Category Archives: Family Time

children

5 Fun and Productive Kiddie Activities

Please welcome Guest Contributor, Maloy Burman.

Are your kids getting bored just staying in the house all day? Do you want your children to take a break from being on their gadgets every waking moment? Would you like to know what other activities there are that will keep them entertained and learning at the same time?

From taking robotic classes, online mathematics and English language sessions, or seasonal STEM camps, there are plenty of fun yet productive activities that kids can do.

Play and Learn

Learning can be made more compelling when there’s a good dose of fun mixed in. Robotics can be more enjoyable when kids see how it relates to their daily lives. STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – will be so much more exciting when taken with other like-minded kids and presided over by a seasoned STEM instructor.

Other educational subjects can be more pleasurable when kids can see or experience topics discussed in real life. Taking field trips to a bread factory, for example, can show them the value of mathematics, science, or robotics. Going to the park can teach them about Biology or improve their English language and communication skills. You can even make good use of your beach club membership and make swimming in the pool or strolling on the beach a teachable moment.

There are plenty of scientific studies showing the correlation between classroom fun and authentic learning. According to educational psychologists, kids learn and retain more information when learning is associated with strong positive feelings. That is why when you want to ensure that your child absorbs as much information as possible, make sure that he or she is also enjoying the activity.

Here are some examples and suggestions on what activities your child can participate in to have fun and be productive at the same time:

1. Robotics

Robots usually capture children’s imaginations in many ways. They are the stuff that exhilarating movies, pretend play or sweet dreams are made of. What could be better for kids than actually learning how to create robots?

Robotics may sound intimidating to some parents and kids, but with educators and even toy companies have found a way to make it enjoyable and interesting for children today. Not only do they get to learn about programming or design concepts, but they can also get to make their own robots.

2. STEM Classes

Aside from robotics, there are also plenty of STEM classes that your kids might enjoy. These subjects include learning about the basic concepts of coding, programming, and other technology-related topics.

If your child is into games, then why not enroll him or her in a games development class?

Here, kids are taught the complete game development cycle followed by a series of guided projects. There’s also a mobile development course for kids where youngsters are introduced to the core concepts of the mobile app development cycle. They will then be guided to design their own mobile application that can be installed on both Android and iOS programs.

Other kiddie classes that your child can take are about Arduino, scratch coding, and Python levels 1 and 2.

3. Seasonal STEM Camps

STEM subjects can also be experienced through seasonal STEM camps. Whether it is spring, summer, winter, or the midterm break, these camps allow children to continue learning even on school breaks. These gatherings provide more in-depth instruction coupled with intensive hands-on experiences.

Additionally, aside from honing their knowledge about STEM topics, children also develop communication and social skills. Working with other kids can teach them cooperation and teamwork, as well as other positive values that they will need as they grow. These camps not only help sharpen children’s IQ but also their EQ.

4. Field Trip

When kids grow tired of classroom setups, it is also a good idea to let them experience learning out of it.

There are universities, museums, or other private companies that offer field trips and educational jaunts to kids. These are also wonderful opportunities for your child to learn outside school premises. It may also show them how the concepts they learned in school are used in real-life applications.

For example, a trip to the locomotive museum may impart more knowledge about the roles that math or science play in making trains work. A trip to an indoor tropical rainforest, for instance, can also teach kids about ecosystems and botany. Even a trip to the local bakery can teach kids about measurements, volume, and chemical reactions.

5. Visiting Leisure Spots

Leisure spots can also be used as educational venues. There’s a wealth of information that kids can learn while having fun in theme parks, kiddie activity centers, or even at the movies. Going to a beach resort, for example, can be fused with lessons on buoyancy, forces and motion, and the environment.

While this will require you to take a more active part compared to having subject-matter experts or teachers teaching them these topics in school, this activity can also strengthen your relationship with your child.

Balance is Key

Whether children learn inside or outside the classroom, the key is to achieve a balance. All work and no play can lead them to become disinterested  easily. On the other hand, all play and no work might also lead them to a sedentary lifestyle and lost learning opportunities.

Your role as a parent is crucial. It is important that you involve your child in choosing classes or subjects to enroll them in.

Forcing them to learn something that they are not naturally interested in or inclined toward may only lead to resistance. It is best that they enjoy the topics so they absorb and retain the knowledge they learn. You should also try your best to be available and provide the guidance and support they need, especially during the formative years.

kids

Resources:

The Neuroscience of Joyful Education. https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/4141/the-neuroscience-joyful-education-judy-willis-md.pdf

Scientific Evidence Confirms learning must be Fun. https://advancemarbella.com/en/scientific-evidence-confirms-learning-must-be-fun/#:~:text=Recent%20research%20supports%20the%20beneficial,associated%20with%20strong%20positive%20emotion.

AUTHOR BIO

Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.

