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Assistive Tech in Video Games is Great for Both the Dis - 31 Oct 2018 02:30

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<p>(Disclosure: I am a Nintendo Ambassador and was provided one or more products mentioned in this article, but not for the purpose of this article. Words, opinions and ideas are mine.)</p>
<p>When we were kids, games were unforgiving and brutal. They taught us lessons about persistence and adaptation, but they also only catered to able-bodied people with lightning quick reflexes.</p>
<p>These days, games are different. One of the biggest criticisms I hear is that games are “soft” – that they’re not as punishing on folks and that some of the modes and options actually make games <em>too easy</em>. Well, I think some of these technologies and options are great.</p>
<h3>Xbox One: Copilot mode</h3>
<p>For example, the Xbox One now has a setting for “target=&quot;_blank&quot; rel=&quot;noopener noreferrer copilot mode.” Enabling this allows you to set two controllers to one player. Copilot mode allows folks with disabilities to use two controllers – maybe one in one hand and another with another body part like their foot or chin (or a player like BrolyLegs, target=&quot;_blank&quot; rel=&quot;noopener noreferrer who uses his mouth). Those two controllers can also be custom mapped (through other options) so that a disabled player can use the buttons and sticks that they’re comfortable using.</p>
<p>This is the super bland screen where you can turn on the Copilot option, found under&nbsp;<strong>Settings</strong> &gt; <strong>All settings</strong> &gt; <strong>Ease of Access</strong> &gt; <b>Controller</b>:</p>
<p><img data-attachment-id="20330" data-permalink="http://8bitdad.com/2017/05/31/assistive-tech-video-games-great-disabled-children-20325/copilot-xbox/" data-orig-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,675" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;" data-image-title="Accessibility Xbox" data-image-description="&lt;p&gt;8BitDad.com&lt;/p&gt;
" data-medium-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox-650x366.jpg" data-large-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox-660x371.jpg" class="normal aligncenter size-medium wp-image-20330" src="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox-650x366.jpg" alt="Accessibility Xbox" width="650" height="366" srcset="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox-650x366.jpg 650w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox-120x68.jpg 120w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox-768x432.jpg 768w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox-660x371.jpg 660w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox-740x416.jpg 740w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/copilot-xbox.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 650px) 100vw, 650px" /></p>
<p>Copilot mode is great for disability, but it also has merits in parenting. Parents may want to share a game with their kid but know that a game will be too overwhelming for their child. In that case, they can split movement and attacks between two controllers in an action game or split steering and gas/brake pedals between two controllers in a driving game. Admit it, you and your kid have tried to double-up on one controller before, putting way too many fingers in too small of a space. Copilot mode can give you both some maneuvering room while still sharing a character.</p>
<h3>Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Smart Steering, Auto-accelerate</h3>
<p>One of the most anticipated games on the Nintendo Switch was <em>Mario Kart 8 Deluxe</em>, an update of the WiiU’s <em>Mario Kart 8</em>&nbsp;that added a couple of new characters,&nbsp;tracks, karts, weapons and a revamped Battle mode gave fans the winning equation with just enough new stuff. Also included are “smart steering” and “auto-accelerate” options. For the disabled, both options allow for someone to play one-handed; smart steering keeps your kart on course, stopping you from driving off-road and falling into drops, and auto-accelerate automatically maintains speed, allowing you to steer yourself.</p>
<p>Here’s what the pause screen looks like with the accessibility options up top:</p>
<p><img data-attachment-id="20329" data-permalink="http://8bitdad.com/2017/05/31/assistive-tech-video-games-great-disabled-children-20325/accessibility-mk/" data-orig-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,675" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;" data-image-title="Accessibility Mario Kart" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk-650x366.jpg" data-large-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk-660x371.jpg" class="normal aligncenter size-medium wp-image-20329" src="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk-650x366.jpg" alt="Accessibility Mario Kart" width="650" height="366" srcset="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk-650x366.jpg 650w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk-120x68.jpg 120w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk-768x432.jpg 768w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk-660x371.jpg 660w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk-740x416.jpg 740w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-mk.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 650px) 100vw, 650px" /></p>
<p>For children wanting to play <em>Mario Kart</em> with their siblings or parents, this is a wonderful addition. At first, I thought of smart steering and auto-accelerate as “dumbing down” the game, but the more I thought about it as an <em>accessibility option</em>, the more I appreciated it. Let’s be honest: <em>Mario Kart</em> isn’t just a matter of simple steering and acceleration. The tracks are complicated (<em>Rainbow Road?!</em>) and the addition of folks hitting each other with turtle shells makes for an experience requiring reflexes and ability.&nbsp;Reddit is peppered with target=&quot;_blank&quot; rel=&quot;noopener noreferrer stories from thankful parents whose children (abled and disabled) can now play games with their siblings because of these options.</p>
