Q: what is best in life? A: Eating cake. I mean spending time with my family.A gosh darn cute Reddit AMAA featuring a 4-year-old.
When her son refused to do his school work, his mom had him stand out on a busy street corner with a sandwich board trumpeting his 1.22 GPA. [more inside]
"A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it." [more inside]
25 years of Christmas Dad tapes his kids reacting to Christmas for twenty-five years and edits it together into a single video. (via)
But street football doesn't really exist any more, Cooper admits. "Many children have never played outside. And in some cases their parents haven't either." He cites a 2009 survey by the charity Living Streets which found that only half of five- to 10-year-olds had ever played in their street, whereas nine of out 10 of their grandparents had. How the increasing professionalisation of soccer at all levels in the UK has led to the death of park and street footie for ordinary kids.
Aaron's World - a kids podcast about dinosaurs, by a kid.
The cost of raising a child from cradle to 18 has risen to $222,000. Chiefly among the reasons is parents' desire to "cultivate" their children.
Have you noticed the cartoon characters overtaking Facebook? Well, you're not alone because the national media sure has. This new Facebook meme is supposedly all about raising awareness for child abuse. But is this meme really accomplishing anything? Maybe not. And for good measure, some links for those who would REALLY like to help.
In today's example of kids smarter than you and I, Wired follows the exploits of two teens competing at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
The Bateses of Tennessee are just behind the Duggars of Arkansas. Not even close to the 18th century Vassilyevs though.
Cartoonist and former high school teacher Sean Michael Robinson (flickr) on what to do with those darn anime kids.
Smarties Australia paired 8 kids up with 8 artists to create art based on each Smarties colour. Here's orange video art, a song about moonwalking under the deep blue sea, the spoken word saga of a disco karaoke'ing duck, an upside-down red pop art world, The Pink Moon, photos of the purple Filecian dancers, a green tree sculpture, and the dance of insects burrowing through brown earth.
A D.C. couple wants children, but not now, and are worried about infertility creeping up on them as they get deeper into their thirties. They came up with a novel solution -- donating frozen embryos to their future selves. The procedure is not uncommon for couples with fertility problems; will it become a popular insurance option for young couples who just aren't ready for kids? They might want to think about what to do if they have more embryos than they want. Or what happens if they get divorced.
Lessons In Fatherhood, From the Dads of YouTube: "Home movies have evolved since the days of Panama hat-wearing patriarchs milling about the backyard, holding a Super 8 or shoulder-mounted camcorder, shouting at the children to "wave to the camera!" (only to have those images disappear into a closet to gather dust for decades). Now, with the help of YouTube, these moments can go from minivan to majorly viral in 30 minutes or less." [more inside]
Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
On August 8, 1997, the audience of Late Night with Conan O'Brien was made up entirely of eight-year-old children. The episode in five parts: one, two, three, four and five. Andy Richter remembers on This American Life (starting at 50 minutes). [more inside]
Deep Grief: Creating Meaning From Mourning (Article from NPR.) How some parents have channeled their grief over the loss of their children into memorial efforts that provide for others. [more inside]
17 Least Appropriate Playmobil Sets For Children : Yep. A randomly numbered list on which several items are questionable. But really, whoever approved #1 for production was more than a little bit twisted.
How do you explain the struggle for civil rights to a kindergartner? Pictures? Songs? Crafts? Puzzles? Construction paper in rainbow colors?
Andy's Gang - 1 2 3: "The green puppet, Froggy the Gremlin, appeared in a puff of smoke, and was always interrupting the story." [more inside]
"Yes, I have four children. Four children with whom I spend a good part of every day: bathing them, combing their hair, sitting with them while they do their homework, holding them while they weep their tragic tears. But I'm not in love with any of them. I am in love with my husband."
Is Doctor Who too scary for kids? Parents surveyed by TheBabyWebsite seem to think so. But is being scared a good thing? (via io9)
Where India is the new Home of all Dreams! No matter what your orientation is, if you have the money (and are willing to be good parents) and take care of the child, then we have a place for you.
Children interview celebrities: Simon Cowell, Girls Aloud, David Attenborough, Richard Hammond and Quentin Blake. Audio slide show adding among others, David Cameron, Jacqueline Wilson and Jamie Oliver
Two German kids attempt to head to Africa and elope, bringing one's sister with them. They're five and six.
Sex: wot's the big deal is a sex exhibition for kids currently taking place at the Cité des Sciences in Paris. Pre-teens can learn about love, puberty, making love and making babies, and they can also experiment a little bit. The show is based on Willies: a user's guide (in French: Le zizi sexuel) by Swiss comics creator Zep, and features the rising star of French playgrounds, Titeuf (NSFW unless you're a French preteen)
Once Upon a Time - a filmed fairy tale starring baby monkeys lost in frightening trees, a witch, crocodiles, a tiger, a "popotamus" and a lion, and even a "tremendously very bad mammoth." (In French, English subtitles)
Generations of Hope is a non-profit set up to bring kids out of foster care and into extended families with grandparents. The community of Hope Meadows was repurposed from housing on a closed Air Force base in Illinois. (The NYT article erroneously refers to the community by the non-profit's name. No matter. The story is still inspirational.) [more inside]
New Security Blanket, Stat! What do you do if you're a parent and your darling child's favorite toy has been worn down to nothing? Or perhaps you're thinking ahead and want a "backup binky?" You start a "Lost Lovies" thread, of course. Think of it as a hive mind for real desperate housewives looking for something better than a creative explanation as to why Sprinkles the Cow is suddenly MIA.
