5 Benefits of Listening to Music

Music Makes You Happier

Research proves that when you listen to music you like, your brain releases dopamine, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter. Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University, injected eight music-lovers with a radioactive substance that binds to dopamine receptors after they listened to their favourite music. A PET scan showed that large amounts of dopamine were released, which biologically caused the participants to feel emotions like happiness, excitement, and joy.

So the next time you need an emotional boost, listen to your favourite tunes for 15 minutes. That’s all it takes to get a natural high!

Reduces Depression

More than 350 million people suffer from depression around the world. A whopping 90% of them also experience insomnia. The sleep research above found that symptoms of depression decreased significantly in the group that listened to classical music before bedtime, but not in the other two groups. Another study by Hans Joachim Trappe in Germany also demonstrated that music can benefit patients with depressive symptoms, depending on the type of music. Meditative sounds and classical music lifted people up, but techno and heavy metal brought people down even more.

The next time you feel low, put on some classical or meditative music to lift your spirits.

Better Nights Sleep

Over 30% of Americans suffer from insomnia. A study showed that students who listened to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes before turning in slept significantly better than students who listened to an audiobook or did nothing different from their normal routine. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try listening to a little Bach or Mozart before bedtime to catch some Zs.

Strengthens Learning and Memory

Researchers discovered that music can help you learn and recall information better, but it depends on how much you like the music and whether or not you’re a musician. Subjects memorized Japanese characters while listening to music that either seemed positive or neutral to them. The results showed that participants who were musicians learned better with neutral music but tested better when pleasurable music was playing. Non-musicians, on the other hand, learned better with positive music but tested better with neutral music.

Memorize these results. You now have a strategy to study more effectively for your next test.

Reduces Pain, Promotes Healing & Relaxes the Body

Research at Drexel University in Philadelphia found that music therapy and pre-recorded music reduced pain more than standard treatments in cancer patients. Other research showed that music can decrease pain in intensive care patients and geriatric care patients, but the selection needed to be either classical pieces, meditative music, or songs of the patient’s choosing.

Bob Marely was right about this one – listen to music you love to take your pain away.

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Music and Musical Instruments for Children is an Interactive, AR-enabled Fun Learning App for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners, letting your Children understand the Music, learn about and Play with Musical Instruments, and experience the musical sounds of Nature.

Music for Children goes through the 5W’s of music: 

What is Music?
Who makes Music?
Where can we find Music?
When do you listen to Music?
Why is Music essential?

From listening to birds chirping or playing with different instruments like piano, violin, drums, and guitar, experiencing the musical tunes from all around the world, a guessing game (based on music played by different instruments and produced by nature), a DJ table (for composing the music), and some fun questions to portray the importance of Music in one’s life are some of the features which your Child could experience within this app.

KEY FEATURES: 

-Augmented reality instruments with sound effects
– Interactive games
– 20+ English words to learn
-Ad-free, no in-app purchases
-Real life-based visuals

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Encouraging Honesty In Children

How to Encourage Honesty

Praise honesty & reward the truth 

As parents, we are often quick to scold. Sometimes we aren’t always so quick to praise. Reward honesty with praise and hugs, thank them for being honest. Use words such as, “I’m really glad you told me the truth. I like it when you’re honest.” It will build self-confidence and reinforce positive behavior.

Father surprising her son with a present

Think about their point of view

Toddlers often lie because they have trouble differentiating between reality and imagination. In a toddler’s mind, when they pick up a crayon and color on your walls, they are making you a pretty picture. When in reality, they just drew all over your walls. When confronting them you have to take in their perspective, they did not know or mean any harm.

Listen more than you talk

All children want to do is make you proud and do the right thing, you’re their biggest role model and they look to you for reassurance. We all want our children to be perfect but sometimes you need to give them the freedom to make their own mistakes. They will learn from these experiences and

Always give them the option, to tell the truth.

Confront them in a calm matter

As a parent, it is your job to teach them that this lying is not acceptable, and this needs to be taught in a positive way. Instead of saying “Who colored on the wall!” when they obviously colored on the wall, say “what a nice drawing, but you are not supposed to draw on the walls. Here help me clean this up.”

Children are more likely to admit the truth when they feel they have not disappointed you and will not be judged for it.

Never call your child a liar, negative labels can harm self-esteem and lead to a negative self-image. Also, try not to bring up past occurrences “This is the third time you’ve lied about this”. You have already had a discussion about the previous lie, there is no point in bringing it up again. Live in the present and deal with the present.

