Travis Jonker and his team work at an elementary school library. They had some old auditorium seats left over from renovations. They were functional as seating, but Jonker and his co-workers turned them into advertisements for works of children's literature. Click on Continue reading to view more.
Want to have a unique memento of your child's infancy? There are crafters on Etsy who sell keepsakes made with dried breast milk. The Detroit Free Press reports:
A couple purveyors, both moms, said in interviews that they hit on the idea as they sought out unusual keepsakes of their special bonds with their babies during nursing.
The two would not reveal their recipes for processing the milk, which is covered with a glaze or clear resin after it is plasticized or dehydrated, forming a clay-like substance that hardens over time when at least one method is used. [...]
“What a wonderful way to preserve the ‘liquid gold’ that we are only able to make for a certain period of time,” reads the product description for the latter. “This can be passed down for generations and what a fantastic gift to give to your child, the root of their survival.”
David Laferriere is a graphic artist. Every morning he draws a quick illustration on a sandwich bag for each of his children's lunch, photographs it, and posts it to Flickr. Each picture is different, which keeps his imagination in top shape. You can see over a thousand of them in his Flickr set! The snowman pictured here was for a cold day in January. Link -via Buzzfeed
(Image credit: Flickr user D Laferriere)
For his son's 11th birthday, redditor crujones43 set up a treasure hunt. The boy had to read maps, collect clues at various locations, use a compass, solve puzzles, and hike through the woods to find a box containing real money. The fun of getting there was worth even more! Thirty pictures of the adventure are posted, in case you want to try something similar. Link -via reddit
Raising a baby means getting advice from those who supposedly know more than you do -and in the 19th century, there were no shortage of experts to sell you a book. But even the most commonly-followed advice seems strange to us now.
From the day of birth, schedules and strict discipline were of deep importance. This baby was to interfere as little as possible with your life. Affection was to be restricted, with care instructions more fitting a ficus than a child. From 1916's The Mother and her Child by Drs. Lena and William Sadler: "Handle the baby as little as possible. Turn it occasionally from side to side, feed it, change it, keep it warm, and let it alone; crying is absolutely essential to the development of good strong lungs. A baby should cry vigorously several times each day."
As the child grew, regulated contact could be tolerated. "At the age of two weeks, the child may be systematically carried about in the arms 2 to 3 times a day, as a means of furnishing additional change in position," is the precise advice of Dr. JP Crozer Griffith in 1900.
That appears cruel and unnecessary to us today, but if you dig a little deeper, there are reasons that they seemed like a good idea at the time. An article at the Atlantic tells the reasons why such advice might not have been "stupid" after all. Link -via Metafilter
Lina Medina was born on September 27, 1933, in the village of Ticrapo, Peru. A little over five years later, Lina was to become a world-famous celebrity. Lina Medina is the youngest documented mother in human history, giving birth at the age of five.
Lina was born with a rare condition called "precocious puberty." Precocious puberty is basically the early onset of sexual development. Most girls begin experiencing puberty around the age of ten (boys usually start a little later, around the ages of 11 or 12). Lina had experienced her first menstrual cycle at the age of eight months, although erroneous contemporary reports stated that the event occurred at the age of two and a half or three. She had fully developed breasts by the age of four.
At five, she experienced a widening of her pelvis and had advanced bone maturation. It was at the age of five that Lina's midsection started growing massively. Her mother, Victoria, thought that her daughter was possessed by evil spirits. When she brought Lina to a hospital to be examined, the initial diagnosis was a possible tumor.
It was soon discovered, to the great shock and surprise of all, that she was actually eight months pregnant. When doctors did a full examination of Lina, they found that, although she was only five years old, she had fully mature sexual organs.
Dr. Geraldo Lozada became Lina's attending doctor, fully taking over the case. Dr. Lozada took Lina to a more advanced hospital in Lima to confirm the pregnancy diagnosis. The diagnosis was confirmed.
You might recall Jan von Holleben's photo series Dream of Flying, in which she placed children into surreal action sequences horizontally. Slovenian photographer Matej Peljhan uses the same technique for photos of 12-year-old Luka. The difference is that Luka has muscular dystrophy.
Due to the degenerative disease, Luka is unable to do even the most basic of everyday activities such as washing himself, dressing, and eating. His physical capability is mostly limited to tiny movements of his fingers, which allow him to move about in his electric wheelchair. He is also able to hold a colored pen, with which he can slowly turn his imagination into drawings in a notebook.
During a conversation he had with Luka, Peljhan learned that the boy wished to see himself in photographs walking, exploring, and getting into mischief. Rather than use some type of digital trickery to make this dream a reality, Peljhan decided to simply use a different perspective.
