1. Tattle Battle!

    Is tattling a problem for your child? Do they tattle too much, or are they hesitant to share important problems for fear of being labeled a tattletale? As a parent, how do you keep tattling in check?

    Kids begin to tattle between ages 5 – 10. Many kids tattle because they’re testing out a newfound sense of wrong and right, which is ultimately an important part of their development. But they need your guidance to understand how to respond to certain kinds of wrongdoing.

    Playacting can be helpful here. Describe situations, like witnessing bullying or littering, then let your child decide whether they should alert an adult, intervene themselves, or just ignore the behavior. Make sure they’re aware of certain things they should always tell an adult.

    For some kids, tattling is a way to vent frustrations. They may not want you to do anything other than hear them out. In these cases, all you need to do is offer a sympathetic ear. Validate their feelings of anger towards a person or behavior. Let them know that even adults need to gripe sometimes.

    Don’t validate tattling, though. When kids tattle, you don’t want to reward them, but you also don’t want to scold them, punish them, or make them feel as if their concerns are being brushed aside. As a solution, don’t praise them for actually tattling. Instead, try praising them for being attentive. If you find they’re REALLY attentive, assign them something else to observe and relay to you. Ask them to look for 3 examples of kindness to report. Sure beats hearing about yet another playground name-calling incident.

    If you find the tattling habit persistent and hard to break, it may be tied to insecurity. Kids who feel unable to control their surroundings will sometimes engage in constant tattling because it makes them feel more powerful. This bad habit won’t exactly endear them to their peers or build their confidence. When they come to you to tattle, offer support and advice but resist the urge to get actively involved. Give praise when they are able deal with an issue on their own.   

     

  2. Summery Sundresses

    Combining breezy comfort and bold style, sundresses are the hot item for summer. The slinky cut, clingy fit, and bright prints make them an easy and comfortable choice no matter how high the temperature climbs. They’re ideal for wearing over a swimsuit, or dressing up with a cute pair of flats and accessories. With so many selections for under $15, the only hard part is choosing!

    Check out some of our favorites:

    The colorful polka dots on this Just Love dress spread smiles like wildfire. Elastic shirring at the top makes the cut extra flattering.

    A higher hem and artful print makes this Hello Gorgeous dress a real standout. How cute would it look with a pair of boat shoes and a tote bag?

    This Pogo Club dress comes packed with fun accents and accessories. It’s equally at home on the beach or at a casual evening soiree.

    This slinky number from Chillipop serves up classic chic! The fabric is light, the print is bright, and the cut flows in the summer breeze.

     

  3. Fun & Easy Science Experiments for Kids

    Sometimes it takes a little extra spark to ignite a child’s interest in science. Many parents will read or draw with their kids, but much fewer are comfortable exploring scientific concepts. However, there’s no reason you can’t make science a part of everyday play. You don’t need to be a science wiz yourself, and you definitely don’t need to know the answer to every question your child may have. Simply having fun experimenting will introduce your child to the fascinating world of science.

    Here are some fun experiments that are easy, kid-friendly, and relatively mess-free to perform at home:

    Taste Testing: Explore the connection between taste and smell with this simple experiment. Blindfold your child and have them try a small piece of red apple then an equally sized piece of green apple. They should be able to taste the difference. Now try the same thing while they pinch their nose shut. Suddenly tasting the difference is a real challenge! Use this experiment to talk about the five senses and how they interact (learn more here).

    Baking Soda + Vinegar: Mixing baking soda and vinegar to create a fizzy eruption is a classic science experiment for good reason; it illustrates so many scientific concepts! Mixing two ingredients shows your little chemist a basic reaction.  Make things a little more complicated by mixing the ingredients in a lightly corked bottle. Watch the cork fly off and explain the buildup of force behind the impressive pop (learn more here).

    Making a Rainbow: A CD, a glass with some water in it, or a crystal – these are some of the household items you can use to create a homemade rainbow. Shift the light to see how it affects the size and colors of your rainbow. Make sure to use natural sunlight. Reflecting onto a white piece of paper is the easiest way to see the vivid results. Use this experiment to explore the light spectrum, and explain how all light contains these colors (learn more here). 

