Posts Tagged ‘ preschoolers ’

Don’t Miss the Premiere of PEG + CAT on PBS!

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Math just got a little more fun with PEG + CAT, the new animated series from PBS KIDS. The show premieres this Monday, October 7, and promises to make problem-solving skills a breeze for your preschooler.

In each 30-minute episode, Peg and her lovable sidekick Cat encounter dilemmas that require some big thinking. Whether they’re trying a hand at adding and subtracting or learning broader concepts like size and geometry, the pair never back down from a number challenge (or a catchy learning tune). With backdrops like a pirate island or futuristic planet, the program proves math can be exciting and happen in the most unexpected places.

PEG + CAT comes at a vital time when children’s math skills are in dire need. National assessments have shown that 60 percent of students are performing below proficient levels in math by the fourth grade, according to the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress Report.

Another inspiring element of the show: The main character is a young girl. While women make up 48 percent of the workforce, only 23 percent are in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Let’s hope a character as spirited and outspoken as Peg will be inspiration for boys AND girls everywhere to get their brains calculating.

Beyond math, PEG + CAT shows young ones the process of trial and error, such as figuring out multiple ways to move 100 chickens back to their coop. She may not get it right the first time, but Peg eventually learns from her mistakes and seeks help from friends along the way, both awesome life skills for the real world as well.

Want to get a sneak peek this weekend? Visit the show’s interactive website pbskids.org/peg, where you can also find local listings for the show, or download the PET + CAT Big Gig app for games and learning resources now.

Check out the video below to see how PEG + CAT was created!

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

US Preterm Birth Rate Lowest in a Decade
The percentage of babies born early in the United States in 2011 was the lowest in a decade, according to a new report from the non-profit March of Dimes. (via NBC News)

Fantasy-Reality Confusion a Primary Cause of Childhood Nighttime Fears
In a new study, published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development, researchers found that preschoolers with persistent nighttime fears were far less able to distinguish reality from fantasy compared to their peers. (via ScienceDaily)

When Babies Eat Fish Could Be Link to Asthma
Babies who first ate fish between the ages of six months and one year had a lower risk of developing asthma-like symptoms later on than babies who ate fish before six months or after their first birthdays, according to a Dutch study. (via Reuters)

Road to Language Learning Is Iconic
Languages are highly complex systems and yet most children seem to acquire language easily, even in the absence of formal instruction. New research on young children’s use of British Sign Language (BSL) sheds light on one mechanism — iconicity — that may play an important role in children’s ability to learn language. (via ScienceDaily)

Preschool Education Deserves Expansion, Investment: National Education Policy Center Brief
In a brief released Tuesday, National Education Policy Center managing director Dr. William Mathis urges policymakers to invest in high-quality preschool education, citing its universally acknowledged economic and social benefits. (via Huffington Post)

Columbus Officials Will Likely Face Criminal Referrals For Falsifying Ohio Student Data
As state officials said there’s a “strong likelihood” they’ll refer Columbus school employees for criminal prosecution at the end of their student-data probe, the district confirmed yesterday that federal authorities also are investigating. (via Huffington Post)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Preschoolers’ Counting Abilities Relate to Future Math Performance, Researcher Says
New research suggests reciting numbers is not enough to prepare children for math success in elementary school. The research indicates that counting, which requires assigning numerical values to objects in chronological order, is more important for helping preschoolers acquire math skills. (via ScienceDaily)

Malaria Vaccine a Letdown for Infants
An experimental malaria vaccine once thought promising is turning out to be a disappointment, with a new study showing it is only about 30 percent effective at protecting infants from the killer disease. (via NBC News)

Leftover Newborn Blood Samples Need Better Regulation, Ethicists Say
The tiny spots of blood left after routine tests on newborns could provide valuable information for researchers, but clear policies that govern their use are needed so that the samples are not destroyed or otherwise lost entirely, experts say. (via Fox News)

Iron, Omega-3s Tied to Different Effects on Kids’ Brains
For children with low stores of two brain-power nutrients, supplements may have different, and complex, effects, a new clinical trial suggests. (via Reuters)

