DIY – Handmade gifts your preschooler can make

Homemade gifts are making a comeback – the personal touch, the time you spend making it makes it that much more special and treasured. The kids being as young as they are often freestyle their drawings and then end up throwing them away. However, with the holidays approaching, I thought it would be a great idea to recruit them into making gifts for close family and friends. They love the idea and any excuse to get their hands dirty (paint, they love to paint), they’re onboard.

I found some really lovely ideas on Pinterest that I might use this holiday season – starting with my own dinosaur apron.

  1. Christmas Tree Apron

handprint-apron-477All you need is a dollar store plain apron, some green, red and yellow fabric paint and you’re set. Oh, you might also need the help of your tiny tots small hands.

  1. Footprint Dinosaur

a4bf4ff5c2ee14ef3e4050da86b57bbcAnother easy craft. You need a tiny pair of feet, markers and googly eyes. You can use this as a painting, art on a plain shirt or even a card.

  1. Wax Block Prints

christmas_blockprintingI used to love this art activity as a kid. To me, it worked almost like magic. All you need is a plain card with which you make your favorite drawing in white wax crayon. Paint over the drawing with any water color. Because of the wax in the crayon, the drawing will end up looking like this. I think we may use this as our annual christmas card design this year.

  1. Children’s Art Calendar

custom-calendar-477Colorful paper and all the art stationary they need will make your child come up with beautiful drawings to decorate calendars. Just attach mini calendars that you can easily find printables of.

  1. Christmas Tree Baubles

diy-snowman-1024This one is definitely going up on our Christmas tree this year. You just need a plain bauble and fabric paint and the kids could help you make their own unique snowmen.

Do you have any handmade present ideas that preschoolers can make with ease? Drop in a comment.

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Which 3 Educational Game Apps Do Parents Totally Love?

I depend heavily on online educational games and apps to teach subjects and life skills to my children. Over time, I have concluded that children love to learn with a gaming approach more than anything else! These are some of the online apps that I use with my children day to day.

Online Games
Image Source – Steve Elliott

iBiome-Wetlands

The educational game presents students with the challenge of building a balanced biome to progress to the next level. They will have to identify environmental factors, distinguish between producers and consumers, and understanding predator/prey relationships in order to set up a successful biome. Experienced ‘scientists’ can experiment with their ‘biomes’ by manipulating the number of species, flora and fauna, etc. and recreate biomes.

Besides reading explanatory texts, students are required to drag floating objects such as plants, animals or environmental factors to their matching category circle to complete each level. In case the player fails to match an environmental factor to its respective category, it floats off the screen resulting in a lost round.

The high quality animation and graphics of the educational game are a few additional takeaways. The virtual biomes can be seen filling up with animated life at each stage of creation all through the game thus providing the users with an enhanced user experience.

The absence of any third party advertisements or in-app purchases makes the game a favorite with children and parents can rest assured their children won’t be directed to external website while playing iBiome-Wetlands.

My First 10monkeys Math App

My First 10monkeys Math App is a great galactic game that’s math-themed. During the play, children will encounter planets, flowers, and, a host of silly monkeys with whom they can make music, complete patterns, and enjoy multiple mini games! The simple design of the app and the myriad of skills that the game develops in children make it a worldwide favorite with parents, children, and teachers. Some of the features of the educational math game include 7 exciting mini games, catchy background music and sound effects, fun, silly monkeys, and an easy-to-use user interface.

The 7 math skills that children can practice and develop with the game are counting, comparing, geometry, number recognition, patterns, measuring, and sharing. Each mini game is based on a different math skill therefore making the process of learning and reinforcing the learning a lot easier. For example, the mini game on sharing requires kids to choose number pairs that add up to a given number, while the comparing mini game requires them look at a series of objects to see which has the ‘least or the most of something’. The hints at crucial junctures (when the player repeatedly faces a difficulty) keep the kids engaged with the game and they don’t tire out or exhaust easily.

The app encourages free play so kids can move between the seven different concepts and aren’t penalized for not completing a game. Some kids might find the only text-based instruction text a little difficult to follow and that is where they might need adults to assist them. Otherwise, the game is a breeze and invites exciting edu-play!

Thinkrolls

The first feature that draws users to this educational game is its cute, rose pink icon! Just as the name suggests, adorable ball-shaped characters roll through a variety of mazes and cross hurdles as they move on. For example, the first chapter has crackers in the form of obstruction which have to be selectively eaten to clear the path; deciding which cracker to eat is a sub-task in itself! With each chapter, the game introduces new challenges as obstructions such as fire and ice, gears, jelly, rocks, balloons, wooden crates, and more!

The educational game that boasts of both easy and difficult levels for kids introduces kids to the basic principles of physics. While chapter one improves children’s reasoning skills, the second chapter helps teach kids about gravity, height, and distance. The third chapter presents balloons as the obstructions therefore teaching kids about gravity and other complex science topics. Rocks are used to teach kids about density and falling speed, jelly to introduce elasticity and bounce, fire/ice to introduce temperature, and gear-based elevators to teach kids about movement.

The inbuilt parental lock keeps kids from accessing other apps from the developer which may or may not be age-friendly. The gradual way in which the educational game builds the challenges so that kids get a lot of time to familiarize them with each level is commendable!

Make the most of these educational games and apps to punch your children’s virtual world with desired safety, robust security, exciting adventures, and a lot of learning!