<h3>Injustice 2: AI loadouts</h3>
<p>I love fighting games. I want my son to love fighting games. I want him to be able to <em>play</em> fighting games. But explaining hitboxes, combos and meter burning to an eight year old is impossible. <em>Injustice 2</em>, a superhero fighting game, is immediately appealing to my son. He&nbsp;couldn’t wait to play as Batman, Superman, The Flash and Bane. And being able to earn gear and change the look of your heroes is really attractive to my son’s customization generation. But <em>man oh man</em>. <em>Injustice 2</em> is a very technical fighter riddled with counters, wake-up attacks and long combos. My son, frankly, wants to button mash. He pulls off some special moves here and there, but for the most part his tactic is to jump himself into a corner and hit every button until something lands.</p>
<p>Great news for parents: <em>Injustice 2</em> has “AI loadouts” for your characters. In the Multiverse mode, you fight against a ladder&nbsp;of enemies under variable conditions. You might have to fight everyone without using special moves, or your super meters might recharge faster. Maybe you have to fight upside down (yeah, literally upside down. It’s not fun.), or maybe you’ll have to fight while icicles drop from the top of the screen and freeze you. Or, maybe the match conditions are normal, but the enemies ramp up in skill as you go. Whatever the condition, if your child (or you, I won’t judge) gets frustrated, you can set your character to use an AI loadout and the game will simply fight for you – oftentimes with success.</p>
<p>True, this isn’t as much rooted in accessibility for disabilities, but accessibility for all audiences is important for parents. Here’s what the AI loadout screen looks like when selecting a character:</p>
<p><img data-attachment-id="20333" data-permalink="http://8bitdad.com/2017/05/31/assistive-tech-video-games-great-disabled-children-20325/accessibility-ai/" data-orig-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,675" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;" data-image-title="Accessibility AI" data-image-description="&lt;p&gt;8BitDad.com&lt;/p&gt;
" data-medium-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai-650x366.jpg" data-large-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai-660x371.jpg" class="normal aligncenter size-large wp-image-20333" src="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai-660x371.jpg" alt="Accessibility AI" width="660" height="371" srcset="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai-660x371.jpg 660w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai-120x68.jpg 120w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai-650x366.jpg 650w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai-768x432.jpg 768w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai-740x416.jpg 740w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-ai.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 660px) 100vw, 660px" /></p>
<p>I want my son to try to beat a foe himself. I want him to learn from his failures and try again. And I want him to feel like persistence is rewarding. But I also don’t want my son to hit a wall and lose interest in the game. For him, using an AI loadout on particularly tough levels helps him keep interest and not feel like he’s always got to come to me to beat an enemy for him.</p>
<h3>High-Contrast/Colorblind Modes</h3>
<p>As many as 8% of men and 0.5% of women (with Northern European ancestry) target=&quot;_blank&quot; rel=&quot;noopener noreferrer have a form of colorblindness. I’ve known a couple of gaming buddies who are colorblind. One of them let me know that he was having trouble discerning enemies from friendlies in <em>Call of Duty</em> because of his colorblindess. When I told him that Call of Duty has a colorblind mode, he was surprised. The game was now playable for him.</p>
<p>Some games employ a whole-screen filter – one that changes the whole game’s coloring in hopes that it solves the color issue. Some games use high-contrast modes that bump up the saturation and contrast of game colors in order to make elements on the screen stand out more.</p>
<p><img data-attachment-id="20332" data-permalink="http://8bitdad.com/2017/05/31/assistive-tech-video-games-great-disabled-children-20325/accessibility-colorblind/" data-orig-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-colorblind.jpg" data-orig-size="650,664" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;" data-image-title="Accessibility Colorblind" data-image-description="&lt;p&gt;8BitDad.com&lt;/p&gt;
" data-medium-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-colorblind-441x450.jpg" data-large-file="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-colorblind-587x600.jpg" class="normal aligncenter size-full wp-image-20332" src="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-colorblind.jpg" alt="Accessibility Colorblind" width="650" height="664" srcset="http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-colorblind.jpg 650w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-colorblind-88x90.jpg 88w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-colorblind-441x450.jpg 441w, http://8bitdad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/accessibility-colorblind-587x600.jpg 587w" sizes="(max-width: 650px) 100vw, 650px" /></p>
<p>You can see the multiple options <em>Call of Duty: Black Ops III</em> give you.</p>
<p>The most effective systems&nbsp;offer palette swaps and recoloring of individual elements, giving options for the three common kinds of colorblindness: protanopia, deuteranopia and tritanopia (see screens above). That way, things like enemy/friendly names that usually appear on red/blue spectrum are changed to, for example, magenta/green. Games like <em>Destiny</em>, <em>Battlefield 4</em> and the <em>Call of Duty</em> franchise employ this type of change.</p>
<hr />
<p>These aren’t all of the assistive modes and technologies being used in gaming, but these have stood out recently to me as helpful – in some cases for&nbsp;disabled people and in others for children. Do you utilize any assitive tech for yourself or your kids while you game? Tell us about it in the comments!</p>

