Keep Kids Moving
Creative activities help boost fitness Keeping kids at a healthy weight involves a little creativity. After all, parents can't simply drop their sons and daughters off at the local gym. Masking fitness as fun activities can help make children more enthusiastic about fitness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Research indicates that the prevalence of obesity among adolescents
aged 6 to 11 has risen from 6.5 percent in 1980 to 19.6 percent in 2008. Many experts blame a sedentary lifestyle, one that is high in television watching and computer usage, combined with consumption of a high-caloric diet for the changes in children's health. Eating more nutritious foods while exercising can keep children's weight in check. Promoting fun activities where children won't know they are working out can be
the key to getting them active and maintaining healthy body weights. Here are some activities to try. Pool party: Swimming is not only refreshing, but it is also a great way to stay active and promote cardiovascular activity. Set up a game of "Marco-Polo" or have children dive for hidden treasures to keep them moving. Relay races:Turn the backyard into a home obstacle course, complete with different activities children can play
to earn points or prizes. Invite the neighborhood kids over to compete. Family hike: Head to the nearest state park or nature preserve to take in the sights and some activity. Pack a picnic lunch and hike through the wilderness. Vary the pace and the terrain for a good workout. Sports center: Keep a bag of sporting equipment handy so that kids can quickly engage in a pick-up game of softball or soccer. Dance Club: Transform a
room in the house into a nightclub. Kids can invite friends to come over dressed in party clothes to dance to favorite songs saved to a playlist. Strobe lights or a disco ball can add ambiance. There are many activities that children can enjoy that will promote physical activity. Limiting the amount of time spent in front of the television or computer is another way to help alleviate the continuing problem of childhood obesity.
Converse All Stars; the shoe too tough to die Fila, Reebok, New Balance, Adidas all take a back seat to the Converse All Star Chuck Taylor basketball shoe. According to information obtained from the website, chucksconnection.com, 60 percent of all Americans own or have owned at least one pair of these sneakers. Converse Rubber Corporation opened for business in 1908. With the growing popularity of basketball, Converse saw the need to develop a shoe that people could wear while playing on the court. The very first version of the All Star basketball shoe was produced in 1917. The shoe originally came in natural brown colors with black trim. In the 1920s, Converse All Stars were made in all black canvas or leather versions. Sales grew thanks to Charles "Chuck" H. Taylor. Taylor was a basketball player for the Akron Firestones. He joined the Converse sales force, and later became the player/coach for the Converse
All-Stars, the company's industrial league basketball team. Because he was so successful in promoting the sneaker, as well as making important changes in the original All Star shoe, in 1932, his name "Chuck Taylor" was added to the ankle patch. Taylor designed the white high top model for the 1936 Olympics, and the shoe with its patriotic red and blue trim became very popular. Later, chucks became the "official" sneaker of the United States Armed Forces. Later, when basketball became a major professional sport, Chuck Taylor All Stars were the shoe for professional, college and all serious players, and these distinctive black or white high tops were part of the look of each team. In 1957 the low cut All Star was introduced and became a more casual alternative to the high top. By this time Converse had an 80 percent share of the entire sneaker industry. Taylor, or the "Ambassador
to Basketball," as he was called, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968. One year later, he died. Startinig in the 1970s, many new athletic companies emerged and marketed a wide variety of basketball and other sports and leisure shoes. The "Chuck Taylor" All Star, once the premiere shoe of elite basketball players now became the shoe of the counter-culture and of Baby Boomers who refused to stop wearing their favorite pairs of chucks. The shoes became very popular with rock musicians, and younger generations wore them for their distinctive looks and as an alternative to the high-priced shoes made by other companies. Converse responded by manufacturing chucks in hundreds of different variations that included prints, patterns, unusual colors, and special models for different age groups. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Converse Company began to
experience hard times. The ownership and management of the Converse Company changed several times. In 2001 they filed for bankruptcy. But the brand was too well established, and was eventually purchased by Nike. Thousands of pairs of high top and low cut chucks are still sold each week world-
wide. As of today more than 800,000,000 pairs of chucks have been sold. Unlike other s n ea k er s that lose their popularity, the Converse All Star "Chuck Taylor" still remains fashionable 75 years later.
