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Top 5 Educational Shows on Netflix For Kids

With rainy days on the horizon, these five shows on Netflix might just help to keep kids and adults entertained and educated indoors.

(1) Our Planet (Video Trailer Above)

Narrated by that remarkable English broadcaster and natural historian, Sir David Frederick Attenborough; Our Planet explores the impact of climate change on all living things. Each spectacular episode takes you on a cinematic journey across the continents to view their incredible creatures. It is sure to enthral kids and adults, regardless of age.

(2) Little Baby Bum

Little Baby Bum is the perfect show for pre-schoolers. It features hours of traditional and new nursery rhymes, which are a huge part of learning and laughter with this age group. Little Baby Bum can also be accessed through their YouTube channel HERE . With 26.7 million subscribers and counting, it’s a proven hit with parents and children alike.

(3) Ask the Storybots

A child’s sense of wonder is one of their most precious gifts and Storybots is the perfect programme for the curious child. With the help of five zany creatures, called Beep, Bing, Bang, Boop and Bo, each episode finds the answer to some very interesting questions. Ask the Storybots is highly recommended for younger children.

(4) Brainchild

For older children, Brainchild is a must watch. In a refreshingly relatable yet scientific way, it explores everything from germs to outer space and creativity to dreams. Its first episode explores social media. With kids on social media more than ever at present, it provides an excellent opportunity to re-visit some of the pros and cons of communicating via social media.

(5) Horrible Histories

Based on the popular books, Horrible Histories explores some of the least pleasant and downright disgusting moments in history. From the Stone Age to the Romans and beyond, young and old will learn, giggle and wince their way through history.

Stay Safe

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Helplines See Unprecedented Rise in Volume of Assistance Calls – Lowry

Helplines See Unprecedented Rise in Volume of Calls – Michael Lowry TD

The sheer speed at which the Covid-19 virus has turned our lives upside down has caused stress, worry and problems of many kinds for people across the length and breadth of Ireland.

Schools at all levels have been closed; jobs have been lost; businesses have been forced to close; people have been restricted in how they live their everyday lives; elderly people and many who live alone are confined to their homes; social lives have vanished; sporting events are cancelled; visits to family and friends are on hold and families are enclosed in their homes day in and day out.

Add to this, the overwhelming fear of becoming ill; the stress of worrying about vulnerable family members getting ill; worries about present and future finances; keeping both adults and children occupied all day every day; concerns about work and school and the constant bombardment of dismal news stories from home and abroad. It’s easy to see how it all creates the perfect storm for a dangerous overload of stress, anxiety, depression and a myriad of social problems.

Deputy Michael Lowry is reaching out to people to advise them not to suffer in silence. “There are many Helplines and Support Groups in Ireland that are there to help and offer advice” he says. Since the arrival of Covid-19 in Ireland there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of calls to Helplines from people of all ages, from young children to elderly men and women and Deputy Lowry says that these services are providing an invaluable lifeline to many people, in a wide range of situations.

Amongst the busiest Helplines at present are those who offer advice and support to children and teenagers; the elderly and those living alone; those with mental health issues and those who are victims of domestic abuse or violence. “By picking up the phone to any of the Helplines available you are assured of a listening ear, an opportunity to speak to someone who truly understands and who can guide you to get the help that you need if necessary,” says Deputy Lowry.

Deputy Lowry has provided herewith a comprehensive list of Helplines and their contact details hereunder, as well as a list of the phone numbers for Garda Stations across Tipperary.

“Don’t be afraid to reach out for help at any time, but even more so during this time when our personal strength is being tested more than at any time in living memory”, Mr Lowry states.

Helplines

Aware (Depression) 1800 8044848.
HSE 1850 241850.
Pieta House (Suicide Helpdesk) 1800 247247.
Grow (Mental Health) 1890 474474.
Samaritans 116 123.
National Office of Suicide Prevention 01 6201670.
Childline Freefone 1800 666666.
Parentline 1890 927277.
Teenline 1800 833634.
Seniorline 1800 804591.
ALONE 0818 222024.
AMEN (Domestic Violence) 01 55543811.
Rape Crisis Centre 1800 778888.
Tipperary Rape Crisis, Clonmel 1800 340340.
Tipperary Rape Crisis, Nenagh 1800 541122.
Irish Wheelchair Association 01 8186400.
Cuan Saor Women’s Refuge 1800 576757.
Legal Aid Board 1890 615200.
Law Centre Nenagh (L.A.B.) 067 34181.
MABS 0761 072000.
Citizens Advice Bureau 0761 074000.

