Teaching Kids about Money & Good Behavior

So this is how you’re going to buy mommy and daddy a big house one day…


So often it seems that kids think money just materializes for anything they want. How do you teach them about the effort it takes to earn money? Enter KidCash: an awesome new product recently launched by a talented friend who is also a working mom of two toddlers. KidCash helps incentify good behavior with a rewards system that mimics our cash system. You can use your kids’ normal allowance to give them paper cash in the form of:

1) Savings cash: teach your kid how to save for bigger ticket purchases.

2) Device cash: limit their device time by making them earn it.

3) Candy cash: this one’s not my favorite since I hardly ever let Zen have candy, but it is a great way to limit the amount of candy if you are more liberal with their food choices.

4) Activity cash: make them earn their trips to Coney Island and the Zoo.

5) Gift cash: my personal favorite and a great way to get them into the giving mind set.

But wait, that’s not all! You also get bonus bounty and violation tickets. Bonus bounty are rewards when you are working on something specific that needs special attention (like potty training). Violation tickets are exactly what they sound like – money is taken away when you exhibit bad behavior. This is a great way to work on those 3 year old tantrums!

KidCash comes with a bank book too, so you can give your kids a peek into how spending and saving works in the real world. Teaching them the principles of earning and saving money gives them a needed real-world perspective.

She’s made a beautiful physical kit that is only $39 + free shipping. But you can also print the kit for free! She’s also made a pledge to give back to charities, help support local businesses and schools. So please support her by sharing this great product with a friend or two!


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Batgirl’s New Design

Is it just me or is this inspired batgirl design by Mike Mitchell (left) much better than the real re-design (right)? I want to see Mike Mitchell’s design kick some ass, please. Maybe we can start a campaign?









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Help a Cool Lego Idea Launch: Batman – 50th Anniversary


Batman and RobinI love this lego idea especially since it was inspired by a 4 year old girl who loves Batman and Robin. She asked her dad to build a car that could hold both characters and it’s pretty awesome! Help support this build by casting your vote here. It only takes a few annoying registration steps.


C’mon don’t let Batman get lonely. That would be sad.Batman



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Beneath the Waves: ‘Yellow Submarine’ 3D Cartoon Dives Deep

In honor of birthday honoree Ringo Starr (the Beatles’ drummer turns 74 today), we turn our attention to an anomalous animated artifact–this 3D cartoon clip of “Yellow Submarine,” the whimsical tune on which Ringo took a rare lead vocal turn (although contrary to common belief, the song was written by Paul McCartney; for a classic Starr composition check out “Don’t Pass Me By“).

In recent years it seemed that a feature-length remake of the iconic 1968 film was in the works, but the Robert Zemeckis-helmed Disney project was cast overboard before it ever left dock. We’re not sure whether the clip here is related in any way to that scuttled vessel, as the YouTube user “Mr. Droid” who uploaded it offers precious little detail about either himself or the production. What we do know is that the concept behind this ‘toon tribute is spot on: indeed evoking a “life of ease” while invoking the submerged sonics and other shifts in perception that accompany a valiant voyage beneath the sea’s surface.

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The original LOLcat Photographer?

As I’ve gotten sucked into adult sized hustling to revive my contribution to the household revenue stream over the past few weeks, I’m eager for fun distractions like LOLCats! For the next few weeks, this is all I want to focus on. I’m tired of pitching my ideas to other people. Time for a few ideas to profit my own imagination!

LOLcats watering flowers

This is an old but interesting post from a wonderful site called My Modern Met. They profile a variety of interesting artistic, photography and architecture projects. This article profiles  Harry Whittier Frees, an American photographer who lived from 1879 to 1953. His funny photographs show adorable animals dressed up in clothes and posed in human situations. Often accompanied by humorous captions, the photographs depict the furry little critters wearing clothes handmade by Frees’ mother and using tiny props that look like they belong in a dollhouse. We’re not entirely sure why, but there is just something inexplicably hilarious about seeing cats drinking tea or riding a choo-choo train together.