Courtesy of chucksconnection.com
Getting Kids Ready for the Big Day
On the road to kindergarten, learning Kindergarten will be many children's first foray into school. Their experiences in kindergarten can set the scene for a lifetime of learning. To start laying the foundation for your child's entrance into formal education, consider the following tips. * Identify the school your child will attend. You can call your county school board or simply ask other parents in the area. Some communities assign schools, while others allow parents to choose their child's school. When determining which case applies to your community, inquire about bus service as well. * Some schools have fullday kindergarten programs, while others offer half-day. This may be district-specified or the choice of the parent. * Visit the school to find out about registration requirements. You'll likely have to fill out forms and provide proof of residence. The school also will inform you of any rules they have, including copies of health records, screenings or
placement testing. * A routine physical exam and a copy of immunization records will most likely be required. Visit your child's pediatrician to ensure that he or she is up-to-date with shots and receives a health checkup. Proof of dental visits may be required. * If your child will be attending a private school, the school may have registration fees, supply fees, uniform requirements, and other expenses. It's important to find out about these costs ahead of time. * Visit the school with your child ahead of time. Attend a kindergarten open house or school tour. This way kids can become familiar with the premises and won't be caught off guard the first day of school. A tour will provide an example of the school's layout and overall atmosphere. * Make friends with parents whose children attend the school. Set up a play date so your child will see some familiar faces on the first day
of school. * Talk about attending school and make it seem like a positive experience. Let kids know school is something to look forward to. Some children get excited about kindergarten just because they get to ride the bus. * Shop for a backpack and a lunch box early on so that your child will be excited for school. Enable him or her to choose supplies in the theme of choice. * Find out which types of lessons your child will be learning and begin to practice some of them at home, including the alphabet, preliminary math and writing. * Always use positive reinforcement and talk about school in an upbeat way. This increases the likelihood that kids will look at school in a positive light. * Discuss fears and concerns about kindergarten with your child. This way you can work out situations before the first day of school starts.
Consider the pros and cons of school uniforms Should the day ever arrive when school uniforms are mandatory, that day would mark the end of a long-running debate. Parents on both sides of the debate make valid points as to the advantages and disadvantages of school uniforms. Parents undecided about the issue should consider the following pros and cons before making a decision of their own. Pro: School uniforms will save parents money. The premise here points to par-
ents spending lots of money each year on schoolclothes for children, money that would be saved if every schoolrequired uniforms. Con: Those opposed to school uniforms note that those uniformsare expensive and don't offer the versatility of normal wardrobes because they cannot be worn outside of school. Pro: School uniforms help kids establish themselves on merit rather than money and wardrobe. Here, proponents
of schooluniforms argue that too often at schools without uniforms a student's social status and popularity is based on his or her clothing. Uniforms, the theory suggests, will encourage kids to establish their reputations more on merit and personal character instead of what clothes they can or can't afford. Con: Those against school uniforms argue that school uniformsactually deter and discourage students from
expressing their individuality. Choosing their own clothing, however, allows them to express themselves. Pro: School uniforms might help deter violence at schools. Over the years gangs have adopted certain colors or styles of clothing by which to identify themselves. By making school uniformsmandatory, this might help reduce instances of gangrelated violence as students will no longer be afforded the opportunity to tailor their
daily wardrobe to match their gang affiliation. C o n : Opponents of school uniforms typically feel that this argument punishes students who are not in or associated with gangs and have therefore earned the right to wear the clothing of their choice.
