# Easy Coding Lessons for Kids

How do we teach kids to harness the power of wind energy and explain the concept of renewable sources of energy? Of course, by designing a windmill during art class.

A windmill has blades that spin with the force of wind and the energy collected is stored and used to generate power that enables the generators to function. Generating electricity in this manner does not pollute the air and is totally safe for the environment.

Usually, origami paper is used, and step-by-step it has to be folded to make an amazing artistic windmill for kids. It’s an easy craft exercise and also helps in developing one’s motor skills. And once the model is complete, oh, what joy it is to run around with a windmill in your hand, and see the blades turn swiftly.

We’ve known Matatalab as a coding set for kids and its versatility has developed a keen fonding amongst the users. Matatalab is readily used in schools across the Middle East and GCC regions.

Let us learn a brief history of this gamified-coding platform. Matatalab was founded in 2017 by robot-developing enthusiasts who wanted to pass on a part of their coding knowledge to their children who were of kindergarten age. Thus, proved, that the Matatalab kit is wholesomely developed keeping an easy user interface in mind, and is completely suitable for kids.

### Paper Windmill Making with Matatalab Lite’s MatataBot

Steps to play:

• MatataBot
• Controller
• Oil pastels
• Colored Paper
• Pens
• Child-friendly Scissors
• Double-sided tape
• Thin & thick straws
1. Use the controller mode at the back of the Robot and make the robot ready for movement according to the symbols indicated on the buttons.
2. Simple coding steps involve, giving the MatataBot command to move forward on paper, then turn right, move forward again, turn right again, and continue this until a square is formed.
3.  Get a pair of child-friendly scissors and cut out the square shape carefully (monitored by an adult)
4. Fold the cut-out square into half but do this process diagonally
5. Use oil pastels and decorate the cut-out paper with embellishments to make it as attractive as possible
6. Now hold the paper firmly and cut the diagonal lines 1/3rd way up
7. Stick the diagonal cross with double-sided tape to secure a firm grip
8. Flip the windmill over and stick the straws at the back of the windmill

Matatalab Lite is most famous in Dubai and is priced at an affordable selling price, so as to encourage maximum number of children to learn coding, especially in the UAE where the Government’s plan is to optimally utilize digital resources to enhance efficiency & creativity and make the region the world’s leading Smart City of the world.

### Reasons that indicate why Matatalab is a suitable coding set for kids:

• It helps enhance cognitive skills by enhancing attention and memory power.
• The set is screenless, so it is beneficial to do away with the side effects of excessive screen usage.
• The instructions are easy to understand and the basic symbols are represented by arrow keys that can be decoded easily.
• Since the MatataBot facilitates play, it stimulates the child’s imagination, creativity, and builds excitement.
• Coding is further combined with Art & Craft lessons, and the cheerful music that plays in the background is worth exploring.
• No prior knowledge is required to work with a MatataBot. Even a complete beginner can learn coding from scratch, just by experimenting with some help from an adult.
• The kit is endorsed as safe for usage and is child-friendly.

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# Types of Numbers in Maths With Examples

Numbers play a very important part in our lives. We use numbers to tell the time, for the sake of measurement, to weigh objects, and even to count money. We introduce number digits to kids gradually, firstly single digits, and then tens, hundreds, thousands, and so on.

Numbers are identified in different types such as decimal numbers, fractions, and other such categories, for the sake of simplifying the concept and offering clarity to kids. Through this article, let us elaborate on the different kinds of numbers and what each of them signifies.

### Natural Numbers

As the word suggests, natural numbers are any counting number that consists of all positive numbers from 1 to infinity. This set does not include zero or negative numbers such as (Example: -1, -19, -13).  Another condition that it abides by, is that the numbers have to be integers, and not fractions or decimal numbers. Basically, an integer is defined as a whole number (Example: 12, 99, 1000) are all integers, but (Example: ½, ¾, ¼) are not considered integers, because they are fractions, hence not a natural number.

Struggling to teach your little one natural numbers? Try out the Mathseeds e-learning platform, where children get to interact with their favorite mascot ‘Eggy’, and learn Eggy Numbers from the comfort of their homes. Mathseeds is available for subscription in the UAE, including the GCC counterparts.

### Whole Numbers

Whole numbers are a set of natural numbers including zero. They exclude all fractions, decimals, or negative numbers. The only differentiating factor between natural numbers and whole numbers is that whole numbers include zero ‘0’, while natural numbers don’t.

