How I Use Twitter And Snapchat To Teach Kids Science And Social Skills

Don't lament social media, use it to your advantage.

by Josh Polgardi
Originally Published: 
social media

The following was syndicated from MyTorch for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

Screen time is a subject of much debate these days, and I’d never tell any dad where or how to draw the line. But what I know for sure is that technology is a reality, and it’s changing the way we interact as families.

READ MORE: The Fatherly Guide to Keeping Kids Safe Online

Kids are teaching their parents more about the digital age than the other way around, and I find it delightful. It’s another point of connection, and it empowers kids when you show your respect for them.

Flickr (Alice Keeler)

But Kristin will inevitably sass you for the forty-third time and Wes might still be getting C’s in Biology. Social media could be your new best friend for that appropriate dosage of discipline with a dusting of badass fatherhood on top. After all, dads don’t enjoy punishing their kids. They just want them to learn and mature.

So, I’ve designed 12 social media projects across 3 easy platforms to use as templates to creatively give your kids a good thumping without putting down your cocktail.

RELATED: The Best Toy Robots that Teach Kids Coding and STEM Skills

Step 1: Identify Areas Of Interest

Your kids are into stuff, and the internet has opened a huge door for them to explore with that unique, energetic curiosity of childhood. What are they pinning on Pinterest? Who do they follow on Twitter? These are not only great conversation pieces for bonding, they’re also a great way to punish your kids.

Flickr (Don LaVange)

Step 2: Identify Areas Of Opportunity

Your kids are gifted in some areas, and could use some coaching up in others. There are things they should know, but wouldn’t naturally pursue without some guidance. Finance, business, creativity, and history are just a few areas you can emphasize in social media punishments to help your children grow.

Step 3: Spare The Rod And Social The Child

When your kids get out of line, here are some really cool ways to make those iPhones disciplinary and edifying at the same time.

Twitter Explore

Kids learn by finding answers, but what they don’t realize is how much they learn from asking questions. Everyone can Tweet at anyone these days. What’s crazy is that the famous notables of any field will actually respond sometimes. When punished this way, your kids will become engaged in a challenge that feels like discipline at first, but then it’ll turn into enlightenment.

[twitter_embed expand=1]

  • Tweet at 3 book writers and ask them a question about what they do.
  • Tweet at 3 scientists and ask them to explain their field in 140 characters.
  • Tweet at 3 musicians and ask where their creativity comes from.
  • Tweet at 2 entrepreneurs and ask for tips pursuing an idea.

Snapchat Scavenger Hunts

Asking questions is a great way to get knowledge, but for some kids it’s better for them to learn by doing. Snapchat is the perfect tool to get kids out of the house and on an adventure they don’t realize they’re having. Because you’re angry, remember? And you demand Snapchat pictures containing the following collections:

  • Snap 4 pictures of 4 different kinds of coniferous trees and label them.
  • Snap 4 selfies of you and your brother with 4 different neighbors.
  • Snap 4 selfies with 3 different teachers and your principal by the end of the week.
  • Snap 4 pictures of 4 different Christmas gift ideas for Mom at the mall. (Brilliant)

The days of ruler knuckle-slapping and writing sentences on the chalkboard are gone, and we feel good about that. But what’s more exciting is that technology is giving digital dads some fun ways to get their kids to pay attention, manage their own projects independently, and interact with those around them — all under the guise of punishment.

Josh Polgardi loves to overthink and then write. Find more from MyTorch below:

This article was originally published on