Most American children's books seem to have a predicatable plot with challenges that are eventually overcome with (nearly) complete success. Sometimes it takes three tries, and sometimes there's a twist, but everyone goes home mostly happy. I am looking for kid's books with more realistic depictions of the process of failure and the ambiguity of human experience. [more inside]
10 year old has always been a bit of a grumbler when it comes to activities he dislikes. Lately, however, he gets headaches on days when he has to play sports. Maybe it’s some kind of psychosomatic thing. Thoughts on how to talk to him about this? I would love to hear from anyone who has successfully dealt with this.
I'm looking for recommendations for restaurants in the Boston metro area that are either kid-centric or have some sort of hook that make them a lot of fun for kids. Note - not restaurants that are just kid friendly but that have something special or different that makes them especially appealing and fun for kids. [more inside]
This fall - late September - I'm planning to take my sons (age 7 and 9) hiking in the White Mountains. After a bunch of research - my #1 choice is Mount Lafayette and the Franconia Ridge Trail Loop. However, I'm a little nervous that it might be too challenging for my sons. Is this hike too ambitious? [more inside]
My 7-year-old loves to draw, and I am, of course, slightly biased, but I think she is pretty good at it. What's the best way to encourage her? If you're an artist, how did your parents help you or encourage you? [more inside]
In grade school, my friend read a children's book about a female allosaurus. "The basic story was that the allosaurus was extremely hungry and had to hunt other animals to feed itself, but she was also too old to catch any prey. So at the end the allosaurus starved to death. That was, literally, the plot. A dinosaur learns that life is cruel and then dies." Ring any bells?
What are your tween's recommendations for Essential Pop Music Tracks for Summer 2016? My second-grade daughter is a nerd (apple, tree, hi) but her buddies seem to know all the latest songs. I'd love to build out a mix/playlist for them all to rock out to. But what goes on it? Taylor Swift? Is Adele too grownup? Is One Direction still a thing? Specific tracks recommended by actual kids (or grownups who know these things) would be very appreciated!
Freecellwizard and I will be heading to Asheville, NC for a week with two kids, ages 9 and 11. Although we've visited the area several times, we've never had the kids with us and are wondering if there are kid-specific fun things to see/do up there that would appeal to a pair of Pokemon/Minecraft/Steven Universe/Undertale-loving children who must be cajoled away from their various digital devices. [more inside]
I'm heading off for my first semi-solo road trip with kids (and my mom) from either DC or Winchester to the Jacksonville/St. Augustine area of Florida. We are planning to take two days and stop every few hours for a break, preferably somewhere scenic and fun for the kids. [more inside]
My ten-year old son wants to understand everything. He is a voracious reader and doesn't confine himself to kids books. He loves reading the newspaper (NYTimes, Boston Globe), fiction, and non-fiction books. He's old enough to really learn things by reading. Agatha Christie is fun, but he's ready for more than that. He's full of questions about society, politics, science, economics. I'd like to get him some books that will expand his mind, begin answering his questions, and show him how the world fits together. [more inside]
I have a nearly four year old who is mesmerized by all things aviation, plus I have a mass of airline miles and hotel points. Where to go? [more inside]
I'd like some educational resources that I can share with my kid's daycare to help them understand why I don't want my toddler to learn blackface minstrel songs in music class. [more inside]
I have about 100 tampons that got wet under the sink sometime in the past five hours. They're not exactly soaked, but they're all decidedly damp (wrapped in paper), and the cardboard applicators kind of collapse if pushed on. Is it safe to use them if they can be dried out? If so, how best to quickly & thoroughly dry them out? [more inside]
My SO is teaching a summer course at UBC this August. I'm tagging along with our two kids, 7 and 10. Help me make this an amazing month for all of us. [more inside]
My 7-year-old came home from religious school with a lot of questions about the holocaust, a subject we hadn't talked to him about yet. Now he's freaking out and I don't know how to frame the conversation. Help! [more inside]
Looking for iPad apps and learning games for a four-year-old. [more inside]
Tips for a first-timer to Legoland California (and southern California)? [more inside]
My eight year old is fascinated by my copy of the boardgame, Risk. The two of us have tried playing a couple of times using the standard rules but it isn't much fun. Has anyone come across some modified rules for kids, or have any suggestions for me?
