(847) 485-0000
Find a
Center
 

Success

Error

Blogs

http://image.bestbrains.com/blog/wright-brothers-day/wright-brother-s-patented-aircraft-the-wright-flyer.jpg

Wright Flyer Aircraft model

On this day, December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright took their first or maiden flight in an aircraft they had designed together. And while it is unknown if this was the first actual flight ever made in history, it was done in the first ever patented aircraft, the Wright Flyer. The brothers went on to make further inventions and additions to aviation technology, leading the way for all future aviators.

History of Wright Brothers’ Day

President Dwight D. Eisenhower is the one responsible for creating this codified holiday. As such, it is commemorated each year and marked on government calendars but is not classified an actual government holiday. President Eisenhower declared on September 24, 1959, that December 17th should forevermore be celebrated, honoring the experiments of the Wright brothers and all others who have contributed to aviation history and technology.

How to Celebrate Wright Brothers’ Day

Wright Brother’s inventions

Since that time, every U. S. President has made an annual proclamation, honoring the Wright brothers and their endeavors in flight as well as inviting all Americans to do the same. Furthermore, Washington D. C. holds the Wright Brothers Dinner each year where the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy is awarded

Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where that maiden flight was taken also celebrates the day with similar festivities, as does Dayton, Ohio, the brothers’ hometown. Many schools are known are to hold special activities that focus on aviation and its history, some even take field trips to the closest aviation museums. Other institutions or programs hold various luncheons and dinners to honor these pioneers of flight.

Individually, many decide to celebrate in their own way by going to museums that focus on aviation, going to the airport, attending air shows, taking a flight, or even taking flight lessons. It may seem to you that this old looking plane the Wright brothers flew wasn’t all that great, especially compared to what airplanes and crafts that are flown nowadays. However, you have to remember that at the time, there was nothing else like this. This was the cutting edge of technology, a dream of the future at the time.

Can you imagine what aviation would look like today if these two brothers hadn’t created the Wright Flyer and made that flight? While their craft is not the only kind that was manufactured, nor were they the only ones experimenting with such technology, their efforts led the way for inventions and aviation leaders all over the globe. This day is meant to remember and honor those efforts, understanding that actions and discoveries made today will someday be a part of history.

Read More

http://image.bestbrains.com/blog/christmas-card-day/christmas-card.jpg

Christmas card day

Sending festive Christmas cards of season’s greeting is an age-old tradition amongst millions of families worldwide. We make a list and check it twice, ensuring that no one is forgotten or left out. Whether it’s the classic jingles of Christmas past or modern electronically sent messages, we want to make sure they receive it before Christmas Day.

History of Christmas Card Day

However, this unofficial holiday is not celebrated on this day just make sure you get your cards out to the mailbox on time. On December 9, 1843, Sir Henry Cole of England designed the first commercial Christmas Card. It showed a family raising a toast together. It was produced by J. C. Horsley, who went on to produce many more of Cole and other’s holiday cards. From there, a lithograph firm, Prang and Mayer, started creating and selling Christmas cards by the masses. By 1880, they were producing over five million cards a year.

Many of those first cards are now collector’s items and are sold for thousands of dollars at auctions. The British Museum houses Queen Mary’s early 1900s collection of them. Today, Christmas cards are made in millions of designs and themes. Some are more traditional and include the popular “Merry Christmas” messages with an image of jolly old Saint Nicolas. While others may steer in a more religious direction, quoting bible verses or blessings with wise men standing around a holy child in a manger. Still others, for those who may not celebrate Christmas, are sent wishing season’s greetings and best wishes for a new year.

How to Celebrate Christmas Card Day

Happy Holiday Card

Whatever your preference, today is the day to remember your Christmas card list and work on getting them out to your loved ones. It's always nice to be able to make handmade cards if you have the time. Grab your glue stick, markers, and glitter and get to creating. This can be an amazingly fun activity for your children as well. Maybe start a family tradition of making cards.

