Posted in Education, Giving back, Press releases

Educo Solutions provides free online accredited SETA courses

Educo Solutions, the organisation that supplies free, accredited education to our country’s youth, has fast-tracked its digital services, launching Educo Academy in an attempt to counter the negative impact Covid-19 is having on the educational environment.

The online learning portal allows all Educo students to conduct their courses remotely and for free, helping them to continue progressing during lockdown.

Educo Academy won’t replace the existing learning centres situated in Alex Mall, Protea Glen Shopping Mall, Diepkloof Library and the newest addition in the Libridge Building, Braamfontein. It is, instead, an easy-to-access tool for students to keep learning whilst locked down, one that they will continue to use at their respective centres when they return to class.

The launch of Educo Academy means Educo is also not limiting its services to the physical learning centres in Gauteng.

“Since we announced Educo Academy last week on social media, we have had dozens of registration requests from potential students all over the country,” says Ayanda Makwanazi. “This bodes well for a mobile platform that aims to provide South Africa’s qualifying youth with much-needed opportunities to up-skill themselves through education, no matter where they live.”

“With Educo Academy, all a student needs is a device to connect to the site,” explains Ayanda Mankwanazi, Educo’s Head of Academics and Facilitation. “This innovation in remote learning opens up our services to the nation. Our existing students can continue their studies uninterrupted, and many more now have the opportunity to join our programme and better themselves.”

In addition to the Q&A function on Educo Academy, each student is assigned to a facilitator who offers support on WhatsApp, either to their group or on a one-on-one basis.

Educo Academy is a positive development that aims to alleviate the stress and uncertainty of these difficult and testing times. It is easy to use and, most importantly, the data is zero-rated, with Educo Solutions picking up all the data costs involved. For the thousands of students currently stuck at home, it offers enormous benefits and hope.

Educo Solutions began registering new students immediately after the launch of Educo Academy, and is encouraging all qualifying South Africans to register and apply for their new 3 -month Digital Business Skills Program.

The course covers a wide variety of skills including Microsoft office and business communication to, and very relevant right now, dealing with HIV and Pandemics in the workplace.

Students will receive a certificate of completion after their 3-month Digital Business Skills programme, as well as earning Unit Standard credits towards a 12 Month National Certificate should they wish to continue their studies.

With youth unemployment on the rise, South Africa’s younger generation are in desperate need of skills that set them apart and enable them to gain access to the labour market.

Educo Solutions is directly addressing the country’s educational and skills gap by providing free, quality NQF and SETA-accredited education to unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 28. And with the launch of Educo Academy any qualifying individual can do this course from their mobile phone free of charge and reap the benefits.

On completion of a 12-month course contract focusing on relevant skills like end-user computing and business communication, these up-skilled graduates find themselves in an ideal position to enter the formal job market and apply for jobs like secretaries, data capturers, admin staff and customer service agents.

To qualify

  • one must be South African
  • unemployed
  • and between the age of 18 and 28.

For interested individuals, you can register at this link:https://bit.ly/EducoDigital
Or email:Hello@educosolutions.co.za

For more information:www.educosolutions.co.za

Posted in craft reciepe, Crafts, Fine motor activities, preschool

Painting marshmallows with milk paint

Painting marshmallows is a fabulous activity to keep the kids busy.

You will need:

  • Marshmallows
  • Fork or kebab stick
  • Milk
  • Small containers to hold colouring
  • Paint brushes
  • Food colouring

Method:

Pour a little milk into a container and add a few drops of food colouring.

Do this for each colour you are going to use.

Attach a marshmallow onto a fork or kebab stick so your child can hold the marshmallow nicely while painting.

Let them use a paintbrush to decorate their marshmallows with the milk paint.

The white marshmallows are best to paint on as the colours are more vivid.

Instead of using a paint brush you could also let your child paint using ear buds.

Posted in Education, Parenting

YouTube kids – the App made for curious minds

As Hamish has gotten older, I’ve naturally looked for more ways to entertain and educate him.

One of those options has been the introduction to child friendly and educational learning Apps.

One of my favourites Apps for him has to be the easy to use YouTube kids App.

Youtubekids App

YouTube have created a FREE separate App, designed specifically for children to be able to navigate around on their own, watching their favourite family friendly videos and exploring new things that capture their imagination.

The App provides settings that let you, the parent, customize your child’s experience.

