23 posts categorized "Kid Technology"

August 31, 2011

New Tech Product: Striiv Portable Fitness Device - Rewards Thru Everday Exercise

Striiv Device Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk with the team and see a demo over at Striiv, a new Silicon Valley Start-Up that developed a portable fitness device for the "rest of us" (Please check out my post at Cool Mom Tech for more details).

What does "rest of us" mean?

There are already great devices for runners but how about the "rest of us" that count running in and out of the grocery store or up and down the steps to their office as their only exercise? Striiv is a device small enough to hang on your keychain but is filled with big features that everyone can use to fit in more exercise into their daily routine.

The device follows your movement (including steps,  cadence and more) assigning points to track personal goals, unlock rewards, progess steps in a gaming environment and best yet contribute to charity in what is considered a "walk-a-thon" in your pocket. Future features inlcude big plans for social.

The age range is from kids to adults, so the whole family can use the device. I will be testing a Striiv device very soon and can't wait to share more details. For now, here is the press release for today's announcement.

Press Release:

 Silicon Valley Start-Up Unveils Product that Motivates and Rewards Exercise through Games, Challenges and Donations

Continue reading "New Tech Product: Striiv Portable Fitness Device - Rewards Thru Everday Exercise" »

September 24, 2010

Klutz Book of Animation Blog Tour (stop #5) And Giveaway!

Winner is Jonathan Ezor!!

My Solarcarnewkids and I enjoy Klutz books because they allow us to learn new and child friendly activities in a fun and engaging way.

The Klutz activity books also help me be the "craft/hobby" mom I always wanted to be! How else would I know how to make a solar car?

Because of my prior fun experience with Klutz, I was excited to be asked to host stop #5 (and a giveaway) in the Klutz Book of Animation - 16 stop blog tour. Blog book tours are fun ways to spread the word on interesting books. LittleTechGirl will be hosting the next stop on Monday - check it out to find another fun giveaway & video feature!


One (1) Winner will receive:
    * a copy of The Klutz Book of Animation
    * as well as The Klutz Book of Inventions, Dr. Frankensketch's Monster Drawing Machine, and The Klutz Yo-Yo Book!

Prize Pack valued at: $79.80. Giveaway details are listed at the bottom of this post.

AnimationCover Here is the press information sent to me about the Klutz Book of Animation:

"Anybody with a computer, camera, internet connection and a little bit of creativity can create animated films for the masses. The Klutz Book of Animation is a how-to-guide for this art form. Step-by-step instructions show you how to create a variety of different classic stop motion special effects."

Watch the real videos created here as inspiration to start making your own animation! My kids can't wait to try making their own animation.

Giveaway details:

To enter to win the prizes listed above, please comment on the post below with what you would do if you won the books? Are you a mom or dad that wants to do projects with their kids? Are you an aunt, uncle, grandmom or grandpop that wants a fun activity to do with the kids are visiting? Are you a big kid that wants to try it for yourself?


--Only one comment/entry per person.

--A Valid email address must be entered in the private "email" section of the comment (not in the comment text). If a valid email address is not provided, another winner will be chosen.

--Winner must be located in North America (Canada/US). Shipments can only be made to Canada/US.

--We are not responsible for any lost packages or incorrect shipping addresses. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Approximate value of prizes may vary.

--Winner will be choosen via Random.org on Friday Oct 1 by 12pm pst.

Disclosure: TechMamas.com did not receive compensation in any form for this post. Techmamas.com did receive a copy of the Animation book to review.

September 07, 2010

Lifescoop Blog: Kid Desk 2.0 Upgrade - Enter to win $250

The ever so clever Clever Girls Collective invited me (@TechMama) to participate in a back to school challenge on the My Life Scoop blog (powered by Intel). It was great timing because I was in the middle of a challenge of my own: how do I redesign my 11 year old's kid desk to get ready for middle school and to have enough room to hold his technology AND projects?

