Kiddie Cocktails: hooch free drink recipes in a beautiful book

Without question, cocktails are the most fun and playful type of drinks on the menu, with their vibrant colors, toy-like swizzle sticks, plastic straws, paper toothpick umbrellas, swords of stacked fruit, and the exotic-shaped glasses that contain the concoctions. And yet – the cruel irony of it all – cocktails are off limits to children!

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Unbored – A zillion ways for kids to keep busy and engage with life

I’m always amazed when one of my daughter’s friends comes to me and says she’s bored. As if I’m supposed to put on a pair of tap shoes and dance a jig for her. My daughter knows better than to say the B-word, but I can always tell when she’s at a loss for something to do by the way she lies limply across the arm of the couch, her head dangling towards the floor, her voice depleted of emotion. Next time this happens I will suggest Unbored (which, when she picked it up for the first time yesterday, didn’t put it down for almost an hour).

A collection of inspiring activities, projects, and articles on freeing up your creativity (by the authors as well as many other DIY experts, including an introduction by my husband Mark), Unbored offers a zillion ways to keep busy, stay engaged, and connect with the outside world. Start a band, make a zine, teach “your grown-ups” how to geocache, trick your friends into saving the planet, tell your politicians what you think, build a backyard fort, make a pet robot controller… The book is fun, instructional, edgy (create different colors of fire, take an adventurous gap year between high school and college, spray paint your bedroom walls, read banned books), and has insightful lessons on how to engage with life rather than allowing life to pass by like a boring television commercial. And as a parent, it’s nice to be reminded not to fall into the trap of smothering helicopter parenting, passive parenting (screens!), over-scheduled parenting, and all the other pitfalls of modern life that turn our kids into lethargic, helpless, unthinking slugs. Unbored belongs in every kid’s – and parent’s – library.

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Geometry Dash: jump, fly and flip your way through dangerous passages

This episode of Apps for Kids is brought to you by Shoparoo – start earning for your school today.

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How to Be a Math Genius - Illustrated examples to show your kid the power, beauty, and joy of math

I enjoyed learning about statistics, probability, zero, infinity, number sequences, and more in this heavily illustrated kids’ book called How to Be a Math Genius, by Mike Goldsmith. But would my 11-year daughter like it as much? I handed it to her after school and she become absorbed in it until called for dinner. She took it to the dinner table and read it while we ate. The next day, she asked for the book so she could finish it. Loaded with fun exercises (like cutting a hole through a sheet of paper so you can walk through it), How to Be a Math Genius will show kids (and adults) that math is often complicated, but doesn’t need to be boring. (This book is part of DK Children’s How to Be a Genius series. See my review of How to Be a Genius.)

See sample interior pages at Wink.

Giant Bubbles - let me show you how to make them

Jane and I made this tutorial to show you how to easily make Giant Bubbles. We're going to run a free live video workshop with a dozen other fun grown-up-and-kid projects on August 4 and 5. You can RSVP for the workshop at CreativeLive. (If you live in the SF bay area and want to be an in-studio participant, apply here.)

Make your weekends more awesome with activities you and your kids can get their hands on. Join Make Magazine 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.

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Make a PiGRRL - Raspberry Pi Gameboy

From our friends at adafruit: "Celebrate the 20th anniversary of that classic gaming device by building your own with 3D printing and DIY electronics from adafruit. The 3D printed enclosure (files here) will house all the components and you can print it in your favorite color. Find out how to assemble and program this project by checking out the guide on the adafruit learning system.

A better version of Werewolf

The original game of Werewolf, also known as Mafia, is a party game of bluffing, paranoia, and wild accusations invented (appropriately enough) in Soviet Russia in the 1980s. It pits a small number of Werewolves (who know each others’ identities) against a larger group of Villagers who have no information; the Werewolves select a Villager to kill each “night” (while everyone’s eyes are closed), and the entire group votes on a player to lynch as a werewolf each “day” until one team or the other prevails. Jon Seagull reviews a much-improved version.

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

mark-jane

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!”