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Posted by on in Play at home

 

 

As the evenings begin to get shorter and we feel a slight chill in the air, Imaginosity will soon close its Roof Garden for the Winter months, as our loyal friend and mascot Eco Badger heads off to warner climes, leaving his Rooftop Den behind for the chilly season. There is still a short remaining week or two left to explore our garden in the city. Autumn is the most perfect time to get out and about with the family, breathe in the Autumn air and kick up a big bunch of brown and yellow leaves in your wellies. Blog-Osity Guest Blogger Joanna Fortune, writes about the benefits of the Imaginosity Roof Garden and exploring nature in general with the family.

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Modern family living has changed a lot in recent generations and as a result children and families have less and less opportunity to engage with nature and the natural environment. This is a great pity as research has demonstrated that parents who talk to their children regularly, explaining features about nature and social issues, or who read or tell stories at bedtime are more likely to foster pretend play (Shmukler 1981; Singer & Singer 2005), which is essential to children's development. Further researches into the benefits of children engaging with nature consistently show us that children's social, psychological, academic and physical health is all positively impacted when they have regular contact with nature. Try incorporating a weekly nature walk into your quality time with your children, if weather is not so good just wrap up warm and get outside even just to jump in puddles or go rainbow hunting!

Encourage them to collect conkers, acorns and leaves to do some leaf tracing at home (place a sheet of paper over a leaf and rub over it with the side of a crayon or chalk), to thread and play with conkers and tell them how you did this as a child and how much fun you had. Take a tiny acorn and show them how it grows into a huge oak tree, explaining how our trees become the paper we use to trace our leaves on and the copy books that we do our homework in. Collecting some nice stones from the beach and bringing them home to wash, dry and paint is a lovely activity for children too, as is having them plant a seed and take responsibility for watering and nurturing it every day so that it grows. Involve them when you are tending to your garden, give them a little corner they can dig in themselves.

 

 

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Posted by on in Play at home

Over the last number of years, Imaginosity has engaged with university students from throughout Europe and the United States of America through our very successful Internship Programme. The programme allows students studying subjects and areas relevant to children's education and children's involvement in the arts and sciences to learn valuable skills and gain experience over a period of time at Imaginosity. In return, we are delighted to welcome such diversity and experience to the museum and are thrilled to learn what we can from students from all over the world. Here, Lisa Stanislavski, a Pedagogy student from Germany, gives a short account of her time as an 'Imaginosity Intern' recently in the museum.

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Overwhelmed by the briskly architecture and the variety of colorful and informative play elements on every floor, I started my 12 week internship with a very good feeling and an enormous amount of motivation.
Since the entire staff was so welcoming and caring, I felt appreciated from the very first second and got along great with everybody. After just watching my colleagues doing their daily jobs at the museum for the first couple of days and helping them keep the floors clean and tidy, I was allowed to help in the arts and crafts workshops or with the preparations of them. Although I was a little worried whether the kids liked me or not, every one of them accepted me right away and I had a blast teaching them about science or arts and crafts in the workshops. I was so honored to be able to organize the music camp with one of my colleagues and to be allowed to bring in my own ideas to make it a lifelong memory for the kids. Step by step I was introduced to the daily chores that need to be done in order to keep the museum as creative and special as it is and although I was 'just' an intern, I always had the feeling that I was able to bring in myself and my own ideas and that I was equally accepted and treated. During my stay in Dublin and my awesome experience of working at imaginosity, I had the chance to meet wonderful people and be part of wonderful place filled with creativity and laughter. Although it could be difficult on busy days to keep up with the schedule and the large number of visitors, the hard work paid off as soon as the kids thankfully smiled at you after a successful workshop, showing you the results with proud and joy.
After 12 weeks of fun, creativity, dancing, arts and crafts and loads of Birthday parties at the museum, the staff organized a goodbye party for me and 2 other colleagues. That was so thankful and I could hardly believe that 3 months could be over so quickly. Saying goodbye to the museum and the entire staff was heartbreaking, but I am sure I will be back some time soon.
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Posted by on in Play at home
                                                       Fathers day winner       Kart racing kids
This Father's Day we wanted to make an extra effort to celebrate all those fantastic Dads and Granddads who visit Imaginosity. We always love welcoming these special guys to the museum; whether it's for a morning Wobbler & Toddler visit, a "Granddads Go Free" session on a Tuesday afternoon, or some quality Daddy time on a Saturday morning while Mammy gets a rest! Every Father's Day we offer free entry to Dads and Granddads, but this year we decided to go that little bit further and organise a full day of fun, including Go-Karting on the plaza and a SuperDad tournament during each session!
Our SuperDad tournament was a great success – some Dads entered into the competition reluctantly, encouraged by their enthusiastic kids, while others jumped in feet first to the many challenges ahead of them. We kicked off the tournament with a yoga-brick building competition – the winners of round one were the builders of the top three tallest towers still standing after two minutes!
Round two saw the Dads and their entourages proceed to the Supermarket where they were challenged with finding every item on their shopping list in 90 seconds. All parents are familiar with the task of filling their trollies in a short and stressful amount of time, and the Dads really stepped up the plate in this round (lots of people get chicken confused with beef yeah?).
With just two SuperDads left in the mix, it was down to the Cog Wall to decide who was our first Father's Day Champion. Whoever placed the cogs in the right order to ring the bell in the shortest amount of time were to be crowned SUPERDAD! The tension was palpable, the kids were cheering, the solid plastic "SuperDad" trophy was gleaming in the corner of each Dad's eye. Each Dad had his eye firmly on the prize but eventually Jonathan Connell proved himself as the top Dad, the head honcho, officially a SUPERDAD.

We had SO much fun this Father's Day, thanks to all the Dads who threw themselves full force into the fun – each and every one of you embodied the real meaning of Imaginosity and truly proved yourselves as SuperDads.

See you next year!

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Posted by on in Play at home

In celebration of St Patrick's Weekend, our friend Mairead who is a secondary school teacher has written a thought-provoking and helpful piece on re-discovering (or discovering for some!) our native tongues. Go raibh maith agat Mairead!

It's that time of the year again when we all start thinking of the 'cúpla focal' we once stored safely away in the back of our minds for those occasions we may need them! Your child is coming home daily and reminding you of words from another lifetime. Safely buried away but not forgotten....

Why not try to rediscover this safely buried treasure this weekend? Why not try a few ideas to make your home a little more Gaelach do Sheachtain na Gaeilge? Try labelling some of your necessary items - an citeal to make a 'cupán deas tae', or a 'muga caife'. You may need 'siúcra' and 'bainne'. Don't forget (ná dearmad) your 'fón póca', those elusive 'eocracha' that go missing every time you need to go on a trip 'sa char'r. Have you your 'málaí siopadóireachta' for the groceries?

There are some words you need when asking / telling your child what to do :

Faigh - get

Déan - do /make

Téigh - go

Brostaigh - hurry

Cuir - put

Ól - drink

Ith - eat

Seas suas - stand up

Suí síos - sit down

When you need your children to do some everyday jobs, why not challenge them as Gaeilge?

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Posted by on in Play at home
Finished product Description of task: Make an Orange Clove Pomador
Time required: 20 minutes
Suitable for ages: 3-7 years
Level: Easy
Download instructions here
Tagged in: Play play at home
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