Tag: STEM

Summer ice activities. They’re so hot right now.

During these dog days of summer, when there’s really no other word to describe the heat but “blergh,” we parents have to think way beyond the sprinklers and water balloons that we’ve been relying on to keep our kids cool (and occupied). It’s time to seriously up the ante with summer ice activities. And when we started looking around, we found some really creative, smart ideas. They’re science-y, pretty to look at, fun to play with, easy to clean up, and — importantly — chilly to the touch. Let’s do this. At top: Go Fish Water Play | Let...

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Meet KOOV, a new STEM kit that lets kids build and control their own robot | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from KOOV For kids who love STEM — and those parents who want to foster their kids’ passion —  KOOV is a remarkable educational kit to help kids 8 and up create and control their own robots, bringing their own imaginative designs to life. Created by the Sony Global Education team, kids are able to manipulate the blocks into any shape, which can then be coded and controlled as an actual robot using the companion app. The combination of blocks, sensors, motors, and actuators combine to help kids learn core concepts of design, coding,...

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From unsolved science mysteries to Hamilton, 5 cool educational videos tweens and teens will love

If you’re like me, you’re currently scrambling to find ways to keep your kids occupied — and better, still learning — during summer when school’s out. That’s where our newest sponsor The Great Courses Plus comes in. They turn screen time into educational time, offering unlimited courses on topics from science and history, to music and art, and pretty much everything in between. Plus, the video courses can be streamed from any device, anywhere you are. Because you know, kids and devices. Whether you want to start yoga, learn a language, or brush up on your chess skills, there are so many...

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Getting kids excited about science: A chat with NPR Wow in the World hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas | Spawned ep 76

Well, if Spawned with Kristen and Liz haaaaas to be beaten by someone in the Kids + Family podcast category, we’re happy it’s the new NPR podcast Wow in the World, a weekly science show “for kids and their grownups.” Especially because it’s hosted by two of our favorite people, Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas, who we’re excited to get to chat with this week! Join us for a lively, informative, and sometimes hilarious chat about how to get your kids excited about science, why science has gone from geeky to cool, how to answer the crazy questions kids always ask, whether or not our...

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The wackiest, coolest summer camps for kids. Can we go too?

Summer camps have changed a lot since we were kids. No offense to good ol’ Camp Starfire and the many, many lanyards we made there, but the options for our kids are wildly creative, expertly thought-out, and — sometimes — curiously specific. Circus camp? Spy camp? Zombie survival camp? Check, check, and OMG check. With a list like this, your kids are sure to be happy campers — so much so, maybe they’ll forget to pretend to be homesick. But, before you pack your kids up and ship them off to, say, stunt double training (yes, really), be sure to vet each of these camps yourself....

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Launch Ladies: The new children’s book all about the trailblazing women of space exploration.

We’re all about women in STEM here at CMP, so I was stoked to discover Launch Ladies, a new children’s board book celebrating the inspiring women who’ve pioneered in the field of space exploration but may not be household names like their male counterparts. Yet. But, as we learned in Hidden Figures, they totally should be. Related: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: The best bedtime book you’ll ever read. The Launch Ladies project on Kickstarter aims to give these engineers, computer scientists and astronauts the recognition they deserve for their contributions in the field of space. Which happens to include launching rockets and masterminding the...

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How to get free admission during National Park Week

If this gorgeous spring weather has you itching to get outside with your family, we’ve got the perfect excuse to head out to one of our national parks this weekend: it’s free! This year, the National Park Service turns 100 years old, and to celebrate, during National Park Week (April 16-24), admission at all national parks will be free. As in, totally free. For everyone. Whoo!   Related: 22 National Parks and Sites you can visit without hiking boots. Maybe even without a plane ticket. Of course, we’ve been motivated do whatever we can to support to the awesome National Parks program lately, as...

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Web coolness: Girl Scouts dressed as their heroes, Sesame Street gets a new muppet, the teen we all hope to have one day

Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   Girl Scouts dressed as their favorite female heroes, from Amelia Earhart to Vera Wang to Condoleeza Rice. Above: 5-year-olds Bella, Troy and Sidney as the trio of NASA heroes from Hidden Figures. You have to see them all — they’re amazing! (Photo: Tricia Messeroux from Toddlewood for Girl Scouts USA) We’re all cheering for the newest muppet on Sesame Street! Also cheering for this unanimous Supreme Court ruling that expands rights for special education students. The most hilarious fake reviews of those clear-knee “mom jeans.” Totally non-scammy...

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3 cool non-LEGO building sets, just to keep things interesting around the playroom

My kids are all about their LEGOs, but I’ve also been keeping my eye on some cool non-LEGO building sets to keep things interesting around the playroom. These three allow kids to build things they can’t with their LEGOs, and I have to say, I’m very impressed. If you’re looking for a gift that’s a little more unexpected than another LEGO set (although, this will never disappoint), then try one of these. We think the kids in your life will give them two thumbs up too. CMP is an rstyle affiliate At top: Brackitz Driver set Related: Tegu’s massive 130-piece magnetic wooden blocks set are a...

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The one scene in Hidden Figures that every parent should be talking about | Thinking: Parent

Hi, nice to meet you. I’m one of the many parents who tries desperately to squeeze in a few last-minute Oscar nominated movie screenings just before the actual ceremony each year so I have at least a moderate shot at the family Oscar pool. You too? At the very top of my list was Hidden Figures, which I waited to see until my own girls could join me. Yay for February break! And while there are so many moments that will stay with me for a long time, there’s one scene in particular that doesn’t seem to get a lot of analysis, but to me, perfectly embodied why the story of...

