Showing posts with label Kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kids. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Portal 2 Co-op with kids

This weekend, I played the co-op mode of Portal 2 with out 8-year-old son, and had a blast. The co-op mode is structured in a way where you have to work together, so at the end of every level, both of us felt a sense of accomplishment.

The game has an interesting mechanism for helping communication. When solving a puzzle required him to place a portal in a particular location, I had the ability to mark the location where the portal was to be placed.  This made it very easy for him to place the portals.

In addition to the game being fun, we enjoyed solving the puzzles together.  I think that once we finish the co-op mode, we will be getting the announced DLC and play that together.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Raising a Healthy Gamer

This is a pretty good article with some tips for raising a child that play video games.

[via @GetGameSmart]

The Knowledge of Children

The Kids decided to watch Fantasia this evening. Though skipping through most of the introductions of the pieces, they watched most of the segments.  There are a some interesting things that I heard them discuss.

Our son had a problem with the introduction to the "The Rite of Spring" piece.  Even though the movie came out in 1940, he was arguing with the TV about the comment:
And then... well, we don't exactly know what happened. Some scientists think that great droughts and earthquakes turned the whole world into a gigantic dustbowl. In any case, the dinosaurs were wiped out

He was telling his sisters that it was an asteroid.

Then the kids were having a discussion about the differences between magma and lava, and naming the types of single cell organisms and dinosaurs.

At their age, I don't know if I would have had those discussions.  As a parent, I wonder what opportunities they will have, when they grow up.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kids and the Holidays

When you become an adult, sometimes you get a little jaded with the Christmas holidays.  Dealing with traffic, shopping, family drama.  It wasn't always like this for me, when I was a kid, I got very excited about the holidays.  I would count the number of days until Christmas morning and go to sleep early, feeling that this would cause Christmas to come earlier. In the days before Christmas, I would play with Matchbox cars under the presents, and leave them there for Christmas morning.

Now that we have kids, the magic of the holidays has come back for me. Seeing the kids so excited about Christmas makes all of the craziness of the holidays worth it.  We went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down a Christmas tree for the first time. Our daughter sing Christmas songs in the back seat of the car.  Our son likes to rearrange the ornaments on the tree, over and over again.

Is is really nice to see the kids so excited about Christmas.  I have been lucky enough to be able to take the last two weeks of the year off, and I am enjoying the time with the kids.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


A few weeks ago we got a Kinect for our Xbox 360.  The Kinect sensor allows you to use your body as a controller for games. The implementation that Microsoft makes it very easy to get into the games.

We used to have a Wii, and the kids, especially the younger ones, had a hard time using the Wiimote, especially when absolute movement is needed.  The kids really enjoy the Kinect.  They haven't had any problem playing the games.  They really like playing Kinect Adventures and Kintectimals.  Our 6-year-old daughter has a lot of fun playing Dance Central.

I would recommend Kinect for any family with kids, especially if you already have an Xbox in the house.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Toy Story 3 Video game

Our son likes to have time where he can play video games with just me.  It is one of the things that we do in our father-son time. A few weeks ago, I got the Toy Story 3 video game for our Xbox 360, and I was saving it for the next time that we played video games.

A few days ago, when my wife was putting the girls to sleep, I showed the game to our son and mentioned that we could play for an hour, if he wanted to. He was very excited, about playing the game.

We had a great time playing the game.  He spent a lot of time, mining for gold, while I off on other missions.  We only played an hour, but there are some things that stand out about the game.

  1. The controls are easy enough for kids to not get frustrated with

  2. When playing with two people, it is a split-screen game, so even though each person might be on different areas of the map, you both can make progress.  (This a problem in the lego video games, where if the players don't stick together, one can get stuck at the edge of the viewable area of the map.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

End of an Era

We have reached a milestone as parents, after almost 8 years, all of our kids are completly out of diapers and pull-ups now.  A few weeks ago, our youngest decided that she wanted to use the toilet whenever she wanted to go.

With this change, we won't need to keep a recepticle to keep the dirty diapers, our Costco trips will be smaller, and we could even potentially get a smaller garbage can from the city.

Now it will be easier to take family trips, as we won't have to worry about packing enough pull-ups.  But, we just have to make sure we are in range of a bathroom.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs

Smelly Locker is a fun book for kids where the words for common kids songs are changed to humorous stories about a kids life at school.  We got this book a few years ago for our son, as a fun book for him to read.

Our daughters asked me to read the book to them for bedtime. Reading the book was hilarious.  I had a hard time keeping the melody with the differences in the lyrics from the usual song, but the kids really enjoyed it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Massively Multiplayer Online Game for Kids

Our son loves Legos.  He loves building the sets, and then coming up with his own creations and playing with them.  Lego has really been marketing their Lego Universe massively multiplayer online game, and have been including fliers with purchases from the Lego Store.

