According to a story by The Associated Press, the government Wednesday officially outlawed drop-side cribs. This move comes after millions of recalls and 30 infant deaths in the past 1o years.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reached a unanimous decision to ban the manufacturing, sale and resale of drop-side cribs, which have a side rail that moves up and down. Hotels and day care centers also would be prohibited from using these types of cribs.
To read the full story, click here.
As you might know, I’m a big fan of Bass Pro Shops. They always have something fun and FREE going on for the kids and I always take full advantage.
My favorite is their Christmas Wonderland. They pack December full of free crafts, fun displays, games and a FREE studio-quality 4 X 6 photo with Santa. So skip the expensive mall Santa photos and head down to Bass Pro.
Crafts are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. (while supplies last) and include:
Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 4 & 5: Snowman Suncatcher ornament
Dec. 7 – 9, 11 & 12: Wooden ornaments
Dec. 14 – 16, 18 & 19: Reindeer ornaments
Dec. 21-23: Cookie decorating
From now through Dec. 12, Santa photos are 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
From Dec. 13 to Dec. 24, photo hours are extended to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays and Christmas Eve.
All games and activities are available during store hours. These include toy trains, slot car racing, laser and soft gun arcades, remote control trucks and video games.
Also, this year, Bass Pro is giving away free “Santa Bandz” to the first 150 children on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Bandz are different each week.
For more information about Santa’s Wonderland, click here.
With the holidays quickly approaching, and the biggest shopping day of the year this Friday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission releases its “top tips for a safer holiday toy shopping and playing experience.”
1. Always choose age-appropriate toys for children. Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
2. Include safety gear whenever shopping for sports-related gifts or ride-on toys including bicycles, skates and scooters. Helmets and other safety gear should be worn properly and be sized to fit.
3. Be aware of your child’s surroundings during play. Young children should avoid playing with ride-on toys near streets and traffic, pools or ponds. They should avoid playing in indoor areas near hazards such as kitchens, bathrooms or rooms with corded window blinds.
4. Once gifts are opened, immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging from toys.
5. Battery-charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose a thermal burn hazard to young children.
6. For children younger than 3, avoid toys with small parts and small balls. For Children younger than 6, avoid toys with small magnets. Keep all young children away from broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children 8 and younger. Balloons are a choking hazard.
Child Guidance Services of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department has some great workshops still available through the end of the year. All workshops are for parents and caregivers of young children unless otherwise specified. Pre-registration is required for all programs by calling 425-4412. All programs are FREE.
Enhancing Language and Literacy Skills in Young Children
(for parents, caregivers of children from birth to age 5)
All three workshops are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 16 – Midwest City Library
Nov. 23 – Village Library
Nov. 30 – Choctaw Library
Temper, Temper! Handling Tantrums
Both workshops are 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 – Midwest City Library
Nov. 16 – Village Library
Both workshops are 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Nov. 9 – Warr Acres Library
Nov. 17 – Edmond Library
Lullaby & Goodnight
10:30 a.m. to noon on Dec. 3 – Warr Acres Library
3 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 15 – Edmond Library
Boosting Your Child’s Brain Power
3:30 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 21 – Ralph Ellison Library
Child Guidance Services also offers screenings in speech, language, development and health. Call 425-4412 to schedule a screening. For more information go to www.occhd.org.
Need a neat way to encourage your children to be polite? How about free pizza?
From now until Nov. 31, Cici’s Pizza restaurants will be stocked with “Thank you” trackers for parents to take home (see below). They can note each time their child says “thank you” without being prodded. Once they get 10 thank yous, you can bring the card in for a FREE buffet for children age 10 and younger (with the purchase of an adult buffet). And what kid doesn’t like pizza buffets?
Cici’s fans also can send their own thank you note on Cici’s Pizza’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cicis and the recipient will receive a “Two can dine for $9.99″ deal, including buffet and drinks. Recipients can be anyone – teachers, military personnel, friends, etc.
“At Cici’s, we believe an environment that fosters kindness and appreciation is as essential to our success as our hot, fresh buffet,” CEO Mike Shumsky said in a news release. “… it’s why we created the ‘Thank yous Count’ campaign.”
Some locations may even have giant thank you cards or posters for patrons to sign. These cards will be delivered along with dinners to community groups throughout November.
And with your kids earning a free meal, you may just end up telling them ‘Thank you’ for being so polite.
- Just for signing up, you get 30% off the list price on any one kids’ book or toy.
- For every $100 you spend on kids’ stuff online and in stores, you get a $5 reward.
- Get a free cupcake (yum!) from the B&N cafe AND a free Tikatok create-a-book project for your children’s birthdays.
- Receive a monthly newsletter featuring even more savings.
To join, just visit any Barnes & Noble or go to bn.com/kidsclub.
