Christmas is a great time to spend time with your family -especially your kids. If you're looking for some classy decor that you can actually make with your children, you won't want to miss our newest Homes and Hues article.
Aside from some great decorations to class up your home, there are also a few cool ways to teach your kids about science. For example, these fire and ice lanterns by Mad in Crafts can teach your youngster about science and how water will freeze from the outside in.
If you're having people over for the holidays, don't miss our post on 10 Easy Last-Minute Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas. While they're pretty focused on Fall, you could easily switch out the leaves and squashes for candy canes, pine branches and holly.
Photographer Michael Clinard wanted to come up with a project that involved his 2 year old daughter Tala, a project that was created simply for their own amusement and showcases how much he loves being a dad.
The result is Three Depictions Of Fatherhood, a video that truly takes the cake in terms of cuteness! Michael plays three different fictional fathers in the short, each more adorable than the last.
Cave Daddy teaches his daughter about rockcycle safety and how to fish for her her own food. Lion Daddy shows her how to take down unsuspecting deer from the bushes, and look cute while tearing into prey. And last but not least Vampire Daddy, who teaches Tala that blood is good food and getting locked in a coffin is scary.
Toys are as intrinsic to the holiday season as eggs are to the nog, and for the last fifty years toys have been a big deal in the consumer market, fueling a frenzy that results in over 30 billion toys being sold each year.
This year's hottest items seem to be a tossup between next gen gaming consoles xbox one and the ps4, but in years past kids went crazy for Zhu Zhu Pets, Furbys, Rubik's Cubes, Robosapiens, and a creepy guy named Elmo that really wanted to be tickled. Here's an illustrated list of the "most popular holiday toys from the past 50 years" by Abby Ryan, may you have a very nostalgiac and happy holidays!
Lori Koch and her husband went to see their 5-year-old daughter Claire perform in the kindergarten Christmas program. She had no idea that Claire was going to sign all the songs, so that her deaf parents could follow along! They recorded her animated performance on video. The internet noticed.
Koch told Yahoo News in an email that she wasn't expecting her daughter to sign during the performance. "The regular kids used generic hand motions while my daughter chose to use sign language, to our surprise," she said.
Koch told Yahoo News that she can read lips, speak and sign, while her husband, who is also deaf, uses only sign language. "ASL is the first language in our home, so our daughter has been exposed to it since birth," she said.
Apparently the school did not know what Claire was planning, either, or they would have put her in the front row. She did a wonderful job! -via Daily Picks and Flicks
The number of newborns given the name “Cheese” increased 450% during 2013. Now admittedly, there were not many Cheeses to begin with. There were only 9 Cheeses reported from a survey of 500,000 parents. For that, we should be grateful. But, as Dan Amira of New York magazine asserts, “the correct number of babies who should be named Cheese is zero.”
If you’re feeling left out, how do you get connected? How do you even tell others that you feel isolated? It’s hard enough to deal with this as an adult. But if you’re just a kid, what do you do?
At Roundtown Elementary School in Manchester Township, Pennsylvania, you go sit on the buddy bench.
It’s a bench set aside on the playground for kids who want to play, but need a buddy to play with. Second grade student Christian Bucks learned about this invention at a school in Germany and decided that his school should have one, too. The York Daily Record reports:
Christian hopes that students who are playing at recess will go to the buddy bench and include the children who are sitting there to play or talk with them.
"We show we care about others when we ask others to play," he said. "I also hope that new friendships will be made because of the buddy bench."
Promoter Tommy Giodone calls it “the toughest sport on wool.” For the past 18 years, he’s rented ewes from ranchers and offered kids between the ages of 4 and 7 the chance to live the life of a rodeo bull rider.
The kids wear protective gear, but otherwise it’s a lot like the adult sport. The sheep are released from pens into an arena. They’ve got to hold on for 6 seconds. The first place winner at every fair gets to compete in a national championship.
You can’t just walk in and expect to win. These mutton busting competitions can be popular. At the recent Washington State Fair, there were 5 shows a day with 40-50 kids competing at each show.
The works of Maurice Sendak have delighted young and old alike for generations, and his artwork looks as fresh and timely today as it did when it came out decades ago. Sendak created artwork for all sorts of reasons, like these little known promotional posters for causes ranging from Jewish Book Month to International Children’s Book Day (I’m sensing a theme here).
They feature characters from fables and fairy tales, a few wild things and some kids who are hungry for adventure- and a bowl of chicken soup with rice. Sendak’s art is always a pleasure to behold, and his whimsical character designs are such an iconic part of childhood that they still bring a smile to my face.
Everyone loves an advent calendar, but if you're looking for something a little less Christmas-y and a little more science-y, this crystal advent calendar is a great option. They even fit together to look like a real crystal grouping.
