Free live video course with Mark on making for parents and kids

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Sign up for my free 2-day video course on making cool stuff with your kids.

Make your weekends more awesome with activities you and your kids can get their hands on. Join Make Magazine founding editor-in-chief Mark Frauenfelder — and his daughter Jane — for a class on cool, simple projects you can do with your kids.

In DIY Projects for Dads to Do with Kids, you’ll get the blueprints you need to complete projects with the whole family. You’ll learn how to whip up a mixture that makes enormous bubbles, and how to get started with polymer clay — a medium you can use to create custom toys, shapes, and figurines. You’ll engage in a little trial and error learning by creating your own simple board and dice games. You’ll also learn the more advanced magic of constructing a Drawbot – a simple robot that can make abstract art all by itself.

This course will have even your most reluctant kid excited to get their hands dirty and experimenting, making, and creating, together.

If you have a kid and would like to be an in-studio participant sign up here.

Apps for Kids 057: Mega Dead Pixel

Mega Dead Pixel is an endless runner game where you have to avoid colliding with retro-shaped obstacles while collecting coins and special pixels. This episode is brought to you by Care.com, offering any type of care your family needs. As an Apps for Kids listener, you can save 25% when you become a Premium Member.

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7 fun toilet paper tube tricks

Seven tricks you can do with empty rolls of toilet paper, written by the late Martin Gardner.

5. A Mysterious Force: Two tubes are alongside each other on a table. Rub your hands vigorously together to generate a psychic force. Place your hands palms down fingers pointing toward the tubes. Lower your head slightly. Move your hands slowly away from the tubes, and at the same time secretly blow on them. They will roll toward your hands as if drawn by a mysterious attractive force. You'll be suprised at how many people will be totally mystified by this simple trick.

7 fun toilet paper tube tricks (Via Reality Carnival)

Printeer - a 3D printer for kids


Printeer is a kids 3D printer that runs on an iPad and "doesn't require any intermediate steps between design and 3D printing." This is a good idea because 3D printer software is still clunky and finicky.

Father's Day: A Bear for Punishment

In honor of Father's Day, here's one of the great, classic animation celebrations of the pater familias: Warner Bros' Three Bears celebrate in "A Bear for Punishment."

Giant bubble fun


It's great to see people making the projects in my book, Maker Dad! Thomas Beckett and his daughter did the giant bubbles project and posted this photo to Twitter.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue - a game of high-stakes trade-offs

Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a co-operative game about firefighting for 1-6 players. Both its difficulty and its complexity are hugely adjustable, such that it’s suitable for anyone from families with elementary-age children to groups of adult gamers. Where Escape: Curse of the Temple is frantic and breathless, Flash Point is deliberate and tense. Jon Seagull reviews.

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Recess Monkey's "Wired" video

[Video Link] I love this power-pop ditty from Recess Monkey. It's called "Wired," which is also the name of their new album.

Inspired by the breathtaking creativity and inventiveness of today’s DIY kids, kindie music icon Recess Monkey celebrates maker culture with the band’s eleventh studio recording, Wired, which will be released on June 17.

Wired, a collection of super-eclectic “gadget rock” songs about inventions, machines, and electricity, also highlights the richness of life beyond batteries: Grandpa’s wisdom, board games, singing with others, storytelling, and the fine art of duct tape.

Says Recess Monkey’s Drew Holloway, “Wired is all about design-thinking and innovation. We live in a ‘wired world’ with so much at our fingertips, yet it’s easy to lose touch … but not on this record!”

How to make squash soup [a recipe for kids]

squash-soup
(click image to embiggen) This wonderfully cute yet sophisticated cookbook for children reminds me of when I took my picky 3-year-old to Paris. She lived on bread and butter for a week while I noticed with astonishment that the French children ate whatever exotic dish was put in front of them. American “kid menus” of white mac and cheese and white buttery pasta trains children to fear food that has any real taste or texture to it. The antidote to this is Big Meals for Little Hands, filled with recipes created by French Michelin chef Sébastien Guénard. The book, which has a slick waterproof cover, is divided into seasons, offering dishes such as cold cucumber soup in the summer, a mushroom omelette in the fall, banana fondue in the winter, and deviled eggs in the spring. While these recipes would work beautifully at any adult party, they are also simple, fun, slightly exotic, and will expand your child’s palate beyond chicken nuggets and cheese pizza. (See more pages from this book at Wink.)

Apps for Kids 056: Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island is a board game (and iOS game) where you and the other players work together to collect treasure from a rapidly sinking island.

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12-hour Brady Bunch "Alice" marathon airs Saturday

TV Land's “Celebrate Alice” marathon airs Saturday, June 7th, 6am-6pm ET/PT.

aliceJoin TV Land this Saturday, June 7th, in celebrating Ann B. Davis, who played lovable housekeeper and friend Alice on “The Brady Bunch.” Alice was an essential member of the Brady home -- shown by the fact that she was the center square in the title sequence!

The marathon features some of the most memorable moments with Alice and the Brady family – like when the house turns chaotic after Alice sprains her ankle; the time Alice decides to leave and the kids try to win her back; and when Alice’s cousin Emma (played by Davis) fills in while Alice is on vacation and ends up driving the Bradys insane! There’s no question that Alice is one of the most devoted and beloved housekeepers in TV Land.

What to expect when you make things with your kids


Lisa Butterworth of Etsy interviewed me about my new book, Maker Dad.

As a dad who’s done these projects with your daughters, what would you tell other dads about what they might get out of making things with their kids based on your own experience?

One thing I think they’ll get is patience. It’s going to take a lot longer to do a project than if you just take over and do it yourself. You have to hand the tools over to the kids and realize that they’re going to make cuts that aren’t straight, drill holes in the wrong places, be sloppier with the paint than you might be, but that’s just part of learning. You’re also going to learn that they want to try, they have their own ideas about how things should look that might not match yours. But that’s a good thing, I think, and it’s going to also teach kids compromise and bargaining. You get the whole operation.

What are diodes? [video]

[Video Link] Amanda Wozniak hosts the latest Circuit Playground video, which is about the diode, a common and useful electronic component.

The videos are based on the A-Z coloring book that Adafruit Industries published last year. So far, they've released 3 episodes: A is for Ampere, B is for Battery, and the latest, C is for Capacitor.

Maker Dad's projects for kids and parents

[Video Link] Here are a few of the 24 projects in my brand new book, Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects.

Moonlight Corn-Hole

The city of Cincinnati has brought the world a remarkable collection of wonders. Carmen Electra. Cincinnati chili. Jerry Springer. The Filet O’ Fish sandwich. And perhaps most notably, the game called Corn-Hole. William Gurstelle shows you how to do it in the dark.

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