Clothing manufacturers and department stores are creating special sizes and sections for tots through pre-teens to accommodate tall and overweight kids.  Putting pretty in front of plus is not going to make little ones or older children feel any better as they shop for fall and back to school wardrobes.

Why can’t they just put a size – a number – on them in the regular racks?  Moms and dads know how to count.  They know 14 is larger than 10.  They’ll find it, and their child won’t be stigmatized by going to a separate section.

Sometimes, children need a larger size because they are tall, not because they are overweight.  One sized does not fit all, no matter how hard manufacturers try to tell us it’s so.   How about some extra material so hems can be let down?

Obesity in children is now a national problem, one that affects us all, if not personally, in greater health care costs.

The federal government sponsors many studies that seem absolutely ridiculous (Does cocaine use increase sexually risky behavior in Japanese rats?)  I wouldn’t mind seeing one that compares the cost of cuts to school physical education programs to increased health care costs resulting from children being overweight.   It’s a penny wise pound foolish situation.  Instead of bringing her to the Pretty Plus section, maybe Honey Boo Boo’s mom could get her started on a fun exercise program.  She’d be cute and healthy too.

Please support our Doodle Noodle Shelter Kids Project.  Buy a School Doodle or a Clothes Doodle at a 10% discount and we will send your purchase and a free children’s book to a child living in a shelter.  Just type SHELTER into the coupon box when you check out, and we’ll take it from there.  The shelter closest to my home has 50 families with children between the ages of 3 and 10.  They need your help.  You can donate by clicking the Doodle icon on the right, or the Our Store banner below, and placing your order.

And don’t forget to click the Vote For Me Icon to help us get back into the top 10 on Top Mommy Blogs by clicking the banner below or the icon on the upper right.  Please recommend us to your friends and ask them to visit the Doodle, help our Shelter Kids Project and vote for us.





Imagine.  Imagine a 6 year old getting ready for first grade.  Some of his clothes are in a plastic bag, some in his mom’s suitcase stuffed with all their belongings.  Maybe his underpants are sharing room with pencils, broken crayons and cookie crumbs in his backpack.  He is homeless and living in a shelter.

Gail Paris, an award winning educator and founder of Doodle Noodle, LLC, designed The School Doodle and The Clothes Doodle to help children live more organized lives and parents have less stress.  Although her products will benefit all children and families, they are of critical importance to homeless children.

Retired as an Assistant Principal from the New York City School System, she chose to spend her career working in schools where children did not have the financial or educational benefits of kids in more affluent neighborhoods.  She understands what children need.

The School Doodle consists of two panels designed to fit into any standard backpack or to be used independently as a “desk.”  It is an organizer which features pockets designed to hold standard school supplies, such as rulers, pencils and other school needs.  The Messenger part, with one pocket marked “To School” and the other “To Home,” has enough room to hold a notebook, library book or tablet.  Notes from the teacher will get to parents and notes and permission slips from parents will get to school. The School Doodle is the perfect organizational product for elementary school age children.   The retail price for the School Doodle set is $19.95.


The Clothes Doodle has pockets labeled for each day of the week and will hold an entire day’s clothing securely. .   It consists of 2 organizers which can be hung by their handles on hangars or hooks.  It relieves stress in the morning as kids get their own clothes, or mom easily gets them for younger kids


Unlike “shelf” organizers, it saves precious closet rod space, and, because of its closed pocket design, clothes won’t fall out.  There is even a “Sleep Noodle” pocket containing a tote bag to keep a toothbrush and other necessities for a sleep over or short trip.    The retail price for the Clothes Doodle is $29.95.

Unfortunately, for homeless children, every night is a “sleep over.”  For them, The Clothes Doodle can be folded and placed in whatever space the shelter provides.  The School Doodle has a place for everything they need, whether they are doing homework on a bed or on the floor.

The bright and cheerful colors are bound to bring a smile to their faces.  The fact that they can manage their school stuff and their clothing will give them a sense of independence and responsibility.  They are going to “own” their attractive well made organizers literally and figuratively.

