Tuesday, August 15, 2017

LeapFrog Academy -- An App for Additional Learning



Hello Readers,

Last March I introduced you to the educational LeapFrog toys. Here is the link to my past post: https://creativepreschooltime.blogspot.com/2017/03/keep-learning-during-breaks-from-school.html

Now, I want to tell you about a great learning tool by LeapFrog -- the Academy.

"The Academy is an interactive app learning program for 3-6 year olds that guides children on a variety of fun Learning Adventures that they can play anywhere on a variety of devices.

LeapFrog Academy features a well-rounded curriculum, where children can explore a variety of skills that are important to their development. This exciting, new, subscription-based service offers access to more than 1,000 learning activities for just $7.99 per month.

Additional features of LeapFrog Academy include:

·         No Wi-Fi, no problem! Children have the ability to learn and play on the go, even when Wi-Fi isn’t available. They can play most of their preferred activities by adding up to 24 of them to their “Favorites,” making them accessible to play even without an internet connection.

·         Each LeapFrog Academy subscription includes five free user profiles, so multiple children can each go on their own unique Learning Adventures.

·         There is a wide selection of more than 1,000 learning activities including eBooks, games, puzzles, videos, music and art activities across a variety of Learning Adventures.

·         A Parent Dashboard lets parents choose and change their child’s Learning Adventures. The dashboard also lets them see how their child is progressing, view their account, manage each child’s profile and more.

·         There are no ads or links to take children to other websites, and no in-app purchases, making LeapFrog Academy a safe place for children to play online.

LeapFrog Academy is available now at leapfrogacademy.com and in the iOS and Google Play app stores. New users can try LeapFrog Academy free for one month, then continue the learning fun for $7.99 per month."


Check out an assortment of LeapFrog toys here.

Information about the LeapFrog Academy is courtesy of LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved



Thursday, August 10, 2017

First STEM, Now STEAM



The school bells rang in my area today, how about you?

Many parents and teachers have been involved with STEM activities in school, now we are talking about STEAM. Do you know what the acronyms stand for?

S -- Science encourages investigation and answering questions, often involving experimentation.

T -- Technology refers to using simple tools like crayons and rulers, as well as more complex ones like microscopes and computers.

E -- Engineering refers to recognizing problems and testing solutions to them.

A --Arts encourages creativity and allows children to illustrate concepts they are learning.

M -- Mathematics deals with numbers, but also patterns, shapes, organizational skills, and much more.

Young children are now introduced to STEAM learning and it's not too young. Through observation and critical thinking, our little learners are grasping skills in math and science early in life. Even if your child is still in preschool, remember that play is learning.

I was reading a magazine article that gave an example how parents can even promote STEAM learning at home. It talked about making a homemade boat from recycled materials (cork, foil, craft sticks, swim noodle, and such). You design the boat with your child!

Then launch your boat in the bathtub, swimming pool, or even a puddle. Does it float? If you blow wind on the sail, how fast does the boat move? How about making several boats from different materials and see which one floats and glides better? Faster? Use a stopwatch to record the time.



Young children can grasp these concepts through experimentation and trial and error. Don't be afraid to experiment with new ideas, new science projects, and ways to use materials as new toys.

Just think, you as the parent may be involved with STEAM concepts without even knowing it. And, if your school-age child comes home from school and talks about learning STEAM, you will have a heads up about this concept in their curriculum.

Until next week!
Happy Parenting,
Tania

Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com, public domain
Source: What Parents Need to Know About STEAM by Sabrina Boesch, Lake Mary Life Magazine, March/April 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Back to School Crafts Any Kid Can Make



Once again, the summer that seemed to move so slowly is coming to an end and school bells will be ringing soon.  A way to “beat the back to school blues” is to make crafty projects that will be “cool” for the new school year, as well as, a few activities that will preserve the memories of the summer.  The requirements are simple: some creative materials, a little imagination and access to a computer.  No matter what your child’s age, going back to school is a milestone parents and children can enjoy together while making fun projects. Here are two of my favorites I made with my children years ago and will repeat this project with my grandkids.

My Summer Vacation Shirt

Preserve your kids’ summertime memories on a tee shirt—a great way to “show and tell” everyone at school how you spent your vacation.  First you need some pictures that you took on a digital camera. Download these on a computer; crop and adjust the size you want.  There is a special paper that can be bought at office and craft stores that is fabric on one side and an iron-on material on the back.  This paper can go through your ink-jet printer capturing photos that can be placed onto your shirt.  You and your child can also download clip art on the computer; just type in school, vacation, or summer clip art on any search engine to find the sites.  Download and print these on special paper too.  Now that you have all your materials printed, just cut, place and press them on with an iron (parent supervision needed).  Voila, a special shirt that will let the memories of summer live on!

Buy your fabric transfer paper HERE.

Recycled Jeans Lunch Sack


Cut a 12-16 inch section from the leg of the jeans above. Turn the bag inside out and sew the bottom pieces together with a seam.  Fold over a half-inch strip around the top and sew it down to make a casing. Through an opening left in the casing, thread a 3-foot length of cording or ribbon and knot the two ends together.  Now, turn the bag to the right side. You can download some clip-art on the computer to the special iron-on paper and place these designs on the bag. Have your child write his/her name and make other enhancements using fabric paints. These lunch bags are definitely handy—if they get dirty, just toss them into the washing machine!

Fabric paints can be bought HERE

Get creative during these last few days of summer. Going back to school doesn't have to be dull -- make it bright and happy with these cute projects.

Happy Parenting,
Tania


Photos courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved
My projects have been posted on other sites and magazines in the past. 
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