kids

All posts tagged kids

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Registering Your Kid’s Social Media Usernames

I’m a techie, so I thought it would be a good idea to register my kids “gubment” domain names – I wanted to make sure they own their digital identity when they are ready to handle the responsibility, and I thought it would be a cool [tech] Rites Of Passage gift.

I thought about registering their email addresses as well – That way they wouldn’t be tempted to register some weird “sweetnsassy2010@[insert email service here].com” email address and wonder why they can’t get a job after they graduate college.

Then I got to thinking, with social media networks being so prevalent now, especially with the teens, why not go all out and register their Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr…and everything else that pops up between now and when I’m ready to connect them to the innanets?

Now I know there are a ton of people who network via the web who currently don’t use their real names. I also understand that half of the fun is creating a pseudo-identity to connect with others with similar interests, or to get away from the stress of real life. I guess I was just trying to plan ahead for when they are ready to “stop playing” and get real on the web.

Now I haven’t actually went as far as to start registering email addresses and social networking profiles for my kids because who knows what they will be into when they come of age – They are only 3 and 5. So my question is geared more towards the parents out there with of-age kids who are ready to “plug in”

Would you register your kid’s real names on social networking sites to ensure their proper digital identify is intact…or am I being a too helpful [tech] helicopter dad?

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Are You Ready To Introduce Your Kids To Technology?

Tech 2.0 Birthday GiftMy youngest daughter (AKA, Tech 2.0, AKA, Pooter) turned 3 years old this past weekend. We asked her what she wanted for her birthday. She’s into “Dora The Explorer”, so she had a laundry-list of Dora-branded merchandise she required.

Since I’m a techie, I had half a mind to give her a ton of age-appropriate gadgets to as they say “train up a child…” So I did some research of course found a magnitude of geeky toys you would expect my kids would have. Suprisingly, my other half wasn’t so sure about forcing encouraging her to adopt technology so soon.

Since she is only 3, I’m certain she would’ve loved anything we bought her. Conversly, she has the attention span of your average 3 year-old. So no matter how big her eyes got after unwrapping them, and no matter how interactive or educational the tech gifts were, she would be “on to the next” probably sooner than I would have liked, especially if I spent a good amount of money on not only the gadgets, but also the must-have accessories.

Additionally, I wasn’t born a techie. Growing up my parents were just below middle-class, so we didn’t have all the latest and greatest tech gifts of our time. Fast forward to today, all I can think about are gadgets. As a result, slowly but surely, my kids will be exposed to technology simply by watching Mrs. Tech and I. I mean, they already know how to unlock our mobile devices and navigate the screens to get to their favorite apps & games.

In the end, “Granny & Pop-Pop Tech” went overboard and got her a bunch of stuff, while Mrs. Tech and I made a compromise and got her some items off her “Dora List” while sneaking some tech in there and got her a cute little digital camera…that takes horrible shots, but is cute.

Technology is everywhere. My girls are only 5 and 3, so they will undoubtedly grow up in the digital age. Eventually, we will start integrating S.T.E.M. type stuff into their daily routine. But for now, I think I will let my kids just be kids and enjoy some of the simple things that we grew up on like dolls, blocks and candy.

What do you think? How soon should parents start introducing tech into their kid’s lives?

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Infographic: Teens Aren’t Safe On Facebook

I’ve got a ways to go before the “Tech Girls” start getting on social networks. But I know there are some people out there with “social” tweens and teens. There is no surprise that social sites like Facebook can be potentially dangerous if used without any sort of discretion, but I stumbled upon an infographic that actually puts numbers to the assumptions that parents and guardians of kids growing up in the digital age have.

facebook infographic
Source: MobiStealth

Let’s face it, kids today don’t know what it’s like without easy access to an internet-ready device. So they ARE going to be active on the ‘net. So as parents, it probably behooves you “be in the now” and understand the challenges and dangers that await our web-enabled kids.

How are your preparing and safe-guarding your kids when it comes to social networking sites?

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Advice Needed: Valentine’s Day With The Tech Girls

Ninja of Love
image courtesy of ckschleg on Flickr

I just had a revelation: I have to share Valentine’s Day with not one, but three ladies. Normally, I am “the man” when it comes to planning special events with/for Mrs. Tech, so I want to share experience with my little ladies as well – I just don’t think dinner at Chick-fil-A will cut it. Although, I’m sure they could care less, lol!

I’ll probably find a nice spot to take my little ones to on Thursday night (Mrs. Tech and I are doing some “grown” stuff later this weekend), and give them some candies and a card, but I wanted to do something cooler…

Dads (and ladies too, since I KNOW y’all can’t keep your opinions to yourselves): Any ideas of some cool V-Day places, things & gifts you would suggest a Daddy share with his girls?

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Samsung Smart TV Kids App – Kids Learn While Parents Control

Samsung Smart TV Kids App

Even at 4 and 2 years old, my kids are pretty interactive. They can navigate our smartphones like champs. With Kids App on our Samsung Smart TV ES8000, parents can let their kids watch Video On Demand, and play educational games from a kid-friendly content, while parents can actively monitor their children’s development.