Living Links

An Garda Siochana
Emergencies 999 or 112.
Thurles 0504 25100.
Nenagh 067 50450.
Roscrea 0505 24230.
Tipperary Town 062 80670.
Clonmel 052 617 7640.
Templederry 0504 52202.
Cahir 052 744 5630.
Carrick-On-Suir 051 642 040.
Newport 061 378 102.
Ballingarry 052 915 4100.
Littleton 0504 44395.
Cloughjordan 0505 42122.
Cashel 062 75840.
Borrisokane 067 27101.
Toomevara 067 26002.
Mullinahone 052 913 3160.
Fethard 052 613 1202.
Clogheen 052 746 5204.

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Fun & Games Requiring No IT Streaming Or IT Applications

With all our IT Streaming Services and other IT Applications, it’s easy to forget those games that entertained the whole family, before the era of Smart Phones, Tablets and other screen time entertainment.
If you are getting tired of staring at computer screens and TV, and looking for some fun, indoor activities, that require no IT equipment, why not play some of these tried and trusted family games suitable for all ages.

(1) Charades
Divide your group into teams or simply take turns. Player 1 thinks of something to act out without using any words, typically, e.g., a book, film or title of a T.V. programme. They use agreed gestures to indicate whether it’s a book, film or T.V. show and then they try to act out each word until some guesses their title. You can adapt the game by picking different categories and acting out words associated with that category. Example: category = summer and words = sunscreen, swimming, sandcastle, ice cream etc.

(2) Categories.
One player decides on a category and the other players take turns naming things that belong in that category. For younger children it’s best to keep the categories broad, e.g. animals. For older kids and adults, it’s best to keep the categories narrow, e.g., books by Roald Dahl. To keep the responses quick and to keep the pace going, try playing with a clapping rhythm. The game ends and players are ‘out’ if they can’t think of any more things that belong in the category.

(3) Geography.

Each player comes up with a place name (town, county, country) that begins with same letter as the last letter of the place mentioned by the previous player. For example, player 1 says ‘Thurles’, so player 2 says ‘Sligo’ and player 3 says ‘Offaly’. You are out if you can’t think of a place. The winner is the last player left standing.

(4) Ghost.

Player 1 picks and says a letter of the alphabet. Each player takes turns and thinks of a letter that will spell a real word. The aim of the game is to spell a real word but to avoid incorrect spellings or being the player that ends the spelling. If you add a letter that doesn’t spell a word or you can’t think of a letter you are ‘out‘. Every time you end a spelling you get a letter from the word ‘ghost’. Once you have all five letters of ‘ghost’ you are ‘out of the game’. Example: Player 1 starts with the letter c. Player 2 adds a, thinking of the word call. Player 3 is thinking of the word ‘catch‘ and adds t, but ends a word because that spells ‘cat’ and player 4 gets the letter g in ghost.

(5) I Spy
Player 1 looks around and picks an object they can visually see, beginning with a letter and says “I spy with my little eye something beginning with g “, for example. The other players then have to then guess what player 1 saw beginning with the latter ‘g’ in the immediate area.

(6) Twenty Questions.
One player thinks of an animal, vegetable, person or object. They only tell the other players what category it belongs to, i.e., whether it’s an animal, vegetable, person or object. The other players try and guess what it is by asking questions that result in a yes or no answer only, for example, “Is it bigger than a car?” or “Can you eat it?”

(7) I Packed my Suitcase.
Each player starts off with the same sentence: “I packed my suitcase and in it I put _.” The player completes the sentence with a word that begins with the letter A. For instance, “I packed my suitcase and in it I put an apple”. The next player repeats the previous sentence and has to add a B word. “I packed my suitcase and in it I put an apple and a ball“.
Taking turns, each player has to remember what the previous players have said and add an item that starts with the next letter of the alphabet.
If you forget what they have said or can’t think of a word beginning with that letter, you are ‘out’ of the game. You can adapt the game further by picking different categories, e.g., animal words only or fruits.

(8) Pictionary
Divide your group into teams or simply take turns. Decide on a category, for example ‘sports’. Player 1 thinks of a sport and starts drawing it. The first person or team that guesses what he/she is drawing, will scores a point for themselves or their team.

(9) Heads-Up
Players agree on a category, for example, ‘Superhero’s’. Everyone writes down the name of a superhero. One player is on and picks a piece of paper and without looking holds the name of the superhero against their forehead for everyone else to see. The other players take turns giving clues about the superhero to the player who is on. When player 1 guesses their superhero, another player in on.

(10) The Laughing Game
Players sit in a circle and take it in turns to quickly say ‘Ha’, ‘Ho’ or ‘Hee’. Anyone who starts laughing is knocked out of the game. The game continues until everyone is out. The winner is the person who keep a straight face the longest.

