Gifts that Evoke Kids’ Creativity by Sandra Murphy Choosing thoughtful gifts for kids can be a challenge, especially when opting for creativity over this year’s hot toy. It’s possible to find gifts that appeal to both parent and child, involving the whole family or working as solo projects. Some expand beyond the boundaries of home.
Hobbies Engage and Grow Healthy Kids by Marlaina Donato Unplugging with creative and fun activities fosters skills that can last a lifetime. Studies published by the National Endowment for the Arts Office of Research & Analysis show that participating in performing and visual arts enhances children’s social skills and emotional processing, builds confidence and improves academic aptitude.
Reversing a Rising Tide of Chronic Conditions by Ronica A. O’Hara The statistics are startling—as many as a quarter to one half of American children now have a diagnosed chronic condition, according to studies that include one in Academic Pediatrics that includes obesity. Over the last few decades, the number of children with asthma has tripled to affect one in eight; those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have doubled to one in 10; and autism diagnoses have increased at least 10-fold, to affect one in 50 (one in 31 boys).
Fresh Hope for a Troubled Planet by Linda Sechrist Recognizing that it might be too late by the time they are older, many young people are already acting collectively and across partisan aisles on everything from climate change and the environment to gun control, gender equality, social justice, education and politics.
How to Power Up Their Defenses by Marlaina Donato Strong immunity is a cornerstone of optimum health, and may be weakened or enhanced by what we eat and how we manage our emotions. Starting young in incorporating good ongoing habits can go a long way toward building a better immune response to whatever a person encounters.
Why Less Means More Happiness by Deborah Shouse Parents wishing to simplify child-raising seek less stress and more fun; less scheduling and more casual time; less “shoulds” and more “want-tos” less second-guessing and more confidence. For a happier family life, experts encourage parents to stay true to their own values, strengths and sense of family purpose, focusing on the wonders of their children instead of endless daily tasks. It begins with each child feeling loved.
Gardening Connects Kids to Nature by Barbara Pleasant Children benefit from a close connection with nature, and there’s no better place to learn about plants and soil than a garden. Families don’t need lots of space, as even a small collection of potted plants holds fascination for youngsters. The first step is to understand a garden as seen by a child that may be more interested in creative play than in making things grow.
Kids Love These Homemade Drinks by Judith Fertig At day camp or the pool, on the playing field or in the backyard, kids can get really thirsty, especially as temperatures climb. Although filtered water is always a good choice, sugary, carbonated, artificially colored and flavored beverages can be tempting. Having homemade options ready can entice kids to stay hydrated in a healthy way.
Nature Helps Kids Build Skills and Character by April Thompson A movement is afoot to get kids grounded in nature. Wilderness awareness programs, also known as primitive skills or Earth-based education, teach life-changing survival skills that build courage, compassion and camaraderie. “We help youth experience a true aliveness in nature. Kids gain knowledge of the outdoors and increase awareness, confidence and self-reliance, while having fun, positive experiences,” says Dave Scott, founder of the Earth Native Wilderness School, in Bastrop, Texas.
Five Steps to Positivity by Tamar Chansky This is a family master plan for helping both children and adults resist negative thinking. Step One: Empathize with a Child’s Experience While the desired outcome is to help a child embrace a different point of view of their situation, the first goal is not to come on too strong with an agenda of