Wow! Two great discoveries today. Not only is Google Earth available for the Mac now, but the aerial shots of Cambridge were taken while the last Cambridge Folk Festival was on. Look! That’s me and me mates on that rug, no really! Type in something like “walpole road cb1 uk” to get close. Yes – the Folk Festival and My House …together at last!. And another shot at a nice angle captured for posterity.
Big thanks to Jon Severn, who’d squirrelled away a copy of our Tips for Prospective New Parents which we’d written soon after Alex was born. It’s just a braindump of all the advice we wanted to give other new parents following our own experiences – stuff which you just knew you’d forget forever if you didn’t commit it to print. We sent it to a few other people, but lost it. However, one of those people (Jon) thought it was so useful, they’d kept a copy. And now I’ve done what I should have done way back then, and posted it here on the website.
Alex (aged 4 and three-quarters) got given a game for Christmas from his Godfather Paul which becomes an immediate new entry in my list of “Best Educational Items for Toddlers …Ever!” It’s called Rush Hour and it’s a logic puzzle which is apparently for eight-year-olds and upwards (certainly all grownups love it), but it hasn’t so far proved insurmountable for a four-year-old, and I’d thoroughly recommend it. In fact, you can “try before you buy” because there are online (Flash) versions such as this one: Online Version of Rush Hour
So here is my current list of “Best Educational Items for Toddlers …Ever!”:
1. Google Earth – should be compulsory in reception years in schools. Watch in amazement as it suddenly all falls into place inside their minds: “So that’s my house, and zoom out, and that’s my town …wow! My house is in my town! And zoom out, and that’s my country …wow! My town is in my country! And zoom out, and that’s the Earth …wow! My country is on the Earth! So wait a bit… zoom back in… my house is on the Earth! In space!”
2. Print out a calendar as a linear strip of 365 days, on 12 sheets of A4, and stick it on their bedroom wall. Mark on birthdays, Christmas etc with pictures. And make a little Blu-Tack pointer they can move along each day. Then marvel as they realise how time goes along in a straight line, how one event comes before another, and the speed at which it all operates. Fantastic.
3. Rush Hour. “Dad, I’m stuck on this one, can you help?” Hmm, the lesson to be learned here may well be that Dads aren’t perfect and can’t do everything. Oh dear…