We don’t think there’s a right or wrong way for kids to play. For this kid-oriented gift guide, we focused on learning toys—open-ended games, kits, toys and crafts that promote lifelong skills like critical thinking, problem solving, logic, and even coding. To choose from the hundreds of toys available, we spent more than 30 hours trying 35 recommendations from experts, educators, and parents… READ MORE: Learning Toys and STEM Toys We Love | The Wirecutter
The Shelter Buddies Reading Program is collaborating with the Humane Society of Missouri to make a huge difference in the lives of both children and animals. Since shy and fearful dogs are less likely to be adopted, it’s important that they have a chance to interact with others. That’s why the program’s director, Jo Klepacki, came up with the idea to have children read to these dogs. “Ideally the shy and fearful dog will approach and show interest. If so, the kids reenforce that behavior by tossing them a treat,” Klepacki told The Dodo. “Hearing a child reading can really calm those animals. It is incredible, the response we’ve seen in these dogs.” READ MORE: Kids Are Practicing Their Reading Skills to Soothe Shy Shelter Dogs | My Modern Met
A robotics company that teaches kids how to code, Codie Labs, took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London to show off their fast, rolling and programmable robot, Codie, which is controlled via a mobile application for iOS or Android. The Budapest-based startup earned the opportunity to present on the big stage by winning the Wild Card position, which pulls a promising company out of Disrupt’s Startup Alley. READ MORE: Codie Is A Fast, Rolling Robot Toy That Teaches Kids Progamming Concepts | TechCrunch
The new Minecraft module is part of Code.org’s third annual Hour of Code, a worldwide campaign that tries to demystify code by teaching the basics of computer science in just an hour. The Hour of Code takes place during Computer Science Education Week from December 7 – 13.
If users sign up for the free Hour of Code Minecraft module, they’ll learn how to use blocks of code to make Steve or Alex, the two main character skins from the game, adventure through a Minecraft world. Other modules, including some based on Star Wars, “Frozen” and other popular content, are also available on the Code.org site. READ MORE: Microsoft and Code.org want to teach kids to code with Minecraft | CNET
On one page, you’ll see an illustration of kid scientists assembling multi-eyed orange creatures. On another, an amicable blue furry creature leads a march of kids and an alien. At first glance, these look like pages from a normal children’s fantasy book. Look again and you’ll realize these are all characters on a journey decorated with HTML tags. The Wonderful World of Creatures & Code (WWoCC) is an A-Z style book with the purpose of introducing kids to code. But it’s not available for purchase just yet. It’s currently on Kickstarter until Oct. 31 with a goal of $25,000. READ MORE: Colorful children’s book introduces kids to the basics of code | Mashable
For Voss, Wall, and their colleague Nick Haber, a Stanford post-doc, the idea is that their Glass software will help autistic children recognize and understand facial expressions and, through them, emotions. It operates like a game or, as Voss calls it, an “interactive learning experience.” Through the Google Glass eyewear, children are asked to, say, find someone who is happy. When they look at someone who is smiling, the app recognizes this and awards “points.” The system also records what the child does for later review. “You can plot, as they wear the glasses, how they’re improving, where they’re improving,” Wall says. “You can look at video to understand why.” READ MORE: Clinical Trial Will Test if Google Glass Can Help Kids with Autism | WIRED
With its Color Alive line, Crayola was the first company to merge coloring books and apps so kids could bring their on-page creations to life. But Disney Research is taking that idea one step further by letting kids see a coloring book character move in 3D while they’re still coloring it. It’s all made possible by a new augmented reality app that Disney Research has developed that’s able to track and capture real-time images from a mobile device’s camera, and then map them onto any 3D deformable surface. READ MORE: Disney Has Invented 3D Coloring Books | Gizmodo
The code:mobile is Ladies Learning Code’s newest and biggest initiative to inspire and educate Canadian girls and boys to become passionate builders — not just consumers of technology. Think: a travelling computer lab on wheels that will make a cross-Canada journey in 2016 teaching 10,000+ kids to code along the way.
But, it’s more than just a truck or a computer lab. It’s a cross-Canada journey that will bring hands-on, interactive technology education to Canadian youth. We believe that computer programming and other technical skills are a tool of empowerment, and it is our mission at Ladies Learning Code to ensure that all Canadians — particularly women and youth — have access to these learning opportunities.
Coding has replaced history and geography in Australia’s new digital technologies curriculum which was endorsed by education ministers on Friday. As The Australian reports, it ensures that 21st century computer coding will be taught in primary schools from Year 5, and programming will be taught from Year 7. READ MORE: Coding to be taught in Australian schools from primary age | Mashable