This Amazing Seattle Preschool Also Doubles as an Elderly Nursing Home

A facility in Seattle has come up with an innovative way of caterung to both the very young and the old.  They’ve paired up a preschool with an elderly nursing home, so that the children and the 400-odd residents at the home have an amazing time with each other.

The preschool, called the Intergenerational Learning Center, is located within Providence Mount St. Vincent senior care center in West Seattle. For five days a week, the kids interact with the residents in fun activities like dancing, art, music, lunch, storytelling, or sometimes just visiting.

According to Evan Briggs, a filmmaker and adjunct professor at Seattle University, who is planning to make a film about the unique center, the elders undergo a “complete transformation in the presence of the children.” She noticed that just moments before the kids came in, some of them seemed half alive. “It was a depressing scene. As soon as the kids walked in for art or music or making sandwiches for the homeless or whatever the project that day was, the residents came alive.”

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Barber Gives Free Haircuts to Kids Who Read to Him

Courtney Homes, a barber at Dubuque’s Spark Family Hair Salon, recently came up with unique way of charging children for haircuts – he asked for stories instead of money! He’s passionate about supporting kids reading, so he had his little clients read out loud to him as he worked on their hair.

“The kids would come in, and I would say, “Go to the table and get a book you might like, and if you can’t read it, I’ll help you understand and we can read it together,” Holmes told reporters. “To be honest, I was amazed, the line started with four kids, and next thing I knew it was like 20 kids, all waiting for a haircut and eager to read.”

Homes conducted the unique initiative during the second annual Back to School Bash at the city’s Comiskey Park. Lots of kids showed up to get free haircuts and read to Homes in return.

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Hong Kong Toddlers Take Special Classes to Make Sure They Get into the Best Nurseries and Kindergartens

Believe it or not, the kindergarten scene in Hong Kong is so fiercely competitive that tiny toddlers are expected to take special classes to get prepped for nursery interviews!

You might wonder what the big deal is about nursery school – kids just play and take naps, right? But parents in Hong Kong actually view it as an important phase that could determine their child’s future. They strongly believe in the cascading effect – admission to the best kindergartens will lead to the best primary schools, best secondary schools, and eventually, the best universities.

“It’s the only topic that comes up when you go out for lunch, which school your kid got into, which school are you applying for and how are you preparing your child for it?” one mother revealed. “My friends have sent me spreadsheets with a detailed timetable of when schools are available for applications and how to apply.”

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Two-Year-Old DJ Still in Diapers Is Taking South Africa by Storm

Oratilwe Hlongwane, a.k.a. DJ AJ, has become a viral phenomenon in South Africa with a dedicated fan following of thousands. But here’s the twist – he’s actually a two-year-old kid! While he can barely speak, the incredibly talented toddler can work a DJ console like a pro.

AJ is so good at DJing that he has fans hankering after his heavy-bass house music. The record spinning toddler has made a few special appearances and also bagged sponsorship deals with various brands. His most recent performance was at a shopping mall in his hometown of Johannesburg, where a large crowd gathered to groove to his music.

AJ’s mother, Refiloe Marumo, attributes the boy’s astounding skills to his father Glen Hlongwane’s decision to buy him an iPad even before he was born. Glen, a gymnastics coach, wanted to use the iPad to download educational apps to speed up the kid’s education. Incidentally, he happens to be an aspiring DJ, so he also downloaded a DJ app for his own use.

Oratilwe Hlongwane

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Child Spas Make Girls as Young as 7 Look Even Younger

Only a generation ago, little girls had to beg their moms just to put on make-up for a special occasion. But things have changed quite drastically since then. Moms these days are actually pampering their daughters at kiddy spas with custom-made packages to suit their needs. And believe it or not, some of these girls are as young as seven!

Whoever heard of a seven-year-old needing a massage, right? But the demand is apparently so great that the spa industry has really begun to target children in a big way. Adult spas are adding separate menus of services for little girls, and most major cities in the US have day spas that are meant exclusively for children. Manicures, pedicures, hairdos, makeup, oil rubs and even custom-sized robes are made available to clients, who are often too young to have had their first pimple.

According to the International Spa Association, industry trends indicate that 25 percent of the approximately 20,000 spas in the US now offer services that are specifically meant for the under-13 set. They offer kid-friendly music, banana-scented facials, and age-appropriate vocabulary – customers are ‘princesses’ and toes are referred to as ‘pigglies’.

