Perhaps you're a huge fan of Life of Pi, the Booker-Award-winning novel by Yann Martel, but can't imagine how the book could be translated effectively to film. Or perhaps you are already a huge fan of the movie, and followed it as its director Ang Lee won an Oscar for Best Director this year.
Either way, you will be wowed by today's giveaway: two copies of the Life of PiBlu-Ray DVD. The film is rated PG-13.
For newbies, the film is often described as a "visual masterpiece" that tells the amazing, coming-of age story of young Pi Patel, the son of a zookeeper who is shipwrecked and, luckily, lands on a lifeboat. The only hitch is that the other survivor sharing the boat with him is a ferocious Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, with whom he has to forge a never-been-done relationship. Not surprisingly, an incredibly and beautifully told epic journey of water, life, death and God unfolds.
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For many families, a weekend trip to Lowe's is a year-round occurrence, and often an outing to look forward to. Our 3-year-old son loves to help his dad choose a new set of tools or pick out vegetable starters for our garden. We recently checked out the free Build & Grow workshop that Lowe's hosts on select Saturdays at 10 a.m. (check here for a schedule).
This hands-on, interactive workshop gives children the opportunity to build a simple wooden craft. They learn to follow directions, use a hammer (kid-sized hammers available!), and gain a sense of achievement. Even the youngest builders can take pride in their work (our preschooler was very proud of his masterpiece). Store employees are available to help the kids with the project, and parents are encouraged to assist as well.
We attended the workshop featuring the “Piranhahkeet Chomper” from the new movie, The Croods. Graham had a blast studying the directions with his dad, sorting out the pieces and hammering in the nails (thank goodness for the pint-sized hammer- no sore thumbs here!). There were about 25 kids total, and plenty of room and supplies for everyone.
After completing their craft, the little carpenters receive a project-themed iron-on patch to put on their apron and a certificate of merit, signed by the Lowe's employee. This was a huge hit for Graham. We spotted quite a few kids with multiple patches on their aprons, collected from previous workshops. Past crafts have included bird feeders, helicopters, race cars, treasure chests and trellis planters.
In these days of computers, iPads and video games, good, old-fashioned wood working (or any crafting for that matter), plays an important role in hands-on learning, encouraging problem-solving, creative thinking and conceptualization. Woodworking aids in the development of dexterity and hand-eye coordination, and rewards kids with tangible results that they can treasure. Kiddos learn to practice safety and as well as counting, measuring and problem-solving. They also learn the importance of following directions and the patience of creating something from start to finish.
Graham was so proud of his new-found carpentry skills, and still plays with his “chomper.” We will definitely return for more. Did we mention that it’s free?
If you go ...
Where/when: Build & Grow workshops are hosted at select Lowe's stores on select Saturdays at 10 a.m. (check here for a schedule). Projects can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to complete, depending on the level of craft and your child’s ability. Next one up, it looks like, is a Mother's Day gift workshop.
Age range: Workshops are recommended for kiddos grades 1-5 (although my 3-year-old got just as much out of it as the 7-year-old next to us).
Register: Pre-registration online is recommended but not required; you can also register in the store but many workshops fill up, so check to see that there is room. The first 50 kids to register and be present at the store will receive a craft kit, apron and goggles (which you can take home!).
About the author: A born and raised Seattle girl, Allison spent her “early years” satisfying her wanderlust and now lives in Kirkland with her husband, 3-year-old son and (most would say) too many pets. A freelance writer, serious coffee lover (who isn’t?) and jogging stroller enthusiast, Allison loves to get out and explore her city, especially through the eyes of her child. Find more of her stories on her blog, Seattle Travel Mom. She took all the photos for this article.
In this post, and posts to come, I’m going to talk about safety measures that teens can take to try and lower their risk of sexual assault.
However, that comes with two important caveats. The first is that, unfortunately, there is nothing a teen can do to keep themselves 100% safe from sexual assault. The second is that if a sexual assault occurs, the blame is 100% on the perpetrator. It does not matter how the victim was acting, or what risks they took, or whether or not they showed good judgment in the situations leading up to the assault; a person who sexually assaults another person is the only one who bears responsibility for that assault.
The tips I am giving in the next few posts are ways to possibly lower risk, but someone who chooses to ignore all of them should never be blamed if they are attacked. Sometimes I wonder if we spend time teaching our teens to take safety measures and then forget to teach our teens to not sexually assault people. Like I mentioned in my last post, take the time to discuss with your teen, no matter what their gender, what is and is not acceptable.
