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Kid Friendly Digital Activities Part 5

Kid Friendly Digital Activities Part 5

The Last of the series!

YouTube Collection

The Mighty Mommy has a couple of suggestions for Youtube, see her explanations below.

YouTube is one of the hottest “go to” places on the internet. The topics are endless and when monitored can be safe and entertaining for children of all ages.

NeoK12 is a fantastic collection of videos, arranged by subject, that have been individually reviewed by K-12 teachers. There are also quizzes, games and puzzles as well as a cool presentation creator that helps students create their own presentations within the site. Also cool is the How it Works section.

NeoK12 is a really great site with lots of possibilities.

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Some other possibilities include

  • Khan Academy youtube videos don’t tend to talk down to kids, with selections including macroeconomics, basic counting, cryptography, grammar, trigonometry, chemistry; for all ages, including the adult learners in your family!
  • Edudemic offers videos for educators, evidence answering whether students should take notes on a computer and other things for educators.
  • RefSeek is an aggregate of various online videos which you may find interesting, since I won’t list everything
  • CosmoLearning says it is a “free educationa website for students and teachers.”  Apparently it offers learning in Audiology, Blockchain, Civil Engineering, Dentistry (really?)
  • Coursera “provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online.”  This is not a free course, with prices about 29$ to 99$, and courses in Data Science, Learning how to learn, and other adult-oriented classes.  An advanced child may find value in college-level learning.
  • WatchKnowLearn has a lot of educational offerings.  You can search their catalog easier by filtering for appropriate age groups, from 3 years to 18 years.  Their classes include Life Skills, Philosophy and Religion, Hobbies and Crafts, Social Studies, History, Science.  The whole lot.  I’m gonna be right back, I have to watch a few of them myself!
  • Quartz lists and describes several cool video learning websites, including Netflix Academy, The Magic School Bus 360; and video suggestions in Literature, US History, World History.
  • And, last but not least, Mighty Mommy includes quick and dirty tips on how to protect your grandchildren as they explore technology

 

Resources

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Kid Friendly Digital Activities Part 4

Kid Friendly Digital Activities Part 4
This may contain links to Amazon. If you click on it, I may get a small payment from your purchase. Thank you for your support.

This post was inspired by Mighty Mommy’s Quick and Dirty Tips. It is one part of her post on how to keep kids active during the summer months using Digital activities. Check out her extensive ideas!

Mommy Moose by Norm 2014

“Mommy Moose” by BadBird Photography 2014, used with permission

Online Art Lessons.

Very young kids all seem to love colouring, whether in books or on blank sheets of whatever paper you have lying around, colouring keeps them happy for quite a long time.

Mighty Mommy writes — “Thanks to cutting edge technology, there are now dozens of ways kids can get creative without touching a crayon or marker. The National Gallery of Art hosts an interactive site called NGAkids. Here, your young Picasso can learn all about art history by exploring a variety of on-line art-making tools where they can draw, paint and dabble. There are hours of inspired activities for all age levels (including parents!).” See Also: 4 Reasons You’ll Absolutely Love Adult Coloring Books

Oh, my goodness, and she ain’t kidding! Take a look, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Thanks to cutting edge technology, there are now dozens of ways kids can get creative without touching a crayon or marker.

Some other resources for different art lessons

At Jerry’s Artarama, Watch over 2,000 free video art lessons for all skill levels.

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1841 Train, The Weekly Standard, Raleigh NC, 26 May 1841 page 3. Downloaded from Newspapers.com March 2017

“Our Free Video Art Lessons aren’t just for adults and serious artists, we have creative art video projects for kids, too! Encourage the creativity of your own budding artist and watch their imagination bloom. Enjoy spending quality time with your child or grandchildren in these easy and exciting projects, and make more than merely fun memories by fostering their artistic spirit! Learn painting, drawing, art projects and more”

Looking at just this one page, I find lessons on one- and two-point perspective, Cartoon drawing faces, characters, optical illusions. I found lessons on adding form and shading and shadowing; drawing hands and using the rule of thirds. I found also, lessons on screenprinting, paper mache, using oils, doing landscapes, watercolour resist and a pattern study on a cathedral. Cool stuff for adults, too!

Sparketh.com

Sparketh looks like it is designed for homeschool learners, which also means it works for everybody else. Online learning using video, worksheets, for five dollars. I haven’t signed up so I am not sure if it is for the entire site or if you pay 5$ for each lesson. Still not a bad price!

Give your child the best art education at home. Homeschool Curriculum; After School Learning; Self-Learning. Join for just 5$.

Learning art with Sparketh is fun and effective. Gain unlimited access to a library of 500+ bite-sized video lessons taught by talented mentors. With new courses added to the library weekly, you will never run out of new things to learn. Spark your creativity.

