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We are blending two families, and now I have two picky eaters, help?

7 and 6-year-old combining their efforts to hunger strike against everything I make. How do I make it stop!? [more inside]
posted by MMALR on Aug 5, 2014 - 114 answers

How do I deal with my adolescent son's burgeoning exercise obsession?

My almost 11 year old son has started developing what I fear is an obsession with exercise. [more inside]
posted by getyourlife on Aug 4, 2014 - 39 answers

What is the best way to find housing in the South Bay area?

My husband has a job in Campbell, CA, and we've been looking at Craigslist and Zillow and Realtor.com for places to live. We've already had an attempted scam via CL and I don't want to waste time with other useless sites. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by lysdexic on Aug 3, 2014 - 9 answers

TV viewing recs - teenage kid visiting his middle-aged relatives

Our 17 year old cousin is coming to visit. He comes from a sheltered environment, not allowed to watch TV at home, and they don't have wifi. We'd like to enjoy some really good TV together. I'm looking for good quality shows that are sophisticated and fun, with minimal romantic/sexual content. On the kid's last visit, he really enjoyed the Firefly and Justified series. [more inside]
posted by valannc on Jul 7, 2014 - 62 answers

Keep my baby from getting sick from the airplane

We traveled a couple of weeks ago, and my 7 month old got a respiratory virus and got very sick. Sent from pediatrician's office to ER to PICU sick. Based on timing, Occam's Razor says she caught it on the plane. We will be flying again in a few weeks. I would like practical tips for things we can do on the plane to minimize the risk of her getting sick again. [more inside]
posted by telepanda on Jun 13, 2014 - 11 answers

Stockholm with little kids

We will be spending four days in Stockholm in the middle of June, with two boys, three and six years old. We've got the standard order guidebook suggestions (Vasa Museum, Skansen, etc.) of things to do, but I'd really love some suggestions of fun things for kids, or even just playgrounds for them to run around when they have had enough of Vikings and whatnot. They tend to be very excited about all modes of transportation, so trams, ferries, etc are a bonus. We will be staying near Ostermalm.
posted by ambrosia on Jun 2, 2014 - 11 answers

Best Bonding Agent for cardboard to Plastic liter bottles?

I spraypainted some 2 liter bottles to make kids' rocket jet packs. I am wanting to bond a piece of cardboard onto the back (later with elastic loops for arm loops) that will do it very quickly* as this will be during an activity with 40 kids. [more inside]
posted by snap_dragon on May 31, 2014 - 17 answers

Ideas for Shelf-Stable Healthy Snack Ideas for After-School Program ?

I need suggestions for shelf-stable, healthy snacks for a one day a week after-school tutoring program I help run at the school I work at. [more inside]
posted by momochan on May 24, 2014 - 14 answers

Help me fly alone with two small kids: airport gate pass edition

In the near future, I will be flying alone several times with a 3.5 year old and a 7 month old. Lucky me. On at least some occasions, I will have someone bringing us to the airport or meeting us on the other end. I hear it's theoretically possible for that person to obtain a gate pass, and help us get to the plane (or meet us when we get off). We'll be fine ON the plane, but having help in the airport would be a real sanity saver. I know that gate passes are not handed out like candy and generally require cause. Does this constitute cause? What are your experiences with requesting / obtaining / being refused gate passes? Does it help to call ahead? Who would you call? Bonus points if you can speak specifically to Chicago O'Hare, Atlanta Hartsfield, or Panama City, FL.
posted by telepanda on May 23, 2014 - 20 answers

The mail must go through!

Do you know of any children's books featuring mail? As in, a penpal or mailing letters. Specifically for an eight year old girl but I'm open to all suggestions! [more inside]
posted by cessair on May 17, 2014 - 20 answers

DIY Furniture Question

I want to paint this. For various reasons, stripping it first is out. How to get the best paint job? [more inside]
posted by jrobin276 on Mar 10, 2014 - 17 answers

Toys that go beep in the day

Our 18 month old son loves things that beep and we'd love for him to play with things that are much less expensive than our $100 dollar Harmony Remote. [more inside]
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith on Mar 3, 2014 - 7 answers

Unique, fun, and generally awesome vacations to take with an 8 year old?

