The Beachbot is a cute robot that creates impressive large scale sand drawings

by 02/20/15   filed under: art, kid friendly, kids entertainment

What looks a little like a robot, a lot like a turtle, and can create amazing, detailed, and impressively-sized sand art in the shape of animals and designs? It’s the Beachbot, a newly unveiled robot protype that will hopefully beautify beaches and eventually snowy terrains. This cool new Beachbot comes as a result of a collaboration between Disney’s Research Lab in Zurich and student engineers from the University of Zurich, and it features a retractable rake that applies even pressure, creating brush strokes that quickly result in impressive and often expansive works of sand art.  The Beachbot makes creating sand art look like a breeze, but the process is actually quite complex and very cool — the robot is programmed using algorithms that turn images into trajectories for the Beachbot to follow. Internal scanners help create the parameters for each work, and an inertial measurement unit helps create some of the smaller, more specific movements that result in the details of turtle, fish, dog, or other design.The Beachbot is still in the concept phase as its innovators try to make it more autonomous, but be on the lookout for one the next time you hit the beach!

RELATED | 13 Amazing Sand Sculptures

+ Beachbot

 

President Obama's 'Every Kid in a Park' initiative offers free admission to all National Parks and other federal lands for a year

by 02/19/15   filed under: announcements, green family, green kids, news

every kid in a park

President Barack Obama announced a new program today called “Every Kid in a Park” that will provide opportunities for young people and their families to experience the great outdoors free of charge. Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, every fourth grader and his/her family will be entitled to free admission to all National Parks and other federal lands for a full year. Every Kid in a Park is an effort to inspire young people and their families to connect with public lands, in preparation for the 100th anniversary of our country’s national parks, which will be celebrated in 2016. This new endeavor is an expansion of the Ticket to Ride program run by the National Park Foundation, the congressionally-chartered foundation of the National Park Service, which will also award transportation grants for kids to visit parks and other public lands, mostly through school-based trips.

RELATED | Are National Parks and Public Lands Becoming Too Hands-Off for Kids?

via The White House

Lead image via Shutterstock

 

Napping after age 2 may disturb a child's nighttime sleep

by 02/19/15   filed under: kids health, news, parenting, sleeping

sleep, sleep habits, toddlers, parenting, naps, age to nap

Whether you consider them “terrible,” tantrum-y or not, the ages of two and three are intense times, fueled by lots of exciting developments and exploration. For parents of these pint-sized limit-testers and adventurers, the afternoon nap may be the only quiet respite during a busy, often-emotional day… but are naps ruining your child’s sleep during the night? A new report that focused on 26 studies about napping found that beyond the age of two, sleeping during the daytime is associated with more disrupted sleep at night, which can in turn be linked to behavioral issues, impaired cognitive functioning, and even obesity. Most experts agree that napping habits are different for every kid and family: some two year-olds clearly need a break in their day to recharge and will fall apart if denied a nap. If your child happily takes a nap during the day and peacefully heads off to snoozeville at nighttime, he/she may still need that extra daytime sleep. For other toddlers who take a nap (especially if they fight it going down) and then have difficulty falling asleep at night, cutting or reducing the length of the nap might be a reasonable recommendation. So pay attention to your child’s behaviors and signals — they may be a better indicator of her sleep needs than her age.

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Lead image via Shutterstock

 

Hello Barbie: The world's first talking Barbie boasts memory recognition and the ability to have two-way conversations

by 02/19/15   filed under: eco play, kid gadgets, kids entertainment

barbie, talking barbie, electronic toys, toys

She’s had a reputation for decades for being a little plastic and fake, but Barbie may finally have a chance to show some personality, even if it’s artificially engineered. After years of not having a voice of her own, Barbie is finally getting one: Hello Barbie, Mattel’s soon-to-be-released version of the iconic toy, will be able to tell jokes, play games, and even remember your child’s specific interests or preferences. Now capable of two-way conversations, Hello Barbie uses WiFi to interact with whomever is playing with her and, amazingly, to remember information shared during these conversations for future use (a skill we find cool and creepy at the same time). Hear Barbie’s voice for the first time after the jump!

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5 'fun' things you can do with your baby's placenta

by 02/18/15   filed under: education, green family, health & body

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Eco-friendly PLAE shoes give us spring fever with bright colors and green details

by 02/18/15   filed under: green design

plae, shoes, kid shoes, eco-friendly kid shoes

Mother Nature may have just dumped another load of snow and ice upon the majority of the country recently, but these bright and cheery shoes remind us to have hope: spring is just around the corner. A PLAE shoes limited edition design, these Roan kicks sport a Pucci-esque design and sunny colors including turquoise and buttery yellow with pops of pink. This design (and many other PLAE styles) are bright and super child-friendly, so you can banish any thoughts of vegan kids’ shoes in muted and drab colors. The Roan shoes, designed “for the inner Basquiat or Botticelli in every child” come with basic white tabs — but you can funk up the design even further with PLAE’s customizeable tabs. These breathable, anti-bacterial shoes are created on eco-poly printed nylon and come from a solar-powered, fair labor factory: really, what’s not to love? Available in sizes 8 kids to 4 youth.