For peace of mind and easy use, there is a comprehensive parent guide that answers all your questions before you download.

Why is this App awesome?

For me personally I love that you can choose a content level that is based on your child’s age group

  • Under 4 years old
  • 5 -7 years
  • 8-12

So, there is no need to worry about inappropriate content popping up.

You can also set screen time limits and even approve your child’s video and play lists.

With thanks to the parent control, and the engaging Youtubekids content, Hamish can now learn more about himself and the world around him.

You can download the App on GooglePlay and AppleApp Store

Posted in babies, Education, Fun Mamma SA Products we love, Fun Mamma SA Toy of the Week, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, STEM, Toddlers

Fun maths games with Building Genius by Moluk

We are huge fans of the Moluk design brand and I can not recommend these open ended toys more.

Read my reviews on the awesome bilibo and oibo

So you can imagine our excitement when Straight_zigzag sent Hamish the latest product – Building Genius.

This soft, safe, silicone construction toy comprises of 3 of each of the brands popular products – Mox, Hix and Oibo.

Truly toys that grow with your child and can be used from baby stage.

With so many uses.

  • Your baby 0 -1 year can grasp and sense.
  • Toddlers 1-3 can stack and build.
  • Children 3 – 12 can imagine and invent.

We spent some time exploring the products and using them in lessons to:

  • count objects
  • sort colours and shapes
  • identify shapes
  • do maths sums
  • build

We also used them in play….

  • Hamish used them in free play with water to experiment with volume
  • we turned the hix into boats and see who could blow them across the bilibo fastest
  • he rolled the mox balls to the bilibo
  • practised throwing and catching with them
  • and he played with them using his imagination creating robots

The hix fold into 3 sizes and are great for fine motor development as your child manipulates the silicone into it’s different sizes.

The mox balls have groves that could look like eyes and slits which Hamish calls a mouth. You can post items inside for your child to get out or let them squeeze the sides to open the mouth.

The oibo are also flexible and the mox fit inside. Hamish loves to pop the balls in and manipulate the sides of the oibo to get them out.

How to use the Building genius in lessons

Nothing excites me more than a toy we can use in lessons, mostly because I know that I will immediately have Hamish’s full attention and that he will grasp the concept a lot faster because he is enthusiastic to play.

I jumped straight in by introducing the building genius to our next maths lessons.

We’ve been working on sizes and Hamish categorized the hix into:

– small, medium and large

-big, bigger, biggest

-small, smaller, smallest

Next we reinforced categorizing and sorting by placing the items on a piece of paper to match the colours.

Lastly we reinforced shape names and properties by looking at the hix, mox and obio and discussing what shape they were and how many sides each had. Then Hamish grouped each onto a piece of paper with its corresponding shape.

Using familiar objects and favourite toys in learning activities makes learning a concept much more enjoyable.

So, although Hamish loves to build and create his own items with this lovely set, he also loves to add them to his learning time.

I love the possibilities of play and learning that this set of toys offer and can’t wait to share the new and innovative ways we find to introduce them into our every day learning and play

Posted in Covid-19/ Coronavirus, Education, Giving back, Parenting, Press releases, Tweens & Teens

Hope for South African matric learners as radio lessons are launched

The premature closure of schools due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Africa has resulted in both challenges and opportunities, with many learners missing out on large pieces of work especially in term two. In an effort to support rural learners without access to television classes, computers or data, Kagiso Trust has partnered with the Limpopo Department of Education to provide radio lessons to our grade 12 learners. The scheduled lessons will commence via Capricorn FM radio from Monday 11 May 2020.

“Kagiso Trust has long believed that education is the key to overcoming poverty,” says the organisation’s CEO, Mankodi Moitse, “ Over the past 16 years we have created education programmes structured to have the highest impact and greatest sustainability. Our work in the Free State is testament to that.”

Radio lessons will be hosted on Capricorn FM, Sekhukhune FM and Tubatse FM from Monday to Sunday hourly.

The Limpopo MEC for Education Ms Polly Boshielo said, “Crafted lessons will be offered by expert appointed subject teachers with an excellent track record in the subject that they offer. These are the teachers who recorded 80% and more pass rate in the subjects that they have been teaching since 2017. We believe that their expert content knowledge will benefit more than 80% of the current grade 12 learners in Limpopo.”

