I've been offered the chance to run a week-long day camp this coming summer at a local art space. I have an idea for a theme, but I want to run it by the hive mind and make sure it's as awesome as it can possibly be. Who want to help me plan Costume Camp? [more inside]
I'm vaguely remembering a movie, maybe a made-for-tv movie. The plot involved a kid, I think a boy, coming to live with relatives (?) Maybe he was a foster kid, or maybe the adults he was to live with were his grandparents. The kid wants a dog. Wilford Brimley, I believe, was the irascible grandfather with a heart of gold. [more inside]
My kiddo, like his dad, has a pants problem. Specifically, while his legs are only slightly longer than normal, he is built in such a way that regular pants don't make it far enough up his butt. Basically, he needs pants that are longer in the crotch-to-waistline area and can pull up higher. Most boy pants don't have a lot of room for that. We end up with either plumber crack or uncomfortably hitched pants. [more inside]
I have to portray Santa Claus at my library in a few weeks and would appreciate some suggestions! [more inside]
What should we say to our daughter about appropriate play and touch after learning she was playing doctor with one of her little friends the other day? [more inside]
So my sister-in-law had a stroke last week and passed away on Friday. My niece's are 7 and 19. The older one, of course groks it, but I'm not sure how much the younger one is getting. [more inside]
How do you make sure your kids have a good time sledding? [more inside]
If your wife/partner was a surrogate, can you give me some more info? Feelings, type of surrogacy, was it worth it, how was your wife, ANYTHING else useful. Bonus points if you had kids during surrogacy. [more inside]
What's fun around a Pittsburgh Light Rail stop for a 2.5-year-old? I'm taking my toddler-daughter for a ride on the train tomorrow. Last week we went to Dormont Park. What should we do this week? I haven't spent much time in the South Hills. (I'm looking to go South, not North - we know the North Side in-and-out) Meal suggestions also welcome!
So I've been reading Harry Potter to the kiddo (7) at nighttime for a while and she's loving it. I'm enjoying it too to the point where I don't really want spoilers on anything. However as things get darker I have some concerns about the stories ahead... [more inside]
How does a youngish (36) married couple spend quality time together when demanding jobs and childcare responsibilities seem to make it nearly impossible? What are your strategies? How do you cope? [more inside]
I have an old iPad 1 that still gets pretty good battery life, and I'm going to give it to my folks for my niblings to play when they're visiting grandma and grandpa. I'm a childless dude in his late 30s, so I'm a bit out of the loop with what kids like these days. I've tossed things that I think would be simple enough for kids to play and have fun with (even if they're not "doing it right") like Angry Birds, but would like suggestions for stuff I may not think of. Thanks all. [more inside]
My kids' school has started a program to have parents come in and talk about careers after school - what jobs are available, what it means from overall responsibility and day-to-day activities. I am signed up to talk about IT Project Mgmt... [more inside]
Great, possibly homemade Hanukkah/Christmas gifts for a 4-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy? Homemade/crafty suggestions very welcome. [more inside]
A recent AskMe thread and this answer in particular has me re-examining an experience I had a while back, when exhibiting at a show. One of the other exhibitors had her four-year-old child along. I'm sure that if she had any other choice she would have left her child at home. But I kept feeling like her attitude about her child and their impact on the rest of the show and the other exhibitors was....lax? And I'm trying to figure out if I'm being an unfair childless jerk. In part because I hope to have my own kids someday, and if I do, I may very well be in her same position. [more inside]
What is the parental etiquette for when someone's kid comes to your door trying play with your kid, you tell them no, we're having dinner, and kid essentially won't take no for an answer and tries to continue to get into your house? What is the best way to redirect said kiddo from this behavior again if I can't say anything to her parents? [more inside]
This Halloween I did some Halloween candy science experiments with my nieces and nephew. One of the experiments we didn't get to do (but soon will) is: Pouring Pop Rocks into a bottle of pop will make all that pent-up carbon dioxide escape but not fizz over. If you put the rocks into a balloon, then fit the balloon over the bottle's mouth and let the rocks fall in, it inflates the balloon with carbon dioxide. But what can I do with a balloon full of carbon dioxide? ...Is it a stupid idea to inhale it to see if I get a funny voice? [more inside]
Help me and my kids plan a fun, low-hassle weekend in New York watching Missus_A run the marathon! [more inside]
My daughter just turned 3 and is ready to learn to downhill ski. We live in Norwich, VT, and can head west to Vermont or east to New Hampshire for beginner lessons. I'm fine sitting and watching while she learns, and we're fine with the lesson being the only reason to make a drive. If we can only choose one place for the first ski lesson, where should we go?
