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Feb 4
Feb 4

Maths Made Fun with Odd Squad Games

Getting your kids excited about maths might not be the easiest thing to do. That’s why we’re particularly happy to share some new games that’ll actually get your kids stoked about numbers without any pleading from your side. Odd Squad games incorporate equations in clever ways that’ll have your kids eager to play more. As busy parents, it’s great to give your little ones activities they love that also boost their maths mojo. So go ahead and take a break from trying to remember long division (without pulling your hair out), and check out these games instead: 

Odd Squad - Pienado Image

Pienado – What do you do when there’s a tornado made of pies? This game asks players to plug the pienado forcefield with appropriate shapes. Avoid getting smashed by an onslaught of messy blueberry pies by filling in the geometric gap with the correct shapes. A fun ‘beat-the-clock’ game mixing flying desserts, extreme weather, addition and shape combinations. 

Odd Squad - Puppy Quest Image

Puppy Quest – All the agents have been turned into adorable puppies! This game gets bonus points for major cuteness, as the player is tasked with the mission of turning back the pups into people. Using adorable puppy toys to encourage the furry friends back to headquarters, this game teaches addition and grouping in a super cute way. 

Odd Squad - Creature Duty Image

Creature Duty – Kids have to take care of a variety of creatures, making sure to recognise what shape of food they prefer, and being tasked with dividing meals evenly. It’s a fun way to teach kids about shapes, pattern recognition, and division. 

Odd Squad - Down The Tubes Image

Down the Tubes – Kids will learn how to use rulers, measure out accurate spaces, and add different measurements to make up a whole. The characters in the game shoot through tubes that the players have built by calculating what measurement of tubing to include, which is a cool way to teach fractions and addition! 

Odd Squad - Sector 21 Image

Sector 21 – It’s a mission in Sector 21, the biggest, oddest, most unexplored area in the world! Players are asked to head there to find where a bunch of creatures are hiding. Using a “Creature Find-o-nator”, kids will navigate through a colourful forest to locate the hiding creature. It’s a great way to learn map reading and build a sense of direction. It’s also extra fun when the creatures do silly things like cry tears of delicious strawberry low-fat yogurt! 

We hope your kiddos have fun dodging flying pies and shooting through tubes, all whilst learning some new maths skills. Let us know what you think!

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Feb 4
Feb 4

Hope Works Encourages Kindness

It’s Random Acts of Kindness Day, and we’re delighted to announce our partnership with the Hope Works project! Children’s broadcasters and media companies from around the world joined forces on an ambitious collaboration with global reach. Hope Works is a collection of short films offering stories of hope and inspiration, designed to inspire the values of tolerance, compassion and understanding in kids. 

We’re excited to share these heartfelt videos, which help young people feel hopeful about the world around them. The stories connect to what it means to be human, and feature a range of characters that are relatable for kids and parents alike. With themes like “The Power of Why” and “Active Compassion Mode,” these stories illustrate the message that ‘little things can make a big difference’. 

Like Sesame Workshop’s “Spread Kindness Around the World”, which features puppet characters showing small acts of kindness and igniting love all over the world. 

And Big Bad Boo’s “Balloon Girl”, which focuses on a young girl who gives up her cherished red balloon in order to soothe a crying baby. 

Or Corrinne Averiss’ “Move Mountain”, which is a touching story about a mountain whose greatest wish is to see the sunrise… but he’s facing the wrong way! His friends decide to put on a show for him to illustrate the glory of a sunrise. 

We’re thrilled to offer all 12 Hope Works videos for free on the Azoomee app. Happy Random Acts of Kindness Day!

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Feb 4
Feb 4

Kind People Are Our Kinda People

Random Acts of Kindness Blog Photo

Sometimes when it comes to kindness, we get caught up in the notion that we’ve gotta go big or go home. As adults, we can mistakenly view only grand gestures as the ones with worth. And in a world devoted to social media, it can be easy to assume that acts of kindness are only measured by their size – if it’s not big enough to post, is it big enough to matter? Thankfully, kids know better! 

