Brighton & Hove

Category Archives: General

EduGuru Maths – fun learning for toddlers

EduGuru Apps are designed and built to help children learn outside of the classroom, stimulate their imagination and make learning an open-ended fun activity. Cute and basic animations guide toddlers through the key UK national curriculum subjects of Maths, English, Science & Technology and Art & Music.

EduGuru Maths is the first in the series and has been designed for 3-5 year olds in close collaboration with UK teachers, nursery schools and parents. The app is packed with 128 fun to play games (wrapped in 8 core games) and priced at £1.99, with no subscription fee and all updates are provided free of charge.

EduGuru Maths covers key curriculum-based mathematical concepts and skills including:

  • Counting 1-10-20
  • Number recognition and ordering
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Matching, doubling, halving and sharing
  • UK/English coins, money and values
  • Telling the time
  • Patterns, shapes and sequences
  • Colours
  • Size, weight, distance and position

EduGuru Maths also features new and fun renditions of the classic nursery rhymes, Ba Ba Black Sheep and Hickory Dickory Dock, for toddlers to explore and sing along to.

EduGuru’s Apps contain no third party links or advertising, so allow children to learn and explore in a safe and secure environment, and importantly, as children progress through the games, they are rewarded, and motivated to continue learning, with trophies and medals.  This means that parents can be sure that children playing EduGuru Apps are experiencing, and practising, learning skills in accordance with the recommendations of early childhood experts.

The Game Creators, the UK-based development company that has  designed and developed the EduGuru apps, were instrumental in producing the highly successful Fun School, Art Attack and Klik n Play in the 90’s. Building on the legacy of these popular games, and whilst the technology now makes games much more readily accessible, they believe the fundamentals of learning while you play remain and are an important part of the mix in a child’s education.

Website: EduGuru Maths

YouTube EduGuru Maths gameplay video

YouTube EduGuru video

Twitter @EduGuru_Apps

Facebook:

EduGuru 3-5 Maths (available iOS, Android Google & Amazon)

iOS Store link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/eduguru-maths-kids-age-3-5/id1098240027?mt=8

Google Store link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thegamecreators.edugurumaths5&hl=en

 

Rockinghorse at 50

Rockinghorse Children’s Charity has revealed its 50th year plans during a special launch event at the Hilton Brighton Metropole hotel in Brighton last week (Thursday 20 October).

Guests were greeted outside the seafront hotel with the newly launched Rockinghorse bus, in partnership with Brighton & Hove Buses, which marks the charity’s forthcoming Golden Jubilee anniversary in 2017. The bus pays homage to Dr Trevor Mann, founder of Rockinghorse, by bearing his name on the front.

During the evening, Ryan Heal, Chief Executive of Rockinghorse, launched the charity’s fundraising appeal in celebration of their anniversary year; Sussex Giving for Sussex Children.

The charity aims to provide £500,000 worth of funding which will be split between 10 children’s centres and paediatric services in Sussex to help them improve, refurbish, and develop their environment for the young people benefiting from their work.

They are; The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (‘The Alex’ in Brighton), the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (‘TMBU’, located within the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton), the Special Care Baby Unit (‘SCBU’, based within the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath), Bluefin Ward at Worthing Hospital, Chailey Heritage Foundation (in Lewes), Chalkhill Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit (in Haywards Heath), Finches Short Breaks Centre (in Burgess Hill), The Bungalow (in Eastbourne), Tudor House (in Brighton) and The Connor Saunders Foundation (based in Brighton).

Mr Heal said: “2017 represents our Golden Jubilee – a time for celebration and continuing to make a real impact on the lives of local children. We are delighted to launch our fundraising appeal for our anniversary year; Sussex Giving for Sussex Children. By supporting services across Sussex, we can continue the legacy of the work of Rockinghorse, enabling us to support children and young people for the next 50 years.

