Long Island Parent Talk

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

5 family-friendly ideas for summer: Weekend getaways

Kids enjoying the water area at Our Backyard,

(Credit: Handout)

A recent Busch Gardens survey showed families want to spend more time together -- in fact, 95 percent of moms and 93 percent of kids say they want to have more fun together as a family.

Too often families overlook nearby destinations during the summer in favor of far-off jaunts, said Stacy DeBroff, chief executive of MomCentral.com. "As 75 percent of moms want their kids to be more open...

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'Honest Toddler' on her new, sassy parenting book

The famed, funny and fake toddler who tweets

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Bunmi Laditan was so exasperated by her toddler’s shall-we-say-spirited behavior that she started the satirical “Honest Toddler” Twitter handle in May 2012 as a way to vent, but also to try to see things from her then 2-year-old daughter’s point of view. She quickly amassed hundreds of thousands of followers, and Laditan has now written a book called “The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting.”

Laditan...

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5 life lessons learned from the playroom

Expert tips on lessons learned from the playroom.

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Before I had my daughter two years ago, I had many prejudgments about becoming a mom. But I quickly learned that you really don't know all that parenting entails until you actually become one.

I'm not just talking about feeding schedules and diaper changes. I found I learned a lot more about life and picked up many skills that not only helped me at home, but at work as well.

If you ask...

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Weekend family fun on Long Island: Fireworks, 'Goodnight Moon,' crayon tour and more

The Crayon Tour takes place at noon on

(Credit: Vince Kish)

Looking for things to do with the kids this weekend? From a fireworks display and a crayon tour to a "Goodnight Moon" performance and more, there's much to do on Long Island. Here are my top five picks for fun family-friendly activities this weekend:

1. TD Bank Celebrate America Fireworks and Show at Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater of Eisenhower Park (Hempstead Turnpike and Merrick...

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Crayola renames crayons for 110th anniversary

Crayola has renamed its colors for a limited

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Which makes you want to color more? A crayon called red? Or one dubbed “Lady Bug”? Green? Or "Jalapeno"?

When Crayola first launched a box of eight crayons in 1903, it merely labeled them red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown and black. This year, 110 years later, the company decided it's time for a name makeover.

Crayola asked consumers to create new names for each...

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Feeding the kids: Homemade pop tarts

The homemade pop tart recipe can be found

(Credit: ProjectNursery.com)

In my ongoing quest to find tasty, kid-friendly food appropriate for the whole family, this week I chose a homemade version of a childhood favorite. I found the recipe on ProjectNursery.com, a website offering children's design ideas, do-it-yourself projects and much more.

Homemade Pop Tarts

Ingredients - 2 refrigerated pie crusts - 1 1/2 cup light brown sugar - 4 teaspoons all-purpose...

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Teens are smoking ... alcohol?

Teens are "smoking" alcohol -- inhaling the vapors

(Credit: Fotolia)

Isn’t it enough to worry about our teens smoking cigarettes or pot? Now we also have to watch out for them smoking … alcohol?

The "Today" show is reporting that kids are watching YouTube videos that explain how to “inhale” alcohol vapors for a high without “drinking.” Kids put beer or whiskey or champagne or vodka into a plastic or liquor bottle, pump it with air using a bicycle...

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Sarah Michelle Gellar on pertussis vaccine, motherhood and more

Sarah Michelle Gellar talks about the pertussis vaccine,

(Credit: Celebrity Baby Scoop)

Actress and mother of two Sarah Michelle Gellar is joining March of Dimes and the Sounds of Pertussis campaign to help raise awareness about pertussis, also known as whooping cough, and the importance of vaccinating the entire family.

Gellar recently opened up to CelebrityBabyScoop.com about family life with husband Freddie Prinze, Jr. and their two kids — daughter Charlotte, 3, and 8-month-old...

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How to know if your kid's character is strong

Parents can help kids flex their character muscles.

(Credit: iStock)

In the world of school-age kids, it's that time of year again when parents judge their children's academic success. High school seniors have gotten into a good college -- or not. Honors and advanced placement assignments have been made for the coming year. Some elementary school students have been accepted into gifted and talented programs.

Based on these academic measures, we parents judge...

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New 'Family Fun' package at the Conrad New York

The Conrad New York (102 North End Ave.)

(Credit: Handout)

If you're looking to get away for the weekend but don't want to travel far, why not head to Manhattan and check out the new Conrad New York hotel?

Located in lower Manhattan, the luxurious hotel recently launched a summer "Family Fun" package, perfect for a weekend getaway.

The package includes:

* Suite accommodations with a pullout Sleeper Sofa

* Daily complimentary...

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