14 Toys That Will Make Your Kids Smarter

I know it’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, but the holiday train has left the station in terms of media content. I stumbled across this great article and just HAD to share it with you all before we get sucked into Black Friday and holiday shopping and all that other madness. It’s a list, compiled by Time magazine, of 14 toys that encourage problem solving, imagination, and creativity in kids.

One of the toys on the list, Goldie Blox, is behind the awesome viral video that somehow successfully mashes Rube Goldberg with the Beastie Boys:

I have to admit- I may want some of these toys for myself!

Update: Apparently, the Beastie Boys didn’t care for Goldie Blox’s (perfectly legal– satire and parody fall under Fair Use) satire of their song, and have asked for this video to be taken down. There’s a new version available, featuring instrumental music, but it just doesn’t have the same charm. Oh well.

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Go Here: Christmas Games by Technology Rocks

Sometimes, I just can’t top what another librarian or ed tech blogger has done. This is one of those times. The fantastic blog Technology Rocks. Seriously. puts together the most comprehensive lists of holiday-themed games and activities for kids. Her post on Christmas games is here. She’s also found enough gingerbread-themed games to create a whole other post here. Enjoy!

The First Thanksgiving by Scholastic

First of all, this is Applewild Technology’s 100th post! Woohoo!

OK, now that that’s out of the way…

One of my favorite go-to places for high quality educational resources and activities is Scholastic. Their feature on the first Thanksgiving includes a virtual field trip on the Mayflower, a look into the daily lives of both Pilgrims and Indians, and a Web Quest. There is so much here, and much of it was produced in association with Plimouth Plantation. This is a really great way to get your students thinking about what the world was like back then.

Thanksgiving Symbaloo

This post is actually two rolled into one. First, it’s a post about a site that has collected Thanksgiving-themed games and activities and put them all in one easy-to-access place. The Symbaloo Thanksgiving Mix features word searches, flash games, trivia, and even coloring. If you’re looking for a fun activity during these last few days before Thanksgiving, this is pretty much one-stop shopping.

As if that’s not exciting enough, this post is also about the Web 2.0 tool Symbaloo. Symbaloo allows you to take your favorite bookmarks and links and turn them into a single page of tiles. You can also use Symbaloo to find other people’s “web mixes” and enjoy the sites they have collected curated. It’s a simple and fun way to bring together the sites you want your students to use, and display them in a graphical way.

International Women’s Day & Women’s History Month

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, and March is Women’s History Month. For some great background and resources, check out the official International Women’s Day website. There are fact sheets, photos, and information about events happening all over the world.

 

 

Seussville’s Read Across America Resources

If you’re looking for some last-minute resources for Dr. Seuss’s birthday, or Read Across America Day, just go to Seussville! There are all kinds of printable activities, like a word find, a maze, and even a Dr. Seuss themed game of telephone called Seussaphone.

Update: It seems as though the server for Seussville is having some problems. It’s possible that it can’t handle today’s pre-birthday site traffic.

 

Picnik

Ever wanted to tweak a photo, but have no idea how to use Photoshop? Try Picnik! It’s a free web-based application that requires NO sign-in (woo-hoo!). The basic version has some pretty great features: sharpen, crop, rotate, red-eye correction, and exposure. The interface is very simple and easy to use. Using the “Create” tab, you can add borders, stickers, and text, though many of the more fun features are available only for “premium” users (ie, those who pay for a subscription). If you just want the basics, without downloading any software, Picnik is great.