“Time moves on, but for 50 years our message has remained the same. As the late great Dr Trevor Mann said – ‘We can’t always stop children getting sick, but with your help we can make them better’.”

Founded by Dr Trevor Mann in 1967, Rockinghorse has had a huge impact on thousands of local children during this time, having been created following the recognition of a shortfall and restrictions around paediatric care in Sussex.

 50 years on, Rockinghorse is best known as the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (The Alex) in Brighton, working tirelessly to improve, and save, the lives of sick children in Sussex. The charity has provided The Alex with the best, cutting-edge medical equipment, and are often cited as the difference between good care and great care for our children.

By supporting Rockinghorse, you can help continue to ensure children’s services across Sussex are the best they possibly can be for our children now, and in the future. To find out more about the charity’s 50th year projects, and how you can get involved, please visit rockinghorse.org.uk.

Play not Push!

That’s the motto of Little Kickers football coaching sessions in Sussex.

The Little Kickers programme went national in 2002 for children from 18 months to 7yrs old and works on the basis that children are much more likely to learn if their imaginations are engaged and skills are introduced through play. Originally developed and is regularly enhanced by FA qualified coaches and nursery school teachers, with ongoing input from child health specialists.  The programme uses football as a fun forum to instil a little extra confidence, co-ordination and control and is packed and full of non-stop fun, games and football.

Little Kickers is now the UK’s most popular pre-school football and activity programme, and is attended by over 15,000 children per week.

Local classes are now running in Brighton, Hove, Patcham, Shoreham-by-Sea and Rottingdean on Monday mornings and weekends. There are also  other venues across Sussex, Kent & Surrey.

Call to book a FREE TRIAL CLASS on weekdays and Saturday/Sunday mornings – free trials are subject to space being available in the class.

For further information about classes operating in your area, contact Phil on 01293 226201 or email philbanister@littlekickers.co.uk.

Visit www.littlekickers.co.uk.

Birthday parties available too!  Ring for an information pack!!

Being a parent is the most fun when our children are five, new research reveals

Parents have the most fun with their children when they are five according to a new study.

A study of 2000 parents with children under 13, asked them to rate how much fun they have-or had- with their children throughout the different ages.

The study revealed that five is the optimum age for enjoying our children’s company with 39 per cent of parents claiming it to be the most fun age for both boys and girls.

The study, commissioned by Soreen to launch Active Families, Happy Families; a new partnership campaign with independent charity Youth Sport Trust also found that pre-teen years (10-12) were less enjoyable for parents.

The majority of reasons given for parents enjoying time with their five year olds were to do with developments by that age.

In Brighton & Hove parents enjoyed the 3-5yrs age group the most because they felt their children started to develop their own sense of humour (37%), they could communicate properly and follow rules (34%), they were becoming more independent (30%) and they could now teach them to swim, play football or play more games (19%).

The survey revealed that although 91% of Brighton & Hove parents feel that being active brings them closer together as a family, parents are only managing to spend 3.5 hours a week doing activities with their children.

Alex Danson, EuroHockey Championship Gold medal and Olympic Bronze medal winning England Hockey player is supporting the campaign, which aims to inspire thousands of families to spend more time being active and having fun together, whilst also promoting the links between activity and health.  There’s more information in the video http://we.tl/8gR8G2fOTb

Phil Chamberlain, Director Policy & Communications for the Youth Sport Trust said; “We know that active children learn better and faster, and have an improved sense of belonging – the link between being active and good physical and emotional health is widely acknowledged.

“There is no question that regular activity produces healthy, happy, academically successful and socially adept young people, with confidence and high self-esteem. As a parent of two young children myself, I take every opportunity I can to be active with my family as I know it will help them create good habits for life.”

According to a report recently published by the Youth Sport Trust entitled ‘Class of 2035’ the number one reason for the popularity of sport and physical activity given by young people is that it’s ‘fun’. Children who describe themselves as ‘always happy’ are twice as likely to take part in two or more hours of physical activity per day.

