What's a good video game controller for a toddler? Absolutely required: A reliable way of connecting it to a Windows 7 or 8 laptop. I don't mind using JoyToKey or 3rd-party drivers if necessary. Preferred: Wireless, so it can't be used to pull the laptop off the desk; Durable and/or cheap, in case it gets thrown or dropped; Simple, few inputs. [more inside]
Outdoorsy things to do within an hour or so of Pine Grove, Calif. when camping with a 7-year-old? [more inside]
We're having our daughter's first kids-only birthday party and we don't know how to do this. I'm looking for advice, especially for games and activities. [more inside]
I have a baby, a preschooler, a commute, and a spouse who works late. I need dinner to magically appear on the table within minutes of walking in the door. I don't know if this will involve a genie, a person, a recipe, or "one easy trick restaurants don't want you to know" like those shady sidebar ads. [more inside]
I am converting my home office into a nursery for impending child. It's not technically a bedroom as it has no windows and is about 10x12' (very high ceilings though). I've gotten a little nervous reading some home blogs where commenters freak out saying a kid will die in an airless room (these are mostly on converted closet arrangements, e.g. here). What should I worry about? How can I best prepare/alter this room? [more inside]
The missus and I are working through the decision to procreate or not. She's not so interested, I kinda am. I'm looking for insight and experience from people who chose not to have children, but still care about and like to spend time with kids. Details inside. [more inside]
Every night my 9 year old daughter asks to watch a movie while we eat dinner. We are big movie people, rarely ever watch commercial TV and don't have the Aussie version of cable, but we like to buy DVD TV series' or stream them. Some nights dinner is the perfect 'eat on the couch' meal, but a movie is too long if it's during the week. I am looking for some suggestions of shows we could all enjoy that are 30 minutes, or an hour. [more inside]
Looking for a recommendation for a park or conservation area within an hour drive of Toronto. Travelling with kids who love swimming, and exploring waterfalls, but aren’t up to long or rugged hikes. Hoping to encounter waterfalls, ideally combined with the swimming area. Requirements – kid friendly swimming, some kind of washroom available, parking / drive in location. Does this place exist?
What is the best site, app, or program for kids' worksheets? Math, science, handwriting, grammar, etc. [more inside]
My son had two nasty playground falls within 30 minutes of each other yesterday. Since then he's complaining of pain in the space behind his knee, and walking stiff legged. Occasionally he'll put weight on the leg, and it buckles. You are not my pediatrician, but can you help tell me how worried I should be, and what questions I should ask at our appointment later today? (Please please please tell me my baby didn't tear an ACL). [more inside]
What are some really magical and unusual places to visit/things to do with a 4-year-old for fun in DC? He's visited most of the usual museums/zoos etc. (including 826 DC) that would be good for kids. Also acceptable are magical and unusual things happening at one of the usual places :-).
7 and 6-year-old combining their efforts to hunger strike against everything I make. How do I make it stop!? [more inside]
My almost 11 year old son has started developing what I fear is an obsession with exercise. [more inside]
In the next few weeks, I will need to attend a series of late-running formal dinners... with a five-year-old in tow. Please recommend your most magical, engrossing, dinner-table-friendly activity books, games, small toys, etc. for the early school-aged set, so we can keep her quietly in her seat and out of everyone's hair. [more inside]
Can you help us generate a list of movies for family movie nights? Netflix or from the local library both OK. [more inside]
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]
My baby girl's birthday is this week and I am hunting the perfect song to back a slideshow of photos of her first year. I do not want anything overtly sappy. My kiddo is known for being adventurous and fun so I want to find her a song that is suiting to her personality. Help please! :) [more inside]
I should start by saying I'm a big fan of folding bikes and have been using one to commute to work for the last 8 years.(Brompton SL-2) We have two girls who can now both ride bikes, and are living overseas in the UAE. We can buy bikes where we live but the prices are higher and the selection's a bit limited. I'm thinking of buying a pair of Dahon Boardwalk single speed coaster break folders and bringing them back when we return next week. Has anyone tried folding bikes for kids? I've had our older daughter ride my Brompton--she does fine on it. My sense is they would not be as excited about them initially as opposed to something more kid-like, but that over time it would just come to be seen as what it is--a bicycle we can bring anywhere. I'm wondering if others in the MeFi community have tried folding bikes with kids--have they worked size wise? Lasted over the years? Or languished in a corner of the garage?
Which organisations, companies, community groups, etc support and encourage embracing both arts/humanities AND STEM (especially technology)? [more inside]
I want to leave my husband and need to understand the potential impact to my daughters, aged 10 and 11. Please tell me what your parents' divorce was like, and the different ways in which it affected you. [more inside]
What precautions, if any, need to be taken in this situation? [more inside]
Recently there is this family brings their super noisy kids(about 5-6) to run and scream on the street infront of my apartment everyday from 6pm-10pm. The street is in a quite neighborhood, there are families, but I never hear or saw a single kids making such noise outside of there home on the street. One day I went down and talked to the parent and kids, that they shouldn't make noise like this, but they didn't listen and was quite rude, both the parent and the unruling kids. I really can't take this, it's extremly noisy, the screaming can't be stopped by closing my windows and putting on earplugs, not to mention it's hot summer that I need a little bit of breeze and peace in the evening at home. What Can I do? this is in NYC, is there any code for noisy street kids? thanks!
