My son was obsessed with Pokémon when he was four years old. For two years, I read nothing but Pokémon books to him. The books he liked were Find and Seek or Pokémon directories. Neither types of books have much plot. I also bought him tiny Pokémon plastic figures off eBay that I would carry around in a plastic baggy and whip out at restaurants for him to play with. They had to be ordered from Hong Kong. This is serving me well now, when my kids catch Pokémon because I actually can describe them.
Jigglypuff? The pinkish one?
Poliwhirl? Doesn’t that have a swirly thing for eye? Oh, it’s on the stomach.
Ghastly? Ghost Pokémon!
I love Pokémon. I love how kids can wander in this safe world where nothing really bad ever happens. When PokémonGo came out, I knew it would motivate my son to finish his summer math workbook in order to get a cell phone. As a rising 6th grader taking the school bus for the first time, he needs a phone. Read more…
This post was sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
How do you as a parent encourage a lifelong love of learning in your child? Houghton Mifflin Harcourt believes that everyday moments of curiosity can spark an interest in kids, motivating them to dig for answers. Asking questions and learning how to find answers is the key to creating a desire to learn.
As a mom with three kids, I’ve found that my children are polar opposite when it comes to what drives their curiosity. My oldest, now 16 years old, has always had a love for art. For her, we brought her to art museums, got her art books, and provided her with art materials so that she could draw, draw, draw every single day. Her progress is captured here: Grasshopper and Sensei. It’s no surprise to us that she wants to attend an art and design college.
A recent drawing by my oldest. Read more…
Vocabulary App for Kids with Aliens!
This app caught my eye when I saw it on MediaPost’s Out to Launch newsletter by Amy Corr. Aliens and vocabulary. A strange but effective pairing to get kids to actually use it.
ABDUCTIONARY is an addictive and fast-paced word puzzle game for the iPad.
An evil alien race is getting ready to invade Earth but first they need to learn our human language. In ABDUCTIONARY you are one of these aliens, sent to Earth by the evil alien overlord to “steal words from the tiny brains of those ugly, puny, bipod Earth creatures” (his words, not ours).
Your job is to extract words from human brains fast enough so the “Language Extractor 6000”, a very advanced but finicky piece of machinery, won’t overheat. You do this by forming words from a stream of random letters being “sucked out” of an abductee’s noggin. Points are awarded by length and complexity of the word. Combine these with power ups, acquired by keeping the machine cool, and become the supreme master of language on the GameCenter leaderboards.
iPad app of the week: DOJO created Abductionary, a fun word puzzle game for the iPad.
In Abductionary, each player is an alien sent to earth by an inept alien overlord that demands his underlings “steal words from the tiny brains of those ugly, puny, bipod earth creatures.”
Players have to extract words to prevent the “Language Extractor 6000” from overheating, by forming words from a stream of letters being sucked out of human brains.
The app is 99 cents in the App Store. Read more…
Wubbzy Christmas Story App Gets Kids Reading!
My 8-year-old was not a great napper as a toddler. By age 2, he had eliminated his nap altogether which was devastating for me as I was used to a two hour afternoon nap that I took along with his older sisters. So, instead, I let him watch PBS Kids for two hours of “downtime.”
Roller Coaster Physics for Kids is Fun!
I wish I had been introduced to physics at a young age in a way that made it fun. I learned physics, painfully, in high school and struggled through pre-med physics in college. I never got an intuitive sense of physics and my impression was that it was a formula to be memorized and calculated. Read more…
Best Science and Math (STEM) Toys
Science oriented kids need two things: to ask questions and to find answers. These toys let kids do both in the guise of games or experiments. Science in school is often too memorization-oriented and I think letting kids get their hands dirty is crucial to making science interesting, particularly for girls. Read more…
Donate to Your School or Just Save Money Shopping
I met Anthony at BlogHer12. I noticed him because he was the sole Asian American male there so I introduced myself at the breakfast buffet thinking he was an Asian American daddy blogger. In fact, he was there for iBotta and he convinced me as we sat at breakfast that it’s the Next Big Thing. Read more…
Subtraction Math Facts Practice Made FUN!
Now that I’ve attended two school curriculum nights, it’s clear that the teachers want us to practice math facts at home. I am noticing that all three of my kids have the most difficulty with subtraction. Addition is intuitively more obvious and multiplication is really just more addition. My kids less confused by the idea of division, at least until they hit long division. Division is regrouping and can be reverse engineered through multiplication. Read more…
Best Math Apps for 2nd and 3rd Grade
We just had parent teacher conferences a month or so ago, and now it’s time to shore up areas of weaknesses as the school year winds to a close in less than 30 school days, or so my kids eagerly tell me as they count down. My mom friend Liz had asked me for iPhone and iPad math apps for her two girls in 2nd and 3rd grade. She wants to work on math facts with her girls. Then another mom friend Julie asked for a list for her 2nd grade daughter. It seems we were all seeking fun math apps to make practicing math facts fun — addition, subtraction for sure, but a little multiplication and division as well. Read more…