Despite this, 40% of young people say they would like to do more exercise and sport than they do currently.

Beth Brown, Marketing Director at Soreen said:  “We wanted to see at what age we have the most fun with our children as our new campaign is about inspiring families to have fun, whatever their age, through active play.

“We’re hoping that the activity packs which families can download for free will help children reach the government guideline of being active for at least 60 minutes each day.

“The packs will provide families with a wide range of ideas for fun, low or no-cost, physical activities they can do together at home or on days out. Activities will be published continually over the next nine months, coinciding with national celebration days and major sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup”

The research revealed that girls tend to have more fun with their mums and boys with their dads and when asked to rate the percentage of parenting that was fun and hard work, the majority said that it was a 50/50 split.

Parents can download their free activity cards from www.soreensquidgyfun.com.

Step out in the South East for a fun family walk and help protect your paths

Families in the South East are being encouraged to step out for a stroll this summer and help protect the places they love to walk along the way as part of the Ramblers’ Big Pathwatch.

The Ramblers is asking families to head out and walk their favourite paths in the South East and report back on what they find using a smartphone app. To make this fun for children, the walking experts have created fun, free activity sheets that families can download and take out on their ramble. Not only is walking good exercise for all the family, it’s also a great way to tempt children away from the Xbox or TV and help them learn all about the great outdoors. The Big Pathwatch activity sheets are the perfect way to turn a normal walk around the local area into a fun family adventure. Ramblers’ chief executive

Benedict Southworth said: “The summer holidays are the perfect time to step out for a walk with your family and spend some quality time together, as well as a great way to help everyone stay healthy. “As part of the Big Pathwatch we’re helping families to turn their walk into an adventure. We’ve created fun, free downloadable activity sheets for youngsters to complete while they’re out walking. From a game of walking bingo to a creative rainbow ramble, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. “For older children we’ve even got an activity sheet with top tips on being a walk leader. Let them lead the way on your Big Pathwatch walk, draw a map and sketch anything interesting they see along the way. “We need as many people as possible in the South East to step up and help us protect our paths. The Big Pathwatch is the perfect way to help inspire our next generation of walkers, who will play a key role in protecting our paths for generations to come.”

Families can download the Big Pathwatch app and share their experiences as they walk every right of way within a specific grid square. They’ll be asked to share the positive features of the walk, the beautiful views, any wildlife and interesting landscapes they see, as well as noting any problems they encounter. The Big Pathwatch activity sheets will be available from www.Ramblers.org.uk/bigpathwatch

For more information call the Ramblers press office 0207 339 8531 or 07584 848083 (out of hours) press@ramblers.org.uk Follow The Rambler: Facebook www.facebook.com/ramblers and Twitter twitter.com/RamblersGB

Can Minecraft be educational for my kids?

As a parent, we think you’ll probably be aware of the time guzzling, blockbuilding 3D world of Minecraft. How could you not? Your kid probably spends more time on it than actually talking to you! But what if Minecraft was a gateway to learning? Well,  very clever people around the world are using it to teach all kinds of subjects, from archeology and history, to 3D design and coding…

The game inherently has a number of passive benefits to young people;

  • It pushes their imaginations to the limit and allowing them to be creative in ways not possible in the real world.
  • Inherently about problem-solving, the game can inspire students’ higher-level and critical thinking.
  • Minecraft is also a very social game, where students can rely on other players for help in the sometimes-unforgiving Minecraft world, teaching collaboration and teamwork in a way that’s more organic than, say, being assigned to work together on a project. Students who might not get along in the real world can become allies in the Minecraft world.

Building Worlds

Studies published over the past two decades support the idea that video games can increase students’ spatial knowledge, improving their aptitude for math and science. It’s also an implicit way for them to develop self-regulation skills that then transfer to offline spaces—through having this freedom to create on Minecraft, they learn how to identify and work towards offline goals like finishing course work.

