RSS

Blog posts of '2013' 'December'

Mom's Choice Awards® Winners

Mom's Choice Awards

The Fitness Fun Busy Book and The Playdate Busy Book have been named Gold winners by The Mom's Choice Awards® in the general parenting category.

Picture of The Fitness Fun Busy Book

The Fitness Fun Busy Book contains 365 games and activities to keep toddlers and preschoolers busy and active. The book includes outdoor, indoor, water, rhythm/music, and holiday fitness activities for individuals and groups. All activities are designed to build large and small motor skills such as balance and hand-eye coordination and inspire a love of physical exercise by encouraging a child to move.

Picture of The Playdate Busy Book

The Playdate Busy Book (previously titled The Siblings’ Busy Book) contains over 200 activities that all children (from infants to nine-year-olds) can do together. Each activity describes how babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age kids can join in the fun! - See more at: http://www.meadowbrookpress.com/playdate-busy-book#sthash.BCHQqJX2.dpuf
The Fitness Fun Busy Book (previously titled The Wiggle & Giggle Busy Book) contains 365 games and activities to keep toddlers and preschoolers busy and active. The book includes outdoor, indoor, water, rhythm/music, and holiday fitness activities for individuals and groups. All activities are designed to build large and small motor skills such as balance and hand-eye coordination and inspire a love of physical exercise by encouraging a child to move. - See more at: http://www.meadowbrookpress.com/fitness-fun-busy-book#sthash.JKXItFAn.dpuf

The Playdate Busy Book contains over 200 activities that all children (from infants to nine-year-olds) can do together. Each activity describes how babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age kids can join in the fun!

The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) is an international awards program that recognizes authors, inventors, companies, parents and others for their efforts in creating quality family-friendly media, products and services.

For more information on the awards program and the honorees, visit MomsChoiceAwards.com.

Watch "Celebrity Baby Names" on Good Day Orlando

Author Bruce Lansky was on Good Morning Orlando talking about celebrity baby names and name trends.

FOX 35 News Orlando

For Bruce's latest musings on names and naming check out his blog, Baby Names in the News.

How to Find Charming, Uncommon Names for Your Baby

by Bruce Lansky

If you’ve decided against selecting a time-tested traditional name for your baby, here are some ideas for finding cool, uncommon names in odd places (like a travel guide, a restaurant menu, a TV commercial or an art museum). Although picking an uncommon moniker for your child increases the risk of winding up with something that creates a “What were you thinking?” or “You must be kidding!” response, you just might discover a name that turns out to be highly memorable and appealing—thus earning you credit for your creativity and daring.

If you’re willing to pick a safe middle name in case Eureka or Ypsilanti are judged a flop as soon as your friends and relatives see the birth announcement, choosing a cool, unique name for your child can be a big plus for both the child and the parents. Your son Hudson and your daughter Monet may be the envy of all their classmates (as well as their classmates’ parents who will want to meet the pair who picked those charming names).

How do you find charming names like that? Follow this three-step procedure:

1. Look for names in odd places: a world atlas for place names, TV commercials or print ads for brand names, art museums for art names, menus or cookbooks for food names and baby-name books for uncommon forms of common names. (Did you know that my biggest, thickest name book has more than 600 lists of names to help parents generate cool, off-the-beaten-track ideas?)

2. Once you’ve come up with a list of names that are worth considering, spend some time thinking about what they would be like to live with (for your child and for you). Try to narrow your choice down to a few “keepers.”

3. Of course, there’s one more step—putting whichever names you like together with your last name (and any middle names you’re considering) to see how they all sound together. Don’t forget to check out the initials too. Some initials are just plain cool, like P.J., J.P., or K.C. Cool initials give your child another great fallback. It’s like having another middle name—without the clunkiness of actually having two middle names.

Now let’s take a look at a variety of potential names to see if we turn up any you’d call “charming.”

Place Names

For Boys: Chad, Frisco, Hudson, Reno, Rio and Santonio
For Girls: China, Georgia, India, Kenya, Monaco, Siena, and Virginia

Practical Considerations: Most of these names are recognizable enough to be quite easy to spell and pronounce. Most of them also paint a picture (that is, either charming or memorable—or both). I can imagine a difference of opinion about the “charm factor” for China, India, Kenya, Hudson and Reno. But I doubt many would find Rio, Siena, Santonio or Frisco problematic with regard to charm.

Food and Spice Names

For Girls: Brie, Cinnamon, Ginger, Olivia, Pepper, Saffron and Sage.
For Boys, Herb, Huckleberry, Macintosh, Oliver and Sage

Practical Considerations: Olivia and Oliver are variations of Olive and both make a positive impression and work well as names, as does Brie for girls. Ginger and Pepper both create a “spunky” or “spicy” impression for girls.  Sage is more of a gender-neutral name which can work equally well for either gender. Herb is a rather old-fashioned name and, of course, the “H” isn’t silent. In my opnion, the shorter variations of Huckleberry (Huck) and Macintosh (Mac) work better for boys than the longer versions.

