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Dad surprises son with video of ‘Tooth Fairy,’ watch what happens

A dad who has earned internet fame with a YouTube series featuring his son and movie-quality special effects managed to capture the “Tooth Fairy” on camera when his son lost a tooth.

>> Read more trending news 

 Daniel Hashimoto’s YouTube channel Action Movie Kid features his son James in various adventures of his imagination.

Hashimoto is know for his visual effects work on movies and TV shows. When his son lost his tooth, he set up cameras around his room before bed.

Little James placed his tooth under his pillow that night, and the next morning woke up to find a crystal in its place.

The next morning after breakfast, James and Hashimoto reviewed the footage and were thrilled by what they saw.

Check out Hashimoto’s impressive visual effects work above.

Classroom Halloween party tips & tricks

Reprinted with permission from

 

Your child's Halloween class party is one of the most exciting days of the new school year. Whether you’re the room mom, teacher, or the parent who volunteered to help with the party, a little planning makes for a fun, memorable, and stress-free event.

3 Steps to Halloween Party Fun

1. Plan it

Organize the class party into 'stations' with small groups of kids rotating through activities to keep the pace moving for the kids and the group-size manageable for parent volunteers. Everyone comes together for the final station, story time.

Simple, fun crafts include cardboardtube mummiescrayon resist fall leaves, decorating mini pumpkins, thumb print witches and spiders, and face painting.  

Consider space limitations when choosing party games. Four Halloween favorites:

  • Mummy-wrapping races: teams of 3 wrap a ‘mummy’ (child) with toilet paper, first to finish their rolls, win.
  • Apple or mini-pumpkin relay: teams compete to pass an apple or mini pumpkin under their chins kid-to-kid without using any hands. If it drops, start over.
  • Pin the nose on the pumpkin 
  • Halloween BINGO

Tip: Check out our Classroom Party Guide with 10 fun craft and game ideas for Halloween and Fall celebrations.

Stories about pumpkins, spiders and witches are sure to please.  Ask your children's librarian to recommend spooky tales that are age-appropriate. 

For snacks, consider sliced apples dipped in caramel sauce, pumpkin muffins with cream cheese, popcorn monster hands, and warm apple cider.

Tip: Ask the teacher if any kids have food allergies and if the school has policies limiting sugary treats.

2. Get Help

Ask class parents (and grandparents) to pitch in and volunteer either during the party or by contributing supplies and food. Remember to plan for craft and game supplies, snacks,  paper ware, and simple decorations (think plastic table cloths and mini pumpkins).

Tip: Free online signup sheets from VolunteerSpot.com make it easy to coordinate parent helpers. With the click of a mouse or a tap on a smartphone, parents can quickly choose when to help and what to bring. Automated reminders keep everyone on track.

3. Have Fun!

Be ready for joyful chaos! When things don't go exactly as planned, don't stress. Instead, put on a big smile and know that the kids will have a great time no matter what. Be sure to take lots of pictures, party day is a very special day at school!

Tip: Bring a child's wagon to help carry supplies from your car to the classroom

Happy Halloween!

***

About the Author

 

Karen Bantuveris is the founder and CEO of VolunteerSpot -- free online signup sheets save time and make it easy to organize parents to help for just about anything: classroom helpers, snack schedules, carnivals, library volunteers, parent-teacher conferences and more. Karen lives in Austin, TX with her husband and daughter.

Students with special needs win homecoming king, queen

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For the first time ever, two students with special needs are the reigning homecoming king and queen of Northgate High School in Newnan, Georgia.

Jessica Marintdale and Anastas "Anie" Nenov were crowned 2014 homecoming king and queen Friday. Both students are from the special-needs self-contained class.

“They were all campaigning for these kids. They were just amazing,” said Cathy Nenov, Anie's mom. “They are all destined for success, especially because of their hearts.”

Nenov said she was touched to hear that the class had nominated her 19-year-old son, who has fragile X syndrome.

>> ON WSBTV.COM: Watch video from the homecoming ceremony

“It’s a developmental disorder that looks a lot like autism, involves delays in cognitive speech, motor skills, but also has a real gift for comedy, enthusiasm and happiness,” Nenov said.

Anie and Jessica are close friends and have gained a world of self-confidence after being crowned.

“The students went wild, stomping their feet and chanting their names,” Nenov said. “Their spirit was amazing. I was amazed. I’d never seen my son be so outgoing like this.”

Jessica, an 18-year-old who Nenov said has unidentified developmental disabilities, was also thrilled to win.

>> Read more trending stories

“She’s just overjoyed,” said Margaret Yelland, Jessica’s grandmother and guardian. “It’s just really special that they get treated like regular kids, because they really are.”

Jessica’s family found a couple of prom-style dresses for Jessica to wear for her special evening. However, they were quickly informed that their classroom was filled with prom dresses that the teachers had bought for Jessica.

