Socialize and Brainercise!

“Nice to meet you,” says Bugsy FlameCloud.

“Where are you going?” asks Jack SlothSprout.

“I am going to explore JumpStart,” Bugsy FlameCloud replies. “Follow me!”

JumpStart.com is taking children’s gaming to new heights with the addition of canned chat! Jumpeez can now communicate with one another using pre-selected words and phrases. We know kids love to chat online with their peers, and sometimes dance moves alone won’t cut it. We’re dedicated to keeping your little ones safe and happy, and we’re confident that the new canned chat function will do just that!

Canned chat is now available at JumpStart.com!

Canned chat is now available at JumpStart.com!


Learn more about Dolch words!

All About Avocados

Avocados may have originated in South America, but they have become a classic summer food in the US. The buttery, savory fruit has a number of health benefits and is a great ingredient to incorporate into your summer cooking. Here are some fun avocado creations for you and your child to make together.

Guacamole
An avocado classic that goes great with just about everything! You can use it as a garnish for tacos or a dip for carrot sticks.

What you need:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped green onion
  • A pinch garlic salt
  • Hot sauce (optional – add to taste if you prefer a spicier guacamole)

In a medium bowl, cut your avocados into small chunks and mash with a potato masher. (Clean and save the pits for later.) If you don’t have a potato masher, two forks crossed over each other work as well. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, starting with the diced tomatoes and finishing with the garlic salt to taste. The great thing about guacamole is that it is easy to tailor to your own family’s tastes.

Discover more fun things to do with avocados.

Say Goodnight to Those Pesky Bedroom Monsters Once and For All

“Goodnight stars. Goodnight air. Goodnight noises everywhere.” Many children go through a specific bedtime routine every night. You brush your child’s teeth, read their favorite story, and turn out the lights. Before you know it, your child is out of bed and pulling on your hand. “There’s a monster under my bed!” Are you tired of checking for monsters every night? Do you get bored of the same old routine of checking the bed, checking the closet, moving around the toys? Try these helpful and creative ways to rid your child’s room of those pesky monsters for good!

Take Out the Monsters and the Trash

This creative way to get rid of the monster beneath your child’s bed is one of our favorites. Grab a plastic garbage bag and, to make this activity even more believable, some rubber gloves. Now go into your kid’s bedroom and show that monster whose boss. Check under and in all of the usual hiding places of the particular punk. Every place you look, make sure to grab the monster by the foot and shove it into the bag and seal it shut. Once you’ve combed through the room, have your children watch as you take the bag out to the trash and dump all the monsters in the garbage!

Learn more monster extermination tactics.

Multiplayer: What Do You Think?

UPDATE: Canned chat is now available.

Last week, JumpStart launched our new multiplayer features, officially making the virtual world at JumpStart.com a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game! Now, players can interact with each other via facial expressions (emoticons) and dance moves. And soon, we’ll be introducing canned chat, which will allow players to communicate via age-appropriate, pre-selected phrases.

Dance party at JumpStart.com!

Dance party at JumpStart.com!

We’d love to hear what you think about what’s happening in our virtual world at JumpStart.com! Please use the comments section of this article to give us your feedback. We’re also happy to answer any questions you may have. Thanks for your input!

For more information about our multiplayer features, check out our earlier articles here and here.

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Vinegar and Baking Soda Boredom Busters

Trying to beat the summer doldrums without spending money on toys that require 14 AAA batteries and have a lifespan of approximately 3.68 days? You don’t need the latest super-duper robot action figure with working laser, 200 real robot sounds, and karate chop action to keep your kids entertained for an afternoon. Vinegar and baking soda are just as fun! Kids love the bubbly, fizzy reaction that results when you mix these two non-toxic household chemicals together. The following activities only require vinegar, baking soda, and a couple of other household items, and they should keep you and your child busy for at least a few hours!

Mixing vinegar and baking soda can be messy, so you’ll want to take these activities outside as much as possible or do them in the sink.

Magically inflate a balloon. Put some vinegar in a plastic water bottle and some baking soda into an uninflated balloon. Stretch the neck of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle without letting the baking soda fall into the bottle. Then, tip the balloon up over the bottle, let the baking soda fall into the vinegar, and watch the balloon inflate with carbon dioxide! Experiment with different amounts of baking soda and vinegar for maximum inflation. For a zany variation, try using a rubber glove instead of a balloon (you might need rubber bands to secure the glove to the bottle). Learn about more fun vinegar and baking soda activities here!

Live from JumpStart…Multiplayer!

UPDATE: AdventureLand is now accessible via the Beach.

You may recall from a few posts back that JumpStart is introducing a multiplayer option to the online world at JumpStart.com. And (drum roll, please)…as of last night, your child can sign on and play with other Jumpeez! Yes, that’s right: Your child can now interact with other children from around the world through lively Jumpee dance moves and facial expressions (emoticons). This is a big change for JumpStart, and we want to make sure you have the full scoop!

With our new multiplayer feature, the world at JumpStart.com is more exciting than ever. It still has all the same fun learning adventures as before, but your child can now learn and play alongside other kids. Yes, that means that all those other cute Jumpeez running around are actual players, learning at their computers just like your child!  Plus, we’re developing group activities and challenges that will teach participation, sharing, and teamwork.

To celebrate the release of our multiplayer features, we’ve added a dance floor in the center of the JumpStart world so that players can boogie down together! We always let the newest feature take center stage, so access to AdventureLand has been moved to the submarine near the ocean.

Jumpeez boogie on the JumpStart.com dance floor!

Jumpeez boogie on the JumpStart.com dance floor!

Safety is always a top priority at JumpStart, so we’ve built this new multiplayer feature in a way that allows for playful communication without the ability to share any personal information. Participating in the JumpStart world will reinforce safe, positive habits for your child as he or she begins to use the Internet. To learn more about the new multiplayer feature of JumpStart.com and its benefits, check out our earlier article here.

See it for yourself at JumpStart.com today!

Please note: If you and your child are more comfortable with the single-player learning environment, you may opt out of multiplayer. (But be warned, you are sure to be missing out on an exciting dance party!)  To opt out, visit “Online Game Preferences” under “Manage Account” and click “disable.”

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Eat Your Shapes

Let’s face it: Kids are picky eaters. Whether it’s the fear of trying something new or just being stubborn, it can be a hassle to make healthful meals for your little one. Don’t you wish you could go back to the days of “here comes the choo choo train” and slip that baby food in before they knew what was happening? Well, here’s a new and improved method for making your child forget they’re eating something healthy. And, it’s a great way to teach your child about shapes! Learn how to make shapely lunches!