I can remember the day, when I was eight, and my dad wheeled a giant beige computer into our house and taught us to play a game called “Treasure Mountain.” My siblings and I spent countless hours on it, learning to do fractions, multiplication, and identify parts of speech, all while climbing up a mountain and winning treasure from some very pixelated elves.

From that moment on, technology was part of my existence, whether I was chatting with friends on AOL instant messenger (RIP), playing “Oregon Trail” in school, or wistfully adding clouds to the background of my very nerdy Geocities website. I’ve come of age with technology.


Parents strive to treat their families to amazing experiences. Catapult, in partnership with Intel, is the field guide for the modern mom, offering tech-based at-home activities that will build lasting memories.

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Now, as a modern parent, technology is woven into my everyday. I Instagram playdates, sign my daughter up for dance lessons online, and yell at Alexa to order more toilet paper and stop playing KidsBop, please. As a family we stream National Geographic videos to learn more about ancient Egyptians (my six year old is obsessed with mummies), and build backyard rockets with the help of YouTube. For my family, technology is a tool and not a distraction.

Together with Intel and some of my favorite internet moms, we’ve come together to give you Catapult — a holiday guide to technology for the whole family. The tips on the site come from me and other real, live moms (not bots), with kids who are also obsessed with unboxing videos and Geek Gurl Diaries. Combining technology, gifts, and family fun, Catapult will help you integrate tech tools in useful ways that last beyond the holidays. From gifts for grandma to turning your computer into a karaoke machine for family game night and what apps to actually download for your kids that won’t turn them into zombies, we got you.

Lyz Lenz is a writer and mom living in Iowa.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between Intel and Studio@Gizmodo.

Intel, Intel Core and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.