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November 2015 Pages

Ask a Girl Scout What Did You Do Today?

What did you do today? It’s a question we ask our children every day. Their answers could range from working on a school project, to participating in sports or attending a dance class.

At Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, this question has a whole new meaning. Ask a Brownie and she could say she earned a first aid badge for learning CPR. Pose the same question to a Girl Scout Senior and her answer might be “I started a service project to help keep music alive in the classroom.”

Extracurricular activities help engage children and offer many benefits, such as learning how to be part of a team or developing new skills. Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada offers local girls a variety of activities to help them earn badges and make new friends. Camping, hiking, healthy cooking, financial literacy and first aid are just a few of the activities offered. And the annual Girl Scout cookie season teaches girls how to be part of a successful business; setting goals, selling cookies and developing good customer service skills.

With traditional troops, Supertroops and Juliettes, Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada also makes it easy for families to find options to enroll their girl and volunteer their time.

“We have options for every family’s busy schedule,” says Liz Ortenburger, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada.

For more information on the different troop options or to register, please call 702-385-3677 or visit

Affordable Space Adventures for WiiU

Few games are fun to play for children and adults. Fewer are enjoyable playing together. Rarest of all is a game that entertains and teaches cooperation between parent and child.

The Danish Affordable Space Adventures for WiiU magically combines elements of fun, learning and teaching patience with cooperation. As a parent you and your kids will love this game.

Here’s the premise: Enjoy all the thrills and excitement of space exploration on a budget? The fictionaly Uexplore company brings affordable space adventures without compromising comfort, fun and safety. Their newest Small Craft™ line with intuitive and simple Heads Down Display technology offers all the functionality and flexibility of the Heads Up Displays installed in more expensive space ships, but at a fraction of the price.

Developer: Knapnok Games
Where: Copenhagen, Denmark
Platform: Wii U eShop
Twitter: @KnapNokGames

Toddlers & Technology

The topic of toddlers and technology elicits a wide array of opinions. Some see the use of digital devices as a ploy by parents to keep their children quiet, while others believe they help children to learn and expand their creativity.

Television blazed the way with shows aimed at educating children as they were being entertained. Now there are hundreds if not thousands of apps designed to do the same. Parents are often amazed at how fast the tiny fingers of a toddler can swipe and navigate their way around a smartphone or iPad! Children certainly enjoy playing on mobile devices, but what is appropriate for young, developing minds? How much is too much?

Society is saturated with mobile technology, but there is relatively little research on the long-term effects on toddlers. At the 2014 American Association of Pediatrics Conference, Dr. Donald Shifrin discussed the pros and cons of toddlers using touchscreens. He acknowledged that most kids will have access to digital devices; however, he worries that parents who believe they are educational may adopt a “more-is-better” mentality. “The most dangerous thing we can do for youngsters nowadays is to deny them access to the digital world,” Shifrin stated. “But the second most dangerous thing is to give them unlimited access.”

Children certainly enjoy playing on mobile devices, but what is appropriate for young, developing minds?

Statistics show that 70% of parents let their children use their iPads. Parents find that they are convenient, relatively durable, and fit perfectly into a purse or diaper bag. Although somewhat expensive, tablets are viewed by some as more convenient and less messy than typical art supplies such as paints and crayons, yet still offer an artistic outlet for children.

Not all parents are comfortable with toddlers and touchscreen devices. After the release of the iPad in 2010 a reporter asked Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, whether his kids loved the iPad. He replied, “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” Yet many allow kids regular access. Dr. Katherine Hertlein, Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy program at UNLV and international expert on technology and the family, states that many parents have a sense of pride with their children’s technological abilities. “When parents help kids use technology appropriately, the affordability, accessibility, and approximation can yield big dividends.” However, she also points out that children with high access to technology can lead to kids having more knowledge and power in this area than their parents, upsetting the traditional balance in homes. Thus, one challenge for parents is keeping up in the digital age.

Ultimately, parents are responsible for the welfare of their children and must determine the amount of screen time that acceptable. If a parent is diligent and moderates the amount of time their children play on their devices and protect their children from in appropriate content, negative outcomes can be minimized. Additionally, parents should be mindful of their own use of technology around their children. It may not be the toddler’s time on these devices that is most damaging, but the parent’s. Time on your phone or iPad results in less interaction with your child – talking with them, going outside, reading books, playing games, and building a secure attachment.

Dr. Stephen Fife is an Associate Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at UNLV. Elisa Young is a graduate student in the MFT Program. E-mail Dr. Fife at

Adorable Tiny Little Pads

Tiny Little Pads

This locally owned business brings a special touch to any child’s play area.

Who: Jannicke Ramsø, CID
Owner & Principal Designer

Where: 817 S Main St


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