Last Saturday, we traveled around the world for our Global Readiness Workshop! Children ages 3-8 joined us for a trip to learn about other countries’ customs and traditions on celebrating birthdays. Along with our Dearest educators, they visited China, South Africa, and Mexico for an immersive, multicultural experience!
Dearest educators came together at Columbia Startup Lab for a Back-to-School Breakfast event to get to know one another, share activities, and brainstorm on the upcoming Dearest curriculum.
We began with introductions and an ice breaker led by Eiko, our founder. Our community has been growing and it was definitely exciting for our Dearest educators to meet some of the newest members!
A highlight of the event was a "show-and-tell” of Fall-themed activities. As seasons are changing, we think it’s a great opportunity to teach students about the concept of autumn and the science behind it. We handed out a booklet full of interactive fall activities for future sessions. It includes creating a tree paper craft to fine tune motor skills and a tree number matching activity that promotes mathematical learning. Our Dearest educators also shared many great ideas, such as a fall scavenger hunt with riddles for cognitive development and a fun game of “giants, wizards, and trolls” that offers a twist on the classic “rock, paper, scissors.”
Eiko then offered a sneak peek of the Dearest educational care curriculum, which is being developed as a way to accumulate early childhood development expertise, knowledge, and feedback in one place. The curriculum is aimed at providing our educators the right resources for them to prepare fun and educational activities that meet the stages of individual student.
Our educators play a huge role in helping us improve the quality of learning for the students. They may come from different backgrounds and specialize in different fields, but they all have one thing in common - their passion for teaching. They provided a lot of useful insights during the brainstorming session and we are already working on them to give families an even better experience with Dearest.
We closed the event by sharing some quotes we received from the parents, about our Dearest educators. As we continue to grow quickly, the quotes are an important reminder that we should always focus on the quality of the child's learning experience.
Many thanks to our Dearest educators for an active participation in the event!!
We kicked off the workshop with first listing out the benefits behind learning how to code. At Dearest, we believe coding is a valuable skill one can start to learn, even at a young age! Aside from developing problem-solving skills and sequential thinking, coding also develops one’s creativity. It's just like writing in a different language.
This workshop provided tangible resources for our educators to introduce simple coding concepts to children 3 years and up. We focused on fun screen-free activities like building mazes and exploring conditional statements.
Our software developer, Zach, shared with us about his experience learning coding and how it has helped him in his daily life even with something as simple as navigation and scheduling.
One of the fun activities included making some binary bracelets! This activity was centered around teaching the concept of binary code. Using strings and beads, the educators created bracelets by encoding their names with the ASCII code. Find out how to do this activity here.
Learning how to code does not have to be intimidating. There are many ways to teach your little ones the concepts behind coding without using computers and fancy toys.
We hope your kids will enjoy these activities in their next sessions with our Dearest educators.
You can view all the photos from the event on our Facebook page!
Dearest's Global Awareness Program is focused on developing awareness and interests in other countries, cultures, and people in the world. Based on the subject taught at International Baccalaureate® (IB) World Schools, our program focuses on personalized learning, problem-solving skills, and self-direction.
To share an preveiw of the exciting program, we had a kid's Global Awareness Picnic in Central Park on June 17th!!
We kicked the event off by greeting in different languages. Then we dove right in to story time and art project that explore the theme of "The Circle of Us"--sharing and discussing my home, my state, my country, and my planet.
The second project was on building a "Tree of us", where we created a collaborative artwork with hand prints and discussed how we can each contribute by being a great global citizen.
This was a short and casual preview of what is happening at our Global Awareness Summer Camp. Find out more about the camp here.
Combined, these three teachers have lived in 7 different countries and can speak 6 languages fluently! They are also experienced early childhood, music, and language teachers who can bring fun learning experience to your home. Visit www.dearest.io or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Our Discovery Science Summer Camp began with a mini introduction to the life of plants, which featured up close interaction with a Venus Flytrap. The kids were fascinated by the tiny hairs on the lobes of the flytrap used for trapping insects. We then talked about carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.
Rebecca, our Dearest Science Camp Teacher sang and danced a song while giving the children a chance to show off their own moves!
