Save the Rainforests with Rainforest Rascals!

Rainforest Rascals 30-piece building block toy for boys and girls

 
 

As you know, we here at Click-A-Brick love helping kids learn about the world around them. The more they learn, the more opportunity they will have to make the world a better place.

 
 

Rainforest Rascals 30-piece building block toy for boys and girlsRainforest Rascals 30-piece building block toy for boys and girlsYou can help us teach children about the world around them and the importance of caring for it with the 30-piece Rainforest Rascals set.

 
 
 
 

This set can be used to teach children about the rainforest and build interest about rainforest conservation.

 

 
 

We are hoping that by getting children interested in rainforest conservation the next generation of adults will make a concerted effort to save this important ecosystem.

 
 
 
 

Rainforest Rascals 30-piece building block toy for boys and girlsAccording to the Rainforest Conservation Fund, rainforests are disappearing at the rate of hundreds of thousands of square miles per year. If not stopped, it is estimated that they could completely disappear by the mid-21st century!

 
 
 
 

Can you even imagine a world without rainforests? That would be terrible! We don’t even want to imagine a world without the rainforests and all the good things they do for the Earth.

 

 
 

Not only would it be terrible for regions of the Earth that currently have rainforests, it Click-A-Brick 30-piece Rainforest Rascals educational building block toy for boys and girlswould be terrible for the whole earth because rainforests play an integral role in maintaining the Earth’s climate. Plus, rainforests are home to about half the plant and animal species on Earth.

 
 
 
 

Exactly how important the rainforests are to our planet may be a little too much to grasp for kids, but you can help them cultivate an interest in rainforest conservation by getting your kids to build the animals in the Rainforest Rascals set and then talking to them about the animals they are building and where they come from.

 

 
 

Rainforest Rascals 30-piece building block toy for boys and girlsThey won’t just be building these reptiles and amphibians without thinking about them. Children are curious about the world so they’re probably wondering about these animals, where they come from, what they are and where they live. If parents are there to stimulate this type of learning with their kids, it could very well influence them enough to become really interested in helping to save the rainforest as an adult. The more people interested in rainforest conservation, the better!

 
 
 
 

The power of knowledge and the desire to do the right thing are two of the most important gifts you can give your child. Let us help you help them want to make the world a better place.

 

 
 

 

 

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10 Outdoor Science Experiments to Make Your Kids Say “Whoa!”

STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

We here at Click-A-Brick know kids love science and they love being outdoors, so why not combine the two?

We often think of science experiments and lessons taking place inside of a laboratory, but you can do simple science experiments outside, too. And it’s super easy to get your kids involved.

Here are 10 ideas that for outdoor science experiments that you can do with your kids.

    1. Make You Own Bubble Blowing Solution

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

Kids love blowing and chasing bubbles in the park or yard, but those little bottles of bubble solution can get expensive. But, there’s no need to buy those overpriced bubble solutions anyway because it’s super simple just to make your own. Plus, it’s a ton of fun to do it yourself and you can easily get your kids involved.

Here are three bubble solution recipes to try with your kids. See which one works best!

    1. Mentos Geysers

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

A classic science experiment, adding Mentos to diet soda will produce a huge geyser that will have your kids going crazy with excitement when they see it. They’re probably going to see several videos of this throughout their childhood and they’ll want to try it, so why not be the one to show it to them first and get some cool parenting cred?

Follow these simple instructions to show your kids what happens when Mentos meets diet soda.

    1. Start Your Own Compost Pile

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

Not just educational, but useful if you have a garden or like to grow plants. You’ll need some space for this one and it’s a long-form experiment, meaning you won’t see results for a while, but you can keep an eye on it throughout the summer to note the changes that take place.

Click here for directions on how to create your own compost pile.

    1. Make it Rain in a Bag

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

Technically, this is an indoor activity, but it teaches kids about weather and it’s great for a rainy day because you can teach your kids why it’s raining. The great thing about this activity in particular is that you can introduce a bit of artistry, too, because you need to draw a scene for it.

Read here about making it rain inside a bag.