Take a look at my post on My Life Scoop blog titled "Contest: Kid Desk 2.0 Upgrade - Be In It To Win It": the winning comment/solution will be awarded $250.00 gift card.

I am in need of a kid desk upgrade 2.0 - please share your ideas and enter the contest!

Disclosure: I am being compensated to write the post on My Life Scoop - but am in desperate need of a desk for my tween so I can't wait to read the comments!

January 20, 2010

My Kids Are Awake With Access to Tech, But Pretend Play Is Still King

Kids-technologyThis morning I opened up the New York Times and read the article by Tamar Lewin called "If Your Kids Are Awake, They're Probably Online". Later I saw the New York Times article had made it to Techmeme.

While reading the article I took a moment to look at what my kids were doing. Were my kids using any technology this morning?

So I decided to review the morning's activities: After my 10 year old and twin 6 year old boyBoys-pillow-fights ate breakfast, they went into our living room (affectionately called the "bouncy room" because sofa pillows are used for forts and jumping) for some pretend play before school. They had rolled up paper for swords and were pretending to fend off the "bad guys". A few nerf guns sneaked their way in, but had no bullets so they ended up being a prop as well. When it is was time to leave, my boys put on their little yellow rain boots and rain jackets and went to school.

All of this "pretend play" happened in our house that is full of technology. We have multiple laptops including my 10 year old that has his own laptop, iPod and Nintendo DSi. My twin 6 year olds have Leapfrog moblie gaming units and their older brother's hand me down Nintendo DS's. The TV in our family room may be 10 years old, but it still works great. We have Direct TV DVR's and a Nintendo Wii. We have multiple Nintendo racing, sports and Mario Bros Wii games with lots of accessories and just recently purchased the Tony Hawk Thride game and accessory board. My 10 year old has a simple cell phone that is "Pay as you Go" with no data plan but ample calling and texting. His friends have the Sony Playstation and they enjoy playing Lego Star Wars. We only have one TV in our family room, but multiple computer screens in our house.

The New York Times article "If Your Kids Are Awake, They're Probably Online" brought up some very interesting discussion points about how much time kids are spending on technology each day:

Continue reading "My Kids Are Awake With Access to Tech, But Pretend Play Is Still King" »

October 12, 2009

10 Great iPhone Apps for Moms & Dads

Iphone TechMamas.com guest post by Sarah Granger who is my go-to/power user iPhone App mom. 

Other than the obvious apps that come with the iPhone that save us in daily life like SMS, e-mail, Calendar, Maps, Weather, iPhoto, etc., here are ten great iPhone applications to download from the App Store that have good uses for moms (and dads).

1. ICE - In Case of Emergency - important app for emergency contact info including doctors, allergies, medications, etc. for you and your kids.

2. WebMD Mobile - Allows for quick lookup of symptoms and helps to determine when children need to go to the doctor or the emergency room.

3. LocalPicks - Great ideas for restaurants when your kids are about to have a meltdown - you can find out what's close, fast.

4. Light - Turn your iPhone into a light in the dark when kids are scared or if you need to find something, like car keys.  

5. Scribble Lite - A fun program for the preschool and Kinder set, they can paint and draw from your iPhone.

6. Bubbles - For the little ones, this is a great way to pass the time - you or they make bubbles and pop them.

7. Facebook - Stay in touch with mom friends or cyberstalk your kids and their friends; also good for comic relief when you need a break.

8. Pandora - Builds custom radio stations for you based on your preferences: drown out the kids or make them think you're cool.

9. iChalky - Hours of silly fun, stretching a little faux chalk-like hangman type character (and don't forget to try inserting your kids' faces).

10. SitOrSquat - Last, but certainly not least, this helps locate nearby restrooms and identifies whether they are clean, safe, etc.


Sarah Granger, tech mom of one, has written for the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, Bay Area Parent, Playborhood, techPresident and Digital Landing.

September 25, 2009

TechBoy's Adventures with the Sony Cybershot - Part 1

I was invited with a fabulous group of mom bloggers to the SonyMom event in LA a few weeks ago. During that time we had the opportunity to attend/photograph the red carpet premiere of the movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs".  I was inspired by many positive messages in the movie and by the interviews with the Directors and Stars of the film.

