After a long wait a lovely friend of mine has just become foster Mummy to two children who will be staying for the foreseeable future. Yay! I'm meeting them in a couple of days and would like to bring them each a present, but I don't know what to get them. The girl is 8 and the boy is 6 and I have no clue what these age groups are into. I don't want to ask my friend as I'd like it to be a surprise (and also she'd just try and talk me out of it). So I'm asking you lovely people instead. [more inside]
I have a kind, sweet, beautiful, smart ADHD-PI (primarily inattentive) daughter. She's almost 11 and in 5th grade. However, homework is the land of pain... [more inside]
I'm trying to find a film that was shown to me when I was in first grade in 1976. It was a stop-motion animation film that was about a situation where all the men live on one island and all the women live on another island. They attempt to come together, but there is the difficulty of getting from one island to the other to contend with. The look of the film was like Gumby - it may have been claymation, but I'm not sure. Any ideas?
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]
I'm looking for decoration ideas for a children's grave. [more inside]
My direct manager is having an open house / work-related party tonight (the 30th) and he has invited me and most of the department. We are planning on bringing a small 'host' gift, i.e. flowers or chocolates. Since it is so close to Christmas my wife thinks that we should also bring a small gift for each of my manager's two children (~6 and ~2 years old). I'm unsure whether this would be seen as 'sucking up' or if this is a good idea. [more inside]
I'll be in Boston with my kids for one day (two nights) in February. They're ages 8 and 12. Too old for the Children's Museum, too young to be set free to wander on their own. What should we do? [more inside]
I am a bookmobile librarian and the majority of my patrons are kids wanting chapter books. I have a variety of series that I try to keep current: The Littles, Junie B, Magic Tree, Goosebumps, Hank the Cowdog, Flat Stanley, Warriors, Star Wars, American Girl, Rainbow Fairies. Are there any other series you would suggest? Thanks a bunch hivemind!
We're going to Disneyland tomorrow. We haven't done any advance planning. I don't have a lot of time today to devote to research, either, so I thought I'd ask if anyone can brain-dump a quick-and-dirty way to shave some time off the inevitable waiting. More detail and explicit instructions are better. [more inside]
Any recommendations for quick stops from Boston to DC area with a four year old? [more inside]
My oldest nephew is turning 9 in a few months' time and I want to give him a book. He's smart, introverted, sensitive, and he loves drawing. I thought he would enjoy a book about how to look at art. More info and added difficulties inside! [more inside]
How should I buffer a child from the stress of divorced parents' arguments when my ex-wife is extremely open with him about adult stresses and about what she wants? [more inside]
My daughter is having a slumber party for her birthday. I'm used to (and comfortable with) normal birthday parties: planning lots of fun activities, yummy things to eat and keeping order with bouncing children for a few hours, but I'm worried about having a half dozen 7 & 8 year olds sleeping here. Those of you have done it -- what's your advice? Anything that would help this go well? [more inside]
I've written a middle grade novella (age target approximately 10 to 14 years, 26,000 words). I had what I thought was the rather simple idea of asking my next door neighbor kids (and friends of my son) if they could read it and give me feedback. They were enthusiastic, they'd never read a book by someone they knew. Then I thought, they are performing a valuable service for me. Shouldn't I be paying them? [more inside]
I'm a male in my late 20's who's having trouble finding a woman to settle down with. I keep getting attracted to/and attracting women who are either not interested in serious relationships (only casual/physical relationships) or have some self-esteem issues/other problems that makes them very unstable/emotionally fluctuating. I wouldn't describe myself as overly attractive (very average looks and slim build) or promiscuous, so I'm kind of puzzled by how and why these women feel attracted to me. [more inside]
My wife and I will be flying with our daughter for the first time this fall, on a cross-country journey to see grandparents and relatives who haven't met her yet. We'll be traveling from Seattle to Pittsburgh to Minneapolis and back home to Seattle, staying a few days at each stop. The plan is set--now I just need to buy the plane tickets, and I don't know how to go about finding the best deal. [more inside]
When we were in London we saw a fun craft-toy called Sticker Scratcherz at both Hamleys and Harrods. We figured we'd find something like it elsewhere as well, but haven't had any luck, so I'm hoping maybe a mefite knows of something else like this. Preferably, it would be not as expensive, for a bit less content (if it were half price for half the amount of stickers it would make a great casual gift). [more inside]
What non-Richard Scarry books would enthrall a toddler who loves Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? I'm looking for books featuring amusing vignettes of various workers in their daily routine and illustrating what they do. Not books about a sole profession. Thanks for any ideas.
