It’sa MAR10 Day! Make This Super Mario Pencil Cup to Celebrate

Nintendo has declared March 10 Mario Day to celebrate all things Super Mario Bros. This plucky plumber has been around for over 30 years, dashing and jumping his way into our hearts, and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Take part in the MAR10 Day fun with this upcycled pencil cup craft for you and the kids. Continue reading It’sa MAR10 Day! Make This Super Mario Pencil Cup to Celebrate

DC Comics’ Big Three Are Big Kids in ‘Study Hall of Justice’

When the team behind Li’l Gotham is back for a unique take on DC’s Big Three in a book for kids, it’s almost a no-brainer for any Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman fan to pick it up. You know, for the kids. (If you want to share it, I mean.)

Study Hall of Justice (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #1) is a new middle-grade book series from Scholastic that is part journal, part graphic novel, and all DC Comics fun.

Continue reading DC Comics’ Big Three Are Big Kids in ‘Study Hall of Justice’

‘Wonder Woman at Super Hero High’ is Super for Tweens

DC Super Hero Girls continues its path to superhero-stardom with the release of a new middle grade book series. Wonder Woman at Super Hero High, written by Lisa Yee, is out today for readers ages 8-12 years.

The novel is a look at a high school with an all-star lineup of superhero students, but the characters are so relatable that readers of any age don’t need superpowers themselves to identify with them.

Continue reading ‘Wonder Woman at Super Hero High’ is Super for Tweens

5 Things You Should Know About ‘The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD’

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a classic Wii title (and one of the best), but thanks to Nintendo, we now have Link’s adventures in the Twilight Realm in glorious HD. If you haven’t already introduced the kids to Wolf Link and Midna, this is the perfect chance to do so—and here are 5 things to know before you do.

Continue reading 5 Things You Should Know About ‘The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD’

‘Littlecodr’ Puts Your Pint-Sized Programmers in Charge—of You!

The list of apps and games to teach kids coding is long and ever-growing. The new card game Littlecodr is joining their ranks as another option that’s fun for the whole family.

Rather than directing game pieces around the board, Littlecodr turns kids ages 4-8 into programmers, and their parents or fellow players into the pieces to be moved. The chance to make me or her father walk straight into a piece of furniture has made my daughter dub this game the “walk into the sofa game.” And she loves being in charge.

Littlecodr is an active, hands-on option for teaching young kids simple programming concepts that, unlike most programming games, is quick to learn and easy to bring along anywhere you and the kids may go.

Continue reading ‘Littlecodr’ Puts Your Pint-Sized Programmers in Charge—of You!

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ For People Who Don’t Play ‘Dungeons & Dragons’

Thanks to Twitch and YouTube, the world is suddenly a much smaller place. We can watch people go on vacation, open up boxes of toys, and give their reviews on just about anything you can think of. And yes, of course, play games.

But YouTube and Twitch aren’t just for video games: We can also get a look at some incredible tabletop games being played every week by a dedicated group of friends.

If you’ve ever wondered what Dungeons & Dragons is actually all about, or always wanted to play but you’re too shy to ever try in real life, these D&D groups are just for you. You’ll feel like you know the characters and people who play them as you gasp and laugh along with these entertaining groups.

Note: Young kids should probably not watch these D&D sessions along with you; many players tend to unleash profanity when things start to get hairy. Watch with kids at your own discretion.

Continue reading ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ For People Who Don’t Play ‘Dungeons & Dragons’

Will ‘The Freemaker Adventures’ Finally Put a Mom in the ‘Star Wars’ Universe?

This week, Disney XD announced a new animated LEGO Star Wars series coming this summer. While I’m always excited that a new entry in the Star Wars universe is coming, complete with classic character cameos and the humor we’ve come to expect from LEGO, this is the part that really caught my eye:

When their youngest discovers a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artifact – the Kyber Saber – his world is turned upside down, and he and his family are thrown into an epic struggle against the Empire to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy.

Does this mean that LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures will introduce the first MOTHER with an active part in the Star Wars universe?

Wait a minute, you’re probably saying, there have been plenty of moms in the Star Wars universe. Let’s take a quick tally. Continue reading Will ‘The Freemaker Adventures’ Finally Put a Mom in the ‘Star Wars’ Universe?

5 Things You Should Know About ‘Unravel’

Just one look at this stunning game and its charming lead character is enough to capture the imagination of gamers of all ages.