If you aren’t that crafty or don’t feel you have the time, there are always pre-made cards to send and even e-cards. These are sent electronically and take hardly any time at all. Plus, you don’t have to worry about missing the mailman or not making it to its recipient on time. However, nothing beats the real thing and this day is the perfect time to get those cards ready and in the mail before the last day of mail service arrives.

Read More

http://image.bestbrains.com/blog/educational-gifts/rubik-s-cube.jpg

Rubik's Cube Gift

Photo Credit : NeONBRAND via Unsplash

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the joy of giving gifts to friends and loved ones. For kids, this often means lots of new toys. But there are other gifts that kids can enjoy and that can also teach valuable skills. By gifting thoughtfully this holiday season, you can offer the children on your gift list valuable lessons along with hours of fun. Here are some ideas.

Puzzle books

Much like building blocks, puzzle books provide lots of options for fun and games in a small inexpensive package. You can find collections of puzzles that range from Sudoku to mazes to brain teasers of all kinds. And they come in different levels for kids and adults of all ages. You can give simple connect-the-dots books to very young children, or more challenging puzzles and logic problems to older children. The beauty of these books is that one book can contain dozens of different puzzles to occupy a curious mind.

3-D Puzzles

Everyone loves a good jigsaw puzzle. But if you want to provide a more interesting challenge, 3-D puzzles are a great chance to practice spatial reasoning skills in a fun and exciting way. The classic example of a 3-D puzzle is the Rubic’s Cube. Though most of us will never quite master this old-school puzzle, there are lots of new spins on the concept that offer varying levels of difficulty. You can buy 3-D puzzles with just a few pieces, or more complex ones that have to be completely disassembled and put back together. Either way, these new-age puzzles are a stimulating and challenging upgrade on the beloved classic.

Music lessons

This one is a little less conventional, but very versatile. Is there an instrument your child would like to learn to play? If you have a son who wants to play guitar, or a daughter who’d like to play drums, music lessons are an excellent investment. Learning to play an instrument has all sorts of benefits for brain development and reasoning skills. And learning a new skill can open up all sorts of future opportunities. If someday your son or daughter wants to join the school band or even start of band of their own, they’ll be well on their way to mastering the skills they need.

Book series

A great way to encourage reading is to introduce your children to a book series that they can get invested in and follow for a long time. Whether it’s young adult drama, science fiction, fantasy, or mystery, a good series holds a reader’s attention for years at a time. This ensures that your young reader will always have something they’re looking forward to reading. Then, as they wait for the next installment of their favorite series, you can introduce them to similar options to keep them occupied. This is how finding a good series can pay off with a love of reading that lasts for years.

Of course, there are lots of other educational gifts that you can give the children in your life. If you know a child who’s interested in science, microscopes and telescopes make great gifts. Perhaps you know a young person who loves to dance and would appreciate dance lessons. The possibilities are endless. The trick is to think beyond the usual list of toys and gadgets to give something that will genuinely enhance the lives of a child in the months and years to come.

Read More

http://image.bestbrains.com/blog/make-a-gift-day/make-a-gift-day.jpg

Make A Gift Day

In case you hadn’t realized, Christmas is almost here. A time spent with family and friends, eating your favorites dishes and exchanging gifts. When it comes to those exchanged gifts, the goal is usually to give something heartfelt, something that will be appreciated, and something that shows the recipient just how much they mean to you. Nothing does this quite like a handmade gift. It's also a great way to maybe save some money or make use of old and/or forgotten items. And then there is always that gift you forgot to get and now have to improvise for.

History of Make A Gift Day

This is an unofficial national holiday, which means that it is pretty much celebrated nationally on the same day every year but no one really knows who came up with the idea or when it came to be and no documentation of it can be found in presidential proclamations or congressional records. However, it makes sense for this holiday to be around this time, as Christmas is just around the corner and the gift-giving season is in full swing.

With that being said, handmade gifts have been a huge success for years, especially before the time of commercialized stores and ready-made products. For hundreds of years, people always made their own gifts, not to mention everything else. If you wanted to give your sister a new dress for Christmas or your brother a new toy, you had to make it yourself. This is a day to bring that back a bit and to get in touch with your creative side, even if you don’t think you have many crafting skills. After all, it’s the thought that counts right?