COO of Kagsio Trust, Themba Mola said, “Grade 12 learners have already lost more than 30 days since the lockdown coupled with the possibility of losing another month if the phase-in model announced by Minister becomes a 1st of June return. This model of mediating learning will strengthen teaching and learning in the absence of face to face conventional classes.”

Capricorn FM will focus on MST subjects (Mathematics, Sciences and Technologies), including Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Agricultural Sciences. “These are the subjects that are highly enrolled and determine the standard and quality of education offered in Limpopo province.

Currently, the main subject of the five, that still poses a serious challenge in the province is Mathematics, whose performance is still below the threshold,” said Mola.
“These are the subjects that are highly enrolled and determine the standard and quality of education offered in Limpopo province.

The other 7 non-MST subjects will be broadcast by the community radio stations in the both Sekhukhune East and South education districts. They include English FAL, Sepedi HL, Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, History and Geography.

Each live broadcast lesson will last for an hour per day during and after the lockdown period. The first 30 minutes is allocated to the teacher to mediate learning and the other 30 minutes will be reserved to the learners to interact with the teacher through questions or comments.

Content will largely cover term 1 and 2 scope and will be supplemented by face to face contact sessions after learners shall have returned back to school.

“In a province as large as Limpopo, radio is the perfect platform to reach most learners,” says Moitse. “ This is about inclusivity. It is about access to information. It is about gathering together around a radio like we once all did. This is the new normal. We call upon everyone to support the radio lessons and #KagisoRadioTeachers – local teachers, broadcasting across Limpopo, straight into the homes of learners.”

Detail:

  • Capricorn FM willbroadcast lessons 5-6pm Monday to Friday on the Just Drive show.

  • And every Saturday and Sunday 9-10am on The Saturday Breakfast and The Sunday Restoration respectively.

  • Podcasts will be available on the station’s website and learners from other provinces can listen via livestreaming

For more information please visit the following stakeholder websites for schedule information on classes:

Posted in Book Reviews, Cape Town - Things to see & do, Education, Family Life, Parenting

Table mountain Ariel Cableway release Free educational activity book for kids to download

Join the Table mountain friends, Phumi the Protea, Dale the dassie and Larry the lizard and learn all about Table mountain, the history of the cable way and nature in the mountains.

A fun and engaging truly South African educational activity book which you can download free to use here

The book contains:

  • Fun facts
  • Colouring pages
  • Quizzes
  • Treasure hunt
  • Dot to dot pictures

Whilst the activity book is geared at older children, Hamish enjoyed working through many of the fun pages, meeting the cute characters and colouring in the pages.

He loves Table mountain and points it out on our daily walks.

Although he hasn’t yet been able to go up the mountain, he is now aware that a cable car will take him to the top and we have set the treasure hunt aside and decided his birthday gift in September will be a trip up his beloved mountain.

This is a great way to teach the kids and build their general knowledge.

It would make a lovely family project or fun extra activity if your child is completing this assigned school work earlier.

Posted in Crafts, preschool

Roar-some dino puppets

Dinosaurs are always a hit with my junior paleontologist so when teaching new concepts or trying to get him to do an activity I feel he may find boring, I will often adapt it to a dinosaur theme to capture his interest and build a enthusiastic platform for learning.

Little learning

As we are currently learning to write, I’ve introduced many more fine motor activities to help exercise those little finger muscles.

I found this interesting image from Mindful Moments showing the difference between a toddler and a school aged child’s hand.

Image Source: facebook – Mindful Moments

As you can see, the reason why little hands are so clumsy and may find it hard/ tiresome to write, draw or cut is because those little bones need to grow.

This is why fine motor activities play such an important role in preschool lessons.

Roarsome dinosaurs

Opening and closing pegs is a great fine motor activity and can be used in a variety of different manners.

From letting toddlers just peg them onto containers to showing your preschooler how to hang washing with pegs.

There are also a wide variety of fun games using pegs to assist in counting, letter identification and other learning areas on Pintrest.

But how do you keep a very active child busy when they are bored with pegging?

You make dinosaurs of course!

And that is just what I did.

How to make a dinosaur puppet

I made 3 T-Rex whilst Hamish slept and he woke to a fun game trying to get the dinosaurs to open their mouths to Roar and eat me.

You can also have your child put on a small puppet play using these cute puppets.

