Hudson Valley Parent

HVP May 2015

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4 Hudson Valley Parent ■ May 2015 ON OUR COVER This month's cover kid is Ava, 4, from Middletown. Ava's favorite hobbies are dancing, drawing, singing and story telling. Photo by Michael Bloom 8 I am a Hudson Valley parent Brain Crandall: Science with a mad twist BY BRIAN PJ CRONIN 10 Hudson Valley Parent's Camp Guide Great summer camps in the Hudson Valley 14 Summer camp checklist 10 tips to prepare your little camper BY DENISE YEARIAN 18 Boredom busters 11 activities to add to your child's summer bucket list BY CHRISTA MELNYK HINES 22 Healthy eating on a budget Conscientious shopping that won't break the bank BY KATHLEEN WILLCOX 26 Switching o Simple swaps for Screen-Free Week and beyond BY SARA BARRY 32 May way for play! The Hudson Valley's best playgrounds BY HEIDI SMITH LUEDTKE 34 Is Miralax too risky for kids? Local expert discusses laxative use and children BY BRIAN PJ CRONIN In this issue COLUMNS FEATURES 6 Editor's Journal: Let boredom be your guide BY KATY WEBER 36 Calendar: Great places to go and things to do 42 Marketplace: Hudson Valley products and services HV PARENT READER FEEDBACK How much do you spend for a child's birthday party? "Too much, but I do a joint birth- day party for my two kids, so it all balances out." — Jillian Black, Balmville "Not nearly as much as others. I try to do as much myself as pos- sible. As my kids got older I would give them a choice: I will spend "X" amount of money on a party or I will spend it all on your presents!" — Laurie Ryan, Fishkill "Kid birthday parties are out of control these days. It's a good $300+ for a venue at least, and another couple hundred for goody bags, party favors, pizza & drinks, cupcakes, decorations, etc. Then a couple of decent presents — it adds up. The bar is set too high and the expectation from kids has exceeded what is realistic for most families." — Elke Rittger, Central Valley "Way too much. We've spent $500 for two years in row by having it at fun activity establishments. Next year it's at home for sure!" — Linda Farney, Hopewell Junction "I think the most I ever spent is about $150. Our kids are little and I don't want the event to get lost in the extravagance of a party." — Kirstene Redding, Kerhonkson "Never more than $200, including food and presents. We always do it at home with family. She is only 4, but next year we may splurge and do it with school friends at Bounce." — Katie Angel, Hopewell Junction 14 32

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