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Today’s Fab Five Findings is focused on technology activities for children. Some are activities I’ve used with the girls or on my own. One aspect of my educational background is in Computer Science so I am always trying to integrate technology from a programming perspective into the girls’ lives. (I would love them to be programmers but at least they know what mommy use to do).
So you ask what is Geocaching? As taken from their site — “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” I personally had heard of geocaching before, but had not ever done one till this year. The girls love using the application to help hunt for the missing treasure.
Lego Robotics EV3 – I had the pleasure of interacting with Lego’s educational robot while working at a STEM camp earlier this summer. My oldest (Big) has been involved with her schools’ robotics team so I had seen one but never gotten to experience it. You do not have to be involved with a team or a camp to use one — you can buy them at a toy store. I just like the educational aspect for you have mini-challenges that you program the robot to fulfill. The programming language is a graphical user interface so children do not have to know how “code” but get a fill for it. I will say to be sure your child is into robots before making an investment in the robot. You can read about the educational platform here.
Crunchzilla’s Code Monster – The youngsters will love working with the code monster. He provides mini-lessons on programming where the code is written for you and the monster guides you on making modifications to understand what is being done. I like how you can go at your own pace and save your spot as you go. Me and the Little have started going through the lessons and she seems to have fun selecting values for the code. Try it out for yourself (yes it is beneficial for all ages) has lessons that can work through at any time (says saves spot as you go)
Scratch – I consider this MIT designed interactive programming application better suited for your ‘tweens (10-12) and teens (13-16). The application is completely free but I advise establishing a login/pwd so that your child can save their work. The site has tutorials to review so the user understands how to use the application to program animations, games, and interactive stories. Big has been working on it for a few weeks now and is programming a game. For the most part she has been using it on her own — she did sake me some questions when she first started using it. Learn more about the application and setup your child’s account here.
Computer Science Unplugged – Computer science doesn’t always have to be on a computer. The site provides activities that teach children computer science through engaging activities. As I was looking through the site and their free guidebook I wished there was something like this for me as a child! Review the site and their resources (i.e., videos, activities, book).
Take time to comment on these activities below, and use the share icons to pass along to others!