Category Archives: children’s play

Camp connections

Real time updates on new platforms mean parents have more ways to hover over their camper.

Both day and overnight programs have upped the number of quick updates that go home.

Photos and videos of campers and their activities sent home throughout the day are easy to forward to long distance friends and relatives, too.

A tightly scheduled summer

Statisticians and social historians continue to say that parents of young children are incorporating unstructured play into their child’s lives.

I wish that were true, but around me, I even see preschoolers jumping between programs, organized activities and camps.

I believe moms and dads will need to be more intentional about raising independent, self-reliant children before schedules loosen up. That surely isn’t happening this summer.

Disrupted Dinner

Research consistently supports the importance of family mealtime. Benefits include healthier eating and children who learn vocabulary, have fewer behavior problems and lower substance abuse.

But dinnertime disruptions – in the form of sports and/or tech – continue to impact this important time of day.

If kids are active in sports, attendance is mandatory at games and practices. There aren’t a lot of options.

But there are real choices when it comes to tech. Do your kids a favor: turn off the TV and leave the phone in another room. Researchers have documented that even the mere presence of a phone diminishes the quality of conversation.

Devices remain an unwelcome dinner guest.

Safe turf?

As we transition between spring and summer sports, parents are asking the annual sideline question: Is artificial turf safe for children?

Health concerns continue to be raised about artificial turf. The two major questions center around potential links to cancer and possible neurologic effects on kids.

Tires, which contain chemicals, are recycled into crumbs that support the plastic blades of the grass.

I share the frustration of parents who have spent several years waiting for answers.

A beary good birthday

Build-A-Bear Workshop is recognizing 20 years in business with a 16 inch Celebration Bear. The special bear has a birthday logo on its paw pad and poseable arms and legs.

Look for in-store parties next Saturday and the twentieth of each month until the “official” birthday Oct 27.

A doll or a spy?

“My Friend Cayla” has been banned by regulators in Germany.

The doll, which has a microphone and uses a Bluetooth to transmit audio via the internet, has been accused of threatening security and privacy. This means anything a child says can be recorded and transmitted without a parents’ approval.

Labeled by some an “intelligent robot,” Cayla could be the first of many tech-equipped toys with the potential to violate consumer protection laws in the U.S.

Shopkins Live

The national tour doesn’t begin until September, but tickets began selling on Friday.

The 90-minute live show features Shoppies and Shopkins preparing for a Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair.

It’s the newest theatrical production based on a toy. The tour begins in Buffalo, New York and will go to 75 cities.