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How to Prepare Your Child for Sleep Away Camp

When Jenny Wolkowitz’ youngest daughter went to a two-week sleepover camp for the first time, the girl decided she didn’t need her favorite stuffed animal and left it at home. Days later, Wolkowitz had to put the toy in a box and send it to her homesick daughter by overnight delivery.

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Ending the School Year on a Full Stomach Thanks to Operation Backpack

It’s no surprise our kids aren’t as healthy as they should be.

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My Son Is Going to Prom. Why Am I in Tears?

Ah, the wonderfulness that is prom season is upon us. This is the time of year that the malls are filled with teen girls preparing for their big day buying gowns and accessories and getting their hair curled and primped. 

Mothers like me are also bustling around to make sure that each and every detail is taken care of for this monumental night of teenage-hood. But this is also a time of year for sadness for some of us as we notice that our children are growing up and will soon be adults. What is supposed to be a glorious time can be a melancholy event for parents who recognize that their children will soon be out of the family nest.
A few weeks ago when my son announced he was going to prom, I was quite cool. I went to prom both my junior and senior year in high school and considered it a big deal. But as the event creeps closer, it has been a time of reflection for me. This little boy who used to poop in diapers and follow me around like my shadow is now 17 years old, attending prom, and will be graduating next year and going off to college. How can this be?

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Finding Solace in the Prom Scene

Pull out your iridescent taffeta and matching dyed pumps from Payless. Prom season is in full effect!

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7 Ways to Celebrate Children's Book Week in St. Louis

This week marks the beginning of our country’s longest-running literacy program, Children’s Book Week. It is an annual celebration with a simple and powerful message: Books change lives, so let’s share them with our kids. Started in 1919 by the librarian of the Boy Scouts, who sought to improve the standards of children’s books, Children's Book Week is now administered by Every Child a Reader.

Children’s books hold a particularly special place in our culture. In fact, I probably enjoy them more than most of the adult books I read. They are deceptively simple, and the memorable ones tickle our imagination. They are full of the play and discovery characteristic not just of being a child but, well, of being human. And the element of illustration adds a whole other dimension to storytelling.

Here are some activities you can do with your child to celebrate this week.

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Talking to Your Kids About Natural Disasters

All these tornadoes lately!  Not to mention floods, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns and blizzards (had to throw that in for my family up in North Dakota). The end-of-the-world folks have to be buzzing.

Usually I try to shield my kids from disaster stories. But on Friday our family happened to dine within sight of the TVs above a restaurant bar, and my 7-year-old spent the meal avidly reading news headlines about the horrible storms and tornadoes in the South. At that point the death toll was in the 200s; now it’s at 345.

He had a million and one questions. The trickiest for me to answer was why people didn’t go somewhere safe when they heard the sirens? 

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Money-Saving Tips for Expectant Moms

Babies are expensive! Nursery furniture, bedding, clothes, toys, bottles and formula, and diapers, diapers, and more diapers … sometimes newly pregnant moms are surprised by just how much money they’ll be spending on their little bundle of joy.

Savvy shoppers have always been able to save money, but thanks to the Internet and online rewards programs, it’s becoming easier for busy expectant moms to take advantage of special offers even before their baby is born.

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3 Simple Rules to Make Parenting Easier

Parenting is hard enough when both parents are in the same home. But when you are divorced or no longer with your significant other, it can make parenting that much more difficult.

Children often like to play both sides, sometimes pitting one parent against the other to try to get their own way, which can create havoc in an already delicate relationship. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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We All Know Tanning Isn't Healthy, But ...

Let’s have a show of hands: How many of you have added a little color this spring? It could be anything – a few brushes of bronzer? A quick trip to a tanning studio? An application of sunless tanning lotion, either at home or in carwash style? Or even the “real” way, on a beach somewhere?

OK, I’m putting down my hand so I can keep typing. All winter I resolve to be fine with my natural skin tone, but when it’s time to break out the shorts and sleeveless shirts, I can’t bring myself to keep it.

