February 2015
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McFarland USA Movie Review

Movies: A cross country coach in a small California town transforms a team of athletes into championship contenders. More than just physical prowess drives the teens to succeed; their strong family ties, incredible work ethic and commitment to their team all play a factor in forging these novice runners into champions. KIDS FIRST! Critic Gerry Orz comments, "This movie is truly an inspirational story for anyone who watches. McFarland USA will keep everyone on the edge of their seats." Kayla P. adds, "The message of this film is to not judge a book by its cover." See their full reviews below. Read more…
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The Duff: Movie Review

Movies: Bullying takes all forms in high school. This film shows Mae Whitman as a high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her at "The DUFF" (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends. Despite the words of caution from her favorite teacher, she puts aside the potential distraction of her crush, Toby and enlists Wesley, a slick but charming jock, to help reinvent herself. KIDS FIRST! Critic Harmony M. comments, "Being a high school student myself, I was really surprised at how relatable the movie is, especially to today's generation of teenagers." Read her full review below. Read more…

Pick-Your-Own Berries

Feeding Your Family: Once summer arrives our local farms are positively bursting with berries that are ripe for the picking. The warm, June sunshine means that luscious, native strawberries will be on the vine through early July. These bright red gems are nothing like the grocery store strawberries. Red all the way through, tiny native strawberries just beg to be turned into summer shortcake. Read more…

Visit Lake George

Vacations: We all have special summer vacation memories from our childhood that remain with us forever. Warm nights spent catching fireflies in the backyard. Jumping into clear, cool waters from a rickety wooden dock. Balancing a three-scoop homemade ice cream cone while riding a bike home from town. As parents, we dream of recreating these memories for our kids and ourselves by finding the idyllic vacation destination that we can return to again and again. While the Hamptons and the Berkshires are popular spots for many families, the Lake George area in the Adirondacks continues to be a draw for those who want a more laidback, affordable and nostalgic summer experience. Read more…

What Are Your Kids Drinking?

Safety: You can tell when you’re thirsty and know your body needs water. But did you know that even small fluctuations in fluid could impact your health and wellbeing? Before thirst even registers, mild dehydration affects reaction time, strength, endurance, concentration and hunger. Our bodies are about 55 to 75 percent water; in children, even a small deficit can make a big difference to wellbeing. Read more…

Summer Sun Safety

Safety: “Infants and children can sunburn easily and need to rely on parents to keep them safe,” says Sophie J. Balk, M.D., a pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. “Being outdoors, breathing fresh air and playing and exercising are good for children but it’s important to protect their skin while they’re enjoying the summer weather.” Read more…

Cool Down with Indoor Fun

Hot Topics: Hot sweltering days were made for a visit to the only public planetarium in Westchester County. The Planetarium recently underwent a $1.5 million renovation and is now equipped with state-of-the-art projectors that can transport viewers from Earth to visit the Apollo landing sites on the moon, fly them through the rings of Saturn, view the Cassini space probe on its journey, or newest of all, discover the exoplanetary systems beyond the sun. And when you’ve gone through what the planetarium has to offer be sure to enjoy the rest of the Museum. Read more…

A Lancaster County Vacation

Vacations: At the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Lancaster County is known for its landscape of farms and its Amish community. And while it is the perfect destination to introduce your kids to this religion-based culture, Lancaster is also home to a variety of family attractions and activities. In just a few days, you can learn how ice cream is made, have lunch on a historic train, explore how pulleys work, play at a water park and more. Read more…

Fishing Charter Adventures

Vacations: There’s nothing quite like catching a fish in the open water – the ageold struggle of man versus nature. And while you can always toss your line from the end of a dock or off a bridge, the real action is farther off shore. Unfortunately, not everyone can own a boat. What’s the best way for a family without a boat to get out there? A fishing charter. Read more…

9 Tips For Choosing the Right Camp

Child Development: When it comes to choosing a camp for your child, there are a host of options. Both sleep-away and day camps have traditional and specialty offerings. Traditional camps offer a variety of experiences and are a good choice for the child who wants different activities or enjoys constant stimulation. Specialty camps provide concentrated instruction in one or two areas and are a good option for those who are extremely focused on a given activity and can maintain their attention span. Following are a few things to consider when selecting a camp for your child. Read more…

Westchester Family Magazine Special Needs Resource Guide

Camps: If you’re looking for a special needs sports program or special needs camp, a speech therapist, a tutoring service or school – consult the Westchester Family Special Needs Resource Guide for 2015 to help you locate the best area professionals. Read more…

Tips to Tame the Tattletale

Behavior: Children between the ages of 5 and 10 are the most common tattletales. Following are a few tips to tame your tattler. Read more…