Chocolate Nesquik Mix Recalled for Salmonella Risk
Chocolate giant Nestle USA is recalling some lots of its Nesquik chocolate powder drink mix because it might be contaminated with salmonella. (via NBC News)

Socioeconomic Status Linked to Childhood Peanut Allergy
Peanut allergies are rising among American children and one reason might be due to economic status. According to a new study, greater rates of peanut allergy are found in families with higher economic status. This supports the “hygiene hypothesis” of many allergists. (via ScienceDaily)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Preschoolers Use Scientific Reasoning, Study Says
A review article in the journal Science sums up a swath of research suggesting that preschoolers can make deductions about cause and effect, infer preferences and test hypotheses. (via CNN)

Possible Link Between Infants’ Regulatory Behaviors and Maternal Mental Health
It is believed that maternal anxiety and depression can influence the child’s capacity to self-regulate, but infant problems can also exaggerate parental mental health issues. (via Science Daily)

U.S. Is Tightening Web Privacy Rule to Shield Young
Federal regulators are about to take the biggest steps in more than a decade to protect children’s privacy online. (via New York Times)

Researchers Investigate Aggression Among Kindergartners
Not all aggressive children are aggressive for the same reasons, according to researchers, who found that some kindergartners who are aggressive show low verbal abilities while others are more easily physiologically aroused. The findings suggest that different types of treatments may be needed to help kids with different underlying causes for problem behavior. (via Science Daily)

Physical Activity Interventions for Children Have ‘Little Impact’, Study Suggests
Physical activity interventions for children have small impact on overall activity levels and consequently the body fat and mass of children, a study suggests. (via Science Daily)

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Celebrate Your Toddler’s Birthday on the Air With Laurie Berkner

Friday, August 10th, 2012

This week, Sirius XM Radio launched a new radio program to celebrate kids’ birthdays nationwide. Laurie Berkner, the former preschool teacher and award-winning children’s singer and songwriter, will host the eponymous show Laurie Berkner’s Every Day Birthday Party.

The show will appear on Sirius XM Kids Place Live, a 24/7 interactive talk show featuring music, talk shows, and on-air games for kids.

Each month, Berkner will select a group of toddlers and preschoolers (ages 1 to 5) to feature on the show. Each lucky toddler will receive a personal birthday salutation and hear a special “kindie rock” musical performance by Berkner herself.

Laurie Berkner’s Every Day Birthday Party airs Monday through Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. ET and 2:30 p.m. ET on Sirius XM Kids Place Live channel 78.

Parents can submit requests to kidsplacelive@siriusxm.com. The deadline for September shout-outs is August 20, 2012 5 p.m. ET. (The SIRIUS XM website also recommends including a 30-minute window of time you listen to the show during the day.)

Visit www.siriusxm.com/kidsplacelive and www.laurieberkner.com for more information.

Image: Little girl celebrating her second birthday, via Shutterstock

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Violent Cartoons Linked to Sleep Problems in Preschoolers
Swapping Batman for Big Bird could help young kids sleep better, a new study found. The study of sleep habits among 565 preschool-age children found that those who tuned in to age-appropriate educational programs were less likely to have sleep problems than those who watched sparring superheroes or slapstick scenes meant for slightly older kids. (via ABC News)

A White Dad Does His Black Daughter’s Hair, and the Internet Smiles
The little family moments are often the ones we wind up treasuring over the years. Usually, they’re lost in the shuffle of daily life, but sometimes they’re captured on camera. And sometimes, those pictures capture the hearts of people everywhere. Such is the case of a picture posted on Facebook by Frank Somerville, a TV news anchor in Oakland, CA. (via MSNBC)

Parents Get Physical With Unruly Kids, Study Finds
Parents get physical with their misbehaving children in public much more than they show in laboratory experiments and acknowledge in surveys, according to one of the first real-world studies of caregiver discipline. (via Science Daily)

