When it Comes to Farting, Forget “Excuse me.” How ‘Bout “You’re Welcome,” Instead?

As parents, we all teach our kids to say “excuse me” after passing gas and burping. And we frequently find ourselves reminding them with a sarcastic “excuuuuse you.” But according to some new research about farting (yes, amazingly, there is such a thing), we should actually be thanking the kids instead.
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Making Grateful Kids

Giacomo Bono, co-author of Making Grateful Kids.
Topic:
The science of building character.
Issues: Understanding what gratitude is and why it’s important; the surprising ways being grateful affects us; practical strategies for fostering an attitude of gratitude in your home and life.

Stop Summer Learning Loss + The Science of Building Character

Sharman Johnston, early childhood and education expert.
Topic:
How to stop summer learning loss.
Issues: On average, teachers have to spend 4-8 weeks at the beginning of the school year re-teaching material from the previous year that the children have forgotten; how socioeconomic level affects how much knowledge a child loses over the summer.


Giacomo Bono, co-author of Making Grateful Kids.
Topic:
The science of building character.
Issues: Understanding what gratitude is and why it’s important; the surprising ways being grateful affects us; practical strategies for fostering an attitude of gratitude in your home and life.

Taking the Boredom out of Family Game Night

We’re all about families having fun together, and game night is one of the best ways to do that. But playing the same games over and over can get a little stale. So, in the interests of injecting a little more fun into your family’s game night, here are some great choices that will keep you and yours engaged and laughing.

Battle SheepBattle Sheep (Blue Orange Games)
Simple to learn, fun to play, but a new challenge every time. Players start off with four board tiles (there are a total of 16, so up to four can play), which they take turns laying out until the board is complete. Each tile contains four “pastures.” Then, each player takes his or her herd (a stack of 16 color-matched sheep tokens) and places it on one of the pastures along the edge of the board. The goal is to put your sheep on the most pastures. Move as many of your sheep as you’d like—but you have to leave at least one behind, and you can only move in a straight line. Seems simple enough, but if you’re not paying attention to your opponents and plotting out your own moves a few in advance, some of your flock could get penned in. The first few times you play, you’ll probably be on the defensive—doing whatever you can to keep your flock free. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll go on the offensive and start blocking everyone else. The board tiles and tokens are sturdy and the game is great for building strategic- and abstract thinking skills. For 2-4 players, ages 7 to adult. Retails online for around $21. http://www.blueorangegames.com/

LoonacyLoonacy (Looney Labs)
Loonacy combines elements of Crazy Eights, Uno, and Dominoes to make a fun, fast-paced game. Players start with seven cards, each with two images on it. The goal is to be the first to empty your hand by matching at least one of the images on your cards with one on the cards in the face-up pile(s) on the table. All you need is quick reflexes, a good memory, and a lot of luck. The fewer the number of players, the more discard piles you have (two players have four piles). That adds an element of strategy to the game since there are so many matching options. But as you add players, the number of discard piles decreases (five players have only one pile), which turns the game into a completely crazy free-for-all—something that may frustrate younger players. Takes only 5-10 minutes to play for 2-5 players, ages 8 and up. Retails for about $12.16. http://www.looneylabs.com/

regular show fluxxcartoon network fluxxRegular Show Fluxx and Cartoon Network Fluxx (Looney Labs)
If you’re looking for free-for-alls, this one takes the cake. It starts so peacefully, with each player getting three cards. The rules are simple. Draw one and play one. But here’s where the fun starts. Each card played can change the rules of the game, requiring you to draw more cards, talk in a cartoon voice, play all the cards in your hand;, steal cards from an opponent, and so on. Rules can be combined if they don’t contradict each other (for example, you might have to draw four cards and talk in a cartoon voice). Regular Show Fluxx features characters from the Cartoon Network’s “Regular Show,” while Cartoon Network Fluxx features characters from nine CN shows, including “Powerpuff Girls,” “Eddy,” “Adventure Time,” and “Samurai Jack.” Both are for 2-6 players, ages 8+ and retail for around $16. http://www.looneylabs.com/

Redefine Your Retirement With These Unique Hobbies

Today’s seniors are embracing their retirement like never before – with gusto and imagination. If you’re retired, or nearing retirement, redefine your retirement by focusing on activities that bring out your unique inner qualities. The following is a list of post-retirement hobbies that will have you experiencing life like never before…

TRAVEL
Whether you’re visiting distant relatives or planning a trip to Europe, it’s how you get there that supersizes your retirement. Anyone can purchase plane tickets or go on a cruise, but the truly unique find alternative routes.

Imagine touching down in your childhood home at the helm of your own small airplane. It’s not difficult to garner a pilot’s license, and you’ll have all the years of your retirement to fly anywhere you like. Plus, you’ll look chic sporting a pair of aviators and an aviation headset, among the other pilot supplies you’ll need to get you where you’re going.

If soaring through the clouds isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty of interesting travel opportunities on the ground. For domestic travel, a motor home is an excellent way to see the country and still wake up in your own bed. Alternatively, you could fly or sail to a foreign nation and experience backpacking, camping, and more.

CREATE
“I’m finally going to create my masterpiece,” said nearly every retired person ever…But, how many of them actually moved forward and completed their novels, paintings, or productions? Don’t get caught up in saying you’ll do something. Retirement is a time to actually create something; assuming that creation is your thing.

If you’re a writer, why not start a blog? You can’t write a novel in a single day, but you can create a blog in less than an hour. If you’d like to begin painting, but don’t know where to start, there are classes and YouTube instructional videos for every class of artist. Go there, and Do. Other creative pursuits include:

  • Interior design
  • Landscaping
  • Sculpting
  • Woodworking
  • Restoring vintage cars, boats and planes

MOVE
In order to live the fullest life, you’re going to want to stay healthy. Diet and exercise are crucial during this stage of life, but diet and exercise can be monotonous. In order to keep your retirement fun, don’t spend your early mornings walking around the mall.

Instead, learn a new sport, and then join a sports or fitness team. Swim with sharks! Go scuba diving! Kitesurf! Fitness can be fun, and it doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re looking to get moving closer to home, why not try geocashing? It’s fun, local, and a great way to connect with your inner explorer.

SOCIALIZE
There’s this stigma that retired people are unexciting, and often lead slow, lonely lives. Grandma has her knitting needles, and grandpa has baseball on the television – the kids sometimes visit on the weekends…These are the stigmas of old. This biggest myth of retirement is that it’s lonely and boring. Though depression is a reality for all age groups, retirement can be just as exciting as college–seriously. You can socialize, and it doesn’t have to be over a game of shuffleboard on a cruise for seniors (although that does sound interesting).

In your supercharged retirement, you can socialize in new and exciting ways. If you miss the popularity of your formative years, go ahead and throw an epic house party. If that sounds a bit too loud for your tastes, why not take a cooking class, try speed dating, download Tinder, or put yourself out there in a way you always dreamed, such as joining a performing arts troupe?

Live the life you dream, and be as adventurous, socially and otherwise, as you want!