Parents Section

My Choice

What I like most about the Kid’s app is that if puts parents in control. In the My Choice section, I can select the content I want my kids to watch, versus just plopping them down in front of a television channel and viewing whatever comes on next. So when my kids are allowed to watch some TV, content is already waiting instead of wasting TV time to actually find something to watch.

Present Stickers

The My Kids app also makes watching TV and completing other tasks interactive. The app rewards kids for completing tasks with stickers that are added to a Sticker Book. Another cool features is I can use the Kid’s app as the central hub for rewarding my kids for doing anything, like completing their homework, or eating their vegetables…without having to remind them fifty-eleven times.

Viewing History & Timer

My child’s activity in the app is being recorded. While my kids play games, watch videos, or read books, the Kids app shows the total time watched in the upper-right corner of the screen, so I can keep an eye on how long they have been engaged. I can go back and get a better idea of where in the app my kids spent the most time and view their progress. I can also set a timer to alert my kids to how long they are allowed to use the app. Alerts are shown when the set time runs out.

Playground

The Playground section is where all the content can be viewed. I can browse all the titles or search according to character. I must admit, our kids are Nick Jr. heads, so a majority of the content in the Kid’s app was foreign to them, to say the least. After playing some titles from the app, my kids enjoyed it just the same.

Sticker Book

When my kids complete tasks, their stickers and certificates are saved in special Sticker Books that I can create for each of my kids. I can create Sticker Books for all kids of activities from watching videos, to completing household chores, etc. I can also set up certificates for when my kids complete pre-set tasks (watch 5 videos), they can get a virtual certificate…that I doesn’t take up space in a drawer. Let’s be honest, all those parents out there are NOT keeping all the gobs of awards their kids get from school.

Here is a quick video that does a better job than me of explaining the features in the Kid’s App

I’ll be honest, the selection of content in the Kid’s app doesn’t automatically blow me away, but my kids are young enough to where they will get attached to just about anything after a couple of minutes. After a couple of minutes viewing some content, I could tell that they were impressed. What does blow me away about the Kid’s app is that it gives parents a great deal of control over the content their kids consume on the TV. Additionally, the app rewards my kids for participating in educational content, so I feel that my kids aren’t wasting time away just watching television.

This post was sponsored by Samsung Smart TV with Motion Control. Opinions are my own.

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An Active Family Outing – Family Block Party

ATL Family Block Party

This is just one section of a HUGE Family Block Party held at Mercer University

The Tech Fam’ took some time out this weekend to visit the Family Block Party hosted by The Atlanta Parent Magazine. We thought we were going to just let the kids play in some bouncy houses, get their faces painted, and go home. We realized shortly after we entered the event that we were about to get into more than just a lazy outing.

As we walked up the the entrance, we knew we were in for more than what we expected because the line was pretty long. After a nice wait, we got our arm bands and were ready to have some fun.

Tech Kids Arm bandsTech 2.0 Pumpkin

Right out of the gate, there was a place to paint some pumpkins, so the kids (never missing an opportunity to get messy) got to work. Shorty after, Lil’ Tech couldn’t resist participating in a contest featuring her favorite activity

After the contest was over, we grabbed some lunch and ran into Joyce Brewer Kendrick of Mommy Talk Show who interviewed Lil’ Tech about her day, and asked me and Mrs. Tech about where we get our parenting advice and our most embarrassing parenting moments. I shared a story when Lil’ Tech pooped on her pretty dress at a wedding and I had to literally hang her over a men’s bathroom sink while I cleaned her and the dress off (they really need to add those changing stations in ALL men’s bathrooms).

Then it was off to check out more activity stations, and burn through more tickets. The kids made some pretty crowns and of course, got their faces painted.

Pretty Crown

Pink Heart

I was more than happy to take a bunch of pictures, because it gave me an opportunity to try out my new camera – It has a nice flip out view screen, so I managed to snap a shot of me and Mrs. Tech.

Brotha and Mrs. Tech

There was so many activities and stations, that I firmly believe the kids got sensory overload and were overwhelmed by all the cool stuff. So they managed to break away and do some old-fashioned running around.

By then, the kids were tuckered out, and so were we as a result of chasing them around all day, so it was time to head to the car and call it a day. I took a ton of pictures via my point-and-shoot camera and my smartphone. I was able to automatically upload my smartphone images to our AllShare Play account via the SugarSync Mobile App (Since I don’t have one of those fancy-schmancy Samsung Galaxy mobile devices) to a make them immediately available to view on our Samsung Smart TV ES 8000. My home media server is linked to our AllShare Play account as well, so as soon as I uploaded the images from my point and shoot camera when we got home, we streamed those images to our TV as well.

…You know I had to sneak some tech into this post.

This post was sponsored by Samsung Smart TV with Motion Control. Opinions are my own.

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