I seem to recall a MeFi post a while back, but cannot find it (perhaps it was from an NPR story) that referenced a study claiming that the achievement level for urban Black boys placed in suburban schools was much lower than their female counterparts. [more inside]
We will be spending four days in Stockholm in the middle of June, with two boys, three and six years old. We've got the standard order guidebook suggestions (Vasa Museum, Skansen, etc.) of things to do, but I'd really love some suggestions of fun things for kids, or even just playgrounds for them to run around when they have had enough of Vikings and whatnot. They tend to be very excited about all modes of transportation, so trams, ferries, etc are a bonus. We will be staying near Ostermalm.
Calling all junior detectives! Mr. Bloodhound isn't available, and I need your help. In the eighties, PBS ran a science show for kids called 3-2-1 Contact which often featured a terrific serialized mystery, The Bloodhound Gang. One of the capers guest-starred Six Feet Under's Frances Conroy. Can you help me figure out which one? [more inside]
We are taking our toddler (almost 2) to Sesame Place this weekend. Have you been there? Do you have any tips for us to make our trip great? [more inside]
Do you know of any children's books featuring mail? As in, a penpal or mailing letters. Specifically for an eight year old girl but I'm open to all suggestions! [more inside]
I have an odd job interview coming up. I need advise on a children's book to read to a grown up audience and a two minute poem or "fun" monologue to recite. I think it'd be best if these related to the joy of learning or science. For the book, I might just read part of "Corduroy" because its beautiful and sweet, but what about the other requirement? [more inside]
Please help me find a mystery book from my childhood. I am stumped. It would have been in the mid 70s, probably between 1974-77. I think it was science/nature-related book that may have been one of a series. What I remember is a hard-cover book, and on the back inside cover there was mounted a round plastic disk with an arrow inside, sort of like a compass. It was visible though holes in the pages and front cover. There were questions with multiple choices on each page, and you would close the book and knock on the cover a certain number of times to make the needle point to the correct answer on a corresponding page. That sounds crazy even as I type it, but if someone could find this book (or even corroborate my memory) I would be eternally grateful.
My child (almost 5) is showing an interest in music and I would like to get him started with music lessons. Please help me pick an instrument for him. [more inside]
Any ideas on making discovery fun for a princess obsessed 5 year old girl? [more inside]
How do I ask the parents for a playdate without putting them on the spot? Also, is it creepy to suggest that we are happy to have the parents just drop their kids off for a couple hours? [more inside]
I have read articles about herd immunity and I understand the concept. But, boots on the ground, should I worry about my vaccinated son occasionally playing with a partially vaccinated 4-year-old and a completely unvaccinated 2-year-old? We're all pretty mindful of staying away when the children show signs of illness. I am interested in both medical information and how other parents have navigated this potential risk.
This is what I remember: A boy (and his dog?) wants to go outside, and he asks his mother for permission. She says "okay, but don't cross any streets in this fog!" [more inside]
We just decided to drive from SF to Seattle via Portland for about a week. What are some fun family things to do? Places to eat? Places to stay? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
Our two year old loves songs and poems and has learned a bunch of them - but she recites them all as spoken poems, even when other people are singing them with her. My other kids are adopted and sang, and my husband points out that I cannot remember lyrics except as poems, so it appears to be an inherited trait. I can remember teaching myself to sing Baa Baa Black Sheep as a kid with great effort. Melodies and tunes don't connect to lyrics at all in my memory - hum a few bars and I will stare at you blankly. Both of us enjoy music - it's specifically lyrics that just don't compute. What is this particular quirk called? We're not worried at all, but my husband would like to know more about it because he'd like to have her enjoy singing too.
