Tag Archives: education

Kids, Technology, and The YouTube Kids Launch Party

14 Mar

It’s common to see a toddler sitting in his/her high chair at dinner or in the stroller fiddling with his/her parents mobile device or tablet.  I know I’ve done my fair share of passing off my phone to my kids.  It’s a great way to keep them entertained.  And when I have to get things done at home, it’s easy to tell my daughter to go grab her iPad and watch a show or play a game.  It’s no wonder that this younger generation excels at using Technology.  They are learning to use devices earlier and earlier.

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For the past couple of months, I have been taking classes to keep my teaching license current.  The most recent class I took was about Technology in the Classroom.  The use off devices and Apps are being used more and more in the classroom, as early as pre-school, so kids can acquire skills to use technology safely and effectively.  I see my own girls intrigued by the Internet and the wealth of information that is out there.  My oldest daughter LOVES to search for topics of interest, most recently wildlife. Since she is still learning to read and spell, many google searches bring up inappropriate videos for her age.   I usually have to sit with her to see which videos are ok for her to watch.

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The other week, my youngest daughter and I went to the YouTube Kids launch party at Milk Studios.  The afternoon was filled with Mary Mary Quite Contrary cupcakes, photos with Oscar the Grouch, coloring with Thomas and Friends, playing in a ball pit and exploring the new and wonderful YouTube Kids App.  The App is geared towards younger children showcasing Sesame Street and Thomas.  However, I was very excited about the search option for my six-year-old. I am now able to let my daughter search for topics freely because it will only pull up material appropriate material.  It’s a safe, family friendly place to explore.  As soon as I downloaded it, she started exploring and searching for animals in the rainforest.  Her search brought her to a video giving her a “virtual” tour of the amazon and teaching her about the many types of species that live there.  So COOL! Another feature for searching is the Voice Search, perfect for younger toddlers or children who might not be comfortable typing in a search.

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In addition to being safe for kids to use, parents can control certain settings.  A timer can be set, up to 30 minutes, so kids don’t overload on videos.  At the end of the time limit, the YouTube Mascot gets sleepy and shuts down so parents don’t have to fight with kids to put it down or turn it off.  Or you can set it to block the search feature.

Learning about the App from our favorite characters!

Learning about the App from our favorite characters!

YouTube Kids is an exciting new App that would be great to use in the classroom as well as at home. Download the FREE App on Google Play or iTunes to use on mobile devices (click links).

*I will be keeping my fingers crossed that YouTube creates an App for older students, since YouTube is blocked in most schools.  A safe app to use in schools would provide great educational value for students.

More photos from our fun afternoon:

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Disclaimer: I received a gift bag for attending the event.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Take A Trip Around the World This Holiday With Green Kid Crafts

19 Nov

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Most afternoons turn into a play date with friends but some days it’s nice to come home and take it easy.  When we aren’t having a play date with friends my oldest likes to sit at the table and do some kind of art project.  Usually, she just pulls out her crayons and colors because I am in the process of getting dinner together and don’t want to pull out a million art supplies.  Green Kid Crafts, an eco-friendly company that designs creative activities to do with kids through art boxes that spark creativity, build confidence, and cultivate respect and love for the environment.  Discovery boxes are filled with supplies and instructions for hands-on learning, making afternoon crafts easier. We recently received a sample of the Around the World II discovery Kit.  The kit included materials to make:

GreenCraftKids

A Chinese Hand Kite that really flies

GKC Chinese kite

Guatemalan Worry Dolls and a Worry Box

worrydolls

Aboriginal Rock Art from Australia

GKC RockArt

I LOVED this box because it teaches about other parts of the world.  The instruction cards for each project also explain the history behind the culture and the traditions.  My daughter,5, had a lot of fun making the projects but needed help on the activities.   She loved learning about the different cultures. Her best friend was in Australia at the time and was excited to tell her about the rock art when she returned.  Her cousin was adopted from Guatemala.  She wants to ask him if he ever received a worry doll.  After the Chinese hand kite was complete, her and her sister ran around the apartment trying to fly it for luck.  A passport is also included in the box.  After visiting each county, my daughter was so excited to stamp her passport.  This Holiday I will be purchasing the Around the World I which includes projects from Japan, India, and Africa!

Around

Around the World I, Image from Green Kid Crafts

Check out all the Discovery Boxes available at Green Kid Crafts! Stocking Stuffers, Holiday boxes and Party Favors are also available!

Give Green Kid Crafts as a gift this Holiday Season or join now to get started on your first discovery box:

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Disclaimer:  I received a sample discovery box to review.  This did not alter my opinions.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics is from Green Kid Crafts.

Fun Friday with Ukloo

4 Oct

20131003-225939.jpgMy daughter is finally adjusting to school. Now that she is settled in she is anxious to learn. One of her goals for the year is to learn to read.
Recently, we tried Ukloo, a treasure hunt game to help children ages 4 and up learn to read! To play, leave clue cards out to help your child find the surprise card (treasure) at the end. My daughter knows she will always find her first clue on the dining room table. There are three levels to choose from. Starting with level 1 and only a few clue cards is best for early readers.  The child reads each clue, with a picture helper to aid them if they don’t know a word.  When they learn the game and become more comfortable reading, add more clue cards and move up a level.  I accidentally put a level 3 out, it took awhile but she was able to find the next clue. Be sure to leave the picture helper somewhere your child can easily find it.   The first few times I left it next to the first clue. You can also leave it on the refrigerator when you aren’t playing for your child to look at as a refresher!  Several blank clue cards and surprise cards are included for you to personalize them for your child.

It’s been fun watching my daughter as she finds her surprises.  Changing up the surprises kept her wanting to play more. We have made it part of our daily routine, giving her more exposure to the sight words.  I have clues set up every afternoon when she returns from school.  I do “bigger/ better” surprises on Friday.  Surprise Ideas include:

  • Sweet treats: Lollipop, cookie, piece of candy
  • Money
  • Extra iPad time
  • A new book
  • Special Time with Mommy and/or Daddy
  • Fill out a surprise card for a “Fun Friday” movie or outing
  • PJ Party with a friend

Ukloo makes reading funds, builds self-confidence, encourages independence, promotes sight-reading (visual word recognition), offers basics of sentence structure and introduces research skills.  A great gift for birthdays, Holidays and for teachers (to include in their classrooms).  To buy click here.  Coming soon: Ukloo 2 for ages 7+ and the Ukloo Reading Adventure App.

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I received a sample of Ukloo for the purpose of this review but did not alter my opinions.