Long Island Parent Talk

Get the inside scoop on all things kids and parenting on Long Island.

Free (or cheap!) for kids on Long Island in January

Kids can celebrate the New Year at Maritime

Need weekend plans or something to do with the kids during the week? There are a ton of free children's events at local libraries, but we also found free and cheap things to do elsewhere this month. Whether you have one, two, three or more kids in tow, here's a roundup of fun, budget-friendly events in January.

Free

Sculpture Art Caper and Exploration Activity Backpack at Hofstra University's...

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Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez: 8 celebs who influenced kids in 2013

Singer Taylor Swift came in first in a

(Credit: Getty / Jason Merritt)

Kidsday reporters Julia Lanza and Sara D'Andrea, both 10, of West Islip, interviewed students at their school to find out which celebrities, and other notable people, had the greatest influence on kids in 2013. Here's what they had to say:

1. Taylor Swift is an influential performer because, unlike many people who become famous, the singer stayed true to herself and her beliefs.

2. Bridgit...

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New Year's resolutions for families

This year, make a New Year's resolution with

(Credit: iStock)

Losing weight. Quitting a bad habit. Spending more time with the kids. We all have resolutions that we hope to fulfill in 2014. For me, it's as simple as embracing playtime with my two young children. It may sound trivial, but it's really simple: Leaving the dishes in the sink so I can color with my 2-year-old. Reading and exploring new toys with my 3-month-old. Checking email after the kids are...

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Plus-sized Barbie photo causes controversy

A photo depicting Barbie as plus-sized is causing

(Credit: Plus Size Modeling via Facebook)

It's obvious that Barbie has never been an accurate representation of the female body. In fact, in 2011, research performed by a college student showed that if she were a real person, the notorious blonde would be 5' 9", have a 39-inch bust, an 18-inch waist, 33-inch hips and a size 3 shoe.

The doll's skinny figure has always been a hot topic among parents, with many arguing that it encourages...

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The cost of raising a child in 2013

According to a new study, parents spend an

(Credit: iStock)

The joy your children bring to your life may be priceless, but raising them certainly isn't.

According to BabyCenter.com's annual Cost of Raising a Child report, parents spend an average of $13,000 per year on their kids, and 66 percent agree that they are overspending -- even on the little things.

Playing the tooth fairy? That will cost you $2 per lost tooth. Allowance? That's another...

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New Year's Eve crafts for kids: Countdown clock

The New Year's countdown clock craft can be

(Credit: Spoonful.com)

Staying in with the kids on New Year's Eve this year? Help them get in on the fun by creating a countdown clock as you wait for the ball to drop. I found the craft on Spoonful.com, a website from Disney that is filled with thousands of crafts, games and recipes for children and families.

New Year's Countdown Clock

What you'll need - Paper plate - Scrap of black craft foam - Scrap of...

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'ChoreMonster' app makes chores a game

The ChoreMonster app is available now for free

(Credit: iStock)

Just like everything else, it looks like chore charts have gone digital.

With the ChoreMonster app, available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, parents can assign chores to their kids and set a chore due date. If the job is completed on time, kids earn points that can be redeemed for a reward of their parents' choice, like a family camping trip or a new toy.

To encourage kids in the time...

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The most common diagnoses and treatments for infertility

Today, one in every six couples struggle

(Credit: Fotolia)

Today, one in every six couples struggle with infertility.

While every situation is different, Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron of Fertility Centers of Illinois provided this list of the five most common diagnoses and treatment solutions:

1. Ovulatory Disorders: Ovulatory disorders are a leading cause of female infertility. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from the ovary. This is...

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Weekend family fun on Long Island: Waffle Making, 'Beauty and the Beast' and more

Kids can help make their own Belgian waffles

(Credit: iStock)

Looking for things to do with the kids this weekend? From bubble shows and waffle making to "Beauty and the Beast" and more, there's much to do on Long Island. Here are my top five picks for family-friendly activities this weekend:

Beauty and the Beast at Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts (71 E. Main St., Patchogue) starting Friday, Dec. 27 through Sunday, Dec. 29. Times...

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Five days of matinees for kids in Huntington

"Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" is one of five

(Credit: Handout)

A holiday burst of movies dubbed "Cinema For Kids!" is taking place from Dec. 26 to Dec. 30 at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Avenue in Huntington, 631-423-7611. Movies screen each day at noon and are $4.50 per child, $11 per adult, and $7 for senior citizens ages 62 and older and students.

Here’s the schedule:

Dec. 26: “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” is the Muppet musical...

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