Saturday, November 24, 2012


This looks pretty neat - reusable plastic rivets for building all kinds of things out of cardboard. I'l look around local shops see if I can find something equivalent. We'll start saving cardboard boxes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

After reading about DragonBox here, I bought and tried it - it's a game that happens to teach you some algebra. It's pretty cute and unlike a lot of "educational" games, it's actually fun and worthwhile by itself. The Geek Data blog has a few more app reviews; to check out later when the kid is old enough.

It won't be too long before it's possible to cover much of what's in a normal education through games like these.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

History Bedtime Stories

For later use, once my kid is old enough to understand stories: some history bedtime stories, from Reddit's AskHistorians.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Forbidden Toy

Aha, a nice trick for manipulating your kid: use threats small enough that he rationalizes his compliance by changing his desires: The Forbidden Toy.
If a person is induced to cease performing a desired action through the threat of punishment, he will experience dissonance. His cognition that he is not performing the action is dissonant with his cognition that the action is desirable. An effective way of reducing dissonance is by derogating the action. The greater the threat of punishment the less the dissonance—since a severe threat is consonant with ceasing to perform the action. Thus, the milder the threat, the greater will be a person's tendency to derogate the action. In a laboratory experiment 22 preschool children stopped playing with a desired toy in the face of either a mild or severe threat of punishment. The mild threat led to more derogation of the toy than the severe threat. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

French Parents vs. American Parents

Ran across this interesting article. Probably an excess of anecdotes, but there's some interesting stuff on different approaches to setting boundaries (some that work, some that don't), about how to teach delayed gratification (have snacks at fixed hours, even if the kid knows you bought the candy before), teaching the kid to play by himself, not having all activities centered around the kid, etc.