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February 25 2014

February 16 2014

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January 28 2014

Children's Book 'Hello Ruby' Teaches 4- to 7-Year-Olds How to Code

As a teenager, Finnish programmer Linda Liukas had a major crush on Al Gore. She wanted to share her passion for the then-vice president with a fan page. Without the pre-made templates that Tumblr and WordPress now place at our fingertips, she taught herself HTML and CSS so she could build a site from scratch.

While building that website, Liukas fell in love with coding. A decade later, she created Hello Ruby

The Kickstarter-funded book, which aims to teach programming principles to children, reached its $10,000 funding goal within hours of its launch, and 24 hours later had amassed $100,000 in donations. The project hit the $200,000 benchmark Jan. 28, with 24 days to go in the campaign Read more...

More about Books, Kids, Children, Features, and Programming
Terminally Ill Dad Pens 826 Napkin Notes for Daughter's Future Lunches

W. Garth Callaghan doesn't know how long he has to live. But he can be certain of one simple thing: No matter his fate, his daughter will have a handwritten note tucked inside her lunchbox each day until she graduates from high school

Callaghan has received three cancer diagnoses since November 2011, and learned that he has just an 8% chance that he will live longer than five years. Now, he's taking every chance to connect with his daughter Emma in the time he has left

Armed with a stack of napkins and a ballpoint pen, he started Napkin Notes, a project that documents the daily messages he's slipped into Emma's lunchbox since she started second grade Read more...

More about Art, Children, Dads, Cancer, and Watercooler

December 17 2013

Parents See Their Youngest Children as Smaller Than They Actually Are

We all know that birth order has some kind of affect on how our personalities are perceived by our family members, but according to findings recently published in Current Biology, it also affects how our bodies are perceived. Specifically, it makes everyone mistakenly think that the youngest in each family appears smaller than they really are.

A group of researchers from Swinburne University in Melbourne rounded up a bunch of mothers whose kids were in the 2- to -6-year-old age range and asked them to estimate exactly how tall their children were by marking a featureless wall. They then compared these estimates to the actual height of each child. Read more...

More about Growth, Children, Parenting, Height, and Lifestyle

December 14 2013

Fisher-Price's Apptivity Seat Is Bad for Babies

As a technology reporter and mommy blogger, you’d think the Fisher-Price Apptivity Seat for newborns — an infant seat with a holder for an iPad — would be something I appreciate. But I do not. Nor, it seems, do a number of advocacy groups that want it pulled off the market because they think iPads and babies are a dangerous combination

Fisher-Price insists its seat is a sign of the times and age appropriate. I have done enough homework on early childhood development to tell you that not only is this seat a symptom of lazy parenting, it is guaranteed to make your baby more stupid.

It Takes Effort

More about Children, Infants, Apple Ipad, Lifestyle, and Family Parenting

November 25 2013

Dinosaurs Come to Life Again for Dinovember

If you thought dinosaurs were extinct, think again. This week alone, a horde of dinosaurs have already found hidden treasure, performed a shadow puppet show, experienced an accidental Ice Age and had a domestic disaster while ironing.

These are just a few of the dinosaur pranks that Refe Tuma and his wife Susan Tuma have staged for Dinovember, a month-long project in which the Tumas construct nightly dinosaur vignettes.

The project started in 2012 as a way for the Tumas to engage with their four children

"It kind of was just a way to reconnect with our kids and to get ourselves excited to be parents again," Refe Tuma told Mashable. "My wife, on a whim, decided to set up dinosaurs in the bathroom sink. The next morning, my daughter ran into our room and said, 'The dinosaurs came to life and they are brushing their teeth!'" Read more...

More about Social Media, Children, Parenting, Diy, and Family

November 24 2013

This Block Set Helps Preschoolers Learn Computer Programming

At 4 years old, many children are mastering pre-reading skills. But now, tots can start learning computer programming at preschool age, too.

Primo, a playset of colored blocks, aims to teach children ages 4 to 7 programming logic, helping lay the foundation for computer-language education at a later age

"Think of Primo as the very first step in a child's programming education," according to the company's Kickstarter page

The set comes with three parts: a robot named Cubetto, a board with slots to arrange blocks and four colors of blocks, each representing a different function. Read more...

More about Children, Education, Kickstarter, Coding, and Apps Software

November 19 2013

Google And Microsoft Put Differences Aside To Fight Child Porn

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is still assuring users and politicians in the UK that Google is working hard to combat the problem of child pornography—and he's also giving credit where credit is due to Microsoft.

In a Daily Mail article, Schmidt outlined the steps Google is taking to rid its search engine results of exploitive images of children. These steps include deterrence, by showing warnings crafted from Google and other charities that will pop up anytime enters a search term seeking such images.

Microsoft and Google are teaming up on the detection and removal steps. Once illicit images are correctly identified, they will be digitally tagged with a unique fingerprint.

"This enables our computers to identify those pictures whenever they appear on our systems. And Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for developing and sharing its picture detection technology," Schmidt wrote.

The third step in Google's plan is providing technical support to organizations such as Internet Watch Foundation in the U.K. and the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

All of these steps are positive moves forward in the fight against child pornography, though they are very much geared to what Google and Microsoft can actually do: get the illicit images off search networks, which is the first step towards eliminate them altogether.

Tags: children

November 12 2013

Starting Young: Can You Really Teach Entrepreneurship?

There's a great debate over whether entrepreneurship can be taught. While not everyone is going to end up as successful as a Zuckerberg, a Gates or a Karp, we can at least teach our kids some elementary business skills.

