Creative Thinking, Education, Fun Friday, Parenting, Student Products

A Tribute to Maker Dads Everywhere

In honor of the National Week of Making and the upcoming Fathers’ Day celebration here in the States, I collected a few videos related to Maker Dads for this week’s Phun Phriday post.

Check out this link to a video showing Dads who got together to make a “Wipeout” course for their kids on their street.

Dads Make Kids Wipeout Course

I just discovered this adorable series of videos from DIY Dad.  You can click on this link to learn how to make fake snow with your kids.


And be sure to show all of the great Maker Dads in your life this great video from Wonder Workshop!

Wonder Workshop Father's Day

Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Parenting, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Websites

Online Summer Courses

If parents and students have been asking you about ways to stave off that summer slump, here are some online courses that I have been suggesting to the parents and students in my community:

  • Camp Wonderopolis: Free, and you can sign up as a “Camp Counselor” to tailor the curriculum if you like.

Camp Wonderopolis

Maker Camp

  • Camps: Not free, but the first one is only $10.  There is a Lego Camp!

DIY Camps

Remember, students who have adults encouraging them and sometimes working alongside them will get far more out of any online course than most students who are left to navigate courses on their own!

Another way to go might be to give your student one or more of these creative ideas that I saw tweeted by @KarlyB this morning.  They are all using free iPad apps.  (Some may also be available on other devices.)


Creative Thinking, Education, Fun Friday, K-5, Parenting

DIY Gifts for Kids

DIY Slotted Building Discs from Made by Joel
DIY Slotted Building Discs from Made by Joel

It’s Friday!  And you know what that means, right?

Okay – other than the fact that tomorrow is Saturday, or that many of us in the education world are about to have a two-week break.

Friday + December + Engage Their Minds = Another Installment of the “Gifts for the Gifted” series.

Since it’s a bit close to the Big Day for some of us, I thought I would spotlight some cool ideas for gifts that would not require mail order.  One of my favorites is the “DIY Explorer Activity Kit” detailed by the women at the Merry Thought blog. Inspired by the Child’s Activity Kits carried by Anthropologie, this post describes how you can make your own for your adventuresome child.  The photographs are helpful for those of us who may not be quite as creative.  Of course, you could do any number of variations of this kit, depending on your child’s personal interests.

I found some more ideas for DIY kits on the Kids’ Activities Blog.  There are 101 suggestions, but here are some that I think are particularly suited for gifted kids in elementary school:

Build a Fort Kit

A Marble Run Kit – (You don’t have to be able to understand the language on this page to love the concept!)

Slotted Building Discs Made from Recycled Cardboard

Popsicle Stick Building Kit

For more installments of “Gifts for the Gifted”, check out my Pinterest Board!  Next Monday – a bonus post of recommended apps to load up on new tablets!

Apps, Art, Creative Thinking, Education, Gamification, K-12, Menus, Motivation, Multiple Intelligences, Parenting, Student Products, Videos, Websites


Don’t worry; I promise this is not going to be an advertisement for a home improvement network…

DIY is one of the coolest new sites that I’ve chanced upon in a long, long time.  I haven’t even shown it to my students yet, and I am super excited about it.  This is going to be something awesome, I have a feeling.

DIY offers kids the chance to earn Skill Badges by doing challenges.  After browsing through the skills and challenges, I was ready to start earning my own badges.  The challenges look fun, and since I never got a chance to participate in Girl Scouts, the virtual badges seem like the next best thing to me.  For example, how would you like to earn your Papercrafter badge by doing 3 challenges (out of 13 choices) that include making a walkalong glider or building a paper vehicle?

Most of the challenges include instructions, either with video or pictures. There is a great parent info page, along with a Parent Dashboard once you sign up.  DIY kids get their own website to show off what they make, and there is a supporting iOS app to easily upload videos and pictures of their creations.  The site seems very user-friendly and, best of all, encourages kids to be creative and inventive.