Eight ways parents can save on school expenses Every year parents spend significant amounts of money on schoolexpenses. While there's not much parents can do about tuition, there are ways to save on additional expenses, including clothing. Restocking a student's wardrobe can be costly, but savvy Moms and Dads can lessen the blow in a variety of ways. Although students may not yet be ready to head back to class, both parents and children may not be looking forward to schoolshopping for a number of reasons. * Expenses: Statistics posted on Chiff.com indicate that $7.2 billion were spent on school clothing in 2009 for American students. In Canada, statistics show that nearly $450 million were spent on boy's and girl's clothing and accessories in 2008.
Shopping for school items can be a big expense, one that's especially tough to handle after paying for a summer vacation or financing kids' stays at camp. * Time: Crowded stores can make shopping stressful, especially when kids (and adults) would rather be spending time elsewhere. * Intimidation: Facing a store full of stocked racks and shelves can make even the most avid shopper feel a little anxious. Parents face decisions about choosing clothing that is both acceptable to theschool and trendy enough for their kids. This can put added pressure on shoppers. * Cranky kids: While some children may relish the idea of picking out a new wardrobe, others may become disgruntled by heading to the store having to try on different
things and spend time away from friends. Whether school shopping is fun or feared, it's a necessity for parents and kids alike. Here are eight tips to make the process a bit easier and help parents save money as well. 1. Assess what is already on hand. Shopping doesn't have to mean creating an entirely new wardrobe from scratch. It often means supplementing existing clothing with new pieces that can make things look fresh. Unless a child has entirely outgrown pants and shirts from last year, chances are there will be a number of pieces that are still usable and appropriate. Take a day or two to go through kids' wardrobes and set aside items that can be used forschool. Make a list of new items to purchase.
2. Establish a budget. Set a limit as to how much will be spent on each child and don't stray over that limit. Around $150 to $200 may be adequate to pick up a few basics. Taking out cash from the bank and spending only what is in hand may make shoppers less likely to overspend or turn to credit cards for purchases. 3. Stock up on the basics. New undergarments and socks will be needed. Aim for about 10 to 12 pairs of each. This also may be a good time to purchase pre-adolescent girls a training bra or sports bra to provide some support. 4. Buy new shoes. Shoes are one element of a wardrobe that may need to be entirely new. Active children tend to wear out shoes quickly. One pair of sneakers and one pair of dressier
shoes, like oxfords, or ballet flats for girls, may be adequate. 5. Shop sales. If the weather is warm, it's possible to save money on clearance T-shirts and shorts that stores are putting on sale to make room for next season's items. Don't fill a student's wardrobe with heavy sweatshirts or sweaters at this juncture. Layering options are good because students can adjust accordingly to feel comfortable. 6. Intermingle designer with discount. Not every item in a child's wardrobe has to be trendy. Layering items, such as T-shirts, can often be picked up for a discount in stores like Target or Walmart or Old Navy. Outer items, like jeans or some shirts, can be picked up from the trendier stores. Shop their sales and see if they offer coupons by
signing up to loyalty Web sites. 7. Go early in the day. Although it may be a challenge get the kids up and dressed to visit stores when they're in vacation mode, arriving early means thinner crowds and refreshed children. Kids who are tired or hungry can be prone to meltdowns. Pack snacks and drinks to be on the safe side. Some stores offer early bird special sales, which can make shopping once the doors open even more advantageous. 8. Do some online shopping, too. Once the children have gone to bed for the evening, do some uninterrupted online shopping. Comparison shop and figure out if buying online is a good deal after factoring in shipping costs.
Bullies lurk on the web Watch for telltale signs Cyberbullying occurs when a child is embarrassed, harassed, humiliated, threatened, or tormented by another child using the Internet, mobile phones or another interactive and digital technology. Just as genuine a concern as bullying, cyberbullying has resulted in children killing others or even committing suicide. Cyberbullying
occurs when minors are on both sides of bullying or if the bullying was at least instigated by a minor against another minor. Some of the more common means in which a child is victimized by cyberbullying include repeated emails or instant messages, posting real or doctored images online, sharing intimate information against a
child's will and encouraging other children to share in the bullying. Breaking into online accounts, such as email or social networking accounts, is also considered cyberbullying. Though some instances of cyberbullying rise to a level where criminal charges are filed, this is rare.
