Getting Ready for School

I know, I know, it’s only July. But you have probably noticed that stores are already rolling out their “Back to School” collections. Clothes, backpacks, and school supplies are all making their way to shelves. So, how can you help your little ones get ready for their return to school this fall?

For your preschooler, consider sending them to their first day with personalized Yo Gabba Gabba! backpack and rainbow art set.

For an elementary school-aged child, consider a Sid the Science Kid lunch box or pencil case.

A middle school-aged boy may appreciate some new Ben 10 clothing for his first day back to school. A middle school-aged girl would love a Mr Men Little Miss outfit for her first day.

But, don’t forget yourself when shopping for Back to School supplies! Every mom can use another tote bag for all the things you will have to pick up after your children.

Remember, summer may seem like it’s just begun, but school is just around the corner! Start shopping now to get the best deals on the things your kids will really want.

Let PBS Help Your Kids Learn All Summer

Summer is finally here and I’m sure your kids are very excited! After countless hours spent studying math, science, and reading during the past nine months, that final school bell signifies freedom to them. The sun is out, the pool is open, and it’s time to stop learning, right? Wrong! Summer doesn’t necessarily mean the learning ends; it simply means that parents may have to find creative ways to keep their kids’ minds turned “on” while still allowing them their much-needed vacation from school. Thankfully, our good friends at Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) are already on the task, providing multiple television shows that will engage your children in fun while educating them, too. The programs that PBS Kids provides, both on television and their kid-friendly website, will provide both entertainment and a quality education for your children on these days off.

Some of our favorite PBS Kids programming:

Sid the Science Kid- This show is perfect for preschoolers and early elementary school children who have a natural curiosity and interest in science and discovery. The show follows a funny preschooler named Sid as he searches for answers to questions such as, “Where did the water go?”

Super Why!- Does your child need a little extra help developing their literacy skills? Or maybe your child simply loves books! The PBS show Super Why! follows four young storybook characters as they use their special literacy powers to solve a problem in a different story.

Dinosaur Train- This is the perfect educational programming for children who love dinosaurs, trains, or both! In Dinosaur Train, we meet a family of dinosaurs who have adopted a dinosaur of a different species as one of their own. Together, the family travels on the Dinosaur Train to visit and learn about other species of dinosaurs.

A note to parents: Be proactive about educating your children, even when school is out of session! PBS provides an excellent online resource for parents where you can find information about their programming, lessons and projects related to the shows themselves, and general ideas for continuing your child’s education year-round.

Sid the Science Kid makes an appearance

Sid toolbox, sid toysDelta College and the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum (MMCM) collaborated in December to host “Sid the Science Kid” Science Day at the Children’s Museum in Saginaw, MI.  The visit was funded by a grant from New York-based WNET Thirteen Education.  Delta College is one of the 20 PBS affiliates to have received the grant, and the only one in the state of Michigan.

Cynthia Peck, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Delta College, realizes that many young adults are hesitant when it comes to taking science courses, because many young adults believe that science would be really hard, or has no correlation to their own life. She is a firm believer that introducing science at a young age and encouraging children to explore the world around them will help them to be less intimidated when they grow up.  She believes this will encourage them in their scientific ability.

The event was aimed at children 10 years old and younger.  Each child received a poster and tote bag, as well as a Sid the Science Kid journal in which to record activities and observations.  The journal also contained science experiments which kids were able to perform at home, games, and websites references for more scientific ideas.

Sid the Science Kid concepts were featured in the galleries of Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum. These concepts included the human body, force, motion, and health, tools and measurements, and simple machines. Kids learned about brushing and flossing their teeth while crawling inside of a giant mouth and sitting on the tongue inside. In the “Art Mart,” children sketched a drawing and entered it to win a Sid the Science Kid T-shirt. Kids also tried to avoid falling balls that came into a foam pit by a conveyor belt.

If I had activities like this when I was younger, I may have grown up wanting to study science as well!  Families were also encouraged to bring a camera to snap a photo of their kid with Sid the Science Kid.  To see more Sid the Science kid cool stuff, check out the best online toy store.  Will Sid make an appearance at a museum near you?

Exploring Your World with Sid

Science was never my thing in school. In fact, I talked my way out of dissecting a worm in the 3rd grade. The teacher let me do some other tasks that counted in place of the dissection.  However, when I watch Sid the Science kid, I am intrigued by the fun and interesting way that they present science. Each episode is loaded with information regarding the scientific experiment and methods for observation and can be categorized according to weeks.

The first week focuses on scientific tools and concepts, including observing, charts, measuring, and estimation.  The second week focuses on transformation and change, including decay and growth, melting and freezing, and the effects of heat. The third week focuses on the senses. The fourth week focuses on health. The fifth week focuses on simple machines. The sixth week focuses on science that you can observe in your backyard. The seventh week focuses on the human body. The eighth week focuses on the weather.

All of these episodes are designed to engage the curiosity in your little ones and to help them figure out why things work the way that they do.  For even more fun ideas and games, click here.  I enjoyed playing “Snow Search” myself, and digging up objects in the snow. Other games include matching up snowflake halves, where kids learn about symmetry. For more cool stuff, see our kid’s online toy store.  You can also check Sid’s page and find some cool pajamas (pictured above) which you can also personalize and keep your child warm at the same time!