Sunday, 4 August 2013

PLAYDATE in the PARK with Oh The Joys of Discovery Toys

PLAYDATE in the PARK (weather permitting!) with Oh The Joys of Discovery Toys

Oh the Joys of Discovery Toys will host their first PLAYDATE IN THE PARK August 14th 1-3 PM (weather permitting) in Bowring Park. Come have some Discovery Toys Fun!

When - Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Time - 13:00 until 15:00

Look for me in the playground area with my red picnic blanket and toys... pop over and say hello while your kids play with the DT toys I will have on hand! Ask me about toys to enhance Reading, Language, Math, Science and Music Skills or how you can earn FREE & 1/2 price toys. Or just enjoy your children playing and having fun... no purchases/commitments necessary :-)

As this event is weather permitting, please join the event on Facebook to be kept up-to-date the day of!

Share with your friends :-)

Monday, 29 July 2013

Site for Things To Do With Your Family in St. John's

You can find a lot of information on fun, family-friendly things to do around town on the St. John's Mom Blog. You will never think there is nothing to do again! Here is her list of things to do for the last few days of July:

Mon Jul 29  
•Beyond the Backyard & Summer Safari
 •Improv Games (AAMP)
 •SBTS: Julius Caesar
 •Haunted Hike:Sinners & Spirits Tour

Tue Jul 30  
•Beyond the Backyard & Summer Safari
 •Family and Child Care Connections drop-in playgroups - Family Childcare Connections 50 Pippy place, St. Johns
 •Drop in Play Goulds
 •Active Start Playgroup moved outside for Summer
 •Summer Reading Club Storytime -- Explore Music!
 •Family Fun @ The Rooms (Light and Shadow)
 •Summer Concerts at The Hill at Dusk
 •Under The Sea Crafts (AAMP)
 •The Haunted Hike: Ghosties & Ghoulies Tour

Wed Jul 31  
•Ride the Trolley Line (Hop on Hop Off to Historic Locations)
 •Beyond the Backyard & Summer Safari
 •Signal Hill Tattoo (11 AM & 3 PM)
 •Walk Kenny's Pond with L'Association communautaire francophone de Saint-Jean
 •GO! Up, Up and Away
 •Chris LeDrew Visits the Mount Pearl Library
 •Ultimate Frisbee Clinic and Games
 •Free Admission @ The Rooms - The Rooms
 •The Haunted Hike: Ghosties & Ghoulies Tour

For more activities, or for details, follow her calendar here.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Crosswords for Kids!

Crosswords are a fun way to pass the time and also build vocabulary and spelling skills. Try them out on a rainy day or instead of watching TV in the evening. Here is a link to a Kids' Crossword site... and one for you to try :-)


Monday, 10 June 2013

Teach & Play - Using Cast & Paint Chalk for Creativity, Reading Strategies and Math Skills!

Discovery Toys recently launched their Summer Flyer filled with creative summer toys and books. One item that is sure to add fun to your days - no matter if it is sunny or raining - is the Cast & Paint Chalk! And, as with most DT products, this kit promotes the development of essential skills in a fun way!
Buy it here (and more besides!)
Now, don't diss chalk before you have a chance to hear about this great kit, or how you can use it! Cast & Paint is more than your average box of side-walk chalk.... the kit contains everything the children need to make 24 colourful chalk pieces in 6 fun shapes... which means mixing ingredients and colour experiments! While children figure they are "just doing crafts" they are actually using their creativity to design their pieces and choose their colour combinations, as well as boosting their comprehension of scientific concepts (states of matter; transformation), perfecting their ability to follow directions (to make the chalk), and learning how colours combine! The chalk mold is re-usable and replacement casting material (non-toxic, by the way) is available to prolong the fun :-)

So, that, in a nut shell, is the rainy-day aspect of the Cast & Paint Chalk kit.... and the benefits it provides while making the chalk.... But there's more! There is SO much you can do with your children outside with chalk on a sunny day! Let's think beyond the standard doodles (which promote creativity!) and hopscotch (number concepts/motor skills!) and consider some of these ides:

Letter Recognition - essential pre-reading skill:
  • Alphabet Hopscotch - jump from one letter to another.... have children identify letters as they go.
  • Upper-Lower Case match up - fill driveway with the upper and lower letters of the alphabet (don't put the matches TOO far apart!) and have your child jump from little a to big A, little b to big B and so on....

Sight Words - essential reading skill:
  • Word Scramble - start with writing out the letters to short, common words, as they improve switch to bigger words, or the added challenge of un-scrambling 2 short words at a time (o g c d a t = "dog" and "cat" for example)
  • Word Jump Maze - you write sight words on the pavement, then direct your child to jump from one end of your grid to the other by calling out sight words... they can only jump to the words you call as they move from one end to the other. 

Math Skills and Number Concepts:
  • Sidewalk Math (addition/subtraction/understanding of number line) - draw a number line with numbers 1-10, 1-20 or whatever matches your child's abilities. Have your child start at their age, then walk plus 2 steps... so X plus 2 is? Then take that number and have them add on or take away steps, always reinforcing the math sentence before moving on to a new one (ie: child starts at 5... 5 + 2 =7, then have them take away/walk back 3 steps... so 7 - 3 = 4, then add on/walk forward 2 steps, so 4 + 2 = 6 and so on). 
  • Math Grid (multiplication/division and understanding of mathematical terms) - create a 4 x 4 block grid on the pavement. Write various numbers (aim for those that are products and quotients of other numbers) in the squares. Direct your older child to go to the product of 5X5, or to the square root of 16 or to the quotient of 80/8, etc.
Do you play with sidewalk chalk with your kids? What games do you play?

Friday, 7 June 2013

Fun, Educational, SAFE Kid Friendly Sites!

Another idea to beat boredom, especially on those indoor rainy days... I saw this on facebook and had to share - kid friendly websites to have on hand! : -)

Source: DT EC Group on Facebook, original source unknown!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Make a Boredom Jar

I saw this posted on Today's Parent Facebook page! A great printable to create your own boredom jar! Another idea: have a stash of Discovery Toys nearby - Wiz Kid, Tricky Fingers and Bakari are a few of my favourite games that are fun & engaging AND transport easily!


Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Brainstorming: End of Year Gifts for Teachers

I like to give something small and unique to my boys' teachers at the end of the school year. In the past, they have given little handy desk kits (post-it notes, paper clips, pen, etc all done up in a decorative tin), pens, home-made cards for all occasions, crocheted bookmarks with a gift card.... something useful with a personal touch has been the goal.

So, I am starting to think about what to do for the teachers this year... a few of the ideas I am considering are:
  • a door-knob reminder pouch - something to hang on the door knob where they stash those things thay must. not. forget. on the way out the door! 
  • i-tunes gift card - could be for personal or school use as the teachers are all getting i-pads for their classrooms
  • crocheted pencil jar for their desk
  • Something from Discovery Toys, to spread the joy... like one of these options, all available here:
Wiz Kids game could easily be played in the classroom (and everyone can participate at the same time!)....


Mosaic Mysteries and Playful Patterns would both have many uses in the classroom for play as well as for math and art classes....

Games on the Go offers a slew of games in one box (and, as each game is on a separate card, Games on the Go would also make a great classmate gift - one card/game per child with a little note and my child's phone number, to stay in touch over the summer!)....

... Decisions, decisions ;-)