We asked several primary school classrooms to tell us what they’ve done to be kind. Their answers are powerful in their simplicity, and show us that sometimes it’s the little things that occupy the biggest part of our hearts. We hope their quotes bring a smile to your day.

Tell me something you’ve done that was kind

“I gave hugs to mummy and daddy.” – Joel, age 4

“When my friends are sad, I make them feel better by telling a joke.” – Rory, age 6

“I always help my mum do the washing up because she has so many things to do!” – Henry, age 5

“If my mum gets upset when we watch a sad movie, I give her a hug to make her feel better.” – James, age 5

“I looked after my baby sister Saskia for my parents.” – Xavier, age 11

“I helped my little brother build a train track since it was a bit difficult for him to do by himself.” – Ava, age 6

“Yesterday my brother was crying, so I gave him my Kinder Egg and that calmed him down.” – Frida, age 10

“I helped my sister practice her dance performance.” – Edie, age 11

“When I was playing, I had something someone else wanted, and I gave it to them.” – Edward, age 4

Whether it’s giving a hug or telling a joke, children beautifully remind us that small acts of kindness have incredible impact. We’re feeling pretty inspired! And we think this could be a great conversation starter with your family. Consider asking your kids what they did this week to be kind. You might be delighted with the results! 

We’d love to hear quotes from your own kids. Big or small or silly, all kinds of kindness should be shared!

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Feb 8
Feb 8

Online Safety for Kids

It’s Safer Internet Day, and we’re celebrating by offering everyone our BAFTA-nominated original series “Search it Up” for free! Follow siblings Jack and Maya and their grandmother as they navigate life online and explore challenges that crop up in their everyday experiences. These 2-minute episodes are an engaging, fun way to teach kids about internet safety. Plus, they make awesome conversation-starters if you’re wondering how to get your kids talking and thinking about online safety. As parents, we know it’s key to make sure communication stays open, and this is a great way to start. 


“Search it Up” explores topics like digital permanence (just how long
does that embarrassing pic stay online once it’s out there?), online bullying (how to identify and deal with it), screen time amounts (how to strike a healthy balance between screen use and the real world), and a lot more. Through relatable situations that kids can connect with, “Search it Up” gives practical tips on how to handle challenges that may crop up for kids online.

We hope you enjoy getting to know the loveable “Search it Up” characters as they go about their daily lives at school and at home, and that this series help your kiddos learn the best techniques for a safer internet experience. 

Here’s our COO Estelle with Azoomee’s Safer Internet Day Certificate – it’s cool to be kind online! 

Estelle-with-Certificate-Video

And you can watch all 18 episodes of “Search it Up” on the Azoomee app!

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Feb 9
Feb 9

Top Tips on Internet Safety

It’s Safer Internet Day tomorrow! We wanted to find out the best way to talk to kids about online safety, so we asked an expert. Kate Jones is the Deputy CEO of Childnet International, a non-profit organisation that works to make the internet a great and safe place for children.

Kate Jones Blog Photo

Top 5 Tips on Staying Safe Online:

  1. Free to Talk
    Talk regularly with your kids about how they use technology. Listening to your kids will give you the best idea on how to support them. Check out conversations starters here.
  2. Free to be Different
    Acknowledge the different types of identities your kids may see online, and use these to spark discussions around diversity and inclusivity.
  3. Free to Make the Internet Work for Your Family
    Knowing how to activate and use parental controls can help protect your kids from seeing inappropriate content online. Check out this guide to get advice on how to make use of parental controls.
  4. Free to Get Involved
    Spend some time with your kids looking at, or interacting with, the things they do online. Talk about both the positives and negatives of being online, and empower your kids with safe choices they can choose, rather than overwhelming them with restrictions.
  5. Free to Seek Help and Support
    Just as we tell young people to talk about what they are unsure of, make sure you do too! You don’t need to know all the answers straight away, but reassure your kids that you can figure it out together. You can also connect with other parents who are trying to make the internet work for their family too.

