Thursday, 29 December 2016

SMILE and Stay Safe on the Internet

SMILE and stay safe on the internet.

The internet is a wonderful technical resource in our everyday lives.  Its
advantages are numerous from instant communication with family and friends across thousands of miles, to quickly finding information and even as a tool to learn a new language.  However, the internet and mobile devices are increasingly being used to harm, harass and manipulate both children and adults causing enormous stress and unhappiness; the consequences can be devastating.  Such incidences are reported regularly in the media and research shows that it is a growing problem for young adults and children.  Parental guidance settings, apps that block advertisements and virus protection programs can help reduce the danger, but do not eliminate it.   Children are taught in school to use the internet and mobile devices safely and with consideration to others.  At home you may find the SMILE acrostic useful for the whole family.

Stay safe.  Never reply to requests that ask for your age, gender or location or give any personal details.  Reputable companies, for example, will never ask you for your PIN in an email or text. 

Meeting up.  Do not arrange to meet up with someone you have met with on line.  In fact, it is always best to let someone know where you are going and who you are going with.

Information.  Remember that not all information you read on line is true.  On some websites, anyone can put up information and it is not checked.  Again, be wary off online friends you do not know; they may be deceiving you.

Let a parent or a trusted adult know if you are upset by something online or have received in a text or email; or that the content of what you have received is unsuitable and unpleasant.  Parents should let a their child know that they can talk about “secrets” that upset them; that there are laws, education and workplace policies and professionals to support them.

E-mails.  Never download or open e-mails, programs and photos that have been sent to you by someone you do not know because they may contain a virus or harmful malware.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Twelve Days of Christmas Activities

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve fun activities for your children and family over the holiday season.

These activities will naturally encourage your child to use and develop their understanding of a range of skills.

1.    Cooking is great for developing a child's understanding of weight and capacity.  It is also a scientific activity as children gain firsthand experience materials changing.

2.    Design and make party hats for the family. You can make these fit perfectly by asking your child to measure the head circumference for each individuals.  This activity uses not only art and design technology but also measuring skills.

3.    Research the time zones around the world.  You may wish to use either the twelve or the twenty four hour clock using analogue or digital clocks. If Santa is in New York at 01:00 what time will it be in London?  If you wake up at 4 a.m will your Grandparents who live in California be wake if you Skype them? 

4.    Another activity that develops an understanding of capacity is to ask your child to create a one litre recipe for Reindeer Punch using at least 5 ingredients, either real or imaginary e.g. 33 ml of jet fuel, 476ml of carrot juice, etc. Encourage them to write down the recipe and the instructions of how to make the punch.

5.    Use the lyrics to the song The Twelve Days of Christmas to answer questions such as how many presents we given over the whole twelve days?  How many beaks are there in the complete song? 

6.    Draw a map of your local area and plot a route for delivering Christmas to friends and family.

7.    Encourage your child to record the species and numbers of birds and animals that they see in their garden, presenting their findings in a bar graph.  What can they find out about the creatures they see?

8.    Go for a walk.  Can you complete the alphabet challenge during the walk by finding something that begins with every letter of the alphabet?

9.    Create a Christmas decoration or wreath by using recycled materials.

10.  Develop sequencing skills using paper chains.  For example, how many patterns can you make using 10 red paper chains and 10 green chains?

11.  Play traditional board games and party games such as charades.  Games are a great way of developing communication skills and strategies.

12.  Try re- writing the words to The Twelve Days of Christmas to include family, friends and pets.  For example: On the first day of Christmas my mother gave to me a biscuit and a cup of tea.

Happy Christmas.