STEM learning and Pre-STEM Toys by Skola

Being a parent means to stay ahead on all aspects. Especially on your child’s development and education. As an early learning enthusiast, I keep reading and researching new topics and this time I came across STEM learning. Though STEM learning is for kids aged 7 plus I was intrigued to know more and how it can be incorporated at an early stage to help preschoolers build a strong foundation.

What is STEM Learning?

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It’s a term initiated by the National Science Foundation, refers to an educational approach which integrates more than one of these disciplines.

Individually these may look like lofty subjects for tiny preschoolers. However, in reality, children are already exposed and engaging to STEM activities indoors and outdoors. With further guidance from us, they can actually learn and develop critical thinking skills.

Why is STEM important?

Science is all around us. Technology is fast growing and slowing taking over our day to day aspects of our lives. Engineering is the very basic design we see on the roads or bridges or when we talk about environmental changes. Mathematics is a part every occupation and every activity we do on daily basis.

Exposing children at a young age to STEM learning and allowing them to explore the concept of STEM may spark the passion for these subjects. Further, it may lead them to pursue a career in the STEM field.

Undoubtedly STEM learning can be very beneficial in a child’s overall academic growth. By developing early critical thinking and reasoning skills, it also enhances later interest in STEM study and careers.

STEM Activities for Pre Schoolers

So how do we encourage the little ones to explore STEM learning concepts? Here are some simple ideas to get you a hang of things. As you explore, you will understand how easy it is, in reality, to incorporate STEM learning in everything our children do and learn.

  1. Building blocks can help children make towers and bridges – incorporating maths and engineering.
  2. Cooking together – this is the most basic skill that can teach the concept of science, technology, and even maths!
  3. Explore the grocery – go shopping and pick some fruits and vegetables. Ask your toddler to predict what will be inside. With supervision allow him/her to cut into pieces and discuss the color, texture and have a tasting session. This would be perfect for maths and science.
  4. Water Play – The opportunity to play and learn are endless! Teaching floating objects, transferring with a ladle, mixing colors to teach tertiary colors. There are so many ways to play.

You will be amazed at the possibilities of STEM learning. Children are little explorers and love to experiment, combine new substances, build, knock down, collect, sort and of course have a lot of fun while playing. Until I read about STEM learning I didn’t realize we were already engaging in so many STEM activities already without knowing about them.

Pre-STEM Toys by Skola

Once you have tried a few home-based DIY activities your child will soon be ready to play with pre -STEM Toys.

I had introduced you to Skola toys in my last blog

Skola Toys believe that play leads to exploration, exploration leads to discovery and discovery leads to learning. Their learning journeys through play have some of the best Pre STEM learning toys for incorporating early childhood education.

It’s a welcome sight to see some of our Indian homegrown brands like Skola to help in Pre-STEM learning which is primarily preparing a child for STEM learning which is a multi-sensory experience. Their toys are well thought through and each toy helps to improve their overall development skills right from fine motor skills which certainly helps in engineering, but more importantly using fingers helps children think clearly and enhances concentration and cognitive ability which is directly a STEM requirement.

Here are few of their toys that I really liked

STEM Learning

Cascade Cars

This is a wonderful toy to help a child to understand cause and effect. This is where a child is exposed to science. It helps a child to register process and comprehend.

Following the movement of the car improves visual tracking among children, which is essential for improving their reading skills and abilities while playing any physical sport. This toy also leads to awareness of motion and movement as children watch and analyze the movements of the cars as they roll down the slopes. As they push the cars further or hold them back, they understand the impact of their actions on the speed, motion and time factors of the cars. As children place, move and stop the cars, they also enhance their fine motor skills.

stem learning

Colour wheels

This toy encourages children to use fingers to rotate wheels and then find the matching colours which involve an examination, observation analysis, and discovery.

As children begin to sort different shades of colours, it magnifies their understanding of colour at a very young age. It enhances their visual discrimination skills and makes them aware of the comparison between colours. Naming the shades and tints of various colours and arranging them in a specific order makes them notice even minute differences in colour shades. One of the most exciting challenges this toy poses is when the children have to match shades by memory. And this exercises their mind in a way that significantly enhances their cognitive ability. The simple act of using their hands to rotate the wheels and locking them in place enhances their eye-hand coordination.

I love how each and every toy at the Skola website has a clear description, helping parents understand the various skill it helps the child to develop. This process is true for all Skola Toys and hence creates thinkers.

 

This Diwali lets spark the joy of learning!

What Christmas to US, Diwali is for India.

This is the most favorite time of the year for many of us. Diwali brings in a flood of emotions and childhood memories for me. Each year my brother and I would look forward to Diwali and the loot of gifts we would receive from our parents and grandparents. It was exhilarating for us and keeping up with the anticipation was the toughest part!

The tradition of gifts continues. Children always have a long list of things they want and parents are more than eager to fulfill their child’s dream. More than often our wish list for our children is all about the fanciest outfit, expensive outings, lots of sugar-loaded candies and chocolates or some branded fancy toys that ‘we’ have been saving for the longest.