Here’s what Kate had to say about staying safe online:

What’s the best way to bring up internet safety with your kids?

Kate: “Sometimes parents don’t know where to start, but lots of young people want to connect and share that element of their life with parents. Just open up the conversation naturally.

Conversation-starters can stem from chatting about a family agreement, which can help parents ask questions and helps young people identify why they want to use the internet and for how long.

Parents also need to remember that whatever agreements you make, they need to be followed by both grown-ups and kids. So if you agree to put away phones at meal times, for example, that counts for everyone in the household.”

How long should an internet Family Agreement last?

Kate: “There’s a lot to be said for the power of a ‘new toy’. There may be a rapid change in behaviour and habits online if it’s a child’s first time on social media, for example, or if they get a new phone. This means that the family agreement may need updating every few months, as the kids make changes in their online activity.”

What if kids are secretive about what they do online?

Kate: “The important thing is to come from a starting point of trust and listening. Kids will stop sharing if they are worried the parent will take away the device. So it’s important to have a conversation, because often a young person is more scared of losing a device than dealing with what they are tackling in their online life.

Kids need to know that parents will listen if they come to them about something going wrong, rather than reacting with anger. Start with the positives! And have conversations regularly, so kids feel listened to. Be open to hearing how young people use the internet differently than their parents.”

How can parents ensure kids understand the true potential risks of going online, without making them too guarded or scared?

Kate: “It’s about making sure the conversation remains open. Listen to kids about what they are experiencing. Rather than saying ‘you can’t do this,’ open the question by asking ‘what do you think you need to be aware of? What do you think the consequences might be?’ Or ‘what do you think that person might have been trying to do when they asked for personal information beyond the game that was being played?’

Parents are life experts, even if they may not be online experts. Parents have a good sense of whether a particular interaction online might be inappropriate. It’s important to ask, listen, and reflect.”

What do you think the most positive outcome will be if more kids have better skills to be safe online?

Kate: “If young people feel that they are able to share their challenges and problems and things that are worrying them, then adults are in a position to be able to take an appropriate response to that. It would help with bullying and grooming, online sexual harassment – these issues would be more quickly handled if young people felt confident and comfortable and secure to seek help from adults. That support system would change things for the better. Even just to reassure, empathise and listen, then young people would feel so much better about being online, and they’d get so much more out of it.”

 

Azoomee offers a totally safe digital space for kids to explore, but we know that kids will be online in other arenas too. We hope we can all work together to create a safer internet for all.

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Feb 10
Feb 10

How to Teach Kids About Online Safety

Safer Internet Day is only a week away! Our lovely team of teachers have designed 5 complete lesson plans that are perfect for the classroom, and can also be used at home with your kiddos. 

Each lesson plan includes fun printable activities and video resources from our BAFTA-nominated original series “Search it Up” which follows siblings Jack and Maya and their grandmother as they navigate life online. These 2-minute episodes are a relatable, fun way to teach kids about internet safety.  

Check out the lesson plans below: 

  1. How to be Kind Online – A lesson about identifying kindness online.
  2. Things Spread Quickly Online – A lesson about how things are shared online.
  3. What is Online Bullying? – A lesson to help kids compare their online experiences.
  4. Exploring Digital Permanence – A lesson about how hard it is to remove something from the Internet once you put it out there. 
  5. Are You Spending Too Much Time Online? – A lesson about the benefits of a healthy balance with technology.

We hope you enjoy these resources and that they help to create a safer online world for everyone. Let us know how you get on using them as a conversation starter at home, or as a classroom activity in school! 

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Dance Party With Your Kids Banner
Jan 9
Jan 9

The Benefits of Boogying

Get your Bond On 

From back in the day when you and your primary school classmates all did the Hokey Cokey, to when you grooved to the Macarena en masse at your cousin’s wedding, we’ve all felt the connection that dancing in sync can bring. Studies have shown that dancing together increases social bonding, which leads to liking each other and trusting each other more. Whether it’s a foxtrot, a samba, a tango, or a toddler two-step, you and your kiddos can feel closer when you cut a rug together. Even babies reap the benefits, too! Pop on your favourite tunes and bop along with your baby to the beat, and you’ll feel closer than ever! 

