#FunFacts .... about August
benefits of play By Patrick Neustatter, MD
It might be the long summer break when kids are freed from the tyranny of school - but in the heart of Fredericksburg, a raucous bunch of them are furthering their education - although they are likely unaware of it. I have just come from an exploratory visit to the chaos and noise of the Fredericksburg branch of the Children's Museum of Richmond (CMoR), at 1275 Jefferson Davis Highway, at Park and Shop. Whether they were checking customers out at the grocery store; drawing in the art section; pulling teeth in the dentists office; or reading in the book nook, all the kids seemed to be having fun.
A Fun Education Daughter Tegan, who was once one of those raucous children, has recently completed a research project on the benefits of play, as part of a doctorate in psychology. She notes play is important, building resilience, confidence, empathy and other skills likely to enhance education in general. Play is, by definition, purposeless, enjoyable, voluntary activity that promotes improvisation, communication, exploration, dexterity and imagination. Kids who don't play, the WHO reports, are at increased risk of disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, ADHD, anxiety and incarceration. As one of the informative the wall displays at the CMoR notes, "research shows that experience with new kinds of activity can generate growth in the brain within only a few hours."
Risk and Failure Talking to a group of mothers sitting around, shooting the breeze at the Fredericksburg branch, they told me that "so long as we don't hear screaming" they are comfortable that their kids are safe. "We can do this (sit and chat). We don't have to hover" they told me. Safety is, of course, a crucial issue. But "helicopter parents" are liable to stultify the benefits of play.
Maybe because I went to a crazy "doas-you-like" school in England, but all too often I see parents so worried about the "what-if's" that they won't let their children do anything but the most restrictive play. " U s u a l l y beneficial play can't be achieved without taking some risks" notes Rebecca Weingarten, an education consultant and specialist in New York City. As part of risk taking, kids also need to learn risk of failure, she says. An article in Psychology Today notes parents often go out of their way to protect kids from hurt feelings and failure. But in our "every child gets a trophy" society "being overprotective can actually increase their anxiety" - which is now being seen in college age kids. It's important to teach your kids about danger by teaching them to safely use a knife/climb a tree/swim/approach animals/set off fireworks. But don't prevent them from taking any risk. And share a little risk taking with them - with them not for them says Weingarten. "We need to promote constructive failure," she says. "Kids can't be afraid to face the normal repercussions associated with taking risks."
Play in Adults When I went with my kids to the Richmond CMoR, I remember thinking "we need this for adults" (we're all just big kids really). Play is recognized as important for adults too, though it's a little different. It includes "art, books, movies, music, comedy, flirting and daydreaming" says Stuart Brown, MD, founder of the National Institute for Play. And people seem to be playful in different ways; overtly goofing around; a general lighthearted demeanor; playing with thoughts and ideas; or being whimsical and interested/amused by strange and unusual things. It is reported that being playful makes us attractive to the opposite sex, and in a survey, men said a sense of humor made a woman more attractive - so ham it up ladies. Several counties are going to a new school schedule and all too soon, kids will be back in school (in early August). Take them to CMoR or one of many other places they can play while they can. Patrick Neustatter is the Medical Director of the Moss Free Clinic.
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Compiled By Joan Geisler Here are a few fun facts that happened in history in the month of August. August 1 1957 The USA & Canada formed the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Due to a wrong number Sears ad misprint, a child called to check on where Santa was that evening (Dec 24) NORAD has been tracking Santa every Christmas Eve, since its inception. August 2 1776 The official signing of the United States Declaration of Independence took place Matthew Thornton from New Hampshire signed it on November 4, 1776 1990 Iraq invadesKuwait August 3 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain 1936 Jesse Owens won the 100 meter dash, beating ‘the world’s fastest man’ Ralph Metcalfe at the Berlin Olympics August 4 1916 USA purchased the Virgin Islands 1944 WWII, Gestapo captured Anne Frank, her family and others, in Holland 1964 Three young civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were found murdered and buried in an earthen dam outside Philadelphia, Mississippi. August 5 1884 Statue of Liberty cornerstone laid 1962 Actress Marilyn Monroe, was found dead in her home, August 6 1945 United States dropped an Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan August 7 1782 “Order of the Purple Heart’ is created by President George Washington 1959 Lincoln Memorial design on the US penny went into circulation. It replaced the ‘wheat’ design, minted until 2008. August 8 1908 Wilbur Wright made his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. 1974 President Richard Nixon nationwide TV address resigned from the office of the POTUS, effective noon the next day. August 9 1942 Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement. 1944 Nagasaki, Japan was decimated when an atomic bomb, Fat Man, was dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar. August 10 1821 Missouri 24th to the Union (24th) August 11 1966 Beatles begin their last U.S. tour August 12 1851 Isaac Singer is granted a patent (8#294) for his sewing machine August 13 1889 Patent Coin operated telephone w 1910 Florence Nightingale died in London August 14 1925 Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.
