5 Reasons the Amazon box they come in is more valuable than the toy inside.

photo credit: Nick Fewings Unsplash

Holidays are coming, and it’s shaping up to be a very long winter, one that may feel like the longest on record! Because of the pandemic, we may be spending a lot more time at home as more schools are forced to transition to remote learning. You might think this is the perfect time to stock up on toys that will keep kids busy.

Forget it! Save your money.

There’s a better solution. My advice is based on 25 years of experience as a clinical and academic pediatrician and 21 more years as a parent. But don’t just trust me…


5 Reasons your Amazon Boxes are more Valuable than the Toy Inside.

photo by Nick Fewings, Unsplash

Holidays are coming, and it’s shaping up to be a very long winter, one that may feel like the longest on record! Because of the pandemic, we may be spending a lot more time at home as more schools are forced to transition to remote learning. You might think this is the perfect time to stock up on toys that will keep kids busy.

Forget it! Save your money.

There’s a better solution. My advice is based on 25 years of experience as a clinical and academic pediatrician and 21 more years as a parent. But don’t just trust me…


A Virtual Learning Program that supports empathy while improving STEM and 21st Century Skills.

photo credit Peter Van Geldern

It seems that the word of the day is empathy, and what perfect timing! The past four years of leadership in the US have been defined by a lack of empathy. In regular times, this is a sad statement but in the midst of a pandemic when we need it the most, it’s a tragedy. As a pediatrican and the developer of early childhood learning programs, I have experienced first-hand how school closures, social isolation, and lack of humanitarian role models in leadership has had a devastating effect on children from a social and emotional perspective.

Children in at-risk communities…


Social Emotional Health in the Remote Learning Enviroment.

3dux design remote STEM night with 5th grade class
3dux design remote STEM night with 5th grade class
Image by author

When children are surrounded by peers, they learn and apply social skills that develop over the span of their lifetimes. For younger kids, this may mean learning how to share toys and take turns. As children mature, peer-to-peer socialization builds critical life skills like knowing how to interact with peers, how to be empathetic, and how to develop meaningful friendships. When children don’t have an opportunity to engage with peers, they lose the ability to form these relationships, which could result in psychological and social development delays or gaps with the potential for life-long consequences.

Most teachers and parents think…


One of the greatest challenges for a teacher in the classroom is keeping students engaged. As educators, some days it’s hard enough to get through all of the content and make sure each student masters the material required by standards

It’s even harder when students are not actively taking part in the learning process. Some may be challenged with the material rigor while others may be bored with content already mastered. Some students’ behavior can get in the way while others may be day dreaming. Keeping your students on the same page can feel like a constant uphill battle.


I am NOT a car fanatic. I generally consider a vehicle as merely a practical solution for the challenge of getting from point A to B in the suburbs. But after 200,000 miles on my Toyota (and the inability to humanely convince a mouse that I did not enjoy his presence), I decided it was time to move on.

I bought a Jeep Wrangler because I often exhibit at EXPOs for work and I needed the room. I didn’t know much about “Wrangler Etiquette” and was surprised when complete strangers started waving to me. At first I was confused “How…


I fell into the world of design thinking quite by accident and unknowingly. I suppose it began when I was in middle school and fell in love with Dystopia and Fantasy novels. They inspired me to imagine a world where a dysfunctional society needed to redefine and reinvent itself. I spent countless hours imagining, sketching, building and redesigning models of this “New Utopia” (as I called it).


The building blocks for STEM learning may not be what you think

Designers, architects and scholars know that design thinking and creativity lead to empathy, imagination, innovation and empowerment. And pediatricians agree.

If you do a Google search for “coding toys for toddlers” you will find no less than 30 different products. They are designed to teach children as young as 3 the fundamentals of logic and coding. There are 100s of apps and digital programs designed to gamify early learning. They are highly engaging and teach anything from math and science to reading and humanities. An Amazon search for “educational toys for preschoolers” will reveal over 10,000 options. …


When my children were younger, there was a rule in the house, “we make our gifts with our hearts and our hands, we don’t buy them in stores”. At the time, it didn’t always go over well with my children. Ayana really wanted that Barbie house and Ethan craved for as many stuffed animals as he could fit in his closet, but rules were rules.

While other families went to the superstores on Black Friday to battle the lines for the best deals in town, the Klein kids were rummaging through the recycling bin. Ayana and I searched for something…

Marci Lentnek Klein M.D.

Mom, Pediatrician, Product designer, Wife. Drawing from all of the above with a mission to give today’s youth the tools to build a better tomorrow

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