 

Boost Your Kid’s Brain

Dancing increases brain power and function, including improved memory skills. Fit kids have better memories and cognitive control compared to kids who don’t get up and move as much. Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) has been found to have a positive effect on children’s cognitive development. And get this – dancing even stimulates nerve growth factors and neuroplasticity, which means your kid’s brain will be able to re-wire itself and adapt as new information is learned. Neuroplasticity is the science behind growth mindset. It’s the reason we can develop skills and knowledge through effort, practice, and persistence. So dance, dance, dance! 

 

Get stuff done 

Blasting your favourite jams and getting your shimmy on can help you to feel more motivated! Does your kid need to tidy their room?  Shake your tail feather while picking up toys. It’ll make the job a lot more fun, and everyone might actually enjoy it! Enlist your kiddos in a little cleaning cha-cha and you might find your home sparkling in no time! 

 

Burn, Baby, Burn!

Dancing can burn as much as 450 calories per hour, depending on your body size and intensity level. It’s a super fun way to get everyone moving, pump up heart rates and have a fantastic time. Even if annihilating calories isn’t your goal, modelling being active is a smart idea. Show your kids that movement is fun, and you’ll encourage healthy habits throughout their life.  

 

Get Down, Don’t Melt Down 

We’ve all been there. Your kid’s throwing a fit, with fists clenched in fury and screams that pierce your ear drums. You’ve tried talking to them, consoling them, pleading with them. Nothing seems to work. Instead of exploding with exasperation, why not try distracting them. Music is a great way to shift a bad mood. Add in some silly humour, and you’re onto a winner. Throw on some tunes and do the funky chicken dance. Or belt out Laurie Berkner’s “Pig on Her Head” and ask your little one to make up new animals, then act it out! Distraction is the name of the game, here, and an impromptu dance party can work wonders at hushing a hissy fit. Once your kid’s calm, you could make home-made tap shoes together! Grab some spare coins and glue them to the bottom of their shoes. Once kids hear the tippity tap sound, tantrums are a long-gone history! 

 

And the number one reason to grab your kid’s hand and dance like nobody’s watching? It’s fun! We hope you and your mini mover have a blast with some fancy footwork!

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Jan 12
Jan 12

Must-Reads for Mums and Dads

We wrote about some super fun stuff in 2019, and we want to make sure you didn’t miss out! Here are our must-read picks that will help you become a better parent, get you to think outside the box, and celebrate girls all over the world.

How to Raise a Kind Kid
Turns out we had been doing it all wrong! Check out our easy-to-follow tips on how to bring more kindness into both your own and your little one’s lives.

What if Santa Was a Woman?
Sure, the old guy’s got a beard and a belly. But would Christmas be different if St. Nick was actually St. Nicola? We asked a bunch of kids to give us their thoughts, and their answers were really surprising!

Empower Your Daughter
We celebrated International Day of the Girl with a blog post all about how to raise confident, self-assured girls. Find out how to give your daughter the support she needs to become all that she can be.

Happy reading! Let us know what you think!

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Jan 13
Jan 13

What an Awesome Year!

Here we are, mid-way through January. Never mind the dark, the cold, or the “I’ll just have a club soda, thanks” comments you hear from everyone keeping it “dry” this month. Now is the time to reflect on 2019, feel proud about how far you’ve come, and get really amped up about 2020!

In the spirit of celebrating the past year (and being excited for what’s to come), we wanted to share a round up of some cool stuff we got up to in the past year…

We won a bunch of awards!

The awards shelf in our office got more crowded (yay!), but the coolest has to be when Estelle, our co-founder and COO won the “Most Innovative Woman in Educational App Development 2019” award. Here she is doing a happy dance:

We’re also stoked to have been nominated for a Kidscreen award in the best kids-only streaming service category! Watch this space (we’re heading to Miami next month to hear the Kidscreen results). Fingers and toes crossed!

We launched a shiny new app!

