teens & alzheimer’s challenge

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is issuing a challenge to teens this summer to become involved with community service projects that help those with Alzheimer’s disease. The foundation is hoping to encourage awareness and involvement, while working to bridge intergenerational divides. Teens are asked to put in at least 50 hours of community service between May 31 and August 31, and then write a reflective essay on their experience.

Teens can help out at nursing homes or other assisted living residences and regularly engage with people or families affected by Alzeihmer’s, suggesting activities like making scrapbooks, doing puzzles, or helping organize car washes, book drives, or other events to raise funds for local facilities. The winner and runner-up will receive an Apple iPad, not to mention the satisfaction of helping their communities. The deadline for the challenge is September 12, and more information can be found at

— David Kelly

fan-tastic! (and safe!)

Conventional fans can be dangerous to curious fingers, that’s why Minnesota Parent loves the sleek and safe Dyson Air Multiplier, available in several different models, but all with bladeless design that is easy to clean and best — is safe to the touch.

The fan draws air into the base and amplifies it up to 18 times depending upon the model, with an uninterrupted flow of air. At the MNP offices where this fan was tested, we picked it up and moved it around, as it operated. It’s lightweight but balanced and very quiet. Though the price still is a bit hefty (between $300 and $450), we do feel that this is a superior fan — the best we’ve ever used. Visit for more information.

dad’s eye view of the twin cities

Michael Hartford has the Twin Cities all figured out and is ready to share the knowledge in his new book, Dad’s Eye View: 52 Family Adventures in the Twin Cities. In Dad’s Eye View, Hartford guides readers to 52 different locations (one for each week of the year) that are both fun and educational. He, along with his wife and twin boys, explored the well known (the Minnesota Zoo, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and the Holidazzle Parade) as well as the hidden secrets (the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the Dowling Community Garden, and the Bakken Museum) in and around the Twin Cities.

The book is divided into seasons and each locale comes with a quick overview that consists of a quick tip, the price, where to locate the restrooms, as well as a suggested question to open up a conversation between you and your family. If this isn’t enough, the book comes with a free iPhone app, which can be used to rate your adventure and much more. You can also follow Dad’s Eye View on Twitter or “Like” it on Facebook to share your opinions.

— Katharina Gadow

concussion help in the palm of your hands

Parents of young athletes know the fear of a concussion is very real. A new app is designed to help parents and coaches recognize the chance and symptoms of a concussion almost immediately. Developed by Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc., and available for iPhones, iPad, and Android devices, the “Concussion Recognition & Response” app takes parents and coaches through a series of yes or no questions about the injury and the child’s symptoms to determine if there’s a chance of concussion, helping adults make choices about what to do next. The app can then email the information to a physician, suggest immediate advice, and offer tips for recovery. Available now for $3.99 in iTunes and Android stores.

— David Kelly

staples encourages school supply donations, an organization that helps foster volunteering in young people, is teaming up with Staples and the popular TV show Pretty Little Liars for the Staples for Students School Supply Drive. Beginning July 3 and ending September 17, teens can either drop off school supplies at a Staples store, or they can donate $1 at the store which will go toward helping the 13 million students who return to school each year without basic school supplies.

For those who wish to make a contribution, head on over to where you can help your kids find fun and creative ideas on how to collect school supplies.

— Katharina Gadow