How to Celebrate

Homemade Gifts

There are so many countless ways to celebrate and enjoy this holiday. The idea is to just get out there and try. It doesn’t matter what you make or create. This is also the perfect opportunity to teach your children about the gift of giving to others and how much a heartfelt, homemade gift can mean. So, get together with your children and make something.

It could be as simple as a handwritten card or letter, a cupcake, or a batch of cookies for their teacher or grandparents. Start small and work your way up. Make a collage using some of their art projects from the past year or a personalized mug with their picture or artwork on it. There are so many options and ideas to choose from and the sky is really the limit. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be the most beautiful creation in the makers’ eyes, the recipient of such a gift will absolutely love it.

Read More

http://image.bestbrains.com/blog/teaching-child-to-time-management-skills/parent-with-kid.jpg

Mother hepls her child in homework

Time management can be stressful for any adult, especially if you have children. Think about it. How often do you have to ask your child what is taking them so long or tell them to hurry up? If you are anything like most of us, its pretty often. However, you can help gain some of your sanity back by teaching them some basic time management skills.

Measuring VS Telling Time

This is teaching them to tell time, this showing them how to measure it. Even if they already know how to tell time, most kids struggle with measuring how much time certain tasks take. This why there is such exaggeration among youngsters when it comes to this topic. Set a timer during a math project or task they are working on. Or keep an eye on the clock and give them a countdown as they work. This helps them to get a better feel of what one hour or even one minute actually feels like. As they get better adjusted, you will be able to say things like “We are leaving in 15 minutes,” and they will understand that they don’t have time to watch TV, get a snack, and take a shower first.

Make A Calendar

This is a great way to teach children about what it takes to schedule your week and your day. While this can be family fun, art activity, it also teaches each child about what other members of the family have going on. It also gives them an idea of how they need to prioritize their time to make sure everything and everyone can work together. In addition to a calendar for the whole family, having one for each specific child or member of the family is a great idea. This allows a child to be even more creative with their schedule. Work with them to list daily activities, chores, and homework and prioritize them accordingly.

Don’t Be Too Busy

A common mistake for many households is that they feel the need to be involved in everything at once. This leads to double booking, miscommunication, and a constantly revolving door. Children quickly get worn out and frustrated if all they do is go, go, go. While this does teach them to watch the clock, it doesn’t give them the opportunity to learn time management skills the right way. Instead, make sure to not overbook your kids’ schedules. One of the best learning tools for children is free time and free play. So, make sure to schedule down time into your week and day. This enables the child to focus on more than just the ticking clock.

It Has To Be Fun

Time management for a child is not just about a clock and learning to tell time. Its learning to prioritize activities, free time, homework and much more. The best way to get them to understand it is to make it fun for them to do. Use kid friendly tools like colorful magnetic calendars, a bright and cheerful to do list that they can color and design themselves, or apps that are geared for children for those that love technology. Use stickers, make tasks a game, try to beat the clock. The more fun they have completing tasks, the more likely they are to learn the importance of time management and be able to utilize it.

For more tips and tricks click here.

Read More

http://image.bestbrains.com/blog/extra-curricular-activities/students-participating-in-extra-curricular-activities-1.jpg

Extra-curricular Activities

By now we all know that participating in extra-curricular activities is an important part of children’s education. Students learn discipline, teamwork, creativity, and other important life skills in the activities they do outside the classroom. They also become well-rounded people who have interesting stories to tell when it’s time to apply to college. However, the cost of children’s extra-curricular activities can be daunting for some families. It’s important to keep costs in mind and structure children’s schedules so that they’re getting the benefits of activity without burdening the family finances.

