Every parent knows what it’s like to have your kids fighting boredom on days when the weather keeps them inside. While loading them up with junk food and giving them the TV remote is an easy fix, there are other options for things they can do that are fun and educational. Here are five of the best online activities to make sure the rain doesn’t extinguish your kid’s fun.
YouTube Exercise Videos
If you’re wanting to get your kids off the couch and moving, there are several exercise videos on YouTube that will do the trick. The popular “Just Dance” video games are fun for adults and kids alike. If getting access to the game is not an option, you can find some of the songs on YouTube. “Shake Break” is another great video for parents who need to take a break while their kids get a workout. Just turn it on and let the puppets, Zach and Reggie, guide your kids to physical fitness! Looking for a fitness class without all the goofiness? There are also plenty of free workout videos that cater more to adults and older children.
Online music lessons are another great way to keep your kids occupied on rainy days. There are many benefits to online tutorials. Some websites charge a subscription fee for their videos, but there are many that offer tutorials for free. Many people bypass the lessons and teach themselves. Kids who have the ear for it can pull up songs on YouTube and play by imitation. Learning an instrument is a fun and productive way for your kid to pass the time, and who knows, maybe it will spark a passion that will stay with them for the rest of their life!
Like music lessons, there are several free art tutorials available online. Such lessons provide clear, step-by-step instructions for painting and drawing, and they are designed to inspire the artist (or artist-to-be) to take their creative abilities to the next level. You should be able to find lessons on a variety of mediums and subject matter; there’s something for everyone.
Real Estate Lesson Plans
One of the most all-around educational activities your kids can do is to learn about real estate. As Redfin points out, “Real estate is a complex field that requires skills in math, science, English, social studies and home economics. By incorporating real estate-based lessons into your curriculum, you can help students gain valuable skills in practical math application, presentation giving, forming a persuasive argument, earth science and so much more.” You can find real estate lessons online for grades K-12 that will help your kids apply the concepts they learn to real-life situations, and it can also be a way to teach them financial disciplines at a young age.
Another way to teach and entertain your kids while it’s raining is through science activities. With only a few ingredients, they can make their own elephant toothpaste, in which they can witness the fluffy foam of yeast and hydrogen peroxide reacting. Experimenting with rainbow magic milk is another fun way to see a scientific reaction. Doing a building exercise with Legos will encourage your children to work on their creativity and problem solving skills, and a Jenga challenge will require your kid to practice concentration and strategy.
If your kid has the rainy-day blues or is spending too much time watching Netflix, there’s something you can do about it. Exercise videos, music and art tutorials, real estate lesson plans, and science activities are all fun and educational options. With these activities at your disposal, maybe you and your kid won’t ever dread rainy days again!
Article kindly provided by -
Jenny Wise | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Unsplash
The summer holidays aren't far away and your kids will want to get out and about and enjoy the great weather but how far do you let them go alone and what time of day/night do they need to be home?
As scary as it may be, parents need to talk to their kids about people who might want to hurt them. The best way to protect your children is to get them involved in their own protection:
Parents need to be aware of possible predators. Typical signs are: someone who seems too good to be true, who offers extensive help to your family, who knows too much about your kids or kids in general, especially if they don't have children of their own. You should know all adults who you allow to have contact with your child.
Talk to your kids about pedophiles as soon as they can understand what you mean. As early as 3-5 years old, when kids begin to interact with the world, they're subject to being victims.
Tell your child you love them no matter what. Remind them that they can tell you anything and you will still love them with all your heart.
Don't be afraid that you're scaring your kids, but don't ask them to deal with adult issues either. Speak to them in age-appropriate language and give them instructions about what to do. They will feel empowered by knowing how to protect themselves. Be careful sharing your own experiences if you were a victim of sexual molestation, for example. Providing too many details and rehashing the tragedy can create a sexually charged environment and be harmful for your children in the long run.
Kids need to know that they have the right to say no, yell, or ask for help. It may contradict what they know about respecting adults, but if they feel threatened, they have permission to make a scene, or to run away to a public place. And they need to know they won't get into trouble if they were wrong. Let them know that no one has the right to hurt them. Teach your child to call you if a stranger arrives when there are no other adults around.
Make sure your kids know what is acceptable behaviour, and what is out-of-bounds. Make sure they understand that there are private areas of their bodies that no one else should touch.
Rehearse your child's response to danger. If he/she doesn't practice it, your child won't really know what to do. Telling your child to yell for help isn't enough. In the face of danger, a child could forget, so rehearse, role-play, and practice what your child should do.
Remind your children that predators don't necessarily look scary or strange. A dangerous person could look like the person next door, or even be someone they know.
Fussy kids? Bored babies or toddlers? Here are some tips to help entertain those kids while babysitting.
