Tinker Crate Builds Problem Solving Skills

Tinker Crate

When we were first designing Tinker Crate, one of our advisors - a retired Professor of Science Education at Stanford University - challenged us to think about what STEM really means, beyond just "Science, Technology, Engineering and Math".

Our response was that STEM is a key to creative problem solving, a foundation for critical thinkers, and a pipeline to innovation. Our mission in creating Tinker Crate is to help kids gain these crucial skills through hands-on activities that are also seriously fun. Read More

10 Great Role Models For Modern Boys

10 Great Role Models For Modern Boys

Common Sense Media - Caroline Knorr

Let's play fill in the blank: "You swing like a g---"; "Boys don't c--"; "Be a m--." If you think it's easy to guess the answers, imagine how boys feel. From chisel-chested action stars to scorched-earth video game heroes to tough-talking TV guys, the media's images, characters, and messages are loud and clear: to be a man, you must be intimidating, stoic, and domineering.

These cultural stereotypes are not only dated, they're not true. And they can limit boys from developing their full potential as sensitive, nurturing, and authentic human beings. Read More

Teen Girls Code Their Way To A Brighter Future

Teen Girls Code Their Way To A Brighter Future

CNN - Thomas Page

Every week in the heart of Nima, a slum in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, families congregate at a local mosque. When the time comes, young girls say goodbye to their loved ones and part ways, filing up concrete steps leading up to the floor above.

There, inside a large room dotted with brown tables, rows of flashing computer screens await for them.

"When the parents are praying [downstairs], we are teaching the girls upstairs," explains tech entrepreneur Regina Agyare, who comes here every week to teach local teens how to code. Read More

Re-imagine Learning Challenge - A Journey Filled With Creativity & Playfulness

Re-imagine Learning Challenge - A Journey Filled With Creativity & Playfulness

The LEGO Foundation

The Re-imagine Learning Programme identifies and supports approaches to learning through play around the world that have the potential to re-define play and re-imagine learning.

We select partners based on their potential both to effect a deep and broad impact on children today, and to influence the learning sector tomorrow. In particular, we seek out innovative and powerful approaches that can be scaled, translated or amplified to promote the power of learning through play on a global scale. Read More

Google Play’s 'Designed For Families' Highlights Kid-Safe Apps

Google Play’s “Designed For Families” Highlights Kid-Safe Apps

TechCrunch - Sarah Perez

Google today announced a new developer program called “Designed For Families” which will allow app publishers to opt into an additional review in order have their apps labeled as being “family-friendly.” The new designation will eventually make its way to Google Play, though the company is not yet revealing the specifics around how this group of apps will be made discoverable once there.

Google explains that its app marketplace features a number of developers, like PBS Kids, Tynker and Crayola, whose apps offer high quality, age appropriate content, and offer user interfaces and features that both educate and entertain young kids. Read More

Tweens Choose YouTube As Their Favorite Site

Tweens Choose YouTube As Their Favorite Site

Tubefilter - Bree Brouwer

YouTube has always been a popular destination for teenagers, and according to a new study, kids from the ages of 8-11 can’t get enough of the online video site, either. The study, conducted by brand activation agency The Marketing Store in conjunction with research firm KidSay, revealed YouTube as the #1 favorite site among responding tweens.

The two companies compiled data about how much time tweens spend time online, what devices they use to get online, what sites they visit, how they use social media, why they choose the sites and devices they do, and more. They found 93% of tweens visit YouTube and use it to watch videos. Additionally, 63% of the study’s respondents claimed they had YouTube accounts, even though Google’s policy says a user must be at least 13 years old to use the site. Read More

7 Kid-Friendly Tablets For Keeping Tiny Ones Tamed

7 Kid-Friendly Tablets For Keeping Tiny Ones Tamed

Digital Trends - Joe Donovan

It’s no surprise that kids love tablets. Most tablets are easy to use and small enough for their grubby little hands. If you’d rather not have their little fingerprints all over your screen, or a scenario that involves watching Dora in the bathtub, then you may want to consider purchasing a child-friendly tablet.

Thankfully, there are plenty of terrific tablets for kids out there. Some are specifically made for kids, and others incorporate parental controls to ensure your child doesn’t go anywhere he/she shouldn’t. But whether or not you choose our go-to kids tablet, or one of our other top contenders, the list below has everything you need to get your kid set up at a nice price. Read More

How Improv Can Open Up the Mind to Learning

How Improv Can Open Up the Mind to Learning

MindShift - Linda Flanagan

Long before Amy Poehler became famous for her comic roles as Hillary Clinton on “Saturday Night Live,” and as indefatigable bureaucrat Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation,” she was a college freshman looking for something to do outside class. During her first week on campus, she auditioned for the school’s improvisational theater group, “My Mother’s Fleabag,” and discovered a passion. “Everyone was getting to act and be funny and write and direct and edit all at the same time,” she writes in her memoir, Yes, Please. “My college life sort of exploded in happiness,” she adds.

What Poehler found liberating as a performer — the free-wheeling, creative and judgment-free nature of improv — is what makes it an appealing way to learn. Read More

Is The YouNow Live-Stream App A Parent's Nightmare?

Is The YouNow Live-Stream App A Parent's Nightmare?

CBS News - Amanda Schupak

YouNow might be the biggest site you've never heard of. It's also supremely creepy.

The live-stream broadcasting (aka live-casting) site-slash-app, lets users perform for viewers all over the world, via the cameras on their computers, tablets and smartphones. Whether you're a singer looking to get discovered, are lonely and bored, or you simply love an audience, YouNow brings those who want to be watched together with those willing to watch them.

A hybrid of sorts between YouTube and live-stream apps like Meerkat and Periscope, YouNow boasts 100 million streaming videos per month. But unlike the popular new apps that people have been using in bursts over Twitter, YouNow encourages long-form streaming, for hours at a time, even while the broadcaster is asleep. Read More

12 Fun Science Experiments for Your Little Mad Scientist

12 Fun Science Experiments for Your Little Mad Scientist

Brit + Co - Dana Raidt

Baking soda and vinegar certainly will always have a place in our hearts, but homemade science experiments have come a long way since the days of homemade volcanos. And with breaks and summer coming up, you might be looking for some way to beat boredom and keep little hands (and brains) busy by dabbling in some fun — and educational — projects.

Get ready to teach your wee ones about things like magnetism, the water cycle and chemistry with these 12 easy experiments. If you have a science- or tech-inclined kiddo in your brood, make sure to also check out Linkitz and Quirkbot. And when you’re ready for creative time, we’ve got plenty of summer camp DIYs and indoor crafts to try as well. Read More

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