My 18 month old nephew LOVES "real things" that are not toys. For older kids in my life, I LOVE buying them things like rock tumblers, microscopes, binoculars, swiss army knives (when they're old enough and with parental permission), digital cameras, or things to support their hobbies (like nice fins for snorkeling). We send them money from foreign countries just for fun (various small bills and lots of coins) and rocks and seashells. I've also had great luck with kids magazines and non-kid magazines (like Science, or National Geographic). I'm also rather good at getting experiences for kids and older teens - museum passes, or concert tickets, or a special fun restaurant where they sing, etc. But I've realized that I'd love to buy the younger set more "real things" because they seem to love them so much more than actual toys! This is roughly for ages 1-5. Would love some additional help of "real things" that toddlers and preschool kids like! [more inside]
My daughter will be starting JK in a couple of weeks. She has been in daycare for the past 3 years so we aren't too worried about her adjustment in general....but daycare provided food. Now we have to pack a lunch for her every day! Please help! [more inside]
This is us. We've since spoken to a lot of other doctors, and agreement seems to be unanimous that chemotherapy is necessary. Our son is scheduled to begin this week. We are having trouble preparing him for it because all the materials available seem to be centered around fighting cancer - which he doesn't have. Help? [more inside]
The post about Smear the Queer made me think about a dodgeball-like game I played growing up called Smurfball. I don't know any other school that played it, and I can't find any information online, so I thought I'd see if a description of it sends anyone else down memory lane. [more inside]
My 8-year-old son is obsessed with Minecraft, and has announced that he would like to create video games when he grows up. My own IT skills topped out around 1982 when I learned to write programs in Basic that printed my name in an endless goto loop. What technologies/languages/apps can I introduce him to in order to leverage his enthusiasm and channel it to something that teaches him age-appropriate programming skills? Assume second-grade math and logic skills and no programming background whatsoever.
Looking for thoughts and advice on sensory seeking or sensory craving versions of sensory processing disorder in small children. [more inside]
I'm a public school teacher and the school has implemented a new mentoring program. Each teacher has been given a list of about 15 kids to personally mentor. How should I approach this? [more inside]
Hi MetaFilter, I'm looking for book recommendations for my little brother who is 12 years old. Other questions seem to be about book recommendations for 8-12 year old children who read ABOVE their grade level. My brother doesn't really enjoy reading all that much, and reads, in my opinion, below his grade level. [more inside]
Help us figure out how to introduce our relationship to his child, with lots of complications and snowflakes. [more inside]
I need a couple hundred very plain backpacks at a good price, ethically made would be awesome. They have to be kid size, not be embarrassing or possibly gang affiliated, and comfortable hold food for a weekend. [more inside]
Our 3 year old kitschjunge is ready for a big boy bed. I hope a new twin mattress will last him a good ten years. However, I'm concerned about all of the conflicting information I see about conventional polyurethane mattresses (offgassing) as well as more natural options like latex and wool (allergens). Did you research kids mattresses, and what did you ultimately decide was the healthiest option? And while I'm trying to be frugal, I'll splurge for the right purchase.
Looking for recipes and meal ideas for hosting (usually a couple of people) for dinner on weeknights with a bit of a wow factor. Prep around or under 1 hour, vegetarian, reasonable clean up time are all helpful! [more inside]
My partners kids (two-8 year old twin girls) came home last night after spending a weekend at their other home with their other parent. They were telling us about their weekend and told us that they were left in the car twice (Walmart & Target) while their mom shopped. They said the first time seemed like an hour & the second time they were scared so hid where people passing by could not see them. They said she left the doors locked, air conditioner on, car running, and that they were told not to open the door for any reason. I feel really uncomfortable with this for so many different reasons!! So my question is: Is there any way leaving kids in the car is ok? My feeling is 'absolutely not'!! and my partner feels the same. I'm new to this (no kids of my own) so I'm trying to determine if my really really uncomfortable feelings about this are in any way an overreaction. Thanks all!!