### Integers

An integer is basically any number that is not a fraction, a decimal, or a percentage. Other than these three exceptions, all numbers are integers. All positive numbers are integers (Example: 10, 74, 1001, 678), all negative numbers are also integers (-133, -792, -2), and zero (0) is also an integer. So, zero to infinity and all negative numbers are integers.

### Rational Numbers

The word rational was borrowed from the term ‘ratio’. Mainly rational numbers are in the form of p/q, which means p is the integer and q ≠ 0. These numbers are in the form of a fraction to be included in the rational number category.

Let us see some examples of rational numbers;

• 30/1 (here both numbers are integers, hence it is a rational number).
• 0/1 (here where p is 0 and q is 1, so the fraction can be considered as a rational number).
• -3/-6 (both p and q are negative integers, they are therefore considered rational numbers. This is also called a positive rational number, as the negatives in the numerator and denominator get cancelled out and give a positive answer).
• -12/7 (the numerator is a negative integer and the denominator is a positive integer, but since both qualify as integers, this example is also a rational number. The scenario is called a negative rational number, since the numerator denotes a negative sign, hence the answer will also be negative).

### Even Numbers

A number that can be exactly divided by 2 is called an even number. This is the simplest to remember and children enjoy segregating even numbers as a Math exercise. Some even numbers are; 2, 4, 10, 24, 32, 68, 90, etc. Even 0 qualifies as an even number, because, if zero is divided by any number the answer is zero itself and thus, it is an even number. Let us remember, any number which is divisible by 2 and generates a remainder of 0 is called an even number.

### Odd Numbers

On the contrary, an odd number is any number that is not divisible by 2 wholly, where the remainder comes out as zero. In fact, when you try to divide the odd number by 2, the remainder is always 1. Try it out if you have to! Some examples of odd numbers are; 13, 7, 29, 55, 97, and so on. Children can start learning about odd numbers via gamified experiences on the Mathseeds App. This platform is trusted by over 20 million users and is a favorite amongst Math enthusiasts in the Middle East, including Dubai, and other regions of the world.

### Even Numbers

A number that can be exactly divided by 2 is called an even number. This is the simplest to remember and children enjoy segregating even numbers as a Math exercise. Some even numbers are; 2, 4, 10, 24, 32, 68, 90, etc. Even 0 qualifies as an even number, because, if zero is divided by any number the answer is zero itself and thus, it is an even number. Let us remember, any number which is divisible by 2 and generates a remainder of 0 is called an even number.

### Odd Numbers

On the contrary, an odd number is any number that is not divisible by 2 wholly, where the remainder comes out as zero. In fact, when you try to divide the odd number by 2, the remainder is always 1. Try it out if you have to! Some examples of odd numbers are; 13, 7, 29, 55, 97, and so on. Children can start learning about odd numbers via gamified experiences on the Mathseeds App. This platform is trusted by over 20 million users and is a favorite amongst Math enthusiasts in the Middle East, including Dubai, and other regions of the world.

### Prime Numbers

A prime number is a number that has two factors, out of which, ‘1’ must be a factor and the other is the number itself. Let us see some examples below:

Wondering if 1 is a prime number itself?

1 is not a prime number, since it has only ‘one’ factor, therefore, not fulfilling the above criteria.

### Composite Numbers

A composite number has more than two factors and is just the opposite of prime numbers. Let us see some examples of composite numbers.

As we can we in the above examples, the composite numbers have multiple factors.

Conclusion: Children may find learning all these different classifications of numbers a little overwhelming. However, we suggest you introduce them in stages so that each concept is understood with clarity. Follow the lesson with lots of practice and problem-solving questions, so that there is no chance for confusion.

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# The Importance of Focus & Concentration in Early Childhood Years

Concentration and focus are beneficial to kids because it helps in memorizing studies at school and also facilitates learning a great deal about the environment around us. We are not innately born with great concentration power, but it needs to develop over time. Our brain muscles need regular exercise to gradually build the habit of focusing; first for a shorter duration, and later for a longer span (30 minutes & above).

Experts suggest that a child in his early years has an attention span that lasts for about 2 to 3 minutes. Let us find out age-wise what the average attention period of a child must be at different growing stages.

• 2 – 3 years: about 4 to 6 minutes
• 3 – 4 years: about 8 to 12 minutes
• 4 – 6 years: 12 to 18 minutes
• 6 – 8 years: 16 to 24 minutes
• 8 – 10 years: 20 to 30 minutes
• 10 – 12 years: 24 to 36 minutes
• 12- 14 years: 28 to 42 minutes
• 14 to 16 years: 32 to 48 minutes

These are just ballpark figures, and they may vary as per each individual child’s upbringing and practice at school & at home.