One of the first ways you can save money on your children’s activities is by encouraging them to participate in school-based clubs and teams. Private sports leagues can be a major expense. Registration and travel fees, along with uniforms and other equipment can easily surpass $1,000 per child per season. One of the benefits of school-based activities is that many of these costs are shouldered by the school/district rather than the parents. For instance, a private baseball league will likely require each player to provide his own equipment. A school league though, may provide bats, balls, and transportation to and from games, along with other perks.

Another way to keep costs down is to limit the number of activities students try at one time. Some parents find success letting children do only one or two activities at a time. Other parents make sure that children understand that their activities are a commitment. So a student can’t give up on an expensive new activity after a just a few weeks. This encourages kids to be more thoughtful about what they take on.

It’s also important to remember that not every activity has to be organized. There are lots of fun, character-building things students can take up on their own, for much less money than group-based activities. For instance, running and cycling are highly regarded activities with measurable mental health benefits and very little up-front cost. By encouraging your student to try something on their own, you teach them not to be limited by the obvious options and to think about the kinds of things that they might personally enjoy. Maybe there’s no art club at your child’s school. But a few trips to the local arts and crafts store could take the place of expensive private lessons.

Students participating in extra-curricular activities

The key is to be flexible in thinking about the choices you and your children have in taking on activities. Be realistic about your family’s financial situation and don’t worry that your children are missing out if they’re not playing on the most expensive teams. It’s okay if they don’t do every activity their friends are doing. Sometimes the things we really love are things we find all on our own. As long as your children are thoughtful and committed to the projects they start, there is no shortage of lessons they can learn from whatever they decide to try.

Read More

http://image.bestbrains.com/blog/slinky-dog/slinky-dog-coaster.jpg

slinky-dog-coaster

Disney Unveils “Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster” — to Celebrate National Slinky Day

Disney — I can imagine what comes to everyone’s mind when we hear someone say, Disney. Toys… more fantasy…. the beautiful world for all ages… While most of the toys or our imagination will fade out sometimes, as new things start pop up so often.

Here comes the Slinky, the pre flattened coil of wire or plastic; which can walk on its own and has entertained children and adults for over 70 years. Therefore, it is not surprising to hear that every month on August 30th, people across the United States celebrate this iconic toy with a National Slinky Day.

However, this year the people at Disney have made this event more special by introducing the new Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster at the Hollywood Studios theme park at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort. While the family ride has been added with two new attractions and themed by Andy Davis, it was inspired by one of the main characters Slinky from the Toy Story movies, he created it in his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit. This is all set to open in Summer 2018. Main attraction draws creativeness from the film’s dachshund, who has a metal Slinky for a body. Though, it is designed to take full advantage of the coils, assuring riders a thrilling journey, which completes with sharp drops and sudden turns. The Slinky Dog Dash will be one of two new rides to excite the park visitors that are looking forward to the newly expanded Toy Story Land. If you do not know anything about the second attraction, it is inspired by the Alien Swirling Saucers, this attraction is themed to a Pizza Planet toy play set with Aliens circling around in their flying saucers with rocket ships.

slinky-dog-dash-roller-coaster

Like many great creations, the Slinky was invented accidentally. In 1943, Richard James, a naval mechanical engineer who was trying to create a spring that would keep gentle ship equipment stable at sea. One day, he unsuspectingly dropped some samples off of a shelf and watched them in astonishment that they landed gracefully, with a “spring” in their own steps, instead of crashing directly on the ground.

Trusting the spring’s action, he thought it would make a great toy, then he and his wife Betty came up with the name and borrowed $500 USD to manufacture the first Slinkys. While this took some time and in the year 1945, the inventors were allowed to demonstrate the toy at Gimbels department store in Philadelphia. To their glee, the entire inventory of 400 was sold within 90 minutes, and the rest, as we see is a History until today… An estimated 250 million units of the classic toy, which was inaugurated into the “National Toy Hall of Fame” in 2000, then been so, and the numbers continue to rise. While Richard made the Slinky by winding 80-feet of wire into a 2-inch spiral, and the toy now comes in many different sizes, color and colors. Some even make sounds while others light up, and one lucky Slinky even gets to go on escapades with his Toy Story friends...

Read More