News: chewable kids sunglasses

10 Summer Activities For Kids Under $10

By Gen Cohen

Finding enough activities to keep kiddos busy throughout the whole Summer can become exhausting — and expensive. Save some money (and your sanity) with a few fun activities that cost almost nothing to set up and carry out. But remember! Sun protection for your kids' eyes don't have to be expensive either. Browse our baby and junior sunglasses to learn more!

Read through for 10 inexpensive summer activities for kids under $10 that they — and your wallet — will love.

  1. Berry picking. Rather than picking up overpriced berries from the grocery store, visit a local farm to pick your own to give your kids something fun to do.
  2. Fly a kite. A cheap kite won't cost you an arm and a leg, but it will definitely lead to hours of fun. There's nothing more exciting for kids than watching it fly in the sky!
  3. Water balloon fight. Grab a big bag of water balloons, spend an hour frustratingly filling them up, and watch as your children's smiling faces getting hit by balloons makes it worth the trouble.
  4. Paint pet rocks. Instead of using expensive arts and crafts kits, grab cheap paints and have your kids collect a bunch of rocks in the yard to decorate as their "pets."
  5. S'mores party. Buy some graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows, and start a fire in the backyard pit to make a delicious Summer snack.
  6. Pool noodle racing. For a fun indoor game, cut a pool noodle in half, lay the halves next to each other with the opening up, and use them as a racetrack for marbles.
  7. Build a moat. Using a roll of aluminum foil to hold the water in, let your kids go crazy designing a moat with the foil all around the outside perimeter of your house.
  8. Tarp 'n' slide. Slip 'N Slides can be expensive (and get ripped by the end of Summer anyway). Purchase a big tarp and pair it with a hose to give your children the gifts of slipping and sliding.
  9. Colored tape racetrack. Using colored tape on any floor, create a racetrack for your kids' cars (older kids can design the track themselves!).
  10. Make a soap cloud. Grab a bar of soap, throw it in the microwave to make it expand, and use cookie cutters and food coloring to make fun soaps to play with in the bathtub.
Image Source: Shutterstock

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36 of the Best Gifts For Infants (besides our shades)

By Gen Cohen

Baby's first holiday or birthday can't pass unnoticed. Though they may have more fun with the box than anything in it, there are still plenty of fun gift ideas to add to their toy chest. From activity gyms and bead toys to an adorable rocker and the softest play mat ever, here are our 36 favorite baby gifts for this year!

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Skip the Gas Station With These Healthy Road Trip Snacks For Kids

By Gen Cohen

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7 Carriers to Make Bike Riding With Tiny Ones Fun For the Whole Family

By Gen Cohen

Before we dive into this awesome list of 7 bike trailers for kids, it's important to remember to protect those baby blues with our kids' rubber sunglasses. They're light, comfortable, and they keep your junior's eyes safe from harmful UV rays!

 

 

Going for a bike ride as a family is a fun and fit bonding activity, but if you have a tiny one who isn't quite riding a bike on their own yet or can't keep up the same pace as older children, it could be difficult to execute. Don't skip the ride or have anyone stay behind — with one of these accessories, you can bring the entire family to the bike trail with ease.

Read on for seven bike accessories that will change your family's bike rides this Spring and Summer.

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How This Mom's Morning Routine Sets Her Up for Success

By Gen Cohen

 

There's no denying that family mornings are hectic. Parents and kids need to eat breakfast, get dressed, gather belongings… there are lots of moving parts, and an ill-fitting sock, a missing glove, or spilled orange juice can derail the schedule in an instant. But busy mornings don't have to be stressful, and there are ways to find moments of bliss within the chaos. Here are a few methods that work for my (mostly functional) family of four.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

Wake Up Early. I set my alarm for 20 minutes before my youngest child usually yells, "Mama!" What do I do in this time? I stretch, freshen up, pull on a robe, and page through the newspaper or listen to morning news radio for a few minutes — by myself. That alone time is the perfect way to create a calm front to meet the whirlwind of energy that my kids create when they literally jump out of bed. Not a morning person? Try 10 minutes early at first and I'll bet you'll find this change helps you feel more rested overall. Bonus: This practice gives me a jump on the day when I sit down to my desk, too. No need to scroll through headlines, I've already had my morning news fix, so I can get right to work. That means the whole day is more productive.

Cue the Music. When my children bound down the stairs with requests for everything from clean shirts to buttermilk pancakes (not likely on a weekday, kid!), I put on some music. As a family, we created a "Morning Mix," which includes a little Beach Boys, a few Adele songs, and yes, one favorite Alvin and the Chipmunks number. The music creates a sense of ease that helps the morning flow, plus it's a mood booster that lifts their—and my—spirits well into the afternoon hours.

