Barbie Gets Real: 5 Things to Know About Kids This Week

Our curated list of kid-related news for January 29, 2016.

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Dana Villamagna, Toca Magazine Writer
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  • Barbie_2016FashionistasCollection_Legal1. Barbie gets real. This week marked a new era in Barbie body image. The doll, now available in three new body types (petite, tall, and curvy) went on sale Thursday on Barbie.com. A whopping 92 percent of American girls age 3–12 reportedly have owned at least one Barbie. Time magazine covers this milestone moment in depth in its latest issue. Now, if Barbie could have a pimple every now and again, we’d be even closer to reality. (Barbie’s Got a New Body)
  • 2. That cookie ad is making your kid hungry. Television and online advertising of unhealthy foods and sugary drinks “significantly increased food consumption in children, but not adults,” according to new research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers examined 22 studies and concluded that junk food ads not only make kids crave junk food but also to want to eat more in general, leading to obesity concerns. (Science Daily: Link between food advertising, child food consumption)
  • 3. Parents: Practice patience with kids in blended families. It can take up to 10 years for step-families to settle into the new blend, according to an article this week in the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ article points to 2011 and 2014 Pew Research Center reports that indicate: “Forty percent of all new marriages in the U.S. are remarriages for one or both of the partners … In addition, a little more than 40% of the U.S. population has at least one step relative: three in 10 have a step-or half-sibling; 18% have a living stepparent and 13% have at least one stepchild.” The article gives lots of practical tips for parents to help smooth over the blending process. (How Long Does it Take for a Step-family to Gel?)​
  • 4. Not Harry, but the other famous Potter’s new book. A previously unknown story by Beatrix Potter, the beloved author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and other classic children’s tales, will be published this year. Roald Dahl’s illustrator Quentin Blake created the images for this surprise find more than 100 years after Potter wrote it. Newsweek reports that the story, The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, is about “a well-behaved prime black kitty, who leads rather a double life.” Potter fans will have to wait a while because the book’s not scheduled for release until end of 2016. (Lost Beatrix Potter Tale to be Published for the First Time)
  • 5. If you’re not puzzled, you should be. Today (Friday, Jan. 29) is National Puzzle Day. Whether it’s a jigsaw, crossword, Sudoku, Rubik’s Cube and other 3D puzzles, or board game-based puzzles, get cracking! (No excuses, my kids and I are finishing that 1,000-piece puzzle on our dining room table — it’s been there since December — today. Well, maybe. It’s really tough!)

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