It’s great to think that the scientist Isaac Newton made all his ground-breaking discoveries at a time (1642 – 1727) when there were no hi-tech tools. Just shows that you don’t need fancy gear to have great ideas. He worked out that light is made of different colours – as in a rainbow. How? By shining daylight through a hole in the door and onto his prism. Your kids can split light up too! Here’s how:
1. Put some water in a shallow dish.
2. Prop up a small mirror in the water at an angle.
3. Place the dish near a window and position the mirror so that sunlight hits it.
The light passes through the water and bounces off the mirror, making a faint rainbow appear on the wall.
And while they’re at it, why not learn the colours of the rainbow? Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain = Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.
I like this science experiment website for kids.
Follow this up with a quick watch of our ten-minute film about Isaac Newton for ages 6 – 100. Factually accurate, funny and informative – a clever way to spend the afternoon!
Sumer is icumen in (as the traditional English song circa 1240 put it) and for parents, that no longer means sweating in the fields and the hassle of the harvest as it did back then. Nowadays it means…..yikes!…children at home, wild and unfettered for 2 months. Right, I know – at the start you think ‘oh let them lounge, game, chill, slouch around in the clothes they slept in – in short, r-e-l-a-x’. But that wears off pretty soon, I’ve found. And then you start fantastising about sending teenage boys to military academy. Well, for any parents of children under 10, for whom keeping them out of harm and trouble is a full-time workout, give yourself a guilt-free break and give them a nugget of rich general knowledge but planting them on the sofa for a quick ten-minute watch of our short films about famous people. Then they can tell YOU all about Galileo, or why Darwin was rubbish at school. We’ve got colouring pages too for doing at the kitchen table afterwards. As educational parenting tools go, our films are just the ticket.
The centenary of Alan Turing, the maths brainbox and father of computer science, is coming up on June 23. It’s always comforting to find that people we regard as super-clever often had a bumpy start at school. In Alan’s case, he didn’t impress his teachers at Sherborne School much. Not because he wasn’t brilliant at maths – he was. But more because, back then, education meant the classics – Greek, Latin, history, art, poetry, languages, philosphy etc. His headmaster wrote in a report to his parents: “He must aim at becoming educated. If he is to be solely a scientific specialist, he is wasting his time.”
How things have changed! In our modern world, maths and science are key tools in this computer and internet age.
For parents despairing of their children’s school reports, please remember that Darwin had a dreadful school career, that Van Gogh was miserably unpopular, that Galileo was almost kicked out of university and that Leonardo da Vinci didn’t even go to school! He had to teach himself.
Find out all these cheering titbits in NowYouKnowAbout’s short films for anyone aged 6 – 100 who’s interested in famous people who made their mark.
Tired from a day’s work? Or a full afternoon surrounded by toddlers? A long commute back home? All this and more can make evening with small children seem a tough prospect, however much you love them. I’m no advocate of maxing kids out on screen time – computers, tablets or TV – but if you deserve some me-time, and need it too, why not sit your children down in front of NowYouKnowAbout’s short, funny and educational films about famous people. They’ll be entertained, they’ll be absorbed; you’ll get a break and – the icing on the cake – those kids will learn something new and useful.
A friend of mine who’s a hard-working mother was delighted to find that, when her son, aged 8, went on a school trip around Westminster Abbey, he told the teacher and the rest of his class that the great discoverer of gravity, Isaac Newton, was buried there. He’d picked that up watching NowYouKnowAbout Isaac Newton – our ten-minute movie that teaches kids stuff and gives their parents a guilt-free moment to put their feet up.
We all went to school. We all learnt stuff. But how did you pick up the kind of knowledge that rounds out all that grammar, maths, science formulae and so on? If you’re lucky, it was at home – from a book, on TV, or from your mum or dad. I think the best way to give kids general-knowledge is to show them our educational movies for toddlers, primary-schoolers and under-12s. Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Galileo, Christopher Columbus – famous people’s lives encapsulated in a ten-minute movie about what they did, how they did it and why they are famous.
NowYouKnowAbout educational films for children entertain and educate kids and trigger a curiosity that makes learning more a whole lot of fun.