Category Archives: Parenting

Dad Turns His 6-Year-Old Son’s Drawings Into Reality – Dad Tech

I had to repost this article – check out how this dad uses technology to make his son’s imagination come to life!

Dom is six and he likes to draw. He even has his own Instagram account where he puts all his favorite pictures. But that’s not the end of the story, because once he’s finished with his mini masterpieces, his dad then recreates their real world counterparts with a dose of digital magic and a little bit of humor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best thing you’ll see today.

Source: Dad Turns His 6-Year-Old Son’s Drawings Into Reality

Cerebral Dad is on Patreon

Thank you all for all the support. I was able to meet my “propane goal” last month on Patreon! I was able to refill both propane tanks, and fire up the grill once more, Thank you. I’ve reset the goal, and added some new and interesting things. I know a “propane goal” isn’t very interesting, so if you want to see more interesting and interactive content:

Become a Patreon supporter, today!

The first supporter gets their 1st month’s pledge back in the form of an Amazon Gift Card

Patreon is like an online tip jar. It lets me know that you’re enjoying the content on Cerebral Dad.

This month, in the spirit of “Teaching”, I’m going to be teaching myself how to weld, feature some guest bloggers, start building “The Robot“, continue the Teaching kids series and working on a new drone.

I also have plans on making a CNC machine in the process of teaching myself how to weld – turns out everything is very affordable – its going to be fun putting together a few “How to” post on my process.

If any of this appeals to you, please make a pledge on Patreon, today!

Teaching Kids Computer Skills – Programming

I may have mis-spoke when I sad teaching kids to program is boring. Actually, there are several programs out there that make it fun for kids. I cant tell you how many kids I know that want to “make things” on the computer – things that they can interact with – but get overwhelmed when they’re told they need to know programming. Check these programs out – there is nothing easier!

1. Scratch

Scratch Screenshot

Aimed at students aged 8-16 years old, Scratch is one of the best ways to take the first leap into programming. Developed by the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a visual programming language. It allows students to build interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. This visual approach to programming is the perfect way to teach students the fundamental concepts behind programming and software development. Scratch is free to download and runs on Mac, Windows and Linux.

 

2. Alice

Alice Screenshot

Alice is a 3D programming environment that allows students create animations, interactive games, or videos to share on the web. The application will help students understand key principles such as object orientated programming and 3D modelling. Programs are created by drag and dropping graphic tiles. Each instruction corresponds to standard statements in a programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice is free todownload and runs on Mac and Windows.

 

3. Hackety Hack

Hackety Hack Screenshot

Taking programming for kids to the next level, Hackety Hack teaches the absolute basics of the Ruby programming language. Ruby is the foundation of many desktop and web applications such as Twitter, Shopify and Hulu and is a great starting point for command based programming. Students use an integrated text editor to begin building ruby apps and by the end will be comfortable with basic programming syntax. Hackety Hack is an open source application that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

 

4. Codecademy

Codecademy gets you coding as soon as you open the page and is a fun, social introduction to programming for kids. Aimed at higher level students, courses focus on generic programming skills and JavaScript development. Codecademy is different to other courses in it’s very interactive approach to programming. Students work through an integrated terminal that gives feedback as they code. The social element is grown through earning badges and sharing progress with friends.

 

5. OpenClassroom

Openclassroom Screenshot

Run by Stanford University, Openclassroom gives students free access to Computer Science lectures. Lectures cover a wide variety of programming curriculum and generic computer skills. Videos are well structured and go from quite basic lessons to detailed science, syntax and structures. The lecture format is a great way for students to engage visually as well as introducing them to tertiary styles of teaching and learning.

 

6. Code School

Codeschool Screenshot

Code School offers a range of free and paid courses for students that are looking to broaden their knowledge in programming. With courses such as “Rails for Zombies” and “JQuery Air: Captain’s Log” you can see that Code School tries to keep the fun in learning. Finishing courses will give you badges to show your progress, completion videos, as well gifting you cash to purchase further courses.

