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While communities debate reopening schools, many parents are choosing to homeschool their children for foreseeable future.
If you're one of the parents who are starting to transform a space in your home into classroom and the perfect environment to keep your child motivated — tech expert Steve Greenberg is here to help!
As part of this week's "Ask the Experts" series, Greenberg took over the Shop TODAY Instagram to share his favorite products to make learning from home a more enjoyable experience.
For more innovative products, be sure to also check out Greenberg's YouTube game show, WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?! to identify mystery gadgets.
If you have trouble getting your child up in the morning, consider this Soluna Light Alarm Clock from La Crosse Technology. It features five light modes with 20 unique color options to illuminate your little one's bedroom. It can feature their favorite solid color or cycle through all of the color options at the touch of a button.
It also includes a "comfort meter mode" to help achieve an ideal sleeping environment and a "guided breathing mode" to promote relaxation.
Greenberg loves the La Crosse Technology Soluna Light Alarm Clock for its "unique light bridge" feature.
"It can simulate a sunrise, a sunset (and) it also has the temperature and humidity (displayed) and even includes a USB port so you can charge up your smartphone," Greenberg told TODAY.
For those who seem to be more productive cocooned in their bed or sitting on the couch with their favorite movie playing in the background, consider this adjustable laptop stand for a more seamless workspace.
It has a convenient mouse pad ledge and can be used in a variety of places. Plus, if you like to work while standing from time to time, the platform can rise up to 18 inches and has adjustable height and tilt settings to give you the perfect working position.
"What's great about it is that the legs are totally adjustable (for) every angle, so you can adjust it for studying in bed or on the couch or if you want a stand-up desk — this will do it all," Greenberg said.
"You have to have good earbuds to do any kind of digital learning," Greenberg said. "These are amazing."
The EarFun Air Wireless Earbuds are noise-canceling with crystal clear sound quality, Bluetooth, have over 2,600 verified Amazon reviews and come in both black and white. The best part? They only cost $50.
"What's great about (them) is that (they have) all the great features of the leading brands but at one-third of the price," he added.
4. Insta Studio
If your little one is creative and likes to make videos at home, they'll totally love this Insta Studio kit by WeCool Toys.
The device has an adjustable base and rotating head to shoot at the best angle possible, allowing kids of all ages to shoot videos hands free using a smartphone. It comes with fun and trendy backgrounds, mixing tools, various slimy compounds and sparkly mix-ins!
"This is great for at-home learning," Greenberg said. "It's also great for doing viral videos. The (mount) is all adjustable and whether it's a cooking demo, crafting or even a slim video, you can (create it) with all the tools (in this Insta Studio kit)."
Greenberg recommends the Learning Resources Spike The Hedgehog for any parents looking for an educational toy with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) qualities for their child.
Build fine motor skills with chunky, peg-shaped pieces that fit to the back of this friendly hedgehog.
"The quills teach all about using your hands properly," Greenbereg said.
It can help kids build color recognition, sorting, and counting skills through fine motor skill games. This toy is recommended for children 18 months and older and can also be used for occupational therapy exercises.
For those looking for an extra silly game, consider this Silly Poopy's Hide & Seek activity. It's a plastic rainbow hide and seek toy that sings, talks, and lights up when you find him. All your child need to do is hide Silly Poopy, look for Silly Poopy, and then find Silly Poopy to hear the special song that makes you want to dance!
"You hide him, push the button and (your child) can help find him. It gives out clues and makes a silly song along the way," Greenberg said.
For more recommendations, check out:
- 20 best college backpacks that students can use beyond campus
- 101 free resources for home-schooling during COVID crisis
- Hello, middle school! Here are 23 school supplies every sixth-grader needs