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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


Five Links & Activites To Keep Family Having Fun

With tougher restrictions in place and every one staying at home for the next two weeks, one of these websites might help you and family to pass away the hours in a fun and educational way.

Stop Animation
Stop motion animation is a technique used to make static objects appear as if they were moving. Children (big and small) can work on any device (Chromebook, PC, Mac, iPad, tablet, smartphone, etc.) to create Stop Animation movies using https://app.cloudstopmotion.com/login

Moves For Life (MFL) is an organisation of chess experts who support primary level chess in Ireland. MFL are now offering free online chess activities for children. They have created three new project-based activities for children (big and small). The projects are for beginners, improvers and advanced players, with more information available on http://movesforlife.ie.

World Book
The Republic of Ireland now has unlimited access to World Book Online through Scoilnet. Visit https://www.scoilnet.ie/scoilnet-services/world-book/ When you need fast, reliable information for homework, reports, or just a lingering question, World Book Online is the place to go. From pre-primary to secondary and beyond; World Book has databases for every learner at every level for an immersive learning experience.
Early World of Learning (Ages 3-6)
World Book Kids (Ages 7-11)
World Book Student (Ages 12-15)
World Book Advanced (Ages 16 and up)

Learn To Touch Type
Why not use this time to learn to touch type? Typing Club is an excellent and free online course suitable for all ages. Visit https://www.typingclub.com/ and complete daily lessons that teach you how to touch type.


Numerous Amazon Kindle Books have just been made available for free download from https://www.amazon.co.uk/b?node=21173577031&pf_rd_r=6HTSS4RN72JQR48WE17T&pf_rd_p=87bef603-ccff-4382-b701-0c96c14f71b1.
The book selection includes public domain titles as well as Kindle Books, which publishers are providing for free download for a limited time.
Start reading now on any tablet or smartphone with the free Kindle Reading App.


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.


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


Directed Drawing – Relaxing & Fun Activity For All

During these difficult times, it is so important that the whole family finds ways to switch off, relax and reduce stress levels.

As many of us know and many studies highlight, drawing and making art can enable us all to reduce our stress levels and to practice mindfulness.

Some day this week why not schedule some time for making art? Don’t know where to start? Why not begin with directed drawing?

Directed drawing (sometimes referred to as guided drawing) is a step by step approach to drawing, led by a more experienced artist. In addition to reducing stress levels, it is particularly beneficial for children because it enables them to listen and concentrate, to follow instructions, to pay attention to detail and to ultimately draw with even greater confidence.

It’s so easy to get started. All you need is some paper and a pencil and someone to direct your drawing. There are lots of directed drawing ‘YouTube videos’ available, but one of the best and most popular is “Art for Kids Hub” at https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtforKidsHub.

Visit their channel and search from thousands of directed drawing videos. There is a directed drawing lesson to suit everyone from ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Unicorns’, ‘Minecraft to Marvel’ and ‘Dinosaurs’ to ‘Daisies’.

Need a break from phone and tablet screens? Remember many Smart TVs will play YouTube videos, so load a directed drawing video on the big screen and get the whole family drawing.