Category Archives: children

Halloween DIY

By spending less than $10 at a local thrift store, our grandson recently “dressed the part” for his oral presentation on Steve Jobs.

That same type of DIY thinking will drive the creation of many costumes this Halloween. In an effort to be unique, kids will wear costumes they put together by themselves.

Using a mix and match approach, children will add accessories and items they borrow, find or buy inexpensively.



Haunted house designers have applied consumer psychology to haunted houses this fall.

By working to understand how to scare a guest without triggering deep fear, more sites will use sensory experiences including smells, sounds and sights that incorporate elements of cutting edge technology.

A word to wise parents: developers work from adult standards, not those which are child-appropriate.

Summer “makers”

Students who spent the school year working with motors, switches and gears as part of the “Maker’s Movement” initiative won’t miss a beat this summer.

Science centers, libraries, museums and even camps are inviting kids to use “real” woodworking tools, circuit boards, and soldering equipment.

“Making” has birthed the next generation of inventors, and these kids won’t stop just because it’s summer.

If your flashlight is missing a battery or bulb, check your preschooler’s light saber.

One in 68

That title – one in 68 – is the number of American children diagnosed with autism.

Julia, a character who came to life as a Muppet last Monday, was introduced in a special episode on HBO and PBS Kids.

Designed to increase awareness and understanding of autism, Sesame Workshop consulted with more than 250 experts and organizations during the last five years before introducing Julia.

Book baskets

During a recent interview, the host and I discussed how books are a perfect “add” to Easter baskets.

Books that address worry and anxiety are traditional standards in a children’s emotional tool kit.

Perhaps living in the DC area makes me more sensitive to the climate and tone in the culture, but Easter is a great opportunity to choose titles that focus on empathy, compassion and caring.

For toddlers and very young children, try my new release, First Feelings for Toddlers. Click link:

IRL Friends?

Research shows that more that kids have never met more than half of their Facebook friends IRL (in real life.)

I can’t help but wonder at the implication of that staggering statistic. I think of all the times we hosted (and fed) our children’s friends. Will the 30% of Millennials who are now parents get to know their children’s friends across the kitchen table?

Social circles are so important to kids. Friends/non-friends are a huge influence. I can’t stop the questions…

Do the high numbers of online friendships mean kids are growing up inclusive? How do online friendships impact the real-time social skills kids need to make eye contact and carry on a live conversation? Are online and offline friendships defined identically?

Questions will keep coming…

“You love me. I’ll love you”

At the International Toy Fair last month, I saw all kinds of pets:
digital, collectible, plush, plastic and some made on a 3-D printer.

We know that children often bond emotionally to animals, even if they aren’t warm and fuzzy. But I wonder how much of that special connection for a pet (regardless of the level of “realness”) is because an animal will love a child just as he is…whether he forgot to make his bed, dropped a fly ball or missed words on a spelling test.

Being accepted just for who you are…that Fred Rogers message is timeless.