Some St. Louis family attractions are re-opening with limited capacity and enhanced safety protocols for visitors and staff. Read more about family attraction re-openings and safety guidelines here. We invite our readers to enjoy virtual events and socially distanced events highlighted in our Things To Do calendar. Public health experts recommend that when you do go out, follow public health guidelines: wear masks (now required in St. Louis City and County), practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. To learn why social distancing is important and effective in lessening the spread of COVID-19, hear from Dr. Alexis Elward, Chief Medical Officer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Latest News

A Warning About Crazy Bands

I’m not the kind of mom to follow trends, so I was a little slow on the uptake on the whole crazy bands (aka Silly Bandz) fad.

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Dining 4 Kids – Treat Yourself While Helping Others

You can play a role in saving the lives of children right here in St. Louis just by chowing down on a cheeseburger. Or pizza, tacos or spaghetti.

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Shark Alert! Call the Dentist

My son has shark teeth: His permanent teeth are growing behind his baby teeth. Apparently this is pretty common (another SmartParenting blogger recently dealt with this too), but I admit I’m baffled. Don’t baby teeth just fall out?

Not always. It turns out there are a lot of reasons why some kids’ baby teeth are tenacious. One is genetics. Another is impatience. Some kids are more aggressive at wiggling loose teeth. In my 7-year-old’s case, he needed encouragement from the dentist to start wiggling and twisting his three loose teeth.

In fact, she pretty much gave him an ultimatum this morning.

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Mom and Dad Go to a Concert

Last Thursday night, Mr. P and I went to a concert to celebrate our anniversary. We saw one of my absolute favorites, Jamie Lidell, put on an incredible show at the Old Rock House. If you haven’t been to either before, I highly recommend them both.

When we were dating, Mr. P and I loved going to concerts. Since having kids, we still enjoy going, but our shows are few and far in between. Mostly because someone needs to be home with the little ones and because concerts are expensive, but really because, let’s face it, we’re not 28 anymore.

Here’s what’s changed in our concert-going ways once the Little Ps made their appearances:

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Fitting in is Hard on the Body

When we moved to Edwardsville from the city, I wanted to make a few changes to fit in with my new suburban surroundings.

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A 'Touching' Story about a Tiny Miracle

This past week one of my colleagues at Parents as Teachers (where I do some freelance work) was aglow over the news of a “miraculous” baby. The tiny boy was born prematurely and had been pronounced dead – but he was revived after being held in "kangaroo care" against his mom’s chest for a couple of hours, while doctors left her and her husband alone with him so they could grieve and say final farewells.

In fact, their doctor was so disbelieving that he wouldn’t return to check out the baby’s lifelike “reflexes.” The parents had to resort to deception to get him to come back and confirm that the boy was indeed alive.

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Brain Boost: Speed up Your Child’s Processing Rate

It’s a couple of weeks into the school year … how’s it going?  If your answer is “not so hot,” maybe your child could use a boost to get onto the right track.

On page 28 of our Fall issue (yes, it’s now available digitally as well as in print!!), writer Gina Parsons shares local educators’ insights into possible problems and solutions. Some kids will benefit from testing for learning issues; others may get all the help they need from a tutor.

Another option is a computerized learning program that zeroes in on brain processing skills. Don’t let your eyes glaze over – this is fascinating stuff. Our brains are sort of like computers. They have a processing speed. But because we’re on the inside, we may not be aware that our mental “computer” is running more slowly than it could be. To someone on the outside – for example, you watching your child – the poky pace may be more apparent.

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Keeping Marriage Strong When Bringing Baby Home

As new mothers, most of us have been there. The day we welcome our little ones to our families, we look over at our significant other and think, “Wow, I could never love him more than I do right now.”

Two weeks later, after our third round of middle-of-the-night nursing, we muster all our strength not to throw our breast pump at the snoring lump of husband in our bed.

Having a baby is hard on any couple, especially those experiencing parenthood for the first time. Between the sleeplessness and the financial stress, it’s no wonder that 60 percent of couples experience a drop in relationship quality within three years of a child’s birth.

