Anti-tip furniture

If you’re shopping for children’s furniture, look for anti-tip features.

Manufacturers have integrated (finally!) some of the stabilizing elements used in office filing cabinets to children’s furniture, especially taller dressers.

Kids won’t be able to pull out the drawers to make a ladder and climb to the top, but the drawer stops are a welcome improvement.

Echoes of fake news

The types of hoaxes, fake news and conspiracy theories spread last fall continue to dupe kids and trigger conversations in school hallways.

For the first time, some librarians and social studies teachers are feeling a sense of urgency about helping students learn to distinguish real from invented news.

It’s past time for media literacy to shift from a “filler if there’s time” to essential content.

The family meal?

Serving comfort food provides the background for numerous commercials airing now.

And honestly, winter weather makes this a perfect time for soup.

But to look at the ads, one might assume families across the country regularly sit down together for a meal. The real life statistic is that less than half of families do this everyday.
That’s not surprising, as our “snack culture” has reduced the time we spent sitting down at the kitchen table.

Perhaps parents will discover new ways to create quality time…

“Makers” meet the science fair

Students who have been influenced by the Makers Movement during the past several years will find creating science fair projects relatively easy.

Science fair season has been the traditional low point of the school year for non-creative parents and kids.

But students who have mixed art with science, technology, engineer, math assignments will find it easier to sew an LED light into fabric or create a new form of solar-powered toy.

Even four-year olds are starting to play with gadgets and gizmos in preschool. These kids who want “real” might sound a death knell for the plastic toys of previous generations.

The IoT is sneaking up

My family would tell you I’m a total tech klutz. But even I appreciate signals that the Internet of Things (IoT) is edging into everyday life.

It was painless to whiz through Customs and Immigration on a recent entry into the US. That was facial recognition technology at work.

This morning, I liked the digital coupons the grocery store automatically loaded onto my loyalty account.

Now, I’m waiting for the day when a finger press or face view substitutes for those pesky passwords I always forget. Even a tech klutz will appreciate that.

Conscious living

I’m hopeful that the trend toward “living in the moment” will reduce the plague of distracted parenting that results from cell phone attachment.

Even a brief scroll down the screen breaks eye contact. Researchers are studying how those disruptions influence not only the adult-child relationship, but also brain activity.

Taking a pro-active approach, is it time to reset some patterns of behavior that could benefit both us and our kids?

Attracting without distracting

Although there’s excitement about edging ever closer to the IoT (Internet of Things) one mom said she couldn’t imagine adding more “bings and beeps” to her house of already-noisy boys!

This mom will be happy to learn that “calm design” is already a major component in the IoT. Much of the technology will communicate with light, movement and color instead of distracting noise.

That has to be music to a mom’s ears.