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Parenting: Make sure your child will be a happy camper this Summer

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 7, 2007


As the school year comes to a close, parents are gearing up to send their children off to sleep-away camps this summer. At funcampstuff.com, parents can find 25 tips to help make the transition from home to camp less harrowing. Here's a sampling:

- Print out a variety of address labels on your computer with their camp address (to give out to friends at school), their home address and the addresses of close relatives/friends to use when sending letters from camp.

- It is better to send several regular sized bottles of toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, etc.) than one oversized bottle. The large bottles are heavy to carry and, if lost, they have nothing else. (If they are flying, make sure it conforms to airline policy.)

- Pack with your child. Be sure that he or she knows where all of their items are located. A child may feel lost at camp if they can't find their soap, stamps, socks, etc.

- Be positive before they go to camp - your child will detect any negative feelings that you have.

For more tips and trends at camps this summer, go to the Web site.

Picture your baby in this

The 2008 presidential election is more than a year away, but that doesn't mean you can't find a way to be a part of the fray now. In fact, your baby can be a little drooling billboard for your preferences in these snapsuits from Wry Baby. Snapsuits are available in sizes 0-6 months and 6-12 months for $24. For the entire line of snapsuits and other baby gifts, go to www.wrybaby.com.

Give the gift of time

If you're shopping for a Mother's Day gift, this information will come in handy. A recent survey for Gymboree Play & Music and Bluesuitmom.com, a Web site for executive working mothers, shows that moms don't want jewelry, an iPod or perfume for their special day. They really want more time with their children and for their partners to be more involved in child rearing. A majority of the 425 women surveyed, 74 percent, said they most want quality time with their children that produces lasting memories. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed said they wanted their husbands to take the kids on more outings. And 63 percent said they want their parents and their spouse's parents to be more involved in their kids' lives. However, a little extra gift on Sunday probably won't be turned away.

Don't forget the teacher

Now, you may want to just spend time with your kids on Mother's Day, but you might want to think about getting a little something for the folks who watch out for your kids all week. This is Teacher Appreciation Week, with Tuesday being National Teacher Day. Coffee mugs and T-shirts seem a little out of date. Try giving something from the heart or a gift card to a place your child's teacher enjoys. It's not hard to say thanks to the folks who help out in so many ways.