Spotty Blue Banana

Helping kids learn

Archive for the ‘play’ Category

Smories – Children’s stories read by children

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What is Smories? Well put simply it’s a brilliant idea. Lots of young children love having stories read to them. They also like having stories read to them by other children; you might have seen siblings reading to one another, or making up stories for each other. Well that is the basis for Smories – video recordings of children reading stories.

If you’ve got a story for children you can submit it and if its good then one of the many narrators is filmed reading it. Simple as that.

If you’ve got kids then point them towards the site and let them go.

The idea for the site came from a couple with children on a long, long car journey. That’s why the site is also accessible from iPhones and the iPod Touch, so you can get a story where ever and whenever you (or more significantly your kids) want to. It would be nice to see if integration and access is as easy from other portable devices, I haven’t checked that yet.

But with a constant stream of new material, they’re aiming for 50 new stories a month, Smories is a place to keep returning to again and again.

Smories is a UK site a month in so currently all narrators are british with UK accents. The intention is to have more US narrators from August.

Cute Cartoon Creation Script

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This is a bit of fun for the kids, two cartoon characters talking the script you input. It’s called Cute Cartoon Creation.

Choose your language, select a couple of characters, a locations backdrop and then write what you want your characters to say. Then away they go. It’s fun.

Written by markuos

April 26, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Memory Squid Game

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If you want to exercise your memory then this Memory Squid Game will give it a bit of a workout.

You’re given a sequence of words and have to click on them in the televisions. Get one wrong and a bunny gets zapped. Get all of the words to move on to the next level.

Written by markuos

April 26, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Gamequarium

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The Gamequarium is a site that “swims with learning fun”. Drill down the categories to find LOTS of resources for children to use for learning, either independently or supported. I can see myself returning to this site again and again.

Written by markuos

March 6, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Alphablocks – early literacy games

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The games on CBeebies Alphablocks (from the BBC) can help with early stage literacy, as the child forms words using the available letters or watches the songs letters sing.

Written by markuos

February 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm

FuseBox – Understanding electricity

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Vic Voltage is the cartoon character set to help primary or elementary school children around the Fusebox site about electricity and its history, using interactive flash games, activities and general information.

There are circuit boards to create using drag-and-drop components. You can see how three common electrical things work in the home. There’s a section on safety, which took me back to a public information film of the 70s. You can also play an electrically themed version of hangman.

The site is created by CE Electric UK who supply electricity to many homes in the UK, so they should know what they’re talking about.

Create Comicstrips online

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I came across a video today that got me interested in creating comics online, and how it can be used to interest children in literacy.

I’ll mention a couple of sites that provide the facility, though there are several others.

I’ve picked on Bitstrips

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and Pixton (click below to view video)

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because they have on open version, but also a (pay for) secure school version that can be used within classrooms; Bitstrips for Schools

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and Pixton fo Schools.

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Both are quite intuitive to get started with, if after a bit of playing around. There’s lots of control over the characters, both body and facial expressions, and you can design your own.

In addition there’s a collaborative element to many of these services, where for example you are able to mix and remix the comics.

Pixton has a very nice Safety Tips section, helping to ensure that the site is safe for children’s uses, with parent supervision.

And here is the video of how Bitstrips is used in class and what children think about its use:

Written by markuos

October 1, 2009 at 8:38 pm