Muslim mom teaching daughter how to wear a Hijab

Set a good example

You are their biggest role model they look to you for everything, so it only makes sense that you have to be on your best behavior too. When they see you call in sick but then go to the beach, they assume that is good behavior.

A very important character trait a person can possess is keeping and following through on their promises. This is a trait everyone can value, but unfortunately, not everyone has. Trust doesn’t come naturally it has to be earned, teach your children to be people who consider their word is gold. When they give their word, they won’t break it.

Create an open conversation 

A child will feel more comfortable telling the truth if they feel comfortable with talking to you. If they feel as though they are going to be punished for what they did they will be more likely to lie.

Research has found that kids who are punished for lying are more likely to lie in the future than those kids who are guided towards the reasons why it’s important, to tell the truth. In a study involving 372 kids between 4 and 8, researchers found that kids were more likely to lie when they were threatened with being punished, and more likely to tell the truth when they thought it would make an adult happy with them. They are learning whether or not they can trust you. It takes courage and strength to tell the truth.

 

W5Go Healthy Kids Seasons! 

This app features three episodes; Food Groups, 5 Senses, and Personal Hygiene.

This app is the perfect combination of education and entertainment, it includes child safe Augmented and Virtual reality simulations bringing a fun new element to learning!

Explore how we take care of our bodies to keep us happy and healthy!

Healthy Kids is a collection of apps exploring how our bodies work and the many ways we need to take care of our bodies. Designed for children in preschool and kindergarten, these fun learning games get children excited to learn how they take care of their bodies.

Download on Google Play!

W5Go! Colours App!

W5GO’s Colour episode has been updated!

Included in the update: 

  • MORE COLOURS!
  • Interactive Animations
  • More Words to Learn
  • Augmented Reality Simulation of What uses colour
  • Virtual Reality Simulation of Colours around the Farm
  • Colour Test

Children start to notice colours around the age of 18 months, soon after they start being able to identify textures, shapes, and sizes. Most children are able to name one colour by 36 months, and by the time a child begins kindergarten, they are expected to identify and properly name basic colours (red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, brown, pink).

Colour Identification 

It is important to teach children that colour has no shape or size, it is simply what colour an object is. It can be difficult for some children to differentiate colours, shapes, and sizes as they are learning them all around the same time. In this application, there is a series of treasure hunts that will have the child identify many different objects by their colour.

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This episode aims towards teaching your child the basics of colours. The names, what makes colours, primary colours and how to identify colours. The easiest way for a child to learn and understand concepts is by interactive and repetitive learning, which could prove difficult for adults hearing the same songs, colours and numbers every day. We ensure all of our W5GO episodes are free from advertisement, no internet needed and have no in-app purchases. We make sure your child is having a safe learning experience. Therefore you can feel comfortable letting your child play through and explore our episodes on their own, over and over again until they fully understand the concepts.

How Do We See Colour? 

What makes colours? Your child will learn the basics of how light makes colour. When light is present colour is visible when the light is absent you do not see colour. When light hits an object, the object absorbs some of the light and reflects the rest and that is what you see. This is an interactive activity where the child will be able to adjust the lighting of the scene to visually see how light affects how we see colours.

Primary & Secondary Colours 

Learning the primary colours is a great base for a child to start to understand how colours work. In this episode, we explain what the primary colours are (Red, Yellow and Blue), how they cannot be made and how you can mix them together to create secondary colours.  This is portrayed through a fun animation followed by a paint by an activity where the child will have to colour in images with a selection of Primary or Secondary colours.

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Colour Blindness

Within this episode, there is an interactive Ishihara test (Colour Blindness test). By playing through this application with your child, you may be able to help identify any sort of colour identification issues.  It is estimated that 4.5% of the world’s population is colourblind. It is most commonly found among men (1 in 12 males) and is fairly rare in women (1 in 200 females)(Colour Blind Awareness)

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Colour blindness is often a genetic condition inherited from their mothers’ side, other conditions such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis can also contribute to a person having colour blindness. People with normal colour vision can see about one million distinct shades of colour, whereas colour blind people see only 5-10% of distinct shades.

It is often difficult to determine if a young child is colourblind or not since they are still learning the colours themselves. There are some signs to look out for such as;

  • Incorrectly identifying the colour of an object
  • Short attention span while practicing colours
  • Issues identifying Green or Red colour spectrums
  • Trouble differentiating coloured texts on a coloured page
  • Eye-Strain while working with colours

Although it is a concern that colour blindness will affect a child later in life, it is not something to worry about. A child is born with this condition and does not know any different than what they see. It may require some attention while in school, but will not be a factor in daily life.