One of the messages in the film was for children to embrace their true self/interests and for their parents to support them in that journey. So I decided to present the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1 that I was given at that event to my 10 year old son (TechBoy) who has a strong interest in photography and video.  When I handed over the camera to him, I told him that he could ask me any question he wanted - but that I would let him discover how to use the camera on his own. He learned how to use the camera quickly and started using functions that I would not have thought to use (like taking video and special effects). The only questions he asked me about were related to video editing.

Here is the example of some of the pictures he took with the Sony Cybershot. He has also taken some great videos with the camera (yes, you can take video with the Sony Cybershot). But those videos are in the process of being edited on his MACbook using iMovie.

Update: See the GoToMom.TV's post to view a great example of taking videos with the Sony Cybershot.

The pictures below are taken by my own TechBoy (who is now 10) with no instructions from his TechMama, who is VERY proud. TechBoy likes to give me flowers. Now that he is taking his own digital pictures he can also give me flower "pictures" as well. All rights reserved of course!


"The Red Flower"


"The Yellow Flower"


"The White Flower"


TechBoy using his Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1 to take a picture of his own hand and then use the camera's special effects to add some images to the picture.


Disclosure: I attended the SonyMom in LA. At the event, we were told that whether we blogged (and what we choose to write about) was our own choice. We received the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1 to take home with us. I decided to have my pictures do the talking and give the Sony Cybershot to my son.

CLICK HERE to see the pictures the SonyMom's took with the Sony A330 DSLR that we had use of that weekend. 

August 13, 2009

WINNER - Back To School Giveaway: Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop & Accessories

WINNER of Dell Inspiron & Accessories: Random.org helped us randomly pick commenter: Amanda Hellen

We contacted Amanda and here is what she said:

"I cannot wait to use this!!  This Dell is going to help with school and work!  I am enrolled in school and can work from home and work with a database for my job so this is perfect!! I want to pinch myself.  My current laptop is so slow.  Yay!"


When PR for Walmart contacted me with some information about their back to school technology offerings - I asked if they had anything to giveaway to Techmamas.com readers. They said yes, so here is all the info. Note - this is not a paid post, but it is something TechMama likes doing: giving away products to her readers! Here is the information from the press release and details about a giveaway:

PRESS RELEASE INFO:"Student needs are rapidly changing and Mom has a greater focus on affordability than ever before.  That is why Walmart is making a commitment to provide students and parents with a wide variety of laptops at unprecedented savings. Walmart worked closely with brands like HP, Dell, Acer and Toshiba to find the best laptops for students and offer them the best prices.   Starting at 8am on Sunday, July 26th Walmart started offering first-ever $298 Compaq Presario Notebook with 3 GB Memory and an Acer Notebook with an 8-hour battery- perfect for back to school.  In August, Walmart will offer an HP Netbook and Toshiba Notebook with a 17-inch screen, among others.”

Last month Walmart introduced a new colorful assortment of  the Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop at $498 in black, blue, pink, red, purple and aqua to match Walmart’s Back to College color pallets of furnishings and accessories for dorm room décor. "


GIVEAWAY: One TechMamas reader will be randomly choosen to win ONE Pink Dell Inspiron 1545 PLUS the accessories listed below in pink (except for the Western Digital Hardrive which is red).

Also available in a variety of colors, the computer accessories for this giveaway include:

Continue reading "WINNER - Back To School Giveaway: Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop & Accessories " »

February 12, 2009

Lego Centric Electronics On The Way

Finally - Lego centric electronics. All Things Digital (click here) posted with a link to the Boy Genius blog (click here) about Alcatel's partnership with Lego.  I wonder if the real electronics could compare to the Lego Touring Machine that All Things Digital featured?

When it comes to phones, I choose function over design but there is something about anything Lego that makes me want to take it apart and put it back together.. I just hope that phone will be sturdy enough for constant re-engineering by little engineers.

