THINKER TIMES

A Winter Guide to Boulder’s STEAM Learning Experiences

As the days grow shorter, and the weather grows colder, it can feel like the only thing to do is sit at home and watch TV. But what if there were exciting, indoor places and events you could visit this winter that are not only fun for the whole family, but educational in multiple different areas? Boulder offers several locations and events that promote hands-on STEAM learning. What is STEAM? Think STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) + Art. While STEM topics are important, including art and the humanities teaches an entirely different set of skills and modes of thinking, so it is important (and fun!) to do activities that focus on both.

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A Gift Guide for Family Games

Let it be known that I write this blog with some trepidation as I know that the gaming community takes their fun (and their reviews) VERY seriously. While I may not self-identify as a “gamer”, I have always had a geeky love for games and puzzles. This love, and our penchant for strategic and creative thinking, drove the Hopper team head first into the world of original board game design. Our goal: to orchestrate playful opportunities that encourage families to foster strong bonds through collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. The first step to develop our original Hopper gaming experience was to play-test as many games as we could get our meeple-loving hands on…

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The Hopper International: Klimahaus Edition

Picture this…you’re a pirate mercenary. The year is 1350 and you’ve been employed by the Queen of Denmark to secure trade routes throughout the North Sea. Your goal: wrestle control away from the Hanseatic League of coastal cities that monopolize sea trade in the region. After sinking some merchant ships that were carrying wool, resin, and wooden wares, you seek refuge in the seaside town of Bremerhaven. Located on the North Sea coast of modern-day Germany, Bremerhaven is actually a detached portion of the Hanseatic city of Bremen. Oddly enough, you must travel approximately 45 minutes north from inland Bremen to arrive in coastal Bremerhaven.

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Table Talk: The Science (and Magic) of Thanksgiving

There is something – dare I say – magical about a Thanksgiving meal. I’m pretty sure it isn’t actually the food, itself. I once celebrated the holiday over enchiladas and chile rellenos. The year I hosted 30+ Peace Corps volunteers and Bolivian friends the turkey was picked clean before I even got a bite! No. With the possible exception of the pie (mmm… pie…), I suspect that the magic of Thanksgiving arises from the coming together of friends and family around a table for companionship and conversation. We tell stories. We avoid politics (or don’t). We listen. We laugh. We learn. We connect.

Read More »
repurpose your halloween candy

Five Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Halloween Candy

Did your eager trick-or-treaters bring home an abundance of candy you will never eat? Not sure what to do with all the treats but feeling guilty to simply trash them? Here are five, Hopper-approved ideas for repurposing your Halloween candy: Teach your younger kids math with leftover candy. Make them count, add up, divide. This hands-on exercise will enhance their basic math skills…

Read More »
STEAM inspired halloween events

STEAM-Inspired Halloween Experiments to Spark Your Child’s Imagination (and Yours)

Halloween was my favorite holiday when I was kid, and I loved it for far more than just the candy. I loved seeing the neighborhood come alive with spooky decorations, carving jack-o-lanterns, taking haunted hayrides through the cornfields, and above all, the chance to use my imagination to become someone or something else for one special night. I was particularly captivated by the sights, sounds, and decorations of haunted houses; ghosts in the windows, steaming cauldrons, optical illusions, and other ghoulish goodies absolutely astounded me.

Read More »

THINKER TIMES

A Winter Guide to Boulder’s STEAM Learning Experiences

As the days grow shorter, and the weather grows colder, it can feel like the only thing to do is sit at home and watch TV. But what if there were exciting, indoor places and events you could visit this winter that are not only fun for the whole family, but educational in multiple different areas? Boulder offers several locations and events that promote hands-on STEAM learning. What is STEAM? Think STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) + Art. While STEM topics are important, including art and the humanities teaches an entirely different set of skills and modes of thinking, so it is important (and fun!) to do activities that focus on both.

Read More »

A Gift Guide for Family Games

Let it be known that I write this blog with some trepidation as I know that the gaming community takes their fun (and their reviews) VERY seriously. While I may not self-identify as a “gamer”, I have always had a geeky love for games and puzzles. This love, and our penchant for strategic and creative thinking, drove the Hopper team head first into the world of original board game design. Our goal: to orchestrate playful opportunities that encourage families to foster strong bonds through collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. The first step to develop our original Hopper gaming experience was to play-test as many games as we could get our meeple-loving hands on…

Read More »

The Hopper International: Klimahaus Edition

Picture this…you’re a pirate mercenary. The year is 1350 and you’ve been employed by the Queen of Denmark to secure trade routes throughout the North Sea. Your goal: wrestle control away from the Hanseatic League of coastal cities that monopolize sea trade in the region. After sinking some merchant ships that were carrying wool, resin, and wooden wares, you seek refuge in the seaside town of Bremerhaven. Located on the North Sea coast of modern-day Germany, Bremerhaven is actually a detached portion of the Hanseatic city of Bremen. Oddly enough, you must travel approximately 45 minutes north from inland Bremen to arrive in coastal Bremerhaven.

Read More »

Table Talk: The Science (and Magic) of Thanksgiving

There is something – dare I say – magical about a Thanksgiving meal. I’m pretty sure it isn’t actually the food, itself. I once celebrated the holiday over enchiladas and chile rellenos. The year I hosted 30+ Peace Corps volunteers and Bolivian friends the turkey was picked clean before I even got a bite! No. With the possible exception of the pie (mmm… pie…), I suspect that the magic of Thanksgiving arises from the coming together of friends and family around a table for companionship and conversation. We tell stories. We avoid politics (or don’t). We listen. We laugh. We learn. We connect.

Read More »
repurpose your halloween candy

Five Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Halloween Candy

Did your eager trick-or-treaters bring home an abundance of candy you will never eat? Not sure what to do with all the treats but feeling guilty to simply trash them? Here are five, Hopper-approved ideas for repurposing your Halloween candy: Teach your younger kids math with leftover candy. Make them count, add up, divide. This hands-on exercise will enhance their basic math skills…

Read More »
STEAM inspired halloween events

STEAM-Inspired Halloween Experiments to Spark Your Child’s Imagination (and Yours)

Halloween was my favorite holiday when I was kid, and I loved it for far more than just the candy. I loved seeing the neighborhood come alive with spooky decorations, carving jack-o-lanterns, taking haunted hayrides through the cornfields, and above all, the chance to use my imagination to become someone or something else for one special night. I was particularly captivated by the sights, sounds, and decorations of haunted houses; ghosts in the windows, steaming cauldrons, optical illusions, and other ghoulish goodies absolutely astounded me.

Read More »
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