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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Nickelodeon urging kids to get out and play

Worldwide Day to Play is being celebrated on Saturday by Nickelodeon. The station plans to go dark from noon to 3 p.m. With childhood obesity reaching epidemic status, it’s important to encourage kids to turn off the TV and get exercise, if only for an afternoon.

Teaching your child about diversity can start at an early age. Parents should acknowledge that everyone is different, that everything has value. They should lead by example and home is where children should first learn tolerance. Raising children in an environment that accepts individual differences will allow parents to discuss the ways people are different. Remember that those differences may include age, gender, skin color or even weight, as well as ethnicity. Children learn by example, demonstrate your tolerance with your words and actions. Talk to your child about tolerance and expose them to diversity by reading books about other cultures. Attend multicultural events in your community, such as Unity in the Community, held in Spokane each summer, and sing songs from other cultures. Talk about your family’s heritage, where your ancestors lived before coming to this country, and which customs your family still celebrates. Answer your child’s questions about differences honestly, using simple, nonjudgmental language, and remind you child that we’re all different and that it is those differences that make each of us special.

Fire prevention program

The Spokane Valley Fire Department has an active fire prevention program called Fire Stoppers which provides intervention to parents of children setting fires. There are two basic types of fires that are set by children.

Curiosity fires are usually set by 2-7 year-olds who are fascinated with fire and who “play” with it to see how it feels, and what it does. A child of this age does not understand the destructive potential of fire.

Intentional fires set by younger children are often the result of a crisis in the child’s life, such as moving, divorce or death. Sometimes, the child may have an emotional or mental disturbance that ranges from mild to severe, and may need professional counseling.

As a parent, you can teach your child several things: Fire is a tool we use to heat our homes and cook food; fire is not a toy; fire is dangerous and it can kill; and even adults must be careful when handling fire. Parents need to control a child’s access to fire by keeping all matches and lighters out of the reach of children; never leave a stove or candle burning unattended; discourage use of candles in bedrooms; and teach children to give you any matches or lighters that have found.

Parents should set a good example by installing and maintaining smoke detectors and fire extinguishers; plan and practicing home fire escape drills; regularly inspecting your home for fire hazards; discuss safety rules with your children, especially concerning fire.

Family Puppet Theater

ThePipkin Family Puppet Theater is coming to Spokane County libraries this week with free shows through October. The storyline tells how the King of Norway has a daughter, Princess Vivica who marries, moves out and take half the kingdom with her. But, first someone has to bag the quickest rabbit. Come see the conclusion to this Norwegian fable. Shows will be held Thursday, , Fairfield Branch, 305 E. Main St.; Oct. 5, Cheney Branch, 610 First St.; Oct. 6, Deer Park Branch, 208 S. Forest Ave.; Oct. 7, Moran Prairie Branch, 3022 E. 57th, Suite 19; Oct, 12, Valley Branch, 12004 E. Main Ave.; Oct. 13, Medical Lake Branch, 321 E. Herb St.; Oct. 14, Otis Orchards Branch, 22324 E. Wellesley Ave.; Oct. 19, Airway Heights Branch, 1213 S. Lundstrom; Oct. 20, Argonne Branch, 4322 N. Argonne Road; and Oct. 21, North Spokane Branch, 44 E. Hawthorne Road.

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