Blog Archive


For My Kid’s First Computer, I Couldn’t Beat an Old Desktop

My son has been asking my husband and me for a Nintendo Switch for the past three years. But three months into quarantine and a week before his ninth birthday, he asked to be gifted a desktop computer instead.

With camps and sports cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, he spent much of this summer rekindling his obsession with Minecraft. The more invested he was in the game, the more limited he felt by his tiny iPhone 7 screen. Further, many of the group educational classes he wanted us to enroll him in, such as this game-design camp on Outschool, required students to use the PC or Mac version. Unbeknownst to us and, according to myriad Chromebook reviews, many other befuddled parents, it hasn’t been possible to play Minecraft on a Chromebook, even a “nice” one. (Well, not without a complicated Linux workaround—or nowadays, an Office 365 Education account.)1

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Parenting Kids in the Age of Screens, Social Media and Digital Devices

Pew Research Center has long studied the changing nature of parenting and family dynamics as well as the adoption of digital technologies. This report focuses on how children engage with digital technologies, screens and social media, as well as parents’ attitudes about these behaviors, their concerns about their child’s use of technology, and their own assessment of their parenting and experiences with digital tech. These findings are based on a survey conducted March 2-15, among 3,640 U.S. parents who have at least one child or children ages 17 and under. This includes those who took part as members of Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses, as well as respondents from the Ipsos KnowledgePanel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

Recruiting ATP panelists by phone or

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How kids and teens are coping with screen time as they learn during COVID quarantine

Since mid-March, when most schools around the U.S. closed due to COVID-19 precautions, kids and teens have had to quickly adapt to learning virtually — which means more sitting and more screen time. Hanging out with friends after class or on weekends became a thing of the past as health officials called for social distancing measures.

The last pandemic occurred over a hundred years ago, well before “screen-time” became a thing. Though the health implications of increased screen time among young people has been studied over the past decade, the effects of more time spent online as a substitute for in-school learning, hasn’t yet been mined.

Doctors in many fields, however, such as physical medicine, psychology and ophthalmology, are already spotting signs and symptoms that could indicate future trends of how increased screen time for virtual learning, combined with a reduction of in-person interaction, is affecting young people’s lives.


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Open schools for younger kids, top pediatrician says

Kindergarten teacher Holly Rupprecht carries plexiglass panels to her room at Zion Lutheran School in Bethalto, Ill., on Monday. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Kindergarten teacher Holly Rupprecht carries plexiglass panels to her room at Zion Lutheran School in Bethalto, Ill., on Monday. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

WASHINGTON — Younger children pose a smaller risk of catching and transmitting the coronavirus, a top pediatrician told Congress on Thursday, providing a scientific argument for why elementary schools could potentially open in parts of the country next month.

“School systems may consider prioritizing the return of younger children and taking additional measures to ensure physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings among older children,” Dr. Sean O’Leary told the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education on Thursday morning. 

The hearing was titled “Underfunded & Unprepared,” a sign of how House Democrats, who control the chamber’s agenda, view the matter. 

O’Leary, a vice chair for infectious disease at the American Academy of Pediatrics, also cited a South Korean

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Natural History Museum Launches Online Summer Camps For Kids

UPPER WEST SIDE, NY — With in-person summer camps and typical summer plans put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic, the American Museum of Natural History is stepping up to offer online programs for kids.

The historic museum on the Upper West Side of Manhattan recently launched a wide-range of thought-provoking online summer science camps for children between the second and ninth grade.

The online activities will include virtual hall visits, guest scientist talks, behind-the-scenes tours, and live-animal encounters. Additionally, there will be offline hands-on science projects, games, and crafts.

The camps will take place starting on July 27 and run until Sept. 2, ranging from $175 to $500 in price.

You can sign up for any of the online summer camps on the museum’s website.