Motorists were surprised to see a child driving along the road in Lapeer, Michigan, early Saturday morning. According to Sgt. Andy Engster of the local sheriff's office, motorists boxed in the child and his car and called police. They found a 6-year-old who had taken the family car.
The boy had taken the keys off the counter at home and told the responding officer that he had never driven before and nobody had taught him how.
"He said he'd never even sat on his dad's lap to steer the car or anything," said Engster.
When police asked the boy why he took the car, he told them he was going to get Chinese food. He had hit a "no left turn" sign on Park and Pine streets near his home and, seeing the damage to the car, decided he needed to head to the dealer to get it repaired.
The unnamed boy's father was called to retrieve him. The parents had been asleep, and were unaware that the child had left the house. No one was injured. Link -via Arbroath
(Image credit: Flickr usser Dave Dugdale)
Some mothers forgo modern obstetric facilities in hospitals and have births at home and assisted by midwives. The latest trend in this natural childbirth movement is called Lotus Birth. Participants don't cut the umbilical cord connecting the child to the placenta. Instead, they keep the placenta in a bowl and wait for the umbilical cord to wither away naturally. Madeline Scinto of the New York Post interviewed Mary Ceallaigh, a widwife and advocate for Lotus Birth:
Q: What are the best reasons to practice Lotus Birth?
There’s no wound created at the umbilical site, which lessens the chance of infection.
It allows a complete transfer of placental/cord blood into the baby at a time when the baby needs that nourishment the most. Babies’ immune systems are going through huge changes at a very rapid rate when they’re first born. Not disrupting the baby’s blood volume at that time helps prevent future disease.
The mother and baby benefit from having all the focused placed on bonding, rather than the common focus of "who's going to cut the cord, cut the bond?" Invading the natural process when there's a healthy mother and baby is likely to cause harm in some way seen or unseen.
The respect of all of what a woman conceives, not just part of it. [...]
Q: How do you eat meals, go to the restroom or run errands with a placenta attached to your newborn?
The cord usually dries and breaks off by the third day, so no mother would be running errands during that time anyway...hopefully not until at least the fourth week after giving birth!
In humid conditions, however, it may take up to 10 days for the cord to break, particularly in areas like Bali or the Australian rainforest. In these cases, the early weeks after giving birth is even more low key for the mother - and that can be a good thing....
While the placenta remains attached, it’s kept in a nice cloth, and the cord is wrapped in silk or cotton ribbon. Babies are left on a safe surface or with a caregiver while the mother goes to the restroom. For cuddling and nursing, the placenta pillow is kept near the mother and baby.
Part of Fred Rogers's routine on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was feeding his fish. After recieving a letter from a blind little girl, he was careful to verbally tell viewers when he fed them:
Dear Mister Rogers,
Please say when you are feeding your fish, because I worry about them. I can't see if you are feeding them, so please say you are feeding them out loud.
Katie, age 5
Katie's father noted that she really does cry. Mister Rogers included Katie's letter in an anthology of letters that he received from children. In it, he reflected:
Since hearing from Katie, I’ve tried to remember to mention out loud those times that I’m feeding the fish. Over the years, I’ve learned so much from children and their families. I like to think that we’ve all grown together.
16-year old Timothy Doner of New York City started learning Hebrew to better understand Israeli rap music. Now he can speak 23 languages, including Hindi, Arabic, Latin, Swahili and Ojibwe. Doner uses the Internet to have conversations with people around the world and quickly absorbs new languages as he does so.
-via Slate (warning: auto-sound)
Any time you want to add to a child's reading experience, whether the child is yours or someone else's, a book from this list will be much appreciated. I counted 13 that I had as a child; most of the others weren't written that long ago. Check out the reasoning behind all 25 at Flavorwire. Link
Photo: Ethan Pines/The Wall Street Journal
Tiger Mom has finally met her match. Meet Suzanne Evans, author and self-professed Machiavellian Mom, who used the maxims of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince to become, well, a better mom. Case in point:
'A Captain ought…[to] endeavor with every art to divide the forces of the enemy, either by making him suspicious of his men…or by giving him cause…to separate his forces and, because of this, become weaker.'
I was already familiar with the strategy of "divide and conquer"; our kids are masters at pitting my husband and me against each other to get what they want. I decided it was time to use this maxim to my own advantage.
To that end, I "divided" Teddy and my 8-year-old stepson Daniel by pitting them against each other in a not-so-friendly competition over who could do better in school.
