Lisa headphones age 9

5 Ways Parents Can Connect with Tweens Through Video Games

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When my kids were tweens (9 to 12 or so), I noticed they didn’t like me quite so much anymore. Or at least they didn’t want to be by my side night and day. They took the first steps toward making their own lives—and their gaming was part of that. My son played turn-based roleplaying games. There he’d be in the basement for hours on end, consulting strategy guides and working his way through complicated Japanese titles like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. My daughter played cute animal games with her friends.

I didn’t understand video games then. My parental repertoire around gaming consisted of limiting screen time and supplying sustenance.

Parents of tweens: Don’t do what I did. Read More

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Make Your Own Adventure With Twine

Posted by | Feature, Tips for Parents | 2 Comments

Many gamers have dreamed of making their own games. There are plenty of resources for people learning how to code, but getting from the early coding lessons to a fully functional game can be daunting. The good news is that you could make your own game in the next hour—and you don’t need to know how to code, script, or even draw.

Twine is a free, simple program that allows you to create a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style text game. The game, once completed, can be played using any web browser. If you can master one or two easy commands within the program, you can make your own game! It’s that simple.

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8 Great iPhone and iPad Apps for Kids

Posted by | Feature, Tips for Parents | 3 Comments

How did people parent before smartphones or mobile tablets? I received my first iPhone when my daughter was about 3 years old, and having that magical little box with us on long trips or in the doctor’s waiting room has been such a lifesaver. I use the iPhone or our recently purchased iPad Mini for everything, from getting directions to meal planning. I even use it as a white-noise machine (a great white-noise machine app, here) when we’re staying in a hotel. These devices make it easy to travel light, which is quite a feat with kids in tow! Read More