Again, I’m not implying your teen is the type of person to victimize someone, but they might be able to speak up to help someone else. If one teen had chosen to call the police when they saw what was happening during the Steubenville incident, the assaults — or at least some of them — might never have happened.
Let’s discuss ways to talk to your teen about increasing their safety, and possibly decreasing their risk of being seen as an “easy target” (again, there are unfortunately no guarantees). And we’ll start by talking about drinking and drugs.
When someone is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, their judgment and decision-making capacity is lowered and sometimes nonexistent. This means that they may not be able to assess risk like somebody sober. They may decide to spend time with someone who, were they sober, their gut instinct would warn them away from. They may be unable to see the danger of a situation that would normally set off alarm bells.
This post by Positive Discipline Trainer Casey O'Roarty is part of our Growing Character series on teaching children courage.
What is courage?
And how do we teach courage to our children, especially when we live in a world that reminds us painfully and all too regularly of the need for it?
These are the questions that I have been pondering over the last week, reeling in disbelief in the wake of the tragic events in Boston, wondering how something so awful could happen during an event that was meant to be such a celebration for so many people…
When my children heard about the bombing, we sat down and talked about it as a family and answered the questions they had about this unspeakably awful event. It reminded me of the sadness we had to talk about last December, after the Newtown, CT shootings, and it pained me to know that my kids had to again think about such frightening things happening in our country.
While driving with my 10-year-old daughter a day or so later, the topic of the bombing came up again, and I asked her how she was feeling about it.
“I feel so sad for all the people who were hurt. I feel so sad for their families,” she shared.
Then I asked her what she thought about the people who were responsible.“I feel sad for them, too. They must have had a really terrible life.”
There it was. No expression of hate, of anger, not even fear — just sadness.
With springtime, many of us have children outside competing hard in baseball, soccer and all kinds of athletic activities. Sports are great for keeping kids healthy, but it’s important to be aware of potential injuries. ParentMap's Hilary Benson joined KING5 in studio to talk about the increasing number of young athletes who are getting hurt and how parents can minimize and prevent sports injuries.
As sports parents, we watch closely what goes on the field. But the skills of the adults off the field are critical in the event of a child’s injury.
If the trauma involves a suspected concussion, a hard blow to the chest or abdomen, or a spinal cord injury treating it properly can mean the difference between life or death, between a lifetime of mobility or a lifetime of paralysis.
The stakes are high, but our kids are playing hard.
“More of them are getting injured at a younger age than ever before, what I used to see happening just to the pros, now happens to 13-year-olds,” says Dr. James Andrews, a nationally recognized orthopedic surgeon and founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama.
Seattle Children’s each year expands the reach of its Athletic Trainers Program, currently working with 18 area high schools, getting certified athletic trainers in the schools after school during practices and during games.
Program manager Phil Heywood answers some common questions below and explains how these trainers make a difference:
Depending on the season, you have hundreds of youth athletes practicing at any given high school, a dozen or so different coaches, how does the trainer split their time between teams?
Our highest priority is the “collision” sports: football, soccer, lacrosse. Next, are the “high risk” sports, which include basketball and gymnastics, then finally the “low risk” sports such as running, tennis, golf, which isn’t to say things can’t happen in those sports but usually they are chronic injuries.
The trainers are on-site; their schedule is posted so everyone knows where they are at any given time. And, the coaches all have the trainer’s cell number in their phones too. If there is an emergency the trainer can still be there right away to evaluate the child, and say for instance if someone needs a spine board, or if it’s something like a kidney laceration from a lacrosse ball, the trainer knows to call for immediate emergency transport.
In addition to diagnosing and responding to injuries, the trainer can help teams in other ways too?
In terms of prevention, we pride ourselves on education, on teaching coaches, parents and athletes proper technique and what do watch out for in different sports. But also, if there is an emergency situation, when chain of command is so important, the trainer can take charge. I’ve seen when a trainer is not in place and something bad happens, it is chaos, people taking out their cell phones and making videos. You need one person in charge so others can do crowd control, making way for the ambulance that sort of thing.
Regarding those chronic injuries, given that an estimated half of all youth sports injuries are from overuse, can trainers spot those too?
Absolutely, when one trainer is there day in and day out, they get to know the athletes. Similar to how a parent knows when something isn’t right with their kid, a trainer can spot when an athlete is moving differently. Most major overuse injuries could have been prevented if they had been treated right when they were just minor injuries. We can be the ones to tell a coach or the athletes themselves that they need to sit out.
Click here for more information on getting a certified trainer in your school or sports organization.
Hilary Benson is the TV Editor at ParentMap and a longtime news reporter. Her family includes three active kids who help fuel her passion for keeping children safe while they compete in the sports they love.