Category: Parenting

5 Things Your Child Can Learn Online

Things your child can learn online

When it comes to showing your child the internet, there’s a lot to explore. It can be overwhelming knowing where to start. Just because there are dangers online shouldn’t stop parents from exploring productive and beneficial opportunities for kids to learn. It’s all about finding the right programs to benefit and complement their real-life learning skills.

If you’re not too sure where to begin when it comes to the internet and your child, let’s talk about five things that your child can learn online.

1.     Try a Readability App

A lot of kids struggle to learn to read. Whether it’s at home or kindergarten, for some reason, they’re just not getting it and coming to you frustrated. Teaching them to learn how to read is also easier said than done.

However, there are now online resources that make it a little easier to teach your child how to read. A readability app has a variety of different reading programs to encourage them to persist and learn an important new skill. From pointing out where they make mistakes to encouraging different reading levels, this is a great way to build up your child’s confidence around reading.

2.     Teach Them Math

Math is another tough skill to teach a child, especially if they’re not naturally inclined that way. Luckily, there are a number of different online resources that can not only prepare your toddler for what they will learn in school but can also make learning math fun and interactive.

Whether it’s a math learning game or math training that improves their skill levels, you’ve got many different options to choose from.

3.     Ignite Their Creativity

You may not know it, but there are a lot of resources on the internet for kids that aren’t just mindless games. In fact, there are game apps made for kids with education in mind, designed specifically for the purpose of encouraging their creativity.

Make sure that you find a game and encourage the child to think for themselves and inspires them to use their imagination and get creative.

4.     Learn to be Organized

One of the biggest skills that your child will learn as they prepare to start school is how to be organized and plan ahead. When they’ve got to get up and make their lunch, get dressed, and remember what homework they have to hand in today, having planning skills is going to make all this a lot easier.

There are now quite a few apps that can help your child plan ahead, so they can see their schedule in front of them and not get so overwhelmed by the day.

5.     Improve Language and Grammar Skills

Another essential skill for your child to learn as they get ready to start school is grammar – and, of course, language. These two go hand in hand with reading, so it’s no surprise that there are interactive apps and games that can help improve your child’s grammar and language skills.

While the internet can be tough terrain from time to time, there’s also a lot on offer when it comes to your child learning new skills. Make sure to keep them safe online too, and monitor their activity whenever you can.  There are also methods to help limit your kids screen time to ensure a proper balance between all of their activities.

Educating your Kids on How to Save Energy

Educating Kids on How to Save Energy

When it comes to teaching your children, some things are easier than others. Teaching your kids to be nice to others and to eat their food before dessert is basic, but showing your progeny what electricity is, how it is used, and how they can save it is more difficult than teaching them other things.

However, with kids leaving lights on, playing video games all day, and leaving their electronics on, many households can save money by simply teaching your kids to conserve energy and work towards raising sustainable child.

The Basics

If you start with talking about the basic of electricity, you can slowly teach your kids what they need to know about energy and how to save it. Explain to your kids that everything that plugs into the wall uses electricity and that leaving these things on costs money.

There are a few ways you can illustrate this point to your kids. Turning off the lights and turning them on and showing them that for the lights to come on, you need to pay for power. It is also helpful to make distinctions between objects that plug into the wall and objects that do not according to MoneyPug, a site used to compare energy prices. This is one way to make sure the connection between electronics working when they are plugged in and not working when they are not. Once your kids understand the fundamentals of electricity, there are many ways to make it fun and educational.

Make a Game Out of It

Making a game out of teaching your kids to conserve energy is one of the best ways to get it done. Not only is it one of the most effective, it is one of the most fun. When you show your kids that different objects require electricity and others that don’t, quizzing your kids can help them figure it out while making it fun. Show them a razor and an electric buzzer and ask them which uses power.

Another way to do this is to show them a broom and a vacuum to explain the same point. So do light bulbs and candles. Video games and board games. You can have your kids play a game to see who can save the most energy. Whoever wins can get rewards. Children everywhere like competition. When you create a game out of conserving energy, you will be able to make the efforts fun.

Creating an Educational Environment

While making a game out of energy conservation can be fun, you can also make it educational. If your kids are curious or like to learn, it is great to make your environment educational. There are so many options to help you figure out new ways to help the household save money on energy costs. You can use educational material that will provide new tactics and techniques to saver power and teach your kids good habits.

