Babble.‘s new online magazine is about parenting (by the way, Nerve is about sex). Specifically, it is “a magazine and community for the new urban parent.” It’s called Babble, and is currently featuring an interview with Laura Dern on her love of parenting books, a humorous column entitled “Bad Parent,” and bunches and bunches of stuff you can buy. Check it out.

Photo Safari

Ever have to go someplace you’re not excited about? Well, if you can take a camera you can have a way more interesting time. Then share your unique perspective with your family or, if your photos are digital, have your parents help you share them with friends at a photo-sharing website.
If you don’t have a camera, take a sketchpad, notepad or just decide in advance to count how many you see of whatever you decide beforehand.

For more ideas, click on the “Safari” link at the top of this page, or see the January 22, 2007 entry at Thomas Hawk’s blog.

It *is* Rocket Science

In Rockets: Educators Guide, NASA provides lessons, activities, and information on basic rocket science and rocket history.  Lessons include making and flying paper rockets, investigating ways to increase the power of rocket fuels, estimating the altitude a rocket achieves during flight, and demonstrating how rocket liftoff is an application of Newton’s Laws of Motion.  Activities emphasize hands-on science, prediction, data collection and interpretation, teamwork, and problem solving.

Fun Fact: Crickets

The frequency of a cricket’s chirps is directly related to temperature. Count the number of chirps it makes in 15 seconds and then add 37. That number will roughly approximate the current temperature in fahrenheit degrees.

Three Cities’ Youth Choruses sing for MLK Day

Monday night, in partnership with New England Conservatory, Boston Children’s Chorus will host the Chicago Children’s Choir (if your sound is on, this link will delight you right away!) and the Young People’s Chorus of New York in a live prime-time telecast (WCVB Channel 5–ABC–in the Boston Area) of its fourth annual concert celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year’s theme “Struggle, Unity, Spirit & Freedom” promises to bring the audience to their feet, and elevate their souls. I love that MLK Day is really celebrated in ways that remind us to be our best selves as the great preacher himself did. (Unlike, say, Presidents’ Day when we are exhorted to go car shopping.)
Beyond that, here are some things I like about my children’s participation in a children’s chorus:

  • They learn to sing; they learn a great deal about the universal, emotional language of music.
  • They collaborate with a variety of children beyond their school and neighborhood to make something beautiful. Having social success and an area of competence outside of school can be extremely important for some children. Good working relationships–essential in a chorus–go a long way toward attaining mutual respect. Children take pride in what they can accomplish together, as when they come home from rehearsal energized and satisfied and announce, “We sounded great!”
  • The young singers become an important part of public life. They are in demand to mark special events in the lives of various civic groups or as an attraction to another group’s fundraiser. They learn about what’s important to the people they sing for.
  • The older choruses occasionally travel to sing. We can learn by hosting singers from other cities as we will this weekend, or by singing in other cities and even countries!

If it fits your child’s interest, it’s an experience I recommend highly.