Merlino & Gonzalez February 2019

GAMING WITH YOUR KIDS Why You Should Pick Up That Controller FIND THE RIGHT GAME Finding the right game to play with your child can be a challenge. Regardless of what platform your child plays on, there’s a nearly inexhaustible list of games to choose from, and some are more child-friendly than others. At the very least, research the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating of a game to make sure its content is age-appropriate. When choosing a game, it’s a good idea to keep your child’s interests in mind. Do they enjoy creating things? Games like Minecraft, Super Mario Maker, and Scribblenauts Remix can act as a great sandbox for you and your child’s imaginations to run wild. Does your child love to solve puzzles? Snail Bob 2, Snipperclips, and Portal 2 will have you and your child thinking outside the box for hours. Want to engage in a little friendly competition? Mario Kart, FIFA, and Bam Fu are all excellent choices. GOING BEYOND SCREEN TIME Whether you pick up a controller yourself or just watch your children play games, the most supportive thing you can do as a parent is reinforce the skills they are learning. Understanding that the same creativity and determination that gets them to the end of a level can be applied in the real world is be a powerful thing for a child’s development.

Video games are present in an increasing number of American households. The Entertainment Software Association found that in 2018, 70 percent of parents reported that games were a positive activity in their children’s lives, and 67 percent even play alongside their child at least once a week. Some of you may already be regularly gaming with your kids, but for the rest of you, here are some things to keep in mind. WHY GAMING TOGETHER MATTERS Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and UC Berkeley have shown that video games can have many positive effects on a child, from encouraging critical thinking and social skills to imparting the value of perseverance. Beyond these life skills, video games can also be a way for you to better connect with your child. As game designer and New York Times bestselling author Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., writes, “Games make it easy to build stronger social bonds with our friends and family. Studies show that we like and trust someone better after we play a game with them — even if they beat us.” Every four years, February gains an extra day at the end of the month. But what does this contribute to the year as a whole? You might be surprised by what this one day does for us! The 365 days in each year represent the time it takes for the Earth to circle the sun. However, the orbit actually takes nearly a quarter of a day longer than that. The additional 0.2421 of a day might not seem like it would make a significant impact, but after a few decades, it adds up. To ensure the calendar and seasons stay on the right timeline, the leap day was created. THE START OF THE LEAP YEAR The Egyptians were the first to officially calculate how many days it takes to orbit the sun, revealing the need for a leap year. Europeans at the time used a calendar that followed a lunar model, which needed an entire month added to retain consistency. The leap year wasn’t introduced into Europe until the reign of Julius Caesar. With the help of astronomer Sosigenes, Caesar created the Julian Calendar, which included 12 months and 365 days, with a single day added every fourth year. However, the Julian Calendar wasn’t perfect, because 0.2421 of a day can’t be rounded to a multiple of five, so it caused the calendar to have an extra 11 minutes every four years. Pope Gregory XIII fixed the problem in 1582 by creating the Gregorian Calendar. Now, a leap year occurs every four years

WHY DO WE NEED A LEAP YEAR? The Calculations That Leave Us in Need of an Extra Day

except for the years that are evenly divisible by 100 and not 400. For instance, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years because they were divisible by 100.

A LEAP DAY BIRTHDAY The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are about 1 in 1,500, which leaves approximately 187,000 people in the U.S. and 4 million people around the world celebrating their birthdays on Feb. 28 or March 1. People born on a Leap Day are faced with dilemmas such as which date they should receive their driver’s license. Although it varies from state to state, most

consider March 1 the appropriate day for leap-year 16-year-olds — who are celebrating their fourth “official” birthday — to receive their license. With all the changes the calendar has undergone, it still isn’t quite perfect. Experts say that in about 10,000 years, it will need to be changed yet again.

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