Boredom Busters

Brick Fest Live!: Lego Fun for NYC Kids at the NY Hall of Science

If you have a Lego lover at home, you won't want to miss Brick Fest Live!, an unofficial Lego fan celebration taking place at Queens' New York Hall of Science this week. This touring Lego experience offers hands-on fun for all ages and skill levels, from casual builders to die-hard fanatics, including a Lego video game arcade, multiple building areas, a racetrack for Lego cars and amazing plastic brick creations, including some that glow in the dark!

My 10-year-old son and I just got back from Brick Fest Live!, and if you've got a Lego-obsessed kid like mine, this is a must-do event. Bonus: It's FREE with regular museum admission!

Best Free Story Podcasts for Kids on Road Trips (or Anytime)

Car time has become synonymous with screen time. It’s just so easy to keep the kids occupied in the backseat with a smartphone or tablet, that the "I'm boreds!" and "Are we there yets?" of our childhoods almost seem like a thing of the past. But I also remember the fun of long car rides: talking to each other, reading stories, playing car games and just looking out the window. Recently I have wondered whether my kids will ever know the pleasure of staring out a car window as the countryside goes by.

That’s why I have come to love podcasts. They are the ideal compromise: digital entertainment that keeps kids' eyes off their screens. And because we can all listen together, we can share the experience and have discussions about what we hear.

With summer coming, it’s the perfect time to discover some new podcasts to keep everyone in the family entertained whether you’re in the car, on a plane, a train or even at home. There are science podcasts, educational podcasts and many other types appropriate for children. I’ve rounded up my seven favorite storytelling podcasts that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Kids' Craft: Easy No-Wax Batik

I love batik. Or I should say, I love the way batik looks, and I love the idea of making batik, but actual batik is really hard, meticulous and, frankly, kind of tedious to do. I've been looking for a simpler way to make batik and recently shared these batik-style card designs. I think they turned out great, but they are only paper simulations of batik.

But I finally found an easy batik method. Do you know Design Mom? Blogger Gabrielle Blair is one of those people who makes you wonder, "How does she do it?" She is somehow managing to raise six children, run her super website and make everything seem beautiful, graceful and balanced. Luckily for us, she has just wrapped all that beauty and wisdom into her new book, Design Mom: How to Live with Kids: A Room-by-Room Guide.

What I love about this book is that it isn't just about home design. The lovely Gabby shares many of her family's traditions and ways they make living with kids work. These are my favorite parts of the book, and that's right where I found my easy batik technique.

I've adapted Gabrielle's method a bit to make it even simpler so that a little kid can do it. You can literally use this technique on any piece of cotton fabric; we did T-shirts and tote bags.


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