### Why do children need to build healthy concentration skills?

• To boost memory & retention power
• To develop patience while solving difficult problems related to Math subject
• Perform better academically and in extra-curricular activities
• Improved mood and less irritability
• Discover oneself by knowing one’s likes & dislikes
• Building a great personality and admirable character traits
• Spending time pursuing productive hobbies

• Set reading time each day by assigning a novel and fix a goal on the number of pages to be read daily. Initially, children will struggle even to finish reading 2 pages of the book at a stretch. But don’t get disappointed. All good habits take time & persistence! By the age of 6 years, one should be able to read 20 pages per day in one go, which should take around 20-25 minutes. Sign-up for library membership, anywhere around your locality in the GCC region and let the reader pick new books of his choice every week.
• Mindfulness is a state of being aware such that you are completely involved in the activity at hand. Multitasking on the contrary is the opposite of mindfulness. Kids have a hard time sticking to one task. You would see them coloring one minute before they shift their focus to a ball lying in the corner of the room, and then they want to bounce it around. It’s hard to explain why one task needs to be completed, before moving to the next one! If your 3rd grader is learning multiplication tables, make sure he completes the set of 1 to 30 tables and only then proceeds to read the map of geography or maybe practice some grammar sentences. Mathletics is an excellent online Math platform chosen by parents & educators not only in the UAE but other parts of the world. It’s ideal for Math learners who want to develop a strong foundation through easy game-like activities.
• Keep all types of digital devices that cause distractions, away. We understand how hard it is to not get influenced by peer pressure and spend hours on tabs, mobile phones, & laptops pointlessly browsing through sites and playing games. If technology is used in proportion and for the right reasons, then it can be advantageous and facilitate the child’s learning process. Parents must encourage having a set schedule for kids to use their tabs (say 30 minutes per day), after which the device should be taken away and kept away from the sight of children. Similarly set a scheduled time for watching TV, playing with toys, and interacting with friends, so that overindulgence can be kept at bay and discipline is promoted in turn leading to greater focus.
• The importance of yoga and meditation is being spoken about worldwide, not just for adults, but also for school-going children. According to a survey, it has shown to have a positive impact on the child’s mental and physical well-being. Schools in Dubai and other Middle East regions, therefore have a dedicated period for practicing yoga and meditation. If practiced daily, it calms the mind, improves concentration, and keeps negative thoughts & emotions away.

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# Lego® Education Solutions Make a Perfect Gifting Kit For School Going Students This Christmas Season

Christmas celebrations are incomplete without secret Santa being generous and handing over a present to kids. The festival of Christmas is synonymous with exchanging gifts and this culture has been followed through over the years. It is no surprise for children to expect some toys & snacks from their admirers. In fact, most children get so excited about the upcoming month of December, that they start preparing their wish lists a month in advance, hoping they would get all that they’ve asked for.

As fun as it is to receive presents, you would agree that the process of gifting is kind of stressful. Parents get anxious about the whole gifting process, as everyone’s preferences are different, and choosing an ideal present that will make the receiver happy, is a difficult task to fulfill.

It takes maturity to understand that a present is given from the heart and irrespective of what’s inside the box, one must appreciate it and be grateful for the thoughtfulness. We would first like to highlight a few good reasons that indicate why seasonal presents are so important;

• When you gift someone, it shows that you care for each other
• It is an act of kindness, no matter if you don’t get one in return
• It spreads joy and cheer around
• Happy memories stay with the person far after the festive season is over
• One learns to be grateful for all that they have and develops a habit of being thankful

Meaningful gifting brings some reason to the season! We want our children to use the presents long after they have been presented with them, and therefore putting some thought before placing an order on Amazon will be worth the effort. Toys are a favorite for everyone, but it’s best when they add some value & support the child’s development.

### What are LEGO® Education kits?

LEGO® Education is based on a hands-on learning approach, where students get to study important concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) by building models and powering them digitally, to support the school’s curriculum and retain knowledge through activities. For over 3 decades, LEGO® Education has been partnering with teachers & educators to deliver playful learning experiences that make classroom-learning fun and impactful in the Middle East, and other regions of the world. Through these kits, children get an opportunity to experiment, learn by doing, develop creativity, and build problem-solving capabilities. If you think about it, these kits are perfect examples of gifting and a better valuable option rather than spending money on soft toys, accessories, or showpieces. Let us learn about the different sets available for sale in Dubai, and even orderable online, around the world.

