Long Island Parent Talk

Get the inside scoop on all things kids and parenting on Long Island.

Long Island website matches young workers with odd jobs

Ian Lavender, a student at North Shore High

(Credit: Nicole Horton)

The idea came to Tom Cerna of Glenwood Landing last summer, when he was about to leave for vacation. The girl he usually paid to water his plants was going away the very same week, leaving him in the lurch.

Wouldn't it be great, he thought, if I could post the job on a website and find another local kid willing to earn a few bucks? So Cerna launched Youthire.com.

Now, people in need...

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School supply drive at Dreamnastics

Dreamnastics in Great Neck is hosting a school

(Credit: Fotolia )

Believe it or not, the start of the school year is quickly approaching. To help Long Island and New York City students in need, Dreamnastics, a children's wellness center and indoor play place in Great Neck, is hosting a school supply drive.

Now through Aug. 9, you can drop off school supplies to Dreamnastics (24A Great Neck Rd.). Supplies include backpacks, pens, pencils, crayons, glue sticks,...

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Celebrate National Friendship Day with Strawberry Shortcake

Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014 is National Friendship Day,

(Credit: Bridge Direct)

Today is National Friendship Day, and Strawberry Shortcake is hosting a contest.

The sweet-smelling classic character wants to see pictures of your favorite girl with her BFF on the Strawberry Shortcake Facebook page. Or, @berrybestbits on Instagram or Twitter using the Hashtag #BerryBestFriend.

Five sets of BFFs will be chosen at random and will win a new Strawberry Shortcake doll from...

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Family-friendly performances on Long Island in August

"The Little Mermaid" will be at the Long

(Credit: Long Island Children's Museum)

Children love watching their favorite characters come to life on stage, and there's no shortage of theatrical events on Long Island. Since many of the shows require some forethought, here's a sampling of family-friendly shows throughout August to help you plan a fun-filled day.

"Hudson Vagabond Puppets: Butterfly!" at Heckscher Park (2 Prime Ave., Huntington) on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 7:30 p.m....

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Free (or cheap!) for kids on Long Island in August

During Turtle Hatch Day at the Cold Spring

(Credit: Nancy Borowick)

Need weekend plans or something to do with the kids during the week? There are a ton of free children's events at local libraries, but we also found free and cheap things to do elsewhere this month. Whether you have one, two, three or more kids in tow, here's a roundup of fun, budget-friendly events in August.

Free

Erik's Reptile Edventures, a live reptile show featuring lizards, snakes,...

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Weekend family fun on Long Island: Zoppe Family Circus, Feast of St. Rocco and more

Zoppe: An Italian Family Circus will take place

(Credit: Partridge Road)

Looking for things to do with the kids this weekend? From Zoppe Family Circus and "Sleeping Beauty" to Paumanauke Powwow, Feast of St. Rocco and more, there is plenty happening on Long Island. Here are my top five picks for family-friendly activities during the weekend:

Paumanauke Powwow at Babylon Town Hall (200 Sunrise Hwy., Lindenhurst). On Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., learn...

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Networking event for the college-bound

A networking event for the college-bound will take

(Credit: iStock)

Grads of high school class of 2014 who are bound for college are invited to a free networking opportunity on Saturday.

Students will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with a diverse pool of male and female community role models representing the arts, business, academia, human services and local politics. There will also be refreshments, giveaways, beauty and health activities, entertainment...

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Feeding the kids: Chicken cheddar bacon ranch macaroni and cheese

The chicken bacon cheddar ranch macaroni and cheese

(Credit: Steve Legato)

In my ongoing quest to find tasty, kid-friendly food appropriate for the whole family, this week I chose a fun twist on traditional macaroni and cheese. I found the recipe in "Eat What You Love -- Everyday: 200 All-New, Great-Tasting Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories," by Marlene Koch (Running Press; $26.50).

Chicken Cheddar Bacon Ranch Mac' n Cheese(Makes 4 servings)

Ingredients-...

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Chess lessons for kids in the Hamptons

New York City Chess Inc. is offering chess

(Credit: New York City Chess Inc.)

If your kids love chess or want to learn the game, you may want to check out new classes this summer in the Hamptons.

New York City Chess Inc. will be offering lessons at Georgica Restaurant and Lounge (108 Stone Rd.) in Wainscott and at Guild Hall (158 Main St.) in East Hampton. The camp includes world-class chess training as well as a variety of other fun and entertaining activities.

The...

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8 tips for camp visiting day

The American Camp Association, New York and New

(Credit: iStock)

Midsummer means camp visiting day is here. While you're counting down the days and packing up your child's favorite things to bring, you may want to keep in mind that each camp has their own visiting day guidelines. To help you make the most this fun day, the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey recommends these eight tips:

1. Don’t bring banned items to camp, which can include...

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