A Colorful Map Showing The Top Baby Names Of 2016 By State

When a baby name is trendy it spreads through neighboring families like a virus, making the kids with truly original names stand out in a classroom full of Taylors, Logans and Zoes.

Those names are so 2015, and yet people were still drawing names from pop culture like crazy in 2016, although there was also a huge resurgence in biblical names, with Noah and Elijah winning by a mile.

Then again Elijah could have been inspired by Elijah Wood, and Liam is probably inspired by Liam Neeson, with Emma (Stone/Watson/Roberts), Olivia (Munn/Wilde) and Mia (Goth/Farrow) topping the list for girls.

Julie Gerstein of BuzzFeed took information from the Top 5 Baby Names By State For Births In 2016 released by the Social Security Administration and used it to create colorful maps that prove parents are uncreative from coast to coast.

See full sized maps of boys names and girls names here

-Via BuzzFeed


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For Centuries, People Celebrated a Little Boy’s First Pair of Trousers

For much of history, children were dressed in relatively simple garments that allowed for the fact that they couldn't yet dress themselves. As clothing became more structured, both boys and girls were dressed in skirts and dresses, which allowed for easier diaper changing and toilet training. The day a boy began wearing pants was a momentous occasion, and signaled that he was now a man-in-training.  

With the power of pants came an understanding of manly responsibility, writes Jennifer Jordan in an essay on 17th-century masculinity. “The breeching ceremony stands out as one of the most significant milestones in a boy’s journey to acquiring manhood.” This seems to have been understood by even very little boys. Samuel Coleridge, the English poet and philosopher, described his five-year-old son Hartley being breeched in an 1801 letter. “He did not roll and tumble over and over in his old joyous way,” he wrote. “No! It was an eager & solemn gladness, as if he felt it to be an awful area in his Life.” These parties were usually held over a weekend at home, with relatives invited to stay. The pockets of Hartley’s breeches jingled with “a load of money,” Coleridge wrote, likely gifted to this fledgling man by visiting family members.

After his "breeching," a boy would spend his time in the company of men and other boys, while girls stayed near their mothers and learned the gentle arts of the home. Read about the historical tradition of a boy's transition to pants at Atlas Obscura.


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What Matters Most

Oh, you'd be surprised what kids remember. They may not recall those times together the same way you do, or the same details you recall, but they remember in their own way. My now-adult children talk about the adventures of their childhoods and the things we did together, but the details that stuck out in their minds were surprises to me. We all organize our memories in our own way, and adults tend to prioritize things that are novel. To kids, everything is novel, so what stays with them may seem random to us. But his main theme is correct -being there for each other is what matters most. This is the latest comic from Lunarbaboon.


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Meet Coco, The Adorable 6-Year-Old Instagram Star With A Flair For Fashion

Some of the Insta-famous "stars" of Instagram take themselves way too seriously yet have nothing new or special to offer, and since new selfie stars pops up daily it can be hard to find Instagrammers worth following.

But enough about those totally lame selfie shooters who clutter up Instagram, let's talk about a young lady you should be following if you like fashion- 6-year-old Coco Hamamatsu, aka coco_pinkprincess, who represents Harajuku in both style and attitude.

Coco and her family were forced to move to Harajuku after the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, where her parents opened up a boutique and introduced Coco to a love of fashion at an early age.

Her individual sense of style, straight up perfect poses and innocent-yet-fiercely fabulous attitude make Coco more than just a kid posing for pics and prove her Insta-fame is well deserved.

. :@mitograph . #kidzfashion #igkiddies #harajuku #harajukugirl #harajukufashion #tokyofashion

A post shared by COCO (@coco_pinkprincess) on Sep 1, 2017 at 6:39am PDT

See More from Meet Coco, The Adorable Six-Year-Old Instagram Star With Killer Style here


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How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Jordan Watson, the "How To Dad," shows us his foolproof method for getting kids to eat vegetables. Have the kids grow them in the garden! Above you see the idyllic gardening scene just before the baby falls in the hole they dug. Yep, gardening is a lot of fun. Eating vegetables? Not so much.