Gold Medal Mom: ‘I Felt Selfish’ Training for Olympics
For every woman who feels like she’s had to scale back her personal ambitions since becoming a mother, gold medal cyclist Kristin Armstrong has a message: Don’t give up on your dreams. (via Today.com)

Motherhood May Make You Smarter, New Study Says
In the study, women who were new mothers scored better on tests of visuospatial memory — the ability to perceive and remember information about their surroundings — compared with women who didn’t have children. (via MSNBC)

Growing Up Grateful Gives Teens Multiple Mental Health Benefits
Grateful teens are more likely than their less grateful peers to be happy, less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and less likely to have behavior problems at school, according to research presented at the American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention. (via Science Daily)

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New Study: Preschoolers Sleep Worse After Watching TV

Monday, June 27th, 2011

kids-watching-tvIn a not-so-surprising new study published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, research reveals that watching too much television (especially shows with violent images) has negative affects on the sleep patterns of preschoolers. 

Reported by CNN.com, the study focused on 600 preschoolers in Seattle, Washington and kept track of when they watched television to determine sleep disturbances.  Preschoolers who watched age-appropriate TV shows during the day slept well while those who watched the same type of shows at night, before bedtime, were more susceptible to nightmares, frequent wakings, and fatigue.  In particular, preschoolers who watched shows with violence (shows meant for adults or the daily news reports) before bedtime were also more likely to experience nightmares.

Michelle Garrison, Ph.D., who conducted the study, points out young kids still can’t separate reality from fantasy, which is why they’re more frightened by what’s shown on TV.  In addition, letting kids fall asleep with the TV still on is a no-no, since it keeps the child stimulated, not relaxed.  Instead, parents should turn off the TV at least an hour before kids go to sleep.  The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that televisions be kept in a common room (not in a child’s bedroom), and young children should watch only 1-2 hours of TV per day.

What kind of TV shows do you let your kids watch?  What are the ways you limit your child’s TV consumption?

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Toy Fair 2011: Favorite Toddler and Big Kid Toys

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Radica Fijit Friends Interactive Toy (Serafina)This year’s annual Toy Fair, held at the Javits Center in New York City, didn’t disappoint.  Parents.com and Parents magazine editors saw everything from a life-sized Lightning McQueen of “Cars” built out of LEGOS to the original Power Rangers striking a pose to a court jester juggling fuzzy toys. 

Walking the floors, we came across some unique and wonderful new toys and games, plus updates of childhood classics.  Here are some standout new toys and products for toddlers/preschoolers and big kids:

Toddlers and Preschoolers

Learn & Laugh Baby iCan Play Case (Fisher-Price; $14.99; Age 6-36 months) – Now you can entertain your tot with the iPhone without worrying about it being drooled on, dropped, or damaged.  This rubber, colorful case locks the iPhone in place while covering it with a protective plastic film.

Hideaway Country Kitchen – (Guidecraft; $240; Age 3+) What parent wouldn’t want a kitchenette that folds easily for storage?  This wooden kitchen folds up to a depth of 6” and still has functioning knobs, a removable sink, and a pull-out oven rack.

Brush with Genius (Colorforms; $14.99; Age 3+) –  Invented by a PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this unique brush allows kids to make colorful drawings that then comes to life with sounds. 

Big Kids

Figit Friends  (Mattel; $49.99; Age 6+) – These squishy, voice-activated dolls easily captivate.  They dance, sing, respond to commands—and are much cuter than Teletubbies.  Figits come in four colors with distinct personalities (see picture above).

Glow-in-the-Dark Hexbugs (Innovation First; $11.99 each; Age 3+) – While these are estimated for ages 3+, their small size seems more appropriate for older kids. These entertaining racecar-like bugs have a glow-in-the-dark Galileo theme and constellations on their backs.  They entertain kids who love fast-moving toys while also teaching them about astronomy.

The Klutz Guide to the Galaxy (Klutz; $19.99; Age 8+) – Perfect for summer nights, boys and girls can chart constellations, explore the moon’s surface, and learn about meteors.  The guide also comes with a collapsible cardboard telescope, a special flashlight, a map to steer the stars, and more.

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