Fun and FREE Culinary Kids’ Games

Does your child like to cook and bake with you? Mine does. She also loves playing games. That’s why we visited Kids Food Games. This is a sight with more than 35 free games. The games offer fun ways to learn about farming, food, cooking, baking, the restaurant business, kitchen work, and hospitality. The games do NOT include ads or branding. They each open in a new page to allow for distraction-free play. The games are published for mobile and desktop use. To help you choose the best games for your child, each game has a full description with grade level suggestions. But best of all, the games are FREE!

Free games with no ads. Perfect.

We picked out our five favorite games from their collection. They are all appropriate for my second grade daughter. We have included the detailed descriptions from the website. You can also click through and try the game for yourself!

Burger Maker: Stack ingredients according to the order list to make a perfect made-to-order burger in 10 to 15 seconds. When done with the ingredient list you have to click the “serve now” button under the burger to deliver it to the customer. Ingredients must be added from bottom to top to stack them in the correct order. This game is simple enough that second or third graders might like it, but older students may find this game repetitive.

Puzzle Farm is an easy puzzle game consisting of farm animals and other scenes from farm life. This game is quite easy, with each of the half-dozen puzzles consisting of a dozen square pieces that snap into place. The puzzle shows a gray scale outline of where the pieces go until they are filled in, making it ideal for students in second grade or below.

Pancake Pile Up is a simple physics-based game where players see how many pancakes they can add to a stack before it falls over. If the pancake is dropped from the top of the screen it hits the remaining stack harder than if it is dropped from just above the stack. This game is easy to play, but could grow repetitive quickly for older children, making it a great game for students in second through third grade.

Fruit Snake is a snake game where a snake grows longer as it eats fruits like apples, oranges, lemons, kiwis, watermelons, cherries, strawberries, grapes and bananas. If the snake runs into its own tail due to turning too sharply it loses one of three lives. The timer starts off with 30 seconds left and time increases when eating some of the fruits. This game is easy to play though it takes about a minute to load on the first play.

Pizza Party serves guests custom made pizzas using ingredients like tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ham, mushrooms, basil and pepperoni. This game is easier than many of the other games since the crust is automatic, almost every order (except for the ham and mushroom) starts with tomato sauce, there are few total ingredients to choose from & you can add ingredients in any order. This game is quite easy to play. Second and third grade students should enjoy it, with students in higher grades finding it a bit boring until they advance to higher levels and can choose between making more advanced pizzas like quattro stagioni to go with basic margherita, marinara and pepperoni pizzas.

cooking
Make a pizza just like this with Pizza Party!

After you try the games, check out the comprehensive list of guides at the bottom of their site. Kids Food Games offers guides for recipes, food safety, nutrition, culinary science, and even edible crafts!

We had fun with Kids Food Games and we hope you do too. And if your child knows a food game that is not on the site, let them know. They take suggestions.

Happy Cooking!

Free & Fun Math Games!

Looking for new online games for your kids? You’ve come to the right place. Math and Logic Games: Have Fun Learning Math is an easily navigated site with FREE online games for students. My daughter and I have been trying out their games and have really enjoyed quite a few. It was easy for us to scroll through the choices. Each game has a description and a difficulty rating which both help you choose games that are just right for a specific age range, skill level, and interest.

Basics of the Games:

  • they are FREE!
  • there are over 90 games
  • all games open in a new tab
  • there are no ads
  • there is no branding or navigation
  • you can choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • there are additional games beyond math
  • the games are fun!

Additional Games:

  • word searches
  • crossword puzzles
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • physics games
  • coloring
  • quizzes
  • games for pre-schoolers
  • typing games

Just a Few of our Favorites:

(descriptions come directly from the site)

Burn Matches: Add and/or subtract matches as directed to solve equations in this 20-level game.

Math for Kids Game: multiple choice game which helps kids learn visually by showing animals they must count to then perform mathematical operations on. Players have 2 minutes to play and incorrect answers to not end the game nor lower the player’s score, though count against the game’s accuracy rating.

Feed Math: feed a boy sushi by adding 2 numbered dishes. This game is cute, fun and easy. Time is replenished after each round, though after a dozen or so round the numbers start to get larger, making problems progressively harder.

Find the Differences: Find differences between two side-by-side images.

Ball in the Cup Physics Game: Move blocks, wedges, fans and magnets in order to roll a ball into a cup. The artwork for this 20-level game is beautifully hand drawn. Most levels are quite simple.

Quiz Goose Science: Science-based multiplayer quiz game offering a playing board where position movement is based on rolling a die & correctly answering science questions.

So, since many of us are embarking on this new adventure called internet learning or homeschooling, let’s use this fabulous resource that is right at our fingertips! Visit Math and Logic Games: Have Fun Learning Math today and let your kids practice their skills and learn new ones while having fun. And don’t forget…it’s FREE!

fun activities

Find Fun Activities on Education.com!

Even in Florida, the winter weather keeps us inside some days and we love to find new ways to entertain ourselves. This fun crossword puzzle from Education.com is perfect for my six year old girl. She sees me and her Copah doing crossword puzzles and often wants to help. She is also really excited about reading, vocabulary, and spelling. This will be perfect!

