Updated: Apr 28
And so the pandemic drags along like some heavy wet blanket that gets heavier as we drag it along and yet it continues to rain challenges down on us! I cannot fathom how parents are coping with their kids, especially those that are really young. These little ones must find it so difficult to compute the restrictive place they find themselves in. Tweens and teens need to release their energy too, never mind the parents!
TOP 20 ONLINE RESOURCES TO HELP YOUR KIDS LEARN FROM HOME
A wonderful subscriber wrote to me (thank you Daniel Frazier) and passed on this valuable blog post that she found on www.wizcase.com. The article is titled, Top 20 Online Resources to Help Your Kids Learn From Home 2021. This is a great little resource, get onto it now and pick out what works for you and your kids. The article also covers the 5 Necessary Steps to Protect Your Children Online and making sure your kids make the most of online learning by accessing Online Tools for Learning at Home.
CRAFT BOX IDEAS
I wanted to share with you along with some other ideas on how to pass the time, stimulate your kids while learning in a super fun way. Here are some resources on craft boxes that I have been looking at. You could even get ideas from these websites and create your own. The thing is, most parents do not have the time nor the capacity to get it together. It is also very exciting for your kid to receive their very own box. Many of these websites are a monthly subscription. I think it would be a good idea to perhaps mix things up and order from 2 or 3 different websites to get a variety.
Have a look at Little Passports. I love this website - it just makes me smile when I look at it, the kid on the homepage, I want to hug her! Ok, off topic, this website caters for ages 2 - 8 years plus and looks like they have promotions on - a free first month! Not sure if this will always be available. Starts at $28 USD.
Next is Kiwi Co. This website is so interactive, I could spend so much time just on the website (you can slide a button to see a project evolve from start to finish), and I have not even got a crate from them! Their stuff is amazing - craft and building on another level. Kiwi Co provides crates for a larger range of ages, even adults! One of the crates says its for ages 14 to 104 years. I think my husband would love this. One of my clients loves this for her kids. Seriously, go have a look. They deliver " projects" as they call it. Love it. Pricing from $21.23 CAD.
Green Kid Crafts is promoted as a monthly science and arts box delivery. The ages they cater to are 2 - 10 years. This from their website: "Green Kid Crafts is empowering the next generation of environmental leaders using creative, nature-based STEAM activities. Founded by mother and environmental scientist Penny Bauder in 2010, Green Kid Crafts has sold over 1.5 million kids subscription boxes specially designed to help children exercise creativity, develop a love of discovery, and learn about the world around them." Pricing from $29.95 CAD.
If you are looking for a once off purchase, Curiosity Box can help you. They also offer monthly subscriptions and cater for ages 2 - 8 years plus. I love that they have "spin the wheel" as their subscription emailer with the possibility of getting a discount on your purchase! The website is perfect for kids and fun! Lots of images and great visuals of what is in side each of the boxes. Pricing from $34.95 CAD
SENSORY CRAFT BOXES
I love finding amazing websites like these two: Spectrum Sense For Moms offers a monthly box subscription. Their boxes include these items: toys & tools (includes a couple of toys that improve sensory integration, communication and regulation), visual aids (laminated ready-to-use visual aid) and sensory play (travel sensory kit, to use at home or when you are out and about). The boxes look really well thought out and fun. Think glitter, gooey stuff, textured things, kaleidoscopes, punches of colour and more, I want one! Pricing starts at $32 USD ($30 delivery to Canada).
The other website to look at is Sensory Therapy Play Box. A monthly subscription starting at $49.95 USD. You have the option to gift the box to that special kid - love that! You can scroll through photographs of previous boxes, which are packed to the brim with goodies. The website says that each box is curated for children with autism/ sensory needs in mind, but suitable for children of all abilities.
LITTLE SOULS APP - MINDFULNESS DESIGNED FOR KIDS
I have a very smart girlfriend who moved to Sudbury, Canada, from South Africa and started this amazing yoga business for kids called Little Souls. Not only is she a talented yoga teacher, she is deeply dialled into the mindfulness aspect of yoga and has an incredible connection with kids. Tarryn's brain child, the Little Souls App offers Breathing, Mindfulness, Music and Yoga. The App is $29 for a 1 year subscription. Totally worth it.
There are a range of breathing techniques that help children when they need to calm themselves down. The APP directs the children to the relevant breathing techniques, which they can then practise while they are still in a state of calm. They will gravitate to one or many of the breaths which they can then use when they are in need of the calming power of their breath. They can go into the APP and be directed on how to breathe when they are struggling to do so….. or even just to settle their mind.
There are games that encourage mindfulness such as popping bubbles or watching glitter settle in the JAR (on the actual device) - this is my total best! These tools teach the kids to pay attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment non-judgementally. Diving deeper into mindfulness comes through Meditations and Yoga Nidra (Yoga Sleep), which is also a type of meditation however incorporates the full body (and not just the mind).
This portion of the APP allows the children to listen to soothing sounds and music mixes ranging from nature sounds to calming piano or guitar. They listen to this when they need to find a little calm. They can also listen to Binaural Beats which brings on Calm using Delta and Theta wavelengths to help the child. This music needs to be listened to with headphones on to be effective. This music helps the child with Focus, Anxiety, ADHD and relaxation.
The APP is starting out with Morning and Evening Yoga. It has a mini class they can do when they wake up to start the day with ease and grounding and finish the stresses of the day in a releasing evening flow.
When we are feeling okay and we are caught up in our routines as adults/parents, we can so easily miss the signals from our kids that they are not okay, they have anxiety or are depressed. Sadly there is still a stigma around mental heath and so many parents (I have met them) brush it off and say that their kids want attention or are just jumping on the "mental health" trend as excuse to get out of chores. If your children are telling you that they are not feeling great, listen, pay attention and be supportive, take action. It would have taken a lot of bravery to have mustered the courage to have the discussion with you. Most kids won't tell you about how they are feeling for fear of failure, disappointment and especially the reaction from you, which they would rather avoid. Sometimes we do not recognise the signs of depression or feelings of anxiety since they present differently in everyone, and nor do our kids, until they are at a point of feeling so terrible.
It is a given, humans will suffer from ailments, disease, mental health and the like, but alongside a pandemic, these things are heightened, highlighted and underlined. Be patient, be kind and supportive of your special people.
I hope these tools can help you all!