1945 Japan surrenders to Allies 1975 Rocky Horror Picture Show opens, the longest-running release in film history August 15 1935 Entertainer Will Rogers & pilot Wiley Post killed after their aircraft developed engine problems during takeoff 1939 Wizard of Oz premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. August 16 1948 Baseball great Babe Ruth died 1977 Singer Elvis Presley died at his home, "Graceland," in Memphis, at the age of 42 August 17 1961 Construction started on Berlin Wall August 18 1587 Virginia Dare, the first child born in America, was born in Virginia August 19 1910 Indianapolis Speedway first race August 20 1897 British doctor Sir Ronald Ross, discovers the link between mosquitos and the transmission of malaria August 21 1959 Hawaii becomes the 50th state 1911 Mona Lisa stolen from the Louvre August 22 1901 Cadillac Motor Company is founded. August 23 1850 1st US National Women's Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts 1966 First picture of earth from the moon is taken by Lunar Orbiter 1. August 24 1814 Washington, D.C. was captured by British troops under General Robert Ross, during the War of 1812 1892 Edison filed patent for motion picture camera, the first of its kind August 25 1932 Amelia Earhart complets her transcontinental flight. August 26 1920 U. S. Congress passes the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. August 27 1859 Petroleum was discovered in Titusville, PA leading to the worlds’ first commercially successful oil well. August 28 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. makes his “I Have a Dream” speech. August 29 1964 Disney’s Mary Poppins released 1966 Beatles concluded 4th American tour with their last public concert at Candlestick Park , San Francisco, 2005 Katrina hits land August 30 1993 The Late Show with David Letterman premieres on CBS August 31 1997 Lady Diana, Princess of Wales and her companion Dodi Al Fayed died tragically in a car crash in Paris, France
Ditch the Itch
It’s always more fun in the Scenter of Town!
Essential Oils Liquid Herbs Reiki Reflexology Aromatherapy Custom Blending Aroma-Therapeutic Massage Harmonic Resonance Therapy
with borax By Suzy Woollam
Products ~ Services ~ Classes 907 Charles Street, Downtown thescenteroftown.com
ble at Availa n.com Amazo
When the summer heat starts to get to you (and your pets), things can turn itchy (and let’s be honest..pretty smelly) very quickly. But what if I told you there was a one-stop-shop for all of the above, and you probably already have it in your house? My Summer go-to miracle? Borax. Borax, also known as Sodium borate, is a naturally occurring mineral found around the world, In the US, it is most commonly mined in Boron, California, and is sold as 20 Mule Team in the laundry aisle. As a type of a salt, Borax has a highly alkaline solution with a pH of about 9. This allows for the “softening” of water, and gives Borax its wonderful cleaning properties. Many of us know it as a detergent booster for the laundry, but most people are surprised to hear that Borax is also used extensively in the cosmetic industry as a natural emulsifier. Borax contains the mineral Boron, which is known for its antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral properties. And don’t confuse
Borax with Boric Acid. While they contain many of the same chemical constituents, they are very different. I first started using Borax “Liquid Soap” over 20 years ago following information from Dr. Hulda Clark’s Book “The Cure For All Cancers”. Dr. Clark believed that Borax was the traditional pioneer’s soap, was antibacterial, a water softener, and an excellent solvent for grease. She recommended it for not only washing your clothes and dishes, but your hair and body as well. Over the years, I have offered up her recipe to folks for everything from hair loss to poison ivy. I have always found it to provide quick relief to itchy skin, and many of my pet parents have come to swear by it. Other than keeping my laundry safer and cleaner, and removing odors, one of my greatest uses of Borax is as an itch stopper. It’s so easy to make, and safe and effective for both you and your pets.
Itchy Summer Skin Sray (for the 2 and 4 footed) 8 oz STRONG Chamomile tea (2 teabags steeped in 8 oz boiling water until room temp) or Distilled Water 1 T Borax Powder Distilled Water 1. Place tea bags in a quart mason jar, and cover with boiling water. Allow to steep until room temperature. (or simply add distilled water). Add borax powder, cover, shake, and allow to sit until dissolved. (if there is powder left after 5-10 minutes, no worries, just strain before placing in spray bottle. 2. Fill spray bottle with ½ chamomile/borax mixture and ½ distilled water.Spray as needed. Allow to air dry. This spray is excellent for dry, itchy summer skin or insect bites, and is great for itchy dogs. No need to rinse, and can be used several times a day if needed. As an added bonus, if you omit the tea, it can be used as a fabric/rug/clothing/shoe odor remover as well! Give it a try, your skin will thank you! See Suzy at The Scenter of Town on Charles Street for more fun, easy and natural recipes
Joan Geisler is a Behavioral Change Specialist. www.8020healthyhabits front porch fredericksburg