Unravel from EA and ColdWood Interactive is a gorgeous puzzle platformer now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Here are 5 things you should know before you bring Yarny home to the family.

Continue reading 5 Things You Should Know About ‘Unravel’

BB-8 Symmetry Painting for Kids (or Grownups)

This Star Wars: The Force Awakens painting is so quick and easy, you might end up with a BB-8 art gallery in mere minutes! Plus, it’s so fun that you don’t have to leave the painting just to the kids: Grab a paintbrush and make one yourself.

What You Need

  • Paper
  • Black paint
  • Orange paint
  • Gray or silver paint
  • Paintbrushes

Get Started!

Fold the paper in half lengthwise. Continue reading BB-8 Symmetry Painting for Kids (or Grownups)

Introduce Kids to the Marvel Cinematic Universe With ‘LEGO Marvel’s Avengers’

We haven’t had much luck getting into LEGO video games at our house, even though we know they’re full of humor and brick-kicking. But the allure of an Avengers game featuring not just the Marvel cinematic universe but also some of our favorite characters (Squirrel Girl! Ms. Marvel!) was too hard to pass up—so my 7-year-old and I settled in to give the new LEGO Marvel’s Avengers a try.

And we’re having a blast.

While I’m mixed on pulling the audio directly from the films, my daughter is beside herself at finally getting to see the Avengers in action without worrying about seeing or hearing anything inappropriate. If you’re looking for a way to introduce the MCU to young kids without tuning into countless episodes of the animated series, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers is an experience your whole family can enjoy.

Continue reading Introduce Kids to the Marvel Cinematic Universe With ‘LEGO Marvel’s Avengers’

5 Things You Should Know About ‘Mario & Luigi Paper Jam’

Mario and Luigi’s newest adventure is now available for the Nintendo 3DS! Mario & Luigi Paper Jam combines the action of a Mario & Luigi game with the adorable 2D characters of Paper Jam to make a fantastically fun title.

Here are a few things you should know about Mario & Luigi Paper Jam before you pick it up for that new 3DS you gave the kids for the holidays.

Continue reading 5 Things You Should Know About ‘Mario & Luigi Paper Jam’

8 Funny Picture Books for Guaranteed Guffaws

Each week during my volunteer time at the school library, students swarm around asking for help finding just the right book. “Do you have books about squids?” “Where are the books with Ninja Turtles?” “Where can I find the Titanic books?” (These are all actual requests by first graders.)

The Loch Ness monster, mermaids, and how to care for your pet hedgehog I can handle. But the most difficult request by far comes up every single week: “I want a book that’s funny!”

Librarian Jackie Reeve and I have teamed up to bring you a cheat sheet of books proven to fall into that category, a favorite for kids of any age. Get ready for some giggles!

Continue reading 8 Funny Picture Books for Guaranteed Guffaws

Avengers, Assemble… LEGO! ‘LEGO Marvel’s Avengers’ Giveaway

The newest LEGO Marvel game is all about the Avengers of the Marvel cinematic universe. In the upcoming title you’ll play through some of the key moments of that universe, including the clash with Loki in the Battle of New York and fighting against Ultron in the sky over Sokovia.

Continue reading Avengers, Assemble… LEGO! ‘LEGO Marvel’s Avengers’ Giveaway

Helloooo! This is ‘Stampy’s Lovely Book’

If your kids are fans of Minecraft Let’s Play videos, chances are you’re already familiar with the enthusiastic Stampycat and his buoyant laugh. With over 6 million subscribers, Stampy and his Lovely World are fixtures of Minecraft Let’s Play on YouTube.

Young fans of Stampy, known in real life as Joseph Garrett, will be delighted to hear that Stampy’s Lovely Book has been released in the U.S. Penned by Garrett himself, this book is perfect for young readers looking to hear from Stampy himself about his friends, his favorite adventures in his Lovely World, and even some tips about getting started with their own Let’s Play videos. And with a price under $10, it’s practically a no-brainer to pick up for the Stampy fan in your life.

Continue reading Helloooo! This is ‘Stampy’s Lovely Book’

From Collecting to Constructing: Shopkins Kinstructions

Shopkins have invaded our home this year thanks to a multitude of unboxing videos on YouTube Kids. Just like baseball cards of years gone by, the excitement and suspense of discovering what’s inside the package has kids hooked—especially my daughter.

I never imagined she’d be excited to open a box and squeal upon finding a mini, glittery stapler inside, but here we are.