Not only would my skin be healthier in the long term if I could bring myself to stay out of the sun, I feel a twinge of guilt for contributing – in however small a way, because I never get very tan! – to the societal preference for a “healthy” glow.  When I read articles like the one in last week’s Post-Dispatch about young women who have gotten skin cancer from tanning beds, I feel that twinge a little more strongly.

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St. Louis will Host International FIRST Robotics Championships

A few weeks ago we reported on the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Regional Competition. Under strict rules, time constraints and limited resources, teams of 25 students built a robot to perform tasks against a field of competitors. Students from more than 40 high schools in Missouri and eight other states battled their bots at the Chaifetz Arena in March. The top performing teams not only earned bragging rights but also a ticket to the preeminent celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at the National Championships.

Luckily for us St. Louisians, the worldwide FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championships are being held next week at the Edward Jones Dome.

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Co-Parenting in St. Louis (When Your Ex Is Miles Away)

Co-parenting can be tricky for everyone involved. Add to that the barrier of miles and distance when living in two different cities, and it can be quite difficult to manage. It takes a lot of communication, fortitude and planning, but it is not impossible. Co-parenting can work even when you are miles apart.
Let’s take my situation for instance.

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St. Louis ALS Community Welcomes Breadth of Hope

Every 90 minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a motor neuron disease that affects nerve and muscle functionality.

And according to the The ALS Association, St. Louis Regional Chapter, although ALS is most prevalent among individuals between the ages of 40 to 70, it can strike at any age, changing the lives of every member of their families.

St. Louisan Drew Stewart was an intern at a Victoria, Texas, newspaper when he first met with a father with ALS and his family. Touched by their incredible bravery, Stewart morphed a two-minute news story into an eight-minute video and, eventually, a full-length, self-produced documentary.

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Celebrate Motherhood at these St. Louis County Library Events

The St. Louis County Library system is honoring moms by hosting a variety of free programs for kids. The programs include storytelling, movies, crafts, cupcakes, pampering and more. All programs are free and open to the public.
It’s All about Mom
Wednesday, May 4, 4 p.m.

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Things to Do

Splash & Play at the Chesterfield Family Aquatic Center
Monday, June 24, 2024
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Monday, July 1, 2024

Kids ages 0-5 can splash and play in the leisure pool at the Chesterfield Family Aquatic Center during Splash & Play sessions. Splash & Play is held every Monday and Wednesday in the summer through August 7. Older children, ages 6-1, are welcome when they are accompanied by an adult and a child age 0-5.


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COCA Ignites Creativity and Sparks Fun for Kids of All Ages, All Summer Long

Stroll along the Walk of Fame in the Delmar Loop, and you’ll spot the playwrights, actors, and artists who got their start in St. Louis, from Tennessee Williams and Katherine Dunham, to Tina Turner and John Goodman. Just a few steps away and around the corner, a new generation of Gateway City superstars will discover their love for the visual and performing arts this summer.

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Farmer's Markets Make Great Family Outings! Here is Your 2024 Guide to Farmers Markets Across the St. Louis Area

A trip to the farmer’s market is a fun outing for the entire family – and it can be educational too. Make plans to visit one (or several) of these top St. Louis farmers’ markets this spring and summer, so that you and your kids can learn more about where your food comes from and indulge in some of the freshest, seasonal produce the St. Louis region has to offer. Plus, many of these markets offer activities just for kids, feature food trucks, welcome dogs, and more.    

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SUE: The T. Rex Experience to Roar Into the Saint Louis Science Center

This summer. families can meet Sue, the most complete, best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, in the Lou! The Saint Louis Science Center will welcome SUE: The T. rex Experience beginning June 8. The special exhibition features the latest scientific discoveries about the species as a whole along as well immersive, sensory exploration of life in the Cretaceous period.

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Life Lessons Learned at Overnight Camp

With the perfect blend of adventure and responsibility, camp life teaches kids valuable lessons they can use for the rest of their lives. If you send your child to overnight camp, here are some life lessons they are likely to learn.

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10 Reasons Your Teen Might Love to be a Camp Counselor

Day or sleepaway summer camp is the perfect place for teens to transition to the world of the employed. The paycheck is nice, but being a summer camp counselor has other rewards, too.

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