Teenage Girl Hairstyles
Making a good first impression Going back to school is one of the exciting moment of almost every girl. Making good impression towards the teacher and her classmates is usually what comes to mind. Nothing can be changed with the eye and skin color. But with hair there are a lot of variations that can be done to project one part of her personality. The following are the different hairstyles that will fit perfectly for you. 1. Long and Loose hairstyles for girls Celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood and Vannesa Hudgens are now setting the trend of having ultra-long hairstyles. These three girls usually have their hair styled in a loose, long, and curly. However, for special events the best hairstyle is to have the uppermost sections of the hair pinned up in order to have an unswept look. To enhance the curls, it is advisable to scrunch the hair while drying the hair. 2. Short hairstyles for girls Rihanna has started to popularize short hairstyles this year. Such hairstyles will make your little girls stand out without even looking boyish. Short hairstyles such as crops and layered bob will be a short hit. A lof of girls loved the short bob especially those who have thin hair. This hairstyle will give depth and vol-
ume to the hair making it look thicker. For those who have round shape faces, having a hairstyle in medium length is recommended. For those girls who do not want to spend much time maintaining the hair, choosing short hairstyles will suit them better. 3. Up Do hairstyles for girls It might give a perception that up dos are just for formal occasion. In reality, up dos are not. You can still look an average girl going to school with an up do. It is more of choosing what variation or style that you like best and represent more of your per-
sonality. Wearing a messy up do like a braid or even as simple as a ponytail is great for your everyday lifestyle. Jennifer Garner is one of the many celebrities who still look beautfiul wearing a ponytail. It is more of how you styled up your ponytail that will make you look good or not. To give you a dramatic appearance, you is through having a side-swept style ponytail. Whether your hair is short, medium length or long, the choice is definitely yours on what hairstyle to wear in going back to school. The bottom line is looking at your best with less effort.
School Supply Checklist Ballpoint pens
No. 2 pencils
Pencil sharpener Crayons
White glue Glue stick Safety scissors
Notebooks Highlighters Assignment pad Ruler 3-ring binder Loose-leaf paper Pocket folders Art smock
Transparent tape Mini stapler Backpack
Avoid the perils of backpacks When it comes to backpack safety, most people tend to think about injuries caused by a heavy backpack or one worn improperly. However, there are other dangers associated with backpacks and caution should be used. Backpacks come in all shapes and sizes and can be a handy tool for students or adults. When worn correctly, with weight evenly distrubuted across the back and shoulders, backpacks can be safer and more effective than using a purse or briefcase. But many people wear overly loaded backpacks slung over one shoulder, which can pose problems with posture and lead to back issues. In addition to the physical strain backpacks can cause, they can be a danger in other ways. Many people fail to recognize how much space a backpack can take up. Entering the tight quarters of aschool bus or commuting
on a train or bus means a bulky backpack can knock into other people. If that backpack is full of heavy, cumbersome books or even a laptop computer, an inadvertent bump by the pack can cause injuries. Also, backpacks taken off and placed in bus aisles can be a tripping hazard. Students also can be injured if a heavy pack falls on them. Children tucking backpacks into lockers or classroom cubbies may find that they slide out and hit another classmate. Backpacks change the way individuals walk. Because the person is carrying around extra weight, he or she may lose balance or trip and fall, especially when going down steps. To avoid these secondary hazards from backpacks, consider these tips. • Don't overload a backpack. Carry only what is necessary. If too many
books are the issue, parents should talk to the schooladministrators and teachers to reach a happy medium regarding textbook usage. • When on the bus, safely store the backpack on a lap or under the seat. Be sure straps or the pack itself is not extending into the aisle. • Avoid rolling backpacks, which can be difficult to roll. Someschools ban these styles because of tripping hazards. • Recognize how much space the backpack takes up when worn. Be conscious of others when turning around or entering a confined space. • Hold on to stair rails and do not run with a heavy backpack to help avoid slips and falls. • Choose a lightweight backpack. Canvas backpacks are generally lighter in weight than leather backpacks. Do not add extra weight unnecessarily.