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Fresh, Healthy and Cheap

I’m going to sound really old here, but my first memories of food co-ops go waaaay back to the ‘70s and ‘80s. The upside was healthy, nutritious (and, for us, exotic) foods like dried papaya and carob chips. The downside was pen-and-paper ordering, tallying and record-keeping. Those poor volunteers, including my mom, really toiled over their calculators at delivery time.

Nowadays, ordering is online and you don’t even have to break out a pen – unless you need to jot a reminder note about your pick-up date and time. The foods are still healthy and nutritious, but the focus has shifted to locally produced wares.

I walked through the sign-up process at Community Helpings Coop a few days ago, and it was so easy that I asked one of the organizers, Tracy Gruener, if I had missed something.

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Cancer Survivor and Mom Celebrates Two Big Milestones

Having a child changes your life. For Karen Higano, giving birth to her son, Connor, actually helped saved her life.

Five years ago, 39-year-old Higano had been in labor for 33 hours when her doctor recommended a Caesarian section. During the surgery, her obstetrician discovered four cysts on her left Fallopian tube. He thought nothing unusual, but removed the cysts and sent them to pathology to be on the safe side.

On the day she left the hospital with her newborn, Higano was hit with the news: ovarian cancer. “When I was diagnosed, I was shocked,” she said. “I knew about breast cancer because my mom was a survivor, but I really had never heard of ovarian cancer.”

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In Vogue, Not in Debt

With cooler weather around the corner, many moms begin thinking of cute fall clothes. However, our kids’ needs come first, leaving little left over for us to update our wardrobes.

So until daycare is free and groceries cost a smile, I needed to figure out how to freshen up my working mom’s attire without breaking out the credit card.

I could be like Marisa from New Dress a Day who uncovers $1 finds at thrift stores and transforms them into runway-worthy designs. But my sewing skills are nil. Really – I make my husband sew on buttons and hem pants.

Or, I could try the Six Items or Less plan, living off six pieces of clothing for one month. But that would necessitate doing laundry more than once a week.

To curb my dilemma, I turned to two St. Louis experts to help me on my quest for cuteness. With their advice and a little extra work on my part, I’m headed on the right track to an affordable wardrobe rework.

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Pounding the Pavement in the Right Shoes

Farewell, flip flops. Sayonara, sandals. Ciao, crocs. My son’s elementary school has a policy against all of them, along with any other footwear that gets in the way of running and playing. I used to think such policies were harsh, back in the days when my 7-year-old was first in preschool. Now that I’m older and wiser (and have seen the scientific studies to support the bans) I see where they’re coming from.

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Be a Part of Mom is Born!

You're invited to participate in the biggest virtual baby shower of the year! The moms at mymommymanual.com are throwing a baby shower on Wednesday for expectant mom Virginia Kerr of KMOV-TV, and you can watch and participate in the event as it's broadcast live online. The shower benefits the March of Dimes and celebrates the journey into motherhood for Kerr, the anchor of KMOV's early news show Awake.

The two-hour broadcast will focus on every women's transition into motherhood, and we all know that's one of, if not the biggest, milestone in our lives. You'll also hear great parenting tips from experienced moms and learn about new products that make the journey into motherhood easier and more fun. On top of all that, prizes have been donated by the shower sponsors for giveaway that you can win online. Prizes include

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Take a Walk on the Safe Side With Trailnet

When we were little, we’d listen to our parents and grandparents share how they “walked five miles to school in the snow and pouring rain." Today, our kids are shocked when they hear we walked three blocks to school every morning.

Whether school is too far from home in our ever-expanding suburbs, their parents are afraid of them heading to school on their own or, let’s face it, they just don’t want to, kids these days rarely walk or bike to school. However, 10 to 20 minutes of exercise twice a day can have a significant effect on a child’s well-being. According to the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research , middle-school girls can get an additional 13.7 minutes of exercise a day simply by walking to school.

