We were delighted to receive this request from a reader yesterday —
Greatlakesborn: I’m looking for birthday ideas for a 9-year-old girl. She is pretty active and inquisitive. Thanks!
We know we’ve been a little thin on the recommendations for that age, so we’re absolutely thrilled to respond to this request. Today we’re going to talk about Snap Circuits, a physics toy that comes in kits at a range of price points to build everything from radios to rovers.
This week’s post was originally inspired way back in July when I was in Poland with my family. We were visiting the Wawel Castle in Krakow, an incredible medieval castle that has withstood centuries of war and occupation (albeit with a few fires and restorations). It is now a national museum. I’d like to use an anecdote from this trip to illustrate the way stories can be retold in a way that is more gender-fair.
For Christmas, I gave my 6-year-old niece and nephew gift certificates to go to the movies. As I’ve told you before, gift certificates are one of my favorite customizable presents — give the gift of experience, as they say. So, one day over their holiday break, we went out to lunch, to the movies, and of course stopped for hot cocoa on the way home.
Today, my niece and nephew (primary inspirations for the blog) turn 6! They recently started kindergarten. This post is a tribute to both of those milestones. For their birthday, I gave them a series of books that I learned to read on: Russell Hoban’s Frances series. The Frances books are about a sassy badger and her attempts to navigate childhood’s great challenges.
This week we’re re-posting a popular back-to-school series from last year. Tuesday we tackled back to school shopping. We hope that has been going well, and you were able to stick to your End Goal. A reader posted a most insightful comment on that post about the importance of being gender fair when shopping for backpack drives, so we’re dedicating this week to discussing backpack drives. You may recall our focus on family-oriented community service around Thanksgiving and gosh darn it, it’s about time we had another post about service.
Somehow it is that time of year again – back to school! This week we’re re-posting a popular, two-part series we did during back to school time last year. Today we’ll talk about back to school shopping. Thursday we’ll talk about backpack drives.
One of the aspects of NPR listenership that many stations tend to target in the semi-annual pledge drives is the concept of “driveway moments”: sitting in your car after you’ve arrived home in order to hear the end of a story before going into your home. The idea is that if you experience these moments a lot (I do), you must value their service and enjoy their stories, and you should support them with a donation (don’t worry, I also do that too). I had one such driveway moment last week during an interview with Brad Meltzer on the program Here & Now about his children’s book series, Ordinary People Change the World.
We apologize for the long hiatus since our last post — we’ve been running our dissertation experiment! It’s still ongoing, but so far we’ve learned all kinds of cool stuff about gender, spatial and mechanical learning, and child development. We’ll post an update about preliminary findings when we have something more official to say. In the meantime, today’s post is about one preliminary finding unrelated to the focus of the experiment: young children LOVE Rainbow Loom.