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Parents want their children to eat healthy foods, but learn early that forcing a child to eat right is a losing battle. Strict rules and arguments are liable to do more harm than good. So you offer a variety of nutritious foods and hope for the best …and they hold out all day for chicken nuggets. So how do you get children to like vegetables? I tried gushing over how much I loved to eat vegetables. I tried hiding them in other foods. I tried having the kids grow their own garden. You know what worked for me?

One night at dinner, when we had three tween girls and an always-hungry older teenage boy who ate everything in sight, one of the girls made a remark about our son's eating habits. I mentioned that a person's tastes changed when they matured. Real adults have different tastes, and when and if you girls ever mature, you need to try the foods you don't like all over again to see if they are good. If you like them, that's a sign of becoming an adult. I said that, but I didn't give orders. I knew it was useless by then. But they wanted to be adults so badly that they actually tried the "test." It turned out each kid found different vegetables they now liked, so I served an entire salad bar at dinner every evening. Whatever works. 

Science tells us that children are more sensitive to bitter tastes than adults, and they are also programmed to prefer high-energy foods. But repeated exposure to different foods helps a child become more comfortable with vegetables. Here are some tips to make vegetables more palatable to children. You might like those recipes, too!  


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People Share Their Kids' Cleverest Inventions

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Kids can be quite clever and resourceful when they are trying to accomplish a goal, and some of the inventions kids come up with seem laughable when they tell you about them but turn out to be pure genius in action.

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Tired of dropping your book in the tub? This girl used a retractable leash to make soggy books a thing of the past.

And no hardcore gamer wants to keep getting up whenever they need water, so this little girl solved the problem with a wearable pouch.

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Little inventors are often little money makers as well, and some kids are so smart they come up with an invention that helps people, capitalizes on a trend and makes them a buck- like the clever Poke Glo Safety Buttons this kid came up with for Pokemon Go players.

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See 10+ Times Kids Surprised Their Parents With Their Genius Inventions here


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This 7-Year-Old Tattoo Artist Is Ready To Give You A Tat You'll Regret

I recently wrote about a 12-year-old tattoo artist from Brazil known as The Shark, who appears to have a bright future in the body art business even though he has yet to apply an entire tattoo to a client's skin.

He's on his way to becoming a tattoo artist extraordinaire while 7-year-old Russian tattoo artist Lisa Jelizaveta is already applying full pieces to clients who end up with a tattoo that looks like what you'd expect from a 7-year-old.

Likewise Lisa's "tattoo gun" looks like a janky jailhouse tat gun to me, so there's another point in The Shark's favor, but I guess if you're in the market for a permanent reminder that you make bad decisions then Lisa's your gal!

-Via design you trust


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Parents Share The Weirdest Stuff They've Found In Their Kids' Bedrooms

Kids don't like it when their parents invade their privacy by snooping around in their rooms, but these investigations are necessary to keep our kids safe and make sure they're not getting themselves into trouble.

"I do not know why, but my 8-year-old has taped a mustard packet to his door and labeled it 'Top Secret,'" Reddit user FaustusRedux wrote. Because, of course.

Redditor FaustusRedux didn't know what to think when they found a packet of mustard taped to their 8-year-old's door labeled "Top Secret" but they assumed it was nothing sinister.

On the flip side Redditor bonro started to get worried about their kid when he lost 31 pairs of swim goggles- until they found the missing goggles and cracked the case:

Reddit user bonro spent almost a year buying and re-buying goggles for her 14-year-old son to wear to swim practice, only for them to disappear after just a few uses. She grew more and more frustrated before finally finding all 31 missing pairs at once: They were tucked away in a hole in her 11-year-old daughter's mattress, where the family's pet ferret had apparently been storing them.

