Monday, July 28, 2008

The Adventures of Josie True

What a great find! A website designed to encourage smart girls to use their smarts for fun and adventure. I hope you can check out their website. Mary Flanagan is the creator and she proudly features multi-cultural characters and ignores the typical girly girl stereotypes. Very nice adventure game. I would think girls in grades 3-6 would really like the site. There is also a great resource section, experiments, math games and other activities on the site.

Here are some excerpts from their homepage and their FAQ section:

The Adventures of Josie True is a web-based historical adventure game for girls. The hero of the game is Chinese-American Josie True, a regular girl who becomes involved in intrigue across time and space as she tries to find her inventor-turned-teacher Ms. Trombone. She time travels with one of Ms. Trombone's inventions,the Intellicat .
During their travels, they meet a host of historical figures including women from history such as Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman pilot. At each stop in the journey, there are fun, rewarding activities to play in order to find Ms. Trombone, stop the artifact thieves, help Bessie Coleman at her airshow, and much more!

Q. Why are you giving the project away for free?

A. This is a conscious choice before we even started the project. This is a not-for-profit project funded by the NSF--it is designed so that girls will be able to get involved in the Internet and in science and math educational opportunities for free. We want to give real girls good content and provide real historical role models to girls in a science and math context. There is too much money at stake in the software industry for developers to take (what they perceive as) market risks; unfortunately, that means that we see less diversity in the products available to girls. In addition, software is too expensive for the average family or the average school, and since the project is funded, it should be in the hands of as many people as possible. So send friends and family our way!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Getting Buggy

My daughter received a Bugville Live Butterfly Treehouse as a gift at her birthday party. It is listed under $16 at Amazon. You are required to send in $6 for five painted lady caterpillars and their food. The directions seem pretty simple, and three weeks later you are releasing the painted butterflies in your yard!
We just ordered the caterpillars and we can't wait to start "growing" them. The manufacturer Insect Lore also has a website. Here they provide all kinds of buggy information and games. Looks like they also make products for raising ants, lady bugs and other buggy collections.
We are hoping for success in our butterfly enterprise!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Olympic Fun

We are so excited to be watching the Olympic Trials. Wish we had more than the limited coverage offered on our cable channels.....

We have a local phenom. A 16 year old girl who qualified for the 1500M finals. She was not expected to make the Olympic team, and she didn't. But what an inspiration she is! Her name is Jordan Hasay, so watch for her the next Olympic Games. Here is a video of her semi-final run.

I also found a great blog called sportsgirlsplay. The author blogs about female athletes and has done a very nice job of highlighting some strong Olympic trial performances by American women. Check it out to see some other great videos and a fabulous shot of 41 year old, first place finisher, swimmer Dara Torres holding her 2 year old daughter.

So many great women athletes. I am happy to see they seem to be covering the women's events as much as the men's. I hope you and your family can enjoy the upcoming Olympic Games!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

No-Added Sugar Apple Tart anyone?

My friend Hayley got me thinking about how fun and educational it is to cook with your kids. She posted her grandmother's famous fruit leather recipe on her blog recently. How fun, easy and economical this home made version is! And no artificial anything. How wonderfully simple.

When you think about it- cooking involves math, science, a little bit of engineering, adventure, exploration, following directions and artistic presentation. Personally, I haven't had much luck with kid cookbooks. Recipes seem too complicated and unpredictable. Our skyscraper waffle city looked nothing like the photo! It didn't taste very good either.

So, I consulted my good friend Mr. Google. I was pleased to find a website called Spatulatta. Brilliant website that has over 200 videos of actual kids making actual, fantastically simple recipes. They also have some fun games, contests, art in the kitchen ideas, out takes, basic skills review and other food adventures.
The No-Sugar Added Apple Tart from their video collection sure looks good. Will try that out with the kids this week.....

If you know any good kids in the kitchen cooking resources or recipes, please leave a comment.
As always, this blog writer is not paid to endorse any product or website!