Monthly archives "August"

4 Articles

Little Miss Inventor and STEM toys

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Is your little girl or boy full of ideas and inventions? If the answer is yes then they will love our brand new Little Miss Inventor design based on the 36th ‘Little Miss’ character in the popular children’s book series.  She is a female engineer who creates extraordinary inventions in a shed at the bottom of her garden who we think sends a great message to young children. We’re pretty sure that Little Miss Inventor would thoroughly approve of the recent trend in STEM toys.

 

Little Miss inventor

 

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. STEM is important because it touches every part of our lives in the science that is all around us. STEM toys have become a bit of a trend over recent years, as more and more parents see the value of cool toys that encourage a love of all things science and tech.

 

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There are some great STEM games and kits out there which encourage kids to learn while having fun. One of our favourites is learning about simple electrical circuits with dough, which our little tester absolutely loved. We think this DIY Electro Dough kit by Tech Will Save Us from Pimoroni and all good toy shops looks great and is suitable from age 4+.

 

A product image of DIY Electro Dough Kit

Get Creative this Autumn

While summer may have meant hours spent outdoors, rainy autumn days inside can still be made fun with arts and craft projects to enjoy with your kids. Arts and crafts are great for learners of all ages from toddlers sticking, gluing and painting (not just the paper!) to older children who will relish the time spent creating a jewellery box or paper truck. Here are few of our favourites.

Recycled Boxes 

Recycle an old cereal box or any cardboard box you have handy and your kids will have hours of fun making a house or whatever takes their imagination. younger children will love to cut out the windows with help from an adult, glue and stick as well as decorate with paint and glitter. Older children will love to spend time making furniture to go in the house. My children regularly make houses for their dolls or figurines out of shoe boxes.

Kindergarten Arts & Crafts Activities: Make a Cereal Box House

 

Box of Craft goodies!

If you’re in need of inspiration, visit your local toy shop and find a box of goodies to get creative with. This works well if you’ve got children of different ages so they can all do their ‘own project’. Maybe it’s making thank you cards for a recent birthday or even producing some Christmas cards ready for December? We love this Giant Box of Craft which is great value at just 12€ or find something similar to get you started.

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Invest in an Easel

All children love an easel. Invest in one which also doubles up as a chalk board and a magnetic whiteboard they’ll have hours of fun. Don’t forget to buy lots of paper and paint for your little budding artists. We love this Wooden Easel from Smyths Toys.

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Colouring In

You can’t beat a good session of colouring in to keep kids amused and creative. Besides making great pencils and paints we think Crayola has a great kids section on its website with lots of downloadable colouring in projects. Perfect for rainy days or travelling. Find your free colouring pages at Crayola.

 

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Your Back to School Checklist

We can hardly believe that the summer holidays are almost over and it’s nearly time to go back to school and nursery! Whether you have a toddler, a 10-year-old or a teenager, the first school day of the year is always special. A new class or perhaps maybe a new school and also plenty of new adventures that lie ahead.

We’ve put together a handy checklist to help you get ready for the big day. It’s not just for kids but parents too, so pay attention!

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A good bag is a must whether your little one is heading off to nursery or primary school. Your child’s school may have their own book bag but if not choose something bright and colourful to help your child recognise which one is theirs. Older kids will need a rucksack. Just make sure it’s big and strong enough to carry all those books. And don’t forget to label it with one of our stickers.

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Whether it’s warm or cold, it’s really important that your little ones stay hydrated. This will help them with both their memory and concentration. Invest in a re-usable water bottle and you’ll help save on plastic. Don’t forget to label it too!

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Get stocked up on snacks and lunch box ingredients.  The healthier the better. Try bananas, fruit or rice cakes and vegetables. Or a piece of cheese will keep hunger at bay. Make snacks and lunchboxes fun. Write a message on their banana to make them smile or cut sandwiches into star or dinosaur shapes with a cutter. Don’t forget to label your child’s snack or lunch box too…

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What an amazing summer 2018 has been but be prepared for an autumn chill in September. Have jumpers, raincoats and umbrellas at the ready. We think labelling your umbrella would be a genius idea, given how easy they are to lose…

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A fun pencil case is another way of brightening up the school day. The contents obviously depend on their age, but pencils, glue, crayons and an eraser are always a good idea. Be sure to label everything, as all of these items have a habit of going missing!

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Most children can’t wait to get to school on the first day of term, which is good. School should be fun! But by the end of September, the novelty may start wearing off. Make the journey to school a fun part of the day by investing in a new set of wheels. Maybe they can try scooting, cycling or rollerblading to school?

The Cost of Lost Property and Getting Back in the School Routine

We carried out a survey with Irish Mums and Dads to find out their thoughts on the cost of lost property and the items which they felt would be most likely to go missing ahead of the back to school period*.

We found that 96% of Irish parents reported that their children lose a school item at some stage during the school year. The most popular items that are reported as lost during the school year include stationary (50%), pencil cases (31%), school clothing (27%) and sports kit (23%). Fortunately, children are slightly more mindful about items like travel passes and shoes – but there is still a chance that they can go missing.

Items Most Likely to be Lost

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The research also found that the age of the child played a role on which items were most likely to be lost; younger children in the 6 – 10 age bracket were most likely to lose stationary (57%) while older children in the 13 – 17 age bracket were more likely to lose their calculator (36%).

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Our findings reveal that 1/3 of parents surveyed claim the average amount for the items lost each year was over €91! Multiplied by the years that children attend school, this already striking figure could easily exceed €1,000. It highlights a real need to be vigilant with children’s belongings. Using labels is one inexpensive but effective way of ensuring that school items don’t go missing or that if they do, they are returned to their rightful owners!

1 in 5 parents admit to struggling to get themselves out of bed after school holidays

With children across the country getting settled back into the new school year routine after the holidays it seems that parents also struggle to get back into the early morning wake ups with 1 in 5 admitting to struggling to get themselves out of bed in the morning, never mind their children!

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Our research* also found that almost half (48%) of parents surveyed felt that the return of homework for their children was the hardest element of getting back into the new term routine after the holidays. Interestingly, 35% of dads felt that prepping lunches was the hardest part of the back to school routine compared to 27% of mums.

 

*Research conducted by Coyne Research on behalf of My Nametags based on responses from 1000 Irish adults, including 295 with dependent children in school.