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As the weather warms up, it’s time to start thinking about what snacks to stock up on for all your outdoor activities and travels!  Most of these easy do-it-yourself snacks contain inexpensive ingredients that are sitting in the pantry at home.  Straight from our Pinterest foodie board, these snacks are also easy to adjust for picky eaters and those with food allergens.  Whether you’re a cooking novice, kitchen master, or will be having little ones help you, these recipes are sure to please.  So chefs, to your stations!

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April 03, 2017
Rachael Rufino

6 Fidget Toys for the Person Fidgeting as They Read This

Kids And Creativity, Creativity, Learning Through Play, Brainteasers

They’re everywhere.  Fidget toys are trending, but why?  Studies have shown that these self-regulation tools help people of all ages reduce restlessness, stress and improve focus.  By directing antsy behaviors toward a device, a person is less likely to disrupt the classroom or workplace to relieve their anxiety.  Despite recent toy demands, fidgeting itself isn’t a new concept; common fidgeting behaviors include finger tapping, knuckle cracking, hair twirling and pencil chewing.  Those outlets for restlessness though may soon be a thing of the past.

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February 11, 2017
Rachael Rufino

5 Education Trends Your Child Wants to be a Part of

Music Education, Kids And Creativity, Creativity, STEM Education / Play, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

Education methods have always aimed to ensure future generations are fully prepared to contribute to the working force as adults.  But what about preparing children to also function as social members of society?  More recent approaches to education are now focusing on developing wholesome, happy children with the ability to develop healthy relationships and persevere through the trails of life.

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January 09, 2017
Rachael Rufino

3 Easy Enrichment Methods to Start Now

Kids And Creativity, Creativity, Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

It’s difficult thinking up new ways to keep children interested, stimulated and occupied day-to-day.  In fact, the same can be said for all cognitive beings.  Preventing boredom in children, adults and even animals can reduce stereotypic behaviors (such as nail-biting, hair-twirling and pacing) and have profoundly positive effects on their quality of life.  By introducing new stimuli, you are providing a person or pet with an interesting, and sometimes challenging distraction. 

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December 17, 2016
Rachael Rufino

Do These Optical Illusions Have You Fooled?

Creativity, Learning Through Play, STEM, Brainteasers, STEAM

 

Can you see the hidden 3D image in the stereogram above?  Continue reading and the answer will be revealed…

Optical illusions help us understand how we perceive the world around us and why.  Sometimes what we believe we are seeing, isn’t reality.  Why does this happen?  Our brain works to interpret everything we see, and sometimes shadows, lighting, shapes and other factors mislead that interpretation.

Stereograms

Our depth perception is challenged with stereograms.  Finding 3D shapes within a 2-demensional image isn’t easy, but by staring at a repeating pattern in wallpaper, the brain is tricked into matching pairs of them to perceive a virtual plane behind it.  This virtual plane is where the hidden image lies.  This was discovered by Dr. Bela Julesz in 1959, which helped change the belief by most vision scientists at the time that depth perception solely occurs in the eye.  It is now known that depth perception is a neurological process that occurs in the brain. 

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May 30, 2016
Alana Hackes

How Games Can Increase Empathy

Creativity, STEM, STEAM

I love my brother, Patrick. Of all my siblings, he and I are the closest in age and have the closest connection. Our relationship wasn’t always as strong as it is now and a lot of that had to do with the fact that my brother has Asperger’s syndrome. Autism Speaks, an Autism advocacy group, defines Asperger’s syndrome as a type of Autism that is “considered to be on the ‘high functioning’ end of the spectrum” and those diagnosed with Asperger’s experience “challenges with nonverbal communication, tendency to discuss self rather than others” and the “inability to understand social/emotional issues or nonliteral phrases.” Although my brother has had difficulty making friends in the past, he’s made great strides in connecting with people since he began gaming competitively.

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February 26, 2016
MacKenzie Masten

Why Yoga is Important in a Child's Life

Creativity, Learning Through Play

Yoga has been popping up everywhere in our world. Thanks to celebrity Instagrams, iPhone apps, and local studios, yoga has become something we see on a daily basis.

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