#### LEGO® Education BricQ Motion Essential Set:

Suitable for elementary grade students (5 to 10 years), this BricQ Motion Essential Set will teach budding science enthusiasts the most important principles of physics; force and motion. Students conduct practical examinations to check what effects ‘push’ and ‘pull’ have on different objects under different circumstances. The experiments will help students make predictions more accurately and solve problems more promptly, not by mugging the formula, but by reasoning out the results. Most schools in the UAE, have made special arrangements in classrooms to include these kits as a part of studies and dedicate some time to children to discover cool “aha” moments.

#### LEGO® Education Spike Prime Set:

For middle school children aged (11-13 years), this is a perfect gifting solution. The kit is very attractive with as many as 528 colorful lego elements and they are marked safe for usage as its non-toxic. Essentially, children feel extremely proud of experiencing working with multi-port Hubs, cool coding languages, and programmable software based on Scratch, getting an opportunity to translate their theory skills into workable models. The kit comes with instruction manuals and usually, each session is for 45 minutes duration. You can bring one home and order it anywhere in the GCC region, to support STEM studies at home with friends.

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# Benefits of Investing Time Playing Videogames

The Gaming sector is booming rapidly and is expected to be worth \$321 by 2026, as per a report by PwC. During the Covid-19 lockdown, it was surprising to find out that millions of teens and adults explored gaming and many became addicted to it.

## Gaming For Good Reasons:

### It Stimulates the Mind

It’s indeed very thrilling to be able to score points and advance to higher levels of challenges by opting to invest time & energy in playing video games. Video games can make your brain sharper by compelling you to think more quickly and take decisions in the spur of the moment. It is safe to say that video gaming increases your grey matter! It tends to improve one’s memory and of course, over time your decision-making process will get smoother.

### Improves Problem-Solving Capabilities

Every game you indulge in has a specific strategy to comply with. Multi-player games are designed with twists & turns, much like a puzzle that take-up the player’s time and skill to solve. When children learn to solve gaming disputes, they gain confidence and are in a better position to apply the learning in real-world scenarios.

### Fantasy Facilitates Imagination

Though games are fiction-based, children get introduced to characters that demonstrate some kind of superpower or special ability that they can look up to. Soon these characters become admirable, much like Role Models to kids, and then students mimic these positive traits from them. For example; saving the world and being a good person is a superpower that video game characters might demonstrate, thus imbibing the same values in oneself.

### Spatial Visualization Capabilities

Spatial visualization is the ability to visualize and manipulate 2-D objects and 3-D figures in your mind to be able to manipulate or build something meaningful. Playing video games has a lot of graphics and scenes that are mapped out in a virtual environment. Players need promptness to decide their next move and swiftly navigate from one location to the other, and this process happens first in the head via visualization and later played via the consoles. The subject of Geography requires similar visualization skills, where students need to remember maps & different terrains, thus making the process easier.

### Positive Effects on Mental Health

With all the stress from studies and extra-curricular work, children get bogged down and need a break. Video Games are a good stress reliever from monotony and offer a refreshing boost that enhances the mood and makes the player more joyful & enthusiastic. Deep thinking and strategizing improve concentration and stats even show that those who suffer from anxiety & depression recover faster with the help of video games.

### Improves Social Interaction

Introverts are more inclined towards enjoying solitary activities and thus a video game becomes their best friend. Introverted personality people enjoy creativity & playing games is an outlet to express their creative talents. Though face-to-face interaction may seem too much for a shy person, meeting players virtually kind of leads to less awkwardness. Teaming up with a stranger and eventually becoming their virtual friend, is a good start and the feeling of security & inclusiveness is fostered.

Gaming isn’t just limited to video games, but the gamut of the industry is vast. There are 1000’s of apps that provide educational games and even teach children the basics of STEAM (the new-age curriculum followed by schools in Dubai and other regions of the Middle East).
Code Monkey is a virtual coding platform that introduces various courses to children of ages 4 to 14+. They have cool coding courses such as; Banana Tales, Beaver Achiever, Dodo Does Math, etc. to make lessons interesting, yet drive concept clarity. Educators and parents trust Code Monkey across the GCC regions, including the UAE, to help budding coders learn important computer science concepts in an easy game-like way.