Benefits of Blocks and Puzzles for Children

According to researchers at the University of Delaware and Temple University, filling children’s toy boxes with puzzles and building blocks help preschooler’s develop their “spacial thinking.”  Professor Golinkoff of linguistics, cognitive science and psychology at UD states that “parents and caregivers should make sure their kids have experiences that feed into their spatial skill. Simple toys like blocks and puzzles offer kids a foundation for learning subjects like math and science…”

The study wanted to see whether copying block structures would correlate to mathematical skills. Results showed that block skills did predict mathematical skills, and children who participated in puzzles and building block structures were also better at early math.  Click the following link to read the full article!

Summer Camp Updates- Cosmic Creations, Day 4: Rockets

day 4 alka seltzer rockets day 4 monster blobsday 4 laser beams

Yesterday we counted down… 5, 4, 3, 2…. 1… and BLASTOFF!!! All of our Astronauts went through some really intense training to get themselves ready for more space adventures! They hopped through craters (hoola hoops), darted between laser moon beams (swinging pool noodles and string), quickly scurried across a hot surface (soft red mat) and crawled through our worm hole (barrel tunnel)! We also built our own toilet paper rockets and launched some other rockets! You can create your own alka seltzer rockets with a plastic film canister, alka seltzer tablets and water.

And of course while in space, we can’t forget all the creatures and monsters we come across! So we made alien monster blobs with plenty of eyeballs!

Summer Camp Updates- Cosmic Creations, Day 3: Moon

day 3 astronaut day 3 fluffy moon day 3 moon craters day 3 storytime with sara

Yesterday we explored our MOON!  We talked about the different phases of the moon.  We talked about the texture of the moon’s surface and discovered that there are lots of craters on the moon because asteroids and comets will “bonk onto the moon!”  We made our own craters tossing rocks onto our moon surface (bin of flour) and created our own soft moon surface with shaving cream!

After learning so much about the moon, it was time we visited!  So we suited up to take our first walks on the moon!  We made astronaut helmets from paper bags and once we got to the moon, we bounced around and listened to some stories!

Summer Camp Updates- Cosmic Creation, Day 2: Galaxy

day 2 constellations day 2 galaxy dough 2 day 2 galaxy dough day 2 kaleidoscopes

Yesterday we learned more about our GALAXY!  We talked about galaxies consisting of a collection of stars, planets, dust, and more, and learned that there are millions of galaxies in the universe! We made galaxy dough and created constellations.  We also went on a space crawl through the universe collecting glow sticks, and created kaleidoscopes to help us see all the wonderful colors of our universe!

Summer Camp Updates- Cosmic Creations, Day 1: Planets

day 1 cd space nebulas 2 day 1 galaxyday 1 cd space nebulas

We had a great first day at Cosmic Creations summer camp.  We introduced our little ones to PLANETS, and were blown away by how incredibly knowledgeable they are about our solar system!  Our experts shared with us that there are many planets in our solar system, and that “the sun does not circle around the earth,” but instead, “all planets orbit around the sun!”  We also learned that Jupiter is so big that you could fit “80 –  60 – or maybe a thousand Earth’s into Jupiter!”

We also sang a song about the planets in our solar system.  We created pastel galaxies on black paper and glitter-fied CDs to make them look uber stellar!

Today we’re exploring the stars!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Recycling Old Markers

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from San Rafael, CA, where students in Mr. Land’s class at Sun Valley School decided to take action so that the markers they use every day don’t end up in landfills. They decided to contact Crayola and let the company know that discarded plastics, like those found in Crayola markers, is wasteful and unhealthy for the environment. The students are proposing a take-back program so the markers get re-purposed instead of becoming pollution. Some of the Sun Valley students said:

“I love your markers, but I’d like to tell you it’s polluting. So can I please send some of your markers back? I love your product, but hate pollution,” Zachary, age 9.

“I want to let you know that I am not a useless little kid. I can make a difference! By telling you to recycle your pens,” Dante, age 10.

”Will we ever be able to fix the hole in the ozone layer? I don’t like pollution because it hurts the Earth,” Georgia, age 7.

“If we all came from the Earth… Then why are we hurting it so much? Earth is all we have left,” Olivia, age 11.

The students started a petition on change.org here, and you can watch a slide show about this petition here.

We think this kind of action is great! We hope you get all the signatures you need and help save the environment!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Hurricane Sandy Edition

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Hoboken, NJ, where 11 year old Lucy Walkowiak started a pop-up Internet café and charging station in front of her home in exchange for a donation to the Red Cross. Hurricane Sandy left much of Lucy’s state and those around her without power, so she decided she wanted to help those in need. Lucy’s dad Steve said:

“Lucy does a lot of community service through her school, so this is on par with what she’s been learning.”

What a great way to help those around her, while raising money to bring help to thousands and millions more. To read more about this story, click here.

We also want to bring your attention to even more wonderful deeds happening in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Have you heard about other heroes of the hurricane? Let us know in the comments!