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I don’t know about other parents, but by about August 1st, I was counting down the days until school started. Sure, we had a fun summer but I’m out of ideas, and they are bored, bored, bored. And bickering. And hot. So come the end of August, my husband and I may do a triple gainer in celebration. I may need to go to the hospital soon after, because I think those are pretty hard, but still. Worth it.

But until that glorious time, we need to ease our older son back into school mode, which we plan to do with trickery. (That’s right. I’m not ashamed.) If I bust out a math book, I’m sunk. But if I do it under the guise of watching Netflix, everybody wins. Check out these shows that will re-jigger those brains from summer to fall.

Reading Rainbow

 

Reading Rainbow. A classic.

The Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus. One of my all-time favorites for kids for its mix of education and fun.

The Cat in the Hat Knows Lot About That!Seussian rhymes. All of the times.

Dinotrux

And, should a rainy day come and you want to give them a bit of fun, check out Netflix’s new series DinoTrux, premiering Aug. 14th, about prehistoric hybrid dinosaurs and trucks – pretty much every little boy’s dream come true.

 

School Supplies With Style

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Came across the fun site Poppin.com, which has more stylish school supplies than you’ll find at the run-of-the-mill Target. Prices are reasonable. Browse by age or product at Poppin.com.

Tree Construction Set

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Creative toy set that allows kids to snap branches together and build a tree. Available for $25 at UncommonGoods.com.

Kids outgrow clothes so quickly that consignment sales are a great way to save money. (If you only pay $2 for a T-shirt, you don’t really care when it meets the business end of a marker.) Save on baby, kid, and maternity clothing as well as gear, toys, and furniture and/or unload the clothing and gear that your kid has outgrown. (Click on the links below for each sale to see consignment rules.)

Even if resale isn’t your game, the low prices make these sales worthwhile, especially for babies who can grow out of clothes in a month. But know that some moms take this very seriously. Plenty of diehards line-up early to get first pick. (There’s not a lot of smiling at these events. It’s all business.) If you’re just in the market for clothes and toys, being an early bird isn’t that necessary because there is usually plenty to go around. But if you’re looking for a high chair, stroller, or the ever-coveted double stroller? Show up early because those items go first.

Do:

-Bring a laundry basket to hold your goodies, the collapsible kind is best for your own convenience.

-Bring cash. It’s the easiest and fastest way to pay, and the best way to stick to your budget.

– Bring a cardboard cutout or foot measurements of your kid’s feet to check and see if resale shoes will fit.

-Come with a list, because these sales can be overwhelming. Know what you need and in what sizes.

Don’t:

-Bring your kid, if you can avoid it, unless it’s an infant in a sling. Kids aren’t allowed to play with toys at these sales and that’s hard to explain, let alone to enforce while you’re shopping. Plus, it goes much faster with out them.

-Bring strollers, they usually aren’t allowed at the sales.

Below is a roundup of the sales coming up around the area. Happy bargain hunting!

 

AUGUST

Lots for Tots Consignments

When: Friday, Aug. 14th from noon to 7 p.m., Saturday Aug. 15th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the half-price sale on Sunday, Aug. 16th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Libertyville Sports Complex (1950 N. Hwy. 45, Libertyville)

Admission: Free

Purchases: Cash, Visa, Mastercard and Discover accepted

Clusters Moms of Multiples

When: Saturday, Aug. 29th from 8 a.m. to noon

Where: Oak Lawn Community High School (9400 Southwest Hwy., Oak Lawn)

Admission: Free

Purchases: Cash and credit card accepted

 

SEPTEMBER

Babies, Tots n More

When: Friday, Sept. 4th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 5thfrom 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Most items half off on Saturday)

Where: Lil Kickers (2460 W. Bradley Pl., Chicago)

Other details: Large tote bags provided (no outside bags permitted). 

Step by Step PTA resale

When: Saturday, Sept. 12th from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.; half-price sale starts at 11:30 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m.

Where: DuPage County Fairgrounds (2015 Manchester Rd., Wheaton)

Admission: Free.

Rhea Lana’s of West Chicagoland

When: Sunday, Sept. 13th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 14th through Wednesday, Sept. 16th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday, Sept. 17th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with half price days on Friday, Sept. 18th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 19th from 9 a.m. to noon.

Where: 1199 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville

Admission: Free

Purchases: Cash or credit

Bugaboo Children’s Consignment Sale

When: Friday Sept. 18th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday Sept. 19th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the half price sale

Where: Kendall County Fairgrounds (Route 71 and E. Highpoint Rd, Yorkville)

Admission: Free

Purchases: Cash and check accepted

Other details: No large bags allowed; strollers checked on the way in. Cloth bags, rolling carts, and laundry baskets permitted for shopping.

The Lake County Mother of Twins Sale

When: Saturday, Sept. 19th from 8 a.m. to noon

Where: Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center (2007 Civic Center Way, Round Lake Beach)

Admission: $2

Purchases: Cash only

 Other details: No strollers permitted.

