New-York Historical Society's Holiday Express exhibit is a magical wonderland of model trains and old-fashioned toys

12/09/16   filed under: eco play, kid friendly, kids entertainment

Holiday Express, kid friendly, museum, kids entertainment

Train fever among our kids goes into overdrive during the holiday season: we watch Polar Express, pull out our old model train sets and lay track around the house, and love visiting train-themed holiday displays. This year, we’ll be adding the Holiday Express exhibit at the New-York Historical Society to our list of must-sees. Covering a good portion of the museum’s first floor, the installation includes numerous train sets, scenes, and collectibles from the Jerni Collection, which is the “largest and most comprehensive collection of American and European toys and trains ever assembled.” The exhibit was designed to create an immersive experience and includes multimedia screens featuring large trains in motion and an ambient audio “soundscape” in addition to lots of locomotive eye candy. If some members of your family aren’t exactly crazy about trains, there are plenty of old-fashioned toys to catch their eye and perhaps make them meditate on how different (and low-tech and artfully crafted) playthings used to be. Since it’s easy to get overwhelmed with so many treats on view, families can take advantage of the Society’s playful “I Spy” activity to take closer looks at a variety of the trains and toys. If the next few weeks leading up to the holidays are more than a little busy, fear not: the exhibit will be up until February 26, 2017.

+ Holiday Express exhibit

 

HOW TO: Make miso soup with sweet potato noodles, mushrooms and broccoli

12/09/16   filed under: healthy recipe, how-to, vegan cooking

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Kids can fashion handmade gifts and donate them to people in need via Little Loving Hands craft kits

12/09/16   filed under: art, craft, diy kids crafts, eco play, green kids, kid friendly, kids entertainment, parenting

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HOW TO: Make dark chocolate peppermint vegan truffles for the holidays

12/08/16   filed under: food, how-to, recipe, snack, vegan cooking

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12/08/16   filed under: eco play, green holiday ideas for kids, green kids, green toys

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Researchers find endocrine disruptor BPA in all plastic baby teethers tested, even when the teethers were labeled "BPA-Free"

12/08/16   filed under: health & body, kids health, news, toxins

BPA, BPA-free, parabens, antimicrobials, teethers, plastic teethers, health, kids health, news, health news

Teething definitely results in stressed parents looking for relief for their fussy babies, but news from a new study is likely going to make them think twice before handing over any old teether, especially if it’s plastic. Researchers in the study, which was published in the American Chemical Society Environmental Science and Technology Journal, found BPA in every one of the 59 plastic teethers they tested. Many of the solid, water-filled, or gel-filled teethers, which came from 23 different brands, also tested positive for parabens and antimicrobials like triclosan. Here’s the real kicker: most of the teethers were labeled as BPA-free or non-toxic.

In order to simulate the effect of the baby’s saliva on the teether, the researchers submerged the teethers in water for an hour. Parabens were the chemicals most likely to be leached as a result. Although the exposure to these endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDC) is believed to be lower than European standards for temporary tolerable intake levels, there is still much that is unknown about how these chemicals could affect young and developing brains and bodies — including the cumulative effect and interaction of numerous EDCs. Although BPA was banned from baby bottles and cups in 2012, neither it nor other EDCs have been thoroughly studied or regulated with regard to teethers — and these substances remain ubiquitous in personal care items and plastics.

via Science Daily, Fox News, and CBS Baltimore

 

HOW TO: Make a homemade and effective natural cough syrup

12/07/16   filed under: green family, green kids, health & body, how-to

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Jumbo wooden cat stacking game balances family fun and building skills

12/07/16   filed under: eco play, green gifts, green toys, kid friendly

jumbo cat stacking game, cats, cat stacking, eco play

And now for a family activity to partake in over the holidays that doesn’t include shopping, eating, or arguing: stacking cats. This new, larger version of the popular balance game features six cats who are just begging to be turned into a feline tower. The kitties, which are laser cut, display the natural, unfussy beauty of maple wood. Each of the cats was designed to cover different cat attitudes (cattitudes?) and include cats at play and at rest as well as one who looks like he is either channeling the cover of Hamilton but may, in fact, just be stretching. Described as a “reverse Jenga,” this game will occupy kiddos and adults alike during the holiday activity lulls. If you buy multiple sets, cat stacking can become a group activity. Your real family cat may not always be cooperative when it comes to playing games (or doing anything other than following her own whims), so this will likely be the only time you will get away with moving or rearranging a cat’s position without getting a scratch in return. Little ones can also use the cat figures in this game as toys for imaginative play — including the unlikely scenario that your family will own six cats.

+ Jumbo cat stacking game $35.00

 

Bond between 3 year-old adopted boy & his Labradoodle captured in a charitable book to benefit foster parents

Bond between 3 year-old adopted boy & his Labradoodle captured in a charitable book to benefit foster parents

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"Let's Play" book shows what 100 Swiss designers create when given children's building blocks

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Nill was inspired to create Let’s Play after a family visit to her mother’s home at the holidays, when her young daughter began to play with blocks. As other adults observed…

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Santa's workshop made out of 700,000 LEGO bricks on display in London's Covent Garden

Santa's workshop made out of 700,000 LEGO bricks on display in London's Covent Garden

Santa’s workshop has been temporarily relocated from the North Pole to Covent Garden in London. LEGO-certified professional Duncan Titmarsh, one of only 14 people in the world to…

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Mom creates breastfeeding mother Barbie dolls to normalize nursing

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9 DIY stocking stuffers made from upcycled mint tins

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13 eco-friendly Christmas-themed crafts for kids

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Celebrate the Festival of Lights with a Hanukkah menorah featuring customized dolls wearing flame hats

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Kiddos love to partake in the Hanukkah tradition of candle-lighting, an integral part of the Festival of Lights, but with little ones it’s tricky because, you know, FIRE! This…

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