Playtime!

it’s all fun and games until somebody learns something

think inside the box experiment

Read a free chapter from ‘Think Like a Baby’

think like a baby book cover ankowski

It’s The Dad’s birthday! And since we’re in a celebratory mood, we’re giving all of our readers a gift: a free excerpt from our very own highly rated parenting book, Think Like a Baby: 33 Simple Research Experiments You Can Do at Home to Better Understand Your Child’s Developing Mind.

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Why ‘The BFG’ movie should be a BFD for your family – UPDATED!

This article was originally posted more than two years ago, on May 16, 2014 – as our family was just beginning to anticipate Steven Spielberg’s The BFG movie. Now that it’s finally out (and we’ve finally seen it), we’re back to tell you what we thought. Read the whole post below, or skip ahead to our update!


Did you hear the news that Steven Spielberg is slated to make a new movie adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book The BFG? We did, and we are super excited about it.

"Go ahead, little girl. I'm all ears." - The BFG
Go ahead, little girl. I’m all ears.

The BFG is a delightfully adventurous story about a Big Friendly Giant with bad grammar and an interesting hobby of collecting dreams who befriends and adopts a little orphan girl. We read the book as a family several months ago, and we all loved it. Then we saw the whacked-out, old-school, basically-unwatchable-after-you’ve-been-spoiled-by-anything-from-Pixar 1989 cartoon version of the movie – and were collectively disappointed.

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Playtime! Activity: Riddle me this

riddles1

Remember trying to solve riddles back when you were a kid? No, not the riddle of how to tease your bangs taller than Lisa Turtle’s or how to do that two-man Kid N’ Play dance without falling flat on your face.

We’re talking about those brain-bending word puzzles that force you think about a problem from more than one angle – and sometimes for more than one day – until eventually, enlighteningly, you finally figure them out.

Now that you’re a parent, you can get a whole new perspective on riddles. Because riddles are not only amusing mental games – they’re also a great way to get into your kid’s head!

Who It’s For: Kids ages 3 and up

What They’ll Learn: Problem solving, flexible thinking, how to be playful with language

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Playtime! Activity: Gettin’ Jokey With It

Orange you glad we included this picture?
Orange you glad we included this picture?

Think helping your child learn something always has to be serious business? A priest, a duck and a sandwich walking into a bar would totally disagree. Try this awesomely addictive activity with your family, and your kids will be cracking wise – and getting wise – before you know it!

Who It’s For: Kids ages 4 and up (plus their younger siblings, if they’re into it like ours)

What They’ll Learn: Language, memory, creativity

What You Need: A sense of humor, or if you don’t have that, a book of kids’ jokes that you found for like five bucks in that weird “gift items” aisle nobody ever goes down at the grocery store

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Playtime! Activity: Funny Faces

Think you always need flashcards, calculators and textbooks to teach stuff to your kid? Think again. As this fun activity shows you, all you really need are your faces!

funnyfaces

Who It’s For: Kids of all ages

What They’ll Learn: Empathy, social skills, acting chops

What You Need: You and your kid, the ability to move your facial muscles

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Playtime! Activity: “Ice, Ice, Baby” science experiment

Vanilla Ice was king of the suburban rap scene for a good three or four months back in middle school. But if you want to help your kids become fans of science for a lot longer than that, just get them to stop, collaborate and listen to this totally fun experiment!

iceicebaby experiment

Who It’s For: Kids ages 3 and up

What They’ll Learn: The scientific method, states of matter, why they should listen to you when you tell them not to leave the freezer wide open for no good reason

What You Need: Three bowls, three ice cubes, a refrigerator

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