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This 8-Year-Old Kid Makes Over $1 Million a Year Playing with Toys in Front of a Camera

Meet Evan, a cute little 8-year-old with the world’s best job. He rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars while doing what all kids do – playing with toys. He is the face of EvanTubeHD, a family-friendly YouTube channel that reviews toys and video games. Evan’s videos regularly exceed a million views and the channel earns him a whopping $1.3 million a year.

This is one of those internet success stories that make you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” It started out as a playful project between Evan and his father Jared – they would make stop-motion videos using clay models of Angry Birds. “When we started, we were making about a video per month as a fun little project,” Jared recalled. “It was interesting to see who was tuning in.”

The videos were so cute that they started to get really popular, and when their first video hit 1 million views, Jared realized how huge it was getting. It wasn’t long before the channel became a serious business model. “By doing toy reviews that are a bit ‘out of the box’, we try to provide information about the product as well as have that creative flair,” he said.

EvanTube

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The Most Remarkable Newspaper in the World Is Written by a Bunch of Indian Street Kids

‘Balaknama’, or ‘Children’s Voice’, is a quarterly publication that’s completely written and run by children living in New Delhi’s slums. With a readership in the tens of thousands, the newspaper is being hailed as one of the most impressive in the world.

Backed by the Indian non-profit organisation Chetna, Balaknama publishes contributions from a federation of Indian children who work for a living and live off the street. It started with only 35 child-contributors, but the stories come from various Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh.

Written in Hindi, the paper covers a range of serious subjects that highlight the problems faced by Indian street children. A typical issue would contain articles related to topics like police brutality, child marriage, and illegal child labor. It’s not what you’d expect from a children’s newspaper, but Balaknama is known for reporting hard truths and harsh realities.

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Homeless Man Finds Baby Girl While Digging through Garbage, Raises Her as His Own

Seven years ago, a homeless man in China was scavenging in a garbage bin when he found something that would change his life forever – a tiny baby girl! He was so overcome with emotion that he decided to raise her as his own child. 50-year-old Xiong Jianguo now lives under a bridge in Nanchang City with his seven-year-old adopted daughter, whom he named Yanyan.

“I guess she was one of those children that was born to a family who didn’t want a girl,” said Xiong. “I had lifted the top of the rubbish bin and was looking to see if there are any plastic bottles I could sell to recycle, when I heard a baby. She was in a box in a blanket and I was absolutely stunned.” The box, apparently, contained a single note: “Was born on October 15, 2007.”

The baby looked so helpless that Xiong took her home; at the time, he lived with his wife in a tiny room. The couple bought a baby bottle to feed her, and that’s when he knew that he wanted to look after her for as long as he could. “No matter how hard it is, I intend to make sure that I raise her until she is old enough to stand on her own two feet. I don’t believe she would have had a good life in an orphanage,” he said.

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Bizarre School Drill Lets Children Experience Drowning

Around 70 primary school students in Luoyang, China were recently involved in a controversial drill that involved submerging their heads in washbasins and buckets full of water to experience drowning.

The Qianzhizhuang Primary School in Henan Province is located near a river where children often play to cool off during the summer, so, apparently, school officials thought it would be a good idea to let the kids find out what it’s like to be drowning in a safe and controlled environment, rather than risking it happening for real with no one to rescue them.

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North Dakota Pharmacist Prescribes Monster Spray to Children Afraid to Sleep Alone

If sprays can get rid of household pests, then why not resident monsters? A North Dakota father-and-daughter pharmacist duo have hit upon an ingenious idea that could potentially banish the night-time woes of parents all over the world. Jeff Dodds and his daughter Josslyn Dodds are both employees at Barrett Pharmacy in Watford City. They worked together to create the potion – a bit of colored water in a medicine spray bottle with some very creative labelling. The small bottle contains 120 sprays and allows for one refill; it’s called Monster Spray and, as the name suggests, it’s meant to get rid of monsters under children’s beds. Surprisingly, the concept is a success!

So how does the Monster Spray work exactly? According to the label on the bottle, you need to ‘spray around the room at night before bed, repeat if necessary’. It seems that this simple routine has been satisfying kids for the past five years or so – Barrett has used it to cure a handful of children with monster-fears. “It’s 100 percent safe and it works amazingly,” said Josslyn. “It really seems to get rid of the monsters.” According to the parents who have used it, it’s the realistic prescription bottle that convinces their children.

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No Grownups Allowed at Japan’s Children-Only Magical Sweets Shop

Most teenagers can’t wait until they’re 21 so they can have a legal ID, but here’s one shop in Japan that will make them want to stay young forever – an ID proving that they’re a sixth grader or younger. Because that’s how young you’ve got to be to enter Japan’s Future Sweets Factory – a magical place filled with all things sweet and delicious. Kids get to enter the factory alone, leaving their parents behind in the lobby area.