Up next was a sensory and creativity play activity where they got to build their own ecosystem; there were crayons, play dough, flowers, animals and all sorts of exploratory material for them to use.
Each little explorer also got to play with and decorate their own telescope that they used to observe their environment.
Our little explorers then headed outside where they made use of their observational skills and drew what they saw. They all had a set of binoculars they could use to watch closely and observe how nature moved around them.
We made use of our sense of touch, sight, smell, and hearing while exploring the garden. Their faces scrunched up slightly as our little explorers took a whiff of the mint in their hands and exclaimed, "It smells like mint!"
Our explorers then took a closer look at the Venus Flytrap to see if it had gotten any bugs trapped in it. They even tried catching some ants to feed to the carnivorous plant!
After being out in the garden, we got the chance to plant our very own seeds! This sensory activity got our little explorers testing out their fine motor skills when placing the soil into the egg shells and planting their own seeds.
To sum it up, the camp was an eye-opening experience for all. For continued learning and discovery, view our available summer camps and sign up for one today.
Additionally, we can also bring this summer camp to you! Drop an email to email@example.com for any inquiries.
Alternatively, you can also view Rebecca's profile and book her for personalized sessions.
This time round we held a drop-off session to promote greater interaction among the children and boy was it exciting! Some came all decked out in their very own space clothes!
We started off with a fizzy science experiment of exploding planets - a sensory activity for the children to learn about basic chemical reactions. They definitely enjoyed the process of getting their hands dirty.
Not long after that, Dodo made his debut appearance! You can see from the faces of the children that everyone had different reactions to this strange orange puppet from outer space!
Someone was quick to get up on his feet and point out "This is Jupiterrrrr!"
He was soon corrected by another two who pointed out that that was in fact, the sun, and that Jupiter was the fifth planet from the sun. It was a learning process for everyone!
We then moved on to play a mini space game called "Don't drop the asteroid"! In this outer space game, the little space explorers had to keep all the asteroids (balloons) up in the air while the music played. When the music stopped they all grabbed an asteroid and froze!
After the game, we settled down and began with Design Thinking Step 1: Asking questions. The key was to ask Dodo questions to find out about his needs and the problem he was facing.
We used this as a framework outline for the Design Thinking Workshop, based off of the Stanford method. (You can read more about the Design Thinking Method here. )
Upon defining the need (Design Thinking Step 2: Identifying the need) that Dodo needed to go back to his home on Jupiter, we set out on a process of coming up with ideas (Design Thinking Step 3: Ideation) on how to help. The children came up with fantastic ideas on building a rocket ship! Not without building some space helmets first!
Soon after, we left our space helmets to dry and got started on the building process of our rocket ships (Design Thinking Step 4: Building)! There were plenty of materials for everyone to choose from and start building.
Everyone got busy with custom designing their very own individual rocket ships. They used tapes, paper plates, buttons, and a whole bunch of other recycled materials to build.
Dodo asked Jason, "What are you building? " as he saw the boy wrap some tape over some silver shapes. He responded, "I'm packing some food to bring to space so we can eat in the rocket ship!" How brilliant!!
Once they were done decorating, most of them were pretty proud of what they had built. Some even liked chilling out in their little rocket ships.
Up next was the trip to space! This was Design Thinking Step 5: Testing what they had built. Some were a little apprehensive while others were real excited to see what lay behind the dark curtain!
They were fascinated by the flickering lights and atmosphere in the space room. Most importantly, they helped Dodo get home and back on Jupiter!
Once we were out of the space room, we reviewed our activities and discussed how it felt to help Dodo get back to his home. We framed Design thinking as a tool you can use to help people anreven aliens!
A group photo with their rocket ships! For the full photo gallery, see here.
We want to extend a big, warm thank you to everyone for coming down and participating in this workshop with us.
At Dearest, we believe that exposure to empathizing and problem-solving concepts are an important part of a child's learning and education. We can bring these educational activities to your home, through our Dearest Providers, given our focus on personalized learning. If you've enjoyed this event and/or are looking to attend future events, you can sign up for our service here. We hope to see you join us at bigger and better future events!
