Friday, August 31, 2012

Greek4Kids asks: How to choose the right school bag for your child?

Since our post on lists for the new school year, we have been thinking a lot about the right school bag. At this time of the year, us parents have been spending a lot of time shopping for all our children's school supplies. The most important one is the school bag!

 Have you thought of the importance of a good school bag?

Greek4Kids prepared some questions and contacted Emma's Lunch to seek their expertise on school bags. Check out their page on Back2School products for ideas on designs and patterns!

What should a parent know about the different shapes, sizes, weight and straps type?

There are many kinds of school bags out there, the important thing to look for is the correct size of bag for your child (most importantly the bag should not be too big).  When choosing a backpack make sure to tighten the straps and see how the bag is positioned on the child's back. Ideally you should be looking for anatomical backpacks which are contoured to the spine.  

The weight of the bag also has to be considered. Think about how much it would weigh with books inside!  This is a good guide to follow when considering how heavy should be the backpack when compared to the weight of the child. 

Sadly, children are expected to carry far too many books and usually the weight of the backpack exceeds those guidelines by far.  This is why I would recommend always buying a roller backpack or trolley for your young children.  There is no strain on the back and you can fit pretty much anything in it.

What should the parents look out for in terms of the design of a bag? 

Parents should ensure the backpack or trolley has enough separate compartments.  It is much easier to organize the books and keep notebooks, pencil cases and other equipment separate. This allows for easy access to necessary items and it also encourages using and developing organizational skills.  For Cyprus and hot weather countries I would strongly recommend choosing a bag with an insulated compartment or purchasing a separate insulated bag which can then be attached to the trolley or kept in one of the compartments for keeping water and lunch boxes.

How do you know if you have chosen a sturdy, hard-wearing bag? 

Brand awareness is important. Make sure you go to tried and tested suppliers and choose the bags offered by established  bag producers.  When choosing a licensed product, Disney, Nickelodeon, HIT entertainment, Marvel, Mattel etc ensure that you are actually buying an original bag.  This will guarantee that the bag is meeting all health requirements and regulations, that it is safe and appropriate for the ages intended and that it is durable.  Some of the things to look out for are proper packaging with copyrights and full details of the licensee (meaning the contact information of company who has been given the license to produce that item).  This information should also be found in different places depending on the licensor on an inside label, or on a label outside the bag. If you find those you should be safe.  

There are so many patterns out there! It is so hard to choose! What do you recommend? 

There is no one great design! If you follow the above guidelines when looking for a bag, you should be safe to let your child choose their own colour or character.  This empowers them and makes them happy to be carrying a bag they chose on their own.

Good luck choosing the right bag for your child.
Thank you very much Emma's Lunch for the very useful information! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Greek4Kids: Flashcards (school supplies)

These flashcards are inspired by the back to school mode we have been on these last weeks. Help your child learn some everyday classroom items. A very helpful set of flashcards. You could even use these flashcards to label drawers or decorate your child's homework space at home! Just print them out on coloured card paper.

You can find the School supplies Flashcards at our shop!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Greek4Kids out and about: ELC playtime

Here at Greek4Kids we encourage play! Play has an enormous role in our children's lives and its benefits are unique.

Most of our activities are based on fun learning. Playing is an integral part of our lessons. You can use our printables, our games, our exercises to teach your child or students Greek through play. What about other fun ways to promote learning?

An outside the class or home environment can enhance learning and offer new possibilities. Children absorb new knowledge very quickly and are readily open to new stimuli. In our effort to provide you with more fun learning opportunities we are starting our new feature:  

Greek4Kids out and about. 
Places you can visit, such as the beach, the theatre, the library, a restaurant, a museum, a playground, a store, a friend's house, a local event etc.

We are starting this series of posts today with a weekly playtime session:  
Tuesday playtime at Early Learning Centre.
Every Tuesday, 4:30 pm to 6 pm

At ELC stores around Cyprus 

Cost: Free  

What is it all about:
One and a half hours of free play, crafting and browsing books with your little one.