Future Sweets Factory is located on the premises of the hugely popular Patisserie es Koyama (famous for its special roll cake), in Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture. The entrance to the factory is through a large, colorful egg-shaped dome. Beyond the dome lies a waiting hall where children bid goodbye to their parents for a few hours. The kids proceed through a special kid-sized door to where all the magic happens, just like in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!

Inside the factory, away from their parents’ watchful eyes, kids are treated to samples of freshly made sweets. True to its name, at the Future Sweets Factory kids get to sample all kinds of sweets that are yet to hit the market. They also get to watch the chefs bake three special surprise sweets that cost only 150 yen each. The factory is decorated to suit the kids’ tastes – with cartoon characters and robots.

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Military Kindergarten Toughens Up Preschoolers with Marine Drills

At the Albert Kindergarten, in Taichung, Taiwan, children aged three to six don camouflage outfits and take part in a mandatory exercise program modeled after marine drills. Their parents hope the rough training will prepare them for the hardships of life, but there are those who criticize the preschool for pushing the kids too hard and exposing them to injury.

For one to two hours a day, the children enrolled at Taichung’s Albert Kindergarten perform a series a series of physical exercises inspired by military drills. Principal Fong Yun believes Taiwanese kids lack confidence and courage compared to youngsters from other countries, so over 10 years ago she teamed up with pediatric professor Chen Yi-hsin to develop a special program that combined military drills and gymnastics to boost their physical and mental strength. Yun is convince her training will help the students deal with hardships like tough college admission exams, job hunting and even marriage. Many Taiwanese parents seem to share her beliefs, as all the classes at Albert Kindergarten are full and parents drive from over half an hour ever day just to drop their kids off here. The children climb ladders, do handstands, backflips and all kinds of other exercises that even hardened marines sometimes find difficult. In order to graduate, they must prove they’ve mastered the entire routine by passing a challenging test.

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This Is How They Harden Kindergarten Children in Siberia

The kids at the No. 317 kindergarten in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia are making themselves immune to flu viruses and winter colds by walking outside naked at temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius and pouring buckets of freezing cold water over their bodies.

Ever since photos and videos of the extreme hardening process were exposed in the media, the Siberian kindergarten has come under fire from parents worried about the children’s well-being. But caretakers like Margarita Filimonova insist the practice is totally safe, as the children are only allowed to go outside in the freezing weather after three years of slow training and medical testing. It might seem extreme, but the staff insist the practice makes the children fitter and improves their health significantly. Kindergarten No. 317 has been hardening its children for the last 13 years, and some of the kids who went here went on to become Olympic champions in various sports. It’s the only institution of its kind in the region which uses this kind of extreme exercises.

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Banking Is Child’s Play – Indian Street Kids Create Efficient Financial System

They say the banking system is very complicated, but try telling that to a bunch of Indian street kids who set up a model bank with tens of branches all over South-East Asia.

In order to save money for a brighter future, a group of Indian children have created their own bank, where they can deposit their money and take advances whenever they need to. A branch of this unusual financial institution is located in a shelter for homeless runaway teens in New Delhi. It’s here that street children who work come to place their money for safekeeping, and take out development or welfare advances to start a business or invest in things they need for school. The most impressive thing about this bank for kids and teens is that it was initiated, implemented and is operated by children. In fact, Satish Kumar, who was elected bank manager for the New Delhi branch of the children’s development ‘khazana’ (Indian for ‘treasure chest’) doesn’t look a day over 12.

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11-Year-Old Boy Leads Church as an Ordained Minister

Is there anything kids nowadays can’t do? Well, there may be a few, but becoming an ordained minister and leading a church isn’t one of them. 11-year-old Ezekiel Stoddard recently made headlines after he was ordained a minister at the Fullness of Time Church in Maryland.

We’ve featured a few prodigies on Oddity Central, like the world’s youngest computer wiz, the 9-year-old Monet, a 10-year-old sake expert, but we’ve never had a child minister. That changes today, as we introduce Ezekiel Stoddard, an 11-year-old ordained minister who has apparently been writing his own sermons since he was seven. “It doesn’t matter the age that you can be licensed. It just matters … how much word do you have and how much God has called you,” the enthusiastic child of God told the Washington Post. Still, he admits sometimes adults don’t take him seriously and “look at me like I’m a joke and I need to sit down.”

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