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Source: http://8bitdad.com/2017/05/31/assistive-tech-video-games-great-disabled-children-20325/ - Comments: 0

Switzerland and a Summit on Family Trends - 28 Oct 2018 02:27

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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; It's not often that Richard feels like a " separator"="" little="" guy"="" but="" tal="" does="" that="" for="" him!=""  <="" iv="">
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; There's nothing that makes the Wasatch Mountains seem like " separator"="" hills"="" like="" the="" swiss="" alps! <="" iv="">
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The meetings were held here and the surrounding ski resorts, including downhill and cross country skiing are very popular in this area of Switzerland's winter wonderland!
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The rooms were enchanting:
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In the building to the right is the spa where there are two big &quot;beds&quot; of hay where you can relax and forget all your troubles : )! It took me right back to my farm roots and actually produced the desired result!
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The food was the best of local food as well as a restaurant with a Michelin Star chef! &nbsp;It's a place where Roger Federer and his wife sometimes dine, as he has a house in the next valley! &nbsp;Just FYI.
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The afterglow of our amazing experience there lasted all the way back to Zurich, where we did a workshop on family for the Eyre's Stake congregation there. The ride back was spectacular and we had such a fun group of parents at the meeting as well as two terrific translators who did a great job! Tal introduced us in High German! A first and a big effort for him! He is trying to hard to learn German but it has been so hard with his extensive travel schedule for work. He was delighted that people laughed at his jokes so he knew they were understanding what he was saying! Thanks not only for that Tal, but also for adding so much to the discussion. There's nothing like having &nbsp;someone who was raised in our house there to explain &quot;the real deal&quot;!
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; A dear friend with lots of " separator"="" resources"="" handed="" richard="" a="" set="" of="" keys="" when="" he="" shook="" his="" hand="" upon="" our="" arrival….which="" belonged="" to="" beautiful="" ferrari,="" that="" was="" kind="" enough="" let="" us="" use="" for="" the="" next="" few="" days="" until="" we="" left!="" what="" can="" say?=""  richard="" and="" tal="" were="" like="" kids="" in="" candy="" store,="" checking="" thing="" out! <="" iv="">
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; The Ride to the airport was pretty great! It was hard to keep Richard from putting " separator"="" the="" pedal="" to="" medal"="" but="" extensive="" video="" cameras="" on="" roads="" and="" exorbitant="" fines="" kept="" him="" pretty="" well="" in="" bounds="" of="" very="" strict="" swiss="" speed="" limits!=""  the="" views="" were="" amazing="" as="" we="" approached="" zurich. <="" iv="">
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It will probably take a couple of years for the film to come to the theaters but the direction we should go settled in our minds as we digested what we learned! We grew to love all the participants of the Summit and are so grateful for their input!
<p>It was a trip we'll never forget!&nbsp;</p> - Comments: 0

Switzerland and a Summit on Family Trends - 28 Oct 2018 02:26

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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; It's not often that Richard feels like a " separator"="" little="" guy"="" but="" tal="" does="" that="" for="" him!=""  <="" iv="">
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; There's nothing that makes the Wasatch Mountains seem like " separator"="" hills"="" like="" the="" swiss="" alps! <="" iv="">
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The meetings were held here and the surrounding ski resorts, including downhill and cross country skiing are very popular in this area of Switzerland's winter wonderland!
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The rooms were enchanting:
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In the building to the right is the spa where there are two big &quot;beds&quot; of hay where you can relax and forget all your troubles : )! It took me right back to my farm roots and actually produced the desired result!
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The food was the best of local food as well as a restaurant with a Michelin Star chef! &nbsp;It's a place where Roger Federer and his wife sometimes dine, as he has a house in the next valley! &nbsp;Just FYI.
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The afterglow of our amazing experience there lasted all the way back to Zurich, where we did a workshop on family for the Eyre's Stake congregation there. The ride back was spectacular and we had such a fun group of parents at the meeting as well as two terrific translators who did a great job! Tal introduced us in High German! A first and a big effort for him! He is trying to hard to learn German but it has been so hard with his extensive travel schedule for work. He was delighted that people laughed at his jokes so he knew they were understanding what he was saying! Thanks not only for that Tal, but also for adding so much to the discussion. There's nothing like having &nbsp;someone who was raised in our house there to explain &quot;the real deal&quot;!
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; A dear friend with lots of " separator"="" resources"="" handed="" richard="" a="" set="" of="" keys="" when="" he="" shook="" his="" hand="" upon="" our="" arrival….which="" belonged="" to="" beautiful="" ferrari,="" that="" was="" kind="" enough="" let="" us="" use="" for="" the="" next="" few="" days="" until="" we="" left!="" what="" can="" say?=""  richard="" and="" tal="" were="" like="" kids="" in="" candy="" store,="" checking="" thing="" out! <="" iv="">
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; The Ride to the airport was pretty great! It was hard to keep Richard from putting " separator"="" the="" pedal="" to="" medal"="" but="" extensive="" video="" cameras="" on="" roads="" and="" exorbitant="" fines="" kept="" him="" pretty="" well="" in="" bounds="" of="" very="" strict="" swiss="" speed="" limits!=""  the="" views="" were="" amazing="" as="" we="" approached="" zurich. <="" iv="">
<div class="separator" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; &lt;img border=" separator"="" imageanchor="1" 0"="" height="300" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7fzQj0TbFxw/WKaD8_AexzI/AAAAAAAApxY/dWfUMOhtrcMHSefX7YEix7tXpNlcqvpIgCEw/s400/IMG_0605.JPG" width="400"></div>]
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It will probably take a couple of years for the film to come to the theaters but the direction we should go settled in our minds as we digested what we learned! We grew to love all the participants of the Summit and are so grateful for their input!
<p>It was a trip we'll never forget!&nbsp;</p> - Comments: 0

