We Found a Hidden Stash of Chuck Norris Dolls, So We're Giving Them Away!
Warehouse find: 13 Chuck Norris plush dolls - Win one in by entering an upcoming NeatoMail giveaway. Hurry! One time deal: once they're gone, they're gone!

Laugh, Because It’s So True

This is exactly why you have to put a little time between finding out what your kid did and confronting him about it. Parenting experts will tell you it’s because you need to cool off in order to deliver calm, rational discipline instead of venting in anger. We’ll just let the kids think that. What we really need is a little time to put on our adult hat. No one illustrates this better than Lunarbaboon.

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24 Kids’ Show That Parents Won’t Hate, and 8 They Will

The A.V. Club has a series on children’s television, with three posts of suggestions for shows that parents can enjoy along with children, for Pre-kindergarteners, kindergarten through first grade, and 2nd-3rd grade, with eight shows on each list. And then there’s the big finale: 8 kids’ shows to avoid at all costs. I can’t say I disagree with their rankings. The Disney Channel in particular.

If your previously polite child suddenly turns into a disrespectful smart aleck, check your Disney level. Studies have shown (based on an informal survey among The A.V. Club’s immediate circle of parent friends) that Disney-sitcom viewings can result in a rise in attitudinal behavior as your kids mimic what they see on the screen. An overarching element of all these shows is an idiot adult figure that the kids feel free to make fun of, usually in a servile or authority position like doorman or manager. We pin the start of this juvenile downfall to The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody, a grating pair of twins who ran roughshod over an entire luxury hotel (and later a cruise ship with The Suite Life On Deck).

What shows did you most enjoy watching with your children? Which ones rubbed you the wrong way?  -via Metafilter

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People Are Awesome: Kids Edition

We’ve seen quite a few videos from People Are Awesome, and they’re back with a new compilation, this time featuring children doing awesome things. Watch young boys and girls excelling at gymnastics, skateboarding, dance, parkour, martial arts, and more. These kids are amazing!

(YouTube link)

-Thanks, Dan Rice!

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This Daycare Center Looks Like a Giant Toybox

(Photo: A+Architects)

A+Architects designed this daycare center in Lodève, France. It looks like a fun place for kids and kids at heart because stepping inside is like entering a toybox. The windows give the building the appearance of shape sorter. Inside, there are other bright colors and soft shapes that invite visitors to explore and play.

Continue reading

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Most Popular Baby Names for 2014

Image: Kenny Louie

The Social Security Administration just posted its list of the top baby names for 2014. Biblical boy name Noah and girl name Emma are number one for boys and girls, respectively. The Social Security Administration began calculating such numbers in 1997; since then they have amassed records from back to the year 1880. This year's statistics are based on the approximately four million births last year. 

Read a list of the top ten boys and girls names, as well as learning about current name trends, in this article. 

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Big Bird Breaks Our Hearts

Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer inside Big Bird, did a reddit AMA and was asked what was his most meaningful interaction with a child. Spinney’s reply was heartbreaking.

This is a very sad story, but it's real.

I got a letter from a fan who said his little boy, who was 5 years old, his name was Joey, he was dying of cancer.

And he was so ill, the little boy knew he was dying.

So the man, in his letter, asked if I would call the little boy. He said the only thing that cheered him at all in his fading state was to see Big Bird on television.

You’ll have to go to the link to read the whole account -I can’t bear to read it again. And take your hankie when you go. -via The Daily Dot

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Kid's Father and Uncle Build Him a Millenium Falcon Bed

Imgur user edmcgowan works at a design studio with his brother, and the two decided to see what type of design trouble they could get into by transforming his nephew's room into a Star Wars-themed, kids' dream. 

A year ago the uncle and father duo posted a photo of the build in progress. Now they're showing off the finished product: a Millennium Falcon cockpit bed with an AT-AT leg for support. The desk at the side of the bed is a wing and the wall next to the cockpit is made to look like a hangar door, which slides open to reveal a window. It's even equipped with a fan to blow air into the sleeping portion of the ship. She's got it where it counts, kid. 

Via Nerdist | Image: edmcgowan on Imgur

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5-Year Old Isn’t Running away from Home—Just “Moving On” with Her Life

(Video Link)

Saige, a 5-year old girl, doesn’t want you to think of it as a breakup as much as the next stage of the relationship. You’ve both changed, so it’s time to explore other possibilities.

Her big brother Tanner doesn’t want her in the house anymore. So Saige is moving to the home of Jenn, her mom’s best friend. It’s much cleaner and has more room for her stuff.

Fortunately, Saige has backed down from her threat. Now a few days after this video was recorded, she remains in her mom’s house.

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New Classes Help Toddlers Prepare for That All-Important Nursery School Interview

(Photo: BBC)

Yoyo Chan is one and a half years old. She has a big task ahead of her: nailing the nursery school interview. Doing so can get her into the best nursery school, which can lead to the best kindergarten, then elmentary school, and, eventually, the best medical school.

It all comes down to now. Focus, Yoyo. Focus.