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Three cool LEGO add-on sets that make your builds even cooler

I’m not so sure my kids could ever get bored of the LEGO sets that are currently blanketing the floor of our playroom, but just in case, I found three cool LEGO add-on sets that will make their builds even more exciting. These sets are for kids who are able to follow the directions of a basic LEGO build themselves. In other words, your 5-year-old who’s a major LEGO fangirl would probably love these too, but will need help putting them together. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 16 essential skills kids learn from LEGO, and fantastic resources to help get them going...

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We asked 17 creative kids to invent something on paper. You’ll love the results!

Our kids never cease to amaze us. Those minds are just so fluid and open, they’re always coming up with brilliant ideas and creative inventions that our cynical adult brains would probably nix before the ideas got halfway off the ground. So we asked a whole bunch of our favorite kids of all ages to come up with any invention at all that solves a problem — and we can’t stop smiling at what they invented! As you can tell, there’s a whole lot of focus on pets and on food. Sometimes both together. Because, kids. And we’re so happy to present...

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3 inspiring ways your kids can design, create and invent using Tinkercad.

Last week, we introduced you to 3 cool kid inventors who we actually got to meet and chat with on behalf of our sponsor Autodesk. Well, since then, my tween Quinlan, who actually interviewed the inventors on Facebook Live (so fun!), has been learning how to use Tinkercad. She’s been playing around with this free web tool, creating 3D designs the same way those remarkable kids created their own inventions. I’ve been so amazed seeing how my daughter can just take an idea from her own imagination, design it, and use a 3D printer to print and hold it in her hand. And did I mention it’s fun? Take...

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A trio of fantastic STEM-inspired picture books that celebrate curious children.

Often, some of the very best children’s books are the ones inspired by a writer’s own child (like Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny). These books tend to be favorites among kids and parents alike because they come from a place of authenticity. Which is why I think families will love Andrea Beaty’s trio of STEM-inspired picture books, which was created from the author’s personal experience with her young son who would build things, anything, from random things. The series isn’t new; in fact, the first book published a decade ago. But she continues to add to the series every few years, which is a big...

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The STEM building sets that empower girls to engineer their futures.

A few years ago, my now 9-year-old daughter had an epiphany while wandering the toy aisles at a discount superstore. She eyed a pink toy vacuum cleaner with suspicion, then asked to go to the boys’ aisle instead, because she wanted to be where the bulk of the cool building sets were. In the last few years, there have been serious strides in STEM toys geared toward girls, but it’s this one that I wish had been on the market on that fateful shopping day. Related: 12 cool STEM gifts for girls (and hey, for boys too)  Wonderhood Toys is the brainchild of two business-school...

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5 wildly cool STEM bath toys to inspire future scientists. (Even if they can’t spell scientist yet.)

If your kids are getting older and casting off rubber duckies for something a bit more stimulating when it comes to bath toys, we’ve tracked down some very cool science-based bath toys with an educational spin that might do the trick. Even though little plastic cups keep kids entertained (and certainly have educational value all on its own), these 5 fun STEM bath toys go a little further to teach the youngest kids fundamentals of water science while cutting no corners on fun or imagination. Consider giving one to your budding hydro-engineer or future architect, or wrapping it up as a smart, educational toy for your...

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Bitsbox: The fantastic STEM gift idea that taught my 4 kids to code their own apps.

It’s no secret that parents love finding tech gifts for kids that we can justify as being both fun and educational, but the true test isn’t whether we think they’re cool — but rather, whether our own kids play with them. Over and over again. That’s why we we’re so thrilled to have partnered with our newest sponsor Bitsbox. (And you dedicated Spawned podcast listeners already know just how thrilled!) This clever subscription box gift masterfully and clearly teaches kids how to code their own apps that actually work on smartphones and tablets. Like my 9-year-old son’s Burping Obama app. (Not coming to an app store near you,...

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10 free educational online resources for curious kids that every parent should know

We love how the Internet can help us when it comes to raising a generation of more curious kids. There are just so many remarkable free educational online tools and resources that help support a child’s natural curiosity, and even help push them a little (or a lot) when it comes to learning about all kinds of subjects and sparking their passion about the world around them. That’s exactly what our newest sponsor, the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (or CTY, as it’s been fondly known for more than 30 years), does for bright kids and their families. And if you don’t know about...

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8 shows to binge watch when the kids are asleep | Spawned Episode 58

If you’re like us and need a little break from the news (cough Election cough), or you just want to enjoy some grown-up time after the kids are asleep, we have the perfect diversion. You know how much we love binge watching, so on this episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we’re playing TV critic and sharing the shows we think should be on your watch list, the ones that make us laugh, cry, cringe, and hide our eyes under the pillow. You can listen right now, or head over to iTunes and subscribe to our podcast feed...

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Why everybody needs to read Rad Women Worldwide. Like, right now.

Let’s face it: women are rad. At everything — from sports to science, and painting and political activism. And since so much of our history focuses on men, and the Eurocentric ones at that, we love books that introduce us to new heroines from places beyond our daily view. Which is why I am so stoked to have found Rad Women Worldwide, written and illustrated by the women behind another of our favorites and New York Times bestselling, Rad American Women A-Z. Related: How about some rad women in the STEM fields? Yep, we’ve got those, too. This awesome book is a beautiful...

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