We are starting The Doodle Noodle Shelter Kids’ Program to bring these unique products to children who need them most but whose parents can’t afford to buy them.  You can purchase one or more School Doodles and Clothes Doodles on our website ( and indicate that you want them to be donated to deserving children in a family shelters in New York City by typing in SHELTER when you check out.  We will tell the shelter that you gave them this gift, and a letter indicating that they have received it will be sent to you for tax purposes.  You can click the link to “OUR STORE” at the bottom of this post to go right to the Doodle Noodle Shop, and don’t forget to click the Vote For Us link to help us get back into the top 10 at Top Mommy Blogs.

We know that all children can learn.  Some need a little extra help because their families cannot provide the things they need to be like other kids to learn skills and have a sense of self worth.   We are offering a 10% discount for each donation, plus we will include a new children’s book with each School Doodle and Clothes Doodle.  Just type SHELTER in the discount section of your order, and we’ll take it from there.

Thank you for joining Doodle Noodle in this effort to support homeless children and their families. 


I’m angry.  Twenty years after “The Wonder Years,”  “Winnie” is writing another book trying to overcome girls fear, or at least discomfort, with math.  We still earn less than men for comparable work, are underappreciated in government and it’s still not cool for girls to be great in math and science.  A 2008 study shows that boys score 2% higher in the 4th grade.  By the 8th grade, the difference has virtually disappeared.  In college, there is no gap in ability, but males are highly over represented among math majors.  We are not attracting proficient women to the fields of math and science.   When women are underrepresented, we are denied female input into solutions to problems and innovation.  What is worse is that among wealthy developed nations, the U.S. (males and females combined) scores 31st in math and 23rdin science.  That is a national tragedy.


Whose fault is this?  Certainly not Danica McKellar’s, who is a very attractive spokesperson for getting girls to focus on the curves in Geometry rather than  those at Victoria’s Secret.


We need to make girls aware that math is a part of every minute of their day, from the clock that wakes them up to the discount on their favorite pair of jeans.  We need to do it early.  We need to make math girly.

Computer programs or extra worksheets are not going to be the program.  Having your little girl set the table for a tea party and asking her to get the right number of teacups for the two of you, plus her doll, is a start.  Going shopping for clothes with your 10 year old, giving her a budget and having her keep track of her spending will help.  The thing is it has to be personal, and it has to be fun.  And it has to be praised.  We need to focus girls’ attention on the Sally Rides and the “Winnies.”


Curiosity on Maris – great.  I’m more curious about how the greatest city in the world has 17,619 homeless children living in shelters.  That’s not counting those living 3 in a bed at relatives’ houses or some that may live in a car or a truck.


Priorities?  In a national budget – yes.  In a municipal budget – absolutely.  Mayor Bloomberg, it’s beds before bikes (On the Upper West Side where I live, the street bike lanes are barely used.)  Maybe every co-op or condo that sells for over 2 illion dollars should have homeless child tax.


The mayor is concerned about our health, and so he wants to limit the size of sugary drinks we buy in restaurants.  I know that we all pay for people who develop diabetes and other weight related health problems.  But, Mike, have you crunched the numbers on what a homeless child costs us – more years of food related health problems, lack of academic skills, maybe drug use.

We focus on our greatest at the Olympics.  While NBC/Universal has tried to force us to watch by eliminating all other programs and showing reruns on its cable stations, let’s pay attention to those who face a challenge every day of their lives.  Each child who survives being homeless deserves a gold medal.







I designed a room for a pre-teen that would last until he/she leaves for college and would even see your student through law school.

Yes, drawers turn into a mess, but, still, you need to put the stuff someplace.  Choices are only limited by your creativity.  Of course, you can just go into The Container Store pr Staples and buy different kinds of containers from ones that turn and hold everything to round metal mesh holders or square/rectangular ones, all of which  can hold writing tools, rulers and scissors, but you and your child may choose to be more creative and allow for changing taste through these school years.

How about tin cans, held together with different colored duct tape?  Duct tape has gone wild – hot pink, neon green, even leopard and zebra prints.  Kitchen drawer organizers have gone designer as well and now come in bright colors.

Thinking further outside the box – oh, wait, actually in a box – what about Chinese food containers.  These can actually now be bought in different colors.  Whatever your student chooses, the idea is to be able to have them attached or be arranged on a tray so that they can easily be removed if more flat surface is needed for project work or research books.

For some reason, a standing lamp with adjustable lights Is better than a desk lamp.

