“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the world of amateur astronomy, you’re never going to be able to get anything near the majesty of images taken by the Hubble space telescope, if thats what you’re looking for, lower you’re expectations Danny or stay inside on the internet. Nay, the benefit of a home telescope (though teenage boys may disagree) is being able to gaze at the stars and know that is the actual light created on the back of nuclear fusion from those stars, having traveled thousands of light years only to interact with the atoms in your retina, sending a chemical/electric current into your brain where under a majesty of parallel/analog computation it is interpreted as an point of flickering light, you’re hippocampus floods your brain with chemicals that you understand as awe.
Continue reading ““The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson”

Writing and Drawing

If you think buying a kid something to write with as a gift is stupid, YOU’RE STUPID and you don’t understand kids, I love to be so blunt and it’s true. If you think only colorful, flashy, “toys” with no function what-so-ever is the funnest kind of toy, you should do some soul searching. Now of course there is significant benefit to playing with toys and imagination. Studies show when kids make up stories for themselves they grow up to have better math skills. (Causeation, corralation unknown). But guess what? Kids love DOING things, including writing. If you present a kid with writing in the right light and the right time, you can teach them the entire alphabet in a few days, they have sponge brains. And you should probably start earlier than you’d think, around 6 mo to a year is perfect (though they won’t pick it up so quick at 6 months). Continue reading “Writing and Drawing”

A word of smaw fings

This is a pretty crummy microscope, but its a pretty decent kids toy microscope. If you want to buy your kid a $300 microscope, more power to ya, I just don’t think thats my target audience. This will do enough, feel real enough, and when your kid breaks it you won’t commit seppuku in shame. Continue reading “A word of smaw fings”

Epic electronics and engineering

If you’re not into electronics, they may seem a little advanced or silly or you might just “not get it”. Doing things with electronics, for some people, are one of those obsessively fun things kids can end up doing that could lead to a career, sometimes without collage of any kind if they’re public enough about their projects. It doesn’t have to be expensive and the internet is rife with information on projects with differing difficulty. Electronics only seem hard when you don’t know, the principles of electronics are really very simple and even a 3 year old can start learning the basics. I’ll rank these kits simplest to more complex and put age recommendations on them so you can kinda get an idea of which one to buy, I’d still play with them all so don’t worry too much about them being too simple.  Continue reading “Epic electronics and engineering”

How to grow a little green thumb.

Kids love to do things with people they love and admire. There is an evolutionary drive for them to mimic, an emotional NEED. If you garden, this is the perfect thing to keep them entertained. Give them there own little patch of ground (a few feet by a few feet will be plenty) and allow them to try, and succeed or fail, as their own independant person. Let them know you’re available for help and advice, but the fate of their plantings are in their hands.

Or, if you’re not much of a gardener, or don’t have much ground to speak of, growing plants in a window sill is quite educational and even valuable.

There are many things around the house for your kid to plant if their first planding fails and you don’t have seeds. Here is a list of things that will usually sprout. Continue reading “How to grow a little green thumb.”

Spy kids!

When I was a kid there was a company called spy tech. Honestly for most of my childhood they were the coolest thing ever! They had periscopes, big ears… ok thats all I remember, but it was awesome! Now tech is sooo much better, and MUCH cheaper. With spy tools, chores become missions. Math becomes codebreaking. Your kid leaves you alone with you’re mimosa for hours. Continue reading “Spy kids!”