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5 Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

Happy Halloween from Pirate G and SpiderMom!Planning to go trick-or-treating this Halloween? For the past few years, my brood and I have enjoyed the big event with family, up in the suburbs. This year however, I'm super excited to stay closer to home and trick-or-treat here in Manhattan. I can't wait! And, if the weather ends up being as wet and cold as NY1 has been predicting, we'll be trick-or-treating entirely within our apartment building.

No matter where you and yours will be ringing those doorbells, keep these five safety tips in mind so that you, and your children, can have a ghoulishly good time.

  1. Go with your children: Join in the fun and go with your kids when they head outdoors. If you can't be there, make sure your children trick-or-treat in groups and insist on adult supervision.
  2. Know whose door you're knocking on: Only visit familiar neighborhoods and approach well-lit houses. If you live in a large apartment building, consider ringing your neighbors' bells instead of venturing outside.
  3. Accept treats from the doorway: Neither you nor your child should ever enter a stranger's home or accept treats from a car.
  4. Remind everyone of the rules of the road: Look both ways before crossing the street, obey all traffic laws and use crosswalks.
  5. When in doubt, throw it out: Thoroughly examine all of the treats collected and confiscate anything that could cause your child to choke or is homemade, unwrapped or possibly tampered with.

Halloween comes only once a year, so enjoy the holiday! With a little common sense and planning, you and your little ones can have a safe and spooktacularly fun-filled Halloween.


Toy Review: Water Xylophone by Alex Toys

What: Tub Tunes Water Xylophone by Alex Toys

What ManhattanMom's Mom Tester Says: I love, love, love this toy (and so do the kids). It's simple to play with, sounds great and it comes apart so our mini musicians can play music on the keys as they float on the water, stuck to the side of the tub or any other combo.

It also comes with waterproof laminated sheet music which is easy to follow (for the older kids) and a fun addition.

So far, this is my favorite music-making bath toy.

Who: Suitable for ages 3 years and up. 



Super-Simple Halloween Craft: Clothespin Bat

As most of my readers know, I'm a crafting newbie and always short on time, so any craft ideas I share with you are of the super-simple variety. With that said, here's an easy (and very quick) Halloween craft you and your kids can do together: Halloween Clothespin Bats.

You can clip these cute, little bats all around your apartment - on curtains, furniture, tablecloths, and anywhere else a bat light like to perch.

Here's what you'll need to make one:

- Black material of your choice - construction paper, felt, or fun foam
- Pencil or marker
- Scissors
- Clothespin
- Glue
- Pair of googly eyes or hole-punched paper

STEP 1: Draw and then cut out a bat's body and wings on black construction paper or any other material of your choice (I used felt which was fine but made the glueing more difficult than paper would have.) If you're unsure how to draw those bat body parts, use this template as a guide. Print the template out, cut the bat wings and body out and place them on the material you'll be using for your bat. Trace the outline of each and cut out the shapes.

STEP 2: Center the wings on the clothespin and glue them securely. Place the body on top of the wings and glue it as well.

STEP 3: Glue or affix googly eyes to the bat (or use circles of colored paper cut with a hole punch).

Ta-da! You're done. Happy Halloween!


Baby Animals Make Me Smile brings me so much joy that it would be wrong to keep it to myself. In short, it's a website that posts fun and kid-friendly animal facts and the most unbelievably cute photos of baby animals from zoos and aquariums around the world. Bookmark it so you can treat yourself to a guaranteed smile whenever you need it most. Below are 3 of my recent favorite cuties:

Baby girl Pygmy Hippo named Kambiri born at Taronga ZooSee more photos of Kambiri and other baby pygmy hippos.

Miniature piglets born at Zoo Basel's children's zooSee more photos of baby pigs and warthogs.

Baby elephant born on July 18th, 2010, at the UK's Chester ZooSee more photos of baby elephants.


Pregnancy Must-Haves

Well, dear readers, I just found out I'm pregnant for the second time. I'm truly excited about the news but once I got the official word from my doctor, what was the first thing I did? I made a quick mental run-down of any potentially dangerous foods and beverages I may have injested since my little zygot came to be. I quickly confessed to my doctor about all the wine I've had since my last period and immediately began to look forward.

Bellybars - great snacks during pregnancy and while breastfeedingVowing to not spill the beans until my husband came home tonight, I ran off to the drugstore for some iron pills (pregnancy seems to have once again made me anemic) and bought every box of Bellybars in Mellow Oaticon (my one true "must-have" during pregnancy) I could get my greedy hands on.

I'm curious, what are -- or have been -- your pregnancy must-haves? The right maternity jeans? A certain snack food? A weekly blowout? Do tell!

Share your list of pregnancy must-haves >>>