Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Rides from Radio Flyer

Everyone remembers Radio Flyer, famous for their wonderful red wagons. If you never owned one, chances are you rode in one or pulled one at some point in your life! Well now, Radio Flyer has added to their arsenal of indestructible toys by rolling out the Scoot 2 Skate and the Smooth Rider, ridable toys ranging from age 3 through the tween years.

The Scoot 2 Skate is ideal for younger children who are just learning how to ride a skateboard. There's a removable handle that allows children (ages 3-8) to ride the skateboard like a scooter until they are ready to remove the handle and go it alone!

For older kids, there's the Smooth Rider, a retro-style scooter perfect for kids 9 and up, and it's even strong enough to hold teens, and even a goofball dad if he dares! 

Dominic, my 11 year old, easily glides down the street on the Smooth Rider and really enjoyed trying out this fun new scooter. Out of the box they were simple enough for my kids to put together on their own as well. The Smooth Rider has a folding feature, which came in quite handy when Dominic left it at a friend's house and had to carry it home while riding his bike!

These two new riders are definitely worth a look. More information below:

Radio Flyer Smooth Rider

PRODUCT OVERVIEW: With high performance features and a cool, classic design, the Radio Flyer Smooth Rider scooter is perfect for cruising around town with friends.

Experienced riders will appreciate the ultra-smooth, ultra-comfortable ride delivered by the extra large 170 mm wheels and precision ball bearings. The Smooth Rider also comes equipped with:
1.    Wider and longer deck for easy foot placement
2.    Hand and footbrakes for added control
3.    Classic retro look

·      Extra-large 170mm wheels
·      Classically-styled wood deck
·      ABEC-5 high performance ball bearings
·      Hand and foot brakes for added control
·      Adjustable handlebar
·      Foldable handle for easy storage and portability

The Smooth Rider is available at retailers nationwide for the suggested retail price of $99.99.

Radio Flyer Scoot 2 Skate

Aspiring skaters will ride with confidence on the Scoot 2 Skate from Radio Flyer. This beginner skateboard is a 2-in-1 value that offers two ways to ride:   
1.    Scooter mode: teaches kids how to balance and control in scooter mode
2.    Skateboard mode: the handle removes completely allowing full skateboard functionality once riders are ready

The product also has an authentic skateboard look and real skateboard trucks in both riding modes.

·      2 ways to ride: scooter and skateboard mode
·      Wood deck with non-skid surface on top
·      Cool skateboard graphics underneath deck
·      For ages 3-8 years old

Scoot 2 Skate is available at retailers for a suggested retail price of $39.99

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning That Won't Take All Day

Daylight savings has come and gone, soon enough Spring will have sprung. If you've been putting off doing your Spring cleaning because you don't have 25 uninterrupted hours to devote to it, don't worry. Start with the basics and once those are finished, you can move on to things like waxing the floors and dusting the ceiling fan (who looks up there anyway?). Following is a list that will only take a few hours but make a big difference in feeling like you've accomplished something. Implementing some of these quick cleaning tips will help jump start your spring cleaning efforts.

1. Change out the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. This is a very important task that needs to be done twice a year—it takes 5 minutes but will save your life.

2. Clean your windows. Spray them with window cleaner (easy homemade cleaning solution: 1 part hot water, one part white vinegar) and then wipe them down with old newspaper. Seriously. It really does prevent streaks.

3. Disinfect all garbage cans by spraying all-purpose cleaner on the inside and outside, then wiping down with a clean cloth.

4. Clean your microwave. This is a simple task that usually doesn't get accomplished with enough frequency: heat up a mug of water with a few lemon slices in it for 3 minutes. Let stand for another 3 minutes. Wipe down walls of microwave with a clean, damp cloth.

5. Wash all pillows and bedding—most pillows can be machine-washed and this eliminates bacteria and mold.

For plenty more cleaning tips and ideas, visit FamilyCorner's cleaning section!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Should You Buy Your Kid a Cell Phone?