Mr. Printables is has the instructions to make your own, and the downloadable copy to print them out. The only downside is that they are a little small, so it's kind of hard to fit some larger presents into the boxes -but they're still big enough for small candies, which is all that's in many commercial advent calendars anyway.
I said these things over and over to myself when I was going through those difficult times as a kid. I say them to my teenagers now. Maybe it helps, but it doesn't make the the pain of the present go away. From Lunar Baboon.
I love these child-adult collaborations. We’ve previously seen Mica Angela Hendricks’s work with her 4-year old. Now we can see more from redditor Tatsputin.
For 10 days out of a typical month, Tatsputin flies away from home on business trips. His kids make drawings and Tatsputin colors them in and adds a few accents while riding on the plane. You can see more samples of their work here.
You know what I've always wanted -a training toilet that lets my baby use his iPad while he learns to go potty. Oh wait, that's an insane and idiotic idea... but it has still been made. And that's not the only utterly bizarre and terrible toy that was released this year. Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood rounded up the top 5 worst offenders, but I have to disagree about the Imaginext Mega Apatosaurus after all, battle dinosaurs are always awesome for kids of all ages no matter what the CCFC says.
Most recently, she’s made headlines by assembling picture frames made of human placentas. She does it by boiling a whole placenta, grinding it into pieces, mixing it with resin, then shaping the mixture into a frame.
It’s a keepsake for new parents, like a baby’s first blanket. Ms. Cotton explains:
It is my belief that human by-products have just as valid an aesthetic value as their virginal material resource. From this starting point, I chose to create souvenirs which pinpoint key times in one's life, using materials of personal significance.
Ask young children about Thanksgiving, and they will tell you what they know -which isn't much. And what they know can be hilariously fused with non-Thanksgiving stuff. It's just not a traditional Thanksgiving without pickles and salami! These kids are good at bluffing their way through, which will serve them well in the higher grades -and in their careers. -via Uproxx
We've seen the real Mother of Dragons, but here's one little dragon that needs a mother to step in. He's in fantastic health. In fact, he's already breathing fire, putting him far ahead of the other dragons of his age.
The best thing about this hilarious baby cosplay is his fantastic facial expression that seems to say "What? I'm a dragon? When did this happen?" Let's just hope he doesn't let his fire go out of control while he tries to get a hold on his surprise.
Danny Keefe, a 6-year-old boy at the Mitchell Elementary School in Bridgewater, Massachussetts, is disabled because of a brain hemorrhage at birth and has a speech impediment problem.
Regardless, Danny is a cheerful - and dapper - water boy for his Bridgewater Badgers peewee football team. We say "dapper" because Danny always wear a suit and tie, as well as a fedora, to school.
The football team's coach always remind the team that they're a "Band of Brothers," and that despite his disability, Danny is one of them and that they should treat him as an equal.
So, when the football team quarterback Tommy Cooney heard that Danny was getting bullied because of the way he speaks, he rallied the troop to do something: they arranged a "Danny Appreciation Day," where every boy in the team came to school dressed up like Danny.
Children can be mean, but these kids are awesome! Watch the video clip below by WCVB Channel 5 Boston that will reaffirm your faith in humanity:
First grade is tough. No more story circle. No more nap time.
Six-year-old Sophie Mullins, a first grade student at Gauley River Elementary in Craigsville, West Virginia, thought that she and her classmates were being overworked, so she did what any aggrieved constituent would do: she wrote a letter to her State Senator Joe Manchin.
Sophie got the idea from her father, who suggested that she wrote her State Senator with her grievances. "She'd say, 'Daddy, there's so much work to do, all we do is work,' and he said, 'Well, you need to write your congressman,' " Sophie's mother Sarah Mullins told WSAZ.
"Dear Sir," the young Ms. Mullins wrote, "All we do is work, work, work. I need a break. Can you please help?"
Manchin, ever concerned about his constitutents' well being, picked up the phone and called Sophie at school:
"You're working all the time, aren't you?" asked Manchin in the videotaped call that his office posted on YouTube. "So what I'm doing is, see, I'm giving you a break right now. I wanted you to take a little bit of time off since you worked so hard."
"If you work hard, it's going to pay off," Manchin said, urging her to "keep working hard on your studies so you get smarter so you can help us."
The call only lasted a few minutes, but Sophie's mother told WSAZ that it was important to Sophie, who said "Yes, I wrote a letter and talked to people, and the senator listened to me."
See? Calling your representative works! Though I hate to tell ya, kid, get used to it: work doesn't get any better when you're grown up.
