National Coding Week – Our Tips for Kids

3 mins

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This week is National Coding Week here in the UK and we often get asked by parents how to get their kids into coding. There are many benefits of coding for kids, including improving their; logical thinking, problem solving skills, resilience and their maths skills. Natalie is a coder/developer, so below are her 3 tips to get your kids started with coding.

1) Online resources

There are some great online resources that can help you introduce coding to your child such as; Girls Who Code, CSS Tricks for older kids and BT’s Skills for Tomorrow programme.

STEM activity cards

2) Our STEM Activity Cards

Our STEM Activity Cards are a great way to introduce coding to your child early on. The pack includes some coding activities. You can buy the pack here.

Black inventors children's book

3) Our STEM Leaders: Black inventors and innovators who changed the world

Our STEM Leaders book includes inspirational leaders in tech and has useful links to help you introduce coding to your child. You can buy the book here.

We hope you found these three coding tips for kids useful. Let us know in the comments below

Natalie

Little Scholars Playground
info@littlescholarsplayground.com

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.

Our Black History Month Resource

4 mins

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Black History Month is only a few weeks away (where is the time going? It will be Christmas soon, eek!) Our STEM Leaders: Black inventors and innovators who changed the world book would be a great resource. We all know schools will not be teaching children about these amazing people. So it’s for us all to do this at home.

STEM Leaders will introduce children to important Black inventors and innovators who changed the world. This vibrantly illustrated book is a stimulating reference source; it is educational and includes; Q&A’s, useful links, fun facts and activities to get children started with STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) experiments. You can buy the book here.

Black history month book
Black inventors book

We’re so excited about this book. We both work in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) industry and we don’t see many people that look like us. So we want to inspire the next generation to embrace STEM subjects. An industry which creates the inventors, innovators and leaders of tomorrow. You can buy the book here.

Natalie

Little Scholars Playground
info@littlescholarsplayground.com

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.

Our Back to School Tips

Is your child starting school soon? Starting school for the first time can be daunting to both parents and kids. It can bring up a lot of feelings. There’s lots of things that might cross your mind, such as will my child be bullied, will they cope with a new routine and will they make friends. It’s always important to keep communicating with your child. Below are some things to do with your child to get them prepared before and during the start of school.

1) Independence the Montessori way⁣:
Things like teaching your child to learn to pour their own water, put on their own shoes, or clean their own play area, will help them become a more confident, independent child, which will lead to ongoing benefits throughout their school life.

2) Learn about emotions:
⁣Talking about different feelings will help your child talk about different emotions and understand how they’re feeling during this new transition.

3) Hygiene:
⁣⁣Hygiene is important at school. One of the best ways to help them is to try and make their trips to the toilet a fun learning experience.

4) Sharing:
⁣Encouraging your child to share their toys through pretend play is a great way to help them practice turn-taking.

5) Write down worries and hopes:
Get your child to write down everything they’re looking forward to at school and everything they’re worried about. This can help to ease their concerns.

Going to school for the first time can be scary. We hope your child has a great first day!

Natalie

Little Scholars Playground
info@littlescholarsplayground.com

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.

Our Thoughts About The Childcare Crisis

5 mins

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We’ve been hearing a lot about the childcare crisis. But it wasn’t until it affected us where we had to stop and think about how dire the situation is becoming. Our own little scholar is currently in nursery and we have received emails to let us know that due to staff shortages they may have to start turning children away. We believe the pandemic has exposed the fragility of a system that places the onus of child rearing on women. Childcare is a constant juggling act for many parents. According to the National Childbirth Trust, a week’s care for a child under the age of two in nursery costs between £263 and £321 per week, meanwhile after-school care costs between £60 and £70 a week. Currently, one adult can be in charge of four two-year-olds, however the Government has proposed to increase this to five. We do not think this is a good idea and could affect a child’s safety and level of learning.

It’s important now more than ever to do as much as we can with our young children at home. A child’s brain has reached 80% of its adult volume by the age of 3. This is why it’s VERY important to support this massive brain development in the first 3 years of their life.

We sell books and learning resources, which can help your child’s brain development in the early years. You can shop our products here.

Childcare workers are simply overworked, underpaid and sadly undervalued. What are your thoughts? Has this also affected you? Let us know in the comments below. 👶🏾🧒🏼🧮🎨

Natalie

Little Scholars Playground
info@littlescholarsplayground.com

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.

20 Rainy Day Activities to Do with Kids

6 mins

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Rain Rain go away, Come again another day! The heatwave seems to be over here in the UK and we’re forecasted to have some heavy rain. Heavy rain poses some challenges for parents. Kids have a shorter attention span than us adults, which means cabin fever can set in quickly. Minimise the number of times you hear ‘I’m booored!’ with our top 20 rainy day activities to do with kids that are on their summer holidays.

1) indoor play/ soft play. This is always fun for kids, there are many indoor soft play in the UK.

2) Fashion show. Kids love to dress up in their parents clothes and shoes. So why not let the kids choose some clothes from your wardrobe, so they can create a fun fashion show!

3) Our STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) activity cards are great for entertaining the kids and can help to reduce screen time. Our unique pack of 32 cards are simple and fun and can be created with everyday items from around the home or the supermarket. The pack of cards can be bought here.

STEM activity cards
32 STEM Activity cards

4) Cook or bake together. Kids enjoy cooking and baking (especially licking the bowl at the end!).

5) Visit your local library. Let the kids choose a book they want and then get cosy in the reading corner. If the weather is too bad to get out. Then create a cosy area at home and read their favourite books. We have a great selection of books. You can shop our books here.

Black inventors children's book
STEM Leaders: Black inventors and innovators who changed the world

6) Visit a museum. There are many free fun museums in the UK. Going to the museum is a fun adventure for kids.

7) Play board games. Board games are a fun way to get the family together and helps to reduce screen time.

8) Our STEM inventors journal. Our STEM inventors journal will show kids how new inventions are created. It includes prompts to get your budding inventor started on their inventor journey. This journal will be sure to keep kids occupied on those rainy days. It can be bought here.

STEM inventors journal
My STEM inventors journal: A little book of ideas

9) Build a blanket and cushion fort.

10) Watch a movie. Dim the lights and pop some popcorn and create a cinema at home.

11) Indoor picnic. Too rainy to have a picnic outside? Why not bring it indoors. Eating on a blanket is always fun for kids.

12) Create a puppet show. Grab some socks and paper and create a puppet show.

13) Open ended play. Get your children’s imagination going with some open ended play, with things like wooden blocks or a sensory activity.

14) Get the puzzles out. Puzzles are a good alternative to screen time for kids, they’re both fun and educational. We have a great wooden solar system puzzle, which can be bought here.

solar system puzzle
Wooden solar system puzzle

15) Play some musical instruments. You can even create a mini concert.

16) Do some yoga. The cabin fever has kicked in, so now the kids are bouncing off the walls, eek! There are lots of yoga videos for kids on YouTube, which can help to calm them down.

17) Create an indoor scavenger hunt. Get the kids to hunt for the objects all over the house.

18) Arts and crafts is always fun. Create a crafting station at home. It can occupy kids for a long time and it is both entertaining and educational for them.

19) Create an indoor obstacle course using unbreakable objects.

20) Splash in some puddles. As Peppa pig says “I’m jumping up and down in muddy puddles.” Once the rain has stopped, get your wellies on and go outside and splash about in some puddles!

We hope you found this blog useful. If you did, please share it with your friends and family who may find it useful too.

Natalie

Little Scholars Playground
info@littlescholarsplayground.com

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.

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