Were you obsessed with making and playing with paper fortune tellers when you were a kid? Did your fifth grade teacher send you into the hallway because you made a whole bunch and passed them out to your class during reading time? Oh, that was me.
I’ve already made these with my kids, and now a new book takes the whole fortune teller phenomenom, also known as cootie catchers, to colorful and epic new levels. The book Fold Me Up: 100 Paper Fortune-Tellers for Life’s Pressing Questions by Michelle Taute might be for grown ups, but the kids and I made a few together anyway. We giggled. You’ll find fortune tellers that help you decide whether to have another cocktail and make important decisions based on what Mr. T would do. (Mr. T from a show called The A Team–you know that, right?)
Below, the authors created a custom fortune teller just for Parents.com readers. It’s called, Have You Lost It? I already know the answer to this question, but I’m going to print this out (see below) and play with it anyway. Why spend my morning working when I can solve all of my problems while having fun?
Shaun Gallagher taps into his creativity as a dad and his fun inner scientific geek in his new book, Experimenting with Babies. He writes: “As a child, I loved tinkering with my Radio Shack 50-in-1 science project kit. Now that I’ve got two young children of my own, I’ve made them my science projects, and I’m having more fun than ever.
Back then, I wired rudimentary circuits to activate a buzzer or light up a diode. Nowadays, I experiment with ways to help Ben, 1, and Joel, 3, learn new skills that light up their faces. But my parenting approach isn’t all trial and error. I take cues from the work of infant-development researchers, who have used the scientific method to reveal helpful, and often astounding, new insights into how babies grow, learn, move, speak, and behave.
In Experimenting With Babies: 50 Amazing Science Projects You Can Perform on Your Kid, I’ve taken published academic studies from various fields of infant research and adapted them so parents can perform them on their own babies, with no special equipment needed. The projects are simple and completely safe — in fact, I’ve tried a bunch of them on my own boys — and they’re sure to increase your fascination with the coolest science project you’ll ever get to conduct experiments on: your own baby.
I have to get in a cab ASAP or else I’m going to miss the awesome Kathryn Budig, yogi and writer extrodinaire at the Yoga Journal Conference. Yesterday she was handstanding and singing really happy songs at the same time. She not only inspires me to take my yoga up a notch, she also writes awesome recipes like this one about green smoothies. I’m going to write up some tips and tricks for moms from lots of yogis I’ve met there next week. Stay tuned!
The Yoga Journal conference in Florida (theres one in New York in April) is a yogis paradise. And yesterday, someone even gave me a free pair of red yoga pants. This is totally win-win.
I know we’re checking out Free Birds, which opens today, this weekend. Hang on to your nuggets! (See the movie trailer at the end of this post.)
“These days, it’s no easy task to find a movie suitable for the entire family, whether on the big screen or at home. You scan the online theater listings and see lots of movies being pitched to your kids, but many of the promos out there can send up a red flag to parents of little ones. And at home, you’ve already watched the titles on your shelf a dozen times and the sea of Netflix choices is just overwhelming—who has time to read reviews before deciding, much less make sense of all those content warnings? But you also don’t want to start a movie and be surprised halfway through by an inappropriate scene or a startling moment of violence.
Given that we all have different taste and tolerance levels, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to make that choice for family movie night, but here are some suggestions that might help.
1. Choose a sports movie. You might be surprised to find that many excellent sports-themed films are rated G or PG, have a positive message that can prompt conversation, and cover a wide variety of competitive events, from high school basketball (Hoosiers) to women’s college basketball (The Mighty Macs) to baseball (The Rookie) to football (Invincible) to swimming (Pride) to surfing (Soul Surfer) to golf (The Greatest Game Ever Played) to hockey (Miracle) to horse racing (Secretariat)—and even spelling (Akeelah and the Bee) and chess (Searching for Bobby Fischer).
2. Choose a G or PG-rated live-action film. For families with older children, don’t discount G and PG films in favor of the PG-13 rating. Hollywood believes teenagers, the most hotly pursued demographic, won’t go to a movie unless it carries at least a PG-13 rating, which explains why so few Gs and PGs are out there. But every year some slip through and many are worth watching as a family. Recent examples include The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Big Miracle, We Bought a Zoo, Hugo, Dolphin Tale and Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.
3. Choose a box-office hit you enjoyed with your parents when you were young. Whether you are a child of the ’80s or the ’90s, you are bound to have films lodged up there in your memory that bring up warm feelings just thinking about them, so share them with your kids: Mr. Holland’s Opus, Groundhog Day, Rudy, Cool Runnings, Father of the Bride—give it some thought or browse through the rental list and you’ll come up with your own favorites.
4. Watch a vintage classic from the black-and-white era. Who’s going to sit still for black and white these days, you ask? Ease into it with an old comedy and you may be surprised that, after awhile, you have forgotten that it’s monochrome. Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine is a guaranteed laugh-getter–even for the very young–in their film The Naughty Nineties. Frank Capra’s Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is funny and charming with an uplifting theme. The Marx Brothers’ anti-war film Duck Soup is a riot. Cary Grant’s double-takes in Arsenic and Old Lace are priceless. Buster Keaton’s silent Civil War farce The General is unbeatable. And there are many more.
5. Choose to have fun. Watching movies together should be a joyous experience, one that creates the same kind of warm memories you have of watching beloved films with your parents. So pop some corn or roast some hot dogs, hunker down in the TV room together, turn off your phones and have fun.
Chris Hicks, author of Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind?, has been writing about movies for the Deseret News for more than thirty years. He was the full-time movie critic for 20 years and also reviewed movies on KSL television and radio for thirteen years. Chris then became the editor of the newspaper’s features department. Now retired, he continues to write a weekly column and DVD reviews for the Deseret News.
“Our species is now under threat. Not from aliens and not from zombies, but from those who oversee our schools’ playgrounds.
A couple of playground injuries have prompted one Long Island, N.Y. school to ban balls and require teacher supervision for games like tag. Haven’t these “protectors” of kids ever heard of evolution, creativity, and even Mark Twain, whose chosen name connotes living at the cusp of safety and risk? (more…)