It’s almost a parents mission to get our child the very best!

Even when it comes to gifting, adults often look at things of social value more than practical/educational value. In today’s modern time many of us buy gifts for friends and their children to keep up a social status. Often bothered by social pressure – “does this show a value that I did spend a huge amount on it?” But do these gifts really bring joy and an emotion?

I for one, always look for practical gifts for everyone. A gift that becomes a part of the receiver’s life and something they would remember me and be thankful for. Plus the fact that I didn’t waste my money on a useless gift is the best satisfaction!

Especially for children, the best gift we can give them is a way to learn and grow. Toys are of course every child’s friend. If given an opportunity children can learn and grow through play. Early learning toys can lay the foundation of the discovery that fun and education can go hand in hand.

If you understand the importance of toys, you will realize how toys impact a child’s physical and mental skills, cognitive behavior and stimulate creativity. A correct choice of a toy can not only provide entertainment but also fulfill an educational role. Educational toys can support the fine and gross motor skills, cognitive development, improve problem-solving skills and aids in attention span which forms the very basis of early education.

educational toy

How to select the best educational toy?

The biggest dilemma is what to look for in a toy? How do you know if a toy is going to support early childhood learning and education? Listed here are some basic attributes that a good early learning educational toy will possess

  • The toy must be flexible or versatile and the child should be able to use it in various ways to support his/her creativity
  • The best toys always aid learning – in one way or the other
  • The toys/materials must be appealing and interesting enough for a child and offer several opportunities for success.
  • Look for toys that are durable. It should be well constructed, shatterproof and if required strong enough to hold the child’s weight
  • A good toy will have rounded corners, smooth surface with no exposed nails or projectiles and absolutely never requiring a battery.
  • Most importantly the varnish /paints and finishing must be non-toxic and must meet all safety standards
  • Of course, it should withstand repeated cleaning and washing.

Where to buy the perfect educational toy this Diwali?

Let me introduce you to Skola. Inspired by the Montessori principles of learning they have researched and developed some very apt and wonderful toys for the age 1-8. This was one of the main reasons I was attracted by their toys. You can also look for the toys based on a learning journey say whether you want to help your child with language, improve gross motor skills or even cognition.

Do visit their website to enjoy a plethora of educational toy which makes a perfect gift for children this Diwali! More about Skola and their toys coming up in my next post.

For more exciting updates and contest you can stay connected with me through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Image source – www.pixaby.com

Adventures In Farland -Moshank Relia | Review | Children’s Book

As a child, I was always fascinated by magical worlds of fairies, gnomes, giants, and mermaids. It was a place where everything was possible! Magic is also about opening doors of imagination for children and the book “Adventures in Farland” by Moshank Relia is exactly that little ray of hope for a child.

Adventures in Farland

The Story

The story “Adventures in Farland” is about a beautiful 7-year-old little girl named Mira and her two naughty and quarreling potbellied twin friends Bira and Vira. Mira has always heard about the magical land of faraway where the princess Harmonica organizes the fun New Moon parties as her bedtime story from her mother.

As luck would have it Mira meets Bushy a character from the stories of Farland her mother recites to her. He comes to invite her for the New moon party and turns her twin friends into rats so that they don’t disturb others guests with their fights.

A special plane with the best pilot of Farland is sent across to pick them up and drop them back before daybreak. It’s all too exciting for little Mira who has only heard about Farland and cannot wait to experience the magic herself. She gives in the temptation and is soon on her way to a magical discovery full of adventures.

As soon as little Mira begins her journey her plane breaks down and lands in the lost forest. Very soon Mira learns that the queen of witches has decided to unleash the dragon of Underhill on Farland and destroy it.  Little does she know that she will play a big role in saving Farland and encounter strange things happening. Will she be successful? Which all mystical creatures will little Mira meet in her journey.  Children will love to read this fun and adventurous story.

As the story unfolds interesting new mystical creatures come into play. Each with a unique personality for easy recall. Like the starhead pilot, Mira meets who has a head shaped like a star and shines brightly. Then Bushy is a character whose head has a bush instead of hair and

My Review

The character of Mira is portrayed as a sweet and kind-hearted girl. At the time of adversity, she shows her braveness. She stands up to all challenges in a new place and goes out of her way to help others. She loves her friends and always helps them even if it puts her life in danger. Her bravery sees her through her journey. A wonderful way to teach young children about courage and relationships.

The book is well written with short sentences. I also find it a great way to introduce some new words to children and help build vocabulary. Love the author’s imagination and wonderfully weaved creatures of Farland. They are amusing and children would enjoy them. the plot is very ineresting and gripping till the end. The only thing the book left me wanting more was some pictures and especially colored ones depicting the mystical creatures of Farland. On the whole, I absolutely think its a perfect read for little ones!

About the Author

Moshank Relia is a graduate in English literature. His love for adventure, his deep affection for kids and his wide-ranging creative experiences drove him to write children’s fiction.

