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This post was one of the more difficult to write. Sure, there were a lot of toys I enjoyed playing with. Lego is the most obvious. Computers too were a lot of fun to play with and program, but not exactly a toy. In the end I went with some of the more obscure.
From the article:
The ’80’s were a magical decade for gadgets for kids. Computing power and display technology were evolving and cost effective enough to penetrate the toy market in a big way. Purely mechanical toys evolved into electromechanical toys and gave birth to the digital toy revolution. For example, LED games of the ’70’s were replaced by Tiger LCD games which were replaced by the Nintendo Gameboy and so on.
Companies also began to innovate on educational toys for kids, whether it was teaching them about electronics, programming, or offering educational games. As a child of the ’80’s, I had many of these toys and played with them much longer than a kid’s attention span would dictate. Below are five that I have the fondest memories of. And hoping to instill that same child-like wonder in my kids, I’ve also included what the modern equivalents are in the market today.
One of Charlie’s favorite toys is Gears! Gears! Gears! I reviewed it for wired.com’s GeekDad blog.
From the article:
What kind of toy do you get for the budding engineer who’s big enough for Lego Duplo but not really any other building toy? ‘Gears! Gears! Gears!’ by the Learning Resource feature brightly colored plastic gears, mounting plates and trusses that allow you to build structures, mount gears to them, and make them all spin. It’s a deceptively simple concept containing a surprising amount of fun. It teaches kids some basic principles of work and motion as they assemble their structures and figure out how to arrange the gears to make everything move. And they won’t even realize they’re learning
I have a new post up on GeekDad: Introducing Our Kids to the Arts.
Sue and I went to the RedLine Milwaukee silent auction benefit with the kids on Milwaukee’s near-north side. You could qualify this post as an un-GeekDad as it really doesn’t have anything to do with technology. That could be an interesting category of posts, though…
From the article:
Some may argue that he is too young to understand let alone appreciate anything at the event. We live in a society that tries to regulate age-appropriateness through ratings that can be found on most of the books, toys, games and movies we buy for our kids. The goal of these ratings is to help parents understand these items at a glance. I hope parents use them as guidelines and not absolutes as all experiences cannot be oversimplified to an age bracket. My wife and I feel it’s important to expose our kids to a wide variety of cultural activities in addition to the more traditional kid stuff. By integrating these activities into their lives at an early age – and through engagement and discussion – we hope he develops an appreciation for it later.
A few weeks ago, GeekDad put out an open call for new writers. I’ve been following GeekDad for a few years and am attracted to it for numerous reasons that should be obvious; I’m both a geek and a Dad.
My reasoning for applying is strange. I don’t think of myself as a writer. But I’m at a transition point in my life. Both becoming a father and with the closing of Tecumseh, I wanted to challenge myself and do something outside of my comfort zone.
And on Friday, May 8th, my first post went live! It is an article about Emulation software that allows us to play the video games of our childhood on modern equipment. The idea came to me over the years as I wanted to give my kids an accelerated history lesson on the evolution of video games. Additionally a professor at Georgia Tech had his class fix one of the biggest flaws in playing emulators on LCD TV’s and help restore the visual charm of these games.
You can follow GeekDad here: http://www.wired.com/geekdad.
Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever been this busy before; December just flew by! So our blog has been neglected somewhat – an understatement to be sure.
On December 3, we welcomed Adelaide Margret into the world – 13 days early, healthy, and beautiful! Everyone is doing well, and our family and friends have been so wonderful helping out during this time. Charlie is adjusting, and is even getting excited to see her and wanting to help out.
There are plenty of pictures in the Photo section of the site.
Thank you, everyone for your love and support.
The video below is so cute! As each letter disappears, Charlie says good bye…