Switzerland and a Summit on Family Trends - 28 Oct 2018 02:25

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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; It's not often that Richard feels like a " separator"="" little="" guy"="" but="" tal="" does="" that="" for="" him!=""  <="" iv="">
<div class="separator" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; &lt;img border=" imageanchor="1" 0"="" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w3mGYJqH-yk/WKZ_Kzv83-I/AAAAAAAApwU/oDpZygmgvQs86Nkn_WDDipPE-BYXqpAqgCEw/s640/IMG_0437.JPG" width="640"></div>]
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; There's nothing that makes the Wasatch Mountains seem like " separator"="" hills"="" like="" the="" swiss="" alps! <="" iv="">
<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center; &lt;span style=" text-align:="" left;="" <br=""></div>
</div>
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The meetings were held here and the surrounding ski resorts, including downhill and cross country skiing are very popular in this area of Switzerland's winter wonderland!
<div class="separator" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; &lt;img border=" imageanchor="1" 0"="" height="480" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1hUajryEDNY/WKZ_4zamSVI/AAAAAAAApwU/2TWcC1I8B7orCpJjjvj_YERyVv2kSzLjwCEw/s640/IMG_0449.JPG" width="640"></div>]

The rooms were enchanting:
<div class="separator" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; &lt;img border=" imageanchor="1" 0"="" height="480" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6FbOFr9EMUE/WKZ_lclkbTI/AAAAAAAApwI/uhxgqWNVSA04iu-6OQoq6VBcO1O1iZfjwCEw/s640/IMG_0405.JPG" width="640"></div>]

In the building to the right is the spa where there are two big &quot;beds&quot; of hay where you can relax and forget all your troubles : )! It took me right back to my farm roots and actually produced the desired result!
<div class="separator" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; &lt;img border=" imageanchor="1" 0"="" height="480" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VkEc2w67MiY/WKaByoiRg3I/AAAAAAAApw4/zDQzJs0L_GY8EKygfiWgur0az1E42vqJACEw/s640/IMG_0518.JPG" width="640"></div>]

The food was the best of local food as well as a restaurant with a Michelin Star chef! &nbsp;It's a place where Roger Federer and his wife sometimes dine, as he has a house in the next valley! &nbsp;Just FYI.
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The afterglow of our amazing experience there lasted all the way back to Zurich, where we did a workshop on family for the Eyre's Stake congregation there. The ride back was spectacular and we had such a fun group of parents at the meeting as well as two terrific translators who did a great job! Tal introduced us in High German! A first and a big effort for him! He is trying to hard to learn German but it has been so hard with his extensive travel schedule for work. He was delighted that people laughed at his jokes so he knew they were understanding what he was saying! Thanks not only for that Tal, but also for adding so much to the discussion. There's nothing like having &nbsp;someone who was raised in our house there to explain &quot;the real deal&quot;!
<div class="separator" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; &lt;img border=" imageanchor="1" 0"="" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-x4ohCQeupME/WKaCDLHezcI/AAAAAAAApw4/OEneq4XZ6DkLzgjRcWuVCs5B7gXPk2pYQCEw/s640/IMG_0541.JPG" width="640"></div>]
<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; A dear friend with lots of " separator"="" resources"="" handed="" richard="" a="" set="" of="" keys="" when="" he="" shook="" his="" hand="" upon="" our="" arrival….which="" belonged="" to="" beautiful="" ferrari,="" that="" was="" kind="" enough="" let="" us="" use="" for="" the="" next="" few="" days="" until="" we="" left!="" what="" can="" say?=""  richard="" and="" tal="" were="" like="" kids="" in="" candy="" store,="" checking="" thing="" out! <="" iv="">
<div class="separator" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; &lt;img border=" separator"="" imageanchor="1" 0"="" height="640" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-V9erlWuqOus/WKaC8VF2jfI/AAAAAAAApxQ/IZ58Bm2BwloMbfnXq6sj4c7e4CYTqbxpACEw/s640/IMG_0553.JPG" width="480"></div>]