Make a Fun Bag , include items such as colouring sheets, crayons, stickers, books, games, puzzles, crafts, movies and (if allowed) a few snacks to nibble on. Remember to keep your bag age appropriate.
Play Games. Find out their favourite games, whether it be board games or otherwise and play those with them
Consider baking if you are allowed or perhaps have the ingredients for no bake cookies for something different to do.
If you are making food with the kids, eg lunch let them be involved, stirring the drinks, putting the fillings in sandwiches. This will also help teach them valuable skills. Alternatively, if you are washing the dishes let them help, they love the soapy water and can feel a real sense of achievement. Perhaps have a small reward as a thank you for them for helping you clean up.
Finger-paint with the kids. Many kids enjoy finger-painting, but parents often shy away because of the mess. Dress the kids in old clothes and cover a table with newspaper. Bring a variety of colors of finger-paints and paper and let the kids' creativity emerge.
Make or bring along playdough and cookie cutters. Create a scene or story you can act out for Mum and Dad when they come home.
Make a homemade pizza. Purchase individual sized pizza dough that is ready to be used and lay out a variety of toppings for the kids. Help them spread the tomato sauce onto the dough and then allow them to personalize their own pizza. Healthy toppings might include olives, mushrooms and peppers. Cut into shapes for them to be creative. Offer a variety of cheeses.
If you can get outside then do so, go to the park, walk the dog, play ball games. However, if you do need to stay indoors play games such as singing, dancing or musical chairs.
For a movie treat pick a movie the kids want to watch, beforehand issue tickets and set up bowls of popcorn. Perhaps make a tent set up over the TV and area around and fill it with cushions and balloons. Then be the ticket collector on the door, give out the popcorn, turn out the lights and enjoy a favourite movie!
Play “Do Not Laugh”. Sit in a semi-circle and make funny faces or sounds. Whoever laughs first must do the same with you and the last one left is the winner!
Teach them a new song, Old MacDonald had a Farm is always fun to introduce a whole range of new animals, the ABC song or bring along some songs they may not know. Or even better, if you have any musical talent, why not make up a new song together!
Create a scavenger hunt for the children. Hide prizes throughout the house and give them a clue as to where the first prize is located. With the first prize will be the next clue as to where the second prize has been hidden. Continue this process for five to 10 rounds. Prizes might be anything from candy to small toys, or whatever you have on hand that the kids would be excited to find.
Read. One of the greatest pleasures for both babysitter and their charges is to curl up and enjoy a favourite book.
Sometimes there are some things you need to remember – you know the boring facts that you simply aren’t interested in but are essential for your study. So how can you remember them? Here are some methods you can consider using.
Mnemonics or Acronyms - One method is to use prepared ‘memory jogs’ and these can be in the form of mnemonic devices and acronyms. Get your child if possible to make up their own, for example when I was studying German we used to recite FUDGEBOW, each letter standing for the 8 main prepositions. A common acronym used in biology is MRS GREN for the 7 characteristics of life (Movement, Respiration, Sensitivity, Growth, Reproduction, Excretion, Nutrition).
You do not need to be restricted by length – they can become entire sentences too. If you create a sentence then relate it to an image. By creating an image that your child can relate to and remember will increase recall and help make studying at least a little more fun. Maybe you can make this into a bit of a game to come up with the best mnemonic or acronym.
Rhymes or Songs – Another method is to use rhythm, repetition, melody or rhyme. For example did you learn the letters of the alphabet to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”? This method can be particularly good for those who can learn poems or songs easily.
Chunking - Another method is “chunking”. A common rule is that a person can remember 7 (plus or minus 2) "items" in short-term memory. When learning a telephone number you will find it easier if you break it into chunks, eg 76689322 is easier to remember if you break it up say as 76 68 93 22. Create less items in larger formats.
Repetition – Quite simply repeating something over and over again is a great aid to memorising. Break a list down into your chunks as above and then repeat. Perhaps run this like the gam “We’re going on a bear hunt ..” in this you add an item each time and repeat the previous items. Start with say 5 items in your list, when you can repeat these without prompting add another one to the list and so on.
Good luck with those exams!
Do you have any good mnemonics, acronyms, rhymes or ideas you can share with others now panicking about the exams?
So it's back to school for the last term of the year and yes it's dreaded end of year exam time! If you haven't been diligent up to now then it’s time to knuckle down and get that study done or you simply won’t pass those exams, but you are procrastinating. Where do you start? How do you get all that information into your head and keep it there? Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Good studiers know what they need to know – Set aside the time to work out exactly what it is you need to study and what is likely to come up in your exams. It doesn’t matter where you are in the school year (but the earlier the better of course) but get to know the curriculum. Study past papers, focus on major topics and listen to your teachers. They know! Make a study map for each subject.
