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  1. Mid Term! I just can't believe it really! time is just flying! Christmas feels like it was only just yesterday and here we are heading into another long weekend (some of us a whole week) of holidays :), right after a long Summer. This has been quite a year of a lot of worry and new rules and a lot of uncertainty. 

    We all need a break! all these rules and this uncertain time. I sure do! 

    Here are some ideas I've thought of to get us through the week smiling and re group. 

    Let's go outside!  Location - Buskett

     

    Outdoor-Adventure-Hunt

    - Take them on a hunt, this magical place provides plenty of space to run wild and be free. Prepare a treasure hunt - tell them to find objects such as - an orange flower, a butterfly, something fuzzy, a clover, a castle, Ben Elf even! 
    Have a look at this great treasure hunt list that I've come across. Click here for the link to print

    Store all their treasures found in a treasure case like this one to take home and create a work of art with (all you'll need is glue and paper ... or tape! 

    Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 12.23.11- Have you ever seen a nature head? Or a Nature Doll ? Once home, prepare printables, easily found and let their imagination run wild with their treasures found. 

     

     

     

     

    - Take a walk .. relax .. look up & shape the clouds and just re group and connect. 


    Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 12.21.04- Find the tools to make paint brushes. - Twigs, leaves, feathers, orange peels etc .. these make great sensory brushes for a later painting session. 

    - Gather leaves, twigs and pebbles and create a masterpiece onthe ground. 

    - If you're lucky - Jump in a Puddle!! there are amazing puddle formations in Buskett. Take a change of clothes (inc. socks!) and a towel for after and just let your kids go wild! their smiles will be worth it!

     

    Sometimes, the weather isn't on our side, or there is other work to be done. 
    Indoor play opens up a world of imaginative play and Social Play

     

    my-tree-puzzlePuzzles are always a perfect idea! Psychologists have determined that a child's brain development is influenced significantly when a child acts on or manipulates the world around him or her. Puzzles provide that key opportunity. Children learn to work directly with their environment and change its shape and appearance when they work with puzzles besides, 

    • Improved Memory. Solving puzzles helps reinforce existing connections between our brain cells. ... 
    • Better Problem-Solving Skills. ... 
    • Improved Visual-Spatial Reasoning. ... 
    • Improved Mood. ... 
    • Lower Stress Levels.

    - Lava - place cushions all over the floor and tell your kids that they cannot put a single toe on the floor as it is "lava". Their mission - They need to get to the other side of the room and pick up the prize (could be a book, or a toy, or a sweet) without touching the floor. it's not as easy as it sounds! but it is lots and lots of fun!! 

     - Downtime

    For us, downtime are those days when we are tired & less motivated. This is the time where we move on to reading, puzzles, board games or we watch a movie or series with popcorn and snuggles and hot chocolate . - our current favourites are Eddie Eagle, Elona Holmes & War with Grandpa 

    In other words, play matters, let the children PLAY! This Mid Term - Play together 

    Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 13.03.07

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  2. From early childhood to adult, we love to play with puzzles because of the many benefits that they give. Puzzles do not only exercise our minds but also challenge our way of thinking. As children develop, puzzles present many benefits to them. Just like an adult, the accomplishment of a set goal often brings so much satisfaction to a child. Overcoming the challenges involved in solving puzzles gives them a sense of pride and self-esteem. This not only boosts their self-confidence but also prepares them for other challenges in life. Simply put, puzzles can play an important role in the development of your child. Here are some of the important benefits of puzzles 

    je-suis-ballerine-puzzle2When your child is alone with a puzzle you can expect three basic skills to be built: Physical skills -- from holding puzzle pieces and turning them until they fit. Cognitive skills -- as they solve the problems of a puzzle. Emotional skills -- they learn patience and are rewarded when they complete the puzzle.

    But your Child doesn't need to be alone ... when you help your child build a puzzle, magic happens! 

    Communicate with a Puzzle


    Puzzles are a great way to communicate with your child. Emotionally, through speech and silence. Building a puzzle together in silence, with deep concentration just letting know that the other person is there for them, by their side no words are needed, just peace and confort knowing that you are not alone. 

    How about strengthening a language & boost their vocabulary. We do this to boost our Maltese vocabulary. Try it!

    enjoy-the-farm-puzzle
    Take this Puzzle as an expample, _ Enjoy the Farm 


    Ask simple questions like can you count the trees? 
    Are there any animals in the puzzle, what kind? can you think of a name for each animal? (adding a giggle too for all the funny names you can come up with for a pig) 

    - or complex ones, what are the two people on a bench thinking of?  did the lady on the right have a good day? What do you think the lady on the left did today? 

    A Puzzle with detail like this one encourages a multitude of questions begging to be answered in any language.

    Learning with Puzzles

    discover-the-world-puzzle4There are many puzzles around and many ways to learn, but building a puzzle that directly teaches you is always a plus. Kids learn while they play, building a puzzle like this will help them remember geography and cultural differences. Broadening their mind as they play. 

    For example, Discover and learn the beauty of the world with this puzzle, learn about each country and observe the many impressive offerings and differences each country has to offer, 

    In a nutshell, puzzles are very important in assisting the children to develop emotional skills, cognitive skills, and physical skills. Those are the benefits of puzzles in early childhood development.

    In other words, play matters, let the children PLAY!

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