It’s a fact of life. Did you know you can actually get rid of tangles quite easily, with the proper treatment? First, make sure you’re using conditioner, to keep hair soft. Next, use a special brush, like Knot Genie, which untangles troubled spots without pain or fuss. Then, talk with your hair care professional about detangling products that will work for your hair. Before you know it, all those tangles will tumble away!
Going from the relaxed setting of summer to the rule-filled classroom can be challenging for a lot of kids. One day, you’re staying up late and sleeping in, the next, it’s up at the crack of dawn and rushing out the door. Whether your kid is going to school for the first time, or is an elementary veteran, these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics can help ease the transition from from summer to scholar.
Make the first day easier.
- Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
- Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun! She’ll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.
- Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your kid can walk to school or ride on the bus.
- If you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.
Choose a safe backpack.
- Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
- Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
- If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.
Develop good homework and study habits early.
- Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Kids need a permanent workspace in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.
- Schedule ample time for homework.
- Establish a household rule that the TV stays off during homework time.
- Supervise computer and Internet use.
- Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child’s homework for her.
- Some children need help organizing their homework. Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can help overcome homework problems.
For months, the kids have played to their hearts’ content, watched movies, frolicked at the pool and done anything and everything but, well, math (with the possible exception of counting change at the lemonade stand). Now that school is just around the corner, it’s time to exercise that brain again. These apps for reading, math, science and more are a great place to start.
My First Day of School. First day of school jitters? Prepare your kindergartener or preschooler the best way you can: with a story. In this iStoryTime book, “My First Day of School,” Charlie is a little bit nervous about the first day of school, but with a little preparation and a lot of questions, he does a great job. And he can’t wait for day two! (99 cents, for iPhone and iPad, ages 4 and up.)
MeeGenius. For those nights when you just can’t find the energy to read “just one more” bedtime story, MeeGenius can do it for you. This virtual library gives you and your child access to hundreds of audio e-books, and with the read-along feature, your children can highlight words and continue their own quest to read. The site offers a few free books to try the service out, or your can subscribe for a monthly fee. (The MeeGenius app is available through the iTunes and Google Play stores.Recommended for kids up to age 8).
Math Academy. Hopefully, your kids have gotten lots of practice adding and subtracting the spoils from their lemonade stands this summer. If you’re ready to kick that math up a notch, download Math Academy, a math app aimed at elementary school aged children, which rewards kids with a virtual sticker collection. Free in iTumes. (Recommended for ages 4 and up).
Chicktionary. It’s easy to understand why Chicktionary, a spelling game of the chicken variety, was named Top 25 iPad App for Kids by TIME and a Top iPhone and iPad App for Grade-Schoolers by MSNBC, Mashable and Tecca. It’s just so darned cute! In the game, each chicken has a letter on it. Arrange them to make words and earn “eggchievements.” (Available for Apple and Android, $1.99, recommended for ages 4 and up.)
Ansel & Clair with Little Green Island. Does your little ecologist want to save the world? Ansel & Clair with Little Green Island is a great place to start. Kids can create their own island, plant their own trees, clear trash, clean up oil spills, replace pesticides with natural methods and more. This is the best kind of learning a kid or parent could ask for: it’s a blast. (Available for iPad and iPhone, $1.99-$4.99, recommended for ages 6 to 8.)
Fairgoers 12 and younger are admitted free on the two Tuesdays the Fair is open this year, June 24 and July 1. Kids’ Day features entertainment and contests that are loads of fun for our youngest guests.
Enter a contest!
The Fair has many contests just for kids, with ribbons, applause and sometimes cash prizes for participants and winners. See the list of contests kids can enter. Some require same-day registration; others are contests you can enter on the spot!
Students 12 and younger who read 10 books can complete the Reading Certificate and receive free admission to the Fair!
Last day to bring these to the Fair is July 5
Taste of the Fair — small portions for $2
Kids and adults alike will enjoy this popular promotion at the more than 100 Fair food booths. Smaller portions of popular food items will be available for just $2. Perfect for smaller appetites, or for those who want to eat their way through the Fair! June 24 and July 1, from the time the Fair opens through 5:00PM.
Kids’ Meal Deal
Look for the Kids’ Meal Deal signs throughout the Fair at participating food vendors. The meal includes an entrée, side dish and drink, plus a child’s admission to participating venues (with a paid adult admission).
Family Funville (formerly called The Infield) has lots of fun things that kids will enjoy, such as Kids Zone rides and games, the Creative Youth exhibit, animal shows, magic shows and magic lessons, and much more. Please see the Family Funville pages for more information on Things To See and Things To Do in Family Funville.
The snow is melting, the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. Spring is here! Let’s say it again (it’s been a long winter): Spring is here! Whether you’re looking for ideas to entertain the kids on spring break or just day-to-day crafty fun, these suggestions will help you celebrate the most vibrant of seasons.
