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Archive: Entertainment

The glories of impromptu baking

At some point, we all have to come in from the snow and figure out a way to fill the days between now and that distant date when the kids will have to head back to school. We faced that moment here yesterday morning: I'd had it with TV, and...

By Brian Reid | December 22, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

'Tis the season to put your kids on a card

So far this season, 95 percent of the Christmas cards I have received feature a picture of a child. And I'm not talking about the baby Jesus. These days -- thanks to online photo sites like Snapfish and Shutterfly -- every parent on the planet is sending holiday cards plastered...

By Jen Chaney | December 17, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (72)

The Zhu Zhu conundrum

The hamsters that are giving hope to a nation. (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Like many parents in America right now, I am really not sure how to feel about Mr. Squiggles. Zhu Zhu hamsters -- the cuddly robot pets that have turned some moms and dads into desperate, Toys-R-Us...

By Jen Chaney | December 10, 2009; 07:45 AM ET | Comments (45)

Cabin fever already in full swing

For kids, the official start of winter isn't Dec. 21 -- it's the first day we get snow. And so winter began this week. The emergence of the white stuff, coupled with the earlier and earlier nightfall, however, means that we're also starting the inside season, where exposure to the...

By Brian Reid | December 9, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (62)

The dangers (?) of holiday toys

This is the time of year for lists: "Best of 2009" lists, Christmas lists, holiday card lists. And, as of Friday, the annual "10 Most Dangerous Toys" list came out, giving parents 10 more things to worry during the holidays. Among the items you should be chucking: a Batman toy...

By Brian Reid | November 30, 2009; 08:02 AM ET | Comments (10)

When baby gets airbrushed

Anyone with even the vaguest knowledge of what goes on in the publishing industry probably realizes all those sexy, magazine-cover images of movie stars and models are usually -- shocker! -- airbrushed. But for some reason, most of us may not have considered that the cherubic faces beaming at readers...

By Jen Chaney | November 19, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (24)

'Sesame Street' at 40: Over the hill?

This week marked a pop culture watershed. Big Bird and his crew turned 40. Surviving 40 years in TV land is tough and getting tougher. "Reading Rainbow" never made it to middle age. The Teletubbies lasted four years. "Dora" hasn't hit double-digits (and yet is still desperately trying to hang...

By Brian Reid | November 13, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (39)

Slipping us a new Mickey

Mickey Mouse, the way he was. (Disney Enterprises) Apparently, we Americans -- particularly our kids -- don't think much of Mickey Mouse anymore. It's not that we can't stand the remarkably high-pitched sound of his voice. It's more that we have stopped listening altogether. That's why -- as reported...

By Jen Chaney | November 12, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (14)

Imprisoned (at home) by the flu

I received the dreaded call from school early last Thursday morning: The big kid had complained of a stomach ache, spiked a fever in the nurse's office, and needed to come home. Odds are, if you haven't received that call yet this year, you will. While my job has certain...

By Brian Reid | October 27, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (45)

When kid costumes go a little too far

Would you really let your third grader knock on the neighbors' doors dressed like this? (Eric Von Lockhart/Lifestyles Halloween Gore via AP) In this last week before Halloween, many of us costume-challenged parents will spend an inordinate amount of mental energy trying to decide how to dress our children...

By Jen Chaney | October 22, 2009; 07:25 AM ET | Comments (42)

Becoming a master storyteller

Yesterday's discussion on "Where the Wild Things Are" needled on my one of my weak points as a parent: I'm not a very good storyteller. I'm not capable of spinning the kind of scary story that would keep my kids up at night. I can't even keep them very well...

By Brian Reid | October 21, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (20)

The fine line between fright and fun

The movie adaptation of "Where the Wild Things Are," has re-opened what I like to think of as the winged-monkey debate, in honor of the creepiest scene in "The Wizard of Oz": At what age is it appropriate to scare the bejeezus out of kids? Because he conceived the source...

By Brian Reid | October 20, 2009; 07:43 AM ET | Comments (53)

The End of the Homemade Halloween?