Of course, our son wanted to sign up.  We don't feel comfortable with any of our kids playing online.  We want to make sure that we know who they are communicating with, and with a MMOG, there is a level of anonymity that the game provides, and I am sure that people take advantage of it.   (They do state that they will be moderating the online play experience to make sure that kids stay safe.)

We talked with him about our concerns, and he understands why we won't let him play this game.  Maybe when he is older we will let him play online.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fatherhood and Expectations

Father's Day was this past weekend and I had a great time. Nothing really happened as planned, but I still had a good time.

We planned to take the kids to Toy Story 3 as a special treat for the kids. (Of course it was only for the kids, and I haven't been really excited about it since I heard that the movie was coming out last year. :-) ). We bought 5 tickets for the 3D version online so we would be sure that we could get in.

Because of nap time, and how long it took us to get out of the house, we didn't get there until 10 minutes before show time. The only seats that were still available were in the first two rows. The trailers were playing while we walked in, and they were a little loud. One of our daughters is sensitive to loud sounds, and she was very scared.  With the combination of the seating and the noise, we decided to leave the theater.

We then went to go for dinner, but every restaurant had about an hour wait. (We should have made reservations.) The kids were pretty restless, and wanted to go home or back to the movie.

We decided to go to a nice park instead. The kids had a good time. The older kids ran and chased each other, while I played with the youngest on the little kid playground.

When I was a new father, I would have wanted to have a "perfect" Father's Day, watching a movie and having a nice dinner. I may have been disappointed or upset that things didn't work out as planned. Honestly, I enjoyed the time that spent with them that day. We had a lot of fun at the park, and I am very lucky that I could spend it with my amazing wife. I can't imagine a better Father's Day.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I mentioned RoboGames last year.  RoboGames will be at the San Mateo County Fairgound next weekend.  I think that the kids would have a blast here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Get Game Smart

Microsoft, the Entertainment Software Association and others have partnered to create Get Game Smart. This website help education parents and children about the tools that are available to allow kids to be safe while playing video games.

I really like their focus on education about Parental Control settings, ESRB ratings, and finding family friendly games. In addition, this site has tips on how parents can talk to kids about cyber-bullying, and helping kids and parents creating balance with kids screen time.

I hope sites like this one will help prevent the FUD with video games, like stories like I mentioned before.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kids and video games

This is a pretty bad story about how dangerous video game networks are for kids.  According to the story, video game networks are full of predators.

All video game consoles have parental control systems that can protect kids.  For example, for the few times that our son plays on the Xbox, only people on his friends list can see if he is online and chat with him.  If anyone sends him a friends request, I have to approve it before it will be authorized.

Parents need to know about how to protect their kids when they go online.  Here are some helpful links for parental control on the various video game systems




Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Shidonni has a great idea.  You can have your child (or you) draw a picture.  Then you can have a stuffed toy made out of it.  I think that this idea is better than the toys you get at Build-a-bear.

[via Gizmodo]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Please, Baby, Please

Please, Baby, Please is a fun book by Spike Lee and his wife.  This book have some great rhymes about how much energy toddlers have.  Our kids like it a lot

Friday, October 30, 2009

Disney Princesses on Ice

This past weekend, I took our oldest daughter to the Disney Princesses On Ice at the HP Pavilion, and she had a blast.  It was great seeing her light up when each of the princesses came out.

But, the show raised some questions for me:

  1. All of the princesses tend to go by their name (ie, Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White). Why is Sleeping Beauty known as "Sleeping Beauty"?  Her name is Aurora.

  2. Most of the princes have a name. (i.e. Ariel's prince is named Eric; Sleeping Beauty's prince is named Philip; Belle's prince is named Adam)  But why is Snow White's princes is just named "The Prince"?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dressing kids: Dads vs Moms

This post has a pretty funny, but pretty true, graphic describing how dads and moms dress kids

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A few months ago one of our family members had their computer taken. This computer had her financial information, and other important information like usernames and passwords. She eventually got the computer back. About a week later, there was $1100 of charges to her PayPal account.

While I was visiting, I set her up with a LifeLock subscription. I also signed my wife and I, and our kids up for a sibscription.   I want to make sure that no one using any of our identies.  LifeLock does a few things for you

  • Sets up fraud alerts with the credit reporting agencies, and every 90 days.

  • Requests that subscribers names are removed from pre-approved credit offers

  • Requests that credit reports are sent every year.

  • Helps to contact banks if your wallet is lost or stolen

  • Helps to detect identity theft.

  • Will hire lawyers if you are ever a victim of identity theft

Most of those things you can do yourself.  I figure that paying LifeLock to do it for you, reduces the the things that I need to keep track of.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jazz Baby

For our daughter's birthday, she was given a great book, Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler.  Our kids love this book.  The kids like rhythm and rhyme in the book.  The illustrations are great in the book.  Our daughter likes to look at the people in the illustrations, and recognize similarities with people in our family.

Also, our son loves to read the book to our daughters too.  I would recommend this book.