1. Plant a garden. Get down and dirty with your kids by planting your own fruits and vegetables. Whether you’re ready to dig up a portion of the yard, or prefer to keep your bounty in containers, gardening teaches kids about food, nutrition, biology, nature and responsibility. Want some easy “starter” experiments? Try tomatoes, strawberries and herbs. For tips, visit the National Gardening Association’s kid-centric site, www.kidsgardening.org.
2. Make your own kite. All it takes to create a kite is a plastic bag, string and tape. This page by National Geographic Kids can show you how. It’s up to you to cover the kite with colors and creativity, and dazzle everyone who watches as you make it soar.
3. Make your own play dough. Those little containers full of mushy modeling material are great, the first time you open them. Then, they have a tendency to mix into ugly colors and dry out, losing all kid appeal. What a waste! Why not make your own instead? It’s easy to do using all natural ingredients you have in your kitchen. You’ll need the following:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
scented oils (your choice, vanilla and peppermint work well)
Put all of the ingredients into a pot and stir over low heat. As you cook, the dough will thicken. When it begins pulling away from the sides of the pan, and resembles the consistency of the dough we all know and love, remove it from the heat and let it cool. If, after it cools, it’s too sticky to play with, simply cook it a bit longer until it has the consistency you want.
4. Build a bird feeder. You know what they say: birds of a feather stick together. And if you’re inviting enough, they just might stick together in your yard. You and your kids can build bird feeders of all levels, from simple to incredibly complex. One of our favorite feeders is actually a wreath made of seeds that you can mold and then hang in a tree. Here’s the recipe if you want to try it at your house.
5. Take a picnic to the park. It sounds so simple, but a picnic with you and your kids’ favorite foods is, truly, the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Especially if there’s a playground, lake, beach or other place to run around and get the wiggles out.
6. Make art out of Peeps. Every year, the Washington Post and other papers sponsor “Peeps diorama” contests, and every year, we get inspired to buy mass quantities of the fluorescent marshmallows…. and proceed to eat them. Still, we love the idea and encourage you to build your own Peeps project. Feeling extra inspired? You can even make your own Peeps! Martha Stewart shows you how, here.
7. Spring cleaning. We could all benefit from emptier closets and cleaner houses. Make it into a game so the kids will get into it. Dress up like maids or butlers, or try a game of “Cinderella” to get them to play along. If all else fails, assign a dollar amount to each task to sweeten the deal. A little bribery never hurt anyone. Then, turn it into a teaching moment and have your kids accompany you to charity to donate the items you no longer need.
When it comes to hair, 364 days a year pale in comparison to Easter. This is the day for hair to shine, the day when one little girl’s bonnet/updo/braid is cuter than the next. As the hair experts, we’re here to give you the tips and tricks you need to give your daughter the best ‘do on the block this Easter.
Daisy chain braid. This braid looks like a pro did it, but it’s actually something you can create at home, making a series of knots along the scalp, like a fun, bumpy chain. Here’s a video that will show you how.
Dutch flower girl braid. Turn your daughter’s hair into a beautiful braided flower by following the instructions here.
Ponytails with Easter eggs. Need a theme this Easter? We’ve got something clever right here. Watch a mom put her daughter’s hair into two ponytails, and then place series of bright Easter eggs into each section. It’s easier—and more adorable—than you’d think!
Easter hair clips, DIY and otherwise. We love these cute, ribbony, purple spring hair clips, with instructions on how to make them, by TheFrugalGirls.com. And the TheRibbonRetreat.com offers tutorials on how to make darling little chick and bunny ribbon clips at home. Not feeling quite so crafty? No Slippy Hair Clippy makes colorful creations year round.
An egg full of accessories. Looking for Easter basket ideas? Fill an Easter egg with cute ribbons and hair ties for a sweet surprise.
Pigtails & Crewcuts – We are looking for exceptional stylists to join our team in Del Mar! The salon is located in the Flower Hill Promenade and has part-time opportunities available.
We love working with kids and families, and you must, too! Licensed stylists only. A minimum of two years professional experience is preferred.
Pay is hourly (based on experience) plus tips & smiles! Opportunities available for additional incentives.
All interested stylists should request for an application at Kendra@pigtailssandiego.com
We got into the kids hair care business because we love kids—all kids, no matter how challenging their needs may seem. Before we became salon owners, we remember the frustration we went through when taking our own children, kicking and screaming, to get a haircut. Looking back, we, as parents, remember feeling helpless, judged and ashamed.
We opened our Pigtails & Crewcuts salon so that no parent, particularly parents of children with special needs, ever have to feel that way. Whether your kid is screaming his head off or howling with laughter, we’ve seen it all and we welcome everyone.
