children-and-family

This Non-Verbal Jewish Teen Wrote a Breathtaking Letter Explaining Autism

Mon, 06/26/2017 - 12:00am
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller


Gordy Baylinson is a 16-year-old who has never spoken. His parents, Evan and Dara Baylinson, didn’t realize their son could understand anything they had said previously–but recently, they were proven wrong. Gordy understood everything.

This month, Gordy wrote a letter–his first letter–to a police officer about the treatment of people with autism. He was diagnosed as on the autism spectrum when he was 17 months old, but it wasn’t until February of last year that his parents found out, while he doesn’t speak, Gordy has strong opinions of his own, which he can eloquently communicate through writing:

“My brain, which is much like yours, knows what it wants and how to make that clear. My body, which is much like a drunken, almost six-foot toddler, resists.

This letter is not a cry for pity, pity is not what I’m looking for. I love myself just the way I am, drunken toddler body and all. This letter is, however, a cry for attention, recognition and acceptance.”

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I Learned All I Need to Know from Playing Cards with My Grandma

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 12:00am
BY CARLA NAUMBURG for Kveller


Some of my favorite life memories are with my Grandma Dede, who passed away just over a month ago. I particularly remember playing cards with her, including many games of Russian Bank.

For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of playing Russian Bank with Delia, here’s how it goes: it’s a two person solitaire-style card game, played with two decks. The goal is to get rid of all of your cards before your opponent does, and you do this by building up the center game board, solitaire style—and by dumping your cards on your opponent’s pile whenever you can. As the playing board gets built up, each move can require multiple steps, and if you see your opponent missing steps or breaking the rules of play, you can call “stop!” and take over their turn.​

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Five Things Not To Expect When You’re Expecting

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 12:00am
BY RACHEL SHARANSKY DANZIGER for Kveller


“You know,” my friend told me, “I recently realized that I’ve been making it harder than necessary for myself.”

My friend’s newborn baby slept in her arms. Her toddler ran around with my children, happy to explore the mess of baby accessories. “Parenting, that is,” she clarified. “By trying to control everything.”

The kids shrieked and she craned her neck to try and see what they were up to. And then she forced herself to turn back toward me. “Like right now,” she added. “It’s really hard not to go and check and manage and all that.”

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I Spit On My Child to Ward Off the Evil Eye—and It Worked

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 12:00am
BY TOBI ASH for Kveller


We had just spent the day at Disney World, and our overexcited 16-month-old daughter was crying hysterically. She couldn’t stop screaming, the tears streaming down her face, barely catching her breath to pause, only to let out more hysterical shrieks. I checked and changed her diaper, offered a new fresh bottle, bathed her, undressed her, put on fresh clothes, put on the TV, but nothing worked.

A frantic hour passed by, and then another, and another, while my husband and I desperately tried to stop her crying. Finally, a thought struck me—a superstitious thought about “Ayen Hara” (the Evil Eye), perhaps placed on her by a fellow Disney attendee.

With nothing to lose, I carried her into the bathroom myself, and locked the door. Then, with a heart full of love and a mouth full of saliva, I viciously spat at her three times right in the forehead.

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Watch This Dad & His Daughters Hilariously Rate Movies, Barbie & Pizza

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 12:00am
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller

 

  • (Note from JVillage:) Nothing inherently Jewish about this, but we thought it might be a fun thing to do with your kids, sitting down and interviewing them on subjects and getting their opinions.  


Don’t you actually want things, like toys and kids’ movies, to actually be rated by kids themselves? Well one dad has done it. Hamilton Leithauser, a musician (formerly in the band The Walkmen), made a video where he and his daughters talk pretty seriously about the movie “Trolls,” pizza, dad on dad fights, sleeping in the car, the Barbie Dreamhouse, play-doh, the kids’ menu and more in the latest episode of “Over/Under” on Pitchfork.

The Barbie dreamhouse, for instance, was determined to be: overrated. His older daughter said, “I hate it!! I don’t like it at allllll.”

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The Netflix Show You Can, And Should, Binge-Watch With Your Kids

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 12:00am
BY DR. CARA BERG POWERS for Kveller


“Here is a cup of tea, Ima.” My daughter mimed handing me a hot mug the other night as we sat on the couch together watching her favorite episode of the new Netflix series “Julie’s Greenroom.” This particular episode features Ellie Kemper (aka “the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) teaching a charming group of puppet children about improv. And thanks to an earworm song called “Yes, And,” I know exactly how to respond to my daughter’s kind offer: “Yes, and… it is very hot.” I took improv in High School, and so I’ve known the cardinal rule for a long time, but I never expected my 3-year-old to be able to use it.

