Q: As parents, why did you create the Wondermint Kids site?
A: We have a kid that isn’t drawn to TV, but working on the computer was becoming more frequent & enjoyable to her because of school. Once we watched her navigate the internet, we saw that the internet was really missing out on the opportunity to help kids connect with their creative sides and the natural maker and explorer in them. We could not find sites with kids teaching kids. Wondermint Kids takes a project-based teaching approach that naturally and organically models cooperation (kids work together), etiquette (Gray models positive behaviors with her friends), math (adding, fractions and geometry come up a lot when crafting & cooking), history (especially in the travel blog posts), and culture (we have friends from other cultures share their customs & crafts).
Q: Is this your first foray into the family space & education?
A: No. When Gray was 2 yrs old we had an amazing business called Cool Baby. Within ten months we were the highest rated Baby/Kid space in Los Angeles with art & music classes and, more importantly, we assembled some amazing creative teachers and made lifelong friends. Then a giant crane & a billboard fell on our site and put us out of business. Over the years people kept asking us to open up something new for the community. This is our way of doing that. We’ve also written for PBS’ Now & Future Parent series. Sam has co-produced bilingual educational video series and Ayn studied creative learning approaches at Harvard University.
Q: Are parents required to do the crafts with their child?
A: It really depends on the age of your child. But we recommend that all parents help with set-up and anything that involves cutting or electricity. The great thing about Wondermint Kids is that all crafts have been road-tested and a child or adult can see how to make the craft before attempting it. And, you can see that a kid is actually doing the craft (no sneaky special effects!), so you know it’s possible. If you have ever come home from the craft store with $50 worth of glitter, paper, and fancy tools only to discover that you can’t execute something the way Martha Stewart can, you’ll understand how cool this is.
Q: Are your crafts eco-friendly? Are recipes healthy?
A: As much as possible we try to use green products, show kids how to recycle old objects to make beautiful new art (see recycled crayon project). We also chose a host server for our site that runs on 100% Wind Power to keep our carbon footprint as small as possible! As for recipes, we try to substitute gluten-free bread where possible (see raspberry nutella wafflewich), use fair trade ingredients, show clever ways to add more veggies & fruit into foods, and substitute sugar with agave or applesauce.
Q: What do you have planned for the future?
A: We’d love to get help from investors to donate tablets to children’s hospital wards so that child patients can view Wondermint Kids & we would love to add some interactive elements to the site so that kids can earn badges as they learn skills or write reviews or travel. We’d also love a Wondermint Kids app.
Q: What is the best way to reach you?