Not enough hours in the day? Have to find a sitter every time you need a haircut? Let us help! Our stylists give great Mom and Dad cuts, so next time you bring in your little one for a haircut, just sign yourself in for a trim or new hairdo too! You can relax and the kids can play at the train table while we pamper you.
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.)
Having a frizzy day? Apply some avocado. Feeling oily? Sprinkle some cornstarch on your scalp. Spend too much time in the sun? Honey is the cure for dry and sun-damaged locks. While many of us have spent a fortune on hair and skin products over the years, it seems that most of the answers to our beauty questions are actually right at our fingertips—and in our gardens and pantries. Here are some recipes you can try at home.
Mix your own sugar scrub. All it takes is sugar, essential oils and scents that you and your kids love! Visit Wellness Mama for recipes that create pumpkin pie scrub, lemon hand scrub and lemon lavender facial scrub.
Create your own facemask. Facemasks you buy at the store are expensive and often filled with ingredients you can’t even pronounce. We found a variety of masks for all skin types at Stylemom.com, and learned a lot in the process. Did you know that turmeric and yogurt will help brighten your skin? Lemon, honey, milk and cucumber will soothe, and yogurt and oatmeal are great for sunburns. Dark chocolate, which is high in anti-oxidants, is even great for your skin!
Blend your own conditioner. Your refrigerator could actually be storing your next hair treatment. Avocado, mayonnaise, rosemary, coconut milk, soybean oil—they’re all ingredients (although not necessarily together!) in these DIY hair care products. The site EverydayRoots.com even offers recipes for homemade dandruff treatments.
Round up your own remedies. From conditioning dry and damaged hair to drying up that greasy sheen, Woman’s Day pulled together a number of home remedies to address the most common beauty challenges. Read more here.
We’ve all heard that natural ingredients are better for our hair. Items that aren’t natural often include chemicals that are potentially harmful. While Europe and other areas are stringent about banning potentially damaging chemicals in beauty and food products, the U.S. is far more lax in what’s allowed. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the following products, which are found commonly in hair items, could be associated with potential health risks.
Formaldehyde – Found in some shampoos and bleach, formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions and, according to the EPA, has been tied to cancer.
Lead – A common ingredient in hair dye, the EPA states that lead can be harmful. If you’re going to dye your hair, find a product that is non-toxic and chemical-free.
Sodium Hydroxide – Found in perms and relaxers, sodium hydroxide can be damaging to the skin and lungs if overexposure occurs.
Dibutyl Phthalates– Used as a fragrance in hair products, overexposure has been tied to digestive issues in humans, and has posed greater health risks, including cancer, in animals.
Hydantoin DMDM – Found in children’s conditioners and detanglers, this “antimicrobial formaldehyde releasing agent” can be damaging to kids’ developing systems.
DEA/MEA/TEA – These three-letter acronyms put the foam into many shampoos, and can be irritating to the eyes, skin, nose and throat.
To avoid exposure to unnecessary chemicals, we suggest that you always talk to your Pigtails & Crewcuts’ stylist about what products are best for your child’s hair. We’re constantly researching the latest items and are happy to share our expertise.
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 isn’t just for kids. Dads everywhere have discovered that they, too, can get a Pigtails & Crewcuts haircut, saving time and making memories with their children. No, we don’t have dad-sized fire truck chairs (note to management: look into this!), but we do offer a family-friendly atmosphere, skilled stylists, great prices and incredible convenience.
Here are the top 10 reasons that Dad should get his hair cut at Pigtails & Crewcuts.
- Set a great example. You are your child’s hero. This is a great way to show them that getting a haircut is an exciting and enjoyable experience for the whole family.
- Dad vs. kid video game challenge. Ready to prove who’s king in a Super Mario Bros. challenge? Try your thumbs at our video game collection while we trim away. Your haircut may be done before the game even ends!
- It keeps you young. Youthfulness defines Pigtails & Crewcuts, and that keeps our stylists up-to-date on all the latest haircutting trends and techniques. Whether you’re young or young-at-heart, your Dad haircut will help shave off the years.
- Make it a dad-daughter/dad-son date. One-on-one time is precious, and even more so if you’re both taking part in the activity at hand. Plan a day around your Pigtails & Crewcuts outing and make it extra special.
- Let us be your guide. Dads don’t always know what they want in a haircut. Neither do kids! Pigtails & Crewcuts stylists specialize in giving you the right look for you. Sit back and relax, and we’ll do all the work.
- Fits easily into your schedule. No, we don’t have race car chairs for dads to sit in, but we do operate with race car speed. When you work with kids all day, you learn the meaning of efficiency. We know that busy dads have limited time, and we take that to heart, giving you a quality haircut almost as fast as you can say “Lightening McQueen.”
- Walk-ins are welcome. If an hour opens up between soccer, softball and piano practice, stop by! We’re happy to accommodate the whole family.
- Catch up on your favorite flicks. We know how dads love their flat screens. Pigtails & Crewcuts does, too. Each of our salons has multiple TVs playing the latest movies, giving you a much-needed break while you get your hair cut.
- Our salon is kid approved. At our kid-proof salon, we’ve seen it all. Dads don’t need to worry about their child crying, talking too loud or saying inappropriate things. You can let your kids be kids at Pigtails & Crewcuts and worry about other important Dad things— like the latest fantasy football rankings or improving that golf swing.
- 10. Why should kids have all the fun? The older we get, the more serious the haircut experience becomes. Pigtails & Crewcuts makes dads feel like kids again, and we think that’s priceless.
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.
Happy holidays from Pigtails & Crewcuts! We’re counting our blessings this holiday season and hope that you are too. At the same time, we know that not everyone is quite so lucky, and a lot of people need help over the holidays. Here are some simple ideas to consider if you want to make a difference in your own community.
Volunteer at an organization that needs help.
Donate food, money or clothing to a local non-profit.
Learn about opportunities for reading, tutoring and mentoring in your community.
Shovel a neighbor’s walk.
Foster or adopt a dog or cat in need.
Walk dogs at a local animal shelter.
Cook a meal for a family or organization in need
Inquire about opportunities to help out at a local nursing home.
Adopt a family and brighten their holiday with food and gifts.
Write a letter or send a package to a soldier.
Buy a stranger’s coffee or meal.
Throw a holiday giving party and request donations, rather than hostess gifts, to share with a local charity.
Buy local and keep your cash where it’s needed most—your own community.
Make a commitment to continue giving back throughout the year.