Gifts that Support Creative Thinking for Kids

By Chief Technology Officer, Mrs. Jamie Lewsadder

LCUSD Winter Newsletter - LCUSD logos stacked to resemble a snowman.

It is the season of showing love and gratitude to those around us through gift-giving. It is also the time of struggling to find that perfect gift and crowded mall parking lots. Below you’ll find a gift giving guide or children focusing on supporting creative thinking, ideas for desk toys that help with focus and productivity, ways to upgrade your home office or student study space for healthy habits, a breakdown of what’s on my techie wishlist this season, and finally, some fun websites for the techie in your life. And the best part, you can shop from home!

“From the United States of America to Canada and Kuala Lumpur, KEVA planks are changing the lives of children and adults all over the world. Children discover the joy of creating original works of art or cleverly designed contraptions.  Creativity brings joy into the lives of humans which is why the arts are so important. At the same time, future architects and engineers are discovering their aptitude for building at an early age. Young KEVA builders today will be building our world in a few years.”

“The mathematical universe lives all around us. New ideas, forms, and methods exist everywhere, ready to be introduced into human culture. It just takes someone who can see what is there and make something out of it. Linking the geometry of the ancient Greeks to quantum physics, from inner space to outer space, Zometool is positioned to be the basis of spatial interpretation for the new millennium.”

“Makey Makey started out as a project that was initiated by two students at MIT Media Lab under the advisorship of Mitch Resnick and is an academic and artistic project. Now it's both a business and a project with thousands of community collaborators, with more joining the ranks of inventors everyday.”

“The Creativity Can®, a small container of simple, colorful materials like pipe cleaners, googly eyes and yarn, encourages people of all ages to imagine and invent while engaging in a brain-activating, hands-on activity and illustrate the power of creativity. Creativity cans develop imagination, problem solving and critical thinking skills needed for future success.”

Desk Toys to Improve Productivity (for kids and adults :)

From “Researchers at New York University's Polytechnic School of Engineering are studying a group of 40 workers who use various "fidget widgets" to improve focus, ease anxiety, and boost creative thinking. The study taps a relatively new field of research called "embodied cognition" that maps the connection between body movement and cognitive functioning.” -The Fidget Cube (you can find it on Amazon too)  A huge collection of desk fidget toys

Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty This in comes in a wide range of colors and a very nice metal tin

Tangle Jr. Fidget toy One of my favorites

Home and Office upgrades: Standing desks are said to have health benefits when used in combination of sitting during the day. It is not advised to stand all day, but instead to alternate between the two positions. You can create a standing desk with a desktop add on, or buy a brand new desk. Look for models that easily switch from a seated to standing position. There are both electric and manual models.

“We know that a sedentary lifestyle has negative effects on our overall health. But how do we add that healthy motion to our day? FluidStance founder Joel Heath came up with the idea for The Level, our beautifully designed motion platform that brings movement into any common workspace, after personally noticing the effects of a sedentary workday. Today, we have a full team whose focus is on movement as the ultimate solution—in which the combination of sitting, standing, and “flowing” on the Level is the key to a happy workday.”

On My Wish-List

Bose Quiet Comfort 35 wireless headphones $350
Aukey PB-N15 20000mAh 3.1A Dual-USB Portable External Battery Charger $30
Ultimate Ears UE ROLL 2 Wireless Speaker (waterproof) $100
Tile bluetooth trackers $70 for 4

Hydroflask customized in favorite colors Phone charging cables

G.U.S. Multi Device Charging Station (for phones, laptops, tablet charging in one organized place)

Fun Places to Shop for Techies (for Apple users, super cool accessories, check out the HiRise2 and the Forte)