The Benefits of Virtual Reality in Early Childhood Education

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Physical play is an important and effective way for young children to learn. Similarly, when used correctly, technology is just as important to a young child’s development. There are huge investments into technology that can provide essential and important skill-building virtual reality and augmented reality games for children. Studies have shown that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the ability to alter behaviour, thoughts, patterns, and attitudes.1

The benefits of virtual reality in early childhood education include:2

Fun learning

Children generally have shorter attention span. Many young children today are exposed to technology and digital screens at an early age. You’ll probably find that it is easier to catch their attention when there are moving pictures/objects. VR allows for immediate engagement which means fewer distractions. You can change the visual settings of the game to cater to each student’s visual engagement. The scenery is usually vivid and attractive, and that will engage your child and pique their attention.

Enhance motivation

As your child is engaged in the game, it will motivate them to want to play. Many VR games require full participation. If your child doesn’t move, the avatar doesn’t move — nothing happens in the game. Children learn best when they figure out concepts at their level, and they can do so through the VR/AR games. The use of VR technology can enhance traditional teaching methodologies as children are able to apply what they have learnt in the “real world”.3

Increase academic performance and understanding

A study done on the effectiveness of augmented reality apps in teaching the alphabets to kindergarten children revealed that students who were taught with AR had significantly better results than students who were taught using traditional teaching methods — a mean score of 27.57 in the experimental group and 15.43 in the control group.4

Develop positive attitudes and behaviour and Enhance social skills

In classrooms, the nature of AR and/or VR encourages children to work together, building their cooperation skills while improving their communication skills. The use of technology gives your child a sense of control over their learning, whether it is at home or at school. Self-directed learning can increase their level of concentration and information retention. It can also motivate your child to want to learn more and engages all children regardless of learning abilities.6

Using AR/VR to enhance teaching and learning

Technology will never replace traditional teaching methods and teachers as the main mode of educational and developmental learning. Physical play and human-led teaching are still critically important in helping young children develop, learn life-skills, and academic learning. However, technology can be used alongside these traditional methodologies in order to enhance young children’s learning capabilities.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of VR and AR, head over to Piptree Kids to check out the full article!

 

References

  1. Ariel, Y. VR is a Powerful Tech Enhancing Early Childhood Development Must. (Link)
  2. Masmuzidin, M.Z., Aziz, N.A.A.. “The Current Trends of Augmented Reality in Early Childhood Education.” The International Journal of Multimedia and Its Applications, vol. 10, no. 6, 2018, pp. 47-58. (Link)
  3. Wenke, J. The Benefits of Using Augmented Reality in Early Childhood Education. (Link)
  4. Safar, A.H., Al-Jafar, A. A., Al-Youdefi, Z.H.. “The Effectiveness of Using Augmented Reality Apps in Teaching the English Alphabet to Kindergarten Children: A Case Study in the State of Kuwait.” EURASIA Journal of Mathematics Science and Technology Education, vol. 13, no. 2, 2016, pp. 417-440. (Link)
  5. AR VR Tech. Top 5 Benefits of Virtual Reality in Education. (Link)
  6. Youdale, K. Augmented Reality in Kindergarten? (Link)

NOW OPEN – Piptree Early Learning Heritage Park

Piptree Early Learning Heritage Park is the newest Piptree centre opened in south-east Queensland.

The centre is currently undergoing renovations and new paintwork, giving the centre a fresh, new look and feel. There are plans for the installation of a CCTV system and keypad lock at the entrance for children’s security. Also, we will have new classroom furniture and toys coming soon – how exciting!

Piptree Heritage Park will cater for 75 children, aged six weeks to five years old. There are four playrooms inside, all with access to outdoor play.

Centre manager Lee-Anne Brunsch said she was very excited to be managing the new Piptree Centre and to be part of the Piptree team. Ms Brunsch has worked in early learning for 11 years and loves being able to be part of families’ lives and enjoys giving children the best start in life.

Piptree Heritage Park at 298 Bayliss Road, Heritage Park is now open and accepting new enrolments.

Nature Play Passport for an Amazing Childhood

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Nature Play QLD PassportToday your children will receive their free Nature Play QLD Passport to an amazing childhood. There are missions to complete, activities to play, outdoors to explore!! Please support our children to blossom through play!!

Your Nature Play Passport will have activities such as:

  • Animal I spy
  • Soccer play with a twist
  • Shadow art
  • Kaialgumm Games Trail to learn more about our indigenous culture

There are stickers, fun facts and heaps more online!!

Go for it, give the children the very best, as it is the little things that matter!!

Nature Play

The Role of Play Based Learning in Child Development

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Kids love to play. And there’s a reason for that.

It’s not only natural, but it’s essential for optimal child development.

