LaunchPad: Little Learners Hub

LaunchPad: Little Learners Hub

This would have to be my favourite post – LaunchPad: Little Learners Hub!

LaunchPad is a school readiness program for kids aged 3-5. They focus on phonetic awareness through sound and basic math concepts, using a fun and multi-sensory approach.

    

Each week the lovely Ms Danni and Mrs Bianca run small classes with ‘Milo the Monkey’s Birthday Surprise’. Each week they are introduced to different things like music, arts and crafts, puppets, card games and lots of hand/eye co-ordination activities to help with their fine motor skills! The emphasis of this program is on hearing, saying, reading, spelling, pronouncing and writing – and of course, having a great time!

    

My 4 year old started the program in January. He didn’t really ‘get’ numbes and letters and we struggled to hold his attention on the topic. Eleven months later he can now write, sound and spell his name. He can confidently identify letters and even some basic words. Most importantly for us, he makes the connection between letters, numbers and words! For me, the program has been fantastic and he’s definitely more confident and engaged. Seeing his face after writing his name on his Prep Orientation form or writing ‘happy birthday daddy’ on a card was priceless!

If you haven’t heard of it yet and are interested in this sort of thing, please do yourself a favour and jump onto their website http://launchpadlearning.net.au/.

       

        

Mini Maestros – Craigieburn/ Mickleham

Mini Maestros – Craigieburn/ Mickleham

My three year old and I were lucky enough to visit the lovely Linda and Alison who are the operators of the Craigieburn Mini Maestros!

If you haven’t been, or even heard of a Mini Maestros class, I’ll give you a quick run-down.

Through music, these guys run structured programs for pre-school kids. They use music beats, rhythms and different dynamics to get kids focused on their development while they are having a bit of fun. Things like singing, dancing, playing instruments and musical games all stimulate creativity and imagination, while encouraging speech development, listening skills, social skills and physical skills.

Their programs are based on children from 6 months to 5 years of age and classes are generally limited to around 10 kids, which is great as so everyone has a go! They run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday but with the growing amount of interest in the area I understand they’re adding more days/classes from 2018.

It’s more than a bit of song and dance too – their programs are literature based and not simply thrown together! Their website has all this information and is definitely worth a read. Also, there’s a café right next door which serves great coffee for the mummy’s or daddy’s.

   

Check out their website for information about all their program and session times https://www.minimaestros. com.au/find/classes-by-locatio n/?location=367

 

 

 

 

Dinosaur World

Dinosaur World

I’m convinced this is one of Melbourne’s BEST kept secrets!

Driving an hour to Somerville meant I did have to hear the hubby complain on the way as to why we were driving so far for the kids to ‘do something’. That quickly changed when he saw a full-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex at the gate! At that point, I didn’t know who was more excited, my hubby the Jurassic Park die hard, or my boys!

This place was really cool and even though it was compact, there was a heap to do. From the entrance, the place is pretty structured and puts you on a path which you follow to find dinosaurs nestled amongst the trees! The actual dinosaurs themselves were impressive with soft, scaly skin that was pretty life-like (I’m guessing!) and they even come to life and roar when you walk past.

The park accommodates kids of all ages, including a little toddler (there’s really nowhere to run other than the path you’re meant to follow). Walking is pretty minimal so doubling back to see your favourites is easy.

Food-wise, there’s ‘Dino Bites’, a place inside the park to get some lunch or nibbles! The hot food was home made by the owners, so had a real homely feel to it. If you want to get real fancy and spend half a day there, there’s a BBQ area too!

In terms of other activities, there’s a cute little dinosaur-themed playground which my boys loved, of course, and for a small fee kids can ‘dig and discover’ fossils in a decent-sized sandpit, which they get to keep! There’s a free tractor ride and if you’re lucky you might even see Wilson, a real life dinosaur who walks the park everyday (this was literally just a guy dressed up in a dinosaur outfit, which was cute for the younger ones – if you’re kid is likely to point out the human-feet popping out the bottom of the costume, maybe avoid this part so not to spoil!).

They do parties and are only open at certain times of the year, so check out their website before going http://www.dinosaurworld.net.au!

Crafternoon

Crafternoon

I love my coffee. Actually, let me rephrase that – I need my coffee!

So when i came across a ‘craft’ cafe that kept my boys engaged long enough for me to actually finish one while it was hot, I had to share the love with you guys!

Wether you’re looking for an indoor activity on a ‘wet weather day’ or just want a coffee and something to eat while keeping the kids mind active, Crafternoon might work for you.

Painting, pasting, playdough, badge making, Frozen-themed headbands, flower crowns and even mask making are some of the things you and the little ones may enjoy.

For me, craft play isn’t something I do a lot around the house so to see the kids enjoy themselves so much was nice. I spent about an hour and a half there!

You might even be lucky enough to sneak in a cheeky biscuit without the little ones noticing – I said might!

They do kids parties, functions and catering too. Check out their website for more details http://www.crafternoon.cafe/.