February 02, 2009

PBS Kids Play! Online Learning Tool Details & GIVEAWAY

At the CES Kids@Play Summit I had to the chance to see a demo of the new PBS subscription service called "PBS Kids Play".  For those that spend time on the PBSkids.org website (like my family does) know that there are lots of great activities on the main site. One of my twins actually begs for his screen time to be "PBSKids.org" (seriously, he has the URL memorized).

So the big question is "Why do a  paid subscription service?"

To answer that, here are details from the PBS Kids Play FAQ page:

"PBS KIDS PLAY! is the only online school readiness program that customizes the learning experience to your child's level across 20 different subject areas. Your subscription to PLAY! gets you access to more than 50 exclusive educational activities that you won't find anywhere else – and all of them match with national educational standards and benchmarks. PLAY! adjusts based on your child's individual learning achievements, unlocking exciting new challenges. A personal progress chart for each child shows the results as he or she advances through the curriculum. Plus, PLAY! has built-in safety features that prevent keyboard banging and give you the option to set a time limit… Ding!"

So the main difference from the main PBS Kids website is that PBS Kids Play offers a customized learning experience. So the next question is "Why should my kids go online to learn"?

I have to start off by saying I have been a big PBS fan for years (yes - I watched Sesame Street as a kid - didn't you?). I just saw the new Electric Company show which made me tear up with excitement (that was my favorite show as a kid). 

Screen time is now part of the social culture, so I think it is important for screen time education to start at home. Which means setting up screen time limits to start (i.e. after school, homework, outside play time etc..). After that, it is important to educate kids on where to spend their "screen time".  Even though I have content filters installed, I still talk to my kids about where to go on the Internet. I thrilled that my Kindergarten age twins request to go to PBSKids.org for their screen time because I know they are having a fun, safe and educational experience online. I am also happy that they can navigate around the site on their own - choosing which games they want to play. My twins see their brother and other friends playing online games and have requested to also.

I view PBS Kids Play as a great way to provide an online gaming experience that will also be educational (and safe). The learning goals help me guide my kids to different sections to practice skills and the goal setting is a way for them to feel a sense of accomplishment.

***NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY - PBS was kind enough to offer 10 - 2 Month Free Trial coupons. Those  that comment on this post will be randomly chosen to win. For those that want to enter, please put a valid contact email in the "email not displayed" field in the comment section. GIVEAWAY STARTS TODAY AND CLOSES FEB. 4 AT 9AM pst.

Here are some screen shots and the full press release details :


Continue reading "PBS Kids Play! Online Learning Tool Details & GIVEAWAY" »

November 21, 2008

Top 17 Technology Gifts for Techie Teens - Guest Post by Vanessa Van Petten

As a TechMama, it is important that I also get the "teen perspective" when it comes to technology. My youngest is only 9, so I reached out to some "teen bloggers". A standout is teen author Vanessa Van Petten's blog. I asked if she wanted to guest post about her top technology gift for teens - and she said yes. Here it is, Top 17 Technology Gifts for Techie Teens (written by a techie teen!).


Vanessa Van Petten is the teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!” She writes a parenting blog along with 12 other teen writers from the kid's perspective to help parents.  Her work as a young family peacemaker have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Teen Vogue, Fox 5, CBS 4 and much more! http://www.OnTeensToday.com

Top 17 Technology Gifts for Techie Teens by Vanessa Van Petten

1) Orb Watches It's not so cool to wear a watch anymore, but these are very cool designs.

2) Solar Computer Backpack Does your teen have a ton of electronics? This might help keep everything charged (I kinda want one).

3) iTrain This is a great way to encourage your kids to be active and a new way to workout.  These are workout programs for your kid's MP3 or iPod.

4) Earringbuds Your kid always wearing earbuds? At least they can look like jewelry now.
Also check out Earbud Charms.

Continue reading "Top 17 Technology Gifts for Techie Teens - Guest Post by Vanessa Van Petten" »



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