1. What to Wear for Graduation

    Graduation season is here, and all the ceremonies and celebrations are an opportunity for kids of all ages to look their best. Whether your child is attending a graduation ceremony for a big brother or sister, or graduating themselves, now is the time to give some consideration to what they’ll wear.

    Before you jump into shopping, look through the information provided by your son or daughter’s school. Is there a graduation dress code? What is the policy on jewelry? Makeup? What do you think people in the audience will wear? Also take note of where the graduation takes place. Is the ceremony outdoors? How hot will it be? Chance of rain?

    Once you know a bit more about the ceremony you can start shopping. Suits for boys and party dresses for girls is standard graduation wear. If wearing a robe, kids only have to look dressy from the shins down: boys can wear their dress shoes and slacks with a T so they stay cool and comfortable during the ceremony; girls can wear dressy shoes with leggings or tights. After the ceremony ends and you snap some pics of the graduates in their robes, they can change into their full outfits.

    Make sure your graduate or attendee wears comfortable shoes (especially for girls who sometimes choose fashion over function). They’ll be wearing these shoes through the graduation ceremony, the celebratory meal afterwards, and graduation parties. You want them to be comfortable!

    What about choosing the actual dress or suit? If you’re picking out a first suit for your little guy, try to go for something versatile – could he wear it to a fancy dinner? A family wedding? Will your 8th grade girl’s graduation dress work as a prom dress in a few years? You know best about your child’s future plans, so choose dresswear that might work well for upcoming events.

    Once you and your child choose an appropriate graduation outfit, you can sit back and enjoy the event. Snap lots of pictures and take a moment to pat your child and yourself on the back for all your hard work. And don’t forget to thank their teachers, too. Happy graduation! 

     

  2. Dresses with a Little Extra Something

    When the sun is out, no one wants to spend too much time indoors mixing and matching outfits and accessories. Pre-accessorized dresses offer a cute and convenient way to craft a complete look. Plus, it’s like getting a free gift!

    Check out some of our favorite accessory-loaded dresses:

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    The skinny belt included with this Dream Star dress further cinches the already slimming shape. The belt is also removable, so she can add it to other outfits. 

    This unique dress from Chillipop has a modern attitude and a sense of humor. The stripes and bright colors are eye-catching, while the mustache necklace is just plain fun!

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    The light and airy chiffon of this One Step Up dress gets anchored by the more rugged denim vest. The vest can add a bit of edge to any summer ensemble.

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    The shrug lends extra elegance to this floral dress from My Michelle. It’s also perfect for those cooler summer nights. 

     

  3. Brand Alert: Trukfit

    Trukfit brand is as eclectic as its famed creator, Lil’ Wayne. In just the past five years, Wayne has created chart topping rock and rap albums, taken a hiatus from music to learn to skateboard, and founded a charity – all while discovering and managing other chart-toppers like Drake and Nicki Minaj. Did I mention he also founded Trukfit clothing?

    Trukfit tops seamlessly blend skate style with street style. Check out some of our favorites:

    A Keith Haring-inspired graphic is not what you would expect to find on a skater T, but this piece defies expectations and pulls it off.

    This tank combines hand-drawn detailing with a pop of color to create something with attitude and a touch of class.

    Get to know the Trukfit gang with this colorful T. The 4-panel graphic sports vibrant colors to match the crazy characters.

    The spray paint drip logo on this tank pays respect to Trukfit’s street art roots. The print features the Trukfit crew’s various members.

     

  4. Negotiating with Kids

    When kids reach age 5 they enter what some parents call the “little lawyer” phase. Everything becomes a negotiation. They want just 15 more minutes of play before bed, or they outright refuse to eat certain foods. Parents often find themselves frustrated at the fact that every situation becomes a prolonged standoff. And it can be difficult to know when to put your foot down, when you should negotiate, and when to let your child ‘win’ the argument. Here are some tips for dealing with the little lawyer of your family.

    Softening an ultimatum with choices is a good way to avoid a fight or a more drawn-out negotiation. Instead of saying “Go clean your room!” try “What part of your room do you want to clean first?” or “What music do you want to put on while you clean your room?” Simply building some choice into your command can be enough to satisfy that budding need for independence.

    Take advantage or your child’s newly developing empathy when negotiating. If they refuse to eat the vegetables you cooked, turn the tables on them. Ask, “What would you do if you were in my shoes?” or “How do you think I feel when you don’t eat the food I worked hard cooking for you?” This is precisely the kind of thinking you want to encourage in your child, and can often lead to a truce both sides can accept.

    However, you’ll have a hard time negotiating with your child if they don’t understand that you mean business. Let them assert their autonomy, but draw a clear line in the sand as to when you’re engaging in a negotiation and when you’re issuing a command. Giving your child some leeway to exercise choice and negotiation in certain cases will make a command that much more meaningful.

    Don’t forget to have some fun with negotiations. If your child wants 15 minutes more playtime tonight, let him or her plead their case. You may be surprised how convincing they can be!

     

  5. Swimwear for Under $15

    Summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the beach or the pool to cool off.  You want your kids to have the best, but why waste money on a bathing suit that will only be worn for 1 or 2 summers before being outgrown? 

    Lucky for you, we offer stylish swimwear that won’t break the bank. Browse our selection of affordable bathing suits, or check out some of our favorites below.

    This Breaking Waves swimsuit improves on the basic 1-piece design with a memorable off-the-shoulder cut and a bright pattern.

    A tankini is good balance between the freedom of a bikini and the coverage of 1-piece. This one from Pink Platinum sports a tropical print that’s perfect for a beachgoing adventure!

    A surf-inspired graphic gives this St. Tropez bikini a lot of attitude. Ooh la la!   

    A great deal on one of the world’s most trusted seafaring brands? Look no further than this Nautica bikini – just $9.99!

     

  6. 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.   

     

  7. 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.

     

  8. 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.  

     

  9. 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?

     

  10. 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:

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    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. 

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    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. 

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

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    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?