You can even find educational materials that provide month-to-month tools. Each season has benefits and disadvantages. You can learn how to conserve in the winter and how to get the most out of your savings in the summer. This could help you teach your kids how to understand what is important and what isn’t.

Another way to make it educational is to do activities with your kids to show them ways to conserve. Make a project out of building a household wind turbine. Take them to the store for solar panels. Do daily checks to see if things are on and what can be unplugged. When you are teaching your kids, you can make this whole process fun and educational.

Protecting the Environment

When kids think about making their world better, one of the issues they can understand and get behind is the saving of our earth.  In many ways, it’s become a youth movement. Therefore, saving energy becomes more than saving dollars and cents.  It’s about reducing green house gases and making a difference individually and collectively to reduce our carbon imprint.  Brainstorm with your kids ways we all can use less of a nonrenewable product or switch to using a composable one.  Most of the energy in our homes is non renewable.  The more we consume of anything, even food, has the potential to harm the environment.   Even something as simple as repairing your smartphone instead of buying a new one saves energy.  Still, in a consumer driven society repairing a product is more often about saving money than saving the environment.

Final Words

If you are trying to show your kids how to save energy, it is essential to speak to them in their language about issues that relate to them personally.  Kids are particular and should learn the difference between needs and wants.  It’s the basis of making good decisions as a consumer. Households in the West need to conserve more energy and work towards sustainability. Teaching kids how to be better people who live consciously will give them motivation to do their part.  The future of our world depends on it.

Read about saving energy in the home using smart technology.

Smart Tech in a Home with Kids

Smart Home Technology Families Kids

Smart technology is becoming the norm rather than the exception, with more and more gadgets helping make our homes more efficient. This technology can help make our lives more convenient, and our kids’ educational experience more enriched.

Smart tech can add an extra measure of safety in our homes, but parents also need to be aware of potential security risks. Here’s an overview of things to consider when adopting smart tech into your home.

1. Teaching smart online behavior is key.

As smart devices are becoming more integrating into your child’s life for entertainment, education and daily living, it’s important to teach them about safe online behavior. Older kids who are on social media should know why privacy settings are important. They should be selective about accepting friend requests and ensure location services are disabled. They also should understand the perennial nature of posting, and how nothing on social media is ever really gone.

Ensure your pre-teens and teens understand the nature of cyberbullying. This includes understanding that photos and situations that are funny to them now, might lose their humor down the line because they can hurt people’s feelings. These posts might come back to haunt them later when they want to join a club, get an after-school job or apply to college.

They also should understand that posting about an event or activity on social media can cause resentment by those who have been deliberately left out, helping them to think critically about what they wish to share publicly.

2. Smart sensors in the home make sense.

A smart home can incorporate many different types of smart sensors. Some are particularly useful for keeping kids safe, especially for curious toddlers who haven’t yet learned about boundaries. Sensors installed in doorways can create greater peace of mind for parents of small explorers. For example, they can send a signal to your phone when a child exits a threshold, or if an intruder enters one.

Sensors can connect to a video camera so you can check your phone to see what’s happening. Doorbell cameras are particularly useful for when your kids get older and start inviting the neighborhood over when you’re not home.

Among the various types of sensors a home may have, motion sensors can be set up around danger areas, such as swimming pools or driveways, to provide a notification to you when a child has entered the area unsupervised. Window sensors can not only help save energy but can create an extra measure of safety by notifying you when one is left open or opens unexpectedly, ensuring there are no unexpected escapes or entries.

While every home should be equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, smart versions of these devices can also monitor your home’s air quality, checking for pollen and other particles that can be troublesome for young lungs.

3. Smart light bulbs can improve school performance.

Smart tech in your home can include smart light bulbs, which can help your kids get better grades in school. How? For one, some smart bulbs can adjust their blue light emissions from day to evening, helping your kids be more energized in the mornings and move more easily toward sleep at night.

Blue light, which comes to us naturally through sunlight, can interfere with the sleep hormone melatonin when we get too much blue light artificially. Better sleep equals better performance at school and on tests.

It’s important to recognize that every person’s experience with sleep issues is different.  Managing the challenges can be both frustrating and isolating.  Studies have shown that different colors of light can promote sleep by examining the effects of light and habits that may improve sleep.  Determining which are the worst colors for sleep is also key in helping parents determine which colors are best for their kids.