 

7. Codea

Codea Screenshot

iPad apps would have to be some of the hottest programs being developed right now. Codea helps make the iPad development process and programming for kids a lot easier. It is a great starting point for students interested in making apps and lets students program directly on the device. Students can create games, simulations and just about any visual idea they have. Like all apps, Codea is available from iTunes and is only $7.99.

 

 

Source: 7 Sites That Make Programming For Kids Fun | Kid to Code

Teaching Kids Computer Skills – Introduction

Everything from your cell phone, to your car, to even your refrigerator has a computer in it. And they do everything from automatically track and adjust finances to reminding us to get milk and monitor expiration dates on the food we buy.

Refrigerators can interface with your phone in such a way to remind you to stop at the supermarket within a certain geo-locational range when traveling – to save you the dreaded “second trip.”

From an early age our kids show a serious interest in technology. At just under a year old my children were able to operate my smart phone to a certain extent. And now that my son is a bit older he’s expressed an interest in how these things work – which got me thinking how I can keep him interested in the “how” without him loosing interest.

Lets face it, programming is boring to most. But there quite a few computer skills that kids need as early as elementary school. Skills like typing (finding letters on the keyboard) and mouse skills have become a prerequisite to Grade School.

Kid Programming” can be fun, especially if your children like puzzles and games. There are several programming based learning systems that only use the prerequisites listed above that can lead your child to accomplishing complicated programming tasks that would otherwise seem impossible. As a father, I find enabling that sense of accomplishment in my children is important.

Whether your child is interested in rocket science or dirt, there is a relational game or program out there to teach them the proper computer skills needed to advance academically.

In this series we are going to be looking at ways we can meld the games and seemingly mindless activities that our kids enjoy and transform them into serious problem solving tools that stimulate and nurture their mental growth.

We will look at some books and products that we can get right off the shelf and also dive into a few video tutorials using MineCraft to teach STEM based problem solving and learn programming basics!

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 10.57.26 AM

 

 

A Day In The Life of Cerebral Dad – Swimming!

Our neighbors were kind enough to invite us over for a Barb-Q and a bit of swimming.

The kids are getting so much better at swimming – both are able to paddle around the pool with little help from me.

Logan was jumping off the deck and having a great time, whereas before he wouldn’t let go of the side rails.

And Madelyn, well, she always had no fear!

 

Dad Tech – Build A Model Robotic Hand

I’ve been looking for something to do with Logan to start explaining how things work. I found this on the web:

Supplies include:

We traced an adult sized hand on cardboard and carefully cut it out:

We glued the bendable straws on each finger, so that the bendy part was on the hand and the long part of the straw was on the fingers. We trimmed the edges of the straw to align with the edge of the fingers.

We took our pencil and marked on the fingers of the cardboard hand the location of the joints and knuckles from the real-life hand.  Then we took the utility knife and carefully scored the back side of the hand on those lines, so that the fingers would curl and bend properly.

Using our pencil marks as a guide, we carefully sliced a section of the straw off (at 45 degree angles) where the joints are located. This helps the ‘fingers’ to bend properly as well.

 

When we are done with all the joint cuts, it looks like this:

We took string and ran it through each straw, leaving a long tail out both the top and bottom of the straw. We cut the rubber bands so that they would be a long strip instead of a circle. At the top of each finger, we tied the string and rubber band ends together in a small knot.

 

Turning the hand over, and with fingers straightened out and laid flat, we hot glued the loose ends of the rubber band down to the back of the hand. The glue should only be right at the end of the rubber band. The rest of it needs to stay loose so that it can freely move and guide the fingers. The rubber bands help the fingers to return to their natural state after being curled up.

 

Once the hand was completed, we had lots of opportunity to ‘play’ with it and see how the tendons in a hand function, by pulling downward on the strings.

One of the favorite things to do with the hand was to make sign language letters and spell out words and phrases….or to say “I love you”!