Tell me some of the coolest car-based trips you've taken with your kids! Bonus if it's east coast U.S. based, also bonus if you're a single parent without a partner to help wrangle / engage in adult conversation. Details inside! [more inside]
posted by missrachael on Feb 12, 2014 - 21 answers

Webcomics for kids

I'm looking for webcomics that are suitable for kids under the age of 10, preferably with simple easy to copy art. If it's regularly updated, that's awesome, but if you know of a few one-offs I'm interested in those too. Something like a comic version of Peep and the Big Wide World would be perfect.
posted by Dynex on Feb 10, 2014 - 9 answers

things to do in LA with an 11-month old?

my 11-month old son and i are tagging along on my husband's business trip to LA. staying in seal beach and looking for things to do! [more inside]
posted by sabh on Feb 6, 2014 - 7 answers

Family of three, two last names. Problem?

When I got married I never changed my last name. We're pregnant now (yay!), and thinking the baby will have my last name. Dad will likely big picking kiddo up from daycare/school a lot and we'll be traveling internationally a lot (Oz-US). How big a deal is it if dad has a different surname? [more inside]
posted by jrobin276 on Jan 25, 2014 - 43 answers

Give this kid a kick-start in doing clever computer stuff, please?

My awesome 12 year old nerd son has (finally) expressed serious interest in creating his own games, learning coding and whatnot. This is way out of my league, and googling just confuses me because I don't know what we need. Suggestion for sites, learning resources, etc? [more inside]
posted by malibustacey9999 on Jan 19, 2014 - 16 answers

Where can I find interesting street kids?

I’m working on last minute research for a project. I’m doing a road trip across the country this spring (between Feb and May) looking for interesting street kids/drifters/squatters/train-hoppers, between the ages of 18-24. I want to visit as few locations as possible so they should have a high density of these kids. Also, the kids need to be Caucasian because of the nature of the story. What are some cities/neighborhoods/events/festivals/places that draw a lot of kids who fit this description? Also feel free to include any resources I could use for more research. Thanks!
posted by sabina_r on Jan 8, 2014 - 35 answers

Black and White and Protected By Multilateral Treaty All Over

The #1 item on my eight year-old son's Christmas list is "AN ACTUAL PENGUIN". Please help me creatively accommodate his request without violating the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew on Dec 17, 2013 - 17 answers

What are some cool American-history-related books/games/movies for kids?

Looking for a fun gift for an 8-year-old that might fuel his interest in American history (or any history) ... Any ideas? (Some specifics provided inside.) [more inside]
posted by pokermonk on Dec 16, 2013 - 11 answers

[Santa Filter] Help me find this super-generic toy

My toddler loves watching train videos on YouTube, and this morning we ran across this one, featuring a kid playing with his new toy train, purchased in "Chinatown". Toddler has now expressed a deep desire to have Santa leave one of those under the tree. I *think* I've IDed that train as the Kids Athority High-Speed Train Set, but no one on the Internet seems to sell it. So, I turn to you, my friends in the green - any thoughts on how someone who's not really near any random Chinatown might acquire one of these in time to have Santa drop it off?
posted by hanov3r on Dec 7, 2013 - 4 answers

Trying to find the title of a dog movie; perhaps Wilford Brimley

I'm vaguely remembering a movie, maybe a made-for-tv movie. The plot involved a kid, I think a boy, coming to live with relatives (?) Maybe he was a foster kid, or maybe the adults he was to live with were his grandparents. The kid wants a dog. Wilford Brimley, I believe, was the irascible grandfather with a heart of gold. [more inside]
posted by newdaddy on Nov 24, 2013 - 13 answers

Where can I find high-waisted boy's pants?

My kiddo, like his dad, has a pants problem. Specifically, while his legs are only slightly longer than normal, he is built in such a way that regular pants don't make it far enough up his butt. Basically, he needs pants that are longer in the crotch-to-waistline area and can pull up higher. Most boy pants don't have a lot of room for that. We end up with either plumber crack or uncomfortably hitched pants. [more inside]
posted by emjaybee on Nov 22, 2013 - 9 answers

Helping 7 yo process mother's death

So my sister-in-law had a stroke last week and passed away on Friday. My niece's are 7 and 19. The older one, of course groks it, but I'm not sure how much the younger one is getting. [more inside]
posted by jacy on Nov 19, 2013 - 25 answers

Good RPG for kids who like Minecraft

Looking for an RPG for a couple of kids (9 and 10) that ADORE Minecraft but want more role-playing elements (quests, a story, upgrades) in their gaming experience. We've tried mods, but that only gets you so far. We have a PC and an XBOX 360. What do you recommend?
posted by rosary on Oct 5, 2013 - 9 answers

Phone for a 9 year old

Looking to get a phone for our 9-year-old son for use in case of emergency. Several factors precipitated the decision, but most recently, he was left sitting alone outside school for an hour waiting to be picked up early. [more inside]
posted by fogovonslack on Oct 5, 2013 - 13 answers

What do I need to get my son started playing Dungeons and Dragons?