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The Best Medicine: Bikur Cholim

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 12:00am
From BimBam.com


Grandpa has a broken toe and is stuck in bed! The Plonys feel bad but are too busy with their elaborate weekend plans and Shabbat picnic to do anything about making him feel less lonely. ”SHABOOM!” The Sparks rain chicken soup down, and then send over a flock of quacking ducky pals to cheer everyone up. But what really makes Grandpa feel better is when the Plonys learn a lesson about visiting the sick, or bikur cholim.

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Yom HaAtzmaut Painted Planters

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 11:39am
From ReformJudaism.org



Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) arrives just as the weather turns warm. Celebrate with patriotic planters.


Materials
Unglazed terracotta planters
Blue and white acrylic paints
Paintbrushes


Directions
Paint the rims of each flowerpot blue and the lower part of the pot white.
When the paint is dry, add a blue Star of David to the white section of each planter.
Plant seeds of your choice. May we recommend blue and white perennials?


Source:  ChallahCrumbs.com: Bringing Judaism Home
 

I’m a Grandmother, Not a Babysitter

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 12:00am
BY SHYRLA PAKULA for Kveller 


I’m not a gooey, super-affectionate type. I’m into competence and capability and problem solving. I have had to teach myself to be less Dr. Spock (as my children used to refer to me) and more Mr. Rogers, so to speak. I have a profession, and while I’ve practiced less than full-time since becoming a mother–it still keeps me pretty busy.

So when my kids started having their own kids and the demands on grandma started coming in, it wasn’t easy. Can I pick up from school? Something’s come up. Can I come to the house? The babysitter has to leave, mum is held up. Can I do this? Can I go there? I’m the Go-To Granny.

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Waste Not! An everyday Jewish idea for kids from Shaboom!

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 12:00am
from bimbam.com


Taking care of Nature is a Jewish value


Learn about taking care of the environment with Gabi & Rafael as they help the Plonys clean up their act with BAL TASCHIT. Do not waste! Shaboom!

Watch the video 

The Shaboom! Passover Episode Is Here

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 12:00am

 

Just in time for tonight!

 

The Sparks can’t find the chametz! The Plonys can’t make matzah balls! Ma nishtana? Why is this night different from all other nights? Find out on this Passover special episode of SHABOOM!

Watch video 

For more great Passover ideas, check out our Passover Resource Kit.

A Matzo House Adds a Fun and Tasty Treat to a Kids' Seder

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 12:00am
by REBECCA GRUBER for PopSugar


WITH PASSOVER A WEEK AWAY, WE'RE FEATURING CRAFTS FROM OUR PASSOVER RESOURCE KIT. 
 

 

Bring out the builder in your tots this Passover! Though the holiday teaches us that the Jews had to flee their homes, this fun (and mostly edible) craft will have your lil ones building a new kind of shelter for the holiday. While looking for some holiday activities for kids, I came across Martha Stewart's directions for a Matzo home and knew it would make for a fun afternoon. Not only can children get involved in building and decorating this dwelling, it makes for a great centerpiece during your Seder (just don't get mad when the kids start eating the decorations while waiting for their meal!). See how to make it when you click through!

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For more great Passover ideas, check out our Passover Resource Kit.
 

Exodus: A Jewish Photo Scavenger Hunt App for Passover & Year Round

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 12:00am
By BimBam


Open iTunes to buy and download apps.


Description
Help two kids pack up to leave Egypt in this simple photo scavenger hunt! Take pictures of everyday items with your phone or tablet that capture Jewish values. Listen closely as Ethan and Daria give you clues that will have you searching for that perfect item to photograph. 

After, review your photos with a grown-up to make sure that you've packed the right things and are ready to cross the Red Sea into freedom! Have fun! 

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For more great Passover ideas, check out our Passover Resource Kit.

Afikomen bag in 30 minutes

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 12:00am

With Passover less than a month away, we're featuring ideas from our Passover Resource Kit.


From BibleBeltBalabusta


Afikoman bag: a seder-centric craft for those of us with 30 minutes or less. It’s practical, decent-looking, durable, and fun for kids to make. 

I program this with Kindergarteners, but with tweaks it can work for other grades. Note that if you are working with just one or two kids, they can do all the work. If you have a group, there is no time for one-on-one assistance, which means you’ll make kits. Yes, a kit is rather “cookie-cutter,” but there are ways to offer choices.

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Kids like this fun treatment for lazy eye with no patches

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c


BinoVision goggles add eye-stimulating elements to any streaming video content children choose to watch; condition improves within eight weeks.


Amblyopia (“lazy eye”), a disorder affecting three to five percent of the general population, usually is treated by patching the stronger eye or blurring its vision with atropine drops, in order to force the brain to use images from the weaker eye.

Yet only 60% achieve normal vision, and 35% of those who improve eventually regress. Moreover, compliance is only around 50% since nobody – and especially children – enjoys using eyepatches or eye drops.

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