Printouts, worksheets and course files included at no extra cost. Ad free for ages 8-18. Over 500 video lessons in shading techniques, drawing a tree frog, drawing a glass of water, mixing with oil pate and balance in art among many others.

Khan Academy Art History

Sandro Botticelli, Magnificat Madonna, 1480–81, tempera on panel, Uffizi, Florence

I have always enjoyed viewing classic art pieces, trying to figure out how these people lived. Khan Academy is a classic in online education to begin with, especially for the STEM courses — Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. But they also include Art History. These may be geared more for the older child, but you can learn to appreciate good art pieces together at any age. Here you can learn how to analyze works of art, learn about contrapposto, foreshortening and chiaroscuro. What’s not to like?

Resources

Botticelli, S. (1480). Magnificat Madonna. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_art#/media/File:Magnificatio.jpg

Butler, C. (2017, June 18). From Audiobooks to Art Lessons—5 Fun, Digital Activities for Kids. Retrieved March 26, 2018, from Mighty Mommy’s Quick and Dirty Tips: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/productivity/learning/from-audiobooks-to-art-lessons-5-fun-digital-activities-for-kids

Jerry’s Artarama. (2018). Watch Over 2000 Free Video Art Lessons. Retrieved from Jerry’s Artarama: http://www.jerrysartarama.com/free-art-instruction-videos/skill-level/kids

Khan Academy. (2018). Art history. Retrieved from Khan Academy ARts and Humanities: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-history

NGAkids. (2017). NGAkids Art Zone. Retrieved from National Gallery of ARt: https://www.nga.gov/education/kids.html

Sparketh. (n.d.). Sparketh. Retrieved from Sparketh.com: https://sparketh.com/

 

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Kid Friendly Digital Activities Part 3

Kid Friendly Digital Activities Part 3

Audiobooks

Next up — listening to a good book.  Mostly excerpted from Mighty Mommy, with my own two cents thrown in for good measure.

 

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In Getting Kids to Read Over the Summerthe NEA states that children, especially those from low-income families, can lose up to three months of reading progress over the summer months.   “There are tons of books that students will fall in love with that can be used as hooks to the academically required books.”  — Mighty Mommy

Introduce your child to the Wide Wonderful World of audio books.  Your grandkids (and you) can listen here, you can listen there, you can listen anywhere!  Listen in the car, listen while doing chores (Gramma can have the kids do chores, too.  It’s good for them — but that is for another post).

Mighty Mommy suggests a resource called Reading Rockets, “a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read (Butler, 2017).”

In their article Listen and Learn with Audiobooks parents can glean some great advice on how to help kids take advantage of the wonderful world of audio books this summer and throughout the school year.  For a wide-variety of interesting audio books for the entire family visit Macmillan Audio (Butler, 2017).

 

How to choose the right story?

You want to start with familiar stories, ones you’ve already read aloud to them.  This way you change just one variable, the reading voice.

The format you choose should be easy for you both to use.  Most Grandmothers are familiar with the most obvious choice, Books on CD.  Some public libraries “carry Playaways, which are books pre-loaded onto MP3 player available for checkout. (Walker R., 2017).”  Doesn’t that sound cool?  Sort of like fast food for the ears.  My library system provides audio books through the service called OverDrive from which one can “borrow” the audio book by downloading it for a specific time, usually 14 days.  I personally don’t jump with joy over this format because it meant that I had to sign in to my library, then download and join in to OverDrive, and I have to listen to it through that app only.  But, I do have access to free popular books, as long as they are actually available.

The titles you choose should be ones recognized as High Quality.  Talk with your librarian for suggestions, or check out suggestions from Notable Children’s Recordings from the American Library Association or Reading Rockets’ Favorite Audio Books.  You should probably get input from your kids so they are more likely to actually listen rather than poking the toy dinosaur into his brothers’ ear.

Other online ways to obtain audio books include Audible and Tales2Go where you can subscribe to a very extensive catalog of audio content.  Both sites are paid subscription sites.  I can vouch for Audible, find they are good, but personally I cannot afford it.  Tales2Go subscriptions are primarily for Brick-n-Mortar schools as well as Homeschools with varying plans.  BUT, there is also a subscription for individuals, from 99$ for an annual subscription, 40$ for three months (enough to take you through the summer), and a monthly subscription which you get from the Play Store.

My personal favorite is Lit2Go, from Florida Center for Instructional Technology.  This is a free site (what’s not to love about free?) which includes downloadable MP3, of course — we ARE talking specifically about audio books.  But the site includes downloadable PDF form so you can print if you need to, or read from the screen.  Many stories also provide teacher notes and learning objectives, which make these stories that much more valuable.  However, my suggestion is to not go too deep into the teaching part.  The kids will learn much just by listening to good stories.  The vintage images from these classic public-domain books are priceless.

