A belated February finds post for you! Below I have included some fun kid related products, posts and podcasts that I think you might like! If you have any finds you would like to share, feel free to do so in the comments.
You may just be having kids home for a longer school holiday period than expected with the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, so these products will help educate and entertain!
Crocodile Hop Mat – Roll the cubes to make your way across this colour, shape and number creek by landing on the rocks and logs. Be the first to get to the other side and win.Mindful Games Activity Cards – Mindful play is a great way for kids to develop their focusing skills while learning to regulate their emotions and respond to any situation calmly, with kindness and compassion. Here are fifty-five simple and accessible games that can bring mindfulness to your daily routine. Giant Darts Target Game – this is a fun and safe game of darts the kids can play and they can practice their addition skills while doing it. 101 Brilliant Things For Kids To Do With Science – Whether your child is crazy about chemistry or bananas about biology (or, let’s face it, just likes making a mess), this book is choc-a-block full of experiments and projects that will get kids really excited about science – and all without going anywhere near a TV, tablet or computer screen. Whether they want to launch a rocket, blow a square bubble, discover their own DNA, or build a balloon powered racing car, there’s a whole wealth of fun suggestions to keep kids amused – and you never know, they might even learn something along the way. Tumble N Teach – 2 Function Math Edition – Tumble n Teach is a 17cm clear vinyl cube that will help your kids grasp simple addition,subtraction, and/ or multiplication problems. New problems are created every time the cube is tossed! There are two dice inside the transparent cube with your choice of 2 or 3 math functions printed on the surface of the cube. Kids drop the clear vinyl cube and complete the equation created by using the function found on the outside top panel of the clear cube and the two dice inside. SumBlox Math Building Blocks – These amazingly smooth and tactile wooden block numbers each range in size according to their number they represents. 1 being the smallest and 10 the biggest. The most mind blowing mathematical bit though is that when the blocks are stacked, they represent the equivalent number. For example, when the 2 and 3 blocks are stacked, they are the same height as a 5 block standing up! These blocks are a visual and kinaesthetic representation of the base-ten number system. Subtraction – Toss N Talk About Conversation Ball – When the ball is caught, the idea is to answer the subtraction problem that appears under the player’s thumb. Features numerals and illustrations to subtract. Jack N' Jill Natural Bathtime Bubble Bath – Serenity – this is for the end of day at home when you are trying to wind the kids down for bed! The bubble bath contains a unique, soothing, aromatic blend of natural oils and extracts, and is ideal for before-bed baths. Containing calming, relaxing essential oils of native Australian White Cyprus, Australian Lavender, Clary Sage and Chamomile, this non-irritating formula also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties while being gentle on even sensitive skin. ZMA – and this is for mum and dad at the end of the day! ZMA is a combination of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6, which provides numerous benefits to the body and it’s functionality. Magnesium helps promotes a deep and restful sleep.
Here are some posts from the blog that you might find useful to help with the kids learning:
- Early Numeracy Fun For Preschoolers
- Teaching Number Recognition To Preschoolers And Numeracy Resources For Parents
- Teaching Counting On With Monopoly
- In what order should the alphabet and sounds be taught?
- LEGO and Literacy
- 3 simple phonics tips for parents
- Helping beginning readers
A couple of podcasts on kid-related topics:
- Everything you’d ever want to know about raising a good human with Stephen Cowan, M.D. – I really enjoyed this podcast and this quote from Stephen Cowan, M.D.: “Child development is not a race. It’s a journey, it is a story that’s being told. It has ins and outs and plots.”
- Optimising kid admin – Life Admin Life Hacks is a great Australian podcast and this episode is full of excellent tips on how to get all the kid admin under control.
Squiggle Kids: drawing with kids workshops
The Melbourne team behind the baby + me book for soon-to-be big brothers and sisters have a new initiative!
Debbie Isaac (paediatric occupational therapist, mum of three and drawing enthusiast) and Lauren Gardiner (children’s author and also mum of three) have started an initiative called “Squiggle Kids”, which aims to inspire parents, carers and educators to draw with children. The team are running workshops and developing materials that give parents the knowledge and skills to engage and extend children in drawing activities, including helping parents to select tools, materials and activities to suit the child’s interests and developmental stage and to help them overcome common problems.
Research points to the importance of drawing for child development and school readiness (drawing is a precursor to writing and literacy as it develops the fine motor, visual and working memory skills required to write). It’s also a creative and expressive outlet for children. Furthermore, when done with a responsive and engaged adult, shared drawing activities can be a bonding experience and provide an opportunity for further learning about the world (colours, shapes etc).
However, Debbie and Lauren believe that parents and early learning institutions may not be encouraging drawing activities with pre-school children commensurate with its importance, particularly in the context of our busy lives, the rise of screens and the preference for other forms of play (eg physical activity). They also acknowledge that it’s not always easy to engage all children in drawing – Lauren’s experience drawing with one of her children early on was a difficult one, with most drawing activities ending quickly with a scribble and a scrunch (or rip!). While Kindergartens include shared reading time as part of the structured part of a kinder day, drawing is often an optional-only activity.
For more see www.memobooks.com.au/squigglekids/.
There are two Squiggle Kids events in Melbourne on the near horizon, as follows:
Play Learn Grow with Drawing Workshop Series at Escape Hatch Books
A series of three hands-on and fun sessions for parents and children. Includes a song, a story and a hands-on drawing activity. Activity ideas and tools will be demonstrated for parents during the session and Q&A will be encouraged. A take-home bag of goodies will help the fun and the learning continue at home!
Who: for parents and children 2+
When: 10.30-11.30am Friday 24 April, 1 May and 8 May
Where: Escape Hatch Books, 9 Strathalbyn Street, Melbourne
Learning to Draw and Drawing to Learn Workshop at Little Creatures Play Space and Party Venue
An adult-only workshop with a focus on research and developmental milestones as well as strategies and ideas for extending children as well as engaging reluctant or disinterested children. Activity ideas and tools will be demonstrated in a hands-on activity. A take-home bag of goodies will kick start drawing at home.
Who: for parents of children 0-6
When: 7.30-9pm Tuesday 2 June
Where: Little Creatures Play Space and Party Venue
Tix: email email@example.com to receive notice of when tickets become available
What have you enjoyed reading or listening to lately?
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