Weekly family rail, with tips for your toddler's birthday bash, a review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and more.
Tip of the Week
As you plan your toddler's birthday party, keep in mind these tips from Erica Danielski, Memorex global brand manager:
- Have a plan, but be willing to let go of it almost immediately. Toddler birthday parties are fun, chaotic and filled with the unexpected. If something unplanned happens, go with the flow. Being flexible means being fun and by doing so, you'll ensure all guests, including yourself, are having a great time.
- Don't underestimate the impact of an inexpensive theme. You don't need to invest hundreds of dollars in a character-driven birthday theme for toddlers to have a great time. Something as simple as a yellow-themed birthday - with everyone showing up in yellow outfits and presents wrapped in yellow wrapping paper - will be a hit among toddlers, who are just learning about the colors of the rainbow.
- Be prepared for picture overload. Make sure to bring extra camera batteries, a battery charger and extra memory cards. Unplanned photos can create the best memories and you won't want to miss a single photo opportunity. Also designate a photographer for the event other than yourself - a family member or close friend will be able to wander throughout the party to get the best photos while you continue to entertain your guests.
- Consider a location outside of the home. Rather than stressing about the mess, take the party outside of your home. Consider having your party at a location such as your local children's museum or indoor playground. Hosting the party in a venue where you don't have to worry about the pre- or post-party mess, will save you time, money and stress.
- Don't just entertain the toddlers. Your party guests aren't just your toddlers' playmates. Remember to plan for parents and older siblings who will be tagging along. Offer activities and food for guests of all ages. Kids usually turn their noses up at any pizza that isn't plain cheese, so order a few pies with unique toppings for the adults. Also, consider pulling out the lawn games for some outdoor party fun.
- Plan activities that get kids moving. Toddlers are like little bottles of energy just waiting to burst‚ but if you plan activities that will get the kids moving, you can help them expend some of that energy.
Family Screening Room
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
Rated: PG-13 (for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images)
Length: 130 minutes
Synopsis: The final installment in the “Harry Potter” series comes to an end with an epic battle. Will Harry be able to defeat Voldemort?
Violence/scary rating: 4
Sexual-content rating: 2
Profanity rating: 2
Drugs/alcohol rating: 2
Family Time rating: 3. If your kids were able to handle other “Potter” films, they should be OK with this one – but be aware that there’s a lot of fighting and intense scenes in this film.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter” by Allan Zola Kronzek and Elizabeth Kronzek
Ages: Harry Potter fans
Synopsis: There are many “Harry Potter” “fan books,” but this is one of the best. “The Sorcerer's Companion” explores the true history, folklore and mythology behind the magical practices, creatures and personalities that appear in J.K. Rowling's books. - Crown Publishing Group
Did You Know
The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for a ban on fast-food and junk-food ads on kids’ TV shows.
GateHouse News Service