Kid's Site 2: The Webpage - "Episode 12" Tuesday, September 30th

On this Tech Trek Tuesday, Pete explains what a Web Server is... along with some much more interesting / campy goodness that everyone loves!


User Update :-)

I get some great feedback here at the blog and through email... here's an update from Wendy, who wanted a better quote than what I previously gave her (oops!):
I enjoyed looking at your site. I work with children with special needs and they really seem to enjoy the action filled "camp" songs such as the ones featured on your site. I especially like the video portion of your website so I can see how the song movements go, especially when it's a song that I've never sung before. Keep up the good work!
That makes me feel really good! I got an awesome email from Jen who included:
My name is Jen and I'm a wildmannered humanitarian worker plying my passion
for education on the border between Burma and Thailand. I'm writing because
I recently found your videos on YouTube and wanted to let you know how much
I appreciated them.
Pretty awesome...

Janna gave me some great feedback on Kids Site 2: The Web Page:
My nephew has enjoyed seeing the videos and trying out some of the songs. He even practiced the 2nd magic trick for about 45mins. My hope is that he will be able to watch y'all more and want to go to a sleep away camp finally this summer!
Will you be having special guest females? My 9yr old cousin watched two of the videos and proclaimed it was only for boys. Granted you get that attitude in real life at camp as well.
I really am thrilled for my nephew to finally see it can be fun!
In response, Janna, I am going to have regular segments produced by females - tell your cousin not to worry! I believe the first one will be up this Friday, barring any technical problems!

I really think Janna hit the nail on the head with our goal for this site - show kids how fun camp can be... I hope we can spread that message through our random silliness!

Coach Lion left me this great comment:
I've only peeped a few days worth of KidsSite2, but it looks like you're off to a strong start. The pace is quick, but not overwhelmingly so. I wonder if there's any way to superimpose the words to the songs (like when you "follow the bouncing ball", or karaeoke) at the bottom of the screen so kids can learn the songs and sing along. Makes for more work, but it might make it more interactive (and a good learning/reading tool, as well).
Keep up the good work!
Yes, the pace is fast... The songs are... well, fast as well. I've been trying to figure out the best way to handle the songs. I've been working on the karaoke ball for a while, but it's not the best solution with this video resolution (the text it too hard to read). Instead, we'll include the lyrics as text beside the video and encourage the kids to learn them by practicing along with our other song-only ones.

I'll keep that in mind.

We're trying to add new features all the time, so it will be "right" by the time it's actually discovered! That also keeps me vigilant about updating this blog with new activities and ideas. BY THE WAY!!!!!!

I have big news~!~ Bryan and I were hired to design the entire activity curriculum for a (very) large camp company (I think around 10,000 campers). Hooray!

Quick Tech Rant

I am a loyal Google user. I am. I admit it... In fact, I'm really looking forward to getting an Android phone (Google's iPhone competition). One can find me using many of the free G services on any given day... Search, email, calendar, word processing, blog, chat, analytics - and many others.

Video, though, has proven to be a big problem. I used Google Video for almost 3 years now and it has progressively gotten worse - yes worse. The idea of hosting any amount of videos of any length is great (because YouTube has a space / time limit), but from now on I'm using BlipTV. I fear that Google sometimes spreads itself thin and stops supporting products after traffic goes down... and Google Video is a prime example of that.

Anyway, Kid's Site 2: the Web Page is up with the newest video... with nice quality and a much richer set of options. If you check out the BlipTV version of the site, you can subscribe to the newest videos - cool, huh? All free - so you can use that for your class or camp... Privacy settings come with a small subscription fee... What do you use?



Hey All -

My design firm just launched a new site: www.miza.com about a baby mountain gorilla... and the unfortunate plight of mountain gorillas in general. Let me know what you think!

Also, remember to check out www.kidssite2.com!


ACTIVITY: Trash Balls

On our Friday episode of Kid's Site 2: The Web Page (yes, I'm a shill) we talk about making trash balls. This is an incredible activity for teachers and parents alike because:

  1. Trash Balls are 100% recycled material
  2. Trash Balls can easily be replaced
  3. Trash Balls are easy to make... and easy to make many of them...
  4. Trash Balls do not hurt (generally)
  5. Trash Balls can be played with safely indoors (mostly)
So what are Trash Balls?

