Tagged With offspring

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Here’s a secret: Kids’ favourite toys cannot be found on any store shelf. Instead, just about everything you need to stimulate, captivate and exhaust your young offspring is probably already in your possession, hiding in your linen closet, kitchen cabinet or garage.

Once you start digging around your home (as my husband and I do, frequently at 5:00AM these days), you’ll find endless novelties to present to your kids without needing to shop, wrap or spend a cent — at least until they start begging for their own phone.

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I'm not exactly the most tech-savvy parent, so when I was offered a Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit to check out, I was at first like, "Wait, what's a Labo?" Luckily, my son, Ryan, who had just received a much-coveted Nintendo Switch for his 8th birthday, was like, "It's where you build really cool stuff and then you can play it on TV!"

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Ever since his daughter Emma was in primary school, W. Garth Callaghan would jot down inspirational quotes and bits of dad wisdom onto napkins and slip the notes into her lunchbox. It became their special thing, their way to connect. He wanted to make sure Emma could read a note from her father every single school day until graduation — even if he was no longer around to write them.

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As parents, we’re told that we’re our kids’ first teachers. It’s true, but to me this conjures up the idea that we must stand over their shoulders with a red pen, telling them they exactly what to learn and how. To better support their natural inquisitiveness, it can help to instead think of yourself as a librarian.

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The best way to get your kids into LEGO is to hand them a tub of LEGO bricks and say, "Here, go wild." But eventually, they may want to think even bigger and work with more bricks than they own. This free tool lets them build virtual LEGO models with about 10,000 different parts, and then purchase the bricks to assemble their creations in real life if they want to (and yes, they will want to).

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Mealtime is tough with a picky-eating child. There’s pleading, negotiation, and flash visions of him munching on dino nuggets and applesauce at his future wedding reception because you’ve failed to get him to try new foods. Here’s a tool that just might end the struggle: A food maze tray.

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I’ve hardly purchased any new items for my second baby on the way, but I’ve wanted to — this is evidenced by the smattering of product screenshots I’ve saved.

In the middle of the night, when I can’t seem to get my nine-month-pregnant body comfortable in my monster sausage of a maternity pillow, I’ll move to the sofa and just lie there, feeling every single worry about the months ahead creep into my brain. At that point, I’ll grab my phone to read more reviews of miracle swaddles.

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When touring different preschools for my daughter, I visited one where I got to observe the kids playing on the playground. While climbing the ladder on the slide, a little boy accidentally stepped on a little girl's finger, and she started crying. What happened next left me astounded.

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We're in the last week of school holidays, it's pouring rain, and it's highly likely cabin fever has set in. Before you get roped into playing yet another round of Monopoly, think outside of the family-game box.

We may get some angry emails for this, but some of the classic drinking games you played in university — sans booze — can make for terrific children’s games. Think about it. The beauty of them is their sheer simplicity and ability to captivate a crowd with rapidly dwindling attention spans. That includes both kindergarteners and that guy who had a few too many beers.

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My brother was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in primary school. A neurological condition caused by an underproduction of attention-regulating chemicals in the brain, ADHD comes in three types: Inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive and combination. He was hyperactive, literally crawling up walls as he scaled the load beam between our dining room and kitchen. His energy was undeniable.

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As I prepare for life with a new baby, I’ve been hearing a lot of advice on how to help my five-year-old daughter Maggie transition into her role of a big sister, a title she isn’t entirely thrilled about.

“Read her some big sibling books,” people say. (Done.) “Let her help out.” (Definitely.) “Get her a gift ‘from the baby’.” (OK, though I’m pretty sure she understands that a fetus has not had time to rake in currency in the womb.)

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The problem with manipulating your kids is that they’ll manipulate you back. And in an Ask Reddit thread, thousands of people shared stories of parental lessons that backfired. They all teach their own lessons, mostly that kids will surprise you every time.

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How do you help kids learn social skills, gain persistence, and wow their friends at the school lunch tables? Magic. Specifically, teach them some magic tricks.

But you can’t just hand them a Magic 101 guidebook and expect them to become young Houdinis — how you introduce the art makes a difference. Here are some good ways to do it, according to magicians.