"Excellent!" I praised Teddy when she brought home a nearly perfect second-grade report card. I then rewarded her with a celebratory family dinner at the restaurant of her choice. On the other front, Daniel, whose report card wasn't so stellar, got nothing, other than the shame of losing the competition—to his younger sister no less, as I reminded him.
But this defeat ignited his competitive spirit, and by the end of the school year, both Teddy and Daniel brought home outstanding report cards. Bottom line: By setting my kids against each other, I ultimately got what I wanted from them…and they both benefited.
See if you too can become a better parent through Machiavelli: Link
7-year old Jack Hoffman has been fighting brain cancer for 2 years. He's a big fan of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The team has been helping Jack and his family through the ordeal. Yesterday, the team let him have the ball during a play. Jack ran 69 yards to score a touchdown. Excuse me, but there's some dust in my eyes.
Look in the lower right corner of the screenshot. Yes, that's Pinky and the Brain, the would-be world conquerors from the television series of the same name. This preschool and elementary school is in the capital city of Nigeria. Presumably the Brain is using it to train loyal followers for his next plan.
Happy Easter from my family to yours. May your surgared up kids fall asleep early tonight. And, may we all not have nightmares of the scary pink cupcake monster shown in the last photo. Roar!!!
What's better than walking the dog with your mom? Watching your mom run after the dog, right after you let go of the leash, of course! Here's a little girl Lucy giggling devilishly after she accomplished her brilliant scheme.
Hit play or go to Link [YouTube]
Idle hands are the devil's playground notwithstanding, some experts now believe that you should let children be bored, so they can develop their innate ability to be creative:
Dr Teresa Belton told the BBC cultural expectations that children should be constantly active could hamper the development of their imagination. [...]
Dr Belton said: "Lack of things to do spurred her to talk to people she would not otherwise have engaged with and to try activities she would not, under other circumstances, have experienced, such as talking to elderly neighbours and learning to bake cakes.
"Boredom is often associated with solitude and Syal spent hours of her early life staring out of the window across fields and woods, watching the changing weather and seasons.
"But importantly boredom made her write. She kept a diary from a young age, filling it with observations, short stories, poems, and diatribe. And she attributes these early beginnings to becoming a writer late in life."
Hannah Richardson of the BBC explains: Link
The Sydney Symphony held a competition to come up with better lyrics for the opening to Carmina Burana (affectionately known at Neatorama as "O Fortuna"). This is the winning entry, from Matthew Hodge. The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs performed it at the recent concert series, which ended tonight. -via Metafilter
Little Elisabetta sang an Italian children's song in hard rock style. Then musician Christian Ice (who may or may not be her father -he didn't say) wrote an original song to accompany her. You can see the original video before the music was added. She may grow up to be a star! -via Daily of the Day
Four years ago, nine-year old Daisy Morris found a strange object on the beach on the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of Britain. It was the fossilized pelvic girdle of a previously unknown species of flying reptiles. Scientists recently named it Vectidraco daisymorrisae after its discoverer:
The Morris family, from Whitwell, approached Southampton University's 'Fossil Man' Mr Simpson with Daisy's finds in 2009.
"I knew I was looking at something very special. And I was right," said Mr Simpson.
The fossil turned out to be a new genus and species of small pterosaur; a flying reptile from the Lower Cretaceous period.
Following up on the success of last year's hilarious parody, College Humor has filmed a three-part action movie parodying the children's TV show Dora the Explorer. Behold the first part of Dora the Explorer and the Destiny Medallion.
Content warning: some foul language and violence. My four-year old is mad that I won't let her watch it.
Working parents rely on daycare facilities to take care of their children when they work during the day, but what happens if your job is at night?
Not a problem in Sweden, where they have night nurseries:
"At first it was very hard to take my kids to sleep somewhere else and my heart was aching," says mother Maria Klytseroff, 39, a part-time care assistant for people with learning difficulties.
Her children spend about two or three nights a week at one of the preschools, which is more like a homely apartment than an education centre.
"I am a single mum and I wanted to go back to my job, which is at night," explains Maria.
"The children soon got used to it, they have friends and they adore the workers who look after them." [...]
The toddlers arrive in time to eat dinner, clean their teeth and then enjoy a bedtime story with a member of staff.
But not everyone is sold on the idea. Read more over at the BBC: Link
The definition of "cool" not only changes with the times, but means different things to different age groups. Rust Blazenhoff of Laughing Squid posted a three-page list of ways to be a cool person by her second-grade daughter. One thing never seems to change: "cool" for a young person involves contravening the wishes of authority. See the other two pages of this list at Laughing Squid. Link
(Image credit: Flickr user Rusty Blazenhoff)