Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
A 9-year-old Michigan boy exploring a creek near his house made an astounding find–a 10,000-year-old mastodon tooth. A mastodon is an extinct, giant relative of the modern-day elephant. More from CNN:
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“I was walking down at the creek last summer. I felt something that I stepped on so I picked it up and everybody in the neighborhood thought it was pretty cool,” Philip Stoll told CNN on Friday.
Affectionately called “Huckleberry Phil” in his neighborhood near Lansing because of his penchant for exploring outside, Philip took the lump home and washed it off in the kitchen sink, and checked to see if it was magnetic, his mother, Heidi Stoll said. It wasn’t.
The peculiar object was about 8 inches in length, brown, and had six peaks.
“I was holding it in my hands for a few minutes and then it gave me the creeps so I put it down on the desk,” Heidi Stoll told CNN. “It looked like a tooth. It looked like there was something like gum tissue, a little bulgy thing around the top.”
After researching “large tooth object” on the Internet, mother and son reached out to James Harding, a herpetologist — an expert on reptiles and amphibians — at nearby Michigan State, who told them it was the tooth of one of the long-gone beasts that roamed the area millennia ago.
“This is indeed a mastodon tooth,” Professor Harding confirmed in an e-mail. “Apparently (it is) the upper surface, broken off at the roots.”
Philip told CNN that he always thought he might want to be a paleontologist — a scientist who studies prehistoric life — but now feels that more than ever. And with summer approaching, there’s more exploring to be done.
Monday, April 14th, 2014
Taking a toddler shopping may actually help their social, intellectual, and even motor development, according to a new British study. More from The Daily Mail:
The interaction between child and parent while shopping helps young people develop social skills and promotes happiness – even if a bawling toddler shows few signs of it at the time.
According to the joint study by Oxford University and the Open University, shopping trips are just as beneficial for the child’s development as painting or drawing activities.
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The two universities made these conclusions after studying the results of an economic survey in Germany.
This survey looked into the daily routines and habits of 800 parents with two and three-year-olds.
It recorded higher perceived levels of happiness among the children who had taken part in activities such as arts and crafts, and shopping.
Researchers Professor Paul Anand and Dr Laurence Roope added that the more retail therapy the toddlers were exposed to, the happier they seemed to be, and the more developed their everyday skills became.
Shopping may be beneficial because it involves changes of scenery from shop to shop, which improves the child’s motor and social skills more than a sedentary activity, the report continued.
Image: Toddler shopping with father, via Shutterstock
What’s your toddler nutrition IQ?
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
The California Heritage Museum has announced plans to display an exhibition of “Awkward Family Photos,” a collection that got its start as a viral website and features odd, funny, and often borderline inappropriate posed photos of families. Today.com has more on the exhibit:
The “Awkward Family Photo Exhibition,” on display from March 27 to July 27, features images from the popular “Awkward Family Photos” website and book series of cringe-worthy — yet totally hilarious — portraits, vacation snaps, wedding pics, pet shots and more. It’s a celebration of poor wardrobe and hairstyle choices, inappropriate poses among siblings and backgrounds, and props that defy logic.
The exhibition will showcase 10 themes: the family portrait; siblings; vacation; the kids; the holidays; weddings; dad; mom; the grandparents; birthdays, and the family pet.
“It invites you to celebrate those less than picture-perfect moments,” the museum declares on its website.
Image: Camera, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
The Disney Channel has introduced a lesbian couple who are parents to a child named Taylor on the show “Good Luck Charlie,” featuring same-sex parents for the first time on the network. More from Jezebel.com:
“This particular storyline was developed under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisors,” a Disney Channel spokesperson [said in June, when the decision was first announced]. “Like all Disney Channel programming, it was developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness.”
The conservative parenting organization One Million Moms has posted a statement disagreeing with Disney’s decision, stating in part:
Disney should stick to entertaining instead of pushing an agenda. Disney decided to be politically correct versus providing family-friendly programming. Disney has a choice whether to produce a program with certain fictional characters; the storyline could be re-written or changed. Conservative families need to urge Disney to exclude confusing topics that children are far too young to comprehend.
Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus, who got her start in show business on the hit Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana,” posted a tweet congratulating Disney for its decision: “I commend Disney for making this step into the light of this generation,” she said.
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Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
The most prestigious book awards in the children’s literature world were announced this week, as CNN.com reports:
Children’s and young adult books are sporting some shiny new seals after the American Library Association announced its most esteemed literary prizes Monday, including the Newbery and Caldecott medals.
The Caldecott Medal went to “Locomotive,” written and illustrated by Brian Floca. The book follows family and crew traveling together on America’s new transcontinental railroad in the summer of 1869.
The Newbery Medal was awarded to “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures,” written by Kate DiCamillo, who also wrote “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “The Tale of Despereaux,” and illustrated by K.G. Campbell. It’s the story of a young comic book enthusiast and cynic, Flora, and a superhero squirrel named Ulysses who helps Flora against her greatest enemy.
The awards announced Monday recognize children’s and young adult authors, illustrators and media producers. The winning list guides parents, teachers and libraries, and the books typically remain in print and on store and library shelves for years to come.
Visit the American Library Association’s pages for a full list of the Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners.
Image: Mother and child reading, via Shutterstock
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