Chinook Book: Is it worth it?

Chinook Book Bay Area

Promising to save you up to $3,000 with local coupons is one thing, but does it deliver?

Tech Tuesday: Common Sense Media for Bay Area parents

TV tips and media guidelines for families

Our family’s screen time rules are fluid with a side order of strict. My sons are allowed about 30 minutes to watch shows each evening while I prepare dinner; they alternate nights for whose day it is to choose. Because Sawyer is so much younger than the others, he often skips the shared program for […]

Simple, creative Halloween costumes

justin-wallis-1

Thanks to Berkeley mom Lisa Fontaine for contributing her creative DIY Halloween costume ideas. Anna Wintour photo: Oh Happy Day What little girl doesn’t love dressing up in Mama’s pearls and oversized sunglasses? My own daughter loves to flip through the pages of Vogue when it arrives each month and sits on our coffee table. […]

Reader tip: Turn candy into CASH!

Turn Halloween candy into cash

I received this tip from a local dentist, Total Health Dental Care, that turns Halloween candy into money. This program can line your kid’s pockets or kickstart a PTA-fundraising drive with a little (ok, a LOT of) coordination. Those of you with kids know that this time of year brings a ton of unwanted candy […]

Sparky the Firedog app prepares kids for fire safety

Smoky the Firedog safety app for kids

This post is sponsored today by SparkySchoolhouse. Invariably, when the smoke alarm goes off in my house, I’m cooking dinner and my sons are watching television. They usually wave it off. That’s not okay. Each time — while I’m simultaneously pushing a button on the ceiling; opening all the windows and doors; and tending to […]

Apple-picking with children near the Bay Area

Apple picking with children in the Bay Area

Looking for a place to get your hands on a bushel of apples? Well, ’tis the season. Always double-check with the farm in question before you pack up your hungry posse of children. Apples might grow on trees, but when they’re gone, they’re gone. Berkeley mom, Becky, shared the story of her children’s apple day […]

Five steps to babyproof a dog

5 steps to babyproof your dog #babies

My friend Laurie in Oakland is working with dog trainer Michael Wombacher, author of Good Dog, Happy Baby, to improve her dog’s behavior around her toddler. She forwarded these helpful tips from him.

Cool new parenting products from Bay Area companies

Milkcharm Baby Bottle Organizer #bayarea

Whitney and I just returned from a whirlwind 44-hour trip to Las Vegas for the ABC Kids Expo of the whole world of juvenile products in one place. I’m sure it wasn’t really the WHOLE WIDE WORLD but with thousands of exhibitors spread out over two floors, it was pretty expansive. We were very happy to […]

KidAdmit makes preschool enrollment easier {new sponsor!}

KidAdmit - Preschool Admissions management

Thanks to KidAdmit for sponsoring {510} Families this month. Preschool enrollment can feel like a part-time job for parents. Parents need to research their options, keep track of application dates, fill out forms, go on tours, and maybe even take the child to the school for a “playdate”, an age appropriate interview. When San Francisco […]

September is library card sign-up month

September is National Library Card Sign-Up

Do you want to get a first library card? Did your kid lose his card several months ago and has been borrowing his brother’s since then? In either case, you’re in luck this September (when so all new BPL cards or swaps will be FREE for a limited time, even if the card is missing). September […]

Children’s Hospital Oakland Miracle Marathon: The easiest marathon you’ll ever do

Oakland Childrens Hospital

Our local Children’s Hospital Oakland is part of a network of children’s hospitals called Children’s Miracle Network. Across the country, these partner hospitals have coordinated a virtual marathon, The Miracle Marathon, that will enable ANYONE to complete a marathon-ish distance and raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network hospital of their choice. For most of […]

Mommybites offers online and phone-based parenting help

Free online parenting classes

We’ve partnered with Mommybites, an organizer of short, one-session parenting classes on topics ranging from potty training to picky eating. The classes are free of charge, and require registration to get the call-in or log-on information. Some are via conference call – just listen in while an expert gives tips – and some are a […]

Backpack picks for a new school year

preschool-backpacks

this post contains affiliate links. When I started to write this post, deal-of-the-day site Zulily had a bunch of backpacks with great patterns and even better prices. Then, I identified the best choices in quality and sized for little ones (preschool thru 1st grade) on Amazon.  Here are my favorites that, by not being sold […]

Use GemShare to exchange recommendations with those you trust

Join the 510 families GemShare community to share recommendations

Gemshare sponsored this post, but we’re really using it as described below. Read on. The iOS (and soon-to-be Android) app called Gemshare was designed to crowd-source the best resources from the people you trust. We created a 510 families group so we can ask and answer each other’s burning questions about the best resources (people […]

Win a copy of Everyday Bento!

Everyday Bento (cookbook)

Local author and blogger, Wendy Copley, wrote and photographed my children’s current favorite book: Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches To Go. My sons love to pour over the pictures and invite me to create their favorite designs. Wendy is very realistic and specific walking you through each of the creations step-by-step. Stuffed with ideas […]

Mama’s little helper: Postmates

Some of my neighborhood choices on the Postmates app

Have you ever been lying prone, on the couch, telling your throw pillows that you would pay any amount of money if they could bring you chicken noodle soup from Saul’s? Or perhaps you wanted to deliver Summer Kitchen to your friend who just had a baby, but you are getting off the BART after […]

Urban gardening in the Bay Area

Gardening in the Bay Area with kids

No yard? No problem. This guest post was provided by Karolina Willson from Castro Valley, who wanted to share some of her discoveries for urban gardening with children. Our first big harvest I always thought that I had a black thumb, so I’m not sure what possessed me to make an attempt at gardening early […]