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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; The Ride to the airport was pretty great! It was hard to keep Richard from putting " separator"="" the="" pedal="" to="" medal"="" but="" extensive="" video="" cameras="" on="" roads="" and="" exorbitant="" fines="" kept="" him="" pretty="" well="" in="" bounds="" of="" very="" strict="" swiss="" speed="" limits!=""  the="" views="" were="" amazing="" as="" we="" approached="" zurich. <="" iv="">
<div class="separator" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; &lt;img border=" separator"="" imageanchor="1" 0"="" height="300" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7fzQj0TbFxw/WKaD8_AexzI/AAAAAAAApxY/dWfUMOhtrcMHSefX7YEix7tXpNlcqvpIgCEw/s400/IMG_0605.JPG" width="400"></div>]
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It will probably take a couple of years for the film to come to the theaters but the direction we should go settled in our minds as we digested what we learned! We grew to love all the participants of the Summit and are so grateful for their input!
<p>It was a trip we'll never forget!&nbsp;</p> - Comments: 0

Switzerland and a Summit on Family Trends - 28 Oct 2018 02:24

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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; It's not often that Richard feels like a " separator"="" little="" guy"="" but="" tal="" does="" that="" for="" him!=""  <="" iv="">
<div class="separator" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; &lt;img border=" imageanchor="1" 0"="" height="480" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w3mGYJqH-yk/WKZ_Kzv83-I/AAAAAAAApwU/oDpZygmgvQs86Nkn_WDDipPE-BYXqpAqgCEw/s640/IMG_0437.JPG" width="640"></div>]
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; There's nothing that makes the Wasatch Mountains seem like " separator"="" hills"="" like="" the="" swiss="" alps! <="" iv="">
<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center; &lt;span style=" text-align:="" left;="" <br=""></div>
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The meetings were held here and the surrounding ski resorts, including downhill and cross country skiing are very popular in this area of Switzerland's winter wonderland!
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The rooms were enchanting:
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In the building to the right is the spa where there are two big &quot;beds&quot; of hay where you can relax and forget all your troubles : )! It took me right back to my farm roots and actually produced the desired result!
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The food was the best of local food as well as a restaurant with a Michelin Star chef! &nbsp;It's a place where Roger Federer and his wife sometimes dine, as he has a house in the next valley! &nbsp;Just FYI.
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The afterglow of our amazing experience there lasted all the way back to Zurich, where we did a workshop on family for the Eyre's Stake congregation there. The ride back was spectacular and we had such a fun group of parents at the meeting as well as two terrific translators who did a great job! Tal introduced us in High German! A first and a big effort for him! He is trying to hard to learn German but it has been so hard with his extensive travel schedule for work. He was delighted that people laughed at his jokes so he knew they were understanding what he was saying! Thanks not only for that Tal, but also for adding so much to the discussion. There's nothing like having &nbsp;someone who was raised in our house there to explain &quot;the real deal&quot;!
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; A dear friend with lots of " separator"="" resources"="" handed="" richard="" a="" set="" of="" keys="" when="" he="" shook="" his="" hand="" upon="" our="" arrival….which="" belonged="" to="" beautiful="" ferrari,="" that="" was="" kind="" enough="" let="" us="" use="" for="" the="" next="" few="" days="" until="" we="" left!="" what="" can="" say?=""  richard="" and="" tal="" were="" like="" kids="" in="" candy="" store,="" checking="" thing="" out! <="" iv="">
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<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left; The Ride to the airport was pretty great! It was hard to keep Richard from putting " separator"="" the="" pedal="" to="" medal"="" but="" extensive="" video="" cameras="" on="" roads="" and="" exorbitant="" fines="" kept="" him="" pretty="" well="" in="" bounds="" of="" very="" strict="" swiss="" speed="" limits!=""  the="" views="" were="" amazing="" as="" we="" approached="" zurich. <="" iv="">
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It will probably take a couple of years for the film to come to the theaters but the direction we should go settled in our minds as we digested what we learned! We grew to love all the participants of the Summit and are so grateful for their input!
<p>It was a trip we'll never forget!&nbsp;</p> - Comments: 0

