Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Code a Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.

Will isn't as into Scratch as some of her friends are--well, I take that back. Sometimes Will is VERY into Scratch, but other times she's very into Minecraft, or Zoo Tycoon, or Little Big Planet, or Lego Marvel Super Heroes, or FEZ, or Tokyo Jungle, or the links on my Links for Kids page, so I should say that Will isn't as perennially into Scratch as some of her friends are.

Nevertheless, when I showed both kids this Made with Code project that allowed them, using a Scratch-like interface, to code a light show on their state Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., they were both really excited. I mean, obviously! I want to code a light show, too! Unfortunately, I'm not a child, and I have to code light shows in my own time, on my own equipment. Next year, perhaps...

The only disappointment in the process is that, as far as I can tell, there are no webcams or livestreams, so the kids can't, you know, actually *see* their light shows, but the site did tell each of them approximately when their light show would play on their tree in D.C., so I guess if you were local, you could head over and camp out and watch it in person.

Here's Syd's light show, which played last night at approximately 8:34 pm:

And here's Will's, which will play tonight at approximately 5:07, just a little after dusk in D.C.:

I actually like these little limited-time opportunities the best, I think. I don't like the kids to have a lot of screen time, and so each new app or program or game that they're introduced to, however cool it may be, to me really just feels like one more app or program or game for us to clash over on a daily basis. Opportunities like this, however? I show it to the kids, the kids have a lot of fun with it, we all look at it and say "Yay! Wasn't that cool?", and then we all go back to our block building and game playing and book reading, content with having a cool gif to share and a little more coding experience under the kids' belts.

And still forever planning that someday longer vacation to Washington, D.C.


Tina said...

That is totally cool!

I'd love to go to D.C. as well. The homeschool co-op that we are part of is planning to go next year sometime I think. We may try to go with them, or we may go visit family in NH and drag them down to D.C. with us. :0)

julie said...

Ooh, either option sounds really great!

I'm really, really bad at turning visits to family into my own personal sightseeing mission. Like, "Hi, Grandma! Want to go to the Henry Ford Museum? No? See you tonight, then!"


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