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!”

You’re a tool

I’ve always been a fan of age appropriate real tools, but when my daughter sat on my lap and patiently took apart a DVD player at age two (I loosened the scews) while we watched a movie, that belief turned more into a dogma. Not only does it boost a childs confidence to be productively helping their parents, using tools at a young age (with appropriate supervision), is excellent for hand eye coordination. Unfortunately I’ve never found a decent “My First Toolkit” so unless you’ve found one (please leave it in the comments) we’ll have to build out own. Half of having the toolkit is litterally (don’t you hate that… litterally) just to have it while you work on something your kids have their own tools to work with. Continue reading “You’re a tool”

Playing Doctor

Playing doctor with your kid is a good way to address concerns and alleviate fears about going to the doctor, and its fun! You can talk about how shots hurt, but only for a little bit, and play giving shots with a syringe. A cheap plastic doctors kit only barely represents the items they’re supposed to be… to an adult, how is a kid whose never seen them supposed to recognize them? They’re going to learn a stethoscope is a cheap piece of plastic that only barely works, if at all. Continue reading “Playing Doctor”

Disclaimer

This is a shameless ploy for money, some people call that a business. Blogs for money kinda feel swarmy to me, I don’t know why. Originally I was going to do an independent website with listings and search and everything, but along Noah Kagens philosophy of test everything it made more sense to start cheap and simple. I’m interested in figuring out how to teach kids better. Kids spend half their day in school for most of their adolescent life and in return they learn to hate school, not understand math, think the world will end tomorrow, be self entitled, and no functional life skills. I “homeschooled” from 8th grade, after the first year I frustrated my mom so intensely she said to just turn in a report once a week on what I was doing, I turned in 2 reports before I got my GED and one of them was on Star Trek. I scored above average on my GED, but my brothers who homeschooled their whole lives nearly maxed the test (though they had abysmal hand writing, good thing the essay portions were computerized). My mom accidentally falling on “unschooling” out of frustration allowed us to keep our love for learning and learn skills naturally and practically. I did have holes in my education, history was pretty sparse and many of the “facts” came from history channel shows… like Ancient Aliens. Thank you for Dan Carlins: Hardcore History, I am  starting to fix that hole. I also wasn’t very good at algebra, never figured out why. I did computer programming a lot so I understood orders of operation, but every time I did a problem I got a different answer, this problem I started fixing with Khan Academy and finally with collage courses. Aaaand I’m pretty bad at spelling, yay spellcheck. I understand computer programming, calculous and basic quantum mechanics, AND I enjoy them. I learned them without school.

WTF was the point of all that??? Why I’m interested in blogging about toys for kids. REAL toys. Why would you spend $5 on a fake plastic tool set when a REAL tool set is $12? My wife wanted to get a doctors kit for my 3 year old daughter, a REAL stethoscope and blood pressure cuff was only $30 and they ACTUALLY work, one of her favorite toys.

Through functional education and real conversations you kid will be way ahead of the curve before school age. Why? Because kids are smart and capable and curious, if you let them. These affiliate links are suggestions for real, function, affordable gift ideas. I’ll try to add value to each one by adding a PDF “manual” of game ideas to playducate with your kid, or maybe I’ll just post the game ideas in the comments… or something.