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There are many articles that give dire predictions about how much learning kids lose over the summer months. There are others that claim these statistics are exaggerated. A quick Google search turns up a multitude of articles with lots of common sense ideas like joining library summer reading programs and educational camps or limiting screen time. No matter what, it is probably safe to say that keeping kids brains engaged over the summer can be beneficial. But summer should be FUN! So how can we gamify learning activities to keep young minds active while they have a good time? What follows are some fun logic activities parents can take with them on the go. The materials are simple: toothpicks and coins. It's easy to throw a roll of coins or some round game tokens and a box of toothpicks in a beach bag or “car kit.” You can play these games while waiting at restaurants or with a little “lap desk” in the car. Included below are some numbered photographs of puzzles which I hope you and your kiddos will enjoy. Numbered solutions are shown at the end of the article.

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June 06, 2019
Annabelle Short

How to Improve a Child's Concentration During Homework Time

Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM

“Stop fidgeting and finish your homework.”

This is a statement that we may have repeated a dozen times when our kids are doing their homework. Kids are fun-loving, they talk a lot, are exuberant, curious and very energetic. Granted, it becomes challenging to get them to settle when they are studying.

Children have short concentration spans, and with the advent of technological devices, their concentration has been significantly reduced. When the task at hand is not fun, children get bored and shift their attention to more exciting activities. However, there are several techniques you can apply to improve their concentration.

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May 30, 2019
Alana Ripy

Top 5 Sci-Fi Board Games

STEM Education / Play, STEM

Tired of the same old board games? Are you looking for an exciting board game that pushes the boundaries between reality and fiction? The world of Sci-Fi, otherwise known as science fiction, can provide just that. Sci-fi board games transfer us to another world and can be fun for everyone! For those that are on the hunt for the next best sci-fi board game, look no further. Here are the top 5 sci-fi board games!

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May 23, 2019
Dimitra Neonakis

Cool Classroom Activity: Strawberries and DNA

Creativity, Learning at Home, STEM

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is responsible for containing hereditary materials for human and almost all other organisms. Although this isn’t a groundbreaking concept in the year 2019, it was groundbreaking back in the early 1950’s. Rosalind Franklin was an X-ray crytallographer and was the first person to image the DNA molecule. Her photo gave Watson and Crick evidence for the structure of DNA. Sadly, she died before the Nobel prize was awarded. Often at this time in history, women were not recognized for their contributions to science. Fortunately, due to the perseverance of strong, smart women in many fields and a changing culture, this is changing. More and more women make contributions to STEM fields and the women of the past are coming to light and gaining recognition and credit for their accomplishments.

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May 09, 2019
Michelle Parrinello-Cason

Gamification: What It Is and How It Really Works

Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM

Gamification is a buzzword that you’ve probably heard a lot lately. It’s become a popular method for increasing the enjoyment and interactivity of learning and shaping behavior in many different environments. We’re seeing it pop up in schools, businesses, and our personal lives. With so much focus on gamifying our activities, it’s worthwhile to take a step back and see what it is and how it really works.

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May 02, 2019
Athena Baker

The Fun in Learning to Code Through Coding Games

STEM Education / Play, Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM

From the time that I first learned Python during Sophomore year of college until today, learning how to code has always been a struggle. Prior to learning Python, I wasn’t the most technical person on the planet; I didn’t like that my coding classes consisted of boring drills, overly wordy textbooks, and meaningless coding projects that took up a HUGE chunk of my time.

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March 07, 2019
Kristin Crouch

Libraries: Not Just for Bookworms

Learning at Home, STEM, STEAM

Having a birthday party for your child? The library can help with that.

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