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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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22 feel-good movies and TV shows you can watch with the whole family

The holidays will feel a bit different this year, but some traditions cannot be thwarted – like our annual viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Though your gatherings might be smaller than usual, there are a ton of family-friendly viewing options on streaming and a growing number of ways to make them a virtual group experience.

COVID-19 has invaded our kids’ pretend play, and experts say it’s a good thing

Kelly Morse entered her 4-year-old son's pretend doctor's office one day last April and asked him how she was doing. She was taken aback when he examined her with his toy stethoscope and responded, solemnly, "Not well, you've got coronavirus." A few months later, he started to brainstorm how a COVID-19 vaccine might work.

Water Cooler: Introduce kids to the kitchen this holiday season

The holidays bring a lot of opportunities for cooking and baking, but it doesn’t have to be exclusive to adults. Getting kids involved with age-appropriate activities teaches them valuable skills and instills them with confidence and pride when they see a complete product to which they contributed.

Family Fun: Santa Express is ‘the same but different’

The elves at Santa Express are learning new ways to bring Christmas joy this year – and keep fundraising for the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. The annual pop-up shop is a spot where kids can find gifts for the special people on their list. In a more typical year, children would go to a physical store with a list of people and a budget.

House Call: The power of practicing gratitude

Something to remember is negativity doesn’t just take the joy out of life, it can take over our lives and even our physical health as stress and anxiety build up like it has this year. It also can leave us drained and wondering how we can celebrate a season of giving when we feel we don’t have anything left to give.

10 (+1) Thanksgiving movies to watch with loved ones near and far

Yes, it's around Thanksgiving that Hallmark and Lifetime start to release holiday movie after holiday movie, but don't skip out on the dozens of Thanksgiving big-screen and TV movies available to watch. A quick search will bring up movies for children, those looking to laugh and those who don't mind a little drama alongside their big meal.

Family Fun: Kiddomatic Film Festival brings the world home

This year, while the pandemic keeps families at home, the Kiddomatic Film Festival is aiming to give children a glimpse of what life is like in other cultures and countries. "It's kind of like traveling, even though we're in this virtual land," said Carrie Richer, director of film festivals at the Roxy Theater in Missoula.

Ask Dr. Universe: Why do mushrooms grow in rings?

Dr. Universe: Why do mushrooms grow in rings? We have a lot of giant ones in our yard right now! – Layne, 8, Spokane Dear Layne, When you see a ring of mushrooms, it’s likely they are exploring for food under the ground. Giant mushrooms in your backyard are not animals or plants. They are part of another class of living organisms called fungi.

Dad Daze: Therapy can help a confused and troubled teen

I didn't recognize the boy curled up in a ball underneath layers of blankets on this unseasonably warm winter morning. School had started an hour ago, and my son Eddie was tethered to his bed. After unpeeling the covers like the skin of an onion, I recoiled at the sight of my son's beautiful face, which was distorted in agony.

Family Fun: Rocking joy into the world with vibrantly painted rocks

For many, it starts with the discovery of a painted rock. Alla Cornwell, who lives in the Shadle neighborhood, found her first rock on a gas pump while filling her car more than a year ago. "I thought, 'This is so cool,' " she said. "From there, it just sucked me in." She now paints rocks with her daughter, grandchildren and friends.

Ask Dr. Universe: How do you make cider?

We can make cider with juice from apples. There are many kinds of apples and a few ways to squeeze out the juice. My friend Bri Ewing Valliere told me all about it. She’s a food scientist at Washington State University who knows a lot about cider. The first step is to pick out the apples.