Saturday, 28 October 2017

9 Weeks of Educational Gifts: Week 1

LOOKING FOR A GIFT THAT ISN'T JUST A MEANINGLESS PIECE OF PLASTIC THAT GETS LOOKED AT AND FORGOTTEN WITHIN 24 HOURS? HERE'S MY FIRST RECOMMENDATION FOR THE SEASON.

Yes, it's that time of the year when people start to madly run around trying to buy presents for that one day in December. For some odd reason people have a love/hate relationship with Christmas - I think this largely depends on how you view the day (either religiously or materialistically). Yes, we all love to get a gift...but hands up if you're one of those people that come the next day you look around the room and think..."We really don't need/can't use half of all this"....and if you have young children times the stress of that thought by ten.

To help ease some of the stress for those thinking of what to buy this year I will be doing 9 Weeks of Educational Gifts. Each week I will feature a gift that I feel is beneficial to a child's educational, social, or physical development and growth.

Little Passports

Haven't heard of this? That's okay because I only stumbled across it by accident. This is a great little gift that keeps giving as it is subscription based - so you get something once a month. Now, which package you choose is largely going to depend on the age of the child but here's my thoughts on the options!

Availability: These sets are currently available to be delivered to USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
If you live in a country not listed please do contact their lovely support staff! 


Early Explorers (3-5 years of age)
This is the youngest set they have in terms of aimed for. If you have children who like to learn about different things all the time - this is a good place to start. Each month is a different theme - so you might get a pack about art, then oceans, then dinosaurs etc. If you're the type of person who has lots of ideas but it time poor to gather everything you need into one place in a reasonable time frame - this is a great option as all the work has been done. In addition, another thing I like about this set is that it's easy to link whatever the theme is into a visit to the local library and pickup some related books - a great resource is the beginning of learning and not the end of it.


World Edition (6-10 years of age)
If you have children that are different ages but close together - this is the subscription I would recommend. Personally, as a child I was really interested in learning about other countries but most books were way over my head (even though I was an exceptional reader). This pack breaks it down into language kids can understand and plants the seed of curiosity to learn more. I like the fact that this isn't just reading; it's an interactive pack with lots of different manipulatives that kids can pick up, look at, study and explore. This type of hands on learning is really good for children with sensory needs as well. Like the one above you get an introduction pack and then each month you'll get a pack that focuses on a specific country.

Science Expeditions (9 and up years of age)
Depending on the child you're buying for, you might find this to be appealing even to children as young as 7 (though you may need to help more with explanations, etc). Science, at least here in Australia, is a subject that has been overlooked for too long. When I was in school we didn't really start learning about proper science until high school. The new Australian Curriculum addresses this to a point but those first few years of school age (5-8 years of age) kids are like sponges - they soak up information faster than you would believe.

If you're a homeschooling parent this is a great starter kit as you can plan your month of activities around what the theme pack is. This makes it less daunting than thinking "Oh gosh, where do I start?" From a teacher perspective I have to note that I spent a lot of money buying bits and pieces to teach science and it did get expensive after a while needing this and that to do one experiment. Here at least you have what you need to learn about and use in one place.
 
Note that there is a US Edition similar to the World Edition one but being Australian that one isn't really relevant to me but if you're one of my overseas readers it might be. Click below to read more about that one.

All these sets inevitably have their advantages and admittedly it's a bit of a difficult choice choosing between them.
As a teacher - they're all useful and relevant, particularly if you are starting out and a little lost. 
As a homeschooling parent - they're all useful and relevant. Use them to guide your teaching at home and build up anticipation for the next kit to arrive. 
As a parent - pick the one that most interests your child. They like science - go for that! Interested in cultures - go for that!

And because I know that this time of the year gets expensive fast you can get a subscription to any of the above - with a lovely 15% discount by clicking the banner below.


I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions about these sets too! Please post in the comments. 
Until next time: stay safe and take care.
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