Thursday, April 25, 2013

pbs kids, it all adds up!

this last weekend, our family was invited out for a fun day at the pacific science center, to hear what pbs kids has been up to lately. it was an opportunity to learn about some of the new apps, shows, etc that pbs had recently released or has coming up soon. we got to hear speakers talk about their local community involvement and i was specifically surprised to hear some statistics about a tacoma area school and what pbs was doing to make that situation better for hundreds of families.

each table at the event was equipped with laptops and ipads ready for exploring the new pbs apps and website features - even robin was all smiles as we navigated a fun app where we handed a monkey a certain number of bananas and one with bright stickers that we could place to our hearts content. stella particularly loved a shape tracing game and rowan messed around with a little bit of everything to the point it was almost impossible to pull her away when it was time to leave.

one thing that pbs focused on was parent involvement as your child's first teacher. they showcased apps and parts of the website that hold mom and dad responsible for checking out the site with their kids and then helping them in guided learning activities, some based on their favorite characters - like counting around the house, using everyday items around your house or out and about as counting opportunities e.g. figuring out how many people will be sitting down for dinner and then counting out how many plates, forks, etc you will need.

when i got home and had a better chance to explore with the kids i found a lot of really awesome and fun things! for starters i was thrilled about the pbs parents page - full of tools, life + parenting tips, recipes, crafts, and even full instructions on how to build your kids a cardboard kitchen!

the pbs event had a little something for everyone! i was there to learn more about how i could spread the word about pbs and their current work, tim was there to eat delicious lunch catered by mccormick & schmick's, and rowan and stella loved bouncing around from activity to activity in the "childcare" area before joining us at the tables and really digging into the apps and games. a little later the cat and the hat even showed up! rowan was a giggly mess and requested multiple photos with him and while stella was enthralled by his presence she wouldn't go anywhere near him.

when the event was wrapping up we took advantage of our free entry into the science center. mandy from harper's happenings and her family were there as well as my favorite person amanda (pretty little life) and her two kiddos, so we had fun exploring one end of the museum, specifically the butterfly house with them, before our kiddos were fried from a long day and needed naps badly. at one point in the butterfly house rowan had two butterflies land on her bow - it was hilarious, she kept trying to see them and had a whole crowd gathering around her. better her than me, those big butterflies freak me out, i mean they are the size of tiny birds and trying to land on your face? no thanks!