    1. Float or Sink

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

This one couldn’t be simpler. You just go for a walk somewhere outdoors and collect items from nature like a leaf, a rock, a stick, a feather, a mushroom, etc. And then you ask your child if they think the item will sink or float and record what they say. Take your items home and fill a bucket with water and see whether they were right about which items would float or sink.

Get the full set of instructions for Float or Sink here.

    1. Nature Color Hunt

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

Another super easy one, cut out squares of different colored construction paper and line the bottom of an ice cube tray with them. Then, set your kids loose and get them to find things outside that match the colors in the tray.

You can find the full directions for Nature Color Hunt right here.

    1. DIY Rainbows and Prisms

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

You can make rainbows in lots of different ways either inside or outside. Have a blast making your own rainbows using any one of the many methods you can use to create these beautiful, natural wonders.

Find several different methods for DIY rainbows right here.

    1. Elephant Toothpaste

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

Does Dumbo need his tusks brushed?

This thick, strong foam isn’t actual elephant toothpaste, but it sure looks like something an elephant would use to brush its teeth. Your children will have a total blast making it and playing with it.

See directions on how to make elephant toothpaste here.

    1. Walking Water

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

Something you can do in or outdoors. All you need is some cups, some paper towel and some food coloring to get water to “walk” from one cup to another and see what happens when you mix two different colors.

See directions for making walking water here.

    1. 10. Backyard Weather Station

      STEAM building block toy for boys and girls

This one takes some specialized equipment, but it is a great long-term science experiment for your child that can teach them how to take and record measurements and look for patterns. In this case, they’ll be looking for patterns in the weather over the summer.

 

Find directions for creating your own backyard weather station here.

We hope these 10 outdoor science experiments and activities will help you keep your kids busy throughout the spring and summer months. You can always use our Bug’s Life set to kickstart a conversation about the bugs in your area, our Feather Friends set to get your kids interested in bird watching or the Sandy Sidekicks set to learn about what they can find at the beach.

Have fun out there!

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Combating NDD: What You Need to Know

Combating NDD: What You Need to Know

 

Does your child have NDD?

It’s a serious disorder and is affecting more and more children across the entire world.

Symptoms include:

    • Pale skin
    • Lethargy
    • Perfectly clean fingernails
    • Absence of dirt anywhere on body
    • Inability to recognize any wild animals

Yes, NDD, or Nature Deficit Disorder as it’s known in its long form, affects far too many children, but there is hope. With the right treatment, you can reverse the effects of NDD easily.

We’ve collected some insight from various experts about fighting against NDD and we share it with you here in the hopes that no child should ever have to suffer from this truly terrible ailment.

Here are what five experts suggest for getting kids outside to combat NDD:

Click-A-Brick Bug's Life educational building toyLauren Knight – Parenting Columnist for The Washington Post

Lauren says combating NDD has to start with the parents. That’s why she suggests parents instil curiosity in their children by being curious themselves. As Lauren puts it, the most important part of making nature a priority for your child is to give them the gift of enthusiasm. Remember that you yourself are probably just as much of a learner as your child, so explore together.

Click-A-Brick Bug's Life educational building toyPatrick Barkham – Natural History Writer for The Guardian

Patrick’s small children love the little bugs, worms, spiders and caterpillars they find outside. He recommends allowing children to get acquainted with insects (while obviously keeping them safe). If children pick up on parents’ fears or anxieties, they might adopt them as their own. He also suggests having a planned time to go outside, but don’t worry too much about planning what to do, as kids are often good at coming up with things to do.

Click-A-Brick Bug's Life educational building toyHenry W. Art – Author, Woods Walk

Being outside isn’t just about looking at stuff, Henry reminds us. It’s about touching, smelling, listening and sometimes tasting what’s out there. He suggests bringing a magnifying glass or some binoculars to get a close up look at stuff. But also listen to the birds, feel the different types of bark, eat some wild berries (if you recognize they’re safe for eating, like blueberries or wild strawberries).

