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Bilingual children are better at recognizing voices

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Bilingual children are better than their monolingual peers at perceiving information about who is talking, including recognizing voices, according to a study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The findings, published in the journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, suggest yet another advantage of speaking multiple languages beyond the well-known cognitive benefits. “Bilingual children have a perceptual advantage when processing information about a talker’s voice. This advantage exists in the social aspect of speech perception, where the focus is not on processing the linguistic information, but instead on processing information about who is talking. Speech simultaneously carries information about what is being said and who is saying it,” said Susannah Levi, assistant professor of communicative sciences and disorders at NYU Steinhardt and the study’s author.”(more)

Why Do Children Love Those Fad Toys So?

NPR – Emily Sohn

“First, it was Pokémon. Then came a special trick yo-yo, Magic: The Gathering cards, and some kind of “thinking putty.” Over time, my 9-year-old’s obsessions have changed. But one thing has remained consistent: When he wants something, he really, really wants it — often because, in his words, “everyone else has one.” He’s clearly not alone in his desire for the latest fad toy. From the pet rocks and Tickle Me Elmos of decades past to today’s fidget spinners, certain toys have a way of taking kids’ daydreams by storm. And while plenty of research has probed the secrets of viral products, a more primal question lingers: Why do kids want fad toys so badly in the first place?.”(more)

How to nurture better communication with your children

The Telegraph – Linda Blair

“Every parent hopes their children will want to talk to them, to share their hopes and dreams and to seek comfort, reassurance and advice. When can we start making that happen? The answer is that it’s never too early. From the moment they’re born, babies will try to communicate with their carers. Spend lots of face-to face time with your baby so they feel safe and wanted.”(more)

Report: Educators emphasize importance of home reading in maintaining literacy progress

Education Dive – Pat Donachie

“Year-round reading is vital for the continued development of students, and educators encourage it to combat literacy losses during the summer break. Most educators said public libraries were the primary access source to books for students during summer months, but potential federal cuts and austerity measures by states can make it difficult to rely on libraries alone as sources of continued summer reading.”(more)

Kids’ sun safety means ‘slip, slap, slop’

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Children spend a lot of time outside in the summer, so parents need to stay on top of their sun protection, a skin cancer expert advises. Much of a person’s risk for melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—comes from their sun exposure as a child. “Healthy sun-protection habits come in three forms—sometimes referred to as slip, slap, slop,” said Dr. Vernon Sondak. He is head of the skin cancer department at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.”(more)

Want to better comply with dietary guidelines, and save money? Cook dinner at home

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“The best culinary paths to better health are not always paved with cash, new research shows, and cooking at home can provide the best bang-for-the-buck nutritionally as well as financially. A study by Arpita Tiwari, a health systems researcher at Oregon State University, and collaborators at the University of Washington confirms what many mothers and grandmothers have said for decades: that habitually eating dinner at home means a better diet and lower food expenditures compared with regularly dining out.”(more)