JAM is a website dedicated to courses and online education for children!
There are 11 courses that have different projects & tutorials that kids can explore! The JAM courses are geared for kids 6-16 years of age. Parental help may be needed for the younger kids (6-8). The videos are connected to creative projects that engage children to do projects off-screen. The courses were developed by accomplished professionals within their fields who lead the courses and provide prompts, techniques, and instructions to help kids accomplish their goals. It is an enriching community that allows kids to post projects and watch, like, or comment on other users’ posts to provide support and give encouragement to each other! All of the projects completed by each user are stored in their own portfolio.
We love everything STEAM-related and the courses included have a strong STEAM focus to keep kids learning while having a blast! Currently, the 11 courses included are: Inventing with Little Bits, Drawing Bootcamp, Secrets of Drawing, Strange Science, Invent Your Own Machines, Build Anything with Lego Bricks, Host a Minecraft Video Show, Animate Your Drawings, Cook For Yourself, Become a Music Star, and Top Secret!
My kids and I have spent a lot of time in the Strange Science courses and they were a big hit. Their favorite (ages 4-7) was making the fluffy slime! The videos were easy to follow and fully engaged them in measuring and mixing ingredients before playing ensued. Most of the projects can be completed with common household ingredients or items that can be picked up at local stores so some advanced planning may need to occur for some projects. The strange science classes are not just slime-focused (though a big hit with kids) but also have projects focused on Nature, Eruptions/Explosions, Electricity, Gravity (maybe an egg dropping experiment in my children’s future!) and more!
For LEGO lovers, the Build Anything with Lego Bricks courses focus on projects in such categories as vehicles, characters, epic builds, masonry and more. Watching the videos prompts ideas and creative thinking to have children make what is in the videos and expand or adjust the design based on where their imagination leads them. My children were glued to these videos and I enjoyed seeing some of the creations they were inspired to make!
Host a Minecraft Video Show provides tutorials and tips on how to enhance your Minecraft experience! It teaches kids how to be create their own content and tutorials, as well as learn to record, edit, design and produce videos. There are subcategories that you can focus on within the world of Minecraft, including Minecraft 101, Survival, Architecture, Enchanting & Redstone and others!
Inventing with littleBits provides tutorials on making some littleBits creations and encourages kids to tweak the designs as shown and try their own version using their imaginations and skills! The videos are really in depth and easy to follow and we love how they encourage kids to add their own spin on the project. The littleBits products are made up of bits that snap together with magnets inside colorful plastic connectors – no soldering, wiring, or programming needed. The littleBits are sold primarily in kits. To utilize the most from the JAM courses, JAM recommends the Base Inventor Kit, Electric Music Inventor Kit, and the Space Rover Inventor Kit. Read our review to find out more about littleBits.
JAM strives to be a safe and positive environment for kids. Once you have joined JAM, kids must create a username (JAM can create a unique one for you) which keeps personal information confidential. The site is monitored 7 days a week and does not allow for any bullying, no icky content, or any ads. No private chats are possible as all communications are visible to the moderators. Kids post on JAM but the comments and posts are only visible to the JAM community and moderators. There is also a parent portal where parents can log in and see their kid’s projects.
Give the Gift of Exploration, Creativity & Passion
Monthly and yearly subscriptions are available at JAM.com. Subscriptions can be purchased for a single user or a family plan (2-4 kids). Monthly plans are $19/single user and $25/family plan. Yearly memberships are $15/month single user and $20/month for family plans.
Jam offers a 14-day free trial if you are interested in checking out the community prior to signing up/giving as a gift! Though we think you will love it and continue with the subscription, if you do not wish to continue the subscription past the trial date, parents must go to the parent portal and cancel prior to expiration of the trial or it does sign you up for a subscription!
While this subscription service does allow more screen time for children, the site encourages kids to step away from the computer to build, invent, experiment in so many fun and educational ways! The large volume of videos and creative projects inspire children in so many ways the possibilities are endless!