Adding it up with PBS Kids

My family trekked out to the Pacific Science Center yesterday to try out some new games launched by PBS KIDS as part of its educational initiative: “It All Adds Up.” The activities provide families with educational resources to support informal math learning at home, something which we need.

I’m one of those parents who fear teaching their children math. When I was in the second grade, I feigned having stomach aches so I wouldn’t have to go to math class and since they were only stomach aches, my parents weren’t called and I got to sit in the nurse’s office until math class was over. Great plan, Mona! Only, it didn’t last and eventually I had to go back to my desk and tackle my least favorite subject. The math anxiety is still with me and I feel it even more now that I have a school-age child and I need to be his first teacher and a confident one at that.

The PBS Demo Day allowed parents to learn how to incorporate the mobile apps, activities and games into their kids’ learning. We’re already big fans of the PBS Kids, it provides enough entertainment and education for both my six year old and three year old to enjoy together. It’s hard to find activities that will please them both and I’m a supporter of anything that brings peace to these sometimes warring, feral boys.

The Cat in the Hat made an appearance! He’s a celebrity in our house so of course upon seeing him, I had to yell into TJ’s ear, “LOOK! LOOK!” At first I kept calling him Dr. Suess but that’s because I am not smart and also, I haven’t finished the books yet. Don’t spoil Green Eggs and Ham. I’m hoping there’s a buffet at the end!

The Cat in the Hat also made a great photobomb behind Nathan and Carrie’s son Ethan. The last time I saw him was at another blogger event and he spent two hours on my lap. I also taught him about Angry Birds. I would have taught him about Candy Crush but that hadn’t been invented yet/my life had not been ruined by meaningless puzzles that have no actual candy in them.

I had no shame when asking for a photo, especially since he also put his hand on hip after I did. This cat knows how to work it!

Heather and I meet again! I love seeing Heather at blogger events, she is always glowing and now that she’s super into crossfit, I bet she could flip over tires. That’s what they do there? I have no idea. My copy of P90x is collecting dust.

“Then we played bones and I’m yellin’ domino!”

There were tables set up with games for the children and parents to check out.

I loved how quietly they played. It was amazing how absorbed they became in the games, how they wanted to interact with this funny little monkey. I also was calculating in my head how I could purchase two laptops so they wouldn’t fight over the computer ALL THE TIME. Maybe they could learn numbers and spacing and troubleshooting and not the one lesson I’ve been trying to teach them forever: YOU CAN’T PICK YOUR FAMILY. Also: PLEASE DON’T SIT ON YOUR BROTHER, HE NEEDS TO BREATHE.

Nathan made the face I make when I look at the order menu at the drive thru. So many options! I’m thankful he was working through numbers and not furrow-browed because he couldn’t figure out the crispy to soft taco ratio in his order. The cycle stops here, kid!

Nathan and I also nailed it when it came to loving Mother-Son portraits:

We left with a tote bag of activities and codes to download some of the apps. I’m going to be visiting the site a lot more in the next few months, especially as summer approaches and I want the time spent on the computer to be with games I approve of, not weird ones where I’m hollering, “What are you doing?!” I know this will be a lot of fun and not just for them.

All the games and apps can be found at Once in the click “All Games” navigate by skill area (from counting to multiplication, fractions, patterns, letters, vocabulary and more), child’s age, the type of technology you have (various mobile devices, desktop and classroom screens), and PBS KIDS series. And if you want to easily navigate the apps, you can check them out on

Visit PBS KIDS Lab for more information, fun offline activities, online games and mobile apps.

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  1. This is all sorts of awesome. A day with Cat in the Hat! Computers to get sticky! Sorry I couldn’t join you all and get schooled in math with you!
    Leanne recently posted..4 strollers in one with the Joovy Caboose Too Ultralight {Review}

  2. It really was so much fun! My kids just LOVE those apps. 🙂
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