Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Remember These Classic Fairy Tales Your Kids Will Love

Reading is a great way for kids to learn new words, enjoy themselves, and get their creative sparks flowing. It's important to get your kids interested in reading as soon as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to start reading to your kids early on. Thankfully, there is a huge amount of children's literature to choose from.

However, why not go old school instead? Yes, although the classic fairy tales might seem a little dated at times, they still have that magic that modern children books seem to lack. Here are 10 of the best fairy tales to entertain your kids.


The German fairytale, Rapunzel, was first published in 1812 as part of the legendary Brothers Grimm Children's Household Tales. However, the story actually goes further back, with the German Rapunzel an adaptation of an earlier story by Friedrich Schulz in 1790, with the Schulz story influenced by an even earlier tale published in 1634.


The plot focusses on the usual trope of a young girl trapped in a tower, needing someone to rescue her. However, this time the girl isn't saved at all, and instead it ends with her saving a prince from blindness. The book also has one of the most famous fairy tale lines of all time: "Rapunzel Rapunzel, let down your hair".


Goldilocks and the Three Bears is probably one of the most famous fairy tales in the world and even has the ability to creep out adults too. The story first came from 19th-century Britain, where three versions were originally said to exist. However, the most common plot is that of a young girl (Goldilocks) who breaks into an empty house, sits in the owner's chairs, eats their porridge, and sleeps in their beds.

Although Goldilocks isn't aware of it, the owners of the house are actually three bears, Papa bear, Mama bear, and Baby bear, who return home to find Goldilocks fast asleep.



Little Red Riding Hood is probably one of the most famous fairy tales in the world and has the ability to frighten both children and adults. The tale was first published in Europe and can be traced all the way back to the 10th century. However, the plot that we know and love today centers around a young girl named Little Red Riding Hood.

The girl is named after the red hooded cloak that she wears while walking in the woods on the way to her grandmothers. However, things take a turn for the worse when Little Red Riding Hood is accosted by a Big Bad Wolf, who attempts to eat her for himself. Yes, it might be a little scary, but it's such a classic that it deserves a place on this list.


The Gingerbread Man, otherwise known as The Gingerbread Boy, first appeared in print in 1875 and has been a popular fairy tale ever since. The plot focusses on the escape of a gingerbread man, who jumps off a baking tray minutes before being put into the oven.


Thumbelina was written by legendary fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen and published in 1835. The story focusses on a tiny girl named Thumbelina who goes about her life avoiding marriage proposals from toads, moles and a variety of other small animals. Eventually, she meets someone of her own size and ends up falling in love.

At the time, Andersen's fairytales were hugely disliked, with critics claiming that they were too informal and lacked morals. However, nearly 200 years later, and the same fairytales are still being read to children every night, all over the world. Take that, critics!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Potentially Dangerous Smartphone Apps That Your Kids Already Know About

It can be hard parenting tweens and teens, especially in this age of social media and smartphones. Kids have access to so much more than their parents did, so it’s important that all parents educate themselves as much as possible about all the different apps their kids are using. With a new school year upon us, police are warning parents about 15 different smartphone apps that could be red flags if you find them on your child’s phone.

Police departments across the country are asking parents to be more vigilant when it comes to their children’s smartphone use. They have compiled a list of 15 smartphone apps that parents should be aware of, especially if their child has any of them downloaded onto their phones. The Madill Police Department recently posted an infographic of all fifteen apps including; MeetMe, Grindr, Skout, WhatsApp, Tiktok, Badoo, Bumble, Snapchat, Kik, Live.me, Holla, Whisper, Ask.fm, Calculator and Hot or Not.

The infographic posted by Madill Police Department gives a brief description of each app and explains to parents why they should be cautious of letting their child use it. “With school just around the corner, we wanted to share with Parents, 15 Apps you should be aware of on your child's phone/tablet .. and the dangers that come with some of them,” the description on the post reads.

Lt. Jim Donnelly of the Bensalem Police Department spoke to ABC 7 and explained what parents need to do to ensure their children aren’t misusing these apps, noting that parents should be vigilant especially if they find the apps Kik, Whisper, and Skout on their child’s phones.

"We're dealing with a lot of criminal investigations where we see a lot of these apps pop up," Donnelly said.

"Maybe go into your kids' cell phone, talk to them about the dangers of it, see who they're talking to, who their friends are," added Donnelly.

Many commenters took to the Madill Police Department’s Facebook page to thank the police department for sharing this information, adding that it’s helpful in starting a dialogue with their children about what’s appropriate and what’s not on their phones.

“Thank you for posting this. I will definitely have a conversation with my kids & will be checking phones!” wrote one parent.

“I’m a HS English teacher in Lubbock Texas. I would LOVE to have a copy of this graphic to hang as a big poster in my classroom,” wrote another.

Social media can be fun and even educational for a lot of kids, but it’s something that definitely needs to be monitored. This infographic gives parents an easy to consume snapshot of apps that could be problematic if not used properly. Here’s a summary of the infographic provided by police.

MEETME: a dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. App users are encouraged to meet in person.
WHATSAPP: Popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, voicemails, and makes calls and video chats.