What to do (Walker R., 2017)

  • Listen to audio books together.

  • Offer some background information or a preview of the story to help your child focus his listening and more easily follow what’s happening in the story.

  • Feel free to stop listening. If an audio book isn’t engaging, try another!

  • Keep your young listeners in mind. While kids can listen on a higher level than they can read, some stories may be too complex for young listeners to follow and enjoy.

  • Don’t let audio books take the place of you reading aloud to your child or telling them stories. 

 

Here’s another free site.  Librivox  has loads of public domain books read by volunteers around the world.  My experience is largely great, although I have found some readers I just cannot listen to.  Often, you can find the same book read by a volunteer whose style is more compatible.  If not, then try the next suggestion ….

How about this idea?  Record yourself reading to the kids.  You need a quiet place to read out loud, a microphone you can find from Walmart or Amazon, and an app that will record your voice in MP3 format.  You will want to give life to the characters, using different voices.  Don’t be afraid to be crazy!  The kids eat it up, ask me how I know!  The crazier, the better.  And, don’t be afraid you will look stupid.  Your kids won’t know what hit them, just be you!  They love you no matter.

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https://www.tales2go.com/subscribe/?hsCtaTracking=7b4eef48-0cf7-479b-985c-b66b04d50285%7C95ce45e7-5ccd-41fa-bb49-5b49233686be#individual

https://www.audible.com/ep/kids-audiobooks

https://www.overdrive.com/

http://www.playaway.com/

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/listen-and-learn-audio-books

https://us.macmillan.com/audio/

http://www.nea.org/tools/55443.htm

http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncr

http://www.readingrockets.org/booklists/our-favorite-audio-books

 

 

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DNA results part 2

DNA results part 2

Again, an explanation why Native DNA doesn’t show up.

from Who Are You Made Of blog

We were you expecting to see Native American DNA in your ethnicity estimate from your DNA test? You are not along in asking the question of why Native American ancestry doesn’t show up in your ethnicity results. There are a few common reasons why this happens, and we’ll talk about them in this article.

The three main reasons Native American ancestry doesn’t show up in your ethnicity results:

  • There is no Native American ancestry in your family
  • Your “100%” Native American ancestor is too far back to show up on an autosomal DNA test
  • Your Native American ancestor was not Native American by birth

I realize that some of the topics that I discuss in this post will not be easy to read, or what you might want to hear. In addition, this is a sensitive topic for many people, and I will try to handle it with care.

Take a look at the full blog to answer your questions.

Resources:

 

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Usborne Books & More

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Highly educational, but far from dry. These are the perfect books for Gramma to read to her kidlets. They have lots of interesting pictures, fun facts in short bites, a wife variety of topics, and written for a wide range of she’s. There truly is something here for everyone. Over 1400 books, and most of them are under 10$.

Check them out.

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1 Comment

Posted by on 19 January 2015 in books, education, Grandmothers, learning, Usborne

 

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Gramma Nettie seeks the treasure!

Children need to explore their surroundings.  Gramma Nettie needs a way to do this.  Here are a couple of free activities for families to get into some outside activities.  By using some free apps on my smartphone, I can take the grandkids out to explore their environment.

 

GeoCaching

The first one I got involved in was GeoCaching.  According to the website,

“Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt ….”

Players hide containers in hidden locations, and upload GPS coordinates to the website.  Finders use the website (www.geocaching.com) to search the map for nearby caches. You can use the coordinates on any GPS device or smartphone to get near the location.

But eventually, the player has to stop looking at the device and start looking at his surroundings.  He has to start thinking about where the cache might be.  He has to look high.  She has to look low.  This video explains how it is done:

Be sure to take some sort of small item to trade.  It could be a coin, or a bracelet or those rubber bands in the shape of an animal.  But don’t put food in, for obvious reasons.  Also, take a pen to sign the log book.

This is a very VERY popular sport with about 2.5 million caches worldwide and over 6 million players.  Yes, worldwide.  I have yet to be in an area without a cache.  And to think they’ve been hiding around you all this time!

As an example, check out the Argo Gold cache hidden by one of the counselors.  I haven’t found it yet, but I intend to try again soon.

You can take GeoTours in several continents.  A few that caught my eye was the Bigfoots Search in Bonneville Washington, the Santa Fe National Historic Trail GeoTour, the Schatzheuterin GeoTour in Germany, the Washington State Parks Centennial GeoTour, Thingsites GeoTour, Dinosaur Train GeoTour,  I won’t get to all of them, but they caught my eye none-the-less.