The tiny toys are adorable, but each time we open a new package, I ask, “But what are you going to do with them?”

“Keep them in my collection!” is the invariable answer. On the shelf the toys go.

This month Moose Toys and C3 Construction released brick sets to answer that question in a more hands-on way. The new Shopkins Kinstructions are build-it-yourself kits that make perfect playsets for the collectible figures.

The Kinstructions sets proved to be too difficult for my six-year-old—and challenging even for this mom—but once assembled, the hassle was worth seeing the Shopkins figures off the shelf and into my daughter’s hands.

Continue reading From Collecting to Constructing: Shopkins Kinstructions

Build & Imagine: STEAM-Powered Dollhouses

Here at GeekMom we definitely love STEM toys, but when you add art into the mix to make STEAM, the result is a well-rounded toy built for imaginative, unending play. Laurie Peterson of Build & Imagine had this idea in mind when creating the StoryWalls dollhouses.

The vibrant playsets combine construction pieces with magnetic dolls that can be dressed up and accessorized. With bright colors—but very little pink!—and detailed, lively illustrations, the Build & Imagine sets encourage girls ages 4+ to be both builders and storytellers.

Continue reading Build & Imagine: STEAM-Powered Dollhouses

Kickstart Your Kids’ Confidence in Math with MathKit

Of course you read books aloud to your kids often, but have you ever thought about setting aside time to cuddle and solve math problems together?

Leslie Gilbert, a math teacher and creator of MathKit, has created a collection of games to show kids that math can be a fun way to spend family time—and give them the confidence to keep trying and learning, even when they get a problem wrong.

MathKit is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to get the kits in the hands of kids from kindergarten to third grade. My first grader and I recently had the chance to check out the games ourselves.

After a rainy day playing together, my daughter declared, “This does make math fun!”

Continue reading Kickstart Your Kids’ Confidence in Math with MathKit

Start Kids on a Coding Adventure with the ‘Minecraft’ Hour of Code

Not only will your coding Padawan have the opportunity to learn programming concepts with the help of Star Wars, this morning Microsoft released a new Minecraft coding tutorial for the Hour of Code.

The Hour of Code Minecraft tutorial, aimed at kids ages 6 and up, encourages young Minecraft fans to learn to code with Blockly, a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Continue reading Start Kids on a Coding Adventure with the ‘Minecraft’ Hour of Code

Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty

The Hello Kitty craze is global, from breathtaking fashion statements to almost any piece of merchandise you can think of. And it all started in March 1975 with a simple coin purse that cost less than a dollar.

At the new Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty now at the EMP Museum in Seattle, you can get a look at one of those rare coin purses, along with more than 500 unique pieces from Sanrio on display. The traveling exhibit is fascinating for anyone who has ever owned their own piece of Hello Kitty merchandise or been intrigued by her rise to pop culture stardom over the past 40 years.

Continue reading Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty

Get a Head Start on the Holidays Thanks to Nintendo [Giveaway!]

My six-year-old and I recently attended an event at Nintendo to get a firsthand look at some of their best offerings for the holiday season. Not only did my daughter make her own Nintendo-themed holiday wish list, we are ecstatic to share an incredible prize back with Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival and her other top picks with one lucky reader!

Continue reading Get a Head Start on the Holidays Thanks to Nintendo [Giveaway!]

So Your Kids Want to Be YouTube Stars: How One Family Made It Happen

Today’s kid celebrities aren’t just found acting on TV or movies anymore—they’re being themselves on YouTube. You might not know who EvanTubeHDkittiesmama, or Kid President are, but chances are your kids do, thanks to how easy the YouTube Kids app has made it to find kid-friendly content with the tap of a finger.

Do your kids dream of being the next big YouTube sensation? There’s no one right way to do it, but Jillian and Addie of the channel babyteeth4 have made it happen with the hard work and support of their parents Bob and Tommie. Bob turned his family’s home movie hobby into his profession, and his unique story might even inspire you and your kids to do the same.

Continue reading So Your Kids Want to Be YouTube Stars: How One Family Made It Happen

6 Things You Should Know About ‘The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes’

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes knows it’s dangerous to go alone, so the game invites your friends and family to go along with you.

The new Nintendo 3DS release takes place in the kingdom of Hytopia, where a witch has replaced the princess’s stylish clothes with a drab unitard that she can’t remove. (The horror!) It’s up to the heroes of the land to save the princess…’s awesome fashion style.

