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discovering colours
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Everything is pink: the house, the teddy bear, the tee-shirt, the car, the bedspread. Even if she knows colours, my three-year-old daughter has fun with the concept. With the hint of a smile and sparkles in her eyes, she swears that everything around her is pink. Perhaps it’s her way of checking the evolution of her learning – or just a way of teasing her mother. Discovering colours is an important learning process for preschool children. It usually takes place between the ages of two and six. “Knowing colours is a prerequisite for entering preschool,” says Francine Ferland, occupational therapist and Professor Emeritus at Université de Montréal. A school-age child’s knowledge will be refined by listing the shades: pale blue, dark grey, etc.”. Around the age of four, a child is generally able to name the usual colours. The little ones will integrate the notion of colours through games. Children need concreteness; they need to handle objects. Coloured blocks, sticks or pencils, and buttons (starting from the age of three) are recommended. A child’s curiosity may also be stimulated through games that don’t require any material. “For example, we show the child an item of a certain colour in the(…)

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playing games
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At the age of eighteen months, my daughter would watch Baby Einstein videos, an educational TV show especially tailored for the little ones. She loved it. Now my three-year-old princess surfs through her favourite applications on the iPad and really enjoys tapping on her older brother’s DS console. Is it serious, doctor? Am I a bad mother? “Of course not!” says a friend, an early childhood educator. Any exposure to electronic games, whether online computer games, video games on a console, or games on a digital tablet, is harmful if excessive, according to the experts. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that children aged two and under not be exposed to screens. Between the ages of two and six, children should not spend more than two hours a day in front of any type of screen. However, electronic games do offer some advantages, according to Thierry Plante, a media education expert at the Habilo Médias national centre. “Online games present the same educational advantages as other games in general”, he says. He cites, for example, language games, puzzles, and other math games with which children “learn how to solve problems and gain self-confidence”. The older the child gets, the stronger the(…)

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boy opening present
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Play is essential to a child’s education. Certain games are strictly meant to be fun; others focus on learning, discovery and finding out about the world while having fun. Here are ten fun and educational games to keep your 6- to11-year-old children entertained. 1) To foster environmental awareness: 4M Paper Recycling Kit Here is a unique gift to creatively foster children’s environmental awareness and teach them about the importance of recycling in a concrete way. 2) To learn in color : Art 101 Here is a novel idea to develop your child’s talent and introduce them to art using crayons, watercolours and pastels. The suitcase-type kit is very complete and easy to pack up and take with you. 3) To exercise the grey matter: Allumez les énigmes (Available only in French) Develop your children’s reasoning skills and their capacity to creatively solve the challenges proposed in this matchstick game. 4) To discover music: Discovery Marching Band Kit If it’s true that music soothes the soul, it might be wise to warn the neighbours should you pick up this set of instruments for your child. The kit includes a drum, a strap, cymbals and drum sticks. 5) To have fun with a learning app tablet: InnoTab(…)

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