Khan Academy, patron saint of the grade point average, has teamed up with Pixar on an interactive video series called “Pixar In A Box,” which teaches kids as young as 5-years-old basic math and design concepts that go into building the Pixar universe. In a series of activities and tutorials, professionals from the studio that’s currently siphoning 5-to-15 percent of your annual disposable income explain the art, science, and math that results in adorably anthropomorphized animals, monsters, and car, which then take over your living room.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=13&v=3Iu1Z0h1i1Y expand=1]
If you assume the most technically sophisticated animators of all time are going to talk straight over your kid’s head, don’t. The first 3 lesson plans — character modeling, animation, and rendering — are explicitly for all ages and even concepts that you won’t get initially (unless you’re totally into bezier curves) are explained simply. When things do get a bit complex, the accompanying visuals will still keep young kids entertained. From there, the lessons become more math-intensive, and are rated for higher elementary and middle school grades and might be a bit less interesting for young kids … but, then, everyone told Remy in that a rat couldn’t cook, so maybe don’t sell your kid short.
The coolest parts of each lesson are the activities that allow kids to really make the things that they’ve been watching. So, while learning how to animate a perfect smile, you’re kid will accidentally learn all about parabolas in the process. And everyone knows that parabolas will be the key to success in the coming economy — how else are we going to get to Mars?