From sky high tower blocks, to recreations of entire cities, where minecraft gets interesting is its creative build mode, where multiple users can work together to create monumental structures that require basic engineering skills to work. Users can also use ‘Redstone’, a type of Minecraft electricity based on Boolean algebra, to create working inventions, perfect for budding engineers.

Engaging Teaching Tool

At a higher level, some are looking at Minecraft as a technology-teaching tool, particularly in computer science and computer-aided design (CAD), both critical building blocks for the emerging maker movement of 3D printing, amateur electronic design and high-tech craft.

Other uses include;

  • Teaching Java and other coding languages through Minecraft using MCEdit. The reward for this is complete control over the environment, something  very appealing to young players.
  • Looking at biomes and communities of plants and animals. In Minecraft, Biomes are created by the map generator and display Different heights, temperatures (indicated by leaf color, Water color, presence or absence of water or desert), humidities and foliage.
  • Have students write how-to guides for building structures, mining, fighting monsters, and other in-game activities.Students can write day-in-the life journal entries about their characters, making up back stories for their characters. Who are they, and how did they end up alone in the Minecraft world?

What Next?

This Summer there are a number of workshops and courses that use Minecraft as a learning tool at the Maker Club on London Road, Brighton, teaching collaborative skills, coding and hardware in a way that young people can really connect with. Click the links below to find out more about our Big Tech Summer program events involving Minecraft…

Real world Minecraft –Use hardware like motors and microcontrollers and activate them with actions in Minecraft. Electronics combined with blockbuilding fun!

Team Minecraft – Collaborate of Minecraft EDU to excavate dinosaurs, build elaborate traps or invent with a team of up to 16

Raspberry Minecraft –Learn to code with MC Edit on the Raspberry Pi micro computer

Great reviews for The Jungle Book @ Emporium

Reviews are in and this is one hot ticket!

‘Forget Disney – this alternative musical adaptation of Kipling’s classic shimmers with jungle heat and theatrical magic’ The Stage ****

‘Pure fun. Definitely a show to recommend. Take your kids,  they will thank you!’ The Argus ****

‘A very immersive story, delightfully presented, full of energy and creative character work.’ HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FringeReview

Audience reactions:
‘A perfect Summer show’ ‘Mesmerising’ ‘So, so good!’
‘We are in Jungle Mode’ ‘One of the best things i’ve seen in a long time’
‘A Must See’ ‘A lot of fun. Very impressed with the new auditorium and the set’

Starring Kamari Romeo as Mowgli, Doug Devaney as Baloo and a full cast of professionals, Live Band led by Simon Gray, Puppetry and a Junior Chorus.

Running til July 31st from Tuesday-Saturday 7:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm

Tickets: £12.00 Child (Under 16) / £15.00 Adult / £50.00 for Family of Four
NO BOOKING FEES / NEW SEATING / SEAT SELECTION

BOOK HERE
www.emporiumbrighton.com/junglebook
Enquiries: tickets@emporiumbrighton.com

5 Ways Netball for 5 – 14yrs

5 Ways Netball offers coach led netball sessions for 5-14 year olds in the Brighton area. Established in 2014, the goal is to make netball accessible to young people without the commitment of a club environment. The coaches aim to develop confidence in young players through improved ball handling skills, movement, mobility and most importantly fun.

Courses run on Saturday mornings during term time at Varndean School, Brighton. Groups are divided into Minis (Yrs 1 & 2), Juniors 1 (Yrs 3 & 4), Juniors 2 (Yrs 5 & 6) and Seniors (Yrs 7-9). All levels catered for whether a complete beginner or a regular club player.

Sessions are led by qualified coaches with extensive experience within netball and involve a range of skills, drills, fun games and match play.  Children are encouraged to be creative without the pressure of competition and results.  5 Ways Netball also offers no obligation taster sessions to give you a chance to check us out!

