Aspiring teen forensic scientist cracks the case, CSI-style

p>This story is great not only because a mystery was solved by a teen-aged CSI-fan, but also because there is a very CSI-like twist at the end:Tiana Rapp, 17, and her friend had lost over $200 from repeated thefts from her locker, while the school pretty much said there was nothing they could do about it–despite employing an adult hall monitor. So Tiana and her friend took matters into their own hands, and set up a secret video camera that revealed the criminal was none other than the hall monitor herself, who had been using a master key to get into students’ lockers. It all makes so much sense in the end!For the full story, see the article at Newsday.

Category: Cool Kids    Comments Off

4 year old dancer Miles"Baby Boogaloo"Brown breaks it down!

So what’s the deal with the ridiculously low expectations on kid dancing videos? Every kid can dance, but this little guy shows the rest how it’s really done:

Miles also tore it up on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this week, and is fast on his way to becoming an internet sensation. Glad to see a kid and parent taking serious pride in his talent, putting some real work into the production of this video, and raising the bar for home videotapers everywhere.

Category: Cool Kids, Parenting    Comment: (1)

Blind child"sees"with ears

Seven-year-old Lucas Murray is blind, but has learned to sense his surroundings by making a clicking noise with his tongue and observing how it sounds. Based on what he hears, Lucas can determine the distance, shape, and even movement of surrounding objects. This technique, known as “echolation,” is similar to sonar used by bats and dolphins.Echolation is not a new story, but Lucas, who was taught the technique by Californian Daniel Kish, founder of the World Access for the Blind charity,

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is believed to be the first person in Britain to learn it. For a video of Lucas using echolation to shoot a basketball and navigate his surroundings, visit The Sun’s website.

Category: Cool Kids, Parenting    Comment: (1)

More Government web skills – Elmo says"sneeze into your elbow"

The Department of Health and Human Services is trying to go viral in its efforts to prevent the spread of swine flu. Check out a great PSA from HHS and Elmo below, where imparts a very simple lesson even kids can learn–sneeze into your elbow or shirt sleeve rather than

into your hands (or into the air). That way, you won’t wipe all your germs over some unsuspecting handrail or piece of furniture. For more from the HHS, including a contest-winning swine flu rap, see their YouTube channel here

Category: Activity Ideas, Education, Parenting    Comments Off

New Government Website provides food safety information

Every adult should know everything on, but a lot of us don’t–it’s a one-stop site for information on food shelf-life, tips on checking for cooking doneness, news about food recalls, as well as basic food handling rules (i.e., separating cooked and raw foods, how to safely pack a school lunch, etc.).

Category: Parenting    Comments: (4)

New PBS KIDS show Dinosaur Train debuting on Labor Day

dinosaur trainMark your calendars–this Labor Day, Monday, 9/7, our friends at PBS KIDS and the Jim Henson Company are launching a brand new show!Dinosaur Train is about an orphaned toddler T-Rex named Buddy who is taken in by a family of Pteranodons. Buddy and his newfound family ride the Dinosaur Train to different prehistoric eras where they learn about their dinosaur heritage. This great new show will center on themes of family, tolerance, history, and of course, plenty of dinosaurs and trains!If you”ve been to this week you”ve seen all the new dinosaur-related activities we”re rolling out to celebrate, including:- A sneak preview of Dinosaur Train- interactive game widget- game- trivia game- Make your own dinosaur mask print-out (pdf download)

Category: Speakanews    Comments: (8)

Giant, rodent-eating plant discovered

p>Picture 1There are few things in this world more fascinating, or scary, than carnivorous plants. A new one, nepenthes attenboroughii, has been discovered and named by researchers in the Philippines. It is the second largest “pitcher” plant known to man, a type of plant named

because of its hollow shape filled with liquid. Growing up to four feet tall, the plant secretes nectar around its opening which attracts insects, rodents and frogs to fall into the opening, where they are killed and digested by the liquid. Awesome!To learn more about nephenthes attenboroughii more check out this article at AOL News.Photo Credit: Redfern Natural History Productions Ltd./


Summer Reading List and activity ideas

newsletter_summer_1Encourage your young ones to read this summer with Speakaboos storybook videos—use our handy summer reading list to make sure you get the most out of the summer hours!Family activities (PDF file downloads):•    Arts and Crafts: Build a Birdhouse, Make Your Own Guitar, Cotton Ball Hare•    Recipes: Mediterranean Fruit Kebobs, Banana Hot Dogs, Chicken Fingers•    Coloring Pages: Jack and the Beanstalk, The Ugly Duckling, Cinderella•    And much more at our Activities Page

Category: Activity Ideas, Parenting, Speakanews    Comments Off

10 obvious ways to prevent swine flu

Fox News is running a “no, duh” photo essay of ways to avoid swine flu that is so obvious, it almost feels exploitative. Still, it”s definitely important to remember these basic health tenets that, swine flu or no swine flu, will help you avoid illness:- Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing- Avoid touching your face or eyes unless your hands have been washed- Clean household and office surfaces often- Eat a balanced diet and foods with vitamin C- Stay home and contact your doctor if you are feeling ill- Remind your children to maintain healthy habitsSimple, right? If you still feel compelled to see the photo essay click here.

Category: Parenting    Comment: (1)

RECALL: 1 million play yards from Kolcraft and others

Kolcraft is recalling their Travelin’ Tot play yard series, as well as yards sold under the brands Carter’s, Sesame Beginnings, Jeep, Care Bear, Contours and Eric Carle. The play yard’s side rail

can fail to latch properly, causing the yard to collapse unexpectedly. See the recall notice here to check if your model is affected, and contact Kolcraft at for a free repair kit.09265a

Category: Parenting, Product Recalls    Comments Off