In Hong Kong, many parents want their kids to offer their best at the competitive nursery school interview process. A dozen openings at a top school can lead to a thousand applications. So some companies now offer to train toddlers to perform better than their competitors during the interviews. Helier Cheung reports for the BBC:

At interview class, Yoyo is asked to greet the tutor and introduce herself. The tutor then asks her to complete a number of tasks, including building a house with bricks, drawing a picture, sticking two felt eyes in the right position on a felt face, and identifying pieces of fruit.

A little shy to begin with, Yoyo quickly warms up and appears to enjoy the tasks and playing with the toys.

"These classes and interviews can be hard work," says her mother, Emma. "But I do want her to be prepared. Most parents want their child to have a good start."

One nursery Emma is keen on had more than 100 interviewees for just nine places, so she'll do whatever she can to increase her daughter's chances of success.

Yoyo's younger brother, still a baby, will begin interview classes in a few months, she says - when he's about eight months old.

-via Dave Barry

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How to Be A Terrible Neighbor

We've all had bad neighbors before, whether they play music late at night, throw trash over your fence, have vicious dogs that won't stop barking or let their kids play outside during the daytime. Oh, what's that? You don't think there's anything wrong with a child playing in their own backyard?

Well tell that to the grumpy Arizona neighbor who left this note for his neighbors complaining that:

“Every day this week, when weather has been nice and windows are open, you proceed to let your small child run free in your backyard and laugh and giggle and carry on without end. This is very disruptive for my two dogs and my bird who sits next to the window. … Perhaps you could ask him to tone it down a bit, or at least limit his outside time to 15-20 minutes a day. If this behavior continues I WILL CALL THE POLICE"

The letter was shared online by a freind of the family and has quickly gone viral with many commenters chiming in on what they think the proper way to handle the situation would be. So Neatonauts, what do you think? How would you deal with a neighbor who left a note like this in your mailbox?

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Helicopter Parenting

Chris Early of Knoxville, Tennessee, has made the term “helicopter parenting” quite literal, when he used his new video production drone to remotely watch his daughter walk to school without her knowledge.

A few weeks ago Chris's eight-year-old daughter Katie asked to walk to school on her own. Chris said, "She said you're not going to come watch me, but I had another idea."

He got out his drone and took video of her on the way to school. Early says, "I could see other people looking up and I'm sure Katie was just like aw it's my dad."

Katie goes out and flies the drone with her dad. So what does she thinks of that ? Katie says, "I was like oh wow! He didn't tell me so I was pretty surprised."

Yeah, my kids were pretty surprised to find out that I was driving around the neighborhood the first time they walked home from school alone, but that was years after the fact. Now, if my parents had been able to see where I was going and what I was doing as a child, it might have driven them into an early grave. -via The Mary Sue

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Instagram Account Documents Funny Rationales of Children Who Are Picky Eaters

"My kid can't eat this because of this single bell pepper" | Image: @Shellyyelnats on Instagram

What crazy reasons have your kids given you for rejecting foods served to them at meal or snacktime? The reason for the veto might make perfect sense to their little brains, but it can cause parents the occasional frustrated moment, having just taken time to prepare the food.

The Instagram account "My Kid Can't Eat This" highlights the funny side of the situation, presenting photos of the rejected foods with the accompanying excuses. Check it out for a laugh, or to see that you're not alone having a child in the picky eater's roundtable. -Via Pleated Jeans 

"My kid can't eat this because it has fork holes in it. He keeps saying it's sad while the new one I gave him is happy"
Image: Micki Felix

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A Contender for the Most Demanding First Birthday Invitation Ever

Redditor razz32 obviously saw the entertainment value in this email invitation he received to the celebration (?) of a one-year-old child's birthday, as he posted it to Reddit. The email leaves no question as to pretty much any move that anyone planning to attend could make. If someone showing up at this party has an itch, it's a good bet that a protocol has been devised by these parents as to how it should be scratched.
As you can see, the image above is only a portion of the requests included in this gracious invite. See the missive in its entirety here. -Via Mashable

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Teacher Asks Students What They Wish She Knew About Them

When third grade teacher Kyle Schwartz asked her students what they wished she knew about them, she started a huge wave of response. Schwartz teaches in a low-income, Denver, Colorado school district in which many households are operating below the poverty line. Encouraged to honestly share their experiences, anonymously if desired, some students gave somber answers.

Schwartz found that many students wanted their name on their replies and didn't mind sharing them. She posted a number of the students’ notes on Twitter last month, which quickly caught on worldwide under the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew. The project has become a movement for community fundraising as well. The teacher's empathy and effort to prompt honest communication without stigma or shame has touched more people than she ever could have imagined. 

