These posts have been tagged as Ages 5-8
March 23rd, 2010
Indie director’s first shot at animation comes up big
By all counts, 2009 was a huge year for animated movies. There were big crowd pleasers like Up, The Princess and the Frog, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, but for our money, the most entertaining was Wes Anderson’s stunning stop-motion tale Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Based on the book by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), it’s the story of a fox who plots the greatest (chicken) heist ever. With an all-star cast of voice talent like George Clooney, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, and Owen Wilson, this is a film you’ll want to see over and over, whether or not the kids are around.
March 17th, 2010
Vintage album recreates Star Wars for the pre-DVD era
Let your kids time-travel back to a mystical land where things like Star Wars video games, “Battle of Endor” Lego sets, remastered DVDs, and constant SpikeTV marathons didn’t exist. Can you imagine the horror? Ah yes, the late 1970s, back when the only way to bring Star Wars home was through action figures and the “The Story of Star Wars” album (on vinyl and 8-track!)
Thanks to some vinyl historians, now the next generation of fans can hear “The Story of Star Wars” in all its glory. Clocking in around 50 minutes, the album features dialogue, music, and sound effects from the movie, as well as narration by the gravel-voiced actor Roscoe Lee Browne. It’s a vivid description of the Star Wars universe, so it’ll thrill devoted little Jedis, while still being a fun introduction for those kids just starting out on their journey.
February 24th, 2010
New service lets you read books from anywhere in the world
When do you have the best bonding experiences with your kids? For many, it’s the quiet times just before bed or a lazy Sunday afternoon where you and your kids can get lost in a story together.
Now, what if you never got those moments? For parents who travel frequently or relatives who live far away, it can be tough to build that special bond. That problem led one dad to create Readeo, a new site that offers a shared reading experience called BookChat. The service lets friends and family read stories together no matter how far apart they are.
Once you become a Readeo member, you get access to their library of quality books (along with their video chat system) that lets you share storytime anywhere in the world. They’ve launched with about 30 titles in their library, with more being added every day.
But please, be responsible: use Readeo when you truly need to be away; reading bedtime stories from a bar isn’t a good look.
February 22nd, 2010
Plush toys straight from the minds of kids
What if kids could design their own stuffed animals? They’d probably look a lot like Aminals, a new line of soft toys that gets its design inspiration from kids’ drawings. Read more
February 11th, 2010
Shoe company strives to change lives, one pair at a time
Don’t worry, we know you’re a good person.
In the past few years, you’ve given to charities for New Orleans, Sri Lanka, and Haiti. You would have liked to give more, but hey, times are hard and you’ve got your own growing family to take care of.
Hmm, if only there was a way for you to buy the things you need, while still doing good in the world... Say hello to TOMS Shoes.
Each time you buy a pair of TOMS, they’ll give a brand new pair of shoes to a child in need. Started just over three years ago, TOMS’ One for One business model has already given away a remarkable 400,000 pairs of shoes.
Why shoes, you ask? Well, since most kids in the developing world grow up barefoot, they get cuts and wounds which lead to parasites and all sorts of other nastiness. That’s just one of many reasons why they’re so important.
Now, in addition to their shoes for adults, TOMS has introduced Tiny TOMS, a line of cool, stylish shoes for little ones. At around $30, they’re a whole lot more unique than those Nikes down at the mall.
It’s simple: kid needs shoes, you buy TOMS, kid looks good, you feel good. Repeat as needed.
February 5th, 2010
New book encourages kids to enjoy the lost art of building
Gever Tulley knows how to make learning fun.
Five years ago, he founded Tinkering School, a camp where kids are encouraged to build all types of wild contraptions. Think, make, tinker reads the motto. Now, along with fellow Tinkerer and wife Julie Spiegler, he’s assembled Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), a collection of projects and activities for junior thrillseekers.
Conceived as a collection of “‘dangerous’ things that are interesting, eye-opening, enlightening or just plain fun,” the book was rejected by at least 16 publishers, likely due to potential lawsuits. Why all the worry? With chapter titles like “Lick a 9-volt Battery,” “Break Glass,” “Make a Bomb in a Bag,” and even “Play With Fire,” it’s bound to make a few parents nervous.
Each of the 50 activities include a “how-to” guide, appropriate warnings, and some scientific factoids. There’s also a “Field Notes” section, where kids can write down their observations, and ideas on how to improve the project.
Despite all the controversy about the book, what’s overlooked is that it provides a great opportunity for families to spend quality time exploring the world together. And to blow stuff up.
February 2nd, 2010
Tiny backyard bungalow has plenty of room for adventure
Kids love to create their own little world whenever they can. Leave any child alone with a sheet and two chairs for five minutes, and they’ll build their own Fortress of Solitude, far far away from the Land of Boring Grown-Ups. Read more
January 29th, 2010
Vilified by the media, NYC mom has inspired a parenting movement
Two years ago in New York City, Lenore Skenazy handed her 9-year old son a subway pass, twenty bucks, and said good-bye, leaving him to take the subway back home. Is this the heartbreaking story of a child’s abduction? Nope. Her son was fine—in fact he loved it. But when Skenazy wrote about the experience, angry parents wanted to see her locked up for child abuse, and she was dubbed “America’s Worst Mom” by the media.
Cut to 2010, and Skenazy has become the “Generalissimo” of the Free-Range Kids movement, which she calls “a common sense approach to parenting in these overprotective times.” We recently spoke with the always funny and outspoken Skenazy.
January 27th, 2010
Two great websites let anyone become an expert art collector
It used to be that the art world was just for those with private jets and Swiss bank accounts. Luckily, thanks to the magical powers of the internet, it’s easy to get a crash course in art collecting.
But wait, why art? Well, besides being nicer to look at than peeling wallpaper, it produces all sorts of benefits: art boosts kids’ imagination, improves their sense of craftsmanship, and even helps with problem-solving. And one of the easiest ways to inspire an early love of art in your kids is by surrounding them with colorful and vivid imagery.
January 19th, 2010
Eco-friendly company changes the face of lunchtime
It took a while, but someone finally reinvented the lunchbox.
Yes, while we’ve been mindlessly putting every meal into a series of little plastic bags, a few smart folks in Seattle were busy figuring out how to Read more
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