This was a great project and we were very happy with the outcome. Everyone who has seen it is fascinated by it, and it clearly demonstrates the movements of a hand. I highly recommend this project!

Source: “Be The One” : Apologia Anatomy & Physiology Unit Three: Build A Model Robotic Hand

Why are GMOs Bad? – SciShow

This is as close to a political argument this site will ever publish. Enjoy!

Why are GMOs bad? They aren’t. They just aren’t, not intrinsically, and certainly not for your health. We’ve been eating them for decades with no ill effects, which makes sense, because a genetically modified organism is simply an organism, like every other organism, produces hundreds of thousands of proteins, but one or two of them are proteins that were chosen specifically by humans.

Just because an ignorant definition of GMO (Genetic Modified Organism) makes your skin craw, doesn’t mean that they are bad for you! 90% of the public doesn’t even know what a GMO is!

Rant over. Educate yourself, below! Thank you, SciShow.

Sources:
GMO Salmon
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sci…
http://www.aquabounty.com/products/pr…

How are GMOs Made
http://cls.casa.colostate.edu/transge…
http://www.hudsonalpha.org/education/…

Glycophosphate / Monsanto
http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyph…
http://www.scientificamerican.com/art…
http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicp…
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/g…

http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.or…
http://www.scq.ubc.ca/transgenic-crop…
http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entf…
http://agbiosafety.unl.edu/education/…
http://medicine.jrank.org/pages/2902/…
http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/A…
http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/document…
http://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2011…
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sci…
http://www.scientificamerican.com/art…
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sci…
http://www.popsci.com/science/article…
http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informati…
http://passel.unl.edu/pages/informati…
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/bus…
http://benthamscience.com/open/tonutr…
http://www.gov.pe.ca/af/agweb/index.p…

 

So, there! You’re welcome!

A Day In The Life of Cerebral Dad – The Aquarium

This week was dedicated to doing fun things with the kids. On this day we went to the aquarium. I didn’t take many pictures, to which at first I was disappointed at how unprepared I was, but then I thought – screw it! I had a great time!

Logan’s Aunt and Uncle got him a stuffed penguin his last visit to the Aquarium, he calls “Slidey.” Slidey was reunited with his cousins today!

IMG_2562

Madelyn had a great time too! She loved the fact that the animals were moving and reacting to the children watching. It was a joy seeing the smile on her face!

IMG_2569

She especially liked when the penguins shook their buts after a nice swim.

What a great time!

Like I said, I didn’t take many pictures this time. We got to see everything from tropical fish to the sharks feeding! The sharks were a bit overwhelming for the kids – but they were still amazed at their size.

Until the next booty shaking adventure…

 

Brainy Bites – Apple Cookies

It takes a bit of imagination to get the children to eat healthy. But, sometimes calling something by a different name works wonders too. Let’s make some “Apple cookies” for the kids.

These can be made with any combination of fruit and toppings – they really hit the spot after playing hard in the yard. Here’s how it’s done:

Apple Cookies:

Apple (any type)
Peanut Butter
Fun Topping (Chocolate Chips)

Cut the Apple into discs similar to the shape of a cookie. You’re going to want to get rid of the core – I used a pastry tip. Spread a generous portion of peanut butter and top with the kids’ favorite topping. I used chocolate chips, you could use Honey or even mini marshmallows.

Comment below and let me know the interesting combination of toppings you used!

Share with your friends on social media! And like my Facebook Page!

IMG_2522

IMG_2523

IMG_2525

IMG_2526

IMG_2529

8 Pool Noodle Life Hacks & Diy’s

I got another gem off the web. I always thought of pool noodles as getting in the way, but check this out!

Pool noodles are one of those things I always have lying around. (I hate when you can’t get them in the winter – at least not easily) I think they should be sold all year round as they are very useful. Here we’ll have a look at 8 things you can do with pool noodles.

Source: 8 Pool Noodle Life Hacks & Diys