Summer Kids News Round Up
The Trunkaroo team has curated a selection of this summer's most interesting kid-related news and articles for your reading pleasure.
Digital music service Spotify has re-launched the Kids category of its app with tons of cool new vocabulary and language development activities. The Kids playlists are created to fit in with daily family routines and activities, such as bedtime, bath time, and car journeys. Singing and music can help promote early brain and language development amongst toddlers, and Spotify have incorporated strategically placed prompts between songs to encourage interaction between parent and child. Voiceovers are available in both English and Spanish, along with narration by famous actors and singers.
Perri Klass, the Medical Director of the Reach Out and Read program, outlines the development benefits of adults reading paper books out loud to children. Studies have shown that electronic storybooks can cause cognitive overload, and displace one-on-one bonding time between parent and child. Klass argues that reading physical books provides a sensory experience, promotes greater language exchange during the adult-child book reading interaction and evokes stronger visual images for kids.
Meagan Forsgren, of ILS Learning, shares some engaging activities that can help your child to employ the left side of their brain (responsible for reading, writing, maths, speech and language) in preparation for school. When children are young they tend to predominantly use the creative right side of their brain, but sometimes the transition to using the left side of the brain for academic education can become problematic. When children fail to rewire to left brain processes it can cause issues with focus, attention and emotional grounding. Activities that practice fine motor skills, sensory-motor skills, and visual-motor skills will help 're-wire' your kids brain.
There has been a boom of babies being given ‘post-gender’ or gender-neutral names in the US. Research has revealed millennial parents have been choosing gender-ambiguous names, such as River and Phoenix, in overwhelming numbers. Nameberry announced that there has been a 60% increase in unisex baby names over the last decade, and a huge 88% over the last three decades. The five most popular gender-neutral names in 2015 were Hayden, Charlie, Emerson, Rowan and Finley.
Summer Holidays can be hugely disruptive to your kids sleep patterns as schedules go out of the window! These bedtime hacks will help get restless little ones back into a sleep routine ready for the new school term. A set routine of pre-bed activities will help reduce resistance and minimise tantrums when bed time rolls around. A drink of warm milk, snacks of bananas, yoga, a favourite song or a bedtime story can all work wonders to relax youngsters. Visual poster representations of the routine can help engage children in the bedtime process too.
A research study by Emory University has shown a relationship between the spatial awareness of infants and their development of mathematical ability by 4 years of age. Scientists used a change-detection paradigm to measure the level of 'mental transformation' in babies, which is the ability to transform and rotate objects mentally. The same children were tested again at 4 years of age, and those that had shown high levels of mental transformation as infants had maintained these abilities along with demonstrating superior maths skills. Spatial reasoning is a skill that can be improved with training, so greater emphasis on developing spatial awareness amongst children could be key in early mathematics education.