Savor a Taste. As the rush to brush teeth and put on shoes and tie ponytails swirls around me, I keep my sanity by focusing on the steaming cup of coffee I'll pick up after school drop-off. Each warm, rich sip reminds me to take things slow and steady as I begin the part of the day that is my own.

Bag the Accessories. Winter comes with… stuff. We stay organized by keeping child hats, gloves, and scarves in a bag in the entry closet. When the kids come home, they know the accessories go right into the bag. As we head out the door, the bag gets dumped and everyone grabs their respective items. It's messy but it works, which is pretty much our family motto.

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22 Outdoor Activities Perfect For Fall Weekends

By Gen Cohen

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11 Ways to Save on After-School Activities

By Gen Cohen

Going broke funding your kid's extracurricular activities? Try these 11 tips on how to spend less on after-school extracurricular activities.

 

1. Register early

Fill out your child's registration paperwork and pay the fees as early as possible. Some organizations give a discount for early registration, and registering early gives you time to prepare for the activity so that you can accommodate it into your budget without last minute surprise expenses, says Clare K. Levison, author of Frugal Isn't Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better. Another reason to get your child enrolled early: you don't have to worry about forgetting to do it in time and then having to pay a late registration fee!

2. Ask for a discount

Some activities offer a multi-child or sibling discount, but you may not get it if you don't ask. Even if you only have one child participating in the program, check if there are any other discounts for which your child or family might qualify. You never know. A program may give a small percentage off if you or your spouse are military or law enforcement, or if your child is on the honor roll at school. "It never hurts to ask for a discount because every little bit helps," Levison says.

3. Look for a coupon

Yep, you may be able to find a coupon for your child's baseball team or dance class. "Thanks to sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, there are coupons for just about everything now, including extracurricular activities," says Michael Catania, co-founder of the savings community PromotionCode.org. "Do a quick search for the activity along with the month and year (for example, Pony League Baseball, Las Vegas, August 2016 offers) to see if what discounts might be available before you register," he says. It's also a good idea to look for discount codes when shopping for uniforms, equipment and other required items. Even if it's only a 5 percent off or BOGO offer, those savings add up.

4. Volunteer or barter

Volunteering with the organization can often reduce or remove the participation fees for your child, says consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. "You can offer to help with bookkeeping, coaching, or cleaning a dance studio, or you could offer your professional skills, whether that be marketing or web design," she says. Whatever you do, it doesn't have to be too time-consuming. It could be as simple as running the concession stands once a week. Every little bit helps, so talk to the program coordinators to see if there are ways you can pitch in while also reducing your child's fees. A couple of bonuses: You get to spend more time with your child doing something he enjoys, and depending on the activity, you may even get in a mini-workout.

5. Do a trial run

It's frustrating and financially draining when your child asks to participate in something, you fork over the cash, and then she begs to quit a couple of weeks later. If you're not sure that your kid will stick with a particular activity, ask if there's a way to try it out before making a full commitment. Some organizations will let your child to attend a class or two on a trial basis. It may be at no cost, or you may have to pay a small fee. Either way, it will give you and your kid time to see if this is really an activity she wants to be involved in, without you having to pay (and possibly lose) the whole fee.

6. Think thrifty

Of course, there are some things that should only be purchased new (such as mouthguards and helmets), but for many other things, secondhand is just as good. Asking family, friends, or neighbors for hand-me-downs is a great way to score gently used items like cleats, uniforms, bats, and art supplies for free or cheap. Buying used can keep more money in your pocketbook too. Check out thrift stores, eBay, Craigslist, yard sales, consignment shops, resellers like Play it Again Sports, or swap sites like SwapMeSports.com. And don't think that buying used means your child will get beat up gear. "A lot of times people try something, decide they don't like it (see above!) and then they have a piece of equipment that's practically brand new that they don't have a use for anymore, so it ends up at a thrift store [or other resale shop]," says Levison.

7. Rent equipment

Rather than paying for instruments, which can be expensive, look into renting. You can likely find rental options locally or through an online dealer. Another possibility: your library. "Some libraries, particularly those in big cities, offer rentals of musical instruments with just your library card," Catania says. Since you obviously won't be able to keep a library rental for the full school year, this option is best when your child is undecided about which instrument she wants to play and trying out different options. Once she's found the instrument she likes, you can look into a long-term rental from a music store or online.

