iPod like the other boys on the bus?”), as well as anyone who just adores time spent with their grandmother.

Release Date: Jan. 8, 2015

Preorder here.

8. Around the Clock by Roz Chast

Around the Clock by Roz Chast

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

A hilarious trip through the 24 hours of the day.

What kind of reader is it for? Anyone who appreciates zany humor (with a bit of learning about time thrown in).

Release Date: Jan. 13, 2015

Preorder here.

9. Snoozefest by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

Snoozefest by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Kristyna Litten

Dial

What sort of festival would a sloth attend? One with napping, of course!

What kind of reader is it for? A sloth fan looking for the perfect book to read before bed.

Release Date: Jan. 22, 2015

Preorder here.

10. Sick Simon by Dan Krall

Sick Simon by Dan Krall

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The must-read book of flu season.

What kind of reader is it for? Someone who may need a refresher in how to avoid spreading their germs when they have a cold.

Release Date: Jan. 13, 2015

Preorder here.

11. A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Schwartz & Wade

Discover how daily life has changed over the centuries in this inventive book showing how four different families (in four different time periods) prepare a batch of blackberry fool.

What kind of reader is it for? Children interested in history (or cooking).

Release Date: Jan. 27, 2015

Preorder here.

12. The New Small Person by Lauren Child

The New Small Person by Lauren Child

Candlewick

Welcome to the world of big brother or sister-dom.

What kind of reader is it for? Anyone learning how to deal with the arrival of a new sibling.

Release Date: Feb. 10, 2015

Preorder here.

13. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Chronicle Books

A follow-up to the marvelous Over and Under the Snow, this book explores the bloom-filled world of the garden plus the land where the worms wiggle down below.

What kind of reader is it for? Nature lovers.

Release Date: March 3, 2015

Preorder here.

14. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School by Benjamin Chaud and Davide Cali

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School by Benjamin Chaud and Davide Cali

Chronicle Books

Tall tales are the best tales.

What kind of reader is it for? Anyone known to spin a yarn (or two, or three).

Release Date: March 3, 2015

Preorder here.

15. Little Big Boubo by Beatrice Alemagna

Little Big Boubo by Beatrice Alemagna

Tate Publishing

A depiction of life as a toddler by award-winning author and illustrator Beatrice Alemagna.

What kind of reader is it for? Little guys and gals who are eager to prove that they’re not babies anymore.

Release Date: March 3, 2015

Preorder here.

16. Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera

Polar Bear's Underwear by Tupera Tupera

Chronicle Books

Underwear is one of the few topics that can always be counted on to provide some kid-laughs: Give the people what they want (and by people, I mean your children).

What kind of reader is it for? Helpful souls who can’t bear to see a bare bear with no underwear.

Release Date: March 3, 2015

Preorder here.

17. Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli

Viking Juvenile

The illustrated biography of Robert Miller (the con artist who “sold” the Eiffel Tower).

What kind of reader is it for? Anyone who will appreciate a true tale of trickery.

Release Date: March 10, 2015

Preorder here.

18. Where Does Kitty Go in the Rain? by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Where Does Kitty Go in the Rain? by Harriet Ziefert, illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Blue Apple Books

A sweet book that blends mystery (where’s the cat?) with science (what do animals do in the rain?).

What kind of reader is it for? Anyone who has always wondered what makes a duck waterproof.

Release Date: March 17, 2015

Preorder here.

19. Once Upon a Cloud by Claire Keane

Once Upon a Cloud by Claire Keane

Dial

Celeste is looking for the perfect present for her mother and if she has to, she’ll even venture to the clouds to find it.

What kind of reader is it for? Lovers of Frozen or Tangled (this is the debut picture book of Claire Keane, an artist from Walt Disney Animation Studios).

Release Date: March 24, 2015

Preorder here.

20. The Nosyhood by Tim Lahan

The Nosyhood by Tim Lahan

McSweeney’s McMullens / Via timlahan.com

A couple gets pestered by a flood of neighbors coming over to visit after moving into their new home…and then a giant nose shows up. Achooooooooooo.

What kind of reader is it for? Anyone looking for a few chuckles, some giggles and a couple of tee-hee-hee’s.

Release Date: March 24, 2015

Preorder here.

21. Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Balzer + Bray

Mr. and Mrs. Dullard like to keep things bland, but their children have other ideas.

What kind of reader is it for? Fans of The Stupids and those who laugh in the face of monotony.

Release Date: March 24, 2015

Preorder here.

22. I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Ferrell, illustrated by Charles Santoso

I Don't Like Koala by Sean Ferrell, illustrated by Charles Santoso

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Most stuffed animals are adorable, but koala is not one of those stuffed animals. Adam’s parents just don’t understand how creepy his furry non-friend is: The bear just won’t stop staring! How will he get rid of him?

What kind of reader is it for? Kids who can appreciate a bit of dark humor in a picture book.

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Preorder here.

23. Pool by Lee Jihyeon

Pool by Lee Jihyeon
Chronicle Books

A tale of friendship and imagination.

What kind of reader is it for? The kind looking for a refreshing and beautiful read for when the weather gets hot and winter is a distant memory.

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Preorder here.

24. This Is Sadie by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad

This Is Sadie by Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad
Tundra Books

A little girl with a huge imagination.

What kind of reader is it for? This is a story for those with a deep love of stories.

Release Date: May 12, 2015

Preorder here.

25. Where Are My Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Where Are My Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Where oh where are Spencer’s books? This is a mystery that must be solved immediately.

What kind of reader is it for? Avid ones! Those who treat their books as though they were made of gold. Losing one? What a horrifying prospect!

Release Date: May 12, 2015

Preorder here.

Source- Book Compilation by Mallory McInnis of http://www.buzzfeed.com