For more information about courses or to book a place please contact Danielle Lewis-Collins at info@5waysnetball.co.uk or find on Facebook: 5 Ways Netball

Choosing a Nursery and Getting Value for Money

Cost is a major consideration, if not the deciding factor when choosing nursery care. Is there a benefit in paying more and if so, how much more? What if you pay less – what will your child miss out on?  Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Core standards must be met by all nurseries (though that is not to say that they always are), but beyond that, it is not straight forward to identify the added value in paying higher fees.

Generally, better nurseries charge more because they need to – skilled staff, correctly managed ratios, and well equipped settings all come at a cost. However, in no way does that mean that the cheapest nurseries are the worst and the most expensive ones the best. Cost is only an indicator of quality, not a guarantee.

As well as there being legitimate reasons for higher costs, some nurseries may simply be inefficient in how they operate; others might offer gimmicks to justify the extra cost; some might want to give the impression of being a prestige brand or they may just be taking a gamble that parents won’t compare, won’t care or won’t have a choice.

Comparing Costs

* Firstly, view each nursery – if you don’t like what you see or hear, then it shouldn’t matter how cheaply they will look after your child.
* Add in any extra costs for services that you need that are not included in the fees (food, nappies, milk/formula etc.).
* Divide this total session cost by the hours you’ll attend each day. You may be paying from 8am til 6pm, but if you only need 9am til 5pm, divide the session cost by 8, not 10 to get the hourly cost to you.
* Compare your shortlisted nurseries and bear in mind any rate changes as your child gets older – what makes financial sense in the short term may not add up when your child is three.
* Finally, remember you are only comparing cost and not quality of care.

Young Sussex Grapevine Ad 2015 01 copyThis advice was provided by Young Sussex Nursery who have nurseries in Brighton, Hove and Shoreham.  They say:
” At Young Sussex Nursery, we are genuinely passionate about what we do, and why we do it. We will never be the cheapest, but will always be competitively priced against the best nurseries out there. Whilst we aspire to be ‘the best’ and are always looking at ways to achieve this, we also know that we cannot be every parent’s first choice and other nurseries may occasionally do things better. Parents should be able to make an informed decision about childcare, rather than be sold a product. All nurseries claim to be great – your best response is to get prepared and challenge the claims. A good nursery will welcome the interest and will happily bore you senseless with procedures, practice and protocols to demonstrate exactly what they mean by “we meet staff ratios” or “we assure you of your child’s safety”.

Every nursery will make the same claim – how this is achieved or implemented will vary wildly. If your questions get fobbed off or dismissed, or the answers given are incomplete or confused, persist with your questions or walk away. There should be no excuse for a lack of honesty or clarity.

Anoushka, Gabrielle and Carmen here with exciting news!….

Comic Relief SongLast year we made up the chorus of a song, while skipping down the road. We have since spent time in the studio developing it into a fully fledged tune with the help of our (Carmen and Gabrielle’s) Dad. We were always keen to make it a charity song and settled on Comic Relief to donate the proceeds to.

Our song is called ‘Smart Kids’ and we believe every child should have the best opportunities in life – opportunities to be a smart kid, a cool kid, a fit kid and a kind kid : ) We were lucky enough to shoot the video at school with our classmates (West Hove Infants School) – The Jaguars – and Miss Phillips has a starring role! Here’s the result, we hope you enjoy it http://youtu.be/iQiwBrmf-i0

Please donate (big doey eyes, pleading gestures!) via our Red Nose Day giving page and share our video for the best possible results. Our song will be available to download through iTunes on Monday 9th March and all proceeds will go to improving the lives of others here in the UK, in Africa and around the world. It was our idea to make it a charity tune and we created the chorus, sang on the track and danced our way through the video, so please help us to achieve (or even exceed!) our ambitions. With love and high hopes,
Carmen, Gabrielle and Anoushka xxx