First you roll some used newspaper into a ball - make it 2 or 3 sheets.
Then wrap a couple plastic bags (from the store) around the newspaper.
Finally, take a couple strips of packing tape or masking tape and (loosely) wrap everything together.

There you have it - a Trash Ball!

And what can you play with Trash Balls? We personally enjoy the game of Ultimate Dodgeball - it's a real tricky one.

(oh, this is great!)


  • A group of 10 to... hm... 1,000,000?
  • At least 5 - 10 Trash Balls per person
  • A tennis court or gymnasium
The best place to play this is on a tennis court with the net as a divider. If not, half a gym is sufficient. Split the group into two even teams. There are no outside borders beyond the center divider, so additional cones, etc, are not necessary.

The *goal* of this game is to get everyone on the same side... If you are hit with the Trash Ball, switch sides; If someone catches your Trash Ball, switch sides; If you catch a Trash Ball, the thrower changes sides.

WAIT A MINUTE, PETE!?! Doesn't that mean one side could just give up and the game would be over?
Yes. Will that happen? No!

I've played this with kids and adults... and no matter how much I emphasized the GOAL when explaining the rules, they all heard the same thing - throw the Trash Balls at the other team.

This game has excellent discussion points at the end - especially if you let it run for a while.
Did you understand the goal of the game?
Why didn't you just give up so everyone would be on the same side?
(and then approach the hold-outs... the guys that wouldn't say die no matter how few were left on their side)
What was your thinking when you were alone against the larger group?

& etc.

My favorite moment in this game was with a large group of parents who, though completely understanding the goal, turned the game into a ridiculously competitive romp... and subsequently an enthusiastic and intriguing debrief.

I know it's not the greatest...

...but we're at least trying!

Kid's Site 2: The Webpage is not being created by the best actors on the planet... in fact, it's probably obvious that we'd rather be outside than in front of a camera. And we *do* both have day jobs so until we streamline the long and tedious editing process, we're going to be limited in our ability to spend time creating quality content.

We're trying because of the numerous emails and comments we get about our songs. Granted, creating a web-show is a much greater undertaking than an afternoon of singing camp songs, but Bryan and I feel that we have a lot to share... and this is how we chose to share.

Constructive criticism is valued the most...

Here are a couple of examples why:

from Jen in Burma / Thailand
...anyways thanks for the great ideas, and
the entertaining videos. I love your trio - you are good children's
entertainers and your campers are lucky to have you.
from Jean, a Music Teacher
You've done a really great favor to a lot of teachers by including video and sorting the songs into types.
from Wendy, a librarian
I enjoyed looking at your site.

ANYWAY... we will continue to try until we run out of material or no one finds our content valuable... which will hopefully be a long time.


...so this is why I've been busy...

Let's see...
I ran a 1/2 marathon
I proposed (at camp... good pics to follow) - she said YES!
I moved to a new place
I started a new page (kidssite2.com)
I worked on another great kid's site*** (to launch soon)
I went to a bunch of Mets games...
oh... yeah...
I worked at an iD camp for a week (although they wanted much more!)

I'm falling back into a regular routine, so I should be able to actually be around :-)
and, of course, there will be daily updates to Kid's Site 2: The Webpage!


Hey All...

I'm launching a new website exclusively for kids... and by "launching" I mean, it's launched.
I'll be editing it and adding content as I go (remember, I have a full-time gig and full-time fiance!), but I'm sure your younger ones will be satisfied :-)


KIDS SITE 2: The Webpage


Bryan and I have been hard at work developing content for our new project, an online camp for kids called "Kid's Site 2: The Webpage."

The page contains new videos every weekday with lots of activities, songs and general silliness that we've picked up throughout our camp careers. There are NO ADVERTISEMENTS on the page... and there will (hopefully) never be ads. We created a simple interface allowing for maximum access to all of our content.

Our target is 8 - 10 year olds, although that is a moving target and may change as we continue developing the community.

The goal of our project is to share cool and interesting content for kids in a safe, non-commercial environment. That being said, we would love to make up for the web fees and development time through donations or B&P swag... but that will be added through the "Parents" section.

Anyway, please recognize that we're just starting and have a long way to go before perfection... I am not going all out to market this *yet* because we want to seed the site with a week or two of content. Any feedback can be posted here or directly emailed to me at vigeant@gmail.com <>