This news is as exciting as ten birthday parties at once. Except better. We made some incredible updates to make sure we’re the best we can be. The result was an amazing refreshed app, bursting with new features. We’re faster, smarter and more exciting! And the best part is that we’re just getting started. We’re committed to continually make improvements so that Azoomee can be as awesome as the kids who love it.

We Joined Forces with Another Cool Company

What’s better than one awesome company? Two awesome companies! We’ve merged with Da Vinci Media to create a global kids’ media group. This means we now have an even bigger library of games and videos to offer more than 45 million subscribers via connected TVs, linear channels, and mobile apps in over 150 countries. In a nutshell, you’ll get lots more fun, anywhere and everywhere!

We Gobbled Up Fondue

Cheese. Melted cheese. Ooey, gooey, yummy, scrummy cheeeeeeeeeeese. Nothing like a fondue party to really kick off the holidays! We feasted on all sorts of melty goodness right before Christmas. What better way to prepare for holiday feasting than… a holiday feast? Yum.

We Ditched Resolutions

We gave up guilt and grabbed some gratitude instead. It’s usually around about this time of year that we all begin to flag on the resolutions we made on New Year’s Day. So instead of setting ourselves up for failure, we decided to opt for treasuring the year ahead. In the last weeks of December, we made Rememberlutions Jars (think of them as gratitude journals, except in jar form). Anytime something cool happens, even a little thing that makes us smile, we’ll jot it down on a piece of paper and pop it into the jar. Then at the end of the year, we’ll have an easy way to cherish all the memories that made the year awesome! Check out our blog post if you’d like to give it a try: How Rememberlutions Will Save Your Year.

We hope your 2019 was great too. It’s been a rad year, and we’re excited to get into the full swing of 2020!

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Urban Tails - Blog Banner
Jan 15
Jan 15

Hip-Hop Hooray for Kid-Friendly Rap

 

For those who remember Ross and Rachel busting a move to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” to entertain their newborn daughter, or for anyone who loved hip-hop 90’s legends like Naughty by Nature, the Notorious B.I.G., or Run DMC, we’ve got some awesome news for you. 

The above hip-hop artists may be far from kid-appropriate, but thankfully there’s a totally safe alternative that lets you introduce your little booty shakers to the badass beats of hip-hop and R&B while still getting a “Parent of the Year” award. 

At Azoomee, we’re all about offering safe but super fun options for your kiddos. Stuff that’s a blast to watch, but actually has excellent, worthwhile value. That’s why we handpicked the ultimate hip-hop music show Urban Tails. This 26-episode series from Monster Entertainment offers a fresh approach to learning about wildlife via funky hip-hop music. Kids get a unique insight into facts about animals and nature while jamming to the beats. These short, catchy episodes fit perfectly with Azoomee’s ethos of making learning fun. 

Each 2-minute music video mixes classic hip-hop with characterised animals decked out in 90’s street fashion. Stars like “Mista C-Lion”, “Sharky B” and “Flava Frog” spit rhymes that teach kids facts about their behaviour and habitat, so we’re not only laying down sick beats, we’re laying down mad knowledge too. Plus, the animation’s killer. What’s not to love about a rapping mallard duck sporting a giant gold medallion, or a grey seal flaunting a multi-coloured shell suit? 

Urban Tails Foxes

Urban Tails was created by award-winning Pink Kong Studios in Dublin, Ireland. The musical show is the company’s first original preschool series, and was developed from a pilot project made for the RTÉ short scheme in 2016. 

“We’ve never had so much fun doing a series!” said Aoífe Doyle, Director & Writer at Pink Kong Studios. “It’s been a dream project, mixing our love for 90’s music and animation in one fun colourful package. Everyone involved poured a lot of love into the project, and we can’t wait for the little ones and their parents to tune in and enjoy this awesome show.” 

We think Urban Tails is tight, and we hope you will too. You and your shorty can check out the old school freestyle, oversized accessories and graffiti on Azoomee now. Because learning stuff should be as fun as busting a move. Word. 

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