Board games are a fun family activity. But how do you get your preschooler interested in playing games that involve moving pieces around a board, taking turns, and playing with more than one competitor? Here, Circle of Moms members suggest introductory board games to keep your preschooler engaged and entertained. From childhood classics to games based on familiar preschool songs and books, these 11 games will show your young child how fun playing indoors can be.
Scarlett Gurr is hardly old enough to get a driver's license, but nevertheless, the 7-year-old drives a mini Ferrari. In fact, "she has an entire garage filled with her own fancy cars and is the youngest member of the British Women Racing Drivers Club," the Huffington Post reports.
Scarlett's vast car collection is one of the perks of being parented by the owner of a car tuning and restoration company in London. Her dad Stuart has been building replicas of real cars for Scarlett and her 3-year-old sister, Maddie, for several years, and dreams of participating in the Little Big Mans race in France next year.
Stuart and Scarlett's favorite car is a red Ferarri, which took more than 600 hours to build and cost around $3,025. Fortunately, Stuart doesn't have to worry too much about Scarlett hurting herself or wrecking his investment — he admits that the vehicles she "drives" are "more show than go."
A Utah mom gave her daughter a taste of her own medicine, forcing her to wear unflattering thrift shop clothes as a punishment for bullying another student about her appearance, the Huffington Post reports.
According to Salt Lake City's KSTU, the 10-year-old girl named Kaylee had been teasing another fourth grader about the way she dressed so much that the other girl no longer wanted to attend school. When questioned about the bullying, Kaylee showed little remorse. So, mom Ally decided to show Kaylee how it feels to be teased about her clothes.
"If she chooses to be a bully after this, then at some point in her life, she's going to be on the other side and she'll know what it really feels like," Ally said.
What do you think? Is making your teen wear ugly clothes a good way to stop her from bullying someone else about their appearance?
Elementary school educators spend a lot of time teaching children to love and accept all kinds of people. But a recent study suggests that children have "already absorbed an upsetting message: that fat is a negative indicator of a person's character, and that overweight people are undesirable as friends and as people" at an earlier age, The Atlantic reports.
In a study conducted by the University of Leeds, researchers found that kids' prejudice against fat people starts as early as preschool. Approximately 300 schoolchildren ranging from 4 to 6 years old were read a story about two friends who get stuck in a tree. In one version, both children are normal-sized. But in another version, one child is presented as overweight or disabled. When asked what they thought about the characters, the children overwhelmingly decided that the fat kid was less likely to win a race, do well in school, be happy with the way he looks, or get invited to parties, according to the report. Additionally, the children rated the overweight or disabled child more likely to be naughty and have fewer friends.
The "rejection" of the fat character was consistent when the story was portrayed with both male and female characters, the researchers said, indicating that "children pick up on societal cues as to what is socially acceptable and what is not" at a much earlier age than initially assumed.
Should your child's teacher tote a gun?
Allowing guns in school is a controversial issue, especially after the shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary school in December. But at least two Utah teachers have anonymously admitted that they legally carry concealed guns at school, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
The paper interviewed two middle-school teachers who hold concealed firearm permits — and therefore are not required to tell parents, school police officers, or principals that they are packing heat — because they believe it makes their classrooms safer.
"I can think of nothing worse than having to witness my students being killed or maimed without me being able to at least attempt some sort of intervention," one teacher explained. "I might even die in the process, but, in my opinion, going down shooting would be better than standing in front of them helplessly."
Although 2-year-old Ireland Nugent may not get to the theaters much, she’s recently become infatuated with a movie star — Winter, the dolphin who lost her tail in a crab trap and inspired the movie Dolphin Tale. The two recently got to shake hands (and flippers) as part of a lesson in perseverance at Florida's Clearwater Marine Aquarium, USA Today reports.
In April, Ireland was running in her parents' yard while her dad was getting ready to park his riding lawnmower after cutting the grass at their home. Ireland's mom, Nicole, tried to warn her husband that their daughter was behind him. But he misinterpreted her signals as a warning that he was about to drive over something and put the mower in reverse, running over the girl.
Both of Ireland's feet had to be amputated. And while recuperating at the hospital, someone gave her a stuffed toy of Winter.
"Winter's prosthetic tail taught [Ireland] more about what she would go through," mom Nicole explains. So the family jumped at the opportunity to meet Winter in person. "To see Winter without her tail and see that she has such a vibrant life, can play, whistle and you can play games with her, really lets her know she can still do the same things," Nicole says. She adds that Winter makes Ireland smile and lets her daughter know she can have a productive life even without her limbs. In fact, the entire family, was inspired to "keep on swimming," she says.
When your baby is sleeping in another room, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is a valid concern. To ease parents' worries, a group of students from Winona State University have developed a high-tech baby monitor that can measure an infant's heartbeat, breathing, and movement, and even alert a doctor if something goes awry, reports Co.Exist.
The students, who call themselves the Miracle Workers, developed the blanket-looking device for Microsoft's annual student technology competition, Imagine Cup. A sensor-filled pad that is programmed with normal vital ranges according to different ages is placed on top of a baby's crib mattress. If the baby strays from the normal ranges while sleeping, then "the pad alerts the parents (and doctor if that option is selected) via a Windows Phone or tablet," according to the report.
The Miracle Workers say the device costs about $150 to manufacture, and they plan to sell it even if they don’t win the Imagine Cup. Would you pay that for peace of mind?
If you and your children head to a public pool this Summer, there's a good chance that you might be swimming in something unexpected. In a recent sample of public pool water, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 58 percent contained E. Coli bacteria — a sign of fecal contamination — and 59 percent contained P. aeruginosa, the Huffington Post reports.
Researchers explain that sometimes people have "fecal incidents" in pools, or if someone enters the pool without showering first, the bacteria sheds off the body and into the water. "These findings indicate the need for swimmers to help prevent introduction of pathogens (e.g., taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea), aquatics staff to maintain disinfectant level and pH according to public health standards to inactivate pathogens, and state and local environmental health specialists to enforce such standards," the researchers said.
Do your kids shower before getting in the pool?
Nursing moms have a new reason to celebrate. In a surprising about-face, Walmart has gone from refusing to print a photo of mom Kayla Andre breastfeeding, to allowing her to host a nurse-in demonstration in its Alberta, Canada, store.
Earlier in May, Andre's husband headed to Walmart to print out a photo of his wife nursing their young son as a Mother's Day gift. To his chagrin, the store refused to print the breastfeeding image, saying it violated the mass chain's anti-nudity policy, the Huffington Post reports.
Andre was shocked and protested to local media that the image should have been printed, saying it's a natural occurrence — despite debates over breastfeeding in public. So she organized a "nurse-in" to be held in the store, to protest the store's decision in shaming her for breastfeeding.
Walmart quickly recognized the flaw in its action, however. It apologized and clarified the store's policy for employees so that they would know breastfeeding photos are acceptable. So Andre quickly turned her protests into praise, and re-dubbed her nurse-in as "a celebration of the fact that Walmart recognized its mistake."
Andre applauded the store for being "a reasonable company who listens to their customers," and noted the chain offered gift certificates for photo printing to nurse-in participants. "They have clarified their policy, and that is something to celebrate!" she says.
Would you protest or participate in a breastfeeding event at Walmart?