When I was 5, I decided that I was going to be Han Solo for Halloween to express my undying love for "Star Wars." This was all well and good, except for a couple of niggling problems. The first is that Han Solo is not a particularly distinctive character, visually,...

By Brian Reid | October 13, 2009; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (37)

When the Kids Want to Rock

Is your child old enough to handle U2 live? (Ricky Carioti/TWP) It's a dilemma that confronts most music-loving parents at some point: Should I bring my kid to a concert or is he/she too young? Other mommy-and-daddy bloggers have weighed in on this subject in the past. In recent...

By Jen Chaney | October 8, 2009; 08:17 AM ET | Comments (37)

Five Toys That Need a Rebirth

Nostalgia is an established part of the toy-maker playbook, meaning that treasured pieces of childhood tend to continually get new life as marketers reinvent old brands for each new generation. This is generally a bad thing. It leads to mindless movie franchises (this year, '80s icons G.I. Joe and Transformers)...

By Brian Reid | September 22, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (41)

Turning Controversies Into Teaching Moments

Kanye West, demonstrating that he needs a time-out. (AP) As parents, we all know that sometimes our kids have a hard time keeping quiet. But the past week has demonstrated that even high-profile, grown-up, public figures don't always know when to shut-up. It started last Wednesday with Rep. Joe...

By Jen Chaney | September 16, 2009; 09:15 AM ET | Comments (16)

Budget Birthday Bashes

Through some strange fluke of astrology, nearly everyone of importance in my life was born during an 8-week stretch of summer. Labor Day doesn't mark the end of summer so much as the end of the birthday party season. It never comes soon enough. Especially this year, when watching the...

By Brian Reid | September 11, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (62)

The Five Worst Things About Disney

Having defended at least a small portion of the Disney experience, let me let loose with a far easier task: finding the five most irritating elements of the entertainment powerhouse (a company that is growing larger every day). 1. Hannah Montana: I am on the record as having serious issues...

By Brian Reid | September 1, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (40)

The Back-to-School Commercial Hall of Fame

Jen Chaney -- who covers topics as varied as movies, DVDs and "Lost" for washingtonpost.com, contributes to Babble's Strollerderby blog and happens to be the mother of a toddler -- will write occasional posts for OnParenting. Here is her first. Nothing portends end-of-summer doom quite like the back-to-school commercial. As...

By Jen Chaney | August 27, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (16)

The Five Best Things About Disney

I have been a not-infrequent critic of the Disney empire, particularly the mind-scramblingly dull music and the (mostly) insipid television shows. But lest you think that I harbor only ill will for the House of Mouse, let me present the five things that rock about ol' Walt's empire. 1. "Finding...

By Brian Reid | August 26, 2009; 07:15 AM ET | Comments (53)

Busting on Barney

Kids love Barney. But how many parents do? (Universal Studios) My 2-year-old daughter learned to sing this past Inauguration Day, and when it comes to music, she's always had very clear preferences. As an infant, she'd cry whenever I'd play Pavement. Recently, in the car, when Run-DMC came on...

By Anne | August 21, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (44)

How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Reality TV

By Rebeldad Brian Reid When I heard that Fox Reality Channel was about to launch a show called “Househusbands of Hollywood,” my blood ran a little cold. Slowly and quietly, fathers have begun to chip away at decades-old stereotypes about their fitness as parents or their interest in anything other...

By Brian Reid | July 9, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (30)

Jon & Kate + 8 Minus Sophie

It's easy to not want to hear another word about the Gosselin family. And though we just talked about the show fairly recently, I thought my colleague Jennifer LaRue Huget's take on the family's issues was an interesting one. No, it doesn't focus on mom Kate spanking a child or...

By Stacey Garfinkle | June 22, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

The Official Start of Camp Season

By Rebeldad Brian Reid Last week marked the end of the school year here in the cornfields, which means that this week brings the start of camp season. With the exception of a long weekend, there was barely a hiccup; even pick-up and drop-off times are almost identical. It took...

