New e-book makes giving a family affair

Donating to a favorite cause, volunteering in our communities, providing items for those in need, are just a few of the ways philanthropy helps our families engage in the spirit of kindness and giving back.

Generosity For Every Season: A Family-Friendly Guide To Giving is a new e-book that turns the concepts of philanthropy, charity, and generosity into tangible, kid-friendly crafts and activities for the whole family.

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Purim for kids, the PJ Library way

Costumes, treats, permission to make random noise? No wonder kids love Purim so much!

Indeed, Purim is an exciting and fun-filled holiday, and the story of Esther risking her life to save her people is an intriguing and adventurous tale, but parents of young children may worry that the more “adult” themes of the Book of Esther are too advanced for their kids.

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The best Super Bowl LV ads (according to my third-grader)

The Super Bowl had some football, which, I guess, was sort of cool. But, we all know why everyone watches “The Big Game” — the commercials, of course!

While watching with my family, I asked my oldest (age 8) to let me know which Super Bowl ads he found particularly entertaining. Generally, snack food commercials were the most liked, however, I was surprised by some of the others that appealed to him, especially because they had some “adult” humor. I guess you never know what will a kid will find funny.

Without further ado, in no particular order, here are my third-grader’s top Super Bowl commercial picks.

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During this pandemic, I am grateful for my marriage

My husband and I celebrated ten years of marriage in October — an impressive feat in any year — but, this year feels especially triumphant, considering how difficult these past several months of staying home, schools closing, job uncertainty and more have been on us and so many other couples.

This pandemic has pushed many marriages to the brink, and indeed, we know a few couples whose unions are already dissolved or soon will be.

Then, of course, there are those high-profile splits, including that of self-proclaimed life coach, Rachel Hollis, that have left us disillusioned over what exactly makes a lasting marriage.

Did these couples fall suddenly out of love? Or, were there deeper issues uprooted by the challenges imposed by an unprecedented pandemic?

I wonder why other couples are struggling, while my husband and I, so far any way, have come through this mostly unscathed.

More than unscathed, I would argue or relationship has strengthened and evolved, as if the shared experience of going through hardship together has forged a greater bond.

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Handy parenting tips for each stage of your child’s development

By Kristin Louis

Parenthood enriches your life in many ways, allowing you to experience the world anew through the fresh eyes of a child. Being a mom or dad can also get stressful, however, resulting in negative consequences for your own health—and negatively impacting kids, too. 

Luckily, there are many useful resources available to make your role easier at every stage of your child’s development. Maybe I’ll Shower Today wants everyone in your family, from youngest to oldest, to be happy and healthy, so read on. 

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Planting trees and more ways to celebrate Tu B’Shevat, or Jewish Earth Day

Spending time in nature and appreciating the beauty of the world around them is an ideal I hope to instill in my kids that will stay with them for years to come.

Tu B’Shevat, which begins at sundown on January 27 and ends at nightfall on January 28, is known widely as the new year of the trees, or Jewish Earth Day. In Israel, this time of year is when the most rain falls, rain that we as Jews pray for, rain that brings fourth new life and new hope. We celebrate by eating new fruits and expressing our appreciation for new life.

Of course, if you live in area of the world that is smack in the middle of the cold winter months, it’s hard to imagine celebrating a holiday about growth and renewal.

Yet, even those of us living in colder climates can find ways to get out into nature and appreciate the beauty of the world.

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Spice up your family’s health with these flavorful recipes

Getting kids to eat healthy is a battle I know all too well. From artistic uses of fruit, to “hiding” vegetables, parents seem to have to go through extreme lengths just to add some nutritious foods into our children’s diet.

While eating produce is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and sometimes we do need to get creative with our recipes, there is an even easier way to add nutrition to your family meals, and chances are, you already are doing it.

Herbs and spices, the stuff you pull from your pantry to add flavor to your favorite dishes are packed with the vitamins and minerals our families need to promote healthy living. From improving digestion, reducing inflammation, to boosting immunity, just a pinch or two of these small, but mighty spices cand do wonders for your nutrition.

Read on for some delicious ideas to add flavor and health to your family meals.

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Eight socially-distant Hanukkah ideas to try with your family

Hanukkah is just a few nights away, and, if your kids are like mine, they’ve been counting down the days until the Festival of Lights.

Though many of us enjoy the fun gatherings of friends and family at this time, this year the desire to stay safe and healthy means we will be doing things a bit differently.

Despite these different times, we can still experience the joy of Hanukkah.

Read on for some ideas.

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An epic Chanukah starts with PJ Library and Manischewitz

My kids love cookies (who doesn’t?), and have enjoyed making holiday-themed cookie houses at school and elsewhere. And, while those are a lot of fun for children, they tend to be more Christmas themed, which can make Jewish kids like mine feel a bit excluded. So, when our family got the opportunity to test out Manischewitz’s new Chanukah cookie decorating kit, they could not wait to get their hands (and mouths) on this fun and tasty project.

The Chanukah House Cookie Decorating Kit comes with pre-baked cookie walls and roof pieces, ready-to-use frosting and decorations, to make building an enjoyable and easy process. You can choose to follow the design pictured on the box, or you can get creative and decorate the house any way you like.

My kids got creative with their design, and had a little trouble getting everything to stick at first, but once they got the hang of it, they really enjoyed putting the house together and putting their own spin on the decorations.

Of course, the best part about building the Chanukah Cookie House was getting to eat it. Ours wasn’t up long before my boys went right for the delicious, frosted cookie pieces. As you can see in the picture below, my kids couldn’t wait until Chanukah to give the cookie house a try, so you can believe us when we say that this project was both fun and yummy.

Kids of all ages will love building this tasty treat this Chanukah (which begins on December 10), and families will love that each kit comes with a PJ Library subscription card so that families raising children with Jewish values and traditions can sign up to receive a free expertly curated, age-appropriate children’s book each month.

For even more Chanukah fun, check out PJ Library’s “Hanukkah Hub” for recipes, stories, games, gift ideas and more.

The Manischewitz Chanukah House is available at retailers nationwide and on Amazon.

Disclaimer: As a PJ Library influencer, I am compensated for promoting this program. All opinions expressed are my own.

What the presidential election can teach our kids about losing

My family loves board games. My husband, myself and my oldest particularly enjoy playing Monopoly and often get lost in intense, days long battles for money and property.

Much like his parents, my son is very competitive and questions every action taken during the game and cries foul when something seems unfair. He gets angry when he finds himself losing and livid if he loses the game altogether.

As someone, who isn’t always the picture of grace when I lose a game, I get my son’s passion, but I also know it is important to teach kids how to handle losing with dignity.

On a national level, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has just been elected as President of the United States of America after a grueling election, which took days to resolve, and, in many ways, is still being carried out as President Donald Trump insists the election wasn’t run fairly and refuses to accept defeat.

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