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Friday, November 8th, 2013
Who doesn’t remember loving Sesame Street as a child? I was so obsessed that my parents got Big Bird to come to my fifth birthday party, a day that still goes down in infamy among my family.
These days, Sesame Street’s educational and award-winning story lines aren’t just for television. The show now tops children’s learning in the digital sphere as well. Parents got the chance to check out some of the program’s latest apps, all designed for children 5 and under to expand their creativity.
1. Big Bird’s Words, $0.99
Recently launched on Google Play (and soon on iTunes), Big Bird’s Words is an app that uses verbal cues to teach vocabulary. In the game, Big Bird and your child help Sesame Street’s friends find items on their lists, such as shopping for Cookie Monster at the grocery store. Once everything is checked off, kids can explore further by taking pictures of everyday objects matching each item and learning additional related words.
2. Elmo’s Story Maker, $3.99
Based off Sesame Street’s “Elmo The Musical” segment, this app for iPad and Kindle allows kids to tell a story from beginning to end. They can choose or create their own characters and pick special objects as the tale plays out. The app reads your story out loud, or you can make a special recording. Later, share with family and friends through email or social media.
3. Sesame Street Family Play, $0.99
Lacking inspiration for new games to play with your kids? The Family Play app available on iTunes features 150 ideas! Whether you’re at home or on-the-go, this generator will help you find an activity based on location, number of kids, and objects around you. Each idea encourages playtime outside the screen, proving technology isn’t totally necessary for a good time.
Also on our radar: Sesame Go, a video-on-demand service that will offer content from the show on any web-based application. Currently in Beta testing, the service will be available to fans in the next few months, proving Sesame Street really is just about everywhere you look…or click and tap.
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Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Time for Fun, Your Child
Friday, May 31st, 2013
I’ve seen the future–maybe–and it is Google. But you knew that already, no?
I was among a group of journalists invited to an event yesterday in which Google showed off some of their latest and greatest products, including the much-discussed Google Glass (worn by a Google staffer in the photo at the right). In a space set up to simulate a household, they showed, room-by-room, the magic that Google applications can make.
The presenters kept reiterating that Google knows “everyone is on the go,” and has designed its products to cater to that busy lifestyle. That’s doubly true for us parents, whether we’re running after the little ones, or carpooling the older ones. To that end, here are some of the highlights of what saw at the event:
Voice search has come a long way. Using the Google search app from your mobile device, click the microphone icon and speak your query. On Android devices, it will speak right back at you, but that isn’t available on my iPhone, where I have to settle for it following my commands silently. Its ability to understand what you’re saying is solid, and beyond just searching the web, you can ask for directions, add items to your calendar, and send emails, all without typing.
Food-related searches will now bring up full nutritional information on foods. So you’ll be able to say exactly how many calories that slice of pizza will set you back or how much protein that smoothie will give you. This just launched today, so it’s hot off the presses.
What would a look at Google and the future be without discussing Google Glass, that tiny, wearable computer that clips onto your eyeglass frame? I didn’t get to try it, but did watch a demonstration, which helped me understand both the “what” and “why” of this technology. Glass is an attempt to address two paradoxical problems: We tend to walk around with our faces glued to our phones, while at the same time, we’ve all wished we could get to our phones–the camera, especially–quicker, before missing that unique moment. Glass sits just above your field of vision and is controlled by a swipe or tap of your finger, and significantly, your voice. Record a video, snap a picture, get step-by-step directions as you walk, send an email, all without breaking stride or burying your face in a phone. Imagine being able to actually capture your child’s first steps on video–while also being there to catch her when she stumbles.
Will it catch on? Only time will tell. Now, how about the self-driving car?
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Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Child Care Centers Overhaul Proposed By Federal Health Officials
Federal health officials say they will propose Thursday to overhaul federally funded child care centers across the country, beefing up safety standards including background and fingerprint checks for employees and requiring states to better monitor the facilities. (via Huffington Post)
Slightly high lead tied to less reading readiness
Children with even slightly elevated blood lead levels are less likely to be ready to read when starting kindergarten, according to a new study. (via Reuters)
Cracking the Tech Job Talent Crunch by Teaching Kids to Code
For all the parents losing sleep over their kids’ prospects in such a tightfisted job market, I can see at least one recourse: teach them how to code. The earlier, the better.(via Huffington Post)
Judge declines to nix ’79 NYC child-killing case
A man charged with murder decades after one of the nation’s most infamous child disappearances can be brought to trial, a judge ruled Wednesday, turning down the man’s claim that the case was too thin to proceed. (via Yahoo News)
Pop-Tart Gun Suspension: Attorney For Suspended Student Says No Resolution Has Been Reached With School
An attorney for the family of an Anne Arundel County 7-year-old suspended from school after being accused of nibbling a pastry into the shape of a gun says he met with school officials Wednesday in an attempt have the student’s suspension expunged, but no resolution was reached. (via Reuters)
Parents sue South Carolina, hospital over child’s sex assignment surgery
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A couple filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state of South Carolina for what they say was an unnecessary sexual assignment surgery performed on a toddler they later adopted. (via Fox News)
Monday, March 25th, 2013
CDC: 105 Children Died During Flu Season in US
Health officials say the flu season is winding down, and it has killed 105 children — about the average toll. The flu season started earlier than usual and ended up being moderately severe. (via FOX News)
Babies Shouldn’t Get Solid Foods Until 6 Months Old
A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found many mothers are feeding babies solid foods earlier than the recommended age of six months, according to the Cleveland Clinic. (via FOX News)
Kids Who Exercise Are Less Likely to Have Fractures in Old Age
It turns out that strengthening bone to avoid fractures starts at a very young age.
