U.S. is investigating claims that TikTok violated children's privacy

The FTC and the Justice Department are investigating claims that TikTok, the popular social media app with close ties to China, violated a 2019 agreement to protect children's privacy. Read the rest

Unbelievably talented 5-year-old drummer wows band with a solo

This kid is incredible. Read the rest

Watch this baby laugh while eating an ice cream cone for the first time

Pure happiness. Read the rest

Colt Clark and the Quarantine Kids play "Come Together"

A family in lockdown performs the Beatles' "Come Together." Read the rest

If you are stuck with little kids in the house, show them this magic trick

It's not too difficult for anyone over the age of six or seven to figure out this magic trick, in which a nickel seemingly passes through the cardboard of a matchbox. But show it to a kid and let them have fun trying to learn how it works.

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Zombie Dice expansion pack improves this quick press-your-luck game

My family and I have been playing more games lately, and one of our favories is Zombie Dice, a "press your luck" game in which you play a zombie who wants to eat as many human brains as possible without getting shot in the head. We also have the expansion pack, called Zombie Dice 2 Double Feature, which adds good complexity to the game.

You can add any one, any two, or all three dice to the game. The hunk dice adds greater risk and reward possibilities with the addition of a double-brain face and a double-shotgun blast face. The hottie evades capture more easily. Santa has three gifts: a double brain, an energy drink, and a football helmet that allows you to survive an extra shotgun blast to the head. These dice are a great addition to the game - we always include them whenever we play. Read the rest

Happiness and fitness come from my DIY-Peloton: the 2020 update

A few years ago I decided to piece together my own Peloton-compatible stationary bike, it has been a fantastic investment in me. Building your own is easy and significantly cheaper than buying the bike Peloton sells!

Ironically placed in a window overlooking the Pacific for its first few years of service, my Sunny Bike was in storage for the last 12 months and I ached to get it back. When I packed my life into storage last April I thought I would be living in a new home by the end of summer, and haphazardly packed stuff into boxes as labeled by a madman. I did not take my cycling shoes, shorts, heart-rate monitor with me.

Of the 11,000lbs of crap I had in storage, I spent a year missing 3 cardigans, my espresso machine, and the fakey-Peloton. I was thrilled when I saw the movers haul it out of the truck and bring it into my home. It took three days to find the espresso machine.

In the months before going into storage, my physical therapist told me I had to stop riding the Sunny Bike as often as I had been. I was riding 5-6x a week and he suggested some of my back problems might be alleviated by riding less and doing more core building strength exercises. I find that riding the bike not only helped me burn calories, and maintain a better level of cardio fitness than I had in years, it was a huge emotional release, and frequently as I pedaled my heart out, I would just start to laugh or cry. Read the rest

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 then-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. Now my daughter is 16 and she devours math books. I'm not sure this is the book that kicked off her interest in math, but I'm sure it didn't hurt! Read the rest

Now, more than ever, it's time to use cat hair for crafting

We bought Crafting With Cat Hair in 2013 when my daughter was 10. She started brushing our three cats and saving their hair in a plastic bag. Her first cat hair project was this little cat. If you aren't allergic to cats, why not take a break from Netflix and crossword puzzles and make something from your cats fur? Read the rest

Chocolate Fix: a favorite puzzle game

The puzzle game Chocolate Fix has been a family favorite around our house for years.

How To Train Your Robot, a free kids book by an engineer and his 10-year-old daughter

My buddy Ken Goldberg, a UC Berkeley professor of robotics, his 10-year-old daughter Blooma, and science communicator Ashley Chase wrote a delightful children's book called How to Train Your Robot! Illustrated by Dave Clegg, the story, about a fourth grade robotics club, is a fun and understandable introduction to how deep learning can help robots gain new skills in the messy, unstructured human world.

Thanks to support from the National Science Foundation and UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, How to Train Your Robot is available as a free PDF online and student groups can request free hardcopies!

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Dad transforms cat-carrier into pod to protect baby from coronavirus, design inspired by 'Death Stranding' game

This dad in China created a 'baby pod' suit to protect his child from coronavirus. His ingenious DIY design was reportedly based on the action game "Death Stranding." Read the rest

NBA star presents stellar example of "How to support your LGBTQ+ child"

In an interview with Ellen Degeneres, NBA player Dwyane Wade discussed how he and his wife support and empower their teenaged child Zaya.

[YouTube] Read the rest

A fun simple card trick from The Curiosity Show

I'm glad I subscribed to The Curiosity Show on YouTube. It features segments for 1990s Australian TV for young people, and is full of DIY science demonstrations, brain teasers, tricks, and optical illusions. In this clip, the hosts demonstrate a fun card trick you can make at home.

By the way, if making trick cards interests you, I wrote a book about it a few years ago, called Trick Decks.

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Dog: 'Human, no stop skritches.'

Why you stop. No stop skritchy.

How to build a button box for a toddler

The creator of the CodeParade video channel made an interactive pushbutton busyboard for his toddler.  He bought a bunch of knobs and switches, wired them to an Arduino, LEDs and beepers, and put them in a craft box. It has a simple mode, in which pushing a button triggers a sound or light, and an advanced mode, which includes a Simon game. It looks like something people of all ages would enjoy playing with. Read the rest

Awestruck babies going through a car wash for the first time

Hold on to your cute little butts there, babies, we're about to go through an automated mechanical car wash. Read the rest

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