This Design Thinking Workshop for 3-5 year olds introduced problem-solving skills to the young children where they had to help an alien Dodo get back to his home on Jupiter.
The event kicked off with a little alien song and a mini introduction to the Stanford d.school Design Thinking Method.
Design Thinking Step 1: Asking questions.
The children started off by asking questions to Dodo to find out his real needs, and with the help of prompts from some of our Dearest providers, we soon got the ball rolling!
Design Thinking Step 2 & 3: Define needs and ideate.
Once the need for Dodo to go back to Jupiter was defined, the children began the ideation process by writing down their ideas on a piece of paper.
The children shared their ideas with Dodo, many of which included ideas on building a rocket, spaceship, and even a flying disc! Dodo loved hearing about the children's ideas and was super excited to be traveling back to space with them!
Design Thinking Step 4: Build!
This was the most exciting part where parents and children worked together to build out their ideas. Everyone got their creative juices flowing and we soon had a room filled with super cool DIY rockets, space, ships and even space suits!
Above, we have one of our Dearest Providers, Eva, helping Nishka and her dad build their spaceship for the trip to Jupiter. And below, we have Forrest, fully focused on painting his beautifully designed flying disc!
Design Thinking Step 5: Test what you built!
Once the children were happy with their finalized project, they got to test out their rockets, spaceships, and spacesuits on a trip to space! They were on a mission to help Dodo and bring him back to Jupiter.
They eventually reached Jupiter and Dodo was happy to be safe and at home, all thanks to the help of the children. It was time for them to go back to Earth! They traveled back to Earth where our Dearest Provider, Jennifer, did a mini Space Storytime as a concluding activity.
The children seemed happy with what they had built; Noah loved his suit so much that he kept it on throughout even after the trip to space!
The workshop finally came to an end with a short wrap-up and review of the Design Thinking Method. This is a great method to deeply understand other people's problems and pains, while subsequently trying to build a solution that will help them. Exposure to these problem-solving concepts for your child will put them in good stead for building effective solutions for people.
We want to extend a big, warm thank you to everyone for coming down and participating in this workshop with us. It was a fun experience and we hope you managed to bring home a small takeaway from this Design Thinking Workshop.
At Dearest, we believe that exposure to thinking and problem-solving concepts are an important part of a child's learning and education. We can bring these educational activities to your home, through our Dearest Providers. If you've enjoyed this event and/or are looking to attend future events, you can sign up for our service here. We hope to see you join us at bigger and better future events!
We kicked off the event with a warm welcome by Eiko, founder of Dearest, who was extremely delighted to see the many happy faces of providers at the company's first event.
Adam, Guest Teacher, from NYU, who is also a provider on the platform, started off by taking us through some Teaching Practices and Strategies for STEM Educators.
His Ph.D. Research at NYU is based on STEM and Literacy for young children. As an experienced teacher (both General and Special Education), his passion for teaching and learning Science definitely shone through as he took us through some hands-on science activities to do with children.
The first station revolved around The Phenomena of Inquiry: Why Structures Stand or Fall? Providers got their hands busy by building structures with different materials in various ways.
The next station explored the Concepts of Floating and Sinking. Adam explained how using different cultural tools and words can stimulate thinking in each child and best practices on teaching.
The third station was focused on Exploring Light Phenomena as providers learnt how to use a pin-hole camera to teach concepts related to light and creating shadows.
Up next was our STEM Competition! Providers came with a brainstormed STEM Activity with a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! It was amazing seeing how some providers came prepared not just with activities but props too! Congratulations to Rebecca for winning the prize!
It was a really close call given the thoughtful educational activities suggested by other providers. This was also a great way for everyone to share ideas to grow and learn from each other.
To wrap up the event, we handed out goodie bags - with activity inspiration and some handy materials to use during sessions.
Before we listed those activities however, we made sure we could do it too. So we experimented, tried and failed and put those that succeeded on display!
We hope everyone that attended walked away with great ideas and inspiration to teach and we just wanted to thank all of our providers and people who contributed to making this event a success.