Color Names

For Girls: Amber, Blanche, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Ebony, Ginger, Ivory and Raven
For Boys: Russell, Rusty

Practical considerations: Color names can be a blessing when you’ve put off picking a name until you are cradling  the baby in your arms. Color names can help you describe your child’s most striking physical attributes (such as hair color and complexion) in a name that can break a tie and “seal the deal.” (Notice that several spice names also work as color names.)

Brand Names

For Boys: Chevy, Harley, Levi, Lincoln and Stetson
For Girls: Chanel, Kia, Macy, Mercedes and Sierra

Practical Considerations: Most people are familiar with these brand names, so spelling and pronunciation aren’t likely to cause problems. However, these brands will probably appeal to people on different ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, in different parts of the country, and with different tastes. Chanel, Mercedes and Lincoln are more upscale; Macy appeals to the broad middle; Levi, Stetson and Sierra appeal to folks who may live out west or enjoy country-western music; Chevy is an “All-American” brand and Kia is a zippy brand that appeals to folks with modest bank accounts or with a “green” sensibility.

Ten or twenty years ago, many parents who shopped at Wal-Mart and Target chose Tiffany as a name for their bouncing bundle of joy, perhaps to project a more upscale image. You don’t need a 7-figure income to pick a million-dollar name.

Art Names

For Boys: Calder, Jasper, Hockney, Leonardo, Raphael, Rockwell, Sargent and Stuart
For Girls: Hartley, Mona Lisa, Monet and Stella

Practical Considerations: There’s a risk in choosing an “arty” name that won’t be immediately recognizable to most people. However, many of the names on the list above are familiar to most people. Who has not heard of the Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Monet’s water lilies, Calder’s colorful mobiles, Norman Rockwell’s poignant illustrations for “The Saturday Evening Post” and Georgia O’keeffe’s mesmerizing close-ups of flowers and iconic southwestern images.

Alternate Forms of Common Names

For Boys: Geo (short form of George), Lucky (a familiar form of Luke), Rafa (a short form of Raphael), Ringo (a Japanese name meaning “apple”)
For Girls: Nita (a short form of Anita and Juanita), Rita (a short form of Marguerite and Margarita), Cielo (a Spanish form of “Heaven”), Colette or Cosette (French forms of Nicole), Manon (a familiar form of Marie)

Practical Considerations: Most of these names are easy to spell and pronounce except, possibly, for Manon. But together with Cosette and Collette, all three French girls’ names make a literary or arty impression. Cielo not only sounds beautiful, it means “Heaven” in Spanish. And Nita is like Rita, a short Spanish form of names ending in “nita” or “rita.” The boys’ names are mainly short forms of names that are more religious, arty or stodgy. Most are informal and fun. Of course, it may be hard to imagine Ringo, Rafa and Lucky as classical composers, Ph.D. candidates or members of a prestigious law firm.

Let me know if you think any of these names are “cool.” That might stimulate me to take a look at other off-the-beaten-path names from categories like food names, nature names, science names, military names or opera names.

For Bruce's latest musings on names and naming check out his blog, Baby Names in the News.

© 2013 Bruce Lansky
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without proper notice of copyright.

"Santa Claus is Hungry Tonight"

Santa Claus is Hungry Tonight

© copyright Timothy Tocher from Oh My Darling, Porcupine with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Catch Bruce Lansky on TV

Bruce will be on Good Day Orlando Monday, December 23 at 9am discussing the top 5 worst celebrity baby names of 2013 as well as baby name trends for 2014!

Snowflake Window Decorating

Picture of The Preschooler's Busy Book

by Trish Kuffner

What You'll Need:

Square of plain or construction paper
Scissors
Tape
Can of spray-on artificial snow

Directions:

Fold a square piece of paper into quarters, then fold it into a triangle. Cut small shapes along the folded edges, unfold, and tape the snowflake stencil to a window. Spray over the snowflake with artificial snow, and then remove it to see the design on the window.

© copyright Trish Kuffner from The Preschooler's Busy Book with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

"Help Wanted"

Kids Pick the Funniest Poems

© copyright Timothy Tocher from Kids Pick the Funniest Poems with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Are Non-medical Uses of Ultrasound Completely Safe?

Picture of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

by Penny Simkin, PT; et al.

Fact or Fiction? Non-medical uses of ultrasound, such as at-home Doppler heartbeat monitors and ultrasound videos or photos, are completely safe.

Fiction. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine acknowledge that ultrasound poses no known risks to babies, it can affect the body and the long-term effects of extensive exposure are also unknown. To be safe, health care experts recommend that ultrasound be performed only by a trained provider and only when medically indicated.

Excerpted from: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide, Fourth Edition

© copyright 2010 by Parent Trust for Washington Children with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

"You're driving me crazy!"

You're driving me crazy!

© copyright 2013 by David Tarradas Agea from Spanish Without Words with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Spin the Storybox

Spin the Storybox

© copyright 2013 by Lisa Hanson & Heather Kempskie from The Playdate Busy Book with permission of its publisher, Meadowbrook Press.

Signup to receive
news, specials & more!