Award-winning 'NaturePlay' film offers an inspiring look at Scandinavia's nature-based education system

07/24/16   filed under: eco play, eco toddler, education, green education, green kids, kid friendly, news, video

Nature-based education is just starting to get a foothold in America, the land of standardized testing and tightly planned curriculum, but it’s the norm in some areas of the world. NaturePlay is a new documentary that takes a close look into the Scandinavian approach to early education, which is quite successful. The award-winning film from Danish director and cinematographer Daniel Stilling illustrates the stark differences between the effective and productive concept of nature-based education, and the faltering system of high stress standardized testing at work in America.

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Handcrafted octagonal family treehouse is 'the ultimate place to play' in the woods

07/23/16   filed under: eco decor, green design, kid friendly, Uncategorized

Treehouse envy alert! In 1971 in rural Mississippi, an artist and craftsman built a 1,200 square foot magical treehouse as his home and hideaway. Using found objects and materials, and creative inspiration, Johnny Knight built this getaway just 10 minutes outside of downtown Mendenhall, but the atmosphere is more middle-of-nowhere with the house located high on a hill near a creek. For the past forty-five years, the treehouse has been a gathering place for his extended family. Now, twelve years after Johnny’s death, that family made the treehouse an official part of their future as well.

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HOW TO: Make bonfire banana boats with melted dark chocolate

07/22/16   filed under: cooking, how-to, kid friendly, recipes, vegan cooking

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Mind Yeti is a priceless (free!) online program for teaching kids mindfulness & meditation

07/22/16   filed under: green kids, health & body

Teaching your children how to meditate is a gift that will benefit their well-being for a lifetime. But the concept of sitting still and focusing your thoughts can seem too lofty for many young kids (frankly the art of meditation can be difficult to grasp at any age). A free online program called Mind Yeti bridges the gap by making the art of slowing and calming down manageable and fun. A friendly Yeti suggests kids “settle the hubbub” and external noise of life by practicing mindfulness to get a grasp on their feelings, emotions and inner guide. The site offers 12 free guided audio sessions that highlight three areas: calm, focus and connect. Each session is six minutes or less and focuses on topics such as breathing, body awareness, kindness and gratitude. Even preschoolers will be able to tune in and connect with the voice and directions of the soothing guides for this amount of time. Whether you make Mind Yeti part of your daily routine, or use it as a tool to help your kids when they’re nervous, stressed or overwhelmed — or need to calm down at bedtime or switch gears to concentrate on homework — this great program will help in every aspect of their lives.

+ Mind Yeti

 

Light Tales projects children's drawings onto walls, turning story time into an illuminating experience

07/22/16   filed under: art, eco play, gadget, green kids

Your children’s precious drawings are brought to new dimension, with John Teo and Loren Lim’s Light Tales. With the easy to use device, colorful drawings and stories spring to life by being projected onto any wall. Kids can easily slip their creations on the included transparent film onto the illuminated base, allowing their characters and landscapes to light up before their eyes in colorful projection.

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American Academy of Pediatrics urges adults to protect children from virtual violence

07/21/16   filed under: green family, health & body, news, parenting

virtual violence, screen violence, media violence, limit screen time, violent video game, tv violence, screen free

Childhood exposure to media violence is not a new topic in the United States, but it is an issue that’s growing in scope. With so much technology aimed at children, such as tablets, gaming platforms and phones, running into violence online is an almost inescapable part of growing up nowadays. However, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that adults, not kids should have the final say in what kids are viewing, and thus have released a newly updated and refined policy statement regarding children and screen violence. Throughout the updated policy statement, the AAP uses the term “virtual violence” to discuss all forms of violence that are not experienced physically, for example, first-person shooter games. The policy, aimed at all adults, including pediatricians, parents, industry, and policy makers, makes concrete recommendations about how adults can (and should) limit the amount of virtual violence young children are exposed to. The AAP makes many recommendations to adults in their policy, including noting that pediatricians should consider making children’s “media diets” a key part of well-child examinations in order to help parents make smarter media choices for their children. They also note that policy makers should promote legislation that prohibits easy access to violent media for minors. Keep reading to see the key takeaways for parents from this new AAP statement.

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The stylish Boomini White can be used as a play platform or bookcase

07/21/16   filed under: eco play, green kids, kids furniture

Boomini, modular dollhouse, boomini dollhouse, boomini dollhouses, modern dollhouses, eco dollhouses, dollhouse furniture, boomini white

Boomini White is a beautiful multistory dollhouse with a scale 1:6 and is available with or without furniture, making it perfect for play or as an original piece of furniture in your home (think clever bookcase). The Boomini White dollhouse and accessories were designed by professional architects and designers who know how to entice kids and appeal to adult design buffs at the same time. The set includes the four-story dollhouse and staircase (2 elements) — and the rear wall of the kitchen is a working blackboard where you can leave messages for your dolls or actual family members. This versatile dollhouse can be rearranged to suit your individual tastes, and all the furniture, minus two hanging shelves in the living room, can be moved.