-Via Daily Dot | Images: Kyle Schwartz/@kylemschwartz on Twitter

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Solo Recital Dance on One Leg

(YouTube link)

Eight-year-old Alissa Sizemore has taken dance lessons since she was four. In May of 2014, a truck ran over her right foot, and it was amputated below the knee. She was back in the dance studio even before she received her prosthetic leg. Less than a year after the accident, Alissa performed a solo at her dance school’s recital. The song is "Try" by Colbie Caillat, which Alissa says is an inspiration to her. Watch as she starts off dancing with her new leg, and then removes it for more freedom. The audience was impressed -and so am I! -via Buzzfeed

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These Babes Were Born to Be Geeks

Some people were born to be wild, but others were just born to be nerds -and there's nothing wrong with either. 

Of course, that being said it's hard not to love these 22 adorable pictures of new-born geeks in their native environments.

From superheroes to Whovians and from readers to gamers, the pictures are all utterly adorable and remind us that being a parent means starting your young one on a path to success.

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Costumed Babies Swimming Underwater

Seth Casteel, a photographer in Venice, California, has developed a specialty by capturing his subjects underwater. He makes crisp, clear images that show his subjects at perfect moments.

In the past we've seen Casteel apply his skills to puppies and adult dogs. His most recent photo book is Underwater Babies. You can guess what it shows: adorable babies swimming joyfully underwater. They're often costumed, such as the mermaid you see above. You can see more sample images here.

-via Flavorwire

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He is Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!

Redditor Sloppy_Episiotomy posted this picture of his baby's nursery saying, "The wifey said I have to take this down from my daughter's nursery immediately or she's taking the baby and leaving me." While some sites, like Nerd Approved have claimed that this is not appropriate decor for a baby's room, others have argued that it's a perfect way to start indoctrinating your children to love geeek culture from a young age. It's also a great option if you want your child to get possessed by a god. What do you guys think?

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Sydney Addresses the School Board

(YouTube link)

Fourth-grader Sydney Smoot appeared before the Hernando County (Florida) school board to say a few things about the FSA (Florida Standards Assessment) tests she and her classmates will be subjected to. This kid has a bright future ahead of her. She’s cute as a button, but that’s not as important as the points she brings up in her prepared speech. You have to be really suspicious about a test that makes a kid sign a no-discussion contract and for which neither the child nor the teachers benefit from learning the results. You can see an interview with Sydney here. -via Time

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4-Year Old Takes 3 AM Bus Ride to Buy a Slushie

A 4-year old girl in Philadelphia woke up in the middle of the night feeling hungry. She wanted a Slushie. Not unreasonably, she decided to acquire one. She got dressed and left her home. It was raining heavily outside, but that did not deter her from walking to a bus stop. When a bus arrived, she boarded. The scene was captured by security cameras.

(Video Link)

The bus driver, Harlan Jenifer, called the police, who took the girl to a hospital. Her parents picked her up and took her home. She didn’t get a Slushie and her parents changed the locks on their home to prevent a future escape.

-via Stuff

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Baby Clapping Before Birth

(YouTube link)

What is the sound of an unborn baby clapping? There isn’t any, unless mom and the doctor sing along. Jen Cardinal underwent an ultrasound at 14 weeks in which they could clearly see the baby clapping his/her hands. The singing went on during a replay, and they toggled the ultrasound to make the song work while Dad took a cellphone video. So it’s a remix, but certainly a neat one. Jen says there were three claps in all during the procedure. -via Viral Viral Videos

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The secret to immortality could be anything. Every time I show my kids something I recall from my childhood, I also wonder if my parents experienced memories of their own childhoods when they shared those little things with me. As Terry Pratchett once wrote, “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…” This comic is from Lunarbaboon, of course.

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Should You Get a Dog or a Kid?

You need another living creature to fill the hole in your life or relationship. Should it be a dog or a child? Rob Fee of Mandatory runs through the differences in the two experiences. You could also get both. Eventually the child will be able to walk the dog. But for some reason, people will flip if you appoint the dog as babysitter.

-via How to Be a Dad

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12 Great Easter Crafts You Can Do With Your Kiddos

Easter Sunday is almost here and that means it's time to get decorating. While we covered some easy and classy decorations on Homes and Hues last year, that article overlooked one of the greatest parts of the holiday -spending time with your children.

That's why this year's Easter decorating article focuses on kid-friendly crafts that you can do together. From simple foam window decorations to beautiful flower displays that can teach kids a little bit about botany, we're sure you'll find some kind of children's activity that you and your little ones can enjoy together.

So don't miss the whole list over at Homes and Hues: 12 Fun Easter Crafts You Can Do With Your Kids

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Parents Share the Reasons Behind Their Kids' Latest Meltdowns

The Instagram account called As#hole Parents is full of pictures of disgruntled children who have a complaint they'd loudly like to register wherever possible and to whomever will listen. In the case of the child above, a reasonable and simple request was made that the bath be shared with the family cat. Things took a turn toward absolutely devastating when said request was denied by the maternal unit. Oh, the humanity!

See more children with parents for whom the abovementioned Instagram account name is fitting in this article. Visit the Instagram account to see more children banned from ever having fun or decent quality of life thanks to their parents. (Warning: the Instagram account name is spelled out, as is its title in the linked article.)

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