In fact, play is so important that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights recognises the right of every child to engage in play time.

Read more

5 Benefits of Sending Your Kids to a Child Care Centre

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Are you thinking about sending your child to a child care centre?

Are you concerned about the impact of a child care centre for both you and your child?

You really shouldn’t be concerned. In fact, there are many benefits of for your child.

Read more

National Pyjama Day

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The Pyjama Foundation was founded in 2004 to give children in foster care the opportunity to change the direction of their lives with learning, life skills, and confidence.

Pyjama Angels

Through a simple program known as the Love of Learning Program, volunteers called Pyjama Angels are matched with a child in care, and spend just one hour a week focusing on learning based activities. Pyjama Angels read books aloud, play educational games, and help children with their homework. In that time, they demonstrate that this child is valued and loved.

 

So please come dressed in your Pyjamas on Friday 21st July and bring in a gold coin to donate to this amazing cause.

The Importance of Professional Development for Staff

What is Professional Development in Childcare?

“Professional Development” is the development of new skills, knowledge and experience. Professional development can include courses, work-based learning, studying on your own,  going to lectures, seminars or conferences and a range of other activities.

Why invest in Professional Development in Childcare?

For Childcare professionals, ongoing Professional Development can keep staff up to date with advances in Early Childhood Education and Care, improve skills and practice, thereby enhancing the positive development of the children in their care.

The uptake of good quality Professional Development is consistent with the Government’s quality reform agenda.

For an individual, Professional Development is particularly important, given that in some cases a single professional will care for and nurture a child’s development over a number of years. More broadly, across the Early Childhood Education and Care sector, Professional Development can motivate, inspire and support professional networks.

Why Play is Encouraged to be a Part of Children’s Lives

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Play is a universal phenomenon and a right of childhood.

It is spontaneous, rewarding and fun with several benefits:

  • Education: helps children learn and build skills that lay the foundation for learning to read, write and do maths.
  • Social skills: provides opportunities to socialize with peers of the same age, to learn to understand others, to communicate and to negotiate.
  • Cognition: encourages children to learn, imagine, categorize and problem solve.
  • Therapeutic benefits: Gives children the opportunity to express troubling aspects of their daily life, including stresses, trauma, family conflicts and other dilemmas.

Our children live in a time of busy schedules and high expectations for achievement; we should take care to give them the time and space to discover the joy and benefits of free play.

Foods to Minimise Stress

There is no magic button to help our busy and sometimes stressful lives, but if we try and eat healthy and follow the research there are some foods which seem to help:

1. Blueberries

Identified as one of Mother Nature’s healthiest foods, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants (molecules that stop free radicals damaging healthy cells), so they work to protect and repair your body from the deleterious effect of too much stress. They are also bursting with vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that, if left unattended in the brain for prolonged periods of time, can permanently deteriorate cognitive health.

2. Organic yoghurt

Yoghurt most notably contains a high amount of calcium and is also great for neutralising too much acidity in the gut, which is often a by-product of too much stress. Researchers from the University of Toronto also demonstrated that when Lactobacillus Casei (a pro biotic found in some yoghurt’s and supplements like Yakult) was given to people with chronic fatigue syndrome on a daily basis for two months, their feelings of anxiety significantly decreased.

3. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has long been understood to be a great mood elevator. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which stimulates the production of endorphins, a feel-good chemical released in the brain that makes you feel happier. PEA is also the same chemical your brain releases when you feel like you’re falling in love. In addition, dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant that helps soothe and calm fragile nerves. A 2009 study found strong evidence that consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate per day for two weeks significantly lowered cortisol levels in healthy volunteers who had rated themselves as highly stressed.

4. Almonds, walnuts, & pistachios

Almonds, walnuts and pistachios are all highly nutritious stress-soothing snacks and great sources of magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B and E. Both E and B vitamins bolster your immune system, which counteracts the weakening effects of stress. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps kill free radicals associated with stress and studies have shown it also assists in the prevention of heart disease. B vitamins are important for the body’s production of energy, and so any deficiencies will leave you feeling weak and fatigued.

5. Dark green vegetables

Spinach, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, green peppers, green beans, peas, and zucchini – all of these dark green veggies contain B-complex vitamins, essential for the production of serotonin, a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter. High amounts of potassium are also typically present in these dark green vegetables, which studies have shown to be ideal for calming nerves.

So what’s for dinner at your house tonight?

The Benefits Of Child-Centred Education

Times are changing and so is parenting.

Child-centred education often leads to heated arguments due to misunderstandings. The ideas date back to the 19th century! Some teachers aren’t prepared to adapt to the changing concepts of child development. They’ve criticised the approach. Still, child-centred education has many benefits. It can sometimes lead to better results than the teacher-centred approach for some children. Read more