Do educational toys really exist, or do toys lend themselves to the extended growth and development of the individual child?
During my research I have come across some controversy. Each individual child is born with the innate desire to explore the word around them. Providing various mediums can and will enhance a child’s abilities to interact with their environment, which will help them to gain strength and accomplish all the milestones of life. There is no scientific proof that educational toys alone can foster, promote, encourage all this growth. What educational toys can do is help parents and teachers alike, stimulate interest in areas that a child may need help in. These toys can also help the parent or caregiver measure a child’s comprehension and can better assist the child’s development by providing activities that will aid in the natural progression of the child’s learning ability.
DNA can and usually does play a large roll in all our abilities to learn and develop, however we can assist that development with the use of toys.
When purchasing a new toy, here are some questions to ask yourself? How old is my child and what is the age suggestion on the box or toy container? Age appropriate toys are important to help your child be successful. What is my child interested in? What am I trying to help my child learn through this toy? Does this toy have more than one use for teaching and learning new skills.
Every Child Needs A Voice. In fact those who are unable to speak, just as those who are verbal, have many reasons/needs to express themselves: needs, wants, feelings, problems, likes and dislikes, their interests etc. One’s ability to use speech is not an indicator of their intellectual ability. There can be many reasons for a child (or adult) being unable to speak or speak well. A parent should be aware of developmental milestones with speech, while recognizing these are guidelines only. Do not ignore challenges with speech; seek professional advice and assessment. Think about all the reasons you use your voice and try, if possible, to imagine what it would be like to not be able to speak. Of course as adults most of us would be able to communicate in writing which many children are not able to do at a young age or older if they have other disabilities. But what if something was impeding your ability to write? The frustration at times must be unbearable for many children.We know what these children must have to resort to in order to express their frustration. Why do we wonder about inappropriate behavior?
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Picture a classroom of the future. It may look something like this: students read their agenda for the day on iPads. Textbooks are provided as a PDF file that students can highlight and make notes as needed. Assignments are completed and email back to the teacher. Apps are used to share answers during class discussions. Students can summarize what they learned on a Discussion Board. Online tools are available to provide students with the opportunity to collaborate with each other.
Since I began working with children in 1983, one area that has seen a significant change is the area of technology. I recall when our childcare centre was gifted with a computer for the class. I remember how intimidating it was for me to learn how to use a computer. However, I was determined to learn how to use it so I could teach the children how to use the games. Today, I have an IPad, two laptops at home and an iPhone. I sure have come a long way!
Look for the rest of this article online soon! Our spring issue on Technology in The Classroom will be available this month.
I have spent the past few months enjoying making some home made food items such as homemade granola bars, cinnamon bread, Ranch dressing, Hummus, laundry soap and fabric softener. I thought that by making these products, I would be eliminating unnecessary preservatives and additives as well as save money. I never realized to what extend I would enjoy making these products. I scoured the internet looking for other products I could create at home.
I started by making body wash. I was surprised at how easily it can be made and how much 2 bars of soap makes. This was added to my growing list of products I could save money on. I found a great method of making hand soap, so that was added to my list. Then, I found a recipe for homemade deodorant. Yes, I made that too! My family thinks I have gone overboard with these homemade products. I am so obsessed with making my own soap, detergents, etc., that I have been promoting the health aspect of it to friends. One friend is just as obsessed with it as I am. We send each other recipes and are thinking of creating a little business together. Who knows where or how far this little obsession of ours will take us? Next on my list is homemade dish soap. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!