Special Needs Recreation Centers and Programs

Child Development: CHILDREN’S REHABILITATION CENTER Pediatric outpatient clinic that provides comprehensive medical and rehabilitative services to children ages birth through 21. Special programs include Adaptive Karate, Aquatic Therapy and Specialized Equipment Clinics. Read more…

The Art of The Bath

Hot Topics: Nothing induces a state of relaxation quite like a soothing bath. (Anyone remember the Calgon commercials of yesteryear that made us all want to be “taken away” in a mountain of soapy suds?) A soak in a tub of warm water can restore aching muscles, refresh tired feet and encourage restful slumber. Many busy modern parents, however, consider regular soaks a timeconsuming luxury – or just a step in the kids’ bedtime process. But a consistent bathing ritual isn’t just for the little ones; it can help stressed-out, overextended parents wind down after a long day and restore a sense of calm. Read more…

A Visit to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Hot Topics: It may not be the biggest or the most famous zoo in the region, but Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is definitely worth a peek. Located in Bridgeport (just about an hour’s drive from southern Westchester), the park has lots of great animals to meet, from wolves and otters to big cats. Plus, it’s much easier to manage and less crowded than its counterparts in the city. Read more…

How to Encourage a A Healthy Body Image in Our Children

Child Development: Mommy, can we get a cupcake? Read more…

10 Tips for Playdate Inclusion

Child Development: Playdates are beneficial for all children to practice critical social skills on which future relationships will be built. The benefits of playdates include increasing confidence; improving social decision making; and practicing skills in an adult supervised yet natural setting. Playing together allows kids to be a part of the action vs. being quiet observers. Play typically develops in a natural progression from individual play to parallel play (when children play next to each other), and finally to interactive/social reciprocal play. Read more…

Irish Dance Classes

Holidays: It’s St. Patrick’s Day this month and that makes us all a little Irish. If you’d like to take your celebrations up a notch consider enrolling your boy or girl in an Irish dance class. Here are a few programs to choose from. Read more…

10 Last-Minute Tips Before Day Camp Starts

Work & Family: Do you have your child’s plans set for camp this summer? If he’ll be attending day camp these tips can help make the experience a good one. Read more…

The Value of Summer Camp for Your Child

Travel: For generations, American children have spent their summers at day and sleepaway camp, learning new activities while also building important life skills. If you are considering summer camp, but questioning what the value in a traditional summer camp is over other programs, read on. Read more…

Preparing Your First Time Camper for Camp

Travel: You’ve made the exciting decision to send your child to camp this summer. This is an important milestone in a child’s life and you want to make sure you prepare your child for the experience before the first day of camp arrives. This will help make a child’s camp experience more successful. The American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey recommends the following tips for getting your first time camper ready and excited for camp. Read more…

Choosing the Best Summer Camp for Your Child

Travel: Choosing the best summer camp for your child can be an extremely daunting task, particularly in Westchester where there are hundreds of “camps” to choose from. Read more…

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Summer Camp

Travel: You have made the decision to send your child to camp but what should you be looking for in a camp program? There are many options to choose from and many considerations to finding the right camp for your child. The American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey recommends considering the following when choosing a camp. Read more…

Measles – Get Vaccinated

Hot Topics: With the recently reported cases of measles, now affecting individuals in 17 states, this particular virus has surpassed Ebola and Influenza as far as media coverage as of late. Measles is a rather acute viral infection, which has been relatively low in number for many Read more…

Unlocking the Puzzle of the Brain & Reading

The Center for Literacy Enrichment, a division of the Pace University School of Education, is hosting a symposium for educators, administrators, psychologists and parents to discuss the Read more…

WHUD Kids Fair Moves!

Safety: What was always great just got even better! For 19 years WHUD has hosted a day of fun and education for children and their families in White Plains. And now this year the 20th annual event will take place at SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center. Kids and adults can enjoy games, science experiments, educational activities, sports and live entertainment in this fabulous new space. Parents can feel extra good about this outing since a portion of the proceeds support the Hope for Youth Foundation. Read more…
►Video

The SpongeBob Movie

Entertainment: Nickelodeon’s lead character, SpongeBob stars in this new feature film which offers up a diabolical pirate who steals the secret Krabby Patty formula and SpongeBob and his friends must travel to the surface in order to get it back. Starring the voice talent of Tom Kenny and Antonio Banderas, this is a great film to share with your younger viewers. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Samantha A. comments, “This movie has everything you would want to see in a film. It is funny, family-friendly, unpredictable and down-right entertaining.” Her full review is below. Read more…

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