My two sons dread carrying backpacks during school. They complain of back pain. What are the rules for selecting and wearing backpacks? Backpacks are a popular and practical way for children and teenagers to carry school books and supplies.When used correctly, backpacks can be a good way to carry the necessities of the school day. Be sure your child?s school allows students to stop at their lockers throughout the day. Do not ignore any back pain in a child or teenager. Ask your pediatrician or health care professional for advice.Backpacks are designed to distribute the weight of the load among some of the body?s strongest muscles. However, backpacks that are too heavy or are worn incorrectly can cause problems. Improperly used backpacks may injure muscles and joints. This can lead to severe back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as long term posture problems. Share these guidelines to help your kids select backpacks and use them safely.Doctors recommend that kid?s backpacks should not be more than 15% of their total body weight. When choosing a backpack. Look for wide, padded features with two shoulder straps.Backpacks with one narrow strap can dig into the shoulders.This can cause pain and restrict circulation. A padded backpack protects against sharp edges on objects inside the pack and increases comfort. A lightweight backpack with a waist strap can distribute the weight of a heavy load more evenly. If you?re going to carry a heavy backpack make sure you use the hip strap, instead of letting it just hang there.The rolling backpack is an excellent choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs.Always use both straps. Do not sling the back pack over one shoulder. Pack light.Tighten the straps. Organize the backpack. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. Bend using both knees. Learn and perform back strengthening exercises to build up the muscles used to carry a backpack.
Encourage good hygene habits for teens With school, sports, friends and hobbies, today's teens lead busy and active lives, and sometimes they don't take the time -- or know -- to practice good hygiene. While discussing proper hygiene with your teen can be difficult, it is possible to address the topic without making him or her feel uncomfortable or selfconscious. One approach parents can take is to appeal to your teens' growing maturity by making it clear that these selfcare tasks are their responsibility. Giving your teen the respect and encouragement to make their own choices in these transitional years can help them develop healthy habits for life. To help empower your teen to take better care of their hygiene, parents can follow these tips: Make it Fun: The teen years are all about finding a unique sense of style. This also applies to cosmetics and accessories. Allow your teen to choose their shampoos, soaps and oral care products. This will encourage them to take interest in their hygiene without you having to ask.
Brace Face: Tooth brushing can be a struggle at this age. Your child may go in the bathroom for 30 seconds and declare that he or she has brushed. Kids should know that good oral care is just as important as taking a shower, especially if your child has braces. Make the process a little easier and ensure they are brushing for the proper amount of time by keeping a two minute timer in the bathroom. By supplying your teen with products in the f lavors (e.g. not-too-spicy, nottoo-sweet) and cool designs they will like, such as the Crest Pro-Health FOR ME Fluoride Anticavity Toothpaste, they might even forget they are doing something healthy and those two minutes will f ly! "Oral health is an important issue particularly for kids in their adolescent years. Tooth decay is still recognized as the most common chronic disease affecting children in the United States. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 51 million hours of school are lost each year due to dental-related illness1," says Dr. Jennifer Salzer, orthodontist, den-
tist and mother of a teen. "Not only can poor oral hygiene affect the health and well-being of a child, it also plays a role in selfesteem." Under Armor: Puberty is the first time adolescents have to deal with body odor. Help your teen understand how to control odors by explaining the difference between deodorant, which controls bacteria while adding fragrance, and antiperspirant, which stops or limits sweating. Remind your teen that both deodorant and antiperspirant will help if they put it on before they start sweating, not after. Skincare 101: Changing hormones typically bring about oilier skin, especially on the nose and forehead. Teach your teen to wash their face once or twice a day with a cleanser and discourage them from picking, as this causes inf lammation and scarring. Lead by Example: Whether they admit it or not, your teen notices your habits. Set an example by showing that a healthy hygiene routine is important to you too