3 Pumpkin Children’s Messages for Halloween - 25 Oct 2018 02:16

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<p>What’s on your kids’ minds at this time of year? Halloween! What they’re going to wear…where they’re going to go…what they’ll carve on their pumpkin…all that candy.</p> - Comments: 0

In the Studio with Brian Lotti - 22 Oct 2018 02:28

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<p class="Apple-converted-space &nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;with adidas Skateboarding to release his iteration of their ongoing tribute series &lt;em&gt;Respect Your Roots&lt;/em&gt;. Kicking things off with a special reissue of the Campus 80s—the same model he used in the 90s—the new [https://www.adidas.com/us/skateboarding" p1="" recently="" fixing="" his="" gaze="" on="" throwback="" collabs,="" lotti="" has="" teamed="" up<span="" target="_blank" rel="noopener &lt;em&gt;Campus 80s x Brian Lotti &lt;/em&gt;]feature custom printed artwork by the man himself.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p class=" we="" caught="" up="" with="" and="" spent="" the="" day="" in="" new="" york="" studio="" to="" chat="" artistic="" process,="" happy="" accidents="" intersection="" between="" skateboarding="" art.<=""> </p>
<p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-79195" src="https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-1-of-18.jpg" alt="" width="1000" height="667" srcset="https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-1-of-18.jpg 1000w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-1-of-18-205x137.jpg 205w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-1-of-18-834x556.jpg 834w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-1-of-18-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-1-of-18-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-1-of-18-696x464.jpg 696w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-1-of-18-630x420.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-79197" src="https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-3-of-18.jpg" alt="" width="1000" height="667" srcset="https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-3-of-18.jpg 1000w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-3-of-18-205x137.jpg 205w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-3-of-18-834x556.jpg 834w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-3-of-18-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-3-of-18-850x567.jpg 850w, 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src="https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-12-of-18.jpg" alt="" width="1000" height="667" srcset="https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-12-of-18.jpg 1000w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-12-of-18-205x137.jpg 205w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-12-of-18-834x556.jpg 834w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-12-of-18-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-12-of-18-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-12-of-18-696x464.jpg 696w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-12-of-18-630x420.jpg 630w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" /><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-79207" src="https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-13-of-18.jpg" alt="" width="1000" height="667" srcset="https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-13-of-18.jpg 1000w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-13-of-18-205x137.jpg 205w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-13-of-18-834x556.jpg 834w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-13-of-18-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-13-of-18-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.monsterchildren.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/monster-children-adidas-brian-lotti-13-of-18-696x464.jpg 696w, 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Berlin

Source: https://www.monsterchildren.com/79015/studio-brian-lotti/ - Comments: 0

Invitations To Create: New Videos &amp; Prompts! - 19 Oct 2018 02:23

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<p>Are you familiar with Invitations To Create?</p>
<p>Invitations To Create are open-ended art prompts set up for kids to encourage creative exploration of materials. I first learned about these types of art prompts when I was a Reggio-Inspired preschool teacher and have since used them with my own kids for the past 9 years.</p>
<p>Invitations To Create have been the one tool I go back to again and again to keep my kids engaged with their art supplies and to learn new skills.</p>
<p>I’ve been working on a few new projects that involve Invitations To Create and I’m so excited to share them with you today!</p>
<h2><span><strong>Free Video Series
</strong></span></h2>
<p>The first project I want to mention is a special gift for you!</p>
<p>I created a 3-part video series for you all about Invitations To Create. The videos go in depth into why they are so beneficial, how you can incorporate them into your daily life, and how to deal with issues that might come up in the process.</p>
<p>I have been sharing ideas for setting up art prompts for the past 5 years and have heard from many of you about how great this practice has been for your kids. I have also received a lot of questions about Invitations To Create.</p>
<p>So I realized it was time to put together a video series to show Invitations To Create in action, answer questions, and share how powerful they can be for kids.</p>
<blockquote readability="8 &lt;p&gt;&lt;em&gt;“I have all of the creative tools, but I had never considered &lt;strong&gt;how I present them to my kids as being so impactful.&lt;/strong&gt; We started already and the kids loved it!! Such a nice way to connect and to see their minds light up.”&lt;br/&gt;-Rebecca H.&lt;/em&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;p&gt;These simple, open-ended art prompts have been a total game changer in our home over the years. They are an amazing tool to deepen a child’s art experience and to encourage creative exploration and independence.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h4&gt;&lt;strong&gt;[https://www.theartpantry.com/art-prompts/" target="_blank" rel="noopener &lt;img class=" aligncenter="" size-full="" wp-image-11202"="" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.theartpantry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/art-prompt-video-series-image.jpg?resize=740%2C320&amp;ssl=1" alt="" width="740" height="320" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.theartpantry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/art-prompt-video-series-image.jpg?w=740&amp;ssl=1 740w, https://i1.wp.com/www.theartpantry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/art-prompt-video-series-image.jpg?resize=300%2C130&amp;ssl=1 300w" sizes="(max-width: 740px) 100vw, 740px" data-recalc-dims="1"></blockquote>]
<p></p>
<h2><strong><span>Invitations To Create: Skill-Building Guide</span></strong></h2>
<p>My new “Invitations To Create: Skill-Building Guide” is finally here!</p>
<p>This second project is something I’ve been working on for a year! It’s a follow-up to my first Invitations To Create guide, 30 Days of Invitations To Create. This new guide is a Skill-Building e-guide with 48 new art prompts based on helping children build specific skills.</p>
<h3>The skills covered In this e-guide include:<strong>
</strong></h3>
<ul class="bullet_star imglist &lt;li&gt;Mastering Tools&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;Fine Motor &amp; Focus&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;Self-Sufficiency&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;Writing&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;Collaboration&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;Science &amp; Investigation&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt;Making Toys &amp; Accessories&lt;/li&gt; &lt;/ul&gt;&lt;p&gt;This Skill-Building guide is for kids ages 2-10 and is categorized by age and skill!&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h4&gt;&lt;strong&gt;[https://www.theartpantry.com/art-prompts/" target="_blank" rel="noopener Click here to learn more or to purchase the guide.]&lt;/strong&gt;&lt;/h4&gt; &lt;p&gt;&lt;img class=" wp-image-10938="" size-full="" alignnone"="" src="https://i0.wp.com/www.theartpantry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Invitations-To-Create-Skill-Building-sample.jpg?resize=294%2C213&amp;ssl=1" alt="" width="294" height="213" data-recalc-dims="1"></ul>
<p></p>
<p>Enjoy!</p>
<p>Please feel free to target=&quot;_blank&quot; rel=&quot;noopener contact me here with any questions.</p>

