Childhood lessons Taught in the Garden

flower-3450544_1920

The garden, a wonderful place to learn and grow! (Pun Intended)
Growing a vegetable garden with your child can teach them many life lessons. Planning, planting, growing and harvesting shows them the many steps our food takes to get from farm to table.

We often don’t think of the many life lessons our activities teach us. Learning to garden at a young age exposes us to many great life lessons, morals and values rooted in us that take with us into adulthood.

Prepares Us For Adulthood 

Adulthood is can be an emotional rollercoaster. Like a garden, everyday something is new, there are so many challenges ahead and garden can teach us those many life lessons we need to live and grow into a successful life. 

Getting Intouch With Nature

ladybug-54311_1920The garden is full of exciting creatures! When your child is working on their own garden, they are bound to run into a creepy crawly or two. Introduce them to the many different elements gardening has to bring.
These encounters can be so inspiring to a young child when they are done in the garden encourage them to write and draw about their experience.
Gardens are a great example of the most basic forms of life it shows the fundamentals of the food chain and how the environment works.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better 

Having a garden you can manage with little stress is much more important than having a large garden you cannot manage. 

Everything in moderation, creating and planning a garden that is manageable will allow for a plentiful, stress-free life. 

Replanting tomatoes

Growth Doesn’t Happen All At Once
A plant goes through many stages before it flowers. Each of these stages has a purpose and are important for the plant to grow, some stages take longer than others. Just like a plant, we have to go through stages before we bloom. You cannot just go straight from a seed to a perfect watermelon in a day good things come to those who wait.

In life when you get frustrated about the long road to the finish line (like graduating college) think back to the garden and the many steps it takes to get to somewhere worthwhile.

Accept Help When You Need It 

Sometimes we can be stubborn and feel like we can do everything on our own. It is important to know when to put our pride aside and accept help, for the greater good. Don’t wear yourself thin trying to do everything, work as a team and accomplish more. 

Persistence Is Key

In a garden, sometimes no matter what you try a flower may refuse to grow. Don’t let failures stop you from trying. Access what you did, study, ask for help and come back with a better game plan.   quote-if-at-first-you-don-t-succeed-try-try-try-again-william-edward-hickson-54-34-92

Be Flexible Life Changes 

Life changes, and sometimes it changes fast, for good or bad. Being able to adjust and adapt to new conditions only makes you stronger. 

Beauty Comes In All Shapes And Forms 

No two flowers are the same, yet each one is pretty in its own way. A garden full of identical flower would be boring, wouldn’t it? There is beauty in being unique.

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 12.43.34 PM

Clear Out The Negative To Make Room For Positivity 

Weeds can grow all over they can take over a whole garden and ruin your precious plants. Just like in life you need to cut out the negativity and not give it any room to grow. 

 Take Time To Smell The Roses 

Life happens fast, always take a moment to enjoy the present. When we’re constantly planning for the future and living in the past, we often miss beautiful moments right in front of us. 


Things Grow Then You Take Care of Them
Last, but not least! One of the biggest lessons a garden can teach a child is that through hard work and planning come great rewards.  All things in life last when you put effort, hard work and love into it, relationships, items, yourself everything in life follows this rule.

299806-P7FMRR-397


Feeling inspired to grow your own vegetable garden with the children?  Roll up your sleeves, get dirty and have fun in the garden! These are the top 10 easiest vegetables to grow from seeds. Get in touch with your roots! 

OAVDPD0

  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Squash
  • Spinach

 

 

W5Go! Colours Apps

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.

Wheredoyoufindcolour

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.

Colour_Secondary

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)

Ishihara_plates

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.

 

Rainbow_SM_blog.png

DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE NOW 

4 Ways to Make Eating Fun for Children

Children can often be picky eaters and when it comes to dinner time things can sometimes get messy. You want the best for your child obviously, and ensuring they get all their vitamins and nutrients, but sometimes those good vitamins come from fruits and veggies your children just don’t like.

How can we make food fun and exciting for children?

Colour! Colour! Colour! 

Children love colours! Naturally colourful foods are naturally more appealing for children and often provide more vitamin and nutrients than boring dull coloured foods.

EataRainbowHave you heard of Eating a Rainbow?  Fruits and veggies come in a variety of colours, each colour has its own unique vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and natural plant chemicals that give them their distinct colours.

You can judge the number of nutrients on your plate just by looking at the colours. Making food that is very colourfull not only makes it more appealing for children but also more nutritional. Create a rainbow of colour on your plate!


Make it Interesting! 

What is your child currently interested in?  Math, Art, Geography, or maybe a movie like frozen? Try creating meals according to themes.
In my household, we like to explore cultures and will have greek night, Mexican night and so on.

This not will not only make your child interested in the food their eating but can act like a little lesson learning about foods and cultures. Introduce them to food items you might not normally find in your homes such as naan bread or maple syrup (depending on where you live of course).

116.jpgFun Servings

The presentation is key! If your child doesn’t think it looks appealing it will be a struggle to get them to even try it. This is where you can get creative!
Ideas: 
Fun Shaped Food
Fruit Kebabs
Happy Burgers or Pancakes!

Make a happy face out of your ingredients

Dip it! Children love to dip their food. Use healthy dip options for vegetables like yogurt.

Get them involved! 

There are so many benefits by getting your child involved in the kitchen, not only does this provide precious family bonding time but it also allows children to learn new skills.

From farm to table get your children involved meal preparations and they will have a lifetime love and appreciation for their food.

Start at the store, take them to the grocery store or market and show them where we gather our foods from. Give them the option to pick you a couple fruits, veggies or full meal they would like for dinner. We all feel more connected to something we have contributed to. Help them make good choices at the store explain to them the difference between good nutritious food and junk food.

Take them on a field trip! Taking them to the farm to see where their food comes from, meet the farmers who grow it will not only help them develop an appreciation for the hard work that goes into producing food but also gets them excited about food!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Mind & Body App for Children

mind_bodyButton_0000s_0000_Vector-Smart-Object

Mind and body is an episode within W5Go’s Healthy Bodies mobile app. The app is free to download, no in-app purchases, no ads and does not require wi-fi making it a perfect education app for road trips. 

Having a healthy body means taking care of your body inside and out! This episode covers the importance of Stretching, Aerobics, Strength & Mental Health. Learn how each topic helps the body stay healthy and strong. Join the W5Go kids in simple bodyweight exercises, learn body parts, play a sports memory game and more!  

Having a healthy mind is equally as important as having a strong body. We want to help break the stigma of Mental Health by introducing children to the basics of having a positive mind. We talk about feeling sad and what to do when you feel sad, with simple breathing exercises, how to help feelings, a song about bullying and a simple quiz. Upon completing this episode, a child will have a basic understanding of mental health and how to cope with situations.   

Key Features:

  • Simple body weight exercises for children to follow along
  • Fun animations, games, quizzes 
  • Breathing exercises 
  • Spelling and Pronunciation: On-screen text & voice over  
  • 20+ Fun Mind & Body Facts 

Download Available Soon!

Continue reading

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! 

broom-6432_1920
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.

Child

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.

trolls


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!

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.

398019-PCJ4X6-521

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.

girl with cat

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.