Playtime!

it’s all fun and games until somebody learns something

How to make your child an Action Movie Kid

If you happen to be one of those parents who is also a totally talented, movie-making special effects whiz, you can create some truly extraordinary experiences for your child.

Here’s what we’re talking about, courtesy of DreamWorks animator Daniel Hashimoto and his three-year-old son James:

As amazingly fun as those “Action Movie Kid” videos are, you’ll be happy to know that you can give your little super hero some equally mind-blowing memories – even if you have no CGI skills whatsoever.

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Playtime! Activity: Add ‘Em Up

So your little ones want to play a board game, but you’d rather not expose them to the high fructose corn syrup fantasy world perpetuated by Candy Land, or to Trouble’s sexually suggestive “Pop-O-Matic” bubble? We’ve all been there.

Thankfully, here’s a game you can let your kids play that will keep their souls innocent – yet give their math skills some serious experience.

Add 'Em Up Game
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Playtime! Activity: Block Party

Tired of your kid’s same old “build a tower, then immediately knock the tower down” routine? Add this simple twist to your usual block-stacking activity, and it becomes fresh, fun and educational, too!

Who It’s For: Kids ages 1–5
What They’ll Learn: Counting skills, motor skills, measurement, comparison, how gravity works
What You Need: Whatever kinds of blocks you have handy – Legos, Duplos, those cardboard ones that look like bricks, or some straight-out-the-old-school wooden ones

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Playtime! Activity: Play With Your Food

Who It’s For: Kids ages 1 to 5 years
What They’ll Learn: Motor skills, shape recognition, color comprehension, number knowledge, letter knowledge, pattern recognition
What You Need: Fishy crackers, fruit snacks (or any other fun, bite-sized foods you can play with)

Think snacks are only good for helping your children avoid starvation in between meals? Think again. Here are six ways you can use a handful of fishy crackers to totally school your kids.

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Playtime! Activity: C&C Musing Factory

Who It’s For: Kids of all ages
What They’ll Learn: Language skills
What You Need: Toys that are similar in some ways, and different in others

Want to know an easy way to help your baby start learning lots of words during playtime (without her even realizing it’s happening)? Then just keep a couple of “C” words in mind:

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