Goodbye screens, Hello voice: Tech's biggest platform shift since the smartphone is happening. Here's what it means.
Smart speakers are one of the top-selling gifts this Black Friday and holiday season. Devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are at the frontlines of a new platform shift in tech: voice computing. Business Insider Prime takes a look at the opportunities, challenges and implications of the shift to voice in this special series of stories. Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home are some of the hottest tech products this holiday season. The compact gadgets have no keyboards or mice, and usually no screens.
Each of these toys is fun to play with and just so happens to teach your kids some coding and engineering basics along the way. So if you’re looking for an educational forward holiday gift but still want your kids to, you know, have fun with said gift , give one of these a shot.
It can feel like the holiday toy-buying gets a little out of hand this time of year. We want to see our kids’ faces light up on Christmas morning, but we don’t want to drown in a sea of plastic to make it happen. That’s why adding a couple of STEM toys into the mix can be such a great middle ground. Kids are naturally curious little beings who like to dabble in science, technology, engineering and maths; parents like to feel as though at least some of their toys have educational value.
So I did some digging to pull together a few classic STEM toys, as well as newer arrivals that will bring out the curious learner in any child on your holiday list this year.
Avoid Those 'Secret Sister' Gift Exchanges On Facebook
Every year my Facebook newsfeed is inundated with invitations to join gift exchanges, specifically those that suggest you can send one gift or book or bottle of local beer and then you’ll magically receive 36 in return. It sounds too good to be true, which is probably because it is. Anyone who does the simple maths can tell that this is not a thing that’s going to actually work. You can also tell that it’s essentially a pyramid scheme, which is illegal. Nevertheless, the exchanges pop up on Facebook and via email every holiday season, so much so that The Better Business put out an alert about them earlier this month.
For this holiday season , she suggests gifts that help kids learn as well as play, including: littleBits Gizmos and Gadgets: “Make a remote-control race car, a Stem Box: “A subscription service that delivers mostly experiments for young scientists with an emphasis on getting girls interested in STEM .”
The Best Gifts for Kids (2019 Reviews). The holiday season is a wonder to children, and that’s just one of the reasons that gift -giving is so much fun. Few things are better in life than watching the wide-eyed excitement on children’s faces as they open up a gift to discover that it’s that one item they’ve
I see no reason not to start teaching chemistry to your baby when we’ve got a book likeat our disposal to introduce “the structure of organic, carbon-containing compounds and materials.”
Of course, as they get older, a beginner’s science experiment kit is also a must-have and there are lots of variations out there. You can’t go wrong with Fat Brain’s version, the, which encourages both scientific learning and potty humour.
Also, crystals. Kids love to grow some crystals, and thisfrom National Geographic will teach kids about crystal formation and it gives them a nightlight base to display five of their favourite crystals in their bedroom when they’re all done. It’ll be the beginning of their rock collection, because childhood is not childhood without a rock collection.
How To Do Your Holiday Shopping Without Amazon
Amazon stocks everything you could ever imagine purchasing, at prices that usually best its competitors. But there’s something that just doesn’t sit right about being able to get a 12-pack of paper towels or whatever else your heart desires delivered in two days (or fewer). Maybe it’s the high rate of injury at some of the company’s warehouses, especially during the busy holiday shipping season, that prompted a 600-worker petition for more breaks during shifts. Or the reports of gruelling fulfillment quotas that contribute to employee injuries at a far higher rate than at other warehouses.
This holiday season , go ahead and buy the best STEM games o gift to your friends and family. Here is a list of my favorite games in the categories: 1
Check out these seven best STEM gifts for the holiday season Games like Minecraft and Fortnite have captured the attention of kids across the globe but why not give your kid the gift of making one of their own?
Another staple for every young scientist is a microscope, and Educational Insights has a couple of good options: Thefor preschoolers and the for young elementary-aged kids. (Their are pretty great, too.)
You’re already teaching your baby organic chemistry, so you might as well also grab a copy of; it’s never too early to learn these concepts.
Then, by the time your kid is around four years old, it’s time to learn a little coding! You can start to introduce the basic concepts of coding with this 22-piece “” play set. Or, for a more classic robotic look, you might try the , which is also good for ages 3 to 6.
