Family

Family

Parents @ Play: It's just like magic

Just about everyone – young, old, and everything in between – is fascinated by magic, especially the kind that involves transforming objects from one thing into another. This week, we take a look at a number of terrific family activities that do exactly that, whether it's changing a 10 of Clubs into a 10 of Heart, a bunch of powered ingredients into delicious cupcakes, or a locked safe into an unlocked one.

Family

Ex-etiquette: You're not in this alone

I'm divorced and my son lives a week with his mother and a week with me. He is in the 6th grade. He recently got in trouble at school for using a racial slur and insulted one of his best friends. Evidently, he saw a comedy routine on YouTube and thought to repeat it. I talked to the principal and his friend's mother and now he's grounded and without a phone. I'm trying to be a good parent. What's good ex-etiquette?

Family

Ask Mr. Dad: Playing the role

Dear Mr. Dad. My husband and I have two-year-old twins – a girl and a boy – and we both love spending time with them. But I've noticed that he and I have very different styles, in several ways. We do different activities with the kids. And I've also noticed that I do a better job of treating the kids the same, while he treats our son very differently than our daughter. What's the best way to play with a toddler? And isn't it better to play with the two kids in exactly the same way?

Family

Chris Erskine: Easter with exploding eggs, rogue Russians

When the kids were really young, we used to have the best Easters. I'd dress up like Jesus and they'd dress like little Roman soldiers and chase me around the yard. Insert your own symbolism if you like, but I caution you not to jump to conclusions. Many families have their special traditions.

Family

Teach kids how to resist advertising and be smart consumers

Commercials are nothing new. We all grew up with them and can probably sing a dozen or more jingles. What is new is how advertisers have adapted to digital media – especially apps, websites, and social media. Many of today's ads – from product placements in movies and on TV to online contests, viral videos, and "chatbots" (robots that send instant messages) – don't look like ads. And that's by design. Adapting to ever more jaded and fickle viewers, marketers have developed ways to integrate ads into entertainment, so it's hard to tell where the "real" content ends and the ads begin. These techniques also encourage us to interact (click, swipe, play, chat), which gives marketers data about our habits, likes, and preferences.

Family

App review: Bethesda Pinball, inventive spin based on popular games is fun and addictive

Parents need to know that Bethesda Pinball is a trio of video game pinball machines that are inspired by the games "Doom," "The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim," and the ones in the "Fallout" series. While there's some dark imagery, there are no acts of violence, nor is there any inappropriate content. Each table is sold separately, and as a group, but players can also download the app for free and pick one table to play when connected to the internet. They can then use in-game currency to play rounds on the other two tables, with that currency either won by beating other players' scores, or by purchasing currency with real-world money. Players can also buy temporary boosts that will give them even more currency when they win. Read the app's privacy policy in the "Legal Resources" section of the game's "Options" menu or on the game's website to find out about the information collected and shared.

Family

Game review: 'Crawl,' slick, 5-star game is madcap monster fun

Parents need to know that "Crawl" is a downloadable competitive local multiplayer brawler. Up to four players or bots fight one another as they progress through randomly generated dungeons. Despite appearances, under the hood this game is actually essentially like playground tag. One player takes turns as the human hero who is eventually killed by one of the three other players, who are ghosts possessing traps or spawning monsters in each environment to kill and then replace the hero. Violence is constant, but the pixelated graphics limits the impact on players.

Videos

Keep your eyes on fireworks safety

Every Fourth of July, emergency departments see an influx of injuries caused by fireworks. Mayo Clinic experts say the hands, face and eyes are particularly vulnerable.
Courtesy: Mayo Clinic
Keep your eyes on fireworks safety 1:00

Keep your eyes on fireworks safety

Rock Hill schools awarded for use of technology to support education 1:02

Rock Hill schools awarded for use of technology to support education

5th Congressional District candidates on health care 3:36

5th Congressional District candidates on health care

5th Congressional District candidates talk about immigration 10:30

5th Congressional District candidates talk about immigration