One GeoCacher suggested we adopt a secret hand signal to indicate we are fellow cachers.  Read what he has to say here:

http://camswitzer.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/geosign-language/

Munzee

Another growing sport is called Munzee.  I know, it is an awkward name.  It is a variation of the German word for coin, but with an extra “e” added at the end.

This is also a treasure hunt, but without the treasure.  Instead, the player uses a free app on her smartphone to find a hidden QR code.  She then scans it, which gives the distinctive — and satisfying — “ding” and voila! you have just earned five points.

There are not as many Munzees deployed.  In fact, in my own county I have pioneered all but three of the deployments.  It is a lonely job, but somebody has to do it.

An interesting Munzee is the Galerie Trinitas near the campus of Great Falls University.

As a player, you can generate QR codes on the website, print them out and laminate them to deploy.  Or you could purchase some generic sticker munzees to place out and about.  It is a cheap hobby, and I have some of each.

When I deploy munzees, I try to choose a site of interest, or has fascinating history involved.  In my city, there is an old hotel, an old bank and other historic buildings.  There are also lots of old mining campsites in the mountains.

I have placed munzees at the top of mountain passes, and at some photography sites at the wildlife refuge.  All of these are great places to deploy munzees, and then add the historical description on the webpage for everyone to learn.  Again, great activity to get the grandkids out and about.

Choose one or choose both, and get out there for new adventures! — Gramma Nettie

 

 

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Gramma Nettie loves music

I firmly believe music is very important to development of the young mind as well as to the flexing of the older mind.  We have all had that moment when a particular song plays on the radio and we flash back to a special time in our lives.

A variety of music exposes the mind to a lot of great ideas, expanding their horizons and imaginations.  According to PBS (here) music education helps other school subjects, too.  It works for the kinesthetic child who learns by doing things.  This child is using hands and even the body to play music.  He is also expanding his other two learning pathways in the process.  Music works for the visual child as well as the audio child, who learn through seeing and hearing respectively.

The article further states that learning to play music helps the child develop language skills by physically developing the part of the brain which processes language.  Amazing, isn’t it?

The article explains how music education can increase the child’s intelligence, make the brain work harder, increase spatial skills and improve test scores.

I love music of all kinds.  I enjoy a little Bon Jovi or AC/DC or Queen.  I like some Country music, but I tire of song about hopping from one bed to another.  I like eclectic music like Koyoto’s Princess Bride.  I stumbled upon it while searching for the music soundtrack from the movie Princess Bride.

When my kids were little, we played a lot of Wee Sing Silly Songs, and Patch the Pirate songs, and music from the Disney cartoons The Fox and the Hound and Cindarella, or “Ode to a Mother Skunk” from Hank the Cowdog. (click on the title of the song to hear it)

I also played a lot of Bethoven, Mozart, Chopin … but I found Wagner too dark and brooding.  I also will occasionally play some guitar classics, especially from a favorite youtube artist Per-Olov Kindren:

Or, perhaps some Gregorian Chants?

 

My two favorite instruments to play are what might be considered a Poor Man’s instruments.  The recorder is typically played as a beginning band instrument in fourth grade or so.  Most people do not get to know and love it as an excellent musical tool in its own right.  There are several types of recorders from the typical soprano taught in school, to the smaller sopranino or the even smaller geiklein.  They come in larger sizes from alto, tenor, bass … and even bigger than that:

The recorder is very easy to learn, but one thing I found frustrating is that the really great music requires more than one person.  I tried — during the tape cassette days — to make sound tracks and play with them but the quality was bad BAD!  I also tried playing for some geriatric folks, but to them it sounded screaching, so I stopped playing.

Then I tried playing a dulcimer.  The dulcimer is about the only distinctly American instrument around.  It originated in the Appalachian mountains, and goes by either Applachian dulcimer or the more common mountain dulcimer.  It is sometimes known as the lap dulcimer, referring to the method of playing it, which is to lay it on the lap and strum the strings.

The word “dulcimer” means sweet music, and is very easy to play.  It has three strings (okay, actually it has four strings, but the melody is doubled and played as if they were just one string).  The easiest is to play the melody on the doubled strings and let the other two strings drone.  This is somewhat reminicent of the Scottish bagpipes, but nicer.

Another way to play is to let your fingers dance on all the strings creating chords and beautiful music.  Here are two of dulcimer’s greatest players, Bing Futch and Steven Seifert.  I can only imagine I can play like they do:

My plan as my grandchildren get older is to expose them to every sort of music in the world.  Especially the ones I like, but also the ones I don’t like that much, including Wagner and – yes – the Oompapa music of the Germans

 

 
 

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