Here are the different programs you can choose from:

Grades 2-3

Keys to the Kingdoms of Life

  • Session 1: Monday, July 27 — Friday,

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The North Face Launching Free Program for Kids Missing Summer Camp This Year

Click here to read the full article.

With summer camps closed throughout the U.S. due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, The North Face has found a way to virtually bring the outdoors to kids everywhere.

This month will mark the debut of The North Face Summer Base Camp, a free two-week virtual summer camp with online and offline programming from several of the brand’s athlete ambassadors. The program features three interactive half-day activities per week, hosted by The North Face athletes, that will include a video tutorial and instruction on how to complete the activity.

More from Footwear News

The goals of the camp, The North Face said, are to introduce kids and parents to exploration, offer education on a range of topics and hone the skills that could help kids become more curious.

The theme of week one is “Local Exploration,” with the focus on exploring and learning the

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Make a vaccine? I’m trying to teach my kids the alphabet

By Kate Holton, Emma Thomasson and Stephen Jewkes

LONDON/BERLIN/MILAN (Reuters) – It’s tough to do any useful work when you’re stuck at home, struggling to home-school bickering kids, let alone when you’re trying to produce a COVID-19 vaccine.

British drugmaker AstraZeneca had spent years preparing for a pandemic, but when the moment finally came it was caught cold on a crucial front: stressed parents working from home struggled to focus.

    So the company recruited up to 80 teachers to run online lessons and repurposed a car parking app to book virtual classes. It also lined up personal tutoring and helped to locate some childcare spaces for those battling to adapt to the abrupt change to their lives.  

    The move by Britain’s biggest drugmaker, and similar efforts by companies the world over to host everything from magic classes to yoga for children, shows the lengths businesses are going to to help

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Whatever back to school looks like, it has to serve the kids without internet and tech

I’m USA TODAY editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll, and this is The Backstory, insights into our biggest stories of the week. If you’d like to get The Backstory in your inbox every week, sign up here.

This week, I got a survey from my son’s school. It asked, on a scale of “unsure” to “very comfortable,” how comfortable are you with your student attending in-person classes this fall?

This was in the same week we learned the U.S. could be headed toward 100,000 coronavirus cases a day, hospitalizations are rising in 12 states, hot spot Arizona delayed the start of its school year and the American Academy of Pediatrics urged schools to hold in-person classes because of the negative social, emotional and academic impact on kids.

I didn’t see an option for “of course I want kids back in school but don’t want students or teachers to get sick or spread the

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Kids Can Take Free Online Drawing Classes From Disney Right Now

There is a lot about these past few months that have been strange and challenging. As more parents than ever are juggling working from home and caring for the kids, we have had to find creative ways to make the seemingly impossible juggle happen. Young kids, who are used to being fully engaged in daycare or school, now have to find ways to entertain themselves. And as parents, we have to find those activities that our kids can do on their own that allow us to get through another Zoom call or finish up our deadline.

Thankfully, the internet exists and with it comes a whole slew of activities that we can throw at our kids to keep their brain from turning to mush and our sanity intact. One of these activities comes from the a company that knows who to engage kid’s imagination–Disney. The company has released a collection

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5 Upgrades for Safer, Healthier Kids’ Rooms and Nurseries

Photo credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz - Getty Images
Photo credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz – Getty Images

From House Beautiful

As technology gives cutting-edge innovations to improve our homes, it’s no surprise that the kids’ category is offering up new and improved products to care for our little ones, too. Whether you’re the sort of parent who’s super aware of your carbon footprint or you’re just looking to brush up on safety standards, here are five easy upgrades—from smarter paint choices to natural-fiber swaps—that will make your kids’ room a healthier place. Get ready to breathe easier—literally!

Paint on a Fresh Coat

If you haven’t already, paint your walls with zero-VOC, organic paint. Not only is it healthier, it can also speed up the decor process: less time waiting for fumes to dry means you can move in faster!

Older homes can leak fumes into the air long after the paint has dried, too. A 2018 study published in the Journal

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