She said, “Ma, did you know you could cry and laugh at the same time?” Yelland said of her granddaughter finding out she had been nominated.

Yelland said her son traveled from Michigan to walk Jessica down the football field.

“It was wonderful. The whole stadium stood up and screamed her name,” Yelland said. “I never realized that there were kids like these kids. A whole bunch of parents have done a wonderful job.”

Another student who was also nominated took her to a beauty parlor to make sure she looked the part.

“The kids on the court were just as happy for Jessica and Anie as anybody in the school,” Nenov said.

Nenov said her son’s winning homecoming court showed her there is an abundance of compassion and kindness in their community.

“I’ve always been a big believer of them being in regular population,” Nenov said of special-needs students.

She understands some students need a balance but said that Anie has always been as mainstreamed as possible. He is a drama student and works with the Northgate Vikings football team. He’s never missed a game, his mother said.

Jessica has aspirations to work in the service industry after high school.

Both teens are involved with an organization called ASPIRES Inc., which raises awareness for families and their children who experience developmental disabilities.

“There are a lot of potential homecoming kings and queens out there, and I would love for them to know that someday they’ll be recognized,” she said.

As for parents, Nenov said she would suggest they mainstream their special-needs child as much as possible.

“I know they are going through a hard time and wondering if they are doing the right thing. Wondering if they’ll get a break, if there’s help, if there’s hope,” she said. “I think this is a sign there’s hope for us all.”

Video games not so bad for kids after all, study says

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​​A new study finds playing video games could actually help a child's development — with a couple caveats. (Via Rodrigo Della Fávera / CC BY 2.0)

The study on kids from 10 to 15 was published in the journal Pediatrics by a behavioral scientist at the University of Oxford. It found "low levels of regular daily play related to better psychosocial adjustment, compared with no play."

"Low levels" was defined as less than one hour, and the link between the video game playing and the benefits, although statistically substantial, was small. (Via NBC)

What wasn't small was the contrast between how different outlets reacted to the study. 

Tech blog Gizmodo ran the headline, "Shock Survey Says Video Games are Good for Kids" and blamed media for painting young gamers as future "emotionless killers."

>> Read more trending stories

Other outlets like the International Business Times were more surprised that games are "Not Always Bad For Kids." 

And it's also worth noting that sites like Gizmodo and GameSpot that tend to cover games used images of active people playing games on their feet, while more traditional publication The Independent opted for a screen capture from the controversial "Grand Theft Auto" series — which raises the question: 

"I was thinking, well, which games were you playing?" (Via NBC)

The study, which focused more on how long the kids were playing the games, didn't actually say. 

The link between video games and behavior has long drawn public interest, from senators questioning the influence of "Mortal Kombat" to President Barack Obama calling for research into violent video games as a part of his gun-control efforts. (Via C-SPANForbes)

And that might help explain why we tend to see stories like this pop up every time a new study on that link comes out. (Via CNNWiredSlateThe Huffington Post)

And also why many local news channels that ran the story are still using video of games that came out more than 10 years ago. (Via WTKRTXCNWRC-TV)

For his part, the researcher who put the study together told the BBC that he hopes it will provide a more moderated view of how video games affect kids.

A look at the best sunscreen for your money

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

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A May 2014 study from Consumer Reports has ranked sunscreens and found that you don't have to pay big bucks to protect your skin from harsh UV rays.Here's what so funny: The highest rated sunscreen that got a Best Buy recommendation turned out to be the cheapest one per ounce they tested!

Want the best sunscreen for your money? Check out these options

Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, which is a Walmart storebrand lotion, clinched the Best Buy trophy with a score of 80 from Consumer Reports. It costs only 56 cents an ounce, which represents a 9-cent increase in price since last year. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (13%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), and Oxybenzone (4%). The only sunblock to score higher in the lotion category was Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50. This lotion got a score of 81 and costs $1.38. The active ingredient list mirrors that of Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, with the exact same concentration of active ingredients.When it comes to sprays, longtime Consumer Reports favorite UP & UP Sport SPF 50 got a 90 -- a full 10 points higher than last year's showing for this Target housebrand. Amazingly, the cost per ounces has dropped to 80 cents, down from $1.16 last year! Active ingredients include Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (4%), and Oxybenzone (5%).

