By Michael Rielly
Children prefer simple objects over toys because they’re “not limited” to being a single thing
For kids, versatility might be the way to go — as far as toys are concerned, anyway.
May 2, 2019
by Alexandru Micu
I have it on reasonable authority that kids are very likely to ignore a particular toy and make a starry-eyed beeline for the box it came in. I haven’t got any of my own, so I can’t attest to the accuracy of that, but I do have a cat — so I can relate to how confusing such an experience might be.
But fret not, parents around the world, for science comes to the rescue. A new study from the University of Alabama reports that children, particularly those at preschool age, are probably attracted to generic objects because they make for more versatile toys.
“The inclusion of generic objects like sticks and boxes may allow children to extend their play because the generic objects can be used as multiple things,” said lead author Dr. Sherwood Burns-Nader, UA assistant professor of human development and family studies.
“Pretend play such as object substitution has so many benefits, such as increased socialization and problem solving.”
A cardboard box can become virtually anything in the mind of a child, the researchers say. In contrast, a spaceship or unicorn toy — despite being much more visually appealing — is doomed to remain a spaceship or unicorn for as long as you play with it. And therein lies the reason why children, especially younger ones, would generally prefer to play with the box.
Children often substitute one object for another during play. A stick can become a sword, a rifle, or a pen. But such substitutions aren’t made lightly — the object has to have a passable resemblance to the one it’s being substituted for. As such, an object’s features such as shape or markings can disqualify it completely for a certain play-task.
By Carlo Klemm
This was taken from the organizing committee on Facebook for Parade of Lights in Edmonton
Santa's Parade of Lights
March 13, 2019 @ 10:07 AM ·
"With sad hearts we announce that RWE Events will no longer produce Santa’s Parade of Lights.
Thanks to all the sponsors, participants and most importantly, people of Edmonton for their support.
We’re proud of our little parade and the joy it brought to so many people."
I have been the Santa in this Outdoor Parade since it started in 2015. Of course I feel sad about
#1, Edmonton losing a parade (Calgary has not had a parade for 6+ years)
#2, That a big emotional thrill is now gone from this Santa's life. (Anyone who does a major parade in a large city, especially a Capital City, can attest to the emotions involved in getting ready for and actually partaking in the annual parade.)
I got this email back from the people who have staged this parade in the last 4 years...
We share your disappointment, believe me. Unfortunately, though, we just couldn’t get the financial commitment we need to keep it going.
As you know, Canadian Tire dropped out as title sponsor last year (we don’t know why), and there just isn’t anyone else stepping up. Plus, we applied for a grant from the City and didn’t get it.
It is very discouraging that there wasn’t enough support overall in Edmonton for this parade.
However, we loved doing it and especially loved working with you every year! We really will miss that!
Anyway, I enjoyed our experience last year and at the same time, anything is possible! Someone might step forward and make this happen. But for now, so long!
Enjoy your Santa duties elsewhere this year. And remember – if we ever do resurrect the parade, you will be first Santa we call!
Take care and thanks for your kind words, Carlo!
By Michael Rielly
If You Have the Post Christmas Blues You’re Doing Christmas Wrong
B. Francis Morlan
December 27, 2018
The post-Christmas blues are a very real thing. Once the date of December 25th has passed the specter of December 26th is an ominous marker to many. It sits there on the calendar like the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come. Silent and foreboding, the very image of the hooded Angel of Death it seems to be. And why not?
Just about anywhere you look Americans are tossing trees to the curb, ripping down lights from rooftops and radio stations are flipping back to everyday music. What took months to build gets deconstructed in a matter of a couple of days.
It does not have to be like this.
You do not have to take down your tree.
You do not have to kill your lights.
You do not have to turn off your music.
You can, instead, stand up to the madness around you and let Christmas linger a little longer.
The secret to avoiding the post-Christmas blues is deconstructing it much the way you built it in the first place.
For me, Christmas often gets started in July. It is easy then, in the heat of summer, to imagine the frosty glow of our Christmas windows, the frothy foam of our cocoa, and the homey warmth of the decorated tree. Of course, we can’t GET those things in July…but it’s fun to think of them as we sit in a darkened room and watch Christmas movies when it is blazing outside.
This is classic, hardcore denial. And it is good for you.