8. Make meals/snacks ahead of time

In addition to the costs of the activity, many families shell out extra cash on food and snacks. Think about it: When you're leaving a long day at work and then heading to this or that practice or game, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. So you load up on snacks at the concession stand or grab takeout on the way home—and increase your spending. "Usuallly we find we spend too much money when we find ourselves in a time crunch," Levison says. "So if you can plan your meals ahead, do your shopping at the beginning of the week, and plan easy but healthy meals on the nights you have activities, it can save a lot of time and money." 

9. Save on gas

Another area that many parents don't factor into their budget with extracurricular activities is the added travel expenses. "Organize carpools with other parents and take turns driving to practices, games, and performances," Woroch says. Since everyone's schedule is likely to be busy, reach out to others to try to create a game plan as early in the season as possible. When it's your turn to drive, make sure you save on gas. "Start off by finding the lowest local prices with an app like Gas Buddy—a crowd-sourced app that offers near up-to-the-minute gas prices sorted by zip code," Catania says. And most gas stations have affiliations with credit cards and grocery stores, so if you carry a card or shop at a specific store, look to see if it can help you lower your fuel expenses.

10. Skip the add-ons

Just because your child participates in an activity doesn't mean he has to have every little item the team offers for sale. "Professional photos, videos, and extra shirts are fun to have, but the costs can really add up," Levison says. So pass on things that aren't necessities. You can take your own photos or videos, and skip the team shirts for mom and dad and show your support by wearing the team colors instead. 

11. Just say "no" 

If your kid wants to do football, soccer and swim, you may have to give him a choice. "I think we tend to want to sign our kids up for a lot of organized activities these days, but you don't have to go overboard, especially if it's affecting your finances," Levison says. Limit your child to one activity per season, and tell him to choose the one he wants to do most. If he has an interest in something else, he can do it at home or find a community center that is more affordable than, says, private art lessons. Sure, there may be some whining (or even tears), but you have to do what's right for your financial situation. And, add Levinson, this is a good opportunity to something else that's beneficial to your child: have a conversation about budgets and the cost of activities.

 

With savings like these, you can treat you and your kiddos to rad rosmbo shades! While your kids are out playing, make sure their eyes are safe! Added bonus that our shades are unbreakable.

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4 essentials for a second baby

By Gen Cohen

4 essentials for a second baby

We’ve chatted SECOND BABY REGISTRY GUIDE already, but today I’m here to cover the four essentials you absolutely need when you’re expecting baby #2. Sure, everything on the registry guide will make your life easier, but I’m talking about the down and dirty four things you absolutely cannot live without if you value your sanity and your baby’s happiness. Ready?

 

 

1. A swing, bouncer, baby chair, etc.: If this is your second baby, chances are you’re already chasing around another child–washing hands, making snacks, general “parent-of-a-toddler” stuff. You’re going to want a swing or rocker to put your baby down in. Somewhere safe and off the ground (so said first child can’t accidentally step on the baby) and somewhere that will entertain or soothe her. With Oscar I had the 4MOMS MAMAROO and I found it to be far superior to any chair or swing I used with Harry. That little contraption bought me tens of minutes at a time when I needed to put Oscar down to tend to Harry stuff.

2. A good wrap or carrier: Going off that thread, you’re going to find there are times when your baby just wants to be held. Remember that from baby #1? I remember working through Harry’s late nap with him laying on my shoulder. But the second time around, things are a little different. A good wrap or carrier is worth it’s weight in gold (and then some because if it’s really good it won’t weigh much). My favorites are our SOLLY BABY WRAP and our WILDBIRD SLING.

3.A double stroller: You’ve got two kids now, so it’s might be time to upgrade your stroller. A good double stroller will make your trips to the store, your jogs, your zoo field trips, etc. easier. We actually have two different double strollers, but that may not be necessary based on the ages of your children and your lifestyle. I use a BOB SE REVOLUTION DOULIE for my runs and our walks around town and I keep ourUPPABABY VISTA in the car and take it anytime we travel. I love them both!

4. Diapers: If it seems obvious, that’s because it is. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need diapers! If your older child is already potty trained, you’ll want to get back into the habit of picking up a pack or two of diapers when you’re shopping–or you can bust out the old CLOTH DIAPERS. If you’re still changing older sibling’s diapers, you’re going to want to think about doubling up and what that means for you in terms of gear. Definitely more diapers, wipes, and maybe even a second changing station?

It’s kind of surprising both A) how much you have everything you already need for baby #2 and B) how little you actually need! What do you think–did we cover everything? Anything else you would add to the “essential” list?

 

 

...and of course, our ro•sham•bo baby sunglasses ;)

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