LolCats wheelbarrowLolCats Train

Read more here.


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Powerpuff Girls Return!

Powerpuff_495607-1024x889I’m so psyched by the news that one of my favorite cartoons of all time, the Powerpuff Girls, is returning to the Cartoon Network. It was a big hit for the network at the time (grossing over $2.5 billion dollars in retails sales), proof that fans are hungry for female super heroes. I know quite a few girls who are hankering for more female superheroes, but I’ll save that story for a future post!

From left to right: Buttercup, Blossom and Bubbles in “The Powerpuff Girls Movie.” (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)

More from the Washington Post

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It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane…it’s Superbear!

Zen recently flew around the park in Finley’s awesome Superbear cape, made with love by Heather Donohue. Heather Donohue owns her own craft business, which you can find here. She created this cape on consignment. Is it me or is there a market for Superbear Backcapes like these? Zen fell in love with it, even though it was a tad small for him. It helped that his Uncle Tim was spinning him around in the air like a real life Superman! I want Heather to design a Boobuddha cape.  Can you help me come up with a Boobuddha design?

Superbear FrontSuperbear Flying

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Dove Does it Again: Celebrating Fathers with Positive Messaging

This is advertising done right. I feel good when I watch it; the message is authentic and positive.  The only way I would feel like I’m missing something is if I didn’t have a great relationship with my dad or my husband. I’m lucky that I do.

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Zen & The Giant Flying V

Boy with Guitar

Zen has been wielding guitars ever since he first became obsessed with my brother-in-law’s acoustic during his first Christmas. He was earlier influenced by an awesome music teacher who rocks with Rolie Polie Guacomole. This is where Zen learned his favorite all time song, “Fire Truck” which he’s jammed to on his ukulele more times than I can count.

So when another bBigGuitarrother-in-law posted a picture of this guy playing a Giant Flying V in the city, I knew I had to do a mash up. The man rocking the V is Ralph Ciaciono, who claims to be the “one and only Giant V”.  Apparently, he works at The Guitar Shack in Port Jefferson Station and has his own Youtube channel. What do you think, should I try to book a jam session?



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Is Handwriting a Relic of the Past… Or Does it Help Us Learn?

Kids FontThe New York Times published an interesting article about handwriting, how it’s not really a part of the education curriculum anymore and exploring evidence that suggests this development might not be a good thing. I’m not surprised that handwriting has been dropped from schools, nor at the thinking that handwriting is no longer a necessary skill set given our transition to computers and keyboards.

I have never been a big fan of handwriting. I was horrible at penmanship in school and did not have the greatest experience studying it. My issue was probably a combination of lack of natural skill (too tightly wound, physically, I think) and a horrible teacher. Her name was Mrs. Henley and she wore these outrageous turquoise rings. This was in a small town in Broken Arrow, OK. Mrs. Henley was eccentric–but not only that, she was mean. I remember having to stare at those hideous rings on her aged fingers as she marked up and criticized my handwriting. I tried. I really did, but I just never got any better.

Yet, evidence that suggests handwriting helps us learn makes sense to me. I always learned subjects by writing, and not just taking notes but also transcribing pages from text books. It definitely helped me to remember specific details about what I’d read.

I don’t write by hand much anymore. I still don’t enjoy it. But I often find myself searching for a way to better organize my thoughts on the computer. I will print things out, simply to help myself focus.

As writing in longhand becomes less and less of a necessity, and as we try to rid ourselves more and more of a bad paper habit, how do we convince people to hold on to a dying skill like handwriting: “It’s good for you, so keep doing it”? It’s a challenging idea. Does it need to evolve into digital writing? Maybe our brains will rewire and the same thing will happen as we type.

I’m curious to find out what other people think. Should we put penmanship back into our curriculums and every day life?

Image: http://www.filthwizardry.com/2009/09/kids-handwriting-into-computer-font.html



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