By Brian Reid | June 11, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (42)

The 100 Book Challenge

Seven year old has never been much of a reader. Sure, he can read, pretty well, or so his teachers tell me. He just hasn't had the desire to pick up books for enjoyment. And with school about to end, wonderful husband and I didn't want to face a...

By Stacey Garfinkle | June 1, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (24)

Rock? Pop? Disco? Rap?

Music: It seems so melodically simple to enjoy with kids regardless of their ages. Fetuses have been known to kick to a beat. And now, researchers say music helps manage the pain of circumcision and blood draws in infants. While we could turn that circumcision story into a should we...

By Stacey Garfinkle | May 29, 2009; 07:13 AM ET | Comments (19)

What Do You Think of This Burger King Ad?

The Burger King SpongeBob ad features The King with a side of SpongeBob. It starts off with "I like square butts and I cannot lie." Woman shake their box-shaped bottoms and The King measures one. It ends with "get a toy and a kids meal." The ad, which plays...

By Stacey Garfinkle | April 16, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (37)

Sonic Youth, Miley Cyrus, Charles Barkley and Role Models

By Rebeldad Brian Reid On the way to school last week, I flicked on the radio to tune in the local college radio station, which sometimes brings howls of protest from the little voices in the back seat. But this time, the reaction was different: "Dad ... what is this?"...

By Brian Reid | April 2, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (25)

'In the Motherhood': The Reviews Are In

"In the Motherhood" had all the makings of a hit comedy: A funny, successful precursor in the now defunct "In the Motherhood" series on MSN, a great cast, a callout for real stories from real moms and an audience excited to see their roles portrayed in sitcom-land. Plus, it got...

By Stacey Garfinkle | March 26, 2009; 10:00 PM ET | Comments (18)

A Leaner 'Sesame Street'?

Say it ain't so ... Sesame Workshop, the producer of "Sesame Street," is not immune to the current economic woes and is cutting 20 percent of its workforce. And while I'd be surprised if Sesame's bigwigs trim characters from what is arguably its most-beloved show, the news got me thinking...If...

By Stacey Garfinkle | March 13, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (18)

Free Play

The loss of early childhood playtime is equated with global warming by some experts, according to a recent Associated Press article. They blamed our reluctance to let our kids play alone, on our kids use of videos, television and technology, and on homework and early academic pushing by schools and...

By Stacey Garfinkle | November 21, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (24)

The Best Places to Raise Kids

This week, a list of the best, most affordable places to raise kids came out. This one's courtesy of Business Week. Tops on the list is Mount Prospect, Ill. The magazine weighted affordability heavily in its criteria, selecting towns with at least 50,000 residents and a median family income between...

By Stacey Garfinkle | November 14, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (29)

High School Musical 3: Your Reviews?

HSM3: Senior Year sold $42 million worth of tickets during its first three days in theaters, a record for a musical by a large margin. Per usual, adult critics gave the film -- the third in the High School Musical phenomenon and the first to head to the big screen...

By Stacey Garfinkle | October 27, 2008; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (18)

Sex Ed: How Early? How Detailed?

By Rebeldad Brian Reid It's a weird world we live in where -- in a time of economic turmoil, foreign wars and a health care system that teeters on the brink -- one of the surprise issues of the presidential election season is sexual education. First, there was the brouhaha...

By Brian Reid | September 18, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (101)

Video Games Are THE Social Scene

It's nearly a sure bet that if you have teenagers, they're playing video games. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 97 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 play video games. And for today's teens, games are a "major component of their overall social experience," the Pew...

By Stacey Garfinkle | September 17, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (31)

The Five Best Films to Watch With the Kids

By Rebeldad Brian Reid We’re finally getting to the point in life where we can sit down and watch non-animated films with the older child. While we’ve tended toward the safe fare of "Nim’s Island" and "Mary Poppins" and the like, I’m beginning to introduce some of the formative films...

By Brian Reid | September 12, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (82)

 

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