Tag: websites for kids

Is my child gifted? Helpful advice and online resources from an educational expert.

I still remember when my son’s then first-grade teacher asked if they could test him for the gifted program in our school district. I looked at her and asked, “Are you sure?” I just thought my sweet, curious boy asked a lot of questions. Like, a whooooole lot. But gifted? Even after he was identified as qualifying for our program, navigating next steps was extremely challenging. I had to understand my rights with the GIEP (Gifted Individualized Education Plan); find him educational support outside of school; and then figure out how it would impact his siblings and whether they should be tested too....

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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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An easy way to help more kids learn from real news, not fake news.

We’re big fans of supporting quality journalism, especially in this age of where fake news is running rampant. Because, facts matter. (Not that this is a big stake in the ground, mamas. I mean, is any normal person really like, “Whoo! Fake news! We need more of it!” Let’s hope not.) So when I learned about The New York Times Sponsor a Subscription Program, I was so excited to share this with other parents and educators who feel the same way. Related: 10 free educational online resources for curious kids that every parent should know. A donation of just $2–4 provides a free subscription...

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Our favorite new words just added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, from Seussian to humblebrag.

Yesterday, Merriam-Webster announced they had added more than 1000 new words to the dictionary, and wow, word nerds like me could lose ourselves in here for ages. Actually, I kind of did. According to the editors the terms come from everything from tech to science and medicine, pop culture, sports, slang, foreign languages, and more. But what’s as fascinating to me as the words themselves, is just how long it took some of them to make it into print. Humblebrag is like a baby down there! Take a look at a few of my favorites, then be sure to click over...

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How The National Park Service is letting families visit free!

I’m all about supporting our nation’s National Park Service in any way we can, especially because of the myriad ways they support us right back. So I’m thrilled to share the brilliant initiative to get even more kids to our National Parks and Monuments around the country: Every Kid in a Park. Created by President Obama to get more children excited about science, nature, and understanding the beauty and history of our nation, the program will grant your family totally free access (yes, free!) to all Federal lands and waters. Plus, you’ll get a massive discount on Amtrak tickets for kids if you’re training it there....

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How children can write letters to the president: An American tradition

Children writing to our president and the First Family has always been a wonderful and important tradition. And with the inauguration of a new White House resident today, this is a great time to get kids thinking about their own hopes, their concerns, the issues that are on their minds, and letting them write to the president about them. In our weekly link roundup post this week, we linked to an NPR article about the number of letters from children that President Obama will continue to answer, even after today. Some favorite letters I’ve seen: The girl who wanted advice about getting a nose...

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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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The 2016 National Spelling Bee winners. And tips for getting your kids excited about spelling.

The 2016 National Scripps Spelling Bee finals ended last night and just wow. For the third year running, two amazing kids tied as winners: 13 year old Jairam Pathwar of Upstate NY, and Austin Texas’ Nihar Janga who is only 11. Wow. To clinch the number-one slot from among 285 contestants, Jairam and Nihar persevered through words like juamave, Biniou and zindiq, finally closing the deal with winning words gesellschaft (Nihar) and Feldenkrais (Jairam). All I can think of is that Rosenkrantz and Feldenkrais are Dead, but I know that’s not right. (Turns out it’s a method of education, like Waldorf or Montessori — two words I actually can...

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Put a poem in your pocket: A fun way to celebrate National Poetry Month

By this point in the school year, my kids know not to expect the sorts of lunchbox love notes they got from me daily in September. But there are a few days on the calendar that inspire me to scribble something special to surprise them: Valentine’s Day (of course), St. Patrick’s Day (a must in our Irish-American household), and Poem in Your Pocket Day. Poem in Your Pocket Day (today!) is my favorite part of National Poetry Month each April. The idea is that everyone should carry a poem in their pocket to read in quiet moments or share with friends. Because, who...

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Happy birthday Jane Goodall! 5 fun, easy ways to introduce her to your kids

Is there one kid in the world who isn’t fascinated by animals? (Answer: no.) So today, Jane Goodall’s birthday, is a perfect opportunity to cozy around your tablet or computer together and dig into her life just a bit. Especially if you think her legacy is limited to her work with Chimpanzees. Here are five places to start.   1.  Read a quick bio of her on the wonderful The Reconstructionists site, an homage to amazing women through history. Their Jane Goodall page includes a fantastic illustration and Goodall quote from Lisa Congdon, that would happen to make a nifty screensaver for...

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Powerpuff yourself! Townsville needs you!

Have you ever fancied yourself fighting two-dimensional crime alongside Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup? Well get on it! Thanks to the super fun new Powerpuff Yourself website from Cartoon network, you can create your very own Powerpuff Girl avatar faster than you can say Professor Utonium. Okay so maybe not that fast. But still, somewhat fast. I love how mine came out above! Notice, my superhero accessory is an iPhone. Also my hair is now impervious to bad guys and sudden rises in humidity.   Pick male or female features, clothes, accessories and a backdrop, then download as Wallpaper, a social avatar or a blinding...