RELATED | Kids Can Tread Lightly on the Earth in PLAE’s hip, vegan shoes

+ Roan shoes $59.95 and up

+ PLAE Shoes

 

32 new LEGO Star Wars sets are debuting soon

by 02/18/15   filed under: announcements, eco play, green kids, green toys, kid friendly, kids entertainment

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'Library Trees' offer whimsical shelf & storage space solutions

by 02/17/15   filed under: green design, kids furniture

mathy by bols, tree shelving, tree bookshelf. tree shelves, tree shelf, bookcase for kids, tree bookcase, tree themed furniture

Library Trees made by Mathy by Bols are a creative, unique and beautiful way to add storage to any child’s space, be it a bedroom or playroom. In fact, these shelves are so gorgeous that even adults may want to plant one in a main living space or master bedroom. Each of these fabulously fun bookcases are made in a tree shape with lots of shelves tilted at exciting angles, just like real tree branches. Made to order in Belgium with pine wood and MDF, the bookcase comes with screws and wedges that allow you to attach the tree to a wall. Bonus, there are 20 vibrant water-based finishes to choose from, so you’re sure to find a tree shelf in a perfectly coordinating bedroom or playroom color. See all the Library Trees at Cuckooland, the official UK distributor of Mathy by Bols.

+ Mathy by Bols at Cuckooland

+ Mathy by Bols

 

HOW TO: Make vegan sesame spinach noodles to celebrate Chinese New Year

HOW TO: Make vegan sesame spinach noodles to celebrate Chinese New Year

1. Gather the ingredients. 12 oz long noodles (we used organic whole wheat spaghetti, but you can also use linguini, rice noodles, etc) 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 Tbsp minced…

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Kids Museum of Glass in Shanghai is an interactive and educational design experience for children

Kids Museum of Glass in Shanghai is an interactive and educational design experience for children

TweetEmail Located in Shanghai, the museum includes a glass city, theaters, drawing and creative DIY spaces, two cafes and a party space. Children can use the multi-media…

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From Washington to Obama: Presidential toy blocks by Uncle Goose

From Washington to Obama: Presidential toy blocks by Uncle Goose

If President’s Day celebrations are stirring the patriot within you, there’s more than one way to school your tot in our nation’s rich history—without drawing yawns.…

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Book series fashions heroes of yesteryear into relatable role models for today's kids

Book series fashions heroes of yesteryear into relatable role models for today's kids

Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln: both of these historical greats are known for what they accomplished as adults, but what happened during their childhood to help them develop into…

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HOW TO: Make a homemade and effective natural cough syrup

HOW TO: Make a homemade and effective natural cough syrup

1. Gather your ingredients. 4 oz (1/2 cup) honey (preferably raw and local) 4 oz (1/2 cup) warm filtered water 1 lemon 1 medium onion 2 cloves of garlic 2 sprigs fresh…

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109 year-old man knits sweaters for penguins to protect them from the dangers of oil spills

109 year-old man knits sweaters for penguins to protect them from the dangers of oil spills

If the image of adorable little penguins wearing sweaters doesn’t bring a smile to your face, we’re pretty sure you didn’t look closely enough: they are tiny penguins…

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Help bring back the bees by growing a rainbow of wildflowers with Seedles' seedballs

Help bring back the bees by growing a rainbow of wildflowers with Seedles' seedballs

TweetEmail Did you know that bees pollinate one out of every three bites that we eat? Honeybee populations are troubled, which could spell disaster for the food supply. One Bay…

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Kata Golda finger puppets are a classic, inspiring toy for toddlers

Kata Golda finger puppets are a classic, inspiring toy for toddlers

Kata Golda is a pro at designing simple, yet sweet toys that encourage children to use their imagination. Case in point: these unique finger puppets, waiting to come magically to life…

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Organic personalized family tree bib shows the roots of your growing family

Organic personalized family tree bib shows the roots of your growing family

TweetEmail One of the best parts about having kids is celebrating each and every family member’s new place in the family tree. The Family Tree Bib by perennial etsy…

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HOW TO: Make delicious, raw chocolate pudding from avocados!

HOW TO: Make delicious, raw chocolate pudding from avocados!

1. Gather the ingredients. 2 avocados ¼ cup cacao powder 1 tsp vanilla 8-10 chopped dates, softened if dried or 2-3 tbsp agave nectar 2. Cut the avocados. This is definitely not…

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