Physical activity, such as the exercise children get in school gym classes, is important for fighting obesity, but the latest research suggests it may help to keep bones strong as well. (via TIME)
Celebrity Endorsers May Impact How Much Kids Eat
Celebrities who endorse specific foods in TV commercials are a powerful influence on children, and that effect may extend beyond the advertisement itself, according to a new study from the UK.(via Reuters)
Some Schools Urge Students to Bring Their Own Technology
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Educators and policy makers continue to debate whether computers are a good teaching tool. But a growing number of schools are adopting a new, even more controversial approach: asking students to bring their own smartphones, tablets, laptops and even their video game players to class. (via The New York Times)
CDC, education, Exercise, flu, health, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, schools, solid foods, technology | Categories:
Friday, November 23rd, 2012
A laptop for $249? It does exist–and not just on Black Friday! Google’s new Chromebook, in a partnership with Samsung, is thin, light, and has an aesthetic design similar to the pricey Apple laptops. So what’s the catch? It doesn’t run off of Windows or the Apple OS. Instead, it runs off of a system designed by Google, which allows for Chrome web apps. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a first computer for your kid or even a second family computer for Web-surfing or to take with you on the go. Click here for more information on the Samsung Chromebook.
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Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Holidays, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun
Monday, November 12th, 2012
Study Tentatively Links Flu in Pregnancy and Autism
Kids whose mothers had the flu while pregnant were slightly more likely to be diagnosed with “infantile autism” before age three in a new study. But the children’s overall risk for the developmental disorder was not higher than that of other kids. (via Reuters)
Next-Day Discharge After C-Section May Be Okay: Study
Some women who deliver their babies by cesarean section may be able to check out of the hospital the next day without raising their risk of problems, according to a new study. (via Reuters)
Children’s Headaches Rarely Linked to Vision Problems
If your child gets recurring headaches and you think they might need glasses, you may be mistaken – a new study says children’s headaches are rarely triggered by vision problems. (via CNN)
Early Stress May Sensitize Girls’ Brains for Later Anxiety
High levels of family stress in infancy are linked to differences in everyday brain function and anxiety in teenage girls, according to new results of a long-running population study. (via ScienceDaily)
Cell Phone Use In Schools A Possibility With ‘Bring Your Own Technology’ Initiative
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As schools try to add more technology during a time when they are receiving less funding, many will begin to consider allowing students to use devices they already own. That will include cellphones and electronic tablets like iPads. (via Huffington Post)
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Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Five Year Olds Are Generous Only When They’re Watched
Children as young as five are generous when others are aware of their actions, but antisocial when sharing with a recipient who can’t see them, according to new research. (via ScienceDaily)
Dentists Offering Cash for Halloween Candy to Benefit Troops
While many children are chowing down on their Halloween candy, dentists are hoping to provide kids with some incentives for trading in their sugary treats—all in a way to help the troops. (via Fox News)
Is Childhood ADHD a Gateway to Smoking in Adulthood?
Children diagnosed with ADHD are twice as likely to pick up smoking than youngsters without the disorder. (via Time)
Breast Milk During The Storm: With Power Gone, Moms Safeguard their Stash
With power out in much of New Jersey and swaths of New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, breast-feeding moms have been frantically making arrangements, scouting out freezers and using Facebook to link up those with thawing breast milk with those who have electricity and freezer space to spare. (via Time)
Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say
There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two new surveys of teachers. (via New York Times)
Many Women Stop Their Asthma Meds While Pregnant
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Almost a third of women on asthma control medications stop using them during the first few months of pregnancy, despite advice that a mother’s uncontrolled asthma is more dangerous to the developing fetus than the drugs. (via Reuters)
ADHD, asthma, breast milk, dentist, education, five year olds, Halloween candy, Hurricane Sandy, medication, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, Pregnancy, smoking, technology | Categories:
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
The new operating system from Microsoft, Windows 8, has gone live. If you’re expecting just another aesthetic design upgrade, think again. This new OS is a total desktop refresh: Forget about the old start menu and program icons! Windows 8 features a screen of tiles similar to what you see now on Windows’ phones. The tiles act as short cuts to the Internet, your calendar, apps, e-mails, social media, and more. You can customize them to sync with whatever you choose. Overall, the system looks really different than what we’re used to, but it’s easy to get the hang of and includes benefits like faster start-up times, better battery life, a better task manager, and improved system security (including great parental controls). If you bought (or will buy) a Windows 7 PC between June 2 and January 31, the upgrade will only cost you $15. For everyone else, you can get the $70 upgrade for $40 if you buy online before January 31. Click here for more details.
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