Saving for college: 529 plans

What is a 529 college savings plan? A 529 college savings plan is a type of investment account that allows you to set aside money for your child's education and let it grow tax-free. The federal government won't tax your money when you take it out of the account, as long as it's used for higher education. Any family can contribute to a 529 account regardless of income, and there's a lifetime maximum contribution (the amount varies from state to state, ranging from $235,000 to $511,000). The best part: You can often start an account with as little as $25. ... More

The History of Father’s Day

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Father’s Day, contrary to popular misconception, was not established as a holiday in order to help greeting card manufacturers sell more cards. In fact when a “father’s day” was first proposed there were no Father’s Day cards! Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a “father’s day” in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd’s mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by ... More

Educational Benefits of Zoos

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One of my favorite things to do as a family is to visit a zoo. I love witnessing the wonder and amazement in my boys’ eyes as they see an animal for the first (2nd and 3rd) time! Their faces light up and their smiles come alive as they point to each animal in excitement. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, zoos and aquariums have over 181 million visitors each year. We have already shared the many benefits of visiting an aquarium, so now it’s time to take a closer look at zoos. Visiting a zoo offers so many incredible learning ... More

Sugar and Our Children…What’s the Deal?

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We are in the midst of a serious health crisis. The number of obese and diabetic Americans has skyrocketed in the past 30 years. And, to make this statistic even more shocking, it’s affecting our children at even higher rates! Statistics 25.8 million Americans, or 8.3% of the population, have diabetes. More than 13,000 children are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Every single state has an obesity rate over 20%…that means one in five Americans is obese! One in three children, approximately 35%, is overweight Today, the average child is consuming 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. The USDA recommends ... More

Connecting With Your Son

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How do your feelings about men color your interactions with your son? We have some tips on how mothers can best connect with their sons. Fathers usually build relationship with their sons through active play and stimulation; they "do stuff" together. For mothers and boys, the process is a little different. The bond between a mother and son often grows out of simply spending time together. From infancy into childhood andadolescence, a good mother is just "there." Boys often say that their mom is the one person who "understands me." That understanding usually grows out of the hours spent offering undivided attention, responding ... More
Play & Learn

Play & Learn