    Egg Parachute: The goal is simple: use household items to design a parachute that can float an egg to the ground from a given height (a roof or 2nd floor window should be sufficient). This is a great group activity because everyone can try their own design. It also serves as a launching pad for discussing physics – and making omelets.  

     

  4. We Hosted the Brooklyn Nets Kids Dancers!

    We had quite the party at our Fulton Mall store this weekend when the Brooklyn Nets Kids Dancers and the Brooklyn Knight paid us a visit. They showed off some of their moves and gave away Nets gear and tickets. Fans of our blog, Facebook page, and Twitter will remember last year when we had the entire Nets starting lineup dropped by.

    We’re always happy to host Brooklyn’s very own Nets! Didn’t catch the Nets this time around? That’s okay; they’ll be back again soon.  For now, check out these pictures of the event.

    Still haven’t gotten your Brooklyn Nets fix? Check out some of our awesome Nets gear.

    This stylish backpack lets you rep the Nets everywhere you go!

    Show the world the Brooklyn way with this Nets T. Where Brooklyn at?

     

  5. Cargo Shorts Comeback!

    After biding their time in the shadows of fashion obscurity, cargo shorts are making a comeback!

    Today’s designers are taking the always-practical functionally of cargo shorts and giving them a fashion-forward reinvention. Many of today’s cargos offer a sleeker fit and fresh adornments, not the baggy, shapeless mess of yesteryear.    

    As temperatures start to rise, your little guy will surely want to keep a few pairs of cargo shorts in his closet. Check out some of our favorites:

    image

    These Nautica belted cargos are wonderfully simple. They avoid the bells and whistles to deliver a preppy look perfectly in tune with Nautica’s seafaring heritage. 

    image

    These Lee cargo shorts are all about adventure. They have pockets to fit everything he could possibly carry, and the camo print is sure to be a hit. Plus, they’re Lee, so you know they’re built to last. 

    image

    The simple belt on these Quad Seven cargos offers the perfect contrast to the busier plaid.

    image

    Few shorts can boast as many teched-out pockets as this pair from Sean John. But then again, would you expect anything less from Sean John? 

     

  6. NYC! Meet the Nets Kids Dancers this Saturday!

    Where:

    Cookie’s Kids Store on the Fulton Mall, Brooklyn. (Map!)

    When:

    Saturday, May 3

    2:00 – 3:00 PM

    What:

    -Giveaways galore! Nets tickets, Nets gear and apparel, Cookie’s Gift Cards, and more!

    -Performance with the Brooklyn Nets Kids Dancers (pictured above)

    -Special appearance by the BrooklyKnight (the Nets’ chivalrous mascot)

    Hope to see you there!

     

  7. Putting an End to Picky Eating

    image

    Do your kids have certain foods they can’t stand? Is it a constant fight to get them to eat these foods? How do you win that fight? 

    The battle over eating habits usually starts when a child is around 2 years old. At this age, children begin developing preferences and realizing they have choices. Often being picky at the dinner table is simply a manifestation of this development.

    For parents trying to provide nutritious meals, however, it can be a nightmare.

    What’s the best thing to do when a child rejects certain kinds of food? Keep in mind this behavior is likely co-motivated by A) disliking the food and B) wanting to out how you’ll react. If your child refuses to eat something during dinner, ask them to please hang out at the table while the rest of the family eats. If they get hungry later, serve them something similar. Let them know they have the “right” to reject food, but doing so will not earn them a tastier option later.

    image

    Cater to your child’s need to make choices – in small ways. Serve broccoli, but leave it up to your child to decide what plate they get to eat it off of. Furthermore, offer them a choice of toppings like cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, or even ketchup. This allows your child to exercise their newfound autonomy without turning mealtime completely upside-down.

    Slightly older kids, in the 4 – 7 age range, are highly susceptible to peer influence, and you can use this to your advantage. Try putting your child in a situation where other kids his or her age will be eating a healthy variety of foods. Point out, subtly or not, that the people your child admires aren’t so picky. An older sibling, babysitter, or other role model can show the way.

