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Gift Guide Tips for Children with Special Needs
The holiday season is in full swing and gift guides have been published everywhere guiding parents on what the hottest toys and games are this year. Many of the guides have breakdowns for ages, gender, types of toys and price point, but what they don’t have is a toy guide for children with special needs. Those parents will need a bit more help when it comes to selecting the right toy for their child. Gina Maranga, Director of Program Operations at Block Institute, a Brooklyn educational facility dedicated to serving the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities, has put together some tips for parents when it comes to selecting toys for their child with special needs: For children under 1 year old – Soft cuddly toys that can be activated to play music; busy/pop up boxes that have a cause and effect response; large, soft plastic, oddly shaped toys that are easy to grab and manipulate. For children 1 -3 years old – Shape and color sorters, medium sized dolls, animals and common objects to encourage labeling and pretend play; push/pull and ride on toys to encourage gross motor movement. For children 3 – 5 years old – Toys that encourage pretend play and expanded language like puppets, dress up sets, doll houses, cooking sets, barns, garages; toys that encourage fine motor skills like chunky crayons, chalk, tempera/finger paints, puzzles, Play-Doh, peg boards, building blocks; toys that encourage early literacy like big books, books on CD/tape, matching games, bingo/lingo. (read the story...)

‘Tis the season of Christmas carols, sleigh-riding—and allergic reactions?
Holiday decorations have begun to appear in homes and department stores everywhere, and so have children’s allergies from the many irritants brought on by the decorations. Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky, a New York pediatrician and renowned children’s allergy expert with more than 20 years experience, offers ways for parents to protect their children from the most common holiday season allergens. (read the story...)

Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Hottest Toys of the Season - 2009 Guide for Suffolk County, Long Island
Check out our list of the hottest toys this season to help find the perfect gift for that special child on your holiday shopping list. Also, read on for advice from managers of Suffolk County toy stores for their recommendations this year. (read the story...)

Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Hottest Toys of the Season - 2009 Guide for Nassau County, Long Island
Check out our list of the hottest toys this season to help find the perfect gift for that special child on your holiday shopping list. Also, read on for advice from managers of Nassau County toy stores for their recommendations this year. (read the story...)

Not So Blonde Brownies Recipe
Check out a sample recipe from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas' new cookbook "A Century of Flavor" and enter the contest to win your own copy this holiday season! (read the story...)

What To Do For Picky Eaters On Thanksgiving
For parents with kids that don’t like the traditional Thanksgiving foods, here are some nutritionist-approved suggestions to help create a healthful, successful holiday meal. (read the story...)

Just For Moms: Wear a Smile This Holiday Season
Columnist Kayla Fioravanti shares some tips on how to look your best while preparing meals and entertaining guests this holiday season - just put a smile on! (read the story...)

Fresh Food for the Holidays
Just in time for the holidays, FreshDirect, specializing in high quality foods at reasonable prices delivered right to your door, has introduced gift cards! These make great gifts for just about anyone living in the New York metropolitan and New Jersey area. (read the story...)

Where to Find Performances of 'The Nutcracker' in Nassau County, Long Island - December 2009
Find a performance of this classic ballet tale in your area this holiday season. (read the story...)

Where to Find Performances of 'The Nutcracker' in Suffolk County, Long Island - December 2009
Find a performance of this classic ballet tale in your area this holiday season. (read the story...)

Nassau County Calendar Highlights: Holiday Activities for Kids and Families - December 2009
Check out these kid-friendly holiday activities and events happening this December in Nassau County, Long Island. (read the story...)

Suffolk County Calendar Highlights: Holiday Activities for Kids and Families - December 2009
Check out these kid-friendly holiday events happening this December in Suffolk County, Long Island. (read the story...)

Where To Volunteer This Holiday Season: Soup Kitchens and More in Nassau County, Long Island
Want to do some good this Thanksgiving? The following places around Nassau County are accepting donations or need volunteers. (read the story...)

Where To Volunteer This Holiday Season: Soup Kitchens and More in Suffolk County, Long Island
Want to do some good this Thanksgiving? The following places around Suffolk County are accepting donations or need volunteers. (read the story...)

Where To Volunteer This Holiday Season: Soup Kitchens and More in Fairfield County, CT
Want to do some good this holiday season? These location in Fairfield County need your help. (read the story...)

Where To Volunteer This Holiday Season: Soup Kitchens and More in Westchester County
Want to do some good this Thanksgiving? The following places around Westchester County need your help. (read the story...)

Where To Volunteer This Holiday Season: Soup Kitchens and More in Rockland County
Want to do some good this Thanksgiving? The following places around Rockland County need your help. (read the story...)

Where To Volunteer This Holiday Season: Soup Kitchens and More in Queens
Want to do some good this holiday season? The following places around Queens need your help. (read the story...)

Where To Volunteer This Holiday Season: Soup Kitchens and More in Brooklyn
Give back this Thanksgiving by volunteering in your community. Whether it’s by giving your time, money, or food donations, you can make a difference. The following locations in Brooklyn need your help. (read the story...)

Staying Healthy Through the Holidays and Beyond
It is so easy to get caught up in the chaos of life and lose control of our own health, especially around the holidays. Without our health, the chaos of motherhood can be overwhelming, exhausting and draining. The more we ignore our own need for balance and health, the less effective we became as mothers and wives. This year, let’s make up our minds to change some habits and stay healthy during the busy holiday season and beyond! (read the story...)

Where to Find Performances of 'The Nutcracker' in Manhattan - December 2009
Find out where this classic ballet will be performed this holiday season. (read the story...)

Holiday 2009- Family Activities in Manhattan
Manhattan families need look no further than our comprehensive family activity guide for holiday fun. Here you'll find kid-friendly events for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa for the child in your life. (read the story...)

Holiday 2009- Family Activities in Queens
Queens families need look no further than our comprehensive family activity guide for holiday fun. Here you'll find kid-friendly events for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa for the child in your life. (read the story...)

Holiday 2009- Family Activities in Brooklyn
Brooklyn families need look no further than our comprehensive family activity guide for holiday fun. Here you'll find kid-friendly events for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa for the child in your life. (read the story...)

Holiday 2009- Family Activities in Fairfield
Fairfield families need look no further than our comprehensive family activity guide for holiday fun. Here you'll find kid-friendly events for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa for the child in your life, including Fairfield, Stamford, Greenwich, Stamford, Westport, Bridgeport, Norwalk, and more! (read the story...)


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