Let’s face it, all kids have a ‘gift’ of some description.
They may not all grasp the fundamentals of decimal places in maths, but they can complete a Rubik’s Cube in under five minutes. That’s gifted!
They may struggle with grammar and spelling, but they have an innate affinity with insects, animals and birds, especially when injured. That’s gifted!
Or they may not be able to wield a pencil or paintbrush creatively, but they manage to “slam dunk” more balls than any other team member. That’s gifted!
In other words, not all kids are the same. They march to the beat of their own different drums, each using specific, highly developed thinking skills.
These thinking skills fall into four main areas:
- Word/Linguistic thinking
- Visual/Perceptual thinking
- Strategic/Logical thinking
- Kinesthetic/Hands-on Activities
The key to their learning in these four areas is very different, which means that what’s good for one child could be totally hopeless for another. Which is why choosing gifts to suit their particular bent is so important, especially if you want to get them off their phones and away from screen games.
With the holiday season just around the corner, we at AWC have put our heads together to choose five great gifts for children – something to suit all children.
1. For the intrepid adventurers and animal-lovers consider a Youth at the Zoo (YATZ) educational and conservation membership. YATZ programs are available at all Australian Zoos and offer members activities both during school holidays and occasionally during a school term.
2. For the critical thinkers and enquiring minds then you can’t go past the CSIRO’s Double Helix magazine which is designed for children 8-14 years, though younger and older children/adults find it equally fascinating. Published eight times a year, each issue is full of science, technology, engineering and maths news promoting critical thinking and strengthening literacy skills. Each issue also includes fun activities, puzzles, comics and prizes.
3. For the bookworms and wordsmiths, the Australian Writers’ Centre Creative Writing Quest for Kids for children 9-14 years is a sure winner. Using a mix of video and written content, this online course will guide young writers through the fundamental techniques of writing. From that glorious “lightbulb moment” of finding an idea through to developing characters, setting and plot and finally to editing the story to be the best it can be.
This Creative Writing Quest consists of 12 online modules (one released each week) which a child logs in and completes either as they’re released or just whenever they can. On completion of their quest, young writers will have a story of up to 800 words that they are able to submit to bestselling, internationally published children’s author (and presenter of this course), A.L. (Allison) Tait. She will provide personalised feedback on their story! Allison is the best-selling author of The Mapmaker Chronicles series and An Ateban Cipher series.
4. For science buffs and children who love hands-on experiments, Mad About Science is the home of unique science products, toys, kits, gizmos and novelties with a difference designed to amaze and educate the most enquiring minds.
Owned and operated since 2008 by teachers with qualifications in science research, Mad About Science has built a solid reputation for quality educational products and exceptional customer service.
5. For all the game-loving children ThinkFun is a world leader in addictively fun mind-challenging games. Specially designed for kids of all ages, there are games for multiplayers as well as single player classics. ThinkFun games are available through Ed Resources, a leading supplier of high-quality educational toys, books, technology products, stationery, art and craft supplies.
And of course, no matter how your child best develops their passion and learns new skills, there’s a myriad of children’s books available on just about every topic they can think of. And if it’s not written yet, then maybe they will write it.