4. Smart devices can protect infant safety.

Parents of newborns already know the important benefit of baby monitors in keeping an ear on activity in the other room. The frightening worry posed by SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, has led developers of baby monitors to evolve the product. Some connect to your smartphone or can be sent to a mobile speaker.

Other smart items like onesies, mattresses or socks can measure and monitor your baby’s vital information like heart rate, breathing, movement, pulse oximetry and body position. You will be able to hear sounding alarms or receive notifications to your phone when there’s a problem.

5. Internet-connected smart toys need vetting.

Smart toys with an Internet connection—which can include robot dogs, dinosaurs, cars and other items—should be carefully vetted before purchase or forgone altogether. Many of these toys have cameras and microphones and can gather data during play as well as share your child’s location.

While these toys can provide educational opportunities, the Federal Trade Commission urges parents to carefully collect information on the toy before purchasing. That includes researching what kind of information the toy will collect about your child, learning of there are security issues or safety recalls, and knowing whether there have been security complaints.

Know the features of the toy and when it will be listening in, and whether you have the option to control the information. Smart toys, just like any other smart item in your home, pose a risk of being hacked or their data used in ways you didn’t expect.

Bottom line: Smart technology has great potential to improve safety and enhance kids’ lives when approached carefully and sensibly. Talking with your children and teaching them about the proper use of smart technology will help ensure the best experience for everyone.

By Hilary Thompson

Woodworking Projects Ideas for Kids

Wood Woking Project for Kids

Encouraging imagination is important for kids’ mental growth, especially nowadays where information and entertainment are spoon-feed over screens. One of the fun ways to put our kids’ imagination into practice is through woodworking projects. It’s a balance between creativity and cognitive skills, plus kids are able to create something unique and personal.

Whether for home schooling or for group projects in school classrooms, these ideas will challenge kids to stretch their brains as they think about making something original using mostly wooden objects. Kids may also be encouraged to search for wooden objects that could possibly work for their woodworking projects ideas.

Train and Tracks

We know how young kids love to play with trains – and this one is super easy to make. All you need are three wooden boxes, a wooden spool, and six pasta wagon wheels. But before going ahead with the assembly, let your little ones have a little fun with paint and ask them to color the blocks.

Once the blocks are nice and dry, use wood glue to attach the pieces together. Glue on the wooden spool to be the train engines smokestack. For the tracks, popsicle sticks on a piece of cardboard would do the trick!

Personalized Boxes

Adult supervision may still be needed for some easy wood projects for kids, especially those that require power tools.

If your little one wants to create a box for storing crayons, marbles, or any other personal items, he may need your hand in building one.

The box can be any size he wants – wider, taller, smaller, bigger. The lid could be sliding too. Kids would need wood, a pencil, tape measure, sandpaper, hand drill and assorted bits, speed square, and a saw for cutting the wood into the right pieces. If you want it to be simpler, you can also use wood glue to attach the pieces together.

Play Tent

Kids absolutely love the idea of building forts in the backyard. Like many woodworking projects, although larger than the previous ones, this one is a breeze to create. Built in just 10 minutes or less, your kids will be playing with their toys or reading books under the tent in no time!

You’d need four long pieces of wood (about 42” each), a long dowel piece, fabric, and drill. Note that the drill bit should match the dowel size for a secure fit. All it takes is drilling a hole on each end of the wood, inserting the dowel, attaching the fabric, and the tent is complete!

Robot Buddy

It’s more like creating a friend than just a simple wooden toy. For this project, you’d need an assortment of wooden blocks, heavy-duty string, wood glue, drill, and a wood burning pen.

Before you drill in the holes, make sure it’s a perfect match for the string size. The string should fit snugly inside.

Drill one hole in the head block and one in each limb block. The body block needs two holes on the side and two holes on the bottom, one for each hand and foot. Once the holes are ready, fill them with glue and stick in the strings using a nail.

Assembly takes a few minutes as you have to let the glue dry as well. Don’t forget carving the eyes and mouth with the woodburning pen. After that, your kid will now enjoy the companion of his robot buddy.

Benefits of Woodworking For Kids

Woodworking is a great physical activity. It will bring some benefits that go beyond the physical of kids.

  • Develop good skills creativity
  • Help build a positive mentally
  • Teaching patience
  • Help with mature emotional and communication

Kids’ woodworking projects are some exciting projects and easy to do. Also, if you spend time working out with kids on wood projects, they will get develop skills better with time. Eventually, they can do projects without any help.

Holiday Kids Gift Book