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Help for your questions about parenting, sleep, discipline, education and the teen years.

19 child article submissions by the Mothering community.

Five Free, Festive Ways to Have Fun at Christmas

I don't just want my children to love the gifts they get at Christmas.  I want them to enjoy the spirit of the season, enjoy time with their family, and have some memories that last longer than opening a present.  Over the years there have been a few things that we have been able to do no matter how much money we have had or haven't had.  The memories of Christmas can last longer than the toys.     1.  Christmas Lights! Going through a cruise through little neighborhoods where people have their lights out.  This so fun and delights the children but only costs the... read more

Christmas Through Their Eyes

            It is almost impossible to believe that it has been eleven years since my husband and I spent our first Christmas as a married couple.     I remember that year vividly.  I spent the month before Christmas trying to find decorations that would make our tiny one bedroom apartment feel Christmasy but that also fit into our meager budget.  At the time I didn’t know how to make anything, and I was too busy studying for my Master’s exams to learn.   I remembered holidays from my youth, all of us nestled around the Christmas tree in our Christmas pajamas on... read more

Lead in Christmas Lights, Toxic Decorations and Toys - Why Natural Materials are a Good Idea

    Christmas decorations and toys - they seem harmless enough, with nothing but festive moments and good intentions behind it all. Sadly, from christmas lights to garlands to toys, they are not as innocuous as they may seem.  Many contain heavy metals like lead, flame retardants, and other endocrine disruptors like BPA and phthalates.  Often these things are made with PVC, which is damaging to both the environment and people in many ways.   I encourage everyone this holiday season to take a closer look at what materials their decorations and toys are made of and... read more

15 Fun and Enchanting Holiday Tales for Children

The holidays are a time of magic and delight for children. Celebrate the enchantment of the season with these 15 extraordinary tales.   The giveaway portion is over--the winner can be found in the comments!    An exquisitely illustrated retelling of a classic story from Barefoot Books. An evil troll creates a mirror which reflects the bad and ugly sides of people. When it breaks, shards of its glass enter a young boy, causing him to reject his loving family and best friend Gerda. Helped by kind strangers and guided by her warm heart, Gerda makes... read more

To Santa or Not To Santa

                    It’s one of those things that you don’t realize is a thing until you become a parent, like wipe warmers or cracked nipples or the skill involved in snapping dozens of tiny, tiny snaps at three am while barely conscious.    Wait, cracked what now?   The great Santa controversy is hotly debated on parenting websites and forums all across internet land. It’s lying to children! Says con (well...) It’s encouraging a child’s natural sense of wonder and whimsy! Says pro (one can always use more whimsy.) But for most of us who fall somewhere in the... read more

Three Low Cost Holiday Gifts to Make with Kids

My goal with crafts is usually to stay out of craft stores.  Have you ever ended up spending more money to make hand-crafted gifts than you would have spent otherwise?  I'm not just talking about my former room-mate who wound up in the emergency room with severe burns from her Christmas candle-making project.  I'm talking about those times you went to the craft store and discovered all the cool things you needed to buy in order to make that perfect gift for someone.  I'm also talking about those projects where the individual gift costs very little but the ingredients... read more

Mothering's Natural Toy Guide 2013

  Welcome to Mothering's 2013 Natural Toy Guide: a collection of the highest quality natural toys and gifts available this holiday season! We've carefully selected each item based on its superior materials, uniqueness, value and, of course, its fun-factor. Check out the items found in all guide categories below for our full review, pricing information and where to buy.    Looking for our Toy Giveaway? Find it at the bottom of this page!   Top Picks for 2013 The choice wasn't easy, but we've settled on our very best picks for 2013! We hope you love... read more

Top 20 Toy Picks for 2013 | Mothering Natural Toy Guide

  Top Picks for 2013 The choice wasn't easy, but we've settled on our very best picks for the 2013 holiday season based on quality, uniqueness and value. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Don't miss the other categories in this year's guide or our big toy giveaway! Find them both here.       YOXObot Orig This is by far one of the coolest toys to hit the market in a long while. Everything you need to create a 17" tall robot, or a seemingly endless array of other inventions, are included in the box. Designed to get kids building in seconds, just pair the... read more

Toys to Splurge On | Mothering Natural Toy Guide 2013

  Toys to Splurge On Looking for that super special "big" gift that will last for years to come? Here are some great gifts worth spending more on. Don't miss the other categories in this year's guide or our big toy giveaway! Find them both here.       Bamboletta Doll Bamboletta Dolls are some of the most highly sought after dollies on the market. Unsurpassed in quality and created from 100% natural materials, these sweeties are handmade by a small team of moms and dads with lots of love and attention. Each lovely girl or boy is a completely unique, one of a... read more

Dolls, Doll Houses and Other Little Friends | Mothering Natural Toy Guide 2013

  Sweet and Special Friends Snuggle, laugh and play with this delightful selection of dolls, little friends and their fanciful homes. Don't miss the other categories in this year's guide or our big toy giveaway! Find them both here.       Sweetpea Heavy Doll Filled with 4 pounds of millet and dressed in real newborn baby clothes this unique baby doll is as close as your child will ever get to having their own real baby to love. Any toddler or older child will just adore snuggling up with their little sweetpea. Very well made from all natural materials, these... read more

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