Park Ridge Newcomers Club Spring Kids Sale

When: Saturday, Sept. 19th from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: St. Andrews Lutheran Church (260 N. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge)

Admission: $2 cash

Purchases: Cash or credit card; minimum $50 purchase for credit cards. Sales tax charged on all purchases.

Other details: Bring a laundry basket to shop; no strollers or carts allowed.

Babies 2 Kidz

When: Thursday, Sept. 24th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, March 26th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Most items half off on Saturday)

Where: Kane County Fairgrounds (525 S. Randall Rd., St. Charles)

Purchases: Cash and credit cards 

Posh Tots Upscale Resale

When: Sept. 25th through 27th

Where: Location TBD – check Web site for details

Purchases: Cash and credit cards

Moms of Multiples

When: Saturday, Sept. 26th from 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Unitarian Church of Evanston (1330 Ridge Ave., Evanston)

Admission: $1

Purchases: Cash only

Other details: One laundry basket allowed; no strollers permitted

Babies, Tots n More

When: Saturday, Sept. 26th

Where: The Accelerated Center (1900 Old Willow Rd., Northbrook)

Other details: Large tote bags provided (no outside bags permitted). 

 

OCTOBER

Tri-Cities Mothers of Twins and Triplets Club 

When: Saturday, Oct. 3rd from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The half price sale runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Where: Mooseheart Field House (Rt. 31 and Mooseheart Rd., between North Aurora and Batavia)

Admission: $1

Purchases: Cash or check only.

Other details: No laundry baskets or strollers permitted.

Growing Cents of Style

When: Saturday, Oct. 10th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Canlan Sportsplex (28156 W. Northpointe Pkwy., Lake Barrington)

Admission: Free

Purchases: Cash and Visa/Mastercard accepted

Other details: Bring your own bag.

Here Whee Go Again South

When: Thursday, Oct. 15th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (half off most items)

Where: 780 W. Euclid, Palatine

Admission: $5 on Thursday, otherwise free

Purchases: Cash or credit for purchases over $30

Millburn Kids Resale

When: Friday, Oct. 23rd from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 24th from 8 a.m. to noon

Where: Millburn West Middle School (640 Freedom Way, Lindenhurst)

Purchases: Cash only

Other details: No strollers

 

Ride the Dragon

 

 

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Any dragon fans out there? My boys (the 2-year-old is pictured above, channeling his true love, Toothless) adore How to Train Your Dragonknown around my house simply as ‘Dragon Trainers’.

The kids were thrilled to watch the new adventures of Hiccup and Toothless in the Netflix original series, Dragons: Race to the Edge. The pair head out beyond Berk in search of other dragons, some of which shoot cannon balls and send shock waves–as dragons go, they’re pretty awesome. Check out all 26 episodes, streaming now. That’s almost 10 hours of peace and quiet for mom, all told. Enjoy. #StreamTeam. #Dragons.

 

I am moving this week – between packing up house, shuttling the kids, and setting up utilities at the new house – I’m sure it will take me a week or two to get back to posting. I’m also starting a separate home renovation blog that I’ll let you know about soon. Back when the WiFi is up and the clothes are unpacked.

danger-mouse

Danger Mouse, the retro, British cartoon spy spoof with tongue-in-cheek humor, is now on Netflix. My siblings and I loved Danger Mouse growing up – it used to air on Nickelodeon back in the day, and my mom taped the episodes. We watched them over and over until we wore out the VHS tape. (You heard me.) So when the classic episodes popped up on Netflix, I was so excited to share them with my sons. (I also needed a break from Octonauts. Sure, they’re cute and teach us about sea creatures, but I can never get that “Creature Report” song out of my head.) My kids, aged 5 and 2, were dubious at first, as they always are when I suggest my flashback entertainment, but I reminded them of my previous successful recommendations of Fantasia, the Care Bears, and Flight of the Navigator and won them over. It took less than one episode before they were quoting Penfold’s signature “Oh, crumbs!” to each other and giggling. They loved it. I mean, come on – bombs, eye patches, British intrigue – what more could you ask for? We’re working our way through the collection, and it’s inspired me to expose them to Sesame Street Classics as well. I get credit for good ideas, get a little flashback fun from my own childhood, and we get family time together. Wins all around. #StreamTeam.

 

 

Pinwheel Is On Vacation

See you next week!

Baby Bathing Beauties

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I love a good retro bathing suit, even moreso in miniature styles. Your little one can channel Esther Williams in this custom-made suit, available for $49.99 on Etsy.

Rock, Paper, Crayon

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Rock crayons are easy to grip for small children and made from Kosher soy wax with natural mineral pigments. Set includes 64 crayons (4 in each color). This is designed for classrooms but is affordable enough for home use. Set is $29.95 at MightyNest.com.

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