If you suspect your child is colour blind consult a physician for a medical test.

 

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Unique Family Christmas Traditions

Christmas Pickles

 

pickleOn Christmas Eve, once the children have gone to bed, many parents around the globe sneak downstairs to help Santa deliver the gifts, as well as hide a Christmas pickle in the tree!

In the morning before anyone can open gifts, someone must find the pickle! By doing this, children can explore and appreciate all the ornaments on the tree. The colour of the pickle makes it quite hard to locate and can sometimes take a while to find.

This wonderful tradition teaches children teamwork, patience and to enjoy the moment. In a lot of households, children rush to the tree and start tearing open presents. By placing the pickle in the tree for a scavenger hunt, children are forced to stop and appreciate the moment, be patient and work together to find it.

This tradition, originally from Germany, has been adopted and modified by many different cultures. The person that finds the pickle is usually rewarded by receiving a special gift from under the tree, or they are allowed to open their present first.

Hide Your Broom! 

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This is quite the tradition to spark your imagination! It’s not common in North America to associate brooms and Christmas, but this Norwegian dates back centuries to when people were much more superstitious than they are today. They believed the evil spirits such as witches and ghost would come out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. This is still a very popular tradition in Norway. Most people hide their brooms in their houses to avoid them being stolen.

Operation Christmas Child Boxes! 

Tis’ the season of family, cheer and giving. Operation Christmas Child is a tradition started in Canada by the Samaritan’s Purse organization. They work with the community to create boxes full of goodies and personal products that children in difficult circumstances could use.

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Christmas is different for everyone around the world not everyone is able to have a holiday full of gifts, family, feasts and festivities. These boxes bring so much joy to children in need and are quite fun to put together and wrap.

Get into the Christmas spirit with your family and friends and come together to create a couple of boxes. You can order packing party kits from their website, which include shoeboxes and other supplies.

OCC-pictureWhen creating your Christmas box choose a gender and an age range you would like to make the present for. Find a shoebox and fill it with presents, wrap it (make sure the lid can still be removed), place an age range and gender sticker on it and drop it off at the closest donation location.

Helpful Items: 

Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as toy cars, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.

School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, colouring and picture books, etc.

Non-liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.

Accessories: T-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.

Crafts: Make your own items such as hair bows, finger puppets, and friendship bracelets.

A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself, your family, or group. If you include your name and an address, the child may be able to write back.

For more information visit Operation Christmas Child.


Fill your Best Shoes with Hay and Vegetables

St.Nicholas day is the first major event in the advent calendar across many European countries. Celebrated on December 6th by Western European countries and Romania, December 5th in the Netherlands and on the 19th in Eastern European countries.

The evening before the feast of Saint Nicholas, children gather their favourite shoes and place them by the door or on a windowsill for St. Nicholas. Often filling their shoes with hay and vegetables for St. Nicholas’ horses. Traditionally, children would wake up to shoes filled with coins, fruit, sweets or smalls gifts (Shoe Sized).

13 Trolls of Christmas 

This is very similar to the last one but with a very unique twist. In Icelandic folklore, there are 13 Yule Lads (Mischievous Trolls) of Christmas, each of which visits children for the 13 days before Christmas.

Each night of Yuletide, children place their favourite/best shoes by the window. Each night a different Yule Lad visits, leaving presents for good boys and girls and rotten vegetables for the naughty children. 

They all have different personalities and backstories, along with some interesting names.

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Stekkjastaur – Sheep-Cote Clod
(Bugs sheep and has pegs legs)
Giljagaur – Gully Gawk (Hides in the gullies, waiting to scare cows and steal milk)
Stúfur – Stubby (Short and will steal pans to eat leftover crust)
Þvörusleikir – Spoon-Licker (Steals Spoons)
Pottaskefill – Pop- Scraper (Steals leftovers from pots)
Askasleikir = Bowl-Licker (Hides under beds waiting to steal bowls)
Hurðaskellir = Door Slammer (Likes to slam doors)
Skyrgámur – Skyr- Gobbler (Yule lad addicted to Skyr Yogurt)
Bjúgnakrækir – Sausage Swiper (Hides in the rafters and steals sausages)
Gluggagægir – Window-Peeper (Looks through windows for things to steal)
Gáttaþefur – Doorway-Sniffer (Has a very large nose)
Ketkrókur – Meat-Hook (Uses a hook to steal meat)
Kertasníkir – Candle-Stealer (Follows children to steal their candles)


Santas_LandingSantas Runway (Luminaries)

Organize with the neighbours for children to cut and decorate brown paper bags to create a runway for Santa to land his sleigh on your street.