BUMBLE: Similar to "Tinder." The dating app requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to create fake Bumble accounts that falsify their age

LIVE.ME: A live-streaming video app that uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster's exact location. Users can earn "cins" as a way to "pay" minors for photos.

ASK.FM: known for cyberbullying. The app encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them questions

GRINDR: A dating app geared towards the LGBT community. The app gives users options to chat, share photos, and meet up based on a phone's GPS.

TIKTOK: A new mobile device app popular with kids. It's used for creating and sharing short videos. With very limited privacy controls, users are vulnerable to cyberbullying and explicit content

SNAPCHAT: One of the most popular apps in recent years. While the app promises users can take a photo/video and it will disappear, new features, including "stories", allows users to view the content for up to 24 hours. Snapchat also allows users to see your location.

HOLLA: A self-proclaimed "addicting" video chat app that allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content and more.

CALCULATOR%: Only one of several secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.

SKOUT: A location-based dating app and website. While users under 17 old are unable to share private photos, kids can easily create an account with an older age.

BADBOO: A dating and social networking app where users can chat, share photos and videos and connect based on location. While the app is intended for adults only, teens are known to create profiles.

KIK: Allows anyone to contact and direct message to your child. Kids can bypass traditional messaging features. KIK gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

WHISPER: An anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user's location so people can meet up.

HOT OR NOT: Encourages users to rate your profile, check out people in their area and chat with strangers. The goal of the app is to hook up.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Who Is Blippi, And Why Do Kids Love him?

Chances are, if you have a kid between the ages of 2 and 6, you've heard of Blippi. The bespectacled fellow who wears really bright colors, glasses and a bowtie? In the past few years, Blippi has become an icon in the kiddie-sphere. His videos have views in the billions, and he has millions of followers. But who is Blippi? That's what most adults want to know.


Blippi is Stevin John, who has a background in brand development and online content creation. “My goal with Blippi was to bring positive emotions and memories to the act of learning," he writes in the "About" section of the Blippi website. According to the Blippi website: "Stevin grew up in a small town where he was surrounded by tractors, cows, and horses!" If you've ever seen his videos, you know that much of his content revolves around construction equipment and other outdoor activities like visiting parks and farms.

Before he went into the field of digital content creation, he was in the military. John is a former member of the United States Air Force, serving as a C-17 Loadmaster with the 4th Nuclear Airlift Squadron. After his service, he moved to Los Angeles to begin his career in the digital space. "I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but I soon started to realize the military wasn’t for me," he explains to The Spinoff.

So, how does a guy who was in the Air Force become one of the most popular children's entertainers on the internet? It's quite simple actually, Stevin John became an uncle. "When he was two years old I noticed my sister was using YouTube because it was free, but I started to see there just wasn’t any good quality children’s content on there," he says. Noticing that there was a lack of content featuring things kids like, including tractors, animals, and diggers. And thus, he came up with the idea for Blippi. Wearing a costume sewed by his mom (including his signature blue and orange cap) he posted his first video as Blippi in January of 2014.

Blippi is more like the millennial (John was born in 1988, which makes him 31) answer to Mister Rogers than slick YouTube influencer. But that doesn't mean he doesn't know how to use the internet. His videos are more aligned with the wholesome educational content parents search for on YouTube. Kids will learn their colors while Blippi runs through an empty playground. His visits to a construction site has kids running around singing his "I'm an excavator" song for days.

'It seems like the kids really enjoy me but the parents do too because they can keep their kids entertained with Blippi and they know it's safe content that's educational," John said to The Daily Mail.

Perhaps you heard about Blippi because of the scandal. Before he became Blippi, Stevin John had a web presence as Steezy Grossman (he legally changed his name from Stephen Grossman to Stevin John.) Steezy Grossman made a truly gross video where he pooped on his friend. The video went viral of course, mostly because of reaction videos other people made while watching it. “At the time, I thought this sort of thing was funny, but really it was stupid and tasteless, and I regret having ever done it,” John said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

Thankfully, the video has been taken down, so none of his young fans can't accidentally find it. It is clear that John takes his role as an entertainer for kids very seriously. “Watching Blippi become part of children’s lives and so in turn in became a part of their families’ lives. Blippi is continuing to grow because these children really love Blippi, and now their parents are talking about it and spreading the love,’’ he says. “I believe that children are super smart and they have good intuition. I think they can tell that Blippi is genuine and I have fun doing what I do."

Some parents may not know this, but Blippi is a bit of a heartthrob. Moms all over the internet have commented on how handsome Stevin John is. But sorry folks, he's got a girlfriend.

While Blippi has grown a lot in the five years since John started, there's still so much he wants to do. Currently his videos are on YouTube, and he also self-publishes them on Amazon Prime video as well. Because of this, he has fans all over the world. Via his website, parents can buy Blippi merchandise, including a Blippi doll, DVDs, CDs, and apparel. As the brand has grown, he now employs a team to help him keep the ship sailing. He's also working on adapting the videos into a live show, and producing a mostly animated show with Netflix. Then there's the shoe deal with K-Swiss.

SOURCE: https://www.moms.com/blippi-youtube-personality-bio-net-worth-info/