To continue with our “In Your Face” these, bulletin boards are good to hold a calendar (I know they have them on their lap tops and phones, but this way they are in his face and yours too.)  Homework can be posted here too until all of it is done and is ready to be put in a notebook, folder or whatever system your student is using to transport work.

Bulletin boards can be bought framed or make out of cork squares or Homasote, purchased at Home Depot or a similar store.  Obviously, carpet squares provide a wide variety of color and pattern, and your child can go as crazy or conservative as you allow.  Other options are pasting or stapling scrapbook paper or wallpaper to the board.  Duct tape can divide the board into sections – homework, research, papers to be signed.

Your students can label the tabs with days of the week or subjects.  If there is a big project or research paper assigned, another one can be bought to handle these papers.  At $14.99, this is a real bargain.

Wow!  Your “grown up” student is ready to start a new year – organized and living in an “up-graded room.”  In September, I’ll guide you through the executive functioning skills your student will need.  In the meantime, enjoy the summer.

If you have any questions or need help implementing these ideas, please leave comment or e-mail me at

Remember, your younger child needs to be organized also.   Buy a School Doodle and have fun buying the items that fit in the pockets.  Get them reading now by buying a new book to place in the “Messenger” pocket.  And remember, right now when you purchase a School Doodle, we will send you a free book to get the reading started.




At 37 years of age, Marissa Mayer is the youngest person ever to be appointed  CEO of a Fortune 500 company.  But the news media is not focusing on that fact.  No, they are almost solely interested in the fact that she is going to give birth to a boy in October.

Granted that she will have to take some time off to give birth – how will this affect her work and life any more than it would a man’s.  Yes, if she is breast feeding, she will have to make time to nurse the baby or pump.  Have you ever counted how much time men spend in the bathroom?  I bet it equals out.


Watching so called “experts” and commentators on TV so worried about how she will be able to work at home on her maternity leave, you’d think they didn’t know that baby’s sleep a lot.

She is a CEO of a major Fortune 500 company at 37.  She knows how to manage, and she is not a poor single mother with very few resources.  She doesn’t have to clean, cook or shop.  She can afford a full time person to help with the baby.    The baby has a father (venture capitalist or not) who, except for breast feeding can do half or more of whatever she has to do.

Can we finally get over the sexism? ( America is the only Western country without paid maternity leave.)  I’d rather know (and so would a lot of other women) how she got to be a major player in a very male world.


Children learn from any activity. So, here are five fun activities organized to help prevent SAS – Summer Academic Slump.

1. ICE POPS – There are many shapes and kits on the market. Farmers’ Markets and city stands offer fresh fruits. Visit one with your children and let them weigh and pay for their purchases. Let them design their pop using fraction, 1/3 blueberry, 1/3 strawberry, 1/3 lemon – whatever they like.

2. LET’S MAKE HATS – As England and the Queen have been in the news so much recently, there are many pictures of hats on line. A little geography – finding England on the globe, country vs. continent, reading map of London, etc.

Use felt, foam, paper plates and cups, feathers, colored tissue and construction paper, buttons (here’s an opportunity to recycle from your junk drawer), office supplies.

Provide cloth measuring, safety pins, fabric, glue, etc. Add geography, measurement, history and vocabulary. Please take pictures and send them to Doodle Noodle ( )

3. SCAVENGER HUNTS – Virtual or real – Make separate lists according to the age of your child. These can center around history – find five places in your city where an important historical event took place, science – find 10 things in the house that have a rough texture for younger ones, etc., etc.

4. LET’S BAKE – Cupcakes are fun because it is easy to spoon batter in the tins and so much fun to decorate (Measurement, science – physical and chemical changes, time, sorting – different candies you’re put in a bowl, counting for young ones – choose six to decorate your cupcake.

5. THANK GOODNESS FOR AIR CONDITIONED MUSEUMS – which have pre-planned docentor or self led tours. If going on your own structure, the activity with a theme and a definite start and end so kids don’t get bored. Give them a clip board, paper and post it notes so they can keep track of what they found – “In this room, how many pictures were portraits? How many were still lifes? How many were abstract?

Whoops – your child just learned vocabulary and graphing. Finish the trip with a visit to the gift shop and let them each buy a postcard.