2. Good studiers are organised - Once you know what you need to know get started. Work on a study plan. Put aside appropriate amounts of time to study and make sure you have all the materials you require before you start. Have an organised desk space and set yourself a structure.
3. Good studiers have a plan - They create both long term and short term plans. Know how long you need to study, sort your timing. Know what your plan is for the next 3 months and over the next week. Know when assignments are due. Write things down. Keep a good diary. Once you have a plan you will find this clears your head space for the actual study. Start to formulate a plan for the future. You don’t need to set your career goals but have some ideas perhaps on what you’d like to look at studying at university, or if you want to go directly on a career path have an idea of how you would like to go about it.
4. Good studiers do the same thing over and over again - Once you’ve got your system that works for you stick to it. Doesn’t matter what it is. When you have a formula that works every time (and works well) you’d be stupid to do any differently. Studying is no different. Students who do consistently well at school have a study formula that has been tied and tested to produce results.
5. Good studiers understand what they are studying - If you read something or sit in a class and come out wondering what you have just “learned”, stop, take stock and get an understanding. You’ll be amazed once you understand something how suddenly it all becomes clear and, of course, then so much easier to retain and use!
Do you have some good study tips to share with fellow exam worriers?
Everyone is aware there are benefits both healthwise and mentally in learning a musical instrument. It has been said the piano is a gateway to all music, so what are some of the benefits in learning to play the piano?
Reduces stress – Something that plagues not just adults nowadays! Playing the piano allows you to get away from daily stress where you can focus on the music. Some of the most beautiful musical pieces have been written for the piano and it is believed piano lessons can help decrease depression, and subsequently induce positive mind states.
Calm the mind – Hand in hand with the previous benefit, reducing stress calms the mind, this subsequently improves mental health. Research has shown people who create and play music experience less depression, anxiety and loneliness and also experience improved self-esteem.
Piano playing promotes better performance at school - Research has also shown students who studied piano for 3 years or longer scored higher in general and spatial cognitive tests and children who studied the piano for a few years could remember twenty percent more vocabulary words than other students. Piano lessons have also been shown to improve a child’s ability to listen, focus, and learn and can help children finish projects quicker and more efficiently.
Develops hand/eye coordination – With having to both read the music and play at the same time this trains your eyes and hands to work effectively together. Also in playing each hand performs different movements and needs to learn to work independently but together thus stimulating multiple parts of the brain.
Aids in language development – As mentioned above learning the piano can increase the vocabulary range of a child which in turn aids language development and also in learning foreign languages. Also the brain activity acquired when young through music will continue to benefit into adulthood.
It is easy to play - When a student starts to learn an instrument like the guitar or trumpet, there’s a huge learning curve in the early stages which are not present when learning the piano. When learning a wind or brass instrument the use of facial muscles and shaping of the lips can take time to master, or learning how to build calluses on fingers for playing guitar takes time. Piano is also intuitive to learn.
Inspires creativity - Playing the piano requires you to be creative and thus use both sides of your brain. By having to use both hand and eye helps in the development of creative thinking. This will also aid in being able to think outside the box and have clearer problem solving skills.
Playing the Piano Brings Joy - The piano can be hauntingly beautiful. Whether you are playing it yourself or just listening piano music can bring great joy.
Check out great Youth Theatre Workshops every holidays plus Hit the Stage! creative escapes for your kids ...
So are you a working parent or a stay at home Mum or Dad? Or perhaps you are a work from home parent like here at Linku2 Support Office (which is why we can't seem to get regular on our blog posts!!)
As we know there are always two sides to the argument as to the benefits of both. After all if you are a stay at home parent then you are always available to support and be with your child. One of the main times this is of benefit is when your child is sick. However, it's not always an advantage to either of you if you spend too much time together.
Parents do need different stimulation than their child and the child benefits hugely from spending time with their own age group and in different surroundings. Even stay at home parents should send their child to preschool or a stimulating holiday programme both for the child to learn and develop and just as much for time out for the parent!
For those parents who have no choice but to work full time, it isn't necessarily a bad thing for the child. Full time in a preschool or after school programme and choosing a variety of holiday programmes and activities can be very beneficial in their development and the lack of time during the week away from parents can be made up for if you spend real quality family time with your children at the weekends either getting out and about doing some great local activities or just being at home reading, talking, cooking or sharing tasks and when you are able to get away on holidays.
When looking for a school holiday programme look for either one that offers a wide variety of activities to interest and stimulate your child, otherwise perhaps focus on a specific interest of theirs and run with that. For example they may be mad on drama and so a programme teaching the acting and theatre skills and experience can be great and often these have a show at the end where they can proudly show to you what they have learned over the programme dates.
