When I heard that video chatting with a fairy was a feasible activity for my imaginative and increasingly stir-crazy four year old, I couldn't have jumped at the opportunity any faster. Enter Happily Ever Laughter, a California-based cast of fantastical kids party entertainers—think faeries, pirates, mermaids, princesses, and even safari explorers—who have pivoted to virtual playdates and celebrations during the stay at home order. Available for a one-on-one chat with your kiddo while you put the finishing touches on that presentation, or a group call that's worthy of a quarantine era birthday bash or just a special hangout with deeply missed friends, this gang of unique and engaging characters is now available nationwide with as little as 4 hours notice.
Latest posts by Jessica Laird
Who would have imagined this is what "afterschool" would look like in 2020? But, we're grateful that many much-loved programs are in fact moving ahead with virtual offerings that bring everything from soccer to piano lessons to robot building right to your living room. Using video conferencing, live streams, or watch-when-you-want videos, these online classes are hands-on and interactive, just like the real deal.
To help you find the right fit for your family, we've put together a list of over 20 virtual classes from some of our partners. Make sure to click through for more details and some awesome deals.
If the COVID-19 outbreak is keeping you up at night, you're probably wondering how your kids are coping. Well, according to pediatric specialists at Connecticut Children's, ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the stress of this pandemic could have a negative impact on a child’s development. The good news: it doesn't have to.
"We all deal with regular stresses on a daily basis," Connecticut Children’s developmental pediatrician Robert D. Keder, MD told us. "A little bit is a good thing; it motivates us to study for a test or run a little faster in a game. Some stresses are stronger, but still bearable when we have positive protective relationships. What’s happening with COVID-19 right now falls into what developmental specialists call 'toxic stress.'"
By itself, toxic stress can negatively impact children's development—leading to challenges in behavioral and physical health—but, fortunately, this kind of stress can also be buffered by building resilience. Read on to find out how pediatricians at the only health system in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children recommend you help kids build that resilience and cope with the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic.
Considering how much time families are spending quarantined at home right now, our bookshelves couldn't be full enough! These days, reading together feels like the perfect way to connect, learn, and pass the time, which is why it's that much more awesome that PJ Library keeps the stories coming with monthly deliveries of free Jewish children's books for kids as young as 6 months old. Oh, and speaking of passing the time, when your kiddos aren't buried in PJ's professionally-curated award-winning books, the program also offers access to virtual activities, podcasts, and playlists that'll fill the long days and weeks ahead with fun, laughter, and meaningful lessons.
Words like "mama," "dada," and "ball," may come fairly easily to many tots, but have you ever wondered how kids master more complicated concepts like verbs, adjectives, pronouns, and abstract nouns? Well, a team of researchers at NYU's LEARN Lab is eagerly looking for answers in the hopes of ultimately helping caregivers better communicate with children who have autism spectrum disorder–a condition that's often accompanied by minor to severe language delays. In order to further this important research, they need kiddos with and without the disorder to come play in the lab for an hour or so, and they're even sending the participants home with a gift card and a book.
From not being invited to the birthday party to getting called hurtful names, hearing that your child feels like they don't fit in can nearly break a parent's heart. But, as we grownups know, the things that make children different are also the things that make them special—and finding ways to celebrate that uniqueness is key to their confidence.
When it comes to kids, stomach aches are two things: common and complicated. Sure, sometimes that second cupcake at the birthday party or the twisty turvy drive to Grandma's house is enough to turn a kiddo's belly, but other times an undiagnosed digestive disorder is to blame—and it may be getting written off as "just a tummy ache." So, when a pediatric specialist at Connecticut Children’s offered to give us the lowdown on stomach ache causes that may actually be more serious, the worried mom in me was all ears. And if you're no stranger to the infamous cry of "my belly hurts," you'll definitely want to read on to see if it's time to schedule an appointment.
Ok, so here's some screen time parents can actually get behind! Thanks to the same web conferencing technology that probably powers your monthly board meetings, there's a remote weekly after school program that's busy turning young tech consumers into skilled creators and innovators by teaching them how to build apps, produce online videos, and even code robots. Yup, Tekkie Uni has been schooling kids in computer coding, robotics, and digital art since 2016 by connecting experienced teachers with small groups of students in virtual classrooms — and giving them skills that will undoubtedly serve them in today's tech-centric world.
Now, before you rejoice over the added bonus of saying buh-bye to the headache of after school pick up and drop off, read on to find out how Tekkie Uni works and what coding classes for kids they're currently offering for ages 8 to 18.