Most of the time kids have a perfectly logical explanation for the weird stuff they do in their room, or at least an explanation that makes sense to them, and their answers are almost always adorable:

While cleaning the house one day, commenter comonnow went to return one of his 5-year-old daughter's dolls to her bedroom — where he found every last one of her dolls set up to stare him down as he entered the room. "When my daughter got home from school I had to ask her why, because she had never arranged them like that before, and she casually stated that she wants them all to see her when she gets home," the Reddit user wrote. Fair enough.

Read Parents of Reddit, What is the weirdest/most shocking thing you have found in your child's room? here

-Via Good Housekeeping


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The 13-Year-Old Trapped In A Toddler's Body

Most people are familiar with disorders like Autism, Down syndrome or ADHD, but there's a chromosome-based disorder out there so rare it doesn't even have a name and leaves kids looking like toddlers for the rest of their lives.

Tandy Palmes's son Angus is thought to be the only child in the world affected by this strange disorder, which caused him to stop growing at the age of three, so she went on This Morning to discuss the disorder:

Tandy explained to presenters Sarah Greene and Rylan Clark-Neal that doctors were concerned about his health after he was born, and sent him for testing to get to the bottom of things

"We had no idea there was anything wrong, although they had their suspicions," Tandy said.

"They took us in an ambulance to one of the Manchester hospitals and did some genetic tests and three weeks after that they told me they found this chromosome abnormality by accident."

The condition means that Angus, who is 13 years old, remains in the body of a toddler after he stopped growing when he was just three.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Digital Spy


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The Best

Remember when you were a kid, and you didn't really know what to do with an aunt or uncle, and then you found out they were the coolest person in the family? That only works until Mom and Dad find out. It's pretty fun on the other end, too. Babysitting is always easier when you're not the one responsible for how the child turns out. Also, if Mom and Dad find out, then maybe they won't ask any favors of you in the future. This is the newest comic from Lunarbaboon.


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Dog Cries with Baby

This is the story of two who are so clueless that you have to laugh. Dog takes baby's cracker. Baby realizes cracker is gone. Baby cries. Dog cries in sympathy. The world makes no sense.

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You have to admit, it's both cute and funny. -via Digg


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How to Put a Kid to Bed

Children do not want to go to sleep at 8 PM, or whenever you've decided bedtime is. They're not sleepy, and they want to play. But their parents have been waiting all day for a chance to catch their breath, and they'd love to have a few minutes of calm before they fall into their own exhausted sleep. New Zealand dad Jordan Watson (previously at Neatorama) shares some of his wisdom about putting children to bed.

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It's a losing battle. You cannot make a child fall asleep. You can only hope to outlast them so you can have a few minutes to yourself. Good luck. -via Tastefully Offensive


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Uncombable Hair Syndrome

A lot of people have curly hair that's hard to comb, but this is something else altogether. Shilah Madison Calvert-Yin has "uncombable hair syndrome," which is a real condition. Each shaft of her hair is triangular instead of round. It's caused by a gene mutation, and is very rare. Only about 100 people in the world have the syndrome. But Shilah's family has embraced her awesome hair.

“Shilah loves her unique hair, but that has come from constant positive reinforcement at home from friends and family,” her mom Celeste Calvert-Yin, who lives in Melbourne Australia, told TODAY via email.

“As a little, little girl she often told us she was like a unicorn as they are very special and unique just like her. It brought a tear to our eye.”  

People often say she has hair like Doc Brown from back to the future, lucky it's one of our fave movies #uncombablehairsyndrome

A post shared by Shilah Madison Calvert-Yin (@shilahmadison) on Jul 12, 2017 at 2:49pm PDT

You can follow 7-year-old Shilah at her Instagram page. -via Boing Boing


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Dad Wrongly Thinks His Kid Created The Filthiest Artwork Ever

Some kids create art that looks like nothing but scribbles, others make art that is so inscrutable you have the ask the kid what the hell it's supposed to be.

But the kid in this story made a piece of art so vile and perverted his Redditor father Bubsing thought the kid was headed for counseling and home schooling:

‘My kid created what I thought was an angry-rage-boner-poop-fly-guy,’ Bubsing wrote.

