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Things Are Good: A Playground Where Kids Play With Tools

Kids need places to play, and those playgrounds need to encourage community, exploration, and more. Designing a good playground can be harder than it sounds, it’s not as easy as putting a slide in a park and hoping that’s enough. A good playground has risk and challenges the players. In New York City there is […]

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Things Are Good: Parents Need to be Nagged by Their Kids

Kids are always being told what they can and cannot not do, and new research says that when it comes to the environment it’s parents that should be told what to do. In a study by Stanford University they have found that children who nagged their parents about energy use made a measurable difference on […]

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Things Are Good: Kids Should Have a Summer of Boredom

There’s pressure put on parents to ensure that their children are constantly entertained and never “suffer” from boredom. Don’t worry parents! There’s no need to constantly entertain your offspring. Let them be bored! Being bored as a kid helps build their resiliency and lets the kids find what interests them on their own. In essence […]

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Things Are Good: Parks Make Kids Smarter and Reduce Health Inequality

Urban parks can greatly improve the quality of a neighbourhood and it can improve the wellbeing of all people in the area. Of all the users of a park kids may benefit the most. A park in a city gives kids a place to play and it helps them mentally too. The study authors suggest […]

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Things Are Good: Hitting Children Doesn’t Help

We now have solid evidence that spanking is more harmful than good for children. In the largest study of its kind researches have found that children who were spanked displayed more adverse socialization than others. They also conclude that spanking does not improve the behaviour of children when they are hit or afterwards. Spanking is […]

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centre of the universe: Eyewear, pocketbook, wristwatch

Before we get too far into this, I want you to go here and listen to The Faint’s Dress Code. Especially you, Meatbum. I’ll wait. I think it’s my new favourite thing ever invented. And, while you’re doing that, I’m just going to say I miss Devo. Okay. You’re back. Awesome! Dress code. Gender bias. . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Eyewear, pocketbook, wristwatch

centre of the universe: Growing Pains

We talk a lot about milestones, when we have kids. Milestones and rites of passage. By 18 months, your baby should be able to… Baby’s first tooth, baby’s first step, first day of school, first girlfriend, driver’s permit…the list goes on and on and on. But those aren’t the real rites of passage. Those aren’t . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Growing Pains

Things Are Good: A Video Series That’s Fighting Obesity

The obesity problem in North America keeps growing larger and it’s within all of our interests to ensure that we trim the fat. An online video series directed at kids is making a difference. The Adventure to Fitness series educates kids about animals, geography, and other fun things while keeping kids moving. This is . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: A Video Series That’s Fighting Obesity

centre of the universe: Three Stories

A Story About Crows for @lizzers_ Once Upon a Time, I lived far north of here in a “ranch-style bungalow” on a hill in a city bound by a river. The city itself still had many Wild Places. Not the kind of wild places where one might go after a night in one’s cups, but . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Three Stories

centre of the universe: Storytelling Month – The Basement

To celebrate Storytelling Month, I’m going to tell you at least one story per week in February. These are all true stories. I don’t think I’ve ever told this story before. Maybe I have and I’ve just reached that stage of perpetual awesomeness where my memory of stories is like that thing that things get . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Storytelling Month – The Basement

centre of the universe: Why we can’t be friends when you’re in Hawaii

My cousin is in Hawaii right now, and I have vowed that she and I can NOT be friends until she is home. Now. She’s a professional photographer, so all of her pictures of her little “vacation” are fucking gorgeous, and because I am not at all petty or jealous, I’ve decided that I’m going . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Why we can’t be friends when you’re in Hawaii

centre of the universe: You’re to Blame

I wasn’t going to say anything about this, but as usual, semantics made me do it. Because we live in a free and democratic first-world country (except for those places you don’t want to walk through), you get to choose not to vaccinate your children, and your reasons for that don’t matter. Good for you. . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: You’re to Blame

centre of the universe: Why a Communications Strategy is imperative

Man, that sounds boring. Bear with me, okay? Whether you are running a business, employed as a writer or PR or communications staff, or whether you’re running or managing a minor sports team, a dance troupe, or a non-profit, you need a communications strategy. This might be as simple as “I have everyone’s email and . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Why a Communications Strategy is imperative