Once the bags are beautifully decorated, Christmas Eve place them at the bottom of your driveway before going to bed.

Spider Webs in the Christmas Tree 

Ukrainian Christmas trees are traditionally decorated with a fake spider and web. The custom, which is said to bring good luck, stems from an old wives’ tale about a poor woman who could not afford to decorate her tree. She woke up on Christmas morning to find a spider had covered it in a glittering web.

Remember: There is no better present than being present!

Happy Holidays!

10 Best Motivational Quotes for Students

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All of us have a teacher, parent, friend or quote that inspired us to achieve more and believe in ourselves.  Sometimes all it takes is hearing a motivational quote to spark our passions and achieve more!

 

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8 Life Lessons Our Pets Teach Us

Home is where the dog is! How often are you sitting at work thinking about your cute animal at home, if you’re like me, it’s pretty much all the time? Our little furry friends fill us with all these emotions you wouldn’t think were possible. Our partners in crime, through thick and thin, often these animals are what makes a home, home. Although our time is short, animals teach us the most fundamental lessons in life.

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1. Be Present 

This is one of the greatest lessons in life, and its best to learn this sooner than later. There is no greater time like the present! We often live our lives dwelling on the past or planning for the future we often miss what’s happening right here and now. Animals don’t think about the past or worry about the future they are completely immersed in the now. Now they’re hungry, excited, bored whatever it may be they are always one hundred percent present.

Little girl holds a puppy on her arms

2. Play Time

All work and no play makes anyone a dull, stressed out person. Pets show us the importance of play they encourage us to put our troubles aside and enjoy the moment, kick back and have some fun. Play encourages creativity, imagination and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to be silly and do what you love.

3. Thankfulness

Pets appreciate everything you do for them, to them you are their world. Those pets, cuddles, table scraps, they are so grateful for everything you do. Every moment you spend with them means the world to them. This is such a good life lesson, its the little things in life, like being present, that mean the most. Material things make you happy for a while, but memories will make you happy forever. When life gets stressful, bring it back, and think of all the things you have to be grateful for.

4. Grudges Don’t Solve Anything

Animals are very forgiving if you accidentally step on a tail they don’t hold it against you. There is not enough time in life to hold grudges. Harvesting and focusing on those negative emotions will impact your emotional well-being and stops you from moving on. Learning to forgive yourself and others can lead to a more open stressfree life.

Charming little boy sits on the bench with a Bernese Mountain Do5. Exercise is Important 

Animals are a great source of motivation for living a healthy lifestyle get moving and active. Taking your dog for a stroll through the park provides many benefits to your physical and mental health. Studies say that dog owners often have healthier blood pressure and heart rates. Having an animal you need to walk, motivates you to get outdoors and be active.

6. Enjoy the Ride

We often spend so much time focused on the final destination we miss what is right in front of us. Animals live in the present, and the only thing they are concerned about is here and now.

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When you take a dog on a walk, they love to stop and sniff every flower along the way. They don’t know where they’re going, but they enjoy every step of the way.

It is quite easy to get caught up in the overall goal, stressing over the big picture, we often miss out on enjoying the little accomplishments that work towards our goals. When setting a goal, it is best to break it down into smaller pieces that work towards the larger goal. When working on a large goal don’t forget to enjoy every step of the process.

7. Embrace Your Fears

When you bring a new kitten or puppy home they are timid and shy. They always come around eventually facing their fears and becoming from it. We should watch and learn from this, so often we live in fear, scared of peer pressure, rejection, failure, and that stops us from obtaining our full potential.

Love really conquers all and you should start with yourself! What are your fears? You’ll see that replacing that fear and self-criticism with self-love makes you strong and able to handle every situation in life. It will make your life easier!

Embrace Yourself

Pets never wander around thinking about what others think of them. They accept and believe in themselves, they never have any self-doubts.

Happy little girl feeding chickens in the farm. Farming, Pet, Ha

8. Love Unconditionally

A pet is usually your first best friend and first love they teach you how to love and be loved unconditionally. No matter what happened that day your pet is always looking forward to seeing you. They don’t care about what clothes you wear, or if your hair is done they care that you’re there.  We could all learn to love unconditionally looking past appearances, backgrounds, and lifestyles.