Our thoughts:
We particularly love the book corner where you can sit with your child, read a book, flip through the pages and discuss the pictures. A fantastic opportunity to teach your child new words, talk about different concepts and trigger their imagination! 

Another favourite is the farm and jungle animals stand where you can play with the different animals. practice their names and different sounds they make and even role play by setting up a farm for them! 

The crafting table is a great opportunity to get creative with your little one. Teach them the colours, the different textures or craft supplies and let them express themselves. 

A great opportunity for parents to spend some quality time with their child, although it may not be suited for children older than 7 due to the nature of the toys and books.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Classroom Decoration: The Fantasy Corner

You can never have enough Classroom Decoration material!

At Greek4Kids we love Classroom Decoration. We are renewing our series of printables with this lovely banner for the Fantasy Corner. Dragons, castles, princes, princesses and fairies, this banner has it all!

You can use this banner for your homeschooling wall too! Encourage children to make up stories and engage in pretend-play by creating images all around them!

  Happy pretend-play!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A child reads - The rights of the reader

Τα δικαιώματα του αναγνώστη

1. Να μην διαβάζει
2. Να πηδάει σελίδες
3. Να αφήνει ένα βιβλίο στη μέση
4. Να το ξαναδιαβάζει
5. Να διαβάζει ο,τιδήποτε
6. Να ζει την ιστορία σα να είναι αληθινή
7. Να διαβάζει οπουδήποτε
8. Να πιάνει ένα βιβλίο από τη μέση
9. Να διαβάζει μεγαλόφωνα
10. Να μη μιλά

10 δικαιώματα - μια προειδοποίηση: 
Αν κοροϊδεύεις αυτούς που δε διαβάζουν, 
δε θα αγαπήσουν το διάβασμα ποτέ.

This amazing guide is 
an introduction to our new Saturday feature:

A child reads

Follow Greek4Kids to a journey of making children love reading. 

From babies to toddlers to school students to teens read and share tips and advice on how to instill the love of books to your little reader.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The fish song - Το ψαράκι

This is our newest addition to the Nursery Rhymes series. It is a lovely nursery rhyme, based on the English nursery rhyme Once I caught a fish alive.

It helps children learn the numbers from one to ten. Ask the children to sing while counting with their fingers.

You can get the children to make fish out of card paper and hold them while singing the song. They can imitate the fish's "lips" with their mouth. You can use a blue bed sheet as the sea and let the children help their paper fish "swim" in the sea.

Here is a version of the ψαράκι nursery rhyme.

You can combine singing this song with a fish craft or a story about a fish. Here is a lovely rhyming story about a fish who is afraid to swim:

Ένα ψάρι που δεν ήξερε να κολυμπάει.

Have fun learning!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back to School Checklists!

Another school year is approaching! It is such an exciting time for both children and parents! For some families, this marks the beginning of primary school, a very important milestone in a child’s (and a parent’s too!) life.

A few of the Greek4Kids students are starting primary school this year so we have put together a guide/checklist as well as a few tips for the families to help them manage the practical side of things! You may use this checklist not only for first graders but as a general checklist for primary school as well. Check it out to see if you are on track!

Now it is the time to start doing your school supplies shopping. If your child's teacher has not provided you with a list, the Greek4Kids list may help you decide what to buy.

Here is a mini version of both lists. You may print it and stick it on the fridge.

If you are anything like us and enjoy making your own lists, then you can download a blank list (the mini version).

Have a lovely time preparing for school!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

What time is it? Τι ώρα είναι;

There is no better way to teach children how to say the time than to make a clock with them.

Here is a template that you can print out on card paper and make into a practice clock by adding a number hand and an hour hand. The numbers have a summer theme, which makes it more fun for the little ones!

Stay tuned for our Tell the time worksheets!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Reading Cards (summer theme)

In preparation for the new school year, we have been practicing our reading using reading cards. They are perfect for children who have just started learning how to read. Children can associate the picture with the short sentences, making reading fun! Here are two cards you can use with your child to encourage reading.

Through simple and short sentences which are accompanied by a picture, children learn to read and recognise words. You may use these cards to initiate conversation in Greek, by describing the pictures and asking questions.