It turns out Bubsing was all wrong about his kid's strange creation- because he was looking at the artwork upside down.

As soon as Bubsing turned the paper art masterpiece right side up all faith in his child was instantly restored, as the angry poop became Fly Guy from the chilren's book series by Tedd Arnold.

-Via Metro


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His Introduction to Bureaucracy

This little boy lost a tooth, placed it under his pillow, and received a dollar from the Tooth Fairy. He responded with a letter asking for a raise from a dollar to $5. This is the letter he got in return. In case you can't read the print, you can enlarge the original image here.

He does look a little perplexed at the official explanation. Considering he's about six or seven years old, it's probably not that easy for him to read, much less understand. But he's got another dollar just for asking, so that's probably a win in his eyes. Let's just hope the warning about keeping his teeth clean and cavity-free sinks in. -via reddit


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Parents Having Way Too Much Fun With Their Babies

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Parents who feel burdened and stressed out by their new bundle of joy are missing one key factor about babies- they're like living dolls, and therefore quite amusing to have around.

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You can't toss them around like plush toys or expect them to strike and hold a pose like an action figure, but if you let your baby do their thing and follow suit the resulting photos will be pure comedy gold.

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And since your child isn't old enough to remember the time you let a lemur crawl all over their head for the sake of a photo op you won't be scarring them emotionally and therefore won't be on the hook for the cost of their therapy!

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See 43 Times Parents Had Way Too Much Fun With Their Babies here


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This Boy Loves Paint Shopping

It's exciting to discover what our kids are going to get jazzed about because they don't even know yet, and whether they flip out over something silly or something worthy of excitement their reaction is always precious.

The little guy in this video is named Brock, and his mom Anita Mander captured his adorable reaction when she took Brock with her to pick out paint colors at Home Depot.

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Looks like little Brock has an innate love of color, maybe he'll grow up to be an artist or an interior designer?

-Via Laughing Squid


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Are Helicopter Parents Ruining Summer Camp?

Summer camp is supposed to be an opportunity for children to get away from home and do something different from what they do every day. It's also supposed to be a welcome respite for parents with bored children underfoot in the summer. But modern communication devices (phones) have changed that. Kids are used to having their phones with them to play games, watch TV, and stay in touch with family and friends. Camps often have children hand in their phones, and they usually adjust pretty well when there's so many other things to do. Their parents are the ones having a hard time being out of touch. Barry Garst of Clemson University tells us what's going on.

"We started to hear from camp directors a number of years ago that parents were the most problematic areas of a camp experience," says Garst. Not weather, not water safety, not grizzly bears. Nope, it's parents who call daily demanding reports on their kids, who expect to hear from the camp director about every skinned knee.

Meg Barthel, the lead girls' counselor at Camp Echo, carries a device with Wi-Fi around camp. "I have to respond to the mothers who are used to this constant communication with their daughters," she says. How many messages a day? "Up to 100."

Garst says thanks to mobile devices, parents today are conditioned to hour-by-hour check-ins. "The No. 1 concern is the separation that parents feel, and the difficulty in accepting a different type of communication with their child when their child is at camp."

Hence, the phones buried in luggage, mailed to campers, or even, he says, stitched into a stuffed animal.

Summer camps report another difficulty is getting their college-age camp counselors to put away their phones, even if just for the time they are interacting with campers. And they also have helicopter parents. Read more on the modern problems at summer camp at NPR. 

(Image credit: Suharu Ogawa for NPR)


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Young Explorers

Filmmaker Jacob Krupnick's project Young Explorers follows children who have barely learned to walk, as their instincts for exploring are kicking in. This isn't easy for urban parents to negotiate.

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In a recent interview at ICP, Krupnick tells a story to illustrate the disconnect between child's instinct to explore and a parent's instinct to protect them.

