Click inside for the weekly family rail, with tips for a creative kids room, a review of “Takers” and more. Or check out these links:
Tip of the Week
As the cold weather approaches, kids spend less time outdoors burning off all that wonderful energy. The change in weather also means that everyone - including you - spends more time indoors. Don't worry. There's an easy and inexpensive way to turn any room into an environment that fosters your child's learning and creativity. What's even better: You are very likely to think, "it's too quiet in there," while the kids play intently in their new space.
"Teachers know what the research confirms: Color, space and clutter can have a dramatic effect on a child's attitudes and behaviors. It can also affect their imagination, creativity and ability to learn," says PaintIdeas.com blogger Angie Stinner. "Fortunately, creating a soothing environment that helps kids learn and grow is easy. It's also the perfect project to bring parents and children together for a weekend of fun. All you need is a little paint and some inspiration."
Here are a few tips for creating the perfect area for learning and fun:
- Inspire creativity. When turning up the creativity in a child's room, a good place to start is the walls. Research reveals that painting a room in the colors of nature - light green or warm teal - can inspire creativity, as well as create a calm learning environment that promotes a positive state of mind. Light blue (the color of academics) or light pink or rose, are good colors too, especially for very active children who need a calming environment to focus.
- Let them write on the walls (or doors or dresser drawers). Educators recognize that giving kids a space to express their creativity or just think out loud is an important component of the learning process. Instead of creating paper clutter or buying a chalk or dry erase board, why not paint a wall, door or dresser drawers with chalkboard or dry erase paint?
- Create a space to work. You don't have to spend a fortune to give your child the perfect workspace for studying and homework assignments. You can transform a flea market desk - or repurpose a table and chair you already own - with a little spray paint. Coordinate by spray painting a bookcase, some picture frames - even the bed's headboard - to add a little more color to the room. The possibilities are endless.
Family Screening Room
Rated: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, a sexual situation/partial nudity and some language)
Synopsis: “Takers,” directed by John Luessenhop, revolves around a notorious group of criminals (Idris Elba, Paul Walker, T.I., Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen and Michael Ealy) who continue to baffle police by pulling off perfectly executed bank robberies. They are in and out like clockwork, leaving no evidence behind and laying low in between heists. But when they attempt to pull off one last job with more money at stake than ever before, the crew may find their plans interrupted by a hardened detective (Matt Dillon) who is hell-bent on solving the case.
Violence/scary rating: 4
Sexual-content rating: 3.5
Profanity rating: 3.5
Drugs/alcohol rating: 3.5
Family Time rating: 3.5. Despite the PG-13 rating, this is more geared toward an R audience.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“Sabotaged (Missing Series #3),” by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Synopsis: After helping Chip and Alex survive 15th-century London, Jonah and Katherine are summoned to help another missing child, Andrea, face her fate. Andrea is really Virginia Dare, from the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jonah and Katherine are confident in their ability to help Andrea fix history, but when their journey goes dangerously awry, they realize that they may be in over their head. They've landed in the wrong time period. Andrea doesn't seem that interested in leaving the past. And even worse, it appears that someone has deliberately sabotaged their mission.
Did You Know
The birth rate fell 2.6 percent in 2009, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. That’s the second annual drop in a row.
GateHouse News Service