Science-Based Gift Giving Guide 2010

November 2, 2010

If you’re looking for the best gifts to give your science-loving family this holiday season, we have the perfect guide for you. Listed below, are all of the authors, artists, and products that have been featured on Parenting Within Reason (and Podcast Beyond Belief), including some book recommendations by Dale McGowan and Jim Randolph from our soon-to-be-released latest episode. Plus, you’ll find some brain boosting games recommended by Nurture Shock author, Ashley Merryman in our interview with her.

If there’s a product that you think our readers would enjoy, please list it in the comments section. And if there are some products on here that you really enjoyed, let us know, and be sure to click the link and review it on amazon too.

Books for Parents

Books for Kids




*Recommended by Dale McGowan

**Recommended by Jim Randolph

***Recommended by Ashley Merryman

Science For the Kids – X-mas 08

November 28, 2008

Today is Black Friday.  I’ve been up since 4am helping my FIL buy a 42″ flatscreen at Wal-Mart.  I ordinarily wouldn’t voluntarily visit a Wal-Mart on any day, let alone on a day when the place is swelling with rabid shoppers, but family comes first.

For those of you who are snobby science-loving shoppers, like myself, I have three gift ideas picked out to recommend.  Please understand that I have not used these products or tested them myself.  These are just the coolest looking science toys that I could find.  I recommend that you read the reviews for each product before taking my blind advice.

I think the best science toys explain not only “what we know”, but “how we know what we know”.  That’s why I am excited about the Milestones in Science kit by Thames & Kosmos.  This kit will walk you and your child through the history of scientific discoveries and help you reproduce the very experiments that had our wise ancestors saying “EUREKA!”.  I love the concept.  I can only hope that they executed it well.

Charlie’s Playhouse has Darwin-inspired toys that engage young minds about evolution, including a giant time line with info cards of several ancient creatures.  This gift really helps young minds understand our diverse ancestral tree of life, and gets the kids thinking about fact-based reality before the phone book ripping zealots can brainwash them.

This being a skeptic blog, I do want to encourage logic and reasoning, which is why the last gift I’m recommending is the new incarnation of Clue called Clue Suspects.  This seems like a neat twist on the classic game, except instead of using process-of-elimination, the game is played by using reasoning and deduction.  This is meant to be a solitaire game, so it’s perfect for the only-child.  I like the idea, it sounds like fun, and I think I found the perfect Secret Santa gift.  Sh… don’t tell.

Harry Potter is Not the Devil

September 17, 2008

I was tricked into commenting on a conservative blog that is actually a parody.  Everyone must be in on the joke because I received a comment two seconds after posting it.  I stand behind everything I said against it, but to save myself further embarrassment, I will delete everything except one paragraph.

J.K. Rowling wrote a series of books about an abused boy who finds a way to compensate for his helpless life by achieving greatness in a fantasy world of witchcraft and wizardry.  The Harry Potter novels are no different than the Chronicles of Narnia, a series of books written by a christian.  In fact, J.K. Rowling is a christian herself.  SHOCK!  Of course, if fundamentalists would chill out and actually enjoy her fiction without imagining it being written by the hand of Satan, they might notice that Harry celebrates Christmas with his Godfather; they might also read some Christian symbolism written into the stories.  But I guess that would be too much to ask.

There ya go!