In the mid-2000s, I joined a message board for an online pregnancy magazine, as recommended by my high school best friend who was a few months ahead of me, gestationally speaking. This was an opportunity to see what others were experiencing and to connect with those who also shared the need for stretchy pants and the comfort of what-ifs and what-ifs?!?’ of pregnancy Eventually, as the magazine folded and the private message boards became too much work, the group landed on Facebook. This group has had divorces, a marriage of two members after one of the divorces, reunions, more and more babies, and has weathered the tragic passing of some of the members. In the current iteration of the group there are approximately 40 people left from the original group, the total number of which I can’t remember.
In addition to my gratitude for this experience and its continued benefit, I say all this mostly to use my inspiration from one of these mothers to share some online resources. Her use of resources she finds online, or her reframing of the recent series of “Shark Tank” episodes her homeschooler watched into something educational, is inspirational and not because she “does everything”, although it does, it is so. it focuses on what is really important to them as a family. Now, what am I going to talk about? No, but I’ll use it as a jumping off point to share some of the online resources I’ve found or shared with myself while trying to call/pause/not answer questions/not leave someone. .
Sidebar… Before I get to that, I received an email today from the Edmonds School District welcoming us to the 2022-23 school year; you can find the content HERE. I don’t have much juice for back to school this week, but I wanted to mention that the district says they will be sending out an additional email on August 19th explaining how parents can use ParentSquare to receive information from the district and schools. This additional email will have an invitation link where you can choose how to receive information and in what language you receive it. Stay tuned for more information, and you can also find more information about the service at ParentSquare.com
I have some links to online art instruction and entertainment and information science videos, too. I googled some watercolor books, two of which I found at Sno-Isle Libraries, I seem to have started getting more art accounts on Instagram and found Andrea.Nelson.Art. Part of Nelson’s bio says, “It’s okay. I’m here to help” and that’s one of my favorite things right now. It makes it easy for kids and adults to do all kinds of things with paints and what I love most is having hands busy as a beginner, which is painting different watercolors and then tracing the shapes with ink once it dries. Seriously, he calls it a “brain relaxer” and it really relaxes my brain without the pressure of doing it look like an object I’ve painted. It looks like you don’t need any fancy equipment as one of the most recent videos is one that cheerfully explains how to paint over a white crayon. I also noticed that every time I watch a new video that a one of my adult friends has already liked it.When I contacted him, he said that while he’s not doing the art, Nelson’s posts are “guaranteed 0% bad news” and I not only agree, but will add that when she happily explains that you can do it, it looks like she could! You can t steal Nelson on Instagram, in a basics video sponsored by Crayola, or at ADreamoraDayArt.com.
My cousin’s 7 year old daughter does art online and her current video picks are from the Art for Kids Hub on YouTube. I scanned a couple of videos and saw that these people made cute art tutorials and often involved their kids making their own age appropriate version. Their videos are things like “How to draw a koi fish” where they draw and also include a letter K or “How to draw a minion”. For more information, you can visit them at ArtforKidsHub.com.
Draw with Wendy Mac (News from New York bestseller and artist Wendy MacNaughton) is another online art option. Described as “The show that’s a class that’s a club for kids,” you can find episodes at DrawTogether.Studio or YouTube; after a quick look, it looks like a bit more content on the website, but it’s still a youtube video. The show’s focus is “on imagination, community and building confidence through drawing” and also includes resources for parents and educators, and “the occasional silly dance.” Mac is in a whimsical set and the video I scanned was about indoor weather and the correlation of wind, rain, etc. with the feelings, which of course I loved. I’ve been following her on her personal account for a while now, but I don’t remember the genesis of it. The colors and fonts he chooses/creates, like Nelson, are soothing. Mac also does a Draw Together podcast which is described as “a bite-sized, no-experience interactive art adventure” where all you need is a pen and paper.
If art isn’t quite right, there are also science options for kids. You can find the Hip Hop Science Show on YouTube which I found through a mutual friend’s recommendation! Hosted by Hip Hop Ph.D. and UW graduate Maynard Okereke, Hip Hop Science is “aimed at bridging the gap between music and entertainment and science by introducing scientific elements into everyday pop culture.” Okereke breaks down “music videos, epic mistakes, song lyrics and takes you on exploratory journeys through new trends in all areas of science” while donning a lab coat and thick black glasses. A video from a month ago is titled “Geese Are Better Than Watchdogs”, which is a short, informative, funny, music-filled clip that I hope my kids will come across on their internet travels; it’s also true, geese. they are crazy scary More Hip Hop MD videos can be found at YouTube.com/HipHopScienceShow and more information and contact information for school presentations at HipHopScienceShow.com.
My nephews enjoy Emily’s Wonderlab on Netflix, which is only one season long, but has 10 episodes available on Netflix. Science.Mom offers videos and projects and boasts that if you watch the videos on their website, only their videos will be suggested; I didn’t think this was a big deal until it was definitely a big deal. I will say, though, that if you click on YouTube, there are tons of other suggestions. Science Mom “has worked as a molecular biologist and forest firefighter, and in various jobs that range from wearing a lab coat to operating a chainsaw” and I’m pretty sure my mom message board friend is on it, that it’s right under the chainsaw for me. Their site offers over 100 free educational lessons, plus activities and experiments. She’s even been known to take on her counterpart, Math Dad, in a series of Science Mom vs Math Dad videos. For more information and all its content you can visit Science.Mom.
– By Jennifer Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that gets them tired enough to go to bed on time.