Children

Marbles Kids Museum
the museum

It's getting crowded at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh.

Sally Edwards is president of the private not-for-profit. She says the museum built to accommodate 175,000 visitors a year, but now hosts 450,000.

“There are days that there are more people at the museum playing than the museum was designed to accommodate. So we really look forward to the opportunity to identify ways where we can expand, so the visitors who want to come and play and learn at Marbles have more room to spread out while they're here.”

The last thing my 11-year-old does before she goes to sleep is put her iPod on the nightstand. And that could mean less sleep for her, researchers say.

There's plenty of evidence that children who have televisions in their rooms get less sleep. This is one of the first studies to look at whether having a small screen like an iPod or smartphone in the room also affects rest.

Now that the holidays are over, another season has arrived. It's time for children to put pen to paper and scratch out thank you letters — all under the watchful eye of their parents.

In a recent piece for The Guardian, Peter Ormerod argues that it's time to do away with that ritual. He writes that thank you letters "represent arguably the first instance in our lives when insincerity is officially sanctioned, which is particularly sad given that the best thing about children is their honesty."

Sandwich Monday: Doritos Loaded

Dec 8, 2014

Doritos are everywhere. They're in taco shells at Taco Bell, they're in pizza crusts in Australia and they're sneaking up behind you right now with murder in their eyes. 7-Eleven has introduced the Doritos Loaded, shorthand for "vaguely Doritos-shaped fried thing stuffed with cheese."

Robert: This is what happens to Doritos after they eat too many Doritos.

The Ice Garden

Nov 12, 2014

The characters in Moira Crone’s new book The Ice Garden (Carolina Wren Press/2014) have been rattling about in the author’s head for decades. 

When Paul Austin and his wife Sally were anticipating their first child, they both felt excited and ready to be parents.

Holden Mora shows his new hand, and a pumpkin spice cookie.
Carol Jackson

Seven-year-old Holden Mora's hand is something that Iron Man might envy. It's bright red, and appears indestructible. Holden was born with something called Symbrachydactyly, and his hand didn't develop properly in the womb.

The 3D hand was created specially for Holden by a UNC  biomedical engineering student, Jeffrey Powell. Powell didn't use high-tech prosthetic engineering tools to create the hand. He used a 3D printer.

Update at 7:27 p.m. ET. Toys R Us Pulls Dolls:

After a controversy stirred by a Florida mom, Toys R Us is pulling a line of action figures based on the TV show Breaking Bad.

The AP reports that in a statement, the toy retailer said: "Let's just say, the action figures have taken an indefinite sabbatical."

A picture of children getting off a school bus.
woodley wonderworks / Flickr

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is on the lookout for motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus. The week-long enforcement campaign is called Operation Stop Arm.

Lieutenant Jeff Gordon says the initiative is part of National School Bus Safety week, but that it's especially appropriate considering recent accidents involving school children.

In the past month, four children have been hit by cars at their bus stops in Wilson and Wake Counties. One of those children died.

The fan who suddenly got everything he wanted, the writer Roald Dahl never said in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, lived happily ever after. Fans of the beloved children's classic may not get everything they want, but they are getting a previously unpublished chapter from the book that turns 50 this month.

"Please, sir, I want some more," Oliver Twist famously asked in the food line at an orphanage.

Instead he got a blow to the head with a ladle.

Tormod Sandtorv / Flickr/Creative Commons

Researchers at Duke University suggest getting rid of homes for orphaned children will not lead to better child well-being.

The study followed children in low- to middle-income children from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, and Tanzania. It looked at many factors in the children's lives including emotional trauma, growth, memory and the health of both the child and caregiver.

Kathryn Whetten is professor of public policy at Duke and directs the school's Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research. 

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

Aug 28, 2014

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

10-year-old Casey Valleroy, host Frank Stasio, and 14-year-old Logan Valleroy
Carol Jackson / WUNC

Note: This is a rebroadcast of a show that aired June 6, 2014.

Logan and Casey Valleroy have years of experience playing nine different instruments. The years of musical experience are impressive since they have a combined total of 24 years of life.

The duo known as The Bucket Brothers has released three albums, played live with members of big-name local bands like The Old Ceremony and the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and they haven’t even entered high school yet.

Sophie Steiner, self portrait
Sophie Steiner

When Sophie Steiner was 13, she wrote a poem. The title was “Be Loud.”

Here's an excerpt:

… Be loud
And move with grace
Explode with light
Have no fear…

Those words would become a metaphor for her life. When she was 14, Sophie was diagnosed with cancer. It was the fall of her freshman year at East Chapel Hill High. She did six rounds of chemotherapy, and spent months in a pediatric cancer ward before succumbing to her illness. She died one year ago, August 30, 2013.

Book News: 'Lost' Dr. Seuss Stories To Be Published

Aug 1, 2014

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Durham County Public Library

A friend of mine sent me this note recently: "Apparently the Southwest branch of the Durham public library has an insane automatic book sorter worth 180K."

I checked into it and I can report that it did not cost $180,000, nor is it insane. It's actually pretty cool.

(July 24, 2014: See the editor's note at the bottom of this page for an explanation of the story's new headline.)

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

Kid Finance

Jul 17, 2014
makethedifference.org

Children learn a great deal about money from their parents. But which aspects are parents wont to teach and which do they often conceal? Researcher Lynsey Romo sought to answer that in her new study, "Money Matters: Children's Perceptions of Parent-Child Financial Disclosure".

Meanwhile, an exhibit at Marbles Kids Museum aims to facilitate money talk in kids as young as five and the North Carolina Bankers Association works with middle and high school students.

Basketball player Josiah Brown can dribble with either hand; he has a spin move and he regularly drains shots from outside the lane. But Brown, who lives in Wilmington, N.C., isn't a hot high school prospect, because he's only 4.

Waiting for the camp bus. First day excitement!
Alice via ShineBig

Hello mudda, hello fadda. It's that time again, summer camp!  What does summer camp look like for you and your family? Click here to share a photo, audio or video right from your phone.

You have until Friday, July 11. On Monday the 14th we will feature some of our favorite submissions here.

Click here to browse all of submissions we've published so far.

Duke Health's Raleigh Hospital
Duke Medicine

  State lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow the use of a marijuana oil to help treat childhood seizures.

Researchers say the hemp oil extract, known as cannabidiol (CBD), is not psychoactive and would be used to treat only debilitating seizure disorders.

Several lawmakers, like Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford), showed their support for the bill by relating their experiences of having family members with epilepsy.

10-year-old Casey Valleroy, host Frank Stasio, and 14-year-old Logan Valleroy
Carol Jackson / WUNC

  

Logan and Casey Valleroy have years of experience playing nine different instruments.

The years of musical experience are impressive since they have a combined total of 24 years of life.

The duo known as The Bucket Brothers has released three albums, played live with members of big-name local bands like The Old Ceremony and the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and they haven’t even entered high school yet.

Bettie Lehem Closs
Scripps National Spelling Bee

I lost on the word "laundromat." It bothers me to this day. I was competing in the Epsom Central School (NH) annual spelling bee. It was intense. I remember leaning back, my head propped on the edge of the headrest between words, silently mouthing prayers aimed at the ceiling. For some reason, I hadn't practiced from the list of provided words, but I read a lot, so I thought I had a good chance.

It was getting towards the end of the bee, and the teacher read out my word. "Laundromat." She said it twice, her diction precise.

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