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Top Resources For Irish Language Learning During School Closures

Hereunder are five top resources for Irish language learning during current school closures

For those of us who barely have the ‘cúpla focail’, supporting our child’s Gaeilge homework during this school closure period is daunting to say the least. Here are some resources that are sure to help with Irish language learning at home. So follow the links provided.

(1) www.focloir.ie

Focloir.ie (also available as an app) enables you to look up Irish words and phrases. What is even more helpful, however, is that Focloir.ie also provides the pronunciation of words across the main dialects. A full explanation of how to access the pronunciation of words and the various dialect options is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v22LgQM46Xw&list=PLn9HKh5DfabZeEgV2Yp0Yp26Vmd_tqNeq&index=1

Another lifesaving resource on Focloir.ie is its grammatical information on verbs, nouns, adjectives and prepositions. Simply point and click and everything you could possibly need explained is there. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s14QW_0dP_0&list=PLn9HKh5DfabZeEgV2Yp0Yp26Vmd_tqNeq&index=2

(2) www.teanglann.ie

Irish grammar has never had a reputation for being easy…until now! Among its many helpful features, www.teanglann.ie has a grammar wizard that combines nouns, prepositions and adjectives in accordance with the rules of Irish grammar. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b59ULi-li7c&list=PLn9HKh5DfabZeEgV2Yp0Yp26Vmd_tqNeq&index=4

(3) www.cula4.com

Listening to fluent Irish speakers is a learning objective listed in the new language curriculum for primary schools. Listening to fluent speakers is important in terms of developing one’s ear for understanding and speaking a language. During this school closure period, if your child does nothing else for Irish learning, let them watch Cúla4, TG4’s channel for children. If you visit the player online, you will also find a host of additional games and activities as Gaeilge.

(4) www.seideansi.ie/

Pupils of Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools will most likely be familiar with Séideán Sí. It is a comprehensive, multimedia resource pack for teaching Irish, aimed specifically at schools where Irish is the language of instruction. An incredible resource, Séidean Sí has much to offer pupils of all ages and Irish language experience. Its online resources offer games, e-books and lots of fun with Gaeilge.

(5) TG Lurgan

TG Lurgan is a musical project launched by Coláiste Lurgan, an Irish language summer school based in Connemara. TG Lurgan has released numerous covers of popular hits and uses everyday phrases and colloquial language to make learning Irish fun and relevant.
Visit their YouTube channel on https://www.youtube.com/user/tglurgan

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Five Great Free Websites To Keep Kids Entertained & Learning At Home.

With school closures extended until April 19th, keeping your kids learning and entertained at home is part of everyone’s new reality. Here are another five great websites that offer free access to pupils and parents and are highly recommended by educators.

(1) www.Storylineonline.netSuitable for all ages.

The above site is the SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website. Simply log-on to storylineonline’s website, YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/StorylineOnline) or download their app to enable your child to listen to their favourite actors read aloud some of the world’s best picture books. There’s even an activity guide linked to each book, so plenty of follow up ideas too.

(2) https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/Suitable for Junior Infants to 2nd Class.

For younger children, ‘Teach Your Monster to Read’ is another award winning website that supports children’s literacy learning and phonics. Their website is free to use and for a limited time their app (which usually costs €5.49) is available for free.

(3) www.readtheory.orgSuitable from 2nd class – Secondary.

It’s hard to believe that this website is free to join, but it is and has almost 14 million users worldwide. This site enables your child to improve their comprehension by reading passages online and answering a series of multiple choice questions. When your child first joins, they do a quick pre-test in order to identify reading ability before assigning reading passages suited to your child’s reading stage.

(4) www.khanacademy.orgSuitable for all ages.

Khanacademy offers free access to lessons and courses primarily in mathematics and science. Pupils can work at their own pace and personalise their learning journey. A great substitute for an actual maths teacher.

(5) Fundamental Movement SkillsSuitable for all ages.

Fundamental movement skills are the skills which support children’s co-ordination and movement. If children are experienced with these fundamental movement skills, they can play any number of sports with greater confidence. The fundamental movement skills include walking, running, hopping, skipping, jumping, dodging, side stepping, landing, balancing, catching, throwing, and striking.

Now more than ever it is important to balance screen time with exercise, so why not enable your child to strengthen their fundamental movement skills by concentrating on a different one each day.

Do visit https://www.scoilnet.ie/pdst/physlit/videos/ for videos and guidance based on the Irish curriculum’s programme; ‘Move Well, Move Often’.

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