Favorite social puzzle
The simplest toys are the best. Our favorite family social puzzle is a tangram, an old classic from China made of 7 geometric pieces that you arrange to fulfill a required silhouette. With two sets you can race to finish. It is much harder than it looks, yet doable and fun for small folk. You can make a tangram from cardboard, or 3D print one yourself, but the version we grab is Tangoes, a tidy travel case with two sets of pieces, plus cards (with solutions) for all the target images. We own 3 or 4 Tangoes ($12), enough for larger groups. — KK
A better Arduino clone
An Arduino is a small easy-to-program device that lets you add interactivity to your projects. Because Arduino is open source, you can buy inexpensive clones. My favorite is the Keyestudio Plus. An Arduino Uno is about $25, and this clone is half the price. The best thing about Keyestudio Plus is that it has a USB-C jack instead of the bulky USB-A jack found on the Uno. It has a lot of other useful features like additional pins for power and a switch to change the voltage from 5V to 3.3V. Here’s a photo of one next to an Arduino Uno. (If you want to learn how to use an Arduino, I have a class on Skillshare you can take using this link for a one-month free trial). — MF
Arts and craft analog
I’ve ceased all subscriptions to the paper version of newspapers or magazines — except one. I subscribe to Uppercase, a paper-based magazine celebrating art and crafts. Each issue is overflowing with exuberant examples of creativity from non-famous artists. Painting, textiles, ceramics, patterns, vintage, printmaking, etc. It’s a hand-made quarterly, with no ads, unabashedly analog, and basically the work of one woman, who tends to feature art that is invigorating, positive, and joyous. The periodical itself is a work of art that reflects the passion of an artisan, and I derive immense pleasure from its curated pages. — KK
How to find the right therapist
Here is some great advice on how to find the right therapist. One of the first steps is to figure out what kind of therapeutic framework you need. When I first started therapy I had anxiety that sometimes resulted in panic attacks. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy taught me how to redirect a thought so that it doesn't create overwhelming feelings that would affect my behavior. Now, 8 years later, I have a person-centered therapist that I talk to about all aspects of my life. Each session feels like I'm catching up with my very insightful and intelligent friend who I can vent to and ask for advice. I always tell my friends that you are allowed to break up with your therapist if the fit isn't right. I saw three therapists before I found my most recent one, who I've been seeing for three years now. Finding the "right therapist" feels like you've acquired a super power. — CD
Discover pieces of poetry across an animated land
Wayfinder is a soothing online game that involves traversing a vast landscape collecting fragments of seasonal-inspired poetry to restore balance to the natural world. The game itself is short but uses machine learning to create thousands of combinations of verses and visuals so that you have a completely new experience each time you play. It's very lovely. — CD
Netflix secret genre cheat sheet
To find a list of all the Netflix titles in a specific genre, zero in on a movie genre using the codes listed here. Add the code to this URL: https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/CODE. For example https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/10398 shows you Netflix’s Japanese movies, and https://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/7687 shows you film noir titles. — MF
Recomendo is copyrighted by Cool Tools Lab, LLC. Commissions may be earned from the links above.
Sponsored message: Readwise is a service that automatically collects your Kindle, Pocket, and Instapaper highlights and sends you a random selection in a daily custom email. Readwise has many other features, too. Readwise is offering readers of Recomendo 60 days for free.