The talented Pigtails & Crewcuts staff has extensive experience working with children who have physical, medical and developmental challenges. We’ve handpicked each and every one of our stylists because they’re kind, patient and talented. Our staff will do just about anything to make your child’s haircut as easy and stress-free as possible. For some kids, that means cutting hair while the little one sits in mom’s lap, plays with trains or reads a book. We’ll put on a movie that he or she likes, blow bubbles, offer “quiet” appointments before we open or after we close, and do whatever it takes to give every child the wonderful haircutting experience he or she deserves.
Pigtails & Crewcuts puts the customer first, even if that customer is only knee high. Our goal is to work with kids within their world, not try and fit them into ours. And if there are tears the whole time? Well that’s completely normal, too. We’ve all been there, ourselves, and we’re here for you.
Please don’t hesitate to make suggestions to your stylist about how we can best work with your child in a way that makes him or her the most comfortable.
Need ideas for Valentine’s hair? Talk to your Pigtails & Crewcuts stylist, or get great ideas for styles like this, on Pinterest.
Who doesn’t love February, the month dedicated to colorful hearts, thoughtful notes and, of course, chocolate. Have you made plans for Valentine’s Day with your sweethearts this year? Here are some ideas to celebrate with the kids.
Hair with Heart.
It’s craft time! Gather your daughter and her friends and help them make heart hair accessories this month.
- Just Add a Bow will teach you how make a layered heart clip with this video.
- For something even simpler, check out this heart clip video from Bitty Bum Boutique TV.
- These cute, easy-to-make barrettes will just take a few minutes.
- Want to give out extra special Valentines this year? Share any of the above clips with all of your friends.
- Not feeling crafty? Stop by Pigtails & Crewcuts, where you’ll find clips, bows and bands of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Braided with Love.
Set hearts on fire with a heart-shaped braid. You can do this yourself, at home. It’s easier than you think!
- This video will teach you how to create a heart braid.
- To learn how to make a double-heart twist, click here.
- Or stop in to Pigtails & Crewcuts, where our talented stylists can create a heart-shaped braid for you.
If you’re looking for a kid-approved indoor space to host a Valentine’s party, call Pigtails & Crewcuts. We have all kinds of ideas for your next party.
- Craft party. Party-goers can create and exchange hand-made cards.
- Spa party. Luxuriate in our pedi-chair and leave with beautiful, Valentine-ready nails.
- Dress up party. We have all kinds of costumes, so your kids can dress up and play games in their own make-believe world.
- Tea party. Stick out your pinky and sip away at your extravagant Valentine’s tea party.
When the pumpkins leave the porches and begin making their way into pies, we know the holidays are upon us. First there’s turkey, then there are gifts and before we know it, a giant ball is dropping in Times Square. In the U.S., we have our own ways, both as a culture and within families, of celebrating the holidays, and those traditions are different than many other celebrations around the world.
Here are some fun holiday traditions that are happening right now, across the globe.
Chinese New Year. This 15-day holiday is filled with family, fireworks and food. January 31, 2014 begins the Year of the Horse. Families everywhere will put out oranges and tangerines to symbolize wealth and prosperity, make their own dumplings, light Chinese lanterns and more. “Gung hay fat choy!” (that means, “May you become prosperous!”).
Christmas. During Christmas, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Families decorate Christmas trees, bake cookies and spend time with their family. Children hear tales about Santa Claus, a jolly fat man in a red suit, who flies around the world on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Santa climbs down chimneys and places gifts below the tree.
Hanukkah. Hanukkah, which is known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish celebration. Children receive a gift each day, and each night, families light the candles of the menorah. Popular foods eaten during Hanukkah are potato pancakes (latkes) and delicious jelly donuts (sufganiyot).
Kwanzaa. This African harvest festival, celebrated Dec. 26 – Jan. 1, embraces family and unity. Each day, a different candle on a kinara is lighted to observe the seven principles of the holiday. Parents and children exchange gifts—often of an educational or artistic nature—on the last day.
Three Kings Day. As part of the 12 days of Christmas, Three Kings Day is observed as the day that the three wise men met Jesus, surrounding him with gifts. The day is celebrated differently in various regions. In Spain, children often get to open their Christmas gifts. In Puerto Rico, kids sleep with a box of hay under their beds, as a way to welcome the gifts. In France, they celebrate by eating King cake, which has a small toy or coin hidden within.
The Yule Lads of Iceland. According to Icelandic tradition, there is not one, not two, but 13 Santas, known as Yule Lads, and they place small gifts into children’s shoes. Starting on December 12, kids place their best shoe on the windowsill of their bedroom so the Yule Lads can fill it. The Yule Lads are also known for playing tricks, and are named accordingly: There’s Þvörusleikir the Spoon-licker, Gluggagægir the Peeper, Bjúgnakrækir the Sausage-pilfer, Hurðaskellir the Door-slammer, and the list goes on. Because there’s no coal in Iceland, children who misbehave will get a potato in their shoe.