To make your own you will need:

  • Coloured paper or card
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Pegs

Method:

  • Draw a dinosaur on card.
  • Cut your dinosaur ( or other animal shape) but cut the mouth section in two so that you have a top and a bottom section.
  • Tape or glue the dinosaurs head onto the top part of the peg where it opens to clip.
  • Tape or glue the bottom part of the jaw onto the bottom part of the peg where it clips.
  • Draw or add any detail

Craft hack – if you are not the best of artists cur an image from a magazine, trace from a colouring book or print one to cut out.

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Education, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

Bring Home The Fun With Hasbro – why we use this site

Hasbro has launched Bring Home The Fun, an inspiring, purpose-driven website designed to support families around the world as they spend extended time at home and indoors.

Visit BringHometheFun.com to explore family-focused resources, including tips for family playtime, activity challenges to keep kids occupied, and ideas for using games and toys to stimulate kids’ brains.

The site also features resources to help children and families cope with stress that might be heightened among kids at this time.

Featured content includes:

  • mindfulness videos
  • service projects
  • activity guides
  • other resources developed through our philanthropic partners to help develop empathy and kindness in children.

Fun to watch videos include:

  • Play doh
  • Peppa pig
  • Nerf
  • Pj masks
  • My little pony
  • Transformers
  • Power Rangers
  • Ricky zoom

Fun to do activities from your childs favourite toys like:

  • Play doh
  • Baby Alive
  • Power Rangers
  • My Little Pony
  • Beyblade
  • Transformers
  • Fur real
  • Pj Masks
  • Ricky zoom
  • Peppa pig

Tried and tested

Hamish has been kept busy during lockdown with many of the play doh activities.

Some of the ideas we tried were:

This fun rainbow caterpillar to match our rainbow of hope. Rolling doh balls is a good fine motor activity.

A fire man truck to support our essential services.

A lion.

An elephant

And a lady bird.

There are so many more activities to do, each one designed to keep the kids engaged and entertained.

This has become my go to site for inspiration to keep Hamish happy throughout the lockdown.

Not just for the play doh activities but also to :

  • Make PJ mask character masks for imaginary play
  • Colour in his favourite Transformer characters
  • Make musical shakers with Peppa pig
  • Make a set of Peppa pig puppets
  • Make power ranger posters from the colouring sheets
  • Go on a scavanger hunt with my little pony
  • Complete the fur real Cubby activity book
  • And do some dot to dot activities with Ricky Zoom

As a parent I especially like the parenting resources in the parent solutions.

These activities have been chosen to help parents and children become more mindful and take part in a variety of activities and projects that help to focus on placing emphasis on putting empathy into action.

Some of these activities and projects include:

  • Decorating lunch bags
  • Interviewing a senior
  • Family good scavanger hunt
  • Be a bee helper
  • Making homeless care kits
  • Being water smart
  • Creating a recycled bag
  • Upcycling plastic bottles
  • Bookworm bookmarks
  • ABC flash cards
  • Gratitude journal
  • Gratitude letter
  • Encouraging kindness in kids

With so many resources avaliable to parents, it’s nice to find a platform that encourages character building, emphasizes empathy and kindness, educates parents and offers entertainment and family bonding activities through our childrens favourite characters. Helping them to identify and connect the lessons through play.

Posted in Brands we love, Covid-19/ Coronavirus, Education, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, preschool curriculum

Superbook – wholesome content to build character.

In November last year Hamish recieved a wonder gift from Superbook and the beginning of a lifelong love for Jesus.

The DVD’s told the story of Jesus’s birth and explained the true meaning of Christmas in a way that touched his little heart.

You can read my review here

But more than that he began to identify with the characters and we soon found ourselves downloading the Superbook App onto my phone.

This opened up a world of Bible stories and learning and we currently use the App in our morning Bible lessons.

But with so many resources out there why Superbook?

There are many reasons we use Superbook,

  • because Hamish identified with the relatable characters
  • The stories are engaging and interesting
  • They are told in a child centered way
  • I know that I’m contributing to his character training and faith presenting him with quality content suitable for children

As more and more parents find themselves homeschooling and unable to take their little ones to church or Sunday school, they are looking for activities and wholesome content for their children during this time.

At Superbook their heart is to see parents become intentional about their children’s spiritual formation.

Forming characters that emulate after the life of Jesus.

Superbook are passionate about offering parents content that forms a base for their children’s spiritual development. Knowing this, it is easy to place your trust in the wonderful resources this App and website offers.