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Hospitalized kids play ongoing game of "Where's Waldo?" thanks to a crafty construction worker across the street

07/21/16   filed under: kid friendly, kids entertainment

waldo, where's waldo, game, kid friendly

Having treatments or surgeries in a hospital can translate into long hours of waiting, resting, and recovering. A construction foreman named Jason Haney is turning that time into a “Where’s Waldo?” game for the patients at Memorial Children’s Hospital in South Bend, Indiana. Haney created an 8 foot-tall Waldo cutout out of plywood and has been lugging it around his construction site facing the hospital since April. Each day, the kids and their families search for Waldo among the scaffolding, towers, and roof of the construction area, which is part of a huge hospital expansion. Haney’s own daughter Taylor spent an extended period of time in a hospital after suffering from a stroke at the age of three, so he knows first-hand how small efforts and entertainment can make a world of a difference. Now a teenager, Taylor helped her dad paint Waldo. Before Haney and his daughter crafted Waldo (who weighs between 5o-60 pounds!), he previously put a blow-up snowman and a blow-up Sponge Bob on the construction site as a way to amuse the pediatric patients and get their minds off of their medical worries. Hiding the classic red-and-white striped Waldo is an ongoing game for both the construction workers and the patients at the hospital, but it has also served as a surprising way for the workers at the hospital and the construction site and patients to bond: some of the construction workers have even begun participating in hospital activities for the patients including Bingo games! Although Haney’s creation of Waldo began as a simple, fun diversion, it has come to mean much more for everyone involved. Haney even created a Facebook group where people can post about where they found Waldo.

via The Huffington Post

All images © Heidi Prescott/Beacon Health

 

Interactive kid's calendar is handcrafted by refugee women using upcycled materials

Interactive kid's calendar is handcrafted by refugee women using upcycled materials

Despite the fact that summer is in full swing, playing “school” never goes out of season for some tots. Child’s Cup Full‘s interactive calendar is the perfect…

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Tiny Fox Hole is a mama-run, handmade cornucopia of enchanting wooden treasures for babies & tots

Tiny Fox Hole is a mama-run, handmade cornucopia of enchanting wooden treasures for babies & tots

If you’re looking for a go-to toy shop for gorgeous wooden, heirloom quality toys, then Tiny Fox Hole has got your back. This Etsy shop is packed with sweet, safe toys made for…

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Organic fruit and veggie cart allows kids to mimic farmer's market fun

Organic fruit and veggie cart allows kids to mimic farmer's market fun

Kids love playing pretend with play kitchens and play food, and this organic fruit and vegetable cart adds even more layers of fun to food role play. This toy looks like a cute little…

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Limited edition VW bus inspired bed is perfect for kids cruising off to sleep

Limited edition VW bus inspired bed is perfect for kids cruising off to sleep

Circu designs magical, awe-inspiring furniture for children, or adults who are young at heart. Although their range is expansive, our favorite piece is the Bun Van, a dreamy VW…

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INTERVIEW: Cinnamon Snail food truck founder on making vegan food mainstream

INTERVIEW: Cinnamon Snail food truck founder on making vegan food mainstream

  Inhabitots: Has your clientele changed over the years? Did it take people a while to warm up to the concept of vegan street food? How do you entice non-vegans or non-vegetarians to…

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This wooden play kitchen is the perfect accessory for your little chef-in-training

This wooden play kitchen is the perfect accessory for your little chef-in-training

This beautiful and detailed play kitchen, made by Drewart Company, is lovely, affordable and the perfect toy to spark your child’s imagination. This alder wood kitchen set comes…

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Mom elevates food to an art form, recreating her son's favorite characters for mealtime

Mom elevates food to an art form, recreating her son's favorite characters for mealtime

These fascinating creations began as a fun family project. Mohmedi’s first masterpiece was a lion crafted from spelt pancakes and fruit, and Jacob quickly became an active…

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Forivor's luxurious, organic reversible bedding aims to nurture children's love of storytelling and affinity for nature

Forivor's luxurious, organic reversible bedding aims to nurture children's love of storytelling and affinity for nature

Forivor’s Kickstarter campaign ends tomorrow, and they have well-surpassed their goal but would welcome additional supporters. There’s no mystery behind the items’…

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UnPaper Towels on a roll will help you banish disposable paper towels forever

UnPaper Towels on a roll will help you banish disposable paper towels forever

A recent survey shows that more than 95.9% of American households used paper towels in 2011. Other research shows that 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used annually. Worse, you…

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13 giant & cozy bird nests that will comfort and enchant children (and adults)

13 giant & cozy bird nests that will comfort and enchant children (and adults)

Giant birdsnest The enormous birdsnest-inspired bed, shown here and in the first image in the gallery is a super playful design that allows anyone a sweet spot to curl up and sleep,…

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