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D+D on PBS: Anatomy of the Perfect Toy

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Toys. They’re everywhere these days. Although their natural habitat is a well-organized chest in your child’s room, they frequently migrate to places like the living room, kitchen table, the car, your bed and of course, directly under your feet in a dark hallway in the middle of the night.

What’s worse, new toys threaten to encroach upon your home environment all the time, as birthdays, holidays and random visits from grandma and grandpa often bring more and more of these parasitic playthings with them.

So how do parents like us know which of the thousands of toys out there are actually worth keeping (or buying in the first place)? Which ones will maintain our children’s interest, help them learn something, boost their problem-solving skills and inspire their creativity?

It isn’t as hard as it seems.

Just read our newest article on the PBS Parents website, and you’ll learn about five distinguishing characteristics that can help you spot the perfect toy in no time.

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Seven ways to avoid getting hangry at your kids

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What The Doctor has felt like multiple times this week.

You know how sometimes every single person around you is totally getting on your nerves? Your kids, your spouse, that driver in front of you…they’re all jerks, right? And so if you decide to snap and go off on them a little (or a lot), it’s 100% justified, because everybody really, really deserves it.

Or so you thought.

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Why We Should Hate Captain Underpants … But Don’t

Captain Underpants

Violence. Profanity. And characters prancing around in their underwear.

Sounds like the ingredients of some R-rated movie that responsible parents like all of us would surely keep far away from our children, doesn’t it?

Well we don’t know how to break it to you, but it’s actually a description of Captain Underpants, a series of twelve children’s novels by author Dav Pilkey…which our family just can’t get enough of.

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D+D on Deadspin: How to Fly with Young Children

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You know that feeling you get when you pack some bags, grab your kids, and head to the airport brimming with confidence that your entire family flight experience will be easy, effortless and enjoyable?

Of course not. No one does. Because that feeling does not actually exist.

But if you’re planning on flying with young children at some point in your life, you owe it to yourself to read our new article on Deadspin’s Adequate Man website!

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Kid Joke Korner: The Bouncing Bee

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Welcome to another installment of Kid Joke Korner, where the punch lines are plentiful and the spelling is krazy kute!

Because joking around with your kids is seriously good for their development, we like to crack wise with our kiddos all the time.

Each Kid Joke Korner features a real joke set-up that one of our children made up, along with our family’s guesses as to what the punch line might be. See if you can figure out how each joke really ends – or share your own punch line ideas in the comments!

So without further ado, here’s today’s Kid Joke Korner kid joke, “The Bouncing Bee,” as told by Our Five-Year-Old Daughter:
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D+D on PBS: Raising Environmentally Responsible Kids

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Tonight, after you’ve forced open your child’s bedroom door despite the giant pile of stuffed animals behind it… After you’ve somehow managed to tiptoe through a minefield of toys, books and discarded dirty laundry without breaking your neck… And after you’ve leaned over and kissed your adorable little angel’s crusty, crumb-covered face goodnight, consider this:

Your child – who is quite possibly the messiest human being you know – is going to clean up our entire planet.

Don’t believe us?

Then you need to read our latest article on the PBS Parents website.

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Five things never to say at the family dinner table

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If you’ve spent much time on our site, you may know that we’re big fans of the good old fashioned family dinner. When your family regularly sits down to distraction-free, conversation-filled meals, your kids really come out ahead.

But what should your dinnertime conversations be about?

We used to think pretty much anything was fair game…until we read Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating by pediatrician Dr. Nimali Fernando and children’s food coach Melanie Potock.

And now we know that the following five phrases are serious dinnertime DON’TS. (Full disclosure: Some of these might be tougher to stick to than others!):
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Free Book Giveaway: Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater

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Does feeding your kids feel like a fight? Well take off your boxing gloves, and put on your oven mitts. Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating is here to help.

And guess what? The Doctor and the Dad are giving away a free copy of this cool new book – keep reading to learn how you can win!

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Do vasectomies always work?

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Today’s “Ask the Doctor and the Dad” question hits close to home. Really, really close to our suddenly-getting-really-crowded home:

“Do vasectomies always work? I mean, I’ve heard that they’re pretty reliable, but it’s not 100% guaranteed you’ll never have a kid again just because you got a vasectomy, right?”
– Somebody Wiser Than Us Apparently

Well, Somebody, that’s a complicated question to answer.

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D+D on PBS: Letting Go of Learning Styles

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As parents, we always want what’s best for our children. That’s why we search for the healthiest foods, the safest car seats and the cutest little kid outfits we can find.

It’s also why, when we hear about a super simple technique that promises to instantly improve our child’s learning skills, we jump all over it in a hurry.

What is this miracle technique, you may ask?

It’s a concept called “learning styles,” and it’s the subject of our newest article on the PBS Parents website.

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