According to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 66 percent of kids own a cell phone. Are you part of the remaining 34 percent and you're wondering if you should just go ahead and buy one or stand your ground and not give in the pressure? This is a divisive issue with some parents who firmly take the pro-technology stance—and there are certainly arguments in favor of giving your child a way to call 911 at any time or to receive calls from parents. On the other side of the fence are the parents who don't see the need and worry that once the kids get phones, they will start texting like mad, running up enormous bills that the parents then have to pay.

Here are some commonly-held positions you may want to consider:

  • "You can have it when you can pay for it." Take the onus off yourself and put the responsibility firmly in the hands of the child. 
  • "You can have one but it's prepaid and for emergencies only." Start small—give them a chance to prove they can handle the responsibility and see how it goes. 
  • "You can have one when you start driving (but of course you can't use it while driving)." The safety feature of being able to track them using GPS is a major contributing factor to this school of thought. 
  • "No cell phones for children in this house." Hey, you're the parent and if you decide you don't want your kid to have a phone, then they don't get one. End of discussion. 

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Teaching Kids About Money

Simple fact: Kids who are taught about money grow up to be adults who manage their money well. But for those of us who feel intimidated by the subject and don't really know where or how to start, take heart. Start with these steps and get your kids on the road to financial freedom. They won't realize the importance of this now but they will thank you later.

Start with allowance
Kids respond to concrete examples so decide on a weekly amount and begin the process of understanding how the world of finance works: take them to the bank and open a savings account. Let them use their money for all discretionary spending, thereby teaching them about the concept of saving for large purchases. They want something but don't have the cash? They can't afford to buy it. That is a valuable lesson, start the teaching early!

Read more ideas on starting and maintaining an allowance for kids.

Risk vs. reward
Introduce the idea of working for things that you want with extra chores. A house cannot run efficiently unless everyone does their part, and there's usually no money changing hands for that. However, you may choose to assign a dollar value to additional household chores outside of their normal responsibilities and let kids work for the money. Also, talk to them about not just things they want now, but planning for the future (college tuition, vacations, etc).

Balancing a budget
Talk to your kids about what a budget represents: freedom to be in charge of yourself and your life. Start to teach them that part of every person's life is work (which they will now understand because they have chores) and what "living within your means" means. Draw up a budget and see what they can afford and consider using your family budget as an illustration: you don't have to go over every purchase with them, just give them the broad sense of what your monthly budget looks like.

Giving back
Teach social responsibility early by including charity in your conversation you're your kids about money. Help them find a worthy cause and start donating to it! Consider volunteering for the organization if they have that opportunity for kids and make it something they will embrace for their entire lives because when you give to charity, you are really giving to yourself.

You might also want to read about how to make saving fun for your child. Armed with the right information, you can teach your children their financial ABCs.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Preventing Dog Bites

While it's certainly not summer yet, warm weather is upon us and that means more outside time for your kids.

Summer is the time when most dog bites occur, and children under age 15 are the most likely victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 400,000 children each year seek medical attention for dog bites. In recognition of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 21-27, promoted by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the U.S. Postal Service and the CDC, American Humane urges parents and dog owners to learn how they can help keep their neighborhood children safe.

"Any breed of dog may bite. And even family pets, not just dogs that are unknown to a child, have the potential to bite," said Dr. Bill Torgerson, DVM, vice president of Animal Protection Services for American Humane. "Relationships between kids and animals can be so positive and meaningful - on both sides - it would be tragic to discourage that because of fear. At the same time, the worst thing that could happen is for a child to get hurt."

Read more of this valuable advice here

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reusable Water Bottles: SIGG's Alternative to Plastic

What can we say about the lowly disposable plastic water bottle that hasn't already been said? You know the adverse affect it has on our environment (millions of water bottles get thrown away each year), you know the quality of water usually isn't any higher than tap, you know the cost is prohibitive. But thankfully, there are alternatives.

SIGG has been in the business since 1908 so they know what consumers want and have delivered. Their bottles are 100% pure aluminum which is virtually unbreakable and also recyclable. Also, the SIGG bottle does not leach BPAs!