Thankfully, Trailnet, the St. Louis nonprofit which promotes active living, has come to the rescue once again this school year through its participation in the Safe Routes to School national program.

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Yoga for the Wild One

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine mentioned her daughter’s daycare offered yoga lessons. Knowing I’ve done yoga for years, she asked me if I ever considered yoga for my 4-year-old.

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Things to Do

Teaching in Room 9 from The Nine Network

The Nine Network is producing two hours of literacy and math instruction for prekindergarten through fourth grade weekdays from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The grade-appropriate instruction is taught by local educators at home, and is available on your St. Louis PBS station, channel 9. 

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Open Gym at Miss Kelly's Gym
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Friday, July 10, 2020
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Kids can work on existing gym skills, learn new skills or just play around during Open Gym at Miss Kelly's Gym. Space is limited to 10 kids per session. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

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Explore Purina Farms: Responsible Pet Care

Purina Farms is bringing the best of the farm to your home every week! You can virtually explore Purina Farms through videos featuring the animals, dog trainers and others who work there, as well as the pets who work and play at Purina Farms every day. Each day of the week features videos on a variety of topics including animal connections, training tips and responsible pet care advice for kids. 

 

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Magic At Home with The Magic House
Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Magic House is bringing innovative, hands-on learning to you at home with its #MagicAtHome series of interactive, instructional online presentations. The Magic At Home series of activities includes lots of fun projects that you can make at home with common materials. The easy-to-follow directions mean your kids can make paper sculpture, do shaving cream marble painting, create make-your-own flowers, go "fishin," make TP roll animals, make salad spin art and more.

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Science @ Home with the Saint Louis Science Center
Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Science Louis Science Center is continuing to ignite and sustain lifelong science and technology learning through its online Science @ Home series! Visit the Science Center's web site or social media channels for DIY science experiments that can be done at home, Amazing Science Demonstrations from the Science Center's Energy Stage team, connections to local scientists, astronomy updates from the McDonnell Planetarium, live chats and more. Content is designed for all ages. 

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Parenting During the Pandemic: Overwhelmed and Exhausted

No, last Saturday I didn’t plant a victory garden or make a sourdough starter. I wasn’t the mom who created movie tickets and set up a concession stand in my house for movie night (seriously, WHICH ONE OF YOU DID THIS and how did word get back to my kids?). I stayed on the couch all day and hissed at anyone who invaded my territory. Like millions of other parents juggling homeschooling and working from home, I’m beat.

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The Magic House, Made for Kids, Sandcastle Beach Will Reopen to the Public, Including Summer Camps

The Magic House has announced it will reopen to the public on June 15, open its St. Louis city satellite location – MADE for Kids – on June 9, and summer camps are proceeding as planned. 

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St. Louis Area Summer Camps, Some Family Attractions to Open In June with New Safety Guidelines

Summer camps in the St. Louis area that have announced they will hold in-person summer sessions are enacting strict safety protocols to help ensure the health of their campers. In addition to limiting enrollment, camps are cancelling field trips, enacting strict cleaning protocols, taking daily temperature and symptom checks, and installilng measures that allow for social distancing.

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Saint Louis Zoo Announces Opening Date for Summer 2020; New Safety Protocols

The Saint Louis Zoo has announced it will reopen Saturday, June 13 with new protocols for visitors, including requiring timed reservations and face masks, and limiting attendance to better allow for social distancing. All Zoo staff will wear face masks and all guests over the age of 9 will be required to wear face masks/face coverings while visiting. 

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Coming Soon: Why the Forest Park Playscape, Opening This Year, Will Be Much More Than a Playground

Since breaking ground on the child-inspired Nature Playscape in Forest Park last summer, Forest Park Forever, the City of St. Louis and their team of partners have been pushing forward on this much-anticipated project at full speed, constructing eight activity areas where your kids will soon splash, climb, build, and learn. Already halfway completed, this one-of-a-kind play area in the heart of the park is destined to grow children’s interest in the natural world around them.

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