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October 5, 2015 is World Teacher's Day, and to celebrate, Life is Good met with teachers and asked them "what makes you connect with a child?" The responses from these real-life educators are featured in the video below, which is part of an initiative to help #GROWtheGood. Have a memory about a special teacher - or can you share this video? For every use of the #GROWtheGood hashtag, Life is Good will provide one dollar of support to help kids in need. Check it out...

Published in General News

While it's easy to look at something like STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and see it as something simple, like a toy or a cartoon - there's always been something else brewing beneath the surface... a signature philosophy that "Anything is Possible." As parents like my wife and I raise daughters as part of a new generation of powerful little girls that will one day become powerful women, we often find ourselves saying those very words - "Anything is Possible" - and we believe that to be completely true. Think of all the accomplishments that Humankind has achieved - many of which just in the past 100, 50, 25 or even 10 years - and it becomes clear that even the most far-fetched or outlandish idea that some would say "can't be done" most certainly can. Tonight I'm sharing with all of you a sneak-preview of a video that will make its public debut in NYC on October 3rd - a video that all young girls should see...

Netflix #StreamTeamWhen it comes to learning, sometimes kids need a reminder that learning new things is fun - something that I’m told happens more often with older kids - ones that sit in that “tween age.” While my girls (The Rock Daughters™) are still much younger, we’re really working to embrace that sense of wonder, exploration and curiosity that both have. For Addie, our oldest, there’s been a growing tendency to conduct “experiments” on her own, and she generally pulls little Finn into the mix. Things can get messy, but that’s just fine as the girls develop their own first-hand methods of witnessing action and reaction… even if that means I might spout off like David Seville with a frustrated “Addddddie!” once in awhile (that’s my problem, not the kids’). With a lot of what they’re doing, the girls are engaging in a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) realm without even knowing it. Embracing those interests at a young age (or refreshing them at an older one) is why it’s cool to see a program like PROJECT Mc2 hitting the scene.

Published in Movies, TV and More
Wednesday, August 26 2015 23:39

Dinotrux: A Kid's Dream Come True...

Netflix #StreamTeamFact: Most kids love dinosaurs. Another Fact: Most kids also love trucks, cars, trains, planes, boats and other things that are mechanical and/or move. Bonus Fact: The previous two facts are simply claimed by me, with no form of research and/or scientific proof to back that up. Hey, I didn’t question it when all of a sudden Optimus Prime had Grimlock and a bunch of other Dinobots running around back in 1984, so why would kids in 2015 question the existence of a race of “giant creatures that are half dinosaur, half construction vehicle and all awesome?” I figure most won’t…

Published in Movies, TV and More

THE ROCK FATHER™ has been compensated for this shop by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are that of James Zahn. #PlayNGrow #CollectiveBias

Is it possible that toys can help children learn to deal with their emotions? While we've discussed a variety of "learning" toys at length over the years, I've never really written about the emotional consequences or benefits of play. Of course, toys are a big part of the emotional development of a child, but the possibilities have perhaps never been quite as defined as they are with the new toys based on Disney•Pixar's INSIDE OUT. As family films become more layered and sophisticated (Walt Disney Animation Studios' BIG HERO 6 is a prime recent example), the subject matter lends itself to opening up important conversations about life issues, and emotion is what INSIDE OUT is all about. On one of our recent visits to Toys "R" Us, The Rock Daughters™ (Addie & Finn) and I couldn't resist checking out the new assortment of INSIDE OUT toys by TOMY, displayed in the "Feature" section at the front of the store.

As an EI Insider, the folks from Educational Insights recently sent the Design & Drill Flower Power Studio here for The Rock Daughters™ to review in our state-of-the-art Toy Testing Facility (our house). This is actually the third version of a "power drill" that we've acquired here, and by far the most creative in its application.

My wife and I first discovered the girls' interest in tools about a year or so ago, when Addie (our oldest) pointed out a tool set (which included a drill) and stated flat-out that she wanted "to build things like Daddy." Since that time, we've acquired a full-blown workbench, and a set of "Mouseketools," but nothing has been presented like this. The Design & Drill Flower Power Studio is a colorful, well-made toy that presents the drill and its bolts as a "craft set" instead of a pure "tool set," and that's a pretty interesting angle.

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