Their product line features bottles in many sizes with over 100 designs so every member of your family can stay hydrated in style. The best thing about these bottles is that they they're "taste neutral" meaning you can have lemonade one day and coffee the next and there won't be any lingering taste or odor. And of course there's the celebrity factor: these bottles have seen toted around by everyone from Reese Witherspoon to Jennifer Garner. Prices start at $17.99.

This review provided by staff member, Josefin O'Brien.

Be sure to check out our Earth Day section full of crafts and recipes!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

World’s Largest Water SlideAThon

I wanted to share with you this super fun event that benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters. On March 26-27, 2010 all 11 Great Wolf Lodge locations will attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest distance traveled on waterslides over a 24-hour period.

Great Wolf will accept donations to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters - and the company will match the amount collected up to $50,000. The King’s Island, Pocono Mountains, and Kansas City Lodges will host Grand Opening Celebrations (including the Guinness attempt), where the winning families of the recent First Families Sweepstakes will be the first to count toward the Guinness record at these properties. had the pleasure of visiting a Great Wolf Lodge location this past summer and it was a fabulous experience! We'll be sharing more info about that at a later date. Meanwhile, here's the press release for anyone who is interested in attending!

Great Wolf Lodge at Kings Island Unveils World’s First
Triple-Funnel Waterslide
Guinness Book of World Records Attempt in Late March to Celebrate New Slides at
Great Wolf Lodge Locations at Kings Island, Kansas City, and Pocono Mountains

MADISON, Wis. (March 4, 2010) -- Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.® (NASDAQ: WOLF), North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, unveiled its first of three new waterslides this year. The Triple Twist, which opened today at Great Wolf Lodge at Kings Island, is a first-of-its-kind-in-the-world slide. New slides at two other resort locations will open by the end of March.

The Triple Twist is a five-story waterslide featuring a high speed drop into a huge funnel, followed by twists and turns, and two more funnels. Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City is scheduled to open its version of The Triple Twist on March 12, with Great Wolf Lodge in the Pocono Mountains scheduled to open Double Barrel Drop on March 26. The new Pocono Mountains attraction, which will be the first indoor waterslide of its kind in the world, is a six-story adventure that starts with a high speed drop into a huge funnel, a 450 degree turn into a dark vortex tunnel, and then a second funnel. All three new waterslides will include lighting and special effects to enhance the rider experience.

“We’re proud to continue leading the waterpark industry in new ride innovations, like being the first in the world to have The Triple Twist,” said Tim Black, executive vice president of operations. “This is only the start of a really big year for Great Wolf Lodge, and we’re excited to unveil these first pieces of the puzzle just in time for spring break,”

To celebrate these three new attractions, all 11 Great Wolf Lodge locations will participate in an attempt to break a world’s record on March 26-27. The Great Wolf Lodge “World’s Largest Waterslide-athon” will take place over 24 consecutive hours with one designated slide per resort. Every slider who descends the designated slide will count toward breaking the record for longest distance traveled on waterslides over a 24 hour period. The current Guinness World Record for this attempt was set in Germany in 2007 with a total distance of 843 miles.

Participants in the Great Wolf Lodge “World’s Largest Waterslide-athon” will be asked to donate $1, with proceeds from the company’s U.S. locations going to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the company’s charity of choice. Great Wolf Resorts will be matching each donation, up to $50,000.

The grand opening celebration and Guinness Record attempt at the end of March will include the three “First Families,” winners of a sweepstakes held earlier this year to promote the new attractions. The First Families of Great Wolf at King’s Island, Kansas City, and Pocono Mountains will be the first to have their rides down the slides count toward the Guinness World Record attempt at those locations.

For more information, visit

Thursday, March 11, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Crafts & Recipes

St. Patrick's Day doesn't get the attention that many other holidays do, but that doesn't stop the creation of cute crafts and tasty recipes you and your kids will love! We have a variety of printables, crafts and recipes available in our St. Patrick's Day section.

Some ideas include:

To see all of our fun St. Patrick's Day ideas, visit!