Parenting Geeky

Never has there been a more exciting time to grow up in geek culture! Parenting Geeky explores the everyday challenges, opportunities, and uniquely geek moments that come with raising the next generation, helping them grow into who they want to be.

How I Learned to Stop Rolling My Eyes and Make Peace with Lego Friends

When the Lego Friends line first came out, I was more than a little annoyed by and derisive of the product. Was a special line really necessary? If they wanted to expand the market, why not do something totally radical, like adding in more female minifigures to the existing sets? Did they have to make them so pink? Why were the minidolls a different scale than the minifigures? I swore that when my then-five-month-old daughter grew older, she wouldn’t...

Roller Coaster Challenge Is Problem-Solving Fun for Young Players

When I saw that ThinkFun had started a Kickstarter for Roller Coaster Challenge, a brain-teaser game that lets you build your own roller coasters, my only question was what I should pick for my backing level. Should I just get the base game, or spring for the extra challenges and bonus car? My geekling is a budding roller-coaster enthusiast who also loves the challenges from Robot Turtles, another critical-thinking and logic game from ThinkFun, and this game had her...

Delight and Imagination at the Newly Reopened Minnesota Children’s Museum

Under a stormy sky, the wind gusted as my son and I hurried through the streets of downtown Saint Paul, hoping to get inside before the rain began to fall. It was around 8:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 11th, and the Minnesota Children’s Museum had been reopened for exactly three days. We were excited to experience the magic. Though it was still 10 minutes to opening, families crowded into the foyer of the museum, patiently (and, in the case...

Build a Support System with Geek Tribe Parenting

If there is one bit of parenting advice that has made my life as a parent so much better, it is this: find a geek tribe and nurture the heck out of it. Think of a geek tribe as your extended family, like extra siblings, parents, and cousins but bound together by friendship and common interests instead of blood. These are the people with whom you have a close friendship—you likely share a number of mutual friends, and chances...

Target’s Science-Related Shirts for Girls Make My Geekling’s World

Dear Target: Thank you for including a wonderful range of science-related shirts in the girls’ department. This phrase runs through my mind whenever I peek into the girls’ clothing section during my weekly shopping trip. Seriously. Since Cat & Jack, Target’s new clothing line for kids, launched a little under a year ago, I’ve had way too much fun peeking through the various offerings to see what they could offer my little geekling. I’ve been happy with what I’ve...

Taking Your Little Geek to a Convention

So you’ve decided to bring your geekling to one of the area fandom conventions. Awesome! Even if you’re no stranger to the convention scene, the first time with a kid, no matter what their age, can be a bit daunting. First, don’t panic. You are a hoopy frood who knows where their towel is. Second, add some favorable modifiers to your “have a good time” roll by thinking about these tidbits of advice from the greatest of adventurers: other...

7 Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Share With Your Potential Slayer

I first saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it was nearing the end of its run. I was working at a camp, and one of my fellow counselors had brought a bunch of episodes she had recorded off her TV. I tore through what she had, then finally finished up the show by borrowing the DVD seasons from a friend (and ultimately buying them myself). The show struck a chord with me, and I wished I’d watched it when it...

Should I Bring My Child to a Convention?

Kids can have a great time at conventions, or they can be so miserable that the result makes a Ringwraith tea party look great by comparison. And even if your kid does have a great time, managing them may completely suck the joy out of your convention experience to the point you’re questioning why you even brought them. Or, perhaps you’ve been wondering why you didn’t take your kid to a convention earlier, since you’re finding them to be...

Twisty, Turny Board Games to Play with Your Tiny Geek

Geeks of all sizes tend to enjoy games, but the trick is finding games that everyone can play together and enjoy. Many games aimed at children consist of rolling a die (or flicking a spinner) and moving, which can get pretty old before too long. Why not look for games with mechanics simple enough for the younger geeklings to grasp, but still allow for a bit of choice in what the player does each time? Last time, I focused...

Read Your Child All the World’s Potential

Sometimes, the world is a worrisome place. It can seem that all that is good in the world is outweighed by a threatening thunderstorm of bad, making me wonder what my child would learn from it all. Then, I remember how, at a convention in the recent past, my tiny Jedi used her lightsaber to help a similarly aged friend find the courage to walk past a rather intimidating Dalek. In other words, let me paraphrase the advice given by...
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