Children's book filter: Am thinking it was Sleeping Beauty, though it may have been Rapunzel or some other fairy tale with a wicked queen and a princess. [more inside]
My one year old niece loves books that "do things" - especially ones with flaps to lift. Her favorite thing to do when she wakes up is to play quietly with her books for about 20 minutes, and I'd love to encourage that. I would like to get her some books for Christmas. I've purchased Fuzzy Bee and Squishy Turtle for children before, and they were well-received, but the children were younger (in the 6 month range). Are Fuzzy Bee and Squishy Turtle too young for her? Can you recommend any other books that she might like? Her parents are open to anything, as she doesn't have many books and they'd like her to have more, but they're first time parents and not sure what she'd like either.
I was an angry kid at one point in my life. My best friend had moved away and I was unpopular. I became a bit of a bully. There are three people in particular that I treated particularly bad. I want to apologize to them, but does it just serve to only make myself feel better? Has anyone here been bullied and received an apology later in life? And how did it make you feel? I was also bullied. My bully tried to add me as a friend on Facebook multiple times, and I always declined it. I wonder sometimes if maybe he was trying to apologize.
I am a relative to a youngster (aged 6). I want to inspire them. Feed their imagination, help them to discover the endless possibilities that exist in all corners of the world. My question is how best to do this? [more inside]
Inspired by an earlier question, are there any books for young children that show families of mixed race?
I was given this book in the early 80s. It was a large, hard covered book with beautiful illustrations. It was about a girl who visits her grandmother. While there she sees another girl outside. She takes a pram out and goes for a walk with this other little girl. [more inside]
I'd like to give a few books as baby shower presents, while avoiding the books that are really well-known. Please share your under the radar gems! [more inside]
I've been racking my brain trying to remember a book I liked when I was a kid. As I recall it was a small chapter book, with a reading level somewhere in the 2nd - 3rd grade range. It was about a group of forest animals, and I think most or all of them were nocturnal. The main one was a flying squirrel. [more inside]
I'm looking for advice for helping my 5 year old (new kindergartener) daughter deal with what looks like nascent perfectionist tendencies. [more inside]
Suggestions for a children's reading light with a timer? [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]
Our local bookstore has a great children's play/reading area. In that area, there is a (child-sized) chair and table set. The chairs look like this. The table is a similar pattern. They seem to be made of some kind of high-density foam - they are sturdy and moderately heavy for their size, but have some "give" to them; they are not wood or plastic. I can't see any markings on the chairs or the table and no one at the store knew where they were from. Any ideas of where I can find these?
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]
An older family member has died. We'll be traveling to attend the viewing and funeral, which will be heavily religious. My 7-year-old daughter didn't know this family member, but has reacted very negatively to the idea of death in the past (long stretches spent sobbing in my arms). We are agnostic, with one of us leaning heavily towards atheism. I could use suggestions on how to talk with my little girl about these things. [more inside]
The book I'm looking for is one I remember reading in my childhood. It had a boy as a protagonist. It was similar to The Wizard of Oz in that the boy was travelling with friends through a magical realm to free it from some kind of oppressive rule. And when the boy arrived to the happy ending (which I think took place in the royal palace) it was revealed that actually he's not a boy - he's a girl. A princess, to be exact. And a rightful ruler of the realm. Which came as quite a shock to him/her. I must have been less than 10 years old when I read it, which places the book in the 1970s. Did I imagine it or does it really exist? (it is possible that I mixed it up with The Wizard of Oz, although I think I've read it later).
I end up in these situations where I need to buy a gift for a kid in the extended family, but the idea of just buying regular toys always seems lame. I like being a creative gift-giver. Can you give me some ideas for unique gifts for kids that would go over well? [more inside]
Reading the Star Wars 1970s trilogy to my young kids, should I spoil it? (There is a spoiler inside if you haven't see The Empire Strikes Back.) [more inside]
A teacher seeks advice. [more inside]