Am truly grateful to the author for the privilege of reviewing his book “Adventures in Farland”. It will be available from 19th October. *Purchase Link will be updated

Kids Festival Clothing – 5 brands you must check out this season

The festive season is around the corner. It’s all about celebrations, happiness, family and friends and of course dressing up for the occasion!

Parents, like you and me, have to make an effort to look for trendy, exciting and some fun new collection of kids festival clothing. Like every year we want to try something new without compromising on quality and comfort for our little ones.

To make it easy I have done the hard work to shortlist some brands that have worked really hard to launch a wonderful festive collection of kids festival clothing to ensure our little ones look the best.

But you might ask what’s different?

What makes most of these brands unique is the fact that they were launched by moms, so we know that there are some real insights going into the product design and collection – comfortable yet stylish without burning a hole in your pocket. Each brand has fresh new unique designs and ideas about fashion. We are talking about cool fabrics, vibrant colours, beautiful patterns and trendy cuts of the season for boys and girls! Above all awesome discounts too!!

Dont forget to follow them on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated with their latest collection!

BAANA

With 20 years of experience in the garment business,  Swati has a keen eye for quality. She immediately noticed that kids ethnic clothing was paid the least attention. Hence, Baana was born from the need to find cute, quality, comfortable ethnic clothing for her little one. Baana has a strong focus on comfortable, wearable design teamed with the highest quality fabric and finishes.

You will find a wide range of cute comfy cotton, semi formals, and dressy occasion wear for your little girls aged 1-9 years.

NPAT Loves – Vibrant colours, floral patterns. The peplum choli is a heart stealer!

Shop atInstagram | Facebook

Contact – babybaana@gmail.com/9818888424

Frangipani Kids

Setup in 2012 by two young moms who believe in the ethos that comfort comes first. They started off with sleepwear and Indian clothes for kids and now have expanded over the years to introduce kids ethnic wear, kids sleepwear, loungewear, blankets, quilts, travel pouches and adult sleepwear. They pride in their finest materials and highest quality fabrics that are procured from trusted sources and crafted with love and finesse.

Whether it is dressing up for a wedding, going to bed, or getting ready for that special play date, you will find classy and elegant wear for boys and girls aged 1-12 years.

NPAT Loves -Delicate prints and unique flower designs for boys and girls.

Shop at –  Website |  Instagram | Facebook 

Contact – info@frangipanikids.co.in/022-22165518

Label Clay

Absolutely gorgeous new ethnic line, a range of vibrant, happy, fun clothing for the festive season with the comfort and magic of childhood. Label CLAY believes that if it’s for kids, it should be comfortable enough to play in and their festive comfort collection is just that. Each piece is handcrafted with attention to detail to make affordable but premium clothing for boys and girls alike, aged 2-10 years.

NPAT Says – We love the fun clothing with a punch of colours! The scalloped choli for girls is a heart stealer!

Enjoy a special 10% off when you use the coupon EARLY10 during checkout online until Oct 5th

Shop at – Website | InstagramFacebook 

Contact – labelclay@gmail.com /(Ketaki +91 9823080893)

COO COO

A Mom of 2, having lived and worked in Switzerland and New York struggled to find high quality, comfortable, Cotton clothes in India, and decided to launch her own children’s line Coo Coo in 2012. Her designs have a gorgeous international touch and are driven and inspired by the belief that children should be comfortable in what they wear.

Catering to newborn to 10 years old boys and girls Coo Coo lays a strong emphasis on fabric and fit. The results are styles that perfectly reflect the brand’s luxe aesthetic

NPAT loves – COO COO is offering matching Father Son Shirts & Kurtas and Mommy and Me Chanderi Kurtas for Diwali. Twinning the festive way!

Customisation Alert! – Must check out their bespoke service DRESSED UP BY COO COO. you will find exquisite heirloom-inspired looks for weddings, celebrations and special occasions. Featuring hand details, luxurious fabrics and finely crafted designer touches!

Special Discount of  10% when you mention Coupon code – CooCooKids10

Shop at – Website (Launching on 15th October 2017) | Instagram  | Facebook 

Contact –  pswadi@coocoo.in/+91 9819659125

Indie Project Store

Indie Project Store offers hand-picked & carefully curated essentials for free-spirited tiny humans, promising a timeless, playful, classic childhood. Their festive collection is a unique take on traditional Indian wear for kids, that guarantees maximum utility from garments without compromising on the much needed festive theme. The designs speak Banarasi, Bandhej, Ikkat, Silk and peter pan collars, box pleats skirts, swing dresses, bow ties and jumpsuits in one breath and that’s a clear reflection of our distinctive approach to kids wear.

Though their standard sizes start from 6 months and go up to 5 years, they have limited infants and babies products in sizes: 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 6-12 months as well!

NPAT Loves – simple elegant clothing that speaks comfort for any occasion! 

 Shop at – Website |  Instagram | Facebook 

 ContactEmail Id /contact number – reachus@indieprojectstore.com

Hope you enjoyed checking out these beautiful Kids Clothing Brands! which one was your absolute favourite? did you pick a new outfit? share with us and tag us! (All links mentioned below)

Wishing you a fabulous festive month ahead!

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