Jack Mulqueen presents Kiddie a-Go-Go. Check out the intro brought to you by Mickelberry's Plump & Juicy Franks and their fine variety of cold cuts. Hostess Pandora (played by Jack Mulqueen's wife Elaine) introduces the Stop and Go-Go dance, followed by a live performance from the New Colony Six in full Revolutionary War costumes. Unlike the Buddy Deane Show (which inspired the movie Hairspray), this later clip indicates that Kiddie A-Go-Go had racially integrated without incident. Other happenings inspired by the Kiddie A-Go-Go include a children's album, the public access TV show Chic-A-Go-Go, and San Francisco's Pip Squeak A-Go-Go (featuring go-go dance lessons from the Devil-Ettes).
Darren Karnick hands his infant to the presidential candidates and photographs the results. The Daily Telegraph says the baby primary is a clear win for Obama. The Boston Globe has more pictures of the candidates with kids. And should you be embarking on a political career, don't forget to bone up on the Commandments for Policians Who Art Babykissers, including such sound advice as "thou shouldst not drop babies thou art kissing, for surely, dropped babies will gain thee no votes."
The antidote to the controlled, indoor world of modern kids might be Adventure Playgrounds. Messy, chaotic, but counter-intuitively, safer than traditional playgrounds, there are only two in the US: Listen to Berkeley's Adventure Playground on NPR, or check out some flickr shots. In Europe, where they originated from the rubble of WWII, and in Japan where they are also popular, the importance of play that involves risks is better understood. There are hundreds of Adventure Playgrounds outside of North America.
"Give your children a program that Jesus could join. Why not step beyond a politically correct scouting program in which a Christian might not feel completely comfortable at activities, or with the materials furnished by a central committee? Are you tired of pretending to be neutral?" Keepers at Home and Contenders for the Faith are Bible-based alterntives to traditional youth scouting groups. Keepers at Home features lessons to prepare girls for their future roles as help meets, mothers, and keepers at home," while Contenders for the Faith learn "everything a Christian boy needs to learn to prepare him to be a man." Just like traditional scouting, Keepers offers uniforms, badges, and handbooks. girls. Keepers is just one of many Christian approaches to scouting; others include American Heritage Girls, Awana, and Mpact.
Living With a Dying Baby. "Families can choreograph their child’s very brief life with their family . . . Sometimes they may have a matter of minutes, so they decide beforehand who can hold the baby, who will cut the umbilical cord, who will hold the baby when you know he is going to die."
FosterClub is an online resource for kids in foster care, providing answers, inspiration, even downloadable forms to give to caseworkers, as well as a sister site for older kids.
"All families in OECD countries today are aware that childhood is being reshaped by forces whose mainspring is not necessarily the best interests of the child."
How does your country measure up as a place to raise kids? It turns out that growing up in the UK is a bleaker experience than in any other wealthy country. UNICEF studied all the wealthiest nations (full report PDF here), and the US and UK came in at the bottom on almost all indicators (material wellbeing, health and safety, education, family and peer relationships, behaviours and risks, and the subjective feelings of kids and teens themselves ). Doing best for kids were the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. It turns out that GDP and material wealth alone does not ensure healthier or happier or more well-educated kids--the Czech Republic scored very well despite being one of the poorest nations surveyed.
In 1982, ten-year old Samantha Smith from Maine wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov asking whether there was going to be a nuclear war. Andropov responded, and Samantha accepted his invitation to stay at a Russian pioneer camp with Soviet children. Tragically, within the following two years both the young Samantha and Secretary Andropov passed away. (wmv)
The Toymaker offers over 40 free paper toys and pretties you can print out (PDFs) and make yourself, as well as "Stories to be Told by Firelight" - online versions of author/illustrator Marilyn Scott Waters' children's stories and lots of other fun goodies. For people who have kids, people who know kids, people who are kids, and people who love papercraft, illustration, toys, and tales. [more...]
What did kids do before the Internet? Well, some bought makeup magazines, grabbed their parents' Super-8 cameras, and made their own horror movies. Now that kids have the Internet? Well, more of the same (albeit with slightly less sophisticated monsters). (YouTube, Google Video).
Thinking of the (obese, cavity-ridden, materialistic, insecure, grasping, nagging) Children... for fun and profit!
Won't somebody please think of the children? Oh, don't fool yourselves! Americans under the age of 12 now spend or influence the spending of $565 billion a year - up from $2.2 billion in 1968, and kid-spending has roughly doubled every ten years for the past three decades, tripling in the 1990s. Which means someone is always thinking of the children. The American Association of Pediatrics (pdf) cites this bludgeoning of kidvertising as creating in children "a fever for shopping and spending, swollen expectations about material needs, decreasing immunity to the assaults of advertisers, self-concepts defined by brands of clothing, and a rash of of debt by the time they leave college". [more...]
Jen's brother Liam made her son a DVD with music and videos, two of which are featured here: Arlo's Song and Picture Show. Dadalip dadalip dadalip!
The Spaghetti Book Club offers book reviews by kids for kids, searchable in a variety of ways. (And most of the reviews are also illustrated by the kid-authors!). One of my favorites begins: "Do you like bad ideas or thinking about them? Well, if you like bad ideas then you should read The Book of Bad Ideas. The Book of Bad Ideas is a book that has bad ideas you really shouldn't try at home. If you try them you'll be soooorrrrryyyyy! If you want to learn more about it, I'll suggest a website but I don't know any. Maybe you should read the book."