Family Friday: Sore Throat Pops

As school starts again, it means it’s time for random colds and other viruses to come home with your kids, and if you have a little one who seems to get every cold on the planet, then you may want to keep these sore throat lollipops on hand. If your kids are too young to use lozenges, these can be a lifesaver (and my little one is always sort of excited to get one). They’re available at Amazon as an add-on item. Little Remedies Sore Throat Pops

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Family Friday: Boys’ Iron Knee Blend Plain-Front Chino

Here’s a question for the readers, for those of you whose kids wear uniforms to school: What’s your favorite place to buy them? The store I always see them at is Lands’ End — they have a bunch of these “Iron Knee” plain-front chinos, and they come in four colors in sizes starting with Little Boy 4–7 (in regular, slim, and husky) and going all the way up to adult sizes (regular and long). So if you’ve got a kid who’s tough on their pants, these Iron Knee Blend ones can be a lifesaver. They’re $25–$40 (some color/size combinations on sale). School Uniform Boys’ Iron Knee Blend Plain Front Chino

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Organizing Thursday: Gray Cotton Rope Storage

I keep reading that using things like baskets is the best way to organize kids’ toys — you can have them stationed all over your apartment or house so that you can just shove things in there quickly when people come over. If you’re looking for some cute storage baskets that are actually big enough to make a difference, Pottery Barn Kids has a lot of them right now. They look really cute and are flexible, and the four sizes (in white, pink, and blue) range from $24–$69. I’m curious to hear from you guys: Do you have storage baskets and bins in your home, and if so, which ones do you like best? Have you found anything that’s really affordable? Do tell! Gray Cotton Rope Storage

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Family Friday: Star Wars Darth Vader Game

It feels like I first heard about this Darth Vader Simon Says game years ago — but I haven’t been able to get one. I recently found it at Amazon, though (just in time for my older son’s sixth birthday), where it’s currently the #1 new release in kids’ handheld games. When I last checked, there were only four left in stock, but today the page doesn’t have that message, so Amazon must have gotten more. Still, if your Star Wars fan would love this game, I wouldn’t wait too long to grab it. Simon Star Wars Darth Vader Game

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Family Friday: Backpacks for Back-to-School

Kate and I were just discussing this — what are the best backpacks for kids? If you’re looking for a full-sized backpack, you can’t go wrong with L.L. Bean; they’ve been around forever, and they last forever. (I still have mine from 1,000 years ago.) They have tons of solid colors and patterns (paisley, colorblock, camo, flowers, all kinds of animals, the Minecraft-like “pixel,” and more), and you can get them monogrammed for $8 (with returns still possible!). You can choose from three sizes: ages 4–7, 8–12, and 13+. Through 8/27, you can get 20% off kids’ backpacks, clothing, and more with promo code KIDS20 (in-store, too). L.L. Bean Backpacks

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Family Friday: Adventures in Coding: The Rocket Cupcake Co. App

You’ve probably heard about different ways to teach your kids coding, and how important it is. One of our favorite things we use to learn about coding is the GoldieBlox Rocket Cupcake Co. app. (My little boy is usually very into trucks and construction things, but he likes cupcakes too, of course, so he doesn’t mind the very pink-and-purple interface.) It’s a really fun game — I even enjoy playing it myself — and so if you’re looking for something fun that helps your kids learn to think like a coder (it doesn’t really teach coding itself), I highly recommend this app. It’s $2.99 at the App StoreAdventures in Coding: The Rocket Cupcake Co.