While filming my daughter walking around Coney Island, she passed a boy her age who was tied up in one of those child nets, tethered to his mother, unable to experience life outside her reach. Ada, my daughter, marched past him. His look of astonishment read something like: what is that creature? Half an hour later, they met again along the boardwalk. He was still attached to his mum. He looked at Ada tentatively and tenderly offered her a piece of popcorn. In these moments, you come to see how desirable freedom is.

I can relate. While watching Bejla above and Tristan below, I had to keep reminding myself that not only was Krupnick right there filming, but the child's parents are no doubt just out of camera range. At the same time, in the back of my mind I wanted to reach out and hold their little hands.

(vimeo link)

Krupnick has ten episodes in the series filmed, but only two are available on the 'net so far. We look forward to seeing more. -via Metafilter


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People Share The Funniest Gifts Kids Have Ever Given Them

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It's sweet that kids care enough to buy, or even better make, a present for their parents, and many elementary schools encourage their students to create crafts and holiday cards for their folks so they're from the heart.

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And sometimes when the kid presents you with their handmade gift you want to bust a gut laughing at the adorable ridiculousness they've just handed you, but you know the kid might be hurt by your laughter.

So you keep a straight face, saying "wow" and "cool" a lot to emphasize how great you think their gift is, secretly knowing you're going to have a good laugh about that wonky gift later on.

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But these hilarious kid gifts really are the best because they'll always make you smile, and the fact that the kid cared enough to give you something to crack up about for the rest of your life is priceless!

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See more from Share The Funniest Gifts You Got From Kids here


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Little Girl Mistakes Bride For Princess From The Book She's Holding

Some little girls become so obsessed with princesses they start dressing like them, acting like them and telling everyone who will listen that they want to be a princess when they grow up.

They may even mistake real life people for princesses from fairy tales, like this little girl did when she came across a bride named Shandace Robertson decked out in her wedding dress.

In the little girls mind the beautiful white dress she wore made Shandace look just like her favorite princess from The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins, a book she was carrying around when she met the bride.

This happy coincidence was captured by photographer Stephanie Cristalli, who was busy shooting post-wedding pics of the bride and groom on a sidewalk in Seattle when the little girl and her mom Kelsey Edwards approached the "princess".

Now that little girl can live happily ever after since she got to hang out with a princess in Seattle, and the bride has an extra heartwarming element to add to the tale of her wedding day.

And BTW- The Woman In White is not exactly what I would call a kid's book, but maybe the little girl is a really advanced reader?

-Via Bored Panda


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Clearly, He's a Winner

A group of two-year-olds are competing in the Dutch Championship walking bike race on July 8. Senn Swieters pulls out in front, giving it his all on his green walking bike, having the time of his life. Senn's headed straight for the finish line. The crowd cheers him on!

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Or maybe not. Don't celebrate until the finish line is crossed. Considering how much the average two-year-old cares about winning, he's probably avoiding the finish line because he doesn't want the event to be over. A good time was had by all.  -via Mashable


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Mother Uses Forced Perspective To "Dress" Her Daughter In Food And Flowers

Forced perspective is a simple way to add your own creative touch to a photograph, and since forced perspective pics are best taken with a partner they're also a simple way to bring two photo fans closer together.

When oil painter Alya Chaglar asked her daughter Stefani if she'd like to play with her food she lit up, but Stefani must've had a hard time understanding how mom holding up a piece of food and taking a pic equalled fun- untile she saw the pic.

Then she really got into the spirit of the project, her pose and facial expressions matching the food and flower dresses her mom used forced perspective to dress her up in, and the pics are gloriously adorable.

See more from Mom "Dresses" Her Daughter In Food And Flowers Using Forced Perspective here


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The Most Adorable Father Daughter Photo Series Ever

Dads have some bad sides- they're hostile and angry when woken up from a nap, grumpy and groggy when they don't get enough sleep, and sleepy and gassy when they've had too much to eat.

But one of dad's good sides totally overshadows the bad- when he's being an adorable goofball by playing dress up with his kid.