My 7-year-old would like to play some sort of online game with his friend in the evenings. They own different platforms of game systems, so I don't think they can play a game through one of those. Is there a free or inexpensive app or game they can play together? Specific requirements within. [more inside]
I'm looking for the name of a kid's drink we had in restaurants while visiting Ireland, Co. Clare. [more inside]
My little girl is growing out of her crib and I need a mattress. Grandpa has lovingly made the little bee a cedar bed frame; it needs at least a 9" twin sized mattress. What do you recommend? [more inside]
The IMMI GO looks interesting, since it also looks semi-portable for travelling, but doesn't yet have IIHS ratings. The seat is only available through the website, so it has no user reviews on Amazon. Does anyone have personal experience with this seat? [more inside]
I take care of a 3-year old boy who is extremely curious about just about everything. Sometimes, I'm utterly stumped. Help us learn together! [more inside]
Do those flash shoes and flash toys represent an environmental hazard? How should they be disposed of safely? [more inside]
We'd like to video record interviews of our kids (currently 5 and 3) at the end of each year and would like suggested questions to ask them. Ideally, these same questions can be asked each year. So far we've come up with questions like, "what do you want to be when you grow up?" and "who is your best friend?" We're not as interested in "Kids Say the Darndest Things" style questions. In addition to suggested questions, if you've done this sort of thing before, we'd appreciate any advice on executing this effectively.
Hi All, I would love some help with a birthday gift for my 5-year-old nephew, whose birthday is right on the heels of the holiday season! [more inside]
So, I have a clever but cautious 3.75 year old daughter. My wife would really like to get her some kind of bicycle-like object to start on for Christmas. What would you recommend? [more inside]
My two children (ages 6 and 9) and I would like to buy a Tarot deck so that we can learn to tell each others' fortunes. The children like standard kid/fantasy stuff (Cthulhu, LOtR, Star Wars, puppies, LEGO, Minecraft, Terraria, cartoons, etc) and my only requirement is that it doesn't have nudity as that would freak out their long-suffering mother. Bonus points if it's under $15 and available on Amazon.
My four year old son is showing a lot of interest in our cameras, and I'd like to get him one of his own. I'm looking for recommendations from parents whose kid(s) have had and used one for a while and had a good experience with it. [more inside]
What can I do to turn a play room into an awesome laboratory for a six-year-old? [more inside]
My kids are 11, 13 and nearly 15. I don't know how to play with them. I miss family outings. What kinds of things do you do with your young teens? [more inside]
I'm going on a cub scout camping trip tonight as part of the campfire entertainment I want to recite Sam McGee. [more inside]
My son is 9 and one of my favorite things to do is gently aggravate him with dad-esque sayings. [more inside]
My daughter is 5 and starting kindergarten and music lessons. I cannot lie: in these and her future...I dunno, endeavors I guess you would call them, I want her to do well. I want her to put effort in and take pleasure in her efforts. But I don't know how to foster this in her and it's time I started figuring it out. [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]
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]
I’m ordering 300ish books for a children’s library. After reading this thread asking for books featuring feminist-anti-racist-queer-ally characters I realised that our collection is full of books focusing on straight, white (usually male) youth in nuclear families and it’s seriously lacking. Can you folks recommend any books to help me improve our collection? [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!!
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]
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]
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]
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]
I have a ‘young adult’ in my life who loves the Amulet graphic novel series. We are getting to the final book and I’m looking for some other young adult graphic novels that will keep her reading! There are a couple guidelines though... [more inside]
I have an 8-year old who knows all the good swear words and understands on some level that it's not appropriate for him to use them most of the time. I'm struggling to give him some principled guidelines for using swear words. [more inside]
I am considering buying my bookworm 7 year old girl a kindle for her 8th birthday. If any other mefites have done this or considered it I'd like to hear your opinions on it. [more inside]
Does DI have any proven benefit? I can't find anything on it except its own materials and parents/schools talking about how their kids did in it. I'm skeptical, I guess, that these sort of open-ended "creativity challenges" actually accomplish anything. I am still struggling to answer "what is the point of this?" [more inside]
As we await Boston's snowy apocalypse, I'd like to queue up some movies prominently featuring snow, to get us through those hours when "travel will be virtually impossible and potentially life-threatening." [more inside]
I was incredibly touched to learn that my goddaughter has decided that in lieu of a birthday party she's inviting all of her guests to a local book repository to sort, sticker, and bag books destined for low-income families. I love this and want to do something for her birthday to help encourage more of this kind of thing in the future. Help me choose from some options or suggest something else: [more inside]