Warm up inside with this fun winter cross word puzzle! Find more reading games and activities at Education.com!

From Education.com:

Our philosophy

Proven learning approaches

Teaching is one of the most challenging and complex jobs on the planet. Our digital resources, tools, and learning materials are developed by educational experts to incorporate leading pedagogical practices. They are useful in any type of teaching moment and many can be used to support national education standards.

Empowered educators

From school teachers and tutors to home schoolers and parents, engaged adults are the key to unlocking each child’s potential and drive to learn. We empower all kinds of educators to teach kids by providing the best educational resources in any form or device to be used at home, at school, and everywhere in-between.

Unique experiences

There is no such thing as “one size fits all” in education; each educator and child has unique challenges and goals. We celebrate the diversity of our users by offering differentiated resources that can meet a wide range of educational needs – and raise kids’ confidence in learning.

Conscientious and supportive

We continue to provide academically sound content of the highest caliber and welcome input from our users as we address issues of equity, rosuvastatin (generic) inclusivity and representation. Since we know there are many different approaches to teaching and education, we develop our materials to complement these different philosophies across subjects and grades.

And just in case you need the answers:

how my dog

How My Dog Is Getting Me Through Anxiety and Grief

how my dog Let me just tell you how my dog is getting me through one of the most difficult times of my life. Just as my family was recovering from the past year of helping my Dad through a brain injury, getting him settled into his new home, doing all we could to make sure he and my Mom were safe, taken care of, and as happy as they could be, despite the circumstances…my 57 year old brother died from complications of alcoholism.

That’s when the walls came down and I couldn’t take anymore.

Written on July 31st…11 days after my brother’s death:

I’m not gonna lie. I am struggling. This past year has done me in. And just when I realized how much had been chipped away and had made kind of a plan to get those pieces back, my brother died.

Honestly, I just want to give up. I want to hide. I want to be alone. I want to avoid anything that is remotely hard.
But I can’t do that. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a teacher. I am a friend.

I CAN’T HIDE.

And I feel it in my gut, my chest, my neck, my shoulders. It literally hurts to know that I can’t hide. It hurts to know that I have to do things that are hard. Then I get mad.

So I lash out. I cry. I yell. I shut down. I ignore. I medicate. I sleep.

I look so forward to sleep. Thank God I can sleep. And right when I wake up, I am tricked into thinking that I can face this day. But the first hard thing, no matter how small, brings that pain right back.

My heart starts to beat way too fast and the tightness creeps in.

Damnit. Here we go again.

Funny how things happen. Back in the beginning of June, we got a dog. We thought we deserved a reward after housing my parents for eight months and certainly wanted to treat my six year old daughter to something fun. She had endured a great deal of hard adult stuff.

The dog, originally named Rowe, is a sweet, female, three year old yellow lab. She was a stray picked up in Savannah, GA by Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida and brought to Jacksonville, FL for a meet and greet at Petsmart. We had actually gone there to meet another chocolate lab named Libby. But Libby was younger, still puppy-like, and did not have any training. In the midst of all this doggie fun, as I was sitting on the floor, just observing, Rowe came and plopped herself in my lap and turned her belly up for a scratch. I got my husband’s attention, gave her some time with our daughter, and a week later, she was the newest member of our family.

I will admit, at first, I wondered what the heck I had done. Rowe attached herself to me. I became her person. She followed me around like a … well, a dog. I wondered, why, after just getting my parents out of my house did I just acquire another living, breathing, eating mammal who requires my attention, my time, my love, my energy?? What had I done?

Soon, I knew just what I had done and it was the best decision I could have made. The first thing we did was change her name from Rowe to Savannah. We didn’t love the name Rowe and I realized one day that it rhymes with ‘no’. We were working hard on using her name along with commands and the idea of saying “Rowe, no” or “No, Rowe” wasn’t going to work. So, I suggested Savannah, her old stomping grounds, and it stuck.

how my dog

The second thing we discovered was how freaking happy she is. When we wake up in the morning or come home from work, you would think we were celebrities! She greets us with such vim and vigor! She simply makes us smile and laugh, a lot. The shelter warned us down the line she may have some health problems too, so we make sure to keep some aspirin for dogs on hand to soothe her if it happens, but so far she’s just been healthy and happy.

And lastly, yes, she has made me her person. Sometimes, I complain that she is ALWAYS there. But to tell you the truth, after the anxiety of caring for my parents, and the grief of my brother’s death, I can tell you without a doubt that this dog chose me for a reason. A very sound reason. She came into our lives at exactly the right time and knew precisely what we needed: love, happiness, and laughter.

Thank you Savannah. You are an angel.

how my dog

One more thing I love about having a dog is being able to shop the pet aisle! We loved buying Savannah new toys, treats, beds, a crate, and all those fun things that come along with a fur family member. Check out Dog Product Picker for some great Christmas gift ideas for your dog. And thank you to Intellifluence and Dog Product Picker for the opportunity to write about our new family member.