September 18th, 2015 | Posted in Bold Brilliant Beautiful You, It's a Process

do you journal?

Earlier this year, I was in a rough state. I’m in a better place now, so I thought I’d share some things that helped in case they may help you. This is not to replace therapy or medication or say I’m in any way an expert in anything. This is a I’m down here in the mud thing. I’m inspired by my friends who gave me the gift of their experiences when I needed it most, so I want to pay that forward.
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Art School | The Story of My Life

September 14th, 2015 | Posted in Art School, Creativity, Family Ties, Ideas and Inspiration, Kids DIY, Parenting

Love this project that lets kids tell the story of their lives

Time is such a funny thing for kids to wrap their heads around. As kids get older they learn about sequencing and chronology. The elementary school years offer wonderful opportunities for this idea to be reinforced. What happens first, next, and last? Today, we have a fun timeline project that helps kids look back at their life and put events in order.

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The “S” Word

August 31st, 2015 | Posted in Features, Parenting, The Tween Years

talking to kids about sex
*Quick heads up: This post is about sex. Read at your own level of comfort.

I was 11 years old when George Michael told everyone he wanted our sex. I remember it clearly. As soon as George’s first note hit our car’s antenna, my mom turned the station. She was lighting fast. I still marvel at her reaction time. How did she know? But even with deft censoring, my curiosity was piqued. I had already heard the song somewhere—either at a friend’s or on the bus or anywhere pop music was played—so I wondered why my mom turned the station so fast. Why didn’t she want me to hear about wanting someone’s sex? And what was sex anyhow?

Experts agree we should start talking to our kids about sex at younger ages than we think. But how young are we talking here? My husband and I were forced to have the talk when our daughter heard from a kid on the bus how babies were made. “He said it’s when the mom and dad rub their private parts together.” She was in first grade. I know, some of you are feeling very uncomfortable right now. Continue Reading...

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Quite Possibly The Cutest Socks Ever

August 28th, 2015 | Posted in Features

These socks are the cutest things ever

Ahhh! How cute are these socks? They’re called Pals Socks and they’re intentionally mismatched friends. Think dragon and unicorn, t-rex and triceratops, space robots and earth robots. I think the whole concept is fantastic and fun. I even love their hashtag #defeetthenorm.

Since I love these socks so much that I thought you’d love them too, I asked Pals Socks if they’d offer you guys a discount. They said, “Heck yeah!” So they’re offering Classic Play readers 20% off their purchase using coupon code “classicplay” at checkout. Happy back-to-school shopping!

ps. they have adult sizes too.

love these socks for the kids!

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The Tween Years | Easing Back to School Anxiety

August 19th, 2015 | Posted in The Tween Years

tips for easing back to school anxiety

As our tweens begin a new school year, many of them are a ball of emotions ranging from excitement to anxiety to terror! Here are some tips that can help ease your tween’s back to school anxiety—whether they are starting a new school or a new grade. Continue Reading...

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Play With Your Food! Tangram Puzzle Sandwich

August 5th, 2015 | Posted in Features, Play + Learn

these tangram sandwiches are a fun twist on the classic puzzles

This is my 48th Adventures in Learning post! For this one I adapted a project from a great book about math. It’s a classic twist on tangram puzzles. I love it because it’s creative, whimsical, and dead simple. Plus, it helps challenge kids to think about things differently—geometry is all around us; a sandwich can become art; some rules should be challenged (e.g., a sandwich doesn’t always have to come in halves).

Click here for the full post!

ps. I’ve been working with PBS Parents for nearly two years now. Time has flown and I’ve learned some surprising things. First, I write a lot about math. I was not an exceptional math student in school. I didn’t love it. It stressed me out. I’m sure that’s why I try so hard now to think of ways math would have appealed more to me as a kid. Second, the general public is way harsher than I give them credit for. Like, Whoaaaaa, settle down now people and step away from keyboard. Third, I’m a seriously lucky blogger.

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Girls and Science

July 22nd, 2015 | Posted in Science Fun

sally ride

I was recently asked by Green Works to share a story for their #NaturalPotential campaign. You can learn more about their campaign by watching this video. This is my story…

I tried to hide my geekiness throughout most of my grade school years. I don’t know how it happened, but somewhere along the way, I picked up that being smart or passionate wasn’t cool. I mean it was if you were a girl at the tippy top of the class, but for someone like me who was a solidly B/B+ student? Not so much.

I only remember two teachers from seventh grade; both were passionate: Ms. Herrera and Mr. Bell. Mr. Bell taught social studies, sang in a barbershop quartet and spent an entire class period explaining why he was voting for Dukakis. He also imparted wisdom on the usage of extension cords. “Always plug in from the AV equipment to the wall. Always unplug from the wall to the AV equipment.” Mr. Bell’s handlebar mustache was disconcerting, but I respected the man. Continue Reading...

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Tween Style + HP Sprout = Design Your Own Teeshirt

July 8th, 2015 | Posted in The Tween Years

This post is sponsored by Sprout® by HP

The thing I notice about having tweens is that their sense of individuality kicks into high gear. It’s pretty incredible to watch. It also brings back strong memories (e.g., peg-leg rolls, big bangs, and a regrettable pair of burlap shorts). I’m incredibly fond of those memories, even if I look back at pictures and wonder, What in the world was I thinking?! Going through those moments of self-expression were critical to both my development and my self-esteem. It makes sense, because allowing kids to express their individuality is key in helping them develop a positive self image.

It’s interesting to see how my kids’ generation uses art and technology to express themselves. For instance, our daughter recently spent an afternoon designing her own teeshirt using the HP Sprout. She started with a sketch, then gathered materials. She used the overhead camera to take pictures of her materials and manipulated them to create a collage. It was super simple and I sincerely love that the HP Sprout allows users to blend handwork with digital capture. Watch the video above to see how she did it…

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