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This is a fun project full of hands on and parent/child collaboration. There are a lot of parent steps, but your children will be more than happy to assist you and watch as the project goes on. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Make these now so you are ready for your 4th of July weekend! it’s coming faster than you think 🙂

Step # 1  Rubber band both sides of your shirt as to define a bottom, middle, and top. Cut both ends off of a walmart bag… the handles and the bottom so that you have an open plastic “tube”.

Place tee inside the tube so that only the middle is inside with both bottom and top of tee hanging out.

Roll your tee inside the bag up tightly. Fold down ends of bag so that they are directly over the rubber banded tee area and rubber band again over top. This insures that no dye will get into the middle section of your tee.

Step # 2 rubber band the top of and bottom of the tee in any way you would like. You can evenly space the rubber bands one after another which would make stripes, or you can pinch pieces of your fabric up which would make firework type patterns. You may be asking at this point what your children are actually doing… I had my children count with me each time I wound the rubber band so that they felt involved and could practice their numbers. My 6 year old could do the rubber bands himself with just a little assistance. I also had them hand me the rubber bands and choose weather they wanted stripes or firework patterns.

Step #3 pour half your container of RIT dye into a bowl, if you have powder only use half of the box. Add 1/2 cup of salt to each bowl. Mix these with hot water and stir. Let your child do the stirring.

Step #4 Let your child hold their tee like a upside down “U” shape and put the bottom in the blue bowl and the top in the red bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Step #5 Pull tee out of the dye carefully and squeeze out on an open laid out trash bag, then move over and lay onto another trash bag as to not put it into the colors you have squeezed out.

Take care here not to mix colors.

Your children can wear plastic gloves and help squeeze their tees. I used another walmart bag.

Step #6 Rinse in warm water each side separately until they run almost clear.

Step #7 Do not cut off rubber bands yet or your plastic bag. Hang on a line to dry. When mostly dry (damp) cut off your rubber bands, open tee, and hang to complete dry. When completely dry wash in your washing machine each separate tee on cold.

Step #8 Optional Step… if you want, here you can cut a sponge into a star shape and let your child puffy paint stamped white stars onto their shirt. This is great if your child wasn’t able to participate enough in this project or if you wanted to do this ahead of time for your younger children and then present them with the tee to decorate.

Don’t forget to praise your children as they help you with this project. Completing projects and helping out, builds good self esteem. Smile, laugh, and have fun!

Hudson Valley Parents and teachers are welcome to take advantage of this special educational offer. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has designed this program specifically for Middle and High School teachers, counselors, social workers, youth advisors, and after-school program directors to help their students recognize depression in themselves or their friends, and to encourage them to get help for this common and treatable problem.

This free 60-minute webinar on Teen Depression and Suicide Risk is designed to show school personnel how they can effectively incorporate depression education into the classroom, using AFSP’s ground-breaking new film, More Than Sad: Teen Depression.

The film features vignettes of four teens that will help students recognize the varied signs and symptoms of depression, reduce their misconceptions and apprehensions about treatment, and promote help-seeking behavior. Each participant will receive a free copy of the film More Than Sad: Teen Depression (valued at $49.99)*

To accommodate your busy schedule and give you more options, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s New York chapters have joined together.   Please note that: registration is mandatory for this event, you may enter the event up to 15 minutes before the start of the event but you cannot enter 15 minutes after the event has started

March 28th, 3pm

Register for March 28th Webinar

March 30th, Noon

Register for March 30th Webinar

April 4th, 3pm

Register for April 4th Webinar

April 6th, 11am

Register for April 6th Webinar

April 7th, Noon

Register for April 7th Webinar

April 8th, Noon

Register for April 8th Webinar

April 12th, Noon

Register for April 12th Webinar

April 19th, 9am

Register for April 19th Webinar

Please note that each offering of the webinar is limited to 250 registrants, so register today!

A Texas 4 year old boy nicknamed “tater tot” has been at the center on controversy for a few months now, for what you say? What could he have possibly done? Well he has shoulder length hair that’s what he did! “They kicked me out that place,” Taylor said. “I miss my friends.” Taylor’s father, Delton Pugh feelings on the matter is “It appears the school district “is more concerned about his hair than his education,” . “I don’t think it’s right to hold a child down and force him to do something … when it’s not hurting him or affecting his education.” Pugh, a tattoo artist, said he used to shave his own head but that his son “made me pinky promise I would let my hair grow long with him.” Taylor has been put on in school suspension where he sits in the library with a Teachers aide, and is not allowed to play with friends during recess. I find it a bit much, however rules are rules…But aren’t some rules meant to be broken? I guess not as far as the school district. According to the district dress code, boys’ hair must be kept out of the eyes and cannot extend below the bottom of earlobes or over the collar of a dress shirt. Fads in hairstyles “designed to attract attention to the individual or to disrupt the orderly conduct of the classroom or campus is not permitted,” the policy states.

This below was on the list as well for all children:

Hair is to be clean and well-groomed. Unusual coloring or excessive hairstyles that may include “tails,” “designs,” “puffs,” etc. are prohibited.

So does that mean a girls can’t wear pony “tails”? Or those cute little “puffs” that African American little girls have in their naturally tight curly hair? Or if you take your daughter to one of the hair wrapping places and they get “designs” with the thread? You mean that’s is not allowed either? WOW. Thoughts anyone?

Everyday in our office we receive a number of interesting products that we are lucky enough to review. Now, we are by no means experts on some of the products we receive, but we try to find the products that we feel “help parents…parent.” Sometimes the products are just fun, like Wii console games. I love Wii, I remember the days of playing Super Mario Brothers with my brothers on the original Nintendo game console. Today, my brothers and I still love to play Nintendo games they are just more high-tech.

Recently, the staff received My Ballet Studio for Wii and Storybook Workshop for Wii. My Ballet Studio My Ballet Studio for Nintendo Wii allows players to practice authentic ballet moves. Young ballerinas are encouraged to study hard at ballet school and learn real techniques in movement and position lessons and performance modes. Gamers will be able to track their progress and measure how close they are to perfecting their dream routines. Very cool, if my niece was older this would be a great present for her. Since we are also big on writing a reading activities for children, I love the Storybook Workshop game concept. Storybook workshop is an interactive reading-based game involving classic folk tales from around the world. Recordable readings, voice alteration and a Singalong mode bring each tale to life. You’ll earn rewards, such as having your Mii (your Wii game player) appear in select stories, while introducing your children to the same beloved stories you heard as a child.

Isn’t it amazing how many games there are out there? Check out ago The National Parenting Center’s: “The Best Family Wii Games – Holiday 2009,” there are some good choices on there. I feel like playing some games right now, what about you? Do you have any funny memories of playing video games or even board games? Maybe your children have a Wii and you secretly (or not so secretly) love to play with it. Let us know below and the best comment will win either My Ballet Studio for Wii or Wii Storybook Workshop!

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