Easy Rules for Kindergarten Pokémon Players

This is our version of Pokemon cards for Kindergarten players.

My kids started showing interest in Pokémon cards before the recommended age of 6 years old. Reading and math skills were not ready for the full game. This is a simple version of the game that I created to play with them.

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Packing with Kids

First, let me start by saying that I give mad respect to anyone who chooses to go on an international trip with their child without sharing electronics. I am impressed by all the parents who do not give into pressure and choose to keep their kids entertained without an iPad. I am not one of those moms.

With electronics you have to add some things to your packing list. For example, don’t forget to update Netflix downloads! You do not want to be on the plane when your child finds out all of his favorite shows have a yellow exclamation point indicating an expired download. Also, check that updates for relevant applications – like airline entertainment applications – are at the latest version. Whenever possible download offline versions of favorite games.

Great – entertainment is a strong first step.

Other things have to be remembered as well. I need to remember my children’s favorite lovies (the things they need to be safe and snuggly). Without those blankets, we will not have easy nights. Of course, they can survive and they will sleep but it will take longer and the process will not be as happy and relaxing. Happy traveling is so much nicer.

My general philosophy on packing is to do the best you can and don’t stress. In reality, almost anything you forget can be purchased (except appropriately loaded electronics and personal lovies). I always pack for 2 extra days because there are always accidents and spills. An extra pair of shoes are also a necessity because of puddles. Then, I do my best to plan based around itinerary and climate. In reality, I always forget something but we have always been able to work around it.

Oh and passports… do not forget to make an electronic copy available just in case and do not let your kids be in charge of them. One adult should be designated as passport person for the whole family for the whole trip.

Fun stuff. Travel safe!

MIT App Inventor

Screenshot 2019-02-04 13.59.04Started week 2 of the App Development class with Shaw Academy.  The new tool for the day is the MIT App Inventor.

Our assignment for this class is to recreate the steps of the professor to create a simple app that involves visiting a zoo and checking when you see a Bear, Tiger, Bird or Wolf.  (The instructor used different animals but I like these four and was able to find pleasant black and white illustrations that I liked on the website PixaBay.)

The MIT App Inventor is very intuitive and is drag and drop type coding from my desktop. I do not know how intuitive it would be for people that have never tried to code or thought about coding or are just not good at thinking in process diagrams. There is a logical thinking pattern that needs to be followed and I know from working with people to make flow diagrams, not everyone thinks in an A to B to C manner.

I am looking forward to showing it to my family.  The 7 year old will catch on to the theory relatively fast.  The 5 year old might need to learn to read a bit better before he will be able to use it but it is a fun thing. We like to expose them to lots of stuff and then let them pursue at their leisure. Sometimes it feels like throwing darts at a little dart board, we are never sure what might stick but when it does it’s a bulls eye.


Worked the Polls

I worked the polls yesterday for my voting area: 6AM – 8:30PM.  I had already voted in Early Voting (such a fantastic program) so I was really there to help other people vote.  It was a fantastic experience.

When I arrived, I thought I was volunteering for the shift but found out that in Texas, they pay you for your work in the polls.  I suppose it parallels Jury Duty – another not always fun but super important civic duty.

If you have ever even considered the idea – please give it a try.

This is the link for applying in Harris County: Apply Here.