That's when you can see a dad at his most adorable, as exemplified by silly doting daddy Sholom Ber Solomon and his tiny daughter Zoe.

Sholom was eager to set up a father daughter photo shoot with Zoe, a bit too eager to wait until she'd learned how to walk, so he dressed them both up and took them out on some silly staged adventures.

See more from Dad Takes Hilarious Pics With His Baby Girl In Costume here


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Homemade Virtual Reality Roller Coaster

KentuckyFriedIdiot said, "Daughter wanted to go to Disneyworld, but since it's too expensive we did the next best thing" which meant a roller coaster in a plastic tub powered by Daddy, while watching a POV video of a coaster ride. Genius!

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If she were any bigger, he might have had trouble pulling this off. As it was, I felt like I was riding right along with her. -via Tastefully Offensive


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These Incredible Galaxy Paintings Were Created By A 5-Year-Old

When we hear someone talk about their 5-year-old painting we usually envision messy finger paintings and a parent who has to clean up one masterpiece of a mess for the sake of their child's artistic enrichment.

But Cassie of CassieSwirls isn't an ordinary 5-year-old in that way, because she creates paintings of galaxies that look so good you'd never know they were painted by a kindergartner...unless you look at the signature.

Cassie's galaxy paintings have been blowing people's minds with their incredible detail and rich use of color, and Cassie even adds glitter and metallics to make her paintings "happy".

So far young Cassie has sold over 100 of her galaxy paintings, and like a true citizen of planet Earth she has donated nearly a thousand dollars from the sales to charity, so her paintings can bring people happiness in more than one way.

-Via Bored Panda


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Mad Max Junior

Remember the guy that turned his kids' Little Tykes Cozy Coupes into Mad Max-style vehicles? It turns out he works in the film industry. Ian Pfaff took his daughter Junior and his infant son Benji out to the desert and let them loose. A few specials effects later, they've recreated the apocalyptic world of the car chase movie Mad Max: Fury Road.

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Just like the movie, this is short on dialogue and heavy on mayhem. Uh-oh! -via Digg


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Baby Enjoys a Rocking Horse

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This horse knows what babies like! Just a slight push on the baby seat handle rocks the child and produces smiles and squeals of delight from 8-month-old Ruby. Her mother, Stacey Storer from Nottingham, England, said Ruby was tired and upset before Red started rocking her. That's a good horse. -via Tastefully Offensive


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Why Your Baby Doesn't Sleep Through The Night

Babies wake up during the night because they are hungry/wet/lonely, and because it's natural for them to awaken. Buzzfeed talked to Darcia F. Narvaez, professor of psychology at Notre Dame University, and other experts about a human baby's natural sleeping and waking cycle, and found out a lot of interesting things.

Human babies are born earlier in their development than other animals – they need close contact or an "external womb".

"Human babies are born 9 to 18 months early compared to other animals," says Narvaez. "Other animals are able to walk around and start eating – we can't do that. We look like foetuses when we're born and we are.

"So that means you want to keep that baby calm while the brain systems are finishing because they only have 25% of the adult brain-size developed, and a lot of systems haven't set their thresholds and parameters yet. They're expecting good care – like in an external womb or nest. We call it the evolved developmental niche or nest."

A baby waking up at all hours of the night is not abnormal at all. What's really abnormal is the world we've created. We learn to sleep through the night because of scheduling conflicts with work, school, and the other people in our lives. Read about the way nature intended babies to sleep at Buzzfeed. 

(Image redit: Sian Butcher/BuzzFeed)


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Fun Science Projects You Can Do With Your Kids This Summer

If you have school-aged kids, then they're almost certainly out for summer. While some parents let their kiddos do whatever they want during summer break, those looking to keep the younster's minds stimulated might want to head over to Instructables and check out these six summer science projects that are interesting, educational and fun. They can learn about magnetic slime, flower disections, robotics and more!

So if you have kids sitting around bored and forgetting everything they learned last year in school, don't miss this great list.


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