We'll be in New York in early August for a few days. What shows would be good for a six-year-old girl? [more inside]
What's a good town or smallish city in Spain to visit in the summer with kids (ages 2 and 5) in tow? We're looking at 3 weeks in late July/August, and would prefer a walkable place that's on a train line (or are they all?) so we wouldn't have to rent a car to explore locally or beyond. [more inside]
Mr. TEA, preschooler TEA, and I are going from our home in the U.S. to the Algarve next month to visit family for a few weeks. This will be the first trip out of the U.S. for our preschooler, and the first trip back in a long while for us adults. What advice can you give us about how to help our preschooler prepare for the trip? About what to do as a family while we're there? About traveling with kids in the Algarve?
Are restaurants okay with people smuggling in their own food for little kids? Do they see a difference between a zippy cup/handful of goldfish crackers and a full-on meal? [more inside]
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]
I'm hoping to get some thoughts from the green about the possibility of getting a cottage located on a cliff. The question is about fears, rational risk assessment, and Ontario Geology. [more inside]
Our daughter is 6. Since potty training 4 years ago, she hasn't been wiping herself well after going to the bathroom. We though the problem would resolve itself (and sometimes wipe her butt ourselves if she goes at home) but it's not, and what used to cause skin irritation is now causing vaginal infections. [more inside]
I have been reading Zita the Spacegirl to my kids (7 & 5, boy and girl) very night. For those who haven't read it, it is a terrific graphic novel for kids full of adventure and strange creatures, with a great message. What else would you reccomend, as we approach the end of this great series? Specifically thinking of a modern, adventure-filled (but not overly mature) graphic novel or series. Science fiction or fantasy would be ideal.
How can I get my six-year-old to stop licking his lips, which results in a chapped ring around his mouth? [more inside]
We have two adorable cats and an even more adorable 4-year-old son who we've just confirmed is allergic to cats. What now? [more inside]
What is the best beach in Galveston to take a bunch of eleven-year-olds for a couple of hours? [more inside]
My son has been sleeping in my bed since he was a tiny infant. He's nearly six now. So how can I gently and kindly get him to sleep in his own bed, in his own room? A few more pertinent details follow below. [more inside]
What are the pros and cons of buying physical books vs. relying primarily on library books from the point of view of exposing one's future children to a wide variety of books? [more inside]
My husband and I have decided to seperate. [more inside]
10-year-old that struggles with many things who, for a few years now, has, when feeling sad/depressed, talked about how no one likes him, he's not good at anything, has no special qualities, isn't smart... etc. Looking for ways to help him. [more inside]
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]
Thoughts on our New England itinerary? Drive Pittsburgh to Boston then up to Salem, Gloucester, Rockport, Portsmouth (I saw the great thread on the kid trips centered around Portsmouth), Portland, Acadia National Park and back bypassing Boston on the return. [more inside]
I've been sorting through youtube trying to find some animated shorts to show a group of kids, turns out there is a lot of flotsam! I'd appreciate any links. [more inside]
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.
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]
Trying to think/work through my conflicted feelings on this. My awesome and creative kids (8 and 11) are getting into making videos, and of course they want to put them on YouTube. They're all excited about being able to check back and see how many views they've got - my daughter wants to do reviews of YA books, my son wants to do a video blog where he reviews sodas and candy and fun stuff like that. But I just don't know if I feel safe uploading them. [more inside]
My husband just told me that having an ambitious, driven wife is really important to him. I have worked like a dog all my life and now that my baby clock is ticking, I was looking forward to stopping and having children and focusing on a household. Is there any way to make us both happy? [more inside]
I'm taking my two daughters to see my family and we're driving, from central Pennsylvania to New Orleans. Here's the basic route. Where should we eat? What should we detour to see? It'll be a two or three day drive. Help us plan it.
Some friends are coming to visit NYC and I'd like to get their kids some fiction set in the city. [more inside]
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]
I'm slowly building up a library of amazing books for my three sons. What books do I need to make sure to include? Are there boy equivalents to Anne Shirley, Sara Crewe, Meg Murry, Matilada, et al? [more inside]
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.
We are moving out of our little rental house in about 6 months but until then our kids desperately need a play area. The best options are either the concrete patio or the wooden deck. It shouldn't rain much here in the next 6 months, but there will be plenty of falling leaves. Any ideas for how to convert either of these spaces into usable play areas? The patio would need some sort of kid-fencing, whereas the deck would just need that plastic side netting. But the floors of either would require something - but what? Astroturf? Those interlocking foam mats? Some third thing I don't know about? Ideally the solution is economical enough to make sense for six months (or it's something we can keep when we move), and it doesn't destroy our rental.