Technology is here to stay and has great benefits individually and educationally. But, so much of the technology that our children use today is stationary and can make us physically and mentally sedentary. Sitting in front of a computer, lounging on the sofa to watch TV, or lying on the floor playing with the iPad — each of these activities can be fun and educational, but they are not engaging your child’s physical energy and creativity. This is especially true for homeschool parents whose child has ADHD, or happens to be a kinesthetic hands-on learner and during those times, like winter, when your child is stuck inside.
What your child needs is technology with a twist!
The goods news is there’s new pieces of technology popping up every day that engage your homeschooler’s creativity, while letting them explore the world and get those muscles moving. Better yet, they’re fairly inexpensive and some even help out a good cause! We highlighted a few of our favorites below.
The SOCCKET is a portable, power generating soccer ball designed to promote physical activity and spread awareness about the global energy problem.
- Target age range: All ages!
- Cost: Around $99
- Website: http://unchartedplay.com/
The SOCCKET gets charged up during normal game play. The more the ball rolls, the more power is generated. The SOCCKET is designed to power our energy efficient, 3-LED lamp. To access the power, pull back the rubber stopper, and plug the lamp down into the center of the ball.
The beauty of this product is for every Soccket ball you purchase, a Soccket is donated to a community in a developing country to provide much needed power.
Find out more about this product as well as the PULSE, a power generating jumprope at http://unchartedplay.com/
KidFit is the fun way to get kids moving and building healthy habits for life!
- Target age range: 5-13
- Cost: Around $49
- Website: http://shop.x-doria.com/pages/kidfit
KidFit is a wireless activity and sleep tracker for ages 5-13 that encourages and motivates kids to play hard and get enough rest. The KidFit wristband is a one-size-fits-all slap bracelet and is IPX3 (Splash Proof) rated. A daily activity target is customized for each child and scored out of an easy to understand 100 points. With each sync, the KidFit app motivates and encourages your child to reach their activity and sleep goals. Built in goals keep kids challenged and parents can set custom goals tied to real world rewards. The free KidFit app is available for iOS and Android.
GoldieBlox is a construction toy + book series starring Goldie, the kid inventor who loves to build. As girls read along, they get to build what Goldie builds.
- Target age range: 5-9
- Cost: Around $28.00
- Website: http://www.goldieblox.com/
The initial set includes:
- Storybook: “GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine”: This is the intro to Goldie, where she builds a belt drive to spin all her friends.
- Character Figurines: Nacho (Goldie’s beloved dog), Benjamin Cranklin (the cat with an attitude), Katinka (the dolphin ballerina), Phil (the sloth), and Flavio (the bear from Brazil).
- Construction Set: 1 pegboard, 5 wheels, 10 axles, 5 blocks, 1 crank, 1 ribbon and 5 washers.
And for our tech-loving girls, Goldie’s stories will be available as free e-book downloads for iPhone and iPad with narration, animation and tutorial videos to truly bring Goldie to life and lend a hand to girls who aren’t quite at Goldie’s reading level yet.
MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between:
- Target age range: 8 and up
- Cost: Around $49
- Website: http://www.makeymakey.com/
Turn everyday objects like bananas into touchpads!
- Connect the world around you to your computer! Setup takes just seconds.
- Just plug, clip, and play! No programing knowledge needed.
- 1000s of possibilities! Draw your own game controller! Dance like never before!
- No software to install. Works with Mac and Windows.
One of our favorite new tech toys of the year, this golf ball-sized robot teaches programming, robots and gaming strategy on your iPad or Android tablet. Or use it on a plain piece of paper, no tablet at all. Dare you not to borrow it from your kids.
- Target age range: 14 and up
- Cost: Around $99
- Website: www.sharperimage.com
The World’s Smallest Robots are much more than toys … they’re programmable, intelligent machines that play games, follow colored lines and dance to your favorite music. Measuring 1”x1”, they’re smaller than a golf ball, yet loaded with advanced robotic technology that makes them perfect for games. Download free games and apps for your iOS or Android device, or create your own games and activities for them to play — they can memorize and playback up to 500 moves! They’re compatible with all iPhones, iPads, Samsung Galaxies and other Android devices, and operate up to 80 minutes on a full charge. Includes 2 clear robots with removable skins (1 black, 1 white), game cards and USB cable. Ages 14+.
These toys are also great for keeping your child active during the snowy winter months. Do you have any fun pieces of technology you like to use to keep your children engaged and active? Let us know in a comment!