...and it freaks me out! Mom gets snippy and negative with Dad a lot more these days while he tries to sweep it under the rug. My little sister left home last year, and with an empty nest it seems things are changing for them. I'm worried about my parents. More inside. [more inside]
Am looking for recommendations of a house or other no-shared-walls place to stay, in Paris and/or surrounding area. It's key that we rent something like a house because my 1-year old screams loudly at night and we don't want to disturb neighbours (has happened in the past, in a hotel). More below! [more inside]
I think it's Bruce. I think he's wearing a denim jacket. He's raging against OR telling the young people to rage against the impending onset of liking jazz that happens when one ages.
DirtyOldTown and I have a pretty great six year-old boy child who is spending the week at his grandma's house and during that time, we're moving him into a larger bedroom. His last room was Lego-themed, but we want to give him a room that's a little broader and a little less merchandising specific this time around. Really, we are less about a theme and more about filling the room with cool stuff he would like, so that when he comes home and sees it, he'll be drawn to it and start enjoying some independent time. (He never enjoyed hanging out in his tiny bedroom he was in before). Looking for fun (and not overly expensive) ideas for knick knacks, doo dads, wall art, etc. to make an inquisitive junior scientist excited about his new lair. [more inside]
Our daughter just finished her first year of Spanish in a full-immersion kindergarten. We're looking for good all-Spanish TV shows we can show her (and my wife, who wants to learn) over the summer so she doesn't forget it all. [more inside]
We'll be spending some time in Canaan NY, near the Massachusetts border, this summer. While we have plenty of outdoor sunny day options, rainy days can be tough with a 5- and 2-year-old. Any ideas for my bad-weather destination list? I know the Norman Rockwell museum has a kids' space, for example. [more inside]
I watched The Aviator last week and like how they portrayed Howard with his deafness; inappropriate answers from guessing wrong, how people stepped in to cover for him, etc. are there other examples I can "super cut" or just string together by searching and presenting instructionally? [more inside]
Fellow Torontonians, I'm looking for fun, family friendly activities to do in and around the city this summer! [more inside]
I've heard mixed things. Some people say that a child at 2 won't get much from swim lessons other than becoming more comfortable in the water, which isn't something you need a paid instructor for. They tell me to just take my kid into the pool with me to play and hang out. What do y'all think?
My wife & four kids & I will be in St. Paul for a long visit in the middle of July. What should be on our schedule -- both things new in the last few years, and time-tested favorites? I grew up in St. Paul but moved away a long time ago; we bring the kids out in the summer to spend time with family. We haven't been out in a couple of summers, so I want this one to be awesome! [more inside]
My nine year old has declared that he's interested in technology and wants to work on a project this summer. I'm not completely sure where this comes from, since his exposure to technology has mainly been netflix and mindcraft. I'd love to find a fun project we could work on together. [more inside]
Right now everyone in our family, but especially my young son, watches too much TV (or shows on iPad). I'd like to cut it down a lot ideally, but realistically to under what is generally recommended the "safe maximum" for young children. [more inside]
Micropanda is 4 1/2, has great verbal skills, some mild delays in motor skills, and is a total space cadet in the absence of direct 1-on-1 adult interaction. He's in occupational therapy for sensory processing disorder. He is underweight and hates eating. We're coming to the end of our six month wait to see the developmental pediatrician, and the appointment's next week. Please tell me what to expect, help me think through prioritizing concerns, and offer any suggestions you have about how to get the most out of this appointment. [more inside]
Looking for TV Show recommendations (sci-fi, adventure, mystery) to watch with my 9 year old daughter who is currently a big Dr. Who fan. [more inside]
After reading the first two books in the Narnia series and realizing not everything from my childhood is going to hold up, I'd like to solicit recommendations. [more inside]
I'm roadtripping from Minneapolis to KC over the 4th of July with my brother-in-law and our 3 kids (9 and 10 year old, high energy boys). We're staying with my uncle in Liberty. I'm looking for fun things to do in KC and on the drive up/down I35. Our primary goals are spending time with family and hitting a Twins/Royals game. Tentative itinerary and specific questions inside. [more inside]
What are some good guidelines for talking to kids about their parent's upcoming prison term? [more inside]
How do you get kids to do things that are initially scary like riding a bike, going swimming, going to a new class aside from just telling them "it's ok!", "it's fun!", "you can do it!"? Are there strategies you use to build courage for kids with more naturally careful personalities?
