Tip of the Week

Interacting with your children is one of the best parts of being a parent and it’s no surprise that many people report looking for toys this holiday season that incorporate interactive technology. Are you one of them? If you are, then you know you’re looking for the kind of technology that involves you and engages, motivates, teaches, surprises and sparks the imagination of your child.

The benefits of this interaction are considerable.

Responsive interactions are the key to a toddler’s ability to increase their vocabulary and a baby’s ability to learn language, according to a study by the Society for Research in Child Development. Researchers at the University of Washington, Temple University and the University of Delaware studied 2-year-olds who effectively learned new verbs, either through training face-to-face with a person or via live video chat technology such as Skype. The study found children learned new words only when conversing with a person live or in the video chat, both of which involve responsive social interactions. These findings highlight the importance of a more interactive and responsive approach to learning language.

One creative, technology toy that’s being introduced this year to support these findings is Chappet, a 2-inch, round yellow speaker button that’s controlled by a smartphone app. It allows parents or caregivers to interact with a child through a stuffed animal that adorns the button by supplying their own voice via voice or text chat. Chappet can also support more than 1,000 prerecorded phrases, features 20 prerecorded songs and stories and its auto-chat function can mimic the words a child shares with it in conversation, allowing children to interact with their toys in an entirely new way.

The Chappet speaker button can be sewn on or attached with a string to loop it around the stuffed animal’s neck like a necklace. It does not need a battery since it is rechargeable, and because of its size, is safe for little children.

Take the time to learn more about this and other interactive solutions available for your child this holiday season. Because, as the research shows, a little interaction can go a long, long way.

— Brandpoint

Family Movie Night

“Wonder”

Rated: PG

Length: 1h 53min

Synopsis: This film is based on the New York Times bestseller about August Pullman, a boy with facial deformities that required many surgeries and hospital stays which, up until now, prevented him from going to a mainstream school. With the help of his sister, mother (Julia Roberts) and father (Owen Wilson), August is determined to show his new classmates he is just an ordinary kid.

— Lionsgate

Book Report

“Read the Book, Lemmings!”

Ages: 4 - 8 years

Pages: 40

Synopsis: Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: “Lemmings don’t jump off cliffs.” But Foxy can’t get the lemmings on the cliff to read his book, too. They’re too busy jumping off. After a chilly third rescue, exasperated Foxy and grumbly polar bear Captain PB realize their naughty nautical crew isn’t being stubborn: The lemmings can’t read. And until Foxy patiently teaches his lemmings to read the book, he can’t return to reading it, either!

— Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Did You Know

A new study suggests that the human papillomavirus vaccine may protect against a rare, chronic childhood respiratory disease. Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis occurs in children when HPV type 6 or 11 is transmitted at birth from mother to child.

The study looked at the decline of new papillomatosis diagnoses in Australia, a country with a very successful HPV vaccination program.There about 86 percent of girls and 79 percent of boys aged 14 to 15 have received the vaccine that protects against four cancer-causing types of HPV — types 6, 11, 16 and 18.

Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis causes wart-like, benign growths in the respiratory tract, making breathing difficult and the condition potentially life-threatening. Repeated surgeries are usually required to keep an affected child’s airway clear.

According to the Journal of Infectious Diseases, in the United States, about 800 children develop this disease each year and its annual medical costs are about $123 million.

— More Content Now