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OCTOBER'S BUZZ: LATEST TIPS & TRENDS FOR PARENTS

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by Rebecca Forbes

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KIDS WELCOMED

   If you thought staying at bed & breakfasts was just for grownups. www.BnBFinder.com/FamilyTravel takes you directly to B & Bs in North America that are family-friendly.  If you prefer to stay in a house while on vacation, the new website, www.pickpackgo.com, has condos and houses all over the country, with Europe soon to come.   You enter your vacation dates to find available properties, and ‘city hosts’ tell you what to see, how to get around, and offer other resources to help plan your trip.


BRAIN BRANDING

   Braincandy, the kids’ media company, has just come out with a line of logo T-shirts.  These can be purchased online, along with the company’s signature products — CDs and DVDs aimed at stimulating 2- to 6-year-olds; colorful puppets with names like Mojo Mouth, Ana Ear and Ivy Eyes guide kids in an exploration of their senses. The company, poised to go national — big time — was begun by a Seattle couple, parents of twins, who quit their Microsoft jobs to create fun learning products for the youngest set.  “Entertaining” and “engaging” is their mantra. www.braincandykids.com.




DIY LANTERNS

   Pumpkin carving goes high-tech with the cordless Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit. The two-speed pumpkin ‘drill’ can be used by beginners (though not kids!) or more experienced carvers; and templates, which include a witch, ghost or skeleton, help you carve intricate designs.  Download more templates at www.dremel.com; you can also buy the carving kit there for $24.95.




NO-TAILGATING TOTS

   How other Americans parent: At the University of Missouri-Columbia, the start of the football season signals the opening of their Pigskin Preschool … on game days, parents can drop off their kids at the on-campus facility and then head to the game.  Graduate students provide care and child development instructors oversee the kids.


HUBBA WUBBA

   Another lost pacifier? Not with the WubbaNub. Carla Schneider of Orange, Connecticut came up with the concept when she sewed a small stuffed animal to the pacifier so it stayed in baby's mouth. The pacifier is made of latex-free medical grade silicone, while the plush toy stays close to baby without any cords or clips. The washable WubbaNub can be found in various colors and friendly animal shapes, at stores, and at www.wubbanub.com.




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