Today, my four-year-old and I both endured the same pain – our annual flu shots. But for my little guy, it’s not yet over. He has to go back in a month to get a second dose because this year’s flu shot also includes resistance to H1N1.
I have many friends who have strong opinions about flu shots. They either swear by them or swear against them. I, having had the flu two winters ago, now swear by them. But some, who have never had the flu, say “why fix something that isn’t broken?”
So will you be getting your kids and/or yourself the flu vaccine this year? Answer below.
If you’re a sort-of country dweller like me, you don’t really have a good reliable neighborhood to trick-or-treat in this year. So how do you make the most of Halloween when you can’t do the traditional door-to-door candy quest? Here are some really great (and I’ve been to most of these) activities in the metro you can do with your kids this week to get in the spooky spirit:
Haunt the Zoo: We go every year. You can’t beat the Oklahoma City Zoo for Halloween. You won’t see animals, but you will see folks standing along a pumpkin-lined path handing out some yummy treats. Neat displays are set up along the way, perfect for pictures. Haunt the Zoo is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. starting tonight and ending Sunday. Tickets are only necessary for the kids, and they’re $7 each. Click here for more information.
Storybook Forest: Spring Creek Park at Edmond’s Arcadia Lake turns into a book of fairytales as kids can walk through a forest of stories. Characters and scenes from children’s favorite books are brought to life, along with treats, hayrides, carnival games and a campfire for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Storybook Forest is open 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily through Sunday. Admission is $5 per child during the week, $7 on the weekend. Adults are free. Click here for more information.
Halloween Train Ride at the Oklahoma Railway Museum is a real train ride for kids wearing their costumes. Departure times Saturday are 10 and 11 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for age 15 and older, $5 for ages 3 to 14, and kids younger than 3 are free. Click here for more information.
Haunt the Harn at the Harn Homestead. Includes trick-or-treating, hayrides and more. Event is Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for nonmembers, free for members. Click here for more information.
The Metropolitan Library System also has a list of free events this week:
- Bethany Library: 10 to 10:45 a.m. on Thursday is ”Halloween Fun for Little Ones” for ages 3 to 6. From 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, it’s hosting “Spooky Spook Halloween” for grades 1 to 5.
- Capitol Hill Library: From 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday is “Halloween @ the Haunted Hill” for all ages.
- Downtown Library: From 1:30 to 5:40 p.m. Sunday is the “Classic Horror Film Marathon” for all ages.
- Ralph Ellison Library: “Pumpkin Carving for Teens” is 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday. The library’s fall festival is noon to 4 p.m. Saturday for all ages.
- Warr Acres Library: “Dress Up Party for Preschoolers” is tonight from 6:30 to 7:30. Kids should be in costume.
Be sure to check wimgo.com for more Halloween event listings and have a great, safe week!
But a few reminders could never hurt.
Here’s some tips from Safe Kids USA (which includes Safe Kids Oklahoma):
- Encourage children not to trick-or-treat alone. They should go in groups or with a trusted adult.
- Place reflective tape on their costumes or on their treat bags so they are visible to drivers.
- Examine all candy thoroughly. Check for any signs of tampering.
- All children should have their own flashlight so they can see and be seen.
- Emphasize to your children the importance of looking both ways when crossing a street. Tell them to use crosswalks, if possible.
- Be sure costumes fit well, to prevent trips and falls.
- Let children know they are NEVER to enter a person’s home unless they are with a trusted adult.
- Try to purchase flame-retardant costumes and keep away from open flames.
Have a very SAFE and HAPPY Halloween!
I recently had a birthday and you know how kids are … birthdays are the COOLEST thing since sliced bread. They don’t quite understand how adults just don’t count down the days to their next mid-30s birthday.
My 4-year-old son on Thursday morning greeted me with a “Happy Birthday, Mommy!!” and it really was the cutest thing. He even thought we were going to my “birthday party” and when he saw me pulling into the school parking lot instead, he let out the most heart-wrenching “Noooooo!” and the tears started flowing. I felt awful. What kind of mid-30s mother doesn’t throw a party for herself? So I promised him just that. A party.
So here I am, picking him up from school and ready to keep this promise. “Where should we have Mom’s party?” I should have expected his response. “Chuck E. Cheeeeeeese!!” Sigh. OK. We can do this. We invite his best friend and his friend’s mom and headed on down to see the big mouse.
To be honest, the next couple of hours were the most fun I’ve had in a while. Our “host” greeted me with a big sticker and a handful of free tokens. Score! Then we scarfed down a pizza and got ready to play some skee ball. It was great. Even Chuck E. came out to take a picture with me. I felt like I was a kid again. Which was appropriate, because if you ask my son how old I am, he’ll say “5″ with absolute certainty.
Take my advice … You’re never too old to be 5 again.