Family Time: Care for your family’s back-to-school wardrobe

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Family Features photo

Tip of the Week

For many families, clothing represents the largest share of back-to-school expenses each year. The amount of money that goes into a new school wardrobe paired with the reality that kids tend to be careless about their stained clothing can be daunting, but with proper care, you can take steps to better protect your investment.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately $8.5 billion was spent in family clothing stores in August 2012, the latest data available. This compares to approximately $2 billion spent in bookstores during the same time frame, highlighting the significant investment families make in new clothing to send kids back to school in style.

You can keep your family’s clothes in tip-top shape year-round by following the advice of the maker of OxiClean:

- Start fresh. New clothes, especially those that are deeply hued, are notorious for bleeding dye during their initial washings. Protect new garments, and old ones too, by grouping like-colored new items and washing them according to tag instructions. Even clothing that is not at risk of bleeding should be washed before wearing to remove any potential irritants and germs accumulated through handling on store racks.

- Take pre-wash precautions. Give clothing a quick scan before tossing it in the washer to identify and pretreat any stains before they’ve been washed, dried and set into the fabric. Also check pockets for any overlooked items. Shredding tissue or a leaking pen can lead to more time spent washing and cleaning clothes.

- Sort and learn. Get the kids involved after school or on the weekends and invite them to help out with simple, age-appropriate laundry tasks. Have them help sort clothes by colors or match pairs of socks when they come out of the dryer.

- Share the load. Most families have a fairly consistent way of grouping loads of laundry - whites, darks, linens and so on. Make a list of your most common loads and instructions for handling each, and post it in your laundry room so others can help when the need arises. Be sure to include details such as the proper detergents and pre-treaters to use and settings for temperature and cycle for both the washer and dryer. As safety is first, always triple-check that all detergents are out of reach of children.

— Family Features/OxiClean

Family Movie Night

“Magic in the Moonlight”

Rated: PG-13

Length: 97 minutes

Synopsis: A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue.

Violence/scary rating: 2

Sexual-content rating: 2

Profanity rating: 2.5

Drugs/alcohol rating: 3

Family Time rating: 2.5. This is a good family-friendly film for older kids.

(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)

Book Report

“Gaston,” by Kelly DiPucchio

Ages: 4-8

Pages: 40

Synopsis: This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips — never slobbers! He yips — never yaps! And he walks with grace — never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters. But a chance encounter with a bulldog family in the park — Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette — reveals there’s been a mix-up, and so Gaston and Antoinette switch places. The new families look right … but they don’t feel right. Can these puppies follow their noses — and their hearts — to find where they belong? — Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Did You Know

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here are milestones most kids who turn 2 years old are able to do:

Social and emotional

Copies others, especially adults and older children

Gets excited when with other children

Shows more and more independence

Shows defiant behavior (doing what he has been told not to)

Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games


Points to things or pictures when they are named

Knows names of familiar people and body parts

Says sentences with 2 to 4 words

Follows simple instructions

Repeats words overheard in conversation

Points to things in a book

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers

Begins to sort shapes and colors

Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books

Plays simple make-believe games

Builds towers of 4 or more blocks

Might use one hand more than the other

Follows two-step instructions such as “Pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”

Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog

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