Click-A-Brick Bug's Life educational building toyRichard Louv – Author, The Nature Principle

Nature doesn’t need to be experienced on days-long camping trips (although that’s good, too). Even just short jaunts outside to a local park, a copse of trees at the end of a cul-de-sac or to a ravine by your house. There are little bits of nature to explore even in the biggest of cities and it doesn’t take much for kids to connect with nature. A few regular strolls down whatever trails you have nearby throughout the week will do wonders for them.

Click-A-Brick Bug's Life educational building toyAngela Hanscom – Pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook, which focuses on nature-centered developmental programming in New England

Angela tells us that children are increasingly having to attend therapy for sensory deficits because they are being coddled too much and told not to run, jump, climb and get dirty. All of the fun stuff kids do isn’t just for fun, it’s helping them develop the very senses that they’ll need when growing up.

Here, we’re not talking about sight and smell, we’re talking about senses as in their sense of balance, their sense of space and their general body awareness. She recommends sledding (when and where possible), walking barefoot in the woods and rolling down grassy hills as activities that will help children develop a healthy sensory system.

Being outside isn’t just fun, it’s important for kids to combat NDD. Get out there and get reacquainted with nature. You and your kids will both benefit! Together we can stamp out Nature Deficiency Disorder.

5 Charities that can Help You Teach the Importance of Giving to Your Children

5 Charities that can Help You Teach the Importance of Giving to Your Children

We at Click-A-Brick love helping children, particularly helping them learn. And while we specialize in helping children learn things like spatial awareness and creativity, we want to go beyond that.

 
 

Giving and helping the less fortunate is an essential lesson for kids as they grow up. With kids learning best by example, it’s important for parents to set a good example to follow when it comes to teaching them about giving.

 
 

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of children’s charities that you can use to teach your kids about the value of giving to others who need it. We chose children’s charities because kids can identify easily with other kids.

 
 

Obviously, donating or volunteering close to home is preferred by most people and we agree that if you can find a charity near you, that is great. But, if you’re not already donating either money or time to a children’s charity and talking to your kids about why you do it, may we suggest taking a look at these five charities:

 
 

Canines for Disabled Kids

 
 

 
 

This charity combines giving with dogs, which may help your kids get even more interested in it because we all know kids love animals. Canines for Disabled Kids provides service dogs for children under 12 who are autistic or have a physical disability. Around since 1998, the charity has helped hundreds of children by sponsoring dogs who help with daily activities, act as guides or provide animal therapy to kids.

 
 

KaBOOM!

 
 

 
 

Since 1995, KaBOOM! has been building and restoring playgrounds, skate parks, ice rinks, and athletic fields for children in impoverished areas in the US. The charity wants to give all children, regardless of where they live, the opportunity to live balanced lives that include the ability to play. They also provide expertise and training to communities that want to build their own playgrounds.

 
 

Locks of Love

 
 

 
 

Chances are you know someone who has donated to Locks of Love. Even a lot of children get in on the act either on their own or through school. In case you’re not familiar with it, though, this charity makes hairpieces for children who have lost their hair due to medical reasons. The hairpieces are all made from donated human hair and give the children who receive them a boost of self-confidence.

 
 

My Stuff Bags Foundation

 
 

 
 

An excellent teaching opportunity for children who have grown up in stable homes, this charity provides bags full of items to children who have been extricated from dangerous environments. Many children who are rescued from dangerous home environments each year arrive at crisis centers with little to nothing. My Stuff Bags, which has been around since 1998, aims to provide them with clothes, toys, toiletries, stuffed animals, and a security blanket.

 
 

North American Council on Adoptable Children

 
 

 
 

Another great opportunity to teach children that there are others who don’t enjoy the stability of a permanent home, this charity seeks to place adoptable children who are considered “hard to place” into caring, loving homes. These children are often already school-aged, meaning they’ve passed the ideal age for adoption, which is when children are babies or toddlers. Some of these children also have physical, mental or emotional difficulties, making them more difficult to find homes for. The council helps adopting adults with the process and also provides them with support.

 
 

If you want to teach your children about giving and empathy and how it can change someone’s life, these charities are a wonderful way to do just that.

 

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