My girl is turning 8 and we're having her party at the local Michael's. Unfortunately the sales people there haven't been real helpful in terms of making recommendations for what crafts the girls can do; and I'm completely overwhelmed when I look on the Internets. So here's the question: what are some really fun crafts that can be done in an hour and a half, and are messy? (Because that's the whole point of having it at the store instead of in my house, right. Otherwise I'm wasting that $50.) Is marbling paper fun? Is tye-dying fun? What else haven't I thought of? [more inside]
I've recently come to the conclusion that I need to spend more time with my 3.5-year-old boy/girl twins, and looking for some structured activities/things to do to help drive it and get them excited, as they generally prefer my wife over me... [more inside]
I'd like to convey as much wisdom/advice as possible to my kids before they become feral teenagers drenched in Axe and scorn. Please share the best lists/essays/articles you've ever seen on the theme of "Teaching Your Kids About ______". [more inside]
I am a 31 year old woman and newly married. I have a kick ass husband who also came with a kick ass stepson that I love to death and with whom I have a great relationship. I have no desire to have a bio-kid, especially now that I have a step son. I have had many comments from people about how I am going to change my mind about not wanting more kids, a lot of “Uh huh…” comments with ‘knowing’ smug smiles, sort of like when a 6 year old boy says that he will never ever kiss a girl, eww that is gross. Are they likely right, or are they being assholes? How do I deal with this? [more inside]
Next week, my 10 year old daughter and I will be in Rome for 3 days; what should we see? [more inside]
As a parent and father, how do I, or how can I or should I, deal with parents of other children whose badly behaved kids do something mean or nasty to my own kid? [more inside]
Looking for an RPG for a couple of kids (9 and 10) that ADORE Minecraft but want more role-playing elements (quests, a story, upgrades) in their gaming experience. We've tried mods, but that only gets you so far. We have a PC and an XBOX 360. What do you recommend?
Looking to get a phone for our 9-year-old son for use in case of emergency. Several factors precipitated the decision, but most recently, he was left sitting alone outside school for an hour waiting to be picked up early. [more inside]
My son (11) has expressed an interest in playing Dungeons and Dragons. I would like to help him but I know nothing about the game and Amazon reviews of the basic starter set confuse things even further. What exactly does he need in order to start playing? [more inside]
I'm looking for board books that do not just portray white children. Books appropriate for ages 1-4 would be fine, but I'm buying for a 2-year-old so a bit on the simpler side is better. Thank you!
Please recommend your favorite stores for books for kids in Chicago. I am interested in finding used books, quirky books, and progressive books. Not necessarily all three and not necessarily in that order. Toddler Xalf is almost 1.5 years old, but I'm happy to buy books that will be over his head for the next few of years. Any part of Chicago is fine. Suburbs too, especially those to the north.
A twelve year old I'm related to keeps sending me invites to play horrid money wall Facebook games. Said kid is going through a hard time and I like the idea of playing with her as a small, regular form of reaching out. However...Zynga Poker ain"t gonna happen. What kind of easily accessible games suitable to a 12 year old are out there for me to suggest? Specifics under the cut... [more inside]
I am tasked with stocking up a Maker Space gallery that will be part of a museum. I'm very much a crafter and maker myself, but am looking for the Makers of MetaFilter to tell me your favorite tools, especially ones for small hands (we will be catering to kids and families, as young as 3 years old). We will be doing simple woodworking projects (already looking at Japanese Pull Saws), sewing, circuitry, paper art, lots of tinkering (including activities with recycled materials and new materials). We are focusing on "real" tools (no plastic Fisher Price kids stuff, please), and I expect to buy a couple different versions of some items (hammers for smaller people, hammers for bigger jobs). The tools will get lots of use, so I'm happy to spend a bit more if it means I don't have to constantly replace broken items. I am especially looking for specific recommendations for specific tools, reviews, or resources ("these sewing scissors are amazing for the price" or "don't buy this brand of clamp" or "this site sells very good quality paper punches"). Thanks in advance!
