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Study suggests giving kids too many toys stifles their creativity

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A team of researchers at the University of Toledo in the U.S. has found that children are more creative when they have fewer toys to play with at one time. In their paper published in the journal Infant Behavior and Development, the group describes their observational study of toddlers at play, what they learned and offer some suggestions for parents. Parents have long been subject to the opinions of others, some of which include judgments regarding the number of toys they should provide for their children. Some suggest more toys show children they are more loved, while others argue more toys is overkill and a poor substitute for parental attention. In this new effort, the researchers have conducted a simple experiment meant to test creativity in toddlers playing with toys.”(more)

Blocks are still the best present you can buy children for Christmas

Medical X-Press – Kym Simoncini And Kevin Larkin

“With Christmas looming, many people will be considering what present to buy for their children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and friends. Soon, if not already, we will be reading lists of the top trending presents for 2017. These lists will no doubt include, and may even be totally dominated by, all the latest gadgets and devices. The purpose of these lists is to attempt to persuade parents of young children if they want to give their child the best start in life, and all the advantages for doing well later at school, they need to purchase the latest technology.”(more)

You Can Now Give Your Kids a Monthly STEM Toy Box Subscription

Black Enterprise – Samara Lynn

“There are all kinds of goodies-in-a-box you can get shipped monthly via an online subscription: food, dog toys, cosmetics, clothes, and more. Monthly box subscription services are hot because let’s face it—it’s fun to regularly get packages where you may not know what the contents exactly are. Now Amazon has a way you can give your child a surprise toy each month as well as an education in STEM.”(more)

Lego’s new kit teaches kids to code

CNN – Selena Larson

“Lego is making its blocks smarter. The company is launching a new building and coding set at CES 2017 this week that brings movement to Legos. The Lego Boost kit lets kids build five different smart toy models, including a cat, robot and guitar, with the help of sensors and motors. The move follows the success of Lego’s Mindstorms robotics kits, which are often used in computer science classes. Last year, Lego launched the WeDo 2.0 robotics kit to teach science and tech concepts to elementary students.”(more)

What Kids Can Learn When Blocks Get A Tech Boost

KQED News Mind/Shift – Jill Barshay

“At Forest Grove Elementary School, along the Ohio River just northwest of Pittsburgh, the Rust Belt is giving way to educational innovation. In a windowless room in the library, first- and second-graders experiment with a strange teaching device that’s half computer and half wooden play table. A giant computer screen looms over the table, and a touch-screen tablet is built into the table’s surface. A dancing cartoon gorilla appears on both screens, while a disembodied female voice commands two students to erect towers. The children reach into two bins of colorful wooden blocks and oversized Legos and build. Suddenly the table shakes wildly. The towers fall. Laughter ensues.”(more)

Toymakers want to bring STEM to playtime, filling gaps from schools

The Chicago Tribune – Cheryl V. Jackson

“The toy industry is looking to fill a gap where schools might not be teaching STEM, said Robin Raskin, founder of lifestyle technology conference producer Living in Digital Times. “Ninety percent of parents want their kids to learn computer science, but only 40 percent of schools teach computer science,” she said during the Chicago Toy and Game Inventors Conference. Learning Resources has shifted its business mix in recent years to reflect that, to about 55 percent consumers and 45 percent schools. Its business base had previously been about 90 percent schools.”(more)