Otherwise a sport is always good for them. There's a wide range of opportunities from soccer programmes to trampolining and tennis. Or just get them out in the great outdoors or completing a craft.
There's a real focus from most programme managers to get the kids away from the computers and smart phones and back to the good old basics for stimulation like getting dirty, building things, creating and really using their imaginations.
If you have any thoughts on working or stay at home scenarios or particular holiday or term classes and programmes you feel are worthy of a mention please do let us know ...
Summer is always a great time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. There are some wonderful parks and gardens around the country and lots of things for the kids to do apart from just enjoying being outside and so today we are featuring just a couple of the larger gardens you may want to visit while out and about with the family.
The Wintergardens are a feature of the Auckland Domain with the Auckland War Memorial Museum sitting at the highest point. There are formal gardens, duck ponds, large green open spaces edged by mature trees, bush walks and statuary. The 75ha park has been developed around the cone of an extinct volcano. The 'tuff rings' created by volcanic activity thousands of years ago can be seen in the land contours and forms a natural amphitheatre with about 10 hectares developed as first-class sports fields.
Hamilton Gardens are easy to reach on State Highway One just south of central Hamilton and have a wonderful selection of themed gardens. They have a wonderful Discovery Trail for the kids, also great Bingo fun for the kids as well as a Fantasy collection including mythical beasts in their Children's Tudor Trail
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Founded in 1863 with the planting of an English oak tree, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens are extensive and contain an impressive array of plant collections that delight at any time of year
Wellington Botanic Gardens
Always a beautiful place to visit, from 2017 the Wellington Botanic Gardens will be extra special for kids with the arrival of a new Children's Garden. This will be a “living classroom” will be a fun place for children to learn about the plants that provide our food, clothes, houses and medicine. The Botanic Gardens also offer self-guided activities for the kids to enjoy.
So make sure you get out and about this summer and forthcoming April holidays and enjoy our parks and activities ...
Last post we discussed the ways you can tell if bullying is happening and actions which can be taken by you as a third party parent. This week we discuss bullying from the victim's perspective...
Teaching your child safety strategies
Remember that hitting back is not a choice at school and shouldn't be encouraged. In a school with a "zero tolerance policy" for physical aggression, encouraging your child to hit back may just get him expelled.
Encourage your child to walk away and tell an adult if he feels someone is about to hurt him.
Talk about safe ways to act in situations that might be dangerous. For example, identify a "safe house" or store or where he can find sanctuary if pursued by bullies. Encourage him to walk with an adult or older child. Give him a telephone number of an available adult to call if he's afraid and needs help dealing with a bullying situation.
Teach your child how to report bullying incidents to adults in an effective way. Adults are less likely to discount a child's report as "tattling" if the report includes:
Nurturing your child's self-esteem
Educate your child about bullying and bullies. Help him put the problem in perspective and not take it personally.
Teach your child how to walk in a confident manner.
If needed, help him pay particular attention to personal grooming and social skills.
Identify and encourage your child's talents and positive attributes; doing so may help him better assert himself among his peers.
Encourage your child to make new friends. A new environment can provide a "new chance" for a victimized student, as he won't be subjected to the negative stereotype other classmates have of him. Encourage him to make contact with calm and friendly students in his school. Such action may require some assistance on your part, or perhaps a school mental health professional, to develop the child's skills at initiating contact and maintaining a friendship relationship. This is especially true if your child's learning problems make his social interactions difficult. Be sure to provide ongoing support and encouragement, because your child, due to earlier failures, will tend to give up in the face of even slight adversities.
Encourage your child to participate in physical training or sports, even if he's reluctant. Physical exercise can result in better physical coordination and less body anxiety, which, in turn, is likely to increase self-confidence and improve peer relationships.
Building a bully-free future
Even though bullying has existed in schools for decades, that is no excuse to continue to allow children to be bullied. Researchers have gained new understanding of the dynamics of bullying and the roles of all those involved. The long-term negative outcomes of children who are bullied are too serious to ignore. Parents and teachers hold the power to work together to put an end to bullying and provide a safe learning environment for all children. In many cases, it will be the parent who must take charge of bringing the bullying incidents to the attention of school authorities. Parents should expect full cooperation from the school to resolve the problem. The result of reducing bullying in our schools is an improved school environment that is friendly and welcoming to all students. In schools where children feel protected from bullying, they are free to spend their days learning, building friendships, and dreaming about all the possibilities for their lives.
They come around four times a year and next thing you know holidays are here again! We keep you up to date on great holiday activities, school holiday programmes, different ways to keep the whole family entertained, also term time topics, and educational advice and support!