Ward Miles was born three and a half months premature. You'll first see him at four days old, the first time his mama Lyndsey got the chance to hold him. You can see her joy, fear, and sadness all at once as she cradles her super tiny son who is covered with tubes and monitors. But Ward was a fighter, and came home from the NICU a few months later, near his original due date (and on his mother's birthday). You can read more of his story at HuffPo.
Nathan Yau at Flowing Data crunched lot of numbers when researching what to name his son. One of the projects that interested him was the regionality of baby-naming. We've seen a breakdown of the most popular names through time by state (boys and girls), but most of those names were also the most popular names nationwide. Yau took a look at the names that were significantly more popular in certain areas of the US than they were in other areas -and mapped them. The graphic here shows some of the more regional names for children born in the 1960s (but not all of them). There are many more graphics at Flowing Data, for each decade since the '60s and for 2012, too. -via Laughing Squid
It was only the second time through this comic from Lunarbaboon that I saw the eyebrows and the time-shift, which makes it a lot more meaningful. Your outlook on everything is changed when, as someone once told me "your heart is now walking around outside of you." In some instances, it makes you braver than you ever thought you could be.
Taranza Mckelvin is only 5 years old, but he can work the field like a professional. Since he first saw a marching band, he’s been committed to learning the drum major’s craft. He started practicing with the band of Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, Florida. On Saturday, he made his drum major debut at the Muck Bowl—the biggest football game in the Everglades region.
Charles Moorer, the band director, was tremendously pleased:
"He catches on a lot faster than most of my students, he's a very unique kid," said Charles Moorer. [...]
"He did his performance and the crowd just loved it," said Moorer.
As you can see from the above video, they had good reason to.
Teaching fractions can be easier if you start with something a child is familiar with, like LEGO bricks. This introductory lesson is only good for the simplest fractions fractions based on a total of eight pips, but those are the ones they'll be using the rest of their lives to calculate parts of dollars and gallons (in America, that is). Seems like a genius idea to me, but I've never had LEGO bricks. Is this something schools and parents have been doing all along? -via Geeks Are Sexy
We showed you a few pictures of Batkid's big adventure in Gotham City yesterday. Today you get a better look, because the San Francisco Chronicle put together a video that shows some of the highlights of 5-year-old Miles Scott's day saving the city, plus some background on Miles' story, and what the Make-A-Wish Foundation wanted to do for him. -via Digg
Miles Scott is a 5-year-old boy who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, diagnosed when he was only 18 months old. The Make-A-Wish Foundation found out what Miles' dream was -he wanted to be Batman. So they made it happen!
With the help of thousands of volunteers, they transformed San Francisco into Gotham City, and asked Miles to save their city from various super villains and criminals. Today was the day. Accompanied by a full-size Batman, Miles saved a damsel in distress, rode in the Batmobile, rescued the San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal, foiled the Penguin and the Riddler, and even received the key to the city from the mayor. All accompanied by the cheers of thousands of fans, many who wore Batkid t-shirts that were sold with proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Miles received his last round of chemotherapy in June, and his cancer is in remission.
Sure you know your birthday, but do you know what the hour and minute you were born? Remembering those details won't be a problem for Nicollette Brynn Anders. She was born on 11/12/13 at 14:15 military time (2:15 pm).
"That just when she happened to come," said father Mark Anders of Missoula, western Montana, to the Missoulian, "It wasn't planned. She just ... did it."
Kim Briggeman of The Missoulian has the full story. (Photo: Michael Gallacher/Missoulian).
Note: Believe it or not, according to the Missoulian, Nicollette wasn't the first baby to be born on 11/12/13, 14:15 - there are at least two others in the United States: David Cole Salvagnini in Grande Prairie, Texas, and an unidentified baby in Omaha, Nebraska.
Look at these adorable new babies! They are twins, but obviously not identical, as one has a full head of hair. Watch them snuggle with each other as they get a therapeutic bath called the Thalasso Baby Bath (Thalasso Bain Bébé), a technique developed by French pediatric nurse Sonia Rochel. -via Daily Picks and Flicks
The child may not be a precise artist, but he understood exactly what he was trying to create when he drew his grandmother. Yoni Lefevre, a designer in the Netherlands, asked children to draw pictures of their grandparents. Then, with props and costumes, she made those drawings come to life in photographs. You can see more works in the series here.
I haven't heard much about the Akron Comic Con. Even so, I'm willing to bet this group, photographed by Thomas Zahler, is the best family costume from the entire convention. The stroller sort of reminds me of that Jungle Cruise stroller we saw back in July, only this time, the whole family got into the act with a proud Leia and Han showing off their adorable little ewok baby -hey, Leia loved the ewoks, there's no reason she wouldn't adopt one whose parents were killed during the battle of Endor. I wonder how Chewie feels about this arrangement though.