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Source: https://www.theartpantry.com/invitations-to-create-new-videos-prompts/ - Comments: 0

8 Kits That Teach Kids How To Make Slime - 16 Oct 2018 02:33

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<p>When you consider how disgusting many target=&quot;_blank&quot; rel=&quot;noopener gross-out toys are, target=&quot;_blank&quot; rel=&quot;noopener slime seems pretty tame. Instead of an imitation of a specific bodily fluid (which may be too risqu&eacute; for some parents), slime is an ill-defined substance that still appeals to the kids’ fascination with ick. The first toy version of slime was released by Mattel in 1976, and similar products, from Gak to Floam, have been on the market ever since. There are even kits available that let kids make their own slime, a creative activity that toymakers claim can incorporate&nbsp;target=&quot;_blank&quot; rel=&quot;noopener STEM learning around chemistry and following detailed instructions. Here are eight of the best kits for kids who want to make their own slime.</p>
<h2>Elmer’s Slime Starter Kit</h2>
<p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-107110" src="https://images.fatherly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/elmerglueslime_inset.jpg" alt="" width="764" height="493" /></p>
<p>This kit comes with two bottles of Elmer’s glue, two bottles of “magical liquid activator solution,” and five glitter glue pens. The glue is clear, and when combined with the solution it makes a transparent slime base that kids can add glitter to. It’s a simple way to make a quality slime.</p>
<p><a class="aud-dev-track buy-button" data-ev-loc="article" data-ev-name="Buy Button" data-ev-input="10" data-ev-val="click" href="https://amzn.to/2OcIO8l" target="_blank Buy Now $&lt;span&gt;10&lt;/span&gt;]&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Nickelodeon Super Slimy Set&lt;/h2&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;img class=" alignnone="" size-full="" wp-image-107111"="" src="https://images.fatherly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/cra-z-art_slime_inset.jpg" alt="" width="764" height="493"></a></p>
<p>Nickeloden’s&nbsp;<em>You Can’t Do That on TV</em> was the first show to prominently feature slime, and it’s been a trademark of the network ever since. This set is part of a long line of Nick-branded slime toys including the aforementioned Gak and Floam. It comes with white and clear glue, activator, glitter, and tools to make&nbsp;glitter, glow, neon, scented, and foam bead slime.</p>
<p><a class="aud-dev-track buy-button" data-ev-loc="article" data-ev-name="Buy Button" data-ev-input="14" data-ev-val="click" href="https://amzn.to/2CQfhjM" target="_blank Buy Now $&lt;span&gt;14&lt;/span&gt;]&lt;/p&gt; &lt;!— JW Player —&gt; &lt;h2&gt;SLIME! Science Kit&lt;/h2&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;img class=" alignnone="" size-full="" wp-image-107112"="" src="https://images.fatherly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/stematplayslime_inset.jpg" alt="" width="764" height="493"></a></p>
<p>This kit is designed to teach kids about polymer chemistry, the branch of science most relevant to slime. It comes with step-by-step instructions how to use the included materials to perform 17 different “experiments,” from slimy coal to sticky play dough. Tools like safety goggles and pipettes simulate being in a real lab.</p>
<p><a class="aud-dev-track buy-button" data-ev-loc="article" data-ev-name="Buy Button" data-ev-input="28" data-ev-val="click" href="https://amzn.to/2CVAGI2" target="_blank Buy Now $&lt;span&gt;28&lt;/span&gt;]&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Mindware Science Academy: Slime Lab&lt;/h2&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;img class=" alignnone="" size-full="" wp-image-107114"="" src="https://images.fatherly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/sciencelab_inset.jpg" alt="" width="764" height="493"></a></p>
<p>Alginate, a substance derived from brown algae like seaweed; calcium chloride; and food coloring are the only materials included in this kit. Using only these three substances and some included tools, kids can perform seven different slimy experiments, all of which prompt them to practice measuring and mixing for precision.</p>