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A ton of empowering Halloween costume ideas for women and girls. In other words, no sexy cop, sexy nurse, or sexy serial killer.

I knew the whole sexy Halloween costumes for women thing had jumped the shark (the sexy shark?) when I saw a sexy Freddy Krueger costume in our local costume shop. Not even kidding; we talked about it on a recent episode of Spawned. So if you — or your girls — are  still trying to figure out a costume to wear on Halloween that doesn’t require a bustier, you may be as thrilled as I was to discover Take Back Halloween, a site to inspire women with costumes that honors their heroines or heritage. a very clever site with the subhead, for...

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Our favorite cool tech picks this week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. Look what you might have missed!   1. You guys, this car charger is genius! 2. A fantastic new educational website for kids you’ll want to bookmark. 3. Our new favorite app for kids, especially if yours love animals! 4. We’re loving this app that curates your digital photos and turns them into beautiful monthly magazines. 5. A sneak peek at the new emoji, coming soon. Whoo!...

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Bystander Revolution: The anti-bullying site every parent should know

There’s not one of us who didn’t grow up facing some sort of bullying. Did I ever tell you about the girls who called my number in high school and hung up every half hour, for hours and hours into the night? (That was before caller ID.) Then there was the girl at summer camp who handed out birthday cake to every other girl in our bunk, and when she got to me, she looked right at me, threw my slice on the floor, and said, “oops…I guess yours fell.” Some of it still stings, all these years later. And I can imagine you all have...

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Life Empowered: How kids can help change the world one light bulb at a time.

Imagine if you didn’t have electricity at home and your kids had to go out and sit under a street lamp on a deserted street, alone each night, in order to finish their homework. That’s exactly what a lot of kids face in other parts of the world, though when we think of “energy poverty,” we don’t always think about such relatable examples of its effect. That’s why, as we turn our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time this weekend, I love the idea of using it as an opportunity to talk to our kids about why having access to energy matters. And that’s what the...

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Dan Zanes new web series gives parents one more thing on YouTube for kids that we’re not terrified of.

For the past 14 years, the likable, talented, and crazy-haired Dan Zanes has been putting out some of the very best family music with albums like House Party, Catch that Train, Little Nut Tree, and, most recently, Turn Turn Turn with Elizabeth Mitchell. But his latest venture brings the magic to life through video at a new home on YouTube with the Dan Zanes and Friends web series that lets fans (young and uh, formerly young) enjoy this prolific performer in a whole new way. Dan Zanes and Friends is a series of nicely produced and edited videos, each about 9-10 minutes long, which follow the adventures...

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A clever alphabet video for toddlers that you’ll like watching too.

When I first heard from dad and animator Brandon Ray about this  alphabet video for toddlers that he created for his own children, Bleu and Violet, I will be honest, I wasn’t expecting much.  But after watching, I am utterly charmed. The Paper Alphabet is a terrific way to teach toddlers their ABCs and honestly, to give older kid–and you– a chuckle too. It’s a little They Might Be Giants, a little Yo Gabba Gabba and a little animation festival short film entry, if you can imagine that. To be sure the word choices can be a bit edgy; C...

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What’s the story of the real St. Patrick’s Day? History Channel to the rescue.

If you’re one of those parents who can answer any question without saying let’s go check the internet! like I do, then more power to you. As for me, I was researching the story of the real St. Patrick’s Day to help explain it to my kids, and came across the wonderful History Channel website as a new must-bookmark resource. File under “parents’ life savers.” Not sure why I never thought of going there before, but History.com is packed with info that curious kids will adore. Especially because the pages and videos are a little more bite-size than the...

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Politics for kids: the Democracy Project gets kids involved in the election, no mudslinging allowed

With all the attack ads on TV, the l-o-n-g debates, and the lack of cartoon characters, it’s no wonder that my kids aren’t exactly enthralled with politics and the upcoming presidential election. But there’s now a cool, non-partisan website that allows kids to learn a little more about the process and the candidates (and even lets them try being Commander in Chief). Plus there’s plenty of kid-friendly cartoon drawings to hold their attention much longer than the next :30 plea for your vote. PBS Kids’ The Democracy Project is an adorable and navigable site to help young kids learn...

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Web Coolness: Fall style, flying with babies, and a sneak peek at Downton Abbey

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too.    Love the European back-to-school style inspiration found in the pages of the new issue of MyLittleSquare online magazine. Props to Target from one dad of an autistic child who meets a very special cashier. Would you pass out Goodie Bags on a plane when flying with an infant? Google Chrome features the story of one of our favorites mom-run businesses, The Cambridge Satchel Company, in their new TV ad. Hooray! Want to stop bullying? This is one solution we...

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