Parents of AskMe, help me pick over this plate of beans: when traveling by airplane as a family of four, is it better to configure seats 2-2 or 3-1? [more inside]
I need a dead simple (and not too expensive) setup for an imaginative 7 year old and a technically intuitive 6 year old to shoot and edit short films. [more inside]
Micropanda (4) is being shipped off to spend a week with the grandparents this summer. What's the best way to book the plane tickets? Grandma will fly him down, and I will fly him back. [more inside]
We have two girls, currently 3.75 and 7. We are seriously considering a third, and hope to time his or her arrival around the time our younger is 5.5. How has a larger space between kids or sets of kids worked for you? Did the younger child or children feel a part of the older one's lives? [more inside]
Help me experience the reading I missed out on as a child. [more inside]
I'm super curious about Homestuck, and everything I've read leads me to believe I would probably like it a lot. Like, if I enjoyed Achewood and all the associated character blogs and etc. etc., Homestuck seems right up my alley. However! My partner's middle school-aged daughters are cosplaying megafans of Homestuck, and I don't want to appear to co-opt their fandom. Especially because I am an Old. [more inside]
I'm trying to nudge the kids (4.5 and 18 months) towards lower sugar/processed carb breakfasts. Protein is good, fat is fine, we're not counting calories - one's majorly underweight and the other's a toddler. "Nutritionally dense" is what we're aiming for. But there are snowflakes. Always with the snowflakes. [more inside]
My daughter is now on a reading spree and in the middle of summer break, so I am having a tough time finding books to read. Any unlimited subscription sources? More details... [more inside]
A six year old in martial arts class has just started to do and say mean things. Small stuff so far: unprovoked shoving, telling other kids they're doing it wrong, mild name calling like "big baby" and "dumb shoes." Coach is starting to crack down on the behavior, but now the mean stuff is getting said softly so it isn't caught. Will this pass as an age-related blip? Are there ways to inspire the kid to be friendly again? [more inside]
If your child has had cataracts what was your experience? What do you wish you had known? [more inside]
Is this normal? I often have anxiety about my kids. I need perspective. [more inside]
Things are returning to normal in the Panda household, and it's time to get out and play! Specifically I'd like a swing that can be installed temporarily on a nearby tree and removed when it's time to go home. Advice from all directions is welcome: swing seats, rope, hardware, knots, or anything else tangentially related. This will primarily be used by a 4 year old, but ideas that would work for an 18 month old are good too. [more inside]
My six-year-old son asked me a question I'm stumped by (one of many). He asked "Why are there different colors?" I half-attempted an explanation about light wavelengths and light reflecting off surfaces and soon realized I was a) over his head and b) over my own head. How would you explain the concept of color--of what color really is--to a six-year-old? Obviously very simple language is needed here.
I'm ending a marriage after 14 years and I have two questions. [more inside]
My daughter needs to increase her vegetable intake, but refuses to eat most veggies. What recipes will allow us to disguise her vegetables in other foods? [more inside]
My daughter (7 years old) is constantly begging us to let her try new extracurricular activities -- dance, ice-skaing, T-ball, soccer. These activities are not cheap. However, she displays a strong propensity to quit and sulk at the first sign of not being an expert during the first go-round and obstinately demands to abandon the activity, saying she "hates" it. Given that some of these activities represent a significant non-refundable investment, when do you force your kids to keep going and when do you cut bait? [more inside]
Recently separated after long but loveless marriage. Re-conected with an old colleague. Like her a lot. (I'm wise enough to differentiate btw a rebound and the real thing). Don't want to hide this relationship to friends and acquaintances. But she's worried about my kids running into us together and she doesn't want to be 'the (perceived) other woman' in their eyes. How do I help quell her fears or is she right? [more inside]
What are the best countries / cities / areas for raising free-range kids? We're currently in New England, USA, and contemplating a move after this disastrous, isolating Winter. I'm allowed to live in the US and EU, work in Software, and want to raise my kids in a place that has tolerable Winters and doesn't frown on / is safe for free range kids. Any and all ideas considered, but the best ones will consider employment, climate and local culture. [more inside]
My wife and I are in the early to mid stages of surrogacy. Have any tips, guidance, etc? [more inside]