My son (11) has expressed an interest in playing Dungeons and Dragons. I would like to help him but I know nothing about the game and Amazon reviews of the basic starter set confuse things even further. What exactly does he need in order to start playing? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Sep 27, 2013 - 20 answers

I care, but not enough to play Candy Crush...

A twelve year old I'm related to keeps sending me invites to play horrid money wall Facebook games. Said kid is going through a hard time and I like the idea of playing with her as a small, regular form of reaching out. However...Zynga Poker ain"t gonna happen. What kind of easily accessible games suitable to a 12 year old are out there for me to suggest? Specifics under the cut... [more inside]
posted by theweasel on Sep 20, 2013 - 18 answers

Advice for a homemade zombie animal Halloween costume?

My kid wants to be a zombie weasel for Halloween. Help me make it awesome! [more inside]
posted by kostia on Sep 13, 2013 - 6 answers

Kids doing the splits in martial arts and dance.

In Chinese martial arts and dance (in China) it is traditional to have kids try to do the splits (the sideways, or lateral kind). The kids will try to push their legs apart as far as they can, and then the teacher will come along and push down on them to get them further apart, causing the kids to grimace in pain. Is this bad? Or is this good? I'm sure that Americans (like me) will balk at this in a strong reactionary way, but I'm also sure that there are countless people who have had this done to them in martial arts and dance classes as a child (outside of America). Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, all those amazing Chinese gymnasts, etc have certainly undergone this kind of treatment. Jackie Chan is still going strong. Is this "American reaction" unfounded? [more inside]
posted by strangeguitars on Aug 29, 2013 - 22 answers

Eeew, that's disgusting. Elementary school lunchtime social resilience.

How can I help my son to not feel embarrassed socially for having the healthy (and admittedly a little weird) lunches that I give him for school? [more inside]
posted by spbmp on Aug 27, 2013 - 65 answers

Fun things to do with a 4-year-old over Skype

My daughter's on the other side of the ocean for a little while, but we keep up with daily video chats. We talk, goof around, make faces, play with puppets, but I sometimes wish I had more ideas to keep her entertained. Can you think of any other fun things we could do? [more inside]
posted by muckster on Aug 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Natural Gas Smell

I did something colossally stupid this evening: Put up some pasta on the stove and then fell promptly asleep for a little while on the couch. Woke up to a terrible smell of natural gas. Found the water in the pot had spilled over and doused the flame of the burner it was cooking on. With the gas on high. It was probably like that for about 10 minutes or so. And now, four hours later, the house still has a strong-ish odor. Here is my question: does the smell indicate that gas is still present in the house, and if so, should I be concerned for the health and safety of my small children, who are sleeping a hallway away from the kitchen? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 15, 2013 - 13 answers

stop the yelling

I'm embarking on a 20 hour drive with a 4 1/2 year old and an almost-2 year old. Hit me with your best travel games/activities/snacks. Specific requirements inside. Bonus challenge: Terrible books on tape. [more inside]
posted by lizifer on Aug 8, 2013 - 22 answers

How do I teach my kid to smile for pictures?

My child is 7 and when he was younger, had no trouble smiling (or looking serious) for pictures. But now he gives a horrible grimace...thing. He's been at camp all summer and they take pictures of the kids and post them on Flickr. Paging through it is painful. Cute kid, cute kid...oh hey, my kid with a frightening stretched-face chimp-grimace and slitted eyes. Every fucking picture. It looks like a sneer. [more inside]
posted by emjaybee on Aug 3, 2013 - 34 answers

Secret Room Literature

We've built a small secret room in our house for our children to discover. One of the features in the room is a bookshelf where we're putting secret room themed books. [more inside]
posted by MarkAnd on Jul 30, 2013 - 109 answers

Job misery and baby

My "glamorous" job just got worse and I have a baby now. Good time to quit? [more inside]
posted by i_love_squirrels on Jul 20, 2013 - 23 answers

Where to buy girls' cotton nightgowns?

I'm looking for 100% cotton summer nightgowns for Go Banana jr., which is proving to be much more difficult than expected as everything appears to be polyester (so they don't burst into flame, apparently). I found exactly what I want through Boden, but alas they are entirely sold out in her size. Where can I buy these? It would be ideal to buy them in person in the Toronto area, but on-line is also fine. I'm looking for size 7-8.
posted by Go Banana on Jul 16, 2013 - 11 answers

A children's book about gender change

The book I'm looking for is one I remember reading in my childhood. It had a boy as a protagonist. It was similar to The Wizard of Oz in that the boy was travelling with friends through a magical realm to free it from some kind of oppressive rule. And when the boy arrived to the happy ending (which I think took place in the royal palace) it was revealed that actually he's not a boy - he's a girl. A princess, to be exact. And a rightful ruler of the realm. Which came as quite a shock to him/her. I must have been less than 10 years old when I read it, which places the book in the 1970s. Did I imagine it or does it really exist? (it is possible that I mixed it up with The Wizard of Oz, although I think I've read it later).
posted by hat_eater on Jul 11, 2013 - 7 answers

Would you let this man coach your kid?

