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Walking with Dinosaurs at the Barclay Center

Walking with Dinosaurs at the Barclay Center

My family and I had the opportunity to see Walking with Dinosaurs at Barclays Center for opening night and it was a thrill! The show is like a natural history museum comes alive and explodes with the crushing force of the jaw of a tyrannosaurus rex. Walking with Dinosaurs packs brachiosaurus-sized learning into its entertainment. The show begins back in the Triassic, explaining the vegetation, the geology, and the evolutionary developments that allowed dinosaurs to go on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Science

Sphero 2.0 the Robotic Sphere Teaches Programming and More – Review

Sphero 2.0 the Robotic Sphere Teaches Programming and More – Review

Maybe we were easily impressed in those pre-tablet days of the 1980s but I can still remembering programming a toy robot to follow commands. Robot: walk, forward, 10 steps. My dad, who holds a degree in engineering and has made a career out of computer systems, would patiently guide my efforts. I learned to be precise with the directions because the robot would either spin out of control or, more frustratingly, refuse to budge. Sphero 2.0 is … Read entire article »

Filed under: 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Science, Toys

Walking with Dinosaurs Coming to Barclays Center!

Walking with Dinosaurs Coming to Barclays Center!

Walking with Dinosaurs is coming to Barclays Center and I can feel the excitement–or is that a giant tyrannosaurus rex? My eldest son is a junior paleontologist who has memorized every episode of the BBC “Walking with Dinosaurs” series and I know he is going to be thrilled to see these dinosaurs–moving, roaring, practically breathing–live! And when the people at Barclays Center say, “live,” they mean it! Using advanced animatronics, Walking with Dinosaurs Live creates the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Science

Discover and Engineer with littleBits (Review with Coupon Code!)

Discover and Engineer with littleBits (Review with Coupon Code!)

The makers of littleBits sent me a Base Kit to explore their unique building blocks of circuitry with my children and share with you. Read on to see what we made with littleBits and also to get a coupon code for a 10% discount. With littleBits, even young children and people with no technical knowledge can put together basic circuits for robotics and engineering projects. littleBits are color-coded building blocks of circuitry that snap together with … Read entire article »

Filed under: 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, Science, Toys

13 Tips for Photographing Nature #NGKInsider

13 Tips for Photographing Nature #NGKInsider

My eldest has a growing interest in photography, especially nature photography. As a National Geographic Kids Insider, I had a chance to listen in on a chat with photographer Kelley Miller talk about how to photograph animals. We also found out how we can be part of setting a Guinness World Record! First, here are some tips for photographing nature from Ms. Miller, illustrated with her photographs and a few of mine: 1. Be patient. 2. Practice … Read entire article »

Filed under: Art, Featured, Science, Sight

Picture Books About Sharks for #SharkWeek

Picture Books About Sharks for #SharkWeek

In honor of the end of Shark Week, here are our favorite children’s picture books about sharks. Most of our picks are non-fiction. When choosing fiction picture books for themed exploration, I try to choose ones that weave facts into the narrative. While there is no shortage of cute picture books with shark protagonists, the sharks tend to take the role of “scary-looking but really sweet inside.” While sharks are not the indiscriminate man-killers often … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Science

Straw Pan Pipe Craft for Kids

Straw Pan Pipe Craft for Kids

My daughter came home very excited that she had made a pan pipe out of drinking straws at camp. However, she had left the homemade craft instrument there and wanted to make another one. I helped her figure out a way of making one at home. Ours was a little different and she really liked it. Materials: plastic drinking straws tape (clear or decorative Washi tape) scissors yarn or thread (optional)   Directions: 1. Cut the drinking straws in increasingly smaller sizes.   2. Tape … Read entire article »

Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Music, Performing Arts and Theater, Science

Sharpie Fireworks T-Shirt

Sharpie Fireworks T-Shirt

My friend, Athena, hosted an awesome craft group this afternoon. The girls made fireworks t-shirts and I know my son is going to want to make one, too. Materials: t-shirt Sharpie (permanent) markers rubbing alcohol medicine dropper cardboard Directions: 1. Place cardboard in between the layers of the t-shirt. Make dots with your sharpie marker in a circle shape. 2. Use the dropper to drop rubbing alcohol into the center of the design. The marker will spread. 3. Experiment with concentric circles of dots, dashes, … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Art, Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Science, Summer, Visual-Spacial

Hot Air Balloon Craft – Inspired by American Girl Saige

Hot Air Balloon Craft – Inspired by American Girl Saige

My daughter is really enjoying her Saige American Girl of the Year doll. She’s been reading the second book, Saige Paints the Sky. So, we decided to make a hot air balloon craft, inspired by Saige! Materials: inflated balloon glue, diluted with a few drops of water tissue paper yarn fishing wire plastic container raffia   Directions: 1. Tear or cut your tissue paper in strips.   2. Coat the balloon with the slightly diluted glue mixture. 3. Cover the balloon (except a small circle at the bottom) in … Read entire article »

Filed under: 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-12 (Middle Grades), Featured, Science

Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Craft

Pot of Gold St. Patrick’s Day Craft

My son asked to make a St. Patrick’s Day craft today. I didn’t have anything planned but I made a few suggestions and he said he wanted to make a pot of gold. Materials cup or plastic container (we recycled an applesauce container) construction paper: black, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo (optional), and purple ruler pencil scissors glue Directions 1. Cut a length of black construction paper long enough to wrap your plastic cup or container and glue the paper around the container. 2. … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Science, Weather