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, gestational-speaking. This was a chance to see what others were experiencing and connect with those who also needed stretchy pants and comfort from the what-ifs and what-ifs?!?’ of pregnancy. Eventually, as the magazine folded and the private message boards became too much work, the group moved to Facebook. This group has had divorces, a marriage of two members after one of the divorces, dating, more and more babies and has dealt with the tragic death of some of the members. In the current iteration of the group there are about 40 people left from the original group, the total number of which I can’t remember.
Aside from my appreciation for that experience and its continued benefit, I say all of this mainly to use my inspiration from one of those moms to share some resources online. Her use of resources she finds online, or her repurposing of the latest Shark Tank episodes her homeschooler watched into something educational, is inspiring, and not because she “does it all,” though she kind of does. does, is how she focuses what is really important to them as a family. Now, is this what I’m going to talk about? No, but I’m going to use it as a jumping off point to share some of the online resources I’ve come across or shared with me as I try to call them / take a break / not answer questions / quit someone.
Sidebar… Before we get to that, I received an email today from the Edmonds School District welcoming us to the 2022-23 school year – content can be found HERE. I don’t have a lot of Back to School juice this week, but I wanted to mention that the district says it will send out an additional email on August 19th explaining how parents can use ParentSquare to get information from the district and schools. This additional email will have an invitation link where you can choose how to receive information and in which language you will 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 tutorials and fun and informative science videos, too. I googled some watercolor books, two of which I found at Sno-Isle Libraries, I apparently started getting more art accounts on Instagram and found Andrea.Nelson.Art. Part of Nelson’s biography says: “It’s going to be good. 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 paint things and my current favorite thing to keep my hands busy as a beginner is to paint different watercolors and then trace shapes with paint after it dries. Seriously, she calls it a “brain relaxer” and it really relaxes my brain without the pressure of looking like an object I’ve painted. It seems you don’t need any fancy equipment, as one of the latest videos is one that happily explains how to paint on white chalk. I also noticed that whenever I see a new video that one of my adult friends already liked when I contacted him he said he doesn’t make art, Nelson’s posts are “0% guaranteed bad news” and I not only do I agree, but I will add that when she happily explains that you can do it, it feels like I could do it! You can find Nelson on Instagram, in a basic video sponsored by Crayola, or at ADreamoraDayArt.com.
My cousin’s 7 year old makes art online and her current video picks are from the Art for Kids Hub on YouTube. I scanned through some videos and saw that these people make beautiful art tutorials and often involve their children 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 along with Wendy Mac (New York Times bestseller and artist Wendy MacNaughton) is another online art option. Described as “The Show That’s a Classroom That’s a Kids’ Club” you can find episodes on DrawTogether.Studio or on YouTube – after a quick look it looks a bit more involved 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 “casual silly dancing”. Mac is in a weird group and the video I scanned was about indoor weather and the connection of wind, rain, etc. with feelings, which of course I liked. I’ve followed her on her personal account for a while, but I don’t remember her genesis. The colors and fonts she 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 piece of paper and a pen.
If art isn’t suitable, there are science options for kids too. You can find the Hip Hop Science Show on YouTube which I found on the recommendation of a mutual friend! Hosted by Hip Hop MD and UW major Maynard Okereke, Hip Hop Science aims to “bridge the gap between music/entertainment and science by infusing scientific elements into everyday pop culture.” Okereke breaks down “music videos, epic fails, song lyrics and takes you on exploratory journeys through new trends in all areas of science” while wearing 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 and great clip with music that I hope my kids have come across on their travels online – it’s also true, geese are insanely scary. You can find more videos from Hip Hop MD at YouTube.com/HipHopScienceShow and more information and contact information for school presentations at HipHopScienceShow.com.
My nieces enjoy Emily’s Wonderlab on Netflix which is only one season long but has 10 episodes available on Netflix. Science.Mami offers videos and projects and boasts that if you look at the videos on her website, only her videos will be suggested – I didn’t think this was a big deal until it was definitely a big deal. I will say, though, if you click on YouTube, there are other suggestions galore. Science Mom “worked as a molecular biologist and wildland firefighter, and several jobs that fall between wearing a lab coat and wielding a chainsaw,” and I’m pretty sure my mom message board friend is on it, which is right under the chainsaw for me. Her site offers over 100 free educational lessons, plus activities and experiments. She’s even been known to take on her counterpart, the 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 Marks
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that gets them tired enough to go to bed on time.