1. 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?

     

  2. 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? 

     

  3. 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!

     

  4. Putting an End to Picky Eating

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    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.

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    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.   

     

  5. 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.

     

  6. 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. 

     

  7. 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.   

     

  8. Toys that Teach

    Savvy parents are always looking for new and engaging ways to educate their kids. Whether your child is pre-school age or struggling in an academic subject, a little boost to enhance their learning experience is always beneficial. But how do you make it fun? 

    Many parents and kids have already discovered the value of learning through play. When you teach with toys, that most dreaded school subject becomes a lot less intimidating. Here are some of our favorite teaching toys:

    Scientific Playsets: Many of today’s great scientists can trace their interest in the natural world to a childhood science playset. Not only do such toys inspire young imaginations, they allow children to get some firsthand experience with the scientific method. Kids get to collect and record data, observe change over time, and begin to grasp the forces at work in the world around them. A science playset could turn your little one into a lifelong lover of science.

    Arts & Crafts Sets: Unfortunately, many of today’s school curriculums underemphasize arts education, so parents must take it upon themselves to develop their child’s creativity. A set of markers, paints, jewelry making supplies, or other artistic supplies can give your child a wonderful creative outlet. With the right art set, they’ll develop eye-hand coordination, the ability to think outside the box, and an eye for form and color.

    Building Toys: Industrious kids love Legos, blocks, K’Nex, and other building toys. These kind of toys involve some creative thought and some analytical thought, making them a versatile educational tool. Kids get to explore their imagination while learning about physics, engineering, and material science. What structures will your kids dream up?

    Adventure Kits: These toy sets are designed for exploring the outdoors. They often contain a camera, binoculars, a compass, walkie-talkie, and other adventuring equipment. Your child can observe nature, snap some pictures, and get some fresh air – all while having a blast!

    Word Games: Games like Scrabble and Boggle are a great way to expand your child’s vocabulary and improve spelling. They also force players to think on their feet. Your kids may be hesitant at first, but after a few games with you they just might get hooked. Before you know it, they’ll be the ones teaching you new words!

     

  9. The Best Loafers since Sliced Bread

    A good pair of loafers is essential for any young man’s wardrobe. The comfy no-lace design makes them an easy option for school attire, dressy events, and casual wear. But with so many designers taking loafers in exciting non-traditional directions, finding the right pair can be a challenge.

    Before choosing a pair, consider the need they will fill. Will they be the footwear for his school uniform? His casual summer shoe to slip on and off? Take a look at some of our favorite pairs for inspiration.

    This pair from Akademiks combines elements of a traditional loafer with some more modern touches, like a scuff-resistant perforated upper. The result is handsome but ultimately casual.

    This Goodfellas loafer is clean, simple, and comfortable. It’s a solid choice if he needs something to go with a school uniform or a go-with-anything dress shoe.

    This ingenious Lil Fellas shoe mashes up the loafer and the boat shoe for a win-win combination. It packs a dose of seaside style that can be dressed up with slacks or dressed down with shorts.

    This penny loafer from Kenneth Cole is as classic as it gets. Give your kid a couple of dimes or pennies to fit in the slot and – ka-ching – he’s in business.    

     

  10. Time-Out Alternative: Time-In

    When it comes to dealing with a child’s bad behavior, the time-out is one of the most tried and true tools in a parent’s kit. The prevailing wisdom is that it gives kids a few minutes to cool off, reflect about what they have done, and realize that their actions have consequences.  However, there are lessons a time-out doesn’t teach, like regulating your emotions, cooperating with your parents, or deescalating. Some parents are doing the exact opposite of the time-out and using a technique known as the time-in.

    A time-in is when you sit your child down calmly to comfort them and talk about the bad behavior. As opposed to a punishment, the time-in lets you find out what pushed your child to a certain behavior and create a cooperative plan to stop it from happening again. Most negative behavior doesn’t come from nowhere, so a time-in can help a parent understand what is going through their child’s mind. It also helps children reconcile and further examine their negative emotions.

    Many kids, when left to their own devices during time-out time, will blame others as opposed to really thinking about what they have done. Kids can have trouble sorting out their actions and their emotions. A time-in lets you, the parent, take control and say “Emotion X is okay, action X is not” and from there move the conversation to “What is a more productive way to deal with emotion X?”

    Another problem with the time-out is that it loses its effectiveness after a certain age. Are you really going to give your teenager a time-out? Probably not. By getting into the habit of talking through problems now, you establish a lifelong habit of talking through your child’s inappropriate behaviors.

    Many parents are skeptical of the time-in because they don’t want to feel they are rewarding a bad behavior. The first thing to remember is that a time-in is not a punishment, but it’s not a reward either. It’s simply a different, more proactive tool for dealing with problem behavior. Try it out – you may be surprised at the results.