>>Company claims it has developed drinkable sunscreen

>> Special Section: Your Guide to Summer FunThe historical favorite in this annual tally has been NO-AD Sport SPF 50 with Avobenzone, Aloe, and Vitamin E SPF 45. The NO-AD lotion scored a 69 this time out -- up 20 points from last year. The cost per ounce is 63 cents. Active ingredients include Avobenzone (2.0%), Homosalate (15.0%), Octisalate (5.0%), and Oxybenzone (5.0%).I was talking with a dermatologist last week and she said the real problem is too many people apply sunscreen too sparsely. You need to put gobs of it on your kids. My kids are conditioned to know that it's a five-minute ordeal while we slather them up before they can go out into the sun. It's a necessary precaution. But don't forget yourself either.If you're like me and grew up in the generation when nobody wore sunscreen, we're a ticking time bomb for skin cancer and melanoma. In many cases, early skin cancer detected is just a little aggravation that's easily treated. But undetected, it can grow into melanoma and cost you your life.Whatever sunscreen you get, be sure it says "broad spectrum" on the label for maximum protection.

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Kids food allergies need extra back-to-school planning

If you think your kid is fussy about what they eat, you should try packing a lunch when your child has food allergies.

Or in the case of parent Karen Earle's second-grader, multiple food allergies.

"Since she as old enough to understand, we've talked about foods she can have and she cannot have," Earle said.

Earle also make sure to meet with all the teachers and adminstrators before the school year starts and makes sure they have an action plan.

"And her teachers are great about it," Earle said.  "It's never been an issue."

Earle says parents of children with food allergies have to keep the mental and emotional side of the issue in mind, as well as the physical symptoms.

For example, Earle makes sure that she always packs something special in her daughter's lunch, so if kids are celebrating something at the school like a birthday with something her daughter can't eat,  her daughter doesn't feel left out.

"She can still participate," she said.

Highlighter hues fuel back-to-school neon trend

Neon is a fashion trend that might be best suited to the cool kids — or real kids.

Unlike so many looks that trickled down from designer runways to mass retailers and into teenagers' closets, the almost electrifying shades of pink, green, yellow and orange have been hanging out in high school hallways for a while. And they're back again for the new school year.

"Teens stayed with neon because for them, it's so easy to wear. It taps into youth, emotion and standing out, which they like doing," says Seventeen senior fashion editor Marissa Rosenblum.

The highlighter colors have evolved this season into accessories, beauty products and outerwear. There are still the T-shirts, colored jeans, hoodies and athletic apparel, but Rosenblum says the way to wear neon is as a single bright pop, not head to toe. (It's probably a safe bet that lots of pint-sized athletes will buy into the bright footwear that has made Nike's track and field sneakers one of the most buzzed-about looks of the Olympics.)

"This is the season of color: color on color, color back to neutrals. Neons are just one of the amazing colortrends that are important right now," says Anu Narayanan, vice president of women's merchandising for Old Navy.

She'd like to see mint green jeans with a yellow neon tank with a gray cardigan. "Neon looks best as a surprise within a look."

For its largely grade-school customer, The Children's Place will pair neon with navy as the cooler weather moves in. The brand started introducing neon through bright accents for its summer products but "you'll see even more for the holidays," says TCP senior vice president of design Michael Giannelli. "And it will continue into the spring and probably into next fall. ... We grabbed onto it because we have more freedom in kidswear to play with bright color."

He adds, "The children have a sense of humor about their clothes."

Elena Klam is creative director and co-owner of the jewelry brand Lia Sophia, which is launching a fashion jewelry collection called Sisters aimed at the tween and teen set. It includes neon, preapproved by Klam's teenage daughters and their friends.

"They can be a tough crowd. They're changing all the time, reinventing themselves all the time, trying new things. It's an age of experimentation, but they're also a part of the population who knows what's going on," she says. "They're very savvy."

If everyone is wearing neon, they'll also want it for their accessories, says Klam, adding that schools with strict dress codes will likely allow superbright friendship bracelets or earrings. Her uniform-wearing girls don't get a lot of variety in their school-day clothes, so "they change up their jewelry for a little bit of self-expression."

She expects neon citrus yellow-green to be particularly popular with kids and — as with everything — neonpink. "You don't have to be the 'pink girl' when it's neon. That has a bit of an edge to it," Klam says.

Neon, however, isn't just a chick thing. Giannelli points to the 1980s, when it was a staple in every kid's wardrobe, and he says the skater-snowboarder-surfer look has brought brights back into favor for boys. "Skater kids and surfer dudes are wearing bright pinks and deep purples, and they're also getting into orange and banana."

These colors work surprisingly well in snow gear, particularly fleece, which often is done in one color and trimmed in another, Giannelli says.

Neon hues are probably more traditional for warmer months — and that's what makes them so fresh for fall, says Old Navy's Narayanan. Each year, it seems there are deep shades of brown and purple in stores, but shoppers might not have seen them with a top that has neon pink, she says. "The rules are out the window."

A word of caution, though, from Rosenblum: You might need to be a little more selective about a neon shade than you would a neutral.

"You have to choose the color that looks good on you. That funny off-green is definitely an important color but it's not for everyone. But all the colors for teens are very popular so you can find one."

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