    Don’t expect change overnight. If your child refuses to eat asparagus, it will take more than one meal to change their mind. Ask them to take just one bite of asparagus, even a lick or a nibble will do. It will take time, but eventually your child will grow to like a lot of the stuff you serve them – even healthy fare. And the sooner you can get your little one eating fruits and veggies regularly – even with a dab of ketchup here and there – the more likely they’ll be to adopt healthy habits for life.   

     

  8. Brand Alert: French Connection

    If you’re looking to stock her wardrobe with some cute and summery dresses, you need to browse our selection of French Connection!

    Founded in 1972, French Connection has always stood for ready-to-wear fashion sensibility, unique prints, European accents, and flattering cuts. Their kids collection hews closely to these original ideals. Theirs is a truly designer look, but bear in mind most of these dresses are under $30 (not the case with grown-up sizes of French Connection, sadly).  

    Below are some of our favorites. Look closely for the winning details throughout. 

    The first thing that catches the eye about this dress is the cute print – we think it looks like bubbles popping. Less apparent but equally adorable is the asymmetrical scoop accent at the hip.

    As this dress shows, a classic cut can really benefit from some striking contrast coloring. Put on a pair of sneakers or sandals and – voila! – a complete summer look. 

    Every girl needs a striped sundress, and this one delivers!

    A dress like this is all goes well with simple accessories. An understated purse or a solid pair of sneakers lets the dress do the heavy lifting.

     

  9. Overcoming Jealousy

    Jealousy is something we all experience. In many ways it can be helpful, as it can drive us to achieve on the same level as someone else. However, as with most negative emotions, kids often need help managing their jealous impulses. How can parents be of assistance?

    Jealousy can take many forms, and the first step in dealing with your child’s jealousy is identifying its nature. Many younger children get jealous of others’ possessions and privileges. Siblings will often fight over who gets to use Mom’s iPad or who gets to control what’s on the TV. In many of these cases, it’s your role to step in as the impartial referee. Put a simple system in place and enforce it: time sessions on the iPad to ensure fairness, and alternate control of the remote on the breaks between TV shows.

    If you find yourself refereeing huge numbers of showdowns, you may need to plan some activities that will encourage your kids to work cooperatively. You should also ask your children whether the object of their jealousy is really appealing, or whether it’s just appealing because a sibling or friend owns it. This can open their eyes to the role jealousy plays in distorting their feelings.     

    As kids get older, they often experience jealousy towards their peers. You may hear your child say something like “I wish I was as good at math as Clara” or “why is everyone on the baseball team better than me?” These are great times to illustrate the power of hard work to your kids. If they express dismay at their inability to do something, help them practice it. Let them harness that jealousy and turn it into self-improvement. Plot a practical path to improvement with them – and cheerlead along the way.

    But what if your little baseball player really has no hope of getting as good as the other kids?

    Jealousy regarding things one cannot change, or jealousy regarding inadequacies, real or perceived, can be the hardest to overcome. These jealousies don’t stem from wanting what someone else has as much as low self-esteem. In these situations, parents should try to help their children build self-esteem and confidence. Praise them, but praise them honestly. Remind your kids about the things they are good at, and ask them whether it really matters if they’re not as good at something else.

    Lastly, ask your child to try and accept the things they truly can’t change. This is the last and most important step in overcoming jealousy, and a major milestone in their maturity. 

     

  10. Brand Alert: Urban Republic

    It’s rare in children’s wear to find a brand that takes the motorcycle jacket seriously. After all, kids don’t actually drive motorcycles (legally). But you wouldn’t know it from the attention to detail Urban Republic gives to their jackets. They’ve really tapped into the functionality that makes motorcycle jackets such an iconic piece of outerwear: the perfectly placed zipper pocket, the hem that hits right at the waist, the collar low enough to tuck under a helmet.   

    The quality of materials is particularly striking here. The faux leather Urban Republic employs isn’t just one texture; they’ve perforated, pebbled, cracked, wrinkle-worn, and done everything possible to it, illustrating the striking versatility of the material.  

    This vintage look harkens back to the café racer styles of the 1960s.

    The attached hood lends a trendy touch, but note the paneling at the sides: it stretches to fit, offering a flattering cut for any wearer. 

    For when stealth is the only option.