Is it generally acceptable for a childless man to coach youth sports? [more inside]
posted by erloteiel on Jul 8, 2013 - 23 answers

Separating Twins into Different Classes at School?

My (boy / girl) twins will be entering kindergarten this September. We've been asked if we want them placed into separate classes, or left together in the same class. Need to give them our answer by Monday and frankly, I'm at a loss and have no idea what I should do. If you are a parent of school-age or older twins, can you please share what you did and why? If you yourself are a twin, how did your parents handle it? How did it work out? Other knowledgeable anecdotes and advice welcome. Links to any online resources I can read on the topic would also be appreciated.
posted by zarq on Jun 22, 2013 - 28 answers

What are some creative gifts for kids?

I end up in these situations where I need to buy a gift for a kid in the extended family, but the idea of just buying regular toys always seems lame. I like being a creative gift-giver. Can you give me some ideas for unique gifts for kids that would go over well? [more inside]
posted by dosterm on Jun 18, 2013 - 29 answers

What can I do if an intruder breaks in that DOESN'T require a gun?

I am a newly single mother. I live in a small town that is fairly safe, but you never know. I do not want a gun in my house since it raises the chances of a gun-related accident with children. [more inside]
posted by SarahBellum on Jun 4, 2013 - 65 answers

Sac-SLC-Denver road trip with a five-year-old

We're road-tripping from Sacramento to Salt Lake City to Denver with our five-year-old, and are looking for tips on routes and places to stop. [more inside]
posted by DakotaPaul on May 13, 2013 - 8 answers

Graduation dinner in NYC

Old friend coming to the city in a few weeks sent me the following: "We are looking for a place for a graduation dinner. Likely about 11 people -- with a couple of kids. We want something good, but festive and fun. Any ideas?" [more inside]
posted by vrakatar on Apr 30, 2013 - 3 answers

What are the best IKEA products for ages one to three?

We are making a rare trip to IKEA tomorrow in part to get a table and chairs for our one-year old. What are other IKEA items that we should look at for him? [more inside]
posted by Xalf on Apr 27, 2013 - 26 answers

Friend to employer? New relationship guidelines...

So Mr. lasamana got a job (yay!). He had an offer from a company that was not local and an offer that was local but with a fair amount of travel. We made our decision in part by Mefi. Now the question - he’s now working for the local company that includes 2 separate friends of ours. They are his bosses. He seems cool with it but I’m having an issue. We (3 couples) are friendly through our kids. 2 of ours and separately 1 each of theirs (different ages). Occasionally we got together as moms and socialized. This happens maybe 2x/year. Our conversation runs the gamut and included personal stuff. Not to mention we run into each other in the store, etc. I feel very leery all of a sudden about these relationships. Not to mention I sense a sudden cooling off by one of the wives. Is it better to let these friendships fade or maintain as if nothing changed? I should one of these couples has been very good to one of kids even including him on overnight trips and stuff. Now I’m concerned even about the propriety of that in relation to other employees. Do I have a valid concern? Want to add I really like both couples and have had great fun with the wives.
posted by lasamana on Apr 22, 2013 - 6 answers

Quality paints for kids?

Where can I find paints for kids that are "professional" quality yet not "professionally" expensive? I bought Crayola paints and they are terrible. I am looking for something (a) reasonably priced but pigmented enough get my toddler excited about colors, (b) doesn't require swirling a brush for a good long minute to get the color going, (c) available on the internet. I don't mind if they are messy/unwashable. I don't know anything about colors so please specify both the brand and the type of paint in your recommendation. If the paper makes a real difference, please recommend that too!
posted by rada on Apr 19, 2013 - 13 answers

Android apps for a six-year-old?

I bought my son a low-end Android tablet and now I want to load it up with quality applications. I'm looking for equal parts entertainment, education, and beautiful UI. [more inside]
posted by Mo Nickels on Apr 5, 2013 - 8 answers

No meat until you eat your veg?

If you follow the advice of Ellyn Satter, how do you handle second helpings when your child wants more of one food but hasn't eaten even a bite of the other things? [more inside]
posted by Ollie on Mar 24, 2013 - 9 answers

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