There are coding robots for older kids, too, like the, which has an easy-to-use interface that says allows kids to “explore and build programs from basic to more advanced.” It’s recommended for kids ages 8 and older.
Can you find the hidden puppy in this holiday brainteaser?
Can you find the hidden puppy in this holiday brainteaser?In fact, Protectivity Insurance found that this year people in the UK will spend a total of £213,743,179 on gifts for their dogs this Christmas. To illustrate this, the company created a brainteaser that challenges people to find a dog hiding among a sea of gifts, Santa hats, and gingerbread men.
The ultimate guide to the hottest toys for kids this holiday season . To help you narrow down your choices for that perfect gift , we’ve compiled a list of some of the top toys for the holidays . MeccaSpider Robot Kit, STEM Toy with Interactive Built-in Games and App, Infrared Remote Control
No one's more excited about the holidays than our kids , and with all the amazing toys to choose from the selection can become overwhelming. Sometimes Santa needs a little help picking out the best gifts for those on his nice list.
I have to start this section with one of my all-time favourite building toys:.
At $US60 ($88) for a starter set of 37 pieces, they’re a little pricey (and there are cheaper versions of the same idea out there), but they’re incredibly sturdy. My son got his first set when he was four years old and just the other day, I came downstairs to find he had pulled them out from under the couch and was building some kind of structure to go along with other toys he was playing with. He’s nine years old now. We’ve built everything from simple ice cream cones to elaborate castles with these things, and every kid should have a set.
Runners-up for fun building toys:
K’NEX, which has a wholethat come with lesson plans to help teach STEM topics.
, which kids can use to build a variety of electronics projects.
, which click together with rounded joints that more easily allow you to bend and manipulate your creations.
For more magnetic fun, the 51-piecevehicle set is another solid option for kids who want to practice their engineering skills. It comes with four how-to designs, but kids can also create their own.
The places where Christmas never ends
The holiday season is upon us, and that means cities and towns the world over twinkle with lights and buzz with Christmas cheer. But, in some destinations, the festivities never end. From tinsel-doused towns to Santa-focused theme parks, we've picked 22 places that celebrate Christmas the whole year through.
Searching for all the best gifts for kids this season ? Christmas and Hanukkah are both on their way, and it's time you started thinking about the perfect present. We have gadgets, clothes and accessories galore on our list, and plenty of options for your tots, kids and tweens. You'll find STEM toys, games
STEM toys make great gifts for young minds this holiday season . I'm shopping at JR Toy Canada to bring STEM toys to all the children in my life. Academic Stem toys can be awesome gifts to give older kids over the age of seven or eight. These toys involve things like math and science kits or
There’s also thebook for the littlest ones. A is for Amplifier, B is for Battery, C is for Carnot Engine. This book will give your infant a solid engineering foundation.
You should, of course, start with thebook. (I can’t help myself; I love these so much.)
As they reach preschool age, thecomes recommended from a couple of parents in our as a hands-on way to introduce simple addition to young kids. I also like the , which includes 60 counters (seven fruits in five different colours).
is a good option for kids around six years old—it helps them practice addition and subtraction quickly in their head (and it’s small, so it would make a great stocking stuffer). For a more mathematically advanced child, you might try , which utilises addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to move around the board.
For a mix of new STEM activities, you might consider a subscription-based option like, which sends out “crates” of science-, engineering- and art-based projects each month. You can select a membership by age—starting as young as 0-24 months old for and up to a variety of options for teenagers.
Meet the smartest parents on Earth! Join our.
This Is Why We Hang Stockings on Christmas .
It’s a central part of any home during Christmas: a series of large sock-like sacks hung on mantle (with care). But why do we hang Christmas stockings?But here's another theory that still dates back 700 years, when Dutch children started stuffing their clogs with hay and carrots. They'd leave the shoes outside their homes on the eve of Sinterklaas Day (Dec. 6), believing that Santa would take the treats for his reindeer and replace the goodies with coins or small gifts for them to discover the next morning, according to Smithsonian. Over time, the shoes were moved inside, then replaced by the children's socks—and the date they were hung changed as well, from the eve of St.