The BizWorld Foundation is a non-profit organization that teaches children in grades 3-8 business basics, such as entrepreneurship skills and finance. The program inspires students to develop critical thinking and leadership skills that will help them become future innovators

Students in the BizWorld program design, produce and sell friendship bracelets after collaborating on a business model. Friendship bracelets are always the core product of these businesses because they appeal to the target age group of children, and the product is a relatable one through which to learn the basics of business. Read more...

More about Children, Business, Entrepreneurship, Tech Innovators Series, and Tech Innovators

November 06 2013

17% of Kids Under Age 8 Use a Mobile Device Every Day

Nearly one in five children under age 8 uses a mobile device every day. That's one-third the number of children reading books on a daily basis.

The only activity competing for the popularity of books among children under 8 is watching TV, which 58% do on a daily basis.

Statista's chart, using Common Sense Media data, shows the daily media activities of children under 8 years old.

131106_Kids_Media_MashableHave something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

More about Children, Tablets, Mobile, Lifestyle, and Family Parenting

October 29 2013

The iPad Era Hasn't Turned Your Kids Into Screen-Time Zombies Yet

Here’s fresh data to fan the flames of a perennial parenting freak out: children and screen time. A new study released Monday by Common Sense Media details the way young children consume electronic media, based on a large national survey of children under eights years old. Yes, everyone’s kids are obsessed with smartphones. The three most striking findings:

Mobile Devices Are Popular — Just Not as Popular as TV: 38% of children under two have used a tablet, smartphone or other mobile devices. In general, the use of mobile devices is exploding. Three-quarters of households with young children now have some kind of mobile device, and 72% of children have gotten their hands on one. That seems to indicate that there is only a 4% chance that you can own a smartphone or tablet and keep your toddler away from it. Read more...

More about Television, Kids, Smartphone, Children, and Parenting

September 26 2013

60% of Parents Have Distracted Their Kids With a Smartphone or Tablet

Just 20% of parents of children under 18 have never handed their children a gadget of some sort to keep them occupied

The most popular device to give kids? Nearly half (47%) of parents have handed their children a smartphone to keep them busy.

Statista created this chart showing the percentages of parents that have handed their children different tech gizmos.


Are you a parent who uses your smartphone or tablet to distract your children? Admit your guilt, or share your reasoning, in the comments.

Image: Flickr, Tim Olson

More about Gadgets, Children, Parenting, Lifestyle, and Family Parenting

August 22 2013

7 Essential Life Lessons From Kids' To-Do Lists

As you grow older, your to-do list tends to age too

Even if the thought of all the things you need to tackle sends your heart palpitating, these sometimes-hilarious, always-adorable to-do lists written by children certainly won't

In fact, they even serve as refreshing life lesson reminders

Image: Flickr, timlewisnm

More about Lists, Children, Cute, Cute Kids, and Watercooler

June 13 2013

AOL Founder Invests $20 Million in Children's Apparel Startup

AOL co-founder Steve Case has been on a journey across America, looking for promising young businesses outside of New York and Silicon Valley.

On one such trip to North Carolina last fall, Case met Brandi Temple (pictured above), founder of a now 5-year-old online children's apparel company, Lolly Wolly Doodle, which claims to sell 60% of its clothes through Facebook. That meeting led to several more and on Thursday, Case's Revolution Growth venture fund announced a $20 million investment in the company.

"Part of the Revolution strategy is to invest in big ideas that are small companies, and to try to help them become big companies," Case said in a phone interview with Mashable on Thursday. "I also believe in the notion of 'the rise of the rest' — there are great entrepreneurs all around the company, [but] just a few places are getting all the attention." Read more...

More about Fashion, Children, Retail, Steve Case, and Business

April 07 2013

12 Free Children's Ebooks You Can Download Right Now

The print publishing industry may be in decline, but story time definitely isn't. A child's first few books open doors to new worlds, and considering how enamored children can get with mobile devices, ebooks are a great combination of things literary and digital.

But when your son or daughter first dips his or her toes into reading, it can be uncharted waters, which can get expensive. That's why we've rounded up 12 free ebooks you can find on several platforms right now. On Kindle, Nook or iTunes, there are plenty of free things for kids to read or to have read for them. Read more...

More about Children, Features, Parenting, Ebooks, and Ereaders

March 29 2013

How to Teach Kids About Finance — Show Them the Virtual Money

Dan Tynan is a contributing editor for Family Circle, where he writes about the intersection of parenting and technology. Follow him on Twitter @tynanwrites or at his blog Hopeless Dork.

Anyone who's ever had kids of a certain age knows what it feels like to have their pockets picked.

"Dad, I need $10 for a school field trip. Dad, I need $20 for a haircut. Dad, I owe $30 to the school cafeteria. Dad, I need $50 for clothes."

Even though as adults we live largely on electronic payments, I always like to have a little cash in my pocket. After all those requests, that's all I usually have — a little cash. Everything else is sucked out out of my wallet and into the kids' hands moments after being disgorged by the ATM. As our children morphed from needy tweens into insatiable teens, I knew this had to stop. Read more...

More about Kids, Parenting, Lifestyle, Family Parenting, and Digital Dilemma

August 23 2012

August 22 2012

August 21 2012

Send Missing Child Alerts From Your Smartphone With Lost Kidz App [VIDEO]

It's safe to guess that just as many moms have a smartphone in their purse as they do a half gallon of milk in the fridge. Which makes smartphones a smart place to post about missing children.

Stephen Fern, founder of the app Lost Kidz knows first hand how terrifying it can be when you realize your child has wondered off. While traveling in France, one of Fern's six children went missing for 25 minutes. They found him unharmed, but from that incident the idea for Lost Kidz was born.

With Lost Kidz, the moment you realize your child is missing, you launch the app on your phone and send out an alert. All Lost Kidz users within a 1 mile radius wil…
Continue reading...

More About: Children, Lost Kidz, apps

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