Parents are encouraged to utilise the various Superbook resources and make them part of your child’s daily activity schedule during the coronavirus downtime.

Superbook has great curated content that help shape and form children spiritual development and character. This for me is especially important when bringing up little ones who are experiencing such a challenging time right now.

The best way to use the App

Parents, when using the app and website, are encouraged to not just view it as content that entertains children and keeps them busy but rather a time to explore the bible together with their children.

This is the perfect time to rekindle the wonder, joy and pleasure of knowing God together as a family.

Superbook encourage parents to:

• Explore the characters of the bible with Joy, Chris and Gizmo through the app and website
• Go through the downloadable discussion guides with children after every Superbook video
• Encourage children to play video games that help reinforce biblical messages and lessons.
•Go on a historical journey after every episode with the historical background video’s on the app.


Let the Bible come to life with Gizmo and his friends.

You can find more information at :

www.superbook.cbn.com

Posted in Education, Parenting, Press releases

Six Ways to Keep Kids Entertained with Shows That Are Actually Educational

When it comes to choosing TV shows for kids to watch during lockdown, some exist as
pure entertainment, but others are actually designed to help kids better adjust to the
world, teaching them valuable life lessons and beneficial educational concepts.

Here are some TV series from Da Vinci that are definitely worth the screen time, and are designed to help your children learn valuable skills.

1. Do Experiments at Home

In Science Max, Phil takes science to a completely new alevel, maxing out great experiments you can do at home; like using gravity to make a cake fly, building a boat powered by a mousetrap and turning antacid into rocket fuel.

Your kids will be thoroughly enthralled and educated by all the thrilling experiments that Phil has got up his sleeve.

2. Explore Future Career Opportunities

Mikaela is not sure what she wants to be when she grows up.

Exploring her love of science, she tries out lots of unique jobs, including a chocolate maker, a sports statistician, a cosmetic scientist and a space technician, and takes your kids along for
the ride.

When I Grow Up will show your kids all the different career fields that they could choose from in the future, and what those jobs entail. We kind of wish this was
around when we were kids, a lot of us may have taken a different career path!

3. Get Creative in the Kitchen

Matilda inherited her love of cooking from her dad, the famous multi-Michelin starred
chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay.

In every episode, she has fun with her family and then cooks them a tasty meal, with easy to follow recipes. And at the end of the day, she has a foodie chat with her dad.

The show Matilda and The Ramsay Bunch has some great hacks and tips for your kids to be inspired by and get started in the kitchen.

Who knows, they might even end up cooking you dinner tonight!

4. Delve into World History

Did you know that a war was once fought over a bucket? Or that a seasick chicken ruined a Roman battle?

Horrible Histories presents history as it really happened – with all the horrible bits left in! This multi-award-winning series, introduces your kids to heroes, villains and ridiculous romantics.

Learn why Henry VIII was not a good person to get dating tips from and why it was no fun being a Victorian kid.

History has never been such fun, and these stories are bound to stay in your kids minds for years to come.

5. Learn together

Did you know that when you shiver you produce heat, or that doing sports boosts your immune system? What about the fact that you can light up your house with plants?

You’ll find yourself glued to the screen with your kids as Did You Know blows your mind with fun facts! Explore the world through science and separate fact from fiction as you get behind the scenes to discover e secrets of life around us.

Don’t be surprised if you leave packed to the brim with “did you knows” to pepper into everyday conversation!

6. Discover the Human Body

It’s Operation Ouch time – time to meet doctors and identical twins Chris and Xand van Tulleken as they prod and poke their way through medicine and biology.

In this award winning show, you’ll learn the answers to questions like, what makes us get travel sick and how to avoid brain freeze.

Packed with incredible stunts, crazy experiments and amazing facts, Operation Ouch explores the fascinating world of biology and shows your kids the awesome things the body can do.

Education during Lockdown

Da Vinci wants to help parents across the country make sure that children stay safe at

home during the lockdown, while keeping them stimulated and curious through entertaining and informative series and documentaries.

Da Vinci is proud to be aligning with its partners, which include DStv (channel 318), StarSat (channel 308), and Vodacom (via Video Play Kids), in the name of promoting smart, thought-provoking and enriching programs.

Da Vinci is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, in that it encourages children and families to explore, invent and pioneer.

The channel prides itself on family viewing as the core of their programming approach, with safe, non-violent, and true learning content.

Check out our programs here.