<p><a class="aud-dev-track buy-button" data-ev-loc="article" data-ev-name="Buy Button" data-ev-input="20" data-ev-val="click" href="https://amzn.to/2x4o6Ae" target="_blank Buy Now $&lt;span&gt;20&lt;/span&gt;]&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Ultimate DIY Slime Kit&lt;/h2&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;img class=" alignnone="" size-full="" wp-image-107113"="" src="https://images.fatherly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/slimemixingkit_inset.jpg" alt="" width="764" height="493"></a></p>
<p>This kit comes with the basics for slime, school glue and activator, in addition to fun additions like glitter, a powder that will make it glow in the dark, PVA solution for clear slime and a thermochromic powder for color-changing slime.</p>
<p><a class="aud-dev-track buy-button" data-ev-loc="article" data-ev-name="Buy Button" data-ev-input="19" data-ev-val="click" href="https://amzn.to/2CMpq0U" target="_blank Buy Now $&lt;span&gt;19&lt;/span&gt;]&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Discover with Dr. Cool Glow in the Dark Slime Science Kit&lt;/h2&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;img class=" alignnone="" size-full="" wp-image-107115"="" src="https://images.fatherly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/slimesciencelab_inset.jpg" alt="" width="764" height="493"></a></p>
<p>Far be it from us to challenge the credentials of Dr. Cool, but this kit feels decidedly less educational than many of the other options. It comes with two powders that become slime when you add water and stir. That’s it. It’s simplicity makes it a good choice for younger kids, who are sure to be more in awe of the glow-in-the-dark slime than the simple blue.</p>
<p><a class="aud-dev-track buy-button" data-ev-loc="article" data-ev-name="Buy Button" data-ev-input="8" data-ev-val="click" href="https://amzn.to/2NBPxf7" target="_blank Buy Now $&lt;span&gt;8&lt;/span&gt;]&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Original Stationery Ultimate Slime Kit&lt;/h2&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;img class=" alignnone="" size-full="" wp-image-107116"="" src="https://images.fatherly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/ultimateslimekit_inset.jpg" alt="" width="764" height="493"></a></p>
<p>On the other side of the spectrum is this comprehensive kit, which comes with materials to make a wide variety of slimes, including jelly bead slime, chocolate slime, fruit slime (that fits in fruit-shaped molds), and cloud slime (made light with shaving cream). There’s a lot more room for experimentation here, so this set works well for particularly creative kids who want to make their own varieties of slime.</p>
<p><a class="aud-dev-track buy-button" data-ev-loc="article" data-ev-name="Buy Button" data-ev-input="20" data-ev-val="click" href="https://amzn.to/2OftAPU" target="_blank Buy Now $&lt;span&gt;20&lt;/span&gt;]&lt;/p&gt; &lt;h2&gt;Playz Disgusting n’ Gross Science Activity &amp; Experiment Set&lt;/h2&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;img class=" alignnone="" size-full="" wp-image-107117"="" src="https://images.fatherly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/disgustinggross_inset.jpg" alt="" width="764" height="493"></a></p>
<p>Save this kit for the grossest of kids. It contains everything you need to whip up potent potables like zombie farts, bloody slime, boogers and fart putty. It is deceptively one of the more complicated kits on this list (it even requires some microwave use), so closer supervision isn’t a bad idea.</p>
<p></p> - Comments: 0

15 Amazing Camping Gadgets Found on Amazon - 13 Oct 2018 03:14

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<h4 class="avatar" byline="" <img="" src="https://0.gravatar.com/avatar/?s=75&amp;d=mm&amp;r=g"></h4>
<span class="post-author Jordan Spence&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span class=" post-author-position"=""></span>
<span class="post-published-date Oct 10&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt; &lt;div id=" sponsor_ad_section="" <="" iv="">
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