I need recommendations on articles and books on kindergarten/elementary school education and how it affects someone's later success. My friend is worried that her son's kindergarten program isn't high quality enough. I'm of the opinion that home life is more important at this age, but maybe I'm wrong! Where should I start reading? [more inside]
Do you know any albums or artists that heavily feature very young voices done in a serious matter? Something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dok4wJ4pqo0 [more inside]
My kid wants to be a zombie weasel for Halloween. Help me make it awesome! [more inside]
Parents: I'm wondering how your kids learned things like empathy, honesty, compassion, etc. I know that setting a good example is probably the #1 thing to do, and I plan to, but did you use other ways, like reading (fiction) kids' books with them that demonstrate these things? Am I overthinking this? I want to raise a kid with a conscience...
Are child ID/fingerprint kits really helpful during an abduction? Is it worth the time/effort to fingerprint and photograph small children in the hopes it will help "save" them at some point? [more inside]
I'm an uncle to three great kids, who are 12, 9 and 4. I love talking to them and listening to what they have to say about whatever they want to talk about. Our conversations end up being pretty fun and freewheeling, but sometimes I wonder if I should be putting more effort into what we talk about. Am I over-thinking this? More inside. [more inside]
Please suggest some icebreaker games I can play with 5-7 yo kids. Restrictions: Groups of 4-5 kids, games must be quick (less than 5 minutes) and require little or no materials. [more inside]
My seven-year-old son won a cheap-and-basic MP3 player at a charity tombola. Since then he's been pointing out tunes that he'd like to carry around. I need to find some more! [more inside]
How do you teach your young children not to internalize the sexism in our culture? [more inside]
Please recommend fiction and nonfiction novels which depict folklore and mythology created by children who are free of adult supervision and authority. [more inside]
In Chinese martial arts and dance (in China) it is traditional to have kids try to do the splits (the sideways, or lateral kind). The kids will try to push their legs apart as far as they can, and then the teacher will come along and push down on them to get them further apart, causing the kids to grimace in pain. Is this bad? Or is this good? I'm sure that Americans (like me) will balk at this in a strong reactionary way, but I'm also sure that there are countless people who have had this done to them in martial arts and dance classes as a child (outside of America). Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, all those amazing Chinese gymnasts, etc have certainly undergone this kind of treatment. Jackie Chan is still going strong. Is this "American reaction" unfounded? [more inside]
How can I help my son to not feel embarrassed socially for having the healthy (and admittedly a little weird) lunches that I give him for school? [more inside]
Hi all, I am looking for resources for figuring out the best pre-schools and schools on the East Coast (public and private both are fair game). Is there a national database ranking the schools? I am particularly interested in the Boston/Cambridge area, but am curious for my own personal reasons about schools in NYC as well as Chicago, and maybe the East Coast in general. My kid is 7 months old and definitely not ready to go to school just yet. But as I am originally not from this country, I'd like to familiarize myself with the system fully before I have to enroll her in school. In my humble opinion, schooling is very important - if it wasn't for a good school, I won't have the necessary life skills myself (irrespective of the professional and grad training), so I am hoping to be aware of the US school landscape before my little one starts going to preschool. Many thanks for your kind help. Have a nice day!
My daughter's on the other side of the ocean for a little while, but we keep up with daily video chats. We talk, goof around, make faces, play with puppets, but I sometimes wish I had more ideas to keep her entertained. Can you think of any other fun things we could do? [more inside]
I did something colossally stupid this evening: Put up some pasta on the stove and then fell promptly asleep for a little while on the couch. Woke up to a terrible smell of natural gas. Found the water in the pot had spilled over and doused the flame of the burner it was cooking on. With the gas on high. It was probably like that for about 10 minutes or so. And now, four hours later, the house still has a strong-ish odor. Here is my question: does the smell indicate that gas is still present in the house, and if so, should I be concerned for the health and safety of my small children, who are sleeping a hallway away from the kitchen? [more inside]
I'm embarking on a 20 hour drive with a 4 1/2 year old and an almost-2 year old. Hit me with your best travel games/activities/snacks. Specific requirements inside. Bonus challenge: Terrible books on tape. [more inside]
I'm a single dad and my son will be entering the sixth grade in Ohio this year. What's cool for kids his age (11-12) through and up to 8th grade (13-14)? Looking for suggestions, anecdotes, first-hand experience on fads, trends, clothes, talk, etc.
I occasionally hang out with a smart 11-year-old girl, am a friend of the family. She's ahead of her peers in reading and math, starts 6th grade in the fall, but is not especially challenged by her public school. A few years ago in a different school district, they offered to skip her a grade (this option was not chosen). [more inside]