Monday, 24 August 2015

Back to School for Kids

If you're anything like me, you still have things to sort before the kids go back to school.  As mine are heading back in 1.5 weeks, I've put together my list of "to-dos". This year starting school is a unique event. Two are starting new schools (my baby is finally off to school) and one is doing the final year of school. My techie "back-to-school" list of things will appeal to everyone in the family including a nifty labelling tool for me.

Boogie Board

We've discovered this awesome writing pad at Tracy's house. The Boogie Board is a very thin and light writing pad you can take anywhere for notes, scribbles and drawings. It works by apply pressure with a stylus on an LCP screen. It's almost like writing on paper, as you can even get line width difference depending on the pressure applied. You just click an "erase" button to clear the screen and start scribbling again. All my kids loved it and we've decided to get one to try out at home. I'm particularly keen to use it with my youngest, starting school this year. He's only 4 and will be learning to write letters and numbers. The Boogie Board will be a fantastic "back-to-school" upgrade from his magnetic tablet. Our Boogie Board lives on the fridge for quick notes, reminders and kid scribbles. The pad comes with magnets and a stylus holder which you can add if you wish.

Dymo Plug n Play Printer for Labelling Property

The back to school naming and tagging project is definitely going to be more fun and made easy with the Dymo Plug n Play Label Printer. A compact little printer you literally plug into your computer and use the autorun programme to type what you would like on the label. The printer came with a basic black on white paper label ribbon. I purchased an additional 12mm / 1/2" flexible nylon label ribbon for more durable applications as it is water, heat and sun resistant.  You can select your own font and the label can be as long as you need.

This would make a brilliant gadget for any organisational obsessed parent that like things in labelled boxes.  I'm currently using it to label school stationary, bags, books, sport equipment, toys boxes and charging cables (we seem to have so many of those).

Carol Vorderman - Computer Coding for Kids

With coding in the curriculum it means a lot of parents need to learn about coding too. This book is a great resource with a step-by-step visual guide from binary code to building games. The book covers a tool called Scratch, used in many schools to teach coding, and a computer programming language called Python. It is well set out and easy for a non technical parent, a bit like me, to work through with your child. In fact I've used the book just to catch up with my little 7 year old coder. There are also brilliant websites available to help you child learn coding: we've listed a few here.

Minecraft Creeper Backpack

If your child is Minecraft crazy like mine, you won't go wrong adding this quality Minecraft Backpack to your back-to-school list. It is a good size for school, with different compartments and padding to protect books and equipment. Adjustable straps make it suitable for a range of ages. As a last minute purchase before sending kids off to school, ensure them some major playground cred with this fantastic backpack.

Educational Apps for Kids

Nowadays there are so many new apps and unless you are a regular user it can be difficult to know which ones are good and worth paying for. As the kids are heading back to school I am looking out for educational apps for our iPad. I've discovered a couple great websites to help find educational apps for my kids.

  • Educational App Store: They provide listings of apps for all devices and you can search by age and topic for the app you want. Both paid for and free apps are listed
  • Common Sense Media: They rate apps using a rating system and you can search using a filter to find the app to suit your kid.

The iPad is a great tool for kids to access apps and for many they are already using iPads at school. There is a wide range of tablets available on the market for kids to access these educational apps. At Tech Age Kids we will be reviewing new tablets specifically for kids, so do bookmark our website for future reviews.

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