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In November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday that began as a celebration of the autumn Harvest. The first Thanksgiving was marked by the gathering of English Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians, who feasted for three days on dishes of venison, mussels, and roast corn (not what you would think of as a “traditional Thanksgiving meal, huh?). November is a month dedicated to giving thanks, but it’s also National Native American Heritage Month. In honor of the people who lived in America thousands of years before Columbus set sail, we’re taking a look at activities you can do to learn more about Native American culture!

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November 14, 2016
Kacey Templin

The Milestone Series: Emotions

Creativity, STEM, STEAM

In this series, we're taking a look at 3 different aspects of a child's development - emotions, literacy, and reasoning. Each article will highlight critical milestones in a child's life and how you can encourage your child to achieve these goals. 

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November 12, 2016
Kacey Templin

Fall Learning Series Part 8: Science Career Experiments

Kids And Creativity, STEM

It’s career Saturday on ThinkFun’s Fall Learning Series! This time around, we look at four intriguing science-based careers your child might be interested in pursuing. Why not ignite that passion early with a little weekend experimentation? In this post, we’ll learn a little more about careers in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

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November 07, 2016
Rachael Rufino

Is Peer Tutoring Right for Your Child?

STEM, STEAM

Becoming proficient in an array of subjects can be difficult and oftentimes students need additional help.  Office hours with teachers has been the standard method for students to get one-on-one attention, however, many schools have found that peer tutoring is an effective alternative.  Research on peer tutoring has been vast, covering many different methods.  Despite a diverse range of studies, the results of nearly each one has been the same: peer tutoring across all academic levels improves students’ studies, motivation, confidence and increases their sense of belonging.  Likewise, the tutors themselves experience similar benefits.  In cases where peer tutoring programs were not managed effectively, studies were not able to measure any benefits.  It is important to understand the pros and cons of this study method before deciding, “Is peer tutoring the right program for my child?

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November 05, 2016
Kacey Templin

Fall Learning Series Part 7: Leonardo Da Vinci

Creativity, STEM, STEAM

Have you ever heard someone described as a “Renaissance man?" The term is slang for someone who has a broad range of interests and skills. This comes from a Humanist philosophy that began in Renaissance-era Italy, where the core tenet was that man was limitless in his capabilities. All knowledge was meant to be embraced, and all human capability was to be developed as fully as possible. One of the greatest examples of a true Renaissance man is Leonardo Da Vinci, an inventor, painter, architect, scientist, and writer (among other things). Da Vinci is widely considered to be the most diversely talented person that ever lived, and his works helped to shape what we understand as the Renaissance today.

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October 31, 2016
Kacey Templin

Terrors, Treats, and Trepidation: Halloween and the Science of Fear

Kids And Creativity, STEM, STEAM

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and each year I spend a considerable amount of time decorating my office to get in the spirit. Halloween at ThinkFun is serious business and when October 1st rolls around, the decorations are out in full force. This year I styled my office like a haunted mansion: hanging cobwebs, flickering floating candles, and dozens of eerie Victorian-era portraits. As much as I love this holiday, I despise any part of it that’s truly scary. I just don’t “do” scary Halloween. While several of my coworkers would agree, many feel that this is the perfect time to seek out terrifying experiences. Why does this holiday make us so fearful? Why do so many Americans get a kick out of being afraid? And what goes on in your mind when you become frightened? The answers are pretty fascinating.  

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October 29, 2016
Sophie Miller

Fall Learning Series Part 6: Household Chemistry

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

As recently as the 17th century, there was a branch of science called alchemy, which resembled magic more than it did science.  The focus of alchemy was primarily on transformation, such as the many famous attempts to turn lead into gold.  Alchemists believed that these transformations would lead to immortality and the purification of the human soul, making alchemy a religious and spiritual study.  While the practice of alchemy is uncommon today, this branch of investigative reasoning has evolved into one of the most widely-explored scientific studies in the world: chemistry.

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