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Go The F*ck To Sleep Or Flunk Spatial Ability

July 12, 2013

Kids Creating Their Own Video Games

Aaron Guadette - Crystal Physics STEM Video Game Challenge Winner

Temple professor Jordan Shapiro writes in Medium about what his 8-year-old experienced at video game creation summer camp, making a powerful argument for how designing play helps kids develop higher-order thinking. He also summarizes the landscape of products and organizations that encourage this kind of experience. Check out online game creation service Gamestar Mechanic and see who won the 2013 National STEM Video Game Challenge.

Education technology experts EdSurge compiled an excellent review of 40 products that help kids learn to code

Secret Tip To Make Kids Eat Healthy: Explain Nutrition

Stanford researchers have found that young children are capable of understanding a conceptual approach to nutrition. They used nutrition storybooks that doubled voluntary consumption of vegetables. "What sets our materials apart from other approaches is the care we took to explain to children why their body needs different kinds of healthy food. We did not train children to eat more vegetables specifically." No word yet on how well this approach competes with pretending your kids are giants gobbling up "trees" of broccoli.

The Atlantic's Lindsay Abrams reports that children struggling with obesity respond best when emphasis is placed on healthy diet instead of their body shape.

Go The F*ck To Sleep Or Flunk Spatial Ability

Kids with irregular bedtimes on school nights at ages 3,5, and 7 underperformed in reading, math, and spatial ability tests taken at age 7, according to a study by University College London widely reported this week. The study shows correlation but not causation, perhaps not adding much to the already established facts about the importance of sleep in kids' mental and emotional functioning. See Po Bronson's "Snooze Or Loose" in New York Magazine for a great overview of children's sleep research.

Diapers in Med School: The Quantified Kid Movement

Digital Diapers If you were concerned that your toddler might be left out of the wearable computing megatrend, you can rest easy. You'll soon be able to get digital diapers that analyze for dehydration, infection, kidney problems, and other health issues.

Let me get this straight: Diapers acquire intelligence and suddenly they're in medical school? What about basic cognitive tasks like calling for backup when someone's just crapped all over you?

Need inspiration on how to apply quantified self principles to parenting, see "I Measure Every Single Thing My Child Does" by Slate's Amy Webb: To you, our data tracking might seem obsessive, ostentatious, or just plain weird. Let me offer some perspective. Our data tracking - and we're still doing it, years later - is how we pay deep, sincere attention to our child. And I have tangible proof that it's working.

Baby Don't Go Wireless Just Yet

The NY Times' Catherine Saint Louis covers new research that endorses delaying the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord.

Chores? There's an App For That Too

WSJ's Sue Shellenbarger reports on a new app that gamifies household chores. Full disclosure: I definitely haven't tried this game out of concern that I, not the kids, am the actual intended user.

Children's Books Exhibit at New York Public Library

ABC of It Exhibit

You have until next March to step into Where The Wild Things Are, the 1727 New England Primer, Goodnight Moon and the universe of children's books on display in the ABC Of It Exhibit at the New York Public Library.