This lighthearted take on Zelda is a one-of-a-kind co-op title that takes teamwork between friends and family to save the day. Here are six things you should know before you pick up the game.

Continue reading 6 Things You Should Know About ‘The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes’

Aren’t You a Little Colorful for a Stormtrooper? ‘Star Wars’ Watercolor for Kids

Have you ever looked at a stark stormtrooper and thought, “That guy could use a splash of color!” If so, this is your chance to put your own spin on a stormtrooper with this creative watercolor painting perfect for you and the kids.

Continue reading Aren’t You a Little Colorful for a Stormtrooper? ‘Star Wars’ Watercolor for Kids

3 Picture Books Starring Girls Who Love Science

I’m always on the lookout for picture books with characters my daughter can really identify with. As she’s someone who has a big interest in science, I was on the hunt to find books featuring girls who also love science and experiments.

Here are three great picture book finds with science superstars who know how to have fun while learning about the scientific method and participating in the science fair. (Didn’t think that was possible, did you?) Continue reading 3 Picture Books Starring Girls Who Love Science

‘Black Widow: Forever Red’ Is the “Definitive” Story of Natasha Romanoff

It’s usually difficult to find the elusive Natasha Romanoff, but not today: You can now find Black Widow starring her own young adult title, Forever Red, in bookstores everywhere.

Black Widow: Forever Red not only gives us a much-needed insight into the history of Natasha Romanoff, but also introduces a new teenaged character, Ava Orlova, who made her debut in September in the Mockingbird comic book one-shot. How do their paths intersect?

“Being able to tell a canon story—the definitive story of Natasha Romanoff’s past—that was both the carrot and the stick,” says author Margaret Stohl. “But the book is both an origin story and a legacy story—with our Black Widow and our Red Widow—so in many ways it becomes a very powerful female narrative about friendship and really sisterhood between two pretty amazing women.”

Continue reading ‘Black Widow: Forever Red’ Is the “Definitive” Story of Natasha Romanoff

More Marvelous Merchants at GeekGirlCon 2015

Conventions are one of the best ways to discover independent and creative small businesses sharing their love of all things geeky. Last year I brought you my choices for just some of the amazing booths featured at GeekGirlCon.

This year, I picked five more with online storefronts so that you too can pick up some of their amazing and unique creations.

Continue reading More Marvelous Merchants at GeekGirlCon 2015

6 Tips for Throwing a Video Game Playdate With ‘Yoshi’s Woolly World’

Having your friends over to play video games isn’t a new idea. If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you probably had some buddies over to check out the rad new Super Mario World or Sonic the Hedgehog. But “playing games together” back then was more your friends staring at the screen while you play, instead of playing together.

Thanks to the attention spent to co-op play in games like the upcoming Wii U title Yoshi’s Woolly World, video games now are more social than ever! Plan a perfect video game playdate for rainy day fun with the help of these six tips and Yoshi’s Woolly World. Continue reading 6 Tips for Throwing a Video Game Playdate With ‘Yoshi’s Woolly World’

GeekGirlCon 2015 Cosplay Gallery

GeekGirlCon in Seattle, WA, sold out again this year! GeekGirlCon might have a reputation as one of the year’s most relaxed and family-friendly conventions, but that doesn’t mean that cosplayers don’t bring their A game.

Here’s a gallery of some of the best costumes on display on Saturday, October 10, at GeekGirlCon 2015.

Continue reading GeekGirlCon 2015 Cosplay Gallery

Star Wars Reads Day Awakens October 10, 2015

October not only brings Halloween fun every year, but the return of Star Wars Reads Day! As Episode VII gets closer and closer, this year’s event promises to be more exciting than ever. With a ton of new Star Wars books to choose from, events nationwide, and spoiler-free activity sheets for The Force Awakens, Star Wars Read Day 2015 will be a blast!

Continue reading Star Wars Reads Day Awakens October 10, 2015

Make Paper Folding Your Superpower With ‘DC Super Heroes Origami’

There’s something a little bit magical about turning a piece of paper into a crane, bear, or dragon through the practice of origami. But turning a piece of paper into Batman? That’s being a flat-out origami superhero. Thanks to John Montroll, origami master and author of DC Super Heroes Origami, you and your kids will be making super origami versions of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more in no time.

Continue reading Make Paper Folding Your Superpower With ‘DC Super Heroes Origami’