centre of the universe: Post-graduate paper

This morning, #TheTeen and I got into a bit of a tiff. Mornings are chaotic, and as much as I have really enjoyed #TheTeen’s company this summer, when school starts up again and we’re under pressure, something eventually has to give. Here’s some background, although actually, the deets aren’t all that important. In fact, the . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Post-graduate paper

centre of the universe: It’s been nine long years

Not really. Not really long years. Nine ridiculously short years. Nine years that feels like days. Nine years that passed in the blink of an eye. Your brother was in his stroller. I clutched my go-mug of coffee with one white-knuckled hand and the stroller with the other. We took pictures of you out in . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: It’s been nine long years

centre of the universe: Sacrifice?

See, the thing is, when I chose to become a parent, I did not think in terms of “sacrifice”. I did not think in terms of “giving things up”. It wasn’t about not being able to go out partying with my bee eff effs. It wasn’t about not eating hot food. It wasn’t about giving . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Sacrifice?

Things Are Good: A New Zealand School Abandons Rules, Ends Bullying

Having zero tolerance policies in schools is a truly horrible way to treat children. It can blunt curiosity and punish severely for minor infractions, combine such oppressive control with bizarre rules (like no playing schoolyard games) and you’ll bored, agitated and disengaged kids. When children aren’t able to express themselves in more traditional ways (like . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: A New Zealand School Abandons Rules, Ends Bullying

Things Are Good: Earth Rangers Launches Battery Blitz

Earth Rangers has launched a new campaign for kids to learn about the potential danger of batteries. Battery Blitz Mission encourages kids to collect used household batteries and dispose of them properly. When batteries are improbably thrown out it can cause a lot of harm to the environment due to the dangerous chemicals inside.

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centre of the universe: Late last night or the night before…

Last night I was fortunate enough to be able to play in my first ever tabletop Werewolf game, hosted by AJ. It’s all done by magic now, you see, with (so far) four players in three different cities playing via videoconferencing. Let me tell you, I’m liking this. So after the game was over, we . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Late last night or the night before…

The Canadian Progressive: Shareholders vote for McDonald’s to assess its health impacts

Alarmed by the growing epidemic of diet-related diseases caused by junk food, moms, health professionals and shareholders urge McDonald’s to leave hospitals and stop marketing to kids.

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mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Ask General Kang: How much time should I be spending on Social Media every day?

None. Next question. No, seriously, what is the right amount? It depends. Do you have other things to do? Like, I don’t know, a job? Let’s assume yes, and let’s assume it’s about eight hours a day. Okay, so that … Continue reading →

centre of the universe: Call me Ducky

The Nipper has the Best Ideas Ever Invented. He said, last night on the way to rehearsal, “you know what would be cool, would be if they made a Call of Duty ™ game that’s age-appropriate for kids and they called it Call of Ducky. And you’d play this duck having adventures all over in . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Call me Ducky

centre of the universe: Unbelievable

Something ridiculous happened today. Before I get to that, though, I’m’a set some ground rules, because this is the kind of discussion that gets out of hand really, really fast. 1) I’m not interested in any anti-religion comments. What follows did not happen because people believe in God. This isn’t a discussion about belief versus . . . → Read More: centre of the universe: Unbelievable

Art Threat: Return to Gummo

Harmony Korine has been making headlines for his new pop-culture romp, Spring Breakers, with the usual fanfare and some reviewers decidedly giddy with the possibility of maybe “getting it” or maybe not. The film is apparently non-stop debauch and at least one critic has pointed out the work’s contribution to rape culture in the US, . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Return to Gummo

Things Are Good: Earth Rangers Wants You to Bring Back the Wild

Earth Rangers is a conservation organization focused on getting kids engaged in protecting and learning about the environment. They have a program currently focused on having kids actively engage in protecting wildlife and their ecosystems. Earth Day happens later this month but there’s no reason why you can’t be thinking about the planet everyday. . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Earth Rangers Wants You to Bring Back the Wild